October – January Wrap Up

So since I’ve been taking a break from blogging I’ve obviously read quite a few books that I haven’t spoken about so I figured I’d just do a huge wrap up rather than posting small individual ones (as I really didn’t read a lot per month). I’m trying to get back into regularly posting now as things have been hectic these past few months so try to bear with me. You also may notice that I haven’t been reading a lot of books and that’s because I’ve been having vision problems that are making it hard to read and I’m currently having that looked at to see what the problem is. I have been trying to listen to audio books though but I just haven’t been able to get on with the narrators so feel free to recommend some good audio books if you know of any. Thanks for reading this long paragraph and sticking with me! (BTW sorry if this is a bit slap dash as I just really wanted to get this posted.)

the-girl-with-all-the-gifts-by-m-r-careyThe Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

An original and exciting  apocalyptic novel that takes the typical zombie lore in a completely different direction. Melanie is a young girl who knows nothing of the world outside of the school she lives in, every day she is taken from her cell, strapped into a wheelchair and taken to class. This continues on and on and slowly Melanie notices things are changing, her classmates seem to disappear randomly and things are tense in the compound. i just had so much fun reading this book, it’s fast paced and exciting and just so easy to read. I loved the character development of both Melanie and the people around her as they accept the world that they live in. I really liked this and I can’t wait to see the film.

bones-and-allBones and All by Camille DeAngelis ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

This book is kind of a magical realism take on cannibalism, i know that sounds really strange but it’s such a good story. Maren and her mother have to move every few months, every time they settle down for too long Maren ends up eating somebody. Yes, eating somebody. On her eighteenth birthday Maren wakes to her mother gone, leaving only enough for her to get by, she’s been abandoned. This leads Maren to search for the father she’s ever known and possibly the answer to her cannibalistic problem. Maren is such an interesting character and I enjoyed reading from the perspective of a sort of anti-hero as she struggles to control her urges. It’s definitely not a happy story (note – cannibalism) but it’s so interesting to read. I loved following Maren’s journey as she is thrust into the real world after being protected by her mother her whole life whilst also trying to be a normal teenage girl. It’s definitely an underrated novel that I think’s worth a read.

faithful-placeFaithful Place by Tana French  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Another great addition the Dublin Murder Squad series! This time the story focuses on Frank, an undercover officer who we met in the second book. I enjoyed his story a lot more than I thought I would and Frank quickly grew on me despite my issues with him early on. Faithful Place focuses on the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Frank’s first love and the resurfacing of her suitcase in the rundown house they used to meet in. I had an inkling to the plot twist early on but I still really enjoyed it and I loved the dynamic between Frank and his family, it came across as really authentic. I can’t wait to get around to the next book as this has quickly become one of my favourite series.

172-hours-on-the-moon-by-johan-harstad172 Hours on the Moon by Jonah Harstad ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (3.5)

172 Hours on the Moon is a science fiction YA horror novel about 4 teenagers who all win a trip to Mars on the first space mission since the moon landing. The book focuses on the different perspectives of the people involved in this mission as well as the teenagers as they prepare for this mission, it also has interesting pictures and mixed media aspects to add to the reading experience. To be honest after hearing how terrifying this book was supposed to be I was slightly underwhelmed. It’s creepy but not terrifying as I’d hoped, I think I expected a more exciting reveal to all of the secrets and hints to what lay on the moon. Despite this it was a fun book and the ending went a totally different way than I was expecting.

defender-by-g-x-toddDefender by G. X. Todd ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I’m going to be writing a full review ASAP. Quick thoughts though – this book was so action-packed and fast paced that I genuinely couldn’t put it down. It has so many unexpected twists and turns that you never know what may happen next so you have to keep reading. It’s set in a post apocalyptic world and was a really fun read. More in my review!

forgive-me-leonard-peacockForgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I’ve had this book for a while and picked it off of my bookshelf on a whim one day when I was looking for a stand-alone book to read and I was actually pleasantly surprised with how this book turned out. Leonard is a teenage boy who decides that the only option for him is to kill his ex-best-friend turned bully and then himself. But first, he has to say goodbye to the few friends he has and it doesn’t exactly go the way he expects. As expected this is a sad yet sometimes funny story that focuses on the struggles of a teenage boy as he has to deal with things that no child should have to deal with. This is my first Matthew Quick novel and I own a few others and after this I can’t wait to pick them up. Definitely look up potential triggers for this book though as it does deal with some sensitive subjects.

you-know-me-wellYou Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

You Know Me Well is one of the cutest and loveliest books I’ve read. It tells the story of two gay teens, Katie and Mark as they deal with their respective relationship problems and how they help each other after meeting at a gay club during Pride. I love stories that focus on friendships and I think this book kind of took the ‘whirlwind romance’ trope and applies it to the friendship between Mark and Katie. As mentioned though there is a little bit of romance in this book as both of our protagonists are dealing with crushes that they really want to work out, Katie on her best friend’s cousin and Mark on his lifelong best friend. This book deals with a lot of different topics such as unrequited love, toxic friendships and just generally being a teenager whilst also being a fun and light read which I really liked. I definitely recommend this if you’re looking for something quick and easy to break up you’re reading.

a-monster-callsA Monster Calls by Patrick Ness ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This book is genuinely one of the most beautifully told stories I’ve ever read. I read from the edition that featured the illustrations and tied with Patrick Ness’ writing it definitely made for an emotional read. A Monster Calls is about a young boy called Connor who is visited by a tree monster at night and in the weeks that follow the tree monster tells him three stories that change everything. I absolutely loved this book, as always Patrick Ness writes beautifully and the story is wonderfully told. I just loved it and I think it’s an important read for people of all ages. I also went to see the film adaptation in the cinema and it’s just as amazing as the book.

everything-everythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A really sweet and lovely story about a young girl who hasn’t been able to leave the house for most of her life due to severe allergies and what happens when a new family (and boy) move next door. This was such a quick read as Nicola Yoon’s writing is so addictive and the romance is so compelling that you just have to find out what happens. I haven’t read a lot of romance based YA in a while but this has definitely made me want to pick up more which is great seeing as I received Yoon’s newest novel, The Sun is also a Star for Christmas.

sherlock-holmes-and-the-disappearing-diamondSherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond by Sam Hearn ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I posted a full review here as part of a blog tour.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

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May Wrap Up

I read a total of 6 books in May and I absolutely loved every single one of them so it was a great reading month for me! I’m a few books ahead in my Goodreads reading challenge so I’m hoping to read just as many if not more in June. Sorry if these reviews are a bit rambly I’m trying to get used to writing them again! To find out more about each book click the title link for the Goodreads page as these are just my thoughts. Anyway, the books I read were –

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

This was a beautifully written book with relatable and easy to love characters that I just connected with from the outset. I enjoyed Lou’s character, especially her relationship with her sister as sometimes books don’t really get how up and down that can be and sisters always seem to be the best of friends. I just thought it was a really sweet story but I’m not sure if I’m completely comfortable with the ending as there have been a lot of discussions of ableism surrounding the book which I (coming from a place of privilege) can’t really comment on. I do really want to see how they’ve transferred this book to film though so I may have to go see it. I also really want to check out the sequel.

Soulless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate #1) ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (4.5)

It’s been so long since I’ve read a paranormal book and I’m so glad I chose this one to re-introduce me to the genre. This book has such a great cast of characters from the hilarious Alexia to the resigned Professor Lyall and I enjoyed every single one of them (with the exception of Conall at times). Gail Carriger has a way of writing that just can make you laugh and cry within a span of a few sentences and I love how witty Alexia’s character is. Soulless was just a really fun read and I definitely recommend picking it up if you’re looking for something a bit different from your usual reads.

Changeless (Parasol Protectorate #2) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Unsurprisingly this book was just as good, if not better than it’s predecessor Soulless and I loved it from start to finish. I’m going to try to avoid spoilers but the introduction of Madame Lefoux’s character was just what the series needed to bump it up to 5 stars as she bought a different type of humour and intrigue to the book. Again I wasn’t a huge Conall fan but I can look past that just so I can read more about Alexia’s adventures and watch her character grow even more than she has from the previous book.

Blameless (Parasol Protectorate #3) ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Another great book from Gail Carriger and definitely a great addition to the series. I enjoyed how this book explored Alexia’s independence from Conall as well as her relationships with both Madame Lefoux and Floote. I also liked how Professor Lyall’s character was explored in more detail as we went from Alexia’s POV to his and I’m really curious to see what happens with Biffy! I can’t wait for the next book to arrive as I’m in love with this series so far.

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

LWTO was such a engaging and interesting book that gripped me immediately. The combination of the historical setting of 1950’s America with the endearing romance between the two protagonists meant that both girls had different prejudices to deal with. Within this book Sarah has to face all of the racism thrown at her by classmates and teachers and society in general, the pressure from her family and her crush on Linda whilst Linda has to deal with her internalised racism, abusive past and the fact that she’s falling for Sarah and somehow this brings them both closer together. I’ll admit that Sarah was my favourite out of the two but I really appreciated how fully Robin Talley fleshed out these characters and really gave them a chance to shine.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Amanda was an amazing character and If I Was Your Girl was one of the most entertaining books I’ve read in a while. I loved Meredith Russo’s writing and the way she made Amanda such a realistic and loveable character just made me love her immediately. With some books the authors focus so much on the protagonist that other characters get left behind but Meredith Russo didn’t make that mistake, all of her characters had individuality and I loved the different types of relationships Amanda formed with each one of them, especially with Grant (the LI). The romance was sweet and cliché but in the most positive way possible as they respected each others boundaries and genuinely liked each other, I’m so sick of the ‘bad boy’ character that appears in a lot of fiction and treats their girlfriend terribly and Grant was the complete opposite of that. The ending was sad but I appreciated how the author didn’t make that seem like the end for Amanda and I’d love if she wrote a sequel.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

 

January Wrap Up

Hello! During January I read a total of 11 books which I’m pretty happy with as it puts me quite a bit ahead in my Goodreads challenge of 52 books. I’m also happy because I was able to read all of my TBR books expect one (which I couldn’t seem to find) as well as a few other interesting books. (Sorry if the formatting on mobile is a bit strange!)


 

bronzeThe Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This was a heartwrenching read centered around an epic romance between a soldier, Alexander and a civilian, Tatiana in in WWII Russia. It’s such an emotionally wrought story and Simon’s writes beautifully. The romance isn’t exactly what I would call healthy but the drama of the situation just gripped me from start to finish. Such an interesting read!

 

Ship of DestinyShip of Destiny by Robin Hobb ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This was the final book in the Liveship Traders series and it was a good ending to a great series. I won’t spoil it but I wasn’t a fan of certain parts of the plot towards the end but it was a good read nonetheless. I’m happy with how a lot of plots points wrapped up and I can’t wait to maybe see some of these characters again in the future.

 

Tatiana and AlexanderTatiana and Alexander by Paullina Simons ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Though I enjoyed this book it wasn’t quite as gripping as the first book and the writing seemed somewhat plainer. I also enjoyed Tatiana’s chapters a lot more than Alexander’s, the more I read from him the more I dislike him, they’re relationship really isn’t healthy. Despite this as with The Bronze Horseman, the drama is too good to resist and I sped through it.

 

the secret of the old clockThe Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (Maybe 3.5)
I’ve always wanted to read the Nancy Drew books from the beginning so I decided I’d finally start to read them this year. It was a quick, fun read and though it was slightly predictable and a bit outdated I still really want to continue on with the series to see where it goes.

 

 

UnteachableUnteachable by Leah Raeder (Elliot Wake) ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This book was an interesting read. Whilst the writing style was fluid and entertaining the main relationship (student/teacher) just made me kinda uncomfortable though I did know what it was about going in. I don’t know if it was the age gap or the power imbalance but that’s just me. As a book though it was an entertaining and gripping overall and I can’t wait to read more from Elliot Wake.

 

landlineLandline by Rainbow Rowell ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (Maybe 3.5)
This is the second book I’ve read of Rainbow Rowell’s and it’s made me want to read even more. I love magical realism so I definitely loved that aspect of this book though I do wish it had been developed a little bit more. I enjoyed the exploration of Georgie’s marriage and the look into her writing career. Overall it was a pretty good book.

 

these broken starsThese Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (4.5)
I actually really liked this book a lot. I loved how survival focused this book was and that the bond that developed between the two main characters seems really genuine. It also had a lot more depth than I expected and as more and more secrets were revealed it became more and more intriguing. I can’t wait to read the next book!

 

Fool's ErrandFool’s Errand by Robin Hobb ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Fool’s Errand was incredible! I love the Fitz/Fool relationship, they’re hilariously sweet together and the scenes between them are incredible. I wont spoil it for anybody who hasn’t read this series but it’s devastating and phenomenal, I loved it! So many new things are introduced and as always Robin Hobb writes amazingly.

 

The Golden FoolThe Golden Fool by Robin Hobb ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Again, the Fitz/Fool bond was quite a big focus throughout the book which I loved and the plot was perfectly paced and Hobb’s writing kept me gripped throughout. I enjoyed seeing Fitz rekindling his old friendships and the family dynamic. It’s a great continuation from Fool’s Errand and I sped through it to get to Fool’s Fate. I just really loved this book!

 

Fool’s Fate by Robin Hobb ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (4/4.5) *Minor fools fateSpoilers*
This book was devestating in both positive and negative ways. The relationships and the return of old characters – positive, the ending – negative. Though I was hoping for a Fitz/Fool ending I would have been satisfied with Fitz finding new happiness but it didn’t happen and it felt a little cop-outish and slightly strange. I was happy to see Molly’s character again though as I loved her in the Farseer Triogy. I still loved the actual plot though and I can’t wait  to get back to the Fitz storyline.

luck in the shadowsLuck in the Shadows ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I loved this book! It’s a great epic fantasy with loads of intriguing and complex characters. I actually did a full review here in case anybody would like to know more.

 

 


So these are the books that I read during January! I read a lot of pretty good books in January so hopefully February is the same. Feel free to let me know in the comments what you think of these books! Thanks for reading. 🙂