Wrap-Ups

My Top Reads of Winter! [2017/18]

Hey readers! Sorry I’ve been a bit MIA recently, I lost my job and split from a 3 year relationship which lead to me moving back home 200 miles away, so not only have I not had much of a chance to read, I’ve been a bit too distracted to post! But everything is all settling now so I’m ready to get back into the swing of things, and I’m here to tell you my favourite reads of Winter!

 

 

 

 

5/ Highly Illogical Behaviour – John Corey Whaley 29231988

I haven’t seen that many mental health books that focus on a male sufferer. This book was a breath of fresh air in not only that respect, but the fact that someone is more than just their mental illness, and I found that message to be imprinted in so many parts of the book! It was relatable, if mental health and LGBT rep, you felt for the characters and their struggles with making friends, you also see how it may affect the parents and how they have adapted. You really get an overall positive message regarding mental illnesses and what it may actually be like to live with it, or someone with it, on a daily basis! Highly recommend! The Goodreads page is linked here if you’re interested!

 

 

 

132067604/ Scarlet – Merissa Meyer

The second book of the Lunar Chronicles, and I enjoyed this more than I thought! I enjoyed Cinder, but this was on a different level. It may be because the plot was really interesting in my opinion, and I loved seeing the pieces fit together with Cinder. I was able to fly through it with ease and I just ate the story up! I understand it may have been a bit too tedious or long-winded for some, but I found it perfect! Marissa Meyer’s writing is just so addicting, I love her writing style. I have a good feeling about the rest of the series! Here’s the Goodreads page for more info!

 

 

 

 

3/ Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes 35710320

I wasn’t expecting much from this to be honest, and I wasn’t really aware of what it was about, except that Algernon was a mouse! We follow a man with a low IQ undergo a scientific experiment to increase his intelligence. I think the author did an absolute perfect job with the message from this book. It highlighted how we have developed a strong need for knowledge and to get smarter, but also how getting smarter can make you realise all the things you may not have noticed before. It really explains ‘ignorance is bliss’ in the most profound way. I really enjoyed how the author put in spelling mistakes and grammatical errors where the man had a low IQ. You don’t get books about personal development on quite this scale! Find it on Goodreads here if you want to see more about it!

 

 

345369562/ Quiet Girl in a Noisy World – Debbie Tung

This was a series of comics strips illustrating Debbie’s life as an introvert and the daily struggles that came with seemingly simple activities. I felt so connected to it, it was like reading a comic strip of my own life! It’s comforting to read someone’s perspective on life be so similar to yours, and you end up not feeling so alone! I would recommend this to every single introvert in the world, and also some extroverts who may not understand our internal struggles or ways of thinking. It’s definitely something to pick up whenever you’re feeling down or lonely! Please find here the Goodreads page if you like to learn more!

 

 

 

1/ The Martian – Andy Weir 18007564

This is the story of a Mars mission gone terribly wrong, one man is left behind and has to survive with very little. We follow through Mark Whatney’s logs, and some scenes back at NASA. Even though it’s been almost 3 months, I still think about this book and how much I loved it! I am craving a follow-up story so much! Mark Whatney’s narrative is second to none and incredibly entertaining. You can feel inspired by his positive and can-do attitude within the situation and also make you think that things are not as bad as you might think. I would highly recommend this to anyone, and please do not feel discouraged with the scientific jargon! The Goodreads page is linked here for you!

 

 

So those are my favourite reads of Winter! I loved every one of these and would recommend everyone to pick them up! Have any of you read these, and if so, what did you think of them? Any recommendations based on these favourites? I’d love to know!

Stay tuned for my Spring Reading List!

 

 

THANKS FOR READING!

Abbie xxxx

Wrap-Ups

FEBRUARY WRAP-UP! [2018]

Another great reading month! Despite it being considerable shorter month than January, I was still able to read 10 books! At this rate, I could easily overtake my highest books read in a year, but it’s still only two months in so I don’t want to get ahead of myself! I’m just enjoying all the books I’m getting through!

 

  • 1 star –  0               •  >100 pages – 1                 •  Contemporary – 5
  • 2 star – 0                • 100-200 pages –  1            •  Classics – 1
  • 3 star – 5                • 200-300 pages – 1             • Sci-Fi/Fantasy – 3
  • 4 star –  3              • 300-400 pages – 7             • Poetry/Short Stories – 1
  • 5 star – 2                • 400-500 pages – 0            • Author gender:  7 female/ 3 male
  • total – 10 books!       •500+ pages – 0               •Age range: 3 Adult/ 6 YA/ 1 Children’s

                Total pages:  2,934!!

Average rating: 3.85 stars       //     60% paperback, 20% hardback, 20% Kindle

I usually would start with the lowest, but  because I ended up DNFing a book this month, I’ll have to start with that, and I fear I have a very unpopular opinion.

 

 

30653853The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Format: Hardback

No of Pages: DNFed @ 49 pages

Goodreads

It’s not that her characters or writing is unbearable, I just couldn’t get hooked into the plot. Nothing drew me in and I wasn’t overly excited about the ‘plot’ beforehand anyway, so it was difficult to keep reading. When I usually get this, I give the book 50/75 pages before I decide to continue or not, but I just couldn’t continue. I had so many books I was excited to read that I couldn’t justify spending any further time on a book I’m not interested in. As much as I love diversity in books, it seemed this was the only good thing about the book, and that’s not enough to hold my attention, unfortunately.

 

 

Lost Boy by Christina Henry35224165

Format: Paperback

No of Pages: 318

Goodreads

It took a while to get into the book, the first half or so was based around the boys Peter had took, and what it was like to really be around him. He was quite a fearful character, and you could feel the tension between him and Jamie. It was like watching a time-bomb count down and suddenly all hell breaks loose, and that’s precisely what happened! It felt like there needed to be a second half to the book, but there never is. As we are all very aware of the fairy-tale or Disney adaption, I feel we can feel in the gaps.

3/5 stars

 

 

 

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West18660447

Format: Kindle

No of Pages: 346

Goodreads

We follow Gia who has recently been dumped by her boyfriend Bradley, just before they were to enter the school dance. In panic, Gia asked a guy sat in his car to pretend to be her boyfriend for the evening. And everything spirals from there. I read this as part of the Inlove-athon which overlapped with this Contemporary-athon! So my review for this book will be found in that wrap-up here.

3.5/5 stars

 

 

 

 

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour18667779

Format: Hardback

No of Pages: 307

Goodreads

Everything Leads to You follows Emi who is working in Hollywood as an intern set designer, and is trying to get over her ex-girlfriend who dumped her for the umpteenth time. She and her best friend, Charlotte, come across a letter written by a recently deceased famous actor, and we follow them as they uncover the meaning behind the letter and try to return it to it’s rightful recipient.  I read this as part of the Inlove-athon, so my  review for this is found here.

4/5 stars

 

 

 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen13584792

Format: Flexibound

No of Pages: 315

Goodreads

Everybody knows what this is about, so there is no need to give a synopsis in my opinion! I re-read this as part of the Contemporary-athon so my thoughts on Pride & Prejudice can be found there.

4/5 stars

 

 

 

Rapunzel by Brother’s Grimm17160901

Format: Hardback

No of Pages: 32

Goodreads

I learned so much about the adaption after reading the fairytale, and can understand the similarities! I read this as part of the Inlove-athon challenge to read a fairy-tale and then watch the adaption (Tangled), my thoughts can be found there.

4/5 stars

 

 

 

 

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde28245707

Format: Kindle

No of Pages: 262

Goodreads

Over the course of a weekend, we follow three friends as they are at SuperCon, a massive convention. I picked this up in place of a diverse read for the Contemporary-athon after DNFing The Upside of Unrequited. My review can be found in that wrap-up here.

4/5 stars

 

 

 

Quiet Girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung34536956

Format: Paperback

No of Pages: 177

Goodreads

Debbie Tung illustrates her life as an introvert and the many obstacles that come along with that. I read this for Contemproary-athon for the challenge to read a Contemporary Graphic Novel. So my review can be found here.

5/5 stars!

 

 

 

 

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline 24987978

Format: Paperback

No of Pages: 372

Goodreads

When James Halladay, the creator of OASIS, dies, he leaves his entire fortune to the player who can uncover the Easter egg he had hidden within the game. We follow Wade as he goes through this journey. This is full of humour, 80’s references, and truly an enjoyable read. I felt connected to the characters and loved each of them, I didn’t want it to end!  I have a more in-depth review on Goodreads here.

5/5 stars!!

 

Have you read any of these books? If so, do you agree or disagree? Any new favourites of the past month? And what are you’re reading goals for March?  I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!!

Abbie xxxx

Wrap-Ups

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 Weir18007564

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.

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

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