NetGalley November — Learning From My Mistakes

Hello, friends! I have a confession to make and I’m sure you all can tell from the title of this post. November is going to be dedicated to the (long) list of NetGalley books that I need to read. I’m not going to discuss the amount because I went through a phase when I first started blogging where I would request everything. I feel terrible about it, but I’m slowly trying to make up for that. I’m writing this so I can hold myself accountable. If you have books from NetGalley that you need to read then let this be motivation. You got this!

For the month of November, the majority of the books I read will be from my NetGalley checklist. I don’t want to put myself in a slump, so I’m not going to commit to only picking up NetGalley books. I have a good variety to choose from, and I’d say a lot of them have already been published, but I’ll do my best to make sure I balance the old with the upcoming. This will be a list of nine books I want to knock off of my list.

Thank you to all the publishers for the early digital copies in exchange for an honest review!

*click on images for the link to their Goodreads page*

“But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…”

Published: 11/5/19 by Avon

3.86 average rating on GR

369 pages

Genre: Romance (own voices)

“In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.”

Published: 8/20/19 by Celadon Books

4.06 average rating on GR

355 pages

Genre: Thriller

“An addicting and twisty debut about an apartment building devastated by the disappearance of a teenage girl–and by the secrets that won’t be kept behind each closed door–that will thrill fans of Lisa Jewell and Shari Lapena.”

Publication: 2/16/21 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

4.50 average GR rating

304 pages

Genre: Suspense / Thriller

“Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.”

Published: 3/10/20 by William Morrow

4.05 average GR rating

373 pages

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

“A young girl discovers a portal to a land filled with centaurs and unicorns in Seanan McGuire’s Across the Green Grass Fields, a standalone tale in the Hugo and Nebula Award-wining Wayward Children series.”

Publication: 1/12/21 by Tor.com

4.22 average GR rating

176 pages

Genre: Fantasy

“Showing that truth is stranger than fiction, Sylvain Neuvel weaves a scfi thriller reminiscent of Blake Crouch and Andy Weir, blending a fast moving, darkly satirical look at 1940s rocketry with an exploration of the amorality of progress and the nature of violence in A History of What Comes Next.”

Publication: 2/2/21 by Tor.com

3.11 average GR rating

304 pages

Genre: Science Fiction

“A middle grade fantasy adventure about a trio of royal siblings who unlock a long-forgotten magical language in their bid to reclaim their stolen throne.”

Published: 9/8/20 by Balzer + Bray

4.18 average GR rating

368 pages

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

“Alisha Rai returns with the first book in her sizzling new Modern Love series, in which two rival dating app creators find themselves at odds in the boardroom but in sync in the bedroom.”

Published: 8/6/19 by Avon

3.68 average GR rating

387 pages

Genre: Romance

“A hauntingly powerful novel about how the choices we make can stay with us forever, by the award-winning author of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and 84K.”

Published: 11/12/19 by Orbit

3.74 average GR rating

420 pages

Genre: Fantasy


I love NetGalley and I’m so happy that it’s a resource readers can use, but sometimes it can get out of hand. Publishers allow you to read the novels early so you can review them and get the word out. It gives other readers something to go off of rather than going into a book blind. That’s why I want to do my best to read the books I requested. There are some on my checklist that I don’t want to read anymore, and I will figure out what I want to do when I get to them (there are only a few options). My end goal, really, is to get my percentage past 80, which is a lot of books. Wish me luck!

Do you use NetGalley or Edelweiss? Do you have a habit of requesting too many books at once or is it just me *nervous laughter*?


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Book Review: Network Effect (Murderbot Diaries #5) by Martha Wells

Network Effect (Murderbot Diaries #5) by Martha Wells

352 pages

Publication: 5/5/20 by Tor.com

ISBN: 9781250229861

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: 3 out of 5.

B&N | Amazon

Thank you to Tor.com for the early physical copy in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads Synopsis:

Murderbot returns in its highly-anticipated, first, full-length standalone novel.

You know that feeling when you’re at work, and you’ve had enough of people, and then the boss walks in with yet another job that needs to be done right this second or the world will end, but all you want to do is go home and binge your favorite shows? And you’re a sentient murder machine programmed for destruction? Congratulations, you’re Murderbot.

Come for the pew-pew space battles, stay for the most relatable A.I. you’ll read this century.

I’m usually alone in my head, and that’s where 90 plus percent of my problems are.

When Murderbot’s human associates (not friends, never friends) are captured and another not-friend from its past requires urgent assistance, Murderbot must choose between inertia and drastic action.

Drastic action it is, then.

Review:

Did I enjoy this one more than the novellas? No. Will I miss Murderbot if this truly is the end? Absolutely.

I was super excited about a full-length novel involving Murderbot, but 350 pages of pure science fiction, for someone who isn’t fluent in the genre (yet), is a lot to process. I’m working on it, and this is a step in the right direction. I know this shouldn’t affect my rating but, unfortunately; it does. Here’s why:

The writing can get very convoluted at times. I’m not going to lie, a lot of this novel went over my head. Some wording threw me off, and it all took me out of the story. I don’t even know if I can thoroughly explain what happened all the way through the book.

I would love to go back and reread the four novellas that created my love for Murderbot. It’s been a bit since I read them, so I’m interested to see how I feel about them now. Did I actually understand them as much as I thought I did? If I ever do reread them, I will keep you all updated.

I think if the middle third of the book was removed, I would have enjoyed it a bit more. I love this series for its action, and there’s not a lot in this one. That’s not to say that I didn’t love the banter between Murderbot, the humans, and ART (Asshole Research Transport or Perihelion). I enjoyed the throwbacks to previous novellas and all of those characters. Many, many references to GrayCris and old memories with ART. You can feel the love that Murderbot has for ART, even though it doesn’t want to admit it. I also loved the references to Murderbot’s roots—where it all started.

I will not deny that there is some good character building in this one. We get tidbits of background information on random characters, which is a nice breath of fresh air. I don’t think I go into these novels for that, though. I’m not a huge character-driven reader. I thrive on plot, but I do love me a balanced novel.

The ending is very bittersweet. It did satisfy my Murderbot needs, and it was open enough to either end it there or continue. I wouldn’t mind either one. I’m sure a series like this could go on forever, but it’s probably smart to stop before it starts to drag.


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Book Review: Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children #5) by Seanan McGuire

Thank you to Tor.com & NetGalley for the digital copy in exchange for an honest review!

Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children #5) by Seanan McGuire

Published: 1/7/20 by Tor.com

206 pages

ISBN: 9780765399311

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3 out of 5.

B&N | Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

When Jack left Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister–whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice–back to their home on the Moors.

But death in their adopted world isn’t always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her. Something terrible. Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive. Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome.

Eleanor West’s “No Quests” rule is about to be broken.

Again.

Review:

We were lambs for the slaughter, all of us, and if we survived this long, it’s not because we’re special. Come on. Let’s be heroes one more time.”

Sumi

Characters |

This installment of the series pretty much dealt with a lot of old characters—mainly Jack—who I’m unfortunately not a fan of. I didn’t enjoy reading about Jack and Jill in the second book either. I don’t know what it is about them that just makes my blood boil. The Gothic vibe and I don’t mix well.

On a brighter note, I loved Kade and Sumi. Sumi is just a big bundle of illogical confection and a sense of adventure. She will give anyone a pep talk, as mumbo-jumbo as it may get. I also think I love her so much because book three is my favorite in the series.

Kade just wants to do a good job and be a hero.There’s a scene involving him that actually made me sad. I just want to give Kade a hug at all times. He is supposed to be next in line for the school, since Eleanor is losing her interest after Lundy’s death. I can’t imagine the pressure that puts on him. He also deals with the minute problems that happen at the school. He’s definitely a trooper!

Alexis is a new character in this installment. She comes back to the school with Jack. There may or may not be a little female/female relationship going on there. *Wink, wink* I didn’t really have any issues with Alexis. She was a very average character. I enjoyed how great Alexis and Jack were together. I think they make a great pair.

P.S.: I also loved Pony and Bones—a normal horse and a skeleton of a horse. I’m sure you can guess who is who.

Story |

The story in this one fell flat for me. I just couldn’t tell you why, but I think it’s setting up for the next book or a book further down the line. The ending wasn’t disappointing by any means. I was actually pleased with how this one ended.
It just lacked action. They all go to the Moors—Jack’s world—to get her body back. It obviously goes against Eleanor’s rule: “No solicitation. No visitors. No quests.”

To sum it up in three words: water, vampires, and Jill—of course.
Jack is also trying to revive Dr. Bleak—a father figure to her. He helped her in so many ways that her real father never could. It’s sort of a sub-plot that is going to be the main plot in another book.


This one really shoves heroism in your face, and the fight between good and evil. The Moors really shows that fine line between the two sisters. Not that any of that is bad.

Writing |

I love McGuire’s writing. Even though I didn’t enjoy the book very much, I still felt many emotions throughout it. That tends to surprise me every time. I never have a lot to say about an author’s writing unless I absolutely hated the book or absolutely loved it. If you love McGuire, then you will love the writing style in this one!

Overall |

If you’re interested in knowing whether I’m continuing on with the series or not, then you will be happy to know that I am. I’m just hoping that something changes. I haven’t been the biggest fans of the last two installments. I want to love this series, so I’m going to give it another shot, fingers crossed.

“Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children was an island of misfit toys, a place to put the unfinished stories and broken wanderers who could butcher a deer and string a bow but no longer remembered what to do with indoor plumbing. It was also, more importantly, a holding pen for heroes. Whatever they might have become when they’d been cast out of their chosen homes, they’d been heroes once, each in their own ways. And they did not forget.”


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