The month of May seemed to be one of those months wherein I felt like starting more series than I have any right to start, considering I'm clocking a little under a hundred different series that I haven't finished reading yet (yes, I made a list); of course, 22 of those series are probably never going to be finished for one reason or another.  Few others are ongoing and I'm awaiting the next book; others are short and unfinished and I'm waiting for the entire series to finish before I finish reading it (which may take another year or two).  And then others, even, are the ongoing type that I'm trying to catch up with because they are already 10+ books into the series.


Fortunately, I DID manage to finish off a couple series and make some progress on others.


Honestly, my goal for the rest of this year should really be to finish at least 10 of the series I've started since 2011 when I started keeping track of my reading statistics in an OCD spreadsheet fashion...




Books Read


Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis 

Champion by Marie Lu

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Crazy Hot by Tara Janzen 


Cress by Marissa Meyer

The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise

The Darkest Hour by Maya Banks

No Place to Run by Maya Banks


Hidden Away by Maya Banks

Killing Time by Cindy Gerard

Against the Dark by Carolyn Crane

Body Heat by Brenda Novak


Killer Heat by Brenda Novak 

Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky (short story) by Marissa Meyer

One Good Man by Julie Miller

Whispers in the Dark by Maya Banks


Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman




Reviews & Notable Posts

  • Reviews

Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis

Killjoy by Julie Garwood

Freefall by Jill Sorenson

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Champion by Marie Lu

Crazy Hot by Tara Janzen 

The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise

KGI books 1 - 3 by Maya Banks

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Killing Time by Cindy Gerard  

Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky by Marissa Meyer

Whispers in the Dark by Maya Banks


  • Top Ten Tuesdays

5/5/2015:  Top Ten Books I Will Probably Never Read

5/12/2015:  Ten Authors I REALLY Want to Meet

5/19/2015:  Top Ten Tuesday Freebie -- SKIPPED

5/26/2015:  Ten Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Back This Summer  - OR -  Ten Books I Think Make Great Beach Reads


  • Other Posts

Simply Irresistible -- First Impression

The Fill-In Boyfriend -- Starting Post

Rook -- First Impression

Rook -- Progress Update #1

Long Weekend R & R




Reading Wrap-Up

17 books total were read in May.  All were full length novels except for the one Lunar Chronicles short story Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky, which I LOVED!  And so it was a fairly good reading month with some disappointing asides.  Finishing Marie Lu's Legend trilogy and starting a bunch of new series was an upside, I suppose.  Mainly the disappointment is that I'm conflicted about continuing some books that I've been dragging out since the beginning of the month--books that are hyped up and that you look forward to, but ultimately end up losing interest in almost immediately because they are so slow going or so boring that you'd rather be reading something else.


Which is what I ended up doing... over and over again.  And thus, An Ember in the Ashes and Rook remain in reading limbo.  They might just be the first two books I end up dropping this year, and at the same time, nonetheless.  A little disappointing, but I have a feeling I'll be relieved when I finally decide to give up despite the fact that I'm still holding on and hoping I can get back to them.


It'll take a lot longer to finally decide to drop An Ember in the Ashes since I bought the Kindle book for a discounted price.  But I can only renew Rook from the library so many times before I have to finally give up.


Ani's First World Bookish Problems #[insert random number here]:  The desire to finish every book you start, but not knowing when (or wanting) to stop struggling with a book you're not enjoying.


Again, it might take a while.



  • Series I started reading in May:

Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis

Steele Street by Tara Janzen

App by Katie Sise

KGI by Maya Banks

One-Eyed Jacks by Cindy Gerard

The Associates by Carolyn Crane

The Taylor Clan by Julie Miller


  • Series I completed in May:

Legend by Marie Lu -- 3 book series completed

Dept. 6 Hired Guns by Brenda Novak -- 3 book series completed

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman -- 2 book series completed


  • Series I have made progress on in May:

Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer



My favorite books read in May were plenty.  In spite of a few reserves here and there about how the Legend trilogy concluded, I can't deny that I really DID enjoy Champion as it DOES give you a fairly well-rounded conclusion to a very well-written dystopian trilogy.  (Check out my review linked above as well as reviews of Legend and Prodigy.)  


Cress definitely didn't disappoint, and I absolutely adored (as stated above already) the short Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky.  (See those reviews as well as my review for Scarlet, The Little Android, and my non-review for Cinder.)  


Shadow Scale is an excellently written continuation of Seraphina, just as good as I'd been expecting and just as enjoyable, and well worth the long wait, though I can't help but to feel like I liked the first book more, even if it seems like the story in the second book was more extensive and insightful.


I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved Jill Shalvis' Simply Irresistible and the strangely nonsensical humor it posed, as well as the first four KGI books by Maya Banks which had all the right elements that aligned to make Ani a very happy reader, even if I've got lists of quibbles about each book, individually, that would have raised problems on any other occasion.


Killing Time is probably my most favorite of books read in May.  As per usual, Cindy Gerard does NOT disappoint, though I always end up asking myself, "Now, why didn't I read this book earlier?"  I would squee, but I think I did enough of that already in the review and then I would feel like I'm cheating on my favorite Johnny Duane... though since this is a whole "new" series in Cindy Gerard's romantic suspense world, I can have a new favorite, right?


I'm coming to the end of the Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography audio book version, which I'll probably have finished within the next few days as I've been listening to it during my drives to work as well as at the gym.  It is an ingeniously written book, as far as I'm concerned, and NPH does wonders for the narration of the audio book.  I haven't laughed so hard since the end of HIMYM's fifth season ended.  


My only conflict right now is whether or not I'm going to get the hard-copy text so that I can bask in the full intention of his entire "Choose Your Own Autobiography/Adventure" format when he wrote his book.


I was a bit disappointed in Kasie West's The Fill-In Boyfriend.  While it was decently enjoyable and brought back a lot of the dry wit and humor I had come to associate with any Kasie West book (which had been missing in her previous book, On the Fence), there still felt like there was something missing to make the book an entire success.  I'm not saying that I didn't like it, because it was certainly enjoyable, but I know that I had been expecting so much more and it did not give me that "so much more" I'd hyped myself over.


Then again, there are only so many Contemporary Romance stories you can tell before they start becoming formulaic and repetitive.  But that's just my opinion and why I really only ever read fluffy Contemporaries when I need something light-hearted, warm, and feel-good with tinglies.


And then there are (as I reiterate) An Ember in the Ashes and Rook...  We shall see where these books end up.




Currently Reading



And also listening to:




Coming Up Next (tentative scheduling)

  • Tentative TBR for This Month




  • Tentatively Planned Posts/Reviews

Review: Snapped by Laura Griffin

Review: Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee

Review: 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Review: Promised by Caragh M. O'Brien

Review: Also Known As by Robin Benway

Review: Suddenly One Summer by Julie James

Review... or not: Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography



-- June Top Ten Tuesdays --

6/2/2015:  Top Ten Books I'd Love To See As Movies/TV Shows

6/9/2015:  Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the Rest of 2015

6/16/2015:  Top Ten Books on My 2015 Summer TBR

6/23/2015:  In honor of 5 years of Top Ten Tuesdays  --  My Ten Favorite Top Ten Topics We've Ever Done In the Past 5 Years

6/30/2015:  Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2015  




Book Haul / TBR Additions

  • Amazon Kindle Deals (free)


  • Amazon Kindle Deals (discounted)


  • Used Book Buys


  • Bought as New


  • Checked Out From the Library 




Reading Challenge Updates

Original 2015 Reading Challenge Post


  • General Reading Challenge

Goodreads Reading Challenge -- GR list/shelf

BookLikes Reading Challenge -- BL list/shelf

My Goal:  150 books

Progress:  81/150 books read



  • Outdo Yourself Challenge

2015 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

Hosted by Book Vixen

My Goal:  Getting My Heart Rate Up: read 1 - 5 more books

(I read 154 books for this challenge in 2014 / My goal will be 155 - 159 books in 2015.)

My Progress:  72/155

See Also: 2015 Outdo Yourself Challenge shelf for list of books



  • Romantic Suspense Challenge

  -- CHALLENGE COMPLETED -- 4/9/2015

2015 Romantic Suspense Reading Challenge

Hosted by Book Vixen

My Goal:  SWAT: read 21+ romantic suspense novels

My Progress: 39/21

See Also: 2015 Romantic Suspense Challenge shelf for list of books



  • Men in Uniform Challenge

  -- CHALLENGE COMPLETED -- 3/17/2015

2015 Men in Uniform Reading Challenge

Hosted by Book Vixen

My Goal:  Chief: read 16+ men in uniform novels

My Progress: 33/16

  -- 16 books read -- COMPLETED -- 3/17/2015

See: 2015 Men in Uniform Challenge shelf for book list

See: 2015 Men in Uniform Challenge post for detailed list



  • 2015 TBR Pile Challenge

Hosted by Roof Beam Reader

My 2015 TBR Pile Challenge Summary Post

My Progress: 6/12

See Also: BookLikes shelf / Goodreads shelf



  • 2015 Reading Assignment Challenge

Hosted by Because Reading & Fantasy Is More Fun

My 2015 Reading Assignment Challenge Summary Post

My Goal:  Reading Level 5:  48 books (4 books/month), 4 Extra Credits, 1 Pass

My Progress: 20/48 (No Extra Credits or Passes used)

See Also: BookLikes shelf / Goodreads shelf



  • Mount TBR Reading Challenge

Hosted by My Reader's Block

My Goal:  Mt. Ararat:  Read 48 books from your TBR pile/s

My Progress:  21/48

See: 2015 Mount TBR Challenge shelf for book list



  • The Series That Never Ends Challenge

Hosted by Delighted Reader

My 2015 The Series That Never Ends Challenge Summary Post

My Goal: Surviving the Book Tsunami -- 5 - 9 books

My Progress: 7/9 books

 -- 0/3 chosen series completed

See: 2015 Series Never Ends Challenge shelf for book list




Final Thoughts

All in all this was a pretty good month for reading, but at the same time it could have been better.  Sometimes I can't help but think that if not for one or two books that drag your reading flow down, other, much more enjoyable books could have been read.  Again, I'm always hesitant about dropping books if only because I always feel like I should give it enough of a chance to woo me.  But there probably comes a time when enough is enough and you just have to move on.


Reading Challenge-wise, we've got some consistent progress being made, though not really enough to make me happy, honestly.  Series-wise, I'm just continuously extending my list and really, maybe should focus on finishing all the books in one series before starting anything new.  But to be honest, I don't think I'd change my reading habits for any reason whatsoever anyway.


In future news, while I've been keeping close tabs on all new 2015 releases that I can check out from the library, I think I'm going to try to slow down and focus on reading from my own bookshelf (keyword: try).  I've recently added to my collection (as you can see from my Book Haul), and am still a little behind on my Mt. TBR Reading Challenge.  After next month, we will be 50% into the year and I'm still a little under 50% completion for the Mt. TBR Challenge.  Other Reading Challenges are also kind of hanging in limbo, and my own personal challenge to read as many 2015 releases as I can... well, will get kind of contradictory to needing to read for Mt. TBR...


Ani's First World Bookish Problems #[insert another random number here]:  The overwhelming feeling of not knowing what book to read because there are so many choices, lots of lists, and so many, many reasons why certain books MUST be read first.




Previous Wrap-Ups

Reading Wrap Up:  2015 So Far (Jan., Feb., Mar.)

Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- Looking Back at April