Wednesday, December 31

Early Review: The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Curse #2)

The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy #1)
Marie Rutkoski

Published By: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Date Read: December 23, 2014
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: eARC For Review
Format: E-Book
 photo goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47_zps3cd819f5.png

From Goodreads:
Lady Kestrel's engagement to Valoria's crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust ...

While Arin fights to keep his country's freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth.

Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner's trilogy.

I was one of the very minority who didn't really like The Winner's Curse. I was so disappointed with it and spend the majority of it bored out of my mind. However I did really like the ending so I decided to take a chance with the sequel. The Winner's Crime was much like the first book in this series, a big disappointment to me.

The Winner's Crime started off so well and I was realy positive about it. I kept thinking how much better this was from the first one already (within the first 50 pages) and then as I started to read more and more the more disengaged I became from the story. I had started off so interested and happy because there was actually things happening and then as I got closer to the 100 page mark the less things were happening and I became bored stupid... AGAIN!

I am so beyond disappointed in this series. I wanted to love it so much. It had the recipe for something that I would love but the execution of what could have been a fantastic story lacked. I just couldn't get through this book because I was too bored and I really had no interest in reading any more. I didn't want to pick up the book and found every excuse I could not to read it.

The Winner's Trilogy is a very character-centred story and Marie, as fantastic as her writing is, spends the majority of her time world-building and building up her characters and, for me, not enough time with the plot and having things actually happen to further the characters and their story. I was far too bored. As a plot-driven reader this is definitely not the series for me.

PS, Am I the only one who is irritated as hell by the apostrophes in the titles? It doesn't need to be there as it would read The Winner Is Curse or The Winner Is Crime... THAT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!!!!!

Tuesday, December 30

Review: The Winner's Curse

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1)
Marie Rutkoski

Published By: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: July 3, 2014
Date Read: December 21, 2014
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
 photo goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47_zps3cd819f5.png

From Goodreads:
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction.

Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

The Winner's Curse is without a doubt the most frustrating book I have ever read. I had been dying to read this book since I first heard about it. It sounded to intriguing and interesting and look at that cover... it's beautiful. I had heard such great things about this book and after finishing this book I can't help but think and feel like I'm just missing something. Did I read a different book to everyone else?

The Winner's Curse is the story of Kestrel. Kestrel has a mighty choice on her hands. She must decide whether she should marry or join the military. But Kestral can't help but think that there must be something more than those choices. And as Kestral grows closer to the forbidden slave Kestral knows that she wants to choose neither. But can she follow her heart or is there something more dangerous destined for her?

I so, so, so wanted to love this book. I am such a massive fan of YA Fantasy books and this one sounded amazing. Marie Rutkoski's writing style is absolutely fantastic. It is so easy to get lost in the story and her characterisation and world-building skills are phenomenal! This just makes me wish I had liked this book more.

The characters were pretty good. I really liked Kestral, she is all kinds of awesome and kick-ass and defiance. I loved that. She was a fantastic protagonist to follow. Arin on the other hand I just didn't get. I didn't like him... like AT ALL! He was rude, arrogant and just all round an arsehole! I didn't find anything likable for him and when he is the lead male character that is a problem. I found myself loving Kestral's best friends brother Ronan way more. He was sweet, attentive and just wonderful. Why couldn't she like him? Probably because that wouldn't have been a very 'fantasy action-packed, forbidden-love' story! The only time I liked Arin was right at the very end.

My main problem with this book is nothing happened... like at all! Until maybe 250 pages in. As I've mentioned the writing is fantastic and I liked the majority of the characters but absolutely nothing happened for the majority of the book. I was just plodding along getting through pages as fast as I could bored out of my mind waiting for something to happen. All I kept thinking was something has got to happen! Right? Well it did... in the last 100 pages. And those pages were fantastic! I loved the ending... it was great! But it should not have taken that long for something to happen. The ending really showed me that Marie can write a great story but it took 250 pages to get there and I shouldn't have had to wait that long. Honestly if I hadn't have had the second book in this series for review then I wouldn't have even finished it. I normally DNF books at aroung 100 pages if I am bored... and the shame is that the ending was fantastic!

The Winner's Curse was very much a let down for me, but the ending was great. And it is the ending alone why I am continuing with the series and reading book 2. I really hope that it is better than this one because I was so disappointed with this.

Monday, December 29

I Still Haven't Read...

So with this being the last Monday of the year this week's I Still Haven't Read is an update on how well I am doing with reading these books since I started this meme. This has been running for 16 months and I have featured the following books...

And now on to the update. Here are the titles that I have read from the list. Click on the cover to go to my review of that title.

I'm quite pleased that since starting this meme late 2013 I've knocked these books from my TBR pile. Here is to a book filled 2015 and knocking more off my TBR.

Friday, December 26

Top 10 of 2014: Top 10 2015 Books I Can't Wait For

Hey Guys,
Welcome to the last post of Top 10 of 2014.
If you've missed my posts this week check them out...
CLICK HERE for my Top 10 Books of 2014
CLICK HERE for my Top 10 Book Covers of 2014
CLICK HERE for my Top 10 Contemporary Books of 2014
CLICK HERE for my Top 10 Book Boyfriends of 2014

And today I am going to share with you my Top 10 Books I'm Looking Forward To in 2015

~ Top 10 2015 Books I Can't Wait For ~

10. The Girl At Midnight (The Girl At Midnight #1) by Melissa Grey

Due For Release: April 18th
Genre: YA - Fantasy

So, this is kind of a cheat... I'm not looking forward to it because I've already had the pleasure of reading it but seriously it is so freaking amazing I cannot wait for all my friends to read it when it releases because it is just amazing. It's absolutely phenomenal and it would be higher on this list if I hadn't already read it. Such a good 2015 debut.

9. Unleashed (Uninvited #2) by Sophie Jordan

Due For Release: February 24th
Genre: YA - Dystopia

I absolutely fell in love with Uninvited when it released. It was such a fantastic start to a awesome dystopia duology. I cannot wait to see what happens to the characters that I fell in love with. I have no doubts it's going to be awesome and I can't wait to see the conclusion of this amazing, original and unique story idea. I cannot wait.

8. An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir

Due For Release: April 8th
Genre: YA - Fantasy

In 2015 I am determined to read more debuts as I always get to the end of the year and realise I didn't really read many debuts. This is a 2015 debut I cannot wait for. I never used to be a bit fantasy fan but Sarah J Maas changed that and now I can't get enough of YA Fantasy. This one sounds absolutely amazing and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

7. The Sin Eater's Daughter (The Sin Eater's Daughter #1) by Melinda Salisbury

Due For Release: February 24th
Genre: YA - Fantasy

This is another 2015 debut that I cannot wait for. I mean look at that cover. It's absolutely stunning. It's so gorgeous I naturally wanted to read it just for the cover but this YA Fantasy sounds absolutely phenomenal. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy.

6. Invaded (Alienated #2) by Melissa Landers

Due For Release: February 3, 2014
Genre: YA - Sci-Fi

Alienated was one of my favourite books of 2014. I absolutely loved it and I adore alien books. It was a really unique take on aliens and I cannot wait to see what is going to happen to the characters that I started to love... especially after that cliffhanger of an ending that Alienated left us with. There's no doubt in my mind that this book will be anything short of amazing. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy.
 5. The Return (Titan #1) / Every Last Breath (Dark Elements #3) by Jennifer L Armentrout

Due For Release: February 17th / July 28th
Genre: NA - Paranormal Mythology / YA - Paranormal

This is a little bit of a cheat this one. I've already read and reviewed The Return but it was absolutely amazing and I can't wait for everyone else to read it. I also wanted to include Every Last Breath but I like to only include one book per author and ELB doesn't have a cover yet but I can't wait for that series to reach it's conclusion.

4. The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer #2) by Elizabeth May

Due For Release: September 17th
Genre: YA - Fantasy

I have been waiting for this book for like forever. The Falconer released in September 2013. Ok so I didn't read it until early 2014 but that is so not the point. The Falconer was absolutely stunningly amazing and the ending was evil! It was the biggest cliffhanger I've possibly ever read so I am counting down the days till I can read this one.

3. Ensnared (Splintered #3) by A.G Howard

Due For Release: January 6th
Genre: YA - Fairytale Retelling

OMG the final book in the Splintered series. I am so excited I can barely wait. It's going to be so epically amazing. I need to find out what my Morpheus has been up to. Coming from someone who doesn't like the original Alice story this is one of my favourite series of all time. I can't wait to see how it all ends. #TeamMorpheusFTW

2. Collide (The Taking #2) by Melissa West

Due For Release: February 9th
Genre: YA - Sci-Fi

Melissa West is one of my favourite authors of all time and I am so excited to read the conclusion of this series. It's one of my favourite series of all time and it is such an action-packed amazing series. As sad as I will be to see it go I am so excited, as I am with every Melissa West book. They are so good and I cannot wait to get my hands on this one.

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J Maas

Due For Release: May 5th
Genre: YA - Fantasy

Sarah J Maas is one of my favourite authors of all time. She is the author who turned me from a person who doesn't really like fantasy books to someone who is obsessed with them. 
She drew me in completely with her debut Throne of Glass and I have devoured each and every one of her books to date. There are no words to explain my excitement for the start of her new series. I just know it's going to be phenomenal.

I am so excited to actually have an ARC of this in my hands right now. I will definitely be reading this over Christmas and New Year.

That's it guys! My Top 10 2015 Books I Can't Wait For!
Let me know if you agree with any of my choices... leave me a comment.

Join me on New Years Day for my Top 10 Breakthrough Authors of the year. This is authors who are new to me who I fell in love with this year.

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year everyone. Lots of holiday love,

Thursday, December 25

Top 10 of 2014: Top 10 Book Boyfriends of 2014

Hey Guys,
Welcome to the fourth day of Top 10 of 2014.
If you've missed my previous 3 posts check them out...
CLICK HERE for my Top 10 Books of 2014
CLICK HERE for my Top 10 Book Covers of 2014
CLICK HERE for my Top 10 Contemporary Books of 2014

Now today I'm going to share with you my Top 10 Book Boyfriends of 2014. I've cheated a little bit here and done my own take on it. Not all of these books are from books PUBLISHED in 2014 but ones I have READ in 2014.

~ Top 10 Book Boyfriends of 2014 ~

10. Logan from Mythos Academy Series by Jennifer Estep

I fell head over heels all over again for everyones favourite Spartan, Logan. I started reading this series all over again and read book 2, 3 and 4 for the first time this year and I forgot how wonderful, sweet and swoony Logan was... even if he does have his douchey moments. I can't wait to finish this series very soon and read more about Logan.

 9. Noah from Soulmated by Holly Bourne

Noah is the sweetest, kindest most amazing character you could ever imagine. It was so easy to fall in love with him while reading this book he is pretty much the perfect guy. 
Which just makes the ending of this book that much heartbreaking. I will love you Noah <3 p="">

8. Wesley from Heart of Dread Series by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnson

Wesley is kind of a dick... in the start but the more of Frozen I read the more I started loving him. He is making the best for himself and his friends in the worst living conditions. And he really turns into a sweetie. I can't wait to read more of him in the second book of this series when it releases.

7. Brandon from The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris

Brandon... best friend turned boyfriend. What's not to love? Brandon is just an absolute sweetheart. He has always loved Alyssa before she went through the makeover and was oh so protective over her. I just loved him the more and more that I read. He's just so awesome.

6. Cole from White Rabbit Chronicles Series by Gena Showalter

Cole... bad-ass, kick-ass zombie slayer... 'Nuff said!

5. Finn from Swimming to Tokyo by Brenda St John Brown

Finn... serious bad boy trying to get away from his dangerous label that's been put on him since he made his mistakes. What's not to love in Finn? He is a bad boy turning into a good guy. He is everything a girl would love in a book boyfriend.

4. Colt from Miles from Kara by Melissa West

Colt is the guy everyone will love. Smexy, hot and protective. He just made me fall more and more in love with him the more of this book I read. Definitely the best Melissa West boy to date!

 3. Caius from The Girl At Midnight by Melissa Grey

Ok so this is my total cheat, The Girl at Midnight is a 2015 release but I was lucky enough to get an ARC and I fell head over heels for Caius. He's the 'bad guy' but he is so not. The more you read the more you see his nicer side and I just loved him. It's really not a romance this book but I really want a romance with Caius in the sequel. I adore him!

2. Chaol from Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas

Chaol! Chaol! Chaol! I fell head over heels in love with Chaol in the first book and the more I read the more I love him. He is without a doubt one of the best book boyfriends ever!

1. Seth from The Titan Series by Jennifer L Armentrout

So this is yet another cheat as this book isn't out until February but I read this year so it totally counts! 
Now my lovely friends and followers don't have a heart attack okay. I know, I know, I know! I totally hated Seth with a passion in Jen's Covenant Series but after reading the first book in the spin-off series I am officially in love with Seth. I know I'm late to the party but better late than never right? He is so wonderful in this book and I can't wait for more in the next book. I am in love with the cuddle-bunny!

So that's it... my Top 10 Book Boyfriends from the books I've read in 2014. What were yours? Let me know by leaving me a comment.
Stop by tomorrow for the LAST Top 10 of 2014 post... The Books I'm most looking forward to in 2015

Wednesday, December 24

Top 10 of 2014: Top 10 Contemporary Books of 2014

Hey Guys,
Welcome to Day 3 of the Top 10 of 2014. If you missed my first few posts:
CLICK HERE for my Top 10 Books of 2014
CLICK HERE for my Top 10 Book Covers of 2014

Now to today's post. This was the post where we could choose from; Villians, Contemporaries, Duel POVs, Novellas, Adult, NA, Love Triangles, Couples, Bad Boys and Debuts.
This year I read a hell of a lot of Contemporary books which I adored so I decided to choose Top 10 Contemporary Books of the year. This also meant that I left these out of my Top 10 Books of 2014 which went live on Monday. All of these books were in the running for my favourite books but were left out due to me doing a whole list specially for my favourite Contemporaries.

~ Top 10 Contemporary Books of 2014 ~

10. The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

The Summer I Became a Nerd is one of those contemporary books that you can finish uber quick because it's such a fun and cute read. I loved this one. It mixed romance and cuteness with nerdiness which was perfect for me. I absolutely loved it and I can't wait to read more from Leah. It's bound to be insanely awesome!

9. Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein

2014 was the year that I read my first Lisa Burstein book and I am officially a fan. I read all of her Pretty Amy series and Dear Cassie has got to be my favourite. It's raw and emotional and all kinds of awesome. I loved the setting, I loved the characters and I loved the slow-burning romance. It was everything I love in a book and I can't wait to read more from Lisa.

8. Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Geek Girl is one of my favourite series now. I loved everything about it. Super smart Harriet, the modelling world she is living in and her complicated life. I think Holly Smale is just wonderful and she really grasps the inner thoughts of a 15 year old British girl. I loved everything about it.

7. Brush Strokes by Janelle Stalder

I absolutely adore Janelle's fantasy and dystopia books so naturally her NA Contemporary Romance was something I was going to love... and I did. I devoured it. It's full of heartbreak, romance and friendship. I couldn't stop reading it and I can't wait for her next book.

6. Solitaire by Alice Oseman

The debut novel from Alice Oseman just struck something inside of me. It was one of the most beautiful, raw and real books I have ever read. I loved every moment of it and it was just such a true representation of how teenagers act now. It was so amazing!

5. Swimming to Tokyo by Brenda St John Brown

Brenda's debut was amazing. A NA Contemporary that I devoured in one sitting. I loved the setting of the book, the characters and all the happenings that goes on in this book. It's such a quick and easy read because it just takes you on a journey. I loved it so much and can't wait to read more from Brenda.

4. Trouble by Non Pratt

Trouble is one of the most beautiful and raw and real and emotional contemporaries I've ever read. It was so beautiful and I think the most perfect thing about this book is that it really relies more on friendship than romance and I loved that. It's just beautiful and perfect!

 3. Miles from Kara by Melissa West

Miles from Kara is one of the best contemporaries I've read this year. Melissa West's second NA Contemporary and I loved it even more than the first one. It was just amazing. I loved the storyline, the characters... everything it was just absolutely phenomenal!

2. The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris

The Fine Art of Pretending is just the most amazing book. I loved it so much. Not only the hilarious happenings in the book, the wonderful characters and all of that but it just has the most beautiful and uplifting message. This book is such an inspiration to girls as it teaches you just to be yourself and what other people think doesn't matter. Rachel is an absolute inspiration and I adore her!

1. Soulmates by Holly Bourne

2014 saw me introduced to the wonder of Holly Bourne. This UKYA author is just utterly phenomenal. Soulmates is her debut and it completely blew me away. This is the most beautiful love story I have ever read and it even has a touch of magic in there. I adore this book and it just touched me in a way none of the others had which is why it is number one. This book made me fall in love but it totally broke my heart as well. It took me about a month to recover from all of the feels with this book. It's utterly magical and moving and oh so heartbreaking. One of the best books I've ever read in my life!

That's it for today. Let me know what your favourite contemporaries this year were by leaving me a comment.
Coming tomorrow... Top 10 Book Boyfriends of 2014