Reading Challenges · Reviews

Reading Challenge | MyTBR.co Issue 1

Hello and welcome to a new quarterly series on my blog where I get reccomedations from mytbr.co and read and review them to see how well they can guess my reading tastes from me filling out a huge form non their website. I will not hesitate to say I got this idea from watching Books and Lala over on youtube and seeing her trying the same book service and I wanted to try it for myself.


This is to go over the first recommendation letter I received them from. In this letter I was recommended The Hunger by Alma Katsu, The Incarnations of Susan Barker, and The Changeling by Victor Lavalle. I will say that my first reaction to this recommendations were, “Wow, these sound amazing”. So far, this service is off to a really good start.

The Reviews

The ChangelingThe Changeling by Victor LaValle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book ended up being so much more enjoyable than I thought it was going to be. It was beautifully written and surprising. I expected the story to be one thing, but it transformed into something magically different in the best way possible. I really enjoyed the rollercoaster of emotions this book put my through as a reader as well as a family legend that ties into myths.

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The HungerThe Hunger by Alma Katsu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a very intriguing, imaginative and haunting horror. Not only was this horror atmospheric, but it mixed “real world” horror and monster based horror. This mixed with history only made it just seem even more real. The writing was well done, the pacing, characters, and relationships were all done so well. I will be trying more books from this author in the future.

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The IncarnationsThe Incarnations by Susan Barker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novel was just something outside of the genre it was labeled as. It is a thriller, fantasy, and historical fiction all mixed into one. This book follows a cab driver in Beijing and the story goes through time as you learn about his past lives as he does. Each life had its own chapter where you explored the lives of these two souls, the lives they lived varied quite a lot and they endured a ton as well (violence, sexual violence, and suicide to name a few). The writing itself was beautiful, and the way the author organized the book was perfect. At no point did I think the pacing was off or was bored. I was glued to this book when I was able to find time to pick it up. Another aspect I enjoyed was the fact that the author intertwined these stories with Chinese folklore, classic, and history.

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Overall, I would say that this service did a really wonderful job in picking books for me for this round. I ended up giving every book a 4 or 5 rating and when I did get to pick up these books I tended to read them for long periods of time. I very much look forward to my next recommendations.


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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | December 2020

Hello and welcome to my mid-month reading check in! While this post it a tad bit earlier than normal. I wanted to post it now so I can really focus on books I am writing full reviews on in the second half of the year. So far this month I have already read some pretty awesome books and I really can’t wait to pick up a few more before the end of 2020. Anyway, here are my mini reviews for the books I have read so far this month.


The Wedding from Hell (The Wedding From Hell, #1-3; Firefighters, #0.5-0.7)The Wedding from Hell by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As always, J.R. Ward is a great romance writer.

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The Blade BetweenThe Blade Between by Sam J. Miller
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

*Book given via netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Overall, I think the author created a really rich history for this town that really lent itself to the plot and structure of the story. I think the author is a talented writer and I plan on giving his other works a try as well. I really enjoyed the use of the paranormal and really elevated this story into an engaging and unique horror. I feel like if this book sounds interesting to you, you should give it a go.

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You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to ExplainYou Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Phoebe talked about many large topics such as feminism and race. This book is filled with wit, truth, and personal stories. The author is truly talented when it comes to talking about deep and complex topics, but balancing it with her sense of humor. Both I really appreciated. I need to find her stuff on a streaming service and also pick up her other book ASAP.

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The ChangelingThe Changeling by Victor LaValle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book ended up being so much more enjoyable than I thought it was going to be. It was beautifully written and surprising. I expected the story to be one thing, but it transformed into something magically different in the best way possible. I really enjoyed the rollercoaster of emotions this book put my through as a reader as well as a family legend that ties into myths.

View all my reviews


As of right now I am in the middle of two books. The first is A Promised Land by Barack Obama and the second is Royal Holiday by Jasmine Gullory. I am 5% into A Promised Land and I am enjoying it, I am reading while listening along with the audiobook that is read by Obama, so it has a lot of his personality in it. Royal Holiday is also really good, I am about 10% into that story and I am really loving the set up for this holiday romantic story.

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To Be Read

To Be Read | Last TBR of 2020

Hello and welcome to the final TBR of 2020, it is hard to believe I am writing that sentence honestly. While this year has been very difficult, it has felt slow, but also really fast to me. But, here we are, tis the season to write an end of the year TBR. I am going to be keeping it quite small this month, but I still have a few books I want to get to before 2021 comes our way.

Book stack of Lovecraft Country, The Changing, An Orchestra of Minorities, The Incarnations, and A Promised Land.

Love Craft Country by Matt Ruff, this first book on my TBR was picked by Erica for the Someone PicksMy Books series I have on my blog. I have to say, it took a lot of self control not to read this book sooner. I have been eyeing it since she picked it for me.

The Changeling Novel by Victor LaValle and The Incarnations by Susan Barker are both horrors I wished I had gotten to sooner. I feel like in general this TBR should have the theme, “books Luna should have gotten to sooner” honestly. But, both of these sounded really fascinating and I really want to read already.

An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma is the last book I am reading for my reading a shortlist Man Booker challenge. I decided I am not going to be reading the sequel to the Handmaids Tale because I really don’t think she should have won. Anyway, I have been looking forward to An Orchestra of Minorities for a few reasons, the first being it is narrated by a guardian spirit and secondly a life changing event.

Lastly, I am planning on reading A Promised Land by Barack Obama. I had this book preordered at my local bookshop and did not get around to starting it in November, but I want to read it ASAP. I really loved his wives book and her story and I am interested in hearing his story in his won words as well.

There you have it, those are the five books I plan on reading before the end of the year. I am really hoping I am able to finish them all in time. I know my reading slowed down quite a bit the second half of November, but I hope this post motivates me a bit to get going and pick up a book!



What are you planning on reading before the end of 2020?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Read 5, Buy 1 | June 2020

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to my Read 5, Buy 1 post, If I am being honest with myself I should be calling this a book haul because wow, did I totally ignore this in June. I am not sure why, but I really had the buying itch in June. I figured since I have done so well and my TBR was under 20 at the time, why not have some fun. So, here is my break down of the books I read since the last check in, but also the books I bought this past month.


The Breakdown

  • Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
  • The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi
  • The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
    • Bought Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
  • Quichotte by Salman Rushdie
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  • Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz
    • Bought Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz
  • Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Books Added To My TBR

I added, Home Before Dark by Riley Sager, The Incarnations by Susan Barker, Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz, The Changeling by Victor LaValle, Before the Coffee Gets Coldby Toshikazu Kawaguchi, Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams, The Hungerby Alma Katsu, Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri, and LGBTQ Stats: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People by the Numbers by Bennett Singer and David Deschamps to my TBR.


As you can see, I bought quite a few extra books this month. I am thinking it might have to do with that fact that I was not really in the reading mood in May and maybe it was because I didn’t really want to read any of the books I owned. I am a total mood reader. Regardless of the reason, I added an extra 7 books. Oops! Good thing I have been in a reading mood!
Over all, my TBR is now sitting at a total of 26 books, so my owned TBRhe  stayed about the same, but thankfully it decided to not go up with all the buying I did.

What does your TBR look like?

What books did you recently haul from the library or bookstore?

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