I know I normally publish this on the last day of the month, and I really should, but I don’t think ill finish my current book before the end of tomorrow. So I’m publishing my wrap-up a day early 😱 *living on the edge*
I didn’t do too bad in April even though I felt saturated in the middle and feared a reading slump creeping in. I have managed to keep it at bay by slowing down a bit and reading some none-YA books. In total though, I managed 10 books of which two are graphic novels/comics, and one is an audiobook.
I’ve changed it up a bit and taken away my stars. Instead, I have added ivy leaves, as my name is Ivy, I’ll use these to represent my opinion 😁
The rating is still the same with a total of 5 ivy leaves.
As a reminder: To me, 5 ivy leaves is an amazing book that stuck with me, surprised me, one I could stop thinking about, I got lost in, etc. 4 ivy leaves is an enjoyable read something I really liked, but that’s it. 3 ivy leaves are either a disappointing read, or the book is just OK.
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Physical book – Owned
The Story: The advert for this book says “It’s Harry Potter in Nigeria”, and I’m sold. Sunny has just moved back to Nigeria after being born and raised in New York for most of her life. She is albino and the Nigerian weather doesn’t suit her neither does people prejudices against her looks. Turns out it’s a physical sign of her magical abilities. Once she discovers this there is a whirlwind of adventure and action taking her all-around Nigeria.
My Opinion: This was great!! It was so much fun to read. I would deem it a middle-grade adventure book. And it’s been referred to as the Nigerian Harry Potter, which it is and isn’t. Yes, there are similarities in the plot, but NNedi Okorafor and J K Rowling are two very different writers. In Akata Witch you have this kid how suddenly discovers that she has magical abilities that are reflected in her “disabilities”. She gets lessons and tutors to teach her how to use them and what to use/not use, but also the meaning of being a good person. There is also a villain who needs to be dealt with. I do not know much about Nigerian culture or folklore, but the Nigerian aspect of the story added flavour and a certain level of depth that made the story come to life. It was mesmerising and I read it in two days. I have already bought book 2 Akata Warrior and can’t wait to read it!
My favourite part was the fact that they earn money from learning! What a great idea! 😁
I highly recommend this fun and quick read!
Queendom of the Seven Lakes by A B Endacott
Ebook – ARC by NetGalley
The Story: In a fantasy world where the gender roles are switched, a Queen has always reigned without a king in her Queendom. Now her only heir is a son. The Queen fears for her son’s life and hires an assassin to protect him. Elen-ai accepts the contract, but as the date of announcing the heir arrives, the Queen suggest the Prince leave the capital for a few days. Elen-ai joins him as they travel the country from lake to lake, from family to family to ask for support in his claim to the throne.
My Opinion: This is a short self-published book, which I really enjoyed. I did a full review here, but in short, it was a fun read with few issues. I will definitely pick up book two to see where the story goes.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Physical book – Owned
The Story: In a fantasy version of Nigeria magic was once considered a gift from the gods and marked them with stark white hair. Now the King removed magic and killed all who could wield it. Zelie still remembers the day they took her mother and hanged her. The family was never the same again. Fighting through the days to earn enough for the next rise in maggot tax, Zelie and her brother Tzain goes to Lagos to sell an off-season valuable fish they caught. At the same time in the royal palace Amari’s father, the King, just killed her only friend and chambermaid. In her grief, she takes something (spoilers) and leaves the palace for the first time in her entire life. Amari runs into Zelie in the chaos of the marketplace. Zelie, who physically can’t stay out of trouble, ends up helping Amari out of Lagos putting them all in danger. That is the first five chapters and the start of a wild adventure of a magical and mysterious Nigeria.
My Opinion: This book blew me away! I was getting nervous about this being overhyped and being a letdown, but as I didn’t really know what to expect apart from it being a magical Nigeria and really good, there wasn’t much needed for my expectation to be met. This world is truly not anything I’ve read before. It’s magical yes, but its all new and old magic at the same time. It’s brutal and bloody and plays on your emotions the way The Hunger Games played on mine.
I do have one negative comment and that is that I was having issues with separating Zelie’s and Amari’s sections. Not only are they very often in the same scene but their individual voices aren’t probably developed yet. The chapters are quite small and it didn’t take much for me to turn the page to the chapter title which is the narrator’s name.
So Anyway by John Cleese
Audiobook – Owned
The Story: This autobiography is told from the early years and school years of John Cleese, through his teens and into adulthood. It goes all the way to Monty Python success and finishes with a small chapter on the Monty Python reunion in the recent years. It has plenty of background information and backstage comments.
My Opinion: I really enjoyed listing to this audiobook. It’s narrated by John Cleese himself and yes, he does laugh at his own jokes… He talks often about how jokes came up and the working relationship between himself and Graham. As well as his relationship with Connie. I was surprised at the length before Micheal Pailin even entered his life, but that’s just lack of knowledge on my part.
To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Ebook – ARC by NetGalley
The Story: Imagine an evil twisted version of Disney’s The Little Mermaid – that’s pretty much this book! With other stuff and more mythological elements.
My Opinion: I thoroughly enjoyed this book and wrote a review here. Yes, it’s wicked and twisted (a little bit at least), and yes it’s very similar to Disney’s The Little Mermaid which is my all time favourite Disney movie. That’s two ticks already to this book. But there is a lot of banter and dry humour which is very much like my own and I found myself laughing out loud which is a very rare thing.
Monstress: Volume One – Awakening by Majorie Liu
Illustrated by Sana Takeda
Physical book – Owned
The story: In Montress we meet a character named Maika who is struggling to keep her inner monster at bay. She is sold as a slave to an order of witch nuns but takes revenge, kills them all and runs. The setting is in a fictional version of Asia around 1900, where magical creatures and god-likez creatures are at a fragile peace with each other. Maika would like answers no matter if she causes a war or not.
My Opinions: I really enjoyed this. I never really read a graphic novel to it was a nice change for me. The world is an interesting place on the brink of war between gods and magical creatures. I will at some point continue with this series.
My favourite character was without a doubt Kippa the little fox. She is so mega cute! Just look at the way she clutches her tail when she’s scared:
The Hunger by Knut Hamsun
Ebook – Owned
The Story: In short, this is a story of a struggling writer trying to make the ends meet and being hungry. This is a (semi-)autobiography based on the author’s struggles as a writer when he was younger.
My Opinion: It’s divided into four parts and not a single chapter. I personally prefer chapters… All parts start with him being without money and food for at least a day. They all end up with him getting money and food somehow. All the parts portray how degrading hunger can be, both to your manners and your sanity. He goes for about three-four days without food and his sanity slowly drops away when he’s hungry. However, he is a proud creature and tries so hard to hold on to that and his good manners.
It was long and slow, but somehow I actually enjoyed it. The ending was very unexpected for some reason but in a good way. It’s a fascinating read.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Ebook – Owned
The Story: One day Coraline walks through a door in her new home. This is a door that is normally bricked up, but not today. On the other side of the door is the same flat she lives in but opposite. Everything is opposite. It even included her parents with big black eyes and always wants to do what she wants to do, never telling her they are too busy.
My Opinion: Ah the wonder of Neil Gaiman’s weird imagination. It never fails to amaze me. I enjoyed this book, but I don’t think I was in the mood for a children’s book at the time.
The Body In The Library by Agatha Christie
Ebook – Owned
The Story: A body is found in someone’s private library (so jealous! the library I mean not the body) and Miss Marple is on the case.
My Opinion: This is my first Agatha Christie book and I originally chose it for my ReadHarder challenge; Read a book with a protagonist over the age of 60.
Reading this I feel I have seen a tv version before. I keep imagining people doing these things. It’s weird. Unless I’m thinking of Midsomer Murder which is on daytime tv all the time.
I really enjoy Christie’s writing, it’s very descriptive of other characters. I almost feel as if I’m solving this mystery and not the character.
A Quick & Easy Guide to Them/They Pronouns
by Archie Bongiovanni & Tristan Jimerson
Ebook – ARC
The Story: This is a cartoon version of a conversation exploring the meanings of They/Them pronouns for Non-binary gender people. It explains it all.
My Opinion: This is great! I first encountered a non-binary book character in An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (review here). In there, there is a passage by a non-binary person examining their leg, and it’s really well done. I had to read it twice mainly because it was a little bit confusing as I’m used to They and Them being referred to more than one person. But I also got really happy because it was so well written that I wanted to read it twice. After that, I did more researching into it and BBC have don’t a few short videos featuring non-binary teens. Then I come across this book in NetGalley which I hoped would explain everything to me. And it sure does.
It’s an easy humorous way of explaining something slightly complicated, especially if you are new to it then it can get complex. It even comes with practical guides and examples. And lastly, it gives advice on how to come out as non-binary and what not to do for cis-gender people (binary).
It very informative and I learned a lot. If you need a guide on the They/Them pronoun I highly recommend this one 😁
That’s it! Have you read any of these? What was your favourite book this month? Which book were you least impressed by this month?