Monthly Wrap Up: May 2019

may wrap up

Life in May

I did a tonne of stuff in May, as usual! The milder things were, of course, Eurovision (I’m still laughing over the UK only getting three votes from the public… we deserve it) and a pub quiz with my colleagues in which my team came second (out of two teams, but still). 

In mid-May, we attended a friend’s wedding in the Cotswolds (it wasn’t as fancy as it sounds) and I managed to not get super anxious, which was nice! There was a bit of a moment after I tried to dance and there were too many people, but I managed to handle myself pretty well. The day after the wedding, Quill and I went to Sudeley Castle, which was gorgeous, and we watched the jousting. It was a lovely way to spend the morning before heading home!

Speaking of Quill, he finally got a new job as a technical translator, which is something he has been aiming towards for a long time. This means that we’ll be moving house at the end of September so that we’re halfway between his new office and my current one, so our commutes should both be pretty decent. I’m a bit nervous about the move, but I’m excited about what’s to come!

I’ve also been working on optimising Recaptains for the past few weeks. It’s taking a long time because we have so many posts, but I’m really pleased that I have been working on this project consistently. It has meant that this blog has been a bit neglected, but I’m hoping that once I’m done fixing up Recaptains I’ll be able to focus on Books of Amber a bit more.

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Internment by Samira Ahmed

Internment by Samira AhmedInternment by Samira Ahmed
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 19th March 2019
Publisher: Atom
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Rebellions are built on hope.

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.

With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp's Director and his guards.

Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.

I went into Internment knowing that it was going to break me, and in some ways it definitely did. Samira Ahmed poured so much into this book and it made me feel a lot of feelings. I think the main thing that got to me was that it felt so real. The things that happen in Internment could definitely happen in the USA, especially since they’re already happening in other countries around the world today, namely China. It wouldn’t be too much of a leap for US citizens to be treated this way.

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Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

Again, but Better by Christine RiccioAgain, but Better by Christine Riccio
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 7th May 2019
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane's made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that? 

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time's a ticking, and she needs a change—there's nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She's going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! 

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart. 

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

I feel like I have to put out a disclaimer saying that I didn’t go into this book expecting or hoping to hate it. I was planning on supporting a fellow Booktuber, because I think it’s great that Booktubers and book bloggers are getting book deals after they’ve worked so hard on their writing. Unfortunately, Again, But Better didn’t work out for me, and I’m gonna explain why. Continue reading

I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan

I Know You Know by Gilly MacmillanI Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 18th September 2018
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Twenty years ago, eleven-year-olds Charlie Paige and Scott Ashby were murdered in the city of Bristol, their bodies dumped near a dog racing track. A man was convicted of the brutal crime, but decades later, questions still linger.

For his whole life, filmmaker Cody Swift has been haunted by the deaths of his childhood best friends. The loose ends of the police investigation consume him so much that he decides to return to Bristol in search of answers. Hoping to uncover new evidence, and to encourage those who may be keeping long-buried secrets to speak up, Cody starts a podcast to record his findings. But there are many people who don’t want the case—along with old wounds—reopened so many years after the tragedy, especially Charlie’s mother, Jess, who decides to take matters into her own hands.

When a long-dead body is found in the same location the boys were left decades before, the disturbing discovery launches another murder investigation. Now Detective John Fletcher, the investigator on the original case, must reopen his dusty files and decide if the two murders are linked. With his career at risk, the clock is ticking and lives are in jeopardy…

I received I Know You Know from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I Know You Know caught my eye when it was released in the US last year, and I was really excited when I saw it was on NetGalley. I’d heard some really great things about this adult thriller and I was keen to get my hands on it!

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Top Eight Rainy Day Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana.

I struggled to come up with books for this topic because a lot of the books that I read are perfect for spring or summer, not so much for grey and dreary days. Then I remembered that I read a lot of thrillers, and those are actually great for curling up on the sofa with!

If you’ve taken part in the meme this week then feel free to leave your link in the comments below and I’ll come check it out.

1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
This is one of my favourite books of all time! I reread it recently and it definitely held up. If you’re looking for something short and feel-good, then this is the book for you. It’s also a really good introduction to classics, in my opinion.
2. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
I flew through this one, and I maintain that it’s Lapena’s best book. It’s creepy and eerie and atmospheric. 
3. Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson
This one really got to me! It’s probably one of the creepiest thrillers I’ve ever read because the amnesia storyline really stood out and sent chills down my spine.

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