• Monthly Wrap Ups+Book Hauls

    March 2019 Wrap Up+Book Haul

    *It’s my March 2019 monthly wrap up where I briefly review the books I read and list the books I bought. I read quite a few really good books and quite a few okayish books. But mostly I read books. 😂

    What were your favorite reads of March 2019? I loved "Enchantée", "Muse of Nightmares", and "Shadow and Bone". You can read my full March 2019 wrap up here!

    Duologies, trilogies, series, oh my!

    Are you a fan of series? Trilogies? Duologies? Or a stand-alone? I think I like all four of them. If I’m emotionally invested in the story and the characters, I’m not super picky about what form they come in, or how many books are involved.

    I like a stand-alone if it feels resolved at the end. By that I mean, was the character able to resolve the big issue/mission they were facing in some way by the end? For this reason, I don’t like a stand-alone that leaves me wanting more words after the last page. Consequently, I always gravitate toward series and trilogies than anything else.

    I think that my favorite is a book series. When there are more than two or three books in a series I’m given the chance to really get to know the characters and the world in the book. There are only so many words you can include in a duology or a trilogy where a series has basically unlimited potential.

    My favorite books in March

    *Next up, the books I read in March. March was a great month for me quantity wise. I read so many books and I had the opportunity to read some really great books.

    5 Star Books

    Enchantée {⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️}
    By Gita Trelease
    This book took me completely by surprise. I was not expecting the masterpiece I found within its pages. Set in revolutionary Paris in the late 1780s, Gita perfectly blended poverty and opulence. And it involved magic. Beautiful but scary magic. Almost all of the characters were adorable, I say almost because the bad guy was anything but adorable. I really appreciated the French words sprinkled throughout the book and the very handy glossary in the back. Enchantée is just as beautiful as its title. It was an adventure I completely enjoyed.

    Muse of Nightmares {⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️}
    By Laini Taylor
    Please hold the pieces of my heart together while I recover from this book. It was absolutely stunning! I was so afraid to read it because I wanted everything to turn out ok, and everything was not ok when Strange the Dreamer ended. By the last page, everything did turn out ok, even if it wasn’t ok at the beginning or the middle or most of the end. This is one of my favorite books this month!

    4 Star Books

    Shadow and Bone {⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️}
    By Leigh Bardugo
    This book blew me away with how quickly it captured my interest. The characters in this book are really complex. There is definitely more than meets the eye here. My favorite part of this book was the friendship between Genya and Alina. Genya is probably my favorite character in the book. She is just too sassy for her own good. I was constantly giggling when she would come into the story. Also, I must take a moment to appreciate the map in this book. It’s simply stunning.

    The Song Rising {⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️}
    By Samantha Shannon
    I know the book world is caught up in reading her newest novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree, but I needed to read this book. It was so good! The third book in The Bone Season series just amped up the stakes much higher than I thought they could go. This series has taken up lodging in my story-loving heart and I don’t think I mind. I am, and will always be, in love with Arcturus. Rhysand will just have to share me. 😂

    Books that were good, but not great.

    *The next few books were not terrible, they just weren’t what I was expecting. They were still good in their own way and I don’t want to discourage you from reading them.

    The Cruel Prince {⭐️⭐️⭐️}
    By Holly Black
    First of all, this was a difficult book for me to read. I was at turns mortified and spellbound. Holly has a great talent for making worlds seem very real. She’s also excellent at creating cruel characters. There should be trigger warnings all over this book and there aren’t. I only hear people rave about how much they love this book, but I was just disgusted through most of it. The amount of mental and emotional abuse in this book is tremendous. It’s important to realize that it is just a story, but there should be a trigger warning or something. All I ask for is a fair warning about what I’m getting myself into.

    *Because I’ve already talked about these books in my March Book Chat so I’ll list them here for you.

    The Bullet Journal Method, by Ryder Carroll {⭐️⭐️}
    Crown of Feathers, by Nicki Pau Preto {⭐️⭐️}
    The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm, by Christopher Paolini {⭐️⭐️⭐️}

    If you want to read my short reviews of these books you will be able to find them here.

    March 2019 Book Haul

    Yikes guys. 😱I bought way to many books this month. And I told myself I didn’t need anymore. My tbr is big enough thank you very much. I should probably be grounded from buying books for a bit. Don’t you agree?

    New Books:

    Additional Copies

    *As a pure bibliophile, I must have all the copies and editions of my favorite books. Lol.

    Ok, now I need to go hide from the death glares I’m getting from my tbr pile.

    Book Merch Creator of the Month

    Every time I get on Instagram I seem to find another amazing creator of bookish merchandise. I really enjoy highlighting them in my blog posts for you guys to check out.

    Lucy creates the most stunning little “dreams in a bottle”. The one I just bought is of The Night Court from A Court of Mist and Fury.
    She sells on Etsy @ Dream In a Bottle Shop
    Her Instagram handle is
    @dreaminabottle

    All of her creations are lovely and I can’t wait to get more. She has a monthly package you can buy that has exclusive content that isn’t available in her Etsy shop. April’s theme is “Game of Thrones” and you can preorder it now through April 1st. They ship April 15th! I’m totally getting my hands on one!

    *I’m not an affiliate, I just really love Lucy’s unique creations.

    That’s a wrap for my March 2019 wrap up. (hehe, see what I did there?😂) Look for my April TBR in the next few days. It’s magical readathon time again! O.W.L.s will take place next month! I can’t wait!

    Happy reading,

    Alicen

    P.S. Don’t want to wait to find out what the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon is? Check out this video to get started on your own magical journey.

  • Monthly Wrap Ups+Book Hauls

    February 2019 Wrap Up + Reviews

    *It’s time again for a recap of what I books I read, bought, and loved this month. I also mention my favorite bookish merch and what I’m looking forward to next month. Grab a cup of coffee and join the conversation!

    February 2019 Book Reviews and Wrap Up

    February 2019 Book Reviews

    The Mime Order
    By: Samantha Shannon
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    1920’s gang atmosphere set in a future dystopian London. Espionage, crime, secrets, mayhem, betrayal. Oh my lovely, this book was jam-packed with action and breathtaking circumstances. The ending has me itching to get to the next book in the series, The Song Rising.

    The Gilded Wolves
    By: Roshani Choski
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    A group of 6 kids take on the mysterious Order of Babel. Secrets abound in this race around 19th century Paris. There are lost heirs, destroyed Houses, and so many secrets. I can’t wait for the next book in this trilogy.

    Strange the Dreamer
    By: Laini Taylor
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This book has some of the most beautiful writing. Dreamers, unknown pasts, and ghosts abound in this magical tale about dreams dead gods. There is some instalove, but I didn’t notice it until after I finished the book. The second book in this duology is next on my TBR.

    Shadow of the Fox
    By: Julie Kagawa
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    First of all, I have never read a book like this before. I like it so much. The Japanese inspiration is amazing. It was like reading an anime instead of watching it. I felt that the world in Shadow of the Fox was just about perfect and I really liked how new it felt. I know that nothing is original, but Julie’s take in this book was very refreshing.

    Sky In the Deep
    By: Adrienne Young
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    While this wasn’t a terrible book, it was not great either. I felt that it was too rushed to really do the topic it addressed justice. There was barely any depth to the story. Character development was non-existent. Since it is a stand-alone, I feel that it could have been much longer than it actually was.

    Rereads:

    Inheritance
    By: Christopher Paolini
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This was a looong book. The first couple hundred pages were a bit slow, but the middle and end were amazing! I could have been less descriptive, but that is Christopher’s writing style. I expect as much from him.

    Book Haul

    *I was able to purchase quite a few books this month. I’ll just link them to Goodreads below so you can read the synopsis for them.

    Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo
    Siege and Storm, by Leigh Bardugo
    Ruin and Rising, by Leigh Bardugo
    Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo
    Crooked Kingdom, by Leigh Bardugo
    Eragon (Barnes and Nobel Special Edition), by Christopher Paolini
    City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare
    The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon
    Crown of Feathers (Owlcrate Editon), by Nicki Pau Preto
    Enchantée (LitJoy Crate Edition), by Gita Trelease
    Sightwitch, by Susan Dennard
    Strange the Dreamer (U.S. Edition), by Laini Taylor
    Year One, by Nora Roberts

    This was a really good book buying month for me. But, who am I kidding? There are always more books I want to buy. Maybe a monthly wishlist would be helpful for me? I will have to add one to my book journal.

    I hope you all had an excellent reading month!

    Happy reading,

    Alicen

    P.S. If you want to catch up on February’s posts you can find How I Organize My Books, Why +How I Unhaul Books, and my February Book Chat.

  • Monthly Wrap Ups+Book Hauls

    January 2019 Wrap Up + Book Haul

    *January 2019 was a great reading and book buying month for me. Almost all of the books I read I loved and I was able to fill out my new bookshelves a little more. I hope you find some new books to add to your TBR and maybe some to buy!

    It was a great month for reading! Add some great books to your TBR.

    January 2019 Books

    The Bone Season By Samantha Shannon

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I really really liked this book. The world is dark and dangerous and also amazing. It’s about a girl who has a really rare and dangerous form of clairvoyance. She gets kidnapped and becomes a slave of an immortal race of aliens called the Rephaim. Throughout the course of the book she works to fight her way back to civilization and her freedom.

    Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This book wasn’t particularly mind-blowing, but it was definitely surprising. I keep getting surprised by books that walk the fine line between sci-fi and fantasy. I think my favorite part about this book was all of the different kinds of magic in it.

    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

    ⭐️⭐️
    This book was not for me. I love and adore the Harry Potter books, the Wizarding World, and the Fantastic Beasts movies, but this story just fell flat. I knew at once that it wasn’t written by J.K. Rowling. I felt like I was reading some very bad fan fiction. A lot of people love this and a lot of people don’t. I fall into the latter category.

    Whichwood By Teherah Mafi

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Let me preface this by saying that there are some pretty gross aspects to this book. Washing dead bodies, a boy with body full of bugs, and people being stripped of their flesh, but still alive.
    But I really liked it. It’s the sequel to Furthermore and it continues the story of Alice and Oliver. They meet a new friend and learn that to make an impact on someone you have to take the time to help them and not just provide them with a temporary solution.

    I read this book for TCS Reading Challenge this month. The prompt was, “A book you bought for the cover”.

    Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This was a good introduction to Dr. Leaf’s work but I preferred her other books “The Perfect You” and “Think, Learn, Succeed”.

    I read this book for TCS Reading Challenge nonfiction prompt, “A book about mental health”.

    Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I will admit that this book was pretty slow at first. It wasn’t that there was nothing happening, there was just no mystery to figure out. I wasn’t super compelled to read it, but somewhere around page 200 everything got really interesting. I’m very glad I stuck with it and gave it a chance.

    I read this book for the Modern Mrs. Darcy reading challenge prompt, “A book on the backlist of a favorite author”.

    Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Absolutely loved it. It was my second reading and I forgot so many things. The world building and character development are amazing. It was really good to read it at a slower pace and really soak up the story.

    Specials by Scott Westerfeld

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This was another reread for me. I like this book because it’s a quick read and the world is fascinating. It’s one of the only dystopian series I can stand reading and I think it’s the best.

    Book Haul

    January 2019 Book Haul

    So…..I wasn’t supposed to buy any books this month but I did anyway. Ooops. 🤷🏼‍♀️I hauled quite a few books this month. I was really excited to get these and to fill out my shelves a little better. They are not big shelves by any means but they are still pretty empty.

    I went through a stage a few years ago where I got rid of most of my books. But now, I’m realizing that this was a bad idea and I’m slowly rebuilding my collection.

    It makes me very happy to see my shelves filled with books that I love.

    What about you? Did you read any great books this month? Or did you go out on a book buying spree like I did?

    I hope you all had a great month.

    Happy Reading,

    Alicen

    P.S. The Cozy Shelf 2019 reading challenge is going great! I’ve found that it’s really helpful in getting me to read books I already own rather than going out and buying new books. You can get all the info you need to participate here.

    P.P.S. You can find my February 2019 TBR here!

  • Monthly Wrap Ups+Book Hauls

    December 2018 Book Haul + Gifts

    *I typically include the books I bought in my wrap up posts, but December’s wrap up was so long that I decided to split them up this month. So here is my December 2018 book haul.

    December 2018 Book Haul + Gifts

    Books I Bought

    Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

    december 2018 book haul

    I fell in love with Sarah J. Maas’ stories with the Court of Thorns and Roses series and I am very excited to read this one next month.

    The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

    december 2018 book haul

    I heard about Samantha Shannon and this series from Owlcrate’s Youtube Channel. The reason I bought them was for the covers. I know absolutely nothing about the series. But I have high expectations of it for some reason.

    Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene

    december 2018 book haul

    I was so happy to receive this book in my December Owlcrate box. After reading the synopsis and the reader letter and I wanted to drop my TBR and start this one right away. I didn’t though, but I can’t wait to get to this one in the new year.

    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling

    december 2018 book haul

    I am slowly collecting the new hardcover Bloomsbury editions of the Harry Potter series. I absolutely love them. They are beautiful. I got rid of my original scholastic editions because they were very worn out and I just hated the covers. These copies will be my new set and I can’t wait to have them all.

    Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

    december 2018 book haul

    I started reading the Shadowhunter series when I was still in high school and for some reason I just stopped reading them. I think it was because they weren’t releasing fast enough for me. Anyway, I noticed that they have had a makeover. I honestly started buying them for the new covers, but now I actually think I’m going to read them.

    Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

    december 2018 book haul

    Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

    december 2018 book haul

    Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

    december 2018 book haul

    I happened to find one copy of this book at Target, which was very surprising considering that Queen of Air and Darkness just came out.

    The Fork, The Witch, and the Worm by Christopher Paolini

    december 2018 book haul

    Of course I had to get this one! It his first book in ages, and I desperately need to know what has been happening since the end of the last book. I’m not sure when I’ll get to this, but its lucky because I’m in the middle of rereading the Inheritance Cycle right now.


    Books that were Gifts

    * Self-explanatory, but these are books that my husband got me for Christmas. The above books are gifts I got for myself.

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

    december 2018 book haul

    It does not surprise me that the artwork in these books is getting increasingly dark. Some of the stuff in here is downright creepy. I really love these illustrated editions though. They are fun to read and they are beautifully colored.

    Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

    december 2018 book haul

    I’ve been wanting this book since it came out. The story sounds so intriguing and I can’t wait to read it. I’m really hoping for some more diverse fantasy novels in 2019!

    Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf

    december 2018 book haul

    I’m reading this one next month for The Cozy Shelf 2019 Reading Challenge. If you don’t know what that is, you can head here to get all the details.

    Make It Happen by Lara Casey

    december 2018 book haul

    A productivity book written by my favorite goal planning instructor. Seriously, it you haven’t checked out Cultivate What Matters, you are missing out!

    Reading People by Anne Bogel

    december 2018 book haul

    Written by one of my favorite book bloggers and podcasters. I’m excited to discover more about my reading personality. I think I’m more excited to find out why I don’t like certain books than why I do like certain books.

    Conclusion:

    That’s all the books I bought and received this month. It was a pretty decent month for me. Not too many new books, but not no new books. That would be terrible. 😂

    Happy Reading,

    Alicen

    P.S. What books did you get as gifts in December? Anything you really wanted? Let me know in the comments below!


  • Monthly Wrap Ups+Book Hauls

    December 2018 Reading Wrap Up

    *My monthly post where I talk about the books I read and bought during the past thirty(ish) days.

    December 2018 Reading Wrap Up

    December 2018 Book Wrap Up

    December was a great reading month for me! After slumping for most of October and November, I finally feel like I’m reading because I want to and not just because I feel like I should. I was able to read 11 books, which is quite a lot for me.

    A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

    december 2018 wrap up

    I read this book so fast. It broke my heart and then put it all together again. I can’t say much about it in case you haven’t read the series yet because of spoilers. But it was So Good!

    A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

    december 2018 wrap up

    A sweet novella set around the winter solstice holiday. It wasn’t originally on my TBR but it was a perfect December read. It follows the events of A Court of Wings and Ruin and I was just dying for more of the characters from the Court of Thorns and Roses series. So I read this one right after I read A Court of Wings and Ruin.

    The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson-Levine

    december 2018 wrap up

    This was a reread for me. A beloved childhood book. But I wish I would have just left it as a perfect memory. It was cute, but terribly boring. I had to make myself finish this one.

    Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

    december 2018 wrap up

    This was probably my worst read of 2018. I talked about it in my current reads post, so if you want to know what I said, you can read it here.

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

    december 2018 wrap up

    This is my favorite Harry Potter book. I loved rereading this one. It wrapped everything up so nicely. And I do love a happy ending.

    Mirage by Somaya Daud

    december 2018 wrap up

    I really enjoyed this book. It was a refreshing new kind of story for me. I had no idea that it was science fiction, but I really loved it. The message that anyone deserves the chance to be understood and loved was really great. I feel that a lot of people will say that the main character was weak. But I think she is strong for seeing the good things in her supposed enemy. I am looking forward to the sequel!

    Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

    december 2018 wrap up

    This was a great look at the psychological effects of the concentration camps and it explains why some people survived and others did not. I really enjoyed the first part of the book; which was a recounting of some of his camp experiences. The second half was a lot of technical psychiatry terms that I didn’t exactly understand.

    Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

    december 2018 wrap up

    First of all, this was my first experience with Tahereh Mafi books and I fell in love with her writing. I had high expectations and they were all fulfilled. Normally I can’t stand middle-grade books, but this one was very intriguing.

    Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

    december 2018 wrap up

    This was a mash-up of the Jim Dale audiobook and the hardcover Ravenclaw edition. I listened to the story on Audible, but I read the interesting bits about Ravenclaw house in the book. This was my second time reading it this year. I liked it. It wasn’t fantastic, but I enjoyed it. I don’t know if I’m going to make audiobooks a regular part of my reading life because I was either distracted and didn’t pay attention to it, or I wandered around my house and felt like I couldn’t do anything because I would miss the story.

    Pride by Ibi Zoboi

    december 2018 wrap up

    I must have really liked this book more than I thought. It’s a low 4-star, but I was expecting only 3 stars. So, I’m pleasantly surprised. I normally don’t gravitate toward contemporary fiction at all so to have like this one so much makes me happy. It was a great Pride and Prejudice retelling. It was kind of a light read. I say kind of because it deals with big topics, but it also had some light romance where there’s a happy ending and the future looks bright. It’s an important book to read without being too deep and sad about the content.

    The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

    december 2018 wrap up

    This book came out of nowhere for me. It was recommended by Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy on one of her podcast episodes. I really really enjoyed it. It was satisfyingly creepy and well written. The twisty fairy tales were like nothing I’ve read before. This book may have opened up a whole new sub-genre for me. I’m just trying to figure out why there aren’t more people talking about it.

    Conclusion

    I was really surprised I read as many books as I did this month. Several of them I was able to finish in one day. I hardly get hours to myself where I can read uninterrupted. December was a great end to my reading year.

    How was your reading this year? Did you complete any challenges? Finish up any series? Did you reach or exceed your Goodreads goal?

    Happy reading,

    Alicen

    P.S. In an attempt to keep this post at a reasonable length, I’ve decided to make my book haul into a separate post. It will be short and sweet, but it will also have pictures, which is not typical for my book hauls. You can find that post here.

  • Monthly Wrap Ups+Book Hauls

    November 2018: Wrap Up + Book Haul

    *disclaimer: In order to keep these posts at a reasonable length, I don’t include pictures of the books I bought. They are all linked to Goodreads so that you can add them to your own TBR.

    November 2018 Wrap Up + Book Haul

    November wasn’t a bad month for me as far as reading goes. Would I like to read more books? Um….yes. But I can’t seem to focus on a book when chaos is reigning all around me. Once upon a time I could read a book and be so completely engrossed in it that I paid attention to no one and no thing. Not the case anymore. Too much noise and I just can’t concentrate. 

    I got to read seven books this month. Two of which I haven’t completed because technically the month isn’t over yet. I’m still going to include them here because I plan on completing them both by November 30. I like to start my month fresh with no book carryover. 

    Well, enough chatter from me. Let’s get to my November 2018 wrap up.


    The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

    wrap up, november 2018

    This book was a perfect fall read. Justin writes some of the best literary fiction. I loved it. It was a sad story but also a hopeful story, filled with friendship and determination to survive. The City of Mirrors was the perfect ending to The Passage trilogy.

    Think, Learn, Succeed by Dr. Caroline Leaf

    wrap up, november 2018

    This book is a great read if you are looking to increase your learning potential. I know there are so many books out there about being a better you, but none of them compare to this one. In this book, you’ll learn your customized way of thinking and how to use that knowledge to leverage your own learning curve. I really, really enjoyed this book. I can’t wait to read it again and get even more out of it. 

    A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

    wrap up, november 2018

    I love, love, love this book so much! It was better than A Court of Thorns and Roses (if that’s possible). I love Rhysand so very much. Feyre can be a bit of an idiot but she did endure some pretty hard stuff in A Court of Thorns and Roses so I have to remind myself to go easy on her. I loved all of the character development with Rhysand. He is very snarky and I love main characters with a lot of sass to them. 

    The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah MacKenzie

    wrap up, november 2018

    This book was super easy to read and to understand. I loved all of the book recommendations for reading to your children at any age. If you have been wanting to start reading aloud to the littles in your life, this book is great for beginners. My biggest takeaway: Don’t wait until you have the perfect situation before you read aloud to your kids. 

    A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

    wrap up, november 2018

    I’ll be honest and say that when I started this book I wasn’t sure if it was for me or not. But, by the end, I was hanging on every word. I was antisocial for at least 30 minutes at my husband’s family Thanksgiving (oops) just so I could finish the book. I love Kell and Lila, they make such a great pair. Their relationship is so sassy and it makes the book amusing even though its pretty dark. I was disappointed by lack of character depth. I just feel like I don’t know enough about the characters to help the story make more sense. I am; however, ready to dig into the next book in the trilogy, A Gathering of Shadows.

    The Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith

    wrap up, november 2018

    I picked up The Cozy Minimalist Home for the freebie I got when I preordered, but it has turned out to be much more than just another minimalist book.  It’s helping me to finally figure out why  I’ve struggled to make my home cozy without overwhelming myself. This book is quickly becoming my go-to decor book! 


    In conclusion:

    That’s it for my November 2018 Wrap Up. Now we can get to the books I bought. All the books are linked to Goodreads so that you can add them to your own TBR list!

    • City of Bones, Cassandra Clare
    • Lady Midnight, Cassandra Clare
    • The Hazel Wood, Melissa Albert (*I bought my copy from Book Outlet and I have to say I learned my lesson in buying their “scratch and dent” copies. This book looks like it got slashed by a book murderer. If you like pretty books stay away from the “scratch and dent” ones from Book Outlet.
    • Sky In the Deep, Adrienne Young
    • Whichwood, Tahereh Mafi (I bought this purely for the cover. I do intend to read it in January 2019 though)
    • A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas (While I’ve already read this one, I needed it to complete the series on my shelf.)
    • Truthwitch, Susan Dennard
    • A Gathering of Shadows, V. E. Schwab
    • Girls of Paper and Fire, Natasha Nigan (I got this copy from my Owlcrate box!)

    Those are all the books I hauled this month. It’s significantly less than last month but also more than it should be because I said I wasn’t buying books this month…..we can just not mention this to my husband, okay? LOL.

    Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. If you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving I hope you had a wonderful November filled with much reading and drinking of hot beverages. 

    Happy reading,

    Alicen

    P.S. Check out my December 2018 TBR! Bonus: Another Harry Potter themed readathon!

  • Monthly Wrap Ups+Book Hauls

    October 2018 Wrap Up and Book Haul

    *I didn’t read as many books as I wanted to this month. But, I exceeded expectations in the book buying department! To keep this post at a reasonable length I’m not going to include covers of the books I bought. All books will be linked to Goodreads.

    October 2018 Wrap Up + Book Haul

    Books I read in October 2018

    I read eight books in October. Four of them were for the #charmsextracredit and the rest were just because I wanted to. 

    First up, the books I read for the #charmsextracredit

    Book 1

    I read Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine for the Alohamora prompt; which was {the first book in a series}. I really liked this one. It was steampunk and dystopian and I enjoyed it quite a bit. One day I will get to the rest of the books in this series.

    Book 2

    Next, I read The Selection by Kiera Cass. This was for the Lumos prompt, {a white or light cover}. This book wasn’t my favorite of the month but I did enjoy reading it. It was an exceptionally quick read. I honestly can’t see myself finishing this series. Unless I run out of anything else to read. (You’ll see when I get to the haul portion of this post that I won’t run out anytime soon.) Part of me wishes I read this in high school. I would have loved it.

    Book 3

    For Accio, I read Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer. The prompt for this challenge was {a book on your TBR}. This book wasn’t on the top of my list to read, but it had been on my TBR forever so I decided to give it a shot. I think I can say that I hated this one. The ending was awful. I didn’t keep it. 

    Book 4

    The last challenge that I completed was Rictumsempra. The prompt was {something that tickles you the right way}. I picked A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I picked this one because I love fantasy novels and I needed an excuse to get back into it. This was my favorite read for the month.

    The Rest of October 2018

    I read 4 more books after these. Three of them were rereads and one was new to me. 

    Book 1

    The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck was also a really good read for me. I love a good historical fiction and this one set in WWII was great

    Book 2

    I reread Harry Potter and the Half- Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. You’d have to be living under a rock not to know about this book so I’m not going to get into this one.

    Book 3

    The Passage by Justin Cronin was the perfect October read. Eerie, creepy, thrilling. I loved it. I may or may not have lost sleep over it. But that’s just my overactive imagination for you. I learned not to read after dark and especially not after dark and being the only one awake. 

    Book 4

    The Twelve by Justin Cronin is the sequel to The Passage. These books were both rereads for me but I still loved them. Again, this was a perfect book for October. I wanted to read the complete trilogy in October but I didn’t get to The City of Mirrors. That one is on the top of my list for November. The story is so complex that I know if I don’t read them all right in succession I’ll get mixed up on what is going on.

    My October 2018 Book Haul

    I will admit I bought way too many books this month. In my defense I was attempting to fill up my bookshelves a bit. I still have a ton of empty space but I’m making good progress there.

    Here’s my enormous list of books I bought in the month of October. Most of these are from Book Outlet, some are from Ebay, and some are from Owlcrate.

    As you can see I probably won’t be buying many books the rest of the year. At least I shouldn’t be buying any books the rest of the year. November has been declared a no spending month for me so we shall see how that goes. 

    Happy Reading,
    Alicen

    P.S. What does your October book haul look like? What’s your most anticipated read for November? Let me know in the comments!

    P.P.S. Check out my TBR for November 2018 here!

  • Monthly Wrap Ups+Book Hauls

    August 2018 Wrap Up

    *This is a really geeky post that is about books I read for a Harry Potter themed readathon. If you don’t like Harry Potter then just read this for the book recommendations. If you really don’t like Harry Potter then just skip this and look for my next bookish blog post. Also, all book images are from Goodreads.

    August 2018 Wrap Up + Magical Readathon Results

    This was my first N.E.W.T.s Readathon. Well, this is the first N.E.W.T.s Readathon. So that would make sense. 😆
    I had a lot of fun doing this readathon. I knocked a big hole in my TBR. Even though a lot of these were re-reads I had fun reading like I was in high school again. This is not a typical month for me. I’m lucky if I get 10 books in a month. It’s usually more like 5 or 6 books. I must say I feel really accomplished. 

    If doing a Harry Potter themed readathon appeals at all to you then check out this YouTube video from BookRoast. She is turning this into an annual thing. We sit our O.W.L.s in April 2019.

    I sat my N.E.W.T.s for Muggle Studies, Ancient Runes, History of Magic, and Care of Magical Creatures.

    N.E.W.T.s: Muggle Studies

    Pass Grade: Outstanding

    n.e.w.t.s readathon

    Pretties
    By: Scott Westerfeld
    Category: Favorite Author

    I have previously read this book in high school. It was ok. Tally, the main character isn’t my favorite and the story wasn’t that good. It’s a nice dystopian YA novel though, which is why I liked it in high school. It was fun to re-read a book I loved in high school.

    n.e.w.t.s, readathon, muggle studies

    Scrappy Little Nobody
    By: Anna Kendrick
    Category: A Biography

    Even though Anna is pretty vulgar and frank about her love life it was a pretty entertaining book. I read parts of it to my husband and he thought Anna was pretty funny. It was fun to read about her early days in the film industry.

    n.e.w.t.s, cinder, a retelling

    Cinder
    By: Marissa Meyer
    Category: A Retelling

    I liked this book. However, I felt that there was too much stacked against Cinder for most of the book. It was irritating but I pushed through it. It wasn’t until the very last chapter that I felt the story could turn around. Of course, it ended at just the right moment so now I want to continue reading the series.

    N.E.W.T.s: Ancient Runes

    Pass Grade: Outstanting

    n.e.w.t.s readathon

    No Time to Dream
    By: Dorthea Jorgensen Ellsworth
    Category: A Book Set in the Past

    This is the story of a young girl growing up motherless in Montcalm County Michigan in the late 1890s. It’s told from the perspective of Agnes who is the author’s aunt and adoptive mother. Really great insight into the life and the community at that time.

    The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
    By: Stephenie Meyer
    Category: An Unread Book I’ve Had on My Shelf the Longest.
     To be honest this book was annoying. But I guess it should be because it’s about brand new vampires and they are supposed to be annoying. I hated everything but the ending. It was nice to see how it tied with the rest of the Twilight Saga.

    The Hiding Place
    By: Corrie Ten Boom
    Category: Book Translated from Another Language.
     I really enjoyed reading this book. It was really sad, but it was amazing to read about Corrie’s resiliency. I’ve read books about the Holocaust before but not many as a biography. I don’t have too much say about the book. I do recommend it if you are interested in the Holocaust. It’s told from a survivor’s experience. Much like The Diary of Anne Frank.

    N.E.W.T.s: History of Magic

    Pass Grade: Outstanding

    Quidditch Through the Ages
    By: J.K. Rowling
    Category: A Book that Would Fit in at Hogwarts
     This was highly enjoyable. Filled will all the funny sayings and mannerisms that are part of the Wizarding World. I loved reading about the favorite sport of witches and wizards for centuries.

    A Great and Terrible Beauty
    By: Libba Bray
    Category: A Book Published at Least 5 Years Ago
     This was another re-read for me. Like most 1st novels in a series, this one takes a slow start. The story itself isn’t slow but not much makes sense until the end, and even then I’m still not sure what’s going on. I read this trilogy a long time ago so I really don’t remember what happens. If you like Garth Nix’s Abhorsen series, you’ll like these too.

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
    By: J. K. Rowling
    Category: A Book that’s at Least 400 Pages
     This was my 2nd read through the 5th book in the series. It was fun to re-read. I was a little late to the game and read the Harry Potter series in high school. Reading them in my teens gave me a better appreciation for everything that Harry and his friends endured. I know this won’t be the last time I read this book. My husband would tell you I’m absolutely obsessed. And I won’t deny it.

    N.E.W.T.s: Care of Magical Creatures

    Pass Grade: Outstanding

    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
    By: J.K. Rowling
    Category: Animal on the Cover
     This was a quick read. If you’ve watched the movie you aren’t missing anything if you don’t read this one. It was fun to have a more abstract view of the characters and to see some of the emotions behind each scene. If you are a die-hard Fantastic Beast fan you won’t hurt to read this one. 

    Found: God’s Will
    By: John MacArthur
    Category: A Book Under 160
    Pages
     At just 75 pages I think I exceeded expectations in this category. 😁It was an extremely quick read and it was enlightening. I do think I’ll leave personal development books out of the equation next time I do a readathon. It was impossible to retain anything when I was reading it as fast as I could. I’ll have to read it again and go slower next time.

    Eragon
    By: Christopher Paolini
    Category: Includes Dragons
     I absolutely love this story! It captured my attention when I was in middle school and it’s never let me go. It was terrible, finding a book that had just been released. I had to wait years to complete the series. With Eragon getting published in 2003 and Inheritance in 2011 I’m sure you can imagine the suspense. Eight years of waiting for the ending of Eragon’s story. Pure agony. Give this one a shot if you love fantasy stories. Daring adventures with dragons. dwarves, elves, humans, and a mad king. What’s not to like?

    In Conclusion

    I absolutely loved participating in the N.E.W.T.s Readathon hosted by BookRoast. You can follow her on YouTube and Instagram. You can find a Twitter account dedicated to the magical readathon here.

    I managed to read 14 books this month. Two of which are not included in the Readathon because I didn’t have categories for them. They are Eldest, the second book in the Inheritance series and Scarlet, the second book in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Both of those books were highly enjoyed as well. I read Scarlet in one day. It was fast paced and the perfect amount of suspense for me.

    The next Magical Readathon is the O.W.L.s. We will sit our O.W.L.s in April 2019. I look forward to it!

    Happy Reading,
    Alicen