wrap-up | May 2018

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Hello, my fellow book lovers! Just like every other month in 2018 so far, I’ve read exactly ten books in May! Since I am close to completing my Goodreads reading challenge, I won’t pressure myself to read as much anymore from now on.

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If you like my art, please buy me a coffee! If you’d like to see more of my creations, check out my blogpost about the books I read during the first quarter of 2018!

I will start with the books I enjoyed the least and end with the ones I liked the most. When you click on the graphic, you will be brought to the book’s Goodreads page.

tiffany sly lives here nowI was looking forward to reading this book because of the diversity and the synopsis, but it made me feel like shit. The anxiety representation was good and is #OwnVoices, but so much ableist language is used! While I understand why authors include problematic behaviour, I hope they understand that those descriptions are incredibly difficult for some readers. You can read my full review here.

girl out of waterGirl Out of Water isn’t a bad book; none of the books on this list are! Sadly, however, it’s not the kind of YA contemporary I tend to adore. I expected to rate this five stars, but it didn’t turn out that way. Though I enjoyed reading most of this book, I didn’t love it. You can read my full review here.

brown girl dreaming.pngAs much as I love listening to audiobooks that are narrated by the authors themselves, I should read physical copies of books written in verse from now on. For some reason, I feel like I can’t absorb the information that well. This memoir was an insightful look into the life of a black girl in the South, Ohio and New York, but the poems weren’t cohesive. You can read my full review here.

what happenedI’ve been meaning to read What Happened ever since it was released! I loved that Clinton admits she made some mistakes, but that she’s critical of the FBI’s role, the media and Trump’s campaign as well. This audiobook could’ve been a lot shorter without the mention of so many names and statistics, but it was nice listening to her voice again nonetheless. You can read my short review here.

forever interrupted.pngThis is the third novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid I have read so far and I have to admit Forever, Interrupted is my least favourite. It’s no secret I’m not a romance reader, so the flashbacks didn’t really work for me – which is 100% my fault, not the book’s. As the story went on, the characters grew on me. Taylor Jenkins Reid writes flawed yet likeable characters phenomenally, which is why  I cannot help but read her books even though they might not always seem like my cup of tea. You can read my short review here.

leah on the offbeatI’m having a very hard time talking about Leah on the Offbeat. I absolutely love Becky Albertalli’s work, so I feel like I’m not as critical of this as I am of other books. I read this in one sitting, so I clearly enjoyed it. I have so much in common with Leah! That said, it was underwhelming and I haven’t thought much about it since. There’s one scene that’s biphobic and it’s so disappointing, especially since the character who says it is bisexual! That said, I will definitely re-read this in the future, so I might like the book more then. You can read my full review here.

amina's voiceIf you are looking for a fast-paced diverse read, I’d absolutely recommend Amina’s Voice! This is a middle grade novel about a Pakistani-American girl named Amina (#OwnVoices representation) and her life in middle school and Sunday School at her local mosque.

I read this book in a handful of hours, so it’s a very short read. On the one hand that made me even more excited to pick it up, but on the other it prevented the book from being more fleshed-out. That’s probably to be expected from a book for younger audiences though.

undead girl gangI listened to the audiobook of Undead Girl Gang and it was a lot of fun! It deals with many important topics such as murder, feminism and fatphobia, but it does so in a casual way. This is the best YA mystery I have ever read, the fantasy elements were great and the characters were three-dimensional. I would absolutely recommend this to everyone who is looking for an entertaining read! You can read my short review here.anger is a giftAnger is a Gift is a very powerful book about social justice. There’s an abundance of disabled, queer and racial diversity, so that was very refreshing! This novel is hopeful and realistic and if you like books such as Dear Martin and The Hate U Give, I suggest you pick this one up! You can read my full review here.

amal unboundI listened to the audiobook of Amal Unbound and I certainly want to buy a physical copy because I think I’ll love that one even more! Just like Written in the Stars, Aisha Saeed managed to write a book that is sad yet respectful, hopeful and important. I am so thankful I gave this middle grade novel a chance because that genre usually doesn’t work 100% for me, but it was more than worth it and I will continue to read everything this author writes. You can read my short review here.


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children of blood and boneI started reading Children of Blood and Bone back in April and it’s been too long for me to continue it. I’ve been struggling reading fantasies for AGES and the world-building in this book is complex, so I’m going to start over in a few months! So don’t worry, I definitely plan on still reading it, but not anytime soon.

the girl and the groveI feel really bad for not wanting to continue The Girl and the Grove because I follow this author on Twitter and I received an e-ARC. I just can’t push myself to read it! This is definitely not a bad book, but I’d probably end up rating it only three stars anyway.

My main problem was the writing style. I usually prefer 3rd person POV, but it just didn’t work for me in this novel!

You can read my full review here.


blogposts

I post other content besides reviews 🙂 Check out these blogposts if you haven’t yet:

  • Top 5 Wednesday Rewind | series I (probably) won’t finish (x)
  • Top 5 Wednesday Rewind | recent additions to my TBR (x)
  • Top 5 Wednesday Rewind | authors I’d like to meet (x)
  • May TBR (x)
  • May anticipated releases (x)

Which books did you read this month?

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Please buy me a coffee if you like my content. I am a Book Depository and Wordery affiliate. If you are interested in buying any books, please purchase from these links. you get free shipping and I get a small commission!

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wrap-up | April 2018

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Hello my fellow book lovers! I’m really busy so I didn’t think I’d be able to read ten books (which is my monthly goal for 2018), but I actually managed to complete my goal with one week to spare! I read the majority of the books on my April TBR, so I am satisfied.

books_I_read_this_month

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If you like my art, please buy me a coffee! If you’d like to see more of my creations, check out my blogpost about the books I read during the first quarter of 2018!

I will start with the books I enjoyed the least and end with the ones I liked the most. When you click on the graphic, you will be brought to the book’s Goodreads page.

starfishI was excited to read Starfish because so many of my friends love it, but sadly, I didn’t connect with it. It could’ve been so incredibly relatable, but instead, I was annoyed with the portrayal of her divorced parents and the ableism. I don’t plan on reading more of this author’s work in the future. I appreciate what she did because most of the representation is #OwnVoices, but I felt dejected when I finished reading this. You can read my full review here.

blood of olympusThe finale of The Heroes of Olympus didn’t change my mind about this series. I’m so disappointed. I want to love Rick Riordan’s work, but every single book has the same plot! You can read my review of the entire series here. That said, I do plan on reading more of his work in the future because I cannot help but hope that it’s going to get better.

sing unburied sing.pngJesmyn Ward did a wonderful job at writing three-dimensional characters and I can see why she has received so much praise. I, however, didn’t love Sing, Unburied Sing. I didn’t feel connected to the plot nor characters and the magical realism elements confused me. You can read my review here.

fenceThough I usually don’t read graphic novels, I really enjoyed Fence at first. But because of the amount of time between the release of each issue, I forgot about the characters and the plot. Though it was fun, I don’t plan on reading the second volume. You can read my review here.

women & power a manifestoI first learnt about Mary Beard during my history lessons in college. Therefore I certainly want to read more of her work. Women & Power was an enjoyable read, but I didn’t learn a whole lot of new information. You can read my review here.

the last black unicornListening to the audiobook of The Last Black Unicorn was a lot of fun! I learnt much about Tiffany Haddish, especially because I didn’t really know her beforehand. That said, there was too much ableism and anti-fat remarks. You can read my review here.

barbed wire heartI was well aware that Barbed Wire Heart is completely different than Far From You and unfortunately, I didn’t love this nearly as much as Tess Sharpe’s YA debut. This was an interesting thriller with feminist themes, but it didn’t blow me away. You can read my full review here.

the darkest mindsMy expectations for The Darkest Minds were very low, but I actually really enjoyed this! Listening to the audiobook was a lot of fun and I’ve decided I will continue this series. You can read my full review here.

american pandaI highly recommend reading American Panda! I loved following Mei’s story and I definitely plan on keeping an eye on this author. The audiobook was great and I want to buy a physical copy because I need it on my shelves! You can read my full review here.

girl made of starsGirl Made of Stars is one of my favourite reads of 2018! This book broke my heart, but it was a bit healing at the same time. Blake continues to amaze me; everything she writes is so relatable, even when I don’t expect it to be. I plan on picking up Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World soon and once this book is released, I’m definitely getting a phyiscal copy! You can read my full review here.


blogposts

I post other content besides reviews 🙂 Check out these blogposts if you haven’t yet:

  • Down the TBR Hole | round 10 (x)
  • Top Ten Tuesday | bookish confessions (x)
  • books I read during the first quarter of 2018 ft. my handlettering (x)
  • anticipated April 2018 releases (x)

In terms of ratings April wasn’t my best reading month, but I’m happy I was able to read ten books and discovered a new favourite! Which books did you read this month?

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books I read during the first quarter of 2018 | my handlettering

1st quarter of 2018 in pictures.pngHello my fellow book lovers! Since the beginning of the year I’ve posted art of my current reads on my Twitter to keep track of my reading progress. Today I wanted to show you the pieces I have made of the books I have read from January to March. You can find the full-sized pictures on my Twitter. If you like my creations, please considering buying me a coffee! It would mean so much to me ❤

As you can see, I read a total of 30 books in the first quarter of 2018. I will continue to make a piece of each of the books I read, so follow me on Twitter if you want to stay up-to-date! If you’d like to see all of my art, you can follow me on Instagram @slyther.ink!

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Please buy me a coffee if you like my content. I am a Book Depository and Wordery affiliate. If you are interested in buying any books, please purchase from these links. you get free shipping and I get a small commission!

 

wrap-up | March 2018

march 2018.pngHello my fellow book lovers! March was a good reading month for me. I managed to read all the books on this month’s TBR (except for Fence 5 because it hasn’t been released yet) – which is so unlike me! – and I read a total of 10 books.

As I mentioned last month, I will try to read ten books each month in order to focus on intimidating novels once I have reached that number. That said, I started a job training last week that will take place until July, so that’s going to affect my reading pace.


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I will start with the books I enjoyed the least and end with the ones I liked the most. When you click on the graphic, you will be brought to the book’s Goodreads page.

the mark of athenaWhile the Son of Neptune was probably my favourite Rick Riordan book so far, I was incredibly disappointed with the Mark of Athena. Though I understand that I am not the target audience, it is frustrating that every single one of his books follows the same pattern. I will continue to read his work, but so far, it doesn’t live up to the hype for me. I posted a full review on my Goodreads page, which you can read here.

house of hades.pngSadly I felt the same way about the House of Hades. I feel like I hardly paid any attention while listening to the audiobook, so I have to feeling nothing happened in this fourth instalment. I’m sick and tired that this series so predictable because I’m not even afraid when characters seem to be dying… They always get out of every situation safely, so why should I care?an enchantment of ravensAn Enchantment of Ravens was a typical three star read for me. It wasn’t memorable, but it wasn’t awful either. I liked the fantasy elements, but the world building fell apart once the story progressed. You can read my full review here.

a dance with dragonsIt took almost seven hundred pages for A Dance With Dragons to get really interesting, but once it did, I was hooked! This wasn’t my favourite instalment in the series, but it has a lot of potential, so I am very much looking forward to the Winds of Winter. You can read my full review here.

the radical elementThe Radical Element is a feminist historical fiction anthology. I liked the diversity both in the stories as among the authors (though this naturally didn’t cover every marginalisation). I only rated two stories less than three stars, so I’d say this was a success! You can read my full review here.

the poet xListening to the audiobook of The Poet X – which is narrated by the author herself – was a very enjoyable reading experience. That said, because it’s written in verse it didn’t feel like a full-length novel, so maybe I could’ve absorb the story more while reading a physical copy. The Poet X deals with a variety of topics such as sexism and parental abuse and I loved the way Xiomara was able to express herself through poetry. You can read my full review here.

a girl like thatAs much as I “enjoyed” reading A Girl Like That, I wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending it to everyone because it deals with a lot of potentially triggering topics such as sexual assault and bullying. I am very relieved I was warned beforehand by another reviewer, otherwise, my reading experience would’ve been totally different. Anyway, I learnt a lot about Saudi Arabia while reading and I really appreciated its messages (apart from the mental health representation). You can read my full review here.

simon vs the homo sapiens agenda

I read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda for the fourth time in anticipation for Leah on the Offbeat. Unfortunately I haven’t seen Love, Simon yet because it won’t be released in my country until June 😦

upside of unrequitedI also re-read The Upside of Unrequited this month. Though this book was released less than a year ago, I’ve read it THREE times already! I absolutely adore Becky Albertalli’s work, so my hopes for Leah on the Offbeat are really high.

the seven husbands of evelyn hugoI was terrified to pick up The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo because I wanted to love it so badly. Thankfully, it did not disappoint! Taylor Jenkins Reid has proven herself to be a phenomenal writer who can depict flawed characters who readers cannot help but love. I definitely plan on re-reading this gorgeous book throughout my life and I would recommend picking it up if you haven’t yet! You can read my full review here.


blogposts

I also post other content besides reviews 🙂 Check out these blogposts if you haven’t yet:

  • March 2018 anticipated book releases (x)
  • March 2018 TBR (x)
  • Top Five Wednesday | unread authors (x)
  • Down the TBR Hole | round 9 (x)
  • Top Ten Tuesday | books that surprised me in a bad way (x)
  • Kindle book haul | November 2017 – February 2018 (x)
  • Top Ten Tuesday | books set in Africa on my TBR (x)
  • 2018 TBR | update no. 1 (x)
  • March 2018 book haul (x)

So this was my March 2018 wrap-up! Which books did you read this month?

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Please buy me a coffee if you like my content. I am a Book Depository and Wordery affiliate. If you are interested in buying any books, please purchase from these links. you get free shipping and I get a small commission!

wrap-up | February 2018

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Hello, my fellow book lovers! In February, I read a total of 10 books! Because it’s Black History Month, I read a couple of books written by black authors and I participated in ContemporaryAThon. The latter wasn’t a huge success, which is why I didn’t post a wrap-up post.

I also read ten books last month, so I will try to read that many books each month from now on. I have no idea whether that’s going to be possible, but I want to try nonetheless for two reasons:

  1. It’s easier to keep track of my progress;
  2. Once I finish those ten books, I can read a big book for the rest of the month. That way, I’ll finally have a chance to pick up those intimidating reads.

I will start with the books I enjoyed the least and end with the one I liked the most. I didn’t hate a single book I read this month, but the majority was just okay… When you click on the graphic, you will be brought to the book’s Goodreads page.


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forest of a thousand lanternsSadly I didn’t enjoy reading Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. The sequel Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix features Jade whom I find more intriguing, but since I didn’t like anything about this novel, I doubt I’ll give it a chance. I rated this two stars because it certainly isn’t an awful book, but I just wasn’t a fan. You can read my full review here.

take your medicine.pngTake Your Medicine was a typical three star read for me: it was okay. I absolutely adore the cover; unfortunately the story didn’t live up to it. You can read my full review here.

an american marriage.pngI wanted to love An American Marriage but mainly because of Roy’s sexist behaviour, I ultimately didn’t enjoy this. I gave this novel three out of five stars because I was invested enough to finish it, but the third part in particular ruined the book for me. You can read my full review here.

like vanessaI enjoyed this middle grade novel, but there were a lot of (in my opinion) problematic content I could’ve lived without. You can read my full review here.

wild beautyI definitely recommend reading Wild Beauty if you haven’t yet. This was my first magical realism story, so it was very unique. I especially liked the characters. That said, it didn’t live up to the hype for me. I didn’t get used to the writing style, but I plan on reading more of this author’s work in the future. You can read my full review here.

love, hate and other filtersI enjoyed reading Love, Hate and Other Filters, but didn’t absolutely love it because of personal reasons. Those won’t stop me from recommending this book, especially to fans of young adult contemporary romances. You can read my full review here.

they both die at the endI was bored at times while reading They Both Die At the End, but I would still recommend this novel because it’s about celebrating life. It’s really sad and stressful at times, so keep that in mind. I rated this four stars. You can read my full review here.

a kind of freedom.pngI listened to the audiobook of A Kind of Freedom on a whim and I am pleased I did. This is a multi-generational story about three members of an African-American family, written by a black woman. I liked each point-of-view equally: each character had a distinct voice and was complex. Authors who are able to pull that off seamlessly deserve a lot of praise in my opinion. You can read my full review here.

the witch doesn't burn in this one.pngThe Witch Doesn’t Burn in this One absolutely took me by surprise! I never read poetry because it isn’t my cup of tea, but I plan on buying a finished copy of this and The Princess Saves Herself in this One. You can read my full review on Goodreads!

piecing me togetherPiecing Me Together is my first five star read of 2018! I read this during ContemporaryAThon and it absolutely deserves the hype it has received! In my opinion, this book is perfect, so check it out if you haven’t yet! You can read my full review here.


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It has been a while since I didn’t finish a book, but sadly, I had to DNF a couple of books in February:peculiar childrenMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was on my list of books I need to read in 2018. I started listening to this on audiobook, but I gave up halfway through. I didn’t care about it and since I don’t own physical copies of the rest of the series, I didn’t feel pressured enough to continue it. I wrote a short review on Goodreads, which you can find here.

this will be my undoing.pngI didn’t want to DNF This Will Be My Undoing, but I had to because of self care reasons. I don’t want to elaborate since this is all very new for me, but the mentions of sex and pornography in particular were very triggering. I really wish I could continue this, but I tried and it was too difficult for me. I wrote a short review on Goodreads, which you can find here.


blogposts

I also post other content besides reviews 🙂 Check out these blogposts if you haven’t yet:

  • Anticipated February 2018 book releases (x)
  • New Year’s Resolutions book tag (x)

  • My bookshelves – January 2018 (x)
  • Down the TBR Hole round 8 (x)
  • Top 10 Tuesday: books with queer characters of colour on my TBR (x)
  • 20 Questions book tag (x)
  • Bookstagram: Should I Stay or Should I Go? | book chat (x)
  • Books I Want to Read Because of Certain Readers | on my TBR (x)
  • February 2018 book haul (x)

So this was my February 2018 wrap-up! Which books did you read this month?

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Please buy me a coffee if you like my content. I am a Book Depository and Wordery affiliate. If you are interested in buying any books, please purchase from these links. you get free shipping and I get a small commission!

January 2018 wrap-up

january 2018.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! I read a total of 10 books in January! I have to admit I didn’t read as many books as I could’ve 1) because I still needed to post so many reviews and 2) I just haven’t been in the mood to read lately. Still, I am well ahead of my Goodreads reading challenge, so no harm done.

I will start with the books I enjoyed the least and end with the one I liked the most. January wasn’t the best reading month: I didn’t enjoy a lot of books as much as I had expected and I didn’t fall in love with anything. When you click on the graphic, you will be brought to the book’s Goodreads page.

and then there were none.pngI was very disappointed by And Then There Were None. It was intrigued while reading, but the reveal wasn’t as shocking as I would’ve hoped, even though I hadn’t expected it. In the meantime I have watched the BBC adaptation and though there’s more tension in that one, it didn’t chance my mind. I doubt I’ll read any more of Agatha Christie’s work, considering this is her most popular novel. Anyway, you can read my full review here.

a torch against the nightSadly, the year started of with what could be one of the most disappointing reads of 2018. I’ve been struggling to finish A Torch Against the Night since March 2017 and I considered DNF’ing it multiple times, though I was able to read the entire thing thanks to the audiobook, even though I wasn’t a fan of the narration. As much as I love An Ember in the Ashes, it’s unlikely I’ll continue this series. You can read my full review here.

the lost heroI feel so conflicted about Rick Riordan’s books. I love the idea of incorporating Greek mythology  – and in this series Roman as well – but the execution isn’t what I had hoped. I am sick and tired of these quests! It makes the books so predictable and tedious, while they could be great. I will continue to read his work, but I am afraid I’ll never feel completely satisfied. Nonetheless I did enjoy The Lost Hero; you can read my full review on Goodreads!

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Another disappointment I didn’t see coming this month… Wonder Woman: Warbringer isn’t a bad book, but it certainly didn’t live up to my expectations. This could’ve been amazing, but it wasn’t dark enough for me. You can read my full review here.

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Stay With Me was the final book I finished this month, so I haven’t been able to write a review of it yet. Unfortunately, I felt a bit passive while reading this book. I was interested to find out more, but I wasn’t invested. I have a lot of thoughts about this book and I suggest reading my review once I upload it.

the underground railroadI had a hard time reviewing The Underground Railroad. I loved how it gave agency to slaves and how it humanised them, but the book was even grittier than most of the heartbreaking  novels I read. Therefore, I wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending it to everyone, but suggest reading reviews beforehand and determine for yourself whether this novel is for you, especially considering the list of trigger warnings is very extensive. You can have a look at those and my review here.

the son of neptune.pngThe Son of Neptune absolutely took me by surprise. I enjoyed it a lot more than I had expected! Learning more about Camp Jupiter was awesome and I was almost in tears when we got so see Nico di Angelo again, because he and Leo are probably my favourite characters in this universe. You can read my full review on Goodreads.

a dash of troubleI mentioned A Dash of Trouble when discussing my most anticipated January 2018 releases and I was able to read this new release already thanks to my audiobook subscription. This middle grade novel was so adorable. It was fast-paced, magical and I love the friendships and family dynamics. You can read my full review on Goodreads.

maybe in another life.pngEveryone has been raving about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo lately, though sadly I am not able to purchase it yet (adult literature is so expensive!). I decided to pick up the audiobook of Maybe in Another Life on a whim instead and I was pleasantly surprised. Though this book was nothing like I had expected, I really liked the execution. You can read my full review here. I definitely plan on reading the author’s other work soon!

little fires everywhereEverything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng was my favourite read of 2017, so I was very keen to read Little Fires Everywhere. I didn’t love it as much as this author’s debut novel, but it was really good nonetheless. You can read my full review here. Ng’s writing is superb: she writes characters who are flawed and complex, yet not unlike-able. No matter what happens, the events never seem far-fetched or unrealistic. I will read everything she writes!


So this was my January wrap-up! I hope February is going to be better… Which books did you read in January?

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Please buy me a coffee if you like my content. I am a Book Depository and Wordery affiliate. If you are interested in buying any books, please purchase from these links. you get free shipping and I get a small commission!

December 2017 wrap-up

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Hello, my fellow book lovers! Last month I was in a reading slump and barely managed to read anything, but I “recovered” in December. I read a total of eleven books this month. I already posted my 2017 wrap-up posts (except for my favourite reads of 2017), so I didn’t read much during the final weeks of the month.

Because the end of the year is a busy time on my blog, I haven’t posted reviews for all of these books yet. Don’t worry, I definitely will, but it will be in January instead.

I will start with the books I enjoyed the least and end with the one I loved the most.


station eleven

synopsis: An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains – this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.

Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

Station Eleven is an immensely popular novel, with an average rating of over 4 stars on Goodreads. Sadly, this book didn’t live up to the hype for me. I didn’t find the characters compelling and the Post Apocalyptic setting could’ve been developed further. Overall it was okay, but it wasn’t anything special. You can read my full review here.

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synopsis: Daisy Grace Webber’s life hasn’t exactly turned out how she thought. She didn’t think she’d drop out of college and come back to the small town she grew up in. To be fair, she didn’t think her love of baking would turn into a job at the Violet Hill Cafe either, but it did.

Something else she didn’t expect was for Molly Madison to walk back into her life, eight years after she moved away. They’d been best friends forever, or so she’d thought. But Molly is back in town and she’s looking… really good, actually. And that reminds Daisy of that one time at a sleepover when they’d kissed during a game of Spin the Bottle. That one kiss has been on her mind since then, but it’s irrelevant. Molly isn’t into girls.

But as Daisy and Molly spend more time together, feelings start to grow, and Daisy is wondering just how “straight” Molly really is…

I actually read the entire Violet Hill series this month, not only Second Kiss. Though it was nice to finally read some more F/F novellas, I don’t have any strong feelings when it comes to this trilogy. They were enjoyable reads, but not memorable or very compelling. Full reviews of each novella individually to come!

labyrinth lost

synopsis: I was chosen by the Deos. Even gods make mistakes.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo she can’t trust, but who may be Alex’s only chance at saving her family.

I started Labyrinth Lost back in March and I was finally able to finish it thanks to Sapphicathon, the readathon I participated in this month. I didn’t read many fantasies in 2017 and Labyrinth Lost reminded me why. Though I loved the diversity, the plot and characters’ personalities weren’t very strong. Full review to come in January!

everything leads to you

synopsis: A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

Everything Leads to You was such a disappointment. It certainly wasn’t a bad book, but after loving We Are Okay by Nina LaCour, it just didn’t live up to my expectations. The characters nor the plot were realistic or relatable, and I find that rather important while reading contemporaries. Full review to come in January!

ripped pages

synopsis: Princess Valentina lives a reasonably comfortable life, but after her mother’s death, her father gets tired of taking care of her and locks her in a tower. She spends years on her own, talking to the birds on her windowsill, and reading books with adventures she will never experience. Her plans of running away are usually left for another day because she knows the vast forest surrounding her tower is too dangerous to cross alone.
Until one day, another girl passes by on her horse and Valentina wonders if she’s finally brave enough to seize her chance of freedom.

Ripped Pages is an enjoyable F/F retelling of Rapunzel. Though this novella isn’t very complex or innovative, I liked reading it. I will continue to read everything M. Hollis writes. Full review to come in January!

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synopsis: Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

It’s the fourth time I’m re-reading The Raven Cycle, with the exception of The Raven King, which I’ve only read once (and didn’t love). This is one of my favourite series but perhaps because I’m listening to the entire series on audiobook this time around, I’m not as invested as I used to be.

the dream thieves

synopsis: Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I doubt what I just said. I still really love the Dream Thieves, Ronan’s point-of-view in particular! Unpopular opinion, but I really like his interactions with Kavinsky. I really wish the “villain’s point-of-view” wasn’t included in each book, though. I really don’t care about Mr. Gray. Never have, never will.

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A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

That’s a long synopsis for such a short book! Thanks to Long Way Down, I was finally able to get out of my reading slump. The way the “rule of revenge” was explored was very beautiful. It was a bit unconventional at first, but if you just go with it, it’s a wonderful story. You can read my full review here.

homegoing

synopsis: Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.

It took me a while to read Homegoing, but I’m so glad I persisted. I feel like I’ve been gushing about this novel all month on my blog. Though I personally didn’t enjoy each point-of-view equally, I couldn’t give this any less than fives stars. I would recommend this literary masterpiece to everyone, though do beware that the content could be triggering. Check out my review for more information.


So this was my final wrap-up of 2017! Do you have any suggestions for how I could improve my wrap-ups in 2018? Feel free to leave them in the comments!

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fall 2017 reading update

fall 2017.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! It’s the first day of winter, so I am going to update you on the books I read this fall.

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From the first of October until the twentieth of December, I read a total of 24 books. This isn’t as many as my summer reading update, because I was in a massive reading slump in November. I’m still very satisfied with this number though, it’s almost half of the amount of books I wanted to read this entire year!

Check out my wrap-ups if you want a discussion on each book I read separately.


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My top three books of fall 2017 don’t include any re-reads because that wouldn’t be fair. Anyway, as if I haven’t raved about these books enough yet, here’s my top three:

written in the stars

synopsis: Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late.

Written in the Stars is a heartbreaking must-read. I loved this book and would definitely recommend it, though I suggest reading my review beforehand because this novel does deal with a lot of potentially triggering content.

homegoing.png

synopsis: Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader’s wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel – the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.

It took me ages to finish reading Homegoing, but I ended up loving it. Though I had a few remarks, I couldn’t give this book anything less than five stars. This is a masterpiece that clearly took many years to craft. You can read my full review here.

everything i never told you

synopsis: “Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

I can’t express how much Everything I Never Told You means to me. It was absolutely the right book at the right time. You can read my full review here. I loved how emotional this made me feel and I will read everything Celeste Ng writes! Because of this novel, I want to read adult fiction more regularly. Don’t worry, I won’t abandon young adult literature, but I do want to expand my horizons a bit more.


my_goodreads_reading_challenge

I completed my reading challenge this summer, so even my reading slump couldn’t ruin that.

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This was my fall 2017 reading update! How’s your Goodreads reading challenge going? Will you be able to complete it by the end of next week?

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November 2017 wrap-up

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Hello, my fellow book lovers! If you’ve read my most recent posts, you know I am in a massive reading slump. Besides that, my personal life is still a big mess and because of the release of the Cats & Dogs expansion, I have been playing The Sims 4 non-stop lately. I actually don’t love the expansion that much (it’s rather limited) but my love for the game has been rekindled.

I did manage to read four books in November, but I didn’t read a single book in physical form. I only picked up those audiobooks because I didn’t want to pay for my subscription without actually using the app, so that’s why I forced myself to at least read something in November.

the school for good and evil

The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?

I finally finished the School for Good and Evil, but I unfortunately did not enjoy this at all. I was very excited to start this middle grade fantasy series because of all the raving reviews. I own the entire trilogy already, but I don’t see myself continuing it. The book seemed like it was building up to tackle fairytale clichés like “if you’re ugly and/or disabled you are evil and if you are conventionally beautiful you are good”, but it ultimately didn’t do that. There was a lot of problematic content (such as fatphobic comments) that completely went unchallenged, so this wasn’t an enjoyable reading experience. The plot was incredibly repetitive as well. I will definitely write a full review on this book, because I have a lot of thoughts.

the hunger games thg.png

Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.

In a dark vision of the near future, twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live TV show called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.

When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

May the odds be ever in your favour.

I re-read the entire Hunger Games trilogy in November. At first I wasn’t a fan of the audiobook narrator – she sounds a bit old to portray a sixteen-year-old – but I got used to it. I find a lot of popular books from back then overhyped (especially upon re-read), but I still love this series! THE CHARACTERS, Y’ALL! Peeta Mellark, my son, who has never done anything wrong in his life. And Katniss Everdeen, who would do anything for her sister. And Finnick Odair, who might seem cocky at first, but has so many layers. I absolutely love how each character was multidimensional, fleshed-out and complex. I am looking forward to re-watching the film adaptations again.

I won’t write a full review for this series because 1) it’s a re-read and 2) everyone has probably read it already anyway.


So this was my November wrap-up. I hope my reading slump will be over in December, but I very much doubt it. Anyway, which books did you read in November? Which ones were your favourites?

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October 2017 wrap-up

feature image.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! In October, I read a total of 11 books. I joined one readathon (#Spookathon) and you can find that wrap-up here.

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which_books_did_i_read_

I’ll start with the books I liked the least and end with the ones I liked the most. For the first time in months,  I read more non-diverse than diverse books, and it clearly shows: I read a lot of books in October I didn’t enjoy that much…

outlander.png

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but endorsing Outlander as a romance novel is incredibly harmful. There are numerous sex scenes in this novel, but I can count the consensual ones on one hand. In my review, I included multiple examples of times Jamie has raped Claire, so it frightens me that rape culture is so normalised, so mainstream that we can’t even recognize outright rape while we’re reading it. Furthermore, I wasn’t pleased with the way the queer characters were portrayed, either. You can read my full rant review here.

the vegetarianI wish I had known beforehand the Vegetarian deals with mental illnesses, as this turned out quite triggering for me. I didn’t appreciate how the entire novel was about someone with mental illnesses, but we never once got to read their point-of-view. Furthermore, the male characters in particular were very unlikeable and I wish their behaviour had been called out on page. You can read my full review here.

bird boxBird Box has received so many raving reviews and I honestly don’t understand it. I get scared so easily, yet I felt indifferent throughout this entire novel. It should’ve been a short story instead. There’s just so many things I would’ve done differently. I mean no offence, but I thought the author was quite lazy when he decided never to specify what the treat exactly was. Sure, it makes a reader wonder, but I wanted more answers.

I read Bird Box during #Spookathon and you can read my full review here.

a stranger in the house

I’ve heard so many great things about Shari Lapena’s other novel The Couple Next Door, so I was very keen to pick up A Stranger in the House. Sadly, this mystery wasn’t memorable at all. A lot of ableist language was used and I found the ending quite problematic.

Stranger in the House was one of the books I read during #Spookathon. You can read my full review here.

the child finder.png

The Child Finder is another thriller that has received a lot of hype, yet I thought it was very ‘meh’. It was predictable and boring. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t memorable at all. I even considered DNF’ing it. You can read my full review here.

living history.png

I listened to the audiobook of Living History, which is narrated by Hillary Clinton herself. This memoir taught me a lot and I’m looking forward to reading her other books. I didn’t review this on my blog, but I did post a full review on Goodreads.

like water

I didn’t love Like Water as much as I had expected to, but it was still a very decent YA contemporary. I tried writing a review, but I just can’t explain why I felt a bit disappointed in the end.

Nearly every character in Like Water is Latinx, so that was refreshing. Savannah Espinoza, the main character, starts identifying as bisexual throughout the novel and her love interest Leigh is genderqueer, though that isn’t “confirmed” until the last thirty minutes of the novel.

I listened to this on audiobook and I think the narrator did a great job!

content and trigger warnings for underage drinking, smoking marijuana, ableist language, anti-lesbian and anti-bisexual remarks

the killing lessonsThe Killing Lessons was a captivating  and unpredictable thriller from start to finish. The crimes committed in this novel are absolutely horrible and very graphic, so be aware if you consider picking this up. As you can tell, a lot of the mystery thrillers I picked up this month disappointed me, but I couldn’t put The Killing Lessons down! I did have a lot of other issues with this novel, but I was very satisfied with the mystery nonetheless.

I read this book during #Spookathon and you can read my full review here.

the kind worth killing

I really hadn’t expected The Kind Worth Killing to be such a wild ride! There were multiple twists-and-turns I did not see coming. I would definitely recommend this novel and will pick up more of this author’s work in the future. You can read my full review here.

written in the starsOctober went by so quickly, yet I can’t believe that I read Written in the Stars this month! It seemed so much longer ago. Anyway, Written in the Stars is a heartbreaking must-read. I loved this book and would definitely recommend it, though I suggest reading my review beforehand because this novel does deal with a lot of (potentially) triggering content.

everything i never told youEverything I Never Told You instantly became one of my favourite books of all-time. I love this book so much and am very much looking forward to reading Little Fires Everywhere soon. It was so beautiful yet heartbreaking and made me realise that I love reading diverse, character-driven contemporaries that deal with grief, such as We Are Okay and Far From You and also include some sort of mystery. Do you have any recommendations for books similar to these three?

Anyway, you can read my full review here. I would obviously recommend it to everyone.


So these are all the books I read in October. I would recommend Written in the Stars and Everything I Never Told You in particular. Which books did you read? What were your favourites?

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