Sunday 31 January 2016

January Wrap-Up.

What an improvement on December! Guys I'm so excited because I'm pretty sure this is the first time ever that I have managed to beat the schedule and read all seven of the reads that I planned to! I managed my time a lot better this month which was part of the reason I'm sure.

  1. 'The Lovely Bones'; Alice Sebold. This was my crossover book that I finished at the beginning of the month, having started it in December. I enjoyed the film when I watched it all those years ago so had high expectations. I have to say that I liked the writing a lot and the interesting way that Sebold chose to present the story. I didn't enjoy Susie's bland viewpoint and lack of feeling towards Earth's events, nor did I like the ending very much. 3/5 Stars.
  2. 'Dot'; Araminta Hall. This book took me by surprise because I didn't expect to enjoy it half as much as I did. I originally requested it believing it to be some kind of ghost story, and though it didn't live up to those expectations it still turned out to be a worthwhile read covering issues such as teenage pregnancy and turbulent relationships well. I liked the story build-up though it was a bit of a slow starter. 4/5 Stars.
  3. 'The Fox & The Star' by Coralie Bickford-Smith. This adorable children's story had my attention caught the moment I saw it sitting on the Waterstones display. I took a wile to decide to buy it but don't regret my choice for a second. A charming story paired with gorgeous, unique illustrations catches my attention any day. I would love to see more books by this lovely lady and hope to be able to read them to children of my own one day. 4.5/5 Stars.
  4. 'This Raging Light'; Estelle Laure. Being a fairly new release (and an ARC for that particular version)  I was pretty excited to read this book. I'd heard so much about it and I'm determined to read more YA Contemporary this year, so this made a good starting point. I really liked the idea behind the plot. Mental Health is something I've always thought important to cover in YA, and too few books focus on abandonment and neglect as a topic. I thought the romance side of things felt unnecessary to the plot, particularly as it wasn't shone in a very nice light. Some plot points felt a little ridiculous and unbelievable too, though the fast pace kept me hooked from beginning to end. 2.5/5 Stars.
  5. 'The Dark Days Club'; Alison Goodman. Man am I glad I decided to enter that Maximum Pop! competition on a whim. I am so honoured to have received an ARC for this book and it is definitely one of my favourite reads this year. It's pace was pretty slow as Goodman is so meticulous in her approach to detail, but on the flip side it meant superb world-building and a slow-burning romance that sent the good kind of chills down my spine. As a retelling of one of my favourite books, 'Pride & Prejudice', I didn't expect it to give me Elizabeth and Darcy feels but I underestimated it's power. I hope Book Two isn't a long wait. 5/5 Stars.
  6. 'Winter'; Marissa Meyer. And here is my other favourite read this month. How lucky that two perfect books fell so closely together! This series finale was one that I had been looking forward to reading since it's release in November 2015 and I was certainly not disappointed. The sheer size of the book did mean a different sort of pace than I was used to with this series, but it didn't take me long to adjust and throw myself head first back into the world of The Lunar Chronicles. The ending was perfect too! I look forward to Meyer's future releases. 5/5 Stars.
  7. 'A Study In Scarlet'; Arthur Conan Doyle. The cover picture is a little misleading but no, I didn't read the entire thing. Just the first story. It was an enjoyable read too and I'm so happy I managed to get round to it! I was expecting it to be much longer, but I felt it was a solid introduction to the legendary character of Sherlock Holmes (who was everything I wanted him to be) and was surprised in a good way by the inclusion of an almost Wild West style back-story. I can't wait to read more of these stories in the future. 4/5 Stars.
This month I have read three books for Pretty Deadly Review's Backlist Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to three. This month's reads were:

- 'The Lovely Bones' by Alice Sebold
- 'Dot' by Araminta Hall
- 'A Study In Scarlet' by Arthur Conan Doyle

This month I have read two books for Falling For YA's Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to two. This month's reads were:

- 'Dot' by Araminta Hall
- 'This Raging Light' by Estelle Laure

This month I have gained twelve points for Novel Heartbeat and Writer Grrl Reads' Prequel & Sequel Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to twelve. This month's points were as thus:

- +2 for 'Winter' by Marissa Meyer.
- +10 for 'Winter' by Marissa Meyer.

This month I have read two books for [un]Conventional Reviews' New Releases Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to two. This month's reads were:

- 'This Raging Light' by Estelle Laure
- 'The Dark Days Club' by Alison Goodman

This month I have read two books for The Daily Prophecy's Retelling Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to two. This month's reads were:

- 'The Dark Days Club' by Alison Goodman
- 'Winter' by Marissa Meyer

Here's how my Bookish Bingo and Story Sprites boards are looking right now!

Snow On Cover: Dot; Araminta Hall. 
Multi-POV: A Feast For Crows; George R.R. Martin.
Series Finale: Winter; Marissa Meyer.
Fantasy: Stealing Phoenix; Joss Stirling.
Pink Cover: This Raging Light; Estelle Laure.
A Friend's Fave: Red Glove; Holly Black.
Freebie: A Study In Scarlet; Arthur Conan Doyle.
White Cover: One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest; Ken Kesey.
Graphic Novel: The Fox & The Star; Coralie Bickford-Smith.
Start A New Series: The Dark Days Club; Alison Goodman.
Blue Cover: The Lovely Bones; Alice Sebold.

Clairvoyance/Sixth Sense: The Lovely Bones; Alice Sebold.
Single Word Title: Dot; Araminta Hall.
Novel With A Rebellion: Winter; Marissa Meyer.
Book-To-Movie Adaptation: A Study In Scarlet; Arthur Conan Doyle.
Enchanted Forest: The Fox & The Star; Coralie Bickford-Smith.
Supernatural Feud: The Dark Days Club; Alison Goodman.

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