I recently wrote a post about the video games I am most anticipating this year (and into the future) which reminded me of the list I had been compiling on random post it notes scattered throughout my house of all the books I am so excited to read this year.
If you’ve been here for a while or even if you are new (Welcome!) it might be obvious that I am a pretty avid reader. Now I know things are most likely going to slow down once Bubs is in the mix but I am hoping to still be able to read something each month, even if its just one book.
Every year I look forward to seeing all the books that they are going to be released in a new year, it always seems like an exciting ‘fresh start’ for the year and even through everything going on last year it was something to look forward too.
Without adding to much to the preamble, these are the books that I am most looking forward too picking up this year.
Since I am writing this post so late there are some books that I am am mentioning that have already been released that I just haven’t picked up yet.
I am so excited for all these books to come out and these are just the releases I know about that I’m excited for. If you have any book recommendations of new releases leave a comment so I can add it to my list!
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?
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. Thisreadathon 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!
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
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.
As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.
The Bear and the Nightingale follows Vasilisa a young girl living in on the brink of the wilderness in a fantasy version of Medieval Russia. She lives in a town that believes in both the christian church and the stories of old. After her mother passes away Vasilisa’s father heads to Moscow and brings home a new wife.
Vasilisa soon discovers what happens when a truly devout woman decides that within the town household spirits will no longer be honoured and is backed by the new town priest. From the moment they arrive things begin to go downhill, from freezing winters to failing crops Vasilisa becomes highly worried about her family’s ability to survive the harsh winters.
So, this book has A Lot going on. Vasilisa is a fantastic main character. She is wild and brave and not afraid to stand up to the norms of medieval Russia where she is oppressed and expected to be obedient. I really liked how she was wild at heart and cared deeply for the household spirits, even when it caused her to be labeled as a witch.
The story as a whole was interesting and definitely something I hadn’t read before. Russian myth is not something I am familiar with however it is definitely mythology I would be interested in finding out more about. The story definitely had some magic woven into the hardships of winter described.
Katherine Adren’s writing lends itself to the historical fiction fantasy genre. There were some beautiful description of the settings. Even being in the midst of summer here in Australia it was like I could feel the bitter cold Russian Winter being described. I find that particularly important to a book with such depth and detail as this. Without a greatly detailed and engaging setting I can end up feeling like the story is to dense and I am unable to get past the denseness to the beauty behind it.
As I listened to the story on Audiobook I found it a bit hard to keep track of all the names they were definitely not super complicated but I did find that I muddled them up quite a lot. I don’t know if that is necessarily a critique of the book or just my listening skills.
There were a few characters that I really disliked throughout the story. Vasalia’s stepmother Ana was one of them. I found her totally irrational and completely unfair to Vasalisa to the point where she was clearly treating her poorly.
I also absolutely despise and I mean despise Constantine the priest who comes to the village. It has absolutely nothing to do with him being the religious figurehead and everything to do with him being the worst person ever. The fact that he blatantly blames a child for his actions and thoughts is something that bothers me to no end. He is also quick to sacrifice anyone but himself -even his more devout follower – when given the option to protect himself by doing so. I would get so outraged while I was reading. Especially when he wouldn’t let Vasilisa run away and the only answer for him was for her to go to a convent, even though running away would culminate in the same result.
The beginning of the story is slow. It was a bit difficult to get into. There are so many events that happen in quick succession that are necessary for the story but also happen way too fast. I also found some moments unnecessary. While in Moscow one of Vasilisa’s brothers decides to become a monk. I don’t know if I missed something or if this will become important to the next two books but for ‘The Bear and the Nightingale’ there seemed to be no reason that we spent so much time with him coming to the decision.
The first book in this beginning to a Historical fiction trilogy that weaves the stories of Russian mythology. It follows a wild hearted protagonist who was definitely a trailblazer born into the wrong century.
Plot: 6/10 Ease of reading: 7/10 Character Development: 6/10 World Building: 6/10 Quality of Writing: 6/10 Overall: 3/5
Aelin Galathynius has vowed to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. The knowledge that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, but her resolve is unraveling with each passing day…
With Aelin captured, friends and allies are scattered to different fates. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever. As destinies weave together at last, all must fight if Erilea is to have any hope of salvation.
Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an explosive conclusion as Aelin fights to save herself―and the promise of a better world.
Kingdom of Ash is the final book in the Throne of Glass series. We follow multiple perspectives throughout the story and travel throughout the lands of Arellia and beyond. The basics of the story (so you won’t be spoiled, dear reader) is that Aelin and her friends must go to war against Erawan, the demon lord who is taking over the continent.
Aelin has developed as a dynamic and kick ass character, she continues her growth throguhout Kingdom of Ash, becoming a beacon of strength, resiliance and empathy. I love Aelin as our leading lady. She shows what a main character should be, flawed and oh so human but willing to change. She also shows a passion for equailty among her peers and her people.
Our support cast is full of magical and mighty players in this hectic and chaotic war provide additions of much needed humor as well as showing us what is happening in other parts of this vast, expansive world.
The conclusion to this 7 book (plus one prequel book) series is in a word, epic. The setting of Arillia has changed so much over the course of the seven stories that it becomes almost like the reader is experiencing a whole new world. The description and detail really adds to this experience.
To say that Kingdom of Ash is a Tome is an understatement. The sheer mass of this books is something that I found off putting when it came to finally reading the conclusion to a series I was deeply emersed it. It was a commitment that I was anxious about making, however is not one I regret.
The Throne of Glass series as a whole includes so many great tropes. Competition is rife, Fae are many and the detail in back story and connection between past and present is made so semlessly and effectively.
Plot: 8.5/10 Ease of reading: 4/10 Character Development: 7.5/10 World Building: 5/10 Quality of Writing: 8/10 Overall: 4.5/5
As a reader who has a hell of a lot of books on her TBR I have been quite strict with myself when it comes to rereading, however, in 2020 I’ve decided to allow myself to reread favourites each month to keep myself interested and enjoying reading. Enjoyment is key and a reading slump is my biggest fear.
These are the books that are either nostalgic to me or are ones that I absolutely love that I want to reexperience.
In summery I really want to reread a bunch of books that I absolutely loved reading the first time. I’ve already started my reread of the Twilight Saga and Harry Potter and I’ve reread ‘The Simple Wild’ so I am definitely taking this very seriously!