Recent Reads #1

2020 Reads 1 – 5

Hi everyone! Years ago when I was around about nine or ten I had a blog. It wasn’t a very well written blog and it didn’t have a “theme” to it either, it was basically just a spewing of my stream of consciousness nonsense. In fact, it’s probably still floating about the internet somewhere, hopefully never to be seen again! But now I’m halfway through my final semester at university (eek!) and I’ve really been considering blogging about books for a while, so here I am! Back at it again! And I thought I’d start the blog with a little “recent reads”!

Since the start of the year I’ve read ten books, which for me normally isn’t a huge amount, but for it being my final semester of uni, and writing a dissertation at the same time, I’m pretty impressed! I’ve been really slacking on reading books by authors of colour so I’m hoping to really improve on that later on in the year but I’m also trying to read books that have been on my shelves for a very long time, so this year I’ve been using a TBR jar (it’s a candle holder, really, but it has the same effect!). So far, I have been pushed out of my comfort zone and I’ve really enjoyed reading a variety of books I wouldn’t normally pick up!

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The Poppy War – R.F. Kuang

I ADORED this book! Such an amazing book to start the year, and the decade, off! I’ve been dying to read this book for the longest time, but having it sit on my kindle, at over 500 pages, was a bit intimidating, if I’m being honest! I finally relented and bought the paperback and now I can strongly say that it is one of my favourite books I have ever read! I adore the world-building and I think the links to Chinese history made the story so rich and lush! This is one of those books that you want to keep reading voraciously, but also take your time to savour it because you just don’t want it to end! My favourite part of this book was the characters, I especially loved the different “found-families” that Rin develops throughout. I cannot recommend this book enough, but make sure you check out the trigger warnings first!

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Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy – Cassandra Clare et. al

Okay, so this book caught me by surprise. I’m trying (and maybe slightly failing, since I’ve been doing it for almost 2 years now!) to read the Shadowhunters Chronicles in publication order and this was the most recent one I had to read. I didn’t love the Bane Chronicles and I gave it 2 stars, and I’m not a fan of short stories in general, so my hopes weren’t that high with this one. Boy was I wrong! Simon is one of my favourite characters from the Mortal Instruments and that series brings me so much nostalgia as is. But the characters in this book just made it so so charming! So many old favourites had a bit more of the spotlight (Aline and Helen) and the new characters just really stole my heart (George and Marisol). I cannot wait to continue on with the series, even if the ending of this destroyed me!

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Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

I’m not a classics girl, so when I pulled this out of the TBR jar (candle holder) I was not ecstatic. Normally, if I want to read a classic it will either be a children’s classic or a classic written in the 1900s, due to the language used, and this fits neither of these descriptions. This book was long, maybe too long, and the characters were all horrible, but surprisingly, I didn’t hate it! I loved the atmospheric writing and I was genuinely interested in the plot. It wasn’t my favourite classic that I’ve ever read, but it wasn’t the worst (although the word “ejaculated” was used far too many times for my liking!) and now I constantly have the Kate Bush song stuck in my head!

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I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson

I’m also not really a contemporary girl, it has to be a particularly special one for me to pick it up, but this one honestly surprised me! When I started this book, I wasn’t expecting much, and I really considered DNF-ing it but then I got really sucked into it. This book reminds me of a gorgeous Summer day spent outside with a gentle breeze fluttering the pages of the book. The characters’ lives are all so gorgeously intertwined and the romances are so beautiful and I was really rooting for them all. The art aspect of the book was also really refreshing!

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A Little Princess – Frances Hodgson Burnett

Two classics in one month?? Am I feeling okay? Thankfully this one fits into both categories of a classic I normally read! I got this book when I was around about nine or ten, from my gran, and it has been sitting on my shelf only partially read ever since, so it was about time that I picked it up! This book, although insensitively written at times, was really sweet and really focused on how we should be kind at all times, irrespective of people’s backgrounds and upbringings, and I thought it had a lovely message! I can’t wait to read this book to my future children!

Overall, a really strong start to my year, reading-wise! Here’s hoping the rest of the year will be much the same!

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