Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Top Ten Tuesday- Series I've Been Meaning to CONTINUE But Haven't Yet

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
The week's topic is: Series I've been Meaning to Start but Haven't.  But instead I'm changing it to: Series I've been Meaning to Continue but Haven't yet.

Cainsville series by Kelley Armstrong
I've read the first two books in this series (Omens and Visions) but I really need to get around to continuing with this series.

The Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken
I read the first book in this trilogy a few years ago but I still haven't picked up the next book in the series.

Fever series by Karen Marie Moning-
 I've read the first six books in this series and I've really enjoyed them but for some reason I haven't read the 7th book (Burned) yet.  I do have the book on my kindle so I hope I can get around to it soon.

Psy-Changling series by Nalini Singh
I've read the first two books in this series.  It's quite a long series so maybe that's why I've been slow to continue with it.

Age of Legends trilogy by Kelley Armstrong
I've read the first two books in this trilogy but I haven't picked up the last one.  Part of the reason for me not continuing is that I've kind of forgotten what happened in the first two books and this trilogy doesn't really leave a lasting impression on me so I don't really know if I do want to finish this trilogy or not.

Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
I've read the first four books in this series and I really like this series but I'm not too sure if I want to continue with it or not.

Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson
I've read the first three books in this series and I know some people choose to stop there and not continue with the series as the first three books are their own story and it concludes that story arc in the third book.  But I have read the blurb for the fourth book and the premise sounds really interesting so I am looking forward to reading the rest.

The Chronicles of Ixia/Study series by Maria V Snyder
I've read the Poison Study trilogy and I've also read the 4th book in the series (the first book in the Glass trilogy) and although I enjoyed the Poison Study trilogy I found the 4th book to be just okay.   

The Others series by Anne Bishop
This is a series I've decided to take my time with.  I've read the first three books in the series but I need to pick up the fourth book.

Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
I really like this series and I've read the first 8 books but I haven't gotten around to reading the 9th or 10th that are out but I really should because I feels like I haven't read these books for a long time.

What series have you not got around to continuing yet?

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Book Review: Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy #1) by Ilona Andrews

Book: Burn for Me
Series: Hidden Legacy book 1
Author: Ilona Andrews
Genres: adult, urban fantasy, paranormal romance

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire. 
Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive. 
Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

My Rating: 4/5 STARS
My Review:
I love the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews so I was really interested to read another new urban fantasy by the same authors.  Burn for Me has been out for a few years now but the second book was just recently published so I decided to (finally) start this series.  And I'm glad I did because I really liked this book.

In Burn for Me magic is passed down through generations after the government created a special serum that gave people magical powers and I liked how that was explained, it was really interesting.

I really liked the main character, Nevada, and one of my favourite things about Burn for Me was Nevada's family and the relationship they have with each other.  Nevada runs an investigation company with her family, which includes her mother, grandmother, her sisters and her cousins.  It was so much fun to read about their family dynamics and I loved how protective they were of each other.

I really enjoyed the overall storyline, it was exciting and fact paced.  I found Mad Rogan (the main male character and love interest) interesting to read about.  How his character and his background are described makes me want to read more about him to try to figure him out.  I really liked the relationship between Rogan and Nevada although I would've preferred the romance side of their relationship to go more slower.

Overall I really enjoyed this book.  I liked the characters and I thought the storyline and world was exciting and fresh.  I think if you're looking for a new urban fantasy/paranormal romance then you should definitely check out this series as it does not disappoint.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Book Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Book: Lies We Tell Ourselves
Author: Robin Talley
Genres: YA, Historical

Lie #1: I'm not afraid 
Lie #2: I'm sure I'm doing the right thing 
Lie #3: I don't care what they think of me 
It’s 1959. The battle for civil rights is raging. And it’s Sarah’s first day of school as one of the first black students at previously all-white Jefferson High. 
No one wants Sarah there. Not the Governor. Not the teachers. And certainly not the students – especially Linda, daughter of the town’s most ardent segregationist. 
Sarah and Linda are supposed to despise each other. But the more time they spend together, the less their differences matter. And both girls start to feel something they’ve never felt before. Something they’re determined to ignore. 
Because it’s one thing to stand up to an unjust world – but another to be terrified of what’s in your own heart.- Quoted from Goodreads

My Rating: 5/5 STARS
My Review:
This book is set in 1959 during the time of desegregation in schools and the book follows the point of view of Sarah who is one of the first black students to enter a school that previously had only white students and Linda who is a white student who is currently studying at the school.  So from the blurb alone you know how hard hitting the story will be but I was still very shocked at how this book made me feel.  My emotions were all over the place.

The book opens with Sarah's pov on the first day of the desegregation so we (the readers) are thrown straight into the thick of the racism and I wish I could say it got easier for Sarah as it went on but unfortunately that wasn't the case.  I felt disgusted by each new horror Sarah and her friends had to discover each day they went to school.  

I loved Sarah and I thought she was a very strong character and I also liked her sister Ruth and her friends Chuck and Ennis and although the book is from Sarah and Linda's pov I liked how we got an insight into the other characters lives through them.
Linda's character confused me.  She sees the wrongness and unfairness of it all but she still holds onto some of her core racist views.  So even by the end of the book I still didn't know how I felt about her character. 

Sarah and Linda's relationship is another main theme of the book.  In the midst of all that is going on they are struggling to come to terms with their sexuality.  I really liked reading about both Sarah's and Linda's realisations on both themselves and the society they live in.

Obviously this book is not a happy fun read, it's brutal and raw and it really pulls on your emotions.  I loved this book because it's an emotionally thought provoking book with a powerful message. It's a story that will always stand out in my head and because of that I would highly recommend reading it.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Oldies but Goodies #1

I decided to do a new feature on this blog called 'Oldies but Goodies'.  It's just a post I'll be doing every so often (it might end up being a weekly thing) where I showcase a book or series that I read years ago. Not that books that have been out more than 4 years are old but I think sometimes we end up prioritising new releases instead of books that have been out a while.  So this feature is just to talk about some of the forgotten books that I feel are still relevant.  I know a lot of people have already done posts like this but I just thought it'd be fun to do as well (also I might end up changing the title).

Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld

BlurbTally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. In just a few weeks she'll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she'll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world-- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally's choice will change her world forever...
- Quoted from Goodreads

I read the Uglies series back in 2010, so it's been 7 years since I read these books but this series still really stands out in my head.  This series has great action scenes, an exciting plot with a lot of moral dilemmas for the characters and a world that really makes you think.

Have you read the Uglies series? What are some books you read years ago that you think people should read these days? 

Saturday, 3 June 2017

May 2017 Wrap Up

In May I read four books.  Here is a list of the books I read and some of my thoughts on them.

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn book 2) by Brandon Sanderson - 4/5 STARS
I felt like I grew a lot more attached to the characters of this series in this book and I was really interested in each characters journey.

A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR book 3) by Sarah J Maas - 5/5 STARS
I loved this book and I can't wait to read more books set in this world.  The characters in this series are so fun to read about.

Paper Girls Vol 2 by Brian K Vaughan and Cliff Chiang - 4/5 STARS
I really enjoy this comic book series.  I love the story of it and I find the plot to be really exciting.  And the artwork of the series is beautiful.

The Hero of Ages (Mistborn book 3) by Brandon Sanderson - 4/5 STARS
I really liked this book and how it concluded this trilogy.  I thought it was a really great ending to the trilogy.  

I had a great reading month in May.  I don't know if I want to continue with the Mistborn series since the next books are set in a different time and are about different characters but the blurb of the next book (4th in the series) does sound interesting, so if you've read the next books in the series how do you feel they compare to the original trilogy? 
I watched The 100 in May and I have to say this series is one of my all time favourite series'.  Each new episode is so exciting, the acting is great and there is a great balance of emotional scenes with action scenes (in my opinion).  Besides The 100 I haven't watched much else.  I have a long list of anime and kdramas to watch so I might get to watching them this month.

What books did you read in May?   

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Top Ten Tuesday- Most Anticipated Books For The Second Half of 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This weeks topic is: Most Anticipated Books For The Second Half of 2017.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

Warcross by Marie Lu

Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners book 3) by Libba Bray

Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter book 10) by Nalini Singh

Genuine Fraud by E.Lockhart

Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass book 6) by Sarah J Maas

What are some of your most anticipated books for the rest of the year? 

Friday, 5 May 2017

April 2017 Wrap Up

In April I read two books and DNFed two books.  Here is a list of the books I read and some of my thoughts on them.

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files book 1) by Sylvain Neuvel - 2/5 STARS
This book sounded exciting and the first 20% of it was but after that I just felt that the plot grew a lot weirder and began to make less sense and I also didn't really like any of the characters.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman - 4/5 STARS
I really liked this book.  I loved the storyline of it and liked how it felt so current with the main character being obsessed with an internet podcast.  The story really held my interest from start to finish which was great.

The books I DNFed were:
Remix by Non Pratt
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Lesley Walton

I didn't have the best reading month in April but I am more hopeful for May since A Court of Wings and Ruin and Lord of Shadows are being released and those are two of my most anticipated books.  
In April I watched the anime Erased and really loved it.  I also watched 13 Reasons Why which I thought was great.  I read the book years ago and I loved the book so much so I'm really glad I liked the tv series.  I was really surprised at the acting in the show and how it really brought the characters to life.  Some songs I've been obsessed with recently have been Selena Gomez' Only You which was on the 13 Reasons Why soundtrack and I've also been listening to KARD'S song Rumor on repeat. 

What books did you read in April? Or what are some things you watched in April? 

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Top Ten Tuesday- Book Covers That Represent the Book Well

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's topic is 'Cover Theme Freebie', so I chose to do: Book Covers That Represent the Book Well.
So basically this is a list of six book covers that I think really reflects what the book is about.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
This cover is so pretty but I also think it has a really cold and lonely feeling to it which it perfect for the book.  

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
I think this edition is really great at representing the book because each little picture on the cover is an actual scene that happens in the book. 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I think there is no explanation needed for this one as it shows the main characters really well. 

In The Company of Killers series by JA Redmerski
These covers may seem very simple but I think they really reflect the books well because they're very dark and edgy and I love the red on black colours of it.

We Were Liars by E Lockhart
Once I finished this book I realised just how perfect the cover is for it.  It shows characters having fun in the summer but it's also very blurry which I think is perfect for the story.

The Diviners by Libba Bray
I think this edition is great at representing the story.  How the character is dressed on the cover, the New York background and even the writing style of the title gets across when and where the story takes place.  And the dark misty edges and the tagline really gets across how creepy and mysterious the story is.

What book covers do you think are good at representing the story?   

Friday, 21 April 2017

Eight Standalone Books I Think More People Should Know About

I wanted to talk about some standalones that I feel should be more well known.  Some of the books on this list have very popular Goodreads ratings so they're not necessarily unknown books but this is just a list of books that I feel I haven't heard many people talk about so I decided to do a post and talk about why I like them.

The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood - This was a book I read last year and I was very surprised by it, I thought the story and the direction the book went in was really interesting. 

Stolen by Lucy Christopher - This story is told in the format of a letter from the main character to her kidnapper and because of that it was a really intense read. 

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard - I read this book at the start of this year and I really liked it.  It was such a refreshing read being a YA contemporary with no romance in it.

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick - I really enjoyed this book and I liked how the story was written.  Marcus Sedgwick has a great way with storytelling in his books.

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss - I loved this book and I really want to reread it sometime.  I first heard about this book on Instagram and I'd never heard of it before then despite it having a lot of ratings on Goodreads.  I'd highly recommend reading this book because it's such a beautifully told story.

Solanin by Inio Asano - This is a manga about a young woman who has just left college and is trying to decide what she wants to do with her life.  I loved this book and found it to be really relatable.  This is another book I'd highly recommend reading.

What If by Rebecca Donovan - I've read a few of Rebecca Donovan's books and I've found her writing to have a lot of emotion in it.  I thought this story had a lot more depth to it than I first thought. 

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater - I read this book years ago and really loved it.  And I know a lot of people know of this book already because Maggie Steifvater is a popular author but I feel this is one of her least talked about works and it's also my favourite book by her.

So like I said before I know some of these books are very well known but I just feel that I haven't seen much about them around.  

Have you read any of these books? And what are some standalones you feel need more attention?

Saturday, 1 April 2017

March 2017 Wrap Up

In March I read six books.  Here is a list of the books I read and some of my thoughts on them.

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga- 2/5 STARS
I disliked the characters in this book and I had a lot of problems with the overall story of it.

Vision in Silver (The Others book 3) by Anne Bishop- 4/5 STARS
I really enjoyed this book just like I did with the previous books in this series.

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera - 5/5 STARS
I loved this book so much.  It is definitely one of my favourite books of this year.  It's such an emotional heart wrenching story.  You can find my full review of it here.

Caraval (Caraval book 1) by Stephanie Garber - 4/5 STARS
I was surprised at how much I liked Caraval.  I did have a few problems with it but overall I found it to be a fun read.  You can find my full review of it here.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour - 4/5 STARS
I enjoyed this book a lot and I'm really interested in reading more books by Nina LaCour.

The Final Empire (Mistborn book 1) by Brandon Sanderson - 4/5 STARS
I really liked this book and I'm excited to read the next book in the series.

That's all the books I read in March. March was a lot better reading month for me because I enjoyed nearly all the books I read. I also watched a new Kdrama in March and I loved it.  It's called Missing Nine and it's about this group of people who end up on a deserted island after their plane crashes (Yes I know, it sounds similar to Lost and it is in a way, with the journey the characters go on and the bonds they make, but it's also completely different).  It's such an exciting series and I'd highly recommend watching it.   

What books did you read in March?

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Book: Caraval
Series: Caraval series book 1
Author: Stephanie Garber
Genres: YA, fantasy

Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever. - Quoted from Goodreads

My Rating: 4/5 STARS
My Review:
A lot of people have been talking about Caraval lately, it's got a lot of hype surrounding it.  Before reading the book I'd read some mixed reviews of it and I'm glad I read those mixed reviews because it made me lower my expectations of it (which were pretty high to begin with because of the hype).  And because of that I enjoyed the book a lot more.

One of the things I liked about Caraval was how fast paced it was.  I liked how the author just threw us right into the story and into Caraval itself without feeling like we were missing something in the story.  Before I started the book I thought most of it would be the characters talking about Caraval itself without actually going there until near the end but I was really happy the author decided to just let us experience Caraval without the needless build up of explaining it.  I liked how almost all of the book took place in Caraval itself. 
I also liked how Caraval was described, it was very weird and twisted which made it exciting to read.  I was always trying to guess what was real or not along with the main character.  

What I disliked about this book was the characters.  I thought they were okay characters but they didn't really stand out.  And I thought the main character, Scarlett, acted and thought in a very childlike way.  Not in an immature childish/ acting out kind of way but just in a way where it felt like she was a lot younger than she was.  Her thoughts and her way of thinking made her seem like she was around ten years old.  Like I said before, it wasn't because she acted childish it was just that she had an almost childlike kind of quality to her personality that would've felt natural if this was a children's book and not young adult. And because of this I found the romance in this story hard to connect with.  

I did like how the main theme of this book was about sisters and their love for each other but I felt Scarlett and Tella's relationship with each other was missing some emotion.

Overall I think Caraval is a good read if you don't go into it with high expectations.  I liked how Caraval itself was described and I liked how mysterious it was.  I was disappointed in the characters but the overall mystery of Caraval made up for it.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Book Review: History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Book: History Is All You Left Me
Author: Adam Silvera
Genre: YA Contemporary

You’re still alive in alternate universes, Theo, but I live in the real world where this morning you’re having an open casket funeral. I know you’re out there, listening. And you should know I’m really pissed because you swore you would never die and yet here we are. It hurts even more because this isn’t the first promise you’ve broken. OCD-afflicted seventeen-year-old, Griffin, has just lost his first love – his best friend, ex-boyfriend and the boy he believed to be his ultimate life partner – in a drowning accident. In a desperate attempt to hold onto every last piece of the past, a broken Griffin forges a friendship with Theo’s new college boyfriend, Jackson. And Griffin will stop at nothing to learn every detail of Theo’s new college life, and ultimate death. But as the grieving pair grows closer, readers will question Griffin's own version of the truth – both in terms of what he’s willing to hide, and what true love ultimately means...- Quoted from Goodreads

My Rating: 5/5 STARS

My Review:
I read Adam Silvera's debut book, More Happy Than Not, last year and I loved it so much I knew I was definitely going to read his next book.  I was so excited for History Is All You Left Me and I'm so glad I ended up loving it.

History Is All You Left Me is about Griffin who is trying to deal with the loss of his first love (and who was also his best friend), Theo.  The book is told in alternating chapters between the present where Griffin is trying to deal with his grief, and between the past where it shows how his relationship with Theo began and how it came to be how it is in the present. 

I was not prepared for how emotional and heartbreaking this book was, it just felt so raw and it was written so well that I could almost feel Griffins pain and grief. 

Although Griffin and Theo had been friends for years History Is All You Left Me focuses on when they began dating (which is told in the history chapters) and continues until the present where Theo is dead.  It is only two/three years but it felt like a long time and because of that I felt so much more attached to the characters.

Throughout the book I was very curious to see how their relationship, which began so happily in the past chapters, came to the point of the present chapters where Griffin and Theo were no longer in a relationship before his death.  In the present Griffin is trying to deal with his feelings on Jackson, who was Theo's boyfriend when he died.  Although I felt sad for Jackson, I didn't feel as attached to his character as I did with the others.    

Like I said before, the focus of History Is All You Left Me is Griffin and Theo's relationship but there was also other relationships it focused on and those relationships grew more complex as the book went on and secrets were revealed, it felt like such an emotional roller coaster. 
Griffin has OCD and I liked how Adam Silvera wrote about the illness.  He didn't shy away from it and it didn't miraculously go away or disappear, it was always at the forefront of Griffins mindset.    

Overall I loved this book.  It was such an emotional and heart wrenching read and I loved the way it was told (in both the past and present chapters). I thought the writing was very well done and can't wait to read more books by Adam Silvera in the future. 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Top Ten Tuesday - Books On My Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's topic is: Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR.

Here are six books that I've been meaning to read for a while now and so I'm planning on reading them within the next few months.

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and The Dawn book 1) by Renee Ahdieh

The Final Empire (Mistborn book 1) by Brandon Sanderson

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels book 9) by Ilona Andrews

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles book 1) by Amanda Bouchet

I also recently made a post on books that I've recently added to my TBR list.  I'm planning on reading a lot of books on that list in spring. You can find the link to that here.

I'm also going to be reading some new releases when they come out, like Lord of Shadows (Dark Artifices book 2) by Cassandra Clare and A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR book 3) by Sarah J Maas.

What books are you planning on reading in spring?