Monthly Wrap Up

Reading Wrap Up ||| August and ARC August 2017

It always shocks me when I find myself sitting down in front of my computer to write my wrap up that another month has come and gone. And with it my summer, I move back to London tomorrow to start my second year of university. How has my incredibly long summer already come to an end, it only feels like June yesterday! And how am I about to enter my second year of uni. Why am I almost an adult? Ahh!!!

Anyway, this month I’ve been able to reading a whopping amount. 17 books! That’s mainly because my family were away for two weeks at the start of the month and I’ve been stuck in a little bit of a writing rut so I needed something to distract me.

This month I took part in ARC August, hosted by Read. Sleep. Repeat, which is the goal to get through as many ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) on your TBR as possible. Which I thought was a brilliant idea since my stats on Netgalley has been awful lately.

Anyway, on with the books I read this month.

Attack on Titan: Volume Nine, by Hajime Isayama

Set one thousand years into the future, what remains of humanity are forced to dwell behind giant walls to protect themselves from the Titans; humanoid creatures who want nothing more than to devoir every human in their sight.

For the past one hundred years, humanity have lived in peace, never really fearing what was on the other side of the walls. Until the Colossus Titan appeared and made a whole in the wall.

Once again I found myself transported to the world of the Titans following new territory for me. I found myself addicted and didn’t want to leave the world behind. Gripping from beginning to end, hence the five stars.

Attack on Titan: Volume 10, by Hajime Isayama

Set one thousand years into the future, what remains of humanity are forced to dwell behind giant walls to protect themselves from the Titans; humanoid creatures who want nothing more than to devoir every human in their sight.

For the past one hundred years, humanity have lived in peace, never really fearing what was on the other side of the walls. Until the Colossus Titan appeared and made a whole in the wall.

Once again I found myself transported to the world of the Titans following new territory for me. I found myself addicted and didn’t want to leave the world behind. Gripping from beginning to end, hence the five stars.

Attack on Titan: Volume 11, by Hajime Isayama

Set one thousand years into the future, what remains of humanity are forced to dwell behind giant walls to protect themselves from the Titans; humanoid creatures who want nothing more than to devoir every human in their sight.

For the past one hundred years, humanity have lived in peace, never really fearing what was on the other side of the walls. Until the Colossus Titan appeared and made a whole in the wall.

Once again I found myself transported to the world of the Titans following new territory for me. I found myself addicted and didn’t want to leave the world behind. Gripping from beginning to end, hence the five stars.

Fairy Tail: Volume One, by Hiro Mashima

Celestial wizard Lucy wants nothing more than to join the most powerful guild of wizards in the Kingdom of Fiore, Fairy Tail. But her ambitions land her in the clutches of a gang of unsavoury pirates led by a devious magician. Her only hope turns out to be Natsu, a strange boy she happens to meet on her travels. Yet Natsu isn’t your typical hero, he gets motion sickness, eats like a pig, and his best friend is a talking cat. With friends like this, is Lucy better off with her enemies?

This is one of my favourite anime and when I had the chance to read the first manga, I jumped at the opportunity. This just cemented my love for this series even more as I was able to get to know the characters even better with what might be a perfect adaptation! It deserves it’s four stars.

A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles

On 21st June, 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol. But instead of being escorted to his usual suite, he is led to an attic room with a window the size of a chessboard. Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the Count has been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely.

While Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval, the Count, stripped of the trappings that defined his life, is forced to question what makes us who we are. And with the assistance of a glamorous actress, a cantankerous chef and a very serious child, Rostov unexpectedly discovers a new understanding of both purpose and pleasure.

I’ve already written and uploaded a review for this which I’ll link here if you’re interested. But I simply adored this book. Yes there was a lot of info dumping but overall I learnt a lot about Russian history that I hadn’t known about before. It was interesting, even if it was slightly info dumpy at times, and the characters held my attention through out. There were a few plot hole moments but the rest of the tale makes up for that. Four stars.

Ms Marvel, Volume One: No Normal, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who is the new Ms Marvel? Teenager? Muslin? Inhuman? Find out as Kamala discovers the dangers of her new found powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s coming for you, Jersey.

This was a fun comic and I flew through it. But it just felt like it was missing something. The cultural aspects were interesting and Kamala was a likeable character. But there was literally nothing to the story. In the four issues in this volume we see her get her powers and then deal with them. And the villain was just … meh. Other than Kamala’s background, what difference is there to any other marvel comic? Three stars, it is.

A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness

A deeply moving tale about a thirteen year old boy coming to terms with loosing his sick mother thanks to a visiting monster.

I read this book when it first came out in 2011. Back then I adored it and knew it was sad but it didn’t affect me. This time was completely different. Don’t get me wrong, I still adored it. But I was far more emotionally invested. I sobbed whilst reading the majority of this. Full on ugly crying! I haven’t cried like that whilst reading in over a year and that was because something had happened in my personal life to make me cry. It was mad, but in a good way. This brilliant book deserves five stars.

The Pocket Daring Book for Girls: Discoveries and Pastimes, by Andrea J. Buchanan

A book filled to the brim with knowledge about the world and some incredible women from throughout history.

The history was interesting and I learnt about some women I didn’t know. But the rest was stuff I knew and it wasn’t particularly intriguing. It might have been for some people but not for me, I’m afraid. Three stars.

Ms Marvel, Volume Two: Generation Why, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who is the new Ms Marvel? Teenager? Muslin? Inhuman? Find out as Kamala discovers the dangers of her new found powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s coming for you, Jersey.

This was a fun comic and I flew through it. But it just felt like it was missing something. The cultural aspects were interesting and Kamala was a likeable character. But there was literally nothing to the story. In the four issues in this volume we see her get her powers and then deal with them. And the villain was just … meh. Other than Kamala’s background, what difference is there to any other marvel comic? Three stars, it is.

The Sky is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson

Seventeen year old Lennie Walker spends her time tucked safely and happy in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to centre stage of her own life – and suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two bows. One boy takes Lennie out of sorrow; the other comforts her in it. But the two can’t collide without Lennie’s world exploding.

I kind of hate myself for enjoying this book. Yes, it beautifully portrayed grief in a way that I haven’t seen in a YA novel before. However the romances were horrible for me. Lennie and Joe just felt rushed and incredibly random; if a guy turned up like he did to my house that randomly I’d get a restraining order, no matter how attractive he is. It was a typical example of instalove that some teens do feel through crushes that explode out of nowhere but there relationship just didn’t feel natural. As for Toby and Lennie that was just fricking weird. I’m sorry but no. I get that these two boys helped her get through her grief and get back into music but does every book have to be about women needing men? Pick something else please. Because that isn’t the case for male protagonists. Yes, they might get a companion along the way or have a couple of one night stands but they don’t need women.

Yet, despite all the various problems with this book. I still found myself liking it. It was a quick read that U flew through. Hence the four stars.

London: Orbital, by Guy Adams

One minute everything was fine and the next … they arrived. Those that saw them died instantly. The unlucky ones survived. One of these is Howard. He woke up on the outskirts of London with no idea who he was or what The Change was. All he knows is that he needs to travel into London. But now the unimaginable, straight out of nightmares, roam the streets. Nothing is impossible. Nowhere is safe. And no one can escape The Change.

I’ve already posted and uploaded a review for this which I’ll link here. The plot for this was incredibly original but there was just something about it made me want to skip most of the chapters. The characters were interesting yet undeveloped. The world was interested but undeveloped. The plot was interesting but undeveloped. With a lot of work this could easily be the start to one of the next great dystopian series. But at the moment it’s only a three star for me.

New York: The Queen of Coney Island, by Guy Adams

One minute everything was fine and the next … they arrived. Those that saw them died instantly. The unlucky ones survived. One of these is Grace, who travels through New York to find her older brother.
But now the unimaginable, straight out of nightmares, roam the streets. Nothing is impossible. Nowhere is safe. And no one can escape The Change.

The plot for this was incredibly original but there was just something about it made me want to skip most of the chapters. The characters were interesting yet undeveloped. The world was interested but undeveloped. The plot was interesting but undeveloped. With a lot of work this could easily one of the next great dystopian series. But at the moment it’s only a three star for me.

Paris: A City of Fools, by Guy Adams

One minute everything was fine and the next … they arrived. Those that saw them died instantly. The unlucky ones survived. One of these is Loïc. He lives in the catacombs and only ventures to the surface to find food. That is until Adrien, a boy who Loïc has been looking after, is kidnapped. So he ventures in the open to find him. But now the unimaginable, straight out of nightmares, roam the streets. Nothing is impossible. Nowhere is safe. And no one can escape The Change.

The plot for this was incredibly original but there was just something about it made me want to skip most of the chapters. The characters were interesting yet undeveloped. The world was interested but undeveloped. The plot was interesting but undeveloped. With a lot of work this could easily one of the next great dystopian series. But at the moment it’s only a three star for me.

Redwall, by Brian Jacques

Redwall Abbey is the tranquil home to a community of peace loving mice but the peace is shattered with he arrival of Cluny the Scourge, the evil one eyed rat overlord, and his battle hardened horde of predators. Cluny is certain that Redwall will fall easily to his fearsome army. But he hasn’t bargained for the courage and strength of the combined forced of the Redwall mice and their loyal woodland friends under the help of the brave Matthius.

I grew up with a vhs of the film version of this book. I had to have multiple copies because I watched it that much and I constantly wore the tapes out. This book has been sat on my shelf for a few years because I kept forgetting I had it. I found my vhs of the film when I was dog sitting for my grandparents and I suddenly remembered that I owned this book. So I picked it up and was transported into the world once more. I can’t talk about how much I love this story even if it isn’t the most adventurous tale. And now I need to get my hands on the rest of the books in this series so that I can discover the rest of the wonders of this universe. This book deserves it’s four stars.

I Know Where She Is, by S.B. Caves

On the tenth anniversary of her daughter Autumn’s abduction, Francine receives an anonymous note containing just five words: I know where she is. When a young woman approaches her the next day claiming to have sent the letter, Francine wants to dismiss it as a twisted joke. But the strangers knows things that only Autumn would know.

It soon becomes clear that Francine must go to dark places in order to learn the truth about her child’s kidnapping. She will discover that danger comes from unexpected sources. She will do things she never imagined herself capable of. But will Francine get her daughter back – or is it too late?

The concept of this book was incredibly intriguing and I thought I’d really enjoy it. Sadly, I didn’t. The plot was all over the place and the writing was washy at best. And the way that the plot was laid out sounded like it should have belonged to some sort of conspiracy show. Two stars.

Daughter of the Burning City, by Amanda Foody

Sixteen year old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smouldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the travelling circus-city, Sorina stands apart of the only illusion worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all of their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s freak show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are just that – illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

This book was magical and filled with incredibly unique and diverse characters. It’s filled with suspense from day one and I didn’t want to leave the world behind when I finished the book. The whole concept was incredibly unique and the only thing I wish I saw more was the festival that Sorina lived in. But it was a five star book none the less.

Skullduggery Pleasant, by Derek Landy

Stephanie’s uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his entire estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn’t fiction. Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source – the wise cracking skeleton of a dead wizard.

I don’t know how many times I’ve reread this book. Every time I pick it up I find myself laughing and noticed something new. This time was no different. It was magical and has encouraged me to maybe think about finally finishing the series. Five stars.

And there we have it, there are the books that I read this month.

For ARC August I read the following books:
A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
London: Orbital, by Guy Adams
New York: The Queen of New York, by Guy Adams
Paris: A City of Fools, by Guy Adams
I Know Where She Is, by S.B. Caves
Daughter of the Burning City, by Amanda Foody

Considering that I wasn’t planning on doing ARC August at all, I think I did pretty incredibly. And I didn’t do that badly over the month either. Slowed down a bit at the end of the month but still, i think I did pretty well over the month.

How did you do this month? Did you take part in ARC August? Have you read something that i’ve read this month? What did you think? Feel free to let me know.

-IAMAGEEKINGGINGER!

Book Total of 2017 – 101

XXX

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