A Month of Reading: December 2016

Hi Guys!

In December I ended up reading a lot of small quick reads as I did most of my reading during the CramAThon and the holiday BookTubeAThon. So I’m going to include wrap ups from those two readathons and let you know what I read in between.

Non-Readathon Reads

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte:

Honestly I kind of loved and hated this book. The way it was written confused at the beginning. I couldn’t work out who the characters were and how they were related. I actually had to look up a family tree online to work out who was who, which meant I had to spoil the story to understand it. The audio book got me through this one. I gave it 48% (3 Stars)

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge:

This book was a little bit of a disappointed. I felt it was slow at times and the ending was a little disappointing but I did enjoy the characters.

A Snow Garden by Rachel Joyce:

This is a collection of short stories all set in the festive period. I did love some stories more than others, my favourite was The Marriage Manuel. I also really loved the forward in this so if you ever read this definitely do not skip the author introduction. It sets off the book perfectly.

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig (audio book read by Stephen Fry):

I read this last year and before I read the sequel I wanted to refresh my memory. So, I finally used my audible credit and got this for free on audible. I really loved Stephen Fry reading this and it has made me realise I seriously need to listen to him read Harry Potter.

CramAThon Wrap Up

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens:

I read this for the challenge ‘Read a book with less than 200 pages.’ This is such a classic heartwarming Christmas story. I never let a Christmas go by without reading this.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton:

For the challenge ‘Read a book set in a country other than your own’ and the ‘read a book you’ve been putting off.’ This is set in Amsterdam and is a book I’ve been putting off for over a year now. I’m really glad I read it when I did because its a great cosy winter read.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick: 

I was finally able to get this out of the library (after years of it being ‘missing’) and I absolutely loved it. The fact that half of the book is told through beautiful illustrations makes the story go by so fast and makes it a perfect readathon read.

The Nutcracker by E.T.A Hoffman:

I already new some of this story as when I was younger I was obsessed with the movie Barbie and the Nutcracker and this Christmas I wanted to read the original tale. It was really nice revisiting this story and afterwards I watched a video of the ballet on youtube and I’m glad I read the story because I probably wouldn’t have understood what was going on.

Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan:

I gave this book one star. All I can say is I really don’t see the point of this book.

The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig:

Matt Haig’s Christmas books are perfect. They’re written for children but totally accessible for adults to enjoy as well. This was such a touching tale about a girl who’s had a hard life but never stops believing in the magic of Christmas. Charles Dickens even makes a special appearance.

BookTubeAThon

Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

I read three short stories from my Sherlock bind-up. The Red Headed League, The Man With the Twisted Lip, The Final Problem and Charles Augustus Milverton. I’m starting to really enjoy these short stories and I definitely need to read more in the upcoming year.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness:

This was a reread for me because the movie trailer is everywhere at the moment and I realised I couldn’t really remember what the heck happened in this book. Honestly it was like reading it for the first time all over again. I’m not the biggest fan of this book, I do feel like it’s a little bit over hyped. Although it is a touching read.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie:

I wanted to reread this again before the Peter Pan Play Goes Wrong was on the TV (which was amazing by the way.)

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky:

I think I can officially say this is my favourite Young Adult novel. I just love everything about this book and I really enjoyed writing in the book this time and adding my own annotations and thoughts.

The Emperors Soul by Brandon Sanderson:

This is a novella set in a world that Brandon has written a whole novel about that I haven’t read yet. And I feel like maybe I should have. I did really enjoy the story, it was fast paced and the story was interesting but I felt no connection to it. But it was a good quick read.

Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops by Jen Campbell: 

Jen Campbell is one of my favourite booktubers and I have wanted to read her books for forever. I finally got the book for Christmas and I found some of the tales in this book hilarious.

That’s everything I read in December

Thanks for reading

Jess X

Blogmas: A Month of Reading: November

Hi Guys

Welcome to the first day of blogmas! I’m going to start off the month how I normally do and tell you about the books I read in past month.

This was a great month of reading. I finally got to a series I’ve been wanting to read for ages and I read a few other really great books. Nothing I read this month was terrible which is always a plus.

 

Final Empire Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson: Yes, that’s right. I started and actually finished a series. In the same month! Who am I? I have been struggling with the first book in this series for months now. I think I may have even started reading it a year ago and have tried multiple times to finish it since, I just haven’t been able to get into the stories.

I think the whole magic system was part of the reason because I just couldn’t get my head around how they would burn metals to give them these abilities but eventually I got past that and the minute Elend was introduced I was hooked. Elend and Vin are my faves.

As a series as a whole I would give it 80% because I love the characters and story so much but there are times I feel like it’s getting a little repetitive.

Matilda by Roald Dahl: I remember love the movie to this when I was younger but I never really read Roald Dahl when I was a child so this was actually my first time reading it and I have to say I love what the movie added, they took this book and made something really special with it. But I really liked the ending to the book. I gave it 85%.

Autumn by Ali Smith: This was my first Ali Smith but will most certainly not be my last. I loved the writing in this book, it was poetic and flowed perfectly and the way she described things painted pictures into my mind. It’s not very often I read a book that can do that. This is a book that didn’t just hand you the meaning on a silver platter.

It made me think about what Ali was trying to do and say and I have a feeling when I reread this sometime in the future I am going to notice stuff I completely missed before.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr:  This is a book I have been looking forward to reading for ages and honestly I was a little disappointed. The amount of POV’s kind of confused me and sometimes it took me a while to get used to a new point of view and when the chapters are so short you don’t want to be wasting time with that. The story did also feel very slow at times but I must say I absolutely loved how the story came together. It was like pieces to a puzzle were finally fitting.

Thanks for reading

Jess x

A Month of Reading: October

Hello Guys

So I will admit I feel like I read more in October than I actually did. But I’m still really happy because I actually enjoyed what I did read (for the most part.)

So obviously it was Halloween this month so I based a lot of what I read around that

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown ~ This was on my ‘books I must read this year list’ and I have finally gotten to it and honestly I don’t know what took me so long. This was such an entertaining read that grabbed my attention and just did not let go. You have to give it a go.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier ~ This was good but it just lacked in something and I don’t really know what. I suppose I just got a little bored.

Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carrol ~ This is the only book I was able to read in Deweys (which I’m not surprised about to be honest). I think I actually enjoyed this more than Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland.

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon ~ I didn’t actually finish this. As of right now it’s been DNF’ed because I just lost my interest in it. But I do want to give it another try.

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling ~ Another one I’ve DNF’ed. But I don’t think I’m going to give this another go. Honestly I just did not like this.

Mysterious Case of Styles by Agatha Christie ~ So far I’m not a huge fan of her writing, but I might just not have been in the right mood.

Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs ~ I loved this. It was so entertaining and I loved the whole concept of peculiars. However I did find the ending a little rushed and I feel like some of the characters are a little flat.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman ~ I was going to read this for Halloween but I just ended up not reading any of it… so I’ll leave it for next year. Again. Opps. 

That’s everything I read in October. 

Thanks for reading

Jess xxx

A Month of Reading: September

Hello guys

I can not believe it is October already. I’m getting some serious Halloween (and even Christmas) feels right now.

But before we start thinking about that, let’s get into what I read in September. September was a pretty good month of reading, although I wish I’d done more of it. I ended up reading 7 books (and starting another one) and none of them were huge disappointments, result.

Heart of Betrayal and Beauty of Darkness by Mary E Pearson: I actually listened to the audiobook of Beauty of Darkness so it’s not in the picture, but I finally finished this trilogy. I have to say I wasn’t overly impressed by it in the end. I just found that the story was driven more by a love triangle I didn’t care for more than the threat Lia and her kingdom was facing. It could also be partly to do with the fact that I just don’t feel like reading fantasy atm but I just lost interest in this.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett: I loved this story so much. It follows three women in a time when segregation and inequality of black and white people was still prominent. Two of the women are maids who are constantly facing prejudice and violence, and the third is a wannabe writer who decides she wants to write the stories of black women in service. This is one of those books that had me fist-bumping thin air for the small victories the main characters won and I just love how much I came to care for them. If you haven’t already, please read this.

12 Years a Slave by Soloman Northup: It was really difficult to read this because it is a man recounting his time of being forced into slavery in a country he had grown a life and a family in. It’s so hard to read him being taken from his family but I’m glad that I did read it as even though it’s hard, it’s important this history isn’t forgotten.

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman: This is basically a dystopia novel that switches up history. It has the usual elements of a YA dystopia trilogy; corrupt government, rebel group trying to take it down, romance, etc. But in this the social inequalities are based on the colour of peoples skin, blacks are the crosses who live in wealth and privilege and the whites are noughts who are born to and die with nothing. Through a lot of this book I thought it relied a bit too heavily on the forbidden romance between a nought and a cross (although I did of course enjoy that aspect of it) but after finishing it I am really excited to continue the series.

Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson: That’s right guys. I’ve read it. I have finally read it. And it was good. Not ‘amazing,’ ‘oh my god the best thing ever,’ but it certainly wasn’t disappointing. This follows a women who, due to a terrible ‘accident’ has trouble retaining memory and therefore wakes up everyday confused and wondering where she is. She keeps a journal which her doctor reminds her about everyday and the first thing she reads in it is to not trust her husband. This of course immediately gripped me and it was a whirlwind of crazy shocks and surprises, exactly what I was expecting. But it did get a little dull for me around the middle which is why I can’t say this is the best book I ever read, but I do recommend you read it. Especially if you’re a fan of Gone Girl.

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: I did struggle with this book even though it’s only 80 pages but this is the only Sherlock story that I actually knew/remembered the conclusion of so I feel like that put it at a disadvantage before I even started it. Hopefully I’ll be able to read more Sherlock books this month and hopefully I enjoy them more.

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown: I have only just started this but that is the most progress I have made with this book since I got it 3 years ago so I think I’m actually going to get this off my tbr very soon. HALLELUJAH!

So that’s what I read in September. I am in such a ‘I need to read ALL the books’ mood right now and I am using that to drive me to read rather than… I don’t know, watch tv/youtube. So hopefully I’m going to get a lot of books read in October.

Thanks for reading

Jess xxx

A Month of Reading: August

Hey Guys!

August was a mix of disappointments and surprises, so I wouldn’t exactly call it a good month of reading, nor a bad month.

The Cursed Child: I’ve done a full non-spoiler review and spoiler discussion on this but basically there’s not much I liked about this and I gave it 1 star on goodreads. Probably the biggest disappointment ever.

A Spool of Blue Thread: This was such a nice read. It follows three generations of a family and we learn their story and their secrets and it’s one of those stories where I can actually see these characters existing. They were written so realistically I felt like I was reading about a real family and it was different to anything I’ve read before.

Impossible Knife of Memory: I didn’t know anything about this before reading this and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this. However it wrapped up a little too quickly for me and left me unsatisfied.

The Sky is Everywhere: I was so disappointed by this. The romance was way too instant, I didn’t like the main character and I didn’t understand her actions, which meant I didn’t exactly feel sympathetic for her at all. Just, no.

One Day: Another disappointment, but I’m not all that surprised by this. I just found the story to be really dull and I didn’t really care about finding out what happened in the end so I DNFed it.

Lightning Thief: I wanted a refresh of Percy Jackson before I restart the heroes of olympus series because I couldn’t really remember what happens in them. I really enjoyed rereading this but I just flicked through the others seeing as I remembered the majority of what happened in them. Now I can’t wait to read heroes of olympus.

The Help: I actually only started reading this so I’ll let you know what I think in my September Month Of Reading.

Kiss of Deception: Another reread before I continue the rest of the series and it’s made me super excited to finish this trilogy. I’d forgotten how good it is!

So that’s what I read during August. Let me know what you read.

Thanks for reading

Jess xxx

A Month of Reading: July

Hello Guys

July was an amazing month of reading for me for two reasons. 1. The booktubeathon happened which prompted me to speed through 11 books in 7 days. 2. I reread Harry Potter and it was wonderful.

The Unexpected Everything ~ Morgan Matson in my eyes is the queen of YA summer contemporary and The Unexpected Everything is her newest release. This was a really fun book and I loved the friendship between the four girls but I didn’t enjoy it as much as her past books. The ending was slightly anti-climatic and I did find a couple of the plot points a little predictable.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ~ I decided to reread the rest of the series this month before Cursed Child came out, starting with this one. For years I have called this my favourite of the series and while that stands true for the movie I actually found a little of this book to be long-winded. Also, is it me or did they change Sirius’s entire personality in the movies? And who prefers movie Sirius to book Sirius?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ~ This book is 1000x better than the movie. I definitely think the HBP movie is my least favourite. Like they completely ruined Ginny in it because in the book she is an awesome character and I love her relationship with Harry.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ~ I love how this concludes. It has so much detail and explanations that makes for such a satisfying ending. I loved Harry in this because you really come to see that while he may not have exceptional powers his strength lies in his character and determination to do what’s right. The minute I finished it I wanted to reread the entire series again.

Career of Evil ~ The third instalment in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling.) I love these novels. The writing is amazing and I love that I am never able to guess the outcome. This is probably my least favourite so far, mainly because I found the ending to be a little disappointing. I came up with multiple theories and I swear I prefer mine to the actual outcome.

The rest of the books I read this month I read during the booktubeathon which I’ve done a full blog post on so if you want to know what I read during that you can click here. 

So that is what I read in July. It was a good month, mainly because of the amount of J.K. Rowling I read.

Thanks for reading

Jess xxx

A Month of Reading: June

Hello Guys

I will be honest I completely forgot to do a post on what I read in June, but better late than never, right? Somehow I only managed to read 3 books last month but the BookTubeAThon is coming up very soon and that is always a week where I get lots of reading done.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas ~ Before starting it I was actually so sure that I wouldn’t like it, and when I’m in that frame of mind about a book normally I end up disliking or not even finishing it. But with this one  I couldn’t put it down and when I had no other choice but to, I was always itching to pick it back up again. The shocks, the characters, the world, the bonds. Everything was so perfectly done, Maas continues to amaze me. This book was so addicting.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon ~ I was so disappointed by this book. I thought I would absolutely love it because it sounded like the type of contemporary I love. But honestly the outcome was ridiculous, the plot of relatively boring and don’t even get me started about the relationship in this. I’m actually confused as to why so many people love this.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling ~ I hadn’t reread this book since 2012/2013 (not really sure) and I had forgotten just how amazing Jo’s writing is. I’m rereading all the books in the series in preparation for The Cursed Child (SO EXCITED) and I’m really enjoying myself. I had forgotten how great the humour is and how fun the Golden Trio’s friendship is. This may have become my favourite HP book.

So that is what I read in June. Not much but I’m already close to finishing my third book of July so hopefully this month will be a lot better.

Question… How excited are you for The Cursed Child?!?

Thanks for reading

Jess xxx