Blogmas | Top 7 Books of 2022!

Hello!

In the beginning of 2022, I created my yearly challenge on Goodreads, where I set the goal to read 40-45 books. The reason why I added on another five onto the list was because I wasn’t just doing one challenge, I decided to mix it up with keeping track of the books that had a movie and/or show out in the world. As of 12/18, I’m still trying to complete the 20 books I allowed for myself for this, and honestly, I really enjoyed having both of them going on at the same time. I’m very proud of myself on these successes, but I haven’t exactly made my decision to continue it once the new year comes, but I’ll be letting you know my plans soon!

When I was getting ready to write this post, I was going to discuss my top 12 books, but I wasn’t sure on the time allotted for this week, so I just broke down and made it the top 7 like I did for the last two years.


1. The Best of Us by Kennedy Fox

This is the second year in a row where the authors of Kennedy Fox have claimed first place.

I truly loved this story of these characters, and as I mentioned in the review, I am not much into male characters, especially in the romance genre. I’m quite picky but I think the fact he seemed more relatable than Kendall. The story itself takes place after COVID-19 hits, which I think is what drew me into Ryan more because my mom is a registered nurse and worked her butt off in those early intense days. My heart went out for him and his selflessness and struggles during that time.

Besides all of this, it is also set around Christmastime, so it is literally perfect for this time of year. I wish anyone who is still looking for a steamy holiday themed book, this is what you should be getting into next.

Sidenote: I recently found the first and third books in the series for free on Amazon, so when I get in a mood for a little Kennedy Fox, I’ve got these babies to keep me company!

2. Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

This year I wanted to explore children’s books because I still feel the sting of my own struggles with books as a child and it cost me a lot of great stories in the end, so I felt like I needed to explore my horizons and then I found this little gem.

I felt really conflicted to make this #1 because I fell in love with this story of a young girl, who becomes a refugee with her mother after violence in Syria begins. It wasn’t just Jude and her new world that got me, but I also fell in love with the writing style too. It was in verse, and I had never read poetry before, and I liked how the author was able to bring them together like this. It was a magical experience!

3. The Raven and The Dove by K.M. Butler

When I began reading this one, I didn’t really know what I was doing because at the start of the year, I wasn’t into books about the Vikings. I’d tried in the past, but nothing could grab me as inviting until I found K.M.’s debut scrolling through Kindle Unlimited back in January.

The Raven and The Dove is the story about a group of Vikings raiding on small villages in what is now Normandy, France. A shieldmaiden by the name of Halla is a part of the crew and the best way to describe her is restless. She is a warrior, but she doesn’t just want to be that, and while she and a small party go to scope out a village that could be a great way to trade goods, she finds herself put into an odd situation.

She actually volunteers to stay and wed a Christian, Taurien. He is a very conflicting character as he was raised to hate these Northmen, but he also wants to protect his home and its people from any other raids, so he does what any desperate man would do, he decides to wed Halla. Halla oversees her fellow Vikings and attempt to keep the will of the Gods of her people, but that becomes very difficult with their Christian neighbors.

I am all about seeing how the other one lives type of person, and this reflects in the books I read of course, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing these two characters fight their feelings of right and wrong; their faiths and trust for one another are tested many times, but it was still enjoyable as a reader because we still have issues seeing past the other person’s origins and religions. I definitely recommend anyone who loves to be a little nosy at times.

4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

While I was wanting to explore more classics, I knew Little Women would pop up some time, the book is very popular on Jeopardy, and I think that’s why I wanted to just devout myself to it and the best way I did that was through audiobook on YouTube. I had actually found a channel on there that had multiple people acting out the various characters and I loved this type of reading; it reminded me of how they use to tell stories on the radio before television was invented.

This book was lovely and honestly perfect in the springtime. This truly made me happy and excited to see what would happen to these characters–until that chapter about Beth though, boy, did I cry like crazy! After I had completed it, and that was another sad night, because I had grown to dig into it after my mom put me to bed, I tried to read “Little Men” but unfortunately, it didn’t have the same magic as the first but I am willing to give it another try in 2023 because I loved the character Jo so much, I want to see what happens in the later years.

5. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

After I finished with “Other Words for Home” I dove into other children’s books, but my focus was generally on classics. I had read Little Women, the Harry Potter series, and a few by Roald Dahl, so my plan was stay in that lane for a while longer and I ended up reading three and half books of the “Little House On The Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder. My favorite among them was the one about her future husband, Alonzo Wilder.

I found this story unique compared to the ones written about Laura and her life. “Farmer Boy” was set in Alonzo’s point of view and even though it was fictionalized, I was still amazed by how this little boy lived in these times; readers get a chance to look into the differences between boys and girls on the prairie. My favorite scene was Christmas, they would spend it with one another in absolute silence and eat apples and popcorn with warm apple cider. I’m not much on any kind of cider but I found this interesting and peaceful.

6. Shield-Maiden: Under the Howling Moon by Melanie Karsak

Apparently, it’s not a book list without a book by Kennedy Fox or Melanie Karsak. This year alone, I read 8 books by Melanie. but only three of them were written by Kennedy Fox.

Anyways, as a couple of months since I had finished The Raven and The Dove, I was itching for another book that discussed the Viking world, but I was still a bit hesitant because I didn’t think I would find anything that could hit that bar and then I went through Melanie’s work and found out she had two series about shield-maidens, so I thought about it a bit, but ultimately went for it.

The story of the shield-maiden Hervor was everything I needed at that time. I love a good badass heroine and Melanie makes a lot of strong but relatable female characters. I was very upset once I was done with the final book, and then I did something totally stupid, I decided to dive headfirst into the sequel “The Shadows of Valhalla” which focuses on Princess Blomma’s children Prince Loptr and Princess Hervor aka Ervie. I was bawling my eyes from the events that happened in “Under the Dark Moon” and then I went into “Gambit of Blood” where they were talking about characters previously featured in the other books and I began crying again. I was truly a mess, and my mom laughed at me! I’m currently waiting on the four and final book in the series as I just finished the most recent installment and I’m already semi depressed about leaving these people for good.

7. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany and J.K. Rowling

I am very happy to say I have finally read all of the Harry Potter books. I did believe I would actually do this because before I went on this journey, I was just a fan of the films, and I was too afraid I wouldn’t enjoy watching them if I read the series. I was forced to read “The Sorcerer’s Stone” back in 2006, and my teacher had us watch the movie a few days after so everything was still fresh in our minds to do comparisons between these formats, so you can understand why I was hesitant going into it in the beginning.

When this book came out, there were a lot of mixed comments about it, the most significant was it isn’t written in the same way J.K. wrote the original seven books. This is a screenplay of the play that appeared in 2016 by John Tiffany It still has the spirit of Rowling with familiar characters jumping in here and there. I found this way of writing better oddly enough. It is different, but after coming out of reading “If We Were Villains” by M.L. Rio, I was able to picture the entire thing in the same way I did when they were doing Shakespeare’s work. I didn’t like this book unfortunately, but I thought it was a lot of help while I was into this one instead.

When I finished “Deathly Hallows” back in July, I felt the epilogue wasn’t that satisfying for me. I wanted to know how Harry and the gang were doing in their lives after the Battle at Hogwarts, and so when I went into this story about Harry’s middle son Albus Serveus Potter and how he deals with being a son of this hero of the Wizarding World, Harry is an adult and father now, so as much as he doesn’t feel like it, his children are faced with making their own legacies or in Albus’s case, attempting to fix a wrong and that in itself was absolutely amazing! It was heartbreaking, between the scene Albus meeting Professor Snape and the final scene at Godric’s Hollow will break you whole, that is, if you weren’t in the first place!


If I hadn’t waited majority of the month to write this post, I would have made it longer. My original plan was to do Top 12, but I didn’t want to rush getting everything done in a short number of days, so I went with seven books total, and I’m still shocked I was able to shrink it down enough for today.

I am excited on what kind of books I discover in the new year. I do hope to get started on my Goodreads Challenge on the first of January and after that, I will type up my goals for 2023 because I know everyone is wondering on how many books I want to read, if I am truly doing two challenges again, and honestly, I enjoy writing those posts for you too, so be on the lookout for that, okay?

How many books did you read this year? Did you hit your intended goal or not? What are your Top 3 books for 2022 as well?

snowflake

Monthly Favorites | Lovely Words

Hello!

In January, I talked about the fact that I’m keeping a reading journal for 2022, so I have a better way to keep up with what I’m getting into on a daily basis. I keep a note of everything from the number of books I read each month, how many pages I finish, and the days in every month as well. These things are perfectly normal of a regular bookworm, but I took a step further with adding my favorite words, affectionately titled “Lovely Words” as it was an innocent thing to include in my journal at the time. And then, it definitely grew into something I tend to focus a lot of my time because I really enjoy finding new words and looking up what they mean, especially if they are from other languages.

In my ‘Goodreads Reading Challenge’ post, I had shared a collage banner of all of the words that captured my attention during that first month, and it was interesting to see everyone’s comments about this section, but I felt bad for only discussing those 31 words, so when I came up with this series, I thought it would a great idea to include every word from the previous three months. So, I hope you enjoy this batch just as much as I do!


I am arranging each month based on the colors they were given at the start of the year. I know I don’t mention it a lot but I technically have two journals, and for my habit tracker of how many days I actually read, is in a different color. For the most part, I’ve stuck to that color but unfortunately I don’t have an orange and can’t see the yellow very good so I have had to switch those colors around. I know it doesn’t really matter for you, but in case anyone was curious by the color changes with every month.

February:

One thing I do need to explain is, I may have finished three books in February, but I attempted to read about three others, which were The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Curse of Beauty by Lauren Lee Merriweather, and Disease and History by Frederick Cartwright. I include ALL of the words, even if I don’t complete the book itself, because honestly that would be too much work to remove them anyways.

daffiance, ensconce, malcontent, recalcitrance, thence, imbue, guardroom, simemet, disir, cuirass, jelling, lamentations, pastureland, petulant, portent, rebuttal, miscarriage, litany, lexicon, trellis, cornucopias, jessamine, compulation, verve, primrose, karanasi, epistle, spiles, consecration, abhors, paraffin, tesserae, sodden, dwarven, loquacious, precipice, hangerook, processional, and gothar.

March:

March as a whole was on another level when it came to reading in general. I managed to complete five books, but I also tried one other book and it was Waylon: Angel and Ruthless Reaper by Theodora Taylor. I did not make it very far with it and I’m pretty sure I did not include any words mentioned in this story. I collected 56 words in all with the others, so a part of me was happy as a clown at this accomplishment!

crug, lain, clowder, centurions, greaves, eldritch, aesir, dour, covart, plait, malcontents, rabble, affright, sheen, pittance, perpendicular, eaves, pommel, dephlane, stalwart, opalsent aloof, salk, seidhr, mirthful, entreat, pennents, somble, vista, thersals, herbcraft, batlements, abate, viste, nettled, sullen, magpielike, spattergroit, transpired, pactiturn, pallor, abussal, skiff, cumbersome, sneer, filligreed, font, spever, pourbiere, grouse, cloudberries, alms, subterfuge, verbena, knattleitir, cloven

PS: Can you tell I read two Viking fiction books or is it just me?

April:

This month I really wanted to finish every book I put in front of myself, but sometimes when I think I’m ready for something else, I end up changing my whole lineup, so with that being said, I attempted to read three romances These Three Words by Alexis Winter, Sexy Filthy Boss by Piper Rayne and Hitching the Cowboy by Kennedy Fox. I’d like to get back with the ones by Alexis and Kennedy because I love how these authors write their characters and couples, but we’ll have to see where in the log they will end up and I’ll definitely write a book review of the Kennedy Fox book as it goes with the bonus post I released over the weekend!

permance, trotting, impertinant, castanets, perambulater, repulsion, roil, Doha, skety, asronyeh, jebnah, ghadoh, adhen, nunu, queer, rapture, gaylingly, heliocentric, counterance, periphery, proviso, rhinophyma, sobriquet, bint, feign, a’arf, ma’amoul, tay’ebeh, khalo, accosts, bedragged, pantomime, caricature, dastardly, smarm, tutelage, chaste, Blomma, trove, frock, minuscule, jester, fawning, hap, debacle, evangelism, entrapped, entendre, omnipresent, sortileges, pedantic, cordinal, gore, woe, croup, prow, lament, sanguinary, revently, morrow, capitally, providence, menagerie, machinations, traipsing, leaflets, liaise, grobing, scantimonious, Veritaserum, simpered, leaves, berks, vying, niffler, lintel,

PS: I read about 18th Century ladies, a Syrian refugee, and Vikings jarls. I traveled a lot in April, thus the many unique words above.


I think I will do like a mid-year review of my progress sometime this summer, because I’d like to compare it with whatever happens in the next six months. I don’t know when I’ll be able to get that one out for you, but I’ll figure out some way though!

How are your reading goals for 2022 going so far? Do you keep a book journal every year to keep track of everything like I am? If you are or have in the past, tell us something about your overall design or what you thought was most important to keep notice of during a single year!

snowflake

Book Review: “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer

Hello!

Since I upped my reading challenge to 30 books, I was making that decision mainly to explore all kinds of stories. If I could, I would make room to read books that have made me curious in the past but fought against it at the time or lost interest either in the beginning or halfway through, and oddly enough Twilight is one of those books. As you might know, one of my favorites: The Vampire Diaries came on the air in 2009, which was less than a year after the first Twilight film came out. I do remember taking a chance and trying to read the book at my school’s library in that time frame but I just couldn’t shake it and ended up shoving it all away.

Mentally, I had Twilight on my to be read list, but it wasn’t until all of the films appeared in order on Showtime that I was like, “okay, I’m doing this! I am reading the books.” and within a few days, I had ordered it right along with my other books on my Kindle. It was the only print book I bought myself for a late Christmas gift and the sheer size intimidated me once again, even my dad thought it was a lot at the time, and was very proud to know that I had finished it too. These 300-400+ paged books have nothing on me anymore!


fa272f7f58a1bf7ca33c64a2cc88dfff

About three things I was absolutely positive.

First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him—and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be—that thirsted for my blood.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

Deeply seductive and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight is a love story with bite.

taken from Goodreads.

The funny part about this whole thing, was my thought after I finished working on the banner above, it was simply, “would anyone be interested in another reading a review of Twilight?” I thought it was hilarious at first, but then it was, like I think I could make this different from others, to make it look like a brand new book. Eh, we’ll see what happens after this post publishes.

There is one more thing I need to point out; I have maybe seen each movie possibly once since they were all out on DVD. So, I was actually able to create what all of the characters, setting and what I was reading in general looked like, and it was so freeing! I’ve never been so proud of myself for doing this, because even though I kept seeing Billy Burk for Charlie, Anna Kendrick for Jessica, and Robert Pattinson for Edward, everyone else was very much of a blur at first but as I got towards the middle of the book, I could see different features for everything and it was interesting to say the least!

I want to say that I was pretty interested at the start, when we are introduced to Bella. It was sort of odd how Edward isn’t able to read her mind but yet we, as the reader, know everything she is thinking when she’s with and without Edward around, and as we continued in the story, I began to see this character in a new light, because I just thought she was too stoic, but learning more about her and how she thinks, was enlightening to me.

“How ghastly it would be, I thought, shuddering, if Charlie had, even the slightest inkling exactly what I did like.”

There are not very many times I will pick out favorite chapters, but I thought Chapters 13 to 16, were some of the most thrilling stories. It also answered a lot of things I remember weren’t really shared in the films. I absolutely loved learning more about Edward, how he became a vampire and what kind of circumstances were present when Carlisle gave him new life. My respect for Carlisle went over the roof as Bella was introduced to the story of how he was created and why he became a doctor in the first place. As I was reading these four chapters, I was allowing myself to slow my pace, because I have always been curious to learn more about the rest of the Cullens.

Once I got to Chapter 17, which is called “The Hunt” everything kind of changed and there was really no stopping in between because the events taking place are quick and you are automatically reading it as fast you can or at least, that’s what to me. Unfortunately, I had to stop just before I hit the epilogue, because my mom wanted to go to bed and it irked me so much to stop that I couldn’t get her out of my room fast enough; once she left though, I resumed my position and finished the book all in about four hours!

Now that I am done reading, I kind of want to restrain myself from actually watching the films and finishing the book series, in case, there is information featured that I might want to know beforehand. Of course, I’ve been waiting to watch the fist one for like two months and I don’t know when I’ll be able to receive the next book yet.

Have you read the Twilight series or maybe just one of the books by Stephenie Meyer? Do you remember if you had a favorite chapter(s) in that first book? Which couple do you ship?

Book Review: “Always and Forever, Lara Jean” by Jenny Han

Hello!

It is time for the final book review of Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series. I cannot believe I finished all of them! I’m still wrestling with all of the emotions I had while reading this series, especially this book, because it is the last piece of a very complex puzzle for me.

After I finished reading P.S. I Still Love You a few months ago, I thought I would give myself a chance to recover before jumping into the next book, but I didn’t. Everything that I loved about that book, made me want to continue down the road to Lara Jean’s love story. So, the day the review was published on here, I begin reading Always and Forever, Lara Jean and now I get to talk to you about everything I loved about it too!

WARNING: There are some spoilers below, so continue at your own risk!


35247769._SY475_Lara Jean is having the best senior year.

And there’s still so much to look forward to: a class trip to New York City, prom with her boyfriend Peter, Beach Week after graduation, and her dad’s wedding to Ms. Rothschild. Then she’ll be off to college with Peter, at a school close enough for her to come home and bake chocolate chip cookies on the weekends.

Life couldn’t be more perfect!

At least, that’s what Lara Jean thinks . . . until she gets some unexpected news.

Now the girl who dreads change must rethink all her plans—but when your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

taken from Goodreads.


When the story starts, you quickly realize we basically skip a year; as if by magic we end up starting Lara Jean’s senior year. I thought this concept was interesting considering the fact that I am celebrating 10 year of becoming a high school graduate, so a good chunk of the material about everyone trying to figure out what they were going to do after school was interesting because it brought back almost everything I was feeling when I was in my last year of high school as well.

There were a lot of things that made me rethink about my own early adult life, but even though I really tried (and also failed) to look past my own experiences during this important time of any young girl’s life, it was also nice to see how everything played out for both Lara Jean and Peter’s love story. Now with that being said, there was also some things I wasn’t a big fan of in this book. The most important was Stormy’s death. To say I was a wreck for a couple of days is a bit of an understatement, because this was a character I absolutely adored, probably because she reminded me of my nana in just her personality alone, so to see that part of Lara Jean’s story kind of left out at such an important time in her life really sucked!

Another element that “bothered” me was Peter’s attitude towards the end. Even though we have seen Peter have sensitive moments in the past, I really didn’t like the fact that he pushed the idea of them going to the same college after attending a year at other campuses. I know Lara Jean wanted to go to UVA as much as Peter, but as she has been really supportive towards him in the things he’s done throughout their relationship, he wasn’t truly there for her to make a big decision on the next phase of her life.

Once I realized in my mind that this was starting to remind me of when my sister began a long distance relationship with her boyfriend, I just got it into my head that they should break up. My sister kept fighting for a love that obviously didn’t care as much for her as she did for him, and I became very afraid for Lara Jean. I didn’t want her to experience that kind of pain, so in a way I turned into Margot–who I’ve never been a huge fan of throughout the series–and I started to agree with her mom’s advice to Margot about not having a boyfriend before entering college when she left for St. Andrews two years prior.

Even though I was on the fence about that situation, I did choose to think happy thoughts about how they were going to attempt to make it work and I actually really enjoyed how it ended. A part of me is really glad we don’t get to know what happens next for Lara Jean and Peter, and all of the other beloved characters like Chris, Kitty, and Lucas! The last sentence was so perfect and very Lara Jeanesqe as it gave me back a little snippet of what initially got me to this series in the first place!

This series has meant a lot for me! I brought me back to some memorable moments in my life, and in a way let me see what could have been had other things worked out. Later on, it felt like fate that I was reintroduced to this story, because now I can say I have completed a whole book series! I have never done that before in my life and so, this series has created its own little section in my heart for two but equally gratifying reasons!

Fun fact: I found that Romeo & Juliet film on our movies channels last month and I have had quite a bit of chocolate chip cookies. So, I thought since I’m done reading the series, I could pull a “date” night with just myself enjoying the two together with Lara Jean Song Covey and Peter Kavinsky deep in my heart. ❤

Have you finished this book? If you are watching the film series on Netflix, what are you hoping they include that wasn’t mentioned in the end? Last but not least, how are you doing on your 2020 reading challenge?

snowflake

Book Review: “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard

22328546

Hey guys,

Okay, so as you can see I have read and finished a book this year! My first book of 2016! That..honestly doesn’t sound so exciting, but for me, it is! I didn’t (nor did my mom) think that I would go back to reading books. I say it a lot, but I need to start reading again. I really do! Coloring and reading keeps me away from my laptop and makes me take a break for an hour! And I think we all need those moments!

I’m a bit off subject, am I? Sorry about that!!

I found this book a few weeks ago, at the start of the month. It was at Walmart at a reduced price of $9.34; the original was $10.99. I knew it was on my TBR list, but I didn’t think I’d actually purchase a book. I should have grabbed the second while I had the chance! It’s okay though, I’m borrowing my cousin’s Harry Potter books at the moment!

I think I should come out and say, I’ve never read a book or series where the girl is the hero. I’ve only watched the movies where it’s like that! I know, I’m bad! I was a bit worried if I would like that or not, but from the time I started reading I kind of got sucked into it.

The story is of Mare Barrow who is a Red. She lives in a small village called the Slilts with other Reds like her and Silvers. Mare lives with her family, mother and father and younger Gisa who works in the square and three brothers, all fighting in the war.

Mare has one friend named Kilorn and he has a sticky situation. His master has died and now he has no job and is being the next to send off to war, but she has the idea of being smuggled out of the village by another friend Will, who is a local merchant. In the mist of finding a way out, she meets Farley, an important figure of The Scarlet Guard, a rebellious group of Reds fighting for equality from the royal and noble Silvers. In their escape plan to work, things go absolutely wrong and Mare runs away to the river and meets a strange, but warm person who she tries to pickpocket before heading home. Instead of yelling “thief” for everyone to hear, he learns more about her, but she only learns of his name Cal.

Everything is divided by their blood. She has red blood whereas others have silver-metallic blood. That’s not all that makes them special, they have “powers” different abilities like the controlling of elements: fire, water, and some of them can do things to you with their mind.

The land is ruled by a Silver king, Calore Tiberas, who has the power of fire. He’s wife Elara, is a whisper, she can go inside your mind and tell you do things against your will. He has two sons, Calore is his oldest and heir from his first first wife Queen Coriane, who was a singer. They can sing their way into making things happen. Youngest is Maven, who is the son of Elara and also shares his father and older brother’s power of pyro. The king is holding the Queenistral, which is for the nobles to offer up their daughters to the boys. Evangeline is the biggest candidate to be chosen and gets a chance to show off her powers in front of everyone and in the mist, something special happens to the least expected person there: Mare.

This is a good sci-fi, royalty book. I think it has the essences of Game Of Thrones, The Hunger Games and a bit of X-Men too. Trust me, once you start it, I’ll want to find out everything that happens! Everytime I thought would happen, didn’t and I loved that! I was always second guessing myself and I felt Mare was like that too, especially towards the end. I’m still reeling about the damn ending! Ugh!

Have you read Victoria Aveyard’s debut yet? If you have, what were your thoughts about it?

snowflake

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Bloglovin