I understand that it's nearly January, but I kind of forgot to write this earlier. Oops! I traveled for Thanksgiving and also finished Nanowrimo this month. It wasn't my best month in terms of quantity, but almost everything was 4 or 5 stars, so I can't complain!
Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
While I don’t usually listen to my books, I did consume this book in audiobook form, because the audio came highly recommended. The book takes the form of a police interview of Dolores Claiborne after the woman she is the caretaker for is found dead. The audio is truly fantastic and listens more like a fiction podcast than a typical audiobook with sound effects and things like that. I found the story to be interesting and Dolores is a fascinating main character. I still have a lot of questions about the dust bunnies.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
After much insistence from my mother, I’ve finally jumped into this series. The first book follows Laia and Elias. Laia is a Scholar girl (a persecuted minority) and early in the novel, her brother is captured. In order to save him, she becomes a spy, acting as a servant for the Commandant, a miserable lady who runs the military academy. Elias is in his final year at the military academy but is beginning to question the morality of the government. It’s a really engaging world and I loved the characters!
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Ghasi ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨/5
This book is stunningly written and it took me a while to get through because I wanted to slow down appreciate it. It follows Gifty a young Ph.D. neuroscience student as she reflects on her childhood. It grapples with such a wide range of topics including addiction, race, mental health, religion, and academia. It’s hard to believe that Ghasi was able to so eloquently talk about so much in such a short book, but it was really beautifully done.
Bluets by Maggie Nelson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Bluets is a collection of prose poetry that follows Maggie’s relationship with the color blue as this winding metaphor for grief. It’s a very short book, but I loved every minute of it.
The Whisper Man by Alex North ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨/5
This book was a little scary at times! It follows this recently widowed single father and his young son as they move to a new town, where months before a young boy was kidnapped and murdered. The son has an imaginary friend that at times seems like might be something paranormal. The kidnapper is still out there and the son is being targeted. It was a good read. Just enough spooks to be fun and it kept me guessing.
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨/5
Everyone and their mom has been talking about this book on Tik Tok and I thought it was just fine. It follows Olive, a biology Ph.D. student, as she enters into a faking dating relationship with a professor in the department. The set-up is a little convoluted, but fun. I’ve read a lot of romance this year and while this was fun, it wasn’t a stand-out.
A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
The second Ember in the Ashes book picks up where the previous one left off. It follows Laia and Elias, again, but this time we’ve also got the perspective of Helene. Laia and Elias are trying to break her brother out of prison and Helene is tasked with stopping them. Tahir does such a wonderful job spinning this story where I’m not sure who the bad guy is and I have a lot of theories. There are certainly some jaw-dropping moments!
Under Locke by Mariana Zapata ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
I love Mariana Zapata so much. Are all her books incredibly similar? Yeah. I wouldn’t have it any other way. This one follows Iris, as she becomes the receptionist for a tattoo parlor, and Locke, the grumpy guy who owns the shop. They obviously fall in love and it’s a great time.
Seven Days in June by Tia Williams ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
I loved this book at the start and thought for sure it was going to be five stars. It’s well written and interesting and damn some of the things the male lead says to the girl killed me with how romantic they were. It follows these two authors, the woman who is a paranormal romance author with a teen daughter, and the guy who is a literary fiction star (I love this already because Beach Read). They had some sort of relationship as teens and now they’ve reunited as adults. As I said, I adored the beginning and the characters were stunning, but I couldn’t buy into the premise that the time they had shared as teens was so impactful on the rest of their lives. They literally spent seven days together…
Kulti by Mariana Zapata ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨/5
Oop, another of Ms. Zapata’s work. This one is a fan favorite. Again the plot is the same, but this time it’s a soccer book! The girl is a soccer player and they get a new grumpy coach who is a soccer superstar. They hate each other, then they become friends, then they fall in love. The end of this book is chef’s kiss and I gave an entire half star to this book because of his nickname for her.
😢 = I shed a tear
😭 = I ugly cried
🍆 = Steamy
💎 = A gem
💖 = Warmed my heart
👻 = Scary!
😍= Swoon-worthy love-story
🚩= Red Flag!