Monthly Recap: November 2016

November is my favorite month of the year. Football, food, friends and family. This one was a little off with the crazy state of the world after election night and the continuous trek of publishing that seems to have caught up with me. Oh, and the fact that the Longhorns don’t play on Thanksgiving anymore… Seriously messing with my tradition.

But the month was filled with fabulous memories as well. Two sweet friends got married, I got to spend an entire week with my family – including my three sweet nieces – and I got to celebrate my friend’s new job. She is staying in Austin!

All considered, it was a good month.

With a few really great reads.

What I Read

So remember when I said that November would be a light-reading month? Yeah that was kind of a lie. I should’ve known better. November was a month where ALL I wanted to do was read. I needed a little bit of an escape, and these books gave me just that. It was a really good reading month, guys.

GRAND TOTAL: 6

A Million Worlds with You by Claudia Gray ★★★★★
So I finished Claudia Gray’s latest trilogy, and WOW! Gray took a unique premise, well developed characters, stunning details and world building – in the book alone we see Rome, Egypt, Space and Moscow and a Clone Age – and combined them into a thrilling set of stories. Marguerite’s naivete did get a little annoying at times (although she seems to overcome it in the end), and the ending of this latest book seemed a little confusing and jumpy (although I tend to skim when I get excited). But overall a great read and a more than satisfying ending to the series. Oh, and a quick shout out to Chapter 21 – brilliant!

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake ★★★★☆

Holy long walk for a short drink of water, Ms. Blake. This one may have started off slow, but then… BAM!
giphy And guys, it is dark. Three sister queens competing to become the one ruler… And how does one win? By killing the other two. High-brow fantasy is all too rare in young adult, and the world building had a very Game of Thrones feel to it. Lots of characters but drags you under and makes you never want to leave. The pacing was a little lagging in places – with a few unnecessary subplots – and Katharine was a little flat compared to her sisters. But despite all of this, I can’t wait for the sequel! People seem to either love or hate this book, but it’s worth the chance to find out what you think.

One Night for Love by Mary Balogh ★★★☆☆
On Neville’s wedding day – just as the bride is supposed to be walking down the aisle – another woman dressed in rags appears instead. And who is she? His long lost, presumed to be dead, missing wife! I mean if that isn’t a great set up for a romance novel, I don’t know what is. While compelling and irresistible, the characters are almost too strong. The addressing of Lily’s past is underwhelming from an emotional stand point, although I do love that she insists upon finding herself before letting her future be defined by a man. That is all too rare in Regency romances and a breath of fresh air.

A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh ★★★★☆
In the sequel to One Night for Love, Balogh’s new characters are everything that Neville and Lily were not. They are strong but flawed. Determined but emotional. And Neville’s jilted bride from the first novel gets her own story, and I absolutely adore her. And her pretend-fiance Kit – who has agreed to give this prim lady a summer to remember – is definitely swoon-worthy.

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A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle ★★★★☆
So after finishing A Million Worlds With You, I was kind of on a roll with parallel dimensions. That combined with the announcement of the film adaptation, I picked up L’Engle’s oldie but goodie. Now since this is technically a children’s book, the writing style is a little elementary. But after rereading, I don’t know how any kid was able to understand this plot. The depth! The adventure! The physics! (I failed science, remember?) As one of the most banned books of all time, it promises to deliver, especially with four more tomes in the series.

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes ★★★★★ 51cb5a3905628b626776b68fcb49ac90
Having read Moyes’ Me Before You, I went into this novel with more than a little trepidation. I just knew it was going to let me down. Boy, was I wrong! My first mistake was that I tried to start this book during Thanksgiving, and my family doesn’t really understand the whole “don’t interrupt while I’m reading” thing. But once I was really able to dig in, I was immediately entranced. The entire premise of the book circles around the history of one painting and how two women’s lives were changed because of it. I don’t want to give anything away, but definitely add this one to your reading list.

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November Reads

 

What I Wrote

So I went into this month fully intent on participating and completing the 50,000 word challenge of National Novel Writing Month. That didn’t exactly happen…

Between the election, Thanksgiving, a nasty bout of strep and getting  back to work on revisions for my first book… Well, I guess I am just making excuses.

BUT I did write 15,000 words! Not even close to my goal, but hey, 15,000 is a hell of a lot better than zero. And damn… This book is going to be good.

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Coming up in December…

So a quick update for those of you wondering about the agent search. I received some amazing feedback in the from of R&R requests (revise & resumbit) from two great agents, and therefore, I will be diving head first into revisions this month! Not getting the “yes” at first was a little difficult for me to process, but after sitting on it for a while, I have a plan. I am focusing on the resubmit part of their request, and my book is going to be even better.

A huge shout out and BIG thank you to my uncle for reading and providing feedback on State of Grace.

Therefore, I would say this would be another light reading month… But we all saw how that worked out in November. Here is my reading list for this month:

  • The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
  • Nutshell by Ian McEwan (Yes, that is the author of Atonement. Yes, this book is apparently narrated by a fetus. Need I say more?)
  • The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee
  • What Light by Jay Asher (Check out my review of his first book here!)

Pick a book from my list (November or December) and let me know what you think!

Oh and P.S. my next monthly recap will take place in 2017! Woohoo!

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