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

Read:

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

Read:

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

Read:

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

Read:

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
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34728667-children-of-blood-and-bone
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
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39704365-okami

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
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39704370-yumi

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.


Sunday, July 1

Wrap Up: June 2018


Hey Guys,
Can you believe it's July already? The months are flying by so damn fast this year don't you think? Well this month was pretty great for me. I went to the theatre twice this month, once to see the incredible Matilda the Musical and then just for a small production/concert of a mixture of different songs from different musicals. Both were great nights out. Anyway, on to my month in books.

Book Haul:

Hardcopies:


Bought:
A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood
Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist #2) by Renee Ahdieh
Sweet Black Waves (Sweet Black Waves #1) by Kristina Perez
How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne

Illumicrate:
A Thousand Perfect Notes by CG Drews
Light Years by Kass Morgan

Won:
The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton



Illumicrate: 



 Books Read in June 2018:



Eve of Man (Eve of Man #1) by Giovanna and Tom Fletcher - 5 Stars
Okami (Flame in the Mist #1.25) by Renee Ahdieh - 3 Stars
Yumi (Flame in the Mist #1.75) by Renee Ahdieh - 2 Stars
Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi - 5 Stars
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J Maas *RE-READ* - 5 Stars
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J Maas *RE-READ* - 5 Stars
This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp - DNF
Alice (Chronicles of Alice #1) by Christina Henry - 4 Stars
Red Queen (Chronicles of Alice #2) by Christina Henry - 3 Stars

Reviews Posted in June 2018:


What were your favourite reads this month?

 

Wednesday, June 27

Review: Eve of Man (Eve of Man #1)

Eve of Man (Eve of Man #1)
Giovanna and Tom Fletcher

Published By: Penguin
Publication Date: May 31, 2018
Date Read: June 3, 2018
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 400
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38467635-eve-of-man

From Goodreads:
AGAINST ALL ODDS, SHE SURVIVED.
THE FIRST GIRL BORN IN FIFTY YEARS.
THEY CALLED HER EVE . . .


All her life Eve has been kept away from the opposite sex. Kept from the truth of her past.

But at sixteen it's time for Eve to face her destiny. Three potential males have been selected for her. The future of humanity is in her hands. She's always accepted her fate.

Until she meets Bram.

Eve wants control over her life. She wants freedom.

But how do you choose between love and the future of the human race?

"I guess reality is just the world with which we are presented."

Eve of Man is a book that I was super excited about since the moment I first heard about it. I already adore Giovanna Fletcher's books so when I heard she and Tom were writing a YA Dystopia series I couldn't wait. I absolutely adore YA Dystopia books. Eve of Man sounded amazing and I knew I would love it... and I wasn't wrong. It was everything I could have wanted and more. I loved it.

Eve of Man follows the story of Eve, the first female to be born in 50 years. With the human race on the brink of extinction, Eve has been kept safe living in her own paradise away from others of the opposite sex or her own age. Eve's future has all been decided for her, the only choice she has is which of her 'potentials' she picks to mate with. But then she meets Bram and Eve suddenly realises that there is more out there that she hasn't previously considered. But can she do her duty to the human race and follow her heart?

Eve of Man is a very unique idea that is so well thought out and executed perfectly. Giovanna and Tom really are the perfect writing partnership. Their writing styles accompany each other perfectly and the book is just easy to get lost in. I loved following this incredibly addictive story through the dual points of view. I loved Eve and Bram. They were such fantastic characters that you easily associate with and are rooting for. Right from the start I was captured by the incredible storyline and the incredibly unique voices of Bram and Eve. You could really see the differences in narration between each character and that gave the novel an even better autheticity than you find in most other multiple-perspective novels. It made Eve of Man more real and easier to get lost in.

I loved absolutely everything about this book. The action, the intrigue and the hints of romance. Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good romance and the hints of this slow-developing romance was just utterly perfect and accompanied the tone of the book brilliantly. I have read a book about the supression of women due to the potential extinction of the human race before and ended up unable to finish it due to making me feel uncomfortable with the goings on in the book. There is still going ons in Eve of Man that are not nice but it's done in such a sensitive and intelligent way that it just makes you want to read more and more to see what is going to happen. I was on the edge of my seat unable to flip through the pages fast enough.

Eve of Man is a fantastic start to what I know is going to be an incredible trilogy. I am so excited about where this storyline and these characters are going to go. I am left with so many questions and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book. Eve of Man is utterly brilliant and a must-read for everyone. I highly recommend that you read this stunning novel.

"This is what real life looks like - not an idyllic fake Utopia, but a world busy with energy and bustling with life."


Saturday, June 23

Review: Clean

Clean
Juno Dawson

Published By: Quercus
Publication Date: April 5, 2018
Date Read: May 28, 2018
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 399
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34850295-clean

From Goodreads:
I can feel it swimming through my veins like glitter ... it's liquid gold.

When socialite Lexi Volkov almost overdoses, she thinks she's hit rock bottom.

She's wrong. Rock bottom is when she's forced into an exclusive rehab facility.

From there, the only way is up for Lexi and her fellow inmates, including the mysterious Brady.

As she faces her demons, Lexi realises love is the most powerful drug of all ...

It's a dirty business getting clean ...

Clean was a book that I'd heard a lot about but just hadn't got around to reading. I have so much love and respect for Juno Dawson. I mean, she's amazing. But... I'd never actually read any of her books. I know, I know... where the hell have I been? Well, I am so glad that Clean was my first Juno Dawson book as it was just stunning, moving and beautiful.

Clean follows the story of Lexi. She is seventeen, rich, beautiful... and a heroin addict. As Lexi's brother carts her off to a luxury rehabilitation centre Lexi has to come to grips with the fact that she may have a major problem. But can she beat her addiction when she doesn't truly think she has a problem?

Honestly, I kind of struggled with the beginning of the book. Right at the start Lexi is horrible. She's been completely taken over by the drugs that she's been taking. As someone who has never suffered from an addiction or really been around anyone who takes drugs or anything like that this was a totally foreign concept to me and due to that I really struggles to find Lexi relatable. I wasn't entirely sure what I thought about the book to start but once I got past the first 50 pages or so, when Lexi started getting into her therapy, I started loving this book and I found it very difficult to put down.

Juno Dawson is such an incredibly talented author. Her writing style is beautiful and so easy to read. She really doesn't shy away from writing about hard topics completely raw and real and true and I adored that. She wrote this book perfectly and although there was a few instances of the characters using swear words that I really don't like hearing or seeing usually, it didn't bother me in Clean as it fit the story and the character. It was used for a purpose.

Clean is such a beautiful, moving and touching story. Although it is first and foremost about addiction, it's also about having the right kind of people around you and letting go of the toxic people who are ruining your life. It's about having the strength and love for yourself to move on and do what is best for you. It's e beautifully empowering novel and I loved it. I will definitely be looking out for more of Juno's books in the future.

"You seem quite adept at pain and hate. We have to teach you how to love. And you need to start with learning to love yourself."