Books · Tags

Mid Year Book Freakout Tag

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1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2019.
Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin, I’ve a feeling this book might appear a few times in this tag 😀 Now one of my favourite books of all time, check it out if you enjoy witchy creepy magical realism, or if you don’t, just read it.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019.
Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa, sequel to Shadow of the Fox. I know this series is hit or miss for most people but I just really love the Japanese and Anime inspiration and got quite attached to these characters. The sequel didn’t let me down and the end was brilliantly done, can’t wait for the next book!

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He, this came out in April and is a Chinese inspired fantasy. I have it on my physical TBR but have yet to read it.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
Ok, I can’t just pick 1 book for this. Wilder Girls by Rory Power (5 star prediction for me), The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (one of my favourite Japanese authors), Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan (sequel to Girls of Paper and Fire) and The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black (last book in The Folk of the Air trilogy).

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5. Biggest disappointment.
I’d have to say The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco, I really wanted to love this but I just couldn’t properly get in to the story and I just started to get bored with it.

6. Biggest surprise.
The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge, much better and creepier than I had anticipated.

7. Favourite new author.
OK, so I know I’ve only read 1 book by her but, Sarah Maria Griffin. I’m definitely reading whatever she publishes in the future.

8. Newest fictional crush.
Cardan from The Cruel Prince *cough*

9. Newest favourite character.
Celaena/Aelin from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, I just love her OK.

10. Book that made you cry.
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas, each of these books have made me cry so far.

11. Book that made you happy.
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa, all the feels.

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year.
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, that cover is stunning!

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
I’d like to read the last 3 books in the Throne of Glass series this year ready for the release of her new Adult fantasy series coming in January.

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Books · Monthly wrap ups

February Wrap Up

Books I read and finished in February

The first thing I finished reading was the Orange collection volume one manga by Ichigo Takano, there are only 2 parts of this manga collection so I will write-up my review once I have read volume 2 but I really loved the first volume. Then I read an eARC of In The Night Wood by Dale Bailey which I received via Netgalley, an enjoyable gothic mystery thriller. I then decided to jump back in to the world of Saga as I had previously only read up to volume 6 of the graphic novel so I read volume 7 and it felt good to be reading it again. I have volumes 8 & 9 ready to read so I will hopefully get to them soon.

Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye was Fairyloot’s January book which I read and thoroughly enjoyed in February.  Then I finally finished A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, I took my time reading this but I really enjoyed it and plan on finishing the series this year. The last book I finished right at the end of the month was Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas, part of the Throne of Glass series. I’m still very much loving reading this series and can’t believe I only have 3 (rather large) books left to go, I will be sad to finish it but plan on picking up Sarah J. Maas’ other series A Court of Thorns and Roses afterwards.

March TBR

I never stick to a rigid monthly TBR but I have already started reading A Curse So  Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer and Frankenstein by Junji Ito so I will finish those. I have a planned buddy read of After Dark by Haruki Murakami with the lovely Keira which I’m really excited about. The other book I would at least like to start in March is The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon which is one of my most anticipated reads of 2019, but as it is over 800 pages I don’t expect to finish it in March but you never know. What are you planning to read in March?

Favourite K-Pop releases in February

Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch update: STILL NO NEWS

Book Reviews · Books

Book Review: Recent Reads #3

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament – fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

I’ve finally read it, and I’m glad I read The Assassin’s Blade first. I think Sarah’s writing and the characters keep me coming back for more as the plot is definitely questionable at times. Also some of Celaena’s decisions make me literally ask “Why?!” The ending of this book wasn’t what I was expecting and I found it a little disappointing. I’m still moving straight on to Crown of Midnight!

Sadie by Courtney Summers

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My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.
But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him
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This was my first audio book experience as I’d heard such great things about it. It was very immersive as it features a full cast and half of the book is basically a podcast anyway. Triggers warnings for sexual assault, pedophilia, drug addiction and PTSD. Listening to this kept me firmly hanging on to the edge of my seat the whole time, although the ending wasn’t very satisfactory and I wish we got more of an answer. I found the representation in this regarding young victims of sexual assault to be very accurate and eye-opening and this book should be read by everyone. Monsters really do hide in plain sight.

The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe

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My Rating: 3/5 Stars

Niki Jumpei, an amateur entomologist, searches the scorching desert for beetles. As night falls he is forced to seek shelter in an eerie village, half-buried by huge sand dunes. He awakes to the terrifying realisation that the villagers have imprisoned him with a young woman at the bottom of a vast sand pit. Tricked into slavery and threatened with starvation if he does not work, Jumpei’s only chance is to shovel the ever-encroaching sand – or face an agonising death.

This was quite a wild ride. I picked this up to read as it is Pewdiepie’s book club pick of the month, and I love to read Japanese authors and I hadn’t read Kobo Abe before. This book made me hate sand. Sand now disgusts me and I’d be quite happy to never feel it again. Abe describes in such a way that you really feel Jumpei’s frustration and desperation. Some parts are sexually explicit and others are just disgusting. An interesting read but one I doubt I will be rereading in the future.

ALL BOOKS FEATURED IN THIS REVIEW WERE PURCHASED BY MYSELF.
Book Reviews · Books

Book Review: Recent Reads #2

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children book 1)

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My Rating: 5/5 Stars

‘Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.’

Based in a boarding school for children that once upon a time stumbled through a portal into a different world, only to be spat out years later and unable to readjust to the regular world. From reviews I had seen before reading this, it wasn’t what I was expecting. I was prepared for a nice heartwarming story, but no, it is in fact quiet adult and full of murder, which made me love it more. All of the characters in their own way were likable and unique and even though this novella is fairly short, it still felt like I had read a properly fleshed out story and I wanted more! There are heartwarming aspects to this book of course, but it is far more adult than I was expecting going in to it and in some cases, quite graphic. Overall, I loved this and could have easily read another 200 pages of it.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children book 2)

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My Rating: 4/5 Stars

‘Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.
This is the story of what happened first…’

The second book in the Wayward children series solely focuses on 2 characters from Every Heart a Doorway and retells their journey from birth until they stumble out of their portal world full of monsters, vampires and mad scientists. I found this one interesting but didn’t enjoy it is much as the first book. It does highlight some important issues like the gender roles some adults force on their children and how crippling that can be for the child. It also features a same gender romance and once again, lot’s of death. I’m looking forward to reading the third book in the series very soon.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

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My Rating: 4/5 Stars

‘The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.’

I think this book for me was way too overhyped and that had a part in me being disappointed when reading it. With so many people in the community claiming this book as their favourite of all time I guess I was expecting something amazing. It fell short for me and felt quite drawn out and took me twice as long to read as any other book would just because of how it was written. Overall I enjoyed the characters and the story, aside from the insta romance and THOSE  4 pages that I had to skim over. My favourite character by far was Minya, the mini sadist. The amount of times in this book that killing babies and infants are mentioned also made me close to DNFing this book entirely. I will wait a while before tackling Muse of Nightmares, the sequel to this book, but I will get to it eventually.

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

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My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

‘Celaena Sardothien owes her reputation to Arobynn Hamel. He gave her a home at the Assassins’ Guild and taught her the skills she needed to survive.
Arobynn’s enemies stretch far and wide – from Adarlan’s rooftops and its filthy dens, to remote islands and hostile deserts. Celaena is duty-bound to hunt them down. But behind her assignments lies a dark truth that will seal her fate – and cut her heart in two forever…’

I finally decided to bite the bullet and see what all the Throne of Glass fuss was about and started by reading the 5 short stories prequel book. It didn’t disappoint, I was drawn to the main character, Celaena instantly and even though she may have made some stupid decisions during this book, I NEED to read the rest of the books just to see her get some kind of revenge, The end of this book broke me and made me so mad. I’m moving on to Throne of Glass straight away, let the Maas destruction continue.

All books featured in this review were purchased by myself