Everything I Read In November 2021

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Well, as soon as my parents left, I bounced right back from my October reading slump. I figured it was too much pressure to read as much as I could while they were here to take books home with them.

This was a month of reading books from my childhood! Everytime I go home, I go to the library and get some Magic Treehouse books.

I also always look for Mary-Kate and Ashley mystery books and Baily School Kids books but they never have them.

I found a ton of them on ThriftBooks and it happened to be buy-one-get-one-free for kids book week so I ordered a bunch of them and read all but four so far.

I’m so glad I finally got to read some of them though! I have more sitting in my cart for sometime in the future, too haha.

I actually read more this month than I realized. It was mostly YA with no DNFs but I did read the Hush collection of novellas from Amazon that were all pretty short.

I managed to read a Nancy Drew book I’ve been looking for for like, a year and started two series I’ve also had for years. It was a good reading month.

  • If you’re want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! You can get your first month free (one free book) plus tons of others they have for free.  Get that Audible deal here.
  • If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd!  You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot.
  • If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option and right now you can get four months for $4.99! It’s usually $9.99 so this is a great deal. Get that deal here!

Good Girl, Bad Blood

Author: Holly Jackson

Genre: YA thriller

Rating: 5/5

About the book: I won’t have a description since it’s the second in a series and I don’t want to spoil anything for the first (go read it if you haven’t!)

Final thoughts: Loved this! One of my friends started the series and we’re kind of, sort of, reading the rest together so I read this one as soon as she finished the first.

I loved it but figured I would since I loved the first. I didn’t mind the culprit, could have been better and worse, but I cannot wait to read the last one!

The Strangers

Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix

Genre: Middle-grade mystery

Rating: 3/5

About the book: Everything changes for the Greystone kids when three kids in Arizona with the same first and middle names, same ages, and same birthdays are kidnapped.

Then their mom takes off on a mysterious business trip and they’re left with Ms. Morales and her daughter Natalie. They can’t just let their mom go and find a puzzling set of clues left behind to get to the bottom of everything.

Final thoughts: Not to be confused here with the terrifying movie The Strangers, this one is much less scary.

From GoodReads: 3.5 Pretty good for a middle-grade mystery I suppose. It didn’t blow me away but it wasn’t bad. It felt a little bit like a less dark Coraline.

The Project

Author: Courtney Summers

Genre: YA thriller

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Lo is used to being on her own since her parents died in a car accident and her sister, Bea, joined the elusive community called The Unity Project. She’s spent the last six years trying to reconnect with Bea but only getting radio silence.

She thinks they’ll finally be reunited when she’s given exclusive access to their reclusive life. She digs deeper into The Project and in the process, she uncovers more questions than answers.

Final thoughts: I mostly liked this one. I thought some of it was a little weird (in the spoilers below) but overall I enjoyed it. I’m glad I read it.

SPOILER HERE: like the fact that she just falls for this cult leader she hates in like, a day after meeting him? What?

The Flying Saucer Mystery

Author: Carolyn Keene

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 2/5

About the book: Nancy and her friends are on a mystery to get to the bottom of a flying saucer in the Sawniegunk Forest.

They stumble on another mystery, wildcats, and more on this adventure.

Final thoughts: From GoodReads: Not so great.

Burn for Burn

Author: Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian

Genre: YA thriller

Rating: 3/5

About the book: Jar island is the picture-perfect New England beach town, except for the three girls plotting revenge. Kat is sick of being bullied by her best friend. Lillia is going to put a stop to one of her guy friends hooking up with her little sister. And Mary is going to get back at the boy responsible for a traumatic event in her past.

None of them can do this alone, but together, they can do anything.

Final thoughts: From GoodReads: This was entertaining enough but these people are all kind of terrible? None of them even considered asking what was up with each other just wanted revenge. Then it was really bad revenge? Not even crazy? The last three chapters were the most interesting but I don’t really care if I finish this series right now. Unless someone can confirm it gets way better.

Oh and does Mary actually have/think she has magic powers? Is this why they keep saying her aunt is witchy? Because if so, I can’t.

Not from GoodReads: as soon as I wrote that review I read the blurbs for the next two and they give major spoilers, like, major, and I immediately bought the next two. Will report back when I finish them.

Uglies

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Genre: YA dystopian

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Tally is about to turn sixteen and pretty where she’ll move into a high-tech life where her only job is to have fun.

But her new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty and when she runs away, Tally learns about a part of the world she never knew.

The authorities tell her to find her friend and turn her in or never turn pretty at all. Tally’s choice will change her world forever.

Final thoughts: From GoodReads: I think the names of the groups are silly (pretties, uglies, littlies, crumblies, uglyville, crumblyville, dullsville, new pretty town) but other than that I enjoyed it! I’m a sucker for dystopians though.

Not from GoodReads: I also bought the rest of this series with the one above (and the middle-grade books) and can’t wait to read them.

Delirium

Author: Lauren Oliver

Genre: YA dystopian

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Love has been declared a dangerous disease in an alternate United States. At eighteen, everyone is forced by the government to have a procedure done called the Cure.

Lena is looking forward to being cured and living a safe and predictable life. She isn’t about to be destroyed by love like her mother. But with just ninety-five days left until her procedure, she meets Alex, a boy from the Wilds who lives under the government’s radar and everything is about to change.

Final thoughts: From GoodReads: Maybe somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars. The beginning kind of dragged but the last 100 pages or so was more exciting. The world was kind of weird and didn’t entirely make sense to me but I overall enjoyed it

The Case of the Game Show Mystery

Author: Jim Thomas

Genre: Middle-grade mystery

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Mary-Kate and Ashley make it on the gameshow Double Trouble, but someone wants them to lose big-time and they need to figure out who.

Final thoughts: This was good for what it is. I don’t have tons of thoughts about it but it was a fun read and that’s all I wanted.

All Your Twisted Secrets

Author: Diana Urban

Genre: YA thriller

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Six students with nothing in common are invited to a scholarship dinner where they’re locked in with a bomb and syringe filled with poison. They have to choose one to kill or they all die.

They go over the last year to see how they’re all connected and who may want them dead. It’s clear everyone is hiding something but time is running out as they decide who dies.

Final thoughts: I’ve wanted to read this one for ages and finally got around to it. Overall I enjoyed it but had a couple complaints.

From GoodReads: These might be the flattest characters ever, what do they even look like besides Priya being “fuller” or whatever?

And Sasha was infuriating. But it was entertaining and I read the second half all last night so 🤷🏻‍♀️

The Case of the Mall Mystery

Author: Alice Leonhardt

Genre: Middle-grade mystery

Rating: 3/5

About the book: The Trenchcoat Twins went to watch their friend Patty perform at the mall talent show when they stumble on their next mystery, a jewel thief!

Final thoughts: This is my least favorite of the ones I’ve read so far. I’m not sure if it was the setting, the mystery, or the chocolate in this one that did it. Or didn’t do it, I guess.

Julie of the Wolves

Author: Jean Craighead George

Genre: Middle-grade contemporary?

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Thirteen-year-old Miyax is alone and lost on the North Slope of Alaska after leaving an intolerable home with an abusive husband to get to San Fransisco.

She finds herself in the wilderness with a pack of wolves who soon accept her and she comes to love them like her own family. With their help and her father’s lessons, she survives the ice and rethinks her past and future.

Final thoughts: I’m not sure why I got this over the summer, but I did. I think I read it in Elementary school but had no recollection of it. That’s probably why I got it, I figured I would appreciate it more now and I did.

Any factual and cultural inaccuracies aside, I really liked this. I read it in two nights and it was happy and sad and just so good. I’ll probably finish the series at some point.

Let Her Be

Author: Lisa Unger

Genre: Thriller novella

Rating: 3/5

About the book: Misguided suspicions ruined his life once before but he can’t stop examining his ex-girlfriend’s social media to prove her perfect new life has a dark side.

After all, no one has really seen her in over a year and when his wary friend is drawn into the investigation, the real question is who is really in danger?

Final thoughts: I liked this but I also didn’t. One of the other reviews on GoodReads said it’s an abridged version of You and I couldn’t agree more. But it wasn’t as good.

The Gift

Author: Alison Gaylin

Genre: Thriller novella

Rating: 3/5

About the book: It’s the worst news Layla and Nolan could get: their daughter has vanished. To help find her, Nolan reaches out to a psychic who has had visions of the lost girl but Layla is skeptical.

Final thoughts: I didn’t care for this one that much in the end. The main character is not likable in any way so I’m glad this is extremely short. This wasn’t my least favorite in the collection but It’s near the bottom.

Buried

Author: Jeffry Deaver

Genre: Thriller novella

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Fitz is a respected journalist on his way to retirement when he stumbles across the story of a lifetime: The Gravedigger, a serial killer taunting the police with riddles.

An eyewitness leads him closer to the facts and he realizes his last great story may not be what it appears.

Final thoughts: I liked this one a lot, it still wasn’t my favorite but it was very good. It reminded me a little of Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman, but better.

Slow Burner

Author: Laura Lippman

Genre: Thriller novella

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Liz promised she would never spy on her husband, Phil, but then she discovers suggestive texts on his burner phone. Even worse, it’s the woman who shook their stable marriage once before. But what’s more dangerous, what Liz knows or what Phil doesn’t?

Final thoughts: This was my favorite from this collection and I would love to read a full-sized book like this (let me know if you know any). I kind of knew what was coming but I still really enjoyed it anyway.

Treasure

Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite

Genre: Thriller novella

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Treasure is a wannabe influencer in Lagos, Nigeria. She shows off a luxurious life in a gated community to her almost 5000 followers and @Sho4sure is determined to be part of it. He’s her number one fan and like and emojis aren’t enough anymore. He needs to meet her in the flesh.

Final thoughts: This was my other favorite from the collection that I would like to read a whole book similar to. It could have been better, but I really liked the premise of this one.

Snow Flakes

Author: Ruth Ware

Genre: Thriller novella

Rating: 3/5

About the book: Leah has spent most of her life isolated on a remote island with her family but their life is cracking. Her father’s paranoia grows and demands a wall be built while Leah’s dread about violence the family left behind grows.

Final thoughts: I kind of like the idea of this one but I didn’t really care for the whole thing itself. It was my least favorite story and SPOILER: it was kind of like Ruby Ridge.

Bigfoot Doesn’t Square Dance

Author: Debbie Dadey, Marcia Thornton Jones

Genre: Middle-grade mystery

Rating: 4/5

About the book: The Bailey School kids go on a field trip to Ruby Mountain where they question the existence of Bigfoot in their town.

Final thoughts: I don’t have many thoughts about these books either, they’re fun for what they are and I enjoyed getting to read them again.

Cyclops Doesn’t Roller-Skate

Author: Debbie Dadey

Genre: Middle-grade mystery

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Is the doctor that came to Bailey City to examine everyone’s eyes actually a doctor or could he be a cyclops?

Final thoughts: This was lower on my list of enjoyment for the ones I’ve read but wasn’t my least favorite, I still enjoyed it.

Ghouls Don’t Scoop Ice Cream

Author: Debbie Dadey, Marcia Thornton Jones, John Steven Gurney

Genre: Middle-grade mystery

Rating: 4/5

About the book: The Bailey School kids head to their favorite ice cream shop after school one day where they find Scout scooping the ice cream and are convinced she is a ghoul.

Final thoughts: I really liked this one, I thought it was cute and it was probably one of my favorites so far.

Skeletons Don’t Play Tubas

Author: Debbie Dadey, Marcia Thornton Jones, John Steven Gurney

Genre: Middle-grade mystery

Rating: 4/5

About the book: The newest teacher at the school is a little strange but did he really teach a skeleton to play the tuba?

Final thoughts: I liked this one a lot, too but I did think it was weird (I think it was in this one) where they kept calling the new teacher a fellow? Like, why so formal all of a sudden?

Gremlins Don’t Chew Bubble Gum

Author: Debbie Dadey, Marcia Thornton Jones, John Steven Gurney

Genre: Middle-grade mystery

Rating: 4/5

About the book: When the new school secretary arrives, technology starts going haywire and stops working whenever she’s near it. Is the new secretary really a gremlin?!

Final thoughts: This was another fun one. Not my favorite but not my least favorite either. Pretty firmly lower middle.

Wizards Don’t Need Computers

Author: Debbie Dadey, Marcia Thornton Jones, John Steven Gurney

Genre: Middle-grade mystery

Rating: 3/5

About the book: When the Bailey School kids go to the library to get books for a report they have to do on England, they find a weird new library assistant, Mr. Merle who looks just like Merlin the ancient wizard! But he can’t really be Merlin, can he?

Final thoughts: This was the first one I read but it was also my least favorite. It wasn’t bad but it just didn’t live with me as much, which is a-ok!

A Danger to Herself and Others

Author: Alyssa Sheinmel

Genre: YA contemporary

Rating: 4/5

About the book: TW: disordered eating and suicide

What happened to her roommate at her summer program was an accident. Hannah knows she doesn’t need to be institutionalized.

As soon as they realize she isn’t a danger to herself and others, she can go home to finish her senior year. But then Lucy shows up with her own baggage.

She might be the only person who can get Hannah to confront what landed her here in the first place, though.

Final thoughts: I really liked this one. I don’t know if I realized what this was about when I got it but looked forward to reading it anyway and it was totally worth it.

I don’t usually like unreliable narrators but this one was done so well, I actually really liked it and it had me even questioning what was real and what wasn’t.

As the Crow Flies

Author: Craig Johnson

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Walt Longmire’s daughter is getting married in two weeks and he has no time for criminals. His job is to find a new spot for the wedding but on their scouting trip to the Cheyenne Reservation, plans are interrupted by a grisly death. It’s not his turf but he’s coerced into helping Lolo Long, the new tribal police chief.

Final thoughts: I think I started watching the Longmire show when it first came out then found this in a Little Free Library. I finally read it and mostly enjoyed it.

The beginning felt like it kind of dragged but things picked up and I liked it more. I enjoyed the humor in this, especially Rezdawg. I’ll read more of these.

Have you read any of these? Which ones? What did you read in November?

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a Wisconsin native currently working my way around the US. You can probably find me reading on the beach, wandering through the desert, or hanging out in a cute little coffee shop.

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