Monday, May 23, 2022

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Author: Bolu Babalola
Original title: Rin Chupeco
Edition Language: English
Series: The Bone Witch #1
Genres:  Fantasy
Format: Audio book
Read by: Emily Woo Zeller, Will Damron
Duration: 12h8m

    When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother, Fox, from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

My thoughts:
       I really enjoyed this book. It is a YA fantasy from Philippines. I was a bit sceptical about this book at the beginning, but really fast was drawn into this beautiful world of witches. This book is slow and very character driven, so if you expect epic battles you might be disappointed. I was not, however.

The book is full of vibrant colours, vivid characters, youth and adventure. A big bulk of the book is dedicated to world building, politics and social hierarchy. It is also full of life issues: nationalism, injustice, feminism, the tyranny of elders, fear of changes, prejudice, youth rebellion.

I like the structure of the book: we got the glimpses of the future at the end of each chapter, which is full of spoilers, but it makes it more interesting to get there with our protagonist through her adventures. Though the bone witch uses the "chosen" theme, it is not taken lightly. Tea does not get everything in one day, she works hard and a lot, and goes through a great deal of ordeal and humiliation to get there she wants.
   I could not get myself away from this book for a long time and picking up the sequel right away.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova

Author: Svetlana Chmakova
Original title: Awkward
Pages: 224
Edition Language: English
Series: Berrybrook Middle School #1
Format: Paperback
Genres: Middle Grade, Comics

   On her first day at her new school, Penelope Torres trips into a quiet boy in the hall, Jaime Thompson, she's already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the "nerder girlfriend." How does she handle this crisis? By shoving poor Jaime and running away.  Falling back on rule two and surrounding herself with new friends in the art club, Peppi still can't help feeling ashamed about the way she treated Jaime.

My thoughts: 
    My final book for Middle Grade March 
    It was a cute and fast read with manga-like drawings. I could not give it more that 3 stars as I was not touched or driven by the story. Apart from cuteness, it does not bring much on the table. Though, Peppi's awkwardness and character growth are vivid and appealing.
    I liked the picture of Mr R and miss Tobin, they are great. The two ideal driven types of teachers, who can influence your life choices and help you to carry interest and love for the subject for years.
Altogether, I highly recommend the comics, I just was not for me, and I will not read the rest of the series.

The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne

Author: John Boyne
Original title: The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket
Pages: 197
Edition Language: Russian
Series: no
Format: e-book
Genres: Middle Grade

   Barnaby Brocket is an ordinary 8-year-old boy in most ways, but he was born different in one important way: he floats. Unlike everyone else, Barnaby does not obey the law of gravity. His parents, who have a horror of being noticed, want desperately for Barnaby to be normal, but he can't help who he is.

My thoughts: 
    My second book for the Irish Readathon and 4th for Middle Grade March 
Not the best read, I confess. This is my second John Boyne's children's book, and I do not find both of them either captivating or educating.
The main topic is the gap between parents' expectations and children's desires. How it breaks up the families, pulling relatives apart. And it seems that there is no family in the world that would not have a disappointed parent and a child driven to a point of negation.
I would not try any John Boyne's books for children. I would probably try an adult novel and see if I enjoy it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

The Old Jest by Jennifer Johnston

Author: Jennifer Johnston
Original title: The Old Jest
Edition Language: English
Series: no
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: Audio book
Read by: Heather O'Neill
Duration: 5h15m

      This is a compelling story of young woman from a crumbling Protestant Ascendancy family caught up in the turmoil of the Irish troubles around 1920.  

My thoughts:
      I really had no idea I would ever pick up this book. I was made by the Irish readathon. It was difficult to find a book set in the 20s, as I do not have many Irish writers on my shelf. I was even complaining (mostly to myself) about the difficulty of this year's challenge prompts. And I am so glad I ended up with this book. It made me think, it made me feel, it made me want to read more Irish literature.
      The book has the simple narrations line, but complex emotional background. The characters are well developed through small details and short dialogues. I liked the language of the novel, as it was descriptive and precise at the same time.
       It is impressive, how much emotion, tension and colours are put in a such short book. It all started as a light story of a 18 year old girl, who is on the edge of beginning her exciting journey in life. And one by one, the threads of the bigger world, of more cruel and unfair world are starting to entwine into the narration, building up the depressive and hopeless picture. 
      I guess that I enjoyed the book more as I used audio format with Heather O'Neill as a narrator.


Monday, April 4, 2022

March 2022 Wrap up


Read books:  read: 6/ listen: 4pages: 1622/ hours listened: 32h39m
1. Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake by Frank W. Abagnale p.219 ****
2. Collide by Juliana Stone 8h10m **
3. UnHappenings by Edward Aubry 12h06m ****
4. Five Children and It by E. Nesbit p. 224 ***
5. The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley p.316 *****
6. Conceal by Juliana Stone 8h08m **
7. Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier p.448 ***
8. The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne p.197 ***
9. The Old Jest by Jennifer Johnston 5h15m ****
10. Olive's Ocean Kevin Henkes p. 218 ****

Movie watched:

Challenges overview:
1. Read 100 books 100/33
2. Read 5 classics 5/0
3. Read you bookshelf challenge 12/2
4. Read 5 Russian books 5/0
5. Finish 5 series 5/5
6. Read 5 translated books 5/2
7. A to Z challenge 26/17
8. Listen to 12 audiobooks 12/9
9. World of Literature 25
10. Booker Prize Project 7
11. Owned books read 7

Sunday, April 3, 2022

February 2022 Wrap up


Read books: 

read: 6/ listen: 3pages: 2426/ hours listened: 18h40m

1. The Test by Sylvain Neuvel 2H12m *****
2. The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton p.394 *****
3. Beasty Bones by William Ritter p.320 ***
4. Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter p.352 ***
5. The Dire King by William Ritter p.352 ***
6. Us Agains You by Fredrik Backman p.544 ***** 
7. Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern p.464 ****
8. Never Date Your Brother's Best Friend by Jules Barnard 8h20m **
9. Offside by Juliana Stone 8h08m ***

Movie watched:

Challenges overview:
1. Read 100 books 100/22
2. Read 5 classics 5/0
3. Read you bookshelf challenge 12/2
4. Read 5 Russian books 5/0
5. Finish 5 series 5/4
6. Read 5 translated books 5/2
7. A to Z challenge 26/14
8. Listen to 12 audiobooks 12/5
9. World of Literature 25
10. Booker Prize Project 7
11. Owned books read 5

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

January 2022 Wrap up


Read books: 

read: 8/ listen: 1/ pages: 3356/ hours listened: 8h19m
1. Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix 6H16m ***
2. Animant Crumbs Staubchronik Lin Rina p.704 ***
3. Belgravia by Julian Fellowes p.480 ****
4. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor p.432 ***
5. Vengeful by V.E. Schwab p.544 ****
6. A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron p.332 **** 
7. Unknown by Didier van Cauwelaert p.229 ***
8. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor p.416 ***
9. Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor p.448 ***
10. Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor p. 512 ***
11. Jackaby by William Ritter p.320 ***
12. Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales p.320 ***
13. Take the Shot by Sue White 7H59m ***

Movie watched:
Death in Paradise S.11 Episodes 1-4

Challenges overview:
1. Read 100 books 100/13
2. Read 5 classics 5/0
3. Read you bookshelf challenge 12/0
4. Read 5 Russian books 5/0
5. Finish 5 series 5/2
6. Read 5 translated books 5/2
7. A to Z challenge 26/10
8. Listen to 12 audiobooks 12/2
9. World of Literature 25
10. Booker Prize Project 7
11. Owned books read 3

2022 Goals


    2021 goals were the best combination for my reading reality. I did not fulfill all of them but it kept me on track for the whole year. So this year I decided to keep most of them. So here my goals for 2022:
  • Read 100 books
  • Read 5 books by Russian authors
  • Read 5 translated books
  • Listen to 12 audiobooks 
  • Read 5 classics
  • Complete Read your Bookshelf Challenge
  • Complete Page challenge
  • Complete A to Z challenge
  • Complete Buzzword challenge
  • Buy less than 12 books during 2022
  • Finish 5 or 6 series
  • Watch 12 movies
  • Watch 6 TV series
That is basically it. I am still continuing with my Russian LiteratureWorld of LiteratureBooker Prize and Classics Club projects, which at the begging 2022 are the following:

Russian Literature: 12/30
World of Literature: 24/50
Booker Prize Project: 7
Classics Club: 15/50