March 2020 Wrap Up

It’s an understatement to say that this March wasn’t the best. I’ve shared some more details below and in some posts this month, but March was definitely an adjustment to a new type of normal for me, having moved home from my last year of college two months early. I am very appreciative of all the people in my life during this time, but the following books and TV also were the perfect way to find comfort.

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I’m so especially that I read so many incredible this month- at least five of these are favorites of 2020 and contenders of being my #1 favorite book of 2020!

Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett (ARC) | 5/5 Stars

I think I finished Chasing Lucky on the last day in February, but forgot to add it to my February wrap-up. I haven’t met a Jenn Bennett book I haven’t loved, but this May 2020 release nailed everything I love in a YA contemporary.

Blitzed (Playbook #3) by Alexa Martin | 5/5

Blitzed follows one of my favorite characters in the Playbook series, Brynn. I loved the romance and the recurring cast from the first two books.

break your glass slippers by amanda lovelace | 4.5/5

I know I’ll be revisiting a lot of the poems in this new favorite Amanda lovelace poetry collection of mine.

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NEW YEAR, SAME FANGIRL: January 2020 Wrap Up

January 2020 has been one of the busiest months of my life. I spent so much time with my friends this month, went abroad (for the first time ever) to Ireland, and jumped into my final undergraduate semester. Between friends, school, and abroad, I didn’t have too much time to dedicate to reading in January- and I’m content with that. I really enjoyed the books that I did pick up, as well as the TV and films I was able to also watch this month.

whatireadnew The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper (ARC) | 3/5 Stars

The Gravity of Us delivered on its NASA and space-premise, but I just wasn’t a fan of the chemistry between the main characters and character development.

The Risk (Briar U #2) by Elle Kennedy | 5/5

The Risk is my favorite book in the Briar U series! I loved everything about this book, and I can’t wait to read the last book in the trilogy- even though I am putting it off for a bit longer because I don’t want to be done with the Off Campus world yet!

You’re Not You by Michelle Wildgen | 4/5

You’re Not You was a really enjoyable adult contemporary and I’m interested in watching its film adaptation.

Together We Caught Fire by Eva V. Gibson (ARC) | 3/5

Together We Caught Fire is definitely a unique YA contemporary romance and provides an in-depth look at a lot of issues. However, I was not the biggest fan of the character and plot development and relationships.

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Recent Additions to My TBR: 2020 Releases and Backlist Edition

As much as us readers do our best to make our TBR piles smaller, we love adding even more books to them just as much- if not a bit more!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been adding more 2020 releases and a few backlist titles that I’ve always had my eye on to my TBR. I have a pretty solid idea of the books I’m going to be reading in February, focusing on some review copies, rereading, and hopefully a backlist book or two. But me being me and often straying away from my TBRs, I wouldn’t be too surprised if a few of these make an appearance in my February reading life.

2020 Releases

Most Likely by Sarah Watson (Release Date: March 10)- You had me at The Bold Type meets future female president of the United States. Most Likely follows four best friends as they head into their senior year of high school together, with one of the girls destined to become the future president of the United States. I’m so intrigued to see how this book comes together, between the four main characters and how- and if-the identity of the future president is revealed.

They Went Left by Monica Hesse (Release Date: April 7)- Having loved Monica Hesse’s Girl in the Blue Coat and The War Outside, I can’t believe I didn’t know about this 2020 release until I was scrolling through Twitter earlier this month! They Went Left is set in in a similar time period as Monica Hesse’s other two YA books, taking place in 1945 and following Zofia’s life after being liberated from the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

The Betrothed by Kiera Cass (Release Date: May 5)- 2020 may just finally be the year in which I read a Kiera Cass book- and no, it still won’t be The Selection (but maybe one day!). The Betrothed is set to be a YA historical romance. Having loved so much new adult and adult contemporary romance lately, I’m ready to delve into the genre.

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My Most Disappointing Reads & DNFs 2019

When you read 100+ books in one year, you’re unfortunately bound to have some disappointments and books unfinished like this fangirl did. As much as my 2019 was filled with so many great reads (see my 30+ book favorites wrap-up), I had some books that I did not enjoy as much as I had hoped and didn’t enjoy enough to finish. This post is split between my most disappointing books of 2019 and the books that I did-not-finish (DNF).

I will say that just because a book made my disappointing books and DNFs lists does not mean that I didn’t enjoy them at all or that other readers of course wouldn’t enjoy them way more than I did.

Most Disappointing Reads

When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington

When Summer Ends is the type of book that I should’ve really DNF’ed. Everyone knows that I love reading summer contemporaries during the summer, and I was really looking forward to reading one of Jessica Pennington’s books. That being said, I really pushed myself to stick with this book and honestly ended up skimming through the last one hundred pages or so to find out the ending. The book is told through two perspectives, Aidan and Olivia.  I unfortunately did not find myself invested in either character and the general plot.

The Queen of Nothing (Folk of Air #3) by Holly Black

Andddd here come the books that will get the most screams from my fellow readers. I admit that I was never the biggest fan of The Cruel Prince and never really understood the hype around it… until I read and absolutely loved The Wicked King! I had such high expectations for The Queen of Nothing. But by the first 100 page mark in QoN, I had no idea where the story was going and it stayed that way throughout the rest of the book. So much of the story was built around the Cardan vs. Madoc conflict and I really didn’t understand much of what was going on. Even with the one steamy scene, Cardan and Jude’s chemistry just felt so off.

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WINTER BREAK READS & TV WATCHES: December 2019 Wrap Up

With the fall semester officially over, much of my December was spent reading and watching up TV. Unfortunately, I basically had a cold when I came home from school for winter break that lingered around until Christmas. It went back and forth from going away to getting worse over the course me having it, likely not being helped by my winter break job either.

In short, feeling a bit under the weather gave me more of an excuse to spend some time resting and catching up on all the books and TV shows. While I’m really content with the amount and the actual books I read, I’m also glad I spent a lot of time this month with family and best friends. I had such a great, but very busy fall semester with an already equally busy January and spring semester ahead that it’s been really nice to relax and recharge.

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My December reading was primarily split between some (okay, two) fantasy conclusions and plenty of contemporary and contemporary romance.

Archenemies (Renegades #2) by Marissa Meyer | My Rating: 4/5 Stars

I’ve really enjoyed this superhero-inspired series from Marissa Meyer so far, although I feel that Archenemies suffered from middle book syndrome.

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams | Rating: 5/5

My favorite read of the month, my love for The Bromance Book Club inspired the rest of my contemporary reading in December.

The Queen of Nothing (Folk of Air #3) | Rating: 2/5

I had such high hopes for The Queen of Nothing given my love for The Wicked King, but was unfortunately really dismayed with this trilogy conclusion.

One Day in December by Josie Silver | Rating: 5/5

The only strictly holiday read on my December TBR, I’m so glad I finally got to One Day in December because I loved it so much!

How to Build a Heart by Maria Padian (ARC) | Rating: 4.5/5

I also got a small start of my 2020 review reads with How to Build a Heart, which featured many of my favorite YA contemporary elements with its own twists.

Intercepted (Playbook #1) by Alexa Martin | Rating: 5/5

Hi my name is Haley of Fangirl Fury and sports romance is one of my new favorite genres, much in thanks to Alexa Martin’s Playbook series.

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2019 5 Star Predictions Results

Many of you likely know by now that I love to create themed or different types of TBRs. One of my new-to-me TBRs in 2019 was a 5 Star Predictions to-be-read list, in which I chose 6 backlist books that came out before 2019 that I believed would be 5 star reads for me. Out of the six books I chose, I only read 4 out of 6.

I still have to read Jennifer E. Smith’s The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. In an effort to get to more backlist titles on my TBR, I plan on picking it up from the library in 2020. I did not pick up I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman, partly because I lost interest in its synopsis, partly because my local library system does not have it and I’m not sure if I want to buy my own copy (it’s also not sold here in the US).I also created a 5 Star Prediction list for 2019 releases and posted my results a few weeks ago. 

I ended up enjoying all the books on my TBR. The books that ended up not receiving 5 stars were only slightly off.

 My Correct Predictions

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti- A Heart in a Body in the World basically earned a 5 stars from me as soon as I started reading. I really couldn’t let go of this book, in love with its fantastic cast, story, and writing style. After surviving a horrific tragedy, Annabelle decides to run 2,700 miles across the country, followed by her grandfather and brother in a RV. It’s definitely a very relevant book, following a hot-button issue here in the US. While heart-breaking, Deb Caletti approached the situation and Annabelle’s reaction so incredibly well.

My Real Name is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih- My Real Name is Hanna was such a unique historical fiction read set during the Holocaust, following a Jewish girl whose family is forced to go into hiding in the woods when the Gestapo raids their Ukrainian village. I learned so much while reading this book, all complimented by Tara Lynn Masih’s beautiful and vivid writing style.

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ARE THERE MORE THAN 19?: 19 Favorite 2019 Reads

2019, you were filled with so many books- 125 books as of today to be exact. Having read so many great reads this year, it was really hard to narrow down my favorites. The first draft of this post originally had over 40 books,! I decided to be on trend and narrow it down to my top 19 favorite books.

I read the most books in a year that I ever had in 2019. A lot of this was in thanks to my summer reading, basically reading (and yes, watching Netflix) during any free time that I had in between working two summer jobs and catching up with my best friends. While my school life was supremely busy both in the spring and fall, I’m very content with the fact that I was able to read at least four books each month- sometimes five to seven depending on how many papers I procrastinated on. In between the holidays, work, and Netflix, I’ve also spent time eating up some romantic contemporaries this December as well.

Despite the amount of books I’ve read, and the amount of favorites & honorable mentions on this list, I feel like I’ve become a more critical reader and ‘favorite book’ evaluator in 2019. Earning 5 stars was pretty hard in the Fangirl Fury book this year. At the same time, there are some 5 star books that I’ve read that aren’t exactly favorites of mine, and there are books that I didn’t give 5 stars that still stole my heart and became favorites.

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81qTLTauYbLAmerican Royals by Katharine McGee

Katharine McGee’s American Royals was the Princess Diaries 2-like book I didn’t know I needed until upon reading. I’ve seriously fallen in love even more with this book in the months after I’ve finished. Set in a United States with a monarchy instead of a democracy, American Royals was the perfect blend of romance, politics, and family drama with such an addicting writing style.

 

71uhR9E2dnLSerious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

If there’s one book on this list where I absolutely loved every element within, its Jenn Bennett’s Serious Moonlight. I definitely need to do a reread of all of Jenn Bennett’s YA books, but Serious Moonlight may just be my favorite book of hers! I related so much to the protagonist, Birdie, and I loved this book’s atmosphere and premise so much.

 

81WHkIj6+yLNinth House by Leigh Bardugo

Ninth House instantly become one of my favorite reads of 2019 as soon as I read its final sentence.  I read and love a lot of books, but something about that ending made me realize that it had been such a long time that I had ‘this feeling’ of loving a book so much immediately right after finishing it. Ninth House is such an incredible blend of fantasy and literary fiction. I’m so excited to see where this series goes.

 

41150487Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

The crowd favorite of the year, I loved Red, White & Royal Blue even before the hype really began. Like many of the books on this list, RWRB perfectly balanced all its elements, from political drama, family, friendship, and of course, the romance.

 

 

thegThe Goal (Off Campus #4) by Elle Kennedy

New adult (and adult) romance is for sure one way to label my 2019 reading year, much in part to Elle Kennedy’s Off-Campus series. I particularly fell hard for the last book in the series, The Goal. I read The Goal over the course of two sittings, in love with the two main character’s chemistry and overall story. And yes, my fictional crush on Tucker likely has something to do with my love for this installment.


81fibqn7f2lImprison the Sky
(The Elementae #2) by A.C. Gaughen

Imprison the Sky is such a fantastic follow-up novel to A.C. Gaughen’s Reign the Earth. I’m usually not a fan of pirate books or books set-at-sea, but Imprison the Sky completely changed that for me. I loved how it interwove elements and charatcers from book #1 while introducing us to a new cast. The world-building and twists constantly kept me on the edge of my seat. Although I’m so sad that there are currently no plans for books #3 and #4, I highly recommend picking up these books!

91mtMzHwLOLLovely War by Julie Berry

Julie Berry’s Lovely War is hands-down my favorite historical fiction read of the eyar. I didn’t read as much in the genre as I would have liked, but Lovely War easily made up for itself. Julie Berry’s writing style is absolutely beautiful. The book is narrated by Aphrodite and other Greek Gods, following four characters whose lives are interwoven with one another over the course of World War I.

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