Saturday, December 8

Calling Out For... YA Christmas Books

Hey Guys,
So today's post is a little bit different, and it's super short.

I want you to tell me all your recommendations for some Christmas-themed YA books.

I absolutely love YA books, they're pretty much all I read and as it's December *WOOP* I'm really in the mood for some Christmas-themed YA books. My only problem is that I am not a bit lover of Contemporary and Soppy Romances. You see my issue? Most of the YA Christmas books I can find are Contemporary Books.

Any suggestions?


Wednesday, December 5

Wrap Up: November 2018


It's DECEMBER!!!!
Woop!!!
I'm so excited. This is without a doubt my favourite time of year. I love all the Christmas decorations and lights and it's just amazing. In three weeks time, not only does one of my best friends get married but I also get two whole weeks off work that I can fill with reading. The only thing I don't really like about this time of the year is this horrendous flu bug I am currently suffering from. *sad face* But I will survive. On to my November in books.

Book Haul:

Hardcopies:


For Review:

Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox #1) by Julie Kagawa

Gifted:

Unknown (Unknown #1) by Wendy Higgins
Unrest (Unknown #2) by Wendy Higgins
Undone (Unknown #3) by Wendy Higgins

Illumicrate Books:

Wild Magic (Immortals #1) by Tamora Pierce
Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean 

E-Books:
Bought:


 Lady Thief (Scarlet #2) by AC Gaughen
Lion Heart (Scarlet #3) by AC Gaughen

Books Read In November 2018:


Angel Arias (Night Creatures #2) by Marianne de Pierres - DNF
Bright Ruin (Dark Gifts #3) by Vic James - 4 Stars
Lady Thief (Scarlet #2) by AC Gaughen - 4 Stars

Review Posted in November 2018:


Top Book of November 2018:

Since I only read 3 books in November there will be no top 3 but just my favourite read of the month which is...

So that was my month in books... how was your month? Let me know.


Wednesday, November 28

Review: Lady Thief (Scarlet #2)

Lady Thief (Scarlet #2)
AC Gaughen

Published By: Walker
Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Date Read: November 18, 2018
Genre: YA - Retelling
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16181630-lady-thief

From Goodreads:
Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.

"Don't let a few silly truths muddle up a good story."

I am such a huge fan of fairytale retellings. Some of my favourite novels and series are retellings. I remember reading the first book in this series, Scarlet, forever ago and I absolutely loved it. It was the first, and only, retelling of Robin Hood that I have read. I'm not entirely sure why I didn't continue it straight away but I finally picked up Lady Thief as part of my 'finish ongoing series challenge' and I am so very glad that I did. I really enjoyed Lady Thief and it cemented this series as one of my favourite retellings.

Lady Thief follows the story of Scarlet after her identity has been found out, that she is in fact noblewoman Lady Marion. Suddenly thrust into the light of a noble court Scarlet has to fake who she is once more in order to save her people and be with the one who truly has her heart, Robin Hood. But things will never be that easy for them and as Prince John comes to Nottingham things are about to get that much more dangerous.

Lady Thief was a little bit slower in pace than Scarlet was, in my opinion. This didn't take away any of my enjoyment of this book but it did take me a little bit longer to get through it. I am a firm believer in 'middle book syndrome' with trilogies and I think that's what this one suffered from a little. It was slower and putting pieces into place for the final book of the series. However, once you get past 50% it does pick up a lot and I found it difficult to put down from that moment.

Lady Thief is filled with secrets, lies and theft... I loved it. I loved getting back into the story with these incredible characters. I'm a big fan of the story of Robin Hood so naturally I would love a retelling of this particular tale. It was wrote with a fantastic narrative, helped by the incredible narrator of Scarlet. Once I got part way through I couldn't put the book down and I wasn't expected so many things that happened.

I loved Lady Thief. It was a fantastic follow-up to Scarlet, and I cannot wait to get started on the third and final book. The ending left me reeling and I am dying to find out what is going to happen. I highly recommend this incredible series. If you're a fan of retellings and in particular of Robin Hood this is definitely the series for you. I'll be jumping straight into Lion Heart. I applaud AC Gaughen so much of weaving such a perfect and beautiful tale. I can't wait to see what happens next.

"You can always fight for what you want. Always. People try to take that from you no matter your station, but you can always fight."


 

Saturday, November 24

5 Series That Are A Must-Read

Hey Guys,
So today I'm going to talk about the five series that have stuck with me the most. I read so many series, I would say that around 95% of the books that I read are series. I just love that you have the continuation of the characters and that the story has further to go than just the one 300+ pages. No matter how many series I read however, these are the five that still stick with me as my favourites.

1. Harry Potter by JK Rowling

Anyone who knows me will not be surprised in the slightest to see Harry Potter first on this list. I completely live and breathe Harry Potter. This one will always have the top spot in my heart. The first book came out when I was 6 years old and I remember reading it a few years later when I was 10. It really stemmed my love of reading and turned me into a complete booknerd. I grew up with this series and there was nothing more exciting than waiting for the next Harry Potter book. I still to this day regularly re-read the books because they are just perfect and wonderful and will continue to be my favourite series of all time forever. Always!

2. Covenant/Titan Series by Jennifer L Armentrout

Covenant series is one of my favourite series of all time and I have read it about 6 or 7 times already and it's only been out for 7 years. I love Greek Mythology and for this book to be an incredible action-packed story filled to the brim with Greek Gods was enough for me to fall head -over-heels in love with it. Plus, it is the series that stemmed my love (border-line obsession) with the incredible Jennifer L Armentrour. Also, there is Aiden St Delphi in this series... enough said.



3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Over the last few years I have become completely obsessed with YA Fantasy novels, and one of the reasons is definitely Sarah J Maas. Although it started with Throne of Glass, ACOTAR is definitely one of my all-time favourite series. It's filled with different worlds, magic and romance and it started as a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, my favourite fairytale. I loved it so so much. I will continue to re-read this series over and over and never get bored of it. 




4. Elemental Series by Brigid Kemmerer

I adore Brigid Kemmerer books. They are amazing and beautiful and incredible. Storm was the very first of her books that I read and as someone who will always prefer fantasy/magical books over contemporary this will always be my fave series of hers. I loved the Elementals series and have read it many, many times. I loved every single novel, and novella from this series. I will always recommend this series.




5. Eden Series by Janelle Stalder

Eden was one of the very first fantasy books that I read and I absolutely adored it. It's filled with fantastic characters, an amazing world and some heart-stopping romance. I loved this so so much and have, once again, re-read this one so many times. If you love fantasy, I highly recommend the Eden series 💝💝💝





Have you read any of my favourite series? What are some of yours?


Wednesday, November 21

Review: Bright Ruin (Dark Gifts #3)

Bright Ruin (Dark Gifts #3)
Vic James

Published By: Macmillan
Publication Date: July 26, 2018
Date Read: November 4, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 484
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36578439-bright-ruin

From Goodreads:
A gripping Orwellian vision of Britain, with a rebellious Hunger Games heart, Bright Ruin is the third and final title in Vic James’s electrifying Dark Gifts Trilogy, following Tarnished City.

A shattered country
A world-changing magic

Magically gifted aristocrats rule Britain, and the people must serve them. But rebellion now strikes at the heart of the old order. Abi has escaped public execution, thanks to an unexpected ally. Her brother Luke is on the run with Silyen Jardine, the most mysterious aristocrat of all. And as political and magical conflicts escalate, each must decide how far they’ll go for their beliefs.

Dragons clash in the skies, as two powerful women duel for the soul of Britain. A symbol of government will blaze as it dies, and doors between worlds will open – and close forever. But the battle within human hearts will be the fiercest of all.

"History only appeared inevitable because it was written in a world where it had already happened."

Bright Ruin was a book that I was simultaneously dying to read but also dreading it. I started reading this incredible series earlier this year and although it was a lot darker than I was expecting, I was sucked into this world and I loved every moment of it. I couldn't wait to see how it was all going to end but at the same time I was expecting not everyone to survive and was terrified at what was going to happen. Bright Ruin was everything I could have wanted and more, I loved every single moment of it.

Bright Ruin follows the story of Luke and his family once again as everything comes to its epic conclusion. Once again Vic James' fantastic writing style sucked me in and I couldn't put it down. I ended up reading the entire thing within two days. I just couldn't stop reading. Bright Ruin is a fast-paced and heartbreaking conclusion to the series. My head was reeling with everything that was happening and I just couldn't guess what was going to happen next.

I adored everything about this series and Bright Ruin left me feeling amazed, relieved but also slightly heartbroken. This book brought out all my emotions, I was happy, sad and utterly devastated. I cried my eyes out at many parts of this book. I hate crying at books but it just showed what a fantastic storyteller Vic James is to be able to bring about that level of emotion. Bright Ruin was fantastic and a rollercoaster ride of emotion that I adored.

The Dark Gifts series is truly one of the most incredible tales I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Vic James really can weave a fantastic story. I was left with so many questions still and I am holding on the hope that there will be a spin off. Don't get me wrong the ending was a fanastic conclusion to this current story but I do feel like there is still so much left to tell in this incredible world and I am hoping that Vic James decided to continue it at some point in the future. If you love a realistic dystopia story with a touch of magic then this series is for you and I highly recommend it. It is a series that I will re-read time and time again. A must-read!

"People claimed love was the supreme human experience. Silyen begged to differ. The greatest gift was wonder."


 

Saturday, November 17

Five Series I've Abandoned

Hey Guys,
So today's post is about some series that I started and for some reason or another decided not to continue with. There's actually quite a lot of series that I have abandoned over the years so these are just a few that immediately popped into my head when thinking about series I've abandoned.

The House of Night Series by PC and Kristin Cast

Back when I was at college when I was about 16, I came across this series. I had just finished reading Twilight and was on a bit of a YA Vampire series binge. I actually loved the first few books of this series and I actually ended up reading it for years. I actually got to around book 8, which at the time was supposed to be the last and then it was announced there was more. Usually I would be all for this but honestly it just felt like it was getting dragged out a little bit. I decided to just give up on the series.



The Dark Swan Series by Richelle Mead

This is another series that I got part way through and although I loved it just never continued and ended up not reading the ending. I adore Richelle Mead... she is one of my all time favourite authors and when I read the first two books in the Dark Swan series, I adored them. But, I am more of a YA reader and the more I kpet these books on my shelves 'just in case', the more I just wanted to read other things. If I had read the final two books closer together then I do think I'd have loved them... but due to the years and years of not really reading much adult UF novels, I just didn't have any motivation or intention to continue with them.

The Noughts and Crosses Series by Malorie Blackman

Now, this series I abandoned for a totally different reason. I adored Noughts and Crosses. This story has stayed with me for years and years. I read it about 12 years ago, and I remember it vividly. I loved it. The reason I didn't continue is that this book completely and utterly destroyed me. I remember sitting at age 16, after finishing this book in one sitting, sobbing for hours. I couldn't stop and it just completely destroyed me. Due to that, I decided not to put myself through anymore emotional trauma and not continue with the series. 



The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning

Now, I adore this series. I love it so so so much. It's one of the only adult series that I loved. To me, this series doesn't really belong on this list. In my eyes, this series ended with book 5, and I read them all. KMM wrote a 'spin off' with other characters that turned into coming back to the original characters. I didn't continue after book 6 so I guess I techniucally abandoned it. However, I adored the first 5 books and will continue to re-read them as they are completely amazing.


The Shatter Me Series by Taherah Mafi

This series just makes me really sad. I read Shatter Me when it first released and I absolutely loved it. I loved the world, the characters (well, some of them) and the writing. Then I read book 2 and I just wasn't as big of a fan of it. The characers that I loved changed completely into different people. And one of the characters I hated... like seriously HATED as he's a freaking psychopath because a love interest.... erm.... I don't think so! After reading the novella that came after book 2, which changed my favourite character into someone I felt, in the first book he was not, I decided to give up on the series.


Are there any series here you've read? Should I go back and give them another chance? Let me know!


Wednesday, November 14

Non-Review: Angel Arias (Night Creatures #2)

Angel Arias (Night Creatures #2)
Marianne de Pierres

Published By: Random House
Publication Date: October 3, 2011
Date Read: November 2, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 270
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9643469-angel-arias

From Goodreads:
Retra - now called Naif - has escaped from Ixion, the island of ever-night. She doesn't know if her friends on the island survived the battle between the Ripers and the rebels. But she does know that she must return home, behind the sealed walls of Grave, to find out why the Ripers have been seen there talking to the councillors. What links the two worlds?

First she must convince Ruzalia to help her. The fierce pirate captain saves those who face terrible fates on Ixion, but that doesn't guarantee their gratitude. Instead, she faces a revolt - and Naif is caught in the middle.

Naif will need all her courage to survive. For Lenoir, who wants to keep her safe, for her friends Suki and Rollo, if they live, for Markes, who has secrets of his own, and for the new friends she will make on this journey.

The fate of worlds depends on it.

Night Creatures is a series I have had on my shelf for what feels like forever. I read the first book, Burn Bright, around six years ago and really enjoyed it. It was strange and dark and just a bit different from anything else I had ever read. I don't now why I didn't continue with the series but something just stopped me from continuing.

Recently, I've been on a series catch-up challenge and so finally picked up Angel Arias. I really wish I could say that I loved it... I really wanted to love it. But I just... didn't. It was slow and boring. I found myself not really caring about what was happening and decided to make the sad decision to DNF this series. I really wish I had liked this one as much as the first but it was just too slow for my liking.

If you like unique and interesting books and don't mind a slow paced book then I recommend this series, but if you're like me and get bored easily, give this one a miss.