Book 20 of 50. #jmlreads2018 Sequel to 'The Bear and the Nightingale' which I finished a few days ago. A gorgeous continuation of beautifully written fantasy steeped in Russian folklore. It follows the journey of Vasya outside of her village, trying to find her place in a world which is slowly forgetting the gods and sprites she can see, and which isn't kind to young women out on their own. The plot thickens, adventure ensues and all of it is so beautifully told that I really couldn't put it down. So glad I found these books! It's just a shame that the third one isn't out yet!
Book 19 of 50. #jmlreads2018 (Image courtesy of ruthlilywrites.com) This was recommended to me by @katsfarmlife and it was BRILLIANT. So beautifully written and such a fantastic world built on folklore, history and magic. Before I downloaded it on my kindle, the blurb said "perfect for fans of 'uprooted', 'the night circus' and neil gaiman" and I really couldn't agree more. It's a tale of a small Russian village, where Vasya (the protagonist) is one of the only people left who worships the old gods and the forest/village sprites. Because no one else believes in them any more though, a deep evil is coming to plague the village and basically, Vasya has to stop it and accept that she's born for greater things. I genuinely can't express how beautifully written this is, and how much it draws you into its world. It's also JUST real enough that I think even non-fantasy readers would like it, if they were willing to open their minds just a smidge. Highly, highly recommend.
Books 16, 17 and 18 of 50. #jmlreads2018 Well I did say I'd be reading the next few in the series for the foreseeable future didn't I?! I enjoyed these books, but I think they got a bit 'tired' the longer they went on. The world, concept and characters are all brilliant and unique, but the story got a bit lost. Particularly in the finale which had odd pacing issues and resulted in an ending that was a bit too quick for my liking. As I said though - awesome world and concepts. And the characters are all strong and diverse, which I love. A good series for sure, but possibly not a great one.
Book 15 of 50. #jmlreads2018 I have sadly fallen behind in my reading goal since becoming pregnant. The sickness and exhaustion doesn't really lead itself to hours of reading. HOWEVER I am SO glad I decided to persevere and read this absolute gem. I LOVED this. Of course, just like I'm a sucker for a man with scruff (hello bearded Captain America😍), I'm also a sucker for a YA dystopia with a smidge of fantasy thrown in. I guess you could say, "I have a type". *shrugs* What a great tale though of magic, oppression, romance, betrayal and action... and it's the first of a series so we all know what I'll be doing for the foreseeable future! If you like YA or fantasy, give this a go. And if you like strong female leads, as well as the above, well my friends, I've found your next read for sure.
Book 13 of 50 #jmlreads2018 . Oh good gods aplenty I can't describe how much I loved this series and in particular this final installment. WHAT an end to an outstandingly awesome trilogy. I could not put it down and felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster the whole way through. I gasped, I laughed, I cried... I even exclaimed "NO WAY!" so loudly at one point that my husband came in to check I was ok. I will forever be thankful to @flossaus (who is now famous eternally from her sneaky character cameo in this book!) for introducing me to the incredible talents of @amiekaufmanauthor and @misterkristoff. These guys make me proud as punch to be both an Aussie and a nerd. #nerdpride . If you haven't read these books and you like any of the following: sci-fi, fantasy, YA, graphic novels, space operas.... well then friends, pick up a god damned copy of #illuminae, the first book in this series. You will NOT regret it. 10/10
Books 7, 8 and 9 of 50. #jmlreads2018 Ok - before any would-be haters scoff at my reading choices this week, let me defend myself. (1) I've been really unwell and wanted something fun and easy to help pick me up. (2) The cover art is SO much worse than the book. Do not judge these by their covers. (3) They were actually such fun reads, and as soon as I started, I couldn't stop! The Vampire Academy series is fun, adventurous, full of great characters and has a strong female lead. These are great books. If you like the whole... YA, vampire thing. (please note - these are NOTHING like Twilight. Thank God.) I really enjoyed these for a change of pace and a pick-me-up while I was stuck in bed.
Book 6 of 50 #jmlreads2018 . This book was... interesting. I think ultimately I enjoyed the way it was written more than I enjoyed the story. So I'm still a little undecided as to whether or not that means I liked it... . It follows the life of an enigmatic, indie film director named Sophie. However its told from the perspective of the people in her life, rather than Sophie herself, which adds to the enigma. She's a bit of an anti-hero, but also a deeply interesting person. I found bits of the story relatable and bits of it unsettling... which was probably the point now that I think about it! Haha. Not a bad read by any stretch, but certainly not a 'happy' or 'easy' one.
Book 5 of 50 #jmlreads2018 . This is a favourite so far for this year - and oh, how I love YA! Such a diverse genre and always such interesting characters. . I adored this tale of Molly, a 17yo girl trying to go from serial "crusher" to someone who makes a move. Combine that journey with the dynamic relationship she has with her outgoing twin sister, a new job, her love affair with Pinterest and lots of nerd references and this was a truly enjoyable read. It's light, with a few very poignant moments (one of which did have me tearing up!) and it's simply a great story. I'd recommend 100% to anyone who likes YA as a genre, and I'd recommend 90% to everyone else.
Book number 4/50 for 2018. #jmlreads2018 . I really enjoyed this, but not as much as several of the people who recommended it to me did. I loved Starr as a protagonist and narrator, and found her story deeply interesting. I didn't always find everything else around her as captivating though. All in all, a good read. (Is being made into a movie also, so always great to read the book first!) . Starr is a 16yo African American girl who lives in a "ghetto" neighbourhood but goes to a suburban school where she is one of only a few black students. One night, on her way home from a party near where she lives, she and her friend are pulled over by the police and her friend is fatally shot without legitimate reason. The story that follows is Starr's struggle to combine her two lives, as well as choosing whether or not to speak up about what happened to her friend, regardless of the risks that might bring to her family.
Book number 3/50 for 2018. #jmlreads2018 I loved this book. It was a really interesting portrayal of a period of history that is really hard for me to imagine or even fathom. It details the story of two teenage girls. One is black, one is white. Both attend the same school during the beginnings of integration in 1959 USA and both are struggling with their family lives and their sexuality in different ways. Parts of it made me sad, parts made me proud of how far we've come, and parts made me feel daunted by how far we still have yet to go. An easy read, but a thought provoking one. Would recommend.
📚 Book 2 of 50 📚 This memoir moved me, left me humbled and was a total page-turner. I rarely enjoy memoirs or non-fiction but I really loved this. It was fascinating, and reads like a novel. An account of a female, freelance journalist who was kidnapped in Somalia and held captive for several months. #jmlreads2018
Happy New Year! So whilst I ALMOST got to 50 books for 2017, I sadly didn't quite make it. 47 and 1/2. Considering the reason I didn't make it was because I was having too much fun over the festive season to be reading though, means I don't mind. However- the reading challenge for 2018 is ON!! 50 books I haven't read before in 365 days. I'm even going to make it official with #jmlreads2018 Without further ado I present: 1/50. What an outstanding read! Technically I started this before 2018 but I was only a third of the way through at midnight so I think it counts. A brilliant tale by the forever fabulous John Green, and a protagonist that I relate to so very deeply. Any book which touches on mental health struggles will always have a special place in my heart but throw in some star wars references and fanfiction and I'm sold. Highly recommend. 9 out of 10.