November 2021 Wrap-Up

November was a pretty awesome month for me. I read 9 books (including 2 new favorites), got a bunch of ARCs, hit 200 followers on my blog (read more about that in the Life section), discovered my love of candles, celebrated my parents’ birthdays and became a lot more productive. Of course, I had my days where I cried myself to sleep, but overall, it was great.

Fiction

You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press & Netgalley for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

This was probably one of my most anticipated reads of this year. So believe me when I say I was really sad when I finished this.

I didn’t like it. At all.

It was really slow, and Julie was completely 2 dimensional. Her relationship with Sam was boring, and Sam didn’t have a personality. Seriously, it was so hard for me not to skim through this.

So yeah. I understand that this is a pretty unpopular opinion, so don’t come at me in the comments (lol).

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Slay by Brittney Morris

This was so eye opening. It’s about racism in the gaming community, and how safe spaces are needed for minorities to flourish.

Kiera was a fantastic protagonist. She was fierce, strong and confident, and didn’t care about what other people thought. The descriptions of the game were so vibrant and detailed and I could just imagine it perfectly. I love the side characters, and how they’re all so fleshed out. The discussions of feminism were spot on and I was internally cheering for the characters the whole time.

Overall, a great contemporary for people who loved Warcross.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When You Get The Chance by Emma Lord

Huge thanks to Netgalley, as well as Wednesday Books for sending me an ARC of ‘When You Get The Chance’ in exchange for an honest, unbiased review!

This was so good! I loved Millie’s character; she was funny, insanely confident in herself and her abilities, but was also really kind. Her relationship with Oliver was the best (BANTER! + Slow-burn), and I loved watching it slowly progress into something more. The side characters were also really well done; I loved Teddy (male/female platonic relationships are the best), and Chloe was so sweet. And there’s a huge aspect of theater and drama which I found really interesting.

Overall, anybody who loves contemporary romances would really enjoy this.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Aurora’s End (The Aurora Cycle, #3) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

It hurts my heart to say this, but this book was disappointing.

So I liked most of the characters. I really loved Scarlet and Tyler in this book. Finian too, of course. Saedii really grew on me. The new girl, Nari, was literally the best. But the real star of this book was Zila. I loved her. Her character development through this series was fantastic. I’m happy with where she ended up.

But what really bothered me was the last third of the book. Super underwhelming. There was this whole build up and nothing super exciting happened. The first 2 books had such good climaxes that broke my heart but this one? Nothing.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Huge thanks to Netgalley, as well as Skyscape for sending me an ARC of ‘Tahira in Bloom’ in exchange for an honest, unbiased review!

SO. CUTE. I loved this! The perfect mix of confident, ambitious, brown protagonist, flowers, enemies to lovers and fashion. Tahira was such a good character. She was realistic, and ambitious and strong. She had her priorities in order, which I really loved. Rowan was literally so charming, what the heck. He was so complex and I love how his character was explored in the book.

There were discussions of racial prejudice and microaggressions throughout the book (Tahira is brown and muslim, and Rowan is black). It was a nuanced view and I liked how the author dealt with it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Long Story Short by Serena Kaylor

Huge thanks to Netgalley, as well as St. Martin’s Press and Wednesday Books for sending me an ARC of ‘Long Story Short’ in exchange for an honest, unbiased review!

I loved this so freaking much. It’s everything I want in a book and more. Beatrice is the best (points for neurodivergent representation!) I love her snarky-ness and awkwardness. She’s just awesome. Nik was a jerk at the beginning but as he began to open up I started to love him. He’s such a sweetheart. And yes, this is slow-burn enemies to lovers.

Mia and Nolan were the best, and I loved their relationship with Bea. It was hilarious and realistic and so, so sweet. Everyone should have friends like them.

Find my full review here!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

You Have a Match by Emma Lord

Tweet Cute was good, but this was amazing. I loved Abby and her fiery personality, the romance was so cute, and the relationships and found family were adorable. Abby’s relationship with Savvy was so complex and realistic.

Abby and Leo were the sweetest. I love me some good best friends to lovers. I loved the importance put on family. Savvy and Abby got off on the wrong foot, but in the end, they were sisters and cared about each other so much.

Seriously, this book is amazing. Go read it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo

A solid debut. The gore is pretty intense at times, but it just adds to the eery atmosphere of the whole book.

Audrey Rose was really well written. I loved how she had more open minded feminist views (back then, feminism was more “hate all men!” and “women can’t be housewives”, and she was “women should be able to do whatever they want to do and not be judged for it”) The casual feminist comments were the best.

The mystery aspect was kind of lacking, in my opinion. It was pretty obvious who Jack the Ripper actually was, and it took the protagonist a pretty long time to actually figure it out.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Prince & The Dressmaker by Jen Wang

This was a book I read for school, so I’m really impressed. In one word: adorable.

Sebastian kind of annoyed me, and his decisions could be pretty dumb, but in the end he was just a sweet, innocent prince. I loved how hard Frances worked, and her designs were the best. However, the romance was pretty sudden and not too realistic.

I also really liked the exploration of gender identity in this one (I think that was actually the reason we read it in english). Sebastian struggled with his gender identity and how his family and other’s would react if they found out.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Currently Reading

Loving this right now.

Chloe Gong, you are breaking my heart. I’m so scared for the ending.

Here are the posts of the month:

~November Goals~

  • Read at least 7 books
  • Do more blog-hopping ✅
  • Post at least 4 times ✅
  • Exercise more ✅
  • Focus on school more ✅

~December Goals~

  • Read at least 8 books
  • Do more blog hopping
  • Post more than 4 times
  • Drink more water
  • Study more

Life Updates

  • Living, Loving and Reading hit 200 followers this month! Thank you all so much for supporting me and I’m so grateful. I’ll be doing a Q&A post in December, so leave your questions in the comments!
  • I rewatched Lost in Space (2019) because the 3rd season is coming out on December 1 and I am SO READY FOR IT. Also, do you guys have any theories?
  • I created a Notion because I was feeling so unproductive and not organized at all, and now I’ve made it all aesthetic and everything. I have school, life, blogging, journaling and more on it so let me know if you’d like to see a tour!

Movies/Documentaries

  • Shang Chi & The Legend of the Ten Rings | FINALLY. Marvel has an Asian character. Multiple Asian characters. And they got a pretty badass movie. I loved the humor and relationships, they’re just so good.

Music

  • All To Well (10 Minute Version) by Taylor Swift
  • Red (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift
  • Bad Habits by Ed Sheeran

How was your November? What are you looking forward to in December? Leave your thoughts on this post in the comments below!

32 thoughts on “November 2021 Wrap-Up”

  1. Ahh looks like you had a great November and yayy you finished all your goals! I want to read Long Story Short soooo badlyy, now you made me more eager by giving it 5 stars🤧
    And the list of books is so good, I’m sorry some of them dissappinted you🥺
    My November was pretty awesome and honestly, I really can’t wait for things to happen in December!😌
    Hope you complete your December goals and have an amazing month🤍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. everybody seems to have loved You’ve reached Sam, tho I haven’t read it yet, that’s definitely an unpopular opinion you have there haha.
    oh no you didn’t enjoy Aurora’s end? I am really looking forward to it, the first two books were so damn good 😦
    OMG RITZ YOU ARE READING WE ARE NOT FREE?! ITS ONE OF MY FAVOURITES, YOU HAVE TO SCREAM ABOUT IT TO ME ONCE YOU’RE DONE (twitter discord, anything works)
    And yess I have been waiting for the next season of Lost In Space since forever, I’m so excited!!
    Ahh thank you so much for the shout out, loved your wrap up as usual 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol definitely 😂 I hope you enjoy it more than I do! I agree, the first two books were amazing.
      I AM! I really like it so far, I’ll definitely talk to you on discord after I finish (I sent you a friend request).
      Fr, the 3rd season took forever. I’m excited to start watching it. You have any theories/hopes?
      AHH thank you so much Rachel, you’re so sweet ❤️ Have a great December!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Do lemme know when you finish we are not free! I’ve been meaning to read it since forever 😍.
    And oh, ive heard so many good things about stalking jack the ripper, bad to know it wasn’t that good. Lovely wrap up!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ahhhh! long story short and when you get the chance both sound ADORABLE. i’m sorry you’ve reached sam wasn’t worth it for you though. congrats on 200 followers, you deserve each and every one! shang-chi is such a good movie too like…yes and yes. thank you so much for including my post!💜

    Liked by 1 person

  5. thank you for including my reviews for the heroes of olympus series, ritz!! 💖💖 sad to hear that you didn’t like you’ve reached sam but we all have our own taste in books. hope you like our violent ends by chloe gong after you’re done with it (:

    Liked by 1 person

  6. thank you so much for including my post !! personally I really loved sjtr (Thomas and Audrey rose have my whole heart) but I definitely agree that the mystery aspect of it was definitely lacking. The only reason that the series is one of my favourites is because of the characters ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so glad you had such a great November!! I totally relate on your love for candles, autumn always reawakens my love for them. And thank you for the shout-out!

    I really enjoyed When You Get The Chance as well! I loved seeing the friendship between Millie and Teddy, it was so wholesome 🥺

    Liked by 1 person

  8. CONGRATS ON 200 FOLLOWERS, RITZ!!! YOU DESERVE EACH ONE AND MORE!
    ahh, i’m so sorry You’ve Reached Sam turned out to be disappointing, ive been really looking forward to reading it too. and, omg, your reading month was amazing, like the number of 4/5 star books on there??!! and also thank you for successfully adding so many more books to my TBR! im so glad your month was good overall, and hope december is amazing too! also, thanks so much for mentioning my post, means a lot to me ❤❤
    I’m currently reading we are not free too! Cannot wait to hear your thoughts on it!! How are you liking it so far??

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely wrap-up! I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy You’ve Reached Sam but I understand where your coming from haha. I’ve been waiting to read Our Violent Ends and I’m so jealous that you are reading it right now. I’ve heard such great things about it! I also watched Shang Chi and the Legend of the 10 rings and loved it as well. It was such a compelling movie and I liked most of the characters. Thank you for mentioning my post! I appreciate it!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m so happy to hear that you had a good month!! When You Get The Chance is on my most anticipated releases list and I’m glad that you liked it! I love a romance that has slow burn and banter 🥰 Congrats on hitting 200 followers!! ✨🎉
    Also thank you so much for sharing my post! I hope you have a good December ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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