Summer 2018 Reading List

Summer is finally here, and you know what that means… it’s time for a Summer Reading List!

I have been offered complementary copies of these books either through NetGalley or directly via the author, in exchange for an honest review.

I do admit that my eyes might have been bigger than my belly here, and it is going to be a very busy summer for me as I try and get through all of these!

Without further ado, here is my Summer 2018 Reading List (in no particular order):

  • The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer
  • I Never Lie by Jody Sabral
  • Captive Rebel by Erin McDermott
  • The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
  • The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas
  • 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
  • The Kindness Method by Shahroo Izadi
  • The Lady and the Thief by Megan Derr
  • Severance by Ling Ma
  • Pyre at the Eyreholme Trust by Lin Darrow

(not all titles are included in the picture above)

Let me know what your own Summer Reading List is, and if you have read or intend to read any of these, I would love to know your thoughts!

Review #5: Witches Gone Wicked: Womby’s School for Wayward Witches (spoilers alert)

Witches Gone Wicked: Womby’s School for Wayward Witches by Sarina Dorie

Ebook

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You think you know the world of magical boarding schools? Not from a teacher’s perspective at a school for at risk youth.

Like any twenty-two-year-old who grew up obsessed with fantasy novels, Clarissa Lawrence expects all her Harry Potter fantasies to come true when she is invited to teach at a school for witches. Her dreams of learning magic–and being a good teacher–are complicated when she finds out her deceased mother was the equivalent of the Wicked Witch of the West. As if being the new “arts and crafts” teacher isn’t hard enough at a school for juvenile delinquent witches, budget cuts are just as severe in the magic community, administrators are as unrealistic in their expectations of teachers, and the job is a hazard if the students find out you can’t actually do magic.

Amidst all these challenges, Clarissa must prove she’s not her mother’s mini-me and that she belongs at the school so she can learn to control her powers. If she fails, her powers will be drained, or worse yet, she might be enslaved by the Fae.
As if this isn’t enough pressure, she has to figure out why teachers are mysteriously disappearing. If she doesn’t, she might be next.

I obtained a complimentary copy of this book from the author via Voracious Readers Only, a website which aim is to help new authors get their novels out into the world by giving them away to reviewers in exchange for an honest review. I really liked the idea of helping new authors out and possibly stumbling upon the next J.K. Rowling so I thought I’d give it a go. Unfortunately, this book was not it.

Continue reading “Review #5: Witches Gone Wicked: Womby’s School for Wayward Witches (spoilers alert)”

Review #4: Quiet Power

Quiet Power: Growing up as an introvert in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain

254 pages

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Your quiet nature is a hidden superpower

People with the quietest voice have achieved incredible things in the world, because of their quiet nature, not in spite of it. If you feel that you are naturally thoughtful and creative, then accept and treasure yourself – just as you are.

As you grow up in this loud, crazy world there are so many ways to harness your secret strengths and make your mark.

Let’s start a quiet revolution!

I am normally a fiction girl when it comes to reading, I like my books to take me away from reality and transport me into different worlds and stories, but once in a while I enjoy reading a good non-fiction/self-help book.

This book is all about what it means to be an introvert and how it can be a strength in a world largely dominated by extroverts.

Unfortunately, I did not realise that this was a book aimed at children until I started reading it. A lot of the chapters focus on how to behave in school according to your introverted nature etc, and I feel like this kind of content is lost on me now that I have reached adulthood.

There are interesting and informative parts to this book and I just wish it had been around when I was in school because it could have helped me make sense of who I was, why I felt different to the other kids, why I acted the way that I did and it probably could have saved me a lot of anxiety.

One thing that resonated most with me is when Susan explains how teachers tend to focus a lot on class participation, which is a bit of a nightmare for introverts, and just because they don’t participate in class doesn’t mean that they are any less clever or attentive than the other kids. And indeed, I used to get really anxious about having to speak up in class and it got so bad over the years that when I started university I had to be medicated for my anxiety.

All in all, it was an interesting read and it made me reflect on my childhood and my teenage years. I just wish it also had pointers for adult life.

Review #3: Fools and Mortals

Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell

384 pages

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In the heart of Elizabethan England, young Richard Shakespeare dreams of a glittering career in the London playhouses, a world dominated by his older brother, William.

But when Richard’s onetime gratitude begins to sour, so does his family loyalty. Then a priceless manuscript goes missing and Richard falls under suspicion, forced into a high-stakes game of duplicity and betrayal through the darkest alleyways of the city…

In 16th century London, William Shakespeare is at the top of his fame writing plays for the richest people of the city, while his younger brother Richard is trying to make a name for himself as an actor. Richard works as a player for his brother but he has only ever been given women’s parts to play and as he grows older, his frustration grows too, making the relationship between the two men as rocky as can be.

When a new playhouse opens its doors, Richard is given the opportunity to steal his brother’s manuscripts, and is promised main roles if he can deliver. Will he choose to stay loyal to his brother or stab him in the back?

I picked up this book for two reasons. One, because I was sure that I had already read a book by Bernard Cornwell and liked it (it turned out that I was thinking of a completely different author, my bad) and secondly, because historical fiction is one of my favourite genres.

Unfortunately, I did not like this book as much as I thought I would. The plot falls a bit flat and the book is filled with play rehearsals. While it does transport you to 16th century London and the world of Shakespeare’s theatres and playhouses, I found that the play rehearsals go into too much detail and take too much of the book, not leaving much room for the main plot, which seems to be resolved quickly then shrugged aside.

However, it does tell a beautiful tale of how complex brotherly love and family loyalties can be, and in this way, it reminded me a lot of the rivalry but also the love between Oasis’ Gallagher brothers.

It is still a good book that could appeal to many (I mean, it is a bestseller after all), it just did not quite cut it for me. But if you are a fan of historical fiction, I guess you could give it a go and see what you think of it.