Saturday, 30 December 2017

November Wrap Up

I was writing my December wrap up when I suddenly realized I completely forgot to post my November wrap up! So, here it is! I didn't read that much in November (but December is much better!).

1. The Girl with All the Gifts (The Hungry Plague, #1) by M.R. Carey

This was by far my favourite book of the month! 5 out of 5 stars! It was amazing! You can read my review here.

2. An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3) by Julia Quinn 

A Cinderella retelling. I liked it well enough, 3 stars.

3. Bully (Fall Away, #1) by Penelope Douglas

I didn't like this one that much, especially the bullying part.

In November, I also started reading An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson and Kulti by Mariana Zapata but I finished them in December.

Have you read any of the books mentioned above or are you planning to? Leave your thoughts down below!

Stacking the Shelves: December Book Haul Part One

Stacking the Shelves is a meme co-hosted by Reading Reality and Tynga's Reviews. Each week bloggers share the books they got. These are the books I got in the first part of December.

1. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan  

2. Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

I was approved to read this on Netgalley but since I was new then, I didn't realise I only had a certain amount of time to read it. Soooo, that's why I had to buy it now.

3. The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood

This is the next Atwood book that's been recommended to me. I always love getting new recommendations! Previously, I read The Blind Assassin, The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace. I gave them all 5 stars.

4. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

I had to teach The Wife of Bath's Tale and The Miller's Tale during my teaching practice and I decided I needed an actual copy of the book as well.

5. A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings #1) by Kevin Hearne

This was in my October Page Habit box and I forgot to mention it in my last two hauls. Oops.

6. The Last Namsara (Iskari #1) by Kristen Ciccarelli

November Fairyloot box.

7. Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire Legrand 

November Fairyloot box. So excited to read it!

And now the books I got from my wonderful Broke and Bookish Secret Santa!

8. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia 

Currently reading it and loving it!

9. Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy #1) by Sally Green

I've heard this is about witches and that's all I need to be excited about it!

Which books did you recently get? Have you read any of the ones mentioned above or are you planning to? Which book should I read first? Leave your thoughts down below!

Have a wonderful New Year!

Friday, 29 December 2017

Review Herding Cats (Sarah's Scribbles #3) by Sarah Andersen

Sarah's Scribbles,  Goodreads Choice Award for 2016:  Best Graphic Novels & Comics

". . . author Sarah Andersen uses hilarious (and adorable) comics to illustrate the very specific growing pains that occur on your way to becoming a mature, put-together grownup. Andersen’s spot-on illustrations also show how to navigate this newfound adulthood once you arrive, since maturity is equally as hard to maintain as it is to find … "
--The Huffington Post

Sarah valiantly struggles with waking up in the morning, being productive, and dealing with social situations. Sarah's Scribbles is the comic strip that follows her life, finding humor in living as an adulting introvert that is at times weird, awkward, and embarrassing. 

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I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an arc copy of Herding Cats! This is one of my most anticipated releases of 2018 and I am so happy to have had to chance to read it in advance!

The first thing you need to know about this review is the fact that I'm a huge "Sarah Scribbles" fan! I have read and loved her two previous volumes and Herding Cats is no exception!

Why do I like Sarah Scribbles?

I can recognize myself in quite a lot of her drawings, especially those about reading and buying books, being an introvert and having menstrual cramps. Sarah Andersen's work can be brutally honest but will make you laugh at the same time. It's by far my favourite comic collection and I will continue to read every single one she publishes! 

Herding Cats focusses a bit more on Sarah's life and struggles as an artist. She is honest about how the internet affected her and her work but also knows that the internet has changed. The internet can be a wonderful place but it can also be cruel. As I am not an artist myself, I didn't relate to that part as much, but as a blogger, I could relate in a sense. It took a huge step to start this blog and even though I never had negative remarks, it can sometimes be challenging to put your thoughts out there. (Recent events in the book blogging world have sadly made this abundantly clear).

I obviously had to give Herding Cats 5 out of 5 stars! The collection feels very relatable to me and that's one of its biggest strengths in combination with the fact that it's absolutely hilarious! I will read anything Sarah Andersen publishes in the future and I can't wait to read the next volume. I will also be buying Herding Cats to add to my collection!

Have you read a "Sarah Scribbles" collection or are you planning to? Leave your thoughts down below!

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Review: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

-- description -- 

I was so excited to read this book: gorgeous cover, (evil) fairies, interesting world, etc. However, this is one of the biggest disappointments of the year for me. 

What I liked about this book:

- I liked the atmosphere, Rogerson's descriptions of the world and the seasons is entertaining. I could immediately envision everything.

- I liked that the book was about fairies who you couldn't always trust. They were intriguing and creepy at the same time.

- I liked most of the secondary characters like Lark and Gadfly

What I disliked about An Enchantment of Ravens:

- Isobel is such an annoying protagonist, I almost clawed my eyes out because I got so frustrated with her! You could definitely say, Isobel and I didn't click. Especially her "inner voice", her thoughts and her narrating voice were excruciating for me to read. She was way too naive but sometimes was portrayed as an absolute genius. 

- That brings me to Rook, while I initially found him intriguing, I quickly started getting annoyed by him as well.

I feel that both Rook and Isobel could have been further developed. To me, they didn't feel like real characters.

- The romance. I love romantic stories and I picked up An Enchantment of Ravens to read a good romance story. The romance is definitely the main storyline of the book but I felt so underwhelmed by it. Even though, they don't declare their feelings for each for a time, it did feel like insta love to me. At no point did I think that the romance was developing well. Suddenly they declare their love out of nowhere (or at least, that's how I see it).

- I believe this book could have benefited so much from getting a few more drafts in order to develop the characters and the romance better.

All in all, I gave this book two out of five stars. I'm so disappointed, the cover is certainly not worth it to buy this book. I don't recommend this book at all, in fact I'm looking for a way to get rid of my copy (which is something I almost never do).

Have you read this book or are you planning to? Leave your thoughts down below!

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Review: Disney Manga: Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas by Jun Asuka

Jack Skellington is the Pumpkin King, the ruler of Halloween Town and master of all things creepy and spooky. But he's tired of his life in the shadows and longs for something new. When he accidentally stumbles upon Christmas Town, he decides this is the perfect chance to try his hand at a brand new holiday and is convinced he'll have the world yelling "Scary Christmas"! With the young patchwork doll Sally trying to dissuade him and the evil Oogie Boogie waiting in the wings to take over Halloween Town in Jack's absence, he'd better hurry if he wants to get his plan in place by December 25th! You've seen the movie, now read the manga for a new twist on an animated classic!

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I want to thank Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an arc copy in exchange for an honest review.

I love The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favourite animation films and I was excited to read this manga. However, I didn't truly realize that this would be completely the same.

What I liked about this manga:

I really liked the illustrations, but then, I always like Jack Skellington.

Things I disliked:

I don't think the story translated well into this format. When Jack asks "What's this?" my mind immediately starts singing the song. When you only get a couple of sentences, it felt like a disappointment to me.

The dialogues in this manga were mediocre, I don't have a problem with this in the movie, but in this format, dialogues become so much more important and I found them lacking at times.

If you haven't seen the movie, I believe that this would be a very confusing read. Nothing is explained that well, I at times had some trouble grasping what was happening and I have watched the movie several times.

All in all, I gave this manga 2 out of 5 stars. I am disappointed in this book.

Have you read this book or are you planning to? Do you like to film as well? Leave your thoughts down below! 

Review: The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais

Lose yourself in in the dark forests of Amelie Flechais' spectacular artwork. A young wolf, on a journey to bring his grandmother a rabbit, is charmed by the nice little girl who offers to help him... but nice is not the same as good. A haunting fairy tale for children and adults alike.

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I received an arc copy from Netgalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review. I want to thank them for giving me the opportunity to read this unique book.

The Little Red Wolf is a fairy tale retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. As you can guess from the title, a wolf is now the protagonist. It's a wonderful retelling with gorgeous illustrations by Amélie Fléchais. The illustrations alone make this book worth your while. They are so colourful and enchanting, I could look at them all day.

The fairy tale itself is a beautiful retelling and it turns known truths upside down. It's a story about how each of us can perceive things differently and how this impacts our actions.

Even though I enjoyed this book, I wish it had been longer. I felt the characters could have been developed more. We do get a glimpse of what they are really like, but I need more to fully appreciate a character.

Why should you read The Little Red Wolf? I believe it's the perfect book to share with your children (on Halloween). The illustrations are by far my favourite part about this book. They are glorious and so vivid! I wish I could frame them all!

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, 11 December 2017

December TBR

These are the books I hope to finish before the end of the year. Since I'm still busy with my teaching practice until the 22nd of December, I won't have as much time to read as I would like. Therefore, I have limited my TBR to these four books, hopefully I will be able to read more than these, but who knows?

The first three books I have to read and review this month as I got these through Netgalley.

1. Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

2. Disney Manga: Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas by Jun Asuka

3. The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais

4. Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2.5) by Laini Taylor and illustrated by Jim Di Bartolo 

Which books are you planning to read this month? Have you read any of the books mentioned above or are you planning to? Leave your thoughts down below!

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Stacking the Shelves: November Book Haul

Stacking the Shelves is a meme co-hosted by Reading Reality and Tynga's Reviews. Each week bloggers share the books they got. November was an incredibly busy month, I didn't read much and I didn't buy that many books. These are the five books I got in November: 

1. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Currently still reading this one. It's such a struggle!

2. Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2.5) by Laini Taylor 

Can't wait to read this! Love Laini Taylor!

3. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Heard good things about this one! Can't wait to read it!

4. Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Already this e-book and I enjoyed it! 3 stars.

5. Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin by Mariana Zapata 

Already read this one as well. 3 stars. I really enjoy Zapata's books, sadly, these are the only two I can get as a kobo e-book.

Which books did you recently get? Have you read any of the ones mentioned above or are you planning to? Leave your thoughts down below!

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