There are a whopping 14 books in my wrap-up this month, which had made me wonder if I should split the longer wrap-ups into two? What do you guys think?
The Only Story by Julian Barnes 🌟🌟🌟
I was very kindly since an eARC of this book from the publishers via NetGalley, but all options are my own. Unfortunately I was not a fan of this book, and I was so looking rower to finally reading something by Julian Barnes. The Only Story follows Paul as he embarks on a relationship that is frowned upon by society, that relationship being with a much older, and married woman. Of course there were aspect that I did enjoy, such as the exploration of the more philosophical themes, but I do already have a lovely spoiler free review if you would like to hear more of my thoughts about this book.
The Damned, Vol. 1: Three Days Dead by Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt and Bill Crabtree 🌟🌟🌟🌟
This is a historical fantasy graphic novel set during the prohibition era in the U.S, think of it as a cross between Boardwalk Empire and the Shadowhunter Chronicles. I had so much fun reading this, and it’s probably my favourite stand alone graphic novel. The Damned is a really well crafted novel, with a nice tight plot that unravels perfectly. It manages to stand apart from being just another graphic novel, though the art is stunning too. I will say that there are moments that get a little lost but I really want a physical copy (having only an eARC from the publishers) and can’t wait to get my hands on the next volume.
Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean 🌟🌟🌟🌟
This famous graphic novel takes place on April Fools Day when the inmates or Arkham Asylum take over the Asylum, they’re willing to release the hostages so long as Batman agree to enter the madhouse. I adored the complexities woven throughout the story and wish I could give it all the stars, however because of the art style, and the lettering it was too easy to get lost. But then I’m torn, because on the one hand you could argue that this represents the madness of the asylum, but on the other had it affected my reading. It was only for the annotated script in the back that I was able to fully appreciate the novel. At the end of the day, one thing remains clear, that Morrison is a very, very, smart writer.
That Old Black Magic by Cathi Unsworth [DNF]
I know that I have been very kindly sent this book by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for a review, and as a result should be preparing a full review for you guys, but I’m not. I’m sorry to say that at 56% I am DNFing That Old Black Magic, and I feel terrible about it. I thought that the prologue, seance was great, but it was uphill from there. The plot was over saturated, and far too many characters to keep track of. I like to know what I’m getting into, and will track the books progress using the blurb, however I am this far into the book and I still have two years worth of plot until I reach the dead body in the tree. I’m sorry but this confused blend of historical fiction and urban fantasy just is not for me.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman 🌟🌟🌟🌟
I picked this up on a whim, having had a rare craving for some contemporary fiction and knowing that this had been getting a lot of good reviews. The book follows it’s eponymous heroine Eleanor, who, unsurprisingly is completely fine. What’s most interesting about Honeyman’s book is that it’s an in depth character analysis that somehow finds this incredible balance between tragic and comical. There were times when I didn’t know weather to laugh at Eleanor, or with her. It was an easy read in a lot of ways, but also had a lot of darkness to it, and I’d be interested to see what Honeyman writes next. I am, however, very much in the dark as to why there were so many Jane Eyre references?
Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Glass Sword is the sequel to Red Queen, and hits the ground running exactly where that previous book left off. The pacing is a little strange, there are a lot of action packed sequences, but the best scenes are those in which Mare, Cal, and Maven are just having a conversation. Of course, that doesn’t stop me loving this book. I do already have a series-so-far review for the Red Queen series, which has mini reviews for each book so far, so feel free to check that out. I’m looking forward to getting to the next book, where there is more Maven!
Elmet by Fiona Mozley 🌟🌟🌟🌟
This is my third ManBooker of the year, which means I am right on track, and I have to say that I am enjoying this list (so far) so much more than the previous year. Elmet, is told from Daniel’s point of view, a young boy who lives with his father and sister in an isolated house built by them from scratch. This was a strange one, with echoes of Wuthering Heights, Biblical undertones, and something I can’t quite but my finger on, but was an enjoyable read. I will have a full review on it’s was, and I should also mention that I received an eARC of this book through NetGalley, but all opines are, as always, my own.
Rivers of London (Rivers of London #1) by Ben Aaronovitch [DNF]
I can’t believe this is the second book I am DNFing this month! What is going on? I started reading this back in February, February 13th to be specific, and I fount the first 100 pages so much fun. We follow this detective who gets caught up in a supernatural murder, which maybe is not my sort of thing considering I DNFed a very similar book earlier in the month. For some reason after those initial pages, which I read in one sitting, was almost painful. I decided to marathon the rest one morning when I just asked myself “Why?”. I don’t care about the crime, I don’t feel like any of the characters have any depth, and I don’t know why I’m spending time reading it.
A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR #2) by Sarah J. Maas 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Maybe you don’t know me very well, but ACOMAF is one of my favourite books, and has been since the first time I read it, back on it’s publication date in 2016, so prepare for some serious gushing. I also read ACOTAR not long after it release date and fell in love with this world, I was already aboard the bandwagon for Throne of Glass, but this truly is something special. I can devour this book again and again, both on its own and as part of the series as a whole, and it always gives me the same butterflies as it did on my first read. Reading it takes me back to my second year of uni, and I fall in love with The Night Court all over again.
Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
This is a re-read of a book that I first read around the beginning on February, so you can probably guess that I adore this book. I’ve spoken previously of how gorgeous Aciman’s writing is, and this time I got a chance to really experience the richness of the themes that are explored in less that 260 pages. From constructs of gender, to the effects of time, and, of course, first love, Call Me By Your Name is begging to be on a syllabus. Hell, I could fit a whole term with this book. I said it before, but I’m saying it again, this is one of my favourite books.
Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning 🌟🌟🌟
Since I read The Cruel Prince (twice) I’ve been in the book for more fae fiction, and this was book that I bought a while back on my kindle, partly because it was so cheep. The story follows Mackayla Lane, or Mac, a sweet, Southern girl from Georgia as she travels to Dublin to investigate the murder of her sister, and finds herself entailed in a hidden world of the fae. Essentially it’s an adult urban fantasy, kind of in the same vein as Charlaine Harris’ The Southern Vampire Mysteries, an I had a ball with this book. Is it ridiculous? Without a doubt, and I could sit here and tell you that it’s borderline sexist, and it’s not really a book that stands on it’s own (I bought the sequel instantly) but it is a really fun book.
Faefever (Fever #2) by Karen Marie Moning 🌟🌟🌟
There is something about this series that just kind of drags you in against your will. Maybe this is a reaction to reading so much “literary fiction” recently, but I am obsessed with this series. In Faefever we are, once again, unravelling the mysteries of a fae infested Dublin, with Mac and her hot but mysterious mentor, Barrons. This time (and sort of last time) we’re still on the hunt for OOPs, or Objects of Power that once belonged to the fae, as she finds herself surrounded my enemies, both old (some very old) and new). It’s such an easy read, and sometimes you need that in your life, and I just want to read the next one ASAP.
Clean by Juno Dawson 🌟🌟🌟
*Trigger warning for drugs, mental illness, and addiction*
This is another eARC from NetGalley, but, as always, all opinions are my own. Clean is a YA contemporary that follows 17 year old socialite, Lexi Volkov, who is carted off to Rehab by her brother, when she almost overdoses on heroin. This was a pleasant read, despite a sickening amount of pop culture references, although the ending felt a little out of place. Still, I sped through these 400 odd pages, in a matter of days, and enjoyed the story for the most part. More in my full review!
Faefever (Fever #3) by Karen Marie Moning 🌟🌟🌟
It took me a little longer to finish this one, and it did feel a little longer, but also I was a little busy this weekend, so that might of had something to do with it. One of my irks with the past two book was, as addictive as they were, the plot didn’t really feel like it was getting anywhere. Hello, plot has arrived! Faefever finally begins to piece these loose ends together, and the ending has one hell of a cliffhanger. I did also realise why I haven’t been giving these books high ratings, and its because they’re not quite hitting the spot in regards to characterisation. The day I get butterflies is the day I know it’s earn those stars, but until then, on with the series!
And those are the books that I read this month. My favourite was either Arkham Asylum or the Fever books, because they were a lot of fun.
What did you read this month? What was your favourite book you read this month? What was your least favourite?
Thanks for reading,