A Month of Reading: June 2019

a month of reading

Hi Readers

I’m not going to lie, I’m struggling at the moment. Reading wise, blogging wise and just in general really. I really want July to be the month I get back into the swing of things and I really think I’m on my way to doing that. 

In terms of June, I really didn’t enjoy anything I read and it’s hard for me to know the real reason why. Has my mood effected my experience with these books or did I just not like them. Honestly I’m leaning more towards the second option. 

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Probably the only book this month I somewhat enjoyed. There’s a lot I don’t like about this. There’s so much insta love and very sudden character deaths that make you wonder what the point of that character even was. But I was willing to overlook it and was excited to continue the series…

Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes – ⭐ ⭐

…But then it continued to happen in the second book…

Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes – ⭐

…And by the time I got to the third one I was done caring. I gave the series one last shot with the forth book Frozen Tides but, for me, it just kept on getting worse. I literally only cared about two characters and all the others I was either ‘ugh’ or ‘who?’

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares ⭐ ⭐ 

Honestly this wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be but I still didn’t like it. Even though the characters clearly had different interests they all felt like the same voice and in the end I found the story incredibly dull. 

Everything Leads To You by Nina Lacour – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

So, I gave this 3 stars but if I’m honest, the entire second half is completely lost on me. No clue what happened. This is about an 18 year old who somehow has a job that many college graduates would kill for. It has a lesbian romance and it’s set in Hollwood, but ultimately I found it quite boring. 

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth – ⭐ ⭐

So, here’s the thing. I really appreciate this book and what it does. It’s about a teenage girl (Cameron) who’s caught kissing another girl and is put into a religious conversion therapy camp. I hate to say this but I preferred the movie. For me this book dragged and the movie got to the point and told what was, to me, the most important part of Cameron Post’s life. 

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren – ⭐ ⭐

Another YA gay contemporary that just didn’t hit the mark for me. In this one it was the writing but also some of the things that happened felt odd to me and needed to be resolved but just weren’t. 

Hopefully I read some better books in July. 

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

 

A Month of Reading: May ’19

a month of reading

Hi Readers!

This month I dedicated my reading time to reading female voices. I wasn’t able to get to too many but I did find a couple of new favourite books!

Gather Together In My Name by Maya Angelou *Not Rated

This is the second in her authobiographical memoir series. This one follows her years as a teen mum struggling to find work.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This was a real surprise to me because, and I hate to admit this, I really wasn’t a fan of The Hate U Give (although I may have to give that another go now). But this book was great. It set in the same neighbourhood as THUG but in this we follow Bri who wants to be a rapper. It follows similar themes of discrimination and poverty.

REVIEW.

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

It’s not surprise that this is my new favourite. Written by the same author of my favourite book of last year I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised. I really didn’t think this could top or even be on the same level as The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I don’t know if it’s topped it but I definitely loved it just as much.

REVIEW

With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Avecedo ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

After reading The Poet X earlier this year (and giving it 5 stars) I was a little disappointed with this one. In this we follow a teen mum who has a gift for cooking. In the end I didn’t really find any of the characters in this very believable and the story overall didn’t compel me. Everything worked out a bit too smoothly which made it a bit boring. 

Eon by Alison Goodman ⭐ ⭐

This is the first in a fantasy duology that I’ve tried reading a couple of times before and always struggled with it. This time I struggled my way to the end but I can’t say I enjoyed myself. It’s quite dense and there’s a lot of world building and not a lot of character building. I probably won’t be continuing. 

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

A Month of Reading: April ’19

a month of reading

Hi Readers

This was the best month of reading I’ve had so far this year and that was definitely down to the OWLs Readathon. Whilst I wasn’t able to complete all of the challenges I did read 9 books and some of those have been sitting on my shelf for so long I had to dust them off first.

Divination: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This book has been on my shelf for years and for so long I’ve had no intention of reading it. Picking it up was a total spur of the moment idea but I’m so glad I did. This story is told through the eyes of 8 characters who each have their own stories but are in some way connected to the first character we meet, Holly Sykes.

This book has sci-fi elements to it, but honestly my favourite bit was the characters and their normal, everyday lives. They were written so vividly and each had such a unique voice. I definitely want to read more by David Mitchell after this.

History of Magic: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Probably the most disappointing book I have ever read. I honestly can’t see why this is the most hyped book of the 20th century (other than Harry Potter). I found it so boring it almost put me to sleep multiple times. Every little plot detail was way too over-explained and I didn’t find this thrilling in the slightest.

Transfiguration: Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey ⭐ ⭐

Another book that’s been on my shelf for quite a few years now. This, however, was a bit more disappointing. This is a ‘mystery’ told from the point of view of a woman living with dementia. Whilst I appreciate what this does in showing what someone with dementia and the people around them go through, I found the plot was a bit tedious and predictable.

Care of Magical Creatures: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mantel

I feel like at least half of the people who read this post will be shocked I gave this book one star as I feel like everybody has read and loved this book. All I can say is, maybe it’s not for me? The problem was, I didn’t care about any of the characters.

This could be because the book and the characters in it are heavily influenced by Shakespeare as they’re travelling actors who put on plays for survivors of the illness that wiped out a large part of the population. I just couldn’t connect and found it so dull.

Ancient Runes: The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker ⭐ ⭐

This book was recently shortlisted for the women’s prize for fiction and honestly I don’t really see why. This is supposedly a retelling of Greek myth but from the point of view of women. That is not what I got from this book.

For me, this is a good retelling of Achilles during the Trojen war. Parts of it is told from a woman, Briseis, who was given to Achilles as a slave, but the majority of it is about Achilles. It didn’t explore the women’s side enough for me.

Astronomy: As Far As the Stars by Virginia MacGregor ⭐ ⭐

I received this book from netgalley and honestly I wasn’t a huge fan of it. Here’s my full review. 

Charms: Spring by Ali Smith ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This is the third in her seasons quartet and definitely my favourite so far. It covers so many current topics and has great characters. Here’s my full review.  

Arithmancy: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodie Meadows and Brodi Ashton ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This certainly wasn’t what I was expecting but I really loved it. It gives a fantasy twist to an interesting period in British Monarch History and basically retells the reign of the 9 day queen. 

DADA: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This was a reread and I think I enjoyed it even more this time around. Although I found the main character a little frustrating at times. I love when I reread a book and I get something new out of it and that’s definitely what happened with this one. 

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

A Month of Reading: March ’19

a month of reading

Hi Readers

March continues the running theme of this year where I feel like I’m reading much more than I actually am. In March I completed five books, four of which were Women’s Prize for fiction longlistees.

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This book was so beautifully written it transported me through time to the 1800’s. I honestly can’t believe it wasn’t written by someone who was alive then. 

Circe by Madeline Miller ⭐ ⭐

The rest of the months reads were Women’s Prize longlistees. This being the first one.  Circe is a Greek myth retelling whose hype I just don’t understand. For me, this was boring and felt disconnected. 

Book Review

The Lost Children’s Archive by Valeria Luiselli ⭐ ⭐

In this we follow a family travelling to the southern states of America and along the way we also explore children who are making their way through the Mexican/American border. I felt this could have been more impactful than it was. 

Book Review

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The title tells the premise. It’s a fast paced tale of sisterhood and unrequited love. I would’ve liked a more satisfying ending though.

Book Review

Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li ⭐ ⭐

This is a family drama revolving around the owners of a Chinese restaurant in America and the people who work there. This features a lot of characters and none of them had a lot of depth, although they were true to life. 

Book Review

Normal People by Sally Rooney ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

So honest and so real. It’s about life, love, growing up and missed chances. It’s frustrating and infuriating and so sad. I loved this book. 

Book Review

How did your reading go in March?

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

 

A Month of Reading: January ’19

a month of reading

Hi Readers

I’m going to start off by summing up this months reading with two words. Oh dear. 

I could say the reading didn’t go well but, really, it just didn’t happen. There are a lot of factors that come into why but the biggest is honestly I just didn’t know what I wanted to read. 

swirly

This month I wanted to read the books I own. Books that have been sitting on my bookshelf for a while. I put 5 books onto my TBR. I read one. 

Other than that I read 2 other books, a library book and a Netgalley ARC. So, overall, three books. For me, that’s a bad reading month. I can’t remember the last time I only read three books in a month. 

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
•Library Book• •Fantasy• •Published 2017• •Adult• •Fantasy World•

I felt the same about this book as I did about her other series Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I can see why the hype is so big, and perhaps it just wasn’t for me, but I didn’t enjoy it. I never felt invested in the characters and honestly just didn’t care. 

It’s a fantasy that’s very hyped and very well loved but, to be completely honest, I’ve completely forgotten what this is about.

The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
•Netgalley ARC• •Historical Fiction• •Published 2019• •Adult• •Britain•

The first book of this year that I really loved. This was a Netgalley ARC and it comes out in May and trust me, if you enjoy Historical Fiction, you’re going to want to add this to your TBR. It’s actually made me want to pick up more of the genre. 

This is set during Victorian England and it’s about art, dreams, love and obsession. It’s beautifully written and very well researched.

REVIEW!

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 
•Book I Own• •Historical Fiction• •Published 2015• •Adult• •Iceland• 

This was a good read. It was beautifully written and very atmospheric. Honestly, I just found it a bit boring. 

This is a ‘whydunnit’ based on the last execution that took place in Iceland. A woman is convicted for murder and, as we go on, we learn more about her and the reason why she did what she did. 

REVIEW!

swirly

I also picked up 5 books that I ended up DNFing. Like I said, I just didn’t know what I wanted to read.

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor – Her books just aren’t for me. I felt like I was forcing myself to read something that I just wasn’t interested in. 

The Things I Could Tell You – This is an anthology written by Muslim women. I started reading this because it’s a pick for the Our Shared Shelf book club but I just couldn’t get through it. This is a weird mix of so many genres and it felt messy. 

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood -This is a weird one because I was enjoying it but I just feel like I don’t have time to read it right now. I’ll give it another go sometime. 

The Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – I’ve officially come to the conclusion I don’t like things set in space. It’s really not my thing. 

swirly

Honestly, I’m feeling a little deflated after January but I’d love to turn it around in February. I’ve got a very exciting theme lined up and I’m going to participate in a readathon which will hopefully give me a bit of a boost.

How did your January reading go? 

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X