Month in Review – July 2017

Here’s a summary of my reading/bookish action in July 2017. I’ll be linking up to, who inspired this idea and post format. 🙂

month in review

Total Books Read: 5

Since I’m trying to read 100 books before the end of the year, a total of five for the month puts me a little bit behind. However, I did discover that I read faster via ebook, so hopefully that will enable me to reach my goal.

Books Read

(Reviews for most of these will be up in about a month. 😊 [2018 update, reviews have been linked.] The links below are affiliate links to Amazon.)

Stone in the Sky by Cecil Castelluci (Review located here.)

Sound of Useless Wings by Cecil Castelluci

Talon by Julie Kagawa (Review located here.)

Rogue by Julie Kagawa (Review located here.)

Undeniably Chosen by Shelley Crane (Review located here.)

Book Formats

Hardcover – 1

Ebook – 4

Book Genres

Young adult – 5

New to me authors


Top Book for July

Talon by Julie Kagawa

I’ll be doing separate posts for books received this month and for my August TBR, so keep an eye out for those!

How did your July go, reading-wise? Did you read any books that I have to pick up?

❤️ Annette


Penryn and The End of Days Fashion: Post-Apocolyptic Practical

I thought it would be fun to make some fashion boards based on the Penryn and The End of Days series. All four of the outfits come from book three. Sorry if they’re not perfect – they’re the closest I could get with what I could find on Polyvore. 😊

(This post contains spoilers for End of Days by Susan Ee.)

(2018 edit – this post was orignally done using Polyvore, which no longer exists. It has now been re-done using Fashmates, so images may be different than original post.)

Penryn’s outfit choice in The End of Days, when they go to an abandoned mall to shop.
The outfit Penryn chooses for Paige at the same shopping excursion.


This one comes from page 61 of End of Days.
“‘You won’t always be fighting, Penryn. There will come a time when you’ll be so bored that you’ll wish you were fighting.’
‘I can only dream.’ I pull out the dress and lay it against me, feeling the soft, sparkly fabric.
He reaches out as if he can’t help himself and runs his forefinger along the shoulder of the dress. ‘If I were human, I’d plow the nicest farm for you.’ He sounds completely sincere. ‘Better than anyone else’s. It would have golden pineapples, the juiciest grapes, and the most flavorful radishes in the entire world.'”
Clearly the least attractive outfit from the set, but when you’re living in post-apoclyptic times, you make do with what you’ve got. I did the best I could with Pooky Bear.

Did I miss any outfits? Which of these are your favorite?

💗 Annette

July Bookstagram Summary

This month I participated in the #WishfulWonder July Bookstagram challenge. (You can find the original challenge here.) Here are the photos I posted, as well as a couple of photos I took for the challenge, but forgot to post. 😋 (And if you want to follow me on Instagram, you can do so here.)

Book Review: End of Days by Susan Ee

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Book 3 of the Penryn & The End of Days series

Penryn and Raffe continue to work together to survive after the events of book two, World After. Old enemies and old friends from Raffe’s past start to come to light as they face situations among the angel elite. Tensions rise as the angel’s plans increase danger to the remaining surviving humans on earth. Will Raffe continue to stay by Penryn’s side?

This book was awesome!!!! It gets five out of five stars. I definitely did not want to put this one down. It was very intense, in a Hunger-Games-Meets-Dante’s-Inferno sort of way. The action ramps up, and so do stakes. Has Penryn been making the right choices so far? Or have they all been wrong, based on feelings and not fact? The author does a great job of bringing everything together in the end.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

(affiliate link)

10 Thought-Provoking Dystopian/Utopian Novels

Just like I love to read books about baking and super sweet things, I also enjoy reading dystopian/utopian novels. (Hows that for contrasting preferences??) Here are ten books (or series) that fall under the dystopian/utopian novel that I’ve read. Hopefully you’ll see one that intrigues you and you’ll pick it up too!


  1. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    This is one of my favorite dystopian novels. It’s mature, so I don’t recommend it to anyone younger than high school age. In this world, babies are born out of bottles, there is no such thing as morals, and if you’re not happy, just take a Soma. The first time I read this book, I didn’t like it so much. And then I started researching it. And then I read it again… and again. Once you take the time to understand the choices the author made in writing this book, you’ll get the beauty of this novel.
  2. Anthem by Ayn Rand
    It’s been over ten years since I’ve read this book, so I don’t remember much about it. It follows Equality 7-2521, who stands out from his society by choosing to be an individual instead of part of the collective we.
  3. The Giver by Louis Lowry
    I read this one as a child and enjoyed it, but now that I know of its regard among dystopian/utopian novels, I would love to re-read it as an adult. It follows a boy who lives in a seemingly colorless world.
  4. Uglies by Scott Westerfield
    This is a four-book trilogy (that’s not a typo) by Scott Westerfield. Due to mature topics I also wouldn’t recommend this one to anyone younger than high school. In this futuristic world, sixteen-year-olds undergo surgery to become a “pretty”. Every aspect of them is changed so they can fit the “pretty” mold.
  5. Penryn and the End of Days by Susan Ee
    I’m sort of cheating with this one, since it’s more apocalyptic than dystopian. But because it does discuss the ramifications of human choice and human nature in a future time, I want to include it. This series follows Penryn as she befriends a fallen angel and navigates both his world and hers in post-apocalyptic times.
  6. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    This series follows Katniss in a futuristic world that is divided into distinct districts. Every year, each district must send two children to fight to the death in the hunger games arena.
  7. Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
    This series follows Zoe, who lives underground. Everyone in her society is implanted with a chip that controls their thoughts and actions. But one day, her chip glitches, and she begins to think on her own. She’s terrified of being discovered, but intrigued by the new world that has opened to her.
  8. Matched by Allie Condie
    I didn’t like this book very much. The world was fascinating, but the plot, not so much. In this world everyone has pretty much everything dictated to them. They’re fed the exact amount of calories they need, their supersize equipment automatically adjusts to keep them healthy, and their mates are pre-determined by a computer.
  9. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    This futuristic novel follows a firefighter who is part of a book-burning crew. The book, written in 1953, is eerily accurate with some of its predictions, including the use of earbuds. What other things will it get right?
  10. Divergent by Veronica Roth
    I haven’t read the third book in this series yet, so no spoilers please! This book follows Tris as she chooses one of five factions to live in. The factions are each characterized by a single trait – courage, honesty, selflessness, peace, or intelligence.

What other books or series could be added to this list? I’d love recommendations for other dystopian/utopian novels I need to read!

❤️ Annette

Can’t-Wait Wednesday


I got this idea from Wishful Endings who hosts a weekly link-up for books for which people are waiting. So here are my three books I am looking forward to reading.

Post contains affiliate links.

Tortall: A Spy’s Guide by Tamora Pierce

To be honest, it wouldn’t even matter what this book is about. If it’s by Tamora Pierce, I’m going to be reading it! This book looks like it will be a collection of short stories put together by Tamora Pierce and other authors, from the point of view of George Cooper. I am so excited for this book!

More Than We Can Tell by Bridgid Kemmerer

I recently read Letters to the Lost and it was fantastic! (Review coming soon 🙂More Than We Can Tell is going to follow Rev, the best friend of the main male character in Letters to the Lost. I don’t have words to describe how much I am looking forward to reading this book. I’m super intrigued to find out more about Rev, who we only saw bits and pieces of in the first book.

Moxie by Jennifer Matheiu

I’m looking forward to reading this one, mostly because it will help me figure out how I feel about this author. Her writing was powerful in The Truth About Alice, but I didn’t like the subject matter as much. So I’m interested to see how I’ll feel when the subject is different.


What books are you looking forward to reading?

❤️ Annette

Book Review: World After by Susan Ee

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Book 2 of the Penryn & the End of Days series

(This post contains spoilers for book one, Angelfall. See my review of that book here.)

After the events of the previous book, Penryn and her family travel back to the only other people they know – the Resistance. Things are complicated, however, by her mother’s abnormal antics and her sister’s zombie-doll look and behavior. And, of course, the angels.

This book was great! If you plan on reading this series, I’d recommend setting aside a weekend to do so. Plans or not, you will end up reading them all in a short space of time. 🙂 My only problem with this book was that the ending seemed so… weak. I felt unsettled since the conclusion was really just a segue into book three. This book had a lot of action and was paced nicely to keep my interest the entire way. I love the intricacies that the author wove in. I also love Penryn – whose character remains strong and consistent as she goes through these events.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

(affiliate link)

Six Great BookTubers!

Up until about two years ago, I had no idea there were entire communities devoted to books. Those who use YouTube to talk about books are called “BookTubers” and the book area of Instagram is called “Bookstagram”. Today I’m going to share with you some of the BookTubers I follow, so you can find some that you like. 🙂

Six Great BookTubers

Most of these read primarily young adult (YA) fiction. Even if you don’t like the particular BookTubers, these should suggest others that you may like.

Thoughts on Tomes

Read by Zoe

Why Mermaids

Benjamin of Tomes

Heather Loves Reading

Book Escapism

So those are my favorite – who’s your favorite BookTuber?

💗 Annette

Book Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Book 1 of the Penryn & the End of Days series

Penryn is a seventeen-year-old who is trying to survive after her world has been destroyed by angels. In a desperate dash for safety, she and her family discover a group of fighting angels. One of them flies off with her younger sister, and her schizophrenic mother disappears. She takes a wounded angel hostage, hoping he can lead her to her sister.

The series overall was fantastic, but this was my least favorite of the three books, getting three out of five stars. My reservations about the book are as follows:

  1. It gets really weird really fast towards the end. It makes sense in the context of the series, but not in the context of just one novel.
  2. This book feels like part one of a three part story. Like the series should have been written as one book, instead of three.
  3. I was expecting this book to be in the young adult paranormal/dystopian genre. It’s more in the sci-fi/horror/thriller genre. Maybe if you go into the book expecting  that, it’ll read better.

That being said, there are still some great aspects of this story. Penryn is kick-butt, even in the face of everything happening. She’s a strong and spunky character who only gets better as the story goes on. Raffe (the angel) is a mystery, and it’s fun to read and discover more about him and angel society as the story progresses.

Have you read this book/series? Are there any other angel-themed series I need to pick up next?

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

(affiliate link)

My Banana Book Collection

So, incredibly weird fact about me – I am fascinated with the history of bananas. While I’ve only read one of the banana books in my collection, it is something I enjoy reading about and talking about and researching. Did you know bananas did a lot to shape North and South America? That entire wars have started thanks to the banana? Not only is the banana itself interesting (did you know it’s an herb?), the companies and advertising associated with it is interesting as well. So without further ado, here’s my awesome collections of books about bananas!


(Clicking on each picture will take you to Amazon through an affiliate link.)

Bananas – How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World by Peter Chapman

This is the one book I have read. It covers the history of the banana as it relates to the United Fruit Company. This one company shaped a very large part of the Americans – North, Central, and South. While this book is written as more of a research paper instead of a narrative like modern pop science, I still found the stories and information contained within fascinating.

Banana – The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World by Dan Koeppel

This book covers the entire history of the banana – from its very origins to its uncertain future. It is broken down into six parts: Family Trees; Expansion; Corn Flakes and Coup d’Etas; Never Enough; Good-bye Michael; and  A New Banana. Just reading the chapter titles gets me excited to read this book!

The Banana – Its History, Cultivation and Place among Staple Foods by Reynolds

I originally found this book while doing research at my university’s library. It was old and falling apart – and super interesting! It was first published in 1921 (according to what I can find on Amazon…) and it deals with the more biological history of the banana. What bits and pieces I have read from it are fascinating, as this book was written before a lot of the influential banana events of the 20th century occurred.

Bitter Fruit – The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala by Stephen Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer

The American coup in Guatemala is probably the event that got me hooked on bananas in the first place. I even once tried to write a historical ficiton book about it. (Turns out, writing historical fiction is a lot harder than one would think. 😛) This book goes into detail the events surrounding the coup.


The Fish That Ate the Whale – The Life and Times of America’s Banana King by Rich Cohen

This book follows the story of Samuel Zemurray – the “banana king”. It’s likely due to him that we even know about the banana at all. He is also the person who eventually led the United Fruit company and had great influence over the development of Central America.

Am I missing any important banana books? Which one of these intrigues you the most?

❤️ Annette

five fantastic books about bananas