Saturday, July 21

2018 Challenge 2: Start A New Series

Hey Guys,
Welcome to the second of my Challenge posts. My second bookish challenge is...

~ Start a New Series Challenge ~

I challenged myself to start 3 new series that have been sat on my shelf/kindle for a while. I am not including new series bought this year unless it's the final book and I already owned the earlier books.

Series 1: The Wrath and the Dawn Duology by Renee Ahdieh - COMPLETED


I loved this series. I was initially really skeptical about this series as I had read a book based on the same tale and didn't like it. This one, however, is just amazing.

Series 2: The Orphan Queen Duology by Jodi Meadows - COMPLETE


This was my first Jodi Meadows series and I loved it. A very under-rated but phenomenal  fantasy series.

Series 3: Dark Gifts Series by Vic James - IN PROGRESS


To Read:

After having the first two books on my shelf since last years YALC, I finally decided to read this series and I loved it. It's much darker than I thought it would be and I can't wait for the final book coming out next week to see how it all ends.

There you have it, I've almost finished this challenge. So exciting. It'll be my first one finished I think.

Have you got any series sat on your shelf/kindle that you haven't read? Let me know what they are.

Wednesday, July 18

Non-Review: This Is Where It Ends

This Is Where It Ends
Marieke Nijkamp

Published By: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Date Read: June 23, 2018
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 288

From Goodreads:
10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

This Is Where It Ends is a book that has been on my radar for quite a while. I had heard lots about this book but just never got around to reading it. I really wanted to like this book. Its sounded great, a book that is gritty, raw and real. Something that I would usually love... but unfortunately I just didn't. I really struggled to get even 50 pages into this novel. It was a massive struggle.

With this book being about a school shooting, I knew it would be difficult to read and I did find it difficult... but for all the wrong reasons. It should have been difficult to read because of how emotional nad horrifying the storyline was, but instead I found it difficult to read as it was so boring and dry. I really had no motivation or interest to read it at all.

This Is Where It Ends is told from the perspective of four main characters, but the perspectives chop and change far too quickly, you don't end up feeling like you know any of the characters at all. I read around 4 chapters before I decided to give up on this book and I honestly couldn't tell you anything about the characters at all. I was confused because I didn't know who was talking as they all sounded like the same person. I didn't manage to get this emotional connection with any of them and I ended up not really know what was going on.

This book had so much potential. It could have been real and raw, going into the psychological aspects of a school shooter... what caused them to get to that point? It could have been a real insight into the psyche of someone like that but it wasn't. The shooter was just a 'psychopath' who was enjoying slaughtering children.

I had such high hopes for This Is Where It Ends. It could have been amazing but instead it was dry, boring and definitely not for me. I will probably avoid works by this author in the future.

Saturday, July 14

2018 Challenge 1: Series Catch Up Challenge

Hi Guys,
So at the start of 2018, I gave myself quite a few bookish challenges and since we are half-way through the year (how the heck did that happen?!) I thought I would let you know about those challenges and how well I am doing on them. So over the next few weeks I am going to do some posts about each of the challenges individually. First up is...

~ Series Catch Up Challenge ~

While sorting out my books at the beginning of the year, I realised that I have tonnes of series that I have started and not completed. So, my challenge this year was to catch up on 5 series. That is to completion, or if they are still ongoing up to date on publication.

I have managed to complete two series so far and already have 2 others lined up.

Series 1: The Titan Series by Jennifer L Armentrout - COMPLETE


I absolutely adored this series so if anybody who loved NA and mythology definitely needs to read this series.

Series 2: Rebel of the Sands Trilogy by Alwyn Hamilton - COMPLETE


Again, I adored this series so if there's any big fantasy fans out there who haven't read this series yet then I highly recommend it.

Series 3: Flame in the Mist Duology by Renee Ahdieh - IN PROGRESS


To Read:

I absolutely adored the first book of this series and I absolutely cannot wait to read the final book in this series. I'm hoping to be done with this one by the end of the summer.

Series 4: Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas - IN PROGRESS


To Read:

This is without a doubt one of my alltime favourite series. I am so, so excited for Kingdom of Ash and I am currently re-reading all of these too in the hope to read Tower of Dawn at the beginning of October ready for Kingdom of Ash releasing at the end of October.

I haven't decided what my fifth series will be. I'll decide when I've finished these ones.

Are there any series you're behind on?
Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, July 11

Review: Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1)

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1)
Tomi Adeyemi

Published By: Macmillan
Publication Date: March 8, 2018
Date Read: June 13, 2018

Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 531
From Goodreads:
They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

"You raised me to fight monsters. It took far too long to understand that the real monster was you."

Children of Blood and Bone was a book that I'd seen around but didn't really know much about other than it was a YA Fantasy book. With YA Fantasy being my favourite genre of all time that's all I needed to know for me to pick this up. I was fully expecting to be swept away to a new world as I do with all fantasy books but I was not expecting just how phenomenal this book was. Children of Blood and Bone completely blew me away. It was just completely stunning and moving. I would even go so far as to say it is one of the best fantasy books I have ever read.

Zelie is a 'maggot'. Someone born with magical blood. Destined to come into her powers when she was 13, until magic disappeared. Zelie is now subject to a life being a 'maggot', being discriminated against and being scared for her life... that is until she touches a sacred scroll and gets her powers. Now she must go on a journey to restore magic for good. But when she is followed by a prince hell bent on stopping her will she succeed on her mission?

I loved this book. I loved absolutely everything about it. I was expecting the fantasy elements but I definitely wasn't expecting the heavy mythological influences in this incredible story. This was a definite bonus for me. I absolutely adore books with mythology in them and have read a tonne of them. What I loved more about this one is that it is influenced by West African mythology. This is something I have never come across before and have no knowledge of whatsoever. Due to this I found all of it fresh and unique and unlike anything I have read before... and it was phenomenal.

Tomi Adeyemi has completely blown me away with this fantastic debut novel. I have such a difficult time believing it's her first book. Her writing is just addictive. She draws you in right from the start with her incredible characterisation and world building. Tomi is such a skilled author and this shows in the fact that her world building is done so thoroughly and it's developed slowly throughout the book but in a way where the pacing doesn't feel slow. This is something that is very difficult to do. I usually find that when the world building is slow I find the books pacing a bit slow and boring and I struggle to get into it. Tomi's characters and storyline was so addictive and interesting that it just made you want to read more as fast as you could. This book is just so cleverly plotted and well thought-out. I completely commend Tomi on her fantastic storytelling.

Children of Blood and Bone was so much better than I could have ever imagined it to be. The storyline is stunning, the characters are incredible and the world and magic is phenomenal. I really cannot recommend this book more. I loved every single moment and I cannot wait for book 2 to be released. If you love YA Fantasy and are looking for a different and unique fantasy story this one is for you. It's a must-read.

"Even in the darkest times the gods are always there. Whether we acknowledge them or not, they always have a plan."

Saturday, July 7

Throne of Glass Re-Read

Hey Guys,
So today's post is a little bit different. For once it's not a review. I am trying to get in the habit of not only posting reviews so I thought I would start by telling you all about what I will be reading (but not reviewing) in the coming months.

I am so, so excited about the final Throne of Glass book being released in October. As I absolutely adore this series I decided to re-read the entire thing in preparation. I read The Assassin's Blade back in January and wasn't a major fan of it to be honest. It did not live up to my high expectations but it didn't dim my love for the series, so after that it was deciding when would be the best time for my re-read. I didn't wanna binge read them all as then the wait for October and Kingdom and Ash would be excruciating so I decided to read them as follows:
  • June - Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight
  • July - Heir of Fire
  • August - Queen of Shadows
  • September - Empire of Storms
  • October - Tower of Dawn
  • October / November - Kingdom of Ash (HURRAY!)
So, last month I read both Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight and I loved them even more than the first time I read them, though Crown of Midnight did make me feel a little bit like an idiot.

If you've read this series before you will know that there is a major reveal at the end of the second book. Well while re-reading Crown of Midnight I realised there are so many hints and foreshadowing about what was to come. I actually cannot believe I didn't work it out.

I have loved re-reading the first books and I cannot wait to re-read Heir of Fire in the next month.

Have you read this series?
Are there any series that you love reading over and over?
Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, July 4

Double Review: The Flame in the Mist Novellas

Okami (Flame in the Mist #1.25)
Renee Ahdieh

Published By: GP Putnam
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Date Read: June 3, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book

From Goodreads:
At the close of Flame in the Mist, to end a bloodbath between the Black Clan and imperial soldiers, Ōkami allows himself to be taken prisoner by Prince Raiden, Mariko’s betrothed. For someone who doesn’t believe in heroes, it’s a surprising choice: to trade his life for the lives of his friends and the one he loves. For he will surely be killed when he arrives in the Imperial City. But he decides if his life is the cost of love, it may not be too high a price after all.

Flame in the Mist was one of my favourite reads of 2017 and I have been counting down the days until Smoke in the Sun is released. Well, you can imagine my excitement at the annoucement that there was to be two novellas in between the books. Like Renee's other series, The Wrath and the Dawn, I was dying for the novellas between books and gaining some insight into the characters from this incredible series.

Okami was a good insight into Okami's thoughts following the events of Flame in the Mist. With Flame in the Mist being told from Mariko's point of view, we don't really see much of his perspective so I really enjoyed seeing that. This novella is also very good as a recap if you haven't read Flame in the Mist for a while. It made me remember a lot of detail that I had forgotten.

My one small issue with the Okami novella is that it is far too short. I felt like I had just got into this novella and back loving this world and it was over. I wanted more... much more. I loved being inside Okami's head and I was left wanting to read more by his point of view. I'd have loved this novella much more if it had been a bit longer. I am looking forward to reading the next one.

 Yumi (Flame in the Mist #1.75)
Renee Ahdieh

Published By: GP Putnam
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Date Read: June 3, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book

From Goodreads:
When Yumi receives word of the battle led against her brother and the Black Clan by Prince Raiden and the Dragon of Kai, and of Ōkami’s sacrifice, she resents the bars of her gilded cage all the more. She’s tired of being a sheltered bird, protected in the Hanami. What Yumi really wants is to strike a blow against all the forces that control her life. The time has come

Yumi is the second novella that goes in between Flame in the Mist and Smoke in the Sun. After enjoying the novella Okami, I was looking forward to diving in to Yumi. Now honestly, it's been a while since I read Flame in the Mist and couldn't quite remember who Yumi was but this novella does a great job of recapping it all for you.

Yumi is told from the point of view of Yumi, the sister of a member of the Black Clan. This novella did the job that I'm sure was it's intention. It gave you a recap and a taste of what was to come. It did give a taste of what to expect in Smoke in the Sun and I really looking forward to reading it. However, Yumi was just way, way too short.

Yumi is only 8 pages long and nothing really happens in it. Although it was super nice to get something more from this series, I'm not entirely sure what this one adds to it. It made me more excited for Smoke in the Sun but other than that this novella is not needed and I don't really see the purpose of it.