It would seem I have replaced my bingewatching habit with reading instead! I didn't finish a single series during February, but I did read five books, three of which have made their way into my favourites. Reading has well and truly reclaimed the top spot on my list of hobbies.

Here's what I got through this month:

The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown 
Loosely based on real life events. Alice is the sister of famous witch finder, Matthew Hopkins. She returns home to Essex widowed and with child to find her brother consumed in the pursuit of witches. 

With my America trip looming ever closer, I'm on a mission to save money. I could just go the library and get books there, but that takes more effort. Instead, I've been finding myself scouring the 99p section of the Kindle store which is how I came across the Witchfinder's Sister.

Unfortunately, this was the weakest book of the bunch this month. I picked it because I fancied a change from all the Young Adult (YA) I've been reading recently, and it certainly satisfied my need for something different. It was also gripping enough to get me through to the end quite quickly.

However, I felt like the story couldn't make its mind up - there were elements of the supernatural in there that never quite developed properly and it felt like the climax was always coming but never quite made it.

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter 
Abby Williams left her small town Indiana home 10 years ago and has been trying to erase her past ever since, but when her job takes her back home, she's forced to confront the things she's been trying to forget 

I'm normally very sceptical when people famous for one job, switch to another, models turned actresses, actresses turned singers etc. However, I really like Krysten Ritter and her first novel sounded like exactly the type of book I used to love before my YA obsession started so I thought I'd give it a go.

I really enjoyed this book, a definite page turner. I loved the Indiana setting, the very real depiction of the lasting impact high school can have on you and the mystery was revealed at exactly the right pace.

I found some of the story line slightly far fetched, and a lot of what Abby did felt brushed under the rug by the end, but overall a really good book. I hope Krysten Ritter writes more!

Angelfall by Susan EE
It's not long since the angels came to Earth and destroyed everything, but life will already never be the same again. When Penryn's sister Paige is snatched by a vengeful angel, Penryn is forced to team up with another angel to try and rescue her disabled sister. 

After taking a short break from YA, I was ready to jump right back in. I carefully researched and planned a reading list, which I saved on my Goodreads account, just to spot Angelfall on sale for 99p in the Kindle Store. It has more of an apocalyptic vibe to it than other YA novels I've read, and since I really enjoyed apocalyptic TV show Van Helsing recently, I thought I might enjoy that kinda thing in book form too.

What I didn't bet on was just how much I'd enjoy this book!

Straight away, I found myself incredibly invested in Penryn as a person. As someone who has three younger sisters, it was incredibly easy to empathise with Penryn's pain when Paige is taken, and understand why she'd risk so much to try and rescue her.

The world in which the novel takes place is also convincing - it takes place just weeks after angels invade Earth and whilst there are no detailed descriptions of everything that happened, there is just enough information that I felt satisfied. The fact that it's never fully explained just adds to the element of confusion and not knowing that the people in the book are feeling.

Perhaps most surprisingly in the novel is I even felt convinced by the romance. YA is notorious for Instalove that develops far too quickly, and intensely, and has me like "NOOOOOO ONE feels like that about anyone in real life!" - but here, the romance is secondary to the plot line as a whole, it develops very slowly, and it's not dreamy - it's befitting of the setting in which it takes place.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to fans of YA with a dystopian, apocalyptic, fantastical vibe with a dash of teenage sexual yearning thrown in for good measure.

World After by Susan EE 
The second in the Penryn and the End of Days trilogy, of which Angelfall is the first 

After enjoying Angelfall so much, I couldn't wait to get stuck into the second novel in the series, World After. Unfortunately, I'd only give World After 4 out of 5 stars as opposed to 5/5. This is simply because there wasn't as much Raffe in it and I'm still in a mood about that!

Pettiness aside, I still really enjoyed this novel. It was great to get a bit more insight about why the angels had come to Earth and further explore the themes of family and whether it's worth being blindly loyal to someone just because they're the same species as you.

End of Days by Susan EE
The third and final novel in the Penryn and the End of Days trilogy (crying face...)

I finished World After on the bus home from work on a Friday night, and when I get home, I brought all my snacks into my bedroom, downloaded End of Days, and sat and read it all in one sitting. Part of me thinks I should have dragged it out longer because I was enjoying the series so much, part of me understands that was never going to happen.

After only giving World After 4 of 5 stars, I'm giving End of Days 5 stars.

I loved everything about it: the amount of Penryn and Raffe together was just right, there were scenes between the two of them that nearly KILLED me and although I predicted the general idea of the ending, I didn't predict exactly how the ending would come about and it really didn't disappoint.

I really hope they make these books into a TV show or a film, I want more!

What have you been reading recently?

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Emily Jane has
read 9 books toward
her goal of
52 books.