abooknation

Book reviews, recommendations and more

Currently Reading Tag! — June 21, 2019

Currently Reading Tag!

Every time I get back into blogging I really struggle, because I’ve been out of the loop for os long I don’t even know what posts to make. Especially now, since I read but not at the same pace  I used to if I were to write only reviews I would be posting on here once a month ://////////////

SOO to combat this I decided to take part in some tags, I feel like they make a more structured post, otherwise it would just be me here rambling forever about nonnnnsensee.

(Wow if you could see my first drafts of my posts, they’re literally pages long… then I realise I would never sit there and read this so how can I expect other people tooo…(yupp the final posts are after I’ve cut out so many things :)) and there we go again with the rambling. On with the actual book tag!

1 – How many books do you usually read at once?

I’ve always preferred reading one book at a time, I feel like if I read more than one I lose my focus. Also if I’m reading a book and I’m at a point where I want to read something else, I’m probably don’t want to carry on reading the current one….

I used to be always finish a book even if I’m not enjoying its, but I’ve realised that’s what contributes to my reading slumps!

2 – How do you decide when to switch between multiple reads?

NEVER, I just give up on the one I’m reading now :’)

3 – Do you ever switch bookmarks partially through a book?

WOWW I always lose bookmarks, you know the way most people can’t finish a lip balm pot, I always lose my bookmark half way through and end up using a random piece of paper…

4 – Where do you keep the books you are currently reading?

They’re usually always around me, which is why sometimes reading thick books is SUCH A NUISANCE. If I’m going out anywhereee I always have to carry the book, EVEN IF THERE’S A 99% CHANCE I WON’T READ IT/

5 – What time of day do you read the most?

I actually don’t have a timee, I just read when I feel like it?? Sometimes if I’m in the reading mood I will sit there fore 4 hours reading, but the next day I might not even touch the book.

6 – How long do you typically read in one session?

Again this usually depends on where I am in the book, usually with slow starting books I read for maybe 15/20mins towards the beginnging. When the pace picks upp is when I can sit for a few hours.

7 – Do you read hardbacks with the dust jackets off?

NO BECAUSE I ALWAYS END UP LOSING THE DUST JACKET!! I saw that a few booktubers were doing this so I was like why nottttt, if it’ll help preserve the book. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d rather have a damaged dust jacket, than nothing at all :/

8 – What position do you mainly use to read?

As someone in their early 20’s I really have the back problems of grandad because wowwww, reading or not I find it difficult to stay in one position for a long time. When reading I really do the mosttt, I move sooo much. (My backs aching even as a write this posttt, I really don’t know if this is a medical problem or if I just have shite posture…)

9 – Do you take your current read with you everywhere you go?

YES. (Again this is why I have a love-hate relationship with hardback books.

10 – How often do you update your Goodreads reading progress?

I always make this a goal of mine, to constantly update my Goodreads account. But tbh I think I’ve written 5 reviews?? On there EVER. I don’t know I’d kinda rather just post here, but sometimes if I get a book review request then I also post a link to my review on there.

I tag anyone who wants to participate!

(Also side note: I’ve tried to read Illuminae, but I really REALLY couldn’t get through the first chapter… I have actually tried picking it up on two separate occasions but I always end up putting it back down. I don’t know if it’s the format that’s too confusing?? Anyone else experienced this please let me know in the comments!)

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Darkly Dreaming Dexter: Review — June 16, 2019

Darkly Dreaming Dexter: Review

Since exams have finished I’ve had a lot more time to read, and catch up on all the Netflix shows I’ve wanted to watch! Is it just me or is watching Netflix without the imminent pressure of studying/exams just not as good? Same goes for reading, I had started a reading list for this summer but as soon as I was finished with school I kind of didn’t know what to do with myself so I ended up doing a whole bunch of…. nothing.

I did however manage to read Darkly Dreaming Dexter. Usually I don’t pick up books based on hype, but I really needed to read something to nudge me back into me back into my reading mood and I loveeee a good crime thriller.

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Title: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Author: Jeff Lindsay

Length: 288

Source: Purchased.

Honestly I had never watched the TV series and knew absolutely nothing about this going in apart from the fact that it had a highly successful TV adaptation! I think pretty much everyone knows what this is about but for the people who don’t here’s a short synopsis below:

Meet Dexter Morgan, a polite wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s handsome and charming, but something in his past has made him abide by a different set of rules. He’s a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likeable: he only kills bad people. And his job as a blood splatter expert for the Miami police department puts him in the perfect position to identify his victims. But when a series of brutal murders bearing a striking similarity to his own style start turning up, Dexter is caught between being flattered and being frightened—of himself or some other fiend.

Out of all the crime thrillers I’ve read this stood out for multiple reasons:

Reading 234972097 (not an exact number plz don’t quote me on this :)) crime novels I’d come across my fair share of self-righteous series killers, but somehow it all felt very artificial. Whilst reading I’d never really bought into it.  But whilst reading his rationality for why he does what he does I found myself several times almost falling for his justificationss?? Let’s just say I’m grateful that this book was only around 300 pages!

Another overused connection is that the main character had gone through something traumatic when they were younger which inevitable lead them down this path. It was my first time reading about a character who knew he had a traumatic past but doesn’t quite remember what it was. It motivates who he is as a human being and was such a catastrophic event that it left him unable to feel ‘normal’ human emotions yet he still didn’t know what the cause of this was. I really liked that this was revealed towards the beginning of the book,  at this point even though I wasn’t really invested in him as a character I knew I had to stay until the end to at least find what had happened to him.

Wowww it’s really been a while since I’ve written a review I don’t even know how to wrap this shambolic one up… All in all I would recommend this for people who don’t usually pick up crime/thriller reads , it has a great writing style, psycho but relatable main character and is less than 300 pages. Will I carry on reading the rest of the series? Probably not, I’m quite satisfied with the ending of this but if anyones read more from this series let me know what you thought in the comments!

Currently Reading — February 7, 2019

Currently Reading

While writing my Feb TBR I completely forgot to include this book so I’ll add a short post about it here:

As I now I have some time to spare I decided to work a bit more on my beta-reading skills and become more familiar with some more technical terms. In the process of searching for the perfect book to guide me through this I came across Self-Editing for Fiction Writers and I honestly think it’s the best book I could’ve picked. Whilst beta-reading the most challenging thing for me is how to deliver my critique to the writer in a way that doesn’t dictate to them how they should change their work to fit my taste but rather how to make their manuscript more accessible to different kinds of readers. Of course as readers we all have our preferences in terms of the characters we enjoy reading, writing style etc and it would be completely impossible for a writer to cater to every single reader.

This book is great in showing how you can make improvements/adjustments to your current work without losing your identity as a writer. This doesn’t mean changing your story/style and losing your voice but instead means writing in such a way that readers can understand your characters more deeply, become more invested in them and thus more invested in this whole word. I would HIGHHHLLYYY recommend any conflicted writers to pick this up! It gives you a fresh perspective and essentially allows you to see your work from a readers point of view (to some extent!).

February TBR! — February 3, 2019

February TBR!

Last month I only managed to read one book…. The Name of the Wind. Considering I haven’t read a single book in the past 6 months I can still count this as a win right??? I’ve had the longessssssst reading slump and finally decided to read Name of the Wind which a friend recommend to me. Usually whilst in a slump I don’t tend to big up such heavy books but I’d been hearing only good things about it. I won’t delve into it too much but a review should be posted up next week!

I think I needed some immersive high fantasy to shake me from this prolonged reading slump, so as soon as I finished it I started reading the sequel The Wise Man’s Fear. Although I’m getting through it a bit slower than my usual pace I love the characters, setting and the world Patrick Rothfuss created, but my next read is definitely going to be shorter, two consecutive 700-900 page reads is a littttle too much for me.

So I decided to avoid falling back into any slump I’d post a Feb TBR as these seem to always work when I’m recovering! Here are my next reads for this month:

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Since I’m already immersed in this world I’ve already got my copy of the novella The Slow Regard of Silent Things. This follows the life of Auri giving the reader a deeper understanding of her and *hopefully* some proper character development because to me she was actually the character I was most interested in! (I’ve also noticed some animations insidee, so I’ll probably breeeeeze through this) If you’ve read the KingKiller Chronicle series belwhat you thought of this novella!

 

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Replica by Lauren Oliver. I’m still on my quest to finish reading all the books on my shelf so although this is not a recently published novel I remember there was quite a lot of hype when it was released!

Over the past 2 years I’ve also been self studying Korean, so each month I will TRYYY to read through a Korean book. The one I’ve picked this month is….

 

  • 빈치, 은희경 (Poor Man’s Wife by Eun Hee-Kyung)  I picked this up a few months ago at Foyles and this was the first book that I’d seen with Korean on one page and the English translation on the next page! Whilst studying Korean content the most frustrating part is having to keep referring back to the translator, so this should make studying much easier.

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Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses. — February 6, 2018

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses.

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Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Length: 416

Source: Purchased.

I like that this book had a captivating beginning, there was something happening straight from page 1, and for me that’s what compels me to read the rest of the book! However I found that this book focused too much on romance, AGAIN. That was my main issue with Throne of Glass . I prefer to have some romance on the SIDE, but when it becomes the main focus of the story it tends to mean that the storyline/plot becomes so predictable and a little unrealistic just so that the main character and his/her love interest end up togetherrrr.

Enjoyed the world building, and some of the characters, however for the first half everything worked out too conveniently. Even towards the end there were many events the author could’ve made a lot more interesting by taking a different route. But SPOILER ALERT by the end of the book everything works out perfectly fine?? Which left me a little unsatisfied, especially because I know this is a series but I still can’t see where the story will go on from here.

My favourite part of the book were the trials, they were written soooo well! I literally couldn’t put the book down until all the trials were completed (basically I finished the book). So I was a little disappointed to find that actually the trials were where most of the action happens, otherwise this book is a little uneventful. There is some character development and world-building, but I just wish there were more action scenes weaved into the story.

I will say I did enjoy this wayyy more than Throne of Glass, there was some decent character development with Feyre and I could connect with her a LOT more. I don’t think this is a particularly bad book, it does stay SOMEWHAT true to a Beauty and the Beast retelling. However I wanted more fantasy, more action, and to be honest more of anything other than romance…

Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children — January 30, 2018

Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs

Length: 352

Source: Purchased.

Anyone who remotely follows book releases, will have heard about the buzz this book caused during it’s release. It took me years to get there but I read it! Andddd I’m not sure how I agree with the hype:

This book gave off this creepy/horror vibe, but it left me feeling (REALLY) overwhelmed. This story was more focused on world-building which is perfectly fine… Except I didn’t find the world building compelling enough to keep me interested. The characters had nothing special or personable about them and they were a little two dimensional, and quite frankly boring.

Another reason why I wasn’t really into this book was because I couldn’t relate AT ALL to the main character. This might have been because Jacob  WAS SO DAMN FRUSTRATING. I couldn’t understand him and his the way he thought and to be honest  sometimes he sounded like an ungrateful little prick.

I don’t think any of the elements were developed enough, and so it left the reader feeling like something was missing while reading the entire book. It just felt more like a first draft than an actual published book. I think there was too much emphasis placed on the creepy factor, and the images included rather than the actual content, the plot, the story line etc.

Whilst writing this review I really tried to find something positive to say about this book, but I only carried on reading it because I wanted to see what all the hype was about.  But to be completely honest this was a story I didn’t really feel invested in, barely managed to finish, and once I did I didn’t feel anything at all.

In summary, the world building wasn’t that great and nothing of relevance or significance rarely happened, but because of the characters and their lack of development when it did I really couldn’t care less.

Also side note: If you still haven’t read the book SPOILER ALERT

Another thing I wasn’t exactly on board with was the fact that Emma, who was Jacob’s grandfather’s LOVER has now fallen in love with Jacob and is considered his love interest in this book?? I can’t be the only one that finds that hella weird??

Review: Tokyo Ghoul — August 27, 2017

Review: Tokyo Ghoul

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Title: Tokyo Ghoul, Vol.1

Author: Sui Ishida

Length: 224

Source: Purchased.

I love reading manga, but the only thing that irks me about them is how short they feel. Even if I buy a bind-up of three volumes I literally fly through them in an hour! Also I don’t know why this happens but I never end up buying the rest of the series, no matter how much I liked reading the first volume! It just never happens…

BUT Tokyo Ghoul might change that (okay no I still haven’t bought the second volume and I read the first months ago, but still…). The concept was just SOOOO good, although it was dark I didn’t feel like that slowed the pace at all.

Here’s the synopsis:

‘Shy Ken Kaneki is thrilled to go on a date with the beautiful Rize. But it turns out that she’s only interested in his body—eating it, that is. When a morally questionable rescue transforms him into the first half-human half-Ghoul hybrid, Ken is drawn into the dark and violent world of Ghouls, which exists alongside our own.’

I was so mad at the blurb for giving away that he became half ghoul, because I thought that would be the highest point of this manga. But actually that happened within the first 40 or so pages of the first volume, the real story is what followed. Ken had no idea at the time of the surgery that he would be receiving a ghouls organ, so it was interesting to read how he discovers that he’s transformed and also what the defining characteristics of a ghoul. I was completely immersed into Kaneki’s story, his journey from rejecting his  ghoulish side to eventually coming to terms with it and discovering just how intergrated ghouls are into society.

We follow this character as he tries to find a balance between his two sides, no longer fitting in with the humans but also rejected by ghouls and also how he practically tortures himself by refusing to eat human meat! This manga had intriguing characters, a unique concept and captivating fight scenes. It’s definitely a series I hope to continue, and I’ve seen the first season of the anime which was just as good!

 

 

 

Free Book of the Week! — August 25, 2017

Free Book of the Week!

I recently came across this just by chance and wanted to let as many people know about it as I could! Every week on iBooks they’re giving away… yup a free book!

Here are the books that have been given away the past two weeks:

  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han.

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  • Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch.

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I still don’t know exactly what this offer is, but all I needed to here was that they were giving away, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and I was in. I don’t really read contemporary books, but this book was EVERYWHERE when it was published and I still see people talking about it now, so I thought it was worth checking out… And it was free! After that it kind of became a habit to just check what book was out that week and just download it. Although I still haven’t found a contemporary book I LOVED, maybe this might help me discover it!

This week the free book is:

Burning Moon by Jo Watson.

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This isn’t a sponsored post but I just wanted to share this opportunity, I would’ve probably never read any of these books. Who knows maybe I’ll be into contemporary after this???

REVIEW: Rebel of the Sands — August 24, 2017

REVIEW: Rebel of the Sands

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Title: Rebel of the Sands

Author: Alwyn Hamilton

Length: 314

Source: Received a review copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Everyone who follows book releases or is even remotely in touch with the online book community will have heard of Rebel of the Sands. I mean this was released the beginning of last year and there’s STILL talk about it. With the sequel just recently released (okay maybe not recently, but March is recent enough for me!) Rebel of the Sands was available to request on Netgalley and I just couldn’t help it!

I’ll just start by saying it’s probably not my favourite YA release and I’m deffo not reading the sequel. To keep my frustrated thoughts as coherent as possible I’ll just bullet point why:

  • I tried to go into this story knowing as least as possible, all I knew was that it had a middle-eastern setting (the cover kind of hints at that!) and there was magic involved. SO I wasn’t really prepared for the western concept, and I don’t think I could’ve. I don’t personally think the Western thing worked, being Moroccan means I am VERY familiar with middle-eastern culture and a lot of the aspects for me, just clashed. I tried to read it objectively, but the saloon style setting and the first scene including a shoot out , it just didn’t feel right to me.

Actually, now thinking about it, that was my main problem with this book. Everything else was just a vague blur, the main character didn’t really stand out to me, neither did the world building. It was all just a bit bland.

This is exactly why I steer away from hyped YA books. Obviously not all of them disappoint but it’s becoming hard to manage expectations when reading them. I just didn’t think that this book stood out, it went for typical YA tropes and just didn’t give me enough to have me interested in the sequel.

AUGUST TBR — August 23, 2017

AUGUST TBR

So I know TBR’s are supposed to be posted towards the beginning of the month, but it always takes me too long to decide what I’m going to read + actually make the post, that it turns into a wrap-up post.

Also I didn’t know reviewing slumps were a thing? I’m reading books but when it comes to writing the review it just feels so longggg that I just move on to my next book. AND I had my uncle’s wedding this month, so I REALLY started reading around a week ago…

Anyway here’s my TBR:

  • The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker:

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I’m struggling so hard to finish this, not because it’s particularly bad, but it’s just SO dark. There’s is no relief from this intense and creepy vibe that as soon as I got halfway I started dreading reading it. Here’s the synopsis:

             The Scarlet Gospels takes readers back many years to the early days of two of Barker’s most iconic characters in a battle of good and evil as old as time: The long-beleaguered detective Harry D’Amour, investigator of all supernatural, magical, and malevolent crimes faces off against his formidable, and intensely evil rival, Pinhead, the priest of hell. Barker devotees have been waiting for The Scarlet Gospels with bated breath for years, and it’s everything they’ve begged for and more. Bloody, terrifying, and brilliantly complex, fans and newcomers alike will not be disappointed by the epic, visionary tale that is The Scarlet Gospels. Barker’s horror will make your worst nightmares seem like bedtime stories. The Gospels are coming. Are you ready?

  • Wrecked by Maria Padian

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  • A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

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  • Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

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Also I found a bookshop in Morocco that sells YA books in English, anddd I kind of went over the top… But I thought this was my chance to pick up some really hyped YA books and I can’t decide which one to start with… Comment below which of these I should read first:

  1. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
  2. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
  3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas