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!

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

Chasing River by K.A. Tucker

Chasing River
by K.A. Tucker
#3 Burying Water

Publisher: Atria Books
Date: 2015
Pages: 336
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Romance
Days to Read: 27
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD Scribd

Armed with two years’ worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been for the bravery of a stranger, she might have. But he takes off before she has the chance to offer her gratitude.

Twenty-four-year-old River Delaney is rattled. No one was supposed to get hurt. But then that American tourist showed up. He couldn’t let her die, but he also couldn’t risk being identified at the scene—so, he ran. Back to his everyday life of running his family’s pub. Only, everyday life is getting more and more complicated, thanks to his brother, Aengus, and his criminal associations. When the American girl tracks River down, he quickly realises how much he likes her, how wrong she is for him. And how dangerous it is to have her around. Chasing her off would be the smart move.

Maybe it’s because he saved her life, or maybe it’s because he’s completely different from everything she’s left behind, but Amber finds herself chasing after River Delaney. Amber isn’t the kind of girl to chase after anyone.

And River isn’t the kind of guy she’d want to catch.

Chasing River follows our main character Amber as she is embarking on an epic trip around Europe. We pick up with her in Ireland as she runs to make a tour. She runs through The Green – a park in Ireland – when a pipe bomb goes off and she is saved by a mysterious stranger. This is where our romance begins…

When it comes to romance protagonists as much as I liked the story I didn’t enjoy Amber. I felt as though she was just a random person with no real distinctive personality. I felt as though she got super attached super quickly.

I found the examination of the gangs in Ireland and how the impact on family of its members fascinating as a sub plot to the story, as well as the deep connection in the Delaney family.

‘Chasing River’ is the third book in a collection of K.A. Tucker ‘Burying Water’ from what I’ve gathered these books don’t all need to be read and each book can be read individually. As this is how I read the book this could of impacted my opinion of Amber as I did not read any of her back story.

Overall I enjoyed reading ‘Chasing River’. I chose to listen to the Audiobook which had a fantastic narrator who changed between an american accent for Amber as well as an Irish accent for River. The romance was one that I enjoyed, even though it was a bit insta-lovey.

Plot: 6/10
Ease of reading: 
7/10
Character Development: 
7/10
World Building: 
5/10
Quality of Writing
7/10
Overall:
3.5/5

‘Harry Potter & the Dealthy Hallows’ by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows
By J.K. Rowling
#7 in the Harry Potter Series

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Date: 2007
Pages: 759
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Fantasy
Days to Read: 11
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

Harry Potter is leaving Privet Drive for the last time. But as he climbs into the sidecar of Hagrid’s motorbike and they take to the skies, he knows Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters will not be far behind.

The protective charm that has kept him safe until now is broken. But the Dark Lord is breathing fear into everything he loves. And he knows he can’t keep hiding.

To stop Voldemort, Harry knows he must find the remaining Horcruxes and destroy them.

He will have to face his enemy in one final battle.

‘The Deathly Hallows’ is honestly one of the most heart wrenching read that I revisit year after year. It is the final book in the Harry Potter series and is one hell of a ride. We follow Harry as he head off to with Ron on the most important of adventures in the effort to end Lord Voldemort.

It is incredible in this story how everything ties up from within the series. With so many pervious books it is amazing how everything is built to these final moments and so many small things fall into place.

The Characters in this book are really facing so much more than they have faced yet – and that’s saying something. I absolutely love the development of these characters from children to older teens. They are now facing so absolutely crazy hardships as well as a war.

At this point the relationships between characters is incredible, we really see some more of the side characters that I love like Luna and Dean. I also really enjoyed the exploration of the other creatures within the wizarding world and how the war is affecting them and what side they are on.

Ultimately ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ is an amazing conclusion to a series that holds an important place in my heart.

Plot: 9/10
Ease of reading: 
8/10
Character Development: 
9/10
World Building: 
9/10
Quality of Writing:
8/10
Overall:
5/5

Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Queen of Nothing
by Holly Black
#3 Folk of the Air Series

Publisher: Little, Brown
Date: 2019
Pages: 300
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Fantasy
Days to Read: 12
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, comes the highly anticipated and jaw-dropping finale to The Folk of the Air trilogy.

‘Queen of Nothing’ was the final book in the folk of the air trilogy. This was a book that I hav been looking forward to at the end of ‘Wicked King’ – The second book in the series – we were left with a shifted world, particularly for Jude, our protagonist. I was in such anticipation of how this was all going to be wrapped up and ‘Queen of Nothing’ delivered.

When it comes to Fae stories I am a huge fan of how Sarah J. Maas portrays them. ‘The Cruel Prince’ was my first experience reading Holly Black’s portrayal and I found that I was enjoying the way they were written and saw a lot of what I had read previously in her writing. ‘Queen of Nothing’ stayed true and consistent to the characters we meet in ‘Cruel Prince’ witch great growth and development.

Both Jude and Cardan show a great amount of growth from our first encounter with them. Their growth was fluid for readers – something I find very important when engaging in a story – making us want to see them succeed. They way that every was tied together and wrapped up in our final book was something that I think was done well with the limited pages we got (300 is just not enough!)

Overall, if you enjoy reading fae stories the Folk of the Air series is one that you will enjoy. Throughout the three stories we see how typical fae characters interact with humans who have known the fae world for a very long time. It’s a story that will keep you engaged and hopeful for the characters.

Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 8/10
Character Development: 7/10
World Building: 6/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10
Overall:3.5/5

2019 Reading Wrap up

2019 was definitely one of my best reading years. I read far more books that I ever anticipated reading over the course of 12 months and I have enjoyed my time more than ever when I pick up a book.

I love seeing the Goodreads wrap up on reading, its quite different to the stats I personally record as well as saving me the time of calculating how many pages I read in 2019 (a WHOPPING 34,805) I can’t even fathom that.

I plan to begin recording my yearly stats so that at the end of 2020 I can compare the last two years in reading.

Looking at the graphed reading it feels really good to be making a dent in my backlist of books with 73% of the books I read in 2019 being backlists. I am really happy with the percentages here!

From this data I learned that my ratings are quite high, giving the majority of my reads 5 stars. I don’t know if I just had a really good reading year or if I am just not critical enough of what I am reading. This data can definitely help me to think more thoroughly through my ratings in 2020.

I love this data so much. It really shows the months where I was super motivated to read (or participating in a readathon) and which months I just felt more slumpy. I was definitely having a rough time getting into it at the beginning of the year and really wasn’t feeling it during May or June either.

Although I still read mainly Fantasy books (over 50%) I think this graph would have indicated an even higher percentage of of fantasy in 2018 (if I’d been tracking my reading) 2019 has definitely seen a growth and diversity in my reading that I’m not ashamed to say that I am proud of.

Finally, my favourite books of each month. Some months it was so difficult to choose a favourite and others I knew it as soon as I finished it.

Favourite Read of 2019

Hands down this is my favourite book I read in 2019. Alaska is somewhere I have wanted to visit for the longest time. Something about it just really pulls me in. When I saw that this book was set in Alaska I knew it was one I must read. When I then saw that the main male character was an Alaskan Bush Pilot I was 100 percent in.

This book did not disappoint and it is one I am looking forward to revisiting in 2020!

Honourable Mention

Daisy Jones and the Six was the first Contamporary book that I read that hooked me since I was a teenager. I devoured this book and was in love with the characters. It really allowed me to see the merits in the contemporary genre the I was stubbornly refusing to see.

I am so glad that I gave this book a go and dived deeper into the contemporary genre as a whole.

How did your 2019 of reading look?

November Wrap Up

As we enter the last month of 2019 I can feel myself looking ahead to 2020. I want to stay in the moment and reflect as opposed to future plan and rush. Considering I got married in November I should really take a moment to look back and reflect on the wonderful three weeks that followed…So with that here’s a look back at what I read in November.

I didn’t get nearly as much reading done as I thought I would this month, but with everything going in its not that big a surprise.

I know its a reread and I know its a polarising book, but its just so nostalgic for me.

Billilia mansion

This is a new addition, but this photo just brings me so much joy!

Review: Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Review: Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Review: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

October Goal Update

Tag: Book Bucket List

October Book Haul

9.11.19: My Wedding Day

TBR: November

Wrap Up: October

Blogging Break

Review: The Babysitters Coven by Kate Williams

August Wrap up

Lets get into all the good stuff from August! As you might know I decided to partake in the N.E.W.T.S Readathon which meant I had a mammoth TBR going into the month.

I ended up reading 18 books in August and honestly I cannot even believe that I was able to do that! It’s amazing the motivation a Harry Potter Readathon can give you!

Mythathon

Book Haul: Greece 2019

Harry Potter Tag

Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young Review

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan Review

Weekly Reading Update: Daisy Jones and the Six

Impostors by Scott Westerfeld Review

Weekly Reading: 5th – 11th

July Wrap Up

2019 Reading Challenge Update #1

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman Review

Book Haul: London 2019

Weekly Reading: 12th-19th August

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg Review

The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody

Heartstopper: Volume 1 by Alice Oseman Review

N.E.W.T.S Update

Reading Vlog: N.E.W.T.S Week 3

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan Review

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling Review

July Book Haul

Audiobook Tag

Estranged by Ethan M. Aldridge Review