Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters Who Need to Join My Reverse Harem

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Because next week is Valentine’s Day, this week’s theme is Valentine’s Day. I’m going to be featuring ten characters who I adore and they totally all need to join my reverse harem right now. These are in my particular order but William Herondale is bae.


1. Will Herondale (The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare)

What can I say about Will Herondale that hasn’t already been said? He’s smart, sexy, broody and is an amazing friend *heart eyes*. I just want him to read to me every night.

2. Jase Garrett (My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick)

I’ve said this many times before, but Jase is just the ultimate good guy. And we need more characters like him who are just super nice and caring, and have no unnecessary drama. Jase is amazing with his younger siblings and he can totally fix my car… when I buy one eventually.

3. Richard Gansey III (The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater)

Obviously I need an enigmatic rich boy in my reverse harem and Gansey is perfect for the role. He’s super smart and I love all of his little quirks. I just want to hug him all the time and protect him from all the bees.

4. Kaz Brekker (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)

Kaz is cutthroat but is super sweet to the people he loves. And as much as I don’t want to split up Kaz and Inej… he really needs to join my harem. We could go sailing and then he can be all sweet and romantic with his “Stay in Ketterdam. Stay with me.” But I’m too much of a city girl…so I’ll probably end up ruining the moment by saying “Ketterdam sucks. Come to Australia.”

5. Rowan Whitethorn (Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas)

My sexy fae prince. I love Rowan’s determination and how he protects those he cares about. Also his possessiveness is just *squeeaaalls*

6. Prince Theron (Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch)

Theron was the character that I fell in love with straight away in Snow Like Ashes. He loves poetry and the arts, and he’s just really sweet and romantic. I don’t like Theron as much in Ice Like Fire but I’ll always be in love with first book Theron.

7. Captain Carswell Thorne (The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer)

I was tossing up between Prince Kai and Captain Thorne…but ultimately, I went with Thorne because he’s hilarious and will provide so much comic relief. All the other guys are pretty serious and intense, and Captain Thorne will bring all the fun! Plus he can drive a spaceship so… fun space adventures are in my future.

8. Cluck Corbeau (The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore)

I read The Weight of Feathers recently, and it’s become one of my favourite books. Cluck is just an amazing love interest. He’s another character that I want to hug and never let go of. He’s been through a lot but I’ll be sure to treat him well.

9. Jem Carstairs (The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare)

I love Jem. Not as much as Will, but it’s pretty hard not to love Jem Carstairs. He’s so caring and loyal and unafraid to do what’s right. Even demonic cats love him. But mostly, he’s on this list because I just could not split up Will and Jem.

10. Willem De Ruiter (Just One Day by Gayle Forman)

Willem is another enigmatic character but I love that he’s a bit of a lost soul. He loves to travel, so we could travel around Europe together. He speaks French, Dutch and English… which I find extremely attractive. And he’s also super romantic… and I love romance.


So keeping in mind that all ten of these men belong to me (mwahahaha), who would you invite to join your harem?

Review: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

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Publisher: Razorbill
Release date: January 26, 2016
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Pages: 400
Goodreads || Book Depository

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start…until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

MY THOUGHTS

35 stars

This book was very hard for me to rate. I initially rated it 4 stars, but upon reflection, it’s really more of a 3.5… or even a 3. Overall, if I had to sum up my experience of this book with one word, it would be “confused”. I was confused when I started the book, confused during the middle section of the book, and even more confused by the time I had finished the book. I’ve come to terms with the fact that this book is confusing and no matter how many times I read it, I will still be confused. And I think this might be the case for a lot of readers, so that’s something to keep in mind before picking up the book.

Disclaimer: This review probably makes zero sense because I was so confused but I wanted to get my thoughts out into the world. And maybe, if you’ve read the book, you can help me out?

So… why am I so confused? First of all, I have no idea how to categorise this book. Initially I thought it was contemporary with a bit of magical realism. Then it started feeling very paranormal. And finally, we learn that there is time-travel. So, I’ve basically just categorised it as contemporary, fantasy, magical realism and sci-fi. Of course, this is a super minor point… so let’s move on to what the book is actually about.

Natalie lives in a small town in Kentucky and ever since she was a child, she has been visited during the night by somebody called ‘Grandmother’ who tells her stories about creation and how the world began. However, nobody else can see Grandmother and everybody dismisses these visitations as hallucinations. One night, Natalie receives one final visit from Grandmother who tells her that she only has 3 months to save “him” and that she needs to find “Alice Chan” in order to do so. Natalie has no idea who she’s meant to be saving or who Alice Chan is but the next day, she meets Beau, a boy she has never met before even though they live in the same town.

Probably one of the main reasons why I felt so confused about the time travel elements of this book was because they were linked to psychology. At the beginning of the book, we find out that Natalie has gone through some trauma and has been seeing a therapist and trying a variety of different therapies in order to overcome her hallucinations. There’s a lot of information given about different kinds of hallucinations and there are even consultations with a professor of psychology who specialises in ‘visitations’ and psychic phenomena.

Because of my background in psychology, I could feel myself rejecting most of what was written, and I wasn’t able to suspend my disbelief and just be taken into the story and the world. First of all, there were these huge info-dumps on hallucinations and the Myer-Briggs personality types that, while well-researched and accurate, was honestly kind of overwhelming for me even though I have pretty sound knowledge on these topics. But the main reason why my brain rejected these concepts was because everything was based not on psychology but pseudo-psychology. While we all like to have our fun with the Myer-Briggs Test and call ourselves INFJs or INTPs, this is pseudo-psychology. The test has poor validity and reliability, and there is just no way that any research or theory could be or should be based upon these personality types. I found the professor of psychology that Natalie was consulting to be absolutely unprofessional in her approach and her area of study. There is no way, NO WAY, that somebody who specialises in psychic phenomena could be the head of the psychology department at a university. Because, in case this wasn’t clear, the study of visitations and premonitions is not an area of psychology. Sure, there are plenty of researchers who study consciousness and hallucinations, but none that are linked to psychic phenomena.

Because I resisted all these concepts, I had a hard time accepting what was happening. But none of this mattered because soon after, the concept of time-travel and multiple dimensions was introduced. Which left me feeling even more confused because I had no idea what I was supposed to think or believe. Is this all happening because she has a personality type that makes her prone to having hallucinations of people and things she shouldn’t be seeing? Or does she just have the ability to move through time and space? Or is it a combination of the two? Some of these questions were answered at the end, but I had a hard time fully understanding the explanation. Everything is explained to us at the end of the book, without us or Natalie truly having to figure it all out. I wasn’t a fan of this approach because I feel like I could have understood what was happening a little bit more if we had followed Natalie on her journey to unravelling the mystery. Instead, we were just told what happened and if you don’t understand the explanation… you’re never going to because the way that it was explained is never going to change.

Because I couldn’t completely latch on to the world and everything that was happening, I had to rely on the romance to keep me invested in the story. Thankfully, this book is first and foremost a romance story. The novel is filled with scenes of Beau and Natalie, and if you enjoy the two of them together, you’ll have no problems getting through this book. Sadly, I didn’t really fall into this camp. I enjoyed both of their characters and I didn’t mind their love story, but overall it felt a little bit unoriginal and lacklustre. There is a severe case of insta-love and the romance progresses rather quickly. It’s definitely a love at first sight kind of story about two people who are soul mates. It has little development because they pretty much go from being strangers to being in love within a few days.

What redeemed the book for me was the writing. The way Emily Henry writes is magical. Her words are lyrical and beautiful, and they kept me reading the book even when I was confused and wanted to quit. I also enjoyed the stories that Grandmother told Natalie. They were intriguing and the way they were told was just so captivating. They were, by far, my favourite aspect of the book.

Even though the book was confusing to me and I had no idea what happened at the end of the book, this wasn’t a bad reading experience. I loved the writing and it took me on a journey. I also liked the characters and the diversity that was in the book. But I was just left a bit unsatisfied… and confused.

Review: The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard

The Stars at Oktober Bend | FRONT COVER (20 October 2015)

Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release date: January 27, 2016
Format: Paperback (RRP: $19.99)
Source: Publisher
Pages: 288
Goodreads || Book Depository || Booktopia

Alice Nightingale writes about how it is to have perfect thoughts that come out in slow, slurred speech. She imagines herself stepping into clear midair with wings made of words and feathers.

Manny James runs at night, trying to escape memories of his past. He sees Alice on the roof of her river house, looking like a figurehead on a ship sailing through the stars. He has a poem in his pocket and he knows the words by heart. He is sure that girl has written them.

Alice longs to be everything a fifteen-year-old girl can be. And when she sees the running boy she is anchored to the earth by the desire to see him again.

MY THOUGHTS

45 stars

How do I even begin to find the words to express how much this book meant to me? This was an absolutely beautiful story about overcoming adversity and living with hope and courage. It’s a simple story that is just done so right.

This novel follows 15 year old Alice, who struggles with her speech after a traumatic incident that happened when she was 12. As a result, she doesn’t go to school and spends most of her time writing poetry, fly tying and trying not to do anything that will lead to seizures. She starts leaving her poetry and ‘perfect thoughts’ in public places for people to read, but nobody has ever taken her seriously until Manny James stumbles upon her poem at the railway station. Manny was a child soldier in Sierra Leone. He’s adjusting to his new life and new family in Australia, after losing his family, and Alice and her poetry quickly becomes his salvation.

The first thing you’ll notice when you flip open this book is the writing style. This book has a very unique writing style, with strange syntax and punctuation. Alice ‘s voice is incredibly unique and can take a while to get used to. I had a little bit of a hard time getting my mind to focus during the first couple of pages, but I quickly realised how lyrical and beautiful the writing was. Because of this, I decided to read the entire book aloud and it really helped me to get into the writing style and Alice’s voice very quickly. The weird syntax and lack of capital letters in the writing really reflected Alice’s character and I really appreciated the way the book was written. This novel is written partly in prose and partly in verse. Sometimes it switches without warning and others in a more logical manner. I adored this format and thought it added a lot to the story. It made Alice’s voice truly her own. We also get to read from Manny’s perspective in this book, and his chapters were written much more traditionally, in prose and with proper syntax and punctuation. I thought his voice also reflected who he was as a person and I loved being able to read from his point of view as well.

for some
twelve is a nice number
but i
am alice
fifteen times
over

All of the characters in this book were outstanding but my favourite was definitely Alice. She went through a traumatic experience that nobody should have to go through, and to some people around her, she will always be the 12 year old girl she was before the incident. But even though her life changed when she was 12, and some of her abilities are stunted, she keeps trying to grow and prove that she’s more than what happened to her at 12. Her strength moved me to tears and her bravery just left me speechless.

he had listened to fragments of my stumbling speech and begged me to speak again. his wanting to listen made no difference to my speech. it was no clearer, quicker or more fluent. my words did not sound like birdsong or poetry, but manny watched me and waited while i spoke. asked me when he didn’t understand.

My favourite aspect of this book were the relationships. The way that the characters cared for and cared about each other was just amazing to witness. The relationship between Alice and Manny transcended just teenage romance. The discovery of somebody who you can share your darkest secrets with, and somebody who will listen and try to understand you is just the most heartwarming thing, and I felt so lucky to be able to read about Alice and Manny finding each other the way that they did. Their connection and attraction did feel a little bit too instant, but I didn’t even care because they’re absolutely made for each other.

While the relationship between Alice and Manny was stellar, it was Alice’s relationship with her brother, Joey, that was my favourite. To see Joey, a young teenager himself, be so protective and supportive towards Alice… I just could not stop crying. To see him take on the role of being the man of the house, and look after Alice and his ailing grandmother, I really felt for him. His love for his family and for Alice was so evident from the first chapter and I wished that I had Joey as my brother.

The plot of this book is simple. The author doesn’t try to do anything complicated and, instead, focuses on and explores the strength of the characters and the bonds between them. I really appreciated the simplicity of it and the way the author was still able to give me a good case of the feels. This was a fantastic new Australian YA novel that I cannot recommend highly enough.

Book Haul: January 2016

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After my disaster of last month, when I acquired 40+ books, I decided to go on a book buying ban in January and it actually worked out quite well. This haul only contains 11 books, which is a massive improvement from the previous couple of months. I didn’t buy a single book for myself, though I did receive some books that I preordered from Book Depository. I’m happy to say that I’ve read almost every single one of the books I acquired this month and you can check out my January Wrap Up here.

BOOK DEPOSITORY

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These were all highly anticipated 2016 releases of mine and I preordered them in late November. They’re all super beautiful and I’m so happy to have them in my possession.

RECEIVED

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I requested a couple of books from publishers and was so happy to receive them. Thanks to HarperCollins for Not If I See You First and Lady Helen. I received Max from Text Publishing. And thanks to Allen & Unwin for The Stars at Oktober Bend! Aentee @ Read at Midnight was kind enough to send me her copy of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. Seriously, can that girl be any more awesome?!

EBOOKS

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The author of Chewy Noh sent me an electronic copy of the book for review. And I preordered The Distance from A to Z on iBooks a few weeks back.

Review: Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

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Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Release date: December 14, 2015
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Pages: 448
Goodreads || Book Depository || Booktopia

London, April 1812. Lady Helen Wrexhall is set to make her debut at the court of Queen Charlotte and officially step into polite Regency society and the marriage mart. Little does Helen know that step will take her from the opulent drawing rooms of Mayfair and the bright lights of Vauxhall Gardens into a shadowy world of missing housemaids and demonic conspiracies.

Standing between those two worlds is Lord Carlston, a man of ruined reputation and brusque manners. He believes Helen has a destiny beyond the ballroom; a sacred and secret duty. Helen is not so sure, especially when she discovers that nothing around her is quite as it seems, including the enigmatic Lord Carlston.

MY THOUGHTS

4 stars

I received a copy of Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club is set during the Regency period in London and follows Lady Helen, a girl who has just been presented to the Queen and is expected to marry somebody of high standing. However, she quickly realises that she’s developing some strange abilities and discovers a secret world full of demons that she didn’t know existed.

My favourite aspect of this book was the setting and time period. I love historical fiction and the detail that was put into building the world was incredible. I had such a vivid image of what Regency London looked like, including the way people dressed and the customs and traditions that they followed. Everything seemed very authentic to the time period and it was clear that a lot of research had gone into creating a historically accurate world. Alison Goodman spends a good portion of the book really setting the scene and making sure that her readers are immersed in this Regency London scene. What I didn’t think was done as well was the building of the paranormal world. There’s very little information given and we’re learning about it as Lady Helen discovers more about it herself. We don’t find out a lot about the different kinds of demons and what ‘Reclaimers’ actually do. We’ve barely scratched the surface of the world in this book and I just needed a little bit more to really get into the series because I was left with a lot of questions.

However, what I did learn about the paranormal world, I really liked and was intrigued by. I thought it was interesting that there were different kinds of demons that feed on different things or aspects of a humanity, such as creativity, lust or violence. I did find the demons to be a little bit weird though… They’re tentacled creatures that grow more tentacles as they feed from humans. The whole process of the feeding was just weirdly sexual and I found it to be kind of creepy and disturbing. I was also intrigued by the work of the Reclaimers and how much alchemy is involved in the process of reclaiming a soul that’s been taken over by demon. Like I mentioned previously, there isn’t a lot of information given about the processes and a lot of what we were told was very complex. There are lots of things going on like transferring demonic energies to the earth, meditation and even drinking elixirs. I actually gagged a little when I read about the elixir because it sounded so disgusting!

I really enjoyed Lady Helen as a main character. She was intelligent and independent, without being reckless, and I really appreciated that she still continued to follow the rules of society. I enjoyed that she respected that women needed to behave in certain ways but that she also recognised that she could be more than who she was expected to be. She was just a wonderful balance of femininity and independence. I thought her character was complex and multifaceted, and it’s very difficult to not fall in love with her, as her friends would agree. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the friendships in this book. Lady Helen is fantastic with her fellow society ladies, but she’s also extremely kind to her maids. The relationship between Lady Helen and her maid, Darby, was my favourite in the novel and I’m just in love with these strong female characters and friendships.

I also appreciated that instead of focusing on the romance, this book was primarily about Lady Helen’s discovery of her identity as a demon hunter and her choice to become a demon hunter or stay as a society lady. There’s very little romance in this book, though there is a small love triangle and a hint of more to come in subsequent books. I enjoyed that there was no insta-love and that Lord Carlston acts as her mentor rather than her love interest (like I was led to believe from the blurb). It felt very refreshing and I appreciated that the very small hint of romance that we got to see was very sensible and mature. It’s definitely not a passionate and all-consuming romance.

Lastly, I wanted to talk briefly about the pace of the book. This book is incredibly slow. It definitely reads like a historical fiction novel, and if historical fiction isn’t really a genre that you like to read, you might not enjoy the pace of this one. Nothing much really happens during the first third of the book beyond setting the scene. However, there was lots of mystery at the beginning and it had me very intrigued and captivated, so I didn’t mind the slow pace too much. I did think that the book could have been quite a bit shorter though, since there’s only a small amount of action.

Overall, I thought this was a great first book to the series. It was a wonderful introduction to the world and hopefully we’ll learn more about the paranormal aspects in the next book.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Historical Fiction Novels

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Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres and I’m so happy that this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) topic is past or future. I’m not a huge reader of sci-fi, so I thought I’d feature 10 of my favourite historical fiction novels this week. I haven’t included any historical fantasy novels. These are all purely historical fiction, though some do have some magical realism elements. And in case you couldn’t tell, I love WWII historical fiction!!!

1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This one is a no-brainer. It’s my favourite book of all time so it has to appear on this list. This book is set in France and Germany during WWII.

2. Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali

This book is another WWII historical fiction novel but is one that is written from a very unique perspective. This book follows Max from his time as an unborn foetus inside his pregnant mother, until the war ends when he’s 10. Max is a Hitler youth whose conception and upbringing was heavily monitored in order to produce the perfect little soldier.

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Another one of my favourite WWII historical fiction novels – I’m sure you all know what this one’s about. This was the first required reading that I actually enjoyed and it sparked my love for WWII and historical fiction. This book is set in Germany.

4. The Lake House by Kate Morton

I thought I’d give you a break from the WWII fiction… The Lake House is a mystery novel about a child who disappeared in Cornwall in the 1930s. A detective from the present day hears about this mysterious disappearance and decides to uncover what really happened.

5. Goodnight, Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

This is a children’s book that I read when I was 12 and absolutely loved. I don’t remember too much of what happened but I was deeply affected by it and I remember begging my parents to buy me a copy of it. It still has a proud place on my shelves and I hope to reread it sometime this year. This book is set in Britain during WWII and is about a boy called Willie who is evacuated from London to the country. He is cared for by an elderly man, Mister Tom, and the bond between them grows.

6. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

This novel is set in Amsterdam in the 17th century. The descriptions in this book are so vivid and I really felt like I was there in 17th century Amsterdam. I’ve only read a handful of books set in the Netherlands and this one was truly unique.

7. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Another WWII historical fiction novel… The Narrow Road to the Deep North is the 2014 Man Booker Prize Winner. It’s a heartwrenching story about Australian soldiers in Japanese prisoner of war camps.

8. A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman

This novel is set in Cornwall during WWI and is about a friendship between a 90 year old woman and a young soldier who floats ashore near her home. This was beautifully written and made me realise that I love WWI fiction almost as much as I love WWII.

9. Madame Tussaud’s Apprentice by Kathleen Benner Duble

As you can probably tell from the title, this book is set in France during the French Revolution. While there were some aspects of the book that kept me from giving it more than 3.5 stars, I thoroughly enjoyed the setting of the novel and it was a time period that I’ve read very little about.

10. Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki

I couldn’t talk about historical fiction without mentioning my favourite manga, Rurouni Kenshin. This one is set in the Meiji era in Japan, which is a time period and setting that I love to read about. It’s definitely my favourite period of Japanese history, with Taisho as a close second. I love all mangas, animes, novels that are set during Meiji and Taisho.


Let me know what some of your historical fiction novels are. I’m always on the look out for more WWII fiction and other historical fiction in general! And if non-fantasy historical fiction isn’t your thing, let me know what historical fantasy novels you love! My favourite is probably The Infernal Devices ❤

 

Wrap Up: January 2016

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I am so excited about 2016 because there are so many fantastic books coming out this year! I’ve had the pleasure of reading quite a few 2016 releases this month and I can’t wait to share my brief thoughts on each book! I read a total of 17 books this month (plus one reread) and I’m super ahead in my 100 book challenge!

I wanted to talk briefly about my reading goals for this year. I’ve created a new page called 2016 Reading Challenges that lists my 4 goals for this year. In addition to reading 100 books this year, I’m hoping to read The Complete Sherlock Holmes by the end of the year. This month, I read A Study in Scarlet, one of the four novels in the collection. I’ve also signed up for one reading challenge, which is to read all of the Youth Media Awards YA Books of 2016. You can check out the challenges on my Reading Challenges Page. Lastly, I’m also planning to participate each month in Aentee @ Read at Midnight‘s new Diverse YA Book Club!

[edit: I completely forgot about the Aussie YA Bloggers 2016 Book Club Challenge! I’ll be adding a section on my Reading Challenges page later].

Jan16

January16

Reading summary header

As always, these books appear in the order that I read them and their reviews are linked. I am a co-blogger at Happy Indulgence and I also post YA reviews there.

1. Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods – Rick Riordan (illustrated by John Rocco)  5 stars

A beautifully illustrated guide to the 12 major gods (and goddesses) of Olympus. It also contains chapters about the beginning of the world and the Titans. I absolutely loved this and will treasure this book forever.

2. Madame Tussaud’s Apprentice – Kathleen Benner Duble  35 stars

This is a historical fiction novel set in France during the French Revolution. It follows a young orphan girl who is a thief and steals from the rich. One day she is given the opportunity to work as an apprentice for Madame Tussaud and discovers that the world doesn’t work the way she thought it did…

3. The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski  45 stars

This is one of my new favourite series now. It has a superbly constructed plot and world. The characters are magnificent and the tension will have you rolling around in anticipation.

4. The Winner’s Crime – Marie Rutkoski  5 stars

One of my favourite novels of all time! This was the perfect sequel to The Winner’s Curse. The yearning and tension and political intrigue in this book was out of this world!! Cannot recommend this one highly enough and it was, by far, my favourite book of the month,.

5. Passenger – Alexandra Bracken  4 stars

A scavenger hunt through time and space, Passenger follows the story of a violin virtuoso who discovers that she comes from a family of time travellers.

6. Chewy Noh and the March of Death – Tim Learn  25 stars

The third instalment of the Chewy Noh series, this one was a little bit disappointing since I enjoyed the first two so much. I still found the Korean culture and the mythology to be fascinating though.

7. The Distance from A to Z – Natalie Blitt  3 stars

A short and fast-paced contemporary romance about a girl who attends an intensive French language course during the summer. She falls in love with her French speaking partner… and things happen. I wasn’t a big fan of this one. It was a pretty average plot with a frustrating and dislikable main character. This book also had a large amount of dialogue that was in French, with English translations provided at the end of every line, which felt very repetitive to me since I’ve studied French in the past. It also kind of broke the flow of the book a little. This novel was just kind of average.

8. Second Chance Summer – Morgan Matson  5 stars

This is one of my new favourite coming of age stories. It’s a beautiful summery contemporary about forgiveness and second chances. It had wonderful characters and the perfect balance of family, romance and friendship.

9. Yuki Chan in Brontë Country – Mick Jackson  35 stars

An adult novel about a Japanese girl in a small English town during the winter. Yuki is on a quest to find out what led to her mother’s death a decade ago. This was a beautifully written story about a girl travelling alone to a foreign country.

10. Truthwitch – Susan Dennard  4 stars

The first book in a new four-book high fantasy series, Truthwitch was one long escape/survival story. It has some amazing characters and ships and an intriguing magic system, but lacked a little on the world building.

11. Symptoms of Being Human – Jeff Garvin  4 stars

A unique and eye-opening novel about a gender fluid character. There’s a lot of information about gender fluidity packed into this book but it felt a little bit plotless at times.

12. Not If I See You First – Eric Lindstrom  35 stars

Another eye-opening read about a blind main character and her discovery that things aren’t always as they seem. It was a fast-paced read and I enjoyed how the book explored blindness. It was lighthearted and showed how the main character is able to do things that others can do.

13. Max – Sarah Cohen-Scali  5 stars

Written from the perspective of a boy who was conceived and molded into the perfect Hitler youth, this book follows Max’s journey from birth until the end of WWII. This book is profound and disturbing and I enjoyed reading about the Nazi Regime from such a unique perspective.

14. Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club – Alison Goodman  4 stars

A paranormal fantasy, set in Regency London, this book follows Lady Helen as she discovers that she’s not just a regular young lady in 19th century London. She discovers a clandestine world full of tentacled demons and becomes sucked into the action and horror of it all.

15. The Year We Fell Apart – Emily Martin  3 stars

This is another fast-paced contemporary, second-chance romance story. The premise of this book seems very similar to Second Chance Summer. However, this debut novel wasn’t quite as good and I had some problems with the plot and main character.

16. The Love That Split the World – Emily Henry  4 stars

This was a bit of a strange read for me. It’s not quite contemporary, not quite fantasy and not quite magical realism. There were lots of things that I didn’t understand but it was still, strangely, enjoyable?

17. The Stars at Oktober Bend – Glenda Millard  45 stars

I actually finished this at 2am on Feb 1, but I’m going to sneak this one in here. I could have read this one faster but the writing was so beautiful that I had to read the whole book out loud. This is a moving Australian YA novel about overcoming adversity and living with hope and courage. A review will be coming soon.

REREADS

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli  5 stars

I reread this one for the Diverse YA Book Club this month and I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time I read this book.

T10T

I posted a Top Ten Tuesday list each week of January:


What was your favourite book of the month?