A Month of Reading: February ’19

a month of reading

Hi Readers

February was definitely a much better reading month than January was. Not only did I read more but I also found a couple of new favourites.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I kind of loved this. It’s a fantasy dystopia that’s very romance heavy and I just devoured it. It was dramatic, it was shocking, it kept me guessing the whole time. I had a lot of fun with this book. But then…

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard ⭐ ⭐

…The sequel happened. This book just went downhill for me, it lost everything I loved about the first book and I completely lost interest in the series as a whole. I definitely won’t continue. I have read what happens in the final book and oh boy am I glad I gave up on it.

Happy Girl Lucky by Holly Smale ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I was so excited for this book because it’s the book featured in my first ever blog tour post where I shared Holly Smale’s favourite movies, which you can find here.

In this we meet the Valentine’s siblings who were born into Hollywood royalty. Our main character is waiting for her chance in the spotlight and spends her time day dreaming about finding the one.

Full Review Here.

This Savage Song by Victoria Aveyard ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Aveyard is so well loved in the online book community and every time I pick up one of her books I’m so sad I don’t love them as much.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

My first five star of the year! And believe me when I say I was not expecting it to be this book. It’s no secret I’m not a fan of poetry and this is the first book I’ve ever read that was in verse. I was tentative about that so I listened to the first half in audiobook which is narrated brilliantly by the author herself. I just loved everything about this really.

Full Review Here. 

The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown ⭐ ⭐

I was disappointed by this book but, even though I only gave it two stars, it’s not terrible. Just not what I was expecting. This is about Sydney whose dad is killed. It’s ruled an accident but she finds the circumstances suspicious. It sounds like a thriller/mystery but it’s much more about grief and the MC sexuality.

Full Review Here. 

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I really got into my YA contemporary this month thanks to the Contemporaryathon. This is about Frances whose every decision is based on her getting into Cambridge University. But that changes when she meets the creator of her favourite podcast she makes fanart for.

This book has great diversity in it’s characters and I related with a lot of what they were going through, especially because it was set in the UK.

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

When Mara’s twin is accused by his girlfriend of rape she is forced to choose between her brother and her strong beliefs.

This book, being about sexual assault, is a heavy and difficult read. But an incredibly important one. This book challenges rape culture by showing us how women who accuse someone of rape are treated. And the possible consequences when they aren’t believed.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ :star ⭐

I can’t count how many times I’ve read this book. It’s definitely my favourite Austen. The plot itself is so intricate and perfectly paced and I just love the characters.

Now I’m going to go and continue reading Priory of the Orange Tree which I am quickly falling in love with.

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

 

A Probably Very Inaccurate Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist Prediction (2019)

bookish post

VnpPchZi_400x400Hi Readers

So far this year 100% of the books I’ve read have been written by a woman. Women’s fiction is definitely my go to ‘genre,’ making the Women’s Prize for Fiction my favourite book prize. Needless to say, I am very excited for the longlist to be announced.

Last year I attempted to read the entire longlist before the shortlist was announced. I wasn’t able to get to 6 but 10/16 isn’t too bad. I will definitely be doing it again this year.

To add to the women’s prize themed blog posts this year I also wanted to have a go at predicting what books will make it onto the longlist in March. This list is probably entirely inaccurate but I’m going to give it my best shot.

Milkman by Anna Burns, Normal People by Sally Rooney, Washington Black by Esi Edugyun, Everything Under by Daisy Johnson and The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh – I’m putting all of these together because all of these made the Manbooker longlist and some even the shortlist. Milkman one. All of these book definitely deserve a spot on the longlist but I don’t think all of them will because the WP probably don’t want their longlist to replicate MB. I’d put my money on Washington Black getting a spot.

Circe by Madeline Miller – This is a retelling of a greek goddess who, in mythology, is kind of a background character. Miller’s book brings her to centre stage and gives her a voice. It’s powerful and feminist and deserves a spot on the longlist.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite – This sounds kind of epic and either way I hope to read this soon. Korede’s sister has killed two boyfriends from ‘self-defence’ so far and Korede has helped cover up both crimes. Things change when her sister starts dating Korede’s co-worker and longtime crush.

XX by Angela Chadwick – I’ve seen this book being described as controversial and thought-provoking. I haven’t read it and the synopsis is kind of vaige but I believe it’s about a company who creates a new form of reproduction.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – I don’t know how this prize feels about epic fantasy. From what I’ve seen, not many have made the longlist since it started. Whilst I haven’t finished this book yet it’s gotten nothing but praise and is definitely high on everyone’s raider at the moment.

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler – This author has previously won the prize and quite a few of her books have made the longlist or shortlist. I haven’t read this book but it’s a ‘educated guess’.

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – This is mainly because I loved her last book so much. This one sounds just as exciting. It’s the story of a band in the 70’s (very Fleetwood Mac like). 

Women Talking by Miriam Toews – This is feminist and about women overcoming a toxic patriarchal society. 

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh – This book sounds so interesting and kind of out there. It’s about a woman who has all the privileges in life but decides to spend a year under the influence of drugs. 

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker – If my predictions are close to the actual longlist this would be the third mythological retelling it and, honestly, all of them seem worthy of making this longlist. This one follows the women in the Trojan war. 

Ponti by Sharlene Teo – Told from the perspective of three women in Singapore this book is about friendship and regrets. 

Not long now until the actual longlist is announced. I’ll definitely be doing a reaction post and hopefully reading the entire list (possibly before the shortlisted books are announced.) 

What books do you hope will be on the longlist?

Thanks for reading, Jess X

Top 5 Tuesday – Books for Slytherins

top 5 tuesday

Note: Hosted by BionicBookworm

Hi Readers

We’ve reached the end of the Harry Potter themed T5T and now we’re picking books based on the forth and final houses traits, Slytherin!

Ambitious – The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Perfectionist – The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

Self-Reliant – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Ruthless – The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas

Charming – Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

What books do you associate with Slytherin? Let me know!

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

Popular Books That Weren’t For Me

bookish post

Hi Readers

Normally I like to keep things quite positive on this blog. But recently I’ve been having a bit of an issue with hyped books and my lack of hype for them.

I’m specifically talking about The Cruel Prince. A YA Fantasy that I feel like everyone and their mother has read, devoured and loved. Whereas I DNFed this book quite early on and have a strong hatred for it.

It’s certainly not the first time a hyped book has ‘let me down’ so it got me thinking about all the other popular books I’ve DNFed or gave a low rating. Am I alone in not understanding the hype for these books?

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – As I mentioned, I hated this book, and hate is putting it lightly. From the first page I could not understand how anyone could like this. My first issue was that the fae killed their parents (in the first chapter) and then these kids go on to be raised by him. The man who killed their parents right before their eyes? Nah. I could tell it wouldn’t be my last issue with the book as well and I decided against rage reading it.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer – Honestly, it’s the whole sci-fi thing with this one. Robots freak me out. 

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry – I gave this book multiple tries but every time I just got so bored. 

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mantel – I think when going into this book I was expecting more action but, from what I’ve read, there’s a definite lack of that. 

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – I feel like everybody loves this book but I’ve given it two tries now and can’t get passed page 100. 

Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee – This was definitely way overhyped to me. 

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera – I just never shipped the romance in this. 

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson – I remember this being such a huge disappointment after I loved I’ll Give You the Sun so much. 

What popular book did you find wasn’t for you? Let me know!

Thanks for reading

Jess X

 

 

Past Favourites – What Do I Think Now?

bookish post

Hi Readers

I’ve been doing ‘favourite books of the year’ lists since 2013. In this post I’m going to be going through all the books that made to my number 1 spot and seeing whether I’ve read it since and whether my thoughts have changed.

swirly

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green 

Two teenagers meet at a cancer support group. Cuteness and heartbreak ensue. 

This book had a real impact on me when I first read it at 16. I really appreciate what it did for the YA genre but my thoughts have kind of changed since then. I’m just not a fan of books that make me depressed anymore. 

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

A boy who doesn’t look like anybody else is about to start middle school for the first time. 

I still love this. I love that it delves into each of the characters lives. It’s so heart-warming and made me laugh and cry. 

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

After the loss of their mother, twins Jude and Noah are struggling to find themselves again. 

I think I’ve read this twice more since I first read it and it’s beauty still astounds me. 

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 

An iconic classic that tells the story of Jane Eyre, who becomes a governess for Mr Rochester’s young ward.

The only classic to make this list and still one of my all time favourites…even though I’ve never reread it. Really should get on that.

Neopolitan Series by Elena Ferrante 

Set in an impoverished part of Naples we meet two young girls who become unexpected friends. These books span their entire life time and we see them go through their ups and downs in a harsh world. 

If I had a penny for the amount of times I’ve pushed people to read this I would have enough for a Holiday to Naples by now. One of the most beautifully crafted series I have ever read. It’s just got everything you could possibly want in a contemporary. 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid 

A young journalist gets the opportunity to interview a retired Hollywood movie star who has lived a very colourful life. 

This was my favourite of 2018. It made me laugh and cry and I’m still awestruck by how beautiful this story is. I haven’t had the chance to reread it yet but this has a huge place in my heart and I still recommend it whenever I can. 

swirly

I still love 5/6 so that’s not bad at all. Funnily enough the only one I don’t still love was the one I read the longest time ago. 

What past favourite books have you changed your opinion of? Let me know. 

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

Top 5 Tuesday – Books For Hufflepuffs

top 5 tuesday

Note: Hosted by BionicBookworm

Hi Readers

This week we’re talking about my own house, Hufflepuff! It’s safe to say I definitely know the mind of a Hufflepuff so picking this weeks 5 books should be pretty easy.

All of these books are inspired by a Hufflepuff trait. Either the theme or a character reminds me of Hufflepuff. It’s needless to say I love all of these books. 

Hard-working – My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Loyal – Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien

Compassionate – The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Fair/Just – To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Kind – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Thanks for reading!

Jess X

 

Book Review: The Truth About Keeping Secrets…Was A Disappointing Mystery

book review

Author: Savannah Brown
Published: March 7th 2019 by Penguin
Genre: YA Contemporary/Mystery
Length: 314 Pages
My Rating: ⭐ ⭐

*This is a netgalley ARC but all opinions are my own. 

Hi Readers

Whilst dealing with grief Sydney starts questioning the circumstances surrounding her fathers recent death. It was ruled an accident but she thinks there’s more to the story.

This book began well and I went through the first quarter thinking I’d found a new book. It was very atmospheric and the portrayal of Sydney’s grief was emotional to read and very real. We also find out early on that Sydney is gay and she suffers from bullying because of that.

It had a lot of elements that I wasn’t expecting going into this and whilst I enjoyed those I couldn’t help but feel I’d been lied to. I was excited to read a mystery and honestly that part was just lost in the story.

This book could have done with not trying to be a thriller at all. I would’ve probably loved it if it had just focused on friendship and sexuality. But the mystery dragged and the revelation just felt so ‘meh’ to me and was overall quite disappointing.

I do still recommend this book, just don’t expect a thrilling mystery. 

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X