February is over which means that my Romance Reading month has concluded. I had four books and one romance graphic novel on my TBR. I ended up reading the graphic novel plus two of the books. It wasn’t a bad reading month, but I was expecting to do better. Some of the books I was reading took a little bit longer and I was out of town for one weekend in February which didn’t help. Here is everything I read last month.
All The Feels – Finished
All The Feels was a little bit of a letdown. Lauren was a character that I was looking forward to reading about, but she was kind of boring. She’s an ER therapist, yet there’s nothing else memorable about her. She doesn’t have any hobbies or interests outside of her job. I find it hard to believe there wasn’t something that could have been added to make her character more interesting. In contrast to Spoiler Alert, the first book in the series, April was a geologist who was so cool to read about! Besides Lauren, I liked everything else in the book. I rated All The Feels three stars on Goodreads.
Well Played – Finished
Well Played is one of the lowest-rated books in the Well Met book series. Part of the reason for this is because of the “catfishing” that’s centered on romance. Stacey reached out to an old fling and later finds out that she was talking to his cousin and not to him. I didn’t personally have a problem with this because Daniel, the man Stacey was actually communicating with, was apologetic and realized that what he did was wrong. I think what was more concerning to me was what their “fight” was about. Once that happened, I felt more animosity toward Stacey and Daniel as a couple.
I liked Well Played because I love the Renaissance Fest being the backdrop for the story. I think I will avoid catfishing in romance books going forward. I rated Well Played four stars on Goodreads.
The Love Con – Currently Reading
I’m currently reading The Love Con as I wasn’t able to finish it by the end of February. I’m loving it so far. It’s basically a “friends to lovers” romance with the backdrop of a Project Runway Cosplay reality TV show. I’m planning on finishing The Love Con sometime this month.
Book Lovers – Didn’t Read
I didn’t get a chance to read Book Lovers which is completely fine by me. This book would be perfect to read in the summer.
Lore Olympus Vol #1 – Finished
Lore Olympus is so good. I love that there are physical trade paperbacks now and I think I prefer reading Lore Olympus this way versus on an app. I rated Lore Olympus five stars on Goodreads.
As far as what’s next, I plan on finishing The Love Con by the end of the month. March will be a much busier month for me since I will be attending two conventions out of state. I’m not sure how much reading I will get done, but it’s a nice break to be able to read whatever I’m in the mood for versus doing a full reading challenge. My next reading challenge will be Star Wars books in May which I always look forward to.
In 2021, I started to prioritize reading romance books in February. I noticed that when I set aside months out of the year as a theme of what to read, I end up reading more. I love saving my romance books for February because it gives me something to look forward to during winter. My romance “to be read” (TBR) pile is ambitious because I have a lot to read. I wanted to share my Romance TBR along with keeping myself on track for next month.
All The Feels by Olivia Dade
Alexander Woodroe is an actor on one of the most popular TV shows, God of the Gates. After it’s released to the tabloids that he got into a bar fight, his future on the show is uncertain. Lauren Clegg is an ER therapist that’s assigned to keep Alexander on track after his previous bad behavior. As they spend time together, they start to fall for each other and Lauren has to decide if dating Alexander is worth it, especially with being an actor and being followed by paparazzi.
I read the first book in this series, Spoiler Alert, a few years ago and I remember liking it. I like the “God of the Gates” show being the background to the series. It’s refreshing to read a romance book with a protagonist that doesn’t have the stereotypical body type. For example, I read Ali Hazelwood’s books and all her characters are skinny women, so it’s nice to read something different.
Well Played by Jen DeLuca
Stacey has been working at the local Renaissance Faire for several years and finds herself wanting more. She has her eyes on Dex MacLean, a performer in the group “The Dueling Kilts”. Throughout the past year, Stacey thinks she has been sending messages to Dex, but maybe it’s actually someone else. Stacey may not be looking for love, but it might catch up to her anyway.
This is the second book in the “Willow Creek Renaissance Faire” book series. I read Well Met last year and I loved it! I read reviews of Well Played and a lot of readers didn’t like the catfishing part of the story. I’m not sure how I will feel about that, but I still want to read this book as the other books that come after Well Played are highly rated.
The Love Con by Seressia Glass
Kenya Davenport is a gamer, cosplayer, and Anime fan. She has always wanted to turn her passions into a full career. She auditions and joins the cast of a reality TV show called Cosplay or No Way which will test her cosplay skills. There’s a specific challenge on the show where Kenya enlists her friend, Cameron Lassiter to help assist her. While Kenya and Cameron are good friends, they end up pretending to date on the show. Will Kenya’s feelings for Cameron become a reality even if it means that their friendship will be forever changed?
I had no idea that this book existed until I saw it on a shelf at Barnes & Noble. As a cosplayer, I love the idea of a Project Runway meets cosplay romance book. This book I believe is a “friend to lovers” type of romance which I like to read.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Nora Stephens is a successful literary agent who thrives in the publishing industry. She’s convinced by her sister, Libby, to travel to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina to get away for a little bit. As Nora explores the area, she runs into Charlie Lastra, an editor that Nora isn’t a big fan of. Nora has a carefully constructed view of herself and maybe Charlie is the perfect person to break down the wall that she’s built.
Everyone has raved about Emily Henry’s books and I haven’t read a single one. I added this one to my list because I want to see what all the hype is about. I love the setting of this book as it takes place in North Carolina which is such a beautiful part of the US.
Lore Olympus Volume #1 by Rachel Smythe
Lore Olympus is a graphic novel centered around the Greek Gods interacting with each other. Most of the story is centered on Persephone and her budding romance with Hades. Lore Olympus was a Webtoon comic that I started reading and ended up falling behind on. Once I realized that there would be graphic novels being released, I decided to hold off getting caught up on Webtoon and instead buy the graphic novels. One of the best things about Lore Olympus is the art. The art is gorgeous and I love the contrast between Persephone’s bright pink versus Hades and the dark blue Underworld that he calls home.
I’m excited to start reading romance this month! I look forward to it every year. Once the month of February is over, I’ll write a recap post that will feature all the reviews for the books I read and whether I read everything on my list. I’ll have that post written and published in the first few days of March.
Legends & Lattes was one of the most hyped books that I had on my TBR. Every person who read this book described it as if Animal Crossing met Dungeons & Dragons. This sounds right up my alley. I received my copy of Legends & Lattes for Christmas this year and was saving it for January, so there was something I could look forward to in my least favorite months of the year. Legends & Lattes didn’t disappoint, it was the coziest Fantasy book I have ever read.
Viv is finished with her adventuring days. After collecting bounties, she wants to retire to a more peaceful career; building and maintaining a coffee shop. She hires several citizens from Thune who provide their different talents and areas of expertise to grow the business. Although Viv wants to retire, her old adventuring crew won’t let her go that easy.
It should be no surprise that I loved Legends & Lattes. I loved Viv. She’s an orc, so she gives off an intimidating presence no matter where she goes. Once Viv opens this coffee shop, she seems to let down her guard and helps create an open atmosphere in Thune. I liked learning about all the regulars who come to the shop. There’s Pendry, the bard who plays music. Hemington, the college student. Amity is a dire-cat who sleeps in the shop and acts as a protector of sorts. Besides the customers, there’s Tandri, Cal, and Thimble who all play a role in building Legends & Lattes. Each of the characters fit into the story and was easy to keep track of.
While I liked Legends & Lattes, it felt like there wasn’t a driving plot. Each chapter was about Viv expanding her shop, learning a new beverage, or Thimble creating a new recipe. There was conflict throughout the later half of the book, but it sometimes felt a little slow. I think I was hoping for a perfect blend of a coffee shop cozy atmosphere and a driven plot throughout the book.
Legends & Lattes would be a perfect book recommendation for those who are wanting to get into reading Fantasy but don’t want something complex. I loved the scenery throughout the book and can’t wait to see if Travis Baldree will expand on this in any future books.
Last year, I wrote about my “Pop Culture New Year’s Resolutions” and I wanted to repeat that for 2023. I’m not a big New Year’s Resolutions person, to begin with, but I like the concept of making goals that are centered around my hobbies, interests, and fandoms. I’ll start by summarizing my resolutions from 2022 before ending with my new resolutions in 2023.
2022 New Year’s Resolutions
Watch at least 3 different Anime Series (EOY) – I read two different mangas but didn’t end up watching much anime.
Start Watching Mighty Nein, Critical Role’s second campaign – I’m so close to being done with Vox Machina but didn’t make it in time to begin Mighty Nein in 2022
Attend an Out of State Convention I Have Never Been to Before – This one didn’t happen either. I go back and forth on this goal and I’ll explain in a little bit why that is.
Play and Complete 4 Different PS4 or Console Games – Completed! I think I will carry this one into 2023.
Play through Marvel’s Spider-Man on a Tougher Difficulty – I decided halfway through the year that I wanted to move this to 2023 since Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is coming out this Fall.
I wanted to break down a few of these resolutions I had. The first resolution came from wanting to use my Funimation subscription. It takes me a long time to watch TV shows and I found it a lot easier to read manga than watch anime. I ended up canceling my Funimation subscription halfway through the year since I wasn’t utilizing it. In the future, I think I will stick to reading manga as I find that’s a lot more doable for me.
For Critical Role, I decided that I didn’t want to rush through Vox Machina because I wanted to fully enjoy it. I’m currently on episode #111, so I’m close to fully finishing the series (there are 115 episodes total). After I finish them all, I want to watch the Amazon Prime series The Legends of Vox Machina along with the one-shots associated. Once that’s completed then I will start watching Mighty Nein.
Regarding the “Attend an Out of State Convention” I mentioned how I go back and forth on this. While I think it would be fun to attend a convention in a state that I have never been to before, attending a convention would take up a full travel day. This could be a day that I could explore or hike and I’m not sure if attending a convention would be worth it to miss out on being a tourist in a new city. This might be a resolution I will put on hold for now and focus on attending local conventions instead.
As far as my video game resolutions, I do want to carry these over into 2023 as gaming is a hobby of mine that I don’t want to lose.
With all of that being said, here are my resolutions for 2023:
Start Watching Mighty Nein
Read 100 Books, Comics, Graphic Novels, etc.
Play 4 Different PS4 or Console Games
Play Through Marvel’s Spider-Man on a Tougher Difficulty
Rewatch Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor Who Series + Tennant’s Series by End of the Year
Happy New Year! If you have specific pop culture resolutions, I’d love to hear your resolutions in the comments.
Happy New Year! 2022 was a jam-packed year full of various trips, weddings, and surprises. As I reflect on all the memories made in 2022, I can safely say that 2022 was a great year.
Movies I Watched:
Doctor Strange Multiverse of Madness
Top Gun Maverick
If there was a film that would be “the movie” of 2022, it would easily be Top Gun Maverick. I went to see Top Gun twice in theaters. My mom saw Top Gun 6 times in theaters. Top Gun was pivotal as it made going to see a movie in theaters so fun especially after the lull of the pandemic. I wouldn’t be surprised if I rewatched Top Gun in 2023 as my husband hasn’t seen it yet.
Besides Top Gun, I loved The Batman. Robert Pattinson knocked it out of the park and I liked how this movie felt like a “Detective Batman” adaptation.
TV Shows I Watched:
I think if I had to choose my favorite TV show that I watched this year, I think it would be Moon Knight. Moon Knight was grittier and I loved Layla El-Faouly (played by May Calamawy) as Scarlet Scarab. I’d love to see her pop up in other Marvel adaptations. Besides Moon Knight, I liked Peacemaker a lot which is interesting because Peacemaker was one of my least favorite characters in The Suicide Squad movie. I think Vigilante (played by Freddie Stroma) stole the show with his dark humor and one-liners.
One surprise for me was how much I enjoyed Bridgerton. I’m not normally a big Victorian-era TV show person, but I found myself truly invested in the show. I’m looking forward to Penelope’s (played by Nicola Coughlan) season even though I’m not a fan of Penelope and Colin together because he seems toxic.
The last show I wanted to mention was Dopesick. Dopesick was a Hulu miniseries that focused on the Opioid epidemic. The acting in this is superb and finishing the show left me frustrated since the Purdue family will more than likely not face repercussions for what they started.
Video Games I Played:
Nancy Drew Secrets of the Old Clock
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
LEGO The Skywalker Saga
Disney’s Dreamlight Valley
Hidden Through Time DLC
LEGO DC Supervillains
Nancy Drew: The Final Scene
My favorite game of 2022 was The Quarry. I like Supermassive’s games because they have just enough horror and jump scares where I can play them without having to cover my eyes too much. I played The Quarry Halloween weekend with the lights off and it was perfect.
I didn’t play as many Steam games this year as I did in previous years, but I want to get that going again. With the Steam sale, I plan on picking up a few games on my wishlist. I have a few Nancy Drew games still left to play.
I played a lot of Overwatch 2 which I have to admit, I was expecting more from the game. I’m trying to play new characters as I usually always play as either Zarya or D.Va. I recently discovered Brigitte and she might be my new go-to character.
Gaming in 2022:
Taught my mom how to play Exploding Kittens
Curse of Strahd campaign
Adventurer’s League with Zehiri
Doctor Who Fluxx
Star Wars Villainous
Hunt a Killer – Motel
One highlight in 2022 was playing Curse of Strahd every other Thursday. Our campaign is still ongoing since we haven’t gone after Strahd yet. It’s been fun to meet new people and see my character shine. If this campaign wraps, I will be joining another new campaign. Besides Curse of Strahd, I am still playing in Adventurer’s League sessions. I usually play in a session every few months due to monthly obligations. I am planning on playing in a session later this month.
If I had to pick, I think Star Wars Villainous was my favorite new game I played in 2022. I love Star Wars board games to begin with and I liked how easy this was to learn.
Graphic Novels / Comics I Read This Year:
Moon Knight Vol #1 – Jed Mackay
Star Wars Doctor Aphra Vol #1 – Alyssa Wong
The Weatherman Vol #1 – Jody LeHeup
Star Wars Doctor Aphra Vol #2 – Alyssa Wong
Star Wars Doctor Aphra Vol #3 – Alyssa Wong
Peacemaker – Garth Ennis
Teen Titans Beast Boy – Kami Garcia & Gabriel Picolo
Hawkeye Issues #1 – #3 – Marieke Nijkamp
Vampire Emmy & Garbage Girl – Pat Shand
The Last Session #1 – Jasmine Walls
The Death of Doctor Strange Blade – Danny Lore
Birds of Prey Manhunt – Chuck Dixon
Plume Vol #1 – K Lynn Smith
Batman Year One – Frank Miller
Daredevil Woman Without Fear Issues #1 & #2 – Chip Zdarsky
Batman Killing Time #1 & #2 Tom King
Critical Role Vox Machina III #1 – #5 – Jody Houser
Aquamen #1 – Chuck Brown
World of Darkness: Crimson Thaw #1 – #3 – Danny Lore
Ms. Marvel #1 – #5 – Samira Ahmed
She-Hulk #1 – #7 – Rainbow Rowell
Manhattan Projects Vol #3 – Jonathan Hickman
Star Wars Princess Leia Vol #1 – Mark Waid
Star Wars Obi-Wan #1 – Christopher Cantwell
Star Wars Poe Dameron Vol #2 – #4 – Charles Soule
Han Solo & Chewbacca #1 – #5 – Marc Guggenheim
I Am Not Starfire – Mariko Tamaki
Star Wars Crimson Reign #1 , #2 & #4 – Charles Soule
DC Pride 2022
March Book #1 – John Lewis
Miskatonic High #1 – Mike Shea
Ice Cream Man Vol #1 – W. Maxwell Prince
Bettie Page #1 – #4 – Ani-Mia
For Goodness Sake Vol #3 – K Lynn Smith
Preacher Vol #1 Garth Ennis
Star Wars The High Republic Vol #1 – Daniel Jose Older
Stake #1 – David Byrne
Captain Carter #2 – #4 – Jamie McKelvie
Constantine – Kami Garcia
Delicious in Dungeon Vol #1 – Ryoko Kui
The Ridler #1 Paul Dano
Deadpool #1 – Alyssa Wong
Blade Vampire Nation #1 – Mark Russell
Ms. Marvel & Venom #1 – Jody Houser
Batgirls #1 2022 Annual – Becky Cloonan
Teen Titans Beast Boy Loves Raven – Kami Garcia
Nightmare of the Living Cat – Hawkman
It took me a long time to fully type out this list. When I skim through the list, there are a few comics that stand out to me. I started reading Moon Knight in anticipation of the show. I’m seeing some repetitions such as Alyssa Wong as they wrote Doctor Aphra and Deadpool along with Kami Garcia’s YA DC graphic novels. My favorite new series that I read was The Last Session which is about college friends getting together to finish their DnD campaign. Other memorable series include Captain Carter, Plume, She-Hulk, and Nightmare of the Living Cat.
I split my time between working from home and working in the office. When I work in the office, I listen to podcasts. The two podcasts that I discovered this year have kept me entertained throughout the workday. Three Black Halflings is a podcast that focuses on diversity within role-playing games. Force Toast is a Star Wars podcast that I listen to. It’s one of the few podcasts that I have found that focuses on Star Wars books and comics.
Catchiest Song in 2022:
I was looking through my Top Songs in 2022 playlist on Spotify and I know for a fact that I listened to I Ain’t Worried by OneRepublic so many times throughout the year. It’s so catchy.
Conventions I Attended in 2022:
The only convention I attended this year was Twin Cities Con in November. I hope to attend more conventions in 2023.
2022 was a great reading year for me. I read a total of 104 books, single-issue comics, graphic novels, and manga. 104!? I can’t believe I hit the triple digits. Since I started tracking my reading on Goodreads, I have gotten into a good rhythm in making time to read along with figuring out the types of books and genres that interest me the most. Every year, I participate in Perpetual Page Turner‘s End of Year Book Survey. It’s one of the most detailed book surveys that I have found. I always look forward to writing each post as it helps me review the books I read and pick the books that stood out to me the most.
**2022 Reading Stats**
Number of Books Read: 104
Number of Re-Reads: 2. I re-read Columbine by Dave Cullen and Dracula by Bram Stoker. I read both of these books in high school, so it was time for a re-read. I typically re-read books when either it’s been at least five years since I originally read the book or if I pick up the book from my shelf and I don’t fully remember the plot of the book.
Genre You Read the Most From: Doing a quick scan through my Goodreads, I felt that I read more Fantasy and Non-Fiction this year.
1. Best Book in 2022
I read a lot of good books this year. As I scanned through my list, I had at least five books that I rated five stars throughout the year. I had to ponder on this one for a while, but in the end, I chose The Guest List by Lucy Foley. The Guest List is a wedding thriller where the guests travel to an island off the coast of Ireland. The groom is found murdered and secrets are revealed leading up to his demise. I liked the build-up, the setting, and reading how everything was so interconnected. The Guest List kept me invested throughout and reminded me why mysteries and thrillers are one of my favorite genres to read.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
One To Watch by Kate Stayman-London had such a good premise. It was a romance centered on Bea, a plus-size woman going on a Bachelorette show to find love. I didn’t buy into the end romance and there was a cheating side plot which I wasn’t a big fan of. There was also a side plot where one of the producers slept with a contestant on the show which I found completely unprofessional. I wanted to like this, but I felt the book went in a completely different direction than what I was looking for.
3. Favorite New Author You Discovered in 2022?
Ashley Winstead who wrote In My Dreams I Hold A Knife is an author on my radar. This book was so good. In My Dreams, I Hold A Knife centered on a group of college friends who met up at a college reunion. They are confronted with their past as one of their friends was murdered during their tenure at their university. Ashley Winstead did write a book this year titled The Last Housewife which is centered around a cult. I didn’t read it this year because I didn’t see a paperback copy and I’m not a fan of hardcover. I could see myself picking up The Last Housewife sometime next year.
4. Favorite Cover Of A Book You Read in 2022?
The Lost Apothecary was a book I purchased late last year solely on the cover alone. Out of all the books, I read this year, this cover is gorgeous.
5. Most Thought-Provoking Book / Life-Changing Book of 2022
I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy was a heartbreaking book to read. I grew up with the Nickelodeon shows and I remember watching iCarly when it aired. It came as a shock to me to read this book and hear what Jennette endured from her mom. I couldn’t imagine my mom forcing me into acting at a young age. There were a lot of graphic descriptions in this coming from Jennette especially when she detailed her eating disorder. Child actors have to endure so much at a young age and I think this helped add on to the need to protect child actors and change the industry altogether.
6. OTP (One True Pairing) Of The Year
Vivienne and Rhys in The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling are my OTP. They belonged together.
7. Newest Fictional Crush From A Book You Read in 2022?
The first person I thought of was Simon from Well Met by Jen DeLuca. Simon’s family runs this Renaissance Faire every year and is running around the Faire in costume. Simon seems so sweet, and a little nerdy which makes him easy to have a crush on.
8. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read?
The Killing Code by Ellie Marney was another great book that I read this year. It was fun to read about the code breakers and learn more about this particular time in history. I’m not usually a big historical fiction type of reader, but this was an exception.
9. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby is the book that sat with me long after I finished reading it. The book centers on two dads who find out that their sons were murdered. Their sons had been in a relationship together which neither of them supported because of their beliefs on homosexuality. The dads team up to find out who killed their sons and get revenge. I think what hurt the most for me was these dads couldn’t accept their sons when they were alive and ended up completely changing their views by the end of the book. It sucks that it happened after their sons died. This book reminded me that this type of environment and hatred is still alive in certain parts of the US.
1. Favorite Post You Wrote in 2022?
My favorite book-related post was Writing Tropes That Aren’t For Me. I wrote this post in July as I was contemplating different books I read and why I liked or disliked reading them. It helped me recognize some tropes that I see pop up in books and my feelings towards those tropes when I came across them.
2. Best Moment of Bookish/Blogging Life in 2022?
I think the moments that I keep coming back to are all the books I picked up while traveling. I stopped in several bookstores and museum gift shops. I have several non-fiction books on my TBR that I hope to read in 2023. I love purchasing books as souvenirs. It helps me learn about other areas outside of where I live along with parts of history that I haven’t read about in a while.
3. Did You Complete Any Reading Challenges Or Goals That You Had Set For Yourself At The Beginning Of The Year?
I don’t necessarily set reading goals, however, I’m still in awe that I made it past 100 books. This is the most I have ever read and I’m so proud of myself for making the time to read.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2022 But Will Be Your Number #1 Priority In 2023?
Honestly, I ended up reading everything that I wanted to this year. My in-laws bought me a few books for Christmas that I plan on reading in January which will be a good way to start off the year. I may write a post about my post-Christmas TBR, so I can share all the books I received on Christmas.
2. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish In Your Reading / Blogging Life in 2023?
The only goal that I would have is to read 100 books in 2023. I’m impressed that I was able to get there this year, so I want to see if I can do it again next year.
Happy Reading! Let me know in the comments what your favorite book was that you read this year.
I’m finally out of my reading slump! I have been slowly finishing the multiple books I have started. As my reading habits have changed, I realized I can’t read numerous books at once. It ends up slowing me down. If I end up not liking a book or not getting into the book right away, I need to be better at putting it away and reading something else. With that being said, I credit Wolf Gone Wild as one of the books that helped me move out of my slump. Wolf Gone Wild is a fantasy romance centered on a witch trying to break a hex placed on a stubborn werewolf.
Evie Savoie is a hex breaker. Evie is one of the older sisters in her witch’s coven. Based in New Orleans, Evie and her family run a variety of businesses including a storefront and a bar. During a shift, she’s sought out by Mateo Cruz, a werewolf who’s been unable to change into his wolf and it’s causing him stress. Mateo has to constantly fight off his wolf persona on a daily basis which is interfering with his art commissions. Evie agrees to help Mateo which leads to them getting closer along with uncovering the mystery of who placed the hex on Mateo.
While Wolf Gone Wild is technically a romance, I felt that there were enough fantasy world-building elements within the story. Wolf Gone Wild introduces Evie’s family, along with how each of Evie’s sisters has a different specialty in their magical abilities. I liked that while the romance takes the center of the story, there were so many other interesting aspects that kept my attention throughout the book.
As far as the characters themselves, I liked Evie. She’s independent, she doesn’t take any bullshit from anyone and she has her own hobbies that keep her busy. She’s a comic fan and it’s shown through several scenes that she’s trying to make her own comic. I thought Mateo was an interesting character too, but I felt I didn’t know as much about him as I did with Evie.
While I liked reading Wolf Gone Wild, there were two things that I wasn’t a huge fan of personally. First, I felt this book was too long. I found myself reading a chapter and then not picking the book back up for another week. I’m not sure why because I love spooky books and stories featuring witches and witchcraft. Eventually, I set aside part of my weekend to fully finish Wolf Gone Wild which I’m glad I did, otherwise, I think I would still be reading through this slowly, but surely. Finally, there was a scene or two that had non-consent / pushing boundaries of consent. For some, they may find this to be hot, but that’s not for me. I ended up skimming this portion and I didn’t let it ruin the book for me.
I liked Wolf Gone Wild. It wasn’t my favorite book this year, but I’m glad I read it. I think Wolf Gone Wild sets up the series as the future romance books star Evie’s siblings. I want to read Jules’s story as she is the oldest sister and it’s hinted that she has a fling with a vampire. I rated Wolf Gone Wild four stars on Goodreads.
I have been in a little bit of a reading slump. I tried to read too many things at once which dragged me down. I’m getting through it slowly, but surely. While my reading has been a hit or a miss, I have been reading a lot of single-issue comics lately. I wanted to talk through a few series that I have loved reading this year.
Captain Carter – McKelvie, Cresta, and Arciniega
Captain Carter exists in a world where Peggy wakes up after being frozen instead of Steve. As she reenters the world, she works with S.T.R.I.K.E in Westminister, London. Peggy has been working on preventing potential terrorist attacks plotted by Hydra. As Peggy gets more involved, she realizes that there might be a double agent working amongst her team.
The best way to describe this Captain Carter comic series is if Captain America: The Winter Soldier starred Peggy instead of Steve. This feels like a James Bond or Bourne Identity comic series and I love it. Each issue is action-packed and there are several guest appearances by other Marvel heroes. Captain Carter is a limited five-issue series which I hope could be a full series later on because I loved it.
She-Hulk – Rowell, Maresca, and Renzi
She-Hulk left the Avengers and is starting over as an attorney in New York. She reunites with Jack of Hearts who she believed to be killed in a previous Avengers mission. Jack of Hearts doesn’t remember much and She-Hulk is committed to helping him figure out what happened to him along with getting his life back on track.
Reading the She-Hulk series, it feels like a continuation of the show. Rainbow Rowell does a great job at making Jen relatable to any young working professional. The covers of each issue are done by Jen Bartel and they are beautifully done. This series alone is worth buying to collect the covers. I would say if you weren’t a fan of the show, you may not like this series.
Bettie Page – Ani-Mia, Celor, Nurmalia, Mangual, and Idelson. Covers by Linsner, Burns, Roux, and Ani-Mia Cosplay.
Bettie Page is a pinup model who stars in her own comic series. Bettie is an academic and archeologist of sorts and she teams up with Sofia and Young-Ja to travel the world and find clues as to the locations of hidden artifacts.
This series is so fun to read about. I liked reading about Bettie and all the locations she travels to. She can hold her own when things get a little dicey. The story is simple and easy to understand. I don’t read a lot of comics from Dynamite, but now Bettie Page is a series I am keeping tabs on.
I always read a lot of comics throughout the year and it helps that I try to visit my local comic book store every other week. Let me know what comics you’re reading in the comments down below.
I read The Killing Code by Ellie Marney a week or two ago and I’m still thinking about this book. I am not usually drawn to historical fiction or romance, but the premise of this book drew me in. The Killing Code focuses on the women who helped break coded phrases and messages during WWII. Combining this premise with a murder mystery and I knew I had to bump this up to the top of my reading list. The Killing Code is a wonderfully written, historical thriller that focuses on the women who helped the war effort.
Kit Sutherland is a code breaker working at Arlington Hall, helping to break codes from enemy lines. While Kit works for the war effort, she uncovers a string of murders that seem to be targeting girls who work for the government. Kit teams up with her supervisor Moya Kershaw, Dottie Crawford, and Violet DuLac to review the evidence and find out who’s behind the murders.
I loved everything about this book! I loved the setting in Virginia and how they work in the same compound near Washington DC. I liked how in each chapter of The Killing Code there were quotes from actual codebreakers in the war. I thought it added to the aesthetic and setting of the book.
As far as the characters, I thought Kit’s backstory was really interesting and I liked how it tied into the reveal of the killer. I can’t go into it in detail without spoiling the book. Kit and Moya develop a romantic relationship throughout the book and I adored them together! They have very different personalities, but I thought they complimented each other. Dottie has personal attachments to the case as she knew one of the girls who was killed. Finally, there’s Violet who faces racial discrimination throughout the book along with contemplating whether she wants to submit her college application. Each of the characters had their own journey which I thought helped define them and made them memorable.
Once I started The Killing Code, it didn’t take me long to finish the book. I looked forward to completing my day, so I could get back to reading the book. While I think this book was written as a one-off, it would be interesting to see a sequel. It could focus on a different portion of history and where everyone went after the war ended. The Killing Code was so good and I will be on the lookout for Ellie Marney’s other books. I rated The Killing Code five stars on Goodreads.
I picked up Go Hex Yourself by Jessica Clare back in April at Independent Bookstore Day earlier this year. I originally was planning on reading this book in the month of October, but I ended up reading it earlier than I anticipated. Go Hex Yourself was a fun, spooky read, but I couldn’t help to want more from the story.
Reggie Johnson is in need of a job. She applies for a job in the paper and in her eyes, she thought it was a position working for her favorite card game “Spellcraft: The Magicking” Instead, Reggie uncovers that she ended up applying to be a witch’s familiar. Reggie decides to take the job and is quickly introduced to Ben Magnus, who is the cousin of the witch Reggie is working for. Ben tries to put distance between himself and Reggie, but ultimately, a situation arises where Reggie and Ben are forced to work together to break a curse that was set upon someone close to them.
I adored the setting of Go Hex Yourself. It was hinted that this book takes place somewhere outside of Boston. I thought this worked well with the story as I kept picturing brick roads, gothic houses, and trees with changing leaves. Reggie ends up staying at this mansion while she works and it’s described in detail what a witch’s laboratory looks like and all these vials for potion making. I thought it helped me click with the story more as I could truly picture this environment that Reggie is working under.
As far as the romance was concerned, I didn’t love Reggie and Ben together. It’s been hinted that this book is a “Reylo” book. For those who are unfamiliar, “Reylo” are a group of fans who believe that Kylo Ren and Rey from the Star Wars movies should be a romantic pairing. Ben is described as moody, having darker hair and overall looking quite similar to Adam Driver while Reggie has long brown hair, she’s quiet at certain times, and she comes from a rough background. I’m not a “Reylo” fan personally and I think that had to do with the romance and how it played out. I felt at times that Reggie and Ben weren’t made to be together and I couldn’t help but think if they would actually last after the book ends.
I did enjoy reading Go Hex Yourself simply for all the spell casting and overall story of how witches exist in the present day. Go Hex Yourself is part of a series and I’m looking forward to the next book because that book stars Penny, someone Reggie interacts with in Go Hex Yourself. I found myself liking Penny more than Reggie at times, so I think the sequel will be something I will enjoy more than the first book. I rated Go Hex Yourself three stars on Goodreads.