May 2019 Wrap Up

Another month over. Despite it being a pretty hellish month for me, I managed to read 8 books and I’ve posted every single day in May on here. That’s something I’m quite proud of and it’s been really good for me. It’s given me some focus. So I’m really pleased with this month. Anyway, here are the books I read this month.


A Storm of Swords by G. R. R. Martin

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This was a re-read for me. I’ve been going through the series again on audio and I’m really enjoying it again. Despite the narrator’s appalling pronunciation of names (the worst ones are Brienne as BRY-een and Petyr as PUH-tyre, they trigger me every single time). Hopefully, by the time I finish this re-read, we’ll have a release date for Winds of Winter. Please? 5/5 stars

Alice by Christina Henry

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I’ve been meaning to pick up this series for a long time and I finally did. I really enjoyed the book, but I also found some things very problematic. I talk about it more in my review, but I had a problem with how both men and women were portrayed in this book. It was otherwise very well written and compelling storytelling, but do be aware that it contains violence, sexual, physical and emotional abuse, animal abuse, pretty much any kind of abuse you can think of. 3.5/5

City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

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This was an audiobook I picked up on a whim and ended up enjoying a lot more than I thought I would. Especially towards the end, it was a bit slow to start with. I didn’t mind the pacing as much as I just didn’t like the insta-love that was focused on a lot in the first part of the book. As a result, I didn’t like any of the romance in this book. There’s a kind of love triangle, I can’t tell yet if it’s intended as a love triangle or one of the sides is intended as just a friendship. I would prefer the latter, but even then, I’m just not a fan of that character so I still wouldn’t love it. That kind of goes for all the characters, really. I found them all quite dis-likeable. That’s not to say that I hate them and I think at times the unlikeability was intentional. I still find them compelling, but I don’t love them. I really do love the world however and the political environment and mythology. That’s really what I’m here for. 3.75/5

Sadie by Courtney Summers

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Another audiobook. I think the majority of books I read this month were audiobooks. And I actually do recommend this story as an audiobook. I think it’s the best way to experience it. It was one of the best thriller/mystery books I’ve read in a while. I’ve reviewed it, so you can check that out, but it’s amazing and I recommend it. 5/5 stars

One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence

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Mark Lawrence has become one of my favourite, auto-buy authors. This was such a fun, short weird and heartwarming book. I believe the second one came out this month and the final book in the series is due to be released later this year and it’s just so much fun. It’s like Doctor Who meets Stranger Things. 3.75 stars

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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This has been sitting in my Audible library for some time and I finally decided to listen to it. I’m very glad I did, I really loved it. It’s such a beautifully told story and I really love survival stories. I love reading about people’s will to survive and the ingenuity that is brought out by that desire. I did fundamentally disagree with some of the main ideas of the main character. And that actually affected my rating of the book. Normally it wouldn’t, if they had been conveyed as simply something that the MC believed, it wouldn’t have. But the way that it was portrayed, it was one of the main things that the books was trying to convey. 3.5/5 stars

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

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I’ve been doing pretty well with reading authors that I already know I enjoy. I really like having read all or most of an author’s works if I enjoy their books, of course. There’s just something very satisfying about it. But like with finishing series, it’s something I’ve historically not been great at. But I’ve been doing that more lately and I’m glad. I really enjoyed this book, in some ways I liked it even more than his other series. It’s definitely not as complex, it’s aimed for a younger audience. But as a result of that, I didn’t struggle with the pacing the way I sometimes did with The First Law books. 4/5 stars

Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

I’ve only read one other Terry Pratchett book, but even I could tell this is not one of his best. It was one of his later works when he already struggled with Alzheimer’s, so it’s to be expected. It was still highly entertaining, especially the Audible audiobook. It’s full cast and it’s a show almost. It’s got sound effects and everything. It’s a lot of fun, I do recommend that if you’re able to get it. 3.5/5 stars

A Guide to Short Fantasy Books for a Level 3 N00b

So you’ve graduated both my Noob’s guide to fantasy and Noob’s guide to high fantasy? You’re ready for more you say? You’re ready for the next level. But you take a look at all those chunky fantasy books and those 7 book long series and you feel overwhelmed? It’s okay. It’s fine. Don’t worry about it. I’m here to save you with some nice, short fantasy books. So have a seat. Relax. I got you.


Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones

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This is such a beloved story. Studio Ghibli made it even more so. You’ve probably seen the anime. If you haven’t I do recommend it. But we’re here to talk about books. Whether or not you’ve seen the anime, I think you’ll enjoy this book. It’s a sweet, fun, charming story. And it’s short. Barely over 300 pages. If you’re a bit intimidated by fantasy, this just what the doctor ordered.

Temeraire by Naomi Novik

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This one’s for all you historical fiction lovers out there. This is a series that takes place during the Napoleonic wars. With the notable difference of dragons. This first book is amazing, it’s so sweet and funny and full of action. Again, pretty short. Under 400 pages, so it’s fast paced, easy to read and not too heavy on the fantasy. I feel like this is a perfect entry book for historical fiction lovers into fantasy and for fantasy lovers into historical fiction. And if you’re new to both, then even better. This book will broaden your horizons.

Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

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Speaking of dragons and of broadening horizons, this one is for you contemporary lovers. Imagine a fun, not too angsty, but still angsty, charmingly written contemporary. Take all the beloved elements of that: cute romance, some great friendships, some school drama, some family drama. Then add some dragons to it and you’ll get an idea of what this book is like. I admit, I am not the biggest fan of contemporaries. So I was expecting not to love this when I picked it up. But I ended up loving it. It’s just so much fun to read. It’s very fast paced and also barely over 300 pages, so it’s super quick to read.

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

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If you want something short (less than 300 pages!) and satirical. Full of whimsy, imagination and lots of action (and giant turtles of unknown sex). Then this is the book for you.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

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If you’ve been reading this post and thinking to yourself “Pfft, I may be new to fantasy, but I’m not that new to it. I’m ready for more. I’m ready for something a bit heftier, a bit more complex.” Or maybe you’ve been thinking “But Romana, I’ve already read all of those! What do I do now?!” I got you. Don’t worry. Try Uprooted. It’s a bit longer, about 450 pages. But it’s a standalone. The magic is a bit more complex. There’s more fantasy elements. But it’s such a beautiful story with a rich, fairy-tale atmosphere that’ll suck you right in.

November-December 2018 Wrap Up

The end of 2018 was pretty tough for me. I had a lot of work and also a lot of personal things going on. So I didn’t get to read as much as I would have liked. I still managed to finish 8 books in the final two months of the year, which is not too bad.


Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie

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This is the sequel to The Blade Itself which I read earlier in the year and still haven’t reviewed. I’ve been comparatively good with continuing with series this year. And I’m hoping to carry that into 2019. I’m actually currently reading the next book in this series and thoroughly enjoying it. Anyway, to talk about Before They Are Hanged, it was not as good as the first book in my opinion. It was still really good, but I did find it had a bit of a second book slump. Still, so much happened in this book. The world was expanded on, we met some new and fascinating characters and got to explore some old ones. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am now a Joe Abercrombie fan. I gave this book 4/5 stars. 

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

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In the spirit of continuing with series, I finished listening to this on audio. Once again, it was not as good as the first book. I still really enjoyed the characters and the narration. However, I did have a little issue with it because it was set in my homeland of Transylvania and liberties were taken with folklore and the language and stuff like that. Still, it was enjoyable and I do look forward to continue with this series. 3/5 stars.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

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This is by far my last favourite Schwab book. It’s probably because it’s middle grade. I don’t feel like Victoria can do middle grade as well as she does YA or adult. It had an interesting concept and it was entertaining, I liked the characters and the setting. But I just wanted more from it. 3/5 stars.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

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I finally finished listening to this. It was a good book, but sadly not really my kind of book. I’m just not so much into these stories of middle class drama. It was really well written and set in Amsterdam, which was really cool to read about. But I tend to like my stakes higher in my books. This is not an epic story. It did have an interesting mystery and as I said, it’s really well written. Just not my cup of tea. I ended up giving it 3.5/5 stars, because I just had to appreciate the skill that went into writing the book.

The Wicked and the Divine: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen

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I’d heard a lot about this graphic novel series and was intrigued so I picked up the first volume. I was not as wowed by it as I was expecting to be. I really enjoyed the art in it. It’s absolutely stunning and the concept is really cool. But the execution left something to be desired in my opinion. It was just confusing. And I usually don’t mind being dropped into the middle of a story. But the way that things happened didn’t seem to flow to me. It was kind of fragmented in a way. Like we were missing chunks in the story. Characters showed up out of nowhere. And I think it was intentional and this sort of storytelling can be very gripping. But there was just something missing. It didn’t feel smoothly done in my opinion. I’m still interested in continuing with the series though. 3.5/5 stars. 

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

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I finally, FINALLY finished this book. It took me over a year to read. It was good, except that chaol was in it. If it had been someone other than Chaol, this would have been like a 4 or 4.5 star read. But because I hate Chaol so much, it was a 2/5 stars.

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

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Sara Raasch Has cool concepts but her books always fall short for me. They’re just meh. And this one was no exception. The characters were stereotypical, the plot was predictable. It was just… meh. 2/5 stars

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

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I finished the year with a bang. I am so glad I chose this as my final read of 2018. I’ve been putting off reading Terry Pratchett for some time now, but I shouldn’t have because it was just as brilliant as everyone told me it would be. I had a blast with this book and I can’t wait to continue with the Discworld books. 5/5 stars

My TBR Shelf

I’ve never had a designated TBR shelf before. I usually kept read and unread books together. But I recently moved to a new flat and I have this little shelf right next to my bed, so I decided to put my unread books on it. These aren’t all of my unread owned books, because they wouldn’t all fit, so I kept my unread non-fiction books separately.

A great photographer, I am not, but this is what the shelf looks like at the moment.


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The books on here aren’t actually sorted in any particular way except that the hardbacks are at one end and I kind of grouped the white books, but other than that I just shoved them on in whatever order. The little shelf at the top holds the books that I’ve already started but have yet to finish.

In case you are for whatever reason curious as to what books are on my TBR shelf, they are as follows:

Top shelf (started but not yet finished)

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas – I’ve legit been reading this for a year now. Since it came out last year. I’m just really not enjoying it, mainly because I cannot stand Chaol. I just want to get through it so I can get to Kingdom of Ash. I’m almost halfway through it (I know, I hate Chaol that much).

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks – This is another one that I just couldn’t really get into. I was actually expecting to enjoy this book and series as I’ve heard great things about it from people I trust. And I am intrigued by the plot and the world, but again, I dislike the main character and it just puts me off reading it. Every time I pick it up, I read a few pages and I put it back down. I’m 135 pages into this one.

Looking for Alaska by John Green – I started reading this at the start of September, but then I just really haven’t been in a contemp kind of mood, so I haven’t been picking it up much.

The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis – This is the non-fiction that I’m currently reading and as usual with Lewis’ books, I’m really enjoying it. Though I have to say at least so far, this one is my least favourite of his books that I have read.

What If? Serious Scientific Answersto Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe – This is another non-fiction that I’m reading, though not as actively as The Four Loves. Because of the nature of this book, this is what I pick up when I have only 5 minutes and want a quick pick me up as each chapter is very entertaining and usually quite short.

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch – You can’t actually see the spine of this one, but it’s the one with green pages. This is my meh book of the moment. Am I the only one who has a book that’s just kind of mediocre that you read when you’re too tired for anything that requires more than a quarter of a brain and you don’t want to read a book you love because you won’t be able to focus, but you want to read? Or when you just finished an awesome book and you know you won’t be able to focus on a new one, but you also want to keep reading? No? Just me? Anyway, this is my second Sara Raasch book and I didn’t really like the first one either.

The Bat by Jo Nesbo – Final book on the little shelf. I’ve been reading this book even longer than ToD. I’m debating just admitting that I’m never going to finish it. But… it was recommended to me by someone special and I just really wanted to like it.

Bottom shelf

I haven’t actually read any of these, so I don’t have much to say about each one. I’ll just list them, from left to right:

Hardbacks

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas | Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton | Turtles All the Way Down by John Green | The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett | State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury | Vengeful by V. E. Schwab

Paperbacks

The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund | Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pincola Estes | Elantris by Brandon Sanderson |A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by G. R. R. Martin | Origin by Dan Brown | Down River by John Hart

Wild Embers by Nikita Gill | The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood | City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab | The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett | Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu | Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen | A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas | Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel | American Gods by Neil Gaiman

A Huge Book Haul

I haven’t actually made a haul post since April. That’s 6 months of acquiring books. So… I don’t even know how many books there are going to be. A lot.


Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton | These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch | Angry White Pyjamas by Robert Twigger | Catwoman Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas | Origin by Dan Brown

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett | The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett | Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie | Elantris by Brandon Sanderson | A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

City of Ghosts by V. E. Schwab | Vengeful by V. E. Schwab | The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred Year Old Man by Jonas Jonasson | Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik | Down River by John Hart

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel | Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel | Lifelike by Jay Kristoff | Wild Embrace by Nikita Gill | The Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin

That’s it, unless I’m forgetting something. Which is entirely likely. Actually not as many as I was expecting. I was on a book buying ban for a couple of months though, so that’s probably why the total only comes up to 20. And some of these, I didn’t even buy myself!

Books I Own But Haven’t Read #3

Alright, let’s get on with the list of doom.

Part 1 | Part 2


Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey

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This is actually one of the (many) books that I’m currently reading. I’m about halfway through and I don’t know why I stopped, I need to finish this.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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Another one that I’m currently reading and loving. I really need to finish the books I’ve started instead of starting new ones.

All Fall Down, See How They Run, Take the Key and Lock Her Up and Not if I Save You First by Ally Carter

I won these 4  Ally Carter books in a giveaway and I don’t know… I started reading the first one and I find the MC to be quite annoying. We’ll see how i feel once I’ve finished it. Actually, the last one is not part of the series of the first 3 ones and I’m pretty sure that last on isn’t out yet. But anyway.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

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I need to read this already. It’s so small and Auri is one of my favourite characters ever and I don’t know why I haven’t read it yet. I think it’s because if I do, then I’ll have read everything in this series that is published and I’ll have nothing until whenever book three is published.

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

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I started reading this as well. But it wasn’t what I had expected, so I stopped. I’m gonna get to it eventually. It’s good. I didn’t dislike it, I was just expecting fantasy when I picked up Terry Pratchett and then it wasn’t fantasy, so I was disappointed.

Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe

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To be fair, I’ve read most of the stories in here. I just have a couple left, so I can’t say that I’ve read this book. But I’ll get there.

Temeraire by Naomi Novik

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I bought this book earlier this year and then I went home over the summer and took it with me and I didn’t read it, but I also didn’t bring it with me when I left. So it’s currently at my parents’ house and I’m really annoyed because I read Uprooted by Naomi Novik recently and I loved it and now I really want to read more of her books, but I don’t have this one and I kind of don’t want to buy it again.

A-Z Quotes – T

"Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one." -Terry Pratchett

I was chatting to someone the other day and I mentioned that I love fantasy. And this person said to me they’ve tried to get into fantasy many times, but always found it so boring and preferred real life. Of all the things they could have said, I expected this the least. How can fantasy possibly be boring? I get that it’s not for everyone. But boring? More boring than real life? I mean… it’s got everything that real life has, plus magic and awesomeness. How can that be more boring? I, of course, said as much and suggested perhaps they just hadn’t tried good fantasy. But that person just said “No. I’ve tried. I simply lack the imagination for it.”

Previous quote | All quotes | Next quote

Spring Book Haul

I have decided that for this haul, I would do a video because some of the books that I have to haul are just so beautiful and I wanted to adequately fangirl over them, which is difficult to do through pictures and text. If you don’t feel like watching a shitty, badly edited 12 minute long video of me rambling on about book, then I will put a list of the books in my haul with all relevant links below, so keep scrolling past the video. If you’re okay with a shitty, 12 minute long rambly video, then enjoy.

Books and links

Cradle and All by James Patterson

Book Depository | Goodreads

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Book Depository | Goodreads

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Book Depository | Goodreads

A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab

Amazon | Goodreads | Review

*Also review of A Darker Shade of Magic A Gathering of Shadows

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Book Depository | Goodreads | Review

*Also review of The Raven Boys 

Replica by Lauren Oliver

Book Depository | Goodreads

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Book Depository | Goodreads | Review

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Book Depository | Goodreads