Wednesday, 2 March 2016

FEBRUARY READING WRAP UP



# of books read: 7.
Total # of pages read: 1845.
Genres: 1 YA Historical fiction, 2 YA Fantasy, 2 Graphic Novels, 1 YA Thriller, 1 Classic.
Gender of author: 4 Female, 3 Male.
Nationality of author: 1 New Zealand, 1 France, 1 USA, 3 UK, 1 Canada.

HOW THE HECK IS IT MARCH ALREADY?!

Okay, let's all calm down and forget that it feels like Christmas was about two weeks ago and just be happy that Spring is on it's way. Reading outside is almost possible again! I honestly can't wait.

I managed to read seven books this month which I'm really happy with because it means I'm kind of getting on target for my resolution of reading 85 books this year. I read a mixture of YA, graphic novels and a classic - so let's get going on the mini reviews!



The Raging Quiet by Sherryl Jordan | ☆☆☆☆
This was my TBR jar pick for the month. The Raging Quiet is a YA historical fiction which I first read when I was around 12, before YA was really a thing. It was one of the first non-kids books I'd read, apart from Jacqueline Wilson and I remember loving it at the time. I discovered it again last year when I was rearranging my bookshelves and decided that it deserved a re-read so I placed it on my TBR shelf, where it sat gathering dust, until I picked it up last month.

The Raging Quiet is set in the distant past, I don't think it ever states in the book when and where the narrative is set but it appears to be rural England somewhere around the 15th century. It is the story of Marnie, who marries a much older man to save her family from poverty, and moves away to a distant village where, after her husband's sudden death, the villagers instantly begin to mistrust her. Marnie's only friends are the local priest and an orphan boy who is called 'Raver' by the villagers, but whom Marnie soon realises is deaf. She renames him 'Raven' and begins to create a sign language in which to communicate with him. This leads to accusations of witchcraft from the villagers and a special connection between Marnie and Raven, whose only crime is that they are different.

I was surprised by how much I still enjoyed this book, even years later. The story was still just as absorbing and the setting so atmospheric, although as an older reader I did find the writing to be clunky in places and the narrative slightly uneven. However, I was able to overlook these small shortcomings and appreciate this as a beautiful novel about courage, strength and the trials and pleasures of being different.

In Search of Lost Dragons by Elian Black'Mor and Carine.M | ☆☆☆☆☆
This huge, beautiful hardback is a graphic novel which tells the story of an illustrator and explorer as he travels across the globe in search of lost dragons. It's made up of the notes and illustrations of the explorer, interspersed with maps, news clippings and various other things and is truly a work of art. I shared some of the pages from this graphic novel on my Instagram, so you can head over there to really see how beautiful it is. I really enjoyed poring over each and every page and am desperate to track down more work from these artists.

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang | ☆☆☆☆
This is another graphic novel, which I picked up in my library haul last month. It's a cute story about a gamer called Anda (great name!) who stumbles across the world of gold-farming whilst playing the MMORPG Coarsegold online. It was a really quick read and although I wish there had been more plot to it (I would totally read this as a series!), I absolutely loved the art style and the colour palette was gorgeous. It's a sweet story about gaming, morality and culture-clash and I'd recommend it to anyone.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo | ☆☆☆☆.5
I finally finished the Grisha trilogy! Woohoo! I started this YA fantasy series a year ago with the first two books and only got around to finishing it last month. I was a little worried about this last book as I know so many people were disappointed by it but I'm pleased to say that I really loved it! I thought the ending was perfect! It was well-thought out and really made sense in terms of the series as a whole. There were a couple of tiny character-related aspects that I think could've been tied up a bit better but apart from that I loved it. It was fast-paced, action-packed and really tugged at the heartstrings. Ruin and Rising is a great ending to a great series and I really recommend that you pick it up if you haven't already!

Tinder by Sally Gardner | ☆☆☆☆☆
This is another book that I picked up in my library haul after hearing a lot of bookish people talking about it and I'm so glad I did. Tinder is a YA retelling of Han's Christian Anderson's fairytale The Tinder Box, and unlike the many fairytale retellings (think disney) Tinder recreates the strange and creepy atmosphere of traditional fairytales. It's packed with witches, princesses, wolves and death and Sally Gardner weaves a tale of love, greed, magic and mystery with her hauntingly beautiful writing. The breathtaking illustrations by David Roberts enhance the atmosphere and spine-chilling beauty of Sally Gardner's narrative and together they make a stunning book. I loved this so much and can't believe I have to return it to the library, I'm going to need this incredibly book in my collection!

Moth Girls by Anne Cassidy | ☆☆☆☆
Yet another library book, Moth Girls is a YA thriller about two young best friends who entered a creepy old house on a dare and vanished. Five years later, their friend Mandy, who refused to go into the house with them, is still dealing with their disappearance. Her reminiscence soon starts to stir up disturbing details that might lead to clues about the missing girls.

I absolutely powered through this book in a couple of sittings as I just had to find out what happened. The writing was addictive and the characters were well-drawn and intriguing. Moth Girls is a gripping story with a fast-paced, character-driven plot and I really enjoyed it. If you're looking for a compelling, slightly disturbing mystery-thriller then I'd definitely recommend this.

Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee | ☆☆☆☆
Finally, I finished up my reading month with my February pick for the 2016 Classics Challenge, Cider With Rosie. I won't say too much about this book as I've already done a full review for the challenge which you can read here. Cider With Rosie is a memoir about Laurie Lee's childhood years in the rural Gloucestershire village of Slad and I really enjoyed the sense of nostalgia evoked by Lee's beautiful descriptive prose.

What did you read in February?

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