Posted in book reviews

Crystal Storm – Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms, #5)

An epic clash between gods and mortals threatens to tear Mytica apart . . . and prove that not even the purest of love stands a chance against the strongest of magic.

MAGNUS and CLEO are forced to test the strength of their love when Gaius returns to Mytica claiming he’s no longer the King of Blood but a changed man seeking redemption.

LUCIA, pregnant with the child of a Watcher, has escaped the clutches of the unhinged fire god. Her powers are dwindling as she goes forth to fulfill a prophecy that will keep her baby safe . . . but could mean her demise.

JONAS treks back to Mytica with a plan to overtake Amara, but fate takes hold when he runs into the beautiful Princess Lucia and joins her on her perilous journey.

AMARA has taken the Mytican throne, but with no way to unleash the water magic trapped within her stolen crystal, she’ll never be able to seize glory and get sweet revenge.

And what kind of darkness will descend–and who will be safe–after Prince Ashur reveals the dangerous price he paid to cheat death?

“Now brush your hair, lift your chin and pretend you are the most powerful person in the room.”

Yaaas, I really liked this one! I loved the change in relationship dynamic with Magnus and Cleo. While they could hardly stop arguing and disagreeing for two seconds, there was something about the angst and the tension that was just soooo good. I just loved seeing them explore that side of their relationship – and what was better, was the fact that things didn’t work out easily or perfectly.

I liked Lucia a bit more in this one. I feel like Lucia really does have multiple personalities. This is not in a way where her character develops or changes organically in different situations, it’s more that she’s just mashed together and the author can’t decide whether Lucia is going to be softhearted, cold hearted, a bad ass, a raging sociopathic bitch – and honestly the constant change is annoying and giving me whiplash.

I’m confused by some characters motivations. Maybe I wasn’t paying proper attention but what even was Olivia at the end? I’m confused.

That ending – it just felt rushed. This whole book has been fairly fast paced, but this was just too extremely fast and it felt like so much was packed into about the last 30 pages. The upside with this though, I guess, readers will be going to the next novel with all the hundreds of questions left to answer.

But I did really like this. Like I said, it was fun and fast paced and other characters – like Amara – were just so interesting. They’re not necessarily characters I love, but with Amara you have to kind of take a step back, especially as a woman, and see where she’s coming from. That is one thing I like about this – powerful women (Nerissa, Lysandra, Lucia, Cleo). It just sucks half the time they’re killed/overshadowed by the males and their needs to be “manly”.

Also – can we please protect Felix at all costs??

Posted in book reviews

Frozen Tides – Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms, #4)

Plans are laid and the players are determined…but nothing can prepare these unlikely warriors for what the elemental gods of Mytica have in store.

Cleo: Reeling after a shocking realization about Magnus, the golden princess must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a queen.

Magnus is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he has what it takes to rule his people.

Jonas: The defeated rebel leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to become a pawn in the dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred.

Lucia: Heartbroken and blind with fury, the betrayed sorceress allies with the awoken fire god, who also seeks revenge.

In Mytica’s darkest hour, four crystal orbs will determine who will die…and who will live in glory forever.

 

Some sought revenge against their enemies with the edge of a sword. Her plan for vengeance began with the edge of a smile.

 

Oh my god?? I actually really, really, really liked this one?? Like don’t get me wrong – it’s still trashy. I’m still in shock that Jonas has some how managed to stay alive. He makes some of the most stupidest choices ever. He has such luck – but those around him? Yeah, not so much.

I can’t really put how I like this series. It’s so bad BUT so good. But the writing is improving, the characterisation and the plot has improved and I’m just left like ????

It’s very addictive and I haven’t been able to stop reading. I will be moving on to Crystal Storm immediately, where a massive book hangover will probably follow.

Just

AHHHH.

That’s me. That’s my feelings.

Also I really adore Fenix. He’s so sassy. And I’m beginning to really love Magnus. Jonas is stupid but I appreciate him too. Lucia was SOOO annoying in this one but she improved towards the end.

Is it just me that thinks the ages are stupid though? I always forget that Cleo is 16 and everyone else is a similar age.

But anyways,

ON I GO TO CRYSTAL STORM. WOOO.

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Upcoming Releases That I’d Sell My Soul For

I bet that as soon as you read the title of this blog post a book came to mind. Several come to my mind, but there’s a few in particular that are right at the forefront. While I do have a lot of anticipated releases in which the release date is a painful distance away in the future, and the wait is tense, there’s a couple in which I am dying to get my hands on as soon as possible and devour.

This first novel that I’m going to mention is obvious. If you know me at all, you know that The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is one of my favourite books of all time. Yep. It’s so good that it’s been awarded that title. It’s truly phenomenal and I love it desperately. That’s why I cannot wait to get my hands on her latest release, Circe. As soon as I finished The Song of Achilles I looked for more novels from her and now, with a release date in sight, April 2018, I have one. But it’s just so far away! And with the publisher sending out copies of the novel, I. am. dying.

Just . . . just look at it!

 

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Beautiful, right? And that’s not even the final cover! I NEED THIS.

 

Now enough fangirling and freaking out about Circe. If I had another token to get any release right now, it would of course have to be Throne of Glass #7. Honestly . . . I want to be back with Aelin! And Dorian! And Aedion! And everyone else! I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS AND I WANT TO KNOW NOW! Okay . . .  that sounds very bratty, but !!! THE ENDING OF EMPIRE OF STORMS JUST !!!

*breathes*

So yeah. They are they two books that I’d sell my soul to have right now.

What books what you sell you soul for?

 

Posted in book reviews

The Hawkweed Prophecy – Irena Brignull

The babies were born as the clock struck twelve. A bat fell from the air mid-flight. A silver salmon floated dead to the surface of the river. Snails withered in their shells, moths turned to dust on the night breeze and an owl ate its young. The spell had been cast.

Poppy Hooper has managed to deceive her father into believing that there is nothing mysterious or unnatural about her. He ignores the cats that find her wherever she goes, the spiders that weave beautiful lacy patterns for her, even her eyes – one blue, one green with an extra black dot orbiting the pupil.

Ember Hawkweed is a pitiful excuse for a witch. When the other girls in her coven brew vile potions, Ember makes soap and perfume. Fair and pretty, Ember is more like a chaff than a witch. One of the Hawkweeds will be queen of the witches – but everyone knows it won’t be Ember.

When the two girls meet, Poppy discovers her powers, and finds out the truth. Bound by their unlikely friendship and the boy they both love, the girls try and find their place in the world. But the time of the prophecy draws nearer – and the witches won’t give up the throne without a fight.

The Hawkweed Prophecy, to quite simply put it, was a mess. What started off a strong and intriguing dark fantasy quickly faded away to nothing but a badly written fantasy/romance. This book had the potential to be a great fantasy with great female characters, as it started off so.

Where to begin? First I must talk about the structure and how this novel switches between perspectives suddenly. There’s no prior warning. Nothing. One minute you’re reading something from one persons point of view; and then someone elses the next! This heavy juxtaposition between the perspectives was dreadful – it was confusing and I often got lost on whose point of view I was in and why. Honestly – the meaning was lost. I read the same scene over and over again from many different point of views. I wouldn’t mind if it served a purpose, but it did not, and instead it felt long winded and dragged out.

OH THE LOVE TRIANGLE / INSTA LOVE. Poppy literally meets Leo, and then the next day she’s invited him into her house alone. When he leaves, she brings his mug up to her lips and places her mouth where his just was.

I just ? ? ? no.

Oh and Ember. As soon as she meets him she’s instantly in love and of course Poppy then thinks it was her destiny to bring these two people together. Sure. Ember has never seen a man before, Leo’s the first, so? It’s not like she had much to compare him with? Not to mention that Sorrel, in her own twisted way, has an infatuation with him.

And Leo . . . well boy can’t make up his mind, can he? One minute he’s making out with Ember and then running to Poppy saying how he’s desperately in love with her and how she’s his true love. . . and then he’s making out with Ember again. HE. CAN’T. MAKE. UP. HIS. MIND.

To me it’s like the author can’t actually decide what she wants. It’s just a mess – one minute it’s going in a solid and clear direction, and then any development or characterisation that’s been made is out of the window. It’s like every time the author sat down she changed her mind but didn’t want to backspace what she had written. UGH.

Oh and the female characters. Petty? Check. Stupid? Check. Stereotyped? Check. I mean of course we have to have a mean girl. Of course we have to have the whole “special snowflake” thing. And Ember . . . I just. The author promotes her prettiness as what was it . . . being fair haired and pale? Don’t hold me exactly to that – the characters were so boring and bland they all began to blend together as one.

WHAT WAS THE PLOT? No, seriously. I’m asking you. It started off strong with a classic-switchero, and of course, THE PROPHECY. But was soon taken over by the mindless “romance” scenes and Poppy and Ember continually moaning about how they don’t fit in, while Raven is just being a weirdo and an abuser to her daughter.

Side note: I really loved Ember’s and Poppy’s friendship to begin with. I think it started off too quickly – but I liked the companionship and comfort they found in each other and the dell. But that soon faded away to nothing but petty jealousies and hate. Sometimes the touch of sisterhood would come back but then the moment was robbed by thoughts of Leo.

Anyways – back to the lack of plot. Yeah. It kept disappearing. I think if this book had focused more on that then it would have been better. I did like how we saw Poppy actually practice, and it wasn’t just on a whim of “hey! look how good I am at this thing I’ve never learnt before!” but still. It wasn’t great.

Oh and the PARENTS. I mean they were all shitty. Especially Poppy’s father. He blamed Poppy for something, that wasn’t her fault, making her feel guilty and worthless all because he didn’t want to out himself and his secret. So he used his daughter to get what he wanted and basically punished her for the thing he knew he shouldn’t have. Make sense?? I am trying not to spoil too much.

ANYWAYS – much like the plot, I am going off track. But yeah. Moments where the plot was put back in I was like WOO we’re getting somewhere only to be robbed of it like two pages later. I’m not happy about this.

The writing was okay, even if the writing structure was not.

OH! ALSO. THIS WITCHCRAFT. It’d be nice to actually understand how the spells work? Like one minute they have to chant and then spells happen? Other times, like in the duel, they just hold out their hands and blast? Then they talk about only some can shape shift BUT THEN WE GET TONS THAT CAN SHAPESHIFT? Other times we have to use ingredients for spells?? HOW DOES THIS ALL WORK? TELL ME. MAKE ME UNDERSTAND. I just don’t think the system was properly explained and there was NO excuse for that. While Poppy was inexperienced, and Leo had nothing to do with the witch world, the rest of the narrators did. So there’s no reason why this could have been clearer.

Oh. The world-building. For starters, I was confused with what time period we are in. Secondly, and maybe I wasn’t reading clear enough, but where is this set? America? Some made up town? WHERE? How come no ones accidentally walked into this hidden forest place that’s just outside town that looks like it came from the 1400’s? Does magic protect it? WHAAAT? TELL ME.

I am silently screaming in frustration.

Oh and the ending. Throwing out these plot twists of HAHA, but it was obvious?? Like ?? It’s not like it was subtly hinted at so if you didn’t come out and give that explanation for it it would be a pile of shit?? I’m just surprised the characters didn’t figure it out sooner. SO. OBVIOUS.

But yeah. I think that’s it. Maybe. That’s all my important points – if I were to nitpick further I could possibly run out of characters.

So overall, I liked the idea. It had a strong start and sometimes was strong in plot, but for the most of it it wasn’t. Rather it favoured a dodgy love triangle, poor characterisation, and lost sight of the point of the whole novel. I doubt I’ll be continuing on with this series, but I am a curious person . . . so I’ll probably read the second one. . .

Posted in book reviews

If My Moon Was Your Sun – Andreas Steinhofel, Nele Palmtag

Did you hear the story about Max, the boy who kidnapped his grandfather from a nursing home ? You didn’t see it on the news? Well, let me tell you about it.

Max lives in a small town, much smaller than yours. His grandpa is losing his memory, but still remembers quite a bit. You can imagine how they hurried, Max and his grandpa, followed by old Miss Schneider, who insisted on coming along. Why were they in a hurry? Because everyone was after them. Max had skipped school to rescue his grandpa, and they were just starting out on what promised to be one of the best days of their entire lives.

A touching story about dementia and the special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, with full-color illustrations and a read-along CD audiobook featuring twelve classical pieces for children by Georges Bizet and Sergei Prokofiev.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for a review!

I don’t usually read children’s books, unless me nephew, Roman, 2, comes up to me and demands for me to read them. Usually I get a page or two before he runs off and picks out another one. That’s about all.

But tomorrow my other nephew, Joshua, 6, is going to sign up to receive his first library card. Josh likes to read – the other day I sat while he read Aladdin at me. And that got me thinking about all these books out there, waiting and ready for him to discover. I’ve been a reader all my life, and all I can do is hope and gently encourage him for having that same passion.

If My Moon Was Your Sunis written in such beautiful prose. It may be a children’s book but it was deeply thoughtful and beautifully written. It’s not too over the top; it’s simple, easy to read and understand, while at the same time encouraging intelligence of the reader and for them to think. For young children, whose minds are open to so much information, it’s important to treat them like they’re smart and they’re not stupid. This book does exactly that; it engages in a conversation.

You closed your eyes, you breathed deeply in and out, and in no time at all you felt rooted and alive.

This book tells the tale of a young boy, Max, breaking his Grandfather out of the Nursing Home. This is written with the view of a scared boy whose afraid of losing his best friend, his protector, his Grandfather. It’s from a boy who wants adventure. It’s about loving.

“That someday I’ll ask, do you remember? and you won’t remember anymore.
And that someday . . . someday you will forget how much you love me.”

“Max. Don’t be afraid. You don’t need to be afraid of anything, my boy.”

So this small book is beautiful, and I love the message of loving and comfort it sends through via the relationship of Max and his Grandfather. I don’t think I got the best reading experience that I could have as I didn’t listen to the audio BUT having said that, the book was still amazing without it. Also, I can’t forget to mention the illustrations that were simply BEAUTIFUL. They were done with just enough detail and childlike manner that they suited the atmosphere and the theme of the book PERFECTLY.

Posted in other bookish posts

Anticipated Releases of 2017!

Hi bookish friends!

While we are half way through the year and it seems a bit too late to be doing this sort of post, there’s still many book releases for the remaining part of 2017 that I am so excited for.

Warcross – Marie Lu

This is being released in September and I am SO excited for it. I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Marie Lu, that’s both her trilogies, so I am very excited for what this one is going to bring.

Renegades – Marissa Meyer

Renegades is being published in November, and I cannot wait. The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourite series ever, and while I was not keen on Heartless at all, I can’t wait for this. It seems so epic!

Wonder Woman – Leigh Bardugo

I wasn’t that excited for this until I saw the Wonder Woman film and now I just need this book in my hands! So much so I’ve pre-ordered a limited edition copy from Waterstones.

All the Crooked Saints – Maggie Stievfater

I really enjoyed The Raven Boys. While I wasn’t a fan of the Shiver books, it’s clear to me that Maggie’s writing and storytelling gets better and better as she goes on. Therefore, I can’t wait to see what this one holds and if it will be a hit or miss.

The Becoming of Noah Shaw – Michelle Hodkin

This is a continuation of the Unbecoming of Mara Dyer series, being published in November, but now instead of following Mara’s perspective, it will follow Noah’s. I can’t wait! Once again – I really enjoyed the Mara Dyer trilogy, and it’s so exciting to see that being developed more and continued on. While I’m not dying to get my hands on this book, I am still quite excited for it.

And how could I forget. . .

Tower of Dawn – Sarah J. Maas

Coming out in September, this is another instalment in the Throne of Glass universe. If you know me at all, then you’d know that there is no way in hell that I’d miss out on reading this. You can bet your buttons that it’s been pre-ordered.

 

 

So here’s all the books that I can think of being released in the latter half of 2017 that I am excited for. What books are you dying for?

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Books I’ve read so far this year!

Here we are, six months into the year already. How the time flies! I thought, seeming as we’re half way through 2017, that I’d pause and take a moment to reflect on all of the books that I have read so far this year. At the beginning of the year I set my reading goal to 52 books, working out as one a week, and I have currently read 38 out of those 52 books. Some of them have been extremely short so they hardly count – but it’s all a bit of fun anyways! Without further ado, here’s all the books that I have read this year.

  1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

This is my first time ever reading the Harry Potter series. It’s quite fitting to be reflecting on that today since today (26th of June) we are celebrating the release of the first Harry Potter book – Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone. I wasn’t even born then, but here I am, twenty years later, reading and loving the series for the first time ever. I gave this one 4 Stars.

2.  All I Want is You

It is safe to say that I did not enjoy this book as much as I did the Prisoner of Azkaban. In fact, this book had everything I hated. It was sexist, portrayed male and female characters in a negative light, had stupid characters (even though they’re meant to be so smart – honestly, they tell you hundreds of times how smart they are) and followed cliches in the most boring way possible. I wrote a whole ranting review on this on Goodreads, which you can see here. Unsurprisingly, I gave this 1 star. Even that was generous.

3. Holding Up The Universe

(Mild SPOILERS written below)

Oh, another disappointing book. This is one of those books that has the potential to be great and make a positive contribution to accurate representation on diverse issues . . . but fails. BADLY. The ending just doesn’t make sense. Without saying too much that is spoiler-y, but by basically ‘curing’ a character, for me at least, it takes away from the authenticity of the experience. For readers who live with those sort of diseases and illnesses it can be upsetting – they don’t get magically cured by falling in love, and this romanticising of being fat, or having these issues, and then curing them is harmful. This book had the opportunity to tell a hard truth but to show characters learning to overcome these hardships and live through them. But no – it’s showing that the only way for these characters to be happy is taking away their illness. Once again, these real life issues that effect people are used to form a romance, and then are thrown away so everyone gets their happily-ever-after. Wouldn’t it be nice to life in such an idealist world? So while the book did have some good messages, I think they were ultimately drowned out at the miracle ending. 2 stars from me. The prose wasn’t shitty, but that doesn’t completely save the book from it’s shortcomings.

4. Until Friday Night

Really quite liked this. It was quick to get through, and dealt with some very hard issues. While I do think some of them could’ve been handled better, it was nothing like the shit-show ways I’ve seen it been dealt with in other books. 3 stars!

5. The Diabolic

I buddy read this with one of my Goodreads friends, and since then our friendship has blossomed. So thank you Diabolic, for forming friendships! Other than that – I really enjoyed this one. There was lots of stabbing, plot twists, and lots and lots of scheming. So much so I didn’t even know if I could trust myself while reading this. Despite my enjoyment of this, I did have some issues: I DIDN’T KNOW WHO TO TRUST. And while most of the time that was cool, sometimes it left me really confused. Seriously. SO MUCH CONFUSION. So that ruined the story for me a bit – since it just wasn’t clear about what actually happened. Despite that, it always kept me on my toes and I loved buddy reading it, so 4 stars!

6. The Last Beginning

What a great conclusion to this duology. LOVED IT. 4 stars, and you can read more of my thoughts and feelings here in my Goodreads review.

7. Wayfarer

Once again, another great conclusion to a duology! Love the female characters in this one, Etta and Sophia are badasses. I’d totally want them on my side. Love other new characters that are introduced in this world, and I have my fingers crossed that they will have their own spin-off. A girl can dream! 4 stars, and for more of my thoughts and feelings you can read my Goodreads review.

8. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Another buddy read (with the same person I read The Diabolic with). I am SO glad she convinced me to read this, because this was GREAT. I’ve always been tentative to start off in this world, firstly because they’re middle grade, and secondly because there’s just so dang many of them! But they’re so easy to read, they’re funny, great plots, great friendship, and as a Greek mythology lover I’ve loved seeing the different interpretations of that/how the Gods have been characterised (both in this, but throughout the whole series). I gave this 3 stars. Mainly because while this one was great, the others in the series were better, and deserved a much higher marking.

9. Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters

Just as fun as the first. 4 stars!

10. Carve the Mark

This one was difficult for me to rate. I did enjoy it. I thought the idea of it all was good, but that doesn’t take away from all it’s problems. And there was a lot. First, the crappy writing style with the lack of world-building and the info-dumping. Secondly, the incorrect depictions of illnesses. I’m not going to go into it full, but if you want to read a longer explanation of this, once again head over to my Goodreads review. The word Sojourn can stay away from me. 2 stars.

11. A Conjuring of Light

Once again a buddy read with the same person who I read the Diabolic and the Percy Jackson books with. And I LOVED IT. I love this world, and I loved this trilogy. The ending broke my heart because some of the characters !! deserved !! so !! much !! better!! But at the same time it was good that they didn’t all get their happy ever-afters, and it was good that some people died, because in this hyper-realistic world that makes it more realistic and heart-wrenching. I still have some questions though, but not too many that I’m swearing at her from omitting them from me. . . okay, maybe I am a bit, but I’m trying not to think about it. 5 stars, because I LOVED it! Lila is my favourite and I LOVE her, Kell is brilliant and I love him, Rhy is fantastic and I also love him, Alucard is great and I also also love him, Holland NEEDS A HUG AND I LOVE HIM.

12. Percy Jacksons and the Titans Curse

Brilliant. These books are so enjoyable. It’s hard for me because when I go to criticise about how I’d love for characters to be more developed, I have to remember the target audience. It’s middle grade, and while the books do age more as the characters grow, I have to bare in mind that this writing style is because of the demographic. Plus, it’s so dang enjoyable that it has to be 5 stars.

13.  Caraval

WHAT. A. RIDE. This was GREAT. SERIOUSLY. This was so fun and I read it all in one-sitting because I just couldn’t put it down. It was so twist-y (sometimes obviously so) and that ending!! SEQUEL PLEASE. I think more of my thoughts and feelings on this are better explained by my status updates, which I made while reading the book. You can read them all here (you can laugh at me if you want, I can take it). 5 flipping stars!

14. Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth

Once again, awesome. The books are getting bigger and bigger now, and at first I was a little off-put because I loved how short they were and how it never felt like there were ‘filler chapters’ but it WORKED. Much more to love! 4 stars.

15. Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian

I LOVE IT. So much went down! WHAT A CONCLUSION THOUGH! I think this one could be my favourite – it was non-stop and thrilling. 5 stars of course!

16. The Lost Hero

It was good, but I can’t say it was my favourite. A nice beginning to a new series, even though I felt Percy’s absence, but the new characters are great. Once again, an ending that has me like !! really. So glad I didn’t have to wait long to read the sequel. 3 stars.

17. The Queen of the Tearling

Once again back on the disappointing books train. The worldbuilding in this was poor. The storyline was a mess. The characterisations terrible. This book tried to execute so many things at once that nothing was developed. No reasonable explanations behind anything, and the history of this world was a mess. Didn’t like it at all. Very boring. It didn’t really start to get it’s shit together until the last 20 pages. For more of my thoughts read my Goodreads review here. 1 star!

18. The Wrath and the Dawn

This one was good, but I was expecting so much more from the hype that was surrounding it. I liked it, but I did have a lot of ?? ReEeEaAlLlyYy moments? Like? What makes you so special that he’d give up doing what he’s done to 100’s of other girls and families because of what? You told him a story? Bitch please. . .  nah. Doesn’t sit with me. But still, despite that, it wasn’t completely crap and had a nice writing style. 3 stars.

19. The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Not a big fan of Gaimans’ writing style. I guess I feel like he just tried too hard to be whacky and out there that it just feels forced to me sometimes. But this wasn’t terrible though. It was interesting. I liked the structure that it was told in, but I did get a bit confused about the setting and what was going on. 2 stars.

20. The Son of Neptune

So much better than The Lost Hero. We’re reunited with some old favourites, and while I thought the abundance of POV’s would get tiresome it never was. I enjoyed having the multiple perspectives, and it increased the tension as we waited for other characters to figure out what the other characters knew, and to reunite. Yep. Loved it. 5 stars.

21. Beautiful Broken Things

Loved how mental illness and friendships were represented in this book. This book is realistic. It shows that people aren’t always perfect, that friendships are bitchy and can be filled with hate and jealousy, but they can be worked through. It shows that what you think is best for someone might not always be right. There is a true discussion going on in this about mental health, and I love it. People are calling other people out and it’s great. Once again I wrote a review which you can read here. Another 5 stars from me.

22. The Hate U Give

If you read any book this year, it should be this one. This book reflects the harsh reality of the racism and prejudice that still sadly exists in today’s society. Truly moving, heartbreaking. . . pure brilliance. While there are some issues I have with the writing style, I can completely ignore them because this book sets out with the pure purpose of opening your mind, with asking you to question and to challenge yourself, and it does that. It is heartbreaking. 5 stars.

23. The Mark of Athena

So out of the Heroes of Olympus series, this one is my favourite. Pretty much everyone of the main characters makes an appearance and it’s great. Obviously 5 stars.

24. Royally Screwed

I feel like I should’t admit to liking this. . . but I did. Okay. It wasn’t greatly written by any means. But it was just so out there. I just really did enjoy reading it, even though I know if I had to be critical about it then my rating would be slashed in half. . . but I’m not going to do that. NOPE. I’m still going to keep it at a 4 stars.

25. Under the Lights

Light and entertaining. This is so trashy, but sooo good. The characters are way too over dramatic most of the time, and I’m just like *rolls eyes* but it’s fun. Nothing remarkable, but a good distraction. 3 stars.

26. Night Owls

A school friend recommended this to me ages before I picked this up to read. When I finally did read it, I sent her a bunch of messages just filled with !!! and apologies for not listening to her sooner. This was so cute and adorable, and I read it in a sitting. 4 stars!

27. Three Dark Crowns

My review lays out all of my thoughts and feelings on this one. There was quite a bit of hype around this one, and I was tentative, because I had already DNF’ed books by this author before. So when it came to the hype I was like eh because of how that worked out for me last time. But still, I have it a chance . . . and came away disappointed. It wasn’t terrible, but it really could’ve been so much better. It felt like it draaaaaagggeeeed. 2 stars.

28. Glitches

This was GREAT. The Lunar Chronicles was one of my favourites, so I loved this short little story that took place before the first novel. We were seeing the events that have been mentioned in other novels, and that, for me at least, really added on that layer of story. Because reading this, and knowing how everything unfolds from there, adds that extra layer of tension I guess, since you’re in the known and these characters are not. It’s like !!! But yeah, it’s nice exploring more of these characters backstories and being reunited with characters that have died, or ones we’ve never met. 4 stars.

29. Existence

Honestly I can’t even really remember what this story was about. I remember a boy being a ghost and creeping into this girls room because he was there to “protect her”? And he played with her emotions, pretty much abusing them? Yeah – I hate to be so blunt but it was terrible. It felt like some sort of fan-fiction. 1 star.

30. The Assassin and the Pirate Lord

This was a re-read and I still LOVED IT. Sam Cortland, you’ll always have my heart. Obviously 5 stars. (And yes, while re-reading this I might have cried a couple of times, and what??)

31. The Egg

This was so short, so strange, not even a novel. It was what – 3 pages? But heck, I really liked those 3 pages. Very interesting. 3 stars.

32. The Guard

Considering the fact that I was never really a lover of the Selection the first time, and that it has been a couple years since I’ve read it and can barely remember anything, I still enjoyed this. It was interesting to go back into that world and see things from another perspective. Still . . . I didn’t really like it. For die-hard fans, they probably would have loved it, but for me I was just indifferent. This is a short story, so yes, it makes no real impact or difference if you’ve read it or not, but I still struggle to see the point of this. Once again, if I remembered more of the series or was a big fan I’d probably think differently. Since I’m not, 2 stars.

33. The Kiss of Deception

Get out of here. I guessed it all straight away! HAHA. I quite enjoyed this one actually, and for more thoughts and feelings, you’ve guessed it, here’s my Goodreads review. 3.5 stars!

34. A Court of Wings and Ruin

*screams into the distance* OKAY. OKAY. I’M STILL ALIVE. AHHHHHHHHH. THAT ENDING THOUGH!! AH!!! AND I LOVED SEEING MORE OF MY NIGHT COURT BABIES AND AHHH! I am still unable to talk about this book comprehensively. YOU’LL NEVER GET THOUGHTS OUT OF ME THAT MAKE SENSE REGARDING THIS BOOK BECAUSE I AM TOO BUSY FANGLRING. (although I must say I still think ACOMAF is my favourite out of this trilogy!) 4 STARS.

35. Song of the Current

Won this in a goodreads giveaway and I’ve never been happier. A book that promises pirates and actually gives them? YAAAS? Do I also hear kick-ass and awesome female characters? YAAAS? A love story that’s not instant romance and doesn’t feature the “pure heroine” and the “bad boy of corruption” and a book that discusses the importances of consent and doesn’t shame women? YAAAS. So yep. I loved it.  A definite 4 stars! More on that in my review.

36. Spellslinger

Ever since I saw this beautiful cover (I’m shallow) I’ve been looking forward to this. So when it hit bookdepository at a low price could I resist?? NO! And it was great. I was expecting it to be more like A Gathering of Shadows which yes, is by a complete different author, but the concept seemed the same. It wasn’t though – and what is in this book is much  . . . different. And I liked it. It didn’t completely blow me away but it was great and a fun read. I wrote a review here. 3 stars.

37. Paper Hearts

Cute and fun. Nothing remarkable that blows you away, and sometimes the cliches get too much and the characters annoying, but it wasn’t completely dreadful. It was just a light teen fiction read. A low 3 stars.

38. Lord of Shadows

Once again a buddy read with the girl whom I read the Diabolic, Percy Jackson and A Conjuring of Light with, and my fellow moderator on my Goodreads group A Book Nirvana. I LOVED THIS. With each and every novel you can see Cassandra Clare’s writing improve. I loved seeing old characters once again returning in this, with seperate plot lines, as it keeps the whole world open and in-depth. I wrote a review here, which also links to my friends review which is GREAT. I gave this one a whooping 4 stars.

 

And there it is. All the books I’ve read this year (not including re-reads). I’m really happy with most of the books I’ve read this year, and I’m hoping that the latter half of this year continues to give me great books that I’ll love.

So what books have you read this year? Any that I have? Have you hated any books you’ve read this year? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in book reviews

Heartless – Marissa Meyer

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

I’m a massive fan of the Lunar Chronicles, it’s one of my favourite series of all time, so to say I went into this one with very high expectations is a bit of an understatement. And the outcome. . . It was okay. I’m pleased, but I can’t say I’m delighted.

So this is the origin story of The Queen of Hearts, so it’s the tale of how she become what we all know her for. But oh my, the first 300 odd pages felt like an opening. While it was enjoyable, I just felt like it began to drag. The last 100 or so pages were fabulous, and it’s a shame the beginning of the book wasn’t written fast paced with tension.

Also, I’ve never been a big fan of Alice in Wonderland. I think I’ve watched one Tim Burton adaptation and that was a giant nope, as I discovered my fear of the Cheshire Cat (he seriously freaking creeps me out, please no). Because of this, I don’t have much knowledge and this book didn’t really help. While it’s not meant to copy the original etc, it seemed to seriously lack world-building.

Maybe if I went into this with lower expectations and it having read the Lunar Chronicles, I might have given it a star higher. That said, I did like it, but you won’t find me screaming about it from any roof tops in the near future (what is time???? Look at me, making references).

So I can’t say that I loved this book, since I was just so let down by my expectations of what I was going to get from this book. 3 stars!

Posted in book reviews

Paris for One and Other Short Stories – JoJo Moyes

From the #1 “New York Times” bestselling author of “Me Before You” and “After You,” a sensational collection featuring the title novella and eight other stories. Quintessential Jojo Moyes, “Paris for One and Other Stories” is an irresistibly romantic collection filled with humor and heart.

This ARC was sent to me by Penguin UK via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to both publisher/netgalley for sending me this 🙂
Usually I leave my DNF without star ratings, since I feel like because I haven’t read it all I shouldn’t be marking it. But I feel strongly with this one and my low rating at this moment in time. I am in no way closing my mind to this book, I might come back to it later, but right now. . . no.

I don’t think short stories are for me. I feel like within this collection the stories weren’t fleshed out enough, they all began to blur together and feel the same, and I never really noticed a difference in the characters. Overall, I found the stories I did read to mostly be boring. It could be down to that this isn’t my usual genre (and when I do read it, I’m quite selective and picky about what works) and that the situations these characters were in are things that I myself do not relate to. Example, several of this were about married couples which I am not, so I found it hard to connect/empathise with that. Maybe I was just in a sour mood trying to read this, who knows, but right now I know this isn’t for me. Maybe one day!

Posted in book reviews

Someone Else’s Summer – Rachel Bateman

About a sister who is lost when her older sister dies, until she stumbles upon a bucket list and decides to honor her sister by having the best summer ever. Publication is scheduled for spring 2017.

I really, really enjoyed and liked this book. What I mainly liked about it was the realism. To me, in most books that usually deal with losing a loved one (like a sibling), all it takes is falling in love for them to magically forget their grief. Their grief only comes out here and there, like a “oh, yeah, that should also happen,” but this story doesn’t do that. The death of Anna’s sister Storm compels her to go on this journey in figuring out her sister, herself, and trying to sort through the grief and to learn if she’ll ever be able t0 – or even want to – move on and live her life as fully as her sister once did. Anna’s grief follows her everywhere and within everything she does. This doesn’t make the book depressing though, it’s not all constant tears and dark thoughts, rather I think that we see Anna grieve in a good way. It’s a more on-point representation than I’ve read in the past, like I’ve previously said. She doesn’t fall in love and magically forget about her sisters death, and I really liked that.
But I did find some issues with it. This book was so cute and adorable and I did really like Cameron, but sometimes he felt a bit too plain. His character wasn’t really developed, and we didn’t really know much about him other than he lived next door and was Storms best friend. This book had lots of potential to develop other interesting dynamics, but it just fell short. For example, with Anna – she sometimes felt like the 3rd wheel to Storm and Cameron, and that’s why she did the stuff she wanted to do (even though really, she didn’t want to) but this was only said, not really built upon. If it was, we could’ve connected more to her character, and to Storm’s, if we were able to feel the pain/regret at how separated they had become. Also, sometimes things felt too perfect: want to crash a wedding?? Well guess what? The hotel your staying at is hosting a wedding, yeah, no freaking way! So yeah, sometimes it felt a bit too clean and polished, with how perfectly things lined up for them, which took away from it being more realistic, grounded – and dare I say took away the potential for it to be more emotional – because everything was working out okay, really smoothly.

But overall, I really loved and enjoyed this book. I liked how it showed the grieving process, and while I had my issues with it (like Piper. I thought I liked her, but no) I still found it really enjoyable and would recommend it. It has a nice romance, but also tells the story of a young girl, who not only lost her sister, but lost her on way in life and is trying desperately to find it.

I have some favourite quotes, but I’m going to check them against the published edition when that’s released 😛 thank you Netgalley/the publisher for giving this to me in exchange for an honest review 🙂