September Wrap-Up // ft. more diverse reads and lots of blog hopping!

Would you look at that? My wrap-up post is actually on time for once! I can’t really promise to make this a habit though. What can I say, I like to be fashionably late. *flips hair in sass*

Speaking about fashion, did you know that the bearded vulture purposely dyes its feathers with red soil? Interestingly, it is the only bird that likes to play dress-up in this manner.

Yes, believe it or not, that was the weird bird fact for today.

Since the entire purpose of my monthly bird-fact intros is to spare me from writing long introductions to my wrap-ups, we get started right away!

I didn’t get much time to read this month – most of it was a whirlwind of exams and schoolwork – so I barely read anything for the first half of the month, it was only later that I found some time to read. The books were all 4 star-ish so I guess that’s a good thing?

The highlight of this month, however, is something else. Somehow, ALL my reads this month were written from first person point-of-view! Like, how? An utter coincidence, Nature playing a joke on this poor soul, or the bookish gods trying to convince me that not all first person narratives are boring? Whatever it may be, I am actually glad I gave (5!) books with 1st person POV a chance, because upto this point, I had ended up disliking nearly every book told from 1t person POV. However, I for once enjoyed reading the narratives of most of these 5 books, so happy realization to me!

Onto the books I read!

The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games, #1)
The Wolf's Curse

A Clash Of Steel by C.B. Lee (ARC)
Rating: ★★ (4 out of 5 stars)
This was a lovely diverse retelling of the classic favourite Treasure Island – with strong woman characters, pirates and treasure hunting! It was one of my most anticipated releases this year so I’m grateful I got the chance to be a part of the blog tour!

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Rating: ★★ (4 out of 5 stars)
A book that has gotten popular recently due to its recently released sequel, I buddy read The Inheritance Games with April for our hype-o-meter series of posts! While lacking in several aspects, I laud the author for creating such an intriguing atmospheric mystery!

The Wolf’s Curse by Jessica Vitalis (ARC)
Rating: ★★ (4 out of 5 stars)
A beautiful, lyrical, atmospheric middle grade fantasy centered around death and life, love and loss among lots of other meaningful themes, this book completely stole my heart.

We Are Not Free

How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao
Rating: ★★ (4 out of 5 stars)
This was an intriguing murder mystery set in an elite prep school where secrets don’t stay buried for long. A completely Asian main cast of characters, flashbacks and dark secrets – this book will keep you hooked.

We Are Not Free by Traci Chee
Rating: ★★½ (4.5 out of 5 stars)
An impactful story about 14 Japanese teenagers living in war-torn America during WWII, growing up amid discrimination and facing all odds to stay happy together – We Are Not Free was deep. Full review to come!

Most of my posts this month were basically reviews of some sort so yeah, compared to the plethora of creative posts I published last month, this month’s content was pretty stale. Still, some of the reviews are nicely written, with quotes and moodboards and hype-o-meters and what not.
Here are all my posts this month, check them out in case you missed them earlier!

  1. August Wrap-Up // the month of mostly mediocre reads, creative posts and blog redesign! : The month started with me wrapping up my reads, blogging etc in August. The weird bird fact of the month was something on albatrosses.

2. We Hunt The Flame vs the Hype-o-meter // Review : New favourite book incoming! This post was the second in a collab series with April, in which we determine whether or not a popular book is worth the hype! And my, We Hunt The Flame definitely was!!

3. Blogger Interview with Rachel! : Soo this was not a real post at all, it was a reblog of my interview with Riddhi from Whispering Stories! She asks me a set of questions related to everything from my blog to my future career and lots more!

4. Blog Tour: A Clash Of Steel by C.B. Lee (Review + Moodboard) || A diverse retelling set in imperial china ft. lost treasure and pirates! : I got selected for a blog tour of A Clash Of Steel, and got the chance to review an arc! Plus there’s a moodboard!!

5. We Hunt The Flame Quotes As Real Life Moments! : In my favorite post this month, I compare quotes from the Sands of Arawiya duology to moments in my life! Basically a sarcastic compilation of random real life moments!!

6. Blog Tour: Top 5 Reasons To Read The Wolf’s Curse by Jessica Vitalis || A poignant tale revolving around superstitions and death : As part of the book tour of the recently released The Wolf’s Curse, I list the top 5 resons you should read this lyrical middle grade!

7. The Inheritance Games vs the Hype-o-meter // Review : In the third installment of our hype-o-meter series, me and April review a book everyone seems to be reading lately! Was it worth the hype? Click to find out! (and click here to read April’s post!)

I am not kidding when I say I did a LOT of blog hopping this month and I’m proud of how many great new blogs and posts I discovered! Here’s a list of some posts I enjoyed reading in September!!

Maddie @Inking & Thinking reviews The Bones of Ruin!

Darcey @Read In The Clouds reviews Under The Whispering Door!

Aashi @Words On Fleek writes a hilarious song-review of City Of Bones!

Becky @Becky’s Book Blog reviews Among Thieves!

Sabrina @Wordy & Whimsical lists six ridiculous reading worries!

Laura @The Corner Of Laura lists six bad reasons to dnf a book!

Kaya @A Fictional Bookworm reviews an arc of Beasts Of Prey!

Malka @Paper Procrastinators gives tips for Netgalley newbies!

Anoushka @Dipped In Ink wrote a hilarious post on why bookworms can be dangerous!

J @Midnight Book Blog gives helpful tips for writing reviews!

Maddie @Inking And Thinking writes a discussion on why she follows book blogs!

Saima @Stories With Saima shares 6 things she has learnt after 6 months of blogging!

Bertie @Luminiosity Library reviews an ARC of Under The Whispering Door!

Laura @The Corner Of Laura does the fantasy tropes book tag!

Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner reacts to five star reviews of books she hated!

Brianne @Peruse With Coffee shares her huge autumn tbr!

Cherry @Letters To The Lost lists the reasons why you should read We Hunt The Flame!

Sabrina @Wordy And Whimsical shares blog post ideas that she discarded!

Laura @The Corner Of Laura lists 6 features of a chill-out read!

Saima @Stories With Saima shares her spooky October tbr!

Siena @Booksophobia discusses unhauling books!

Rebecca @Bex the Bibliophile reviews A Dark And Hollow Star!

Alix @Alix Reads Books writes a discussion on annotating books!

Raji @Worlds Unlike Our Own recommends 7 thrilling reads to read during Halloween!

How was September for you? Which was your favourite read this month? Have you read any of the books I read? Let me know in the comments!!

~ Rachel

April Wrap-Up // a fantastic reading month!! (ft. me gushing about Shadow and Bone)

So another month gone by! Let’s take a look at my reading, blogging, blog-hopping and other highlights of the month.

April has been, by far, the best reading month this year! I read a total of 7 books, which is pretty impressive considering that I have been trying to level up from my boring 5 books per month since the beginning of this year.

Archenemies by Marissa Meyer [4 stars] Eh, this was one of those books where I was totally lost after the end. I had no idea whether to rate it 3 stars or 4 stars or 5 stars. But finally I settled with 4. At this point of time, I am like – Just tell everyone who Nightmare and Sentinel is!! And if you wanted to keep it secret forever, maybe it could have been unknown to the readers as well? Because it is getting kinda annoying now, to be honest.

The Mystwick School of Musicraft by Jessica Khoury [3 stars] My first audiobook! But what a disappointment the story was. It was too repetitive, to the point that so many things got downright irritating. And the beginning was nice enough, I don’t know what happened after that.

Artemis Fowl and the Opal Deception [4 stars] Actually I don’t remember much about this, but I do enjoy a good heist, so that was one of the reasons I gave this 4 stars.

A Wilder Magic by Juliana Brandt [4 stars] This was my first ever ARC!! I got this as a part of a book promo tour I did this month. It was such a beautiful middle grade with amazing platonic relationships. Read my full review HERE.

Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman [4.5 stars] This was easily my favourite book of April. It definitely deserves a lot more hype, I have rarely heard bloggers mention this. There were equal parts mystery, friendship and adventure in Book Scavenger. To read my full review, see my journal spread and play a small bookish game inspired by Book Scavenger, click HERE.

The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman [1.5 stars] Well. I am still debating whether to put up a review for this on my blog or not, since I haven’t really posted a negative review here before, and this is also a very new release. But I did post a review on Goodreads, you can read it HERE.

Misfit (Asura Chronicles #1) by Jo Zaida [3 stars] Another ARC!! So I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had expected to, but it was worth reading anyways. Review to come!

I am proud to report that I carefully followed the posting schedule I had set up for myself last month (except for last week, when I had a blog tour post out of schedule, on a Sunday) throughout the month of April! When I started, I didn’t think I would be able to follow it throughout, to be honest, but turns out I was wrong!

I am not going to link all my posts from this month here, only specific ones. If you would like to see all my posts in April, click HERE.

I have included the links to my posts in their featured images below, so all you have to do is click on the ones that catch your attention!

A discussion post all about book titles! I am quite proud of this one actually, so do check it out if you missed it earlier!
I do love writing 5 star reviews!!
I created a quiz for you to find some great recs!!

I tried to be really active on all of your posts this month, and I think I succeeded to a great extent. I interacted with your blogs wherever I could, and came across some interesting posts in the process.

Amy @A Fangirl’s Opinion wrote about some funny books and characters on April Fools day!

April @Booked Till Midnight shared her recipe for a 5 star read!

Alice @Love For Words related Pride and Prejudice quotes to her everyday life! I have not read Pride and Prejudice completely (I’ve read only short excerpts) but this humorous post had me chuckling out aloud!

Ritz @Living, Loving and Reading Netflix’s Shadow And Bone and her thoughts are SO similar to mine!!

Ashmita @the fictional journal made a list of characters who are likely to jump-scare people!

Ritz @Living, Loving and Reading gives us some great sci-fi recs and also shares her sci-fi tbr!


Other updates and highlights of the month

  • We hit 100 followers in early April!! This is my first big blogging milestone, so thank you so much for that guys🥰 It means a lot to have you enjoy and appreciate my content.
  • The Home page of my blog now has a brand new look! I have changed the header image, put in a sidebar and stuff like that.
  • My blog now has a Review Policy page.
  • I received my first ARCs and took part in my first blog tour this month!
  • April was Shadow and Bone month!!!! (oops sorry for all the exclamations, this just shows how much I loved the show) By now, you all know how much the Six Of Crows duology means to me. If you don’t, IT’S MY FAVOURITE BOOK OF ALL TIME!! So naturally I was excited for the S&B show on Netflix. Though I started watching it only for the Crows, the Alina-Darkling storyline also got me hooked and made me wonder why I didn’t read the Shadow and bone trilogy earlier (I am not going to read it now, I want to know the story only from the show). I finished watching all 8 episodes of S&B in four days, and wow I loved seeing my favourite characters brought to life. The casting was just perfect. Freddy Carter is going to be stuck in my mind’s eye as Kaz forever, and same with the others. I didn’t think it was possible to love and admire Kaz more than I did after reading the books, but this show proved me wrong…my heart went out for him even more!! The ‘No mourners, no funerals’ line was also so perfect when it happened. Jesper and Milo were absolute showstealers!! Okay, not gonna ramble any more, but seriously, go watch it!!

How was your April? Did you watch Shadow And Bone? Have you read any of the books that I read in April? Chat with me in the comments!!

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!!

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{living life, one cup of coffee at a time}

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The Scarlet Bookkeeper

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