Reading Updates

My First Two Months on NetGalley

I officially joined NetGalley in late 2020 but I didn’t request my first book until early April. During two months since I’ve been active on NetGalley, I’ve requested a lot of books, been turned down for many, received a bunch and reviewed half of those. It’s been fun and definitely is something I plan to continue. Here’s a summary of the six books I’ve had the pleasure to read so far and the 6 I’m approved for and plan to read soon (or at least by their publication dates).

Books I’ve Read so Far

The first ARC I received and first ARC I read was If the Shoe Fits by Julia Murphy (will be published August 3, 2021). This is a contemporary romance retelling of Cinderella. Cindy is a plus-sized girl and shoe designer who ends up on a reality dating show. This book was adorable and incorporates pieces of the classic tale so well and creatively. I gave it 5 stars. Read my full review on Goodreads.

Next up was a “read now” selection, But for the Mountains by Erin Riha (published June 2, 2021). This is a dark dystopian novel about a girl who is abused and then is whisked away to a “school” that is really a venue for girls to meet and compete to marry the prince. It’s like The Selection but darker….WAY DARKER. Make sure to look up the trigger warnings before picking this one up, there are TONS of them. Overall, the plot was lacking on this one and I just never wanted to pick it back up. I ended up at 3 stars because I did like the characters and it was fairly interesting, just needed more action. You can read my full review on Goodreads.

Then I read A Girl Made of Air by Nydia Hetherington (published June 1, 2021). This one is billed as a historical fantasy about the world’s greatest funambulist. However, this was a slog and the fantasy portion was largely absent. Add a cast of characters that I did not like at all and a weird timeline, and you get a 2-star read. You can read my full review on Goodreads.

Then I read Wendy, Darling by A.C. Wise (published June 1, 2021). This is a dark Peter Pan story that explores what happened to Wendy and Neverland after the Darling children went home. It has multiple storyline with very interesting premises and perspectives. I was totally loving this one until the ending really let me down, there were just so many better ways that could have made this an awesome read. Nevertheless, it was an interesting and really unique read and I gave it 4 stars. You can find my full review on Goodreads.

Then I read The Momentous Expiration of Tremmy Sinclair by Michael F. Stewart (will be published June 14, 2021) and wow, this one really surprised me. This is the story of Tremendous “Tremmy” Sinclair who is 17 years old, rich, hot, the captain of the drone wars team, and dying. This is not your typical book about someone dying, this book manages to twist this sad tale into an almost humorous story using a bizarre backdrop to really dig into these issues without the book just being a sob-fest. I gave this book 4 stars. You can read my full review on Goodreads.

My most recent NetGalley ARC was Saving Seymour by LN Loch (will be published June 15, 2021). This is the adorable love story of Ivan and Winston who, like the rest of their world, are unable to see in color until they accidentally bump into each other (i.e., their soulmates). Winston is an activist determined to free Seymour (an Ocra) from Galaxsea amusement park but Ivan works for Galaxsea. This is a very amusing story with some interesting discussions and A WHALE! Very enjoyable and self-published, I gave it 4 stars. You can see my full review on Goodreads.

Books Left on My NetGalley Shelf

I have 6 books on my NetGalley shelf left to read and review. Stay tuned for full reviews of:

  • Skye Falling by Mia Mackenzie, Publication Date June 22, 2021 (currently reading)
  • Flash Fire by TJ Klune, Publication Date July 13, 2021
  • The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives by Kristin Miller, Publication Date July 20, 2021
  • Bright Ruined Things by Samantha Cohoe, Publication Date October 26, 2021
  • The Last She by HJ Nelson, Publication Date December 7, 2021
  • The Gaps by Leanne Hall, Publication Date February 8, 2022

Thank you NetGalley, publishers, and authors for all of these ARCs!

Book Reviews

Book Review – The Black Flamingo

Last night I finished The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta and I can’t stop thinking about it. If you’re not familiar with it, The Black Flamingo is a novel in verse following a gay, half black/half Greek boy named Michael from the time he is a small boy who wants to play with Barbie dolls to his starting to do DRAG in college. I loved everything about this and gave it the coveted 5 stars.

This is my second novel in verse (earlier this year I read The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo) and I’ve loved them both. I hated poetry in school and have never really gotten into as an adult either. But the novel in verse just works. These stories are powerful and moving in a way that I don’t think they could have accomplished without this format. In this format, I really feel like I knew Michael as his story progressed through the verses. It flowed so well and read so quickly but with such heart that it’s really easy to believe he is real. It read like a memoir and a wonderful one at that.

I could not help but fall in love with Michael and cheer for him every step of his journey. I was in tears at the end which given it only took about 2.5 hours to read is incredible. The words and story are powerful and I highly recommend it. If you’re scared of the novel in verse (I know I definitely was), don’t be; they’re a quick read and I think you’ll be surprised.

This also marks book #4 of 8 pledged for me of Whatever You Want a Thon. If you don’t know about this readathon, there’s still time to join, check out the info on Twitter @whateverthon.



Hello, my name is Susan and welcome to my blog. It is quite possible that no one will ever read this besides me but that’s ok. So if you’re here, thank you and otherwise, I plan to enjoy writing this for myself.

Things you should know about me:

  1. I love my dog Bonnie (she’d be quite pleased to know she gets top billing) and likely will have lots of posts about this very cute little girl.
  2. I love to read. This is actually my main reason for starting this. I read 2 or more books a week and need an outlet for my thoughts.
  3. I knit in my spare time or at least I used to. I have an Etsy site that is currently mothballed but still taking special orders. I plan to share my projects and hopefully eventually find my love for knitting again if for no other reason than to use up all of the random skeins of yarn around my house.

There are many other things about me but this is really what I plan to talk about. I’m also an engineer, I like to travel, I love Disney, and I love my family.

Enough about me, let’s get to the books (and maybe the occasional knitting project)!