And That’s a Wrap: April ’19 Edition (+ OWLs Magical Readathon Results)

As I mentioned in my TBR post for April, I participated in the OWLs Magical Readathon hosted by G @ Bookroast again this year. This time around we were able to tailor our subject choices to achieve certain wizarding career choices and I decided to go for either an Auror or Hogwarts Professor (depending on the number of subjects I managed to get through). While my blogging efforts may have been abysmal this month, my reading numbers were on track.

I managed to get through 6 books and 1 comic this month which I’m quite pleased with. I completed each of the core subjects I needed to cover for either of my chosen careers and covered enough subjects in total to do the Hogwarts professor career if I want to. Guess we’ll just have to see if I can keep it up when the NEWTs readathon rolls around.

Herbology: A Plant on the Cover

It Ends with Us – Colleen Hoover ★★★★

My first Colleen Hoover book and a great pick too. Colleen’s writing style is really easy to get on board with. She takes a heavy topic like domestic violence and manages to perfectly express the emotional complexity of such a situation in all its shades of grey. I really liked the characters and feel like they were given a good degree of depth. The book ends in a really nice way as well. I will 100% look into reading some of her other work.

Arithmancy – Written By Two or More Authors

Always Never Yours – Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
★★★★

Is this a perfect read? No, but is it enjoyably fluffy? Very much so. I mean, there’s a cute theatre related story involving a production of Romeo & Juliet, as well as a sweet, biracial romantic lead. We’re already ahead. While the lead, Megan, is frustrating (& young) at times, I did like the fact that she was confident in her own sexuality, learnt from her mistakes, and that she and Owen had fabulous chemistry (I ship them HARD). The plot was sort of on the melodramatic side at times but not enough to really turn me off. Also, for a co-authored book, the writing is very smooth (and in a few moments quite funny). I’ll definitely look into reading their next book – If I’m Being Honest.

Defence Against the Dark Arts – Reducto: Book/Series starting with ‘R’

Radio Silence – Alice Oseman ★★★★

This book felt quite different from a lot of the other YA contemporaries I’ve read. The characters have great depth and are really well developed, plus the story just feels very real. There’s LGBTI representation all over it, but at the same time the focus of the book is on a friendship (& a really sweet one at that), rather than a romance which I freakin’ loved. There are also a lot of themes e.g. finding yourself, dealing with difficult family situations, and that there are multiple pathways to success in life, that I think younger readers will really relate to and benefit from. There are moments where it does feel a little long yet, overall I think it’s a good read.

Potions – Next Ingredient: A Sequel

City of Lost Souls – Cassandra Clare ★★★

Better than City of Fallen Angels but still nowhere near as enjoyable as City of Glass. That’s where we’re at with this. To be fair, I ended up enjoying this more than I thought I would, however there were still some majorly annoying elements. The frustrating Clary-Jace angst was still there, but because Jace is kind of mind-warped for most of the book, it’s far more bearable than CoFA (that’s wrong for me to say, isn’t it? Eh.) Maia & Jordan are boring and there’s quite a lot of nothing plot sections in the middle, but at least my little Sizzy Ship is starting to set sail. If only Alec and Magnus were doing as well…

History of Magic – Published at Least 10 Years Ago

Pet Sematary – Stephen King ★★★.5

If you were to look up the term ‘slow-burn’, you would 100% find a reference to this book. While a major moment does happen about two thirds of the way through, the s*** does not properly hit the fan until the book’s almost over. This was actually my very first audiobook and Michael C. Hall is an absolutely amazing narrator. While the book is slow, I found that it didn’t bother me a great deal as I was focused on what it was saying about ideas like death, grief and family. However, once again, King lets me down on the ending. Not a bad read but not something I’ll reread (re-listen to?) either.

Charms – An Adult Book

Middlegame – Seanan McGuire ★★ (ARC)

The blurb for this one had me really excited to get stuck in, but in the end the book didn’t live up to expectations. Confused is how I would describe myself through most of this. I kept feeling like things would finally make sense and…they didn’t. The concept is interesting, I just couldn’t get on board with the execution. The plot is really slow and while the characters were okay, overall I just wasn’t that phased by them. The constant time jumps and re-writing of history (aka the events I’d previously read) didn’t exactly help. Honestly, by halfway, this was struggle town to finish, but at least the momentum increased in the climax/ending.

Transfiguration – A Red Cover

Saga Vol. 2 – Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples ★★★★.5

This comic series is so bizarre and wacky but I kind of love it. The art is wonderfully done and the dialogue is fabulously funny at points. Even the story itself is a great blend of sci fi, action, and romance. I’m kind of disappointed in myself for waiting so long to read vol. 2, in fact. Good thing I have vol. 3 already ready to go because that ending…

Only three books to add to my TBR this month. The Near Witch I bought because I attended a V. E. Schwab signing and thought I should probably buy her new/first release for her to sign. Red, White & Royal Blue is a Netgalley approval and I’m so excited to read it because early reviews have been great! Verity I’ve been intrigued by for a while but because it’s not a wide publication, I ended up buying it on my Kindle. Truth be told, I’ve already finished it (in about two days) and it was great. Addictively dark.

It was a very, very sad blogging month in April but I think I needed a bit of a break. Next month may be light on the post count as well but there should at least be more than this month. Here are the extremely small number of posts from April (excluding my TBR post):

Aside from Verity, which I’ve already finished, here are some of the things I plan to tackle in May. I started One True Loves yesterday so that’s already under way. Aurora Rising comes out this coming week and of course I’m going to drop everything to read it. I also plan to continue with the Saga comic series. It looks like a good month ahead!

As I mentioned above, I went to a Victoria Schwab signing this month! AHHHHHH! I honestly didn’t think I’d ever get to meet Schwaby unless I flew to the states for some kind of event and then, next thing I know, she’s doing signings in Australia. Wooooo. At the Sydney event, she was interviewed by Australian fantasy author, Garth Nix (he wrote Sabriel). It was a short little Q&A but quite funny and nice. Among other things, Victoria talked about her crazy writing process, dog, love of Edinburgh, and current project – The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue (which sounds amazing). She’s such a sweet person and arrived wearing a cat ear headband, so there’s that. Plus she had no problem signing the mountainous stacks of books many people brought (me included).

TV & Music

This month I’ve started watching Gotham on Netflix. They’ve definitely done a lot of things different from what you’d expect of a simple prequel of the Batman comics but I guess that’s okay. Keeps things interesting. I’ve also got back into watching Grey’s Anatomy. My sister and I are now on season 7 – I cannot believe we’ve seen that many seasons so far and there’s still like…8 to go. Crazy. Even when it’s not amazingly good, the drama is so addictive.

Deluxe

I’ve been majorly replaying Aly & AJ’s new music this month. It’s got such a great sound and I’m loving the 80s synth/electric vibes. Plus the new video for their song Church is stunning. I used to love their music back in the day – it’s nice to see it grow and change as I have. Also, we’re finally in the new Taylor Swift era. YAAAASSSS. I am unashamedly a big T-Swizzle fan and it’s so exciting to be getting new music. Me! isn’t the best song she’s ever produced, but it’s definitely fun and happy, and I love that it’s a Brendon Urie collab.

And that’s it from me for April! As always, I hope you had a good reading month and I wish you an even better one for the month ahead. What was your favourite book of April?

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Top 10 Tuesday: Books on my Christmas List (Or Will Just Buy Myself Anyway)

This particular Top Ten Tuesday topic is actually scheduled for next week, but as I kind of already did this week’s topic two weeks back, and by the time it’s correct to do it I will have already opened my presents, I thought, why not do it now instead? Here are ten books I’m hoping to find under my Christmas tree this year (and which, if not, I’ll just go buy myself anyway).


It Ends with Us – Colleen Hoover

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Skyward – Brandon Sanderson

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One True Loves – Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Tempests and Slaughter – Tamora Pierce

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I was Born for This – Alice Oseman

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Archenemies – Marissa Meyer

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Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson

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The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang

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The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski

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The Dark Vault – V. E. Schwab

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Honestly, ten is likely a bit much to receive in one go, (or so the logical part of my brain tells me), but hopefully I’ll get one or two to add to my physical TBR. I’m really excited regardless of which I receive because they all look like awesome reads. Some of them have featured on other lists this year so this might finally be the chance for me to actually get and read them!

What books are you hoping to receive for Christmas this year?