Dec 31, 2019

Challenges Wrap-up: December

CHALLENGE 1: 2019 New Release Challenge

Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder (11/18/19)
Wreck by Alyssa Rose Ivy (12/2/19)

I decided not to include my 2020 ARCs as those aren't exactly 2019 New Releases, lol.

I surpassed my goal of 30 new releases by reading 43

CHALLENGE 2: The Backlist Reader Challenge 2019


Even though I didn't read any this month, I still surpassed my goal of 15 by reading 21!

CHALLENGE 3: 2019 Discussion Challenge

I upped my game midyear to have 40 Discussion posts, not sure what my original goal was...but I ended up surpassing that upped goal by writing 53 Discussion Posts!

CHALLENGE 4: 2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge

I didn't finish any series this month but I did surpass my goal of finishing 5 series by finishing 11!

My Goodreads goal was to read 50 books and I ended up reading 77! A far cry less than my usual 150+ but since there were life changes in my job area I still feel pretty good about 77!

ARC Review--Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo, Louise Simonson & Ill. by Kit Seaton

She will become one of the world's greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. Based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Leigh Bardugo, this graphic novel adaptation brings to life Diana's first adventure beyond the hidden shores of Themyscira.

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law--risking exile--to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn't know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer--a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies--mortal and divine--determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

The DC Comics team has brought to life yet another DC Icons novel! This time it's Leigh Barudgo's Wonder Woman: Warbinger. Louise Simonson was the adapter and the gorgeous illustrations were created by Kit Seaton! I have to say that I really enjoyed this color scheme! It's very faint colors that make Wonder Woman who she eventually becomes! At least, that's how I saw it!

If you've read the novel adaptation then you will know this story well! I love how these graphic novels stay true to the novel themselves. It's truly remarkable and wonderful! The story follows a teenage Diana who is struggling to find her place among the Amazons she calls family, of sorts. She wants to prove to them, herself, and her mother that she is truly one of them when participates in the great race meant to test all the warriors. But Diana gets waylaid in the race when she sees a boat suddenly explode and though she longs to prove herself a warrior to everyone, she worries about the fates of anyone left on board...even if they are from the land of man.

As we know, Diana rescues Alia, who she believes is mortal at first, but turns out to be so much more. She is the warbringer and if Diana doesn't get her away from her people, not only will she be killed, but her people might not make it either, for the warbringer is exactly as it sounds.

I truly must applaud Kit Seaton for her illustrations in this graphic novel! I loved how the characters practically popped off the page. They were so lush and beautifully drawn that reading this one was a delight and gazing at the drawings was pure pleasure!

It's always so hard to review a graphic novel or comic due to the length of the story and I'm not entirely sure what I should be touching on or not. I know that all fans of Leigh Bardugo, Wonder Woman, and Wonder Woman: Warbringer will want to read this one because it's an amazing read and the story is just as enticing in comic form as it was in novel form. It really is something to see since usually the route to go is making a book into a movie. Comic book "books" are an enjoyable treat as well as this series is turning out to be! I love that the story shows through so well even in shortened comic book form! It's definitely a great way to revisit a beloved read in a shorter amount of time!

This is most definitely a read to recommend to the aforementioned peoples, fans of Leigh Bardugo and Wonder Woman alike will have a GREAT time with this read! I cannot wait to get a finalized copy of this in order to see the drawings up close and personal! This is truly a work of art!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

Wonder Woman: Warbringer releases January 7, 2020

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker

Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.

"There was a night I woke up panting, my chest feeling crushed and tight, like the devil was sitting on it. I swear I saw her standing by the bed, streetlight catching on her pointed teeth and red hair. But when I turned on the lamp there was nothing there." Kindle loc. 5%*

*Quote comes from the eARC therefore it and its location are not final.

TITLE: The Night Country
AUTHOR: Melissa Albert
PUBLISHER: Flatiron Books
GENRE: YA Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: January 7, 2020 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week's topic is: Top Ten Favorite Books I Read In 2019

*in no particular order

10. BLOODWITCH by Susan Dennard
9. RAGE by Cora Carmack
8. MOONLIGHT SCANDALS by Jennifer L. Armentrout

7. STORM AND FURY by Jennifer L. Armentrout
6. THE BURNING SHADOW by Jennifer L. Armentrout
5. THE QUEEN OF NOTHING by Holly Black

4. VOW OF THIEVES by Mary E. Pearson
3. BLOODLEAF by Crystal Smith

1. FINALE by Stephanie Garber


Dec 30, 2019

2019 Annual End of the Year Survey!

**2019 Reading Stats**

Number Of Books You Read: 77
Number of Re-Reads: 2
Genre You Read The Most From: YA Fantasy





Best Book You Read In 2019?


Finale by Stephanie Garber, Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith, and House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig. So yeah, not just 1...not different genres either! Lol! These were all fantastic fantasy reads that left me daydreaming for more! Sadly, one was a final book and another was a standalone.

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?


Spetacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok and The Missing Season by Gillian French were my two biggest letdowns this year. Went into both of them expecting a bone chilling mystery and ended up with a blah contemporary situation with random mysterious moments.

Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?


Finale and The Queen of Nothing were both surprising in their own ways! I mean, all the jaw dropping moments got pretty serious!

Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?


Rules for Vanishing I guess? I mean, it was the one I gave away in my Spooktacular Giveaway.

Best series you started in 2019? Best Sequel of 2019? Best Series Ender of 2019?


 The Eyes of Tamburah by Maria V. Sndyder--book 1 in what I guess will be a trilogy as Maria tends to write in trilogies!
The Wicked King by Holly Black--a jawdropper of a sequel to the first book of her amazing trilogy
Finale by Stephanie Garber--a book you can pretty much expect to see a lot of in this survey!

Favorite new author you discovered in 2019?


Erin A. Craig for sure!

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?


The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright--I don't usually read Middle Grade books, but decided to give this one a whirl and it was actually pretty good!

Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?


Bloodleaf was pretty unputdownable! I love me a good fairy tale retelling!

Book You Read In 2019 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?


I'm not much of a re-reader, even though I did re-read 2 books this year. A huge plus for me! Lol! I'd say I'd pick up The Joy of Cookies again because it was a short and light-hearted read!

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2019?


Bloodleaf for sure! I was devastated when the publisher decided to change the cover concept for the second book. It totally loses the fantasy/fairytale retelling to become just another shade of fantasy heroine on the cover. Sigh...

Most memorable character of 2019?


Tella for sure! I love that girl!

Most beautifully written book read in 2019?


House of Salt and Sorrows was a gorgeous retelling of The Worn Out Dancing Shoe! I love that tale so much and Erin retold it so creatively!

Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2019?


That again would be The Joy of Cookies! Lol. It was pretty deep.

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2019 to finally read?


Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco! And even more unbelievable...I still need to read Capturing the Devil!

Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2019? 


"The most magnificent things are worth living for."

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2019?


The Boy Who Didn't Come Home by Melissa Albert--38 pages
The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter--538 pages

Book That Shocked You The Most


Finale...which should come as no shock! Lol!

OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)


Tella and Legend! I just adored these two!

Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year


Tella and Scarlett! Gotta love their sisterly bond!

Favorite Book You Read in 2019 From An Author You’ve Read Previously


To break things up I will say for this one Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout--an author I adore!

Best Book You Read In 2019 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:


In the Woods by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel is one I saw on someone's WoW way back when and it caught my eye!

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2019?


Devlin de Vincent, the last and oldest of the super dream de Vincent brothers!

Best 2019 debut you read?


House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig! As I said I LOVE fairy tale retellings and this one was based off a favorite of mine!

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?


The Girl in Red had a scary post-apocalyptic world-setting that was pretty terrifying because of how realistic is was!

Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?


Finale of course! Is anyone surprised? I was going through a mix of emotions with this one!

Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2019?


Elly Blake's Nightblood left me with a mix of emotions towards the ending. There may have been some form of tears!

Hidden Gem Of The Year?


Bloodleaf was literally a delight from cover to cover!

Book That Crushed Your Soul?


I think Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard crushed my soul...multiple times. It did put some of the pieces back together though!

Most Unique Book You Read In 2019?


As I said, House of Salt and Sorrows was a unique retelling of The Worn Out Dancing Shoes aka The Twelve Dancing Princesses! I adored this one from start to finish!

Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?


Let's just say that in Finale, Legend made some choices that had me wanting to throttle the dude!


New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2019?


I apparently hadn't been following my best friend Nikki @take_me_awayyy on Instagram earlier this year, but that was quickly remedied!

Favorite post you wrote in 2019?


My UNDYING Love for Vampires 


Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2019?


This was the first picture I took for the New Year...lamenting the loss of my favorite series that will forever remain unfinished.

Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events,  etc.)?


YALLFest, I attended this with Nikole from A Court of Coffee and Books and it was a lot of fun!


Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2019?


Celebrating my 10th Blogoversary!


Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?


Having to adjust to not reading as much with job changes and still trying to find a new job that will greatly reduce my reading time even more.


Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?


10th Blogoversary Extravaganza! 


Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?


Just about any review post


Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?


Dream in a Bottle Shop 


Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?


Yes, I had 5 challenges this year including Goodreads and I surpassed them all! 




One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2019 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2020?


Shades of Wicked by Jeaniene Frost--as soon as I get through my stack of review books I'm aiming for this one! So I'm thinking late spring early summer?  

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2020 (non-debut)?


Kim Harrison's return to the Hollows with American Demon!

2020 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?


All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace is one I am looking forward to! It's in my review pile...yet there are still a few January books ahead of it!

Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2020?


Fractures by Alice Reeds is one I am soooooooo unbelievably excited for!!!

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2020?


Read more backlist titles! I need to get my TBR pile under more control! Haha!!


A 2020 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:


A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
Chosen by Kiersten White

Both sequels to amazing first books that I would whole-heartedly recommend!