Audiobooks · Books · Review

Audiobook Review: Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown (Spoiler free)

 

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Hello guys, long time no see. Hope you’re all staying safe and well!
I haven’t had the motivation to blog recently but I’m feeling a bit more motivated now and I just had to share this book with everyone.

 

*I was sent this ALC from Libro.fm in exchange for an honest review

CW: Trauma, abuse, rape, child sexual abuse/pedophilia, mentions of suicide, racism, death 

Synopsis:
Echo Brown is a wizard from the East Side, where apartments are small and parents suffer addictions to the white rocks. Yet there is magic . . . everywhere. New portals begin to open when Echo transfers to the rich school on the West Side, and an insightful teacher becomes a pivotal mentor. Each day, Echo travels between two worlds, leaving her brothers, her friends, and a piece of herself behind on the East Side. There are dangers to leaving behind the place that made you. Echo soon realizes there is pain flowing through everyone around her, and a black veil of depression threatens to undo everything she’s worked for.

Heavily autobiographical and infused with magical realism, Black Girl Unlimited fearlessly explores the intersections of poverty, sexual violence, depression, racism, and sexism—all through the arc of a transcendent coming-of-age.


My thoughts:

Heartbreaking and painful – definitely not a light read. It deals with very heavy topics, please check the content warning for this one before reading.

I have no idea where to begin this review – it’s definitely not what I expected. I thought it was pure fantasy but it’s based on Echo Brown’s life. How she managed to make trauma magical, I have no idea. I had no idea what to expect going in, I assumed it was a fantasy story, purely fantasy. How wrong I was. The fantasy/ magical realism is heavily metaphorical, ‘wizards’ are not how you would expect.

It gives insight into the treatment of black people, especially women in the USA. It was harrowing to read, I can’t even imagine living through it. Brown doesn’t skimp over any details. The harsh truth is shown and devastating consequences but ultimately the hope that remains.

Everything is incredibly well written and well narrated. The author reads the audiobook herself, which is just amazing. She’s amazing! This is the most unique memoir/autobiography I’ve read. I haven’t heard anyone talk about this book but it is an incredibly important and powerful read.

Sidenote – the cover is insanely beautiful. The artwork is outstanding!

Highly, highly recommend picking this one up!

Rating: 4 Stars

Books · Wrap-up

Update // Reading Wrap Up | February 2020

wrap-up-2019

 

Hey guys, long time no see!
(Life update below the wrap-up, if you’re interested)

All of February was taken up by books for uni, but here’s what I read anyway:

The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad

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This book was a drag, but it got better as it went along. The ending was really good and it’s an interesting book to study.


The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford

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I could not get into this book for the life of me. It was plain boring and full of awful characters. I forced myself through this and yeah… not a fan.


Autumn by Ali Smith

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Having previously read and studied Ali Smith I was excited to read another of her novels and I was not disappointed! I had to read this for a Contemporary literature class and studying it was fascinating! It’s a great read in general, Smith’s writing is whimsical and lyrical, but studying it was amazing. Highly recommend picking this up.


Life Update

I’ve had some things going on in my personal life and I took an impromptu hiatus.
I’m also very busy with uni work and reading and haven’t had the time to read and review other books. Overall, life is chaotic at the moment!

I’ve had disaster after disaster (a very bad break-up and family death, power cuts, flooded kitchen). I just haven’t felt the motivation to blog. I’m hoping to regain my love of blogging and writing and get out of my slump!

Mental health-wise, I’ve been suffering pretty badly. Depression and anxiety have been really rough lately. I’m trying to remain positive and do stuff to make me happy/relaxed and it is improving, slowly but surely.

Phew. Mini rant over.


How have you guys been? What have you been reading?
Hopefully, your last month went better than mine!

Books · Review

Review: Starsight by Brandon Sanderson (Spoiler Free)

 

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“A hero does not choose her trials. She steps into the darkness, then she faces what comes next.”

 

****MAY contain spoilers for book one: Skyward. Spoiler-free review of Skyward here!

Synopsis:
All her life, Spensa has dreamed of becoming a pilot. Of proving she’s a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but the truths she learned about her father were crushing.

Spensa is sure there’s more to the story. And she’s sure that whatever happened to her father in his starship could happen to her. When she made it outside the protective shell of her planet, she heard the stars–and it was terrifying. Everything Spensa has been taught about her world is a lie.

But Spensa also discovered a few other things about herself–and she’ll travel to the end of the galaxy to save humankind if she needs to. Plot:


Plot:

It felt so amazing to dive back into this world, especially after the ending of Skyward.

The beginning and the end were the best parts; it got a little slow in the middle – which I found with the last book too. That didn’t take too much away from the story, I just wish it was all fast pace, but that’s a personal preference.

I love the introduction of a new place and new characters, the world-building, as with every Sanderson novel, was absolutely incredible. I loved diving into this world and learning more about the universe and Spensa’s world and humans in this universe. So many questions I had from the first novel were answered here and some had really surprise twists! I expect no less from Sanderson, his twists are incredibly well written and unpredictable. How he manages to surprise me in every novel, I have no idea! You’d think I’d be used to it by now, this is the 9th book I’ve read by him. He never lets me down!

It really picked up towards the end, I was captivated! I couldn’t put the book down, I just had to know what happened.  Then… OMG, the ending. INSANE.  I am SHOOOOOOOOK. GIVE ME BOOK 3! Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait a long while… *cries*
It leaves off on a KILLER cliffhanger. Brandon, HOW DARE YOU.

Characters:
Spensa:  I love Spensa!! I was so happy to continue her story and journey. I really love her character development over this novel. I have grown more and more attached to her and I’m super invested in her character!
I was hoping to see Spensa interact with the other characters from Skyward more, but they are pretty absent from this book.

M-Bot: Why do I love an AI system so much?

Doomslug: MY BABY! So glad I got what I wanted from this book!! Cannot wait for more Doomslug.

Rating: 4.25 Stars


Have you read Starsight? What did you think?

Books · WWW Wednesday

Uni books & Jane Austen Sci-fi Retelling! | WWW Wednesday 19/02/20

WWW-Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!

I haven’t done a WWW Wednesday in FOREVER!
I’m bringing it back this week, I’ve missed doing weekly tags.

This tag/meme is hosted on Taking on a World of Words. It’s a super simple meme, you just answered the three W questions.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished:

Autumn by Ali Smith
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I had to read this for uni and I actually really enjoyed it!
Ali Smith has BEAUTIFUL writing. I highly recommend her books if you like a pretty, lyrical writing style. I’ve read two of her books and will definitely pick up more!


Currently Reading:

The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne

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This is a sci-fi retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, which I haven’t read (yet) but I am a fan of Austen! I also loved Alexa Donne’s first book, I am hopeful this will be great too.
So far I’m intrigued, I had to put this down for a few weeks due to being overloaded with uni reading and work. I’m excited to jump back in!


Reading Next:

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
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(this is for uni)

Angel Mage by Garth Nix
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This is my next audiobook, it’s been a while since I listened to one. Can’t wait for this!
I’ve heard nothing but great things about Garth Nix, this will be my first book by him.


What are you currently reading?

Books · TBR

Predicting 5 Star Reads #3 | Wrap up + New TBR

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Hello there!
I thought today I would do another prediction post, my last post like this was back in May, then reviewed it in July,  I cannot believe it has been so long!

Old Predictions Update:

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor – Man, still haven’t gotten around to this book. I think I’ll reread Strange the Dreamer and then get to this during the summer. I am just too busy to commit to this at the moment.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff – I FINALLY READ IT!
It was good but I didn’t give it 5 Stars, sadly.
Review for it here!

Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – Never picked this one back up. Who knows I may read this during the summer.


New Predictions:

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas
The Burning White by Brent Weeks
Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Only picked three this time and three I know I will definitely be reading!
Hopefully, these will all be as amazing as I expect.

What book(s) on your TBR do you think will be a 5 star read?


 

Books · Tag

Books and Bakes Book Tag

six teal icing cupcakes with sprinkles

 

Created by the booktuber Life is a Page Turner

1. Cupcakes – name a collection of short stories, poems, or anthologies where you couldn’t read just one section and had to go back for another

I’m actually not a fan of short story collections. I much prefer novels/novellas.
But I’ll go with Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas. I powered through that one pretty quickly and enjoyed it for the most part.


2. Lemon Pound Cake – Name a book that has 400 pages or more that you considered a comfort read and a classic

Not a classic but over 400 pages and a comfort read – A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of rereading it.


3. Red Velvet cake – Name a book that you thought was one thing, but ended up being something completely different

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
I thought this would be an amazing fantasy/romance but it was just a snoozefest.
I was so disappointed in this book.


4. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – Name a book or a book series that you can read over and over again even though you know that it’s bad for you

I don’t believe any books or series are ‘bad’ for anyone – read what you want, whenever you want!
I’ll go with Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson, I’ve read this twice already and really want to pick it up again (hopefully soon). I love this book with every fibre of my being!


5. Apple Pie a la Mode – Name a book that was really good but could have been better with a little bit of ice cream

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater


6. Gingerbread Cookies – Do you like your gingerbread cookies crunchy or soft. 1. If you like your cookies soft name a book that was squishy in the middle, but the beginning and the end were really good. 2. If you like your cookies crunchy or more like ginger snaps name a book that you finished, but that you wanted to throw at a wall, or snap

Crunchy!
The Wicked King by Holly Black


7. Brownies – Are you a corner piece or a middle piece? 1. If you’re a corner piece, name a book that starts off strong and then all comes apart. 2. If you’re a middle piece, name a book that kept you in the feels the entire time.

Oooh, I like both. I’ll with corner piece…
The Humans by Matt Haig
The beginning was so good and funny, it just got boring towards the end, sadly!


8. Birthday Cake – Name a book series or an author that you feel like keeps coming out with a book, short story, novella every year

Brandon Sanderson!
I don’t think anyone releases more than him, the man is a machine!! He pumps out multiple books a year. Crazy.


9. Carrot Cake – Name a book that sounded healthy for you, but ended up being unhealthy either with content, or put you in a reading slump.

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
This put me in such a reading slump. I thought this would be a new fave, the premise sounded so good but the execution was poor.


10. Tag some friends you would love to share some baked goods with

Jade (The Elder Books)| Stephen WritesAmy (Bookish Heights)

(Don’t feel pressured to do this if you don’t want to)

Books · Wrap-up

Reading Wrap Up | January 2020

wrap-up-2019

Hello!
Sorry for my absence!
January wasn’t a bad month for me, reading-wise, I managed 5 books.

The first book I finished was Saga Vol 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

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So glad to finally be continuing Saga.
This wasn’t as good as the first two but I still really enjoyed it, cannot wait to pick up the next one!

Rating: 4 Stars


Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan (reread)
Image result for hold back the stars audiobook"I loved listening to this audiobook again. I love this story. It’s so amazing and heartbreaking.
Rating: 5 Stars
(old) Review here.


Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

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OMG. This book.  Favourite read of Jan BY FAR!
Incredible. I will have a review up soon with all my thoughts (screams).
Rating: 4.25 Stars


The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

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I had to read this for uni, so I won’t be giving it a rating.
I’m kind of indifferent about this book, it’s great for analysing and discussing – perfect for uni but I didn’t enjoy it. It’s a bit dull on the surface.


*The Deep by Rivers Soloman

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*Free copy from Libro.fm
This was odd. Weird and wonderful. Not really sure what to make of it but it was beautifully written.

Rating: 3 Stars


What did you read in January?