And That’s a Wrap: September Edition

Nine months of 2018 down, only three to go. Somebody pass me some chocolate stat, because I’m freaking out. Anybody got a timeturner? That’d be much appreciated too. No? Okay, well, I better get on with looking back at another month that went all too damn fast.

Books I Read

Other than my first read of the month, September was a bit of a bleh month with a lot middle of the road star ratings. I managed to get through almost all my sister’s TBR picks except for The Poppy War and added in Wildcard (which I was too keen to wait til October for). Overall, seven books isn’t bad and I’m satisfied with the effort for the month.

Sep reads

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★★★| Review

Gosh, I loved this book. Definitely one of the best novels I’ve read all year. The plot is interesting, the characters are layered and feel real, it’s diverse, the structure is well done…just everything really. A perfect example of fantastic historical fiction!

Howl’s Moving Castle – Diane Wynn Jones ★★★.5

My tendency to like whichever medium I come across first holds true with this one – it turns out that I’m more a fan of the anime film, which is very different to the book. I liked the book, don’t get me wrong, it just felt a little young in style at times and I often found my thoughts wandering. The characters are endearing though and the creativity of the world building is still great.

The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli ★★★.5

More proof that Becky knows how to write inclusive and sweet stories with relatable characters. The plot is slighly juvenile and it’s not the most compelling one I’ve ever read but with the characters the age they are, I can understand it. I really related to Molly and a lot of her thoughts were ones I’ve had, myself, in the past. The chemistry with her love interest, Reed, was also really adorable. However, the diversity was a little forced at times, a lot of the side characters felt kind of underdeveloped, and I really wish Molly had found her confidence without the help of a relationship.

My Oxford Year – Julia Whelan ★★★★

My sister & I  picked this one expecting it to be light, fluffy chick-lit but about half way through, the book completely changed tone with the reveal of a big secret about the male lead.  I quite liked both Ella, our American MC, and Jamie, her British romantic interest, and the chemistry between the two is great, but I have to say, this book broke my heart a little. The ending isn’t exactly break down in tears sad but it definitely leaves a hole in the chest. Still, I liked that the book encourages you to pursue your passions and make the most of important people and experiences in your life while you have them.

Stormdancer – Jay Kristoff ★★★.5

Normally I’m a big fan of Jay’s books but this one was lacking in a lot of areas for me. I was even tempted to DNF after the first fifty or so pages. The world building is quite complicated and there’s a lot of mish-mashing of different asian inspirations which left me feeling lost. It also takes ages for the story to finally get interesting. After a while though, things did pick up and I ended up having a fairly enjoyable time. The best part is definitely the relationship between the lead, Yukikio, and Buruu, the legendary Arashitora (Thunder Tiger) which gave me major Eragon vibes.

Wildcard – Marie Lu ★★★| Review

I had high hopes for this one after really enjoying Warcross earlier this year. The plot is quite focused, complex and deals with some big ethical questions. Some elements, such as the resolution of the kidnapping storyline, were well done, while others ended up feeling messy and unbelievable. I was let down by Emika’s role, which is largely passive for most of the book, and the ending itself, which felt almost rushed and failed to attribute appropriate consequences to actions/events. The climax of the book managed to recapture some of the magic from book one but overall I was a bit disappointed with this installment. Darn, high expectations! Get yourselves under control!

Children of Blood and Bone – Tomi Adeyemi ★★★.5 or ★★★★ (Depending on End)

Okay, so technically I’m not finished this one yet but I will be by tonight! This book was HUGELY hyped but unfortunately, I just don’t think I’m as on board as everyone else. It’s certainly good in parts and the fact that the world is African-inspired is fantastic, but there’s just a few things that have bothered me. The book starts off really strong but after a while I started to get frustrated with the fact that the characters seem to change attitudes/ideas in the blink of eye – it’s giving me whiplash. I also don’t get why everyone in the core group of characters has to be in a romance with one another. The plot itself also seems to just hit points of being well…kind of boring. I keep varying between feeling like ‘eh’ and then perking up when something engaging, such as the gladitorial-boat sequence or prison break out, happens. Guess I’ll see how this ending goes – apparently there’s a twist.


Books I Bought

September Purchases

This month’s purchase total is a reasonably healthy figure of 6 (+ 2 comics). I’m not feeling too bad about this because I read two of them straight after purchasing and the rest are short YA contemporaries (okay, I’ll Give you the Sun is a little chunkier) so they shouldn’t take very long. I’ve got a few popular ones here and I’m looking forward to seeing what the fuss is all about.

Have you read any of these? Thoughts?


Blog Posts

Another light month. I’ve been low on time and focus.

Top 10 Tuesday

Books by my Favourite Authors, and Authors with the Potential to Become Favourites, that I Still Haven’t Read

Binge-Worthy TV Shows

Discussions

Picking Books to Review

Other Book Reviews

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Miscellaneous

WWW Wednesday | 19.09.18


Hiatus

As you may have seen in last month’s wrap up, I’ve been thinking about taking a hiatus for a little while now and have decided to take it now going into October. Work is quite busy at the moment and it’s been messing up my schedule so finding time to write and edit my posts has been challenging.

A hiatus will also be a nice break for me to think about looking at some of the writing ideas that have come to mind in the last few months which I haven’t had time to do anything with yet. I’m still unsure if I want to tackle NaNoWriMo again this year so this is the perfect time to figure that out. Plus, I think I’d like the chance to do a few other R&R activities for a bit to rest and recharge. I’ll definitely still be around the blogsphere though, reading your wonderful posts!

So until next month…maybe…

Ash

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Top 10 Tuesday: Books by my Favourite Authors, and Authors with the Potential to Become Favourites, that I Still Haven’t Read

After thinking about this week’s TTT topic for some time, I came to the rather bizarre conclusion that unlike my teenage self, adult me does not have that many favourite authors. *jaw drop* Why, you ask? Well, while I do read a lot of books, I’ve noticed that they seem to come from a much wider array of different authors than they used to. In other words, I don’t read enough books from particular authors for them to BECOME favourites. You can see why this would be problematic for a list like this.  Then there’s the other issue that for some of my favourite authors I don’t actually have any books (already released, that is) still to read.

SO.

To make up the numbers I’ve decided to extend this list to also include authors that I’ve read something from and would like to see more of. In other words, books I’m keen to read by authors with the potential to become favourites. Let’s get stuck in.


One

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Sleeping Beauties – Stephen King

I’ve read a few of King’s novels now and largely enjoyed them. I bought this brick of a book (typical SK) shortly after it came out but I still haven’t tackled it. I’m expecting it won’t happen until I hit a holiday period but I’m definitely still determined to get there. There have been some mixed reviews on this one but the blurb continues to suck me in.


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The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult

During my high school years I consumed Jodi Picoult novels like a machine but I haven’t read one for some time (not for any particular reason though). They’re always emotionally crushing but I just love how well done her characters are. Plus I respect her willingness to tackle some really heavy issues through her writing. This one relates to WWII German history and with an average goodreads rating of 4.27 I’m expecting it to be a great one to get me back on board with her books.


Three

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The Archived – Victoria Schwab

Schwaby. How I adore you. I’ve had this one on my GR to-read shelf for what feels like FOREVER and I still haven’t got there. With the recent release of both The Archived books in one release, The Dark Vault, I’ve been reminded of just how much I want to read this one. I mean, it’s set in a library, that should be enough alone.


Four

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One True Loves – Taylor Jenkins Reid

I completely fell in love with Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo last month and I’m now determined to read some of her other novels. One True Loves is considered to be one of Reid’s best novels so I’m hoping lightning strikes twice. It’s a completely different story from Evelyn Hugo but I’m expecting to find more beautifully done characters and great writing. A woman whose husband dies in a helicopter crash and turns up alive years later after she’s already remarried? I’m ready for ALL the emotions!


Five

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The Song Rising (The Bone Season 3#) – Samantha Shannon

Here’s another one that’s been on my shelf for ages. I really want to read it but I’m being held up by the fact that I need to do a re-read of The Mime Order first to ensure I know what the hell is going on. At this rate Sam’s enormous tome The Priory of the Orange Tree (which also looks great) will be released before I finally read The Song Rising. Get cracking, Ashley!


Six

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Legend – Marie Lu

At this point I’ve only read Marie’s Warcross duology but after these two, I’m very keen to see more. Her Legend series seems to be extremely popular and has quite a high average GR rating, so I’m thinking this will be the one I tackle. However I am a little bit worried about it including a too quickly developed romance.


Seven

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I’ve Got Your Number – Sophie Kinsella

Sophie is another author that I used to read a lot of back in the day but haven’t for some time. Her books are light contemporaries which are always a bit of fun. They make me laugh and are great pick me ups when you’re feeling down. Sure, some of it gets repetitive from time to time but this one sounds cute anyway. The concept here is that the MC, Poppy, finds a lost phone which happens to belong to the ex-PA of cute businessman, Sam. Poppy starts trying to manage Sam’s life using the phone and as you can imagine, hijinks ensue.  Cue romance.


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Unwind – Neal Shusterman

Picking up Scythe by Mr Shusterman earlier this year was one of the best things I’ve done for myself in 2018 and the sequel, Thunderhead, was pretty damn awesome as well. NS’s worldbuilding skils are amazing and by the looks of the synopsis for Unwind, Scythe wasn’t just a fluke. The plot of this one sounds fascinatingly creepy and I’m extremely intrigued. The idea that teens between the ages of 13 and 18 can be simply killed and their organs shuffled on to other people without their consent sounds terrifying. Bring it on.


Nine

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Renegades – Marissa Meyer

I could just as easily have put Winter here but I’ve gone with Renegades. I’ve read the first three books in Marissa’s The Lunar Chronicles series and have had a great time with them. I think she’s great at balancing more dramatic writing against humour and her ideas are wonderfully creative. For this reason I’m really looking forward to reading more from her, especially since this one sounds epic.


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Iron Gold (Red Rising 4#) – Pierce Brown

Yes, I know, I know. I keep bringing this one up because I still haven’t gone back and finished it. The bloody thing has been sitting on my bedside table with a bookmark in it at about page 200 since April. APRIL for crying out loud. I love this series and Pierce’s writing is amazing so I know I’ll get there eventually but when, that’s always the question.

Which books by your favourite authors are you yet to read? And which authors are you eager to see more from?

WWW Wednesday | 19.09.18

It’s time for another  WWW Wednesday or as it should be titled, ‘Ashley has yet to upload anything to her blog this week and this is an easy, last minute post’. Successful blogger, that is clearly (not) me. This meme, hosted by Taking on a World of Words, requires you to answer three simple questions: 1) What did you just finish? 2) What are you currently reading? and 3) What will you read next?

Recently Finished

35820405My Oxford Year – Julia Whelan | Goodreads

I picked this one expecting it to be some light, fluffy chick-lit featuring a romantic Oxford setting and a sexy literature professor as the love interest. Tick to the setting and double tick to the hot professor but NOOOOOOO to the light and fluffy. About half way through, the book flips in tone with the reveal of a big secret about the male lead.  I quite liked both Ella, our American protagonist, and Jamie, her British romantic interest, and the chemistry between the two is great. BUT man, this book broke my heart a little. The ending isn’t exactly sad in and of itself but thinking about what will happen after it definitely leaves a bit of a hole in the chest. Still, I liked that the book encourages you to pursue your passions, and reinforced the idea that while not all things last forever, it’s important to make the most of them while you can.

Currently Reading

30653853The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli | Goodreads

Yep, after putting it off for ages, I’m finally doing it. After missing out on my light and fluffy with My Oxford Year, I definitely needed it going into this one. As in Becky’s other books, the characters feel realistic and there’s a lot of diversity but I’m not as in love with them as I was with those in Simon. There are a few things about the plot that are bugging me but a lot of it I can narrow down to teenagers thinking and acting like teenagers – things that seem so important at that age, really aren’t in the overall scheme of things. I definitely relate to Molly a lot though and it’s nice to know I’m not alone in a lot of the self-confidence issues I have. Even some of her thoughts feel like somebody secretly copied and pasted them straight from my head. I’m almost finished, should be done tonight. Here’s hoping for a cute ending.

Up Next

29386918Wildcard (Warcross 2#) – Marie Lu | Goodreads

Yes, yes, I know I’m supposed to be following my sister’s TBR list for this month and I promise I’ll go back to it but I just can’t resist reading this book. It’s FINALLY out! YAYYYYYYYYY! I’m a little excited, can you tell? I almost jumped for joy when I found it a few days earlier than expected at the book store. I’ve seen some mixed reviews from those with ARCs so far, so I’m slighty concerned but hopefully it’s for nothing. I really enjoyed Warcross when I read it earlier this year so fingers crossed this one lives up to it. It’ll be good to spend some more time with my gal Emika again. Looking forward to seeing her kick some more virtual ass.

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What’s your current read & what’s up next?

Ash

Let’s Talk: Picking Books to Review

As book bloggers, one of the biggest components of what we do is writing reviews. However, also being book lovers, we tend to read a substantial number of books every year. Writing lengthy reviews for each and every one just isn’t possible (especially when you’re as slow as I am) – we’d go grey before we even made a dent. So how is it that we pick which books we want to spend several hours discussing with our computer screen?

It’s Absolutely Fantastic (Five Star that Baby)

There’s nothing like finishing a ridiculously amazing book to send you running for your keyboard. When a book has completely rocked your world, the first thing you want to do is tell the world about it (well, after jumping up and down, and searching the internet for fan art, of course). You want everybody else to see just how much of a gem this book is so that they can enjoy it, too.

You’d think these reviews would be easy to write but sometimes they end up being even harder than those for books you don’t like. I find that this is usually because, while I know I enjoyed the hell out of a book, the struggle is breaking down the exact reasons why. Why did I fall so completely in love with the MC, what was it about the plot that shocked me so much, why is this couple my new OTP? Still, these are definitely the most heavily featured types of reviews on my blog because they’re just so much fun to write.

You Hated It (1 Star that Sucker)

In much the same way as an overly positive reaction can push you to write a review, so too can a particularly strong negative reaction. Anger, disgust, frustration, disappointment – these are motivators behind many reviews, especially where the book is something you were led by others to believe was great. I find that I rarely run out of things to say with these types of reviews but the problem is ensuring you don’t cross the line from constructive to cruel. Critiques are a natural part of any art form but we need to be mindful that we’re criticising the work, not the person.

It’s an ARC

Yes, yes, I know this is an obvious one and pretty self-explanatory. The majority of the time when you have an ARC, you’ve been given it by the publisher for the express purpose of writing a review. Therefore, these books are almost guaranteed review picks. If it’s a book people are looking forward to, you’d be silly not to use the opportunity to get extra traffic to your blog. People want to know about this book and you get to read it before everyone else! Use it!

It’s Hyped/Popular

I can’t be the only one who sometimes chooses books to review on this basis (can I?). This reason only really applies, for me, to books that have just come out. If I’m reviewing a popular book that’s a little older, it’s probably for reasons 1 or 2 above. However, if the book is a new release and people have been waiting around for it, much like with an ARC, I’ll review it because I know it’s what people are interested in. Not everyone reads hyped books right on release, some people wait a few months. At least this way people know whether to bump it further up their TBR or perhaps let it linger on the bottom for longer.

Good but Flying Under the Radar

I have to say, I don’t read a lot of not so well known books and that’s a weakness of mine. There’s just so many popular ones that I constantly feel like I’m catching up! However, when I do read something that’s not as well-known and actually a pretty solid read, I’ll usually write a review.

There are so many big name books out there which have ended up being mediocre that I feel it’s important to get the word out when you find something good (or even great) flying under the radar. Give a less known author/book the credit they’re due, you may just help someone find a new favourite read.

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I’m sure there are book bloggers and reviewers out there with very different motivations behind their review picks. I mean, for all I know, there are some crazy superheroes out there that manage to write legible and amazing reviews for most of the things they read (HOW?? I spend like five hours on just one damn review). Still, this is at least an accurate summary of mine and I feel like they’re pretty reasonable. Recently I’ve been trying to increase my reviewing frequency so perhaps new motivations will arise as time goes on.

Why do you review the specific books you review? And what motivates you to read some else’s review?

 

Top 10 Tuesday: Binge-Worthy TV Shows

It’s been a while since I last did a Top 10 Tuesday post so I thought it was about time I dive back in. This week’s topic is actually a non-bookish one for a change and relates to movies or TV. Like anyone, I love a good binge-worthy series – the ones that are so consuming you just have to watch the next episode, and the next, and the next, to find out what’ll happen. You know it’s good when you’ve watched so much that Netflix is checking whether it should play the next episode or not. TV tastes vary quite a lot so this is a hard list to create and still appeal to everyone. For that reason, here are ten shows that I, personally, binge-watched like a fiend (of which there are MANYYYYYY).

Stranger Things

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Gotta love a bit of 80s nostalgia. Stranger Things feels like if Spielberg and Stephen King had produced a TV baby. This is a binge watch for me every time I see it, especially since each season is only 8 episodes long. I love the characters (Dustin and STEVE!) and I’m a big fan of shows involving supernatural elements. For those few people who haven’t seen it, Stranger Things is set in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. After 12-year-old Will Buyers goes missing, Will’s friends and family launch an investigation which suggests the explanation may be otherworldly in nature.

TV 2

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There’s just something about twisted crime pieces that sucks me in. It’s a mood, okay? Don’t judge me. Mindhunter follows two FBI agents as they interview serial killers in an attempt to learn more about the way these individuals think in the hopes it will allow them to develop better profiling techniques. The acting is great and the show just has this gritty and dark atmosphere that’s so addicting. It’s also produced by director, David Fincher & actress, Charlize Theron. It’s not an action-packed kind of show but if you’re into slower, more subtle entertainment, it’s a solid pick.

TV 3

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I had to include at least one Marvel show on the list. I really loved Jessica Jones‘s first season but because I’m behind on season 2, I’ve gone with Daredevil. The action sequences are amazing, the characters are well done, and Charlie Cox is some serious eye candy. A blind superhero who’s not really blind is also a very cool concept. When the second season came out, only work was able to drag me away from my Netflix account.

TV 4

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This one is a major guilty pleasure binge. I’ll admit, I enjoy watching The Bachelor when it’s on (however, the Australian version is a little less insane than the US) and Unreal was created by a former producer on the US Bachelor & Bachelorette. The show is set behind the scenes of a very similar fictional tv series called Everlasting in which we witness the antics on set and the absolute crazy lengths creators will go to in order to keep making high rating TV. It’s got strong female leads and some of it is just hilarious (if a bit dark)

TV 5

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Yes, this is a controversial one but having seen the first season twice and the second season once, I’ve binge-watched each time. If you weren’t already aware (where have you been??), the premise of the show is that following the suicide of student Hannah Baker, 13 cassette tapes she made are sent around to a group of people whom Hannah claims to be the reasons behind her decision to take her own life. I powered through season one because I had to know why Clay, the show’s protagonist, was included on the tapes and even then, I needed to see how it’d end. It’s a tough show to watch at times and definitely DO NOT if you have experienced depression or suicidal thoughts before. Otherwise, it’s deeply emotional, well acted and has some nice underlying messages about how we treat others.

TV 6

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This show is so British, it hurts (in a good way, of course). It’s a very quirky, dark-comedy – a little bit Wes Craven, a tad Quentin Tarantino, and massively odd, but it’s also really funny and a hell of a ride. There’s only one season so far (greenlit for a second) and it’s 8 episodes long, perfect for binging. The show revolves around two teens –  angsty Alyssa, who wants to escape her home life, and James, who thinks himself a psychopath and is set on murdering Alyssa. The two decide to run away and end up on a road trip full of crazy stuff including a paedophile, exploding car, and petrol station attendant called Frodo. I wasn’t sure how I felt at the start but it really does grow on you in a way you don’t expect.

TV 7

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Another crime series. I don’t watch many mass season crime shows these days, with every episode a different case. However, I do enjoy limited episode series with confined season long investigations. And because of the need to find out who did it and how, I tend to binge them. Broadchurch is a great watch. David Tenant (LOVE) and Olivia Coleman are absolutely fantastic and each of the three seasons is well written and fabulously filmed. The first season deals with the murder of an eleven-year-old boy and showcases the investigation, the impact the death has on his family, and the various personalities of people living in the small coast-side town.

TV 8

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Oh, man. Now, this is guilty pleasure town. Netflix recently put a few older seasons of this up and I’m addicted. I will honestly sit for hours and just watch episode after episode of people frantically sewing clothes into the late hours of the morning and bitching about each other behind their backs. Reality tv at it’s most mind-numbingly enjoyable.

TV 9

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BtVS is one of my favourite tv series of all time. Easy. I could watch this thing through 1000 times and still not be sick of it. Yes, it can be a little campy and the special effects are definitely on the dated side, but it’s such a great show and one of Joss Whedon’s best productions. The characters are wonderful and the show itself perfectly straddles action, horror and comedy with some romance thrown in. Watching Buffy and friends kick ass and save the world from vampires, demons and everything else creepy-crawly is one of the best ways to spend a night in.

TV 10

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While the revival is certainly questionable, the first five or so seasons of Gilmore Girls are one of my favourite things to binge. Every time I watch, I feel like I’m teen again, watching with my mum. It’s such a comforting, heartwarming and fun show that never ceases to make me smile. Watching mother and daughter, Lorelai and Rory go about their lives and witnessing the crazy hijinks of the tiny town they live in is definitely my idea of bingeable entertainment. It’s also funny and ridiculously quotable. Oy, with the poodles already!

What are your favourite TV shows to binge watch?

And That’s a Wrap: August Edition

August comes to a close. Hello, September. It feels like every time I sit down at my computer it’s time to write another wrap-up. This was a good month in terms of the number of books I got read vs books I piled onto my TBR but not so great posting wise.

Books I Read

Some of you may have seen my post at the beginning of the month regarding my plans to undertake the NEWTs magical readathon hosted by booktuber, G @ Bookroast in August. I am very happy to say that I passed the readathon with flying colours and finished off the month with a total of 10 books! Overall I attained 4 NEWTs and my “grades” were:

  • Arithmancy – Outstanding
  • Transfiguration – Outstanding
  • Charms – Outstanding
  • Defence Against the Dark Arts – Acceptable

I largely stuck to my set out TBR (go me!) except for one exchange which was Sharp Objects for The Upside of Unrequited. Here’s what I read:

August Reads

P.S. I Still Love You – Jenny Han ★★★★

After the ending of the first book, I was so glad to finally get the cute Lara Jean and Peter reconciliation I wanted. That is until they split up again. Pffftttt. Still, I enjoyed this one. The series is fluffy and sweet in typical YA contemporary fashion, and I love the characters. John Ambrose was a really nice addition and I think this is another love triangle where I actually wouldn’t have minded either candidate. Who knows, later in life John and LJ may end up together. I do wish that there had been a better resolution to the game of tag and some sort of catharsis regarding LJ and Gen’s divide though.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean – Jenny Han ★★★.5

So the plot in this one is pretty minimal – it’s all ‘which college should I go to’, can our relationship survive, wah, wah, wah. But eh, I had a pretty good time anyway. Peter was a bit of a pain at times which made me a little cranky. Me: Come on, boy, you love the girl so don’t hold her back!  Then there was a moment toward the end when I was like: you two better not break up. I did not sit through three books for you to crush all my hopes and dreams. Luckily, all ended up well and the last iteration of the relationship contract was super adorable. Major awwwwws were made.

A Promise of Fire – Amanda Bouchet ★★★.5

I went into this one thinking it’d be more fantasy-fantasy than romance-fantasy so I was a little surprised. I ended up kind of guilty pleasure enjoying it though, even though it has a few problems. I mean, the story starts because the male lead kidnaps the MC and forces her to stay with him so they can use her magic = bit of a dodgy foundation for a r/shp. Still, the world building is okay, the side characters are good, the MC is kick-ass and the romance is steamy enough. Hopefully in book two there’ll be some more non-romance plotlines, the MC will stop ending up in life-threatening injury situations all the time, and she’ll finally tell everyone her damn secrets.

The Cheerleaders – Kara Thomas ★★.5 | Review

I was a bit disappointed with this one but I have a feeling I went in with too higher expectations for some reason. I was really hoping for an intense and twisty mystery but most of it fell flat for me. I didn’t really like how the mystery was resolved, especially since we’d been led to think it might have been bigger in scale than it was. Also, a lot of the characters felt quite underdeveloped. I did enjoy the friendship between the MC, Monia, and her classmate, Ginny though.

Circe – Madeline Miller ★★★★

Miller’s writing continues to be fantastic. At times, Circe almost feels like a collection of short stories with linking material to fill in the gaps. Some “stories” I found more interesting than others. There were times when I was really, really engaged and others when, weirdly, I was almost bored. I found this book really sad a lot of time, poor Circe had a bit of a rough life, so I was glad it ended on a more positive note. The characters were very strong and Miller did a great job of weaving together the mythology.

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas ★★★★★

Fantastic. The writing, characters, themes – everything was A+.

Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn ★★★

After getting stuck into the HBO series, I couldn’t resist giving the book a go too. Just like Flynn’s other novels, this one’s far from happy. Every character has secrets and a dark side. Although it’s technically a mystery, the focus is more on the people than the murders. I liked it but I feel as though I would have enjoyed it more had I not accidentally found out who the killer was prior to the end. Still, both of the twists were good and Camille was a complex and sympathetic protagonist.

Soulless – Gail Carriger ★★★.5

For the first part of this book I was very unengaged and almost just going through the motions BUT after the first hundred pages I actually ended up having a fairly good time. It’s no masterpiece but it’s a fun urban fantasy with a spunky heroine. The romantic element is a bit out there but still pretty amusing. The writing is very tongue in cheek most of the time and I may read the sequel if I’m in the mood for something light, sexy and involving werewolves & vampires.

The Plastic Magician – Charlie N. Holmberg ★★.5 | Review

This was a very light and simple book. It’s almost like watching a Disney movie in written form – the good guys are oh, so good and the bad guy is basically a moustache-twirling villain. The plot is very straightforward – point A to point B and the romance is kind of sweet but forgettable. Overall, it’s an okay book, I was just a little bored. There’s nothing unexpected or bold, it is what it is.

Ash Princess – Laura Sebastian ★★★★

I knew to keep my expectations in check with this one, it’s nothing original, and surprisingly, I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would! I didn’t mind Theo as a protagonist – yes, she has a lot of back and forth and emotional turmoil but it’s pretty fair under the circumstances. I’m looking forward to seeing her come into her true badassery. The magic system was pretty interesting as well so I’d like to find out more in later books. I think there’s some decent potential here and I’ll probably continue with the series.

Books I Bought

After last month’s debacle in purchasing willpower, I only ended up with 6 new books on my shelves this month and two of them I read shortly after buying. At this point, I’m pretty proud of myself and I’m sure my bank account is thanking me, too.

August Buys

Blog Posts

It was a bit of a weak month for me posting wise. I have a feeling I’ll be in a need of a break from blogging and bookstagram soon but we’ll see. Other than the two reviews linked above, here are my posts from August:

Book Tags

The Greek Mythology Book Tag

Page to Screen

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Let’s Talk

What Makes a Great Book Cover

Miscellaneous

New Additions to My Goodreads To-Read Shelf 3#

WWW Wednesday | 29.08.18

Personal

Music

Palo SantoI love popping on a bit of music while I blog and this month I’ve had two albums on repeat – Palo Santo by Years & Years and the new Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again Soundtrack. I’m really loving this direction for Years & Years – it’s darker and more intense, with some great beats. The Mamma Mia soundtrack is just a nice, happy album to put on. You can never go wrong with a bit of ABBA, really.

TV

Image result for sharp objects hboI haven’t watched a lot of TV this month. For some reason, I’ve been gravitating towards movies a bit more. No clue why. However, I did get massively into the new HBO adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects. It’s a super slow burn kind of mystery and most of the characters are demented in some way, but I’ve enjoyed it. Amy Adams is a fantastic actress and I loved seeing her on the small screen. Also, the music choices in this series are amazing!

Related imageI’ve also finally gotten back into Poldark. My sister and I watched the second half of season 3 and have now gotten stuck into season 4 after picking up the DVDs over the weekend. I’d forgotten how much I love this show. The scenery is stunning and even though the plot can be a bit melodramatic, I’m still so here for it. Having Aidan as eye candy isn’t bad either…

Life

Not much to report here, as usual. Work has started to pick up a little, but not as much as I’d like. I’ve been continuing to take driving lessons every week in the hope that I’ll eventually get my licence (it’s only been like NINE years).

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And…that’s a wrap!

How was your August? What was your favourite read?

WWW Wednesday | 29.08.18

It’s time for another episode of WWW Wednesday or as I like to say, ‘Ashley repeats stuff you’re going to find in her monthly wrap up at the end of the week in order to pad out a very weak blogging month’.
As usual, this meme, hosted by Taking on a World of Words, requires you to answer three simple questions: 1) What did you just finish? 2) What are you currently reading? and 3) What will you read next? Let’s dive in.

RF

IMG_5277The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician 4#) – Charlie N. Holmberg

I finally read my ARC e-copy of The Plastic Magician! It’s been quite a few months since I was given it – oops! – and considering how small it is, it’s taken me a while to finish because I’ve been reading it purely on my phone during open inspections (I work for a real estate agency). I found this one a sweet, light read. There’s not much depth to the plot or the characters which meant I was a little bored in some sections. The MC is cute though and I liked the scientific approach to magic. Full review.

Image result for soulless gail carrigerSoulless (Parasol Protectorate 1#) – Gail Carriger

Weirdly, I decided to read two English set, period books at the same time. I was similarly bored at the beginning of this one but it picked up after a while. It’s no great work of literature but I had fun – it’s an odd blend of urban fantasy, mystery, steampunk, and romance. The heroine is witty, there’s a very flamboyant vampire friend, and an amusingly gruff, werewolf romantic interest. May read the sequel if I find time – they’re only short.

CR

IMG_5275Ash Princess – Laura Sebastian

The plot of this one isn’t exactly the road less travelled but I’m enjoying it just the same. I don’t mind the characters and although there’s a love triangle of sorts, it’s not pissing me off too much. Theo’s a decent protagonist as she’s reasonably strong. I’ll probably read the sequels because I want to see her burn everything down and laugh over the ashes. I’m also quite interested in the magic system with its gods and links to certain stones. Hopefully I’ll get to find out more in later books.

IMG_5273The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

I was so keen to get stuck into this one but the first part of the book is really jarring because it’s not what I expected. The book starts off with you being given basically no information – you’re literally dumped in the shoes of a confused MC with no memory– and it takes a while before you begin getting some explanation. I think it’ll definitely improve a lot now that the MC has a better idea of what he has to do (solve a murder by experiencing the day over and over again in the bodies of different party guests). I’m certainly intrigued!

UN

This is a tricky one. I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll be finished Ash Princess today as I have less than 100 pages to go and TSDOEH is too big to carry around on public transport. I’ve asked my sister to pick my September TBR (I’ll post it at the end of the week) so I’m wondering whether I should just get stuck into that or pick something short to read in the meantime.

IMG_5274Option 1: Start September TBR – The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid)

I didn’t get around to this one as part of my August readathon but lucky for me, my sister thought it sounded cool and added it to the September list. I’m looking forward to it, I think it’ll be a great read. Preparing myself for emotional turmoil though.

Option 2: A Quick Re-Read – Shadow & Bone (Leigh Bardugo)

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I read this one last year in search of more Six of Crows magic. It was fine but nothing fantastic. However, with all the talk of King of Scars, I recently purchased Siege and Storm so that I’d get a chance to properly meet Nikolai Lantsov. I’m a bit rusty on some of the details (except that I find Mal boring and the Darkling amazeballs) so I’d like to do a reread before tackling book 2.

What are you currently reading? And which book do you think I should read next?

Love Ashley