Category Archives: Monthly Wrap Up

August Wrap Up / The one when I’m binge-watching too many series

How can summer be over already? Yesterday it was July and today we’re September. WHAT?!

I swear it felt only a few hours ago when it was August but I suppose going back to work makes time fly. It also meant that my reading dropped. Drastically. I kind of hoped that #ReadThemAllThon would have tackled the issue but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. It was fun though whilst it lasted.

I also rediscovered Netflix and its many, many, many series. The fact that all seasons of the Gilmore Girls went worldwide, didn’t help either. That network is poisonous. Poisonous, I tell you! Honestly. In an addictive kind of way.

However, behold the mountain of books I read last month!

 

1. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Marie Laure and Werner live on opposite sides of the war. As they are both pushed into directions they couldn’t have foreseen, something that’s bigger than themselves, connects them together.

Can I simply say how much I loved reading Marie Laure’s side of the story? Her blindness made this so much more interesting to read as it added a diversity to the story that I haven’t come across with in the books I’ve read so far. Let me stress out, this is NOT a love story but simply a story told from (generally speaking) two point of views: Marie Laure from Paris and Werner from Germany while they both live through the horrors of war on opposite sides.

Rating: 4/5

2. Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Mac doesn’t have a care in the world when she’s being notified of her sister’s murder in Ireland. After hearing the alarming but confusing message from Alina, hours before she got killed, Mac is convinced that the local authorities aren’t doing everything they can and decides to travel to Dublin to help with the investigation. During her stay, Mac stumbles into the world of fae she didn’t believe existed.

I came across this on Goodreads while searching new books and one person told this series was kind of epic in reply to another person on a different series. Anyhow, I’m not much of a fan when it comes down to fairy tales, that’s for sure but heck this one got me HOOKED! Despite the mc’s naivety (and being completely, annoyingly stereotypical) I must say I enjoyed it a lot and will pick up the second book in the series.

It’s got mystery, murder, one very hot male and one even hotter (according to the law of this world but I disagree) faery. The writing is addictive, the world is a lot darker than I’m used to. The characters however, still need to…develop.

Rating: 4/5

3. Eragon by Christopher Paolini

When Eragon stumbles upon a blue stone, all he thinks about is how lucky he is, hoping that this stone will make enough money to support his poor family. Never did he think it would carry a legacy as old as Alagaësia and that he would play a huge part in it.

Okay, I’m late when it comes to the Eragon-wagon but in all fairness Harry Potter was way more interesting at the time. Sorry. However, it’s basically a Game of Thrones/Lord of the Rings kind of book, adventure wise, with epic worlds, but for a younger audience (read: I’m almost 26 so I don’t like putting books into an age category as I read LOTR at age 14. My reading journey is so messed up). It’s compelling, it has myths, dark creatures, fair creatures, wizards, dragons and a very confusing language that I’ll never be able to memorize. Except for Brisingr which is kind of epic. The book is a beast in size, as I happily referred to it on social media while reading this.

Rating: 4/5

4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Sargent feels normal amongst her family as her only ability is to enhance their psychic abilities. Until she sees Gansey’s soul, a premonition of his upcoming death. Gansey is an Aglionby boy, looking for the mysterious leylines of our planet. They have nothing in common until their paths cross and together they discover a whole new dimension of our world.

I expected a lot of this book because of the hype. I’m not saying this book wasn’t okay, it was, it simply took me a very long time to get into. The world building felt vague to me at the beginning. I didn’t understand what Gansey was looking for and how something I’ve never heard of suddenly seemed so important as everyone was searching for it, without any real explanation. It did get better after the first 90 pages. It even contained a shocking revelation!

Rating: 4/5


When I look at all the books I’ve read in August, I seemed like a happy reader, rating them all 4/5 stars. But if I’d give you my top four, I’d put Darkfever on number one and All The Light We Cannot See on number four. Darkfever surprised me when a lot of faery themed books lacked to entice me to their world. They were all good in their own way but they had a lot of flaws too. ATLWVCS, for example, took me forever to finish as it stimulated my short attention span.

Which books did you read during August?

 

July Wrap Up / The one when I return

*crawls from underneath rock and waves*

Hi. Do you remember me? I can’t believe I disappeared for four months. How time flies, doesn’t it? I have no excuses except for the one: I needed a time-out. My life changed between November and March and then, turned completely upside down in March (with my mum dying and thus losing my best friend).

With the whole shebang of me taking care of my mum and then dealing with her loss, I haven’t been up-to-date with the bookish world lately. I have NO CLUE what’s coming out soon or which ones I have missed! I haven’t felt so out of it since I was a kid. And that’s a long, long time ago, my friends. 

I don’t know what I like to read, anymore. I’ve picked up books in the past year and lost interest after a few chapters. My TBR shelves feel outdated and when I scan the titles, I feel lost. As if those beautiful stories simply don’t do it for me anymore, as if I’ve outgrown them. Be patient with me as I rediscover everything, please? So I need to tidy up those shelves, start afresh and simply stop with the impulse buying. HAHA. As if that’s ever going to happen! 

My reading hasn’t been spectacular so far. However, in July booktube-a-thon happened and this year I was focused on actually finishing it. I wanted to make videos and everything but…I guess wanting to do EVERYTHING all at once wasn’t a good plan. What is it, they say? One step at the time, and babysteps, right? I’ll get there…

I’ve managed to read 8 books in July though, and I’ve made a list for you to scroll through and discover my reading!

  1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark is hired by Will Trainer’s parents to help him through his depression. Will has quadriplegia and depends on people doing everything for him. When they meet, they didn’t expect that getting to know each other would change their life forever. 

Did I read this book because of the movie hype? Why, yes, I did. Sue me. I haven’t seen the film yet though (strong believer that it’s better to read the book before watching the movie) but I have been wanting to since June! The anticipation’s killing me!

Back to book business though. OMG. The tears dropped from the eyes! It was heartbreakingly sad and beautiful. It gave me smiles and fuzzy feelings. I read it in the unabridged audiobook version and can I just say that it was narrated PERFECTLY. <3.

My Goodreads rating: 5/5 because of all the feels.

2. The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress by Beryl Bainbridge

Rose travels to the USA to meet Washington. They go on a road trip in search of Dr. Wheeler, a man they know and want to find for different reasons. While on their journey, it becomes clear that Rose and Washington have nothing in common besides knowing Dr. Wheeler.

I don’t understand how some people liked this book? I couldn’t connect with the characters, I didn’t understand the point of their journey as it didn’t come full circle, something I needed. And the ending…I…don’t see the connection? Anti-climax, much? Urgh.

Beryl Bainbridge died before she had a chance to finish the story so maybe that’s why it feels incomplete. This could be her style but as I don’t know her other work, I find it hard to judge.

My Goodreads rating: 2/5

3. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

Told from the perspective of 9 year old Bruno, this story takes you on a tragic journey. Bruno’s family moves to a different country and feeling desolate in this strange place, Bruno goes on an adventure. During the adventure, he meets a new friend and despite their differences, the friendship grows but isn’t without consequences.

How awfully, horribly tragic is this story? I can’t say much more but it shocked me. The final chapters made me cry. That’s where I’ll leave it. Go read the book. Then watch the movie.

My Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5 because of the feels and the wonderful innocent style the author used to write this horrible story.

4. The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

Gabby Holland is agitated with her neighbor Travis Parker, whose dog must have impregnated her own with the way it struts unleashed around the neighborhood. It’s not until she sees another side of her neighbor that she has to let go of her prejudices. 

Despite its very unlikely ending, I enjoyed this story. I would have liked it more if the two timelines hand’t felt separated but had come full circle towards the true storyline of this book and hadn’t been just a glimpse of an important moment.

My Goodreads rating: 3/5

5. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel takes the same train to London and back every single day. While on the train, she watches the inhabitants of the houses lining up next to the rails and imagines what their life must be like. Until one day, she sees something that will irrevocably change her life.

I usually don’t like thrillers. For some reason I lose interest halfway and let the book rest for an eternity to eventually toss it back to my TBR pile. But with this book, I finished it in one setting. Do I get a brownie for that? I wanted to find out what had happened, it was fast paced and I changed my opinion at least five times who might have done it. The characters, however, made very weird choices.

My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 for keeping me captivated

6. The Painted Bridge by Wendy Wallace

Anna Palmer has been placed into Lake House, an asylum for genteel women of a delicate nature, against her will by her husband on the ground of hysteria. Nothing is what it seems but how will she let everyone see the truth that she is, in fact, sane?

Nothing happens. At all. I’m not sure why I needed to read all these pages to come to the end. It wasn’t fascinating like I expected it to be and halfway it became clear what the real reason was for her placement. There were a few beautiful descriptions here and there but I fell asleep all the time. I don’t think that’s a good thing, haha! I liked the element of one of the doctors making photographs to diagnose a mental illness through a photo, though. I just wish something more had happened with it. Or the doctor.

My Goodreads rating: 3/5

7. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

A collection of five mini stories. They are to wizard children what fairytales are to Muggles. These stories also contain notes by professor Dumbledore, sharing his opinion on some changes that happened throughout history.

I suppose this book received a lot more hype than it should be worth it because of the fandom. Was I overwhelmed with it though? Not really. But I liked the mini stories nevertheless, my favourite being The Fountain of Fair Fortune (second to the Tale of the Three Brothers). I loved the remarks on the Malfoy family!! HAHAHA. It’s also an easy, quick read if you ever need something light. And with light I mean the kind of light Harry and Ron would appreciate. Not Hermione light.

My Goodreads rating: 4/5

8. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

Hastings is a guest at Emily Inglethorp’s house, an elder woman who has remarried. Everyone is convinced that the man married for money and then, Emily Inglethorp is murdered. Hastings decides to get help from Hercule Poirot, a  detective from Belgium.

It was a quick read and I snorted so many times because, let’s be honest for a minute, Poirot is ridiculous! He deduces crime in the oddest ways. But I like he’s Belgian. We have that in common. What bothered me was how the unraveling of the mystery happened without all the clues being there for the reader to pick up on. I like to think for myself, see if I can outwit Poirot but now I had not a chance of doing this.

My Goodreads rating: 3/5

That’s it for July! Which books did you read?

October Wrap Up

October Wrap Up

Hello lovelies!

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I went AWOL during October. I had to kick myself into real reading again. There’s only two months left until the end of the year and I’m twenty books behind on my Goodreads Challenge. It doesn’t sit well with me and I’ve set my mind to the task: I will finish this one and only challenge!

The issue though: I keep ordering new books and I want to read them straight after their arrivals. Consequence: I came to the point I was officially reading 17 books (unofficially 22) all at once. Result: I didn’t finish any books, as you might guess.

I know, I know…it was ugly. Trust me. Not to mention messy as the books were spread all over the place.

What’s that you say? A bookaholic? Me? I don’t know what you mean.

That’s when I decided that enough was enough.

I put myself on a “book buying” ban last month and forced myself to not start a new book either. If that wasn’t enough forcing myself into things I don’t normally do, I also decided that I had to finish at least one book each week. I had to kick the reading slump and nasty reading habit back where it belonged: in the pit of book reader’s hell!

This means I read some books!! YAY. Without further ado, below a quick overview of the books I actually finished after months of reading them.

Continue reading October Wrap Up