Nicole Reads

Nicole Reads

Consumed with wanderlust. Dreams of writing her own novel. Devours books. Fluent in Spanglish. Intersectional feminist.

4 Stars
[REVIEW] Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein
Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein

“It's like being in love, discovering your best friend.”

I cried. I'm still crying. This book is so well written but it is heartbreaking. Don't know how or when I will recover.

3.5 Stars
[REVIEW] My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin
My Fair Concubine - Jeannie Lin

This story is My Fair Lady meets Ancient China. I really enjoyed it. There were times when the story dragged a bit--my interest would be elsewhere at times or I just got bored--but I'm glad I pushed through. Yan Ling and Fei Long are great characters, Fei Long's characterization as a steely man of honor was very well done. Yan Ling was sweet, and her journey of self-improvement tugged at my heartstrings. Also, Li Bai Shen is amazing and deserves all the good things.

I loved, loved the ending. I live for HEAs. I had no idea how it was going to end (which made it really hard to enjoy that sex scene), but I'm glad it was solved that way. Everyone was happy and obtained their heart's desire.

3 Stars
[REVIEW] The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz
The Night Mark - Tiffany Reisz

"Once someone loves you that much, loves you more than you deserve, you can't go back to being loved the normal way."

cw: depression, suicidal ideation

I have a hard time reading outside of my favorite genres, and I was afraid of this book because I am not big on time travel books; however, I do have the challenge to finish and I did enjoy this one. It's terribly romantic and also depressing. The first part is hard to get through if you are depressed. Faye has lost the love of her life, and she finds little reason to go on living. Perhaps it's twisted that I related to her pain and her depression. Thankfully I haven't lost any great loves, but sometimes getting out of bed and functioning like a human is incredibly difficult.


I will say Reisz writes really well. I got hooked on her prose, her dialogue is superb, her sex scene was well written, and she really makes you fall in love with her characters, even with the ones that are dead.


Yes, the book does suffer from a type of instalove, but given the circumstances, it wasn't too strange though it did make the story feel rushed to me and... messy. Faye travels to the past and meets Carrick, who looks a lot like her dearly departed husband Will, and she falls for him instantly. Thing is Faye is not in her body but in the body of Faith Morgan whom Carrick pines for since he met her. These are two characters that loved other people that looked like them and then fell in love with each other. See? It's super messy.


It's like I loved the story but I also feel like Faye didn't finish grieving so much as find a Will-shaped bandaid and that's why I couldn't really give this a higher rating.

3.5 Stars
[REVIEW] One Night in December by Josie Silver
One Day in December  - Josie Silver

This book was really cute. I teared up a few times reading this, it was surprisingly overwhelming. Laurie and Jack are lovely, flawed characters, and you root for them and wonder how the hell they are going to end up together because the author throws everything but the kitchen sink at them. It is a slow burn which I am not used to reading, but I enjoyed it

except for the damn ending. Why oh why must these novels end so ABRUPTLY? I've read three books in a row that end so suddenly; I found myself doing a double take. Give me an extra chapter where the couple is happy and together PLEASE! I need that balm after suffering for so many pages.

(show spoiler)
3 Stars
[REVIEW] Devil's Daughter by Lisa Kleypas
Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels, #5) - Lisa Kleypas

I am sad I didn't love this. I don't know if it's me or this book, but I wasn't feeling it as much as I thought I would be. The Evie and Sebastian appearances were the best parts, tbh.


I have loved West since I first met him back in book 1 of the series, and now he made this journey worth it. Indeed, he's the reason I kept reading. Phoebe was sweet though she annoyed me at times for reasons I can't fully identify, though I'm glad she has a backbone and uses it.


There's no real plot? to speak of? Which made it a bit of a drag but Kleypas writes incredibly well so even if it's dragging, you can't pull away from the prose because it's so easy.


I somehow both loved the ending and simultaneously felt it wasn't enough. It had so much love and sweetness that it made me 'aww' out loud, but I was expecting an epilogue to finish wrapping everything up.

4 Stars
[REVIEW] The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
The Bride Test - Helen Hoang

Reading a book for pleasure after finishing a master’s degree is really hard. When I picked this up, I felt guilty most of the time because I felt I had to be doing something else. However, I pushed through and I’m glad I did because this book is so heartwarming and I love Khai and Esme so much. I truly do. What a flawed and loving couple they are.

The only thing I didn’t love was the ending. It was super rushed to the point that I nearly got whiplash. I think an extra chapter might’ve helped the end breathe a bit better.

4 Stars
[REVIEW] What Did You Eat Yesterday? Vol. 13
What Did You Eat Yesterday?, Volume 13 - Fumi Yoshinaga

Can't believe I'm all caught up already! I am glad the live action is currently airing so I can keep getting my fix.


As for this volume, I love it when Shiro is sweet to Kenji, and it was so nice to see him take care of him after he got sick. Not that he wouldn't have but we know that Shiro is quite dry, lol.

4 Stars
[REVIEW] What Did You Eat Yesterday? 12
What Did You Eat Yesterday?, Volume 12 - Fumi Yoshinaga

Another great volume, this one was (kind of) action-packed! Kenji and Shiro are the best. I want to try making the apple muffins and the sweet potato rice recipes.

4 Stars
[REVIEW] What Did You Eat Yesterday? Vol. 11
What Did You Eat Yesterday?, Volume 11 (What Did You Eat Yesterday? #11) - Fumi Yoshinaga

Shiro and Kenji’s birthday date night was the highlight of this volume. I really love reading this manga, it’s so soothing to me and I’m also now watching the live action which is as soothing as the manga.

4 Stars
[REVIEW] Bad Blood by M. Malone
Bad Blood - Minx Malone

Awww. This was a really sweet (and a little spicy) novella. The characters were relatable though I wish we had more time to get to know them better. Such are the woes of this format.


Reading progress notes

1% -- I sent my thesis (94! pages!!) to my advisor for revision so I get to treat myself because she won’t get back to me until Monday.


2% -- Yeah, no, his possessive behavior ain’t cute.


15% -- “Tell me he didn’t hurt you, Georgie.”‬

‪Omg, my heart. I don’t know why this line got to me but it so did.


16% -- Anytime someone asks me if I’m wearing makeup, I will just say “it’s girl magic” and nobody can stop me.


21% -- Back here after I finished my first round of revisions.

Lmao at scheduled sex. Saturday afternoons are for fucking? Good lawd.


22% -- The crowbar in his pants

‪halp I’m dying‬


27% --  Whoa, I got lost with that chapter change. I thought it was another day, not later in the day.


40% -- ”Georgie, you don’t need to have any regrets. Alex may have been your first, but there’s no special talent to being first. Whatever man wins your heart will be last. And that’s all that matters.”



60% -- That slap came out of nowhere and I'm not sure his comment even warranted such a reaction, tbh.

67% -- With his luck, if he left a note it would get caught on a gust of wind, sucked out an open door, and then eaten by a feral cat.



68% -- omg King walked in on a naked Jamie! THE HORROR.


77% -- ‪THE WEDDING PLANNER? Oh ffs.

5 Stars
[REVIEW] Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
Bad Blood: Secret and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup - John Carreyrou

Holy crap. I ignored people (and many responsibilities) to listen to this. The entire ordeal is INSANE akin to watching a slow-motion car crash and wondering where it was all going to end. The narration was excellent and compelling. I cannot wait for the HBO documentary

4 Stars
[REVIEW] The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
The Winter of the Witch - Katherine Arden
"I am allowed to want things, winter-king."

It was a lovely end to this series, one that I tried to delay with all my might until it was nearly time to return the book to the library. My heart is caught somewhere between grief and joy. I love Arden's writing: her prose, her twists, and turns, her ability to make sure we end up loving every character with the violent fervor. 

So much happened in this book that I almost felt guilty for taking a breather when Vasya could not. 

When Solovey died I was distraught and every time he was mentioned I cried anew. I'm glad that he was brought back in the end, even if I am a firm believer of "if you died you cannot be revived because that cheapens things and HELLO! the dead do not come back in reality," because Solovey was a magical creature from the start I was fine with it. Plus, Vasya lost so much.

(show spoiler)

I was a bit surprised when I thought we had reached the end of the book to realize that I was only 63% in. I couldn't imagine how else this book could grind my heart into hamburger meat. But then my heart was sort of whole again.

Now I need this entire series in hardcover ASAP.

3 Stars
[REVIEW] 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
99 Percent Mine - Sally Thorne

It was fine. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. Tom was a sweetie pie and not gonna lie, Darcy got on my nerves more than once, but I couldn't hate her. She's got issues but then again, who doesn't. I knew she was a wounded character and her way of dealing with the world was to snap at it. Jamie felt like this gigantic shadowy monster that was going to kill Tom and Darcy if they hooked up. 

I saw Truly and Jamie hooking up a mile away which FYI would make Jamie a hypocrite for having an issue with Darcy and Tom hooking up. Except, he didn't really care in the end, so everyone was worried over nothing, wha wha. 

(show spoiler)

The biggest problem with the book is the pacing and also the fact that there isn't a discernible plot per se. Also, it bothered me that I had no idea where the book was set (I assume the United States). There were too many nebulous things that detracted from the reading experience.

Only thing I can say that I loved without fail was Tom's senior chihuahua, Patty. She's my MVP.


3 Stars
[REVIEW] How To Date Men When You Hate Men by Blythe Roberson
How to Date Men When You Hate Men - Blythe Roberson
It’s hard for me to review this book. It was well written and it throws a lot of terminology around that made me feel giddy like ah! Somebody else thinks about these things. Not to mention the title is a MOOD. But overall, I didn’t love it. There’s something about it that makes it very hard for me to fully connect to it. It’s as if the book didn’t know what it wanted to be.
4 Stars
[REVIEW] What Did You Eat Yesterday? Vol. 10, by Fumi Yoshinaga
What Did You Eat Yesterday?, Volume 10 - Fumi Yoshinaga

Like many other reviewers have mentioned, this is a perfectly cozy volume of the series. I love whenever Kenji cooks for Shiro because he does it with such love and excitement. It makes me sad that Shiro keeps his personal life a secret but then again, I also get it’s nobody’s business.

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
4 Stars
[REVIEW] What Did You Eat Yesterday? Vol. 9 by Fumi Yoshinaga
What Did You Eat Yesterday?, Volume 9 - Fumi Fumi Yoshinaga, LBGT manga

Oh, Shiro. You made me so happy when you chose to spend your New Years with Kenji. And to see how much they love each other always gives my heart a squeeze. I enjoy seeing Shiro’s character growth, makes me feel like I’m growing up along with him.

currently reading

Progress: 20/234pages