Thursday 31 March 2016

March Wrap-Up.

For most of this month, I thought I wasn't going to do too well this month but I've had a bit of a spurt in the latter part of the month. I managed six of the seven chosen reads again (I didn't get to my bonus read unfortunately) so I'm well ahead of my target for the year! In terms of actual ratings, it's a mixed bunch (ending my amazing streak of constantly good reads) but I've liked the variety!

  1. 'Golden Son'; Pierce Brown. I have slightly mixed feelings about this series, though I always end up giving the books good ratings in the end. Brown is a master at world-building (or should I say Universe building) and he's really put a lot of thought into how the economic & political system and social/historical context works. Characters and plot pacing were also impressive but for some reason I'm just not a fan of Brown's actual writing style. There's too much dramatic rambling and I don't enjoy the use of short sentences. 3/5 Stars.
  2. 'Seven Ways We Lie'; Riley Redgate. This book was just phenomenal. Redgate writes from seven viewpoints, a mammoth enough task, but she then proceeds to give each such a distinct, unique voice that I fell in love with each one. There is so much diversity in this book too in terms of the characters' ethnicity, sexuality and mental health. It gave a really realistic, clear picture of the lives of teens. 5/5 Stars.
  3. 'Read Me Like A Book'; Liz Kessler. My second YA Contemporary this month was a less successful read for me. The subject matter of discovering sexuality I liked, but sadly I don't think it was handled well. The characters were in no way relateable, especially the selfish, horribly naive main character. The world-building had a few errors too and in the end, I didn't particularly like Kessler's writing. This was a real shame as she's a critically-acclaimed author whom I thought I would enjoy. 2/5 Stars.
  4. 'Siege & Storm'; Leigh Bardugo. I have so many regrets about the fact that it took me so long to read this book. It's the second in the series but it's a really great installment in what promises to be an amazing Fantasy set of books. I'm so excited to read 'Ruin & Rising' and the introduction of great characters like Sturmhond makes me think that 'The Six Of Crows' is going to be a great read! I'm still not keen on Mal, but he's not my least favourite love interest of all time. 4/5 Stars.
  5. 'The Invasion Of The Tearling'; Erika Johansen. Despite a decent-ish review for 'The Queen Of The Tearling' I wasn't sure whether to continue this series because I didn't love it. There were a couple of issues in Book One that really became a problem in this book: the fixation on beauty and the setting. The flashbacks to Lily Mayhew were unnecessary and something I would have liked to read separate from the story, and Kelsea turned into a character that I intensely disliked. And of course she had to transform into society's expectations of beauty because heroines can never be overweight or have an oddly shaped nose now, can they? 2/5 Stars.
  6. 'The Tropic Of Serpents'; Marie Brennan. Thank goodness for this book. As soon as I started reading, I felt like I was visiting an old friend in the older, wiser Isabella Trent. Her spirit and curiousity are infectious and I love her sense of humour as well as the comments on her stubborn, flawed younger self. The world-building for this series is excellent and for anyone who likes adventures, consider reading this series. 4.5/5 Stars.
This month I have read three books for Pretty Deadly Review's Backlist Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to ten. This month's reads were:

- 'Golden Son' by Pierce Brown
- 'Siege & Storm' by Leigh Bardugo
- 'The Tropic Of Serpents' by Marie Brennan

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

- 'Seven Ways We Lie' by Riley Redgate
- 'Read Me Like A Book' by Liz Kessler
- 'The Invasion Of The Tearling' by Erika Johansen

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

- +2 for 'Golden Son' by Pierce Brown
- +2 for 'Siege & Storm' by Leigh Bardugo
- +2 for 'The Invasion Of The Tearling' by Erika Johansen
- +2 for 'The Tropic Of Serpents' by Marie Brennan

This month I have read one book for [un]Conventional Reviews' New Releases Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to four. This month's read was:

- 'Seven Ways We Lie' by Riley Redgate

This month I have read zero books for Daily Prophecy's Retelling Challenge, bringing my yearly total to two.

And here's my updated Bookish Bingo card and finished Story Sprites board!

Second Chance: The Invasion Of The Tearling; Erika Johansen.
Book Towards Another Challenge: Golden Son; Pierce Brown.
Freebie: Siege & Storm; Leigh Bardugo.
MC Shares Your 1st Initial: Seven Ways We Lie; Riley Redgate.
Written Under A Pen Name: The Tropic Of Serpents; Marie Brennan.
Stand-Alone: Read Me Like A Book; Liz Kessler.

Book With A Gay/Lesbian Romance: Read Me Like A Book; Liz Kessler.
>500 Page Book: The Invasion Of The Tearling; Erika Johansen.
YA Sci-Fi: Golden Son; Pierce Brown.
Clairvoyance/Sixth Sense: The Lovely Bones; Alice Sebold.
Dragons!: The Tropic Of Serpents; Marie Brennan.
Single Word Title: Dot; Araminta Hall.
First Book In A Series: Wolf By Wolf; Ryan Graudin.
Novel With A Rebellion: Winter; Marissa Meyer.
Characters With A Code Name: Seven Ways We Lie; Riley Redgate.
Book-To-Movie Adaptation: A Study In Scarlet; Arthur Conan Doyle.
Enchanted Forest: The Fox & The Star; Coralie Bickford-Smith.
Purple-Themed Cover: Love Letters To The Dead; Ava Delleira.
Prince Or Princess: Siege & Storm; Leigh Bardugo.
Scandinavian-Born Character: Let The Right One In; John Ajvide Lindqvist.
Novel With A Map: Red Queen; Victoria Aveyard.
Strong Female Friendship: Beautiful Broken Things; Sara Barnard.
Supernatural Feud: The Dark Days Club; Alison Goodman.
Last Book In A Series: Under The Light; Laura Whitcomb.

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