May 2021 Wrap Up

Hi! Another month gone… (insert lots of talk about months flying by, as per usual). I had a strange month, it started off strong and then I completely lost steam. I still managed to read 11 books, which isn’t bad.

Let’s get into my favourite part of the post – stats! May is my birthday month (I turned 28!) so you’ll see my physical TBR shot up quite a bit.

  • Number of books read: 11
  • Number of pages read: 4573
  • Average star rating: 3.4
  • DNF: 1
  • Physical TBR at the start of the month: 37
  • Books read: 2
  • Current TBR: 48

Illusionary by Zoraida Córdova

I have a full review on here if you’d like to check it out!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

I’ve also posted a full review for this one, here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Project by Courtney Summers

I’ve seen many mixed reviews about this book, mostly comparing it to Sadie, and how it was vastly different from it. I think Summers’ writing was just as good and the story she told in The Project interesting and well done. I guess I’m in the minority here, but I really liked it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

This one is a blend of fantasy and mystery, and the mystery was what drove the plot, and I wished it was the other way around. I did like the book, but I think it would’ve benefited more from really focusing on the world building and political intrigue, and by giving us more depth, rather than mystery twists and turns. It was good, but it had the potential to be great.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

What can I say? I love Murderbot. I kind of wish we got a full length novel, but these snippets are satisfactory for me and a great palate cleanser in between bigger books.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A Sprinkle of Sorcery by Michelle Harrison

I found this second installment in the series fun, but slightly underwhelming. I usually love pirates in middle grade books, but I preferred the first books storyline and the magical elements of it. Charlie was once again my favourite Widdershin sister.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

This was a fun, if a bit predictable and formulaic read. I enjoyed the plot and found the book entertaining, but the last portion got too romance heavy for me to really enjoy it. That being said, it’s definitely just personal preference and I know many people would probably love it. I’m undecided on whether I’ll be continuing with the series for that reason.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Wicked as You Wish by Rin Chupeco

My first Rin Chupeco and sadly I didn’t enjoy it. I found the world building too much, it seems to be based off all and every fairytale AND myth the author could find. That paired up with a big cast of characters, too big to properly develop any, and it honestly turned into a bit of a disaster for me. I read it last month, and I already am struggling with remembering what it was about. Disappointing, but maybe their other books will work for me.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

The Serpent’s Curse by Lisa Maxwell

I honestly thought it was the last book in the series. At 75% I realised it couldn’t possibly be, because the plot was nowhere near wrapped up. I think this series is criminally underrated – rhis installment was fantastic and exciting, but I will admit I’m growing sick of the will they, won’t they romance.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

Once again, I love Murderbot. There isn’t much to say about these books, they’re bite size, fun and hilarious. I found Exit Strategy to be a bit less sarcastic and a bit more serious, though, and it made it my least favourite installment so far.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshy

I finally got my hands on this book. It’s been on my TBR since it was announced. I will be publishing a review for it soon, so I’ll leave my thoughts until then. Let me just tell you I’m intrigued but not totally sold on it just yet.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

And that is all. I’ve been wondering if you’d be interested in seeing my reading related spreads from my bullet journal in these wrap ups? Also, let me know if you’d like a full review for any of these?

How was your reading this month?

Talk soon!

April 2021 Wrap Up

Hi, there!

April is over. I’ve had a strange month for productivity, and an even stranger reading month. I did manage a good few books, though, so here are the stats.

  • Number of books read: 9
  • Number of pages read: 3523
  • Average star rating: 3.2
  • Physical TBR at the start of the month: 35
  • Books read: 5
  • Current TBR: 37
  • DNF: 1

I might’ve gotten some new books… and getting more soon, because it’s my birthday in 12 days. Am I ever going to get through my physical TBR? Unlikely…

The Darkest Bloom: Shadowscent by P.M. Freestone

I have written a review of sorts for this book, you can check it out here.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

I think it’s time to accept I might’ve grown out of my love for Clare’s books. Chain of Iron was a bit better than the first book in the series, yet it didn’t really grab me, and I am not attached to those characters, no matter how hard I’m trying to make myself attached to them. While the story was somewhat interesting, the amount of drama was unjustifiable, in my opinion.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

For Esme, with Love and Squalor – and Other Stories by J.D. Salinger

I love Salinger’s writing and characters, though they’re definitely an acquired taste. All of the stories in this collection were good, but I enjoyed the opening and the closing ones the most.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

The Glass Hotel was not what I expected. I enjoyed the reading process of it all, mainly due to the stunning writing, but I kept waiting for things to happen and they didn’t. Don’t get me wrong – I like character driven stories. I just don’t think this one is just that. I honestly don’t know where I stand here. On one hand, I found some parts of it engaging and enjoyable, and on the other hand… I don’t understand its point? I am not sure it makes sense, but it’s exactly how I felt about it.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo

I couldn’t have hoped for a better conclusion to a fantastic duology. The Grishaverse became very dear to my heart, thanks to Nikolai Lantsov and Zoya Nazyaensky (and Kaz Brekker, but he and I go way back). Being back in this world was great. I loved everything about it, to be perfectly honest, because it wrapped up the story perfectly, and left us with a hopeful next book in a certain well loved series… I’m really trying to not spoil anything.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

I think I hyped up this book too much for myself, because, although I’m not exactly disappointed, Children of Time didn’t live up to my expectations. I don’t know what I thought when I heard “giant, intelligent spiders”, but it wasn’t what I got. The story was good and for most of it engaging, but I found it quite repetitive in plot and narration. I’m not sure if I’ll be continuing with the series.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Dark Stars by Danielle Rollins

Yet another absolute gem that saved this somewhat bad/average reading month. This is the last book in a criminally underrated YA sci-fi series of the same title, and I flew through it. I really enjoyed getting back into this world and coming back to the characters I grew to love. I think the reviews are split when it comes to this one, but I thought the ending made a lot of sense and wrapped up everything nicely.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder

I kind of want to make a separate post ranting about Yelena and Valek, specifically about Valek calling her “love” on every single page of this damned book (and the other two books, too), but I’m not sure that’s entertaining. I don’t know why I thought I was enjoying this series, because this one was frustrating to say the least. I could honestly rant for a long time – it was formulaic, every exciting scene faded to black before it even began, and had Yelena wake up rescued. The political intrigue got lost between all the unnecessary character drama. I did not enjoy it…

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

Speaking of being fooled in thinking I was enjoying a series… this book! I don’t know what happened, but I found Children of Virtue and Vengeance to be so vastly different from the first book in the series, it was hard to believe the same author wrote it. I adored Children of Blood and Bone. I thought the plot was fresh and exciting. I feel in love with the characters and how deep and real they were. The world was vibrant, the magic system… *chef’s kiss*. None of these were true in this second installment, but what hurt the most was the fact that it felt like the characters were completely different. I am so disappointed I might be skipping the last book altogether.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

And that is all I read in April. How was your reading month? Let me know in the comments.

March 2021 Wrap Up

Hi! Happy April!

I have read quite a bit in March, so I won’t be babbling on for too long about the books. I will link my full reviews to all of them that I’ve written, and if you would like to know my detailed thoughts on any of the other ones, just drop me a comment down below and I’ll post one on here.

Time for stats.

  • Number of books read: 13
  • Number of pages read: 4969
  • Average star rating: 3.3
  • Physical TBR at the start of the month: 43
  • Books read: 10
  • Current physical TBR: 35
  • DNF: 1

As you can see, I am trying to get through my physical TBR at the moment. It doesn’t help I’ve ordered 5 books in the last couple of days.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

This book just didn’t work for me at all. I expected a story about regular people in a world full of the chosen ones. I guess what I expected would’ve been quite bland and boring – because in reality, these kids, though without superpowers (well, all but one) still get into some supernatural shenanigans. I didn’t much care for the characters, nor did I like the plot. Somehow, the bland and boring still very much applied.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

I’ll be posting a full review closer to the publication date – it releases in the UK on the 20th of April. It was just my kind of a story, even though the format of it (told in short stories/vignettes from different POVs) might not be what I reach for usually. I loved it and it took me completely by surprise.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harris

This was a nice and breezy middle-grade about 3 sisters and a family curse. It took me a good few chapters to get invested in the story, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. Charlie is hands down my favourite character – I laughed out loud a few times reading the scenes with her.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Mermaid by Christina Henry

I expected a dark retelling of the Little Mermaid. Why? Because I read Lost Boy and that’s what it was – a horroresque retelling of a story we know. This wasn’t quite either. I still liked it, as Christina Henry is a skilled writer, but it just wasn’t what I wanted from the story, going into it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Havenfall by Sara Holland

The longer I sit on this book, the more I want to lower my rating. Havenfall was a cover buy. I didn’t have huge expectations going in but the idea of a magical inn connecting different worlds was fantastic, and it sounded like a good time, especially with the mystery element promised in the blurb. I am quite disappointed, even though my expectations were low. This book did nothing new or exciting, it was your middle of the road standard YA fantasy and I’ve had my fill with them by now… to bad, because it had potential.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Continuing on the last thought… Legendborn was so much different and a reason enough not to give up on the YA fantasy genre. It did remind me a bit of The Mortal Instruments at the start, but it blossomed into something different, intricate and well developed and written. Honestly, it was heaps of fun and I really enjoyed the story. It’s a King Arthur retelling, too, which is always a plus (or is it, since the last few I read I either DNFed or hated).

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

I’ve seen EVERYONE rave about this book. I caved. I picked it up expecting to also love it. And although the first third or maybe half was interesting and promising, in the end the book became more of a self-help kind of book full of long winded cliches. I understand what Haig tried to do, but that’s what I wanted from him, I’d pick up his non-fiction.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

Full review here.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

I talked a lot about Swanson recently, and I’ve mentioned I like his writing even though it follows a certain formula I very much expect from thrillers. Well, this one was COMPLETELY different and… I’m impressed. It wasn’t quite a 5 star read for me, but definitely the best book I read by the author so far. It was smart and twisty and just overall really well done.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates

In March I also picked up a non-fiction. I’ve been wanting to read Everyday Sexism for a long while now. I think it’s always relevant. I listened to it on audio, but I feel like have I read it physically I would’ve skimmed many parts. Don’t get me wrong, the book is important and like I already said, still very relevant, but the way it’s done is incredibly repetitive. The book makes very few points, but manages to make up in length by repeating them every so often. I read non-fiction for educational purposes, obviously, but I learnt nothing I haven’t already in my nearly 28 years of being a woman.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

This was my first Ruth Ware, and incidentally also her first book, and it didn’t knock my socks off, but I did enjoy the writing and so I will be picking up more by the author. I’ve been in a thriller kick and it satisfied the craving, but I found the characters incredibly unlikeable and the plot quite predictable. Still, not a bad read.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

I have many bad things to say about this one, but I’m choosing positivity today. I didn’t like The Iron Trial and I won’t be picking up the rest of the series. I know middle grades written in the last 10-15 years sometimes suffer from the Harry Potter syndrome, but this one tried just a bit too hard for me, and the countless similarities were too much.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Yet another thriller in this wrap up that I quite enjoyed. I read thrillers to be entertained and a bit unsettled and My Lovely Wife delivered in both cases, though significantly less in the latter. It was fun, though, and I’d like to pick up more by the author, because I found the writing quite engaging.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

And these are all of the books I read in the month of March.

How was your reading month? Did you read any new favourites? How’s your Goodreads challenge going?

Thank you for reading!

January 2021 Wrap Up

Hi, lovelies! How are you all doing? I honestly cannot believe the first month of 2021 is behind us. Where did the time go?

As always, it is time for a wrap up. This past month I have read… 9 books. It’s a pretty decent start to the year, if I do say so myself. Of course, part of me is asking, but why not 10? But let’s ignore that part completely.

This is how my reading went in January with the stats being as follows:

  • Number of books read: 9
  • Number of pages read: 3651
  • Average star rating: 3.5
  • Physical TBR at the start of the month: 50
  • Books read: 2
  • Physical TBR: 46

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

Sadly, although I expected to love this one, I didn’t. I found it needlessly confusing, the pacing all over the place and the characters underdeveloped. Too bad, because I did like the premise and Seanan McGuire’s writing.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Full review here.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Wench by Maxine Kaplan

Full review here.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

Very solid ending to a very solid story. I think what N.K. Jemisin created in this series is super fresh and intricate. The finale didn’t disappoint, although I think book 1 is still my favourite.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang

This one blew me away. I didn’t think Ms Kuang would go THERE… but she did! If you know, you know. If you haven’t picked up The Poppy War yet – do it! If you like morally grey characters, good magic systems and violent, brutal fantasy books – it’s for you.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

A full review to come, but know this – this book has my whole heart. I loved it! It deserves ALL THE STARS in the world.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Game Changer by Neal Schusterman

I’ve a review for this scheduled very soon, too (as it’s releasing soon) so I’ll talk about what worked for me and what didn’t, and why I’m giving it such a middle of the road rating.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Daughters of Nri by Reni K. Amayo

Sadly, I thought this one was quite forgettable. I found the story, characters and the world building… lacking. It definitely had lots of potential, I picked it up because it sounded intriguing – but not one part of the story grabbed me. I wish it was longer – with the world more immersive and the characters fleshed out. I don’t think I’ll be continuing with the series.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Touch by Claire North

I like Clare North, but this is not my favourite book by her. It’s not my least favourite, either. Touch lies right in the middle, with a interesting, nuanced premise, very Claire Northesque writing (which is a compliment) and a satisfying ending that makes you forgive the confusion and pacing of the middle of the book. What can I say – it was fun! It was no Harry August, but it was fun.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

And that is it for my wrap up. Have you read any of these? How did your month go? And on a different note – do you like the new look of the blog?

I’ll talk to you very soon. Thank you for reading!