February Wrap Up

February is long over and I managed to read a third of my tbr…so points for progress? Anyway last month was an odd one. Despite being so busy I managed to read 10 books and DNFing 2 books. I got the majority of my reading done during the last two weeks, and I actually ended up reading from a bunch of different genres, which I think really helped me in the long run. I also found some really bad ones and new die hard favourites, so let’s get into it.


First let’s start with the books I DNF. The first book I DNF was Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn. I wanted to give this a second chance but I just could not do it. I loved I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn, it was perfection, so I expected to enjoy this one as well but that was not the case. Despite it being an adult book, the first chapter felt less mature then what was given in I Love You So Mochi, hence why I DNF this one originally. I just thought all the drama about a superhero having a zit was stupid. But this time around I was feeling optimistic only to realize I could not finish it for two new reasons. Firstly, and perhaps most stupidly, I learned that I really hate mass market paperbacks. The font is small, the pages are paper-thin so they tear (happened twice to my annoyance) and they are terrible to hold. I feel like if I read Heroine Complex via ebook I would have made more progress. Then again I probably wouldn’t have finish it either way because all the characters were 2D and once again I felt like I was reading something immature. I get that the book is supposed to be a fun light hearted read but I found myself rolling my eyes alot and wishing something exciting would just happen. Not for me.

The second book I DNF was Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova. I loved the plot of this one. The world and magic system were fascinating but I originally ended up DNFing it because of Rishi (one of Alex’s love interests) who was annoying and every interaction she had with Alex was cringy. She was a useless character and seriously did not even need to be in the book as she did nothing but hold Alex back. I will never get over Alex ending up with Rishi just because they are both girls despite lack of chemistry. This time around I managed an entire chapter before stopping. I just found myself not caring especially snice I knew the outcome. That’s how I knew I might as well DNF this one for good.

Now moving on to books I actually finished. The first book I finished was actually a play, and it was A Tempest by Aime Cesaire which I gave 1 Star and that’s being generous (I bumped it up half a star for addressing important issues, which sadly is all it had going for it). *Long Sigh*, okay let’s talk about this play. Now this is a short play redoing The Tempest by William Shakespeare with strong focal element on colonialism. It addresses how Settlers treated Natives badly when they conquered land in the West. We need more books/plays that addresses these topics because it is important to recognize our ancestor’s mistakes. I get what Amare wanted to do, I really do, HOWEVER this book came off too strong & too harsh. The dialogue for starters did not flow naturally; Caliban would shout out historical facts at Prospero and it felt like switching from a normal conversation to a crude history textbook. It was jarring. Also only Caliban got he got the important lines and there were scenes where multiple people were present but said nothing just so two characters could talk. It was like they were quietly observing arguments. Nearly all the characters felt nothing like those from The Tempest and most annoying Cesaire took a gender fluid magical air spirit and made him half black. I get it, representation but why change him? Suddenly his role makes no sense because he is supposed to be invisible and leading people where they need to be. It does not matter what colour your skin is, if you are human then you can’t summon a tempest. I suppose the only character that was better than their original was Miranda because she finally was given a personality. Every white character was racist, even Gonzalo (who was supposed to the nice one). Like I get it, this was set during the renaissance, but not everyone is racist or romanticizes other races/cultures. While the plot is mostly the same, then ending is not and it makes no sense. Are you telling me that Prospero ends up staying on the Island. Alone. With No Magic. This man who once caused a tempest is suddenly at the mercy of Mother Nature? What?! Cesaire’s story could have benefitted from subtly. It could have been clever, but instead he took The Tempest and butchered it. Points for writing a story about colonialism but don’t think just because you write about important topics, that you’ve written it well or deserve praise. I hate that I cannot fully express why I hate this play. I also hate that if I don’t add “It’s not because of the race issues”, then suddenly someone is going to assume I’m racist when that is not the case. It’s a shitty play and if you want a better understanding of why it sucked I direct you to other reviewers on Goodreads, especially what N.T.Embe said (agree with everything except the point on Miranda), because they sum up the problems better then I ever could.

Then I picked up a non-fiction book for my history class. I’m only going to briefly touch on this one, but The Sixties by Dimitry Anastakis is a collection of essays dedicated to events/topics during the 60’s in North America. There were some really good ones and very confusing ones. I will not be rating this one, mainly because they were based on facts and I just don’t know how to rate each essay on a 5 star spectrum. The collection was a bit of a mess, with some A+ essays thrown in. I would not recommend to anyone who has zero prior knowledge about the 60’s, however if you are interested in some non-fictional essays go for it. I would recommend Canadian Women & The International Arena in Canada, A Crash Course in Manhood, The Age of Aquarius, Canada’s Foul Weather-Friend, & California Casual. I just feel these 5 essays were the strongest and worth the read.

The third book I read was The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett, which I gave 3.5 Stars. That’s right after a month and a half I finally finished it. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Jenn Bennett books. I really do and this one sounded right up my ally; romance, puzzles, Romania. I strongly believed I would have enjoyed this one more if I was in the mood to read it, instead of picking it up during two very busy months. I’m definitely going to reread this at a future date just to see if it was the book or me. The Lady Rogue is about a rekindling romance set in the backdrop of 1930’s Romania with a treasure hunting subplot. Not to be confused by a treasure hunting book with a subplot of romance, else this one may not be for you. Basically it follows Theo and Huck as they outrun a murderous cult and search for Theo’s missing father who just so happens to be looking for Vlad The Impaler’s cursed ring. So there is a lot going on. Let’s talk about the negatives first: there is a lot of miscommunication between our lovebirds, a really cringy drunk scene and not nearly enough puzzles as I would have liked from a treasure hunting book. That out of the way, let’s briefly talk about things I loved: The culture and richness in detail given to Romania, the Zissu brothers, Huck being a Beta male to Theo’s Alpha female (a concept not found enough in YA), and every journal entry. I honestly had no clue what to expect as I didn’t see any of the twists coming. So yes, I gave this an extra half a star for that. I think my problem was that I wanted this book to be something it was not and I was disappointed that it didn’t match my expectations. It is still a good book but not my favourite of Bennett book. Still I will pick up more that she publishes.

Now let’s get onto the good stuff. I can offically say Harleen by Stjepan Šejić, is by far one of my favourite Harley Quinn comic origin stories. All the characters and villains seem grounded yet crazy enough to feel real. The depiction of Harleen’s decent into madness was this gradual but captivating thing. We see how her fascination with the Clown Prince of Gotham grew from fear to love, and how her mind was easy to twist due to her loneliness, night terrors and alcohol addiction. I also love how as the story progressed Harley’s trademark colours would appear more and more (red & black umbrella and shirts). The plot focuses on Harleen, who after being shunned by her co-workers due to sleeping with her professor, finds opportunity to prove her theories and worth by becoming a doctor at Akarham Asylum. Meanwhile there was this small side story of the makings of Two-Face. I found it clever of Šejić to make Harleen’s decent mirror Harvey Dents. It was also fun to see other Gotham villains cameos such as Ivy and Killer Croc. The art style was detailed and stunning, so 5 out of 5 Stars

Next I read Batman: Harley Quinn by Paul Dini. What upsets me the most was that the cover does not match the art style at all, which is one of my biggest comic pet-peeves; But as it came out in 1999, I was willing to let it slide in favour of an amazing plot. Unfortunately there was no amazing plot. This wasn’t so much as a Harley Quinn origin story but instead has Harley Quinn reflecting on her past with the Joker and failing to get revenge with Batman after the Joker kicks her to the curve. Not to say that it’s bad, but amongst all the Harley Quinn comics I’ve read this one is forgettable. Like I remember Ivy giving Harley a kiss? and she and the Batman climb a tower? Ending with an explosion and Harley & Joker escaping on a boat? I’m using question marks because I’m not enturely sure if any of what I just said actually happened in the comic or I am just thinking of an episode from one of the many Batman TV Shows. I read this a week & 3 days ago, I feel like I should be able to remember more details. So this was 1.5 out of 5 Stars.

Continuing on with the theme of Harley Quinn Comics, I picked up Batman: The Dark Prince Charming by Enrico Marini, which I gave 4.5 Stars. Not so much a Harley Quinn comic as Harley Quinn makes an appearance as the Joker goes toe-to-toe with Bruce Wayne. This was fantastic. It was action packed with real stakes. It’s always fun to see the different costume designs and art styles of these characters, and I really enjoyed Enrico’s take on everything. The plot centered around the Joker kidnapping a little girl (who is apparently Bruce Wayne’s lost long daughter) in order to blackmail Bruce Wayne into buying an expensive diamond necklace, after failing to get Harley a decent birthday present. That’s it, that is the entire plot and its crazy enough to work. I was not surprised by the major plot twist but I still had fun. This Joker was crazy as usual yet  was questionably decent towards Alena. He also shares a bit of his past but seeing as he’s the Joker who knows if he is telling the truth.

Then I read Tomboy Survival Guide by Ivan E. Coyote which I flew through. It felt more like someone sharing a story then reading a book about someone’s past thanks to its informal tone. This is a memoir of sorts where Coyote talks about their challenges they faced as a women in the workplace, their sexual encounters, family life and the awfulness of trying to use a public bathroom. There were times where I cried because it was just so painfully real what they experienced, and then there were times I smiled because not all Coyote wrote was depressing. Their sense of humor mashed well with mine. I was concerned reading this at first because I typically find autobiographies of LGBTQ+ community so strong and harsh to anyone not a part of the LGBTQ+ that it irks me (is it too much to ask everyone to get along because hate breeds more hate?), but that was not the case. Yes, Coyote forced their frustrations but it didn’t feel like it was insulting me and actually made me want to do something to help. I ha rating autobiographies because it seems wrong to pass judgement on someone’s life experiences so instead I am just going to say I would recommend this to anyone wanting a LGBTQ+ hard hitting autobiography or even if you want anything along those lines. I feel this book offers some great insight and brings up important discussions but in a subtle way, not a FUCKYOUCLEARLYYOU’REATERRIBLEPERSON!!! way. I cannot stress the importance of being firm but not an asshole when talking about important issues. Trust me no one is going to respond well to that attitude and suddenly the point you are making is lost. Getting back on track I really do hope more people consider reading this because it touches on alot of topics from grief to fear and even the importance of family.

Then after reading something hard hitting I picked up Well Met by Jen Deluca and I gave it 5 Stars. I was really in the mood for something cute and lighthearted, though it did have its moments where it struck a cord with me and I was crying. I love the small town feel it just gave me Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls vibes and I love how everyone partakes in the Renessiance Faire. I was hooked from the very first line “I didn’t chose the wench life. The wench life chose me.” If that is not a great opener, I don’t know what is. Alot of confusion and drama came from Simon and Emily hating each other outside the fair but their characters at the fair had a bunch of cutsy moments. This is how miscommunication drama is done right, Authors take note. I also really appreciated the family aspect of Well Met. It was heartwarming seeing Emily and April learning how to be sisters and Simon moving beyond his dead brother’s legacy. It was also great that we got to see beyond the scenes of making the Rene Faire come to life. A lot of prep goes into those things and I was suprised but really appreciated that. Not going to lie now I am tempted to visit a Rene Faire or at least read more books set at one. I cannot wait for Well Played & Well Matched to come out because I just had so much fun reading this one.

Afterwards I picked up Corrupt by Penelope Douglas, which I loosely gave 3 Stars. Now I read the first 6 chapters and the last 9-ish chapters near the ending, all while skimming the middle. It is by no means a bad book. It’s this dark thriller romance and I am invested in the background HOWEVER I didn’t really care for the plot and thought both the main characters were bland and stupid not to confront each other for 3 years. You see the reason why I picked this up in the first place is because I really wanted to read Kill Switch, unfortunately Kill Switch is the third book in a series hence why I sorta read Corrupt. I read most of it mainly because I need that background knowledge. So I went into Corrupt strictly to get a feel for the tone, writing style and to get some background knowledge that way when I pick up Kill Switch I won’t be totally confused at who the characters are. Maybe one day I will properly read this one but I am content with leaving it as is.

Which brings me to last book I read which was Kill Switch by Penelope Douglas. Yes I know I skipped book 2 but I couldn’t wait and I have nearly zero regrets. This one is easily a contender for my favourite book of the year.  Also somehow Rika (main character from first book) became a super interesting boss ass bitch that can go toe-to-toe with Damon. So now I must read the second book to discover how this character development happened. There were some spoilers for the second book that took me by surprise but I just loved this one so much I have zero regrets picking up this one. Winter was amazingly resilient. She is a blind ballerina dancer with this pure heart but is not afraid to voice her opinions. I hated seeing her struggle. Meanwhile Damon had alot of character growth. Like he was an ass in the beginning but he soften up and I actually grew to love his character despite him being the absolute worst in the first book. My favourite scenes had to be all the flashbacks and how Winter and Damon fell in love with each other. It hurt knowing that younger them were doing so well but you know it’s going to end with Damon getting arrested and Winter putting him in jail. Especially because they were cute together. That being said please don’t mistake this book as being a cute romance. There’s bullying, really dark trauma and ptsd and a lot of steamy sex scenes. So unless you want a heavy dark romance please stay clear of this series.

Seshat

March Tbr

Thank the gods it is March, things are finally slowing down on my end which means I can find more time to read this month. Besides two new releases, I want to dedicate this month to cutting down my tbr by reading some backlisted books I bought before 2020.


Starting with the new releases, I want to read Night of The Dragon by Julia Kagawa which does not come out until the end of March. However because I pre-ordered the uk edition there is a chance I may get it early in March or later in April. Either way the second it arrives, you can bet I am going to drop everything and read this one. Night of The Dragon is my most anticpated release of 2020 so to say I am very excited for this one is an understatement.

The other new release I want to finish is one I started a week ago in Feburary which I am enjoying so far, and that is Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda & Valynne E. Maetani. It is a modern retelling of the Seven Samurai packed with Japanese mythology. It centers around a shrine maiden & a Kistune who must protect her family shrine from yokai but enlisting the help of seven minor kami.

The first backlist book I want to finish is Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard. I was in love with this series last year but then my love for it sorta frizzled out when reading Bloodwitch. I made it about halfway before DNFing it, so I only have 240 pages left to read. For me it felt like Bloodwitch had a terrible case of middle book syndrom as nothing really happens to some characters while other characters got all the excitement. But I recognize that in order to get an amazing fourth book the characters have to deal with what is happening in this third book. I still love this series very much, I just have a feeling that when all the books are published this book is going to be my least favourite of the series. What I am trying to say is I want to finish this book this month that way I am all caught up on the series in time for the fourth book.

Speaking of re-reading a book I original DNF, I want to power through Lux: Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I stopped reading this because the plot took a turn for the awkward and I hate that Dee has become a shitty bff again. If there thing I hate is is when girl hate on girl for the stupidest of reasons. However I do want to read the Spin off series The Darkest Star, and I have had this on my shelf forever so I might as well get to it. For this one I have only 206 pages left, so ideally I could finish it in a day.


There you go, those are all the books I want to get to in March. Who knows if I will stick with this tbr, but at the time of creating this list I felt 78% sure that I will stick with my tbr for once.

Seshat

 

To Read or Not To Read: My 2020 Challenge

Recently I unhauled some books that I am no longer interested in yet my tbr still remains out of control. To finally get it under wraps this year I have decided to read all the hardcovers and paperbacks that I bought before 2020. So without further ado here are all the physical books I owned before 2020:


1. The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett 

2. The Iron Legends by Julia Kagawa 

3. The Iron Knight by Julia Kagawa 

4. The Broken Ones by Danielle.L.Jensen

5. Warrior Witch by Danielle.L.Jensen

6. The Beautiful & The Cursed by Page Morgan

7. Between The Spark & Burn by April Genevieve Tucholke

8. Well Met by Jenn DeLuca 

9. The False Prince by Jennifer.A.Nielsen

10. Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell 

11. Shades of Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

12. the Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

13. Vengeful by V.E.Schwab

14. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

15. Born of Illusion by Teri Brown 

16. The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd Jones

17. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

18. Charmed by Michelle Krys

19. Starfall by Melissa Landers

20. An Assassin’s Guide To Love & Treason by Virgina Boecker

21. Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

22. Toil & Trouble by Tess Sharpe

23. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

24. The Aeronaunt’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

25. Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

26. Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

27. Beatrice & Benedick by Marina Fiorato

28. The Romanovs: 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore

29. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

30. The Spy of Venice by Benet Brandreth

31. The Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

32. A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos

33. Stain by A.G.Howard

34. Dance of Thieves by Mary. E.Pearson

35. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rodgerson

36. Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

37. Opposition by Jennifer.L.Armentrout

38. Jade City by Fonda Lee

39. A Court Of Wings & Ruin by Sarah.J.Maas

40. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombe

41. The Dire King by William Ritter

42. Stranger of Tempest by Tom Lloyd

43. Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish

44. A Tyranny Of Petticoats by Jessica Spotswood

45. Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

46. Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

47. Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris

48. Speak Easy Speak Love by McKelle George

49. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

50. The Firebug by Lish McBride

51. The Falconer by Elizabeth May

52. Impridence by Gail Carriger

53. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

54. A Mad Zombie Party by Gena Showalter

55. Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger 

56. The Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

57. Kings of The Wyld by Nicholas Eames

58. The Name of The Star by Maureen Johnson

59. Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

60. Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers

61. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

62. The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

63. In The Hall With The Knife by Diana Peterfreund 

64. The Bone Ships by R.J.Barker

65. The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

66. Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

67. The Two Towers by J.R.R.Tolkien


I really need the space especially with all the 2020 books I want to get. Which is why if I don’t get to the books above this year then I’m unhauling it. If I don’t get to it in 2020 then I am most likely never getting to it. And if I have renewed intrest for a book I unhauled in the future, I can always borrow or buy an ebook version. Just right now in my life, I don’t need such a long tbr.

Seshat

January Wrap Up

Not the greatest start to a new year. I really struggled with picking out a book to read. I just kept bouncing around from one book to another. It wasn’t until a little more towards the end of January that I could finally decide on something to read. I read 4 books, 1 play, 5 comic issues and 17 volumes of manga.


The first book I completed was The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski. Now I originally had zero interest in reading this book or watching the series but after accidently walking in on episode 5 playing & staying to watch episode 6; I was hooked. The Last Wish was a blast to read. It is a short story collection set before the events of the “first” book, however its commonly agreed that you’ll understand the world and characters better if you start with The Last Wish. There was an over-arching story filled with flashbacks (short stories) throughout it. My favourites being The Witcher, The Last Wish and A Grain of Truth. Hands down Dandelion was my favourite character. He was just so funny. The writing was actually surprisingly easy to get through considering it was translated to English. Thanks to the Netflex show a lot of people are picking this series up and personally I think it is worth the hype. Gave this 4 Stars, and I’m hoping to read Sword of Destiny soon.

Next I picked up The October Faction Vol.1-5 by Steve Niles & Damien Worm. I gave the first 3 volumes 4 Stars and volumes 4 & 5 both 5 Stars.  The art style was this gothic messy but not too messy that I had trouble looking at it (like Chilling Adventures of Sabrina). Every couple of pages or during a pivotal point in the story the background would change colour and it was beautiful. It’s kind of hard to explain the beauty of it so on the right is an example. The October Faction was everything I could want about a retired monster hunter getting back in the game with his family. Here’s hoping that more volumes come out soon.

Next I read Fruits Basket Vol.6-23 by Natsuki Takaya. This was a reread prompted by watching the reboot which is why I started at volume 6 instead of volume 1. I ended up giving this series 4 Stars except vol.13-16 & vol.23 which I gave 5 Stars. It was so much fun to read, but I feel like the whole breaking of the curse was not explained well so I’m still confused about that. My favourite plot was when Tohru’s class put on ‘Sort of Cinderella’, which had me in tears with laughter. This is an older manga that is about a girl named Tohru who after living in a tent moves in with the Shomas only to discover they are members of the zodiac and when hugged by the opposite sex or stressed out they transform into their respected animals. Its a fun manga that gets a little more serious as you go on but was fantastic in breaking my reading slump.

The second book I picked up was the bindup The Dark Vault by Victoria Schwab. So technically I read two books. Both The Achieved & The Unbound get 5 Stars. I had no idea what to expect going into this one but when I started it I fell in love. Maybe I was just in a rut or Schwab was always so masterful at writing captivating plots, but I had no idea what would happen next and was constantly surprised. A Few Things I loved: Mackenzie living in an old hotel repurposed as an apartment; Her grief for her brother felt so real; The creepiness of the Narrows & Archive; Wesley being an absolute sunshine; Owen being a surprise; Mackenzie’s Mom opening a bakery; Mackenzie having well written PTSD; and all the flashback . Honestly I could go on but those were just a few of things I loved about this book. The Dark Vault has easily became my new favourite Schwab book and I’m tempted to reread it now that it is over. I’m also a little sad because it will most likely never get a 3rd book and now I’m stuck here with little fanart to hold me together. Some people’s biggest bookish pet peeve is changing covers, mine is cancelation of unfinished series.

Then I picked up The Tempest by William Shakespeare for school, which I ended up giving 3 Stars. I love Shakespeare, I really do but I found myself bored with the plot at times. This is no way the worst Shakespeare play I have ever read, that spot is reserved for Taming of The Shrew but The Tempest leaves something to be desired. I just wish I knew what was missing from it that prevented it from hitting that mark. By far the best characters were Sebastian & Antonio. I doubt if it was Shakespeare idea to make them the best characters but to me they were. Don’t get me wrong they were the absolute worse, always plotting and whatnot, but they were also sarcastic little shits and that just spoke to me on a personal level.

The last book I read last month was Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab, which I loved even more then the first book. This is Victoria Schwab’s middle grade ghost hunting series but that doesn’t mean anyone can’t enjoy it. This time Cassidy must take on a poltergeist which proves to be infinitely more trouble than the Red Lady from the previous book. I think Schwab captured the Catacombs of Paris very well and it was just fun. I am looking forward to Bridge of Souls coming out this year where Cassidy and her family visits New Orleans.


Again not the greatest start to the tear but I did read some books I truly love.

              Seshat

A Late Mini February Tbr

Happy February! It’s the shortest month packed with long assignments, homemade chocolate and hearts literal everywhere. I have been very busy so far, and I don’t think it will slow down until the last week of February. Which is why this month I have a short tbr. Ideally I would get to all 3 books but I think I may only have time to read one.


First things first I plan to finish Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett which I started in January. This about the daughter of a treasure hunter searching for Vald the Impaler’s magical ring in heart of Romania in order to find her missing father. I’m halfway done and things are really picking up so I want to get to this sooner than later

The second book I want to get to is Theft of Swords by Michael.J.Sullivan. I heard such great things about this one so while I doubt I will finish this bindup this month, I do really want to start it. This one is about a skilled thief & merc who are hired to steal a sword only to be framed for a political murder. Now they must stay alive lone enough to prove their innocence.

The last book I want to get to is One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews. I adored the first two books, they were quick fun reads with a swoony romance set at a magical Inn. Which is why I think it will be perfect to read this romance season.


So yes those are all the books I want to read. Originally I had a longer tbr but I had to cut it down because I knew I wouldn’t get much reading done and these 3 are the main ones I am most excited for.

                                                                                                                       Seshat 

A Mini V.E.Schwab Readathon

Victoria Schwab is an author you either love or hate. For me it’s love. I find her writing addictive, her worlds unique and characters complex/likeable. For me, her books are an absolute joy to read, making them a constent 4.5-5 Star reads. But can I really call her my favourite author & say A Darker Shade of Magic is my favourite when I only read 5 of her books. The answer is yes but I still want to read more. Which is why between the 25th to 31st of January I am going to aim to read all the Victoria Schwab books that I own on my tbr:

  • The Dark Vault (a bindup of The Archived, The Unbound & short story, Leave The Window Open)
  • Tunnel of Bones 
  • The Near Witch (a stand alone with short story The Ash-Born Boy)
  • Vengeful
  • The Steel Prince (a graphic novel prequel to the Shades of Magic Trilogy)
  • This Savage Song (the plot does not intrest me but I heard good things and I have yet to be disapointed so if I enjoy it I will continue on to Our Dark Duet)

The goal is to get to as many of her books as possible, but even if I only managed to get to one book I still consider it a win because that is one less book off my tbr. I am hoping to come up with a guide to reading V.E.Schwab later this year (after the release of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Bridge of Souls and possible release of Vampires Never Get Old Anthology, so the guide is more up to date). Really I just want to make an event out of reading her books.

                                                                                                              Seshat

December Wrap Up

December is offically over and it was one of my shortest readings months. I keep thinking I will read alot in December but that never happens, so I should keep that in mind for my future December tbrs. I just entered this terrible reading slump after reading The Midnight’s Children. So here is my last 2019 and very short wrap up.


The first book I read was The Life Changing Manga of tidying Up by Marie Kondo which I gave 5 Stars. I felt so inspired to clean up as I read this. The advice Marie Kondo gave “keep only what sparks joy” is such a positive attitude. I’m also grateful to have read the manga version as opposed to just a written version as I am a visual learner so seeing the steps drawn out really helps. The little side story was cute too. I do want to buy my copy (I borrowed it from the library) that way i can have it on hand to refer too.

Then for school I read The Seagull by Anton Checkov. Then for school I read The Seagull by Anton Checkov. This was indeed very Russian. If you have ever read Russian literature before then you know exactly what I mean, if you have never then the best I say is that there is social commentary and ends on a somewhat depressing note. I actually have chosen not to give it a rating because I didn’t have any feelings towards it. Normally I would give books that were not bad but were just not meant for me 2 Stars but in the case of The Seagull I don’t think that is a fair rating. So no rating for this play.

The third book I read was actually a book and that was The Midnight’s Children by Samuel Rushdie which I gave 1 Star. I read this 647 paged book in the span of 2 days because exams. First of all I would never recommend this tactic to anyone as it was the longest and most painful experience of my life. Secondly I read this in possibly the worst format ever, by PDF, which crammed 647 pages to 274 pages with small font. So my experience reading this book was unpleasant. All of this discomfort was heightened by too much info dumping, unreliable narrator who jumps back and forth with a story that spans 3 generations of his family. I couldn’t keep track of who was who, any historical events and terms belonging to a culture that I still have zero knowledge on were everywhere. The plot was a coming of age story I think, honestly I don’t get the point of what I read. Every time I read a couple of paragraphs I would check to see how many more pages I had left to read. I was in a constant state of confusion and I would have DNF it if it was not for school. If you ask me now I wouldn’t be able tell you anything about it. I found Saleem so annoying and you know what I discovered, I don’t like unreliable narrators, I can handle reading from any type of antagonist but I can’t stand narrators who jump back and forth between topics and are wishy washy. You can make read from a psychopath as long as he sticks with his story and knows what he wants. This book could have used a diction key as I have no clue what some of these terms were and it felt like some parts were lost in transition even though it was written in English. Definitely would not recommend to beginners to Indian culture, history, or myths. I also would not recommend this to anyone who finds themselves too busy as every time I put the book down I got confused and had to back track a couple of paragraphs which is why I spent a whole day finishing it (doing the math I technically read 578 pages in one day). Point it if the reader took too long of a break between reading The Midnight’s Children they would be lost.

After that nightmare I entered a terrible reading slump that I am still trying to get out of. I did pick up Winterspell by Claire Legrand but DNF because it was grossly sexualize. Im not talking “Oh My” I’m talking “Oh No” sexualize. Like I can handle steamy romance but the way this is done was just creepy. Apparently Clara rubs herself on and touches a statue she finds hot which turns out to be the Nutcracker Prince, and Dossameyler us jealous despite having a thing with her mother. I was expecting this whimsical maybe dark or slightly twisted world and instead I get a depressing mess full of children sleeping in brothels, sugar being a type a drug, literally every men being the worst and Clara forgiving them (seriously where are the decent men?), and by far the most disgusting naked blood bonding ritual I have ever read. When it is the holidays and I just came off exams I want to celebrate not read whatever fresh hell this was. And those moments when I am in the mood to read dark mature themes I would prefer them to be handled better. So yes I Dnf and just skipped to the last 2 chapters to find out the end and you know what, the pay off is not worth reading the whole thing. Now I’m worried because I own both Furyborn and Sawkill Girls by Clara Legrand and I just really don’t want them to be a waste of money though. This is what I get for buying a book by its cover.


So that is what I read in December in 2019. I have high hopes that January will be a better reading month in terms of amount and ratings, but again we are just going to have to see at the end of the month.

Seshat