Recent Reads #2

Welcome back bookish friends! I’m back today with another recent reads list. Something interesting, and somewhat tragic, about today’s list is there are no 5-star reads! (And only one 4-star read.) The worst part is I fully expected to love all of these, so I was pretty disappointed overall.
Side note: If you loved any of these books, I hope you’re not offended by the fact that I didn’t!

Same as last time: I will be telling you the name of each book, my star rating, the good reads synopsis (it will be in italics so you can skip over it if you don’t like to know what a book is about before going in,) and a bit of my overall opinion on the book. I’ve decided to add my date read as well this time. I hope you enjoy!

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
2 Stars ⭐️⭐️
Date Read: September 11th, 2019

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior

I did not enjoy this book to say the least. It had been on my tbr for a very long time, and I just knew I was going to love it. It’s a highly talked about series, and sounded like a lot of other books I really enjoyed, but that was one of my issues. It was TOO much like other stories. I was bored and annoyed basically the whole time. The strike throughs in the synopsis are through the whole book and I was not a fan of it. I felt no connection to the characters, and even found them to be annoying at times. This was definitely a huge let down for me.

Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye
3 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Date Read: September 15th, 2019

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied around his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging in the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark.

So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group. Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

Love, spies, and adventure abound as Sora and Daemon unravel a complex web of magic and secrets that might tear them—and the entire kingdom—apart forever.

I went in extremely excited for this one! I had been hearing so many things and have enjoyed Evelyn Skye’s past books. While I enjoyed this book, I definitely didn’t love it like I had hoped. The characters were ok, but I didn’t feel very strongly about them. The plot was unique and I was really into the beginning of the book. I’m not sure exactly where things changed, but I started to find some things confusing and weird. The book was starting to take on a quality of randomness and it seemed kind of thrown together in some spots. I hope that the second book will help clear things up for me and I will enjoy it a bit more than the first one.

Royals by Racheal Hawkins
4 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Date Read: September 16th, 2019

Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond. 

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.

I picked this up on a whim because I wanted something short and simple to read. I didn’t really know what it was about except for it had to do with royalty in Scotland and I thought that seemed cool. I ended up really enjoying this! It was exactly what I needed. Something quick and fun. I loved the characters and the many different relationships as well as the descriptions of the beautiful Scotland (that I definitely want to visit now!) I’m glad I gave this one a shot!

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
3 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Date Read: September 20th, 2019

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

This is a twelve dancing princess retelling (whichI have never heard of) and I enjoyed it for the most part. It did have some flaws though. I found a lot of it confusing/weird. I don’t know if this is because I have no context from the original story, or if it was just a weird book. I enjoyed the characters and most of the story was well written. I think what ended up throwing me off the most was the ending. I felt like it was almost a completely different book by the end, and it kind of made no sense. I found it random and I didn’t really enjoy it. Overall it was an OK stand alone novel.

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning
3 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Date Read: September 22nd, 2019

Everyone knows what happens in the end. A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss. But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends. One feared, one royal, and one already dead.

Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch. 

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.

I had been wanting to read this for SO long. I love little mermaid retellings and was beyond excited. I decided to wait until the second book came out because I just knew as soon as I finished the first book I would need book two. I was wrong. While I didn’t hate Sea Witch, I also didn’t really love it as hoped. I also have no desire to read the second book. The story itself was fun and took a very interesting path. But I felt like it was a really stretched out story and I had no real interest in any of the characters. I didn’t really see the characters motivation for most of their actions. The ending was a bit thrown together for me and I didn’t really love it.

Thanks for checking out another recent reads list! Sorry I didn’t have any great recommendations this time. I’m trying to stay in order by date read and this was just not a great reading week for me! Recent Reads 3 will have a lot of good books on it! So expect that soon!

Question: Do you like this Recent Reads set up? Or would you prefer to see big reviews for each individual book? Let me know in the comments!
I still plan to do reviews on the books I am reading now, but only on books that I have very strong opinions about.

Until next time, Happy Reading 🖤


  1. Glad to see that you gave Royals 4 stars bc it’s on my TBR but I can’t believe that you only gave the house of salt and sorrows 3 stars. I loved that book! But I am a huge fan of the 12 dancing princesses tale…. honestly I feel like I rarely get 5 star reads now a days. :/ but actually I did wind up having one recently but it’s not super common for me

    Liked by 1 person

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