September Wrap Up and October, November & December TBR

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September 

This will be my last Wrap Up/TBR post for quite a long time, because in a few weeks I’m leaving the UK and flying to Beijing to begin a 10 month+  travelling trip of a lifetime with my boyfriend!!! SO EXCITED!!!

September’s been a great month for reading and in general. My boyfriend and I have been super lazy for most of it, enjoying some time at home before we move out at the end of the month. I’ve also read quite a few awesome books, some of which are definitely my favourite reads of the year.

AND I reached my Reaching Challenge goal of 50 books! And then surpassed it by 2 books (well, almost! I’m currently reading book no.2, heh :D). So now I’m hoping I might get to 60 books by the end of the year.

 

 Books I Read

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I was so excited when this was released because I love Patrick Ness. He’s such an inspiring person and writer. When I found out Release was partly a homage to Mrs. Dalloway, I was even more excited. I love the idea of a book set in one day, and Ness does a wonderful job portraying Adam in that one day. I loved Adam’s story. It was rich in detail and relatable to anyone who just wants to be loved unconditionally. It was heartbreaking and hilarious and just a beautiful read. The problem with this novel, however, is that alongside Adam’s story, there’s also this strange mystical story involving a ghost, a deer and a Queen. I didn’t understand or enjoy those parts. While I respect Ness for trying something different, it just didn’t work for me. But, seriously, read this book for Adam’s story (it’s A+) and who knows, maybe the other part will affect you in a different way.

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Eliza and Her Monsters is incredible. I’ve never read anything like it. Francesca Zappia is one of the most unique YA writers, in my opinion. Eliza is a wonderful character. Her webcomic Monstrous Sea actually sounds amazing and I wish it was a real thing. I loved so much reading about her joy in creating it, as well as her struggles with it and, in relation, herself. Her relationship with her family, her online friends and Wallace were incredible and complex. I’m not even sure how to write about this book in a way that tells you just how incredible it is. So just read it!!

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This is the third and final of Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s YA standalones and I definitely enjoyed it, though it was very similar to the other two. My favourite thing about it was its links to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books world.

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Dreamology was good, but it’s not amazing. It had some moments that had me in stitches and some moments that made me smile. It had some moments that made me roll my eyes and get frustrated. It was entertaining and crazy (as a novel about a dream boy coming to life should be) and quite clever in it’s own way. It’s not the most memorable novel or one I’ll ever gush over. But it was entertaining and I really liked Alice and Max and Oliver. This is a good book for reading over a weekend and one to make you laugh, but at the end of the day it won’t be a novel I remember.

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This book was really interesting. I’d actually completely forgotten it was a verse novel when I opened it, but I’ve always enjoyed verse so I wasn’t disappointed. It’s very different to any other YA novel I’ve read. It’s unexpected. It’s like a little window looking into the souls of two characters. A small glimpse into their minds. Jess and Nicu are both great characters. I especially enjoyed Nicu’s perspectives of England/Western ways of life, as he was Romanian and new to the country. I can see that a lot of people might not enjoy this novel. It doesn’t have an incredibly meaty plot and you have to work hard to figure out what it’s really trying to say. For me, it was a insightful look at the lives of two teens and how they changed each other for the time they knew each other. And I think that’s pretty lovely and true to life.

c502df45b27c73ed0a932dbde2835271This book really does creep up on you. At first it just seems like a nice little YA novel about a main character, Suzette, her friends and family. But, as the novel delves further into the plot and into the lives of the characters, you realise how much more this novel is. It’s about so much, it’s about depression and sexuality and racism and a whole number of relevant issues. It’s diverse, but it doesn’t try hard to be. Which is so important in a YA novel. It’s heartbreaking and honest. I loved Suzette (Little) and I loved Lionel (Lion) and there were so many other great characters, though there is one character I didn’t really warm to  (her name starts with R).  It felt like a story about a real teenage girl struggling with her sexuality, finding her place and trying her hardest to keep her brother safe. A really great and touching story.

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I hadn’t planned on reading The Wind Through The Keyhole this month (I’d actually completely forgotten we owned it) but I’m so glad I did. It was so nice to step back into The Dark Tower universe again. I loved each of the three stories in this book within a book. The first a little snippet back with Roland and the gang, another the mystery of the skin-man set in Roland’s past and the third a story his mother used to tell him about a brave boy named Tim titled The Wind Through The Keyhole. It was such a good read, I really enjoyed it.

Aristotle-and-Dante-Discover-the-Secrets-of-the-UniverseRead my review of this incredible book here. Ari & Dante is now one of my all-time favourites. I loved it.

 

Currently Reading 

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I am absolutely loving this book so far. It’s beautiful. Really vivid and gorgeous writing and a story I love to sink into, one that’s rich with a balance of heartbreak and hope. When I’m finished, I’ll definitely write a proper review for this!

 

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I have a lot of books I’d like to read over the remainder of the year, though it’s so hard to know how much time/energy I’ll actually have for reading when we start our travels. Whatever the case, these are the novels I’d love to read at some point and hopefully I read some of them. I also have another list of books I would like to read but don’t own yet (so probably not until next year), which you can see here if you’re curious.

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And the rest of the Abhorsen/Old Kingdom Series…..

 

So, there you have it! I’m going to miss making these posts! What do you think of my reads/TBR? 🙂 🙂

 

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July Wrap-Up and August TBR

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July

July has been a great month! My boyfriend and I got couple tattoos (they look amazing!) and my Grandma arrived from Australia to visit me and her family that still live over here. It was so nice to see her and can’t wait til she’s back with us in August. It’s also been a great month of reading for me 😀 😀 As you’ll see below…

 

Books I Read

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So, the second book in Justin Cronin’s epic Vampire saga. Much like with the first book, it took me awhile to warm up. But, around a quarter or so in, I was pretty hooked again. My problem was that I wanted to read about the characters I already knew, rather than a new group of them, so I was a little stumped at first. BUT, and this is the important thing about this series, YOU HAVE TO KEEP READING. If you’re ever like me when you read these books, maybe feeling a little bored with some characters or whatever, just keep going! It all makes sense in the end and all falls into place so amazingly. The Twelve keeps you on your toes to the point you really have no idea what’s coming next. It’s exciting, raw and yep, a little bit terrifying. Brilliant read.

 

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I had absolutely no idea what I expected from the third and final book of The Passage series, I only knew that I’d sat next to my boyfriend while he was reading it and it made him so psyched, he couldn’t put it down. I read it shortly after finishing The Twelve and it took me a little less time to read than the others. I think it might be my favourite of the trilogy, though I can’t really pinpoint why. It really just bought the whole story into a whole, everything came together in a way that was unexpected, brave and clever. There’s a whole segment in this book that I didn’t expect to like as it was focused on a character we hadn’t really met yet (NO SPOILERS), but I actually thoroughly enjoyed it. I just loved seeing how everything panned out for the characters I’d gotten to know over the last few weeks. I can’t really fault this book as a finale, it’s pretty spectacular. Definitely think you should read this series if you’re at all interested in an enthralling story, raw characters and of course, vampires. And not one’s that sparkle or are much like anything you’ve probably seen before. I recommend this series to all :).

 

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The best thing this coming-out novel had going for it was humour. It made me laugh almost on every page. Noah is one funny guy! In some ways, I feel like the book was a bit too far away from my age group (though I can’t really be considered a Young Adult myself anyway anymore, even if I feel like I haven’t changed much since I was one), because some of it was a bit immature/dumb. But I guess that was part of the charm and part of Noah’s discovery of himself. I did really enjoy it overall. Noah’s Grandma is the best character beside Noah himself, and well, his relationship with Harry is pretty darn adorkable. A nice, easy little read :).

 

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Now, this was exactly the kind of feel-good YA contemporary I’ve been looking for. It made me gush and laugh and even get a bit weepy inside. Bailey is a great character. I couldn’t put the book down. I can’t say much else because I don’t want to spoil it, but if you’re looking for a fun book to read, this one’s it.

 

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I am a massive fan of Carlos Ruiz Zafon, so decided to read one of his three young adult novels, the first one he ever published. I enjoyed The Prince of Mist enough to want to check out the other ones, but I think the translation of this particular story got a little lost at times, so I couldn’t connect to it at times. It seemed the language was often over simplified. But, still, Zafon is a fantastic storyteller and he always manages to surprise me with his fantastic mysteries, so I can’t really fault him too much.

 

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I bought this on a whim for 99p on my kindle and soon after I noticed there’s a lot of hate on this book on Goodreads. Which, now that I’ve read it, I can understand but some of it I don’t agree with. People were slamming the main character, Molly, for never learning from her mistakes, but I feel like she had to make those mistakes to learn. Molly wasn’t very in touch with herself, which made it seem like she never knew what she was doing, but there are times that we are all like that. It’s very human to be that way, to have no idea who you are and to make mistakes and to hurt people when you’re simply feeling too much. I think Molly is an interesting, flawed character. I actually liked that this book’s not your normal Contemporary teen romance story. It also contains a good lesson about double standards, so props for that.

 

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Hands down one of the most raw and honest novels about sexuality and belonging I’ve ever read. I adored it. It actually made me cry. I want to write a proper review for this book because I think it deserves it, so hopefully I get some time to. Seth King isn’t always the perfect writer. There were times I thought Cole’s monologues rambled a bit and that feelings and ideas were often repeated. But King knows exactly how to get his points across and how to make you feel, deep in your heart. This is so worth the read and such an important story, telling to the world as it is today, the world that many of us don’t see. Read it.

 

 

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August

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June Wrap Up and July TBR

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June

I can’t believe we’re over halfway through the year already. It’s almost a whole year sine I moved out of my home in Australia to start a life with my boyfriend here in the UK. Unbelievable! June has been a wonderful end to that year and not a bad one for books, too!

 

The Books I Finished/Read

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I started this in May and finally finished it mid-June. My boyfriend read it together like we read it’s sequels The Shadow of the Wind and The Prisoner of Heaven. Though it’s the weakest of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series (SO FAR! I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THE NEXT INSTALMENT!!) and probably also the craziest and most confusing, I definitely enjoyed reading it and living inside Zafon’s head for awhile :).

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Speaking of living inside author’s heads, Neil Gaiman’s is one I have never encountered before in any shape or form. I have no idea how his mind works, it’s incredible and admirable. This book is insane. Half the time I had absolutely no idea what was going on and I’m still not sure if I liked it. It was fascinatingly weird. The TV series is even weirder! Definitely thought-provoking and original.

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I enjoyed reading the second Dark Artifices book loads, as I always do when I return to Clare’s Shadowhunter world. Some parts of Clare’s books I’m always happy to overlook (the too many love triangles, for example) because, overall, I just really enjoy the characters and the magic and the monsters and the drama (yeah, okay, so I do love the angst even if I don’t particularly like the triangle storyline). I love Emma and the Blackthorns and Kit and everyone who takes part in this instalment. It was so entertaining and heartbreaking. I cannot wait for the third book and then, many years away, The Wicked Powers! eeeek!!

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Emma Mills is a brilliantly creative, hilarious and touching writer. Sloane is a wonderful protagonist, she felt like a friend I’d love to have and that’s a great thing to find in a character. This was a lovely YA read and one I think is worth reading over several cups of tea on rainy days.

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I finally finished this mammoth of a book today, which I am quite proud of! I always find it such an accomplishment when I finish a book that’s over 600 pages long. My boyfriend has been begging me to read this pretty much since I turned the last page of The Dark Tower (his most beloved series and now mine as well), and I know before long he’ll be pushing The Twelve into my hands. Now, I wasn’t sure about The Passage at first. It took me awhile to really get into it, which is always how I first react to multi-perspective narratives, because I hate getting into a particular character and then them being taken away for various reasons. I have to say it wasn’t until about half-way through the book that I was really into the story that was taking shape, though of course there were many things about the first half I liked a lot. I found the longer I spent with certain characters, the more I loved the story. So much happens in this book, and it’s pretty insane, but so worth sticking with. Cronin is a crafty and clever writer and his characters are all spot on, even if I didn’t connect with all of them. In the end I was left wanting more, which is always a great sign and I can’t wait to find out what happens next, especially to my favourite characters.

 

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July

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May Wrap Up and June TBR

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May

I’m a little late posting this as I’ve been in Switzerland the last week. Had the most amazing time! We spent a week in a holiday home, lots of walking and a couple of hikes up to some peaks. It was beautiful! Besides the holiday, May has been a mixed month. I haven’t read as much as I planned, but hopefully I’ll read a lot more in June!

 

Book I Read

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I always wanted to read this since seeing the film years ago. The book certainly didn’t disappoint. It was fascinating and raw and I definitely recommend it!

 

Books I Started Reading

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I’m not sure if I’ll even continue with this book… I read almost half of it, but just can’t get into it. I don’t think I have the patience for it at the moment. As Flora suffers from short term memory loss, the book is slow and goes around in circles. While I commend the author for her interesting depiction of amnesia, I’m just struggling with connecting to Flora and her memory loss occurring every 10 mins really doesn’t help. But, who knows, perhaps I’ll pick it back up some other time!

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I’m very close to finishing this! I’m not finding it an easy read as it’s so strange and confusing, so it’s not a book I can read for hours a day. It’s taking me awhile to read. But I definitely enjoy it when I do read it and will preserver through the last pages before I get stuck into the new TV series 😛

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My boyfriend and I started reading this together on the plane to Switzerland and we’ve got about a quarter of it still to read! We had such nice, sunny weather on our holiday, so we didn’t spend a lot of time reading. Hopefully we’ll get to finish it in the next week!

 

Meant To Read

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Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get my hands on this book this month! Hopefully I’ll read it very soon, though I’m waiting to get my hands on a hard copy as I don’t want to buy this on my kindle or borrow from library. Really can’t wait to read it!

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I never had the chance to even start reading this book this month 😦

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June

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April Wrap Up and May TBR

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April

April has been a very quiet month for me, which has been nice in the sense that I’ve been able to do quite a lot of reading. Unfortunately, I didn’t get through all of what I planned to, but I definitely read heaps and some of them really good books, too :).

 

Books I Read

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This book was very similar in plot and content to Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything, except not as good. While I liked the main character Norah (she was very sarcastic and  clumsily charming, a combination that made me laugh multiple times) and enjoyed reading her struggles with Agoraphobia and OCD. Louise Gornall certainly does a good job representing mental illness in a creative way in this book. However, I felt the overall plot and flow of the book didn’t fit and I didn’t enjoy the romantic relationship, which I felt progressed in a way that didn’t really make sense. While I was reading this book, I just always felt there was something missing, I’m not sure what, but it made the book feel pretty unforgettable to me once I’d finished it. Shame!

 

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I really, really enjoyed this book! It’s wonderfully written and partly reminded me of I’ll Give You The Sun. Iris is a fantastic character, really unique. She has a dangerous obsession with arson, which is really interesting. I loved her interactions with her family, whether it was in getting to know her dying father or taking the piss out of her self-obsessed, frankly awful mother and stepfather. I also loved her friendship with Thornton, even though most of it was told through flashback (well, a lot of the book is in flashback, to be fair). It has a perfect ending and is just a really unique book told by a really unique voice in Iris and Jenny Valentine. Definitely worth the read!

 

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I thought I was going to love this book, as best friends turned to lovers is kind of a guilty pleasure plot of mine. However, this book just fell flat. It didn’t feel believable enough. Unfortunately, it barely made me root for the pair to get together. Sure, it had some cute bits and it wasn’t so bad that I forced myself to finish it, but it was nothing heart-stopping or amazing. The characters were fine, the plot had its moments though it was pretty predictable (and not in a way that often makes me feel triumphant in these kinds of YA contemporary books), but sadly it just fell through for me.

 

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My boyfriend bought me this way before the film came out and it was a lot of fun to read. It made me want to re-watch the movie. I quite enjoy reading screenplays 🙂

 

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This is a gem of a YA romance/coming of age book. I actually really enjoyed it. It’s not quite on par with Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, but it’s clever, funny and diverse, has wonderful characters and best of all, a super adorable romance story. Now theres a pair anyone would root for! It’s a really fun book, perfect to settle down with for a night (or day) in :).

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Though I personally don’t think this is as good as a Rainbow Rowell book, mainly because I found the whole backstage Convention thing a bit odd and also found that there were occasions the plot felt forced as a means to create drama. However, it’s definitely a touching novel and at times very funny and clever as well. The main characters are unique and good at making the reader laugh. While it didn’t inspire me to ever work at a Convention, it made me think it’d actually be quite fun to go to one! 🙂

Started Reading

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I’m almost through with this book, and it’s quite good. It’s about Chris, a 25 year old guy who goes to sleep drunk in the 1980’s and wakes up in 2006, apparently in someone else’s life. It’s very witty and a fast read if you don’t read other books in between like I have :P. There are some parts of the book I haven’t enjoyed, such as a few pages that was very heavy on masturbation,  But, overall, I am definitely enjoying it and I’m keen to see how or if Chris gets himself out of the future!

Meant To Read

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Alas, I haven’t been able to read this what I’m sure will be wonderful book! I’m waiting for my boyfriend to be able to read it with me, and we haven’t been able to this month. Hopefully sometime in the year I will finally be able to read it!!!

 

 

 

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May

 

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Such a happy accident that the covers on my May TBR list ended up are all matching colours! Amazing 🙂 🙂

What do you think, any books here you’re interested in as well?

 

March Wrap Up and April TBR

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Although I have been so incredibly slack with blogging this month, having not posted anything since my last Wrap Up/TBR post, March has otherwise been a pretty good month. I’ve eaten far too much junk food (given that my boyfriend and I basically decided it was time to celebrate Easter early on multiple occasions), enjoyed working at a number of different schools with some fantastic kids, seen Little Comets play in Manchester and became obsessed with The Office (US). I’ve also spent a lot of time with my nose in some seriously good books, so here they are!

Books I Read

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I finally, FINALLY read Philip Pullman’s MASTERPIECE! I’ve always meant to read His Dark Materials and I am so happy that I finally have. What can I say about this amazing series?! Really, I need to write out a proper review as it deserves more than just a quick little praise. It was magical, heartbreaking, hopeful. It was unlike everything I have ever read or dreamed of. I am in awe of this story and wish I could re-read it to experience it all again. Keep an eye out for a proper review, I fully intend to write one!

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I enjoyed this way more than I expected to. Don’t be put off by the silly, cliche tagline! It’s actually a really good read and story about two teenagers who find and help each other. Don’t think for a second that, though the plot sounds as though it’ll be like so many other YA contemporaries, there’s not a whole lot to the book, because there is, especially in regard to the characters! They’re really great, and I guarantee they’ll have you smiling and crying.

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This was an amazing read, super fascinating and unlike anything I’ve read before. It does indeed have Curious Dog in the Nighttime feel to it, but it’s got its own unique story and I was taken away by it. Budo, Max’s imaginary friend, is a great character and narrator, his voice is wonderful. This book is surprising, honest and a great look into what it’s like to be an imaginary friend, especially when your human friend is in desperate need of saving.  Just brilliant.

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I wasn’t planning to read this book this month, but I ended up reading it over a couple of days. It’s one of those perfect YA contemporaries you can just relax into. I loved the concept of Steffie, whose a selective mute, falling for Rhys, whose deaf, and the complications this caused for their blooming romance. It was really sweet and touching. But what I liked most about the book was Steffie herself. I thought the way she was written was spot on and hilarious. I also loved how Edinburgh, as one of my favourite cities, made its way into the storyline. Over all, a nice little gem of a book :).

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April

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Looks like a great month of reading if I do say so myself! 😀

February Wrap Up and March TBR

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February 

February was a really nice month. I worked a lot, read a lot and went on a wonderful little week away with my boyfriend and his family to the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, where I ate far too much and almost got blown off Roseberry Topping by a ferocious wind :P. All good things, really.

 

Books I Read

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I really enjoyed finishing this unique trilogy this month. Both Hollow City and Library of Souls were great sequels to the first book and the fact that this series has been so hyped up since last year didn’t change my enjoyment of them. That may be because I didn’t have any particular expectations, but whatever the case I can’t fault this series and will always adore the use of photographs as an integral part of the narrative.

 

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This was a cute little read about a friendship and a boy finding himself. It wasn’t quite what I’d hoped/expected it would be in the case of the romance story, but it was pretty adorable and I did really enjoy reading it. Just a nice standalone :).

 

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There were plenty of great things about Love and First Sight, particularly Sundquist’s insightful and creative exploration of blindness itself. Unfortunately, I found the plot a bit shallow at times and often felt like the writing style was vague and often skimmed over parts of the story I would’ve liked to have had more meat to them. But, still, it was a nice story with likeable characters and I did enjoy it :).

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Adam Silvera wins all the awards.This novel is quite similar to More Happy Than Not in style, which I liked, and of course I enjoyed the narrative of History and Now. It was surprising, harrowing and true in delivery of a story about first love and grief. Though I wish there had been a little more in way of some explanations, I can’t fault the deliverance of Griff’s story and I’m really looking forward to Silvera’s next novel.

 

Started/Currently Reading 

 

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I bought The Bone Clocks for my boyfriend for his birthday last year because I knew how much he loved Cloud Atlas, a novel I wasn’t so taken with myself. He finished Bone Clocks last week and told me immediately after that I had to read it so we could talk about it. I am loving it so far, it’s an incredible book. I’m really looking forward to finding out how the story all pieces together!!

 

Meant To Read

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I was unable to pick-up my copy of this from the library on time, so I’m delayed in reading this now.

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I read the first couple of chapters, so technically I’ve started this novel, but then I was told to read The Bone Clocks by my boyfriend first, so Northern Lights is up next!

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March

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