Saturday, November 10

Five Series on my TBR

Hey Guys,
So I'm doing a different kind of post today. I have been recently going through all of my TBR preparing my challenge for finishing series I have started and not finished. While going through this is dawned on me just how many series I've bought and not yet started.

So today I'm going to talk about five series that are on my shelf completely unread.

Under the Never Sky Trilogy by Veronica Rossi

I can't even tell you how long this series has been sat unread on my shelf. It's definitely more than three years. I love sci-fi series so this one sounds right up my street and I can't really explain why I haven't picked it up yet. Every time I cull my bookshelves I am reminded that I have this series and I know it's something I will more than likely love. It's just finding the time to get around to it.




 The Young Elites Trilogy by Marie Lu

This YA dystopia series has been on my radar for so many years. The books themselves haven't actually been on my shleves for that long. I believe I picked them up about a year and a half ago and still haven't got around to them. Not only have I not read this series, I haven't actually read anything by Marie Lu. I have so many friends who love her books that I feel a little ashamed to admit that I haven't read any of her work. Hopefully I will get around to starting this series soon.



The School for Good and Evil Trilogy by Somain Chainani

I absolutely adore retellings in book form. That is what drew me to this book in the first place around 5 years ago when it first released. I still look at it now and think it sounds like something I would really enjoy. I have the full trilogy now sat unread on my shelf and yet again, it's another one that I tend to forget about and then when I look at it on the shelf think, yes, I would love that series. I can't really explain why I haven't read it before now. 




The Nightshade Trilogy by Andrea Cremer

Now this one I can vividly remember getting. It was around 6 years ago, just after I'd read the Twilight series and this one sounded so awesome. I preferred the US covers so ordered them specially... and I still haven't picked any of them up. Why? Because I remember wanting to wait until the third book was out so I could binge read the series... and then I saw all the mixed reactions (and angry reactions) about the ending and it kind of put me off reading it. I still fully intend to read this trilogy, otherwise I'd have got rid of my copies before now... I'm just a little apprehensive.


The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Okay, now this one I kinda feel like I need to run and hide after writing this, as I know this series has such an enormous fanbase. I actually met Leigh a few years ago when she did a signing with Sarah J Maas. I initially went for Sarah but after hearing her talk about the books immediately bought all three of this trilogy. I even own the first book in the spin off series... I just haven't read it. And... I don't really know why. I love YA Fantasy so I have no doubts that this is the kind of series that I'd love... I just need to get around to it.



So there are five series that I have on my shelf that I have not yet started. Have you read any? Are there any that I need to bump up on my TBR? Are there any that maybe I should just forget? Let me know!


Wednesday, November 7

Review: Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7)

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7)
Sarah J Maas

Published By:  Bloomsbury
Publication Date: October 23, 2018
Date Read: October 29, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 980
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33590260-kingdom-of-ash

From Goodreads:
Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s #1 New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an epic, unforgettable conclusion. Aelin Galathynius’s journey from slave to king’s assassin to the queen of a once-great kingdom reaches its heart-rending finale as war erupts across her world. . .

Aelin has risked everything to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.

And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.

As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series.

"Once upon a time, in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom …"

There are no words to explain my feelings about this book. I have been completely in love with this series for the past 6 years. Way back in 2012 I received an ARC of Throne of Glass, the first book in this series and I fell head over heels in love with the world and characters that Sarah J Maas had crafted. It started my obsession for YA Fantasy books and although the series can't really be classed as YA in these later books it will always hold a special place in my heart for introducing me to my now favourite genre. I was so not ready to have to say goodbye to these special characters that I have loved and followed throughout the past 6 years but at the same time ready to see this story conclude. Kingdom of Ash was everything that I could have hoped for and more. This book is, in a word, perfection.

Kingdom of Ash sees the incredible journey that Aelin has been on finally come to an end. When I think back to the first book in this series I just can't believe these are the same characters. They have grown so very much and it has been an absolute joy to experience this story through all of their eyes. I am a very emotive reader and have laughed and cried along with these characters for so long. Aelin will always be my favourite character of the series but I loved reading from the points of view of Chaol, Dorian and Manon as well. They have all grown and developed so much and came out of the other side so much better as more sincere, incredible and kick-ass people.

I am the type of reader who gets intimidated by big books quite a lot. I often find myself just thinking about how long it is going to take me to finish it which always takes away from my enjoyment of the book. When I saw that Kingdom of Ash was almost 1000 pages long I worried about my enjoyment of this enormous conclusion to one of my favourite series. I needn't have worried at all. Sarah J Maas weaved her tale to superbly I forgot all about how long this book was and was just taken away on this incredible journey that was filled with love and heartbreak. From the very first page I was enthralled once again by this world and what was happening. I couldn't read this book fast enough. I loved every single moment of this book.

Kingdom of Ash is one of the most heartbreaking instalments of a series I have ever read. I was prepared for some heartbreak in this book, afterall there is a war going on, but nothing prepared me for the devastation that I experienced. It's true that I am already a crier and cry at most books but Kingdom of Ash broke me so completely. Nothing could have prepared me for the heartbreak I experienced at the hands of this book. At one point I had to stop reading for a good half an hour as I was sobbing so hard I couldn't see the words on the page because of my tears. I was utterly broken, which shows how amazing this book is, that I was so emotionally involved that it brought about this reaction.

Kingdom of Ash was brilliant and astounding and just the perfect conclusion to this series. There are no words to convey my feelings about this book, and the whole series in general, and nothing I ever write will be able to compare to this incredible series. I am utterly heartbroken that it is over and I have to say goodbye to these characters that have become like friends in the last 6 years of following this series. Throne of Glass will remain one of my favourite series of all time and I know it will be one that I read again and again in the coming years. It was utterly perfect and I loved every single moment of it. It's without a doubt a must-read for every reader. Sarah J Maas is definitely an auto-buy author for me, and I can't wait to see what she brings out next.

"We'll face it together. And if the cost of it truly is you, then we'll pay it together. As one soul in two bodies."


Saturday, November 3

Wrap Up: October 2018


Hey Guys,
Can you believe October is over already? I cannot believe that there is only 2 months left of this year... seriously where did it all go? Anyway here is my month in books.

Book Haul


Bought:

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
How To Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
Asylum (Asylum #1) by Madeleine Roux
A Map of Days (Miss Peregrine #4) by Ransom Riggs
Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich
Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J Maas

For Review:

Roar by Cecelia Ahern


Books Read in October 2018:



City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab - 4 Stars
Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J Maas - 5 Stars
Roar by Cecelia Ahern - 3 Stars
Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J Maas - 5 Stars

Review Posted in October 2018

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken
Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2) by Alexandra Bracken
In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3) by Alexandra Bracken
If I Should Die (Revenants #3) by Amy Plum
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
Roar by Cecelia Ahern
Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J Maas


Top 3 Books of October 2018:





What books did you read this month? Which were your favourite?

 

Wednesday, October 31

Review: Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6)

Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6)
Sarah J Maas

Published By: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Date Read: September 19, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 664
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31450852-tower-of-dawn

From Goodreads:
In the next installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire.

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

"We don't look back. It helps no one and nothing to look back" 

Tower of Dawn has been sat on my shelf unread for nigh on a year. I pre-ordered it before it released back in Septeber 2017 but decided not to read it just yet. Why? Because I knew it would make my wait for the final book in the Throne of Glass series seem even further away than it already was. Fast forward a year and with the publication of Kingdom of Ash imminent, I decided to finally pick this one up... and I am so very glad that I did. I really loved Tower of Dawn.

When I was reading Empire of Storms when it first released I found it hard going. It was the slowest book of the series in my opinion and I do believe that it was due to the lack of Chaol. Chaol has been one of my favourite characters within this series right from the beginning and although in later books he annoyed me a little I found I really missed him in Empire of Storms. I really wanted to know what was happening with him. That's why I absolutely adored Tower of Dawn. It tells Chaol's story and what happened to him in the time frame of Empire of Storms and man did he redeem himself!

As I expected I absolutely loved Chaol's journey in this book. Chaol is on a mission to be healed so he can walk again and help Aelin in the war. What Chaol doesn't count on is the mental healing that he goes through as well. I absolutely loved seeing Chaol go through his journey of self-discovery and that came in the form of incredible healer Yrene. I absolutely adored Yrene, she is fiesty and furious and just all-round awesome, as I expected from her brief appearance in The Assassin's Blade. She is such a good match for Chaol and their romance was just heart-stopping.

What I wasn't expecting was to love Nesryn's point of view and story so much. Nesryn plays a very vital role in the book and finds not only an army for Aelin but discovers the major reveal that I never saw coming. I was seriously laid in bed reading and then gaping around at the empty room as if looking for someone to share my shock and surprise. Nesryn finds a new love interest of her own in the form of Sartaq, a very sweet and adorable prince. At times within the book I was enjoying Nesryn and Sartaq's romance and storyline even more than Chaol's and Yrene's. It's a lot more slow-burning and I absolutely adored it. One of my favourite things about this book was the focus on romance more. You'd have never got to experience that adorble book-romance feeling you get in the other books of this series as they are so fast-paced and preparing for the war but Tower of Dawn was able to move a bit more slowly and I loved every single moment of it.

Tower of Dawn was perfect, and possibly my favourite book of the series. I loved every moment, the romance, the new characters... everything. I absolutely cannot wait for Kingdom of Ash and to see how it's all going to end. I'm slightly devastated that it's ending as it's one of my all time favourite series but at the same time, I've been reading this series for 7 years and I can't wait to finally see how it ends. I highly recommend this series I have loved every moment of it so far and can't wait for the emotional trauma that I'm sure Kingdom of Ash will bring me.

"I loved you before I ever set eyes on you."

Friday, October 26

Early Review: Roar

Roar
Cecelia Ahern

Published By: Harper Collins UK
Publication Date: November 1, 2018
Date Read: September 20, 2018
Genre: Adult - Contemporary / Feminism

Source: ARC from Harper Collins
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39218412-roar

From Goodreads:
‘These stories sing and cry and shout and whisper from the page. They're sharp, clever, witty…a joy to read.’
Donal Ryan, international bestselling author of The Spinning Heart

I am woman. Hear me roar.

Have you ever imagined a different life?
Have you ever stood at a crossroads, undecided?
Have you ever had a moment when you wanted to roar?

The women in these startlingly original stories are all of us: the women who befriend us, the women who encourage us, the women who make us brave. From The Woman Who Slowly Disappeared to The Woman Who Was Kept on the Shelf and The Woman Who Returned and Exchanged her Husband, discover thirty touching, often hilarious, stories and meet thirty very different women. Each discovers her strength; each realizes she holds the power to make a change.

Witty, tender, surprising, these keenly observed tales speak to us all, and capture the moment when we all want to roar.

When I was asked if I would like to review Roar, the new collection of short stories by Cecelia Ahern, I jumped at the chance. I absolutely love Cecelia Ahern's work, I have devoured all of her novels from the moment I discovered PS, I Love You when I was 16 years old. Roar is very different to Cecelia's other works and although I didn't enjoy it quite as much as her full-length novels, or YA series, I did find these 30 feminist short stories enjoyable.

Roar is a collection of 30 short stories all entitled 'The Woman Who...' and follows stories of various women, at various ages going through things like guilt, inequality, comparing ourselves to others and various other things. I felt like Roar will definitely have some short stories in there that every woman will relate to but some others I found a little odd and over-exaggerated... like the woman who doesn't get notices so she actually becomes invisible... that one was a bit of a stretch for me.

I enjoyed Roar, but as a reader who normally loved series I did find it a bit hard to associate with some of the characters as I find, with short stories, by the time things get going and you get to know the characters it's over. Roar is filled with stories that are incredibly thought provoking and challenges stereotypes and for the most part I enjoyed them.

If you enjoy reading stories about empowering women and love a good short and snappy story that won't take long for you to read then I highly recommend Roar. It was a very enjoyable read.



Wednesday, October 24

Review: City of Ghosts

City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1)
Victoria Schwab

Published By: Scholastic
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Date Read: October 6, 2018
Genre: Middle Grade - Paranormal
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 285
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40512862-city-of-ghosts

From Goodreads:
Cassidy Blake's parents are The Inspectres, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.

When The Inspectres head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn't sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn't belong in her world. Cassidy's powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.

"Embrace your strange, dear daughter. Where’s the fun in being normal?"

I am a huge fan of Victoria Schwab already having devoured her adult fantasy series, A Darker Shade of Magic. When I heard about City of Ghosts I couldn't wait to jump into this book. It sounded perfect for me. During October I always like to read some Halloween-y books, but I have a small problem... I am an absolute wimp. I get scared at anything remotely creepy. City of Ghosts sounded perfect for me as it is a middle grade book and I thought it couldn't be too scary. I loved City of Ghosts. It was just cute and brilliant.

Cassidy Blake is different. She can see ghosts, in fact her very best friend Jacob is a ghost. Always sucked into the world of the dead Cassidy cannot wait for her summer vacation which, apart from Jacob, is sure to be ghost free. But then Cassidy's parents drag her to Edinburgh Scotland to film their new documentary series on the most haunted placed in the world. Greeeeeeat! Cassidy is suddenly surrounded by more ghosts than she has ever encounted before, and one in particular seems to be gunning for her. Can Cassidy work it out alone... or does she need some unexpected help?

I really enjoyed reading City of Ghosts. It's such a perfect book for me. I love paranormal books and I am always fascinated with the history of 'haunted' cities. Although I, personally, don't believe in the supernatural I do find the history and folklore of it all fascinating. City of Ghosts is set in Edinburgh and as somewhere I've visited many times, I loved knowing about all the places they visited. Yes, I've even been on the 'haunted' tour.

Cassidy was such a fantastic character to follow. I really sympathised with her gift and that fact that her only friend was a ghost. I just wanted to reach into the book and hug her. She goes on a big emotional journey throughout this book and learns more about who she is and why she may have these powers. It was such a fantastic story of self-discovery and I loved that.

City of Ghosts was perfect. It was just the right amount of creepy and not knowing what was going to happen. I would recommend it to everyone, whether you're a fan of the creepy or not this book is a must read. I really hope Victoria decides to write more books about Cassidy as I'd love to follow her ghostly adventures further.

"Stories have power. So long as you believe them."


Saturday, October 20

Review: If I Should Die (Revenants #3)

 If I Should Die (Revenants #3)
Amy Plum

Published By: ATOM Books
Publication Date: May 1, 2013
Date Read: September 23, 2018
Genre: YA - Paranormal Romance
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 408
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16279723-if-i-should-die

From Goodreads:
An enthralling and unique paranormal romance, Amy Plum's DIE FOR ME series introduces a new version of the undead with revenants, beings who are fated to sacrifice themselves over and over again to save others' lives.

The final thrilling instalment of Amy Plum's DIE FOR ME series.

I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself.

Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I lost him. Now our enemy is determined to rule over France s immortals, and willing to wage a war to get what they want.

It shouldn t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him.

After what we ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying - to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others - so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me?

"Kate, I want you to know that I awoke the first time I saw you."

If I Should Die is a book that has been sat unread on my shelf for years. I read the first two books of this trilogy years ago when the series first released and I absolutely loved them. I adored them and would even say that it is one of my all time favourite series. So why did I not get around to reading the final book? Well, I just wasn't ready for it to end and then I just ended up forgetting all about it. Fast forward a few years and I was looking back on all of my unfinished series and finally picked this one up as a part of my series catch-up challenge. I am so glad I finally went back to this series as If I Should Die was utterly perfect. I loved every single moment of it.

If I Should Die follows the love story of Kate and Vincent after the unimaginable has happened. Seperated and unable to communicate with Vincent, Kate goes on a journey to save the soul of her true love, as well as preparing for the war with the bardia. As the fight between the immortals comes to a head, with Kate and Vincent find a way to be together, or is their love doomed?

I seriously forgot how much I adore this series. It's utterly phenomenal. I love everything about this series. From the incredible setting of Paris to the incredible storyline. I was hooked in from the start yet again and couldn't put this book down. I was racing through this book unable to believe what was happening. I couldn't wait to see how everything was going to pan out and I seriously couldn't believe some of the things happening.

Amy Plum is seriously a favourite author of mine. Her writing style is just incredible. It hooks you in right from the start and I just couldn't help but fall in love with this book all over again. Although it had been years since I had read the previous two books and had clearly forgotten a lot, Amy does a fantastic job of reminding you of what happened without it being really repetitive.

If I Should Die was a fantastic ending to what will always be one of my alltime favourite series. I adored the ending and to me it was perfect. I seriously cannot recommend this series enough and it is one that I will read over and over. If you love reading a series with a fantastic love story with a paranormal element then this series is the one for you. A must-read!

"Whatever happens, remember that I will love you forever."