August Wrap-Up // the month of mostly mediocre reads, creative posts and blog redesign!

Apparently an albatross can sleep while flying. Yes, seriously. I just found out that this bird can doze off comfortably while cruising through the air at a speed of 25km/hr. Talk about sleeping through a journey. (Kinda related, but how are people ever able to sleep in planes? It is the worst kind of torture there is for my neck)

And the “birds as weird intros to Rachel’s wrap-ups” saga continues. We had ducks in June, pigeons and July and the lucky ones this month were albatrosses. I wonder who’ll be next?

Ugh August was definitely not my best reading month. First, I read a lot lesser owing to exams, and even most out of those books were 3 star-ish. Still, I did find something I could call a new favourite, and I reviewed more books than usual so that’s an achievement.

The Supernaturalist
Down to Earth
The War That Saved My Life (The War That Saved My Life, #1)
The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer

Rating ★★★ ½

Comments: Hmm, decent. Like the beginning was extremely promising, but the end did not quite live up to my expectations. But overall a solid sci-fi.

Down To Earth by Betty Culley

Rating ★★★ || Find my review here

Comments: Ehh from the coming-of-age point of view, it was brilliant. I wasn’t a big fan of the pacing and the plot line though.

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Bradley

Rating ★★★★½

Comments: Its been a while since I enjoyed a middle grade, but I did. There was war, bombs, horses, found family, spies… what’s there not to like?

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1)
We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya, #2)
The Ones We're Meant to Find
We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Rating ★★★★½

Comments: Gooood. Really. But I am not going to go into how fabulous, brilliant, outstanding and enchanting this book is here because you’ll begin to (rightly) think I’m obsessed. (also there’s a full review coming right up)

We Free The Stars by Hafsah Faizal

Comments: Okay I am cheating with this one since I haven’t finished it yet. But look I am like almost done okay?!

The Ones We’re Meant To Find by Joan He

Rating ★★½ || Find my review here

Comments: Umm I get why lots of people totally love this book, but not for me. Sorry.

So as you can see, it was pretty much a sci-fi month for me. I am proud of the fact that I am making progress on my goal of reading more of genres other than just fantasy *applause please*. Next goal – more of crimes and mysteries.

Big news: I redesigned my blog yet again. I know I know, the proclamation has lost its glamour due to repetition, but then again, I get bored of my current them every few weeks, hence the inevitable change. This time though, I’ll try to keep a check on my itchy fingers.

Content-wise, I think I was pretty much at my creative best in August. I had some great ideas and actually had the energy to sit down and type them out so I am proud of that. Most of my posts this month have been some of my favourites so far (am I… am I actually getting the hang of blogging?) so yay to that!! Here are the links to all my posts along with a small description, and in case you missed any of them you are welcome to check them out!

  1. July Wrap-Up // I used to write something here but I can’t recall what: My first post of the month was all about recapping the month of July. Also there’s some talk about pigeons, so umm yeah.

2. Blog Tour: The Twin Stars by Bridgette Portman [Review + INTL Giveaway]: I review an ARC of The Twin Stars, a YA fantasy with a mc with OCD who gets transported into her own unfinished story.

3. The Young Elites vs The Hype-o-Meter!: A very exciting review post, the first in the Hype-o-meter series with my fellow blogger and friend April. Check out whether The Young Elites is worth the hype according to us!!

4. Books As Road Trips // a random post that emerged out of the void: Okay so I impulsively published this post and I’m actually really happy with how it turned out. Maybe its the ~excellent~ metaphoring on my part (comparing books to road trips?!) but it might just be one of my favourite posts on this blog.

5. 8 Things I Look For In Books // does it show that I am desperate for recs?: I list the things that guarantee that I’ll fall in love with a book in hope that I get some good recs (and I did! thank you guys!!)

6. Blog Tour: Down To Earth by Betty Culley + Moodboard: I review an ARC of Down To Earth, a middle grade science fiction full of wonder and coming of age moments.

7. Book Review: The Ones We’re Meant To Find by Joan He || concept? brilliant. execution? not so much: And finally, I review the recently released The Ones We’re Meant To Find in a loong post. But again, I think its one of my better reviews.

Soo. Quality, check. Quantity, check. Not bad, huh?

Its that time of this wrap up where I shout out all of your posts that I enjoyed reading!!

Sofii @A Book. A Thought reviewed The Ones We’re Meant To Find, and I agree with a lot of points she made!

Erin @Reading on a star lists her favourite book tropes!

Laura @The Corner Of Laura writes about the 6 sins of us readers!

Eleanor @Wishing Upon A Star discusses what makes a book popular!

Kashvi @Elfhame Books reviewed We Free The Stars!

Emily @Frappes And Fiction does the reader problems book tag!

Ashmita @The Fictional Journal reviewed The Inheritance Games, a book that I’m currently reading!

Kaya @The Fictional Bookworm writes a mini review of Murder On The Orient Express! Its my favourite Poirot too!

Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner celebrates 400 followers and gives some pro blogging tips too!

Cherry @Letters To The Lost reacts to 1 star reviews of her favourite books, some of which coincidentally are my favorites too!

Maddie @Inking And Thinking discusses bookish pet peeves!

Cherelle @A Bolt Out Of The Book recommends books based on Marvel movies!

April @Booked Till Midnight pits The Young Elites against the Hypometer!

That brings us to the end of this wrap up!! In one sentence, blogging was good, reading was not. Anyway, happy September everyone!

Which was your favourite read this August? Have you read any of the books I did? Chat with me in the comments, and feel free to link your wrap-ups too!

~ Rachel

Wet Worlds! // Books set in or by the sea

Hey guys! Water you up to? Did you sea what I did there? I am shore you did. (Okay stop groaning, I am just beginning to realize that puns are overrated.)

So I have decided to do a series of themed book recommendations because my brain can’t really think of anything else to post (take a hint and give me some suggestions!). This post is the second in this series (click here to read the first one). Personally, I do enjoy writing such posts and surfing (ooh no pun intended this time, I promise😂) through my Goodreads shelves trying to find more books which fit the theme.

As you already know from the title (and from my not-so-subtle intro lines), today I am going to be recommending you books set in or by the sea. What usually makes such books stand out is there extremely sea-vibey writing (who likes imagining sand between their toes and inhaling fresh salty sea air while reading books set by the sea? *raises a hand, and then the other as well for good measure*) Without further ado, let’s see what recs I have in store for you!

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Set on an island isolated except for 10 strangers, this remains till date, one of my favourite murder mysteries (and can I also mention that this was my first one?) My best start into a genre if there ever was one.

Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Malamander was such a lovely middle grade! The entire story takes place in a town called Eerie-On-Sea (naturally, it is situated by the sea) and the sea itself does play an important role in the book (Malamander is the name of a giant sea creature after all). The atmosphere was beautifully created – the sound of waves, the smell of salty sea air, the eerie noises that give the town its name, all seemed pretty much real in my head.

The Haunting Of Aveline Jones by Phil Hickes

A spooky middle grade set in a small coastal town, this story had very atmospheric vibes. It can easily be read in a single sitting, so get out your blankets, snuggle in your couch during a rainy day and give this book a read!

Frostheart by Jamie Littler

Frostheart is a cute middle grade about a little boy trying to find his missing parents. He is often shunned by most people because of this power he has, but he gets taken in by the crew of a ship called Frostheart and finds friendships and betrayals on his journey. I haven’t read the sequel yet, but I hope to read it soon!

The Storm Keeper’s Island

A magical story set in an Irish island, this book is about the power (literally!) of nature and definitely worth a read.

The Adventure Series by Enid Blyton

You haven’t had a childhood if you haven’t read any Enid Blyton! Anyway, this particular series of hers called the Adventure series deals with ship voyages and other sea-stuff.

And that, my friends, brings us to the end of this post (I realize its much shorter than usual but…). Hopefully you got some great recommendations and your TBR just got a little bit bigger. See you in my next post!

𝓡𝓪𝓬𝓱𝓮𝓵

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Top 5 Books With Weapons On The Cover I Want to Read

Hey there bookworms! How are you all?

Today I am doing something new (I know I say this in almost all my blog posts 😅, I am great at trying new things, it seems!). The Top 5 series is hosted by @Devouring Books. When I read all the topics, they seemed so fun and I knew I had to do a post on this! This might become a weekly feature on my blog, I don’t know for sure yet.

Today’s theme is Books With Weapons On The Cover. I have compiled a list below of the top 5 books with weapons on the cover that I want to read, in no specific order or ranking.

An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Buy An Ember in the Ashes: 1 Book Online at Low Prices in India | An Ember  in the Ashes: 1 Reviews & Ratings - Amazon.in
Two weapons on the cover!!

Magisterium : The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

We can see the hilt and the pointed part of the sword, can’t we? 😉

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling (Graceling Realm Book 1) eBook: Cashore, Kristin: Amazon.in:  Kindle Store
Two weapons here!!

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl (new cover) (Artemis Fowl, 1): Colfer, Eoin: 8601400259580:  Amazon.com: Books
So I am assuming that whatever he is holding is a weapon of some sort. Nothing wrong with that, right?

The Heroes Of Olympus – The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero (Heroes Of Olympus Series Book 1) eBook:  Riordan, Rick: Amazon.in: Kindle Store
Whatever that is, it looks deadly!

Have you read any of these books? What are some books with weapons on the cover that you’ve read or want to read? Comment your thoughts, so we can have a nice long chat about books with weapons on the cover!

Predicting my top 10 books of 2021

Hello bookworms! Today I am doing something I have never done before. Ranking books before I’ve read them! Actually, I have never even ranked books after I have read them😅, but yeah, you get the point. (and this is about to change this year btw, I am determined to do a “Top 10 books of 2021” post at the end of the year and compare it with this list.)

This post will be about me trying to predict the books I think would become my new favorites this year. It’s all very tentative, though. I don’t even know whether I’ll even read all of these this year but, they are obviously very high up on my TBR.

As to how I am ranking these books, it’s on the basis of either their synopses, or recommendation by others.

Aurora Rising, Six of Crows, Unlocked, Renegades, An ember in the ashes, KOTLC 9, Iron Trial, The Flame Of Olympus, Story Thieves

#10 Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Renegades

#9 Story Thieves by James Riley

Story Thieves:

#8 An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

 An Ember in the Ashes

#7 The Fire Within by D.K Holmberg

The Fire Within (Elemental Academy #1) by D.K. Holmberg

#6 Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Buy Six of Crows (Six of Crows, 1) Book Online at Low Prices in India | Six  of Crows (Six of Crows, 1) Reviews & Ratings - Amazon.in

#5 Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Buy Aurora Rising (Aurora Cycle 1) Book Online at Low Prices in India | Aurora  Rising (Aurora Cycle 1) Reviews & Ratings - Amazon.in

#4 Unlocked by Shannon Messenger

#3 The Flame Of Olympus

Buy The Flame of Olympus: 1 (Pegasus) Book Online at Low Prices in India | The  Flame of Olympus: 1 (Pegasus) Reviews & Ratings - Amazon.in

#2 KOTLC book 9 Shannon Messenger

Yeah, so this book is still untitled and it’s coming out in November this year. So I am pretty much predicting my second best book without even knowing the title, let alone the cover or the synopsis. That’s how much I believe in this series.

#1 Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

Buy Magisterium: The Iron Trial (The Magisterium) Book Online at Low Prices  in India | Magisterium: The Iron Trial (The Magisterium) Reviews & Ratings  - Amazon.in

That was really hard, but also really fun. Anyway, how do you like my predictions? Have you read any of them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!