Wednesday, July 19

Review: The Last Piece of my Heart

The Last Piece of my Heart
Paige Toon

Published By: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: May 18, 2017
Date Read: June 14, 2017
Genre: Adult - Chick Lit
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400
From Goodreads:
When life feels like a puzzle, sometimes it’s the small pieces that make up the bigger picture ... Join Bridget on a journey to put her world back together.

Meet Bridget, a successful travel journalist with ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog into a novel. But, after numerous rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition: Nicole Dupre died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel, and the family need someone to finish it. Bridget is just thankful to have her foot in the publishing door. But as she gets to know Nicole’s grieving family, and the woman behind the writing, Bridget’s priorities begin to change.

Paige Toon has forever been one of my favourite authors. Ever since I read her debut novel, Lucy in the Sky, back when I was in college I fell in love with her writing, her characters and her story. Her books inspired my love and passion for books so it's probably down to her books as to why this blog exists for me to be writing this review. I have read every single book she has ever wrote and I can't put into words how much I loved this book.

Bridget has had many relationships. She's fallen in love over and over again and lost a piece of her heart in every single one of them. When she rekindles her romance with her first love he persuades her to travel around and see all of her past boyfriends to ask them for the piece of her heart back. It would make a wonderful book idea. But when Bridget can't sell the idea she is given another job. To ghostwrite the sequel of a bestseller after the author tragically died. Now she is living in Cornwall and spending time with the deceased author's grieving husband and small child. As Bridget grows closer to them both Bridget's travels and her blog and her boyfriend seem a million miles away.

I loved this book. I mean LOVED it. I already loved Bridget before I read this book. She was featured in two or three of Paige's previous books and I already adored her as a character. In The Last Piece of my Heart I loved Bridget even more. You see different sides to her and I just felt like I went on this emotional rollercoaster along with her.

I loved every moment of this book. The romance, the emotion... everything. It was one of the most perfect books I've ever read and it is right up there rivalling Lucy in the Sky as my favourite Paige Toon book. Lucy in the Sky is still up there as my favourite but this one was very very close. If you love a good romance book I cannot recommend Paige's books enough. They are totally perfect and well worth the read.

Wednesday, July 12

Non-Review: Countless

Karen Gregory

Published By: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: May 4, 2017
Date Read: June 10, 2017
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
From Goodreads:
'Is there anything that's concerning you?’ Felicity says. ‘College, home, boyfriends?' Though she's more or less smiling at this last one.

I don't smile. Instead, I feel my face go hot. Silence stretches as wide as an ocean.
When I look up, Felicity has this expression on her face like she's just seen Elvis. Slowly, she leans forward and in a gentle voice I've never heard her use before she says, 'Have you done a pregnancy test?'

When Hedda discovers she is pregnant, she doesn’t believe she could ever look after a baby. The numbers just don’t add up. She is young, and still in the grip of an eating disorder that controls every aspect of how she goes about her daily life. She’s even given her eating disorder a name – Nia. But as the days tick by, Hedda comes to a decision: she and Nia will call a truce, just until the baby is born. 17 weeks, 119 days, 357 meals. She can do it, if she takes it one day at a time …

Heartbreaking and hopeful by turns, Karen Gregory’s debut novel is a story of love, heartache and human resilience. And how the things that matter most can’t be counted. Perfect for fans of Lisa Williamson, Non Pratt and Sarah Crossan.

Countless was a book that I stumbled across while looking at the authors that were attending this years YALC and this one caught my eye with it's beautiful cover and it's intriguing plot line. Plus it says perfect for fans of Lisa WIlliamson, Non Pratt and Sarah Crossan and I absolutely adore all 3 of those authors. I really really wanted to love this book... unfortunately I just didn't.

The plot of this book is really intriguing and I was expecting some emotional, amazing and raw storyline but I just felt like the pacing of the book was a bit all over the place. It was so rushed in my opinon. I just really couldn't connnect with the characters at all and I found myself really bored.

Countless has good potential and I have no doubt that this book will be loved by many. It just wasn't for me.

Wednesday, July 5

Review: The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer #2)

The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer #2)
Elizabeth May

Published By: Gollancz
Publication Date: November 19, 2015
Date Read: June 8, 2017
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 362
From Goodreads:
My name is Lady Aileana Kameron.

First the fae murdered my mother. Then they destroyed my world.

Now I’m fighting for more than revenge.

Aileana took a stand against the Wild Hunt, and she lost everything: her home, her family and her friends. Held captive by her enemy, and tormenting herself over her failure, escape seems like only the faintest possibility. But when she gets her chance, she seizes it . . . to rejoin a world devastated by war.

The future is bleak. Hunted by the fae, running for her life, Aileana has only a few options left. Trying to become part of a society scarred by – and hiding from – the Wild Hunt; trusting that a fragile alliance with the fae will save her; or walking the most dangerous path at all: coming in to her own powers as the last of the Falconers . . .

"For the girl whose gift is chaos. Death is her burden. Wherever she goes, it follows. They say she can either save the world or end it."

The Vanishing Throne is a book that has sat on my bookshelf for what feels like absolutely ages. I read The Falconer, the first book in this series, as a review book just before it released and it absolutely blew me away. It still is one of my all-time favourite fantasy books of all time and I couldn't wait to continue. So why wait so long to read this one, I hear you ask? Well The Falconer had one hell of a cliff-hanger and I expected the same of The Vanishing Throne so I decided to wait till closer to the release of the third and final book in the series. I am so glad I waited but at the same time I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner because of how good it was.

Aileana tried her best to save the human race for the awful fae destroying her world and taking over. But there was only so much that she could do and now she finds herself taken captive from one of the worst fae imaginable and with no idea what has happened to her world and her friends.

The Vanishing Throne has quite a slow beginning in my opinion. I loved every moment of it but it wasn't until Aileana came to fight back and there was more of an action packed storyline that I got totally into it and started loving it as much as I loved the first one. The Vanishing Throne introduces us into some new characters and I adores them. They added so much to the storyline and it made me read this book so fast because I wanted to know more about the new characters as well as to know what was going to happen with the original characters too.

Aileana really comes into her own in this book. We saw a totally different side to her from her actions and behaviour in the first book. In the first book Aileana is totally overtaken by her need for vengeance but we see a much more vulnerable side of her in this one. We see Aileana try to stay strong throughout her captivity but see a part of her starting to give up. She still stays strong and kick-ass but you really see a new, more softer side to her. After that, we see her become even more independent and kick-ass as she starts to grow into her powers.

I absolutely loved Kiaran, as I did in the first book, and my love for him just grew and grew the further I got through this book. I loved Kiaran's sister in this book. She was one of the newer characters in this book and she was so amazing. I loved seeing another fae that really wanted to be on the sides of the humans in this war.

The Vanishing Throne was absolutely amazing. I loved every single moment of it and I was right about the ending. It ended in yet another cliff-hanger and I cannot wait to read the third and final book and see how it is all going to play out. Where we are in the story at the moment I can't see how it is all going to be solved by the end of one more book but I can't wait to see how Elizabeth does it and if she can't wrap it all up I am hoping for a spin off series. I just adore Elizabeth's writing and want her to continue this amazing series forever.

If you're looking for a new YA fantasy series to becomes obsessed with and fall in love with then I highly recommend The Falconer series. I loved every single moment of it. Roll on the The Fallen Kingdom.

"Perhaps he’s my curse. Perhaps I’m his weakness. Together we left the world in ruins."

Saturday, July 1

Wrap Up: June 2017

Hey guys,
Can you believe it's July? This year is going by so very fast. I'm so excited it's July. I'm going to London twice this month. To see the Harry Potter play and then for YALC. So exciting. Anyway, June was an awesome reading month for me. I read quite a lot.

Book Haul:


Who Runs the World by Virginia Bergin
Ink (Skin #1) by Alice Broadway
Moondust by Gemma Fowler
The Graces (The Graces #1) by Laure Eve
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Show Stopper by Hayley Barker
Seven Days of You by Cecelia Vinesse
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
Countless by Karen Gregory
A Conjuring of Light (Shade of Magic #3) by VE Schwab
All About Mia by Lisa Williamson
Tales of the Peculiar (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #0.5) by Ransom Riggs



For Review:

Books Read in June 2017:

The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer #2) by Elizabeth May - 4 Stars
Countless by Karen Gregory - DNF
The Last Piece of my Heart by Paige Toon - 5 Stars
The Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer #3) by Elizabeth May - 5 Stars
Truth or Dare by Non Pratt - 4 Stars
We Were Liars by E Lockhart - DNF
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus - 5 Stars

Reviews Posted in June 2017:

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
The Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
Wintersong (Wintersong #1) by S Jae Jones
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

2017 Challenges Update:

This year I am challenging myself to:
  • The Totally Doable 2017 Reading Challenge
  • The 2017 Debut Author Challenge
  • The 2017 'Continue a Series' Challenge
  • The Zoella Book Club Challenge

The Totally Doable 2017 Reading Challenge

I am so happy with my progress in this challenge so far this year. Like last month rather than selecting books for the categories I just read what I wanted and then saw if any of them fit.

This month I didn't read any more for this challenge but I am currently reading one that will apply so watch this space. I should finish this challenge in the next month or two.

Challenge Total: 10/12
The 2017 Debut Author Challenge
This month I read One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Challenge Update: 3/5
The 2017 'Continue A Series' Challenge
This month I completed my third series, The Falconer Series by Elizabeth May. I re-read the first book last month and this month I read The Vanishing Throne and The Fallen Kingdom. I highly recommend this series.
Challenge Update: 3/5
The Zoella Bookclub Challenge
This month I read We Were Liars by E Lockhart.
This month it was also announced that the Zoella Book Club is back for 2017. I am intending to see how I go with this challenge and maybe having Round 3 added in later in the year or a possible 2018 challenge.

Challenge Update: 7/16
Top 3 Books of June 2017:
What did you read this month? 


Wednesday, June 28

Review: The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale
Margaret Atwood

Published By: Vintage Books
Publication Date: July 5, 2007 (Originally published 1985)
Date Read: May 28, 2017
Genre: Adult - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 324
From Goodreads:
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now...

This is possibly the hardest review I've ever had to write. The Handmaid's Tale is such a classic book and one that I have been curious about for such a long time. It's classed as one of the original dystopia novels and I am such a big loved of dystopia. I finally decided to read The Handmaid's Tale after the new television adaptation starting. This was without a doubt the strangest book I think I have ever read. It is such a bizarre story.

Rates of fertility have been decreasing for years and now almost all women are barren. Those who have been found to be fertile are taken and made to become Handmaiden to the ruling class of the Republic of Gilead. Offred is one of those handmaiden's. Her job is to walk to the food markets and like on her back hoping that the commander will make her pregnant. But Offred can remember before. When she lived with her loving husband and beautiful daughter...

The Handmaid's Tale was just utterly bizarre. It wasn't even just the story, which FYI I found the most weird dystopia story I have ever come across. I just didn't get it. And the writing just didn't grab me. Honestly it was such a struggle to get through this book. I was bored through the majority of it and I don't really know what it was that kept me reading but I did indeed finish it. It was just utterly bizarre.

Honestly, I didn't really enjoy this book. I didn't associate with the characters, I wasn't taken by the story and I certainly wasn't emotionally invested in this novel as I usually am in novels. It was just so strange. I understand that this is such a well-loved book but I just didn't like it all that much. I felt rather indifferent. I could have stopped reading and I wouldn't have been wondering about what happened at all. I didn't feel like I got any answers from the ending either. I was left with a feeling of 'well why did I bother continuing'.

I really wanted to love this book. So many people do and I really wish I was one of them but it just wasn't. I just didn't click with this book at all.

Wednesday, June 21

Review: Wintersong (Wintersong #1)

Wintersong (Wintersong #1)
S. Jae Jones

Published By: Titan Books
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Date Read: May 27, 2017
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Illumicrate
Format: Paperback
Pages: 508

From Goodreads:
Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

"Love is the bridge that spans the world above and below, and keeps the wheel of life turning."

Wintersong is a book that had been on my radar for a while. I thought it sounded like somrthing I would totally love and I was so happy when it was featured in one of the Illumicrate subscription boxes. Wintersong is a young adult fantasy novel that is inspired by the tales of the Goblin King, and it is heavily influenced by the movie Labyrinth. I absolutely adore that movie so I knew this book would be something I would really enjoy.

Wintersong is the story of Elizabeth, whom everyone calls Liesl. She has believed in the Goblin King since before she can remember. Every piece of music she has ever composed she has done so thinking of the dreamy Goblin King. When her sister is taken into the Underground, Liesl follows her and she will do everything possible to save her sister.

I really loved Elizabeth in this book. She goes through such a massive journey in this book. She starts as Liesl the young girl who sacrifices everything for her family to Elizabeth the woman who knows what she wants in life and will do everything in her power to get it. It's such an amazing journey that she goes through in this book and I loved experiencing that throughout the novel with her.

Wintersong is such a fantastic novel. It's packed to the brim with action and adventure with just the right amount of romance. I loved every single moment of it and I couldn't read it fast enough. I was dying to see what was going to happen with the characters. S Jae Jones has such an amazing writing style. My attention was grabbed right from the very start and I couldn't stop reading. It's wrote so expertly it's hard to believe that this gem of a book was her debut.

Wintersong is a fantastic start to what I know will be a phenomenal fantasy series. I loved every moment of it and I cannot wait to read the next book. It's going to be amazing. If you're looking for a new book that will devour your heart then look no further. Wintersong is a beautiful, amazing novel that is filled with music and magic. A must-read.

"You asked, I answered. The answer is you. What I want is you - entire."

Wednesday, June 14

Review: The Beauty and the Beast

The Beauty and the Beast
Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve

Published By: Harper Design
Publication Date: January 31, 2017 (Deluxe Edition)
Original Publication Date: 1740
Date Read: May 15, 2017
Genre: Classic - Fairytale
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 208
From Goodreads:
MinaLima, the award-winning design studio behind the graphics for the Harry Potter film franchise and the creators of the illustrated Jungle Book and Peter Pan, reimagine the beloved French fairy tale The Beauty and the Beast in this deluxe unabridged edition illustrated with stunning full-color artwork and nine 3-D interactive features—published to coincide with the release of the blockbuster Disney live-action musical film starring Emma Watson, Ian McKellen, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, and Emma Thompson.

Generations of readers have been bewitched by the epic love story of a beautiful young girl imprisoned in the magical castle of a monstrous beast. Now, the classic fairy tale is brought to life in this spectacular illustrated edition as originally envisioned by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in 1740.

It is no surprise to anyone my love for the fairytale Beauty and the Beast. The original Disney animated movie came out the year I was born and I grew up loving it. One of my amazing friends gifted my this unabridged illustrated deluxe edition of the original The Beauty and the Beast fairytale for my birthday and I realised that as much as I adored this tale, I had never actually read the original. I loved The Beauty and the Beast so much and I loved reading the original and seeing where the tale we all know and love originated from.

The Beauty and the Beast is so vastly different from the well known Disney classic that we all know of today. Of course we have the similarities. The importance of a rose in the story, the story of a selfless girl falling in love with a hideous beast, but the rest of the events in this book you would never have guessed would belong in this beloved tale. I am not going to go into it as I want you all to go and read this for yourselves.

The Beauty and the Beast was originally published in 1740 and was then modified and re-released by someone else. I can totally understand why this edition was modified. I loved every moment but found myself really surprised that the ending we all know happened only half way through the book. You get so much more information such as the backstories of both Beauty and the Beast. These bits honestly I found a little tedious and boring. They went on for so long. They certainly weren't needed and it was definitely the right decision to re-release the book without these parts to make the story flow better.

It was such an amazing read to see where this incredible story originated from. I couldn't believe just how different it was and I really recommend any Beauty and the Beast fan to go and read this unabridged version. You won't really know what's going to happen due to the changes that were made after the release of this wonderful tale. I loved every moment of it and I absolutely plan on getting the other MinaLima fairytale books to experience. Their illustrations and interactive elements made this book all the more beautiful, special and magical. It's a definite must-read and necessary for any book collection.