Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Author Duos I’ve Love To See Write A Book Together

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is author collaborations I’d love to see. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the team at The Broke and The Bookish. I feel like I chose a lot of authors who have similar writing styles to pair together, instead of being creative and choosing vastly different authors. But oh well. Why change things up when they work?


1. Jandy Nelson & Gayle Forman

jandynelson gayleformanCoincidentally this was the example that Jamie from The Broke and The Bookish gave for this week’s prompt. I agreed so much with it! I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson is my favourite YA book, and the Just One Day/Year duology by Gayle Forman is also one of my firm favourites. I would love to see a collaboration between them. It would have the most beautiful writing!


2. Tahereh Mafi & Ransom Riggs

taherehmafi ransomriggsThis is kind of cheating because I still haven’t read the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi… (I did recently read the Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children trilogy by Ransom Riggs though). I just had to put this down as a collaboration though because they’re a married couple. I think they’d work so well together and it would just be an awesome time!


3. Cassandra Clare & Rick Riordan

cassieclarerickriordanCheating again because I haven’t read anything by Uncle Rick yet. Sorry! I will get onto that mission soon. One day I will be caught up. One day.

A while ago when I was at a Cassie Clare event, she mentioned that she absolutely loves Rick Riordan. So for Cassie’s sake, I’d love to see them get together and write a fantasy series!


4. Jenny Han & Becky Albertalli

jenny han View More: http://thedecisivemoment.pass.us/becky-headshotsJenny Han and Becky Albertalli both write the sweetest books! I mean there are cookies and baked goods on almost every page of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and there are Oreos in Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Yup, I want this collaboration solely because of food. I have a sweet tooth okay?! Who can resist cookies?


5. Patrick Ness & Maggie Stiefvater

patrickness maggiestiefvaterI’ve only read one Patrick Ness book (as I’m writing this up I am reading my second, A Monster Calls), but I’ve been told by many that he’s a bit of a literary genius. Maggie Stiefvater is a jack of all trades and a genius herself.

What happens when two geniuses come together to write a book? Best. Book. Ever. Undoubtedly.


6. Sarah J. Maas & Sara Raasch

sjmaas sararaaschThe Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas and Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch are two of my favourites. They’ve both got AMAZING worlds and some fierce female protagonists. I’d love to see them come together and create another epic world and charming characters. Plus they’re both young and they could be besties (coz I’m totally in a position to decide this).


7. David Levithan & Patrick Ness

davidlevithan patricknessSo remember what I said about Patrick Ness being a literary genius? To me, David Levithan is a literary genius. I’ve loved every single one of his books that I’ve read. They’re both incredible writers and I think they could come together and write a fantastic diverse book. It would have great writing and can you imagine the feels you would get? (coz feels are totally additive like that)


8. Maggie Stiefvater & Holly Black

maggiestiefvater hollyblackMaggie Stiefvater is a really quirky writer and her books have a really great paranormal/creepy vibe (speaking from my experience with the Shiver trilogy and what I know about The Raven Cycle). When I read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black, I kind of felt the same vibe. They both write paranormal books set in creepy small towns.


9. Ransom Riggs & Marissa Meyer

ransomriggs marissameyerI think this would be a really cool collaboration! I LOVE Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and I also love Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. I would love to see a sci-fi series (maybe another fairytale retelling?) featuring peculiar children with special abilities. Or maybe the peculiar children from Miss Peregrine’s can time travel to the future?! I want this!


10. Sarah J. Maas & Susan Dennard

sjmaas susandennardI think this collaboration is already happening actually. If you weren’t aware Sarah J. Maas and Susan Dennard are besties. It would be awesome to write with your best friend. I think they’d bring out the best in each other and they probably know each other so well that their book would be super seamless and cohesive. Plus the writing process would be so much fun!


Do you agree with any of these collaborations? Which authors would you like to see write a book together? And which released collaborations do you love and recommend?

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books To Read If You Like…

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the team over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is a ‘if you like this, read this’ list. Instead of choosing one book/author and giving ten recommendations based on that one book/author, I decided to do ten separate ones instead.


1. IF YOU LIKE SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA…

simon-vs-the-homo-sapiens-agendaYou might like The Flywheel by Erin Gough.

The Flywheel is an Australian YA novel that has very similar themes to Simon vs by Becky Albertalli. These both contain LGBTQ+ characters and love interests who are hesitant about coming out to their family and friends. The Flywheel is about a lesbian relationship and is set in Sydney, Australia! They’re both light and fun reads!


2. IF YOU LIKE TWILIGHT…

twilightYou might like The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is, in my opinion, a far superior book to Twilight. Don’t get me wrong, my teenage self loved Twilight, but I just think that The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a much better vampire story. It’s also a standalone so you don’t need to push through 4 long books. And there’s also no love triangle!


3. IF YOU LIKE THE FAULT IN OUR STARS…

the-fault-in-our-starsYou might like Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider.

The Fault In Our Stars is about two teenagers battling cancer and Extraordinary Means centres on two teenagers who are battling a new strand of tuberculosis. Both novels have really cute romances and are filled with fun and adventure. Also, both of these books made me cry like a baby… for hours and hours.


4. IF YOU LIKE HARRY POTTER…

harry-potter-and-the-philosophers-stoneYou might like The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.

Harry Potter is a really well-loved series and I don’t think anything can compare to it. But The Iron Trial is a middle-grade series that features a magic school, magic system, and a trio of friends who remind me of Harry, Ron and Hermione. It’s fun and it’s fast-paced and if you try not to compare it to Harry Potter, it’s actually really good!


5. IF YOU LIKE FANGIRL…

fangirlYou might like My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

I think I like My Life Next Door more than I like Fangirl (sorry!). Both books have adorable romances and explore family dynamics. These books both kept me up all night reading, and they left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. The male love interests in these books are some of my favourite contemporary guys ❤


6. IF YOU LIKE ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS…

anna-and-the-french-kissYou might like The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith.

These are both really light and fluffy contemporary romances. They’re both set in European countries and feature an American female protagonist and a cute male love interest with a British accent. I love both Etienne and Oliver so, so much!


7. IF YOU LIKE TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE…

to-all-the-boys-ive-loved-beforeYou might like The Distance Between Us by Kasie West.

Again, these are both cute and fluffy contemporary romances. Both of these novels are page-turners and feature some really cute guys ❤ If you were frustrated by the love triangle in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, you’ll be pleased to hear that The Distance Between Us does not have multiple love interests!


8. IF YOU LIKE CINDER…

cinderYou might like Wonderland by Robert McKay.

The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourite series and what I love most about it is that each book is a sci-fi fairytale retelling. Wonderland is a sci-fi Alice in Wonderland retelling and I was surprised by how interesting the characters were, and how exciting and different the plot was to the original Lewis Carroll story.


9. IF YOU LIKE THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER…

the-perks-of-being-a-wallflowerYou might like The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is written in epistolary form, and I almost felt like Charlie was directly telling me his story. I had the same feeling when I read The Shock of the Fall. Both books are so honest and moving. They also both tackle some mental health issues if you’re into that sort of thing.


10. IF YOU LIKE ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE…

all-the-light-we-cannot-seeYou might like The Narrow Road To The Deep North by Richard Flanagan.

I had to include All The Light We Cannot See in this post! Both of these books are prize winners. The Narrow Road To The Deep North won the 2014 Man Booker Prize 2014. Both are WWII historical fiction novels, one set in France and Germany and the other in Japanese Prisoner of War camps.


Do you guys have any recommendations based on the 10 books that I’ve featured today? I’m always looking for new books to read (even though my TBR pile is massive) so let me know your thoughts and opinions!

Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

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Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Release date: January 13, 2015
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 0316213071
Pages: 324
Goodreads || Book Depository

Hazel and her brother, Ben, live in Fairfold, where humans and the Folk exist side by side. Tourists drive in to see the lush wonders of Faerie and, most wonderful of all, the horned boy. But visitors fail to see the danger.

Since they were children, Hazel and Ben have been telling each other stories about the boy in the glass coffin, that he is a prince and they are valiant knights, pretending their prince would be different from the other faeries, the ones who made cruel bargains, lurked in the shadows of trees, and doomed tourists. But as Hazel grows up, she puts aside those stories. Hazel knows the horned boy will never wake.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel has to become the knight she once pretended to be. But as she’s swept up in new love, with shifting loyalties and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

my thoughts

4 stars

After reading the description of this book, I didn’t really know what to expect but I knew that it would be great, based on my experience with The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. The Darkest Part of the Forest was eerie and mysterious and darker than I thought it would be. I probably enjoyed The Coldest Girl in Coldtown just a little bit more but I would still really recommend this one if you like reading about faeries.

I thought the plot was very interesting and clever. It really kept me guessing and nothing was very predictable to me. The beginning of the book was very slow but it became more and more fast-paced as the book progressed. I flew through the last third of the book and I really enjoyed how it ended. The story and the world were well-developed, especially for a standalone novel, but I still wanted a little bit more from the story. For me, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was a bit better developed.

The characters were my favourite part of the book. They felt incredibly modern and now, and I think a part of that comes from all the diversity that Holly Black put into this book. We have a couple of gay characters and some dark-skinned characters. I really appreciate that Holly incorporates diverse characters into all her books. Each of the characters in The Darkest Part of the Forest were very unique and we really got to know each of them very well. Ben was my favourite character from the start. He was very interesting to read about and I just connected with him straight away. I actually wasn’t a big fan of Hazel – I found it hard to connect with her and there were times when I felt that she was a bit dramatic. I liked most of the other characters though, and the relationships between them. I also liked that the romance didn’t play out in the way that I had expected and I really liked what we got in the end.

The other aspect of the book that I thought was really strong was how the book ended. I thought the epilogue was the perfect way to end the book. It was a nice, light ending to a book that was quite dark and creepy.

Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

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Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Release date: September 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 0316213101
Pages: 419
Goodreads || Book Depository

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

MY THOUGHTS

4 stars

This standalone paranormal fantasy novel was a really enjoyable read. It’s set in our modern world but in an alternate setting where there was an outbreak of vampirism a decade ago. In this world, vampires are feared but also romanticised at the same time, which created a very interesting world and setting. This book was atmospheric from the very first chapter. It was dark and a little bit creepy but very entertaining. It wasn’t a very fast-paced book or a page-turner for me, so it did take me a couple of sittings to finish it. It also explored some deeper questions about humanity, which I really liked.

This book was so well-developed for a standalone. It’s written with alternating chapters of present and past. In the present chapters, we follow Tana from the aftermath of the massacre all the way into the Coldtown. The past chapters were really interesting. Because the book is written from third person perspective, there were snippets of not only Tana’s past but also the past of some of the other key characters. These chapters did a really great job of building the world, as well as setting up the plot of the story.

I thought the plot was really great. It was kind of what I wanted from the book after reading the description. There wasn’t a lot of romance in the book but I was very satisfied with what we did get and the amount of romance there was. If it was any heavier on the romance, I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much. The resolution to the plot was perhaps a little bit anticlimactic but I didn’t mind it at all. In fact, I really liked how everything unfolded because I don’t think I could have taken anything more intense. For me, the ending to the book was perfect and I wouldn’t change anything because I was thoroughly satisfied.

The aspect of the book that I didn’t enjoy very much were the characters. For the first half of the book, I didn’t like any of the characters that were introduced, except Tana and Gavriel, the main characters. I thought all of the characters were really manipulative and selfish, and I just did not like them at all. However, my dislike of the characters didn’t change my opinion of the plot or the story, because Holly Black kind of intended for them to be that way. Plus there are definitely more likeable characters that are introduced in the second half of the book, and you grow to like them as you progress through the book. What I really appreciated was the inclusion of diverse characters. We have a bisexual character and a transgender character, which I thought was really nice to read about.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is probably one of the best vampire books I’ve read. There were some cliched aspects but a lot of it was very unique, and I liked that it was a standalone novel. Also, the cover (art and texture) is perfect. I’m definitely going to get this copy signed at the Holly Black & Cassandra Clare event in mid-August!

Review: The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black

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Publisher: Doubleday Children’s Books
Release date: September 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0857532502
Pages: 295
Goodreads || Book Depository

Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst – and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .

MY THOUGHTS

4 stars

The Iron Trial is the first instalment in the Magisterium Series, which is a five-book middle-grade series. I initially had no plans to pick up this series but Cassandra Clare and Holly Black are holding an event in Sydney in mid-August to promote the next book, The Copper Gauntlet. So I thought I’d pick it up and give it a go. This was a very quick read for me, since it is a middle-grade series. I finished it in one sitting.

I thought The Iron Trial was a really fun middle-grade fantasy read, and a great start to the series. There was a lot of really good world and character building, though at times I wish we got to see even more of the world, especially outside of the Magisterium. The atmosphere of the whole book was great, as was the twist near the end of the book. Cassandra Clare is just so great with all of her plot twists! (I haven’t read anything else by Holly Black yet, so I can’t comment on her plot twists). The Iron Trial was filled with action and mystery in every chapter, and was just a really engaging read.

While there were some elements that reminded me a lot of the Harry Potter series, I think The Iron Trial brings something completely different to the table. It turns the classic magician’s tale on its head and the story is just not what you’d expect. I liked the magic system in this book and I hope we get to learn more about it in the upcoming books. The writing in this book wasn’t really to my taste. Because this is a middle-grade series, the writing felt a bit juvenile to me, but I would have definitely liked it more if I was younger.

Let’s talk about the characters. I really liked Call a lot. He by no means is a hero or the ‘chosen one’. He’s just your average kid who gets bullied by his classmates, but manages to find a world where he fits in. At times, his spontaneity and recklessness annoyed me a little but you have to keep in mind that he’s a 12 year old. My biggest complaint about his character was his name. I don’t understand why Callum gets shortened to Call… because I read that as ‘call’ and not ‘Cal’. Aaron and Tamara, who I kind of see as Ron and Hermione, were interesting characters. I liked Aaron from the very beginning but it took a while before Tamara grew on me. The friendship between the three was really great and was definitely reminiscent of Harry, Ron and Hermione.

Even though I could keep drawing Harry Potter parallels, I thought The Iron Trial (and The Magisterium Series) was quite unique in its world and magic system and I’m looking forward to the next book.