Wednesday, August 29

Review: If I Stay (If I Stay #1)

If I Stay (If I Stay #1)
Gayle Forman

Published By: Black Swan
Publication Date: April 2, 2009
Date Read: July 10, 2018
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 250
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6740548-if-i-stay

From Goodreads:
Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.


Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

"I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard."

If I Stay is a book that has been on my bookshelf for years. I heard about it not long after it had released and for some reason just never read it. After hearing Gayle Forman was attending this years YALC I thought it was about time I read it. If I Stay is a beautiful moving tale that I had trouble putting down.

If I Stay follows the story of Mia. After a horrific car crash Mia finds herself having an out of body experience and sees her loved ones reactions to the death of most of her family. As she deals with the devastation she has to decide whether she wants to stay or not.

Mia was a great character to experience this book through the eyes of. Right from the start you are in this story with Mia. You are emotional and horrified at the events that have happened to her and I just couldn't put this book down. It has been a very long time since I read a book in one sitting but I did with If I Stay. I was totally taken away by this heartbreaking storyline and I couldn't read fast enough as I needed to know what was going to happen to Mia.

If I Stay completely and utterly broke my heart. By the end of this book I was completely sobbing. It's so heartbreaking and moving and I just loved every moment of this book. I am so glad I finally read it and I can't wait to read the sequel to see what happens to Mia after the events of If I Stay. If you love a heart-wrenching contemporary novel then I highly recommend this one. It's definitely worth the read.

"I can lose you like that if I don't lose you today. I'll let you go. If you stay."


Saturday, August 25

2018 Challenge 5: Illumicrate Challenge

Hey Guys,
Welcome to my last post regarding my reading challenges. This time it is...

~ Illumicrate Reading Challenge ~

Now, if you follow me on social media like Instagram, you will probably be aware that I am an avid subscriber of the incredible Illumicrate subscription box. After reading a featured book that I wasn't sure was 'my thing' I have decided to challenge myself to reading all of the featured books that I gain through Illumicrate. Now this is not all Illumicrate books since it's beginning, just from when I started subscribing.

Here are the books I have gained through Illumicrate so far...



My Progress:
I have read...


I really need to do a bit better on this challenge. Having read 4 out of 12 is just ridiculously bad. I need ot up my game on this one for sure.

Have you read any of these books?
Which should I bump up on my TBR?


Wednesday, August 22

Review: State of Sorrow (Sorrow #1)

State of Sorrow (Sorrow #1)
Melinda Salisbury

Published By: Scholastic
Publication Date: March 1, 2018
Date Read: July 9, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 464
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34640572-state-of-sorrow

From Goodreads:
Sorrow - for that is all she brings us.

A people laid low by grief and darkness.
A cut-throat race for power and victory.
A girl with everything and nothing to lose…


By day, Sorrow governs the Court of Tears, covering for her grief-maddened father, who has turned their once celebrated land into a living monument for the brother who died before she was born.

By night, she seeks solace in the arms of the boy she's loved since childhood. But one ghost won't stop haunting her, and when enemies old and new close ranks against her, Sorrow must decide how far she's willing to go to win...

Be swept away by the dark and dangerous new world from Melinda Salisbury, bestselling author of The Sin Eater's Daughter trilogy.

State of Sorrow is a book that has been on my radar for a while. I have read Melinda Salisbury's prior series, The Sin Eater's Daughter, and really loved it. When I heard that she was releasing another YA Fantasy book I couldn't wait to read it. I really wish I had loved this book as much as I did the previous series but I was actually quite disappointed by this one.

State of Sorrow follows Sorrow, the daughter of the Chancellor of Rhannon. Her father is grief-stricken and drug-fuelled which leaves Sorrow in charge, but suddenly she finds her long-dead brother has returned from the grave and is challenging her for the role of Chancellor. With political leaders from the surrounding countries giving pressure and influence Sorrow starts to doubt just what actually happened before she was born and who is this person who calls himself her brother?

I really wanted to love this book. I am a huge fan of Melinda's storytelling. She has a beautiful writing style and her storyline and characters are always phenomenal. And this didn't change in this book. There was so much I liked about this book. The world-building was fantastic and I loved the characters, especially Sorrow and her forbidden romantic relationship with someone from one of the surrounding countries. These are all things I love in novels. So why was I disappointed I hear you ask? This book was slow... and I mean sssssllllllllooooooooooowwwwwww. Honestly, I surprised myself by finishing it as usually with slow books I abandon them, and I almost did with this one but because of my love of Melinda I was determined to continue.

State of Sorrow has a very intriguing storyline that I was very interested in. My main issue is this book is overtaken by the political aspects of the world. I am not in any way, shape or form a fan of politics. I try to stay far from it and I get bored with overly-political storylines and that's what made my mind wander when reading this book. I found myself not wanting to read this book at all but once I picked it up I did enjoy it. It was quite an odd reading experience.

I wanted to love State of Sorrow but unfortunately this one just wasn't for me. Depending on the reviews there is a potential that I will read the follow up but I won't be in a rush to get it. If you love fantasy worlds with lots of political intrigue then you will love this book. If you don't like political books then this one should be missed.


Saturday, August 18

Book-to-Movie Review: The Darkest Minds


This week I headed to the cinema to see a movie that I have been waiting for for ages. The Darkest Minds, based off the novel of the same name by Alexandra Bracken came out on Friday 10th August here in the UK and I headed off to see it the day it came out. I have only recently read The Darkest Minds and I really loved the book so I was super excited to see what they did with the movie.

Be Warned - SPOILERS AHEAD

I absolutely loved The Darkest Minds movie. It is such a faithful and incredible adaptation of an incredible book. There was a few changes from the book but they really worked well so it didn't bother me so much. 

The Cast
The Cast of The Darkest Minds is a mostly unknown cast. With Amandla Stenberg being the most known of the main characters. I actually loved the cast. I thought they did an incredibly good job. Amandla is such a talanted actress. I absolutely loved her as Rue in The Hunger Games and it was fab seeing her take a lead role. She did the perfect job of portraying Ruby. She absolutely nailed the vulnerability of Ruby as well the kick-ass toughness of her as well. The case for the other main kids was just as good and so compelling I couldn't take my eyes off them while watching the movie.  

The Story
I was already totally sold on the storyline of this movie, having read the book but what I think is amazing is that The Darkest Minds makes it completely understandable for non-book readers. I was accompanied to the cinema to see this with my Mum who has not read the book and she understood it perfectly. I think this is a major thing in book-to-movie adaptations as I have seen many where unless you have read the book it's been difficult to follow. That was not the case whatsoever with this movie. The one complaint I have is that they don't really explain what Ruby did to her parents until very late on in the movie. You see her touch them and then them not recognise her but unless you've read the book you don't truly understand that she erased herself from their memories until almost the end of the movie.

The Changes
The Darkest Minds is a very faithful adaptation of the book which made me very very happy. As someone who loved the book I really enjoyed the movie. There were a few changes which worked well on screen. They really shortened the time at Thurmond, including erasing Sam and the friendship between Sam and Ruby completely. It did make sense for the storyline though so it didn't bother me too much. They made Chubs a Green rather than a Blue and Zu never left with her cousin. These are quite small changes for the movie, however if they make the second book into a movie that could have an impact into some bigger storyline changes from Never Fade.

Overall...
... I loved it. It's an absolutely fantastic adaptation and I am really hoping that it does well as I would absolutely love to see the next books turned into movies too. The Darkest Minds is a great movie to watch, regardless of whether you have read the book or not. If you're wondering what to go see this summer I highly recommend going to see this movie. 

Friday, August 17

Blog Tour: The Prince (Wicked #3.5)



The Prince (Wicked #3.5)
Jennifer L Armentrout

Publication Date: August 14, 2018
Date Read: August 3, 2018
Genre: NA - Paranormal Romance
Source: eARC for Review
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37531545-the-prince

From Goodreads:
She’s everything he wants….

Cold. Heartless. Deadly. Whispers of his name alone bring fear to fae and mortals alike. The Prince. There is nothing in the mortal world more dangerous than him. Haunted by a past he couldn’t control, all Caden desires is revenge against those who’d wronged him, trapping him in never-ending nightmare. And there is one person he knows can help him.

She’s everything he can’t have…

Raised within the Order, Brighton Jussier knows just how dangerous the Prince is, reformed or not. She’d seen firsthand what atrocities he could be capable of. The last thing she wants to do is help him, but he leaves her little choice. Forced to work alongside him, she begins to see the man under the bitter ice. Yearning for him feels like the definition of insanity, but there’s no denying the heat in his touch and the wicked promise is his stare.

She’s everything he’ll take…

But there’s someone out there who wants to return the Prince to his former self. A walking, breathing nightmare that is hell bent on destroying the world and everyone close to him. The last thing either of them needs is a distraction, but with the attraction growing between them each now, the one thing he wants more than anything may be the one thing that will be his undoing.

She’s everything he’d die for…

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon Canada

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~ My Review ~

"Why do you call me that? Sunshine?"
"Because I saw you smile once and it was like the sun finally rising."

The Prince is a novella that I was super excited about when I first heard about it. I am head over heels in love with all of Jennifer L Armentrout's books and I was really sad when her amazing Wicked Trilogy was over. The Prince takes place after the events of The Wicked Trilogy and is told from the perspective of the Fae Prince. I really enjoyed The Prince novella and got through the book rather quickly.
The Prince follows the story of Brighton, a backseat member of The Order. When her mother is tragically killed and she injured she stayed in the background doing admin like work for The Order rather than fighting on the front line. But when the good fae younglings start disappearing she seems to be the only one who cares. Can she work with The Prince to find out what is happening to the younglings? And can she do it while still protecting her heart?

I really enjoyed The Prince. It was a fast-paced, action-packed novella and I couldn't put it down. It was filled to the brim with the exciting story of the good and bad fae and filled with heart-stopping romance too. It was a little on the short side for me (I know, I know, it's a novella they're supposed to be short). I just felt like just as the novella was getting into the good, juicy bits of the storyline it was over. Brighton and Caden are fantastic characters to follow this story through and I loved that through them we also got some small hints of Ivy and Ren... and lots of Tink. As long as there is Tink, that's enough to adore this book.

The Prince left on a little bit of a cliffhanger, and I am dying to get my hands on the follow-up novella The King, next year. If you enjoyed Jen's Wicked Trilogy then you will most definitely love The Prince. I highly recommend it. 

"You’re not a ghost. You never could be one, not when you burn as brilliant as the sun."

Jennifer L. Armentrout’s THE PRINCE – Review and Excerpt Tour Schedule:
August 15th
Besties, Books & Sunshine – Review and Excerpt
TheReadingRealtor – Review and Excerpt
Crazy Love 4 Books – Review and Excerpt
Garden of REden – Review
JordansBookReviews – Excerpt
Literaria – Review
Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt
Stuck In Books – Review and Excerpt
What's Your Story Reviews – Review and Excerpt
The Cover Contessa – Excerpt
August 16th
ClaryNathanWill – Review and Excerpt
East Coast Book Chicks – Review and Excerpt
I Smell Sheep – Excerpt
Krystal Loves Books – Review and Excerpt
Perpetual Fangirl – Review and Excerpt
Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review and Excerpt
Zili In The Sky – Review
August 17th
Ali’s Reviews and More – Review and Excerpt
Books are My Life – Review and Excerpt
K-Books – Review
Reads All the Books – Review and Excerpt
Words are Life – Excerpt
Cocktails and Books – Review and Excerpt
August 18th
a GREAT read – Review and Excerpt
Book Angel Booktopia – Review and Excerpt
Greyland Reviews – Review and Excerpt
Lisa Loves Literature – Review and Excerpt
Nose Stuck in a Book – Review and Excerpt
Simply Crystal – Excerpt
The Fancy Nerds – Review and Excerpt
August 19th
Alphas Do It Better Book Blog – Review and Excerpt
Becky on Books – Review and Excerpt
Declarations of a Fangirl – Review and Excerpt
Kiss and Tell Book Blog – Review and Excerpt
Literary Misfit – Excerpt
Reese's Reviews – Review and Excerpt
Saga Lux Spain – Review and Excerpt
Vera is Reading – Excerpt
August 20th
A Chick, Her A Dog and A Blog – Review and Excerpt
Books 2 Blog – Review and Excerpt
FOUR CHICKS FLIPPING PAGES – Review and Excerpt
Ginreads – Review
Incidental Inspiration – Review and Excerpt
JOJO THE BOOKAHOLIC – Review and Excerpt
The Blonde Book Lover – Review and Excerpt
Wicked Reads – Review and Excerpt
YA FANTASY WORLDS – Review and Excerpt
August 21st
A Fortress of Books – Review and Excerpt
Book Bite Reviews – Review and Excerpt
Kalli's Book Nook – Review and Excerpt
Milky Way of Books – Excerpt
Nerdy Soul – Review and Excerpt
Onceupon_a_bookdream – Review and Excerpt
Ruby's Books – Excerpt
August 22nd
All Things Dark & Dirty – Review and Excerpt
Jax's Book Magic – Excerpt
Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Review and Excerpt
The Bo0ki3 – Excerpt
The Heathers' Blog – Review and Excerpt
Travels N Reads – Excerpt
What's Beyond Forks? – Review and Excerpt
August 23rd
Book Crook Reviews – Excerpt
Book Enticer – Review and Excerpt
Dark Faerie Tales – Review and Excerpt
Literary Dust – Review and Excerpt
Mama Reads Blog – Review and Excerpt
Pages to Explore – Excerpt
The Book Dutchesses – Review and Excerpt
August 24th
Book Mania – Review and Excerpt
Buttercup’s Book Blog – Review and Excerpt
Cupcakesandbookshelves – Review and Excerpt
Fictionally Sam – Review and Excerpt
Romance Schmomance – Review and Excerpt
SA Clayton – Excerpt
The Lux Fangirl – Review and Excerpt






About Jennifer L Armentrout

# 1 New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.


Website | Facebook | Twitter

 


 

 

Wednesday, August 15

Review: The Exact Opposite of Okay

The Exact Opposite of Okay
Laura Steven

Published By: Electric Monkey
Publication Date: March 8, 2018
Date Read: July 2, 2018
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 335
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35817737-the-exact-opposite-of-okay

From Goodreads:
Izzy O’Neill is an aspiring comic, an impoverished orphan, and a Slut Extraordinaire. Or at least, that’s what the malicious website flying round the school says. Izzy can try all she wants to laugh it off – after all, her sex life, her terms – but when pictures emerge of her doing the dirty with a politician’s son, her life suddenly becomes the centre of a national scandal. Izzy’s never been ashamed of herself before, and she’s not going to start now. But keeping her head up will take everything she has...

"Look at Vaughan. He's done everything I've done. He drank beer, had sex, sent a nude picture. And he just got an offer from Stanford. Why is his life worth more than mine, just because he's rich and male?"

The Exact Opposite of Okay is a book that I discovered while at YALC 2017, and it was almost a year later when I finally started to read it. I wasn't entirely sure what I would think about this book. I am not a major lover of contemporary novels but after hearing such great things I knew I had to give this book a chance. I am so glad that I did.

The Exact Opposite of Okay follows Izzy, high school student who after a drunken night that ended in two hook-ups and then some nude pictures sent later than week finds herself dubbed the 'slut'. With a website dedicated to hating on her, Izzy finds herself in the midst of a sex scandal. Can she overcome all of the hate she is getting from her classmates? And just who is behind the website?

Honestly, I thought the first 100 pages of this book were pretty slow. There had to be something about it that kept me reading as usually if I'm not enjoying a book I put it down after 50-100 pages but with this one I kept going. It was slow to start but then once we hit the 100-page mark, and the existance of the website, I couldn't put it down. I was so taken up in this story and found myself loving it.

The Exact Opposite of Okay is hilarious. Told from the point of view of aspiring comedian, Izzy, she is completely hilarious and flawed. I loved this about Izzy. Not only did she make mistakes at the start (I mean, she did sleep with two people in one night, and one of them outside in public) but she kept making mistakes as she dealt with the backlash. She was flawed but she owned her mistakes and took the flack for them. It was really great to go through this journey with her and I really loved seeing her grow as a person without changing her whole personality.

The message behind this book is so amazingly important. It's been dubbed as a 'feminist' book and if that puts you off I urge you to give it a go. I usually avoid books that have been dubbed as such as I expect them to be overly man-hating feminism but this one isn't. It's all about equality and how men and women should be treated the same and how it's not okay for one of them to be congratulated for having a lot of sexual experiences and women knocked down for the same thing. It also tackles the important issues of bullying and cyber-bullying and about the effect that can have on someone's mental health... particularly teenagers. It's got such a great message throughout this book and I am so glad I read it.

I didn't really expect much from The Exact Opposite of Okay but I absolutely loved it. It's meaningful and hilarious. Everything you could ever want from a good summer read. If you're looking for a new contemporary to make you laugh then I highly recommend The Exact Opposite of Okay.

"What do I want to be now? Bold. Fierce. Honest. A fighter. A revolutionary. A bitch. Because the way the world treats teenage girls – as sluts, as objects, as bitches – is not okay. It’s the exact opposite of okay."


 

Saturday, August 11

2018 Challenge 4: Zoella Book Club Challenge

Hey Guys,
Welcome to my fourth challenge post. This challenge is...

~ Zoella Book Club Challenge ~

So, those of you in the UK will more than likely be aware that vlogger Zoella joined up with WHSmith to bring us a book club filled with lots of different YA books. So far there has been three rounds of the Zoella Book Club and I really want to read all of them. I own all of them so my challenge this year is to read as many of them as I can.


Books I've Read So Far:

Round 1:


Round 2:

Round 3:


Have you read any of these?
Let me know in the comments.






Wednesday, August 8

My Time At #YALC2018

Hey Guys,

So I have a super special post for you today. I'm going to tell you about my amazing time at YALC. For those of you who don't know YALC is the Young Adult Literature Convention which takes place each summer as part of London Film and Comic Con (LFCC). It is the highlight of my year every year.





The Authors

I had such an amazing time meeting so many incredible authors over the three days of YALC.

~ Friday ~

 On the Friday, I was delighted to go to signings with 4 different authors. First up was one of my all time favourite people on this planet. The amazing Non Pratt. It's not a YALC without Non and I always love seeing her every single time. I loved her novel Second Best Friend and I was so thrilled to be able to buy her new book Giant Days while at YALC. I cannot wait to read it.

Second up was a huge author that I was thrilled to finally be able to meet. Author of the incredible If I Stay, Gayle Forman. She was absolutely adorable and although her queue was a mile long she was super sweet and nice chatting to everyone.

 Up next was the amazing Alwyn Hamilton. She even thanked me for waiting considering I'd already waited and seen her for the previous two years. She's so nice and is always walking around the floor chatting to everyone while she is at YALC.

The final author I saw on the Friday was the amazing Kristina Perez. We chatted over the fact that she totally broke my heart with her book but how much I can't wait for the second book. She was so sweet.

~ Saturday~

Saturday was the craziest of the days for signings for me. There was so many I wanted to do and although I spent the day sat in queues it was so worth it.

 The first two authors I saw on Saturday was Holly Bourne and Laura Wood. Holly Bourne is a favourite of mine and I just had to tell her how much I adored her debut adult novel, How Do You Like Me Now? I highly recommend it.

Second was the amazing Laura Wood, debut author of A Sky Painted Gold. I just pretty much fangirled to her over her stunning novel that is a romance wrote beautifully in a Gatsby era. I adored it and she was so sweet. I love her!

Next up was Tomi Adeyemi and I was so so excited. I absolutely loved Children of Blood and Bone and I have no idea what I was saying to her here but she looks super happy and excited in this picture. We talked about how we both were pretty new to African mythology and how much I adored it.

Following my super awesome chat with Tomi, I went and met the amazing Dhionelle, author of The Belles. I really loved The Belles and Dhionelle was super sweet. I can't wait for her next Belles book.

 The final authors of Saturday was Tom and Giovanna Fletcher and Laura Steven. Tom and Gi had the biggest signing queue I had ever seen. It had been ticketed till well over 300. It was insane but still they were super sweet and talkative and I just had to tell them how much I adored Eve of Man.

The final author of the day was the super adorable Laura Steven, author of The Exact Opposite of Okay. I'm not a big fan of YA Contemporary usually but I finished this book in one sitting and Laura even remembered my review from twitter. EEP.

~ Sunday~

 On Sunday I only actually did two signings as I was pretty exhausted by that point. I met the absolutely beautiful Juno Dawson. She is such an inspiration and is so kind and thoughtful.

The second was the great Vic James. She was so nice and took time to chat to everyone who was in her queue was great. I can't wait to read Bright Ruin, the final book in her trilogy.


The Bloggers / Friends

I managed to catch up with quite a few amazing blogger friends at YALC this year. I absolutely loved spending so much time with Chelley. We ended up staying in the same hotel this year so ended up having breakfast together most days and it was just lovely having some chill time with her.

I also managed to catch up with some other awesome bloggers, including two of my blogger besties Donna and Jess. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get many pictures with them but thanks to all the bloggers and readers who made my weekend amazing.





The Books
 


So... I went a little bit crazy over the weekend but the publishers had so many amazing deals on. My favourite was Harper who had so many amazing US Fantasy Hardback books for the amazing deal of 2 for £12. It also didn't help that on the Sunday afternoon they reduced them to £5 each. I just couldn't resist. I ended up coming home with an additional 14 books. Oops.




And Comic Con

One of the best things about YALC is that fact that it is part of London Film and Comic Con. Every year we always have one celebrity who is just always walking around YALC and this year it was the person who I was going to see anyway. Jason Momoa.... insert squals and happiness and swooning here. Seriously guys, he is the most beautiful person I've ever seen in my life so I am going to sign off and leave you with some amazing pictures of the God that is Jason Momoa *heart eyes*





Were you at YALC? Let me know how much you loved it too.