2019 Midyear Book Freak Out!

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I saw this type of post over on Anna’s Scones and Tomes blog and loved it. I thought it was a great way to review what you’ve read so far along with some other fun bookish themes. Since I loved it I figured I’d steal it and Anna was happy to let me thank fully!

Best book I’ve read?

So this was a bit of a tough decision, but I’m going to have to say The Wrong kind of Love by Lexi Ryan since my other one is already getting mention elsewhere hehehe. I got this one on NetGalley and I absolutely loved it. Enough to go and buy the rest of the series immediately!

Best sequel I’ve read?

Legends of Persia, Son of the Moon and Storms of Babylon definitely need to go here. I’ve LOVED this whole series and I honestly can’t wait to get more! Seriously! Go and read my reviews of the series then go and get them yourself!

What new release I haven’t read yet but want to?

Crazy for Your Love is the latest book in the series I mentioned before by Lexi Ryan. I’ve yet to buy and read this due to my ridiculous reading commitments this winter (northern hemisphere’s summer) so I’ll see how I go with getting around to that one!

What is my most anticipated new release for the second half of 2019?

There’s a few books I’m hoping are coming out later this year including:

  • If it’s Only Love by Lexi Ryan
  • A new series by A Gavazzoni
  • The sequel to The Concordat by Sean Heary

Biggest disappointment I’ve read?

The sequel to An Unconventional Affair, An Unconventional Affair: A Risk Worth Sharing. I’d been looking forward to this since I’d finished the first book and this one just really let me down. It wasn’t what I was expecting it to be and it felt like some of the character moves were made just to tick inclusion boxes rather than to add to the story in a meaningful way.

Biggest surprise I’ve read?

Probably After the Green Withered by Kristin Ward. Given it’s a Young Adult novel I expected it to be teenier and it actually wasn’t. It was deep, well thought out, complex and so relevant to so many environmental things going on at the moment.

You can also check out my interview with Kristin and my review of the sequel Burden of Truth.

Favourite new author I’ve read?

I’d have to say either Lexi Ryan or Kristin Ward. Both their books blew me away and had me grasping for more. While Zoe Ashwood was VERY close behind them!

Newest fictional crush I’ve read?

O this is easy! Seth from The Wedding Planner by Eve Devon! I just loved his kinda cocky but genuinely nice personality. It reminds me of my partner, but he sounds like he has a way better package than my man. Not that I’m complaining about my guy! My guy has a good 10 years on Seth so good luck to Seth holding onto that body when he’s almost 40!

Newest favourite character I’ve read?

My newest would probably be Maddie from The Secret Cove in Croatia by Julie Caplin. She’s so comfortable in her skin (even though it’s not the so-called perfect size), she can have fun and she doesn’t pretend to be anything or anyone other than who she is. That kind of self-acceptance is something we should all strive for, I think.

Book that made me cry reading it?

So, I’m not really a crier. Like, the Notebook didn’t make me cry even in that final scene where they die together and then you see the mouse/rat. But if anything, it was probably Probably The Best Kiss In The World by Pernille Hughes got the closest.

Book that made me happy reading it?

Spring Skies over Bluebell Castle by Sarah Bennett. Not only was it set in spring with all the flowers coming alive, relationships blossoming etc. It was just such a great feel good book, even with the obvious romantic blunder along the way.

Favourite book to movie adaption I saw?

So, I haven’t read the book yet, but it is on my TBR list, but Crazy Rich Asians. I didn’t actually get around to watching that until this year and I loved it. Like all my Asian friends (although most of them are Vietnamese…) loved this movie and wouldn’t stop raving about it that I had to keep reminding them not to spoil it for me. But yes, I did love this one and I can’t wait to (eventually) get around to reading it to see how it differs.

Favourite review I’ve written this year?

Depending on how you interpret this it could be either An Impossible Thing Called Love by Belinda Missen (she’s an Aussie and I wasn’t expecting that) for a few reasons or To the Stars and Back by Camilla Isley. Belinda’s was great from a personal perspective, while Camilla’s was so fun to write since I got a bit carried away with the puns and edited some of them out so it wasn’t too punny.

Most beautiful book I’ve bought?

O wow… Ok now this is going to be hard! Let me just go and check my bookself…So I’ve bought the Game of Thrones series (all nice covers) and had 7 books arrive from book boxes. None of them really jump out at me as being “pretty” or “beautiful” like I’ve seen with some books. But I’m leaning towards The Scoundrel in Her Bed by Lorraine Heath from my Swept Away book box.

What books do I need to read by the end of the year?

Fire and Blood, I started it to learn more about the Westerosi history so that it’d go well with my analysis of the TV show compared to the books (coming at some point in time in the future…hopefully before the next book comes out) and I really want to read the other sequel, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.

Well that’s my reading year so far. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what I’ve been up to so far this year. I’ve love to hear what your reading year has been like so please comment below!

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Why am I weird

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I was tagged by Emily the Book Nerd to do this tag. While I read Emily’s responses I thought it could be interesting but also hard to think up 10 things weird about myself (that I’m willing to share!). This tag was created by Delly on Twitter, you can also find them at their blog.

Why am I weird tag rules

  • List ten weird things about yourself, your life, or silly habits that you wouldn’t normally share
  • Tag up to ten people so you can get to know them better
  • Link back to the person who tagged you and the creator
  • Comment on the posts of people you tagged!

My ten weird facts are:

  1. So long as my neck isn’t having a bad day, I can lick my elbow. Yes, I know they say it’s impossible, but my partner can vouch for me that my ridiculously long tongue allows me to defy that rule.
  2. My maths skills are so bad I’ve significantly overpaid my credit card several times. Do you know how embarrassing it is to call your bank and be like “So I paid like $800 onto my credit card yesterday, can I have $700 of that back please? Why? O coz I can’t do maths and thought I owed $800….”
  3. My partner and I have been together for over 7 years now, been living together for almost 5 and still sleep in separate bedrooms. Why? Coz he snores and I don’t wanna deal with that crap! My sleep is SOOOO much better when I sleep alone! Don’t worry, I still love him, and we do spend weekends together, I just need my beauty sleep on work nights.
  4. I have a superpower. I don’t mean one of those flashy one’s where I can save the world. I mean one of those really practical ones that I’m sure everyone would love to have. For me, I can find a car park within like 2 minutes of looking. Even when it’s PACKED! True story. I now have to be the one to drive when we go Christmas shopping coz at least I can get us a park.
  5. I can have an entire conversation with you while I’m asleep. My partner hasn’t tried so I don’t actually know if I still do this. But I know I used to do it to my mum all the time when she’d come home from work and come in to say goodnight to me when I was growing up.
  6. I also used to sleepwalk to the point where my parents had to close every door between my room and a room with an alarm in it to stop me wandering into a room with an alarm. Coz who wants to be woken up at god knows what time of the night coz their kid slept walked? The worst part for them? I wouldn’t even wake up. I’d just wander on back to bed and leave them to get up to turn the alarm off.
  7. Up until like last year (when I turned 28) I kept getting ID’d when I’d try and buy alcohol which is like 8 years too long in my opinion. Note for my international readers: here in Australia the drinking age is 18.
  8. I’m following in my dad’s footsteps and going grey before I’ve reached 30. It actually started back when I was like 25 but my sister (also my hairdresser) and I kept pulling them out. But I think I’ve reached that critical point where I won’t be able to keep up with them popping up anymore.
  9. I was born and raised an only child but have two sisters. And no, they aren’t both step siblings. One of them was my sister from as soon as I was born, and we actually are related.
  10. I have jaundice which makes my skin look olive, but I can never get past golden when I tan. Also, fun fact. I only found out about the jaundice a few years ago, and only because my new doctor’s clinic uses the same pathology company as the doctor I went to growing up.

Ok well that’s 10 weird facts about me. I hope none of them were scary, and hopefully you got a few good laughs from them. Feel free to do this tag even if I don’t tag you coz it is kinda fun sitting here thinking up these facts!

Who am I tagging?

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Wrap Up – June 2019

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We have officially reached winter. That means lots of teas, hot chocolates (dairy and soy free for me) and fireside nights with lazy mornings in bed on the weekends. In a way I love this weather coz we get to have the fire going and just chill and not do anything.

But then on the other hand my asthma flares up, you lose motivation to exercise and overall just want to hibernate through to warmer weather. I know my hometown of Melbourne doesn’t quite get as cold as some other cities out there. But we’re the second coldest state in Australia and I go around in a ski jacket pretty much from May through to October.


My Fav

I think the Baobab Beach Retreat got a bit of a head start here since it’s coming into winter and I got to read about sunshine, beaches, lovely weather and a relaxing holiday while I’m stuck in weather that’s just getting colder and colder.

Not to mention I’m due for a holiday soon. Like a proper relax on the beach kind of holiday. So this one really took me away from my current cold climate and I loved that.


My Least Fav

I really didn’t need to think about this one. I just really didn’t enjoy The Bastard!

The blurb had such great promise that I requested it off Netgalley. Got approved and then it all just kind of fell apart.

I felt kind of like I’d been lied to and I hated it. All the promise of the suspense, the sexual tension. And then….nothing when I read it….

It just didn’t do it for me, sorry.


Whats coming up

Well I have more Rach Random Resources tours coming in July. I’m HOPING I can finally get the rest of the Circle Universe reviews out for you. Just depends on how productive I am getting those reviews written and artwork created.

I’ve also got a few discussion posts I’m preparing alongside another book series that I’ve read, written reviews for and have artwork ready to go. So you never know. I might give you those before the Circle Universe ones!


My 2019 Goals Update

Thanks to spending the first week of June in bed sick and basically not eating for a week (I promise I wasn’t hungry, I ate whenever I was hungry which just happened to be once a day for breakfast!) I lost 2kgs (YAY!) and even better. I’ve KEPT it off since getting better and eating normally again!

On another note. This one isn’t really a goal but I’m getting some kicks out of it. It turns out I’m following in my dads footsteps and going grey before I hit 30. Now all I gotta do is figure out how to dye my hair grey in a way that doesn’t look weird and gets me through the shitty “I’m trying to go grey but only in random hairs here and there” phase. I’m all for ageing gracefully and I’d be fighting a losing battle with the grey, so I might as well embrace it!

O also, I’m like 15 books ahead of my Goodreads book challenge but woefully behind on my Aussie Author challenge. I really need to pull out some of my Aussie author’s from my TBR pile.

I hope your June has been great and you’ll see me with new reviews over the next two days! That’s right! I’m kicking off the new financial year (yea in Australia our financial year starts July 1st, weird I know) with two reviews in a row!

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – can a stage production live up to my expectations?

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child first started performing like what, five years ago? And I finally got to see it for myself! YYYAAAYYY!!!!

The best part is that I didn’t even need to leave my home city. It started out on the West End in London in 2016 before opening on Broadway in New York a year ago. I can’t believe how lucky I feel that Melbourne, Australia was the latest to open.

I might have actually gone like a month ago, but I’ve finally found time to tell you about it. Man did my time get taken up with my assignments. Now I will #KeeptheSecrets because if any of you are planning to see it, I don’t want to ruin it for you.

What I love about this production is that they worked together with the theatre owner to refurbish the whole place. The little details they included were amazing. The H’s in the carpet, the dragon’s holding the lantern’s as if we’re in Hogwarts. It really made you feel as if you’d stepped into the magical world of Hogwarts.

Even the staff were amazing. Imagine walking in and having them taking your coat to the coat room before you even realise there is one. Kind of helpful like a house elf. When I ordered drinks for mum and I they asked if I wanted to order drinks for intermission so I wouldn’t have to line up. I mean talk about helpful and making sure I got the most out of my experience!

Even the production was great.

I read the screenplay back when it was released but the way they brought it alive was something else entirely. The little details they included, the facial expressions, the tone of voice. Even how they made stage changes between scenes into a performance of their own rather than a surreptitious change and movement of props.

At one point my mum got a fright because of how intricate, realistic and engaging the performance is. My sister’s advice to get seats in the stalls was definitely good advice! Even if the tickets are more expensive, it’s worth it! Seeing this live really did exceed all my expectations.

My advice to you? If you get an opportunity to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child live on stage. See it! I really hope the quality performance I experienced is replicated in every location this is brought to. It was amazing!

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Wrap Up – May 2019

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May has absolutely FLOWN by and I feel like I’ve achieved pretty much nothing. I’ve only read 5 books (although Outlander was a mammoth sized book and I’m halfway through another pretty big one…) and have barely made a dent in my assignments while fighting off a bad cold.

Pretty sure my body is rebelling and is forcing me to sleep and rest tomorrow but I’ll have to wait and see.


My Fav

I feel like I’ve gone on about this series a fair bit. But I’m just loving it! And I’m LOVING the fact that I’m getting spoiled with free copies in exchange for an honest review!

What more could a history, fantasy, romance loving bookworm want?

But seriously, go check out my review of Son of the Moon and the rest of the series!

FYI – the rest of the series includes The Road to Alexander and Legends of Persia (in reading order).


My Least Fav

Tuscan Enchantment is only the third book I can truly say I didn’t enjoy that Rach Random Resources offered on tour. Which was such a shame because I really do love historical sites, reading them described in different ways and learning something new about somewhere I want to go.

And the worst part is, if this book was set historically I think it could’ve been great because it sounded like the author’s natural writing style is best suited to that genre.


What’s coming up

The next few months are pretty much entirely tours. And since Rach Random Resources is my main source of tours, you’re going to be seeing a lot more of her stuff coming up!

She almost always picks great books and authors to promote though so I’m sure you’ll love the ones we have coming up!

I’m also going to need to spend probably the first half of June smashing out two assignments (well I guess it’s three but the third one is a reflection so doesn’t take quite as much effort) before getting a couple of weeks to chill out before the next unit starts. And I have already found a cool looking new wine bar that I reckon my partner and I could enjoy.

It even has craft beer and ribs for him. I mean, how else was I going to convince a beer lover to come to a swanky looking wine bar with me? O and coz it’s not too far from a bus stop we wont’t even need to compete for parking in an area that is awful to find parking in! Even for my parking goddess skills.

No joke, I can ALWAYS find a park, even when it’s Christmas mad shopping times. It’s weird but I love my super power!


My 2019 Goals Update

Short answer. There is none other than I’m now up to 38 books read for the year.

Also, I keep coming up with ideas for great discussion posts or series posts but then have no time to write them!! I promise one day I’l l get there!

And that’s a wrap for another month! I’ll see you on Monday for my first review for June!

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Wrap Up – April 2019

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OMG! This month has been CRAZY for me!

I thought it’d calm down after rushing to complete one unit and then doing the assessments for 2 others before 1st April so my qualification can stay up to date. But nope!

If anything I feel like April has been even worse what with my finishing off one unit (2x assessments) and starting the next one where I’ve had to do all the hard work (and incredibly boring elearns) for that assessment. Speaking of, I’m writing this as I SHOULD be writing up a report for my boss so I can finalise this assessment over the weekend since she goes on leave for a month next week and this is due in line 2 weeks! EEK!

I don’t think I can do a fav book this month…. I just loved (almost) all of them in different ways! I had a good month having so many positive reviews!


My Lease Fav

So I feel like this one is a little obvious given it was really the only one I gave a negative review to.

I loved how Brooklyn was going until the main character decided to cheat on her husband. I just don’t understand that and I don’t see how it added value or anything to the story.

It just made it end on a really bad note as far as I’m concerned.


What’s coming up

So as you might have noticed I’ve dropped off my series reviews (sorry, time just hasn’t been on my side this month) so I’m HOPING I can start those up again late next month. Otherwise I’ll get those up and running again for June.

I also have the Shift series reviews scheduled to be finished this month, otherwise who knows when they’d go up and I think Zoe deserves some credit for her writing and providing me ARCs of them to read and review!


My 2019 Goals Update

Well I guess the easiest to talk about is my weight. Still not budging but at least I can attribute this to muscle gain since I not only FEEL stronger. But I’ve also been able to increase my weights across the board which is awesome!

For example, last night I was doing dead lifts (2x 1min rounds with about 10ish reps per round) with 30kgs (half my body weight!) and 20kg bench presses (2x 1min rounds with about 10ish reps per round) when 4 months ago I was lucky do do 8kgs for both!

OK, reading goal. I’m up to 33 books read which is like half my goal! I might need to consider upping that goal lol! Am I feeling behind on my study because I read 11 books this month?

And time for me to move on and get my assignment report ready for my boss! Otherwise I can’t go to my boxercise class tomorrow and I want to go!!

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Wrap Up – March 2019

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O wow! We’re a quarter of the way through the year and my summer weather has officially started to break and turn colder. And yes I’ve turned my electric blanket on a few times this month to warm up my bed before getting in!

How am I going to cope in winter?!


My Fav

So this month it was a little bit more difficult to judge, but I think it needs to go to Trust the Wolf!

I really enjoyed this one and even ended up grabbing copies of the prequel (Bearly Married – you can get this free too if you sign up for her newsletter!) and the sequel (Truth or Bear I got as and ARC) to read during March.

So look out for those reviews coming in the next few months! I had to spread them out a bit due to other commitments but I am trying to bring them to you as quickly as possible!


My Least Fav

I want to preface this with the fact that I tried this genre for the first time, and I don’t think it’s for me. So please don’t hold this against the book coz it was actually really well written!

As I said, I don’t think Tom Stone: Day of the Dead is my jam. But I didn’t know that crime isn’t really my thing until reading this.

But please remember that it was well written, and I don’t think I had any major problems with the story itself.

It’s just the genre isn’t something that I found I was really looking forward to reading. And I don’t wana give the book a bad rep just coz it turns out I’m not a fan of that genre.


What’s coming up

I gotta say, I have had a KILLER month reading wise! I read a total of 8 books this month and I’ve started my 9th. But coz I wana get on top of my assignments before I start the next subject (I’m doing one after the other back to back with no break until mid year) I may have to dial back on the reading.

That means my Tamora Pierce series review is on a slight pause (unless by some miracle I get everything I want to get done by Monday morning!) so I can get a chance to write the next few. Sorry guys!


My 2019 Goals Update

Well my reading goal seems to be getting smashed. I’ve already read 22 books which puts me at 6-7 books ahead of schedule according to Goodreads. Let’s watch that dwindle as I take breaks to get assignments done!

I haven’t read any new Aussie Authors yet, so I will need to dig one out of my TBR pile I have yet to make any dent into. Damn you authors coming to me with interesting books!

Jokes, like actually jokes! But where are my Aussie authors?! Don’t any of you want me to read and review your books? I do it for free!

Finally, my weight! Well I think I managed to loose ALMOST 1kg….I have been exercising more, eating less etc so I hope it’s finally doing something. Coz I really wana be bikini ready by the time I go back to Vietnam in June/July.

Well that is me done for March. See you in April with another review fresh off the bat tomorrow!!

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Pottermore inconsistencies…did you see them?

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Genres: Fantasy

So I watched Fantastic Beasts (the latest one) a few weeks ago (finally!) and I had a few issues with it. I really need to talk about these coz I haven’t got anyone that I can talk to face to face about this so I’m putting it out to you all to discuss with me!

To start off with, let me list roughly what they are before I go into them.

  • Dumbledore’s age
  • McGonagall’s age
  • Grindelwald’s age
  • Nagini is a person?

Dumbledore’s age

I’m not one to complain about a fairly good looking guy being cast, and Jude Law does a good job of being attractive if you like posh, smarty pants Brittish guys. Since that’s not really my thing, I can appreciate that he’s good looking without being in love which clouds me to other aspects of his character.

In this case, it’s the fact that he looks like he’s about 35-45. Given that Harry Potter is set in the late 80s early 90s, and Fantastic Beasts is set in the 20s. Which means that by the time the Harry Potter movies are around he’s gotta be like…*pause while my brain desperately tries to do some maths….resorting to counting on my fingers*…over 100 easy.

Does that sound feasible to you?

Like I know they have magic, but that just seems a bit ridiculous even with magic. And I feel like (not that I’ve double checked) Dumbledore was pitched at about the 80-90 year old mark by the time Harry starts school. So how can this work?

BTW, with Scamander being an old student of his, it gives credibility to my thoughts that he’s like 35-45 by this movie.

McGonagall’s age

So this one was more like a fleeting look at her but again. She’d have to be close to 100 by the time Harry starts school. And I swear she’s described as being in her 50s or 60s in the Harry Potter books.

Which means she can’t have been born yet, or if she was, only just meaning she’d still be a tiny baby. So how the hell did she end up being in this?

From my memory of the Harry Potter books (I will admit it’s been a while since I’ve read them), it’s implied that Dumbledore taught her at school, which would mean that she’s not old enough to look kinda weathered yet in this movie.

Given my estimation of Dumbledore’s age in this movie, she can be at the most, like 20 years old. It just doesn’t work!!!

Grindelwald’s age

This one is bad enough that even my boyfriend who hasn’t read the books and can only say he’s seen the movies picked up on this one. With Johnny Depp’s character being entirely white haired my boyfriend turns to me and asks “I thought he’d be younger in this?”

My response? “Yea he’s only meant to be 3-4 years older than Dumbledore, so he should be around the 40 year old mark. But given his character was like 80 in the last Harry Potter movie he should be a baby now, not an older adult.”

This obviously backs up my point that Dumbledore should be much younger in this movie! So based on the information that by like 1995 Grindlewald should be about 80, that means in the 20s he should have been….10ish?

If Dumbledore is 3-4 yrs younger than Grindlewald he would be about 5ish. How is that old enough to be a teacher?

Nagi is a person?

What the hell? I thought if you turned into an animal (other than an animagus or a werewolf) then you couldn’t really be human again?

Like Hermione needed help from the nurse when she turned herself into a cat, and that took a few weeks to wear off. How is it then that Nagini has the same name as Voldermort’s snake which implies that she get’s stuck in snake form even after being turned into a human for a little bit from a polyjuice potion.

Which begs the fact, why couldn’t she talk as a human in the Deathly Hallows if she was originally a human?

If even the uneducated can pick up on these blatant issues. How the hell did they think they could get away with it?!

What are your thoughts on my issues with Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald?

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Wrap Up – February 2019

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Welcome back to another Wrap Up of another month. And yes I plan to keep these coming!

I have read 6 of the 8 books that got reviews this month while a friend of mine featured as a guest reviewer for Denise Drew’s children’s books. Of the 6 I reviewed, I yet again had another month of none of my TBR pile made it.

Unfortunately this month I had a few books that I just did not enjoy. Some of these I probably should have just DNF because i struggled so bad to finish them.


My Fav

This was a close tie with An Impossible Thing Called Love, but it just managed to scrape ahead.

The main reason for this came down to the idea of being forced to go technology free. I don’t really use social media to the same degree as is displayed in this story. But I still use my phone, laptops, TV etc on an almost constant basis.

So to read about someone having to go cold turkey from technology with no warning whatsoever was pretty interesting.

One of my favourite things about travelling, is the break from a lot of technology. But to not even be able to Google something when you get home, and learning to like it?

That’s amazing. And I hope I still have the capacity to enjoy being technology free to this level. At times.


My Least Fav

I’m sure this one comes as no surprise to anyone who read this review. I know we all have our own tastes as to what we enjoy reading.

But I struggle to understand how anyone would enjoy this one. Having sentences span more than a page just seems to be overkill that no one could like.

I mean, the blurb made it out to be a fantasy story. Which I love.

But this was just a guy getting high to the point where he thinks he’s talking to his cat.

Really not my cup of tea.


What’s Coming Up

So next month I will be returning to my normal posting schedule of my regular Monday reviews, and I’m hoping to have my series reviews starting up again on Friday’s.

You may also see a few more discussion posts coming out because I have a few idea’s I want to explore, share and discuss with you further. When you see these come up please comment because I want to know what you think!


My 2019 Goals Update

Well I haven’t made much progress on any of my goals, other than having read 8 books this month.

I haven’t managed to budge my weight at all. Although I seem to be making good progress on my overall fitness and strength. So that’s good! I even managed to lose a little bit around my waist even though my numbers haven’t changed.

I’ve also set up a few of my series reviews ready to go in March for your reading pleasure.

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