NEWTs & Beat the Bingo ReadAThon ✨ Week 2 Update

We are 2 weeks into NEWTs Magical ReadAThon & Beat the Bingo ReadAThon so here is another update to see how I’m doing so far!

Stats

Firstly here is some stats! Again I’m using Caz’s ReadAThon Tracker !!
So far I have completed 15 of the NEWTs Challenges including 5 of the 7 Challenges that I specifically need to complete to obtain the Magizoologist Career. For Beat the Bingo I have completed 11 of the challenges.

Day 7 to 14 is shown in this second screen capture. left side is Audio minutes listened to & right is pages read. The yellowy columns are the total pages/minutes & the white is the progress that day.

My Bullet Journal

In this Tracker I track both Audio & Books by converting the minutes to pages and combining that with books.

Pink is physical reads, Purple is audiobooks & Teal is Graphic Novels.

Books Read & Challenges Completed

If you didn’t see my Week 1 Update then check that one out too as I won’t be repeating those books.

This one is a super quick and cute Graphic Novel!
Heartstopper: Vol 2 fulfils the Care of Magical Creatures Exceeds Expectation challenge to Read a book under 300 pages. I didn’t use this one for a challenge of Beat the Bingo.

Solitaire by Alice Oseman was an audiobook I listened to. Its definitly not my favourite Alice Oseman book but it wasn’t bad. I just preferred I Was Born For This & Radio Silence a lot more.
This one fulfils the NEWTs Defence Against a Dark Arts Acceptable Challenge to Read a book with black under the dust jacket.

Shadow Frost was the next book I read and this one was an eARC I had from NetGalley. If you want to check out the review you can find it HERE!
Shadow Frost fulfilled the NEWTs Charms Acceptable challenge to Read a book you think has a gorgeous cover.

I Am Change I read in one day! It was so freaking good. This one I read for a Blog Tour and my review will be up on the 19th.
I Am Change fulfilled the NEWTs Herbology Outstanding challenge to Read a book with a flower on the cover. As well as the Beat the Bingo challenge to Read a book with a plant on the cover.

Next I listened to the audiobook of Legend by Marie Lu.
Legeng fulfilled the NEWTs Divination Acceptable challenge to Read a White Book. This one is a big greyer than white but oh well. Also for Beat the Bingo this one fulfils the Read a Sci-Fi Book challenge.

This is the second book to Legend, Prodigy by Marie Lu. I also listened to this one on audiobook.
Prodigy fulfils the NEWTs Care of Magical Creatures Outstanding challenge to Read a book with a bird on the cover as well as the Read a book with a blue cover challenge for Beat the Bingo ReadAThon.

The Woods Vol 1 is the first volume of a new Graphic Novel series I have started. So far this one is interesting and I’m keen to see where this goes.
The Woods: Vol 1 fulfils the NEWTs Charms Exceeds Expectation challenge to Read a Comic/Graphic Novel/Manga as well as the Beat the Bingo challenge to Read a Graphic Novel.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was the next audiobook I listened to. Of course I loved this one as it’s a Reread.
This one fulfilled the NEWTs History of Magic Outstanding challenge to Reread a Favourite as well as the Reread a Favourite challenge of Beat the Bingo.

Shadow of the Fox was the next audiobook I listened to.
Shadow of the Fox fulfils the NEWTs Arithmancy Outstanding challenge to Read a book that’s longer than 350 pages. As well as the Beat the Bingo ReadAThon challenge to Read a book with a red cover

Lastly I read Vol 2 of The Woods which made me even more curious about where this series is going!
This one fulfilled the NEWTs Transfiguration Exceeds Expectations challenge to Read a book that’s not the first in a series.

Currently Reading

I am also Currently Reading As She Ascends by Jodi Meadows. This one doesn’t fulfil any of the NEWTs of Beat the Bingo challenges as this is for a ReadALong and we won’t be finishing it until September. Incase you wanted to join I’ll leave the info below.

Have you read any of these books? 
What did you think about them?
How are you progressing for the NEWTs ReadAThon?!

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A Catch Up Book Haul

So, it’s been a while since I have posted a Haul on here! So I thought I would share some of the books I have picked up recently!

Purchased Books

Purchased Graphic Novels

Received Books

I Am Change by Suzy Zail I received from Walker Books as part of a Aussie YA Bloggers Blog Tour! Keep an eye out on the 19th for my review.
Fawkes I got in an exchanged with a mate where I sent her Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

eARCs/ARCs/Review Copies Received

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves I received unsolicited from Pan Macmillan Australia.
We Are Blood and Thunder by Kesia Lupo I received from Bloomsbury Australia.
The rest I also got through NetGalley.

Well I think that is all the books I have to share!

Have you read any of these books?
What did you think about them?

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Shadow Frost by Coco Ma ✨ Spoiler Free Review

Title: Shadow Frost
Series: Unknown
Author: Coco Ma
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: October 1st, 2019
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Blackstone Publishing
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.

Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes. 
Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm. 
Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.

Not one has ever returned. 

When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed. 

To kill it. 

But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known. 

That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.

From young author Coco Ma comes a dazzling new tale of adventure, power, and betrayal, weaving together a stunning world of magic with a killer cast in an explosive, unforgettable debut.

Okay, so I’m not going to follow my usual format. I don’t know why but I just haven’t been feeling the structured review writing lately. So let’s just jump in.

Firstly, I will talk about my 2 dislikes of this book and the reason I didn’t rate it 5 stars. Trust me, I loved this book but these 2 things were irritating.
Firstly we have the romance between Asterin & someone else that I won’t name because spoilers. This romance was a very typical, predictable romance and kinda insta lovey. When the second character first got introduced I guess there would be a romance straight away and I was not wrong. I however thought it could of been a good opportunity for a Hate to Love situation but they only showed dislike for eachother for about 3 seconds and then it was all over.. So the author missed that chance.

Now for the second reason I didn’t like this book, which is the character Orion. He rubbed me the wrong way from the very start of this book. His overly jealous personality really freaking irritated me. Then there was the romance he is apart of later in the book….

I can’t say more without spoilers but I want to explain, so if you don’t want to be spoiled for anything then don’t read the next section that is in italics.

So as I said his jealousness pissed me off. It was constant when Quinlan was around and felt very possessive in most situations. Which I did not like. If I was Asterin I would have kicked him to the curb well before this. In the beginning I assumed the jealousness was because he was in love with Asterin, which came across a few times as true but THEN… Bringing in Harry and all of that is completely abandoned. Talk about Insta love! He meets this dude and then instantly stops with the love sick crap towards Asterin and the jealousy shit towards Quinlan… I just don’t get it. Like at all. This character in my opinion just wasn’t written very well, his actions constantly contradicted each other and as I said he came across as possessive at times, which I’m not a fan of in any situation. Of course this may have been fixed for the release of the finished copy, as I did read an eARC but I was not a fan!

Well that’s the dislikes out of the road and now for everything I liked! Firstly, the Characters in general (excluding Orion) and the POV. At first the POV was a little disorientating. We jump between POVs with each chapter and occasionally within a chapter and in the beginning it was a tad hard to follow. The author does not include names at the start of the chapters but the character’s name is usually in the first sentence of the chapter, so it was relatively easy to figure out whose POV we were reading from. After getting used to the frequent changes I actually really enjoyed it! Throughout the book we follow the POV of nearly 10 characters or more which allows you an insight into not only what the main characters are doing but also the bad guys.. Each character felt like they had a unique voice within their POVs section, except for maybe the ones we only see one chapter of POV from. But I think overall it was done quite well and I enjoyed it.

The characters themselves we all very well developed and grew throughout the book which I really enjoyed! They were all written very well excluding Orion and even the ‘bad guys’ were written very well even if they aren’t nice people. Asterin suffered from the kinda typical trope of having more power than most so she has to go and defeat the villain but in this situation it did work and everything fell into place and made sense in the end. I really enjoyed Rose’s character as well! She was a badass and I really enjoyed reading from her POV. I also really liked Luna! She developed so well throughout the story and I 100% agree with her choices at the end of this book! Quinlan was also kinda typical… Extremely attractive, powerful and there to save the day of course… He was an enjoyable character but he definitely fit the mould of most YA male characters. Then we had Eadric who was probably the character that grew the most throughout the book. He was kinda the Dad figure of the group and I really enjoyed his personality and the way he developed.

The next thing I loved was the world & magic system. Both of which are very fleshed out and detailed! I loved learning about this world and the magic system. It was so interesting even if the magic system was not the most unique I’ve seen it was still very solid. I just enjoyed how much it was thought out! There was reasons for everything and it wasn’t like some magic systems where you just have to accept that this is how it works and that there isn’t a why involved… The world was really interesting too and I would love to learn more about the other kingdoms in this world. Which hopefully we will get in book 2!

Lastly we have the plot itself to talk about because it was intense! There were only 1 or 2 places where I guessed a plot twist/plot point but even then I was so into this book that it didn’t annoy me, I just wanted to know the how! Besides those couple I guessed this book was unpredictable! There were so many twists and turns that just kept me hooked the entire time and I loved the rollercoaster ride this book took me on! I do however want to yell at the author a lit for that cliff hanger! How dare you!!

So, overall I really enjoyed this one! It had a couple flaws in my opinion but I enjoyed the ride it took me on. I loved most of the characters and I can’t want to see where they go next. Also that cliffhanger!! I need to know what happens next!!!!!!!! I can’t wait for book 2 but it’s going to be a bit of a wait I would say. There are no details released yet as Book 1 isn’t even released yet…

Thank you to NetGalley & Blackstone Publishing for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

You can pre-order a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

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Have you had the opportunity to read this one yet?
Did you enjoy it?
Or is it on your anticipated releases?!

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Harry Potter Edition ✨ Fantasy JourneyAThon TBR

So Fantasy JourneyAThon starts in 2 minutes as I’m writing this sentence. Originally I planned to film a TBR video for my Channel but It has been a crazy couple days and I just haven’t had the time to film & edit! Now the ReadAThon has started and my TBR still isn’t up, so here it is!

Fantasy JourneyAThon Announcement

Firstly I am on Team Gryffindor and I will be earning points throughout the week by participating in the Instagram & Litsy Challenges as well as reading!

My TBR

Read a book with a bird on the cover

This is the second book to Legend by Marie Lu, which I haven’t actually read. I planned to read it before the ReadAThon but haven’t got there. So I will also be aiming to read Legend this book!

Read a book with witches/wizards

This is of course a reread for me and I can’t wait. I’ve been really enjoying my physical reread of this series!

Read a book with scarlet on the cover

This one is an audiobook that I have had on my TBR for way too long! Finally picking it up and fulfilling this challenge!

Read a book with a tree on the cover

This one has a whole Wood on the cover, so I think it fits. This is Volume 1 in a new to me Graphic Novel series and I can’t wait to dive in!

Read a book under 300 pages

This is the other Graphic Novel I have in my TBR and I’m keen for this one too! It’s also super short so fits this challenge!

Read a book with a beautiful cover

This one definitely fits this challenge as this cover is beautiful! This is a cover read for sure as I know nothing about this book! This one is also an audiobook I will be listening to.

Read a book with a dark theme

I don’t know much about this one but I have it on my physical TBR and it looks super dark and creepy!

Read a book with multiple POV or Authors

This is my next audiobook and this is an anthology. So not only does it have multiple POV but it also has multiple Authors!

Read a book with magic

This is the last audiobook on my tbr! I keep hearing good things about this one and apparently it has magic, so I’m in!

Read a book set in the real world

This one I need to read for a Blog Tour which is happening soon, so I chose it for this challenge! It is set in our world so it fits this challenge!

Are you participating in the Harry Potter edition of Fantasy JourneyAThon? What team are you on?!

Purchase any of the books mentioned from BOOK DEPOSITORY! World Wide FREE shipping and awesome prices? Can’t say no to that!

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The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan ✨ Mini Spoiler Free Review

Title: The Sword of Summer
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: MG/YA Fantasy
Publication Date: October 6th, 2015
Pages: 499 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Disney Hyperion
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis:

Magnus Chase has seen his share of trouble. Ever since that terrible night two years ago when his mother told him to run, he has lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, staying one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, Magnus learns that someone else is trying to track him down—his uncle Randolph, a man his mother had always warned him about. When Magnus tries to outmaneuver his uncle, he falls right into his clutches. Randolph starts rambling about Norse history and Magnus’s birthright: a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

The more Randolph talks, the more puzzle pieces fall into place. Stories about the gods of Asgard, wolves, and Doomsday bubble up from Magnus’s memory. But he doesn’t have time to consider it all before a fire giant attacks the city, forcing him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents. . . .

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die.

Okay, so I think Rick Riordan’s writing is the main reason I don’t enjoy these books. First off, I have read the first book in the Percy Jackson series and basically felt the exact same about it as I do with this one. I’m not 100% sure what exactly it is about these books but I just can’t connect with these books. I can’t connect with the characters and because of that I don’t really care about them or what happens to them. So I find myself getting bored & distracted and just wishing it was over already.

The world building is good & the world itself is interesting enough. The plot is also action packed & slightly engaging in some places. I can also honestly say it was really unpredictable. But those are the only things that really interests me in the story. Also these are the reason I rated this one 3.5 stars and not lower.

So overall, I didn’t enjoy myself that much reading this one! If you enjoy Rick Riordan’s writing then I think this good be a good read but for me it’s just average!

You can order a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book Depository if you wish!

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Paperback

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Paperback (only 9.99 AUD!)

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eBook
Paperback
Hardcover

Have you read this one?! Did you enjoy it more than I do? Or agree with me?

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NEWTs & Beat the Bingo – Week 1 Update!

So we are 1 week through NEWTs Magical ReadAThon & Beat the Bingo ReadAThon, so I thought I would do an update! So far I have completed 5 NEWTs Challenges & 4 Beat the Bingo Challenges!

Firstly here is some stats! I’m using Caz’s ReadAThon Tracker which I love and it keeps you up to date with your current reading stats! You may notice it says I have completed 7 challenges, that’s not actually correct. As I have combined BtB & NEWTs on one spreadsheet and the spreadsheet doesn’t calculate 1 book counting for multiple challenges this is only showing up with 7 completed, but I’ve actually completed 9 challenges between the 2 ReadAThons.

Book Read & Challenges completed

Firstly, we have Murder in the Mews by Agatha Chrsite. This one I started in July but finished it in August during NEWTs & BtB, so it doesn’t count for any of the challenges! I love 99% of Agatha Christie books and this one did not disappoint!

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon was my first physical read for the ReadAThons! This is book 3 of The Bone Season series and It was so freaking good! 5 stars hands down and I can’t wait for the next book in this series to release.
The Song Rising fulfilled the Herbology Exceeds Expectation Challenge of Read a book between 350 – 390 pages as well as the Read a Dystopian Book for Beat the Bingo ReadAThon!

Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie was my first audiobook for the ReadAThons & obviously this is another Agatha Christie book and also lived up the expectation. I like how this one was told in a different way to most of the Christie books I’ve read!
This one fulfilled the NEWTs Potions Exceeds Expectations Challenge of Read a book with a cover in your Hogwarts House Colour & also the Beat The Bingo Challenge Read a Mystery Book

Binti was the next Audiobook I read for the ReadAThon. This one was super short and I easily listened to it in one day! I have kinda mixed feelings about this one. I enjoyed the overall story but I also feel like it was lacking in most aspects due to it’s length and lack of explanation.
Binti fulfilled the NEWTs Muggle Studies Outstanding Challenge of Book written by a person of colour & the Read an Own Voices Book for Beat the Bingo!

Dare You To Lie was the next Audiobook I listened to and I loved it! This book gripped me from the very start & I listened to it in 2 straight sessions! I just couldn’t stop!
Dare You to Lie fulfilled the NEWTs Muggle Studies Acceptable Challenge of Cover that includes and actual photo element!

This one I technically finished on Day 8, but I’m putting it in here anyway as I read it before writing this post! The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan is the second Riordan book I’ve read and it left me underwhelmed! I just don’t think Riordan books are for me at this point!
The Sword of Summer fulfilled the Ancient Runes Exceeds Expectations challenge to Read a book written in past tense & also the Beat the Bing challenge to Read a Middle Grade book.
This book is labelled as Young Adult on Goodreads and the MC is 16, however it reads more childish to me and feels a lot more like a Middle Grade than YA.

Currently Reading!

I am currently listening to Solitaire by Alice Oseman, however I haven’t read a tonne of this one yet so I don’t really have an opinion as yet!
This one will fulfil the NEWTs Defence Against the Dark Arts Acceptable Challenge to Read a book with Black under the dust jacket.

Are you participating in NEWTs or Beat the Bingo? How much progress have you made?
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

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Mooncakes: Vol 1 by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu – Spoiler Free Review

Title: Mooncakes: Volume 1
Author: Suzanne Walker (Author) & Wendy Xu (Artist)
Genre: YA Diverse Fantasy Graphic Novel
Publication Date: October 15th, 2019
Pages: 256 (paperback)
Publishers: Lion Forge
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

So, I have never reviewed a Graphic Novel, so this will be a new experience! This won’t be following my usual format and also I won’t talk much about the plot as I don’t want to give anything away when this is a short story and I don’t want to spoil!

Firstly, the artwork is amazing! It’s cute, colourful & detailed and I really enjoyed the art! I will definitely be checking out other Graphic Novels that this artist has been apart of!

Next we have the diversity! We have a Queer Chinese-American Witch that also wears a hearing aid. Then we have Queer Chinese-American They/Them character! Also we have 2 Queer grandmothers in an awesome relationship, and who are also kinda badass! I love how much diversity was featured in such a short story!

Lastly, the story itself was really fun too! It has an interesting world, awesome characters & an unpredictable plot! I didn’t really know what to expect with this Graphic Novel as I hadn’t seen any information about it except that it was awesome, so it was fun to discover the interesting paranormal world that is in this story!

Thank you to NetGalley & Lion Forge for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

You can pre-order a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book Depository if you wish!

Book Depository

Booktopia

Amazon Australia

Have you had the opportunity to read this one yet?
Did you enjoy it?
Are you keen for Mooncake to release?

Purchase any of the books mentioned from BOOK DEPOSITORY! World Wide FREE shipping and awesome prices? Can’t say no to that!

Aussie? Want quick shipping? Awesome prices? Want to be able to utilise AfterPay? Then try BOOKTOPIA or even ANGUS & ROBERTSON!

All the links!

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Some of the links on my blog are affiliate links. This does not change the price of your purchases, however, I receive a small commission if you use any of those links to make a purchase! Which I highly appreciate!