April 2021 Reading Wrap-Up

Hiya friends! It’s time for another wrap-up post. Presenting to you a wrap-up for the books I read in April 2021. Okay, the post might be two months too late, but, well, better late than never. As I have already pointed out in this post: “A Short Update: A Non-Linear Trajectory for my Blog“, my blogging schedule has gone for a toss. I am not finding the time or the urge to read as many books as I used to previously. Consequently, I read three books in April. Hopefully, in the coming months, I will be able to read more. Without further ado, let’s dive into the recap.

Monthly Wrap-Up: April 2021
Monthly Wrap-Up: April 2021
Continue Reading

The Mostly Invisible Boy by AJ Vanderhorst – Spotlight

A fast-paced middle grade fantasy/adventure book .

WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT

Eleven-year-old Casey is stubbornly friendly, but he’s eternally the new kid at Vintage Woods Middle School. Students look right through him—and they’re not faking. Casey doesn’t know why he’s mostly-invisible, but when he scales a colossal oak, he discovers a fortress in its branches. The forgotten sentry tree marks the border between his safe, suburban life and a fierce frontier.

Casey and his little sister Gloria infiltrate Sylvan Woods, a secret forest society devoted to ancient, wild things. Sky-high footpaths. Survival sewing. Monster control. Shockingly, people here actually see Casey—but being seen isn’t enough. He wants to belong.

Keeping his identity hidden–while struggling to prove he fits–is hard enough, but Butcher Beasts have returned to Sylvan Woods after a hundred years. Trickery is under siege. As the monsters close in, and the fearsome Sylvan Watch hunts Casey down, he and his newfound friends must unearth abandoned magic, buried at the forest’s roots…or be devoured along with everyone else, Sylvans and civilians alike.

A fast-paced middle grade fantasy/adventure book with all the monsters kids could ever hope for.

Continue Reading

The Highlander’s Secret Son by Jeanine Englert – Review | Blog Tour

WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT

His first love

Now his sworn enemy…

What is Fiona MacDonald doing on the run across his lands? With a wee baby as well! Brandon once loved this woman with all his heart―until her family killed many of his clan. Now, as the new Campbell Laird, he must make sure she pays the price for her betrayal. But how can he claim his vengeance if what she says is true…? That her child is his son and heir!

The Highlander’s Secret Son by Jeanine Englert - Review | Blog Tour
The Highlander’s Secret Son by Jeanine Englert – Review | Blog Tour

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Continue Reading

Rea and the Blood of the Nectar by Payal Doshi – Review | Blog Tour

A commendable debut.

WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT

Perfect for fans of the Aru Shah books and The Chronicles of Narnia.

A middle-grade fantasy about twelve-year-old Rea Chettri, who portals into an otherworldly realm to go on a secret quest to find her missing twin brother Rohan. The clock is ticking in this fast-paced, thrilling, and exciting adventure rife with evil creatures, a ruthless villain, and unforgettable friendships.

It all begins on the night Rea turns twelve. After a big fight with her twin brother Rohan on their birthday, Rea’s life in the small village of Darjeeling, India, gets turned on its head. It’s four in the morning and Rohan is nowhere to be found.

It hasn’t even been a day and Amma acts like Rohan’s gone forever. Her grandmother, too, is behaving strangely. Unwilling to give up on her brother, Rea and her friend Leela meet Mishti Daadi, a wrinkly old fortune-teller whose powers of divination set them off on a thrilling and secret quest. In the shade of night, they portal into an otherworldly realm and travel to Astranthia, a land full of magic and whimsy. There with the help of Xeranther, an Astranthian barrow boy, and Flula, a pari, Rea battles serpent-lilies and blood-sucking banshees, encounters a butterfly-faced woman and blue lizard-men, and learns that Rohan has been captured. Rea also discovers that she is a princess with magic. Only she has no idea how to use it.

Struggling with the truth her Amma has kept hidden from her, Rea must solve clues that lead to Rohan, find a way to rescue him and save Astranthia from a potentially deadly fate. But the clock is ticking. Can she rescue Rohan, save Astranthia, and live to see it all?

Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is Payal Doshi’s stunning #ownvoices middle-grade fantasy debut about understanding complex family dynamics, fighting for what is right, discovering oneself, and learning to make friends. 

Rea and the Blood of the Nectar by Payal Doshi - Review | Blog Tour
Rea and the Blood of the Nectar by Payal Doshi – Review | Blog Tour

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Continue Reading

A Short Update: A Non-Linear Trajectory for my Blog

Hello, My dear blogger friends and readers! I hope all of you are well in this unprecedented time of crisis. I have a short update to share.

You might have noticed I have not been active in blogosphere lately. I registered my blog on WordPress seven years ago, but it was only from November 2018 that I started writing in my blog regularly.

2018-2020 was a particularly tough period for me. I had left my job to prepare for a grueling and extremely competitive Masters entrance examination. It took me two years to realize my dream. While I was struggling professionally, my blog was a means of escape for me. And books too! Where will I be if not for the books.

And Turkish series. Yup, they helped me survive too! If you have not watched a Turkish series yet, I request you to read my articles on them. There are some great Turkish series out there. Although the English translations sound cheesy, I promise you will be hooked.

After this small detour from the world of books, let us go back into it again.

By God’s grace, I am now admitted into a STEM Masters program of a prestigious university in India. However, Masters course is demanding. Very demanding! I hardly have time to breathe some days.

This, naturally, affected my blogging schedule. I used to post on Wednesdays and Saturdays. But, that was no longer possible. My blog is mostly about books. But, I have not been able to read as many books as I want. Hence, now I post once a week. Sometimes, even that is not possible.

Other than paucity of time, another factor has affected my blogging. I no longer feel that same happiness in blogging. Why? Well, growing stats is a major factor in motivating any blogger (no matter what they claim). Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, book reviews do not work well. In fact, it is my posts on Turkish series that garner most of the views on my blog. I have no shame in admitting in this.

I tried a lot of tricks in the bag to improve my stats. Joining blog tours was one of them. While I enjoyed them initially, the joy has now tapered down for me. Blog tours have not resulted in any significant improvement in my stats. As a result, reading a book and writing a review within a stipulated period of time is taking away the bliss of reading for me. So, I have decided to participate in only those book tours which will absolutely rivet my attention. I have already started doing so.

Then, there is a beast called Netgalley. A very attractive beast. But a beast it is! Once it lures you into its portal, only an extremely strong willpower can get you out of it. Though I have stopped requesting books from Netgalley (Yay, willpower!), my ratio stands at 60%. So, more ARCs to read … in time!

Moreover, as any book blogger knows, blogging is not just writing. It is also about presenting. You need to create graphics that enhance the attractiveness of your post. Writing the review itself is not easy. All of these take time. A precious commodity which, now, I do not have.

Hence, I have decided to go completely wild with my blog. I am no longer going to bind myself with compulsions of posting according to a schedule or finish reading a book within a certain date. I am going to pickup any book that fancies my mood at that time. It might be a classic or an ARC or a backlist title. My blog is not going to have a schedule, at least not for the immediate future. I may post more series or film reviews than reviews of books.

I have never written a discussion post before. This is more of a revelation-of-self post. So, I may write discussion posts in the future too.

The schedules for the book tours I have signed up for will definitely go up on time. I will try to read all the ARCs I have requested and have been approved for in the next 3-4 months. However, that’s it!

I require time to get back my joy of blogging. Till then, I request my readers to be patient with me.

Meanwhile, you can let me know in the comments below if you also experienced a similar situation. If yes, how did you overcome it?

A Ration Book Daughter by Jean Fullerton – Review | Blog Tour

East End Ration #5

WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT

Not even the Blitz can shake a mother’s love.

Cathy was a happy, blushing bride when Britain went to war with Germany three years ago. But her youthful dreams were crushed by her violent husband Stanley’s involvement with the fascist black-shirts, and even when he’s conscripted to fight she knows it’s only a brief respite – divorce is not an option. Cathy, a true Brogan daughter, stays strong for her beloved little son Peter.

When a telegram arrives declaring that her husband is missing in action, Cathy can finally allow herself to hope – she only has to wait 6 months before she is legally a widow and can move on with her life. In the meantime, she has to keep Peter safe and fed. So she advertises for a lodger, and Sergeant Archie McIntosh of the Royal Engineers’ Bomb Disposal Squad turns up. He is kind, clever and thoughtful; their mutual attraction is instant. But with Stanley’s fate still unclear, and the Blitz raging on over London’s East End, will Cathy ever have the love she deserves?

A Ration Book Daughter by Jean Fullerton - Review | Blog Tour
A Ration Book Daughter by Jean Fullerton – Review | Blog Tour

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Continue Reading