Posted in book reviews

Sawkill Girls – Claire Legrand

Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep.

He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep.


Who are the Sawkill Girls?

Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.

Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.

Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.

Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.

Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.

Trigger / Content Warnings: animal death, (physical) assault, acephobia (challenged), blood, dismemberment/disembowelment (mentioned, seen briefly on page), emotionally and physically abusive parent (on-page violence), grief, mention of flaying, murder (sometimes described in graphic detail, bloody), shooting (shot in leg), spiders, sick

Sawkill Girls creeped me out so much that I had to fall asleep with the light on, too scared that I might conjure up images of The Collector in the dark. Yes, I am a giant wimp, but also the description was that vivid, the atmosphere so tangible, that it shook me (repeat, I am also just a giant wimp).

description

I really quite enjoyed Sawkill Girls, which says a lot, since I typically stay very far away from anything horror, since, as I mentioned once or twice already, I am a giant wimp… But Legrand was able to keep my eyes trained on the page, invested in the mythology of this monster, captivated by the narrative voice of the Rock, and just wondering what the heck is going on?!

I enjoyed that this had multiple POV’s, however Zoey’s felt the strongest to me – narrative voice, and personality. I feel like her character was more vivid, and her actions and motivations were much clearer than either Val’s or Marion’s. Which, to begin with, I understood that their pov’s might be more unreliable/unclear because they were. For example, Val – she is morally grey, and her pov often reflected that as it was not always clear where she stood. With Marion, her grief, and the supernatural, often confused her and her pov’s were filled with that chaos, with the reader having to sort through the noise with her. But this grew tiresome after the while, and it just begin to feel like it was poorer writing, as Legrand struggled to define who these characters exactly were and show their character ARC – it often just happened quite suddenly (despite the long page count!)

Additionally, I did find myself getting lost in the POV’s as I would lose track of whose chapter it was. I’d be like wait, this is Zoey’s perspective, no Val’s, and then the text would remind me who. It was only for a few seconds, but it was jarring and often took me out of the story, feeling frustrated.

But overall, I rate this novel four stars because it did create a fantastic atmosphere, having the Rock as a personified presence was interesting and well done, and I did genuinely enjoy the message about female empowerment, grief, forgiveness, and anger.

Posted in other bookish posts

My TBR for this week! (27/01/2020)

Hi everyone! I have currently got quite a few books on the go, and I lot I want to start and finish this week. I love a list, and I love crossing things off of it, so I thought hey…why not make a TBR list? Might give me some more motivation! Then again, tbr’s usually don’t work for me because I’m a giant mood reader (who is also addicted to watching tv and taking naps) so the mood I’m in always dictates what I read. However, I usually have a list of what I want to read, but whether my mood lets me get to it is a different story…

Anyways!

The first book on my tbr is

Frankissstein: A Love Story by Jeanette Winterson

frankissstein

I need to finish this book next week, as we will be discussing it in my Contemporary fiction class at uni. This novel follows two timelines: Mary Shelley’s timeline, as she writes Frankenstein; and the timeline/perspective of Ry, in Brexit Britain. I’m not very far in to this, each time I pick it up I only manage a few pages, and then I get distracted and ultimately put it down. The writing style was fine, even fun, at first. But now I’m finding myself increasingly irritated with it (such as the classic speech marks, when a character talks). I am debating not finishing it.

The second book on my tbr for this week is

Bright Air Black by David Vann

bright air black

I’m writing my dissertation on modern retellings of Greek myths. I have two texts that I am solid on, but have been debating my third, and potential fourth text. So, I decided to pick this one up. Much like Frankissstein, this is not written in the ‘normal’ form of narration you’d find in a novel, but instead is styled in poetic prose. I am really enjoying it – again, I’m finding it hard to sit down and concentrate for long periods of time, as while I like the style sometimes it feels a bit overwhelming. I’m hoping to finish it this week, as I am aiming to write a chapter on this.

My third book on my tbr is a book I picked up to read last night

One Of Us Is Next – Karen M. McManus

One of Us is Next FINAL cover.indd

I’ve read both of McManus’s previous releases, One Of Us Is Lying and Two Can Keep A Secret. I was not a big fan of either novel, I gave One Of Us Is Lying 3 stars, and Two Can Keep A Secret 2 stars. They were not dreadful novels, but I ultimately found them underwhelming. So why am I reading this?? I don’t know. I think it’s because I do get some entertainment value out of them – mostly because I push on reading to prove that I am right in my ridiculous theories…

Finally, by the end of the week I am hoping to start

A Heart So Fierce and Broken – Brigid Kemmerer

a heart so fierce and broken

I’m planning on reading this the first week of February with my friends in my Goodreads book group, A Book Nirvana. We read the first one together last year, so have planned a buddy read! I would say I’m excited to read this one, but I’ve seen some spoilers and I’m not liking the direction this novel seemed to go in. But I haven’t read it yet, so we shall see!

Conclusion 

That is my tbr for this week, starting 27th of January! What are your current reads? Books on your tbr? 🙂

Posted in general posts, other bookish posts

February 2019: Reading Wrap Up!

Wow. Didn’t February just fly by? I feel like the first few days of February dragged, and then hitting the second week in, the days went past like nobody’s business and now I’m sitting here and it’s the 3rd of March! I seriously cannot believe we are already in the third month of the year.

Anyways – this is my reading wrap up for February, and it’s a short one! I didn’t read a lot in February – not full books anyways – between returning to uni and doing assignments and getting back in to that routine I found myself not reading much of what I wanted to.

  1. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein  – Kiersten White (Feb 2nd – 14th, 1/5 stars)

I picked up The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein because it was my book groups – A Book Nirvana on Goodreads – readalong for the month. I had this on my shelf since it’s release date, so I was looking forward to reading it and comparing it to the original Frankenstein. I thought it would be interesting to see the story through a woman’s point of view, and to an outsider of the creation, but ultimately I was awfully disappointed. The pace was slow and uninspiring, the characters were dull and felt like they could belong in a pantomime (hello Victor), and ultimately White just very much insulted Shelley’s Frankenstein.  I just don’t think the way she approached ‘criticising’ Shelley’s work was done in the right way, especially not when she could barely write in half of the depth that the original had. It was a cheap knock off. Sorry, Kiersten White.

2. The Sorrows of Young Werther – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Feb 16th – 17th, 2/5 stars)

I read this for one of my classes at university. It wasn’t a god awful book, I just found the epistolary form quite draining. It felt more intense than your normal first person narrator. I just didn’t find this an interesting novel, but appreciated some of it’s literary merit.

3. The Lonely Londoners – Sam Selvon (Feb 20th, 3/5 stars)

I also read this for another one of my university classes, and quite enjoyed reading this. Except for the section that had no grammar for an entirety of about 10 pages. That just gave me a headache. But this was a decent book. It was interesting to see the perspective of the people from the Windrush generation and their experiences living in London & it’s take on colonisation etc. A very thoughtful book.

That’s all I read in February! 3 books. I started and ultimately did not finish many more (for uni) and read a bunch of random chapters and excerpts from other books as wider reading, but I can’t remember them all – and I like to keep this list to books I’ve finished. Let’s hope March is a better reading month for me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in book reviews

All the Crooked Saints – Maggie Stiefvater

Here is a thing everyone wants: a miracle.
Here is a thing everyone fears: what it takes to get one.

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.

description

loved The Raven Boys, and hated Shiver (I DNF’ed that after a couple of chapters) so I was always on edge about whether or not I would like this one, as it’s been so hit and miss for me with Stiefvater’s writing.

MISS. A VERY FIRM MISS.

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My friend Emer also summed up what she thought of this book in her review, and I 100% agree with her.

description

You could take any chapter of this book and make it the beginning. That’s all this felt like. A bunch of half-d0ne beginning chapters. No development at all, the ‘plot’ building was non-existent until the last few chapters, and even then it was painfully slow and tedious. The ending felt rushed (although it felt like it took FOREVER to get there) and I’m not really sure what the hell happened.

The prose didn’t make sense. Often I sat debating over the meaning of sentences, to realise THERE WASN’T ANY. Just what was written DIDN’T MAKE SENSE and had NO RELEVANCE. UGH. It was just a throw up of words on a page arranged to trick the reader into thinking they’re reading something good and intelligent. GUESS WHAT? WE AIN’T ALL STUPID.

So yeah…to say I didn’t like this is a bit of an understatement. I didn’t like the writing, the plot, the characters (they were all so dull and felt the same, and I was forgetting who half the characters were / merging them all into one), the story. Nothing.

So I’m sorry Maggie…this one wasn’t for me…hopefully the Ronan Novel will be better

description

ONE STAR.

Posted in general posts, other bookish posts

Anticipated Releases of 2017! Part 2!

Here I am, sitting here on my bed, thinking about all the upcoming books that are being released in the next month or so. Not too long ago I wrote an anticipated releases post, and that has my most-most anticipated. So basically the books I’ve been really, really, really excited for, but as time goes on I’ve found myself looking more forward to these books. So here they are!

  1. Dazzling Heights – Katharine McGee

I read the Thousandth Floor last year, after it came out. I really, really enjoyed it. I found it exciting and fun. It was filled with such drama – petty drama at times – and it was just brilliant. It was mindless fun. And I liked that. Ultimately literature aims to entertain and please and this certainly did that. And that ending . . . dramatic! It left on a bit of a cliffhanger – with everyone’s worlds colliding, and a death, and it was so suspenseful and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds in the second novel.

2. The Empress – S.J Kincaid

This book messed with my mind so much. I’m still not sure what happened and who I’m supposed to trust?? I hated this. One part of me, a large part, thought the twists and turns got so ridiculous and that it was getting sloppy. Like, really? It’s just too much and it’s getting confusing and the book doesn’t make sense. The other part of me was LIVING for this. I really liked the constant tonal shifts and how people would be deceptive. It was like YAAAS. It kept me on the edge. I liked it. That’s why I can’t wait for this, with everything that happened in the Diabolic I can’t wait to see how it all plays out – essentially it’s a refreshed story….but I can’t wait to see how the implications of the first book play out in this and how the characters grow. Will everyone end up murdering each other??? Probably.

3. A Semi-Definite List of Worst Nightmares – Krystal Sutherland

I loved Krystal Sutherland’s Our Chemical Hearts. It was funny and raw and just so real. It dealt with toxic relationships and how to say no and to let go of that. The characters were flawed and complicated and said wrong things and made bad decisions but this is what made it more real. It mirrored real life. It took these discussions of grief and toxic relationships, and while sometimes it was over dramatised and could be too romanticised, ultimately it dealt with it well. It offered a real world point of view that wasn’t perfect but made sure to translate something to the reader: it’s okay to let go. It’s okay to sometimes be selfish. Its just – there’s too much to say and this isn’t the place. But this is why I can’t wait to read this – because I’m so interested to see where Krystal Sutherland takes her next and I love her witty writing.

4. Shadowblack – Sebastien de Castell

The first book to this was so weird and random but also SO FREAKING FUN. It was a breath of fresh air really. I just really enjoyed it, and how unique the world felt. So I’m definitely excited for the second one.

5. The Gentleman’s Guide to Virtue and Vice – Mackenzi Lee

THE HYPE SURROUNDING THIS BOOK IS MAKING ME HYPED. I’ve heard SOOOO many good things about this from so many people in my Goodreads friends list so obviously I want to read it and to be able to join in on the discussion.

6. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding – Alexandra Bracken

TWO WORDS: ALEXANDRA BRAKCEN. That’s enough to sell me on this book. The Darkest Minds trilogy is one of my favourites, and I really loved and enjoyed the Passenger duology too. Therefore, I will obviously be reading this and I’m excited to see how she transitions from writing YA to middle grade.

7. It Only Happens in the Movies – Holly Bourne

HOLLY BOURNE IS FREAKING FABULOUS. Her novels on mental health and feminism and friendship are the BEST. I love her and she’s a role model – therefore, once again, it’s quite obvious that I’ll definitely be reading this.

 

For now – that’s the list I can think of. There are so many other books that I am side-eyeing to read, and I possibly don’t have time to mention them all, but these are the few coming out September/October time!

What books coming out in September are you ready and waiting for?? Tower of Dawn??? Me too!!

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 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?

Posted in other bookish posts

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

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 🙂

Posted in other bookish posts

Half way through my Goodreads reading challenge!

At the beginning of this year I once again put upon myself the challenge of reading 100 books this year. For the last couple of years I’ve tried, and I’ve fell short. This year though, I am determined to make it.

I’m happy to say I’m now halfway through my challenge, now having read 50 out of 100! I’m very pleased with this, but…this means I’ve got 50 books left to read in 3 months. Yep. (This reminds me a lot of the glass half empty/half full situation). 50 whole books to read in 3 months. I mean, if we add the 7 books I’ve re-read this year, that only leaves me with 43. But nope, I’m not counting re-reads. I’m going for this full throttle (God help me, please).

I’d also planned to read so much this summer and catch up on my challenge, but once again, nope. That didn’t work out. But there’s still 3 months left, and whether I make it or not, I’ve read some pretty damn good books this year (and some not so good, but let’s not talk about them).

How far are you all on your reading challenges, and what have been your favourite books you’ve read this year?

To see what books I’ve read this year, come find me on Goodreads! (If you have problems sending me a friend request, then let me know and I’ll send one over to you).