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
  • Son 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!

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. 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)

 

 

Wrap-up: January 2018

January wasn’t a good reading month for me but I did read some of the books I received for Christmas. I told myself I won’t buy any more books till I read the ones I have at home and I’m sort of sticking to it (for now). So despite being totally stressed out because of uni and exams, I managed to read five books this months and here is the list:

  • Until by Anna B. Doe
  • La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust 1) by Philip Pullman
  • Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell
  • A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones
  • All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

The best book I read this month was without a doubt La Belle Sauvage and you can read my full review here. It was such a great book and I loved going back to Pullman’s worlds and exploring them even further. Pullman is one of those authors who write fantasy as easily as if the magical worlds actually existed and as a reader you dive into their books and wish you could drown in them (well not drown but swim around for as long as possible).  I plan on reading two more books of his this year and of course I am patiently awaiting for the next book in this series.

Until was a romance novel, an easy and entertaining start to the year. The author sent me an ARC of her book and although I read it super fast, it didn’t deliver. I was annoyed with the main character and I hated reading the chapters that were the same as in the first book of this series, because we literally read the exact same conversation just told from a different POV. I found the story to be very typical and filled with cheesy dialogue.

Since I was so stressed out because of school, I picked up a children’s book called Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse which was really funny and hilarious! The illustrations were beautiful and the story far from ordinary. I’ve only known Chris Riddell as the illustrator who works closely with Neil Gaiman so this was the first original story of his that I read. I’ll definitely be picking up more of his books because I am really excited to read about Goth Girl and her future adventures.

As you all probably already know (I do repeat this A LOT) Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favourite fantasy writers and this month I read her novel A Tale of Time City. This book wasn’t as good as some of her other work but nevertheless I enjoyed myself immensely. I love reading children’s literature, especially fantasy stories because the main focus is on magic and happy endings are a must.

The last book I read this month was All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater. Although I am a huge fan of hers, I didn’t like this book as much as I thought I would. Perhaps the timing was off, because when I was reading it my anxiety was all over the place and I couldn’t really relax enough to just enjoy the book. Or maybe it was because I loved The Scorpio Races so much that I set the bar too high. Anyhow, I liked this book (I highlighted a lot of paragraphs) but I didn’t love it as much as Stiefvater’s other books.

I’m currently reading Sherlock Holmes’ Best Cases or something like that (still, I know) and Uprooted by Naomi Novik which is so great, I read like half of the book yesterday evening because I just couldn’t stop. It reminds me a little of Howl’s Moving Castle, at least the main story, the frame of it, but it’s really good and I love the magical elements in it.

Hopefully February will be a better reading month for me but I’m definitely sticking to fantasy because I’m in that kind of mood. One cup of magic for me, please!

Wrap-up: December 2017

Hello lovelies! Only two days remain in this year and so it’s time to check which books I read this past month. I managed to read 6 books which is pretty good since I was busy with school and didn’t publish anything for two weeks (shame on me, I know). So these are the books I read in December:

  • The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (Lockwood & Co. 1)
  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  • Tisoč in ena noč – za otroke
  • Siva dama by Sabina Štrubelj
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Lost & Found by Anna B. Doe (New York Knights 1)

My personal favourite was The Scorpio Races which was just amazing. I loved the book and it took me a while to figure out that the story actually takes place on an island somewhere near Scotland/Ireland and the story is based on Celtic legends (I wasn’t aware of that when I bought the book, I just knew I needed to own all the books that Maggie Stiefvater has ever written). The biggest thing that you notice in the book is how much work did the author invest in creating the atmosphere. It feels like you are right there on Thisby, you can breathe it and smell it. I took my time with this book, I read it for three days, three whole days because I went slowly from one sentence to the next. No regrets here. It went straight to my top favourites.

The most disappointing read of December was Milk and Honey. You can read my review in the last post. Again I have to say that I’m not a fan of poetry but even I know what poetry is supposed to make you feel and this here isn’t it. I seriously don’t understand people who worship this poetry collection.

Next I read a fairy tale collection in my native language (yes, I do occasionally read in Slovenian). It was a cute book, basically a collection of stories from the Arabian Nights and the illustrations were really beautiful so I was glad to have bought the book on the book fair I went to last month. I read this book in the evenings when I was done with all the school work and it was a nice way of relaxing before going to bed.

Another Slovenian book I read this month was Siva dama (The Gray Lady). This book was actually given to me by the author herself as a Secret Santa present. I was so surprised to receive the book and was super happy to see it signed because I have very little signed books. The story was pretty good but I didn’t really love it so I only gave it four stars on Goodreads.

And the last book I read was Lost & Found, a romance novel which was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. What I love about this book is the fact that it was written by a young Croatian author whose native language is (naturally) Croatian. So she managed to write an entire book in a language that isn’t her first. I also write in English which isn’t my mother tongue so I know how much work it takes to do it and I just have to say congratulations on the job well done. It really doesn’t show that English is her second language and I think that deserves an applaud.

So these are the books I read in December. The Scorpio Races was by far the best and I urge you to read it if you are a fan of YA fantasy literature. It’s really really good. Maggie Stiefvater is such a creative writer, she plays with the language in a way that makes you feel as though you are the character and that you’re basically living inside her books and for me that is what good literature is all about. She is a constant source of inspiration and I can’t wait to read All the Crooked Saints although that will mean I’ve read all of her work and I’ll have to wait for her next book to come out (please let it be about Ronan).