Reading update | Books I've read so far in 2019

Thursday, 28 March 2019

I am a bit ashamed to say that I've only read 5 books so far in 2019. I tend to go through many reading slumps which sucks a lot but I'm slowly finding my way back. Still, I think 5 is better than none anyway so I thought I’d write some short reviews about each one of them. I’m challenging myself to do this more and more, both with books and movies, to gather all my thoughts together in one place. It helps soothe my mind and ultimately I believe it will improve my writing, or at least I hope it will.

City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #2) by Victoria Schwab
My rating: 4.5 / 5
It took me longer than usual to read this book because of exams but DAMN I loved it. I mean Edinburgh and ghosts mixed together? Sign me up. I think they are the perfect combination. I don’t care that it is technically a middle school and children’s book. I loved the story, the characters, the nerdy references (Harry Potter and Marvel), and victoria's writing style is just beautiful. It's the first book of hers that I read and I intend to keep reading the rest of her work. Book two of this series is to be released early September this year, so that’s exciting!!

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E.Schwab
My rating:  5 / 5
Another Victoria Schwab book. This one fits in the adult fantasy genre though, hence the difference spelling of the name. I started reading this last summer I believe but stopped because I couldn’t get into it. However, I still chose it as the book I wanted to base my dissertation on. So of course, I had to read it. I read it earlier this year and I fell in love with everything. After reading City of Ghosts I knew what to expect in terms of writing but the world building??? BEYOND AMAZING.

I think the whole idea of mixing together magic with travelling through different dimensions in the early 1920s is brilliant. Not only that but there are also 2 languages that the author invented??? I mean that’s just wow. Anyway, the characters? I would die for (most) of them. They are sarcastic, they are strong, they feel real. You can relate to them and connect with them, I think anyone will find one character (if not two) that they can sort of relate too. I am aware I’m not saying much about the book but I don’t want to spoil anything. I am now eager to read the second and third book of the series but I’m known to wait ages to continue book series so who knows when I’ll sit down to pick up A Gathering of Shadows.

Solitaire by Alice Oseman
My rating: 4.5 / 5
I can understand why half of the reviews on Goodreads are bad but honestly, I loved it. Yes, I rolled my eyes at some things because obviously the characters are much younger than me and all but overall I really enjoyed reading the book. Contemporary lit is easy to read and I did appreciate the pop culture references. I think it was a very relatable book, I could relate to some of the things some characters experience in the book despite the age difference. That’s one thing that helped me be more attached to the characters and part of the story. It’s a perfect read if you find yourself in a reading slump (the worst thing ever for a reader), it’s quick and easy to read and fast paced!

Gleaming by Laia López
My rating: 5 / 5
A WONDERFUL BOOK. I've been following Laia on Instagram ever since she was a uni student and I've always loved her art and her drawing style. So, when she said she would release a book about her art I just HAD to get it. It's inspiring in a way to see how other people work and get to know what are their inspirations. There are some art pieces featured that were already on Instagram but there's plenty of others that are "exclusive" as well as some sketches, illustration processes and photos from the author’s travels which of course are accompanied by a piece or two of artwork.

I love the colour palettes, the different types of art techniques and also the paper quality. If I had to say something "bad" would be the lack of explanations sometimes about "how to" draw certain things but I think that wasn't the point of the book so it didn't really bother me that much. It's a book I will certainly come back to when I need some inspiration. Although I'll probably end up crying because I will never be this good at drawing.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
My rating: 3 / 5
Don’t be fooled by my rating, I don’t think it was a bad book. It's just that it wasn’t entirely my cup of tea. I will certainly be using some of the writing advice from the book especially the whole grammar and sentence/paragraph structure guidelines the author gives. But, I did skim through a lot of the passages, especially the ones where the author talked about his personal life and about how his career progressed and details about his own books. I just really wanted the writing advice. So, again, in my opinion, it is a good book, the advice is great especially if you want to write fiction (I don’t but will still benefit from this) but I was expecting more.

What books have you read in the past 3 months?

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