Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Rating – 5/5

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief – 4/5

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters – 3.75/5

Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse – 4.5/5

Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth – 3.5/5

Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian – 4.5/5

I managed to pick this series up for £12 from Amazon a couple of months ago after feeling an urge to reread them after owning them when I was 11/12. I’d seen a lot of love for the Heroes of Olympus series so I decided to give Percy Jackson a reread so that I can continue with Rick Riordan’s books. I was a little worried going into them that I would find them a little childish as they are children’s/middle-grade books but I absolutely adored them!

Percy Jackson is such a wonderful character with such a unique voice and I really enjoyed reading from his perspective. The books follow Percy from age 12-16 so we get to see his character develop throughout the 5 books, as well as in each individual book. The other characters we are introduced to are also wonderful – Annabeth is definitely one of my favourite characters and I adore Grover too! I won’t talk about any other characters as we are introduced to so many throughout the course of the series but there are some characters introduced in the later books that are also favourites of mine!

These books are so funny which is what really made them stand out for me. Humour is something that I think is very difficult to get right in books or is often not seen at all but these books are guaranteed to make you laugh out loud! There are also some hidden depths to this series regarding family and absent parents, alongside friendship and loss which is dealt with really well.

Greek mythology has always been something that has interested me and Rick creates a world that is so easily accessible – you are learning whilst enjoying a humorous, fast-paced story. I think all children should be introduced to these books but I also think that no matter what age you are, you are guaranteed to get something from this story. I highly recommend picking this series up and I can’t wait to read the Heroes of Olympus series!

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What I read in October…

I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone! I had a much better reading month in October than I did in September and I read some really good books. As usual, I have marked books with an asterisk which I have spoiler-free reviews for.

*Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – 3/5 – I have a series review for the Grisha trilogy but Ruin and Rising was my favourite of the 3 books.

*It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne – 5/5 – I loved this book so much! Holly is one of my favourite authors and I highly recommend this book!

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan – 4/5 – I read this series when I was around 11/12 and decided to give it a reread so I can read Rick’s other series and I’m really enjoying myself!

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin – 4/5- this is such a unique story and I can’t wait to (hopefully) read the sequel next month.

*All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater – 3.5/5 – definitely not my favourite of Maggie’s books and it took me a while to get into but I enjoyed it by the end.

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland – 3/5 – I found this book to be quite similar to other YA contemporary I have read so I didn’t love it.

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan – 4/5 – I don’t think this book is as good as the first one but it’s still brilliant. Percy has such a strong voice and I love reading about his adventures.

*Freshers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison – 4.5/5 – I can’t believe how long it took me to read this book but I’m so glad I’ve finally read it. Please please please read this book!!

What books have you read this month and what are you excited to read in November?!

Freshers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Rating – 4.5/5

“Uni beckons. Phoebe can’t wait, especially since her crush from school will be there. But Luke’s oblivious, still reeling from the fallout of the break-up with his ex. Thrown head first into a world of new friends, parties and social media disasters – can Phoebe and Luke survive the year, let alone find each other?”

I can’t believe how long it’s taken me to read this book! I’ve seen nothing but glowing reviews and I’d like to add another one to the pile.

My freshers experience was nowhere near as dramatic and exciting as this but this book was still so relatable. I loved the dual perspective as it allowed us to experience two quite different university experiences. I think any university student can relate to the feelings of doubt that Luke experiences, especially in regards to second year housing!

I really loved both of our protagonists. Phoebe was so cool and I adored the friendship between her, Frankie and Negin. I laughed aloud at all their antics and poor Phoebe’s embarrassing moments. I think Phoebe and her friends joining the Quidditch Society was the highlight of the book for me and I wish I’d had the confidence to join a random society when I was a fresher! Even though Luke was a bit of an arse at times, I still really adored his character. His feelings of loneliness are relatable to any fresher and I really liked how he questioned what was going on with the football team, even though he didn’t try and do anything about it. Although it could be seen to only be a small part of the story, I think the Becky plotline is so important and what makes this book stand out.

I highly recommend reading this book whether you have been a fresher, are going to be a fresher, or don’t plan on going to university at all, I think there is something in this book for everyone

All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

Rating – 3.5/5

“Here is a thing everyone wants: a miracle. Here is a thing everyone fears: what it takes to get one. Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado, is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars. At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saints of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo. They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.”

I had really high expectations for this book as Maggie Stiefvater has been one of my favourite authors for years and it is her books that got me into reading YA. However, when this book was announced, I saw a lot of people were angry and disappointed with some of the language used and the representation they discovered. This worried me as I didn’t want to support a book that was harmful to others but I also knew I needed to read it and form my own opinion, keeping in mind what I had learned from other people.

Maggie is known for her beautiful, whimsical, flowery language which I usually don’t like but have enjoyed in her other books. Unfortunately, I don’t know if it is because I haven’t read anything by her in a while, the language seemed very exaggerated and was a little too much for me and I found it slowed down my reading which affected my enjoyment of the story. This book is only just over 300 pages long but it took me a number of days to finish as I found the language rather difficult to read and get my head around.

Maggie’s characters are some of my all-time favourites and I hold a special place in my heart for Sam Roth (Shiver) and Ronan Lynch and Adam Parrish (The Raven Cycle). I didn’t feel a connection with any of the characters in this book. I much preferred the secondary characters of the Pilgrims to the main characters but I still didn’t love them.

I found myself enjoying the story much more towards the end which is why upped my rating from a 3/5 to a 3.5/5 but this is by no means my favourite Stiefvater book. I will still read her books in the future but I wouldn’t recommend this book over her others. I would recommend however, checking out other reviews which talk about the representation in the book.

It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne

Rating – 5/5

Bookmark by Fiction Tea Designs

“When Audrey meets Harry, it’s the start of a truly cinematic romance – or is it? Audrey knows that Harry is every movie cliché rolled into one. But she still chooses to let him into her heart…”

It Only Happens in the Movies was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Holly Bourne is one of my favourite authors and she has never disappointed. Her books always make me laugh and cry and fill me with a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from reading a truly wonderful book.

I loved how funny and feminist this book was. Audrey’s rants about cliché romance movies left me laughing aloud but also gave me a new perspective on the films I can’t help but enjoy. It was hilariously honest and there are so many quotes that leave me giggling to myself whenever I think of them. I adored the friendship that blossomed between Audrey and Harry, and the relationship that followed as Audrey always stayed true to herself which is what I loved most about the ending. Whilst this book is light and funny, with zombie movies and charming boys, it also deals with family and all the ugly parts of divorce and second families, a startling contrast between the cheesy romance movies that Audrey’s life seems to revolve around. I do wish we had seen a little more of Audrey’s friends as they seemed to be such a cool girl group that I would love to be a part of! Holly writes such wonderful, relatable female characters that you just can’t help but want to be friends with!

I really loved this book and I highly recommend reading it (and any other book by Holly Bourne!) I already can’t wait to reread this book! (Also, how cool would this be as a movie?!)

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

3/5

Shadow and Bone – 3/5

Siege and Storm – 3/5

Ruin and Rising – 3/5

I finally read the Grisha trilogy! But unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. I hold my hands up – I did read Six of Crows before reading this trilogy which I know affected my enjoyment of the series. Six of Crows is one of my favourite reads of the year, it’s intense and passionate so I knew this trilogy would have to be outstanding to make me love it as much.

What let this trilogy down for me was the characters. I had no connection with any of them, and I honestly didn’t really like any of them (except Nikolai who was wonderful). As incredible as the world is that Leigh Bardugo has created, not liking the characters really affected my enjoyment of the series as I didn’t care what happened to them. There were also so many characters that it was sometimes difficult to keep track of who was who.

I enjoyed Shadow and Bone but I did rush through it a little as I had two exciting new releases waiting to be read that I was eager to get to. I found myself in a reading slump whilst reading Siege and Storm so I didn’t love this book but I enjoyed Ruin and Rising and read it in a couple of days.

I do recommend reading this series as the world building is incredible – it’s hard to believe it isn’t real! I also recommend reading this series before Six of Crows – it isn’t necessary as none of the characters from the trilogy are in the duology but I think it would help you understand and enjoy the world even more.

What I read in September…

Hi everyone! I’m finally posting my September wrap-up. I didn’t have a very good reading month in September which may be why it has take me so long to write this wrap-up but I’ve finally done it! I read 6 books in September which is a big drop from the 16 books I read in August and most of the books I read were rather average. I have full spoiler-free reviews for the books marked with an asterisk (I have a review for the Grisha trilogy as a whole so I’ve marked Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm with an asterisk but the review is for the trilogy as a whole!).

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord – 4/5 – I liked this book a lot, it was a cute contemporary but it was a lot like other books I’ve read which is why I gave it 4/5.

*Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – 3/5 – I found it really average compared to Six of Crows which I loved.

*The Loneliest Girl in the Universe – 5/5 – a thrilling journey which kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved this book!

*They Both Die at the End – 5/5 – I cried a lot which is unsurprising for an Adam Silvera book. I highly recommend this book!

*Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo – 3/5 – the book that put me in a reading slump so I don’t have a lot of love for it.

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood – 4/5 – a retelling of The Tempest with a twist. I loved this story and I love Margaret Atwood.

Let me know in the comments what books you read in September!