Monthly Wrap Ups

May Wrap Up!

Happy Thursday bookish people! I hope you’re all having a good day today. I know this is a couple of days late but I haven’t been very well. But finally I can put up my May wrap up! I had a much better reading month, part of this was because I took part in the 48 hour readathon hosted by Becca and the Books on YouTube for which I ended up reading seven books over a weekend.

So, let’s see what I managed to read this month from my TBR:

  • The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell – I did read this! It was one of the seven books I read for the readathon, a review will be coming soon
  • The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling – another book I read as part of the readathon, review coming soon
  • Graceling by Kristen Cashore – I did not read this
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – I did not read this
  • Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey – I did not read this
  • Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao – I did not read this
  • A Three Dog Problem by S J Bennett – I did not read this
  • The Crowns Game by Evelyn Skye – I did not read this
  • A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross – I did not read this
  • The Final Girls Support Group by Grady Hendrix – I did read this for the spooky book prompt of the readathon
  • A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske – I read this while on the drive up to Cardiff for a concert this month
  • The Key in the Lock by Beth Underdown – I did not read this
  • Dangerous Women by Hope Adams – I started this book in May and I am currently finishing it now
  • A Line to Kill by Anthony Horowitz – I did read this
  • Cecily by Annie Garthwaite – I also read this
  • Queenslayer by Sebastien de Castell – and I read this

Outside of my TBR I also read Turtles All The Way Down by John Green, Newts Emerald by Garth Nix and Love Him To Death by Tanya Landman

I think I read 11 books this month which is really great and a lot better than the past few months.

That’s it for my May Wrap up, I hope you all had a good reading month. My reviews of the books that I read will be going up soon!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Lily by Rose Tremain

Happy Monday bookish people! Today I am bringing you a book review for Lily by Rose Tremain. This is a mystery/historical fiction book with a beautiful cover that sounded so good to me, I read the blurb and I was desperate to read it and I have to say I was disappointed.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each of them. Now, usually I say here I will try not to include spoilers but that’s not easy for this book so I will be giving spoilers to this book in this book review. If you don’t want to be spoiled I would recommend reading the book before you read this review.

*SPOILERS*

Lily Plot:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

The blurb of this book sold it to me as a story of a young woman who gets into a romance with a policeman, after having murdered someone in her troubled past. I thought it would be an exciting cat and mouse style chase while she tries to not be discovered. Instead what I got was 150 pages before I even found out what the murder was and where it happened and soon after the reader learns that although the policeman believes it was murder, he wasn’t even investigating it. It took all the (already very limited) suspense out of the novel. For me there was too much description in this book, it details almost every aspect of Lily’s life, all throughout her childhood at the children’s orphanage and the treatment she suffered there and then her employment at the wig emporium. As a reader I didn’t need most of this, some of the chapters about Bridget her friend and her fate, and the abuse she suffered were relevant especially because it shows the reader why the murder happened. But the rest was too much unnecessary information. There was also a plot point about her trying to find out who her mother was and why she was left in the park in the snow, this is never completed. It seems to just get forgotten about in the book.

Lily Character:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Lily is the main character, and I didn’t feel anything for her. I understood that you were meant to have an emotional connection to her because of her backstory but I didn’t get that from the story. I wanted to see more of the policeman, Sam Trench, he barely featured and definitely not in the ways the synopsis suggested he would be.

Lily Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book did manage to get the feel of a Victorian novel, dark and sensory and this was put across in the writing, which was good but the dialogue wasn’t as good as I expected.

Lily Overall:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I gave this book two stars because, as I am sure my review shows, this book wasn’t what I thought it would be and I was very disappointed.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Nobody knows yet that she is a murderer…

Abandoned at the gates of a London park one winter’s night in 1850, baby Lily Mortimer is saved by a young police constable and taken to the London Foundling Hospital. Lily is fostered by an affectionate farming family in rural Suffolk, enjoying a brief childhood idyll before she is returned to the Hospital, where she is punished for her rebellious spirit. Released into the harsh world of Victorian London, Lily becomes a favoured employee at Belle Prettywood’s Wig Emporium, but all the while she is hiding a dreadful secret…

Across the years, policeman Sam Trench keeps watch over the young woman he once saved. When Sam meets Lily again, there is an instant attraction between them and Lily is convinced that Sam holds the key to her happiness – but might he also be the one to uncover her crime and so condemn her to death?

Book Tags

Spring has sprung book tag!

Happy Friday bookish people! I am excited to be bringing you another book tag today, the spring has sprung book tag!

Flowers – Look on your bookshelf, what is the most beautiful book inside and out: A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross the Illumicrate edition

This cover is just stunning, I haven’t read it yet but I’m sure that the story is just as beautiful

Grass – what is a book that you find others like way more than you did: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

I have a review post up of this book but I did not like this book very much yet I hear so many people talking about how good this series is

Rain – what is a great book that lifts your spirits when you’re down: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Dew – what’s a book that made you feel alive: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

this mystery book had my heart beating very fast and that’s why I chose it as my answer for a book that made me feel alive

Storms – what’s a book that you found unpredictable: Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Rainbow – what was a book you struggled with but you were glad you finished it: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Chilly weather – a book you couldn’t finish or didn’t enjoy: Lily by Rose Tremain

Warm weather – a book you loved and you wanted more of: any books by Kerri Maniscalco!

The stalking Jack the Ripper books series and the Kingdom of the Wicked series, I love all of them!

Green – a book you haven’t read yet but really want to: Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments

Pink – a book in which you felt a strong connection to the characters: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Purple – what’s a book that when you read it made you feel safe: I don’t have an answer for this one unfortunately.

Orange – what book do you feel is intelligently written: any Agatha Christie book

Yellow – what book puts a smile on your face: the Pages and Co series by Anna James

That’s the end of this book tag, I hope you all enjoyed it! How would you have answered these questions?

Book Reviews

Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Happy Monday bookish people! As you can see by the title of this post – I finally read Throne of Glass! It’s taken me years, it has been on multiple TBRs but I never actually picked it up and read it. I actually read A Court of thorns and roses (only the first one) and House of Earth and Blood (the first Crescent City book) before I got around to reading this one. I took it to london with me and started reading it on the train journey up there. I finished it in the hotel room the next night.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible. I hope you all enjoy my book review.

Throne of Glass Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This plot had me hooked from the very beginning, what would a Prince want with an assassin? and it just kept getting better from there. I really love competitions in books – I have a lot of fantasy books with this trope – and this one was good, it took a backseat to the building of relationships and the other mysteries that were going on but it still made the book enjoyable for me. What I especially liked about this plot was that there was one, a lot of first books in series sort of forget about having a well thought-out and complete plot, but this one didn’t. There was a good balance between plot strands that were sorted out in this book and the ones that are going to be underlying mysteries throughout the series.

Throne of Glass Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Caelena is a great lead character. She’s a fighter and it is obvious in every action, and she has been through a lot which means she finds it hard to trust other people. I liked the inner turmoil the character was struggling with throughout and I hope that will be there in different ways throughout the series. Also in the book is Prince Dorian, who I did like but I thought there was room to expand his character, which might happen in the coming books, because he seemed charming and a good friend but there was also some jealousy.

Throne of Glass Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I already knew going into this book that I like Sarah J Maas’ writing style and especially her dialogue. If you’ve been reading my reviews a while you will know that dialogue is one of my favourite parts of a book and I enjoyed that aspect a lot in this book.

Throne of Glass Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because I enjoyed the book, as I knew I would, and I am excited to see where the rest of the series goes.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Meet Celaena Sardothien.

Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, Celaena, an assassin, is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

That’s it for this review, I hope you all enjoyed it! If you have read this book let me know what you thought of it in the comments.

Book Tags

What’s On My Bookshelf Tag!

Happy Friday bookish people! I am back with another book tag and today it is the what’s on my bookshelf tag. It was created by Naty’s Bookshelf but I found it on zeezeewithbooks.wordpress.com

Rules: link back to me so I can see your answers, name one book for each category try not to repeat books, tag some people!

A Library Book: Veronica Speedwell series (I have the first three all library copies)

A book I got as a gift: Daughter of the Moon Goddess

A Childhood Book: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A magical book: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

A romantic book: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

A steamy book: Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

An old book: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

A book that makes me happy/laugh: Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

A book that made me emotional: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

A book with an ending I disliked: The man who died twice by richard osman

A book I wish had illustrations: Crescent city by Sarah J Maas

A book or genre I love to read when it is raining: any!

I love to be sat inside with a cup of tea and a book when it is raining, terrible lighting but a cosy atmosphere.

That is the end of this book tag, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Bringing Down The Duke by Evie Dunmore

Happy Monday bookish people! Today I am bringing you the book review for Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore. I read this book on the train while on the way home from Londond.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Bringing Down The Duke Plot:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This story is about a woman who is not only a women at Oxford in a period when women weren’t accepted as intelligent, free-thinking people, but she also becomes part of the suffragist movement. First of all, I loved this take on historical fiction, it gave me a lovely sense of conflict and tension from the very beginning. Because of this involvement she gets mixed up with the Duke of Montgomery. So, this plot is a bit too far on the romance side for me, I enjoyed it don’t get me wrong but I thought the plot itself lacked a little and was used as a catalyst to bring the romance in as the main element. I would have liked more of an overall story but it was okay for a quick, calm read on the train home.

Bringing Down the Duke Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have to say the characters were what made this book enjoyable for me. Annabelle is such a strong female lead character and although she does some things in the book I didn’t agree with her personality makes up for it, I liked her and I cared about whether or not she was going to get the life she deserved.

Then there’s the Duke of Montgomery and I also liked his character, up to a point. To begin with he seems moody and he makes assumptions to quickly but you see this is a miscommunication then a bit later on there is one scene that ruined his character for me, the way he acts towards Annabelle instantly says to me that I would not like this man at all.

Bringing Down the Duke Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I think the writing in this book is okay, it is smooth and clear and it does paint the picture, especially for the setting but it’s not my favourite style of writing, this could be because of the genre as well.

Bringing Down the Duke Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because at the time of reading it, I did enjoy it but thinking about it later I am not as sure on my enjoyment of it.

Blurb/Synopsis:

England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.

Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn’t be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn’t claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring… or could he?

Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke….

A stunning debut for author Evie Dunmore and her Oxford suffragists in which a fiercely independent vicar’s daughter takes on a powerful duke in a fiery love story that threatens to upend the British social order.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Tags

Would You Rather Book Tag!

Happy Friday bookish people! I really love doing book tags, I think they are really fun and they remind me sometimes why I liked, and why I hold onto certain books. So, this month I thought I would bring you a few more starting with this one, the Would You Rather Book Tag! I found this tag on zeezeewithbooks.wordpress.com

Would you rather only read trilogies or only read standalones?

This is a difficult question because I love both. I think I have to pick trilogies because I love getting involved with a familiar character and their next adventure in sequels.

Would you rather only read male or female authors?

This isn’t a question I can really answer because I read both and I think I always will.

Would you rather shop at Barnes and Noble or Amazon?

I live in the UK and we don’t have Barnes and Noble but I would try and buy books from an actual bookshop rather than Amazon most of the time.

Would you rather books were turned into TV shows or movies?

I would choose tv shows because if I am watching an adaptation of a book then it’s a book I really love and if it is a tv show I can have hours of it to watch and really get involved with the world and the characters.

Would you rather read only 5 pages a day or 5 books per week?

There’s no way I could read 5 books a week so I have to choose 5 pages a day.

Would you rather be a professional author or reviewer?

I’d really like to be both but if I could only choose one I’d pick author, that’s what all my studies have been for.

Would you rather be a librarian or bookseller?

librarian definitely.

Would you rather read only your favourite genre or every genre but your favourite?

So difficult because I like so many genres but I think I’d have to choose reading only my favourite genre, I don’t think I could give up fantasy.

Would you rather only read physical books or ebooks?

For me it is always physical books.

That’s it for this book tag, I hope you all enjoyed it! How would you answer these questions?

Monthly TBRs

May TBR!

Happy Sunday bookish people! Today is the 1st of May and I am very excited to share with you all my plans for May.

So this month is going to be another busy one I think, lots of meetings, lots of classes and a trip to Cardiff which will be fun – and will give me the travel time for reading! There is also the 48 hour bookopolothan hosted by becca and the books on youtube which I will be taking part in, last year it meant I read eight books in two days so that was fun and I’d love to try and do that again.

My books for May:

  • The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell – this is a very cute sounding middle grade that I am hoping to read early in the month
  • The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling – I love anything witchy so this already appeals to me
  • Graceling by Kristen Cashore
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  • Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey
  • Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
  • A Three Dog Problem by S J Bennett
  • The Crowns Game
  • A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross
  • The Final Girls Support Group by Grady Hendrix
  • A Marvelous Light by Freya Marske
  • The Key In The Lock by Beth Underdown – I will be reading this for the short book prompt for the 48 hour challenge
  • Dangerous Women by Hope Adams
  • A Line To Kill by Anthony Horowitz
  • Cecily by Annie Garthwaite – I will be using this for the gods prompt for the 48 hour challenge because of the amount of religion in historical fiction of this period
  • Queenslayer by Sebastien de Castell – I have already started reading this one and I am loving it

I am really looking forward to getting started with these books (well technically I already have). Have you read any of these books? what did you think of them?

Monthly TBRs

April Wrap Up!

Happy Sunday bookish people! I hope you’re all having a good day. Today I am bringing you my April wrap up and I’m so glad to say that my reading has been a little bit better this month, not amazing to the extent that I was at this time last year but so much better than March and February. So I’m going to get straight into which books I did and didn’t read in April!

  • Small Favours by Erin A Craig – I did not read this book – I just wasn’t in the mood for this style of plot this month
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas – I finally managed to read this book, my review for it will be up soon but I really enjoyed it
  • Daughters of Night by Laura Shepard-Robinson – I have started this book but I haven’t finished it yet, it’s a pretty big book so it might take me some time
  • Rose by Holly Webb – I did read this book
  • there was a non-bookish prompt and for this I had a nice warm bath and I watched some videos
  • Lily by Rose Tremain – I did read this book too so a review of this book will also be up soon
  • The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros – I did not read this book
  • The Mapmakers by Tamzin Merchant – I read this book too!
  • Down Comes the Night by Alison Saft – I did not read this book
  • Nine Lives by Peter Swanson – I did not read this book and I’m sad about that because I am really excited for it
  • Queenslayer by Sebastien de Castell – I am currently 3/4 of the way through this book and it is also on my May tbr so I will be finishing it in the next few days
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – I did not read this book
  • The Five – I did not read this book
  • A Marvelous Light by Freya Marske – I did not read this book but it is on my May tbr
  • Cecily by Annie Garthwaite – Again I didn’t read this book but it is on my May tbr
  • Only A Monster by Vanessa Len – I didn’t read this book
  • Assassins Apprentice by Robin Hobb – I did not read this book
  • Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore – I did read this book!
  • An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson – I did not read this book
  • Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody – I did not read this book – I did take it all the way to London with me and then still didn’t read it
  • House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J Maas – I did not read this

So that was what I did and didn’t read in April. I ended up reading 5 books and started two others, one of which I will finish in a few days so I am really happy with that.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Rose by Holly Webb

Happy Monday bookish people! I hope you are all having a good day today. I am bringing you my review of Rose by Holly Webb, a series about a young girl from an orphanage in Victorian London (I think) who goes to work in the house of a magician.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Rose Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I like that the plot of this story really has three strands to it: Rose leaving the orphanage and entering the world of being an under-housemaid, Rose finding out new things about herself, and the disappearing children in the town.
This plot is one that I have reread multiple times because I love the worldbuilding aspects and the way that new information comes to light throughout. I also really enjoy the way that this plot tests the boundaries of children’s fiction and includes the darker elements alongside the fantastic magical elements. There is also a big theme of friendship in this book and being brave to protect your friends.

Rose Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There are many well-crafted characters in this book but Rose is the protagonist. She is exploring the new, outside world that she hasn’t experienced because of being in the orphanage and it was fun to explore it with her, especially as she finds out more secrets about herself. Freddie is the Apprentice of the magician and he is stuck up and cold in the beginning but it was really nice to see his character develop throughout the novel. There is also Isabella, the daughter of the magician, she is prone to tantrums and is frequently described as spoilt, but she is also intelligent and an integral part of this book.

Rose writing and dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

One of my favourite things about this book is how the writing stands the test of time. I enjoyed it when I was younger and I like it the same amount now, the writing style does not feel too young for me and because the plot follows child aged characters the plot doesn’t feel too young either.

Rose Overall:

I gave this book four stars because it is a book that I will happily reread multiple times.

Blurb/Synopsis:

The grand residence of the famous alchemist, Mr Fountain, is a world away from the dark orphanage Rose has left behind. For the house is positively overflowing with sparkling magic—she can feel it. And it’s not long before Rose realises that maybe, just maybe, she has a little bit of magic in her, too. . . .

The first book in an exciting, get-lost-in-the-world series about orphans, alchemy, magical powers and sinister child-catchers.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!