So we’re already into March! So I finished 9 books this month, which is great, but it felt like a struggle to be honest. I took me 5 days to start a book, I just wasn’t feeling much. My choices this month then were shorter, easier to read things to try and get me reading. So I was actually surprised it was 9 books as I didn’t think I had read that much last month. Onwards to the reviews!
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
The follow up book to Illuminae (which I read in August), this one is set in the same world but we have different characters. Set on a space station, we follow Hanna, the privileged daughter of the station’s captain and Nik, member of a notorious crime family. Life is pretty boring on the space station but this is going to change as the Hypatia (the ship from Illuminae) is heading towards the station. I was afraid that the change of main characters would affect the story for me and that I’d like it less than Illuminae, but that wasn’t the case! It was just as much fun as Illuminae and I gobbled up the story as all the twists and turns occured. I’m really looking forward to book three, I love the setting of these books and the how the books are laid out (it’s told as if it’s a stack of documents like IMs, interviews, written accounts of video files), making it really unique. Even if you think you don’t like sci-fi, these books would be a great place to start it as it has a real action movie vibe to them.
Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
Norah is 17 and has agoraphobia, OCD and anxiety. This means every day life is a big struggle for her, even leaving the house to step into the garden can cause great distress and anxiety. When something unexpected happens to her, she’s forced to deal with her problems in ways that scares her. Adding to this is Luke, the new boy that’s moved next door who wants to be friends, something Norah wants but is complicated by the fact she doesn’t want to tell him about her problems. This is a great YA novel that really highlights these mental health issues and I liked the balance between the romance side of things and Norah’s personal development. I havea a full review post which you can check out here. [NetGalley]
milk and honey by Rupi Kaur
milk and honey is poetry collection that I’ve heard a lot about over past few months so I wanted to pick it up. It’s split into four sections (the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing) and the poems in each section explored these themes. Some of the poems were as short as 2 sentences, others were a page or two. Overall I liked this collection, it’s very raw and powerful and at times intense. A few sentences were sometimes just enough to convey an array of feelings. Not every poem ‘spoke’ to me and that’s fine, when it comes to collections, be it poetry or short stories, it’s often the case that not everything is to your taste and that’s ok with me. There were certain poems which I loved and these make up for the ones I didn’t enjoy. I read a few of these poems while listening to the Audible sample clip on the book’s Goodreads page, which is read my the author and was actually really enjoyable this way. I think when I read this book (as I would like to reread it) I would possible do it this way, reading along while listening to the audiobook.
Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton
Traitor to the Throne is the follow up to Rebel of the Sands, which I read last year and loved. It’s the Middle East desert meets Wild West with a fantasy twist. It was such fun! This book I enjoyed but not as much. I loved the main character Amani, but there was something lacking from this. I think it’s because the setting was slightly different to the first one and it took some getting used to. Plus Amani isn’t around her love interest Jin a lot which was a pity. On the plus side we didn’t get a love triangle, which is something that often happens in book two of a YA series. If you enjoyed the first book you’ll probably enjoy this too as it is still fun and it was interesting to see another side of this world. Just don’t expect it to be exactly the same. [NetGalley]
Ms Marvel Volume 3 Crushed by G Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa and Elmo Bondoc
Volume 3 of the Ms Marvel series, 16 year old Kamala Khan, a Muslim teenager from New Jersey. This time around she has a love interest! Something that is complicated by her superpowers, not to mention her strict parents! It was fun, I do like this series but it’s not blowing me away like I thought it would. However I’ll continue on as I do like it and want to see where else it’ll go.
Scarlett Says by Scarlett Moffatt
When this came out last year I thought it might be a fun read. I’d seen Scarlett on Gogglebox a few times and enjoyed her. So when it was a Daily Deal on Audible I decided to give it a go. Scarlett talks about various things through a narrative of a night out. So getting ready (talking about beauty and looks), having drinks with friends (stories around that) and so on. It was an interesting concept and I do think I liked this book more by listening to than I would have reading it. Hearing Scarlett talk made the book come to life. However I will say that even though the book hasn’t been out a year it is quite out of date now since Scarlett won I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! The book is around Scarlett being just a normal girl, who is sometimes recognised as being on the telly, who lives at home and has a regular job. That’s no longer the case, Scarlett is everywhere these days. There was a bit early on in the book where she talks about red carpets
‘I don't go on red carpets. If a photographer ever shouted out "who are you wearing?" I'd be like, "Me mam's top, me mate Sarah's jeans and some shoes from the TopShop sale.”’
Around the time I’d read that part Scarlett was on the red carpet for the NTAs. But refreshingly her outfit actually was from TopShop! I had to laugh out loud when she said she hated Jamie Oliver as she was just on his show the other week! I don’t begrudge Scarlett becoming more famous or successful, if she’s enjoying it then I say go for it! I do think though that if you’re going to read this that bear in mind things have changed a lot for her but if you’re a fan you’ll probably enjoy her musings.
Space Dumplins by Craig Thompson
When Violet’s Dad go missing and no one seems to be able to help her and her mum, Violet decides to go off and try and find him, along with two new friends. This is definitely different from Thompson’s Blankets. As this book is aimed at younger readers, I found the story only ok. But I did like the artwork and colours and I think it would be a fun read for younger readers.
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories is a mix of short stories all based off classic fairy tales and legends. I wouldn’t say they’re retellings per se, they’re more inspired by these stories, Carter’s take on these tales. As with the poetry collection above, I found this a mixed bag. I loved certain stories and hated others. The Bloody Chamber was probably my favourite tale, it was really atmospheric and gothic, it reminded me of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. The language used in the stories is rich and descriptive though at times it was hard work and felt excessive. Overall this was a bit disappointing but I’m still glad I tried it.
King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
King’s Cage is book three in the Red Queen series. I won’t say much about the plot here but I did find the beginning a bit slow. It took me ages to read the first third but after that I flew through the rest of the book. I warmed to Mare a bit more in this book, I wasn’t the biggest fan of her in the first two. The ending fell a bit flat for me but that’s probably because I finally felt like there was some momentum and then it ended. Hoping the final book will wrap up everything nicely. [NetGalley]
Number of Books Read- 9
Ratio fiction to non-fiction- 8:1
Number of eBooks- 3 (Under Rose-Tainted Skies, Traitor to the Throne and King’s Cage)
Number of Audio Books- 1 (Scarlett Says)
Number of Books Borrowed from Library- 4 (milk and honey, The Bloody Chamber, Space Dumplins and Ms Marvel)
The Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 Checklist
Read a debut novel- Under Rose-Tainted Skies
Read an all-ages comic- Space Dumplins
Read a collection of stories by a woman- The Bloody Chamber
Technically King’s Cage or Traitor to the Throne would have fit around the ‘read a book about war’ but I want to read a book set in a real life past war, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction.
Overall this was an ok month, I’m excited about March because I’ve been holding back reading a few books so I could read them in March for my Irish Authors Month. I have a TBR post which you can check out here.