august and september wrap up, books, reading

August and September Wrap Up

august and september wrap up, books, reading

This is going to be my August and September wrap up as I was on my honeymoon when the August one was due and didn’t have much to share that month anyway. Other things were taking priority at that time… So anyway, here’s what I’ve read over the past couple of months, and what I thought:

My August and September Wrap Up

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

I have to say I am not a fan of this one… I was a fan of the Harry Potter series growing up (I even have a picture of me in the newspaper staying up till midnight to be one of the first people to buy the first film on VIDEO the day it was released!), but this just did not feel like a Harry Potter book to me. I get that it’s written in the style of a play and so doesn’t read the same as a typical novel, but it’s more than that. The characters themselves seemed out of character, the rich background that J.K. Rowling had built was barely there to be found, and it just didn’t even seem like she had anything to do with it. Honestly, it felt like a piece of fan fiction and it’s not something I’m likely to read again.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriaty

After reading  The Last Anniversary, I was eager to read another of Liane Moriaty’s books. The story revolves around a secret Cecelia’s husband has revealed in a letter to her with instructions that it only be opened after his death. Having discovered the letter, and after mounting suspicion surrounding her husbands strange behaviour, Cecelia decides to read the letter. This happens fairly early on in the book and the rest of the pages involve what Cecelia is going to do about the revelation. Of course, as with The Last Anniversary, there are multiple other characters, each with their own issues (it was sometimes difficult to keep track of which character was who). But in the end everyone comes together for the big showdown confession. Another enjoyable read from Moriaty but I do prefer The Last Anniversary.

According to YES by Dawn French

This was okay. I read this during 2 twelve hour flights to and from my honeymoon destination so there wasn’t a lot else to do, otherwise I might have put this book down and not picked it up again. It didn’t particularly grip me and the plot was a bit ridiculous and unbelievable at times (the events leading up to the grandmother moving out and the sheer fact that it is she that moves out and not anyone else – not wanting to spoil the story for anyone that hasn’t read it, but for those that have you know what I’m talking about). Essentially According To Yes is about an English nanny that goes to live with a New York family who are not being entirely truthful about who they are and what they want. They’ve been stifled by the overbearing Grandmother, who acts out of her own insecurities and fears. The nanny comes along and I want to say she turns their worlds upside-down but really she sets them the right way up. It’s different from other books that I’ve read in the sense that it heavily focuses on the characters relationships, both with each other and with themselves. The self-reflection they each go through was interesting, but this is another book I can’t see myself re-reading.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Speaking of re-reading… If you saw my TBR for the month you’ll know I’ve decided to re-read the Harry Potter series (minus the 8th book..). Although I didn’t enjoy The Cursed Child, it did reignite my love for the Harry Potter world. I normally read this series around the Autumn time every couple of years or so but haven’t done for quite some time. I don’t know why but this time of year always feels kinda magical and like the perfect time to read Harry Potter. Maybe it’s because it’s so easy to get into, the writing is fantastic and I just want to be snuggled under a blanket reading it with a cup of tea in hand, a candle burning and dreaming of life at Hogwarts. I thoroughly enjoyed this first book, I flew through it in a couple of days, forgetting how quick it is to read. I’m sure everyone has already either read the book or watched the film, but to summarise: Harry Potter is a wizard. He is famous in the magical world for overthrowing a Dark Lord whilst still a baby, despite the evil Lord Voldemort killing both his parents just minutes before. Upon attending his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Harry dives straight into adventure with his 2 best friends. Realising someone is after the Philosopher’s Stone, the three of them do what they can to uncover who is after it and how to stop them, culminating in Harry going up against Lord Voldemort once again.

 

So that’s everything I’ve read over the past couple of months, don’t forget to follow me on Goodreads to see what I’m currently reading as well as what is on my To Be Read list.

 

July Wrap Up, Books, Reading

The Last Anniversary – July Book Wrap Up

I’m a little late updating you guys with my July Book Wrap Up, so I apologise for that. Things have been more than a little crazy lately, but I’m here and I figured this was better late than never. I actually only have one book to share (in case you couldn’t tell from the title), but I think it might be my favourite from this year so far..

The Last Anniversary – Liane Moriaty

Wow, I cannot explain how much I loved this book. It hooked me in from the very beginning and every chapter left me wanting more. The Last Anniversary is about 2 sisters who are keeping a secret about an abandoned baby they’ve adopted. When one of the sisters passes away the secret begins to unravel, with twists right up until the very end. The really interesting thing about this book is how it flits between different time lines and multiple different perspectives but never feels disjointed, and I never struggled to keep up with which character I was reading or what was going on. All of the characters are so well thought out, each different with their own complexities but easily fitting into each others lives and flowing with the overall plot.

The person that most held my interest was Grace and her struggle with post-natal depression – at times it had me in tears. I’m really pleased with the way everything all came together in the end with the natural build up of events culminating in the secret being revealed. Liane does a fantastic job of keeping you guessing without leaving you feeling frustrated. I loved her style so much I jumped straight into reading one of her other books. I plan on picking up all of her books as I enjoy her writing so much and would thoroughly recommend The Last Anniversary. 5 Stars!

My reading is a bit all over the place at the moment with my wedding and honeymoon less than 2 weeks away (!!), so if you want to keep up with what I’m currently reading you can follow me on Goodreads.

 

July Wrap Up, Books, Reading, the last anniversary, liane moriaty

June Wrap Up, what I'm reading, bookclub, books, reading, bon bona to yoga pants, the new girl, scarlet, lunar chronicles

June Wrap Up – Books I’ve Read

June Wrap Up, what I'm reading, bookclub, books, reading, bon bona to yoga pants, the new girl, scarlet, lunar chronicles

My June Wrap Up is going to be another small one. I haven’t managed to read as much as I would have liked for a couple of reasons. Firstly the books on my TBR pile for June were all physical books, and given that I only really find time to read that type of book before bed, that doesn’t give a slow reader like myself the opportunity to get through many books. Secondly, Ben took me away to London for the weekend in the middle of the month for my birthday. I did take a book to read but only got the chance to once, and since we’ve been back I’ve had a manic time of trying to sort the house out (it was a state) and get organised for having a new kitchen put in (it’s going in this weekend). On top of that we had a meeting with our wedding venue where we realised we had a shiz tonne of things we needed to get done ASAP (you can read more about that here). As such I wasn’t getting to bed till gone 11pm and I’m usually a lights-out-by-10-at-the-latest kinda girl, so I really haven’t had the time to read! I did however get a Kindle for my birthday (you can watch my birthday haul here), and going forward I think I will ensure I always have at least one digital book on my TBR pile as I can read those on my lunch break at work, and hopefully get through a few more books during the month. So with all that said, here’s what I did manage to read last month:

June Wrap Up

Bon Bons to Yoga Pants – Katie Cross

June Wrap Up, what I'm reading, bookclub, books, reading, bon bona to yoga pants

This was a very easy to read story about a girl learning to come to terms with the loss of her father, break the habit of turning to food whenever things felt uncomfortable, and ultimately learning to love herself for who she is. The main character, Lexie, starts off being overweight and not feeling good enough. Through a series of events, she arranges a date at her sister’s upcoming wedding with a cute boy she’s been chatting with online and also ends up joining a weight loss group. Lexie thinks that if she just loses the weight and looks a certain way then she’ll be worthy of this boy, and that he couldn’t possibly be interested in her the way she is. Gradually, through her weight loss journey and with the help of friends new and old, she begins to question those limiting beliefs. It’s a lovely, inspirational story with very relatable and realistic characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Scarlet – Marissa Meyer

June Wrap Up, what I'm reading, bookclub, books, reading, scarlet, lunar chronicles

This is the second book in The Lunar Chronicles series. Scarlet’s grandmother has gone missing and the police aren’t really doing anything about it, so Scarlet takes things into he down hands and goes looking for her with the help of a street fighter named Wolf. I got into this book a lot quicker than I did Cinder and found Scarlet much more relatable than Cinder (which isn’t too hard when you consider that Cinder is a cyborg!). The story moved along at a fairly stead pace until about 3/4 of the way in when it picked up dramatically as things came to a head in the plot. Cinder’s storyline is continued in this novel, which gave a sense of familiarity whilst getting to grips with the new storyline, and the 2 plots slipped together nicely and didn’t make the book feel disjointed. Again, I’m now eager to start the next book to find out what’s happens now that Cinder and Scarlet have joined forces.

The New Girl – Tracie Puckett

June Wrap Up, what I'm reading, bookclub, books, reading, the new girl

I wasn’t expecting much from this book to be honest. It showed up on my daily Bookbub list and I believe it was free – never one to turn down a free book that looks like my kinda thing, I grabbed it and one night whilst unable to sleep decided to pick it up. To be honest, it’s not the best writing and it’s a very simple storyline. It follows high school student, Steph, who has just moved to yet another town with her mother. Steph’s mum has been moving around ever since she left Steph’s abusive father in the hopes that he will never find them. When I first started reading this book I didn’t realise it was part of a series and fully expected the big finale to be Steph’s dad finding them and most likely getting thrown in jail after some, no doubt, alcohol fuelled showdown. Well, the story hasn’t quite gotten that far yet (if it does in fact turn out that way), and there’s been the side distraction of Steph having feelings for her teacher, who’s brother just happens to be involved with her mum. Not quite what I was expecting, but I did end up picking up the next book in the series – not sure if that says more about my inability to not finish things, or that the book was actually better than I thought. It’s not something I’m jumping up and down to start reading immediately though, I think it will just sit on my phone until I don’t know what else to read.

 

Like I said, I think I need to make sure I have at least one physical and one digital book on my TBR lists each month, just to give me the chance to read more as I don’t typically carry around physical books with me. The only reason I managed to read 3 books this month is because 2 of them were digital and I was able to read them on my lunch breaks. That being said, I did reach my reading goal over on Goodreads – I think next year I may need to set the bar a bit higher! Make sure you’re following my YouTube channel to see what books I’m planning on reading next – my July TBR will be up this Sunday!

May Wrap Up books reading the miracle morning cinder lunar chronicles allegiant divergent series

May Wrap Up – Books I’ve Read

May Wrap Up books reading the miracle morning cinder lunar chronicles allegiant divergent series

If you saw my BookTube blogpost a couple of months ago you’ll know that I’ve started getting back into reading. A couple of weeks ago I did my first Wrap Up and TBR over on my YouTube channel but decided that going forward I would do the monthly Wrap Ups over here and include my thoughts on each of the books I’ve finished reading each month. So without further ado, here is my May Wrap Up:

The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod

May Wrap Up books reading the miracle morning

To be honest, this book reads a little bit like a sales pitch, however the principles of The Miracle Morning are good. The idea behind it is that you get up an hour earlier than you would normally and participate in 6 activities for 10 minutes each. These activities include exercising, reading and visualisation, and are designed so you can work on your self development first thing in the morning before life has a chance to feed you excuses for why you can’t/don’t have time to do them. The book also covers how you can adjust the timings to fit into your life, even giving an example of a 6 minute Miracle Morning routine if you’re really rushed off your feet – and lets face it, who can’t wake up 6 minutes earlier?! It might not seem like enough time to really make a difference, but over time these activities add up and lead to you cultivating a much more productive morning routine and habit.Hal also provides tips for getting up early and prepping yourself for success. I like the idea behind it and on the days when I actually do TMM I do notice an improvement in my focus productivity, energy levels and mood. I do wish I had just borrowed this book from the library though, as I can’t see myself referring back to it all that often.

Cinder – Marissa Meyer

May Wrap Up books reading cinder lunar chronicles

The Lunar Chronicles series is loosely based off of classic fairytales, Cinder being Cinderella. In this version, Cinder is a cyborg mechanic who is drawn to the handsome Prince Kai whilst trying to escape out from under her stepmother in a world riddled with plague. It took me a little while to get into this book as the story was a little slow to start and it took some getting used to the world this is set in, however I was surprised when it ended as suddenly as it did and I couldn’t wait to pick up the next book (which I’m currently about halfway through – you can hear more about what I’m planning on reading in June in my June TBR video which will be up in a few days time. Make sure you’re subscribed to my channel so you don’t miss it!).

Allegiant – Veronica Roth

May Wrap Up books reading allegiant divergent series

This is the third and final book in the Divergent series. I’ve really enjoyed these books although it did take longer than expected to finally finish it. Allegiant switches back and forth between Tris and Tobias’ perspectives and I think I was just struggling to keep up with who’s I was reading. I made a concerted effort last week to finish the final instalment and I was not disappointed, no spoilers but for some reason I was really shocked by the ending, even though it was very much in keeping with the characters. All in all, a very good read and I can now finally watch the film! I don’t like to read and watch the same story at the same time as it always leaves me disappointed with one version or the other.

 

So that’s my May Wrap Up, what books have you been reading recently? Let me know in the comments your recommendations and follow me on Goodreads if you want to keep up with what I’m currently reading.