I hope you all aren’t feeling overloaded by wrap ups this month. Or well, last month technically, I suppose, though November just ended. November wound up being a really great reading month even though it didn’t seem like it would quite as large as usual at the beginning. But between the readathons, two audiobooks, and a six hour car ride where I got to read not drive, I read a lot. December is looking promising too because, again, audiobooks. That’s the one perk of my job. Anyway, statistics time! I read 18 books in November for a total of 5,839 pages, which is the second fewest amount of pages I’ve read in a month all year. There are charts below, which provide some other information in case you’re curious. Otherwise, feel free to move full steam ahead and viewing what I read.
9. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
I discussed The Upside of Unrequited in my ContemporaryAThon Wrap Up so I’ll keep it short and sweet here. I have never felt more seen by a book than I did by Upside. Becky Albertalli perfectly captured what it feels like to be an insecure fat girl trying to figure out if you can have love even though you look nothing like the girls and women who fall in love on TV. I wish, desperately, that this book had existed when I was 14. I also wish that Molly’s mentality doesn’t still feel like the mentality I can so easily slip into when I’m not careful in standing up for myself against my own mental bullies. This book was unbelievably important to me and I’m so thankful that it exists.
10.Crazy Rich Asiansby Kevin Kwan
This book was incredibly fun. I talked about it a bit in both my ContemporaryAThon Wrap Up and my Tome Topple Week One Wrap Up, so again, I’ll keep it short and sweet here. I really enjoyed this book, but the beginning is a bit difficult because there are so many characters thrown at you so quickly. There are also footnotes. However, once you get into it, the book is absolutely amazing and really funny. I enjoyed it so much and can’t wait to continue the series.
11. Bad Princessby Julianna Keyes
If I remember correctly, I discussed this book in my ContemporaryAThon Wrap Up as well. This short novella left me wanting, but I really enjoyed the antics of the “Bad” Princess, who is really a princess with a good heart who just wanted more freedom than a life in the public eye was ever going to afford her. She reminds me of who I think Prince Harry is, if that makes any sense. Probably not… Anyway, a very good romance novella, but I really would have liked it to be longer. I didn’t feel like I was getting the entire story with the novella length.
12. Ashwinby Kit Rocha
I don’t think I was prepared for how different life in Sector 4 and life in Sector One are. As in, I was still expecting this book to be full of sex orgies and then it was just a really hot relationship between Ashwin and Kora and I was like ???
This book follows Ashwin who is a genetically modified soldier who isn’t supposed to feel emotions, but developed feelings for Kora during SPOILER events in the Beyond series. He freaked out and disappeared though, so Kora thought he was dead. Then he shows up to infiltrate the Gideon Riders one day and sparks fly between them all over again. I’m probably leaving out too much, but definitely feel free to click on the link, which will take you to Goodreads so you can find out more.
Once I settled in to the story and adjusted my expectations accordingly, I really enjoyed the book, but it just can’t compare to how much I love Lex and Noelle. Kora is a doctor and she’s competence porn to the max, which I adore, but also… I wanted more Lex. So I definitely need to re-read this book now that I know what I’m getting into. But for the record, I cannot wait until Ivan comes out next year! A bodyguard/princess romance is the stuff of dreams, y’all. I can’t wait.
13. So Over Youby Kate Meader
This book comes out December 4, 2017, so yay for me being a little ahead of my December TBR! As you’ll see in my review that’s already scheduled for release day, I had very mixed feelings on this book. It’s a hockey romance between two hockey players, Vadim, an injured Russian, and Isobel, an injured player turned coach AND team owner. The two have a past and there’s an incredible scene following a discussion of the fact that Isobel did not orgasm when they had their first sexual encounter where Vadim asks Isobel what she needs. It was a great conversation to see on the page. Unfortunately, there were a few plot points that made no sense and also I felt like Isobel’s insecurities crossed the line into girl hate, of which I am very much not a fan.
14. Spy Games by Sidney Bristol
As you may have seen in my review, I adored this book so much and would highly recommend it for any fans of romantic suspense. This book had me creeped out in the best way, but also cheering for the HEA I knew was coming for Rand and Sarah. Their HEA was fought for in multiple ways and I just really enjoyed it. I cannot wait to read more books in this series and more from Sidney Bristol in general.
15. The Lady in Red by Kelly Bowen
Another book I read before it’s release date in December (the 5th) and another book off my December TBR a little early, which is nice, The Lady in Red was an absolutely brilliant novella. Kelly Bowen is a magician with words. I adore the way she writes and the way she brings characters to life. This historical romance novella follows two artists, Lady Charlotte Beaumont and Flynn Rutledge, only Lady Charlotte has to masquerade as a man so that she can, you know, be an artist. I know that some people have concerns about women dressing up as men because of trans characters, but I’m not really up on those concerns so I just wanted to flag that it is a plot point that she dresses up as a man so she can do things because sexism in Regency era was trash. Of course it still is, which is pretty much why I devoured so many romance novels at the end of the month.
16. The Diviners by Libba Bray
You know I finished this if you read my Tome Topple Week Two Wrap Up and you also know that I loved this book! I’m planning on making a post specifically about audiobooks in December sometime, so here’s a quick heads up: JANUARY LAVOY IS AMAZING. Seriously. This was the best single narrator audiobook I’ve listened to. I’ll talk more about that later though, so for now I’ll focus more on the story.
Since the third book came out recently, I’ve been hearing so much about how great of a series The Diviners is and how everyone needs to read it and now I totally understand why. It was such an atmospheric read and the story really grabs you. I cannot wait to get to the second one, but I need my audible credit to come because apparently neither my library nor Hoopla have the audiobook. First world problem, I know, but you guys, I’m so sad I have to wait! Oh, I forgot to actually get to the synopsis, basically Evie uses her gift of reading secrets from personal items on the wrong person and gets sent to live with her uncle in New York City. She makes some friends but eventually these murders start happening and she and her uncle and friends start to investigate. The murders have something to do with the occult, but they aren’t sure what. I did a terrible job explaining, but trust me, you want to read these.
17. Wrong to Need Youby Alisha Rai
This was on my most anticipated books of Fall list and it did not disappoint. It didn’t disappoint me at all. At all. I will say that I liked the first book more, but I think that’s because I connected so much to Livvy as a character. That said, Sadia and Jackson are really great together and I loved getting their story. More than the relationship though, I loved the side characters in this book. Sadia’s sisters are such great characters and I would love to see much more of them in the future. But also, now it’s time to get excited for book three!!! I’m already excited, obviously. I was pretty excited for book three after book one, so… Yeah. I’m pumped. Can’t wait!! If you haven’t hopped to it on this series and you like angst, you should definitely check it out. Also, I know this was my book of the month so I should post a full review of it and I would like to, but also it obviously didn’t go up in November, so let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts about a late post.
18. The Fifth Seasonby N.K. Jemison
A full review of this book is coming post the book club discussion with Joce from StorytimewithSquibbbles. I wound up giving this book a four stars and was reminded why I struggle sometimes with adult fantasy/sci-fi. This book has a slow beginning, but also slow doesn’t feel like the right word for it. Maybe just confusing? The world isn’t built all at once. In fact, Jemison writes the world in a way that pieces are being revealed to you extremely slowly, but also as you need them. And the characters took some time for me to warm up to. I was horrified by the circumstances each found themselves in, but for some reason (probably a personal problem, honestly) wasn’t connecting with them the way that I usually do. Anyway, keep your eyes peeled for a review of this novel sometime in the next two weeks.
So that is what I read in November! I’d have to say my favorite read of the month was probably The Diviners because of how captivating I found the audiobook. What was your favorite? Any books you’re excited about on your December TBR? Let me know down below!