March Monthly Wrap Up!

Wow, March is really over? I have passed through the majority of this month in a total daze! My brain seems to think that WFH means “slacking off as much as possible” 😅, especially towards the end of the month. But I also blame that laziness and inability to focus on the purchase of a Switch Lite and Animal Crossing New Horizons… *cough* It was one of the best non-bookish decisions I’ve made in a while and I ain’t mad about it but also, *welp*, real life is just so miserable compared to setting up on a deserted island and building my own community with fun fluffy neighbours?!

But I digress (that’s also happening more these days)! I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s going to say that I’m feeling weary AF with all this negative energy and news… Living with my nan also does not help. You’d think that spending all my time at home being surrounded by books means that I’ve been making progress in cutting my TBR down. That’s unfortunately not the case when you’re a mood reader like me 😔 Still, I managed to read 15 books though the majority were read before mid-March!

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#WWWWednesday: 01 April

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Since last Wednesday I’ve managed to read… three books!

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend ★★★★★
This was such a wonderful, fast-paced and heartwarming adventure! There may be a lot of elements that are similar to and remind me of Harry Potter but to me, this was just as enjoyable. The characters were all funny, charming and very quirky. The pacing was also fast and I couldn’t recommend this more if you’re looking for a simple, well-written fantasy/adventure to take your mind off current world news. Review coming soon!

Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu ★★★★☆
The ending of this book should be illegal! What a bleeding cliffhanger–if Wildcard didn’t already exist I would be pissed (and I absolutely mean this in the best way)! 🤣 This book was a helluva journey and I was here for every minute of it! The Warcross world gave me strong Ready Player One vibes but a simplified and easier to understand version that made reading it a breeze. I was sucked in from chapter one and I became fully invested in all our characters! Really keen to see what happens next… Review coming soon!

The Sunday Potluck Club (The Sunday Potluck Club #1) by Melissa Storm ★★¾
It took me several tries to actually get into this book but once I did it was a fast and fairly easy read. That said, it left me feeling pretty “meh” and was very different to what I expected. I thought there would be chats shared during the Sunday Potluck Club but what I got was insta-love, a lot of romance angst, and not particularly likeable characters… I really didn’t feel for any of them! Review coming soon!

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First Lines Friday – 27 March

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“The journalists arrived before the coffin did. They gathered at the gate overnight and by dawn they were a crowd. By nine o’clock they were a swarm.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

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#WWWWednesday: 25 March

I’m writing this the day before so who knows if I’ll have finished another book by the time it posts! But today is Bali’s Day of Silence and is basically the Balinese New Year. It’s a cultural/religious event that happens every year and it’s basically when everything shuts down and we’re not allowed to use electricity, listen to music or do work amongst other things. Internet gets shut down, TV and radio networks don’t broadcast and well, when we say day of silence, we really mean it! The purpose of the day has always been for quiet introspection/meditation as we start a new (Balinese) calendar year. People stay quiet and indoors or in their housing complexes and the silence is actually palpable–it’s a heavy weight but not at all unpleasant (at least to me). I know it sounds extreme to a lot of people but it’s actually pretty nice to disconnect even if for a day. As a book loving introvert it’s really no biggie for me but a lot of people freak out big time! I’m certainly getting a lot of time for reading these days (and I’m not mad about it)! 😅

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Since last Wednesday I’ve managed to read four books:

Check, Please by Ngozi Ukazu ★★★★½
I have been gushing non-stop about this web comic since I discovered it. I binged on it and caught up to the most recent episode in a few hours. I can’t wait to see how it ends! This was such a joy to read and it’s exactly what I needed this week. It’s got a wonderfully hilarious group of characters at its centre and a heartmelting and swoon-worthy LGBTQ+ sports romance 🥰 Review coming soon!

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley ★★★★★
This book basically took me by the feels, shook me and shouted FEEL IT ALL. I was not ready for how emotional this book would make me! It was a beautifully written novel about grief and love. It was a love letter to books and who doesn’t love a boo about books?! This completely swept me away and made me fall in love with words all over again and I’d highly recommend it. Review coming soon!

The Dark Between Stars by Atticus Poetry ★★★½
This is my first time reading anything by Atticus and overall I did enjoy reading this collection, even if it was a little bit all over the place/disjointed. There were some poems that were more than a little “meh” but there were also many that hit close to home and made me a little teary eyed. This isn’t the best collection of poetry but there are a few on here that might be new favourites. Review coming soon (probably)!

The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1) by Lyssa Kay Adams ★★★★☆
Leading man Gavin and the guys in the bromance book club are what won me over in this book. I struggled with Thea a bit, although overall found her character likeable enough. Her sister on the other hand was a completely different story and I disliked her intensely. The banter was on point and I loved how passionate the guys were to better themselves through romance novels. Read my full review!

(eARC) Eat, and Love Yourself by Sweeney Boo, Lilian Klapakowsky ★★★☆☆
The artwork in this graphic novel is superb and made me love it more. The book talks about an issue that affects so many people, myself included, so I was really excited for this storyline but I was let down. We’re promised a journey through recovery, self-acceptance and love but we don’t get much of that. Plus the ending was so abrupt and pretty disappointing. Review coming soon!

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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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Jack Janson and the Storm Caller by Andrew Marsh Blog Tour – #BookReview

This year is definitely the year of the blog tours for me as I’m back with another one for you and this time it’s for Jack Janson & the Storm Caller. Special thanks to Heather Fitt from Overview Media for asking me to be part of this blog tour and to author Andrew Marsh for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review! Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers on tour.

Goodreads: Jack Janson & the Storm Caller
Published: 05 August 2019
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Panda Rating:

Jack Janson is nearly fourteen, an only child living with his parents who hate him almost as much as they hate each other. The only good things about his life are the girl next door, Sarah-Jane Farmer, whom he adores, and his Granny Jean in Cornwall who he spends the summer holidays with.

His gran is cool but she has been hiding a HUGE secret. As her health fails, she decides to share the secret with Jack.
Gran leads Jack to a cave.
“Boom Tom tum” a loud voice echoes and a rock opens up to reveal a young giant called Winfred Storm Caller. Gran has been looking after the friendly giant since pirates killed his mother, but she now needs Jack to care for Winfred.
Sarah-Jane arrives to help and they uncover The Book Of Lore hidden in the cave.

What magic does it possess?
Have they found a way to get Winfred home to his own lands?
Are Sarah-Jane and Jack brave enough to use the book to save Granny Jean’s life?

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Goodreads Monday – The Shamer’s Daughter by Lene Kaaberbøl

It’s the first Goodreads Monday of 2020, friends! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.

This week’s book is The Shamer’s Daughter (The Shamer Chronicles #1) by Lene Kaaberbøl. It’s a Scandinavian Middle Grade/Young Adult Fantasy that I added to my Goodreads TBR in September 2019. On Goodreads it has 3.91 stars with 7.9k+ ratings and 416 reviews.

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December Monthly Wrap Up!

Oh what a month December turned out to be! With the end of the year activities at work combined with family flying in for the holidays, and my sister staying with me, there turned out to be a lot less time to read than I anticipated. Silly me for thinking I’d have more quiet time this month 😅 Now that everyone is on their way home, I’m back alone at my place and although I still feel slightly frazzled, I can also tell that my mind is calming down some. With that, I managed to read 17 books in December.

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Under the Cottonwood Tree: El Susto de la Curandera – #eARC #GraphicNovelReview

Goodreads: Under the Cottonwood Tree: El Susto de la Curandera
Publish date: 15 December 2019
Publisher: North Fourth Publishing
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Panda Rating:

In the deep confines of the beautiful and majestic Rio Grande bosque, a fable is told of a simpler time concerning the rich tri-cultural communities of New Mexico. Join brothers Amadeo and Carlos Lucero in this enchanting story of magic and adventure. Discover how the power of love and family triumphs and turns an old witch back into a healer.

This was an absolutely delightful tale of family, friendship, grief and love that is richly infused with Mexican folklore and culture. I knew I would love this graphic novel the minute I started reading it! This was a very fast-paced read and I easily read it one sitting (mostly because I didn’t want to put it down). The personal touches in both the foreword and afterword made me enjoy this more, as reading the history of how this story came to be and the authors’ personal connections with their own curanderas showed how much the story meant to them.

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Malamander (Malamander #1) by Thomas Taylor – #BookReview

Goodreads: Malamander (Malamander #1)
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Panda Rating:

Nobody visits Eerie-on-Sea in the winter. Especially not when darkness falls and the wind howls around Maw Rocks and the wreck of the battleship Leviathan, where even now some swear they have seen the unctuous malamander creep…

Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, knows that returning lost things to their rightful owners is not easy – especially when the lost thing is not a thing at all, but a girl. No one knows what happened to Violet Parma’s parents twelve years ago, and when she engages Herbie to help her find them, the pair discover that their disappearance might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster, the Malamander. Eerie-on-Sea has always been a mysteriously chilling place, where strange stories seem to wash up. And it just got stranger…

What a delightful and fantastical read! I haven’t read MG books in a very long time, this might be my second this year, but I’d seen this all over the blogosphere and not only did the cover capture my eye, but the story sounded great too. I’m so glad that I decided to pick this up because it was such a fun read! It’s full of atmosphere, mystery, friendship, danger and perhaps just a little dash of magic–enough at least to make you wonder what’s real or not.

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