Monday, 31 August 2015

August 2015

August 2015 Book Haul / Wrap Up 

August is now over! And my little brother is off to school now on the first of September. Summer is practically over and well.... what can ya do?? Winter is coming!! :P

August 2015 Book Haul

Here I was, expecting to not have a book haul this month, I was so delighted with myself but then August 27th happened and August 28th and well, guess what... I got books!

  • The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
  • The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
  • One by Sarah Crossan
So what happened was that August 27th arrived and well it was he publication day for both One and The Rest of Us Just Live Here and I was in town and then I was near a bookstore and one thing led to another and I left with them and with an extra edition too, The Dead House, because it looked fantabulous and I just couldn't leave it there either.

Then August 28th came around and there was a knock on my door and I'll be damned there was the post man with an owlcrate box in his hands. So yup, on August 28th I received my first owlcrate box! You can see it picture below and for to head to my unboxing post click here!



August 2015 Wrap Up

Here is my recap for August!! :) I honestly think that I had a great reading month for
1. The amount of books I read and
2. The quality of books that I read :D

What Was Read:


Defeating My TBR Progress!!

My, my, my, as you may remember from my July post, I had 124 books left on my TBR and was counting down the numbers to 120 and I have done it!! My TBR is now at 120! :D It would have been less, but I splurged on some books as you can see above...


Other News:

Book Reviews which I was behind in and that were written this month are all linked below (I was trying to catch up on them all and I have succeeded!!):
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

I also had some discussion / tag posts / read-a-thons, linked below:
- BookTube-A-Thon & Wrap Up

And lastly, I participated in some memes. You can find those linked below too:
Top Ten Tuesday #14
Top Ten Tuesday #15
- Top Ten Tuesday #16
- Top Ten Tuesday #17
Wishlist Wednesday #2
- Wishlist Wednesday #3
- Wishlist Wednesday #4
- Wishlist Wednesday #5
Best of the Bunch #3


And that is it for my wrap up and book haul!!
How was your August??

Book Review - Conversion by Katherine Howe

Conversion

Author: Katherine Howe

Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Witches. 

Published: 2015

Pages: 402 pages (Paperback Edition) (Rock The Boat)

Read: August 2015

Rating: 5 Stars 



It’s senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys’ texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they can’t.

First it’s the school’s queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. St. Joan’s buzzes with rumor; rumor blossoms into full-blown panic.

Soon the media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Pollution? Stress? Or are the girls faking? Only Colleen—who’s been reading The Crucible for extra credit—comes to realize what nobody else has: Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago . . .

Inspired by true events—from seventeenth-century colonial life to the halls of a modern-day high school—Conversion casts a spell. With her signature wit and passion, New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe delivers an exciting and suspenseful novel, a chilling mystery that raises the question, what’s really happening to the girls at St. Joan’s?


Book 32/60 - 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge

Conversion is a historical fiction novel set around the Salem witch trials and paralleling that with a present day all girl private school. I for one am not a girl that will read much books about witches. I've simply just had bad experiences with them. That is not saying that I won't read a book with a witch in it, I will, it's just when the whole book revolves around witches or witch society that I start to cringe. One such book that made my opinion this way is Half Bad by Sally Green, *shivers* just not the book for me. So when I picked this up, I was apprehensive because of the with aspect, but it was also historical and I just love anything to do with the Salem witch trials. For that reason alone, this book piked my interest.

But then after buying the book, I checked it out on Goodreads and was so devastated to see a huge amount of negative reviews for this book, which led me into a state of "Did I make a mistake?" But I went and read this anyway and I am so glad that I did. I loved every piece of this book!

The one aspect that I loved the most about this book was the time switches. This book would travel from present day back to the past of the witch trials and I just found this to be done really well and I enjoyed that aspect thoroughly. I also love the way that this book was related to real life events, not just the witch trials but also an event that had only happened recently to a group of school girls (I shall not say more.) 

The plot was another major asset to this book. As the plot thickened, there was this air of tension and mystery and just a riveting sensation that kept you flicking through the pages and I instantly became obsessed and invested in this story. I needed to know what happened. I need to know what happened in the present day story and in the past story and then as they intertwined, it just fit. This book fit, both stories that you see in this book slotted together like a perfect puzzle piece! 

The characters (which seemed to be a problem to most people) I found to be fine. There was nothing that made me despise them. Yes, I did question our main present day protagonist's personality at the start of the book as she gave the impression of being this preppy, snappy, cliché of a rich girl and even if that side of her just lessened a small bit as the book went on, I felt that she grew on me and so did her friends. They went through situations and events that had me physically feeling for them, be that betrayal, heartache, happiness, shock, the whole lot. As for the characters from the past story, they had me at the get go. Not much more I can say there... 

Overall, I felt this book was exactly what I was looking for and I am sure that I will reread this again and again and again as well as pick up Katherine Howe's next book which is released soon called The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen. 




Best of the Bunch #3 - August 2015

Best of the Bunch #3 - August 2015




Best of the Bunch is a monthly meme hosted over at A Cocoon of Books. What it is is that you give the Best of the Bunch award to one book which you have read in that month.

This is going to be so, so hard! I read so many good books this month! So many!! I read a total of 6 books this month, 4 of them received 5 stars, 1 received 4 stars and 1 received 1 star! So youp! I have to pick from 4 absolutely amazing books....

Just to let you know the four books were:
  • The One by Kiera Cass
  • Conversion by Katherine Howe
  • Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick
  • Cress by Marissa Meyer
What will I pick? What will I pick? I'm going to go with Conversion by Katherine Howe because it is probably the least known book in that little list above!



Conversion by Katherine Howe

Conversion

It’s senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys’ texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they can’t.

First it’s the school’s queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. St. Joan’s buzzes with rumor; rumor blossoms into full-blown panic.

Soon the media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Pollution? Stress? Or are the girls faking? Only Colleen—who’s been reading The Crucible for extra credit—comes to realize what nobody else has: Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago . . .

Inspired by true events—from seventeenth-century colonial life to the halls of a modern-day high school—Conversion casts a spell. With her signature wit and passion, New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe delivers an exciting and suspenseful novel, a chilling mystery that raises the question, what’s really happening to the girls at St. Joan’s?

Oh my, my, my! This book got so many bad reviews that I was so apprehensive walking into it but I loved it!! I love the way it was written! I loved the mystery and the history and the characters and the cover and everything about this book.... That right there was a gush! But Katherine Howe has a new release coming out this year along the same lines of this book and I cannot wait to get it and read it now :D Go read this guys!!

What was your Best of The Bunch for the month of August?? :)

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Book Review - The Gates by John Connolly

The Gates

(Samuel Johnson vs. The Devil #1)

Author: John Connolly

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Humour. 

Published: 2009

Pages: 264 pages (Paperback Edition) (Hodder & Stoughton)

Read: August 2015

Rating: 1 Stars (DNF)



Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund Boswell are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Hallowe’en. Which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Avenue.

The Abernathys don’t mean any harm by their flirtation with Satanism. But it just happens to coincide with a malfunction in the Large Hadron Collider that creates a gap in the universe. A gap in which there is a pair of enormous gates. The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out. . . .

Can Samuel persuade anyone to take this seriously? Can he harness the power of science to save the world as we know it?


Book 31/60 - 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge

This is going to be a short review. Well it's not even going to be a review at all, just varied short, to the point thoughts. Because all I can give is those short opinions because of the fact that I didn't finish the book. 

I read books for enjoyment! It's my hobby. I'm not a professional reviewer or anything. Just a person who is doing this for fun! Therefore when I don't enjoy a book. I stop reading it. Because there is just not enjoy time in life..

And that is why I stopped reading The Gates by John Connolly. Simply because I wasn't enjoying it and just didn't think I would as the story unfolded. There were after all a few reasons as to why I didn't enjoy a book. I didn't enjoy the writing style or the content that was in the book. If you've read this book you'll know what I'm talking about, but there were massive amounts of random, annoyingly witty paragraphs in the story as well as down as a footnote in the book. This I found just to be overly annoying. 

I also didn't like the jumpiness of the book. From all of what I had read, only one did we see the actual story, the rest were different pieces about the big bang and other 'scientific' or 'witty' facts that I just didn't understand how it was going to benefit or be a part of the story. 

I also wasn't too fond of the characters. I will say that I did like Samuel and his dog, but I just didn't like them enough to keep me reading and get past my annoyance at the writing style of this book.  

So yes, I really wasn't enjoying myself or the story of this book and just couldn't get past that fact to continuing reading. This just wasn't the story for me, but I am certain that my younger brother when he's a tad bit older will probably love this book. 

But I have heard amazing reviews for this book, so don't let me put you guys off if you really want to read it. This are just my thoughts.


Book Review - Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Extraordinary Means

Author: Robyn Schneider

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance. 

Published: June 4 2015

Pages: 336 pages (Paperback Edition) (Simon & Schuster Children's Books)

Read: August 2015

Rating: 4 Stars



When he's sent to Latham House, a boarding school for sick teens, Lane thinks his life may as well be over.
But when he meets Sadie and her friends - a group of eccentric troublemakers - he realises that maybe getting sick is just the beginning. That illness doesn't have to define you, and that falling in love is its own cure.

Book 30/60 - 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge

Can I just start by saying that the cover for Extraordinary Means is absolutely stunning! I just love the way the art was created by making a tree look like lungs, the major organ affected from TB. It just really fits with the story in the book along with the cover line 'Life Goes On Until It Doesn't'.

'Sick Lit' is a genre that is becoming increasingly popular these days in Young Adult with many new releases being classed in the genre. I think I started reading Sick Lit with Before I Die by Jenny Downham and then continued down the genres path with many popular books including The Fault In Our Stars and All The Bright Places and now with Extraordinary Means. 

I really enjoyed Extraordinary Means. I found that many of the usual tropes were displayed in this book including the ever popular boarding school trope, with a twist, the cool popular group with the main protagonist starting out as the geeky outsider, and of course the love story that everyone predicts. But I felt even with these cliche tropes, this story worked and I enjoyed and was entertained with reading this novel.

But to say that this book was completely predictable and cliche is wrong, because I haven't come across a TB YA book before and the twist that Robyn Schneider put on the strain of TB was striking and devastating at the same time but it was also real. Even though it is not TB this is a story that can be seen more and more lately as non-curable, horrific diseases wreck havoc to countries and the world. 

For the uniqueness of the plot, this story got me. For that ending twist, this story grabbed me. For the characters and the situations they were placed in, this story engaged me. Even if it was something you've seen before in books, I still truly enjoyed this one. I enjoyed the characters and I could easily relate to them also, with their personalities and with their lives before. Yes, some of them really didn't stand out and some annoyed me like hell and what they did sometimes I found to be the most utterly stupid thing they could have possible ever did. But this story made me laugh, it made me question and it may have even made me shed a tear or two. 

So, would I recommend this book? Yes, give it a shot! After all I did give this one 4 stars. 


Friday, 28 August 2015

Owlcrate Unboxing

Owlcrate Unboxing

Dun, dun, dun, I decided to buy an Owlcrate box!!!! I was waiting on the waiting list and then one day an email arrived saying it was my turn to subscribe and I did! I did a one month subscription so that I could get August's Mystery themed Owlcrate.

So ever since the 20th of August, I was impatiently waiting for my Owlcrate box to arrive. I knew it would take a while cause I lived in Ireland but that did not mean that I wasn't constantly checking the tracking number given to see where my box was! 

Then on August 28th , today, my Owlcrate box arrived and I was so so so so happy!! It was such a surprise to hear a knock on the door and see the postman standing there with an Owlcrate box in his hands! I was so excited that I tore into the box, then repacked it again so that I could take the unboxing pictures :P

Without further talk here is my Owlcrate Unboxing!!!



And here is what I got in my Mystery Box!! There was so much amazing stuff in the box! Down below there will be more info on everything that was in the box :)

Trouble Is A Friend Of Mine by Stephanie Tromly
I had actually seen really little about this book before it came in my Owlcrate, but it sounds like an awesome, fun, mystery, detective type read and I can't wait to start reading it. It is top of my September TBR at the moment! And also the hardback cover jacket has such a soft feel and I actually find the cover to be quite appeasing with is slightly unusual for me :P Along with the book, came a bookmark and a pin! :)



Next in the box, I saw a little box and in that little box was a gorgeous Nancy Drew keyring. I just love this style of work and have been contemplating getting one of these for ages but now I have one!! :D



Next in the box was a little package with a notebook in it. And what a cute little pocket notebook it is! It is Sherlock Holmes themed and the inside pages are just adorable because they are also detective themed.




After this there was another little plastic package which contained Sherlock Holmes nail decals! I've never used nail decals before but I am a really passionate nail polish person so I cannot wait to use these!.


And last but not least there was this beautiful wall art quote from Harriet the Spy. It reads 'Some Times You Have To Lie, But To Your Self You Must Always Tell The Truth' And this gorgeous piece is now living on my wall, right beside my bookshelves as you can see in the bottom picture.





And that is it! I loved getting this box and every item in it was of such a high quality. Unfortunately I won't be getting next months box, or the month after that probably but I'll be sure to get this box again sometime in the future, when my finances get better. Overall, I was really impressed and would highly recommend this subscription box! 

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Wishlist Wednesday #5

Wishlist Wednesday #5


Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Pen to Paper. This meme is where you showcase one book that is on your wishlist and that you can't wait to get off your wishlist and into your hands.


On my Wishlist Wednesday today is....


The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen by Katherine Howe
The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen

It’s summertime in New York City, and aspiring filmmaker Wes Auckerman has just arrived to start his summer term at NYU. While shooting a séance at a psychic’s in the East Village, he meets a mysterious, intoxicatingly beautiful girl named Annie.

As they start spending time together, Wes finds himself falling for her, drawn to her rose petal lips and her entrancing glow. But there’s something about her that he can’t put his finger on that makes him wonder about this intriguing hipster girl from the Village. Why does she use such strange slang? Why does she always seem so reserved and distant? And, most importantly, why does he only seem to run into her on one block near the Bowery? Annie’s hiding something, a dark secret from her past that may be the answer to all of Wes’s questions . . .



I am just after completing a book by Katherine Howe this month and that was Conversion. So I trailed onto her page on Goodreads and say that she had a new book coming out following the same layout and genre of the last only this time instead of witches, this is a story about ghosts!
I am anxiously awaiting the release of this book! Simply because it sounds really good and I've loved the authors previous work so hey why not!  
This book is released September 15th 2015 in Hardback!


Have you heard of this book?? 
Is it on your wishlist??
What have you got on your wishlist??

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #17

Top Ten Tuesday #17

Top Ten Books That Would Be On My Syllabus If I Taught YA 101 .


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish and consists of them picking a topic each week for us bloggers to list our Top Ten.

I will never become a teacher but some of these YA books just need to be read. Simple as....

1. Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
This is a book that needs to be read. It is themed around racism where white people are the ones scrutinised by black people and it is a complete reversal of how reality actually was. But it is needed to show how racism is terrible and should never be a part of society. 

2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
An historical fiction book narrated by death. This book shows what it was like to be German during Hitler's reign and is a very unique, fictional piece of work that would be included on my syllabus if I was teaching!

3. Stolen: A Letter To My Captor by Lucy Christopher
A book about kidnapping. A lesson not to trust strangers too easily and a view on Stockholms Syndrome. A must on the syllabus. 


Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1)The Book ThiefStolen: A Letter to My Captor



4. I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
Well, what can I saw. This book has everything, from finding yourself, lgbtq, to dealing with grief and family problems. A true eye opener and a definite must read!

5. More Than This by Patrick Ness
I can't say much about this one, so it'll just be a surprise when my 'class' reads it.

6. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
A beautiful, lyrical book in the genre of magical realism. Simply for the genre alone it is added on my syllabus.


I'll Give You the SunMore Than ThisThe Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender



7. The Young Elites by Marie Lu
This is the book that reserves roles and shows that not all hero's / heroines are actually good! A story from the point of view from the anti-hero. A must read for my class.

8. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
A book about friendship, coming of age and finding yourself. A book that every student can relate too and a must for a syllabus on YA 101.

9. Conversion by Katherine Howe
A historical fiction / present day novel that is a must read, especially for all the history fans. Salem witches galore! Let's do this.


The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)Since You've Been GoneConversion



10. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Another historical fiction novel about the French Revolution! Read and learn some history!

Revolution



What books would you have on your syllabus? And why?? :)

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Wishlist Wednesday #4

Wishlist Wednesday #4


Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Pen to Paper. This meme is where you showcase one book that is on your wishlist and that you can't wait to get off your wishlist and into your hands.


On my Wishlist Wednesday today is....


This Is Where The World Ends by Amy Zhang

This Is Where the World Ends

Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivian moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship, as long as no one finds out about it.

But when Janie is date-raped by the most popular guy in school—a guy she’s had a crush on for years—she finds herself ostracized by all the people she thought were her friends. Now only Micah seems to believe she’s telling the truth. But when even Micah expresses doubt about whether or not she was “asking for it,” it leads to disastrous consequences, and Janie Vivian goes missing.



This is another author who featured on my Wishlist Wednesday before in 2014 with Falling Into Place, which I have not gotten yet....what's wrong with you, Sarah?? But anyway, this is her new novel which has an estimated publication date in March 2016 (my birthday month!! :P) And by damn, this book really sounds good, just like her other book sounded good and I still haven't gotten it... maybe I'll get them both at the same time and have an Amy Zhang marathon!


Have you heard of this book?? 
Is it on your wishlist??
What have you on your wishlist??

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #16

Top Ten Tuesday #16

Top Ten Of My Auto-Buy Authors.


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish and consists of them picking a topic each week for us bloggers to list our Top Ten.

It takes a lot to get on my auto-but list so this may not make it to 10!!

1. Cassandra Clare
I've read all her books so far so why stop now?? Who could give up the Shadowhunter world??

2. Leslye Walton
She currently only has one book out, but I will be certain to be getting all the other books she publishes too. Such beautiful writing!!

3. Sarah J. Maas
I've loved the writing and the books that I've read by Sarah J. Maas so far so yes she's on the list :P

4. Cristin Terrill
I read her fantastic debut, All Our Yesterdays, and I'm sure I will read all of the books that she's going to write.

5. Ruta Sepetys
I have only read one of Ruta Sepetys books, but I'm definitely getting her debut and her new release that is releasing next year. I just need her books!! Hello, she's on my auto-buy list!!

6. Morgan Matson
The author that got me reading contemporary / realistic fiction, of course she's on the list!!

7. Laini Taylor
Do I need to explain, what with the beauty of The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy!

8. Marie Lu
I love her and her writing and her characters and everything, so yes she is also an auto-buy??

9. Mira Grant
Wow, is all I can say!

10. Gayle Forman
I've read her If I Stay and Where She Went and the rest of her books are currently on my wishlist..



Wow I did make it to 10 and I even had more, such as Leigh Bardugo, and others.
Who are your auto-buy authors??

Friday, 14 August 2015

Book Review - The One by Kiera Cass

The One

(The Selection #3)

Author: Kiera Cass

Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance. 

Published: June 5 2014

Pages: 323 pages (Paperback Edition) (HarperCollins Children's Books)

Read: August 2015

Rating: 5 Stars


SPOILERS FOR THE PREVIOUS BOOKS AHEAD!!


The Selection changed America Singer's life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illéa, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen—and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she's made her choice . . . and she's prepared to fight for the future she wants.


Book 29/60 - 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge

The One was supposed to be the final ending book to The Selection series but it was then announced that two more books would be joining the series, The Heir and Untitled (the name was not yet released) to make this a series instead of a trilogy. 

But as this book goes, I extremely enjoyed The One. Everything about this book brought back those giddy light-hearted memories of The Selection. While reading The Selection all I could think was that this book right here, even though it wasn't the most inventive, or literary genius ever to be written, it was enjoyable, fun and brought a smile to my face while I read it. This was the time that this book was labelled as my guilty pleasure. But as I continued with The Elite, I lost a bit of that love, but now finally it is back with The One. 

The One brought back those smiles, it brought back those tears and much more importantly it brought back the love and fun that I had while reading The Selection. The story itself progresses further through The Selection competition with just The Elite left and as I'm sure you all have guessed The One is chosen at the end of this book and I wonder who the hell it would have been?? Hmmm. Yes, this book held no mystery. We all knew from that very first day of reading The Selection what was going to happen in these book, the final outcome in the competition was just obvious. But still there were twists and turns and fights and everything in between laced in the pages of this book alone that just kept my interest as I was reading. And boy, all those swoony, cheesy, adoring scenes in this book just kept me light-hearted and smiling. *dreamy sigh*

America was still her unsure self throughout most of the book and she got in just as much trouble as she did in the previous ones. Like what can you expect from America Singer?? That's just who she is! But one thing I didn't expect was to understand and start a liking of both Celeste and Aspen. By the end, I was heart-broken and mending the pieces back together again with all of these characters. 

In my honest opinion The One ended this series. It ended the series, yes maybe with some unanswered questions but it finished it with a nice happy ending that could have just been left as it was. But instead we now get the fourth book which follows (SPOILERS - Maxon and America's daughter as she chooses her One through a Selection process). I am not going to be continuing on with this though. I shall not be reading The Heir or the book to follow simply because I was satisfied with what I got from the first three books and from all mixed reviews, I just don't want to taint this light, fun, enjoyable series read that I had. I must admit it would be nice to see the tables turned but I'm just not that invested in this series to continue on and do so.

In the end, this series is complete to me and it was, with no other way to put it, my guilty pleasure reads! 

Book Review - Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Ashes

(Ashes Trilogy #1)

Author: Ilsa J. Bick

Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia, Horror, Zombies. 

Published: September 29 2011

Pages: 465 pages (Paperback Edition) (Quercus UK)

Read: July 2015

Rating: 5 Stars



No, she thought. No, please, God, I'm not seeing this

Seventeen-year-old Alex is hiking through the wilderness when it happens: an earth-shattering electromagnetic pulse that destroys almost everything.

Survivors are divided between those who have developed a superhuman sense and those who have aquired a taste for human flesh. These flesh-hunters stalk the land: hungry, ruthless and increasingly clever...

Alex meets Tom, a younge army veteran, and Ellie, a lost girl. They will fight together and be torn apart, but Alex must face the most difficult question of all: 
In such a vastly changed world, who can you trust?

Book 28/60 - 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge

Ashes, Ashes, Ashes, how I love thee!! As many of you may have seen from my 'Best of the Bunch' post for July, this book came in second place simply because it was a reread for me and because I knew I was going to love this book anyway meant that I couldn't give it the prize.

Ashes is a post apocalyptic, dystopia, horror of a book which contains zombies. Zombies! Need I say any more. Everyone knows I love zombie books! But anyway, this book follows Alex who is stuck dead centre in the zombie apocalypse in the middle of the woods. Creepy, I know. But this book follows her as she tries to survive and find out what is going on and figure what the hell she is going to do to save herself and her little band of a group. 

The first time I read this book, I must admit that I found the second half of the book to be a drag... Why? I don't know because this time round I loved the whole book from start to finish and flipped through the pages with such severity and intensity that I had to know what was going on and ease the tension that was building in the pages. So perhaps that first time round, I had falling into a bit of a slump, because as I said this book had me on my toes from start to finish this time. I revelled in all the descriptions and details that were given. I tried to solve the conspiracies and I didn't at any time know where the story was heading.

The characters were so realistic in this novel and completely relateable, that I fell in love with them immediately. Alex was such a strong character. She was courageous, kind and brave. Ellie was a spoilt, misunderstood, grieving little girl that soon turned a leaf and became such a nice addition to Alex and Tom, who held many secrets. All the characters in this book held such a degree of depth that they instantly became real to me. Even the side characters held there own stories and everything clicked together perfectly. 

I must admit that the ending of this book was quite a shock and it did leave on a cliffhangery type ending, which just drove me to wanting to pick up the next book in the trilogy even more. Which I've done. I'm just at the beginning and cannot wait to complete this trilogy for I need to know what's happening!!

Book Review - Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Wicked Lovely

(Wicked Lovely #1)

Author: Melissa Marr

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Faeries. 

Published: July 1 2008

Pages: 328 pages (Paperback Edition) (HarperCollins Children's Books)

Read: July 2015

Rating: 4 Stars



Rule 3: Never stare at invisible faeries.

Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world.

Rule 2: Never speak to invisible faeries.

One of them, a beautiful faerie boy named Keenan, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule 1: Don't ever attract their attention.

Now it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King and is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost. Without her, summer itself will perish...

Book 27/60 - 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge

Wicked Lovely is a novel all about faeries. Aislinn is human and she can see faeries. She has rules that she has to live by but all hell is about to break loose as the rules begin to change.

I've read this book before, I can't remember when, definitely around four or more years ago, so I didn't really remember much but I remembered that I really enjoyed it and I had the same feeling this time round.

I really liked the world that Melissa Marr created when she wrote this book. I loved the way that the faeries were portrayed. Evil, seductive and tricksters, they just felt perfect to me. And the characters were very interesting in this book. I cared about them all a lot and many of the main characters grew on me as I went deeper into this book. By the end, I really fell for them all.

In short I really enjoyed this book. So sorry for such a short review. I am so behind in reviews that I'm just going to plough through the next couple and just say how I felt :P    

Book Review - Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms

(Falling Kingdoms #1)

Author: Morgan Rhodes

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Magic. 

Published: March 11 2014

Pages: 448 pages (Paperback Edition) (Razorbill)

Read: July 2015

Rating: 4 Stars



AURANOS - Privileged Princess Cleo is forced to confront violence for the first time in her life when a shocking murder sets her kingdom on a path to collapse.

LIMEROS - The king’s son, Magnus, must plan each footstep with shrewd, sharp guile if he is to earn his powerful father’s trust, while his sister, Lucia, discovers a terrifying secret about her heritage that will change everything.

PAELSIA - Rebellious Jonas lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Witches, if found, are put to death, and Watchers, immortal beings who take the shape of hawks to visit the human world, have been almost entirely forgotten. A vicious power struggle quickly escalates to war, and these four young people collide against each other and the rise of elementia, the magic that can topple kingdoms and crown a ruler in the same day.

Book 26/60 - 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge

Falling Kingdoms is a young adult high fantasy novel set in a magical world where magic elementia is disappearing. It follows the three kingdoms and three main characters within each kingdom and how they battle to save their world from disappearing.

I have to say that this was my first high fantasy novel I read (of this type), so going in I didn't really know what to expect. I was excited to read this especially after I had heard of all the hype associated with this book. And I did really enjoy Falling Kingdoms. It didn't blow me away really, and probably won't make my favourites of 2015, but I did enjoy it!

And what I loved about this book was the plot. I'm not really a fan of magic use and so on in books, like a book solely about witches is a major turn-off for me. I don't know why, perhaps I just haven't found the 'right' book to secure me into that sub-genre, but I really enjoyed the magic aspect of Falling Kingdoms. I found it to be explained well and I was easily able to converse myself into the world that Morgan Rhodes built here for Falling Kingdoms. 

The characters in Falling Kingdoms were a bit iffy for me. There were some that I adores, even if I shouldn't have, Magnus, Theon, Jonas, but some that I found to be quite disappointing in nature because it took me a long time to connect with most of them. By the end I was feeling a bit more nicer towards Cleo but I'll have to see how she is in the next book.

Overall, I enjoyed this even though I was a tad bit diappointed. I was expecting this book to keep me completely gripped and was expecting to give this a five star review before I started but I gave it four stars simply for enjoyment reasons. As I said above, this book didn't blow my mind but it was extremely enjoyable and I cannot wait to continue on with the series and to read the spin-off prequel 'A Book of Spirits and Thieves' also. 

P.S. Isn't this cover just gorgeous??

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Wishlist Wednesday #3

Wishlist Wednesday #3


Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Pen to Paper. This meme is where you showcase one book that is on your wishlist and that you can't wait to get off your wishlist and into your hands.


On my Wishlist Wednesday today is....

Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously--and at great risk--documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.



Sticking with the Ruta Sepetys theme here I go again, with Ruta's debut novel Between Shades of Gray. I've been really wanting to read this book for a while now and it's been on my wishlist for just as long too!!. This book is also an historical fiction novel set around the time of Stalin and work camps and sounds just as interesting as her other books.

Have you heard of this book?? 
Is it on your wishlist??
What have you on your wishlist??
Or have you read this book?? 

BookTube-A-Thon Wrap-Up

BookTube-A-Thon Wrap-Up

Hey ya'll!! Here is my completel wrap-up of BookTube-A-Thon whic occured all of last week. 

There were 7 challenges to complete and I completed 3 and a half of them!
The challenges I completed were:
- Read a book with blue of the cover
- Read a book you really wanted to read
- Read a book without letting go of it
And half of - Read a book by an author who shares the same first letter of your last name.

And so, below I am going to show my day to day progress and just my little comments for each day.

Day 1:
Book Being Read - The One by Kiera Cass - 263 pages
Total Pages Read Today - 263 pages
Total Books Finished - None!
Comment: It would have to be said that today was an extremely good reading day for me. I've only 60 pages left of The One which is going to be read tomorrow morning :)

Day 2:
Books Being Read - The One by Kiera Cass - 60 pages, Conversion by Katherine Howe - 19 pages, Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider - 58 pages.
Total Pages Read Today - 137 pages
Total Books Finished - (1) The One by Kiera Cass
Comment: Today was another good day! It wasn't as good as yesterday though. But I finished my first book, The One, which I absolutely loved and I got a start on two other books, Conversion and Extraordinary Means. 

Day 3:
Books Being Read - Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider - 161 pages.
Total Pages Read Today - 161 pages
Total Books Finished - (1) The One by Kiera Cass
Comment: I made another big dent in my second book of the read-a-thon and hope to get it finished tomorrow!

Day 4:
Books Being Read - Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider - 117 pages, Conversion - 5 pages.
Total Pages Read Today - 122 pages
Total Books Finished - (2) The One by Kiera Cass, Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider.
Comment: I finished my second book!!! :D That is all...

Day 5:
Books Being Read - Conversion - 22 pages, The Gates by John Connolly - 47 pages.
Total Pages Read Today - 69 pages
Total Books Finished - (3) The One by Kiera Cass, Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider, The Gates by John Connolly
Comment: Today was a disastrous reading day for me. I got really busy today that I could read that much. But I did finish a book, sort of, I ended up DNFing the book because I actually couldn't take the book, it still counts though right?? :p

Day 6:
Books Being Read - Conversion - 46 pages.
Total Pages Read Today - 46 pages
Total Books Finished - (3) The One by Kiera Cass, Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider, The Gates by John Connolly
Comment: Okay, today was worse than yesterday...

Day 7:
Books Being Read - Conversion - 122 pages.
Total Pages Read Today - 122 pages
Total Books Finished - (3) The One by Kiera Cass, Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider, The Gates by John Connolly
Comment: And today's the last day! I didn't get to finish the book I was currently reading but oh well I can finish it now that the read-a-thon is over.

Complete Total of Pages Read - 920 pages (I bet last year by just 10 pages! Wow what a close call...)