October TBR

October seems to be the month that I’m giving myself a hell of a challenge. Why? I have no idea… But I think its because I want to read so many of my books!

Heres what I’m looking at reading in October

I’ve put 14 books on my TBR this month. I don’t think I am going to get to all of them but hopefully I can read the majority! My TBR has a really good mix of fantasy, contemporary and classic!

What’s on your TBR for October?

‘Ms. Marvel: Volume 1: No Normal’ By G. Wilson & Adrian Alphona

Ms. Marvel
Volume 1: No Normal
by G Wilson & Arian Alphona

Publisher: Marvel
Date: 2014
Pages: 120
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Science fiction
Days to Read: 1
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

Marvel Comics presents the new Ms. Marvel, the groundbreaking heroine that has become an international sensation!

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey!

Ms. Marvel: Volume 1 – No Normal was another read for the N.E.W.T.S readathon, this time fulfilling the prompt for an Exceeds Expectations in Charms which was to read a comic or graphic novel.

In Ms. Marvel we follow Kamala as she struggles with her with balancing her faith, family expectations and what she wants to experience in her life. This leads to Kamala gaining new gifts and adding another thing to the balancing act – how to be Ms. Marvel and keep her identity secret. 

As the first in a graphic novel series we really get into her backstory and why she has become who she is and what she will do with these abilities. I really am someone who loves an origin story.  

I loved the overall diversity of the characters we met in this first instalment and that there was a glimpse at different cultures and how they are interacting within the world.

I cannot wait for the next instalment in the Ms. Marvel series. 

Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 9/10
Character Development: 8/10
World Building: 8/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10
Stars: 4/5

August Haul

August being my birthday month, I was lucky enough to get some books for my birthday from family and friends and I picked up a couple for myself as well. These are all the books I’ve picked up and are super keen to read.

Obsidio
by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

Sorcerer to the Crown
by Zen Cho

Magic and mayhem collide with the British elite in this whimsical and sparkling debut.

At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, freed slave, eminently proficient magician, and Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers—one of the most respected organizations throughout all of Britain—ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up.

But when his adventure brings him in contact with a most unusual comrade, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, he sets on a path which will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain—and the world at large… 

Daisy Jones & The Six
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

Prince Charming
by Rachel Hawkins

Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair, a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.

Sparks of Phoenix
by Najwa Zebian

In Sparks of Phoenix—Najwa Zebian’s third book of poetry—she takes her readers on a powerful journey of healing.

As the phoenix emerges from its ashes, Zebian emerges ablaze in these pages, not only as a survivor of abuse, but as a teacher and healer for all those who have struggled to understand, reclaim, and rise above a history of pain. The book is divided into six chapters, and six stages of healing: Falling, Burning to Ashes, Sparks of Phoenix, Rising, Soaring, and finally, A New Chapter, which demonstrates a healthy response to new love as the result of authentic healing. With her characteristic vulnerability, courage, and softness, Zebian seeks to empower those who have been made to feel ashamed, silenced, or afraid; she urges them, through gentle advice and personal revelation, to raise their voices, rise up, and soar.

The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Flowers, Essential Oils, and More
by Arin Murphy-Hiscock

Discover the power of natural magic and healing through herbs, flowers, and essential oils in this new guide to green witchcraft.

At her core, the green witch is a naturalist, an herbalist, a wise woman, and a healer. She embraces the power of nature; she draws energy from the Earth and the Universe; she relies on natural objects like stones and gems to commune with the land she lives off of; she uses plants, flowers, oils, and herbs for healing; she calls on nature for guidance; and she respects every living being no matter how small.

In The Green Witch, you will learn the way of the green witch, from how to use herbs, plants, and flowers to make potions and oils for everyday healing as well as how crystals, gems, stones, and even twigs can help you find balance within. You’ll discover how to find harmony in Earth’s great elements and connect your soul to every living creature. This guide also contains directions for herbal blends and potions, ritual suggestions, recipes for sacred foods, and information on how to listen to and commune with nature. Embrace the world of the green witch and discover what the power of nature has in store for you.

To Kill a Kingdom
by Alexandra Christo

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

1984
by George Orwell

Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell’s nightmarish vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff’s attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell’s prescience of modern life—the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language—and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written.

The Thief
by Megan Whalen Turner

The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities.

What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.

Wilder Girls
by Rory Power

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

Love Her Wild
by Atticus

Love Her Wild is a collection of new and beloved poems from Atticus, the young writer who has captured the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of avid followers on his Instagram account.

In Love Her Wild, Atticus captures what is both raw and relatable about the smallest and the grandest moments in life: the first glimpse of a new love in Paris; skinny dipping on a summer’s night; the irrepressible exuberance of the female spirit; or drinking whiskey in the desert watching the rising sun. With honesty, poignancy, and romantic flair, Atticus distills the most exhilarating highs and the heartbreaking lows of life and love into a few perfectly evocative lines, ensuring that his words will become etched in your mind—and will awaken your sense of adventure.

Waiting for Spring
by Anashin

A sweet romantic story of a soft-spoken high school freshman and her quest to make friends, Waiting for Spring will delight fans of earnest, fun, and dramatic shojo like Kimi ni Todoke and Say I Love You.

Mizuki is a shy girl who’s about to enter high school, and vows to open herself up to new friendships. Of course, the four stars of the boys’ basketball team weren’t exactly the friends she had in mind! Yet, when they drop by the café where she works, the five quickly hit it off. Soon she’s been accidentally thrust into the spotlight, targeted by jealous girls. And will she expand her mission to include… love?

The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One
by Amanda Lovelace

The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.

The Final Empire
by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson’s epic fantasy trilogy overturns the expectations of readers and then goes on to tell the epic story of evil overturned in a richly imagined world.

A thousand years ago evil came to the land and has ruled with an iron hand ever since. The sun shines fitfully under clouds of ash that float down endlessly from the constant eruption of volcanoes. A dark lord rules through the aristocratic families and ordinary folk are condemned to lives in servitude, sold as goods, labouring in the ash fields.

But now a troublemaker has arrived and there is rumour of revolt. A revolt that depends on criminal that no-one can trust and a young girl who must master Allomancy – the magic that lies in all metals.

A word of mouth success in the states the Mistborn trilogy has, this year, broken onto the New York Times Bestseller list. The time is ripe for its success to cross the Atlantic.

Circe
by Madeline Miller

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.

When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.

There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Lord of the Rings Trilogy
by J.R.R. Tolkien

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron’s fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.

When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.

The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.

Sorcery of Thorns
by Margaret Rogerson

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

Red, White and Royal Blue
by Casey McQuiston

What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through?

Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

If I’m Being Honest
by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegmund-Broka

High school senior Cameron Bright’s reputation can be summed up in one word: bitch. It’s no surprise she’s queen bee at her private L.A. high school—she’s beautiful, talented, and notorious for her cutting and brutal honesty. So when she puts her foot in her mouth in front of her crush, Andrew, she fears she may have lost him for good.

In an attempt to win him over, Cameron resolves to “tame” herself, much like Katherine in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. First, she’ll have to make amends with those she’s wronged, which leads her to Brendan, the guy she labelled with an unfortunate nickname back in the sixth grade. At first, Brendan isn’t all that receptive to Cameron’s ploy. But slowly, he warms up to her when they connect over the computer game he’s developing. Now if only Andrew would notice…

But the closer Cameron gets to Brendan, the more she sees he appreciates her personality—honesty and all—and wonders if she’s compromising who she is for the guy he doesn’t even want.

The Dark Between Stars
by Atticus

From the internationally bestselling author of Love Her Wild comes The Dark Between Stars, a new illustrated collection of heartfelt, whimsical, and romantic poems from Instagram poetry sensation, Atticus.

Atticus, has captured the hearts and minds of nearly 700k followers (including stars like Karlie Kloss, Emma Roberts, and Alicia Keys). In his second collection of poetry, The Dark Between Stars, he turns his attention to the dualities of our lived experiences—the inescapable connections between our highest highs and lowest lows. He captures the infectious energy of starting a relationship, the tumultuous realities of commitment, and the agonising nostalgia of being alone again. While grappling with the question of how to live with purpose and find meaning in the journey, these poems offer both honest explorations of loneliness and our search for connection, as well as light-hearted, humorous observations. As Atticus writes poignantly about dancing, Paris, jazz clubs, sunsets, sharing a bottle of wine on the river, rainy days, creating, and destroying, he illustrates that we need moments of both beauty and pain—the darkness and the stars—to fully appreciate all that life and love have to offer.

The Sorcerer’s Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter
by Allan Zola Kronzek and Elizabeth Kronzek

The New York Times bestseller, now fully updated to include Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Who was the real Nicholas Flamel? How did the Sorcerer’s Stone get its power? Did J. K. Rowling dream up the terrifying basilisk, the seductive veela, or the vicious grindylow? And if she didn’t, who did?

Millions of readers around the world have been enchanted by the magical world of wizardry, spells, and mythical beasts inhabited by Harry Potter and his friends. But what most readers don’t know is that there is a centuries-old trove of true history, folklore, and mythology behind Harry’s fantastic universe. Now, with The Sorcerer’s Companion, those without access to the Hogwarts Library can school themselves in the fascinating reality behind J. K. Rowling’s world of magic.

Newly updated to include Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Sorcerer’s Companion allows curious readers to look up anything magical from the Harry Potter books and discover a wealth of entertaining, unexpected information. Wands and wizards, boggarts and broomsticks, hippogriffs and herbology, all have astonishing histories rooted in legend, literature, or real-life events dating back hundreds or even thousands of years. Magic wands, like those sold in Rowling’s Diagon Alley, were once fashioned by Druid sorcerers out of their sacred yew trees. Love potions were first concocted in ancient Greece and Egypt. And books of spells and curses were highly popular during the Middle Ages. From Amulets to Zombies, you’ll also learn:
•how to read tea leaves
•where to find a basilisk today
•how King Frederick II of Denmark financed a war with a unicorn horn
•who the real Merlin was
•how to safely harvest mandrake root
•who wore the first invisibility cloak
•how to get rid of a goblin
•why owls were feared in the ancient world
•what really lies beyond the Veil
•the origins of our modern-day “bogeyman,” and more.

A spellbinding tour of Harry’s captivating world, The Sorcerer’s Companion is a must for every Potter aficionado’s bookshelf.

Her Royal Highness
by Rachel Hawkins

Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better.

Millie can’t believe her luck when she’s accepted into one of the world’s most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute.

The only problem: Mille’s roommate Flora is a total princess.

She’s also an actual princess. Of Scotland.

At first, the girls can barely stand each other–Flora is both high-class and high-key–but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn’t a fairy tale . . . or is it?

Hello Girls
by Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry

Best friends are forged by fire. For Winona Olsen and Lucille Pryce, that fire happened the night they met outside the police station—both deciding whether to turn their families in.

Winona has been starving for life in the seemingly perfect home that she shares with her seemingly perfect father, celebrity weatherman Stormy Olsen. No one knows that he locks the pantry door to control her eating and leaves bruises where no one can see them.

Lucille has been suffocating beneath the needs of her mother and her drug-dealing brother, wondering if there’s more out there for her than disappearing waitress tips and generations of barely getting by.

One harrowing night, Winona and Lucille realize they can’t wait until graduation to start their new lives. They need out. Now. All they need is three grand, fast. And really, a stolen convertible to take them from Michigan to Las Vegas can’t hurt.

Rage
by Cora Carmack

Princess or adventurer.

Duty or freedom.

Her Kingdom or the Stormhunter she loves.

If Aurora knows anything, it’s that choices have consequences. To set things right, she joins a growing revolution on the streets of Pavan.

In disguise as the rebel Roar, she puts her knowledge of the palace to use to aid the rebellion. But the Rage season is at its peak and not a day passes without the skies raining down destruction. Yet these storms are different—they churn with darkness, and attack with a will that’s desperate and violent.

This feels like more than rage.

It feels like war.

what are some books you picked up in August?

Review: ‘The Kingdom’ By Jess Rothenberg

‘The Kingdom’

By Jess Rothenberg

Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Date: 2019
Pages: 352
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Science Fiction
Days to Read: 7
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

Welcome to the Kingdom… where ‘Happily Ever After’ isn’t just a promise, but a rule. 

Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species–formerly extinct–roam free.

Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.

But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty–and what it truly means to be human.

I picked up ‘The Kingdom’ By Jess Rothenberg randomly in London. The cover intrigued me and when I read the synopsis I was even more interested. I hadn’t even realised that I’d heard about ‘The Kingdom’ on Youtube until I was half way through.

In ‘The Kingdom’ we follow Ana an engineered princess who is finding the realities that she has experienced for her whole existence come into question, she is also on trial for the murder of Owen, a staff member at the park where Ana has been created.

I absolutely loved the format of this book. It reminded me of ‘The Illuminae Files’ although ‘The Kingdom’ goes between standard chapters explaining the past events and interviews and transcripts from the trial. I enjoyed the chapter breaks to reel you back into the present and see how the stories match up.

Ana as a main character is curious and brave. She really wants to find answers to the questions that she has and learn more about life beyond the green light. She is however limited by her creators and made to believe things that are not as they seem. Ana’s curiosity is an interesting point to read from as it evolves from small curiosities to things that become more dangerous. It shows Ana’s growth as a character and a desire to be seen as more that what she is made to believe she is.

‘The Kingdom’ was a fast read and quite easy to digest. The scientific side of things is explained in a way that does not overwhelm the reader but also gives the necessary information. I really flew through this book.

Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 9/10
Character Development: 8/10
World Building: 7/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10
Stars: 4/5

Review: ‘Girls with Sharp Sticks’ by Suzanne Young

‘Girls with Sharp Sticks’

By Suzanne Young

Girls with Sharp Sticks #1

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date: 2019
Pages: 400
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Science Fiction
Days to Read: 3
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardians, the all-girl boarding school offers an array of studies and activities, from “Growing a Beautiful and Prosperous Garden” to “Art Appreciation” and “Interior Design.” The girls learn to be the best society has to offer. Absent is the difficult math coursework, or the unnecessary sciences or current events. They are obedient young ladies, free from arrogance or defiance. Until Mena starts to realize that their carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears.

As Mena and her friends begin to uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations will find out what they are truly capable of. Because some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.

‘Girls with Sharp Sticks’ By Suzanne Young was 100% an impulse purchase for me. I was looking through the bookstore for a couple of books to take on my trip with me when I spotted ‘Girls with Sharp Sticks’ and was instantly drawn to the cover. This impulse really paid off!

At the beginning of the story we meet Mena whom we follow for the duration of the story. She attends The Innovation Academy with her friends where they are taught to be the post perfect girls. The girls do not question and the men that run the academy rely on this. But as Mena and her friends begin to question the order of things we begin to see a different side of the men who have curated this careful existance.

Mena as a main character is complex. Even at the beginning of the book she finds it impossible to resist the urge to do things differently. As hard as she tries she cannot seem to do the right thing, as a character in this kind of world I can appreciate that. I definitely began to connect her her as our story teller throughout the story and wanted nothing more than to see the girls become their own.

The development of that characters within the plot was done really well. I was getting so agitated with how Mena and her friends were speaking and how they were being spoken about. However I knew it was important within the context of the story and honestly it made me more engaged and more eager to see what was going to happen. The story developed at a pace that kept me interested in the story from start to finish making it a very fast read.

Innovations Academy is set in a futuristic America where politics plays a huge part in everything. The descriptions of the school conjured images of old English buildings with turrets, spires and amazing architecture. It definitely had a role in my eagerness to continue with the story, the descriptions really fed into the plot and creating an atmosphere the reader felt a part of.

I cannot wait for the next book in the Girls with Sharp Sticks series to be released and return to Mena’s story.

Plot: 9/10
Ease of reading: 9/10
Character Development: 8.5/10
World Building: 9/10
Quality of Writing: 9/10
Stars: 4.5/5

Holiday Reading

I can just tell that every one is waiting with bated breath to see what books I took on my holidays and what I managed to read while I was soaking up the rays by the pool and wandering the streets of London.

Well thank goodness you are here, you can finally rest easy know these are the books that I managed to complete before touching down in Aus!

A couple were books that I picked up while I was there but I read all the books I took with me so I can totally justify buying more…

What are some of your favourite types of books to read on holidays?

July 2019 TBR

Better late than never is definitely the moto I’m adopting until I’ve finally caught up on everything post Europe. To a lot of you this may not make sense as my first post back, but it does to me, so here we are… Let’s look ahead before we reflect.

sitting at half way through July I have managed to complete 4 books already! The rest of the month will definitely be quieter heading back to work so here’s what I plan to hopefully get read over the next 2 weeks.

I am around 100 pages into ‘The Kingdom’ By Jess Rothenberg. I haven’t even hauled this book yet, but I wanted to read it on the flight home so started it early. While I was away I started ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ By Kevin Kwan, I’m just under half way through this book at the moment so hopefully I can finish it this month.

What are your reading plans for July?

June 2019 Book Haul

This book buying machine has really settled down in the last couple of months and honestly my bank account is grateful for it.

Since I am going away I wanted to pick up a couple of paperbacks to take with me – fun fact I mostly own hard covers because thats what I prefer. I also picked up a couple of graphic novels!

For my trip I ended up buying 3 books. Reasoning… ‘Impostors’ By Scott Westerfeld is one that I’ve wanted to read for ages but just haven’t picked up, so what a better time to do it, also it looks like a pretty easy read which is great for a holiday.

“Frey and Rafi are inseparable . . . but very few people have ever seen them together. This is because Frey is Rafi’s double, raised in the shadows of their rich father’s fortress. While Rafi has been taught to charm, Frey has been taught to kill. Frey only exists to protect her sister. There is no other part of her life. Frey has never been out in the world on her own – until her father sends her in Rafi’s place to act as collateral for a dangerous deal. Everyone thinks she’s her sister – but Col, the son of a rival leader, is starting to get close enough to tell the difference. As the stakes grow higher and higher, Frey must decide whether she can trust him – or anyone in her life.”


‘Girls with Sharp Sticks’ by Suzanne Young is one that I hadn’t really heard much about but after reading the synopsis I think its one I’ll really enjoy.

“‘Girls with Sharp Sticks’ by Suzanne Young is one that I hadn’t really heard much about but after reading the synopsis I think its one I’ll really enjoy. The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardians, the all-girl boarding school offers an array of studies and activities, from “Growing a Beautiful and Prosperous Garden” to “Art Appreciation” and “Interior Design.” The girls learn to be the best society has to offer. Absent is the difficult math coursework, or the unnecessary sciences or current events. They are obedient young ladies, free from arrogance or defiance. Until Mena starts to realize that their carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears. As Mena and her friends begin to uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations will find out what they are truly capable of. Because some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.”

The final book I picked up was ‘Emergency Contact’ By Mary H.K. Choi. This one I have heard a lot about and it is very mixed. Some people really enjoyed it and others really didn’t like it. I’m hoping I’m the former and I really like it. I definitely gave me beach/pool read vibes which is exactly what I was going for.

“For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind. Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.  When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

I also picked up 3 graphic novels earlier this month, which I am keen to get to when I get back.

First I picked up ‘Ms. Marvel: Volume 1: No Normal’ By G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona as well as ‘ Captain America: Winter in America’ and ‘Thor: God of Thunder Reborn’