All about Books
This is the page where I will be discussing what I'm reading, reviewing those books and be open to suggestions to keep adding to my To Be Read pile. Honestly, I'm never going to get through that thing anyway, so the more the merrier.
I'm finally catching up on some reviews and all of that. In July, I realised it would be a lot easier for to do round-ups every month of what I've been reading, so that will continue now.
So this is the August 2018 edition: a bit different because I designated August to being a Beat the Backlist month- which is where I've tried to catch up on books that have been on my TBR pile for more than a year, or ones I tried to read in previous Beat the Backlist months and didn't manage it.
This one was more successful than my March one, but not by much. Life has been pretty busy/crazy so in hindsight, my target of seven books was way too high. But anyway, it wasn't a total waste of an idea.
Here are the books I did manage to read/otherwise attempt. I even had a bit of a fantasy slump and read a brilliant contemporary that I'm still not over.
Let's start with attempts. I'd had The Diabolic on my shelf almost since it was published- maybe 3 years ago? I got it on sale at half price and it had sounded interesting, so I was hoping after all that time I would enjoy it.
Reader, I DNF'd it.
This was such a disappointment. I got to chapter ten, only about 100 pages in, and just...nothing seemed to be happening. I didn't care about the characters all that much and the world building was confusing. I felt no joy when I'd pick it up and eventually had to be put aside. Life's too short to read books you're not enjoying.
On the other hand, my attempt at reading The Disappearances went a lot better, and is a bit of a historical fiction, I think. For now, it's on hold- life got in the way and I didn't get to read this book as often as I'd have liked to keep remembering what was going on. That's happened before and I'm not too worried. I'll read the full book one day- hopefully early in 2019 whenever I do my next Beat the Backlist.
Onto the books I did get fully read. Flame in the Mist was one I had to wait for in paperback (as I usually have to these days- I'm too poor for all hardbacks) and it came with the new cover, which I like, especially with the cherry blossoms which always remind me of spring. I'm a big fan of cherry blossoms. :) I really enjoyed The Wrath and the Dawn duology, so had quite high hopes for this. The members of the Black Clan were all so different, despite the amount of them- as were all the characters- and the details for the world really made it feel real. Renee Ahdieh is really good at those things in all of her books. There were a few things I didn't see coming which made the surprises actual surprises.
I did enjoy it, but towards the end, I wanted it to be over. I didn't believe in the romance at all- it didn't feel like that was what was happening. Some of the changing perspectives towards the end got a bit confusing as well. If the author's first duology is anything to go by, I enjoyed the second book more than the first, so hopefully that will happen with this one too.
Overall rating 3.5 out of 5 stars.
I have finally read Shadowplay!! When I tried to read it last year, I had the exact same problem I mentioned with The Disappearances. It was frustrating at the time, because I adored book 1, Pantomime and didn't want to ruin Shadowplay by forcing it.
The wait was worth it. This book picks up right where book 1 ended, throwing Micah and Drystan into an entirely different world with an old friend of Drystan's. The magic and strange things Micah feels get stronger as various things change in the world and you can't really trust anything that happens.
If I had to sum up this book in a sentence, it would be that: You can't really trust anything that happens in this book! It's great.
Overall rating- 5 out of 5 stars. I can't wait to read the final book, Masquerade! :D
In July, I read my first book by Holly Bourne, loved it and then found out she was releasing this. It was sat on my shelf for all of August, drawing me towards it every time I looked its way. No, but really- I haven't been quiet about my mental health struggles and I know lots of people rave over the previous mental health-related books Holly Bourne has written.
This one has trigger warning for various mental illnesses talked about quite a bit, self harm, suicidal thoughts.
I admit, when Olive first gets to Camp Reset, I did worry that some of the activities were tailored to 'fix' the residents when they finished there- but I shouldn't have. Instead, the camp is all about equipping the residents to deal with the triggers of their illnesses and to cope in the outside world.
It's always weird to see a character with social anxiety and think, 'Is that how I am?', because everyone's experiences are different, of course. But the way it's written with Sophie and how she learns to cope/get better at identifying triggers, ect isn't too dissimilar to me.
On a light note, the funniest part for me is early on at camp, with Olive and the alpacas. I haven't laughed that much at a book in a while. :D
The biggest thing in this book is about kindness- starting with yourself. It's something I really needed to hear and yes, I cried. Some of the thoughts I think about myself I'd never say to anyone else, so why do I allow my brain to tell they're true about myself? Self care is something I'm really having to learn how to do lately and that saying no to things sometimes is ok for my sanity and health.
Overall rating- 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this book.
That's it. Not as good of a Beat the Backlist month as I'd have liked, but I did read some books and, given my schedule, it was better than no reading at all.
In my round-up for September, I'll be discussing some newer books along with some re-reads of childhood classics I've chosen to go back to. Lots to discuss in that one! :) All the best.
Actually back, this time.
Of course, now I have several posts to get up, including my holiday one (that feels like such a long time ago!), but taking an almost two month break on the blog while I had that holiday and just worked through some stuff has been a really good thing.
So here we go- this is what ratings I gave to the three books I read on holiday and the two others I read in July.
About a week before we packed, I changed a book to The Lost Plot instead because I really wanted to read it (Just in case you somehow don't know, I have a lot of love for this series!). Also there's a nice aesthetic for me going on here with all the blue in the covers.
Anyway, my final rating for The Lost Plot was 4.5 stars. There was the usual mystery and other elements that make it distinctly a book in this series. I loved we got to see more of the dragons and another new alternate that I really enjoyed. Not sure I could have lived there, but Irene did alright for herself. Some of the political things did occasionally go over my head, but I still got the overall gist and it didn't matter too much to me. So excited to continue with book 5! :D
The Upside of Unrequited- Somewhere around a 4 or 4.5 stars I think. So much geekiness. So much diversity. The little gaps between Simon vs and Leah on the Offbeat have now been filled in because I read this one last and those moments were great revelation times and also really cute. Another great book by this author.
Shadowblack- 4.5 stars. I enjoyed the first book, but this was a definite step-up. It was just so fun! New characters, old characters, a lot of intrigue, weird creatures and definite worry for certain characters. This one ended with unanswered threads for book 3 to continue with and I'm rather excited about this.
Warcross- All the stars!! Given how I usually don't have enough money for hardbacks, I finally grabbed this when it released in paperback and I'm so glad I did. First of all, I love how the cover just reminds of the rainbow WordArt in Microsoft programs (if anyone remembers WordArt, haha) which always was my favourite.
Oh my goodness, this was amazing! The whole futuristic type vibe and the world-building was great and really made me feel part of it. Then the whole Warcross tournament and those battles between the teams were lots of fun and happily reminded me of Mario Kart racing*- I was glad to see the game of it the Phoenix Riders played together. I remember one summer holidays off school when I played Rainbow Road by myself so many times so I could get good at it- and other levels I was less good.
While I guessed who was helping Zero, I didn't get Zero's identity and never saw any of that ending coming. I don't quite know how to feel when I get to read Wildcard- because certain reasons/intentions are good ones, but the whole execution of them is terrible. But I'm excited to read it all the same. :)
*(I really need to get people together to play that game again.)
It Only Happens in the Movies- 4 stars. This was my first book by Holly Bourne. (I've since read her new book in August but that's for another post.)
Audrey's project made some really good points about love and films, despite how cynical she was. I also now have some new films to look up, both within the book and some of the author's recommendations- along with re-watching Lost in Translation again sometime soon.
I really liked most of the characters and how things progressed believably through the book. The ending was also believable and the right one, I think. After reading this and Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes, I'm definitely going to be reading more of Holly Bourne's works.
That's all the books I read in July. I'm still sticking to my new posting schedule of now only Tuesdays and Saturdays, and until I'm caught up, will be doing round-ups where film and book reviews are concerned.
In the week to come, I'll be talking about Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes- people, just go read it!- along with how I did in my 2nd Beat the Backlist assigned month, a few film reviews and my long holiday post! :)
Thanks for sticking with my hiatus. All the best.
Hi, I'm an animal lover and have a degree. You can usually find me either reading or writing. Failing that, I might have actually ventured into the outside world...