April Wrap-Up

HOW. DID. THIS. HAPPEN.

I literally blinked and suddenly it’s the end of April! Time is just going CRAZY!

Anyway, this will be a long one so let’s not talk too much! Please enjoy my April Wrap-Up 🙂

What I Read/A Very ARC-ish Readathon

This month I read a total of 8 books! Having this book blog is helping me read a lot more than I used to which is amazing!!!

This month I was participating in the A Very ARC-ish Readathon which was hosted by Aimal over at Bookshelves and Paperbacks. The first 7 books I read this month were ARCs from NetGalley!

I made a promise to myself to not request any ARCs on Netgalley until my ratio was at least at the precious 80% (except if it’s a book that I’ve been HIGHLY anticipating). I am currently at 62% which I’m very proud of because I’ve caught up quite a bit! I still have a few books pending but I am hoping to read more of them in May and hopefully get to 80% next month! :’)

ARCS I READ

   

 

 

 

 

  • The Castaways – Jessika Fleck: This was an okay read. I had a few issues with it but overall it was a solid read! I have a review of The Castaways up on my blog and I also got the chance to participate in the Castaways blog tour and interview the author Jessica Fleck!
  • Unknown Horizons – CJ Birch: The premise of this book had so much potential but I ended up being disappointed because the whole thing just felt underdeveloped! Here is my review of Unknown Horizons.
  • The Magician’s Lie – Greer Macallister: This was described as ‘Water for the Elephants’ meets ‘The Night Circus’ and it was an overall enjoyable read! Full review is on Goodreads.
  • Slow Boat – Hideo Furukawa: I don’t know if I just didn’t understand what this book was trying to convey but I did not like this AT ALL! It was a genuinely MESSY book – letters were missing, the narrator jumped from one place to the next and I almost DNFed it! Full review is on Goodreads.

  

 

 

 

 

  • The Song of the Stork – Stephan Collishaw: This was a 4 star read for me. This was a story set during WW2 and I like reading those stories if they’re done well! And this one definitely was! Full review is on Goodreads.
  • The Space Between the Stars – Anne Corlett: This was a story set in space where a group of survivors go on an adventurous journey through space, dreaming of a new beginning. This was another 4 star read for me! A review of The Space Between the Stars will be up closer to publication (end of May). 
  • 180 Seconds – Jessica Park: This was one of my most recent reads and I’ll just link you to my blog review if you haven’t seen it yet! 😉

OTHER BOOKS I READ (that weren’t ARCs lol)

A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas: AHHHHH!!! What a LOVELY read. I wasn’t too invested in the romance because I knew how that would go in Book 2 lol but it was still amazing. I LOVED Feyre as a character – she’s so smart, sassy and just fabulous ❤

By the way, I won’t be reviewing this one anywhere because most of you have probably already read it lol. But if you HAVEN’T, I can 100% recommend it!!!!!!

 

CURRENTLY READING

  • Persuasion – Jane Austen: As you may know, I am attempting to read one classic every month. I am about halfway through Persuasion but it’s been difficult to get through – whenever I was reading it, my thoughts were wandering. I think I am putting this on hold for now.
  • Heartborn – Terry Maggert: Another Netgalley ARC – I’ve been reading this one during my 20-minute train journeys on my way to uni and it’s alright so far!
  • A COURT OF MIST AND FURY – SJM: I didn’t get very far yet BUT IM ALREADY SCREAMING AND CRYING AND BREAKING DOWN SOOOOOO :’)

BOOKS I’VE STARTED/ATTEMPTED TO READ BUT ARE ON HOLD FOR NOW

 PLEASE DON’T ASK ME WHY I’VE PUT BOTH OF THESE ON HOLD BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW!!! I wasn’t ready for the feels that hit me when I started Six of Crows and I was VERY ashamed when I put it back on my shelf 😦 Same with Simon Vs!!! I’ll return to SOC when I’m emotionally ready for the feels and have recovered from ACOMAF!!!

 

What I Watched

Pets

I’ve been meaning to watch Pets for a while! One morning I saw that it was on TV and since I had nothing better to do I watched the whole thing! It was soooooo hilarious, funny and just adorable!!! 10/10 would recommend! ❤

 

 

 

 

13 Reasons Why

I started 13 Reasons Why at the beginning of the month. Originally, I hadn’t planned to watch the series AT ALL – I wasn’t interested because the teaser trailers didn’t convince me and I felt like I wouldn’t like it. But ever since it came out, there’s just been a lot of talk and hype surrounding it and so I gave in and started it.

Right now, I am only about halfway through. Partly, because I’ve been a busy bee – visiting Munich, going away for Easter, going back to university – but also because it’s a show with very dark and heavy topics that sometimes trigger my anxiety. I could never binge-watch the show in like a day or two like some people do – I can barely get through an episode sometimes! So far I am liking it though.

SkamAlso Skam is back again! If you don’t know it (umm, have you been living under a rock???!!?!), it’s a Norwegian TV show and each season is about a different teen who struggles with certain things. It addresses very relevant topics and has some incredible characters! GO WATCH IT NOWWW!

Unfortunately, this is the last season of Skam :((((((( I’m so SAD! But they’ve made Sana the main character for this one and I’M GLAD because that’s what I’ve been hoping for! Sana is just ICONIC and A QUEEN! I didn’t really get the chance to actually watch a full episode – cue my busy life – but I hear that it’s great!

I also really need to rewatch Season 2 because I miss Noorhelm and I need to delve back into the FEELS. My sweet children. ❤

What I Listened To

To start off, I’d just like to mention my Top 3 songs of the month. I literally did not go a day without listening to at least one of these songs (if not all of them).

THE THREE MASTERPIECES OF APRIL:

            

 

PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND LISTEN TO ALL THREE OF THESE ❤ They’re all incredible songs and I don’t think I’ll stop listening to them anytime soon.

Blackbear’s do re mi gives me the greatest vibes! He has also released his new album – if you’re into that R&B-ish type of music, give it a listen – it’S DOPE!!!!

Also…….. Harry Styles – Sign of the Times. GO LISTEN TO THE SONG OF THE YEAR, ARTIST OF THE YEAR, ALBUM OF THE YEAR, BEST-SELLING TOUR OF THE YEAR. HARRY IS SNATCHING EVERYONE’S WEAVES LEFT AND RIGHT!!!!!!!!

If you don’t know about Banks, stop what you’re doing and check out her music. She is just incredible. I love her sooooo incredibly much and Crowded Places is just so gorgeous – a love song to all the introverts out there ❤

OTHER SONGS I’VE ENJOYED THIS MONTH:

  • Despacito – Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee (I am a SUCKER for spanish songs!!!)
  • Slide – Frank Ocean, Calvin Harris, Migos
  • Good Life – Kehlani ft. G-Eazy
  • I Feel It Coming – The Weeknd (this has sneaked it’s way back into the playlist because it’s all over the radioooo and it gives me great vibes)
  • Love Galore – SZA ft. Travis Scott (this only just came out and it’s DOPE)

Achievements

It’s my two month anniversary here on Too Much of a Book Nerd – or toomuchofabooknerd? – I still don’t know whether to space it out or leave it all together! UGHHH. Anyway.

In these two months I managed to reach 200 freakin’ followers!?!?!!!?!?!??! WHAAAAT? I am honestly in shock and in awe and amazed and just… Shook.

Thank you guys so much – everyone who has ever followed, liked, commented, shared etc. I love you to the moon and back ❤

I know everyone always says this when reaching a milestone but I HONESTLY never ever ever expected to even reach like 50 followers and now there’s 200 of you guys and this is just NUTS! I appreciate every single one of you sooooo much and I love talking to you guys ❤

I don’t really have anyone in real-life who loves books as much as me so this blog and this whole community is PERFECT to share all my thoughts and feelings! And I made some incredible friends in these 2 months and I looove you guys! So much!

I will hopefully be able to give something back to you guys in the near future *cough* a giveaway? *cough* maybe? *cough* lol but yeah. That will probablymaybehopefully be happening soon-ish!

Thanks again to each and every single one of you ❤

here’s a Gif of my FAVVVVE to show my love and gratitude :’)

GOODREADS CHALLENGE

My original goal for 2017 was to read 30 books. I reached that goal in April and so I decided to set a new goal! I have settled on 50 books for now since uni has started again and I won’t have as much time to read as before!

2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Jackie has
read 31 books toward
her goal of
50 books.
hide

 

 

Some awesome posts by fellow bloggers

SORRY THAT THIS GOT SO LONG BUT APRIL WAS A GREAT MONTH FOR MEEEE 😀

Once again, thank you guys sooooooOOO much! For everything ❤

Alllll the love,

Jackie x

NOW! How was your April? Successful? Or not so much? How many books did you read? What was your favourite read of the month? What movies/TV series did you watch this month and can you recommend anything? Which SONGS did you particularly enjoy? (Feel free to rec me as many as possible lol I love music) Are there any posts that you published this month that you’re particularly proud of? Feel free to leave a link down below and I might highlight them in a future post! Let’s chat in the comments below :’)

The Castaways Blog Tour | Author Interview + Giveaway!

Welcome to the wonderful The Castaways blog tour hosted by YA Reads! This is my very first blog tour, how excitingggg! I was lucky enough to interview Jessika Fleck, the lovely and super sweet author of The Castaways! Check out my interview below!

Author Interview
  1. First of all, describe what the book/story is about in one sentence. (It can be a long sentence!)

The Castaways is a story about finding your strength, learning to trust yourself and others, great adventure, finding family in unlikely situations, and survival.

  1. How did you come up with the idea for this book?

The idea for The Castaways came to me in two parts. First off, a friend of mine was going through a really rough time with her daughter being bullied at school. It was heartbreaking and horrifying and left me at a loss that such things happened so regularly and in plain sight of teachers and administrators and other students. It just isn’t right. As all of that was sort of percolating in my mind, Halloween came along and my husband and I took our daughters on the obligatory pumpkin patch excursion. Of course, we visited the corn maze. And, of course, it was as creepy and beautiful and mysterious as it always is. At one point we decided to split up — one adult with one kid — and race to the finish. Well, I had our youngest daughter who wasn’t at all interested in getting out of there and so we just ambled through the crooks and bends and dead-ends. And that’s when it hit me: what a perfect place to run away when you’re trying to hide. And that was pretty much the beginning of The Castaways. The rest, honestly, spiraled into place.

  1. Are any of the characters based on people you know in real life?

No. Anticlimactic, I know. Really though, they’re all completely from my imagination.

  1. What was your hardest scene to write?

Without giving away any spoilers, one of my most difficult scenes to write also happens to be one of my favorites. When Olive arrives on the island, she’s taken in by one group of kids, but ends up pretending to be knocked out. Eyes closed, she tries to figure out what’s going on, who’s who, what sort of shelter she’s in, if these people are kind or not, etc… Being in Olive’s point-of-view, I had to explain everything minus her visual cues. Also, this is the first scene the reader meets anyone from the island and there are four characters, other than Olive, in one room. It was a great challenge and so fun to write.

  1. As a writer, what would you choose as a mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Does a patronus work? 😉 If so, mine would be a snowy owl.

  1. What is the first book that made you cry?

I doubt this is the first, but it’s the first I can really recall… Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice. I read it in high school. It still haunts (in all the good ways) me to this day.

  1. If The Castaways was being made into a movie, whom would you pick to play the lead roles?

In a perfect, dreamy world, Olive would be played by Odeya Rush. Will by Devon Bostick.

  1. And finally, what’s next? Are you working on another book?

Currently, I’m deep into revisions for my next YA fantasy, The Offering (Swoon Reads, fall 2018) as well as working on revising my first MG project (yay!) for my agent. Very exciting, stressful times over here! I’m basically living on coffee and chocolate.

About the book

Book Title: The Castaways

Author: Jessika Fleck

Release Date: April 3, 2017

Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy

Purchase Links: Goodreads / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Amazon UK / Amazon Canada / Entangled Publishing

“The Castaway Carnival: fun, mysterious, dangerous. Renowned for its infamous corn maze… and the kids who go missing in it.

When Olive runs into the maze, she wakes up on an isolated and undetectable island where a decades-long war between two factions of rival teens is in full swing. Trapped, Olive must slowly attempt to win each of her new comrades’ hearts as Will—their mysterious, stoically quiet, and handsome leader—steals hers.

Olive is only sure about one thing: her troop consists of the good guys, and she’ll do whatever it takes to help them win the war and get back home. But victory may require more betrayal, sacrifice, and heartbreak than she’s ready for.”


About the author

Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her work verges on fantastical and dark with a touch of realism. She is a regular contributor to the fantastic kidlit blog, Kidliterati, and is represented by Victoria Marini of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

Connect with Jessika Fleck:

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Newsletter

Enter the Giveaway

Click the link below to win a prize pack including a The Castaways paperback + swag OR an Amazon gift card in the case of an international winner.

A Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour

You can follow the rest of the tour over here!


I have also reviewed The Castaways on my blog before, so check that out if you haven’t already! Simply click hereeee!

Thank you for reading!

Jackie x

 

Review: The Castaways by Jessika Fleck | Spoiler Free

CastawaysTitle: The Castaways

Author: Jessika Fleck

Genre: YA Fantasy

Published: April 3rd 2017 by Entangled TEEN

Pages: 320

*I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way!*

(via Goodreads): “The Castaway Carnival: fun, mysterious, dangerous.

Renowned for its infamous corn maze…and the kids who go missing in it.

When Olive runs into the maze, she wakes up on an isolated and undetectable island where a decades-long war between two factions of rival teens is in full swing.

Trapped, Olive must slowly attempt to win each of her new comrades’ hearts as Will—their mysterious, stoically quiet, and handsome leader—steals hers.

Olive is only sure about one thing: her troop consists of the good guys, and she’ll do whatever it takes to help them win the war and get back home.”


Goodreads / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble


The Castaways is about a girl named Olive Maxi Gagmuehler who gets bullied because of her name. She’s an insecure girl who lets a trio of three mean girls treat her like crap (they’re pretty bad I was shocked), she doesn’t like confrontation and rather runs away than face things head on. She goes to the pirate-inspired Castaway Carnival which has a maze where kids got lost and didn’t return from before. As Olive is in the maze on the run from one of her bullys, she crawls through a tunnel and randomly (or should I say magically) lands on an island. There’s other teens who have been stuck there for years, not aging as time apparently stands still.

This book was said to be similar to or inspired by Lord of the Flies but I haven’t read that one so I can’t really say!

I liked the writing of this book, it was very simple, there was nothing overly poetic/lyrical/too descriptive/metaphorical about it but that’s not a negative thing! It was very easy to get through. I believe I read this book in 2 (?) days. It was a bit difficult to get into it at first but by the end I really enjoyed it.

When I first read the synopsis I thought this book had an interesting premise and I was quite excited. I also got sent an excerpt and I thought I was going to fall in love with the story and the characters!

I wasn’t necesseraily disappointed, I just felt like this book had so much more potential and was kind of underdeveloped. I wouldn’t say it was predictable but… it kind of was at times! I don’t really know how to explain it, something was just off. I feel like the book could have been so much more intriguing and action-packed with plot twists and betrayals and all that jazz!

I wasn’t sure what to rate this book at first because I had (or still have) mixed feelings about it. It wasn’t bad or anything and I would say that I liked it but there were a few things that irked me.

There were a few cliché tropes and lines mostly from the main character that received some eye rolling from me. Let’s start with the romance. When Olive arrives at the island and sets eyes on Will there’s that immediate spark between them and about two days later she has already developed a major crush on him. They’ve barely talked or had a meaningful conversation but suddenly they kiss and pour their hearts out to each other when it’s only been A WEEK since they’ve met. Hello insta-love!

Olive is your typical anxious, insecure and naive main character. She’s been bullied because of her name (Olive as in the food and Gagmuehler as in to gag) for years and feels ashamed of it. But suddenly an attractive boy she just met doesn’t react and appears indifferent when she tells him her name and oh wait, he’s right, it’s just a name! How did I not realise it before! And then they kiss. Huh. If that isn’t chliché I don’t know what is.

(NOTE: I am by no means supporting or undermining bullying here! What I’m trying to say is that Olive tells Will her full name expecting a disgusted/ridiculing reaction. He tells her “It’s just a name.” and she suddenly forgets all about the issues she had with the name because a boy tells her so!)

Clichés aside, by the second half/third of the book it actually turned into a very enjoyable read for me. 

Firstly, I liked how the group as a whole developed. Olive meets Will’s group (the Lions) when she first arrives at the island. They have lived on the island for years and treat each other like family. They are wary of Olive at first but she proves her place in their group. As the story goes on the group develops a really tight bond and some lasting friendships have formed.

Secondly, the book actually had a good message at the end. Each of the characters went through some form of character development. They’ve changed and learned to accept themselves for who they are. I especially love the journey that Olive went through. She has been bullied for so long, always running away from her problems instead of dealing with them and generally being a nervous, panicked mess. The experiences she makes on the island help her face her problems head-on! She realises that running away is not the answer and discovers a new, more confident version of herself!

And lastly, the story finally picked up or at least I felt like something not-so-predictable was happening as they were figuring out a way OUT of the island! I think it was around 70% when I was hooked and couldn’t stop reading! Some secrets were discovered, some things about the island and the people stuck on it were revealed and figured out and it was very intriguing.

Overall, it was a solid read. It had some cliché parts but the last third of the book made up for it. I also really liked the ending!

I didn’t mean to point out so many negative aspects because this book truly wasn’t bad! I guess it’s just always easier to find things that you dislike than explain what you actually liked about a book! :’)

⭐⭐⭐.5  (3.5 out of 5 stars)

Don’t miss my author interview with Jessika Fleck for the YA Reads ‘The Castaways’ blog tour coming to you on Friday!


I am currently in Munich so this post is pre-written/scheduled. I will be replying to comments once I am back home! Don’t think I’m ignoring you, I would NEVER! 😛