Books · Review

Book Review: Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Call Down the Hawk: The Dreamer Trilogy eBook: Stiefvater, Maggie:  Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

You are made of dreams and this world is not for you.

Synopsis:

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.

Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.

Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer… and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed…

My thoughts:

I was super excited to get back into this world and be reunited with these characters!! I absolutely loved The Raven Cycle, I don’t know why I put off reading this for so long. I even pre-ordered it… Alas, in hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t read it when it first came out because now I already have the sequel in my hands instead of waiting.

Anyway onto the plot
It was a slow start. Not going to lie, at first I was think oh no, I’m not going to like this one. It did pick up and I was soon invested. I started it when I was editing my final assignment for university, so I read around 100 pages over 3 days. Once my assignment was done, I binged the last 360ish pages in an evening! I was addicted. I became so invested in Ronan again and the new characters. The plot was weird, sometimes I stopped and I was thought I have no idea where this is going (but in a fun way). I love Maggie Stiefvater’s weird and wonderful stories.

The writing style – As always, beautiful. Magical and amazing. I wish I could write as amazingly as Maggie Stiefvater. I just adore her writing so much. I had forgotten what a joy her writing is, it has been ages since I’d read anything by her.

Characters:
Ronan – Love him. Always have. He’s such a mood; so grumpy and angry. He’s such a complicated character and so much more than he lets on.

Adam – Having Ronan & Adam together made me miss the Gangsey so much. He’s not in it much, obviously, he’s away at college. It was nice to have a glimpse and see some Pynch. *my heart*

Declan – It was nice to see more of him. I didn’t expect to like him much, but I did. I enjoyed getting to see him more and get to know him. I’m looking forward to reading more of him and a certain storyline in the next one.

Matthew – Again, nice to see more of him. He’s such a sweetheart. It’s lovely to see how the Lynch brothers work and how both Declan and Ronan adore Matthew.

The new characters

Jordan Hennessy – I loved this new character. I didn’t know what to expect really. I did think how am I going to take to these new characters. I actually really like her. I won’t say much as it will spoil.

Farooq-Lane – The character + storyline I liked the least. I understand it’s an important part of the story, of course. But meh. I didn’t take to her much. Every time it was her chapter I was like ugh, give me Ronan or Hennessy!!

Bryde – Mysterious. So interesting. I was dying (and still am) to know who he is…

Books

May Wrap Up | 2021

Hello! Happy June!
This year is seriously flying by, it’s scary!!

May was a super busy month for me, I had my final finals! I am officially done with university and I couldn’t be happier. Since I was busy writing essays and assignments, I didn’t actually pick up a book until almost half way through the month. All things considered, 3 books and a short audiobook isn’t a bad total!

1) Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Sorcery of Thorns: Amazon.co.uk: Rogerson, Margaret: Books

Rating: 5 Stars // Review here

2) Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Call Down the Hawk: The Dreamer Trilogy eBook: Stiefvater, Maggie:  Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

Rating: 4 Stars / Review coming soon

3) Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater

Mister Impossible (Dreamer Trilogy, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

Rating: 3.75 Stars // Review coming soon

4) The Story of Antigone by Ali Smith

The Story of Antigone (Save the Story) by Smith, Ali, Paoletti, Laura  (October 24, 2013) Hardcover: Amazon.co.uk: Books

Rating: 3 Stars

What did you read in May? Any new faves?

Books · Review

Book Discussion/Review: *Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O’Neal

Goodreads Synopsis:

Teen Wolf meets Emergency Contact in this sharply observed, hilarious, and heartwarming debut young adult novel about friendship and the hairy side of chronic illness.

Priya worked hard to pursue her premed dreams at Stanford, but a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease during her sophomore year sends her back to her loving but overbearing family in New Jersey—and leaves her wondering if she’ll ever be able to return to the way things were. Thankfully she has her online pen pal, Brigid, and the rest of the members of “oof ouch my bones,” a virtual support group that meets on Discord to crack jokes and vent about their own chronic illnesses.

When Brigid suddenly goes offline, Priya does something out of character: she steals the family car and drives to Pennsylvania to check on Brigid. Priya isn’t sure what to expect, but it isn’t the horrifying creature that’s shut in the basement. With Brigid nowhere to be found, Priya begins to puzzle together an impossible but obvious truth: the creature might be a werewolf—and the werewolf might be Brigid. As Brigid’s unique condition worsens, their friendship will be deepened and challenged in unexpected ways, forcing them to reckon with their own ideas of what it means to be normal. 


My thoughts:

Okay, so I really enjoyed the plot and the characters.
I love Teen Wolf, so when this was pitched as TW x Emergency Contact (a book I’d like to read) I was like perfect, I’ll accept it for review.

However, upon researching I realised this book has problematic features. So I’ll discuss those first:

The main character is a disabled Tamil/Indian American.
– The author is neither of those. So this is not an own voices novel, despite the cover and blurb kind of hinting towards that.

I cannot speak for the Tamil/Indian American community, as that is not my place. But it is clearly culture appropriation. It really wasn’t necessary to the story. The author is white and it would’ve totally been fine to have a white character? I’m not sure of the author’s though process on this. I don’t know why they felt the need to take a culture they are not familiar with and write about it. Those elements of the book were scarce, so why not leave it out although?

The side character is a werewolf, which is on the cover, above the main character. This has been noted as racist by some own voices reviewers. They said having a werewolf above an Indian is racist as it perpetuates the idea of the ‘hairy brown person’.
I wanted to clarify – the werewolf is not the main character who is also on the cover. It’s side character. The cover does kind of hint that the main character might be a werewolf but she’s not, it’s her friend and that’s her friend on the cover. Obviously, again it’s not my place to say whether or not it’s racist, but I feel like there’s some context missing from some of the comments I’ve seen. A lot of the own voices reviewers have not read the full book and are going off the cover and synopsis alone. (I believe, correct me if I’m wrong)

Chronic illness side – I can actually speak from personal experience on this one.
Although the author isn’t chronically ill (I think) – the rep isn’t too bad. I think the novel does a decent job as representing what life can be like with chronic illness, particularly the loneliness. The group chat that is made in the story for people with chronic illnesses to connect was actually lovely to read.

As for the story itself,
I really enjoyed it. I thought it was fun and engaging. I liked the characters and the character interactions. I love werewolves and I thought it was a really interesting take to make it like a chronic illness, having negative effects on the body etc. It was a cool idea.

I liked the main character, Priya. I found her character to be relatable in some ways and I enjoyed reading from her perspective.
I loved her friend Brigid – what a cool character. She was just great, funny, one of the best parts of the novel.

Spencer – Amazing side character. I really liked his introduction and sort of being forced into the werewolf stuff. It was nice to see the friendship bloom between him, Priya and Brigid.

Overall, the book is good – it’s a shame it’s tainted by problematic elements.

I recommend you check out the reviews over on Goodreads where more own voices reviewers have left their thoughts.

*This book was gifted to me by Quirk Books. All opinions are my own.

Books · WWW Wednesday

Reading Romance and Sci-fi | WWW Wednesday 14/04/2021

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 have you recently finished?

What are you currently reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished:

The Dog Share by Fiona Gibson

The Dog Share: Amazon.co.uk: Gibson, Fiona: 9780008385996: Books

This was a decent read. I thought it’d be more romancey, but oh well. The dog part was cute but a little lacking. Not bad for a 99p Kindle deal though.
I’ll have a review up soon!

Currently Reading:

Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender

Queen of the Conquered Audiobook | Kacen Callender | Audible.co.uk

I just started listening to the audiobook. I’m not sure if I’m going to enjoy this much, the narrator is a tad bland. I shall push through and see!

Reading Next:

*Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

Kate in Waiting

I’m excited to be part of the Bookstagram tour for this upcoming book! I’m super into romance lately, so I’m hoping this will be really good.

*Gifted to me by Penguin + PrideBookTours

I’ve also been reading the Forward Collection (on Amazon Prime). So I will be continuing to read those. I have 3 left:
Ark by Veronica Roth
You Have Arrived at Your Destination by Amor Towles
The Last Conversation by Paul Tremblay


What are you currently reading? Reading next?

Books · Review

Audiobook Review: Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

Instant Karma Audiobook | Marissa Meyer | Audible.co.uk

Goodreads Synopsis:

Chronic overachiever Prudence Barnett is always quick to cast judgment on the lazy, rude, and arrogant residents of her coastal town. Her dreams of karmic justice are fulfilled when, after a night out with her friends, she wakes up with the sudden ability to cast instant karma on those around her.

Pru giddily makes use of the power, punishing everyone from public vandals to mean gossips, but there is one person on whom her powers consistently backfire: Quint Erickson, her slacker of a lab partner. Quint is annoyingly cute and impressively noble, especially when it comes to his work with the rescue center for local sea animals.

When Pru resigns herself to working at the rescue center for extra credit, she begins to uncover truths about baby otters, environmental upheaval, and romantic crossed signals—not necessarily in that order. Her newfound karmic insights reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed, love and hate . . . and fate.


My Thoughts:

Enemies to lovers, high school style.
I wasn’t sure I was going to like this, I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews. However, I am pleased to say I really enjoyed it.

This is Marissa Meyer’s first contemporary romance, this genre suits her perfectly! I loved the enemies/rivals to lovers trope, it was well done. There was a bit of angst and reluctance going one. Pru really doesn’t want to fall for Quint, she doesn’t even want to like him. I love that kind of tension!

I think the main character, Prudence, will be hit or miss. She isn’t overly ‘likeable’ – but I think that’s part of the charm. She’s flawed, deeply so. She’s a teenager, she growing and developing, character wise. Teenagers are kind of annoying. To me she feels realistic. Pru has decent character development, she becomes way more likeable towards the end.

Additionally to romantic relationships, there are family and friendships explored. The family dynamic difference between Pru and Quint is a nicely done contrast. It’s nice to see friends and family have a bigger role in the story also, it wasn’t strictly a romance.

The Sea life/wildlife aspect was so cute!
I like Quint’s passion for sea life and the rescue center. It was a cute setting for romance.

Magic realism aspect – very small and minimal. Kind of underdeveloped. I didn’t really think it was needed? It was fun. Was it magic or coincidence? We never know.

Narrator:
As with Marissa Meyer’s other audiobooks, the narrator is Rebecca Soler, who I really enjoy. I liked her narration for The Lunar Chronicles, so already knew I would be fine with her narration. She really suits Marissa Meyer’s writing style. Rebecca Soler will forever remain one of my favourites for audiobooks!

Overall, a fun cute romance that is super easy to read/listen to and a fast one!

Books · WWW Wednesday

Uni Reading + Spring Break TBR |Reading update

It’s been a hot minute since I posted on here. I thought I’d jump back in with a reading update, basically a WWW Wednesday but it’s Thursday… Oops.

Uni has been chaotic, I haven’t had the motivation to sit and write any posts, hopefully, with spring break coming up I can write more!

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:

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (audiobook)

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

This was for uni.
I previously read Sing, Unburied, Sing (also for uni) by the same author. Even though I liked this one better, I don’t think this author is for me.

Currently Reading:

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Wide Sargasso Sea (Penguin Modern Classics): Amazon.co.uk: Rhys, Jean:  9780141182858: Books

I’m reading this for my Postcolonial module in uni. This is a reread for me, I actually read it for uni in first year too. I’ve come full circle, it was one of the first things I read for uni and now it’s one of the last!

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Sorcery of Thorns: Amazon.co.uk: Rogerson, Margaret: Books

Okay, I haven’t started this yet. But I will be starting it today! So I’m putting it in the currently reading.

Reading Next:

Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender (audiobook)

Queen of the Conquered Audiobook | Kacen Callender | Audible.co.uk

I have put this off too many times. This has probably appeared a million times on my reading next or tbrs. I’m going to read it!! I’m not touching another audiobook, this is my next one for sure!

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows (A Darker Shade of Magic #2): Amazon.co.uk: V. E.  Schwab, Victoria Schwab: 9781783295425: Books

This is a maybe. I want to continue this series but I’m not sure if I’ll be in the mood. So we’ll see!

What are you currently reading/reading next?

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday 03/03/2021

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 have you recently finished?

What are you currently reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished:
Nothing.
I read a lot in Feb, so I kinda had a break? I had done a lot of reading for uni, I didn’t really feel like reading and didn’t want to force myself and end up in a slump.

Currently Reading:

The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor

The Book of Phoenix eBook: Okorafor, Nnedi: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

This has been sat on my shelf for a long while, I’ve been wanting to read it for ages. Now, I’m reading it for uni. I’m excited to finally pick this up and now I get to study it too!

*Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

52346471

I sent a physical arc by the publisher and given an audio arc by Libro.fm… so I should probably get a move on with this. I hope to read and review it before release day, which is March 16th (US and kindle UK) and April 1st (UK hardback).


Reading Next:

*Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert (audiobook)

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert | Audiobook | Audible.com

One of my most anticipated releases for the year! I absolutely adored the previous two books in this series. I cannot wait to dive into this!

What are you currently reading or reading next?



Books · WWW Wednesday

Dystopia & Cute YA Romance | WWW Wednesday 24/02/2021

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 have you recently finished?

What are you currently reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished:

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Sower: A powerful tale of a dark and dystopian future - The  Rocketship Bookshop

This was another book for uni, seems to be the only reading I do lately…
It was a good read, very interesting and terrifying. Hits a little too close to home. Definitely worth reading if you’re into Dytopian.

Currently Reading:

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer (audiobook)

Instant Karma Audiobook | Marissa Meyer | Audible.co.uk

I’m really enjoying this audiobook. I’ve seen mixed things about this, so I was hesitant to read. So far it’s cute and easy to listen to! It’s kinda enemies to lovers with a hint of magic. It’s pretty cool.
I don’t have much left and will probably finish this today!

Reading Next:

*Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley (ARC)

Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Next I’m reading this arc (gifted to me by the publisher). It comes out next month. I’d like to read and review it before release day. I’m excited to read this!

What are you currently reading?

Books · WWW Wednesday

Rereading Jane Eyre, Uni Books & Weird Dystopia | WWW Wednesday 10/02/2021

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 have you recently finished?

What are you currently reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently finished:

Ice by Anna Kavan

Image result for ice anna kavan

So I had to read this for uni, it’s not something I’d ever heard of before nor knew anything about. WOW this book was weird. Possibly the weirdest book I’ve ever read. I had no idea what the hell was happening 90% of the time. I’ll be interested in the thoughts of my classmates and discussing it! There’s definitely a lot to pick apart.
It’s a dystopian novel, following a reallllly creepy dude, it’s just so odd.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (reread)

Image result for jane eyre by charlotte bronte vintage classic

Another book for uni. I have previously read this, around 3 years ago. It’s one of my favourite classics, so rereading it was fun! I’m excited to study it in the context of postcolonial theory.

Currently Reading:

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

Image result for The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

Another uni book… All I do is read for uni lately…
I’ve previously read Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments). I’m excited to study her and see how this book compares to those. It’s a bit odd so far… another odd dystopian novel!

Reading Next:

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer (audiobook)

Image result for Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer (audiobook)

Finally, I am reading for fun!
I have this audiobook on loan from my library. I don’t have much time left, so I need to hurry up with this one! I love Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles, I’m excited to read a contemporary romance by her! I heard mixed things about this, hopefully, I’ll enjoy it!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Image result for A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab uk

This has been on my tbr for four years. I finally bought the box set and I’m going to start this series!


What are your last, current and next reads?

Books · WWW Wednesday

Finally Reading Addie Larue! | WWW Wednesday 20/01/2021

Happy Wednesday!

It has been a hot minute since I last did a WWW Wednesday, so this is my first of the year. I haven’t been reading much lately, I’ve been super busy!

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’ve had finals to deal with but I submitted my final essay of the semester today, so I’ll be free to read! Yay!

Currently Reading:

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue: Amazon.co.uk: V.E. Schwab:  9781785652509: Books

I meant to get to this book last year, but ended up being too busy. So here I am finally reading it! I’m not far in but I’m intrigued so far, I just haven’t had time to sit and read loads of it.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre (Vintage Classics Bronte Series) (Vintage Classics Brontë  Series): Amazon.co.uk: Bronte, Charlotte, O'Farrell, Maggie: 9781784870737:  Books

This will be a reread for me. I’m studying it next semester so I thought I’d get a head start and read it now! I also have the audiobook, so I’m listening to it too. The narrator is Thandie Newton, she’s amazing!


Reading Next:

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Fire by Kristin Cashore - Books - Hachette Australia

I reread Graceling at the beginning of the month, so I’m rereading this too! In prep for the new book, I’m a bit behind, the new book comes out tomorrow, I think.


What have you been reading?