The Read-a-thon is fast approaching and hopefully, that means you guys are getting as excited as I am! Nothing gets me more pumped for a read-a-thon than putting together my TBR so here’s what I plan on reading:
1. Read a book by a new-to-you author
For this challenge, I chose A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.
2. Read a graphic novel
For this challenge, I chose Giant Days Vol. 4 by John Allison– I love this series!
3. Read a book with a one-word title For this challenge, I chose Binti by Nnedi Okorafor – I have heard nothing but good things which is impressive for 96 pages!
4. Read a book you’ve read before
For this, I’m choosing Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone because I want to re-read the series this year.
5. Read a book that has been made into a movie
For this challenge, I chose Wonder by R. J. Palacio – I need to watch it before I watch the movie.
6. Read a non-fiction book
I have been meaning to read this for over a year! For this challenge, I chose The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown.
7. Read 7 books!
Well, I hope to read more than that actually. I would like to also read Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis, First & Then by Emma Mills, The Ice Dragon by G R. R. Martin, and The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock. That brings me to a total of 10 books, but who’s counting?
I just want to have fun and read some short books, my last two were 600 and 700 pages! I’m also excited to see all your TBRs and photos for the photo challenge! (For more info on that, go to @novelcravings on Instagram and for more info on the read-a-thon, find the announcement post here.
Let’s start with the good. These five books surprised me because I had low expectations going into them. Not because I had heard anything bad about them, just the opposite, I knew very little about them or the author and in some way or another, the book was outside my comfort zone.
To Kill A Kingdom – Raincoast Books sent this to me as part of their Winter/Spring preview package in the fall of 2017, and I had never heard of it. I also dislike mermaid books and Little Mermaid retellings. I can’t say that anymore because this was AMAZING. 4.5 Stars.
The Woefield Poultry Collective – You are probably making the same face right now that I did when my English teacher handed this to me. I’m not saying it’s the best book of all time but I had VERY low expectations. It was surprisingly good, had some great character development and made me laugh till my cheeks hurt.
When My Heart Joins The Thousand – No one is talking about this book! So, when I was offered a review copy I was hesitant, I don’t read a lot of contemporary, but I do like diverse reads. I’m so glad I said yes anyway, and if you want to know why you can read myfull review here. 5 Stars.
Furiously Happy – I hadn’t heard a lot about the book or the author and if I’m honest the cover sort of freaked me out? I needed an audiobook to listen to so I thought what the heck, let’s try this. I have never related to a book or laughed so much during a book in my life. If you struggle with mental health issues I HIGHLY recommend you pick this up. 5 Stars
The Abyss Surrounds Us – This is a short book by an author I had never heard of, but it’s sci-fi and pitched for people who enjoyed Pokemon so I was in. The action-packed thrill ride is amazing and I LOVED the main character so much that I had to do an interview with the author Emily Skrutskie.
Now for the bad – I’m not going to go into detail as to why I disliked these, I prefer to hype a book than tear it down. I was surprised by these because I had a gut feeling I would really enjoy them. They’re sequels to books I really enjoyed, books by authors I had read before, and books that sounded like they had all the ingredients to win my heart. Sadly the reality was disappointing
Thank you for reading!
What are some of the most surprising books you’ve read lately?
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. For more details, and to participate, click the link above.
A slower reading month, but a good one, every book I read was at least a 4 star. I also read a poetry book, which was a goal of mine this year, and listening to it as an audiobook was a great experience.
*click on the title of the book to read a full review*
American Panda by Gloria Chao (ARC) ★★★★★ This was everything I want in a contemporary AND it’s an #ownvoices book. You cannot read this book and not love Mei as you laugh and try and struggle with life along side her.
Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman (ARC) – ★★★★ I started reading this back in December? The beginning was a bit slow and I wasn’t clicking with the characters, so I put it down. I am SO glad I picked it back up because I loved it as much as Vengeance Road. Proof that you can read a book at the wrong time.
To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (ARC) – ★★★★.5 The best retelling of the little mermaid I have ever read, and I was never a huge fan of the tale before. This is such a dark, magical, action-packed version of Disney movie, in fact, now I want this made into a movie.
Sightwitch by Susan Dennard (eARC) – ★★★★★ I didn’t know what to expect of this novella, set before the events of the first book in the series. What I got, really blew me away. In 200 pages Dennard broadens the world of the Witchlands and deepens the plot in a way that makes you NEED all the books to follow just to solve the puzzle.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (Audiobook) – ★★★★ A really powerful story brought to life by the author. Perhaps the most powerful part for me, came in the form of the author notes at the end. I’m glad I listened to it because the author reads it in a way I never could.
This has been recommended to me over and over, and sounds like an incredibly heartbreaking and beautiful story. I have also heard it deals with social anxiety really well and that something I live with so I’m eager to read this one.
Words cannot describe my feelings for this book! A lot of books get hype but this one deserves it and then some. The last time a book instantly made it to my favorite-books-of-all-time list, I was reading Six of Crows. Now Children of Blood and Bone joins that list. And this is a very accessible story, so even if you aren’t a fantasy junkie like myself I think you would enjoy it. I would describe it as a little bit Aladdin and a little The Last Air Bender with a lot of West-African beauty and culture.
This is not a short debut. At 600 pages you might think there would be a lull somewhere but no, the pages flew by. At one point I did some jumping jacks just to try and stay awake for a few more pages – I couldn’t put it down! Tomi delivered the history of Orisha and the Magi in easily digestible pieces and I think there will be even more to uncover in following books. (I can’t wait!) I always like to be left with more of the world to learn about and this land/faith/magic system is one I NEED more of – yesterday. It’s great balance of original and recognizable, which is what makes it so accessible. Did I mention the rideable lionaires? I want to befriend my very own Nailah right now.
The story is told from three points of view, Zelie the warrior, Amari the Princess (but don’t let that fool you) and Inan the Prince with a secret. Even though I love the world, it’s the characters that make this story 5 stars, each one was complex and morally grey. It was so refreshing to see characters on both sides doubt themselves and question their values. When Zelie is tasked with returning magic to Orisha she doesn’t just accept it with unflinching confidence like so many “chosen one”s. She doubts her abilities and tells people not to bet on her. And she is constantly evaluating her actions; what lengths is she willing to go to bring magic back without becoming like her enemy? And there is no instant mastery of magical skills here either. (Thank you Tomi!!) I can’t say much about Inan because of spoilers but he is perhaps the most conflicted character, trying to decide the best way to serve his people of Orisha. I’m really interested to see where his story goes in book two. Amari, was perhaps my favorite character? She isn’t ‘the hero’ but she undergoes the most growth throughout the story and becomes a hero in her own right. From sheltered princess to warrior Queen. The girls really run the show in Children of Blood and Bone – just another reason to love this 2018 debut.
I don’t like to gush about a book without analyzing any shortcomings because even great stories have some. If I had any criticisms, and really I don’t, I guess some (minor) things happened a little too easily/neatly? Not everything can be a struggle though, or 600 pages would have become 900.
The story is sort of wrapped up in the end but there are still so many unanswered questions. I like that I got some answers but that I could tell the world and story will only expand and appreciate in coming books. The only downside to reading an advanced copy is knowing I have to wait even longer than most to read book two!
Thank you for reading my review of Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, and also to Raincoast Books for this review opportunity. I hope you enjoyed my insights and don’t forget to head on over to my Twitter account @novelcravings for a chance to win your own copy of Children of Blood and Bone! (Open to Canadian residents only)