Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Top Ten Tuesday Thirty Two

Top ten most anticipated releases for the first half of 2016

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic was one I thought I would find harder than I did, as I am not amazingly good at keeping up with new releases or even with series which still have books to come and didn't particularly want to repeat books from my most anticipated debuts top ten tuesday.  However, I have managed to compile together a list of some of my most anticipated releases for the first half of the year, and so, enjoy! 

1) Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake (5th January) - I only recently discovered this one, but I am really excited to pick it up when it gets released.  I just love the sound of it all, especially the idea it taking place in some of the world's most amazing libraries.  
2) Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach - His first novel, We All Looked Up, was one of my favourites of last year, so when I heard had another one coming out, I was already anticipating its release before I had even read the synopsis.  
3) On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis - Another one I only recently found when searching for 2016 releases, but again the synopsis just instantly drew me in, especially the diversity this book and its characters have.  
4) The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson - Ever since I read Since You've Been Gone, I have been in love with Morgan Matson's books, and so can't wait to read another amazing book from her.  
5) The Last Star by Rick Yancey - This is probably one of my most anticipated releases for the entire year, and has been ever since I finished The Infinite Sea and found out it wasn't coming out till May.  I love this series and honestly can't wait for this conclusion!
6) You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan - Not only I am a massive fan of David Levithan, but I'm also a sucker for books about two kind-of-strangers figuring out their life's problems together.  I am just so excited for this one.  
7) Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Various Authors (edited by Stephanie Perkins) - Finally, a second one that is in the top three of my most anticipated releases for the whole year.  Not only do I love so many of the authors who have written short stories for this book, but My True Love Gave to Me is one of my essential Christmas reads, so I am insanely excited to have a similar book that I can read over the summer!  

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Top Ten Tuesday Thirty One

Ten Books I wouldn't mind Santa leaving under my tree this year

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  Once again, I was quite excited for this week's topic, as there are so many books on my bookish wishlist.  But nonetheless, I managed to pick ten of the books at the top of that list, and so, without any further ado, here they are - enjoy! 

1) Seige and Storm by Leigh Bardugo - After recently reading the first book in the Grisha series, Shadow and Bone, I am insanely excited to continue on, and so I certainly wouldn't mind getting this for Christmas.  
2) Just One Day by Gayle Forman - I've heard so many good things about this book, not to mention that it sounds exactly like my type of book, so it had to make the list. 
3) The Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare -Another sequel that I can't wait to get round to, especially as I can now see the end in sight with this series.  I can't wait to get back to the world and characters and just find out what happens. 
4) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - So many people have been raving about this book and, added to the fact that this book includes creepy pictures and sounds amazing anyway, I'm very tempted to pick it up sometime soon.  
5) Mosquitoland by David Arnold - This was actually on my most anticipated books of 2015 TTT last year, and yet I never got round to actually getting it, so I'd be pretty happy for Santa to leave this.  
6) The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson - This one is quite a recent discovery for me, but one that I am still eager to read.  Not only does the sound of someone recreating the Jack the Ripper murders entice me, but she is also someone I have been meaning to check out since I read her story in Let It Snow a few years ago, so I seriously should pick this one up soon.  
7) Crystal Kingdom by Amanda Hocking - After finished the second book in this series, Ice Kissed, literally a number of days ago, I have already been anticipating picking the final one up very soon - I just need to know what happens! 
8) Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard - This was likely one of the biggest YA books of the year, with so many people talking about it after it was released.  Despite hearing mixed things about it, I still really want to see what all the hype was about and give it a go for myself some time soon.  
9) The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd - Another I have known, and wanted to read, for a while now, but have for some reason not picked it up yet.  The synopsis just drew me straight in, and I can't wait to see if it's as good as I hope it to be.  
10) Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young - Finally, this one is actually a repeat from last years list, but another I still not got round to picking up.  I love Cat Patrick's books, and so can't understand why I still haven't read this.      

Sunday, 20 December 2015

A Reader Recommends - Christmas

Another A Reader Recommends here!  This time around, I decided to do things slightly differently and just simply recommend some of my favourite Christmas books, as well as a few of my movie favourites, to get you in the spirit of Christmas.  Hope you enjoy!


Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle - Three Christmasy tales all intertwine on a very magical Christmas eve.  A great book to read in the run up to christmas and to curl up with this December.   

Frostfire by Amanda Hocking - A wintery fantasy following a young girl as she attempts to work her way into the Royal guard, but things take a turn as a criminal begins to kidnap changelings.  I love fantasy around this time of year anyway, but this is just the perfect one to pick up.  

My True Love Gave to Me by Various Authors - A collection of short stories perfect for the run up to Christmas.  Not only are they Christmasy anyway, but these twelve reads are quick and easily devoured in one sitting.  

If I Stay by Gayle Forman - A more emotional read, but one that is still a perfect read for the winter.  It's a quick yet moving read if you want something a little different from your average contemporary Christmas read.  

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn - The cute story about two teenagers in New York who begin to communicate through a small red notebook over the Christmas holidays.  Another quick read that transports you into the magic of New York at this time of year and into the lives of Dash and Lily.  


Movies/ TV Shows:

Elf - The perfectly funny christmas film that will entertain everyone.  
Home Alone - A older classic that still fits perfectly into the run up to christmas.  
Nativity - A more recent film, but one that will never fail to make you laugh.  


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Top Ten Tuesday Thirty

Top Ten Books I read in 2015

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  Before looking at the topic, I was actually debating missing this week as I have been so busy and wasn't sure whether I would have time.  But as soon as the saw that this was my favourite books from the year, I knew there was no way I could miss out.  And so, here are the best books I have been honoured with reading this year - enjoy! 

1) We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach - As some may have noticed, I have been raving about this book at every chance I get since I read it in the summer.  It was one of my most anticipated reads, and I absolutely loved it!
2) The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey - I actually went into this one early on in the year with pretty low expectations as I had heard mixed things about both the first two books, but I ended up adoring them both so much, and so I couldn't leave this off my list. 
3) Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher - This was a very unexpected gem for me, after I once again went into without high expectations for whatever reason.  But after reading it I fell in love with the characters and the story and I am now super excited to read more from Annabel Pitcher.
4) Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - Despite only finishing it just over a week ago, this book has already made it into my favourites list.  For someone who reads little fantasy, I found it to be so addicting and just an all round outstanding read.  
5) The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon - Ever since I read The Prince of Mist a year or so ago, I was anticipating picking up a second book by Zafon, and  this one certainly didn't disappoint.  I loved as much, if not more, and can see myself reading it again and again in the years to come.  
6) Half Bad by Sally Green - After giving up on reading this the first time around, I was almost certain this would be nowhere near one of my favourites for the year.  Yet, the second time I picked it up, and read the entire book, I found myself so attached to the story that when the final page came I couldn't wait to pick up the next one.  It's safe to say this was a surprising favourite for me, but a favourite none the less.  
7) Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan - Right from the word go I was hooked by this book.  Not only was it written by two authors I loved, but it was humorous yet thought-provoking and a book I thoroughly enjoyed.
8) The Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare - This was such a close call as to which of The Mortal Instruments books that I read this year I was my favourite, as I loved them both so much.  I loved returning to the familiar characters as well as meeting some new ones and I can't wait to hopefully finish the series next year! 
9) Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling - How could this not feature on my list?  It was an amazing start to a series I know I will adore and I can't wait to continue on.  
10) To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han - Another recent read but another I adored.  It was likely my favourite contemporary romance type book of the year, as I loved all the characters and the story immensely.  
11) The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough - And finally, my favourite book from the whole of 2015 has to be this masterpiece that I read in the summer.  It was heartbreaking and thought-provoking whilst still having the most amazing characters and one of the most captivating storylines.  I absolutely adore this one to pieces and so it has earned the title of my favourite book of 2015.  


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Top Ten Tuesday Twenty Nine

Top Ten New-To-Me authors I read in 2015 

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  I really enjoyed this week's topic as it allowed me to look back over my year of reading and remember some of the amazing books and authors I have read this year.  And so, here are some of my favourite new-to-me authors from the past year -  enjoy!

1) Annabel Pitcher - This was the year in which I finally picked up both of her novels, My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece and Ketchup Clouds, and really enjoyed both of them.  I'm really glad I finally picked up her books and I'm already planning on reading her next book some time soon.

2) Scott Westerfeld - So far, I have only read Afterworlds by Westerfeld, but I enjoyed it so much that I couldn't leave him off this list, especially as it has made me want to pick up his Uglies series very soon as well.

3) Rick Yancey - I first started his series, The  5th Wave in March, and so far I am loving it.  I can't wait for the final book to be released, and so that is why Rick Yancey had to have a place here.   

4) Tommy Wallach - I can't tell you how much I have raved about his book, We All Looked Up, to anyone and everyone, and so it seemed utterly impossible for him to not feature. 
5) Jenny Han - I only read my first book of hers, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, last month, and I am already anticipating picking up the sequel.  I loved it and can't wait to read more from Jenny Han next year! 

6) Julie Kagawa - After her entire Iron Fey series sitting on my shelf for years without being read, I finally picked up the first two books this year.  They weren't my favourites of the year, but I did still really enjoy them and so felt she deserved a place on this list.  

7) Sarah Dessen - It seems mad to say that I read my first Sarah Dessen book this year, as so many people seemed to have heard about and read her books.  I really enjoyed her book, Just Listen and really hope to read another of hers some time in the future.  

8) J K Rowling - This is by far the most embarrassing name on the list.  Yes, before this year I had never read Harry Potter, but I am so glad that I finally have and so, how could I not put her on this list?  
9) Sally Green - Another of my recent reads, I started her Half Bad series late this year, and I absolutely adored the first book.  I can't wait to continue on with the series and hope to do so extremely soon!  

10) Leigh Bardugo - Shadow and Bone, at this point, is actually my most recent read.  I completely fell in love with the world, characters and story and I am so happy that I finally discovered Leigh Bardugo, thus placing her straight onto this list.  


Sunday, 6 December 2015

Across The Universe by Beth Revis

For once, this is a book which hasn't been sitting aimlessly on my shelves for year now, but is actually one I only picked up a few months ago.  I'd only heard a few things about this book series beforehand, but the premise and, I'll be honest, the beautiful spine and cover were what drew me to get it in the end.  I've really been wanting to explore the sci-fi genre a little more, and so when I saw this I thought I might as well give it a go, as I did only a few weeks ago.

The story takes place aboard a spaceship destined for a planet it will take 300 years from earth to reach.  For someone who reads alot of contemporaries and books that in some way take place on earth, this setting was a real change for me, but one that I really enjoyed.  I loved imaging this new setting and creating the different levels in my mind, especially with the descriptions which compared certain aspects to earth.

The book focuses on the story of Amy and the other people frozen on board, who are put at risk when a killer begins violently awaking them prematurely.  I really enjoyed the whole mystery of the murder loose on board and enjoyed watching as the main characters attempted to figure out who the culprit was.  I also liked many of the other aspects of the story as they unfolded and as other secrets came to light in the midst of it.  I think that the plot twists worked well, even if some were predictable, and I liked how much was hidden from the reader as well as the characters.

The entirety of the book is told through a split POV between the two main characters, Elder and Amy.  I found that this worked well and that I could easily tell the difference between the two without much trouble.  As for the rest of the characters, I did like most of them, especially the characters of Harley and Doc, as well as the whole concept of the way the society worked aboard the ship.  I have to admit though, for most of the book, my favourite was Amy as she was so reluctant to let go of her family and of earth but was still prepared to get on with life on board.

The writing style of the book was another thing that was easy to grasp, with it very quickly allowing me to fly through sections without having to linger on confusing sentences.  One thing that it did take a little longer to get used to was some of the more technical language, particularly within explanations of certain things.  There were so many things that needed explaining that some parts did feel like information dumps, but overall I found that most of the descriptions were spread evenly throughout the book, only a few sections being overly descriptive.

Finally, I am sorry to say that I wasn't the greatest fan of the ending of this book.  I just personally didn't see any need for the final twist in the tail of this one, and it just didn't sit well with me for whatever reason.  It also changed my view of Amy as her decision or the way her decision seems to be going concerning the issue is one that seems too rushed and really made me like her less.

However, overall, I would say that I enjoyed this one, despite not completely loving it.  I will be continuing on with the series and would suggest giving it a go, but I'm afraid I won't be raving to everyone about it.

Character(s): Amy, Harley
Scene(s): Amy and Elder talking in the garden
Quote(s): 'A leader isn't someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others so that they may have the strength to stand on their own.'

Relate a:
Song: Control - Halsey
Friction - Imagine Dragons
Other Book: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Top Ten Tuesday Twenty Eight

Top Ten 2016 Debut novels I'm looking forward to 

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic was one I have been looking forward to for a while as I love discovering new books to look forward to for the year to come.  I found so many that sounded amazing, but here are my top ten: 

1) Consider by Kristy Acevedo - Not only is this an end-of-the-world apocalyptic novel, it also has a female protagonist with anxiety disorder, and honestly just sounds amazing.  

2) The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig - I've not read a book about time travel before, but this one just really drew me in with the different time periods and just amazing sounding plot.  I can't wait for this one!

3) A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro - The grandchildren of Holmes and Watson working together on a crime whilst being the prime suspects?  Yes please!  This just sounds like its going to be so fun with a mystery tied in, and I can't tell you how much I want to read this.  

4) The Girl who Fell by Shannon M. Parker - This just sounds like such major twist on your average contemporary, taking your average romance and turning into something a lot darker and sinister.  It sounds so gritty and very different from anything else I've read - I'm excited.    

5) Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia - As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew I wanted to read it, as it seems like such a unique contemporary story, and involves writing.  I'm also excited as the main character seems like an antihero, and as I haven't read many books from unlikable main characters POV, I would really like to see how this works.  

6) The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry - All I had to do was read the summary for this, and I was already wanting to get my hands on it.  Mysterious, romantic, it just sounds down-right amazing!  

7) Beyond The Red by Ava Jae - I'm not a massive sci-fi fan, but even I am drawn in by the sound of this one.  Two runaways, an alien queen and a rebel soldier with a hidden identity - I can't wait to pick this one up.

8) Bookish Ever After by Isabel Bandeira - Surprisingly, this was actually one of the books on my most anticipated books of 2015 before the publication got moved back to 2016.  So to say that I'm excited for this one about a girl who takes advice from her favourite literary heroes, would be an understatement.  

9) Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace - A book about a murdered teenage girl who wakes up a year after she died, only to find out that a cult is looking for creatures like her?  How can I not want to read this.