August Wrap Up

This month I’ve read 8 books this month, which I’m really impressed with. There’s been a lot of ups, but a couple of downs as well. There’s 5 5 star books and I think there was 3 DNFs (Did Not Finish).

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments #3

I really liked it. A lot. Come to think of it, I think I enjoyed it more than I was expecting to after City of Ashes let me down a bit. I love the character building, and had a whole new love for Alec and Magnus as individuals, they’re definitely my favourite in the series so far. Simon, who has irritated me to no end in the first two books, didn’t annoy me senseless in this one, and I don’t know whether I’m relieved or not. I just love Cassandra Clare and her writing and I think I will for eternity. 5 stars, because it was a very satisfying conclusion.

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

I have a whole post dedicated to this:

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – The Shatter Me Series #1

I don’t have words really. I’m not sure how this book made me feel, how it made me feel this way, or anything. I am totally lost for words. I was completely absorbed in the story from page 1, and I didn’t even realise I was near the end until I finished it really. I was so utterly engrossed in this story and I don’t think that’s ever happened before. I hated who I was supposed to, loved who I was supposed to, everything. Tahereh Mafi had me wrapper around her little finger, and I don’t mind one bit. The choice to not have commas where there should have been commas was so genius: when Juliette was panicking and thoughts were racing through her head, the words were racing through mine. I truly felt like I was in her head, or I was in the predicament myself. This is definitely one of my favourite books of the year, and I will definitely be reading Destroy Me very soon. 5 stars, all the way.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – The Raven Cycle #1

I got about half way through this book and I thought to myself what am I doing? I wasn’t really enjoying it. I didn’t think the search for Glendower or the whole ley lines theory were interesting and they were the only things driving the plot forward. The only character I only really liked was Adam; Gansey was pretentious and annoying, Ronan was, well, just Ronan, I don’t know, and all I really knew about Blue was that she was sad she wasn’t psychic like the rest of her family and I just didn’t care for them. I think I’m going to try carry on reading it later in the month, or in a couple of months, but right now, I don’t really want to.

The Amazing Spider-Man: Red Goblin by Dan Slott

This book wasn’t on my TBR, but my dad bought it for us to read and it has Carnage in it, so, of course, I picked it up almost immediately. Basically all you need to know is that Norman Osborn, the human alter-ego of Green Goblin, steals the Carnage symbiote and binds himself to it to become stronger, creating Red Goblin. He has all of the strengths and none of the weaknesses of both entities, so he’s unstoppable, really. I really liked this. The sadistic side of Carnage mixed with the egotistical Green Goblin made it such a fun read, even though there was nothing fun about what he was doing. It was captivating and saw a whole range of heroes from the Spider-verse (including Miles Morales, who I love, because he’s so pure and innocent). Definitely 5 stars!

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

I wasn’t really expecting to like this book as much as I did, but when I think about it, I enjoyed The Sun is Also a Star a lot, just not the insta-love. I loved the multi-media incorporated within the story, and the ending was so lovely. I think that I thought it would be another insta-love story, but it wasn’t, the relationship grew and developed over the span of a couple of months, which is my favourite type of romance. My only issue was that I cried a lot, but that was mostly due to external circumstances, the book was like 95% happy and cute so I don’t know. I gave it 5 stars because it was a really easy and carefree read.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – The Raven Cycle #1

I’m going to listen to the rest of this book on audio just so I can finish it. After talking to a couple of people who’ve read the whole series, they’ve said that it picks up but not really until the third book and I really don’t think I can force my way through The Dream Thieves as well as The Raven Boys.

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennet – The Divine Cities #1

Honestly, the only thing I didn’t like about this book was how long it took me to get through. Oh, and Shara being the biggest know-it-all grated on me quite a lot. The plot was intricate, all of the characters were really fleshed out. And Sigrud is the most adorable, gentle giant ever and everyone deserves a Sigrud. He got stuff done, but was still so wholesome. I cried at the ending, it was really nice, and so sad. The lack of romance was so refreshing. It’s so difficult trying not to say any spoilers because all of the plot twists and spoilers were my favourite moments! 5 stars. Give me the sequel.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – The Raven Cycle #1

I promise this is the last time you’ll see this book in this post, because I finished it. The ending low-key made me want to read book 2, but I’ll probably just pick up the audiobook for it. Near the end, things got intense, so I switched back to the physical copy to fully, like, appreciate it. Adam is my favourite, and will always be my favourite. What a precious little soul. I don’t know what to think about Ronan though. I gave it 3 stars, because the ending kind of saved it.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – The Infernal Devices #1

Honestly, what isn’t there to love about this book. I loathe Will, I don’t even care. He’s an awful person. He may be nice and cute with Tessa but I wouldn’t want someone who’s so awful to everyone else around him. Victorian London is my favourite thing, and Shadowhunters are my everything. Combine them, and you have Clockwork Angel. Jessamine also annoyed me to no end, and it hurt to have such a brat bare the same name as me, and drag the nice Jess’ of the world down. One of my new favourites, definitely a new favourite series. I’m so excited to get Clockwork Prince in the post in the next week. 5 stars, because Goodreads only goes up to 5.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Six of Crows #1

I was so excited to read this book. I’d heard nothing but good things about it for months and when I saw it in my library I had to pick it up. But then I started reading it and I was so confused. I’ve never been so confused reading a book. In the first 10 pages so many unfamiliar terms were thrown at me and there was no explanation as to what it meant in the slightest. Being the first book in a series I expected at least SOMETHING to explain what the hell was going on and there wasn’t. After speaking to some other people who’d read and loved it, I found out that it was supposed to be written that way, and you learn what it all means as you carry on, but I think there’s a very specific way that needs to be done for me to enjoy it, and this just isn’t it. So, yeah, I stopped reading after literally 10 pages.

They Both Die At the End by Adam Silvera

This was my next audio book after finishing The Raven Boys. And I was really enjoying it. But the first quarter of the book that I listened to was written in text/email format, which was quite difficult to listen to. So I decided I’m going to stop listening to the audio book, and pick up the physical book in a couple of months, when I’ve read more of the books I already own. But I really enjoyed what I did listen to, and I’m very excited to get the book.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – The Strange the Dreamer Series #1

This is my last book of the month, and I’ve not finished it at the time of posting, but I’m including it because I already love it, and I’m not even half way through. The writing is so lyrical and beautiful, and Lazlo is the most adorable, little bean ever and he needs protecting at all costs. The story is quite slow paced, but I knew that going in, and it’s a really nice break from all of the fast paced fantasy I’m used to reading. I can’t wait to read the rest of it and move onto Muse of Nightmares.

Throne of Glass Discussion

I read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas in the middle of July, but because I was reading so much that month, I never really spoke about it, and seen as it’s taken me longer to read City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett than I expected (I had hoped to discuss that this week), I thought now was the perfect time to talk about it. This post contains spoilers, so I would refrain from reading if you have any intention of reading this book in the future.

DISCLAIMER: I know that a lot of people love this book and this series, but I don’t mean to offend you if I talk negatively about it. Everyone’s reading taste is different, and that’s what’s so wonderful about books.

I read this book in two days, which is my record for a 400 page book. Which you would think would mean that I really liked it, but, honestly, I didn’t enjoy it much.

I thought the story line was boring, it was obvious she was going to win the tournament because it’s unlikely that you’re going to make an eight book series about Celaena if she didn’t win. And the whole thing with the murders and the demon creature and Cain was uninteresting to me.

The love triangle was the only part of the book I was slightly interested in, but it seemed unnecessary to the plot and general story line. I think the only reason I didn’t DNF this book was because I wanted to see if she chose Dorian or Chaol, then she chose neither… I was utterly disappointed.

It’s been a month since I read it and I literally can’t remember anymore about it, other than how much it annoyed me. I went into it thinking it was going to be really good, because so many people hype up the book and the series and I really didn’t think it was great. A few weeks ago I picked up Crown of Midnight from my library, but I couldn’t force myself to pick it up, so returned it untouched. Quite a few people have said that the series got better, which is why I wanted to read Crown of Midnight, but I own so many books that I want to read more than that, but I don’t think I’m ever going to pick it up, if I’m being honest.

Two Can Keep a Secret Discussion

Quote from ‘August TBR’, written 2/8, posted 7/8: “Echo Ridge experienced its first tragic loss in 1995 when high-school senior Sarah Corcoran vanished while walking home from the library. Then five years ago, homecoming queen Lacey Kilduff was found dead in the aptly named Murderland Halloween park. Now, the killer claims to be back. A small town keeps losing its homecoming queens. Two murders, still unsolved. I am SO excited to read this! I loved One of Us is Lying so much last month (check out my blog post for more details), so when I saw the author had a second book out, I almost had a heart attack. I ordered it straight away and I will absolutely fly through it but I am so excited!”

I was right, I did fly through it. But not because I absolutely loved it, like I thought I was going to, but because I just wanted to get it over with and read something more interesting.

Overall, I just wasn’t loving it. Ellery and her theories and constant nagging and investigating got boring quickly. She fancied the guy but was more bothered about solving the mysteries than getting with him, which infuriated me, really. She got told multiple times to leave it, and she didn’t, which I know would’ve made the story boring if she did, but it was just annoying. I preferred Malcolm so much more, because even though he wanted to investigate and play detective, didn’t compulsively obsess over it and neglect all other aspects of his life because of it. If anything, the only he was so interested was so he could spend time with Ellery, which is adorable, bless him. I would’ve much preferred just Malcolm’s perspective.

The whole Sadie/Ellery/Ezra thing… ugh. It felt unnecessary, derailed the storyline, and just dragged the book out longer than it needed to be. I wished Ezra and Mia had bigger parts than they did, because I thought they were miles more interesting than anyone else!

And the ending…

I must admit, I didn’t think it would be who it was, which made it interesting, but it felt a bit rushed at the end, and not very well explained. It felt like it was slow build up, slow build up, slow build up, boom they did it, boom they’re in prison, boom the end. I wished the ending had a chapter from the killer’s perspective, so we would learn more about what they did and why they did it, etc.

Overall, it didn’t live up to my expectations, which is partly my fault, because I made those expectations, but coming off of One of Us is Lying, one of my favourite books of the year, I thought it would be better.

Rating: 3 stars

I’d love to know what your thoughts about it were if you’ve read it, and if you disagree with any of the points made. Try to keep comments spoiler free, and private message me on Instagram if you want to talk more in depth, and freely talk about spoilers.

The Reading Rush Recap & Review

As I’ve previously mentioned, The Reading Rush is a read-a-thon than took place last week – Monday 22nd – Sunday 28th. You are encouraged to read as much as you can during the week, and you can participate in different book prompts, read ins or twitter sprints.

I was on holiday all week, so I got to read a lot, but I didn’t get chance to take part in many of the challenges, etc. But here are the books I read, and a quick summary of my thoughts about them. If you want to know what any of these books are about, I talk about most of them in my Reading Rush TBR post.

Monday

When The Reading Rush started, I hadn’t finished City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, which I was reading over the weekend and had about 80 pages left, so I finished that. I really enjoyed it, but I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as City of Bones, and I don’t really remember much that happened. I rated it 5 stars but I think I’m going to change it to 4.

Then I started reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman for my non-human main character book, and I only read about 60 pages of it because it was so confusing to me and I really wasn’t enjoying it. I decided I was going to watch the TV show when I got home, and then try to read it again. So my Reading Rush wasn’t going well at this point aha.

City of Ashes and Good Omens took up most of my Monday, but on Monday night, before I went to sleep, I started reading James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl for my debut novel prompt.

Tuesday

I finished James and the Giant Peach on Tuesday morning. I loved it, obviously. The nostalgia, the humour, the talking insects, everything. I gave it 5 stars and I would give it more if I could.

I still wasn’t in the mood to read a big, chunky book yet, so I went with Batman: The Killing Joke, a comic which was my book with purple on the cover. It was odd. It didn’t make much sense. The ending was, I don’t even know. The whole thing was a bit strange. I gave it 3 stars because it was like reading in a completely made up language.

I couldn’t decide what to read next, so I asked Siri. I gave every book a number and asked Siri to pick a number. So my next read was Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz for my 5 or more words in the title book. I read most of this book on Tuesday, but finished it on Wednesday.

Wednesday

I didn’t really like the ending of Aristotle and Dante…, if I’m honest. I expected it, but I wasn’t too bothered about that, I just felt like it was rushed and just stuck on the end with no real build-up. Because of that, I gave it 4 stars, because I still liked the story, just not the ending.

Next, as my parents were still asleep in bed, I decided to read Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr Spencer Johnson for my read a book in the same spot. It was so helpful, and I’m so glad I read it. There’s a discussion section at the back where it tells you how some people interpreted the story, but I decided not to read it, so I could interpret it myself, and make my own lesson out of it. 5 stars, again.

Then, I remembered that I needed a new book for the non-human main character prompt, and before I’d left, I’d downloaded some books onto my kindle in case I finished all of the books. So I decided that I would read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum as my replacement for Good Omens. I read it all on Wednesday and it was alright. I think it was a bit too slow and long-winded, and so much darker than the film, oh my. I gave it 4 stars, but I’m not really sure.

My final book for Wednesday was SpiderMan: Carnage by David Michelinie. I love Carnage, He’s my absolute favourite Marvel character, even though he is a deranged serial killer with an alien symbiote. He’s still so cool.

Thursday

I finished Carnage. 5 star read. Obviously. I love this like underlying sass that Carnage has when he speaks to Venom, his parent (asexual reproduction only requires one parent, this is how these aliens reproduce). I have another Carnage comic to read, I am super excited to get round to it.

I finished Carnage quite early into the day, and the next book I picked was my Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay by JK Rowling. I loved reading this. As I read through the scenes I remembered watching them and how I felt when I saw them. Like when he showed his case to the customs officer and there was the Hufflepuff scarf, I was like “aww” and then thought hmm I’ve done that before. I gave this one 5 stars as well, because I loved every second of it.

On Thursday night I started reading Turtles All the Way Down by John Green,

Friday

It took me most of today to read Turtles All the Way Down. I slept for like half of the day. I gave it 4 stars, because, like Aristotle and Dante… I liked it, but not the ending. I don’t know what it was that made me dislike it, it just was a bit lacklustre.

Saturday

Once again, I didn’t read much today because we were travelling home, so I just slept mostly. I started reading Crisis on Infinite Earths by Marv Wolfman, but it was a bit boring, and there were too many characters, it was confusing.

Sunday

At this point, I’d completed The Reading Rush, and couldn’t be bothered finding more books for the prompts to do it again. So I just started reading City of Glass by Cassandra Clare – the third book in The Mortal Instruments series. I also decided I was going to re-read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and annotate it, because it’s one of my favourite books.

Overall, I’m glad I took part in The Reading Rush. Hopefully next year I won’t be on holiday during it so I can take part in read ins and the daily challenges, etc.

One of Us is Lying: Spoiler Free Review

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus.

Plot: Five completely different people enter detention, but only four come out alive. The police determine that it wasn’t an accident, and Bronwym, Addy, Cooper and Nate are all suspects, especially when it’s revealed that the dead boy was about to expose all of their deepest, darkest secrets.

My comments: I, genuinely, absolutely loved this book. I read almost all of it in one day. It was captivating at every turn, with every chapter ending on a cliffhanger or a reveal, just something to urge you to carry on reading. It is truly masterful writing.

You follow the four perspectives of the suspects, which allows you to really understand the struggles in their lives, and how they could’ve played their part in the murder. This format really made me connect with the characters, and when something was revealed about them, I genuinely felt for them, and it really upset me. I fell in love with all of them, and watching them develop and become better versions of themselves made me so happy.

I genuinely couldn’t but this book down, there was never a good point to leave it, I just needed more all the time. And the big reveal at the end was so well done and written and wow. Words really can’t describe how much I love this book.

I think everyone should read this book, it’s got everything you want for a teen murder mystery, really.

Rating: 5 stars.

City of Bones: Review

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Book one in The Mortal Instruments Series.

Plot: Clary and her best friend, Simon, go to a nightclub. While there, she sees two shady looking guys, but Simon doesn’t see them. They are demon hunters, and being able to be seen by Clary, a “mundane” or human, introduces her to a whole new world she didn’t know, full of vampires, werewolves, demons and Shadowhunters.

My Comments: This book is one of my favourite books of all time (even though the cover is so cringe), and I think Cassandra Clare is my new favourite author. Everything about this book was perfect for me: the romance wasn’t too cliche and soppy, there was a lot of action and tension, but also a lot of moments which really calmed it down and relaxed you. It is perfectly written, creating such a wonderful atmosphere in this hyper-realistic world which is so intriguing. I basically didn’t put this book down, I physically couldn’t.

I have truly fallen in love with everything in this series: the characters, the writing. I cannot get enough. I knew it was a good book going into it, as it is a cult favourite in the online book community. but it still completely blew me away. I’ve never read a fantasy book before, and I’m so glad that this is where I started. I’ve been introduced to a whole new genre, unlike anything else I’ve read, and I don’t think it could’ve been with a better book.

If you haven’t read a fantasy book, like me, and you’re looking for a place to start, I can’t recommend this book highly enough for you.

Rating: 5 stars.

Animal Farm & A Study In Charlotte: Reviews

Something a little different, but not really. Because I read both books so close to each other, and I didn’t want to do a post overload, and Animal Farm is so short (there’s not much to say about it), I decided to combine the two reviews into one.

A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro.

Plot: Charlotte Holmes – descendant of Sherlock – and James Watson – descendant of John – meet at a boarding school in America. A student who they’ve both had run-ins with has been found murdered, and the scene is copied out of a Sherlock Holmes Story, and Holmes and Watson are being framed for the crime. The book follows them around, trying to find the real murderer and clearing their names.

My Comments: I’m not really sure how I felt about this novel. I think I enjoyed it, but I had to constantly force myself to pick it up and read it. It wasn’t very intriguing but it was nice to read. Complicated, I know.

I thought that the characterisation was really good. Charlotte is so clearly a Holmes, and James is definitely a modern day John Watson, which is probably my favourite part of the book.

I’m not sure why I can’t really find the words to describe my feelings towards this book, but I did like it. I know that my review doesn’t really help, but if you love mystery and teen fiction, I think you will like it, because I didn’t really dislike it.

Rating: 3 stars

Animal Farm by George Orwell.

Plot: The animals on Manor Farm are sick of being underappreciated and underfed, so decided to revolt and overthrow the farm owner, Mr Jones.

My Comments: I really liked this book. Not from a creative point of view, but from a social and political one. It’s a commentary of communism, and I find politics quite interesting, when it’s not Brexit, so I enjoyed it immensely.

I think it’s the perfect length. It’s long enough to make the impact and statement intended, and if it was any longer it would be unnecessary and would get increasingly boring.

Rating: 5 stars.