Sunday, 31 January 2016

I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

After reading, and absolutely loving, The Book Thief a few years ago now, I was quick to find and read another book by Markus Zusak.  But for some reason, despite owning this book for at least a year so now (likely more) I have only just got round to actually reading it; and I can't tell you how happy I am that I finally have.  It was entirely different to The Book Thief in almost every aspect and yet was still just as engaging and almost as brilliant as it - and that's saying alot considering I doubt anything will ever beat my love for that book.  

This book tells the story of Ed as he becomes the messenger, helping people all through words on playing cards after he stops a bank robbery.  This whole idea was one I found very original, and one I thoroughly enjoyed reading about.  It was so enjoyable watching him visit and meet all these different people, each of them with a new story.  I also liked the mysteries that often came along with the cards when they first arrived, as it gave something a bit more to the idea.  

Although the story focuses on our main character of Ed, we get to meet so many other characters through the book due to his mission.  I can't tell you how much I loved each and every new character we got to meet, each of them so memorable and so unique.  The introduction of all of these side characters really gave something else to the book. as it allowed the number of them to slowly grow without ever overwhelming the reader.  

However, some of the best characters had to be Ed's friends, Audrey, Marv and Ritchie.  All three of them were such good characters who I loved slowly getting to know and whose stories we slowly began to understand and learn throughout.  I also really enjoyed watching Ed himself grow as the story progressed, with him learning more about both himself and his friends as it went on.  

One of my favourite things about The Book Thief was definitely the writing style, and this was no different here.  Despite the style contrasting hugely with that in The Book Thief, it was still just as engaging and almost just as beautiful in its own unique way.  It was certainly one of the aspects that kept me reading and turning the pages as quickly as I did as it fitted the story so well and kept the story going at exactly the right pace.  

Finally, how could I not be a fan of that ending?  I loved how unexpected it all was and how it went such a different way than I thought it would even pages beforehand.  It also reminded me how much had happened since the first page and really made me realize how much of a journey it had taken me on.  But honestly, what I loved more than anything was the message it ended on.  I absolutely adored how much it made me think about reality and how much it stayed with me for so long afterwards.

Character(s): Ed, Marv 
Scene(s): Meet-a-priest day
Quote(s): Sometimes people are beautiful. 
Not in looks. 
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are. 

Relate a:
Song: Another Night on Mars - The Maine 
City of Angels - Thirty Seconds to Mars 
Other Book: We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach


Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Thirty Six

Top ten favourite book covers

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic was a freebie, and so I decided to pick a topic which I have been wanting to do for a while and share my love for some of my favourite covers - enjoy!

1) Night Owls by Jenn Bennett- This was definitely more of a cover buy for me, as it was this that first drew me to it.  I love the large title and simple design and can't wait to read it!
2) The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough - Not only is this one of my favourites, it also has a beautiful cover that ties in so well with the book.

3) How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff - Despite enjoying this, I didn't love it, but nonetheless I absolutely adore this cover with all the white petals against the background.
4) Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - Another one here where both the cover and the book are amazing, with the beautiful castle and the font of the title fitting so well with the story. 

5) Looking For Alaska by John Green - I love the simplicity of all of John Green's Covers, but this one is by far my favourite.  Again, I love the petals against the background and just love how basic it is.
6) Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell - For me, the key reason I love this cover is the colour scheme, which makes the cover look so pretty and just makes the design (which is gorgeus itself) work so well. 

7) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - I have seen lots of different covers for this book, but I never see this version a lot, despite how beautiful it is to me.  I love the colour of it and just think the whole design works perfectly.
8) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Since I have been wanting to pick up more classics, I decided one day that I would try and pick this one up, as it is definitely one I am interested in anyway.  But as soon as I saw the cover, I knew I had to get it as it was so beautiful, especially as I wanted to read it anyway. 

9) Lola and The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins - Not only is this my favourite book of this companion series, it is also my favourite cover.  I just love everything about it, from the bridge to the orange background.
10) Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher - Another one where I just love how simple it is, with the cover consisting of just the title, author and a few birds.

11) The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Strayhorn - I have yet to read this, but that doesn't mean I can't admire this amazing cover.  It's just so pretty!
12) The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater -  Finally, I couldn't miss this one off, with its beautiful artsy bird drawing and great title font.  

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Thirty Five

Top Ten Books I've recently added to my TBR 

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic was a fairly easy one, especially with it recently being Christmas, and so I did manage to have a complete list (yay!) unlike last week.  And so, here are some of the books that have recently been added to my TBR list - enjoy! 

1) Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas - I have heard so much about that series and I am so intrigued to see what all the hype was about that I thought I would give it a go and see if I agreed with all the amazing reviews.  It also sounds nothing like what I've read before, and just simply the mention of an assassin interests me much!
2) Mosquitoland by David Arnold - For almost the entirety of last year I kept debating over getting this one or not, as I was so interested in it and really fancied reading it.  In the end, I had just read so many good reviews that I decided to finally give in and pick it up.  

3) Miss Peregrine's Home for peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - I only got this one recently, and I'm already anticipating reading it.  A spooky book full of creepy old photos surrounding an abandoned home for peculiar kids who may just still be alive - it sounds like my perfect book!
4) Shift by Em Bailey - This was one I had heard nothing about before I received it for Christmas, but after reading the synopsis on the back I am really excited to get into it, especially as I am going into it alot blinder than I go into most books.  

5) Half Wild by Sally Green - I read Half Bad last year, and loved it, so when I saw the hardcover of this reduced, I couldn't resist getting it.  
6) Numbers: Infinity by Rachel Ward - I got this, the conclusion to the Numbers Series, for my birthday, after wanting to pick it up for so long now, and it is also the only book on this list I have read so far! 

7) The Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare - Another one I got as a continuation of a series I am loving.  I have just been sucked into this world and this story and so I wanted to pick this one up so that I could continue on with the series as soon as I wanted to.  
8) Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - This is the second book I got for christmas, and another I am so insanely excited to read, since it was one I wanted to pick up but never would have myself.  

9) The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness - I had wanted this one for a while before I got given it as a gift for my birthday at the end of last year, and so I am so happy to own it and I am anticipating waiting to pick up my first Patrick Ness book.  
10) Crystal Kingdom by Amanda Hocking - Finally, this is yet another book from a series, as it is the final installment in the Kanin trilogy, a series which has really grown on me.  After reading the second book at the end of last year and enjoying it alot more than I did the first one, I couldn't wait to pick it up as now I am able to finish this series I can't wait to read the conclusion to.  

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Numbers series review

After recently finishing the last book in this series, I realised that I had never done a review on any of the three books at all.  And so, with so many thoughts on this final book and on the series, I decided that instead of writing a review on just the last book, I would share my opinions and thoughts on all three.  Despite doing reviews before, this is the first time I have down a review on an entire series, so I hope you enjoy it! 

The series follows characters who, the moment they look into someone's eyes, can see the date that they will die.  This concept was exactly what first drew me in, as I had never read anything like this before, and so was instantly intrigued.  I found it to be a really engaging idea, especially at the start of books one and two, as it was interesting to see what it would mean for the characters and how they would deal with it.  However, by the third book this concept got kind of lost in my opinion and the whole general idea of the books had grown too much for me.  

As said above, the books in the series all follow characters who can see the date of someone's death, with the main characters changing between books one and two (sorry if that counts as a spoiler).  Personally, I enjoyed reading from the perspectives of all the characters who's eyes we saw through l especially Sarah's.  I really liked how she grew as a character and as a person, especially in the last book.  My only problem with characters came with Adam in the final book, who I just found extremely annoying and I just really couldn't get along with him at all.  

The writing style of these books is one thing that really gripped me from the beginning, as it was different without being wildly so.  The grittiness and fast paced style really fitted well with the storyline, especially in the first book and really kept me hooked throughout.  Once again though, I felt this was kind of lost by book three unfortunately, as the speed of the plot slowed down drastically here.

Finally, the plot and storyline.  For me, the plot always seemed to be interesting to read about and although I did find a few things in all three books to be slightly unrealistic, the problems they faced also fitted well into the storyline.  Personally, I particularly liked the plot of the second book, as it mixed well reality and the paranormal side without overloading on one or the other, something that I found did happen in book three. 

And so, I think it's safe to say that despite really enjoying the first two books, I was definitely not a fan of the final installment.  I would still recommend the series to anyone interested or for anyone looking for something similar, as it is well worth a go.  

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Thirty Four

Top Ten 2015 releases I meant to get to but didn't

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  As with all topics concerning new releases, I found this on quite hard as I had few anticipated releases for 2015 as it is, and so I was left with a small number for this list.  However, I did manage to come up with a few more to make this a decent sized list instead of an incredibly small one, and, further ado, enjoy! 

1) Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard - This was one of my most anticipated releases of last year, and before it came out I was eagerly awaiting it finally being out.  However, after leaving it a while after it came out, I began to hear mixed reviews about it and so decided to leave it.  But, I would still like to read this, and so hope to some time in the next year.

2) Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli  - I've heard so many amazing things about this one, and so I am really intrigued to pick this one up myself, as I'm sure I'd enjoy it if I did, I just have yet to get round to picking it up.

3) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir - I've recently been really enjoying reading fantasy, especially as it's a genre I usually read very little of, and so I really should have got round to this one. 

4)  Mosquitoland by David Arnold - For me, this is the one I am likely most annoyed at not getting to, especially as I now own it.  Honestly, I don't know why I have yet to read it, as I have heard amazing things about and am still just as intrigued and interested in the concept.  

5) Walk The Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson - I only heard about this one midway through the year or so, but as soon as I did I was so intrigued and couldn't wait for it to be released.  But as I do far too often, I had forgotten about it by the time it came out and so still have yet to get to it. 

6) The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh - I'm not a huge fan of retellings, but this one instantly piqued my interest as soon as I read the synopsis.  It's another I known about for a while and just haven't got around to yet, despite being interested in the story. 

7) The Next Together by Lauren James - Another one that I have owned for a while now, but have yet to actually read for one reason or another.  However I am determined to read it some time soon, and so hope to have it read before long.  


Monday, 11 January 2016

Winter TBR

Before now, I have never really ever set myself a proper TBR, be it for either a month, season of year.  But, after I listed some of the books I hope to get to in 2016 in my last top ten Tuesday post, I began wondering whether or not having one would help me not only keep up with my reading, but also hopefully stop me getting into reading slumps, as I would always have a next book I would be excited to read.  And so, despite it already being a little way through the season, I decided to come up with a winter TBR with some of the books that I hope to get to soon.  Enjoy!

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater 
This is one that I mentioned I wanted to get to in 2016, but it is also one I am determined to read in the winter, as for some reason or another it really seems like a wintery kind of book to me.  I know I will likely enjoy this one, and so I really would like to get to it as soon as possible, especially as a quote on the back of the book states it is 'the best book to curl up with'.  

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling 
I am determined to read this as soon as possible as it has already been over a year since I read the first one, and this is a series I really need to read.  I know that if I don't get round to these books soon, then I will likely give up on them entirely, as I already know the story, so I really do need to keep up the pace on reading these to make sure that this doesn't become the case. 

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
After attempting to read this one for the first time last year, I am more than slightly hesitant to try reading it again.  However, I am someone who hates not finishing a book, and after hearing a ton of great reviews on this book as well, I would really like to give this one another go.

Wuthering Heights 
Last year, one of my reading resolutions was to read more classics; unfortunately this never actually happened.  And so, I am determined this year to finally get round to one, this hopefully being the first one of many I read this year.  

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa 
This series is one I would really like to finished this year, especially as I already own the whole series and so would never be stuck without the next book.  My only problem is that the ending of the last book left me wondering what else is to come from the story as a whole, so I really just need to get passed this doubt and continue on as I don't want to leave this series unfinished.  

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Thirty Three

Top Ten Books I resolve to read in 2016

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This week, I decided to interpret the topic into ten books I resolve to read this year, as I have very few actual bookish/ blogging resolutions other than to just keep up with both.  And so, here are some of the books I am determined to read in 2016 - enjoy! 

1) The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater - I recently picked this one up after hearing about it and being intrigued by it for so long beforehand.  I have just heard so many people raving about this that I really would like to get to it some time this year.  
2) City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare - I started this series about two years ago now, and so I am determined to finally finish it this year. 
3) Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - This another book which I have heard nothing but good things about, and so I would really like to read it for myself, especially as the series is not complete yet.  
4) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - As the film is coming out later this year, this one is a must read for me as not only am I interested in the plot, but I also like to read books before the movie.
5) Crystal Kingdom by Amanda Hocking - Another series I want to finish this year, however with this one I only have the last book in the series left to read, and so I think I can finish this one fairly easily.  

6) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - This one has been sitting on my shelf for about a year now, and I really don't want to leave it there, unread, for another.  I know that so many people love this book, and so I really need to get round to it, especially after the release of Carry On.
7) A Gathering Darkness by Jennifer Donnelly - I can't even remember how long ago I brought this, but I'm pretty sure it's one of the oldest books on my shelf that I haven't read yet, and so I would really like to change that by the end of the year.  

8) Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein - I actually tried to read this one some time last year, but only got around 100 pages in before I gave up simply because I wasn't in the mood to read at all.  I would really like to pick this one up again this year as I know it's not a bad book and will probably enjoy it, I just need to give it another go. 
9) Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling - Last year, despite being determined to read most of the Harry Potter series in 2015 alone, I only actually read the first one, and that was all the way back in January.  I really do want to read this series, but I just need to pick up the books and read them as otherwise I will never get round to reading one of the biggest, if not the biggest, series there is.  
10) An Abundance of Katherines by John Green - Finally, this is another which I have tried to read several times before, but have never got passed halfway.  It is the last John Green book I have to read, and for someone who doesn't like giving up on books anyway, I seriously just need to pick this up again.  


Sunday, 3 January 2016

2015 End of Year Survey

As soon as I saw this on The Perpetual Page Turner (check her out if you haven't already - her blog is amazing), I knew I had to do it.  It just seemed like the perfect way to round off the year of reading and to look ahead.  And so, enjoy! 

2015 Reading Stats...

Number Of Books You Read: 35 
Number of Re-Reads: 1
Genre You Read The Most From: YA Contemporary 

Best in Books...

1) Best book you read in 2015 
The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough 

This was by far my favourite from this year as it was beautifully written with an amazing storyline and just great characters.  I just adore this book.  
2) Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn't? 
Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough 
This one was really disappointing to me as I was so excited for it for so long, and when I actually got round to reading it I really didn't enjoy it at all.  
3) Most surprising (in a good way or a bad way) book you read?
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher 
This was a real surprise to me as it went in a completely different direction than I thought it would, but I ended up falling in love with the story and the character so much more than I ever expected to.  
4) Book you pushed the most people to read (and they did) 
The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough 
I definitely recommended this to anyone who was willing to listen to my rambles ever since I read it.  

5) Best series you started in 2015?
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Grisha Trilogy) 
Best sequel of 2015?
 Ice Kissed by Amanda Hocking 
Best series ended of 2015? 
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins 
6) Favourite new author you discovered in 2015? 
Annabel Pitcher
It seems strange that I only discovered her books this year, but I am so glad that I did as I enjoyed them both and I am now certain to be picking up any other book by her in the future.  

7) Best book from a genre you don't typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
 Across the Universe
I very rarely pick up sci-fi, so it was quite a pleasant surprise to find that I enjoyed delving into this genre, and it is definitely one I will now hopefully be trying to read more of in the future.  
8) Most action-packed/thrilling/ unputdownable book of the year? 
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey 
There just constantly seemed to be something going on in this book, and I honestly flew through it for a book of over 450 pages.  
9) Book you read in 2015 that you are most likely to re read next year? 
We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach 
This was another one of my favourites and one I can definitely see myself rereading and reliving in 2016. 
10) Favourite cover of a book you read in 2015?
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo 
How can you not love this cover? 

11. Most memorable character of 2015?
Tiny Cooper from Will Grayson, Will Grayson
I honestly think that without Tiny Cooper, I would not have enjoyed this book nearly as much as I did.  He is just amazing.
 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
 The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon 
Carlos Ruiz Zafon never fails to produce beautiful writing, and this one was no different.   
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015? 
We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach 
This one really did make me question alot of things and really think about things in a different light almost.
 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan 
I can't believe this one took me so long to pick up, especially as its by two authors I know I love.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015? 
We had yet to learn that the devil created youth so that we could make our mistakes and that God established maturity and old age so that we could pay for them - The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon 
He said that ghosts are just stories that tell themselves 
So are the living - Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
(Because one just wasn't enough)

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015? 

Shortest - Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn (183 pages) 
Longest -  Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (599 pages) 
 17. Book That Shocked You The Most?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 
Before starting this, I knew it would be quite dark and intense, but I honestly wasn't expecting it to be so gritty and to have so many twists.  

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)?
Malec (Magnus and Alec from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare) 

This was definitely the year I discovered my love for this ship.  They are just perfect.  
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year? 
Kurt and Isla from Isla and the Happily Ever After 
I just really enjoyed their friendship and its growth and presence throughout the book, not to mention that Kurt was an amazing side character and friend on his own.  
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith 
I read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight last year, and this second one was not a disappointment.  
21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure?
 Wonder by R. J. Palacio 
I read this solely off a recommendation from my sister, and I am so glad she forced me into reading this one, as I ended up absolutely loving it.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015? 
The Darkling from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo/ Aaron from Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher 
These two characters couldn't be more different:  one of them is a mysterious, evilish character, whilst the other is kind, funny and probably wouldn't hurt a fly.  And yet somehow, I love them both equally.  
23. Best 2015 debut you read?
We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach 
It was one of my favourites of the year anyway, and considering I only read two 2015 debuts, this one was pretty easy. 
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Frostfire by Amanda Hocking 
I just felt as though I could picture this world so well, even when the setting changed slightly in the later half of this book.  
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
This book was just so funny whilst still dealing with deeper topics, and honestly it was just so much fun to read.  

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece by Annabel Pitcher 
How could I not nearly shed a tear at this one? 
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld 
I've heard very few people ever talk about this book, and, although it's not perfect, I really enjoyed it and would love to see more people pick it up.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Ice Kissed by Amanda Hocking 
The ending of this pretty much killed me.  
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
Half Bad by Sally Green 
This is simply down to the writing style, which I found so intriguing and different as it is written in 2nd person instead of 1st or 3rd.  
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa 
So many things in this book just got on my nerves, but somehow in the end I didn't hate it.  

Your Blogging/ Bookish Life...

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015? 
Bookloversblog (check her out if you haven't already - she's awesome)
  2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?  
Frostfire/ Across the Universe 
 3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog? 
A Reader Recommends
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? 
Top Ten Tuesday 
 5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015? 
Hitting 1000 pageviews 
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year? 
Keeping up (with both reading and blogging) 
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?  
Top Ten Tuesday Twenty Seven - Top Ten Books I'm most thankful for 
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? 
  A Reader's Playlist 
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Not too sure...
10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? 
No, as I missed my target of 40 books unfortunately (but I do plan to reach it in 2016!)

Looking Ahead... 

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016? 
I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak 
I loved The Book Thief, so I am determined to read more of Markus Zusak's stuff as I am sure I will love it as well. 
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)? 
Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach
After how much I loved We All Looked Up, how could I not be excited for this one! 
3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry 
Just the synopsis has me already anticipating this one's release date - it just sounds utterly amazing.  
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016? 
The Last Star by Rick Yancey 
I can't tell you how excited I am for this one - I literally just can't wait! 
 5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?  
Get more involved in the bookish community and try out some different ideas on my blog