September 2016 Wrap-Up

My reading progress hasn’t been the greatest in the last few months, but I did manage to read three books in the month of September. I liked all of them quite a lot, especially Colleen Hoover’s latest book, which resonated with me a lot. I do feel like all books I’ve read lately were very good and interesting and enjoyable, but not great. I’m hoping I will find a new favorite in October. It’s been too long.

Forever Doon (Doon #4) by Carey Corp, Lorie Langdon 3/5

Forever Doon is the last instalment in the Doon series – a magical story with a fairytale quality to it. I fell in love with the setting (Scotland!), seeing the beautiful country, as well as the magical kingdom of Doon through the narrators’ eyes. I liked the characters a lot – they are funny, no-nonsense, delightful and whimsical. I feel like the plot kind of dragged, though – the evil to be conquered kept coming back in every book, and it felt a bit too much. Overall, I enjoyed this series, but I am glad it is finally over.

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover 4/5

Colleen Hoover’s books always have this unputdownable quality to them – even when I don’t like or have a problem with something that is happening, I just can’t stop reading. It Ends With Us was no exception. I would’ve liked for it to be a different kind of story, but life doesn’t work like that, does it?

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas 4/5

Lately I find it hard to rate Sarah J. Maas’ books – they are probably the most hyped and well-loved books at the moment, and they are being rated insanely high. I do not want to be influenced by other people’s opinions, but it is getting impossible. That said, I rated Empire of Storms 4 (3.75) out of 5 stars. At this point I am debating whether my enjoyment of the series still outweighs all the problems I have with it. It probably does, since I did enjoy Empire of Storms a lot. The plot is very intricately woven, very political, full of twists and turns that might be expected, but still make for a great story. The world building is also improving, introducing readers to new places and people. Empire of Storms is a great continuation of the series, and I will definitely be continuing to anticipate the next book(s). I only wish the story was less confusing and more consistent.

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June, July and August 2016 Wrap-Up

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare 4/5

I am so happy that I reread the first three books before continuing with this series!

The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2) by Renee Ahdieh 3/5

For some reason, I was a little disappointed in and a little bored by The Rose & the Dagger. Having said that, I do like how the story wrapped up – it was a worthy conclusion to a great (at least in the terms of the first book) story!

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare 5/5

City of Heavenly Fire was a beautifully crafted conclusion to the series; I enjoyed it a lot, and am now really glad that I did not give up on The Mortal Instruments,

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher 3/5

Thirteen Reasons Why is an emotional story about a girl that has ended her life, leaving behind a set of tapes addressed to all the people she feels were in some way or another responsible for her decision. I listened to this on audiobook, and I must say it was a wonderful reading experience. The story has two narrators: a girl, Hannah, and a boy, Clay. Hannah has left audio tapes and Clay is one of the people to receive them. Because Clay keeps commenting on everything Hannah says on the tapes, it feels like a conversation between the two of them. And I think that it would not feel as such when reading. Plus, both the narrators’ voices are wonderful and emotional, which only adds to the experience.

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1-10) by Cassandra Clare 4/5

I really enjoyed reading these short stories; my favorites were:

The Whitechapel Fiend: Since I loved the prequel trilogy so much better than The Mortal Instruments, it was such a treat to glimpse into Tessa and Will’s lives in a flashback! Plus, this Jack the Ripper re-imagining was absolutely brilliant.

Nothing But Shadows: I loved the flashbacks so much! I loved James’ story and how it correlated with Simon’s.

The Fiery Trial: I loved the atmospheric descriptions of New York in the beginning and the overall mysterious feel of the story.

Born to Endless Night: One of the most adorable stories.

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare 5/5

I was honestly surprised by how much I loved Lady Midnight – I did not expect that to happen. I loved Emma as the main character; I liked the plotline, the drama. I could have lived without some of those annoying miscommunication/forbidden love tropes, but they did make for a good story!

The City of Mirrors (The Passage #3) by Justin Cronin 4/5

The City of Mirrors is a worthy conclusion to this brilliant series that is bittersweet, sad, uncomfortable, but optimistic, praising the humanity’s ability to survive and endure, which is a great message.

After You (Me Before You #2) by Jojo Moyes 3/5

I am very glad that I did not let reviews influence my reading After You, because I ended up enjoying it as much as the first book. To me, After You felt even more emotional and dark. And I loved finding out what happened to Clark after we have seen her last.

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma 5/5

Forbidden took me by surprise. I was not very comfortable with the premise, but I ended up enjoying this book immensely, and it is now definitely one of my favorites this year!

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North 5/5

The Sudden Appearance of Hope was my first Claire North book. I have heard the best things about the author, and I am so happy that I picked this up. It left me with a lot of thoughts and quotes that I adore. I loved this!

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout 4/5

Say what you will, but Jennifer L. Armentrout writes absolutely unputdownable books.

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas 4/5

I know that many people did not like ACOTAR, but I actually did not have much problems with it. Having said that, The Court of Mist and Fury was brilliant! I liked how it went even darker and more emotional. I loved how Feyre dealt with everything life threw at her, and I like her even more now. ACOTAR, for me, is actually more interesting and exciting, and sexier that Throne of Glass.

 

 

Bout of Books 17 Read-a-thon

I hereby declare my intentions to participate in my favorite read-a-thon, yay!  It’s high time Bout of Books rolled around, because I have been slacking and not reading as much as I would like during the summer. I have somehow ended up with reading three books simultaneously, so my goal is to finish ’em all. No pressure. Thus, my TBR at the moments is as follows:
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  • Armada by Ernest Cline
  • The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team
Monday
  • Pages Read: 140
  • Books Finished: 0

I have been continuing reading The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout, and read a whooping 140 pages in Monday. Go me! I am enjoying this book a lot – I like the main characters, their struggles are somewhat relatable, and there are not many misunderstandings and miscommunication, which I usually hate in YA books. Plus, Jennifer L. Armentrout always manages to write her books in a way that makes them very, very hard to put down, even though they are usually of a guilty-pleasure kind.

Bout of Books Book-to-Movie Challenge

My favorite book to movie adaptation:

My least favorite book to movie adaptation:

Tuesday

  • Pages Read: 131 (Total: 271)
  • Books Finished: 1

I finished The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout, and I must say I liked it a lot. I did have a few problems with it (e.g., I would have liked to know more about how Mallory and Rider ended up with their foster parents for 10 years, whether or not Ainsley and Hector became closer, etc.), but it was a fast and enjoyable read. I also continued reading A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. It is taking me a long time. I really do not like how Sarah J. Maas suddenly makes the good guys bad and the bad guys good, though. The love interest of the first book turns into an ass in the second, and if this series is anything like Throne of Glass, then it is a sure bet that in the later books the latest love interest will turn into a monster, as well.

Wednesday

  • Pages Read: 40 (Total: 311)
  • Books Finished: 1

Wednesday was a busy day, so I only managed to read 40 pages of  A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas before bed, but those were very hot 40 pages. Cannot wait to find out what happens next.

Thursday

  • Pages Read: 97 (Total: 408)
  • Books Finished: 2

I finished A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas on Thursday, and gave it 4 stars. Sarah J. Mass’ books are so hyped that I find it difficult to distinguish whether I actually really liked it, or I am being influenced by everybody else’s opinion (I’m just going to have to sleep on it). Anyway, I did enjoy the book a lot! Some parts were really good, some parts – very hot, while some others bored me to tears.

Friday

  • Pages Read: 95 (Total: 503)
  • Books Finished: 2

On Friday I continued reading Armada by Ernest Cline. It is my first Ernest Cline book, and I must say that I enjoy the author’s writing style a lot. Kind of reminds me of Jim Butcher’s and Andy Weir’s writing, too – and I love both of them!

Saturday

  • Pages Read: 144 (Total: 647)
  • Books Finished: 3

On Saturday I finished Armada by Ernest Cline and gave it 3/5 stars. I enjoyed the book a lot, even though I did have a couple of issues with it. I really liked the main character, Zack, but even though there were a bunch of side characters, they weren’t flushed out really well. We didn’t really get to know them, and I would have liked to. I also started reading Forever Doon (Doon #4) by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon. This series is a kind of guilty pleasure read, though I must say I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to. I’m pretty sure it’s the last book in the series, and I am really glad about it, because I want to know how it ends and be done with it.

Sunday

  • Pages Read: 0 (Total: 647)
  • Books Finished: 3

Wow, Sunday was a total fail reading-wise. I did have a fun outdoors-ey day, so all is good.

Wrap-Up

During Bout of Books 17 I read a total of 647 pages. It isn’t a lot (at all), but I am pretty happy that I managed to finish all three books I have been reading simultaneously. That helped me keep up with my Goodreads challenge, which is a bonus. Bout of Books is my favorite – can’t wait for the next one! Hope every one of you who’s stumbled across this post had a wonderful reading week, as well. See you next time!

May 2016 Wrap-Up

I didn’t thing my having read two books in April justified a wrap-up, especially since both were re-reads (City of Bones & City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare), so I am now back with my May wrap-up. May was an awesome reading month – I’ve finally finished re-reading the first three Mortal Instruments books, and started reading the other ones, which I have never actually came around to picking up. I also started Shades of Magic series (?), since they’ve been sitting on my shelf for ages, and all is well in the reading world.

One with You (Crossfire #5) by Sylvia Day 3/5

Crossfire series started off very hot and dark and intriguing, and went downhill with every book. Although I enjoyed One with You a little bit more than the previous two books, both of which I rated 2/5, this was not the conclusion I was hoping for. A couple of plot points that were introduced in this last instalment were never mentioned or hinted to before and made absolutely no sense to me, which I found to be very annoying, because I feel like it is just lazy writing in order to reach a certain page quantity. Also, so many things were left unresolved, and I really don’t care for it. As much as I grew attached to Eva and Gideon, I am glad their story is over (though it should’ve been over two books ago, don’t you think?).

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare 4/5

I didn’t think I would ever re-read these books and continue on with the series, but Shadowhunters TV show changed my mind. I didn’t want to pick up where I’ve left off and start reading the fourth book, since I’ve read the first three years ago and didn’t remember much, so I picked them all up once again. I was very surprised, because I enjoyed them much more than the first time around! This time I decided not to dwell on continuous teen angst and tedious tropes, and noticed that the writing is actually quite humorous and lively, and that the plot is very action-packed and politically-driven, which is my favorite kind.

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab 3/5

I liked A Darker Shade of Magic a lot! Though the start of the story was very slow and confusing, the pace did pick up in the second half, and I could barely put the book down. I’ve never read anything by V.E. Schwab before, and I find that she is a really great storyteller. Slow and confusing is perfectly understandable when you have to introduce the reader to four different Londons and a complicated magic system. I feel that it is a strong beginning to a potentially very interesting and intriguing series.

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas 4/5

I wanted to refresh my memory before picking up A Court of Mist and Fury, so I also re-read ACOTAR in May. And although it’s only been a few months since I’ve read ACOTAR the first time, there were a lot of things I didn’t remember and some things I didn’t catch before. I thought I liked Feyre before, but this time she annoyed the hell out of me, though she did redeem herself in my eyes when she started to make smarter decisions, which I appreciate.

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab 4/5

I loved to get to know more about elemental magic, and I loved seeing characters going their separate ways. The plot of A Gathering of Shadows was mostly focused on a magic tournament whose goal is to basically reassert the power of rulers. And as per usual, the most interesting things are going on behind the scenes. I also enjoyed little flashbacks to events that happened in the four months since our main characters saw each other last. I loved that Lila has become a real, not self-proclaimed, pirate. The ending was heartbreaking and made me feel for Kell so much! And I can’t wait to read the next one!

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare 4/5

City of Fallen Angels kind of felt like the first book in a new series, which was actually kind of nice. New plot points, new struggles, new stories, new big bads! This series is ridiculously action-packed, and it is getting harder and harder to put these books down.

 

Bout of Books 16 Read-a-thon

One of my favorite readathons is here again! Since April was a very, very bad reading month, I am really hoping to get back on track with the help of Bout of Books. Sign up and read along with me! As usual, I don’t have a set TBR, or a TBR, for that matter. Right now I am reading A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, and I plan to finish it. And then I’ll just see what I feel like reading. So many great books have come out recently! I am excited, are you?

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Monday

  • Pages Read: 63
  • Books Finished: 0

I am almost done with A Darker Shade of Magic – I have less then 100 pages left. Though the start of the story (the first half of the book, let’s be honest) was very slow and confusing, the pace has finally picked up and I could barely put the book down (I did have to sleep and work and do lots of other stuff that is not reading).

#insixwords

Bookworm. Carefree. Curious. Foodie. Explorer. Wanderluster.

ADSOM_IG

Tuesday

  • Pages Read: 155 (Total: 218)
  • Books Finished: 1

155 pages! Now that’s more like it! On Tuesday I finished reading A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, and gave it 3/5 stars. I liked it! I feel that it is a strong beginning to a potentially very interesting and intriguing series. I also started to ‘reread’ A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Mass on audiobook (also, I have a new appreciation for audiobooks, as I’ve managed to listen to 60+ pages while on my 7k run/doing dishes/doing my makeup and getting ready to go out!). I need to refresh my memory, because I want to start reading the sequel as soon as I receive it (I’ve pre-ordered it ages ago, but BookDepository only sent it out at the end of last week). All in all, I’am very happy with my progress!

ACOTAR

Wednesday

  • Pages Read: 178 (Total: 396)
  • Books Finished: 1

I am very happy with my progress at the moment. On Wednesday I continued reading A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and started A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. I am enjoying both books, but rereading ACOTAR I am finding Feyre ridiculously annoying and dull. A Gathering of Shadows has started slow like the prequel, but I still like it – V.E. Schwab is an amazing storyteller.

Thursday

  • Pages Read: 146 (Total: 542)
  • Books Finished: 1

I’m slowly making my way through both A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. I can’t believe the readathon is halfway through! I’m happy with the amount of pages I’m reading every day, but I wish I’d read more (#bookwormproblems) 😉 I’m enjoying the books I’m reading a lot, though! Fantasy, man. Although it’s only been a year since I’ve read ACOTAR, there are a lot of things I didn’t remember and some thing I didn’t catch before. And Feyre becomes less annoying towards the middle/end of the book, which I appreciate.

Friday

  • Pages Read: 70 (Total: 612)
  • Books Finished: 1

Usually, people have more free time toward the end of the week, but for me it’s the opposite – less and less reading time with every day. I don’t think I’ll finish both my current reads by the end of the week, but I’m still proud of myself for choosing reading over other activities during the readathon. And the further I get in ACOTAR, the more I want to read the sequel! A Gathering of Shadows is amazing, too. I’m very intrigued by the magic tournament in Red London.

Saturday

  • Pages Read: 36 (Total: 648)
  • Books Finished: 1

Saturday was very busy due to tons of fun, weekend stuff, so I’ve only read a few pages of A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab before falling asleep. On the bright side, if it weren’t for the readathon, I probably wouldn’t have read at all, so I’m happy! (:

Sunday

  • Pages Read: 226 (Total: 874)
  • Books Finished: 2

Yay! On the last day of Bout of Books 16.0 readathon I finished my reread of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, and I couldn’t be happier about it, since I’m pretty sure the sequel will get here on Monday.

Wrap-up

During Bout of Books 16.0 readathon I read 874 pages and finished two books: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I also started A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. I am quite happy with my progress, even though this is the least I’ve ever read during Bout of Books. As always, I can’t wait for the next readathon! See ya then!

March 2016 Wrap-Up

I have finished 6 books in the month of March, three of which – in the last week of March. That was The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski, which I simply devoured. I have not been this invested in a book, especially YA one, since forever. Now I wish I could unread it, so I could read it once again with fresh eyes.

Tatiana and Alexander by Paullina Simons 4/5

I feel like The Bronze Horseman trilogy gets better with every book. I enjoyed Tatiana and Alexander a lot. I loved the flashbacks to Alexander’s childhood; Alexander as a child was hilarious, clever, and full of irony and snark. I also loved seeing how Tatiana builds a life for herself and her son in New York, her struggle of starting over. The historical aspects of this book are beautifully written and incredibly interesting.

The Summer Garden by Paullina Simons 4/5

The Summer Garden is my favorite book in the trilogy due to it being the most character-driven of the three, dealing with the postwar ordeals and struggles, a distance that grows between people who have been through too much, starting a whole new life, and learning to live it.

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard 3/5

I did not enjoy Glass Sword as much as the first book. I think my rating is closer to 2.5-2.75. The first half of the book was outright boring, though the pace did pick up later on. Nothing about this book is particularly good and compelling, and all in all, I was disappointed with the sequel. However, I do think I will continue on with the series, because I did like the first book, so I will wait to make up my mind about the direction the story is taking after the next one.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski 5/5

I. Can’t. Even. I did not expect to like The Winner’s Curse as much as I did, especially because I have not liked most YA fantasy books I have read lately. But this surprised me. It was politically-driven, intriguing, and unputdownable. I loved the characters, because they did not have the usual YA traits that I hate. They are clever, passionate, kind and humane. The affection Kestrel and Arin felt for each other is the most beautiful thing I have ever read about (except Outlander, because nothing can compare to Claire and Jamie’s relationship, though Kestrel and Arin come close) – no insta-love, no unnecessary angst. Just a wonderful, slow-burning thing that you cannot help but root for.

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski 5/5

The Winner’s Crime was excruciating in the best possible way. I love schemes and political games, and Marie Rutkoski did them justice. YA books usually have THE WORST miscommunication tropes that make absolutely no sense. The Winner’s Crime succeeded in incorporating miscommunication, lies and secrets in a way that not only made perfect sense, but could not have been done any other way. My heart broke into million pieces and I loved every second of it.

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski 5/5

When I received my copy of The Winner’s Kiss, the first thing I did is check how long it was. Oh, so long, 484 pages, yay! And still I read it in one sitting… It’s just that good. The key players play the political game like nobody’s business – they are cunning, intelligent and clever, and always have something hidden up their sleeve. Court intrigues, lies, half-truths, plots and schemes make for a very exciting story, while the romance between the main characters waters down the negative, it being packed with warmth and gentleness, genuine care for each other, beautiful and intimate friendship, ability to read the other person like you’ve known them your whole life, attempts to save each other from hurt and pain by putting aside your own happiness, honor and morale.

February 2016 Wrap-Up

February flew by, but fortunately, it was filled with some wonderful reads. I did get a little tired of YA Fantasy, so I finally read some contemporaries and started an adult historical fiction series I wanted to start forever.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell 3/5

Like all other books by Rainbow Rowell that I have read (Landline and Eleanor & Park), Attachments is spellbinding and unputdownable. I came to care and root for the characters only a few pages in, because they are truly beautifully written and relatable. Their day-to-day struggles hit very close to home and you can’t help but hope that everything will be okay, because then there is still hope for you. It is a wonderful story, and I enjoyed it immensely. The only problem I had with it was its improbable resolution. Though it is supposed to be a late 90’s rom-com, I was expecting the ending to be better done.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo 3/5

Leigh Bardugo it an incredible author and writer. Six of Crows was exactly what I was hoping for – characters with complicated, dark backgrounds; beautifully done storytelling; and promises of sinister things to come. I can’t really say I love heist stories, which may be why I didn’t enjoy Six of Crows as much as I enjoyed The Grisha Trilogy. But I love the Grisha world, the characters, their dynamics, and their banter.

Never Never: Part Three by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher 2/5

Never Never: Part Three is most likely the worst ending ever ever. I enjoyed the story up until the point where the “mystery” is “resolved”. I was really hoping for something more intricate and complicating, but now it seems to me that reading Never Never was a waste of time.

The Rose Society by Marie Lu 3/5

I am not quite sure how I feel about The Rose Society. I like the setting, the writing, the characters – to an extent, but this story doesn’t seem to stick with me. I read it, I enjoyed it, but if somebody asked me what’s it about, I wouldn’t know what to say.

Magnolia by Kristi Cook 4/5

I am a sucker for small town settings, and Magnolia did not disappoint. Because some of the books I’ve read lately, I’ve begun to associate YA with silly teenagers doing illogical things, and I am happy to say that Magnolia is not like that at all.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes 4/5

Me Before You is a captivating and emotional story with not only enticing and controversial plot points, but also with intelligent, humorous and beautiful writing and endearing, charming and lovable characters. It is a story about coming of age of sorts – it is about Lou becoming the person she was supposed to become. I loved seeing how much her character had grown toward the end – she did become her best self thanks to Will.

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons 4/5

I had very conflicting thoughts on The Bronze Horseman. On the one hand, I found it excruciating, exhausting and irritating; one the other – it never felt boring and I couldn’t get enough of it. It is full of contradictions – a beautiful, yet horrifying setting; repetitive writing that can’t help but mesmerise and get the point across; annoying, yet essential characters with flaws that you can’t help but hate, because they are so relatable. I am amazed at how a book that irritated me so much brought me so much enjoyment!