Your Next Favorite Book: The "ember" Months

I missed last months link up of my reading list because in the month of October I literally read two books and that was it.  But thankfully I got back on track with my book reading in November so here I am!

I am officially 5 books away from meeting my reading challenge.  So that means once school is over on Friday I will be in reading overdrive to get them done before January 1st!  But I’ve got some good ones lined up for my final five so getting through them will not be a struggle at all! 🙂

Alright so here is what I read in what I’m calling the “ember months” of October and November!

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis: “They think I am still a little girl who is not capable of being a Queen.”

Lord Melbourne turned to look at Victoria. “They are mistaken. I have not known you long, but I observe in you a natural dignity that cannot be learnt. To me, ma’am, you are every inch a Queen.”

In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother; resolute about meeting with her ministers alone.

One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But Victoria had met Albert as a child and found him stiff and critical: surely the last man she would want for a husband….

Drawing on Victoria’s diaries as well as her own brilliant gifts for history and drama, Daisy Goodwin, author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter as well as creator and writer of the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria, brings the young queen even more richly to life in this magnificent novel.

My thoughts:  I was able to read this book on my flights to and from Orlando two weekends ago.  I LOVED IT.  I love reading about Queen Victoria’s early years of ascending the throne at 18 and meeting and actually falling in love with Prince Albert.  I first fell in love with her story when I saw The Young Victoria with Emily Blunt.  Such a good movie and one you need to see if you haven’t.  This book follows the same story but I love the authors voice.  I’ve read a few other Daisy Goodwin books and have really enjoyed them.  She wrote the script for the show Victoria that is premiering on January 15th on PBS.  From what I’ve gathered the book is basically the script of the tv show so I’m pretty sure I already know what happens.  But I’m hoping that there will be a season 2 that will go further into her story.  Anywho, loved the book, it gather me all the feels as I was on the plane and I may have teared up just a tad towards the end.  But don’t worry they were happy tears, not sad ones!

Goodreads Synopsis: Erin Crawford is a relationship blogger with a bucket list and a vendetta. After years of horrible luck in relationships, she decides to start a blog called “30 First Dates.” Her mission: go out with 30 men before her 30th birthday, all to find a non-jerk in 30 dates or less. As she blogs about her sometimes humorous and sometimes laughably bad dates, she crosses off her bucket list of 30 things she wants to do before she turns 30—and kills two birds with one stone by completing the items on her dates! In fourteen months she skydives, skinnydips, crashes a wedding, travels to multiple cities and lives way outside her comfort zone. The only question is, as her birthday approaches and her list grows smaller, will Erin be able to find love? Or is she destined to be a first-date-only kind of girl?

My thoughts: THIS BOOK!!! First of all, I loved it.  It was light and fluffy and exactly what I needed a few days ago. Second of all it literally felt like the author has been stalking my life.  There are so many parallels to my life and Erin’s.  It was a little scary to be honest.  I even called and told some of my besties about it and they agreed that a lot of the things in Erin’s like parallel mine.  For example…she’s 28 when the book starts and I’m 28.  She has a 30 by 30 list and so do I (and everyone else but still).  She’s a teacher, I’m a teacher.  She decides to start a blog to chronicle going on 30 first dates by the time she’s 30 and I have a blog too. Granted it’s not about chronicling my dates but I have talked about my dating experience before.   Anyway, needless-to-say I was totally enthralled the entire time and really liked the book.  I’m dying to know what happens next and thankfully I found out that a sequel is coming out on January 3rd!  So I’ll get to find out what happens next! WOO HOO!   If you’re 28-30, have a blog, are single….this is the book for you! 

Goodreads Synopsis: Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend. 

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

My thoughts:  Ok so I borrowed this book from one of my 8th graders.  I remember seeing it somewhere in blog world but I can’t remember where exactly, then saw one of my students reading it so I asked her if I could borrow it.  It was light and fluffy and full of high school angst and I loved every minute of it.  After reading so much fantasy in September and October is was nice to get back to some “real world” (and I use that term lightly) with this.  I liked how real Anna was.  She wasn’t your picture perfect brunette, so I can see how teenagers (and a few 20-somethings like myself) would easily be able to relate to her.  Plus who doesn’t wish their parents had sent them to school in PARIS!  Ummmm I DO!!  

Goodreads Synopsis: Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

My thoughts:  Another sequel, but in this books case I read the first one 6 months ago.  Thankfully the author did a good job of reminding you what happened as she moved the story along.  Loved getting so many different perspectives in this.  Helped see so many different sides of the story.  Can’t wait for book 3!

Goodreads Synopsis:  The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.

The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.

My thoughts:  This was the other book I read in October.  It’s the sequel to The Wrath and the Dawn, which I read in September.  I like that its a two book story, since there are so many trilogies out there these days, but I will say I’m having a hard time remembering how this one officially ended.  Clearly it wasn’t all that memorable since I can’t remember how it ended, like at all.  But I do remember feeling satisfied when all was said and done.  So there’s that.  Read it if you read the first one! 

Goodreads Synopsis:  In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, “Some of the most interesting dragons I’ve read in fantasy.”

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

My thoughts:  I found this book back at the beginning of October while wandering around the public library.  I’d been on a bit of a fantasy kick at the time and thought it would be good.  And while it was it took me FOREVER to finish it.  I enjoyed the overall story and even checked out the sequel but have yet to read it.  It’s a very elaborate story with lots of detail that I guess I just wasn’t quite in the mood for after all.  Nonetheless I did enjoy it and will eventually read the sequel……I think.  Honestly it’s a take it or leave it book for me when all is said and done.  

Wasn’t that so much more fun than just reading about the two books I read in October, especially considering I didn’t even care for them all that much.  My November books were much more entertaining and enjoyable than the October ones.  But hopefully you’ve found one or two here that will make it on your own TBR list! 
Linking up with Jana and Steph! Off to find some more to add to my ever growing TBR list! 🙂

Life According to Steph

12 thoughts on “Your Next Favorite Book: The "ember" Months

  1. So Victoria and Thirty First Dates both sound so cute! I feel like I need to read Anna & The French Kiss because I've heard how cute it is, and I love cutesy books like that. You only have 5 more books left to read, you can do it! Especially if you're listening to The Repeat Year on your way home! I need to read The Wrath & The Dawn! It sounds like a book that I'd love!


  2. i am 20 books away from my goal. oops! i doubled it halfway through the year which was just stupid lol. i loved the young victoria so i might have to check that book out. i've not read any of her books. 30 first dates sounds adorable, though i am not 28 or single lol i'm adding it to my list.anna and the french kiss is adorable. the next two in the series are good as well, though i think Lola is my absolute fave (I didn't think I would like her story more than Anna's but YUP trust).i loved the rose and the dagger, but i also don't remember much about how it ended. my memory sucks though. i was so happy it was only 2 books. i'm so sick of trilogies and series.


  3. Book about dragons? Don't mind if I do. Seraphina added to my TBR. Lol! I just started using Goodreads 3 years ago and each year that amount I read is so different that I haven't been able to set goals that make much sense. Like this year my \”goal\” was 50 but I'm closer to reaching 100. That's a ton for me, though, so I doubt I'll set it that high next year either. I still like setting them – no good reason for it, though. 😛


  4. Victoria sounds really good and I'm adding it to my TBR. The Wrath and the Dawn is on my TBR already and I actually like the fact it's a 2-book series too! Seraphina sounds interesting, although I had a tough time with Eragon. My nephew raved about it to me but I found it meh. But I like books with extensive world-building so I'll give Seraphina try.


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