As I’ve said, I’m currently slap bang in the middle of my exams and sadly I haven’t had all that much time for reading. But, as I love reading so much, I make sure to read some pages when I wake up and before I go to sleep, so I’ve managed to complete a couple of books this month.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
So, I tried to read this book a while ago and couldn’t get past the first three pages. I started panicking that all the hype surrounding this book had killed it for me but I calmed myself, put it down and then, a while later, I picked it up again. And there was obviously something wrong with my mindset at the time because reading it now, I absolutely loved every single aspect about it! I adore all the characters and the humour and the complex plot and I can’t wait to read the sequel. Leigh Bardugo has obviously improved so much as a writer and I can’t wait to see what she does next!
Cat’s Cradle by Julia Golding
I’ve finally finished my task in re-reading this series that I was absolutely enamored with when I was a few years younger. This definitely isn’t my favourite book in the series, mainly because it is away from the thriving and amazing city of London, but I still enjoyed the writing and the characters and seeing how far they’ve developed since the beginning of the series. I’m sad that it’s over!
Doing It by Hannah Witton
This month was the month of re-reads for me as I was feeling particularly nostalgic (and I had to re-read some things for school).
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
I really fancied re-reading some Sarah J Maas this month and since it had been a pretty long time since I’d read this series – and because the final book in the trilogy comes out in May – I decided to give this one a re-read. It isn’t my favourite book that Sarah J Maas has ever written but I know why that is now – because Tamlin is a tool but he’s supposed to be a tool so that’s okay. Aside from that, I really enjoyed this book which I completely expected because I love Sarah J Maas.
An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley
I then had to give this one a re-read for school, which I didn’t really mind because it’s pretty short and like most of the books I have to read for school I actually really like this book. I really love the character development and the themes that are explored in this play as well as all of the historical and social context behind the story.
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
I’m really glad that I decided to re-read this book recently because it definitely reminded me of how much I love this series and how highly I’m anticipating the third book in the trilogy which is being released in a matter of days now! The characters are all so engaging and complex and while this series is definitely more adult than the Throne of Glass series (despite the last few books definitely heading in that direction) I still absolutely love it and am super, duper excited to read the final book and catch up with Mor and Nesta (who are my favourites) and see them all get their happy endings – hopefully!
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
This was another school re-read and while it did feel quite strange reading this book in the middle of Spring and I definitely think this is more of a wintery read, I still enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time. This is the only Dickens book that I’ve read but I definitey want to remedy that in the future by reading more of his works and checking out some more of his famous characters.
I’ve had a load of exams this month which sadly meant I couldn’t dedicate as much time to reading. However, I still managed to read a couple of books this month and I really enjoyed those that I did manage to read.
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
I actually can’t believe that I’ve only one more The Mortal Instruments books to read and then I’m all caught up! I really liked this one, as per usual, and especially because we got to read a lot from different characters points of view which was really fun and interesting. There was also quite a lot of character development in this one and a lot of changes going on within the characters and now I can’t wait to see how every plays out in the end!
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
It’s taken me an absolute age to read this book and I really don’t have any idea why. But I can say that I am very happy to have finally read it because I absolutely loved it. I wasn’t so sure at the beginning of the book but once I was fully invested in the characters and the plot, I really started to fall in love with this book. I particularly enjoyed all of the cute dogs that featured as well as the humour and banter between the characters and the character development which is something that Morgan Matson does so well.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E Lockhart
This was a re-read for me but considering it had been a couple of years since I’ve read it, I wanted to give it another read. And I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time and maybe even more because I had a better understanding of some of the themes in the book as well as the language. I really think this is an underappreciated book, especially as it deals with things like feminism and the schooling system.
I managed to read a few classics this month and I might have already found one of my favourite books of the whole year!
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
If I’m being completely honest, the only reason I wanted to read this book was because I wanted to watch the film starring the brilliant Carey Mulligan. But I am so, so glad that I did end up reading this because I loved it so much more than I thought I would do. Bathsheba Everdene is one of the strongest, most independent and all round badass female characters that I’ve ever read and it was written in 1874! But really, this book was brilliant and I really enjoyed my time reading it.
Watership Down by Richard Adams
This is the first book that I’ve ever set as DNF and I can hardly say that I’m proud of that fact. But I just didn’t care about the world or the characters or the plot at all and had to force myself through the pages. In the space of a week, where I can usually easily read a 300+ novel, I could only manage 128 pages and I didn’t really enjoy any of them. It’s a shame really because I know lots of people adore it and think it’s an incredible classic but it just wasn’t for me.
A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
For some reason, I still haven’t got around to reading Arthur Conan Doyle’s work which is stupid really as crime and mystery stories have always been things that I’ve massively enjoyed. I decided to bite the bullet and start at the beginning and while I thought that this was a brilliant introduction to the series and the characters, I wasn’t particularly engaged by the mystery. This might be because it was slightly different from the version in Sherlock which is what I’m now always going to compare it to but nevertheless, I’m excited to read more.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
This was a re-read for me as I had to read it for school and I’m really glad that I got to read it in an academic setting as, in my opinion, it helps to develop my understanding and knowledge of the play and the characters. This story is so complex and twisted and there are so many different messages and ways of reading it that there really is no wrong opinion about it. And, of course, I adore Lady Macbeth for being such a powerful and strong-willed character, even if I really wouldn’t want to walk into her on a dark night.
I can’t believe it’s already the end of January! I feels like 5 seconds ago it was Christmas! These are the books that I managed to read during the month while snacking on leftover chocolate.
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
I’m finally getting to the latter end of this series after what feels like an age but that doesn’t mean that I’m not enjoying this series, because I am. I know that a lot of people feel like the series could have stopped after 3 books but I really enjoyed seeing the characters develop even further in this book and see some of the complexities of their characters. Jace is beginning to annoy me a bit, purely because everything ALWAYS happens to him and he’s not even the chosen one of this universe – that is Clary. But after that cliffhanger, I’m excited to see where the next two books go.
The List by Siobhan Vivian
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t expect much from this book. I had absolutely no idea what it was about when I bought into and went into without any expectation. However, I ended up really loving this book and it completely blew me away. This book manages to tackle some extremely important and relevant topics that affect women in today’s society in a way that isn’t boring or overwhelming but accessible and interesting. The characters are all so complex and intriguing with their own hidden motives and backstories and this book was just completely engrossing. I did think the ending could be better as it felt a little rushed but all in all, I adored this book.
Black Heart of Jamaica by Julia Golding
I’m almost finished with my re-read of this series and going into this book, I couldn’t remember anything about the plot or what happens. This book tackles some extremely important themes from history like piracy, slavery and epidemics like malaria in a way that isn’t boring. The characters in this series are all interesting and complex and I particularly enjoyed the banter between Cat and Billy in this book. Their relationship has really developed from the start of the series and this book makes all of their changes even more abundantly clear.
The Middle Passage
I decided to give this novella a re-read because this fits in between the fifth and the sixth book and that’s where I was up to in the series. This book is a very short novella but it still continues the engaging and lively writing style that is sustained through the entirety of the series. This book was extremely funny and entertaining and while the story was short, the plot was still pretty fast-paced. I do think that some of the characters could have been expanded and developed but I know that not everything can be achieved in such a short book. This definitely isn’t required reading in the grand scheme of things but does make an entertaining addition to the series.
It’s the end of December! It’s the end of the year! Aah!
Cat O’ Nine Tails by Julia Golding
In my quest to re-read this series, I turned my attentions to the 4th book out of the 6th. It’s amazing really, re-reading a book when you’re a few years older because you see so many details that you didn’t pick up on the first time. The characters are so engaging and funny and I love all the historical details that I now know are actually really accurate because the make the world feel so much more realistic and vivid.
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
It really is unbelievable how a re-read can open so many things that you didn’t see the first time and it gives you an entirely new perspective on the book. Those things in this book were shockingly obvious the second time and I can’t believe I actually missed them. This is a very interesting book with a very unique writing style but it is very gripping and heart-wrenching and different. It’s also very short, so while I may not have loved this book, it’s a good one to pick up if you find yourself in a book rut.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
This is a book that I had to read for school but was a book that I was actually quite looking forward to reading. It was literally the perfect book to read around this time of year because it perfectly captures the spirit of Christmas and what Christmas is all about. I really liked the characters in this book and I also liked how there were several female characters who were all quite strong-willed. This book was funny and thought-provoking and moving and I would really recommend it.
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
This was a re-read for me but seeing as I hadn’t read it for a while, I wanted to give it another read. I know this book is compared to The Perks of Being a Wallflower fairly often but I actually prefer this to that book. Maybe it’s because I read this book first or because this book has a female protagonist but I just vastly prefer this book to The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It’s interesting and thought-provoking and funny and I always forget just how much I enjoy it.
These are all the brilliant books that I managed to read in the month of November!
Den of Thieves by Julia Golding
I’m in the process of re-reading the Cat Royal series and this is the third installment in the series and the book that stuck in my brain as my favourite book in the series. This book, like the previous two in the series, was filled with humour and wit and was extremely fast paced. The world building was so vibrant and vivid that you could really imagine yourself there and I also really appreciated all the accurate historical details were included, especially the addition of a certain Lafayette.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
This is a book that I had heard a lot about and when I saw it in a book shop with this gorgeous cover, I couldn’t help not buy it. But, it was a very different book to what I was expecting. I couldn’t connect to any of the characters, and I wish they had been developed that little bit more to make them feel more realistic and relatable. I really liked the description and Morgenstern’s writing style because it was so intoxicating and captivating but I also felt like the story was very slow and didn’t really make much sense – it was like there was a lot of information that was still being kept from the reader, despite it being the end of the book.
The Glam Guide by Fleur de Force
This was a re-read for me, having read this book earlier this year, and this is definitely one of those books that you don’t have to read cover to cover; you can dip in and out of it and just read the sections that you’re interested in if you want to. I really liked the layout of this book because everything is colourful and vibrant and I love the whole design of the book. Some of the writing is a bit on the cheesy side but there are some genuinely useful chapters of information and I think this is just a great book to own.
Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas
This, the fifth book in the six part Throne of Glass series, was an absolutely brilliant book. It was near perfect. The world Sarah J Maas has crafted is just so rich and detailed and in this book all the different worlds and stories just collided in a massive way. I also love the characters – even though I hate them at times – in this book and how they’re all so flawed and interesting and engaging. There’s a lot of couple pushing in this book too, which makes my hopelessly romantic heart very happy despite their also being a lot of angst between said couples. The ending was painful in so many different ways and now I am beyond excited, and also a bit scared, at the prospect of the final book.