I’ve surpassed my GoodReads Reading Challenge! I’m currently 15 books ahead, with 140 read out of 125 total books. I don’t think I’ve ever read so many books in a year before (according to GoodReads at least).
I owe it in part to allowing myself to abandon books that I’m not enjoying. Reading shouldn’t feel like a chore, and I’ve stopped feeling guilty whenever I don’t finish a book. Sometimes the timing just isn’t right, and I’ll pick it up another time. But I read what I want, when I want. I end up finishing a lot more books when I enjoy them from start to finish.
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
This was my second attempt at reading Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews. I first tried listening to the audiobook, but I found that I couldn’t get into it. I really wanted to like it since I’m a fan of the Hidden Legacy series (also by Ilona Andrews), and I thought it might just be the narrator that was preventing me from getting into the story.
I was right. I finally got around to reading this as an ebook and I really enjoyed it. It took a while for me to get into Kate’s world where magic interferes with technology, but the more I read, the more I was able to understand how magic and werecreatures affect the world as we know it. It kind of had a post-apocalyptic feel.
For now, I can see myself diving into the rest of the series. I haven’t had much luck completing really long series with the same characters, but I have a good feeling about this one.
Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
I finally got around to reading Jenn Bennett’s latest YA novel after reading through all her adult backlist titles. Starry Eyes was so much fun to read because like Zorie, the protagonist, I am not a hiker (and never will be). But after an argument with her friends, Zorie and Lennon, her best friend-turned-enemy are left stranded on a hiking trail. The only way back to civilization is a 3-day hike through a state park.
I’m a huge fan of the enemies-to-lovers trope when it came to romance, so I really enjoyed this read. It was full of angst and tension and I couldn’t get enough. Bennett also captures the California setting so well in all her books. I felt like I was hiking through the redwood forests alongside the characters.
Do You Want to Start A Scandal by Tessa Dare
Despite loving her other series, I had a hard time with the Spindle Cove series overall. I’ve heard such great things about Do You Want to Start A Scandal but I am incapable of reading books out of order in a series. Despite feeling lukewarm about the rest of the series, I pushed on and I finally got around to the last book.
It was worth the wait. It was the kind of book that kept me up at night and had me laughing out loud. The main characters had chemistry right from the beginning, which made the quick romance very believable.
The Duke I Tempted by Scarlett Peckham
I originally added The Duke I Tempted to my list of books to read ever since Sarah Maclean tweeted that it was one of the best romances she had ever read. It was also featured in her list of Top 5 Romances for 2018, so I decided to bump it up in my queue and I was not disappointed.
Thirsty by Mia Hopkins
This was another recommendation from Sarah Maclean that I had picked up this month. Honestly, I’m so glad that diverse romance novels have picked up media attention because I don’t know if I would have found this book otherwise. For me, there are times where I feel like romances can get really repetitive, like I’m reading the same story over and over again. But what makes a big difference in the quest for the happily ever after are the characters. I love hearing different voices and perspectives from characters who don’t necessarily share the same background as mine.
Salvador Rosas, the protagonist in Thirsty, was just released from prison. Growing up in the neighborhood of East Side Hollenbeck, it was hard for him to escape the influence of the local gang. But now he is out of prison, and he’s determined to make an honest living.
And those are my favorites from November! With Christmas coming, I’m definitely reading a lot of holiday-themed books to get in the spirit. If you have any suggestions of holiday titles, leave them in the comments!