April and May Wrap Up!

Once again it is a two-in-one post. Much like my book haul I didn’t get to do an April wrap-up so once again I am combining with May! In the months of April and May I read a grand total of nine books! (and several dozen papers on the effect of advertising but no one wants to hear about that.)

weightless

The first book I read was Weightless by Sarah Bannan. This book is about a new girl who moved to a small town and becomes incredibly popular and as such she gathered admirers and the typical mean girl enemies who target her through social media. Told in the third person this book is incredible and very reminiscent of online bullying so I think a lot of people can relate to it. Its definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year. I gave it Five Stars on Goodreads.

dark places

The next book I finished in April was Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. Now, I have never read Gone Girl because it was so-overhyped and talk about that I got spoiled and knew everything that was going to happen so I decided to give it a miss. I watched the film though and I loved it! So, knowing that Dark Places was being adapted and starring Charlize Theron (Queen!) I immediately picked up Dark Places and I was disappointed. I didn’t particularly like the writing or the characters and at times, the plot was incredibly predictable. That being said, it was somewhat entertaining so I gave it Three Stars on Goodreads but at times it was closer to Two Point Five.

burial rites The last book I read in the month of April was Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Burial Rites is the story of Agnes, the last women to be sentenced to death in Iceland, and the people who she is sent to live with as she awaits her sentence and Oh My Sweet Holy Jesus this book is amazing! It’s very bleak but it’s also very beautiful. Its definitely a book that will stay with you long after you finish reading it. One of the best books I’ve read all year and even all of last year. A must read! I gave it Five Stars.

mog

In May I went on a bit of a Children’s books kick with the first book I read being Mog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr. This was such a sweet book and I wish I had read it as a child. Technically, I’m too old to read the entire series but since I plan on studying Children’s Publishing next year I’m going to read it anyway and chalk it down to research! 😛 I gave Mog and all is adorableness Four Stars.

the little prince

The next book I finished in the month of May was The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. This is another classic children’s book that I never read as a child and it’s a weird one. It’s about this space traveller who comes to visit earth and tells his story to a stranded pilot in the Sahara. It’s a weird one. It didn’t strike me as a children’s book but at the same time it was very much a children’s book. Does that make any sense at all? It wasn’t a favourite, I mean at sometimes it was unbelievably beautiful, some of the passages and quotes were just sublime but overall I found it a bit difficult to get into. I gave it Three Stars.

very good lives

Next up is Very Good Lives by JK Rowling. Very Good Lives is the transcript of Rowling’s Harvard Commencement speech from 2008 and it is fantastic. The speech alone is wonderful and beautiful and inspiring. I read it during a time of particular dissertation stress and just after I had received some bad news for a scholarship was applying for and it just picked me up completely and made me feel less despondent about the whole thing. Additionally, the edition itself is just beautiful. It’s a lovely little hardback with really nice subtle illustrations. I highly recommend it. Five Stars.

ready player one

Also in the month of May I read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. This book is set in an/a (post) apocalyptic world and it centres around this virtual reality game called Oasis where people go to escape the horrors of the current reality. When the owner and creator of the Oasis dies he created a competition within the game: whoever obtains the keys hidden within the game will inherit the ownership of the game and the creators fortune. The concept of this book was very interesting and at times it was very enjoyable but sometimes the pace really interfered with my liking of it; sometimes it was fine, other times it was painfully slow. I did like it but the focus was mainly the world of Oasis and the outside world wash;t really touched on and I wanted to see more of that. It was an interesting read but somewhat average too. i gave it Three Point Five Stars.

court of thons and roses

The big daddy of May was A Court of Thorns and Roses by (My Queen) Sarah J. Maas. This has been one of my most anticipated books of 2015 and I wasn’t disappointed. This book is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast using Fae and it centres around feyre a human huntress who kills a Fae and is taken into the Fae world as retribution by a Fae High Lord and it is great! A Court of Thorns and Roses has everything I’ve come to expect from Sarah J. Maas: a badass female protagonist, swoon worthy men, an exhilarating plot and suburb world building. I didn’t like it as much as Throne of Glass but it was still an excellent read and I would recommend it. Four Stars.

the bad beginning

Finally, I read The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket. The Bad Beginning is the first book is the A Series of Unfortunate Events series and it centres around the Baudelaire children who have been recently orphaned and are sent to live with a distant relative who has ulterior motives for taking the children in. I really liked this book, it was sometimes funny, sometimes horrendously messed up and just quite fun to read and I am very much looking forward to picking up the rest of the books. I gave it Four Stars. 

And those are all the books I read in May and April. It was a pretty good two months considering that I actually really enjoyed most of what I read. Hopefully June will be even better. I will be writing flu reviews for some of these books and they should be up in the next few weeks. Be sure to let me know in the comments below if you have read any of these books or just to tell me any books you read in May. I will see you all soon with another post! Goodbyee!

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March Book Haul

So, if you cast your minds back to the start of the year when all the resolutions came out, I stated that I would not buy any books until the end of March. I did try but needless to say I failed. So here’s all the books I got in the month of March!

miniaturistAuthor: Jessie Burton

Publisher: Ecco

Genre: Historical Fiction

Summary: Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam-a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion-a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed…”

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office-leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist-an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .

Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand-and fear-the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?

Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth. (Via Goodreads)

the selectionAuthor: Kiera Cass

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: YA Fantasy/Romance

Summary: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself–and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined. (Via Goodreads)

red risingAuthor: Pierce Brown

Publisher: Del Rey (Random House)

Genre: Science-Fiction/Dystopian

Summary: The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity’s last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it’s all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda. (Via Goodreads)

weightlessAuthor: Sarah Bannan

Publisher: Bloomsbury Circus

Genre: Contemporary

Summary: When 15-year-old Carolyn moves from New Jersey to Alabama with her mother, she rattles the status quo of the junior class at Adams High School. A good student and natural athlete, she’s immediately welcomed by the school’s cliques. She’s even nominated to the homecoming court and begins dating a senior, Shane, whose on again/off again girlfriend Brooke becomes Carolyn’s bitter romantic rival. When a video of Carolyn and Shane making out is sent to everyone, Carolyn goes from golden girl to slut, as Brooke and her best friend Gemma try to restore their popularity. Gossip and bullying hound Carolyn, who becomes increasingly private and isolated. When Shane and Brooke—now back together—confront Carolyn in the student parking lot, injuring her, it’s the last attack she can take.

Sarah Bannan’s deft use of the first person plural gives Weightless an emotional intensity and remarkable power that will send you flying through the pages and leave you reeling. (Via Goodreads)

the young elitesAuthor: Marie Lu

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Genre: Science Fiction

Summary: Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her. (Via Goddreads.)

red queenAuthor: Victoria Aveyard

Publisher: Orion

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win? (Via Goodreads)