What I Read in April ’19

The Poet X
Elizabeth Agevedo

Surprisingly, I really liked this. I’m not the biggest poetry fan in the world but I love how she expressed who she was and what she was going through via poems. It was so emotional and profound. I love how tough the main charecter is, as well. I really love strong, fierce women.

The Quiet at the End of the World
Lauren James

If I knew this was the same author who wrote THE LONLIEST GIRL IN THE UNIVERSE I would have read it a lot sooner, because I loved that book and I loved this one. I really liked experiancing a world where you can’t have children and how humans worked to overcome that, as we always do.

Inn Between
Marina Cohen

Not to say that I didn’t like it but because I have been hyping this up in my head for so long, I guess it ended up falling a bit flat for me and it didn’t give me what I expected from it.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Jenny Han

For a romance, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. I don’t know, it was super cheesy and filled with cliches but it was so fluffy, cute and light-hearted that it was honestly hard to hate it. I can’t wait to read P.S I STILL LOVE YOU and THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY.

Flowers in the Attic
Virginia Andrews

Okay, when I was reading this I was like “this as a lot of chapters and it’s super descriptive, my autistic/ADHD brain doesn’t like this” but on reflection this book was incredible. Morbidly beautiful, stunningly dark. I want to review this properly but I don’t even know what else to say other than “wow that was gorgeous”. Especially the way they stick together and strengthen their love throughout the difficult times. I bought the second book, of course.

Waking Gods (Sleeping Giants #2)
Sylvain Neuvel

This was a pretty great sequel to Sleeping Giants. It was full of action and excitement and twists. A lot happened here that I honestly never thought would. I can’t wait to read the finale.

PS I Still Love You
Jenny Han

I really liked this one and it made me fall in love with Lara Jean even more. She’s so sweet and such a hopeless romantic. It’s so hard not to fall for someone so truly lovely. My heart broke everytime she was anything but happy.

Noughts and Crosses
Malorie Blackman

That was one of the most painful books I have ever had to read and there’s still three more books left in the series. I’m going to die.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Jenny Han

A perfect ending to a beautiful series. Lara Jean did a lot of growing up in this one and she made such mature and responsible decisions. I love her, and I can’t wait to re-read this again in future. It’s a bittersweet goodbye so something that brought me a lot of joy this month.

Fluffy’s Revolution
Ted Myers

Yep, I’ve finally decided to go back to requesting books from NetGalley again and this is one of the ones I’ve been approved for. It was really funny, heartwarming and absolutely adorable. I have a review up for this one here.

They/Them/Their
Eris Young

Again, another NetGalley read. This one was really thought provoking, interesting and made me think about some things even though I am also non binary. I think this is a perfect little guide if you’re looking to know more or understand it better. It also talks about binary genders and sexuality. I have a review for this one up here. This comes out in September!

Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse
Rick Riordan

This one is probably my favourite in the series. It was fast paced, humorous and there wasn’t a single page that was boring. I loved it.

The Gifted, The Talented and Me
William Sutcliffe

This comes out on the 2nd of May! Honestly, my expectations were higher than what this actually gave me. It was just problematic. I still enjoyed some parts, Sam is super funny.

My So Called Bollywood Life
Nisha Sharma

I have a review for this one written up here if you want to read what I thought about it in more detail but, to sum it up, I really enjoyed it and I was genuinely sad when it finished which doesn’t happen often anymore.

Only Human
Sylvain Neuvel

This is the last of the Themis Files books and it really felt like it was missing something although I’m not sure what. More information on the alien planet, maybe? But I did really enjoy it.

Tamamo the Fox Maiden and Other Stories

It took me a little bit to get into this but I ended up really enjoying it, especially since each story was drawn in a different comic style because it was told by a different artist. I really love fairytales and I enjoyed reading fables and fairytales from different countries.

The Girl Who Came Out of the Woods
Emily Barr

I will admit that I didn’t like this at first but as the story progressed I ended up really, really enjoying it and I’m now fully convinced to try some of this authors other works. I have a full review for this book written up here if you want to know more about my thoughts.

How to Speak Cat
National Geographic Kids 

I really, really enjoyed this. I’m probably not going to write a proper review on this because it feels weird writing a review on something that’s basically a textbook but it was a really funny way to be educational about cats. I own a cat and I learnt new things!

Notes on a Nervous Planet
Matt Haig

I really liked this, actually. I’ll probably upload a detailed discussion/review of this on a later date (especially since some of it was pretty problematic/I didn’t agree with), but that probably won’t be soon because I have no time to do anything! There’s a lot I want to say on this one, though.

 

Considering how little time this month I had to read because of my upcoming maths exam and the fact that I have to finish all my assignments soon because college is ending in the past month, I think I did quite well! I’m probably going to catch up on my NetGalley reads but I’m not going to read as much next month, or I’m going to try not to because I have SO much I need to get done. Phew. Anyway, see you soon.

A.W

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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

Fluffy’s Revolution / Ted Byers

 

fluffy's revolution

Summary:

It’s 2135. Fluffy is a super-intelligent GAB (Genetically Altered Brain) cat. Like many dogs, cats, mice, and the occasional pig, her brain is the product of genetic tinkering by humans that started more than a century ago. With their powers of telekinesis, the animals can manipulate physical objects without being able to grasp them. They can speak to each other telepathically without audible voices. Now, people have begun to fear them and to systematically capture and exterminate them. Fluffy leaves the safety of her home to look for her lost brother and joins a band of animal revolutionaries. After a series of brushes with death, Fluffy and her friends find a secret university for GAB animals. There, they work with enlightened humans to save Earth from certain destruction.

Review:

What I Liked:

It was hilarious and perfectly captured the essence of a cat. Kind, caring, loving, but will rather be caught dead than actually show any of these emotions. Fluffy is such a beautiful little soul (of course, because I love cats). I spent a LOT of this just going “aww, bless” and cheering on the little group of determined animals really hoping they would save the world. It was also really fast paced, which you’d expect from a short book, but it didn’t feel like a forced speed. It worked, it made sense.

What I Didn’t Like:

There were some problematic elements here and there, like describing a woman as “Asian” and Asia is so vast that this doesn’t actually give me much indication what she looks like, or what culture she’s supposed to be representing. Otherwise, there weren’t really any problems with it. I genuinely really enjoyed it.

I recieved this as a copy from NetGalley. It will be published on the 28th March 2019. You can get it on Kindle now here.

A.W

The Books I Want To Read Tag

hey! I love doing book tags, and I found this on Golden Books Girl blog. It looked really interesting so I wanted to give it a go.

Rules

  1. Link back to the original tag
  2. Complete the questions with books you want to have read but don’t want to read
  3. Tag some people at the end to do the tag next

Question One: A Book You Feel the Need to Read Because Everyone Talks About it

At the moment, that’s pretty much everything but I suppose I should go with The Priory of the Orange Tree. I own it, but it’s massive. Massive books tend to put me off a bit but it sounds genuinely interesting so, at some point, I want to give it a go. Also, it’s beautiful.

Question Two: A Book That’s Really Long 

Refer to question one! But maybe the Game of Thrones series, which I hope to be starting too, those are quite long. I don’t really buy big books often because, as I said, they usually put me off and I never end up reading them.

Question Three: A Book You’ve Had on Your Bookshelf or TBR List for Far Too Long 

Probably House of Leaves by Mark. Z. Danielewski which is a shame because it looks so interesting but, again, it’s huge and it’s also really complex to read. I know that’s the point of the book, but it just makes it so difficult to get into and I don’t want to give up on it because I think I’d really like it but it’s not going to be read anytime soon.

Question Four: A Book That is “Required Reading” (e.g, a school text or popular classic, a book you feel obligated to read) 

I own a lot of classics because I genuinely do want to read them, and partly because I want to understand the references. The two I want to get to the most, though, are Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. I also want to read What Katy Did, but I don’t own that yet.

Question Five: A Book That Intimidates You

I feel like the questions above already answered this question because classics that are difficult to read with my autistic language difficulties and big books are all things I find intimidating and are going to be a challenge to get through. For the sake of picking something I haven’t already said, though, I’d go for The Miseducation of Cameron Post. I’m not sure why I find it imtimidating, but I’m a bit scared to pick that one up.

Question Six: A Book You Think May be Slow 

I own a few of the early Discworld novels and I feel like they’ll be slow to get through because of the fact that a lot of them are mostly just world building, which I always find a bit of a drag and one of the many reasons I still haven’t picked up Lord of the Rings yet (despite owning multiple copies)

Question Seven: A Book That You Need to be In the Right Mood For 

I recently acquired Daisy and the Six. After reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, i feel like i might have to mentally prepare myself a little bit for that one so absolutely something I need to be in the mood for.

Question Eight: A Book You’re Unsure You’ll Like 

Hmm. I’m not too sure on this one. Most of the books I buy, I’m obviously pretty sure I’ll like them because otherwise I wouldn’t spend money on them but maybe Curse of the Dark and Lonely. I’ve been a bit worried about starting it because I love Beauty and the Beast but I’m just not sure.

 

I have no blogger book friends to tag so if you want to do it, then go for it!

A.W

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

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