The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2021

Is it weird that ever since I became a blogger, I’ve wanted to do the Mid Year Freak Out Tag without knowing what exactly it is? Yes, definitely weird🙃 But now that has changed since I did my homework and read lots of Mid Year Freak Out posts by other bloggers from previous years.

True to the name of this post, I am freaking out. Like seriously, when did time sprout wings? Just yesterday I was getting tired of the new year wishes and memes, and we are halfway through already? Whoa.

Till 25th June, I’ve read 37 books and a total of 14348 pages which are both mind blowing, when compared to previous years (I didn’t track my reading before this year, but I know I got nowhere close to these figures). I am doing quite good on my goodreads goal of 65 books, considering that I am 6 books ahead of schedule. Without further ado, let’s start with the tag!

Best Books So Far In 2021

Surprise surprise! Six Of Crows and The House In The Cerulean Sea. Linked below are my reviews for the same.

Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | Book Review || Book Review: The House In The Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

Best Sequels In 2021

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

Supernova was by far the best book in the Renegades trilogy! Read my review here

I love the Aurora Cycle series with all my heart, but somehow Aurora Burning was even better than Aurora Rising! Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | Review

Crooked Kingdom does not need any explanation as to why I am willing to die over it. Period.

New Releases I Want To Read

There are SO many of them, but I’ll go with the top 3.

The Ones We're Meant to Find

The Immortal Game

Amari and the Night Brothers (Supernatural Investigations, #1)

Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of 2021

Aurora's End (The Aurora Cycle, #3)

Definitely Aurora’s End, the final book in the Aurora Cycle duology-soon-to-be-a-trilogy. After THAT cliffhanger in Aurora Burning (which is THE worst cliffhanger in the history of cliffhangers, if I do say so myself) I can’t wait to see how this turns out. (Also, can we please scream about THAT GORGEOUS COVER?!)

Biggest Disappointment of 2021

The Infinity Courts (The Infinity Courts, #1)

There have been quite a few books that did not live up to my expectations, but the one that hurt the most has to be The Infinity Courts. I rated it 1.5 stars. Shocking, isn’t it? What’s more is that this book had so much potential with such a cool concept *cue the sighing and head shaking* Read my review here.

Biggest Surprises Of 2021

Malamander and Book Scavenger. Both these lovely books reminded me why I love middle grade so much. Linked below are my reviews!

Book Review: Malamander by Thomas Taylor || Book Scavenger by Jennifer Bertman || Mini-review, some art, and a little “book scavenger” game of my own!

Favourite New Authors

Well, Leigh Bardugo and Marissa Meyer probably?

Book That Made You Cry

The House In The Cerulean Sea all the way. It takes a lot for a book to make me cry, and this one had it all and much more.

Book That Made You Happy

Is it cheating if I say The House In The Cerulean Sea again? Because yes, this book gave me ALL the feels. I laughed, I cried, I smiled through my tears.

Most Beautiful Books You Got In 2021

These were both part of my birthday book haul. I am currently reading The Girl Who Drank The Moon.

Books You Need To Read By The End Of 2021

A Dark and Hollow Star (A Dark and Hollow Star, #1)
The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)
Sweet & Bitter Magic
King of Scars (King of Scars, #1)
The Gilded Ones (Deathless, #1)
These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1)
It Ends in Fire
The Ones We're Meant to Find
Legendborn (Legendborn, #1)
The Immortal Game

I just picked some books from the top of my head, and though I definitely want to read these books asap, they are in no way the only books I want to read this year. Also if you’ve read any of these, I’d love to hear your opinion!

Which are your best reads of 2021 so far? What are some new releases that you haven’t read yet but want to? Let me know in the comments, and feel free to link your mid year freak out post if you’ve made one!

Hidden Gems! // Under-hyped Books Which Deserve More Love

Hiya everyone! Today I bring you the third post in the series of themed recommendations that I have been doing on my blog since last week (read the first post here and the second one here in case you missed them!) Today’s theme is underrated or underhyped books which are favourites of mine.

I constantly keep bugging all of you to read Six Of Crows (in a very non-threatening way, of course😉) but I have realized of late that I don’t need to. 8 out of every 10 people I find on Goodreads have read (and loved, mostly) this duology. Similar is the case with so many books – Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, The Lunar Chronicles(I haven’t read this yet eek!), Hunger Games and countless more that we hear spoken about everyday in the bookish community. But what about all those books which are in no way lesser than these hot shots, but due to some reason are hardly ever mentioned in this blogosphere, or in the bookish community in general? There are so many hidden gems out there which definitely deserve much more hype than they get. So today I am going to be recommending you some amazing books which are unfortunately on the lowest rung of the ladder of “status in the bookish society”. Click on the cover images to add the books to your Goodreads TBR!

Nevermoor: The Trials Of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Of course this HAD to be on the top of this list! Nevermoor was one of my favourite reads in 2020, and it breaks my heart to see how so few really talk about it. All the characters were just *chef’s kiss* and it was endearing to see a child rejected by all (including her own father and step mother) because she was supposedly cursed and then later finding her place in Nevermoor. And Jupiter might just be the best fictional character ever written.

Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Why haven’t more people discovered this amazing book yet? It might be the only book written in first person POV that I have enjoyed so far. The main character, Herbie, was so simple yet so complicated, oblivious yet witty. You can read my full review of Malamander here.

The Wave by Morton Rhue

The Wave is a contemporary historical fiction based on a true event. It is a quick read, but it is truly thought-provoking and a must-read if you’re interested in history (like me!) blended with some high school drama.

The Flame Of Olympus by Kate O’Hearn

This was kinda like Percy Jackson set in a more contemporary world! There were redemptions, new friendships and so much more in this middle grade novel based on Roman mythology.

The Miracle On Ebenezer Street by Catherine Doyle

This is under-hyped on an epic level – only about 300 ratings on Goodreads! It was one of those warm (uhh metaphorically of course, its set during Christmas lol) and fluffy books you’d want to hug (does that sound weird 🙃) and will definitely cheer you up.

The Finisher by David Baldacci

I realize that this is probably the first time I am speaking about this book on my blog, but it use to be quite a favourite of mine when I bought and read the entire series. The Finisher is the first book in the four-book Vega Jane series, a dystopian fantasy that fans of Divergent and alike would probably enjoy.

And we are done for today! Hopefully your TBR got a little bigger!

Let’s Chat!

Have you read any of these books? Which is your favourite underrated/underhyped book? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. I am sorry if I am being a little boring nowadays, school’s really got to me and I think I may have began experiencing blogging burn-out. Hopefully I’ll be back to writing my normal *fun* posts soon!

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

Check out my latest posts!

May Wrap-Up // ft. lots of books, blogging slump and blog redesign!

Hello guys! Hope you had a wonderful month and read some amazing books (what more could a bookworm possibly want?).

I always enjoy writing my monthly wrap-up posts, and this time it’s no different. So grab some snacks and get comfy, because this is going to be a long post (as usual😉). And if you’re on WordPress Reader, please click here to enjoy better formatting!

Believe me when I say that May was an A M A Z I N G reading month, in fact, it has been the best one so far this year! I read so much more than I usually do (thank you, summer vacations🤗).

I read 8 books and a total of 3516 pages in May (compared to 2410 in April and 2059 in March) and though this may not seem a huge number to most of you, it is a big deal for me!

Let’s take a look at all the books I read this month. I will be putting the cover images, the title and author, my rating, a mini-review and link to my full review. (click on the cover image to visit the goodreads page of any book that catches your eye!)

The Flame of Olympus  (Pegasus, #1)
The Shadow Watch (The Shadow Watch #1)
Six Bad Boys

The Flame Of Olympus by Kate O’Hearn [4 stars]

For a book based on Roman mythology, this book did a really good job at not info-dumping all the names of the Roman gods, their life at Olympus etc. And it certainly was a surprise that most of the gods at Olympus were killed or captured right at the beginning of the book (yes, I’m not kidding) so that the story could focus on Emily and Joel rather than the gods. The ending (and the story in general) was quite predictable, but it is a middle grade after all, so that’s acceptable.

The Shadow Watch by S.A. Klopfenstein [3.5 stars] FULL REVIEW

I received a copy of The Shadow Watch for a blog tour I was part of this month. I found it to be a typical YA fantasy in a lot of ways. But it was definitely worth a read, to know why, do have a look at my full review.

The Six Bad Boys by Enid Blyton [4.5 stars] I talked about this here

I reread this in May for the umpteenth time in my life. In my discussion post on the role of fictional parents (linked above) I talked about The Six Bad Boys and how it is an extremely important book for coming-of-age children as well as new parents, and how it makes my all emotional every time I read it🥺

The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1)
Supernova by Marissa Meyer

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan [4 stars]

I am buddy reading the entire Heroes of Olympus series with my amazing friends Cass and Nefeli! To be honest, I have always been a little skeptical of Rick Riordan books, but I have to admit, The Lost Hero was pretty good. Jason always seemed a little distant, Piper really needed to sort out her priorities, but Leo pretty much made the book for me.

Malamander by Thomas Taylor [4.5 stars ] FULL REVIEW

Ahhh my second ever audiobook but my first audiobook love😍 (don’t ask me about my first one, it was meh). It was a roller coaster ride of a book, with the narrator increasing his pace and making his voice more urgent and making my heart beat faster as I waited for something to happen and then jumped out of my skin at the narrator’s perfect but ear-splitting imitation of a desk bell (yeah, that actually happened once). Seriously, go read Malamander.

Supernova by Marissa Meyer [4.5 stars ] FULL REVIEW

Whoa whoa. This book was PACKED. It was full to the brim with action, secrets, pressure, redemptions and what not. I think Supernova would have got full 5 stars from me had it not been for that epilogue. But focusing on the good things, I would say, read the Renegades trilogy for the last book guys!!

The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2)
The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3)

The Son Of Neptune by Rick Riordan [3 stars]

Idk why exactly, but I liked this one a lot less than The Lost Hero. I understand the Romans are more disciplined and harsh and stuff, but I wanted this book to be entertaining and light, like The Lost Hero. If my mental image of The Lost Hero is a fluffy peach teddy bear, The Son Of Neptune looks something like a dark foreboding castle. Just me? Okay.🙃

The Mark Of Athena by Rick Riordan [4 stars]

Ahh definitely better than The Son Of Neptune…but remember when I said that Jason always felt a bit distant in my mini review of The Lost Hero? Well, take that feeling and multiply it by 10, that is how Jason was in Mark Of Athena (atleast give the guy a POV, man!) Otherwise, it was all good and I cannot wait to start House Of Hades!


So this month I took part in Wyrd and Wonder, and they had a bingo board! Here’s how my completed bingo board looks like –

The one month I decided not to follow my blogging schedule, I face a blogging slump and go on accidental week-long hiatuses (moral of the story – blogging schedules are very important). Nevertheless, I did have some posts already planned, so it wasn’t that bad.

Some of my favourite posts from May are:

Discussion Post: Role of Parents in MG and YA fantasy (Part 2) + 8 book recommendations with active parent roles!

Book Review: Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Into The Mist || A short story penned by me

Okay, now for the big news. *holds breath* I REDESIGNED MY BLOG!! *lets out the breath in a whoosh* (okay I realize a lot of you have already noticed that, but…now its official, you know?) Of course I didn’t do it all alone. A big thank you to Evin @A Curly Sue’s Ramblings for helping me in setting up the new theme! So what are you guys waiting for? Go check out my new home page HERE!!

In other news, it was my first blogging anniversary on 27th May! (I have a post for that coming up soon) This blog is now 1 year old, you guys!!

A regular feature of my wrap-up posts, this section is all about promoting other bloggers’ content!

REVIEWS

Ritz @Living, Loving and Reading reviewed These Violent Delights and made a playlist!

April @Booked Till Midnight shares her thoughts on King Of Scars!

Jan @The Doodlecrafter reviewed Rule Of Wolves!

Lia @Chain Of Books reviewed The Immortal Game as part of a blog tour!

OTHER POSTS

Nehal had her first blogging anniversary a few days ago! (can’t believe we both started our respective blogs only 10 days apart!)

Aria @Book Nook Bits discusses age categories in books!

Veronika @Wordy And Whimsical recommends books with the found family trope!

Maya @Pretty Little Scribbles did a character case study!

And that’s a wrap! A pretty eventful month, don’t you think?

Let’s Chat!

What did you read in May? Found any new favourites? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Do you like the new blog design? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!!

Book Review: Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Hello everyone, today I am going to be reviewing Malamander, a middle grade book I finished reading (or rather, listening to) just yesterday. This review will be completely spoiler-free, and you can click on the cover image below to go to Goodreads and add this wonderful (though very under-hyped) book to your TBR!

Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Synopsis

Nobody visits Eerie-on-Sea in the winter. Especially not when darkness falls and the wind howls around Maw Rocks and the wreck of the battleship Leviathan, where even now some swear they have seen the unctuous Malamander creep…

Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, knows that returning lost things to their rightful owners is not easy – especially when the lost thing is not a thing at all, but a girl. No one knows what happened to Violet Parma’s parents twelve years ago, and when she engages Herbie to help her find them, the pair discover that their disappearance might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster, the Malamander. Eerie-on-Sea has always been a mysteriously chilling place, where strange stories seem to wash up. And it just got stranger…

My Rating [ ] (4.5 out of 5 stars)
My Review

This was my second audiobook, and my, what an experience! The audiobook was narrated by Will M. Watt, and I absolutely LOVED the narration! It really added to the story. The drama and the constant urgency with which the story was narrated was really cool. I doubt I’d have liked this book as much as I did, if I’d read the e-book or a physical copy. So if you’re looking to read Malamander, I would HIGHLY recommend you listening to it. Trust me, you’ll enjoy that rollercoaster.

The major reason why Malamander got such a good rating from me is because of Herbie, the main character. Herbie was quirky, funny and witty – this made him instantly likeable. I am not saying a main character should always be perfect, but hear this – Malamander is written in first person POV, which means, we get to know the story, the characters, the world, entirely through Herbie’s eyes. I have always believed that it is immensely important to develop a liking to the main character if you’re going to be stuck in his or head for the duration of an entire story. 4 stars out of the 4.5 I gave this book belong to you, Herbie!

If you’re anything like me (by which I mean, a scaredy cat who goes out of their way to avoid reading horror books) and got kinda misled by the synopsis, let me tell you – you have nothing to worry about! Whatever you might assume after reading the synopsis, the tone for most part was Malamander was quite light hearted, and there is hardly any horror element.

I liked the feeling of the entire town Eerie-On-Sea being a friendly (well, mostly!) community where the locals knew and treated each other like family. I also found the idea of Herbie being ‘adopted’ and accepted by the entire town positively endearing. The side characters in the book were quite well-written too.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Malamander to readers of all ages, though I suppose children especially will find this book particularly appealing.

Let’s Chat!

Have you read (or listened to) Malamander? Do you have it on your TBR? If not, did I manage to convince you to read it? Let me know in the comments!