I know I’ve stopped wrap-ups, but this is going to have a very ‘wrap-up’ feel because I COMPLETED MY FIRST EVER MONTHLY READATHON. *intense dance party*
Yes, I did and I’m clearly feeling very proud of myself *taps myself on the back* but it was really fun to do and I read quite a few books. Thank you so much again to Margaret for hosting this readathon!!
Anyway… here is how my bingo board looked at the end of the month….
See, I got 2 bingo lines/thingy’s (does it have a name??) Anyway, I got bingo, go me.
LET’S TALK ABOUT ALL THE BOOKS
Firstly, some stats…
Number of books: 9 (I was surprised how many books I got to, to be honest. This was helped by deadlines and the fact I haven’t been blogging this past week really. I had a catch up yesterday though but sorry I probably missed a bit.)
Number of pages: 2,671 (+ 2 dramatisation)
Actually, all the books I read were very female empowering and just perfect for this month, I didn’t even plan that so yay!!
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelo (BBC RADIO 4 ADAPTATION)/🎧
This was the autobiography (well part one) of Maya Angelo. It focuses on her time growing up in America, it is a very personal story and it helps you get an authentic experience of what it would have been like for her. It is heart-breaking. But it has these very human bits of hope in it which I loved, and it even talked about the power of books so I can see why it is regarded so highly. I do think I should have read it first before listening to the BBC adaptation as it does miss out a lot of stuff.
Fairest by Marissa Meyer/🎧/⭐⭐⭐⭐
Buddy read with Miri ♥
I was sceptical about this book at first because I don’t really enjoy additional novellas in series, but I was pleasantly surprised. In this book we Levana who is the villain in The Lunar Chronicles. It focuses on her time growing up in the palace and relationships she had.
It was very interesting and well written. You somehow got to see the human and monstrous side of her in the same scene which is what I would want from a villain origin story. She wasn’t actively choosing to be evil, she was thinking that this is the right thing to do and getting that internal monologue from her really opened her up as a character.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein/🎧/⭐⭐⭐
This is a WW2 historical fiction as we follow a girl captured by the Gestapo where she is tortured for information. It focuses on a lot of things and it hard to describe what the book is about. It is best if you go in not knowing too much I feel. But I will say it is told in the form of the characters writing letters which made it more entertaining and full of life in these dark times. It also makes the plot unique and things are revealed in a captivating way. One of my favourite things about this story was the bravery.
But I was slightly disappointed. I think my expectations were too high and I found that bits dragged. Overall, it could have been shorter for me but I’m still glad I tried it out and it could have been a victim of my mood as well.
Baker Thief by Claudie Arseneault/⭐⭐⭐
This is a fantasy book that was kind of like an urban fantasy as it was this adorable town where witches existed with magical powers. But they were feared and hated in this city. They were being used to create power sources. One of the main characters wanted to stop this and the other was the new detective trying to stop them.
It was an interesting story as the characters interacted (which was a lot of fun) and the plot got deeper as the book went on. It kept me interested but it wasn’t anything special for me, it was just average as the plot and characters didn’t hook me. Also, the writing was a bit more telling instead of showing which can make it drag. I did love the representation though as it was #ownvoices asexual representation and a genderfluid main character so it was great getting their experience and thoughts.
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan/⭐⭐⭐⭐
The first in a YA fantasy series and I thought it was a really strong start. We follow Lei who has been selected to serve as one of the paper girls for the king.
I think this book navigates the topic of inequalities and sexual assault well. They are heavy but they were treated with care. The plot was slightly predictable and at times a little slow but overall, I thought it was a solid book which kept me interested and captivated. The world was interesting with lots of political things at play. The characters were likeable, and it had a great f/f relationship. I’ll be interested to see where this series will go.
The Familiars by Stacey Halls/🎧/⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is a historical fiction set to the backdrop of the Pendle Witch Trials in 1612. Honestly, if I had to describe why I loved this book, I think I would struggle as you will soon see. It doesn’t sound like my usual cup of tea and it isn’t particularly fast-paced but I think I was really curious to see how the end would play out between the midwife on trial, the main character surviving her pregnancy and her and her husband’s relationship.
It was a quick read as I read the eBook along with the audiobook. I really liked that it is based off real events as things like this actually happened and although this is entirely a work of fiction, the characters were real life people so I think that brought some extra life to this book (and it was set where my grandma lives and now she wants to take me to Pendle Hill).
Little Women by Louisa May-Alcott (BBC Radio 4 Dramatisation)/🎧/⭐⭐⭐.5
I read part one of Little Women in 2015 not realising it was split into two parts (some are split and some are joined but apparently the second part in Europe is called Good Wives) so everyone talked about these events and I was like I’ve read the book but that didn’t happen, what’s going on. Finally, my solution appeared; this dramatisation so I got to experience the key events of this book and everything was suddenly clear.
I can see why this is regarded a classic as it is a hard-warming story with different women who look out for each other. And of course, all the sisterly love. But I did find reading it in 2015 slightly boring so I really preferred the dramatisation as it was quicker and all the voice actors were amazing (so I definitely recommend this). I think I would rate the story itself 2.5 for me but it has gone up to 3.5 with the dramatisation.
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell/📱/⭐⭐⭐⭐
Read for free on Riveted by Simon Teen (new books every month). Thank you Charlotte.
I really enjoyed this book as it was a really enticing YA fantasy as lots was going on in the plot and plot twists kept coming up. For the premise, we follow Esta as she transports to 1920’s New York in order to infiltrate a group who on planning on stealing a book from ‘The Order’, her job is to bring it to present time. I think you can see that the plot has lots going on and it has lots of different layers making it really interesting. Also, the characters are all complex making them intriguing to follow as they try to get the situation to benefit them best. Some things weren’t perfect, but overall, a solid read.
The Female of The Species by Mindy McGuiness/⭐⭐⭐⭐.5
I’d heard a lot of good things about this book, but I also knew it was a dark book and both of these things are true. I put the trigger warnings at the top of my review (my review has spoilers at the bottom so don’t read past the characters bit (ish) if you go on). This book does a really good job at examining rape culture from the big, horrific acts to the smaller behaviour which people shrug off because ‘it means nothing’ (it doesn’t). It does this through morally grey, complex characters who each add to this in their own way. I don’t think I could forget about this book even if I tried and I could never have imagined this plot, but it works really well. Also, the writing is so easy, 50 pages will feel like 10.
Update on my progress for my year-long readathons….
Finally, I just thought I would mention Coronavirus-19 because it is such a big thing that it is kind of hard to believe it is happening. I saw someone say they felt like they were somehow both overreacting and underreacting which is exactly how I feel at the minute. Basically, it horrible and scary but take care, stay at home, be kind, focus on things that make you happy and apparently hot drinks help so drink lots of them.