February 2021 Wrap Up

Hi! How is it March already? I can’t believe it we’re almost through a QUARTER of 2021. Madness.

February, although short, was a great reading month volume wise. I’ve read 10 books. Let’s look at stats!

  • Number of books read: 10
  • Number of pages read: 3241
  • Average star rating: 3.6
  • Physical TBR at the start of the month: 46
  • Books read: 3
  • Physical TBR: 43
  • DNF: 1

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

Full review here.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Recursion by Blake Crouch

Blake Crouch’s books always make me feel stupid. It’s not a bad thing. They’re just so well thought out and complex, it takes all my brain power to understand them. Recursion was no different. I enjoyed it a lot, as it deals with time travel, and we know how I feel about that! It was the right amount of mind bendy and confusing, but still engaging.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson

Full review to come soon. The idea was better than the execution which I find to be a thing for me a lot when it comes to thrillers. Still quite enjoyed the read.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

In my opinion the weakest book in the Wayfarers’ series. Full review to come in a few days!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

A quite enjoyable Cinderella retelling. I appreciated the representation, though I think it read quite young and was predictable. One thing that definitely brought the rating down for me was the unnecessary “love triangle”.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

I loved the premise of this one more than the execution. It’s about a pair of siblings with super powers. I think it’s best to go into it not knowing anything else. Sadly, the transitions made it hard for me to follow and took me out of the story a lot.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

I don’t understand anyone who says this is Sanderson’s worst book. Ahem… Warbreaker? I found Elantris really enjoyable and I really grew to love all of the characters. And! Hoid!!!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Galaxy and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers

A full review to come. I found this to be a great and satisfying ending to an overall fantastic series.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh

I don’t have much to say about this one at all. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. I think it was perfectly fine for what it was, a whimsical story about magical forest creatures and it’s definitely to many people’s taste, just not exactly my thing. I don’t regret picking it up, I just really don’t have anything to say about it.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Marly’s Ghost by David Levithan

I jinxed myself when I said Levithan can do no wrong. Everything I picked up by him since was not at all what I expected and I’ve been disappointed. Marly’s Ghost was predictable and had nothing that set it apart. Yes, I still do like Levithan’s writing, so I gave it 3 stars, even though objectively I think it deserves 2.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

How was your February? What’s the best book you read last month?

Thank you for reading. Talk soon!

Game Changer by Neal Schusterman – A Review

Hi! Happy Tuesday. It’s review time!

I usually post reviews ARC reviews on the publication date but it does make a bit more sense to post them before, to give people time to decide whether the book is for them or not, right? From now on I might try to aim to post a week in advance. So, here we are.

Game Changer by Neal Schusterman
  • Publication date: February 9th 2021
  • Publisher: Quill Tree Books
  • Genre: Sci-fi

All it takes is one hit on the football field, and suddenly Ash’s life doesn’t look quite the way he remembers it.

Impossible though it seems, he’s been hit into another dimension—and keeps on bouncing through worlds that are almost-but-not-really his own.

The changes start small, but they quickly spiral out of control as Ash slides into universes where he has everything he’s ever wanted, universes where society is stuck in the past…universes where he finds himself looking at life through entirely different eyes.

And if he isn’t careful, the world he’s learning to see more clearly could blink out of existence…

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

After reading and loving Schusterman’s Scythe trilogy, I was very excited to pick up this new release by him. Sci-fi is my jam and alternate realities a buzzword that alone makes me want to read a book, and with the pleasant previous experience with the author – I thought it was a recipe for a success.

I did like the general idea and premise for the book. Although I know nothing about football, nor do I have a clue how the game works, other than people slamming into each other, the sport part of the story didn’t put me off. I understood as much as I needed – Ash, the main character, gets slammed into an alternate reality during a game and things become quite messed up very fast. Sounds good.

The book was a breeze to get through. I liked the writing, the tone and the humour. Ashley was a fine protagonist, someone who’s point of view I enjoyed for most of the book. He wasn’t my favourite – that spot is dedicated to the Edwards, but I didn’t dislike him by any means. So why is the book a 3 star?

Now, I’m going to start by saying I think what Schusterman tried to do was valid and it’s needed in YA, but the way it was done just didn’t bring anything new to the table or have any particular merit in my eyes. The alternate realities bring up discussions about racism, sexism and homophobia, to describe it broadly. Yes, those issues are valid ones to talk about in YA literature and by all means should be discussed more and more, but maybe in a way that sounds less rehearsed and preachy. After all, Ash is a white, straight male in the first reality. His school is diverse racially and so is his friend circle, but he admits on many occasions how ignorant he’s been in the past and how his Black best friend called him out in those times. Ash admits that he has a lot to learn, yet we don’t see him learning much. I think the book misses the point completely and brings up issues and discussions without being willing to delve into all of them with the depth they deserve.

That being said, I didn’t dislike the book. I just think that it could’ve done more and done it better.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Have you read this one yet? Or is it on your radar?

Thank you for reading! Talk to you soon.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig – A Review

Hi! It’s time for the first review of 2021.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the lovely briefcase I got right before Christmas in a charity shop for… 5.50! It’s probably the best deal and purchase I made in all my nearly 28 years on this Earth. Also, before I move onto the review, let’s do a little self promo – if you like this photo, I have an instagram account full of them! I would be over the moon if you considered following me there. My handle is the same – imfullybooked!

Okay, now it’s review time!

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
  • Publication date: August 6th 2019
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press
  • Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling/Horror

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

Oh boy, did this book take me on a rollercoaster!

I’m not sure how to articulate my feelings towards House of Salt and Sorrows. On one hand, I was sure it would be a 5 star read until about 35% in, and then after partial redemption about 65% in. And on the other hand… everything that happened in between those times was just so disjointed from the rest of the story and hence jarring, and I can’t with good conscience give it anything more than 3 stars.

The story grabbed me from the start. I didn’t know what to expect, I had no clue what it was really about, other than 12 sisters who kept dying one by one, and I genuinely didn’t know it was a retelling (nor do I know the original story). It would probably be wiser for me to read the blurb beyond the first 2 sentences, but I like going into things blindly. The book opens with a funeral, which really set up the atmosphere, and the elements of mystery and possible supernatural elements had me super intriguing. It really seemed like my cup of tea. Until…

I am not sure what happened around 35% in. The atmosphere and pacing changed. The overall mood of the story changed. What started out dark and moody, turned into fluffy adventure and love story. Spooky supernatural elements disappeared. It really had me confused – I wasn’t sure what I was reading anymore. The feel I got from it at the start of atmospheric, ghosty mystery changed. And then when I was losing hope, it changed again! And again.

I would definitely enjoy it a lot more has it stayed with one mood, and didn’t jump around so much, undecided what it actually was. I think some of the ideas were fantastic. As was a lot of the execution. I loved all of the Thaumas sisters and I really cared about them all. But what grabbed me at the start just didn’t carry through the book. Twists and turns are great, but when they keep the same tone. The book is marketed as a YA horror, but a lot of it doesn’t read like horror at all. It made the ending feel super disjointed. I feel like the author tried to do too much in 400 pages. It’s a shame.

I’ll be picking the authors other book once it comes out, as I think she’s a skilled writer. Hopefully that one will work for me more.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Have you read this one? What did you think? Do you agree with me, or did you love it? Let me know down below.

Thank you so much for reading, and apologies for the shameless promo at the start.

Until the next one!

2020 Reading Stats

Hi, everyone.

It’s been a while. I tend to say it in every post, but it really HAS been a while. The last months of the year have been a big struggle in every aspect of life, though I’m sure I’m not the only person who experienced that, and I got way too overwhelmed to read and post.

This might not be a post for everyone. We’ll be looking at all my reading stats from last year. At the end of 2019 I also posted all my favourites, least favourites, most surprising and disappointing books, but since we’re already 11 days into the new year, I will include some of the info here instead of posting separately.

Okay, let’s get to it!

In 2020 I’ve read… 92 books. It’s the most I’ve read in a single year probably ever. I’ve been a reader most of my life, but I’ve also been a library user until I got a job and was able to afford books – so, my choices were fewer.

Here’s a look at the stats in my bullet journal.

The total number of pages I read is 35 692! That includes the 7 DNFs from the year, most of which I gave until around 40% in before I put them down.

I have read 27 physical books, 30 audio books and 35 ebooks. Out of those 35 ebooks 12 were ARCs. I also DNFed 2 ARCs and read 2 physical review copies. My reading slowed down in October, as you can see, and the only thing that saved me were audio books. Anyone who says audio books don’t count as reading… you’re wrong!

My most read genre was unsurprisingly fantasy. It accounted for 47% of all the books I read. Other genres I read multiple books of were sci-fi, contemporary, mystery and horror. I even managed 3 non-fiction, which is usually not my genre of choice. A discovery I made this year that surprised me is that I like horror books. I am not a horror movie fan, but the few books I read in the genre I really enjoyed!

As for star ratings – my overall rating for the year is 3.78 stars, which is quite high in my opinion. Although the numbers don’t reflect this I feel like from September onwards I wasn’t reading many books I really enjoyed, and it’s probably because I felt very slumpish and unmotivated. In reality, all my favourite, least favourite, most surprising and disappointing books were mixed evenly throughout the year.

Favourites

Least Favourite

Most Surprising

Most Disappointing

Now, that last one definitely has some controversial titles.

To wrap it all up before I head away – I’ve had a really good year number wise, fairly good year rating wise, although quite a disappointing one when it comes to some big books I was very excited to read. Here’s to doing better in 2021!

How many books have you read in 2020? Did you have a good reading year? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading.

September Wrap Up

Hi! It took me forever to sit down and write this post. I was going to start October strong and ended up not posting for a week… typical!

Anyway… introductions are hard and I’m not the best at them. Here’s all the books I read in September, stats, and all the other good things.

  • Number of books read: 7
  • Number of pages read: 2978
  • Average star rating: 4.1 stars
  • TBR at the start of the month: 46
  • Books added: 6
  • Books read: 1
  • Current TBR: 51

As you can see I went a bit crazy buying books… and not reading them. It’s already a trend in October also. What can I say… everyone knows collecting books and reading books are two different hobbies.

Fable by Adrienne Young

I have a full review up for Fable here if you fancy checking it out, but to give you my quick thoughts – I thought the beginning up until about the halfway point dragged like crazy and I considered DNFing it. The ending made up for it slightly.

🌟🌟🌟

Into The Bright Unknown by Rae Carson

I have loved the first two books in this series, but this finale disappointed me slightly. It didn’t feel as eventful and high stakes as the first two books, and the ending wasn’t my favourite. That being said I still very much enjoyed it. It just didn’t wow me.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

I listened to this one on audio and thoroughly enjoyed it. This trilogy is proving to be a very well thought out and executed fantasy series. I think The Dragon Republic was as good as The Poppy War, just as dark, gritty and violent. The middle meandered a bit too much for me, hence docking a star. I cannot wait to finish the series.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips

What a wonderful read! I’ve given my thoughts on it already here so I’ll refrain from repeating myself.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I have finally reread Anne of Green Gables last month (after I’ve bought myself a matching set of those covers) and it was just as great and magical as I remembered. Anne is honestly my spirit animal. I laughed, I cried… Gilbert Blythe is to this day deserving of the biggest fictional crush title (jeez, that sounds creppy sice he’s young in this book, but I don’t mean it in THAT way).

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I don’t want to sound like a broken record. I have a review for this YA gem, too, right here. I was very pleasantly surprised by it, it doesn’t happen often that a YA mystery inspires any more than a meh reaction from me.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

And lastly, I actually read a non-fiction! Well… listened to a non-fiction. I think it’s a really important read, one that opened my eyes to a lot of things related to race, and through a different lens too, as it gives a British narrative rather than an American one. I would definitely recommend giving this one a read if you are trying to educate yourself more on the subject of race and racism and working on not only how to not be racist, but anti racist.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

And that is all for today. I’m sorry if the formatting of this is weird – it’s the first time I’m posting from my phone and I’m not sure how everything works in app (hence the star emojis rather than rating – I’ve no idea how to add that).

As always, thank you for reading and until the next time!

Autumn Recommendations

Hi, lovelies! How are you doing?

It’s cold and wet out today, and since Autumn is finally here I thought I’d share some of my favourite spooky, atmospheric or in any other way autumny reads. These are in no particular order of my enjoyment.

The Witches of Willow Cove by Josh Roberts

Let’s ease into the list with a fun, witchy Middle Grade. The Witches of Willow Cove follows two friends, Abby and Robby, who on Halloween night sneak out to snoop around an abandoned mental hospital to find out anything they can about Robby’s mom, who went missing, but instead get into some trouble and discover that witches might actually exist and that Abby is one. As you can see, it’s a perfect autumn read and definitely one for people who enjoy Halloween, but not the scary and gory aspects of it.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

On a similar note… City of Ghosts, the first book in Victoria Schwab’s Cassidy Blake Middle Grade series follows Cassidy as she ventures to Europe with her parents, who are TV show hosts and are recording a programme about haunted cities. What they don’t know is that Casssidy can peel the veil between the living and the dead and see ghosts. The first book takes place in Edinbrugh, it’s a really fun and only slightly spooky read and it’s perfect for this season.

Jackaby by William Ritter

To any mystery and paranormal fans… Jackaby is your series. I think it’s the most underrated one in the YA genre. Set in the late 1800s it follows Abigail Rook, who in desperate need of a new job, apprentices with a most unusual detective. It’s a Sherlock Holmesesque series full of paranormal creatures, each book featuring a different mystery, which are all linked together. It’s honestly one of my favourite series ever and I would highly recommend it.

Perfectly Preventable Deaths by Deirdre Sullivan

Repping a local author here (Deirdre is from Galway, which is 107km from where I live) with Perfectly Preventable Deaths. If the cover doesn’t give you autumny and Halloweeny vibes, I don’t know what will… It’s about twins Madeline and Catlin who move to a remote village in Co. Galway where for the last 60 years teenage girls have been mysteriously disappearing. It’s a slow burn kind of a book, spooky, extremely atmospheric and also quite Irish, that took me by surprise. If you like witchy reads with queer rep – pick this up.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

I remember when this came out and people had such mixed opinions on it. I feel like the hype died down pretty fast, but I’m here to reignite it. The Hazel Wood is a sort of a dark fairytale and after reading the sequel this year I am obsessed with this series, Alice, Finch and the Hinterland. Everything about it is great and bizarre. I’m not going to tell you what it is about. I feel the less you know, the better. If you haven’t read it yet and trust my opinion even a tiny bit, do yourself a favour and buy this or borrow it and read it.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

This cover gives me the hibbie jibbies. Don’t ask me why… Staying in the YA genre I thought I’d mention The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein. It’s a retelling of (yes, you guessed it, well done) Frankenstein and follows the main character (again, you’re a genius) Elizabeth. She’s an orphan taken in by the Frankenstein family to keep company to Victor – a strange and solitary child. It’s a quick read, just short of 300 pages, but it has all the spookiness and disturbingness you would want from a Frankenstein retelling. Big thumbs up from me.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

If you’ve noticed a theme here of witchy, ghosty stories and think, well, hang on… how does Wilder Girls fit into this category? It doesn’t, but I never said it’s Halloween recommendations, it’s just autumn recommendations. And Wilder Girls is really creepy and atmospheric and a horror novel, so it fits. It’s a story about a pandemic breaking out on an island holding a girl’s school. Said pandemic/virus/whatchamacallit causes the girls’ bodies to change. It’s quite gory, so if you can’t stomach it, it’s not a book for you. But if you can – I couldn’t recommend it more.

Bunny by Mona Awad

Another horror on the list. This one I won’t tell you anything about. For one, it’s really hard to explain and also it just works better when you know nothing at all and have no clue what to expect. Bunny is an absolute mindfuck of a book and it’s definitely not for everyone. I found it interesting, confusing and disturbing all at once and it was a great ol time.

You by Caroline Kepnes

Speaking of disturbing… this book! I’d say after the TV show, most of you know what the book is about. I read it back in 2016 and at the time I was new to the thriller genre and it was the scariest thing I’ve read. The most disturbing part is the narration style, which is told in the second person. You follows Joe, who works at a bookshop where he meets Beck, looks her up on social media and starts stalking… I know it’s everyone’s biggest fear – going to such a safe place like a bookstore and having that happen… We’re all on the same page, I know. Anyway, I thought the book was better than the show and worthy of appearing on this list.

I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Last, but not least, and funnily enough also with big stalker vibes we have I See You by Clare Mackintosh. I didn’t realise the themes were so similar when I was making this list – I swear. It’s a really smart and realistic thriller, following a woman who spots her own picture in a newspaper. It’s small and grainy and her family tries to convince her it’s not even her picture, just someone who looks like her. She’s sure, though, and determined to find out who put it up and why, but she doesn’t have much to go by. If you’re a fan of twisty, suspenseful thrillers that will keep you on the edge of your seat, I See You is for you.

That concludes my recommendations post. I hope I included books for all tastes. Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Thanks for reading, I’ll chat soon!

Finally Fall 2020 – Book Tag

Hi lovelies! I felt like doing a book tag and thought it would be interesting to revisit a tag I’ve done last year, since I’ve read nearly 100 books since then (94 to be exact). Also, there’s nothing I love more than autumn and the cosy and spooky season. If you want to check out my answers from last yea head here. Let’s get into it!

QUESTION 1 – In fall, the air is crisp and clear: Name a book with a vivid setting.

The Storm Keeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle

The Storm Keeper’s Island is a MG magical story set in Ireland. Honestly, even though Arranmore is not a place I have visited, the setting was so familiar and it made for a very cosy read. I am not Irish by birth, I moved here at 15, but by now I have lived here for close to half my life and I consider it home. Reading this book gave me a very homey and safe feeling. If you like MG, definitely pick this one up, it’s fantastic!

QUESTION 2 – Nature is beautiful… but also dying: Name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss of grief.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

This novel by Elizabeth Acevedo deals with exactly that – grief and loss. It’s told in verse, and the way it’s written is absolutely stunning! It’s a contemporary about two sisters who don’t know about each others existence and are brought together by a tragedy when their father dies in a plane crash. Not only do they have to deal with the loss of their father – they also need to get past the betrayal of their father’s lies, and accepting each other as family. I loved every second of it.

QUESTION 3 – Fall is back to school season: Share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.

Again, second year in a row – I don’t have an answer for that. I don’t read non-fiction, although I think I should. Maybe next year I’ll have an actual answer.

QUESTION 4 – In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: Name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be part of.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I’m rereading Anne of Green Gables right now… so that is my answers. Living in Avonlea, with Anne, Marilla and Matthew would be great, I think. They’re such an unlikely family but they really care about each other. I love everything about this series, I think I even wouldn’t mind Rachel Lynde nosing around.

QUESTION 5 – The colourful leaves are piling up on the ground: Show us a pile of fall coloured spines!

This is an old photo. But they are very much fall coloured. I would appreciate if you checked out my Instagram account if you’re so inclined. (shameless promo)

QUESTION 6 – Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: Share a book wherein someone is telling a story.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

So… This one is told in fist person, so that counts, right? A person telling THEIR OWN story? I think it counts anyway. The Black Flamingo is another book on this list told in verse and it is everything. Honestly, it’s probably one of the best books I’ve read this year. It’s a coming of age story that deals with identity, sexuality and the reality of being Black in the UK. I loved it and I think it’s a must read.

QUESTION 7 – The nights are getting darker: Share a dark, creepy read.

IT by Stephen King

Okay, this might seem a TYPICAL answer to many of you, but the truth is I only read it (IT) late last year and it was so fucking good, I don’t know why I slept on it for so long. Honestly, I haven’t read any other Stephen King (other than like 2 short stories) so it’s not a typical answer to me. This one was super creepy in a good way. I did skip the infamous scene, though, not to ruin the book for myself. If you know, you know.

QUESTION 8 – The days are getting colder: Name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.

The Ship of Shadows by Maria Kuzniar

Okay… this one is over 300 pages long so it’s not necessarily THAT short. But it’s such a great and cosy story, and a fast read too, and I’m sure it would definitely warm up someone’s day. It’s a story full of adventure and pirates and is everything you could possibly want from a MG. It gave me such a nostalgic feeling! I could not praise it enough.

QUESTION 9 – Fall returns every year: Name an old favourite that you’d like to return to soon.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Last year my answer to this was Anne of Green Gables. I am reading it now, so I guess I have accomplished that. I’ve been wanting to pick up The Secret Garden again. I’ve only read it once, as a kid, and in Polish, so I would love to revisit this story and see if it holds up right now.

QUESTION 10 – Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: Share your favourite cozy reading “accessories”!

The answer still stands – my bed. I do most of my reading in bed, no matter the season, but especially in autumn, I love being under the quilt with a hot water bottle and reading for hours.

And that is it. I’d love to know if you have done this tag – let me know in the comments below. I think I’ll make this a yearly thing – I quite enjoyed revisiting it and seeing my old answers. I’ll chat to you soon. Thanks for reading!

Fable by Adrienne Young – A Review

Hi there! I am so behind on reviews, you wouldn’t believe! But hopefully that means more content. Today I have a review for Fable by Adrienne Young, as you can guess from the title. Let’s get into it.

Fable by Adrienne Young
  • Publication date: September 1st 2020
  • Publisher: Wednesday Books
  • Genre: Fantasy

As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free eArc of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I have read from Adrienne Young before. I really loved Sky in the Deep, when I read it back in 2018. So, obviously, when I got my hands on an early copy of Fable I was delighted. I’m not sure what I expected from it, but whatever I got was not it.

The premise of Fable had me hooked. It’s pitched as a pirate story about a girl who needs to get off an island full of thieves and criminals, on which she was left by her father. All checks out. Except it’s not much of a pirate story. It’s set on a ship, yes, but it’s not your conventional pirate story.

I liked Fable as a main character at the start. That’s usually a good sign, if I like a character at the start, I usually end up loving them by the end of the book. Or at least still liking them. Fable became very bland very fast. Literally everyone else had more personality than her and I definitely cared about the side characters more than her. I didn’t dislike her by the end of the book by any means, I just didn’t think she was particularly interesting. The side characters were great, though, and I do have a bit of a soft spot for West, I’m not going to lie.

Adrienne Young’s writing is beautiful. I had no qualms with the language or narration style. I think she writes beautifully and it was one of the reasons why I continued reading the book even though I could not get into it at all at the beginning.

Which brings me to the biggest downfall of this book, in my opinion. The pacing. The book didn’t get interesting to me until the 50% mark. If not the fact I’ve gotten an arc of this book and it was on my list of most anticipated releases of 2020, I might’ve DNFed it. The first half dragged. Not much happened, or at least I felt like nothing was happening… and then BAM. Everything started happening all at once. I enjoyed the second half of the book much MUCH more, but considering how slow the first half was, it didn’t blow me away. I wish the pacing was a little bit more even.

Overall, while I quite enjoyed the book come the last page, I am on the fence on how I actually feel about it. It lands somewhere around 3.5 stars for me and I might be picking up the sequel once it’s out early next year.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Like I said – I’m behind on reviews so you can already purchase a copy of Fable if the book sounds interesting to you. Thank you for reading and as always I will talk to you soon!

August Wrap Up

Hi! I am finally back after an unintentional hiatus! My last post was the last month’s wrap up… I have not even been around to read your blogs and for that I sincerely apologise.

I moved houses! I spent most of August packing, cleaning, moving then unpacking and cleaning, and slowly but surely covering my whole body in bruises. Now that it’s done, though, I am hopefully back to blogging semi regularly and reading more. Let’s get into my stats and you’ll know what I mean.

  • Number of books read: 7
  • Number of pages read: 2815
  • Average star rating: 3.8
  • TBR at the end of July: 48
  • Books added: 2
  • Books read: 4
  • Current TBR: 46 (not quite, as I already bought 2 books this month, but shhhh…)

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

I think this book explores some great topics and is an important read – especially right now. It opened my eyes to a time in American history I didn’t know about. I liked the characters and the storyline, but the narration style and the writing weren’t my favourite. There was just something about it that made the read quite slow. Or maybe it was my reading slump…?

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Night Country by Melissa Albert

The Night Country was one of my most anticipated books of this year and it didn’t disappoint. I listened to it on audio, because with the move happening, it was quite difficult to find time to physically read (you’ll see that all over this wrap up). The Night Country was everything I wanted from a follow up and conclusion to The Hazel Wood. It was deliciously weird and spooky and I loved every second of it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

The Black Flamingo is the only physical book I got to this month. It was a beautiful and quick read. I don’t usually read books written in verse (poetry is a hit or miss for me, and so books written in verse didn’t always hold any appeal to me), so I didn’t know what to expect, but honestly after reading this one I want to pick up more of them. I loved everything about this book, from the first page to last. I will definitely read more from Dean Atta in the future.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Twisted Fates by Danielle Rollins

I am low key obsessed with this series. The first book really took me by surprise (whoever marketed it did it wrong and that is the only reason why EVERYONE and their mother isn’t talking about this book – and why I only picked it up by accident) and the sequel killed me. Dorothy is definitely one of my favourite heroines ever. I am in awe of the story arc and I need more. (P.S. I also listened to this on audio).

Rating: 5 out of 5.
The Toll by Neal Schusterman

I was searching for books on my physical TBR that were available on audio from my library and I finally finished the Scythe series! As always, Neal Schusterman didn’t disappoint. I didn’t quite enjoy this one as the previous two – it lacked something I can’t quite put my finger on – but it was overall a very smart, well written and great book. I’d definitely recommend this series.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban

No one is more devastated that I didn’t enjoy this book more than me. I was so hyped to read it and got it out of my library on audio (of course) and ended up very disappointed. The premise was interesting and the dual timeline of the narration would’ve worked if everything else wasn’t so cliched and predictable. I didn’t like the characters and couldn’t relate to them. I did everything in power to invest myself in the story but just couldn’t. I’m sure the book will work for some – sadly, it just didn’t work for me.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Lastly, also from my library and on audio, and also a disappointment – Sawkill Girls. I’ve seen a lot of comparison between this book and Wilder Girls – from the obvious similar title, through creepy vibes, island setting and queer girls – I thought it was yet another book that was written for me specifically (jokes). I absolutely loved Wilder Girls but Sawkill Girls didn’t live up to my expectations. The queerness seemed forced, I didn’t much care for the story or the characters and it wasn’t spooky at all, even though it tried hard to be. If you were to only pick up one – go for Wilder Girls.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

And that is all for today. As you can see, if not the audiobooks I wouldn’t have read much at all this month. Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Thanks for reading! I’ll talk to you soon.

July Wrap Up

Hi! Long time, no see. I feel like I say it in every single post and it feels stale – but it’s been a hot minute. I contemplated not even posting a wrap up, but I changed my mind in the end. July was a slumpish month – I said the same thing about June, I know – but I still managed to read some books, so it clearly wasn’t as bad as I’m making it out to be.

Here are the stats.

  • Number of books read: 6
  • Number of pages read: 2024
  • Average star rating: 4.3
  • DNFs: 1
  • TBR at the start of July: 57
  • Books added: 1
  • Books read: 3
  • Current TBR: 48 (I’ve been unhauling like crazy)

When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk

When You Were Everything is a book I started in June but didn’t finish in time to include it in that wrap up. I have mixed feelings about it. I got invested in the story, I cared for what was happening to the characters and thought the plot itself was fresh. But what didn’t sit right with me was the overall message of the book, or at least what I took out of it – especially considering the ending. The heartbreak of losing a friend was overshadowed by a narrative that suggested girls will be bitches, especially the popular ones, and that’s it. The ending lacked resolution, and if I needed closure after reading what happened to those two girls, they definitely needed it more.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

You know when you read a book and there are things in it that irk you, or maybe you don’t agree with the decision the author makes, or… something? There’s just something that makes the book slightly imperfect. And yet you cannot rate it any lower than 5 stars. That’s me with this book. I don’t know if it makes any sense at all, but that’s just how I feel about it. Footnotes and sex scenes existed in this series since book one and I hated both, and the last book is also filled with them (and Mr. Kristoff pokes fun at people complaining about both in the damn book) and yet I can’t say they ruined the overall experience for me. Darkdawn was smart and heartbreaking and a perfect ending to a series that ended up adoring. That’s all I have to say.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall

The Write Reads hosted a tour for this one and so I have a full review (well… maybe not a full one, but a review nonetheless) right here if you wanna know my thoughts.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Ship of Shadows by Maria Kuzniar

I also took part in a tour for this beauty and reviewed it here. Spoiler alert: I loved it!

Rating: 5 out of 5.
With The Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

This was my second book by Acevedo and I can safely say that I adore her writing. With The Fire On High was such a sweet and warm book. It’s been a while since I read a contemporary novel that gave me a warm and cosy feeling, as I usually pick up the hard hitting, heavy ones. Don’t get me wrong, there are many serious themes in this book, but it’s mostly uplifting, which I enjoyed a lot. And like everyone else already mentioned in their reviews – it made me so hungry.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

Lastly, I finished The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg. It wasn’t what I expected it to be, but I still very much enjoyed it. It’s a blend of sci-fi and other genres, so if you’re new to it and are not sure whether sci-fi is your thing, I think it’s an easy one to pick up and read, as it has some mystery/thriller elements. It wasn’t quite a 5 star read for me but I enjoyed the different formats and the discussion on ethics the book starts.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

And that is all for today. How did your July go? Let me know your favourite read of the last month!

Thanks for reading!