My Year – 2018 – in Books

Happy New Year and welcome to 2019!! I am happy to report this year has been better than the last. But it has been far from easy. Discovering and adjusting to my new norm after the accident has been difficult but a consistent theme in my life. Luckily, one thing that has remained a constant is my love for books! This year I read 26 books and around 8,135 pages.

Although I wish I would have read more, I am satisfied with what I did accomplish.


Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews
Img rulerIced by Karen Marie Moning
The shortest book I read in 2018 was Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews at 42 pages in length. The longest book I read was Iced by Karen Morning at 520 pages in length.
The average pages I read per book amounted to be 312

The book I read that has had the most popularity in 2018 is Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella with 354,850 other people reading this book. Unfortunately, I only gave this book 1 star. Probably would not recommend it..
Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

The book I read that has the least popularity is Good Girls Don’t Date Rock Stars by Codi Cary with 1,313 other reviewers. I gave this book 4 stars and thought it was a good read.  Let me know if you thought the same 🙂
Good Girls Don't Date Rock Stars by Codi Gary

The average rating in book reviews was 3.2 out of 5…. I am glad it wasn’t 2 🙂 I think I am in need of some book recommendations. Any suggestions? 


A book I HIGHLY recommend and has the highest rating on GoodReads is Wildfire by Ilona Andrews. The average rating is 4.56 and I absolutely love this series!!
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Here’s a look at the books I have read this year! Click on the titles to jump to my review 🙂
1    Angel's Blood    Phantom Kiss    Blade Bound  Iced  Forever Black  Silent Blade  Good girls don't date rock stars  1  Priceless  1p
billionaire next door  1  1  1  1  1  1  1    1  2  1     11            1    11
silence_fallen_layout.indd

 


I am looking forward to 2019 and the many books I will hopefully read. Let me know what you think of this years books. Until next time, Happy Reading!!

Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10)

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This is the second time reading this book. I can count on one hand how many authors have the ability to not only get me to read their entire book without taking one single note, but to get to do this without even realizing it. I open the book and somehow get sucked in. Before I know it, I’m turning the last page oblivious to the time or what’s happening around me. But I will say, reading the book for the second time was so much fun! Already knowing the ending, I was able to pick up far more hidden treasures than I did the first time around. I don’t think there is any way to have caught them without knowing the twist at the end. My recommendation is read this book twice. You won’t regret it!!!


silence_fallen_layout.indd
Author: Patricia Briggs
Published: March 7, 2017
Pages: 371

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Other books in this Series:
Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson, #9)

Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

 

Synopsis:
Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe…

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…

Review:
The book opens on a light note with games and chocolate chip cookies. That is until Mercy finds herself in a car accident and abducted. With her connection to Adam temporary lost, she finds herself up against unknown vampires, very powerful ones. All of this seems to be one big misunderstanding. A misunderstanding that Wulfe created.

So much happens in this book, within every chapter, it’s impossible to talk about it all. So I’m not going to try. I have said this with few other books and this book falls into that category: I’m not going to write a normal review because if you’ve made it this far in the series, you know how amazing the book is going to be. Patricia Briggs packs so much into her books, there aren’t any dull page fillers. Everything she writes has a purpose and if you aren’t paying close enough attention, then you’ll miss the point of the book.
Most, if not all, of the books in this series are told through Mercy’s point of view. Getting Adam’s, Mercy’s mate, point of view was fun. I think the author made the right choice in bringing in duel POV. It would have been impossible to have kept with the same plot line and conveyed that amount of emotion. And Matt Smith, wow, was that not fun or what? I know you will hate me for this but I’m not saying anything else besides you will want to pay attention. Patricia Briggs, you are a very gifted writer!
In some ways, you get a better look into Wulfe’s mind and how he thinks. If I had to describe Wulfe, the words that come to mind are crazy, psychotic, and very much broken. Even though there is this part of him that is detached from reality, his motives behind what he does is kind of genius. Sending Bonarata after Marcy instead of Adam was ingenious. Although I do wonder if in fact she is more ‘powerful’ than Adam. Physically, no way. But Mercy has political strength, her mental strength is impressive and let’s not forget about how many powerful people she has who care about her.
I almost laughed out loud when Stefan told Mercy to hide and wait to be rescued. Like that is something she would ever do. I mean come on, her father is Old Coyote who is a trickster and father of chaos. So would we expect anything less from his daughter…
This book in particular showcases the amount of support and love Mercy has in her life. It’s remarkable really. So many people are willing to risk it all to help rescue her and bring her back home. I can’t help but think this is what everyone deserves in their life. Everyone deserves an Adam, someone who is devoted and completely in love with them. Everyone deserves friends who are willing to love you regardless of your faults and mishaps.
I love how much history is packed into Patricia Briggs books. She certainly does her research and it really does add to the book. While Mercy wonders around Europe, lost and attempting to avoid Bonarata, what she describes has just the right amount of detail to allow the reader to know what it looks and feels like without bombarding you with too much history. Briggs really did think of everything down to what a coyotes paws would feel like walking on the unfamiliar cobblestone.
‘Six hundred years old (old synagogue). I stared at it and tried to imagine how it would feel to be Bran or the Moor and look at such things and remember before they were built. To look around the city and realize that the oldest thing in this old city was probably you.’
In every book, Mercy runs into some kind of new monster/creature. This book is no different with the Golem of Prague. The story behind this character is fascinating.
“I looked like a victim. I was done, really done with being a victim” 
The end of the book left me with one thought, completely satisfied. This book is so amazing, I love it! But because of this, I’m doubtful I’m able to review this book (this series) with the same critical eye I normally use. So make what you will of this review.

‘I’m asleep with my face plastered against the top of a metal table. Being sophisticated like this just comes naturally to me – what can I say?’ – Mercy Thompson

Unraveling Destiny (The Fae Chronicles, #5)

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The books in this series have amazing covers!! There is just something irresistible about them.


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Author: Amelia Hutchins
Published: September 26, 2017
Pages: 388

Stars: 1 out of 5

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Other Books in this series:
Fighting Destiny (Fea Chronicles #1)

Synopsis:
I knew Destiny wasn’t done with me. I knew that she was just getting warmed up, but I had no clue just how hard my world was going to come crashing down on me.
I had thought that I was going to get my fairytale wedding and marry the man of my dreams.
I was wrong.
Now, faced with having my world torn asunder and Faery exposed, I have to make choices I never thought I’d have to make.
I’m divided between two worlds, and I have to decide just how far I will go to get back what was stolen from me.
Old enemies are closing in, new enemies are being revealed, and surprising allies are entering the playing field. War is on the horizon, and it’s coming right for us.

Review:
It’s been a long while since I’ve read books 1-4 in this series. So it took me a while to remember the plot line, who everyone is.. But that didn’t seem to help. I really struggled getting into this book which surprised me because I enjoyed reading the other books in this series.

Ultimately I couldn’t do the writing style. I’m no prude to fowl language but for some reason all the cursing in this just turned me off. Isn’t there another way to describe your feelings.. I don’t know.
I’m not done with series and maybe starting over with book one will help me get back into it. But until then, this books falls into the DNF Graveyard
3

Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3)

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I was a little hesitant going into this book. I wasn’t sure if this was one of those series that is best enjoyed with breaks in-between or if there was a possibility of burning out on this series.. But let me reassure you, this series has proven to be absolutely captivating. Wildfire is a page turner that you don’t want to put down. I really hope the fourth book doesn’t take long to publish!


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Author: Ilona Andrews
Published: July 25, 2017
Pages: 391

Stars: 5 out of 5

Other books in the series:
Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1)
White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2)

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Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble


Synopsis
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Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

Review:
This book starts on a heavy note – Nevada has to inform her family that not only is her grandma trying to either kill her or use her, her family’s only hope is to expose themselves and form their own House. But before Nevada can even contemplate how to begin to have that conversation, Rynda Charles walks back into Nevada’s life. Not only is she Rogan’s ex-fiancée, she is also the daughter of Olivia Charles. In case you don’t remember from book two, Olivia Charles is the woman who killed Cornelius’s wife and later ended up being eaten alive by a swarm of rats. 

Rynda is a prime empath and keeping your emotions from her is impossible. She is also a dangerous woman, especially to Nevada. Not only is she beautiful and rich, but she plays a convincible damsel in distress, looking for someone to save her. And it doesn’t take her long to begin looking in Rogan’s direction. 

The dynamic between Rogan, Nevada, and Rynda is the perfect storm of jealousy and fear. On the one hand, there’s the uncertainty that is in every new relationship. That voice in the back of your mind always doubting the others feelings or if this relationship will last. Then throw in an attractive ex who is constantly throwing herself at your man. Perfect storm. I love how Nevada is always trying to take the high rode, trying not to read into things and truly trying to have faith that her and Rogan will make it through this hump. Andrews nailed this dynamic perfectly and I absolutely love it. 

One of my favorite passage:

She (Rynda) fell silent, then glanced at Bug. “Could you get me some coffee?”
“No” Bug said.
She blinked
“I’m a surveillance specialist, not a waiter,” Bugsaid, his dictation perfect, his voice flat. “The coffee is on the kitchen counter over there. Help yourself.”
She opened her mouth and closed it.
“Nevada?” Bug said.
Don’t do it, don’t do it…
“Would you like some coffee?”
“No thanks.” Ass
“Because I’ll totally get it for you.” 

Honestly the entire scene is amazing. This scene is just one example of Nevada taking the high road.

 I’ve read a few books by Andrews and all the heroines within her books have a similar yet unique voice. They are all strong, feisty, determined individuals. But they aren’t perfect, they make mistakes. They are all human and that’s the key. Andrews characters are easily relatable. You can see parts of yourself, your insecurities, in each of her books. Looking at Nevada’s character, she is everything listed above but she’s vulnerable, especially when it comes to Rogan. She tries hiding it but there’s no denying that it’s there. And I think this is part of what makes Andrews books so addicting. That and she’s a very gifted writer.

Here’s another quote I love:
“Come to dinner with me tonight and I’ll consider it.” Yes! “No, I don’t negotiate with terrorists.” “If you don’t go to dinner with me, I’ll have to do something drastic like stand by your window with a boom box blasting some idiotically sappy song.”

One of the things Ilona Andrews does best is character development. She doesn’t just create a surface character. No, she creates a character with such depth that there is no doubt you will either love or hate them with everything you’ve got. One of my favorite side characters is Grandma Frida. She is so feisty and protective of her family. I can’t help but think that everyone needs at least one person like Grandma Friday in their lives. 

Victoria, Nevada’s paternal grandmother, is savage and cruel. She can easily break anyone’s mind and leave them in pieces. She is feared and known as a monster. But things aren’t as cut and dry with Victoria. And honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about her. Yes, she is scary but I think she did what she thought she had to do. Was it right, no. But I think there is another side of her that we will see in the next book. Or at least I hope so.. 

One of the complicated issues that came up in this book is the sacrifice one makes when choosing love over the possibility of genetic incapability. When marring for love, you run the high risk that your genetics will create a child with sub-par to no abilities. Having a child with sub-par magical ability is devastating to any House. But having a child who doesn’t manifest any magical ability can destroy any house’s future. Rogan continues to bring this concern up with Nevada, insisting she will care if their children are less than Primes. This is just one of the many ways Rogan continues to try and protect Nevada. It takes a strong man to say and the very thing that will (in his mind) inevitably make the person he loves walk away from him.  

“He (Rogan) viewed this as the beginning of our end, but he came anyway.”

I just love Rogan’s character! The end of the book is, as expected, action packed and marvelous! And I’m pretty sure I know who Caesar is. Ilona Andrews didn’t spell it out for you but if you’re paying attention, I think it’s easy to connect the dots. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ruin anything by giving away spoilers.  

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I can’t wait for the next one to come out!

White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2)

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As you can imagine, after reading book one in the Hidden Legacy series, I couldn’t help but pick up the next book in the series. And I was not disappointed!! This series is quickly becoming one of my new favorites 🙂


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Author: Ilona Andrews
Published: May 30, 2017
Pages: 389

Stars: 4 out of 5

Other books in the series:
Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1)

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Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

Synopsis:
Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …


Review:
Nevada has one rule that no matter what, she has to follow- At the end of the day, you have to be able to live with yourself, your choices. So when Cornelius comes asking for help in finding his wife’s murderer, Nevada couldn’t say no. Soon she finds herself once again working with Connor (aka Mad Rogan) and discovering a surprising new ally, Augustine. I enjoyed Augustine’s character more in this book, especially the bickering between him and Rogan. Although he still had his moments of greed, I no longer hate him. 

Nevada’s character continues to grown throughout the book. She’s still the strong independent woman we all fell in love with, but now she’s taking taking responsibility over mastering her powers. But does she go too far? When using her power, what’s the line between becoming a monster and getting the information she needs? 

Ilone shows us the side of Rogan we only saw small glimpses of last time. He’s still the dangerous dragon, but like Nevada said, we get to see his more human side. In the first book, we saw Connor’s form of courting Nevada. It doesn’t take long to realize Conner is done with the passive romantic gestures and ready to take control. Except his need of control is a far cry from normal.

As the sexual tension between Rogan and Nevada builds, the quick stolen moments between them are intense, hot,and leaves you starving for more. Just as Nevada is allowing herself to be open to love, the monstrous side of Rogan shows itself. Is this side of him enough to destroy everything between them?

This is one of those books I wish I could talk about every detail. But giving away that many secrets would ruin the book for you. My leaving thought is that this book was a delight to read! The epilogue definitely leaves you wanting more! I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

First Year (The Black Mage, #1)

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I won’t say this book is going to be a favorite of mine but I did enjoy the book enough that I want to read the next book in the series. Just maybe not right away… 3 


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Author: Rachel Carter
Published: January 26, 2017
Pages: 320

Stars: 3 out of 5

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Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

 
Synopsis:
Before the age of seventeen, the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice —pursue a trade or enroll in a trial year in one of the realm’s three war schools to study as a soldier, knight, or mage…

For fifteen-year-old Ryiah, the choice has always been easy. Become a mage and train in Combat, the most prestigious faction of magic.

Yet when she arrives, Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Everyone is rooting for her to fail—first and foremost among them is Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived.

Will Ry survive, or will her dream go down in flames?

Review:
This book is a quick read. I think I finished this book in a couple days. So why did it take me so long to write my review?? In all honesty, the synopsis of the book gives away most of what the book is about. I honestly didn’t know what more I could say…

Because of this, I’m not going to go into too many details. I don’t want to ruin what little surprises are left in the book. With that said, I will say I was highly entertained with Ryiah and Prince Darren’s interactions. There is just something about love/hate relationships that I just can’t get enough of. 

Although Ryiah develops her skills in magic and knowledge, I don’t really see her character grow. By the end of the book she is still the same fierce, slightly emotional, girl who isn’t always confident. At least those are the characteristics I enjoy and her character isn’t exactly boring.  

Prince Daren’s character was sometimes confusing and I don’t think his character was as well developed as Ryiah. But I still enjoyed the slight hidden smiles and the relationship he had with Ryiah.

Overall, the book was enjoyable. The writing wasn’t perfect but it worked. The plot had some gaps, which is always irritating. And some of the conclusions Prince Daren came to, I have no idea how he came to them. It didn’t really make sense. 

The Immortal Heights (The Elemental Trilogy, #3)

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I have really enjoyed this series! For me, it was one of those hidden gems. And I’ll be honest, my review of this book is not an in-depth one.  I started reading the book and next thing I knew, I was at the end and all I wrote were 3 sentences. That’s how captivating this book is!!


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Author: Sherry Thomas
Published: October 15, 2015
Pages: 432

Stars: 5 out of 5

Series:
The Burning Sky (Elemental Trilogy #1)
The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy, #2)

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Where to Buy:
Amazon
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Synopsis:
In a pursuit that has spanned continents, Iolanthe, Titus, and their friends have always managed to remain one step ahead of the forces of Atlantis. But now the Bane, the monstrous tyrant who bestrides the entire mage world, has issued his ultimatum: Titus must hand over Iolanthe, or watch as his entire realm is destroyed in a deadly rampage. Running out of time and options, Iolanthe and Titus must act decisively to deliver a final blow to the Bane, ending his reign of terror for good.

However, getting to the Bane means accomplishing the impossible—finding a way to infiltrate his crypt in the deepest recesses of the most ferociously guarded fortress in Atlantis. And everything is only made more difficult when new prophecies come to light, foretelling a doomed effort…

Iolanthe and Titus will put their love and their lives on the line. But will it be enough?

Review:
This book doesn’t miss a beat and picks up exactly where the second one left off. And if you struggle remembering all the details from the previous book, no worries because the author does a fantastic job of reminding you. As normal, the writing style took me a little bit to get used to. But once I did, the book flowed effortlessly.

The heartache Titus and Iolanthe go through is hard to imagine. I wonder how painful it would be to know your loved one will die but not know how to stop it from happening. I’m impressed Thomas followed through and killed some of our most loved characters. Not every author is strong enough to do this. Although when I was reading the book, I was saddened by the loss, I do respect the author for making such a difficult decision. 

 The plot was fantastic, full of romance, black magic, and best yet it was unpredictable. You are going through the book believing one thing to only find out it was something completely different. 

It’s difficult to remember Titus is so young. His character comes off as such a romantic and someone who has experienced a lot in life. As much as his character has grown, Iolanthe as grown that much more. Starting this series as a scared girl, she has transformed into this strong, independent woman.

The ending wasn’t my favorite but overall I found it satisfying. I would recommend this series to anyone who loves Young Adult/Fantasy books.