JJ Reads

Memo Pad: Holiday Books

So last week I shared my holiday TBR with you. It had eight books on it and I knew I’d never read that many but I was hoping to read six of them while I was away. That didn’t happen as I got sick halfway through my holiday and my brain basically died so I wasn’t able or in the mood to really read anything for the second half of the holiday but I still read four books. So all was not lost. And now that I’m back I’m here to share them with you.

mp holiday

Read: 4


The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas *****

I’m honestly not sure what to say about this other than this is the kind of book that makes me realise that I’m really not a contemporary book kinda gal. I did love the autism rep for a female character, Grace was really relatable and I really felt for her in the situations in the book. But then on the other side….. Nothing really happened? This will almost completely be because I normally read fantasy or sci fi and so just expect bigger events. I spent pretty much the whole book waiting for something to happen but I don’t think that’s a fault of the book so much as just, this isn’t my genre. I have been reading a lot more contemporary lately but the kind of contemporary where people still die…..


Revenger by Alastair Reynolds *****

This is one of those really difficult books to review because objectively it should have been awesome. The world (or should I say galaxy?) that was created was really interesting and the crew that is mentioned in the blurb is everything I was looking for. This is basically a book about a crew of safe breakers but the safes are these massive orbs in space that can trap you inside if you get them wrong. And I mean, hello, I’m there for that. But the book didn’t actually follow any of that much? It’s how the book is set up and then the actual plot goes somewhere completely different and we end up following, in my opinion, the least interesting member of the crew. On top of the lack of exciting fast paced caper I was expecting the writing is also quite formal and detached. I did like it, it was still a space adventure with questionable moral choices and space pirates that was well written and kept me intrigued the whole way but I’m starting to suspect that I just shouldn’t read the blurbs of things because my expectations just get let down. Three objective but kind of disappointed stars.



The Pearl Wars (Skyship Academy #1) by Nic James *****

This was such a fast paced and easy to read book. It gripped me from page one, the characters are awesome and have distinct voices and I just really enjoyed this whole book.

In a devastated future earth pearls that fall from the sky are the power source the world runs on. Cassius lives on the surface and Jesse lives on a skyship, two communities divided by needing the pearls. But they aren’t just ordinary 15 year olds and when they meet by accident they find out they’re more involved than they ever wanted to be.

This book is on the cusp between an exciting MG adventure and a coming of age YA where the characters are struggling to understand which side of the flight they want to be on. I basically read the whole thing in one sitting because it was that engrossing. I’d recommend it for fans of The Mortal Engines series by Philip Reeves as it was the same kind of tone: breakneck-speed but without sacrificing the world building or characters.


Shadow Run by Adrianne Strickland and Michael Miller *****

Ugh. I am disappointed. I’ve wanted to read this book since last January. I was super excited. A rag tag crew on a spaceship sounded awesome. And when I started this I was mega excited because I honestly thought the first third was five stars. There were spaceships, destroyers, disruption blade duels. It was all action and hilarious banter and I was thinking this is going straight onto my favourites list. I mean who doesn’t want sword fights in space? But then we got to the middle bit and the action stopped and it got…. uncomfortable. The characters were racist, which in itself isn’t a problem if it gets pointed out but literally no one shot them down or called them out on it. There is literally a line where someone basically says I have a black friend so I’m not racist and that’s about it. On top of that the characters that I loved at the start just don’t get any development? We get thrown into the action and love these characters and then…. Nothing. Even the two main characters don’t really have any development let alone the rest of the cast. As for side characters, Basra has quite an important plot, they’re genderfluid and, from what I can tell, it’s done well and I loved their character, but we don’t get anywhere near enough of them. I wanted more of Basra and the rest of the crew. I read this book because it promised action and a great crew. The action died after the start and the crew never got a fair share. The first third was awesome and if anyone has read this and knows any books that sound like what the start promised then I am all ears…. PLEASE!! All I want is swashbuckling space adventure with sword flights is that too much to ask?


Overall I was actually pretty disappointed with the books I read. i had such high expectations and none of them really reached it apart from The Pearl Wars which was definitely my favourite read from the holiday. I probably picked the wrong books in the end. And I’d love to go and read the others that I wanted to read but after the last couple months of ignoring them, I have arcs piling up so I’ll probably be making a dent in those this month. Which isn’t a bad thing because they sound freaking awesome! (I mean I wouldn’t have requested them if they didn’t….)

What’s been you’re favourite read of march? Are you reading anything great at the moment?


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5 thoughts on “Memo Pad: Holiday Books”

  1. I think the Pearl Academy book sounds very interesting. I put it on my want to read list. I actually read quite a few books in March including the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer which I thought were an interesting/fun quick read series. Have you read those?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great I hope you like it! I haven’t read them although I did buy the first book when it was on sale recently so I’m definitely planning to read it!

      Liked by 1 person

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