September reading

Hi everyone,

The month of September was a full month readathon by one of the handful of booktubers (youtube for books) that I love to watch. Becca plays a spin on the game Monopoly to decide the books. I got a copy of the board. If a double number on the die is thrown an extra book is added. In total I had a stack of twelve books. Overall four of those were completed.

Total Pages-1,315

Audio-2

Physical-2

Ebook-0

Total-4

The first book I finished in September was The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. This was borrowed off a friend and I am super glad to have read it. The setting of Botswana was interesting to learn about. On a couple of occasions, I did lose track of what was happening. (Probably should have put it down before midnight). The plot was better than the way it was written in some places due to the repetitiveness at times. If possible, I would continue the series.

The second book of September was Becoming by Michelle Obama. As an audiobook this was over nineteen hours long!! Despite that it was worth it. Throughout I was taking some notes as it was just so interesting. I especially liked that the lives of her children being in there as one is the same age as me.

Educated by Tara Westover caught my eye many years ago so when the audio book became available, I got really excited and reserved it instantly. This was her experience living in a very strict Morman household which is something I know nothing about. Some of what she has been through was difficult to listen to so I had to pause ever now and then. The whole experience was really interesting to me. She was so brave to actually even write it despite some of the painful memories that was have surfaced.

The final book I finished was Wishful Thinking by Ali Sparkes. The beginning of this book was really intriguing to me. But although I do really enjoy adventure stories this one just didn’t click with me which I am sad about. Even as I’m typing this, I can’t place why that is. Maybe it was too young for me, maybe a couple of events felt to close to my current situation and was just bad timing.

I hope your reading is going well. Are you reading spooky books this month? I might read one.

Take care,

Dolphin xx

August Wrap up

Hello,

I can’t believe we are at the end of August!

I had big reading plans for the month especially with requesting many books for my birthday. Due to a difficult month I was unable to read as much as I had planned.

Total pages- 1,975

Audio-2

Physical-4

Ebook-0

Total-6

The Evidence Against You by Gilian McAllister. This was such a great book. I could not stop listening to it. It was on all the time. I was gripped. I couldn’t guess the plot at all.

Can you keep a secret? by Sophie Kinsella. This is the only book not part of the Shopaholic Series I have read so was a little nervous. I will always love her writing and this was no different. A light fun read that made me laugh and cry. The ending I had guessed would happen but I didn’t mind. It felt like a warm familiar hug.

Fat boy Swim by Catherine Forde this was chosen as a quick read that would get it off my shelf and it being a quick read. As a 23-year old I’m not the target audience. There were parts of it that I was able to relate to a little. Some of the reasons characters did things were not always clear. It didn’t hold my attention. If I hadn’t finished it, I honestly wouldn’t be bothered.

The Definition of us by Sarah Harris. I had very high hopes for this book and was super excited, unfortunately I did not feel the same by the time I finished. It didn’t feel like there was much to the characters which caused me to feel disconnected to them. I understand what the author was trying to do but feel it unsuccessful.

The fifth book of August was Deception- A Love Of Lies by T J Blake. I was lucky enough to have been part of the book tour for this. My thoughts are in a previous post.

Book six of the month was The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter by David Colbert. I enjoyed this book much more than I expected. It told me more about some of the myths and legends behind creatures within the series. It was very different for me as I rarely read non fiction. I have made some notes in my bullet journal about this book too.

What have you been reading?

Take care,

Dolphin xx

Deception A Love Of Lies book review

I had the pleasure of having a copy of the audiobook in exchange for a review.

I absolutely loved every second of this book. It was a roller coaster. At the beginning of the book, I was very unsure about it. This was probably due to the fact I was reading a book with a similar setting at the time. In order not to get confused that book has been put aside. Once I was able to focus this was incredible. Every word had been chosen carefully to have the biggest impact. My mind was continuously thinking, theorising and analysing the actions and reactions of each character.

It was everything and more than expected.  Each character had so much thought behind it. Not only was it amazingly immersive it was suspenseful and a little chilling.

If you have not read it yet I suggest you, do it is brilliant.

Take care,

Dolphin xx

July Wrap Up

Hi,

July was a slower reading month for me but that’s ok.

Pages- 1,865

Books -3

Audio -2

Total -5

I started with Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. This was a sweet story of two boys coming together and falling in love. I loved how the book hinted at things before they happen. I loved the social awkwardness of the main character as it made it feel more real.

Then Leah and the Off Beat by Becky Albertalli. This is the sequel to the above book which I wasn’t aware of to begin with. Overall, I was able to connect with Leah more in this book than previously. Some of her troubles I have been through myself so felt able to sympathise.

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. This book has made me fall in love with fantasy and I can’t wait to read more. This is the longest book I have read in quite some time. Which originally put me off reading it but I am so glad I continued. The more I have read of this world the more I fall in love. It all felt so real and logical. Pullman has a way with words. The entire series is so immersive and a perfect escape.

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. Although this is a small book which is what I needed after a long fantasy it is just as powerful. This is his experience with depression, anxiety and agorphobia. I was able to relate to it so much, making it feel like there is a stranger alongside me guiding me. I feel it will be a book I come back to again and again both when I am well and in the depth of depression. This little book will be my light at the end of the tunnel.

The final book of the month was Snakehead book 7 in the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz. The adventure of this was brilliant. It felt really high steaks all the way through. My own heart was beating so fast at times with the book playing out in my head the entire time. I was shocked by the ending I hadn’t seen that coming.

What have you been reading?

Take care,

Dolphin xx

June Wrap Up

Hello,

This is my wrap up for June, I was taking part in a readathon.

Total books -6

Physical- 1

Ebook- 1

Audio-4

Total pages 1,745

Heartstopper volume 1 by Alice Osman was absolutely amazing. It was really quick to read as it was a graphic novel which isn’t something I read often. I found it adorable. Can’t wait for the next volume!

The Highland Falcon Thief by MG Leonard and Sam Sedgemen. This middle grade was great it made me feel like I was travelling with them whilst being at home. The way Hal works it all out is just so cool. After the enjoyment this gave me, I moved on to the sequel because I just wanted more adventure. The concept of an adventure on a train was really cool to me.

Kidnap On The California Comet by MG Leonard and Sam Sedgemen. This was the next instalment in the adventures on trains series. I loved the mystery of this. It was really cleverly written I didn’t suspect the outcome at all. I really loved that one of the authors also loves trains so all the facts were accurate. I would love to be on a train like that.

Paper Towns by John Green. This is a book I have wanted to read for quite a while. I have seen the film so was aware of the plot but I still enjoyed it. I would like to read most of his other books.

A Sprinkle Of Sorcery by Michelle Harrison. This is the second book in the trilogy. Once again this was a magical and whimsical story that I really enjoyed. My favourite character was Charlie the youngest sister. She is just so adorable. The bond between the girls is amazing. The whole concept of the book is awesome.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion was an amazing insight to autism. I love the concept of the wife project. It was interesting to see his thought patterns.

What have you read this month?

Take care,

Dolphin xx

May Wrap up

Hello,

I can’t believe we are already at the end of May!

This month I read

Books completed-3

Audiobooks-5

Total pages 2,708

Total 8

I began the month with The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary. My favourite character was Tiffy because she was true to herself. Her line of work was also really cool to find out about. The part that I found really interesting was the controlling relationship between her and Justin. It was written so well that as the reader you are able to sympathise with her and understand some of her actions. The Post-it notes between her and her flatmate were brilliant. I did see the ending coming but I didn’t mind,

The Second book of May was Madam Doubtfire by Anne Fine this is a book I have owned for many years. One of my reading aims is to read all the books I own so that’s another off the list. I remember the film from when I was younger and it was exactly the same there wasn’t anything different between the two making it predictable,

Next up was The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The discription of the nature coming to life was absolutely the best part. The way Mary acted to begin with was so horrible, she never did apologise even if she lashed out physically. I understand this was written many years ago but don’t feel like I would recomend it for this reason. My other main issue with it is Colin. As a charachter to begin with again like Mary, he isn’t nice he does change in some ways. I found it difficult to read at times this is because to me it felt as though the message of the book in regards to disability is just keep practising which yes, can be good advice but also can set a young childs asperations to high eaither causing a lot of disapointment or potentially injury.

Usually I love work by Harlan Coben it grips me from the beginning and I can’t get through it fast enough. Unfortunately, this was not the case with Don’t Let Go. The story was good but I didn’t feel any attatchment to the charaters which did surprise me. This will not put me off him as an author as I have really enjoyed everything else he has written. I am unable to say anymore as I don’t remember anything that happened.

Both of the next books were much more enjoyable. The first being Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo. This again came from my shelves from when I was much younger however, I really enjoyed this story and on several occassions was still reading at midnight. The concept was brilliant, a child being lost on an elephant after a tsunami. The relationship between the two felt so real. The other animals that were met along the way made the story even better. The compromise at the end was a really clever way to finish it. Throughout there were some brilliant illistrations too.

A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison. This was brilliant I was able to relate to the charaters. The feeling of adventure was great. The energy and adventure felt so uplifting. I am glad this is the first in a trilogy can’t wait to read the next one.

Cross fire by Malorie Blackman was my next completed audio book. It was not the ending to the series I expected at all. It was a bit darker. I still enjoyed it but don’t want to ruin it for anyone.

My final book was Ali Cross by James Patterson. This was an awesome book to end the month on. It was about a child wanting to follow in his dad’s footsteps of being a detective. The son’s friend goes missing so this is the perfect chance for him to put his skills into practise. I loved the father son relationship.

Which of these books have you read? Which have caught your attention? Let me know in the comments below.

Take care,

Dolphin xx

A few pictures

Hi,

So yesterday I went out for a little bit and just wanted to share some pictures.

It was so lovely to see different plants.

I hope you are well.

Take care,

Dolphin xx

April Reading wrap up

Hi,

I would like to try doing wrap ups for each reading month so here is April’s.

Pages read- 3,609 (Audio books included)

Book’s completed-7

Audio books completed-3

Total-10

This was a lot more than I expected to read. My aim is two books a week.

Over the last couple of months, it has been found I am able to read more and for longer, it has been noticed my reading speed has also increased which is not something I set out to do. But am happy with this result. It turns out that all you really need to do is read every day. When I first started, I could read between 5-10 pages in a few hours. Now I can read around 18 pages in half an hour this is a huge improvement. I know there are a few factors that need to be considered such as text size, my energy level, how interesting the book is amount of distractions around.

April was a really good reading month as I tried a few self-published authors and finished a series I had been enjoying.

I have really got back into reading before bed although I am happy to pick up a book any time of day.

There is still five days of this month left I plan to have my current thriller finished to which is Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson. So far, its super compelling and we are starting to see how some of the characters are linked within the storyline.

There are a few reviews already up some of the books are continuations of series so it’s hard to talk about them. All books read this month have been four or five stars. I use CAWPILE rating system. I will leave a link to the original creator’s video.

This is the updated version to mine.

Take care,

Dolphin xx

Week away book reviews

Hello,

I hope you are all well and enjoying the sunshine we have at the moment. Well, there is at least in the UK.

Last week, my family and I went on holiday to Devon to stay in some beautiful cottages. This is something that we have been doing with our family friends for the last six years. Sadly, we were unable to in 2020 making this trip all the more exciting.

During the week there were lots of books read by myself which was super relaxing. It was lovely to read by the lake on the grounds whilst listening to the birds around us. Putsbourgh beach was also a lovely place to relax and read. Especially with the sun warming me from outside and books from inside.

The first book I finished was Connected by Rori Pierce. This was a young adult book. It follows Bethany and her journey through an abusive relationship, following how Trevor has such a hold on her. As a topic this is not spoken about in ya as a genre despite it being something many young people experience. I found it very compelling despite the dark subject matter. Books are a great way to learn but at your own pace, pick up and put down as and when required.

I fell in love with Bethany very quickly, seeing some of myself in her. Throughout I found myself getting annoyed at some of her actions although I was able to understand where it came from. As a characher I don’t think you are supposed to like Trevor and I don’t. However, he is such a powerful character. My absolute favourite character has to be Xion949. Through her internet friend Bethany learns what she really wants and how to be happy. I now can’t wait for the sequel to see where this goes.

The second book I finished was an audiobook from the library. This being the third book in the Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman. Each book in the series is so powerful this was no different. I am going to be deliberately very vague about it as there are so many details that you would need to know. I have been buddy reading this series with a friend. The character growth is amazing, how everything ties together is superbly done. It does also show how there is still so much racism within society today. I am super excited to dive into the next one.

The third book that I completed was Second Chances by Hattie Wells. Hattie is a self published author who I found. As soon as I read the blurb, I was excited to dive in. Imogen, our main character is very cautious. As she becomes more confident with her new boyfriend who happens to be a hugely famous actor who works alongside her, she slowly reveals the past she is running from. Until, something goes wrong ,once again she is feeling lost and alone but this time it is so much worse. I absolutely loved all the characters. It was such a compelling read I had to know what was happening being instantly drawn in. The emotions of each character is portrayed so well that when they were sad, so was I same for happy, angry and other feelings. I am eagerly awaiting the sequal!

I hope that you pick up one or all of these books as I really enjoyed them.

Let me know what you are reading.

Take care,

Dolphin xx