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."


Wednesday, October 17

Review: In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3)

In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3)
Alexandra Bracken

Published By: Quercus
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Date Read: August 15, 2018
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 592 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32987568-in-the-afterlight

From Goodreads:
Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

"The thing is...what they don’t tell you about forgiveness is this—you don’t give it for the other person’s sake, but your own."

After devouring Never Fade, the second book in the amazing The Darkest Minds trilogy, I couldn't wait to read the third and final book of Ruby's story. I have just been completely taken away by this series and I was dying to find out how it was all going to play out. I have to say though In the Afterlight is most definitely my least favourite book in the series. I was really disappointed in this one.

In the Afterlight picks up where Never Fade left off, with Ruby and what is left of the Childrens League in hiding trying to shut down the camps. Honestly, I found the first half of this book so slow and boring. It took me so long to read this book as I was just bored and couldn't find any motivation to actually read this book. The first 200 or so pages are so slow-going and it wasn't until after that that it picked up a bit. After that I started to enjoy it so much more and honestly thought the end of this was a perfect ending to the series.

In the Afterlight has a very open ending but I honestly loved that. It made sense to me that not absolutely everything was wrapped up. After everything that happened in the series it wasn't realistic that everything would be wrapped up nicely and I thought it was perfect. I most definitely shed a few tears at the ending of this book. It was very emotional and perfect.

I have really enjoyed this series and I am really excited that there is a follow-up that had just released. Due to me struggling with this one though I am going to have a break before reading The Darkest Legacy. If you love YA Dystopia novels I highly recommend this series. I really enjoyed it and I am so glad that I finally read it. A brilliant ending.

"I love you. With my whole heart. My whole life, however long I'm lucky enough to get, nothing will change for me."


Saturday, October 13

Review: Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2)

Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2)
Alexandra Bracken

Published By: Quercus
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Date Read: August 8, 2018
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 560
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32987582-never-fade

From Goodreads:
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

"Oh, I'm sorry, apparently the middle of my sentence interrupted the beginning of yours. Do continue."

After finishing reading The Darkest Minds I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen in the next book. I couldn't help but jump straight into Never Fade and I actually loved it way, way more than the first book. I couldn't put Never Fade down and couldn't read this one fast enough. It is far, far superior to The Darkest Minds in my opinion.

Never Fade picks up right where book 1 left off, following Ruby as she joins the Childrens League and is seperated from Liam, Chubs and Zu. Ruby is sent on special ops in order to help their cause but when she is sent on one to find Liam and bring back important information that he is carrying everything Ruby knows and believes is put into question. Can she really find Liam and then leave him again? And is the League everything that she believes it to be?

I loved Never Fade and I mean... LOVED IT! I really enjoyed The Darkest Minds but honestly that was nothing compared to this book. I couldn't put Never Fade down. I was so captured by this book, particularly by the new characters. Right from the start I absolutely loved Jude. He is such a sweet kid and he was most definitely the relief from all of the serious heart-wrenching goings on. With Vida, it took me a while to like her. Initially I didn't like her or trust her at all but the more I read the more I started to like her. Especially, when she meets Chubs, I loved their relationship.

Never Fade was a major journey for so many of the characters in this book. These characters are not the same ones as we met at the beginning of The Darkest Minds. They have developed into stronger and more intelligent characters throughout the two books. Ruby is so much more kick-ass and I loved seeing her taking charge and embracing her powers in order to save Liam. I really missed Zu in this one though. Although in the first book she didn't speak at all her presence was really missed in this one.

Never Fade was action packed and fast paced and I couldn't put it down. I absolutely loved every single second of this book and I cannot wait to get started on the third book to see what happens. I'm also hopeful that we will get some answers as to what happened to cause the disease. Roll on book 3. This was a stunning follow-up and my hopes for book 3 are exceptionally high.

"I think I'm losing it—I don't know what's happening, what happened, but I look at you, I look at you, and I love you so much. Not because of anything you've said, or done, or anything at all. I look at you, and I just love you, and it terrifies me. It terrifies me what I would do for you."

Wednesday, October 10

Review: The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1)

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1)
Alexandra Bracken

Published By: Quercus
Publication Date: November 17, 2016
Date Read: August 2, 2018
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 528
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32987594-the-darkest-minds

From Goodreads:
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

"They were never scared of the kids who might die, or the empty spaces they would leave behind. They were afraid of us-the ones who lived."

The Darkest Minds is a book that has been on my radar for so long. I have tried listening to the audio edition of this book about three times in the past few years and never made it past the first few chapters. Not because the book wasn't good or I didn't like the narrator just because I end up listening for a little while and then not finding much time to listen. After seeing the movie advertised I decided it was time for me to finally read this book and I am really glad that I did. I really enjoyed reading The Darkest Minds.

The Darkest Minds follows the story of Ruby, one of the few children that have survived the IAAN disease. The children that survived have powers, and they are put into camps and worked to the bone in order to stop them from using their powers. After 6 years in the worst camp of them all, Thurmond, Ruby finds herself on the outside and not knowing who to trust. Ruby finds herself on the run with a group of other kids searching for East River, the only place kids can live safe and free.

I loved the storyline of The Darkest Minds. I am a huge fan of YA Dystopia series so this one was definitely a good book for me. I loved the background of the disease that killed the kids and how the government responded to the dangerous kids that were left. I have read so many dystopia series that are set a few years after the apocolyptic thing has happened so I really enjoyed being able to see what and how things had happened first-hand.

I loved so many of the characters in this series. Ruby is our narrator and I really enjoyed experiencing all the goings-on through her eyes. I've seen a lot of people complain about Ruby as a character and state that she was too naive and stupid and too trusting to people but I loved her. I mean, yes she is naive and believes people when she probably shouldn't but in my eyes she was 10 years old when she was put into Thurmond and she didn't really grow up much in her time there. So although she is 16 when everything starts happening I see her more like a 10 year old in a 16 year olds body.

I loved some of the secondary characters too. Chubs is probably my favourite, he was just amazing and I loved how much he changed in this book. From the untrusting companion to the one who believed in Ruby the most by the end. Chubs' best friend Liam gives us the romance element of the novel and I was so on board with this. Liam is just adorable and sweet and I just loved him and Ruby together.

The Darkest Minds was a fast-paced, non-stop journey and I really enjoyed every single moment. I couldn't read this book fast enough. I loved the world building, the characters and the writing style. My one complaint isn't actually anything to do with the story itself but more so the UK edition has so many spelling and grammar errors in it. Now usually I can read past these fine but there was so many of them and I found them so distracting. It really affected my enjoyment of this book.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Darkest Minds and I can't wait to see what is going to happen. The ending is so sad and really tugged on my heart-strings. I can't wait to read Never Fade and see what is going to happen to these characters that I love.

"Ruby, give me one reason why we can’t be together, and I’ll give you a hundred why we can. We can go anywhere you want. I’m not your parents. I’m not going to abandon you or send you away, not ever."


Saturday, October 6

Halloween Challenge: October TBR


Hey Guys,
So since October is my favourite month and Halloween my favourite holiday I am challenging myself this month to read as many Halloween-y books as I can. Now due to work I am being realistic and have picked out 4 Halloween-eske books to read. These are the books I'm hoping to read in the next 3 weeks.


Have you read any of them?
Which should I start with?
Any other recommendations that I just MUST read?




Wednesday, October 3

Wrap Up: September 2018


Hey Guys,
Can you believe it's October already? WOOHOO!! October is my favourite month... why? It's Halloween. My favourite holiday of the year. I can't wait. Anyway, September was a pretty shitty month reading wise for me... It always is as I'm still getting used to the demands of my new teaching timetable for this year but I'm hoping I will get some more awesome books read this month.

Book Haul:

Hardcopies:


Bought:

Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire LeGrand

For Review:

Roar by Cecelia Ahern

E-Books:

Bought:


For Review:

 


Books Read in September 2018:


Sawkill Girls by Claire LeGrand - 4 Stars
The Darkest Star (Origin #1) by Jennifer L Armentrout - 5 Stars
If I Should Die (Revenants #3) by Amy Plum - 5 Stars

Reviews Posted in September 2018:

Sweet Black Waves (Sweet Black Waves #1) by Kristina Perez
The Dark Princess (Balance #3) by Janelle Stalder
A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood
Red Queen Novellas (Red Queen #0.1/0.2) by Victoria Aveyard
Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard
Sawkill Girls by Claire LeGrand
The Darkest Star (Origin #1) by Jennifer L Armentrout


Top Book of the Month:

As I've only read 3 books this month, rather than a top 3 I am just going to share my favourite read of this month which was.....





What did you read this month?
What was your favourite?
Let me know in the comments.