May/June: It’s a Wrap

OK, it’s been a little bit of time since I last did one of these posts. I was going through my posting funk at the end of May, so it completely slipped my mind to do a wrap host detailing all the books I read that month. I didn’t want it to slip by unnoticed, and I also didn’t want to have a gap on my blog, so I’ve decided to combine May and June on this post. A warning, a heads up, it’s gonna be a long one. Last time I posted a wrap was way back in April (click here to read) and I’ve read almost 25 books over May and June, so there’s lot’s to wrap!

I don’t usually start a posted a bit of a life update, but I decided in this case it is necessary. Over the last couple of months I’ve really struggled with posting, or posting regularly at least, and now I’m struggling to type at all. It’s got nothing to do the content or mental block, about 10 days ago I had a car crash. Don’t worry I’m fine, but it’s left me with a broken arm. Not only a broken arm; a broken right arm. And yes, you guessed it, I’m right handed. One thing this broken arm has taught me is that Google Docs now has a really handy speech recognition facility. It’s not perfect, but I thought I’d give it a go, well a second go, to finally produce the rap post that I wanted to do for a few days. It’s really hard to write and edit a post with a broken arm as it turns out.

So, less ‘wasting’ time watching Wimbledon, and more speaking to produce a post. (It’s very weird to talk to your computer and have it write the word that you would normally type, just wanted to let you know!)

May

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) J K Rowling | | Audiobook | 5 Stars

I don’t really know what to say or how to review this book, it will always be the start of the most magical series I ever have or will read.

The vivid descriptions and the feelings they invoke are so unbelievably, well, magical and mesmerising, and a brought to life wonderfully by Stephen Fry’s incredible narration.

I’ve read this book over 60 times (no exaggeration) and yet it is still amazing, wonderful, brilliant, and I will never get bored of it. I wish I could recall reading it for the first time!

  • His Bloody Project Graeme Macrae Burnet | 15 Feb 17 – 07 May 17 | Paperback | 4 Stars

The length of time it took me to read what is a relatively short book would suggest that I didn’t enjoy reading it much, where in fact, the absolute reverse is true.

I really enjoyed the concept of the ‘novel’, if you can call it that, because the factual presentation of the ‘case’ and the questions of morality and sanity presented were well executed. I loved the second half to the point that this portion was undoubtedly a 5* read. The trial and medical reports were gripping, interesting, and stimulating.

The problem, the first half ‘The Account of Roderick Macrae’ is incessant, and if you pause while reading the 120+ page section of the book, it’s difficult to a) pick back up with gusto, and b) remember what is going on in his somewhat boring account.

It’s a shame that such a stark difference is felt between the first and second half because while reading, I enjoyed the book immensely.

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) J K Rowling | 03 May 17 – 08 May 17 | Audiobook | 5 Stars

I don’t think there is very much I can say at this point that hasn’t already been said about Harry Potter.

The Chamber of Secrets is actually my favourite of the seven books. Every time I read or listen to it (over 60 times) I take something new or rediscover something, each time is as magic as the last and the next.

For me, The Chamber of Secrets perfectly toes the line of magic, fantastical creatures and situations, character familiarity, new people. It maintains the air of Children’s storytelling but has enough depth and intelligence to be more than just a Children’s book.

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3) J K Rowling | 08 May 17 – 11 May 17 | Audiobook | 5 Stars

I feel like this book is the bridge between the children’s books that go before it and the adult books that go after it.

I feel like you can really feel the characters ageing, going through more things, and starting to make decisions for their future ( even if those decisions are just choosing subjects to keep following to O.W.L year). I think the characters are starting to feel comfortable with each other and with themselves, which I really like. I also love the introduction of the marauders, a taste of the past that is only being alluded to in the previous books.

Unlike many fans. It’s not my favourite of the series, but it’s up there, as it was the first book that really started to show personality and allows you to follow the books through your own mindset and not just the words on page.

  •  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) J K Rowling | 17 May 17 – 29 May 17 | Audiobook | 5 Stars

If you asked me which is my least favourite book in the Harry Potter series and always have said the Goblet of Fire. I’m not really sure why, I just think I always thought it was too long. That said I said my opinion if it has changed. I don’t really know what it is about this reread that is made me really appreciate this book.

Don’t get me wrong I still think it’s too long and I still think there are many things that could have been cut *cough* S.P.E.W *cough* but I think we’d in them close together makes you realise how many little important things are in this book that link the three that went before and the three that went after.

One of the things I love most about this book is the embracement of the lesser characters. I feel like many of the characters are finally given their own voice, their own personalities, and their own storylines that we will enjoy investigating over the coming stories.

Books Read: 5  | Pages Read: 1707 | Ave. Rating: 4.8

June

  • The Single’s Game Lauren Weisberger | 31 May 17 – 02 Jun 17 | Paperback | 5 Stars

Ok, so I would like to clarify this 5* review by saying that sometimes you just enjoy a book so much you have to review it highly even if it is pretty terrible and trashy (in the best kinda way!!)

This really had the feeling of a chick flick rom com esque story.  It was light and occasionally witty and had just the right balance of sport, romance, and frivolity.  I’ve never read anything by Weisberger, but I’ve enjoyed the movie adaptations of The Devil Wears Prada. That feeling is definitely carried through this novel, and has made me intrigued by other things that she had written.

If you’re a fan of the film Wimbledon then this little book will be right up your street.

  • The Magician’s Nephew (Narnia #1) C S Lewis | 29 May 17 – 05 Jun 17 | Paperback/e-book | 4 Stars

I really love reading children’s books, for me some of the best child’s imagination. And I think that is where the problem with this book for me. Had I read this when I was 10, maybe this review will be different, unfortunately I can’t change back sat the first time I picked this book up as age 25.

It’s a good book. It’s a great story. It’s a very solid start and introduction two magical fantasy world, but for me it’s just nothing special.

I’m going to continue reading The Chronicles of Narnia because I’ve always wanted to read them, I can’t help but wonder would my opinion be different about them if I was re-reading them rather than experiencing them for the first time.

  • Summer with Love Sarah Morgan | 05 Jun 17 – 07 Jun 17 | Paperback | 5 Stars

When I bought this book I purchased it is part of a trio on the Book People for a huge £0.02. At the time I didn’t realise that it was a series of stories, or novellas, incorporated in one book. I also didn’t realise that they were published by Mills and Boon. That’s not to say that Mills and boon aren’t any good I’ve just never really giving them a go before.

I actually really really enjoyed it. I liked the frankly ridiculous stories, I really liked the medical setting of each individual viewpoint and storyline, and I love the fact that I could get through these books quickly with absolute enjoyment. One thing that I really enjoyed about these stories especially was the three perspectives from the three triplets. I really like books that change perspective but I’ve grown tired of the trope of exchanging the male and female perspective chapter chapter, so this was a pleasant inclusion.

Yes, it’s trashy. Yes it’s predictable. Yes I really enjoyed it!

  • Summer Kisses Sarah Morgan | 08 Jun 17 – 11 Jun 17 | Paperback | 5 Stars

I’m starting this review with exactly the same disclaimer as I gave the previous book.When I bought this book I purchased it is part of a trio on the Book People for a huge £0.02. At the time I didn’t realise that it was a series of stories, or novellas, incorporated in one book. I also didn’t realise that they were published by Mills and Boon. That’s not to say that Mills and boon aren’t any good I’ve just never really giving them a go before.

Once again it was trashy, once again the perspectives changed, and once again I really really enjoyed it. There is something very comforting about a very predictable novel or series of stories and sometimes that is exactly what you want to read. I’m glad I picked these up and gave them a go.

  • The Masked City Genevieve Cogman | 25 Apr 17 – 12 Jun 17  | Paperback | 3 Stars

Boy did it take me a while to read this one. I really enjoyed the first book this series The Invisible library but there’s something about this one that I just didn’t get on board with quite as much.

I absolutely loved the world that have been created in these stories. I really really like the characters that have been created to paid I really enjoy the parallel universes that exist in the books. My issue is with the pacing and the hooks that go along with the story. I feel like it’s quite stop start, and for periods not much happens and then suddenly, BOOM, the plot seems to unfold, the action happens and the story finishes in the space of a couple of chapters.

I’m still looking forward to the third installment in this book series, I just hope the pacing and the content gets a little better as series progresses.

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5) J K Rowling | 30 May 17 – 13 Jun 17| Audiobook | 5 Stars

There is always something great about re reading these books but you just don’t get with any other series. In the pass by reference and the Order of the Phoenix too long and cumbersome this time round I’ve picked little pieces of knowledge, trivia, and character progression that had previously missed or not fully appreciated.

What makes these books even better is Stephen Fry’s absolutely brilliant narration. There are bits, as the reader, that you don’t necessarily focus on that someone else sees as more important, and i feel like Fry’s narration is a classic example of this. His narration doesn’t just bring the characters to life but brings an extra magical element to the Wizarding characters in the Wizarding world.

Yes, there are bits of this that could have been edited out, like Grawp, but it’s a pretty good story none the less. Well, it’s pretty awesome.

  • Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury | 14 Jun 17 – 16 Jun 17| Audiobook | 5 Stars

I listened to this book as an audio book in my car on my commute, it took me maybe 2/3 days to finish and I absolutely loved it. I’ve never really realised how much I enjoy true dystopian literature, but this book certainly proved it. I loved the simplicity of the premise, and the execution of the narrative. I disliked all the characters with enjoyment, and mourned the books lost and burnt.

It’s been a long time since I thought a book could potentially knock To Kill a Mockingbird off the top spot but this one certainly rivals it. I’m really pleased that I’ve finally found a book that means I can reread To Kill a Mockingbird knowing that there is a book that could become my favourite if I don’t love To Kill a Mockingbird like I did when I was a teenager.

  • The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (Narnia #2) C S Lewis | 13 Jun 17 – 18 Jun 17 | Paperback/e-book | 3 Stars

I know that this is a Children’s book, and therefore is meant for children, but sadly I’m an adult reading these for the first time and that is undoubtedly hampering my enjoyment somewhat. I like the little illustrations that accompany key scenes through the book, and I like the character development and relationships, but I found that I was asking more and more questions, having more issues with pacing, and felt like some key plot points were brushed over too quickly.

I’ve read plenty reviews about the fantastical world of Narnia, and about the biblical parallels within the books. I really enjoy the assortment of beasts and characters that are given voices which brings the world to life, but I found that the biblical references were just to prevalent and thinly veiled, which hampered my enjoyment somewhat.

Again, like with Magician’s Nephew, I can’t help but wonder how much more I would have enjoyed this had it been a re-read of a book I enjoyed as a child.

  • Scrappy Little Nobody Anna Kenrdick | 18 Jun 17 – 23 Jun 17| Hardback | 5 Stars

I don’t read a lot of non-fiction books, so when I picked this book up it was largely to fill a reading challenge. Sometimes, that is the best way to discover a new book.

I’ve always liked Anna Kendrick, I find her brand of humour and also her outlook on life both refreshing and eye opening. I really enjoyed reading about the Hollywood lifestyle from the point of view of someone I like and admire. I found her honesty and her wit charming and inspiring, and would recommend this book to anybody. Ok, maybe not anybody, if you don’t like Anna Kendrick you’re not going to like this book. But I love her, so of course I loved the book.

On a slightly different note, does anybody know the difference between an autobiography and a Memoir, no? me neither.

  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6) J K Rowling | 16 Jun 17 – 26 Jun 17 | Audiobook | 5 Stars

I feel like this is a Harry Potter book that I know least well. I’m sure I’ve read it is many times so we read the others but I just feel like I don’t know the story of the characters involved in the same way as I do with the other books. Maybe that’s because I haven’t seen the film many times, in fact I think I’ve only seen it twice, or maybe it’s that this book just feel very different. For me this book is like an onion, and as much as it hurts me to quote Shrek, it has many layers to peel back and to investigate.

I like the in-depth analysis into what makes Voldemort tick. I like finding more about his past and how this is shaped the very situation that are well known characters find themselves in. Most of all, I like changing pace and feel. The characters really feel like they’re coming of age, like they’re old enough to understand what’s going on I might actually now have the tools and the life experience to battle everything they’re going to face.

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) J K Rowling | 26 Jun 17 | 20th Ann. Hardback | 5 Stars

I know you’re probably nothing at this and thinking ‘’Hang on a minute she’s just read this’’. Well you will be right. I read this during the Harry Potter cosy reading night in that was celebrating the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I think any previous reviews I’ve done of this book, or any of the Harry Potter series, show my love for these books. There isn’t a lot more I can say about this book, it’s starting my love affair with Harry Potter and Hogwarts, and even 20 years on I’m  still reading these books with his much enjoyment and fervour as the first time I picked them up.

  • Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard #1) Christina Lauren | 28 Jun 17 | E-book | 4 Stars

Ok, let’s all pretend this is not going to have the predictable and in that you’ll know it will have and actually be down to see what the books about underneath. And what does it have underneath I hear you ask, some funny exchanges, some enjoyable friendships, and Powerful women and Powerful men, and then amusing sexual relationship at the heart of the story.

I could have done without a lot of sex scenes, as is always the case in these kind of books. That said, I really enjoyed everything that went with it. As much as I hate the term banter, this book had it, and that only does it have it, but it was amusing, it was intelligent, both characters give as good as the other.

A great distraction from everyday life and a pleasant trashy read.

  • We Should All Be Feminists Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie | 28 Jun 17 | E-book | 5 Stars

I usually stay clear of using quotes to describe how much I enjoyed a book. Sometimes, however, you read a book and a quote from within is the only thing that can do the content justice. Adapted from a TED talk that she gave, this is one of the most real, and raw pieces I’ve ever read.  It’s left me quite simply thinking ‘’ we should all be feminists’’

So yes, the quote I was talking about earlier. I feel like the following words taken from her shorts book incorporates the message more clearly than anything else, and is a message that’s so often lost in our Society today:

“A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start:

We must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.”

  • Beautiful Stranger (Beautiful #2) Christina Lauren | 28 Jun 17 – 29 Jun 17 | E-book | 4 Stars

I like this story, I really like this one. I like to meet in the new characters and getting to know them as they got to know one another. I’d like to be even though these are close friends with the characters from the first book, they have their own traits and preferences, flaws and plus points that make them interesting uni as a separate couple.

Again the sex scenes are a huge part of this story, and again I could have done with less, but unlike the first story surrounding Chloe and Bennett, Max and Sara’s feels more like an adventure, like we’re exploring things with them, rather than voyeuristically gaining intimate knowledge of their Private lives (which is ironic really considering the predilections  of these two characters).

And most of all I like the fact Christina Lauren, the combination of two female authors, has not created meek female characters all weak male characters, but too powerful voices and presences that work together in an enjoyable story.

  • Beautiful Bitch (Beautiful Bastard #1.5) Christina Lauren | 29 Jun 17 | E-book | 2 Stars

I like these two characters, but I prefer them in a work setting in the USA. Don’t get me wrong it’s a pleasant departure for all of us to a French Chateau comma and the book definitely has a more romantic theme,but it’s just not really my cup of tea in the grand scheme of things.

I’m looking forward to meeting the next characters in this story arc, and hopefully seeing Chloe and Bennett’s story progress and flourish as we go.

  • Beautiful Bombshell (Beautiful Bastard #2.5) Christina Lauren | 29 Jun 17 | E-book | 2 Stars

If I hadn’t have decided to read this full series, and therefore committed to Reading the novellas that go between the main characters arcs, I’d’ve abandoned this almost as soon as I picked it up. It was sadly ridiculous and I didn’t feel like it kept with the feeling of the other books in the series.

I didn’t like the setting of Vegas, I didn’t like the setting of the bachelor party, and I didn’t like reducing the female characters to sexual bits on the side.

  • Beautiful Player (Beautiful Bastard #3) Christina Lauren | 29 Jun 17 – 30 Jun 17 | E-book | 5 Stars

It is definitely, by far, my favourite story in the series. It’s so much more playful and more enjoyable than the other stories.  The characters seem so much more relaxed and focused on their own lives as much as their growing relationship.

I do like the aspect that the third of the male trio in the story so far is a complete player. I feel like that really does fit with the story so far. I like the fact that the female character is strong, intelligent, and willing to stand up against his sometimes questionable and silly behaviour. I know i should say something feminist about always sticking up for the female characters but the fact is they are from before the male characters in books, so it’s nice to really enjoy a powerful female portrayal in a story that is essentially yet another love story.

Ok so it has a predictable trajectory and ending, but for me it was just more enjoyable following century than usual. I hope these two feature heavily in the rest of the series.

  • Beautiful Beginning (Beautiful Bastard #3.5) Christina Lauren | 30 Jun 17 | E-book | 3 Stars

Don’t get me wrong, I really like the playful flanter that goes on between Bennett and Chloe, but now as I have been introduced to Will and Hanna, I don’t care about these two nearly as much.

I like that, even under the stress of wedding plans and family pressures, Christina Lauren manages to stay true to the character’s that they have created. Somehow, the reactions, relationships, and conversations, feel like they come naturally, and I almost feel like I know them that well myself now.

I’m also pleased, and enjoyed, the obvious character progression and hinting that goes on in this that cleanly links the previous instalments, with the ones that have yet to come.

  • Beautiful Beloved (Beautiful Bastard #3.6) Christina Lauren | 30 Jun 17 | E-book | 3 Stars

I’m an absolute sucker for a story surrounding a baby and pregnancy. And what’s better than that is liking the main characters, knowing the parents, and seeing their story continue in another book.

What I like most about this book is that it’s not about the pregnancy itself, what about the first days of having a young child and how life changes irrevocably. I like to the battles to retrieve what they were before comma and how they will cope with the changing body shapes and attitudes towards their private life.

It’s not my favourite story in the series, not even close, but i do like the subject and the way it’s presented.

Books Read 19 | Pages Read 5682| Ave. 4.1

That’s quite a few books overall isn’t it. Well, that’s what happens when you’ve got oodles of time to spend in the house resting, and have realised the power of the audiobook as well! OK, so some is less than respectable in quality, but I’ve read a lot!

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3 thoughts on “May/June: It’s a Wrap

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