November in Review

I can’t believe that it is already December, November went by in such a blur. I had a decent reading month that was highlighted by the formation of the greatest SQUAD to ever be formed & updating my blog’s graphics! Please excuse the mess while I update old posts to match my new aesthetic, and while it is meant to be my winter theme… I don’t think I will be changing it again.

November was a month full of buddy reads and video games for me, but also a lot of sadness. My thoughts go out to everyone that was affected by the California wildfires. I am so thankful that both of the fires are fully contained and I hope that recovery for the region and those affected will be quick. Through the tragedy it has been truly inspiring to see the region come together and help one another. I was able to donate some needed supplies to the Camp Fire victims last weekend, and if you would like to help KQED has a list of charities that are accepting donations.


So in November I managed to read ten books, which surprises me since I had a ten day reading slump! I read a few ARCs last month, but most of my reading was mood reading from my physical TBR (which is nice because, uh, my Black Friday haul). As always, you can click on the title links to be taken to the Goodreads page, and if my review has been published here on the blog I will also provide a link to it. ARCs/copies from author or publisher are noted above by an asterisk *

Five Stars

  • This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada: This was by far my favorite read of the month, an experience that was heightened by the SQUAD coming together for this buddy read! It’s been a long time since a book has set my soul ablaze, leaving me anxious to devour its pages but wanting to savor every word. I loved this book with every ounce of my being: this is the epitome of why I love the science fiction genre all wrapped up into one. Fantastically written with masterful exposition and worldbuilding; the characters are complex, scarred, and so perfectly human.
    📖 Read my full review of This Mortal Coil here.

Four Stars

  • * The Sorrows by Jonathan Janz: Another winning read from one of my favorite horror authors! I enjoy that Janz juxtaposes supernatural horror elements with the horror and depravity of the human condition. I also appreciated the many allusions, implicit and called out, to the work of Edgar Allan Poe.
    📖 Read my full review of The Sorrows here.
  • These Precious Scars (Mortal Coil # 0.5) by Emily Suvada: This was an enjoyable, fast-paced, and brief read into what I think is approximately seven years prior to This Mortal Coil. This novella doesn’t really add anything to the story and isn’t required to jump into This Cruel Design, but it does provide a glimpse into the experiments.
  • Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda: I was completely sucked in on the first page and captivated until the very end. There are so many different layers of complexity here and Alameda crafted a really good book. The writing style flows well and this is an excellent combination of the horror and sci-fi genres. The technology included is really interesting but doesn’t overtake the narrative either. If you like infection/mutation science fiction stories, I definitely recommend this book to you!
    📖 Read my full review of Pitch Dark here.
  • * The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi: I am a sucker for historical fantasy, and this book delivers an action-packed story with a diverse cast of characters that I treasured with every ounce of my being. A secret society that pulls the strings of society (Illuminati?!)? Hunting for artifacts? Magic and technological invention when the world was on the cusp of Industrialism? Heck. Yes. If you are in the mood for an adventure with a precious found family, this book might be for you!
    📖 ARC Review to come!

Three Stars

  • Asylum by Madeleine Roux: This was a fast paced, enjoyable read. Unfortunately I found the plot predictable, unbelievable, and I saw the bad guy coming from a mile away (aka the first chapter?).
    📖 Read my bullet-point review of Asylum here.
  • The Cry of the Peacock by V.R. Cristensen: This was a re-read for me to get rid of my reading slump. This is a historical romance story where the girl winds up having a choice, something that I appreciate.
  • * Night Shift by Robin Triggs: This is a plot-driven whodunit mystery with some underdeveloped science fiction elements (which is a shame because I was REALLY interested in the world). I enjoyed this story, which is a spin on the And Then There Were None motif of a group of strangers are isolated from the outside and are picked off one by one. 13 people are working in Antarctica for what is known as the night shift: a six month period where the sun doesn’t rise and inclement weather isolates them completely from outside help.
    📖 Read my full review of Night Shift here.
  • Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard: I finally did it, I have succumbed to reading the series! It is honestly so weird to read the book for a TV series you were very invested in and picked apart for clues (before you realized that the writers had no clue and it was wasted effort). This is a light read but enjoyable, and you can tell that the story and mystery have been plotted well. This is a young adult book that handles some sensitive topics and also captures the feelings of being in the awkward teenage years.
  • Confessions of a Queen B* by Crista McHugh: This was… an experience. For some reason I nabbed the eBook for free when my friend Soph posted it into the Discord server. I was struggling with my current read and picked this up. It’s a light and fast-paced read, but not really enjoyable for me. I didn’t like the main character, who was just as vapid and self-centered as TifAni in Luckiest Girl Alive, but she does experience some character growth that was nice to read. This just wasn’t the book for me.

Two Stars


One Star


DNF – Did Not Finish


Total Books Read in November: 

Total Books Read in 2018: 124
Goodreads Reading Goal: 50 100 125

Awesome Community Posts

I had a wonderful time during Sci-Fi Month! I didn’t read as much sci-fi as originally planned, but I really enjoyed what I read.

Thank you

Thank you everyone so much for visiting, liking, commenting, and sharing your bookish thoughts with me! I hope that you had a fantastic November, and I wish you happy reading this December!


Let’s Connect!

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Hi! I’m Kaleena: book lover, runner, wanderer, and philanthropist. Life is an adventurous gift: through the outdoors and books. I run Reader Voracious Blog, where I post spoiler-free book reviews of science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, and mystery & thriller.

32 thoughts on “November in Review

    1. Oh gosh Avery, thank you so much! This means a lot coming from you because I absolutely adore your blog’s aesthetic!

      Mostly I played Stardew Valley and a bit of Subnautica last month, but I did spend a couple of days re-playing Dragon Age Origins for the tenth time, because Alistair.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Omg sshhh no. I was thinking about how I wish mine looked more like yours haha!

        Omg yes. I am literally going to play DA: Origins today for Dragon 4ge Day! I haven’t replayed it since my first playthrough when Alistair broke my little elven girls heart </3

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Oooooo forever you will be cold, Kal. Much approval from the Sophia. Then again, I like blue so I’m biased already.

    Wow. TEN BOOKS after a ten day reading SLUMP. You go, Kal. You go go go. Also I think we’re plotting a buddy read with an ARC some point next year? Did we decide which one it was, etc. etc?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wait why am I forever cold? Emotionally? Physically? It was like 31 when I biked in this morning and I wished I had gloves.

      I know I am actually really surprised! And we DEF need to do a buddy read but I am not sure if we picked a book yet. We need to change that!


  2. Lovely wrap up, doll! I’m glad you enjoyed so many of your reads! You’ve truly made me want to read The Mortal Coil SO BADLY, and I can’t wait to read the Gilded Wolves when it releases!

    Wishing you the happiest of Decembers, Kal! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly! I was blessed with some excellent reads last month…and PLEASE READ THIS MORTAL COIL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. The Gilded Wolves was also a treasure, and I can’t wait for everyone to be able to read it!

      Happy reading this December, sweets!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on reading 10 books this month Kaleena!! I’ve heard such good things about The Mortal Coil that I really want to read it now 🙈 I also love that you read Pretty Little Liars. I definitely agree with your rating because I thought it was a fun read. It’s interesting to see how it is after you’ve watched the show. I think I stopped watching after the 3rd season? and stopped reading after the 12th book because I just got too frustrated and wanted to know who A was!

    Happy reading for December ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Tiffany!And PLEASE PICK UP THIS MORTAL COIL. I legit want everyone to read it.

      I finished book 4 in the PLL series last night, arc one is done! It was really interesting to read the books after obsessing over the show for years. I actually was so into it that I had a notepad of clues and theories! But after season 2 or halfway through 3 (I don’t remember when, but the Ezra stuff) I realized the writers had NO IDEA what they were doing and weren’t laying clues or anything. I was so mad honestly, but I spite finished the series. Honestly you didn’t miss much. re: the books – wasn’t it originally going to be an 8 book series? Why are there 16 books? Holy hell.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not gonna lie, I think you’re going to have the same experience if you continue with the books 😪 It’s good for a while, but it feels like the author doesn’t really know what’s happening in the later books. It’s entertaining, but eventually, you reach a point where you’re like..”WHAT?!”

        Liked by 1 person

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