Reading

Books Of The Month | April 2017

I wonder if I wrote more words or read more this month. Either way here’s how my April unfolded.


What I Finished:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

One phrase description:

It gets better.

Quote:

“We need hope, or else we cannot endure.”

My general thoughts:

I technically finished this in March a couple days after I published my book blog post. I think that’s a testament to how much I enjoyed ACOFTAR, especially the ending. It took me a few chapters to get acquainted with the new world and characters. I’m so used to the Throne of Glass books, and so I found myself comparing this novel to her other works. Personally I like her writing. It’s descriptive enough for me to get a sense of the world but not too descriptive that I get impatient, wishing something would happen already.


Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

One phrase description:

It got faster.

Quote:

“Sometimes justice was all about the small victories.”

My general thoughts:

I found it hard to get into at first. I needed some time to adjust to the world and all the characters. But the story picked up its pace. I was a bit confused at the beginning. Thankfully things made more sense as the novel went on.


Last Man Standing by David Baldacci

One phrase description:

It got crazier.

Quote:

“At some point you have to live your life the way you want to.”

My general thoughts:

I had a great time with this novel. I didn’t see many of the twists and turns coming. It had a good amount of action, mystery, and suspsense. I liked that the main character, Web, has many issues. He works through some of them throughout the novel. It made for a more realistic story.


What I’m Currently Reading:

Symbol of Treason by Natalya Orekhov

First impressions:

Aside from some formatting and grammatical errors, the writing isn’t that bad. Most of the characters seem to have their demons and a less than ideal past. It’d be interesting to see how they deal with their problems.


What I Want To Read Next Month:

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Why: 

I had the hardest time deciding what to read next. I’m going with this one because why not. 


Next month I hope to start reviewing books individually. I’m announcing this on here because online accountability has worked in the past. Don’t fail me in the future.

Happy reading in May!

As per usual, the above are affiliate links, and they take you to Book Depository where you can buy until your big heart is content.

Reading

Books Of The Month | March 2017

There goes another month. 2017 needs to slow down. Now that I’ve finished all my assigned English novels, I might take it easy for a few months reading wise. Or maybe I won’t. I don’t know what will happen. I’m not a fortune teller. But I can tell you all about my past. Starting with the books I read in March.


What I Finished:

Diary of a Bad Year by J.M. Coetzee

One phrase description:

An interestingly formatted novel.

Quote:

“Authority must be earned.”

My general thoughts:

I liked it. I didn’t love it. I found it hard to read at first, since the novel is broken up into three different sections on one page and sometimes they carry over onto the next. So I had no idea how to read the book. I still don’t. It was a different reading experience to say the least.


Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

before-i-fall-by-lauren-oliver

One phrase description:

It’s like going back to high school.

Quote:

“So many things become beautiful when you really look.”

My general thoughts:

I’m not sure if I read this book many years ago. Either my memory fails me or I didn’t read it at all. Regardless my mind just loves playing tricks on me. I’m pretty sure I borrowed Before I Fall from the library, however. I probably still have the receipt.

Anyhow, I felt like the concept had potential. Concept being the main character lives the same day over and over again. I didn’t like the main character much, although she does become a bit more likeable as the story progresses. Thank goodness.


Looking for Alaska by John Green

looking-for-alaska-by-john-green%ef%bb%bf

One phrase description:

Unexpected questions.

Quote:

“You just use the future to escape the present.”

My general thoughts:

I had high expectations going in. And while I wasn’t disappointed, I found it hard to get into at first. It started somewhat slow in my opinion. The ending not so much.

For some reason, I kept seeing parallels between this and Norwegian Wood. They aren’t that alike. To be fair though I read both around the same time. Being an English student and a recreational reader at the same time isn’t easy. 


Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

One phrase description:

More than just a love story.

Quote:

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

My general thoughts:

I love this novel. Love the characters. Love the writing. Love the story. It was relatable in many ways. And an easy read if you ask me. Then again no one asked me.


What I’m Currently Reading:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

First impressions:

I’m enjoying it thus far. I keep comparing this novel to Throne of Glass. I’m not sure which book I like more. I’ll try to get back to you on that when I finish ACoTaR. No promises.


What I Want To Read Next Month:

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Why: 

It seems like something I’d enjoy. I hope I’m right.


Alas, April is almost upon us…

Affiliate links take you to Book Depository.

Reading

Books Of The Month | February 2017

Short months are the worst. But I managed to read every day. And I read more than I thought I would.

How did you fare in February?


What I Finished:

The Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

the-watchmen-by-alan-moore-and-dave-gibbons

One phrase description:

A graphic novel.

Quote:

“Nothing ever ends.”

My general thoughts:

I haven’t read a comic or graphic novel in years. And I don’t think I ever had to read one for school. So I was a bit taken aback when I realized I needed to read Watchmen for my university English class. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found the novel hard to get into at first because I’m not used to processing pictures while I’m reading words. After a while, I got the hang of it. Also, the art is amazing. I’m jealous. I wish I had a knack for drawing and sketching.

I highly recommend checking the book out. If anyone has recommendations for graphic novels I need to read, feel free to send them my way.


The Winner by David Baldacci

the-winner-by-david-baldacci

One phrase description:

A thriller.

Quote:

“Inferior minds seek convoluted scenarios; it takes a brilliant one to achieve simplicity.”

My general thoughts:

To be honest, it’s not my favourite novel from Baldacci. Still I liked the story and wanted to know what would happen to the main character along with some of the side ones. The antagonist is an insanely evil mastermind. I’d try to summarize the plot, but knowing me I’ll probably spoil the entire book for you. 

Generally thrillers tend to surprise me somewhere, somehow. I’m all for twists and turns. There were many moments in The Winner I didn’t anticipate, which is what made this novel fun to read. Although I think I’m getting better at recognizing foreshadowing and subtle hints dropped by the author.


All the Rage by Courtney Summers

all-the-rage-by-courtney-summers

One phrase description:

A trigger warning kind of book.

Quote:

“All I know is everything costs something.”

My general thoughts:

The subject matter is quite sensitive, and so I took my time getting through this book. 

I can see why for some the short chapters and sentences create a feeling of choppiness or fragmentation, but I had no issues with that. In fact, I felt like the story called for it.


On Beauty by Zadie Smith

on-beauty-by-zadie-smith

One phrase description:

A contemporary novel.

Quote:

“Traditional qualifications are not everything.”

My general thoughts:

There’s plenty of character development. But I kind of wish there was more. All the characters are flawed. Majorly flawed. So in that sense I guess my prof is right about the novel being relatable, at least in relation to the other books we’ve read thus far. Overall, Smith spun a complex web of stories with each character being related to many other characters.


What I’m Currently Reading:

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

before-i-fall-by-lauren-oliver

First impressions:

I think I read this book a long time ago, but I don’t really remember reading it. So I guess I’m reading Before I Fall again? Or maybe I’m reading it for the first time? I don’t really know. 

In the beginning, I despised the main character. I think a part of me still does. Thankfully she’s getting a bit less annoying and a little more tolerable.


What I Want To Read Next Month:

Looking for Alaska by John Green

looking-for-alaska-by-john-green%ef%bb%bf

Why: 

Because it’s shorter than all the other books on my shelf. As of right now, I don’t think I have enough time to commit to reading a 700+ page novel. March promises to be a busy month, after all.


Affiliate links courtesy of Book Depository.

Are you ready for a longer month of reading? I know I am.

Reading

Books Of The Month | January 2017

Happy Chinese New Year! Happy year of the Rooster. Happy Saturday or Sunday or whenever you happen to be reading this.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s not bad luck or taboo to publish a blog post on the first day of the new year. So that’s what I’m going to do.


What I Finished:

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

heir-of-fire-by-sarah-j-maas

One phrase description:

Like watching a firework show.

Quote:

“You cannot pick and choose what parts of her to love.”

My general thoughts:

I liked it. I didn’t love it. I think that’s because Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight spoiled me. I enjoyed the characters, both old and new. Also, the third book is longer than the other two, so there was more room for character development. Which I’m all for.

I’m looking forward to continuing with the series. The plot intrigues me, the characters are fun to follow around, and the writing is well done.


A Matter of Style by Matthew Clark

a-matter-of-style-by-matthew-clark

One phrase description:

Like listening to a lecture on writing.

Quote:

“But knowledge does not have to be conscious to be effective.”

My general thoughts:

This was a course text that I told myself I would read for fun, on my own time. Technically my professor assigned certain pages to read prior to class. But being the rebel I am, I didn’t. So while I read the book after the fact, everything I learned in those lectures came rushing back.

Still, the short book made me think differently about writing. About word choice and sentence structure and everything else in between.


The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

the-brothers-karamazov-by-fyodor-dostoyevsky

One phrase description:

Like being in a tunnel and not seeing the light at the end of it. 

Quote:

“Do not be upset with people, do not take offense at their wrongs.”

My general thoughts:

It’s a long novel. But a good one. If not for my English course, I don’t think I would’ve ever picked this up. And even if I did, I would’ve abandoned it.

The characters grew on me, especially the three brothers. The second half of the novel appealed to me more. I felt as though the first half had more talking, the second more doing. As much as I love words, I’m a fan of action. 


What I’m Currently Reading:

The Winner by David Baldacci

the-winner-by-david-baldacci

First impressions:

It’s not the best Baldacci book I’ve read. But I’m interested in the plot more than anything. I want to know what happens next.


What I Want To Read Next Month:

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

all-the-rage-by-courtney-summers

Why: 

A friend recommended it.


As always, all affiliate links take you to Book Depository.

Here’s to an awesome year of reading!

Reading

Books Of The Month | December 2016

November Herminia thought she would read a lot in December. And now December Herminia thinks she’ll read a lot in January. She doesn’t learn. She probably won’t in 2017 either, so don’t expect much from her.

As you can see, I still haven’t gotten over the talking in third person about myself phase.


What I Finished:

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

robinson-crusoe-by-daniel-defoe
One phrase description:

Description without chapter division.

Quote:

“It is never too late to be wise.”

My general thoughts:

The main issue I had was the non-existent chapters and chapter breaks. It was one long block of text after another. I’m not sure if that helped or hindered my ability to read RC quickly. I read a few pages, put it down, did something else, picked it up again, and repeated that process a billion times. I like books that let me know when I should probably return to the real world. It’s weird having more decision over when to take a break from reading.

Also, I was supposed to read this novel in September back when school started. But I didn’t get the book delivered to me on time, so I skipped RC and returned to it in December. I read more rushed than I would’ve liked because I wanted to finish the novel before my English exam. I managed to finish the book and maybe even fail the exam. I don’t know because I can’t bring myself to check what I think are horrible grades.


Morning Star by Pierce Brown

morning-star-by-pierce-brown

One phrase description:

Shatters your heart and returns it to you on a platter.

Quote:

“Life’s not just a matter of breathing, it’s a matter of being.”

My general thoughts:

There was a lot more world-building than I expected in MS. I can see why that build-up might feel slow to some, but I found it worthwhile. The different twists and turns and deaths make for a fun read, even if I saw some of them coming. Like the ending.

I’m trying to get my friend to read the series. She hasn’t. I don’t know how we’re still friends. But I can’t wait for whatever else Pierce Brown is cooking up.


City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

city-of-lost-souls-by-cassandra-clare

One phrase description:

Kissing and kissing and more kissing.

Quote:

“In difficult times, in dark times, some people shine.”

My general thoughts:

Of all the books in the series so far, I think I enjoyed this one the least. It read more like a romantic novel than anything else to me. I didn’t like the kissing and more than kissing scenes. Especially since just about everyone loves someone else, when one romantic scene ended, another began with a different couple.

I’m not sure why I went out a long time ago and bought all the books in the series at once. So I have the last one sitting on the shelf, staring at me. I think I need a break from Clare’s writing. I need a break from the protagonist, Clary. I need a break from everything really.


What I’m Currently Reading:

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

the-brothers-karamazov-by-fyodor-dostoyevsky

First impressions:

It’s long. So very long. Nearly 800 pages long. Yes, I have to read TBK for school. No, I don’t hate it…yet. I hope I don’t by the end. Keeping track of all the Russian names hasn’t been that bad. Then again, I think I haven’t met half the characters.


What I Want To Read Next Month:

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

heir-of-fire-by-sarah-j-maas

Why: 

I liked Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, the first two novels in the series. Hopefully I’m not disappointed. Though I tend to find a third book in any series is either hit or miss.


All affiliate links take you to Book Depository.

New year, new books. Am I right or am I right?

Reading

Books Of The Month | November 2016

Oh November, why are you always so busy? How I managed to finish a book—much less four—this month is beyond me.


What I Finished:

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

to-the-lighthouse-by-virginia-woolf

One phrase description:

Thoughts.

Quote:

“Why, one asked oneself, does one take all these pains for the human race to go on?”

My general thoughts:

It’s not my kind of book. I’ve come to the very unfortunate conclusion that I don’t love modernism. There really isn’t much of a plot. And I understand the novel is written the way it is for a reason. I appreciate the writing. I appreciate the language. I’m a writer. But I also adore stories. The words are beautifully put together. I just wished Woolf injected about 10 mL of narrative into her work. I had a tough time getting through it because I had no story to follow. Also reading To The Lighthouse on the subway is not ideal. Then again life isn’t. To be honest, if the novel wasn’t a required reading for my English class, I probably would have put it down twenty pages in and never picked it back up.


Golden Son by Pierce Brown

golden-son-by-pierce-brown

One phrase description:

Feelings.

Quote:

“There is no greater plague to an introvert than the extroverted.”

My general thoughts:

I think my heart was dead prior to reading Golden Son, but Pierce Brown found a way to awaken that organ. And now it’s beating again. I didn’t know I had feelings. I didn’t realize I felt so strongly for certain characters. But I know now. I realized along the way. This book had an actual story. A bloody good one. I enjoyed most of the scenes. At times the novel reminded me of Ender’s Game, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Although a lot of sci-fi elements go right over my head because science is confusing. I’m a confused child. Anyhow, GS provided a great escape from the cruel world that is university. If I had friends, I’d rope them into reading the series.


City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

city-of-fallen-angels-by-cassandra-clare

One phrase description:

Angels.

Quote:

“And I think even when you heal, you’re never what you were before.”

My general thoughts:

I keep holding out hope that the next book will get better. I will keep hoping until I can’t. The writing in City of Fallen Angels didn’t bother me nearly as much as the writing in City of Glass did. Maybe I went in with lower expectations. Who am I kidding? The book isn’t a literary masterpiece. That’s besides the point. At this point, I’m invested enough in the story to want to know what happens, how it ends. I don’t love the characters. Some days I can tolerate them. Other days I roll my eyes at their actions and shake my head at their inaction. But I care enough to finish the series, especially since I’m this far in.


Zone One by Colson Whitehead

zone-one-by-colson-whitehead

One phrase description: 

Zombies.

Quote:

“In his mind, the business of existence was about minimizing consequences.”

My general thoughts:

Had to read this for school. I finished it today, and I think I’m still trying to process the ending. I don’t know how I feel about the last line in particular. Whitehead makes you think. He made me reflect on the world I live in so many times I’ve lost count. I make it sound like I kept count. I didn’t. It’s a zombie book. It’s a post apocalyptic novel. But at the same time it isn’t. Does that make sense? This isn’t your typical zombie book. Read at your own peril.


What I Want To Read Next Month:

Morning Star by Pierce Brown

morning-star-by-pierce-brown

Why: 

Because I love the series so much. And I want to feel feelings, so I know I’m a human being and not just a zombie in a human body.


All affiliate links courtesy of Book Depository. All bad jokes courtesy of yours truly.

Reading

Books Of The Month | October 2016

It’s the end of October already? I’m not ready for November, where I’ll be attempting to write more, which means I’ll likely read less.


What I Finished:

Red Rising by Pierce BrownRed Rising by Pierce Brown

One phrase description: 

Love.

Quote:

“Life is the most effective school ever created.”

My general thoughts:

I didn’t love it at first. But by the end, I did. I may have purchased the next two books already, which is a testament to how much I enjoyed the one pictured above. For the longest time, I saw pictures of it everywhere, and I was tired of seeing something I didn’t have.


Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
northanger-abbey-by-jane-austen

One phrase description: 

Like.

Quote:

“All has been, or at least all have believed themselves to be, in danger from the pursuit of some one whom they wished to avoid; and all have been anxious for the attentions of some one whom they wished to please.”

My general thoughts:

I don’t love or hate it. I’m fond of the characters despite their flaws or maybe in spite of them. Interestingly enough, I enjoyed the middle chapters more than I did the beginning or ending. It took some time to get used to Austen’s writing early on. Also, the end didn’t satisfy me. I feel the need to mention I read this for school rather than pleasure. Funny, I told a friend I probably wouldn’t read Austen on my own for fun.


Atonement by Ian McEwan

atonement-by-ian-mcewan

One phrase description: 

Like led to love.

Quote:

“It wasn’t only the wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding.”

My general thoughts:

I fell more and more in love. The story started a bit slow, but picked up nicely. A part of me wants to watch a movie adaptation. If you know me at all, you know I don’t watch many movies. Similar to Northanger Abbey, I read McEwan for my English class. Still I’m going to gush about it to anyone who cares to listen to me, meaning no one.


City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

city-of-glass-by-cassandra-clare

One phrase description: 

Love and hate.

Quote:

“And no place that you are never allowed to leave can be a home.”

My general thoughts:

I liked some things, disliked others. The writing irks me at times. For some reason, I’m not really fond of characters calling other characters by name multiple times in a conversation. I don’t think it’s realistic. But the story arc works for me. If I didn’t buy all six books at once though, I’m not sure if I would have read beyond the first novel. So what does that say about me or the series as a whole (in my opinion)? I don’t know. I’ll let you form your own conclusion.


What I’m Currently Reading:

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

to-the-lighthouse-by-virginia-woolf

First impressions:

It’s short, but I’m not the biggest fan so far, but let’s see if Woolf can win me over in the next couple hundred pages. It hasn’t happened yet. I just wish the story would unfold quicker because I’m impatient.


What I Want To Read Next Month:

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

city-of-fallen-angels-by-cassandra-clare

Why: 

Because I want to finish the series and move on with my life. I mean that in the best way possible.


Those affiliate links take you to Book Depository where you can buy more, you guessed it, books. Don’t you want more?

Reading

Books Of The Month | September 2016

It’s that time of the month where I reflect on what I read and maybe also what I didn’t read…


What I Finished:

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

One phrase description:

A great fantasy.

Quote:

“You must learn to ask the right questions before you can receive the right answers.”

My general thoughts:

I feel as though this book is more mature than the first. Perhaps because Celaena has grown up somewhat? Or maybe I’m just losing my mind and making stuff up. Probably the latter. A part of me enjoyed Throne of Glass just a bit more. I like reading about people fighting, less so about people loving.


The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

One phrase description: 

A good mystery.

Quote:

“But the lies she told were woven into the fabric of her being, her life; so that to live with her and love her was to become slowly enmeshed by them, to wrestle her for the truth, to struggle to maintain a foothold on reality.”

My general thoughts:

I don’t hate the writing, but I’m not the biggest fan either. It’s slightly more descriptive than I would’ve liked for a crime novel. So the entire story felt slow, especially in the beginning. I hate to brag, yet I will anyway. I’m getting better at guessing who did what. There goes the surprise I used to feel during “the big reveal”.


The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

One phrase description: 

A strange story.

Quote:

“She recognized the strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big that it felt like sadness.”

My general thoughts:

I had and still have many questions. But I guess that’s why it’s a series. I don’t think I love the first book enough to pick up the second one though. However, I can see why some people adore the characters or even the entire story as a whole. I’m just not one of those people.

What I Want To Read Next Month:

Red Rising by Pierce BrownRed Rising by Pierce Brown

Why: 

I’ve heard positive things about Brown and his books. And I’ve seen pictures of both everywhere. So it’s probably a sign from above, trying to tell me something.


The line between spoiler-free and spilling everything is too thin. I’m trying my best while failing my hardest.

Did I read the book I was supposed to read for school? You probably know the answer to that.

If you purchase through my affiliate links, you’re really just prodding me to buy more books.