reading

2018 In Review

Another year is over! I’m not sure how it happened so fast, but happy New Year! I’m going to list off my top five most noteworthy books from the last year. (That is, the ones I read last year – not necessarily ones that were published within it.)

1822182First up is A Note of MadnessI’ve read three of Tabitha Suzuma’s books and absolutely adored them all. There is so much emotion, suspense and pain in her writing. This particular series was incredibly emotional for me as it strongly reminded me of someone close to me. It was incredibly accurate and potent.

As you know, I always recommend books that discuss mental health. I’d definitely suggest reading this if you’re interested in that area. This addresses bipolar depression and suicide in particular.

30626556Next is History is All You Left MeIt was the first of Adam Silvera’s books that I’ve read, and I immediately fell in love with his writing. Again, this is an incredibly emotional novel, and was particularly relevant to me. The biggest thing I took away from this book was how to stop feeling guilty for replacing a deceased lover. At the time, my boyfriend was still sort of grieving for an ex, and I felt as if “competing with a ghost” (a beautiful quote from this novel). It is also an LGBTQ+ novel, which is always a bonus. It nearly made me cry, too, which is very rare!

7069333Another book I thoroughly enjoyed was the first HG Wells CollectionObviously, this is a collection of several different stories, my favourites being The Time Machine and The First Men in the Moon. It’s a staple for any sci-fi lover for sure. It’s a bit dated, but timeless at the same time. I adored Wells’ writing, feeling fully immersed in each story. The descriptions were lovely, leaving enough to your own imagination while still setting the scene perfectly. I would highly recommend this to anyone, even if you’re not particularly familiar with the genre.

32827036.jpgThe fourth book in this list is Ink, a book I picked up on a whim in the bookstore. I never actually posted a review of this one as I decided to read it purely for enjoyment, without constantly taking notes. I talked to everyone I knew about this and remember it in great detail. It’s about a society where everything in your life is written on your skin as tattoos. Even the bad things – displayed for the whole world to see. But then there are the Blanks, a feared group of unmarked people. I won’t give too much away but there is a lot of exciting, unexpected twists in this and I just loved it. I’m dying to start the sequel!

42192885Finally I’ve chosen Bone & Bread. This was another mental-health-related book, though it was rather different from any others I’d read. Beena is the narrator of this, switching between recalling childhood memories, later events and the current time. Overall, this is about her sister, Sadhana. She’s dead. Her heart gave out due to complications from her eating disorder. Beena notes the early symptoms of her sister’s illness, the struggles they went through together. What made this so unique is that not only is it told from an external point of view, but Beena isn’t sympathetic at all. She’s almost harsh about it. The way the illness is described is accurate, in my opinion, and not romanticised at all.

So that’s it! My top five books from 2018. What did you guys read? What were your favourites? A ton of great books were released that I never got round to reading, so if you have then feel free to tell me about them! Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to 2019!

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I’m Back!

Uhhhhh so it’s been a while… Sorry about that! I haven’t done much reading for a while due to my A Level exams and a lot of stuff going on in my personal life, but I’m hoping to be more active again now.

This is just a quick post to apologise for my impromtu hiatus, but here’s a quick summary of the books I’m currently reading:

 This is one of the collections of H.G. Wells’ stories, including War of the WorldsThe Time MachineThe Invisible Man, and several more. The stories are all fantastic, and I’m currently on The First Men in the Moon which I am enjoying immensely. I would definitely recommend this to any sci-fi fans! My favourite story of the collection so far is The Time Machine. I’ve been wanting to read Wells’ work for such a long time, and I was so glad when I was given this book as a gift.

 

I received an e-copy of this book from NetGalley in return for my review, and I’ve been trying to read it for months now. I’m really enjoying it, but I just keep getting distracted. It’s a really interesting book so far though, and I’ve heard so much about it from other bloggers and also friends from school. I’m planning to just sit down and get it read ASAP.

 

 

This book was given to me as a sort of joke by my now-ex-boyfriend. I’m not going to say too much about it for now, but basically Brett Keane is a YouTuber that a group of podcasters, originally called the Drunken Peasants, liked to *ahem* joke about a lot. He published a trilogy of books, with EUL being the first in the series. It. Is. AWFUL. The grammar is horrendous, the font and layout is terrible, the characters are ridiculous… It’s a mess. It was the focus of many DP jokes, hence why my ex heard about it and bought it for me. It’s so painful to read. I’ve been reading it for several months now and am so tempted to just chuck it away, it’s THAT bad.

I received an e-copy of this book in return for my review from the website OnlineBookClub.org. I haven’t read much of it yet – at all – but it seems to be a rather epic fantasy, with a lot of jumping acros the timeline. There is a note from the author at the start of the books suggesting readers pay close attention to the dates throughout the book in order to avoid confusion. Like I said, I haven’t read that much yet, but I’ve already found the importance of these dates.

 

So that’s it for now. Sorry again for disappearing, and thank you for reading this. I hope to be back and blogging again now, and I have a ton of great books due for review!

Book Review: She Is Not Invisible

This was not how I expected it to be. I liked the uniqueness of it, though, and how unpredictable it turned out to be.
It starts in an airport, with the protagonist and narrator (who’s name we learn to be Laureth) and her little brother Benjamin. We soon discover that Laureth is blind, which provides us with a very interesting account of the events of this story. They are going to America, alone, to find their father. He’s a writer, and holds his notebooks very dearly – so when Laureth gets an email about one being found in America when he’s supposed to be in Switzerland (and then he fails to answer his phone) she immediately assumes something is very wrong.

This is told mostly chronologically, but with memories scattered throughout. Laureth also gives slight hints as to what will be happening later on, reinstating the fact that she is writing about past events. I quite liked this – we were told about certain memories and events that were relevant to the story at that time, nothing more, nothing less.

It turns into quite a dark, suspenseful hunt. Laureth starts to fear that her father may even have taken his own life. The pair even get cornered by a man with a knife who claims to have seen her father. His partner later breaks into their hotel room, searching for some valuable contents of her father’s safe. Coincidentally, they run in to her father just moments later.

The obsession of Laureth and Ben’s father is coincidences; a very interesting topic. He goes into great detail in his notebook (which we are shown throughout the book), discussing theories and particular physicists’ experiences. Bit by bit, he seems to be delving deeper and deeper into the mysteries of the universe. Laureth is caught up in this – she looks for clues in every page of her dad’s notebook. But is she looking too hard? Is she finding signs that aren’t really there?

Laureth relies on her brother to navigate the world, and although he is only going, he is superbly helpful to her. She is adamant on being an independent young lady, and even hides her impairment from most people she meets. As she is the narrator of this book, we are given an account that does not include any visual descriptions. Instead, the other senses are used far more – sounds and feelings especially. I really liked this.

The ending was wonderful. It was different – completely unexpected. I especially liked how her “coincidental” meeting with Sam turned out to mean nothing at all. And her father’s account of what had happened, and his realisation that his obsession was pointless, was so ironic. Laureth and Ben had been on this massive journey, worried their father was so caught up in his obsession that his life was in danger. They began to find strange patterns and signs everywhere – only to find out how coindences are completely fake. 

And the last page was so clever, too. It was numbered 354 which is clever in itself – this number holds a massive significance throughout this book – but then there’s also the hidden message that’s revealed. One of the last sentences prompts you to look closely at the book, and then you find a heartwarming little phrase. I really liked this idea – it seems a bit naff, but actually worked really well.

I did feel like this was maybe a little more for younger adults (I’m nearly 18) but it was really easy to follow and quick to read. It wasn’t lengthy or tiresome at all. 4 stars.

Book Review: The Girl of Ink and Stars

This is quite a short YA novel, a standalone book that I just picked up on impulse. I immediately got the impression that this was aimed at slightly younger teens – the protagonist was only thirteen, so I didn’t really connect that much. It’s that awkward age where you think you’re old, but you’re not. I could imagine thirteen-year-old me would enjoy this quite a bit.
Isabella lives alone with her father, a skilled cartographer. Her mother and twin brother had passed away, leaving the two alone. The Governor had taken control of the land, and his daughter, Lupe, attended the same school as Isabella. The two were very close, and Isabella’s angered outburst causes Lupe to run off into the Hidden Territories to prove she wasn’t “rotten”. A classmate of theirs had recently been found dead, and Lupe was going to find the killer.

Isabella, disguised as her deceased brother, shows Lupe’s note to her father and a small group begin going after her, Isabella included. They follow a map passed down to Isabella’s mother, through blackened forests scattered with bones. They do find Lupe, along with the Banished and, worst of all, the hell dogs from Isabella’s favourite myth.

This myth turns out to play an important role in their journey, and Lupe discovers something about her father when he sacrifices himself to fend off the wolves. They face Yote himself – the mythical fire demon – and Isabella finds herself returning home without Lupe.

It is quite a young teen book, as I said, and the plot develops all because of Isabella calling Lupe’s family “rotten”. This drama and exaggeration is pretty typical of a children’s/teen book, I find, and seemed a little immature to me. The writing was great, I just couldn’t get over the simplicity and immaturity of the plot at times.

For a teen book, it was quite dark at times – a lot of death was included. The ending was both happy and sad, which is nice. I get quite fed up of too many happy endings. 3 stars.

WWW Wednesdays

It’s been ages since I last did this (as usual)… Sorry!

What am I currently reading?
I’m still reading The Three Musketeers, Adamant and Apple Tree Yard, as well as Everybody Hurts, The Great Gatsby, Othello and Batman and Robin volume #2.

What have I finished reading recently?The books I’ve finished most recently are The Killing JokeThe SystemThe Earthsea QuartetHarley’s Little Black BookInkheartTyranny and Batman and Robin volume #1.<a href="https://bookmarkedreading.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/graphic-novelcomic-book-review-batman-and-robin-volume-1-born-to-kill/&quot; batman="" and="" robin="" volume="" #1

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What am I reading next?

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Next up are Jestus on Rampage, Sharp Objects, Justice League of America, Hawkeye, Batman and Robin volume #3 and Anything That Isn’t This.


WWW Wednesdays

 

It’s been a very long time since I posted one of these, which means this one will be pretty long… Sorry!

What am I currently reading?

I am reading The Three MusketeersThe SystemApple Tree YardInkheartAdamant and The Earthsea Quartet.

What have I finished recently?

Since it’s been so long since I last posted one of these, I’m going to only list the ten most recently finished books: RipplerThe HeirShade, the Changing Girl Volume #1New Super-Man Volume #1Justice League vs. Suicide SquadGlass SwordBatman Beyond Volume #1DC Essential Graphic Novels 2017Kahayatle and The Monstrous Child.

What am I reading next?

Harley’s Little Black BookSharp Objects and Tales from Earthsea.

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Book Review: The Monstrous Child

The Monstrous Child

The Monstrous Child (Mortal Gods #3) by Francesca Simon – Paperback, 320 pages – Published December 1st 2016 by Faber Faber

I finished this on Tuesday but have had some technical problems, which is why I’m posting it now. (Sorry.)

Apparently this is book #3 in the Mortal Gods series – but I read it believing it to be a standalone novel and really enjoyed it like that. It’s another short, new YA book, which a pretty large font to fill up more space. I never used to like short books, but I’ve found some I’ve really enjoyed recently, including this one.

One of Loki’s (monstrous) children is Hel, a girl with a perfectly normal human body… except her legs are deadLike, full-on decaying dead. Still, she’s a goddess, even if she’s never treated as one.

Hel has learned to just deal with what she’s got in life and carry on. But when she’s kidnapped and taken to Asgard – the home of the gods – she finds an unexpected light of hope. His name is Baldr, and he’s the only one who’s ever treated her like she’s normal. The only problem is that he’s married.

And then, just to make matters worse, Hel is literally thrown into the underworld, sentenced to be the queen of Nifelheim for all of eternity. It’s cold, smelly, and soon enough, full of dead people. She’s alone, plotting her revenge on the gods, with no chance of escape – but at least it’s hers. She can build her own fortress without anyone guiding her; she can order the dead around however she pleases. And she can have a high seat ready, beside hers, for when Baldr inevitably comes for her.

What she wasn’t planning was a third seat…

Anyway, Hel has created Hel for the dead, the End of Days is drawing nearer, and dear old Dad has dropped by for a favour. All very… fun. 

I thought this was a really different kind of book. The narrative voice is really sarcastic and youthful, pretty funny too, as well as still sounding like a Norse goddess. She also sounded somewhat modern, too – which I suppose would be the case if you were immortal. Sometimes I found her to find a little too sarcastic and bitter, a little too chatty and “different”. I don’t know, it just didn’t sound all that natural sometimes.

The whole Norse theme was refreshing – not some paranormal YA romance that you see everywhere – and really well told. Hel was a really interesting character, too; modern enough to relate to yet still believably a Norse goddess.

As I said, I read this without realising there were other books before it in the series. I didn’t realise that at all while reading – I didn’t feel like I was missing anything and still enjoyed it plenty. I’m going to say 3.5 to 4 stars for The Monstrous Child. I’ll have to look out for the other books.

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Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Volume #2: Bottled Light

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Volume #2: Bottled Light

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps (DC Universe Rebirth) Volume #2: Bottled Light by Robert Venditti – eBook, 146 pages – Published June 6th 2017 by DC Entertainment

Following on from the previous volume, the Green Lanterns are back but Hal is gone. Sinestro has been defeated, but now the Lanterns are defending a planet from an attack by Starro.

While the Lanterns are fighting Starro, Hal Jordan finds himself in some mysterious realm with Abin Sur and other deceased Green Lanterns. The remaining Guardians of the Universe summon Kyle Rayner to try and retrieve Hal.

The Starro attack turns out to be a lure, though – bait. Brainiac is behind it, having captured the Green Lanterns (as well as the entire planet). But who’s behind him?…

It took me far longer than it should’ve to understand the title of this volume…

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Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

This is a really, really good story arc. I like this comic series in general, but this was really enjoyable and interesting. 4 stars. As well as the great plot, the writing is clever and pretty funny.

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WWW Wednesdays

I keep putting this off again. Oops. Sorry?

What am I currently reading?

I’m just starting Red Queen, and am also reading The Three Musketeers, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Vol. #2 and Kahayatle.

What have I finished recently?

Since the last post, I’ve finished Manga Classics: Emma, Superwoman Volume 1, Supergirl Volume #1, Blue Beetle Volume #1, Superman Action Comics Volume #2, The Jigsaw Man and Dead to You.

What am I reading next?

I’ll be starting Ocean of Secrets Volume #1Rippler and Justice League Volume 1: Origins next.

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WWW Wednesdays

What am I currently reading?

Right now I’m reading The Jigsaw Man, Kahayatle and Manga Classics: Emma.

What have I finished recently?

Over the past couple weeks (since I last posted a WWW Wednesday) I’ve finished Belle’s Tale and The Beast’s Tale, Evil Rises, American Vampire Volume #1 and My Heart and Other Black Holes.

What am I reading next?

I plan on reading 07-Ghost Volume #3, The Three Musketeers and Superwoman Volume #1: Who Killed Superman? next.

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