January Recap

January seemed to pass in a flash, and I can already tell the rest of this year will go by just as quickly, but I’m getting ahead of myself now. Overall January was a busy month work and life-wise, but I’m back reading and blogging again, even if I am taking it a little slower than I was last year.

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I got through nine books in total; four of which were re-reads, but luckily they still count towards my goal because I’m hoping to do a lot of re-reading this year. Asides from reading most of my January has been spent catching up on blogging and re-organising my life. New year, new start after all.

Continue reading “January Recap”

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January 2018 Recap

I’m going to try something new for my monthly recaps; instead of talking about the books I reviewed each month I’m going to feature the books I read, there will be an update on how my WIP is going, and some snapshots of my life in general.

I feel like I start most of my recaps this way, and I know a few other people have for this past month, but January is now finished so I have to put in this post my usual ‘how is January already over’ question. Seriously though, where did the last month go, does anyone know? Overall January was a great month for me, but more about that a little later in my recap.


Monthly Recaps - This Month

Books I Read

January Recap (1)

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – Four stars
Check out my review here.

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr – Two stars
Check out my review here.

The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr – Two stars
Check out my review here.

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven – Four stars

Furyborn by Claire Legrand – Four stars

La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman – Four stars

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo – Three stars

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown – Five stars

The Northern Lights by Philip Pullman – Four stars

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman – Five stars

January This Month


So far I’m on track to complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 125 by the end of the year. I’m hoping I manage to keep my current reading pace going, because I feel like at one point this year I am going to fall behind a little.

January GR 2018 Reading Challenge

The best book I picked up in January was, no surprise, Iron Gold. It was my first five star reading of the year and while it wasn’t as good as Morning Star it was a brilliant addition to my favourite series. I’m very excited that we’re getting the next book in the Red Rising Saga later this year because I can’t wait to see where things go for Darrow next.

Iron Gold

The worst book I picked up in January was The Truth and Lies of Ella Black. There were so many plot points in the story that made no sense, I hated the main character, and the relationship in this book was the worst case of insta-love I’ve ever read. The only thing I can say I enjoyed about The Truth and Lies of Ella Black was the setting.

The Truth and Lies of Ella Black


My WIP

So I fell a little behind when it comes to my WIP in January. I had planned to focus on research and re-planning everything, but I started off with naming my characters (all of my characters, because I have a tendency to call some of them UMC or UFC (Unnamed Male/Female Character)) and that turned out to be a big mistake.

I’m still hoping to start writing in March, it just means I need to get a lot more planning done in February. I’ve put the naming of my characters asides for one moment to focus on world building which is much more fun.


Life in General

At the end of last month (you may have noticed I went on a mini unplanned and unannounced hiatus) I went to Romania with my friend. We travelled through Bucharest, Brasov and all the way up to Bâlea Lake. We saw Bran Castle, Peles Castle, and froze most of our toes off staying overnight in the Ice Hotel. All in all a great way to start off the year.

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I went to launch party for the release of Alwyn Hamilton’s Hero at the Fall. I haven’t managed to get around to reading the book yet (I was flying to Romania the very next day) but it’s high on my to-read list for February.

January Recap (3)

I got promoted at work! I mentioned in my end of year recap that I’d gone for a new job and I found out at the end of the month (the same day as the Hero at the Fall launch party) that I was successful and I was being promoted.


Monthly Recaps - Book Haul

Christmas money from December means I brought a lot of books this month, I just couldn’t resist.

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Books


January Recap (5)

Meraki Candles

  • Antari

January Recap (6)

Fairy Loot


Monthly Recaps - Last Month

There’s not a lot being released this month; so my reading goals are going to be on getting around to some of the books I brought last month but haven’t picked up yet before my highly anticipated March releases are out. High on my list are Hero at the Fall and The Bear and the Nightingale, I also need to finish my reread of the His Dark Materials trilogy.

January Next Month

I want to try and end February being on track to complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge, and as well as blogging I need to research my WIP like I’ve never researched anything before and I want to start baking again.


I hope everyone else had a good January, and I hope you all have an even better February as well.

Let me know what books you’ve read during the first month of the year, and if you’ve been anywhere on holiday yet? Does anyone have any big plans, reading or otherwise, for February? And if anyone has advise on naming characters in their WIPs please share it with me.

Happy reading!

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.

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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.

January Recap

I honestly can’t believe January is almost over. It can’t just be me that thinks this first month has really flown by.

I had a pretty good start to 2016, and have made a better start to my Goodreads Reading Challenge finishing 11 books this month. I managed to get around to The Raven Cycle, which has cut one series off my to-read list, and I started some books of a different genre to what I normally would read.


Reviews

January Recap, #1

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

My first Patrick Ness book and, in my opinion, a brilliant one to start on. Instead of focusing on the Chosen Ones and the big bad that threatens the town Ness follows a group of four teenagers whose lives are normal and who only want to survive whatever is threatening the Indie Kids this time. I really enjoy this book, the characters may have been normal but it didn’t make their lives any less interesting or important than the Indie Kids.


Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

I really enjoyed Alexandra Bracken’s first series but Passenger completely knocked it out the water. The characters are well developed and even though the story starts off a little slow it grabbed me and refused to let go until the very end. I love time travel stories and Passenger is one of the best. Together Nicholas and Etta travel all over the world and all through the centuries; from London during World War II and Damascus in the fifteen hundreds. This is, at the moment, my best read of 2016.


My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

While this isn’t the kind of book I’d normally read, preferring fantasy or paranormal books, it had so many amazing reviews I had to pick it up and start reading it myself. My Life Next Door starts off a cute read about summer love, however right around the corner it takes a darker turn. I loved the two main characters, Sam and Jase, but it was Jase’s family that made this story stand out for me. The Garrett’s are a large family, and compared to Sam’s their home life is loud, chaotic but full of love.

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

I didn’t realise there was a sequel to My Life Next Door until I’d finished reading it but after discovering Alice and Tim’s story had been written and released I couldn’t wait to start it. In the first book Tim decided to combat his alcohol addiction and his journey continues in his story. There are a lot of serious issues that are addressed in The Boy Most Likely To and Huntley Fitzpatrick gave them the time and development they needed; what Tim goes through and what happened to Alice’s family isn’t just forgotten about or swept under the rug for the sake of the budding romance between Tim and Alice.


January Recap, #2

The Grisha Series

I loved this series the first time I read it, and after Six of Crows was released I had to go back and re-read the Grisha series before starting a book set in the same world. The Grisha series is really good but I definitely preferred Six of Crows; it has all the elements I loved about the Grisha series but so much more. I adored reading about the relationships between all six characters, as well as the building relationships between Kaz and Inej, Nina and Matthias, and Jesper and Wylan.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


January Recap, #3

The Raven Cycle Series

Before starting The Raven Boys I had heard so much about the series, it had so many amazing reviews and the gorgeous covers caught my eye. When I finally got around to picking up these books I couldn’t stop reading. While the first book seemed a little slow the series went from strength to strength and when I got to the third book, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, I couldn’t put it down. I am desperate for the fourth book in the series now, I need to know what happens next.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater


Top Ten Tuesday

I took part in four Top Ten Tuesday topics over the course of January.

Top Ten Resolutions I have for 2016

Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant to Read but Didn’t

Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added to my TBR Pile

Top Ten Fairytale Retellings I’ve Read and Want to Read


Waiting on Wednesday

I featured four books as part of the Waiting on Wednesday tag.

Riders by Veronica Rossi

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Waiting on Wednesday #2


I have plenty more on my to-read list for next month, and also a few ARCs to review before they’re released. In February I am looking forwards to hopefully some warmer weather here in England, as well as the release of some of my very eagerly anticipated books for this year.