Where the heck have I been?

where have i been_

Life gets crazy, I’m sure you all know that. In the last few months I’ve been traveling, I’ve been working, I’ve gotten married, I’ve registered to go back to school, and, most importantly, I’ve been reading. So let’s have a lil recap, shall we?

When last we spoke I reviewed Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. Don’t remember? Check it out here. I’ve read quite a bit since then but rather than write reviews for everything I’m going to do a shallow dive into each.


Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
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I’ve been making my way through the Percy Jackson series via audiobook throughout the year and this was by far my least favorite. I’ve been having a lot of fun with this series but this fourth installment just left me bored. I know there’s only one book left and I want to read it so I can go on to read the other series, but I have no motivation to actually read it.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hendricks
Somehow I have only read one other Rainbow Rowell book, which I recognize as a failing on my part, especially since I own six of her books. Pumpkinheads was the perfect thing to get me in the fall spirit. It was adorable, quirky, and the best romance. I adored the characters, the art is wonderful, and there are so many subtle jokes in the panels that you miss if you only focus on the dialogue. I seriously cannot recommend this enough.

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling
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I stumbled upon this beauty at my local Barnes & Noble without having heard anything about it before. I was fascinated by the cover and when I read the synopsis I knew I had to have it. Sapphic teenage witches, what more do you need to know? Well, you need to know that the relationships between all of the characters are deep and meaningful, not just the relationship between the main character and her ex-girlfriend. You need to know that this has a pleasantly suspenseful mystery while still remaining fairly lighthearted. And you need to know that this was an absolute delight to read and I can’t wait for book two.

Apparently I then I had a month-long reading slump? Moving on…


The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
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I heard so much hype leading up to the release of this book (so much so that it was one of only two books I’ve preordered in all of 2019) and then it seems like as soon as it came out no one mentioned it? Well, I read it and I thought it was a lot of fun. It’s plugged as a vampire book, but if it hadn’t been advertised that way you wouldn’t know they were vampires until the very end. Another suspenseful mystery, some great 19th century New Orleans pageantry, and intriguing characters. I’ll be continuing with this series for sure, and I definitely need to read more of Ahdieh’s work.

October consisted of a ton of traveling and resting to recharge.


The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale
Yooooooo. Again, it seemed like everyone was hauling this when it first came out but then I haven’t seen anyone talking about it since then. This was a delightfully intriguing, supernatural mystery. A beautiful interpretation of folk horror within the parameters of YA fiction and without being too scary. This story was so creative and fascinating that I read it in basically one sitting.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard *reread*
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I was obsessed with this book when I first read it, I ordered the sequel immediately, but then there was a hurricane and I didn’t get it for quite a bit and by then I was already reading other things. I decided to listen to the audiobook from my library to refresh my memory before moving onto the second. Upon starting Glass Sword, I got bored and stopped. Maybe I’ll finish this series eventually? I’m just not sure.

Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier
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This was my favorite book that I’ve read for my book club so far. Since Makiia is a local author we also had the pleasure of discussing this with her. I’ve heard from other members that the companion novel, Song of the Abyss, is even better, but this was a delightful YA mystery/treasure hunt with slight paranormal elements in a reimagined medieval setting. It was so much fun and I’ll definitely be reading more of her work.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Confession: this was my first Holly Black novel. But it definitely will not be my last. My only hesitation for continuing the series: I purchased this first book in paperback because I wasn’t sure if I would like it and it was on sale but the last two books aren’t in paperback yet and I want my series to match.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Sweet precious babies.
✓ Adorable and vibrant artwork
✓ Excellent story
✓ Relatable and lovable characters
✓ No romance/Ace and Aro friendly
✓ Kicks gender norms in the teeth
A true inspiration. I need to buy this one.

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang
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Let’s be real, how could I read The Prince and the Dressmaker and then *not* read Jen Wang’s other book? This story was very different and a bit heavier, but still great. This deals with gender roles and discriminations withing gaming/nerd culture, as well as unfair working conditions, class struggles, and being introduced to cultures different from your own. Also a precious story.

November was a solid reading month, to say the least.

Well, that’s about the gist of what I’ve been up to. Until next time, friends.



Author: Tia Nicole

I write, therefore I am. she/her pronouns

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