Year in Review | 2020 (The Year of No Return)


It’s been a year.

Or a hundred.

I’m not really sure anymore. Time has been meaningless since March 56th. My calendar says it is December but it’s 60 degrees outside and looks like spring. I’m looking back at some of the books I read this year and I’m not sure I actually read them this year? It feels like I read them decades ago…

Anyway, here is my list of Favorites and superlatives for the books I read in the hellscape that is known as 2020.

Reading Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 89
Physical Books Read: 52
Audiobooks Listened To: 37
Pages Read: 29,655 (approx.)
Hours Listened: 387 hours 04 min (approx.)
Series Completed/Caught Up On: 16
2020 Releases Read: 14

Favorite Reads

Collateral Damage, by Taylor Simmonds
The House in the Cerulean Sea, by T. J. Klune
As the Shadow Rises (The Age of Darkness #2), by Katy Rose Pool
Among the Beasts & Briars, by Ashley Poston
The Best Laid Plans, by Cameron Lund
Down Comes the Night, by Allison Saft
The Midnight Bargain, by C. L. Polk
Burning Bright (The Extraordinaries #1), by Melissa McShane

Continue reading “Year in Review | 2020 (The Year of No Return)”
audiobook, Book Review, ya fantasy

Book Review | GIRL, SERPENT, THORN, by Melissa Bashardoust

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Girl, Serpent, Thorn, by Melissa Bashardoust

Publish Date:  July 7, 2020
Published by: Flatiron Books
Audiobook Narrated by: Nikki Massoud
Length: 10 hrs 6 min (336 pages)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster. 

My Review: 

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Book Review, Historical Romance

Book Review | THE DUKE UNDONE, by Joanna Lowell

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The Duke Undone, by Joanna Lowell

Publish Date: April 6, 2021
Published by: Berkley Books
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**


When Royal Academy painting student Lucy Coover trips over a naked man passed out in an East End alley, she does the decent thing. She covers him up and fetches help. Trouble is, she can’t banish his muscular form from her dreams as easily. She finds herself compelled to put every detail down on canvas. What she doesn’tknow is that she’s painting the infamous Duke of Weston, and that her life will never be the same.

A second son, Anthony Philby thought he could flee his brutal family legacy and become his own man. Forced back to London by his brother’s death, he inherits a fortune… with strings attached. One scandal will sink his bid for independence. It’s in his best interest to burn Lucy Coover’s shocking painting and pretend he never met the bewitching young artist. Instead, he finds himself offering a devil’s bargain. He’ll save her aunt’s dressmaking shop from ruin, if she’ll seek out his missing sister, Effie.

As they work together, an unexpected passion ignites between them. But the hunt for Effie leads to unexpected danger, and soon they find themselves risking everything… for a love that might destroy them both.

My Review: 

This was a captivating story that grabbed my attention from the synopsis and held it to the end of the actual book. I enjoyed almost everything about it – the premise, the characters, the storyline.

Continue reading “Book Review | THE DUKE UNDONE, by Joanna Lowell”
audiobook, Book Review, Favorite Reads, historical fantasy, mystery, Romance

Book SERIES Review | GLASS AND STEELE, by C. J. Archer

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Glass and Steele, by C. J. Archer

All books narrated by Marian Hussey with the exception of the first (narrated by Emma Powell)

Since I listened to all of these so close to one another I am going to post links to my reviews (they are sort of short) for all of the books below, as well as the synopsis for the first book. All I can say is that I thoroughly enjoy everything that I have read so far from C. J. Archer. She manages to hit every one of my buttons that I absolutely adore. Historical, fantasy, romance, mystery, angst. It’s always a thrill to listen to one of her books.

(Also, this series is unfinished. Another book is set to be published in March 2021. I’m not happy about having to wait.)

Synopsis for The Watchmaker’s Daughter:

India Steele is desperate. Her father is dead, her fiancé took her inheritance, and no one will employ her, despite years working for her watchmaker father. Indeed, the other London watchmakers seem frightened of her. Alone, poor, and at the end of her tether, India takes employment with the only person who’ll accept her – an enigmatic and mysterious man from America. A man who possesses a strange watch that rejuvenates him when he’s ill.

Matthew Glass must find a particular watchmaker, but he won’t tell India why any old one won’t do. Nor will he tell her what he does back home, and how he can afford to stay in a house in one of London’s best streets. So when she reads about an American outlaw known as the Dark Rider arriving in England, she suspects Mr. Glass is the fugitive. When danger comes to their door, she’s certain of it. But if she notifies the authorities, she’ll find herself unemployed and homeless again – and she will have betrayed the man who saved her life.

My Reviews: 

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Book Review, Space

Book Review | OBSIDIO, by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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Obsidio (The Illuminae Files_03), by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Publish Date: March 13, 2018 
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Length: 624 pages
Genre: YA Sci-fi
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5 stars)


Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza–but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys–an old flame from Asha’s past–reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heros will fall, and hearts will be broken.

My Review: 

I weirdly wasn’t into this one as much as the other two. Part of it was that I didn’t care that much for Asha and Rhys and their storyline, the other part was because of the back and forth between Kerenza and the Mao. (It didn’t help that I was unable to focus for a bit and had to put this down and when I picked it back up my momentum had disappeared).

It was a pretty decent ending overall, but I don’t know if it was my personal mood or something else that had me feeling less captivated by this one than the others.

Book Review, Space, ya sci-fi

Book Review | GEMINA, by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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Gemina (The Illuminae Files_02), by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Publish Date: October 18, 2016 
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Length: 672 pages
Genre: YA Sci-fi
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

My Review: 

Excellent, fun and riveting! I could not put this one down! I loved almost everything about it (not sure on the quickness of the romance – felt a little rushed considering…circumstances). Ready to dive into the next one!