Friday, 30 December 2016

5 Book Releases I'm Excited for in 2017

New year to me = resetting my reading count to 0 and looking forward to all the new releases that will be coming out over the year. Although there are many still not announced, here are the five that I have heard about that I'm most excited for.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber 

Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems.Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.When the sisters' long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show's mastermind organiser, Legend.Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.
The first I heard of this was a leaflet in one of the book subscription boxes I get. It is described as being similar to The Night Circus so I was immediately interested. I've since spoken to some people who have received ARCS and they have told me how amazing it is. I seriously can't wait and I think this is the book I'm most excited about being released next year. Luckily I won't have to wait long to read it as it is out on the 31st of January.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman2. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

The great Norse myths are woven into the fabric of our storytelling Рfrom Tolkien, Alan Garner and Rosemary Sutcliff to Game of Thrones and Marvel Comics. They are also an inspiration for Neil Gaiman's own award-bedecked, bestselling fiction. Now he reaches back through time to the original source stories in a thrilling and vivid rendition of the great Norse tales. Gaiman's gods are thoroughly alive on the page Рirascible, visceral, playful, passionate Рand the tales carry us from the beginning of everything to Ragnar̦k and the twilight of the gods. Galvanised by Gaiman's prose, Thor, Loki, Odin and Freya are irresistible forces for modern readers and the crackling, brilliant writing demands to be read aloud around an open fire on a freezing, starlit night.

I'm a huge Neil Gaiman fan so when I saw this book announced I was instantly intrigued, especially as Norse Mythology comes up in so many fantasy books and graphic novels that I love. I can't wait to give this a go and see how Neil Gaiman adds his personality to the book. This is out on the 7th of February. 

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sara J Maas3. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit - and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.
As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords - and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

This is the third book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series and I'm sure this will be on many peoples most anticipated of 2017 lists as A Court of Mist and Fury was so well received.
I haven't actually read the first two books in the series but as this book isn't out until the 2nd of May I have plenty of time to get on the bandwagon! 

A Conjuring of Light by V E Schwab
4. A Conjuring of Light by V.E Schwab

Londons fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire, and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes struggle. The final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees the newly minted New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab reach a thrilling conclusion concerning the fate of beloved protagonists - and old foes.

Another sequel, this time to the Darker Shade of Magic series which I have read and really enjoyed. The second book ended in quite a dark place so I can't wait to see where the third book picks up. I actually enjoyed A Gathering of Shadows more than A Darker Shade of Magic so I'm hoping the third book continues that trend and is even better. Out on the 21st of February. 

5. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo 

Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo She will become one of the world's greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . . 
Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law risking exile to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world. 
Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn't know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. 
Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies mortal and divine determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war."

If it wasn't obvious I'm a huge graphic novel fan so the fact that they are doing a Wonder Woman novel excites me a lot. Leigh Bardugo is the mastermind behind The Six of Crows series so that teamed with an amazing subject makes me very hyped for this book, also just look at this cover! It looks epic. Unfortunately this one isn't out until the 29th of August so I will have to wait slightly longer for this one.

I'm sure there are a million and one books I have forgot to include in this list or don't know about, not to mention the sequel to This Savage Song but I didn't think I could include two V.E Schwab books! Let me know what your most anticipated releases are as I am always on the hunt for more. 

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

2016 - My Reading Year in Review

At the start of the year I was in a major reading slump, I don't think I read anything until March when I decided to sign up to the Goodreads reading challenge to help motivate me into reading more. It definitely helped and I ended up reading a lot in 2016 and really found my love for reading again and I discovered the amazing book blogging community too and even attended YALC!

So here are all the books I read in 2016 and a one line review for each:

Harry Potter and the Philoshphers Stone by J.K Rowling - I decided to reread the Harry Potter series to help me find my love of books again. It worked. Harry Potter is amazing, we all know that. 4/5

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K Rowling - The second book in the Harry Potter series, equally as fabulous. After reading this I discovered book blogs and book tube so I branched out into other books rather than rereading the rest of the series. 4/5

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige - A book based in Oz several years after Dorothy's arrival when things have turned a bit wicked. A great fantasy book set in a universe most people will know. 4/5

The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige - The sequel to Dorothy Must Die. Like most sequels this book is not as good as the first, but still an interesting read. 3/5

Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige - The final book in the series. I felt like it had a few plot holes and didn't make sense in places, but I still really enjoyed it and thought it was a good conclusion to the series. 4/5

Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella - I love the Shopaholic series as some great throw away chic lit but this entry into the series was awful. The plot was poor and it just wasn't as enjoyable as the rest of the series. 2/5

Shopaholic to the Rescue by Sophie Kinsella - After the dissapointment of the last book I was apprehensive about reading this one but Sophie Kinsella was back on form and this book is a delight. Perfect easy reading chic lit. 4/5

Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison - The memoir of Holly Madison, star of Girls of the Playboy Mansion and Hugh Hefners former number 1 girlfriend. This book shines a light as to the less glamourous side of the mansion, the stuff we all know is going on but no one talks about publicly. Super trashy book but my gosh did I love it! 4/5

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella - This is Sophie Kinsellas first YA book and I think she did incredibly well. Audrey suffers with anxiety but meets a boy she likes. Read my full review here. 4/5

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - If you read my blog you will know how much I love this book. Following Cath as she leaves home for the first time to go to college this makes for a fantastic read and ended up in my top books I read this year list. Find my review here. 4/5

Vivian versus the Apocalypse by Katie Coyle - A book about a teenager who is left behind after the supposed rapture. A great and interesting read, it also looks at cults and how they affect people which I enjoyed. Review here. 4/5

London Belongs to Us by Sarra Manning - Probably the book I disliked the most this year. I actually struggled to finish it because I disliked it so much. Super cliche and predictable with a main character who I really did not like. This just wasn't for me. 1/5

The Yellow Room by Jess Vallance - This is a YA thriller book about a teenager who receives a note saying her father has died and his girlfriend who like to meet her to talk about it. This is a great thriller book and not too deep so a good introduction to the genre. Review here. 4/5

The Boyfriend List by E.Lockhart - Ruby the main character looks back at all the boyfriends she has had and how she has ended up friendless as a result. E.Lockhart does YA contemporary well and this is no exception. A good read but not stand out. Review here. 3/5

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson - The first book I've read that looks at transgender teens. An eye opening read. Review here. 4/5

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell - A book based on the story Cath writes fanfiction about in Fangirl. I found this book quite underwhelming and it read a lot like Harry Potter fanfiction. Review here. 3/5

A Step Towards Falling by Cammie McGovern - Another contemporary YA. Unfortunately this had nothing in it that made it stand out and was quite predictable. It's redeeming feature is that one of the voices the book it told by has Autism so that made some parts of the book interesting. Review here. 3/5

The Beginning Woods by Malcolm McNeill - This is a sweet fantasy book written using incredibly lovely descriptive language. I enjoyed this book but thought it was too long in places. Review here. 3/5

Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall - Focusing on a teenage girl with extreme OCD and agoraphobia who finds someone she likes and how she deals with it. This is a fantastic read and will take you on an emotional rollercoaster. Review here. 5/5

One by Sarah Crossan - The story from one side of a conjoined twin. This book will break your heart into a million pieces. I also didn't realise until the end of the book that it was actually poetry. Something very different and would definitely recommend. 5/5

This Savage Song by V.E Schwab - This is the first book by Schwab I have read. Really enjoyed it. Focusing on monsters and how different people react to them. Looking forward to the sequel next year too. 4/5

Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne - The first book in the Spinster Club trilogy. The main character has OCD and has just started back at college after not being able to attend secondary school due to the OCD. A very compelling read which has amazing friendships in it. 5/5

How Hard Can Love Be by Holly Bourne - The second Spinster Club book. My least favorite of the series as Amber goes to America to work at a summer camp there. Also her mum is a total bitch and Amber comes across as bratty a lot of the time. 3/5

What's A Girl Gotta Do by Holly Bourne - The final book and it is fantastic. Huge focus on feminism in this one which I personally think is really important for teenagers to think about. 4/5

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab - An enjoyable fantasy book set across different versions of London. I love how well crafted the different London's are. 4/5

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E Schwab - The sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic. This book features a tournament with magic which I seriously enjoyed. The tournament itself had almost Night Circus vibes about it, although not as romantic. 4/5

Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell - A YA horror book that starts off with a ouija board and involves creepy dolls. Very chilling and I really enjoyed this. 5/5

Sleepless by Lou Morgan - Another YA horror book about a group of teens who take some 'study aids' and how things go terrifyingly wrong. Very interesting concept but I found the book a little dry and quite often asked myself, why didn't they just call the police? 3/5

Flesh and Blood by Simon Cheshire - More YA horror. Sam is a budding journalist who's family has just moved into a new area that has a disturbing secret. Once again a very interesting concept and a good look at how money can rule a lot of things. 4/5

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp - One of my favorite books of the year. A spooky paranormal book which is incredibly well written. Review here. 5/5

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell - A short story that is very sweet about Star Wars fans camping out in a line. 4/5

The Assistants by Camille Perri - Another favorite book from this year. A very fun read about an assistant that accidentally embezzles from her company which turns into a big scheme. 5/5

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland - A YA book I seriously enjoyed. It deals with the heavy topic of death and will seriously pull at your heartstrings. Review here. 4/5

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn - Dash is trying to cheer up his girlfriend Lily before Christmas. I ready this one as I was feeling a bit grinchy and wanted to get in the Christmas spirit. Didn't work and I found this book quite dull and unrealistic. 2/5

We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun - A book set in the 80's where two friends communicate by letter. The way the story is told is interesting but I had a couple of very major issues with this book. 2/5
Whew, super long post! But as you can see I smashed my challenge this year. I can't wait to read even more next year and hopefully diversify what I read a bit as well. 


Saturday, 24 December 2016

The 3 books I enjoyed reading the most in 2016

The end of the year is fast approaching so it's that time to start reflecting on how it was. For me, this means going to my Goodreads page and checking on how my reading challenge for 2016 went (I smashed it!) and so after looking back on what I've read this year hear are the top 3 books I've enjoyed reading the most.

The last days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp
1. The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp
If you haven't already checked out my review, you definitely should do here as I gave it a well deserved 10/10.
This is probably the book I enjoyed reading the most this year. It focuses on Jack Sparks as he is researching his latest book which is all about the paranormal. Jack Sparks is bit of an arrogant prick and actually dies whilst researching this book.
The Last Days of Jack Sparks is equal parts hilarious and chilling, and I read it at a time when I was very into paranormal horror and this did not dissapoint. I could not put this down and everyone I know who has read this enjoyed it a lot as well so I never worry about recommending this to people.

Fangirl by rainbow rowell2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I loved Fangirl. It is sweet, relatable and a very enjoyable read. This was also the first book I've read by Rainbow Rowell after hearing about her all over the BookTube world and it is actually the first book that made me really want to get involved in the YA community and start my book blog so for me this is also an emotional pick as well.
Fangirl is all about Cath who is a twin as she travels away from home for the first time to attend college. She has to deal with the pressures of being alone for the first time, her twin trying to seek independence, anxiety, college work and everything else that comes with being away from home at college.
Fangirl is a perfect contemporary read and I can't wait to read more Rainbow Rowell in 2017. Check out my review of Fangirl here.

The Assistants by Camille Perri3. The Assistants by Camille Perri
2016 for me was the year I mostly read YA because it's what I enjoy the most but The Assistants, an adult fiction book broke the mold for me!
The Assistants follows Emma, a 30 year old assistant to a media tycoon, think Rupert Murdoch type person and you get the picture of who she is working for. After an incident where her boss wanted to travel first class with no one else in the cabin but does not want to pay for this privilege, Emma ends up with a cheque for $20,000 which accidentally turns into an embezzlement scam.
I found this book such an easy and enjoyable read and as someone who has been at the bottom of the work food chain this was also very relatable. For any YA fans who fancy trying some more adult fiction I definitely recommend this as it's such a nice easy read.

I have nothing to write for my conclusion paragraph other than to end it on a cliche question, what was your favourite 3 books you read in 2016?


Thursday, 22 December 2016

Book Review | Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland reviewMy Rating: 8/10
Published: October 4th 2016Pages: 320Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository 

Henry Page is a relatively typical teenage boy in high school, although rather than being a teenage horn dog Henry fancies himself as more of a hopeless romantic so he has never had a proper girlfriend. When Grace Town walks into his class with her limp, oversized boyish clothes and lack of personal hygiene Henry thinks of her as strange but when they are forced to edit the school newspaper together they soon find that they have feelings for each other, but like most relationships, things are certainly not straight forward especially when Grace seems so broken.

Our Chemical Hearts not only deals with the peaks and pitfalls of teenage relationships, but it also deals with a much heavier subject too, death and how it can affect a person. This is not something I've seen tackled as heavily in other books so it made for a really great twist to the story. The book is also quite slowly paced which I think fits in well because death is such a heavy topic you really don't want it to feel like anything has been rushed.

I have to warn you now though, this book will seriously pull at your heartstrings time and time again, not to say that there isn't plenty of heartwarming moments in here too which just adds to the emotional rollercoaster. 

I've seen a lot of people compare Our Chemical Hearts as a mash up of Rainbow Rowell and John Green and I think that is a perfect summary for this style of book. This is Krystal Sutherlands debut novel and I'm very excited to see what she comes out with next. Although this book is not revolutionary I really enjoyed reading this and found it very cathartic. A great one for any contemporary fans.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Book Review | The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp reviewMy Rating: 10/10
Published: March 3rd 2016
Pages: 336
Genre: Horror, Paranormal 
Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository 

The Last Days of Jack Sparks is about Jack Sparks, a journalist turned author who fancies himself as a Louis Theroux type, albeit with a huge ego and awful attitude. Jack Sparks is writing his latest book, one about the paranormal which he wholeheartedly doesn't believe in.

Jack Sparks dies during researching this book after first causing uproar on social media by mocking a exorcism and then being sent a YouTube clip which he quickly becomes obsessed with trying to find the original publishers of.

I fricking loved this book and seriously recommend picking it up to read. The character of Jack Sparks is incredibly well written, he comes across as such an arrogant prick, he really is one of those characters you love to hate. His giant ego makes for some great humor in the book, despite it's dark subject matter.

Speaking of the dark subject matter, this book is super creepy. We are not talking cheap scares here, but really great bone chilling stuff. Think exorcisms, ghosts, ouija boards and possession. I have not read a book this creepy since The Secret of Crickley Hall which I read about 5 years ago.

Despite the cold feeling this book gives you, it's hard to put down as you want to find out more behind the mysterious YouTube video. Honestly I raced through this book in record timing and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

I genuinely can not think of any faults with this book, the characters are fleshed out well and the use of social media makes this book feel very modern and realistic despite the fictional subject which is why I am giving it 10/10. If horror books are your jam, go pick this up, and even if they aren't, still pick it up.

Friday, 16 December 2016

I'm back! Hopefully...

Hello, it's been a while hasn't it!

Sometimes life likes to throw a lot of things at you all at the same time, which can make blogging very hard. After taking such a prolonged period off I was wondering whether or not I should get back into blogging at all and after a massive internal debate I decided to go ahead and do it because I enjoy it and I love shouting about what books I've been enjoying recently, and I have read some proper corkers this month which has really reignited my love for the book community.

So yes, normal blogging to resume shortly, mainly reviews because lets be honest, they are easier than features as I am always reading! In the meantime though, here is a very brief update of my personal life and where I went!

First off, in September I got married! It truly was the most perfect day and I wouldn't change a single thing about it. As you can imagine planning a wedding can make things a bit stressful but I also had another major event that I was in charge of that weekend. Basically I ended up so stressed out that I collapsed twice in the space of the month, the second time 2 days before my wedding which resulted in a super sexy bruise on my elbow and back, not to mention a lump on my head.

Following the wedding, I went straight to San Diego to work at Twitchcon which was equal parts tiring and incredible. It also enabled my husband and I to go to Hawaii for our honeymoon as it is a lot cheaper to fly there from San Diego than it is from London.
Hawaii was heavenly, we had the best time there and I seriously wish we could get a chance to go back in the future but that is very unlikely. 

After returning home I essentially had a quarter life crisis so cut off 10 inches of my hair to donate to The Little Princess Trust and managed to raise £500 for Cancer Research at the same time. As if the cut wasn't a drastic enough change as it was I also decided to bleach it and colour it purple.

And now we are here. A time when I finally feel slightly settled and less frantic and hopefully with enough time to blog regularly! Fingers crossed. So yea, sorry for all the excuses but I'm back baby! 

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