#RockMyTBR December Update (2018) and Wrap-Up

Hi all! I know, I know, me posting 4 times in one week, what is this madness? I wouldn’t get too used to it, I’ll be back to Uni on the 14th and then it’s project, project, project till the beginning of April. I hope you’ve all been having a wonderful New Year so far. As far as years go, 2018 was…..well bad for the world would be an understatement. For me? Well it was actually pretty decent! I’ve started my final year of University and all things going well, will graduate in June. I completed the most of my goals for the year that I have since I started doing them. I’ve met even more amazing authors at YALC, and went to several other great book events, including one with three of my absolute favourite authors in the world back in March and of course the event for Kingdom of Ash in November. I’ve had my friends up to visit here again for our annual Christmas meetup. I’ve been to the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time, and to the European Championships. I’ve done one round of revisions on my novel and am in the middle of the second. I got my first ever byline in a newspaper, a massive step for my future career. I’ve turned 22. I discovered even more new music, TV, authors and movies. Yes there have been not so great parts as well, but overall 2018 was not a bad year at all for me.

Anyway, I’ve been having a great Christmas holiday with my parents and I’m trying to enjoy every minute of it before I go back to Uni and work for my final project really descends on me (I’ve already started it, but mostly the light work of organising interviews). This month went pretty well in terms of reading, I read 3 books, which brought my Goodreads total for the year to 35, meeting my challenge. Would I have liked to read more? Of course, but given how manic the end of the year was for me with fourth year deadlines, I’m pretty darn happy with 35! As with last year, this post will be a tad bit longer than usual, since I’ll be recapping what I read in December, doing a general wrap-up for this challenge for 2018 and looking forward to what I’ll be reading in January, so I hope you stick with me till the end!:

39080732A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult:

This was one of my Netgalley reads for the month (I’ll get to the other later) and one of my favourite reads of the year. I really enjoyed it, it’s definitely up there with my favourite of Jodi Picoult’s books, it handles a really difficult subject with her usual nuance and grace, and was a very powerful and entertaining story. I read this one from November 17th-December 4th. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/14/a-spark-of-light-review-e-arc/

34397653Our Dark Duet by V.E. Schwab:

This was my #RockMyTBR book for the month, replacing Wonder Woman: Warbringer as I wasn’t really getting into that one. I wasn’t so keen on the first book in this duology, but I enjoyed this one a lot more, the characters were developed better, the plot was more exciting and the ending kicked me in the gut. I read this from 5th-28th December. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/28/our-dark-duet-monsters-of-verity-2/

42279745The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork:

This was my other e-ARC from December and my last read of the year. I enjoyed the concept but felt like the writing style was far more suited for younger readers (and I mean younger than the book was aimed for) than for me. I read this from 5th-29th December. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/04/the-enchanted-sonata-review-e-arc/

So there we go, my final update of 2018, or first update of 2019 depending on how you look at it! I’ve already put together my list of reads for my 2019 challenge, which is the third post down on the #RockMyTBR Challenge tab, marked #RockMyTBR 2019 Challenge, if you’re interested in seeing what I’m going to be reading for the challenge this year. For the rest of this post, I’m going to recap what I read for this challenge in 2018 and look forward to what I’m going to be reading for the first month of 2019’s challenge.

What I Read This Year (Ranked In Star Order)

  1. Vicious-VE Schwab-4 stars

Honestly, all of my top five this year had a 4 star rating, so it was hard to decide which one to put first, but in the end, I had to go with this one, it was so clever and so wonderfully villainous and I just thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t wait to hopefully read Vengeful this year!

2. The Language of Thorns-Leigh Bardugo-4 stars

I honestly didn’t think I would rank this one so highly at the beginning of last year, because I’m not a massive short story reader, but Leigh Bardugo’s short stories for the Grishaverse were so wonderfully wicked and dark, and so perfect as a short read that I could fly through just before my exams, that I couldn’t help but love them.

3. The Exact Opposite of Okay-Laura Steven-4 stars

Laura Steven’s debut was everything I wanted it to be, marvellously funny, incredibly feminist and just an all round joy to read, I think I will be babbling about how much I love Izzy O’Neill for a long time to come. I’m so excited for A Girl Called Shameless to come out in March!

4. Our Dark Duet-VE Schwab-4 stars

I wasn’t certain about this one to start off with because I wasn’t a massive fan of This Savage Song, but VE Schwab definitely upped the ante in Our Dark Duet, both with the characters, the world, the plot and that gut wrenching ending-the Dark in the title is certainly not wrong!

5. Night of Cake and Puppets-Laini Taylor-4 stars

This little novella from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone world certainly was enjoyable, it followed Mik and Zuzana on their first date, and I can without a doubt say that I have never had a date as romantic as theirs!

6. Crooked Kingdom-Leigh Bardugo-3.5 stars

I was actually a little disappointed with this one unfortunately. I still loved the Dregs and the whole world Bardugo has created within these books, but I found that this book was a little too convoluted for me, and the pacing was incredibly off.

7. Moxie-Jennifer Mathieu-3.5 stars

Moxie was a fun little read, in terms of feminist YA, I preferred The Exact Opposite of Okay as I felt it was slightly more for already established feminists whereas Moxie is more of a starter feminist book, but that’s okay, we absolutely need both. Moxie was pretty good for what I needed it to be, a nice, short, fun little read but it’s probably not one I’ll be remembering for years to come.

8. Rose Under Fire-Elizabeth Wein-3 stars

Rose was an incredibly hard hitting, emotional read. I really loved the characters and the plot but I did feel like the story was a little too slow paced and there were quite a few far fetched plot contrivances that prevented me from rating the book higher, even though I did really enjoy it and flew through it in about a week.

9. Radio Silence-Alice Oseman-3 stars

Radio Silence was a good story, I think I just read it at the wrong time in my life. Whilst I’m a firm believer that YA can be read by any age, there are some YA books that I find don’t really resonate with me as much now I’m 22 and this was one of them. Had I been 16/17 and going through everything Frances was, I probably would have really related to her but as it was, I found her kind of irritating. I did love the focus on friendship and the diversity of the cast, but the story itself was a little slow paced and repetitive for me.

10. Shadow and Bone-Leigh Bardugo-3 stars

It kills me to have ranked a Leigh Bardugo book so low, but here we are. I think had I read Shadow and Bone before Six of Crows, I might have been more impressed with it, but having seen what Leigh Bardugo can do, Shadow and Bone was a bit of a let down, I couldn’t really connect with Alina and I found the plot incredibly slow paced.

11. Days of Blood and Starlight-Laini Taylor-2.5 stars

This was probably my biggest disappointment of the year. There was none of the lovely whimsicality of the first book, it was all just dark and depressing and Karou and Akiva being incredibly angsty over each other and I couldn’t deal with the gratuitous violence against women and the incredibly slow pace of the story. I still want to read the final book in the trilogy to see how it all ends, but I don’t think I’ll be doing that this year.

So that’s a recap of everything I read for the challenge in 2018, this is what I’ll be reading for the first month of 2018:

Siege and Storm-Leigh Bardugo-My first #RockMyTBR book for 2019 (a nice symmetry here, since Shadow and Bone was my first #RockMyTBR book last year). As you can see, I wasn’t so keen on Shadow and Bone, but I have decided to continue the trilogy because I want to read King of Scars and thus far, I am enjoying Siege and Storm more.

Enchantee-Gita Trelease-My current Netgalley read and OMG, it’s so amazing! I’m really enjoying this one, and if it keeps going as it is at the moment, I’m sensing a possible first five star read for 2019.

Ruin and Rising-Leigh Bardugo-I’m wanting to read both of the final two Grisha books this January so I’m all caught up before King of Scars comes out at the end of the month.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely-Bridget Kemmerer

If I finish Enchantee before the end of the month, which I should, then I’ll be moving onto A Curse So Dark and Lonely, which I’m quite excited for, because it’s a contemporary fantasy version of Beauty and The Beast, which is one of my favourite fairytales, so I should enjoy it!

I’m really pleased with how much I read this year, 35 books, only one down from last year, which is some kind of miracle considering how busy I was towards the end of the year! I also knocked 11 books off my TBR list through doing this challenge, hopefully 2019 will be the year I break the block and manage to finish all 12 though! I’m hoping 2019 will be even better for me reading wise than 2018 was.

How did everyone else’s December reading go? What is your first read of 2019? What did you set your Goodreads Challenge at this year? Let me know in the comments!

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#RockMyTBR 2019 Challenge

Hi all! It’s that time of year again, with one book left to go in my 2018 challenge, I’m drawing up my 2019 list, and in a beautiful piece of symmetry, it’s exactly a year since I did the last one! For anyone who’s not aware, the #RockMyTBR challenge is a challenge created by Sarah K at the YA Book Traveler, where she challenges you to draw up a list of books to knock off your TBR over the course of a year. I don’t think Sarah is doing it anymore, but I’ve kind of borrowed it for myself, since it’s been so helpful to me in reducing my TBR, over the past three years, I’ve knocked 34 books of my TBR through doing this challenge, so I figured why not keep the momentum going into 2019? If you want to join me in unofficially doing this challenge, then you can find Sarah’s post here:

http://theyabooktraveler.com/rockmytbrpage/

I’ve stuck with my tradition of having 12 books, one for each month of the year, though for the past two years I’ve had to knock a book off my list/replace books on my list because I’ve not enjoyed some of the choices, so I’ve completed the challenge at 11, but hopefully this year I will manage all 12. It’s a nice low pressure challenge and allows me to read other books as well. As with last year, I allowed Twitter to choose my TBR list (well most of it), since it worked so well and takes the decision making process away from me, which is just a bonus as I am incredibly indecisive! Last year’s list was kind of  a mixed bag, there were some fantastic books and some kind of mediocre ones, hopefully this year’s will be more consistent:

  1. Siege and Storm-Leigh Bardugo-This was one I actually chose myself, since for January, I am planning to have a Grisha Trilogy catch up month, I want to read both Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising before King of Scars comes out at the end of the month. I wasn’t overly keen on Shadow and Bone, but I’ve heard the rest of the series gets better and I really want to see what all the fuss about Nikolai is about, so hopefully I enjoy this more.
  2. Alex and Eliza-Melissa De La Cruz-I also chose this one myself, as in February, I’m planning to have a Hamilton month, reading the Hamilton themed YA that I have, in preparation for going to see the show at the end of the month. I would attempt to read the Chernow biography as well, but I’ve seen that thing and it’s a BEAST. Maybe on audio though? We’ll see.
  3. To Kill A Kingdom-Alexandra Christo-This was the quite decided winner of its poll, with over 60% of the vote, and one that I actually meant to read this year, I even had an e-ARC of it, but I never got around to it. I’m excited to finally get to it next year, as I heard a lot of good stuff about it this year, and after the disappointment of Sea Witch, I’m hoping my next dive into a Little Mermaid style story will be less of a disappointment!
  4. Catwoman: Soulstealer-Sarah J Maas-I was actually expecting this one to be a lot more popular, it only beat out Not Even Bones by a very narrow margin which is unusual for a Sarah J Maas book-ACOMAF won it’s poll by a landslide back in 2017. I struggled with Wonder Woman and had to put it down after only 4 chapters, so I’m hoping that I feel more enthralled by Catwoman.
  5. Uprooted-Naomi Novik-After missing out narrowly last year to Moxie, Uprooted stormed to victory this year with over half the vote in its poll. I have to admit, I’m a little nervous, since I wasn’t so keen on Spinning Silver when I tried it over the summer, but I’ve heard so much good stuff about this one that I’m willing to give it a shot.
  6. The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue-Mackenzi Lee-My friend absolutely loved this one when I lent it to her this year and she’s been begging me to read it ever since. It seems that Twitter feels the same way as it won its poll by a landslide. I’m super excited for this one because it sounds like a lot of fun and I really want to know what all the hype is about, plus when my friend loves something, that’s usually a good sign that I will too.
  7. Strange The Dreamer-Laini Taylor-Another one my friend has been begging me to read, she loved it when she read it earlier in the year and I meant to read it this year but I just ran out of time, so I’m very happy that Twitter decided I should read it next year. It sounds great, I’m hoping it will be less of a let down than the second Daughter of Smoke and Bone book.
  8. An Ember In The Ashes-Sabaa Tahir-I honestly just need to know what the fuss is about for this one, it won it’s poll by over 50% and I see people constantly talking about Sabaa, plus my friend loved it, so it looks like 2019 is finally the year I’ll read this book.
  9. The Last Namsara-Kristen Ciccarelli-I’ve been wanting to read this one since I got it in the October FairyLoot last year, but I just never managed to squeeze it in. Now, thanks to Twitter, I will finally be reading this one next year and I’m so excited-DRAGONS PEOPLE. DRAGONS.
  10. Stalking Jack The Ripper-Keri Maniscalco-I’ve seen some really great things about this one and it sounds so up my street, a Victorian mystery based on the Jack The Ripper murders, yes please! Thanks Twitter, you picked the perfect book for me to read next Halloween!
  11. An Enchantment of Ravens-Margaret Rogerson-This one sounds so lovely, I’m excited to see a different kind of Fae, since the only type I’ve really had exposure to are the ultra masculine, overtly sexual ones in Sarah J Maas books, so it will be ncie to see a different kind of faerie. Plus it just sounds like a gorgeous story, so I’m super excited to read it.
  12. Reign of The Fallen-Sarah Glenn Marsh-AGH THIS ONE JUST SOUNDS SO GOOD, I’m so excited that it won its respective poll. Necromancy is something that I’ve always found fascinating so reading an entire book where that is the main character’s power? Yes please!

So that’s my list for 2018! If you’ve read any of these, then please, let me know what you thought! Once again, as with last year, every single book for my #RockMyTBR challenge was written by a woman, so I’m super excited for that-I mean I tend to read more female authors than men anyway, it’s kind of a given if you read YA, but I do love supporting other female writers!

Thank you to the lovely people of Book Twitter who helped choose my list for 2019, and I hope you all enjoy hearing my thoughts about the books you picked out for me through the next year. I know I said that I thought last year was going to be my best year yet, but I truly think you guys have outdone yourselves this year and I’m so ridiculously excited to dive into these books in a few weeks time, even though it feels like 2018 has practically disappeared (seriously how did January go on so long and the rest of the year passed in a poof? How?)!

I will have a book review of my latest read A Spark of Light for you guys, probably later this weekend, so look out for that.

#RockMyTBR November Update (2018)

Hi everyone! Can you believe it’s the last month of 2018? It feels like this year has both sped by and that’s it’s been 2018 for ages, I’m not really quite sure how that works, but it does! November was a ridiculously busy month for me, I had deadline on top of deadline, so it’s amazing that I managed to get any reading done at all, let alone 3 books!

For anyone who doesn’t know, #RockMyTBR is a reading challenge originally created by Sarah K at The YA Book Traveler, which I’ve sort of borrowed for myself as she isn’t officially running it anymore, because it’s quite a fun challenge, you basically just set yourself a list of books off your TBR to try and read over a year in order to cut your TBR down. These are the three books I read in November:

37864142Firestarter by Tara Sim:

Firestarter doesn’t actually come out until January of next year, but thanks to Edelweiss, I had the chance to read it a few months early. I absolutely loved it, it’s my favourite read of the year, such a thrilling conclusion to this series and I honestly wish this series got more love because it is so creative, has such a brilliant cast of characters and crushes your feelings SO HARD. I read this from 5th October-16th November. No review yet, but keep your eyes peeled for it closer to the release date at the end of January.

38733752Midnight (Skulduggery Pleasant #11) by Derek Landy:

Derek Landy’s 11th instalment of the Skulduggery Pleasant series, the 2nd in the new era of the series, was unfortunately a bit of a let down. The two halves didn’t really make a cohesive story and the plotline of the second half was stretched a bit thin. However, it is always fun to be back in Landy’s magical Ireland and it’s clear that there are plenty more exciting stories to come from this new phase of Skulduggery, so hopefully this book was just the new era finding its feet, rather than a sign of what’s to come. I read this from 19th October-22nd November. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/midnight-skulduggery-pleasant-11-review/

36162553Night of Cake and Puppets-Laini Taylor

Night of Cake and Puppets was my #RockMyTBR book for November, and it was just what I needed, something short, sweet and fun. The story of Zuzana and Mik’s first date may not be particularly substantial, but it was a nice little tale to end the month with and it was definitely hard not to be swept up by the romance of this pair. I read this book from 23rd-28th November. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/night-of-cake-and-puppets-daughter-of-smoke-and-bone-2-5-review/

I also read A Spark of Light, but since I finished it this month rather than last month and haven’t had the chance to write a review yet, I’m going to include it in my December post instead of this one.

So that’s what I read in November, this is what I’m planning to read this month:

Our Dark Duet-Victoria Schwab-I’m exchanging this for Wonder Woman: Warbringer as my #RockMyTBR read for December as I would still like to read 11 books for the challenge and I wasn’t really feeling Wonder Woman at the moment. I’m not very far through it yet, only two chapters, but it definitely started out well!

The Enchanted Sonata-Heather Dixon Wallwork-My Netgalley read for this month, I kind of requested it on a whim, but it sounds really fun, it’s basically a cross between the Nutcracker Ballet and The Pied Piper, so hopefully I enjoy it.

Enchantee-Gita Trelease-If I finish The Enchanted Sonata before the end of the month, which I should, since it’s quite short, then I’ll be moving on to this. I’m really excited for this one, it’s basically Revolutionary Paris with magic and if that doesn’t scream Jo, I don’t know what does.

Kingdom of Ash-Sarah J Maas-I’m not planning on finishing this one this month, but once my exam is over, I hope that I will be able to get further through this one before the year is out, with the hope that I will finish it properly early next year.

So there we go, that’s my December TBR, final TBR for 2018, can you believe it? I can’t. I’m back to being ahead on my Goodreads challenge and I’ve only got two books left to read to meet it, so I’m pretty sure that I’ll finish before the end of the month. How’s your reading gone so far this year? How close are you to meeting your Goodreads Challenge? Let me know in the comments!

#RockMyTBR September & October Update (2018)

Hi everyone! It’s November, and as you can tell from the title, I kind of skipped my September update, October was just so crazy for me, workwise that I figured it made more sense to combine my reading updates for the two months as I just haven’t had time to sit down and write two separate posts. I’m sorry about that, but fourth year is really kicking my butt!

As you might have guessed from my late post, I haven’t actually read that much since I’ve been back here, I only read 3 books over the whole of September and October, which is one less than I usually do, even with Uni, so yeah, not great and I have ridiculous deadlines through November, so I’m not imagining this will be a great reading month either!

For anyone who is new to the blog, #RockMyTBR is a reading challenge, originally started by Sarah K at The Book Traveller in which you aim to cut down your TBR over the course of a year. I’ve kind of borrowed it for myself this year, since she isn’t officially running it and it’s become a fun way to keep you guys all updated on what I’ve been reading. Like I said, I read three books in September and October and they were these:

18180495Vicious by VE Schwab:

This was my #RockMyTBR read for September, and as expected, since it’s Schwab, I LOVED IT. The way the story was told, though confusing at first, was really clever, the characters were all so complex and well developed and it was such a unique little story. I’m so excited to get to Vengeful where the women will take centre stage. I read this book from 4th September-17th September. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/19/vicious-villains-1-review/

40360718Sea Witch by Sarah Henning:

Sea Witch was my Netgalley read for September, although I actually started it in August, it took me forever to get through, which probably tells you a lot about how little I enjoyed it! It took me from 15th August-3rd October to read and I had to take a lot of breaks. The plot just moved SO SLOWLY and the character and world development was so shallow. The idea of a Sea Witch origin story was a great one, but the execution was flawed. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/sea-witch-review-e-arc/

36220335For A Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig:

My other ARC read for this month, a physical arc this time. I actually really enjoyed this one, it was a little slow in places, but I thought it was a really creative concept, the main character was awesome and it was great to see a fantasy story with a mentally ill protagonist, especially written by an #ownvoices author, we need more of them. I read this one from 20th September-12th October. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/for-a-muse-of-fire-for-a-muse-of-fire-1-review-arc/

You may have noticed I had no #RockMyTBR book for October, I was meant to be reading All The Crooked Saints, but I just wasn’t in the mood for it, so I’m just going to read 11 books for my challenge this year, same as last year.

So anyway, that’s what I read in September and October, here is what I have planned for November, if I can squeeze it in between my deadlines:

Midnight (Skulduggery Pleasant #11)-Derek Landy-I thought the spooky season was the perfect time to start reading this book, plus I was feeling a little slumpy after I finished reading For A Muse of Fire so I thought an old favourite author would help pull me out (it did, yay!). I’m about 40% of the way through this and although it’s not the fastest paced book, I’m loving being back in Valkyrie and Skulduggery’s world.

Firestarter (Timekeeper #3)-Tara Sim-I got approved for the finale of Timekeeper on Edelweiss which has made me very happy! I’m again about 40% of the way through this one and I’m really enjoying it, Danny and Colton are honestly just the softest, sweetest boys and I want to protect them at all costs. I’m really excited to see how this series wraps up.

Strange The Dreamer-Laini Taylor-I suggested this book for the Goodreads book group I’m in and it won the group vote, so I’m definitely going to try and join in! My friend absolutely loved Strange The Dreamer and we usually have very similar tastes in books, so I have a good feeling about it.

Kingdom of Ash-Sarah J Maas-I am definitely not going to finish this behemoth of a book this month, but I know as soon as I get it am going to have to start reading it. I want to know how everything ends, but at the same time, I AM NOT READY. I know I will be emotionally broken by this book.

Night of Cake and Puppets-Laini Taylor-This is my #RockMyTBR book for November, I know it’s only a novella, but honestly, it’s just what I need right now, something small and sweet and quick!

So there we go, my November TBR. It’s stupidly ambitious considering how many deadlines I have, but I think I should be able to finish at least 3 of them! I’ve slipped back to being just on track with my Goodreads challenge, so I’m hoping that I still manage to keep momentum going in November, as I only need to read six more books before I meet it! How’s your reading going so far this year? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

#RockMyTBR August Update (2018)

Hi everyone! September is here, and that can only mean one thing: my birthday is next week people, in fact it’s exactly one week from today! I’m turning 22 this year, so I will naturally be playing the Taylor Swift song over and over again on my birthday and milking that for all it’s worth (sorry in advance friends!). I’ve arrived back in Scotland today, after a busy last few weeks at home, in preparation for moving in to my flat for my final year of Uni on Sunday, so that’s pretty exciting.

August was a relatively decent month for me, reading-wise. With my summer job finishing mid-August, I FINALLY had time to read again and finished three books this month, bringing my final summer total up to 15! I’m very happy with that, since with Uni starting, my time is all going to be sucked away again, so it was nice to get a leg up with my Goodreads Challenge over the summer.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this feature, a quick rundown: this is a reading challenge created by Sarah K at The Book Traveller, which challenges you to cut down your TBRs, I’ve kind of co-opted it for myself this year, since she wasn’t running it officially and I really enjoy it. Like I said, August was a relatively good month for me, I read 3 books (including two bricks!) so I’m pretty proud of myself:

36576048Fawkes by Nadine Brandes:

This was my Netgalley read for the month, although I did actually read a lot of it in July, I just didn’t finish it till August. This book was so awesome, it had such a cool magic system involving masks and colours and I loved the way the author integrated the magic with the real history of the Gunpowder Plot. There seriously need to be more fantasies set in the Tudor/Stuart era because they are ripe for magical twists! Apparently her next book is going to be about Anastasia Romanov, so I’m super excited for that one. I read this book from 4th July-11th August (on and off). Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/13/fawkes-review-e-arc/

18048665Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor:

The sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone was my #RockMyTBR book for August. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, but the second one was a bit of a letdown for me. It was way longer than it needed to be, the plot was relatively thin on the ground, it was really depressing and there was an unnecessary attempted rape scene that kind of soured me on the whole thing. I read this book from 27th July-13th August. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/19/days-of-blood-and-starlight-daughter-of-smoke-and-bone-2-review/

31450852Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas:

AH SO I FINALLY READ IT. I was a little bit nervous, because Chaol is not my favourite, but I really enjoyed this one, the world building was brilliant, Chaol’s healing journey was beautiful, there was SO much more diversity than in the other books in this series and for once, a SJM romance didn’t make me want to gag! Granted it was still about 200 pages too long and quite slow, but still, I really enjoyed it. I read this one from 13th August-3rd September (told you it took a while!). Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/03/tower-of-dawn-throne-of-glass-6/

So that’s what I read in August, here’s what I have coming up in September. I’m super excited, I have so much amazing stuff coming up for my birthday month:

Vicious-VE Schwab-I just started this book a couple of days ago, but thanks to my super long train journey today, am over 100 pages in. I’m enjoying it, I wouldn’t go as far as saying I’m loving it yet, but it’s still quite early days, I get the feeling that this one is going to be quite a slow burner!

Sea Witch-Sarah Henning-This is my Netgalley read for this month, kind of hanging over from last month because I just didn’t really have time to read much of it with everything I had going on at the end of August. I’m not really sure how I feel about this one yet, it’s okay, but I’m not really far enough through it yet to have decided.

The Hate U Give-Angie Thomas-Yes, yes, I know, I’m finally reading this. It’s the book of the month for a book club I’m part of on Goodreads and since the movie will be out next month, I figured it was finally time to see what everyone was talking about so much last year (better late than never!).

A Spark of Light-Jodi Picoult-I got approved to read Jodi Picoult’s latest on Netgalley and I’m super excited for it, so once I’ve finished Sea Witch, I will definitely be moving onto this one.

So there we go, that’s my September TBR, I doubt I will finish everything, since the first month back at Uni is always a bit manic, but I’m hoping to get at least three done, the fourth would be a bonus. I’m now 3 books ahead of my Goodreads Challenge, so I’m quite happy with that, has given me a nice buffer for being back at Uni and probably not reading as much. How’s your reading going so far this year? Let me know in the comments!

 

#RockMyTBR July Update (2018)

Hi everyone! August is upon us (how, what, why, when, I do not understand how time does this to us? January lasts forever and then the rest of the year flies by!). July was a super busy month for me, first with work and then with YALC last weekend, so whilst I somehow acquired ALL the books, I sadly did not read ALL the books, I only read two, the first time this has happened in a summer since I started blogging. But hey, I can’t read all the books, all the time, and I definitely shouldn’t feel guilty about that *I tell myself, whilst still feeling guilty*.

Anyway, for those of you who are new to my blog and aren’t familiar with this feature (welcome!), #RockMyTBR is a challenge originally created by Sarah K at The Book Traveller where she challenges us to cut down our TBRs, I started doing it in 2016, and I’ve kind of co-opted it for myself this year as I don’t think she’s officially running the challenge. So like I said, July wasn’t a great month for me, reading wise, so here are the two books that I did read this month:

25322449Radio Silence by Alice Oseman:

This was my #RockMyTBR read for the month and I also read it as a YALC prep book, because the author was at YALC. I liked aspects of this book, the focus of friendship, the worries about University and the future and the diversity of the book but I did find it incredibly slow and the plot was quite uneven, there were too many different strands and they didn’t really fit together for most of the book and I thought the characters were a bit flat. It was a decent book, I just don’t think it was right for me. I read this book from 27th June-9th July. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/15/radio-silence-review/

36859561Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi:

So if you’ve read my review of this book which I posted on Friday, it will be no secret to you guys that I LOVED this book. A beautifully creative and wonderfully diverse fantasy world, an intricate and interesting magic system and a generally engaging plot made for wonderful reading, it was just a shame about the lacklustre romance otherwise this totally would have been a five star read for me! I was so sad that the author’s signing line was too long at YALC (as this was one of my other YALC prep reads) for me to get this book signed. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/children-of-blood-and-bone-legacy-of-orisha-1-review/

So that’s what I read in July, this is what I have coming up this month:

Days of Blood and Starlight-Laini Taylor-I’m already about halfway through this book and kind of unsure about it, there’s less focus on Prague this time and more on Eretz and the magical stuff, which is fine, I do like the fantastical aspects of this book, it’s just the Karou/Akiva angst is kind of grating on me at the moment. I don’t know, we’ll see how this one turns out.

Fawkes-Nadine Brandes-This is my Netgalley read from last month (I DNF’ed Spinning Silver and started this instead) and I’ve been really enjoying it, my only complaint is that I’m so busy with work, I don’t have time to read it as quickly as I would like to! I’m about 3/4 of the way through this one, so close to finishing, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this all winds up.

Undecided 2nd physical book-Okay so basically I don’t know when I’m likely to finish DOBAS because of how busy I am at work, so I’m not gonna decided what my second August book is gonna be until I know how much of the month I have left to read it: my options (i.e. books I am not sending back up to Scotland with my mother this week) are Tower of Dawn, Our Dark Duet, Ash & Quill or The Game of Love & Death, so basically, if I finish DOBAS by the end of next week then I’ll probably go Tower of Dawn or Our Dark Duet, if it takes longer then I’ll be reading Ash & Quill or The Game of Love and Death.

Sea Witch-Sarah Henning-My other Netgalley for this month, which I’ll be starting once I’ve finished Fawkes. I’m really excited for this one, I love villain stories, and I think the Witch from The Little Mermaid is a really interesting one, so I’m excited to see Henning’s take on this.

So there we go, that’s my August TBR. I probably won’t finish all of them, but I would really like to get three if possible! I’m still 3 books ahead of my Goodreads challenge so that’s making me very happy! How is your reading going so far this year? Let me know in the comments!

Oh and I know I plugged this on my Twitter, but I just thought I’d share the link again here for any blog followers who don’t also follow me on Twitter, I did an interview with BookmarkChronicles for her Summer Spotlight series and it just went live this week, so if you want to know a little more about me and my blog, it would mean a lot to both me and her if you checked it out:

https://bookmarkchronicles.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/summer-spotlight-series-jo/

#RockMyTBR June Update (2018)

Hi all! How can it be July already, I swear I only got home like a week ago, I can’t have been back for over a month, this summer is going too fast! I was off visiting my friends this weekend, we spent all weekend just chatting because we haven’t seen each other in so long, and it was so great (plus we had homemade pizza and cookies, which were yummy!). My summer job starts on Wednesday, so this is likely to be the last #RockMyTBR post where I’ve read a lot of books, but you can’t say I haven’t made the most of my free time, as I read another 5 books this month.

If anyone is unfamiliar with this particular feature, #RockMyTBR is a challenge created by Sarah K from The Book Traveller in which she challenges us to cut down our TBRs, which I’ve kind of co-opted for myself this year. June was fantastic for me, as I had pretty much nothing to do other than read and write, this is what I read:

Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1)Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody:

This was one of my Netgalley reads this month, which I actually read most of in May, so it’s kind of a cheat, but I finished it in June, so it still counts! I was really excited for this book, it was one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. It’s a bit of a slow starter, but it has a really cool world and magic system and I really enjoyed Enne’s character development. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the sequel next year. I read this book from 10th May-4th June (I told you it was a slow starter!). Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/ace-of-shades-the-shadow-game-1-review-e-arc/

28933383Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo:

This was my #RockMyTBR book for June, which I read from 31st May-10th June. I was actually really disappointed in this one, not because it was a bad book, it wasn’t but I had such super high expectations of it that it was basically impossible for it to meet them, which is not really the book’s fault! Whilst I loved the gang still, I felt like the plot was convoluted, the pacing was really off and the ending was anticlimactic. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/11/crooked-kingdom-six-of-crows-2-review/

33876596Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls:

This is the first book that I’ve read in preparation for YALC this month (I’m so excited that I can finally say this month!). I read this one from 11th-20th June. Whilst I enjoyed reading a historical fiction that wasn’t set in WWII like my usual historical reads are, I was hoping for more focus on the suffragettes than there actually was, and I was a bit disappointed that despite the great focus on class issues and LGBTQ+ issues, there was barely any mention of POC suffragettes, which was a massive oversight to me, considering that there was a big contingent of Indian suffragettes in the UK. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/22/things-a-bright-girl-can-do-review/

36389267A Thousand Perfect Notes by CG Drews:

This was my other Netgalley read this month, and another of my most anticipated reads of the year, as it’s Cait (PaperFury)’s book. I liked the characters in this one, but I found the plot a bit lacking, and the writing a little overdramatic at times. I read this one from 5th-22nd June, which is a little bit long for a book that’s not even 300 pages, but it took my a long time to get into! Here is my review of the book:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/23/a-thousand-perfect-notes-review-e-arc/

36515061Legendary by Stephanie Garber:

OMG you guys, THIS BOOK THOUGH. Without a doubt this book is my favourite book of 2018 so far, it was dark and magical and Tella was just amazing and there was so much more worldbuilding and so many twists and turns and just AHHHHH! I was so blown away by this book, I read it in just over a week, from 20th-28th June. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/29/legendary-caraval-2-review/

So that’s what I read in June, this is what I have coming up this month:

Radio Silence-Alice Oseman-I’m knocking off two items from my list here, as Radio Silence is my #RockMyTBR book for July, but I have to read it before YALC anyway, as Alice Oseman is going to be there, so yeah, feeling very accomplished with this one. I’m not totally sold on the plot just yet, but I love the friendship between Aled and Frances already. More books focused on platonic m/f friendships PLEASE!

Spinning Silver-Naomi Novik-My Netgalley book for this month. I have to admit, I’m struggling a bit with this one and I’m kind of confused as to what is going on, but I’m hoping that things will pick up with it soon!

Children of Blood and Bone-Tomi Adeyemi-The last book I have to read in preparation for YALC. I’m so excited about this one because everyone seems to have loved it so much, so I’m hoping that I will too!

Grace and Fury-Tracy Banghart-My next Netgalley arc for this month, I’m really excited about this one because it’s supposed to be really feminist and it’s got two sisters at the heart of it and I love books about sister relationships.

So there we go, that’s my July TBR. I might not actually finish all of them, because my job starts this week and I’m going to get super busy, but I at least want to finish both the books that I need to read for YALC. I’m currently 4 books ahead of my Goodreads challenge so I’m feeling good about that, though I know the number might go down after my job starts! How is your reading going so far this year? Let me know in the comments!