Goodreads Challenge Update: August 2017

Wow, it’s been a few months since I’ve written an update about my Goodreads Challenge progress. I think it’s about time I catch y’all up.

My goal is 350 books, and I hit 300 this week. It’s gone really quickly. Helps when there are a lot of books to review, so that’s something I’m grateful for. I also got a few compliments from non-authors on the quality of my reviews, which is really flattering.

That sounds braggy… yuck. Well, it’s true, and it’s what I aim for at the very least.

I’ve also been having some fun photoshopping covers for a few of my favorite author tweeps.

I love creating these so much! Especially for Maisey. I’ve been making these for her for a long time – ever since she wrote a book that featured a huge fish statue. After that, she started writing unicorns into a lot of her books, and that kinda became an inside joke. when Jessica saw the cover I created for Wild Ride Cowboy, I figured I’d make one for Arm Candy as well. (and yes, I recommend both books/series’)

Now that I’ve done some for both of those authors, I’m thinking I’ll have to go back and pick out a few more standout books to make KarenAltered© Covers for as well. I need things to do while I wait for clients or teammates to come back to me with materials.

Enough of the silly stuff, lemme talk about the books I’ve read.

Some of my recent favorites:

Made for Love by Alissa Nutting

Read my review here

Preface: NOT A ROMANCE! Well mostly not.

I have to say this is one of the strangest books I’ve ever read. Okay, maybe not, but it’s way up there. Top 20. That’s not a bad thing. It was quirky with both likeable and hateable characters, with some squirmy situations – and even some heartbreak along the way.

The scenes were vivid and wild with color. The characters were fully developed, and if it were at all possible, they would’ve been in 5D. If one were to believe in the technology described in the book, it might’ve been. Also, most ridiculous cover ever – and it fits.

The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young

Goodreads link

I’d tried to read Ms. Young’s ‘Dublin Street’ series and for some reason I just wasn’t into them. I’m guessing it was just a mood thing, because Impossible Vastness was very impressive. I didn’t write a review for this one, so here’s the blurb:

India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful, and big enough to change them forever…


The Shameless Series & The Force Series by M. Malone & Nana Malone

Read my reviews for Shameless here & for Force here.

These books are set in the same universe, and they’re getting ready to come out with a third series. The men of Blake Security are dangerous and menacing, but if you’re one of theirs, and you’re in danger, they go all out to make sure you’re protected. DELICIOUS.

The Random Series by Julia Kent

Read my review here

I really love this series. I re-read the entire set in order to read and review the latest book, Random on Tour: Las Vegas. Luckily, you can get the full slate of books in one “box set,” which made it super easy to put in my library queue. 

It’s a set of novels based around an up-and-coming rock band, and how they mature, find success, and fall in love. They’re romance novels, but they’re also coming-of-age stories. While they’re fiction, they feel quite true when describing the underbelly of the music business scene. I find them refreshing and honest, and well worth my time to read again.

The Epiphany Machine by David Burr Gerrard

Read my review here

A little sci-fi, a little dystopia, I found this book a really great character study. The title belies the subject, although the machine is a huge part of the book. The pivot point may actually be the machine, but it’s really all about how the people in that alternate world live with the reality of its revelations.

I honestly wasn’t sure how much I’d like this from reading the blurb, but I’m truly happy I decided to take a chance. I only put it down once, and only because I couldn’t hold my eyes open at 4am. The next night I finished it, and it’s stuck with me since. Right now, it’s been about a month since I read it, and I can still remember the entire storyline. 

I highly recommend this book if you’re a fan of dystopian fiction, sci-fi, or even just mainstream fiction in general. 

Okay, I think this post is long enough now, I’ve given you a few recommendations – hopefully they’re eclectic enough that you’ll find something interesting enough to try.