#5OnMyTBR: Classics

Hello Mondays, welcome back to #5OnMyTBR, a meme created by the wonderful E @ The Local Bee Hunter’s Nook. This bookish meme gets us to dig even further into our TBRs by simply posting about five books on our TBR! You can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it. You can find the full list of prompts (past and future) at the end of this post!

This week’s prompt is: Classics

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Book Ending Spring: The Wedding Tag!

Hello, hello, friends! Thanks to Leelynn tagging me on her Book Ending Spring post, I’ve remembered that I said I’d finally like to join in the fun after seeing it all over the blogosphere last fall. Honestly, if my head wasn’t attached I’d probably forget it somewhere these days because my mind is all over the show. Yikes!

For those who don’t already know, Book Ending Spring (2020) is hosted by Sam @ Fictionally Sam and Clo @ Cuppa Clo, and it’s one of the quarterly events running under the umbrella term “Bookend Events” that aspires to bring the book blogging community closer together! You can find more information on the announcement page and you can sign up to join as well, if you want in on the blogging fun! So… Without further ado, let’s get to day two’s prompt: The Wedding Tag!

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February Monthly Wrap Up!

February was a month 🤯 My health issues continued to plague me but after seemingly endless rounds of medication, I’m starting to finally feel semi-human again. I’ve just felt constantly drained of energy the whole time but I had to push through especially since I also moved houses and did the majority of the cleaning and packing myself. I really need to start taking on Marie Kondo habits into my life and minimise (next time)! But I digress… Despite all the craziness this month I managed to read 22 books, mostly thanks to the crazy romance reading challenge I set for myself during Valentine’s week.

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#TopTenTuesday: One Word Titles

It’s that time of the week again, friends! We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: books with single-word titles! This prompt was submitted by Kitty @ Kitty Marie’s Reading Corner (who you should definitely go follow right now)!

What would I ever do without Goodreads? I would fail, that’s what. I would never be able to do these posts because my memory fails so hard. I really couldn’t come up with one title until I looked at several lists on GR and realised that I have read a few books with single-word titles! Plus, plenty of them are actually books from series that I love, so I can’t believe that I couldn’t think of any titles to start 😂

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Friday Favourites: Romances

Welcome back to another Friday Favourites, dear friends! Last year this weekly meme was hosted by the wonderful Kibby @ Something of the Book! However, this year Kibby has passed the torch on to Lorraine @ Geeky Galaxy. This week’s topic is: favourite romances.

Well it certainly is the week for romance, isn’t it? I’m actually having a hard time choosing my favourite romances because if you haven’t noticed, I’m a sucker for the stuff and go through my fair share every year (of romance books, not actual romances lol). So how am I meant to pick out my favourites and keep it to a Top 5 list?! It’s a tough one… But after some thought here are five romances that I will always recommend:

Pride and Prejudice will forever and always be my favourite and I cannot recommend it enough. After reading it I’d also recommend immediately watching one of the two adaptations, both of which are amazing but I’m partial to the 2005 version because Matthew Macfadyen (don’t @ me)!

Give me any book set in Alaska and I’m guaranteed to fall in love with it. Hah, kidding. Maybe. Don’t ask me why but I have a low-key thing for Alaska so that was already a bonus for The Simple Wild. However, throw in some great characters, real growth and a simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking storyline and well, I’m sold. I became so invested in Calla and Jonah’s relationship. Jonah had me swooning big time!

I love the diversity that Hoang brings to romance–not only in having Asian MCs but also in writing about characters on the spectrum. It’s refreshing to read romances with characters who look like you and who come from cultural backgrounds similar to yours. The Bride Test has a mix of unique characters, an interesting plot and a good dose of steam, too.

I loved Josh and Lucy, but Josh was the shining star for me in The Hating Game. I loved his character so much. It might not be for readers who don’t like angst because well, this one was seriously full of it, but oh it was so, so much fun!

If you want a romcom with wonderfully fun characters who’re sure to give you a good laugh, then look no further than Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating! I love CLo and would recommend them to anyone but Josh and Hazel have a special place in my heart. I have a huge girl crush on Hazel — she’s such a fun-loving character and so full of life! Their chemistry is perfection and I love their love 😍

That’s it for my favourite romances! What are some of your favourites that you think I should read ASAP? I’m always on the lookout for recs!

Nils: The Tree of Life by Jerome Hamon – #eARC #GraphicNovelReview

Goodreads: Nils: The Tree of Life
Publish date: 11 February 2020
Publisher: Magnetic Press/Diamond Book Distributors
Genre: Graphic Novel, Young Adult, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Panda Rating:

A dystopic Nordic fantasy world, where spirits of light are the key to life, but seemingly have abandoned the world. Young Nils and his father set out to discover why the ground has grown infertile, heading north where the drought seems worse to find the cause. Far along the way, they find signs of fresh and vibrant life, caretaken by these little light spirits. But before they know it, a large metal creature arrives and attacks the creatures, apparently hunting and gathering them.

From out of the woods, a woman attacks the creature, bringing it to its knees… apparently the plant was bait for the spirits, which in turn were bait for the metal creature, which serves the high-tech Cyan Nation. This huntress, named Alba, takes Nils and his father into their tribe, where the battle between the shamanistic people and the Cyan Nation is paramount, a battle over the protection vs exploitation of the light spirits power…

Meanwhile, three goddesses watch these events, lamenting the fact that man had abandoned all belief in their power long ago. They watch but do not intervene, despite the fact that the spirits are being harvested en masse by the Cyan Nation, wreaking ruin on the world outside their city. Realizing that this conflict will in one way or another change the very fabric of this world, they slowly begin to intervene…

As they continue their travels, Nils has a dream (seeded by one of the goddesses) about the World Tree, Yggdrasil, which is being consumed by a metal plague. He knows he must now find and save the tree, and in the process, save the world. But the high council of the Cyan Nation would have otherwise…

Having been separated in their quest, Nils’s father finds himself a guest of the Cyan Prince, where he learns that they do indeed understand the power of the spirits, which they call Ethernum, serving as the power source for their technological advancement. More sinister than that, however, is the fact that they’ve used the Ethernum as a means of near-eternal longevity, having wiped out all competitors to their power and resource long ago. And now, they believe they have unlocked the secrets for using the Ethernum to revive the dead…

And for the goddesses, that is a step too far. They intervene, but in the process find one of themselves surprisingly captured by the Cyan royalty… and then killed. The remaining two goddesses are torn by this affront. One vows to wipe mankind off the planet for good, while the other goes to help Nils save the Life Tree.

High fantasy adventure combining science-fiction with pseudo-spiritual magic, posing dramatic examinations of man vs nature, life vs death, fact vs faith, and man’s desire to play god.

This was an interesting graphic novel that had a fascinating mix of Nordic mythology and fantasy elements that shared a story about a dying earth due to corruption, exploitation of resources, and the troubled Goddesses that are affected by the effects of human greed and technological advancement.

I enjoyed how Nils started but as more elements of the story were introduced I became confused with the direction it was going but also the erratic flow of scenes towards the middle and end. There were many scene jumps that made the climax feel disjointed and since there was a lot of action in these parts, it only left me feeling confused with everything that was going on. I did go back to re-read scenes in case I missed anything but I still didn’t get the clarity I was looking for. I had plenty of questions about the whole world and the characters in it — Nils, the goddesses, the Cyan nation and how it came to be, and Alba’s tribe of women hunters and how they survived. I wish that these elements were better explained so that we could have a better understanding of the story. There was also some romantic notions that were hinted at between one of the goddesses towards Nils which seemed unnecessary and didn’t make me feel more sympathetic towards her fight to save him and human kind. It honestly creeped me out a little bit lol…

That said, the artwork is simply stunning and it’s what made me want to continue reading despite not fully understanding what was going on in the storyline. The color palette was well chosen and really reflected the ‘cold tundra’/Nordic feel alongside dying nature and technologically advanced city vibes that the story presented. The details were wonderful and I loved the distinctive look of all the different characters. There were some illustrations, particularly to do with nature and the spirits, that really gave me Princess Mononoke / Miyazaki vibes and I loved it!

While Nils had an interesting and promising premise it unfortunately didn’t follow through for me. The artwork was beautiful and I’d love to see more graphic novels illustrated by this artist however, I wish that the storyline had been more clear and easy to follow/understand!

Thanks to NetGalley and Magnetic Press/Diamond Books Distributor for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. This graphic novel is out 11 February 2020.
Have you read Nils: The Tree of Life or is it on your TBR?

January Monthly Wrap Up!

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a monthly wrap up (I didn’t do one for December) but here we are once again! The first month of a new year has come and gone already. If you’ve been following my blog (or Twitter!) this month you’ll know that my year hasn’t started off on a very high note. I’ve been facing a lot of health issues and it has impacted not only my work life but my every day activities such as reading/blogging. I didn’t think I was going to read more than 10 books this month but I finished off on an even 12 books and I’m quite happy with that progress 🙂

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Friday Favourites: Bookish Quotes

Welcome back to another Friday Favourites, dear friends! Last year this weekly meme was hosted by the wonderful Kibby @ Something of the Book! However, this year Kibby has passed the torch on to Lorraine @ Geeky Galaxy. This week’s topic is: bookish quotes.

Something I don’t often do is keep track of the quotes that I come across while reading but that’s especially the case with physical copies. One of the best things about having a Kindle is the ease with which I can highlight quotes and make notes. Lucky for me (most of the time), Goodreads also has a section for quotes that I often take a peek at, in case one of the quotes I like was also highlighted by someone else. My memory is notoriously bad so my answers for these types of prompts are always pretty short! Here are a choice few quotes thanks to Goodreads, Google

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

A Dance with Dragons, George R.R. Martin

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

Khalil Gibran

“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”

Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

The Diary of A Young Girl, Anne Frank

“He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.”

Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling

What are your favourite bookish quotes?

Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo by Stacy King, Crystal S. Chan – #eARC #GraphicNovelReview

Goodreads: Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo
Publish date: 11 April 2017
Publisher: UDON Entertainment
Genre: Graphic Novel, Classic Literature
Panda Rating:

A Conspiracy and a miscarriage of justice turn the gentle Edmond Dantès into an implacable agent of fate: The Count of Monte Cristo . Obsessed by vengeance and empowered by providence, the Count avenges himself on whose who have wronged him – but is this justice, or is this hubris? In the end, does even the Count know? Alexandre Dumas’ skillful narrative combines intrigue, betrayal, and triumphant revenge into a powerful conflict between good and evil. Now this exciting saga, rich and diverse, takes on an entirely new life in this Manga Classics adaptation!

The Count of Monte Cristo is a classic that I’ve been meaning to read but have always been too intimidated to actually pick up, so when I saw this manga I immediately jumped on it! Surprisingly I realised I knew very little of the story when I started reading it and since I haven’t read the novel I also can’t attest to how well the manga actually adopts the classic. I do however know that it’s a fairly chunky text and I have no doubt that it has some very complex plot lines and in-depth character studies. Based on that, I think that the adaptors did an amazing job in condensing everything into a more simplified text. It took me a couple of hours to read this 400 page manga while I’m sure it’d probably take me one month+ to finish the original!

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#TopTenTuesday: Most Recent Bookshelf Additions…

It’s that time of the week again, friends! We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: the ten most recent additions to my bookshelf. I’m taking this to mean my actual (physical) bookshelf and not my Goodreads TBR shelf.

Have I mentioned yet how I’m looking to cut down spending on new books in 2020? The plan is not only to save money but it’s also an attempt to cut down on my unread physical shelf! But let’s also be real because I’m only hooman and when it comes to books I have little to no control (and I know I’m not alone in that); especially when it comes to that FOMO feeling! It gets me every time 🙈 So while I have added a *few* books to my shelves lately, I’ve also been doing pretty good at holding back, if I do say so myself! Here’s what I got:

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