O.W.Ls Readathon

I saw a little about the O.W.Ls readathon towards the end of it back in April on Twitter, but as it was mostly over, I just shrugged it off.  I now know, through Mel & Kelly‘s TBRs, that it’s running again in July, ready for the N.E.W.Ts readathon in August, so I definitely want to take part this time around.  The idea was started by Book Roast who is a Youtuber, and the aim is to read books which fit certain criteria for Hogwarts subjects. Subjects you pass can then be continued at N.E.W.T. level later on.

To get an Outstanding you need to complete 5 or more OWLs, so I’m aiming for that at least. I’m hoping to tick off as many as possible, so I have more options in August, but we’ll see where we get to!


Planned TBR:

Progress:

 

Total OWLs passed: 10

#SeasonalSeries Readathon – Final results

Sorry I’ve been so absent – I haven’t been around much at all since I posted to say I was joining the Seasonal Series readathon back in March! I’ve been moving house and pretty much getting lost in wedding preparations, but I have still been reading, even if it hasn’t necessarily been very targeted to the readathon.  Here’s the progress I made, however accidentally, on the readathon.

Spring Tasks

1. take a walk while listening to an audiobook – The Boy on the Bridge – COMPLETE
2. read a book while drinking lemonade – Our Dark Duet – COMPLETE
3. read the first book in a series – The Darkest Minds – COMPLETE
4. try to unhaul a book you’ve lost interest in – Several! – COMPLETE
5. read a book that’s been on your shelves way too long – Our Dark Duet – COMPLETE
6. read with rain in the background -> real rain or sounds – The Outcast – COMPLETE
7. read a book with pink on the cover – Beneath the sugar sky – COMPLETE
8. read a book from a middle grade series
9. read a series with a new book coming out in 2018 – A Torch Against the Night – COMPLETE
10. read a book of a series where the parents of the MC aren’t dead – The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue – COMPLETE
11. read a book with character growth – The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue – COMPLETE
12. read a book while eating chocolate – I mean probably most, but we’ll go with Black Widow: Forever Red – COMPLETE
13. Free Space: read any book of a series – Working for Bigfoot – COMPLETE
14. read a book where only the first book of a series is out – The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue – COMPLETE
15. read a book set in the real world – Leah on the Offbeat – COMPLETE
16. read a book with a spring colors on the cover – Beneath the sugar sky – COMPLETE
17. finish a duology – Our Dark Duet – COMPLETE
18. use a flower as a bookmark
19. read a book with great friendship – Belgarath the Sorcerer – COMPLETE
20. read the second book in a series – Authority – COMPLETE
21. read a book while sitting outside – A Court of Forst & Starlight – COMPLETE
22. read a book that is (partly) set in spring – Belgarath the Sorcerer – COMPLETE
23. read a book with green on the cover – Authority – COMPLETE
24. read a book that includes an animal – The Extinction Trials – COMPLETE
25. read a book under 300 pages – Fairest – COMPLETE

Total: 23/25
Bingo? YES (multiple directions!)

Series progress during the challenge:

  • A Torch Against The Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2, up to date)
  • The Boy on the Bridge (The Girl with All the Gifts #2, up to date)
  • Authority & Acceptance (Annihilation #2 & #3, up to date)
  • Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3, up to date)
  • Leah On The Offbeat (Creekwood #2, up to date)
  • Fairest (Lunar Chronicles #3.5, 1 book left in series)
  • A Court of Frost & Starlight (A Court of Thorns & Roses #3.1, up to date)
  • The Outcast (Summoner #4, up to date)
  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue (Guide #1, up to date)
  • Working for Bigfoot (The Dresden Files #15.5, 1 book left in series)
  • The Extinction Trials & The Extinction Trials: Exile (Extinction Trials #1 & 2, up to date)
  • Black Widow: Forever Red (Black Widow #1, 1 book left in series)
  • The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1, 2 books left in series)

A Thousand Perfect Notes (C. G. Drews)

A Thousand Perfect Notes (C. G. Drews)A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews
Published by Orchard Books on June 7th 2018
Pages: 300
Goodreads

An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music - because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?

Plot: ★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Readability: ★★★★

Okay, you’re probably sick by now of me saying “I don’t really read contemporary but…”, but honestly, the stats back this up, only 10% of my reading last year was contemporaries.  (Does this mean I’m more likely to write a review for a contemporary because I don’t expect to like it? I mean maybe, but that’s a whole other post). Anyway, the reason I’m starting with this is because yet again I’ve read a contemporary and been pleasantly surprised!

A Thousand Perfect Notes is written by C.G. Drews, who in case you don’t know, is Cait of paperfury.com (who I am regularly astounded by), so I had a few expectations about the book when I picked it up – largely that it wouldn’t be a fluffy, light read, that it would try and stomp on my emotions and that it would almost certainly contain cake.  Safe to say, A Thousand Perfect Notes lived up to all of those expectations.  Beck’s story is dark, and twisted, and full of scenes that will tug on your heart-strings or infuriate you on his behalf (or, frequently, both).  Beck is miserable – he hates playing the same musical parts over and over again, and he hates the way his mother treats him.  This could easily become a depressing story, but it somehow never does.

Cheerfulness is irritating, but it suits some people. Some people are born for sunlight and orange peel smiles and running on the beach and wild flowers in their hair.

The characters are interesting: from Beck himself, to August, who’s so cheerful, and kind but also opinionated, impulsive and generally super enthusiastic about life, the universe and everything.  I think one of the main reasons Beck’s story doesn’t get depressing is because he has a little sister called Joey who’s like a little ball of adorable, insane, darkly twisted child, and is definitely my favourite character.

August did feel a little bit manic pixie dreamgirl to me at times, and she fell into stereotypes at times which irritated me a bit.  The romance side was predictable, which didn’t bother me, but Beck’s interest in August picked up just a little quicker than I would have liked.

 Chocolate is a substance worth existing for.

The story is quite dark and twisted, and if you like authors like Christina Henry or A.G. Howard but wish their stories were a little more based in the real world, this would be a perfect fit for you. your stories more real-world, I imagine you’ll like this.  If I’m totally honest, my primary interest in A Thousand Perfect Notes came from being curious about the author, more than the premise, and if this were a book by an author I’d heard nothing about and stumbled across by accident, it’d be 50/50 as to whether I’d pick it up.  For me to then fly through in a few days says a lot about Drews’ writing style and skill.  The snarky, funny writing voice we see from paperfury shines through really well without ever being overpowering or too much.  She somehow blends that down-to-earth tone with some beautiful writing, and similies and metaphors that remind me a little of Laini Taylor’s beautiful writing style.  While there were a couple of occasions when it got a bit too flowery for me, generally Drews’ writing is definitely a style I could see myself reading more of, and I’ll be waiting anxiously for some of her fantasy-based books, which will be more up my alley!

One StarOne StarOne Star

April Wrap-Up

Reading


Authority | Acceptance | Beneath the Sugar Sky | Our Dark Duet | Belgarath the Sorcerer | Beneath the Surface | The End We Start From | The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue | Eat, Drink, Run | Working for Bigfoot | Leah on the Offbeat

Books read: 11 (the same as March)
Pages read: 3919 (475 more than March)
Average pages per day: 130 (11 more than March)
Average book length: 356 pages (43 more than March)
Favourite: This was an excellent reading month, I genuinely can’t pick a favourite! I especially loved Beneath the Surface, Eat, Drink, Run and Leah on the Offbeat though.

Watching

Peter Rabbit – I had pretty such low expectations for this but ended up being pleasantly surprised by how funny it was! Favourite moment was the unexpected Fort Minor song.
The Avengers: Infinity War – No explanation needed I think! Already booked to see it again next week.
Every Day – I enjoyed this, but if I didn’t have an unlimited card it would have definitely been a netflix watch.
Love, Simon – I absolutely loved this and thought it did a really good job of living up to the book.
The Fellowship of the Ring & The Two Towers – We’ve been rewatching these recently because we both love the, but it’s taking some time because we can normally only get in about an hour in an evening!

Grey’s Anatomy (14 x 14-18) – Still addicted, no change!
Nashville (5 x 3) – We’re watching this as a house and haven’t had much time free together, which is the only reason we haven’t watched all of the available episodes yet. Love this show.
Jessica Jones (2 x 9-13) – I thought this was okay, but overall season 2 just wasn’t as good as season 1.
Riverdale (1 x1-13, 2×1-20) –
This is a new one to me, but I started it on a friend’s recommendation and have become pretty hooked, as you can tell from how much I watched this month!

Blogging

Reviews:


Other posts:

NetGalley % change: +/- 0% (73%)

Challenge Updates

Sci-fi vs Fantasy Bingo
Alien Invasion: Acceptance
Fantastic Beasts: Working for Bigfoot

Beat the Backlist (31/48)

Finishing the Series (7/15)
Annhilation
Wayward Children
This Savage Song
Creekwood

Goodreads (45/100)

 

How was your April?

Q1 Reading

I read and loved Ellie’s post on her book stats for the first quarter of 2018, and couldn’t resist looking at some of my own! I haven’t tracked the books that have come in like she has, but I’ve enjoyed looking at the series statuses and lengths of what I’ve read so far.

Books read so far: 33
Total pages: 11027
Pages per day: 123
Average pages per book: 334

Format:

  • 8 Paperback (24%),
  • 10 eBook (30%),
  • 15 audio (45%)

Series:

  • First in a series – 8 (33.3%)
  • Second – 6 (25%)
  • Third – 3 (12.5%)
  • Fourth or higher – 7 (29.2%)

Genres (note, books are categorised as multiple genres in some cases so don’t add up to 100%):

  • Fantasy – 12 (36.4%)
  • Sci fi – 6 (18.2%)
  • Mystery – 6 (18.2%)
  • Manga – 5 (15.2%)
  • Romance – 4 (12.1%)
  • Contemporary – 4 (12.1)
  • Horror – 3 (9.1%)
  • Non-fiction – 2 (6.1%)
  • Crime – 1 (3.0%)

Length:

  • 0-150 pages – 0
  • 151-300 pages – 9 (28.1%)
  • 301-500 pages – 20 (62.5%)
  • 501-800 pages – 3 (9.4%)

Publication date:

  • Pre-2018 – 29 (87.9%)
  • 2018 – 4 (12.1%)

Target audience:

  • MG – 4 (12.1%)
  • YA – 6 (18.2%)
  • Not-specified (eg Manga) – 6 (18.2%)
  • Adult – 17 (51.5%)

Length:

  • 0-150 pages – 0
  • 151-300 pages – 9 (28.1%)
  • 301-500 pages – 20 (62.5%)
  • 501-800 pages – 3 (9.4%)

Reading Goals (5)

  1. Read 100 books – 33/100 – ON TRACK
  2. Finish/catch up with 15 series
    I haven’t worked out the exact number of these yet, but two-thirds of the books I’ve read in series are book 2 or later, so I think this is going pretty well.
  3. Read at least 12 manga volumes or graphic novels – 5/12 – ON TRACK
  4. Get My NetGalley ratio up to (and then keep it above) 80% – 73% as of end of March
  5. Read at least 48 backlist books – 29/48 – ON TRACK