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My 5 Star Reads! [2018]

Hi guys! I had an idea to create a list of all of  my 5 star books throughout the year. I’ll keep adding to them when the year goes on, I just thought it would be easier when it comes to picking my favourite books of the year! Especially as I started off the year strong with 4 5-star books already! It’ll also be cool to see which months I read the most favourites!

 

JANUARY

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FEBRUARY

 

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February TBR/Priority Reads [2018]

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It’s already a few days into February, so I apologise… A mixture of using a crap laptop, hand injury, and low mental health meant I couldn’t really post that much. But I’m here now and although it’s taken me 5 hours to do 2 posts… here’s my TBR!

How I do my TBRs is slightly different, I instead have a ‘Priority’ list of books; 3 as my ‘main priority, 2 as an ‘average priority‘, and 3 as my ‘lowest priority. This basically organises which books I want to get to the most. Of course I may not stick to this during the month. I also may include extra books I wish to read which didn’t get added to my Priority Reads but still wanted to pick up.

So in February, I hope to read…

PRIORITY READS BAR JPEG

1. Love, Life, and The List – Kasie West

2. The Cruel Prince – Holly Black

3. Everything Leads To You – Nina La Cour

4. Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen

5. The Hating Game – Sally Thorne

6. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

7. Every Day – David Levithan

8. The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli

 

The majority of these are part of the readathons I’ll be participating in. The first which runs from 9th – 15th is the Inloveathon hosted by HardbackHoarder, Paper Faerie, The Bookish Babbler, Tiny Book Dragon, Cristina’s Journey, and jordyn, discombobulated.

The second overlaps with that one, and it’s the Contemporary-athon running from 12th – 18th, and hosted by Chelseadollingreads, Pages and Pens, and myreadingisodd, and luckily some of the books can meet multiple challenges from both! If things all go well, I might stab a chance at the Timehopathon which runs from 19th – 25th, and is hosted by Paper Faerie, Cherrie Walker, Tiny Book Dragon, The Bookish Babbler, and  Fred Weasley Died Laughing.

So this is really a month of readathons! And because they are contemporary-based, I should do quite well!

What are you hoping to read in February? Are you participating in any readthons? Any books I mentioned you read? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!

Abbie xxxx

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JANUARY WRAP-UP! [2018]

It’s the first wrap-up of 2018! I have read 10 books which I’m so happy about, I started the year on a high reading wise, despite having a lot of personal health problems going down! Gold star for me! I think I already have a favourite book of the year, as well. Good times. Going ahead I think I’ll do wrap-ups for every 5 books, because if I keep up this pace I’ll have really long wrap-ups every month, and ain’t nobody got time for that!

 

  • 1 star –  0               •  >100 pages – 1                 •  Contemporary – 2
  • 2 star – 0                • 100-200 pages –  1            •  Classics – 2
  • 3 star – 4                • 200-300 pages – 3             • Sci-Fi/Fantasy – 4
  • 4 star –  2               • 300-400 pages – 3             • Poetry/Short Stories – 2
  • 5 star – 4                • 400-500 pages – 2            • Author gender:  7 female/ 4 male
  • total – 10 books!       •500+ pages – 0               •Age range: 5 Adult/ 5 YA

                Total pages: 2928!!

Average rating: 4.125 stars       //     50% paperback, 30% library, 20% Kindle

 

As usual, I’ll go from lowest to highest… which may be difficult seeing as a read 4 5-star books!

 

25868918Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Format: Paperback

Page count: 432

GOODREADS

This started so strongly; I loved the characters and the links toward the classic Jane Eyre. I enjoyed how Jane Steele killed those who deserved it, which is a great twist on the classic because there are so many characters who treat Jane Eyre very poorly, and in this re-imagining, the protagonist takes revenge for some of those characters. But I lost a lot of interest ever since Jane went to be a governess for Mr Thornfield; it felt like she lost her spunk and the momentum of the plot dragged. I couldn’t grip myself to what was happening and I started to care less and less until the novel was over. Very anti-climactic, unfortunately.

3 stars

 

 

 

Otherworld by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller 35963670

Format: Library

Page count: 368

GOODREADS

I read this as part of the Winter Biannual Bibliothon, and to avoid repeating myself, I’ll just link to the blog post for the wrap-up! It’s a YA Science Fiction about a virtual reality game called Otherworld, owned by a massive multi-billion company which basically runs everything. It was a really fun read, but I don’t think I’ll be looking to pick up the rest of the series.

3 stars

 

 

 

24874295The Beautifull Cassandra by Jane Austen

Format: Kindle

Page count: 64

GOODREADS

I was intrigued to read this collection of short stories written whilst Jane Austen was a teenager, you can see how she developed into the infamous author we know and love. These stories should be taken lightly, as they were only for the enjoyment of her family. If you go into this expecting something like Pride and Prejudice or Emma, you’ll be disappointed. It’s a very quick, light, enjoyable read!

3.5 stars

 

 

 

 

Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney C Stevens33295690

Format: Kindle

Page count: 352

GOODREADS

This was delightful! It did take me a while to really get into the story. I loved the friendships, and the idea of people from a small community coming together to save traditions. Overall, it was a heart-warming, positive read! I couldn’t fully connect with the main character as I’m not religious or struggling with sexuality, but for anyone who is struggling with their sexuality this is such a positive book for that! I loved how Davey didn’t rush or push Billie, and accepted her for who she was. Also, the Corn Dolly announcement scene was TOO PRECIOUS. Fuller review here!

3.75 stars

 

 

 

 

34078564Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook

Format: Paperback

Page count: 260

GOODREADS

I haven’t read a lot of poetry recently, and when I finished this, I thought “why haven’t I?”. I find poetry so beautiful and personal, it’s hard to not relate to it. There were some poems which didn’t exactly hit the nail of the head, however I reached for my highlighter for the first time in years, because I wanted to go back and read some passages over and over again. I really like the uniqueness of pairing a poem with a song; there were some where I thought another song would’ve fitted better, but overall I’ll definitely be going back! A bit more here.

4 stars

 

 

 

 

Lady Susan by Jane Austen29378517

Format: Library

Page count: 119

GOODREADS

I read this as part of the Winter Biannual Bibliothon, and to avoid repeating myself, I’ll just link to the blog post for the wrap-up! I never would’ve expected Jane Austen to write such a character. Especially at the age of 19 in 18th Century England! Cleverly written in letters, and well thought out. Lady Susan is recently widowed and tries to marry a rich man, and marry her daughter Frederica to another rich man, in order to improve their wealth which was damaged from her late husband’s passing. Definitely what you don’t expect from Jane Austen!

4 stars

 

 

 

 

13602234Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Format: Paperback

Page count: 452

GOODREADS

I read this as part of the Winter Biannual Bibliothon, and to avoid repeating myself, I’ll just link to the blog post for the wrap-up! This is the second instalment in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and is a loose retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. It was incredibly entertaining and the story moved at a great pace. I loved the banter and friendship between Thorn and Cinder, I found myself laughing at some of their witty comments! For a 400+ book I read it so quickly! So eager to pick up Cress!

5 stars!

 

 

Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whatley 29231988

Format: Paperback

Page count: 256

GOODREADS

I read this as part of the Winter Biannual Bibliothon, and to avoid repeating myself, I’ll just link to the blog post for the wrap-up! I want to read more mental health books that focus more on male characters suffering, and I stumbled across this, which was recommended by Emma Rund. It was brilliant, and the message that people are more than just their mental illness is very present in this. Such a positive reflection on mental health, and it deals with panic attacks really well, but I cannot comment on it’s accuracy on Agoraphobia. I have written more in my Goodreads review. Highly recommend!!!

5 stars!!

 

 

35710320Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Format: Library

Page count: 256

GOODREADS

I read this as part of the Winter Biannual Bibliothon, and to avoid repeating myself, I’ll just link to the blog post for the wrap-up! This is a classic science-fiction story about a man with a low IQ undergoing an experiment to increase his IQ, and his journey and progress, and all the events that happen as part of his increasing IQ. It was so incredibly though-provoking and I really wasn’t expecting it! It really makes you think about our constant need for knowledge, and whether intelligence is as important as we are led to believe.

5 stars!!

 

 

The Martian by Andy Weir

Format: Paperback

Page count: 369

GOODREADS

I have a longer review here. I absolutely loved this! It’s definitely going to be one of my favourite books of the year, as I finished it near the start of the month and I STILL think about it constantly. I truly believe the hype is worth it, which was the main reason I put it off for so long. Mark Whatney’s humour and dialogue is so incredibly entertaining, and it was so nice how he stayed really positive and had a can-do attitude toward the massive problem he had. <spoiler> I would’ve loved to see more development on how Mark adapts once he’s back </spoiler> but that is just a tiny criticism which doesn’t take anything away from the overall rating!

5 stars!!!

 

So I think I’ve had a really good reading month! I don’t think I’ve ever read as many 5 star books as I have in January, and I have high hope for February with not 1, not 2, but 3 readathons I’m hoping to participate in!

What have you read this past month? Any new favourites or recommendations? Any of these you’ve read, and if so, what were your thoughts? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!!

Abbie xxxx

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A Letter to the Book Community – A Thank You

Let’s first rewind to about a year ago, I was reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell after seeing it recommended on Zoella’s beauty channel as part of her ‘Zoella Book Club’ with WHSmith. I gravitated to this book and this book only in the selection because the main character had anxiety and was going to college, and also because the exclusive cover was is yellow i.e. my favourite colour. Upon finishing this book, I had so many feelings and thoughts that I needed to vent. None of my friends read much so it was boiling up inside me. Thus I turned to YouTube and typed in ‘Fangirl Review’, and I came across a review from the one and only polandbananasBOOKS and I FINALLY found someone talking about literally the same feelings I had and felt a million times better! Strumbling across that video was like finding the door to Narnia at the back of the wardrobe; a door to a whole different world I never knew existed! My life truly changed from this day, I discovered more BookTubers, the idea of TBR’s and Wrap Ups and book hauls and bookshelf tours! I was instantly drawn in and addicted.

It’s safe to say, I’ve fallen back in love with reading. I can even say I’ve fallen in love with it even more now; it’s become a part of my life which I can’t do without. Everyone I have met/spoken to online has been so incredibly friendly and I truly feel like I have found my place! I love books, and this community almost feels like a second family to me now. I find myself a lot happier than I ever was, and that is purely down to reading and my discovery of the book community.

I can never personally thank every single person I have interacted with in the last year, but just know, if you have ever left a comment, replied to my comments, or liked any of my posts, then this thank you goes out to you, for helping me little by little feel welcome and happy within the book community.

 

THANKS FOR READING!

Abbie xxxx

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2018 Reading Goals!

Hello, fellow bookworms! It’s 6pm in the UK on New Years Eve, so I’m thinking about how I will go through 2018 and what I want to improve. I’m also reflecting on a great reading year and thinking about my goals for 2018. I decided to not participate in the year-long challenges, as they made things more stressful and was reading books I didn’t really want to. So I will make a list of books for each prompt, but will only refer to it if I need inspiration on what to read next. It will be taken really lightly, and my goals are more focused on particular authors or genres.

 

1/ Read 70 books

I absolutely surpassed my 2017 goal of 50 books, by reading 100! I want to still have a fairly obtainable goal as I don’t want to set it to 100 and force myself to read. So 70 feels like a good, stable amount of books in the year.

 

2/ Read all Jane Austen’s works

I have all of her books on my shelf, but I never really reach for them. I have read Pride and Prejudice and that was many years ago, so I plan to read all of her published books.

 

3/ Read all Bronte’s works

Along with number 2, I have all their books on my shelves. Luckily this year, Lucythereader is hosting a Bronte Book Club throughout the year, which will have a different book every 2 months for the whole year, which is very doable. I’ll link her video with more info on this if you’re interested!

 

4/ Read all Thomas Hardy’s works

I grew up in Dorset, which is also the birthplace of Thomas Hardy. But I am yet to read all of his works, something I’m ashamed about! So I will hopefully read all his stuff.

 

5/ Do Rainbow Book Challenge

This is just a bit of fun. I just need to read a book of each colour in the rainbow, which wouldn’t be too difficult.

 

6/ Re-Read Harry Potter

Re-watching the Harry Potter movies throughout the Christmas period, I’ve realised how much of the books I have forgotten. So I want to re-read the series.

 

7/ Participate in 5 readathons

I’ve enjoyed the readathons throughout this year, but because it’s my first year back into reading, I wasn’t very well prepared for them! This year I will have more preparation and be more aware of certain readathons during the year. 5 is very reachable and no doubt I will participate in more!

 

8/ Participate in Tome Topple

Something else I wasn’t really aware of until it was too late. I have too many big books on my shelf which I am yet to read. So hopefully participating in Tome Topple will help me read this books and give me more motivation!

 

9/ Read more Poetry and Non-fiction

Both these genres I have only really been exposed to recently, and I have added a lot to my TBR. So I plan to get my hands on more poetry and non-fiction.

 

10/ Finish 4 series

I have a problem with starting series and not finishing them, I think I’m currently in the middle of about 6/7 series! So I want to finish most of these, and including any series I am yet to start.

 

 

So what are your reading goals for 2018? Are you looking forward to the New Year? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!!

Abbie xxxx

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A-Z Book Titles 2017

In addition to the BookBuster Challenge in my previous post, I thought to make an additional challenge by also reading a book beginning with each letter of the alphabet as well. As I’m not completely crazy/ambitious, some are likely to overlap with the books on my BookBuster Challenge.

A – Alex, Approximately (Jenn Bennett)

B – Between Shades of Gray (Ruta Sepetys)

C – Cinder (Marissa Meyer)

D – Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Laini Taylor)

E – Everything, Everything (Nicola Yoon)

F – Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)

G – Gemina (Amie Kaufman/Jay Kristoff)

H

I – Illuminae (Amie Kaufman/Jay Kristoff)

J

K

L – Looking for Alaska (John Green)

M – More Happy Than Not (Adam Silvera)

N – News of the World (Paulette Jiles)

O – One of Us Is Lying (Karen M. McManus)

P

Q

R

S – The Sun is Also a Star (Nicole Yoon)

T

U

V

W – Water for Elephants (Sara Gruen)

X – X – A Short Story (Jack Croxall)

Y

Z – The Zookeeper’s Wife (Diane Ackerman)

 

As of August 2017 = 16/26 (getting there!)

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A-Z Book Authors 2017

So throughout 2017, my first year back into reading, I decided to try and read a book with an author’s surname beginning with each letter of the alphabet, in order to encourage myself to reading more. This is also linked to the BookBuster Challenge on Goodreads here.

A – ACKERMAN, Diane (The Zookeeper’s Wife)

B – BRADBURY, Ray (Fahrenheit 451)

C

D

E – ELLORY, R.J. (Mockingbird Songs)

F

G

H

I

J – JILES, Paulette (News of The World)

K – KAUR, Rupi (Milk & Honey)

L – LUCAS, Rachael (The State of Grace)

M – MONTGOMERY, L.M. (Anne of Green Gables)

N

O

P – PURI, Pooja (The Jungle)

Q

R

S – SEPETYS, Ruta (Between Shades of Gray)

T – TAYLOR, Laini (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)

U

V

W

X

Y – YOON, Nicola (Everything, Everything)

Z

As of August 2017 = 11/26 (need to get moving!)