January 2018 Wrap Up

It’s the end of January and so the first wrap of the year is here! It’s late but happy belated New Year!

Reading total for the month: 9         Total books this year: 9/40

I’ve had an incredible reading month and really felt like I’ve started the year of right for once. Every year I’ve read a couple of books but in recent months, I’ve really ramped up the amount of books I’ve read. Apparently working gives you next to no social life and leaves with you plenty of free evenings because now that you and your friends are all acting like adults, you’re all too tired to do things.

Despite my fairly applaudable reading month (for me, at least), I’m basically ecstatic that January is over. January is the month of the year that I hate with a passion. Perhaps a little too strong, but I find it to be the longest, most boring month with absolutely nothing to look forward to. After a week back at work, it feels like Christmas happened about a year ago (I mean, it was last year so?) and it feels like it’ll be years until something exciting happens again. The only really exciting thing that happened this month was that I had the chance to meet the lovely Alwyn Hamilton again at her event in Birmingham whilst also meeting up with some friends!

Anyway enough about that, here are some recent developments since my last wrap up: I started back at work again and my gosh, I need another week off just to recover from Christmas…still. I started the last level of my accounting qualification in January. I have two exams in February and then I don’t start another module until March!

I have some very exciting things coming up in February (alongside my dreaded exams). I am going to see HAMILTON with my family! I’m very excited but am regrettably a fake fan so am eagerly listening to the soundtrack so that I can definitely shout along the words to the song (perhaps whisper shout though). We are row D, so 4 rows from the front and I am practically wetting myself with excitement, although thankfully I have not had an accident yet. I am also going to meet my second cousin who I have not seen in roughly 6 years, I am attending a blogger meet up and the best part, I am going to Iceland with my boyfriend at the end of the month to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. I’m really hoping the Northern lights come out so that I can finally tick off my number one life goal, plus it’d also be lovely for our anniversary..

I’ve definitely spoken a LOT so let’s take a look at the books I read this month:

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu – I wrote a review on this which you can check out here!

The Wanderers by Kate Ormand – A review is to come of this one! (I’ve really been slacking so I’m working on getting up to speed with reviews now!)

The Walking Dead Volume 5, 6, 7, 8 – I was borrowing a book made up for the first 8 graphic novels so I just went for it and read the remaining ones I had to read in January. They’re great for short/fast reads, but I don’t think I’m going to carry on with the comics any longer!

The Fandom by Anna Day – I’m not too sure about this one. A really interesting idea but not sure it was given the full attention and detail it deserved!

A Thousand Perfect Notes – I loved this book and it’s my first 5 star read of 2018. It isn’t released until June but I really, really enjoyed it. It deals with a difficult and sensitive topic.

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer – I love the Lunar Chronicles but hadn’t read this one yet. As the second graphic novel is due to be released this year (or it might even be out by now!), I thought I better get up to date!

That’s all for January! I was really hoping I’d get to 10 books read this month but I dropped off a bit due to revision. Maybe another month this year I will do it! How many books did you read this month? Did you have a good or bad reading month? What’s your goal for 2018?

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Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Title: Batman: Nightwalker

Author: Marie Lu

Pages: 250

Publisher: Penguin

Published: 2018

Source: ARC (Thanks, Penguin!)

Rating: ★★★.5


The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.


I feel like I am in a small minority of people who haven’t read a Marie Lu book. Or at least, I was until I read Batman: Nightwalker. Having not read anything by Lu, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I have no idea about her writing style or anything so this was a completely new experience for me that I’m not too sure how I feel about it.

This book is part of a series of DC books that Penguin is publishing. The first book to be released was Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. I really enjoyed that book and so was looking forward to the following books. I was left feeling a little disappointed by this one but I’m still not entirely sure why. I think it’s because I enjoyed Wonder Woman: Warbringer so much, but of course, these books are not written by the same author. I did enjoy Marie’s take on Bruce Wayne. I found it to be a good read, I just didn’t like it as much as I did the previous book!

I enjoyed Lu’s writing in Batman, although I’d like to read another of her books to fully appreciate her writing properly. I feel that it’s a little difficult to pick up on an authors writing style when they’re already writing about a pre-made character that already has so much surrounding it. This is the same way I felt when I read Leigh’s Wonder Woman, although I had already read most of her books when it was released! From what I could take from this book, I did enjoy Lu’s writing and as I have said, I would like to

Marie Lu’s take on Bruce Wayne was an interesting one. I like Batman, but he’s not my favourite character. But with this book, I liked actually getting a background on how Bruce began to take on his super hero character as the Batman. It was good to see life before he turned super hero on Gotham City and how he seemed justice prior to his role. It was also interesting to see that he had actual friendships with people, whereas I know in the movies you don’t get to see that as much, or at least not in the Batman: The Dark Knight or Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.

In all honesty, I did enjoy this book but I did feel like it heavily relied on a slightly twisted, romantic story line and the relied upon crimes. It was essentially 250 pages of a twisted romance, some crimes and friendship. Plus, Bruce Wayne wondering about his parents sometimes.

As I have been writing this review, the more I do think about it, the more I realise that Batman was a fairly memorable story. I did enjoy it but I just plain and simply was a tid bit disappointed with it which could potentially be because it’s Batman who I personally just don’t like as much as I do Wonder Woman, for example. This did, however, offer an interesting take on this super hero.

You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!

December Wrap Up

December was a very busy month for me, what with Christmas and work. In November and December, I had 3 accounting exams. I thankfully passed all 3 of them but it meant that the two months of the year were pretty hectic and stressful for me, especially as all 3 modules were self taught. My last exam was on the 16th of December so I really only had two weeks left of the year to then read as much as possible. But then Christmas came along, and of course that meant little reading too! So December hasn’t been my best reading month, but it’s been enjoyable.

Reading total: 5 || Books this year: 60

The Walking Dead Vol. 4: The Heart’s Desire

I now have 4 more of these graphic novels left to read in the collection that I’m borrowing, but I don’t know if I’ll be continuing on with the others. I enjoyed the TV show but I’ve kind of lost interest in it now and that’s similar with the graphic novels.

Cloaked in Shadow by Ben Alderson

I was lucky enough to meet Ben (aka Benjaminoftomes) at YALC and he has since become a friend. I was very fortunate that he sent me a copy of his book which I loved. As a result of my experience, I now can’t wait for the second book!

Everless by Sara Holland

Everless isn’t due out until the beginning of January but the book gods granted me a wish and so Team Bkmrk sent me a copy of Everless early! I was thrilled with just how much I enjoyed this book!

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give is by far one of the most powerful books I have ever read, let alone in 2017. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, pretty much everyone has, but just in case you haven’t, it deals with police brutality in the US focusing on the main character, Starr, witnessing the death of her childhood best friend who was shot dead by a police officer. After all the cases and protests that we have seen over the last few years specifically, this book is one of the most important books of our time.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

I finished 2017 off with a festive read. I saw it on a few bookstagram accounts and fell in love with the cover first, then the synopsis. I really enjoyed this book, despite not having read A Christmas Carol, the book which it is influenced by. I’m glad I picked it up as my festive read for 2017!

Bookish Goals for 2018

2017 has been a really good year for me. I finished University, I went interrailing around most of Western Europe with my boyfriend for 6 weeks over June and July, I started a new job and I finally finished another level of my accounting qualification. I’m hoping that 2018 will be just as good life wise. In terms of my bookish life, I started this very blog in March 2017 and hit 100 blog followers with it. I also read more books that I have ever read in one year, with the grand total being 60 books read! I still have 200 books to conquer though so I can’t be too celebratory!

I don’t have many but I do have some goals for 2018 that I would love to share with you all, and hopefully you’ll share yours with me. These are my bookish goals for the year of 2018!

  1. Read 40 books – My goal is 40 but ideally I’d love to hit 75 books read in 2018. 75 is a big stretch for me, but we’ll see how it goes as I managed to read 60 books in 2017. There’s a few factors that may hinder my 75 book goal, so that’s why I’ve gone for 40 officially!
  2. Cut my TBR down – This links to the point above. I think I have roughly 200 books on my TBR. Perhaps 215/220. I would definitely like to get this below 150 as it just continues to get out of control. Plus, it’s not fun having so many books on my shelves that I want to read but don’t because other books have more priority..
  3. Cut down how many books I buy – I definitely have a book buying problem. There, I said it. It is true though. I really can’t help myself. I mentioned on twitter that I wouldn’t buy any books unless I’ve read 10. I feel like this might be a stretch as there are a few books coming out that I definitely want (Sarah J Maas books, for example). I think I will limit myself to 1 book for every 10 books read BUT will make an exception for extremely highly anticipated reads.
  4. Use February to read historical books – I have quite a few historical reads racking up on my shelves so to combat the loss of history lectures in my life, I shall make up for it by reading historical fiction.
  5. Only buy books when I have read 10 – I have just realised that a special Batman: Nightwalker is available and I may have to invest so it matches my Wonder Woman, but this is the only exception.
  6. Reach 200 blog followers – I reached 100 blog followers in the last few months of 2017, so I’d love to reach 200 by the time 2018 is up!
  7. Reach 4000 instagram followers – I’ve been on instagram for 3 years almost and unlike a lot of bookstagrammers who started at the same time as me, my following is very low in comparison. It does make me sad as I put a lot of effort into my pictures, but at the same time, it is what it is. I’m just hoping to hit 4000 by the end of 2018!

Honestly, my biggest goal is to read 75 books. In 2017, I read 60 but I did really want to read 75 books. If I can read 75, that’ll definitely help me on my way to cutting down my TBR pile. Although, that does only permit me to buy 7 books this year if I can stick to that rule. What’re your bookish goals for 2018?

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

 

Title: The Hate U Give

Author: Angie Thomas

Pages: 438

Publisher: Walker Books

Published: 2017

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★★


Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.


This is hands down one of the most important, if not the most important book I have read both in 2017, and of all time. The Hate U Give is a book that most of you have probably heard of. It is a powerful book that deals with the topic of police brutality in the United States. It is a sad but accurate portrayal of how police brutality cases are dealt with but this book focuses more on how seeing police brutality with your own eyes can affect you and how you must become a voice for those that have suffered from this violence.

One of the books I knew I had to read this year was this one. So many people have spoken about it since its release in early 2017 but I hadn’t quite got to it. It’s not hard to see why this was at the top of the New York Times Best Seller list for so long, nor why it’s won a Goodreads Choice 2017 award. It’s currently in production for a film, and other than the sensitive topic that this book deals with, I also knew I had to read it before the movie came out. I can’t promise that this review will be fully coherent but I just want to type out everything I feel. If it’s messy, I’m sorry but I just feel like this book is so deep and deserves to be recognised and read by everyone.

I don’t really know what to say in regards to this book. I want to tell you how amazing it was, how Starr is a great character to follow but at the same time, this book is just so sad and it’s very frustrating too. It’s frustrating because you can see just how wrong things are in this book and it’s so unfair but you’re powerless to change anything in this book. It reflects how unfair the current system is too.

I think that’s the thing with this book. It is instantly relatable to events that have happened in real life, what with people who have been killed that haven’t had the justice that they deserve. It’s a very truthful book which almost makes it a little difficult to read sometimes. The one thing that I will say about it is that I loved that it gave a different view to police brutality. When something happens, we see it all over the media. We see the protests, the Facebook posts, the tweets, all of that side of it, but we never see how it affects the people that have witnessed it. I feel like this book gave such a unique view. We saw how Starr dealt with the killing of one of her childhood best friends and how that has affected her. We see the effects that it has on her neighbourhood and the people. We see how Starr, at first, doesn’t exactly want to talk about it. We see how she feels about her image at her school and how it might affect that. We see the vulnerability of Starr and just how much it has affected her and how past events have also contributed to how she feels now.

This book has so many different layers which makes it feel even more real. It’s a powerful book because we see the events in this book unraveling in real life and it makes you really feel things. I felt powerless, sad, annoyed and frustrated reading this book. I love Angie Thomas’ writing in this book because it really felt as if I was with Starr myself. I really just wanted to give her a hug and help her out.

In terms of the characters, I really liked Starr’s family. They were a very down to earth, at times funny and supportive. I can’t pick any one character out of them because I liked them all. Starr’s boyfriend was also a good character as well as one of her best friends. It’s difficult to talk about her friends much because I didn’t feel like they were fully involved as Starr didn’t talk to many people about her experience of what she had witnessed other than her family. This book really showed Starr’s family as her biggest rock and supporters.

I don’t know how I can encourage you or anyone else to read this, other than saying that this is one of the most powerful books you will ever read so if you get any opportunity to pick this up, then you definitely should.

You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!

2017 End of Year Book Survey

Best books of 2017

This is the second time that I’ve ever completed one of these surveys. The first time I filled out this survey was on my very first blog in 2014. I have now read quite a bit more and feel a lot more ready to answer these questions after 3 years. So here we go in to the survey. A huge thank you to Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner for giving us this bookish survey to fill out!

This year has been great for me book wise. Despite that fact that a lot of things have happened this year, such as finishing university, interrailing in Europe for 6 weeks and starting full time work, this has been my strongest year yet. Not to mention, this has been my strongest reading year so far and I also started my blog in March! So 2017 has been a pretty good year for me in several different ways.

So without further ado, here is my 2017 reading survey!

 

Number Of Books You Read: 60
Number of Re-Reads: 1
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary or Fantasy

 

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2017?

(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2017 release vs. backlist)

This is quite tough but it’s between Caraval, Hunting Prince Dracula and Everless. Invictus is also a close contender. The Hate U Give is also a very important book that I just have to mention.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

There’s Someone Inside Your House was a huge disappointment for me. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I was anticipating this book to end up being bitterly disappointed.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Invictus by Ryan Graudin was very surprising. I read Wolf by Wolf on one of our internal train rides and quite enjoyed it but when I read Invictus, I was very pleasantly surprised. I no where near expected to love it as much as I did!

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I wouldn’t exactly say I’m a book pusher, but if there’s one book I will push for everyone to read from this year, it’ll be Hunting Prince Dracula (after I’ve pushed Stalking Jack the Ripper first though!)

 5. Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017?

Best series started: Probably Everless.  I know this doesn’t come out until January 2018 so it’s a little premature but I’m fairly sure there is a second book coming and I have to have it now. Caraval is also up there.

Best sequel: Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco. I have a feeling this book is going to come up a lot through out this survey, but I can’t help that I love this series so much that it’s actually in my top 5!

Best series ender: Can I say A Court of Wing and Ruin by Sarah J Maas? I know more books are coming from this series but I feel like this was kind of the last book in this segment of the series.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?

Stephanie Garber, author or Caraval. I loved Caraval the moment I started it and it firmly cemented Stephanie as one of my most favoured authors. I can’t wait for Legendary to be released in 2018!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

This is a little difficult to choose as there’s nothing that I really read thatI haven’t read before. Potentially The Walking Dead graphic novels? Or maybe Saga graphic novel. I read the first Saga graphic novel earlier this year and that was an experience.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

I really enjoyed quite a few. It’s not action packed or thrilling, but the contemporary book, Editing Emma by Chloe Seager was a book that I read in one sitting and fully enjoyed. It actually made me laugh out loud and I can’t recommend it enough, especially to any teenager in high school/college because I think it’s just perfectly relatable.

 9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Based on the fact that I haven’t reread any books this year, except for The Walking Dead Vol 1, I probably won’t reread anything!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?

Probably Geekerella. I love that this cover is purple and has sparkles.

11. Most memorable character of 2017?

Of course, my beloved Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell from Hunting Prince Dracula but I also loved Jules from Everless.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017?

Honestly, I have no idea. There isn’t exactly one book that I thought was exactly beautifully written. I read some poems early on in 2017 so perhaps those.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2017?

Wolf by Wolf was fairly thought provoking as it looks at the world as if the Nazi’s had won WW2 rather than the allied forces. It’s definitely an interesting take on how life could have potentially been.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read? 

The Diviners. I knew as soon as I saw this question that this book had to be the answer. I had the book for Christmas 2015 and it’s taken my just under 2 years to read it. I’m glad that I finally have and can now tick it off my long list of books read this year!

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017?

I never write down quotes or passages and I don’t tab my books either so I can’t really comment on this one!

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?

According to Goodreads’ Year in Books, the shortest book was Disney Princess comic strips at 95 pages and my longest was A Court of Wings and Ruin at 705 pages.

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

Maybe Our Dark Duet just because I wasn’t expecting that ending at all!

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Obviously Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell!

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Morven and Glen from one of my best friends book, The Changeling’s Journey.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Obviously, Hunting Prince Dracula, sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco.

21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Probably Sofia Khan is Not Obliged. It’s an adult book but both my friends Nazima and Christine read this and loved it and so on our train to Milan, and in Milan, I read this book and fully enjoyed it.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?

 

23. Best 2017 debut you read?

As I’ve mentioned a few times now, Caraval. Whenever I do these types of book surveys, I always end up answering with the same couple of books. I thought I’d read a lot this year, but apparently not.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

 

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Editing Emma was hands down the funniest book I’ve read this year. There were a couple of times when I read it and laughed and just honestly loved it.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017?

One of the first books I read this year was Everything, Everything which I’d probably say put me close to crying, but honestly, I just don’t really cry at all. I mean I do over a lot of things, but for some reason I never cry at books. They mostly just make me feel very sad.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

I really enjoyed The Afterlife of Holly Chase. I found this one through instagram as a lot of bookstagrammers had been sent it. I probably had it in my basket for about a month as I couldn’t decide whether to get it or not, but I eventually went for it and din’t regret it at all. I gave this one 4 stars as I really enjoyed it. It’s a perfect Christmas/Holiday read that I would definitely recommend if you’re looking for a Winter read before Christmas.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Maybe A Court of Wings and Ruin? Honestly, I have no clue. I feel like I read a lot of great books this year that I really loved but none really made me feel like a part of me had gone missing.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?

I read a book on politics this year called This Book Will (Help You) Change the World which was different for me. For one, I have always been funny with politics. I was never taught in school about stand so I’ve never had a total understanding of it, but this book definitely helped. This was also unique for me because I never read non-fiction. Like, ever. Unless you count my text books of course..

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Probably The Hate U Give because it’s such a real and raw topic. It made me so mad to see Starr go through the trials and giving evidence about what had happened, just to see that despite the fact a police officer murdered an innocent, they never got anything. It’s very truthful to what we see happening in police brutality cases in the U.S. and it just made me so mad!

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?

I’ve discovered and followed a lot of blogs this year as this year I started up my own blog. There are just way too many to say!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017?

I enjoyed writing my Hunting Prince Dracula review and tried to be a little creative with it.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Probably my Kindle post. I don’t have a lot of discussion posts on my blog but I do love my Kindle so I had to let the blogging world know why!

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I have only been to a few bookish events this year which include a Samantha Shannon signing and a Laini Taylor signing (where I met one of my besties, Mia). I also attended YALC in July which is by far, my favourite event of this year. I fully enjoyed myself and I got to meet up with two of my best friends, Nad and Christine, and meet a whole host of other people that I’m so glad I now get to call my friends. I already can’t wait to go back to YALC because it’s my happy place.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017?

Reading 100 followers on my blog was pretty spectacular, especially as I only started this blog in March this year and my posts have been a little sporadic at times, especially over the last 3/4 months.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Relating to my answer above about my sporadic posts, I won’t lie, after my Europe trip and YALC, I felt a little slumpy and really struggled to read for most of August, which then affected my blog because I wasn’t writing content. Then my exams came along with two in November and one in December, so I focused all my energy on those. My blog has been a little neglected. I definitely want to become a much more consistent blogger and just all round reader in 2018.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My Kindle post (above) is my most commented on post, with my March wrap up closely behind.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Can I say all of them? As someone who started out this year, I just want my whole blog to have more love!

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

On my interrailing trip around Europe this June and July, I got to visit 3 famous bookstores in Europe. I think my favourite of the three was definitely Shakespeare & Company, Paris. I would love to visit Cook & Book, Belgium again because it seems that we didn’t get to see the whole thing and so missed the books floating from the ceiling! You can check out my post about it in more detail here!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I completed my Goodreads reading goal in June this year. It was only 20 books, but I assumed I’d struggle due to the fact that I spent the first six months of the year completing my final year at University, then I went inter railing round Europe for 6 weeks and then I came home and have been working full time pretty much ever since. I set a low goal to accommodate that, however, I’ve gone above and beyond that goal. I also quietly participated in Flights of Fantasy hosted by Alexa Loves Books and Hello, Chelly. I planned to read 10 fantasy books this year and I’ve literally just made it. I definitely want to be more involved in Flights of Fantasy next year to see how many Fantasy books I can read!

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?

Oh man, I think The Book Thief. I do really want to read this and I’m hoping to have a historical month in February where, you’ve guessed it, I only read the historical books I own. No matter what kind of sub genre the fit into, I have a lot of historical fiction I want to read so this is when I’m planning to read them!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)?

AH. It’s got to be Escaping from Houdini, the third instalment in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco.

3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I’ve already read Everless which I loved, so I think next on my list is Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018?

I’m definitely looking forward to Legendary by Stephanie Garber. It’s the sequel to Caraval. I’m excited to see where this takes the story next.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018?

I’d love to read 200 blog followers by the end of 2018. I managed to hit 100 between March and October/November. We’ll see. Reading wise, I am going to set myself a target of 40 books as I start the next level of my accounting qualification which comes with 6 exams in 7 months. BUT, I would honestly just love to read even more than I have this year. I’m hoping to aim for 75 books in total, but we’ll see how that goes..

6. A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

Everless! Admittedly, I’ve finished it within the last 10 days of the year so I haven’t had much chance to recommend it, however if you are thinking of picking it up when it’s released (which is only in a few days as it’s released in January 2018), let me take this opportunity to recommend it to you. I gave it 5 stars!

Happy New Year everyone, I hope you all have a fab 2018!

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

 

Title: The Afterlife of Holly Chase

Author: Cynthia Hand

Pages: 389

Publisher: HarperTeen

Published: 2017

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★


On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.

She didn’t.

And then she died.

Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge–as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.

Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly’s afterlife has been miserable.

But this year, everything is about to change. . . .


The Afterlife of Holly Chase was my chosen Christmas read for 2017. It is a retelling of A Christmas Carol which, despite the fact that I have never read the novel, I know the story fairly well. I chose this book as my Christmas read because I was attempting to take part in the Icelandic book tradition of reading a book on Christmas Eve well into the night, except I was super tired so that didn’t happen and I eventually finished the book on the 28th of December, rather than the 24th of 25th. I would definitely recommend that you pick this one up in/around Winter, specifically Christmas, but that’s totally my opinion!

I have never read anything by Cynthia Hand. Only when I was half way through this book, did I realise that Cynthia Hand is one of the writers of My Lady Jane which has been sat on my shelves since July 2016 (I’m awful). I haven’t heard too much about Cynthia so wasn’t sure what to expect with this book but I was pleasantly surprised. I loved the characters, the pacing, the writing. I thought that it all flowed together so well.

Our main character, Holly Chase, is a delightfully unlikeable character at first, but I also found her to be quite funny. She is a real piece of work and she’s rich and totally full of herself. She looks down upon others, is essentially a bit of a bully and she has been very influenced by her step mum. If you are familiar with the Christmas Carol tale by Charles Dickens, then you’ll know that the Scrooge essentially gets visited by three ghosts and then he wakes up and decides to change his ways and be nice and all that jazz. This is similar, except Holly doesn’t take it seriously so doesn’t change her ways and she dies. This leads her to be in a sort of afterlife where she’s not exactly dead but then also not exactly alive.

Holly then works as a ghost herself, changing other people so that they see the errors in their ways until one year, a Scrooge very similar to Holly before she died pops up. This is definitely a turning point in Holly’s ‘life’ and I think that she feels compelled to help out this scrooge because she understands them completely. Holly isn’t really able to develop friendships due to the limitations that being dead gives you. She has her friends at the project but that’s it, so when she not so accidentally befriends someone that she definitely should not even come into contact with, the book goes completely up.

I feel like I’ve already given too much away, but this book was just so good for me. I am constantly hovering between 4 and 4.5 stars for this book because as much as I really enjoyed it, I think it could have been done ever so slightly faster. But, as I said earlier, I did like the pacing and I didn’t really have too much of an issue with it. I wish I could’ve finished it faster, but you all know how the Christmas season gets – very busy!

I found that this book was just easy and entertaining but also that it brought a little festive feeling as I haven’t really felt very festive what with work and exams. This book definitely helped with that and I’m so glad that it had the happy ending that Holly deserved.

You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!