Monthly Wrap Ups · Reviews

January – April Wrap Up!

Hi everyone!

This is my first official post on this book blog! Since I’ve started the blog already 5 months into the year, I thought my first post should be a wrap up of all the books I’ve read up to now (a May Wrap Up will be up soon)! It’s a bit of a long post because I read quite a few books to go through, sorry!

 

To start out, my January Wrap Up!

January was a very unsuccessful month of reading for me, I only ended up reading 2 books. I think the amount of university work I had to do when I got back after Christmas took over my life! The two books I read that month were:

  1. Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer
  2. Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz

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Title: Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer

Synopsis:  Celebrate the tenth anniversary of Twilight! This special double-feature book includes the classic novel,Twilight, and a bold and surprising reimagining, Life and Death, by Stephenie Meyer.

Packaged as a hardback ‘flip book’, this edition features nearly 400 pages of new content as well as exquisite new back cover art. Readers will relish experiencing the deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful love story of Bella and Edward through fresh eyes. (From Amazon.co.uk)

Rating: ★★★★★

Review: Although it was an unsuccessful month, it started out well as Life and Death was absolutely brilliant! I loved the change in story and the gender swapping, I thought it gave a whole new twist to the story. Since Twilight was one of my favourite books when I was younger (and still my most read book to date), I loved the new retelling of it! You can find a full review here on my other blog to read more of what I thought!

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Title: Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz

Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes is dead.

Days after Holmes and his arch-enemy Moriarty fall to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls, Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase arrives from New York. The death of Moriarty has created a poisonous vacuum which has been swiftly filled by a fiendish new criminal mastermind. Ably assisted by Inspector Athelney Jones, a devoted student of Holmes’s methods of investigation and deduction, Chase must hunt down this shadowy figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, a man determined to engulf London in a tide of murder and menace. The game is afoot.(From Amazon.co.uk)

Rating: ★★★★

Review: Moriarty was also a good book, not as exciting as I expected it to be, but a good story to it! It didn’t capture my interest after I finished the first half and I think that’s why it took me so long to finish. I did like it but I don’t think it’s one I’d re-read, although the style of writing was perfect for a Sherlock-style novel.

 

Moving on to February’s Wrap Up!

February was a little more successful with 3 books read! The 3 books I read were:

  1. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
  2. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
  3. The Infinite Sea  by Rick Yancey

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Title: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Synopsis: Harry August is on his deathbed. Again.

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.

Until now.

As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. ‘I nearly missed you, Doctor August,’ she says. ‘I need to send a message.’

This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow. (From Amazon.co.uk)

Rating: ★★★

Review: I loved the idea of this, I used to watch a TV show called Forever which had the same kind of narrative to it, so when I heard about this I was super excited to read it. It was a great idea, and I loved the writing style Claire North has. However it just didn’t keep me enthralled. Now I was kind of in a reading slump at this time so I’m not sure whether that made me enjoy it less, but it just seemed to go on for a while. I liked the idea, and the writing style but put together it just wasn’t for me!

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Title: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Synopsis: After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

NOW IS THE DAWN OF THE 5TH WAVE

On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs.
Runs from the beings that only look human, who have scattered Earth’s last survivors.

To stay alone is to stay alive, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope.

Now Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. (From Amazon.co.uk)

Rating: ★★★★★

Review: THIS BOOK. This book was amazing. I wanted to read it before I saw the recent film adaptation of it, and I am so glad I did. I love the story, the characters, the world they’re in. All of it just works so well together and Rick Yancey’s way of telling the story is so great. You can read a full review of this here, again on my other blog!

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Title: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Synopsis: Cassie Sullivan and her companions lived through the Others’ four waves of destruction. Now, with the human race nearly exterminated and the 5th Wave rolling across the landscape, they face a choice: brace for winter and hope for Evan Walker’s return, or set out in search of other survivors before the enemy closes in. Because the next attack is more than possible – it’s inevitable.

No one can anticipate the depths to which the Others will sink – nor the heights to which humanity will rise . . .(From Amazon.co.uk)

Rating: ★★★★★

Review: Naturally having finished The 5th Wave I had to read the sequel and it was so good! I think overall I preferred the first one, I think  that was because I loved learning about the characters and the waves in general, but the fast pace of this one was so intriguing! I can’t wait for the final one in the trilogy, out tomorrow!

 

March’s Wrap Up!

March was a month that was completely packed with uni deadlines and constantly having to go into university to do coursework so it meant I hardly had any time to read! That probably explains the lack of books I read, but I did manage to get 2 books read. It was a very Stephen King orientated month, and with his books I always like to take my time to properly enjoy them! IT is also quite a big book so that took a while to get through, meaning I didn’t read many books! I read these 2 this month:

  1. Pet Sematary by Stephen King
  2. IT by Stephen King

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Title: Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Synopsis: The house looked right, felt right to Dr Louis Creed.

Rambling, old, unsmart and comfortable. A place where the family could settle; the children grow and play and explore. The rolling hills and meadows of Maine seemed a world away from the fume-choked dangers of Chicago.

Only the occasional big truck out on the two-lane highway, grinding up through the gears, hammering down the long gradients, growled out an intrusive threat.

But behind the house and far away from the road: that was safe. Just a carefully cleared path up into the woods where generations of local children have processed with the solemn innocence of the young, taking with them their dear departed pets for burial.

A sad place maybe, but safe. Surely a safe place. Not a place to seep into your dreams, to wake you, sweating with fear and foreboding. (From Amazon.co.uk)

Rating: ★★★★★

Review: I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars because it was amazing. I’ve read a couple of Stephen King books before and he is one of the most talented authors I think I’ve ever read. He claims this book to be his scariest, and I definitely agree. The sombre tone of the novel really adds to the atmosphere overall and I couldn’t put it down. I wish there was a higher level of rating than 5 stars because it deserves so much more. A brilliant horror with an immense storyline.

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Title: IT by Stephen King

Synopsis: To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry Maine was just their home town: familiar, well-ordered for the most part. A good place to live.

It was the children who saw – and felt – what made Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurked, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one’s deepest dread. Sometimes IT reached up, seizing, tearing, killing . . .

The adults, knowing better, knew nothing.

Time passed and the children grew up, moved away. The horror of IT was deep-buried, wrapped in forgetfulness. Until they were called back, once more to confront IT as IT stirred and coiled in the sullen depths of their memories, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality. (From Amazon.co.uk)

Rating: ★★★★★

Review: Now I hate clowns so much, they’ve always been a fear of mine since I was a child, so reading this was probably not the best idea! However even so, the book was absolutely amazing and once again Stephen King’s writing kept me so enthralled I couldn’t put it down at all. This is also the first book where I’ve had to put it down when reading at night because it creeped me out! I’ve never really felt scared before so this was new to me, and worthy of a great book like this. It’s a very big book at nearly 1400 pages (probably the biggest I’ve read), but it’s definitely worth the time!

 

Finally, the April Wrap Up!

This was my most successful month of the year so far (other than May, but that wrap up will be up soon!). All of my deadlines were in this month meaning I had plenty of time to read without feeling guilty that I wasn’t doing work! I read a total of 6 books this month and they were all so good:

  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  2. The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
  3. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  4. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  6. Attack on Titan Vol. 1 by Hajime Isayama

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Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Synopsis: Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever. (From Amazon.co.uk)

Rating: ★★★★★

Review: I LOVE Sarah J. Maas’s writing. Her books are on another level compared to many other authors I’ve read before, and this is no different. I couldn’t put it down, and I read it within a couple of days because it was all I could think about! I loved the retelling of Beauty and the Beast (I love retellings so much) and the characters all fit so well together, that seeing the character development was beautiful. There’s a full review on my other blog, and you can find it here for more detail!

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Title: The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court. She’s the executioner. As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company. But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen. However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favour of a doomed love? (From Amazon.co.uk)

Rating: ★★★★

Review: Can we just appreciate the gorgeous cover of this? It’s so pretty to look at! Anyway, I really liked this book, I thought the characters were all well-developed, and the story was full of excitement and twists. I loved how the story developed, and always kept me guessing. I found sometimes it was a little stereotypical of a YA novel with the love side of it being highly focused on, but other than that it was great! Now to read the next one in the series, The Sleeping Prince.

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Title: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Synopsis: Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. (From Amazon.co.uk)

Rating: ★★★★★

Review: This book was something else. It’s only short, but it was filled with one of the most wonderful stories I’ve ever read. The writing of it is beautiful, and the overall meaning of the story is just amazing. I rarely cry at books, but I cried at this! There are some amazing quotes in here too, it’s just such a good book filled with so much meaning it’s unreal. I really recommend it if you’re wanting a short story to pass the time!

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Title: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Synopsis: My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighborhood. My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertilizer.

This is Susie Salmon. Watching from heaven, Susie sees her happy, suburban family devastated by her death, isolated even from one another as they each try to cope with their terrible loss alone. Over the years, her friends and siblings grow up, fall in love, do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But life is not quite finished with Susie yet. (From Amazon.co.uk)

Rating: ★★★

Review: I love how this is narrated by Susie, I think that aspect added a lot of emotion to the story especially how she oversees how her family deal with her death. Some parts were a bit too much for me, and a bit too in detail, I know they were added for shock value and they were shocking but it just wasn’t necessary for me to involve myself in the story. Overall I really enjoyed the book but wasn’t entirely sure about the ending, I just thought it could have ended a bit differently and I’m not sure it was fitting to the tone of the rest of the story.

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Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Synopsis: A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow impossible though it seems they may still be alive. (From Amazon.co.uk)

Rating: ★★★★

Review: The way this is written is like nothing I’ve never read before! The story is similar to X-Men, but there’s such a different spin on it that it sounds like a completely fresh story. The use of photographs is also a genius idea, and Ransom Riggs uses them just in the right places. It was such a unique book, and there will be a full review of it up soon!

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Title: Attack on Titan Vol. 1 by Hajime Isayama

Synopsis: Humanity has been devastated by the bizarre, giant humanoids known as the Titans. Little is known about where they came from or why they are bent on consuming mankind. Seemingly unintelligent, they have roamed the world for years, killing everyone they see. For the past century, what’s left of man has hidden in a giant, three-walled city. People believe their 100-meter-high walls will protect them from the Titans, but the sudden appearance of an immense Titan is about to change everything. (From Goodreads.com)

Rating: ★★★★★

Review: I watched the anime for this first, and then decided to read the manga and they were perfect to each other! The art style is beautiful (well as beautiful as the violence can be), and the story is so enthralling that you can’t help but not want to put it down!

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All the books I read this month, I love a good book stack!

 

That’s it for my January – April Wrap Up! I’m excited now I’ve finished university to have a lot more time to read my ever-growing TBR pile! The May Wrap Up will be up soon, and maybe even a book haul!

Leave a comment if you’ve read any of the books I’ve mentioned, and what you thought of them too! I’d love to hear what you think!

Love,

Meggan x

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