Updated: Aug 26
2023 has featured quite a few one to five star books & we are ready to tell you what we have been reading and what we really thought about it! My goal for this year is to read 72 books and being 4 months in I'm at 28 books so far - well on the way to meeting this goal! Enjoy some real thoughts and insights from this season of reading!
Zodiac Academy: Sorrow and Starlight
(Rachel) - Kindle Unlimited - ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
I was WAY to excited for this one. I thought that it was going to be the last book in the series the entire time I was read it and then it just kept not ending. I normally loved this series for the multiple points of view, the world building, the attention to detail, the creativity, but honestly this one felt the slowest to me until a huge plot twist was thrown in that felt like it was straight out of left field to me. I've read all the spin-off series and I love them - this book just didn't give me what I wanted.
The Serpent and the Wings of Night (Rachel) - Kindle Unlimited - ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
VAMPS b.u.t. with WINGS! human girl who's a little viper with daddy issues, fighting for her life, constantly told she only worth is her blood, bad-boy turned kinda good-guy turned out traitor and murderer complex lead male. say less. this was a great first book to the series by Carissa Broadbent & I couldn't wait for the second book (came out in April & currently reading!)
Re-read: A Court of Thorns and Roses Series (Rachel) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The ACOTAR series will always have a very special place in my heart - it's the series that made me fall in love with reading again. It let me truly understand what it means to escape your reality. This was probably the third or fourth time that I have re-read this series and it never gets old, it always brings me some small new joys. For me, coming back to re-read ACOTAR or even the TOG series are to remind myself of what I fell in love with. Sometimes I just consume books too fast, I had read a lot last year and then I was losing the joy in it again, and flipping through ACOTAR gives me that break and rush of love for reading all over again.
What Lies Beyond the Veil (book #1) (Rachel) - Kindle Unlimited - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
What Hunts Inside the Shadows (book #2) (Rachel) - Kindle Unlimited - ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Love this series! Just when you think it can't get better, it does. This series creates a unique fae story. With good versus evil, the premise of Cal being the villain for Estrella, the love and passion. I made it through book #1 and #2 of this series in the course of 3 days.
A Touch of Darkness (Rachel) - Physical - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
"there is rage. there is passion. there is darkness"
I really enjoyed this modern retelling of Hades and Persephone - dark romance meets the antihero
Queen of Air and Darkness (Andre) - Audio - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Lord of Shadows (Andre)⭐️⭐️⭐️
Rachel Top Pick of January: Zodiac Academy: Sorrow and Starlight
Andre's Top Pick of January: Queen of Air and Darkness
A Dawn of Onyx (Rachel) - Kindle Unlimited - ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
First time author Kate Golden did a great job with setting up this book, it is a slooooow burn, I read it all in one single day, but I kept hoping for more from it. The story is good, enemies to *almost* lovers and only working together out of convenience. For this being a slow burn, some sections and parts of the story felt rushed through and random to me -but it is only the first book of this series and could all come full circle throughout the series. As this series continues, I hope for so many dots to be connected.
Pestilence (Rachel) - Kindle Unlimited - ⭐️⭐️.5
This was an interesting take on the "end of times". Pestilence actually spurred me really jumping into a quick study of Revelation and left me wondering a lot about Pestilence, War, Famine and Death. Which ultimately led me deep into a rabbit hole of feelings that revolved around the world essentially being on fire and those feelings are what stopped me from reading the other books in the series.
Daughter of No Worlds (Rachel) - Kindle Unlimited - ⭐️.5
This book was not it for me, way to slow and honestly the main characters seriously bugged me. I tried to read the second book to offer it a chance of redemption, but I only made it about halfway through the book before I gave up on the second of the series as well.
Twisted Love (Rachel) - Kindle Unlimited - ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
"If you wanted, I would burn down the world for you." This is every girls dream, well, it is at least my dream boy. One of my favorite things about reading the Twisted series was that they each had a play list that went with each book and let me tell you - that is GENIUS and man it made the books that much better.
Ava: traumatized, photographer, "good" girl
Alex: orphan, bad boy, billionaire, revenge is the only answer, genius
Link to Play List: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6xiKvChUycXiqFW3sVKGue?si=25888601f70e48b7
(Rachel) - Kindle Unlimited - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
My absolute favorite out of the Twisted series - this one did it for me. Forbidden love; scarred knight. "You don't need a crown to be a queen, princess" Princess turned Queen, who simply wants to escape life, but a natural born ruler. Bodyguard, Navy Seal, zero patience, but secretly a romantic. "Ask me again." Twisted Games also had the absolute BEST playlist - I listen to it all the time - total vibes even when I am not reading.
(Rachel) - Kindle Unlimited - ⭐️⭐️⭐️
This one good, but it wasn't my favorite, I saw this relationship blossoming way back in Twisted Lies so it really didn't surprise or shock me at all. I will say the unfortunate thing is that these two are the one two "career working" two in this whole series and the only couple that doesn't have a billionaire - which is just sad if you think about it. But I did enjoy how driven and competitive they both were and that they did not take the handouts from their friends or family.
Spanish Love Deception (Rachel) - Physical - ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
I had this book on my TBR for months and it had been one of those books that I just kept avoiding because everyone hyped up the book too much for my liking and I usually don't like them then - wrong. I read this while on a work trip over the course of two days and LOVED it. The sassy attitudes, enemies to friends to lovers, fake dating, a trip of a lifetime, avoiding and lying to your family - this book was really good and I just thought that I would be content with the book, but I really did love it.
A Court of Thorns and Roses (Andre) - Physical - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
Andre stanned Tamlin lols I love having my friends read books that I already have and getting to experience their reactions. Watching her transition from loving Tamlin to questioning him to thinking he is the one to falling in love with Rhys had me feeling all the feels all over again. I had been BEGGING Andre to read ACOTAR for years now and I finally got her a set of them for her birthday to fully guilt her to reading them - totally worth it. She read it so fast - so I 1000% take credit for it and she loved it. Half the stars are from all my joy and the fact that I can *finally* send her Reels and memes about ACOTAR and she gets them!
Rachel's Top Pick of February: Twisted Games
Andre's Top Pick of February: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Twisted Lies (Rachel) - Kindle Unlimited - ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
King of Wrath (Rachel) - Kindle Unlimited - ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Who doesn't love a big, macho, Italian man?! A man who is also controlling, brooding, and the best thing - a billionaire. I'd like to think that if my parents pawned me off to a billionaire I would not question it at all, and honestly he's Italian, I don't think that I would. Anywho, this was another quick read for me while on a work trip and I enjoyed it. I also really like how Ana Huang connects all her stories, that we had met the characters already in the Twisted series, it let me really see the character growth and development.
Re-read: Throne of Glass Series (Rachel) - Kindle Unlimited - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Throne of Glasses series will never not be good. That's it. It's a fact. Buttt this is another series that I've gotten friends on the bandwagon of reading and I love living vicariously through them!!
Black Ties and White Lies
(Rachel) - Kindle Unlimited - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The exes brother. The boss. The billionaire. The desk. The move. I love how easy and mindless this one was, especially just being a stand alone read.
A Court of Mist and Fury
(Andre) - Physical - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
"To the people who look at the stars and wish. To the stars who listen - and the dreams that are answered..."
A Court of Wings and Ruin
(Andre) - Kindle Unlimited - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A Court of Frost and Starlight
(Andre) - Kindle Unlimited - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Rachel's Top Pick of March: Black Ties and White Lies
Andre's Top Pick of March: A Court of Mist and Fury
Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood (Rachel) - Physical - ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. I got this book almost an entire year ago and had tried and tried and tried to read it multiple times over the past year and I never made it past the first few chapters. I'm not sure what it was about this book but it was just really hard for me to get into, but I will say that once I finally made it through part 1 of the book I was able to get through it pretty fast. I think a part of it was that the book was wayyy different than Throne of Glass or even the Court of Thorns which at least felt similar to me. I like Bryce, but I think starting going through the book I had the wrong expectations and kept comparing it to SJM's other book series. "Light it up." & "Through love, all is possible." The two quotes that make this book. I am glad that I finally made it through the entire book and excited to read the second and see what is going to come from this series.
Crescent City: House of Breath and Sky (Rachel) - Physical - Currently Reading
The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King (Rachel) - Kindle Unlimited - Currently Reading
A Court of Silver Flames (Andre) - Kindle Unlimited - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Rachel's Top Pick of April: Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood
Andre's Top Pick of April: A Court of Silver Flames
Books On the TBR :
The Ninth House
A Touch of Ruin
The Fine Print
A Good Girls Guide to Murder
Let's be friends on GoodReads!! https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/160643049-rachel-kimball
Have you read any of these? Any thoughts, whether you agree with our assessments and ratings or not - drop them below!