Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Sixty Six

Top Ten Books on my Autumn TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic is one I was always going to be up for as over the last couple of months I have been trying to get into the habit of creating to (and hopefully sticking to) TBR's for the month.  Autumn is also my absolute favourite season, both for reading and just generally, so I couldn't wait to pick out all the books I hope to read over the next few months.  And so, enjoy!

1) The Last Star by Rick Yancey - 

This book has been on so many TBR lists of mine recently, and despite knowing I have said this before and failed, this autumn I am determined to finally read this and finish one of my favourite series.  Not only is it the conclusion to a trilogy I have adored so far, but it also isn't too long at all, so if I only read one book this Autumn, this needs to be it.  

2) Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - 

Another one here that I really need to get to at last, especially as the fifth book in this series, Empire of Storms has just been released.  Literally everyone raves about this series so much that I'm determined to finally find out what all the hypes about and see what I think for myself.  

3) The Next Together by Lauren James - 

This is one that has been on my shelf for a good while now, and so is in desperate need of finally being read after so long on my TBR.  It is also a historical fiction novel that follows two characters who keep falling in love every time they are reincarnated, and so it seems like the perfect Autumnal romance to read this year.  

4) A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir - 

I can't believe that I haven't managed to read this one yet, after how badly I was anticipating it since I read An Ember in the Ashes earlier this year.  Not only am I insanely excited to carry on with the story and see where it goes in this second book, but the cover also just makes me imagine curling up with this on cold nights! 

5) Conversion by Katherine Howe - 

I first picked this one up after the synopsis described it as a repeat of the salem witch trials but in present day, which intrigued me almost instantly.  I adore the concept of this one and can't wait to see what this mysterious book has in store.  

6) The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater - 

After reading The Raven Boys early this year, I definitely need to continue on with this series pretty soon.  Not only did I love the first book, but since the release of the last book in the series, I am so scared of spoilers that am determined to read the whole series for myself before anyone else has a chance to ruin it for me! 

7) The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich - 

In the spirit of halloween, I would love to finally get to this one that tells the story of a fire that took place 25 years after the diary of a girl who disappeared that night's twin is discovered.  It sounds so creepy and twisted that I can't wait to see what this story is like.  

8) City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare - 

Another final book in a series here, although this one is probably the one I am most reluctant to read just because of how much of a journey I feel like I've been on with these characters.  After five books I feel so connected to this world that as always, I'm both scared and excited to finally finish this amazing series, but know that I need to do so soon so that I can finally read the Infernal Devices series afterwards.  

9) The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd -  

Finally, another one that I hope will get me in the creepy mood, as 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.  I can't tell you how long I have been wanting to read this one, and so now seems like the perfect time to finally do so, and hope it lives up to my expectations! 

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

Sunday, 25 September 2016

September Wrap Up

No matter how much disbelief I have about this, September is soon to be over already.  Like last month, these last few weeks seem to have just flown by without me realising how quickly they were going, and so unfortunately I haven't managed to read anywhere near as much as I wanted to this month.  It seems my reading slump is still in full swing, and so all I can do is hope that the next couple of weeks bring alot more reading than any of my last ones have.  Nonetheless, I have managed to read some great books, and so, enjoy!

1) The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Strayhorn - 

Despite starting this one in about halfway through August and eventually finishing it towards the end of the month, it didn't make my September TBR for whatever reason, and so I figured I would just slip it into this one instead.  It tells the story of five friends, who one night choose to perform a ritual they hope will get rid of their problems but instead becomes one that will change them all forever. Although it did take me awhile to get through, I did really enjoy the story and the amazingly unqiue concept of people actually physically switching burdens with others, my only key problem coming from some of the characters actions and the ending that just felt a tad too rushed for my liking.

Rating - 3.5/5

Next up I decided to pick this one up after I could feel myself slipping back into the horrible reading slump that has dominated my reading this year, and so I hoped this would be the perfect one to get me back into the swing of things.  It follows our two main characters of Mark and Kate, who form a friendship one night and soon become more important to each other than they could have imagined.  Despite absolutely adoring this one, unfortunately it did still take me longer than I would have hoped to get through after my urge to read slipped once again.  But nonetheless, this was definitely one of my favourites out of those I have read recently, and was an amazingly unqiue story that captivated me and took me along with all of its relatable characters who I couldn't help but love.  

Rating - 4.5/5

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

The only one off my September TBR that I actually managed to get to, I decided to read this one as I knew I had to get to it before the films release.  This one is about our main character of Jacob as he travels to a remote islands after a family tragedy in search of a children's home his grandfather used to live in with a group of seemingly peculiar children.  Although unfortunately I am still a few pages off finishing this one, its safe to say I'm thoroughly enjoying it and loving the creepiness mixed in with the supernatural elements.

Rating - 4/5 

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

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Top Ten Sixty Five

Top Ten of my favourite albums

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic is one I've been excited for for a good while now as I am a huge lover of music, and so could not pass up the opportunity to share some of my favourite albums with you.  I'm also really looking forward to seeing everyone else's picks for this week, especially some audiobook recommendations, as I have yet to try one but would love to soon.  And so, enjoy!

1) Some Nights - Fun. - 

Surprisingly, this is one of the older albums on this list for me, as I first listened to and loved this album a few years ago now.  But still, I can happily put this album on and love every one of these songs, with all of them being amazing songs individually but also working so well as a whole album as well. 

Favourite Song - Out on the Town

2) Red - Taylor Swift -  

I'm a huge Taylor Swift, so its safe to say one of her albums had to be on this list, and honestly it had to be this one.  It was the first of her albums I ever owned and to this day I can safely say I'm still in love with every song on it, from the upbeat 22 and Stay, Stay, Stay to the more folksy Holy Ground right through to the real emotional ones that still get to me everytime.

Favourite Song - All Too Well

3) American Candy - The Maine - 

I can't remember exactly how I stumbled upon this amazing band, but what I do know is that I am so glad I did.  This album is just a perfect compilation where each of the songs is just as good as the next, but with each also having such good and unique topics that just make this that much better.  

Favourite Song - English Girls

4) Kids in Love - The Mowgli's - 

This is probably my most recent music discovery, with it being the album I have had on repeat every single day for the past few weeks.  I love how fun and uplifting all of the songs on this album are and how, no matter what mood I am, this album can make me feel so much happier almost instantly!

Favourite Song - What's Going On

5) Death of a Bachelor - Panic! at the Disco - 

As soon as I heard some of the first singles released off this album, I knew it was going to become one of my favourites.  I can firmly say I love all the songs on here and adore how some of the more upbeat songs are just as amazing as some of the slower ones.

Favourite Song - LA Devotee

6) Talking is Hard - Walk the Moon - 

This one was actually a very spontaneous listen for me, as when I first listened to it I actually hadn't heard almost any of their songs before.  And yet, this instantly became one of my favourite albums of last year, with all of these songs being so unique and so amazing in their own right, and its safe to say this album has made me certain to listen to any and every one of Walk The Moon's new and old releases as well.

Favourite Song - Boyfriend

7) AM - Arctic Monkeys - 

Another one that I only really started listening to in the last couple of months or so, but am already obsessed with.  I love the chill vibe this album has and can always listen to this one whenever I need to focus or just want to relax with some great music.

Favourite Song - No. 1 Party Anthem

8) Smoke and Mirrors - Imagine Dragons

I am a huge Imagine Dragons fan, so when they released their second album last year, it was safe bet it I would love it.  I never thought I would prefer this to Night Visions, and yet so soon after its releases I found I did, with all of these songs fitting perfectly well together to create this amazing album. 

Favourite Song - I'm So Sorry

9) Badlands - Halsey - 

This is another I feel like I was a little late to the game with, as I've only discovered my love for this album this year.  I love the darkness that comes with some of these songs, as well as the beautiful lyrics that make this album one of my favourites of all time. 

Favourite Song - I Walk The Line

10) American Beauty/ American Psycho - Fall Out Boy - 

I had a huge debate over which Fall Boy Out album to put on this list, and eventually decided that I had to go with the first ever album of theirs I listened to, which happened to be their most recent release.  As I've said with alot of these, I love how good each and every one of the songs on here are and how each brings its own unique melody but that all still fit together perfectly to create this. 

Favourite Song - The Kids Aren't Alright

11) Strange Desire - Bleachers - 

Finally, this band is one I haven't heard alot of people talk about, despite how amazing they are.  These are another that I would call pretty unique and individual, with all of their songs being so different yet still absolutely amazing.

Favourite Song - You're Still a Mystery

What are some of your favourite albums?  Have you listened to any of these - what did you think?

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Autumn Reads

Autumn is fast upon us, and with it comes weather perfect for cozying up inside with a good book.  The colder weather also prompts my reading tastes to change from some of the lighter summer contemporaries to darker, perhaps more mysterious books, and so I thought today I'd recommend some of my favourites for this time of year.  And so, enjoy!

1) The Accident Season by Maria Fowley - 

This one is perfect if you're not looking for a bit of mysterious read to fit with the misty weather outside.  It follows a family who, for one month every year, become extremely accident prone and as they finally begin to uncover some of the secrets about their past.  It's one I really wasn't expecting to love as much as I did, with the creepy and slightly spooky atmosphere of it fitting so amazingly well with the story.

2) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - 

I don't think there is a particular time I would ever tell you not to pick this one up, but if I had to pick the perfect time to finally read it, Autumn would certainly be it.  It is an amazing story about our main character of Liesel Meminger and all those she meets as she lives on Himmel Street, Munich during World War Two.  It's beautifully written, with characters I still consider some of my all time favourites and an ending so heartbreaking it might just take you a while to get over.  And if that wasn't enough, its also narrated by Death!

3) Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - 

If you're more of a fantasy reader looking for an autumnal read, then I'd definitely check out this series if you haven't already.  This one follows our main character of Alina as she is thrust into the world of the Grisha and meets the mysterious Darkling who could change her life forever.  As soon as you start this one, you delve straight into the amazing world this book is set in and taken on a journey with Alina as she faces new challenges and plot twists you won't see coming.

4) Forgotten by Cat Patrick - 

If you're like me and love a good contemporary, but aren't in the mood for reading some of the more summery ones all year round, then this one is definitely one you should pick up.  This one follows London Lane who, every night at 4;33am, forgets everything about the past day, but instead awakes the next day remembering the events of her future.  This concept on it own is so unique and amazing that I would dare anyone not to want to pick this up, but it also includes a super cute romance and is such a quick addictive read that its the perfect book to read on a very chilly autumn day.  

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

Finally, in the spirit of halloween, how could I not recommend this beautiful book.  This one tells the story of Jacob as he travels to a remote islands in search of a children's home his grandfather used to live in with a group of peculiar children.  Not only is it such a unique story that will hook you from the first page, it is also so amazingly written, and includes some eerie little photographs that bring this story that much more to life.  

What books would you recommend for the Autumn time?  Have you read any of these - what did you think?

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Sixty Four

Top Ten All Time favourite contemporary books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic was one I was super excited about again because I love sharing some of my favourites and discovering other people's favourites as well.  I decided to share some of my all time favourite contemporaries this week, as it is by far still my most read genre, and so many of the books I love are contemporaries as well.  And so, enjoy!  

1) Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach - 

I had a huge debate whilst writing this list over which of Tommy Wallach's books to feature here, but eventually decided on his most recent release as I have yet to give it as much love as We All Looked Up.  This one is an amazing story that will take you on an incredible journey with some characters it is impossible not to love and writing I adore - its just amazing! 

2) I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak - 

Not only is Markus Zusak responsible for my favourite book of all time, but he is also the author of one of all time favourite contemporaries as well.  The story in this one is just so unique with such an interesting premise that produces one of the most heartwarming books I have ever read.

3) Night Owls by Jenn Bennett - 

Another more recent read for me, but one that I really enjoyed particularly for the huge role that art played in this one.  It was such a good romance and I can't tell you how much I adored the artsy aspects of this, as well as some of the subplots that just made this one even more amazing.

4) Revived by Cat Patrick - 

This is one of the first YA books I remember reading, and is still to this day one of my favourite contemporaries I have ever read.  It is such a fast paced, addicting story with a romance and friendship I love and plot twists I still find shocking even now.

5) Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell - 

One of the more well loved and well known YA contemporaries, but one that in my opinion fully deserves all of the hype it gets.  It's such a cute little romance with unqiue characters I adore and an ending that might just have broken my heart a little.  

6) Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher - 

If you're looking for a great contemporary with a unique format, this is definitely one to check out.  Not only is it written in letter form, it also has such an amazing story and mystery as well as a romance you will adore, and I dare you not to fall in love with one character in particular.

7) We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - 

Amazingly I actually read this one before hearing of the huge amount of hype surrounding it, so I had no idea that I was getting into such a beautiful book before I started it.  Everything, from the way it is written to the mysterious air and time jumps is phenomenal and I am still amazed at how well done the plot twist is.  

8) The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith - 

I first read this one a few years ago now, but it still remains one of my favourite cute romances to this day.  It's such a nice little quick read and I still love the relationship that develops between our two characters in one of the cutest ways possible.

9) Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson - 

If you like contemporary and you haven't read Morgan Matson yet, then you are seriously missing out.  This beauty of a book has one of the most inspiring stories of a wallflower coming out of her shell, and includes a romance you will never want to stop reading about - if you haven't read this yet, you need to!

10) Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn - 

Finally, one of my favourite christmasy books from one of my favourite authors, this one is literally the perfect holiday contemporary.  I love the split POV which works amazingly well and the way these two communicate through a notebook will have you hooked on their developing romance throughout.

What are some of your favourite contemporaries?  Have you read any of these - what did you think?

Sunday, 11 September 2016

You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour

My first read of September here, despite this not being on the TBR for this month.  After taking so long to finish The Way We Bared Our Souls, I decided to pick this one up as I knew it would be a quick read that I would hopefully get me back into reading and not send me back into another reading slump.  It was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and so I'm really glad I managed to get round to this one as I ended up thoroughly enjoying it.  

This story follows our two main characters, Mark and Kate, who form a friendship one night and soon become more important to each other than they could have imagined.  One thing that is key in this book is a split POV, which thankfully I found worked really well.  I loved how it meant we got to see equal sides of their stories and how one wasn't more important than the other.  I also really enjoyed how this was done, as it was never a straightforward switch but more where one storyline would be at the forefront for a while before the other took the lead.  

Good characters is something I always love in a book, so I was really happy when I found myself really liking both of our main characters, as well as some of the side characters as well.  I loved both Mark and Kate individually as well together, and loved how they were both flawed characters who made mistakes as well as how others blamed them for these mistakes.  Their friendship was also something I really enjoyed seeing, even if it all developed a tad quickly, and I loved how they helped each other through things despite having problems of their own.  

One aspect which this story really focused on was the romance.  I really enjoyed how, while both sides did include this aspect, they both took a very different and unique approach to it, with Mark having to figure out the line between platonic and romantic relationship, and Kate facing new love, and the problem of this built up image of a person being destroyed once you meet them.  I loved how these two situations were shown, especially because they are not commonly written about that much and so it was nice to see a change from the normal falling in love romantic storyline.

As always with David Levithan, one thing I knew I would love, and thankfully did, was the writing style.  I always love the uniqueness of it as well as informal spin it has whilst also still being so beautifully written and almost insightful at times.  The pace was also perfect for this one, especially with the way it was split into parts based on days as this really helped to keep the story moving. 

As seems to be a theme with some of the books I've read recently, this book and all the events in it take place over just week.  I'm always both excited and nervous when a story has a small time scale, as sometimes they can be unrealistic, but thankfully this time it seemed to work perfectly with nothing seeming to majorly rushed or happen too quickly.  I also loved how it took place over pride week and how this really solidifies some of the key themes in this.  

Finally, onto the plot, it was another aspect I was a huge fan of.  I loved all both the key plot and all of the subplots, and loved how all of these felt like realistic problems and so the story was not entirely unrelatable for me.  I also really enjoyed seeing how regular and key a setting school was in this, as once again it made it feel so much more real as long with some of the issues of college that Kate faced.  

Overall, I really, really enjoyed this one.  It was such a good little story that covered so many things and topics but was still a quick read that I would recommend to anyone looking for a good contemporary, especially one that's a little bit different to others.


Character: Mark 

Scene: Violet and Kate at the observation tower.
Quote:You can keep doing what you're supposed to, what you're expected to, and tell yourself it's what you want... Believe, at eighteen, that you know what your life will hold and how to prepare for it.  
But if you don't really believe it, if all that time you're harbouring a doubt so deep it creeps into even your best moments, and you break your rules and step away, then there's going to be a reckoning.  You are going to have to explain yourself.  

Relate a:  
Other Book: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan 


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Sixty Three

Top Ten Favourite TV Shows 0f all time

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  After skipping a few weeks, I decided that this would be the perfect one to jump back into it, as I knew it wouldn't be too hard to list ten of my favourite TV shows.  Its also nice to do a TTT that isn't book related for a change, and I can't wait to hear other people's favourite TV shows as well.  And so, enjoy! 

1) The 100 - 

I have been watching this show since the first episode aired on uk TV a few years ago now, and I've been hooked ever since.  It's such a unique futuristic TV show with such amazing storylines, but for me its the characters that I love most, especially now that the show has had three seasons.  You get to see everyone grow and go through so much, with the plot grabbing me every direction it goes in, and I can't wait to see what happens in the next season.  

Favourite Character: Raven Reyes

2) Game of Thrones - 

With this one, I'll admit I was a little late the game as I only began this watching this series at the end of last year.  I ended up marathoning the whole five seasons that were out at the time so that come april, I was completely up to date with this fantastic show ready for season 6, which lived up and completely smashed my expectations.  I'm already attached to this show and its characters, which isn't a good thing on Game of Thrones as I have learnt, and never fail to be amazed by some of the twists it takes.  

Favourite Character: Sansa Stark/ Robb Stark

3) How I Met Your Mother - 

I feel like I'm very late to this one as well, as I only started watching it once it came on Netflix a few months ago.  I am currently up to the beginning of season 8 and so am so scared of reaching the end now it is in sight and having no more episodes of this hilarious show to watch.  It's just such a feel good show that I can always count on to make me smile after a bad day but that can also tug at my heart strings with some of the things that happen, and is also responsible for creating one of the best couples alive - Marshall and Lily.

Favourite Character: Marshall Eriksen

4) Scream - 

This is one show I never thought I'd list on here, as I am never normally that much of a gory horror fan, and so was pretty apprehensive going into that it just wouldn't be something I could watch.  However, amazingly it turned out to be the perfect show for me as I am now addicted to it and am currently marathoning season 2 because I need to know who this killer is whilst also fearing for all my favourites lives!

Favourite Character: Noah Foster 

5) The Great British Bake Off -

Onto a completely different type of show, I couldn't write a list of my favourite TV shows without listing this, one of my favourite cozy TV shows that is just pure brilliance.  I don't know why, but this show has captured mine and so many other peoples hearts so much so that I am constantly wishing for Wednesday so much sooner just so that I can sit down with a cup of tea and envy these peoples insane baking skills.  

6) Friends - 

If you had to ask me to name my favourite TV show of all time, this one would likely be the answer you'd hear.  By now, I think I may have watched every episode at least five times, and still each and every one never fails to make me laugh.

Favourite Character: Chandler Bing

7) Pretty Little Liars - 

Another one here I haven't been watching from the offset, but binged watched 5 seasons at the beginning of last year and have been hooked ever since.  I'll admit, the last two seasons haven't been my favourite, but one thing I do know is that the recent season finale was definitely the most dramatic of them all - I am far from over some of the stuff that went down in that! 

Favourite Character: Spencer Hastings, Wren Kingston

8) Shadowhunters -  

As soon as the news was released that this TV show was happening, I was eagerly anticipating its series premiere.  I was really hoping to enjoy this one, but I didn't expect to love it as much as I now do, with the second season needing to come so much quicker.  I love all of the casting and think they all play the characters so well, and I can't wait to see where they take things next and hopefully see some more of favourite otp as well! 

Favourite Character: Magnus Bane/ Alec Lightwood

9) Modern Family - 

Another one of my very recent discoveries as I only started watching this earlier this month, but already I am addicted.  I've only seen a few out of the many episodes there have now been, but even so I still can't stop watching this hilarious show where each and every character brings their own little bit of humour to the table.

Favourite Character: Cam

10) The Vampire Diaries - 

Finally, this is a show I've kind of had an on-off relationship with ever since I started watching it a couple of years ago, as I am only currently on season 2 despite watching it for so long.  However, recently I've been really loving it and I am now desperate to catch up before the last season airs next year.  

Favourite Character: Damon Salvatore/ Bonnie Bennett

What are some of your favourite TV shows?  Do you watch any of these - tell me your thoughts on them all!