My Year in Books… So Far.

GUESS WHO’S BACK (back, back, back) AGAIN!

Life can be pretty hectic, and paired with that, extreme fatigue and not knowing whether you can truly be a part of the blogging community when you don’t post as regularly as you “should”, well, it sure can get on top of your ability to write, post and even read.

That’s right, I’ve barely read a thing this year…

But do you know what? I’m coming to accept that it’s okay.

So, as my first blog post of the second half of 2019 (or pretty much the WHOLE of 2019 if we exclude January), I figured I’d give a little update into what I’ve read so far this year, including the books I’ve started but yet to finish.


JANUARY

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This was the first book I read this year, and it set my year off to a GREAT start. I absolutely loved it and cannot wait for the sequel (Yes, I see you, lucky people who managed to get their hands on a proof copy of Girls of Storm and Shadow… I see you and I’m seriously envious…)

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

I read this because of all the hype that surrounded it. I didn’t really enjoy her first novel, but this was a little better. It still took me ages to get through even though it’s short, and I didn’t really feel as though I connected with the characters or narrative in any way.

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟.5

This was the book included in Illumicrate, and I think that it’s the first time I’ve ever read a book from a subscription box within the month of it’s arrival… a feat. It was a mixed bag for me – it took me half of the month to read and only really picked up after the 200 page mark.


FEBRUARY

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Status: Unfinished, 27%

Why have I not finished this book? I don’t know, but I got into a HUGE slump. As you’ll see in about 10 seconds time…


MARCH

Nothing.


APRIL

Still nothing…


MAY

My birthday month!

But I still didn’t read anything.


JUNE

The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

What’s this? SHE READ A BOOK?! Too right I did. After being in such a long slump, I decided to pluck a random book from my shelves and see what it could do. It wasn’t life-changing but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it proved that I still have the ability to read. Hurrah.


JULY

That’s this month, how did that happen? Where did all the time go?!

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This book was incredible. After hearing so many people talk about it, and being intrigued by it’s themes, I knew I had to read it. This is the best book I have read this year. Bold statement which kind of loses it’s impact once you see that I haven’t really read much of anything this year, but even if I had it would still deserve that title. I can’t wait to compile my thoughts into a full review for you all.

The Confession by Jessie Burton

Status: Currently Reading

This is an advance copy due for publication in September 2019. I’m enjoying it so far – good news!


Other books I started but have no idea when, and haven’t finished them:

How To Fail by Elizabeth Day

Notes To Self by Emilie Pine

Everything You Ever Wanted by Luiza Sauma

I was enjoying these, believe it or not, but I picked them up during the great slump of 2019 so unfortunately by no fault of their own, they got abandoned.


I bet you’re all wondering where I’m at with my Goodreads Reading Challenge…

To be honest, I’m ignoring it at the moment, and haven’t even really been using Goodreads all that much as of late. For now, I’d like to just start enjoying reading again rather than worrying about how many books I have or haven’t read in comparison to everyone else.

YOU DO YOU, IT’S NOT A RACE.

Thank you to those who have reminded me of that recently. I’m here now because of you.

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[Wrap-Up] September 2018

We only have 3 months left of 2018… WHAT?

This year has gone by far too quickly. I’ve achieved a lot in my personal life, but in doing so, have failed miserably at my Goodreads challenge! I set out to read 50 books this year and so far have manged… 19. Oh.

I may consider lowering my goal by the end of October, but I have a LOT of books which I need to read this coming month for work, so for now I’ll leave it as it is and hope I can bump up those numbers a bit.

I’ve actually had a good month for reading this month. In fact, I think it’s been my best all year. I managed to finish 3 books and get a fair chunk of a fourth read (I know it doesn’t sound much, but believe me, it’s a darn sight better than I have been doing so far this year) and 2 of those were 5 star ratings! It’s been a long time since a book truly drew me and kept me up reading for hours, which is why I think it’s been a slow year for reading for me, but I’m glad to finally be back in the swing of it – better late than never!


City of Ghosts by V.E. Schwab

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I really enjoyed this one. I love Schwab’s writing as it’s always quick paced, mysterious and gripping. This book was no exception to that, and would make a great Halloween season read!

See Full Review


The Binding by Bridget Collins

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

My favourite book of this year. It was simply incredible. Moving, magical, romantic… honestly, it had it all. This book will be released in January 2019, and I’ll post a full review closer to its release date, but for now, just make sure you add it to your TBR because you’re going to want to read it, trust me!


Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have been waiting for nearly a year to read this one, just so I could drag the series out for as long as possible and read it closer to the Kingdom of Ash release date. It has very quickly become one of my favourite books in the whole series. In fact, of anything Maas has ever written. It was touching, and I loved Chaol’s journey throughout the narrative and the relationships (particularly one which I’m shipping SO HARD) the he made. Full review to come, but bring on Kingdom of Ash, I say!


Pages & Co.: Tilly and The Book Wanderers by Anna James

Thoughts So Far:

I’m actually really enjoying this so far! I raced through over 100 pages yesterday, so it’s a super quick read, with a little mystery and a whole heap of nostalgia. I’m loving bumping into all of the characters we know and love from childhood favourite books.

A simple concept and simply written, but wholly enjoyable from what I’ve read so far – I hope to finish this today.


What books did you read in September?

Comment below!

June 2018 Book Haul

Guess what guys..?

I SUCCEEDED A MONTH ON A BUYING BAN!

I know, I’m equally as shocked as you are.

Thankfully though, some wonderful publishers friends have been super generous this month and sent me some amazing books.

I’m going to start with an incredible stack which I hauled from the TeamBkmrk blogger/bookseller event a few weeks ago, which was simply wonderful. We were treated to some incredible proofs and FINISHED COPIES of the new edition Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. Like, hold my purse because I may collapse from excitement. We also got exclusive samplers of King of Scars!

TeamBkmrk Haul:

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

That’s Not What Happened (ARC) by Kody Keplinger

Grace and Fury (ARC) by Tracy Banghart

Phantom by Leo Hunt

Colour Me In (ARC) by Lydia Ruffles


Other Books Hauled This Month:

The Extinction Trials / The Extinction Trials: Exile by S.M Wilson (Thank you Usbourne!)

The Mermaid by Christina Henry

Burning Brightly by Alexa Donne (Big thanks to Titan for these 2!)

A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood (Won a giveaway from Scholastic – lucky me!)

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Mirage (ARC) by Somaiya Daud (Thank you Hodderesque)

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See any favourites here? Talk to me about the books you’ve hauled recently.

May 2018 Wrap-Up

May is one of my favourite months of the year. Firstly, it’s my birthday month, but mainly because it always brings good weather, and with good weather I’m in a good mood, more motivated and just generally more chipper!

It’s been a reasonably tough year for me reading-wise so far, in that I just haven’t really read all that much, and I had a pretty long time away from blogging. I’m hoping that will start to change again with summer so I can catch up on all of the amazing books I’m dying to pick up, and I’m definitely excited to get back into my blog again. For now though, here’s what I managed to read this month:


A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

ad743968-cc1d-49fe-ac14-1eb3f97f33cfIt’s no surprise that I picked this up immediately on publication date – it was one of my most anticipated books of this year! I loved this, even if it was only short and there was little plot development. It was so lovely to be back with the Inner Circle in Velaris, and it’s made me even more excited for the next part of the series!

Read my full review

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Skylarks by Karen Gregory

16b40405-4037-4082-a9d5-e1e78262f40dI had heard wonderful things about this book on social media, so I decided to go and pick up a copy from the bookstore and started reading it straight away. It felt current, interweaving a strong political argument into its storyline, the romance was just the right amount of cute, and there was some beautiful imagery at times.

Full Review to come.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

2d3f0e1b-cd2e-4493-826c-cac3f6980875This has been an ongoing read throughout the month for me. It’s one that I feel like I’m enjoying more if I read it a little at a time in between other books, so that’s what I’ve been doing!

Although I haven’t yet finished it, I decided to include it on here as it has been a big part of my reading this month, and I’m over 70% of the way through.

 


Also read this month:

Captain Pug by Laura James

This was a really fun, quick read, 5-8 children’s book that I picked off my shelf as I was tidying. It took me no more than 30 minutes to read, but it was funny and the illustrations were bright and cheerful. I included it here at the bottom because I cheated and counted it towards my failing goodreads challenge total…

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5


What books did you read this month?

May 2018 Book Haul

Every month I tell myself: “I will not buy any books, my book haul will be small because my shelves are full enough and I have so many books to read already…”

Every month I lie to myself.

So here we are, at the end of May, with another stupidly huge haul. My excuse to myself this time is that it was my birthday this month, so I’m allowed. I will always find some kind of excuse, it seems.

In my defence, it is actually half the size of previous months, and the stack just looks huge because actually the books that I hauled are FAT. I’m talking 600+ pages for some of them…

Anyway, here are the books I hauled this month in all of their glory:

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Purchases:

  • The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeyab Joukhadar – This book sounds amazing and I can’t wait to read it. It follows a Syrian refugee and their family at the start of the Syrian war, and includes elements of mythology and old stories.
  • The Queens Of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton – I’ve seen this one all over twitter and Instagram, and as a lover of Shakespeare, I couldn’t resist picking up this fantasy retelling of King Lear!
  • Legendary by Stephanie Garber – One of my most anticipated releases of the month, I’ve already starting reading this one and can’t wait to dive back intot he world of Caraval.
  • The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton – I’ve wanted to buy this since it was released, so this is one of the books I treated myself to on my birthday.
  • Skylarks by Karen Gregory – Another birthday purchase, I felt like reading a cute contemporary. I finished reading this a few days ago and it was wonderful. Romantic, gritty and based upon a relevant political foundation. Full review to come soon.
  • Leah on The Offbeat by Becky Albertalli – One on my summer TBR, I’ll be reading this one next month along with Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda.
  • I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman – I’ve heard incredible things about this, so decided to pick it up on a whim when I happened to wonder into yet another bookstore…
  • Sense and Sensibility and Emma by Jane Austen – These editions are to add to the beginnings of my classics collection. I adore these cover designs and plan on collecting them all.
  • A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas (I forgot to include this in my haul stack photo!) – Read it, loved it. I’m a Maas junkie, what can I say? Read my review here.

From the Publisher:

  • War Storm by Victoria Aveyard – I was going to wait until the paperback for this one, but a huge thanks to Orion Publishing for sending a finished HB copy my way!
  • The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton – One for a Bookstagram promo, it sounds very dark and intriguing! Thank you to Becci at Orion for my copy.
  • All The Ever Afters by Danielle Teller – Thank you to Shrina at Harper360YA for sending this beautiful book to me! It’s a re-telling of Cinderella’s Stepmother due for release in July, and this is another book I’ll be promoting on my Instagram.
  • Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman – I can now binge both Scythe and Thunderhead, and see what all the hype is about! Thanks to Walker for this one!

Which in this stack should I read next? I’m currently reading Legendary after finishing Skylarks.

Are any of these on your wishlist/TBR? Comment below 🙂


 

Life Update: Back To Blogging, Where I’ve Been and Taking Care of Myself

Hello Book Bloggers!

It’s been a while, but I can confidently say that I’m back to blogging again after having a break for a couple of months.

Where Have I Been?

Truth be told, I haven’t been anywhere, I’ve been here along still following the bookish community, but I decided to take a step back from blogging. Why? Well, to be honest, I just wasn’t enjoying it. Blogging had become a bit of a chore. I had no inspiration for what to post, I didn’t have the time or patience to put into making it great, and for people who know me, I just don’t like to do things by halves.

I decided instead to put my time into doing something I love, and performed in a show again. Musical Theatre is one of my biggest passions; I trained at a drama school for 3 years, and not being in a show was really starting to get me down. Now I’m in a much happier place, keeping myself busy and after having 2 weeks off work, found that I had so many idea for blog posts! In fact, I’ve planned ahead for the next 3 months!

There really is no telling how much difference it makes to your life when you take care of yourself. At the end of the day, there’s no point in doing something unless it makes you happy. In the light of #MentalHeathAwarenessWeek, I feel like there is no better time to talk about these things.

Since starting my blog and bookstagram 2 years ago, I kept it completely separate from my personal life – I didn’t share it with anyone I know and it almost became as though I had an online alter-ego… I realise now that this filled me with anxiety every time I thought about someone from my “real world” finding out about it – NOT GOOD. So, I’ve made the decision to share my blog and Instagram posts on my Facebook, where everyone I know can see them. There is no shame in loving books. There is no shame in reviewing books. And I don’t know why I ever thought otherwise.


So What Comes Next?

For starters, I’m going to continue to read and love books. I’m going to continue doing the things I love and stop putting so much pressure on myself. I’m in a career where the chances of me getting professional work are so, so slim and there is just so much competition out there. If I manage to land a professional performing job then yes, amazing, HOWEVER it is not the be all and end all, and as long as I keep trying and taking part in productions just for fun, it doesn’t matter. I’m still doing what I love which is the most important thing.

I’m thinking of giving my blog a little makeover and changing the theme to something fresh. Sometimes a new look is all you need to perks things up a bit. I’ll still be posting the same content, though I may include a few extra personal life updates every now and then, but I really just feel like changing the layout a little. If I don’t like it, I’ll just change it back again!

But for now, I’m going to start typing furiously as I watch the royal wedding, and catch up on all of the wonderful blog posts and book recommendations I have for you all.

And remember:

Put you first, people, you matter.

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January Book Haul!

Whew, January sure has been filled with lots of new books!

There have been some absolutely awesome new releases this month, and the best part is that I had vouchers from Christmas to use, so really, I haven’t spent a penny!

Books I Bought in January:

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Hero at The Fall by Alwyn Hamilton

The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

The Girl in The Tower by Katherine Arden

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson (Giveaway Prize)

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (Fairy Loot)

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Windwitch by Susan Dennard


I also received a LOT of ARCs from publishers this month. I feel very lucky to have been sent all of these, so a huge thank you to the publishing gods that made this happen!

Publisher Book Haul:

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Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

The Astonishing Colour of After  by Emily X. R. Pan

Clean by Juno Dawson

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

The List of Real Things by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr

When The Mountains Roared by Jess Butterworth

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert


So there we go! There’s another hella big haul for ya!

I’m thinking February should be tame in terms of book buying. There’s only one book that I know I’ll definitely be buying, and that is Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones. My copy is all ready and waiting for me to pick up when I’m back at work tomorrow, and I’ll be diving straight into it because I just cannot wait to find out what happens!

Did you buy any books in January?