2018 Reading in Review.

From Goodreads:

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So as you can see I read a whopping 61 books over the course of this year, which is crazy! This year I decided to use a spreadsheet to create some stats about my reading so that I can reflect back on the year.

Firstly, I read mainly female authors than male authors.
author gender

I read authors that were mainly from the UK, but this year I did branch out and read books by authors from a variety of other countries.

nationality

I read mainly paperback books.

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Of which the main genre was children’s fiction.

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And finally, the most surprising, is that I rated most of the books I read 3 stars!

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It’s been an interesting year for reading. Bring on 2019!

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December Wrap Up/Reviews

Sorry this is late! For some reason my internet doesn’t like WordPress. 😛

Anyway, here are the books I read in December, and my reviews of them so I apologise for the length of this post. Let’s get started!
The first book I finished in December was Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman .

I gave it 4/5 stars, it was an enjoyable read.

The next book I read in December was The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.
Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This book was heartbreaking but oh so important and rightly so, I gave it a full 5 stars!

The next book I read in December was The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory and I gave this book 3/5 stars.

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Review: This novel focuses on Margaret Pole, Countess of Sailsbury. Cousin of Elizabeth of York, niece of Edward IV and Richard III, governess to one of the most notorious Kings, Henry VIII, all with a claim to the English throne as a Plantagenet heir.

However, with the rise of the Tudor dynasty, can Margaret remain a friend to the throne?

I know a lot abut the Tudors, so I know what happened to Margaret. The thing I like about Gregory’s books is they give a voice to women in history.

As Margaret ages as the novel progresses, as does her voice, with the way she speaks about her losses, triumphs and emotions change, but not too much. Even though it changes, her voice is consistent.

I liked this book, I felt like I learnt new things and it was interesting to hear about Henry VIII through the eyes of someone who has known and cared for him her whole life. Even though it is fictional, the fact the story is based on real history meant it felt real.

So it hurt to see Henry turn against Margaret.

Overall its a good book if you like historical fiction and I would recommend it.

 

The final book I read in December is Phoenix Awakens by Eliza Nolan. I gave it 2.5/5 stars.

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Review: Julia keeps having strange dreams- they seem to be real, but what do they mean? The answer comes when a new girl, Clara, and her older brother Graham, arrive at Julia’s school.

Obviously, Julia starts crushing on Graham.

I admit, despite the cliche and predictable moments, I found the story interesting, so I got through the book quite quickly so I could see how it ends, and also to see if there was an explanation about what happened to Julia.

It wasn’t the ending I was expecting but this is the first book in a series. As much as I enjoyed the book, it didn’t inspire me to pick up the other books in the series. Supernatural fiction isn’t really a genre I’m drawn to.

I did like the characters and the writing style, so this book was really easy to read. Overall, it was a good book with an interesting premise but I felt it follow a lot of similar tropes to other supernatural romance novels. At least other ones I have read. I wish there had been a bit more of a focus on Julia’s powers rather than her backstory.

And that is all I read in December!

Thanks for reading!

~Katie

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Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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Read between: 8th-19th December
Format: Paperback
Published: 6th April
Publisher: Walker Books
How did I get it? Library loan

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Rating: ef735-star5

Review:

Police brutality and the Black Lives Matter are important- and this book uses them to raise awareness, when 16 year old Starr witnesses her friend get shot by a police officer, before finding herself looking down the barrel of a gun.

What happens next is a fight for justice that is an emotional rollercoaster for Starr and her family..

As a white British person, I can’t relate to the story in an emotional way because it is extremely unlikely to happen to me, but I still feel like this book was important, and by reading it, I was able to educate myself about the problems that African American teenagers have to face.

I’d be terrified.

I liked this book. Starr’s story is very different to what I usually read, mainly because the protagonist tend to be white….but it is also based on very real events. Although the story wasn’t the happiest, I admire Starr’s strength and her courage to speak out.

I couldn’t put myself in her shoes, but there were moments in the book that were really difficult to read due to the content, for example, when the father of the police officer made him look like the victim. It made me angry, and that’s why this story is so good at making people aware of the situation.

I would recommend this book to everyone. It’s a good story and the meaning behind it is a powerful one. It definitely made me think.

Overall I sped through this book! It’s a story I will definitely be thinking about for a while.

5/5 stars!

Heartfelt.
Important.
Please read it.

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

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Read between: 15th November- 8th December
Format: ebook
Published: 18th May 2017
Publisher: Harper Collins.
Where did I get it?- Netgalley!

Synopsis: No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .

The only way to survive is to open your heart.

Rating: Related image

Review:

This book started off really slow but once I got into the story I started to enjoy it!

Eleanor Oliphant is a very peculiar character but in some ways, she is also very relatable. I can see why this book had so much hype, despite the trigger warnings of abuse, suicide and depression, I think it’s a book for everyone.

I liked the mystery surrounding Eleanor. Honeyman manages to write the reveal of her life in a way that I was genuinely shocked. I am glad we were told though, because I’m a curious person and it would have bugged me trying to come up with my own theories.

I was disappointed that there was no romance between Eleanor and Raymond though, That would have ended the story nicely in my opinion.

Overall its a well thought out story about a woman trying her best to get through life. Thank you Netgalley for letting me read the book- although this review is really late! I ended up really liking it.

4/5 star.

Slow to start with but once you are eased into the story it’s brilliant. I’d recommend it.

Thanks for reading!

~Katie

 

Book Review: Light Years by Kass Morgan

(This is a late review because I’ve been incredibly busy! Really sorry! I will try and get on top of it!)

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Read between: 2-10th November
Format: Paperback
Published: 9th October 2018
Publisher: Little Brown
Where did I get it? Illumicrate.

Synopsis: Reeling from the latest attack by a mysterious enemy, the Quatra Fleet Academy is finally admitting students from every planet in the solar system after centuries of exclusivity.

Hotshot pilot Vesper, an ambitious Tridian citizen, dreams of becoming a captain – but when she loses her spot to a brilliant, wisecracking boy from the wrong side of the asteroid belt, it makes her question everything she thought she knew. Growing up on the toxic planet Deva, Cormak will take any chance he can get to escape his dead-end life and join the Academy – even if he has to steal someone’s identity to do it. Arran was always considered an outsider on icy Chetire, always dreaming of something more than a life working in the mines. Now an incoming cadet, Arran is looking for a place to belong – he just never thought that place would be in the arms of a Tridian boy. And Orelia is hiding a dark secret – she’s infiltrated the Academy to complete a mission, one that threatens the security of everyone there. But if anyone finds out who she really is, it’ll be her life on the line.

These cadets will have to put their differences aside and become a team to defend their world from a cunning enemy – but the danger might be lurking closer to home than they think…

Rating:

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Review: A boarding school come military camp for young people- in space. The five main characters in the book all have their own reasons for being there and we learn what these are through the different view points- but it’s not an overload.

This book was as action packed as an sci-fi book should be; spaceships, simulators and maybe the odd space attack!

I really liked this book, I like sci-fi, but its always good to read something jam packed. In terms of characters, I ended up being the most surprised by Vespa. She’s made out to be snobby and stuck up due to her mother’s rank at the academy, when really, she’s just a normal girl trying to succeed.

I’ve never read anything by Kass Morgan before- and apart from the amount of viewpoints, I like her writing style. Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book. It’s got a lot, but then it needs it. It’s an adventure!

There’s also a really cute gay romance that I’m still shipping!

4/5 stars.

Fast paced and fun.

Thanks for reading!

~Katie

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Trials of a Trainee Teacher- First week back!

I’m so late with posting these as I’m really busy with an assignment at the moment . That being said, the first week back was a pretty fun week as it was themed around fireworks considering the children went back on November 5th. I’m doing a lot of TA jobs as well as teaching which is really helping me build up my classroom presence.

Even though I really didn’t want to be there on Monday due to events that happened over half term.

I did teach Maths this week though and as it’s the subject I am the least confident in I feel like I did pretty well! My mentor wasn’t in school the day I was teaching though but the teacher in the class that day gave me some positive feedback.

Next week I’m aiming to be teaching a lot more because I’ve got a week off from the 19th to focus on essay writing.

Having a week off for half term really pulled my out of sync but I’m back on the game and I’m ready to continue my training!

October Wrap-Up.

So it’s 10 days into November and I haven’t posted my October Wrap-Up!

So, without further ado, here it is! I read 3 books in October, and finished 1 that I started in September. Those four books are:

  • The Journey by Annelie Wendberg, the third book in the Anna Kronberg series. I gave this book 4/5 stars and my review is here: Book Review: The Journey by Annelie Wendeberg. (Anna Kronberg #3)
  • Candyfloss by Jacqueline Wilson- I read this for my university course, as part of a list of small reviews on children’s books. I really enjoyed it and gave it 5/5 stars.
  • Rebel’s blade by Frost Kay- I read this book knowing nothing about it and ended up liking it. I gave it 3.5/5 stars and my review is here: Book Review: Rebel’s Blade by Frost Kay
  • The Last Polar Bears by Harry Horse. I read this for the same reason that I read Candyfloss and I gave it 5/5 stars.

What did everyone else read in October?

Thanks for reading!
~Katie
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