February Wrap Up 2020

February was an interesting month for me. I am trying a new format with my wrap ups. If you would like to read my reviews in more detail please click the title of the book.

  • I had my first DNF of the year!
  • I continued with my challenges and read a 2nd chance book, 2 books for my ONTD challenge and I read a sequel!
  • I read 7 books, 2 of which were DNFs.
  • In terms of genre I read an two urban fantasies, a short story collection, two thrillers and three murder mysteries.
  • I read three ARCs, one library book, two were re-reads and one was a backlist book I owned.

The Last Smile in Sunder City – Luke Arnold (4 stars)

This was an ARC that I was super excited to pick up. In my opinion, it was a brilliant debut. I really enjoyed the world and loved exploring the idea of magical creatures having to survive in a world without magic. The plot was really interesting but I did at times struggle with writing style. At times it did make me cringe.

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm – Brothers Grimm (DNF)

This was a re-read for me as well as a book for my second chance challenge. Sadly, like last time, I couldn’t get through it. Quite a lot of the stories I read I already knew so I got quite bored reading through it and I felt myself called to other books so I DNFed it.

My Sister, the Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite (3 stars)

I had mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the short chapters, I was intrigued about Ayoola as well as the bond between the two sisters. But I felt the story could have been deeper, I felt we only really scraped the surface. It needed more depth.

I read this book for my ONTD challenge, the theme was “Read a book set in Nigeria or a book written by a Nigerian author.”

In the Crypt with a Candlestick – Daisy Waugh (DNF)

I don’t have much to say regarding this story apart from I struggled to connect with the story or characters.

Tears of the Giraffe – Alexander McCall Smith (3 stars)

I really enjoyed the multiple narratives that weaved its way through this book. It really kept pace up and the novel engaging. I enjoyed Mma Ramotswe, she is such a strong character but my criticisms fell under the lack of actual detective work and a lot of important themes that were raised but never really explored.

Murder at Enderley Hall – Helena Dixon (3 stars)

This was another ARC that I read. This was another solid book in the Miss Underhay series, I think it held up really well against the first novel which was equally just as good. I felt the pacing of this story was done really well, the “romance” in this story has me really invested which rarely happens and I felt a strong sense of Dixon maintaining a solid series-arcing plot.

The Sea of Monsters – Rick Riordan (4 stars)

Another solid sequel, while in my opinion, not as good as the first story. This one was too short and a lot of convenient things happened to push the plot forward. But it was super fun, action-packed, we were introduced to some amazing characters. But what Riordan did, that was my favourite, was building up the series-arcing plot really well which makes you want to read the next book.

The Sea of Monsters Review

When Thalia’s tree is mysteriously poisoned, the magical borders of Camp Half-Blood begin to fail. Now Percy and his friends have just days to find the only magic item powerful to save the camp before it is overrun by monsters. The catch: they must sail into the Sea of Monsters to find it. Along the way, Percy must stage a daring rescue operation to save his old friend Grover, and he learns a terrible secret about his own family, which makes him question whether being the son of Poseidon is an honor or a curse.

The Series I Plan To Re-read in the Future.

2018 has probably been my best reading year to date. So far I have read 31 books beating my target of 22 and I still have one book left that I want to read in the last 2-3 weeks left of December. Now that we are nearing the end of the year I want to look forward and start planning books I would like to read in 2019 and while that post will be coming in the following weeks. This post is a bit different.

The books in this list are a mixture of series I have completed and want to read again and series I started reading a couple of years ago but never finished, with this series I would start with re-reading the books I had already read and then continuing where I left off.

The reason this isn’t in my 2019 plan is that I wouldn’t be able to finish all of these series in one year as well as reading other books. This is more of a plan to cover the next 2 or 3 years. First up…

  • Series: Harry Potter
  • Author: J.K Rowling
  • Status: Currently Re-reading 
  • Last Book I Read: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • No. of Books: 7

I decided early this year that I wanted to re-read the Harry Potter series. I have tried so many times to re-read the series, which I first read when I was 11, but I always gave up when it got to “Goblet of Fire”. The last time I tried to tackle this series I was 14 and got to the First Task chapter of the 4th book. Since then I have been listening to a variety of Harry Potter themed podcasts and it’s reignited my love for Harry Potter and the desire to re-read the series. One of the other main reasons was that I couldn’t remember much about the series from “Goblet of Fire” onwards especially not “Half-Blood Prince” and “Deathly Hallows” so I wanted to re-jig my memory and read the series through older eyes. 

So far I have read; “Philosopher’s Stone”, “Chamber of Secrets” and “Prisoner of Azkaban”. I loved the “Philosopher’s Stone” as it brought back a lot of fond memories for me and I loved the “Chamber of Secrets” due to the murder mystery element to it. My opinion of the book actually changed due to the re-read, I love it a lot more this time around. I liked “Prisoner of Azkaban” but didn’t love it. It was still very good but I just wasn’t drawn into the world as much as I was with the other two books. My plan is to read “Goblet of Fire” next year and carry on the series. After I read Harry Potter I will then begin to re-read…

  • Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians
  • Author: Rick Riordan
  • Status: Finished series
  • No. of Books: 5

I got this series a couple of Christmas’ ago after my dad and I watched the movie and I loved it so much I asked for the books for Christmas and boy was I shocked by how bad the movies were. Those movies were the epitome of “the book was better”. I was always a massive fan of Greek Mythology and the idea of mixing modern day and ancient gods together blew my mind!

I finished this series nearly 5 years ago and remember loving it but that’s the only thing I can remember about these books as I have completely forgotten what happens in this series. The movies can’t help you as they were so badly done and there were only 2 made! So one of the reasons I wanted to read this book was to remind myself about what happens.

Another reason is I remember loving it so much! This series to me was one of the first series where I realised that there wasn’t just Harry Potter out there. I didn’t think I would ever find a series that would match my love for Harry Potter and yet here we are.

  • Series: The Heroes of Olympus
  • Author: Rick Riordan
  • Status: Need to finish
  • Last Book I read: The Mark of Athena (Book 3)
  • No. of Books: 5

You are going to see a lot of Rick Riordan in this post, just to make you all aware. I was really scared reading the Lost Hero as I thought I wasn’t going to love it as much as I loved the previous series. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the new characters and I wasn’t sure what direction this book was going to go. I was relieved when I finished this book that I loved it just as much as I loved the original series and to me, it felt fresh and new, not using recycled storylines which was what I feared it was going to include. 

I haven’t finished this series, when I was reading the third book, “The Mark of Athena” the last book came out and I saw loads of spoilers posted by fans so I wasn’t really interested in finishing the series as I now knew the outcomes. So my plan is to re-read the first three books which I have already read first just so I can remind myself what is happening and then continue from there.

  • Series: The Trials of Apollo
  • Author: Rick Riordan
  • Status: To be read
  • No. of Books: 3

So I haven’t actually read the Trials of Apollo series. I haven’t even read one book. The reason this series is in the list is it’s continuation of the same world that “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” and” The Hereos of Olympus” series are in and I know that big things happen to characters introduced in the previous series’ so I feel like I need to complete this world as it’s not the end of the journey for Percy and other characters, hence why this series is here.

  • Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
  • Author: Rick Riordan
  • Status: Need to finish
  • Last Book I read: The Sword of Summer (Book 1)
  • No of Books: 3

I read this book two years ago during the summer holidays when I first decided I was going to focus on reading more. It was one of the first books I ever logged into Goodreads. To me this book was not Rick’s best work but I still enjoyed it regardless. I love Rick’s stories and imagination and to be honest I don’t know much about Norse Mythology so it would be nice to learn more about it as well as finishing this action-packed trilogy.

  • Series: The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Author: C.S. Lewis
  • Status: Currently Re-reading
  • Last Book I Read: The Magician’s Nephew (Book 1)
  • No. of Books: 7

I have had the entire book series standing on my book-shelf for I don’t know how long! I read up to “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” but haven’t read any of the following novels. During December I like to read smaller books just to amp up the numbers on my Goodreads reading challenge so I decided to pick up the Magician’s Nephew in the hopes of a quick read. That book is left unfinished at it was quite dull. I am hoping when I re-read the next book I won’t be so disappointed. I mainly wanted to read this series as I love this world so much, I watched the first 3 movies and adored them and I want to continue being in this world. 

  • Series: Agatha Christie’s entire collection.
  • Author: Agatha Christie
  • Status: Need to Finish
  • Last Book I Read: The Murder on the Links (Book 2 in the Hercule Poirot Series)
  • No. of Books: To many to count

I have watched adaptations of Agatha Christie’s work since I was about 10. I have the whole box set of every episode of the Hercule Poirot TV series but I have only ever read 3 of her books. Two which were from her Hercule Poirot series and one which was a standalone story. I want to read Christie’s work because I love her imagination and genius. Having watched everything unfold on the screen I would love to now watch it unfold on the page. I also love the fact that there are so many books and I want to challenge myself to read all of them. I love a challenge.

So there you have it. Quite a lot of books to get through. The next book I will be reading starting Monday will be The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien.