Ink and Bone Review

I was supposed to read this for a book club ages ago and never did. Now is the time!

I couldn’t really tell what it would be about at the start. And then it turned into all the kinds of plots I like! Entry tests, competition, learning, challenges!

The first half of the book flew by and I really enjoyed Jess as a male protagonist. The middle wasn’t so great but I liked the world building. I liked how each of the characters had their own personality – would have been nice to get to know some of them more before they died. I also wish we got to know Jess’ family a bit more – especially his Dad and his brother, Brendan.

The end was fantastic and I’m really excited to know what happens in the rest of the series.

I’ve Got Your Number Review

At first, I wondered how I was going to get through this book. The protagonist, Poppy, starts of being so incredibly annoying as she’s looking for her engagement ring (and this bit of the book feels completely out of character for her).

The story gets better when that part is over. It’s actually really cute.

I love the way Poppy learns that she’s not inferior to super intelligent people. Totally empathised with her playing Scrabble with Magnus’ family. I spend alot of time with people with PhDs with Dad’s with PhDs so this part was particularly nice to read!

I loved how much Sam (the boss of the PA whose phone Poppy finds) and Poppy learn from each other, being very different people.

I wish Poppy had nicer female friends because she deserves them.

The ending is cheesy but kind of adorable. It could have been a much shorter book though!

The Queen’s Rising Review

I really enjoyed the beginning of this book. Brienna is an excellent protagonist and I loved how she had to try all the passions of art, theatre, music, wit and knowledge before settling with knowledge. I loved the relationship between her and her master, Cartier. Loved the dynamic between all the girls studying the passions.

We are then introduced to more settings, more characters, and I loved the history of the world Rebecca has created.

I found the second half of the book a little lacking – the twists weren’t really there and the absence of Cartier for a big chunk did nothing for the relationship building. I missed the energy of the female friendships at the beginning.

It actually felt like the story wrapped up at the end, but I know there’s another book so who knows what’s coming next! So much potential.

I think the last chapter of the book was my absolute favourite. Love a bit of romance.

To Best The Boys Review

My edition of this book is stunning, with grey sprayed pages and beautiful patterns inside. Another reminder of how beautiful hardbacks can be.

I relate to the story as soon as it begins, being a woman in STEM myself. It feels like The Hunger Games crossed with The Maze Runner with a splash of science.

The first half of the book is quite slow, but still really engaging. And then we hit the Labyrinth, which I expected to come earlier in the book.

The second half of the book I couldn’t put down. I was so gripped by all aspects of the plot, the Labyrinth, the disease, the characters.

Rhen, the protagonist, goes through so much that girls do even today. Not having the same opportunities. Being expected to sacrifice dreams for family. I did really enjoy that she had supportive parents.

The romance was cute but not the main focus of the story.

I think this book wraps up the story neatly but there is potential for more adventure!

Viper Review

I received a beautiful paperback copy of Viper in the March fairyloot box (a few weeks before it is released!). Always glad to read British YA authors.

The book starts off similarly to other YA fantasies. The heroine, Marianne, is a very standard protagonist of this genre. She’s overlooked, expected to be more ruthless than she is, and her Dad is a complete jerk.

And then it gets completely brutal just after 100 pages, way more than I was expecting.

The plot is full of twists and turns, the pacing is good – though not much unexpected happens. However, Bex is absolutely not afraid to kill characters, which definitely gives this book something else.

I actually think this trilogy has potential to be really good – I’m excited to see where the story goes now this part has closed.

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

Being introduced to Hazel is a whirlwind. She’s a bit of a disaster, and it’s great. I’m particularly jealous of all her animals (Janis Hoplin the rabbit hahaha). And Winnie the labradoodle!

Josh on the other hand is one of those people you imagine to be a rock. Dependable, calm, strong…

I love how parts of the book subtly show Hazel’s intelligence.

There was a reference to gymnastics!

I mean, parts of this book are super cliché and predictable but it’s just super enjoyable and quick to read.

And then the end. It felt really rushed and had the potential to be really intense and heartbreaking. I wish Christina gave these really difficult topics a little more attention.

Overall though, a solid book.

20 books in January

Somehow through having lots of spare time and a chain of good books I managed to start the year with 20 books in a month.

  1. The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden – an excellent follow up to The Bear and the Nightingale. Having now read the third book, I think The Girl in the Tower is my favourite of the trilogy.
  2. Vicious by V.E Schwab – a really gripping anti-hero story. Never thought I’d enjoy something like this as I tend to prefer really moral characters. But it was fantastic!
  3. Vengeful by V.E Schwab – Vicious was so good that I just had to follow up with the sequel. I enjoyed it just as much if not more!
  4. Owning It by Caroline Foran – a book on living with anxiety. I enjoyed the relatable parts but not sure it told me much I didn’t already know.
  5. The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell – a memoir about a penguin! This short read was so adorable and I was gripped from start to finish.
  6. A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet – I found this book really easy to get through. The plot was interesting but there were little bits like how the main character views herself that I didn’t like so much.
  7. Circe by Madeline Miller – a retelling that I never quite got into. The middle section was really enjoyable but I really couldn’t connect with the title character.
  8. The Wicked King by Holly Black – the much anticipated sequel to The Cruel Prince! It didn’t disappoint. Holly is the queen of good twists.
  9. The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke – probably taught me more about pre-wall Berlin than I’d ever have known otherwise. Really enjoyed the story.
  10. From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon – all the secondary school vibes. Sandhya is the queen of understanding and portraying teenagers. I related to When Dimple Met Rishi more but this was a solid follow up. Can’t wait for There’s Something About Sweetie!
  11. Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett – another fantasy that I couldn’t put down. I loved the concept and can’t wait to read book 2.
  12. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski – a fantasy again that I definitely couldn’t put down. I think this was the best book I read in January. I enjoyed that the heroine relied on her brains more than her physical strength.
  13. Feminists Don’t Wear Pink by Scarlett Curtis – a collection of essays on what feminism means for a variety of women. I asked for this for Christmas from Dan and loved reading a few essays a night.
  14. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin -Probably my least favourite book of the month, but I still read it over the course of a day. Just wasn’t really my thing.
  15. How to be Champion by Sarah Millican – absolutely hilarious. The structure was a bit odd for me but I loved every chapter.
  16. Written in Red by Anne Bishop – this book started off really badly for me but then it got so good! There were so many cute bits that made me awww out loud.
  17. Likel1k3 by Jay Kristoff – Anything Jay writes I love and this book definitely solidified that. Especially loved Eve and Lemon’s friendship.
  18. If We Were Villains by M. L Rio – Wasn’t expecting to enjoy this book but it was like gossip that you know you should be interested in but want to know more. Loved the Shakespeare references, but I did guess the killer.
  19. Seeing What Others Don’t by Gary Klein – a non-fic about how we gain insights. I loved all the real-life examples given and found the ideas fascinating.
  20. The Witches of New York by Amy McKay – a book that had been sat on my kindle for months that I was wary to read. Shouldn’t have been – it was a stunning way to end January. I really loved the main characters, especially Beatrice. The whole thing was magical!

And that’s that! 20 books in 31 days. I don’t think I’ll ever have another month like it!

You can see how I get on with my reading challenge here