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Goodreads 2020

I did it! I surpassed my reading challenge for this year! If I am honest, I didn't expect to. But with all the chaos of this year, and all the study, I surpassed my goal! It was 15 and I managed 17! Wooop!

Okay. Okay. Let me confess something. Frequently, I deliberately selected a book I knew to be short. But hey, needs must when you are a reader like me—slow and forever falling asleep after a few pages. I think I have now associated reading with bedtime that my brain going into auto-shutdown as soon as it snags a whiff of a page. It isn't quite the end of the year, but I am in doubt that I'll get my current read finished before January—and am contemplating putting it aside for A Christmas Carol, anyway.

So without further ado, let me tell you what I read this year with the review I posted.

Number One:

** spoiler alert **

Four Stars.

I am a fan of Holly's writing. And her world building can't be faulted. First, I love that Cardan became the leader he should be. I've loved him as a character. And Holly worked on character development through the series. The story kept me in like the other 2 and ended well. So why 4?

1. There is a sexy scene (not full sex) in the book that verges away from YA and into adult. I didn't expect it and don't think it should be in there. (Sorry)

2. The snake. I didn't like this twist. It felt to me like it didn't fit into the world.

Maybe it is just me. What did you think?

Number Two:

Four Stars.

I liked the 2nd half of the story when Violet goes off to the school to start anew. I found it engaging :)

Seems I didn't really write much in this review (sorry Maria).... Judging by the dates I read it, I think I was editing Aaravale at the time if not launching it.

Number Three:

Four Stars...

I see a pattern in my ratings ... LOL

These books are addictive. Yet at some point 3/4 through, I lost a little interest. Not sure why.... anyway, picked back up, and that ending left enough to continue my interest though not a surprising twist.

Number Four:

I agree with most reviewers. It started slow, which is understandable since there needed world building. But then BAM! It exploded into action until the very end. Similar in style and unique as Sarah J. I was glad to read it. The main characters are nice, though I wasn't addicted enough to rush off and buy book 2.... so ... 3.75 stars haha!

Number Five:

I really liked the Folks of Air series. So i hoped to like this. It was just OK. I am not a fan of swearing in books. I got bored halfway through and kind of forced myself to finish it. Pity.

A generous Three Stars.

I'm a guilt reviewer who doesn't like to drop too low, but also really doesn't give 5 anymore.

Number Six:

3.5 Stars.

The story hooks you in. The characters are unforgettable and well crafted. I liked it enough to consider, but decide against picking up the next one. The story has graphic scenes, major swear words, and a fully described (tastefully) sex scene. Printed via Harper Teens implies this is for teens. No way. It is NA or adult for sure. Kinda wish these books came with ⚠️ warnings! There were a few moments in the story I didn't like. It definitely took me a long time to like the lead girl. And the whole marriage thing took so long to make sense!

I think it was this book that prompted my blog on adding warnings to books.

Number Seven:

Good info for those starting. A lot in there I knew. A few new points for me to take on board.

Oh~ I gave this Five Stars.... don't even remember what I learned! But I will say it was really short :)

Number Eight:

No comment....

Number Nine:

Some useful info in here for new writers

That's all I wrote for this review LOL I'm a woman of few words.

Number Ten:

I read this extensively for research. You'll hopefully see that novel in a few years.

Number Eleven:

Three Stars.

So... when I started this I could see a specific formula and style to the writing. It kind of annoyed me and until the middle I just felt board. Nothing surprised me. My interest picked up towards the end. Friends tell me to continue, so I've got the second book to try.

Number Twelve:

Four Stars.

Definitely liked this better than Tithe. The characters were enjoyable, the plot pretty decent. Holly is a great world builder :)

Would gladly read this again.

Number Thirteen:

When I reached the halfway mark, I immediately jumped online to buy the next books. But when I reached the 3/4 mark, I started to get annoyed ... like the story kinda just switched from break the curse to complete the hunger games... so... that annoyed me ...

I liked the characters. I'm ok with love triangles. Freya switched from hate to love faster than seemed plausible, so that bummed me out.

The main bad lady's name is annoying. It slowed my reading every time I came to it. Amarantha. A-ma-ran-tha... what's wrong with Amara? Lol

The author used this description at least 3 times: "My bowels turned watery."

I am not picking... but... this phrase just threw me... did she keep getting diarrhea?

Good point: Has a warning note on the back.

Number Fourteen:

I almost went down to 2.5 Stars.

It started off interesting, but then it was 3/4 of wandering around a forest. The ending brought it back up a little. Disappointing and the basic plot reminding me of ACOTAR. Not in a good way.

I've got Sorcery of Thorns (same author) and really hope it is a better story.

Number Fifteen:

Three Stars.

The reason for 3 is simple. I lost interest halfway through, skipped through the Manon(?) Chapters since they were boring! My interest picked up in the last quarter. I like Rowen :) I have the next book in this series, but I am losing interest.

Wondering if my taste in books is going through a phase change....

Number Sixteen:

Four Stars.

This was an assigned book for my Masters course. It's really informative and useful for a guide on writing. I highlighted so many sentences!! It gave me pause over my own writing and helped me to edit more strictly than I had done.

And finally....

Number Seventeen:

This was indeed a short and cheerful guide. It's inspiring, witty and has a few notes worth highlighting. But most of what he says I've read before :).

On a brighter note, I even think I have some quotes to add to my last assignment of the semester!

How sad am I?

So that's it! Thanks for sticking around to the end. My goal for 2020 was 15. I've managed 17. How did you get on this year?

Now, I need to decide on next year's goal.... Eighteen could be a stretch since I am expecting to be working like a dog once the vaccine circulates.

Eighteen it is! I can do it, right? Just need to find short books and stop reading Sarah J. Maas! :)

Until next year~

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay gold.


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John Harrell
John Harrell
Dec 29, 2020


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