Monthly Roundup

October Wrap Up

I started this post a million and one times… OK maybe not *quite* that many but I feel like it was!  I had so many questions going round in my head ..

Do my readers REALLY want to know about ALL the free books I got a hold of regardless of whether I actually read them this month?

Do I really want to show that I spent over £100 on books bearing in mind my blog is meant to be about reading on a budget? (in my defence I got a PPI repayment so I figure that spending a mere 5% of it on books is fair enough?)

Can I really be bothered to write out ALL of the books I got and link them to Goodreads?

And so on .. you get the picture!

I thought I would just give you the crib notes ..

Total Spent: £116.30

Number of Incoming Books: 128

Average cost per book: 90p

Number of Books I Read: 

  • 5* – The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee – My Review
  • 5* – Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J K Rowling
  • 4.5% – Conclave by Roger Harris
  • 4* – Murder Games by James Patterson
  • 4* – Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • 3.5* – Tripwire by Lee Child
  • 3.5% – Strange Magic by Sid Moore
  • 3.5% – Warcross by Marie Lu – My Review
  • 2* – Saltwater Witch by Chris Howard (Graphic Novel)
  • DNF – Killer Game by Kirsty McKay – My Review

As you will know, this is my first month of ‘getting back to reading’ and tracking what I am doing and it has made me thug really hard about my habits…

  1. I need to STOP grabbing books just because they’re free!  I need to actually read the blurb (!!) but another step would be to check it out on GR too; I should say that I don’t discount books just because they have a slating from other people but reading other people’s reviews often cements my decisions!
  2. I need to start reading the books I get!  This is a no-brainer really and has had me thinking about how to do this; one Idea I have is to do the ‘Try a Chapter’ thing – I can say to myself that I will do that with 2 books a day (or possibly more) to try and weed out the books I know I don’t want to continue with and those that are OK can remain on my TBR. I may make this into a monthly post or may just include it in my monthly stats post – watch this space.
  3. I need to start making sure that I am not buying the ‘nth‘ book in a series if I have not read, or at least got, the previous books. This is especially true of books I am buying physically as the space I have to keep these ‘coming up soon’ books is extremely limited!
  4. (This is immaterial really as now that the chunk of money I had is gone, I will not really have any more money for books until Christmas Day, but ..) I NEED TO STOP BUYING BOOKS AND READ THE ONES I HAVE.

So there we have it My first monthly roundup – there will be more to come and Aim sure that the format will change!

How did you do this month?

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Audiobook, Book, Review

Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

Rating: 3.5

Date Started: 19 Oct 2017

Date Finished: 28 Oct 2017

Amazon Link (I am NOT an affilliate)

Where I got it from: Audiobooks.com

Cost: FREE (30 Day Free Trial)

Blurb: For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

My Review: I wanted to read this as I had heard so many good things about it and it was likened to “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline which is a favourite of mine. It was like it, but it wasn’t as good in my opinion, albeit it is aimed at a slightly younger reader I think.

The storyline was good – I like that we spent a good amount of time with the MC before the action started (not normally something I like but this time it felt right). The twist was unexpected and not something that I had guessed and then the minor twist at the end when the ‘baddie’ was unmasked was also good, although I had guessed it once the twist was revealed.

The characters were likeable, but not loveable. We really only got to know the 2 MC’s in any depth and it would have been nice to know the others a little more, especially the MC’s team mates in the Warcross Games.

I listened to the Audiobook so wanted to mention that the narrator, Nancy Wu, is good. She reads with a decent pace (although there were a few parts when she could have sped up a bit) and her voice fits the characters well.

(Also posted on GoodReads)

Audiobook, Book, Review

Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

 

Rating: 5

Date Started: 23 Oct 2017

Date Finished: 24 Oct 2017

Amazon Link (I am NOT an affilliate)

Where I got it from: Audible

Cost: 1 Credit (£5.83)

Blurb: Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

My Review: I listened to the Audiobook of this in less than 24hrs so that should tell you how much I LOVED this book! The writing is descriptive and hilarious, the characters easy to fall in love with and the story is great too!

I was gripped right from the off – the whole idea of the grand tour is one that fascinated me and the ‘will they, won’t they’ aspect throughout the book is also well handled.

I love the LGBTQ side to the book and I was rooting for the MC right from the start, and I loved that the main female, Felicity, was made to be such a badass in a time when that was frowned upon.

A special word about the narrator, Christian Coulson too as he is really very very good!!

I will be recommending this book to anyone that will listen and highly recommend they listen to the Audiobook version too!

(Also posted on GoodReads)

Book, Paperback, Review

Review: Killer Game by Kirsty McKay

Rating: 1.5

Date Started: 22 Oct 2017

Date Finished: DNF (100 Pages)

Amazon Link (I am NOT an affilliate)

Where I got it from: Charity Shop

Cost: £1.29

Blurb: At Cate’s isolated boarding school, Killer Game is a tradition. Only a select few are invited to play. They must avoid being killed by a series of thrilling pranks, and identify the murderer. But this time, it’s different: the game stops feeling fake and starts getting dangerous and Cate’s the next target. Can they find the culprit … before it’s too late?

My Review: The premis of this book is so good – as someone who went to boarding school in the UK and a lover of ‘secret societies’ I was excited to read the book, but only got 100 pages through before giving up. I realise that this book is aimed at a younger audience and so the thing that let it down for me might not be something that the target audience notice / are worried about.

I liked that you start by being ‘thrown in’ to the story – you don’t have to wait for pages and pages to pass by with lots of backstory.

Speaking as an ex-boarding school pupil, the fact that they are allowed to wonder around free as a bird (including being able to gain access to the shower rooms and dormitory’s of the other sex) is beyond my comprehension .. maybe my place was just really strict, but this was not allowed in any way when I was at school!

I also found that there wasn’t enough explanation as to WHY the MC would want to be in the Guild – there was no explanation as to what this thing is, how long it had been going / why it was started .. I realise this could have come later in the book but it is something I think that should have been covered within the first 100 pages.

Overall I feel that this had great potential but lacked character building and certainly need to grip me more to want to continue.

(Also posted on GoodReads)

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