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!
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.
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
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!
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
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