[Wrap-Up] January 2019

I’m actually a little scared about how quickly this month has gone… is this a sign of getting old? Can it stop though? I have too much to read for time to be passing this quickly!

I managed to read 3 books this month, which wasn’t quite as much as I had hoped, but much better than my average month last year – progress!

I actually had a few non-reading days this month, which I’m annoyed at myself for because for the most part it was just because I was too lazy! Probably could have finished my TBR for the month if I had really focused, but nevermind!

I still read some really great books this month, so here’s what I read and my thoughts:


Girls of Paper & Fire by Natasha Ngan

e7643b51-bb9b-416b-9de3-578fbab5e469-1.jpgRating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I LOVED THIS BOOK. My first read of the year, and a 5-star rating – what more could I have hoped for?!

The plot was so full of action, I loved the characters and their relationships, and quite simply, I couldn’t put it down! A truly gripping read which I devoured in just 5 days.

Read full review here.


Normal PeopleΒ by Sally Rooney

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Rating:  🌟🌟🌟

So long story short, this book just wasn’t for me. I enjoyed it, but I generally just struggle with contemporary fiction. I appreciated the book for what it was: the writing was great and it felt very honest and raw, but I just felt like I didn’t really connect with it or care enough to feel compelled to read it… I don’t know.

Anyway, I gave it 3 stars and I’ll write a full review soon.


Empress of All SeasonsΒ by Emiko Jean

Empress of All SeasonsRating:  🌟🌟🌟.5

I finished this book this afternoon and I have very mixed feelings about it. It took me about half of the month in total to read, which I feel is a long time for a book of less than 400 pages… it just didn’t quite flow and I found the multiple perspectives jarring, especially as most of the characters weren’t that likeable. Saying that though, I really started to enjoy it after the 200 page mark.

Full review to come soon.


What books did you read this month?

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[Beat The Backlist] Book Series I Need To Finish in 2019

How many book series have you left half unfinished? For me, I’ve actually managed to get through a fair chunk of the ones which I had started, so I’m only left with a few! But there are still some series which I am yet to complete.

This list doesn’t include book series which I am yet to start, only those where I have read the first book and the next book has already been released.


Six of Crows (Duology) by Leigh Bardugo

I feel like I’m really ashamed that this is actually something I have to admit to… but I haven’t read Crooked Kingdom yet. I read Six of Crows nearly 2 years ago, and the Grisha Trilogy last year, but for some reason I just never came back to Crooked Kingdom. I’ll rectify this soon, I promise.


Red Queen (Series) by Victoria Aveyard

I think it has been over 2 years since I read the first book in this series, and I did actually really enjoy it! The mixed reviews for Glass Sword put me off a little, but I’ve heard that the series picks up again, so I’m hoping to give it another go later this year. I still remember the first book quite vividly, so I don’t think I’ll need to re-read.


Nevermoor (Series) by Jessica Townsend

So only the first 2 books have been released so far, but I loved Nevermoor so much and was so hyped about the release of Wundersmith last year, that it’s a crime I haven’t read it yet! I need to catch up on Morrigan’s shenanigans ASAP!


That’s it!

I know what you’re thinking, this list isn’t really very long? Well yes, you’re right, there is only a total of 5 books left to read here. However. Wait until you see the list of series I want to start this year… this list is just going to keep on growing…


Which book series do you hope to finish/catch up on this year?

Beat The Backlist is hosted by Novel Knight

[Book Review] Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

39898847Synopsis:Β Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most cruel.

But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made ofΒ fire.

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

TW: violence and sexual abuse.


Could there have been a better book to open my 2019 reading? Absolutely not.

This book, in my opinion, was perfection.

An Asian fantasy with oppressed, abused young women who step up and take their lives back, even in the most dire of situations, with a beautiful f/f relationship, this book had everything I love in fantasy. It was thoroughly entertaining and had me gripped to its pages from the very beginning – I honestly didn’t want to put it down! It’s a shame I only have time to read on my commute, because otherwise I think I would have read it in one sitting.

I loved the social system:

  • Paper Caste: Fully Human
  • Steel Caste: Half Human, Half Demon
  • Moon Case: Fully Demon

This provided a class system away from race and nationality, but brought an equivalent that we can compare to in the real world. Paper Caste are seen as the lowest in society, oppressed and discriminated against highly by the Moon Caste. Some in the Paper Caste submitted to this, and others did not…

The thing I loved most about this book was the wide variety of characters; their personalities and backgrounds painted a technicolor rainbow, and it was a delight to read about each one of these women. One of my particular favourites was Lill, the young Steel Caste maid assigned to look after Lei in Paper House. She was bubbly, naive and witty, and honestly made me laugh out loud on several occasions. Her energy translated onto the page beautifully.

I have to say that I thought this book was incredibly well-written. The character developments were terrific, and the only thing I can ask of in the next instalment to the series, is even more world building. Whilst we got enough for this book to work, I would ideally like this to be built upon even more to create an fully immersive world, complete with all of the crazy politics and intriguing magic system that we started to get a sense of in this book.

I have so many questions left to be answered.

AND BOY, THAT CLIFFHANGER…

I sure do hope we don’t have to wait too long for Book 2!

I’m so glad I decided to open 2019 with this book, my only regret is that I didn’t read it when it was first published!


[Beat The Backlist] 2019 Sign-Up!

Here we go… a second attempt at knocking off those books which are forever doomed to the eternal TBR pile…

Beat The Backlist is a reading challenge hosted by Novel Knight, with an aim to reading the backlist titles that we push to one side in favour of new releases. Anything published in or before 2018 counts, and the book must be started and completed between Jan 1st – Dec 31st 2019. For example, I started reading Normal People in December 2018, so although I haven’t finished it yet, it can’t go against this reading challenge!

So, without further ado, here’s a quick list of some books I hope to read this year:


January TBR:

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

Further Backlist TBR:

The Silence of The Girls by Pat Barker

The Mermaid by Christina Henry

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Viscious by V.E. Schwab

Everless by Sara Holland

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Furyborn by Clare Legrand

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff


This of course isn’t the limit to the amount of books I want to read for this challenge, nor will it remain exclusively to the ones I’ve included here as I’m very much a mood reader, but I feel like this is a great place to start!


Will you be attempting to Beat The Backlist this year? Sign up here.

Beat The Backlist: Book Series’ I Want To Finish This Year

I have a terrible habit of starting book series’ and not finishing them, so my aim for this year as part of the Beat The Backlist Challenge, is to round off any series’ that I’ve started but haven’t completed yet! This includes getting up to date with any series’ that still have books to be published in the future.

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1.

A Darker Shade of MagicΒ by V.E. Schwab

I started my list with this one, because I am currently reading A Conjuring of Light, the third and final instalment in the trilogy, so I know it’s one I’ll be able to tick off pretty quickly! I read the first two books and the beginning of last year, but just kept putting off reading the last book, so I made sure it was top of my TBR for this year.


2.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

So this is a series which isn’t yet complete, but I’m yet to read Tower of Dawn, so I need to check it off and make sure I’m all up to date!


3.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

I read Red Queen nearly 2 years ago now, and have failed to pick up the next books in the series for some reason! I hope to read Glass Sword and King’s Cage before the release of War Storm later this year.


4.

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Illuminae is a book that I started to read last year, but put down after 100 pages because I just wasn’t feeling it at the time, but I hope to give it another shot this year because I’ve heard nothing but amazing things! Although this is on my list of series’ to finish, I guess I actually need to restart it…


5.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I read Six of CrowsΒ in March last year, but didn’t ever pick up Crooked Kingdom. I then read The Grisha Trilogy a couple of months ago and loved it, so, starting with a re-read of Six of Crows, I will complete this duology in 2018!


Are there any book series’ which you’ve left unfinished and aim to complete this year?