Monthly Round Up

Introduction

Welcome to the first of my monthly round ups with the lovely Josh over at http://www.joshbates.co.uk. Each month we’ll be bringing you a collaboration like no other as we chat about the books we’ve read this month and what we’re looking forward to in the upcoming ones.

I became friends with Josh after we exchanged several emails when he interviewed me for his website. After a few conversations about what we both wanted from our sites it became apparent that it would make sense to run a project together, so here we are!

 

Leonie’s Wrap Up: 

This month I’ve read 20 books. Some good, some not so good, so without further ado, lets get into it!

Keys to the Kingdom seriesThe Keys to the Kingdom by Garth Nix 

The first books I read this month were the final 5 in The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix. Namely; Drowned Wednesday, Sir Thursday, Lady Friday, Superior Saturday & Lord Sunday. They follow the story of a young boy called Arthur Penhaligon who unwittingly becomes the heir to The House at the centre of the universe. They’re really fun books to read and have a lot of magic & adventure in them. 


A Secret Garden by Katie Fforde was next on my list. I love Katie’s writing but didn’t really enjoy this one as much as usual. It follows two characters Lorna & Philly who discover a Secret Garden, and with it, true love. The romance was unfortunately a little dead in this one but I’m full of faith that Katie will pick up again in her next novel. 


The Bear & the Nightingale by Katherine Arden is a dark YA novel based on Russian fairytales. You can read my full review here: http://ow.ly/tzaU30bkrNC


Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott is an exciting new fantasty/sci-fi debut and you can get my full review here: http://ow.ly/O6Be30bks0v


Descent by Katie O’Sullivan is a fantasy tale about the son of a mermaid. You can get my full review here: http://ow.ly/ouVT30bkscQ


The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards is a crime thriller. Full review here: http://ow.ly/4egH30bksAM
The House by Simon Lelia is another crime thriller to tingle the spine. Full review here:  http://ow.ly/X1Q430bksOl 


Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty. Full review here: http://ow.ly/hi9H30bkt0m

Moroda by LL McNeil is a debut fantasy with fantastic world building. Full review here: http://ow.ly/C5V530bkt9z


A Mask of Shadows by Oscar De Muriel is the third in the Frey & McGrey series and you can check out my full review here: http://ow.ly/svoY30bkHTe


Caraval by Stephanie Garber could have been a lot better, I was expecting more from this but it lacked world and character building. Read my full review: http://ow.ly/x1NA30bkLpy


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor is one of the best books I’ve read in a longtime. Not that I expected any less from the woman who brought us Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Read my review here: http://ow.ly/fOUC30bkLyJ
 


 Witch Child and Sorceress were my nostalgic reads for the month and so different when reading them back as an adult and understanding the themes and concepts more. You can read my review which talks a lot about the theme of race here:  http://ow.ly/EWqi30bl9aV


Locked In by Kerry Wilkinson is a book I started a couple of years ago and didn’t finish but my grandma loves the series and promises me it will get better so I’m persevering! I still wasn’t hugely impressed by Book 1 but we’ll see how I go… 


Blackbird & Still Waters by Jennifer Lauck were my recommended reads of the month and were recommended by my friend Sasha at work. They’re non-fiction true life stories and they were surprisingly enjoyable. Good quality writing and an interesting if heart wrenching storyline! 

This month I’m most looking forward to reading Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth & Wintersong by S Jae Jones. 

Don’t forget that if you’d rather watch my wrap up than read it, you can check out my April Wrap Up on my Booktube channel here: http://ow.ly/act530bl9Mu

  Intro:
Each month me and the lovely Leonie plan to write about our monthly book reads.

I became friends with Leonie after an exchange of e-mails during the process of writing an article about her for my blog. Please subscribe (if you haven’t already) to her wonderful channel here:

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCs0_TWR_r0SPVlVdT7UV9hg

Josh’s Diary:

I’m quite a slow reader. It takes me a long time to read . But I didn’t do too badly this month. So let’s have a look at the books I read:


I started the month reading “Goldfish Boy” by Lisa Thompson. I’ve never cried so much reading a book before. It really touched me on so many levels. I liked every character in the book. The book covers the topic of family, friendship and hope. The messages in the book are very positive. A book about OCD sounds dark and heavy but Lisa Thompson writes on this subject with great insight, skill and sensitivity. Very highly recommended.


I then read “Call Me Sunflower” by Miriam Spitzer Franklin. It was an enjoyable read. I read the book in under a day. Children’s books are easy and simple to read. This book also touched on issues around identity, family and friendship.

The final two books – “Rez Runaway” by Melanie Florence and “School Monitor” by Alex Dunn didn’t impress me.


“Rez Runaway” tells the story of Seventeen year old Joe Littlechief who is raised on an Indian reserve. He lives with his Mother who is a devout christian. Joe makes a drunken pass at his best friend and he is driven out of the Rez. The frantic pace led me to feeling breathless and disoriented. Very Short chapters crammed in too much detail.


I found “School Monitor” by Alex Dunn very disturbing and unpleasant. The violent scenes ranging from punching, kicking, spitting and attempted drowning – made me feel sick. The messages and morals in the book seemed totally inappropriate. The ending was deeply unsatisfying.

Leonie introduced me to Netgalley this month. I also discovered some lovely bookish goodies which I might treat myself too soon.

Thanks for checking out our first Monthly Round Up, we hope you’ve been able to take something from our mini reviews either good or bad, and we look forward to sharing with you in the future! 

Lots of love 

Leonie & Josh 

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