A Month Of Reading: January 2017

Hi Guys

This month was full of extremes. Either I extremely loved the book so much I would go as far as saying it’s a new favourite or I was extremely disappointed by it. However I’m really happy about the amount I read, I’m finally making time to do nothing else but sit down and read and I’m really enjoying that. 

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

(90/100 – 5 Stars)

I started the year by reading a new favourite. I wrote a full review for this which you can find here.

This is a awesome fairy-tale type adventure that all book lovers should read. If you haven’t, please, read this.

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johanson

(64/100 – 3 stars)

This is the second in a fantasy trilogy where our world Crossed into another world and while doing that lost a whole load of technology. So it’s kind of a confused futuristic fantasy book. 

I half liked this, half didn’t. I loved the Kelsea chapters and her interaction with her guard but this book showed moments from before the Crossing and to be honest I didn’t find them interesting and I didn’t enjoy them. 

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johanson

(29/100 – 2 Stars)

I decided to finish the trilogy because I knew if I left it unfinished it would take me ages to get to it. Honestly I was really disappointed in this finale. As I said my favourite part about this trilogy was the interaction between Kelsea and her guard and we basically got none of that in this.

I was also very very disappointed by the ending. It felt like such a cop out and was one of those endings that made me question why I wasted so much time with this series. 

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

(38/100 – 2 Stars)

Honestly I was disappointed with this. For me there was a lack of world building and explanations and some of the characters were really flat, I’ve already forgotten half of them. I do want to finish the series though. I’ve heard the second one gets better so fingers crossed. 

Knife Edge by Malorie Blackman

(34/100 – 2 Stars)

Yeah, another disappointment. Honestly after the ending of the first book I knew it would go two ways, I would love it or hate it. I hated it. The writing for me was really bad, I could not get hooked. The characters were kind of annoying, the story was getting boring. Also this book features singing and music which felt really out of place, honestly, I skipped those parts.

Diverseathon

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

(93/100 – 5 Stars)

I loved loved loved this. I did a full review which you can find here.

This is a book following two generations on two continents, each chapter follows a new character. It tackles themes like slavery, African culture, racism. It’s a very diverse book and I learnt a lot from it.

The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink

(Didn’t Rate)

You might be wondering why I’ve decided not to rate this, I’m going to do a full blog post about it but basically I have just decided I’m not going to rate non-fiction books. 

This is the first non-fiction I have actually been able to start and finish in a while. This is about how Cathy’s life was altered when her brother was involved in an accident that left him brain damaged. 

The reason I loved this was the writing, it was not only beautiful but raw and honest and very very brave. The love Cathy has for her brother made it very emotional and hard to read at times but it was worth the tears because it’s such an important story to read. 

Checkmate by Malorie Blackman

(DNF)

Honestly just read the first book in this series, don’t even bother with the others. I stopped half way through. 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

(87/100 – 4 Stars)

This was a reread, but honestly I remembered so little from it, it felt like I was reading it again for the first time. I love this book, I love the writing and the characters. It is a great quick read (I read it in less than a day) but I do feel like some things are a little exaggerated. But it’s nice sometimes to read an exaggerated YA book. 


These book I read half way through and will hopefully be finishing in February:

  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Let me know what you read this month!

Thanks for reading

Jess X

Book Adaptation Wishlist

Hi Guys

Last week I told you what upcoming book adaptations I am most excited about, so this week I thought I would let you know what book adaptations I wish were happening. While it always scares me when one of my favourite books is made into a TV show or movie there are certain books that I am dying to see adapted.

I got this idea from the tag that shemightbemonica created but I’m technically not doing the tag because I didn’t want to stick to the categories. So I’ll just talk about the books I want adapted and explain how and into what.

Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan- If this had been done right the movies could have been amazing. The next Harry Potter amazing. But no, they decide to choose actors who are the age the characters are in the last book. I would love this to be remade into a TV show. 

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart- This could be done both ways but honestly I would love BBC or ITV to make this into a mini-series. Like Broachchurch or The Missing. 

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer- This would make a great movie, the mystery subplot and with a MC suffering from a mental illness keeps you hooked and will stay with you for a long time afterwards.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins- I’ll be honest, I can’t see this movie being well met by critics. I feel like it would get a lot of hate for being another cheesy YA adaptation. But as long as it’s faithful to the book I would love it unconditionally. Plus, I’m a sucker for a good movie set in Paris.

Legend by Marie Lu – I know after Allegiant a lot of peoples faith in YA dystopia adaptions have faded, but I can genuinely see this being  a great movie. When I read the books I speed through them so fast it felt like reading a movie. The scenes are fast paced and you come to love the characters really quickly. Great movie material.

A Spool Of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler- This would make a really great TV show. A This Is Us type TV show.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng- Same as We Were Liars I would love to see this made into a mystery TV show. But I would love Netflix to do this one. I could see this being the next Stranger Things (but with no scary monster from The Underneath after them.)

What books do you wish would be adapted for film or TV?

Thanks for reading

Jess X

 

 

Review: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Hi Guys

You know those books where you’re like ‘everyone has to read this’ even before you’ve finished it. This is one of those books.

img_1323Released: 7th June 2016

Source: Booktubeathon giveaway from Penguin Platform

Pages: 300

Avg. Goodreads Rating: 4.41

My Rating: 93/100 (5 Stars)

Synopsis (Goodreads):

This begins with the story of two half-sisters; one is sold into slavery and shipped to America, the other is married to a British slaver in Africa. The book traces the generations that follow, leading us through two continents and 300 years.

Review:

Just 90 pages into this I knew it was going to be a phenomenal read.

Each chapter tells a new story and follows a new person, which allows it to cover a lot of different story lines and topics. As you went through time you saw the knew adversities and injustices black people faced. It covers so much ground which makes it not only a beautiful read but an educational one. It’s the perfect starting point if you’ve never learnt about slavery because it covers a lot of topics and quickly.

The format does mean that we just brush the surface with a lot of the stories and topics, it never really delves into their lives. However, I loved each and every character, they were so diverse and even in the short time we got with them you could see the complexity and depth of them. That takes skill and Gyasi did it well.

This is a future classic. I can just picture this book being read by school kids all around the world in years to come.

It defines diverse. It has black characters, white characters, multiracial characters, LGBT characters, characters with a disability, characters with a mental illness, African culture, abuse, drugs, slavery, police violence, bullying, love, family, religion and so much more. It’s a book for everyone. 

Sometimes while reading a book for the first time I feel grateful that the author wrote it, this is one of those books. I am so grateful Yaa Gyasi wrote this book, I can’t wait to read more from her.

I’m so glad I read this book. I highly recommend you do to. 

Thanks for reading

Jess X

TTT Freebie Week: #OwnVoices TBR

Note: Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Broke and Bookish.

Hi Guys

This week for Top Ten Tuesday there is no specific topic, instead we get to pick our own list to make.

Seeing as this week is also #diverseathon week (here’s my tbr for that in-case you missed it) I thought I would dedicate this weeks post to diverse reads I can’t wait to get to, all of which are #ownvoices.

  1. Every Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Book Ever
  2. And The Mountain Echoed by Khaled Housseini
  3. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
  4. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
  5. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  6. The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla
  7. The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
  8. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
  9. The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
  10.  I Know Why The Caged Birds Sing by Maya Angelou

Let me know what you did for this weeks topic and what #ownvoices books you want to read in the future.

Thanks for reading

Jess X

Exciting Upcoming Book Adaptations

Hi Guys

I have a difficult relationship with book adaptations. There are so many book adaptations that I love but so many were just a wasted opportunity (*cough*Mortal Instruments*cough*).

I don’t know if all of these are being released in 2017, but they’re all in production so they’ll be coming to us soon. I’m going to split this into two categories. Books I have read and books I haven’t read but definitely want to before watching the adaptation.

Books I’ve Read

Wonder (R.J. Palacio)- I absolutely loved this book when I read it two years ago and you have no idea how excited I am to see this on the big screen.

Cormoran Strike (Robert Galbraith)- I love a good British mystery TV show, and even though I already know the ending I can’t wait to watch this. It’ll be funny watching my parents guess who the killer is while I’m sitting there with all the knowledge.

Northern Lights (Phillip Pullman)- The BBC announced last year that they’re going to be making this into a TV show. I definitely need to reread this before the show starts, although I don’t think they’ve even started filming yet so I have a lot of time to do it.

Let It Snow (John, Maureen and Lauren)- I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book but I love Christmas movies and this is set to be the next Love Actually. (It won’t be. But they can try.)

Books I Haven’t Read

My Cousin Rachel (Daphne Du Maurier)- Sam Claflin is staring in this. That is all.

The Circle (Dave Eggers)- This has Emma Watson in it so I’m already sold. But also the trailer is so intriguing.

The Glass Castle (Jeanette Walls)- I’ve actually been wanting to read this for a while. I’ll definitely have to read it before the movie is released.

WaterShip Down (Richard Adams)- This is being made into a animated TV show by the BBC. I love it when the BBC adapt books so I’m sure this will be great.

The Dark Tower (Stephen King)- I want to get into Stephen King this year and this movie has one of my favourite actors, Idris Elba, in it.

What upcoming adaptation are you most looking forward to?

Thanks for reading

Jess X

#DiverseAThon TBR

Hi Guys

The diverseathon is back and I am so happy about it! If you don’t know what this is it is a readathon where for a week you focus on reading diverse books. Here are all the hosts:

Monica – http://www.youtube.com/shemightbemonica                                                    Christina Marie: http://www.youtube.com/krazytina05
Joce – http://www.youtube.com/c/jocesquibble…
Simon – http://www.youtube.com/savidgereads                                                                          Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/diverseathon

With my TBR this time I have made more of an effort to choose own voices book and I think (correct me if I’m wrong) all of these are own voices.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi:

This sounds like an amazingly diverse book. It tells so many stories spanning 300 years and starts off with two sisters who are separated when they are sold as slaves. I have heard nothing but praise for this so I can’t wait to start it.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenze:

This will be a reread for me but honestly I can not remember a thing that happened in it. So it will be like reading it for the first time again. This is a LGBT+ coming of age book following a Mexican-American main character. I loved it the first time around, so I’m sure I will again.

Knife Edge by Malorie Blackman

This is the second novel in the Noughts and Crosses trilogy. This is set in a dystopia world where white people are the subordinate. The first one left me heartbroken and I can’t believe I haven’t continued with it yet.

Last Act of Love by Cathy Retzenbrink

This is a memoir of Cathy, who’s brother was in an accident when he was a teenager that left him brain-damaged and in a vegetative state. After years of looking after him there came a point when Cathy and her parents realised the best thing for him was to let him go. This seems like such a raw and personal story, and I’m sure this is going to be a hard book to read.

I really hope I’m able to get to all of these. Let me know what you plan on reading.

Thanks for reading

Jess X

TTT: Under-Rated Reads

Note: Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Broke and Bookish.

Hi Guys

I’m not gonna lie this weeks topic was really hard because honestly the majority of books I read are really popular, normally best-selling books. It’s quite rare for me to read a book that is more unknown because I just like reading books that a lot of other people have enjoyed.

None of these books are what I would consider to be under rated. But I haven’t seen them much on the blogosphere so, these are my sort of not really hidden gems.

  1. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  2. The Cuckoos Calling by Robert Galbraith
  3. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  4. The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
  5. A Spool of blue thread by Anne Tyler
  6. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
  7. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
  8. A Snow Garden by Rachel Joyce
  9. 1984 by George Orwell
  10. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

I’m sure you’ve heard of all of these so this weeks is kind of a fail. But let me know if you took part in this weeks TTT!

Thanks for reading

Jess X