August Reading Wrap-Up | 18 Books & One Fully Completed Reading Challenge

Thank you for being patient with me as I took a little break. It’s been a bit weird that there have been no notifications but taking a step back helped me appreciate and indulge in the summer. It’s over by the time you’re reading this and I’m over-excited for Autumn! I hope you have a good September.

How was your August?

I’ve seen these wrap-up posts all over booktube and the book blogging community and I felt very inspired to try it out for myself. I have read many books last month which makes me very excited to review them! 

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Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

The first book I read this month was Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I have a whole post dedicated to this book and it disappointed me slightly. The book community can influence your expectations and this was a novel that I went into with high expectations. Being let down by a book is a horrible feeling but it’s a learning curve. I will make sure to not look at too many reviews before I read them for myself! I think I will give Rainbow Rowell a second chance though. I hear that Eleanor And Park is a good one but I’ve heard so many bad things about it as well!

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The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas 

I picked up this book from The Works for £3 (I know, an absolute bargain). Gracie from A Light In The Darkness recommended me this one and, to be honest, I didn’t know about the hype until I looked at the hashtag on Instagram. I must have been living under a rock to have not heard about THUG before. It was such an amazing novel, focusing on social and racial issues. Books like these are legendary because of how they bring light to old problems that still haven’t been tackled. I’m so glad that I purchased this one (usually I use the library) because I look forward to reading and enjoying it all over again. 

Flawed – Cecilia Ahern

Flawed also has it’s own book review so check that out because I won’t be talking in detail in this post. The synopsis gives away a lot of the plot which is a real shame. There’s not much tension building up to the climatic parts which made me rate it two stars on Goodreads. There’s nothing I completely detest about this book but I don’t love it. I’m sure some younger readers would like it, but it’s a bit boring for me!

1984 – George Orwell

This classic, as you may know, is a perfect example of dystopian fiction. I loved some of the writing but the overall plot was uninteresting. The world is very intriguing but the best part, for me, was the conclusion. Coming to the end of this book was a bit of relief but then I really enjoyed the last few pages! 

The Miller’s Tale 

If you are a bookstagram friend, you will know of my participation in Day Dream’s Readathon. It was my first ever readathon and I really enjoyed the idea of a set TBR for the month. There were only eight prompts so I read a lot of books that weren’t related to the challenge at all. Though, A Miller’s Tale was the book I submitted for the ‘short story’ prompt. It’s written by someone close to home and they are not published on Goodreads or anything like that. I think it was on sale at a church fair and it’s all about the author and her time in a miller’s life. The idea is very poetic and soft. The book also has drawings on the left-hand-side page which reminded me of reading picture books as a young child. 

Rebel Of The Sands – Alwyn Hamilton

I reread this book as part of the Day Dream’s readathon. The prompt was: “a book you’ve owned since forever” and I’ve had my copy of Rebel Of The Sands for almost three years? (or maybe two, it could be younger than I think) Books are so much better the second time around – unless they’re thrillers, of course! I loved revisiting the characters and the very unique fantasy world. When I read this book two years ago, I wasn’t as into reading as I am now. It was a lovely dose of nostalgia and for any young adults, I would definitely recommend it! The main protagonist is a strong female: a crossover of Katniss and Princess Leia who are the characters I always wanted to be like as a child.

A Court Of Thorns And Roses – Sarah J Mass

This is one of my favourite books of the year. I loved it so much and I am really glad I bought this one, instead of library lending. I look forward to reading again (if I have time) and finishing the series! I have one big review for it linked here. I would appreciate if you checked that out.

Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi

Well, this one was a wild ride. And not in a good way. Though the other books in this series get better as you go along. The last one’s ending made me incredibly frustrated but that’s the magic of books!

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index

I picked this one up after hearing about it somewhere on the book blogging community. I didn’t really know what to expect and wasn’t that excited about it either. I was pleasantly surprised! This one was so, so good and I’m surprised about the lack of hype surrounding it.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

I spotted this gem in the library but I sadly couldn’t find the rest of the series at that time. I enjoyed this book for the way that it integrated magic in a way that wasn’t totally unbelievable. A family friend recommends I read The Night Circus, because it has the same magical realism that I love ☺️

Unravel Me – Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me is definitely better than the first one – though my opinions are still incredibly mixed. There’s not much complexity to the characters but the plot is getting more exciting. I’m less than 100 pages in but there’s already been a lot of drama! I want to know where this goes which, in one sense, is a good element. It’s page-turning.

The Lost Hero – Rick Riordan 

The Lost Hero is a solid 5 stars for me. I enjoyed revisiting Percy Jackson’s world – about 4 years after originally reading them. There were no flaws in the plot and the characters had not only good wit, but also complexity. By switching perspectives, the characters were developed and I love them all. As part of #daydreamsreadathon, one of the prompts was to read a book from multiple perspectives. This was my idea and I think I’ll read the whole series sometime. It’s not a priority, but something I would like to get to. With school starting a few weeks, I will have to read more complex books in my free time so these will have to wait until Christmas!

Ignite Me – Tahereh Mafi

The Shatter Me series has a very common theme. The books start off awfully but then conclude in a way that makes you so angry but also satisfied. I don’t know whether to love or hate these books. I think a good book is one than provokes strong emotion and, in this case, it’s anger. I love this book for how much I hate it (if that makes any sense?)

Restore Me – Tahereh Mafi

THE ENDING SKSKSKSKS

Girl Online – Zoe Sugg, Siobhan Curham (Ghostwriter)

I was feeling in a very cosy mood, so I read this in less then two hours straight. It was my childhood dream to be like Penny and my whole world surrounded these books a few years ago. I can now see all the problems with this book though, for an odd reason, I still enjoyed it? I think it’s partly because I do not want to admit that I’ve grown out of my ‘Zoella” phase 😆

It was after I finished this book that I hit a pretty harsh reading slump. I’ve never experienced something like it. I was demotivated to do anything so, for about 5 days, I was baking and drawing (things I don’t do often). Then came my birthday, and I had a few new books and that really helped my reading habits improve. I’m enjoying The Knife Of Never Letting Go and I’m going to read it for as long as I need and certainly not rushing.

The Knife Of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness

I’m very happy to say that I did finish another book by the end of the month!

 

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I may have added extra number to the title but not added them in the post. These are books that I finished just before posting and I didn’t have enough time to review 🙂

 

Taking A Break

Recently, I’ve been trying to hide the struggles of blogging. Posting three times a week can be a strain sometimes. I have been posting just for the sake of posting. Some of my recent posts I am really not happy with but my schedule has required me to post it (I’ve been pushing myself a lot).  Also, being ‘professional’ is not fun. I’ve had to hide from you, my friends, all the problems that have occurred because of being so active. These past few months have been the best my blog has ever seen, and thank you so much for your support! Yet, being successful comes at a price. I have been glued to my iPad when it is really unnecessary. Sometimes a whole day goes by when I haven’t been outside. I disgusted my own problems and I want to put a stop to it.

Bookstagram is one of my new adventures and it has been good so far. Other than the pressure to read more often (which is unavoidable) the community is really safe and I’ve made some new ‘friends’. I enjoy spending time on there but I am very self-critical. My mind is constantly whirring: ‘this is unnecessary’ ‘stop scrolling’ ‘you’re wasting your time’ and I agree with myself, for some parts. I want to put aside 1 hour a day for bookstagram and that’s all. I know it’s very ambitious, but I am a Slytherin after all. In addition, my addiction to books has resulted in less exercise. I need to work on my own fitness and balance between books/health. 

You can probably see where this post is going…

I’m taking a break but for only as long as I need. I want to write up content that I’m 99% happy with, instead of 70%. Hopefully I’ll still be active on Instagram, but I can’t promise anything.

Sorry for the negativity: I thought you might like to know why I won’t be posting for a while.

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Dystopian Fiction & Under-Developed Characters

Have you ever read any dystopian novels?

My most recent delves into Dystopia were 1984 (George Orwell) and Flawed (Cecelia Ahern). I read them both on the same day and they were so different to each other!

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Flawed is Ahern’s debut novel. It was a good retelling of persecution in 50s America. The problem here is that I don’t think that was what the novel was meant to come across as. The idea is that everyone is pure until they do something against the morals of the government. Things like playing music or reading old English literature (similar to the delirium trilogy, if you have read those). If you are caught doing something like that, you will be taken away by the ‘police’. There’s a small, unfair trial before you go through a branding process. If you crime is bad, your brand will be more noticeable to the public. If it is less so, it will be somewhere you can hide it. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but the synopsis sums up the book anyways (I hate blurbs like that).

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The branding is like wearing St David’s star or a white feather. It’s something people look at immediately recognise you as ‘inferior’. These Flawed people have separate seats on buses and different schools. It’s exactly like segregation.

The main protagonist is arrested for helping a Flawed person. You follow her story as she struggles with being imperfect. The characters are not well developed which is what lets me down. If the characters were more interesting, I think this would be a great book. The plot is very good if you separate it from the protagonists!

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I also read 1984, but is there really much to say? It’s an amazing example of literature.

Have you read either of these books? What are you thoughts?

I hope you have a really good day,

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My First Time Reading Rainbow Rowell | Ft. Fangirl & Disappointment

I’m sorry to be pessimistic, but ‘Fangirl’ was a let-down. I enjoyed all the characters (Cath was especially relatable, if we minus the fact she was obsessed with fan-fiction) but the plot wasn’t really there. I don’t personally understand the pressure of having an older, more popular twin. Though, I have read many books which have this concept as the main idea.

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Having the awkward romance situation made it more enjoyable. I feel a tiny bit sorry for Reagan and I also am getting the vibes that Levi is a player. The chemistry between Cath and Levi is undeniable but Reagan surely must have had some connection to have had such long-term relationship with him.

I wasn’t interested in Carry On (Cath’s fan fiction) and I’m so disappointed that Cath, Wren and Levi aren’t in the ‘sequel’. Simon and Baz were an exact recreation of Draco and Harry. It didn’t seem very original.

Should I write in past or present tense for these book reviews? I’m so confused.

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I was disappointed by this book because I’d heard so many good things about it. It was also my first ever time reading Rainbow Rowell. If I went into this with no expectations, I wouldn’t have come out being so disappointed.

Fangirl is a cute and cozy read but there’s no plot to it: a few family mishaps and a little bit of anger. If you are a romantic, this may be for you. However, it was just too cliché for me.


We all have books that let us down and I really want to share these opinions with you. Not every book you pick up is going to be good. Just push through it! Leaving it half-done might mean leaving a good ending (we all know classics have slow starts, but they get better by the end).

Have you ever read Rainbow Rowell? Have you written fan fiction in the past?

I hope you have an amazing day and that no books let you down!

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I Survived Camp!

If all went to plan, I should still be on Scout camp for another three days. However, it was cancelled. I’m going to tell you my adventure in diary format, enjoy!

Disclaimer: I really enjoyed this camp. I know I’m moaning throughout this whole post but weather does impact your mood. It also makes things less convenient.

27th July 

This morning I arrived in the most awful rain. Before I’d even passed the car park (a field) the bottom of my holdall was covered in mud. Not that I minded. At first I thought my bag had enough protection, though I was wrong. the mud and water soaked through the bottom of my bag and coloured my clean white towels brown. Everything in my bag is still damp: clothes, camera. Only the things I am wearing have stayed relatively dry!

Putting up the tents was easy but we had a few mishaps with the inner. There are three tents on our pitch (not including leaders) and, unfortunately, they all have puddles in. I’ve stayed in the mess all afternoon and it looks like we won’t be going out until the opening ceremony.

I’ve just came back from the ceremony. it was so much fun! Lots of good songs and there are 25 countries camping here. The rain stayed away while we walked there but returned as we walked back to the sub-camp.

The leaders are giving us lots of warm drinks because everyone is shivering, teeth-chattering.

28th July

The sun woke me up at 6:20 but didn’t stay for long. Soon there was rain again and some activities are cancelled today. It’s just after breakfast and I’ll be washing the dishes next. It’s nice to take time to write in here though. many of my friends are keeping diaries as well!

We’ve had activities all day and a few emergency cups of tea.  The rain hasn’t left us yet. All of my clothes are getting much damper and we’re not allowed inside the tents until this rain calms down a bit (which it hasn’t since 9:00am).

It’s now 5:00pm and the tents have puddles in them. Nothing is pushing the inner to the outer but I suspect it’s the wind. I’m just staying inside the mess and keeping as warm as I can. It’s getting harder and harder to write with my fingers going numb.

Update: two girls have left our camp. There are nine of us left. It is extremely cold but I’ve got to pull through. Not cleaned my teeth or washed since yesterday morning. The cleaning facilities are porta-showers (which are grim and coated with mud on the bottom) and portaloos. We have no sinks.

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