Sunday, December 4, 2022

Monthly Reading Wrap-up ~ November 2022

This year I thought I would share a little more of all my books and I thought the best way to do that would be if I wrapped up my reads of each month, so I can share mini reviews on all the books I've gone through! 

It could be a big range from 2 to 10 books depending on how much I read, but I figure I can share a little synopsis and quick thoughts on each book. I will still be doing more in depth reviews on books that really capture me! 

I purchased everything in this post - this post contains affiliate links

So, in November I read 8 books - a mix of genres from young adult fantasy to adult historical fiction. I love most genres, and I really want to keep my reads diversified this year - I think I have been doing a great job of that so far! Also, I've been trying to read a mix of old and new books, which I've done a good job at so far this year (but this month and probably next month will be mostly new books). I read 6 audio books, and 2 physical book (with no e-books this month!)

Here's a quick look at all the books I read in the past month: 

Lonely Castle in the Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is a young adult fantasy/fairytale story - this is also a close to fiction dealing with teens dealing with mental health and teens. In this book, seven teens all missing school are brought together in a castle through their mirrors. They are meant to find a key and someone gets a wish granted, but as they are looking, they bond and form friendships during this time. This story was really good and the end certainly had me in tears as everything came to be and wrapped up. I did find this story a little slow in the beginning and with so many characters it was a little tedious keeping track, but overall enjoyed this and loved the fairytale-esqe friendship story.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik ~ ☆☆☆ - 3 stars. This is a young adult fantasy novel inspired by Rumpelstiltskin, but a loose inspiration. It's a Winter themed book, so it's perfect for this cold, snowy time here. I was looking forward to this and it started strong, but it got really convoluted and we started following too many people with too many side stories coming together. I'm usually a fan of atmospheric, character driven books, but I found we followed too many POVs and you didn't know right away who you were reading from. I liked the premise, but it was doing too much for me to fully enjoy the main story line. 

Into The Riverlands by Nghi Vo ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is a young adult fantasy novella - it's third in the Singing Hills series; a series about a cleric who travels around collecting stories while finding themselves in some sticky situations! I've said this a few times before, I don't always love a novella or short story, but these ones always feel complete and I really enjoy them and I love our main character. I loved the main story line in this particular book and I thought the characters were fantastic - it lost me a little at the end as it does sometimes weaving in and out of present and past story-telling, but lovely little fantasy stories as always! I always look forward to more in this series. 

A Merry Little Meet Cute by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone ~ ☆☆☆ ½ - 3.5 stars. This is an adult romance novel and she's a spicy one! I sometimes have a hard time with super spicy scenes in a book, but I really like Julie Murphy's writing style and I liked the premise of this book with a hallmark-esque movie starring a secret porn star. I did like the love story in this, although it's a little over-the-top-this-is-never-going-to-be-pulled-off-without-a-problem plot, but it fits with that idealistic Christmas movie plot. So that was cute, and while I'm not used to reading super spicy books, and I liked the sex positive message of the book. It was maybe a little too spicy for me and I didn't enjoy some of the location selections of their trysts so it put me off a little. But, the story itself was cute and it's perfect if you want a spicy Christmas romance!

My Aunt Is A Monster by Reimena Yee ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is a middle grade fantasy graphic novel (but really YA/adult any age - this was really fun and had a great message). This is about a visually impaired young girl who is sent to live a with a distant Aunt following a tragedy. But, what she doesn't know is that her Aunt used to be the most famous adventurer in the world, but is know an actual monster. Adventure and chaos ensue as they go on an adventure together - spying, lost cities, the works. This was really cute.

A Lullaby for Witches by Hester Fox ~ ☆☆ ½ - 2.5 stars. This is an adult historical fiction that focuses on two story lines - one in the past and one present day. It touches on witches and family history. I thought that this was just okay, I certainly enjoyed the beginning of the past plot, but wasn't really enjoying the present plot line; I didn't find the main character engaging and they somewhat used an eating disorder as a plot point later on and it felt like overkill (there could have been a bunch of replacement plot ideas). Then even the past started to lose me too and the storyline drifted. I didn't like the way the information was "uncovered" and overall, it was a little forgettable (without sounding too harsh, it was fine just somewhat typical without doing too much for me).

Scars and Stars: Poems by Jesse Thistle ~ ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is a poetry book - it's non-fiction and touches on Jesse's first book, his memoir and how poetry really played a roll in his recovery. This is really raw and honest and has some tidbits of each section and what inspired them. It's touching as the author reads, as poetry was a part of him turning his life around.

Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree ~ ☆☆☆☆ ½ - 4.5 stars. This is an adult cozy fantasy read - it's set in a very fantasy world, but comes with a lower stakes story line that focuses on atmosphere and characters (and they truly make the story!).I loved this! It was so sweet, cozy and just gave me those warm vibes on a cold week. It's about an orc trying to get out of her past life and open a coffee shop and settle down in to a quieter life. Her and the friends she meets along the way are excellent - the coffee shop setting and the baking set the atmosphere, and there was still a plot, but it was slower more focused on everything else. Lovely, grab a cinnamon roll, a coffee and cozy up!

I would I would call November a good reading month, I read some good books and lots of decent ones!

Here's a little refresh of my rating system:

5 Stars: Excellent/Fantastic/Amazing Read 
4.5 Stars: Really Great Read
4 Stars: Great Read 
3.5 Stars: Really Good Book
3 Stars: Good Book 
2.5 Stars: Eh, It was Okay Read
2 Stars: Finished it, but Didn't Enjoy It
1.5 Stars: Not Good at All
1 Star: DNF (Did Not Finish)

What was the best book you read this month?! My favourite of all of these was Legends and Lattes! 

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