What I've Been Reading September

This month, I've actually borrowed quite a few books from my library because I just needed to read. I've been so busy and stressed with all this school work and reading has just given me a calm and relaxing environment. Also, some exciting news! Well, maybe not for you but for me it is. I'VE FINALLY COMPLETED MY 2017 READING CHALLENGE! I set myself 30 books for this year because I knew that I would be busy but I'm actually going to try and reach 40-50. I'm gonna give it a shot!

Also, I know that I haven't posted in a bit, but school work is just taking over and it's really hard to find time for everything. Sleep and school comes before blogging. I'll try my best to keep up though. Anyways, onto the books.

SCION OF IKSHVAKU BY AMISH TRIPATHI

Amish Tripathi is a very well-known Indian author who has penned one complete series (which I've read) and this series called the Ram Chandra Series. This is the first of four books out of the second series. The idea of the series that there will be four books in total. The first three will be stories of three individuals: Ram, Sita and Raavan. The fourth book will then continue how they stories meet and the final ending. I know that you might be confused if you don't really know anything about Indian history but I promise as you read it, you'll slowly understand the story and the depth of Indian history, as well as the way that these individuals compare and contrast. Some events overlap because all characters are present there of course, they're told from different points of view.

This one is told from Ram's point of view. It's the story of how he wins over Sita, the story about the next Vishnu and the connection with Hanuman and Raavan. 

Rating: 3/5



SITA: WARRIOR OF MITHILA BY AMISH TRIPATHI

This is the second book in the Ram Chandra Series and it was released just this year. I wasn't really impressed with this to be completely honest. Amish's second series seems to be on a downwards spiral, especially after all the hype it was getting in India. The plot, narration and dialogue were nearly replicated from the first book and the fact that Sita had to take Ram's support to become the next Vishnu? That kind of confused me. If she was showing the skills from a young age, demonstrating that she could be the next Vishnu, then why did she need Ram. It makes no sense. Also, I don't know if Amish was trying to be humorous, but calling Hanuman "Hans" just seemed derogatory to such a symbolic character in Indian mythology.

Sorry Amish, I don't know whether this book was worth the wait and after being such a fan, whether I'll even buy the next two books.

Rating: 2/5



SHADOW AND BONE BY LEIGH BARDUGO

Clearly, I have found one of my favourite authors and clearly, I'm going to get through all the books she's written and then be lost with life for the next 10 years. This is the first book in the Grisha Triolgy. I reviewed Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows Duology last month over here. (hint: I LOVED IT!)

Basically, this series connects with the Grisha and the ideas mentioned about them from Six of Crows but this really develops the story and the depth behind their power. Some of the characters from Shadow and Bone are mentioned in Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom. You don't have to read this one first in order to read Six of Crows, but in hindsight, I think it would be better that way.

I don't really know why this isn't 5 stars for me. Maybe it's because I read and fell in love with Six of Crows first or maybe it's because of all the hype surrounding this book. Everything was amazing; from the writing to the characters to the setting down to the feels. THE FEELS. They're the most important. Another thing I feel that Leigh Bardugo could have done, was to flesh out the world a lil' tiny bit more. I mean, what even is the Shadow Fold? Is it just some black dark shadowy thing that hangs of part of a country with voracious birds who used to apparently be people? Ummm...I'm finding it slightly hard to imagine it so please do let me know what you imagined it to be like.

Also, was it just me or did the story feel kind of safe? (and then whabam she tricks us and black becomes white and everything is turned up side down- that's when the real story starts). That only gets there about half way in. THE TWIST! I was kind of expecting it but then again, I kind of shipped the Darkling and Alina so...anyways no more because this is a spolier free zone.

As for characters, I really liked Alina. A bit of sassiness, some sarcasm and of course "I don't recognise my power but I'm supposed to save the world". Duh, can't forget that! But I did feel like a little bit was missing, however it could be that her character still hasn't developed since this is only the first book out of three. I'm counting on you Leigh, I NEED MORE OF ALINA!

And Mal. He was the kind of cute, kind of didn't know what to expect but then he pulled it all out of the bag. The stories of Mal and Alina were really sweet and I feel like they slotted perfectly into the book.

Finally, the last thing I will say is that I NEED THE NEXT GOD DAMN BOOK IN MY HANDS RIGHT NOW!

Rating: 4.5/5 




SIEGE AND STORM BY LEIGH BARDUGO

Clearly, I had to get the next book because I needed to know what happened after "the big event that changed the story" at the end of the last book. It's kind of hard to continue the review of this book without giving much away but I'm going to try my best okay? First of all, I LOVED THIS BOOK AS WELL! It was filled with the Darkling's Darkling-ness, Alina's sassiness and the little thing that blossoms between Alina and Mal.

For starters, I LOVE STURMHOND! I literally fell head over heels with his character, his poise, his attitude and his big secret (oooh I like to keep you guys in mystery and doubt don't I?). He likes to invent EPIC new stuff like flying boats and only wants the best for the kingdom. He's super funny and clever and ugh, just so adorable and quirky. I want him.

Alina takes on this darker, more devlish side to her and I am all for it! It definitely worked out in a good way, and as she started taking charge. She wants to adopt and experiment with her power but then she also wants to save the world. I love her villainy side and I want her to dig deeper! On an opposite note, Mal. Mal, Mal Mal. What can I say to him? Alina is busy trying to manage and build an army of Grisha to take on the Darkling and the the impacts of the massive power contained within her tiny little body, and what does Mal do? He sulks or throws a tantrum. THERE ARE BIGGER PROBLEMS OKAY?!

Also what is up with the Apparat? I am not able to put my finger on whether I like his character or not. Also I hated Vasily. I'm sorry but he was so fake and stuck up. I couldn't stand him. Plus he ruined everything, but I guess everything happens for a reason and we'll have to find out in the last book.

Once again, I'm a huuuuge fan of the writing. The Russian-ness of the setting, the style of Leigh Bardugo's writing and the way the plot was set out. Everything happened for a reason. I was just expecting a bit more action. Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of action but towards the end, it kind of slowed down and then picked back up again at the finale.

Rating: 4/5



RUIN AND RISING BY LEIGH BARDUGO

Evidently, I had an urge to finish this series within the span of a week so you can tell that I am LITERALLY OBSESSED with Leigh Bardugo and her divine concoctions of characters.

I can't lie to say that I was frustrated by the ending because well, I won't ruin it for you but WHY!?? Why did you do this Leigh? Well, I understand why she did it but still.....AHHH! I just can't. Anyways, you must hate me for talking about the end but I'll stop now.

Of course, the story carries on after the return of the Darkling and the final stretch to find the last amplifier. The firebird is all that's left between Alina and her rule of the world, but she's trying to master her power, tame the Darkling's powers that are held within her and deal with her love life. It's all a bit much for her isn't it?

Once again. everything's about Mal isn't it. Well we do find out why that's the case in this book. Yes, don't worry; the reasoning behind the obsession and attraction to Mal has been solved. If that doesn't convince you to read the book, then I don't know what will.

I still have a strange urge that Alina and the Darkling should be together. I still kind of feel that ship even though I know he's evil and all, but I JUST LOVE THE EVIL-RY! It's contagious.

Rating: 4/5 



TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE BY JENNY HAN

I honestly thought that I wouldn't like this book at all, that it would be a typical YA novel, and yes it is but I just enjoyed it so much. I read it all in one sitting so clearly that shows something.

Basically, Lara Jean Song writes letters to all the boys she's loved before and one day, they accidentally get sent off (by a secret someone but not so secret by the end of the book) and Josh, her neighbour/older sister's ex-boyfriend/her crush/her best friend got one (IK!!) and this guy Peter Kavinsky got one and to prevent being shamed, Lara and Peter fake a relationship (IK!!) but then later he ends up (maybe) getting with his ex, which leaves Lara Jean alone and so she does the unthinkable thing that she shouldn't have done, but she did it anyways.

Yup, that's it in a nutshell.

I loved how the Lara Jean Song, the main character is half Korean and also the fact that she has two sisters. I think the bond between the sisters is what makes the book so special. It's just relatable and is just how I imagine what having a sister is like. When Lara Jean's older sister Margot moves away to UNI, the rift that comes between them is so sad. Also also also, Lara Jean is me!! She likes to stay at home and bake, knit or scrapbook. I LOVE STAYING AT HOME! She's so funny and cute and quirky and SO NOT BORING AT ALL! I love a down to earth main character. PLUS THERE'S TONS OF FOOD! That earns an extra star in itself.

I ADORE PETER! Omg I just want him. He's so funny and considerate. The love triangle just getsss meeee. Both guys are so nice and and the complexity of the relationships amongst the complexity of the characters.

I did not enjoy Margot at all. I found her to be irritating but Lara Jean's younger sister Kitty TOTALLY made up for all of that. Did any of you find Josh annoying at the end? He was nice at first but then nope. Clingy people are just a #BYE.

Rating: 4.5/5



WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR BY PAUL KALANITHI

A small, tiny book on the outside, but an overwhelmingly deep and breathless (pun not intended) book on the inside.

When Breath Becomes Air is a real life story, but it's not really your typical biography. Paul Kalinithi is a neurosurgeon, has a degree in literature and ponders the way that things come about, and how life is as the way we see it. Paul writes the book while he's in the last stages of his cancer and passes away before he can complete the story. Categorising this as a memoir would be injustice and disrespect to the man who wrote it. The writing is so beautiful and poetic.

Something I didn't like about it was when he started to go into tons of detail about the science-y stuff. I know that he was writing a flow of thoughts and that was the way that he used to think but it just got a little bit too much at some points, and I started to get bored. Maybe it was just me, because I'm not really into that kind of thing. I was more so reading it for the story of his life.

Just read it will you. It's hard to explain without reading it because it's all about the emotion and expression, and the way Paul documents his experiences and thoughts.

Rating: 3.5/5



THE POSSIBILITY OF SOMEWHERE BY JULIA DAY

This is a book that I hadn't ever heard of before but the librarian at my school recommended it after I read To All the Boys I've Loved Before.

Eden and Ash are the school's top scorers and have been competing since they could remember. They both want to get into the same, top universities. However, their family situations aren't the same. Ash is rich and his parents can afford to send him off to uni, whereas Eden lives in a trailer park with her step-mom and dad; you get the idea right?

But something is different this year because they see each other differently, with a sort of attraction. But Ash's parents are the 'typical Indian parents' and have a tight leash on him, especially dating "those types of girls" and Eden's dad is a racist freak so obviously doesn't want Eden to be dating Ash.

Then comes in Mundy, the new girl, the amazing art teacher's daughter. Eden hates making friends, but Mundy and Eden get along super well and they end up having some great memories. Plus, Mundy's family is FAB! Eden herself does babysitting for a family, who has an autistic kid and that little story is soooo sweet.

Also, I love Eden's stepmom! She's like the most chilled out, amazing person ever. I also liked how the book dealt with some extreme racism (from Eden's dad). It put a bit of a change on your average YA Contemporary Romance.

Rating: 3.5/5 



WE ARE STILL TORNADOES BY MICHAEL KUN

I didn't enjoy this book at all, and I honestly didn't even finish it because I found it so boring. The story is told in a series of letter between a boy and a girl. The girl has moved out and gone to UNI whereas the boy is still in the hometown writing music.

No plot, didn't feel any emotion, boring.

Rating: can't as I didn't finish the book



SHIFT BY EM BAILEY

Shift is a book that I had never heard of before but I was kind of excited to read it as it's been a while since I've read a psychological thriller. Was I a bit disappointed? Yes I'm not going to lie. I found the story quite typical.

Olive is a sweet, funny yet problematic teen who blames herself for her parents' divorce. When new girl Miranda joins school and starts hanging out with Olive's ex-best friend, she can't believe it. But when Katie starts to become sickly and Miranda takes over everything in Katie's life, Olive doesn't believe that it was some accident that Katie died.

Is Miranda a shapeshifter like Olive thinks?

What I didn't enjoy was that the story that happened to Katie, happened to Olive all over again and I was like, Em Bailey, are you just re-using your own story? It just got really boring halfway, and I did finish it but honestly, I was just over it by the end.

Rating: 2/5



What have you been reading this month?
x Nikita

14 comments:

  1. Wow that's a lot of books! I love the sound of "to all the boys I've loved before"
    www.millievyse.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Ahhh September was a great month for me! x And it's honestly so good. You should definitely read it x Nikita

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  2. Wow, I know none of them, but I have to admit that the cover of When Breath Becomes Air really appeals to me, and definitely makes me wanna read the book!
    Lucie, x

    http://thefrenchpier.blogspot.com/

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    1. That's literally what I thought when I picked it up. x I hope you discovered some new books Lucie xx Nikita

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  3. I haven't read these before but I love your reviews!! I need to order some books from amazon soon, it's been ages xx
    liv
    livwrites.co.uk

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    1. Aww thank you so much Liv! It means a lot. Let me know what books you end up ordering, ya girl can never have too many books xx Nikita

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  4. So many great books! I want to read the Shadow and Bone series, but I still have a couple of book in my TBR before I can get to it! Great post! :)

    www.letmecrossover.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes! 100% you need to read it ASAP. You'll not regret it xx Nikita

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  5. Wow. Congratulations on finishing your book reading challenge with 3 more months of the year as spare. "To all the boys I've loved before" sounds interesting. Have a great weekend!

    Joy to the World

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    1. Thank you! I'm so happy about it, but now I'm aiming to get upto 50 books read this year x You too! x Nikita

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  6. I realy want to read Shadow and Bone! Have you seen the new covers? They look so beautiful!

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    1. YESSS! They look so so stunning! I want to get my hands on my own copies of them so bad xx Nikita

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  7. You are a voracious reader. These are a lot of books. Keep it up and all the best for your 40-50 books challenge. Loved reading your reviews. I am currently trying to finish Murder on the Orient Express as the movie is coming next week :-)

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    1. Ahaha I REALLY am! Thank you, I'm nearly at 50 now, so I hope I'll make it! :) I'll be sure to do more reviews x Nikita

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