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Book Tag: Mid Year Freak Out Tag

I think we can all agree this has been an awful year. I for one feel like it’s going so fast but there are some weeks where it feels like it never ends.

I want to check in on a few goals I had at the start of the year and see how I am going.

My Goodreads Goal:

My Physical TBR:

I wanted to keep my TBR to around 300, at the end of July it was 337 so that’s been a fail but honestly it is what it is. I own them so I will get to them eventually but I do want to focus on getting that number down if I can. I don’t want to unhaul any of these because I only by books I have an interest in reading.

Aside from that I didn’t have any other goals so we can move onto the tag.
Originators of this tag: Chami → https://youtu.be/EB8OrYHBvM8 Ely → https://youtu.be/X_Wh0rPGfRg

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2020

In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children Book 4) by Seanan McGuire

  • I can’t stop thinking about this. I really enjoyed this. In An Absent Dream could have also been my biggest surprise because I haven’t been that impressed by this series but this is definitely my favourite book so far this year.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020

Heartstopper Volume Three by Alice Oseman

  • This graphic novel series is one of my favs. They bring me so much joy.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

  • This was in my most recent FairyLoot and it is so so pretty. I can’t wait to read it.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

The Notorious Virtues by Alwyn Hamilton

  • This is one that I don’t hear many people talk about
  • The synopsis: “At sixteen, Honora ‘Nora’ Holtzfall is the daughter of the most powerful heiress in Gammamix; her family controls all the money – and all the magic – in the entire country. But when her mother is found murdered in an alley, the family throne and fortune are up for grabs, which means Nora will be pitted against her cousins in the deadly Veritaz trials to determine the rightful inheritor. But there’s a surprise rival in the form of Ottoline, aka Lotte, the illegitimate daughter of Nora’s aunt, who left her with nuns as a baby. Thrown into the Veritaz, she is suddenly surrounded by a hostile family she never knew she had.But as the Holtzfalls wage their battles of privilege, something bigger and more sinister bubbles beneath the surface, and revolution is in the air. Could the balance of power about to be overturned?

5. Biggest disappointment.

The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody

  • I had such high expectations for this. i thought I was going to love it but was so disappointed. I love Xander but the main protagonist really rubbed me the wrong way.

6. Biggest surprise.

The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

  • Look I generally don’t like classics because I find the language hard to get into. However these 2 were quite easy to follow and I genuinely liked the plot line

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Unfortunately I don’t have any new favourites. There are books from authors that I’ve never read before that I like but I wouldn’t call them a new favourite.

8. Newest fictional crush.

I don’t really do book crushes but I like Xander from The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody he has really good qualities that I enjoy in a partner.

9. Newest favourite character.

Illuminae: The Illuminae Files_01 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

  • I love Kate. She is super sassy, super smart and very admirable.

10. Book that made you cry.

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno

  • I don’t really cry when i’m reading books but this was a very emotional and had a lot of depth.

11. Book that made you happy.

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer

  • I was so happy being back in this world. I love The Lunar Chronicles so much. These graphic novels were great.

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

There have been some STUNNING covers this year. So I couldn’t pick just one.

Mermaid Moon by Susann Cokal, The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu, The Frozen Sea by Piers Torday

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

All of them. Seriously. I’ll link my Owned TBR Shelf on Goodreads. Feel free to have a gander.

Let me know your favourite book so far this year.

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Wrap Up: March 2020

Monthly Stats

Middle Grade 1
YA3
Children1
Where I Sourced My Books No. of Books
Hauled this year1
Owned TBR2
Scibd2

Total pages read: 1211 pages

Total hours listened: 15.55 hours

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thoughts: Similar to the first book this is very cute. These stories are very nonsensical and I’ve noticed the pattern within these stories. With that said I’m still finding it very enjoyable to read.

I love Pooh I think he is hilarious. In this book we get introduced to Tigger and now understand why Tigger and Roo as so close despite not being the “same age”. One thing I did not expect was Eeyore. He acted like a whiny old man whereas in the films he’s more of a “dopey” character and I love him in the movies (its probably the voice haha). So it was odd reading his characters because I’m so used to the animated version of him. Which I personally find hilarious.

Genre: Classic, Short Stories

Age Group: Children

Representation: N/A

Trigger Warning: Bullying

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thoughts: I love the overall plot of this novel. This book is about friendship, family and books with a bit of a mystery tied in. There was a twist at the end which lifted this rating to a 4. While reading I was thinking of giving this 3.5 stars but that end was interesting. It was left unfinished so I’m wondering if that will be resolved in the second book or if the second books follows a different character.

My favourite aspect of this novel was Tilly’s grandparents. I don’t have any grandparents. The only grandparent I knew died over 5 years ago and he lived in Mauritius so I didn’t really know him but I can imagine or at least I hope that most grandparents would be like Tilly’s. They were supportive, and encouraging and just seemed like nice people. While they kept a few secrets from Tilly she’s 11 so I can understand why. But when it came to information about her missing mother they were honest. So I appreciated that.

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Age Group: Middle Grade

Representation: Dyslexia

Trigger Warning: Absent/Loss of a parent

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thoughts: I enjoyed this. At one point I thought I was going to give this 5 stars but for some reason I struggle to give these books 5 stars.

I like the quest/journey aspect of this instalment and I’m happy we got to explore more of the worlds. I’m slowly understanding the logic vs nonsense and wickedness vs virtue. And I can’t wait to explore more of the worlds.

Despite the size of these books Seanan McGuire still manages to get a lot of descriptions into her stories.

Genre: Portal Fantasy, Paranormal

Age Group: YA

Representation: Plus Size, POC, Physical Disability, Transgender

Trigger Warning: A bit of gore

Technically, You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thoughts: I thought this was super cute. Haley was super nerdy. I’m nerdy but Haley takes nerdy to a whole new level. She is super smart, loves super heroes and sci-fi. I could definitely relate to her as an introvert myself.

This audiobook was very short and because it was written in text while I could get a feel of the characters’ personality the reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is because that deeper connection to the characters wasn’t there. I liked the characters and it went fast but there was something missing.

But I liked the banter and the characters built a really strong friendship which I really enjoyed.

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Age Group: YA

Representation: Biracial, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Bisexual, Demisexual

Trigger Warning: Divorced parents

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thoughts: No surprises I’m giving this a 5 stars. Honestly at this point I don’t think there is any reason I would give these anything less than 5 stars. Something would have to be really wrong or offensive for me to give this less than 5 stars.

Like in the other volumes Nick and Charlie are absolutely adorable. This volume explores some important topics such as eating disorder and homophobia. I feel like the friendship aspect in this volume was very strong. I love Charlie’s friend group. They are so supportive and loving.

This also took me back to my Europe trip last year. I could picture Paris so clearly. I know it’s a graphic novel and it is visual but I just mean that as they were travelling around I felt like I was with them. I’m so happy to have these graphic novels in my life! They are pure joy.

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Age Group: YA

Representation: POC, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender

Trigger Warning: Self Harm, Bullying, Homophobia, Eating Disorder

Movies I Watched

  • Pitch Perfect 3 – 5 ⭐️
  • Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey – 5 ⭐️

Series I’m Watching

  • Married at first sight (Australia) – Season 7
  • Survivor (Australia) – Season 5
  • Survivor (US) – Season 40
  • The Flash – Season 6
  • DC Legend’s of Tomorrow – Season 5
  • Supergirl – Season 5
  • My Kitchen Rules – Season 11
  • Batwoman – Season 1
  • You – Season 2
  • Fuller House – Season 4
  • Pinocchio (k-drama) – Available on Netflix
  • Motherland: Fort Salem – Season 1

How did your reading go in March?

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Anticipated Releases for 2020 (June-Dec)

If you missed My Anticipated Release for Jan-May, click the link here to see books coming out in the first half of the year.

June

2nd – My Calamity Jane (The Lady Janies, #3) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows – I already have mine pre-ordered. I haven’t read the first or second but I hear these books are hilarious so I’m excited.

9th – The Boundless (The Beholder #2) by Anna Bright – This is the sequel to The Beholder. I haven’t heard much about this but I love the covers and these are described as a fairy tale which I love. So I think I would like to read this series.

9th – Hood by Jenny Elder Moke – Isabelle has only known a quiet life. But after she is arrested by royal soldiers for defending innocent villagers, Isabelle becomes the target of the Wolf.

9th – Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas – I keep seeing this all over twitter. This is a paranormal, queer fantasy surrounding Latinx culture. So basically this is diverse as hell.

23rd – Sisters of Sword and Song by Rebecca Ross – This a stand alone fantasy about an unbreakable bond between sisters.

23rd – Forest of Souls (Shamanborn #1) by Lori M. Lee – Our main character comes from nothing, but she trains hard in order to become the Queen’s next spy. However when her best friends dies her plans are derailed.

July

7th July – Unravel the Dusk (The Blood of Stars #2) by Elizabeth Lim – The sequel to Spin the Dawn, it’s taken some time but the covers are really growing on me. The first book was Mulan retelling but I’m assuming the second book will start veering away from that.

7th – The Princess Will Save You (The Princess Will Save You #1) by Sarah Henning – When her father dies, Princess Amarande is given an ultimatum: Marry the leader of one of the four neighboring kingdoms, or lose her crown—and possibly her life. And to force her hand, her beloved, the stable boy Luca, is kidnapped.

14th – Liberté (Enchantée #2) by Gita Trelease – The first book was talked about for a hot minute then disappeared. But this series involves dark magic and Paris.

21st – Shielded (Shielded #1) by KayLynn Flanders – This is a YA fantasy set in a kingdom where our protagonist is the key to saving the kingdom.

August

1st – Wayward Witch (Brooklyn Brujas #3) by Zoraida Córdova – The first book wast quite popular when it firs came out but since then I haven’t heard too much about it. Its a series about magic which is one of my buzzwords.

18th – Vicious Spirits (Gumiho #2) by Kat Cho – The first book (The Wicked Fox) set in Seoul got some amazing reviews so I’m excited to explore this world

20th – Master Artificer (The Silent Gods #2) by Justin Travis Call – Annev struggles with the burden of forbidden magic, a forgotten heritage, and a secret deformity. He is caught between the warring ideologies of his mentor and the Academy’s masters. He must choose between his future at the Academy or betraying his friends.

20th – Doors of Stone (The Kingkiller Chronicle #3) by Patrick Rothfuss – Who knows if this is actually coming out but we can only hope. This series(along with Games or Thrones) is the reason I like to wait till all books in the series are out before reading them. i can’t believe it has been 10 years since the second book was first published. I hope for the people who have read the first and second book that this date is real. Or even if it just comes out sometime this year.

September

1st – Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove, #2) by Shelby Mahurin – This is the second book in this duology. This has had some seriously polarising reviews which intrigues me.

22nd – The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves #2) by Roshani Chokshi – The Gilded Wolves (the first book in this series) came out this year and in all honestly I think I heard more negative reviews than positive nonetheless I am still very interested in this series.

29th – The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo, #5) by Rick Riordan – This is the fifth and final book in The Trials of Apollo series. I’m not even up to date with The Heroes of Olympus but the covers for this series have been absolutely gorgeous so I’ve been slowly been collecting the US hardcovers.

October

6th – Kingdom of Sea and Stone (Crown of Coral and Pearl #2) by Mara Rutherford – In the first Nor dreamed of seeing Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village. But a childhood accident left her with a scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

6th – The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by V.E. Schwab – It’s a love story between a French girl and the devil over 300 years. She sells her soul for the ability to live forever, and the devil curses her to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

13th – Lightbringer (Empirium #3) by Claire Legrand – The final book in this trilogy two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.

December

7th – The Serpent’s Curse (The Last Magician #3) by Lisa Maxwell – Stop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future.

Date Unknown

Untitled (The Witchlands, #4) by Susan Dennard – This is predicted to come out sometime in 2020 however title, cover and release date have yet to be revealed. I haven’t actually started reading this series but I have a feeling I’m going to love it.

Untitled (Legacy of Orïsha, #3) by Tomi Adeyemi – The second book only came out this December and it was tiny compared to the first book. If I’m not mistaken this is a trilogy so this will be another series finale.

Untitled (Camelot Rising #2) by Kiersten White – The Guinevere Deception recently came out so I assume this won’t be out until sometime next year.


I know this is a very thorough list and I am not under the impression that I will get to all of these however I thought it would be good as something I can refer back to in the future.


Are you excited for the New Year? Let me know an goals you have.

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Anticipated Releases for 2020 (Jan-May)

This is basically a list of books I will be buying over the next year. Haha. Some of these are books in a series which I haven’t read. However because I’m planning to eventually read the series I’ve added it to this list.

January

7th – A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers, #2) by Brigid Kemmerer – This was initially going to be a duology so I was considering starting it this year but I think because it did so well it’s now being turned into a series so I’ll hold off on reading this but I’m excited for it anyway.

7th – Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez – This cover speaks to me! And with a line like this “A lush tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history” how could you not want to read this?

7th – A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison – We love a hate to love romance.

7th – Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin – The is a stand alone fantasy where one girl must make a name for herself, or die trying. This is a royal fantasy where an unknown peasant becomes the ultimate ruler.

7th – Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children #5) by Seanan McGuire – This book follows Jack who is one of my favourite characters in this series. I’m up to the third in this series but I’m happy taking my time to read through these.

20th – The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious, #3) by Maureen Johnson – This is the finally book in The Truly Devious series. Then ending of the second book left me wanting more. I only read the second book a couple months ago which I’m glad about because otherwise he break between the second and third would be too long.

21st – Tweet Cute by Emma Lord – This sounds like it is going to be an adorable romance about finding love where you least expect it.

February

4th – Belle Révolte by Linsey Miller – Emilie is desperate to escape her noble roots to serve her country as a physician. But society dictates a noble lady cannot perform such gruesome work.

6th – Heartstopper: Volume Three (Heartstopper #3) by Alice Oseman – This is a 5 out of 5 graphic novel. The art style is so cute and the story is even more adorable. If you’re looking for a sickly sweet romance. I would highly recommend this.

11th – Cloak of Night (Circle of Shadows #2) by Evelyn Skye – I got the first book from Fairyloot because I loved the sprayed edges. Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied around his back.

20th – Shorefall (Founders #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett – This is the sequel to Foundryside about a thief set in a world where objects have power.

25th – The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller – I read her Daughter of the Pirate King Duology and really enjoyed her writing. This seems like its going to be an interesting tale full of betrayal.

25th – We Unleash the Merciless Storm (We Set the Dark on Fire #2) by Tehlor Kay Mejia – This the final book in this duology. This is a YA fantasy set in a girls’ school in a dystopian world where the students are being trained for lives as political consorts to powerful men.

March

3rd – House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas – This is a story of half-Fae and half-human as she seeks revenge in a contemporary fantasy world of magic, danger, and searing romance.

5th – Incendiary (Hollow Crown #1) by Zoraida Córdova – I found this while doing research for this post. This is a tale of love and revenge set in a world inspired by Inquisition-era Spain pits the magical Moria against royal authority bent on their destruction.

9th – The Raven and the Dove (The Raven and the Dove #1) by Kaitlyn Davis – A princess longing to be free. A bastard aching to belong. Fate brought them together, now destiny will tear them apart. This sounds like there is going to be a lot of angst. A lot of drama. I’m ready!

10th – Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars, #1) by Tara Sim – This gender swapped he Count of Monte Cristo retelling. Sounds cool right?

10th – Bone ​Crier’s Moon (Bone Grace #1) by Kathryn Purdie – Bone ​Criers can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power comes from sacrifice. That is the promise of sacrificing their one true love.

10th – Spindle and Dagger by J. Anderson Coats – This follows Elen, who lives a lie in order to survive among the medieval Welsh warband that killed her family.

April

2nd – Crown of Smoke (Shadowscent #2) by P.M. Freestone – In the empire of Aramtesh, scent has power. When disaster strikes and the crown prince lies poisoned, long suppressed rivalries threaten to blow the empire apart. It’s up to a poor village girl with a talent for fragrances and the prince’s loyal bodyguard to find an antidote.

7th – Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy #2) by Emily A. Duncan – In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints.

21st – Time of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka – This is being compared to Fangirl and Emergency Contact. I’ve loved the past to book covers written by this duo. And though this cover isn’t my favourite. I like the premise. It’s a college romance which I think will tackle a few hard hitting topics.

21st – The Deck of Omens (The Devouring Gray #2) by Christine Lynn Herman – On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening.

28th – Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – This another series I have not read but am interested in and will get to once all the books are out.

May

5th – The Notorious Virtues (The Notorious Virtues #1) by Alwyn Hamilton – Not gonna lie the cover is what reeled me in. But then I saw magical competition. Colour me sold.

12th – By the Book by Amanda Sellet – This just has the most adorable cover. This is a YA romance following writer who gives advice for a living but learns the advice she gives is harder to follow herself.

12th – Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust – Here we have another stunning cover. This is described as a fairy tale about a girl who is poisonous to touch. She makes some choices which make her question who she really is.

12th – House of Dragons (House of Dragons #1) by Jessica Cluess – A liar, a soldier, a servant, a thief, and a murderer will answer it. Who will win?

18th – The Empire of Gold (The Daevabad Trilogy #3) by S.A. Chakraborty – I already have this pre-ordered. I’m excited to binge this series. A con-woman and an idealistic prince join forces to save a magical kingdom from a devastating civil war.

18th – Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar – Hindu mythology and celestial intrigue in this sparkling YA fantasy debut.

19th – The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins – I can’t say I’m super excited for this one, because I hate when a series ends the years later the author decides to bring out other books books. But I loved The Hunger Games so I am curious. But this cover…not a fan.

I’ve made a very extensive list. This is not only for me to look back on but also to shout out some books.

*the links above are affiliate links

What are some books you’re anticipating?

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Book Haul: November 2019 – Part 2

And onto Part 2, similar to Part 1 I have affliate links for Book Depository while will take you to the website. You can use the links as you see fit. Thank you in advance if you do.

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

Price: $15.99

Where: 
Dymocks

Synopsis: Centuries after the last humans left Earth, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, a place many are from but few outsiders have seen. Humanity has finally been accepted into the galactic community, but while this has opened doors for many, those who have not yet left for alien cities fear that their carefully cultivated way of life is under threat.”

The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black

Price: $12

Where: 
Big W

Synopsis: This is the 3rd and final book in The Folk of the Air Series. This series was overall pretty good. If you’re interested in a political Fae series featuring a determined and power hungry human, then this is the series for you. I think the best way to digest this is reading them back to back to back because the books flow seamlessly from one to the other.

Supernova (Renegades #3) by Marissa Meyer

Price: $25.71

Where: 
Book Depository

Synopsis: This is the last book in the Renegades Trilogy and I can finally binge this series. I’m so excited. “Supernova, the epic conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer’s thrilling Renegades Trilogy finds Nova and Adrian struggling to keep their secret identities concealed while the battle rages on between their alter egos, their allies, and their greatest fears come to life. Secrets, lies, and betrayals are revealed as anarchy once again threatens to reclaim Gatlon City.”

Ninth House (Alex Stern #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Price: $25.95

Where: 
Booktopia

Synopsis: This is a signed edition with extra content which is exciting. “Galaxy ‘Alex’ Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?”

Steel Crow Saga (Steel Crow Saga #1) by Paul Krueger

Price: $25.90

Where: 
Booktopia

Synopsis: Four destinies collide in a unique fantasy world of war and wonders, where empire is won with enchanted steel and magical animal companions fight alongside their masters in battle.”

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Price: $16

Where: 
Big W

Synopsis: Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.”

Starsight (Skyward #2) by Brandon Sanderson

Price: $16

Where: 
Big W

Synopsis: Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.”

The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3) by Neal Shusterman

Price: $12

Where: 
Big W

Synopsis: The first book is about “A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.”

We Are Blood and Thunder (We Are Blood and Thunder #1) by Kesia Lupo

Price: $13.59

Where: 
Dymocks

Synopsis: In a sealed-off city, it begins with a hunt. A young woman, Lena, running for her life, convicted of being a mage and sentenced to death. Her only way to survive is to trust those she has been brought up to fear – those with magic.”

The Secret Commonwealth (The Book of Dust #2) by Philip Pullman

Price: $16

Where: 
Big W

Synopsis: It is twenty years since the events of La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One unfolded and saw the baby Lyra Belacqua begin her life-changing journey.”

Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer Trilogy #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Price: $14.92

Where: 
Book Depository

Synopsis: This is actually a present for my friend who absolutely loved The Raven Boys. “The dreamers walk among us . . . and so do the dreamed. Those who dream cannot stop dreaming – they can only try to control it. Those who are dreamed cannot have their own lives – they will sleep forever if their dreamers die.”

And this is the last book haul for 2019. I will have a book haul for December but that won’t be posted until next year.

Are you hoping to get any for Christmas?

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Book Haul: November 2019 – Part 1 (Amazon)

I did it again and made multiple Amazon orders. Books are so expensive in Australia unless you get them from Big W but as I may have mentioned previously they don’t get all books. So I rely heavily on Sales and online shopping.

But I digress…onto the haul.

Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

Price: $13.56

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.”

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie Mclemore

Price: $11.18

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.”

Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

Price: $10.57

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron. Growing up in Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her. While some are born with a talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she chose knowledge. However, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true: she is left without a patron.”

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

Price: $15.14

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: After the death of her sister, seventeen-year-old Violet Saunders finds herself dragged to Four Paths, New York. Violet may be a newcomer, but she soon learns her mother isn’t: They belong to one of the revered founding families of the town, where stone bells hang above every doorway and danger lurks in the depths of the woods.”

Crier’s War by Nina Varela

Price: $20.94

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: From debut author Nina Varela comes the first book in an Own Voices, richly imagined epic fantasy duology about an impossible love between two girls—one human, one Made—whose romance could be the beginning of a revolution.”

Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom by P M Freestone

Price: $7.84

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: In the empire of Aramtesh, there is power in scent. Seventeen-year-old Rakel has a talent for fragrances, but her scentlore skills aren’t good enough to save her dying father. She travels from her desert village to the city in a desperate gamble to raise funds, but instead finds herself indentured to the head priestess at the temple. Not long after, the temple’s precious scented flowers are set ablaze, and the imperial prince is found poisoned. Rakel and the prince’s bodyguard, Ash, realize they are the prime suspects, and the unlikely pair go on the run, racing across the empire to save themselves, the prince, and the empire itself.”

Her Crown of Fire by Renee April

Price: $21.95

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: In the dull, everyday world, seventeen-year-old Rose Evermore struggles to plan beyond her final year of high school. But when fire suddenly obeys her every command and her dreams predict the future, she becomes hungry for more of this strange power.”

Wires and Nerve: Volume 2 by Marissa Meyer

Price: $19.46

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: The second graphic novel, and sequel to Wires and Nerve, Volume 1,”

Vow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

Price: $22.06

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: A formidable outlaw family that claims to be the first among nations. A son destined to lead, thrust suddenly into power. Three fierce young women of the Rahtan, the queen’s premier guard. A legendary street thief leading a mission, determined to prove herself. A dark secret that is a threat to the entire continent.” This is the second book in the Dance of Thieves Duology.

Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

Price: $12.27

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.”

Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

Price: $12.52

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Megan Harper is about due for her next sweeping romance. It’s inevitable—each of her relationships starts with the perfect guy and ends with him falling in love . . . with someone else. But instead of feeling sorry for herself, Megan focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theater, and fulfilling her dream college’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible.”

Obviously all these books are from Amazon, hence the title, but if you click ‘Amazon’ it will take you to the page. These are affiliate links so feel free to use them or not.

Did you find any good bargains this month?

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Wrap Up: November 2019 (Believathon)

This month I “participated” in the Believathon hosted by Gavin Hetherington. The main goal of this ReadAThon was to read as many middle grade books as possible throughout the month of November. And I failed miserably.
I have a good reason though! I had a lot of library books come all at once and and obviously there is time limit with library holds so I only managed to get to 2 middle grades but I loved both of them. So quantity wise Believathon was a fail but the quality of the books I read were fabulous.

Total Pages Read: 1310 pages

Total Minutes Listened to: 12 hours and 41 minutes

Middle Grade 2
YA 5
Where I Sourced My Books No. of Books
Library2
Digital Library2
Purchased This Year3

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Thoughts: This is a graphic novel set in a pumpkin patch following 2 characters and their last year working at the pumpkin patch. We follow them as they explore the pumpkin patch and see the different foods around the park. This book explores friendship and adventure and that’s all you need to know going into it.

Graphic novels are usually shorter in terms of their plots. When people described this I wish they went into less detail. I knew too much about what was going to happen, so I was waiting for certain things to happen. But the thing I was waiting for didn’t happen till the last quarter of the novel. It’s reasons like this why I prefer going into my books blind. And there was build up but it wasn’t enough for me to care about the ending. So unfortunately a disappointing read for me. But if you do want to read it try to avoid detailed descriptions of the synopsis.

The art style though…phenomenal!

Representation: Bisexual, Plus Size, Disability, Bi-Racial couple

Trigger Warning: Fat shaming

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thoughts: *3.75 Stars. This is the third and final book in the Folk of the Air series. I’m sad to say I was a little disappointed. I still gave this 3.75 stars. Which is not bad by any means I just was expecting more. Expecially after the ending of the second book.

The pacing of this book was a lot better than the first 2. As we are already familiar with the world, Holly Black gets straight into the story. There were no dull moments. But I just feel like the book was really rushed. There was a lot going on in 300 pages.

Overall, I think this instalment had a good balance of romance and politics (maybe slightly heavier on the romance haha). Again this book was more political than action driven so if that’s something you prefer I think you‘ll enjoy this series.
Now the romance, honestly frustrated me. In the first 2 books there was a dash of passion brewing between Jude and Cardan. But this 3rd book I feel took a 180 and because of this I just wasn’t invested in their romance. If Holly Black included the letter’s Cardan wrote I think for me that would have helped me believe their “union” more. But as it is, the direction their relationship went was unrealistic in my opinion.
In summary, I think the best way consume this series is back to back to back. The flow between each instalment works really well. And I think the whole Jude and Cardan situation would be easier to believe but I would have to binge the series to see if that’s true.

Representation: POC, Lesbian

Trigger Warning: Violence, Manipulative Parents

Charmcaster by Sebastien de Castell

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thoughts: This is the 3rd instalment in the Spellslinger Series and overall it was pretty good. The ending was epic. Loved the twists and turns. But the middle was a bit boring. Hence the 4 stars.

The world is gradually expanding with each instalment and the political environment is becoming more more interesting. I can feel the plot building to something big and only time will tell what that is. But a lot happened mainly in the second half of the book and I am enjoying where this series is going.

If you like interesting magic systems, character development, politics and can cope with animal cruelty then I would recommend this series.

Representation: Lesbian

Trigger Warning: Animal Abuse, General Abuse/Violence

The Land of Roar by Jenny McLachlan 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thoughts: I really enjoyed this. I didn’t get that 5 star feeling but this is a solid 4/4.5 stars. This is a middle grade fantasy about twins, Rose and Arthur and they’re highly vivid imagination.

Arthur and Rose are now 11 and they’ve grown apart. Rose is into her phone and Arthur is still wanting to have adventures. When they were younger Arthur and Rose made up a game called Roar, but is it just a game?

Arthur and Rose’s grandparents both came from Mauritius and when I saw that I got so excited. My parents are Mauritian, and just went there this year. It is incredible there would recommend for your next holiday. Anyway it is super rare to see any mention of Mauritius in books so that was a really special moment for me.

Regardless of this the story itself was really well done. It was easy to read. Very descriptive. I could picture myself in the story. I liked the journey these characters took not only where they went but also within themselves.

Representation: Asthma, POC

Trigger Warning: Scarecrows, Kidnapping, Minor Bullying

Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Winnie the Pooh is one of my favourite Disney characters but shockingly I’ve never read the books.

I recently found the box set for $20 in Big W and with the Believathon happening it was the perfect time to pick it up.

This first book is made up of short stories about Winnie the Pooh and his friends. Part of this is written in second person. Which I honestly like because it gives the story a playful element.
The stories were really cute. I love Winne the Pooh as a character. He is so funny.

One thing I didn’t like was that Christopher Robin has a gun. It’s mentioned twice, and I’m not sure why. I think it’s inappropriate for children’s book and is completely unnecessary. There is also a bit of name calling, sometimes its self depreciating sometimes its about someone else. Personally I wished there was less of that. But despite these flaws this was just fun to read.

The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thoughts: Boy is this series heating up! This series follows two plot lines. The first we follow Stevie in current day. Stevie is obsessed with a kidnapping that took place in the early 1900s. And the second plot line is said kidnapping. The second book continues to explore and expand on the mystery from the 1900s. But weird things are happening at Ellingham Academy and I’m excited for the conclusion of this series. This instalment left on quite the cliffhanger. Call me intrigued.

I will say the beginning was a little slow nothing really happened and there is an unnecessary romance inserted in the story but the second half was so good. I couldn’t not give this 5 stars.

Representation: Queer, Anxiety, Non-Binary, Physical Disability (Crutches)

Trigger Warning: Murder, Brutality, Panic Attack

Birthday by Meredith Russo

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thoughts: Oh My Goodness. I went through so many emotions reading this. And I enjoyed every minute of it. Birthday is about 2 best friends and their relationship with each other, their relationship with themselves and their relationship with their friends and family. One of our main characters is trans gender and this story follows her journey of self discovery.

We start on their 13th birthday. Throughout the novel we learn who these characters are and explore different aspects of their lives. And I enjoyed getting to know them.

In the middle I felt so frustrated with Morgan (trans character) I don’t want to say why because it would spoil the book but I realised while reading, the reason I felt so frustrated was because I care about her so much. Meredith Russo did an amazing job at creating 2 gorgeous characters whom I loved. And I just wanted them to be happy.

I’m not usually into hard hitting/emotional contemporaries but this is the type I think I will come to love. The reason I liked this so much (I hope this doesn’t offend anyone) is because Morgan’s experience is so different from mine and I’m someone who always likes to understand all people. I’m so thankful I read this and wish I had a physical copy to add to my collection so I could lend it to other people to read

Rep: Transgender

Trigger Warning: These triggers include spoilers for the book so I’ve hidden them in case people don’t want to be spoiled. If you’d like to see the trigger warnings click’Trigger Warning’ and the trigger warnings will pop up

What was your favourite book you read in November?

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Scavenger Hunt Tag ⚜ The Bookie Trials: Winter Quest

This tag was created by Rachael Marie’s Book Journey as part of her Bookie Trials which is a ReadAThon featuring 4 teams. This tag is all about the covers.

In this tag the prompts feature a word (in bold and capital) and that word/object needs to be featured on the cover.

You will be crossing the Eastern Sea, you’ll need a 𝐁𝐎𝐀𝐓

The Storm Keeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle – This is a middle grade adventure series. And when I saw this in Big W I was very attracted to the cover. It has a rose gold spin which is beautiful. But in terms of the plot I have no idea what this is about.

You can’t see in the picture but there are a bunch of boats at a dock in the bottom corner.

To be under-dressed in Orc Eaves is an offence, wear something 𝐄𝐋𝐀𝐁𝐎𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐋𝐘 𝐃𝐄𝐒𝐈𝐆𝐍𝐄𝐃

Circe by Madeline Miller – This cover is super pretty. I would definitely call it elaborately designed. I also have the UK hard cover which has a GORGEOUS hardback underneath.

Circe is fantasy based on Greek Mythology about a badass witch who was left stranded on an Island.

You need 𝗪𝐎𝐎𝐃 to keep The Beacon of Hope lit

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire – Trees are wood, right? Well wood is made from trees so I’m counting it.

Finally one I’ve read! This is the second book in the Wayward Children series. This book follows Jack and Jill.

The first book is Every Heart A Doorway but if I were to reread this series I would read Down Among the Stick and Bones first as we get the background of Jack and Jill and actually see into the different worlds children can travel to.

To work with The Serpentine Allegiance you first need to master the language, speak with our own 𝐃𝐑𝐀𝐆𝐎𝐍𝐒/𝗪𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐑 𝐃𝐑𝐀𝐆𝐎𝐍𝐒

The Land of Roar by Jenny McLachlan – I recently read this and loved it. My thoughts will be in my November wrap up but if you follow me on Goodreads I have a more detailed review there. This was a fun middle grade fantasy and if you like middle grade would definitely give this a read.

Tell the dears at Rural Haven that you are thankful – with a gift of 𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐑𝐋𝐈𝐆𝐇𝐓

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson – This is a YA sci-fi series the second book Starsight recently came out however that cover doesn’t have any stars on it. If only it did because stars on Starsight would have been chef kiss for this prompt.

In order to gain entry, show Eastern Escape that you are an ally to 𝐏𝐎𝐂𝐬

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo – Is this cover stunning or what? And under the dust jacket…omg stunning. This is a YA contemporary about a teen mum. I believe she likes to cook because there are recipes throughout the book which I think is an interesting touch.

Lay 𝐅𝐋𝐎𝗪𝐄𝐑𝐒 at Graves End of those already passed

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo – There are so many books with flowers on the cover. Which is completely my aesthetic. I chose this book because there are flowers on her skirt which I thought was unique. Probably isn’t unique but I’ve picked it anyway.

This is a contemporary where our main character uses k-drama formulas to try and get herself a boyfriend.

Whilst hiding from the Frost Giants keep warm with 𝐅𝐈𝐑𝐄

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh – So I’m pretty sure that is a phoenix on the cover but I’m counting it as fire because the wings and tail look like flames.

Rebuild some of the Desolate Ruins with 𝐕𝐈𝐍𝐄𝐒

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – This is one of my favourite covers of the year. It is stunning! This and her first book An Enchantment of Ravens are some of the most gorgeous covers. The illustrator (Charlie Bowater) did an amazing job.

Gather the 𝐁𝐎𝐍𝐄𝐒 of Daemonic Residue – we will bury our Daemons on our own lands.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab – This is the collector’s edition cover which went out of stock very fast when it was first announced but it looks like there are still a few floating around (click here).

This was initially a standalone but according to Goodreads there will be a 3rd book. This series follows Eli and Victor who conduct experiments in order to obtain superpowers. However they may not have the most heroic intentions.

For the dark shard, you will have to sneak. Cloak yourselves in a 𝐁𝐋𝐀𝐂𝐊 robe

As Old As Time by Liz Braswell – There are a lot of black books out there but Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite Disney films and I’m so excited to see what happens with this twisted tale. I can’t wait to get stuck into these Twisted Tales I really think I’m going to enjoy them.

This was such a fun tag. I love book covers but really had to think about some of the prompts. The boat one was probably the hardest one for me.

If you do this tag please link it below. I’d love to check it out.

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Book Haul: October 2019 – Part 1

i don’t know what happened this month. I told myself I was going to cut down on the book buying. And for the most part I did. But… I still got quite a few. I got some really good deals on books. If you live in Australia give Big W a try. They don’t have all the new releases but they get a few. For Part 1 I’ve mostly hauled the middle grade books, Part 2 will include everything else.

Excuse the upside down books down the bottom. This is why I’m not a bookstagramer haha.

The Magic Misfits: The Third Minor by Neil Patrick Harris

Price: $12

Where: 
Big W

Synopsis: This is the third book in the Magic Misfits series. I love the cover of these. This is a middle grade series which look like they are going to be a fun read.

In the first book, “Carter teams up with five other like-minded kids. Together, using both teamwork and magic, they’ll set out to save the town of Mineral Wells from Bosso’s villainous clutches. These six Magic Misfits will soon discover adventure, friendship, and their own self-worth in this delightful new series.”

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

Price: $13.99

Where: 
Dymock

Synopsis: This is the second book in the Wtches Series within the Discworld. I love these covers in the Discworld series but man are they expensive. So when I saw this in the damaged section of Dymocks I couldn’t pass up this price.

In the first book, “on Discworld, a dying wizard tries to pass on his powers to an eighth son of an eighth son, who is just at that moment being born. The fact that the son is actually a daughter is discovered just a little too late. The town witch insists on turning the baby into a perfectly normal witch, thus mending the magical damage of the wizard’s mistake. But now the young girl will be forced to penetrate the inner sanctum of the Unseen University–and attempt to save the world with one well-placed kick in some enchanted shins! Reissue. “

Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones

Price: $11.95

Where: 
World of Books

Synopsis: Far to the south of the land of Ingary, in the Sultanates of Rashpuht, there lived in the city of Zanzib a young and not very prosperous carpet dealer named Abdullah who loved to spend his time daydreaming. He was content with his life and his daydreams until, one day, a stranger sold him a magic carpet.”

Honestly I was disappointed when I got this in the mail. I was hoping to get the cover that matched my other copies but alas no luck.

Let It Go by Jen Calonita

Price: $10

Where: 
Big W

Synopsis: What if Anna and Elsa never knew each other?

Winnie the Pooh Box Set by A.A. Milne

Price: $20

Where: 
Big W

Synopsis: This box set includes:

  • Winnie the Pooh
  • The House at Pooh Corner
  • When We Were Very Young
  • Now We Are Six
  • Return To Hundred Acre Wood
  • The Best Bear in all the World

Twisted Tales Box Set by Liz Braswell & Jen Calonita

Price: $20

Where: 
Big W

Synopsis: This box set includes:

  • Part of Your World (Little Mermaid Twisted Tale)
  • A Whole New World (Aladdin Twisted Tale)
  • Mirror Mirror (Snow White Twisted Tale)

*I just wanted to add a disclaimer, Just in case you were wondering the synopsis come from Goodreads. I don’t like knowing much when I go into books so I copy the synopsis from Goodreads so I don’t spoil myself and secondly so you guys can know more about the books. Hope you don’t mind

Have you hauled anything recently?

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Book Haul: September 2019 – Part 1

Sooooo…I bought a few books 🙃


Title:
The Silver Mask (Paperback)

Author:
Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Price:
$13.18

Where:
Amazon

Synopsis: Book 4 in the Magisterium Series


Title: The Golden Tower (Paperback)

Author:
Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Price:
$10.71

Where:
Amazon

Synopsis: Book 5 in the Magisterium Series

Title: The Magic Misfits & The Magic Misfits – The Second Story Paperback)

Author: 
Neil Patrick Harris

Price: 
$
6 Each

Where: 
The Book Grocer

Synopsis: When street magician Carter runs away, he never expects to find friends and magic in a sleepy New England town. But like any good trick, things change instantly as greedy B.B. Bosso and his crew of crooked carnies arrive to steal anything and everything they can get their sticky fingers on.”

Title: The Lost Tide Warriors (Paperback)

Author: 
Catherine Doyle

Price: 
$
10

Where: 
Big W

Synopsis: In the brilliant sequel to The Storm Keeper’s Island, winner of the Books are My Bag Readers Award, Fionn Boyle finds himself at the heart of the fight for the island’s survival.”


Title: The Land of Roar (Paperback)

Author: 
Jenny McLachlan

Price: 
$
12

Where: 
Big W

Synopsis: ” When Arthur and Rose were little, they were heroes in the Land of Roar, an imaginary world that they found by climbing through the folding bed in their grandad’s attic. Roar was filled with things they loved – dragons, mermaids, ninja wizards and adventure – as well as things that scared them (including a very creepy scarecrow. . .)”

Title: Lady Helen Trilogy (including The Dark Days Club, The Dark Days Pact & The Dark Days Deceit)

Author: Alison Goodman

Price: 
$
10 Each

Where: 
Big W

Synopsis: On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?”


Title: The Ship of the Dead (Hardback)

Author: 
Rick Riordan

Price: 
$1
3.20

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: Third book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Series


Title: Ever the Brave & Once a King (Hardback)

Author: Erin Summerill

Price: 
$1
2.09 & $13.04

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: Book 2 and 3 in the Clash of Kingdoms Series/Trilogy? The first book is about Britta and her journey to discover her father’s murderer.

Title: Echo North (Hardback)

Author: 
Joanna Ruth Meyer

Price: 
$
13.71

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: Echo Alkaev’s safe and carefully structured world falls apart when her father leaves for the city and mysteriously disappears. Believing he is lost forever, Echo is shocked to find him half-frozen in the winter forest six months later, guarded by a strange talking wolf—the same creature who attacked her as a child. The wolf presents Echo with an ultimatum: If she lives with him for one year, he will ensure her father makes it home safely. But there is more to the wolf than Echo realizes.”


Title: Capturing the Devil

Author: 
Kerri Maniscalco

Price: 
$2
1.87

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: 4th and I believe final book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper Series. Which is about Audrey and her obsession studying gruesome murder victims.

Title: Darkdawn (Hardcover)

Author: 
Jay Kristoff

Price: 
$33.39

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: The third and final book in The Nevernight Chronicle. In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Title: The Ten Thousand Doors of January (Tall paperback you know the floppy ones. Love them)

Author: 
Alix E. Harrow

Price: 
$16

Where:
Big W

Synopsis: “In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.”

This ends part 1 of my September Haul. It’s a lot I know. But I found so many good deals and there was a couple pre-orders in there so I’m not going to punish myself too hard for the spending. Have you found any good deals on books lately? I feel like in the US books are a lot cheaper so when I see a good deal I grab it.

*The Amazon links are affiliate links. Please feel free to use them or not use them at your discretion. I do get a small commission if you use the link.

Wrap Up: November 2020 (Clear Your Shit: A Readathon – Part 1)

This month we completed a whooping 3 books. Not a lot but we hit over 1000 pages so I’m taking that as a win!

YA 3
Where I Sourced My Books No. of Books
ARC1
Owned TBR1
Hauled This Year1

Total pages read: 1,270

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler, Frank Miller (Illustrator)

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Thoughts: I’m so shattered this did not work out for me. When I started reading this I thought I was going to LOVE IT. It had all the right ingredients: strong female character, forest setting, fantasy, retelling. But sadly I was disappointed.

The story throws you straight into the plot. I was a bit confused but they go back and explain what lead up to that first scene. I liked Nimue, she is very determined and I liked following her perspective. Her history was interesting, between her connection with The Hidden (source of Magic) and her familial relationships I wanted to know more. But this book explored the perspective of sooooo many characters, sometimes within the same chapter which I hated. I got so bored and confused reading the other perspectives.

If you like action and fighting scenes you might enjoy this because that filled half the book. This was a lot of action and death. There was a death in almost every chapter. This is marketed as YA but I would classify this as New Adult because the death scenes were very descriptive.

Finally the art…I hate saying this because I know how hard artists work on art. But it was awful. I did not like the art style one bit. So sadly not for me!

Genre: Retelling, Fantasy

Age Group: YA

Representation: N/A

Trigger Warning: Description of a deceased baby, Violence, Death of a loved one, Death of an animal, Massacre, Decapitation, Genocide

Challenge: Scary Book

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Thoughts: I gave this 3.75⭐️ I read this as part of a blog tour so if you’d like to hear my full thoughts head of there.

In a nutshell, this was a good read. It kept me intrigued the whole way through and at the end I was on the edge of my seat. The characters and relationships were marvelous even the strained relationships like Aubrey and her father. Because it helped her come into her own. I would definitely recommend this.

Genre: Mystery

Age Group: YA

Representation: Biracial, POC, Gay

Content Warning: Death of a loved one, Loved one with Dementia, Alcoholism, Murder, there is a content warning that is a spoiler if you’d like to see it click content warning.

Challenge: Character you want to fight

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thoughts: It took me 3 days to read this and it took me 21 days to read Cursed. This book showed me that it’s not me it’s the book because I just flew through it.

First off I had no idea this book was going to go into detail about the importance of caring for sea creatures. If there’s one thing in a sucker for. It’s animals. And this was full of them.

There are so many facets of this I think people may like. There was references to music (which is not my thing but I think other people would enjoy especially if you’re into 70s and 80s music). If you enjoy discussion on the importance of climate change/making a difference in the world you will appreciate this book. If you like enemies to lovers you might like this book. If you like siblings relationships and friendship dynamics this is also explored. I could go on and but all I have to say is this was just fabulous. So entertaining!

I’m not going to lie I almost docked half a star because the ending felt a little rushed but Marissa Meyer brought it back and I couldn’t not give this 5 stars. If it wasn’t already obvious I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommended this book.

This book solidified and officially put Marissa Meyer on my list of “auto buy”/favourite authors. I loved Heartless and The Lunar Chronicles so her place on that list is well deserved.

Genre: Contemporary with a dash of magic

Age Group: YA

Representation: Plus Size, POC

Trigger Warning: Fat shaming, Injured Animals

Challenge: Book with blue/water theme



Movies Watched:

  • Like A Boss – 5⭐️
  • Noelle – 5⭐️

Series I’m Watching:

  • Britain’s Got Talent – Season 14
  • Junior MasterChef (AUS) – Season 2
  • Switched at Birth – Season 1 and 2
  • Britain’s Got Talent – Season 14
  • The Masked Singer (US) – Season 4

Did you read an good books last month?

Six For Sunday: Red and White Books

SixForSunday is hosted by ALITTLEBUTALOT. If you would like a list of the prompts for October, November and December please check the link here. This month’s theme is Festive Goodness which is so cute! This week the topic is Red and white books.

  • Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1) by J.R. Ward
    • This is one i read a long time ago. But I really enjoyed it. I would loved to get back into this series but it has sooo many books.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas
    • This is one of the first books I read when I got back into reading and it has stuck with me since. I would love to reread this series again.
  • Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl
    • This one I don’t hear talked about. This is Keeping up with the Kardashians meets mystery. There was a hint of romance but at its core this is a book about family.
  • This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by V.E. Schwab
    • This Duology will break your hear!
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
    • Talk about perseverance, kookiness and heartbreak!
  • Teen Titans: Raven (Teen Titans #1) by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo (Illustrator)
    • Raven has a tragic story and her arch does not finish in this graphic novel but regardless I wanted more.

What are some red and white books you would recommend?

Book Haul: October 2020

Another month gone and more books acquired. October was a bad month for my wallet. I spent $359.58. Of that $160 went to the Illumicrate edition of The Poppy War series. My TBR is currently sitting at 369. Ekkkk that is getting high up there. So much for keeping my TBR under 300.

I apologise for the delay in this post. My family and I got some bad last month and as a result my uploads may be inconsistent and delayed. I’m going to make an effort to schedule content but I’m not making any promises.

We’ll start from the top stack, then move from left to right.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Price: Free

Where: 
I participated in a book swap and this was sent to me from Book Depository

Synopsis: Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and soul-stirring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried near the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles in his path. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts

So This is Love (A Twisted Tale #9) by Elizabeth Lim

Price: Free

Where: 
On Facebook there is a group specifically for Gifting Books from your Amazon Wishlist. It sounded like a lot of fun so I thought I’d give it a go and this is one of the books I received.

Synopsis: Unable to prove that she’s the missing princess, and unable to bear life under Lady Tremaine any longer, Cinderella starts work at the palace as a seamstress. However, when Cinderella finds herself witness to a grand conspiracy to take the king – and the prince – out of power, she is faced with questions of love and loyalty to the kingdom.

The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard #3) by Scott Lynch

Price: $25.91

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: An orphan’s life is harsh—and often short—in the mysterious island city of Camorr. But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery, becoming a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist. As leader of the band of light-fingered brothers known as the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is soon infamous, fooling even the underworld’s most feared ruler. But in the shadows lurks someone still more ambitious and deadly. Faced with a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the enemy at his own brutal game—or die trying.

Fable (Fable #1) by Adrienne Young

Where: FairyLoot

Synopsis: For seventeen-year-old Fable, the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home she has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one, and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father, and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Price: $26.67

Where: 
Waterstones

Synopsis: France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

A Deadly Education (The Scholomance #1) by Naomi Novik

Price: $26.67

Where: 
Waterstones

Synopsis: There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere.

The Court of Miracles (A Court of Miracles #1) by Kester Grant

Price: $26.67

Where: 
Waterstones

Synopsis: In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie).

When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – Minalima Edition

Price: $29

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy – until he is rescued by an owl, taken to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch and does battle in a deadly duel. The Reason … HARRY POTTER IS A WIZARD!

The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie #1) by Marie Rutkoski

Price: $15.99

Where: 
QBD

Synopsis: Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences. Nirrim keeps her head down and a dangerous secret close to her chest.

But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away who whispers rumors that the High Caste possesses magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.

TRUEL1F3 (LIFEL1K3 #3) by Jay Kristoff

Price: $9.95

Where: 
Amazon

Synopsis: It’s just another day on the Scrap: lose the last of your credits at the WarDome, dodge the gangs and religious fanatics, discover you can destroy electronics with your mind, stumble upon the deadliest robot ever built When Eve finds the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend and her robotic sidekick in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, battle cyborg assassins, and scour abandoned megacities to save the ones she lovesand learn the dark secrets of her past.

Unravel the Dusk (The Blood of Stars #2) by Elizabeth Lim

Price: $14.39

Where: 
QBD

Synopsis: Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

Keeper of the Lost Cities, Exile and Everblaze (Keeper of the Lost Cities #1) by Shannon Messenger

Price: $10 each

Where: 
Big W

Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.

Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.

Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.”

Blood Heir (Blood Heir Trilogy #1) by Amélie Wen Zhao

Price: $15.99

Where: 
QBD

Synopsis: In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are deemed unnatural–even dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, is one of the most terrifying Affinites.

Ana’s ability to control blood has long been kept secret, but when her father, the emperor, is murdered, she is the only suspect. Now, to save her own life, Ana must find her father’s killer. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is one where corruption rules and a greater conspiracy is at work–one that threatens the very balance of Ana’s world.

Graceling (Graceling Realm #1) by Kristin Cashore

Price: $9.20

Where: 
Facebook Buy/Swap/Sell Page

Synopsis: Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po. She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.”

And that’s it. Again sorry this is late. I will try to get as many posts up as I can. I wanted to do a whole thing for the end of year but it is going to be a rough month for me personally so no promises.

Are there any books on this list you would recommend I get to sooner rather than later?

Six for Sunday: Children’s Books You’d Love To Read

Happy Sunday all! I don’t know about you Christmas is coming and I’m so excited. SixForSunday is hosted by ALITTLEBUTALOT. If you would like a list of the prompts for October, November and December please check the link here. This month’s theme is A celebration of kids’ book! which is so cute! This week the topic is Children’s books you’d love to read.

Now there are many children’s books I’d love to read. But if I listed all of them we would be here all day. So lucky for you I can only include six. Haha.

  • The Magisterium Series by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black
  • Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty
  • Castle in the Air and House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones
    • This is the second and third book in the Howl’s Moving Castle series. Which I didn’t know was a series until last year
  • The Christmas series by Matt Haig
    • Christmas is coming… So I’m hoping these will get read by the end of the year
  • The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris
    • I’m so curious about these
  • A Tale of Magic by Chris Colfer


What are some children’s books on your TBR?

Review: The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

Links: Amazon|Book Depository|Goodreads

Publication: 3rd December 2020

Number of Pages: 336

Acquired: eARC from NetGalley hosted by TheWriteReads

Representation: Biracial, POC, Gay

Content Warning: Death of a loved one, Loved one with Dementia, Alcoholism, Murder, there is a content warning that is a spoiler if you’d like to see it click content warning.

Rating: ★★★.75

Synopsis

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised . . . and curious.

Their parents are all clear on one point–not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious–and dark–their family’s past is.

The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over–and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.

My Thoughts

I have to say I really enjoyed this. I liked the pacing, the plot constantly moved forward. And I loved the characters and their dynamic. I thought the plot was interesting. There was just something missing and I can’t quite put my finger on what that is.

Setting

The story starts with the 3 cousins in their home towns, but we quickly move to the Island where they have been brought to work over the summer. We get to explore most parts of the Island which reminded me of Sitka, Alaska in The Proposal except more beachy. I honestly felt like I was watching a movie, the descriptions were vivid and clear.

The Characters

There are 4 perspectives. The 3 cousins (Milly, Aubrey and Jonah) in present time and Allison (Milly’s mum) when she was 18. I got a little confused at times because their voices started to blend a little and sound the same but regardless I liked being in all their heads. I related most to Aubrey but my favourite perspective was Jonah.

Milly is very much about appearance but throughout the novel we see that all she wants is to be accepted and loved so I found her character development quite fascinating.

Aubrey is non confrontational which means that people feel they can walk all over her. Her character hit very close to home and reminded me so much of myself. The girl we meet at the start is not who she is at the end and I loved that for her character.

Jonah is very determined and takes crap from no one. He goes through a lot of hardship and I found that his reactions were understandable. But he can also be impulsive.

Then throughout we see bits of The Story Siblings in the past. And boy this family is messed up!

Pacing/Writing

The first half of the book I would describe as quiet. The story goes along and we discover little pieces of information. I guessed a few of the twists but the way they evolved was done quite cleverly. And then the books ending goes off with a bang.

I would describe the writing as “the calm before the storm”. You know something is brewing but you don’t know what. It was intriguing and I was hooked.

It was written in a way that was basic and simple just the way I like it. It reads like a contemporary which I guess this is.

The Plot

This books strength lies with the characters and their evolving relationships. Not only with each other but with their parents, and with people they meet on the Island. In the first third of the book I felt like I was reading a contemporary which was fine by me. Then we shift a gear and stories are told. We learn more about the past. Then in the last third we shift another gear and that is when everything unravels. It’s hard to describe the plot because not a lot happens. This is a story of discovery that you need to explore yourself.

Continue reading “Review: The Cousins by Karen M. McManus”

Six For Sunday: Children’s Books You’d Love To Jump Into

Hello All! SixForSunday is hosted by ALITTLEBUTALOT. If you would like a list of the prompts for October, November and December please check the link here. This month’s theme is A celebration of kids’ book! which is so cute! This week the topic is Children’s books you’d love to jump into.

  • Hogwarts
    • Was always somewhere I felt like home growing up and gave me so much comfort.
  • Tilly and The Bookwanders
    • This is the best of all worlds because you could jump into any and all book worlds. So maybe I’m cheating with this answer hehe.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    • It’s chocolate…need I say more.
  • The Hundred Acre Woods
    • Winnie the Pooh is one of my favourite Disney characters and reading the books they have so much fun.
  • The Land of Roar by Jenny McLachlan
    • Aside from the scarecrow (super creepy wouldn’t want to see them). But there’s dragon’s and I’m sold.
  • Wonderland
    • I hated the story Alice in Wonderland. However I can’t deny that it would be a cool world to explore. Sweets that make you big or small. Talking creatures, tea parties. It sounds like it would be a grand old time.

Have I missed some of your favourites? Let me know what worlds you’d like to jump into.

Bookish Babble: You Need A Cover Change

Bookish Babble is a new series on my blog discussing a variety of bookish topics. This week is going to expose me as the shallow person I am haha. I buy a lot of books and while I don’t buy books solely based on their covers. I do like a pretty cover. So I like to look at both UK and US versions of covers and am happy to spend a little more if it means I’m getting the cover I like. This isn’t always the case but a majority of the time it is.

The reason I wanted to make this list was because there are a few books I’d like to buy. However I am hoping they will get a cover change.

1. Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer

This and the following book is what inspired this post. I loved Twilight growing up and I know that if I read it today I probably wouldn’t love it as much however I am curious about this new book. The nostalgia is real! But when I saw this cover I was a little repulsed to be honest. It creeps me out. I know its a piece of fruit but they did a good job making it look bloodied.

2. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

The gold and green is just not doing it for me. It’s very Aussie Aussie Aussie. Go Go Go. I didn’t like this book so I will be unhauling. If you’d like to see my review it was a bit of a rant.

3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

The US and UK have different covers and I don’t like either of them. This series is actually getting new covers but even those ones I don’t like. How is it that the novella has a pretty cover but the main trilogy doesn’t????

UK Covers
US Covers

I actually like these UK hardcovers below but they are out of print and hard to find. If I could get my hands on these UK hard covers I would be happy.

4. Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin

The white and grey of this cover is a bit bland. And the red title makes it look a little tacky. No offence. A little tweaking and I think it could have be a pretty cover.

5. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Why? The face ruins it. If you got rid of the face and crystal it’s not bad!

What are some of your least favourite covers?

Six for Sunday: Children’s Books That Would Make Brilliant Graphic Novels

SixForSunday is hosted by ALITTLEBUTALOT. If you would like a list of the prompts for October, November and December please check the link here. This month’s theme is A celebration of kids’ book! which is so cute! This week the topic is Children’s books that would make brilliant graphic novels. What a topic…

  • Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
    • One of my absolute favorite books which would lend beautifully to a graphic novel.
  • The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
    • I didn’t love this novel however this was a travel/journey story with lots of imagery so I think would be a decent graphic novel.
  • The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
    • Yes Yes Yes. I don’t think I’ve read a graphic novel set in a magical school (one of my favourite tropes), so this is one I would love to see as a graphic novel.
  • Tilly and the Bookwanderers by Anna James
    • There are illustrations already in this book so this would definitely make a good graphic novel. I think I would like this more if it was to be honest.
  • Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
    • Honestly I just love the art on this cover and I would love them to do a graphic novel because they already know what the main character looks like.
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
    • Bare with me on this one. Now I know Wiliam Shakespeare’s writing isn’t for Children. However, I read this in year 7 for school and because of how whimsical this was imagine how good it would have been to have a graphic novel of this. It would have made English so much easier!

Okay so that last one was cheating but I stand by what I said. Hahaha

What books would you like to see as graphic novels?

Wrap Up: October 2020

Welcome to another wrap up. I can feel Christmas coming and I’m so excited. This month I didn’t do too bad. I read 5 books but the page count wasn’t very high. But regardless I finished a series and I’m not mad about it. The yes but the number of books read is okay. If you don’t like rants click away now.

Middle Grade 3
YA1
Adult1
Where I Sourced My Books No. of Books
Library1
Owned TBR2
Hauled this year2

Total pages read: 921 pgs

The Last Battle (The Chronicles of Narnia (Publication Order) #7) by C.S. Lewis

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Thoughts: This is whole series is very problematic! No! Just no! After the Blackface in this book I kind of just hate read this. I wanted to get this series over and done with because it was the last book. I’m so disappointed I didn’t like this series.

On the occasions when I don’t like a book there are aspects that I feel others would enjoy and explain why I would recommend it to those people. But this is one book I would not recommend to anyone and if this wasn’t a library book I would have burnt this book that’s how much I disliked it. Sorry for the aggression and negativity but this should have been republished because Blackface is not okay. Calling people dumb is not okay. Slavery is not okay. Could not be more happy to be done with this series!

Genre: Fantasy

Age Group: Middle Grade

Representation: POC (poor rep)

Trigger Warning: Animal Abuse, Slavery, Blackface, Death, Racism

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games #0) by Suzanne Collins

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Thoughts: I did a review for this because I had too many thoughts. If you’d like to see my spoilery thoughts check out my review here.

I didn’t like this. I didn’t hate it but there was little I liked. I liked seeing the evolution of the games. I liked the nods to the original trilogy and that was it.

I felt the romance was all consuming. 75% of the way through I felt like I was reading a romance as opposed to dystopian. There was a lot of violence. And I felt like this was much darker than the original trilogy (which I was fine with but just a warning if that is something you don’t like in books). There is an audience for this novel but it was not me.

Genre: Dystopian

Age Group: YA

Representation: POC, LGBTQI+ (It was not specified so I don’t want to label the rep)

Trigger Warning: Cannibalism, Animal Abuse, Death of a Parent, Neonatal Death, Graphic Descriptions of Death

The Magician’s Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6) by C.S. Lewis

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Thoughts: I wrap up my books from worst to best in case your confused about the rant review for The Last Battle. I also right reviews straight after finishing each book and it’s so funny editing this post because I’m seeing my foreshadowing thoughts haha.

I am genuinely surprised. This was not bad. I haven’t been loving this series but I didn’t mind this story.

This installment was the story of how Narnia came to be. It was a bit of an adventure. We follow Digory who in the start was annoying and immature. But grows up a little by the end. This is a short novel so the development is quick so you’ve got to suspend your disbelief. But regardless he annoyed me less by the end.

Polly, Digory’s female companion, was kind of just there. She didn’t really do anything for the plot.

If you know about Catholicism then you’ll notice the religious references. If your into that then you might enjoy this series. I personally wasn’t a fan but I still enjoyed this despite that.

There were some sexist remarks which I didn’t appreciate but this series has been racist, sexist so I expected it.

I’m one book from the end. I can’t wait! Not because I like the series but because I can be done with it.

Genre: Portal Fantasy

Age Group: Middle Grade

Representation: Plus Size/Fat (side character)

Trigger Warning: Sexism

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Thoughts: I do not know how to rate this. This book was incredible. If I was giving this a rating in terms of intrigue I’d give it a 2.5 stars because this is a story about the journey and obstacles got resolved quite quick and therefore predictable . And the writing was repetitive at times. But in terms of profoundness this gets a 5 out of 5. I’m not religious and that is talked about throughout this book but I still got a lot out of this. So the religion didn’t take away from the story. That is an achievement in itself.

I related to the Englishman who likes to read and learn. But the journey of Santiago made me question and think about what I really want from life and not to give up. It touched me on a personal level and for that I’m so grateful to have read this book.

So if we’re talking about impact and the experience of reading this book it’s probably a 5 star because I feel like it is one I will never forget. It’s not something I would read again which is what I usually give my 5 stars too so I’m happy to leave this with no rating.

Genre: Fiction, Self Help

Age Group: Adult

Representation: N/A

Content Warning: War, Religious Themes, Violence

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood by David Benedictus and illustrated by Mark Burgess

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thoughts: This was cute! This is book 5 in the Winnie the Pooh series and was taken over from A.A. Milne. We get introduced to an otter who was so sassy. I love her. I feel like this read better than the first few books (sorry if I’ve insulted anyone). It was still nonsensical at times and the stories flowed through each other which I liked. So overall very positive reading experience. The pictures were adorable as always. My favourite story was “In which Lottie starts an academy and everyone learns something” the chaos of the school was hilarious. My least favourite was “The game of cricket” because as the title suggests it was about cricket which is not my thing.

Genre: Short Stories

Age Group: Middle Grade

Representation: N/A

Trigger Warning: N/A


Movies I Watched:

  • While you were sleeping – 5⭐️
  • The Cheetah Girls – 5⭐️
  • Penelope – 5⭐️
  • Black Panther – 5⭐️
  • Barbie & The Diamond Castle – 5⭐️
  • Barbie in A Christmas Carol – 5⭐️
  • Barbie Presents Thumbelina – 5⭐️
  • Barbie and the Three Musketeers – 5⭐️
  • The Holiday – 5⭐️
  • She’s The Man – 5⭐️
  • The Lizzie McGuire Movie – 5⭐️
  • Coco – 5⭐️

Series I Am Currently Watching:

  • The Masked Singer (USA) – Season 4
  • Charmed – Season 4
  • Masterchef Junior (AU) – Season 2
  • Big Bang Theory – Season 12
  • The Bachelorette (AU) – Season 6
  • Hotel de Luna
  • Boys Over Flowers
  • Britain’s Got Talent – Season 14

What was your favourite book in October?

Six For Sunday: Books From Your Childhood

SixForSunday is hosted by ALITTLEBUTALOT. If you would like a list of the prompts for October, November and December please check the link here. This month’s theme is A celebration of kids’ book! which is so cute! This week the topic is books from your childhood.

  1. Harry Potter
    • I think this will be the case for many people. But the books definitely formed an important part of my childhood. Regardless of whether she who must not be named is problematic these books will forever remain in my heart.
  2. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
    • I really need to re-read this series. But I remember loving this series. It has been so long I definitely need another read.
  3. 1800-Where-R-U by Meg Cabot
    • I loved this series! I’m hoping to re-read this before the end of the year and if not then next year. I remember thinking the love interest was such a cutie haha. We shall see how I feel about this series as an adult.
  4. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
    • These first 2 books were some of my absolute favourites but I hated the ending (the last book)
  5. It Girl Novels by Cecily von Ziegesar
    • This one was from my high school days rather than childhood. I never got to finish this series but I remember loving it.
  6. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
    • Another series from my high school days. I got into Twilight a lot later than most of my friends but I caught up in time for the last book. I was obsessed with this series. I’ve read New Moon maybe once or twice but the rest of the series I re-read at least 4-5 times.

What are some books from your childhood?

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