July Wrap-Up! (#BTAT17 +)
I suddenly decided this month to participate in Booktube-A-Thon (#BTAT17). I didn't plan a TBR in advance as it was a sudden decision. I was planning on doing a separate wrap-up for BTAT, but before BTAT started I'd only managed to read a couple of books, so I though I may as well combine them.
I'm going to start off with the books I read before and then I'll go into the books I read during. I am planning on doing reviews on most of these books, so most of this will be quite brief, also as in the end this did turn out to be quite a successful reading month.
Anyway, without further ado, let's get into my July wrap-up!
City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare
Date Started - 9/7/2017 ?
Date Finished - 15/7/2017
Synopsis: Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.
The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?
When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned...
As most of you will know if you've read my previous monthly wrap-ups, I've been reading The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices for the first time and I've been absolutely loving it. I've been so sucked into the Shadowhunter world and I'm sad to say I've finished TMI, but I am looking forward to reading The Dark Artifices now as well.
City of Heavenly Fire was no exception, so just like the others, I loved it. The story in this one was so much more complex and there was a lot more going on. I enjoyed getting to know some new characters (Emma and the others), but also learning more about characters I already knew of. My emotions were changing every minute while reading this and I'm pretty sure I remember crying towards the end of it. Overall, I'm glad to say that this series as well as TID have become some of my new favourites and I can't wait to follow this world further.
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8755785-city-of-heavenly-fire?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/City-of-Heavenly-Fire/9781442416895
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan
Date Started - 16/7/2017
Date Finished - 20/7/2017
Synopsis: One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers cross paths. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, culminating in heroic turns-of-heart and the most epic musical ever to grace the high-school stage.
This book has been on my TBR for over 2 years now I think and I finally decided that it was time for me to read it. I went into it with quite low expectations as John Green's books are normally a hit or miss with me. I loved Paper Towns back when I read that, but I really didn't like Looking For Alaska and seriously can't remember what I though of The Fault In Our Stars.
However, this really surprised me and I ended up really bloody loving it! I actually don't know how I loved it so much, but I did. It made me genuinely excited every time I picked it up to continue reading and re-sparked that feeling that I'd been missing for quite a while. I felt really involved with the characters and the decisions they were making as well as the feelings they were feeling. Overall, this has given me more faith in John Green's book and maybe I'll pick up An Abundance of Katherines, I'll have to see. I also hope to read more of David Levithan, whilst I'm at it too.
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17208924-will-grayson-will-grayson
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Will-Grayson--Will-Grayson/9780142418475
This was my first year participating in BTAT and it was actually my first readathon ever as well. I really enjoyed myself and am really looking forward to next years. I managed to read quite a bit and complete all the reading challenges so I'm really happy with what I've achieved. I did daily updates and wrap-ups on twitter (@sprinkleofbooks) and participated in a couple of the reading sprints, which I think really helped me.
I'll go through each book and list the challenges (if there were any) that each book applied to.
My totals for BTAT were:
Books completely read - 9
Books partly read - 2
Pages - 2,732
Challenges completed - 7
Wilde Like Me by Louise Pentland
Date Started -21/7/2017
Date Finished - 24/7/2017
Synopsis: Meet Robin Wilde! You'll make a friend for life and she'll take you on a journey you'll never forget ...
Single mum Robin Wilde adores her six-year-old daughter and loves her job as a make up artist's assistant. She has a wonderful best friend and an auntie who is bonkers, yes, but loves her to the moon and back.
But Robin has a secret. Behind the mask she carefully applies every day, things just feel ... grey. And lonely. She struggles to fit in with the school mum crew. Online dating is totally despair-inducing, and she worries every day about raising her little girl with self-confidence, courage and joy.
What Robin longs for is someone (over the age of six) to share with - someone who's always on her team.
After 4 years (2 months, and 15 days!) of single-mum-dom, it's time for Robin Wilde to Change. Her. Life.
Exciting new opportunities are about to come Robin's way ... Perhaps a man, perhaps the chance of a lifetime ...
What will Robin do with the possibilities she creates for herself? And what potential will she unlock if she takes the leap?
I did start reading this before the Booktubeathon, but I read about the last half of it in BTAT, so I'm counting it as a partly read book. I used this to complete the challenge to Read A Book With A Person On The Cover and also to Read A Book With A Character That Is Different To You.
I am planning on doing a full review for this book, but I did really enjoy it. I went into not knowing too much, but found it such an easy book to get into and despite the differences between me and Robin, I still felt really involved in the story. Though some of Robin's decisions did annoy me sometimes as well as the way she acted in different situations.
Rate - 4/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32498973-wilde-like-me?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Wilde-Like-Me/9781785762932
Goth Girl and the Pirate Queen by Chris Riddell
Date Started - 25/7/2017
Date Finished - 25/7/2017
Synopsis: When Ada travels to the seaside resort of Brighton on holiday, she is very excited to meet leading followers of fashion Lady Vivienne Dashwood and her rival, the fashionable shepherd, Beau Peeps. They are there preparing for World Frock Night - a lavish ball where everyone dresses up in their finest costumes to compete for the grand prize.
Ada has been given money by her father to buy a spectacular outfit for the ball, and she's excited to be in with a chance of winning the prize. But, as usual, nothing goes to plan, and becoming the belle of the ball will prove to be Ada's biggest challenge yet . . .
I read this to complete the challenge to Read A Book In One Day.
I don't think I've read any of the other books in this series before, but it didn't take anything away from my understanding of what was going on. I thought it was alright, but maybe that I wasn't really in the mood for it. Maybe in the future I'll give the series a go.
Rate - 3/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25087867-goth-girl-and-the-pirate-queen?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Goth-Girl-and-the-Pirate-Queen---World-Book-Day-Pack-2015-Chris-Riddell/9781447287704
Butterfly Beach by Jacqueline Wilson
Date Started - 25/7/2017
Date Finished - 25/7/2017
Synopsis: A brand-new story starring the unlikely best friends of The Butterfly Club, published specially for World Book Day 2017, from much-loved and bestselling author Jacqueline Wilson.
Selma can't wait to go on holiday with her best friend forever, Tina. But a holiday with Tina means a holiday with her triplet sisters, too - and it's not long before Selma feels like the odd one out. Can their shared love of butterflies bring Selma and Tina together again?
I didn't read this to complete any challenges, but it did apply to quite a few.
This is a WBD Book that relates to The Butterfly Club by Jaqueline Wilson. I haven't actually read The Butterfly Club nor own it, but I was still able to understand and enjoy this short story. It was a really quick read that really just added to my pages read and books complete. I have to admit that I did find Selma to be a bit annoying and frustrating, but other than that it was alright.
Rate - 3/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32604238-butterfly-beach
BD - NOT AVALIABLE
Lucy Longwhiskers Finds a Friend by Daisy Meadows
Date Started - 25/7/2017
Date Finished - 25/7/2017
Synopsis: It's Story Day in Friendship Forest, and Jess and Lily are invited to join in the fun!
But when wicked witch Grizelda tries to destroy Mrs Taptree's library, they need the help of Lucy Longwhiskers and her new friend Sophie Flufftail. Can they save Story Day?
I don't actually really know how this came to be on my TBR shelf, but it did and I decided it would be another quick read. I used this book to complete the challenge to Read A Book Outside.
I didn't really like or dislike this, it was just okay. I wasn't really in the mood for it and I don't want to give it a really low rating because of that, so I'm just going to leave it blank.
It was a fun quick read, but I did like the fact how it was all based around books and stories.
I did end up donating this to charity afterwards though as I didn't really feel a need to have it on my shelves.
Rate - X/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25086653-lucy-longwhiskers-finds-a-friend?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Lucy-Longwhiskers-Finds-a-Friend---World-Book-Day-Pack/9781408337431
The Super-Sonic Submarine (Danny Dingle's Fantastic Finds #2) by Angie Lake
Date Started - 25/7/2017
Date Finished - 25/7/2017
Synopsis: Danny Dingle, our favourite AMAZING super-inventor, is back and this time he's joining the SCOUTS! (Everyone knows that stands for Spy Club Only for Ultra-Terrific Spies, don't they?)
Faced with the perilous prospect of a camping trip in 'Sunny' Scotland, can Danny and Percy save the day?
And more importantly, could Danny be building the coolest super-sonic submarine EVER? Read this action packed book to find out!
Keep your eyes peeled for book number three: The Jet of Justice!
*This is a review copy via Netgalley*
I've been meaning to read this recently because I'm due to have a review up for it via Netgalley, so I thought I may as well read it as part of BTAT. I will have a review up for it soon, so briefly I'll just sum up my thoughts. I found it to be a really quick, fun read and that I definitely would've loved as a child. The characters and the things that happen are all a bit weird and gross, but it was a fun story to get sucked into.
Rate - 4.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33010035-danny-dingle-s-fantastic-finds
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Danny-Dingles-Fantastic-Finds-The-Super-Sonic-Submarine-2016-Angie-Lake/9781782262602
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Date Started - 26/7/2017
Date Finished - 27/7/2017
Synopsis: Remember, it’s only a game…
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.
I read this to complete two challenges; To Read A Hyped Book and To Read A Book You Brought Because Of The Cover. I am thinking of doing a review or mini-review for this as I did enjoy it. I loved the idea of Caraval and the repeated idea of that it's only a game and to not get too swept away and how that relates to the ending. However, I did find the ending to be a bit rushed and confusing. I also find Scarlett to be a bit annoying at times and how she kept doing stupid things. I also don't get how she reacted so well to the ending after what had just happened. I am curious to see what will happen in the sequel though, so I will definitely be getting my hands on that one as soon as it's released.
Rate - 4.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27883214-caraval?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Caraval/9781473629141
M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman
Date Started - 21/1/2016
Date Finished - 28/7/2017
Synopsis: Stories to delight, enchant, and surprise you.
Bestselling author and master storyteller Neil Gaiman here presents a breathtaking collection of tales that may chill or amuse readers - but always embrace the unexpected. Collection includes:
"The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds,"
"Don't Ask Jack,"
"How to Sell the Ponti Bridge,"
"October in the Chair,"
"How to Talk to Girls at Parties,"
"The Witch's Headstone,"
I started this a long, long time ago and just read a bit every now and again. The reason I decided to finish this during BTAT was that I was just sick of it being partly-read and wanted it gone off my TBR. I ended up just scan reading the last couple of pages as I just wasn't interested and overall, really didn't enjoy this book. I'll probably give Neil Gaiman's other books a go in the future and see if I like them. I did end up unhauling this after finishing it, so maybe someone else will find it and enjoy it more than I did.
Rate - 1/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47699.M_Is_for_Magic?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/M-Is-for-Magic/9780061186479
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson
Date Started - 28/7/2017
Date Finished - 29/7/2017
Synopsis: Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.
This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.
Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.
After finishing TMI, I needed a bit more of the Shadowhunter world, so I just had to read this. I loved most of the stories though there one or two that I didn't enjoy as much. It was really cool to see a bit more into Magnus' life and experiences. My favourites definitely have to be the ones that involved him and Alec as well as the one with Jocelyn, baby Clare and Tessa. Overall, really enjoyed just one or two that I didn't like as much.
Rate - 4.75/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16303287-the-bane-chronicles?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/author/Maureen-Johnson
Shadow House: The Gathering (#1) by Dan Poblocki
Date Started - 30/7/2017
Date Finished - 30/7/2017
Synopsis: Some houses are more than just haunted... they're hungry.
Dash, Dylan, Poppy, Marcus, and Azumi don't know this at first. They each think they've been summoned to Shadow House for innocent reasons. But there's nothing innocent about Shadow House.
Something within its walls is wickedly wrong. Nothing -- and nobody -- can be trusted. Hallways move. Doors vanish. Ghosts appear. Children disappear.
And the way out?
That's disappeared, too...
Enter Shadow House... if you dare.
I don't normally read creepy/scary books and I know it's not really the right time of the year to, but I had a sudden urge to read this so I did. I actually really enjoy the creepiness and it definitely lived up to my expectations. Though, I think maybe the end might have been a bit rushed, but maybe that's just me. I am really looking forward to reading the sequel and see what else is in store for the Shadow House series.
Rate - 4/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28691933-the-gathering?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Shadow-House-The-Gathering-Dan-Poblocki/9780545925501?ref=grid-view&qid=1501514171092&sr=1-1
The IT Girl (#1) by Katy Birchall
Date Started - 30/7/2017
Date Finished - 30/7/2017
Synopsis: Everybody wants to be a famous It Girl. Don't they?
Anna Huntley's aims in life:
1) Must keep my two lovely new (and only) school friends by not doing anything in usual manner of socially inept dork and outcast.
2) Train Dog (my labrador) to high-five. This is probably the most ambitious life goal on this list.
3) Do not set the school's Deputy Queen Bee mean girl's hair on fire (again).
4) Work out whether 2) and 3) constitute being socially inept or outcastish.
5) Go to Africa and give out rice.
6) To hide in a cupboard FOR LIFE with Dog now Dad is engaged to one of the most famous actresses EVER, the paparazzi want to spash my face all over the papers and everyone in school (and The World) is soon to discover the level of my social ineptitude.
7) Is rice a bit done now? Maybe I can give out chocolate in Africa too. I do like chocolate. Must work out how to do it from the cupboard...
I ended up absolutely loving this book! It definitely gave me vibes of the Geek Girl series by Holly Smale and also Super Awkward by Beth Garrod. Basically, Anna is just one of those people that nothing ever goes right for and she gets in some of the funniest situations. Well, seeing as I'm a big fan of the books I mentioned above, it's really no surprise that I loved this so much. I ended up bursting into laughter at so many points in this book and overall it's just a quick, fun read. I'm thinking of doing a series review when I've read all the books. If that's something you guys would want, let me know and I'll definitely do that.
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23201793-the-it-girl?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-It-Girl-Superstar-Geek-Katy-Birchall/9781405278171?ref=grid-view&qid=1501515088354&sr=1-1
The IT Girl: Team Awkward (#2) by Katy Birchall
Date Started - 30/7/2017
Date Finished - 30/7/2017
Synopsis: The brilliant sequel to The It Girl. Hilariously funny and deliciously romantic - perfect for fans of Geek Girl and Louise Rennison. If everything Anna does is going to be seen by more than 10 million people, then she's determined to find something that she's really good at. Everyone else seems to have a 'thing' - especially the new girl at school, who's been distracting Connor with their shared love of art. Luckily the school sports day is looming, and Anna is limbering up! What could go wrong?
This is the sequel to The IT Girl and there really isn't much to say other than I loved it just the same, if not more. Somehow, this one was even more funny and it was more relatable to me with the sports stuff etc. Overall, I'm really excited to buy the third book and read it straight away.
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26246518-team-awkward
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-It-Girl-Team-Awkward-Katy-Birchall/9781405278263?ref=pd_detail_1_sims_b_p2p_1
Anyway, that was my overall very successful July wrap-up! I really enjoyed participating in BTAT and can't wait to join in more of the fun next year as well.
Let me know below how July was for you! (ooh, it rhymes!)
It's coming to the end of June as I'm writing this, so it's time for my wrap-up! June really wasn't a successful reading month. I only finished reading two books as things were a bit busy It is only the 25th as I'm writing this, so this could change, but it probably won't. I've had a lot going on this month and I just haven't been in the mood to read. Basically, this is going to be quite a quick wrap-up, haha.
Let's get into it!
Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare
Date Started - 9/6/2017
Date Finished - 16/6/2017
Synopsis: If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?
The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.
Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.
Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.
This month I finally finished TID and woah. this trilogy has got to be my all time favourite. I love everything about this series from the writing to the characters. I was on the verge of tears throughout reading this and I did finally cry at the ending. It now means so much to me and I don't really care how late I am to reading this. I can't wait to read CoHF and see what else this world has in store.
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24885506-clockwork-princess
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Infernal-Devices---Clockwork-Princess/9781406321340
The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Date Started - 17/6/2017
Date Finished - 17/6/2017
Synopsis: Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella Riosse dreams of the faraway lands her father once mapped.
When her closest friend disappears into the island’s Forgotten Territories, she volunteers to guide the search. As a cartographer’s daughter, she’s equipped with elaborate ink maps and knowledge of the stars, and is eager to navigate the island’s forgotten heart.
But the world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland – and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a legendary fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon, following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.
My Mum actually picked this up for me when she was in Waterstones as she saw it was the winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize for 2017. I went in to this without knowing too much and I honestly think that made me enjoy it more. I loved the story and how it was such a journey, physically but also the journey you see Isabella go on as she tries to deal with everything going on. She has to overcome a lot and has to face up to a lot of things. Overall, I really enjoyed the storyline and the depth to it and I'd definitely recommend it
Rate - 4/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27973757-the-girl-of-ink-and-stars?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - .https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Girl-of-Ink---Stars/9781910002742
Anyway, that was my late June Wrap-Up and honestly it was a rather disappointing month and I hope July goes a lot better. Let me know how June went for you.
In March, I read a total of 6 books. To me it's been quite a successful reading month as I also continued on with a series that I started ages ago and kept putting off continuing. I'm also pretty happy with what I read as I read quite a few great books (some more okay ones as well) that I can't wait to talk about.
Anyway, let's get into my (quite late) March wrap-up!
Auggie & Me by R.J. Palacio
Date Started - 28/2/2017
Date Finished - 4/3/2017
Synopsis: WONDER tells the story of Auggie Pullman: an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, whose first year at school changed the lives and the perspectives of everyone around him.
AUGGIE & ME is a new side to the WONDER story: three new chapters from three different characters - bully Julian, oldest friend Christopher and classmate Charlotte - giving an insight into how Auggie has touched their own lives. Thought-provoking, surprising, infuriating, heartbreaking and heartwarming, AUGGIE & ME is a must-read for the thousands of readers who loved WONDER.
I read Wonder such a long time ago and absolutely loved it. I ended up loving it so much that as soon as I found out this existed, I just had to pick it up, however it ended up just sitting on my shelves for months until now when I got sick of it sat there unread.
So, I finally ended up picking it up this month. I did enjoy it, just not as much as I enjoyed Wonder or hoped that I would this. I had previously read Julian's chapter as it was part of my copy of Wonder, but I decided to read it again anyways. It was okay, but I felt it was quite slow to get through to get into the other two. I think that was down to that I wasn't really in the mood to read something I'd already read. Anyway, I enjoyed the other two stories a bit more.
Overall, it was good but just not as good as I hoped it'd be. If you loved Wonder then I'd recommend if you want to know a bit more about some of the other characters (Julian, Christopher, Charlotte) and how they think/met Auggie.
Rate - 3/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25324132-auggie-me?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Auggie---Me--Three-Wonder-Stories/9780552574778
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Date Started - 4/3/2017
Date Finished - 5/3/2017
Synopsis: In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.
The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them...
I know most people have already read this trilogy as well as the TMI series, but I'm currently reading them for the first time and I'm loving them. I've wanted to read them for the longest time and I'm glad I finally am and that I'm enjoying them.
I'm think I may prefer TID to TMI, but I still have a lot more to read from this world so I guess I'll have to see if that continues. I love the humour and the characters and ugh, basically I can't wait to get further into this world.
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7171637-clockwork-angel?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Clockwork-Angel--Clockwork-Angel-Bk--1/9781406330342
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
Date Started - ?
Date Finished - 9/3/2017
Synopsis: The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.
But nothing comes without a price.
Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.
I decided I needed more of the Shadowhunter world after finishing Clockwork Angel, so I decided to jump straight into this.
I did enjoy this but I wish I hadn't left such a large gap between reading City of Glass and City of Fallen Angels as I had a bit of trouble getting into CoFA and I think that's what took away a bit of my enjoyment and excitement. Once I got a bit further in, I was able to get into it a bit more and I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of this series has in store.
Rate - 4.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6752378-city-of-fallen-angels?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Mortal-Instruments--City-of-Fallen-Angels/9781406330335
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1&2 by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
Date Started - 12/3/2017
Date Finished - 12/3/2017
Synopsis: The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
I was nervous about starting this as I'd heard quite mixed things, but I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go. One definite thing is that this is a super quick read and I managed to get through it in a couple of hours.
I did like it and I liked to see how the characters from the original Harry Potter books acted with each other once they'd grown up. However, there were certain parts of the plot that I didn't think really worked or liked. I'm not going to say what those parts are because I can't without spoiling people. I do know people that did like the parts I didn't so, I guess it just depends on how you wanted the story to continue.
Overall, I did really enjoy HP&TCC despite the small things in the plot that I didn't like and it was great to see a new book/play script added to the series/world.
Rate - 4/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29069989-harry-potter-and-the-cursed-child-parts-1-2?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Harry-Potter-and-the-Cursed-Child---Parts-I---II/9780751565355
Gormless Gods and Hapless Heroes: Tim Baker and the Ancient Curse by Stella Tarakson
Date Started - 15/3/2017
Date Finished - 16/3/2017
Synopsis: Life hasn’t been easy since Tim’s dad died – the kids at school call him Cinderella because he’s always stuck at home doing the housework while his mum’s at work. But when Hercules unexpectedly turns up in his living room, life starts to get a whole lot more interesting! Super-strong, but not so super-smart, when Hercules sets out to help him Tim is left picking up the pieces.
How do you convince a hero that you don’t need his help?
*I was sent a copy of this book in trade of an honest review via Netgalley*
I do have a review written already that should be up soon if not already. If/when it's up, I'll try and remember to link it below.
Overall, it was a funny, quick read. but there wasn't anything that stood out for me to make it amazing. I do think that people who read more middle grade/children books would definitely enjoy it a bit more.
Rate - 3.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34089821-tim-baker-and-the-ancient-curse?from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Tim-Baker-and-the-Ancient-Curse/9781782263456
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
Date Started - ?/3/2017
Date Finished - 19/3/2017
Synopsis: Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.
Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.
In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.
That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.
This book had been on my TBR for the longest time and I don't really know why. I'd heard so many great things about it, so I finally decided to pick it up this month. I went into it hoping to love it, but ended being rather disappointed.
I enjoyed it, but it didn't live up to what I'd heard from other people and overall it was just okay. There were aspects which I really loved though. The writing was beautiful and I think there was a lot of potential in the storyline, but I don't think it was for me. The synopsis sounded really intriguing to me but was a bit confused to why only about a 1/3 of the book is about Ava Lavender and her story. Though I do understand why some of the story about her mother etc was needed, but I felt either that part could've been shortened or that Ava's story could've been lengthened.
I did really enjoy the last half of it because that was where the story finally started to get really interesting.
Also, just a warning to anyone, but in this book there are mentions of scenes of sexual assault/rape, so if you are sensitive to these issues then please do keep that in mind if you're interested in reading this book.
Overall, I did enjoy it and loved the writing, but was just hoping for more.
Rate - 3/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18166936-the-strange-and-beautiful-sorrows-of-ava-lavender?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Strange-and-Beautiful-Sorrows-of-Ava-Lavender/9781406357738
Anyway, those were all of the book I read in March. If you've read any of the books I've mentioned, let me know your thoughts below. Let me know what book you read in March also!
This month was a good reading month for me and I managed to read a total of 6 books plus 1 DNF. Most of these books had been on my TBR for quite a while, so I'm glad I've finally got them off. I read some good books, but I also ended up reading some not so good books.
Anyway, I'm going to try and keep this as short as I can. Let's get into the wrap-up!
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (#5) by J.K. Rowling
There's not really much I can say about this as it is the fifth book in the series and by now most people have read Harry Potter. This is the first time I've read it and I finished the rest of this series during January without meaning too. I only actually just realised that I finished it this month. I was meaning to try and read the books over time, but that didn't really happen.
Anyway, I loved this just as much as the other books.
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/444327.Harry_Potter_and_the_Order_of_the_Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (#6) by J.K. Rowling
Same as before as I can't say anything about it really as everyone already knows about it. Also, if I tried to explain it, I wouldn't give it enough justice.
Here's the synopsis:
It is the middle of the summer, but there is an unseasonal mist pressing against the windowpanes. Harry Potter is waiting nervously in his bedroom at the Dursleys' house in Privet Drive for a visit from Professor Dumbledore himself. One of the last times he saw the Headmaster was in a fierce one-to-one duel with Lord Voldemort, and Harry can't quite believe that Professor Dumbledore will actually appear at the Dursleys' of all places. Why is the Professor coming to visit him now? What is it that cannot wait until Harry returns to Hogwarts in a few weeks' time? Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts has already got off to an unusual start, as the worlds of Muggle and magic start to intertwine...
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1.Harry_Potter_and_the_Half_Blood_Prince
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Harry-Potter-and-the-Half-Blood-Prince-J-K-Rowling/9781408855706?ref=pd_detail_1_sims_b_p2p_1
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (#7) by J.K. Rowling
Here's the synopsis: Harry is waiting in Privet Drive. The Order of the Phoenix is coming to escort him safely away without Voldemort and his supporters knowing - if they can. But what will Harry do then? How can he fulfil the momentous and seemingly impossible task that Professor Dumbledore has left him?
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4979435-harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Harry-Potter-and-the-Deathly-Hallows-J-K-Rowling/9781408855713?ref=pd_detail_1_sims_b_p2p_1
Rent A Bridesmaid by Jacqueline Wilson
Here's the synopsis: Tilly can’t believe it when her best friend Matty is asked to be a bridesmaid. In Tilly’s favourite daydream, she’s kitted out in the most beautiful bridesmaid dress, walking down the aisle behind a beautiful bride. The one wedding she’d really like to attend is her own mum and dad’s. But as that’s never going to happen, it’s time for Tilly to make her own dream come true – and put her bridesmaid services up for hire . . .
This book had been on my TBR since it came out. When I was younger I used to be obsessed with Jacqueline Wilson and I used to love all of her books. When I heard she was coming out with a new book, I just had to pick it up. January was finally the month in which I decided to read it.
I actually really enjoyed it. I thought it lived up to my expectations and was just like any other Jacqueline Wilson book. It was a good children's book and was fun to read, but also contained things that younger children would be able to notice and relate to.
For example, a big part of this book surrounds Tilly and her family. She lives with her dad after her parents got divorced and her mum ran off. She's constantly wishing for her parents to get back together, so they can be a perfect little family and so most of all, she can be the bridesmaid at their wedding. The book also has a gay couple featured, which I found really nice to see and read about. There was also a teeny tiny mention of a girl with an eating disorder. This character is only mentioned on one page and it's not really described as an eating disorder, but more like the character 'doesn't like food'.
Overall, I did enjoy this and found it fun to go back and read an author, which I used to love so much. If any of you guys are interested in a full review, then let me know below and I can do one.
Rate - 4/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25493820-rent-a-bridesmaid
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Rent-A-Bridesmaid/9780857532725
Crush by Eve Ainsworth
I read 7 Days by Eve last year and it was one of my favourite books of the year. I was excited, but nervous before getting into this one, as I was scared I wasn't going to love it as much. I don't think I did love it as much, but I definitely enjoyed it and appreciated it.
Here's the synopsis: The dark and compelling tale of an abusive teen relationship, told from the perspective of the victim, fourteen-year-old Anna.
The synopsis above is from Goodreads and doesn't really say much, but basically this books features an abusive teenage relationship between two characters. However, it is much much more than that. You get to find out the home life of each character and why they're like they are. You really get a feel for the characters and get to see how things work in their heads and that's one thing I really loved about this book.
I personally haven't been in an abusive relationship before, so I honestly can't say how accurate it is. However, I read a review online from a person who has, who said that it was an honest and relatable book for her.
I found it to be a change from what I normally read. It was interesting to read and I personally think it was very brave of Eve to write a YA book on this topic and think it was a great idea. It showed people the darker side to things in life and I think that's a thing that some authors should do more often.
Rate - 4/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29325754-crush
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Crush-Eve-Ainsworth/9781407146904?ref=grid-view
Skinny B, Skaz and Me by John Singleton
Here's the synopsis: Skinny B: Mum's little angel, Dad's little princess, my little sister. Say no more.
Skaz? A joker, a kind of mate till he starts giving my life a right good kicking.
And me - I'm Lee, face first in trouble right from the moment I walk smack into Hoodz 5.
Nothing's safe any more.
It's a nightmare.
I'm just going to start this off by saying that I'm really not sure about this book. It'd been on my TBR for a long time and I hadn't had an urge to read it yet, so when I finally did, I had to pick it up straight away. I honestly went into this with not too high expectations because I didn't want to be left too disappointed.
When reading this, I did thoroughly consider DNF-ing it at one point, but for some reason I find it really hard to do that, so I forced myself to carry on. It did get a bit better later on, but after finishing it, I was just sort of left with nothing. I didn't have a fixed opinion on whether I like it or hated it and to be honest I just wasn't too impressed with it. However, I do think the ending was done nicely and I just wish the whole book had been more like the last couple of chapters because that would've been much better. I'm not sure whether it was just me and that I had changed my mind and wasn't really interested in reading it anymore or what.
Overall, this book was okay. I did like it, just not enough to rate it higher.
Rate - 3/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7880870-skinny-b-skaz-and-me
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Skinny-B-Skaz-and-Me-John-Singleton/9780141316093
In Darkness by Nick Lake
This last book is the one that I DNF-ed this month.
Here's the synopsis: In darkness I count my blessings like Manman taught me. One: I am alive. Two: there is no two. In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake a boy is trapped beneath the rubble of a ruined hospital: thirsty, terrified and alone. 'Shorty' is a child of the slums, a teenage boy who has seen enough violence to last a lifetime, and who has been inexorably drawn into the world of the gangsters who rule Site Soleil: men who dole out money with one hand and death with the other. But Shorty has a secret: a flame of revenge that blazes inside him and a burning wish to find the twin sister he lost five years ago. And he is marked. Marked in a way that links him with Toussaint L'Ouverture, the Haitian rebel who two-hundred years ago led the slave revolt and faced down Napoleon to force the French out of Haiti. As he grows weaker, Shorty relives the journey that took him to the hospital, a bullet wound in his arm. In his visions and memories he hopes to find the strength to survive, and perhaps then Toussaint can find a way to be free ...
I'm actually really disappointed with the fact that I DNF-ed this as I was so excited to read it. This is another one that had been on my TBR for quite a while, but it was one that really intrigued me. The synopsis sounded like something I'd really enjoy and I was immediately hooked and knew I needed to read it. When reading it, it was completely different to what I expected and I just didn't like it.
I found parts of it too confusing and other parts just plain boring. However, I wanted to carry on because the synopsis sounded so good, so I thought if I just got to half way, maybe it might pick up.
I think I managed to get to half way before I tweeted a poll on whether I should DNF or carry on. I hate DNF-ing books and for some reason I find it really hard to do, so I thought I might make it easier to get you guys to help me. The polls' answer was to DNF it and I'm glad I did. DNF-ing this book basically saved my month of reading and led me to read three or so more books afterwards.
At the moment, I'm not sure whether I'll come back to this in the future or not, maybe I'll just unhaul it.
Rate - X/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11451112-in-darkness?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/In-Darkness-Nick-Lake/9781599907437?ref=grid-view
Anyway, that was my January wrap-up! It's been quite an up and down month of reading as you could probably tell. Overall, I'm happy with how it went and feel like I'm finally making some progress with lowering my TBR by reading books that have been on there for quite a while. I've also managed to read quite a few of the books that I wanted to read this year (I did have a blog post planned, but just haven't written it up yet. I might not bother with it now.) and I've managed to stick to my personal goal of trying to make my ratings stricter and not give out 4's and 5's all the time.
Hopefully, February will be better!
What books did you read in January? Let me know in the comments below!
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