December Wrap-Up // ft. disappointments of 2020

And its a wrap! Its officially the end of the year that never was (or was it there too much?) – 2020. Anyway, now we’re welcoming 2021, a new year, with new hopes and new aspirations.

So today I present to you my monthly wrap-up! In December I read, *drumroll* wait, only 4 books?? Yeah *dejected sigh* only four. I triple-checked. What exactly was the reason of this massive downfall (I’d read 7 books last month), you ask? Well, one reason might be that I didn’t participate in any readathon this month. Another would be the huge amount of schoolwork and extra examinations ever middle-school student has in their life. Anyway, since I am not here to express my many woes, let’s start!

Reading (and buddy reading!)

As I mentioned earlier, I did not take part in any readathons this month. I read a total of approximately 1520 pages, which is even less than half of what I read last month😔. Anyway, here are the 4 books I read this month, in the same order as I read them :

Cured by Bethany Wiggins

I had read this book’s prequel “Stung” a year back, and I didn’t remember much about it but still when this book came to my notice I read it. And umm… it was okay-ish, and I think I remember liking “Stung” better. This book seemed a little like a forced sequel. Although, the ending was all “happily ever after” type, and after everything the characters had suffered, I felt they deserved it. 2.5 stars!!⭐⭐.5

Hollowpox : The Hunt for Morrigan Crow

This is the third book in the Nevermoor series (which is my current fav series) and it was as fantastic as I had hoped it would be. 5 stars!! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

How To Pack For The End Of The World by Michelle Falkoff

This book was my first ever buddy-read! Yes, you heard right, I finally did a buddy read! My reading buddies were Ashmita @The Fictional Journal , Tiction @Books and Words and Nehal @Fictionally Crazy

Although I didn’t like the book all that much, buddy reading it with them was fun and I had a great time! As for the book, I think I will give it 3 stars! ⭐⭐⭐

Orion Lost by Alastair Chisholm

I finished this book only yesterday, and I have to admit, the end was quite unexpected. The beginning was a little slow, but halfway through, the book picked up pace and a lot of things started happening at once. The plot twists were great, I liked how Vihaan’s character developed throughout the story, but what I felt was that a real interaction with the Videshi could have made things even better.

This book gets 4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐!

Blogging

Like November, December was a quite interesting month in terms of blogging too. Since I am a newbie here, I discover some new amazing feature every day, and try to enhance my blog. I also tried some new this month –

I also read a lot of amazing posts by other book bloggers, but I am not listing them because, first, I don’t really want to go and search for each one of them now, and second, there are just too many.

Now onto the next part of my post!

Disappointments of 2020

So I saw a lot of book bloggers doing a “surprises and disappointments of the year” post which gave me the idea for this. But I am not doing a separate post on this since I don’t think I have any ‘surprises’ as such. I generally only pick up books I think I’ll like, so there are only disappointments. And one more thing is, I really don’t remember many of the books I read in the first half of the year ’cause I have really bad memory, and I didn’t pay as much attention to remembering the books I read as I didn’t have a blog back then and most of the books I read were borrowed from the school library (gosh! that seems an eternity ago when we used to go to the library every week and all my classmates would go and pick up something like Wimpy Kid or Enid Blyton while I’d go straight to Agatha Christie or Divergent series or some other YA. Then everybody would eye me and the hefty book I had picked up, and whisper amongst each other that there was no way I could read that in a week. But I proved them wrong every time. Oh, am I going off-track?). Yeah, so this post is actually more of “Disappointments in the latter half of 2020”, but I will mention a couple of my earlier reads as well.

I am going to start from the bottom, meaning, from the books that disappointed me less, and then move on to those who let me down more. Let’s go!

#5 Heads You Win by Jeffrey Archer

First of all, I gave this book 4 stars. Okay, I know that now most of you’d be yelling and asking me why this is in my ‘disappointments’ list. Here’s the thing. I love Jeffrey Archer novels and they never fail to impress me with the unique writing style, the plot and everything else. So naturally, I had set a very high bar before reading this, and it didn’t live up to that very much (but that could be only because I didn’t understand the ending, and most part of the story was so confusing…if you’ve read it, you’ll understand)

#4 School For Good And Evil by Soman Chainani

The reason why this book disappointed me less was that I never had many expectations from it. I had heard lots of mixed reviews about it so I decided to give it a try. After finishing it I was like, “Seriously?”, and believe me, that was my attitude throughout the novel. Still, before starting I had expected it to be a 3 star, but it turned out to be 1.5, or maybe even 1.

#3 Elementals : Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman

I had read this in October. It isn’t quite fair to say that it was not a good book, because it was. It was a good 3.5 star middle grade. But I had set my expectations too high, and I was sure this was going to be a 5 star after reading the synopsis and the first few chapters. But unfortunately this book failed to engross me and the middle and the end were not up to the mark.

#2 Black Coffee by Agatha Christie

This was again not that bad of a book, but I had expected a much better ending. This book didn’t seem like it had been written by Agatha Christie, the same person who wrote EPIC novels like And Then There Were None (my fav Christie novel till date). The murderer was one of the suspects only, which was very much unlike other Christie novels. This gets 2.5 stars.

#1 The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

Yup! This was the biggest disappointment of the year. I did rant all about how high hopes I had for this and how it let me down etc etc in the review I wrote a couple of months back. But let me just tell you in short. The synopsis and the beginning were quite promising and I could foresee an amazing book ahead, but I don’t know what happened and everything came collapsing down after the first few chapters. There was no character-building, no world-building, no unexpected twists. Perhaps others might have liked the simple story line, but I most definitely did not.

All opinions were my own and I do not intend to offend anyone. If any of you have read and enjoyed these books, its totally fine. In fact, I would love to hear your thoughts on these books, maybe you can convince me to give them a reread!

How was your December? What did you read and did you take part in any readathons? As always, I would love to chat with you all!!

What I might be reading in December // I know I should be calling it my TBR, but it’s too tentative

Whoa! That’s a long title, but hopefully it gave you an idea of what this post is going to be about. Yup, it is my December TBR, and not my TBR, at the same time. Okay, that doesn’t make much sense. Let’s put it like this, since December is the last month of the year, I decided not to join any readathons this month, and not even have a planned TBR. I will just go with the flow. However, I do have a list of books that I might read (big emphasis on ‘might’) this month, and I would like to share those with you.

Do also keep in mind that I don’t know much about these books, and I am just planning on reading them because of their popularity nowadays, so please do tell me if you’ve read any of them and didn’t like them, because as I said, my (so called) TBR is subject to change!

Featured in the image are –

  • Tin by Padraig Kenny
  • Hollowpox : The Hunt For Morrigan Crow
  • The Middler by Kirsty Applebaum
  • The Storm Keeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Miracle on Ebenezer Street by Catherine Doyle
  • Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
  • The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

After reading their synopsis, I feel all of them are really amazing books, and I want to read all of them at once. But since that’s not possible, I’ll need your help in deciding which one I should start first, or whether I should not read any one. Also if you have some additional recommendations, do feel free to share them in the comments. I would love to know any thoughts you have on these books, or on anything else in general!!

November Wrap-Up (A successful month of reading and blogging)

Goodbye, November! Though I have to say, you’ve had your fair share of reading, blogging and a million other things done by me.

As many of you already know, I took part in Believathon in November, completed my planned TBR, and managed to read two other books! Of the total of 7 books that I read, the 5 that were part of my TBR have their mini-reviews over HERE. The mini reviews of the other two are going to be covered in today’s post.

READING

I am happy to say that this was a a month with a lot more reading done than last month, click here to view last month’s stats.

  • Books read – 7
  • Pages read – 3300 (approx)

That was almost a 1000 pages more than last month so yay for that.

For those who had not seen my previous post about the books I read, here are the names.

  • Legacy by Shannon Messenger
  • Frostheart by Jamie Littler
  • School for Good And Evil by Soman Chainani
  • Nevermoor : The Trials Of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
  • The Haunting Of Aveline Jones by Phil Hickes
  • Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend
  • The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell
BELIEVATHON

Since I finished my planned TBR, I collected all the 13 clues for Believathon, plus I collected the Footprints and the Crown one extra time each, ’cause I read two extra books. Overall, I had a lot of fun with this readathon. Chatting with hundreds of middle grade lovers made me realize the vastness of the genre, and I discovered many more middle grades which I’ll be reading soon.

MINI REVIEWS

Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend

I had really liked Nevermoor, so I decided to read this next. This is the second book in the Nevermoor series, and continues the tale of Morrigan Crow after she passes the Trials and officially becomes a member of the Wundrous Society.

Like is the case with many other series, I couldn’t really decide whether to love or hate Morrigan at certain points in the book. But the one thing I disliked was how Jupiter was not part of the major part of the story. I feel like including him in all the revelations and betrayals and everything would have made the book interesting. Still, I give this book 5 stars, and am looking forward to reading Hollowpox.

The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell

This was the November book of the month of a kind-of book club called MGMonthly. Since I had a couple of days of November left, and this was a middle grade and could count for Believathon, I thought, why not?

The synopsis of this book didn’t quite interest me, to be honest. Who includes a toilet brush in the synopsis? This was precisely why I hadn’t added this to my TBR for the month. But quite a lot of people were praising this, so I decided to give it a try. And to be fair, the story was actually much better then the synopsis. But I kinda felt I had encountered a similar storyline of magical objects doing amazing things many times in the past, so this gets 4 stars.

BLOGGING

November has been my busiest blogging month so far, and I wrote…11 posts! That is a lot, by my standards atleast. I also discovered many new bloggers on WordPress, and made a lot of blogger friends too. Here are links to some blogs that I love –

Tiction @Fictionally Crazy

Cherelle @A Bolt Out Of The Book

Evin @A Curly Sue’s Ramblings

Nehal @Books And Words

And there are many many more, but I am just too lazy to link them all, so sorry guys!

So this month is actually quite special for me in terms of blogging, because –

  • I did my first ever award post (Sunshine Blogger Award)
  • I did my first ever tag (Lost in Translation)
  • I made my own weekly tag – Character Chat !!(Do have a look at it HERE)

November was also special for some other bloggers I know –

  • Cherelle and Ashmita started a book club! You can read about it it here and here. So do join this book club because…well, both of them are really sweet and awesome bloggers and they deserve your encouragement. (Sorry Cherelle and Ashmita, I know I haven’t joined your book club myself, but book clubs in general are not my kind of thing. Sorry!)
  • Evin gave her blog a wintery themed redesign! Click Here to see it
  • Riddhi @ Whispering Stories crossed 200 followers and then 250 followers, both in November!

That was all I had for this post. Do go and check out all the blogs I left links to and give them a follow, and of course, do also visit my Character Chat post, because it is the first ever tag I’ve made, and your support would be appreciated.

How was your November? What have you planned for December? Let me know in the comments!!

November TBR + BuJo spread for Believathon

Hi bookworms, and welcome to the start of a new month! November is going to be a really hectic but also an amazing month. For starters, I am taking part in Believathon for the first time! It is a middle-grade readathon hosted by an amazing person, Mr. Gavin Hetherington. You can find all the information about it here.

Since Believathon is a middle-grade readathon, I will be reading only middle grade books this month. That won’t be a problem at all, since middle grade is my favourite genre (I am 13 years old after all!) and I am always ready to explore new middle grades.

Without further ado, I present to you my TBR.

Legacy by Shannon Messenger

After just having finished Flashback, I just. Cannot. Wait. To read this! I want to know who Sophie’s parents are. I want to know whether Tam will come back. I want to know more about Wynn and Luna. And I want to see Alvar dead.

Wow, so the last one was pretty dark. But anyway, you get the point.

With this book, I will be getting The Key and The Crown for Believathon.

Frostheart by Jamie Littler

I have heard lots of good things about this book. And by the way, this is the only book I don’t have with me yet. I had ordered it two weeks back, and they sent me Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets last week! Hopefully, I will get the replacement by tomorrow.

This book will help me get The Fingerprints, The Dagger and The Backpack.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

This is one of those books I feel that everyone has read, except me. The concept of the book really attracted me, and I hope it will live up to my expectations. Gorgeous cover, isn’t it?

This book counts for The Footprints, The Handmirror, and The Chain.

The Haunting Of Aveline Jones by Phil Hickes

Horror is not really my genre. I have hardly a couple of horror books in my bookshelf, none of which I really liked. But I still decided to give this book a try because (1) Everybody who has read it has appreciated it, and (2) I really needed a book with ghosts and supernatural elements to fulfill the prompts for Believathon.

This book will work for The Torn Page, The Spilled Ink, and The Shadow.

School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

This book has been on my TBR for quite some time now. I hope I finally get around to reading it this month. It is the first book of a series, and I am a series person (I just made that up, it means I love reading books that are part of a series 😀) so hopefully I will like the book.

This book will help me in collecting the clues The Scream and The Flash Of Lightning.

And that was my TBR. If I manage to read these five books, I will be able to collect all 13 clues and solve the mystery of the missing maleficarum!

I have also made a Bullet Journal spread for Believathon. It looks like this

Let’s chat in the comments! What is your TBR for this month? Have you read any of the books on my TBR? How did you like them? Let me know your thoughts and views. See you in my next post!

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!