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.


Reading

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

None!

One Star

None!

DNF – Did Not Finish

None!

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!


spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!

32 Comments

  1. Rae

    December 2, 2018 at 9:42 AM

    You read some awesome books in November! Here’s to a great December. ☺️❤️

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      December 2, 2018 at 4:46 PM

      Thank you so much, and I was REALLY LUCKY to not have any bad reads last month! I hope you have happy reading this December, love!

  2. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate

    December 2, 2018 at 9:48 AM

    What an amazing month, Kaleena! I hope December is just as good and thanks so much for sharing all these lovely posts <3

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      December 2, 2018 at 4:47 PM

      Thank you so much, and I hope you have a fantastic December as well! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. thewolfandbooks

    December 2, 2018 at 10:28 AM

    Oh goodness! There are some great community posts on that list. I need to set aside an hour to read all of them. Looks so interesting!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      December 2, 2018 at 4:47 PM

      There honestly were SO MANY amazing posts last month, and I am so mad that I didn’t save all of the links!

  4. Avery @ RedRocketPanda

    December 2, 2018 at 10:40 AM

    I love how beautiful your posts look and how nicely laid out they are <3 What video games did you play?

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      December 2, 2018 at 4:49 PM

      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.

      1. Avery @ RedRocketPanda

        December 4, 2018 at 8:57 AM

        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

        1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

          December 7, 2018 at 8:55 AM

          Don’t you change a THING! Hehe

          I have been playing a bit of DA:O again and branching out on my typical conversation choices with Alistair… and he is swooning me all over again. My heart. I am going to be his queen this time, damnit!

          1. Avery @ RedRocketPanda

            December 8, 2018 at 8:14 AM

            Hahaha. I thought I would be resistant to Alistair this time round because of how much he broke my HoF’s heart and he’s just a big dumb face with stupid jokes, but I’m finding it hard to not feel to swoon xD

          2. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

            December 8, 2018 at 9:46 AM

            Honestly I don’t know why or how he is so perfect, but literally that is the embodiment of who I want to marry in video game form. Are you planning on romancing anyone else this time around?

          3. Avery @ RedRocketPanda

            December 10, 2018 at 6:54 AM

            I’m romancing Morrigan this time around, and then I’ll do Alistair with a human woman so I can actually have the proper romance xD

          4. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

            December 11, 2018 at 7:14 AM

            I think I romanced Morrigan once… but I don’t know if I went all the way on that or not. Hmmm.

  5. Shruti | This is Lit

    December 3, 2018 at 6:17 AM

    Thanks for including my post? And you’ve read 124 books so far? Omg you can totally do at least 130 by the end of this year! I’m going to be cheering you for this! ❤️

  6. Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts)

    December 3, 2018 at 10:46 AM

    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?

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      December 7, 2018 at 8:51 AM

      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!

  7. Manon

    December 4, 2018 at 12:08 PM

    You’ve read a lot of wonderful books in November!
    Happy reading in december! x

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      December 7, 2018 at 8:57 AM

      Thank you so much, Manon, and I hope you have a great December as well!

  8. Kelly Brigid

    December 4, 2018 at 11:03 PM

    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! ❤️

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      December 7, 2018 at 9:00 AM

      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!

  9. tiffany @ readbytiffany

    December 7, 2018 at 9:24 AM

    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 <3

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      December 8, 2018 at 9:21 AM

      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.

      1. tiffany @ readbytiffany

        December 9, 2018 at 8:14 AM

        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?!”

        1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

          December 9, 2018 at 9:06 AM

          Ugh that is incredibly annoying but… I can see that. Wasn’t it originally only supposed to be 8 books? I may stop there, ahaha. I am till REALLY SALTY about the end of the tv show and it has been years

  10. sammers65

    December 7, 2018 at 9:49 AM

    10 books, with a 10 days slump. I swear wonder twin you are literally GOALS. and not to mention that all of them are 4 OR MORE STARS. The reading Gods are on your side young one. wow. a time.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      December 8, 2018 at 9:26 AM

      Thank you, Wonder Twin! I was definitely blessed with reading last month that’s for sure. Happy reading this month, sweets!

  11. Diana @fortunatelythebook

    December 28, 2018 at 11:16 AM

    I’m happy that I’m not the only one who have found Asylum predictable. And I wasn’t scared at all.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      December 31, 2018 at 9:47 AM

      I forgot I even read that book, which honestly isn’t a good thing! I have the entire series in paperback so I should just read them all so I can donate them to my library, but I am hardly interested right now. At least they are super fast reads!

      1. Diana @fortunatelythebook

        January 2, 2019 at 8:32 AM

        It’s difficult to find a really good horror book, and it’s a shame because the covers of this series are really scary.

        1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

          January 9, 2019 at 9:35 AM

          Yea I agree, which is a shame. I would recommend Contagion and Pitch Dark if you like horror/sci-fi books (both are infection-type tales), and I also would recommend Siren and the Specter or Children of the Dark by Jonathan Janz

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