Wrap-Ups

DECEMBER WRAP-UP! [2017]

The final month of the year, and one hour until midnight (in the UK) and I completed 100 books, which is double what my reading challenge was! I’m so thankful for all the books I was able to read this year, the good and the bad. I have learned what books I enjoy, and genres that weren’t my cup of tea. I hope to explore more amazing stories, but until then here are the books I read in the final month of 2017!

 

  • 1 star –  0               •  >100 pages – 5                 •  Contemporary – 7
  • 2 star – 1                • 100-200 pages –  3            •  Classics – 1
  • 3 star – 2                • 200-300 pages – 3             • Fantasy – 3
  • 4 star –  6               • 300-400 pages – 0             • Mystery/Thriller – 1
  • 5 star – 5                • 400-500 pages – 0            • Author gender:  7 female/ 7 male
  • total – 12 books!       •500+ pages – 1

 

                Total pages: 2,095!!

Not my greatest, but despite it being the busiest month of the year, I was very pleased to what the amount that I did!

 

 

26847374LOWEST RATING – THE GROWNUP

Author: Gillian Flynn

No of Pages: 79

Goodread Rating: 2.75/5

It was just weird, and not in a good way! The main character is basically a fraud ‘palm reader’ and ends up being dragged into a family matter she had absolutely no business in. The ending felt so abrupt as well and brought no explanation whatsoever. I don’t understand why Gillian Flynn decided to have this published; it doesn’t really do anything and is very forgetful. Luckily it was a very quick, easy read. I did like the writing though so I will pick more of her stuff up later.

 

 

 

A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees24874345

Author: Yoshida Kenkõ

No of Pages: 51

Goodread Rating: 3/5

I read this so I could end the year on 100 books. It was enjoyable for a short story. Some passages I really enjoyed, especially the one about books. But a lot of them felt outdated, which is not surprising seeing as it was first published in the 14th Century!

 

 

 

31368214Twelve Days of Dash and Lily

Author: David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

No of Pages: 240

Goodread Rating: 3/5

I enjoyed this as I did the first one, but I didn’t feel as connected with them. It felt like a lot of the flame had died out and the characters felt a bit out of place, especially as we jump ahead to a year later from the ending of the first book. I will say though, it does picture the realness of relationships and the struggles of coping with another half of whom is not feeling like themselves. Something I can definitely relate to.

 

 

 

The Julian Chapter20878809

Author: R. J. Palacio

No of Pages: 84

Goodread Rating: 4/5

I loved Wonder at the beginning of the year, my only downfall was that we didn’t get Julian’s point of view, maybe because it wouldn’t have flowed well with the message of the book. But I’m glad to have finally got his POV, it gave more understanding to Julian as a character. Although it doesn’t negate the nasty things he did/said, it does give him more depth and more of a back story.

 

 

 

 

26365537Kindred Spirits

Author: Rainbow Rowell

No of Pages: 96

Goodread Rating: 4/5

I heard this was a short story based around a girl going to the premiere of the new Star Wars film, and what came out this month? The next Star Wars film! So I felt this was perfect to read whilst I was in the Star Wars bubble, and it was really good. I’m back into loving Rainbow Rowell, because some things I haven’t liked from her. If this was a full novel, it would’ve been up there with Fangirl definitely!

 

 

 

Quidditch Through the Ages31702362

Author: J. K. Rowling ( Kennilworthy Whisp)

No of Pages: 219

Goodread Rating: 4/5

I just love reading about ‘history’ and I highly praise J.K. Rowling for the immense detail put into this. I really enjoyed it and found it so interesting, especially how the game spread worldwide and developed, and the medieval games!

 

 

 

 

7741325Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

Author: David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

No of Pages: 260

Goodread Rating: 4.5/5

The perfect Christmassy book in my opinion! I was a massive fan of the notebook idea and setting each other challenges, it was really fun to read! They dealt with fears and things they wouldn’t necessarily do on their own, and helped them grow and develop. Only downfall was the anti-climactic feeling of when they finally met, as it is built up naturally throughout the book.

 

 

 

A Monster Calls8621462

Author: Patrick Ness

No of Pages: 216

Goodread Rating: 4.5/5

 

After this being on my shelf for well over a year, I picked it up to read during the 24 hour read-a-thon and I don’t know why I had been putting it off for so long. It was so beautifully written and raw. I haven’t experienced much grief in my life so I wasn’t able to personally connect to the emotions in this book. But I still loved it and it will definitely with me for a long time.

 

 

 

30335557Orbiting Jupiter

Author: Gary D. Schmidt

No of Pages: 79

Goodread Rating: 4.75/5

This books was incredibly hard-hitting. In such a short book, I felt for the characters, especially Joseph. I was moved in a way I really wasn’t expecting. My only criticism is that it was too hard-hitting for a middle grade book? It was simplistic as you would expect for a middle grade, but too simplistic for the nature of the book. I felt like it needed more depth, and this would’ve meant it would be for an older audience.

 

 

 

And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer and Longer31373633

Author: Fredrick Backman

No of Pages: 79

Goodread Rating: 5/5

This book made me cry, and smile. It tore my heart out in such a little book! It’s my first time reading a Backman book, and his words were so beautiful and poetic. The words and messages can be applied to most, because a lot of us have experiences death and having to ‘let go’, and the importance of holding on to memories. I’ve been thinking about the book ever since I finished it, which is a sign of a truly special book.

 

 

 

35704107A Journey Through A History of Magic

Author: J. K. Rowling

No of Pages: 79

Goodread Rating: 5/5

This was a gift for Christmas from my boyfriend, and it didn’t take more than a few hours for me to pick it up and read it cover to cover! It is near impossible for me to rate a Harry Potter themed book less than 4 stars. I just love the world and learning more about it. Also, the illustrations were incredible as well. There is not much else I could say, because if you love Harry Potter you will understand!

 

 

 

A Gathering of Shadows26236443

Author: V. E. Schwab

No of Pages: 508

Goodread Rating: 5/5!!

The second instalment of the Shades of Magic series, and it was well worth it! I loved diving further into the world and the other kingdoms within Red London. The Element Games were brilliant and it was so entertaining to read about, and the final 100 pages were phenomenal. I need to pick up the final book asap, but I also don’t want to say goodbye to the incredible characters.

 

 

BOOKS I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF

DRESS CODES FOR SMALL TOWNS – COURTNEY C STEVENS (47%)

JANE STEELE – LYNDSAY FAYE (199/432 pages)

STARS ABOVE – MERISSA MEYER (93/369 PAGES)

TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES – THOMAS HARDY (152/480 PAGES)

THE MARTIAN – ANDY WEIR (132/369 PAGES)

 

So what have you read in December? Any new favourites or anything you’d recommend? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!! (and Happy New Year!)

Abbie xxxx

Wrap-Ups

My Top Reads from Autumn! [2017]

Autumn was a really solid reading season for me! It feels like summer was so long ago in terms of reading progress. I have narrowed down the books to 10 because 5 was just not possible. Each of these books I thoroughly enjoyed and will recommend, and even some of these will feature on my best reads of the year, and most surprising read of the year! So yeah, this may be a long post, just to pre-warn you.

 

10/ A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard30197201

This was such a cute, quick read! It was great to read a book focused around deaf and mute characters, and found it fascinating how BSL was featured so often and it really made me look into BSL classes! The female character is mute and that is something that I dealt with in my early years in school and can still relate to a lot of the scenarios within the book. The romance was so real and relatable, and discusses issues with communication and expectations within a relationship which is something I can relate to in my own relationships and found it so accurate and relatable! I usually shy away from relationship-powered books, but this I really enjoyed!

 

300794039/ Spellbook of the Lost and Found – Moïra Fowley-Doyle

I was surprised by this book; I hadn’t heard much about it so my expectations were not that high, I didn’t even know what it was about. I mainly picked it up because the cover was so intriguing and beautiful. It was really atmospheric and perfect to read around Haloween/Autumnal times, it was a bit spooky in a few bits as well and I found the characters so real! They were in no way perfect, but they felt authentic and they had complex backgrounds as well which drew me into the characters. And I didn’t pick up on the twist, but when it was mentioned, the penny dropped! So enjoyable!

 

8/ Under Rose-Tainted Skies – Louise Gornall29566743

What an amazing mental health book! Again I was able to relate to the main character in terms of her anxiety disorder. The relationship Norah had with her mother was so precious, and you can see the strain the mother on how Norah’s condition was affecting things. She really wanted her to get better but felt helpless, which is so relatable for those with anxiety! Because part of it is the guilt one feels on how their mental health affects those loved ones who want to help, but can’t! Also, I really loved how the relationship in the book did not ‘fix’ her mental health, and she found the drive to get better by herself which was very inspirational and even lead me to take up therapy which turned my life around. So this was very impactful.

 

255262967/ Every Heart a Doorway – Seanan McGuire

A book that has been bouncing around for a long time! With its rave-reviews, I was hesitant to read the book. I enjoyed this very much! The story was very unique and clever, and the characters were really loveable. It even had a little mystery and it managed to grip me in so few pages. The next book focuses on Jack and Jill, and I was very interested in the world they went to so I’m very excited to pick it up! I want back stories of all of the kids, as a matter of fact! The story flowed nicely and the writing was so beautiful and magical, I will definitely be picking up more books from the author.

 

 

6/ Stalking Jack the Ripper – Kerri Maniscalco89608-stalkingjacktheripper_cover

I heard mixed reviews on this, so I didn’t know what I would make of it. Turns out, I really liked it! I loved Audrey Rose and her thirst for knowledge and strive to break the ‘female’ mould that had been set during those times. I did get feminist vibes which was refreshing, and it didn’t feel forced either. Audrey just didn’t want to give up on her dream career and wouldn’t let anyone get in the way or tell her otherwise, and this was done in a way which didn’t make her annoying. The romance I actually enjoyed as well which is a rarity, and I can’t wait to see how their future goes! I had an inkling on who ‘Jack the Ripper’ was, but I was still satisfied when it was revealed.

 

262364435/ A Gathering of Shadows – V. E. Schwab

Schwab strikes again! I just love her writing, her world, her characters, her plots! I took such a long time reading this because I didn’t want it to end and wanted to enjoy the world and characters for as long as possible. It was fascinating diving further into the world and learning more about the magic and how different kingdoms in the same world treats magic differently. The tournament was such a great idea and I loved it so much. The books developed at a good slow-burn and the end result has me itching to read the next one.

 

 

4/ The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas32613366

There’s not much I could really say here. Everyone has either read this or knows what it is about. But it was done so brilliantly and effortlessly. It did not feel forced in any way, and Angie Thomas really dived into the family dynamic within the black community and how they come together in the face of adversity. There are just no words to describe how impactful this books is. I said it once, and I’ll say it again, if a book ends up being banned in an American state, it usually means that book is very important and should be read by everyone, particularly in schools.

 

 

133581313/ The Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum

I was amazed at how this book was a lot more magical than the movie could ever be! It was one of the best children’s classics that I’ve ever read and I loved how it wasn’t similar to the movie, so it kept me interested. I see a bit that it is considered the ‘American’ version of Alice in Wonderland, which I kind of understand. I mean, both are my absolute favourite children’s books now! There’s no need explaining what it is about, because nearly everybody has seen the film or know the plot of it. And to those who have, I strongly recommend reading the book, because you will be surprised!

 

2/ The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro28921

I was reading this around the time it was announced that Kazuo Ishiguro was named the Nobel Prize winner for Literature, which I can truly understand why! His other book, Never Let Me Go, is one of my all-time favourites, so I was apprehensive to read other books by him as I cannot imagine how they would measure up. This is definitely a character based book rather than plot based, so it can appear to be slow. However, I think the slow, gradual build up was done flawlessly. And the writing I literally cannot fault; as it was beautiful. Every line felt like a masterpiece. I may be slightly biased because a lot of what Ishiguro described was the region of the West Country where I grew up and am pleased to call my roots.

 

5195821/ Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

Another classic which I cannot fault.  I read this a few years ago and liked it then, but as I grew older, I was able to identify with Jane more than I originally did. Jane is the best heroine out there in my opinion, she’s very passionate and highly principled, and doesn’t let her infatuation for Mr Rochester steer her away from her well-grounded beliefs. She knows what he did was wrong and left him until he ‘learned his lesson’. We see how Jane’s poor upbringing doesn’t faze her passions and drive. The story is a slow burn, but such an incredible journey to go on. Charlotte Brontë did so well in creating a fantastic story, and also incorporates much of her own life into it.

 

So if you made it to the end, I congratulate and thank you! I hope you enjoyed what I thought were my top books in Autumn. What were your favourite reads of the Autumn/Fall season? Any here which you also enjoyed? Any which you would recommend? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!

Abbie xxxx

Wrap-Ups

NOVEMBER WRAP-UP! [2017]

This was not such a good reading month… I had started a new job and had to commute for training, which meant 6am wake up’s and not getting home until gone 7pm, so I had been too tired to read by the time I get home. The only reading I could really do was on the train journey to and from. Now things will calm down, so hear’s to a better reading month in December!

  • 1 star –  0               •  >100 pages – 0                 •  Horror/Thriller/Mystery – 2
  • 2 star – 0                • 100-200 pages –  1            •  Classics – 1
  • 3 star – 2                • 200-300 pages – 1             • Fantasy – 2
  • 4 star –  2               • 300-400 pages – 2             • Author gender:  4 female/ 1 male
  • 5 star – 1                • 400-500 pages – 1

                Total pages: 1,536…

So, yeah… almost half of what I read last month! And only five books, which means that I am likely to fail at my yearly challenges, but oh well. I should be better prepared next year. I shouldn’t feel too bummed due to how busy I was, but there are so many books that I was looking forward to but couldn’t get around to.

 

21099828LOWEST RATING – MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS

Author: Agatha Christie

No of Pages: 274

Goodread Rating: 3/5

I was intrigued enough to find out who the murderer is, but everything in between didn’t really captivate me. I picked up on the clues and had my suspicions from the beginning and felt certain about halfway through, and so the climax was not that climatic for me. It was a well-crafted mystery and it did keep me interested enough to finish the book, don’t get me wrong. It just didn’t ‘wow’ me like I expected, and there was no major ‘twist’ to second guess myself. A bit disappointed that I didn’t like it as much as others, but I guess murder mysteries aren’t really my thing.

 

 

Bird BoxBird Box by Josh Malerman | Norfolk Libraries Book News ...

Author: Josh Malerman

No of Pages: 378

Goodreads rating: 3.75/5

Basically something is going around which causes people to go crazy and kill others and then themselves. I enjoyed the suspense as we follow the main character, and was hooked from the beginning until the end. It succeeded in creeping me out to the point I could only read it during daytime. Felt much like a zombie apocalypse, and I was right about the characters I didn’t trust. I only felt let down by the ending because I wanted more, it seemed to wrap up too conveniently and I wanted answers as to what ‘the creatures’ were or why/how it made people go crazy.

 

 

18245052Tiger Lily

Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson

No of Pages: 301

Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5

We follow the relationship between Peter Pan and Tiger Lily, and it was really enjoyable, and also heart-breaking at the end. I loved watching Tiger Lily grow as a person, and watching the relationships unfold, that between Peter, and also her Tribe. You really get a family vibe from the Tribe and also the Lost Boys. It was interesting to see what may have happened before Wendy came into the picture, and it was told from Tinkbell’s perspective which worked really well! I really need a movie adaption of this.

 

 

 

Every Heart a Doorway25526296

Author: Seanan McGuire

No of Pages: 173

Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5

I just clicked with this story! We follow children at a boarding school, and not just any boarding school, one for kids who have gone through doors to ‘otherworlds’ and have been sent back to reality and are struggling to adapt back. We see from various kids who came from different worlds and have something ‘special’ about them which drew them to their specific world. It also developed to a bit of a murder mystery which was a nice surprise! I really want to pick up the next one, especially as it’s about two characters which I thoroughly enjoyed!

 

 

 

Jane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëJane Eyre

Author: Charlotte Brontë

No of Pages: 410

Goodreads Rating: 5/5!!!!

This book needs no explanation or introduction. Everyone know about this, or least the main plot line. This is my second read of it and have bumped it up from a 4 star to a 5 star. The story definitely impacted me more than the first, and I also read along with an audiobook. There were highs and lows; it’s a massive rollercoaster or emotions. I felt more connected to Jane Eyre, and was able to appreciate the story. I absolutely loved it, I really need to re-read it more often than every 4/5 years!

 

BOOKS I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF

A GATHERING OF SHADOWS – V.E. SCHWAB (341/508 pages)

JANE STEELE – LYNDSAY FAYE (160/432 pages)

MY LADY JANE – CYNTHIA HAND/JODI MEADOWS/JODI ASHSTON (176/414 pages_

SHADOW & BONE – LEIGH BARDUGO (78/308 pages)

 

How was your reading month? Has it been better or worse than you were expecting? Any new faves? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!!

Abbie xxxx

Wrap-Ups

OCTOBER WRAP-UP! [2017]

Sorry this is a tad late! Had a busy few days and have barely had time to sit down and write my wrap-up!

I have read SO much this month, and participated in two readathons! Pretty pleased with myself! In total I read 12 books, which are broken down below.

  • 1 star –  0               •  >100 pages – 1                 •  Horror/Thriller – 2
  • 2 star – 0                • 100-200 pages –  2            •  Classics/Historical Fiction – 6
  • 3 star – 4                • 200-300 pages –  5            • Children/Fantasy – 4
  • 4 star –  6               • 300-400 pages – 4             • Author gender: 5 female/7 male
  • 5 star – 2                • 400-500 pages – 0

                Total pages: 3,058!!

 

12296

LOWEST RATING – THE SCARLET LETTER

Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne

No of Pages: 238

Goodreads Rating: 3/5

I read this as part of the Sbooktacular Readathon, for the path challenge to read a book set in either the future or the past. My full review is at the Readathons Wrap-Up here.

 

 

Vassa In The NightVassa in the Night | Sarah Porter | Macmillan

Author: Sarah Porter

No of Pages: 296

Goodreads Rating: 3/5

I read this as part of Spookathon, and it was for the challenge to read a book based on a childhood fear (for me I was particularly scared of the dark/night-time). For the full review, see the blog post for my Spookathon Wrap-Up here.

 

 

Atmospheric thriller The Sister by Louise Jensen - Jera's ...The Sister

Author: Louise Jenson

No of Pages: 304

Goodreads Rating: 3.5/5

This was read for Spookathon also, for the challenge to read a thriller! For full review, check out the Spookathon Wrap-Up post here.

 

 

The Invisible ManH-G-WELLS-The-Invisible-Man-HB-Gollancz-SF-Masterworks ...

Author: H. G. Wells

No of Pages: 144

Goodreads Rating: 3.5/5

Agaaaain this was part of Spookathon! I read this for the challenge to read a book with orange on the cover. My thoughts are detailed in my Spookathon Warp-Up post found here.

 

 

The Time Machine : H. G. Wells : 9780141439976The Time Machine

Author: H. G. Wells

No of Pages: 96

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

I seem to have had a kick to read HG Wells this month! I had this sat on my shelf for years, and never got around to it, despite its size! So I picked it up one evening and I really, really enjoyed it. I liked the writing style and personally found it easy to read. I was hooked immediately and wanted to find out what the Scientist got up to and felt anxious for him many times when things were difficult! Definitely one for those that are used to reading classics.

 

 

The Young ElitesLibrisNotes: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Author: Marie Lu

No of Pages: 355

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

I picked this up randomly when looking through my shelves of unread series, and I was pleasantly surprised and had a great time reading this story. The main character felt much like an anti-hero, or at least one where their moral compass is grey, and it was fascinating to read. I also got massive X-Men vibes from reading this! The characters I loved and was intrigued with the way the plot was developing. I can’t wait to continue with the series!

 

 

Pre-order A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman ...A House at the Bottom of a Lake

Author: Josh Malerman

No of Pages: 156

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

I read this for Sbooktacular Readathon’s challenge to read a book after sunset. My thoughts of this are more in depth in my Wrap-Up blog post here!

 

 

 

The Spellbook of the Lost and FoundBook giveaway for Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra ...

Author: Moïra Fowley-Doyle

No of Pages: 380

Goodreads Rating: 4.25/5 (review)

This was definitely the most surprising read of the month! I didn’t know what I was expecting, and it definitely wasn’t this! We follow a group of teenagers who attempt witchcraft to find items they lost at a local party, and that’s all you need to know before going in! I found the story to be very intriguing and well-executed, I was hooked from the beginning and it all gelled together in a clever way. Great representation in this book too which was a plus! You learn early on that there are unresolved issues for the characters, and I felt that they were complex and felt very ‘real’ with real flaws.

 

 

 

ad02c-thegraveyardbookThe Graveyard Book

Author: Neil Gaiman

No of Pages: 289

Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5

This was read for Sbooktacular, for the first step to read a book of your choice. I was planning to read this for Spookathon but didn’t get to finish it in time, so it passed over to this readathon! The full review is in my wrap-up blog post found here.

 

 

Stalking Jack the Ripper89608-stalkingjacktheripper_cover

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

No of Pages: 318

Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5

I read this for Spookathon and it was for two challenges (spooky setting and spooky word in the title, that being ‘Ripper’). My further thoughts of this book were discussed in the Wrap-Up post I made which can be found here.

 

 

Read the Rainbow: RedThe Wizard of Oz

Author: L. Frank Baum

No of Pages: 224

Goodreads Rating: 5/5

I read this for Sbooktacular’s challenge of a book with a red spine (hence this beautiful edition!) For thoughts are detailed in the blog post found here.

 

 

The Remains of the DayAmerican and British Books: The Remains of the Day - Kazuo ...

Author: Kazuo Ishiguro

No of Pages: 258

Goodreads Rating: 5/5 (review)

The writing. Was. Phenomenal. Every line was like a masterpiece! We follow a well-respected butler of a great house in England, as he travels to the West Country for a break, but there’s so much more to the story I can’t get into! The book has a well-executed, slow-burn and though it was a 250 page book, I took a long time to read this because 1. I didn’t want it to end, and 2. I wanted to digest every single word. I would say this is more of a character driven book, and would be better for those that are used to reading classics.

 

BOOKS I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF

A GATHERING OF SHADOWS – V.E. SCHWAB (203/508 pages)

BIRDBOX – JOSH MALERMAN (45/305 pages)

ANNIHILATION – JEFF VANDERMEER (83/196 pages)

SHADOW & BONE – LEIGH BARDUGO (78/308 pages)

 

So if you made it this far, thank yoooou! I appreciate you sticking all the way through this very long wrap up! What have you been reading this month that you loved/hated? Do you have any new favourites or recommendations? I’d love to know!

THANKS FOR READING!!

Abbie xxxx

Read-a-thons · Wrap-Ups

Sbooktacular Readathon 2017 Wrap-Up!

I thought to do my Sbooktacular Readathon Wrap-Up separate from my October TBR, as there have been a considerable amount of books read. Which I am very proud of!

I didn’t get around to completing all the challenges, I managed 4 of the challenges and was halfway through another 2. I was quite busy with employment so my reading went on the back burner this week, but I am still pleased with how I did!

 

1/ The Graveyard Book ad02c-thegraveyardbook

Author: Neil Gaiman

No of Pages: 289

Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5

I was part way through this during Spookathon and couldn’t complete it then, so I carried it over to Sbooktacular instead! I read this for the first challenge of ‘Read a book of your choice’. This was a re-read, but I couldn’t remember much of the story so most of it felt new again. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the characters Neil Gaiman had created! It was just a joy to read about Bod’s adventures. It’s a perfect read for both adults and children alike, and I will no doubt read this to my future children!

 

 

122962/ The Scarlet Letter 

Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne

No of Pages: 238

Goodreads Rating: 3/5

I read this for the next stage on the map, which was a book set in the future or past, and I chose the past. I enjoyed this, but I feel sorry for American teenagers who have to read this for classes, as there are many other great pieces of literature which are still relevant. This story is no longer relevant and is quite outdated, although it was interesting reading about a separate time period and how social norms have differed over the years. The story didn’t seem to be one which would ‘stick’ like other famous classics.

 

3/ The Wizard of Oz Read the Rainbow: Red

Author: L. Frank Baum

No of Pages: 224

Goodreads Rating: 5/5

I read this for the next step in my path which was to read a book with a red spine or with orange on the cover, and I chose a red spine, because this book is beautiful! I absolutely loved this book so much!! There was so much more magic that was left out of the movie, and I only just realised the movie adaption was probably the first book to movie flop. The movie does not do the book justice at all, the book was phenomenal and loved every single word. No doubt would read this over and over again! Such a re-readable book, easy to read and just full-on enjoyable!

 

Pre-order A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman ...4/ A House at the Bottom of a Lake

Author: Josh Malerman

No of Pages: 156

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

The next stage was to read a book after sunset, and as this is the shortest book on my TBR, I chose it to fulfil this, and ended up reading it within a few hours. I really enjoyed this book despite how short it was. Josh Malerman has a real talent of creating the perfect atmosphere for a horror/thriller. You were following the two teenagers, as they discover the house, and begin exploring, it felt like you were there next to them and I felt quite creeped out at a few points. You’re there wanting to find out what’s happening just as much as the teenagers were. The only down point was the ending; it felt slightly anti-climatic and underwhelming, it didn’t really explain what was happening and whether it was actually real. I do have a feeling that was intentional though, to leave the reader unsure as to whether it was real or imagination and Josh Malerman did a good job.

 

And that concludes all the finished books for Sbooktacular Readathon! I am in the middle of two other books which were meant for two other challenges, and another which I quite simply could not get around to sadly! I really enjoyed the path aspect of this readathon and found it really fun. I hope to do it again next year!

 

Who else participated in this readathon? How well did you do? If not, what have you been reading/enjoying recently anyway/ I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!

Abbie xxxx

Read-a-thons · Wrap-Ups

Spookathon 2017 Wrap-Up!

So it’s officially the end of Spookathon 2017, and I had a great time! Just setting my TBR and reading according to the challenges was really fun. It gives a sense of accomplishment when the challenges get completed! This year was my first time, and I set 4 books for the 5 challenges and managed to complete them all which I’m super happy with! It was quite helpful that I’m not working at the moment which helped in me completing 4 books in the week! Sbooktuber readathon is starting tomorrow (24th) and I’m so pumped for it, my TBR will come shortly too. Now let’s get into the books that I read!

 

1/ Stalking Jack the Ripper89608-stalkingjacktheripper_cover

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

No of Pages: 318

Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5

I read this to complete two challenges; read a book with a spooky word in the title (Ripper), and read a book with a spooky setting (Victorian  London whilst a serial killer is loose). I really enjoyed this book. The main character was amazing and strong, not letting her gender stop her from doing what she wants to do and not to be ‘caged’ by the female expectations and gender roles. The romance was so adorable and was such a joy to read, whilst trying to figure out who the murderer was. It wasn’t too difficult to figure out so won’t go as far as to call it a ‘mystery’, but the ‘how’ was what made the book work and I really, really liked it! Tempting to pick up the second book asap!

 

 

The Invisible Man2/ The Invisible Man

Author: H. G. Wells

No of Pages: 144

Goodreads Rating: 3.5/5

I read this for the challenge of ‘Read a book with orange on the cover’. I really liked this book and quite enjoy H.G. Wells’ writing style (I read his other book The Time Machine earlier this month, and enjoyed that also) and can’t wait to pick up his other works. The story basically follows a man who develops an ‘invisibility’ serum and what he does with it. The story was short and sweet, and the main character was ‘questionable’ in some of his actions, and a few of them are things most of us would also try if we were invisible, but won’t admit it. Overall, it was a fun, enjoyable, quick read.

 

 

3/ Vassa In The NightVassa in the Night | Sarah Porter | Macmillan

Author: Sarah Porter

No of Pages: 296

Goodreads Rating: 3/5

I read this for the challenge to read a book based on a childhood fear, and I struggled finding books for this, so I went for the fear of the dark or ‘nighttime’. This book was just so, SO weird. I spent most of the book trying to figure out what was actually happening and constantly was confused with the developments. It was an interesting retelling and Sarah Porter must have an incredible imagination to come up with that story! It ended in a bittersweet way which I enjoyed, and the deeper meaning/life lessons Vassa learned were very positive. So I cannot directly criticize the book, your enjoyment level will be parallel to how much ‘weirdness’ you can take in a book!

 

 

Atmospheric thriller The Sister by Louise Jensen - Jera's ...4/ The Sister

Author: Louise Jenson

No of Pages: 304

Goodreads Rating: 3.5/5

This was read for the challenge to read a thriller. An enjoyable story, but I don’t think I can really call it a psychological thriller; the main character was quite unreliable and the ‘twist’ didn’t seem as much as a shock I was expecting. I still enjoyed the story and the development and it was very quick and fun. We follow Grace who is going through immense grief from losing her best friend, and struggles to keep her life together whilst things just continue getting worse for her. I really didn’t like Dan in how he treated Grace since the very beginning, either. The relationships were very unhealthy, those romantic, friendly, and family, so it was hard to find many of the characters likable.

 

So that concludes my Spookathon for 2017! Overall I enjoyed the books I read and happy to have gotten through the challenges. How did your Spookathon go? Did you finish the challenges? And have you found any new favourites? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!
Abbie xxxx

Wrap-Ups

SEPTEMBER WRAP-UP! [2017]

Compared to last month, 7 books don’t seem like a lot. But the actual page count is not that far off! If it’s over 2,000 then I can’t really complain. I think I fell into a bit of a reading slump as it took me the majority of the month to read two of the finished books, even though I was enjoying them! And whats also funny; 4 of the books I read were pink/with pink spines.

  • 1 star –  0               •  >100 pages – 1                 •  Contemporary/Romance – 5
  • 2 star – 0                • 100-200 pages –  0            •  Classics – 1
  • 3 star – 2                • 200-300 pages –  1            • Historical Fiction – 1
  • 4 star –  4               • 300-400 pages – 3             • Author gender: 6.5 female/0.5 male
  • 5 star – 1                • 400-500 pages – 2

                Total pages: 2,233

 

LOWEST RATING – AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

Agatha Christie - The official information and community siteAuthor: Agatha Christie

No of Pages: 317

Goodreads Rating: 3/5

This was enjoyable, don’t get me wrong, but I felt like Agatha Christie is one of those well-loved authors and I guess I was expecting to be blown away, and I wasn’t. I was interested in the mystery and was guessing who the killer was for most of the book, however I felt that with the vast amount of characters (which were not heavily distinguishable from each other), I found it difficult to keep up with them and got confused quite often. I’m still eager to pick up Murder on the Orient Express and I should be more prepared for the writing style!

 

Code Name VerityCode Name Verity: Amazon.co.uk: Elizabeth Wein ...

Author: Elizabeth Wein

No of Pages: 449

Goodreads Rating: 3.5/5

For the first half of the book, it was a big struggle to get through and tricky to get used to the writing format. I also got easily confused with the characters changing their names or ‘code names’. But the second half of the book was really good, the horrific methods of torture used were described really well and I really felt for the protagonist at the end. I’m not sure what the second book it supposed to be on so I’m not overly reaching for it just yet? I did find it really interesting to be reading about aviation within world war two, and also great to see the female roles, which are things you don’t really hear about, so the author did great for writing about these aspects.

 

 

Because You Love to Hate Me

The Goodreads Book Tag – Reading Every NightAuthor: Misc.

No of Pages: 352

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

(full review)

This is an anthology all about villains. 13 authors were paired with 13 booktubers who provided a prompt for the author to write their story on. I wrote a more detailed review of each of the stories (linked above), some stood out for good reasons, and some stood out for bad reasons. However, all in all I really enjoyed these short stories and the majority of them I really enjoyed, in particular Jack, Shirley & Jim, Beautiful Venom, Death Knell, and Marigold. I have introduced myself to authors I haven’t read from before, and also found more love for authors I had read.

 

 

Under Rose-Tainted SkiesChicken House Books - Under Rose-Tainted Skies

Author: Louise Gornall

No of Pages: 271

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

I had started writing a review for this book, but my laptop somehow lost it (?). This was such an enjoyable read! This book made me feel so many emotions. I found myself feeling happy, sad, anxious, and frustrated, sometimes at the same time! I related to Norah on many levels and my heart hurt for her on so many levels. I’m glad that despite the heavily impacting topic of mental illness, this wasn’t in any way romanticised and neither did Luke end up ‘mixing’ her. Norah felt like a real person and not defined by her mental condition, at times she made little, lighthearted jokes which I related to big time! She really felt like a close friend. The ending, however, seemed a bit misplaced and I didn’t understand why that element was included.

 

A Quiet Kind of Thunder

Looking Forward to 2017 – A Daydreamer's ThoughtsAuthor: Sara Barnard

No of Pages: 307

Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5

Such, such, SUCH an adorable read! After I heard Kate from GirlReading praise this book, I felt the need to pick it up. It had Disney and Harry Potter references, and fantastic anxiety representation, and it also included BSL which I thought was so clever and unique. As the main character, I also had selective mutism, so I thought this was well represented. It didn’t last as long as Steffi’s did, but I still related to a lot of the things in her head even today! The romance as well was just so cute ans sweet, it wasn’t a cringey, sickly romance that’s often found in YA, but it felt like a first relationship with it’s awkwardness, overthinking, and squabbling. The only reason I dropped .5 star was because the ending seemed to just ‘stop’ and it didn’t feel like a concluding, wrapping up ending which I would’ve expected. It’s not a bad thing, it just didn’t seem to fit the flow of the story. Still would recommend!

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Author: J. K. RowlingFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Hogwarts Library ...

No of Pages: 99

Goodreads Rating: 4.75/5

I had this on my shelf for a year and have seen the movie about 1,000 times, so I don’t know why I’ve only just recently picked it up. I absolutely loved this! It’s a quick read and really interesting if you liked the movie and/or interested in the magical creatures. I think the creativity to think up these creatures is incredible, and I just love them names they came up with, like Horklump, Plimpy, Snidget, Dugbog, and my personal favourites, Niffler and Occamy! They had the different types of dragons, and also had a classification rating (X – boring, XXXXX – impossible to domesticate). The only down side was that I would’ve liked illustrations for all of the creatures, instead of a select few. Also, I loved the note at the beginning for muggles, disclaiming that it is fiction, I found that quite funny! It was such a fun read!

 

HIGHEST RATING – THE HATE U GIVE

Walker Books - The Hate U GiveAuthor: Angie Thomas

No of Pages: 438

Goodreads Rating: 5/5

This book has been hyped to the high-heavens, and for good reason! Even if you don’t enjoy the story, you still find the positive message it’s bringing across. I don’t fee like I need to give a synopsis as I’m sure you’re aware of what it’s about. It’s such an important and current topic, that I feel everyone should be reading this in schools etc. Not only does the author flawlessly describe the racial difficulties of both blacks and whites, she also brings light to the issues of police ‘immunity’, and stereotypes which are overly used in these circumstances. Light was brought upon the ‘ghetto’, and how their life was like and how difficult it can be to get out. I’m so looking forward to the adaption!

 

BOOKS I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF

THE REMAINS OF THE DAY – KAZUO ISHAGURO (119/258 pages)

THE YOUNG ELITES – MARIE LU (106/346 pages)

IT – STEPHEN KING (309/1156 pages)

 

What have you guys been reading, and what did you enjoy? Have you read any of these as well? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!

Abbie xxxx