August TBR: NEWTs Magical (Harry Potter) Readathon 2019

It’s August! And that means it’s time to once again tackle the NEWTs Magical Readathon! This readathon is hosted by booktuber, and huge Harry Potter fan, G at Book Roast. The readathon is based around the NEWTs exams taken by Hogwarts students in their final year of school. This readathon follows on from the OWLs readathon held earlier in the year. You are certainly able to do this readathon without having done the OWLs but I feel as though it’s more fun if you have.

As I mentioned during the OWLs readathon, this year G introduced magical professions into the mix. Basically, you pick a wizarding career and attempt to complete the listed subjects to the required levels to qualify for that profession. During the OWLs I set my sights on the Hogwarts professor career. However, since then (and in my typical fashion) I’ve reverted to my original choice of Auror (I completed the requisite OWLs subjects to go for either).

So, in order to meet the requirements for an Auror, I need to complete 9 prompts. Eek. Tough, but not impossible. Below is my TBR for the month with the prompts I’ll be completing for which subjects. Two things – first, prompts work in a tiered system and second, a handy guide:

  • ‘O’ – Outstanding Grade – complete 3 prompts
  • ‘E’ – Exceeds Expectations Grade – complete 2 prompts
  • ‘A’ – Acceptable Grade – complete 1 prompt

Charms is a subject I expect to get through pretty quickly, largely because I’ve got a YA contemporary and a comic to read for it. Still, I expect both of these to be super enjoyable. The prompts and my picks are:

  • A: A gorgeous cover – LETTERS TO THE LOST by BRIGID KEMMERER
  • E: A comic/graphic novel/manga: SAGA VOL. 4 by BRIAN K. VAUGHAN & FIONA STAPLES


This is my biggest challenge subject as I need to complete all three prompts to make it as a badass evil wizard catcher. I think I’ve picked some solid reads for the first two to get me through but for some bizarre reason I’m having trouble finding something I want to read for my Outstanding prompt…Might need to wait and see what I find/floats my boat a few weeks in once I’ve completed stages 1 & two for the subject.

  • A: Black under the dust jacket – SORCERY OF THORNS by MARGARET ROGERSON
  • E: The first to mind off your TBR – RECURSION by BLAKE CROUCH
  • O: A book by an English author or with an English setting – UNDECIDED

Just the one prompt to fulfill my Herbology requirements but this is one of the books I’m most looking forward to reading this month.

A: An audiobook or book with a green cover – WILDER GIRLS by RORY POWER

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Two prompts for Potions. One of my picks may prove a challenge for me as I’m not usually much of a classics reader but I wanted to do something a little out of my comfort zone for a change. If it all goes badly, I’ve got something light and fun to follow it.

  • A: A friend’s favourite – TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES by THOMAS HARDY (I can thank my friend Megsy for this one and for giving me a few options to pick from too).
  • E: A cover in your house colour (Hufflepuff) – THE BRIDE TEST by HELEN HOANG

Last but not least, it’s Prof. McGonagall’s favourite subject and again only the one prompt to do (and an easy one at that).

A: A book with LGBTIQA+ representation – GIRL MADE OF STARS by ASHLEY HERRING BLAKE

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And there you have my August/readathon TBR. I’m really excited about this. The last few months have been a bit of a slog at points and it’s probably why I bought a lot of new books to create this TBR. I’m feeling good about my chances of completing everything, even though it’s more books to read in the space of a month than I’ve been managing lately. Cross your fingers for me and wish me luck! I have a feeling I’ll need it.

Anyone else out there magical readathon-ing with me?

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And That’s a Wrap: June ’19 Edition

Six months down, six months to go. I’m now almost exactly halfway towards my reading goal for 2019. Up until the beginning of last week, I was about 3 weeks behind on my challenge which was stressful to put it mildly, especially since I’ve consistently been ahead of the game up until this month. Still, I’m pushing through. Let’s have a look back at June.

This month was a light one for me in terms of the number of books finished. I had a slow start to the beginning of June and my motivation to read was fairly low for some inexplicable reason (even though I was reading books I was enjoying). It’s improved a little in the last few weeks but we’ll have to see how July goes. The books I managed to finish this month were:

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor ★★★★.5 | Review

Strange the Dreamer was a re-read for me. I knew there was no way I’d be able to tackle Muse of Nightmares without doing one. As expected, the book was just as good as the first time around. I love the world building, characters, and absolutely stunning writing – Laini makes magic with words. While the plot is slow, I really enjoy it and the book definitely goes out with a bang.

Muse of Nightmares – Laini Taylor ★★★★

While I didn’t enjoy this as much as Strange the Dreamer, I still think it’s a really good book. I appreciate how Laini was able to expand her world and story in an unexpected direction, however, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the resolution to that expansion. It was great to get some more backstory on the Mesarthim and answers to the questions from STD. The book treats its characters well (plus introduces compelling new ones) and I like that it still manages to keep smaller roles in the picture.

All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven ★★★.5

This is a tough one to review. For the most part I found ATBP mildly enjoyable. It has some really lovely moments and the characters are okay (even though Finch does seem a little ‘manic pixie dream boy’). The book also puts a spotlight on some heavy topics like suicide, abuse and mental health – even though I’m questioning the way these were handled at times. However, the book does feel a bit emotionally manipulative and even with the author drawing on her own experiences, the ending still feels like something you’d find only in a novel. This was an up and down read for me which made scoring it hard. I have to say though, Jennifer Niven’s author’s note is an easy five stars.

Magic for Liars – Sarah Gailey ★★★

Harry Potter meets Noir. The concept for MfL is great and I was quite excited about it. In the end though, the execution could have been better. Despite dealing with some emotional things, the characters and story didn’t connect with me as much as they should have. There are a few plot elements that feel kind of thrown in without much real purpose and I wasn’t so keen on the ending itself. However, I did enjoy the way magic was handled (a little more scientifically) and the general mystery aspect (even if it did take a bit of time to warm up).

The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss ★★★★★

It’s been about four months and by George, I’ve finally done it. And what a fabulous ride it was. I’ve had this book on my to read list for about 8 years(!) and kept putting it off for fear it’d be slow and disappointing. While I can understand why it may not appeal to some people, that wasn’t the case for me. I thoroughly enjoyed reading TNotW at a leisurely pace – the characters, the incredible and extensive world building, even the writing itself, it’s all fantastic and I understand why it’s considered a masterpiece of the fantasy genre.

In June I added four books to my physical TBR. NOS4A2 and Recursion were both bought using birthday money (and credit on my Dymocks membership card – win).

This month Book Depository also had a good sale going on and FINNNAAALLLLYYY the hardback edition of Winter was discounted. I’ve been waiting a very long time for this. There was a happy dance involved before I hit the order button.

Magic for Liars was an ARC approval but weirdly enough I was only approved for it on release day. Still, I’m not going to complain about a free copy of a book I was interested in reading.

I meant to read Beartown in June but with my lacking motivation for the past month, that just didn’t happen. I’ve started it today and I hope it’s as good as people have said. Last month I bought Legendary and in order to refresh my memory, I’ll probably do a re-read of Caraval some time in July as well. As for the rest of this month’s reads, it’s a bit of a mystery. We’ll see how I feel as the weeks progress.

MUSIC

Songs I had on repeat in June were:

  • Don’t Throw it Away & Rollercoaster – The Jonas Brothers (Happiness Begins)
  • Never Really Over – Katy Perry
  • You Need to Calm Down – Taylor Swift
  • Outta My Head – John Mayer & Khalid
  • Star Maps – Aly & AJ

TV & MOVIES

I watched less TV & movies in June than usual but what I did watch included:

  • Stranger Things S1 & S2 (rewatch to prepare for S3 in July)
  • Started HBO’s Chernobyl mini series
  • Started Veronica Mars (rewatch to prepare for S4 in July)

LIFE

  • This month both my sister and I celebrated birthdays – we’re 4 years and 3 days apart. They were both very low key this year. Twenty-six is a…littttttle bit scary but I guess time progresses even if we don’t want it to.
  • At work we’ve been preparing to move to a brand new office which we finally did just a few days before the end of the month. It’s going to take some getting used to but it’s good to have a bit more space.
  • I’ve been wanting to get back into bookstagram lately but boy, finding the right light during winter is hard. One minute the sun is there and the next, poof, behind a cloud. *sigh*

And that’s a wrap on June. Not the best month reading or blogging wise (except for my finally finishing The Name of the Wind, which I’m psyched about). Here’s hoping for a better month in July all around.

WWW Wednesday | 12.06.19

We’re getting towards the middle of the month so I thought it might be a good time for reading check-in in the form of WWW Wednesday. Hosted by Taking on a World of Words, WWWW asks the big three questions: what have you recently finished, what are you currently reading, and what’s up next?

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

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As I mentioned in my May wrap up, I went into this month doing a reread of Strange the Dreamer. Luckily for me, it was just as good the second time around. As someone who’s not usually a fan of flowery descriptions, I still can’t get over just how gorgeous Laini’s writing is. Some of her phrases… they’re like poetry. The world building in this one is also a high point for me and I love how the story somehow manages to have this whimsical tone at multiple points whilst also dealing with darker themes like trauma. Having finished this, I’m now finally ready to tackle…

Muse of Nightmares – Laini Taylor

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Yep, finally. I bought this book right after its release and like usual, here we are, ages later. Muse of Nightmares is way too pretty to be sitting unread. So far, I’m about 200 or so pages in and enjoying it. I like the addition of the new characters and I’m interested to see where their storyline goes. It’s nice to be getting some clarification on certain things from book one and I’m glad each of the side characters from Strange the Dreamer have continued to get some time in the limelight, even with everything going on with Lazlo, Sarai and Minya.

Magic for Liars – Sarah Gailey

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Weirdly enough, I was approved for an ARC of this one on the day it came out. It was kind of a head scratching moment. Anyway, I’ve started it, but it’s still very early days. I like the concept for this one – a non-magical PI trying to solve a murder at a school for mages – so I’ll have to see how it plays out. At this point I’m certainly intrigued enough to keep going. Fingers crossed it’s a good read and it doesn’t take me a million years to finish it.

All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven

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Next up I think I’ll be opting for something a bit shorter after two slightly longer reads which means it’s time for a YA contemporary. I’ve been hearing good things about All the Bright Places for years (it even won a Goodreads choice award back in 2015) so it’ll be nice to see what the fuss is all about, especially with the adaptation coming out…at some point. Hopefully I’ll end up in the majority opinion wise. It’s always so disheartening when I’m not *sigh*.

I hope June is progressing well for you all and that you’re finding plenty of books to add to your top ten books of the first half of 2019!

And That’s a Wrap: May ’19 Edition

Another month is over and the next one begins. As usual, that means it’s time for a wrap up. Overall, May’s been a pretty decent month for reading, book purchases and well…life, I guess. Let’s review, shall we?

Verity – Colleen Hoover ★★★★.5

Unlike Colleen’s other books, Verity is a thriller and it’s a dark one at that. But god, was this addictive. Once I started, I had so much trouble putting it down – I just needed to know what happened. While it does involve a romance, there’s a lot more to the plot than that. You may guess some of the twists but it’s enjoyable all the same and the ending is far from clear cut.

One True Loves – Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★.5

Having only read Reid’s later work, I was interested to see how her early romantic contemporaries compared. One True Loves is a decent read. There’s real emotion behind it and the characters are easy to sympathise with, even if the premise is unbelievable. If you’re looking for some chick lit, this is a fairly enjoyable pick. Unfortunately for me though, it’s not something I’d consider memorable or be keen to reread in future.

Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston ★★★★★ | Review

You guys have heard me gush about this book enough this month. It was sweet, sexy, and funny. It’s massively LGBTI positive and the characters are great. I don’t usually read much in the way of new adult but if there are more reads like RW&RB out there, maybe I should!

Slayer – Kiersten White ★★★.5

As I mentioned in my recent Buffy book tag post, I’m a huge BtVS fan so there was no way I was going to be able to resist this. The world building is great and it’s clear how much White adores Buffy. Unfortunately though, the plot is slow for long stretches and predictable. Also, on numerous occasions the characters’ actions are very frustrating. Yet, things certainly pick up in the last third or so and I found that Nina as a protagonist grew on me as the book progressed. There were also some nice emotional moments. If I’m in the mood, I may pick up the sequel when it releases.

Aurora Rising – Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman ★★★★

Amie and Jay are back with more space adventures! I was massively excited for this release and while I enjoyed it, I can’t say I loved it. The characters are likeable but after everything, I still feel like I don’t know them very well and haven’t properly connected. For this reason, the ending didn’t really hit me as hard as it should have, but points for being unexpected. The world building was really good and I’m looking forward to spending more time in this version of our galaxy. The plot certainly has momentum, but I’m not too sure how I feel about the choice of the antagonistic element here. Still, I’ll definitely give the next book a go.

After – Anna Todd ★

Yeah, yeah. I knew this would be trash, I was just interested in finding out what kind of trash. Plus it was something easy to read on my trip to Melbourne. Not only is the romance extremely toxic, there’s basically no plot (it pretty much just alternates between Hardin & Tessa fighting and having sex) and the writing itself is pretty darn awful (has Anna Todd ever heard of contractions before? Everyone in this book talks like a robot). How this was so popular, I have no idea.

Four books this month, two of which I read during it, so not so bad at all! Originally I had no plans to continue with the Caraval books but with Finale having just been released and it popping up EVERYWHERE, I caved and bought Legendary.

I’ve wanted to read the His Dark Materials books for years now and just never really gotten around to it. This month I had an extra credit on my audible account so I thought why not now? Especially with the new HBO series releasing later this year.

Book Memes

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Adaptations I’d Like to Watch

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Books Published in the Last Ten Years

WWW Wednesday | 15.05.19

Book Reviews

Again, but Better – Christine Riccio

Middlegame – Seanan McGuire

Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

Book Tags

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer Tag

I’ve already begun my reread of Strange the Dreamer in preparation to finally read Muse of Nightmares which has sadly been sitting on my shelf for far too long, being it’s gorgeous orange self. I have no ARCs to read in June and there aren’t any new releases I’m anxiously waiting around for either so that means I can actually read some books off my existing TBR – this month I’m thinking Beartown and All the Bright Places.

Movies, Television & Music

As you’d expect, I went to the movies to see Aladdin this month. Sure, there are some flaws but on the whole it’s a fun way to spend a few hours. Major props to the costume department and set designers who did a phenomenal job. Also, does anyone else have a huge girl crush on Naomi Scott, or is it just me?

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In May, my two TV obsessions were Killing Eve (my Top 10 Tuesday list pushed me to finally watch it) and The Bold Type. Killing Eve was different from what I expected but so good. It somehow has this weird blend of drama and dark humour, plus Jodie Comer is amazing. The Bold Type is additive as hell and I’m absolutely in love with it. While it can be a little heavy handed on some issues, I really like the humour and characters. I’m almost finished season 2 now and having a blast.

Music wise, Aly & AJ are still playing through my speakers on repeat but have been joined by Marina’s new album Love + Fear, some Carly Rae Jepsen and a bit of Betty Who.

LIFE

This month I took a three day trip to Melbourne to finally see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! Ahhhhh! I was so excited as I’ve been wanting to see this for for almost three years now. There was a point where I even thought I’d have to go all the way to London for it. I still have a few issues with the story (as I did when I read the screenplay) but the production itself is absolutely wonderful. How they manage to make all the magic happen on stage, I’ll never know. I also had absolutely no idea that they’d completely redone the theatre itself – new carpet, chairs, wall coverings, windows, all designed especially for this show. Crazy. Still, my friend and I had a great time. So worth the money and effort.

And that’s a wrap on May. As always, I hope you all had a wonderful month and wish you the best for the next one. What was your favourite book of May? What are you most looking forward to reading in June?

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.

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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?

De-Cluttering: Culling the Hell Out of my Goodreads To-Read Shelf

So. This week, I took a quick glance at my Goodreads to-read shelf and low and behold, it’s siting at 122. One-hundred-and-twenty-two books. Like, WHAT. How in the good lord of all things books did this happen? There cannot seriously be 122 books that I am ridiculously keen to read. I’m sure there are other people out there with shelves more than three times that big, but for me, that number is looking just a litttttttllleee bit ridiculous. And, as you can tell from the title of this post, that means it’s time for a….CULL. Basically, may the odds be ever in your favour (aka. may you have a blurb that still holds some interest for me and an average star rating that doesn’t resemble a train wreck).

First up, I think I’ll be taking a page out of the book of some other bloggers by separating out unreleased books from my to-read shelf into a separate shelf all on their own. This should cut down the number a bit.

…okay, it cut 21. Just 21. Damn it.

Well, I guess we better get stuck in then. This list ain’t going to reduce itself. Time to say goodbye to…

Three Dark Crowns – Kendare Blake

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I was pretty keen to read this once upon a time but since then I’ve increasingly lost interest. Based on the things I’ve heard about it and the sequels since, I get the feeling I’ll find it another average and forgettable read. I wanted political intrigue, backstabbing, awesome magic, and family drama, but it seems super slow and about 80% romance. *sigh*.

All the Crooked Saints – Maggie Stiefvater

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I think I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I’m not much of a fan of Maggie’s books. They’re not bad, but I always find myself extremely indifferent to them. I’ll willingly admit that I bought this one because I was 1) excited to find a release out in Australia before the US, (b) it has a stunningly colourful cover, and 3) I was trying to push myself to love Maggie’s books as much as everyone else does. I honestly have no desire to read this so I think it’s time to cut it (& donate the physical copy).

Truly, Madly, Guilty – Liane Moriarty

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I bought this one at the peak of the Big Little Lies craze. I honestly thought I wanted to read it, but now, nope. Not in the slightest. Having read reviews of it recently, people report that it’s extremely slow, the big reveal is highly disappointing, and that the characters aren’t interesting enough to make you want to keep going to the end. Basically, I’m out. Cull & donate.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy – Mackenzi Lee

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Yes, I know. I’m sorry, okay? I liked the first book, really I did. It was fun and the characters were cute, but there were also moments of drag and frustration. I just don’t feel at all compelled to read the sequel anymore. I can’t explain it. I mean, it’s got kick-ass Felicity, more European adventures, pirates, and the reviews are good! AND YET. No motivation for some time now. *sigh* Please don’t hurt me. Cull.

From Twinkle with Love – Sandhya Menon

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I’ve mentioned in the past that I wasn’t that keen on Menon’s first book, When Dimple Met Rishi. Still, I added this one to my TBR, drawn in by the idea of another diverse read and a super cute cover. Since then, the book has ended up with a 3.66 average GR rating and a few of the things I’ve heard about it haven’t exactly floated my boat – an annoying protagonist, a love square, reliance on tropes, letter style format, and that the book reads quite young. I think I’ll give it a miss.

An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason – Virginia Boecker

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I think I may have added this book on a whim after seeing it pop up quite a few times, buzz words lighting up my brain – assassins, historical, theatre, enemies to lovers. Nowadays, I’m like, it looks okay but I feel as though I’m once again setting myself up for an average, forgettable read. The average rating is at 3.69 – not awful but not amazing either. So while this would probably be a decent book, I think I’ll pass for now.

The Crowns of Croswald – D.E. Night

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This is another book that’s fallen victim to time. The excitement and motivation was there once but it’s slowly up and disappeared. Looking at TCoC now, there are a few things that send up warnings. First, the book has been shelved as both middle grade and YA by readers. I’m not much of a MG reader so the fact that this either is or reads like MG, turns me off a bit. Second, it’s less than 300 pages. For fantasy that does make me worry about depth of story and characters. Either way, it’s time to let go.

The Eye of the World – Robert Jordan

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This book has been on my physical and virtual TBR since about 2014 and I’m still yet to pick it up. I think it’s the fact that it’s an enormous book and the beginning of an ENORMOUS series. I also happened to buy this before I heard that Jordan was considered very similar to Tolkien, an author who’s style I wasn’t so big on. The fact that the series supposedly declines in quality further down the track also isn’t much of an encouraging factor. I feel like one day I’ll read it (when I have plenty of time and patience), but I don’t see it happening for while. Until then, it’s time to take it off.

The Scorpio Races – Maggie Stiefvater

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Insert the same reasons here as for All the Crooked Saints. I’ve been wanting to read The Scorpio Races for a long time and have almost bought it quite a few times now. But, I feel like the combination of my lack of enthusiasm for Maggie’s books and that I’ve heard this book isn’t as action packed as I was hoping, is sending me reaching for the x button. I think I have to give this one a miss for now.

The Disasters – M. K. England

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I know why I added this one – it sounded vaguely similar to Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman which I am dying to get my hands on next month. I think I was maybe trying to find a way to sate my excitement? Also, the cover is cool and purple. I’ve heard since that the majority of the book doesn’t actually take place in space, the plot is a bit repetitive and superficial, and that the characters aren’t given enough depth. Who knows, I may completely change my mind but for now, goodbye.

Phew. Things are looking much healthier than they were before. This is manageable. I can deal with this. I’m sure there’s probably more I could cull but I’m constantly worried I’m going to get rid of something that I’ll actually end up wanting to read and enjoying later on. Ugh. This will do for now.

How many books are currently on your Goodreads To-Read Shelf? Is it tightly regulated or getting a bit out of control? (MAKE ME FEEL BETTER ABOUT MYSELF).

Have you read any of these books? Did I make the wrong decision? *panics & flails*

April TBR: OWLs Magical Readathon 2019

Some of you may remember that last year I took part in both the OWLs and NEWTs magical readathons hosted by the lovely G at Book Roast over on Booktube. Just like G, I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and although I don’t participate in many readathons, I can’t resist doing these ones. This year G has gone all out and has written up an entire booklet devoted to wizarding careers. Each have their own OWLs and NEWTs subject requirements which adds a fun, extra layer to the whole readathon experience.

If you’re interested in taking part, you can find the full list of subject prompts for the readathon here, and the book of wizard world careers here (it looks absolutely amazing!)

MY WIZARD CAREER

Picking a career for this year’s readathons has been a challenge! There’s just so many fabulous sounding professions, but of course, I have to think about what I’m reasonably capable of achieving. I can usually manage about 6 books a month without any hectic scrambling so I’ve got two professions in mind depending on how I end up tracking.

1) Auror – This only requires 5 subjects and sounds right up my alley if I were to actually be a part of the wizarding world.

2) Hogwarts Professor – This career requires 7 subjects and again, seems like something suited to me. If I’m progressing well with the number of books for the month, I’ll swap over to this instead as the subjects are highly flexible and allow for a cross over with the Auror requirements.

PRIORITY TBR

Now onto my TBR for the month. For the Auror career, I’m placing high priority on Defence Against the Dark Arts, Charms, Herbology, Potions and Transfiguration. I’ve added books for some of the other prompts just in case I have extra time and am able to move up to Hogwarts Professor. If so, my specialty subject will be Charms because teaching kids to levitate stuff sounds like fun.

Defence Against the Dark Arts

Reducto – Book or Series Starting with ‘R’

Radio Silence – Alice Oseman

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When I first saw this prompt, I thought it’d be one of the easiest ones on the list. How wrong I was. Turns out, R isn’t as popular a letter for titles as I thought. Not wanting to do a reread just for the sake of it, I ended up going to the bookstore and hurrah! I spotted Radio Silence. I’ve been wanting to read one of Alice Oseman’s books and now I have the perfect opportunity. This book has had some great reviews from my Goodreads buddies so I’m really looking forward to it!

Transfiguration

Sprayed Edges or a Red Cover

Saga, Vol. 2 – Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

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I read the first volume in the Saga series as part of a previous magical readathon and really enjoyed it. I ended up buying the next two volumes shortly after but, as usual, never got around to reading them. These are perfect for bulking up your readathon results so I’m super glad one of the prompts fit. Time to get back to Marko, Alana & Hazel’s adventures.

Potions

Next Ingredient – A Sequel

City of Lost Souls (Mortal Instruments 5#) – Cassandra Clare

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Time to press on with my The Mortal Instruments read/re-read. After getting through CoFA, I’m now finally onto a book I haven’t read. I’m not sure how keen I am though. My sister didn’t exactly give CoLS a glowing review and I am beyond over Jace and Clary’s melodrama, but for Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabel, I’ll push through. Well, that and because, as I’ve said many times before, I WANT TO READ THE DAMN DARK ARTIFICES like everyone else on the planet.

Herbology

A Plant on the Cover

It Ends with Us – Colleen Hoover

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Thank god, finally a prompt that works for one of the prioritised books on my existing TBR! As you can see, this book features a bunch of crushed flowers on the cover so that works for the prompt. I featured this book on my recent Top 10 Tuesday Autumn TBR post so I really hope I actually get to it (outlook seems good). As I’ve mentioned, it’s supposed to be a good romance read with a decent amount of substance and emotion. It’s not overly long either which is great for a readathon.

Charms

Age Line – An Adult Book

Middlegame – Seanan McGuire

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I was granted this ARC a little while ago now but as we were told not to publish reviews until at least 2 weeks before release (which is in May) I’ve been holding off. With only about a month to go now, I think it’s time to get stuck in. However, I’m a little worried about the fact it’s over 500 pages long and that it may hold me up a bit. Then again, it’ll be an e-read, so maybe it will be okay. The vague (non-full review) comments on this book have been great, meaning hopefully it’ll be so good that I simply race through in the blink of an eye!

BONUS TBR

Arithmancy

Work Written By More than One Author

Always Never Yours – Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka

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Another book from my existing TBR, yay! That means it’s cute contemporary time. As I mentioned in my Autumn TBR Top 10, I’m super keen to read this sweet, fluffy read. And fitting with the prompt, it’s written by two authors – a husband and wife, so adorable. I think this’ll be a quick, easy read which should help maintain my momentum, especially towards the end of the month.

Muggle Studies

A Contemporary

What If It’s Us – Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

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As I’ve mentioned a million zillion times, I’ve been putting this book off for a ages so it’s about time I finally read it. However, this subject isn’t a priority for me with my chosen career so it’s unlikely I’ll get this far. Poor What If It’s Us, it’s always so neglected. I’ll get to you eventually, I promiiiissseeee!!!

History of Magic

Published at least 10 years ago

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

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I was originally torn as to which King book I wanted to do for this one, but having finally decided to try my hand at an audiobook and give myself something to listen to when I go for walks, I downloaded Pet Sematary. I have no idea if I’m capable of listening to the entire thing during the month (it’s like 15 1/2 hours?). At least this one isn’t an essential subject and regardless of when I finish, if I feel like watching the new adaptation (I don’t usually do scary movies but can’t resist King adaptations) I’ll be ready for it.

Ancient Runes

A Retelling

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein – Kiersten White

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Annoyingly, I read the only retelling I had on my purchased TBR in March (A Curse so Dark and Lonely) right before I saw the prompts for the readathon. Now, of course, I have to buy one if I do this prompt. At this point, it’s looking like Elizabeth Frankenstein will be my pick because I’ve been thinking about reading it for a while, it’s short, and, for something different, it’s not a fairy tale retelling. It also looks a tad dark which you guys know I’m always drawn to.

And that’s my ambitious TBR for April 2019! I’m hoping that if I put in a little extra time here and there, more than I usually do, I’ll end up with a good result much like I did in 2018.

Are any of you taking part in the OWLs 2019 readathon? If so, what profession are you aiming for?