Please Don’t Disturb

A.R. Torre’s second book in the Deanna Maddon trilogy, I magically found it in really good condition at a secondhand bookstore and just had to pick it up! I will say, straight up, that I didn’t love this as much as the first book. I gave that 5* and I “only” gave Do Not Disturb 4*. So I still did really enjoy it!

I don’t want to spoil anything for those who have not read book 1 (The Girl in 6E), so this’ll be a spoiler free view. The themes which made 6E so great are explored further in this book, with a lot of character development throughout. It’s definitely not stagnant from the first book. In both books there’s a crime risk which causes big parts of the plot, and in Do Not Disturb this did disappoint me a little and was why it dropped a star. It just felt like it was over very quickly and didn’t have any major impact or influence on anything. Given that it had such a build up from the very beginning of the book this was just a let down, but clearly it wasn’t that much of a let down if I still gave the book 4*!

I did love how our main character struggled with her issues and her desires, whilst also growing into this new relationship that she has with the outside world. The sex-cam part of her life really dies down in this book, but not stupidly drastically, just in a way that makes sense for the plot progression and I enjoyed that.

Basically, if you read book 1 and enjoyed it I definitely recommend giving book 2 a shot. It might live up to your hopes, it might not, but you should still have a great time reading it!

Have you read any of this series? What did you think? Comment and let me know!!

Do YOU ReRead??

I did! And then I didn’t… and now I do again! Okay let me explain haha

When I was a kid I’d re-read books all the time, I didn’t have access to the shops without my parents (or the money to buy books anyways) so once I had finished what was on my shelves I had no other option than to read what I’d already read until the next time I got any books or got to go to the library. Now don’t get me wrong, my parents bought me so many books and we’d visit the library fairly often, I just read like a mad child and got through a ridiculous number of books!

Theeeeeen education happened. I live in the UK but I’m sure this is something that you guys from all around the world can relate to. I also had my various chronic illnesses kick in at this point, including migraines, and I just didn’t have the time or the energy to pick up books and read for pleasure with everything else I had to do. I still loved books though, which I showed by taking books with me to Uni, despite not having read in 3 years.

And then I did it, I picked up a book. I had to force my way through it. It wasn’t as easy as it used to be when I was a kid, it didn’t flow as naturally. But I did it. And that was it. That year I started reading and never stopped! I found this community and a couple years later I joined in as an active participant! But I wasn’t picking up my old books, I wasn’t re-reading at all. Now that I wasn’t living at home and I had some savings/birthday money I could bring books home without any issue and having found the Bookternet I had too many books that I now wanted to read to be able to justify the time spent on re-reading old books. It felt like it would be a “waste of time”. Which is sad.

That’s why I decided to do Alex and Abi’s Booktube ReReadaThon. To give myself accountability and to “justify” spending my time on it! I actually intended to do this in 2019, but that really just did not happen for a massive variety of reasons and so I abandoned it. But this year is my year! I have already read my re-read for January, the challenge was to reread a translated work so I went with Heidi, a book I hadn’t read since childhood!

I’ll be putting up a full review soon, but suffice to say that I really enjoyed it. It’s a lovely, simple and inspiring story that I really enjoyed diving back into and it reminded me that I really do love re-reading books. Which is why so many of the books on my shelves have cracked spines from reading them again and again and again as a child!

I’m really excited to carry on with this re-reading throughout the year! I’ve linked the challenges here and also Alex’s video and Abi’s video announcing the challenge for the year so that you guys can go and check it out!

Do you like re-reading books? Let me know down below and explain why!!

2019 Goal Review!

 

I made some goals at the start of 2019, this is where I tell you how bad I was at sticking to them! I already uploaded this as a video on my YouTube channel so if you’d rather see it in video form then click this link here! If not then keep reading and I’ll tell you here!

My first goal was to read 50 books, and I managed it!! Clocking in at 54 books for the year. I had still hoped that I would read more than that, but it was not to be and I’m very happy to have reached this goal.

Goal number two was to read 25 books that I had already owned. I didn’t manage this one! đŸ˜„ I mostly read new books, which at least means that I didn’t add too many to my already too large tbr pile, but sadly I didn’t hit the goal. Fingers crossed I’ll read more of the books I already own in 2020.

The third goal was to buy no more than 50 books, a common number apparently for these goals! And I managed this one! I bought 43 books in total throughout the year, including a large haul of 19 books one month, so I’m very please with myself that I stuck to my aim and now I feel like I have much more control over how I charity book shop in comparisons with previously just picking up everything and anything I recognised.

Goal four was to reduce my NetGalley reads down to 0. NetGalley is where I get my eARCs from (my electronic advances reader copies of books before their publish date for review). I managed this one too, however, I later then added more to my “shelf” so I’m not sure where I’m at. I only added 3, and they all are published in 2020 so I’m not behind on any as of yet. But still, I need to get through them again!

My last goal was to read more diversely. I definitely didn’t define this goal enough or track it well enough. When making my stats video I found out that I read 89% white authors, which is atrocious, and a similar percentage of stories focused around straight people. The only redeeming factor was that 56% of my read books had been translated from other languages into English! This was without even trying to read any translated novels so I’m very happy with that number. Overall, however, I don’t want to say that I completed this goal as I didn’t read diversely enough to tick this off.

 

Overall it was about 50/50 in terms of success for my 2019 goals. I’m glad with what I managed and also with the progress that I made towards these goals! My next post will be my 2020 goals for reading and all things bookish so stay tuned if you want to see that!

My best books of 2019!

 

I read a lot less 5* reads in 2019 compared to 2018, but I still had a decent selection to pick from for this list and I love all of these books!

I’m going to start off with my absolute favourite of the year, which seems backwards, but I can’t rank all of my other favourites so I may as well get the #1 spot up first!

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, translated by Geoffrey Trousselot, is an absolutely gorgeous book.

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There’s a small coffee shop in a basement which has a secret, people know about it but they can’t believe that it’s true. The staff in the shop will only tell the customers who they believe need the experience. And it’s not as positive as many believe before they sit down. But their lives are forever changed, big impacts are made. This book is beautifully written and I only picked it up randomly for NetGalley, I’m so so glad that I did. I recommend this above everything else on this list, which is a big statement seeing as these are all 5* reads for me. However, I feel like this book will appeal to many different audiences and so I really do encourage you to at least look at the GoodReads page and read the synopsis (link here) and consider picking it up. If you’re interested, then you can find my full review here.

Now onto the rest of my favourite books! There are 10 books for the rest of this list and they are in the order which I read them throughout 2019 (to avoid putting them in any other sort of order, because I really can’t decide).

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season #2) 

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I read this on the train going back down to Portsmouth for my heart operation after my Christmas break, it’s around 8 hours of travelling so I had a lot of time to sit with the book and I really enjoyed it. Although the ending annoyed me so much and I had to stay composed because I was on a train!! Another amazing book from Samantha Shannon. Read my full review of the book here.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale #1)

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I’m massively late to this party, of course, but I finally picked up this book in a secondhand shop and read it early on in 2019. It was amazing. I loved the commentary on female autonomy and sadly it did really hit a chord with me, despite being written “so many” years ago. If you’re interested my full review is here.

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen (Orphan Monster Spy #1)

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I got this the day before I started by BookTube channel, and it took me until now to read it. There’s a bit of a theme here but if I’m getting through my backlog I won’t complain! This YA WWII based book follows a young Jewish girl who can pass as an Aryan and becomes a spy in a Nazi girls school. Check out my full review here.

Book of Lies by Teri Terry

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I really love everything I’ve read so far from Teri Terry, she is truly one of my favourite authors. This book follows a girl who isn’t loved by her family, they don’t care about her at all. But then she finds out a bit secret, something that she wasn’t supposed to know. Magical and mystical, this is such an interesting book. My review is here.

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman (The Devouring Gray #1)

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This is the first book that I ever requested from a publisher and it’s the first one that was sent to me! So of course this book will always have a special place for me, but on top of that it’s a fantastic YA book with sprinkles of magic and just enough weirdness to keep you completely hooked. I can’t wait to read book #2! Check out my full review here.

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman (Arc of the Scythe #2)

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Have you read this series yet? Why not? If you like dystopian or just a great YA directed book then this is 100% a series you should pick up! There is no more natural death in the world, it’s been cured. So scythes must kull the population in order to prevent it getting out of control. But of course there are a lot of issues with this plan, it was never going to work. Check out my full review of Scythe here(which is book #1) and my review for Thunderhead here.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Illuminae Files #1)

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Another book I’ve finally read! This multi-media sci-fi YA is gripping and so interesting and I finally understand why people raved about it so much for years! I definitely need to get my hands on the rest of the trilogy and I can’t wait to carry on with this story and see where it goes. See my full review here.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

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I actually DNF’d this at my first attempted reading this year, but at a push from so many people online I picked it up to give it another go. I’m so rediculously glad that I did as this book is magical and wonderous and such a great read! If you’ve seen the film you’ll still love the book as there were only a few changes and I’m very glad I listened to everyone who told me to pick this back up! My full review is here.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

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I read this all in one day, sat by a paddling pool my aunt had set up on the hottest day of the year in the UK at 40 Celsius, that’s 104 Fahrenheit for those of you in the US. I was dying! Yet despite that, I was glued to my seat, gripped within this story. A fictional tale inspired by the suffering of so many from slavery in the US. My full review of this novel can be found here.

The Aliens are Coming by Ben Miller

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This was the first book I read after finishing my MSc dissertation. I’m so glad I picked up a science-y non-fiction as this was perfect for me in the mindset that I was in and it was also really fun (Ben Miller is a UK comedian if you didn’t know) as well as teaching me more about the search for other life forms. Check out my review here.

And that’s it! Those are all of my favourite books of 2019! I did read a few more books which I gave 5*s throughout the year (Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein and Night by Elie Wiesel). I would have ranked them lower than these books, however, and given that there are already 11 books on this list I decided to cut them out. What was your favourite (or your favourites) of 2019? Have you read any of the books that are on my list? Let me know!!

 

Poirot and Christie strike again with a peril and a young woman

Yes yes, another Poirot! These are just such easy reads, and while I’m in the end stages of my MSc that’s really what I need if I’m going to read at all (spoiler alert these reviews are normally quite behind my actual reading schedule and I haven’t read anything in weeks. Blimmin’ thesis taking up all my time!!!)

This one really got me riled up at the end, even after reading so many books from Christie in a row she still manages to astound me and take twists that are more than surprising! Of course I won’t spoil the twist but Poirot is helping a young girl who seems to be the target of various failed assassinations for an unknown reason. This specific Poirot novel goes through twists and turns as Christie analyses her view of the young people of her time and that makes it such an interesting read as always. Agatha Christie has such a good understanding of people and how they operate, as shown so clearly in her writing, but she also seems to be fully aware of biases which she may be victim to. This adds another layer of nuance to Poirot and Hastings’ portrayals, done in two very different ways, and I feel like this book is a beautiful example of that.

As always I recommend, I have quite a number of reviews on Agatha Christie’s work at this point so I definitely recommend going through my back-catalogue to find the right one for you!

The Mystery of the Blue Train

The Big Four

Poirot Investigates

The Monogram Murders

The Thirteen Problems

Death in the Clouds

The Mystery of Three Quarters

I read Thunderhead, here’s what I think of the series [NO spoilers]

The sequel to Scythe, I was so excited for this book… and it did NOT disappoint!!! I loved this book so much! I won’t be talking about any spoilers for either book so you can read on even if you’ve not read Scythe (but you should go read it).

In this version of the future, humans have conquered death so they had to find a way to deal with the ever rising population. The solution was scythes, these are people who’s only job is to randomly “gleen” (think: kill) people in order to stop the world from over-populating. This was working fine, although people were petrified of scythes when they saw them, but there’s obviously one very human problem. Corruption.

We have two main characters, and switch perspectives between them. They are both involved in the scythedom so we get to see events through two different eyes which adds another dimension to the world.

If you like dystopian, dark books (like anything else Neal Shusterman has published) then I definitely recommend picking this series up. I get so engrossed and I know 100% that I’ll speed through them and give them 5*.

The Famous Five buy a house… kinda

This is my 6th parody book from Bruno Vincent about the Famous Five. I am determined I will collect them all!! I just keep picking them up as and when I find them in charity shops! The wacky topic for this book is that the Five are having to move out of the residence that they were in because Aunt Fanny and Uncle Quentin need to sell it for money. So they’re looking for somewhere else to move to.

Of course this leads to madness and weird houses and just an absolute mess! It’s very fun and of course still has the typical happy ending, these books aren’t amazing but I keep coming back so there must be something about them! If you have nostalgia for the Five, definitely give one a go!

The Concept of Time

I tend to pick up random books in charity shops, and this was one of them. The Time Keeper is a very engrossing book and ergo I read through it quite quickly, and the concept is quite unique.

A man begins to track time, he is the first to do so. Those who control the world are not happy, humanity now obsesses over time unlike any other species. A deer does not worry about being late, a human runs their life to the tick of a clock. A timepiece as it’s heartbeat.

As a punishment for his crime, the man who began to track time is trapped for all time. Left to listen to the desires of the human race for one more second, one more moment. Thousands of years pass, and the man is taken from his prison and placed back on the surface of the Earth to assist two humans with two very different aims. He must observe their lives, and change their hearts.

This concept of why on earth we track time is something that I’ve thought about before, so it was really interesting to see it written out in a novel format and to see how Mitch Albom dealt with it. I loved the section that was at the very start, with a “prehistoric” man beginning to track time and the world around him. It was also interesting to then see this applied to the modern world and see it in a more easily relatable context.

If you’re interested in this infrequently discussed topic, this will be a book you enjoy. I didn’t give it 5*, but it’s still a great book and one I’m glad I’ve read.

A New Favourite Author

The way I came about this book was unexpected. I went to a book signing in Waterstones for Victoria Schwab and Sarah Maria Griffin was there also as they both have the same publisher in the UK. I decided to buy Spare and Found Parts and get it signed while I was there, as it sounded like a cool concept for a book, and honestly, Sarah seemed awesome.

I am so so glad I picked this up! This book is absolutely gorgeous, with beautiful writing that will draw you into the world and amazingly developed characters with great story arcs. We follow Nel who is an inventors daughter in a post-dystopian world. She’s lonely, with few people who she can relate to, so she decides that she’s going to build a boy.

The development of Nel as a person is so amazing to watch as well as the plotline being gripping and I ended up tweeting Sarah angrily with one of the plot points! It’s such an amazing book!! Ugh just pick up this beauty, it’s amazing! And I’m so excited to get to Other Words for Smoke sometime soon!!!!

My audiobook go to

Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series is one of the only audiobooks I enjoy. I intend to attempt to change that over time, but the second book in the series was the first audiobook I had finished since Harry Potter (narrated by Steven Fry of course) and I have gotten very used to the style. This book is #5 in the series, and First Among Sequels is the first book in a second “series” in this world, I’ve seen many complaints about the fact that this series was continued on when it should have been left at 4 books but personally I really enjoyed this and I’m looking forward to listening to the next two books.

If you’re familiar with the series, you’ll know all about Thursday and her very weird life. In this book, there has been a big jump in time from book 4 and we now follow a 50+ y/o Thursday as she works, raises children and tries not to get caught doing certain jobs by her lovely husband Landen.

I always love all the references to other literature and the wild and wacky utilisations Fforde makes use of. If you want an insane read where nothing seems to make sense, and some people’s favourite character is a dodo (she doesn’t do much, she’s just a dodo, but fight me she’s great), then definitely pick up the first book in this series!