spoiler free, tbr thursday

April TBR

monthly tbr

After not getting a lot read last month (although what I did read was actually from my TBR for a change) I’m planning to keep it small this month too. I do a lot of my reading when I get quiet moments at home and lately, there haven’t been too many of them at home so I plan to take it a bit more casually this month and see how I get on.

Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman.
This is my current read and I think I’m about halfway through at this point so will definitely be finishing this up within the next few days with any luck.

Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Heroes by Tom Taylor.
My comic review for the month will be a follow on from last months, this time looking at the trade paperback collection focusing on the heroes from the sequel trilogy. This might change to The Rise Of Kylo Ren comics as I am due the last issue any day now so we’ll see how long I can resist and avoid spoilers.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston.
As you may have seen previously I was lucky enough to be gifted an arc copy of Bookish and the Beast, part three of the Once Upon a Con series which I plan to start this month. The few conventions I attend a year have been (understandably) postponed and it’s still unknown whether they will happen at all so I’m hoping I can live vicariously through these books. Not to mention I’ve been planning to read them for ages!

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston.
Being the second book in the Once Upon a Con series this follows the same reasoning as Geekerella. I’m not sure I’ll get to the sequel this month but I’m hopeful!

Have you read any of the books on this months TBR? If so let me know what you thought or if you’re reading any of these this month as well! What book are you hoping to get read this month? Also, are you finding you’re reading more or less during the lockdown?

 

 

Monthly Wrap up, spoiler free

Monthly Wrap Up – March 2020

Monthly Wrap up

It’s been a heck of a month hasn’t it? I’ve been in self-isolation for fourteen days (I’m free today!) and the country, along with a large portion of the world has gone into lockdown. Times are scary right now and although things been hard we can’t stop enjoying the things we love as long as we do so safely. So here is my monthly wrap up (a little later than usual but here all the same.

Currently Reading.

Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman.
I have been SO excited for this, I really loved The Devouring Gray and I’ve been desperate to read the sequel since before the first book came out so the moment this was delivered I literally opened the package, sat down and started reading. I’m not getting through it as quick as I would like but that has more to do with me finding the time between keeping everything together at home and the amount of time I’ve been playing Animal Crossing for…we’ll come back to that.

Books I’ve read.

Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Villains. My comic book read for the month was quite an enjoyable one and pretty interesting getting a closer look at some of the characters.

Cursed: An anthology of dark fairy tales. I found this book a very mixed bag and this does happen quite often with anthologies I find, that some stories are great whereas some you can’t finish or barely get through and Cursed was very much like that which is why I make sure to review each story individually with a few lines and try to work out an average rating for the book itself. Henry and the Snake Wood Box was my favourite.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker novelisation. I finished this last week and had planned for the review to go up on Tuesday and then the Wednesday but although I did really enjoy it I just found myself unable to write much last week and couldn’t get the words down. I’ve had much better luck this week and said the review will be out pretty soon.

Changes from TBR

I did pretty well with this I think considering. I read two of the four books I had on my March TBR which is honestly better than I do a lot of the time because I’m such a fickle mood reader! I was lucky to get a copy of The Rise of Skywalker Novelisation early which helped as I didn’t have to choose between reading that or playing Animal Crossing for very long!

Books I’ve brought/received. 

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare – Decided to order this the day before it came out after deciding I wouldn’t buy it for months beforehand. I caved when I realised there were special first editions.
The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman – GIFTED from Titan books.
Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston – GIFTED from Quirk Books
RWBY Official Manga: Vol 1 – Red Like Roses – Spotted this in Waterstones after having gone in for something else and couldn’t help myself.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker expanded edition by Rae Carson – Again, went into Waterstones for one thing and came out with this.
Emily Eternal by M.G Wheaton – I managed to acquire one of the very pretty arc editions of this from a friend on Twitter.
Dragon Age; Tevinter Nights Anthology – GIFTED from Titan Books
Star Wars: The Queens Shadow by E.K. Johnston – Treated myself to this when I had to go into self-isolation.

Shows I’ve seen.

Picard. I would like to rewind time and watch the entire series again, please? I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this show but now that we’ve seen the whole thing (well, the first series at least) I can say for certain that I loved it. I wasn’t sure it could live up to Discovery for me, which I adored but honestly, it’s just as good just in a different way.

Duck Tales. This is not one I expected to be writing about and not one I’ve seen the whole of as I wasn’t particularly interested, it was more something we put on for my little one to watch, then Chris started watching too as he loved the old series, then I started watching it too and it was actually really good.

Tangled the series. I had been meaning to watch this for ages and with the launch of Disney Plus I have now finally started it and I’m already absolutely loving it. Cassandra is life.

Films I’ve seen.

Nothing new this month I don’t think but I did watch Ice Princess and both Princess Diaries films in one afternoon/evening with Chris about a week into our self-isolation.

Games I’ve played. 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I think it was fairly obvious that this section would probably only consist of one game (although I did play a bit of Stardew Valley at the beginning of the month) and honestly, this game has been the main reason I’ve stayed anything close to sane this past week. Doing my own thing and spending evenings with my friends in-game has been amazing and so incredibly fun. We’ve had themed evenings, games, evenings just wishing on shooting stars and chatting. It reminds me of the month when Pokemon Go first came out years ago and everyone was out together every evening just catching Pokemon and yeah it’s been unreal.

Anything else?

A lot of great games of Dungeons and Dragons have occurred this month, even my more laid back games have had some incredibly tense moments and there are a lot of feels which I am obviously living for. I actually started recording our Monday games and episode two just went live on YouTube a couple of days ago if that’s something you’re interested in you can find the video below! (Warning there is some bad language).

For now though, happy April 1st, with any luck my tiny April TBR will be up tomorrow and then everything will be back to normal next week. Take care and stay safe.

 

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Characters I’d go on a date with

Six for Sunday

Happy Six for Sunday! The weekly challenge where we give six answers to a prompt form the lovely Steph at A Little But A Lot. This week the prompt is six characters I’d like to date. I tend to crush on book characters a lot so this was pretty easy! The only challenge was picking just six and trying to figure out just want kind of dates they would be.

s4s-march-week-4

Kady Grant from The Illuminae Files.
I adore Kady, she’s smart, sarcastic and witty (which seems to be my type looking at the rest of these to be honest). I feel like we would probably have a fun but silly date.

Jace Herondale from The Shadowhunter Chronicles.
Okay, so Jace would either be horrible or brilliant at this. It probably helps that I am absolutely down for learning to use various weapons on said date though, to be honest.

Oz from NPC Tea.
I feel like Oz would be one of the only ones to actually take me on a ‘semi-normal’ date like a restaurant or something but we would probably both be awkward nervous messes.

Lazlo Strange from Strange the Dreamer
The only limit with this date would be our imagination and honestly, that’s kind of scary but also awesome. Lazlo is sweet and kind (not to mention pretty) so I’m very okay with this.

Tric from Nevernight.
I feel like this would be perhaps another attempt at a ‘normal’ date and it would be terrible but hopefully sweet OR he would absolutely surprise me by thinking of something stupidly thoughtful. It’s Tric so I’m fine with either.

Jude Duarte from The Cruel Prince.
This would almost certainly nearly get me killed or cursed but I’m one hundred per cent here for it.

That was fun! I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post as much as I wrote writing it! I hope with everything that’s going on at the moment you’re all keeping safe as possible and I’m sending you all tons of love and have a great Sunday. If all goes well I’ll see you back here Tuesday with a review.

 

spoiler free, Tags, Uncategorized

Ten Things That Make Me Happy

tag Thursday

Everything feels so unreal right now that I’m still finding it hard to believe it’s all actually happening. I developed a cough for a couple of days and was feverish yesterday so me and the family are on self-isolation for the next two days. In light of everything, I thought it would be fun to make a list of ten things that make me happy post and I won’t tag anyone particular to do it but feel free to make your own lists or let me some of your own in the comments!

My friends. My online and offline friends have been the brightest light in my life these past few months and I genuinely can’t even imagine my life without any of them.

My Family. I know this one is pretty much a given but it’s been hard for all of us lately but I could not be more grateful for my parents, my husband and my son right now.

Dungeons and Dragons. This kind of ties in with my first point because each one of my groups have been the only reason I’ve stayed sane through all of this mess. I look forward to each and every one of these games each week. I love you, folks.

Animal Crossing. The new game launches tonight and I’m stupidly excited. Having something I’ve been waiting for, for so long is finally here and it couldn’t have come at a better time let me tell you.

Writing. I’m not doing a ton of writing lately but when I have been it’s been a fantastic escape and helped to keep me calm when I’m trying not to freak out.

My Cat. Jiji is loving having someone at home all the time at the moment. She’s becoming super soppy and even more affectionate lately. Not to mention having kitty snuggles while she happily purrs is the best medicine while I’m not feeling well.

Music. Music has helped in so many ways throughout my life in general and although I’m not a ‘music nerd’ I adore it. I like to sing and dance, I like to listen to songs my friends send me and I like to send them songs too.

Books/reading. This one is probably another obvious one but I’m glad I have no shortage of fantastic worlds and stories to jump into at any moment.

Discord. This one kind of links back into the friends part but this app has made it super easy to keep in contact with everyone. It’s strange that I don’t really like phone-calls but voice chatting on discord is fine. Whether it’s playing games, watching stuff together, playing D&D or just messing around chatting and such. Not to mention just having somewhere for us all to chat and message each other. Good job Discord (apart from that one time two days ago where you stopped working during a particularly tense moment in D&D).

Video Games. I’ve already mentioned Animal Crossing but I’ve been playing Stardew Valley, Pokemon and a little Mass Effect (obviously) here and there too, sinking a few hours in when I can and they just chill me out so much. Plus bonus points for more escapism.

So that’s my list, tell me some of yours!

 

 

book reviews, spoiler free

Cursed: An Anthology of Dark Fairy Tales

Book Review

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Cursed: An Anthology of Dark Fairy Tales

Rating: XXXX

Published March 3rd 2020 by Titan Books

“Proposition. Bargain. Offer. Deal. Chance of a lifetime, et Cetera. Slightly Faustian, but still good. Well, good’s a slippery concept, but compared to most of these arrangements, I’m offering you a golden ticket.”

Fairy tales take a weird twist in this anthology compiling stories from an all-star cast of fantasy writers, including stories from Neil Gaiman, Charlie Jane Anders and Alison Littlewood.

Here in this book you’ll find unique twists on the fairy tale conceit of the curse, from the more traditional to the modern – giving us brand new mythologies as well as new approaches to well-loved fables. Some might shock you, some might make you laugh, but they will all impress you with their originality

If there’s one thing I love more than Fairy Tales it’s curses and I was so excited to hear that Titan books were publishing an anthology full of dark Fairy Tales and curses! As with my other anthology reviews, I took notes as I read and have a bit to say about each one.

Castle Cursed by Jane Yolen – XXXXX
I wasn’t expecting a poem but it was a perfect start to this cursed anthology.

As Red as Blood as White as Snow by Christina Henry – XXXXX
A Perfectly Christina Henry style tale with a very different version of Snow White.

Troll Bridge by Neil Gaiman – XXX
Well Written and with a great twist but didn’t really do it for me personally.

At That Age by Catarina Ward – XXX
Super creepy and weird but interesting concept.

Listen by Jen Williams – XXXXX
A beautiful and well-told tale with a satisfying ending.

Henry and the Snake Wood Box by M.R Carey – XXXXX
An absolute masterpiece. I loved this immensely, my favourite story out of all of them.

Skin by James Brogden – X
Trigger warning: Body horror and self-harm. Reading this was incredibly hard and I had to stop reading the book for a couple of days.

Faith and Fred by Maura McHugh. – XXXXX
Interesting, well written and intriguing but also simple. Great cliffhanger style ending.

The Black Fairy’s Curse by Karren Jay Fowler. – X
Confusing and didn’t make much sense to me.

Wendy, Darling by Christopher Golden. – XXXXX
Trigger warning: Mention of infant murder. Absolutely chilling and a turn I didn’t expect it to take! Dark.

Fairy Werewolf vs Vampire Zombie by Charlie Jane Andres. – XXXX
Okay so this was a weird one but I did really like the way it was written and reminds me of all the Mary Janice Davidson books I used to read. Was a bit over the top ridiculous at times.

Look inside by Michael Marshall Smith. – XX
This read a little disjointed and had an unreliable narrator. It felt like it was cut a little too short although I liked the premise. It also creeped me out the most out of all the others so far.

Little red by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple. – XX
Major trigger warning for self-harm and sexual abuse. I almost didn’t finish this one. It’s written well but felt a little disjointed and the subject matter made feel very uncomfortable.

New Wine by Angela Slatter. – XXXXX
I’m not sure how this one fit in with the cursed theme but I really loved it, it was intriguing and kept me guessing the whole time.

Haza and Ghani by Lilith Saintcrow. – X
Didn’t enjoy this one, it’s wasn’t very clear and felt like it missed a lot and was lacking. I ended up skimming over the end.

Hated by Christopher Fowler. – XX
This would have been a much higher rating but there was just something that rubbed me the wrong way, not to mention the unnecessarily repeated mention of race and a racial slur.

The Merrie Dancers by Alison Littlewood. – XXX
A good tale but I found the narrator very unlikeable.

Again by Lebbon. – XXXX
Brilliant story! I definitely could have read more. I wasn’t sure about the ending but overall the whole thing was great.

The Girl from Hell by Margo Lanagan. – X
Did not enjoy, very disjointed. I didn’t find it particularly interesting or making a lot of sense to me.

Castle waking by Jane Yolen. – XXXX
I prefer the first one but this was still good, I loved that the book is opened and closed with linked poems.

There were definitely a few hit and miss stories in this anthology for me, most of the ones I didn’t like were due to personal preference more than the quality of the actual content so there are definitely some here that I think others that would enjoy that weren’t personally for me. It’s definitely worth checking out if you enjoy the darker side of fairy tales and the curses within.

 

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Six Characters that would fit right in my family

Six for Sunday

Happy Six for Sunday! The weekly challenge where we give six answers to a prompt form the lovely Steph at A Little But A Lot. This week the prompt is six characters that would fit right in my family. My family a little quirky so I think this could be a fun one!

s4s-march-week-3

Pippa Fitz-Amobi from A Good Girls Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Izzy O’Neil from The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven.

Zuzana from A Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Ari and Janco from the Chronicles of Ixia series by Maria V. Snyder

Alec Lightwood from the Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

Nick from Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

On reflection, it seems that I’ve mostly just picked people I think my mum would like!

Edit: I apologise this weeks post is a little more sparse than usual but our family got some bad news this morning and I just couldn’t finish it. I hope you enjoy it regardless though. See you back here Tuesday my review of the Cursed Anthology from Titan books.

 

spoiler free, Tags

TBR Book Tag

tag Thursday

It’s book tag time! Does anyone just look at their book tag and despair sometimes? I have SO many books to read yet I keep buying more!! I have cut down on the books I buy and am not taking on as many review requests at the moment because I just have such an enormous amount of books I own but haven’t read yet so I decided to do a TBR book tag today and it’s made me realise I probably need to have a good sort out and get my TBR into some kind of organised system to help me get through it. This tag is originally by @aperfectioncalledbooks and I found it here over at Stories and Spoons.

How do you keep track of your TBR book pile?  
I don’t currently have a way to keep track of this yet. I am debating spending my afternoon sorting through my books though and trying to sort out a spreadsheet and/or a good reads list to help me out. I also have a TBR jar that I should probably try and get around to using.

Is your TBR mostly print or eBook? 
My TBR is mostly comprised of print books as I tend to only buy books on kindle if they’re on sale or I want to read them there and then other than requests I’ve been approved for on Netgalley which is a far few but nowhere near as many as I have sitting on my shelves and TBR trolley ready and waiting.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next? 
I am most definitely a mood reader, all the way. It can make it hard to try and get through my TBR and reminds me of when you decided to watch something on Netflix but you just spend an hour scrolling through everything trying to decide what to watch instead of actually watching anything.

A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest? 
After taking a look at my shelves I think it’s probably Outside In by Maria V Snyder. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the first one and I did consider reading this after reading her latest sci-fi release I just honestly keep forgetting about it and it’s been so long since I read the first book (Inside Out) that I don’t know how much sense it would make to me at this point without rereading.

 A book you recently added to your TBR? 
I received my copy of Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare yesterday. I was a huge shadowhunters fan and I do still love the series but after the Dark Artifices Trilogy took me forever to read (I don’t do well with large books) I’ve found it hard to get back to the series. I still have The Red Scrolls of Magic sitting on my shelf waiting to be read and I had decided I wasn’t going to get Chain of gold because of that but when I realised there was a special first edition version I succumbed and ordered the damn thing. I now need to reorganise my bookshelves again because my shadow hunter shelf is SO full.

A book in your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?
I don’t think I have any books like that. Often I’m drawn in because of the beautiful cover but then I look deeper before buying to make sure it’s something I’ll like. I guess the closest would be Circe as the moment I saw the cover I knew I needed it.

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading? 

If I’m not planning to read it why would it be on my TBR? Looking at my shelves at the moment I think one of the books I’m least likely to read is probably Tales of the Peculiar, a companion book of short stories to the Miss Peregrine’s books, I brought it because it was pretty, on sale and I was currently reading the first book in the series. I own the second book but not sure when I’ll get around to it, let alone to this pretty hardback of stories about characters I don’t really have a connection to yet.

Scratch that, I found a copy of the Strawberry Theif by Joanne Harris, I do want to read the Chocolat books but seeing as I don’t even own the first few and haven’t read them I feel like maybe this one would be the least likely to be read. Which is a shame because I love Joannes work.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for? 
I’m really looking forward to Bookish and the Beast! I’m reading the first two books after I’ve finished my current read and then I have a beautiful arc to dive right into afterwards and I am SO excited to read it!!

(I’m also, predictably excited for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker novelisation too, not long to go!!)

A book on your TBR that basically everyone’s read but you? 
SO many of those. The first one that catches my eye is Sorcery of Thorns, I kept seeing it everywhere and it sounds completely up my street, I was gifted it over Christmas from my wishlist and I desperately want to read it. But I also want to desperately read everything else too..

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you? 
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is a book anyone who knows me and has read it tends to recommend to me and I can see why because it sounds completely in my wheelhouse and like a book and series that I will love. I’m starting to freak out now over just how many awesome books I have and want to read right now. But all of them.

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read? 
Honestly, most of them. I haven’t been making as much time for reading lately as I think maybe I could and I’m sad that there are so many great books for me to love just sitting on my shelves waiting for me. Now that I’ve thought about I do really want to get around to The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet but I don’t think it’ll fit into my reading mood at the moment, not to mention the ever-growing pile of books from published I have to review at the moment.

How many books are on your TBR shelf? 
On my physical shelf at last count which was sometime last year, I think, it was at over one hundred…I have had a clear-out since then but I’ve also received and brought a lot go books since then too. I am going to go through them all later today with any luck and I’ll update this post when I do so. Not going to lie…I’m a little scared.

So that was the TBR Book Tag and it certainly did the job of inspiring me to go through my books that I still need to read for sure. How big is your TBR pile and do you only include books that you already own? Like I do or do you include books you’ve not yet brought or received? I’ll see you back here Sunday for this weeks Six for Sunday post, take care and watch out for falling TBR stacks.