TBR Jar ReadAThon Round #3 Announcement!

It’s time for round 3 of TBR Jar ReadAThon!!

Dates: 27th of January – 2nd of February

This ReadAThon is pretty simple. First, pick a goal. I will be aiming for 7 books, but you can choose as many or as little books as you wish.
Next, grab a jar, or cup, or hat, I don’t care. Something you can put names into.
For the next step, you can do this one a few ways.
Option 1 is to put all the books on your TBR (physical, eBook, audiobook, whatever you wish) into a hat.
Option 2, you can pick some of the books you are most looking forward to and put them in a hat. (Try and put at least double the amount that is your goal)
Option 3, (this is what I will be doing), get a 2nd jar, in 1 jar put all the physical & eBooks books on your TBR into it and in the 2nd jar put all the audiobooks on your TBR.
Lastly, pick a name out of the jar and read that book, then pick another name and read that book and continue until you either hit your goal or run out of time in the ReadAThon.

You can choose to pull the number of names you choose for your goal out of the jar prior to the ReadAThon or pull them out as you go.

Use the hashtag #TBRJarRAT so I can see what you’re up to (also if it is on Twitter then you can tag the @TBRJarRAT page too.

So, some of you may have a few books from the same series still on your TBR. Join the club. So if this is the case, you can either choose to only put the 1st book (or the book you are up to) in the TBR jar OR you can put it in as the full series. So if you pick up that name, then you have to try and read all the books from that series that you have on your shelf.
This ReadAThon is very customisable, so do whatever fits you.

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Yes, we have Instagram Challenges! They are completely optional but are there if you want to join in!

The Instagram Challenges will be posted on the TBRJarRAT Instagram within the next 24 hours of this post going live.

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TBRJarRAT Twitter

TBRJarRAT Instagram

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Prizes (2 winners):
1st Winner: 1 x Book Pre-Order up to the value of $20 AUD (2019 Jan – June pre-orders only)
2nd Winner: 1 x Book up to the value of $20 AUD

Rules:
1. Must participate in the ReadAThon to enter
2. Book Depository must ship to you
3. Must be 18 years or older or have parental permission as I will need your address
4. Entries close on the 3rd of February at 11:59pm AEST
5. Must follow the steps below

How to enter:
1. Post a TBR Jar ReadAThon Wrap Up online (See below for what counts) using the hashtag #TBRJarRAT2GA
What entries count: You can post your entry on Twitter or Instagram. If you have posted via a Blog Post or YouTube then simply leave a link to that on a Twitter or Instagram post so I can easily get to it.
2. I must be able to see it, so no private accounts.

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WHAT ARE YOU ANTICIPATING FOR JANUARY 2019? ARE THERE ANY THAT AREN’T ON MY LIST THAT I SHOULD BE LOOKING OUT FOR?

Lizaxx1
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January 2019 Anticipated Releases

So it is time to talk about the books I am anticipating for January 2019! I won’t go into details about most of these as I don’t know a tonne about them as I prefer to go into my books not knowing a tonne. However, some are sequels I am super keen for! So let’s jump in.

The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

This is the sequel to Truly Devious which I absolutely loved! It made it to my best books of 2018! I am so keen to continue the mystery and see where it goes next!

In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

This is book 4 in the Wayward Children series. I have had an on and off experience with this series. I enjoyed book 1, didn’t love book 2 & loved book 3! Book 3 made it to my Best Books of 2018 as well! So I am interested to see what I will think of book 4!

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Next we have Two Can Keep a Secret which is Karen M. McManus’s release after her debut in 2017. I really enjoyed One Of Us Is Lying so when I saw that she is releasing another YA Mystery I had to jump on board!

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

This is probably the most highly anticipated on this list! This is the start of a a new companion to the Grisha Trilogy & the Six of Crows duology. I’m keen to see where this one will go.

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

This one and the next I have as eARCs from NetGalley. At the time I requested it, I liked the cover and found the synopsis interesting. I can’t remember what it is about and I don’t particularly wont to know either. This is a YA Fantasy and is apparently a retelling but I am not sure what of.

The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts

This is another one from NetGalley and I don’t remember what it is about either. I do know that it is a YA Mystery though.

Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

This one I know nothing about except that it is a YA Fantasy by an author that I have heard of but haven’t read anything from.

The Cerulean by Amy Ewing

This one I only discovered when looking at a list of 2019 January releases and the cover is gorgeous & the author’s name sounded familiar for some reason. So I checked out the synopsis and it sounded intriguing.

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What are you anticipating for January 2019? Are there any that aren’t on my list that I should be looking out for?

Lizaxx1
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2018 Reading Wrap Up

So 2018 is over and it is time to talk about how my reading year went!! If you aren’t interested in stats then this probably isn’t the post for you but I thought this might be interesting.

So first, I read 177 books in 2018!

Next, lets look at the length of the books I read.

Also my average rating on Goodreads. But this is also not 100% accurate as I use half star ratings and Goodreads doesn’t have that ability.

The last stat from Goodreads is what book is the most popular & least popular according to Goodreads.

I also created a chart to display what genres I read in 2018.
Also the small dark blue section is Non-Fiction, for some reason Google Sheets didn’t put a label on it.

So overall, I am really happy with how much I read this year! Obviously towards the end of the year my reading went down due to going back to work & just having so much else on. So that was unfortunate but I’m still happy with having read 177 books!

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How did you go with your reading in 2018? How many books did you read! Let me know in the comments!

Lizaxx1
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Best Books I Read in 2018

Time for part 2 of my end of the year series! We went from a bad note with my Books I DNFd in 2018 post to a good note with Best Books I Read in 2018!
This list will be split into standalones/first books in a series & sequels. Lets jump in!

Standalones & First books in a series

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

This is a really interesting and intense YA Dystopian novel. This does have some romance themes in it which I wasn’t a huge fan of but I loved everything else about it enough that I was able to overlook the romance. The romance isn’t bad, I just don’t particularly care for romances. As I said everything else about this book was AMAZING! I honestly loved the writing. The book hooks you and does not let go from the first page! I always describe this book as amazing but a little fucked up and that is 100% accurate. I tentatively compare this book to Harry Potter & J.K. Rowling purely because both authors have a way of throwing all these little things at you, which at the time don’t full make sense, and then by the end everything falls into place and you are able to now see why those little things were introduced and are important. I also loved all the characters in this book. Good and bad guys they are all done so well and fleshed out marvellously. Highly recommend this book!
You can find my full spoiler free review HERE!

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

This is only the second book I have read by Amanda Foody and she is already an auto buy author for me. I loved Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody which was her debut that released in 2017. So of course I was excited for her second release and I was not disappointed!
Amanda Foody’s writing is amazing! She builds these worlds that are so vivid and unique. She creates these characters that are complex and interesting. She also writes diversity amazingly and also so naturally. Everything in this book just falls together seamlessly to create a spectacular YA Fantasy with a Mystery twist and I loved it!
You can find my full spoiler free review HERE!

Jackaby by William Ritter

I honestly didn’t know what to expect with this book. I had seen the cover around and had always been drawn to it. I knew it was a mystery but had never actually read the synopsis. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out this isn’t just a mystery, it is also fantasy. I absolutely loved this book! The writing was extremely captivating and I loved the setting of 1892! I also adored the characters! Abigail is an awesome protagonist and Jackaby was just so loveable! Also, no romance! Which scores points in my books!
You can find my full spoiler free review HERE!

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Wanna guess how much I enjoyed this book? I’ve read it twice this year and already have the sequel pre-ordered. Also it is on this list. So yes, I loved it! This is YA mystery and I didn’t really know what to expect having known nothing about it except the genre when I first picked it up. Whatever I expected I was not disappointed though! I was guessing the entire time. The characters were very well done and the setting is awesome. A school for unique students up in the mountains with a lake? Sounds like freaking Hogwarts to me! Highly recommend if you are looking for a good YA Mystery.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Oh my god. This book & series is insane! This is an adult Sci-Fi book that is so freaking impactful you will be tearing up at 20% because of characters that you don’t even remember the bloody name of yet! This book is insane!! I can not recommend this enough to any Sci-Fi lover. Also highly recommend the audiobook. It is spectacularly done.
Something to note is this book is written in a similar format to books like The Illuminae Files where you are reading a dossier of documents. The format was perfect for the story so don’t be scared just because of the format. If you can’t get into it physically then try and the audiobook!!
You can find my spoiler free review HERE!

Sequels

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

This was an amazing finale for this series! I absolutely adore this world and all the characters we get introduced to throughout the 3 books. I love that in Obsidio we follow not only 2 new main characters but also the 4 main characters from Illuminae & Gemina and of course all the amazing side characters. I just love everything about this book and this series. Especially the characters and the format of the books. I also highly recommend the audiobook, especially if you are having trouble with the unique formatting.
You can find my full spoiler free review HERE!

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

This series has been a little all over the place for me but I thoroughly enjoyed this third book in the series! I enjoyed book 1 but then didn’t love book 2, so I was a bit iffy going into this one as I didn’t know what to expect but it surprised me immensely. I loved exploring more worlds in this book and also following characters that were fun and enjoyable. I can’t wait to see what book 4 brings!
You can find my mini spoiler free review, as well as a review of the audiobooks for the series so far HERE!

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

This one I started off a bit iffy. This is the sequel to a book I read and LOVED in 2017, A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. When I first started this book I didn’t know it was a companion, not a direct sequel, so we follow new characters. As I said, I loved the characters from book 1, so it was a little disappointing at first. I soon got into it though and fell in love with these characters as well. This series is a very character & world driven story, so it may not be for everyone but if that is something you like then I highly recommend. The world is so vivid and immense and I loved discovering the races that live in this world. They are so interesting and so well developed.
You can find my full spoiler free review HERE!

Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton

This was a very long awaited series finale but I also wish it wasn’t over! This series was just amazing and this finale was just perfect. This series is action packed, the characters are awesome and the world is amazingly done! I had so much fun with this book and it’s characters! I can’t wait to see what Alwyn Hamilton does next as this series was her debut, so I’m interested to see where she goes from here.
You can find my full spoiler free review HERE!

Graevale by Lynette Noni

This freaking series guys! This is a less known series, mainly because it is only available in Australia by Pantera Press but I wish every fantasy lover could read this as it is just so damn good! I love the characters so much and especially the friend group in this book! Alex, Jordan, DC & Bear are one of my favourite friend groups I have ever read. Only second to Harry, Ron & Hermione! They are just such a fun group and I adore them all! I also love the world, it is so interesting and unique! I just love this series and I still haven’t gotten a chance to read We Three Heroes which is 3 short stories following Alex’s 3 best friends. I really want to read it but as I have very little time to read at the moment my priority has been my ARCs & BOTMs for my Facebook Group, The YA Book Nerds.

Well I think that is it guys!

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HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THEM? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!

Lizaxx1
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A Curse of Ash and Embers by Jo Spurrier

Title: A Curse of Ash and Ember
Author: 
Jo Spurrier
Series Name: 
Tales of the Blackbone Witches
Genre: 
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: September 24th, 2018
Pages: 368 (Paperback)
Publishers: HarperCollins Publishers Australia
Rating:

A dead witch. A bitter curse. A battle of magic.

Some people knit socks by the fire at night. Gyssha Blackbone made monsters.

But the old witch is dead now, and somehow it’s Elodie’s job to clean up the mess.

When she was hired at Black Oak Cottage, Elodie had no idea she’d find herself working for a witch; and her acid-tongued new mistress, Aleida, was not expecting a housemaid to turn up on her doorstep.

Gyssha’s final curse left Aleida practically dead on her feet, and now, with huge monsters roaming the woods, a demonic tree lurking in the orchard and an angry warlock demanding repayment of a debt, Aleida needs Elodie’s help, whether she likes it or not.

And no matter what the old witch throws at her, to Elodie it’s still better than going back home.

So to be completely honest I didn’t love the writing. It was kinda bland but the plot made up for it. The book didn’t have a huge amount of world building as there seemed to be more of a focus on plot. So we didn’t get a tonne of background except in regard to the Aleida.
While the plot was interesting there were also a fair few places where the book felt a bit slow.
I also didn’t like the action scenes. They were kinda hard to understand which took away from the whole engaging aspect of an action scene.

The plot was my favourite aspect of the book. It was engaging and interesting. There was a lot of building up to the next plot point which kept me interested even when the book was a bit slow.

The two major characters of the book were basically opposite. One was a bit 1 dimensional and the other was interesting and thought out.
Dee who is our main character was the one that felt very 1 dimensional. Besides the arsehole of a step father and a little bit about her mother & fathers story we didn’t really get that much about Dee herself. She felt quite flat and that made it difficult to connect with her and a main character.
Aleida had a lot more background which gave her a lot more substance than Dee had in the story. I also found Aleida really interesting which helped keep me interested when reading.

So overall the book was a bit all over the place. While I enjoyed some aspects there were a fair few things that I didn’t enjoy. I enjoyed the plot and Aleida but didn’t particularly care for the main character and the writing was a bit bland. I may still continue on with the series as I am interested to see where the story goes & also to learn more about Aleida.

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

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

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eBook // Paperback

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.

Lizaxx1
PURCHASE ANY OF THE BOOKS MENTIONED FROM BOOK DEPOSITORY! WORLDWIDE FREE SHIPPING.
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Books I DNFd in 2018

So it is nearly the end of 2018! So I’m going to be doing a series here & on my youtube channel discussing the best books I read in 2018, the books I DNFd in 2018, the worst books I read in 2018 & what I am anticipating in 2019! There may be more to this series but that is my current plan!

This year I really got into DNFing books more. I have accepted the fact that not all books are for me and there is no point wasting my time with something I don’t enjoy.

I am going to split this into 3 sections:
1. Books I DNFd because it just wasn’t for me
2. Books I DNFd but will try again in a different format
3. Books I DNFd because I strongly disliked them or something about them

So lets get into it!

Books I DNFd because it just wasn’t for me

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

This book… Okay, so don’t get me wrong. I really enjoyed book 1. I of course had problems with it, mainly the Insta Love based romance. But I was able to ignore that and focus on the plot and the really unique world. HOWEVER, this book jumps straight in heavy on the romance based side of things and I just couldn’t do it!


The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui. T Sutherland

So this one is a middle grade and don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a lot of middle grades but some, like this one is simply too young feeling for me. I felt like I was reading a kids book and I just couldn’t get into it.

Books I DNFd but will try again in a different format

The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken

This one is the 4th book in The Darkest Minds series. I was a little hesitant with this one as it’s always iffy when an author releases another book in a series YEARS after what we all thought was the finale’s publication. In this case the 3rd book in the series, In the Afterlight, was a 2014 release and The Darkest Legacy releases in 2018.
Honestly I didn’t get far enough into this book to really tell if it was good or bad. The reason I DNFd was I think the format. I had recently reread the original trilogy via audiobook and decided to continue on that path for this book too. I preferred the audiobooks for the other books as for some reason The Darkest Minds books always taken me twice as long to read as any other book. So the audiobooks were great but for The Darkest Legacy I just couldn’t get into it. I may try again with the physical book at some point but it more than likely won’t be soon as it just isn’t a top priority. The trilogy feels finished for me and this 4th book just feels like an unnecessary add on.

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Okay, so this wasn’t really a DNF but I did start it and not finish, so it’s making the list.
Basically I bought this book because it was so hyped leading up to the release. I added this book to a ReadAThon TBR and read the 1st chapter which was the epilogue. I wasn’t really intrigued so I had a look at some reviews. I started seeing a lot of reviews that claimed it was slow and boring. At the time I was in a reading slump and trying to get out and something that a lot of people were saying was slow was not something I wanted to put myself through when trying to get out of the slump. So I put it down. I have heard good things about the audiobook, so I will give it a go at some point.

Books I DNFd because I strongly disliked them of something about them

Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce

I just could not do it! I DNFd this book at 52%. I was half way through the book and basically NOTHING interesting had happened. We were just following this kid going to school. I’m all for a magical school but it starts getting boring after a while. I also remember this book having basically no world building. I am aware that this is set in the same world as one of her other series that was published ages ago but that doesn’t mean that there should be no world building! If it was a sequel I would get the lack of explanation but not with a companion that is set before the events of the original series. Just give me something!
You can find my full DNF Review HERE!

The Seer’s Curse by J.J. Faulks

Okay, so this book overall was a bit dull and boring but my main issue with it was how similar it was to other books I had already read. Basically we follow this girl that from the time that she is born everything bad that happens in that town she is blamed for. Sound familiar? That is because that is how The Trials of Morrigan Crow starts, which is a book I read and didn’t really care for.
You can find my full spoiler free DNF Review HERE.

A Shot in the Dark by Lynne Truss

This one I was just confused. This is a Mystery book that I received from NetGalley and I didn’t even review it because I only read about 20% and the whole time I was confused so didn’t feel like I had enough thoughts to actually review it. Basically you are thrown straight in and there a heap of names being thrown around, places being introduced and it all hit just so quickly that you don’t even have time to process anything. So yes, I was confused and gave up very early.


The Golden Fountain by Zuheb Alep

This is a book that I had never heard of before seeing this beautiful cover on NetGalley. The synopsis sounded promising so I requested it and was approved. This book was just bad though. This book had basically no world building except that it is parallel to our own world. There is constant action and honestly it just doesn’t make sense. It feels like it is just thrown all together purely for the action factor but none of it adds up. The constant action also leads to a lack of any character development, background info or anything that would make me connect with the book and care about what is going on. There are tonnes of characters! That many that you really can’t keep track of who the hell is who! Also the similarities to other books or movies was just too much for me to see it as inspiration and not copying the idea from other VERY well known franchises like Harry Potter & Pirates of the Caribbean.
This one I have a full DNF Review for which you can find HERE.

Lirael by Garth Nix

Honestly I don’t even really know why I continued on to this book when I didn’t enjoy the first book in the series that much. This book is the ‘sequel’ to Sabriel however I see it more of a companion as it is set years later and following completely new main characters. My main issue with these books were a lack of connection to the characters. The characters fell flat for me and that lead to me not really caring for them or what happens to them. These books are very heavy on the world building which I usually love but there also needs to be a balance with the other aspects of the book not just a tonne of details on this really unique and thought out world. Like I said I didn’t enjoy the first book and it just went further down hill when you are thrown into a completely different year with new characters after you were just starting to get a feel for the undeveloped characters of the first book.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

This book broke a record for me. Least amount of pages read before DNFing. I’m pretty sure I read 1 chapter, maybe 2? I can’t remember but it was very few pages, I know that much. This book follows a plus size main character, which is great! I love some plus size rep HOWEVER this was not executed well at all. So we find out she is plus size very early in, like the first or second page. That’s cool, we get that she is plus size now, awesome. However after that, it is mentioned once or twice every damn page! I just couldn’t put up with it! Her every second thought was either food or the fact that she is plus size! Like we get it! It got so damn monotonous so quickly!
Honestly I am so glad I didn’t bother with this book after reading some reviews. I highly recommend checking out THIS review on Goodreads if you are curious about how this book progresses.

Twice Dead by Caitlin Seal

My main issue with this book was just a lack of, well, everything. The world wasn’t explained, at all. The magic system wasn’t explained, at all. The background as to why everyone fears necromancy was barely touched on. The main character was bland and undeveloped. Honestly I just didn’t care because everything was so poorly introduced that I felt like I started reading from the middle of the book and couldn’t form a connection or understanding with anything.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

My issue with this one was mainly the writing. For one thing this is another one that just felt too young for me but also the slang and deliberate incorrect spelling to represent the main characters lack of education was just annoying to read. You are also kinda thrown in without a tonne of building. I also found most of the characters flat which didn’t help my interest in the book.

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

I’m not even going to explain this one. I am just going to link to my DNF review of this that I wrote at 2:30 in the morning after DNFing and is honestly one of my favourite reviews. Just go read it HERE.

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.

Lizaxx1
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AUSSIE? WANT QUICK SHIPPING? AWESOME PRICES? WANT TO BE ABLE TO USE AFTERPAY? MAYBE TRY BOOKTOPIA OR EVEN ANGUS & ROBERTSON!
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SOME OF THE LINKS ON MY BLOG ARE AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS DOES NOT CHANGE THE PRICE OF PURCHASES, HOWEVER, I RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION TO HELP ME KEEP THIS BLOG ALIVE!

Massive Book Haul! I’m back on YouTube!!!

Just though I would let you all know that I am back on youtube and am hoping to post at least once a week! 

Here is my latest video which is a HUGE book haul!

Lizaxx1
PURCHASE ANY OF THE BOOKS MENTIONED FROM BOOK DEPOSITORY! WORLDWIDE FREE SHIPPING.
AUSSIE? WANT QUICK SHIPPING? AWESOME PRICES? WANT TO BE ABLE TO USE AFTERPAY? MAYBE TRY BOOKTOPIA OR EVEN ANGUS & ROBERTSON!
FACEBOOK    /    TWITTER    /    PERSONAL TWITTER    /    PINTEREST    /    INKY: @DUSKANGELREADS   /    INSTAGRAM  /    PERSONAL INSTAGRAM    /    GOODREADS    /    PHOTOGRAPHY TUMBLR   /    LITSY: DUSKANGELREADS
SOME OF THE LINKS ON MY BLOG ARE AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS DOES NOT CHANGE THE PRICE OF PURCHASES, HOWEVER, I RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION TO HELP ME KEEP THIS BLOG ALIVE!