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Winter Bookish Bingo 2018-19 - Update #1 & Mini Reviews

Welcome to my first official update for Winter Bookish Bingo hosted by Bekka @ Pretty Deadly Reviews!  I haven't made a bingo yet, but I have managed to tackle ten books so far since the challenge began last month.  I'd say I'm off to a pretty good start!  Read on for my mini reviews of these books:


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Dread Nation (Dread Nation #1) by Justina Ireland was fantastic. I didn't quite realize just how much I needed that zombie novel. Historical fantasy is one of my favorite genres and this series opener hits all the right notes and is quite a page turner. Jane McKeene, our leading lady, is easily one of my new favorite characters. The novel is both incredibly entertaining and thought-provoking as well. I can't wait for the sequel and I will have to read more from the author.

I read this novel from December 7 - 16, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.

White Cover:

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Sherlock Holmes: The Red Tower by Mark A. Latham does a fantastic job bringing some of my all time favorite classic characters to life.  I love that in this story we get to see a little more of Watson on his own than usual.  I'm also a fan of the spiritualism aspect and seeing how Holmes and Watson handle that topic.  Holmes deals with it in exactly the way you would expect.  Finally, while the ending was satisfactory enough, I wouldn't call it a favorite wrap up to a Holmes story.

I read this novel from January 13 - 20, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Religious Minority MC:

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Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah is a diverse novel focusing on Amal's, a sixteen year old Muslim Australian-Palestinian, decision to wear the hijab full-time and just how much that one piece of fabric changes her life. This novel, while a little overlong, is definitely worth reading, but I wish I had read this back in 2005 when it was new and when I was actually 16 years old. My favorite aspect of this novel is watching Amal's relationship with her elderly Greek neighbor grow over the course of the story. Unfortunately, the novel is definitely one of extremes of characters. It could also be difficult to differentiate between some of the voices of the supporting characters.

I read this novel from January 11 - 12, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Free Space:

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Sixth Grave on the Edge (Charley Davidson #6) by Darynda Jones is such a fun and laugh-out-loud urban fantasy novel. I don't know how but this series just keeps getting better and better. I'm thoroughly invested now in all of the characters, from Charley herself to Reyes, Cookie, and even Mr. Wong. If you haven't read this series, I highly recommend it especially on audiobook. Lorelei King is easily one of my all time favorite narrators.

I listened to this audiobook from December 14 - 16, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Pink Cover:

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The Merciless (The Merciless #1) by Danielle Vega is incredibly intense. I mean, I think I probably should have been breathing into a paper bag after I finished it. I don't know about you but I think this could make a good horror slasher movie. Even though I wasn't all that interested in any the characters aside from Sofia, I was hooked by the plot and couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Now I need to continue this series stat.

I read this novel from December 27 - 30, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.


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Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas is the awesome third book in the Throne of Glass series, and I think it might be my favorite volume so far. That's really saying something since Crown of Midnight set the bar so incredibly high. Even though this book is over 600 pages, I sped through it and didn't want to put it down for any longer than absolutely necessary. I'm pretty sure Sarah J. Maas must be some kind of genius. I can't wait to jump in to Queen of Shadows.

I read this novel from December 13 - 31, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Book was a Gift:

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Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic by The British Library is a really cool behind the scenes look at one of my all time favorite series. I loved reading about all of the real life historical elements. I wish I could have visited the special exhibition at the British Library because that truly would have been awesome!

I read this book on January 5, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Author of Color:

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Akata Witch (Akata Witch #1) by Nnedi Okorafor is a brilliant fantasy series opener. It was exactly what I needed. Thank you very much for that, Ms. Okorafor. I loved the unique and diverse world and magic system as well as the unique cast of characters at the helm. I haven't read many novels set in Nigeria before, but now I'd love to read more about it. If you're a fan of Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, I have a feeling you'll want to meet Sunny as well. I can't wait to read Akata Warrior.

I read this novel from January 3 - 5, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Set in Europe:

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This Dark Endeavor (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein #1) by Kenneth Oppel is definitely an underrated prequel to Mary Shelley's classic Frankenstein. Personally, I think it was a great decision to begin reading this novel after watching The Ghost of Frankenstein on Svengoolie. If you're a fan of retellings and prequels, I highly recommend starting this duology. Now, I need to read book two, Such Wicked Intent.

I read this novel from January 5 - 9, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.


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Nancy Holder does a good job of bringing Angel, Cordelia, and Doyle to life in Not Forgotten (Angel: Season 1, #1). Now if only she hadn't forgotten that Angel's human name was Liam... I'm going to have to rewatch season one again soon because I forgot how much I missed Doyle.

I read this novel from December 25 - 27, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Are you taking part in Winter Bookish Bingo?  Have you read any of these books?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!


  1. Great progress Lauren! Dread Nation is such a great book, sucks that we have to wait until 2020 for the sequel.

    I read The Merciless awhile ago and it scared the hell out of me! I want to read the other books in the series, but I'm also terrified.

    1. Thanks! Dang - I didn't realize it was going to be that long of a wait!

      I totally understand about The Merciless books. :)

      Thanks for coming over, Amber!

  2. Looks like a very successful reading month, and quite a mix too. I need to giddy up on the ToG series. I have ToD and KoA to read, and then it's all over. --sigh-- I am probably avoiding finishing the series, because it's something I do, when I am like it that much.


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