Wrap-Ups

Wrap-Up #4 [2018] My Next 5 Books!

What’s this? Two posts in ONE day?

Bear in mind, these wrap-ups won’t include the books I read in readathons, if there was a readathon I participated in that particular wrap-up will be linked! 🙂 In this case, there was the Magical Readathon (OWLs) that I participated in, the wrap-up for the books I read for that will be found here!

 

The Cruel Prince26032825

Author: Holly Black

Rating: 3/5

Goodreads

I did enjoy this book to an extent. The plot kept me engaged enough to keep going, as it was quite intriguing. It took a while to get things going and I didn’t feel there was enough world-building. And the relationships were questionable, especially the initial one Jude had, and I saw the plot twist pretty early on. I didn’t understand why ‘the cruel prince’ was only present a bit in the beginning and nothing in the middle, and comes back for the end. So I didn’t understand his character at all. I did enjoy the book, but don’t think I’ll continue the series.

 

 

 

39758489The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

Author: Mary Ann Shaffer

Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads

Very heart-warming and enjoyable read. Was told through a series of letters between the main character and members of the Society, her publishers, love interests amongst others. We get an insight into a fairly forgotten part of the war; the impact it had on the Channel Islands, and more specifically Guernsey. They are situated close to the French coast but still part of Britain, so was quite difficult for the residents on the island. It’s a lovely book to breeze through, but I don’t think it’ll leave a lasting impression.

 

 

Agnes Grey298230

Author: Anne Brontë

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads

I was really delighted with this. I hadn’t read any of Anne’s work before so didn’t know what to expect. The story is extremely well-written and Anne wrote herself in the book incredibly well. The plot was simple, but we see a coming of age story of a young girl who wants to be a governess and goes for it, despite her family thinking she wouldn’t be able to handle it. She ultimately proved them wrong and I loved that! She also struggles with religion, morals, romance etc as well and I think it is an all-round great book for those who read classics or coming of age stories.

 

 

 

31076583A Court of Frost and Starlight

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads

This is only a novella and is meant to be a bridge between the first trilogy and the next. We follow the Inner Circle after the events of ACOWAR and they prepare for the Winter Solstice and repair the damage left behind. Not much happens, but I was so happy to be in this world again, and see the banter and bind between the characters. I liked how Feyre reconnected to her love of art and was trying to be there for her sisters. I am really excited on what the next trilogy holds!

 

 

 

 

My Friend Dahmer12959045

Author: Derf Backderf

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads

I have never picked up a full-length graphic novel before, so didn’t know what to expect. I found it so interesting learning about a young Jeff Dahmer from a fellow schoolmate’s point of view. You can see the turning points in his life that led him down the ‘path’, and the downward spiral that occurred. No-one saw it coming, but it’s clear as day looking in retrospect. It’s scary that he was just a loner, misunderstood, troubled teenager with a rough home-life, like a lot of us. I find it intriguing learning about serial killers and what ’causes’ them to commit the acts.

 

So there is my wrap-up of the next five books I read (not including readathon reads) and they were overall good reads, but nothing groundbreaking and nothing I absolutely loved enough to get me back into the swing of reading, which is a shame! But I am hopeful with the next reads I have lined up! See my TBR post coming soon!

 

SO what have you guys been reading recently? Any new favourites you recommend to get me out of my slump? Have you read any of these books, and what did you think of them? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!!

Abbie xxxx

Wrap-Ups

Wrap Up #3 [2018] – Books 20-25!

Hey Readers! Apologies for going AWOL recently, still getting used to living back home! I decided back in March that I would do wrap-ups for every 5 books I read, and I must say it has relieved a lot of the pressure, especially when I have bad reading months!

 

 

24493739Wuthering Heights
Author: Emily Brontë
Rating: 3.75/5
Goodreads

I can see why this such a highly acclaimed novel, however I found it quite confusing in parts. I couldn’t get behind the characters and did not fully connect with them, mainly because they were awful people and made questionable choices! But I kept reading mainly because I wanted someone to have a happy ending and hoping it wasn’t all doom and gloom! It’s such a trek to get through, but the emotional roller-coaster was worth it!

 

21002819One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
Author: Ken Kesey
Rating: 4/5
Goodreads

This was a classic that I have had for a while and didn’t really know that much about it, so the story hit me by surprise! It was interesting to read about the experiences of patients within a mental hospital. The tension between McMurphy and Nurse Ratched was so enjoyable to read about, because it was so inevitable! It was great display of order versus chaos and it really does make you think.

 

 

22878833A Wrinkle In Time
Author: Madeleine L’Engle
Rating: 4/5
Goodreads

I didn’t read this as a child, and I truly wish that I did! I would’ve taken so much from this story. It’s very whimsical and in some parts things did seem to go all over the place and it was hard to keep track of the plot some times. But the overall message of individuality and ‘it’s okay to be different’ is very important and I feel a lot of younger readers would be able to find some comfort in the story.

 

 

OBSIDIO 24909347
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Rating: 4.5/5
Goodreads

The finale to one of my favourite trilogies! I really enjoyed this book but I did think it was the weaker of the set. There seemed to be a lot more video transcript sections than other writing styles which made the book more difficult to get through and meant it didn’t feel as enjoyable as the other two, and the ending wrapped up too nicely in my opinion! I still loved the conclusion and was gripped into the story, I loved all the characters including the new pair that were introduced. This is still going to be one of my favourite trilogies!

 

 

31450908Down Among The Sticks and Bones
Author: Seanan McGuire
Rating: 5/5
Goodreads

I was intrigued by Jack and Jill in the first book so I was thrilled by having a book based on their back-story. You can analyse exactly why the events in the first book happened. Which I found extremely interesting! I really related to Jack and Jill’s character’s in separate ways; if you mismatched parts of their personalities you will get my own! And I honestly felt for the girls as they were forced to grow up in the moulds that their parents had set for them, and watching the consequences of that developing over their time in the Moors, I found it so fascinating!!

 

So those were the past five books I have read, ranging from 3.75 to 5 star ratings, I think it has been pretty successful!

What you guys have been reading in April? Any new favourites? Have you read any of the books I mentioned, and if so, what were your thoughts? I’d love to know! Until next time!

 

THANKS FOR READING!!

Abbie xxxx

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