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  • Victoria Darling

Fiction Friday's: 04.02.2021

Welcome back, Dear Readers, to a long overdue new installment of Fiction Fridays! Now, I know that it's been a minute, but I place full blame on the craziness of the holidays this year and the general buzz and hum of trying to navigate life when it throws you for a loop.


Oy, with the poodles already!

So where did we leave off? Ah, yes, my overly ambitious TBR back in December. I had a collection of 8 books that I had brought with me to try and get through. At the end of the week, I made it to....


*dramatic drum roll, please*


3...I read 3, of those books.


See, this is the problem with bringing so many physical books with me on any kind of vacation. At the end of the day, I don't actually know what mood I'm going to be in or what kind of story I need. I am a fickle reader, and as much as I love making lists and reading goals, I am absolutely AWFUL at keeping to them.


In my defense, I did start three of those other books on my list...but I was just not having it. The vibe was off, the stars weren't aligned, etc., etc.

The books that I did read, I absolutely loved, so at least that's something. Those books were: Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade, A Rogue of One's Own by Evie Dunmore, and The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden.


A now, on to the stats!


Holiday Reading Stats


Combined Page Total: 1,234 pages with an average of 411.33 pages per novel

Ratings: An average of 4.58 stars (out of 5 stars)

Genres: 2 Romances, 1 Contemporary and 1 Historical; 1 Fantasy, with Historical Leanings

Series: 2 Sequels; 1 Standalone




Overall, it was a decent week - not my best in terms of how many books I got through, but I loved all the books that I read, which more than makes up for it in my book.





I was delighted with Spoiler Alert, which touched my fangirl heart with all of its nerdy touches, and I genuinely loved the relationship between Marcus and April. I really appreciated the fact that Marcus struggles with dyslexia, but that he also showcases the ways in which he is still able to enjoy reading and writing. April was a heroine that I related to quite a bit, being that she is a plus-size woman living and finding love in a straight-size world. Overall it was cute, flirty, and fun.






A Rogue of One's Own was witty and charming, although I rated it slightly less than I did the first installment - not by much, but out of the two books currently out in the world, I prefer the first, Bringing Down the Duke. The banter between Lady Lucie and Tristan was a great enemies-to-lovers slow-burn, and I really enjoyed their dynamic together. Ultimately, there were parts that fell flat, or that felt too convenient in terms of the action, and I felt like the ending was a bit *on the nose*, but I still had a great time.






And finally, I thought that the finale of Katherine Arden's trilogy, The Winter of the Witch, was fantastic. I was immediately gripped by what was going on and it was a fantastic culmination of these characters that I had been following for so long. I know that there are quite a few people who felt like they couldn't get into this series, and that's fine - not every book is for every person. However, I adore this style of fantasy writing, merging folkloric traditions into narratives that make you suspend your disbelief, that blur the lines between reality and magic.





With that all being said, I also thought that I'd give you all some updates on my overall 2020 Reading Challenge, that way, starting next week, I can hurriedly catch up on my 2021 Reading thus far.


2020 Reading Challenge


Total Books Read: 116

Total Pages Read: 43,201

Average Pages per Book: 372.42 pages

Breakdown by Genre:

Urban Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 37%

Paranormal Romance: 23%

Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 7%

Historical Romance: 14%

Contemporary Romance: 13%

Contemporary Fiction: 2%

Young Adult Fiction: 1%

Verse/Poetry: 3%


This actually leads me to detailing some of the reading goals that I have for myself for the rest of the year. I want to push myself to embrace new genres and especially to diversify the authors and the stories that I read. I always set my immediate goal of reading 100 books per year, but I want to take it one step further.


2021 Reading Goals


100 books

Read at least 1 Non-Fiction book per month

Read at least 1 Book in a Genre I don't usually read (excluding non-fiction)

Make sure that at least 1/3 of the books I read in a month are by BIPOC authors

Read at least 1 Book that features LGBTQIA+ stories (as protagonists)


Additionally, I'm dedicating 2021 to finishing series that have been collecting dust on my shelves - there are a few in particular that I would really like to complete so that I can move forward with my reading life! For the sake of this "challenge", I'm including both series that I have begun, and need to finish, as well as multiple series within a "world".


Series I Want to Complete in 2021


  • The Grishaverse: Six of Crows Duology; King of Scars Duology - Leigh Bardugo

  • The Shadowhunters Chronicles: The Dark Artifices Trilogy; Ghosts of the Shadow Market Collection; The Last Hours Trilogy - Cassandra Clare

  • The Cruel Prince Trilogy - Holly Black

  • Ember in the Ashes Quartet - Sabaa Tahir

  • Poppy War Trilogy - R. F. Kuang

  • Mistborn Trilogy - Brandon Sanderson

  • Crown of Shards Series - Jennifer Estep

  • Graceling Realm - Kristin Cashore

  • The Witchlands Series - Susan Dennard

  • Stormheart Series - Cora Carmack

  • Montague Siblings Series - Mackenzi Lee

  • The Raven Cycle - Maggie Stiefvater

  • Kate Daniels Series - Ilona Andrews

  • Innkeeper Chronicles - Ilona Andrews

  • The Lady Janies Series - The Lady Janies (Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton)

  • The Camp Half-Blood Chronicles: Percy Jackson & the Olympians; The Heroes of Olympus; The Trials of Apollo - Rick Riordan

  • Queen of the Tearling Series - Erika Johansen

  • The Remnant Chronicles - Mary E. Pearson

  • The Winner's Trilogy - Marie Rutkoski

  • Shades of Magic Series - V.E. Schwab

  • Tairen Soul Series - C.L. Wilson

  • Starbound Series - Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

  • Love & Gelato Series - Jenna Evans Welch

  • Girl of Fire and Thorns Series - Rae Carson

  • Surviving Time Series - Calia Read

And that's about it.

So tell me - what have you been reading? What are some of your reading goals for this year, or what are some new releases that you're super stoked for?


XOXO, Victoria

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