April TBR + A Very ARC-ish Readathon

Hey guys! I know I’m like super late but here is my TBR for April!

Remember what I said in my March TBR about being a mood reader and never ending up reading the books I had planned to to read??????

Yeah. That’s pretty much what happened to me in March.

I only had two books on my TBR but I barely even finished one of them!

I was participating in a Buddy Read and that was pretty much my only motivation to keep on reading Jane Austen’s Emma! It’s not that I didn’t like it, I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads! It’s just that it got a little boring in the middle and I just wasn’t in the mood for it anymore. I kept reaching for other books so I almost had to force myself to read on! Never again.

I still plan on doing monthly TBR lists but I don’t think I’ll choose more than 3 books and I won’t make myself feel bad about not reading everything I had planned to!

*click on the book covers to be directed to the Goodreads page*

Six of Crows
The first book on my April TBR won’t come as a surprise to you since I KEEP TALKING ABOUT IT! It’s Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo! You’ve seen me talk about this one all month (and I’ve been whining about it to my friends for much longer) and I just can’t wait to read this already! I know for sure that I am in the mood to read this. Hell, I’ve been in the mood to read Six of Crows ever since it came out! I’m so, so, sooooo excited!


The Bone Season

The next book I plan to read is The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. I’ve had this book for a while and she recently came out with new covers that are absolutely beautiful! They’ve had a sample of the first chapter up for request on Netgalley and my overeager I’m-a-newbie-and-need-to-request-EVERYTHING self decided to request it. Huh???? Why did I request it? I literally own the book. I’ve had it for months. Like, what? Where’s the logic? But I guess that gives me a good excuse to finally start reading the series! 😀



If you’ve read my March TBR post you might remember that I mentioned putting one classic a month on my TBR list because I own so many and barely read any of them. For this month I wanted to choose something short because Emma has just been a pain to get through (even if I loved it!). I decided to go with Persuasion by Jane Austen. The novel is super thin and I hope I can breeze through it quickly!

No, this is not the end of the post! 😛

The next thing I’ll be talking about is A Very Arc-ish Readathon! It is hosted by Aimal over at Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Check out her post to see how you can participate!


Basically, the idea is to tackle the ARCs on your TBR! This is a pretty chill readathon, there are no challenges and everyone picks their own goals!

I have a lot of Netgalley ARCs waiting to be reviewed and since I’m back at university just after Easter and life will get a lot busier, I am going to try to get through most of my ARCs in April! (At least the ones that were released in March and the ones for April!) BUT I won’t pressure myself and just read whatever I’m in the mood for! I am also hoping to get to that precious 80% ratio, fingers crossed!

I won’t make a TBR for the ARCs because there’s so many and I’ll just pick whatever I’m in the mood for at the moment!

Thanks so much for reading!

Jackie x

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? And do you have a monthly TBR list or are you a mood reader like me and just don’t bother? What about those ARCs, which ones do you plan on reading this month? Let’s chat!

Review : Beauty of the Beast (Fairy Tale Retellings #1) by Rachel L. Demeter | Spoiler Free

Author: Rachel L. Demeter

Genre: Historical Romance

Published on: 15th March 2017

Pages: 342

Disclaimer/Trigger Warning: This is an edgy, historical romance retelling of the classic fairy tale. Due to strong sexual content, profanity, and dark subject matter, including an instance of sexual assault committed by the villain, Beauty of the Beast is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

*I received a free ARC by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

(via Goodreads): “Experience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.


Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.


Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.


Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice. 

Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.”

“She warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within.”

Beauty of the Beast is a darker, more mature version of the movie that we’ve all come to love; Beauty and the Beast. I haven’t read many retellings in my life so far but I particularly enjoyed this one!

Like in any retelling there were some similarities to the original story but the author put a dark, edgy twist on it and made it a story of her own!

Isabelle is a genuine, kind-hearted, friendly girl who lives with her very ill father and her two mean, ungrateful step-sisters (who give off Cinderella vibes) in a small cottage in a town called Ruillé, France. She loves her father endlessly and takes care of him as well as she can.

But there is a darkness and fear within Isabelle caused by a fiancé that she never wanted. Raphael Dumont is sexist, disrespectful, controlling and abusive. He treats Isabelle like his property and sexually harasses her. He is one of the most disgusting character I’ve ever read about.

Isabelle makes a plan to run away with her father and escape the claws of her fiancé. They stumble upon an abandoned ruin of a castle and seek shelter there.

Prince Adam Delacroix has been living in complete seclusion and void of human contact for 25 years, except for the company of his dog Stranger and an old friend that visits him every once in a while. Both mentally and physically scarred, he has been hiding his face under a cloak, feeling like a beast.

Until Isabelle shows up at his door and slowly unravels a completely different side of him.

At first we get to know a lonely, ashamed and insecure side of Adam, isolating himself and hiding his face from Isabelle. But they get to know each other better and he turns into a gentle, protective and sensitive young man.

I really liked that Adam and Isabelle, unintentionally, helped to change the other person for the better. Each of their character development and the evolvement of their relationship from beginning to end felt very realistic. They start to care for and trust each other and then together, experience darkness, love, passion and romance. Adam draws on Isabelle’s strength and he learns to hate himself a little less. He even makes self-deprecating comments! 😀 They end up bantering and teasing each other a lot which was really cute.

What I liked about the story was that we get to experience from different points of view. I’m not the biggest fan of multiple perspectives but it was very well done in this book! You almost don’t notice that the point of view has changed. Through that we not only got to hear Isabelle’s thoughts and feelings, but also which emotions Adam was experiencing and how he developed as a character.

“Property? She’s a woman – not a goat for trade.”

While I did like Adam as a character, there were a few weird things he did that bothered me.

First of all, every time he simply looked at Isabelle he had some weird, slightly sexual thoughts about her. There was one scene, where Isabelle is mostly unconscious due to a fever and he has these thoughts, which creeped me out! Thankfully, that got better as the story went on.

Another creepy thing was the fact that sometimes, when he couldn’t sleep, he would go into Isabelle’s bedroom and just watch her sleep. For hours! He also had a weird obsession with Isabelle’s breasts and mentioned/fantasized about them every time he was interacting with her. Yeah.


I enjoyed the writing style. It was very descriptive and really helped to imagine the setting of the story. The only phrase that irked me because it was used so often was: “Their gazes slammed together.” Slammed? How do gazes slam together? I didn’t count but I’ve seen the phrase at least 10 times and it was just weird.

Overall, the story was very enjoyable and I would totally recommend it. You better not expect the original though, because one of the only similar things was the outline of the original Beauty and the Beast!

The whole story and relationship between Isabelle and Adam is a lot more mature. They did have a very sweet, passionate romance and I loved some of the things they said to each other to declare their love for one another.

But keep in mind that they’re both a lot older and obviously have sexual needs! The writing is very detailed and explicit when it comes to the sex scenes! There is one particular scene that goes on over several pages and I just quickly skimmed through it because I’m not a fan of reading explicit sex scenes. People under 18 definitely shouldn’t read this story!

All in all, this was a very enjoyable read! The dark twist of this retelling was something I didn’t expect but I welcomed it all the same. This is a story with some very dark themes and a sweet but sexy and passionate romance. I would totally recommend it!

⭐⭐⭐⭐  (4 out of 5 stars)

Goodreads / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble

Do you like reading retellings or are you not a fan? Have you read any other Beauty and the Beast retellings? Please leave me recommendations in the comments below!

Review: Hold My Hand by A.C. Oswald | Spoiler Free

*I received a free ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Hold My HandTitle: Hold My Hand

Author: A.C. Oswald

Genre: YA, LGBTQA+

Published: March 1st 2017 by Ylva Publishing

Pages: 187

(via Goodreads): Bethany is heartbroken when her girlfriend, Savannah, dumps her with no explanation. Slowly, she rebuilds her life, meets Amber and begins to heal.
A year later they meet again and their feelings are as strong as ever. So why did Savannah leave her?
Bethany is devastated by the answer and realises she will lose Savannah again – to cancer.
In a world where time is fleeting but love lasts forever, Savannah and Bethany can only hold onto each other and live every dream they ever shared.

Goodreads / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble

This story is about Savannah who leaves Bethany, her girlfriend of 5 years, one day for no apparent reason. They meet again a year later and Beth finds out that Savannah has been hiding the fact that she has cancer. Bethany wants to make Savannah’s last months as enjoyable as possible and they live every day together like it’d be their last.

At first, I didn’t really know where the story was going and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. It was a tiny bit slow paced for me but once the story picked up it turned into your typical adventurous/fulfill your bucket list/last wish type of story and it was very sweet.

I thought Savannah was a bit unreasonable for not telling Beth about her cancer. They have been together for 5 years and known each other since high school. Bethany was Savannah’s one true love, and the other way round, but instead of just telling her that she had cancer, Savannah broke up with Beth. She wasted and sacrificed an entire good year of hers, living miserably and alone even though she still loved Beth. She not only hurt Beth with that decision but also herself. It just didn’t make sense to me.

Bethany is a very sweet girl. When she finds out about Savannah’s cancer she does everything in her power to make life fun again for her. Savannah had given up after she left Beth, she was depressed and lonely and she thought she would die alone. But Beth completely changes her perspective and makes life worth living. It was sweet how Bethany tried her best to accomplish everything that Savannah had ever wished for.

The romance between Beth and Savannah felt real. I caught myself comparing the story and relationship to The Fault In Our Stars at times but I felt like in TFIOS it was overly sensationalized and dramatic. The author definitely made Hold My Hand feel more realistic. You could actually imagine it happening in real life and it made me realise that a lot of people actually do go through this every day.

If you read between the lines you could really tell that the girls had a tight bond and developed a great, sweet love. It felt true-to-life. Sometimes it was a little too cheesy for my taste, though.

I also wasn’t a fan of the very explicit sex scenes in the story. I didn’t really see the point and they didn’t contribute anything to the story. I would have preferred if they had just been left out to be honest.

For whatever reason, I wasn’t too attached to the characters so I didn’t cry or felt overly emotional about the story or the ending but I still liked it. This book wasn’t anything too spectacular and rather average but it was simple and had a sweet love story.

⭐⭐⭐.5  (3.5 out of 5 stars)

Jackie x

Mini Review: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling/Chrystal S. Chan

*thank you to Netgalley and Udon Entertainment for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*jungle book


Title: The Jungle Book

Author: Rudyard Kipling, Chrystal S. Chan

Genre: Graphic Novels, Children’s Fiction

Published: April 3rd 2017 by Udon Entertainment


I was very excited that I was approved to receive this “The Jungle Book” graphic novel since The Jungle Book has been one of my favourite stories as a kid!

I don’t usually read graphic novels so I was very interested in how the graphics influence your reading experience. And I can tell you I wasn’t disappointed!

This adaptation is in Manga form which means you have to read it backwards and from right to left! I used to read Mangas when I was younger but it was still very confusing at first. You get used to it after the first few pages though and it gets very enjoyable.

I particularly loved the graphics of this adaptation! They were so detailed and unique and it made the whole reading experience so much better. They really help you visualise the story (since the action is literally right there in front of you!) and it makes reading and taking in information so much easier. It was great to see the story move along so fast, you could literally breeze through the story! And you don’t only get to read what the characters are saying but you get to see their facial expressions and body language. I think that is a big pro about graphic novels!

In any adaption you add or leave out certain elements of the original plot and it was done very well in this version. You could see the outline of the original story with a few unique quirks here and there.

What I really liked was that all the poems that were a part of the original book were a part of this adaptation, too! But in this adaptation they weren’t positioned at the end of each chapter but rather where it was fitting for the story and I must say they each fit perfectly in their respective slots.

I very much enjoyed reading a slightly different version of one of my favourite childhood stories!

⭐⭐⭐⭐  (4 out of 5 stars)

This graphic novels is published on April 3rd 2017 and if you want to get your hands on it head over to https://mangaclassics.com/ and get your copy 🙂

Have you read the actual Jungle Book book? Did you see the movie? Did you watch a lot of Disney movies as a kid? What is/was your favourite Disney movie?


Review: Death’s Queen by Janeal Falor | Spoiler Free

book*thanks to Netgalley and Chardonian Press for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*

Death's Queen

Title: Death’s Queen

Author: Janeal Falor

Genre: YA Fantasy

Published: 6th March 2017 by Chardonian Press

Pages: 118

(via Goodreads): “Nameless. Unknown. Alone.

An assassin without a name, born to kill. Owned by a vicious man who refuses to call her anything but girl, she is forced to commit atrocious acts of violence. Vowing to take her future into her own hands, the seventeen-year-old decides to risk everything on one act of defiance—drinking from The Death Drink. The beverage kills most whose lips touch it—only allowing those who are destined to be royalty survive the first sip. 

Powerful. Revered. Hunted. 

To the astonishment of the nation of Valcora, she imbibes it and lives, which crowns her queen. Thrown into a life of royal intrigue, she now has a purpose—to rule with the fairness she was never shown. Despite her altruistic plans, it becomes apparent that someone wants her dead. The new queen must use her training from the former life she only wants to forget in order to stay alive long enough to turn her kingdom into something she can be proud of. She’ll hold onto the crown… or die trying.”

Goodreads / Amazon US / Amazon UKBarnes & Noble

Death’s Queen is about a nameless female assassin who has been following her master’s orders and committing murder all her life. One day she realises how much she despises to kill and leaves the only home she’s ever known. For days she lives on the streets, her mood and will to live slowly slipping away until she decides to end her life by drinking from The Death Drink – it either kills you or crowns you as the new queen. To her surprise she survives and gets thrown into a new life at the court, having people bow down before her and follow her orders and wishes.

With only 118 pages this was a quick read but that is by no means a negative thing, I actually enjoyed it!

I really liked our anonymous main character. We don’t get to know much about her, look-/personality-wise until a few chapters in, which makes her very mysterious and difficult to figure out at first. The people of the court and country don’t know that their new queen is a former deadly assassin but there are still people who want her dead due to her new position as queen. As the story progresses we don’t only get to see her deadly, fierce side where she takes down any man who tries to kill her, but also another more sensitive side. She has difficulty opening up to people or showing emotion and she trusts no one around her. With the exception of the young guard Nash who now is her newly appointed Head Advisor. He keeps her company, takes his time to explain politics to her and also how to act as a queen.

She also does a lot differently than all the queens before her. She changes rules and doesn’t let anyone talk down on her or try to talk her into something she doesn’t want to do. If she doesn’t like a dress, she lets them make her a new one. If she isn’t okay with the court’s courtesy rules she lets people know it. I like that she has a mind of her own and only pursues what she thinks is right. She opposes the council and only ever really listens to Nash.

I liked how her and Nash worked together but I do have to say their relationship developed a little too quickly for me. I think the whole story took place within a couple of weeks so they could have developed feelings for each other, sure, it just seemed a little too fast for my liking. But maybe I just felt that way because the book only has 100+ pages, I’m not sure!

The story was very fast-paced and there are some unexpected truths that are revealed throughout the story. If you’re looking for a quick read with a bit of action, betrayal, life at court, a little side-romance and a badass female character you should pick up Death’s Queen!

⭐⭐⭐⭐  (4 out of 5 stars)