Tuesday 28 February 2017

February Wrap-Up.

I thought I was going to do a little better than five this month because I got off to a great start! Sadly, my reading flow sagged a little in the middle of the month and I ended up with the same result instead. Five isn't bad though, but I'd really like to read more in March! Most of this month's reads have been a little too far on the just 'okay' side of things, but there were a couple of gems!

  1. 'The Loneliness Of Distant Beings' by Kate Ling. This is the first science fiction read I've tackled in a long time and I was actually pretty excited about it! And elements that I like about the genre it displayed pretty well (world-building, technical talk, space,etc.). The insta-love and lack of likeable heroine let this book down a little but I have to say that the final scene really hooked me and restored my desire to want to continue with the series. 3.5/5 Stars.
  2. 'Under Rose Tainted Skies' by Louise Gornall. Attending YALC 2016 really got me excited for this book (in fact, I purchased it there) and it was well worth the hype I've seen on it around the Blogosphere. The second YA Contemporary this year to make me re-evaluate my usual mixed feelings on the genre, this book handled some sensitive (even dark) topics brilliantly. I will always root for books that highlight mental health issues and Gornall's debut has a cute, shippable romance to boot. 4.5/5 Stars.
  3. 'Stargirl' by Jerry Spinelli. With so many mixed reviews on this book, as well as controversy and bans surrounding it in schools, I was surprised to find that I only found it a mediocre read. Spinelli provides a great analysis of human behaviour and the 'hive mind' feeling that can be found in both the classroom and society as a whole. The story was well written too and never got boring. However, Leo was a boring narrator with no dimension to him, and some of Stargirl's behaviour was...creepy. This made it harder to sympathise with her poor treatment. 2.5/5 Stars.
  4. 'Orangeboy' by Patrice Lawrence. There were some great things about this book, and it's one I've been looking forward to for quite some time purely because of the PoC representation. Firstly, it's East London setting was wonderful because that's where I'm currently living! So many recognisable settings really helped me to envision the action. I also loved the strong women in this story, particularly Marlon's mother, who deserves a book to herself and a medal. Marlon himself however was less impressive, and become one of the most frustrating narrator's I can remember reading for a long time. 3.5/5 Stars.
  5. 'Ruin & Rising' by Leigh Bardugo. Finally! I finished this series! It took me far too long I'll be honest, especially as I've ended up rating all three books so highly! Bardugo does a great job at writing a fast-paced, action-packed story with easy, humorous dialogue between characters and a lot of depth for a Fantasy. I love the world of the Grisha and can't get enough of the Russian cultural references. This was the perfect finale, though I still couldn't get on board with Mal. It's a shame because other characters such as the Darkling or Nikolai are crafted so much better! 4.5/5 Stars.

Now it's time to see how I did with my challenges this month!

This month I have read three books for the Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to seven. My reads were:

- The Loneliness Of Distant Beings
- Stargirl
- Orangeboy

This month I have read zero books for the 2017 New Releases Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to two.

This month I have read zero books for the LGBTQIA Challenge, bringing my yearly total to zero.

This month I have read three books for the Diverse Reads Challenge, bringing my yearly total to eight. My reads were:

- 'The Loneliness Of Distant Beings 
   [Optional Mini Challenge]
- 'Under Rose Tainted Skies'
- 'Orangeboy
   [Optional Mini Challenge]

Here is my finished Bookish Bingo card and continued Story Sprites board!

Alternative Format: Dragon Slayer Number Nine; Intisar Khanani
Set Abroad: Saint Death; Marcus Sedgwick
Sequel: Memories Of Ash; Intisar Khanani
Own Voices: Under Rose Tainted Skies; Louise Gornall
Banned Book: Stargirl; Jerry Spinelli
2017 Debut: A Girl Called Owl; Amy Wilson
Romance: Ruin & Rising; Leigh Bardugo
GR Choice Nominee: Heartless; Marissa Meyer
Pink Cover: A Quiet Kind Of Thunder; Sara Barnard
White Cover: Stealing Snow; Danielle Paige
Freebie: --
Science Fiction: The Loneliness Of Distant Beings; Kate Ling
Crime: Orangeboy; Patrice Lawrence
Survival: The Bone Sparrow; Zana Fraillon
Blue Cover: Rebel Of The Sands; Alwyn Hamilton
Nature On Cover: The Bear & The Nightingale; Katherine Arden

Book With Multiple POVs: The Bear & The Nightingale; Katherine Arden
Story Regarding Anxiety: A Quiet Kind Of Thunder; Sara Barnard
'Chosen One' Trope: Ruin & Rising; Leigh Bardugo 
A Science Fiction Novel: The Loneliness Of Distant Beings; Kate Ling
Story Centred Around Social Issues: The Bone Sparrow; Zana Fraillon
Male MC With Female BFF/Sidekick: Stargirl; Jerry Spinelli
Dark Contemporary: Under Rose Tainted Skies; Louise Gornall
Mostly Blue Cover: Rebel Of The Sands; Alwyn Hamilton
PoC MC: Orangeboy; Patrice Lawrence
Book Addressing Socioeconomic Topics: Saint Death; Marcus Sedgwick

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