Friday, 30 December 2016

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff review

With Illuminae gaining so much hype at the end of last year, its no wonder that so many people were insanely excited about its sequel, Gemina being released, myself included.  I couldn't wait to see where the story was headed and to return to a format I loved, and so it wasn't long after the release of Gemina that I finally picked it up after anticipating it for so long.  And this one certainly lived up to expectations. 

One of the most unique and talked about aspects of Illuminae was it's completely unique format that saw the entire story written through messages, camera footage as well as in many other formats, so it was no surprise that Gemina continued and somehow improved on this further.  Not only does this make the story even more addicting and engaging than it already is, but it also seemed to make it all seem that little bit more realistic and immersive, as you feel as if you are in the action rather than being told it.

Unlike Illuminae, this book instead follows two main characters, Hanna and Nik, who are on board the Hypatia when it is invaded by a Beitech squad who take the ship hostage.  Like Kady and Ezra in the first book, somehow once again I loved both of these characters, with Hanna being the smart and strong commander's daughter and Nik being the morally grey character who slowly reveals his true kind nature.  I also really enjoyed watching the relationship and bond between them slowly grow as they became closer and closer, and found it added just the right amount of romance to the story without it ever being too much or overpowering in any way at all.  

But as much as I loved the new main characters introduced in this book, I also loved our new side characters, as well as seeing some old faces crop up again too.  One of my favourite secondary characters had to be Ella, who provided some of the best humour of the book whilst also giving us the amazing bond she shared with Nik.  I also adored how strong a character she was for how much she went through and how she never gave up even when almost everyone else did.  Surprisingly, I also really enjoyed seeing more of the antagonists in this book, as we often got to see things from their point of view as well as Hanna and Nik's.  And let's not forget the amazing reunion we got with some of our favourites from book one, with Kady, Ezra and even possibly the coolest computer ever, AIDAN, all making a welcome appearance as well.  

But what good is a book without a pretty damn amazing plot?  Thankfully, Gemina had exactly that.  I loved almost every aspect of this plot, from the key storyline of the invasion of the ship to some of the others that slowly weaved their way throughout the book as well, such as the deadly creatures.  I also really enjoyed seeing how the plot developed as more became revealed as the book went on, this not only keeping me reading as I wanted to know what was going to happen next, but also making the story unpredictable and full of some great plot twists.

One aspect of the plot though that I adore more than the rest has to be the continued storyline from Illuminae, that this time sees Beitech attempt to remove any witnesses of the attack on Keneza.  For someone who doesn't read a lot of sci-fi at all, for some reason I adore the idea of this almost war and battle in space against this huge co-operation, which is why I loved seeing how the storyline of this book fit into and continued the one in Illuminae.  I really liked how this one, whilst still having its own individual plot, still managed to tie into the overall story in the most perfect way.  

Overall, I think its safe to say this was a pretty damn amazing book and sequel.  It gave me everything I loved in Illuminae and more, and while Illuminae will always hold a special place in my heart, this one definitely meet and exceeded any expectations I had.  Now, I just have to patiently wait until next year to read the next installment in this phenomenal series!

Character: Nik
Scene: Hanna and Kali fight in the grav-rail car
Quote: 'It's not about what I say, right?  It's what I do that matters here.'

Relate a:
Song: Halo by King No One
Other Book: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey


Have you read Gemina - what did you think?  

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Seventy One

Top Ten Best Books of 2016

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  Despite these posts have been few and far between on my blog recently, I decided that this was one topic I could not miss out on as there was no way I was missing out on the opportunity to talk about some of my favourite books I read this year.  Although my reading year was definitely not a good one in the number of books I read, that doesn't mean it wasn't an amazing one for the quality of exceptional books I did manage to read over the last 12 months.  And so, enjoy!

I decided to pick this one up mid way through the year as my reading slump was just beginning to take hold, and I'm so glad I did as not only was it an amazing and addictive story, but made me fall in love with fantasy.  Everything about this book was just so detailed and beautifully written, with characters that were flawed and realistic and plot twists that I never saw coming. 

One of my main goals for this year was to read more classics, so when I had to read this for my english class it gave me the perfect opportunity to finally do so.  I instantly fell in love with the story and the gorgeously poetic writing and narration that along with the phenomenal atmosphere of the 1920's in America means I can safely say I will almost definitely be rereading this one for years to come.  

For a book I picked up super spontaneously, this is not one I ever expected to love as much as I did, let alone to be one of my favourites from the entire year.  This story just transported as soon as I started it, and was one of the most addictive books I read all year - I honestly could not put this down!

2016 was not only the year when I discovered my undying love for fantasy, but also the year I finally read and loved one of the most talked about books in YA.  I honestly can't believe how long it took me to finally jump onto the bandwagon with this one, but I am so glad I have now discovered the beauty and perfection that is this book, and can now join in with the hype that is constantly spread about this series.

Throne of Glass wasn't the only huge series I started this year, as I also finally decided to give The Raven Boys another go at the start of the year.  This time, I managed to push through and really get into the story, so much so that I ended up loving this book, plot and particularly the amazing characters that make this book as good as it is.

If there was one book that I was most excited about being released this year, it was this one, so I can't tell you how happy I am that this lived up to all my hopes and expectations and more.  The story, writing and characters were all just as, and possibly even more beautiful than in We All Looked Up, and I think its safe to say Zelda has become one of my most memorable characters of the year as well.  

Finally, one of the biggest releases of last year became one of my favourite reads of this year after I decided to join the hype surrounding this early this year.  Everything about this book was just so amazingly unique, from its completely different format to its bold and individualistic characters and plot, that it was almost impossible not to adore this exceptional novel. 

What were some of your favourite books of 2016?  Have you read any of these - what did you think? 

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Seventy

Top Ten Books I'm looking forward to for the first half of 2017

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This week's topic was one I was really excited for, as I love to see what amazing books are coming our way soon, but especially as I am already declaring 2017 as the year of reading.  After my awful year this year, I saw no better way to really motivate myself to get back into reading and blogging than to give myself a few releases to get excited about in the new year.  And so, enjoy!

The Hundred Lies of Lizzy Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti - 3rd January -

If there's one genre I have read an awful lot less of this year, its contemporary, and so whilst I hope to just generally read alot more in 2017, I also would love to get back into the genre whilst still keeping my love of fantasy and such as well.  This one intrigued from the moment I started reading the synopsis and I'm so desperate to find out what will happens in this book that I'm so glad its release date is very early next year.   

Poison Kiss by Breeana Shields - 10th January -

As soon as a book mentions assassins, you know I'll be interested, so I was very excited when the synopsis for this one mentioned a teenage assassin who kills with a single kiss.  I also love that this one is based in Indian folklore and am determined to pick this one up when its released.  

A List of Cages by Robin Roe - 10th January - 

Recently, contemporary novels like this have held no interest with me whatsoever, yet for some reason this synopsis just drew me and actually left me really intrigued and wanting to find out more.  I love the concept of their being more than meets the eye, as well the main character having ADHD, and so I'm excited to see what this one holds.  

Caraval by Stephanie Garber - 31st January - 

I've seen this one floating around for a while, but had yet to actually check it out myself and find out what it was about before now, when I realize what all the hype was about.  This book just seems to include so many different aspects that I love, such as the idea of the performance or game being more real than it seems, and there is honestly no doubt in my mind that I will end up picking this up at some point next year. 

Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas - 21st February - 

Since my love of fantasy has grown enormously this past year, I couldn't help but instantly want to read this story that follows our main character, Freya , who ends up as heir to the throne after all those in line before her die at a royal banquet.  I'm really interested by all the royal politics as well as the mystery of the murders and so I hope I do end up picking up and reading this one at some point.  

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig - 28th February -

The Girl from Everywhere was one of my favourite reads from the year, and so there was before I even began looking at some of the releases for next year, I knew this would feature somewhere.  I'm so excited to see where the story goes next, especially as this is also the final book, and just hope this second one is just as addictive and captivating as the first.  

Definition of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor - 4th April - 

This is another contemporary that I'm actually surprised caught my attention, as it sounds nothing like what I have been reading in the last year or so.  I think one of the main things that interested me with this one was the idea of the the lives of these three individuals all intertwining, but I'm also super excited to see what happens with the rest of the story and what this book holds.  

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh - 2nd May -

Finally, I'll be honest and say that the it was the gorgeous cover that first drew me to this one, but it was the synopsis that kept me interested.  I've been really trying to read a hell of a lot more fantasy this year, and this one just sounds like such an interesting one, with the whole idea of our main character hiding out as a boy in the rebel army. 

Are you excited for any of these?  What 2017 releases are you most excited for?  

Sunday, 11 December 2016

The Last Star by Rick Yancey Review

After putting off finishing this series for so long, I finally managed to pluck up the courage to read the last installment a few weeks ago now.  I have absolutely loved this series so far, and so was pretty scared that this one wouldn't live up to the other books, but at the same time knew that I needed to get round to this soon as I reread The Infinite Sea in the summer, and so wanted to go into this one with the story fresh in my mind.  Thankfully, my anticipation and excitement for this was one was not wasted as I ended up really loving this final installment, the downside now being that I have now seen and the end of this amazing series.

One thing I have always loved about this series is all of the amazing characters it has in it, and so I loved seeing them grow further throughout this.  For me, this book just seemed to show us so much more about absolutely all of them, and allowed us to delve so much deeper into these characters.  I honestly can't tell you how happy I am that this series has given us complex and three dimensional characters who, even now, I don't feel like I have seen every side of.  I feel like as the books have progressed, we have slowly been allowed to get to know and grow to care about each of these characters individually, so much so that everything that happens to them I feel so deeply.

I also couldn't do my last review for this series and not dedicate something to the perfection that is Ringer.  I don't know how, but somehow she has just grown and grown on me so much as the story progressed, until there is no question that she is one of my favourite ever characters, and this book just solidified that fact for me.  I love how strong and smart she is and how she lets this shine through, but then also how reserved and sensitive she can be, as well as the mystery that always surrounds some aspects of her.  I am so glad that she became such a focal character in this series and 

If there's one thing this series does amazingly well, and others don't, its the split POV.  Somehow, where most others books fall flat on this front, this one, for me, just improves so much because of it instead.  It allows us to not only see things from all the characters perspectives, but also gives this idea of there being no one central main character, but rather of all of them being of equal importance, particularly in this book, which I love. 

As if this book wasn't already good enough, the writing was also, once again, absolutely beautiful.  It fitted the atmosphere so well at every single point of the story, kept me reading and hooked, whilst still giving some gorgeous quotes and sections.  I just always found that it set the pace perfectly, never really racing over parts or taking too long over them either.    

But all of this still couldn't make this book anywhere near as good as it is if the plot was not just as amazing.  Throughout this series, one thing I have also enjoyed was the direction the plot took, especially as for me at least, it often differed from what I expected, so I am so thankful that this continued through into this book.  There were times when I was on the edge of my seat, wondering and endlessly guessing what was possibly coming, and almost never guessing correctly.  

And if all that was still not enough, then the ending of this really did give me the perfect ending to the series.  It honestly wasn't what I was expecting at all, but at the same time it wasn't in any way unrealistic for the story or the characters and rounded off this series in what I think is the only way it possibly could have.  

And so, all in all, I definitely really loved this book and thought it was a great end to a great series.  For me, the plot, story and characters continued and ending exactly the way they should have whilst still being unpredictable and full of amazing plot twists.  The only thing keeping me from giving this 5 stars, which trust me, I would love to do, is that I just expected the ending to be the tiniest bit bigger than it was.    

Character - Ringer
Quote: 'You never lose those who love you, because love is a constant; Love endures'
'Love is the most dangerous weapon in the world'

Relate a: 
Song: You and I - Pvris 
Other Book - Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 

4.5 /5

Have you read this - what did you think?

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Sixty Nine

Top Ten books to buy someone who doesn't read alot

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  After not taking part in this for a number of weeks now, I decided that this week's topic was a perfect one to jump back into things with.  I choose to recommend books to buy someone who isn't the biggest reader, but perhaps would like to read more, as I had so many books that I felt could fit this really well.  And so, enjoy!  

Even people who aren't huge readers are likely to have read or seen the movie for The Fault in our Stars, so instead why not give them another of John Green's books that is not only an amazing read with a great plot and a heart-wrenching plot twist, but also includes characters that will keep you reading no matter how little you usually do.  

I don't think I will ever not recommend David Levithan to absolutely anyone, regular reader or not, but this one is a particularly good one to get them for Christmas, as it is set around this time of year as well.  Not only is a gorgeously unique romance, but it is also so well written, and now has a sequel they could get into as well!  

I've only just read this, but can already happily say that it is perfect for anyone who is just starting to or hasn't read alot of YA before.  Whilst it is by no means the most unique or best fantasy out there, it is super fast paced, easy to read, and will sweep you away instantly.

What better to get someone who doesn't read alot than an amazing YA classic that is not only a beautiful story, but also written in such a unique form that they will fly through.

This is another one I feel like I recommend at absolutely every opportunity going, as it is one of my all time favourites, but I also believe it could be perfect for someone who isn't a big a reader as well.  It follows four different characters, meaning that you will never have a problem if there is a slow point in one storyline, as they are faced with the threat of a meteor that is said to spark the end of the world in a number of months, making it such a unique story that I dare them not to love.  

This one is perfect for absolutely anyone who likes a cute little romance, as it follows Hadley and Oliver as they find themselves drawn to each other as they get to know each other during a long plane ride to London.  This one is also quite a short read at only 230 pages, so absolutely anyone can fly through this one in no time at all.  

What better to get someone for Christmas than a Christmassy book?  Not only is it perfect to get you in the mood for both Christmas and the New Year, but it is also a collection of short stories, making it perfect for absolutely anyone, no matter how much time they have or how much they like to read.  

Finally, this is one of my oldest favourites that follows our main character of Daisy who has died and been brought back to life 5 times, as she moves and has to create a new life for herself all over again.  Its fast-paced with an addictive writing style, has a friendship you will fall in love with and has some insanely plot twists, and so will keep absolutely anyone hooked till the very end.  

What books would you recommend someone who isn't a huge reader?  Have you read any of these - what did you think?  

Monday, 21 November 2016

Birthday Book Haul

Over the last couple of months, not only has my reading slump stopped me from reading anywhere near as much as I would like, but it also stopped me from buying books pretty much at all, as I didn't need any new books when I wasn't even reading the ones I currently owned.  But luckily, with the end of October and the beginning of November came not only what I hoped was an escape from my reading slump, but also my birthday.  And so, for the first time in a long while, I used both as an excuse to buy a few new books.  And so, enjoy!  

After reading Illuminae at the beginning of the year, this one went straight to the top of my list for the most anticipated releases of the year.  And so, its safe to say that I was so happy when I recieved this one for my birthday a couple of weeks ago, as it meant I could finally read the sequel to one of my favourite reads of this year.  I can't tell you how excited I am to jump into this one and see where the story goes, and so am pretty sure I will reading this one fairly soon as well!      

After reading the synopsis for this one before it even came out, I was super intrigued in the story, but for some reason never got round to picking it up.  So when I saw it whilst out on my birthday, I decided to give in and actually pick it up for once, instead of just forgetting about it and never getting round to buying it like I do with so many of anticipated releases.  This one sounds like nothing I've ever read before, and I'm really curious to see how the split POV works and ultimately what this book has in store.

Considering The Book Thief has forever held the title of my all time favourite book, I would have never have guessed that I would be putting in one of my book hauls.  I'm not normally one to rebuy books I've already read, let alone already own, but after realising that my copy of this one was the definition of battered, I thought it might be a good idea to get a new copy of it.  And so, I was insanely happy and grateful when I received this new gorgeous edition for my birthday, and can't wait to finally reread this amazing book.  

Similarly to Gemina, as soon as I heard that this one was coming out, it shot straight to the top of my list of anticipated reads.  I absolutely adored Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, and so was over the moon when I spotted this one recently, especially considering I had somehow missed that it was even out!  I couldn't resist picking this one up, and now am even more excited for Christmas to roll around so that I can read this one as well.  

Finally, I actually picked this one up a week or so after my birthday, but still thought I slip it into this book haul anyway.  Recently, for whatever reason I have really loving fantasy, and after attempting to read a contemporary found that I was really not in the mood to read from that genre at the minute.  But because contemporary is usually the genre I do read the most from, that is definitely what dominates my bookshelf, and so I decided it was time to pick up a new fantasy to satisfy my need for one!  

What books have you recently picked up?  Have you read any of these - what did you think?

Thursday, 3 November 2016

November TBR

At last, November, one of my favourite months of the year, is finally here, and so what better way to welcome in the month than with another TBR.  Last month, despite reading books I really enjoyed, wasn't the best for the number of books I actually got round to, but all that means is I am going into this month even more determined to finally get back into my old reading habits.  And so, enjoy!  

1) A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir - 

After reading An Ember in the Ashes earlier this year, I was so excited for the release of the sequel in August, and so can't believe that my reading slump stopped me from picking this up as soon as I could.  The ending of the first one left me wanting to continue the story and read so much more in this world that I can't wait to pick up this book at last and see where things go, so if I end up just reading one book this month (although let's all hope I don't!) then hopefully it is this one.

2) Cinder by Marissa Meyer - 

This is another one that I picked up after hearing so many good things about this series and knew that I needed to give this a go.  This book is a sci-fi cinderella retelling, where Cinder is a cyborg. After reading Throne of Glass last month, and loving it, I really want to give this, another book that has so much hype surrounding it, a go and hope that it lives up to or exceeds my expectations exactly like Throne of Glass.

3) Mosquitoland by David Arnold - 

This was one was one of my most anticipated debuts of last year, and yet somehow I still haven't got round to reading it, and so I would love to finally read it this month.  It follows Mim as she takes a bus back to her old home where her mother has recently become ill.  Recently, I feel like I've been reading alot more fantasy, and so I would also really like to get round to this one to also just get back to reading some good old contemporary.  

4) The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd - 

Although the perfect time to read this book has now past, I am still in the mood to get round to this creepy book that I have been wanting to read for so long now.  This one tells the story of Juliet as she finds out her father is still alive and carrying on his mad experiments on a remote island she must travel to.  Even if Halloween is now over, I am still really wanting to finally read this one, as I haven't read a super creepy book in a while now, so hopefully this one can fill my need for one this month.  

5) Switched by Amanda Hocking - 

Finally, because once again what good is a TBR if its not going to be hard to achieve, I would love to also get round to rereading the first book in one of my favourite series,  since I recently picked up my own copy of it.  I also really hope that if November is still plagued by this slump, then reading not only one of my favourites, but also a book that I know is an addictive and fast paced read, may help me make my way firmly out of one.

What books do you plan to read this month?  Have you read any of these - what did you think?

Sunday, 30 October 2016

October Wrap Up

As I seem to say every month, October is somehow already over, with November now just a couple of days away and the end of the year now even closer.  This month, I once again tried to finally make my way out of this never-ending reading slump, and whilst I think I definitely have been reading a lot more, and definitely alot more regularly than I was.  Unfortunately, that does still mean that this wrap up is not huge, as I only managed to read two books this month, but I was still pretty happy with my reading this month, as I really enjoyed everything I did manage to get round to.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas - 

Firstly, I finally managed to pick this one up this month, and honestly am so glad I did as it became my first five star read since the summer.  This book follows Celaena Sardothien, a notorious assassin as she chosen to become the prince's champion in a tournament to become the king's champion and win back her freedom.  I loved absolutely every aspect of this book, from the beautiful writing to the fast-paced plot and complex characters that I adored.  It's safe to say I am really excited to continue on with this series, and wouldn't be surprised if I picked up the second pretty soon.

Rating - 5/5 

The Last Star by Rick Yancey

After Throne of Glass, I decided that it was finally time to finish this series, after this was another book I have been meaning to get round to for a good while now.  I am always putting off the end of series because I just don't want them to end, so I'm really happy that I actually picked this one up.  Unfortunately, I do still have currently have around 50 pages left of this one, but so far I am absolutely loving it and can't wait to see what happens in the final few pages. 

Rating - 4.5/5 (so far) 

How many books did you get round to this month?  Which was your favourite?  
Have you read any of these - what did you think?  

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Sixty Eight

Halloween freebie - Top Ten Non-Scary books that will still get you in the mood for Halloween

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 good while now, as I am a big fan of Halloween reads and love to read some spooky books to get me in the mood for it.  However, despite loving a good horror book, I haven't read a huge amount of them and so decided to instead recommend some of my favourite non-scary books that will still give you that creepy and spooky feeling.  And so, enjoy!  

1) The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon -

Ghost stories are one of my favourite things to read around Halloween, and so for me this one is one of the first I would recommend to anyone for this time of year.  Not only is it such a captivating and mysterious ghost story with some creepy events along the way, but the writing in this will draw you in with how beautiful it is.  

2) Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - 

This is a book that, before reading I never would have expected to be putting on this list, but is actually a perfect read if you want a little bit of eeriness without sacrificing an amazing plot, story and characters anyway.  It is one of my favourite reads of the year, and whilst I think everyone should read it at anytime of the year, now is an even more perfect time to do so.  

3) The Accident Season by Moira Foley - 

If you're looking for a super creepy read, that will seriously make you question what is actually going on, then definitely pick this up.  It's such a unique book that follows a family who every year face a month of being extremely accident prone, and so its safe to say this is filled with tragedy, mystery and just all round spookiness.   

4) The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater - 

This one is perfect for anyone looking for more unique supernatural element, and for something a little different to your usual Halloween read.  Not only does it have some amazingly creepy elements, but it also has characters you will fall in love with and a plot that will keep you gripped till the very end.  

5) My Blood Approves series by Amanda Hocking - 

If you're really not a fan of the spooky and scary side of Halloween, but still want to get in the mood for it by reading about some supernatural creatures, then this series is perfect.  It follows our main character of Alice as she gets involved with a family of vampires, and honestly this series is just great if you're looking for an addictive, quick read that you will fly through in no time.  

6) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - 

One of my more recent reads, this one is just one of the books that I think is a must read for Halloween.  It has everything you could ever want in one, with the creepy children's home and island, supernatural abilities of the children that live there and the eerie photos that just perfectly set the spooky atmosphere.  

7) Half Bad by Sally Green - 

If I think Halloween, one of the first things I think of is witches, and so this book if that is something you think of as well.  I loved the writing and plot of this one, as well as the mysterious aspects of it, and think it is great for including an Halloween-esque aspect, but still doing it in a unique and different way.  

8) The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey - 

Finally, this might be a little different to your usual Halloween picks, but personally I think that this is still a perfect read for providing that spooky, eerie atmosphere.  Whilst aliens aren't usually where my mind goes when I think Halloween, this one is still great for giving you those creepy feelings whilst still not being your typical supernatural-esque book.  

What are some your favourite books to read for Halloween?  Have you read any of these - what did you think?