The Return to Beauty and the Beast and more - November Reading Wrap Up

Hello fellow bookworms and non bookworms alike! November has quickly dwindled down, the holidays are upon us, and soon we will be celebrating the end of another year. All of this is rather shocking to me. My month of reading was full of stops and starts and frustration; however, I was able to finish a few books. As of today, I have accomplished my Goodreads goal of 50 books for the year. I personally wish I would have read more, but life happens. Lets have a look at what I did finish this month.

This month I started reading The Bane Chronicles; however, I didn't stick to it or finish it. That brings my total up to three unfinished books, not counting my daily readings or devotionals such as Simple Abundance, Savor, and now The Journey for Advent.

Losing It by Cora CarmackLosing It
Cora Carmack
Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Adult

(Warning, there is adult content in this book.) In Losing It, we follow the main character Bliss, a college senior on her way to finishing her degree. She is a theater major with two paths: acting and stage management; however, she has other things on her agenda. After her best friend discovers that she is still a virgin, she is determined to help her change that as soon as possible.

Rating: 3/5
Have you ever found yourself just wanting something fluffy and light that you can relax with? This was that for me. It isn't a super romantic book, or deeply moving in any profound way. The characters themselves are relateable; however, I didn't find myself attached to them in any way. Of course Garrick is the "forbidden" romance with an accent. It was a book I could just read for the fluff, although the fluff was very light with one or two heavier scenes. Overall it proved to be a good distraction, which was what I was looking for.

Girl Underwater by Claire KellsGirl Underwater
Claire Kells
Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Survival

Avery loves nothing more than swimming. The holidays are here and it is time to fly home to spend some time with her family in Brooklyn; however, things don't go according to plan. After dodging a ride with Phil and Colin, she finds herself late and running to catch the plane. The last to board, she is relieved to find she isn't seated next to either one of her swim team members; however, a turn of events have her sharing the row with Colin, the one she is mostly trying to avoid. She wakes from what she thinks is a nightmare to only discover that the screams are real and the plane is swiftly going down. Surviving the crash is just the beginning and they still have so much more to overcome.

Rating: 5/5
This book bounces between present time (recovering) and trying to survive after the crash. The emotions are raw and predominate throughout the whole story. It is hope and fear and loss all weaved into one story. To survive they have to do whatever it takes, even the unthinkable, to keep themselves alive. As a reader, you can feel the burden and the loss weighing on Avery's shoulders. Working through the aftermath of the crash through her eyes is surreal and heartbreaking. I really appreciated the going back and forth, it really gave me the strength I needed to complete the book. Probably wasn't my brightest idea to read this while my fiance was traveling across the US via airplane; however, I am really grateful to the person that recommended it to me.

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
The Chaos of Stars
Kiersten White
Mythology, Young Adult, Fantasy

Being the human daughter of Egyptian god and goddess comes with its major drawbacks, one being a messed up family. Her mother, Isis, usually gets pregnant every 20 years; however, this time it has only been 16. Isadora feels like the outsider, less than wanted, since they chose to not make her immortal. When Anubis appears again after being banned from the house, Isadora finds her freedom in moving to San Diego with her brother Sirus. Everything is not as free as she thought it would be. Her mother still has rules that she must follow. With her dreams getting more elusive, dark, and tinged with fear, she realizes her family is in danger. Now she must fight the feelings of rejection and resentment in order to save them. 

Rating: 2.5/5
Early on I almost didn't finish the book. I am not a huge fan of the main character who came of as a bratty teen. I understand feeling rejected and rebelling; however, she took it to a whole new level letting it become the basis for many of her decisions. Isadora took that to a completely different level. I can usually tolerate lacking characters, but I found myself disliking her more and more. It took about half of the book for me to decide to finish it, partly out of stubbornness. I liked the concept of the book and having not read much mythology based books before, I found myself a little confused at beginning. I did like the little snippets of mythological story at the beginning of the chapters. The plot twists at the end helped with the overall rating and the last few chapters really picked up the pace. I would have probably enjoyed it more had the whole book been written like the last few chapters.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Cruel Beauty
Rosamund Hodge
Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Retellings, Young Adult

"I was raised to marry a monster." Her wedding day has come. It is a doomed fate, kill the ruler and possibly be killed in the process, or attempt and fail. Nyx is the only hope for the people of Arcadia. Betrothed to the ruler before her birth, she was destined to marry him for the price of her mother baring children. She has known her fate since the age of nine and has resented her father and twin sister every since. She is determined to succeed in destroying him so that she can lift the curse drawn upon Arcadia for nine-hundred years, placing them in a dome of parchment sky that shuts them off from the rest of the world. Her father has trained her in the Hermetic ways of the Resurgandi to help her to destroy the curse from the inside, destroying the castle and the ruler. 

Rating: 4/5
The book itself was a rather fast pace. I loved the blend of retelling and mythology together. Being a lover of Beauty and the Beast retellings, I really enjoyed this. The characters were rounded with just enough background and depth to make you care about them. I laughed, I cried, and I would read it again. I found myself being caught up in the romance and the feeling of despair of what had to be done. The castle itself was intricately layered and detailed. I loved the imagery of the world that was created. It could be a tad bit confusing from time to time; however, I found myself really immersed in the writing.

This month was a good mix up of things for me; however, I can feel myself still struggling with reading as well. Hopefully I can pull myself out of that soon. What are some of the books that you read during November?