Reading Challenge Update

Well, here we are again. Time to take a look at my reading challenge progress!

Monthly Motif is a reading challenge hosted by girlxoxo.

September’s theme was animal, number, color, name. I really had no idea what to do with this one (it’s so broad!) but I ended up reading MCMLXXV by Joe Casey for this prompt.

October’s theme is tricks and trades. I’m trying to decide between finally reading Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray and Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan.

I finished a total of 8 books in September, bringing me to a total of 113 books this year.

Popsugar hosts a reading challenge every year. You can find out more information on their website.

I had hoped that September would turn out better than August for this challenge, but nope. Another month with zero prompts checked off. (Oh well.)

Romanceopoly is a reading challenge hosted by Under the Covers and Peace Love Books.

Same with Romanceopoly! And for the second month in a row, I read no romance novels. Maybe that’s why I’m in a slump. Maybe I just need something cute and fluffy to bring me out of it.

This challenge is still on hold. I did, however, read a couple ARCs that needed to be finished:


How are you doing on your reading challenges? Do you have any recommendations for me? Let’s talk in the comments!

Reading Challenge Update

Well, here we are again. Time to take a look at my reading challenge progress!

Monthly Motif is a reading challenge hosted by girlxoxo.

August’s theme was mode of transportation, and to expand on that, its official description is “a book where the mode of transportation plays a role in the story.” I went with The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett for this prompt, mostly because I had started it in July, but also because it takes place over the course of a trek through Europe and how the characters get around ends up being a big part of the story.

September’s theme is animal, number, color, name and I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to read, but I am 100% sure that I have some book in some box somewhere that will fit this prompt!

I read a total of 9 books in August and finished my reading challenge! I’m at 105 books read now.

Popsugar hosts a reading challenge every year. You can find out more information on their website.

I read literally nothing that counted for this reading challenge in August! Next month will be better.

Romanceopoly is a reading challenge hosted by Under the Covers and Peace Love Books.

Surprisingly, I did not read even one single romance novel in August! Who even am I?

This challenge is still on hold for now. I’ll probably pick it back up at some point this fall. I did, however, read two ARCs that have been hanging around for a bit:


How are you doing on your reading challenges? Do you have any recommendations for me? Let’s talk in the comments!

ARC Review: The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Source: ARC via publisher

The Last Magician meets A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue in this thrilling tale filled with magic and set in the mysterious Carpathian Mountains where a girl must hunt down Vlad the Impaler’s cursed ring in order to save her father.

Some legends never die…

Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.

Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.

Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it. 

Let me just start this review off by saying that The Lady Rogue was one of my most anticipated books for the entirety of 2019. Jenn Bennett is one of my all-time favorite authors (if not the favorite, I mean… just look at that drawing of me holding Starry Eyes below) and I basically devour everything that she ever writes. As much as it pains me to say it, The Lady Rogue and I did not click as much as I’d hoped.

Part of this, I think, is definitely me. It’s been a stressful few weeks in this household. Major life changes are coming and I’ve had very little time to read. I’ve been in the mood for something I can sit down and finish in one sitting, not a book that would take several hours of my time.

I picked this one up and put it right back down a few times in the past month because I just couldn’t get into it. But I threw this book in my backpack when I took a quick weekend trip to Tennessee, just on the off chance that I’d get a minute to read it, and ended up with a cancelled flight and, finally, a lot of time to read. And while it might have taken me several weeks to get into it, once I got into it, I finished it in a couple of hours.

All of this is to say that this is not a bad book. There is nothing inherently wrong with this book. And three stars is not a bad rating! It’s one of those it’s not you, it’s me kind of things.

I will explain.

First things first, what I liked. As always, I love Jenn Bennett’s writing style. She’s one of those writers that, once I get absorbed in the book, I can just go for hours without stopping. The action was steady, but never too much. I loved our main character, Theo, and her adventures traipsing around Europe in search of a mystical ring and her missing father.

Now, for what I wasn’t so sold on. I’ve spent a little bit of time sitting here thinking about why exactly I didn’t love this book as much as I’ve loved Jenn Bennett’s other work, and I think a lot of it comes down to the genre. I’ve had a hard time recently getting into this fantastical kind of adventure story recently (see The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy).

I also associate Jenn Bennett with cute contemporary romances (see Starry Eyes, Alex, Approximately, The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, Serious Moonlight) and although there’s the barest hint of a romance here, it felt kind of like an afterthought. Huck was definitely my least favorite of Bennett’s love interests and I really struggled to feel any chemistry between him and Theo. But, again, romance isn’t really the point of this book. The adventure is the point, and I kept having to remind myself of that.

I think, all in all, that The Lady Rogue is a really well-written, really fun YA historical fantasy. If you go into it knowing that’s what it is and are prepared for it to be very different from Bennett’s previous work, you’ll probably enjoy it. Even though it wasn’t my favorite of her work, I can still appreciate the good writing and the good story, and I’m so excited to read whatever she comes up with next.


#arcaugust
#mm19: mode of transportation


Have you read The Lady Rogue? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Reading Challenge Update

Well, here we are again. Time to take a look at my reading challenge progress!

Monthly Motif is a reading challenge hosted by girlxoxo.

July’s theme was through the years. I didn’t do as well as I would have liked with this theme, but I did read two books that I think should qualify.

I also read the first fifty pages of The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett before I realized that I wasn’t really in a historical fiction mood.

August’s theme is mode of transportation, so we’ll see what ends up happening there.

I read a total of 11 books in June, which puts me 38 books ahead of my goal.

Popsugar hosts a reading challenge every year. You can find out more information on their website.

I read one book that counted for a Popsugar prompt in July:

Romanceopoly is a reading challenge hosted by Under the Covers and Peace Love Books.

I didn’t read any books toward this challenge in July!

This challenge is still on hold for now. I’ll probably pick it back up at some point this fall.


How are you doing on your reading challenges? Do you have any recommendations for me? Let’s talk in the comments!

Book Review: The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg

The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg
Series: Early Earth
Rating: ★★★★★
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: December 20, 2016
Source: Purchased

In the tradition of The Arabian Nights, a beautifully illustrated tapestry of folk tales and myths about the secret legacy of female storytellers in an imagined medieval world.

In the Empire of Migdal Bavel, Cherry is married to Jerome, a wicked man who makes a diabolical wager with his friend Manfred: if Manfred can seduce Cherry in one hundred nights, he can have his castle–and Cherry.

But what Jerome doesn’t know is that Cherry is in love with her maid Hero. The two women hatch a plan: Hero, a member of the League of Secret Story Tellers, will distract Manfred by regaling him with a mesmerizing tale each night for 100 nights, keeping him at bay. Those tales are beautifully depicted here, touching on themes of love and betrayal and loyalty and madness.

As intricate and richly imagined as the works of Chris Ware, and leavened with a dry wit that rivals Kate Beaton’s in Hark! A Vagrant, Isabel Greenberg’s One Hundred Nights of Hero will capture readers’ hearts and minds, taking them through a magical medieval world. 

You might remember me reviewing The Encyclopedia of Early Earth not too long ago. I ended up buying The One Hundred Nights of Hero since I enjoyed both the art style and the subtle humor in The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, and I was not disappointed.

The One Hundred Nights of Hero is the story of a young woman, Cherry, who is married to an evil man, Jerome, who bets a friend that he can’t seduce Cherry while Jerome is away. If his friend, Manfred, succeeds in seducing Cherry, Jerome is willing to give him both his castle and his wife. When Cherry finds out about the wager, she knows that Manfred will do everything in his power to sleep with her, including by force if necessary. Luckily, her maid, friend, and lover Hero is a member of the League of Secret Story Tellers and weaves stories, night after night, to keep Manfred distracted from the seduction.

I loved the larger story here, including the positive portrayal of a f/f relationship in a time when that was not accepted, but what I really adored were Hero’s stories. The stories were empowering, fantastical, and whimsical. The stories could be a bit quirky and a bit sassy at times, but everything balanced so well that I don’t really have any complaints.

I had initially thought I’d rate this four stars, but looking back… there’s nothing I didn’t like, so it turns out it’s a five.

#mm19: through the years


Have you read The One Hundred Nights of Hero? What about The Encyclopedia of Early Earth? Let’s talk in the comments!

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