Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Fifty Seven

Top Ten character theme songs - freebie 

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This week's topic was actually a freebie, and so I decided to once again combine my love of books and music and so list some of my favourite characters along with a theme song that they fit perfectly with.  I did do a very similar topic to this about a year ago now, but since have read so many more books and loved so many more characters that I thought there was no harm in doing it for a second time.  And so, enjoy!

1) The Darkling from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - Warriors by Imagine Dragons 

'Farewell, I've gone, to take my throne above, don't weep for me...'

The darkness and the lyrics of this song just remind me so much of the darklings character and his actions throughout the book.  I also feel it shows how he believes he is doing the right thing and how he doesn't regret his actions in the slightest.  

2) Flora and Henry from The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough - One by Ed Sheeran 

'And I know you're gonna be away a while.  But I've got no plans to leave at all to leave...' 

I had to pick a beautiful song to fit with this beautiful book, so this one to me just worked so well with the relationship between Henry and Flora, particularly from his point of view. 

3) Peter from We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach - All Downhill From Here by The Summer Set 

'My friends think that I'm a little unwell.  Cause I smile even though we're going to hell...'  

Personally, I think this song might well fit with all of the main characters from this, but Peter was definitely the first one that came to mind.  For me it just sums up the attitude of trying to still live whilst knowing its likely all going to end soon, something which is clearly a huge thing the characters need to adapt to doing as they face what could be the end of the world. 

4) Ringer from The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey - Hold Me Down by Halsey 

'They fight me, vigorous and angry, watch them ponce.  Ignite me, licking at the flames they bring about...'

For me, this song just fits so well with Ringer's character, as it just sounds like such a kick butt song that works well with her will to fit and her fiery nature.  I also like the idea of the demons taking over her, and how this whole concept in the song could work so well with some points of Ringers story. 

5) Kady from Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - The Phoenix by Fall Out Boy 

'So we can take the world back from the heart-attacked.  One maniac at a time we will take it back...'

I feel like this one really describes Kady as she grows and starts to fight back, particularly as the novel nears its climax, and just think the song as a whole work well with the situation, and with her role in it.  

6) Amy from Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - No Drama Queen by Grouplove 

'And I'm leaving for tomorrow.  I don't wanna come back home and feel the same...'

I feel as though this one sums up Amy's feelings as she tries to move on from things and learns to as the road trip continues and with Roger's help.  It also to me just sounds like a perfect road-trip-esque song, and so fits perfectly with the majority of this novel. 

7) Nix from The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig - Cliffs by FARRO

'So jump in the water.  Before you change your mind...'

For me, this song just sums up Nix's desire to be free and to discover, particularly as she changes and grows throughout the book.  I think it also just works so well with her relationship with Kashmir and his free-spirited nature.  

8) Gansey from The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater - Colours by Halsey

'I know I've only felt religion when I've lied with you.  You said you'll never be forgiven till your boys are too...'

This song for some reason just instantly reminds of Gansey and his life and personality, and how unique a character he is.  I also feel like this song shows us Gansey from Blue's point of view, particularly by the end of the book.  

9) Helene and Elias from An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir - Running up that Hill by Placebo

'So much hate for the ones we love?  Tell me, we both matter, don't we?'

This one for me just perfectly encaptures Helene's feelings towards Elias and how determined she is for him to succeed.  Not only do I think the mood of the song fits that of the book really well, but some of the lyrics work so well with the story and some of the situations these two characters are thrown into and have to deal with throughout it.  

10) Jack and Beatrix from Night Owls by Jenn Bennett - Don't Stop Now by The Maine 

'So where I come from, you learn to make the best of things...'

I don't know why, but as soon as I heard this song I knew it fitted perfectly with these two and their relationship, particularly once the book has progressed a little bit.  It seems to sum up how steady they start out but then also how much they depend on each other by the end. 


Monday, 27 June 2016

May/June Wrap Up

Another wrap up here - this time its my May/ June one!  Once again, I have decided to combine these two months as I honestly got no reading done at all through either of them.  Despite this, I am not too disappointed with how much I got done, particularly in June, as they were honestly two of the busiest months I have had with so much of my time taken up with revision and exams that hardly in the end I had hardly any time or energy to get some reading done.  Nonetheless, I did still manage to read three books, with hopefully a fourth read before the month is out, and so, enjoy! 

1) Night Owls by Jenn Bennett

I actually started this one after having to give up on The Iron Queen early in May, and so wanted a book I could quickly get into and wouldn't be too hard of a read as I was in a really bad reading slump at the time.  This seemed like the perfect book as it was only 300 odd pages and so it wasn't a long one and is a contemporary, a genre of book that I find usually really help to get me back into reading.  It follows Beatrix as she meets Jack on the Night Bus one night, and as they slowly begin to get to know each other whilst also both facing other problems and challenges in their lives as well.  In the end, I'm glad I did give this one a read as I did really enjoy the storyline as well as all of the main characters, and do think it was good little contemporary that actually ended up being a lot more than I expected it to be.  

Rating - 4/5

2) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This was one of my spontaneous reads which I never expected to be picking up but was so glad I did.  I'd heard of this one a while ago when it was first released, but at the time didn't seem too interested in ever reading until I finally actually properly read the synopsis recently.  This one tells the story of both Elias, a Mask who soon plans to desert and risk death by doing so, and Laia, a Scholar who has to call on the Resistance for help to recover her brother after the Masks take everything from her.   I loved the fast paced story and the gripping plot with so many amazing plot twists that I never saw coming.  I also adored the characters in this, and so can't wait to revisit them all in the sequel that is released in only a couple of months time! 

Rating  - 5/5

3) A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness - 

Another one here that I picked up on a whim after my sister recommended it.  Although I hadn't heard a ton about the actual story about this and so wasn't entirely sure what to expect exactly, I had heard very good things about it and so knew it would be worthwhile read.  This one follows Connor as things start to change after an unexpected monsters shows up to his bedroom one night.  I ended up reading this one in only a day and so clearly also really enjoying, with the whole concept one I really did love.  I'm also now really anticipating the movie that comes out later this year, and am really interested to see how it all translates across to the screen, hopefully well!   

Rating - 4.5/5

Currently Reading - Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo  -

Finally, I thought I would quickly mention the book I am currently making my way through, this being the second installment in the Grisha Trilogy, Siege and Storm.  I adored the first book and so far am really enjoying being back in its world, as well as watching how the story is slowly being to unfold.  Hopefully I can finish this really soon! 

What books have you read over the last few months?


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Fifty Six

Top Ten Releases for the second half of the year

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This week's topic was one I was excited about for once, as I never seem to have many anticipated releases.  However, this time I really enjoyed looking at what books are coming out later on this year, and finding some new ones to get excited about, even if I did only manage to end up with six.  And so, enjoy!  

1) Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (18th October) - 
Illuminae has already become one of my favourite books I've read this year, and so I really can't wait to pick this one up when it comes out later this year.  I'm also really interested to see this story follow two new characters (even if do love all the characters in Illuminae) as well as to get back to its gorgeous format and awesome space battles.  

2) A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess (20th September) - 
I actually haven't heard a ton about this one and honestly don't know much other than the synopsis, but even that is enough to draw me to this one.  Not only is it set in Victorian London, but it also includes a main character who can burst into flames and who isn't the chosen one for once!  It also just sounds so intriguing with all the sorcery and secrets and I can't wait to see what this one is like when its released.  

3) This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (5th July) - 
I remember hearing a little about this before and I definitely knew it was coming out, but until I read the blurb recently I didn't realize how awesome this actually sounds.  I'm always up for a monster or someone inhuman attempting to be human and I'm excited to see how it plays out in this, especially opposite the other main character Kate.  Also its not too long till its out, so long to wait! 

4) A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (30th August) - 
Almost the moment I finished An Ember in the Ashes last week I was on goodreads desperately attempting to find out about a sequel and when it would be released so I could continue on with this amazing story.  After the ending of the first book I can't wait to see what's going to happen next, and to see the story from another character's perspective as well, and just to generally return to this world and story that I completely fell in love with.  

5) A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith (25th October) -
This is another I only found recently when looking for releases for the second half of the year, but now I'm so excited for this to be released.  Not only is it a time travel novel, but its set in Japan, a setting I have yet to read much about, and instead of just normal time travel, the main character instead seems to take on some else's life in this past, something which for me just confirms my anticipation to read this.  

6) Three Dark Crowns by Kendrae Blake (20th September)
Finally, not only I am excited for this because she wrote Anna Dressed in Blood, a book I loved, but also because it sounds like such a cool fantasy centering around three sisters.  I love the idea of the three of them having to fight it out to be queen, but also how deceptive and hopefully dark this will be as only one is left standing at the end of it.  

What books are you anticipating for the second half of the year?


Monday, 13 June 2016

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Recently, I've been picking up alot of books quite spontaneously rather than planning out and reading some of the books high on my TBR, and this is another of those.  I'd first heard of this one a while ago actually, but at the time it wasn't really something I was too interested in and so I didn't think it would be one I'd ever read.  However, I did recently pick it up after I've been trying to read and enjoying more fantasy, and I am so glad I did.  I absolutely loved this and found it took me completely out of my reading slump, and adored the story, the characters and everything else about this book.

There are a fair number of characters that a play a part, no matter how small, in this book.  I really enjoyed seeing how many different characters were mentioned and also liked the variety they gave.  I also surprisingly found that I wasn't too confused at any point as to who was who, something which was such a relief as it allowed the story to continue without confusion as to who each character was.  This was also helped by the fact that I actually really liked each character, and didn't find myself particularly disliking any of them, and only hated the characters you were meant to.

The entirety of this book is told in split POV, with half the story told through Laia's, a Scholar who turns to the resistance for help, eyes and the other half told through Elais, a Martial on his way to becoming a mask but who plans to desert before he can do so.  I actually found this to work really well, particularly at the beginning when their lives hardly intercepted at all as it gave two entirely contrasting stories that eventually weaved together.  I also loved them both as characters, with Laia's motivation and determination and strength coming from her family and Elias' loyalty to his friends making them both such good characters who were also quite different.  Personally, I did prefer Elias, particularly as he continued to stick by who he was even if he did sometimes make mistakes, but not so much so that I didn't thoroughly enjoy Laia's sections as well.  

The split POV also allowed for us to see the characters on both sides of the story, something I thoroughly enjoyed as I really liked all the key side characters from both.  By the end of the book I loved so many of them, with Helene being one I surprisingly grew to love as it all went on.  I also adored the relationships between the characters, such as Helene's with Elias and Laia's and Izzi  and how strong a friendship they both had.  My only ever so small bugbear however was with some aspects of the romance when Elias and Laia meet, without trying to spoiler anything, although this was definitely not something that took anything away from the book and honestly I think my personal opinion on the characters relationships did obviously affect it.  

One of the things that I love in a book is a good plot twist - and this one certainly had a few of them!  Instead of having one central twist, this had so many little and sometimes pretty big twists along the way that just made everything that little bit more unpredictable, something I adored seeing.  Not only this, but this book certainly wasn't afraid of much at all, with the story going ways I never thought it would dare to.  By the end, I never knew what was going to happen next and honestly was pretty scared of what the next twist would bring, but ultimately really liked the uncertainty this brought to the table.

Carrying on from that, the story as a whole and the backdrop to it were both done so well for me.  As I said, I loved how unpredictable the story was and also complex but interesting a storyline there was.  I haven't come across a book in a while that brought out as much emotion as this did, and I found myself so attached to the world and the characters by the end because of how well the story had been told and just how good a storyline it was.  The brutal backdrop then also worked so well with this plot and I loved how no character was let off or no situation made easier simpler just because the character was a key one.

Another element that I absolutely adored was the fantastical element of the story and how it slowly wove into the key storyline of both of the characters.  I loved how this gave it a lot more of a fantasy element and really added to the world and the setting for me.  A key part of this which I particularly enjoyed were the Augurs, who helped not only with the fear of what they could do but also how they could predict and almost tempt fate and how influential they could become.  

So overall, I think its safe to say this is definitely one I would recommend to almost anyone, even if you're not usually a huge fantasy fan.  It's a great story, with some amazing characters in it and will you have anticipatingly waiting the next unexpected plot twist.  

Character: Elias
Scene: The Moon Festival/ Trial of  Strength 
Quote: Life is made of so many moments that mean nothing.  Then one day, a single moment comes along to define every second that comes after.  

Relate a:
Song: Silhouettes - Of Monsters and Men 
Other Book: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo



Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Fifty Five

Top Ten Reasons why I love The Book Thief

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic is one I've been excited about for a while now, as it means I get to share with you some of the reasons why I love one of my favourite books of all time, The Book Thief.  As soon as I heard this topic, I knew straight away what I was going to do, and so enjoy!  

1) Rudy and Liesel's friendship
I doubt any two people will ever fit as well together or have as amazing a friendship as these two have.  I can't tell you much I love their relationship and how they depend on and help each other out over the years.  They just rely on and love each other so much and I thoroughly enjoy reading about these two.  

2) Set in Nazi Germany - 
I will happily and openly admit that I love history, and so that aspect of this is one I thoroughly enjoy, and honestly think in my opinion is well done.  I love seeing all the stuff about the Hitler Youth and the persecution of the Jews and how this is shown in the story with Liesel's being able to see it as wrong.

3) Narrated by Death - 
Never before, or since, have I ever found a book with as unique an author as this one.  It allows such a different view on events to normal whilst still allowing us to see how the characters feel but also to see them as they are, and honestly it just works absolutely perfectly with the story.

4) The Huberman's - 
These might just be one of my all time favourite fictional families as they all just work so well together and are such a strong little family.  I love Rosa and her fiery temper and Hans and his little accordion and how well Liesel fits into their little family.

5) The Writing - 
I do believe this might be where my love of writing styles and of gorgeously written books came from, and it is most certainly the book at the top of my list for most beautifully written books.  Every sentence just seems to be constructed so delicate, with every word seemingly placed there purposely to create writing that I can't help but adore.  

6) The book stealing - 
As if this book wasn't amazing already, it also focuses alot on books and words, more importantly stealing books.  I love how Liesel's love of words is such a big aspect and how Max and Hans also seem to share and understand this, but ultimately also how it means so much to her that she ends up rightfully earning the title of the Book Thief.  

7) Max Vandenburg -
If I had to name some of my favourite characters of all time, Max would most definitely make it pretty far up that list, possibly even to the top.  He is honestly everything I love in a character, with his dream of seeing the stars again and his quiet manner.  I also adore how he feels bad for things he has done and how he understands the consequences of his actions, rather than simply dismissing them.  

8) The story itself - 
Despite all the other things that I love about this book, I surely couldn't adore it as much as I do without the story being just as fantastic.  I love how many different directions it goes in and how many different places it goes to and so how complex but beautiful it all is.  

9) Liesel - 
I couldn't list my favourite things about this book without mentioning the main characters somewhere along the way.  I love how we get to see her grow up throughout the book and how amazing and strong a character she is by the end of it.  

10) The ending - 
There seemed like no other way to finish than to talk about that ending - I think I'm still recovering from it.  It's heartbreaking and tragic but still somehow beautifully done and I'd bet anyone they couldn't not cry at it.  It rounds the story off so well and to me is the perfect brutally sad ending to such a spectacular story.


Sunday, 5 June 2016

May Book Haul

My first book haul here!  Somehow I have yet to ever do a book haul, and so since I've been acquiring a fair few books recently, I decided to do one and share some of the books I have recently picked up.  And so, enjoy!

1) Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin
I'd seen this one floating around a few months ago or so, but at the time was never amazingly inclined to pick it up, despite it seeming like a book I would enjoy.  But recently when I was browsing my local bookstore, I spotted it, read the synopsis and instantly realised that this honestly did seem like the perfect book for me, someone who loves history but would also like to see an alternative spin on things.  I love the idea of this girl attempting to kill Hitler despite the Nazis winning and am really excited to see what this alternative history is like.

2) The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
It's only been a couple of months since I read the Raven Boys, and already I'm giving in to my usual habit of waiting between reading books in a series by picking this one up.  I utterly adored the first book and can't wait to find out how the story continues and develops, especially after the release of the last one - I'm so scared of spoilers that this series might be read alot quicker than normal!  

3) The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson - 
This release has been everywhere recently, with absolutely everyone picking it up as soon as it was released earlier this month.  Despite this, I was actually planning on holding off from buying it until closer to the summer, as I knew that I wouldn't be able to get round to reading it until then anyway, but it seems I just couldn't wait as I ended up picking this one after I found I could get it a little cheaper a few weeks ago. 

4) The Last Star by Rick Yancey - 
If I had to pick my most anticipated release of this year, then this would almost certainly be it.  Ever since I read the Infinite Sea last year, I have been waiting and waiting for this one to come out so that I can finally continue on with and finish this book series which I have already fallen in love with.  I honestly can't wait to see what happens with all the characters and to finally see how this amazing story will conclude, so much so that I'm hoping for this to be next read.  

5) You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour - 
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love David Levithan and his books, so as soon as I knew this one had been released I just had to pick it up.  Not only this, but it also sounds entirely like my type of book as it follows two people who meet one night and slowly begin to help each as their friendship also begins to develop, and so I'm really excited to read this one, hopefully soon!  

6) Summer Days and Summer Nights by Various Authors (edited by Stephanie Perkins) -
Finally, this is one which I preordered so long ago and almost completely forgot about until I saw other people reviewing it recently.  I adored My True Love Gave to Me and so couldn't wait for this one to be released when I first heard about it.  I can't wait to read some more short stories from some of my favourite authors. and some new ones, and hope to dive into this one very soon.

What are some of the books have you bought recently?