Book Review, books, TBR, Books,, Uncategorized

My Bookish Goals for 2019

Happy New Year!

I hope 2019 brings you everything you wish, happiness and health.

I never make New Year’s Resolutions for many reasons but the main one being; I find it hard to stick to them. However, I found that I wish to have goals for 2019. This is because there are many things I wish to achieve this year and now, that I have my yearly planner, I feel like I can do it.

So, here’s a list of bookish goals I wish to achieve in 2019.

  1. No TBR’s – for the most part of the year I want to read what I want without sticking to a schedule. I found myself getting into such a reading routine that it felt like a chore rather than it being for pleasure.
  2. Write more / Write my novel – I have had this idea for my novel inside my head since I was 13, that’s eight years! Yet, I have only ever written snippets and the first four chapters. However, after planning most of it this year, I am going to use 2019 to write my novel.
  3. Be more active on Blog / Instagram.
  4. Read at least three classics.
  5. Get my overall TBR down – I have at least 70 plus books that I haven’t read yet sitting on my shelves and I really want to get that down this year.
  6. Limit on how many books I buy – only sequels and 5 new releases.
  7. Read 80 books for my reading challenge.

This is all the bookish goals, targets or hopes that I have for 2019. I have other non-related goals such as lose weight, gain confidence, healthier eating. Yes, all of the traditional New Year Resolutions. However, I really do hope I will stick to them and will be tracking my progress monthly to make sure I am up to date.

Do you have any bookish goals for 2019?

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2018 Wrap Up: My favourite reads.

Hey everyone!

I’m back with my final update of 2018. It feels so surreal that 2018 has come to end already. Personally, so much has happened in 2018, that I still can’t fully comprehend on what has happened altogether. However, I have come out on top and feel much more confident in myself and my writing than I have ever been. Mostly, this is down to being a part of the book community and constantly being surrounded by bookish thoughts and ideas.

One of my best decisions of 2018 was to create this blog and I am so grateful for each one of you who read book reviews and other thoughts. I have managed to read a variety of novels and comics this year. My reading goal of 75 books read have been accomplished! I have currently 126/75 books read. I am hoping to finish two books that I am currently reading today so I can round the final total up to 128 books read in 2018.

I am currently reading Batgirl Volume 4: Wanted and Nightfilm by Marisha Pessl.

I’ve reached 500 followers on Twitter, almost 200 on Instagram and almost 150 on here. I’ll post my links down below. I couldn’t be happier and I am so grateful for everyone who has helped me get here. Thank you!

My Favourite 2018 reads:

This is not in chronological order. Also, I have probably forgotten a few books because I am useless. I tried to have a variety of books in this list and didn’t mention a full series of books because it wouldn’t be fair. I also haven’t read many new 2018 releases so not many will be on this list.

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

I feel like I have been waiting for this book for so long and it didn’t disappoint. It contained all of my favourite characters and explored my favourite relationships. It made me go on a dangerous adventure, broke my heart and made me feel all of the emotions. Cassandra Clare owns my heart.

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas

This year I read the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. It has quickly become one of my favourite series of all times. Any of the books in this series could have easily been on this list but I chose Kingdom of Ash. This was released this year and was the final book in the series. It was exceptional and had an incredible plot throughout. The ending was fantastic and thankfully, satisfying.

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Leah on the Offbeat is the sequel to Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. It’s a YA contemporary following Leah as she comes to terms with her bisexuality and feelings for one of her best friends. I adored this book! It gave me all the feels and it was fantastic to see the return of our beloved characters; Simon, Bram from the first book.

The Silver Queen by Josie Jaffrey

I adored this book and was another five star rating for me. Honestly, every book I’ve read by Josie has been five stars. The Silver Queen is the second novel in the Sovereign series. This book is filled with interesting characters, shocking twists and thrilling world. I can not wait to read the third book in this series!

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls is a heart breaking story centred around a young boy who’s mother is dying with cancer. It’s a story about grief, love and family. I cried so much reading this story but I loved every second of it. The writing and plot was beautiful.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

This was one of my absolute favourites of the year! I loved Nic Stone’s writing style and how she changed the format of traditional prose to fit in with what was happening in the story. Again, this was another heart breaking read that is extremely relevant to our society today. I can’t express how much I enjoyed this book.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

Another Sarah J Maas book on this list. I read A Court of Thorns and Roses series before I began the Throne of Glass series. However, all of the books in this series is also incredible but I enjoyed A Court of Mist and Fury the most. It held so much character development, plot development and twists that I found myself unable to put the book down. This book really immersed me into the world. It was amazing!

The Clockwork Crow by Catherine Fisher

This is a children’s fantasy that I read recently and I fell in love with it. It was a super quick read that allowed me to completely jump into Victorian Wales and get lost in Seren’s adventure.

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Empire of Sand was a book that pleasantly surprised me. I knew I would enjoy it but I didn’t think I would love it as much as I did. It’s a captivating Mughal Indian inspired fantasy that follows a young girl, Mehr. This novel was filled with magic, adventure and an unexpected romance. I cannot wait to see what the sequel has in store.

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend

Nevermoor is a children’s fantasy that follows Morrigan Crow. From the first page I was hooked into the magical world. I fell in love with the characters and the world. Amazing! It is definitely worth the hype.

These are my favourite reads of 2018, what were yours?

Thank you for reading!

I will be posting my goals for 2019 on Wednesday.

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Book Review: The Clockwork Crow by Catherine Fisher

The Clockwork Crow was read in my creative writing class one week when we were discussing and looking at children’s fantasy. I heard the first few pages and immediately wanted to read the rest. Eventually, I found the book and managed to read it for 25inFive readathon last week.

The cover is exceptional. It’s so beautiful. I love how the gold glistens on the cover against the dark blues and blacks.

Summary

‘Travelling to a new home with an unknown new family, orphan Seren Rees is shivering in a Victorian station waiting room, when she is given a mysterious newspaper parcel by a strange and frightened man, who then disappears. Reluctantly she takes it with her… But what is in the parcel? Who are the Family who must not be spoken of, and can the Crow help Seren find Tom, the boy who has been missing for a year and a day, before the owner of the parcel finds her?’ – via goodreads ( The Clockwork Crow Goodreads )

Review

The Clockwork Crow is a children’s fantasy novel that had me hooked from the very first page.

Firstly, I really loved the Victorian and Welsh setting as it created a very dark winter atmosphere for the novel. This is a perfect Christmas read filled with danger, magic, adventure and fun. I read it one sitting and found myself eager to turn the page to see what would happen next.

Catherine Fisher did an excellent job creating her characters. They were all completely different and made for a very interesting read. Seren, the protagonist, is highly entertaining and Catherine Fisher captures the child’s voice wonderfully.

The Clockwork Crow took unexpected twists and turns throughout the story which I really enjoyed. It’s about so much more than simply a mysterious package that was left with Seren at Victoria Station. It’s ultimately a novel about family and what it means to have a family. It’s a beautiful read.

This is a wonderful Christmas read. It’s fast paced, a gripping mystery, filled with magical characters and engaging plot.

It’s truly a fantastic read.

I highly recommend this novel! I rated it 5/5 stars.

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25inFive Readathon – Did I do it?

As you all know I recently took part in the 25inFive readathon on Instagram. A readathon which took place between 13th- 17th December. The main goal of the readathon is to read for a total of 25 hours over the space of five days.

If you haven’t seen this post check out the TBR I had given myself here: My First Readathon TBR! You can also find the links to the 25inFive pages on that post.

25inFive was my first readathon and I thought it would be a fairly simple challenge to get myself started into the world of readathons. However, I was wrong, very wrong. I found it extremely hard to read for the five hours a day because I was feeling quite tired and was doing my assessments for university as well. There didn’t seem to be enough time in the day! I kept forgetting to set my timer and keep track of how much time I spent reading. So, it didn’t go as well as planned.

However, I did get a lot of reading done!

I finished Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare. This was my most anticipated read of 2018 and it did not disappoint! It was filled with everything I love about the Shadowhunter books and was a wonderful end to The Dark Artifices trilogy. I don’t want to say anything else as this a third book in the series and I don’t want to give spoilers. I rated it 5/5 stars.

The next book I read from my TBR was The Clockwork Crow by Catherine Fisher. This is a children’s fantasy novel set in Wales. Young Seren Rees is an orphan, waiting at Victorian Station, when she is left with a mysterious parcel by frightened stranger.

This was a truly enchanting Christmas read that I rated 5/5 stars. It was so quick to read and highly mysterious. I highly recommend it!

Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell was also on my TBR. This was a short read filled with two festive stories and cute illustrations. I love Rainbow Rowell’s writing and these stories made me realise how much I need to read the rest of her books. This was an easy 5/5 stars as well.

Sticking to my TBR, the next book I read was Gaslight by Eloise Williams. This was a dark and thrilling novel set in 1899, Cardiff. It followed a young girl, Nansi, as she tries to find her mother after they were separated in accident that Nansi can’t remember. This was another enjoyable read which I rated 4/5 stars.

I then read Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend. Nevermoor is a middle grade fantasy that has gained a lot of following and hype recently. It follows Morrigan Crow, a cursed child, who was destined to die on her 11th birthday until she is swept away to the magical land of Nevermoor by Jupiter North.

I loved this book. I wanted to be part of the world and the magic. I read it so quickly because it’s hard not to get lost in it. It’s amazing! I highly recommend this novel as it definitely worth the hype. I rated it 5/5 stars.

The last book I read over the readathon was A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Originally, this was not on my TBR for the readathon but I fancied a Christmas read and picked this up.

Despite reading quite a lot of books over the course of the readathon, I only read for twenty hours. However, considering everything else I had going on, I am very pleased with that result for my first readathon.

Thanks for reading!

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Book Review: Heavenward by Olga Gibbs

This review is part of the Blog Tour for Heavenward by Olga Gibbs. This was organised by the author, Olga and Melanie – Fraser’s Fun House.

Summary

With ultimate power in your hands, would you protect humanity when it broke you or would you take revenge?

Meet Ariel: a quiet, unnoticeable girl with a hidden strength…

Life is tough for Ariel: a traumatic childhood and the constant reccurring nightmare that plagues her every night for as long as she remembers, questioning her sanity, and a secret, which she doesn’t want anyone to know and is so desperate to forget herself.
But when three new student appear in her sleepy town’s school, Ariel’s dull and measured life is thrown into turmoil, as she is drawn into an ancient celestial conflict that is bigger than her and which she will need to survive to remain herself. – goodreads link

Review

I rated this book 4/5 stars.

The beginning of the book completely hooks on you on what is happening. Ariel has such a strong personality that it’s impossible not to find her entertaining. Immediately, I was consumed in the world of Angels had to find out who these new strangers were and who was telling the truth.

I truly enjoyed reading about Ariel’s story. I found her a captivating character that had suffered great mental and physical abuse as a child. Olga Gibbs did an excellent job of creating such interesting characters that made reading the book so much more enjoyable.

Olga Gibbs did a wonderful job of creating fantastical settings and developing them. When reading, I had no idea where this story would go. I found it such a compelling and addictive read. It can easily be read in one sitting!

I’ve never read anything of this genre before despite being a huge fan of fantasy and of the history surrounding celestial creatures. I would highly recommend this novel as a starting point for someone getting into this genre.

This dark fantasy had an enchanting blend of action, mystery and romance. I can’t wait to see what happens in Hallow and how this series develops.

Check out the other blogs on the tour!

Pre-order Hallow

AUTHOR

Olga Gibbs lives in a leafy-green town, nestled amongst the green fields of West Sussex, England. She was writing from the age of fifteen, mainly short stories and novellas and was a guest columnist for a local newspaper. When she is not dreaming up new adventures for her imaginary friends, she does outreach work with teenagers.

She is currently writing a second book in the “Celestial creatures” series and another stand-alone psychological crime thriller book.

Author Links:

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You can pre-order Hallow, the next book in the series here: https://www.books2read.com/u/m2vkw6

You can also read Heavenward e-book for free by clicking here.

Thank you for reading and make sure you check out Heavenward by Olga Gibbs.

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My Week in Reading

I’m back with another weekly update on what I’ve been reading this week. Firstly, I finished the audiobook Sadie by Courtney Summers. This was such a thrilling fact paced story that had me constantly on the edge of my seat. The full cast narrative brought the story to life that I felt I was listening to a true crime podcast, which some of the novel is, rather than listening to a novel. It’s was incredible and the ending left me speechless. I rated it 4/5 stars.

The next book that I finished was Tower of Dawn, the last but one novel in the amazing Throne of Glass series. I can’t say too much about this novel due to spoilers but I really enjoyed it. I loved the introduction of the setting and new characters, the story that slowly unravelled throughout the novel. It set up a very interesting beginning for the final book in the series, Kingdom of Ash. I rated Tower of Dawn 4/5 stars.

Lastly, for the majority of this week I’ve been reading Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas. Ah, I feel so emotions! I’ve completely binged read this series and to finally reach the climax of this series is bittersweet. I’ve loved this book so far, it’s filled with drama, tension, action, excellent plot, romance and everything I love about this world. There’s multiple perspectives so I get to read more of my favourite characters once more but it’s not confusing and doesn’t over complicate the story. I’m currently 82% the way through the story and determined to finish it this afternoon. I’m definitely predicting a 5 star read! Once I’ve read the whole series I’ll be posting a spoiler free series review of sorts on here.

What have you been reading this week?

Thanks for reading!

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November Wrap Up – 16 Books Read!

Another month gone, another monthly wrap up to post.

November was a good reading month for me. I read a total of sixteen books and I’m not sure how that happened. I won’t be posting little reviews attached to the books because I write them in my weekly reading update.

The books I read this month were The Silver Queen by Josie Jaffrey, Fawkes by Nadine Brandes, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Empire of Storms and Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas. These were all the physical books I read this month. I think my favourites out of these were The Silver Queen and Empire of Storms. However, most of these were five star ratings for me.

I listened to a few audiobooks this month, mostly books that I had to read for class. So, I listened to Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, Gaudy Night by Dorothy L.Sayers, The Night’s Watch by Sarah Waters and Sadie by Courtney Summers. My favourite audiobook was definitely Sadie. I loved the story along with the full cast narration of the audiobook. It was fantastic!

On my kindle I read Ms.Marvel Volume 2, Outside by Sarah Ann Juckes, The Walking Dead Volume 1, Flight of Broken Wings by Nupur Chowdhury, Giant Days, Volume 3, Through Blood, Through Fire by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman and Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. My favourites of these were definitely Outside and Empire of Sand.

Overall, I had a fantastic reading month once again. I’m so pleased with how I’m reading. I also read so many new favourites this month!

What was your favourite read this month?

Thanks for reading!

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Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri – Book Review

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This review is coming slightly earlier than expected because I read the second half of this book yesterday in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down!

First of all, I just want to say thank you to NetGalley and Little Brown Book Group for allowing me to read this title. I was sent the notification that I was approved to read this book on the day of it’s release; 15th November. I finished the book I was currently reading and started reading this book instantly. Ever since I had seen people talking about the book on Twitter, I was very intrigued by the premise of this novel.

Empire of Sand is an adult fantasy debut inspired by Mughal-India. In this world, the Amrithi are considered outcasts and are forced to hide within society. They are descended of desert spirits and for this they are highly hunted and sought out for the power within their blood. We follow Mehr, an illegitimate daughter of a Governor, who’s coveted magic catches the attention of the Emperor’s Mystics. Mehr has to secretly fight against their violent plans but if she fails to do so, the Gods will rise seeking revenge.

The world that Tasha Suri creates is absolutely astonishing and sensational. I was immediately pulled into the politics, the magic system and the characters. Honestly, I think it’s hard not to be. The prose is exceptional and beautiful allowing you to truly lose yourself in this world and follow Mehr’s difficult journey. Also, the writing isn’t difficult or overly complicated where you struggle to keep up with the story. Instead, it is clear and concise, truly allowing a fascinating story to be told. I loved everything from the different types of daiva and the different type of dances that the Amrithi performs. It was beautiful.

Mehr as the protagonist is wonderful. I love her. I love how she never loses who she is despite what the world around her suggests she should be doing. She’s proud of her darker skin and her Amrithi heritage. She practices and  trains her younger sister even though she’s not supposed to. Even when Mehr struggles with her body, her identity, she’s an interesting character because as readers we can somewhat relate to this struggle. Obviously, Mehr deals with far more troubling things than what most of us go through. I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to tell you any spoilers.

Another part of this book that I adored was the romance. I wasn’t expecting to because of the circumstances that it came from but I fell in love completely. It was such a beautiful loving relationship filled with trust, loyalty and consent. It was lovely to read.

This book is filled with female empowerment, diversity, action, fantasy, mythical creatures and romance. It’s truly wonderful! I rated it five/five stars. It’s honestly one of my favourite books of the year. I HIGHLY recommend it to you all.

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri is officially released and available to you all now. I highly suggest that you pick up yourself a copy of this remarkable read. I will definitely be getting the physical copy because I loved the book and the cover is gorgeous!

I can’t wait to see what the second book has in store for us.

Thank you for reading!

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My Week in Reading

I’m here with another weekly update on my reading progress. This week has been a hard week and I was also away on the weekend. I had a lot of work to do for class and also, I’m very ill right now. So, I haven’t been reading the amounts I usually read. In fact, I only have three books to talk about today. One I finished this morning and the other I’m currently reading.

Firstly, I read Through Blood, Through Fire by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman. This is the eight novella in the Ghosts of the Shadowmarket series. I’m not sure if it is the last one in the series or if there’s two more.

Through Blood, Through Fire follows Jem and Tessa as they find the Lost Herondale before someone else can. I really loved this novella. I’m always up for reading about Tessa and Jem. Also, the embedded narrative of Rosemary was heartbreaking. I would give anything to read a book on her sorry. I rated this novella 4/5 stars.

Next, I spent the week reading The Night Watch by Sarah Waters. I read 60% of this book physically but found I was losing concentration so then switched to the audiobook. I had to read this book for class. The Night Watch begins in 1947 and ends in 1941, following four characters; Kay, Helen, Viv and Duncan. I did enjoy this book but I didn’t love it. So, I rated it 3/5 stars.

The book that I am currently reading is Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. I placed a request for this book on NetGalley months ago and thankfully, my request was approved on the day of its release; 15th November. It was also archived on that date too. I’m incredibly grateful to have been given this opportunity to read this book.

Empire of Sand is a Mughal-India inspired fantasy where Mehr, a nobleman’s daughter is forced to marry and obey the Emperor. She must use her powers to try and use the Gods to work against his agenda. I’m currently 66% through this novel and absolutely loving it! It’s taken me so long to read due to me being ill. I love the world, the magic, the characters. It’s such an exciting read! I will be posting my full review this week on Thursday. So, keep an eye out for that!

What have you read this week?

Thanks for reading!

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My Week In Reading!

Here’s my latest update on how my reading has been this week. This post is slightly later than usual but I completely forgot to post yesterday as I went to see Wicked (again).

I started off my week by reading listening to the audiobook; Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers. This is a detective fiction novel written in 1935. It’s set in a fictional Oxford college for women where anonymous threats are being made to those who attend there. I really enjoyed this book much more than I expected. I enjoyed the tone and the characters. It was also very interesting to read about women’s education and the variety of opinions about it. Gaudy Night was a wonderful mystery that really talks about the role of women and the pressures women face. Despite it being published in 1935, many of the issues discussed within the novel are very relevant today. I rated this book 4/5.

The next book I started late last Tuesday and finished the next day was Outside by Sarah Ann Juckes. I was able to read this thanks to the publishers and NetGalley. Outside follows a young girl Ele on her journey to the outside and what it entails. This was a wonderfully dark yet captivating novel. I rated 5/5 stars and will be posting a full review closer to the publication date, January 3rd 2019.

The next book I read was The Walking Dead, Volume One. I started binge watching the tv show two years ago around Christmas and absolutely fell in love with it. However, I’m way behind on the last two series that’s aired. I struggle to stay motivated to watch TV these days. It’s weird as I used to watch so much TV. Anyway, I’ve always wanted to read the comics and seen they were available on Kindle Unlimited so I bought the first one. I loved it! It’s slightly different to the show which made it more interesting to read. The artwork was incredible. I can’t wait to read the next one. I rated this 5/5 stars.

I also read A Flight of Broken Wings by Nupur Chowdhury. This is a fantasy read set in Vandaram where there is an ongoing war between humans and Aeriels. This book had so many interesting elements; it was fantasy, science fiction, political and thriller. It made for such a wonderful read. I rated 4/5 stars.

Finally, the last book I read this week was Giant Days: Volume Three. I read this last night in one sitting after coming home from seeing Wicked. I love the Giant Days comics, they’re fun and easy to read. However, this has been my least favourite so far in the series but I still enjoyed elements of it. I rated it 3/5.

How was your read this past week? Did you have a favourite book?

Thanks for reading!

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