Year archives: 2016

Year’s Reads in Review – Top Picks for 2016


Last year, I decided that 2016 would be the year that I read smarter, not harder. I had some big life changes on the way and figured I wouldn’t be able to read like I used to and so I had to be more proactive about it. To get there, I choose challenges that gave me direction but flexibility and created some self-imposed rules for myself.

Not only did I read a LOT of books that I wanted to this year, I actually read wayyy more than I expected!

It definitely helped that I read a lot of novella series this year (which inadvertently raise the “books read” count on Goodreads) but I also wasn’t constrained by the books I had out from the library like previous years. I was able to read what I wanted, when I wanted and didn’t feel guilty about it at all!

Check out which books I read this past year HERE!

As always, I’ve decided to compile a list of my top picks (and not so great) from the various categories that I read this past year. Most categories deal with books published only this past calendar year (2016) but there are some noted exceptions. Click on the cover to read my review of the book/series–if available! Lots of these won’t have reviews until early next year.

Without further ado:

(Books are in no particular order; click on cover for review if available)

Top 2016 New Adult Series

Series that were first published in 2016

Top New Adult Standalones

Novels that I read in 2016, not necessarily their publication year

Top New Adult Series

A series that I started in 2016, not based on its publishing date

Dirty English (English, #1)

Top 2016 Adult Contemporary Series

Series that were first published in 2016

Favourite Adult Romance Series

A series that I started in 2016, not based on its publishing date

 Avoiding Commitment (Avoiding, #1)

Favourite Adult Non-Romance Series

A series that I started in 2016, not based on its publishing date

Favourite Serial

A series that I started in 2016, not based on its publishing date

Top 2016 Young Adult Series

Series that were first published in 2016

Honourable Mention: Caraval will be released in January 2017, but I promise, it will knock your socks off!

Top Young Adult Series

A series that I started in 2016, not based on its publishing date

Top Young Adult Standalone

Series that were first published in 2016

Best Continuing Series

A series that had a sequel book published in 2016

Sad to See Go Series

Series that ended in 2016

 Sea Spell (Waterfire Saga, #4) Forest of Ruin (Age of Legends, #3)

Best Nonfiction Standalone

Books that I read in 2016, not necessarily their publication year

Disappointing 2016 New Releases

Novels that were first published in 2016

 Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2) Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)

Other Disappointing 2016 Reads

Novels/Series that I read in 2016, not necessarily their publication year

Worst Reads

Novels that I read in 2016 that I gave 2 Stars to

Pleasant Surprises

Books I read in 2016 that I enjoyed more than I thought

Collide (The Collide, #1) Beautiful Broken Promises (Broken Series Book 3) Nothing Matters (Family Matters Book 1) Did I Mention I Need You? (The DIMILY Trilogy, #2) Losers Weepers (Lost & Found, #4)

Top 2016 Movie Adaptions

Books that were made into movies in 2016

Image result for pride and prejudice and zombies poster Image result for me before you poster Image result for the girl on the train poster


Top Ten Tuesday Lists

Published in 2016

TBR Books I Found From Other Blogs

Books I Took a Chance On

Series Everyone Should Know About

Books I Want to be TV Series


What were your favourite reads of this past year?

Did you read more or less than you expected?


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2017 Reading Challenge Announcements

2017 Reading Challenges

Last year, I participated in 2 reading challenges. One was Rock My TBR in which I focused on reading books I had purchased over the years. Another was a personal challenge to read books listed on Epic Reads’ 365 Days of YA infographic.

I had great success with the Rock My TBR and was able to clean up my eReader a bit by focusing my reading on those books I had purchased over the years. So moving into 2017, I knew I wanted a similar challenge (I like trying new challenges each year). On the other hand, my personal YA challenge fell through the cracks; I was much too ambitious with that one but I learned a lot from that attempt and know what to do moving forward.

What’s the Plan for 2017?

This year, I am a part of a Jane Austen reading group so I plan on reading more classics. But other than that, I really don’t know if I’ll have the time to dedicate to a particular challenge. I’m going to be joining the working world once school is over in two months and I really don’t know how that will affect my reading time (hopefully not too much).

Learning from my 365 Days of YA failure, I wanted to create my own personal yet flexible challenge!

Some of my most anticipated reads slip through the cracks simply because of time or my lack of memory. So, I decided to pick 5 books from each of the last 5 years that I was dying to read upon their release, but never got around to. The result is the following personal challenge:


The 5 Year 5 Book Challenge

The list totals 25 titles that were published between 2012 – 2016. Because most are the start of a series, I plan on reading as many of the sequels as possible in order to get some reviews for this blog!

(Fun Fact: That’s a total of 54 Books and 10 Novellas!)

Here are my picks:


The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game, #1) The Forbidden Wish (The For... Smut Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands, #1)


A Thousand Nights (A Thousand Nights, #1) The Bourbon Kings (The Bourbon Kings, #1) The Cage (The Cage, #1) 5 to 1 The Isle of the Lost (Descendants, #1)


Loop (Loop #1) Solitaire Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy M... Prisoner of Night and Fog (... Beautiful Oblivion (The Maddox Brothers, #1)


The Archived (The Archived, #1) Born of Illusion (Born of I... Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor, #1) These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)


The Iron Wyrm Affair (Bannon & Clare, #1) Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1) The Unnaturalists (The Unnaturalists, #1) The Raven Boys (The Raven C... Tiger Lily

Full details on how I plan to do this can be found on my challenge’s homepage.

See any that you plan on reading this year? I’d love to have a buddy!

Shelf Love Challenge 2016

#ShelfLove Challenge 2017

In the same vain as my Rock My TBR Challenge, I wanted one that would focus on the books I already own. I don’t like doing the same challenges twice so I went out in search of a new one and I found #ShelfLove.

What I liked about this challenge was that each month had prompts for discussion. It also didn’t require me to pick out all the books I wanted to read in advance. I also liked that it was a yearly tally and not necessarily a monthly goal. I could just tally whatever I read from my TBR shelf whenever I read it and I had the flexibility to change my own guidelines/goals when I needed to.

(Not that Rock My TBR Challenge didn’t provide that; just this one compared to other similar challenges had more flexibility).

My Goal for 2017:

41-50 books: my shelves are now my bff

With this challenge, I’m going to try and curb my book purchases as well. Only if I find a really good deal (<$5 typically) will I buy the novel. I read a lot of books from my TBR last year but essentially replaced a good number of them with purchases.

As always, you can follow my progress on my 2017 Reading Challenge Page.

You can also learn more about my Goodreads & Judged by Cover Challenges.

What Challenges are You Doing this Year?

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Movie Mondays: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Movie Mondays: On the occasional Monday, I will review a book series or novel that has been made into a movie. I will then answer the question that everyone asks: which is better, the movie or the book? Here is this edition’s offering:

Book: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen (2009) | Movie: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

Which did I read/see first? the BOOK

Book Cover | Movie Poster

Series: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Author: Seth Grahame-Smith
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Horror, Action, Zombies, Retelling
Point of View: Third Person, Single
Source & Format: Own–Paperback


I had just finished Pride and Prejudice (PP) when I picked up this zombified version. I’ll admit, I was more interested in this horror version than the classic simply because I had heard really good things about it. But I wanted to be familiar with the original story (not just what I watched in movies) and so it served as good motivation to pick up the classic novel.

The two books are very, very similar. The best way I can think to describe Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (PPZ) is PP with new scenes added to include the zombie aspect. Of course, certain things are reworked to account for the fact that all the Bennet girls are warriors but lots of scenes are word-for-word the Austen writings–which is why she is listed as an author on this novel.

As a girl who likes action in her stories, the zombie slaying battles were a lot of fun to read. It (ironically) adds a little life to the story and makes such a well known story fresh and exciting. Not that PP isn’t great on its own, it’s just cool to see a different spin on a story we know so well.

And dare I say, it actually made me really like the Elizabeth and Darcy pairing even more. Their love-hate relationship really works well for this zombie version. You could see why they liked each other so much and how great of a pair they were for each other.


I think fans of the classic novel will enjoy this fun take if they don’t mind zombies. I also think it will appeal to people who want to read the classic but might find it on the drier side. It serves as a great introduction to the classics of Jane Austen and will hopefully ignite a love for her work.

Rating: 5/5


First, it took me wayyyy too long to watch it! I wanted to see it opening weekend but it wasn’t playing in my local theatre on my Reading Week break and by the time I got back to a bigger city a week later, it was gone! So I had to wait forever to get my hands on a copy!

Were My Expectations Met?

I just wanted to have fun watching this movie and I definitely did! While I love the other PP movies, this one lacked the more sombre and seriousness of those presentations. This one exaggerated characters more (like Mr Collins) and had great action sequences so it moves at a fast and exciting pace.

All the Bennet girls kicked serious ass; especially Lizzie. She’s still that strong and stubborn heroine who doesn’t give up a fight–only in this case it is literally!

How Close is it to the Book?

I read the book ages ago so I’m not sure how close it truly was. While I know the PP classic story very well, I don’t really recall all the action and zombie scenes all that much. But everything seemed to be the same to me or if it was different, it was all in the same vein so I truly didn’t notice.

Did I Like the Cast?

I’m a huge Lily James fan. Don’t ask me why exactly; I think she just does a great job at playing strong heroines. I know that Natalie Portman was originally tapped to play Lizzie but I think Lily was the much better choice.

glitter zombies pride and prejudice and zombies jane austin

Sam Riley will never be Collin Firth’s Darcy in my eyes (the standard for all Mr Darcy’s past and future), but he really did a fantastic job. He’s got the whole stiff and proper vibe going on and it works.

mr darcy colin firth

But you know who really stole this one for me? Was Matt Smith as Mr Collins. He was just hilarious! His character adds a lot of humour to this story which can be pretty depressing at times (I mean, they are killing undead people they sometimes know). In other adaptations, I always feel sympathetic to Mr Collins and how he gets tossed aside as a husband; but here he is the Shakespearean fool and it makes it easy to see why he isn’t that much of a catch.

Image result for matt smith gif pride and prejudice

thewinneris wintie

I think we can all agree that the original novel by Austen is the real winner. I mean it’s a classic that is adored by generations and is one of the most well known romances in history.

But I think it depends on what you want when it comes to PPZ and its forms. The book rings more true to the classic novel simply because it shares a lot of the same passages. So if you want a retelling, perhaps the book is your pick. But if you want to be entertained with a loose adaptation, the movie is just a lot of fun. It has the action and it has the romance and it’s simply a joy to watch.

Do you agree? Leave a comment below!

Synopsis for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (from Goodreads):

So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.


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Novella Serial Review: Reasonable Doubt by Whitney Garcia Williams

Serial Saturdays: On the occasional Saturday, I review a serialized series (a series that is released in parts that would normally make up a whole novel) to see if the series is worth keeping up with or worth buying all its parts. Here is this week’s offering:


Synopsis for Reasonable Doubt (from Goodreads):
My cock has an appetite.

A huge and very particular appetite: Blonde, curvy, and preferably not a fucking liar… (Although, that’s a story for another day.)

As a high profile lawyer, I don’t have time to waste on relationships, so I fulfill my needs by anonymously chatting and sleeping with women I meet online.

My rules are simple: One dinner. One night. No repeats.

This is only casual sex. Nothing more. Nothing less.

At least it was , until “Alyssa”…

She was supposed to be a 27 year old lawyer, a book hoarder, and completely unattractive. She was supposed to be someone I shared law advice with late at night, someone I could trust with details of my weekly escapades.

But then she came into my firm for an interview—a college-intern interview, and everything fucking changed…


Series: Reasonable Doubt
Author: Whitney Garcia Williams
# of Parts: 3
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Erotica, Romance
Heat Rating: Smokin’
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: March – August 2014
Source & Format: Own–eBook


Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I’m not sure how I came across this series, but I think Kobo recommended this to me when the first volume was published. However, I waited until I could buy the entire series as a whole.

The forbidden romance aspect is what first drew me to this series but it was the case of “misidentity” that really intrigued me. It promised to be just as dramatic as it was sexy and I couldn’t wait to start it!

The Plot:

As it is with most serials, the plot is to the point and doesn’t waste time with filler. I found the plot here moves at a great pace and one that is full and rich despite the page number. Meaning it isn’t singular in its drama and has a lot of aspects that work together in a way that benefits the story in a positive way.

There are a lot of twists and that adds to suspense; keeping you turning the pages to see what is going to happen next.

The Characters:

Andrew is complex and mysterious–perfect for the bad boy older lead. He was a bit of a dick but I did develop a soft spot for him the more I learned about his past.

I was worried “Alyssa” would be like any other girl who finds herself entranced by an older man but I did find that she had some quirks that made her standout. While I might not have loved how she handles herself, I didn’t mind her character as her story was elaborated on.

The Romance:

This was a slight miss for me. Not because I couldn’t see them or how they would work together but I just didn’t like its execution. How Andrew treats her and how Alyssa lets him irked me a bit. And its a shame because I thought they were cute together and really liked them together on the more basic level.

Series Rating: 4/5


This series was short and hot–exactly what I wanted it to be. But the drama and mystery was a bonus and made this series thoroughly entertaining!

Read if You Like: erotica, short stories/novellas
Avoid if You: want more established romance



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Series Review: Her British Stepbrother by Lauren Smith

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:


Synopsis for Forbidden (from Goodreads):
Kat has always been a good girl. She studies hard and never stays out too late. But when sitting in a pub on her birthday, she realizes she’s a nineteen-year-old virgin who’s never really lived. And she wants tonight to be the night that changes.

Then she sees him walk in. He’s tall, dark, handsome, and straight out of her deepest fantasies. His voice makes her knees feel weak, and when he smiles, she imagines him doing wicked things to her in bed. From the look in his eyes, she knows he’s imagining it too. So when he asks if he can walk her home, she hears herself whisper yes . . .


Series: Her British Stepbrother Trilogy
Author: Lauren Smith
# of Books: 3 (Forbidden, Seduction, Climax)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Erotica, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: January 2016 – May 2016
Source & Format: Author–eARC



Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Forbidden romances are definitely a selling point for me with series. The step-sibling trend seems to be a popular “forbidden” romance in the contemporary market and I definitely get the appeal. It adds an edge of suspense to the story that your everyday romances lack.

Add to that a British bad boy who never wants to be tamed and you’ve got yourself one intriguing trilogy!

The Concept:

What’s interesting about this series is the fact that these two don’t know they are step-siblings when they first meet. Which has its positives and negatives. I think it would have been a lot more fun to never know that these two will eventually be “related” before you start Forbidden. Basically, the reader learns they are step-siblings when the characters learn.

However, it also creates a bittersweet feeling for the reader because you know the truth as you watch these two interact. You see how great they are together but you automatically feel sympathetic to their situation because you know what’s in store for them…and it is going to break them.

The Plot:

I loved that this series wasn’t riddled with cliched plot lines when it easily could be. While the focus is definitely on the romance, there are enough dramatic elements to the plot to move the story forward and keep you entertained.

And even though these books would probably be classified as novellas because of their shorter length, you still get a solid story out of each instalment. They never really feel like short stories. Yes, things happen at a fast-pace time-wise in the story but there is enough detail, content and plot developments to make you feel like you are reading a whole novel.

The quick time line (a couple of weeks at most) of the story is really my only peeve of this series. Everything just happens to them so fast!

The Characters:

I was worried that Kat would come across as a whiny teenager but she was actually extremely mature. She was very easy to like as a character.

As for Tristan, he’s everything you want in a bad boy. And he’s a British peer… I really don’t think I need to say more.

But I will!

If you’re worried that he isn’t going to have too much substance to his character, think again! He too was a very likeable and developed character which I was happy to see.

The Romance:

Everything happens so fast to these two. It’s one of those “insta-connections” BUT, it’s so obvious very early on why these two would work together. Besides their physical attraction, they have so much in common and understand each other so well. It really impressed me how much you loved these two together.

Which is what you want in a forbidden romance. You have to show me why these two should defy all expectations to be together…and Lauren Smith succeeds beautifully with that.

Series Rating: 4/5

Forbidden 4/5 | Seduction 4/5 | Climax 3/5


Finally! A forbidden romance that proves to me why the characters should defy all conventions! High stakes, juicy drama and a swoon-worthy hero make Her British Stepbrother a worth-while romance trilogy.

Read if You Like: step-sibling romances, British Bad Boys
Avoid if You: dislike forbidden romances, dislike shorter novels


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Movie Mondays: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Movie Mondays: On the occasional Monday, I will review a book series or novel that has been made into a movie. I will then answer the question that everyone asks: which is better, the movie or the book? Here is this edition’s offering:

Book: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (2012) | Movie: Me Before You (2016)

Which did I read/see first? the BOOK

Book Cover | Movie Poster

Series: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Romance
Point of View: First Person, Single
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook


Truth be told, I really hummed and hawed over whether or not to read this book. I knew I was most definitely going to be watching the movie. Sam Claflin has a special place in my heart after watching Love, Rosie so I wasn’t going to miss my chance to see him on the screen again. But I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to read the book first or watch the movie first. I also read a bit of a spoiler on a blog and that diminished my enthusiasm to read it. In the end, I decided I would probably never read the book if I watched the movie first and it seems like one of those books that you just have to read at some point.

I almost didn’t finish the book though when I started to read it. It was really just a timing thing–I had a lot going on and I was in a bit of a reading slump–but then I got sucked into this book and I had a hard time putting it down.

Truth be told, it was Louisa’s character that sucked me in.

She was quirky in a way I found endearing and she had me laughing at times. Her situation tugged on my heartstrings a bit and it was so easy to want to root for her. And the same can be said for Will as well. It was amazing how attached to these characters I got.

After seeing the movie trailer, I figured this book was going to be a full blown romance and that really isn’t the case. Yes, romance does play a part in it but it isn’t the main theme of the book. The main theme is really about life and what it means to the people who live it. Its a good philosophy question that will never get answered because it really is a subjective topic.

And yes, I cried. I really didn’t think I would but I totally did.


I really enjoyed this book! It was a great story about life, love and friendship. I laughed and I cried. However, I don’t plan on reading the sequel. I’m really happy with how things ended and I’m not really interested in what happens next.

Rating: 5/5


Were My Expectations Met?

YES! This movie was so sweet and funny. I thought I might cry but I was able to keep back the tears. I think it helped that I pictured Sam and Emilia as the leads while I read this so I was prepared to see them in the movie.

How Close is it to the Book?

Very close actually. I was impressed by how much of the dialogue was word for word from the book. Of course, it helps when the author writes the screenplay.

All the major moments are shown so it was great to see those on the screen. A few things were omitted–like Lousia’s tension with her sister; or her research–but the heart of the novel is still there and it shows.

Did I Like the Cast?

Yes! Emilia was fantastic as Louisa! She had me laughing throughout just like in the novel. I don’t know who else you would get for that role.

Sam was also great as Will. His facial expressions to Louisa’s actions were exactly what I pictured when I read the novel. He was perfect.

thewinneris winbook
I connected a lot more with the characters in the book. I liked the focus the novel had on life and friendship more so than the movie. It just went that little bit deeper for me. But I thought the movie was great and a solid adaptation of the novel.

Do you agree? Leave a comment below!

Synopsis for Me Before You (from Goodreads):

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.


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Tag it Thursday: Burn, Rewrite or Reread

Tag it Thursdays: I occasionally get tagged by fellow bloggers to complete various tags. Once a month I will post my response. Please, feel free to tag yourself if any of these tags interest you!

This month’s tag:

Burn, Rewrite, Reread Tag

I found this tag on Analee @ Book Snack in January of 2016 and thought it was a lot of fun to do. I thought it would be a fun way to wrap up my 2016 reading year by only using books I read in 2016. Which, was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Why Goodreads doesn’t have a random feature is beyond me, but I figured it out!

The Rules:

-Randomly choose 3 books.

-For each group, decide which book to burn, which one to rewrite, and which to reread. (A lot like Kiss, Marry, Kill.)

-Repeat until you completed three rounds (I like 5 as a better number)

Round 1

Dangerously Damaged (Addicted to You, #1) Wicked Sexy Liar (Wild Seasons, #4) The Revolution of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, #2)

Burn: Dangerously Damaged is the first of a serial that was never finished. Something I didn’t know when I started to read it in August. Super disappointing…probably why you don’t see it for sale anywhere.

Rewrite: While I enjoyed The Revolution of Ivy, I wouldn’t have minded a little more excitement. I always wanted this series to be a little more “dangerous” and that’s what I would hope for in a rewrite.

Reread: Wicked Sexy Liar was a lot of fun to read. The Wild Seasons is one of my favourites!

Round 2

Incarnate (Newsoul, #1) The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3) Schooled

Burn: Incarnate was a huge disappointment. It was slow and dull and not what I expected at all. It would be shame though to burn such a beautiful cover.

Rewrite: This one is tough because Schooled was AWESOME! The only thing I would rewrite about it would be giving us Dylan’s POV as well as Alexis’.

Reread: The Winner’s Trilogy (The Winner’s Kiss) is one of my all time favourite series so this is a given. I’ve even bought all the books (a rarity for me) just so I can have them later in life to reread–and share!

Round 3

Kick, Push (Kick Push, #1) Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3) Why Not Me?

Burn: I’m going to go with Why Not Me? for this one. I much preferred Why is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Rewrite: This is tough because nothing comes to mind immediately in terms of what to rewrite for Kick, Push. Maybe rewrite it so I don’t get all those feels? Haha. No, in all seriousness, maybe more focus on the skateboarding aspect?

Reread: Cress is one of those books I appreciated a little more in hindsight I think. The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourite reads and this one was one of my favourites in the series. Oh Captain Thorne…

Round 4

Gambit (The Prodigy Chronicles, #1) Say Nothing... (Speak, #2) Modern Romance

Burn: This really isn’t fair because I truly enjoyed Modern Romance. It was very interesting and the audiobook was hilarious. But it’s kind-of a one time read…

Rewrite: YES! Rewrite Gambit! This book had so much potential but really lost it on the execution if you ask me. It had a weird flow and the exposition was much too long. But it has all the right stuff there just itching to be put to good use.

Reread: The Speak Series (Say Nothing) has a great couple in Ari and Ben. Their story and connection was so sweet and heartwarming, why wouldn’t you want to reread this?

Round 5

If You Leave (Beautifully Broken, #2) The List (College of Charleston, #1) 27 Days to Midnight

Burn: The List had pretty much every trope I hate in New Adult romance: love at first sight; a love triangle and a selfish heroine. One of the most frustrating reads of this year.

Rewrite: I really enjoyed the concept of 27 Days to Midnight but I wanted it to be a little more exciting. Maybe some more romance?

Reread: Courtney Cole writes fantastically heartbreaking New Adult novels and If You Leave is no exception. One of my 5 star reads of this year and one I wish I had read earlier!

Disagree? Let me know!

Please Tag Yourself and Link Back for me to read!

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Top Ten Tuesdays: Most Anticipated 2017 Releases (Jan-June)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Is a weekly meme feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where bloggers post their Top 10 List for an assigned topic! I will not be participating every week, but I will occasionally take a shot at it! You can always find these lists (past, present and original) on my Riffle Page!

This Week’s Topic:

Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To For The First Half Of 2017

This was harder to compile than I thought. It looks like most sequels I am waiting for are being released in the latter half of 2017. But there are still some big, must-read titles for me being published in the first 6 months of 2017.

(In no particular order):

Links to My Reviews:

Do we share any of the same titles?

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Leave a Link to your TTT in the comments below!

Novella Serial Review: Calendar Girl by Audrey Carlan

Serial Saturdays: On the occasional Saturday, I review a serialized series (a series that is released in parts that would normally make up a whole novel) to see if the series is worth keeping up with or worth buying all its parts. Here is this week’s offering:


Synopsis for Calendar Girl (from Goodreads):
It’s really simple. I needed money. A lot of money. One million dollars to be exact. The amount didn’t matter. All that mattered is that at the end of that price tag held my father’s life.

No money. No life.

The time limit was one year. On January 1st I had to pay up or my Father was going to be killed. When you’re faced with an ultimatum like this, you do whatever you have to do.

And that’s exactly what I did.

The job…Exquisite Escorts. My role, serve as high priced arm candy to anyone that can afford the $100,000 price tag for a month of my company. Sex is optional (for me) and a 20% increase on the price.

Mia Saunders just barely escaped a paltry life back home in Las Vegas until she gets the call that her Father has been beaten to within an inch of his life for not paying his gambling debt. Problem is, the lone shark is her lousy, ruthless ex-boyfriend. Another guy in a long line of men she’d fallen head over heels for. Not anymore. Mia’s mission is simple. Serve as a high-priced escort for her Aunt’s company and pay monthly against her Father’s bad debt. A month with a rich man who she doesn’t have to sleep with if she doesn’t want to? Easy money. At least that’s the way it was supposed to go.


SERIESous’ Top Picks: Fave Serial 2016
Series: Calendar Girl
Author: Audrey Carlan
# of Parts: 12 (Full Reading Order Here)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: January – December 2015
Source & Format: Own–eBook


Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

My best friend actually recommended this series to me. Rarely do my friends recommend that I read something because chances are, I’ve already read it. But I hadn’t even heard of this one when she suggested it. And so I waited until Kobo had a great sale and bought all the volumes at once.

The Concept:

The premise reminded me a bit of The Arrangement and Blurred Lines–serials I hadn’t kept up with though I enjoyed them. I wanted to see what adventures Mia would get in by being an escort but not necessarily sleeping with the client. So I was eager to get into this one!

The Plot:

Each “part” is a month of Mia’s assignment with a different man who has hired her. What he has hired her for varies from simply being a date to being a muse for an artist, but they are entertaining nonetheless. In addition to that, you have the overarching plot of her father being in the hospital while Mia pays off the debt. Needless to say, these stories move fast and always have something happening to keep you reading.

It’s apparent that this serial was thought out in advance. Never did I feel like Audrey Carlan was throwing out ridiculous plot twists for the sake of keeping the story going. It has a great flow and purpose and I greatly appreciate that.

The Characters:

Mia had tremendous growth throughout this series. I wasn’t her biggest fan in January but by March, I had really warmed up to her. What’s great about each “episode” is that Mia learns something new about herself through the relationship with her client. And I don’t mean she learns something romantically either. While Mia does learn more about what it means to have a strong romantic partner, she also learns to become more confident in herself and decide what she really wants in life. That what I like to see in my characters and I really appreciated that growth.

The Romance:

I like that the romance here isn’t straight erotica when it easily could be. Sure, she’s an escort and doesn’t have to sleep with the guys but the expectations are underlying…

I definitely picked my favourite for Mia and it was a lot of fun waiting to see if I was right as the months progressed.

Series Rating: 4/5


This series was SO MUCH FUN! As each novella progressed, I became more and more invested in the story and it’s outcome. It was the perfect blend of romance, drama and character growth!

Read if You Like: stories about escorts; novellas, contemporary romance
Avoid if You: dislike serials, dislike escort stories



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SERIESous Discussion: Is “Predictable” a Spoiler?

SERIESous Discussions: Every once and awhile I will post my random ramblings about a bookish or blogging topic. Feel free to join in by making a comment below or linking back!

I have to give a shout out to meena @ Tattooed Pages for inspiring me to write this post after I read her post on What’s a Spoiler? earlier this year. It really got me thinking and made me ask the question:

Is saying a book is “predictable” a spoiler?

I know I’ve been guilty of saying a book is predictable in my reviews in the past. It’s been the reason I’ve down-rated quite a few books in the past as well.

So let’s play out both sides of the argument.

Why I think it is a spoiler:

If I read a review of a book and note that the reviewer says it is predictable, that may or may not stay in my mind while I read. I like to think I’m pretty sharp and can figure out what is going to happen early on. So, once that starts to happen and I remember that the book is “predictable”, the momentum of suspense is going to die down a bit because I probably have figured out what is going to happen. There goes the fun in trying to find out how everything is going to work out in the end.

Why I think it isn’t a spoiler:

Reading is such a subjective thing and one that is influenced by your personal experiences and past reads. If this is your first time reading a dystopian novel, you are probably unfamiliar with the common tropes. Compared to someone who has read multiple dystopian novels, you might have a harder time predicting what will happen. You might not be able to see what will happen or maybe you will guess wrong. So knowing that a book is “predictable” beforehand might not influence your reading experience too much.

What about noting that there are “lots of plot twists”?

Again, this is a hard one to have a definitive answer for. If you know ahead of time, you might start anticipating plot twists when there aren’t any. Or, it may not bother you at all.

So in short: I don’t have a definitive answer!

However, I know that I am going to be more aware of saying those very things in my reviews. I strive to be “spoiler free” in my reviews but, as you can see, it’s challenging sometimes!

What’s your stance?

Is saying a book is “predictable” or has lots of “plot twists” spoilers?

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