Books · Wrap-up

December Wrap Up | 2022

Happy New Year!

I managed to squeeze 6 reads into December. In a desperate attempt to reach my revised Goodreads goal of 50 books. Neglecting my reading a little in 2022, so definitely had a bit of catching up to do in December. Luckily, I had some short audiobooks to binge!

A Manual for Heartache by Cathy Rentzenbrink (audiobook)

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Heartstopper Volume 4 by Alice Oseman

Rating: 4 Stars

Climate Change Is Racist by Jeremy Williams (audiobook)

Rating 3.5 Stars

And Yet: Poems by Katie Baer (audiobook – gifted)

No rating

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore (audiobook – gifted)

Rating: 3 Stars

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

Rating: 3 Stars

That’s my quick wrap up. Last reads of 2022. No new favourites this month.
Let me know what you read in December!

Books · Wrap-up

November Wrap Up | 2022

Happy December!
Can’t believe how fast this year flew by.

I participated in Nanowrimo in November, so I didn’t get much reading done. The books I did manage to squeeze in I loved!

Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

A cosy, light-hearted fantasy was perfect for me during November. Low stakes and wholesome vibes. It was a slow but cute read.
Rating: 4 Stars

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (mix of audiobooks and physical)

This took me ages to read because Nanowrimo took over my life, but I loved it. Perfect autumn/winter read. A gothic novel with beautiful prose and an LGBT undertone message (very subtle). I do love a novel about good versus evil, questioning morality and human nature.
Rating: 4 Stars

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (audiobook)

Lastly, the star of the show. A new favourite. I won’t say too much about this as it’s very easy to spoil. It’s a little confusing, weird and wonderful. I think this is a book you just have to read for yourself. It’s one of those you’ll either love or hate it. Personally, I loved it. I binged listened to it in under 24 hours.
Rating: 5 Stars

Overall, very happy with my reading this month, despite the low number of books read. It was definitely a month of quality over quantity!

How was your reading in November?

Writing

One Week of NaNoWriMo 2022 | Wordcount, Mood board & Things Learnt

Hello everyone
A bit of a different post today. I thought I do a little Nanowrimo post, mostly to hold myself accountable.
I’ve been posting updates on Twitter and Instagram – follow me there for daily updates and more bookish content. I’m mostly active on Instagram these days.

Anyway, I thought I do weekly updates for Nanowrimo, just sharing my experience. This is my first time properly doing Nanowrimo, I did do Camp Nanowrimo in July 2021 for outlining and planning. This one is a draft of a novel WIP.

About my WIP:
Genre: Fantasy
Age group: New Adult – it’s kind of in between YA and Adult
POV: First Person / Single POV
Starting word count: 23k (ish)
Nanowrimo goal: 50k
End goal: 73k (ish)

Mood board for my WIP.
*Pictures are all from Pinterest/Google.

Week 1 of Writing

Daily word counts:

Day 1 – 1700
Day 2 – 1668
Day 3 – 1714
Day 4 – 1741
Day 5 – 1719
Day 6 – 1730
Day 7 – 1746
Week 1 total words: 12,018

Things I’ve learnt:

  1. Planning is necessary – having an idea of what to write, rather than just sitting with a blank screen and no place to start.
  2. Writing 1667 words (minimum) per day is pretty hard – it’s super time-consuming, especially trying to work it in on busy days and working full time. I’m lucky I work from home and can do things on my breaks.
  3. Mindmaps are such a good brainstorming tool to have on hand
  4. Try not to edit as you write. Just get it down, word vomit all over your draft. Don’t go backward.

Are you doing Nanowrimo? Or do you have a WIP? I’d love to hear about it 🙂

Books · Review

ARC Review: Cursed by Marissa Meyer (Gilded #2)

Goodreads synopsis:

It isn’t true, she wanted to whisper. To lean forward and nuzzle her cheek against his temple. To press him against the wall and mold her body to his. I am not his. I will never be his.

Serilda and Gild cannot break the curses that tether their spirits to Adalheid’s haunted castle. There they remain trapped for eternity. On the night of the Endless Moon, the Erlking means to capture one of the seven gods and so be reunited with his lover, Perchta, who has been banished to the underworld.

But it soon becomes clear that the Erlking’s hunger for vengeance won’t be satisfied with a single wish, and his true intentions have the power to alter the mortal realm forever.

Serilda and Gild have no choice but to thwart his plans, all the while solving the mystery of Gild’s forgotten name, and freeing all the ghosts kept in servitude to the dark ones. As the evil forces gather, it seems only their love is strong enough to sustain them . . .


*May contain minor spoilers for book one. Check out my review for Gilded here.

My thoughts:

After the cliffhanger ending of Gilded, I was desperate to know what would happen. This was probably my most anticipated read of the year.

Firstly, the pacing. After the ending of Gilded, I expected this to be quite fast-paced and action-packed. It’s the concluding novel in the duology. But this book takes a slower pace. It really felt like filler for the most part.

It was overly descriptive to the point where it just takes away from the plot. I like pretty descriptions and vivid writing, which was what I liked in the first book. It felt like a fairytale. However, this takes it too far. The descriptions overtake the plot and the characters. It slowed the pace too much, this sequel would’ve benefitted from some urgency in the pacing.

I found myself really bored through the first half. It took so long for stuff to happen and for the story to pick up. It didn’t feel like a final book.

The plot – as I said before is very slow and overpowered by the descriptions.
It had some interesting elements but overall pretty predictable. As it is a fairytale retelling, the plot is going to be a little predictable as they tend to follow a formula.

I did like the dark elements, it’s one of the darkest YA fantasies I’ve read. It really feels like the classic fairytales in that aspect, which I enjoyed!
How the Rumpelstiltskin aspect wraps up and the origin in the story was a nice twist. I loved the history side and the mystery of Gild – those parts were less predictable. I did guess Serilda’s mother, that didn’t surprise me at all. It was well foreshadowed, not sure if it was easily predictable or I’m just a good guesser haha.

The ending – It did have some good moments once the pace picked up and some action took place. The ending wrapped things up nicely, it took a while to get there but the ending was sweet. As it is a fairytale retelling, it did end with the happily ever after as you would expect.

Overall, I’m a bit disappointed. I expected more. It was just an okay read. I was hoping for a new favourite but alas, it did not make it. I think if the filler parts of Gilded and Cursed were taken out and these two books combined, it could’ve been an amazing standalone.

Rating: 2.75 – 3 Stars

Cursed is out tomorrow! (November 8th)
You can get these beautiful copies with sprayed edges now!

*Cursed was gifted by the publisher. All views are my own.

Books · Wrap-up

October Wrap Up | 2022

Happy November!!

The first book I finished was
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (audiobook)

This was a carryover from September.
I found it amusing but confusing. It’s a tad overhyped in my opinion. It was hard to get into and hard to keep up with. The narrator did a good job. Overall it was just an okay read.
Rating: 2.5 Stars

Next up was Sadie by Courtney Summers (audiobook)

Another audiobook. This one was incredible. Such an amazing, emotional read.
I have a full review here for this. A new favourite for sure.
Rating: 5 Stars

Lunar Living by Kirsty Gallagher

The moon and spirituality fascinate me. Not sure how much of this moon magic I believe in but it was interesting to read. It was mostly for research purposes.
I won’t rate it for that reason.

Finally,
*Cursed by Marissa Meyer

I was very lucky to receive an ARC of this. I read Gilded last year and loved it, I highly anticipated this sequel. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Review coming soon!
Rating: 2.75-3 Stars

Not the best reading month. I’m doing Nanowrimo this month, I don’t expect to read a ton but hopefully, what I do read will be good!
Let me know what you read in October!

Books · Wrap-up

September Wrap Up | 2022

Happy Spooky Season!
September slipped away fast…

I read a few books this month. All pretty average. Did read a nice variety of genres though!

The first book I finished was
Persuasion by Jane Austen

I listened to the audiobook and read the physical book.
Enjoyable read. I love Austen’s writing. This had a lovely romance, more so than her other books.
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Then I listened to
My Dear Friend Janet


and From the Desk of Lady Miss by Keke Palmer (audiobooks)

I thought the first was amusing. Didn’t enjoy the second. Will likely not continue this series. Keke is a bit too dramatic of a narrator to me. It felt overacted and was a tad annoying. Hard to focus on the story.
Rating: 3 Stars / 2 Stars

*The Dream Runners by Shveta Thakrar

Rating: 3 Stars

Attached by Dr Amir Levine and Rachel S.F. Heller

This was interesting, I found it an insightful read. I learned a lot about myself and attachment in relationships. It was nice to read some non-fiction for a change. I am a fan of self-help/mental health literature but never read one to do with love/relationships before. Has definitely opened my eyes and changed my way of thinking! Definitely worth a read.
Rating: 4 Stars

What did you read in September?

Books · Wrap-up

August Wrap Up | 2022

Happy September!
The year is really running away with me!
Which means I’m behind on my Goodreads goal. I’ve been in and out of slumps for a while now. Also had covid in August and was literally so unwell I couldn’t do a thing.

I did manage to read 4 graphic novels in August

Art: Cliff Chiang

I read:
Paper Girls Volumes 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Having read the first two volumes in July.

I really enjoyed this series. It was a great story, it mixes sci-fi and time travel elements with a strong theme of friendship.
It also has a diverse lineup, which is always a plus!

Series rating: 4 Stars

Full review coming soon

Books · Wrap-up

July Wrap Up | 2022

Happy August!
Here’s hoping I have a better reading month this month. July was pretty bad. I was in a massive slump. I barely touched a book. I only managed a few graphic novels.

Lore Olympus Vol 2 by Rachael Smythe

I was in such a slump, I knew I needed something fun and easy to get me back in the mood. So I picked up this, highly anticipated after Vol 1. I loved it!! Just what I needed. Now in need of Vol 3… which is out in October!
Rating: 4.5 Stars


Paper Girls Vol 1
Paper Girls Vol 2 by Brian K. Vaughan.

I decided to pick up more graphic novels. I decided to give Paper Girls a go. I love Saga by Brian K. Vaughan. I’m enjoying it so far! The whole story is out (6 volumes) which I will be binging! Look out for those reviews coming soon.
Vol 1 rating: 4 Stars
Vol 2 rating: 4 Stars

What did you read in July?

Books · Wrap-up

(Very late) June Wrap Up | 2022

Hello!
This post is going up super late, as I’ve been in a slump lately. I’ve not been posting much here or on Instagram over the last few months. I hope to get back into the swing of regular posting soon. I’ve been feeling unmotivated lately.

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson (Physical and audiobook)

Firstly, I finished my reread of the Mistborn trilogy!
Loved it, of course. Might do a post about my rereading experience soon.

Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney

Read this on holiday, it was a fun read but not a new fave.
Rating: 3/3.5 Stars

Book Lovers by Emily Henry (Physical and audiobook)

Also read this on holiday, on the last day/while travelling. I binged the whole thing, I was obsessed. Definitely a new fave!
Rating: 5 Stars

*I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston (audiobook)

Fun, one-day read. It was interesting enough, though did have some toxic elements. Not a bad read overall.
Rating: 3 Stars
(Gifted ALC from Libro.fm)

How to be Hopeful by Bernadette Russell

Borrowed this from the library, as an audiobook. I’ve been feeling pretty hopeless and depressed lately. This was an insightful read, I noted down some of the exercises mentioned. Will definitely be giving them a go!

Let me know what you’ve been reading!

Books · Wrap-up

May Wrap Up | 2022

Hello everyone!
I’m so inconsistent with blogging lately. I need to get back into the swing of things.
Happy June! We’re now in the best month of the year. (I’m biased, it’s my birthday month AND I’m going on holiday!)

*You Still Look the Same by Farzana Doctor

*This was gifted to me by Libro.fm

No matter how hard to try, poetry is not something I can get into.
This was a quick listen, I don’t remember it being bad at all but now I don’t remember much. Poetry doesn’t stick with me much.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

I really enjoyed this one! It was super fun and cute. The perfect quick read. Would be a perfect holiday/beach read!
Rating: 4.5 Stars

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (reread)

I started by reread of Mistborn! I decided to read the physical alongside listening to the audiobook. It had been years since I first read this series and I loved being back in this world! It destroyed me again, just like the first time. I was surprised at how much I’d forgotten!

Rating: 5 Stars

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson (reread)

Then moving on to rereading book 2. Audiobook/physical again.
Also really enjoyed this. It does have a little bit of middle book syndrome but it’s still interesting. I cannot wait to read the last book in this trilogy! It will likely destroy me because the ending is unreal.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

What did you read in May?