Wrap-up: April 2018

April was such a stressful month for me, I literally have no idea what happened during these 30 days. Since I had so much work to do for uni, I didn’t get to read as much as I wanted to but those books that I did manage to read, were absolutely wonderful, I think I gave five start to all of them. So these are the books I managed to read in April:

  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (Winternight Trilogy #1)
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  • The Curse by Jina S. Bazaar (Roxanne Fosch #0.5)
  • Heir of Ashes by Jina S. Bazaar (Roxanne Fosch #1)
  • The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud (Lockwood & Co. #2)

I also managed to reread some of my feel-good novels from the lovely Joss Stirling and these two were the ones I picked:

  • Angel Dares by Joss Stirling (Benedicts #5)
  • Summer Shadows by Joss Stirling (Benedicts #6)

Since I wrote full reviews on most of these books, I won’t get into too much details. Besides all of the books listed above I also read some short stories from Unexpected Magic: Collected Stories by Diana Wynne Jones. Now, I started reading this collection at the beginning of the year but something just seems off about it, I honestly have to struggle to finish a story. I adored the Crestomanci short stories but these are just weird and not my cup of tea. I only have one left, but it’s a pretty long novella, so it will take me some time to finish.

My lovely Benedict brothers brightened my too-dark days and I’m really glad I bought the entire series. I just keep going back to them and when there’s nothing left, I read fanfiction. I normally don’t read fanfiction but this series is the exception and I even wrote two stories myself, about my favourite Benedict brother, Victor. Honestly I have no idea why I’m so obsessed with this series. *sigh*

May is going to be even busier than April so I probably won’t have time to read as much. That’s okay, though, I will catch up during the summer. Now if I had to pick my favourite book of last month, I’d probably pick Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society though I also adored The Bear and the Nightingale. But Guernsey just broke my heart and I know this book will always have a bit of my soul.

Speaking of this absolutely stunning novel, my bookish friend Samanta and I (https://samyinbookworld.wordpress.com/) started our very own book club! And this was the first book we read together. We’ll write a joined post on it somewhere in the (hopefully near) future. And we already decided on what our next read will be. Now we just need to find the time to start reading it.

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Wrap-up: March 2018

The sun is shining and it’s finally getting warmer. After a long and bitterly cold winter, I welcome the spring like a cat sunbathing on a tiled roof (which is what I was observing during my classes on Thursday because why would you listen to the professor if you can admire a stray cat sitting on a roof next door?). March wasn’t actually a good reading month for me because I sort of hit a slump. I felt pressured into reading review copies and so I ended up reading what I had to instead of what I wanted to. Plus when I finally got to read what I wanted, the book disappointed me big time and I just became angry and frustrated.

Despite my reading slump I did manage to read 6 books which isn’t at all bad. Besides that I also reread some of my favourite feel-good books but since I only read the parts I loved, not the whole books, I will list them separately. So here are the books I read last month:

  • The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell
  • SonΒ by Lois Lowry
  • Happily by Chauncey Rogers
  • Legend’s Legacy by Amanda Witow
  • Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
  • Keepers by Sacha de Black

Rereading:

  • Finding Sky by Joss Stirling
  • Seeking Crystal by Joss Stirling
  • Misty Falls by Joss Stirling

My favourite book of last month was Keepers by Sacha de Black and I actually finished reading it on the last day of the month! So despite the previous disappointments, the month ended pretty good. I posted an entire review of it just this week so I won’t get into too much details here. Suffice it to say I absolutely loved the book and I am (im)patiently waiting for the sequel to come out.

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night was my second favourite of the month. Jen Campbell is my favourite booktuber and I love watching her videos, her voice has a surprisingly calming effect on me. While I really enjoyed reading her short stories, I was impressed by some and indifferent towards others. This always happens with short stories so it’s hard to rate the entire book. But I would definitely recommend it to fans of fairytale retellings and magic realism.

Next I read two books which were sent to me by the authors in exchange for an honest review and since I already posted reviews on both of them, you can stroll back through the review section on my blog and read more about Happily and Legend’s Legacy. Also, I won’t get into too much detail about the biggest disappointment of the month, Mariana, because I ranted about it in a separate review, so go read that as well if you want to hear my opinion on it. While the story seemed compelling after reading the blurb, the actual writing was just terrible.

I finished a series this month, and although I loved the first three books in the Giver quartet, the final book Son didn’t deliver it for me. I felt like the book could’ve been way shorter, like the others in the series, and some parts were just redundant. The ending was a bit rushed and I would’ve liked to see more of it. Overall I was highly impressed by this series and I totally understand why readers are in love with it, the story is so unique and complex and it offers a lot in merely 200 pages per book.

Last of all, I reread some of my favourite feel-good/guilty pleasure books in my beloved Finding Sky series. I know this series isn’t the best of what YA has to offer but I just adore the characters and the writing and the warm sensations I get when I pick up the books. Whenever I’m feeling sad I reread some of my favourite parts of the books and it makes me feel less alone. And isn’t that the whole reason behind why we read?

My bookish friend and fellow bookblogger Samanta from Samyinbookworld (https://samyinbookworld.wordpress.com/) is hosting a readathon this weekend and I wanted to join her if even for a day but our kitchen is being remodelled and I have a presentation on Monday so unfortunately I had to pass on the offer. I am however thinking of doing a readathon later in the month, perhaps before or during spring break. I do have a lot of books to read so it would be a perfect oportunity to cut down the size of my TBR pile. Even though I am constantly adding new books to it so it’s pretty much a mission impossible to have any kind of control over it.

Have a lovely bookish weekend!

My guilty pleasure reads

Everyone is ashamed of certain books they like. I tend to hide mine and read them at home because if I read them say on a bus, I feel embarrased and I don’t want other people to know I read these kinds of books. In conversations I usually (always) “forget” to mention them because I feel like people would judge me for it, saying “but you are so smart and you read so much, how can you possibly like those sorts of books?” Well, I DO! And I’m done hiding it. So without a further ado here is the list of my guilty pleasure books which I LOVE to read:

  • the BenedictsΒ series by Joss Stirling
  • romance novels, especially authors like Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nora Roberts, Lisa Kleypas and Julia Quinn
  • some YA fantasy literature, for example theΒ Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

My ultimate favourite guilty pleasure read has to be Joss Stirling’s series about savants, people with extraordinary abilities. Her books are a mixture of romance, YA, crime, science-fiction, adventure and I LOVE THEM. Not all of the book in the series, but especially the first three and the last one (there are six books in total). They are easy to read and funny and I just get this warm feeling in my stomach when I pick them up.

The books revolve around a family of seven sons, the Benedicts, who all have special abilities and they are trying to find their soulfinders a.k.a. soulmates. Despite the fact there are seven of them, each one has a distinct personality and I love how the auhor describes the family relationships, they are so welcoming and warm. Their family is probably one of my favourite fictional families.

In between more “serious” reads I like to occasionally indulge myself by reading a romance novel. My favourite authors are Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Nora Roberts (her old novels, Chesapeake Bay Saga, Born in Trilogy, Dream Trilogy) when it comes to contemporary novels and then there are Lisa Kleypas and Julia Quinn for historical romance. I know, I know these aren’t exactly literary giantesses but I love picking up their novels once in a while because they allow me to simply relax and enjoy the ride because I know everything will be all right in the end.

And my last guilty pleasure books are some YA series. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading YA but I am more picky about which ones I read than I used to be and so I don’t just read anything with a title YA on it. There is some quality YA out there but there is also some pretty average one available to read and when I’m not in the right mood to deal with more serious matters, I pick up the latter one.

For example Vampire Academy is one of these easy breezy books and when I read them, my brain just shuts off and I can read the books with no emotional involvement whatsoever. I’m sorry to say this if you’re a fan of VA but the series is pretty shallow when it comes to emotional complexity. I have yet to read the Bloodlines series (though I doubt I’ll even pick it up) but what I remember most about reading VA is that they are easy to read in one day but when you finish them you can’t really remember what was it that you just read. That’s why I started rereading them and guess what I found out: the reason I didn’t remember what happens in them is because NOTHING HAPPENS.

So these are my guilty pleasure reads (not so guilty anymore though), what are yours? I’d love to find out so please leave a comment below and we can compare our choices.