Books I Thought I’d Love But Didn’t | Discussion

I’ve done the alternate version of this post, with books I thought I’d love and ended up hating twice (click here and here). I figured it was only fair that I do the reverse of this. Considering the book community kind of thrives on hatred (no judgement here) and I hate a lot of books I truly expected to love. Some books I hate read – yes, I hate-read, let me live my life – but I promise these aren’t books that fell into that category.

These are all books I went in to with the highest of expectations. I was so ready to drop five-star ratings and scream praise from the rooftops. Unfortunately, they were all flops. I’ve kept it mostly fantasy book theme in this particular post, or books with fantasy elements in them. I definitely want to try and theme these posts so they aren’t just books from every single genre because I feel that makes them a little bit messy.

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April Wrap Up 2018

Happy end of April everyone! I’m pleased to be able to say I had an awesome month. There were a few downs – but when doesn’t life have done? The month was primarily filled with ups. I just really enjoyed my time and felt as though I was making leaps and bounds with repairing my mental health (yay!).

I’m also happy to say I read nineteen books this month. That feels a lot more like myself, I was hoping for 20 but I’m pretty proud of this! I’m not sure how many I will read next month considering I go away for around five days in the middle of May, plus it’s the knuckle down in uni month. So, crushing my own expectations in April will mean I won’t be too crushed by myself next month!

On top of that, I also finished my reading goal for the year. I set my goal pretty low because I wasn’t sure where I would be health wise and studying wise. 50 books seemed achievable but it is now April and I’ve read sixty-six books. I’m pretty stoked if I do say so myself. How are your reading goals going? What did you set it as?

I figure I better stop blabbing now since you’re here to find out what I did read. I’ve linked to where I’ve written the reviews, a few books haven’t had their reviews published just yet but I linked to the Goodreads review I wrote. Stick around and those reviews will be coming very soon!

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The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan | Review

Thank you so much Penguin Australia for sending me a copy of The Burning Maze in exchange for honest review. All thoughts on the book are my own and receiving a copy of the book did not impact how I felt about it.


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Book Depository | Booktopia | Amazon |


Rating: ★★★★★

Release Date: May 1st, 2018

Pages: 448

Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia

Genre: middle grade, urban fantasy, mythology, adventure, young adult

Goodreads blurb:

The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg. Thanks a lot, Dad.

With the help of some demigod friends, Lester managed to survive his first two trials, one at Camp Half-Blood, and one in Indianapolis, where Meg received the Dark Prophecy. The words she uttered while seated on the Throne of Memory revealed that an evil triumvirate of Roman emperors plans to attack Camp Jupiter. While Leo flies ahead on Festus to warn the Roman camp, Lester and Meg must go through the Labyrinth to find the third emperor—and an Oracle who speaks in word puzzles—somewhere in the American Southwest. There is one glimmer of hope in the gloom-filled prophecy: The cloven guide alone the way does know. They will have a satyr companion, and Meg knows just who to call upon. . . . 

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The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan | Review

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Book Depository | Booktopia| Amazon |


Rating: ★★★☆☆

Release Date: May 2nd, 2017

Pages: 414

Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia

Genre: middle grade, urban fantasy, mythology, adventure, young adult

Goodreads blurb:

Zeus has punished his son Apollo–god of the sun, music, archery, poetry, and more–by casting him down to earth in the form of a gawky, acne-covered sixteen-year-old mortal named Lester. The only way Apollo can reclaim his rightful place on Mount Olympus is by restoring several Oracles that have gone dark. What is affecting the Oracles, and how can Apollo/Lester do anything about them without his powers?
After experiencing a series of dangerous–and frankly, humiliating–trials at Camp Half-Blood, Lester must now leave the relative safety of the demigod training ground and embark on a hair-raising journey across North America. Somewhere in the American Midwest, he and his companions must find the most dangerous Oracle from ancient times: a haunted cave that may hold answers for Apollo in his quest to become a god again–if it doesn’t kill him or drive him insane first. Standing in Apollo’s way is the second member of the evil Triumvirate, a Roman emperor whose love of bloodshed and spectacle makes even Nero look tame. To survive the encounter, Apollo will need the help of son of Hephaestus Leo Valdez, the now-mortal sorceress Calypso, the bronze dragon Festus, and other unexpected allies–some familiar, some new–from the world of demigods. Come along for what promises to be a harrowing, hilarious, and haiku-filled ride. . . .

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The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan | Review

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Book Depository | Booktopia | Amazon |


Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: May 3rd, 2016

Pages: 376

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Genre: middle grade, urban fantasy, mythology, adventure, young adult

Goodreads blurb:

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go… an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood. 

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Top 17 Books of 2017

Wow, 2017, what a year. So much has happened in my life. There have been so many hardships throughout this year and sometimes it was a mess. Sometimes it left me having a relapse in my room at 3am and sometimes it ended with me on top of the moon being so glad of all the progress I made.

But, you’re not all here to read about my mental health and my hardships of this year. You’re all here to read about what are my top 17 books of 2018. This was strangely an easy list to format. I tried to keep it mainly to 2017 releases, but some are just books I read this year and I adored. So, let’s get stuck into it. This list is in no particular order, so don’t assume because a book is higher up or lower it has more value.


1. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas | Review

This is the one that will have people screaming at me the most I think. I know so many people despise Sarah and her books, but her representation of PTSD really helps me. So, having Chaol, the main character, suffering throughout the book was something that resonated with me and left my feelings all over the place. It was also interesting to learn about his recovery, my mum had been in a car accident and told she’d never walk again (she did and does) so it was interesting to read about something that upsets her too much to talk about.

2. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesa Zappia | Review

I think this hit a lot of people’s favourite books this year. The fandom representation and anxiety throughout hit the nail on the head. It was also interesting to see a character who wrote and fanfiction to be incorporated into a novel. I used to write fanfiction (cringe) so I sincerely enjoyed this dynamic because I met one of my closest friends from writing it.

3. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu | Review

Now, this had to be one of my top books of 2017. It was incredible. It was the book I needed when I was younger and not sure where I fit in the world. When I truly needed some girl power. Honestly, I’m still speechless about this book but I will continue to scream about it and shove it into anyone’s hands I can.

4. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare | Review

Okay, so obviously Lord of Shadows was my favourite book of the year. I’ve made it clear how much I adore Cassandra Clare’s books and The Dark Artifices series is no exception. Her writing has improved so much over 10 years so I’m even recommending this series who didn’t like The Mortal Instruments. I really am still speechless over this book. I will definitely be re-reading before Queen of Air and Darkness releases next year.

5. The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty | Review

Now, The City of Brass is a shock favourite of the year honestly. It was such a magical read that really drew me in. The culture and just, overall, the story was so absolutely incredible. I am still unable to really grasp what happened in it and it’s another book I want to shove onto absolutely anyone who will listen.

6. The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee | Review

Mackenzi Lee’s work is one book that has stuck with me since I read it months ago. It was so what I needed. A story about two young men and a girl causing mischief throughout Europe with a sense of adventure and serious tones throughout the novel. My favourite thing about this particular work was the inclusion of epilepsy. As someone who’s mum has epilepsy, it was incredible to see it represented in fiction with such a raw emotion. It truly is difficult to see someone you love suffer.

7. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco | Review

I absolutely loved the first book in this series and the second book was no exception. I loved it. Honestly. This book also had some PTSD representation throughout it, that in my opinion, was so well done. The storyline is just as incredible as the first, even if I guessed the killer in this one. Maniscalco is just an incredible writer who I sing the highest of praises to.

8. A List of Cages by Robin Roe | Review

I read this book before I had my blog and really had a chance to rave about it. There are a lot of triggers in this book I wasn’t aware of but I read it in one sitting and was awake until late in the night crying over what happened. I still think about this book. My best friend actually bought me a physical copy for my birthday and I’m just so in love. It was just such an emotional punch so be prepared for that.

9. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor | Review

This is probably the most shocking book on my list. I put this book down after starting it and wasn’t expecting to ever go back. I had bought it because it was pretty and $11. One day though I picked it up on a whim and wow. This book. I am completely in love with Lazlo. Yet another book I am recommending endlessly to my friends and family. I really think this particular one is a good fit for anyone.

10. They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera | Review

I just loved this book. There are no words for me to even describe how great it was. Read it. Now.

11. Everless by Sara Holland | Review

This is a debut I just loved. The concept is just so intricate and so elaborate. I was blown away by it, not at all expecting a favourite book to come out of reading it. Sure, it doesn’t come out until next year for the US but this book is just so incredible you need to preorder now. 

12. How To Make A Wish By Ashley Herring Blake | Review

Similar to They Both Die At The End I have no words to describe this book. I am trying to shove it on my sister quite aggressively (because it needs to be shared) but she refuses to read it and it frustrates me. So, to everyone reading this you need to pick up this book. Obviously you need to pick up every book on the list, but still.

13. Renegades by Marissa Meyer | Review

I knew I was going to love Renegades. So, I wasn’t shocked when I loved Renegades. Recently its been the target of some homophobic reviews which is really annoying because this book is incredible. I absolutely love the anti-hero concept so I sincerely loved reading about it in Marissa’s beautiful writing style.

14. Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan | Review

This one kind of speaks for itself. It’s the final book in a series and makes the list because Rick Riordan is an incredible writer. His inclusion of the mythologies in his worlds are so flawless and engaging that I can’t help but fall in love with absolutely everything.

15. The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones | Review

This was probably the biggest shock for my list. I picked it up on a whim because the ebook was on my phone was some reason. I thought it was a series as well, I’m not sure why? I fell in love completely. This book is so underhyped. Why haven’t more people read it? I don’t understand, honestly. It is truly a masterpiece. The writing, the storyline,  the romance. All. So. Incredible. Pick this up, please.

16. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed | Review

If you like Moxie, then you’ll love The Nowhere Girls. These two go right together with feminism movements. However, this one is a tad darker and intense. The girls fight back and a movement begins to protect others. It also made me realise some things about my own life I had to move through mentally. It was, however, such a powerful feminist read and I highly recommend it.

17. The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie | Review

Another unexpected favourite. This book got really popular on Goodreads for awhile and I decided to jump on the hype train. It’s such a beautiful f/f romance with pirates involved. Was not what I expected at all but I am glad to have it on this list!


So, there we have it! My top 17 reads of this year. Obviously, I recommend them all highly and sincerely suggest you give them as gifts to yourself (or others) this holiday season. All 17 books meant something important to me this year.

Have you read any of the books on this list? What are some of your favourite reads of 2017?

The Ship of The Dead by Rick Riordan | Review

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Warning: this review will feature mild spoilers for the past two books (The Summer Sword and The Hammer of Thor)

Rating: ★★★★★

Release Date: October 3rd, 2017

Pages: 432

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads Synopsis:

Magnus Chase, a once-homeless teen, is a resident of the Hotel Valhalla and one of Odin’s chosen warriors. As the son of Frey, the god of summer, fertility, and health, Magnus isn’t naturally inclined to fighting. But he has strong and steadfast friends, including Hearthstone the elf, Blitzen the dwarf, and Samirah the Valkyrie, and together they have achieved brave deeds, such as defeating Fenris Wolf and battling giants for Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Now Magnus and his crew must sail to the farthest borders of Jotunheim and Niflheim in pursuit of Asgard’s greatest threat. Will they succeed in their perilous journey, or is Ragnarok lurking on the horizon?


R A M B L E

First up, it feels so good to be writing a review. I haven’t finished a book in a while (about a week, actually) so writing this makes me so happy. Life just sucks at the moment, makes it difficult to make time for a book when you’re packing all your stuff and trying to find a house. But, hey, what can you do?

Okay, now fully into the ramble;

Some books you truly want to be longer than a trilogy. The story of Magnus Chase is one of them for me. I know absolutely nothing about Norse mythology. Greek, Egyptian and Roman mythology I all knew about so reading Riordan’s other series were made easy by previous knowledge. Norse mythology was a big wide world of nothing for me. The only thing I really knew was Chris Hemsworth played Thor (my mum loves Chris Hemsworth). This series took me a while to get into and to learn the particular gods of this world, but once I was into it I was so completely in love with the characters.

Riordan manages to weave challenges into a story that don’t become tiresome and add to the characters overall journey. He creates fresh characters in every series and their backstories will have you in tears. We don’t even get to learn everything throughout this book, simply get glimpses of the other characters while Magnus Chase attempts to stop Ragnarok.

We have such a diverse cast of characters particularly throughout this series that it is the perfect middle-grade novel. Almost everyone can find themselves in this book or pieces of themselves which I think is perfect for children who are going through particular things that aren’t the ‘norm’. I can’t speak for any of the rep though, but I believe it is well done from what I’ve read (will hunt for own voices reviews).

I really think Riordan’s series is important for the amazing plot and the characters throughout. I may be 20 in a couple months but I can’t stop myself from picking up these books and being completely engaged.


P L O T

The thing about Riordan’s books is that you can’t say much about the plot without spoiling a whole lot. This book details Magnus and our well-known friends going on a journey to defeat Loki. Of course, nothing goes right and there are several side adventures that keep humour up and myself engaged as a reader.

This was the perfect book for me to read at the current time. My family is going through some struggles right now and I am getting my wisdom teeth ripped out on Thursday, so I just need to keep myself distracted (but not too distracted, if that makes sense?).

Riordan is one of the best writers for the plot, though. I need the plot to keep me engaged and entertained and never over the five years I’ve been reading his books has he let me down. I just love all the additions to the overall story and the even larger addition of humour. These books will get you smiling and giggling.

Also, the romance in this book is one of my favourite romances in every book I’ve ever read. It was cute, sweet and completely relatable. It happens so organically and isn’t forced. The trauma between characters is never disregarded either, which I loved.


C H A R A C T E R S

#M A G N U S   C H A S E 

I love Magnus Chase with all my heart. He is a character that isn’t the ‘chosen one’ or the son of the most well-known and best god of that particular mythology. He’s a bit of a weenie actually. He makes me laugh so hard and constantly keeps me on my toes with his snarky remarks or embarrassing moments.

He truly grows in this book. He comes into his own and discovers more about himself and the other around him. I wish we got more of his grief, though. He has lost so much for such a young child and I would honestly be a wreck if it was me. I am blown away.

The way he is such a caring individual as well. I mean, he is the son of a god who heals people, so it makes sense. I don’t know what to say, really. I just adore Magnus Chase. He is a sweetheart and I just want to hug him.

#O T H E R S

I’ve added in this others bit purely because there are so many other characters in this book. We have Alex, Sam, Blitzen, Hearthstone, Mallory, T.J., Gunderson and Jack. They are all incredibly important throughout this particular story. Making their mark and giving us a bit more information on characters that have felt neglected in the past two books.

I particularly liked seeing Sam do Ramadam, it was interesting to have that different spiritual connection throughout the book that focuses on a mythology. Alex becomes a full-fledged character for me, as we learnt about his/her background. It was truly heartbreaking. The same goes as we learn about Mallory, T.J and Gunderson, how they all ended up in Valhalla.

I’m not sure what to say, apart from the fact I may love the side characters more than I love Magnus Chase. Wild, right?


O V E R A L L

Overall, a phenomonal conclusion. It has left me desperately and anxiously wanting more. I can’t wait for Magnus to pop up in other books Riordan does. My only complaint would be, not enough Percy Jackson. I was really hoping the Greek and Norse worlds would have come together in this novel, but oh well, what can I do now? Anxiously await for Riordan’s next release and re-read every book he’s written.