Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

 

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Hello fellow bookworms! How on earth is it July already?! We’re half way through the year, which seems to be the perfect time to reflect on how the reading challenges are going, and generally freak out about the books we have (and haven’t) read. This is always a super fun post to do, because it gives me the chance to look back at all the books I’ve read so far this year and put them up against each other in metaphorical fights to see who will win and be crowned my favourites (or least favourites) in each category. So, here we are, this is what I think about the books I’ve read in 2019 so far…

 

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Best 2019 Book So Far

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The Upside Down of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

 

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Best 2019 Sequel So Far

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Queen of Air & Darkness by Cassandra Clare

 

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New 2019 Release You Are Yet To Read

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Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

 

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Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year

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The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

 

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Biggest Disappointment of 2019 So Far

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

 

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Biggest Surprise of 2019 So Far

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The Lie by C.L Taylor

 

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Newest Fictional Crush

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Reid from The Upside of Unrequited

 

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Newest Favourite Character

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Flora Banks

 

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Book That Made Me Cry

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A Thousand Perfect Notes

 

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Book That Made Me Happy

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

 

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Favourite Film/TV Adaptation of 2019 So Far

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The Handmaid’s Tale

 

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Favourite BookMuffin Post of 2019 So Far

Considering I’ve only posted 5 times this year… probably the Netflix Originals Book Tag

 

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Most Beautiful Book Purchased in 2019 So Far

The Priory of the Orange Tree or Circe

 

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Book I Need To Read by the End of 2019

A Darker Shade final for Irene

A Darker Shade of Magic

So that’s a snapshot of 2019: Part One, and I can’t wait to see what Part Two will bring, especially now I’ve been reminded of the books I really should have read by now! I’d love to know what you think of the books I’ve read so far, and any recommendations for the rest of the year is always welcome.

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

The ‘Netflix Originals’ Book Tag

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Hello fellow bookworms! It’s tag time, and this tag, inspired by the Netflix Book Tag from Whitney @ A Darker Shade of Whitney, is the Netflix Originals Book Tag! There is no doubt that Netflix produce some amazing original series that you’re unlikely to get anywhere else, so it’s always worth finding someone who has a Netflix account and kindly asking them to make you a profile so you can catch up on all the great shows everyone’s talking about having a subscription to avoid missing out on these brilliant shows! While you’re at it, maybe you can enjoy some of these books too…

 

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Umbrella Academy

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A book with super powers

The Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin

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This trilogy is incredible! The first book is really something but the series develops so well and the story is perfectly complex to devour all three books very quickly. I didn’t really enjoy the first book in the sequel series from Noah’s point of view, but the original series is great. The mysterious powers and the characters learning to control them makes for a really interesting concept, and the further into the series you get, the deeper and more interesting it gets (kind of like Umbrella Academy, which you should definitely watch if you haven’t already!)

 

Sex Education

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A book with awkward teen romance

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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

4.5stars

I loved this book so much, it’s such a quirky YA contemporary romance, and of course, Becky Albertalli is an incredible YA writer I knew I was going to love this book. There was the perfect mix of confident and shy characters to create a mashup of interesting relationships and the perfect ending filled with love and family.

 

You

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A book with lots of books

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

5stars

This is one of my all time favourite books, and I think books being a massive part of the story is a big factor in my enjoyment. The characters are extremely well developed and the era of war is so sensitively written to evoke the perfect mix of sadness and frustration. I will recommend this book to everyone who crosses my path!

 

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

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A self help/wellbeing/lifestyle book you recommend

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Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

4.5stars

All of Matt Haig’s no fiction books are so meaningful, I read Reasons To Stay Alive a few years ago and it there are a few sections which really strike something, and again in Notes on a Nervous Planet, there are chapters that you can dip in and out of which makes it an essential book for anyone who suffers from any mental illness, no matter how severe or mild, or just if you need a pick me up on a down day. The best thing it’s smaller than most books so it’s easier to carry around.

 

Lucifer

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The best villain

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Sebastian Morgenstern (City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare)

4.5stars

How can someone so evil be so attractive whilst doing it, he’s like a magnet?! Sebastian is one of my favourite villains in Cassie’s books, there is just something about his manner and his way of seeming kind of nice even when he’s so evil… does this even make sense?

 

Stranger Things

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A book set in an ‘other-worldly’ place

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The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

4.5stars

Oh my goodness this book is amazing! This book involves the perfect amount of time travel and body hopping that makes you forget that you’re in a rural British setting. The complete and utter bonkers nature of the house and what keeps happening to the main characters is so bizarre, it really is like stepping into a new world. If you haven’t had a chance to pick this up I highly recommend it, especially if you’re an Agatha Christie fan!

 

Black Mirror

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A book with scarily realistic virtual reality/artificial intelligence

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

4.5stars

This was my first sci-fi book and it definitely encouraged me to read more in the genre. It took me a while to get into it but by the time I was half way through I was hooked and so captivated by this story that was written so incredibly well it could have been true! The idea of AI dominates the story by making the reader really think about how computers may be starting to control our lives and the way we think… scary stuff!

 

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

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A desperately awaited sequel/book from a favourite author

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Turtles All The Way Down

5stars

I’m a massive John Green fan, so when I found out he was releasing a new book after what felt like several thousand years, I was ecstatic! I was so excited, and this book definitely did not disappoint. The writing style was even more intelligent than his previous books, but still just as engaging with a perfect balance of story and meaning. A highly recommended book by many who love YA fiction.

 

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This is a BRAND NEW tag created by moi so if you enjoyed reading then please feel free to spread it around and do it yourself if you fancy, and add some stuff too if I’ve missed your fave Netflix Original series! I really hope you enjoyed this tag, share your love in the comments below and let me know what you think of the books I’ve chosen 🙂

(All gifs from GIPHY and belong to their respective shows)

Happy blogging…

Jade 🙂

 

Monthly Book Roundup for April & May

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Hello fellow bookworms! These are the easiest posts for me to write, and I still can’t seem to keep up with them! But I am currently on holiday and decided it was high time I updated you all on my reading shenanigans for the past few months. I think I was a bit ambitious when I packed 5 books for week away, but I am speeding through my second and will definitely be starting on a third very soon, as well as having an audiobook for the car journeys. Take a look at what I’ve been reading below…

 

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What books have I read this month?

 

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (audio)

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander (audio)

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (audio)

 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (audio)

 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (audio)

 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (audio)

 

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls by Lauren Graham (audio)

 

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

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The Lie by C.L. Taylor

 

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Average Rating: 4.6 stars

Number of total pages read: 1,597 pages

Number of hours listened: 85 hours approx

Books read toward 2018 Book Challenge goal: 23/50 books

I’ve done more listening than actual reading these past few months, because Priory was a quite a trek at 831 pages, and the book itself is larger than standard books in terms of format, so the audiobooks helped to keep my reading challenge on track while I waded through the pages!

 

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What am I currently reading?

 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (audio)

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews (eBook)

 

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June Reads

 

The Farm by Joanne Ramos

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

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The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker

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What do you think of the books I’ve read this month? What about the ones I plan on reading? Leave your comments below, and book recommendations are always welcome!

Happy June and Happy Blogging!

Jade 🙂

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week… 4 Books That Will Make You More Aware of Mental Health

Hello fellow bookworms! This week is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, which is so important for everyone to develop a deeper understanding of the various mental illnesses that exist. Society is becoming a lot more aware of mental health as something that can affect anyone and everyone at different times in their lives, and I think it’s crucial to upkeep the understanding of the many different illnesses there are, and to identify the signals so we can help those people around us who may be suffering. In this post, I wanted to explore those books which I found effectively communicated different mental health problems which you can read this week to expand your awareness and hopefully give you hope if you are suffering, or the confidence to know you can help someone who needs it.

5 Books That Will Make You More Aware of Mental Health

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Tackling: OCD

John Green is such an incredible writer and having suffered with OCD for many years, his detailed account of the illness is told in an emotional and shocking way which really opens your eyes to what it’s like to live with OCD and experience the thought spirals and compulsions that can consume every thought to the point were it becomes difficult to do the things you want to do.

 

Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich

Tackling: Social Anxiety

The story of the new(ish) musical that has captured this hearts of so many people, Dear Evan Hansen not only tackles social anxiety, but also explores depression through beautifully created characters. The songs in the musical deeply resonate inside you, while the book translates everything you feel while listening the cast recording. The book perfectly describes what it’s like to live with severe social anxiety, and how it can hinder you going for what you really want in life.

 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Tackling: Depression, PTSD, Social Anxiety

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a raw, heartbreaking story about one women’s life which she lives the same way every single day. Suddenly, a strange turn of events sends her life into upheaval and, as Eleanor learns how to cope with changes to her regimented routine, we see even the small changes in life can have a bug affect on your mental wellbeing.

 

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Tackling: Depression

I read this book quite a while ago now, but it’s definitely one I still think about when the topic of mental illness comes up. Two teens are united through the idea of ending their life due to traumatic events in their lives, and the closer they get to each other, the more hope builds in their lives. It’s got a sad ending though, so you’ll need some tissues.

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Do you have any books to add to this list? Leave them in the comments below, I’d love to have some more recommendations!

Happy Mental Health Awareness Week, take care everyone.

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

Monthly Book Roundup for January (…and February… and March)

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Hello fellow bookworms! I realise I’ve been slacking and haven’t posted since January, um, I’ve just been a bit lazy I suppose… But today is a Sunday (the day of rest) so why not rest while writing a long awaited blog post? Nothing too strenuous requiring tons of brain power, but just an update on life and books. I’m really enjoying my work with Bloomsbury Publishing (I can’t believe I’ve been there almost 6 months!) and I’ve also been thinking about applying for my Masters degree and taking a few online courses in the meantime (because it’s not until I left education that I realised how much I missed learning new things and studying and filling my brain with loads of new stuff!) And, of course, alongside all that, I’ve also been reading lots of books, so no more blabbering on from me, check out the books I’ve read since the beginning of the year…

What books have I read so far this year?

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling (of course this is how I started the year)

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Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K Rowling

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A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G Drews (PaperFury wrote a book, go read it!!!)

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris 

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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

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The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza

Average Rating: 4.5 (reading some decent books recently)

Number of total pages read: 3,963

Books read toward 2018 Book Challenge goal: 10/50 books (I’m on track… wow this is new)

What am I currently reading?

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To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

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You by Caroline Kepnes

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K Rowling

What do you think of the books I’ve read this month? Have you read anything exciting so far this year? Leave your comments below, and book recommendations are always welcome!

Happy Spring and Happy Blogging!

Jade 🙂

My 2019 Reading List and Bookish Goals

 

Hello fellow bookworms! It’s that time of year when I figure out what I want to read throughout 2019 (but let’s be completely honest, they’ll sit on my bookshelves for another year or so…) and set some bookish goals. I always feel like writing goals down seems to make them more concrete and actually helps me achieve them, and I’m hoping that making a list of books I definitely want to read will have the same effect! So here’s the ultimate list of books I plan to read, goals I want to meet, and a few new releases I’m anticipating in 2019…

 

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My 2019 Reading List

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Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

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

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The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

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Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

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They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

 

2019 Anticipated Releases

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus – January 8th

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I was so excited when I saw Karen M. McManus was releasing a new book this year! I enjoyed One of Us is Lying so much when I read it, I loved the perfect mash up of mystery, crime/thriller and YA, and it looks like her new book will be a similar sort of thing!

Again, But Better by Christine Riccio – May 7th

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I love following Christine on YouTube and watching her videos makes me so motivated to read, and encourages me to try different genres (if it weren’t for her I don’t think I would have made it this far in the Shadowhunter Chronicles!) so I was thrilled when I found out she was writing a book! I’ve been watching all her Book Writing Chronicle videos and followed her journey from start to finish, and cannot wait to finally read the book when it comes out in May!

Chain of Gold (The Last Hours #1) by Cassandra Clare – November 19th

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NEW SHADOWHUNTER SERIES! How can one not be excited, especially when we’re going back to LONDON! The Infernal Devices is my favourite Shadowhunter series so far so to follow on the story with Will and Tessa’s children is so exciting; I always get excited for new Cassie Clare! Also, pretty, pretty cover!

 

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Bookish Goals of 2019

Read 50 books

I only managed a respectable 30 last year, but now I’m not at university and have more commuting time to read (and all the Harry Potters on audiobook) I am aiming to get back up to my usual standard. Also, my nan has joined me in this year’s reading challenge with a goal of 40 books, and I think she’ll be surprised at how many books she reads, so we’ll see who comes out on top at the end of the year!

Blog at least once a week

Over Christmas I had planned to write more blog posts, but alas I only managed one or two, but I really would like to get back into blogging a bit more, and I usually have a spare hour or so over the weekend, so I should probably start making my way through the post ideas I have had written down for the past year…

Read books I’ve owned for 2+ years

I was looking at my bookshelves this morning and I realised how many books I’ve owned/had on my TBR list for way too long, so I want to make it goal to read at least 5 of them. A lot are thrillers I bought when I was really into reading crime and mystery that I never picked up when my late obsession with YA and Fantasy kicked in. I love a good crime thriller novel, so I’m hoping to get some of those I’ve had for while read this year!

 

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So 2019 is well underway now, so lets see how well this goes… I’d love to know what your plans are for 2019, bookish or otherwise, so feel free to comment below or leave a link if you’ve done a similar post so I can come over your wonderful space on the internet and give it a read!

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

What a Disaster… 2018 Book Roundup

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Hello fellow bookworms! Wow, what a year it’s been! I will happily say that 2018 has been the busiest but best year of my life. I will be eternally grateful for everyone who made my year so wonderful, and everything that came together to made my 2018 so special. I finished and graduated university with a first class degree, I won a design award, got some great work experience, got offered and started my job at one of the top publishing companies in the world, and best of all… I saw Hamilton… twice (yes I rate that experience very highly!). But despite all of these amazing things that I was blessed with, it wasn’t all smooth sailing this year, but this year has made me realise you really have to go through some hard times to truly appreciate the good in life, so I really have to say thanks to 2018, and I really hope you all had an equally fabulous year!

My reading year, however, wasn’t as great, having the worst reading challenge in about 4 years! I read some great books, and I read some really bad books, so this is what we’re really here for. Let’s have a look at my bookish 2018…

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What I read in 2018

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas // 4.5 stars
  • The Book of Tea by Kakuzō Okakura // 4 stars
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas // 3.5 stars
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin // 4.5 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling // 5 stars
  • The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith // 3 stars
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli // 5 stars
  • The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin // 4.5 stars
  • The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin // 5 stars
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman // 5 stars
  • Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham // 5 stars
  • The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin // 3 stars
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins// 4 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling // 5 stars
  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff // 4.5 stars
  • Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz // 4 stars
  • Daughter by Jane Schemilt // 3.5 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling // 5 stars
  • Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel // 3.5 stars
  • The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín // 3.5 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (audiobook narrated by Stephen Fry) // 5 stars
  • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon // 4 stars
  • The Dinner by Herman Koch // 3 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (audiobook narrated by Stephen Fry) // 5 stars
  • The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton // 4.5 stars
  • The Crimes of Grindelwald: Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling // 4 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (audiobook narrated by Stephen Fry) // 5 stars
  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee // 4 stars
  • You Will Be Safe Here by Damian Barr // 5 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (audiobook narrated by Stephen Fry) // 5 stars
  • … currently reading A Queen of Air of Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Total books read: 30.5

Average Rating: 4.3 stars

Number of total pages read this year: 10,079 pages (8,663 less than last year… sad face)

Which brings me to a total of 30.5 books this year!! I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge at 50 books to start with, then lowered it to 40, and then to 35, and still didn’t quite manage that! In my defence, however, the first 5 months of the year where the final months of my uni course which were extremely busy, and 2018 in general has been such an incredibly hectic year, I’m surprised I managed 30 in the end (thank god for audiobooks!) I want a much better year in 2019, and therefore I am upping my target back to 50 books to try and match my previous standards, and I have plenty of books lined up to satisfy whatever cravings I have!

 

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Top 5 books of 2018 (from 5th-1st)

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The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

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Talking as Fast as I Can

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You Will Be Safe Here

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Simon vs the Homo sapiens agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

I’ve never read any Becky Albertalli books, but I’m so glad I picked this one up! I sped through it and my face hurt from smiling so much! I’m really looking forward to reading some more of Albertalli’s writing in 2019.

I did really struggle to out my top 5 books together, because Illuminae and the Mara Dyer series were very close to making the list…

 

Least Favourite 5 books (from 5th-1st)

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Daughter

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The Call

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The Dinner

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The Becoming of Noah Shaw

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The Silkworm

I really hate to say it, but I’m not the biggest fan of J.K. Rowling writing crime novels. I feel like she is so used to a lot of detail in her fantastical world building of Harry Potter that just isn’t necessary in a crime thriller, and The Silkworm just dragged on a bit too much for me… too much unnecessary detail, not enough crime solving for me I’m afraid.

 

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So that was my 2018 year of books! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year, and here’s to another amazing and positively bookish 2019!

Happy New Year and Happy Blogging!

Until next year…

Jade 🙂