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October Wrap-Up

And there goes another month! We are almost eight months into the pandemic, sitting in our cozy homes. Many of you would disagree with me, right? After so much time staying home, it doesn’t really feel so cozy, does it? It still does, for me. Because I can do more of what I love the most – reading!

Ah, and that reminds me of my topic today. I am going to talk about what I read in October.

So I had participated in two readathons this month. You can view my October TBR blog post to know a bit more about them. Here are some basic statistics regarding the books I read this month.

Number of books read : 4 Number of pages read : 2420 Genres read : Middle Grade

Here is more about the four books I read this month-

Nightfall (Keeper Of Lost Cities series) by Shannon Messenger

As some of you may already know, I am currently pursuing the Keeper of Lost Cities series, and I think it may just be the best middle grade series ever written. That being said, this is the sixth book of the same series and I am pretty sure it deserves a full five stars.

Flashback (Keeper of Lost Cities series) by Shannon Messenger

This was my last read for the month, and perhaps also my favourite. It has kept me on my toes, and I just can’t wait to read the next book in the series next month! Of course, this book will get nothing less than five stars.

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

This was the biggest disappointment this month. I had high expectations from this book, but it did not live up to those. I give it two stars. You can the read the full and detailed review HERE

Ice Wolves (Elementals series) by Amie Kaufman

This is the first book in the Elementals series. It was my second read of the month. This book was quite okay-ish, if you know what I mean. I think I will give it 3.5 stars.

Okay, so what did you read this month? Have you read any of these four books? Do share your thoughts in the comments section. Bye!

October TBR (Page-a-thon and Colour-a-thon!)

October is a month of firsts! For the first time ever I will be participating in more than one readathon in a month. This will also be the first time I have made a proper bullet journal spread for the readathons (a bullet journal flipthrough coming soon!). And I will also be starting 4 new series this month! Exciting, right?

To start off, this month I am joining two readathons; Page-athon and Colour-athon. I belong to Team Spring for the former and Team Blue for the latter. Since my team for Colour-athon binds me to read only blue-covered books this month, that is what I am going to do (with a couple exceptions, of course!). So be ready to dive into a TBR full of blue books! All book covers at the end!!

THE BOOKS!!

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

This will be one of the new series I am going to begin. I have been waiting since forever to watch the movie, but since that wish couldn’t be fulfilled (why don’t I have the Hotstar premium subscription?!) I decided to read the book. A boy nearly my age, always in a suit, AND a kidnapper! A perfect read for me!

Nightfall by Shannon Messenger

As some of you may already know, I have been pursuing The Keeper of Lost Cities series since August. Nightfall is the 6th book in the series (I can’t believe I’ve read 5 books about Sophie Foster already!). This book will also get me some extra points for Page-athon (I assume the ‘fall’ in Nightfall can be counted as an ‘Autumn related word’!) and it fulfills the colour criteria for Colour-athon, so there was every reason for this book to be included in my TBR!

Flashback by Shannon Messenger

This, as some of you might have guessed, is the 7th book in the Keeper Of Lost Cities series. It also has a tinge of blue, so I thought, why not?

School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

I have been wanting to read this book for the last two months, but never got around to it. This will be the first book in the School for Good and Evil series, and I look forward to it!

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

This is the only non-blue book on my TBR. I really, really wanted to start this series, and I couldn’t wait till next month, so I decided to put it on my TBR, even if it doesn’t count for Colour-athon. It still does get me some points for Page-athon, so no worries!

The Island Of Silence by Lisa McMann

This is the second book in the Unwanteds series, so if I like the first one, and if I am in a mood, I am going to read this one as well. And…it is blue (kind of)!

Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman

Another start of a series! This one is the first novel in the Elementals series, and was kind of a last-minute addition to my TBR. This one is kind of a blind read, I just read the name and a little bit of the reviews, otherwise I have no idea what this book is about!

Vimana by Mainak Dhar

I read very few novels by Indian authors (even though I am an Indian myself), but I decided to go for this one. Who can resist some mythology, right?

THE COVERS!!

And that was my TBR for October. What are you planning on reading in October? Are you participating in any readathons? Let me know your views on my TBR as well as yours, in the comments section. Bye, till my next post!

August Wrap-Up! (Everything I read in August + My score for Trope-ical Readathon)

Hey, fellow bookworms! Hope you had a very ‘booked’ month (pun intended!). This post will be all about what I read in August.

I surprised myself by reading a total of 7 books this month (plus some pages here and there of other books)! Yes, I had seven books on my TBR, but I really hadn’t though I would be able to read so many! And it’s a coincidence, that even though I didn’t completely stick to my TBR, I read the exact number of books which were there on my TBR!

I had also participated in the Tropeical Readathon this month, which made the reading even more fun!

Here is a page from my bullet journal ( this is my first ever bullet journal, and the page below is only the second page in it!) which shows the books I read and the ‘tropes’ I read them for, along with the points for each one –

According to my calculations, this leaves me with a total score of 4625 points. Not bad, huh?

So if you notice, I had actually read books from only two series! I am that kind of person; once I pick up a series, I read nothing else unless I have finished all the books in that series 😀.

All those seven books (and also the extra pages from here and there) were AWESOME. I would definitely recommend all of them.

I have written a full review of the Infernal Devices Trilogy, which were my first three books for August. You can check it out here – https://abookwormparadise.wordpress.com/2020/08/24/the-infernal-devices-trilogy-review/

A review for the entire The Keeper of Lost Cities series will be coming soon (I have to finish reading all the books of the series first!) so stay tuned!

I don’t think I will be reading a lot in September, since I have exams and school stuff to catch up on. But I am sure I will take out some time for books, and will of course, keep you all updated about what I read!

What did you read in August? Did you read the same books as me? Any plans for September? Feel free to share your view in the comments!

The Infernal Devices Trilogy (Review)

After finishing the Mortal Instruments Series, I was somewhat obsessed with the fantasy world Cassandra Clare had created. I became irresistibly drawn to the life and world of the Shadowhunters, and that is why I picked up the Infernal Devices trilogy, which is a prequel to the MI series.

I had high hopes of the books in this trilogy, and I must say, they lived up to my expectations. I devoured all these three books last week, and as it often happens with books in a series, now I can’t separate the stories of the three. All three books make up one story for me. So, this is going to be a combined review for the entire trilogy, not the individual books.

THE CHARACTERS

They say that the real story is not the plot, but how the characters unfold by it. So in this review, the characters are the main thing I am going to talk about. In the trilogy, there were few characters, but they left lasting impressions.

Tessa, who can be called the main character of the entire trilogy, was not exactly how I hoped she would be. Call me the heroine hater (I made that up right now, not sure if it even is a term), but she was definitely not my favourite character. I mean, she made terrible decisions all the time, endangering her life as well as of those who were near her. Although everyone tried to tell her otherwise, she WAS actually the reason the lives of everybody at the Institute had turned upside down. They were better off before they took her in, is all I have to say.

Jem. Jem was that character in the story for whom you continue reading the book. He was also that character that made me feel that I would give anything just to go to him, keep a hand on his shoulder, and tell him everything was going to be all right. Through the first book, Clockwork Angel, his illness was a mystery. In the second, we come to know more about his disease, and in the third…well, I can’t really tell you what happens, that would be a dreadful spoiler. But know this, he is the only person in the entire trilogy who is actually, and completely ‘good’, if there is such a thing in this world.

And Will. Will was an…interesting character. Throughout the trilogy, I kept making different impressions of him, as the story progressed. It would be nearly impossible to describe him in a mere couple of words. He was the complex, misunderstood, shrouded-in-mystery character. And although he reminded me of Jace (from the Mortal Instruments series) a lot, Jace was nowhere near to Will in passion and mystery. What I liked about Will was his impulsiveness, his fierce protectiveness of his parabatai, Jem, and his love for novels and poetry.

And of course, all the side characters were charming. The determined Charlotte, the delightful Henry, the Lightwood brothers, Sophie, Magnus Bane( oh, and I AM eyeing the Bane chronicles next) and Mortmain, all did their bits to make up such a wonderful story.

THE PLOT

Although the plot of the entire trilogy was very attractive, and kept me hooked throughout, I wouldn’t say it was entirely unique. There are so many books with the same storyline – the main character is something like the ‘Chosen One’, the fate of the world lies in his or her hands, then he/she gets kidnapped, then there is a rescue, blah blah. So I really had expected something a little more different, but never mind.

THE SETTING

This entire trilogy was set in London, in the 1880’s. This was interesting because there were no cell phones, and because of this the characters were in constant dilemma of how to contact the others and tell them of the danger that lies in await. There were also no cars, and in the ‘rescue’ part of the story, Will rushed off on horseback and traveled through an entire city to rescue Tessa (the horse he took died later, in case you are wondering). I believe due to the year chosen, in contrast to the time of the Mortal Instruments, which was set in the 21st century only, I wanted to read on and find more about the lifestyle of people in those days.

Have you read any of the books of this trilogy? How did you find them? Do you have any recommendations on what I should read next? Feel free to share your views in the comments!

My August TBR for Trope-ical Readathon!

So I am officially announcing my participation in the Trope-ical Readathon! This month-long readathon has me all pumped up and ready to do some reading! (Wanna take part? Click here to know all about it- Trope-ical Readathon Info)

Without further ado, I would like to declare my TBR for this amazing readathon!

Now, a little close-up on the books from my TBR-

Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, for the trope – Strange Name

I really couldn’t find a book in which a character had a strange name, so I decided to go with the alternate prompt, which was to read a book whose title starts with the same letter as my name.

Racing in the Rain, as you can see, has ‘R’s in both the prominent words of the title, which made it the obvious choice for this trope. This one’s for all the dog-lovers out there!

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, for the trope – Absent/ Dead Parents

I just completed the Mortal Instruments series, and now I find myself immensely drawn to the world of Shadow hunters. So right now, The Infernal Devices trilogy seems perfect (I plan on reading the entire trilogy in August, as you will see ahead in my TBR).

From what I know after skimming through the pages of Clockwork Angel, the main character, Tessa, lost her parents way back, and she and her brother were raised by an aunt.

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare, for the trope – Outbreak/Pandemic

This book is for the alternate prompt, which was to read a book that is part of a series. This is the second book in the Infernal Devices trilogy, and I can’t tell you much about it right now, because I myself don’t know a thing about it! But, all the same, I can’t wait to read it!

The Seven and Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, for the trope – Amnesia

Come on! Amnesia? Which is the first book that comes to your mind when I say that? Pretty sure more than half of you will say it’s Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. So it was a pretty obvious choice, don’t you agree?

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, for the trope – Artificial Intelligence

I am not a very artificial-intelligence-type reader (although I love AI movies!) so I am reading this book for the alternate prompt, which was to read an E book. Since none of the bookstores near me are open, most of my books for August are E-books, so this was a pretty easy one. With this I will finally finish the Infernal Devices trilogy!

And for the Team Challenges, I am going to go for –

The Keeper of Lost Cities, for the Magic Academy trope

This book is going to be a start of a new series, which, after reading all the reviews, I am really excited for. I had been told there was a magic academy in this, so straight away I picked this for the trope.

Fate and Magic, for the Time Travel trope

This is the only book on my TBR which I am not very enthusiastic about. The reason is that I did not find its prequel, Blood and Snow, the first book in this series, very interesting. But, from experience, I know books are capable of surprises. Let’s see.

From what I know, in this book, the main character Snow gets trapped in the mind of a queen who existed several hundred years ago, and is forced to live in her time until she finds a way to free herself from the queen’s mind.

And that, my fellow bookworms, was my TBR for August. What are you planning to read? Are you participating in any readathons? Let me know in the comments!

PS – This is actually the first time I have ever planned and written down my TBR. And maybe it was not that great and interesting, but I am slowly learning. Your suggestions would always be welcome!

3 things I learnt after reading ‘The Wave’ by Morton Rhue

‘The Wave’ by Morton Rhue was a book that left a lasting impact on my mind, and I am sure it will do the same to you as well. Perhaps if you check out my book review of this very novel The Wave by Morton Rhue (Review) you will get a better understanding of what I am going to talk about in this post.

Here are the 3 main lessons that this amazing novel taught me –

  1. Past horrors can repeat themselves : Though we may believe that horrible crimes, like those done by the Nazis, are purely historical, that is not the case. These behaviors are human, and instead of fading with time, such impulses have only grown within us. The high school students were sure that they would never succumb to and blindly follow the orders of a dictator, like the Germans followed Hitler. But they were wrong. Even on knowing so much of history, they became what we can call a ‘mini Nazi army’.

2. It is very easy to become a part of a group, but very difficult to come out of it and regain your lost individuality : The students in the book had become one unified group, with actions so co-ordinated that it felt as if they were joint together with some invisible bond. They lost their individuality and forgot that each one of them was unique. It is very difficult to overcome group-thinking, and this was what was the main idea of this novel.

3. Not all quick reads are brief and boring : I always used to steer clear of short novels, because for some reason, I felt that they got over too quickly, without narrating the actual story. The Wave begs to differ. The story was comprise, and surprisingly detailed at the same time. After reading this book, I have begun to think that perhaps the length of the novel does not matter as much as the impact the story leaves behind. Yes, not-so-lengthy books, prepared to be devoured!

These were some things I learnt after reading this book. What did this novel teach you? And do you think, like some others, that the Wave did more good than bad? And if you have not read this novel yet, do you plan on reading it now? Do let me know your views in the comments section.

See you in my next post. Till then, happy reading!

Animal Farm by George Orwell (Review)

Animal Farm -

‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others’ ~ Animal Farm

Such meaning lies in this line. It tells you more about the book than I ever could. But still, I will try.

In the story, the animals of Animal Farm, or Mayor Farm as it was previously called, rebel against their drunk and irresponsible farmer, in the hopes of creating a society where all the animals were treated fairly and equally. They overthrow all humans and decided to run the farm themselves, and for a while, everyone was happy and free. A list called ‘The Seven Commandments’ was made, which laid down the seven primary rules that all animals had to follow. But very soon this ideal society gets destroyed, and all the animals find themselves under the dictatorship of a pig named Napoleon.

Very soon, the pigs declared themselves as the leaders and began to resemble humans – they walked upright, carried whips, drank alcohol and wore clothes. Even the Seven Commandments were altered by them. ‘All animals are equal‘ changed to ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others‘ and ‘four legs good, two legs bad’ was changed to ‘four legs good, two legs better’.

The last page of this amazing novel describes men and pigs playing cards together, both of them cheating throughout the game, praising and arguing with each other, and the other animals who stood outside watching the pigs and the men, could suddenly not distinguish between the two.

Now still if you want my opinion of my book, all I will say is that it is definitely worth reading as well as recommending to others. So do read this unique and relatable novel as soon as you can.

See you in my next book worm-ish post! Till then, happy reading!

Let’s Talk Villains! 😈😈

Villains are perhaps the most important part of any novel. They may not be very likable in most cases, but if everyone did the right thing all the time and never hurt anyone, literature wouldn’t probably exist, right?

Anyway, there can be several types of villains. The most common types can be called (for all the Potter heads out there) the ‘Snapes’, the ‘Voldemorts’ and the ‘Malfoys’.

Let’s start with the ‘Malfoy’ type of villains. These are the people that I dislike the most. They are merely puppets of the evil mastermind, and are so stupid that they actually believe that they are going to get some benefit out of whatever they are doing. Of course, sometimes such types of villains are forced to do the dirty work because a member of their family has been kept hostage or something like that, but in most cases, it is done voluntarily. Almost in all the books I have read, the ‘Malfoys’ are easily defeated by the protagonist, and the mastermind himself has to fight. So there.

Next come the ‘Voldemorts’. These are portrayed as people in whom all the evil in the universe is residing. We hardly find any good traits in such characters. It is such type of villains that make us realize the protagonist’s goodness. Usually, they are equally or perhaps even more skilled than the hero of the story, and make the readers respect them, without wanting to. What? I don’t like Voldemort, but he is pretty talented with his wand, you have got to admit. Generally a novel ends with an epic battle between the ‘Voldemort’ of the story and the protagonist.

Finally, the ‘Snapes’. I know, I know, many of you would be crying out that he wasn’t actually a villain, but wasn’t he?

Such villains are the ones who are the most difficult to understand. Often, as in the case of the real Snape, they are double agents, with loyalties on both the sides. Even after you put down the novel, you think, “Was he the good guy or the bad guy?” If we try to think about it, we find several justifications for all the actions of such people. Everything they do, is for a reason, however complex, known only to them. Betrayal is a common trait associated with such characters.

So are there any more types of the ‘bad guys’ you have read about? Who do you and whom don’t you like? Comment below and let me know your views.

Bye, and happy reading!

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Review)

Ten people stranded on an island. One murderer. Haunted by a nursery rhyme, one by one, they begin to die.

Agatha Christie, the queen of crime, really outdid herself this time. This is one of those unforgettable titles that stays with you forever, and whenever someone asks you about your favourite book, you find yourself saying that name. Throughout the book, one keeps asking himself, “Could he/she be the one?”. Though suspense is a common factor in all Christie novels, this one was different somehow. You keep ruling out suspects as they die, only to find none left in the end. I actually felt the apprehension and tension that the ten characters felt knowing there was a murderer in their midst, while reading the book, and I am sure you will too. Such is the brilliance of Christie’s writing.

Each character is portrayed as a unique individual, and after completing about half the novel, I felt as if I had known them my entire life. These were ten people from completely different walks of life, and this little group included a doctor, a judge, a governess and others from equally various occupations. The only thing common was that each of them were harboring a dark secret.

If I tell you any more, you will end up knowing the identity of the murderer. So it is better I stop here. Let me know your views on this novel if you have read it, and if you have not, what are you waiting for?

I will see you in my next post. Till then, happy reading!

Meet me. A bookworm. Just like you!

Hey there, book-lovers! First things first. I am Rachel, 13, and (this you probably would have guessed) love reading books. I am interested in literature and write short stories as well as compose poetry. I read novels of almost all genres, and would be sharing their reviews with you here. I would also be posting a whole lot of other things related to books and reading.

See you in my next post, and (you will be hearing this a lot from me) happy reading!