May Wrap Up

Hello, lovelies. I can’t believe May is over. You know the drill – the last day of the month means a wrap up day. In May I’ve read 12 books, a lot of them were ones I agreed to review, too, which made the month a tad bit stressful. It’s time for some stats.

  • Number of books read: 12
  • Number of pages read: 4264
  • Average star rating: 3.7
  • DNFs: 0
  • TBR at the start of May: 59
  • Books added: 0 (well done, me)
  • Books read: 6
  • Current TBR: 52 (slowly but surely getting through my physical TBR)

Kate and Jesse by Erin Bowman

I loved nothing more than seeing Kate and Jesse again. Vengeance Road is one of my favourite books, and seeing those two again was great. I devoured it, probably because it is only 85 pages long.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman

Retribution Rails had me excited and a tad bit scared. It’s a companion novel to Vengeance Road and I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to it, because the main characters were different (and the characters were what made me LOVE and OBSESS over Vengeance Road). I’m happy to report Retribution Rails is just as good!

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis

I’ve written a review for Harrow Lake which you can read here, but if you wanna know the speedy version – I wish the book picked what kind of a thriller it wanted to be and played into that instead of steering us towards the supernatural, just to have a “shocking” reveal and leave many things unanswered.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu

I’m giving up on this series. It’s a first contact with aliens Chinese sci-fi, and while book one was okay and somewhat promising, I found the second installment to be boring as hell. Maybe its just not my cup of tea. I’m pretty sure I should’ve DNFed it, but I pushed through and didn’t enjoy it.

Rating: 2 out of 5.
The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night

Another book for which I have a full review. The idea was good, but the execution unfortunately didn’t quite deliver. It was too similar to Harry Potter at times, and it really overshadowed the original story.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
The Angel of Evil by Kenneth B. Andersen

I’ve been consistently loving this series, since I started it at the end of last year and this one was no different. Again, if you want my full thoughts, I have a review for it. It’s a fun and unique Middle Grade/YA fantasy I would definitely recommend.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Duckett & Dyer: Dicks for Hire by G.M. Nair

I buddy read this with my boyfriend and thought it was fantastic. It’s a sci-fi with time and parallel universe travel and it’s absolutely hilarious! It’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, as the humour is quite specific, but if you like bizarre stuff and sci-fi, it might be for you. Another one I’d absolutely recommend.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

This book has been on my TBR for a good while and I finally got to it. I’m not gonna lie, while I did enjoy it overall, I found the story to be a bit typical. I liked that it was Japanese inspired, but it was quite formulaic and like many YA fantasies I’ve read plot and structure wise.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
The Witches of Willow Cove by Josh Roberts

I have a full review for this, too! You know what I mean when I said I took on a LOT of review copies? I did enjoy this a lot, though. It’s a nice witchy, though not spooky, Middle Grade with great friendships. Definitely one of the best MG books I’ve read in a while (though The Storm Keeper’s Island takes the crown, easily).

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Fallen Angel by Kenneth B. Andersen

Second last book in The Great Devil War series (are you sick of the review thing, because I also have one for this book) and it was the weakest in the series, in my opinion, while still being good. It just felt a bit like a filler book before the big finale.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Thunderhead by Neal Schusterman

I’m finally continuing with this series! I loved the first book, though I did not expect to like it as much, and this one was just as good and the ending killed me. I really like Citra and Rowan as main characters, though I didn’t much care for Greyson, hence the rating.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

I was confused for a good half of this book, trying to figure out where the story was going. But once it got going, I loved it. It’s quite different to The Raven Boys quartet, but Ronan is one of the main characters and if you liked him and Adam, chances are you’ll like this. I loved Hennessy the most, though, which took me by surprise. After that ending, I need the next book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I feel like this post is kind of scattered. Thank you for reading.

How many books have you read this month and what were your favourites? Let me know in the comments.

April Wrap Up

April has absolutely flown, hasn’t it? At least compared to March. I’ve taken advantage of the fact that I can’t go anywhere and see anyone and did a lot of online shopping… no, scratch that. What I was meant to say is that I did a lot of reading (and bought a crazy amount of stuff over the internet, too).

Let’s get into stats.

  • Number of books read: 14
  • Number of pages read: 5142
  • Average star rating: 4
  • DNFs: 1
  • TBR at the start of April: 61
  • Books added: 10
  • Books read: 8
  • Current TBR: 59 (yay for unhauling books!)

Final Girls by Riley Sager

I started the month with a fairly average but enjoyable thriller. The story follows a final girl (as the title suggests) – a sole survivor of a massacre, named by the media – Quincy Carpenter. The narrative alternates between current time and the past, giving us flashbacks from the night Quincy’s friends were murdered. I really enjoyed the latter parts, as what happened that night was a mystery that interested me more than the rest. Overall, although I hated all of the characters and found the ending disappointing, I still had fun reading the book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova

Incendiary was released 2 days ago but I got to read it early. I have a full review on here, if you want to know my thoughts.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Being back in The Lunar Chronicles’ world was an absolute delight. I missed those characters. Stars Above is a collection of short stories following our faves, and I loved all but one of them. It was a really fun and fast read, and if you enjoyed The Lunar Chronicles, but haven’t read this book, I’d highly recommend you do.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Northline by Willy Vlautn

This one has been one of the first books I added to my TBR on Goodreads when I first made an account and I finally got to read it this month. Full review here, as I don’t want to sound redundant.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Wrongful Death by Kenneth B. Andersen

I’ve had lots of fun reading this series so far, and I will review this book in 2 days, when it’s my turn, as once again I’m on the tour for it with the lovely The Write Reads. Spoiler alert: I enjoyed it!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Magic Study by Maria V Snyder

I’ve started the Study series years ago and never got around to reading anything past the first book. I finally decided to pick up Magic Study, as it’s been gathering dust on my shelves for forever, and it was a really fun and fast read. I needed to read a comprehensive synopsis of the first book, though, before diving into this one. I will say, altough since this was released, there are so many similar fantasy stories out there, I do think this one is worth a read.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

I was lucky enough to get approved for an eARC of Clap When You Land and I absolutely loved it. It’s a sad read, and I’ll be talking about it in depth on its release date on May 5th.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Tangleweed and Brine by Deirdre Sullivan

To be perfectly honest with you, I expected more from this book. It’s a collection of 13 retellings of classic fairytales and I wanted to love it, but it turned out quite… meh. What bothered me the most, I think, was the narration style, as most of these were told in the second person. The tone of this book is quite dark, and maybe I wasn’t in the mindset to read that, either.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Seven Endless Forests by April Genevieve Tucholke

My lowest rated book of the month. I got to read an early copy, and I was excited because Seven Endless Forests is marketed as a King Arthur retelling. Apart from 2 borrowed names and a magic sword, this was nothing like the legend, and the way the story was told didn’t work for me, either. It was slow and hard to get through, as it lacked plot. I will post a review for it at some point, I think.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

The Storm Keeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle

I started reading this book back in 2018 when it first came out and didn’t finish it until now. Why? God knows, because I loved it! I’ve raved about it here, so if you want to read my full thoughts you can head there, but to sum it up, it’s a great and atmospheric middle grade set in Ireland and it’s delightful.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

If you like complex fantasy, The Fifth Season is for you. I didn’t know much about it before I started it, just that it was a dystopian fantasy where the world was plagued with natural disasters. Honestly, after reading a short story by Jemisin and hearing all the rave about this series, I didn’t need convincing to pick it up. I can’t say much about it because the story is easy to spoil. I docked half a star for sex scenes, though, because there’s quite a few.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Sadie by Courtney Summers

I listened to Sadie on audio because the way it’s done is an absolute masterpiece. It has a full cast and half of the story is told in a podcast form, which really works well in that format. The book deserves a separate reiew, so I’ll be posting one soon. I’m suprised how much I enjoyed it – some books get so overhyped, it’s crazy.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

I love Sanderson but his introductions to new series are always so slow! It’s just his style and I understand it completely, I just wish it picked up from time to time. The snail’s pace was worth it, because we got a lot of info about the world the last 60 pages were wild. What I’m trying to say is… I enjoyed it a lot, I just wish it had a side plot or two at the start to tie it all together move a tiny bit faster. I’m not gonna summarise the plot because I bet ye already know what it’s about.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

So, technically I still have around 30 pages left in the Goblet of Fire, BUT there is no doubt I’ll be finishing it the second I post this. I’ve decided to continue with my reread of the series this month. It’s crazy how many things I’ve forgotten. Needless to say – I loved it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

And that is it for today.

How many books have you read this month? Any new favourites? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading, and as always, I’ll see you soon!

March Wrap Up

Hi! Let’s talk books because I need to talk about things that are not in any way related to the virus or my head will explode. Deal?

March has been good, reading wise, as I have completed 10 books. That’s the most so far this year, but I am determined to beat it. What can I say? I’m a bit of an overachiever sometimes.

  • Number of books read: 10
  • Number of pages read: 4029
  • Average star rating: 3.7
  • DNFs: 1
  • TBR at the start of March: 60
  • Books added: 5
  • Books read: 4
  • Current TBR: 61

I have a feeling no matter how many books I read in April, my TBR will keep growing.

There Will Come A Darkness by Katy Rose Pool

I’m wondering now why I never posted a review on here for this one (insert thinking emoji – I’m addicted to it)? I got an eARC and I usually post reviews for those on here… Anyway, it matters not! I knew what the book was about when I requested it, but by the time I got approved for it I had no idea what to expect. So I dove in blind and it was a really good surprise. It’s a debut fantasy about a prophecy that foretells the “age of darkness”, told from 5 POVs, which I was apprehensive about at the start, but which ended up well executed. There Will Come A Darkness is an ambitious story – there’s a lot to the plot, magic system and the characters – but it delivers. It’s fast paced and engaging. The world building is solid. 5 POVs is stretching it, but for most of it, it works. I’ll definitely be picking up the sequel and more from Katy Rose Pool.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake

Another great read! I finally finished the Three Dark Crowns series and it was everything! (don’t let the picture fool you, I know I put Two Dark Reigns there, but it’s cause I got this one out of the library and I don’t own it YET) This last book absolutely broke my heart but I weirdly enjoy that, so coming from my lips it’s a compliment. For a series that started mediocre for me, it really grew with each consecutive book and I can honestly say it became one of my favs. If you haven’t read it yet – you should.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

I’ve posted a review for The Poppy War already, so I won’t be saying too much here. Another well done debut. It was exciting and well crafted. It’s not without faults, obviously, but I enjoyed it overall and will definitely pick up the sequel.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Locke & Key Vol. 1 by Joe Hill

I’ve no idea how to review graphic novels. I picked up Locke & Key because I’m curious to start the Netflix show and I’d like to compare both. I’ve heard they’re quite different. This was a really gory and dark horror and I actually really enjoyed it. It made me very uncomfortable at times and we’ve already established that constitutes a good time for me (in case of books and movies ONLY, in case I need to specify).

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Diviners by Libba Bray

This book has been on my radar for forever. I didn’t love it as much as I expected to, I found it a bit tropey and predictable, but it was by no means terrible, either. Some books just don’t age as well as others, and I’m sure have I read it when it was first released I would’ve liked it more. I think it tried to cram too many plot lines into this first book alone and hence felt disjointed at times. There was also some insta love I didn’t quite enjoy. I have a feeling the series gets better with each book, though, so I will definitely be continuing with it.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

You might already know what I think about this book, and if you don’t check out this review, because I cannot rant any more.

Rating: 2 out of 5.
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

I needed a break from fantasy and sci-fi, so I picked up this book because I heard, style wise, it was similar to Celeste Ng’s stuff. I do agree with that a bit, but nothing is as good as Ng’s books (in the hard hitting contemporary genre at least). The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a story about grief and teen suicide and (as I said it in my Goodreads review) deals with it better than Thirteen Reasons Why. I really connected with the main character. I almost cried once, and that deserves 4 stars.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Die of Death by Kenneth B. Andersen

Another book for which I have a separate review, that you can read here. I’ve nothing else to say. It was good, can’t wait to read the next book (I’ll be reading it in April).

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Sword in the Stars by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

I know what you’re thinking! Zaneta, why did you read this book if you hated the first book in the series? Well… that’s what happens when you go on a requesting spree and press that green button when you haven’t even read book 1 because you “have a feeling you’ll enjoy it”. Feelings LIE. And I committed. Review to come very soon.

Rating: 2 out of 5.
Stolen Time by Danielle Rollins

I’ve decided to start utilising a TBR jar this year to finally get to some of the books that have been sitting on my shelf forgotten and unread. Stolen Time was my lucky pick. I got it in a subscription box last year and expected a tropey romance. Instead I got a book in which time travel actually make sense, with great and loveable characters and an exciting plot with sort of a heist. In other words – exactly my jam. I loved it! (even the romance) Can’t wait for the sequel to come out in 16 days!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My one DNF this month was Wakenhyrst. A friend of mine read it and liked it, so I decided to try it out. There was nothing wrong with it, it just wasn’t my cup of tea, so I decided to put it down.

And that would be it. How many books have you read in March? Have you read any of the ones mentioned above? What did you think?

Until next time!

February Wrap Up

Hi! I’m a bit late with this post as we’re already 4 days into March! Honestly, where does the time go? I had a really good reading month in February, at least quantity wise, I’ve read 9 books and it’s the most I’ve read in a month in a looong while. Quality wise? Well, I haven’t had a proper 5 star read since the very first book I finished this year (not counting a comic I’ll mention below) so that’s not ideal.

  • Number of books read: 9
  • Number of pages read: 3452
  • Average star rating: 3.4

I’ve decided to add stats of the number of books on my physical TBR at the start of each month, how many books I’ve read from it and how many I’ve added to it.

  • TBR at the start of February: 63
  • Books added: 2
  • Books read: 4
  • Current TBR: 60
Birthday by Meredith Russo

This book has been on my radar for a couple of months, and when I realised my library had an ebook version of it, I decided to pick it up. Birthday is an own voices novel with a trans main character. It spans over 7 (?) birthdays and is told from the perspective of two best friends, Morgan and Eric. This book hurt me emotionally, as it deals with some difficult subjects. It’s gut wrenching and frustrating at times, but also lovely and hopeful. I think it’s an important read and a topic that should be discussed in YA more often.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I have a full review for this book here if you want to check it out. I don’t want to repeat myself, so I’ll make this short and sweet. I liked the way the story was told, though I think it limited the amount of info that could be conveyed (world building, magic etc.). The Name of the Wind was a really cosy read. I wanted a bit more from it, but I still really enjoyed it for what it was.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

I buddy-read this with my boyfriend (it was my pick) and LOVED it. It was a great mix of sci-fi and mystery/thriller. Dark Matter deals with parallel universes and along with time travel, that’s my favourite kind of sci-fi, so I was hooked on it from the start. The story did take a while to unfold and I needed to wrap my head around what was going on, but it was the good type of confusing. And once it got going… oh my god, was it suspenseful and mind-blowing and just a good fucking time.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Wilder Girls by Rory Power

First of all, can we please acknowledge how beautiful this cover is?! Okay, now that we’re all in agreement… This book was great. It was gory and atmospheric and gross and creepy. I’m surprised how much I enjoyed it – lately I’ve been disappointed with every hyped YA book out there. Also, it turns out horror is my genre. The ending wasn’t to my liking, though, so it wasn’t perfect, but I guess you can’t have everything.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Strange Planet by Nathan W Pyle

Here’s my one and only 5 star read of this month. My boyfriend got me this for Valentines and I read it slowly throughout a week or so. I’ve been obsessed with these comics since I found them on Twitter, and I think they’re just adorable and funny. I’ve nothing else to say, really.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

This one disappointed me immensely. I love Brandon Sanderson, but something about Warbreaker just didn’t work for me. If you want to read my full thoughts, a review can be found here. Ultimately, this read like a wannabe Sanderson book.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
The Silent House by Nell Pattison

I hate rating arcs low, but it has to be done sometimes. The Silent House seemed like a book right up my alley, but ended up being a huge disappointment. It’s releasing tomorrow, so I will be posting a full review either later on today, or tomorrow, so stay tuned for that.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I have an issue with picking up books from my physical TBR (don’t ask me why, I have no clue), so as an incentive to read them instead of getting new books, I made a TBR jar. In February, my lucky pick was Fahrenheit 451. I’m sure if I didn’t force myself, I wouldn’t have read it for years, because I’m not that big on classics. I ended up really enjoying it, to my surprise! I’m sure I don’t need to summarise the book for any of you, I also don’t have anything profound to say about it. I enjoyed the writing and the message. I think it’s insane how valid and relatable it still is, 50 years later.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

Lastly, I kind of set myself up for fail with this one. I don’t read self-help books, they’re not for me, I don’t enjoy them. Why did I pick this one up, so? Honestly, I have no idea. Partially because I’m an anxious person myself, partially because everyone raves about this book and also a bit because I liked Haig’s Humans. As I should’ve expected, I didn’t get anything out of it. I didn’t relate, as my anxiety is triggered by the news or social media. I also thought the solutions listed in the books were very cliched and targeted at a very specific demographic which I’m not part of, and nor are all the people I know who deal with anxiety on a daily basis.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

As you can see, February was a mixed bag. March has been much slower reading wise already, but according to my Goodreads, I’m 4 books ahead of schedule, so I’m trying not to stress myself out too much about it.

I won’t be posting a TBR for the month, as I’m trying to not restrict myself too much and read whatever I’m in the mood for.

How was your February? Let me know down in the comments! I’ll talk to you soon.

January Wrap Up

Hi! I’m early this month with my wrap up, because I’m trying to be organised. We have another day left in the month, so I will take some liberties and assume I will finish the book I’m currently reading and it’s rating. It might not be absolutely accurate, but honestly, I have just over 100 pages left and am determined to finish it today, so it WILL happen. Mark my words (or don’t).

  • Number of books read: 7
  • Number of pages read: 2885
  • Average star rating: 3.9
  • DNFs: 1

To be perfectly honest with you, I’d call my reading month average, even if the number of books suggests otherwise. I had a very slow beginning to the month and then I haven’t read for nearly a week while I was on holidays.

You might’ve noticed I haven’t posted a TBR for this month and it’s because I’m trying not to set those for a while and instead pick up books I feel like reading and books I have for review. We’ll see how that goes.

Dispel Illusion by Mark Lawrence

I carried this book over from last month, and only had a couple of pages left to finish. This was a very satisfying ending to a sci-fi time travel series that released in 2019. It is heavy rooted in Dungeons and Dragons (the titles, plot and some solutions to problems), which I have no clue about BUT it didn’t impinge on my understanding or enjoyment of this series. I loved all of the books, the characters in them and the plot. Click on the cover to teleport to the Goodreads page and read the synopsis (as always, I just never mentioned it, I think). Dispel Illusion got 5 stars from me.

Circe by Madeline Miller

I have a full review on this one here, so to sum it up quickly – I honestly don’t understand the hype. The story was dry and dragged, Circe was kind of whiny and bland. How does everyone rave about this I’ll never understand. 2 stars, because the writing was okay.

Bunny by Mona Awad

Definitely one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read, but in a good way. I would recommend going into Bunny blind, as some info might be too much info. It is a satirical horror (I guess?) and it’s about this girl, Samantha, who’s in a MFA program, has only one friend and prefers to live inside of her own head, and a group of women who wear uniform like clothes, but in different styles, are never apart and call each other “Bunny”. If that sounds too vague, I’m sorry, but you really don’t want to know more. I loved the writing of this one, and the whole insane plot and all the plot twists throughout the book. Honestly, what a bizarre experience… 4.5 stars to Bunny.

The City Born Great by N.K. Jemisin

Is this one a cop-out to include in my wrap up, as it is only 22 pages long? Maybe. Have I read it, though? Yes! And I really enjoyed it, too. The City Born Great is a prequel short story to the upcoming The City We Became, which is one of my most anticipated books of the year. In this version of our world, the cities have souls. Some have one, some many, New York has 4. They are the city’s protectors. This short story follows one of them closely, as the city is first born. I have never read anything by N.K. Jemisin previously, but I really loved her writing in this one and that premise has be wanting lots more. So, even though it was hella short, it got me really excited for The City We Became and hence it got 4 stars.

Queens of Fennbirn by Kendare Blake

The Three Dark Crowns is a really solid YA fantasy series and if you haven’t read it yet, I would really recommend you do so (I’ve yet to read the last book, but shush). It’s about the island of Fennbirn which is a Matriarchy, and every Queen gives birth to triplets with different powers: there are poisoners, naturalists and elementals. After she has the triplets, the Queen leaves the island and the triplets are raised with foster families, separately, and nurture their gifts until they become of age. Then they have to fight to death for the throne. Sounds fantastic, am I right? Well, the Queens of Fennbirn is a bind up of two novellas, one about the triplet Queens when they were young, and one about an Oracle Queen. I really liked both of them, I think they added a lot of depth to the already rich world. I wish the Oracle Queen novella was a full length novel, though, as I wanted a bit more intrigue. I rated it 4 stars.

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

What a ride! I still can’t collect my thoughts on it, I don’t think I retained I was supposed to from this book. Sanderson writes incredibly rich worlds, the magic systems are super intricate, the politics is top notch, and the characters have so much depth to them, it is sometimes hard to follow everything at once. Saying that, I really loved this book, maybe not as much as I loved Words of Radiance, and all the things I mentioned above are very prevalent and I really can’t review Sanderson’s books cohesively, because I lack the brain power to do so. I am left with so many questions, which I know will be answered in the next books. 4.5 stars.

The End of the Day by Claire North

This one is the book I’m still currently reading, but including on here anyway. Honestly, it’s not what I expected, and I don’t know where it’s going even though I’m halfway through it (ish). It feels quite disjointed so far and I’m not sure what it is trying to accomplish, so I will refrain from saying any more until I finish it. Depending on how it ends, I might post a review of it soon!

And that would be it for my wrap up! How did your reading month go? If you have posted your own wrap ups, let me know, and I will check them out! (I’m crap at keeping up with everyone’s posts).

Thanks for reading!

Best Books of 2019

Hi! We’ve finally reached the last wrap up post of my 2019 reading year and it’s the best one. My favourite books of 2019! I’m excited for this one. I feel like I’ve had a poor year rating wise – I didn’t read as many books as I usually do that I absolutely LOVED, but there’s been a good few that deserve the mention. Let’s get into them.

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

She’s done it again! Many might’ve not believed she could, I mean, it’s hard to imagine a book blowing up more than THUG, but On The Come Up is just as powerful, meaningful, important novel. I loved the family dynamic in this one, I loved Bri as a main character, I basically loved everything about this book. Angie Thomas is definitely one of those authors I’ll read everything from, no matter what she comes out with next.

Full review here.

The Dire King by William Ritter

This was truly a stellar ending to a great series. If you haven’t read Jackaby yet and you enjoy fun, paranormal mysteries (that’s overly specific – I realise) you should definitely pick it up. It’s basically Sherlock Holmes with paranormal creatures. I won’t say much more, because it is the conclusion to the series, but the last page killed me.

Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake

Another continuation to the series on the list (you can see I tried to focus on finishing series I’ve started in the last couple of years in 2019), another book I can’t discuss without spoiling the plot. While I enjoyed the previous two, this one blew me away. The pacing really picked up, the characters got more fleshed out. There was so much at stake! I was floored by the ending and quite frankly I need more (don’t ask me why I still haven’t read the last book, then… I’m going to get to it. I will.)

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

I know people have mixed feelings about this one, but honestly I loved it so, so much, it’s hard to describe. It was dark and atmospheric, the writing was glorious. I enjoyed the mystery, I enjoyed the world building, I enjoyed Alex as the main character. It was a badass book, and I want more. Leigh Bardugo is a queen, and she’s proven it once again.

King of Fools by Amanda Foody

UNDOUBTEDLY my favourite book of the year. I laughed, I cried, I bit my nails, I was stressed reading it. It’s 600 pages of pure greatness. If you liked Ace of Shades, you will love this. If you haven’t read Ace of Shades… what are you still doing here? Go and read it. Thank me later. It’s a really fresh series with a crazy interesting world building, casions, crime lords… The characters are great and loveable, yet very morally grey, you root for them, you get attached to them, you want them to succeed. I loved every second of it.

And that is it. All of my favourite books of the year. I would like to give an honour mention to One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence which almost made onto the list.

I’ll be back soon with more posts. I’m dying with a cold, so if any of what I wrote above doesn’t make sense, you know what to blame it on.

Thanks for reading!

Most Surprising Books of 2019

Hi! It’s been a while. Sorry, I was on holidays and even though I planned to draft and schedule posts to go up while I was away, that hasn’t happened. I know it’s a bit late for the 2019 wrap up posts, but bear with me.

Today’s list is my most surprising books of 2019, books that for some reason exceeded my expectations. In no particular order, here they are.

Scythe by Neal Schusterman

This book has been so hyped since it came out and so not to my taste (being a dystopian novel), I avoided it like the plague. I honestly don’t know why I gave in in the end and picked it up but I’m definitely glad I did. I loved the main characters and how different they were. I really enjoyed how morally ambiguous the scythdom, their rules and methods are. It was a really interesting read and a series I would love to continue with this year.

Perfectly Preventable Deaths by Deirdre Sullivan

I didn’t have great expectations starting this one. I didn’t see many people talk about this one, some reviews on Goodreads really made me feel like I might not enjoy it. I gave it a go because it was Halloween and I wanted a witchy, spooky story. Also, it’s by an Irish author and I would like to read more locally, so it was an easy choice. The book was honestly everything I wanted at the time. Extremely atmospheric and somehow familiar, with a very “spoken Irish” writing style. I wish it was a series, because I would love to read more about the characters, and it’s what made me dock a half star. Overall, as you already know, because it’s the sole reason for this post – it was a really delightful surprise.

IT by Stephen King

IT was my first Stephen King book and I’ve heard such mixed reviews on the story and the writing, and to be perfectly honest, Stephen King himself (by the way, what do you think about this current shitstorm feat. King tweeting about diversity?), I didn’t know what to expect. I loved the movies and that’s mostly the reason why I picked up the book and oh, boy, was it good? I skipped the infamous scene at the end of the book (if you know, you know), as by then I was enjoying it SO MUCH I didn’t want my experience ruined. It was creepy, funny, vulgar and even heartwarming at times. I don’t know what I expected going into it, but IT exceeded any expectations I could’ve had.

The Devil’s Apprentice by Kenneth B. Andersen

I’ve been part of the tour for this book, my first one ever, and I agreed to it without expecting too much. I mean, the book has been out for a long time and it didn’t explode the Internet. I know there are hidden gems out there and the popularity of the book should not reflect on how good/bad it is, but it definitely sets some sort of expectations. I won’t go into details here, because I have a full review on here somewhere (link, if you wanna read it), but it really took me by surprise how much I ended up enjoying it. It’s a fun, fast paced MG novel with a quirky setting. I wouldn’t have picked it up on my own so I’m really glad I got to read it through the tour I took part in.

Lumberjanes Vol.1 by Noelle Stevenson

I’m not big on graphic novels and I haven’t read many of them. But I got a free trial of Kindle Unlimited and it had that and a couple of other graphic novels on it for free, so I decided to try them out for myself. I loved Lumberjanes. I loved every single character. I loved their dynamic. I loved the humour in it. Everything about it was perfect and I’m definitely gonna continue with it when I get a chance. It’s a great palate cleanser in between longer books, I think.

And that would be it for my most surprising books of 2019. Have you read any of these?

I will be back tomorrow with my Best Books of 2019 post, so keep an eye out for that, if you’re interested. Thanks for reading.

Most Disappointing Books of 2019

Hi! I’m back today with another 2019 wrap up style post. I wanna talk about the most disappointing books I’ve read in 2019. I don’t want to be a Negative Nelly all the time, and I’ve thought of talking about the best or most surprising books I’ve read last year, but decided to just get it over and done with, and focus on the good stuff from tomorrow onward.

So, in no particular order, here are my most disappointing books of 2019:

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

I think me and Becky Albertalli just don’t mesh well. I’ve read 3 of her novels and only really liked Simon vs. I went into this book expecting to like it. Why? Honestly, I’ve no idea. I blame myself more for setting the bar so high, than the book for not quite reaching it. I liked the idea for this book, and the diversity of the characters, but in the end it turned out to be very much meh. I couldn’t connect with anything or anyone in this story and it left me quite disappointed.

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

The title and the description of this one deceived me. I loved the concept of The Smoke Thieves, the whole demon hunting and collecting “smoke” from them to sell as an illegal substance business. It seemed cool. What wasn’t cool is that it wasn’t the main part of the story, the book had too many POVs and I hated some of the characters. Well, maybe not hated, but disliked A LOT. It had a big potential, and I might still pick up book 2 in the series to check it out, but man… I wish Tash was the only character in the book.

Full review here.

Refraction by Naomi Hughes

This one is another case of a: stellar idea and poor execution. A world where monsters spawn from mirror reflections? Fuck yes! A main character who’s morally grey and has OCD? Sign me up. I got an arc of this book and I was so excited to read it and recommend it to everyone but… Unfortunately it didn’t quite deliver. There were many things about this book that were good and really enjoyable (like the characters), but the writing style and pacing made it clunky and anticlimactic. The book lacked atmosphere. I wish it was done differently, because I think the idea for it is genius.

Full review here.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

I think this one is an unpopular opinion. I feel like everyone who’s read Renegades loved it. I, on the other hand, found it boring and uneventful. It took me a month to read it – a full month! I was so close to DNFing it, but since I loved the Lunar Chronicles I decided to push through it. My main complaint are the characters. Adrian was a cookie cutter hero, and so I wanted Nova to be a proper villain, but she just wasn’t one. In my opinion, she’s not even anywhere near a villain, just a morally grey and confused teen. Maybe I would enjoy the book more if it wasn’t 600 pages long and didn’t have an unexciting cliffhanger.

Read more of my thoughts on it here.

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

This book was so hyped before the release date, and then everyone with arcs read it (me included) and rated it “middle of the road” and the buzz died. The vampire revival flopped BIG TIME. I have a full review of The Beautiful on the blog (here, if you’re interested), where I talk about what worked and what didn’t work for me, so I won’t be repeating myself, but I’m gonna say one thing… I expected more from Renee Ahdieh and was left super disappointed.

And these are all of the books I wanted to talk about today. Have you read any of them? What are your thoughts?

I’ll talk to you very soon, this time about exciting books!

Worst Books of 2019

Hi! I’m back! I’ve neglected this space (and a lot of other things, to be honest) at the end of the year – truth is, I just got overwhelmed. But I’m back with post ideas and lots of motivation to write them, so I decided to start with a few posts summing up my 2019 reading year.

Let’s start with the worst reads of the year.

Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

My first read of 2019! Honestly all I knew about it is that it was a dystopian with robots and cyborgs etc. Lifelike ended up being a total disappointment, and a book I’m still not sure about how it got so popular (other than because it is by Jay Kristoff). I went into it expecting greatness, all of the reviews I’ve seen were positive and yet the book flopped for me. The world building was nearly nonexistent, the characters annoying, underdeveloped and caricature like, and there was instalove. I do not like instalove. I barely made it through this book and ended up 2 stars.

Full review here.

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

Here’s another book I had great expectations for, just to be disappointed. I was sold on the premise – loved the idea of female gladiators! Unfortunately the idea was the only thing this book had going for it. Fallon was probably one of the worst main characters I’ve read about. She’s “not like other girls”, she has no personality and we’re told she’s oh so tough and a great warrior, but everything she does proves otherwise. And (once again) there’s instalove. Forbidden instalove, between the main character, who’s a slave and a Roman soldier. What a disaster. I gave it 2 stars, but thinking back I think it deserves 1, because the writing was horrible, too – “Cleopatra’s grin spread into a full, white-toothed smile.” someone please explain to the author what a grin is (she did it on nearly every single page).

Full review here.

Timekeeper by Tara Sim

Victoria Schwab blurbed this one and I let my hopes go way too high. I thought the potential was enormous here, but ultimately the book did not deliver. It’s steampunk, it’s about clock towers controlling the time itself, and timekeepers, fixing the towers when needed. It sounded like an interesting and unique premise. So what didn’t work for me? Oh, let’s see… I felt no connection to any of the characters. They didn’t feel like real people and didn’t develop as the story progressed. The plot was stagnant. Pages upon pages upon pages of absolutely nothing. And… wait for it… there was INSTALOVE. There’s nothing to make me dislike a book quite like instalove. It pissed me off, quite frankly, because I expected romance from the get go (I picked it up because it’s a LGBTQA+ novel and I seek those out), just not shitty instalove where the characters meet and fall in love straight away, with no chemistry. Again, 2 stars, is anyone surprised?

Full review here.

Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl

This has not been on my radar until I saw it on NetGalley, requested it and got approved for it. I was in the mood for a contemporary about an important and rarely talked about subject. The book is about virginity, consent, sex, how religion treats sex, slut shaming and victim blaming. All of those are extremely important and need to be talked about more, especially in YA. The main character is dumped by her boyfriend after they have sex, because he wants to get “closer to god” and so she follows him to Jesus camp to win him back. This is a great movie concept but it would’ve worked as a book if not the ending. The main character, though developing throughout the story, ends up reverting to the same point in the end. There are lessons she needs to learn, and she’s getting there, just to do a complete 180. The great message of the book is lost in a overly vivid and somewhat clinical description of sex, clunky dialogue and the overall resolution of the book. The lost potential made me very angry. My original rating was 3 stars, which I dropped to 2, and now I firmly stand by it.

Full review here.

Dune by Frank Herbert

My only 1 star rating of the year belongs to Dune. I could go on and on about how much I hated it, but it’s been a good couple of months and the anger is mostly gone. This book was horrendous, to put it plainly. I’ll start with clarifying that I LOVE sci-fi, just so no one tells me maybe sci-fi isn’t my genre. For such an acclaimed book, Dune is just a terribly written story with minimal plot, a Mary Sue like main character, supporting characters lacking any depth whatsoever, poor world building and lots of telling, not showing. I have nothing positive to say about it. Hebert butchered a story that could be genuinely good and it was a laborious feat to get through! Quite frankly, I regret reading it.

Full review here.

And that’s my list of worst books I’ve read in 2019. Which books made it onto your worst list? Do you disagree with me on any books I’ve mentioned here? Lets discuss it.

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year! I’ll be back soon with another post.

November Wrap Up

Hi! I can’t believe it’s December already.

Let’s talk stats for November, and how much I failed my TBR, shall we?

November has been a strange month reading wise. I have gotten myself into a reading slump and didn’t really get out of it until now (at least I hope), so I’m in the middle of 2 books at the moment, still. I’ll talk about them tomorrow, in my December TBR post.

  • Number of books read: 4
  • Number of pages read: 2520
  • Average star rating: 4.75
  • DNFs: 1
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

I Let You Go was a leftover from my October TBR and I finished it at the start of the month. I really enjoyed the book – it was a perfect thriller full of suspense and plot twists, and it really cemented my interest in Clare Mackintosh’s books. I did find the themes of it heavy, though, so I found it hard to fly through the book – it made me sad and uncomfortable. While I think the book was incredibly well done, my enjoyment of it was definitely hindered by how stressful and weighty I found some parts.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

I’m not gonna blabber about this one for too long, because I have a review for it right here. Ninth House is probably one of my favourite books I’ve read this year and Bardugo is a Queen. The book is definitely not for the faint-hearted, but if you can deal with violence and drug abuse, among other things, and you want a good urban fantasy – pick it up.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

I am slowly but surely continuing with my reread of Harry Potter. Like for every book so far, I’ve a twitter thread, live tweeting my experience, rereading the books for the nth time. I don’t think I have to say much about it – it was clearly 5 stars, though I think it is my least favourite of the series (don’t @ me).

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

My god! This one’s a wild ride. Sanderson is a master of fantasy – I thought that after reading Mistborn and I am sure of it now. Words of Radiance is such a complex and detailed story, it’s gripping, it’s fast paced, it gives you characters you love, ones you hate, ones you want to hit over the head with a wooden spoon and tell them to cop on (yes, I’m talking about Kaladin). I loved everything about it and I need to pick up Oathbringer asap.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

And my one DNF of the month

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

I gave it 100 pages, but it failed to grab my attention. It was unnecessarily violent with no substance behind it. I don’t mind violence (clearly – I rated Ninth House 5 stars), but when it’s the only thing mentioned in the book – it gets tiresome. I wanted world building – I got none. I wanted more than a murderous child. I was very disappointed in the book – especially that it’s been on my TBR for a really long time.

That would be it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with my TBR, I still need to fine tune it and make sure I don’t overdo it, like always.

How many books have you read in November? Any new favourites?