Wrap Up: November 2016

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Hello! I am back from my semi-hiatus, which ended up being a two-week hiatus anyway. I spent the first half of November getting read for my conference trip and the last two weeks of the month travelling to North America for the conference and various lab visits. It’s been a very busy month and I posted a measly four posts in November. I was a little bit slumpy in November and didn’t read for a whole week while I was away but I did manage to get through 13 books (no idea how!). I’m currently 4 or 5 books behind schedule for my Goodreads goal of 200 books but I’m not going to give up hope yet. I can totally read 22 books in December… *lays out all my super thin books*.

In case anyone is interested, I went to LA, Boston and Toronto on my trip. I have a recap of my time in Toronto (feat. Jesse @ Books at Dawn and Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts) up on Happy Indulgence where I am a co-blogger.

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Reading summary header

1. Moon Chosen – P.C. Cast  35 stars

Moon Chosen is the first book in a new fantasy series. It had a bit of a caveman sort of vibe, which is definitely not my usual kind of read but I still, ultimately, enjoyed it. My main criticism is that it was kind of wordy and could have been a 300 page book instead of 600 pages.

2. The Sun is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon  5 stars

I highly enjoyed Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon and I have to say that The Sun is Also a Star was even better for me. I loved the cultural diversity and I really enjoyed the romance too. While there was definitely insta-love in the book, I found that I was able to overlook it for the most part because the story was so charming.

3. The Pain, My Mother, Sir Tiffy, Cyber Boy & Me – Michael Gerard Bauer  4 stars

This is an Aussie YA novel that I didn’t really have any high expectations for, and it definitely surprised me. I enjoyed this book so much and found myself relating to the main character a lot. I liked the writing in the book and I enjoyed all of the characters and the relationships they had with each other. It was a very quick read and I would definitely recommend it.

4. The Universe of Us – Lang Leav  4 stars

I don’t read much poetry and I’m not very good at critiquing it, so The Universe of Us gets an above average 4/5 from me.

5. Gemina – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff  4 stars

I wasn’t as big of a fan of Illuminae as most of the YA community is/was, and I feel the same way about Gemina. I liked Gemina a lot more than Illuminae but ultimately, I found it to be kind of predictable, especially having read Illuminae and being somewhat familiar with the twists that the authors use. I did like the romance between Hanna and Nik though.

6. Under Rose-Tainted Skies – Louise Gornall  4 stars

This is a book about agoraphobia that is written by an own voices author. I liked the agoraphobia aspect of it and found it to be extremely accurate, but I felt that the book lacked plot overall. It read to me as a book of symptoms and there wasn’t a whole lot that happened in the book.

7. When Michael Met Mina – Randa Abdel-Fattah  4 stars

When Michael Met Mina is an Aussie novel that tackles political issues that are very relevant to us today. It deals with refugees and racism and I thought it was a very important and thought-provoking read. I enjoyed both of the main characters and loved their relationship, but there were times when I wanted the plot and the writing to be a bit more sophisticated.

8. By Your Side – Kasie West  4 stars

I love all of Kasie West’s books and By Your Side is no exception. I loved the main character, Autumn, and I highly enjoyed the plot as well. This novel is probably one of my favourite Kasie West novels, along with The Distance Between Us.

9. Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler  45 stars

I’d been wanting to read this book for over a year and I’m glad that I finally did because it was beautifully written and conceptualised. I found it to be so relatable and I connected with the main character and her story very deeply. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending and the ultimate reason why they broke up but that didn’t detract from how much I loved the story.

10. Tell Me Three Things – Julie Buxbaum  4 stars

Tell Me Three Things is a cute contemporary read that contains a mystery aspect to it. Our main character has recently moved to a new school in California and receives an email from a mystery person who offers to be her anonymous guide to high school. The book revolves around this mystery of who this anonymous emailer is. I predicted who it was quite early on but I still really loved the story and how adorable it was.

11. Metaltown – Kristen Simmons  2 stars

I received this book in my October Fairyloot and was really looking forward to reading it because steampunk is a genre that I tend to enjoy. However, I found Metaltown to be quite boring. Nothing happened until about two-thirds into the book and I didn’t really enjoy the ending. I found the characters to be annoying and I couldn’t get on board with the romance.

12. Him – Elle Kennedy & Sarina Bowen  45 stars

Him is a new adult novel about ice hockey that has LGBTQ+ themes. I binge read Sarina Bowen’s The Ivy Years series last month and loved it, so I thought I’d check out some more of her ice hockey themed books. I highly enjoyed this one and loved the two main characters in the novel. There is a sequel that I’m sure I’ll be picking up really soon.

13. Tales of the Peculiar – Ransom Riggs  45 stars

This is a collection of short stories that is set in the Peculiar world. This book is referenced in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series but it isn’t linked to that series at all and can definitely be read as a standalone. If you enjoy short stories that are slightly weird and peculiar, you will love this collection. Also, the hardcover edition is beautiful!


How was your reading month?

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29 thoughts on “Wrap Up: November 2016

  1. Holly says:

    I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed Gemina for the most part. I’ve been looking forward to reading it for a while, so fingers crossed that it lives up to my expectations!
    Looks like you had a great reading month, despite your busy schedule! Happy December 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ashley says:

    I hope you complete your Goodreads challenge! If I hadn’t read as much as I did in November then I would probably not be only 4 books away from completing it now. Thirteen books while being slumpy is pretty amazing! Forever jealous of your ability to read a ton of books a month! HAH.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lois says:

    You read 13 books in a slump? That is insane. Teach me your ways haha. It sounds like you had a great month and your Toronto adventures looked like so much fun.
    I’ve just finished binge reading Sarina Bowen’s True North series and I love Elle Kennedy’s Off-Campus books so the fact that these two have collaborated on a book together has me all kinds of happy!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Well… it was more like a one week slump haha. When I was in the US, I kinda discovered TV. We don’t have cable at home so when I was in Boston, I just had the TV on all the time! It was a total distraction.

      I haven’t read any of Elle Kennedy’s solo stuff yet but I really liked Him so I’m totally keen to give her a chance. I’ll be sure to check out the Off-Campus series first!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks says:

    Gemina is such a MASSIVE book, I didn’t realize it until just now, haha. I’m a bit sad we don’t get to keep on following Ezra’s story, but I’m looking forward to see how this series continues 🙂 Also, 13 books? In a slump? Is there a typo somewhere in here, or are you just…well, MAGICAL ? 😮

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Thanks Jeann! I am slowly trying to catch up so that I’m back on schedule *breathes heavily*. I just need to read 20 books this month to complete my challenge. Totally no big deal *CRIES*.

      Also I’m sorry about Gemina HAHA. I actually liked it more than I sound. It just wasn’t like mindblowing.

      Like

  5. Zoe says:

    YES to Gemina – definitely one of my favorite books of 2016 as well (even though it was a tad predictable). And I’ve heard nothing but great things about The Sun is Also A Star so I’m glad to see that on your list as well. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous recap! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Oooh glad to hear that you loved Gemina! It wasn’t as mindblowing as I thought it was going to be but I still really enjoyed it and it was a step up from Illuminae! I loved The Sun is Also a Star sooo much, despite a few insta-love issues. I hope you’ll pick it up because it was so good.

      Like

  6. Antonela R. says:

    Not sure about what we should envy you more: the amazing books you read, the amount of them that you managed to read in a month, or the fact that you read all of them with a slump in between hahaha You had a great November, Jenna! I see nothing but amazing reviews of Nicola Yoon’s book, so I’m hoping to read it soon! And I haven’t read Miss Peregrine’s home… yet, but yeah, as it’s not linked to the series, I think I’m gonna read Tales of the peculiar before starting with the main story – plus, I want to put my hands on that stunning edition! The golden details are just gorgeous! Lovely wrap up!!!! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Oooh you should definitely pick up Tales of the Peculiar! It’s totally possible for all readers to enjoy it without knowing anything about the series. I think it might prompt you to pick up the series too if you enjoy the peculiarities in the short stories! I love the world and I’m so happy that we’re getting more books in this universe. I hope you get to pick up The Sun is Also a Star soon as well because I thought it was wonderfully diverse and romantic! Happy reading!

      Like

  7. Ksenia says:

    I’m in owe of your reading power. 13 books with such busy schedule?! I see another Sarina Bowen’s book, which reminds me that I haven’t wrote my NA recs yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Metaltown was seriously the downer of my month. Everything else that I read was so great but Metaltown took me forever to finish and it was just soooo boring! Omg Aila, you need to read The Sun is Also a Star! It’s so good and I definitely enjoyed it more than Everything Everything!

      Like

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