The Themis Files Trilogy // Spoiler Free!!

the themis files.jpg

Summary – From Book One, Sleeping Giants:

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved – the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unravelling history’s most perplexing discovery-and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

Review:

I think the first thing I should probably mention is the unique way in which The Themis Files have been written. Instead of the traditional narration I’m used to seeing, it’s written in a form of interviews, documents and personal entries. Personally, I thought it made the whole thing more engaging and it gave you a connection to the charecters that I have never experianced in the science fiction genre, at least not for a long time (ON THE EDGE OF GONE excluded).

An addition to that is how accessible this made the reading experiance. Despite my love of space and, really, everything science fiction, I find myself rarely reaching for it due to how difficult those books can be to get through. I’m grateful to Sylvain for providing a way for me to enjoy science fiction written in a format that my autistic brain with language development delays can understand – apparently, he has a degree in linguistics. It’s awesome.

Now, to the actual content of the book:

What I Liked:

  • The books always took me in a direction that I never expected. Being an adult and reading books meant for people a good few years younger than me usually means I can see the end coming from a mile away and sometimes I could but, a majority of the time, it had the nice element of surprise
  • The formatting
  • It intertwined a lot of real world events, making it feel that bit more realistic
  • Super engaging
  • I love the pacing – one of the biggest reasons as to why I often finish books in a day is because I get bored so fast that if I didn’t finish it in a day or two, I probably would never finish it. This was super fast paced, making being able to finish it in a day no challenge at all
  • Awesome plot twists
  • Not really about the content of the book at all but it’s really deserving of mentioning how gorgeous the covers are?!
  • I really liked the writing
  • The science is surprisingly accurate, even the genetics
  • These would be good to fight reading slumps because of their fast pace and easy to read format

What I Didn’t Like:

  • As much as I enjoyed the formatting, sometimes being told something happened instead of experiancing it with the charecters took away a lot of the impact for me
  • I didn’t like a majority of the charecters although those I did like weren’t in it nearly as much as the ones I did actually like – part of this is because it’s difficult to build up a charecter with the format it’s in, even if I did feel more of a personal connection towards them
  • Love triangles, my least favourite trope

Summary

So, as you can see, I really enjoyed The Themis Files and I’m so upset that it’s over now – although the author did mention at the end of book three that he doesn’t think he’s done with this universe yet, a thought that gives me endless joy. I also have these unpublished chapters to get through at some point. Have you read it? What are your thoughts?

A.W

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The Quiet At the End of the World by Lauren James

the quiet at the end of the world

Summary:

How far would you go to save those you love?

Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking for artefacts from history and looking for treasure in their once-opulent mansion.

Their idyllic life is torn apart when a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence. Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide who to save and who to sacrifice . . .

Diversity:

The main charecter, Lowrie, is bisexual. The love interest in Chinese/British and has a hearing impairment. Maya’s boyfriend is a trans man.

Review:

I’m not really sure how to review this aside from making the obvious comparison of how this is like a fluffy, light version of I, Robot by Issac Asimov which I loved, by the way, and is absolutely not an insult. It’s always so difficult to review a book that you love that isn’t just incoherant screaming.

Despite being a dystopian and in a situation where most people would very much not be loving life, it still makes you feel good. The romance is sweet and innocent and cute. It’s like a dystopian that makes you feel good, and I love that.

I thought it was an interesting take on apocalypses, as well. I’m used to seeing things done the same way over and over again and the solutions they come up with to solve the problems of infertility are super interesting, and to be honest exactly what I can imagine happening if the real world was ever to become infertile.

I think what I most enjoyed about this book was that it was so comfortable. Sometimes, I can get really stressed out reading a book with lots of tension and things all up in the air but throughout this whole novel we know things will end up okay. We just aren’t completely sure how, but we know it’ll be alright. It’s such a cosy science-fiction dystopian. I reccomend it.

A.W

March Book Haul!!

I very rarely upload monthly book hauls, and I’m not sure why because I live near plenty of discount book places so I can get books for as cheap as 25p per book. This means I do acquire many, many books. I had even more this month due to an accident where I was bitten by a dog, so for hospital visits and because I can’t go to college or work experiance I’ve been at home a lot, friends have bought me plenty of reading material as well!!

So, here is a list (not in order) of all the books I’ve bought this month!! Oh, and a pre-warning, it is very long. That’s the downside to living somewhere that you can get books for 25p.

The Chalk Man
C.J.Tudor

In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same. In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead. That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

UPDATE: I’m thinking of doing a review for this because I usually only do reviews for books I either loved or hated. This one was in the middle. It fell flat for me, I honestly can’t say I liked it very much.

All the Light we Cannot See
Anthony Doerr

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel. In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

A Pinch of Magic
Michelle Harrison

Three sisters trapped by an ancient curse.

Three magical objects with the power to change their fate.

Will they be enough to break the curse?

Or will they lead the sisters even deeper into danger? …

Tales from the Haunted Mansion
Amicus Arcane

Welcome, foolish mortals, to Disney Press’ spookiest chapter book series yet: Tales from the Haunted Mansion! Based on the attractions from the Disney Parks, each new book tells the story of one of the Haunted Mansion’s 999 ghosts. With eerie illustrations throughout and a beautiful three-piece cloth cover, the books are designed to look like they came straight from the library in the Haunted Mansion. Tales from the Haunted Mansion is a fun, spooky ride, just like the attraction from the Disney Parks. And if readers are familiar with the ride, they’ll see elements of it throughout the entire story, from items straight of the Mansion (are those pictures stretching?) to lyrics from the narration that is heard in each Doom Buggy. In this bone-chilling book, you will hear the terrifying tales of the Fearsome Foursome–four kids who look to out-scare each other. But just wait until they hear my spooky stories. Who am I? I am Amicus Arcane, your librarian and host. Your Ghost Host. So read on… if you dare!

Note: I really like Disney and I’ve collected all the books for them (or I’m trying to), so this was mostly to add to my collection even though I’ve never been to Disneyland and I can’t ride on rides anyway because they trigger panic attacks. The Haunted Mansion is one of my favourite Disney movies!

Our House
Louise Candlish

When Fiona Lawson comes home to find strangers moving into her house, she’s sure there’s been a mistake. She and her estranged husband, Bram, have a modern co-parenting arrangement: bird’s nest custody, where each parent spends a few nights a week with their two sons at the prized family home to maintain stability for their children. But the system built to protect their family ends up putting them in terrible jeopardy. In a domino effect of crimes and misdemeanors, the nest comes tumbling down. Now Bram has disappeared and so have Fiona’s children. As events spiral well beyond her control, Fiona will discover just how many lies her husband was weaving and how little they truly knew each other. But Bram’s not the only one with things to hide, and some secrets are best kept to oneself, safe as houses.

Update: It wasn’t bad, but it also really wasn’t what I was expecting. Unlike THE CHALK MAN, it was absolutely good enough to keep instead of going into my “donate” box. (Oh, let me know if you want to see what I have in my “donate” box so far)

Waking Gods (Sleeping Giants #2)
Sylvain Neuvel

As a child, Rose Franklin made an astonishing discovery: a giant metallic hand, buried deep within the earth. As an adult, she’s dedicated her brilliant scientific career to solving the mystery that began that fateful day: Why was a titanic robot of unknown origin buried in pieces around the world? Years of investigation have produced intriguing answers—and even more perplexing questions. But the truth is closer than ever before when a second robot, more massive than the first, materializes and lashes out with deadly force. Now humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth . . . and maybe even the stars.

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)
Leigh Bardugo

Welcome to the world of the Grisha. Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Trilogy
Jenny Han

Book One:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Suicide Squad
Adam Glass

This is basically a book from the movie, which is probably one of my favourite movies ever. The book probably won’t be very good, but it’s there if I ever want to read it, it cost very little.

The Chosen Ones
Howard Linskey

Eva Dunbar wakes in a large metal box.

She has no idea who has taken her.

She has no way out.

She isn’t the first young woman to disappear.

And with no leads Detective Ian Bradshaw has precious little time.

When at last a body is found, the police hope the tragic discovery might at least provide a clue that will help them finally find the kidnapper.

But then they identify the body – and realise the case is more twisted than they ever imagined . . .

The Last Girl
Jane Casey

Vast wealth offers London defense attorney Philip Kennford a lot of things: a gorgeous house with a pool in the backyard, connections in the top echelons of society, a wardrobe worthy of Milan runways. But his money doesn’t provide a happy marriage, or good relationships with his twin daughters…and it does nothing to protect his family when someone brutally murders his wife and daughter in their own home. When Detective Constable Maeve Kerrigan arrives at the scene, the two survivors–Philip and his second favorite daughter, Lydia–both claim to have seen nothing, but it’s clear right away that this is an unhappy family accustomed to keeping secrets. Maeve soon finds herself entangled in a case with a thousand leads that all seem to point nowhere, and it doesn’t help that her boss, whom she trusts more than almost anyone, is starting to make decisions that Maeve finds questionable at best.

Eragon
Christopher Paolini

One boy…
One dragon…
A world of adventure.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.
Overnight his simpke life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and tge advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.
Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.

Blackfin Sky
Kat Ellis

When Sky falls from Blackfin Pier and drowns on her sixteenth birthday, the whole town goes into mourning – until she shows up three months later like nothing happened. Unravelling the mystery of those missing months takes Sky to the burned-out circus in the woods, where whispers of murder and kidnapping begin to reveal the town’s secrets. But Sky’s not the only one digging up the past – the old mime from the circus knows what happened to her, and he has more than one reason for keeping quiet about it.

The Magicians
Lev Grossman

A thrilling and original coming-of-age novel for adults about a young man practicing magic in the real world. Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he’s still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.  He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. Something is missing, though. Magic doesn’t bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he dreamed it would. After graduation he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real. But the land of Quentin’s fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he could have imagined. His childhood dream becomes a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart. At once psychologically piercing and magnificently absorbing, The Magicians boldly moves into uncharted literary territory, imagining magic as practiced by real people, with their capricious desires and volatile emotions. Lev Grossman creates an utterly original world in which good and evil aren’t black and white, love and sex aren’t simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price.

The Witches
Peter Curtis

Walwyk seemed a dream village to the new schoolteacher, Miss Mayfield. But dreams can change into nightmares…When one of her students accuses his friend Ethel’s grandmother of abusing her, Miss Mayfield cannot let it go. But Ethel won’t say anything, despite the evidence of Miss Mayfield’s own eyes. But as she attempts to get to the truth of the matter, she stumbles on something far more sinister. Walwyk seems to be in the grip of a centuries-old evil, and anybody who questions events in the village does not last long. Death stalks more than one victim, and Miss Mayfield begins to realise that if she’s not careful, she will be the next to die…

The Raven Boys/The Dream Thieves
Maggie Steifvater

The Raven Boys:

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

noughts and crosses

Noughts & Crosses (1-4)
Malorie Blackman

Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society. Sephy is a Cross — a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought — a “colourless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood, but that’s as far as it can go. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum — a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together?

Fifty Childhood Classics
Numerous Authors

This was basically a big box of childhood classes for £5 so, obviously, I got them. The books included in this are: The Jungle Book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Treasure Island, The Hound of the Baskervillies, The Railway Children, The Story of Doctor DoLittle, Shallows and Amazons, The Secret Garden, Little Women, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Robinson Crusoe, Anne of Green Gables, Christmas Carol, Dracula, Pinocchio, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, I Capture the Castle, The Swiss Family Robinson, Kidnapped, The Wind in the Willows, Gulliver’s Travels, Just William, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, The Burrowers, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Ballet Shoes, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Lost World, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Indian in the Cupboard, Little House on the Prarie, The Three Musketeers, The Little Mermaid and The Prince and the Pauper.

Lady Midnight/Lord of Shadows
Cassandra Claire

The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel. It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses. Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it? Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.

Stitch Head
Guy Bass

In the maze-like dungeons of Castle Grotteskew, the frightfully insane Professor Erasmus conducts his bizarre experiments on living things. His very first creation has been long forgotten – a small, almost-human creature, known only as Stitch Head. Poor Stitch Head has spent years vying for attention amongst a menagerie of freakish monsters. When a travelling circus ringmaster, Fulbert Freakfinder, promises to make him a star, Stitch Head wonders whether there is another life for him. But first he has to catch the professor’s latest creation – a monstrous three-armed creature that’s just smashed its way to freedom . . .

The Beast
Ann Evans

The remote and beautiful Scottish valley seems like the perfect spot for a family holiday but as soon as Amanda arrives she can’t help feeling something is wrong. No-one listens to her fears, even when she sees mysterious shadows on the mountainside and strange scratches on her brother Grant’s back.

Emma
Jane Austin

Emma Woodhouse is one of Austen’s most captivating and vivid characters. Beautiful, spoilt, vain and irrepressibly witty, Emma organizes the lives of the inhabitants of her sleepy little village and plays matchmaker with devastating effect.

The Return of the Vampire
Caroline. B. Cooney

Tired of being ordinary and forgettable, plain Devnee makes a pact with the vampire who lives in the tower near her home, giving him whatever he desires in return for beauty.

The Hound of the Baskervillies
Arthur Conan Doyle

The death, quite suddenly, of Sir Charles Baskerville in mysterious circumstances is the trigger for one of the most extraordinary cases ever to challenge the brilliant analytical mind of Sherlock Holmes. As rumours of a legendary hound said to haunt the Baskerville family circulate, Holmes and Watson are asked to ensure the protection of Sir Charles’ only heir, Sir Henry – who has travelled all the way from America to reside at Baskerville Hall in Devon. And it is there, in an isolated mansion surrounded by mile after mile of wild moor, that Holmes and Watson come face to face with a terrifying evil that reaches out from centuries past . . .

To the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf

The serene and maternal Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr. Ramsay, and their children and assorted guests are on holiday on the Isle of Skye. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, Woolf constructs a remarkable, moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life and the conflict between men and women. As time winds its way through their lives, the Ramsays face, alone and simultaneously, the greatest of human challenges and its greatest triumph—the human capacity for change.

Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte

Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard. But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?

Anya’s Ghost
Vera Brosgol

Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century. Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs. Or so she thinks. Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya’s Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.

Update: I really, really enjoyed this one and I would highly reccomend it to anyone! Trigger warnings for fatphobia though.

City of Ghosts
Victoria V.E.Schwab

Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspecters, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one. When The Inspecters head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.

Update: exactly my cup of tea, I don’t know why it took me so long to read such a good book.

A Darker Shade of Magic
Victoria V.E.Schwab

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black. Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand. After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure. Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

The Quiet at the End of the World
Lauren James

How far would you go to save those you love? Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking for artefacts from history and looking for treasure in their once-opulent mansion. Their idyllic life is torn apart when a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence. Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide who to save and who to sacrifice

The Inn Between
Marina Cohen

The Shining meets “Hotel California” in this supremely creepy middle grade novel about the bizarre things that happen to two girls stranded at a desert inn. Eleven-year-old Quinn has had some bad experiences lately. She was caught cheating in school, and then one day, her little sister Emma disappeared while walking home from school. She never returned When Quinn’s best friend Kara has to move away, she goes on one last trip with Kara and her family. They stop over at the first hotel they see, a Victorian inn that instantly gives Quinn the creeps, and she begins to notice strange things happening around them. When Kara’s parents and then brother disappear without a trace, the girls are stranded in a hotel full of strange guests, hallways that twist back in on themselves, and a particularly nasty surprise lurking beneath the floorboards. Will the girls be able to solve the mystery of what happened to Kara’s family before it’s too late?

The Witch Boy
Molly Ostertag

In thirteen-year-old Aster’s family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn’t shifted . . . and he’s still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be. When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help — as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family . . . and be truly himself.

Update: amazing drawings/illustrations, beautiful story, absolutely one of my favourites

The Hidden Witch (The Witch Boy #2)
Molly Ostertag

Aster and his family are adjusting to his unconventional talent for witchery; unlike the other boys in his family, he isn’t a shapeshifter. He’s taking classes with his grandmother and helping to keep an eye on his great-uncle whose corrupted magic wreaked havoc on the family. Meanwhile, Aster’s friend from the non-magical part of town, Charlie, is having problems of her own — a curse has tried to attach itself to her. She runs to Aster and escapes it, but now the friends must find the source of the curse before more people — normal and magical alike — get hurt.

Update: such a good follow up to such a great graphic novel, I can’t wait until the third one comes out

Furthermore
Taherah Mafi

Alice Alexis Queensmeadow 12 rates three things most important: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. Father disappeared from Ferenwood with only a ruler, almost three years ago. But she will have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is Oliver whose own magic is based in lies and deceit. Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.

Update: I admit I didn’t like the SHATTER ME book whatsoever but I’m really glad I gave her another chance because this was incredible.

Witchwood (Furthermore #2)
Taherah Mafi

A new adventure about a girl who is fated to wash the bodies of the dead in this companion to Furthermore. Our story begins on a frosty night…Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her beloved mother died. Before her father, driven by grief, lost his wits (and his way). Before she was left as the sole remaining mordeshoor in the village of Whichwood, destined to spend her days washing the bodies of the dead and preparing their souls for the afterlife. It’s become easy to forget and easier still to ignore the way her hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair, and her own ever-increasing loneliness and fear. But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appears, and Laylee’s world is turned upside down as she rediscovers color, magic, and the healing power of friendship.

The Witches of New York
Ami McKay

The beloved, bestselling author of The Birth House and The Virgin Cure is back with her most beguiling novel yet, luring us deep inside the lives of a trio of remarkable young women navigating the glitz and grotesqueries of Gilded-Age New York by any means possible, including witchcraft… The year is 1880. Two hundred years after the trials in Salem, Adelaide Thom (‘Moth’ from The Virgin Cure) has left her life in the sideshow to open a tea shop with another young woman who feels it’s finally safe enough to describe herself as a witch: a former medical student and “gardien de sorts” (keeper of spells), Eleanor St. Clair. Together they cater to Manhattan’s high society ladies, specializing in cures, palmistry and potions–and in guarding the secrets of their clients. All is well until one bright September afternoon, when an enchanting young woman named Beatrice Dunn arrives at their door seeking employment. Beatrice soon becomes indispensable as Eleanor’s apprentice, but her new life with the witches is marred by strange occurrences. She sees things no one else can see. She hears voices no one else can hear. Objects appear out of thin air, as if gifts from the dead. Has she been touched by magic or is she simply losing her mind? Eleanor wants to tread lightly and respect the magic manifest in the girl, but Adelaide sees a business opportunity. Working with Dr. Quinn Brody, a talented alienist, she submits Beatrice to a series of tests to see if she truly can talk to spirits. Amidst the witches’ tug-of-war over what’s best for her, Beatrice disappears, leaving them to wonder whether it was by choice or by force. As Adelaide and Eleanor begin the desperate search for Beatrice, they’re confronted by accusations and spectres from their own pasts. In a time when women were corseted, confined and committed for merely speaking their minds, were any of them safe?

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3)
Richelle Mead

(I haven’t read the second one yet so, for that purpose, I have not included a book summary so I don’t spoil myself and the same goes for the next two books in this list. I’m sorry about that!)

Pretties (Uglies #2)
Scott Westerfield

Specials (Uglies #3)
Scott Westerfield

Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn

One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn. On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet? With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

Sharp Objects
Gillian Flynn

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

Dark Places
Gillian Flynn

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas. She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer

Tess of the D’Ubervillies
Thomas Hardy

When Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D’Urbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting her ‘cousin’ Alec proves to be her downfall. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love and salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent in the hope of a peaceful future.

Shiver
Maggie Stiefvater

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again. Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Pretty Girl in Crimson Rose (8)
Sandy Balfour

Think Word Freak with international flair. A nonfiction Ella Minnow Pea with a built-in book-length puzzle. Pretty Girl in Crimson Rose (8) will enthrall (or obsess!) anyone interested in words. Born and raised in South Africa, at age twenty-one journalist Sandy Balfour went into exile and began traveling the world. While hitchhiking through Nairobi, Cairo, and Moscow, before settling in England, he was introduced to a hobby that has ensnared millions of cognoscenti: the cryptic crossword. Cryptics offer the ultimate linguistic challenge-leagues beyond Scrabble, more eloquent than The New York Times puzzle. For Balfour, they became both a personal obsession and a way to understand something of himself and his new adopted homeland. Pretty Girl in Crimson Rose (8) weaves the story of Balfour’s travels with an insider’s account of the pastime called “the world’s most remarkable crossword.” We meet legendary setters like Araucaria and Bunthorne, learn of great clues such as “Amundsen’s forwarding address (4),” and travel the course of Balfour’s life from the Ubangi River in the Congo to the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford, Connecticut. Peppered with anecdotes that explain the workings of cryptic puzzles while also offering a devilish hidden riddle, this book is a crossword lover’s must-have and a deliciously engaging account of an outsider who falls in love with a new place.

End of the Line
KT McCaffey

Irish novelist KT McCaffrey’s latest offering in his investigative reporter Emma Boylan series could be his breakout book. Emma is celebrating her Journalist of the Year Award when she hears of a fatal accident in Lonsdale, one of Dublin’s less fashionable suburbs. A car has crashed the barriers of a viaduct, killing the parish priest and seriously injuring another person. What first appears to be a tragic accident soon becomes a murder enquiry. Emma has barely begun working the case when the killer strikes again. Drawn through a maze of suspicion and intrigue, she looks to the past for clues. Back in the 1960s, 35 girls perished in their school-dorm when a midnight fire raged through the building. A diary that details events from that time is the catalyst for the evil now stalking the streets. As clue after clue falls into place, Emma unwittingly places her own life in mortal danger

The Girl from the Well
Rin Chupeco

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

A dead girl walks the streets. She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago. And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan. Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.  The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as “Dexter” meets “The Grudge”, based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.

Update: of course I loved it, it’s exactly what I love in one book, although it wasn’t quite captivating enough to stop my mind from wandering.

Flowers in the Attic
Virginia Andrews

It wasn’t that she didn’t love her children. She did. But there was a fortune at stake—a fortune that would assure their later happiness if she could keep the children a secret from her dying father. So she and her mother hid her darlings away in an unused attic. Just for a little while. But the brutal days swelled into agonizing years. Now Cathy, Chris, and the twins wait in their cramped and helpless world, stirred by adult dreams, adult desires, served a meager sustenance by an angry, superstitious grandmother who knows that the Devil works in dark and devious ways. Sometimes he sends children to do his work—children who—one by one—must be destroyed….

The Young Oxford Book of Ghost Stories
Daniel Pepper

Ghost stories around the campfire or under the covers are a favorite pastime of children all over the world. Dennis Pepper has collected classic and contemporary legends, folktales, short stories, and poems from many lands and cultures that feature a wide assortment of ghosts. Some are chillingly spooky, others merely silly and strange. All are good and scary and guaranteed to curl your toes and rattle your bones. Some of the best writers and artists for children take great pleasure in sending a chill up your spine in the tale of “The Haunted Mill,” the eerie “Spook House,” the macabre “Rats,” and 35 other frightful stories. This is a great book to read aloud or even by yourself–if you dare!

 

You know what, I’m a little ashamed of this, but on the bright side this barely cost anything due to my sources and a good handful of these were also gifts because I’m very lucky to have such caring friends. I should probably go on a book buying ban at some point to encourage me to save money, or even spend money on something that isn’t books, but we all know how likely that is to actually work.

I have also got some books I’ve ordered during March that will be included in the April book haul due to how they haven’t got here yet, and I really think this list is long enough…

Well, there is my shame exposed on the Internet for all to see! Have you read any of these? Did you enjoy them?

A.W

 

What I Read in March 2019

This month and the start of next month, I’m probably going to be reading more than usual because I have some time off of college and work experiance due to an accident and injuries. This is pretty good news, because I have so much I want to read! So, here’s what I read in March:

Solitaire
Alice Oseman

I really really really liked this book. I love how pessimistic the main charecter is and how she hates absolutely everything, it was super relatable. Alice Oseman is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. The only reason why this wasn’t a five star read was because of the problematic elements like referring to something as “spirit animal” and Tori imitated a black woman at one point.

Speak
Louise Henderson

As an autistic, I could really identify with the main charecter and her struggles with being selectively mute. I can’t say Louise Henderson is my favourite writer, although I really enjoyed both this and WINTERGIRLS, because the writing is so…poetic.

The Hobbit: Graphic Novel
Charles Dixon

To be honest? Not my favourite. I don’t know, the art style just really wasn’t for me which is a shame because I otherwise love THE HOBBIT.

On the Come Up
Angie Thomas

I was worried that, because her first book was so amazing, this wouldn’t live up to my expectations. Despite being a bit darker than the first book (although they both cover heavy and important topics) it was still incredible. I should never have doubted her.

The Treasure House
Linda Newberry

This was so cute because it focused on how important people and their posessions can be and how much charecter charity shops can hold. It’s amazing, and I adored it. The mystery was fun and interesting. It was a nice read.

Twilight
Stephenie Meyer

I know, I know, but listen…I adored this series as a teenager so returning to it holds its own comforts, but I absolutely acknowledge how problematic this series is and I’m not going to ignore it or promote it

Sleeping Giants
Sylvain Neuvel

This wasn’t what I was expecting, because it was told in interview format from an outsiders’ perspective instead of the…usual way books are written, but this somehow made it all the more interesting. Because of my autism and learning difficulties, reading science fiction can be a challenge for me but this was much easier which is awesome because I love science fiction

Six of Crows
Leigh Bardugo

Obviously, this was amazing. I’m not usually a big fan of young adult worlds (such as the Shadowhunters, althogh I am going to try and get through LADY OF MIDNIGHT soon since I found it for 50p), but the Grisha world is probably one of my favourites. I just love the characters, although I am upset that Nina and Inej didn’t get together, they would be perfect for each other.

New Moon
Stephenie Meyer

This book is probably my favourite from the series purely because of Bella and Jacob, who I think were far more equipped to be together than Bella and Edward ever were. They have actual chemistry, and their relationship was a pure pleasure to read. Also, I think werewolves are cool.

Our House
Louise Gandlish

I expected this to be a paranormal horror about a haunted house from the perspective of people who didn’t know they were dead, which was not at all what this was about. It was still really good, though, and quite…horrific regardless. Following how a crime can turn much worse than it originally was, just trying to hide it.

Lion: A Long Way Home
Saroo Brierley

I had no idea this was a memoir when I picked it up and to be honest I only read it to watch the film because it’s on Netflix and I’ve wanted to watch it for ages, but I actually ended up really enjoying it and it broke my heart. Many times.

The Harrowing
Alexandra Sokoloff

This had quite a few major flaws in it, but I think one of the things that made this really stand out was how it was a Jewish paranormal horror which makes a nice change from the usual Christianity paranormal horror that I’m used to reading.

On the Edge of Gone
Corinne Duyvis

This is about an autistic girl in the middle of an apocalypse and it was actually really good and really interesting. It was great to see myself represented in a story like this. It also had some casual diversity thrown in like wheelchair users and a transgender sister, Iris. It also tackled some dark, challenging issues like drug addiction. The only problem I have with this is that I believe the author is white (correct me if I’m wrong) and the main charecter is black.

Crimes of Passion: When Love Hurts
Sue Blackhall

This was basically a collection of real life stories on murder/severe abuse as a result of passion, such as jealously or revenge. It was really interesting and read like one of those Netflix documentries I’m obsessed with watching.

Anya’s Ghost
Vera Brosgol

Even though this has some fatphobia and follows a very predictable plotline, the art was beautiful and it was just super interesting. It’s a very short, quick read due to how it’s a graphic novel but I would highly reccommend it!

The Girl from the Well
Rin Chupeco

Shockingly, this was really good. It was diverse and interesting and told from the perspectve of the dead girl. Personally, I’ve never read something like that before and I found it really good. I can’t wait to read more.

The Witch’s Boy
Molly Ostertag

I’ve just heard that this is a series that I am really excited about, this was super good. The art work was amazing and I love the story. It was so cute.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Taylor Jenkins Reid

By far one of the best and most heartbreaking books I have ever ever read. It’ll take me time to recover from this one, no matter how many books I read after it. It shredded my heart multiple times. What a beautiful, beautiful read (and do, please read it – trigger warnings for domestic assault, rape, homophobia, domestic assault and racism)

Furthermore
Taherah Mafi

I wanted something lightweight after Evelyn Hugo, so I picked this one up. I’ve wanted to read it ever since I heard it was an Alice in Wonderland retelling, even though I really didn’t like SHATTER ME. It was exactly what I needed and one of the five star reads I read this month, I can’t wait to get to the second book as I believe this is a dulogy?

The Hidden Witch
Molly Ostertag

Another great addition to the series. My friend bought it for me as soon as she heard how excited I was about the first one, because I have great friends!! I loved how this one focused on love, friendship and how easy it can be to fall into a self hating rage spiral when you’ve been hurt and broken in the past. I can’t wait for the third graphic novel to come out, it’ll be the first thing I buy when it does.

City of Ghosts
Victoria Schwab

Wow, that was incredible. This book is exactly my cup of tea and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read such a masterpiece. I can see her quickly becoming one of my favourite authors.

Moonstruck Vol 1: Magic to Brew
Grace Ellis, Shae Beagle, Kate Leth, Caitlin Quirk, Clayton Cowles

An equally incredible reading experiance and by far one of the best graphic novels I’ve ever EVER read, and again my exact cup of tea like the people who wrote and illustrated this knew exactly what I enjoyed in a graphic novel and created it. Amazing. I can’t wait to read the second volume.

The Chalk Man
C.J.Tudor

I think, for this one, my expectations were just way too high because it fell flat and a lot of the book felt uncomfortable to read (not even the gory parts, believe it or not). For a thriller, it should not feel like walking through mud. Some people like slow paced thrillers, but me? Not so much. Dissapointed with this one.

 

I was going to try and ram in another read before the month finished but that didn’t end up happening due to how slow THE CHALK MAN was to get through. Nevermind, I think I still managed a fair chunk of reading. I’m quite proud of it, I’ve read some things I really wanted to get through and I read quite a lot of five star books as well. Overall, not a bad reading month at all. How was yours??

A.W

SPOILER FREE | SLEEPING GIANTS

sleeping giants

Hellllllllo! While I’m up to the writing thing, I thought I would write a review on a book I recently read. I’ve been hearing people talk about this everywhere so the curiosity on my part got the better of me and I gave it a chance – I am very glad that I did.

It is basically a collection of private interviews stored by the government to multiple people involved in the discovery and research of a giantic metal hand. Each interview asks about what they know so far, their personal lives what they’ve done to contribute finding more information and theories made so far.

Now, despite being a massive fan of science fiction on screen, I’m not actually a big fan of it in literature. I’m not sure why, but the big words and all that technical talk really puts me off. A book where I don’t understand any of the narration is not one I’m going to enjoy. SLEEPING GIANTS was not like that. It was simple, to the point and had me hooked at every page.

I’ve heard people compare this to THE MARTIAN but…I haven’t read that, so I can’t comment on the comparison. However, if they truly are similar, I might give that one another go. I have tried to in the past, because I really wanted to see the movie, but it was just too difficult for me to understand.

Basically, to sumarize, it’s exactly what I needed to read right now. It had me hooked. Gripping, compelling, fascinating, makes me want to read the next two books as fast as physically possible. The only thing I would change about this is the unneccessary relationship that was just thrown in to it – we were given very little information about it, it was just sort of thrown in and if theres a reason it’s not obvious to me.

I would reccommend this if you’re into science fiction, absolutely, especially if you’re like me and find a majority of science fiction books difficult to read

Did you read it? Have you read the books that follow up? If so, what did you think of them?

A.W

January Reads / / 2019

I actually started writing this at the start of January, but I never finished it, so I finished it now and it’s being posted sometime in Febuary/March (I have yet to decide!). I read quite a lot, so it’s quite long, but I guess some people like that. Enjoy!

Hello, blog! I know this is a very “long time, no see” situation but so much has happened within the past few months that I wouldn’t even know how to summarise it all. I’ve also been in a massive book slump where I’ve had difficulty in actually getting any reading done. I may have burnt myself out too quickly this month but I’m still really enjoying reading again and I really missed blogging! So, here we go, what I read in January 2019…

thornhill

Thornhill
Pat Smy

I went into this not really knowing what I was expecting and it turned out to actually be really good, and very creepy. It tells two stories. One is written in the format of diary entries from the past, another in a black and white comic from a girl in the future that is reading her diaries. It would have been a really good October read!

girls in love

Girls in Love
Jacqueline Wilson 

As is probably obvious from the large gap between blog posts, and if you follow my Goodreads, then you’ll know that I’ve been in a large book slump. I used to love these books as a kid, and they were just what I needed to find the joy in reading again.

twilight the graphic novel

Twilight the Graphic Novel: Volume 1 + 2
Young Kim

This was split into two different books but I’m just going to lump them together. Twilight is a guilty pleasure of mine and I’ve really started to get back into it lately. Plus, comic books and graphic novels are one of my favourite ways to read but not something I do all that often.

girls under pressure

Girls Under Pressure
Jacqueline Wilson

This book talks a lot about weight, self esteem and the potential of eating disorders and how easy they can be to fall into. Eating disorders are one of the most deadly forms of mental illness, so I think this book is an important one and it helped me a lot as a kid.

shadow and bone

Shadow and Bone 
Leigh Bardugo

I hear people talk about this author a lot so I just wanted to check out one of her books. A new library opened nearby and when I saw this there I decided to give it a try. I actually really liked it, even though some of the plot twists were extremely predictable. It was enjoyable nonetheless.

midwinterblood

Midwinterblood
Marcus Sedgwick 

Another one that I went into having no idea what it was about, and honestly even after finishing it I’m still not entirely sure. The story seems to go back in time, talking about how these two people always find each other in the end in one way or another. It was actually quite sweet and, as we go through the book, we find more and more about how that came to happen. This is a very unique style and format for me, as well, so personally I think it’s a very memorable read.

the haunting of jessop rise

The Haunting of Jessop Rise
Danny Weston

As you might have already guessed by now, I’m really into horrors. This was also set in Wales, where I’m from. I know Wales can probably be a bit spooky to other people so I’m glad that it’s a settling for many horror writers. This follows the story of a boy who got sent to his uncle’s house where he is set to work and discovers not everything is at it seems. Again, another predictable read, but I still enjoyed it.

the loneliest girl in the universe

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
Lauren James 

This is probably one of my favourites out of everything I have read this month. This follows a girl whose entire crew died and she’s left to defend for herself on the ship, until she receives reports from Earth talking about how there’s a war cutting off her communication with them. She’s left with just another ship to talk to, that’s coming right for her. It’s really fast paced, the plot twist was really well done and they somehow managed to keep it really interesting despite there only being one person for a majority of the book.

Some Planet
Jamie Mortara 

This is a poetry collection about the planet and about being human. It’s so well done, so raw and so clever. I must admit I’m not usually a fan of poetry and I find that it can be difficult to understand as well but this was amazing.

the coldest girl in coldtown

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Holly Black

I had seen this everywhere and it took me a while to actually pick it up and read this. Thankfully, my local library had a copy. It had quite a few flaws, but I loved the original take on vampires and how dark it was. For a fantasy book with no sequel, she managed to pack a lot about the world while still building it up quite well.

the weight of water

The Weight of Water
Sarah Crossan

It was told in poetry form, which I would usually really enjoy, but the fact that its a story about a girl who is a Polish immigrant and the author is not didn’t really sit well with me. The book was good, but I just don’t feel like this was her experiance to write, even if she had good intentions behind it.

say her name

Say Her Name
James Dawson

This was about the Bloody Mary actually being real in an old girls’ boarding school. It was an original take on Bloody Mary, but it still read like a tacky horror movie. I happen to love tacky horror movies.

ink

Ink
Alice Broadway

Another book that I’ve been seeing everywhere. It had a nice premise but it just wasn’t pulled off that well and the book ended up falling flat. A shame, because the cover is gorgeous. It also didn’t feel very racially sensitive. There are cultures extremely similar to this and I’d have to consult someone from one of these cultures to be sure, I’m just not sure if it was racist or not and my sitting on the fence about it is what brought it down another star for me.

seige and storm

Seige and Storm
Leigh Bardugo

I’ve been wanting to read something by this author for a while because I see her being talked about all the time. Although fantasy is something I enjoy, it isn’t my favourite, but I picked it up anyway and ended up really enjoying it. The main charecter was just so enjoyable.

Blankets

Blankets
Craig Thompson

It always feels strange to review an autobiography but I really thought this was enjoyable. Aside from the ableism, it was a perfect mixture of cute and heartbreaking and I love how all the stories were connected by blankets.

skellig

Skellig
David Almond

The premise of this was really interesting but the writing just…didn’t pull it off, really. It was really boring and I felt like I was waiting for something to happen that just never happened, even though I wasn’t sure what I was waiting for. I’m confused as to why this book is so well known that its now a movie. Nothing really…happened?

love letters to the dead

Love Letters to the Dead
Ava Dellaira

This was about a girl who, for an assignment at school, has to write to someone dead. She ends up filling a notebook full of letters, so it reads about the progression of her life and how she has dealt with the death of her sister and the sexual abuse she recieved as a child. It was heartbreaking, honest and raw.

my second life

My Second Life
Faye Bird

I was only going to read a chapter or two before bed but then I ended up reading the whole thing. It was about unwrapping something that happened to Emma has a child, except she still is a child born again with memories of her previous existance. It was predictable and I always knew where it was going, but it was a very sad and fustrating story of grief.

the moment collector

The Moment Collector
Jodi Lynn Anderson

This is advertised like a ghost story, but it really wasn’t. It did have some paranormal elements to it, but really it was about friendship and loss. Maybe if I went into this with a more realistic idea of what it was actually about, I might have enjoyed it more, but it was just kinda flat and dull.

charlotte says

Charlotte Says
Alex Bell

I actually enjoyed this one more than I enjoyed the first one. It was set in a girls’ boarding school in the past with a backstory of the house that was featured in the first book. It was so scary and haunting and gory. I loved it.

blood family

Blood Family
Anne Fine

This would have been good, if it wasn’t for the ableism and the fatphobia. It was never clear what the author agreed with and what was just fitting for his charecter. Nobody even fighted against his ignorance or acknowledged it existed until near the end of the book.

 

So, there you go! Twenty one books read in January. Sorry for the long, and late, post on this. I personally enjoy reading long posts about what people read and what they thought about them so why not make one of my own. I’m also really proud of this. I remember when I was excited about reading nine books in a month.

 

 

#EasterReadathon TBR

For those who don’t know what the #EasterReadathon is, it’s hosted by @katelovescolour on Twitter. It starts at midnight tonight (29th March/30th March) UK time. Because of Easter, the UK now has a four day weekend, which seems like an excellent time to get some reading done!

Guidelines:

  • Starts at midnight on the 30th March in your country and it will run until midnight on Monday 2nd April. You don’t have to do all three/four days, you can only do one day if you’d like
  • There is no theme of the readathon, so you can read whatever you want
  • The hashtag for Twitter is #EasterReadathon
  • You can take part in it if you don’t celebrate Easter

I decided to copy Kate a bit and just read books that I’ve been meaning to get to for a while, and finish the ones that I am currently reading (which is only one, usually I’m reading multiple books at a time). You can follow their blog here.

The books I have chosen to read are:

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde – currently reading, and I really want to finish this and write a very love filled review!

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle – I know this book has been out for a very long time but I only heard it existed a month ago, and I really want to see the movie, so I want to get to this book pretty soon, it sounds exactly the sort of thing I would love

Heroine Worship by Sarah Kuhn – I absolutely adored Heroine Complex so I’ve been reluctant to read this because I don’t want it to end but I heard there’s a third one coming out so I want to get to this one soon. Plus, the covers are gorgeous!

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – again, another book everyone but me has read and I feel like a lot of people love this purely for nostalgia reasons but it was cheap and I really want to know what the fuss is all about anyway!

 

So, there is my rather ambitious TBR pile for the Readathon! Hopefully I get to all of them, but I’m not expecting to. Maybe with a challenge, I’ll push through it.

Until next time,
Alyx