7 Series You Need to Check Out

I love a good series — diving in and getting to fly through multiple books in the same world, reveling in the sheer mass of story you have to conquer.

I have many different series I’ve started, some finished, some unfinished, some with books still yet to come. Here’s some you need to check out.

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  • Harry Potter — Okay, this is an obvious one. But it continues to shock me when I find out someone I know hasn’t read them yet! And before you say it, no, the movies don’t count. And if you want my brutally honest opinion, I’d tell you that the movies are complete garbage compared to the books. They left out so many great things! Peeves! Winky and S.P.E.W. All of the flashbacks they left out in HP6!
    • Bottom Line: Read them however you can, but I highly recommend the Jim Dale narration of the audiobooks. It’s like watching a movie IN YOUR HEAD!
  • uglies1Uglies by Scott Westerfeld — In this series, Tally Youngblood is about to turn 16. In her society, that is the age when you “turn pretty” — you get surgery to make you perfect and bubbly-headed. This series has such cool technology and rebels and swoons and fights. Uglies was one of my favorite series when I was in middle school, and I have it from a very reliable source (Mr. Westerfeld himself) that there is more in this world coming!
    • Bottom Line: Is the price of being Pretty worth losing what makes you original? Does Tally have what it takes to fight back?
    • If you liked Uglies, try Divergent and The Hunger Games.
  • d1cehmuxhes-_sl250_fmpng_Helen Grace series by M.J. Arlidge — This is an adult mystery/thriller series in which the main character, Detective Helen Grace, is on the prowl for serial killers. Each book focuses on a different killer, and they are all pretty gruesome and heart-pounding cases. This series has 5 books out in the US, but 2 additional out in the UK that aren’t here yet, PLUS two novellas.
    • Bottom Line: While they won’t win a pulitzer prize, these books are fast-paced, chilling thrillers. I flew through 5 in about a week and a half, and I can’t wait for more!
    • Bonus: Killer covers. (Pun intended.)
  • The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristilluminae-filesoff — These books are awesome for a few reasons. First, the story is just top notch space race against the enemy. On top of that, both books feature absolutely bad-ass young women that show the villain who’s boss. But ultimately, the reason that puts these at the top of many people’s lists, is that the format and design of the book itself is stunning. Told through transcripts, emails, chats, web pages, and more, reading The Illuminae Files is a lot like what it sounds like — you’re literally reading a file of evidence. But it’s extremely well-done.
    • Bottom Line: If you’re looking for something different and fun, plus space and bad-ass bitches kicking ass, you need to pick up Illuminae and Gemina. (Plus Obsidio comes out next year! Time to catch up!) 
    • Bonus: While I haven’t personally listened to them, the audiobooks for this series are narrated by a full cast and are allegedly amazing. Let me know if you’ve listened to them.
    • If you liked The Illuminae Files, try The Themis Files (ALIEN ROBOTS NEED I SAY MORE?).
  • a-darker-shade-of-magic-ve-schwab-series-book-covers-1024x513A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab — Set in a universe where three Londons exist in different worlds (Red London, White London, and Grey London), there exist two beings who are the only ones who can travel between worlds. When one of these beings unknowingly brings a piece of evil magic into the world, it creates a series of chaotic events that seemingly can’t be stopped. You can also read my review here.
    • Bottom Line: If you like fantasy books, this is for you. If you don’t like fantasy books, I think this is still for you. It’s just so much crazy awesomeness that I can’t even properly put into words why you should read these massive, beautiful tomes.
  • 516wcmsapcl-_sx332_bo1204203200_To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han — This is just a cute, squishy, happy feels series. It all starts out when Lara Jean’s letters get mailed out. Sounds normal, right? But they’re not — they’re “break up” letters Lara Jean wrote to everyone she ever had a crush on or “loved,” as the title implies. This series has food, cute decorations and adorable clothes, swoon-worthy boys, and a strong family support system not often seen in books.
    • Bottom Line: These 3 books are definitely something I used as a palate cleanser, and I mean that in the best way possible! They’re just consumable, sweet, and adorable. I love them like a little sister.
  • 51qxkni9til-_sx336_bo1204203200_The Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French — This series is super unique in that each book is from a different officer’s perspective, and you meet the new officer in the book before (typically). These books are beautifully written, but thorough, so don’t expect to fly through them. There’s 6 of them, and they range from creepy, to strange, to sad, to school-girl, and so much more. The perspectives aren’t always from a man or a woman, but rather switch off, which I find to be a nice change of pace. Read my review of In the Woods here.
    • Bottom Line: Read In the Woods and try to tell me you weren’t biting your nails and running away from dark rooms. This isn’t to say they are all scary, though, and they’re definitely not horror books, so they’re okay for the easily frightened.

That’s just a few of my favorites. What are your favorite series? Have you read any of these and agree or disagree with me?

March 2017 Wrap-Up

March was a little bit better for reading, but I made it through some BIG books. So, March was made of 20 books for me. As of the end of March, I am at 64 of my goal of 200 — 33% of the way there!

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Here’s what I read:

  1. My Secret: A PostSecret Book by Frank Warren*
  2. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
  3. Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
  4. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
  7. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones*
  8. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  10. Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
  11. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
  12. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
  13. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
  14. Legend by Marie Lu
  15. A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
  16. Prodigy by Marie Lu
  17. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  18. Champion by Marie Lu

*Indicates a book not pictured because I read it via library book, ebook, or audiobook.
Does not include 2 books read for work that do not fall in the scope of this blog.

What did you read in March? What are you looking forward to in April?

January Wrap-Up

Well, January was a fantastic reading month! I read 31 books this month — one per day! One reason I read so much this month is that I re-read the whole Series of Unfortunate Events series because of the Netflix series. The series is good either book or movie (but the book is better).

My goal this year is 200 books again — I have some more vacations/trips planned than last year, so I think I’ll be even with last year at least (214).

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Here are the books I read in January:

  1. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
  2. Frostblood by Elly Blake
  3. Mosquitoland by David Arnold
  4. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness*
  5. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  6. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
  7. Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter*
  8. The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket
  9. The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
  10. The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket
  11. The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket
  12. The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket
  13. The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket
  14. The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket
  15. The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket
  16. The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket
  17. The Grim Grotto by Lemony Snicket
  18. Indelible by Adelia Saunders*
  19. The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket
  20. The End by Lemony Snicket
  21. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  22. Amazing Fantastic Incredible by Stan Lee*
  23. The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
  24. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  25. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  26. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough*
  27. I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi (review)
  28. Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
  29. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

(Plus 2 books that don’t fit the scope of my blog and were read for work.)
*These books aren’t pictured because they were either audiobooks or ebooks I don’t own a copy of.

What was your favorite book you read this month?

“Everything You Want Me to Be” by Mindy Mejia

New Release Tuesday!

29276588Told from three viewpoints, Everything You Want Me to Be is a thrilling whodunit. Hattie, an aspiring actress, tells her story before she was murdered and left in a barn. Sheriff Del Goodman follows the trails left behind to try to catch Hattie’s killer. And Peter, a new resident of Pine Valley, has his own role to play in the story. The story has plenty of false trails, twists, and the classic small feeling that a tiny town brings to a book.

I won’t lie to you — this book may hurt you. I stayed up way too late because I couldn’t put it down and only got 4 hours of sleep. That next day was a real struggle, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate not knowing what Hattie did, who killed her, and why. Pick up this book for a cozy snow day read — it’s killer.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Purchase the book here.

I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

“And the Trees Crept In” by Dawn Kurtagich

★★★★☆ New release Tuesday!

28449150Disclaimer: This is a HORROR book. I typically don’t watch horror movies or read horror books because I get too scared, so I’m not sure what prompted me to request this from the publisher.

That being said: And the Trees Crept In is extremely creepy and unsettling. When Silla and Nori escape their abusive father, the only place they’d think of going is their Aunt Cath’s house, a large estate called La Baume. The house is old, run-down, and creaky, but it’s all they have. Aunt Cath is so sweet to the girls, nurturing them and loving them like they’ve never experienced. But one day, Cath loses it when Nori gets too close to the surrounding woods. She won’t stop pacing the floor in the attic and keeps talking about someone named “The Creeper Man”. And then one day, Silla notices the trees. They’re creeping closer, day by horror-filled day.

If that doesn’t creep you out right there, I don’t know what will. This is an absolute mind-f*** of a book (pardon the language), written in such a way that it makes the reader feel like they are losing their mind right along with Silla. I had to only read this in the daylight, when others were around me, and it still had my heart thumping and my eyes darting to the dark corners of my house.

And the Trees Crept In was a very intense read and perplexing story, but definitely don’t read it if you’re faint of heart like me. That’s a compliment, by the way — it was perfectly creepy, unsettling, poop-your-pants and run to your mom scary.

Purchase the book here.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

“Serafina and the Black Cloak” by Robert Beatty

★★★☆☆51cpf2bz1u2bl-_sy344_bo1204203200_

Serafina and her father live in the basement of the estate Pa works for, unbeknownst to the homeowners. Serafina has led a life of secrecy, hiding from people and ridding the Biltmore estate of its rat infestation. One night, while catching some pests, Serafina sees a girl get attacked by a man in a swirling black cloak. Narrowly escaping capture herself, Serafina is determined to find out who the black cloak is and how to stop him from stealing more children.

This book was 100% not what I thought it was going to be from the cover and things I’ve seen around the internet (but clearly I wasn’t paying close enough attention). That being said — it is a really fun story with mystery, edge-of-your-seat thrills, young love, and the family dynamics of these strange squatters. I really enjoyed the pace, and I did not successfully guess who the cloak was nor any of the twists! An easy read, Serafina and the Black Cloak is good for middle-grade and high-school readers, as well as any other YA lover.

Purchase the book here.

“The Graces” by Laure Eve

thegraces★★★★☆ Out on Tuesday (9/6)! There are two gorgeous covers for this book, so I’m including both in this post! The red cover is the US cover and the purple cover is in the UK!

“Everyone said they were witches. I desperately wanted to believe it. I’d only been at this school a couple of months, but I saw how it was. They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake, stares following their backs and their hair.”

cg1litjxeaitrihRiver recently moved to a new city and a new school, and just like the rest of the town, she quickly becomes obsessed with the Grace family. They’re rumored to be powerful witches and to gain their friendship is rumored to be near impossible.

But River becomes friends with Summer Grace, and she has a huge crush on her older brother, Fenrin (along with every other girl on the planet). She quickly becomes a feature in their house, hanging out with Summer, Fenrin, and Thalia, and their close family friend Wolf. They do different spells and incantations together and call themselves witches. But then something goes extremely wrong. And no one remembers what happened.

This is the story of magic (or not?), friendship, popularity, mystery, and danger. Some reviewers are comparing this to Twilight, but I would argue that that is just the first few chapters that you could draw serious comparisons. I think this is a great story, compelling and fascinating. It definitely put a spell on me.

Purchase the book here. (Out 9/6/16)

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.