Monthly Wrap-Up: March 2021

Hi everyone! Welcome to my March 2021 wrap-up post. For these wrap-ups I include Book Coven book club, fave books you can buy now, books to look out for and books I want to read soon. March has been a slow reading month – I only completed 7 books. Mostly because I got the COVID vaccine and I had side effects, but also because I re-read some Leigh Bardugo and I love to take my time with her books.

Book Club

Every month the mods of the Book Coven get us to suggest books that make up the book club bracket. We then vote all the way through to a final, and that’s the book we read together over the course of 3 weeks. Then the amazing Paragraphs and Pages asks us some super insightful questions and off we go. This month the club read two books:

  1. Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
  2. Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell.

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers is a book that spoke to my soul. I read it back in February. because I couldn’t have been more eager to get to it. Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell is an excellent science-fiction romance and that filled the Wayfarers shaped hole in my heart after that series ended. I highly recommend both books!

Next month, since we struggled again to choose just one book, or even two, we have four! We decided to nominate lots of books by Asian authors in the bracket and these are the ones who chose:

  1. Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao
  2. A Pho Love Story by Loan Le
  3. Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee
  4. Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malidna Lo

I’m really excited to read these books, though I’ve already read A Pho Love Story which was absolutely excellent,

Favourites

I can’t talk about what I read in March without mentioning Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom and King of Scars. I read these in preparation for the release of Rule of Wolves and honestly it took so long to read them even though it was the third or second time I’ve read each one. I love Leigh Bardugo’s attention to detail without it being overwhelming, and the characters are some of the best out there.

I think Nina Zenik is one of my favourite of Leigh’s characters and I can’t wait to see where her story goes in Rule of Wolves after the ending of King of Scars. I also love Zoya so much!

Books to Look Out For

I read a couple of arcs this month, the first being Dial A for Aunties! This book by Jesse Sutanto was just brilliant, it made me laugh so much. It comes highly recommended from me!

The other ARC I choose to read this month is Sweethand by N.G. Peltier. This romance blended baking with music and I enjoyed it very much. I can’t wait to see what else the Island Bites series has to bring.

Next month?

In April I’m going to read Rule of Wolves (OK I’m about 100 pages in and loving it so far). In the Book Coven we are also doing ARC April to try and get some of our ARCs read. I have a few good ones ready to go which is super exciting.

Anyway I hope you have had a better March than I have. It’s been long and tiring, but I’ve got a week and a half off work now to rest and try and get an offer accepted on our first house.

What are your plans for April? Looking forward to all of your April blog posts.

Monthly Wrap-Up: February 2021

Hi everyone! Welcome to my first February 2021 wrap-up post. For these wrap-ups I include Book Coven book club, fave books you can buy now, books to look out for and books I want to read soon. February has been a speedy month – I read quite a few books too!

Book Club

Every month the mods of the Book Coven get us to suggest books that make up the book club bracket. We then vote all the way through to a final, and that’s the book we read together over the course of 3 weeks. Then the amazing Paragraphs and Pages asks us some super insightful questions and off we go. This month the club read FOUR books

  1. Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco (actually won the voting haha)
  2. The Project by Courtney Summers (to break our hearts)
  3. The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon (for the month of romance!)
  4. Shipped by Angie Hockman (the book we all thought would win the vote…)

I read the latter three, having read Kingdom of the Wicked last year. I really loved both The Project and The Ex Talk as you can see from my linked reviews. The Project is a YA mystery / thriller set around a cult, and The Ex Talk is a romance about two radio show co-hosts pretending they are exes and falling in love. Shipped is another workplace romance, but I just didn’t vibe with the characters hence only receiving a 3 star rating from me and no blog review.

Next month, since we struggled again to choose just one book, we have two book clubs going on! Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers and Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell. I have read both before but will definitely be joining in the discussions.

Favourites

In terms of favourite books this month, there are 3 standouts.

As mentioned previously in book club nominations, I read Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers. This is a contemporary book that has a poetic writing style (almost like Addie LaRue). I felt this book strongly – it focusses on the weight of expectations from yourself and others, and not knowing what to do with your life after academia when your plans aren’t working out. This debut blew me away, but be warned, the romance isn’t the main plot point and the love interest isn’t actually in the story a lot.

On the Young Adult side of things, I read Parachutes by Kelly Yang (audiobook!!) This one really was an amazing story, and taught me so much about the experience of international students in American prep schools. It’s told from two perspectives – Claire a parachute, and Dani a Filipino student whose mom decided to let out the spare room to Claire. It has a really knotty, twisty friendship, and two plotlines that focus on sexual harassment and assault. It’s not a light read but it is really empowering.

And on to fantasy…what else could I talk about except A Court of Silver Flames! Sarah J Maas blew me away with this story – I think it’s her best book. She took me from disliking Nesta to loving her, and I found it to be a really gritty, emotional read on trauma and recovering from it. I also really loved the friendships Nesta developed in this one – can’t wait to see what Sarah writes next because this was such an improvement.

Books to Look Out For

I didn’t read a lot of ARCs that I loved this month, but one that stood out was a romance called Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron. This one follows Reena, a woman who is great at cooking and baking, and Nadim, a guy who moved in across the corridor from Reena and happens to work for her Dad. I loved these two, and the plot that draws them together. Who doesn’t love a cooking competition? Really love the cover too.

And that is unfortunately it in terms of books I loved this month. A lot of my reads were disappointing, or really mediocre. Hopefully March will be better.

Next month?

In March I still have to read Six of Crows (and Crooked Kingdom and King of Scars…sigh), in time for Rule of Wolves. I’m actually really looking forward to diving into this world again, but there are so many pages to get through! Some others I want to get to are Intercepted by Alexa Martin, Dear Martin by Nic Stone, and Love Frankie by Jacqueline Wilson.

Hope February has been a good month for you all! I for one am really excited for March because it’s my birthday month! I am also ecstatic that Honey Girl and Winter’s Orbit are being discussed for book club, because both of them were 5 star reads for me.

Do you think you’ll be reading any of the books I read in February? What are you plans for March? Let me know in the comments.

Monthly Wrap-Up: January 2021

Hi everyone! Welcome to my first monthly wrap-up post of 2021. For these wrap-ups I include Book Coven book club, fave books you can buy now, books to look out for and books I want to read soon. January has been so long. Working from home takes its toll to be honest, but I’m lucky I have the option.

Book Club

Every month the mods of the Book Coven get us to suggest books that make up the book club bracket. We then vote all the way through to a final, and that’s the book we read together over the course of 3 weeks. Then the amazing Paragraphs and Pages asks us some super insightful questions and off we go. This month the club read two books – These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong and The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart (naturally we couldn’t choose between the two). After not vibing with the ARC of These Violent Delights, I only participated in The Bone Shard Daughter this time.

What an amazing story! The Bone Shard Daughter is full of twists, characters you can’t help but love and gets really, really creepy and dark unexpectedly. I have a full review on my blog! (Spoiler Alert – it received 5 stars from me – and most of book club in fact).

Next month, since we struggled even more to choose just one book, we have four book clubs going on!

  1. Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco (actually won the voting haha)
  2. The Project by Courtney Summers (to break our hearts)
  3. The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon (for the month of romance!)
  4. Shipped by Angie Hockman (the book we all thought would win the vote…)

Favourites

I have read 25 books in January, somehow, and quite a few have been fantastic. I’ve already mentioned The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart, but there were many more!

In terms of Fantasy, I really enjoyed Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore. It really gave me that Graceling series nostalgia whilst also bringing new world-building and characters. You can read my review here.

I think I found a new book for the favourites list! The Switch by Beth O’Leary is a cute contemporary with a heart-warming take on generational differences. Leena and Eileen swap houses for a bit after Leena is made to take two months leave from her job in London. It made me cry, a lot and I think people of all ages will love it. You can read my review here.

In terms of re-reads, I think Such a Fun Age is also one of the best books I’ve read. It follows Emira, a Black girl in her twenties who babysits for Alix, a rich white woman with two young girls, Briar and Catherine. The character dynamics are absolutely gripping, and its messages strong. You can read my review here.

Finally, let’s talk audio. Listening to Audiobooks was one of my 2021 goals and I’m pleased to say I listened to 5 this month. My favourite was Monday’s Not Coming, a young adult mystery / thriller about a girl whose best friend Monday goes missing but nobody seems to care. The audio is great, with narration that really makes you believe that the protagonist is talking to you. You can see my review here.

Books to Look Out For

I read so many ARCs this month, and there were some absolute crackers! Let’s start with a romance that definitely made my favourites list. Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert is the final book in The Brown Sisters series. I think it was my favourite of all 3, partly because I related to Eve so much. I love this series so much that I pre-ordered signed copies from Words and Kisses. You can find my review here, be sure to check this out when it releases in March!

Science Fiction time! Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell was such a brilliant surprise. It follows Kiem and Jainam on an arranged marriage style romance in a unique planet setting. This book is such a sweet take on sci-fi, it was such loveable characters and a really gripping plot. You can check out my review here, plus pick it up in early February really soon!

Next, let’s talk YA. I read A Pho Love Story by Loan Le, and honestly it was so, so heart-warming that I had tears in my eyes for the last quarter of the book? This is so much more than a romance as it delves into the lives of the children of Vietnamese immigrants, who happen to be the kids of rival restaurant owners. This one is out in the US in February, and the UK in April, so be sure to check it out then! You can see my review here.

Finally, I was really, really lucky to get my hands on an eARC of Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid, who might just be my favourite author ever. This book did not disappoint – you can see why people are googling if Taylor’s characters are actually real people because there is so much depth and history that goes into their stories without it being overwhelming. You can see my review here, but the book doesn’t release until May. I’ll be for sure reading it all over again then with a physical copy in my hands!

Next month?

Next month I have so much I want to read. I have more ARCs (Girl in the Walls, Friends and Strangers, Falling Down Under to name some…), some rereads (Six of Crows, The Winner’s Curse…) and some audio (Luster) planned.

How has January been for you all? Hope you’ve been doing well, keeping safe and enjoying lots of good books!

Do you think you’ll be reading any of the books I read in January? I’d love to know your thoughts!

Monthly Wrap-Up: December 2020

Hi everyone! Welcome to my December monthly wrap-up post. I am sure these will evolve over time, but for now I’ll include Book Coven book club, fave books you can buy now, books to look out for and books I want to read soon. December has been speedy with work, Christmas and plenty of annual leave. I’ve been listening to Evermore on repeat too, it’s been fun.

Book Club

Every month the mods of the Book Coven get us to suggest books that make up the book club bracket. We then vote all the way through to a final, and that’s the book we read together over the course of 3 weeks. Then the amazing Paragraphs and Pages asks us some super insightful questions and off we go. This month the club read Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur which I thought was OK, but didn’t fall in love with.

Next month we are reading one of the following (still waiting to finish the vote!):

  1. Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson
  2. The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
  3. Soulswift by Megan Bannen
  4. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Favourites

I read some awesome books this month – including a re-read of A Court of Mist and Fury and A Court of Wings and Ruin which I adored. A standout for me though was definitely The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, which absolutely has made my favourites of all time list.

I re-read The Fifth Season by N.K Jemisin, and it’s sequel The Obelisk Gate. Both of them are fascinating reads that blend science fiction and fantasy in an excellent way. I definitely enjoyed the first book more but I’m very excited to read the last book because the second one set it up perfectly!

I also re-read The Never Tilting Word to follow it up with The Ever Cruel Kingdom by Rin Chupeco. This is an excellent duology with 4 points of view – I couldn’t recommend it any more! I think this is my favourite Rin Chupeco series now.

Finally, I read We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. This one got a solid four stars for it’s great characters.

Books to Look Out For

I did read some eARCs this month – my favourite being The Galaxy, and The Ground Within by Becky Chambers. This is absolutely one of my favourites of all time, it’s such an emotional book. I can’t believe it’s the last of the Wayfarers books but I’m so excited to see what Becky does next.

Another book coming out soon that I read is We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal. This is a solid follow up to We Hunt the Flame with a really good ending.

Next month?

Well, it’s time to kick off 2021! I’m not sure what I’ll be reading – I really want to read Six of Crows and King of Scars again before Rule of Wolves. I’ve also got a few eARCs I should get to in the new year that I’m excited about.

Do you have any planned books for January? Let me know what’s on your to be read!