March Wrap Up!

March Wrap Up!

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-04-21T154504.048.png
Continuing the tradition of waiting till the very last minute to post my monthly wrap ups, lets dive into what I read in March!

1. One Word Kill – Mark Lawrencebook cover - 2019-03-01T143051.847
This is the first in an all new science fiction series from Mark Lawrence – one of my all time favourite authors. It was such a fun and exciting read, full of time travel, crazy plot twists and brilliant characters. It gave me serious Stranger Things vibes and I’m honestly so excited to read the next book in the series. You can read my full review of this one here! (5/5 stars)

2. Monsters in the Mirror – A. J. Hartleyhj
Monsters in the Mirror was such an exciting middle grade story. It was full to the brim with adventure and magic and I raced through it. I really loved the plot and I’m so looking forward to reading more from this author. I participated in the blog tour for this one so if you fancy reading my full thoughts you can take a look here. (4/5 stars)

3. Changeling – Cate Tiernanbook cover - 2019-04-21T154220.186
Continuing my reread of one of my all time favourite series, I hit book number eight in the Sweep/Wicca series. This series is like my go to easy read, I completely adore the characters I definitely think it’s an underrated YA series. I’ve basically been reading one of these a month and I’m not sure what I’m going to do when I get to book fifteen – start all over again? (4.5/5 stars)

4. The Near Witch – V. E. Schwabbook cover - 2019-03-24T180513.572
This is the recently republished debut by V. E. Schwab and I was really interested in reading it. I went to an event where she explained that she hadn’t edited it since it’s original publication, it was published exactly as it was back then. I really enjoyed the atmospheric setting and the witchy plot. It’s not my favourite Victoria Schwab book but I had a fun time reading it. Full review for this one is here! (3.75/5 stars)

5. Notes on a Nervous Planet – Matt Haigbook cover - 2019-04-21T154302.492
Non-Fiction is something I would really like to get into more so I thought I would give Notes on a Nervous Planet a go. I really like Matt Haig’s fiction books so I figured this was a perfect opportunity. I opted for the audiobook which is read by the author so it was a really interesting listen. It was a fascinating read and I’m probably going to pick up a physical copy of this and Reasons To Stay Alive. (3/5 stars)

6. Other Words For Smoke – Sarah Maria Griffinbook cover - 2019-03-21T124644.698
This was such a strange and unusual read. It’s a witchy story about a family living in a very odd house with things in the walls, dark powers and all sorts of mysterious goings on. It gave me Shirley Jackson vibes and I honestly couldn’t stop thinking about it once I’d finished reading. If you’re looking for something a bit different – I definitely recommend this one. (5/5 stars)

7. Burn For Burn – Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivanbook cover (76)
I started to feel a bit slumpy after reading Other Words For Smoke so I opted for this fast paced and fun contemporary story about three girls getting revenge on the people that have made their lives hell. It was dramatic and a bit unrealistic but I got swept up in the plot and I’m eager to continue into book two. (3.5/5 stars)

So those are the seven books I read in March! It was a bit less than I would normally read in a month due to the reading slump hit but I’m hoping it will pick up a bit more towards the end of April! If you’ve read any of these definitely let me know what you thought, as well as the books you’ve been reading recently!

Lost-A-Thon Wrap Up!

Lost-A-Thon Wrap Up!

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-03-27T210731.771.png
I had big hopes that I was going to rattle through quite a few books for the Lost-A-Thon especially because so many of them were books I really wanted to read. Unfortunately I hit a bit of a slump and didn’t get to as many books as I’d hoped. This will be pretty similar to my February wrap up but I thought I’d do a separate post of the ones I did read for the readathon!

Untitled design (40)Long Term TBR: A Book that’s been on your TBR forever
For this I read The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano. I’ve had this for ages and always really wanted to read it because I love Lauren DeStefano’s writing. I found it a little chaotic and the story was pretty predictable so while I probably will continue the series I felt a little disappointed overall. (2.5/5 stars)

the callingA Book Less Than 250 Pages
For this I read The Calling by Cate Tiernan. The Sweep series is a childhood favourite and I’ve really loved revisiting these books. They’re fast-paced and fun reads and I can’t wait to pick up the next instalment. I’m honestly surprised that I still love them so much all these years later.  (4/5 stars)

vassaDiscounted Discoveries: A book you got on sale
For this I chose Vassa In the Night by Sarah Porter which really wasn’t my cup of tea. I really struggled with this and I think this is part of the reason I didn’t get around to reading more books because it took me so long to finish this one. I didn’t like the characters, the plot didn’t make sense and I didn’t really get any enjoyment from the story. (1.5/5 stars)

book cover2
Historical Conversations: A book that makes you think

I read The Familiars by Stacy Halls for this one and it was a really brilliant story about female friendship and the witch trials. I read it one day at work and it’s probably my favourite historical fiction that I’ve read this year. (4/5 stars)

book cover (76)
Mystery Genre Pick: Contemporary

I chose contemporary because it’s something I don’t read all that much of. I ended up reading Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivan. I thought this was a solid read, I wasn’t over fond of the characters but I enjoyed the plot. (3.5/5 stars)

blood and sandA Book With Red on the Cover
I finally read Blood and Sand by C. V. Wyk for this one. This is another book I have mixed feelings about. I loved the female Spartan determined to reclaim her homeland idea but the story felt too focused on the romance between Attia and the Gladiator who becomes her owner for me to give it a higher rating. (3.5/5 stars)

So those are the books I read for Lost-A-Thon. Let me know some books you’ve read recently and what you thought!

February Wrap Up!

February Wrap Up!

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-03-17T114811.362.png
February was a great month and I managed to read fifteen books despite it being the shortest month of the year. It was a pretty mixed lot with some books I really loved and a few I was more than a little disappointed by. I’m not going to go too much into them because there’s quite a few books to get through!

book cover - 2019-03-17T114531.3091. The Calling – Cate Tiernan
This is the seventh book in the Sweep/Wicca series and I’ve been having such a good time revisiting this series. I’m so pleased that I still love them as much as I did when I read them the first time. It’s such a fun and addictive series and I really enjoyed this instalment as Morgan and the gang travel to New York and unravel secrets from her past. (4/5 stars)

book cover - 2019-03-17T114313.4972. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games is a series I haven’t revisited since I first read it as a teenager so I thought it might be fun to listen to the audiobook version. After struggling with the narrator in the edition I was listening to I found another on Scribd and I really enjoyed it. It was great to revisit a book I really loved and I’m looking forward to continuing the series. (4/5 stars)

vassa3. Vassa In the Night – Sarah Porter
This was a fairyloot book quite a long time ago and I recently heard someone talk about it because it’s a reimagining of the story of Baba Yaga. I love the cover design and thought it would be a great atmospheric read but it really wasn’t for me. I struggled with the writing style, I didn’t like the characters and I found the plot a bit chaotic. (2/5 stars)

4. Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom – P. M. Freestonebook cover (39)
Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom is the first in an all new fantasy series in which the magic system is made up through scent. It was a brilliant read and one of my favourites of the month. It ended on such a cliff hanger and I’m dying to read book two. You can check out my review here, and my guest post from P. M. Freestone here! (5/5 stars)

book cover25. The Familiars – Stacy Halls
I love historical fiction that focuses on witches and I ended up completely devouring this book in one day. It was a dark and beautiful told story based on real events in history. It’s a book I still think about even though I finished it a while ago. I ranted a bit about how much I enjoyed this book here, so you can check that out if you want to know more. (4.5/5 stars)

book cover - 2019-03-17T113810.1376. Queenie – Alice Munro
This was a short piece of fiction about a young girl who goes to stay with her sister that ran away with their neighbour. It really delves into the relationship between Queenie and her husband and was quite an emotional and powerful read. It’s a really quick read and it’s definitely one that makes you think about the nature of relationships.(3/5 stars)

book cover - 2019-03-17T113823.2377. And Of Clay We Created – Isabelle Allende
This was another piece of short fiction based on the real events of a volcanic eruption that happened in Columbia in 1985. 23,000 people died and the story follows the media outpouring about a little girl trapped in a mudslide caused by the eruption. It’s a very heart wrenching piece and it really made me think. (3.5/5 stars)

blood and sand8. Blood and Sand – C. V. Wyk
This was another book that I got in a subscription box and was really intrigued about this gender bent re-imagining of Spartacus.  I found this book quite difficult to rate because I wanted to love it, I loved the idea and I enjoyed the plot but it was much more romance focused than I had hoped it would be. I wanted Attia to spend more time reclaiming her home than developing her romance with Xanthus. I still want to continue the series but I was a little disappointed overall. (3.5/5 stars)

9. The Last – Hanna Jamesonbook cover (38)
This was a fascinating look at a world in which nuclear bombs have caused the end of the world, but what happens when a group of people staying in a hotel survive? It was quite slow paced and definitely more of a character driven book but it was a really fresh perspective on this type of tale. (4/5 stars)

bosdfsr10. The Year After You – Nina de Pass
This YA debut is a beautiful story about grief, loss and forgiving yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. It was set in a remote boarding school in the snowy Swiss alps and I fell in love with the characters, the story and the setting. If you’re looking for a gripping and moving tale this is definitely one to try. You check out my full review here! (4.5/5 stars)

12. Master of Sorrows – Justin Callmos
This is the first in an all new fantasy series that I completely fell in love with. It has so many things that I love, the magical academy trope plenty of action and adventure and it was just such an exciting read. This is a series I will definitely be continuing. You can check out my stop on the blog tour here! (5/5 stars)

Untitled design (40)13. The Glass Spare – Lauren DeStefano
Quite a long time ago I read Wither by Lauren DeStefano and I loved it. The Glass Spare has been on my TBR for quite a long time so I finally decided to pick it up and I did have quite high expectations because I loved her previous series. I struggled a little with this one because I found the pacing a bit off and it felt a little repetitive. I did still enjoy it and will look to read the next book in the series, but it won’t be a priority. (3/5 stars)

book cover - 2019-03-17T113630.47714. Two Can Keep A Secret – Karen M. McManus
Thrillers are something that I don’t read an awful lot of but have found myself rather enjoying them recently. I read One Of Us Is Lying last year and did quite enjoy it so I decided to pick Two Can Keep A Secret up. While I did really enjoy this it didn’t really feel like anything new (in fact it reminded me quite a lot of the TV series Riverdale), but if you like twisty and fun thrillers this is definitely one to pick up. (4/5 stars)

book cover - 2019-03-17T113618.75215. Rogue Protocol – Martha Wells
This is the third instalment in The Murderbot Diaries series. These novellas are fun and fast reads, following the adventures of Murderbot as he tries to uncover mysteries and not get caught in the process. I’ve had mixed feelings about this series because some of the books have been a little slow but overall I really enjoyed this third instalment. (3/5 stars)

So those are the books I read in February! Let me know some of the books you read in February below!

January Wrap Up!

January Wrap Up!

jan.png
January felt like the longest month ever but I only ended up reading ten books. I felt like I kicked 2019 off quite well as a few of these were really fantastic reads, so let’s dive into my January wrap up!

gfsrThe Awakening – Kate Chopin
This little book has been on my TBR forever so I thought I would kick 2019 off by getting it off my to read list. The story is a feminist classic about a women who has an affair and becomes increasingly unhappy with the role thrust on her by society. It was a really interesting read and I found it pretty fascinating to learn how much this shocked readers when it was first published in 1899. (3/5 stars)

book cover (69)

The Fork the Witch & the Worm – Christopher Paolini
I really adored The Inheritance Cycle growing up so when I was given the opportunity to return to this world and all the characters I loved I was so excited. This book offers three short stories from the world of Eragon and provides an insight into what happens after the original series ends. I participated in the blog tour for this one so if you fancy reading my full review, you can check that out here. (4/5 stars)

book cover (13)The Wicked King – Holly Black
This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019 and I was so excited to see if it would live up to my expectations. I’m happy to say that I thought The Wicked King was brilliant, the plot was so addictive with even more twists and turns that I just didn’t see coming. I’ve really grown attached to the characters in this series and I honestly can’t wait to find out what’s in store in The Queen of Nothing. (5/5 stars) 

book cover (75)Stain – A. G. Howard
This was my first time reading a book by A. G. Howard and I loved it so much. This beautiful gothic fairy tale follows two kingdoms, one that only contains day and one that only contains night. The heir to the kingdom of day cannot speak and sunlight burns her skin. The story follows her as she is cast out of the kingdom by her aunt and attempts to regain her kingdom. It’s gorgeously written with excellent world building and you can read my full review here. (4.5/5 stars)  

book cover (40)The Wolves of Winter – Tyrell Johnson
This was another one that I’ve had on my TBR for quite a while. The Wolves of Winter is dystopian in which disease has destroyed much of the planet. Lynn and her family survive in the harsh landscape of the Yukon but when a strange visitor appears in their community he brings with him a whole host of secrets and shadows. I loved the setting and the atmosphere in this story and it was a really enjoyable standalone story. (3.5/5 stars)

cacsArtificial Condition – Martha Wells
I read the first book in The Murderbot Diaries at the end of 2018 so I decided to continue on the series with Artificial Condition. These short novellas follow a security bot gone rogue – “Murderbot” – and his adventures. In this instalment he teams up with a research vessel named ART to explore his past and the place where he went rogue. It’s a fun quick read and while I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed All Systems Red I’m still looking forward to continuing the series. (2.5/5 stars)

ssdThe Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One – Amanda Lovelace
I read The Princess Saves Herself In This One quite a while ago so when I spotted the second book in this series in my local bookshop I quickly snapped it up. I really enjoyed the first book but this one is definitely my favourite. Powerful and inspiring, I read the poetry in one sitting because I was completely absorbed in this collection of poems about the resilience and power of women. (5/5 stars)

book cover (98)The Puppet Show – M. W. Craven
The first in an all new crime thriller series, The Puppet Show opens with a series of murders in the Lake District. A serial killer is burning people alive at stone circles throughout the area and the police don’t have much to go on. When a clear message is sent to disgraced detective Washington Poe, he’s brought back onto the force but as he investigates these dark murders he uncovers a whole lot more than he bargained for. This book is so dark, twisty and unforgettable. It’s definitely one of my favourite crime thrillers of all time and I can’t wait to read the next instalment in the series – full review here! (4/5 stars)

book sdsThe Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One – Amanda Lovelace
After I read The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This one I requested the next instalment from Netgalley and was so excited when I got approved. This is the final collection in the Women are Some King of Magic series and whilst I still really enjoyed this, it was my least favourite of the three collections. The poems were beautiful, but they didn’t speak to me in the same way the others did. (3.5/5 stars)

book cover (100)Slay On Tour – Kim Curran
Slay are back! I read and loved the first book in this series last year and was super excited to be back with the boy band that are world famous by day and demon hunters by night. This instalment sees the gang go to Japan to investigate a series of demons that have been causing havok. They go on tour with a band of holographic girls but when things start to go wrong during the tour they soon learn they might have even bigger problems. The book is fun, fast paced and has a really great storyline. It’s a brilliant addition to the series and I’m hoping the series will continue with the band travelling to more places around the world. If you want to read my full review you can check out my blog tour stop here! (4/5 stars)

So those are the books I read in January! If you’ve read any of them definitely let me know what you thought and tell me some of the books you read and loved in January!

December Wrap Up!

December Wrap Up!

BOOK REVIEW (72).png
Today I thought I would post a little update about all the books that I read in December. December was a bit of a hectic month but I was also off over the Christmas period so I did manage to get quite a bit of reading done. In total I read 13 books, so let’s dive into what they were!

Gemina – Ami Kaufman & Jay Kristoffbook cover (1)
First off I continued my love affair with the Illuminae series. I couldn’t wait to dive into the second instalment and if it’s possible I loved it even more than I loved Illuminae. This was a definite favourite. (5/5 stars.)
book cover (31)
The Island – M. A. Bennett

I really enjoyed S.T.A.G.S by the same author and was really looking forward to reading this one. It was a bit unbelievable and I really struggled with the main character. Overall it was an interesting story but it didn’t live up to my expectations. (2.5/5 stars)

The Language of Thorns – Leigh Bardugobook cover (65)
I finally got around to reading The Language of Thorns and I really enjoyed these beautiful fairy tale stories. It was interesting to get another take on the Grishaverse and while these stories didn’t hook me in the same way as Bardugo’s other books, I still really liked them. (4/5 stars)
book cover (64)
The Lost Sisters – Holly Black

I am just obsessed with all things related to The Cruel Prince so as soon as I heard about this little short novella I dived straight into it. Told from the perspective of Taryn, I loved every second and if anything it just made me more desperate to read The Wicked King (5/5 stars)

My Sister – Michelle Adamsbook cover (63)
This creepy psychological thriller was an intense, wild ride. The story follows a young woman who is estranged from her family. When her mother dies she returns home to uncover why she was sent to live with her aunt as a child. The story is multi-layered with lots of sinister twists I didn’t see coming, it was a brilliant read. (4/5 stars)

The Perks of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chobskybook cover (34)
I remember reading this as a teenager and thought it would be interesting to revisit the book as an adult. I enjoyed reading the story, mainly for the feeling of nostalgia, but I didn’t love it as much as I did when I read it the first time. I think possibly my tastes have changed in a big way, but overall I found it a fairly average read. (3/5 stars)

Lifelik3 – Jay Kristoffbook cover (62)
After reading Gemina I wanted to dive straight into Obsidio but I didn’t have a copy, so instead I picked up Lifelik3. This story is crazy fast paced with brilliant characters and an unforgettable story. I’m so excited to read the next book in the series, I’m only hoping I won’t have to wait too long for it to be released. (4.25/5 stars)

book cover (3)To Kill A Kingdom – Alexandra Christo
I was really excited to read this after all the buzz around it when it was released. I love retellings and this sounded like the dark and sinister Little Mermaid retelling we’ve all been waiting for. I thought this was easily going to be a five star read for me, and while I really enjoyed it, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I liked the characters and the story was fun and interesting I think it just didn’t live up to the expectations I had in my head. (4/5 stars)

Artemis – Andy Weirbook cover (61)
This is one that has been sitting on my shelf for a while and since I’ve really been in the mood for space stories I decided to pick it up. This is my first Andy Weir book and I really liked it. My enjoyment was much more focused on the characters rather than the actual plot. I loved Jazz and her band of merry helpers, she was such a funny fascinating character that you can’t help but love her. (3.5/5 stars)

book cover (32)Wild Magic – Tamora Pierce
I think I’m one of the few people that didn’t read Tamora Pierce growing up. Wild Magic is my first book by her and I found it a little difficult to get into. The story was a little slow paced for me and I found the story left me wanting more. I am interested to continue the story and learn more about this large cast of characters that are so well known in fantasy fiction. (3/5 stars)

book cover (60)Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll
I haven’t read a classic in quite a while and I thought it was time to revisit an old favourite. Alice’s Adventures are stories that I will never tire of. They’re fun, fascinating and so easy to dip in and out of. If you haven’t read Lewis Carroll’s books before, you should definitely give it a shot. (4/5 stars)
book cover (59)
My Sister, the Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite

This caught my eye honestly because of the title. It arrived from the publisher and I ended up reading it in one day. It was dark, at times funny and honestly just such a gripping story. I really loved the authors writing style and I flew through this short, original story. (4.25/5 stars)

The Winter of the Witch – Katherine Ardenbook cover (53)
The last book I read in 2018 was also probably my favourite book of the year. The conclusion to The Winternight Trilogy was everything I hoped it would be and more. It broke my heart and I am so sad to be saying goodbye to the characters from one of my all time favourite series. Everything about these books has captured my attention. The gorgeous writing and the stunning setting, the blend of magic and mystery as well as a memorable cast of characters. If you haven’t read The Bear and the Nightingale then now is the perfect time to pick it up as you can binge read all three (5/5 stars – all the stars!)

So those are the books I read in December! If you’ve read any of these definitely let me know what you thought and also let me know what the best books you read in December were!

2018 Wrap Up!

2018 Wrap Up!

BOOK REVIEW (70)
Now that January is here and I’ve finally managed to pick my favourite books of 2018. You can check that post out here, if you want to know what made the top fifteen. After deciding I thought it would be fun to do a little wrap up just to look at my reading over the last twelve months.

So in 2018 I read 142 books.

One of my reading goals for this year was to read more books. In 2017 I read 91 books so I was hoping to up it to 100. I’m so pleased I managed to completely blitz this challenge and read way more than I expected.

Breaking down what I read:

Review copy/ARC: 66book cover (56)
Backlist: 20
Newly Purchased: 37
Re-read: 19
I’m not particularly surprised about this as I tend to reach more for review copies and the titles I’ve most recently bought. I’m definitely going to aim in 2019 to read more of the backlist books on my shelves. (We’ll see how that goes!)

In terms of genre I read:

Non-Fiction: 3
Graphic Novels: 4
Poetry: 1
Science Fiction: 14
Crime/Thriller: 13book cover (57)
Classics: 7
Historical Fiction: 10
Contemporary: 19
Horror: 10
Fantasy: 61

There’s no surprises that fantasy was by far the most popular. I did plan to read more contemporary books in 2018 so I’m pleased by the 19 on the list and that’s definitely something I want to continue in the new year.

My average length of book was 345 pages with the shortest book being Warm Up by V. E. Schwab (15 pages) and the longest Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (744 pages).

My average rating was 4.0, which definitely shows how many amazing books I’ve read this year that the average rating is so high.

2018 was a brilliant year for books and I’m so excited to read and review more brilliant stories in 2019!

Readathon Wrap Ups!

Readathon Wrap Ups!

BOOK REVIEW (58)
I participated in two readathons recently so I thought I would do a quick wrap up post for them both just to see how I got on with the challenges!

Tome Topple

Untitled design (72)

The first readathon was Tome Topple, which is a readathon focusing on reading books over 500 pages. For this I had planned to try and read four books, including The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and Illuminae. You can see my TBR post for the readathon here.

In the end I didn’t really read any of the books I had planned to read. I read Illuminae and loved it so much that I ended up diving straight into Gemina. I read the majority of Gemina but didn’t manage to finish it before the readathon ended. The challenges were:

book cover (1)Read more than one tome: Technically I did that though I didn’t finish the second.
Read a tome that is part of a series: Both books are part of the Illuminae files series.
Buddy read a tome: My boyfriend read Illuminae with me.
Read an adult novel: This is the one challenge I didn’t fulfil.

So although it didn’t go quite how I expected I’m so glad I participated because I’ve found a new series that I absolutely adore.

Falling Into Fantasy Readathon

This readathon focused on reading those fantasy books that have been on your TBR for a while. There were eight challenges and I knew I wouldn’t finish all of them but in the end I completed four books and I really loved quite a few of them. If you want to see my full TBR you can take a look here!

The challenges completed were:

Untitled design (76)1. Read the first book in a series: I read Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart and really enjoyed this fast paced dystopian story.

2. Read a book that’s been on your TBR too long: I FINALLY read The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. These short stories set in the Grishaverse are so beautiful and a perfect read for this time of year.

3. Read a diverse fantasy: For this I picked up Mirage by Somaiya Daud and honestly Untitled design (97)this is one of my favourite new books. I loved everything about it and I’m desperate for more.

4. Read a book with multiple POVs: Grace and Fury fulfilled this challenge too, it has alternating POVs of two sisters.

Untitled design (93)

5. Read a new fantasy: I read Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa for this one. This imaginative adventure is a brilliant read and I have a full review posted if you’d like to know more you can take a look here!

6. Read a booktube recommended book: I’ve seen pretty much each of the books I read recommended on booktube but particularly Shadow of the Fox has been getting lots of recommendations there recently so that luckily fulfilled this challenge too!

So those are the wrap ups for the recent readathons I participated in. Are you taking part in any festive readathons? If you are let me know which ones and what you’re planning to read!