August 2019 || Wrap Up

August 2019 || Wrap Up

Ok, August was a hot ass mess. I barely read anything except a text book and worked. That’s basically it.

I was really worried I was going to fall into a reading slump following YALC as that’s what has happened the last 2 years but this year, I fell into a slump because of an exam I had on the 22nd. It was worth it, I guess, because I passed but I’m now trying to climb out of that slump. I’m really hoping September is a lot better and that I can read more books as I want to have read 50 books by the end of the month.

Monthly Reading Total: 3 ||  Total Books Read In 2019: 43/30


Reading Goals for Last Month:

  1. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
  2. Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
  3. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  4. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

What I Actually Read:

  1. Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker
  2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling

Haha..hahaha. Oh dear. So I didn’t read a lot in August, if I’m totally honest. I had an exam, so whilst I do feel a little guilty that I didn’t read that much, I’m not being too hard on myself because my studies for my exams are more important! I think that as long as I read something, that’s not so bad! It just means that my September TBR will be a little longer as I’m bringing books from my August TBR onto it.

September TBR:

  1. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
  2. Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
  3. Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
  4. Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco
  5. The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh
  6. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
  7. Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

All but one of these books are over 400 pages so I’m not sure it was the best decision to try and read them all at once but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to read the majority of them in September. I’m really just hoping to get the Nevernight books read this month. I also definitely want to read Pumpkin Heads at the end of the month to get me in the mood for October and Autumn.

What was your favourite read of August? What books are on your TBR for September?

WWW Wednesday || 18/9

WWW Wednesday || 18/9

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted Taking on a World of Words that I thought would be fun to get involved with. It involves answering three WWW questions about recent reads.

Not a lot has changed since last week in terms of my reading. I feel like I’m still trying to catch up with everything, including this blog. Despite the fact I’m just working and not studying, I really feel like I just don’t have myself together right now. I feel so unorganised and a little bit like I’m drowning in my bookish side of life. Do you ever feel like that?

I’ve honestly not read a lot this past week and I don’t think I read one page over the weekend as I was so busy doing things. I went to a local comic con on Saturday, ran a 10K on Sunday morning and then saw Ariana Grande in Birmingham on a Sunday evening. I was exhausted on Monday! Hopefully this week will be much more productive.

What are you currently reading?

I still reading Nevernight by Jay Kristoff which I felt was really quite slow to start with but it’s now picking up. This is a reread for me and I definitely feel like I’m taking in a lot more of the plot and content this time round. It has been two years since I last read it and I feel like my tastes have changed slightly so I wonder if this has had an effect on my experience rereading it.

What did you recently finish reading?

I sadly haven’t finished anything this week!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I was planning to read Godsgrave next but now I’m planning to read Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco before then picking up Godsgrave. Then I’ll be looking to pick up Darkdawn!

What are you reading this week?

First Chapter Feels: A Different Time by Michael K. Hill

 

 

 

Title: A Different Time

Author: Michael K. Hill

Pages: 197

Publisher: Tangent Press

Published: 2019

Source: Early Copy (Thanks to TheWriteReads)


Keith Nolan falls in love with a remarkable young woman from the past, talking to him on a home video she recorded in 1989. To keep their conversation going, he must find more of her tapes—while forces work against them both, and time is running out.


First Chapter Feels is something new to this blog that I thought I would introduce on the blog tour for A Different Time by Michael K. Hill, hosted by The Write Reads. I wanted to do something a little different for this blog tour and this post was what came to mind.

From the synopsis, this sounds like an interesting book that I believe would appeal to perhaps more adult audiences. It’s a short book so it can easily be read in a few hours.

The prologue and first chapter heavily revolve around comic books. The prologue establishes that our main character, Keith, has had a love of comic books from a young age. The first chapter shows that many years later, Keith is still into comic books, but has a more important reason to be completing a specific collection.

When we meet Keith later in this book, he has obviously grown older and is now at the age of 22. When we meet him again, he is on the look out for comics when he stumbles across an old video tape. At this point, we know nothing about the old video tape or what it might contain and Keith promptly forgets about it after making a considerable important purchase.

Both the prologue and first chapter are quite short, which is understandable, given that this book is just under 200 pages. As I said before, this book does sound quite interesting and after reading the first chapter, I am intrigued to find out more about what is on the tape.

Would I carry on with this book? Based on the first chapter, I think that this book definitely makes the reader interested in discovering more information about what this tape contains and what with it being so short, it would suggest that this book is relatively fast paced.

What do you think about First Chapter Feels? Do you believe that you can get an idea for how a book will be paced or how it may end from the first chapter? Or do you need to read a few chapters to settle in?

Make sure you check out all of the other blog posts on this ultimate blog tour hosted by The Write Reads, who you should definitely check out should you have a blog!

Guest Post: The Lover Book Tag, answered by PewterWolf

Guest Post: The Lover Book Tag, answered by PewterWolf

The other week, I posted my baby, The Lover Book Tag which I feel has had a really great response so far and I’m loving seeing all the posts come in! The Lover album (by my lord and saviour, Taylor Swift) came out on the 23rd August, so if you haven’t listened to it yet, just what in the world do you think you are doing? LISTEN NOW.  I enjoyed it so much that I decided to dedicate a tag to it, and so this book tag was born.

I was thrilled when I saw that Andrew of ThePewterWolf was tweeting about doing the tag, and so I decided to invite him onto the blog, especially as he is a fellow Swiftie so I just had to! I really enjoyed reading through his answers to all of the prompts and I hope that you will too.

Before I hand over to Andrew, there are just a few rules if you want to take part in this tag!

  1. Give credit to the creator (that would be ME!)
  2. Tag 5 Friends
  3. HAVE FUN!

Over to Andrew!

Before I go any further with this tag, I want to thank Vicky for only allowing me to invade her blog with this tag but also for creating this Taylor which was a hoot and a half to answer! Now, let’s me Taylor playing and let’s get this party started!

I Forgot That You Existed – A book on your TBR that you’d completely forgotten about

This is super rare as I am always checking my TBR on Goodreads. But it’s usually something that is on my kindle that I always seem to go “Oh, wait, I own you?”. So, let me answer that with the two books that is on my kindle that I feel guilty for not reading yet as I’ve had them for so long: Witch Child by Celia Rees and Poison Study by Maria V Snyder.

Cruel Summer – A Perfect Summer Read

Oh no! Not this question! I don’t really do seasonal reads (though I am considering doing a ton of witchy reads for Halloween, but don’t hold your breath!), but when I think summer read, I want to read something light and fun by the pool. The book I read this year I would class as my “summer read” is Sweep: Volume One by Cate Tiernan. It was a reread so, technically, I’m cheated, but at the time I read it, I just need something light and this worked wonders. There is another title that jumps to mind for this, but saving that answer for a later Taylor song… 

Lover – Your Favourite Book/Series

If I didn’t answer this with Harry Potter, I think people would question if I am feeling well today… 

The Man – An Amazing Female Character

Just the one? But there are so many! If I answer Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series, I feel like that is a cheat, but she is! If it wasn’t for her, Harry and Ron would be dead before the end of the first book! 

The Archer – A book from your childhood because you never grew up

The first title that jumped to mind was The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy. I only ever read the first book in the series, but I related to Mildred. But other children’s books that call to me are Mog & The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr, George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl, The Invisible Dog by Dick King Smith (who, when I was younger, believed that he and Roald Dahl were the same person) and Dogger by Shirley Hughes. I have no idea what happened in this book but it must have effected me as I name a cuddly toy dog Dogger and I still own him! 

I Think He Knows – A book everyone knows you love!

I won’t answer Potter for this one. But I think people are always surprise how much I love Sabriel by Garth Nix. I always seem to go “Read this!” if someone wants to read a good fantasy. I know this book and the Old Kingdom series isn’t for everyone, but I adore it. 

 

Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince – A book that makes you so sad, you could paint the town blue

I usually avoid books that make me sad and upset (though no book, to my knowledge, has ever made me cry. Mad, absolutely, but never cry). But I think I’m going to say The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold. This audiobook was super engrossing, but hearing the stories of the women was a real shock to the system as when did we even think of the victims? 

Paper Rings – Your favourite OTP

Hmmm… That’s a hard one. I’m not sure I can answer this one as I keep going “Oh, that couple is wonderful. As was reading about them two. And them! AND THEM!!!”. I think if you get the romance right, it just works and feels effortless. So, I have a load of pairings I love. I feel like not answering this one, but that would be mean. 

Ok, I just had a thought. I know this isn’t cannon, but I always shipped Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnigan in the Harry Potter series. 

Cornelia Street – A book that lived up to the hype

I’m not sure how to answer this one as hype kinda scares me so I try and dodge it if I can. But Michelle Obama’s Becoming is my answer for this as, since I audiobooked this at the start of the year, I have been wanting to get a physical copy.

Death by a Thousand Cuts – A book that saying goodbye to is death by a thousand cuts, so you just have to re-read it again

It’s super rare for me to reread a book as soon as I’ve finished it. Same with me reading the same author back-to-back (though there are occasions). But there is one book I would like to reread soon and maybe even attack the author’s back catalogue, which is The Lost Man by Jane Harper. On the surface, it’s a standalone thriller set in the Australian Outback, but there are layers to it: mental health, grief, how a family copes, and other triggers that I want to reread and go “How did I miss these clues in my first, frantic reading of this?”

London Boy – A book based in London

I’m going to answer by putting a book that I haven’t actually read yet, but is on my TBR. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronvitch. If I read this and it isn’t set in London, am going to be a little annoyed… 

Soon You’ll Get Better – A book that brightens up your sky

Hmm… am tempted to put my current read – Rough Terrain by Annabeth Alert – down or The Witch’s Blood by Elizabeth and Katharine Corr as both were, to me, such an easy, fun reads. But I sense you mean books I always return to when I feel down in the dumps and that’s usually either Harry Potter (either Philosopher’s Stone or Prisoner of Azkaban) or Sabriel. But I don’t want to repeat self so made of this answer what you will… 

False God – A book that you could reread over again because it still does it for you, babe 

There are so many books I could reread and be a very happy man: Harry Potter, Twilight Saga, The Host, His Dark Materials, The Old Kingdom, Keys to the Kingdom, A Discovery of Witches, Queen of the Tearling, Kathy Reichs, Tess Gerritsen. But I think I will answer this with the answer I teased in Cruel Summer, which is Mirror Dreams by Catherine Webb. The reason is this is that in my late teens and early twenties, whenever I went of holiday, this was one of the books I would grab and I would read about half before the holiday was over and then I would never finish it because I knew the ending so well, but it felt like a betrayal if I finish the book while not on holiday. I was a strange one, I admit this. But I really should reread it one day… 

You Need to Calm Down – An LGBTQ+ book you’d GLAADly recommend

Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green. I don’t really want to give a reason, but Noah was me when I was a teen. Just more extreme. I cringe at the thought of teen me worrying over every little detail and thinking it worse than it actually worse. But with Noah… *cringes* 

Afterglow – It’s Not the Book, It’s Me (A book that wasn’t for you)

I have got a lot better of DNFing stuff if it’s not working for me. But there are times my stubbornness kicks in and I go “I want to read this to the bitter end”. But the book recently that I read and was really disappointed over was To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers. I had such high hopes for this novella and it just didn’t work for me. The things that everyone else loved, I found irritating and flat. But that’s the joys of reading: just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it will be someone else’s The One. 

ME! – A Character You Relate To

Usually, it’s a character who feels a little out of step with the world around them. I think we all feel like that, don’t we? We could say Noah from Noah Can’t Even due to the reasons I explained earlier… but I feel tempted to say Neville from the Harry Potter series. Can I get away with answering most of these with Harry Potter

It’s Nice to Have a Friend – A Character You’d Love to be Friends With

*buries head in hands* It’s as if you want me to answer all these with Harry Potter. I really want to say Hermione or Luna. If I can have them, can I have Mogget from The Old Kingdom series? I mean, a sarcastic talking cat… what more can I ask for? 

Daylight – A book that you weren’t sure of at first but turned out to be amazing!

I feel tempted to say Red Sister by Mark Lawerence, but I’m going to answer this with Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. I remember trying to read it when it first came out and I really struggled. So when I decided to try again a few years later, I went it very nervously and via audiobook. While the first 100 pages was a struggle and slow, once I got past that, I flew through it and had such a blast, I ordered the rest of the trilogy before I had finished. I did the same thing when I first read City of Bones by Cassandra Clare round the time City of Glass was about to be a published (in ye olde days when The Mortal Instruments was meant to be a trilogy…)

Bonus: Favourite Taylor Swift Album

Am a bit late to the Taylor party and, while I like a mix of songs from all her albums, I seem to have listened to Reputation a lot so let’s say that is my answer for now, but I am enjoying listening to Lover and Red

Andrew is tagging these fabulous five!

Gavin from @TheGavGav7

Justine from @IShouldReadThat

Beth from @BookLoverx

Steph from @eenalol

Jack from @Jthbooks

WWW Wednesday || 11/9

WWW Wednesday || 11/9

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted Taking on a World of Words that I thought would be fun to get involved with. It involves answering three WWW questions about recent reads.

This week, especially this past weekend, has been a surprise and I definitely didn’t expect to have read two books in such quick succession! I think it just proves how much I enjoyed them both. I also now finally understand the hype!

This last week hasn’t consisted of much except me working, reading and trying to just catch up with life in general. I feel like I’ve fallen behind on so much, including reading and blogging so I’m really just trying to catch up now! So many reviews and books, so little time!

What are you currently reading?

I picked up Nevernight by Jay Kristoff on Sunday so I’m making my way through that currently. This is actually a re-read for me as I really needed a refresher before I read both Godsgrave and Darkdawn. I’m planning to read this series back to back.

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished both A Curse So Dark and Lonely and A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer at the weekend. I finished Curse on my lunch break on Friday and then I picked up Heart on Friday and got to just under 300 pages that evening!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Once I’ve finished Nevernight, the plan is to read Godsgrave and then Darkdawn. I don’t think I’ll be able to finish them all over the next week, especially as I have a really busy weekend ahead of me, but I am hoping to get through them fairly quickly!

What are you reading this week?

Review: Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab

Review: Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab

 

197773-ml-1850239

 

 

Title: Tunnel of Bones

Author: Victoria Schwab

Pages: 272

Publisher: Scholastic

Published: 2019

Source: Early Finished Copy (Thanks to Scholastic!)

Rating: ★★★★


Trouble is haunting Cassidy Blake . . . even more than usual.

She (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) are in Paris, where Cass’s parents are filming their TV show about the world’s most haunted cities. Sure, it’s fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there’s true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs.

When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter — and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.

And if Cass fails, the force she’s unleashed could haunt the city forever.


Tunnel of Bones is the sequel to Victoria’s debut children novel, City of Ghosts. Like the first book in this series, which I reviewed here, it follows Cassidy Blake, a girl who almost died once and can now cross the veil between the living and ghosts.

When I finished City of Ghosts last year, I was already excited for the sequel. I rarely read children’s books, so this was a little bit of a surprise to me but if a book or author is good, then who am I to stop myself from reading what I enjoy?

Unlike City of Ghosts, which is set in Edinburgh, Tunnel of Bones follows the Blake family to Paris which is a perfect setting for a ghostly book. Paris is a place full of so much history with plenty of ghosts, I’m sure. Just take the Catacombs for example! I thought that the book being set here was really cool, plus there is a map at the front of the book pointing out important places in the city. What I loved about this book being set in Paris was that it reminded me so much of my own trip to the city two years ago.

The plot of this was really easy to follow and very fast paced. It was full of action and was quite tense at times, but really gripped me the whole way through, so much so that I didn’t want to put it down! In all honesty, you could probably read this book in about 3-4 hours based on how quick it is, plus it has the larger font as most children’s books have!

img_0524In terms of the characters, we are back with the same characters from the first book, with the introduction of some new ones including a few ghosts! Of course, these books are about ghosts but this one was different to the previous books in terms of it’s creepiness. What I found with this book is that we got to know the characters a little better as we’re spending a bit more time with them. I liked following Cassidy on her adventures through Paris and think that she is quite a likeable character.

I would say this book is aimed at older children, I wouldn’t recommend reading this to say, a 5 or 6 year old in case it freaks them out. At the age of 24, even I was a little creeped out at times, but then I am scared of ghosts (I’m on the fence about whether they exist or not). I think if a book has an ability to really make you feel affected by its content, like me being creeped out at times, then it’s definitely a good one.

Final Thoughts

Tunnel of Bones was a really great sequel to City of Ghosts and I’d fully recommend picking it up, especially as the spooky season is approaching us! Both books are incredibly fast reads due to their quick pace so if you haven’t picked up the first one yet, I’d suggest doing that but also reading them back to back!

2

WWW Wednesday || 4/9

WWW Wednesday || 4/9

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted Taking on a World of Words that I thought would be fun to get involved with. It involves answering three WWW questions about recent reads.

I haven’t done a WWW Wednesday in a little while. In fact, I think I posted maybe once in August? My reason for this is that I had an exam which I really wanted and needed to concentrate on so blogging took a back seat!

As a result of my exam, I didn’t read much in August so I thought it was a little pointless to update you on my reading when I basically wasn’t doing any at all!

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading A Curse So Dark and Lonely which I’ve heard so many good things about. I’ve only just picked it up so I’m excited to see what I think of it and whether it lives up to the hype!

I’m also reading We Hunt the Flame but I’ll be honest, I’m just not that into it at the moment so I’m taking a break from it to read other things that will hopefully get me out of my slump before going back to it.

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab yesterday which I really enjoyed. It’s such a quick read!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m picking up my copy of Darkdawn at the weekend so my plan is to read all three of the Nevernight books back to back and get that series finished!

What are you reading this week?