January Recap

After all the chaos of December and that weird period of time where no one knows what the date is or the day of the week January was an easing into 2021 that we needed.

Renovations


throughout January we continued renovating. We managed to achieve a lot and that is mostly down to my paint master husband who spent days upon days painting. We were able to get the living room, dining room and hall way completed painted and ready for the next steps in phase one of these renovations.

We were then able to replace the floors! This task wasn’t initially on our list for phase one however they got damaged during the plastering due to being quite thin and brittle. I am so happy with how they turned out and definitely not sad that they are done. Archie is a huge fan!

Reading

I was some how (don’t ask me how) able to finish 9 books to start the year off. I’m really excited that I was able to complete so many books and really enjoy the reading experience again after what was a slow reading year in 2020.

If there are any books you’d like to see a review on, leave a comment and I will make sure to review that book!

Life

Aside from having at least 1 doctors appointment each week of January I spent the rest of the month having coffee catch ups, preping for the baby and playing Stardew Valley and Immortals: Fenyx Rising. Both of which are games I absolutely love. I also got back into podcasts a little more, which has been really fun.

With January done and dusted I can’t wait to see what February brings…

Website relaunch

The Nico TRIBE

Hi, Hello and welcome (or welcome back) to the new and improved The Nico Tribe blog – previously called ordinary worlds – I am Kate the main (and only) contributor to The Nico Tribe blog.

We are starting off 2021 with a pretty big refresh here, which feels kind of necessary for many reasons. Firstly, of course the shambles that was 2020 on a global level really necessitates a revamp. Secondly, on a more personal level a lot has shifted and change for me throughout 2020 which I wanted to share however i felt as though I’d boxed myself into the book niche of the internet up until now.

The Nico Tribe will still have aspects of the familiar for the return readers (thank you by the way) with some book reviews and book related posts. I also wanted to post about my other hobbies which include gaming and cooking!

Along with these hobbies I wanted to explore and have a place to talk about more life oriented things. In 2020 we were blessed enough to buy our first house and the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 has been a crazy time of renovating for us. We have definitely had some things not go the way we planned – typical for renovating – and have discovered things that we didn’t know we wanted to do within out house and sharing things that we’ve learnt and our experiences as people that have not renovated before makes me feel so excited.

We also gained a family member in our Fur baby Archie! I am learning so much about owning a dog and I love sharing little stories about him because let me tell you owning a border collie is not easy!

We are also so lucky to be welcoming another member to our family in May 2021 and I know that this is an experience that is going to change us as people and a family and I cannot wait to get into that adventure.

Basically 2021 is going to be a huge shift and I can’t wait to share it all!

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?

The Return!

I don’t know if its something that anyone noticed because it happened so out of the blue, but I’ve been a bit absent from here for about 3 months now. This was a very unexpected break. With the world the way that it is currently consistency was a real goal of mine especially when it came to posting because it would take myself and any readers out of what was currently going on if just for a second.

It’s not, however, something I achieved. The lack of routine definitely threw me into a loop. When this all began George and I were living with his parents. We had – a day before the first lockdown begun – signed on the dotted line, purchasing a house.

Fast forward to this new lockdown and we are in our new home and along with that welcomed a new furry family member into the mix.

The combination of anxiety about the state of the world and a whole punch of changes within our lives left all my routine and consistency in tatters.

Now with a bit more stability – if only imagined – I feel that I can finally get back to a little bit of what I am passionate about – sharing glimpses of my world through books with all of you.

So, here I am, ready to jump back into it all. I will be starting slowly. Posting one or two times a week but I can’t wait to read your comments and get back into this awesome community.

Year-a-thon TBR

The beginning of the April Year-a-thon is here and that means we start reading the Highest and Lowest rated books on your Goodreads TBR. So these are the two books I’ll be picking up this week.

‘Empress of A Thousand Skies’ by Rhoda Belleza is the lowest rated book on my Goodreads TBR so I will be picking that up, along with ‘Heartstopper: Volume 3’ by Alice Oseman which is my highest rated book.

I’m really looking forward to reading both and I’m a little glad that this challenge is making me prioratise books that may not of been on the forefront of my TBR.

O.W.L.S 2020 Readathon TBR

I am so excited that the O.W.L.S are upon us. This is one of my all time favourite readathons, hosted by Gee from Book Roast on YouTube. The O.W.L.S have happened every April for the past 2 years with this being the 3rd year its run. It really couldn’t come at a better time either!

Gee has also created a careers guide which is linked to her announcement video each time and has this year added some more career options. Even with these awesome additional careers I still chose one that was in the original guide and that is…

This means that to pass my O.W.L.S I need to read 8 books, for each of the subject prompts which are as follows.

These are the books I’m picking up for each prompt.

Heart Rune: Read a book with a heart of the cover or in the title

I’ve decided to reread ‘Wild at Heart’ by K.A. Tucker for this prompt. I know that its one that I enjoy and even though I only recently read it for the first time, I cannot wait to get back into it!

Magical Qualities of Number 2: Balance/opposites: read something outside your favourite genre

For a book outside my favourite genre I decided to go with ‘Empress of a Thousand Skies’ by Rhoda Belleza, a science fiction. I don’t really have many genres I don’t like but I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy and contemporaries lately.

Lumos Maxima: White Cover

I’m not really sure yet which book I want to read with a white cover yet so I’ve got three options to choose from ‘The Dream Thieves’ by Maggie Stiefvater, ‘Nevernight’ by Jay Kristoff and ‘The Dragon Republic’ by R.F. Kuang. I am leaning towards ‘The Dragon Republic’ since I recently completed ‘The Poppy War’ and I want to be up to date before the third book is released.

Grindylows: Book set at the sea/coast

After watching Emma at Drinking by my shelf, do a 24 hour readathon where she read all the Lemony Snicket, I knew I wanted to read them again since I realised that when I read them as they came out I never finished them. I got up to book 3 which I remember being set by the sea so I decided to save ‘The Wide Window’ for the O.W.L.S.

Mimbulus Mimbletonia: Title that starts with M

After narrowing it down from my three options, I decided to pick up ‘Maybe This Time’ by Kasie West for the prompt. I want something fun and light to throw into this TBR so a contemporary seems like the best option.

A book from the perspective of a muggle (Contemporary)

For the contemporary I wanted to mix it up a little bit and pick up ‘Heartstopper: Volume 3’ by Alice Oseman, a contemporary graphic novel. This is one that I am so excited to pick this one up!

Shrinking Solution: book under 150 pages

I actually found it really difficult to find a book that filled this prompt and after going through my graphic novel collection and found that ‘Thor: God of Thunder Reborn’ by Jason Aaron, Mike Del Mundo and Christian Ward fit the bill perfectly!

Animagus Lecture: Book/series that includes shape shifting

I don’t think I have any other books on my shelf that have shape shifter as a feature which works out perfectly because I am almost done with my Twilight reread, which means I can fill this prompt with ‘Breaking Dawn’ by Stephenie Meyer.

I am so happy that it’s O.W.L.S season again and I really cannot wait to get into all these wonderful stories. This readathon could not have come at a better time, so if you have the chance, join in, let me know if you will be participating and we can connect as a community and read some amazing stories together!

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

February Wrap Up

Wrap ups, the place where I get a chance to review everything that I read and posted and have a look at the stats from the month. Have I posted any of these so far in 2020, apparently not. It seems that in February I forgot they were a thing and didn’t do one! So instead of rewinding I am just going to pick up where we are up to in the year… with a February Wrap Up!


eight books for the month is definitely not too bad, however I really had higher expectations for myself.

Total Pages Read in February: 3,352
Total Pages Read in 2020: 7,488

The Odyssey: A Graphic Novel by Gareth Hinds

Books I Want to Reread in 2020

The Tyrant’s Tomb by Rick Riordan

Who am I? Tag

New Moon by Stephanie Meyer

February Bullet Journal Spreads

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Year-a-thon: February Wrap Up

BuJo Sticker Haul

Favourite Contemporaries and Romances

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

January 2020 Goal Review

Year-athon: February TBR

Legacy by Shannon Messenger

January Book Haul 2020

Chasing River by K.A. Tucker

February TBR