Wrapping Up March ’18 – The Busiest Month

How we are already through the first quarter of the year, I don’t know. March seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye. I celebrated my birthday, had some very long weekends, finished writing my novel, and read quite a few books (some very good books). Overall, March was a great month and it has really set me up for the rest of the year.

Not only that, but I found a place that I am going to be moving into with my boyfriend. While it was a last minute decision, we are so excited to be moving in just over two weeks time! We already have everything we need (which is currently piled up in my bedroom and my mum’s kitchen), we just need to order the sofa and get a microwave. I am so excited to be moving out on my own (although I am a little nervous). Time to find out if I can really do this whole adulting thing.

March was a great month for reading, even if I didn’t manage to get through as many books as I would have liked to.

Books I Read…

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

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The first book I read in the month was the wonderful To Kill A Kingdom, a story of pirates and sirens that was done in a way I hadn’t seen before. The characters were amazing and I often found myself smiling at their banter, especially when it came to our main characters. I really enjoyed this debut and felt very lucky to have been accepted to read it on NetGalley. You can check out my 4.5 star review here.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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You may find it hard to believe, but before last month I had never read any of Leigh Bardugo’s books. I felt very late to the party and decided the best place to begin would be with her collection of stories and boy, was I right. The Language of Thorns helped to pull me out of a terrible reading slump with the incredible stories and beautiful writing. I haven’t loved a book like this in a while, so of course I gave it five stars! Click here to see my review.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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Once I had a taste for Bardugo’s writing style, I knew I needed more. I started Shadow and Bone and flew through it in less than two days. While it wasn’t the best story I have ever read, I love the world and I was rooting for the characters. The endings really know how to hook you and I was more than happy to give it 4 stars, which you can read about here.

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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After the ending of the first book I just had to dive straight into the second one. While it took me a little longer to read than the first, I really enjoyed where the story was going and seeing the growth of the characters, like Alina. So many things happened, especially towards the end, and I loved the introduction of Nikolai, a character who I hope to see more of in the final book. You can read my 4 star review here.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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This, hands down, is my favourite book of the year so far. Children of Blood and Bone was such an incredible debut that left me wanting more. For a book that is over 500 pages long, I flew through it because of the fast pace, amazing action sequences and captivating descriptions. I can see now why there is so much hype surrounding its release and you can guarantee that I will now read anything that Adeyemi writes. One of the easiest 5 stars I have ever given, which you can read about here.

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Five books in a month is very good for me, but I am hoping that April can be even better (I’ve already finished two!). It seems that my plan of not sticking to a TBR list is working as I have been enjoying all the books I am choosing, which I hope can continue.

What was the best book you read in March?

Wrapping Up February ’18 – Time Flies

Well, March really did creep up on me. It’s supposed to be spring time and yet we were just hit with the most snow we’ve seen in the UK in years and I’ve had to work from home for the last three days (not as fun as it sounds when you can’t leave the house at all). The start of the month hasn’t been too great as I am once again ill and haven’t read a book in a couple of days now.

February came and went within the blink of an eye, but it was a busy month so I’m not really surprised. Hard to believe we’ll be over a quarter of the way through the year before we know it and in just over three weeks it’ll be my birthday. That means more book buying (and books being given as gifts).

I have some exciting news about my current WIP…it’s almost finished. I’m currently at 97,000 words (seems like a lot now) and I only have two chapters left to write. TWO! This book is everything to me and I love the characters so much. There is a lot of work to do, some plot holes to fill in, dialogue to flesh out, but I am so excited. I even bought a bottle of Moet & Chandon Rose to celebrate tomorrow night (because I will finish it tomorrow, I just know it). The last time I finished writing a book was a long time ago, maybe 2011/2012. I’m not sure, so it is an amazing feeling to have again. Let’s hope I can get an agent.

Books I Read…

Keeper of the Watch by Kristen L. Jackson

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The first book I finished in the month was a bit of a disappointment to me. I went into it knowing I didn’t really enjoy the sci-fi genre and I hoped this could change my mind. It didn’t. However, as with everything, there were some good points to it. It had a fast pace, was light hearted and there was some good banter between the characters. Unfortunately, I didn’t connect with this book and that is why I gave it 3 stars. You can read my review here.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

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I think I expected something a little different when I read the blurb for The Hazel Wood. I expected it to have more parts dedicated to the dark and creepy fairy tales. I wanted more of an atmosphere, but a large part of the plot took place in New York, giving it an urban fantasy feel. I enjoyed the book, but I didn’t connect with the characters or the story they were telling. Overall, this was a 3 star read for me and you can check out all my thoughts here.

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

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I’ve gone on about this book a few times since I read it, but if you didn’t know already, I loved it. Everything about this book was perfect to me and it had everything I love in a dark, YA Fantasy novel. There was action, love, death, and it covered the tough topic of how to deal with grief and the ways in which it can manifest. I was hooked, sinking deeper into the world and I didn’t want to story to end. All in all, this book was more than deserving of 4.5 stars, and you can read my review here.

Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

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The final book I read in February was kind of mediocre in terms of writing, but I still found it enjoyable and fun. This book didn’t take itself too seriously and was set within an urban fantasy world with Norse mythology woven into it. Definitely a unique idea that I’m not used to and actually liked. The characters were okay, there was a bit of romance and quite a lot of action. I know there is a second book, and as I gave the first 3 stars, I want to find out how it will end. Check out my full review here.

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While I mainly stuck to the TBR list I set myself at the beginning of the month, I did deviate a little and there was a couple of books I didn’t get to. 4 in total isn’t too bad, especially as I’ve been ill twice in a month (so not fun) and I’ve been diving into my writing. Plus, February is a shorter month anyway so fingers crossed March allows me to read more amazing books.

What was the best book that you read in February?

Wrapping Up January ’18 – AKA the Longest Month Ever

I have never been happier to see February because honestly, January seemed like it would last forever. It’s always a tougher month because you have longer to wait until payday, but a lot happened, especially with work which has just been getting better and better. I’m almost at the two month mark now and I am loving it there. When you can get up and enjoy going to work, you know you’ve found a great job.

In terms of my WIP, it’s been a pretty great month with a total of 22,000 words being written. While it may not seem a lot, I’m really happy with that and I managed to stick to my 1,000 words a day during the week. On the weekends I seemed to write a lot less and sometimes not even at all, but with my week being so full I just needed the break at times. For the month of February I’m looking to change that and to write 1,000 every day. Maybe if I do that I will have completed my first draft by March.

Overall, January was a great month for reading for me and below you can see the books that I read (quite a few from debut authors as well).

Books I Read…

Keeper by Kim Chance

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The first book I read of 2018 was a NetGalley approval for debut author Kim Chance and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Keeper was fun, entertaining and fast paced, always keeping me turning the page. The characters were extremely likeable, even if they were a little young compared to what I’m used to reading (and writing). I rated Keeper a solid 4 stars and you can check out my review here

The Young Queens by Kendare Blake

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Last year I read Three Dark Crowns and One Dark Throne, so of course I was going to read the Novella, The Young Queens. It was wonderful to learn more of the backstory, featuring the mother of the Queens and seeing how they grew up in their respective homes. While you don’t necessarily have to read this, it does provide you with a little more insight. And because I loved it so much I gave The Young Queens 5 stars. Check out more of my thoughts in my review here. 

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

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Slowly, but surely, I have been making my way through the Throne of Glass series and I have been loving it! Honestly, I think that it is one of my favourite series of all time and I still have three books left to read (four if you count the final instalment coming out this year). It just seems that each book gets better and I can’t wait to dive into the series again in February. Of course, I had to give Heir of Fire 5 stars and you can check out my full review here

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

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Thank god I got accepted for this on NetGalley because The Belles is a gem of a book. Words cannot describe how much I adored this debut novel and I urge everyone to head out and buy this book when the release date arrives. The descriptive writing blew me away and the dark undertones to the story added so much depth. If you would like to see why I rated this book a solid 5 stars, then click here to read more.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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What a book to end the month on! The Cruel Prince was deliciously dark and intriguing, with so many plot twists that I never saw coming. I was going to wait to buy this but when the hardback came down to half price I couldn’t resist and I’m glad I didn’t. I had never read any of Holly Black’s books before, but I want to read more of them, especially if they include evil and dangerous Faeries. I rated this 4.5 stars and you will find my review here

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Since I started this blog, January has been my best month for reading and although 5 books may not seem a lot to others, it’s a big deal for me. Especially when I’m busying working, writing and trying to have some kind of life (not much of one, but oh well). If every month was like this then I am on track to reaching my Goodreads goal of 50 books early!

What were some of the best books that you read in January?

Wrapping Up December & Setting Goals For 2018

December was a strange month. Not only did it fly by with Christmas looming in the distance, the first couple of weeks were stressful due to my boyfriend’s operation. The Christmas break allowed me time to relax, de-stress from the last few weeks and spend some quality time with the ones I love (although I wish I hadn’t been ill for most of it).

Today I just got home from my holiday in Ireland with my dad and family (btw, flying in the wind is not fun) and I am ready for the New Year, heading back to work and setting myself some goals to achieve in 2018. When I was thinking about what I wanted to achieve, I decided to make them as realistic as possible. Here are just a few:

  • Finish writing my novel (I’m 50,000 words in and hope to finish it and have it edited by the end of 2018).
  • Read 50 books (seems do-able with one a week).
  • Work on my health and fitness (this is one I know will take time, but I am more than willing to commit).
  • Post more regularly on my blog (If I can do at least 3 a week, I’ll be happy).
  • Save money (this will be the most difficult for me, I like to buy things).
  • Always look at the positives in every situation (if the last few months have taught me anything, it’s that things aren’t always as bad as they seem).

Fingers crossed, that at the end of 2018 I can look back on these and say that I completed them. Now to go onto the important things, the books I read. While it may not seem a lot, I have to remind myself that it was a busy month and I can work on it in the New Year.

Books I Read…

Everless By Sara Holland

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I feel that Everless was one of my favourite reads of 2017, if not my favourite one! It was incredible, original and fast paced. Everless was everything I love in a book and I cannot wait for the sequel. I was easily able to give it five stars and you can check out my review here.

Angelfall by Susan Ee

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Finally I got around to reading Angelfall after hearing so much about the series and I have to say that I enjoyed it. While it isn’t what I am used to reading now (I prefer Fantasy books and novels with a more grown up POV), it was a great change of pace and was worthy of the 4 stars. You can read my review here.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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All I can say is, Holy crap…this book was incredible and that ending was amazing. I loved Crown of Midnight even more than Throne of Glass (if that is even possible) and I have a feeling this series is going to get better and better with each one. Easily a five star read and you can check out my thoughts here.

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I guess 3 books isn’t too bad considering all that happened in the space of a month. I am aiming to read at least 4 every month if I can and maybe sometimes I will read even more.

Hopefully you managed to read some incredible books in the last month of 2017 and here’s to many more in 2018!