[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

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

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?

[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.


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!

10 Books I Wish I’d Read in 2018

I’m sure I’m not the only one who hasn’t been able to read absolutely every book they wanted to this year…

Here’s a list of my top 10. I’ve excluded well-established series as they will be coming in a separate post.

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Although this is a relatively new release, I still wish I could have read it immediately! It sounds amazing and I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews. It’s definitely top of my TBR for 2019.

The Silence of The Girls by Pat Barker

I’ve had so many people recommend this book to me, it sounds right up my street and I’ve owned an ARC for over half a year now… A reimagining of the Iliad told from the women’s perspective – what’s not to love?! Again, this has to be up there to open up my reading for the New Year.

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

This is another one which I’ve heard so many people rave about. A diverse Asian-inspired fantasy rooted in history, I really hope the hype is real on this one. It’s a bit of a tome, which is why I’ve been put off a bit so far. Clearly I have commitment issues…

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

I have actually read a chapter of this one… I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t continue with it, but there we go.

The Mermaid by Christina Henry

Another Mermaid book here… maybe I need to do “Mermaid March” or something… is that I thing? I might make it a thing. Join me in March for all books Mermaid-y!

Wicked Like A Wildfire by Lana Popovik

This is another book which I read a chapter of (and loved!) but didn’t actually continue to read for some unknown, bizarre reason. With the second book now released, I feel like I need to read this asap!

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

I have wanted to read this one since before it was released! Again, the size of it put me off, especially seeing as I have had such a hard time finding time to read this year.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Seriously, why have I not read all of these hyped up YA fantasy books that I know I’ll love?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I’ve talked about this book so much, but never actually picked it up…

Hunted by Meagan Spooner

This is one which had been on my wishlist forever,Β and was gifted in a Secret Santa last year. It seemed perfect for winter. Winter came and left again… so now here we are, another winter later.

Circe by Madeline Miller

This book has been recommended to me by about 5000 people. Another Greek retelling, and a gorgeous cover might I add! I wish I had read this when it was first released so I could rave about it with everyone.

Which books do you wish you had read this year?