January Recap

So one month in to 2017 and I hope everyone’s had an amazing January. I am already preparing for the rest of this year; I’ve booked my tickets for YALC 2017 – of course I went for the weekend ticket again – I’ve booked tickets to go to the Harry Potter Studio Tour again in February, and I’ve booked a holiday to Krakow in June. A lot going on this year , not a lot happening in January though.

January was a mixed bag for me; I did manage to get through a lot of the ARCs in my queue, which means my self-imposed NetGalley requesting ban is now over, but on the other hand I was put in spam jail by Askimet, I am out now but that’s never a fun experience. Still, hopefully February will be a better month.


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Books I Reviewed

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The Half Bad Trilogy

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this trilogy, the blurb doesn’t reveal much, but I was completely blown away. This is now one of my favourite series, despite the last book ripping my heart to pieces.

Half Bad by Sally Green

Half Wild by Sally Green

Half Lost by Sally Green


ARC Review: Gilded Cage by Vic James

It’s been a while since I’ve read a dystopian book, the genre was getting a little tired in my opinion. Luckily Gilded Cage was a fresh take on the genre that I loved from start to finish. Now I just need to get my hands on the second book.

I received a copy of this book from Pan Macmillan.


ARC Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

As my most anticipated read for this year Caraval had a lot to live up to, and oh did it ever. There’s no way to properly describe how much I loved this book; Caraval was magic, wonder, romance and enchantment all wrapped up in one amazing story.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.


Magonia Series

The covers for this series are beyond gorgeous, unfortunately the books failed to live up to my expectations. The character development want great and the pacing got better with Aerie but the world building just fell flat.

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley


ARC Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

This was another book where my expectations weren’t met. Wintersong is a character focused story and I just didn’t connect with Liesl enough to fully enjoy reading her journey.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.


ARC Review: Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

After Rebel of the Sands became a favourite read of mine last year Traitor to the Throne went to the top of my to-read list. While I noticed the slow pacing at the beginning of this book more than with the first one I still thought it was an amazing story.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.


ARC Review Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Being both a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland and Marissa Meyer Heartless was a book I couldn’t wait to get around to. Although it didn’t quite meet my expectations I still loved this book which added a new dimension to the terrifying Queen of Hearts from Lewis Carroll’s original tale.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.


A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray

The ending to Ten Thousand Skies Above You was a huge cliffhanger that left me desperate for the last book in the trilogy. A Million Worlds With You was a brilliant ending to this series, with a lot more at stake for all the characters we’ve met along the way.


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten 2017 Debuts I’m Excited For

Top Ten 2016 Releases I Meant to Read but Didn’t Get to (but Totally Plan to)

Top Ten Underrated Books I’ve Read or Added to my TBR List in the Past Year or So

Top Ten Bookish Blogging Goals for 2017

Top Ten Favourite YA Book Covers; UK Edition Vs. US Edition


Standalone Sunday

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell


book-haul

With my book buying ban now over, and the money I got from Christmas still in my purse, I went on a bit of a book buying spree this month still I didn’t actually overspent which is a huge achievement for me. I’m not going to keep a monthly budget this year, instead I’m just going to try and manage what I spend based on how much money I have each month after the essentials. Who knows if this will work better for me but here’s hoping.


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Waterstones


Amazon


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Fairy Loot

  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
    Check out my review here.

next-month-on-my-blog

This month I did quite well on my to-read list, of the four books I featured I managed to get through three of them, so I’m picking five books for next month and I’m off to a great start because I’ve already finished one earlier today.


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Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favoured by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.

Fans of Star Wars and Divergent will revel in internationally bestselling author Veronica Roth’s stunning new science-fiction fantasy series.


RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumoured to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.


The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

New York City as you’ve never seen it before. A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world – and a romance – she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one?

Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Debut author Katharine McGee has created a breathtakingly original series filled with high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, where the impossible feels just within reach. But in this world, the higher you go, the farther there is to fall…


The Girl at Midnight Series by Melissa Grey

Echo is a pickpocket runaway adopted and raised in New York City by a race of creatures with feathers for hair and magic in their veins. The series follows Echo as she becomes involved in an ancient war and a centuries-old love, and discovers startling truths about the world she lives in.


February is going to be an exciting month for me. Now I have my backlog of ARCs out the way I can focus on developing my blog a little more; I have a new feature that I am planning to introduce and I am hoping to have a Goodreads profile up and running soon as well. I am determined to keep to my goals for 2017 and February will be when I start crossing them off my list.

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61 thoughts on “January Recap

  1. My NG ban was forgotten when I was auto-approved and now I’m all over it again, haha. I have missed the denied-access emails….
    I’m glad the Gilded Cage gave the genre a little sprout, we’ve seen lots of dystopians around and it’s hard to find originality. It sounds as if your January books either were brilliant or did not live up to your expectations, no middle ground! 🙂 At least you did not end up with a stream of bad reads only!
    Good luck with the blogging goals! February will be the same for me, lots of blog tours, something I haven’t done much, and exciting changes! Well, I find them exciting but no one will probably agree hahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh I imagine after being auto-approved you went on a little requesting spree. It’s certainly what I would have done! I’m pretty much caught up on my ARCs now so I can begin requesting more if I see any that catch my eye!
      Dystopian books seem to be a genre that gets old quite quickly for me, and I’m not sure why, but Gilded Cage really did feel like a fresh take on the genre and I ended up really loving it. For the most part I loved the January books I picked up, there were just unfortunately a couple that didn’t live up to my expectations which is always a shame.
      Thanks so much Donna, now I feel I have a little bit of a schedule when it comes to blogging I’m looking forwards to trying some new things. Gonna be an interesting year to say the least! 😀

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  2. Oh no, the last book in the Half Bad trilogy ripped your heart to pieces? I’m kind of scared to read it now. Getting my heart ripped to pieces does not sound fun 🙈. You definitely had a pretty great reading month, Beth! Also, look at that haul! So many books 😍. And it’s good to hear that you enjoyed the last book in the Firebird series. I’m hoping to get to finishing that one this year. You have me curious about this feature you’re going to be doing on your blog. I can’t wait to see it! I hope you end up having a fantastic February! Also, I’m so jealous that you’re going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. I want to so bad. If only traveling was cheaper. One day! lol 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes it destroyed me, I was pretty much in tears on the train home reading it, but overall it was an amazing series so despite the heartbreak I’d highly highly recommend it Melissa.
      Maybe wait until you’re in the mood for a sad book though.
      Thanks so much, yeah I got through a lot more books than I thought I did this month, and I definitely brought loads as well.
      The ending to the Firebird series was perfect so I hope you enjoy it when you get around to it. Yep, I’m excited about this new feature because it combines blogging/reading with another of my hobbies which I really want to carry on with more this year; it’s a two birds one stone kind of feature.
      The Harry Potter Studio Tour is amazing, I will be sharing pictures, but you’re close-ish to the world in Universal Studios and I’d love to visit there one day! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, it sounds like a series best saved for when I want a sad read. Either way I really do want to make time to read it this year if I can because I’m still so curious about it from having read your review for the first book.
        That’s awesome that it’s going to combine blogging and reading with another hobby. I can’t wait to see it! I’ve noticed several bloggers starting original features lately and it makes me want to as well but I’ve got zero ideas so that’s not happening anytime soon. 😂
        I can’t wait to see your pictures! Yeah, a little close-ish but several states away. I’ve never been to the Universal Studios HP stuff either but hopefully one day. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s an addictive series as well. I think if you like the first book (which I really hope you do) then you’ll want to jump right into the second and third, despite knowing the inevitable heartbreak to come.
        This is an idea I’ve had for a little while, I just suddenly thought why not? The only thing I want before I start is to have enough ideas for a few posts rather than just wing it every time.
        I’m seriously thinking of going one year, maybe next if I have the holiday time from work. I’d like to go back to New York at some point as well so you never know. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh, if I do love the first book, I definitely will want to dive right into the second no matter what. I’m a big time binge reader when it comes to series. 😁
        You should! I’ve heard from everyone how fun it is. Plus, it’s Harry Potter so it’s bound to be awesome. I’ve got to save up some travel money. I really want to go to New York. I was supposed to be going to school up there but it didn’t work out.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I am exactly the same, and that’s pretty much what I did with the Half Bad trilogy. The second I finished one I needed to start the next right away.
        I’ve never been so it’s worth a trip for that alone, and I’ve been to the Harry Potter Studio Tour twice already (it will be three times this year!) so worth the money as well!
        Oh that’s a shame about the school trip being cancelled, but maybe it’ll be better to visit New York on your own terms you know? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You had an excellent month Beth! 🙂 You’ve already got trips and stuff planned, and here I am just thinking about planning stuff. I really should just plan them.
    I’ve read the Girl at Midnight it was alright not my favourite read, but it was still entertaining. I can’t wait to hear what you thought of it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Meghan. January this year seems to have been a really out there month in terms of planning things. Normally January I kind of slump after Christmas, this year is an exception it seems.
      On one hand it’s a shame it wasn’t exceptional for you but great you still enjoyed it despite that. I can’t wait to get started on it myself! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha, I’ve taken your slump from you because that was my January. I didn’t do anything. I barely went out, I went to work then home to read (talk about boring haha)
        I can’t wait to read your thoughts on the book! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. WHAT IS THAT MASSIVE BOOKHAUL, Beth ? Also…I would totally do the same if I had Waterstone’s close to where I am…or easy access to the Piccadilly’s Waterstone. That place is HEAVEN on earth haha. It seems like you had such a good reading month, I hope the next one will be just as great! And I am eagerly waiting for you to set up your Goodreads account 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha yeah, that was my Christmas book haul. I just didn’t spend any of the Christmas money I got until now. I actually brought most of these from Waterstones Piccadilly and let me just say carrying 13+ books around the bookstore and then on the tube/train home is never a good time. Still definitely heaven on Earth! 😀
      I feel like I got a lot more books read this month than I normally do, and a Goodreads account will be coming up soon. I promise this time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great wrap up Beth! I’m planning to go to YALC again this year so maybe we could meet up with each other?! I read Gilded Cage last month too! Glad we both liked it 😀 I also really want to read Magonia and Aerie soon, and Caraval is one of my most anticipated reads of 2017 too so I’m happy to hear it lived up to your expectations! Looks like you had a lot of fun after your book-buying ban, and that copy of Ink looks gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Kate. Oh that would be amazing, it would certainly make the weekend even more memorable to meet up with some fellow bloggers! 😀
      That’s great to hear about Gilded Cage, and I really hope you enjoy Magonia and Aerie too.
      I’ll be interested to see what you think of Caraval. It’s an amazing book so I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did.
      A lot of fun buying again, though I may have gone a little overboard. Ink I brought purely because of the cover, I just couldn’t resist! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yessss, we should definitely arrange a meet up then! 😀 I’m going into the city centre tomorrow and if I go to a book shop (highly likely) I might actually pick up Magonia then, depending on 1. if they have it, 2. if I don’t get carrried away with other books! I went out to get the special edition of Caraval the day it came out, but only found out later that the edition I was looking for isn’t out until Feb 9th! 😦 I think I’ll either buy a different edition tomorrow or wait for that one to be released. Glad you had fun picking up new books!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sounds great, do you have a weekend ticket as well or are you just going for one of the days?
        I will be heading to a bookstore tomorrow as well. I feel it’s kind of a given for us isn’t it. But I hope you manage to find Magonia, even if you do go crazy with other books.
        Ohh, I wasn’t aware there was a special edition of Caraval being released, is it going to be in bookstores as well? I may keep an eye out for it if it is. I feel it’s the kind of book you can have two copies of! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Holy moly! Well, I’d say you had a pretty decent January. Your vacation plans sound so thrilling too! I hope you’ll have a blast (and share everything us!!). I also love the pictures you took; soooo clean! That “How to Think Like Sherlock” really caught my attention. Have you read it? What did you think about it? Sounds fun and hilarious. 😛 Your plans for February also seems exciting. Hopefully February will be an even better month for you! Happy reading, Beth! 😀

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah this was definitely more books than I’d normally read during any given month. I’m still not sure how exactly I did it. And of course I’ll be posting pictures from all my vacations this year! 😀
      I haven’t read How to Think Like Sherlock yet but I’m sure it will be an interesting book. I’ll probably post a mini review once I have read it either way. 🙂
      February will be busy but interesting to say the least. Thanks Lashaan. I hope you have an amazing February as well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You had a pretty good month 🙂 I’m really excited to read Wintersong and Gilded Cage!! I really loved Heartless, though 🙂 I’m about to go on a bit of a book splurge myself on amazon… my poor bookshelf 😂😂😂 I also have a copy of Carve the Mark and I am looking forward to getting to it despite the issues its had 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Lauren. Yeah I was kind of surprised by how much I actually managed to read this month. It’s more than I have any other month for sure. I really hope you enjoy Heartless, Wintersong and Gilded Cage. I’ll be sure to keep and eye out for your reviews. There’s never anything bad with splurging every now and again.
      And yeah I’m willing to give Carve the Mark a chance, it could surprise us you never know. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I still can’t get over how beautiful the hardcover for Caraval is! ❤
    I have read the Ruby Red trilogy a few years ago and I really enjoyed it. Though I did read them in their original language, German. I hope you end up liking them as well!
    The Fairy Loot box is soooo beautiful! They always seem amazing and I can't believe that I never got myself one. Hopefully it will happen some time in the future.
    Amazing recap Beth! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely gorgeous, and it makes me so glad I have my own copy of it now after waiting what feels like forever for it to be released.
      I read the Red Ruby trilogy a while back as well, but I loved it and I love time travel books in general so it was a series I always meant to actually buy myself one day. I imagine reading the books in German would have been an interested experience.
      Fairy Loot is a beyond amazing subscription box, they seem to get better each month but they really outdid themselves with the January box.
      Thanks so much Anna! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh wow Beth! So. Many. Books! I’m jealous but so happy for you 😛 I’m glad that you enjoyed Gilded Cage. I’m also so over the dystopian genre but that book totally gave new life to the genre. I’ve had my eyes on the Half Bad trilogy for a while now and your reviews have now made me want to actually pick them up…soonish. Too many books! I hope you have fantastic February.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah there were more books in January, both read and brought, than any other month since I started blogging, and I’m including the month I went to YALC last year in this as well.
      Gilded Cage was a brilliant book and a brilliant addition to the dystopian genre. Oh I’d highly recommend picking up Half Bad if you get a chance, it’s a great series and I hope you’ll love it as much as I did.
      Thanks Jacquie. I hope you have an amazing February as well! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. SO. MANY. BOOKS. with. pretty. covers. ❤ ❤ (No, I'm not judging the books by their covers, what are you talking about??) Jokes aside, sorry to hear about Magonia and Aerie! I've read Magonia, which was an okay experience, but I still haven't picked up Aerie. Sorry to hear it was disappointing! But I'm so happy to hear you loved Caraval and Gilded Cage, both are on my TBR and I can't wait to read them now! ❤ And that book haul though! Loveeeeee.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t worry I judge books by covers a lot. I know I shouldn’t but half the books on my shelves were pure cover buys! Either way so many books this month. 😀
      Yeah Magonia and Aerie were a little bit of a lot down but there were improvements in Aerie which made the story better as a whole which was a nice surprise. Caraval and Gilded Cage are both beyond amazing so I really hope you love them, though I’m sure you will.
      Massive book haul this month but new year new books I guess! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Yeah, I’m really excited to read the Half Wild trilogy, Caraval, Heartless, and Gilded Cage, so I’m glad to see you loved them! ❤

    And lucky you, for getting to go to Harry Potter Studios! I want to go so bad, but I don’t live in the U.K. I’m hoping to go sometime in the future if I get to go!

    And, ooh, you’re setting up a Goodreads? I deleted my old one last year, and started another one, but I have no idea if I’ll actually use it. 😂 Still thinking about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re all amazing books, granted in completely different ways but overall they’re brilliant reads so I’m sure you’ll love them as well. At the moment Caraval is my top read of 2017 so that’s should be a good indication of how amazing it was! 🙂
      If you ever come over to the UK I’d recommend it. I’d love to go to the Wizarding World in Universal in Florida because that looks amazing. Maybe one day…
      Yep, I still have a personal account but I need one for my blog and it seems past time I created one. Either way it will mostly be for reviews rather than anything else.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, all three sound so brilliant! I’ve been wanting to read the Half Wild trilogy for a long while, and I’m hoping to get to some backlist series this year since I failed to do it last year.

        Ooh, I’ve gone there! It was brilliant; it’s still my favorite vacation I’ve taken with my family! Diagon Alley was so pretty and the train ride was so worth it! ❤

        Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking; I just have it so I can tell publishers I post my reviews somewhere else other than my blog. 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My aim is to get through some backlist series this year as well, but I’ve been saying that for a while so god knows if it will be true this year more than any other.
        Oh it sounds amazing. I need to make a trip there one year just so I can experience it myself. Until then I’ll make do with the studio tour!
        I’m gonna be honest that’s pretty much the main reason I’ll be creating a GR account as well! 😄

        Liked by 1 person

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