April 2020 Round-Up

Hello and welcome to my April 2020 round-up! I honestly cannot believe it’s the end of April already and we are all stuck inside watching the weather through our windows. This is not how I thought 2020 was going to go, but I’m trying to make the best of the situation. I’ve been writing daily for Camp NaNoWriMo and making pom-poms like there’s no tomorrow. There is something incredibly therapeutic about winding wool round and round and round, especially while watching one of my favourite movies like Burlesque. Back to the books, I’m struggling to read as much as I did before, but I try to read a little each day, even if it is only a couple of pages. I’ve been feeling quite overwhelmed, so thanks for bearing with me while my blog posts are very sporadic. I will try to get some book reviews up soon!

Top 3 novels I read in April

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

What I liked about it: the unique format, the drama, the way she writes about music

What I did not like about it: Nothing that I can think of.

My favourite character: Camila. What an amazing woman.

Position in series: 1/1

Genre: Historical fiction, music

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

What I liked about it: sassy misfit crew, aliens, lots of sarcasm, the action and excitement

What I did not like about it: my heart exploding

My favourite character: Tyler or Zila. I didn’t realise how awesome I think Tyler is until I actually considered it.

Position in series: 1/3

Genre: young adult, science fiction, fantasy

Dust by Hugh Howey

What I liked about it: an incredible conclusion to the Wool trilogy, the worldbuilding, the unravelling of the plot

What I did not like about it: DEATHS.

My favourite character: Jules. I would die for that woman. Amazing.

Position in series: 3/3

Genre: science fiction, post-apocalyptic

Poetry of the month: Wild Embers by Nikita Gill

What I liked about it: emotional and empowering

What I did not like about it: that it wasn’t longer!

My favourite poem: For Her

Genre: poetry, feminism

Special mention: Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Why: this book means more to me than I can put into words. It has saved lives and reminds you that at no point are you alone. You can get through than this. There is more to life than your mental illness.

Genre: nonfiction, mental health

And that, folks, is my April in books. For a full list of everything I read in April, check out my goodreads which I try my best to keep up to date! I hope you’re all well, even if you’re feeling unmotivated like I am. Wishing you and your families all the best, and if you ever want to talk you can reach me through my contact page here, Instagram here or twitter here.

January 2020 Round-up

Happy January Everyone!

I can’t believe that January has gone by so quickly! It seems crazy we’re already a month into 2020, with only 11 to go when it seems like Christmas was yesterday. I’ve read 26 books this month and I’ve definitely got lucky- I’ve enjoyed every single one of them! There’s been a good mixture of fiction from authors new and old as well as some nonfiction, mainly medical because that’s one of my favourite nonfiction genres.

I’ve also done some writing, by which I mean I realised that I needed to finish my first novel there and put the rest in a second novel, then realised that it’s now a bit limp because it doesn’t have the rest of the plot so  I need to do something about that. And right as I was about to finish the novel I came up with a new idea for another novel and got side-tracked, so am now in a bit of a writing-related mess.

So, without further ado I am going to give my top 5 books of January 2020, in NO PARTICULAR ORDER because choosing an order might kill what’s left of my sanity and lead to me being a mad, reclusive bookworm. Or more accurately a madder, more reclusive bookworm.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

What I liked about it: the unique format, gripping action and fast pace

What I didn’t like about it: my local library does not have the sequel

My favourite character: Hanna, a rich girl turned badass

Position in series: 2/3

Genres: sci-fi, young adult, fiction

Wool by Hugh Howey

What I liked about it: well thought out world building, lots of plot twists, every detail enriches the story in some way

What I didn’t like about it: too big to easily carry around

My favourite character: Jules, an all around legend and mechanics genius

Position in series: 1/3

Genres: sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, fiction

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

What I liked about it: rich culture, awesome magic, vivid characters

What I didn’t like about it: the sequel hasn’t even been announced yet

My favourite character: Zelie, a magic wielding, realistic emotioned maji

Position in series: 1/3

Genres: young adult, fantasy, fiction

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

What I liked about it: genuinely funny, well explained, honest and emotional

What I didn’t like about it: the lack of funding to the NHS, which is amazing

My favourite character: Adam, an ex-doctor

Position in series: standalone

Genres: nonfiction, medical, autobiography

For the Winner by Emily Hauser

What I liked about it: stunning setting descriptions, epic depiction of Ancient Greece and mythology, strong female character

What I didn’t like about it: nothing. Please write more Emily Hauser.

My favourite character: Atalanta, a bow wielding, powerful princess of Ancient Greece

Position in series: 2/3

Genres: historical fiction, fantasy, ancient Greece

Honourable mentions go to The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave for beautiful, lyrical writing, and to Renegades by Marissa Meyer for being fresh and all around excellent.

So that brings us to the end of my January top 5. It’s not a long read, but it certainly took me long enough to try and decide which five books to choose, and in the end I cheated by adding some honourable mentions at the end anyway! I hope your January reading has gone well and you’ve achieved any goals you wanted to! Get in contact and let me know or leave a comment below 😊

Gemina Review

Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

I LOVED THIS BOOK.

First, a bit of context/ raving about the series as a whole. The key to this entire series is the format. Told through online messaging, transcripts, AI dialogue and other reports, there is not a single stream of narrative, which is what makes these books so incredible. They are so completely unique, yet the story pulls together brilliantly and I found myself more engaged in this series of documents than some normally written books so don’t discount them just because they look a bit different. That being said, I did try to read them as ebooks and that was a lot harder than reading them as physical books, which is ironic because the whole format is based on being online. The format is perfect for this story, it adds to the scientific/ space tech side of the story and it makes you piece together the story a little, which makes it far more exciting than having it all laid out in front of you while adding information that couldn’t have otherwise been in it. Plus, you don’t have to remember character names because of the transcripts say.

Gemina is the second book in the illuminae trilogy written by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. It follows the attack of the Jump Station Heimdall by a bunch of madpeople/ assassins sent by Beitech to catch the people of Hypatia when they arrive. So you can already tell this is going to be WILD. Once I picked it up I could not put it down, I got sucked in like a ship into a wormhole.

The main characters we meet are Nik and Hanna, along with the murder squad and Nik’s awesome cousin Ella. Somehow from simple dialogue and transcripts the characters make huge, distinct impressions on you, and they fight believably and they hurt but they keep going and it was a whole lot of emotions going through this journey with them, especially as links with the previous book began appearing. Hanna is a legend in a bomb jumpsuit, and I love her especially. Finally, he isn’t technically a character but the employee who transcribes the videos is absolutely great, humorous and real. The worldbuilding is incredible, believable and intricately detailed. Every little is detail is thought out, from the gravity on each level of the space station to imports and the drug trade. Kristoff and Kaufman have created such an amazing universe and it is utterly captivating.

And then there’s the plot. It blew my mind. An absolute rollercoaster. The first few pages were a little confusing, getting used to new characters, but the speed picked up and suddenly my heart was being used as a ping pong ball. The action in this is sustained through most of the book but never feels tired, it’s always beautiful and believable and shocking. It is chaotic with different things happening in different places on the ship yet I never felt lost. I was so gripped I completely forgot to make any notes throughout most of the novel, which might be why this review is slightly messy. The pace is fast, picks you up and doesn’t set you down until the end where you put down the book and squeal, slightly shellshocked. I am desperate for the sequel, and my local library does not have it which is incredibly upsetting. Other things that feature in this book are airlocks, blood, snakes on drugs, sass and quite a bit of murder.

Would I survive this book? No chance, I’m just a body floating around in space. Maybe a small chance if I hid in a wardrobe and stayed there the entire time. But unlikely.