October Reading Wrap-Up!

Okay, so I sort of failed this month. Horribly, in fact. I didn’t complete any of the challenges I set myself and now I’m in a reading slump and behind on all my Arcs! I suppose, though, that I’ve done well reading for the rest of the year but my reading abilities have dwindled now. It’s just that time of year. Anyway, here is what I did manage to complete this month and I hope you did a lot better than I did.

This is Going to Hurt
Adam Kay

I did really enjoy this and I think it’s an important book, but it included so many problematic elements that I ended up docking it from four stars to five stars. I think, if you want a book to learn about how difficult being a doctor/nurse is and how important the NHS is, LANGUAGE OF KINDNESS is a much better option to go for.

Sawkill Girls
Claire Legrand

This is by far one of the best paranormal horrors I’ve read in a while. It did get a little tropey, especially near the end. It still felt like it had an original twist to it, and I’d be really interested in what else this author has written.

The Colorado Kid
Stephen King

This was short and great! It had a really old fashioned feel to it, and it was like being told a story. It didn’t really have a conclusion, so if you want a mystery where you can get a conclusion this probably isn’t for you.

Dead Popular
Sue Wallman

This was just…okay? It had good promise and I thought it was going to be like an interesting Pretty Little Liars sort of thing. It very nearly reached that mark but, in the end, never really got there. It was just ok and I can’t say I enjoyed it very much. You shouldn’t be bored reading a thriller.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones
Seanan McGuire

This is the second book in this series, and I actually might have liked this one even more than the first one. I really liked Jack and Jill from the first book, so I really enjoyed hearing more about their backstory. Listening to it in an audiobook was also a good idea.

The Prison Doctor
Dr Amanda Brown

I enjoyed this one a lot more than a doctor book I read earlier on in the month. The doctor, Amanda Brown, was so kind and lovely. I’m not sure I really agree with her that even the child molesters should be treated kindly, but everyone else there did. I think everyone should be reading this, because society as a whole looks down on those that use drugs and steal, etc. There’s always a reason behind it and they’re still human.

Celeste
Virginia Andrews

I’m actually still in the middle of reading this one, but I did start this in the middle of October and I just haven’t got around to finishing it yet. I am really enjoying it, though, so I know I will eventually get around to finishing it as I don’t want to DNF this just yet.

Frankenstein
Mary Shelley

It took me long enough to get around to reading this, I know. It was a perfect Halloween read, though. I did enjoy it, but some of the language used was a bit difficult and hard to understand. I expected that, though, and it’s why I don’t read a lot of classics because it makes them harder to enjoy.

The Other Wife
Claire McGowan

This was, actually, really good. I liked that it put the man at fault for his own actions rather than on the women. You could see real character development going on throughout the book. It was really interesting, and I really enjoyed it. I received this as a free copy on NetGalley in exchange for a review.

A Good Girls Guide to Murder
Holly Jackson

This was far more developed than I’m used to YA thrillers being. Not that I think young adult thrillers are bad, or I would never read them, but that it was just so complex and advanced. Long story short, I adored it.

Three Hours
Rosamund Lipton

This was quite dark, as it was about being trapped inside a school during a school shooting and how even the most ordinary of teenage boys can become a killer. I also loved how it focused on the racism, especially against Muslims/refugees, that happen as soon as a shooting happens. They are the first suspects, even though they are usually the victims of these crimes. Extremely good, and absolutely terrifying. I received this as a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review.

What Makes Us
Rafi Mittlefehldt

This one was a DNF as it just wasn’t for me. It was pretty heavy on the subject, and it seemed like all the characters and the story was made just so the story subject could be told so I think this would be better as a non fiction book. It didn’t work the way it was in my opinion. I received this as a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for a review.

 

So, that was my absolute failure of a reading month! I’m hoping November will be better (although, spoiler alert, so far it’s worse).

Any tips on how to get out of a reading slump will really be appreciated.

Until next time,

A.W

BoJack Horseman Book Tag! // Original

bojack horseman

So, to celebrate the release of the new series of BoJack Horseman, I wanted to do a book tag related to the show but I couldn’t find any so I guess I’m going to create my own! I don’t think it’ll be good enough for other people want to do but, if you do, remember to tag me so I can read your responses to the questions!

bojack

BoJack Horseman: Name a Book You Loved With an Unlikeable Main Character

I really enjoyed The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. I like that it put the focus on the peers of the Chosen One and what its like to watch it from the outside without having any insider information, which I thought was unique and interesting, and I love love love Patrick Ness…but oh my god, the main character was annoying. Maybe it’s because he’s a lot like me and I annoy myself.

diane

Diane Nguyen: A Character You Feel is Misunderstood

I don’t know if this is a popular or unpopular opinion, but I think Tori Spring from Solitaire/Heartstopper Volumes One and Two by Alice Oseman is SUPER misunderstood. A lot of people didn’t like her and thought she was too cynical and pessimistic, but I think she was just…you know, sad. I enjoyed reading about someone who thinks the way I do and depression is different in everyone, and she absolutely deserved more love than she received.

mr peanutbutter

Mr. Peanutbutter: Name a Book You Just LOVE

I have a feeling a lot of people would pick the same answer, or Harry Potter, but The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It’s just a masterpiece that I don’t want to see turned into a movie, because it wouldn’t achieve anything close to the spectacular standards this book set itself. It’s just amazing how it managed to appeal to such a wide variety of people from all walks of lives with such a different set of tastes. Absolutely a classic.

todd

Todd Chavez: Name Your Favourite Book Featuring an Asexual Character

I have two answers for this one! The first one is Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. If you have the ability to, I really recommend reading this on an audiobook because it feels and sounds like a fairytale. It’s so fun and adventurous. My second answer is Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, especially since the asexuality came as a complete shock to me, as nobody told me it would be in there and it was a wonderful surprise.

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Princess Carolyn: Name a Fiercely Determined Character

Ooh, I think Denise from On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis. I love how she fought so hard to get what she needed and wanted. She didn’t just fight for herself, either, she did a lot of it for her mother and sister. She’s one of my favourite characters in any book, ever. She’s just so kind and brave and a lot like Princess Carolyn, but a little less manipulative and sometimes quite mean. Sorry, Princess Carolyn, I love you anyway!

sarah lynn

Sarah Lynn: What’s a Book That Really Took You on a Journey?

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman which, for some reason, took me such a long time to read even though my school library had the entire series in their stock. I always passed them wanting to read them, but I never got around to it. I somehow managed to avoid any spoilers, and wow what a ride that was.

wanda

Wanda Pierce: What’s Your Favourite Historical Fiction Book?

Historical fiction really isn’t my favourite genre, but occasionally I do find a book among the genre that makes me keep on reading it. I can’t choose Evelyn Hugo again (well, I could, but that would be boring) so I’ll pick a different one! Although it’s by the same author, I did really enjoy Daisy Jones and the Six and it introduced me into the world of older rock bands and how could I not love a book that introduced music into my life?

 

I really hope you like it. I’m not a very creative person and I’m not very good at doing things, so I’m not going to be offended if nobody wants to do the tag, and I’m sorry to any other BoJack Horseman lovers who already created a book tag for this and I just couldn’t find it! Let me know if there are any.

Until next time,

A.W

Book Haul!

Hello! I know I’m buying a lot of books lately, which is especially bad because I have around 700 books (I really need to get rid of some of those soon). They just entice me, and I want them! None of these books I bought for full price (or bought at all), so at least they may be taking up space but not draining my bank account. I’m pretty excited about all of these.

The Girl Who Speaks Bear
Sophie Anderson

I bought this for a reading group, but then I never heard back from the reading group, so I have no idea if they’re still doing it! Regardless, I do want to read this anyway. I’m not sure what this is about, but it sounds like a girl who can talk to animals, and…probably bears.

Dead Popular
S
ue Wallman

I haven’t heard much about this but I had to buy a second book to get a discount on The Girl Who Speaks Bear, so I chose this one! I had either already read, already owned or had no interest in the other books available. This sounds like a Pretty Little Liars sort of book and I really loved that TV show so I’m looking forward to this one.

The Truth and Lies of Ella Black
Emily Barr

I got this used for £1.50, it looked really interesting! I’ve never read anything by Emily Barr but I’ve wanted to for a while. When I saw this, I just had to pick it up. The premise, as well, also sounds awesome.

The Travelling Cat Chronicles
Hiro Arikawa

Did I buy this just because it had a black cat on the cover? No. What about because it has cat in the title? Also no…

Doctor Sleep
Stephen King

I actually already own this on Kindle, but I wanted a physical copy because I’m more likely to read it in physical form. I really need to re-read The Shining so I can read this! I read it years ago, and I’ve only seen the movie once, so there’s probably loads I’ve forgotten.

The Cruel Prince
Holly Black

I got this because I needed to make the order cost £20 for free delivery and paid delivery made the total cost over £20, so why not? It was pretty cheap and I already own the second book, and I’ve wanted to read this for ages. I’m looking forward to it.

The Institute
Stephen King

My friend very kindly bought this for me after I said I wanted to read it, and they were selling this special edition with blue pages from Waterstones that I wanted but couldn’t afford. I really can’t wait to get to this, and it’s one of my most prized books on my shelf.

 

So that’s some of the books I got during the month of September! Have you read any of these? What did you thing of them?

Until next time,

A.W

Notebooks I’ve Added to my Collection!

Hello and welcome back! So, if you missed it, I spoke about a previous notebook haul here but I have yet to do a notebook/journal collection post. I would personally really enjoy writing that, but I think it’s just something more personal than the posts I usually put up. I wouldn’t even be showing any pages that have been written in, but I’m nervous all the same, which is probably a bit silly. Anyway, enough about that, here is a small little collection of notebooks I’ve bought across August and September!

This one is absolutely going to be a favourite of mine in my collection. It’s actually a shiny silver colour and the material is really spongy (inside is just lined, white paper). But, when it interacts with the light, it does all sorts of cool rainbow things like you can see in the picture! I have no idea what I’m going to use it for, I just really liked it.

Excuse my partners leg in the background! This one is so, so cute. It’s just a simple little spiral notebook that, again, I have no idea what I’m going to use for but it has these happy, sleepy sloths designed on the front and it’s just too adorable. Maybe I’ll use it for…noting down things I observe in nature, but that would imply I actually leave to observe nature.

I think I did a very loud and enthusiastic squeak inside my head when I saw this! Of course, this is inspired by the Burn Book in Mean Girls. I really, really love that movie so I’m so happy I found this. I’ll probably use it to rant about people when I don’t want to directly rant to them or ruin my proper journal with hateful words. Just to let the anger out so I’m not pointlessly carrying it around.

I thought these were really cool! If you’re not from the UK, they’re based off of pretty popular sweets here that are usually given out in abundance during Halloween time because I never really see anyone buy them themselves but everyone always seems to have them? I don’t know, it’s strange, but I really love all of these and I actually have a cup in my room filled with these sweets. Not sure what I’ll use these for, but I’ll find something. They’re quite slim with less pages than the rest of my notebooks.

 

So, there you have it! I quite enjoy writing notebook hauls and this was not an exception. I’d love to go more in detail one day about what I use my notebooks for, aside from in my previous post.

Until next time,

A.W

A Little Book Haul!

Hello! So, over the course of August and September, I’ve seen a few sales going around. I decided to purchase a thing or two here and there and then it created this collection! Did I need more books? No. Did it happen anyway? Absolutely. Why? Because I have no self control.

Despite the errors of my ways, I’m really excited about these and I hope you will be too! (Excuse the horrible photos, I wasn’t expecting to use them for a blogging post…)

The Broken Sky Trilogy
L.A. Weatherly

I’ve never heard of this trilogy before but it was on sale for very cheap and it sounded quite interesting! It’s sort of similar to The Giver in the sense that the world is a “perfect” world, except…it’s not. It’s up to a girl to dismantle this. I’m really interested to see how this plays out, although I’m terrible at finishing series, so we’ll see!

The Library of the Lost and Found
Phaedra Patrick

Anything with the word “library” in, I’m pretty much sold. I’ve read some similar titles that ended up falling really flat for me and not meeting my expectations, so I really hope this isn’t one of them. The whole premise of this one sounds SO good, and I can’t wait to delve into it.

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(oop, you can see a preview of my notebook haul back there!)

Dracula
Bram Stoker

I actually already own this but I own a collectors edition that isn’t actually very pratical for reading purposes. I’ve wanted to read this for years, and now I might actually get around to it, but classics use such inaccessible language for me that I know it’ll take me a while. Perfect month to try, though!

Classic Tales of Horror
Edgar Allen Poe

Again, another author I’ve really wanted to read for ages, especially since his works are commonly referenced to in other books. I’m sure I’m not the only reader who doesn’t know what it’s referencing, but I’d probably be one of the few!

Dr Jekyll and Hyde (and Other Strange Tales)
Robert Louis Stevenson

This came in the set with the above two! I’m interested in the other tales, but what I want to read most is Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde because, again, it’s one of those books that’s referenced quite a lot in pop culture and I’d really love to be one of those people that says “I’ve read it!”

 

So that’s my little book haul! Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought of them.

Until next time,

A.W

My Least Favourite Tropes!

overdone tropes

Hello! I know this was a Thursday discussion prompt a little bit ago, but I’m pants at keeping up with things like that, especially when there’s a specific day you need to use it on so I’m just going to use some of the prompts and make posts seperate from the Thursday discussion posts – but, if you think it sounds familar, now you know why!

So, I’m going to start  with some tropes I don’t like in typical YA and then I’ll make another post for tropes I hate from horrors/thrillers that I read, because I feel like that can cover it’s own topic by itself really. Also, it’s October, it really fits in with the theme.

You can find the original discussion posts on Ally Writes Things

NOT ALL GIRLS

Of course, more and more people are speaking up on how they hate this trope, so we see it a lot less in YA than we used to (at least, from my perspective). When I do see it, though, it annoys me. You being “not like other girls” doesn’t make you special –  actually, I would love to know why you would want to divide yourself from other girls just to impress some medocre high school boy.

LOVE TRIANGLES

I know some people just loooove the tension and suspense this can add to the story, but personally it just bugs me. I wish they would just get into a polyamarous relationship together and call it a day.

MISCOMMUNICATION CAUSING CONFLICT

I know in young relationships, romantic or platonic, miscommunication will happen. It happens all the time, no matter your age (but I feel like it happens less frequently as we get older and learn that actually communication is quite important). When it’s the only conflict in the novel, though? Like Ally said, it just feels like lazy writing.

THE CHOSEN ONE

As much as I love books like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, the idea of there being one “chosen one” strikes me as a bit ridiculous. Sure, in a world of dragons and sea monsters and actual Greek Gods, maybe my prime concern shouldn’t be what’s realistic or not – but I can believe unicorns. One thirteen year old boy out of billions of people is the ONLY one that can save the world? That’s reaching.

SEXUAL ASSAULT/RAPE

Let me expand on this by saying, sometimes, this is pretty vital for the story. It’s important to share the stories of people who have had this happen, to talk about how little people who have been assaulted are believed, etc. I think my problem with this arises when it’s used as a conflict, or when it’s used to build strength within a character. Just no.

BEAUTIFUL BUT UNAWARE OF THIS

This trope doesn’t actually bother me when the person in question is not conventionally attractive and would, therefore, not have been told their entire life that they are in fact beautiful. When it is a conventionally attractive person, which is usually is, it’s like “…there’s no way this tall, skinny blond with perfect skin doesn’t know she’s attractive”. Body dysmorphia are a thing, and everyone feels insecurities, but it feels overdone to me. Like, an effort to make the male love interest feel more empowered and important by him being what makes her feel beautiful and not her friends, her family and herself. Kind of like the writer is making the female character rely on the male character, and it just doesn’t feel right to me.

 

So, these are just some of the tropes I really don’t like in young adult! Stay tuned for the horror/thriller tropes I hate. Which ones do you agree with and which tropes do you hate?

Until next time,

A.W

eARC Review / How to Save the World for Free by Natalie Fee / Cheap Options to Save the World

how to save the world for free

Summary

There is no greater aspiration than saving the world. Natalie Fee’s upbeat and engaging book is a life altering guide to making those changes that will contribute to helping our planet. Covering all key areas of our lives, from food and leisure to travel and sex, Natalie will galvanize you to think and live differently. You will feel better, live better, and ultimately breathe better in the knowledge that every small change contributes towards saving the world.

I recieved a free Arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, will be published on the 22nd October 2019

What I Liked:

  • The chapters were really organised and brought up things that aren’t commonly brought up in books like this, such as periods and sex, and even what contraception to use that is the most ethical for the planet (and better for you)
  • It is like a “starter book” on small changes you can make in your life, if you can, to hopefully reduce the amount of damage you as an individual could do to the planet
  • It includes an introduction on what damage has already been done to the planet, how it’s been done, and how it can be prevented so it doesn’t make you feel completely hopeless
  • This is good for readers who require an introduction to the climate crisis and wants to get involved in the activism

What I Didn’t Like:

  • As someone who is poor, many of the options in this book are not free like the title would suggest, even if it would save you money in the long run. They still require you to have some of that money to make small investments, and considering I duct tape holes in my shoes sometimes this wasn’t ideal for me
  • It was very…white vegan, in parts. It suggested that you are only really making a difference if you stop eating animal products and, although I someday want to be vegan myself, a far more realistic goal would be to promote ethical dairy and meat production over the meat and dairy industry
  • Quite a bit ableist in some places
  • Uses trans friendly language, but then refers to tests done that are specifically about cis women (and sometimes cis men) with no apolagy or acknowledgement that these tests linked are not using trans friendly language and have not used a diverse demographic

 

Again, if you want to preorder this, the release date is 22nd October of this year! Ultimately, it was okay, but I think there are several things it could improve upon.

Until next time,

A.W