And That’s a Wrap: March ’19 Edition

March 2019 is over, and April begins. I say this every month, but it honestly feels like the year is just flying by. In a few short weeks, it’ll be Easter and I’ve done basically NOTHING in 2019 yet. Well, I have read some books. There’s always that. Speaking of which…

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet – Becky Chambers ★★★★

This book was exactly what people said it would be – a richly developed group of characters travelling across space. While the plot itself isn’t super action packed and does get slow, it’s okay because I loved the crew of the Wayfarer – they’re this wonderful, oddball family. The world building is fantastic and I have to admire how well Chambers managed to created so many distinct species. Such a wonderfully diverse read which really advocates acceptance.

Again, but Better – Christine Riccio ★★.5

I was looking forward to a fun and more mature YA contemporary with this one. Unfortunately, while the book noticeably improved after the midway twist, I had a lot of issues with the plot and writing (e.g. excessive detail, weird chapter cut offs, constant 2011 references, etc.). I often found myself bored through large sections and had trouble connecting with the characters. There were a few engaging and sweet moments, but I can’t help feeling extremely disappointed.

A Curse so Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer ★★★.5

I’m a big Beauty and the Beast fan so I was majorly excited for this release. I enjoyed the slightly darker tone, inclusion of a strong protagonist with cerebral palsy, and fact that Kemmerer was able to bring her own spin to the original story. Although, some of the things I wasn’t so keen on were the bland world building, slow paced and repetitious plot sections, underdeveloped villain, and at times forced chemistry between the two leads. A decent retelling but I’m not sure if I’ll read the sequel.

Daisy Jones & The Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★.5 | Review

While not nearly as enjoyable as Evelyn Hugo, Daisy Jones shares a similarly great sense of place and realism. Some people may be put off by the documentary transcript style but chronological ordering and sticking to common topics helps retain a degree of flow. The book deals with some heavy themes and although we only get to know a few of the characters well, Reid digs deep on them. There’s a great sense of female empowerment throughout and bonus points to Reid for actually writing full songs for the band too!

The Boy Who Steals Houses – C. G. Drews ★★★★.5

Somehow managing to be both wonderfully fluffy & sweet, and heartbreakingly sad, TBWSH straddles these contrasting tones exceptionally well. The characters are loveable, the dialogue is funny, and the book features some fantastic autism rep. I did have a couple of issues with loose ends and elements of writing style, but overall I really enjoyed this contemporary, which at it’s heart is all about family.

The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious 2#) – Maureen Johnson ★★★★

Welcome back to Ellingham Academy, home of the unsolved mystery. TVS is just as fun as book one but without the slow introductory section. The death of Hayes takes a back seat this time around, with focus turning to Ellie’s disappearance and the Ellingham kidnappings, both of which we get big answers on. There’s some relationship drama and the book ends on a dramatic cliffhanger than makes me eager for book 3.

Legend – Marie Lu ★★★

Legend isn’t up to the standard of Warcross but that’s okay. There were a few not so great things – (a) the characters are only 15 and kicking ass, like what the? (b) why do we need a rushed romantic story aspect?, and (c) elements of the world building were a little vague. These aside, I didn’t mind the characters themselves, the plot was fairly engaging (especially the last third), and I generally found it an easy, alright kind of read. I’ve heard the books get much better as we go on so I’ll probably read the sequel at some point.

In March, I bought 3 books and was approved for 1 ARC (The Boy Who Steals Houses). With TBWSH due to come out next week, I made sure to tackle it soon after I received it. Originally I’d planned on reading another one of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books this month but after remembering that Daisy Jones was coming out, I couldn’t resist getting stuck into it right after I bought it. In the end, only two additions to my physical TBR which I’m super happy about!

I’ve largely stepped back to just two posts a week this month which I’m finding more manageable. I’m not sure if I’ll go back to three in April. I guess we’ll see! As usual, just in case you missed March’s posts, here they are:

Top 10 Tuesday

Book Reviews

Book Tags

Miscellaneous

Next month, I’ll once again be taking part in the O.W.Ls Magical Readathon hosted by G at Book Roast. I had a great time doing this readathon back in 2018 so I’m looking forward to the second time around. I’ll be putting up a post this week which lists the prompts I’m doing and the books I’ve allocated to them. I’ll also detail the wizarding profession I’ll be aiming for with my subject choices.

TV/MOVIES

  • I saw Captain Marvel at the beginning of this month and enjoyed it. It’s not the best Marvel movie I’ve seen but it’s pretty good. Yay for female superheroes! Goose the cat (or Flerken) is for sure my fave.
  • I managed to finally track down The Hate U Give. As far as adaptations go, I think they did a pretty good job and Amandla’s acting was great. I’m still mad that it was so hard to find a way to see this in Australia though. Ugh!
  • I’ve been alternating binge-ing two series this month. The first is The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel which I’ve only heard amazing things about for AGES. Turns out they were all correct. It’s fabulous and so funny. Nothing beats Amy Sherman-Palladino dialogue. The second is Game of Thrones. Last year I started a re-watch in prep for season 8 and stopped half way through season 2. Then, at the beginning of the month I realised just how close the premier date was for the new season. So, I sat down and set myself the task of finishing the rest in time. I’m now at the end of season 6 so it’s looking like I’ll be fine. I’M SO KEEN FOR SEASON 8.

Other

  • I had a visit from one of my lovely best friends! She lives in Canberra (we met when I was studying at uni). Our annoying schedules often make it difficult to link up but we make it work. It’s always so nice to see her – we shop, eat bad food and have a great time. I was also FINALLY able to give her her Christmas present!
  • My family and I went to see a production called “Potted Potter”. It’s a Harry Potter parody show in which two British guys condense the events of all 8 HP books into one 70 min show. They play all of the characters and utilise a random assortment of props. It’s ridiculous but also very funny.
  • I’ve decided to try my hand at Bullet Journaling to help get me on track with a few things – goals, habits, easier reading tracking, etc. I went out and bought the journal yesterday. Now I just need to make the time to sit down and design it. Considering tomorrow is April, I’m clearly doing well with my time management… *face palm*

I hope you all had a wonderful March and read some amazing books. What were the best and the worst books you read this past month? And what are you hoping to read in April?

WWW Wednesday | 13.03.19

It’s time for another edition of WWW Wednesday, a post in which we answer the big three questions – 1) what have you just finished reading, 2) what are you currently reading, and 3) which book is up next?

Again, but Better – Christine Riccio | GR

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Those of you who enjoy booktube will be familiar with Christine Riccio, or PolandBananasBOOKS. In May, Christine will be releasing her debut and I was lucky enough to be granted an ARC. This book is a YA contemporary set at university in London with a time travel element thrown in. It was a very mixed bag for me, there were some things I liked and quite a few I had issues with. Honestly, the first half was a 2 star read, maybe even less. It’s mostly the writing but, admittedly, the plot was boring me, too. However, once we hit the midway twist, the story picked up a lot and the writing noticeably improved, bumping my enjoyment up to about 4 stars! Then…it slowed down again, the characters did stupid things, and the book ended in a mishmash of super adorable, unbelievable, & rushed. I’m conflicted.

A Curse so Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer | GR

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I’ve been waiting on this one for ages! I’m a huge Beauty and the Beast fan but, surprisingly, I haven’t read many retellings. Weird, right? At this point, I’m about 400 pages in (I’ll likely finish tomorrow). While it’s not the most amazing book I’ve ever read and I’m not crazy determined to devour it as fast as humanely possible, I’ve had an entertaining time with it on my morning commute for the last week. The characters are likeable (I love the fact that it features a MC with cerebral palsy still being a total badass) and I appreciate how BK has managed to keep so many elements of the original story but still (a) turned it into something typical of YA fantasy and (b) made it her own.

The Boy Who Steals Houses – C. G. Drews | GR

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I can’t say much on this one yet as I’ve only started it this evening. It’s another ARC and this time from popular book blogger/bookstagrammer, Paper Fury. I wasn’t sure whether I’d be a fan of Cait’s writing style but the idea for this book was just so intriguing, I had to give it a go. It’s about a boy who breaks into people’s vacant houses and gets caught up when one family returns home unexpectedly. He ends up sticking around by virtue of the fact that the kids in the large family keep assuming he’s a friend of one of their siblings. So far, I’m really enjoying it, more than expected! I hope it keeps up.

The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss | GR

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At last, after years of putting it off, I’ve finally begun this enormous monster. Last month I splurged and bought a super expensive, and ridiculously pretty, 10th anniversary edition. So damn worth it though. This thing is way too big to read on a train so over the last few days I’ve been making time before bed each night to relax and just read it for half an hour or so. I’m not worrying about reading goals or how long it’ll take to finish, I’m just taking my time, and gosh, it’s such a nice change. The story, itself, has been slow to start with (I’m like 70 pages in?) but I’ve been finding it weirdly enjoyable. I really hope this one lives up to the hype cause I’ll be massively disappointed if it doesn’t.

Daisy Jones & the Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid | GR

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As usual, I have a whole bunch of books on my TBR that have been sitting there for ages and what do I want to read? The book I purchased last week. Eh, I go where the reading momentum takes me. This is another one I’ve been super excited for, ever since I read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and fell in love last year. I know this book is very different in style (it’s in interview format) than her previous books, but I’m really keen to get stuck in. Maybe it’s because I just finished re-watching Bohemian Rhapsody and famous bands are on the brain? Who knows.

How’s things going in your reading world right now? Give me the low-down.

Have you read any of these yet? What did you think?

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

Upcoming Releases to Get Excited About | Part 2

2018 is coming closer and closer to the end and here I am with another three 2019 releases to get excited about and or possibly bemoan the wait period for depending on whether you’re a glass half full or empty kinda person.

Image result for a curse so dark and lonelyA Curse so Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer | 29th Jan

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.


Anyone who knows me well knows that I love Beauty and the Beast. LOVE. While there have been quite a lot of retellings of it over the years (some better than others), based on the blurb, this one sounds great. Also, a strong, modern heroine with a disability? Um, yes! I’ve seen a few really positive early reviews so I’m hoping this will end up being a winner. However, my one nagging feeling is that someone mentioned that if you liked A Court of Thorns and Roses, you’d enjoy this one. Even though I ended up really loving that series, the first book was a bit average for me. Guess we’ll see.

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36307634King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo | 29th Jan

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal. 


Another big name release that I couldn’t resist including. At the beginning of this month I re-read Shadow and Bone and then actually made it the rest of the way through The Grisha trilogy. Now, like everyone else, I’m so excited for this one. Pretty much everybody who reads the Grisha books falls in love with Nikolai and although he was different to what I expected (in a good way!), I did too. It’ll be great to see him take centre stage this time and find out how he handles Ravka after everything that happened with Alina and The Darkling. He’s also got some trauma of his own to process, too, so that’ll be interesting. Even better, both Zoya and, love of my life, the waffle queen herself, Nina Zenik, will be in this series. I’m sure there’ll be a love interest there somewhere. Unsure how I feel about it though. Regardless, hurry up January!

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Image result for even if i fallEven if I Fall – Abigail Johnson | 8th Jan

A year ago, Brooke Covington lost everything when her beloved older brother, Jason, confessed to the murder of his best friend, Calvin. Brooke and her family became social pariahs, broken and unable to console one another. Brooke’s only solace remains the ice-skating rink, where she works but no longer lets herself dream about a future skating professionally.

When Brooke encounters Calvin’s younger brother, Heath, on the side of the road and offers him a ride, everything changes. She needs someone to talk to…and so does Heath. No one else understands what it’s like. Her brother, alive but gone; his brother, dead but everywhere. Soon, they’re meeting in secret, despite knowing that both families would be horrified if they found out. In the place of his anger and her guilt, something frighteningly tender begins to develop, drawing them ever closer together.

But when a new secret comes out about the murder, Brooke has to choose whose pain she’s willing to live with—her family’s or Heath’s. Because she can’t heal one without hurting the other.


So, I’m pretty sure this book is going to cause some intense heart break. It’s got deep, emotional YA contemporary written all over it but at the same time there’s a bit of a mystery element which I’m really here for (please don’t be disappointing!!). I really like this idea of showcasing human connection and compassion with regards to such a super complicated relationship. I mean, if someone’s sibiling had murdered your brother, the last thing you’d want is to hang around with them as a constant reminder of that fact. At the same time though, it’s not their fault. Ah! This is going to be so messy.

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Are any of these on your 2019 TBR? Or if you’ve been lucky enough to get your hands on an ARC, how was it?