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?

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.

August Wrap-Up!

So last month, I thought I’d outdone myself by reading 20 books. In August, I read 22 books!

That’s 1 book for every 1.4 days. I’m currently standing at 113 books read in 2016. (That’s a full 33 books over my goal!)

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  1. Labyrinth Lost  by Zoraida Córdova
  2. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (Review)
  4. The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach (Review)
  5. 100 Days by Nicole McInnes (Review)*
  6. The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner (Review)*
  7. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer*
  8. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
  9. The Assassin Game by Kirsty McKay*
  10. The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee (Review)
  11. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (Review)
  12. The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer*
  13. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
  14. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  15. The Graces by Laure Eve* (Review)
  16. Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty*
  17. And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich*
  18. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie*
  19. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin*
  20. Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow (Review)
  21. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel* (Review)

*Audiobook or eARC, not pictured
(Plus 1 book proofread for my work, not pictured and not within my blog’s scope of genre)

Some of these books have yet to be reviewed on my blog, but I will add the links as I add the reviews! September is going to rock! So many good books are coming out!

Have you read any of these books? Which ones are you looking forward to reading?

“A Torch Against the Night” by Sabaa Tahir

★★★★★ New release Tuesday!

A Torch Against the Night is the highly anticipated sequel to An Ember in the Ashes (which I reviewed here), which I absolutely adored! And boy oh boy did I love this sequel!

a-torch-against-the-night-tahirElias and Laia have escaped Blackcliff Academy and the clutches of and the Commandant, but they are still in ever-increasing danger. They are wanted fugitives trying to travel to Kauf prison to rescue Laia’s brother, and their road is not an easy one! They encounter many old friends, and make lots of new friends and enemies (of course).

Another exciting thing about this book is that we get a third perspective thrown in the mix: Helene. Newly named the Blood Shrike, it is Helene’s duty to track down Laia and Elias and execute them publicly. She is torn between her friendship with Elias and her duty to Marcus (now Emperor) and the Empire.

I read this in one (very long) sitting. If you go into Torch expecting what you got in Ember, you’ll be disappointed. There’s little Blackcliff, no “competition” — it’s just very different. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing!

I think Sabaa Tahir has succeeded in writing a different, but intriguing (and heartbreaking and exciting) sequel. There are so many twists, so many deceptions, and I just loved it to death! My emotions were in shambles when I reached the last page, and now we all have to wait until 2018 to get the next book! *cries*

Purchase the book here.

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

“An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir

★★★★★  

This book is truly an epic masterpiece. Definitely in my top 10 for the year!

27774758Laia and Elias live in the same city, but they have very different lives. Laia is a Scholar (basically a lowly peasant) and Elias is a Mask (in training to be like an assassin/really powerful soldier). When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, she knows that she needs to do whatever it takes to save him. This is how she becomes a slave within Blackcliff Academy, which is *gasp* where the Masks live and train! Elias is struggling with what his life will be when he finishes at Blackcliff and becomes a Mask officially. He doesn’t enjoy killing, or fighting, and doesn’t want this life as a Mask–all he wants is his freedom. Will either Laia or Elias (or maybe both of them) get what they are desperately wishing for?

Basically this book is awesome in so many ways: there’s spying, fighting, strong women, evil people, magical beings, and a deadly competition. It’s just really amazing and I can’t stress how much I think so many readers would like this book! It’s a rush of adventure and intense, breath-holding moments, will-they-won’t-they love interests, and so much more.

And what’s more, the sequel, A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT, comes out on August 30th! So you can binge read both and feel ALL THE FEELS with me. Review for TORCH upcoming!

Purchase the book here.