For What It's Worth

Monday, December 3, 2018

monday musings: November wrap-up and december goals



The last few weeks of November were a blur. We had to put Indy to sleep and then I had a chipped tooth so I barely read at all. I just wasn’t in the mood. I did d a lot of cleaning and throwing out though. I’m a stress cleaner and I managed to make a big dent in my cleaning/purging and organizing.

I ended up reading a total of 7 books for November – which sucks for me (I usually read 12+ books) and I fell woefully behind on the my arc’s. I barely request any these days but the few I did were due THIS week and I was too depressed with what was going on to notice so I had to hunker down and read, read, read this past weekend and thankfully I got them read before they vanish off my Kindle. I did fall behind with my ALA arc's though.

Here’s a quick wrap-up for November:

*Clicking on the covers will take you to Goodreads

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~ The Lying Woods was a huge surprise – not very spooky, as the cover implies, but a good little family drama/mystery with a dual timeline that works. You can read my review here.

~ Rough Trade by Sidney Bell is book #3 in her M/M The Woodbury Boys series. The characters were all boys who spent time in the Woodbury detention center together. Each guy gets his own romance and HEA. This one was Ghost. He’s a character with a terribly dark & tragic past (sexual abuse. prostitution, violence) so it was a heavy read but so well done. I’m not sure *enjoy* is the right word but I did love this final(I think) installment for the series.

The meh:

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~ I love Martha Wells Murderbot Diaries and book #4, Exit Strategy, was good but the shine has worn off for me. Each book is almost the exact same scenario and I think I’ve read them too close together and the repetition grated. Even so – I do love spending time with the murderous SecUnit with a soft marshmallow center for the people he likes.

~ I’m really glad that I wrote my thoughts down right after I read Little White Lies because I don’t even remember reading it now. lol

I loved the characters in this one and the beginning was so funny but it goes off into too many different directions.

And there are some pretty big revelations that should have more emotional impact but don't - because they all just roll from situation to situation with no time to reflect on things.

Even so – Sawyer Taft, 18 year old mechanic turned reluctant debutante, is an easy, if indifferent, character to relate to and like and if you like fish out of water with a side of mystery – this might work better for you. I especially loved how supportive her family and friends were instead of cliche mean girls.

~ Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks was a book I’ve been really excited to read. I’ve read and enjoyed a few of Burgoine’s adult novels and he writes tenderhearted characters and stories with a touch of magical realism so well.

Sadly, it was a bit of a disappointment. First off the good – this story is brimming with wonderful LGBQTIA representation and Cole is a sweet, nerdy, geeky, planner boy that everyone can relate to in his awkwardness. His plan for keeping his head down and not get noticed during his last week of HS is thrown for a loop when he starts being able to teleport from one doorway to another.

His friends and family are supportive and interesting in their own right. As a coming of age novel it’s quite good and touches on several issues such as career paths after HS, crushes, coming out, changing friendships.

If you’re reading it for the cool teleportation skills that Cole suddenly acquires, then the book is less successful. It’s not the focus and isn’t even really addressed fully until about the 70% mark. Once it was the action really picks up and it's a fun take on things but by then the book is over.

This was a fun book – and anyone looking for AMAZING LGBQTIA (gay, bi, pan, transsexual, asexual, lesbian) and disability (Cole's father is deaf & Cole is studying to be an professional ASL interpreter) rep should put this at the top of their list but I wish the sci-fi/contemporary parts were balanced better. 

I also hope this will become a series because it leaves things at an awesome place that had me very curious and I would pick up the next in a heartbeat.

Challenges:

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Karen has completed her goal of reading 150 books in 2018!
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I’ve read 155 books this year so far and it isn’t going to go too much higher. Kevin’s on vacation so reading and blogging time will be scarce.

One book I WILL get to because I’m SO SO SO lucky to have a friend that sent it to me is Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett!!!!!!!!! (Fonzi sneaked in to my photo shoot for a little taste of whipped cream lol)

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Other posts to check out if you missed them! 

December of Books Giveaway Hop! (International)

The Friday 5 – a list of really disturbing, squicky toys for the kids.

And I hope to manage to get a few more posts scheduled for the next two weeks before I take vacation. I might be a little slow answering and leaving comments but I will catch up!

So…how did you do with your November reading and what are your plans for December?

36 comments:

  1. Too bad about the murder bot series. When a series get repetitive it really should end

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    1. It's still fun but very formulaic. I think I needed to space them out more but I expected plot development. I got it - but using the same formula as the previous books.

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  2. I still want to read Exit Plans, but I was expecting more of the weird stuff, so my enthusiasm level has dropped down a little. You know how I roll LOL. Then again, you like straigh-up contemporary far more than me, and still got disappointed by the lack of the sci-fi element that sounded so prominent in the blurb...Well, if it does become a series, maybe we'll see more of it.

    Of course Fonzi photobombed! What were you thinking, spreading whipped cream around the house? 😂 😉

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    1. I don't want to give too much away but Cole's social life is way more prominent in the first 70% than the teleportation. And a lot of it (like his practicing) happens off page.

      Maybe if you adjust your expectations it wouldn't be as disappointing.
      The writing and characters are still stellar.

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    2. I ended up ordering it for my Christmas book haul. Taking a calculated risk here - oh my! 😂

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  3. My reading in November was pretty poor overall so SciFi month wasn't a great success for me! I'm hoping to get through my selected December Reads though! Fonzi is just so adorable!

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    1. He's so funny...sneaking in lol

      Good luck with your December reads!

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  4. I feel like I'm reading a bit slower than normal, but my review books are going okay so I guess it's fine. lol I really liked Rough Trade too, though yes, it sounds weird to say ENJOY since it's a rough one. Aw, Fonzi photo-crashing your set up is adorable. And I'm curious about Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks - maybe it does have a sequel and that's why the sci-fi, etc. aspects didn't come in more until the end of the book?

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I think you would like Exit Plans. It's good - just not what I was expecting or in the mood for I guess.

      I'm reading slower too lately but less review reading so it feels nice.

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  5. Yes, life has a way of getting in the way. I was way behind myself and like you found myself having to hunker down after prioritising things. I've found myself reading far fewer books than usual - 84 so far this year - and, like you; requesting/agreeing to read far fewer.

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    1. I at least red what I was supposed to lol Less pressure now.

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  6. Oh I hope December is a better month of reading for you!!! I had a decent reading month in November but mostly because of Audiobooks.

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    1. I'll regroup in January I think. I'm just taking some time to relax and spend time with Kevin for the holidays.

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  7. Yes, that is a sad event that would put me off reading, too. Tough to lose a pet. Yay for a clean organized home just before your husband's vacation and the holidays. Way to go getting caught up on your ARCs and nearly there for the GR challenge.
    I want to check out that Woodside Boys series.

    Have a great December, Karen!

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    1. I'm not someone who can read when I'm depressed. I clean. Like...huge purging clean lol

      Thanks - you have a nice month too Sophia!

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  8. I liked Little White Lies for all the reasons you mentioned, but I have to agree with you about the reveal (I think we are talking about the same one). It did sort of come out and then they moved on, which was odd, but I loved the characters and their dynamic. I thought Grandma was a badass and I am looking forward to more of this series.

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    1. Oh! I forgot to mention Grandma. She was controlling but cool.

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  9. I'm sorry that November was so rough, I hope your tooth is doing better!

    7 books is great for the month you had. I hope you enjoy your vacation, where are you off to??

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    1. It is. Luckily it was a simple fix.

      NC - maybe. They're supposed to be getting a snow/ice storm so maybe not lol

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  10. I liked Exit Strategy but I agree, we need some new plots going forward with ole Murderbot. I'm hoping the book Wells is working on will take him in some new directions! And The Lying Game sounds kinda good but I do like the spookiness factor in books like that. I might get it though.

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    1. Murderbot himself is awesome but the stories follow an almost exact path. I think if I spaced them out more I might not have noticed maybe?

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    2. I thought the same thing. She definitely needs to break some new ground!

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    3. I heard she's writing a full length Murderbot novel so hopefully it can go some new places. She's also bringing ART back!

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  11. I know I said so on Instagram but I am so sorry about Indy. He was so beautiful and so very loved, you could see it on his face that he knew he was loved.

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    1. Thank you so much Adria {hugs} He was older and so over pictures lol so he wasn't on there as much as Fonzi but he was a very special dog to me.

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  12. Beautiful Indy, I keep thinking about his and his handsome face. I hope the three of you are doing okay Karen. I'm so jealous of Serious Moonlight! Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks sounds as though it had so, so much potential but what a let down. The representation is incredible! Hope you're taking some incredible reads on vacation Karen, looking forward to hearing all about it when you get home. Safe travels darling!

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    1. Thanks Kelly. The holidays have been tough without him being a pain in the ass under my feet while I cook :-) but we're doing ok.

      Yeah - Freaks is SO good in so many ways. Just not exactly what I was expecting.

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  13. I've been taking my time on the Murder Bot diaries, im only on book three which seems wise now that I know it's similar scenarios, I was hoping exit plans would be better.
    Tori @ In Tori Lex

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    1. They're all fun books but I think you have the right idea spacing them out. They are very similar and I just read book #3 a few weeks ago.

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  14. I'm sorry about Indy. :(
    The chipped tooth sucks too, did your dentist manage to fix?
    It's no wonder reading took backseat.

    For me, November's reading sucked. December will also probably suck. I'm just hoping to not be ill for my wedding, get the occasional blog post up, survive my wedding (even though it's small, it's still stressful!) and then have a nice Christmas...

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    1. Thank you.

      Yes, it was just a simple bonding procedure. Didn't even need to numb the area.

      I didn't know YOU were getting married! For some reason I guess I thought you were helping to plan someone else's wedding. lol

      That's great! Congratulations

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  15. It is hard to concentrate on books sometimes when you're upset or stressed about other things in life. At least your time was still productive since you got some cleaning done. The pic w/ the snowflakes is so pretty! Lol Fonzi and the whipped cream XD

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    1. I know some people like to read when they're stressed but I can't. I get too distracted. I get pissed and need to clean things and throw things out lol

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  16. I haven't read any of the books you have read last month but I am glad there are some good ones in there. And yay for being productive! I have to say, 155 books for a whole year is a very good amount :D You should relax and take it easy this last month and only read if you're in the mood <3 Enjoy the holidays x

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    1. Yeah, I'm not worried about it. I'm going to spend the rest of the year chilling with Kevin while he's on vacation. If I read - I read. if not - whatever lol

      I'm caught up on reviews so it will all be for fun.

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  17. Aw sweet baby having a little treat. I hope December takes it easier on you!

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