Books · Wrap-up

March Wrap Up | 2021

Hello everyone!
March was a super busy month for me and I went into a bit of a slump. Uni has been kicking my ass lately and I have a lot of essays to read for that, so haven’t read much outside of uni stuff.
I only managed to finish two books, sadly.

The first book was Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (audiobook)

Salvage the Bones Audiobook | Jesmyn Ward | Audible.co.uk

This was for my climate change fiction module in uni. I liked it more than the previous novel I read by this author (Sing, Unburied, Sing) but I still didn’t love it. I think this will be the last book I read by Ward.

Lastly I listened to *Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert (audiobook)

Act Your Age, Eve Brown Audiobook by Talia Hibbert - 9780062941299 |  Rakuten Kobo

Oh my godddd. This was just amazing!
I was so excited to see this on Libro.fm’s ALCs for March. I loved every moment. The whole series is just incredible. I’ll have a review up for this soon.

*gifted


What did you read in March?

Audiobooks · Books

Best Audiobooks of 2020

Hello!
This post is a tad late, but I thought I’d do it anyway!
These are my favourite audiobooks I listened to last year. (Not necessarily 2020 releases).

Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown

Black Girl Unlimited Audiobook by Echo Brown - 9781250248572 | Rakuten Kobo  United Kingdom

This is a really moving, magic-realism semi-autobiographical book about Echo Brown’s life. It’s an amazing story. I haven’t heard many talk about it. It’s severely underrated!
Full review here.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race Audiobook | Reni Eddo- Lodge | Audible.co.uk

Everyone needs to read/listen to this book. It’s very informative and educational. I learnt so much from listening to this. It’s basically required reading.

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

Let Me Hear A Rhyme Book Review - Book and Film Globe

I really enjoyed this, it was fun. The music aspect was really cool too, hearing it was really effective. I’m not sure I would’ve enjoyed this as much in print.
Review here.

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

The Queen of Nothing: The Folk of the Air, Book 3 (Audio Download):  Amazon.co.uk: Holly Black, Caitlin Kelly, Hot Key Books: Audible Audiobooks

This was an unexpected fave. I didn’t plan to finish this series, I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed this conclusion. I ended up binging the entire audiobook in one day…
Review here.

Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

Odd and the Frost Giants: Amazon.co.uk: Gaiman, Neil, Gaiman, Neil: Books

Neil Gaiman has the most magical, light-hearted short stories. This was one. It was incredibly short but so lovely to listen to. Neil narrates it himself and he is absolutely wonderful.


What were your favourite audiobooks in 2020?

Audiobooks · Blogmas

Alternatives to Audible: Audiobook App Recs | Blogmas Day 5

Hello everyone!
I don’t know about everyone else but audiobooks have been my saving grace over the last few years and especially this year where I have spent most of it in a slump. In my last post like this I recommended alternative shops to purchase from instead of Amazon, now it’s audiobooks turn!

Free Audiobook Options:

Librivox

File:LibriVox-logo-border-150mm-300dpi.png - Librivox wiki

This is a site/app that offers books from the public domain, read by volunteers. So the quality isn’t amazing. But it’s free. If you’re a classics reader and don’t mind a bit of non-professional reader, give this ago. I used to listen to some plays in uni, I struggle to read plays, so hearing them helped me so much and this was a useful source for that. This is perfect for literature students, a must even!

Your local library!

If you are fortunate to have access to a library, they usually have an audiobook (ebook) collection for you to borrow. My library uses BorrowBox, some use Libby/Overdrive. Definitely contact your library to find out! I now get 95% of my audiobooks from there for free. Saves a fortune.

E-Media | Norfolk Library
eBooks - Glasgow Libraries Online Library

If you don’t have a library or a library with a good selection here are some paid options:

Scribd

Discover the Best eBooks, Audiobooks, Magazines, Sheet Music, and More |  Scribd

Scribd offers a monthly subscription, like Audible but with so much more to offer. Scribd is so much more cost effective than Audible. From £9.99 per month you get unlimited access to Audiobooks (and ebooks). It’s much better than Amazon’s Audible which is £7.99 for one credit. Plus if you wanted ebooks that would need a Kindle Unlimited subscription which is an additional £7.99 a month for a poor selection.

Libro.fm

Libro.fm | Libro.fm, Your Independent Bookstore for Digital Audiobooks

First month is free then it is $14.99 per month (Less than £12), like Audible you get one audiobook a month. (If you switch from Audible to Libro.fm you get two free audiobooks!) However, Libro.fm are a much better company. They support local and indie bookstores with every purchase made.

This is a US/CA site and you need to have a credit card from those countries to subscribe. However, anyone from anywhere can purchase a gift subscription.
If you’re a blogger/influencer/etc make sure to sign up to their program for free ALCs! (Advance Listening Copies)

*Disclaimer: I receive ALCs but this post not sponsored or affiliated with Libro.fm nor any of the other companies in this post.

Do you listen to audiobooks? What apps do you use?
Books · WWW Wednesday

So Much to Read, So Little Time | WWW Wednesday 18/11/20

Happy Wednesday!
Hope you’re all doing well and staying safe!

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 have you recently finished?

What are you currently reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished:
Nothing 😦
I haven’t finished anything in a week and a half, as I’ve been focusing on doing my assignment for uni.
The last thing I finished was A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova, which I talked about last week. I have a review up for it now though! Spoiler: I gave it 5-Stars!

Currently Reading:

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

The Switch by Beth O'Leary

I say I’m currently reading this, but it’s kind of on hold at the moment. Once my assignment is submitted I will be diving back in!

Voyage of the Sable Venus and other poems by Robin Coste Lewis

Voyage of the Sable Venus by Robin Coste Lewis (Alfred A ...

This is my last required read of the semester! (everything else is film/tv to watch next.)
I’m not usually a poetry fan, so we’ll see how this goes…

Reading Next:

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Queenie Audiobook by Candice Carty-Williams, Shvorne Marks | Official  Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

I have both the physical copy and the audiobook. So I will definitely be picking this up before it expires at my library!

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Listen Free to Coraline by Neil Gaiman with a Free Trial.

This audiobook is also available at my library. It’s very short (under 4 hours), so I’m sure I’ll devour this one soon. I have been on a Neil Gaiman hype lately, I listened to two of his audiobooks last month. I had forgotten how much I enjoy his writing! I’m looking forward to listening to this as he reads it himself, he’s such a great narrator.
I’ll probably have to watch the film after reading it… I’ve never watched it!

What are you reading?
Any thoughts on the books I mentioned?

Audiobooks · Review

One Star Review: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (audiobook) | Disappointing Reads

Synopsis:
Milk and honey’ is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. ‘milk and honey’ takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look. 

My Thoughts:
Let’s talk about the hype surrounding this book first…
This used to super popular, I used to see it everywhere on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. I wasn’t a poetry fan back when this first came out (still not really). I saw plenty of glowing reviews and still do occasionally. I, however, cannot fathom how anyone can like this ‘poetry’ collection.

So, I’ve been trying to get into poetry for a while and this became available at my library as an audiobook and since it was super short, I decided to borrow it. That was my first mistake.

The next mistake was expecting poetry…
Whatever this book was… was not poetry. I’ve read poetry and studied it (English Lit student) but this… I don’t even know where to begin. I’m no poet myself and couldn’t write poetry myself but this didn’t feel like poetry to me.
It was like reading/listening to a series of quotes/thoughts. It was sort of like listening to someone’s thoughts on certain topics or reading someone’s notebook. I just didn’t like the form.

I originally gave this 2 stars on Goodreads but the more I think about it the worse it gets.
It really wasn’t my thing. But, it did discuss/deal with some important and deep topics – just not in any way, shape or form was it poetry. Or even remotely poetic. It was very minimal and vague but it says a little and has little substance, it isn’t like standard poetry where it says a lot in few words.

Topic wise – I didn’t connect to it in anyway, therefore, it wasn’t really an enjoyable read. I didn’t really take away anything from it. It’s pretty unmemorable and I have already forgotten the majority of the content. It doesn’t do anything poetry is supposed to do, I wasn’t moved or touched. It provoked no thoughts or feelings. I felt absolutely nothing as a read it and nothing after it. Therefore, I will be changing my rating to 1 star.

If you somehow wish to purchase this, consider using *Blackwells UK

Audiobooks · Recommendations

One Day Reads | Short YA/Kids Audiobook Recommendations

Hello (audio) bookworms!
Today I’m going to share some audiobooks you can knock out in a day or so!
Obviously, this will depend on how much time you have and what speed you listen to audiobooks. This is going from the perspective that you have some free hours to just listen.
I listen to audiobooks at 2x speed, so these audiobook times would be halved for me

The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

The Wizards of Once Audiobook | Cressida Cowell | Audible ...

Narrated by David Tennant
Length: 5 hours, 56 minutes

This is a kid’s fantasy book (and series) and it’s totally adorable and addictive.
This one you can definitely up the speed and listen to in one sitting. David Tennant is the best narrator! His narration is incredible, he does amazing voices and sounds. Even if you’re not into kidlit, this one is worth listening to just for David.


Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewels Parker Rhodes

Black Brother, Black Brother (Mar 03, 2020 edition) | Open ...

Narrated by Barrie Buckner
Length: 4 hours 36 minutes
Review here

This one is really short but very impactful. It covers some important topics in a short amount of time. It’s perfect for young people to explain racism clearly and effectively. It can be enjoyed at any age in my opinion.
It’s a perfect one sitting listen!


City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

City of Ghosts Audiobook | Victoria Schwab | Audible.co.uk

Narrated by Reba Buhr
Length: 5 hours 2 minutes

This is a really fun paranormal kid’s book. (It does have creepy parts too)
I listened to this a while ago, I really need to continue this series!
It’s set in Edinburgh, which I loved! Nice to see the UK in books.
It’s very easy to listen to and you’ll fly through it!


Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown

Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard (Audio  Download): Amazon.co.uk: Echo Brown, Echo Brown, Macmillan Audio: Audible  Audiobooks

Narrated by the author
Length: 8 hours 29 minutes
This one is a little heavier, though still doable in a day if you have a day free.
I highly recommend everyone read/listen to this book. It’s super important and the writing is amazing.

Review here


Dreamology by Lucy Keating

Listen to Dreamology by Lucy Keating at Audiobooks.com

Narrated by Erin Spencer
Length: 7 hours 48 minutes

I listened to this one a few years ago. I remember finding it addictive to listen to and I flew through it.
It’s a fun audiobook, put it at 2x speed and you’ll be done in no time!
Review here


Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Pride - Audiobook by Ibi Zoboi

Narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo
Length: 6 hours 9 minutes

I wasn’t a huge fan of this, but I know others will enjoy it. If you don’t go in with expectations of it being a Pride and Prejudice retelling, I think you’ll enjoy it more than I did.
It’s a quick, easy YA contemporary.
Depending on what speed you listen at you can power through this in a few hours.


The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert

Amazon.com: The Voting Booth (9781662003936): Colbert, Brandy, Eller,  Robin, Hite, Cary: Books

Narrated by Robin Eller & Cary Hite
Length: 6 hours 5 minutes

I listened to this at 2x speed and basically in one sitting while journaling. I really enjoyed!
I haven’t seen this around a lot, I think it deserves way more attention!
I’ll have a review up soon.

Do you have any short audiobook recs? Leave them below!

Books · Review

Audiobook Review: Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

 

Synopsis:
Biggie Smalls was right. Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are okay letting their best friend Steph’s tracks lie forgotten in his bedroom after he’s killed—not when his beats could turn any Bed-Stuy corner into a celebration, not after years of having each other’s backs.

Enlisting the help of Steph’s younger sister, Jasmine, Quadir and Jarrell come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: The Architect. Soon, everyone in Brooklyn is dancing to Steph’s voice. But then his mixtape catches the attention of a hotheaded music rep and—with just hours on the clock—the trio must race to prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.

Now, as the pressure—and danger—of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, together they need to decide what they stand for before they lose everything they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other.


TW/CW: Death/Murder, Grief, Gangs, Gun Violence, Sex (talk of sex but no actual sex scenes)

My Thoughts:

I picked this up on a whim, I saw it available at my library, I needed an audiobook and it was by a Black author – win/win.  I hadn’t ever heard of this author or book before, which is surprising because it’s a great read! I will be picking up more from this author.

It follows three black teens, after the murder of Steph (two are his friends, one is his sister) trying to make him a successful rapper by releasing his music and pretending he’s still alive. I was very intrigued about how Steph died and how they were going to pull off this whole scheme. It was a little slow in places towards the middle, but not boring . It did pick up towards the end more but the very end felt a little rushed. Other than that, it was well written. I really liked the author’s writing style.

The setting – It’s set in the late 90s in New York. I absolutely loved this setting, it was so cool and interesting. I love the 90s vibe, it was right up my alley. It made me wish I grew up in the 90s. (I am a 90s baby, but I remember none of it)
I enjoyed learning about the culture of Brooklyn in the 90s and what growing up during this time was like. The hip-hop scene was super cool and a link in the community, which was really lovely to see.

Characters – I enjoyed each perspective the story had. Which is surprising. I really like Jasmine, she was probably my favourite POV. I really enjoyed the friendship that bloomed between Jasmine and Steph’s friends, Quadir and Jarrell. They bonded in their loss of Steph, which was lovely to see that something happy came out of their grief.

Narrators:

This audiobook had full cast narration – which I’m not usually a fan of because there’s usually at least one annoying narrator.  BUT I actually liked all the narrators for this! (Will add them to my approved narrator lists) I’m super picky with narrators, they can completely ruin a book for me.

The audiobook really brought the story and characters to life. The rhymes are really effective in the audio format, I think this would be better than just reading the text. Also, the slang came through well in the audio, it felt natural and authentic. (Not that I’m an expert on Black slang in the States)

Rating: 4 Stars


Audiobooks · Blogmas · Books

Best Audiobooks I Listened to in 2019 | Blogmas Day 9

blogmas-2019

Hey Guys!
Welcome to Day 9 of Blogmas!
Today I’m going to talk about my favourite audiobooks I read in 2019.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
Narrator: Adjoa Andoh
Image result for Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert audiobook

 A very recent read for me, but I had to include it!
I loved this book so much! The narrator was fantastic and did amazing voices/accents, it really added to the story.

Full thoughts in my review here!


Crownbreaker by Sebastien De Castell
Narrator: Joe Jameson

Image result for crownbreaker audiobook

The amazing conclusion to the Spellslinger series.
This whole series is amazing on audiobook, the narrator is incredible! The story is fun, but the narrator adds so much to the story with his voices. I have never experienced audiobooks better than the Spellslinger series, they are my favourite!

Review here!


The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Narrator: Rebecca Soler

Image result for the lunar chronicles audiobooks

I thought I’d include the whole series here since I listened to them all this year.
They were amazing! I didn’t think I’d like this series, I picked up Cinder on a whim since the audiobook was available at my library, but I ended up loving them! Now one of my all-time favourites. I have to say the narrator grew on me too, I didn’t think I was going to enjoy her narration but I enjoyed it all.

Reviews: Cinder| Scarlet | Cress| Winter | Stars Above


The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Image result for the princess diarist audiobook uk

I had previously read this book (physical copy) when it came out back in 2016. I saw that the audiobook was available at my library and I instantly got it. It’s narrated by Carrie herself which makes it even more enjoyable. As a huge Star Wars + Carrie Fisher fan, I loved every moment. Just listening to her voice was so comforting, it really makes her stories feel even more personal when she speaks them.


What were your favourite audiobooks in 2019?

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday 28/08/2019

WWW-Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!
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?
Currently Reading:

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Image result for nevernight uk hardcover
I’m not far into this yet; I’ve been reading it for a few days and have barely made a dent, it’s just not gripping me so far. I’m intrigued to see what everyone loves though, so I keep going. I NEED to know what the hype is about but so far: Meh.
Recently Finished:

The Humans by Matt Haig (audiobook)

Image result for the humans matt haig audiobook

I finished this yesterday – it was a good listen! It was funny and entertaining, I didn’t like the ending much but overall it was very enjoyable.
I gave it 3.5 Stars!

What I might read next:

Once I finish Nevernight I want to pick up Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff, obviously.
Then a repeat from my last WWW:
The Good Luck Girls because I haven’t managed to read that yet.


Instagram//Twitter//Goodreads

Audiobooks · Books · Review

Audiobook Review: Queenslayer by Sebastien de Castell (Spellslinger #5)

Image result for queenslayer

Hey guys!
I’m currently on holiday in Portugal! This a pre-written and scheduled (how organised am I?)

Reviews for the previous books: Spellslinger | Shadowblack | Charmcaster | Soulbinder



Synopsis:

Kellen and Reichis have just finished fighting a duel in the desert when Kellen inadvertently smears blood on the Daroman flag – an act of treason for which the Marshals have no choice but to arrest him. Just before he’s put before the Queen to be executed, Kellen is given a strange piece of advice from one of his fellow prisoners: kill the Queen and he’ll be given clemency by those who take power. But when Kellen comes face-to-face with the eleven-year-old monarch, he realises she’s vastly smarter than he expected – and in a great deal more danger.


My Thoughts
Plot-wise – this was slower than the rest. It took me a while to get into. Despite being thrust into the action straight away, the rest of the book is quite slow. It does pick up in places but it relies heavily on political intrigue.

I’m glad I listened to the audiobook for this, as the narrator is really good and easy to listen to. I think I would’ve struggled if I had read the physical book.
I would say it was boring but it was a bit meh. It’s my least favourite in the series so far. I honestly think the series has gone downhill since Ferius and Kellen split ways. She was such a good character, I miss her so much!

Kellen is still up to his usual stuff, avoiding being killed by just about everyone, having banter with Reichis and escaping death with wit, one trick and a hint of luck.

I will say: this was so much darker than the rest of the series. This whole series has been lighthearted and fun and it got dark. Real fast. There was less humour and jokes in this one, it was still funny in places but not as much as the previous books.
There was more graphic violence and torture.

Trigger Warning for mentions of depression, abuse and rape/sexual assault.

Characters:
Kellen: 
I still love Kellen. After 5 books, it’s easy to be attached and invested in his journey. His character development has been great – though he still is a one trick pony. His ‘magic’ is still the same trick – which I don’t mind. He’s not the typical over-powered/ all-powerful YA main character. I like that he isn’t the greatest at magic but still manages to get along.


Reichis: 
Still the hilarious, murderous little squirrelcat I adore. I love his and Kellen’s ‘partnership’ – aka friendship – even if Reichis likes to think they aren’t.

Narrator: Joe Jameson – who narrates the whole series, is absolutely brilliant. I cannot praise his skills enough. He is great at doing different voices, it is so easy and entertaining to listen to.

Rating:3.5 Stars


*I have previously worked with Hot Key Books, however, not on this occasion.
I borrowed this from my library. All opinions are my own.


Instagram//Twitter//Goodreads