Wrap-Ups

My Most Disappointing Reads of 2018

Here is part 2 of my review for 2018! I’ll be going through my best and worst books, as well as my most surprising and disappointing books, and I’ll finish off with my goals and yearly TBR!

These books were not all particularly ones that I disliked, but I was expected to love them and sadly didn’t. Luckily there were only five which really disappointed me, and I know many people enjoy these books so these are my opinions. I rated these around 3 stars, so I still enjoyed them to an extent, but was expecting to give them 4 or 5 stars. All the average star ratings I including were from Goodreads and were accurate as of 28th December 2018!

 

 

5/ A Madness So Discreet – Mindy McGinnis 24376529

Rating: DNF (3 stars at DNF)

Ave Rating: 3.79

Goodreads

The cover looks awesome, the blurb sounded awesome, I was expecting to devour this and love it. It started off being what I expected… the gory, twisted, insane asylum. However it soon became a strange murder mystery, which didn’t make much sense! It felt like Grace and the other girls were supposed to be apprentices, learning about how to solve murders, and this made the plot seriously go downhill. It became tedious and boring and I could not continue unfortunately.

 

 

 

359974194/ Exit West – Mohsin Hamid

Rating: 3/5

Av Rating: 3.81

Goodreads

I loved the premise and thought it was such a fantastic concept, however I found the writing to be too simplistic and dry, and because of this, I found it quite difficult to fully connect to the characters. They were portrayed very well and felt like real people, but it seemed like it was missing something, their full emotions perhaps. As much as I enjoyed the idea of the doors, it did feel a bit out of place to have an easy and magical way out as suppose to the actual danger that would’ve been the forefront of a refugee story, there were suddenly no stakes on the line for them to escape which took away most of the emotion.

 

 

 

3/ The Guernsey Literature and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer39758489

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Av Rating: 4.15

Goodreads

Very heart-warming and enjoyable read. It was clearly well-researched and a lovely book to breeze through, but I don’t think it’ll leave a lasting impression. I was expecting to love this, but the format of letters made it quite difficult to feel attached to the characters and get immersed into the plot. So many people have this as a favourite, and a must-read for book lovers, and I got that, but I did find myself bored sometimes. I ended up liking the movie more than the book, which to me is a huge disappointment on the book.

 

 

258689182/ Jane Steele – Lyndsay Faye

Rating: 3/5

Ave Rating: 3.92

Goodreads

I was really disappointed with this, after reading and loving Jane Eyre, I thought I’d love a Gothic serial killer retelling! I read the first half quickly, and enjoyed it a lot. I found the plot compelling and I liked how Jane was a serial killer for wicked people; she killed those she thought were deserving of it. And I thought it was clever how the author kept close enough to Jane Eyre, but still entirely different. But I unfortunately lost interest ever since Jane went to be a governess for Mr Thornfield; 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.

 

 

1/ Uprooted – Naomi Novik27827627

Rating: 2/5 stars

Average Rating: 4.11

Goodreads

Yeah… I was so disappointed I didn’t like this. It was like ACOTAR, but without all the bits that I loved about ACOTAR. I did not get the relationship AT ALL (the Dragon was a douche) and did not get on with the main protagonist. The few action bits I enjoyed, and I found the writing beautiful but that was pretty much it. I had hyped this book tremendously in my head, so that is why it was really disappointing to me. I do know people either love this or hate this, and unfortunately I fell into the latter category. But I’m still going to try and read Spinning Silver as I heard it’s completely different to this, so hopefully that I would enjoy better!

 

 

So those were the books that I found the most disappointing this year. Did any of you read these books, and if so, what did you think of them? What were your most disappointing books of 2018? What were the best books you read this year? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!!

Abbie xxxx

Wrap-Ups

My Worst Reads of 2018

It is quickly creeping to the end of the year and it’s time to find out what books were my best, worst, most surprising and most disappointing! I’ve seen a lot of people doing their worst/best reads of the year and I find them really enjoyable! As always, these opinions are all my own, and I am aware that some I mention may be favourites of some of you, and I fully respect that and love that you enjoyed the book, but sadly I just didn’t. I have included the average Goodreads rating for these books as well, and these were accurate as of December 2018.

 

 

314261166/ A Promise of Fire – Amanda Bouchet

Rating: 2/5 stars

Ave Rating: 4.11

Goodreads

The first quarter I loved, it started off with so much potential but it just turned stale so suddenly. The main character was constantly acting juvenile and childish in her thought processes, for example, there was a lot of “urgh. I hate myself.” for accidentally day-dreaming about the male character. I was expecting fantasy with a hint of romance, but it turned out to be an extremely smutty romance in disguise of a fantasy book. Admittedly I did think it was written very well, and I enjoyed the premise, however the book seemed to deviate from that for most of the book. Basically a smutty Stockholm Syndrome with magic and mythical gods.

 

 

5/ Life of Pi – Yann Martel 170453

Rating: 2/5 stars

Ave Rating: 3.89

Goodreads

I am not religious, which was a bad start in terms of enjoying this book. I got the impression that the author could not comprehend someone not being religious. It was extremely slow, to the point it felt painful. This is just another lonely survival story, but one where I feel it wasn’t handled as well as it could have been – mostly because the author clearly had an ideological message that he felt was more important than the plot. In the end I really couldn’t care less about the plot or Pi. Some of the animal scenes in the second half I enjoyed, but by that point nothing was going to rescue me from giving anymore than two stars unfortunately!

 

 

 

4/ The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli 30653853

Rating: DNF (1.75 at time of DNF)

Ave Rating: 4.01

Goodreads

I really wanted to give the author a second chance, I disliked Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda, but I did enjoy Becky Albertalli’s writing, so I was hoping that if the plot was be good, and the characters were better, I would’ve liked it. But unfortunately I could only stomach two-thirds of the story. The first 100+ pages was just introducing each character and simply stating their race and sexual orientation, like this was all you needed to know about them..? And the story didn’t seem to go anywhere and I was incredibly bored. Nothing was encouraging me to keep going so I just DNF’d the book, I didn’t care what happens. Because I DNF’d this, I feel unfair listing this as a worst book of the year, but this was a book that still stuck out for me unfortunately, and I know this book (and this author) are extremely beloved amongst the Booktube community! So I guess I’ll just ‘appreciate’ the author from afar… Great writer, rubbish characters.

 

 

3/ The Mockingbirds – Daisy Whitney8987191

Rating: 1.5/5 stars

Ave Rating: 3.79

Goodreads

This did sound very promising, but I realised straight away that the writing wasn’t for me. I wasn’t able to relate to any of the characters and I could not distinguish one from the other. I was exceedingly bored and found the story bland despite the intriguing plot. I didn’t understand why all the teachers were written to be ridiculously clueless, especially for an ‘elite school’..? It feels like a lot of the positive reviews purely show the importance of addressing date rape. As much as that is an important topic to bring light to, and I applaud the author for doing so, I don’t think that means the book deserves 4-5 star ratings on that point alone. This was a debut novel and sadly, it did read like so. I did enjoy the references to To Kill a Mockingbird, so there’s that!

 

 

157344642/ 12th of Never – James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Rating: 1/5

Ave Rating: 4.01

Goodreads

I’ve read the first few books of the series and really liked them, but this, 12th in the series, didn’t feel on par. The first ones were written solely by James Patterson, and it’s pretty obvious that he had little to no input for this book. Maxine Paetro has taken a pretty good series and made it quite mediocre and bland. Half was about the actual plot and the courts, and the other half was about her baby which was not relevant and nor did it follow the pattern of the other books. I’m glad I haven’t read books 4-11, because I feel like I would’ve wasted my time and seen the series fall slightly book by book. I think it’s safe to say that this series has had its day.

 

 

1/ Birdie – Tracey Lindberg23590716

Rating: 1/5 stars

Ave Rating: 3.64

Goodreads

I read this for the Read-EH-Thon that Booksandlala created and hosted, and she recommended this book. But I found this to be a complete mess, I’m sorry to say. I could not understand the first half of the book AT ALL. It was so illegible and indecipherable I could not explain anything that happened. I had to look up several reviews to get more of an understanding of what actually happened, and to be honest, I wasn’t impressed with that either! It really annoyed me when things jumped from past tense to present or future tense without any explanation or warning. I honestly don’t know how anyone can enjoy this book.

 

 

 

So those were the worst books I read this year! These are all my opinion so sorry again if any of these were your favourites, they just weren’t for me! What books did you not enjoy this year? Any of you agree with my views? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!!

Abbie xxxx

Read-a-thons · Wrap-Ups

A Very Merry Readathon 2018 Wrap-Up!

I’ve finished my second readathon of December and I’m definitely in a Christmassy mood! I have been really enjoying the Christmas-themed readathons and I’m happy with myself that I managed to complete all the challenges! I guess I am feeling determined to finish as many books as possible before the end of the year! Some books have been swapped around from my TBR, but nevertheless all challenges were completed!

 

~~CHALLENGES~~
Read a book that is set during the holidays.
Read a book with a christmassy colour on the cover (I.e. red, green, silver, gold, blue).
Read a book with illustrations in it.
Read a book that was given to you as a gift.
Read a book just because you want to.

 

 

1/ My New Crush Gave to Me – Shani Petroff33158563

Format: Kindle

Length: 266 pages

Goodreads

Challenges: Read a book that is set during the holidays, Read a book with a Christmassy colour on the cover.

Incredible cheesy and not-at-all original… But I still enjoyed it and it made my heart flutter from the cuteness. It read like a typical winter rom-com, you knew what was going to happen, but you still wanted to see the ending… and I actually loved the idea of planning a romantic Secret Santa to show your feelings, it was cute and well-done! Such a cute, quick, christmas read! I never really like ‘love triangles’ and communication problems, but it seemed to work in this book, and the female friendships were really good. I enjoyed the main character as she was sensible in dealing with her emotions and was not typically naive like I see in loads of rom-com scenarios.

3.5/5 stars

 

 

 

390885081/ Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul – Nikita Gill

Format: Hardcover

Length: 176 pages

Goodreads

Challenges: Read a book with illustrations, Read a book that was gifted to you.

I can’t even begin to explain how amazing this collection was. It flowed beautifully from different fairytales and folklore we all know, and each and every one had a superb re-imagining; not only with feminist views but also general self-empowerment, believing in yourself, and being more understanding of others’ pasts. Each imagining was clever and well-thought out, and the writing was lyrical and mesmerising. I tried to list all the ones that stood out to me, but I was writing down about 98% of the pieces! There was a good mix of poetry and short stories, and didn’t feel forced or dragged out. It was perfect – I will re-read this to my children one day.

5/5 stars!!

 

 

 

1/ Very Good Lives – J. K. Rowling23731881

Format: Hardcover

Length: 74 pages

Goodreads

Challenges: Read a book because you wanted to. (Also qualifies for ‘Read a book with illustrations’)

I quickly swapped this book from another I had on my TBR because it can lead on into the next readathon. I am so happy I read this, I knew J.K. Rowling gave a speech at Harvard but I never got around to watching/listening to it, and my God! It is so inspirational. My favourite quotes were “The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive.”, and “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all- in which case, you fail by default.” Would recommend this to EVERYONE. We can all take something from this speech.

5/5 stars!!

 

Those were all the books I have read for the A Very Merry Readathon, completing all 5 challenges! What books have you been reading recently? Anyone sprinting to the end of the year to complete their reading goals? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!!

Abbie xxxx

 

Read-a-thons · Wrap-Ups

TisTheSeasonAthon 2018 Wrap-Up!

The first readathon of December has finished, and I had a blast! Even though I only had one short book to read for it, I still went out and read other festive books. So I doubt it needs to be said that I completed all the challenges! Except for the voluntary group book, which I have bought and will read outside of the readathons.

 

~~CHALLENGES~~
Read a book with red or green on the cover.
Read a book whilst listening to Christmas music.
Read a warm and fuzzy book.
Read a short book.
Read a holiday themed book.
*Group Book: SNOW IN LOVE – MELISSA DE LA CRUZ, NIC STONE, KASIE WEST & AIMEE FRIEDMAN.

 

 

 

1/ The Deal of a Lifetime – Fredrik Backman36229962

Format: Kindle

Length: 96 pages

Goodreads

Challenges: Read a book with red or green on the cover, Read a book whilst listening to Christmas music, Read a warm and fuzzy book, Read a short book, Read a holiday themed book.

I am slowly making my way through Fredrik Backman’s books, only because each of his books so far have pulled at my heartstrings. I really liked this book, it was told from the perspective of an older gentleman getting ready to meet his son after leaving him and his mother years ago, and he ponders about his life, the mistakes, regrets, and excuses. He is then met with an opportunity to make something right. Even though this was a very short book and was over within an hour, I still felt my heart aching at the end. Of course I would’ve liked a bit more of a developed story, but I fear if it was, I would’ve definitely cried at the end. Silver linings, right?!

3/5 stars

 

 

348792832/ One Day in December – Josie Silver

Format: Paperback

Length: 417 pages

Goodreads

Challenges: Read a book with red or green on the cover, Read a warm and fuzzy book.

Technically this wasn’t part of my official readathon TBR, but because the other book was so short and I pretty much read this during the readathon week, I might as well add it in! And I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading this; it was adorable without being cheesy, it was predictable in a few bits but still felt realistic. I adored the relationship between Laurie and Sarah, such a genuine female relationship to read about. I got huge ‘One Day’ vibes thorough-out the book, with a bunch of ‘almost’ moments and ‘will they/won’t they’ vibes. One of my biggest pet peeves in books is when a simple bit of communication would’ve solved a lot of issues, but in this case it sort of made a bit of logical sense. The ending really felt like something out of Bridget Jones, which I was all for, but it was over very abruptly and I wanted more about after the kiss. Overall I got my fluffy, holiday romance kick out of this book, and it totally got me into the mood to read more!

4.5/5 stars!

 

So that’s my wrap-up for the TisTheSeasonAthon 2018! They have recently announced that they would be bringing it back next year which is music to my ears! I’m excited to see what Bookables will bring to the readathon next year!

So what did you guys read during this readathon? Did you complete all the challenges? What are your reading plans for the rest of the month? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!!

Abbie xxxx

Wrap-Ups

Wrap-Up #5 [2018] – My Next 5 Books!

Hello guys! Here is my wrap-up for the next 5 books I have read. I may have needed to go back and read my thoughts on the book because I had read them about 1-2 months ago and they were not so fresh in my mind, but alas, it’s here! And some of these were truly great books.

Birdie23590716

Author: Tracey Lindberg

Rating: 2/5

Format: Audiobook

Goodreads

I reckon listening to the audiobook for this was a mistake. Right from the beginning I could not grasp what the story was about. By reading to the end I understood the subject matter and I sympathised with the horrible experiences that were endured by the main character, so difficult that they go to extremes to come to terms with the horrible memories. However, the way the novel is structured makes it one of the most difficult reads I have come across in a longtime. There was a lot of jumping to and from different time periods which wasn’t really well explained or executed.

 

 

 

28116966The Princess Diarist

Author: Carrie Fisher

Rating: 3/5

Format: Kindle

Goodreads

As a Star Wars fan, a biography-type of one of the prominent characters would of course hold high expectations. When I was reading this, it felt like I had Carrie Fisher’s voice in my head, which felt really bittersweet since her death. I did enjoy this, and I did learn things about Carrie’s past and what her thoughts/reasonings were behind some key moments in her life. I can say that I really enjoyed it, but that’s all, it won’t really stick with me as much as I would have hoped.

 

 

 

Not Your Sidekick29904219

Author: C. B. Lee

Rating: 3.5/5

Format: Kindle

Goodreads

This was a very fun book and a fantasy concept that I haven’t really come across before! Overall the plot was good, even though I found the ‘twist’ obvious, I still enjoyed the journey. The characters were so lovely and likeable and real. I did feel I wanted a bit more development in the main character and the plot surrounding her. It did feel like just a tip of an iceberg, and I needed more from it. I really did enjoy this book, but I doubt i’ll continue the series.

 

 

37648119Big Little Lies

Author: Liane Moriarty

Rating: 4/5

Format: Paperback

Goodreads

I had avoided reading this because of the hype and buzz around the TV series, and also that I found the plot to not grip me enough. But something pushed me to pick it up and see what it was really like, as I also heard great things about the book. I loved the characters, especially Madeleine! They were all so well-rounded and flawed. Even though I guessed the big secret I still found it very enjoyable watching everything unravel piece by piece. It was a very suspenseful read, but also very entertaining. This is a book that was meant to be devoured quickly! Who’s have thought that schoolyard drama could be so entertaining!

 

 

 

 

 

The Nightingale25587463

Author: Kristin Hannah

Rating: 4.5/5

Format: Paperback

Goodreads

This book was written beautifully, Hannah is such a talent. It’s a beautiful story about sister relationships and perseverance. Both sisters were parallel opposites, but were both so strong in different ways. Set in Nazi-occupied France, which is one of my favourite time periods to read from. This novel was done so well, it felt like I was reading about people I knew. Tears were shed, had both horror and joy on my face, it was truly a beautiful book. The only reason I’m not giving it 5 stars is that it took a while to get engrossed into the story.

 

And those are the 5 books I have read recently (recently being used loosely) What books have you guys been enjoying recently? Any new favourite you want to gush about? Any of these you have read and felt similar/differently to me? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!

Abbie xxxx

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