Reflecting on march

Renovations

March is another month where we have continued the pause on our renovations. We are in the process of finding quotes for doors, skirting and architraves which has actually been surprisingly difficult to do. While doing this we are trying to save a little bit more in preparation for completing the bathroom renovations later in the year.

reading

Book wise I ended up reading 10 books for the month which I am pretty happy with. I managed to complete

My favourite read for the month would probably have to be Persephone Station by Stina Leicht which is a science fiction book set on another planet and follows some badass female characters! I also read my first ever book club read, which is really exciting. We read ‘The Weekend’ by Charlotte Wood and are meeting up early this month to discuss and choose out next book.

Family

Baby is still in there and he’s still growing. Right at the end of the month I went into the hospital for some monitoring after having a very persistent headache but both Bub and I are okay! Very grateful for all the nurses and midwives at the hospital who made me feel really comfortable, even though I felt a little like I was being a drama queen! 

Aside from that we were preparing our fur baby Archie for his de sexing, which with an anxious pet can be a bit of work but its all in hopes that he will have a smooth transition when going in for the procedure, so here’s hoping it all helps.

life

The last 4 weeks of Term have been fantastic but a marathon! It’s been really hard to focus on much outside of work trying to get through each day and not be a total exhausted heap when I get home. I have still been playing Animal Crossing for a little each night, I am currently working on collecting Nook Mile Tickets so that I can do a dream villager hunt stream later in April. 

We are also trying to get into a better cleaning routine so that when the baby does come we can hopefully stay on top of everything but that may be a pipe dream!

Trials of Apollo: The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan

Summery

At last, the breathtaking, action-packed finale of the #1 bestselling Trials of Apollo series is here! Will the Greek god Apollo, cast down to earth in the pathetic moral form of a teenager named Lester Papadopoulos, finally regain his place on Mount Olympus? Lester’s demigod friends at Camp Jupiter just helped him survive attacks from bloodthirsty ghouls, an evil Roman king and his army of the undead, and the lethal emperors Caligula and Commodus. Now the former god and his demigod master Meg must follow a prophecy uncovered by Ella the harpy. Lester’s final challenge will be at the Tower of Nero, back in New York. Will Meg have a last showdown with her father? Will this helpless form of Apollo have to face his arch nemesis, Python? Who will be on hand at Camp Half-Blood to assist? These questions and more will be answered in this book that all demigods are eagerly awaiting.

Thoughts

It has been a real hot minute since I wrote a review, so this one may be short and how just how rusty I am.

The Trials of Apollo series is one that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and I genuinely sad to see come to an end. The way that Rick Riordan writes Apollo aka Lester Papadopoulos makes me laugh every time and is filled while such entertaining and consistent wit. It feels true to how the god would of been in all the myths.

Throughout the series we have seen characters from across the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series grow and evolve getting glimpses into where their lives have headed since the end of their respective stories. As a reader that thrives on character connection this is something that I absolutely love seeing.

The overall plot of ‘The Tower of Nero’ ties together all the loose ends from the previous 4 books of the ‘Trials of Apollo’ series. Allowing characters, readers and listeners the closure that is needed after such a saga of events.

I am honestly sad to see the end of this series and really hope for more Lester Papadopoulos in the future.

What are your thoughts on the series?

Lovely War by Julie Berry

Lovely War
by Julie Berry

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Date: 2019
Pages: 480
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Days to Read: 7
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

A sweeping, multi-layered romance with a divine twist, by the Printz Honor-winning author of The Passion of Dolssa, set in the perilous days of World Wars I and II.

It’s 1917, and World War I is at its zenith when Hazel and James first catch sight of each other at a London party. She’s a shy and talented pianist; he’s a newly minted soldier with dreams of becoming an architect. When they fall in love, it’s immediate and deep–and cut short when James is shipped off to the killing fields.

Aubrey Edwards is also headed toward the trenches. A gifted musician who’s played Carnegie Hall, he’s a member of the 15th New York Infantry, an all-African-American regiment being sent to Europe to help end the Great War. Love is the last thing on his mind. But that’s before he meets Colette Fournier, a Belgian chanteuse who’s already survived unspeakable tragedy at the hands of the Germans.

Thirty years after these four lovers’ fates collide, the Greek goddess Aphrodite tells their stories to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another? But her quest for a conclusion that will satisfy her jealous husband uncovers a multi-threaded tale of prejudice, trauma, and music and reveals that War is no match for the power of Love.

Julie Berry is an American Author who has written 12 books so far in her career, with The Lovely War being her most recent release.

The Lovely War follows our wondrous Greek Gods, namely Aphrodite, Aries and Hephaestus as Aphrodite defends herself as she and Aries are put on trial for their affair. To defend herself Aphrodite tells two stories of love from the first world war. Throughout which we begin to see the world and the god of Love does.

The way that Julie Berry tells the stories of these for characters doesn’t make it feel like a historical fiction. Most of my previous experience with historical fiction has been dry and difficult for me to feel engaged in. As I saw reading ‘The Lovely War’ I felt transported back to the story of the first world war and the experiences of these characters. I was utterly invested in the outcome of their lives.

Hazel and James’s love story was one that I was wholeheartedly invested in. The Character were well written and had so much dimension and depth. You could really see how their characters change and develop through the war and what that does to a person and their connections within society.

Aphrodite as a narrator was an aspect of the book that I found really interesting. Looking and the relationship between love and war from the perspective of love was something I hadn’t seen before. I really enjoyed that the narrator was a character and seeing the little additions and notes the character makes throughout the story.

I’m not sure if this qualifies as a “dislike” but I felt that I was so invested in the story that when the main four characters we follow were treated badly I was really sad. I really didn’t like the racism that was clear in the times of the first world war, but I feel like that’s more of my own issue.

Overall, ‘The Lovely War’ is a transformative book that sends the reader back in time as they listen to a tale weaved by a god. The experience is one that can make someone appreciate the love that they have in their own lives.

Plot: 8.5/10
Ease of reading: 8/10
Character Development: 8/10
World Building: 8/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10
Overall: 4.5/5

March Wrap Up

March has come and gone and with it many changes both personally and globally. It’s crazy to think that things mat be a little funky for some time now, but as long as we all work together and work on staying as positive as possible we will make it through. Now to the reading and blog related things I achieved this month… both have experienced a bit of disturbance among everything but I am hopeful that April brings a touch more of a flow.

O.W.Ls 2020 Readathon TBR

One of us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Netflix Book Tag

The Gender Secret by Bella Forrest

Where Have I Been?

10 Characters I’d Follow on Instagram

February Wrap Up

February Goal Update

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Not so Perfect Book Tag

March Bullet Journal Spreads

The Pretenders by Rebecca Hanover

February Book Haul

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

March TBR

April TBR

April is here and with it a global pandemic and a ton of time to read. Along with the O.W.L.S I am planning to complete the April Year-a-thon reading challenge as well as reading a couple of additional books.

as well as one of the following books…

Overall, I am hoping that I can get all 10 of these books read as well as finally finishing ‘The Secret History’ Which I have been reading for a couple of months already!

What are you most looking forward to reading this month?

One of us is Lying by Karen McManus

One of us is Lying
By Karen McManus


Publisher: Delacorte Press
Date: 2017
Pages: 361
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Mystery
Days to Read: 2
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
AndSimon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Throughout One of Us is Lying we follow the perspective of multiple different characters. We begin with a Breakfast Clubesque set up with out protagonists in detention. All from different walks of life. We have all the classics from stereotypical groups. As the book progresses we move quickly from a heart warming 80’s movie to an intense murder mystery. It really put a twist on the classic high school story.

As we learn more about each of characters as a reader I began to make predictions about the whole ‘Who done it?’ situation. I was definitely not correct in these, eventually I did predict some of the twist, which I will not divulge here at all, but I believe at this point I think most people would would figure it out before me.

It was interesting to see the growth in the characters and that throughout this difficult time where they are suspected of murder as well as having more personal information divulged to the members of their high school. All the characters show growth… that I love.

There were a few characters that I did not like! One in particular, a side character was genuinely the worst person ever and I hated him,to the point where I thought it might ruin the book for me! Luckily, it didn’t and I decided to stick through to the end.

The end of this story is FIRE. I’ve recently discovered that as a reader I love a great plot twist or plot development, i eat them up!

The overall premise of ‘One of Us is Lying’ combines some of my favorite things, I love anything breakfast club themed as well as stories that keep me on the edge of my seat. This is definitely a tale that will stay with me.

Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 8/10
Character Development: 7.5/10
World Building: 6/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10
Overall: 4/5

Netflix Book Tag

I saw this Tag over on Kristin Kraves Books Blog and as I love Netflix and books I thought this was a great Tag.

Finished Red. White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston the day of writing this post! So good!

All three of these books I’ve read based on recommendations from BookTubers and Bookstagramers who have similar tastes to me. All of them I absolutely love.

I’ve read both Harry Potter series and the Twilight Saga and I haven’t read House of Earth and Blood and Chain of Gold.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lmony Snicket is a series that although not meant to be conventionally funny is exceptionally witty!

Constantine, the priest from ‘The Bear and the Nightingale’ by Katherine Arden. Honestly the biggest drama King I’ve ever read, he drove me mental as a character.

There are so many series that I want to reread its crazy!

The Forest Feast is a vegetarian recipe book that also contains some absolutely stunning photos and can double as a gorgous coffee table book!

The entire Throne of Glass series is utterly action packed!

I tag:

The Reading Fairy

Bionic Bookworm

Novels and Notions

The Critiquing Chemist

The Gender Secret by Bella Forrest

The Gender Secret
by Bella Forrest
#2 in the Gender Game Series

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Date: 2016
Pages: 411
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Dystopian
Days to Read: 2
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia

Gliding over the treacherous Green in a shaky aircraft that she has no idea how to land, Violet Bates is still in shock. The harrowing events of the previous night play over in her mind as she asks herself question after question.

Why did Lee Desmond Bertrand behave the way he did?

What is the truth about the mysterious silver egg stowed beneath her seat?

What happened to Viggo and where is her brother? Is either of them still alive?

When Violet manages to reach the toxic ground alive, she has landed in a world of unimaginable danger. She has barely time to catch her breath before she is sucked into a perilous journey at breakneck speed – to uncover secrets guarded for centuries and find the only two people that matter.

The Gender Secret follows the events that occured at the end of The Gender Game. We follow Viggo and Violet in the wake of the dramatic cliffhanger we were left on at the end of the first book as well as unravelling some epic betrayals.

The ideas that are examined throughout the the first two books explore gender diferentiation, stereotypes and how the world would look if we it were divided into two cities/countries run by each gender. It was interesting to see how the prejudice grow throughout the stories and how they are ingrained in each culture.

Violet and Viggo as characters are both morally questionable and as a reader I can say that it definitely made them more interesting to read about. They have already developed so much from the events in the first book that I felt more interested in where their stories we heading.

The Setting of The Green, Matrus and Patrus – which I take to be a post apocolyptic USA – allows the reader to really exeperience the dystopian nature. The Greens descriptions of toxicity and the creatures affected by it gives ‘The Wilder Girls’ and ‘Annihilation’ vibes that allows the reader to see the severity of being out there and experiencing that wilderness.

The developments in the plot of the Gender Secret develop the world exponentially from the Gender Game. We begin to see the implications of a world divided by gender.

There are many ethical questions that are raised throughout be beginning of this series that cause questions about what it would mean for our world if something became more evident. This gives readers an experience that fuels many feelings and thoughts as well as promoting discussion.

Plot: 6.5/10
Ease of reading: 5/10
Character Development: 6/10
World Building: 6.5/10
Quality of Writing: 6/10
Overall: 3.5/5