August Wrap Up

This month has been quite a busy one. I’ve worked a hell of a lot because August is our busiest month and a lot of staff have left for uni etc. so I’ve been covering a lot of shifts. I went to London for a few days at the beginning of the month to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (review post here) with my best friend, where we went shopping and just general wandering and it was a lot of fun. I paid off my flights to Australia in October, so I basically had no money this month after that. Other than that I haven’t done much as I haven’t had time to do much, bar swimming occasionally and, of course, reading.

I read 19 books this month (wtf):

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare (Review coming on Friday)
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen (Review coming soon)
Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Review coming soon)
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (Review coming soon)
Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden (Review coming soon)
Sugar Daddy by Sawyer Bennett (review when final book is released)
Bespoke by Megan McFerren (Mini review coming soon)
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (Review coming soon)
Prom and Other Hazards by Jamie Sullivan(Mini review coming soon)
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (Review coming soon)
Sugar Rush by Sawyer Bennett (review when final book is released)
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (Review coming soon)
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (Review coming soon)
Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider (Review coming soon)
My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga (Review coming soon)
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (Mini review coming soon)
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (Review coming soon)
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (Review coming soon)

I posted reviews of last month’s reads:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse
Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Haunted Pub by Melanie Tushmore
Legend by Marie Lu
Red Rising by Pierce Brown

I bought 13 books this month:

Summer Days, Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins
The Assasin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Lucy in the Sky by Paige Toon
The Little Shop of Happily-Ever-After by Jenny Colgan
Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies by J.K. Rowling (Preorder)
Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide (Pottermore Presents) by J.K. Rowling (Preorder)
Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists by J.K. Rowling (Preorder)
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Sugar Daddy by Sawyer Bennett
Sugar Rush by Sawyer Bennett
Sugar Free by Sawyer Bennett (Preorder)

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

As a person who is part of the lgbt+ community and who also loves to read lgbt+ literature I always pay special attention to books within that “genre” (I don’t really agree with calling lgbt a genre but it is so). Aristotle and Dante was a book that I saw get a lot of talk and a lot of hype and has been on my tbr since probably about 2014.

Aristotle and Dante is a book about teenage angst and finding yourself. It’s a book about being a loner, being confused over your sexual orientation, and trying to figure out who your parents are.

I honestly felt like this book would’ve worked miles better as a film, I really enjoyed reading it but it reads so much more like a screen play than a book. There’s so much speech in it and just random short chapters that at times it just felt a bit disjointed and could’ve done with some sort of segway or montage or something like that instead of just a chapter about how Ari didn’t do anything for days.

I adored Dante, Ari not so much. He felt just really irritating and horrible at times. I would’ve much preferred to read from Dante’s POV but I think then I would’ve just loathed Ari. At least from Ari’s POV I could kind of understand and empathise with some of the obnoxious things he did.

I thought the way the author portrayed the confusion over latent homosexual feelings was really good though I didn’t like the ending which I don’t really want to discuss because I don’t like to include spoilers in my reviews.

As someone who hasn’t read a lot of books with diverse racial characters, not out of not wanting to it’s just happened like that (if you’ve read a good book with racially diverse characters hmu), I liked reading about the Mexican community of El Paso in the 80s, it was different for me.

Honestly I felt a bit let down by this book, it was an easy read and I did like it but there was so much hype and so many 5 star reviews that I was so excited to read this and for me it didn’t live up to that hype. It was sweet and sometimes annoying but I don’t know something just didn’t click with me.

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Red Rising by Pierce Brown

So many people have been hyping about this book so it was definitely one I knew I wanted to read sometime soon, thankfully my library got me it pretty quickly though they don’t have any of the rest of the trilogy god damn. Also Pierce Brown is fucking hot so yeah.

Red Rising follows Darrow after he loses his wife and decides to break the law so that he is killed. But someone rescues him and he discovers that the government has been lying to them the whole time and Darrow’s people aren’t mining to make Mars liveable, it’s already been liveable for 500 years. So he is changed in body and spirit and enters an education facility where the kids of the highest ranked people on Mars train to become powerful adults.

Continue reading “Red Rising by Pierce Brown”

The Diverse Books tag

Thank you to Emily for tagging me! I don’t think I’m going to do too well with this as I haven’t read many diverse books, not because I don’t want to, I just haven’t yet.

THE RULES:

  1. The Diverse Books Tag is a bit like a scavenger hunt. I will task you to find a book that fits a specific criteria and you will have to show us a book you have read or want to read.
  2. If you can’t think of a book that fits the specific category, then I encourage you to go look for one. A quick Google search will provide you with many books that will fit the bill. (Also, Goodreads lists are your friends.) Find one you are genuinely interested in reading and move on to the next category.
  3. Everyone can do this tag, even people who don’t own or haven’t read any books that fit the descriptions below.

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FIND A BOOK STARRING A LESBIAN CHARACTER.

Prom and Other Hazards by Jamie Sullivan

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FIND A BOOK WITH A MUSLIM PROTAGONIST.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

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FIND A BOOK SET IN LATIN AMERICA.

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho, embarrassingly this has been on my TBR since Joe Jonas said it was his favourite book in like 2009. I also would love to read a bunch of Gabriel Garcia Marquez books.

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FIND A BOOK ABOUT A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY.

The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black. The MC has a really gammy leg caused by an incident when he was a baby meaning he can’t run or walk too fast and he struggles with it a lot as the book goes on.

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FIND A SCIENCE-FICTION OR FANTASY BOOK WITH A POC PROTAGONIST.

Legend by Marie Lu, Day is half Mongolian.

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FIND A BOOK SET IN (OR ABOUT) ANY COUNTRY IN AFRICA.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

I read this a long time ago I can barely remember it but I wanted to read them all after my dad bought them and they had such colourful covers.

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FIND A BOOK WRITTEN BY AN INDIGENOUS OR NATIVE AUTHOR.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

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FIND A BOOK SET IN SOUTH ASIA (AFGHANISTAN, INDIA, PAKISTAN, SRI LANKA, ETC.).

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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FIND A BOOK WITH A BIRACIAL PROTAGONIST.

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon, the main character is half Japanese half African-American. Or To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, the MC is half Korean half white.

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FIND A BOOK STARRING A TRANSGENDER CHARACTER OR ABOUT TRANSGENDER ISSUES. 

George by Alex Gino

I tag:

Amanda @ hangingwithamanda

Klinta @ bookowly

Kourtni @ kourtnireads

theorangutanlibrarian

Grace @ kimmie.gg

May @ sunsetsandbookfests

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Legend by Marie Lu

Legend was one of those books that I’d heard about and was on my tbr but I hadn’t aimed to read it anytime soon and it was kind of low on my physical wishlist but then my library had it so I was happy enough to borrow it.

June is intent on capturing the criminal known as Day after Day kills her brother. June has been training for 5 years to become an important member of the police system. She is the only person to ever score a perfect score on the test that everyone takes at the age of 10 and has had her whole life set out for her since doing this. Day is only trying to find a cure for the plague that has taken over his younger brother’s body. But this book is a dystopian and things aren’t as they seem.

Something that really jumped out to me with this book from the outset was the way things didn’t add up, but they were subtle pointers that you may have missed if you hadn’t been paying attention. You begin to theorise what’s the del with the government and what the heck is actually happening that we aren’t being told yet. I like trying to imagine what’s going to happen and then seeing if I’m right.

The 2 MCs whilst likeable and easy enough to read did feel like classic dystopian MCs. You have the girl who is part of the system and realises that everything is fucked up, and a boy who is trying to fight the system because he is part of the oppressed part of society. Neither of them felt particularly new or distinct.

I expected everything to be fucked up because of course it’s going to be but there was a couple of things I wasn’t expecting to find out. I’m expecting there to be a romance in the next 2 books because of how things happened in this and I’m kind of on the fence about it because I feel like it’s kind of unnecessary but oh well.

I would say that on the whole I wasn’t particularly wowed by this book, dystopians don’t really wow me unless they’re really good but I’m interested enough to read the other 2 books.

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The Haunted Pub by Melanie Tushmore

Thank you to Netgalley and Less Than Three Press for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This was an incredibly weird, funny, over the top read for me. I felt like I should’ve hated it but I kind of loved it.

Fizz is kicked out of his home by his parents after they decided they’d had enough of his depressed self (fucking terrible parenting). So his brother gets him situated with their cousin in a pub in Brighton. Gradually with the help of the guys who all live in the pub and their friends Fizz begins to come out of his skin, until everything goes wrong.

I honestly don’t know what I was expecting with this book, it was hilarious until things went really strange and where it was supposed to be scary it was just really odd and confusing.

I found myself pulling for all the different couples. Though I do question the reality of there being 3 different same sex couples in the one work place, but it is Brighton so… I especially adored the relationship between Fizz and Ash because Ash never pushed Fizz despite him being so incredibly shy and awkward.

There’s a sex scene at about 90% of the book which I just found really out of the blue and jarring. There’s no other sexual stuff in the book like this and it kind of made me feel like “was that necessary”. I’m no stranger to literotica but it just felt kind of shoved in there (ha ha ha ha ha ha).

The “haunted” part of the book started off really funny, the poltergeist was messing with people in a way that I really enjoyed and I found really different. But then things go a lot more sinister with the ghost and like I said earlier I found it really weird. The way things were described by Tushmore was just a bit off. It seemed like she was trying to do something different with the whole poltergeist thing whilst trying to not go completely off base. I honestly just found it weird to read.

Overall this was a fun, fast read for me. Not the best thing I’ve ever read but I’d consider reading something else by this author.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Play Review (Both Parts)

So hey… don’t hate me but I got to see the Harry Potter play. Don’t ask me how I managed to get tickets for the second week of it being out, I was just lucky and I still don’t know how it happened.

I saw so many reviews of the book version leading up to it and I know a lot of people didn’t completely adore it and had problems with certain parts of it, but I knew that reading a play and seeing a play are so different and also this was the original script before it was edited after the previews.

My fears were for nothing though because it was honestly so god damn good. Yeah ok the storyline wasn’t incredible or anything but it was on the level of the first few books in the HP series and it’s not like they’re going to have something like the Deathly Hallows on the stage that would be absolutely ridiculous.

The acting was so incredibly spot on. Every character felt right for me. I even felt like Hermione was a lot more true to her book part than her movie part, she was a lot more stern in the play which sometimes I think they missed out on in the films. Harry was spot on, there was no playing down of how much of a bloody idiot he can be at times. My complete stand out though was Scorpius. He was exactly how I imagined Scorpius Malfoy to be: awkward and funny. I could not take my eyes off him whenever he was on stage, I was entranced.

As for the overall plot, a lot of people were saying it was like fanfiction, but hey that’s not a bad thing. There’s so much fanfiction and a lot of it is incredibly good. Albus and Scorpius being friends and in Slytherin together is a common trope in fanfiction but honestly this just felt like fanservice, because it’s such a huge thing in the fanbase and I really loved that this was part of it. On the whole, the actual big baddie of the whole play wasn’t that scary for me and was kind of shadowed by the completely different worlds that were in it and how things could’ve been so different if it hadn’t happened the way it had.

There was a softer side of Malfoy shown in the play which made me so god damn happy. As a Slytherin and overall fan of Draco Malfoy it was so good to see him being shown in a better light. I have so many feelings about Draco and it’s felt to me for a long time that JK didn’t like him much but I’m so glad we got to see him as a dad who cares about his child.

Harry and Albus are absolute bloody idiots, but this was always the case for Harry. He was such a knob in the books sometimes and people are quick to forget that. He’s a well meaning person he just doesn’t go about things in the best way. He doesn’t always get things right and the play hinges on this but you can see the frustration of his character not knowing what to do to fix it.

Above all the production and stage management was the best part of the whole thing. The way they changed sets and did the magic was just incredible. It truly felt like magic in a way and I was amazed by how they pulled some things off. I did drama in school and performed in 3 musicals and I honestly couldn’t even imagine being on that level. I’ve seen a lot of performances in the West End and in theatres and this was probably the best thing I’ve seen for the way they performed everything on stage, it was honestly just incredible.

Honestly, it was an incredibly long day. Theatres in London are more often than not listed buildings so don’t have air con so being in a building like this with thousands of people for 5 hours was just exhausting. The seats aren’t too comfortable either, but again this is because they can’t change them so if you are planning on going wear something light but comfortable and maybe pack a cushion haha. Rupert Grint was at our performance too which was just ?!?!?!?!?!?!

If you read it and weren’t a huge fan go and see it honestly, it’s on a whole other level. If you read it and did love it I don’t need to tell you to see it.

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The Liebster Award

Thanks to Emily @ thelittlebookaffair and Lindsey @ apieceofparadis and Kay @ coffeereadreviewrepeat for tagging me in this award. I’m going to be honest and start by saying that I’m skipping some of the rules on this because I have 30 qs to answer I’m not gonna give 10 random facts that just seems unnecessary. I’m also not going to be tagging anyone because it feels like everyone has got this award and I can’t think of any good questions.

 

Rules:

1. Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award.
2. Answer the 11 questions that the blog gives you.
3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 5-11 blogs that you think are deserving of the award that have less than 200 followers.
5. Let the blogs know you have nominated them.
6. Give them 11 questions to answer.

For more logos and information you can check out the 2016 Official Rules.

Emily’s questions 

Favorite childhood book?

Harry Potter

Least favorite color?

Orange, it’s just so gross

 What book-to-movie adaptation are you most excited for?

Hmm???? I’m not really on top of adaptations coming out so probably fantastic beasts

What was your first 5 star book of 2016?

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Favorite book OTP?

Ron/Hermione

What was the first concert you’ve ever been to?

Girls Aloud in 2007 HAHAHAHA

What’s a book trope you’re tired of? A trope you’ll never get tired of?

Tired of insta love never tired of friends to lovers or hate to love

Who do you think is the most badass female character?

Celaena Sardothien or Mia Thermopolis or Hermione Granger all for their own reasons

Is there a book ending that left you completely dissatisfied?

This is a tough one, I don’t think I’ve read anything lately that I was let down by the end compared to the whole book.

If you could ask a genie for 3 wishes what would they be?

Honestly I don’t know. An unlimited supply of American Oreos because those are very expensive over here. To go to South Korea. To get to relive one day of my choosing.

What book is next up on your TBR?

I’m currently reading All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Lindsey’s Questions

What is your favorite quote?

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde

What is your worst reading habit?

Starting too many books at once

Which book do you recommend to absolutely everyone?

Norwegian Wood by Haruki MURAKAMI

Is there a genre you stay away from?

I’m not really a huge fan of horror or crime/thrillers but if it’s a writer I know or something that’s been recommended by people I trust I’ll give it a go

Do you want to travel? If so where?

I want to travel everywhere. I’m going to Australia in October but after that the place I really want to go is South Korea

Do you listen to music while reading? If so what type?

I don’t tend to because I can’t focus

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

How friendly everyone is

What is your favorite series?

Harry Potter

If you were only able to read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?

I think in the past I’ve said Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban so either that or Norwegian Wood or Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Did you always like to read or is it a more recent enjoyment?

I loved to read from a young age, my dad used to read to me when I was still in my teens and I used to do the summer challenges at my library within about 2 weeks

Who is your book significant other?

Uhhhhhh I have no idea

Kay’s Questions

What book made you love to read?

God I really don’t know

What other creative escapes do you enjoy?

I like to do adult colouring and adult dot to dot, I like to listen to music and see live music and I like to play video games too

What’s your favorite caffeinated beverage?

And Iced caramel macchiato with coconut milk

What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

What’s your book budget for the month?

I try not to spend too much probably somewhere between £20-30

What’s your favorite place to go book-hunting?

Waterstones

Why do you review books?

I wanted to be involved in the book community and it helps me keep on top of my reading so that I don’t let myself become complacent with it again

Do you partake in any book-crates?

No they’re all either expensive or American, I’m thinking of getting fairy loot at som epoint though

If you could marry a character from any book, who would it be?

Again just uhhhhh?

If you could live in any fictional land/setting, where would it be?

I mean… Hogwarts? Who would say anything else tbh?

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Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I managed to get this from my library pretty quickly after finishing the first book so I was pretty pleased because I was eager to see what happened next.

Armentrout does a really good job in this novel of taking the ideas from the first book and expanding on them without blowing your mind and making it way too complicated. She develops the world from things that had been touched on in the first book, and left it knowing that things are about to get even more dangerous.

Katy and Daemon have even more sexual tension in this instalment. So much tension that you can cut it with a knife. After everything that happened in Obsidian things are tense between the two of them and then some new guy comes into town who can tell Katy more about herself than Daemon can so obviously Daemon is jealous. This was the book that finally had me shipping Katy and Daemon because of this tension. I felt like it was ramped up really well in comparison with Obsidian as it felt kind of just awkward and forced hate/sexual tension.

I loved the balance that was struck between romance and action. It fitted my tastes just right when it comes to fantasy. The romance didn’t feel forced and neither did the action and they bounced off each other in a perfect way. Action led to romance which led to action and it played into the whole story really well. Thus the pacing was really good for me, I read this really quickly like Obsidian and it kept my interest for the whole book and I didn’t want to put it down.

I still feel like it’s not the most original concept ever but it’s still fun to read and I’m probably going to read the whole series now because I’ attached to the characters, especially after the events of this book.

 

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The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse

Thank you to netgalley and Clean Teen Publishing for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Neverland Wars is a Peter Pan retelling set in the modern day where we follow 16 year old Gwen after her sister disappears. She finds out that her sister has gone to Neverland with Peter and that Neverland is currently at war with the world.

Continue reading “The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse”