Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite 2016 Releases So Far This Year

favourite-2016-releases-so-far

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is favourite 2016 releases so far, which is one of my favourite things to post about. I love recommending books and I’ve rated all of these either 4.5 or 5 stars. These are in no particular order and my full reviews are linked.

1. The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

This was my most recent 5 star reads. I absolutely loved everything about it. It’s a beautiful historical fiction novel set in the 1970s in Alaska, following four teens who are each dealing with personal struggles and how their stories collide. I’ll have a full review up on Thursday.

2. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Morgan Matson is one of my favourite authors. She’s an auto-buy author of mine because she writes the most beautiful and relatable summery contemporaries. The Unexpected Everything was amazing and I loved the characters soooo much!

3. Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

This was my first John Corey Whaley book and it didn’t disappoint. Featuring an agoraphobic and a wannabe psychologist, this book was moving, powerful and absolutely beautiful. The friendships and relationships in this book are GOALS.

4. Frankie by Shivaun Plozza

This debut novel absolutely blew my mind. Frankie was full of spunk, attitude and just screamed Melbourne and Australia to me. The novel made me laugh and cry and it was just such an experience.

5. A Tangle of Gold by Jaclyn Moriarty

This is the third and final book of Jaclyn Moriarty’s A Colour of Madeleine trilogy. It was mindblowingly good and wrapped up the series so beautifully. There were so many twists and turns and my heart was just beating out of my chest the entire time. If you want something magical and whimsical, this series will give you exactly that.

6. Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali

I love my WWII historical fiction and Max is the standout WWII novel that I’ve read this year. It’s translated from French and has such an interesting premise. It follows Max, a product of the Lebensborn program in Germany, from before he was born until the end of WWII. It was amazing and more people need to read this because it’s so underrated.

7. The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard

This book broke my heart and mended it at the same time. It was so beautifully written and had such wonderful relationships. The relationship between Alice and her brother, Joey, made me cry for ages during and after my read. It’s a must-read in my opinion.

8. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Another series finale, The Raven King is the fourth and final book of The Raven Cycle. It wasn’t everything that I expected it to be but what Maggie Stiefvater did give us was absolutely brilliant anyway. The characters are definitely the standout and I’ve enjoyed their journey immensely.

9. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

I loved this new Shadowhunters book so much!! It was an awesome start to a new series. It wasn’t quite as good as Clockwork Angel for me but I thought it was a superb first book with some really diverse and interesting characters.

10. The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis

Another amazing Aus YA book released this year. I really loved The Sidekicks, which is a story about three boys who are each dealing with grief in their own ways and what happens when they lean on each other.


These are just some of my favourite 2016 releases that I’ve read so far this year. I’m sure there will be many more amazing releases to come. What have been your favourite 2016 releases or 2016 reads?

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Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

the-raven-king

Publisher: Scholastic
Release date: April 26, 2016
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Pages: 438
Goodreads || Book Depository

The Raven King is the fourth and final book of The Raven Cycle, and this review contains minor spoilers for the first four books. I have full reviews for The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue.

Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Recent 5-Star Reads

ten-recent-five-star-reads

It’s Tuesday, which means another Top Ten Tuesday post. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and I’m super excited about this week’s post because I love talking about my favourite books. I haven’t actually rated very many books 5 stars in recent weeks so some of these go back to January and December…

1. Frankie by Shivaun Plozza

This is Shivaun Plozza’s debut novel and I absolutely loved it. I read this one a couple days ago and was just immersed in the story from the first page. It was heartwarming and heartbreaking and I loved the characters. This book focuses on disadvantaged youths and those who come from a lower socioeconomic status. I thought it handled everything really well and I can’t wait to read Shivaun Plozza’s next book! (A review of this book will be up on Happy Indulgence tomorrow!)

2. A Tangle of Gold by Jaclyn Moriarty

A Tangle of Gold is the third and final book in The Colours of Madeleine trilogy. I thought the first two books were great but this third book blew my mind with its twists and how everything was tied up in the end. I loved it so much and it’s currently one of my favourite series.

3. Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

I really enjoyed this novella bind-up. I’ve been going through The Lunar Chronicles withdrawals and Stars Above helped fill that hole in my heart. I enjoyed every single one of the stories and thought The Little Mermaid retelling and the wedding/epilogue story were absolutely amazing. I also enjoyed how the book came full circle, despite the stories being largely unrelated.

4. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

I didn’t write a review for this book because I loved it so much that I didn’t think I could put that love into words. This book has magical realism, which is one of my favourite things in the world. It was just really well-written, with lots of interesting and diverse characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. I thought it was a really magical and unique book.

5. Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali

Max is one of my favourite YA WWII historical fiction novels. This one was super unique and was written from the perspective of Max. We follow Max’s story from before he was born, up until the end of the Hitler regime. Reading from the perspective of a fetus was a really interesting experience and if you’ve ever wanted to know more about the Lebensborn program, I really recommend this one!

6. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

This book is now one of my favourite contemporaries. I love Morgan Matson’s writing and I think this one if my favourite of all of her books that I’ve read. It had the most wonderful coming of age story that had a great balance of romance, friendship, family and grief.

7. The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

The second book in The Winner’s Trilogy, The Winner’s Crime is one of my all-time favourite books. It was so full of tension and anticipation, and I highly enjoyed the atmosphere and how epic the book felt, despite not having a lot of action. I can’t wait to read the final book and I have no idea why I haven’t picked it up yet.

8. Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

This was a highly entertaining guide to the major Greek Gods. It’s narrated by Percy and he just made the whole book really fun to read. I loved the learning experience and it definitely did not fail to make me laugh.

9. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

This is the third book in Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle. Blue Lily, Lily Blue is my favourite of the three books that are out at the moment. It was just a really great continuation to the series and the pacing was just right for me. I love where this series is headed and I can’t wait to see how it all ends. Not long to go now!

10. The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

The final book of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Last Olympian had everything that I could have wanted. It was a really epic end to a really fun and action-packed series. It had action from the very beginning and it made me really excited to pick up some of Rick Riordan’s other series.


Did you rate any of these books 5 stars? I hope I convinced you to read some of these because I really love them!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Autumn TBR

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You’ll probably have noticed that I don’t do TBR posts because what I read really depends on my mood. But the topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is books that are on my Spring TBR (which I’ve changed to Autumn TBR because southern hemisphere), so I thought I’d list a couple of books that I plan to read in the next two months. Most of these books I’ve either preordered, requested or already own copies of, but I’m super excited to get to all of these.

The Goodreads page for each book is linked!

1. The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

I absolutely loved both The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime and I have to get my hands on this as soon as it’s released! Like, you don’t understand how much I need to know what happens next. I’m about to implode from the need.

2. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

This is another series finale that I’m super excited for. The Raven Cycle so far has been magnificent and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

3. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

I’m pretty sure ACOMAF is on everybody’s TBR and wishlists. I thought A Court of Thorns and Roses was really great and I’m so excited that ACOMAF is inspired by the Hades and Persephone story. I’m slightly iffy about it though because Rhysand is going to get a lot more page time and I don’t know how I feel about him.

4. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

I absolutely love Morgan Matson and everything she’s written. I’ve already heard really good things about The Unexpected Everything and I can’t wait to have it in my hands. It’s going to be fantastic!

5. The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn was another 2015 release that I really enjoyed and I have really high hopes for this sequel.

6. The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

Out of all of Rick Riordan’s books, I’ve only read Percy Jackson and the Olympians but I want to eventually catch up and binge read everything else. Apollo is probably my favourite of the major gods and I’m so excited to read about him as a mortal.

7. The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan

I’ve had the first four books of the Heroes of Olympus on my shelves for a few months now but I still haven’t read them because I want to marathon the whole series. I have the US paperbacks of the books and the last book, The Blood of Olympus, doesn’t come out in paperback until early April. So I’m holding off until I have all of the books in my possession. I’ve already preordered The Blood of Olympus, so hopefully it gets here soon.

8. Dreamology by Lucy Keating

I’ve had an eARC of Dreamology sitting in my Kindle app since last year. I was planning to review it for Happy Indulgence but the awesome Aila read and wrote up a review for it in like a day. So it’s kind of continued sitting in my Kindle app… It sounds fascinating and Aila really enjoyed it, so I’m really keen to see what I think of it.

9. This is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang

This is one of my most anticipated contemporary releases of this year and I have an ARC of this one! I cannot wait to read this and will have a review up closer to release date, which is in April.

10. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

This sounds like a really cute contemporary and there’s been quite a bit of buzz about it around the community. But let’s be real, I’m excited about it because the author and I share the same name.


What books are you really keen to read in the next few months?!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books To Read If You’re in the Mood For A Realistic Romance

ten-realistic-romances

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, we create a list of ten (or however many books) based on a theme. This week’s topic is Books to Read If You’re In the Mood for X, and I’ve chosen to feature books with realistic romances. What I mean by a realistic romance is one that isn’t all-consuming and nonsensical. It starts and develops in a manner that is logical and realistic, and it takes a backseat to issues that are more important.

1. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

I absolutely love the romance between Samantha and Jase in this book. And that’s mostly because Jase is such a nice guy. He definitely has a lot of issues to deal with but he’s never broody and assholish. He really cares for/about and supports Samantha fully, and I loved the two of them together so much!

2. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

What I enjoyed about the romance in this book was that it wasn’t at the forefront. It didn’t overshadow all of the other issues in the book and it wasn’t the only relationship that was explored. So often in YA, it feels like the romance is the only relationship that matters or exists, but in this book, we see friendships and familial relationships too. I thought the romance developed very naturally and realistic decisions were made throughout the book.

3. The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard

While there was a bit of insta-love in this book, I enjoyed how the romance progressed. There wasn’t any dancing around each other and things just happened super naturally. I enjoyed how much Alice and Manny cared about each other and how they were there for each other during even the tough times. What I enjoyed most was that the book still left room for other relationships, particularly the beautiful relationship between Alice and her brother, Joey.

4. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy and Roger’s relationship probably isn’t the most realistic that I’ve read, but I really liked that they started off as strangers who became friends and then something more. There was less romance than I thought there was going to be and I found that to be really refreshing. The book also ended in a really realistic way, for me.

5. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

I absolutely loved Cluck and Lace’s romance in this book. It’s a hate to love kind of romance but I highly enjoyed it because it didn’t feel dramatic and forced. The decisions that were made in this book were sensible and I loved how they supported each other when nobody else was on their side.

6. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue and Gansey *deep sigh*. Another hate to love romance. I went into this series expecting lots and lots of Blansey from the very beginning since the first book mentions Blue killing her true love, who is Gansey (not a spoiler cos it’s revealed in like the first chapter). But it ended up very differently and I really enjoyed how it’s been playing out. It’s definitely very slow burn but it’s development is so natural that I can’t help but love it.

7. Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

The romance in this book is a little bit instant because Emmy and Oliver were kind of an item before Oliver moved away, but I can’t deny that the romance in this book is stellar! It’s a very supportive relationship and they both take it very seriously.

8. Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

The attraction and romance in this book is probably one of the most realistic that I’ve ever read. This book really captures the feeling of unrequited love and what it’s like to have a large age difference (large for a high school girl). I loved how everything was handled in this book and how the romance wasn’t forced. I liked the decisions that were made and thought the book ended in the perfect way!

9. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

The relationship between Sydney and Mac in this book was beautiful. It didn’t overshadow the themes of family, which I really appreciated. I liked how they leaned on each other during the tough times. I probably could have used a little bit more romance, but I appreciated how well Sarah Dessen explored the really important issues in the book.

10. What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

All the right decisions were made in this book. I really enjoyed the relationship between Kate and Ben in this book, but when Kate begins to wonder where Ben was when a terrible crime was being committed, things start to fall apart. I loved the decisions that Kate made in this book and how she chose to protect herself.


What are some of your favourite romances and do you think they’re realistic? The majority of my list are contemporary romances. What are some of your favourite realistic fantasy romances?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Music

books-and-music

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the team at The Broke and the Bookish. The theme for this week is books and music, so I’ll be listing ten books that feature music.

Just a disclaimer… I haven’t read like half of these books. I’m not really into books that are specifically about music. I’m generally just not a fan of books with a male rocker love interest. But here we go:

1. Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Sinner is the companion novel to Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls (Shiver) trilogy. It focuses on Cole and Isabel’s story, and in this book Cole is a musician who’s trying to make it big in LA. I didn’t really enjoy this book very much… purely because I hated the ‘drugs, sex and rock n roll’ elements.

2. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Mia and Adam from If I Stay are both musicians. Mia is a cellist, who’s aiming to become a professional. Adam is part of an up-and-coming rock band. I really enjoyed the relationship between Mia and Adam in this book and they music brought them together even though they were into different genres.

3. You’re the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About by Daniel Herborn

This is an Australian YA debut novel, set in the inner west suburbs of Sydney. Both of the main characters are into their music and Tim is trying to make it as a musician. I wasn’t a huge fan of this book either. It just tried to be too hip and cool with all of these references to obscure bands.

4. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Etta, the protagonist of the book, is a violin virtuoso. She wants to debut as a professional but then finds out that she comes from a family of time travellers. What’s really cool about the time travel in this book, is that it incorporates music into it. Certain musical notes need to be played in order to open up the time travel passages.

5. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Music doesn’t play a huge part in this book but Jem Carstairs plays the violin and I just had to mention him because I love him so much ❤ That violin part in the epilogue KILLED me.

6. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

I read this book about 8 years ago so I don’t really remember how music was involved. I’m pretty sure the male love interest was in a band? Or the main character somehow goes through a healing process because of music?

7. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I started this book when it first came out but I had to put it down because life got really busy… and just never picked it back up. I remember music featuring pretty heavily in the first part of the book that I actually read. Also, they’re sharing earphones on the cover of the US edition, so I assume there’s a lot of music in this book.

8. The Chimes by Anna Smaill

Another book that I haven’t read. I’ve wanted to read this since I first heard about it mid last year. It’s set in a dystopian world where memories and writing don’t exist, and everybody has to rely on music? It sounds super intriguing and I know that the author is a violinist.

9. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

I haven’t read this book either but this whole book is about music. It features a girl who just can’t seem to fit in or make friends, but one day she stumbles upon party and discovers a love for DJing and some new friends who have a love for music.

10. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Haha another book I haven’t read. I know that this book has a lot of musical references and Nick is part of a band. Don’t actually know too much else.


Have you read any of these books and which do you recommend?

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Last Ten Books I Added To My Wishlist

ten-books-i-recently-added-to-my-wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the group at The Broke and the Bookish. This week I am featuring the ten books I have most recently added to my Book Depository wishlist. I don’t always add every book that I’m interested in to my wishlist, so these are the ones I actually plan to buy or pre-order soon.


1. The Winner’s Kiss – Marie Rutkoski

If you have seen my recent reviews of The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime, you will know that this is currently my most anticipated release. I need to know what happens next and I will probably die if I don’t get my hands on it as soon as possible. This one is out on March 29 in the US, but March 23 in Australia?!!!

2. The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater

This is another series finale that I am highly anticipating after reading The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue in December. I wanted to pre-order this one as soon as I had finished the first three books, but I might wait a bit closer to release date before placing an order. This one will hopefully be released on April 26.

3. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour – Morgan Matson

This is actually one that I’ve wanted to buy for ages but it never made it on to my Book Depository wishlist. After reading Second Chance Summer last week, I now need to get my hands on everything else by Morgan Matson that I haven’t read yet ASAP, because Since You’ve Been Gone was also a hit with me.

4. Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend – Katie Finn

Like I said above… MUST. READ. EVERYTHING. BY. MORGAN. MATSON. Also, this one sounds like it’ll be hilarious.

5. The Hidden Oracle – Rick Riordan

I am slowly making my way through everything Rick Riordan has written and I absolutely need The Hidden Oracle! Apollo is probably my favourite of all of the gods so reading about him as a regular teenage boy would make my year. This book comes out on May 3.

6. Anna and the Swallow Man – Gavriel Savit

This book is right up my alley. World War II historical fiction is something that I cannot pass up. I won a proof copy of this book from Dymocks in exchange for a review on their website so I might not have to buy this one… Anna and the Swallow Man is released on January 26.

7. All the Birds in the Sky – Charlie Jane Anders

This book mixes magic and science and that’s all I need to know, really. This one is also out on January 26.

8. Love, Lies and Spies – Cindy Anstey

This book sounds so intriguing! It’s set in the 19th century and features two main characters who are so much more than they seem. Juliana is secretly a scientist and researcher, and there’s really nothing I like more than women in STEM in the 19th century. Spencer is not your average 19th century gentleman either. He’s an undercover spy and omg, I need this book. This one comes out on April 19.

9. Forever, Interrupted – Taylor Jenkins Reid

I saw CW @ Read Think Ponder’s review of this book and I must have it right now! It sounds heartbreaking and emotional, and there’s honestly not much I love more than a good ugly-cry.

10. My Lady Jane – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows

This one is marketed as perfect for fans of The Princess Bride and I LOVE The Princess Bride!! I love historical fiction novels and I love them even more when they’re funny. My Lady Jane is released on June 7.

Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

blue-lily-lily-blue

Publisher: Scholastic
Release date: October 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 391
Goodreads || Book Depository

Blue Lily, Lily Blue is the third instalment of The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. This review doesn’t contain any spoilers for the first two books, The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves, but you should probably read those reviews first.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue Synopsis

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

MY THOUGHTS

5 stars

Blue Lily, Lily Blue is my favourite of The Raven Cycle so far. It was well-paced and the story was captivating. I enjoyed the characters even more in this book (and I didn’t think that was possible).

This third instalment is much faster in pace than the two previous books. It’s still quite slow, but compared to the first two books, this one almost moves at a regular pace. It had more of a sense of urgency, which made the book even more mysterious and eerie for me. This book was also more magical and paranormal than the previous books, adding to the mysterious atmosphere and tone of the book.

While The Raven Cycle and The Dream Thieves provided more questions than answers, Blue Lily, Lily Blue started answering some of these questions. Pieces of the puzzle started to come together and the story developed much faster as a result. The whole book just made more sense and allowed me to start theorising and speculating, which I wasn’t able to do for the first two books because I was so confused. It was the first book in the series so far that had a plot that was almost as captivating as the characters. Almost.

This series remains a character-driven series for me. Each of the characters underwent even further development, which I didn’t think was possible because Maggie Stiefvater’s characterisation has been perfect already. The characters became even more multifaceted and I just fell in love with them further. Each character has skills to bring to the table and they’re all essential to the story. Certain characters that I didn’t love in the first two books definitely became more likeable in this third book and I was firmly behind them and on their side.

Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the other.

The relationships between the characters were the most noteworthy aspect of Blue Lily, Lily Blue for me. Blue and the Raven Boys care so deeply about one another that my heart was just squeezing inside my chest the whole time. I absolutely loved every Gansey and Blue scene and I will ship Blansey until the end of time. But I also absolutely enjoyed everybody’s worry and love for Gansey and OMG MY HEART.

I absolutely cannot wait for The Raven King to be released in April! The ending of Blue Lily, Lily Blue had me on the edge of my seat and I need to know what happens next!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2016

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Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday post. This is a weekly feature hosted by the group over at The Broke and the Bookish and this week I am featuring 10 of my most anticipated releases for the first half of 2016. I did a list of my most anticipated 2016 debut novels a couple weeks ago so I didn’t include any of them in this list. Click on the link to see what I included in that list!

I could have also included Truthwitch by Susan Dennard and Passenger by Alexandra Bracken on this list (those are out on January 5) but I’ve already pre-ordered those and the release date is so soon that I thought I’d look a little bit further into the future.

So here are ten of my most anticipated releases between February and June of 2016. Their Goodreads pages are linked.

1. Stars Above – Marissa Meyer

This is a collection of short stories featuring the world and the characters from The Lunar Chronicles. I believe this contains 9 short stories, 4 that have been previously released as ebooks and 5 never-before-seen stories. The Lunar Chronicles is my favourite series so I cannot wait to read more. Plus we’ve been promised the wedding of the century?

2. A Gathering of Shadows – V.E. Schwab

I really, really loved A Darker Shade of Magic so I’m highly anticipating this sequel! I read a little bit of an excerpt and I can tell that it’s going to be amazing!

3. Lady Midnight – Cassandra Clare

Ever since I finished bingeing The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments, I’ve been looking forward to Cassie’s next release. I really love the Shadowhunter Chronicles and Cassie’s writing so Lady Midnight cannot come soon enough! I’m more excited for her next trilogy, The Last Hours (Book 1 out in 2017), than I am for Lady Midnight but I’ll take anything at this point.

4. This is Where the World Ends – Amy Zhang

Contemporary is my favourite genre and I particularly enjoy ones that will give me all the feels and make me ugly-cry until I cannot function the next day. And this one promises all of those things.

5. The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater

I marathoned the first three books of The Raven Cycle just last week and I cannot wait for The Raven King to be released! Not only is the cover absolutely gorgeous, but I have a feeling that The Raven King will be the best one of the series yet! It’s going to be so epic and I want to know if Gansey will actually die! (That is not a spoiler).

6. A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J. Maas

I enjoyed A Court of Thorns and Roses so much when I read it back in July so I’m really looking forward to the sequel. It’s going to be partly a Hades and Persephone retelling, which has me super intrigued! I just really want to know what’s going to go down in the Night Court! (I am Team Tamlin btw)

7. The Rose and the Dagger – Renee Ahdieh

This is another sequel that I’m highly anticipating. The first book in this duology, The Wrath and the Dawn, was so great and we got left at such a heartstopping spot that I need to know what happens!

8. The Unexpected Everything – Morgan Matson

This is one of my most highly anticipated contemporaries. I’ve still only read Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson but I enjoyed the coming-of-age story and the character development in that book so much that I need to read more of her writing.

9. You Know Me Well – David Levithan & Nina LaCour

I actually don’t know too much about this book but everything I’ve read by David Levithan has been amazing (review of Every Day) and he’s one of my favourite contemporary authors. This book promises to be an wonderfully diverse LGBTQ+ book so I need to have this in my possession!

10. Summer Days & Summer Nights – Stephanie Perkins

I thoroughly enjoyed Stephanie Perkins’ first short story collection, My True Love Gave To Me, when I read it last year so I’m super excited to pick up her next collection. This collection is written by a whole new group of contemporary and fantasy authors and I cannot wait to see what summery stories are in store for us.


Please share your most anticipated releases for the first half of 2016! I love adding new books to my watchlist and pre-ordering them so let me know!

Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

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Publisher: Scholastic
Release date: September 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 439
Goodreads || Book Depository

The Dream Thieves is the second book in Maggie Stiefvater’s, The Raven Cycle. This review doesn’t contain any spoilers for the first book, The Raven Boys, so feel free to stay if you want to know if the series is worth pursuing.

THE DREAM THIEVES SYNOPSIS

If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take?

Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.

One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.

And sometimes he’s not the only one who wants those things.

Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan’s secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake.

MY THOUGHTS

45 stars

The Dream Thieves picks up a few weeks after the events in The Raven Boys but it doesn’t exactly pick up where the first book left off. After finishing The Raven Boys, I was a little bit confused about some of the things that had happened and the consequences of those things happening. I was hoping that The Dream Thieves would give me some clarification or explain what had gone down in The Raven Boys. However, this book went into a completely different direction and the questions I had at the end of the first book were left unanswered. Which is completely fine… but I just felt like there were more and more unanswered questions and puzzles to solve and very few answers being given.

To me, the plot of The Dream Thieves felt largely unrelated to what happened in the previous book. At times, it almost felt like a filler book before we moved on to bigger things in the next two books. In this novel, we follow Ronan, the impulsive brawler of the group. We find out at the very end of The Raven Boys that Ronan is able to take things out of his dreams (this is not a spoiler since this is never explored in the first book) and in this book, we explore his story and the whole process of the dreaming further. Of course, Ronan’s dream thievery is linked to the greater story of the ley lines and the search for the lost Welsh king, Glendower, but for a huge section of the book, it felt almost like a separate and unrelated story. Having said that, I really enjoyed getting to know Ronan a little bit more because we didn’t get much of his back story in Book 1 and he was the enigmatic and closed off one of the group. I found his background and his family’s story to be really unexpected and interesting, and I thoroughly enjoyed everything we learnt about him.

I enjoyed the plot of this second book a little bit more than the first one. It was magical, fascinating and very strange at times and I couldn’t help but be drawn into Ronan’s story and want to read more. There were some plot points that genuinely surprised me. I did, however, find the climax of the book to be slightly lacking. It wasn’t as exciting and intense as I had hoped it would be but I still really liked it and can’t complain about it too much.

The pace of this book is very slow, probably even slower than The Raven Boys. It took a very long time for the book to get started and I wasn’t really engaged until after the 150 page mark. The story and the characters were still intriguing enough that I finished the novel in two sittings and I never felt bored even though there wasn’t very much happening. Obviously, I wish that the book could have been a little bit more fast-paced but the writing and the pace really enhanced the atmosphere of the book and I didn’t mind it too much after I got past the slow patch at the beginning.

The characters were still the stand out aspect of this series so far. They really filled in the large gaps in the book where there wasn’t much going on. My favourite characters are still Blue and Gansey. Their characters were the easiest for me to relate to and they felt the most normal to me. They’re so full of love for their family and friends and I just want to hug them. I also enjoyed Ronan’s character a lot more in this book. He’s still a little bit difficult to connect with since he’s such a closed off and distant person but getting to know his background and his cool dream thieving abilities really helped me relate to him a little bit more. The character that took a nose dive in terms of likability was Adam. I liked him quite a bit for most of The Raven Boys, but he became very annoying in this one. He acted like he was entitled to things just because he’s had a tough time and he wasn’t able to see things from the others’ perspectives. His need to be better than other people was infuriating and I just wanted him to work with the team!

“Being the Magician isn’t about being powerful when you have things and useless when you don’t,” Persephone said. “The Magician sees what is out there and find connections. The Magician can make anything magical.”

Yes, Adam. Take note. We are also introduced to a few new characters in this sequel. We have Mr Gray, a hit man who’s searching for something called the Graywaren. He does some atrocious things but his character was so complex, layered and unexpected that I really ended up loving his addition to the book. I think what Maggie Stiefvater does so well is really spending the time to develop her characters and make them multi-faceted. She plays around with stereotypes and tropes and I really love her characters.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and Maggie Stiefvater’s writing and characters. I didn’t think the plot of this novel made any developments to the series and it almost felt like a side story with some links to the overall story arc of The Raven Cycle. However, I still really liked the book and I’m predicting that the events that take place in all these books will probably have some impact on what happens in the finale.