February Reading Wrap-up 2018

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
January was an amazing reading month and I hoped that it would continue into February but sadly it didn't and it is the shortest month of the year so now my March TBR is huge! In the month of February I read six physical books, three e-books (from Netgalley) and four audiobooks (from BookBeat).

*The Feed by Nick Clark Windo (368 pages - 25th January) ★★★
When I requested this book on BookBridgr, it sounded so interesting and unlike anything else I've read so I had high expectations and on the whole it did meet them but I did have some issues with it. It's unusual for me as I don't tend to read too many post-apocalyptic or futuristic books but I'm glad I did as the world is so interesting, unique and devastating.

We follow Tom and Kate after The Feed has gone down and society has crumbled. The Feed, to me, seems like the internet, social media, health trackers, GPS and more as a chip implanted within your brain. Almost everyone has it, you can communicate with so many people, experience their memories, their emotions and what they are doing. The concept of The Feed is just incredible and it was the most interesting part of the book for me.

The Feed has bought so many advantages but it has it's own problems as no-one interacts with each other as they used to, everyone is completely reliant on The Feed for knowledge, connectivity, community and memories so that when it goes down, there is so much devastation, killings and a phenomenon where people are 'taken' in their sleep. The premise was amazing, the writing was fairly quick and easy, I loved the world/setting and the first half of the book was so promising but after that it became slower, a little confusing and to be honest, I did lose some of my interest and motivation to read it after the 55% mark which is why it only reached a three star rating. I'd still recommend it though!

*The Waking Lands by Callie Bates (400 pages - 25th January) ★★★
This is a book that I've already reviewed as part of a blog tour at the beginning of the month. In the book we follow Elanna after she was taken hostage by a king who subsequently dies and now she is framed for his murder. She seeks safety with her father who wants to use her as a figurehead for his plans of rebellion. I liked the writing, the world and most of the characters but the best thing was the magic! I did have a couple of issues, for example, it was a little too slow and predictable at times, the ending wasn't what I expected and I didn't really like the main character but I would recommend it as a quick, easy and entertaining YA fantasy read.

*The Binding Song by Elodie Harper (304 pages - 22nd February) ★★★
I'm going to review this book already as part of a blog tour soon so I won't go into it too much here but it follows Dr Janet Palmer as she takes up a new job at HMP Halvergate, a prison with secrets and disturbed inmates. I liked the writing, it was a very quick thriller with horror/paranormal elements and it was an entertaining, creepy and very quick read. The ending was a little predictable and less dramatic than I thought it would be and it's a little slow at times but it's a good read for fans of thrillers.

*Scythe by Neal Shusterman (448 pages - 1st February) ★★★★
I've been interested in this book since it was first released back in 2016 and I was very kindly sent a copy of the newly released paperback - the cover is amazing! The concept is so unique as we enter a world where everything is controlled, even death. There is no disease, no conflict and very little crime so the only way people die is with the services of the Scythes who randomly choose people to be 'gleamed' each week. We follow Scythe Faraday as he takes on two unwilling teenage apprentices to teach them for a year to become Scythes and after the training, only one will become a Scythe.

This is my first Neal Shusterman read and I've heard nothing but great things about his YA reads online and I can see why he is a popular YA author as his writing is so quick, easy and vivid. I loved the overall story, the world is so unique and the concept of the novel is amazing. I didn't find the twists that shocking and overall the ending wasn't as dramatic as I thought it would be but I did find it thoroughly entertaining, enjoyable and I am excited for the second book in the series which is out now!

*Between The Blade And The Heart by Amanda Hocking (416 pages - 22nd February) ★★★
Another book I was very kindly sent (thanks to the lovely Jamie). I was instantly interested in this book as it has a lot of references to mythology, especially norse mythology which I've become much more knowledgeable about over the past few months and I've been interested in mythology since primary school. Also the cover is stunning and I love a good YA fantasy read.

We follow Malin, a Valkyrie in training with a formidable Valkyrie mother, Marlow. Valkyries kill immortals and send them back to the afterlife so their lives are full of fighting, danger and facing various demonic, hellish and mythic creatures but thankfully Valkyries are mortals with immortal like strength and abilities. However, Malin's world is thrown into even more danger when secrets emerge about her mother that not only threatens her safety and those around her but the entire world.

I loved the writing style, it was such a quick and easy read and my favourite part of the book has to be the world and all of the amazing mythical and magical creatures within it inspired by various mythologies - also I need a Bowie in my life! I liked the characters, LGBT characters (the main character is bisexual) and the romances on the whole but it definitely wasn't my favourite part of the book. I also didn't like the relationship between Oona and Malin as whenever a love interested turned up, Malin seemed to focus on them rather than her best friend - I'm so over relationships like that portrayed in books, especially YA, where a love interest of a week or so replaces or take precedence over a long term friendship! However, aside from that annoyance, it was a good read and I'd recommend it if you like mythology or YA fantasy as I do.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K Rowling (640 pages) ★★★★★
Along with the rest of the world, I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, I've watched the films more times than I can remember, I've visited the studios and I grew up with the series but...I haven't read the full series. Last year I read the first three and now I'm onto the four which is the point where the books get BIG. I've been putting off reading this book, even though it's one of my favourite films, as it is over 600 pages but I gave myself a goal for 2018 of reading big books so why not read Harry Potter!

I'm not going to go into the plot as we all know it so I'll mention the differences between the book and the film. As with the previous three books, I've noticed that there's so much more quidditch in the books compared to the films and it's much more detailed in the books as well. Another difference is the trials which are the same as the books but the events and specifics of the trials differ. Also there is so much more Sirius in this book than the film, the ending is aways a little rushed in the books compared to the films and Dobby tells Harry about gillyweed, not Neville - those are just some of the differences. Additionally, one of the main differences that doesn't make any appearance in the films is Hermione's campaign for house elf rights and to stop house elf slavery!

I did take me longer to read this one as it's significantly longer than the other books at over 600 pages but as always I loved the writing, the book feels so comforting and I cannot recommend them enough. If like me, you have watched the films so many times and you think that there's no point in reading the books, just read them because the books are definitely different and so much more detailed than the books including a surprisingly large about of information, details and backstory that you just don't get in the films!
*The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (384 pages) ★★★
This book has been everywhere recently and I've had it as an e-arc for months but I've only just got round to reading it. It follows three sisters as they are taken by a father they never knew who is part of the faerie world and they are trying to fit into a world were they are viewed as illegitimate and human by the unusual magical creatures around them.

I liked the writing style, it's my first Holly Black read and I can see why she's a popular YA/childrens author as this was a fun, entertaining and interesting read with political intrigue, a hate to love almost romance, secrets and a range of magical creatures. Overall, I did enjoy it but it wasn't as amazing for me as the hype led me to believe.

*Everless by Sara Holland (368 pages) ★★★
This is another YA read that I've seen everywhere recently and again, the concept is so unique! We are taken into a magical world filled with folklore, where blood can be turned into payments but it takes away some of your time/life. The payments go to the rich family, the Getlings, for protection but as poor get poorer, the rich become richer.

Into this world we follow Jules who tries to eek out a living with her dying father until one day when she takes a job at Everless, the Gerling's vast estate. Everything takes a turn for the complicated when feelings for one of the princes, who happens to be a childhood friend, resurface (as they always do in YA....) and Jules has to make some difficult choices and discover secrets about herself, her parents and the royal family.

I did love the writing as it was so quick, easy and compelling and I also adored the overall story, especially the concept of blood irons and selling the time you have left of your life. The world was interesting and it was an overall entertaining, enjoyable and a fun YA fantasy read that I always devour but it was very YA at times, it was a little predictable and the romance felt very flat and typically YA. I would still recommend it but it wasn't quite as incredible as the premise made it seem, for me personally. However, I do want to read the sequel when it's released.

*The Sin Collector by Daria Desombre (334 pages) ★★★ (3.5)
After the fantasy reads and audiobooks, I wanted something a little different so I read this e-arc which is categorised on Amazon as a mystery thriller and police procedural novel. In this book we follow Masha, a university law student who wants to join the police force after the murder of her father. She joins Moscow’s Central Directorate Headquarters with detective Andrey Yakovlev as she starts to uncover a mysterious string of seemingly related murders involving the symbolic world of ancient Moscow.

The chapters are fairly short, focusing on one character's thoughts and actions which make it a relatively quick and easy read. I liked the flow of the novel as well as the mystery, the setting of Moscow and the general feel of the novel as to me it definitely felt like a Dan Brown film! However, I did not like the instalove, it felt very info-dumpy at times and it was a little to slow at times as well. I would recommend it especially if you like the Dan Brown films as I do and the author herself is very impressive but sadly it wasn't quite as fantastic as I'd hoped although I will definitely check out the second book in the series which is hopefully coming out soon.

*Ned's Circus Of Marvels by Justin Fisher via BookBeat ★★★ (3.5)
I had to DNF two audiobooks in January so I wanted to listen to something magical and lighthearted and that's what I got with this audiobook. It follows Ned, a seemingly ordinary child and his farther as they live their ordinary lives...until something happens that takes Ned's father away and puts Ned in danger. Ned has to seek safety with the Circus of Marvels who hold secrets about his father, a mother he never knew and about himself.

I liked the audiobook as it was very entertaining, easy and quick to listen to. Some audiobooks need you to concentrate but this one is light-hearted, fun and great to listen to as you are doing other things. I mainly listened to it as I was taking blog photos and I'd definitely recommend it as a magical, YA audiobook.

*Secrets Of The Human Body by Chris and Xand Van Tulleken via BookBeat ★★★
I've watched a couple of documentaries by Chris and Xand Van Tullenken over the past few months and really enjoyed them so I wanted to check out this short audiobook and while I did like their narration and some of the information (some of which was entirely new to me), I found it fairly forgettable but I think that just comes down to the way I learn and retain information. I'm definitely more of a visual person so maybe non-fiction audiobooks aren't the best format for me.

*Spell Slinger by Sebastian de Castell via BookBeat ★★★★
This is an audiobook that instantly caught my eye and I'm so glad that I listened to it as it's such a fun, easy to listen to and entertaining audiobook in which we follow Kellen who unlike the majority of the people within his village, cannot perform magic and faces a life as a servant, until a mysterious woman arrives in the village. I liked the narrator and it's such a fun, easy and entertaining audiobook. I'm now definitely interested to read and listen to more of this authors books.

*Plato: Philosophy in an Hour by Paul Strathern via BookBeat ★★ (2.5)
I've listened to a few of these one hour audiobooks and to be honest, while I like the narrator and they are interesting to an extent, they are very forgettable, far too short and overall a little unimpressive in my opinion but again that might come down to me being a more visual person.

Have you read or listen to any of these books? What are you currently reading or listening to? 

25 comments

  1. I've started reading again before bed and I'm absolutely loving it! I read a completely different genre to you though xo

    Char | www.charslittleblog.co.uk

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  2. What an outstanding reading month! I really want to get to the cruel Prince and scythe soon 😊

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  3. Some really good books there! As always, it is Harry that has my heart though :)

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  4. Love the seletion that you've choosen :) x

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  5. So many books here that I am going to have to check out. I am trying to make more of an effort to read this year and so far, I am loving it!

    Danielle xx
    http://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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  6. I always add so many books to my reading list after these posts! X

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  7. Goblet of fire is without a doubt one of my favourite books, I LOVE it. It's such a good read. I need to go back and reread them :)

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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  8. I still haven’t tried an audiobook! I think I should make it a goal of 2018!

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  9. I so want to read Harry Potter to the kids, it’s such a lovely story. You put me to shame, even on a slow month for you, I read two books this month and struggled with that! x

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  10. I have no idea where you find the time to read so many books! I can hardly time the time to read one or two, seems like you loved a lot of these reads babe. Thank you for sharing 🌸✨

    With love, Alisha Valerie x | www.alishavalerie.com

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  11. Goodness me you read LOADS this month! I'm inclined to agree with you about The Feed and The Binding Song. I liked TBS but I wanted more drama at the end. The middle section was the creepiest for me. And I didn't like The Feed that much - but something kept me reading.

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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  12. The Goblet of Fire is one of my favourites. Right now I'm reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

    Roxie | thebeautifulbluebird.com

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  13. The spell slinger sounds right up my alley x

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  14. Oh my, I need to get on it with my reading! I do love reading but I just never find the time to do it. I can't believe you managed to read 6 books as well as ebooks and audio books in Feb and you're considering this not a lot!! I'm currently half way through Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix as well as Louise Pentland's Wilde Like Me. You've inspired me to get on and finish them so I can move on to some more amazing books!

    Corrie | Corrie Arnold

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  15. What an incredible reading list! Harry Potter is always a fab read! xx
    www.imjustagirl16.co.uk

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  16. The Harry Potter books are amazing, I love the films but in my opinion you just can’t beat the books. X

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  17. Wow, congrats on reading so many books this month. I really need to make more time for reading. I'm a huge fan of thr Harry Potter series.

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  18. Harry Potter is my favourite film but I've actually never read any of the books (despite having all of them!!) I need to read them this year!
    Chantelle x
    The Girl In The Tartan Scarf

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  19. You read so many books! I'm more of a film that book person but I love harry Potter x

    Joyce Lau

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  20. I seriously need to re read Harry Potter again !

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  21. that's such a pretty Harry Potter cover!

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  22. Harry Potter books are my favourites. Love the covers.

    http://littlemissmelanie.com

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Feel free to leave me a comment, I read all of them!

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