Review: To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

Review: To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky ChambersTo Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: 8th August 2019
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

In her new novella, Sunday Times best-selling author Becky Chambers imagines a future in which, instead of terraforming planets to sustain human life, explorers of the solar system instead transform themselves. 

Adriane is one such explorer. As an astronaut on an extrasolar research vessel, she and her fellow crewmates sleep between worlds and wake up each time with different features. Her experience is one of fluid body and stable mind and of a unique perspective on the passage of time. Back on Earth, society changes dramatically from decade to decade, as it always does.

Ariadne may awaken to find that support for space exploration back home has waned, or that her country of birth no longer exists, or that a cult has arisen around their cosmic findings, only to dissolve once more by the next waking. But the moods of Earth have little bearing on their mission: to explore, to study, and to send their learnings home. 

Carrying all the trademarks of her other beloved works, including brilliant writing, fantastic world-building and exceptional, diverse characters, Becky's first audiobook outside of the Wayfarers series is sure to capture the imagination of listeners all over the world.

Becky Chambers will forever have all of my love and respect. That’s it, that’s the review.

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#ARCAugust Midpoint Check-in

It’s just past the midway point of this year’s ARC August, and since I didn’t do an introduction post on my blog (but I did do a TBR on my Booktube channel!) I wanted to update you all on how I’m doing. If you’re taking part in ARC August, let me know in the comments below and we can cheer each other on!

As you can see, I’m slightly behind where I would like to be by this point in the month. I definitely need to work on The Smoke Thieves, and I’ll then be prioritising Kingdom of Souls and War Girls (not in the graphic because this is the OG image). If I manage to get through at least those then I’ll be happy! Once those are done, I’ll be reading whatever I feel like, which perhaps includes some ARCs that aren’t on this list. The reason for choosing these backlist titles in particular (Renegades, The Edge of Everything, The Smoke Thieves, Ash Princess) is that I want to recap the books for Recaptains, and so I need to actually read them first. I’ve got faith that I can manage at least a couple of them, especially because I have a holiday coming up towards the end of the month during which I’m planning on cramming in a lot of reading.

How are you doing this month? Have your TBR lists changed at all since you put them together? I’ll be back at the start of September to let you all know how I got on.

Review: Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

Review: Opposite of Always by Justin A. ReynoldsOpposite of Always by Justin A Reynolds
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 5th March 2019
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Jack Ellison King. King of Almost.

He almost made valedictorian.

He almost made varsity.

He almost got the girl . . . 

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. Jack’s curse of almost is finally over.

But this love story is . . . complicated. It is an almost happily ever after. Because Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Beautiful, radiant Kate. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do—and let go—to save the people he loves.

Opposite of Always is a very hyped book, and I can see why. I read it back in February, and as someone who’s not normally a fan of romance and main characters who are all about their romantic relationships, I ended up really enjoying it.

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Review: Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Review: Sea Witch by Sarah HenningSea Witch by Sarah Henning
Series: Sea Witch #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 31st July 2018
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Everyone knows what happens in the end. A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss. But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends. One feared, one royal, and one already dead.

Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch. 

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.

Sea Witch had a lot of potential, and I think with some fine-tuning it could have been really good. Unfortunately, I was all hyped up for a dark Ursula origin story, but this book turned out to be more of a romance that really dragged in the beginning.

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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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