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 · 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

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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?

Audiobooks · Blogmas · Books

Best Audiobooks I Listened to in 2019 | Blogmas Day 9

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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
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 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

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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

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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
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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?

Audiobooks · Blogmas · Books · Review

Audiobook Review: Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert | Blogmas Day 7

 

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Hey Guys!
Welcome to Blogmas Day 7!

Synopsis:

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamourous family’s mansion. The next items?

Enjoy a drunken night out.
Ride a motorcycle.
Go camping.
Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
And… do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.


My Thoughts:

This book was AMAZING.

Firstly, the rep: Black, plus-size, chronically ill

I loved every moment, all the characters, everything. It was so funny and cute, I cannot get over it. I’m not huge on romance books in general but this one had me interested and boy, am I glad I picked it up!

I listened to this on audiobook, I listen to maybe an hour and I put it down because life got busy. I was bored one day and put it on, ended up listening to it all day and reading 90%.  It is so addicting and engrossing. Once I got going I was hooked. It was so easy for me to become invested in these characters, the romance and the story.

I absolutely love the humour, I love it when a book can make me laugh out loud and this did. I was giggly, smiley and just so happy reading this book. It’s seriously wonderful.

This book is described as steamy and it is. There’s no escaping it, there are some steamy sex scenes – I am not a huge fan of this myself but I managed to get through it with minimal embarrassment. If you’re not a fan of detailed sex scenes, you may want to skip this. The book isn’t filled with them, however.


Characters:

Chloe: She’s is such a great protagonist! I have never connected and felt more like another character. Chloe suffers from a chronic illness, which I can personally relate to. Her experiences and the way she lives and feels because of her illness is something I can relate to 100%. I have never felt so seen and understood.
I have no idea if the chronic illness rep is own voices – I couldn’t find anything about it but it is very well written and accurate.

Red: 
One word: SWOON.


Narrator:
Adjoa Andoh is a great narrator. The voices and accents she did were so enjoyable, she fitted this book perfectly. I am so glad I got to listen to the audiobook, the listening experience was incredible.

 

Rating: 4.5 Stars

* Thank you to Libro.fm for providing the audiobook for review. All opinions are my own.


Books · Wrap-up

Reading Wrap Up | November 2019 +Blogmas Annoucement!

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Hey guys!
I cannot believe November is over and we’re going into the final month of the year… Crazy how time flies!
I have been in a huge reading slump, so didn’t get much reading done, unfortunately.
I am hoping to do better in December. Luckily, I hit my Goodreads goal a while ago.

 

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The first book I finished was the audiobook of Crownbreaker by Sebastien de Castell.
This was such a great conclusion to an amazing series. I am so sad this is the last Spellslinger book but I am looking forward to reading more from Sebastien de Castell.

Rating: 4 Stars
Review here!

 


 

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Next, I finished Emma by Jane Austen. I read and listened to this for uni. I have to say, I didn’t really enjoy this one. It was too long and boring.

 

 

 


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Finally, after weeks of suffering,I finished Ivanhoe by Walter Scott. This is definitely something I would DNF if it wasn’t for uni. It was such a BORE. I can’t believe I even finished it, it was such a snoozefest!

 

 


Announcement!

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This year I’ll be participating in Blogmas! I’ve always wanted to do it but never have made the plunge so I’m finally going to do it this year. I won’t be doing daily posts, I’ll probably post every other day. I’m excited to post some Christmasy themed posts and post more in general!
Make sure you follow my blog and stick around! There’s plenty of posts coming soon 🙂

Are you doing Blogmas?


 

Audiobooks · Books · Review

Audiobook Review: Crownbreaker by Sebastien de Castell | Spellslinger Finale (Spoiler free)

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Reviews for the others: Spellslinger | Shadowblack | Charmcaster | Soulbinder | Queenslayer

Synopsis:
Kellen and Reichis are settling into their new lives as protectors of the young queen and dealing with the constantly shifting threats to her reign and to her life. For the first time in his life, Kellen feels as if he’s becoming the kind of man that his mentor Ferius had wanted him to be. Even Reichis has come to appreciate having a noble purpose – so long as no one minds him committing the occasional act of theft from the royal treasury.

But what seems to be a simple card game between Kellen and an old man is soon revealed to be a deadly game of wits in which a powerful mage has trapped the queen’s spellslinger in order to kill him.


My Thoughts:

I have no idea where to begin.
I am SO SAD this series has ended. BOY has it been good though. Although not my favourite book in the series, this is a worthy conclusion to what has been an amazing series.

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Side note: the synopsis does not do this book any justice nor is it completely accurate. A lot of stuff goes on, which I won’t spoil, all of which completely surprising after reading the synopsis. It’s definitely a bit misleading but if anything, the book is way better than it sounds from that description.

This book picks up immediately after Queenslayer, as per, we see Kellen causing trouble and being hunted. He’s up to his usual shenanigans, narrowly escaping death constantly with help from Reichis, his murderous Squirrelcat business partner.

This being the last book there are some returns of character, which I loved!(!!!)
Some of my favourite side-characters appear and I was delighted. This book had me on edge, I was dying to know what happened constantly. I was very emotional (I didn’t fully cry but I was super close.) – it was an emotional rollercoaster.

The post-script was amazing. 

I have loved watching Kellen grow as a character through all 6 books, it has been quite the journey! This series will forever stay in my heart and be one of my all-time favourites. These books seriously make me happy, they’re so much fun, the humour is amazing. I look forward to reading more from Sebastien de Castell in the future.

Rating: 4 Stars

*Purchase on Amazon UK: Kindle | Hardback 

The audiobook is AMAZING. The narrator makes this story truly come to life, his voice is incredible. I highly, highly recommend the audiobooks. They really are an amazing experience.
*Free trial of Audible here.


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