Posted in other bookish posts

Netgalley Reviews. . .I’m so behind!

Gah, the title of this blog post says it all, doesn’t it? I, Gabby, am a massive failure when it comes to keeping up with the books I’ve been given on Netgalley to review. And it sucks so much, because I’ve had the privilege of having these books given to me, for free, usually before publication…and I’ve done nothing. Just left them sitting their in my kindle app on my iPod waiting to be read and reviewed. I’m so sorry, books.

I find one part that’s aided this is that I’m not really a big kindle reader. I love a good physcial book, but I’m not opposed to e-books (especially not when they’re, you know, free, and ahead of the release date!). I just think I have to be in the mood for them.

Secondly, I’ve been swamped with school. AS Levels/A Levels are a pain. Tons and tons of work goes into them, with long hours of teaching, homework, coursework, and stressing on the side. E-books got pushed further and further down the pecking line, unfortunately.

BUT, there’s still a good three months left of this year, and I’m making it my mission to try to catch up on my netgalley reviews. That’s my new years resolution, you can see it as 9 months late, or 3 months early. Either way, that’s my goal.

Are any of you drastically behind on anything like me? A TV show? TBR pile? School work?

 

(P.S: Watch Stranger Things, give into the hype)

Posted in book reviews

Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

I would like to warn you all, before you begin reading this review, that I do go off into some deep thought and ramble a lot. There’s just too much to say about this book. I liked it, but it didn’t wow me. And I wasn’t really surprised by anything that happened unfortunately. 3 stars (maybe 2 and a half?). That’s my short review, and the longer one will contain spoilers so read at your own risk.

I’m torn on how I feel on this book. I’m at an impasse, not quite sure on what decision to make about this. That, in itself, tells me all I need to know. I’m not raging about this book recommending it to anyone and everyone who will listen, I’m just okay about it. It was good, and now it’s back on my shelf, and it’s another one to add to my reading challenge for this year (I’m sooooo behind).

That doesn’t mean that I hate it. In fact, it was quite good. I really liked the layout/formatting of the book, with the illustrations of calendars, lists, etc. This really cut the book down, making it shorted than it already is. (Especially when some pages had minimal lines on them). So I flew through this book, reading it all in one sitting of a couple hours, maybe less. This book was easy to fall in to as you find yourself wondering about her sickness, and everything going on next door with Olly. But I find that maybe I was reading it too quick, not really taking it in, because I’ve left the book like ?? that was it?? I, from reading tons of other good, raving reviews, expected a lot more. Something deeper, and impactful (apparently that’s not a word, but I’m using it anyway). Sure, there was some pure moments of “wow, okay,” and emotion, but the rest was just disengaged and I was questioning more of the decisions with irritation than curiosity.

I wasn’t really shocked by the plot twist of her not being really ill. While I don’t know much about the sickness, from the stuff that Maddy told us and my own basic knowledge, some things didn’t add up. For example, she talks about how she can’t eat certain foods (her mum makes the lentil soup was it?? very basically for her, which was basically lentils in chicken stock), and yet the minute she runs away she’s eating anything and everything. No allergic reactions at all. No throat closing up. No hives. Or when she runs out the house to go to Olly, and nothing. happens. I was like ?? she’s not sick. She can’t be, and if she really is, then this is just stupid.

Nope. She’s not sick. Her mums just really depressed. I guessed that too, because of losing her husband and son, she wouldn’t want to lose her daughter either. How anyone else in this actual world didn’t put these things together is above me. And how she got away with keeping her daughter in a bubble, despite medical records saying how she doesn’t actually have this sickness, is also above me. And the nurse, if you truly thought something was up, isn’t it your duty to you know, report that??? Help her out? Let’s not talk about how, even though she suspected she wasn’t sick (but didn’t know for sure), just let her run away where she could potentially die. Where is the logic? I get that it’s meant to be all romantic and whatever, and “go live your life” and all the other life inspiring stuff you can find as wall stickers, but NO! Your a caretaker and you’re doing this? While I felt sad that she was fired, since she was Maddy’s only real friend, it made sense.

I’m confused by why everything Maddy owns is white. *Augustus voice* Maybe it’s a metaphor. The white is for when she’s sick. White has many connotations, but in Maddy’s case she see’s it as one for her being sick, and for everything around her being plain and boring, having no life. When she finally get’s her life and starts to live, everything becomes colourful. Her t-shirts, her shoes, her bedroom walls. Colour is everywhere. In Maddy’s situation I’m sure it doesn’t really feel like she’s living, being trapped inside all day everyday, and I’m sure for other people with different sicknesses it can feel the same. But I don’t know, this book shouldn’t feel like it’s saying that just because your sick doesn’t mean you have a life.

Maybe I’m thinking too much into this. I probably am. Shall we just stick to thinking about how Maddy and Olly seemingly got a happy ever after and ran away through New York together? Yeah, let’s think about that.

Posted in book reviews

Me Before You – JoJo Moyes

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

 

After posting my Paris for One review yesterday, I realised I’ve never posted my Me Before You one, soooo…here it is!

Dearest friends and followers,

• it’s heartbreaking
• it’s sad
• it’s wonderful
• it’s funny
• it’s frustrating
• it makes you mad
• it makes you question
• it leaves you both happy and sad
• I love Will (is it just me though or are all characters named will sassy little troublemakers?)
• I love Lou
• ahhhhhhh

I don’t really know what else to say about this book, I have so many thoughts and feelings. I feel like going outside and shouting out my thoughts and frustrations to the world, to writing down my favourite quotes, re-watching the trailer 1000x and crying because I am know fully aware of what happens, declaring my love for this all over the Internet, and then finally I will probably cry myself to sleep over this…oh well.

(This may contain mild spoilers so I would read at your own risk, you’re warned.)

I think one of the lines that stood out the most to me is when Lou told her sister that “I told him I loved him but he said it wasn’t enough.” I can’t even begin to describe my feelings with this line — with everything that Lou feels about him & Wills feelings too. It’s not really the fact that Lou’s love isn’t enough for Will, but as he pointed out that his life isn’t enough for her or for him. His biggest problem wasn’t that he was unable to love Lou it was the fact he didn’t love himself enough or his life.

It’s just so heartbreaking to see these two people who have such a deep, intimate connection and understanding being pulled apart. It’s frustrating, but realistic.

This book really makes you question your own life, like how Lou started to question hers (much to Wills persuasion). Mainly questioning about how you life your life and is it really enough, are you really living it? I think that was one of the best things for me seeing Lou start to go out and take control of her own life and live it the way she wants to. Will seems to be the only want that wants Lou to have something to herself, everyone else sees her as being selfish if she wants to do something her way/not do it.

My whole family is pretty much made of carers. My nan, my mum, my aunties, my cousins. I’ve grown up knowing people with versions of Wills conditions and people with autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other illnesses. So many of the issues in this book weren’t unfamiliar to me. But still, seeing and knowing about the struggles that many people go through it doesn’t make it any easier. When Will and Lou left the house I can relate heavily to the stares, the whispering, and the anger and frustration that goes along with it. It’s true that you don’t really understand how unequipped a place is for someone with a disability until you’re put into the situation.

Posted in book reviews

Paris for One – JoJo Moyes

Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She has never even been on a weekend away with her boyfriend. Everyone knows she is just not the adventurous type.

But, when her boyfriend doesn’t turn up for their romantic mini-break, Nell has the chance to prove everyone wrong.

Alone in Paris, Nell meets the mysterious moped-riding Fabien and his group of carefree friends. Could this turn out to be the most adventurous weekend of her life?

 

Paris for One is a short 95 page story by JoJo Moyes. Being 95 pages I knew not to expect too much from it, because really, how much can you fit into 95 pages? But still, I went into it with high expectations, looking forward to a 95 page whirl wind of a short story, that at the end I’d be wishing that this was a full length novel. Unfortunately, while I missed with the idea of this having a 95 page sequel, I found it unimpressive.

I absolutely love Me Before You, and I was captured by the writing style in that, and her story telling skills. Unfortunately, they seem to have gotten lost somewhere in the process of this book. Everything just seemed to draaaaaaaaaag, and I unfortunately couldn’t really form a connection between the characters. I wasn’t routing for any of them. Yes, this is 95 pages long and a short story I bare that in mind, but still, I can’t find myself recommending this short story to any one, or even really talking about it.

It seems to me that this really is a quick, light read, while you’re in between books or travelling somewhere. More of a filler.

It is so hard to review this because yes, like I’ve said, you’ve got to bare in mind that this is a short story on purpose, etc, but you still expect to get something from it. For me this was just way too easy to put back onto my bookshelf, and I, unfortunately, don’t think you’re missing anything if you have or haven’t read the book.

I do like however how the main character makes the best out of her situation and begins to embrace life with both hands. I think there’s a message there. Unfortunately, (maybe because of the length), story lines never seemed to be well developed.

Posted in book reviews

The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.

But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Speechless.

I’ve been thinking about what to write in this review since the moment I finished reading it. But one word came to mind, and that was that I was speechless. I loved this book. I read this book while on holiday in Greece, and I feel like this added to my experience, but really you can read this book wherever and whenever and be blown away by it. The writing is magnificent.

My only problem was the pronunciation of the names. I got easily distracted most of the time trying to figure out how to pronounce the names correctly, and in the end I just gave up and went along with it.

Honestly, the story of Patroclus and Achilles is haunting, beautiful, boyish grins, blood, and love. I loved their relationship, and found myself rooting for them from the start. They were much more than just lovers, but best friends, soul mates, and each others deepest confidants.

The ending broke my heart, and I wanted to reach out and hug Patroclus, and Achilles. This isn’t just a love story, but it also paints the brutality of war, the loss of a child’s innocence, and the price of fame and how arrogance can cost you.

This novel is just rich with everything.

 

Posted in general posts, journals, other bookish posts

19/07/2016 – Reading Slumps

Hello followers! Gather round, gather round.

What a month hey? It feels like this month is dragging on forever. It could be because I’ve been eagerly awaiting the 21st, for the last day of sixth form. Good gosh, you have no idea how much I’ve been looking forward to this six week break. Well needed, let me tell you that.

This month has been a weird one for reading. I have but I haven’t been in a reading slump? Yeah, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me either. I want to read, but at the same time I don’t. It’s been taking me extra, extra, long to choose a book I want to read. When I do pick a book though, and manage to make it past the solid 10 page mark, it’s easy sailing from there. I’m hoping this “funk” will be gone soon though, and I’ll be back to my usual fantasy, ya-loving ways.

How do you all tend to try and get out of a reading slump? Occupy yourself with other things or do you try and force yourself to read? Do you have any idea on what triggers your reading slumps?? Being an active member on Goodreads I’ve noticed a lot of my friends suffering from book slumps this month, so I’ve come to the conclusion it’s just a side effect on July.

Thoughts??

Posted in book reviews

Lady Renegades (Rebel Belle, #3) – Rachel Hawkins

Just as Harper Price starts coming to terms with her role as David Stark’s battle-ready Paladin, protector, and girlfriend—her world goes crazy all over again.

Overwhelmed by his Oracle powers, David flees Pine Grove and starts turning teenage girls into Paladins—and these young ladies seem to think that Harper is the enemy David needs protecting from.  Ordinarily, Harper would be able to fight off any Paladin who comes her way, but her powers have been dwindling since David left town…which means her life is on the line yet again.

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins brings the fun once again in the finale of this pitch-perfect romantic paranormal comedy series.

This was…okay?

I don’t know, after Rebel Belle I was expecting more, but then after reading Miss Mayhem I’m not too surprised with how this ended. The whole time I was reading this it just felt like some kind of “filler” book, not really an ending.

Can we talk about the length to? I pre-ordered this straight after I finished reading Miss Mayhem, and the amount this cost for a 270(?) page book is more than I’ve paid for ones double this size. Not a fan of that. In a way I’m glad this wasn’t many more pages because then it really would’ve felt as it was starting to draaaaaaag. And as must as I love Harper, and David, I don’t think their witty banter and ass-kicking skills would’ve been enough to keep me entertained for a couple hundred more pages, unfortunately.

I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy this book. It was good, easy to get through, but that’s pretty much all I have to say about it – it was okay. Not “ahhh this is amazing give me the next one now” or “wow really good” it all falls to a “eh.” Which is soooo disappointing after how awesome and amazing Rebel Belle was and how much I loved that one!! It seems that as this trilogy went on it just worse.

The ending was…cute? I don’t know, it felt all a bit rushed to me. All of a sudden everything was happening, reunions, tears, kisses, death, going back to ‘normal life’ and then bam. Why couldn’t the whole book be this roller coaster, not just the last 20 pages??

But yep, not a terrible ending but I wouldn’t call this a fantastic-amazing-oh-my-god kind of ending that I was hoping (and secretly expecting) for.

I stick by my 3 stars.

 
Posted in book reviews

Another Together (The Next Together, #1.5) – Lauren James

Winter, 1940: there is a murderer on the loose at Bletchley Park, the headquarters of Britain’s most daring codebreaking operation against the Nazis. Can two young codebreakers Kitty and Matthew catch the killer?

This standalone short story can be enjoyed by new readers and existing fans of Lauren James’s The Next Together series.

For a short, free story this was good and enjoyable. As a reader of The Next Together, I was familiar with these characters and parts of their stories. It was nice to go back to this Winter of 1940 though, when Matt and Katherine (Kitty, in this case) were in the World War 2.

I found the whole murder plot to be good. Not great, but good. I found it to be really predictable, and if it wasn’t really for the relationship between Kitty and Matthew, I don’t think I’d have been as invested as I was.

While this can be read before The Next Together, I’d recommend reading that first to get the full enjoyment out of this. Like I said, for an existing reader, it was nice to see this part of Matthew’s and Kitty’s history filled in.

I’m hoping that Lauren will decide to write more of these cute little stories!

Posted in journals

04/06/2016 (Sarah J Maas is going to kill me)

Hello, book-a-holics! Yup, I’m still trying to come up with a cool way of starting a post, and I’m still very much failing.

I finished A Court of Mist and Fury today, and wow. I have been broken, ripped apart, broken some more, put back together, and trampled all over again. I’ve read all of Sarah J Maas’s published books – 7 novels – and I’m still not prepared for all the feels that she inflicts on to me.

Gah. I also had a fun thought, of what it would be like to have Rhysand and Celaena in a room together. Add in Rowan, Feyre and it would be one hell of a party. Let’s not bring in Manon and the rest of Rhysand’s court…it could very likely end up in a bloodbath. If it doesn’t, it would still be one hell of a night to remember.

I’m in the mood to read, but the problem is I’m in the mood to read more ACOMAF, but…well, it’s finished. And I’m impatiently waiting for the 3rd book.

That’s me for today. I’m going to leave before this post because even more of an incoherent mess because I have very limited self-control when it comes to holding in ones feelings.

Hope you all have a good day!

And if you’ve read ACOMAF…I am sending you prayers in this torment.

 

P.S: ACOMAF is advertised as Young Adult, but wow. Some of those scenes I definitely haven’t seen in Young Adult books. They’re very graphic, and detailed. I don’t think Outlander even goes into that much detail. Do you think they should change what audience these books are marketed towards to?

 

Posted in other bookish posts

Anticipated Releases of 2016!

Right now we’re in May and there’s already been tons of books out this year that were highly anticipated by me. The Raven King, Lady Midnight, A Gathering of Shadows, A Court of Mist and Fury and some others like The Unexpected Everything, Thanks for The Trouble, Calamity and Lady Renegades. But there’s still 7 months of the year, and there’s still more books I can’t wait to be released! In no particular order:

EMPIRE OF STORMS BY SARAH J. MAAS

Oh, am I excited for this one!! While I said in no particular order, I think I’ll have to say this is my MOST anticipated release. I really love and adore the Throne of Glass Series, and I’m not over the euphoria of having Queen of Shadows delivered. So I absolutely can’t wait for this one to come out, it’s pre-ordered, and I’m itching with anticipation. Honestly, any time I hear the words “Throne of Glass” or something to do with it I go into meltdown mode because I can’t deal with my excitement.

I’m also very excited for the THRONE OF GLASS COLOURING BOOK (ahhhh?!?!?!?!) and that’s also been pre-ordered. 6th of September is a very expensive day for me. It’s fine. It’s worth it!

CROOKED KINGDOM BY LEIGH BARDUGO

If you’ve read Six of Crows, then this is most likely on your highly anticipated reads of 2016 too. I’m not too sure about the publication date of this one, but I think it could be on my birthday in some places (22nd of September!). And if so then that’s awesome, because what a great birthday present!! September really is the month of books for me, so please all pray for me pure sweet soul to make it through all the excitement and the feels.

I can already feel how badly this book is going to kick some ass. Give it to me, Leigh Bardugo, I am ready!

WITCH’S PYRE BY JOSEPHINE ANGELINI

I love this Worldwalker trilogy so much, and I recommend it to everyone! I feel like it’s seriously underrated. Once I finished the first book Trial by Fire, I couldn’t wait for the second one. Once I finished that, Firewalker, I’ve been dying for this one – for Witch’s Pyre. As you’ve probably guessed this is a story about WITCHES. But it’s not your average witch story. I don’t want to give too much away, as much like Lily, the main character, I think you’re better off diving in and discovering the world and it’s rules as she does.

Witch’s Pyre is also coming out in September (see what I mean, it’s all happening then!) and it is the last novel.

MIDNIGHT STAR BY MARIE LU

After reading her Legend trilogy, when I found out she was coming out with a new book called the Young Elites I couldn’t resist. Oh boy, I’m so glad I didn’t. This trilogy is dark, kickass, and for the life of me I can’t help but love it. Midnight Star is also the concluding novel, and I can’t wait. “Adelina Amouteru is done suffering.” AHHH. I don’t want to say too much because of spoilers, but this. Adelina is done suffering, and I can only imagine what that means for everyone around her. All supporting and surrounding characters in these books are also awesome, and the premise and plot is so intense. These books are heartbreaking (and heartbreakingly good) and if you haven’t read them, then what are you waiting for??? Go do it, before this book is released in October!

AND I DARKEN BY KIERSTEN WHITE

This is the first book in a saga and boy can’t I wait. Some people have received ARCS and the reviews they’ve given back are positive.  I don’t know much about this book, but from the description it’s promising a lot. If you want to read about it then go here.

HEARTLESS BY MARISSA MEYER

The Lunar Chronicles are some of my favourite books EVER. My dog is even called Luna. Marissa Meyer is great at fairytale re-tellings, and this one is about the Queen of Hearts. (I’m just hoping the Cheshire Cat doesn’t pop up anywhere, because he frightens me). I’m so excited for this book and to delve back into Marissa’s wonderful storytelling. The worlds that she creates wrap you up and immerse you and refuse to let you go, holding you captive. But I’m all right with that.

I believe this book is coming out in November.


So that’s it. There’s the most anticipated releases of 2016. While there are many other books I am excited for they either haven’t made the list because a) I’m not sure that they come out this year and b) they’re not books I will be putting on pre-order and sitting at the front door waiting for. This doesn’t mean I’m not excited for these books, it’s just they’re not books I need to have ASAP as soon as they’re released.

What books are you all highly anticipating for this year? What books have come out this year that you’d been waiting for forever?