April 2022 Wrap Up

So the streak I feel is slowly ending. I struggled this month and I only managed to keep my numbers up due to all the manga I have been reading recently. The month of May is going to be tough to as I have books I must read for a specific project I am doing so we shall see how next month goes.

  • I read 9 books this month
  • I DNFd 1 book this month
  • Genre: 4 fantasy, 2 mystery, 2 non-fiction and 1 historical fiction
  • Gender of authors: 5 men and 4 women
  • Race of authors: 5 white authors and 4 asian authors
  • Age range: 5 adult and 4 YA
  • Format: 5 ebook, 2 paperback, 1 hardback and 1 audiobook

Elektra by Jennifer Saint (DNF)

Unfortunately, despite me loving the author’s first book, I did not love this one. I don’t know what it was about this book but I just could not get into it. I think it was mostly down to the writing style. I didn’t find this one as engaging and I felt that I just didn’t connec to any of the characters.

The Killings at Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah (3 stars)

The final book in the series. (I think. I could be wrong but I haven’t heard any news about new books) This book was fine. I had a lot of hope in the beginning as I found it to be very engaging. I really enjoyed learning about the main core family and all of their dynamics. But just as it started to get to the end the streak that the author was on plummeted with the final reveal. The ending left me feeling underwhelmed and disappointed. If the author does come out with new books I am not sure if I will pick them up.

Attack on Titan: Volume 3 by Hajime Isayama (3.5 stars)

The best volume so far. It’s great to go back and look at where everything started. I really liked all the action panels in this volume and it was great to read the more strategy focused segments. I can’t wait to get back into the lore of the titans.

Mercia’s Take by Daniel Wiles (4 stars)

A pleasant surprise as this book is very far removed from my normal reading tastes but I gave it a go and really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the main character and I felt the author did a great job of making you root for him, I wanted to see him succeed. I also felt the author did a great job of placing you firmly in the time and place this novel is set in (1870s, Black Country). A solid book.

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Volume 1 by Kanehito Yamada (4 stars)

The first manga I have started that actually isn’t complete. As of now it only has 3 volumes out! This was a great find and I plan on continuing to read this series. I felt that not only was it beautifully illustrated, I could just stare at those panels for ages, but the message behind this series is really touching. I am invested in Frieren’s story and watching her learn and grow and I also super interested in learning more about her past.

Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales by Soman Chainani (4 stars)

A fresh yet dark set of fairytale re-tellings. I really enjoyed this collection. I loved how the author switched and changed things around. I will preface and say even though people assume it’s middle grade, due to the author’s past work, it feels more YA. Also there were no quotation marks at all and that did make things confusing to read. In terms of the stories my favourites were:

  • The Little Mermaid
  • Peter Pan
  • Rapunzel

Losing It: Sex Education for the 21st Century by Sophia Smith Galer (4 stars)

Super informative. This book needs to be compulsory reading for everyone regardless of age, gender, sexuality etc. I learnt so much and also felt so validated as a woman and as a person. I will have all my friends read this book!

Moriarty the Patriot: Volume 1 by Ryosuke Takeuchi (4.5 stars)

Another manga that is still ongoing. It follows Moriarty and his journey to bring down Victorian Britain’s hierarchal system. I found the intial start to be a bit rocky but once we got to the end of the introduction of the main characters’s I was in for the ride. I did find that differentiating between Moriarty and his brother to be a bit hard as their design is relatively similar. But I thought the different stories were really engaging, I thought the messaging was super interesting and I am excited to see where the author takes this story and if we will be seeing Mr Holmes himself.

Dead Famous: An Unexpected History of Celebrity from Bronze Age to Silver Screen by Greg Jenner (5 stars)

I listened to this on audiobook to and from work and it was the highlight of my day. Greg Jenner just has a way of making even the most mundane story super entertaining and hilarious. I learnt a lot and laughed a lot. I will now be reading everything he has ever written!

The Killings of Kingfisher Hill Review

Hercule Poirot is travelling by luxury passenger coach from London to the exclusive Kingfisher Hill estate, where Richard Devonport has summoned him to prove that his fiancée, Helen, is innocent of the murder of his brother, Frank. But there is a strange condition attached to this request: Poirot must conceal his true reason for being there. The coach is forced to stop when a distressed woman demands to get off, insisting that if she stays in her seat, she will be murdered. Although the rest of the journey passes without anyone being harmed, Poirot’s curiosity is aroused, and his fears are later confirmed when a body is discovered with a macabre note attached… Could this new murder and the peculiar incident on the coach be clues to solving the mystery of who killed Frank Devonport? And if Helen is innocent, can Poirot find the true culprit in time to save her from the gallows? 

March 2022 Wrap Up

And the streak keeps going! Another great month of reading and I cannot wait to talk about it!

  • I read 12 books this month
  • I DNFd 1 book this month
  • Genre: 7 fantasy, 2 mystery, 1 contemporary, 1 historical fiction and 1 non-fiction.
  • Gender of authors: 5 women, 5 men and 1 book with multiple authors.
  • Race of authors: 5 white authors, 3 asian authors, 1 mixed-race author, 1 black author and 1 book which had multiple authors.
  • Age range: 8 adult and 4 YA
  • Format: 4 paperback, 4 ebook, 3 hardbacks and 1 audiobook

I have decided to start ordering my books from lowest rating to highest rating.

Mrs Death Misses Death by Salena Godden (DNF)

While I loved the premise the writing style didn’t work for me. It’s a very heavy poetry-esque style, which makes sense as the author is also a poet, but that writing style wasn’t my fave. I like flowery writing but where it still feels like prose. I am not the biggest poetry reader which is why it didn’t work out.

The Mad Women’s Ball by Victoria Mas (2.5 stars)

While this story started off great, around the halfway mark it just plateaued. The character didn’t really go anywhere once we learnt their backstory, the ending was predictable and I just felt the story lacked an element of depth. It felt like we had only scratched the surface of these characters and their story.

Murder by the Book edited by Martin Edwards (3 stars)

This was great dive into golden and silver age detective fiction with the theme being all about the world of books from murdered authors to literary clues. This collection had just about everything with some of my standout favourites being Malice Domestic, The Man and his Mother-in-Law and A Question of Character.

Galatea by Madeline Miller (4 stars)

I bought this purely becuase I am a massive Madeline Miller fan. I enjoyed this short story. I like Galatea as a character and I found the ending to be satisfying.

Haikyu! Volume 2 by Haruichi Furudate (4 stars)

Another great volume. This was where I actually stopped in the anime due to the pacing of the show. I loved seeing more of the teamwork, learning more about the characters and just falling in love more and more with this volleyball team. This series is really making me appreciate the sport. I can’t wait to jump into the next volume!

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman (4 stars)

I love the characters so much. I would love to spend an afternoon with the Thursday Murder Club. The dialogue was super fun and the plot was engaging. I would say that it did take a bit of time to get into the mystery as a whole and I wish they had stuck with a more cosy murder mystery vibe. But I did really enjoy the story I just felt it was a bit of a jump from the plot of books 1 to 2.

The Promised Neverland: Volume 2 & 3 by Kaiu Shirai (5 & 4.5 stars)

Probably my favourite installment so far. I just cannot fault this series one bit! There are 20 volumes in this series and even 3 volumes in there is just so much great content. It gets me so excited for the rest of the story. I love the art-style and the characters are amazing. The character of Mom is by far my favourite I want to know more about her, she is so intriguing.

The Story of the World in 100 Moments by Neil Oliver (4.5 stars)

I am loving getting into non-fiction and this book was no exceptions. I learnt so much about stories of this world that i had never heard of. What i loved the most what seeing the parts of our history where the story repeats. How actions that occurred 100s of years ago could somehow be repeated nowadays. The narration was amazing (as I listened to the audiobook) and I really enjoyed the writing.

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune (5 stars)

My favourite book of the month! This book had so much and was basically therapy. A thearpy session in a book. I loved the mixture of the supernatural and the modern day experience. I found the characters were great and I wish so desperatly that they were real!!! I expected this story to have a pretty meandering plot but actually ended up including a plot that had me desperatly wanting to know how it ended.

Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 6 by Hiromu Arakawa (5 stars)

Honestly I don’t think I could ever hate a volume in this series! As the series goes on an we get closer to the finale the better the story is. We are in the juicy part of the story where you can finally start seeing the bigger picture and its just so much fun. I can’t really remember how this ends so I can’t wait to re-learn.

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake (5 stars)

Character is my first thought when I think of this book. I enjoyed getting to learn about the characters. Each character felt very distinctive and different from one another. This book is told through multiple POVs and I enjoyed being in the mind of all the characters. I loved watching them interact and how the different personalities bounced off each other. I was so invested in this novel that I literally strained my neck as I was reading for hours on end.

February 2022 Wrap Up

Another really successful reading month but I can tell this is where my streak ends. I had a pretty solid month in terms of ratings and I am loving the books I am picking up in terms of variety. Let’s hope this continues for the rest of 2022.

  • I read 10 books this month
  • I DNFd 1 book this month
  • Genre: 6 fantasy, 2 contemporary and 2 non-fiction.
  • Gender of authors: 5 women, 4 men and 1 gender-neutral.
  • Race of authors: 4 white authors, 4 asian authors and 2 black authors
  • Age range: 5 YA, 3 adult and 2 middle grade
  • Format: 5 paperbacks, 3 ebooks, 1 audiobook and 1 hardcover

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo (DNF)

This was a book that was on my TBR for ages and I decided to listen to this in audiobook form. Unfortunately, due to the constant stop-start of the audiobook as I only listened to it on my commute I just didn’t connect to the story. I think this is a story best read physically.

A Taste for Poison by Dr. Neil Bradbury (4 stars)

This was really good. Since working at the bookstore I have started to branch out more with the books I am reading and I wanted to start reading more non-fiction. I really liked how the book balanced the more sciencey elements alongside the true crime stories. It was reading this book that made me switch from listening to fiction audiobooks and start listening to non-fiction audiobooks. 1. Because I would be able to branch out more and 2. I wouldn’t fall into the trap as I did with the above book as much because I don’t have to follow specific characters and storylines.

The Promised Neverland Vol. 1 by Kaiu Shirai (5 stars)

Oof! This is a series I will be finishing this year, I am that invested. I had heard so many great things about this series both the anime and the manga. I did hear though that the anime’s second season to a dive compared to the first and was very rushed so this prompted me to seek the manga out instead of the show. Going into it I expected to enjoy it but boy did it live up to the hype. The storyline is amazing, the characters are great and I love the art-style.

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki (2.5 stars)

This book unfortunately did not work out for me. I felt the book tried to cover too many things at once and then couldn’t fully commit to all the storylines. The art-style was not my favourite and I found the main character to be borderline unlikable. This was a miss for me.

Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good by Louie Stowell (3 stars)

This book I enjoyed a lot more than I thought I was going to. This book was fun and an easy read.

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (5 stars)

THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING I WANTED AND MORE! I read the first book in Jan 2021 and while I enjoyed it I did come away a bit confused with certain elements of the world and the magic system. I was nervous going into this book as I was worried I was going to feel the same way. This series has been praised so highly I just wanted to enjoy but this book just is everything I have needed in a fantasy novel. It’s like the author had been inside my brain and wrote a book specifically on things I like in books. 10/10. I want to finish the series this year.

Demon Slayer Vol. 1 by Koyoharu Gotouge (2.5 stars)

Now this one did not slap as much. Again, this series is super hyped and I wanted to try the manga before I watched the show but I was left feeling slightly unimpressed when I read it. I didn’t feel that it was doing any brand new and I just didn’t finish the book with any strong feelings.

That being said I decided to give the show a go due to the praise I have seen on social media and the TV show I LOVE!!!!! I did struggle with the first couple of episodes which funnily enough were all the stuff mentioned in volume 1 so maybe if I had continued the manga I would have liked it more? But now I am watching the show I feel like I am going to stick with the anime instead.

Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel by Jason Reynolds (4 stars)

This was a really good and poignant graphic novel. I felt the art-style really elevated the story and I found the story to be really powerful in getting its message across. I read this book fairly quickly as I was so absorbed in the story and the main characters’ journey in that lift.

The Ultimate Discworld Companion by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs (3 stars)

This was a fun book for fans of the Discworld series. I decided to read the book as I felt this would be a nice way to be able to learn more about the world without having to read all the books in the series as I just didn’t love the writing style. I loved the illustrations in this and being able to learn so much.

The Last Firefox by Lee Newbery (4 stars)

This was a super fun and exciting story about learning to believe in yourself and your capabilities. I found the writing to be super engaging and the illustrations to be beautiful. This book made me wish I had a pet fox.