WEEKLY CHECK IN: books I’ve read, etc.

Can I just start this post with a thank you? My last blog post received so much love and considering it was just an incoherent ranting of my feelings, that means so much to me!

I forgot my headphones at university, so I need to do something that distracts me enough not to scream from the silence of the office. And yes, I could work on the edits for my three chapters, but who wants to do actual work?

Also, I’m hella hungry but I can’t be bothered moving. (EDIT: I ended up moving. Lunch cost me 16 DOLLARS?? For a juice and a small serving of pasta. UNIVERSITY FOOD IS HELLA EXPENSIVE.)

God, all I do is complain. (BITCH YOU JUST SPENT 16 DOLLARS ON MEDIOCRE PASTA AND A JUICE? YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO COMPLAIN YOU’RE BROKE AS FUCK I HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT)

Anyway, I have had a GREAT READING WEEK. Because I’m a broke ass bitch, I’ve been hitting up my local library which has been freaking amazing. I was honestly surprised at the sheer amount of books, especially new releases, that they had?? I’m talking just released books, it’s fantastic.

For some reason, all the books that I read last week had two – no three – things in common.

First, they all (except one) were set on an island.

Second, they included a female/female romance (okay, except two).

And third, they were STRANGE AND EERIE AS FUCK.

I also forgot how many books I read last week, what the fuck. How did I read that many?

The first book I read for the week was House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig. Now this book came in a book box, and I forget which one – I think it may have been Owlcrate?. And I picked it up because I wanted something different. It seemed more along the lines of a dark re-telling, and honestly, I had never heard of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, so I was already intrigued.

ALSO, controversial opinion, but could we stop with the re-tellings? Is anyone else just super tired of this? I feel like I want more original and creative works, rather than the usual re-telling. Come on, how many times can Beauty and the Beast be re-told until it’s just the same old story? But I do have to give this book credit, I have seen absolutely no-one re-tell the Twelve Dancing Princesses, so woohoo?

I ended up rating it 4 stars because it was refreshing and I quite enjoyed it.

Honestly, this book makes me want to re-think my rating for A Curse So Dark and Lonely, because this book was far better in terms of creativity, characterisation, plot and execution.

The fact that it centred on sisters was so beautiful – their relationship was a joy to read about. I enjoyed reading from the main character’s, Annaleigh, perspective. She had a great mixture of courage and bravery as well as fear and doubt. I honestly didn’t predict the way the story went, but I would have wished that it spent more time on the Trickster aspect as well as the Gods aspect – I think that would have made this book freakin amazing. It was great, but it didn’t go up to that level. The ending I felt, happened too quickly and there was not justice served at all – well, one could argue that there was, but I wanted MORE. Like, the stepmother was a freakin mole, I knew from the start, but the fact that she did what she did and no one knows except for Annaleigh and Camilla????? Come on, give me drama, give me public justice served!

I also think that the character of Cassius could have been further developed. He was a Demi-god and literally like that’s all we know of him. And that he loves Annaleigh, but again, give me more. The world itself sounds fascinating but it wasn’t delved into. I guess this book, similar to Sorcery of Thorns, was only trying to do one thing and not too much, but for this story in particular, it would have benefited from having that ‘more’ involved. I want to know about the world, the gods, the different Peoples; like, there is so much to this world and we are given virtually nothing about it. We don’t even get a MAP!

In saying that, I did read it within like, 5 hours so it kept me engaged and on the edge of my seat throughout the entire reading experience. I would very much read anything this author wrote though, because I enjoyed the way she wrote very much.


I then ventured into the depths of my TBR shelf and found Sadie by Courtney Summers. Y’all, I think this would be one of my favourite YA thrillers OF ALL TIME. 5 star read 5 STAR READ!

I also just want to say trigger warnings for: pedophilia, sexual assault, molestation, rape, murder, alcoholism, drug addiction, parental neglect, mentions of suicide, suicide attempt, murder.

I knew this book would be a five star read not even halfway through. It was phenomenal, absolutely breathtaking. Courtney Summers writes with no care to sugar-coat, no pretence; only the rawness of reality. For me, this book had such a punch to it because of the fact that it was not a story about some magical, fantastical evil beast that needed to be conquered. The villain/s were human, entirely human, who were the evil, the dregs, of our society. Men who kill, who prey on little girls, who abuse women, who are evil incarnate in a mortal, human, body.

Sadie was a book and a character that freakin punched me in the heart. The fact that this book was formatted as a podcast as well as chapters of Sadie’s perspective, was the perfect format for this story. The podcast, occurring four or five months after Sadie’s disappearance (i think) felt so real, I legitimately forgot that it was fiction and I remember saying to myself, ‘oh my god I need to research about Sadie’. I’m an idiot, I know, but that’s how real these characters felt to me.

I also think Sadie is such a badass character. Her path that she takes to find the man who killed her sister, you can see the effects she has had. Because of her, bad people got locked away (FUCK YOU SILAS I HOPE YOU ROT IN HELL) and so many freakin little girls (and boys) were saved.

I just really loved this book. I felt the pain, the guilt, the love of the characters; I thought West’s character was great – he didn’t overtake the narrative more, he gave room for Sadie’s voice to be heard through the crumbs she left in her wake.

I read this book as a combination of physically reading it and listening to it as an audiobook. I highly recommended the audiobook, it was FANTASTIC and it felt like an actual True Crime podcast. I listened to the podcast chapters on audiobook and physically read Sadie’s chapters and it was the perfect way to read this book. Why I did it this way was because I preferred to read Sadie’s perspective myself and listening to the ‘podcast’ chapters as a ‘podcast’ itself, lended it a sort-of authenticity to the story which was freaking amazing.

I love this book. Read it.


The next book I got from the library, and though it was not set on an Island, it was set in the Scottish highlands in a boarding school that was previously a castle? So, I’m counting it in terms of the isolation factor. IT HAD A LOT OF SIMILARITIES WITH AN ISLAND OKAY.

Don’t at me.

I read this book because I’ve been hearing so much about it. People have been comparing this book to Red, White and Royal Blue. Personally, I understand why this comparison is occurring as they both concern royalty, is hate-to-friend-to-love, and includes a same-sex romance; but I think RWRB had so much more depth to it? Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins is just a very short, cute, fluffy read that does not do anything more than that.

All I can say is that this book is super freaking cute. You won’t regret reading it, but don’t expect anything more than a fluffy read.

What I liked:

– the slowish build romance; from hate to friends to love. MY HEART.

– Female/female romance FOR THE WIN

– And they were rOoMaTeS

– Royalty and a gothic castle/boarding school in the Scottish Highlands – so Hogwarts-esque I loved it.

What I didn’t quite like:

-Millie Quint is a good main character, but she judges or highlights a person’s looks. She also compares how pretty/attractive someone is to other people, etc. She just constantly would say something along the lines of ‘she was mean but she could do it coz she was pretty’ or ‘she still looked like a goddess when she…’ like it got annoying.

– I wanted more in terms of their relationship. It ends quite abruptly.

– Did the characters have different personalities? One will never know. They read quite similar.

– We get it, you’re sassy.

– Emotional connections please!!!!!! If the story focused more on that aspect it would be a five star read!

I rated this a 4 out of 5 stars.


I then read WHAT IS SUCH A GREAT READ OMG, Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner. First of all, why hasn’t there been any hype for this? Yes, okay, it was written in 2014 BUT I HAVE SEEN NO ONE TALK ABOUT IT OR ABOUT THIS SERIES!?

4.5 stars!!!!

I freakin loved this book. I need to read the rest of the series IMMEDIATELY.

Warrior, murdering mermaids? Check.

Warrior women? Check.

Battle on the open sea? Check.

Hate-to-love romance? Check.

Eerie as fuck? Checkity check.

Yo, where has battle-ready mermaids been all of my life? And battles on the ocean? What is more scary than being out in the middle of the ocean, fighting for survival against a race that is stronger, scarier, and CAN POSSIBLY EAT YOUR FLESH for shits and giggles BUT MOSTLY TO KICK ASS. Like?????

I just really freaking loved this book. It was great. The few things that annoyed me mainly centred on the reason as to why the Massacres occurred? Like, i get it. But it’s not as though the people on the island couldn’t just hop on a helicopter in an Exodus type of evacuation and leave the island so no more people could die? The option of leaving was always there it wasn’t as though they were unable to??? Confusing.

Also, some of the side characters annoyed me. Dani, for instance, and Texas- even Annith, Meela’s best friend, didn’t really have any complexity as characters? They were just, there? Dani was written as a sociopath with no nuance and it’s like, why? I don’t know, it was just annoying when the group of girls would fight each other even though I know it was meant to demonstrate how stir-crazy people could get sharing such close quarters but i just wanted to scream YALL HAVE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT LIKE MERMAIDS DECAPITATING YOU OR SOME SHIT GODDAMN IT.

But, my dudes, it was such a wild ride and I’ve already put the rest of the series on Hold at my library coz this bitch needs to know how this series ends AND ALSO COZ I WANT TO KNOW IF MEELA AND LYSI GET TOGETHER FOR REALSIES.


The last book that I read for the week was one that surprised the HELL out of me. Honestly, was not expecting to be so INVESTED in this story. The book was Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand and I rated it 4.5 stars.

Trigger warnings: suicidal ideation, murder, discrimination against asexuality, blood, gore-ish elements (not really, but it is quite horror-esque).

The Rock was the real hero of this book. I said it! I really loved this book, the ending, the sisterhood, the exploration of complicity and guilt. I highly recommend it to those who want to read a book that is creepy as fuck with heaps of action and incredible amounts of mystery. What I found though when I finished reading it, I was just like, ‘okay’? I think the overall story needed slightly more in terms of finishing with impact, if that makes sense.

I’m so happy that I read it though! The characters were interesting as well as the little plot points that came up WHICH BECAME ACTUALLY SUPER IMPORTANT TO THE STORY. I wish, though, that the aftermath of how the story ended could have been explored more? I said it above, there was just something something that was missing to make this book phenomenal. It was quite a lengthy book and most of the climax of the story only happens in the last 100 or so pages, so maybe there was an issue of pacing? However, in saying that, I enjoyed the pace of it? It’s quite confusing and I’m not sure how I feel about yet in terms of articulating my feelings!

But I do recommend it!!!!!!


Okay, I think I may need to do some work now. Until next time, friends! Happy reading!

All the love,

Allie

Xx

P.S. I READ 5 BOOKS THIS WEEK???? I AM VERY HAPPY!!!

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