January & February Wrap-Up! | 2020

I have been so conflicted because I forgot to do my January wrap-up (honestly, I’m still laughing at myself for something missing that). But I decided (as you can see) to do a combined wrap-up! And before you freak out, it’s fine, this won’t be unbelievably long. February was a reading FLOP. Floppier than Peter Rabbit’s ears.

January: amazing. Aced it. Hit my reading goal, was on track to hit 95 books by the end of the year. February? Yeah, I’m 7 books behind. I TRIED. I’m busy. Uni is more consuming that I remember dangit (maybe that has something to do with working and studying full time together??) Idek. Let’s just look at what I read and forget about the difficulties of adulting!


Brown Utensils Kitchen Label Firelight
by Sophie Jordan

5 Star Rating System 3 stars

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Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Author: Sophie Jordan
Published: September 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 323 {paperback}

Will I continue the series? NO

Haha well. This book was a roaring good time. It was a Christmas present from my favourite Kiwi but lord almighty did it test me. A true tween fiction meant for the 13-years-old and alas, not for someone on the brink of their quarter-life crisis. I thoroughly enjoyed the total ludacris of this nonetheless.

My review


Inside Out & Back Again
by Thanhha Lai

5 Star Rating System 3 stars

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Genre: Poetry, Historical Fiction
Author: Thanhha Lai
Published: February 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 288 {paperback}

This was one of these strange reads where I really liked it, but I wasn’t blown away by anything, in particular, to bump it up to a higher rating. It tackles an important topic and is entirely in prose (which is my least favourite form of writing but this was done well). I felt the story was a bit short but otherwise, really good.

My review


The Queen of Nothing
by Holly Black

5 Star Rating System 4 stars

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Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Author: Holly Black
Published: November 2019
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 308 {paperback}

This was a very agreeable end to this series. I really enjoyed it but I was sad that it didn’t blow me away as much as the previous two books had done. I also thought it was really short?!

Review to come


A Thousand Nights
by EK Johnston

5 Star Rating System 3 stars

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Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Author: E K Johnston
Published: October 2015
Publisher: Macmillan’s Children’s Books
Pages: 325 {paperback}

I had really high expectations for this one and was fully anticipating a 5 star read; I won’t lie, I was a little disappointed when it wasn’t. I loved the world-building and the spin of the story in this book but I wasn’t particularly impressed in the way I have been with Renée Ahdieh’s books of the same original story.

My review


The Name of All Things
by Jenn Lyons

5 Star Rating System 3 and a half stars

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Genre: (Epic) Fantasy
Author: Jenn Lyons
Published: October 2019
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 589 {hardback}

Will I continue the series? YES

This series is amazing and I really love it. But I got so confused in this book because I decided to read it via audiobook – which was THE WRONG DECISION. Not being able to consult the genealogy charts, distinguish the footnotes easily or flip back and forth between pages was a serious hindrance as to how well I understood the book. I’ll be re-reading this one, for sure.

Review to come


Crown of Midnight
by Sarah J Maas

5 Star Rating System 5 stars

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Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Author: Sarah J Maas
Published: August 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 418 {paperback}

I am thoroughly enjoying re-reading this series. It’s been such a long time since I read these for the first time that it’s so much fun revisiting the characters early on in the story and remembering where everyone came from and what their backstories are. I’m so excited to continue exploring this all again!

Review to come


Norse Mythology
by Neil Gaiman

5 Star Rating System 3 stars

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Genre: (Norse) Mythology 
Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: February 2017
Publisher: WW Norton & Company
Pages: 301 {paperback}

I was a little conflicted with this one. I was expecting seriously great things having recently enjoyed the delights of Stephen Fry’s Greek Mythology retelling but I found this to fall short. Whilst the stories were really entertaining, themselves, I came out with so many more questions than when I went in and felt somewhat confused.

My review


The Storm Crow
by Kalyn Josephson

5 Star Rating System 2 and a half stars

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Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Author: Kalyn Josephson
Published: July 2019
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 352 {paperback}

Will I continue the series? MAYBE

Oh boy, what a funny struggle this one was. I buddy read this and we thoroughly enjoyed roasting the crap out of it. This was comically ‘eh’. Whilst I could sit here and tear it apart, honestly I just enjoyed how ridiculous this was. The plot could have been a lot more serious with less trashy romance and the whole crow thing really was bizarre. I don’t *think* I’ll read book two . . . but my curiosity may get the better of me yet.

Review to come


Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban
by JK Rowling & Jim Kay

5 Star Rating System 5 stars

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Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Author: J K Rowling
Published: October 2017 [illustrated edition]
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 328 {hardback}

Need I really say anything about this? This is one of my favourites (if not my favourite) book in the whole series. I love the delicious nostalgia that comes with re-reading HP and the third one is just so beautiful before things get really serious. The illustrations are simply to die for.


The Pearl Thief
by Fiona McIntosh

5 Star Rating System 5 stars

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Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: Fiona McIntosh
Published: October 2018
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Pages: 500 {paperback}

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This was my favourite book that I’ve read this year so far. And I’m so pleased. I bought this on a whim and wasn’t expecting it to be anywhere near as phenomenal as it was. This was a spectacular story about a Jewish girl’s survival through WWII. Set in Prague, Paris and London this is a sweeping tale I won’t soon forget. This was my first ever Fiona McIntosh book and I’m so excited to read more of her work.

Review to come


Verity
by Colleen Hoover

5 Star Rating System 5 stars

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Genre: Romance, Thriller
Author: Colleen Hoover
Published: December 2018
Publisher: Independently Published
Pages: 314 {paperback}

Untitled

I just loved this. I wasn’t sure what to expect (certainly not a thriller, as I hadn’t read the blurb) from this latest Hoover book and WOW. I was addicted. I couldn’t put it down and I rapidly consumed this book. Though I did have a solid discussion with a friend who’d read this just before me and he was adamant that this was predictable and eh, but I heartily disagree! I will defend this book’s honour with my dying breath. I listened to this via audiobook and it was really great!

My review


blog


booktube


the statistics

Genres Read:

Pie Chart

Pages Read:

Pie Chart

Total: 3,986

Progress Towards Goodreads Challenge:

12%, or, 11/95 books

The TBR Count

This is a new feature I want to include in my wrap-ups this year where we see what number my TBR is at. Going forwards I’m going to include a plus or minus number in brackets after the TBR number to indicate if it went up or down (or stayed the same).

265


what about me

It’s hard to cast my mind’s eye back to the first two months of this year in amongst the total mayhem of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it was a pretty good start to the year really. Living back at home with my parents has actually been really nice and the sheer number of social outings with friends has surprised even myself.

Going back to university has been the biggest change in my life. I’ve dropped down to working part-time and studying full time and I’m loving it. Of course, this means between sleeping, eating, study and working it’s been somewhat of a stretch to sit and blog – but it’s my favourite time of the week when I do get a chance!

If you missed the announcement, I’m studying a postgraduate course in writing/publishing at university so it’s thrillingly relevant to my passion for books! It’s going to be my life for the next two years and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

I had booked several (three) holidays for later in the year but I won’t bother going into detail about them yet because I’m not really expecting that any of them are going to go ahead at this rate – I’ll have to save them all up for next year!

I’ve been on an incredibly fun mission with my friends to find and try all the bars in Perth. Perth has some wonderful bars and some really fun and themed ones! If you’re ever on this side of the country be sure to do your research and try out some swanky bars like Halford Bar or Print Hall, or perhaps enjoy a cocktail in a teapot at Bobèche – or put on your cowboy boots for some honky-tonk at Alabama Song before giving a secret password to get into Sneaky Tony’s. Who said Perth is no fun?!

I saw Margaret Atwood live on stage talking about her life and her career in March and that was amazing, I really enjoyed listening to her. She’s incredibly intelligent and a total delight. Back in January, I went and watched some live tennis when that was happening. Later in January, there were several comedy shows I attended for a festival and those were good fun.

But now, let’s see what movies I watched!

Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne in The Aeronauts (2019)The Aeronauts, 2019: 7/10 stars

This was an intense thriller about a hot air balloonist that really had my blood pumping. Plus we have an amazing leading cast – I believe this was on Prime (if not a Prime original) and I’d definitely recommend it!

Sam Rockwell, Taika Waititi, Scarlett Johansson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen, Rebel Wilson, Thomasin McKenzie, and Roman Griffin Davis in Jojo Rabbit (2019)Jojo Rabbit, 2019: 7/10 stars

This was seriously funny with a really good cast. The whole movie is a satirical take on WWII and a young German boy whose imaginary friend is Hitler. If you’re looking for a good laugh, this is definitely it.

Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, and Jonathan Groff in Frozen II (2019)Frozen II, 2019: 8/10 stars

I had been so worried that this would be total crap but it seems Disney is slowly learning how to produce good sequels. This was really enjoyable with some FANTASTIC songs (Lost in the Woods with Kristoff? Heck yeah). I’ve actually watched it twice in the last two months.

Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson in The Lighthouse (2019)The Lighthouse, 2019: 1/10 stars

This was absolutely awful!!!!!!! I hated this film!!! I saw it with a friend at an outdoor cinema that shows independent films and holy shit. I wish I could erase this from my mind. It was disturbing, disgusting and mildly boring. Would not recommend.

George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman in 1917 (2019)1917, 2019: 10/10 stars

This, however, was brilliant. One of the best war stories I’ve seen and they really did do an amazing job filming it. You need to see this one!

Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019)A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, 2019: 2/10 stars

What the fuck was this film? I went to see this with my parents and we were THIS close to walking out. SO. BORING. SO. SLOW. I have no idea if this was supposed to feed 100% off American nostalgia for this show? ?!?!? Idek. I would never watch this again and am sad to report I’ve found the only film with Tom Hanks in it that I greatly dislike.

Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan in Military Wives (2019)Military Wives, 2019: 8/10 stars

Um, AMAZING. This film definitely made me cry and is 200% worth watching. It’s about how the wives of soldiers on duty survive whilst their partners are gone, not knowing if their husbands/wives are okay. It so pulls at your heartstrings and needs to be watched!


Tick!  done! 

What was your favourite book that you read in January or February? 


Happy reading!

~~ Kirstie ~~

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