Lots of books this month! The physical books are listed first with their respective reviews; scroll down for my audiobook thoughts.
Love, Lucy by April Lindner
I’m starting to realize that while I like April Lindner’s books, I don’t love them. This one had been on my radar for some time and I finally decided last year to buy the book and now I kind of wish I had just gotten it from the library. I loved the comparisons to Roman Holiday (one of my favourite movies) and I loved Lucy’s trip to Europe, but I didn’t really like her character and I kind of wished she would just stand up to her dad. I might still just be a parent to littles, but I could not get behind his demands and I don’t understand why she couldn’t still just act on the side – like, was it really that big of a deal?? And I’m definitely over the love triangle trope in YA. I wanted Lucy to move on and yet everything I predicted would happen did happen and it made the book kind of ‘meh’ for me.
Stolen, Dime Store Magic, and Industrial Magic (Women of the Otherworld, #2, #3, and #4) by Kelley Armstrong
I’ve mentioned it before, but I love Kelley Armstrong. Her books are so addicting and whenever I read one, I remind myself that I need to read more. This series has been on my shelf for 5 years now and I just reread Bitten last year in the hopes that I would continue with the series – and I’m so happy I’m finally doing it! Stolen was a thrill-ride that had me absolutely hooked. I was so happy to get back with Clay, Elena, and the gang of werewolves, even though a lot of the book includes new characters. I think this is what held me back from continuing initially, since I loved Clay and Elena and wanted the whole series to be about them, but now that I’ve met more characters and don’t know who will be in the next books, I’m even more intrigued! I dove right into Dime Store Magic next, knowing that the focus wasn’t going to be the werewolves, but the witches, and it was great. A different sort of vibe, but I ended up loving Paige, Savannah, and Lucas – and then had to keep reading. Seriously, Kelley Armstrong is such a good writer that once you start reading her books, you can’t stop! I’m so happy that I have so many books to catch up on! I did continue with Industrial Magic and while it was good, it wasn’t as good as the first three books in the series. HOWEVER, I will totally be continuing with the series! I know the next book has a new character and I’m really looking forward to it!
The Single Girl’s To-Do List by Lindsey Kelk
How have I never read any Lindsey Kelk before?? I’ve had this book on my shelf forever and I’m always ogling any of her new books that come out so it was definitely due time to start reading her stuff! And this was perfect! Just the kind of chick lit I love to read. I loved the story of Rachel and her first time being single and everything her friends put her through. As soon as I finished reading this, I knew I had to read more of Lindsey Kelk’s work … and just bought her newest one!
What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan
This is one of the new books I bought this year and I had to get to it right away since no new book is going to sit unread on my shelf from now on! This is one of those thriller type books that I both love and hate to read … love because it kept me on the edge of my seat, but hate because I’m a mom and a thriller revolving around a lost child terrifies me! This was a great story and I loved the layout of it – it might look long, but it was a pretty quick read and it made me very interested to see what else Gilly Macmillan has available!
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
I had heard for a while that Big Little Lies was going to be a TV show but I didn’t realize how soon it would happen. When friends started talking about watching the show I knew I had to start reading this one ASAP. I’m not sure why, but it’s always a love hate thing I have with Liane Moriarty’s books … in a way they keep me interested, but then they also seem kind of far-fetched and kind of boring. I’m definitely torn on this one, since I did enjoy reading it, but being a new school mom, it seemed so unrealistic. However, I enjoyed the personal relationships and the mystery, so I’m not sure. We’ll see how the show goes but I still don’t think anything can top What Alice Forgot.
The Wondrous Strange series by Lesley Livingston
I’ve been interested in reading some Lesley Livingston for quite some time now and had Tempestuous as a physical book on my shelf and Wondrous Strange as an ebook so finally bit the bullet and decided to read the damn series for once and downloaded the audiobooks from the library, gobbling up the whole thing in a matter of days. It was definitely a fun read and I can see why so many people love her books! My favourite part of these stories was the love story (of course) between Sonny and Kelley, and of course it was exciting to read about Kelley realizing she’s a faery princess and learning what powers she has. I loved that she was an actress and the whole Shakespearian part of the story, too. After finishing the whole thing — and I really recommend getting ALL the books at once and reading them all — I wanted more of Lesley’s books! Love that Canada has such great talent!
Notes on the Audio: This is another one of those series that I probably would’ve overlooked had my library not had the audiobooks for it. I owned one book in physical format and another on my ereader, so it was never really right there in my face to read, BUT I heard such great things about Lesley Livingston that I just had to get the audiobooks. They definitely made this story fun to listen to! It’s great because they’re narrated by Lesley, the author, so they’re read how they’re meant to be read, which is great. I’m always a little leery about author-read books, but this one was a lot of fun.
Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, #3) by Veronica Rossi
This is a tough one for me and it’s going to be quick. I remember loving the first two books in this series and I really put off reading the final book way too long — four years too long! — since I had no idea what the hell had happened in the previous books. I had very, very small ideas and memories of what happened and while this seemed like a good book and I liked the characters, I didn’t feel that same love that I remember feeling way back when I read the first two books. I definitely wanted to love it, but in the end I was just glad that I finished the damn series.
Notes on the Audio: Since it had been so long since I read the first two books in this series, I needed an extra push to get to the third one and the audiobook helped with that. It made it a little easier to get back into the story and finally get it read. The narration was … okay. I didn’t really like the narrator, I felt like she sounded a bit too old for the series, but she did a good enough job.
Scarlet and Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #2 & #3) by Marissa Meyer
Another couple great instalments to this series! I only own the first two books in print and planned to just read them to catch up on my TBR but now I have the third book on hold at the library because I just can’t get enough. I love these retellings, and I’m not normally one who loves retellings at all, and I especially loved this one of Red Riding Hood. I loved that Scarlet was French and I loved Wolf, and I love that we had Cinder in this story, too, as well as updates from Prince-turned-Emperor Kai, not to mention Cinder’s new companion Thorne (he may have been crass, but I love him!). I’m really enjoying listening to these as audiobooks and know that I’ll probably eventually end up getting the books for my collection. They’re a lot of fun! I also got to Cress this month and thought it was good, though Cress as a character annoyed the hell out of me and I find it hilarious that everyone seems to neatly be pairing off in this series, like the only people you meet are romantic interests and nothing else. Is that just a YA thing? Anyway, still enjoying this series and looking forward to the final book once my library gets it!
Notes on the Audio: As usual, loved these audiobooks. Rebecca Soler is so nice to listen to and she really brings the characters to life, even Cress, who isn’t my favourite character. I loved her narration of Scarlet the best and I think that’s my favourite book in the series. She brings so much life to an already amazing series!
This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1) by Veronica Schwab
I’ve only read one other Victoria Schwab book and I loved that one, but I’m just kind of on the fence with this one. I know she’s a brilliant writer, but maybe it’s the whole idea of killing something with a violin that I couldn’t get? I mean, how do you carry around a violin everywhere? Couldn’t he kill with a harmonica? Wouldn’t that be easier? Honestly, I read this whole book and didn’t quite understand what the plot was supposed to be. It didn’t have me as intrigued as her Shades of Magic series, and I just wanted it to end. If I do continue with this series I can guarantee that it will be through library books. I do think that my issues with this book stem from the fact that there wasn’t a lot of plot to go by. I listened to the audiobook and I need a good plot to keep me listening and, sorry, but this one just didn’t have any. (Edited to add: I don’t think that I gave this series the chance it deserves, so I’ll be rereading it when I have a chance! I’ve read 3 of Victoria’s books now and they are all amazingly fantastic, so maybe listening to this one on audio wasn’t the best choice.)
Notes on the Audio: Like I mentioned above, I don’t think this book should be listened to on audio. I initially listened just to get the book read, but in hindsight, I think it should be read in physical format because I honestly feel like I missed something. So many people love this book and I’ve now read three of Victoria’s books and LOVED them so I am going to give this one another try. I think the narration itself was really good, but I just don’t think this is a book to listen to.
The Precious Stone Trilogy by Kerstin Gier
I wouldn’t say that I hate series books, but I kind of hate how I read a book in a series and then have to wait forever for the next one because by that time I’ve forgotten what’s happened and I have to reread the other books and so on and so forth as the series goes on. What’s great about this series is the fact that I have so many unread books on my shelf, which means that by the time I got to this series, it was already all out! I was so happy to devour this series within a week with the audiobooks (a great way to get through a TBR, in my opinion). I was in love within the first 20 minutes of listening! The writing reminded me of Gail Carriger’s writing – it was cheeky funny and just so addicting! The narration was perfect, too. And did you know these books were about TIME TRAVEL?? I had no idea! I love time travel books and it was such a pleasant surprise when I realized that these books included that. I loved every single instalment, with the relationships, the romance, the characters — I loved Gwyn, I HATED Charlotte, and oh my goodness, I loved Gideon. Seriously, this was the perfect series to binge!
Notes on the Audio: Alright, I probably wouldn’t have given this series the chance it deserves had I read the physical books. The audiobooks were SO addicting and Marisa Calin does a great job of really making the reader love the characters. I’ll be very interested to try more of her narrations because she made this series so addicting to listen to!
Winter Street and Winter Stroll (Winter, #1 and #2) by Elin Hilderbrand
This month is definitely the month of series book reading! And even though this year is about reading what’s on my shelf (for the most part, at least), I also want to just keep reading series books if I can. Like this series! I owned the first book and didn’t even realize that it had two other books in it – thankfully, the library had all three, so I listened to the audiobooks and enjoyed every second! Even though the books take place at Christmas, they were still fun to listen to in February. I loved the family dynamics between the characters and even though there are a lot of characters, I needed to know more about all of them! These books are super short (only a 6-7 hour listen each) and perfect for when you want to listen to a book in a day. And they might have made the winter just a little more tolerable. Definitely recommended!
Notes on the Audio: These books are great to listen to on audio. The narration is wonderful to listen to, even with so many characters in the story. The audiobooks are super short and easy enough to follow along with when speeding up the narration. The story is lighter in context (well, most of it) so I would definitely recommend listening to these rather than reading the physical edition – I find they’re just really enjoyable to listen to!