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!

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The Giver Quartet

Lois Lowry’s quartet about a utopian society was kindly lended to me by a devoted fan of the series and I binge read the first three books in three days (granted they are pretty short) but I struggled with the last one and it took me about two weeks to finish it. The story is so unique and well thought out, it is a modern classic and I am so glad I read the books because the film does not do them justice.

The first book wasn’t as interesting to me simply because I’ve seen the film and knew the story but I still enjoyed it. The second and the third book were my favourite in the series and I was devastated by the ending of the third one (I won’t spoil it for you, just go and read the books). The last book was a big disappointment to me because I felt like some parts of it could easily have been deleted since they didn’t play a big part in the story.

Overall this series is one of the best I’ve read, though the books are relatively short, they are packed with so many hidden messages and such a depth of emotions. The world potrayed in the books terrified me because I can easily see it as being our future version of reality. The characters were so charming and easily lovable – Gabriel and Jonas and Kira are such complex and wonderful characters, I wish I could read more about them.

The last book sort of ruined the series for me, because I was so impressed by the others but I still gave it a pretty high rating on Goodreads simply because we get to see more of our beloved characters. But I do wish the author would’ve written it diferently. I am tempted to watch the film again but I know it will spoil the book for me so I probably won’t.

The Giver quartet is a true masterpiece and a modern classic and I highly recommend it to everyone, not just to those who enjoy reading YA and distopian novels because it carries a universal message. I only hope that we don’t end up living in a similar world.

Wrap-up: February 2018

This months has been legendary for me because I managed to read 10 books. Usually I read about 5 or 6, maybe 7. I’m really proud of myself, I have to say. I didn’t plan on reading this much but then some of my classes got cancelled and some of the books I’ve read are relatively short, which resulted in me finishing 10 novels. Congratz!

Now let’s look at the books I read this month. Here is the list:

  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • The Greatest Cases of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner
  • Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
  • Power of Three by Diana Wynne Jones
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
  • Messenger by Lois Lowry
  • Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Besides reading a lot, I actually read a lot of great books this month. Uprooted was absolutely amazing, the story still plays itself in my mind even though I read it at the start of the month. Sometimes I go to my bookshelves and pick it up and just stare at it for a few minutes (does this make me strange? probably yes).

The biggest disappointment of the month was Secrets of a Charmed Life. The book promised a lot but while the second part of the book was really interesting, the first part dragged on. Kate Morton has set such a high standard for me regarding historical fiction that I just can’t stand other authors who write in a similar way because they just don’t deliver the same quality writing as she does. This was the second book of Susan Meissner’s I’ve read and I am fairly certain it’s also the last.

Because I had exams this month I decided to cheer myself up and I listened to the audio version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets which is narrated by Stephen Fry. His voice was so hilarious I literally laughed out loud whenever Dobby appeared because his voice was the same as the one in the films. But although I liked Stephen Fry, audio books just aren’t my thing. I prefer to read myself ( and to myself).

Last week I binge read the first three books in the Giver series and they were AMAZING. Since they were also quite short (200 pages each) I managed to read them in three days. I finally understand why people keep complimenting the series, it truly is a modern classis. I also started reading the last book but found it too intense and so I had to stop for a while.

Instead I picked up Without Merit by Colleen Hoover and I’m really liking it! I still have about a hundred pages to go but I know I’ll finish the book tonight. The story is way more interesting than in Slammed and I love all the characters, they are so unique and funny. Moby is adorable and Sagan, agh, Sagan is a dream.

Norse Mythology was also totally amazing but since I reviewed it, I won’t talk about it here. Neil Gaiman is brilliant and always will be.

What’s left to mention? Power of Three was pretty good but it didn’t blow me away. I still prefer Fire and Hemlock and Howl’s Moving Castle. But even though the book wasn’t great, the story still impressed me a lot.Β Sherlock Holmes was, well, Sherlock Holmes. It’s so surprising to see how his character shows itself through the writing. He’s probably one of the best characters ever written.

So there you go, these are all the books I read this month. I think I deserve a small award for managing to read this much.

(opening book depository in a new tab)

 

 

Best reading week ever

It’s Saturday morning and I managed to read 2 whole books this week plus finish 2 from last week and I’m planning on reading the fifth one in one sitting today so I start on my number six tomorrow. Did I lock myself in my room or something? Did I move to the middle of the forest or somewhere likewise remote? Nope. I decided to blow off uni for the rest of the week and so I had plenty of time to read.

Funny thing about reading this much – it makes me even more anxious and willing to read. I keep thinking about books (even more than normally) and if I don’t have a book in my hands I literally get nervous. But it’s the good kind of excitement (so far at least). I’m also cat-sitting my sister’s cats Zoya and Oscar this weekend and yesterday little Oscar slept in my lap while I was reading. It was so adorable.

Which books am I binge reading, you ask? The Giver series. I read the first part on Thursday, the second part yesterday and I’m planning on reading the third book today (I haven’t started yet by the way) and so tomorrow I can get to the fourth book. It’s really, really good. They’re not my favourite books and so I don’t adore them (probably because they’re not fantasy novels), but they are still insanely good and the plot twists make my head spin. The only thing that bothers me is the lenght, they are about 200-250 pages long and even though that makes them a quick read, I wish they were a bit longer and more descriptive.

Earlier this week I finished listening to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on audio and I started missing Hogwarts terribly but since I have so many books on my physical TBR pile I decided to stop there and not pick up the third book. I’m saving it for tough times. Then I finished reading Power of Three by Diana Wynne Jones and again I really liked it but didn’t love it as much as I expected it. I’m afraid I already read all the best of her work and now I’ll only be disappointed by her other novels. I hate this feeling.

Besides reading I went to the cinema twice this past week. Black Panther was totally amazing because the story was a bit different than your usual superhero plot twist. It instantly became my favourite Marvel film although Iron Man still is my sweetheart because I just love Robert Downey Jr. I also watched The Post which was totally different but likewise amazing. Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks are such talented actors, the only thing that bothered me was the fact that I didn’t quite understand all the background of the story, the politics, but I was still able to follow the story.

Since I’m getting anxious again (no book in my hands) I’ll finish here and start reading. Later in the day I’ll visit the cats again and hopefully they’ll be in a petting mood. I might actually manage to read 10 books this month. That would be a first!