February 2018 Recap

(Let’s all pretend I’m posting this recap at the end of February rather than the beginning of March).

It’s cliché I know, I even started my first recap of the year with this, but where has the month gone?! February is the shortest month of the year and this year I could really tell because I’m struggling to think of what I did with myself over the last twenty-eight days. It was a bit of a mixed month for me, but overall there was more good than bad.


Monthly Recaps - This Month

Books I Read

February Recap (1)

Wires and Nerve: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer – Four stars
Check out my review here.

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman – Five stars
Check out my review here.

Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton – Five stars

Tales from Sand and Sea by Alwyn Hamilton – Four stars

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – Five stars
Check out my review here.

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner – Four stars

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray – Five stars

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green – Four stars

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – Five stars

Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor – Five stars

February This Month


Again (as of the end of February at least) I’m on track to complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 125 by the end of the year. However I’m thinking of lowering it. I don’t know if I can reach my goal and the thought of falling behind is giving me low-key anxiety issues. I’d rather lower my challenge to an amount I know I can read but still try to 125 books.

February GR 2018 Reading Challenge

The best book I picked up in February was really hard to narrow down. Last month I bemoaned how long it took me to finally have a five star read but this month there were a couple of outstanding and incredible books I got through. I think I’m going to have to go for Daughter of Smoke and Bone. This was a re-read for me but it was just as magical and enchanting the second time around as the first.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

The worst book I picked up this month was again another really hard choice because all the books I picked up were good. Tales from Sand and Sea was good, don’t get me wrong, but as a collection of short stories from the Rebel of the Sands trilogy I didn’t really have any expectations for it and all in all it was kind of forgettable compared to the other books I picked up.

Tales from Sand and Sea


My WIP

To everyone out there who knows how much of an epic procrastinator I am it’s probably going to come as no surprise when I say I’m still a little behind compared to where I wanted to be on my WIP. My original plan was to start writing in March but currently I am only halfway into my plan/research stages (it was the naming of my characters which has thrown me off schedule).

Now my plan is to finish my plot outline, finish naming all my characters (God help me), and finish expanding my world before starting the actual re-write of my WIP in April. Just in time for Camp NaNoWriMo (do you see what I did there).


Life in General

I splurged and had afternoon tea with my best friend in London. We’d waited months for a table for Cutter & Squidge’s Genie’s Cave Afternoon Tea to open up, but let me tell you it was well worth the wait. The food was incredible and we are definitely going back there again, they do different themes every few months and come summer there’s going to be something new.

February Recap (2)

I also made it to the Harry Potter History of Magic exhibition at the British Library, something else I’d waited months for. It was amazing, there was a different room for each class Harry had at Hogwarts filled with historical and cultural facts that J.K. Rowling had used to create the world.

February Recap (3)

The Beast from the East (God I hate that name) hit the UK, and then Storm Emma came along afterwards bringing snow, snow, and even more snow to the UK. I know other countries out there have it worse than what we’ve had in the UK, but we’re a country that’s never prepared for extremes in weather, and it’s been horrible. It’s March and there’s supposed to be blossom on the trees but we still have snow on the ground.

Sorry, rant over.

February Recap (4)


Monthly Recaps - Book Haul

After January I seem to have hit the other extreme in book hauls and didn’t buy much in February, but wait until you see the books that will be in my March haul.

February Recap (5)

Books


February Recap (6)

Fairy Loot


Monthly Recaps - Last Month

OBSIDIO! OBSIDIO! OBSIDIO!

Obsidio

Can anyone guess what book I’m excited for this month? There are some incredible March releases but Obsidio is at the top of my every list, as soon as I have it in my hands I’ll be getting started on it. I’m also planning more re-reading; I want to finish the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and in preparation for Obsidio I’m going to be picking up Illuminae and Gemina again as well.

February Next Month

I start my new job on Monday (I am both nervous and excited) so it may be a bit of a struggle at first juggling my increased workload with blogging but I have faith in my time management skills. I hope to end March on track when it comes to blogging and ready to start the re-write of my WIP.


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

Let me know what books you’ve read during the second month of the year, and if you’ve found yourself wondering where this month has gone? Does anyone have any big plans for March, they don’t have to be blogging or reading plans, and who else is beyond excited for the release of Obsidio?

Happy reading!

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.

January Recap (2)

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.

January Recap (4)

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!

December Recap

It is nearly the end of the year so before I jump into my December Recap I just want to say that I hope everyone had a good 2017, and that you all have an even better 2018 filled with incredible books.

Compared to my November my December was pretty uneventful, with the exception of Christmas that is. However I did finally manage to get through a series that has been high priority on my TBR list for ages now (reviews to come in January) and I have started re-planning and re-researching my WIP as well.


Monthly Recaps - This Month

Books I Reviewed

December Recap '17, #1

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

So many people were raving about this book, both in the run up to and after its release, and after reading it I can see why. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is an incredible debut, I have so many theories on where the series will go so I desperately need the second book now.


All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

There were a fair few mixed reviews for All the Crooked Saints so, thinking I’d be let down, I went into it with lowered expectations. However after a slow start, which I’ve come to expect from the magical realism genre, I fell in love with this book and the characters I was introduced to.


The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

I’d had this book on my to-read list for ages before finally picking it up. I loved Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and I really enjoyed this one as well. The Upside of Unrequited is so much more than a typical YA contemporary book, Molly and her family made the story so much more.


ARC Review: Everless by Sara Holland

For a debut from Sara Holland Everless was a really good story. There were plenty of twists which didn’t feel cliché the way they sometimes can in YA fantasy books but it was the world building, the history and myths of Sempera, that made Everless such a stand-out read for me.

I received a copy of this book from BKMRK.


ARC Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

If I were to choose one book I reviewed this month that stood out miles apart from the rest it would be this one. Holly Black is an incredible author, definitely the queen of faerie stories, and The Cruel Prince is an incredible start to her new series leaving me desperate for the next book.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.


ARC Review: The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart

Even though I didn’t really have any expectations for The Sacrifice Box before reading it I was still a little disappointed. There was a lot of potential but Stewart tried to cram too many stories in one book and it made the character development weak in places.

I received a copy of this book from Penguin Platform.


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Bookish Settings I’d Love to Visit

Top Ten Favourite Books of 2017

Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings

Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2018


Monthly Recaps - Book Haul

Again I didn’t buy too many books this month, in fact asides from my Fairy Loot Box I didn’t ‘buy’ any books. For Christmas my sister brought me some incredible books, one of which I have been dying to get my hands on since it was released, and next month I’ll be spending my Christmas money (on books of course) so my January haul will be a little bigger.


December Recap '17, #2

Christmas Presents

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Check out my review here.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

The Book of Dust Volume One: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

December Recap '17, #3


December Recap '17, #4

Fairy Loot

Everless by Sara Holland
Check out my review here.


Monthly Recaps - Last Month

There are so many incredible books coming out in January, so many in fact that my bank account will hate me by the time February rolls around. You’d think that would make it hard to choose just one for my Next Month’s TBR list, but when it comes to new releases there is one book more than any other I can’t wait for, one that I will be starting the very second I have it in my hands.


Iron Gold

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

They call him father, liberator, warlord, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the pale blue planet, his armour red, his army vast, his heart heavy. It is the tenth year of war and the thirty-second of his life.

A decade ago, Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. But the Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk everything he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?

And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow’s to change his fate forever: 

A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp and achieves for herself a new life she could never have imagined.

An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy—or pay with his life.

And Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.

Red Rising was the story of the end of one universe, and Iron Gold is the story of the creation of a new one. Witness the beginning of a stunning new saga of tragedy and triumph from masterly New York Times bestselling author Pierce Brown.


Next month I can’t say I have too many plans. I’m just going to be trying to get back on track after December where blogging fell in the wayside so I could make time for Christmas shopping, and Christmas parties, and Christmas day. Monday I will be posting my End of Year Recap, which will be looking a little further into the future as well as back at the past year.

Happy reading everyone.

November Recap

If I had to pick one month of this year so far that I could say was my favourite month of 2017, November would win. Granted we haven’t had December yet, and given that that’s the month that has Christmas in it November is going to have some heavy competition.

Still this month I not only took part in NaNoWriMo but actually won, for the first time ever, but I got to see Sarah J. Maas in London as part of her Tower of Dawn book tour. Then there were just plenty of other little things that made November incredible.


Monthly Recaps - This Month

Books I Reviewed

November Recap '17, #1

ARC Review: Blackbird by N.D. Gomes

While Blackbird felt darker than most of the thrillers I’ve picked up before it was a great book. It not only made me want to check out more of N.D. Gomes’s books – I’ve already added Dear Charlie to my TBR list – but more of the YA thriller genre.

I received a copy of this book from YA HQ.


ARC Review: The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

At the moment The City of Brass is competing with A Conjuring of Light for my top read of 2017, that’s how incredible I found this book. I’m not going to go into all the reasons I loved the story here, you can check out my review for that, all I’m going to say is that I would recommend The City of Brass to everyone.

I received a copy of this book from YA HQ.


They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

I am a huge fan of Adam Silvera’s books and They Both Die at the End is, in my opinion, the very best he’s written to date. It completely broke my heart, which is to be expected from Adam Silvera I think, but it made me think as well and it was a story that stayed with me for a long time.


The Young Elites Trilogy

After reading and loving Marie Lu’s other books I bumped The Young Elites trilogy to the top of my to-read list. While I thought this was a good series it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, Adelina’s character development exceptional but unfortunately the plot wasn’t given that same level of development.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

The Rose Society by Marie Lu

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu


Top Ten Tuesday

Five Characters who Have Made Great Leaders and Five Characters who Wouldn’t Make Great Leaders

Top Ten Reading Recommendations for my Cousin Through the Years

Top Ten Books I’m Thankful For

Top Ten Books on my Winter TBR List


Monthly Recaps - Book Haul

If you look at the number of books I brought this month it’s really not that many, but my book haul for November is a case of quality over quantity because this is the most money I have ever spent on books in one month, like ever. I haven’t put myself on a book buying ban, because I am terrible at sticking to them, but for the next few months I am on a strict budget down to the penny.


November Recap '17, #3

Bloomsbury

November Recap '17, #2

Waterstones


November Recap '17, #4

Fairy Loot


November Recap '17, #5

Meraki Candles

  • The Bone Season Sampler

Monthly Recaps - Last Month

There’s nothing being released next month I’m excited for. I’m not too sure why, maybe it’s just because it’s the last month of the year, but I feel like there are never many books released in December. Instead, for this section of my monthly recap, I am featuring a book that I am excited to get around to, and that I am definitely, 100% going to have read before 2017 is over.


Morning Star

Morning Star by Pierce Brown

#1 New York Times bestseller. Red Rising thrilled readers and announced the presence of a talented new author. Golden Son changed the game and took the story of Darrow to the next level. Now comes the exhilarating conclusion to the Red Rising Trilogy: Morning Star.

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honour and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.


Next month is going to be more of the same for me. I’m going to use December to catch up on some of the books and reviews that have been put on the backburner while I was taking part in NaNoWriMo, and of course I’m getting ready for Christmas. I have some potential exciting new plans for 2018, but more news on that next year.

Happy reading everyone.

October Recap and Announcement

October is nearly over (on a side note how are we now at November? Where has this year gone? Does anyone know?) and it may not seem like it given I took a mini hiatus but this was a pretty bust month for me. My days were filled with travel, work, reading and prep for NaNoWriMo.

Yes, once again I am taking part in NaNoWriMo (you can find my profile here in case you want to add me and share the stress of NaNo) and I’m keeping my fingers tightly crossed that this year I manage to read the 50K goal. I’m still not 100% sure how I’m going to manage both blogging and NaNo. It’s going to be a challenge to say the least and, this brings me onto my announcement, to  help there are going to be some small changes on my blog.

I will still be posting but now I’m going to be posting to a schedule. I will publish posts on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, as well as every other Friday. This does mean I will no longer be taking part in the Standalone Sunday or Waiting on Wednesday memes but I will be continuing with Top Ten Tuesday.


Monthly Recaps - This Month

Books I Reviewed

October Recap '17, #1

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

While I still really loved this book, and I’m definitely not comparing it to the film, I think there were a few things the film did better. Overall though Leigh Bardugo managed to write an amazing story with incredible characters.


Warcross by Marie Lu

Marie Lu is now one of my auto-add, auto-buy, auto-everything authors. Warcross was incredible, and while I saw one of the end twists coming the other completely shocked me and has left me desperate for the next book.


The Infernal Devices Trilogy

It took me a long time to get around to the trilogy, but it was definitely worth the wait though I am kicking myself for not picking it up sooner. Everyone has said how amazing the Infernal Devices are, and I 100% agree with them.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare


Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

This was one of my most anticipated releases of this year, and yes Wild Beauty more than lived up to my expectations. While my favourite of McLemore’s books is still When the Moon Was Ours, Wild Beauty was an incredible read.


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Bookish OTPs

Top Ten Books that Make Me Want to Bake

Top Ten Books Where the Title IS the Cover

Top Ten Things Needed for a Perfect Halloween to Yourself


Waiting on Wednesday

Winterfolk by Janel Kolby

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell


Standalone Sunday

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly


Monthly Recaps - Book Haul

Pretty decent month for book buying; most of these were pre-orders with one or two impulse purchases I just couldn’t resist. I ended up with a double copy of one book this month, but honestly it’s an incredible book and it won’t be the first I have more than one edition of. Just ask me how many copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone I own.


October Recap '17, #2

Waterstones

Amazon

Giveaway


October Recap '17, #3

Fairy Loot

October Recap '17, #4


Monthly Recaps - Last Month

Honestly it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot being released in November, not much I’m really excited for at least. I guess towards the end of the year book publishing companies slow down until the new year. I know for sure there are plenty of incredible books coming out in January I am so excited for.


The Becoming of Noah Shaw

The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin

In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.

Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.

They’re wrong.

Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future.

He shouldn’t.

And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart.

They’re right.


November is going to be an exciting month for two reasons; the first of which is NaNoWriMo, and the second is that in just over two weeks it is my two-year blogiversary. It’s hard to believe at times I’ve been blogging for nearly two years, feels like longer and shorter than that at times. I will be doing a giveaway so stay tuned for that.

Good luck to anyone else taking part in NaNo, and I hope everyone has an incredible November.

September Recap

September was pretty much all about the ARCs on this blog. Three of my highly anticipated reads  of the year were released and I was incredibly lucky to get an ARC for all three. Granted there were a few disappointments but reading would be boring without any variety, if you knew before going in that you were going to love every single book you picked up.

Just a quick announcement; I will be going on a mini-hiatus this month. On October 10th me and my sister will be travelling to Budapest and then on to Vienna, so I will be unable to post and likely unable to comment as well. This also means in October instead of posting one of my Reading Around the World features I will publishing two Postcard From posts about my holidays.


Monthly Recaps - This Month

Books I Reviewed

September Recap '17, #1

ARC Review: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

This was incredible. After Nevernight I had high expectations for Godsgrave but this book completely blew them out the water. It was better than I ever expected, and better than the first book as well.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.


The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

When I read the blurb for The Loneliest Girl in the Universe I thought I knew what the story would be about, then I actually read the book and it went in another direction that had me hooked.


ARC Review: Invictus by Ryan Graudin

After discovering Ryan Graudin had not only another book being released but a time travel book at that, Invictus went to the top of my to-read list. Luckily I got an ARC for it at YALC, and luckily this book lived up to my expectations.

I received a copy of this book from BKMRK.


ARC Review: Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

While the concept for Beasts Made of Night was interesting, and the world building incredible, the story itself and the character development was a little disappointing. Still a good read but this was a book I’d hoped for more from.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.


ARC Review: The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo

If I had to pick one book this month that was not only my most anticipated release but also my favourite read, it would be this one. I was beyond thrilled to get an ARC for The Language of Thorns, and of course I loved it. Though I expected nothing else from Leigh Bardugo and the Grishaverse.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.


ARC Review: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Normally I’m not a big reader of horror, but between the fact that There’s Someone Inside Your House was written by Stephanie Perkins and that I’d seen it likened to Scream I thought ‘why not?’

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.


ARC Review: The Fandom by Anna Day

Everyone, and I’m guilty of this myself, reads fantasy books and thinks of how incredible it would be to live within that world. The Fandom was an interesting story about why that could end up being very very dangerous.

I received a copy of this book from Chicken House.


ARC Review: All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry

This was a highly anticipated release of mine, simply because I love the magical realism genre. Unfortunately it ended up being my worst read of the month simply because I hated the main character.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.


Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

Before Moonrise I’d never read a book written in poetry before, but this was one I discovered at YALC and it sounded interesting. Moonrise ended up being an unexpected discovery but one I loved, and I’ll definitely be checking out more of Sarah Crossan’s releases.


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Books I Struggled to Get into but Ended up Loving

Top Ten Books I Read and Loved While at High School/Uni

Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR List

Top Ten Books that Feature … Characters


Waiting on Wednesday

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Life, Love, and the List by Kasie West


Standalone Sunday

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde


Monthly Recaps - Book Haul

After my intense YALC books haul, and my aim to read as many of the books I already own but have yet to get to, I’ve been very good about resisting whim purchases. Granted it’s been hard because there are a couple of books I’ve seen which I really want, chances are you’ll see them in my October Recap, but all the books I brought this month were pre-orders that were finally released.


September Recap '17, #2

Waterstones

Amazon


September Recap '17, #3

Fairy Loot


Monthly Recaps - Last Month

There are some incredible books being released next month, a lot of them I cannot wait for, which made picking just one for my September Recap a challenge. In the end I settled on a book that is being released very soon (tomorrow) and that I have been so excited for for such a long time.


Wild Beauty

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Love grows such strange things.

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.


I got through a lot of ARCs last month, and while I discovered some incredible books, some of which have become favourite reads of mine this year, I’m looking forwards to being able to read the books I want to read rather than the books I need to read because their release date is coming up. My aim is to catch up on some of the books I own but have yet to read.

August Recap

August is over, and with it summer has come to an end though you wouldn’t know that if you were in the UK at the moment.

After YALC and everything else July brought with it August was a quiet month, giving me the time to get through plenty of books and to get started on the many I hauled at YALC. I reviewed eleven books this month, which is the most I’ve got through in a long while. They weren’t all amazing, but there were some exceptional ones.


Monthly Recaps - This Month

Books I Reviewed

August Recap '17, #1

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins (Editor)

I felt really let down by Summer Days and Summer Nights. Despite being marketed as Twelve Love Stories the majority weren’t, and it made this more of a bittersweet read than sweet.


Wesley James Ruined my Life by Jennifer Honeybourn

This was another book I was really let down by. I really didn’t like the main character and couldn’t for the life of me get behind her motivations for wanting revenge against Wesley.


The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

After two disappointments this month The Last Magician was a brilliant read. What it lacked in action it made up for with incredible characters, and luckily there’s a second book in the works.


S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett

I picked this up at YALC because there was something about the cover that grabbed me, simple but eye-catching. This was a good book, but what made it exceptional for me was the ending.


ARC Review: Book of Fire by Michelle Kenney

This was a book I enjoyed. The concept was interesting and the individual characters well developed but there were too many downsides, namely the world building I couldn’t wrap my head around.

I received a copy of this book from YA HQ.


Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

I’d describe this book as contemporary with hints of magical realism, and an amazing read. Wing Jones was better than I expected, all thanks to the incredible development of Wing’s character.


Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Plenty of people have read and loved this book, so my hopes for Geekerella were high. I thought this was a cute read, with plenty of fandom and Cinderella references I loved discovering.


ARC Review: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

I thought this book would be a fun contemporary read, so I was surprised by the depth it had. A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares is probably my top book of this month, and definitely one of my favourite contemporary reads of the year.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.


ARC Review: Fireblood by Elly Blake

After the hints that Fireblood would have a love triangle I was nervous about picking it up. While I feel like it suffered a little from ‘second book syndrome’ this was still a great read, even the love triangle aspect was well written.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.


ARC Review: Tarnished City by Vic James

This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and Tarnished City more than lived up to my expectations. It took the series to a whole new level and I am so beyond excited for Bright Ruin.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.


ARC Review: I am Traitor by Sif Sigmarsdóttir

While I had trouble connecting to the main character, and was a little confused by the format of the story, I am Traitor was definitely an addictive read. I always wanted to know what would happen next.

I received a copy of this book from BKMRK.


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Recommendations for …

Top Ten Books I’d Set as Part of my (Fictional) School Syllabus

Top Ten Hidden Gem Books in … Genre


Waiting on Wednesday

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir


Standalone Sunday

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury


Monthly Recaps - Book Haul

The biggest surprise of August was that I didn’t actually buy any books. It felt so strange knowing no Amazon packages would be arriving for me, walking out of Waterstones empty handed despite spending a good amount of time browsing the shelves. Then again I did overspend and overhaul at YALC last month so maybe this isn’t as much of a surprise as I thought.


August Recap '17, #2

#SFATW


August Recap '17, #3

Fairy Loot


Monthly Recaps - Last Month

There are so many highly anticipated books being released next month that it was a real struggle to just pick one for this part of my Monthly Recap. I manage it in the end and I think it’s almost fitting that last month I featured a book by Leigh Bardugo and this month it’s another book by Leigh Bardugo that made the cut.


The Language of Thorns

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.


August ended up being a month of ARC reads, and it seems September will be more of the same. I am steadily working my way through my YALC book haul so my Mid Year To-Read Goal is taking a bit of a backseat for now, but it’s safe to say all the books I have to read during September in between the ARCs are books I already own that I need to get through.

My Mid Year To-Read Goal

We all know how it goes. Every time a new book is released it gets added to our TBR list, and then it can take us months, or even years in some cases, to get around to reading it. Unfortunately when it comes to buying books my eyes are too big for my brain, and I buy more books in a month than I can read in that same month.

Now I have a large selection of books sitting on my shelves that I’ve never gotten around to, and that is what this to-read goal is to help with. I’m not putting myself on a book buying ban, but I am going to cut down on what I buy until I’ve made my way through a fair few of these.

Continue reading “My Mid Year To-Read Goal”

July Recap

After the mess that was June July was a much better month. I still had a lot going on, mainly with work but also with YALC which was the last weekend of the month, but I managed to post one of my new features I was planning to launch, which is one more than I managed last month. I reviewed eight books this month, and most of them were amazing reads which when it comes down to it is pretty much all I look for in books.


Monthly Recaps - This Month

Books I Reviewed

July Recap '17, #1 (1)

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

Unfortunately this was a little bit of a disappointment for me, but not as much as it could have been because I saw some mixed reviews for The Love Interest before picking it up myself.


Legend Trilogy

I started the Legend trilogy back in 2014 and now, three years later, I’ve finally finished it. This was an incredible series, and now I am that much more excited to get around to Lu’s other books.

Legend by Marie Lu

Prodigy by Marie Lu

Champion by Marie Lu


Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

Another anticipated release of mine that I’d hoped for a little more from. Song of the Current was an amazing book, but it was just missing that spark that would have made it incredible.


The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

If I were to pick one book that I’d say was my favourite read of July it would be this one. The Gentleman’s Guide was amazing, bringing to mind My Lady Jane with its unique humour.


Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

My favourite part of this book, asides from Eliza’s character development, was Zappia’s take on fandom. I love reading books that talk about fandoms, and have ever since I read Fangirl.


ARC Review: Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

All I needed to know about this book was that it was set in a travelling carnival and I was hooked. Daughter of the Burning City was a good read, just a little heavy in places when it came to the world building.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.


Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy by Ameriie

While anthologies aren’t normally my thing Because You Love to Hate Me really was. There were more stories I enjoyed than didn’t, and it had some brilliant contributions from my favourite authors.


Waiting on Wednesday

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry


Standalone Sunday

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough


Monthly Recaps - Book Haul

You may be looking at the picture for my book haul this month and wondering if that’s all. After all I was at YALC this past weekend so shouldn’t I have more books? The answer is yes, I have a lot more, but I will be posting my YALC recap and haul in a couple of days. If I included everything I wanted to recap in July in one post it would be huge and no one would have the patience to read it, not even me.


July Recap '17, #2

Waterstones

Amazon


July Recap '17, #3

Fairy Loot


Monthly Recaps - Last Month

The book I have featured is being released this month, and it is also a book I am eagerly anticipating, however changes are I won’t be getting around to it until September. This is because it is being released in the UK on the last day of August. I may be a fast reader, but I’m not that fast.


Wonder Woman Warbringer

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

The highly anticipated coming-of-age story for the world’s greatest super hero: Wonder Woman by the #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo.

She will become a legend but first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning…

Diana is desperate to prove herself to her warrior sisters. But when the opportunity comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law to save a mere mortal, Alia Keralis. With this single heroic act, Diana may have just doomed the world.

Alia is a Warbringer—a descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies, mortal and divine, determined to destroy or possess the Warbringer.

To save the world, they must stand side by side against the tide of war.


Technically I am doing my July Recap in three parts, posted over the next three days. Tomorrow I will be posting my to-read goal for the next five months – it’s a lofty one but I’m hoping to get part way through it – and the day after I will be posting my YALC Recap. Coming up later in the month I will be posting the second of my Reading Around the World posts, and launching a new feature which I have been trying (unsuccessfully) to launch for months now.

June Recap

June really was a month of two halves for me. The first half was great; I went to Krakow for the weekend and started my new job, and although I was really busy I was really enjoying life. Then we got to the halfway point and I hit a brick wall. I lost my motivation for pretty much everything and I’ll admit my blogging suffered a little as well. I know in last month’s recap I promised a new feature, it’s still in the works but it’s now a July reveal rather than a June one.


Monthly Recaps - This Month

Books I Reviewed

June Recap '17, #1

Morgan Matson

After finishing Since You’ve Been Gone I added the rest of Morgan Matson’s books to my to-read list. It took me a year but I finally got around to two more of her releases and of course I loved them, and wondered why I didn’t read them sooner.

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson


A Million Junes by Emily Henry

Emily Henry has become one of my favourite magical realism authors. I can’t pick between A Million Junes and The Love That Split the World for my favourite release of hers but it’s safe to say they’re two books I’d recommend to everyone.


The Archived Series

The Archived was the very first book by Victoria Schwab I read, and while not my favourite of her releases this series is wonderful. I am hoping there is a third book in the works because after re-reading The Unbound I need more.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab


ARC Review: Now I Rise by Kiersten White

And I Darken was a great start to The Conqueror’s Saga, but Now I Rise completely blew it out the water. It takes everything that was set up in the first book and runs with it, creating a thrilling story as we follow Lada in Wallachia and Radu in Constantinople.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.


Our Dark Duet by V.E. Schwab

This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and the last book in the Monsters of Verity duology. Our Dark Duet was everything I hoped for; it was a dark book that broke my heart but it was the perfect ending for August and Kate’s story.


Roar by Cora Carmack

Roar had a lot of potential, and I loved the world-building, but unfortunately the plot was too slow and other than Aurora I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. Still after the way it ended my hopes are for a promising sequel.


ARC Review: Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

It was the blurb that drew me to this novel, and Nemesis really was a book of two halves. Unfortunately for me it felt like those two halves were two separate stories rather than one singular one. Still, like Roar, I’m excited for the sequel.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Books I Added to my TBR List Last Year; Five I Will be Reading and Five I Won’t be Reading

Top Ten Father/Child Relationships in YA Books

Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start but Haven’t

Top Ten of the Best Books I’ve Read So Far in 2017


Waiting on Wednesday

A Darker Shade of Magic: Collector’s Edition by V.E. Schwab

Ringer by Lauren Oliver


Standalone Sunday

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman


Monthly Recaps - Book Haul

I did say in my May recap that my book hauls for the next couple of months were going to be big, but even so I’m surprised by how many books I actually ended up with this month. In my defence though I didn’t pay for all of these; a good few of them were given to me as part of what I’m calling my ‘Birthday Haul’.


June Recap '17, #2

Birthday Haul


June Recap '17, #3

Waterstones

Amazon


June Recap '17, #4

Fairy Loot

  • Roar by Cora Carmack
    Check out my review here.

Monthly Recaps - Last Month

Normally anthologies aren’t my thing. The ones I have read – My True Love Gave to Me, and Slasher Girls & Monster Boys – I really enjoyed but I’m still reluctant to pick them up. However this is an anthology with stories by so so many of my favourite authors in and I am powerless to resist its lure.


Because You Hate to Love Me

Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy by Ameriie

Leave it to the heroes to save the world—villains just want to rule the world.

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view.

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like “Medusa,” Sherlock Holmes, and “Jack and the Beanstalk” provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains’ acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage—and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

Featuring writing from…

Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon

BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel).


July is the month I start getting things back on track again. I will be revealing two new features; the one that was originally planned in June and another to make up for the fact that I didn’t post the first one when I planned to. Also I am going to YALC at the end of the month, something I am very excited about. It was great fun last year and I know it will be just as much fun this year.