Wrap Up: September 2016

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Where did the time even go?  How is it even October already? This year has definitely flown by and so has the month of September. I had lots of reading plans in September. I got my wisdom teeth removed earlier this week and I thought I’d have a lot of reading time during my recovery. Turns out, it doesn’t really work that way and I spent most of my time just sleeping. But even though I haven’t made the most of my time off, I still managed to read quite a lot of books this month. Here’s my reading summary and full reviews are linked.

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Reading summary header

1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – J.K. Rowling  4 stars

This was a really interesting guidebook to the different magical creatures in the Harry Potter world. It wasn’t the most entertaining book but it was super informative and made me feel like I was back in the world.

2. Empire of Storms – Sarah J. Maas  45 stars

I was super impressed by this fifth installment of the Throne of Glass series. It wasn’t as good as Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows in my opinion but it was a nice continuation to the series. The plot is really starting to come together and I’m really excited about the finale!

3. The Realm of Possibility – David Levithan  4 stars

I’ve had this book for a while and had never picked it up. I went to a few David Levithan events in recent weeks and hearing him talk about his work made me want to pick up some more of his books that I still have yet to read. This book is written in verse and was a really nice easy read about love and everything that comes with it.

4. Trial by Fire – Josephine Angelini  3 stars

This is the first book in the Worldwalker trilogy and I was a bit underwhelmed by it. I didn’t connect with any of the characters and I thought the plot was a bit clumsy and confused. This book just wasn’t for me.

5. PS. I Like You – Kasie West  4 stars

I love Kasie West because all of her books are so cute and fluffy. PS. I Like You was no exception. It was so full of sugary cuteness that I sped through it in one sitting. The book is about a girl who exchanges letters with a boy who sits at the same desk as her at school, and I just absolutely adored it.

6. It Ends With Us – Colleen Hoover  35 stars

I’ve heard countless good things about this latest Colleen Hoover novel. Unfortunately I didn’t really connect with the story emotionally. I found it to be a bit dull and the characters also came across as a bit boring to me. I did like the issues that the book explored but I didn’t think the book was amazing by any means. (Trigger warning for domestic violence and abuse).

7. The Thousandth Floor – Katharine McGee  45 stars

I was completely unprepared for how much I loved this novel! It’s the first book in a new trilogy and I loved it so much that I couldn’t stop raving about it for days. It’s a futuristic Gossip Girl-like story set in a world where Manhattan is literally inside a 1000-storey tower. I loved the technology and the world of this book and also really liked the characters and their stories.

8. The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You – Lily Anderson  45 stars

This was another adorable contemporary story. It’s a retelling of Much Ado About Nothing and is set at a high school for geniuses. I loved the entire cast of characters in this book and I thought the main characters, Beatrice and Benedict, were absolutely fantastic and relatable. There are lots of nerdy references in the book and I highly enjoyed the plot.

9. Twenty Boy Summer – Sarah Ockler  35 stars

I love Sarah Ockler’s writing and stories and I also really enjoyed Twenty Boy Summer. However, I think you could really tell that this was her debut novel because it wasn’t as polished as her other novels. Despite that, I still really enjoyed it and I liked that it explored the theme of grief in an interesting and relatable way.

10. Between the Lives – Jessica Shirvington  45 stars

Jessica Shirvington hasn’t disappointed me yet. I loved her Disruption duology and this was just as good. The story follows our main character, Sabine, who lives two separate lives. Every 24 hours, she Shifts into her other life and lives that day over again. I loved the concept of this book and I loved Sabine as a character. I thought the plot of the story was spectacular and I can’t wait to read some more of Jessica Shirvington’s work.

11. Our Chemical Hearts – Krystal Sutherland  3 stars

This was a highly anticipated contemporary release for me and I was left extremely underwhelmed. Pretty much nothing happens for a good 80% of the book and I was just extremely bored. There are also some Manic Pixie Dream Girl elements and it took a lot of willpower for me to continue the novel. I considered DNFing at 100 pages and, in hindsight, I probably should have.

12. The Hating Game – Sally Thorne  5 stars

The Hating Game was a book that I didn’t know I needed. It’s one of the most adorable office romances that I’ve read and every single page of this book gave me intense contemporary romance feels. The main character, Lucy, is absolutely wonderful and I could read 100 more books about her.

13. Heartless – Marissa Meyer  35 stars

I’ve been highly anticipating this novel since Winter came out earlier this year. I loved The Lunar Chronicles and I really love Marissa Meyer’s writing. But I thought Heartless was just… okay. It took me a while to get through the book because I wasn’t really excited by the plot or the characters. I also thought that the romance lacked spark and I just wasn’t feeling it.

14. Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo  5 stars

Oh man… this is probably my favourite novel that I’ve read so far this year. There was literally nothing that I didn’t like about this sequel and it’s definitely on par with Six of Crows. The characters were perfect, the plot was perfect and the writing and pace were perfect. I’ve already read this book twice and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be rereading it again soon.

15. Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur  5 stars

I very rarely read poetry but I really, really enjoyed this collection from Rupi Kaur. There were a lot of free verse poems and that made the experience a little bit easier for me. What I really loved about it was that it was feminist and empowering and I think it’s an important read for all women.

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I only did two Top Ten Tuesday posts in September but I loved both of the topics!

Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

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Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Release date: September 6, 2016
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Pages: 704
Goodreads || Book Depository || Booktopia

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what – and who – to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

MY THOUGHTS

45 stars

Empire of Storms is the fifth book in the Throne of Glass series, which means that this review may contain spoilers for the first four books.

Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a review copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I loooooved this fifth installment of this series but I didn’t love it more than Queen of Shadows and Heir of Fire. While there were lots and lots of elements and plot points that I highly enjoyed, I had a few minor issues. But they were so minor that I could probably overlook them.

The plot of this book was great and I thought it followed on nicely from the ending of Queen of Shadows. However, at times, I felt that the plot lacked logical flow and transitions. There were things that kind of happened out of the blue and I think that’s a little bit inexcusable for a book that’s 700 pages. Having said that, while it did make me slightly confused at times, it didn’t really bother me and I loved where we went in this story and how the book ended as well. It fit in really well with the overarching story arc of the series and I’m super excited to see where the finale takes us and how it’ll end.

This book follows a couple of different perspectives and character journeys and I enjoyed all of them. We follow the stories of not only Aelin and her court but also Manon’s story, Elide’s journey to finding Aelin and Lorcan’s own personal quest to find the Wyrdkeys. I loved finding out more about Elide and Lorcan because they were intriguing characters that we didn’t really get to see a lot of in previous installments. Those two characters really, really grew on me throughout the novel and I love them so much! I also highly enjoyed Manon’s story arc. I loved her in previous books but now I think she might be my favourite character of the series. Her journey throughout the book was heartwrenching but worked so perfectly with plot of the series. What I think was slightly missing in this book was Chaol’s story. I’m not the biggest Chaol fan but he wasn’t in this novel at all and I did find myself wondering what he was up to. I can understand why his story wasn’t included in this book since it was already filled with lots of juicy action but I think fans of Chaol will really be disappointed by the lack of Chaol in Empire of Storms.

All of the characters were fantastic in this novel. I had problems with the characters in A Court of Mist and Fury but I was definitely not disappointed by Empire of Storms. I do have to say though that some of the side characters overtook Aelin as my favourite. I thought the complexity of Manon and Elide’s characters in this fifth book were much more appealing and interesting to me than Aelin. She just felt a little bit less feisty and funny than in previous books. We saw a much more serious and responsible side of her in this novel, which worked well with the plot and makes complete sense. I just found her to be slightly less interesting to me than some of the other females in this book. In terms of the other characters, I continued to love Rowan in this novel. But I felt that his character was also slightly different to who he had been in the past. He was also a bit more subdued and at times came across as a bit weak and needy, as opposed to the big, bad Fae warrior he was in Heir of Fire. These are all very minor criticisms though because I love the cast of characters in this series and the things they make me feel.

All you really need to know about Empire of Storms is that it is absolutely amazing. Fans of Chaol might have a bit of a problem with the lack of Chaol in the novel but you definitely cannot deny that this is a wonderful installment with a clear story arc. I can’t wait to find out how it all ends and I’m so sad that it’ll be another year before I find out.

Empire of Storms was published by Bloomsbury on September 6, 2016 and is now available at Australian retailers for $17.99.

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Everyone Loves But I Just Don’t Get

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the team at The Broke and the Bookish. Today I’ll be featuring some well-loved characters that I just don’t really like, or don’t understand the obsession with. I’m sorry if any of my responses offend anyone. Just know that I’m not judging anybody for their love of a character.

1. The Darkling (The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo)

I don’t fully understand everyone’s obsession with the Darkling. I mean, I was intrigued by him in Shadow and Bone and was really excited to read more about him, but his character went downhill after that first book. There was hardly any character development and he went from being an interesting character to just being super evil and creepy. For me, his character was just a wasted opportunity.

2. Chaol Westfall (Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas)

I really like Chaol as a character but I was never Team Chaol. In Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, I was Team Dorian and now I’m firmly in Team Rowan. I like Chaol’s personality and what he stands for but I don’t really understand why everybody is in love with him. But that’s the thing with ships I guess… we can’t always agree.

3. Jacob Black (Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer)

I feel like this is one that a lot of readers will understand. What was even the point of Jacob Black in that whole series? His character was so unnecessary (New Moon as a book was basically unnecessary) and it would have been a much more enjoyable series if he wasn’t in it.

4. Ron Weasley (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

I’ve never really liked Ron… He’s kind of annoying and wimpy . He’s funny, I’ll give him that, but I would’ve enjoyed the series just as much if Ron wasn’t in it.

5. Mather Loren (Snow Like Ashes trilogy by Sara Raasch)

I’ve been Team Theron since the beginning of this trilogy, but even when Theron’s character went downhill, I wasn’t a big fan of Mather. I don’t really understand how people switched ships. I can understand people jumping off the Theron love boat but just because you no longer like one love interest as much, doesn’t mean that you need to fall in love with the other. It’s not a mutually exclusive thing for me. I dunno… someone please tell me what’s so great about Mather!

6. Charlotte Holmes (A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro)

A Study in Charlotte was a book that I was completely underwhelmed by and it was mostly due to the characters. Charlotte Holmes in this book is a carbon copy of Sherlock Holmes from the BBC tv show. There’s nothing original about her and she’s probably 3000x more annoying that a character should be. I was just completely unimpressed by her.

7. Safiya fon Hasstrel (Truthwitch by Susan Dennard)

This is one that I can kind of understand. I thought Safi was a really strong character but she was so super annoying for most of the book! I didn’t completely understand what was so special about her and she just came across as another badass female heroine.

8. Tarver Merendsen (These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner)

I just wasn’t a big fan of this book overall. I didn’t like either of the main characters and because the character development and romance was such a big part of the book, I ended up not really connecting with it. Tarver was a pretty boring character in my opinion. He was resourceful and strong but that’s all there was to him. I don’t really see what people are going on about when it comes to this book and the romance.

9. Adam Parrish (The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater)

I feel like there are so many people who are in love with Adam from The Raven Cycle and I don’t really see it. He was super annoying in The Raven Boys, and while his character does get a little bit better as the series goes on, I’m still not the biggest fan of him. I don’t really understand his actions or his thought processes and he kind of makes me uncomfortable…

10. Rhysand (A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas)

Okay, this is one that I’m still on the fence about. I can kind of see why people are interested in him and I can also see myself growing to like him as we get to see more of him… but based on his actions and what we did see of him in ACOTAR, I don’t really agree with everybody’s obsession with him. He’s a bit of a dick, if I’m honest.


Let me know if you agree with any of these!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters Who Need to Join My Reverse Harem

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Because next week is Valentine’s Day, this week’s theme is Valentine’s Day. I’m going to be featuring ten characters who I adore and they totally all need to join my reverse harem right now. These are in my particular order but William Herondale is bae.


1. Will Herondale (The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare)

What can I say about Will Herondale that hasn’t already been said? He’s smart, sexy, broody and is an amazing friend *heart eyes*. I just want him to read to me every night.

2. Jase Garrett (My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick)

I’ve said this many times before, but Jase is just the ultimate good guy. And we need more characters like him who are just super nice and caring, and have no unnecessary drama. Jase is amazing with his younger siblings and he can totally fix my car… when I buy one eventually.

3. Richard Gansey III (The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater)

Obviously I need an enigmatic rich boy in my reverse harem and Gansey is perfect for the role. He’s super smart and I love all of his little quirks. I just want to hug him all the time and protect him from all the bees.

4. Kaz Brekker (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)

Kaz is cutthroat but is super sweet to the people he loves. And as much as I don’t want to split up Kaz and Inej… he really needs to join my harem. We could go sailing and then he can be all sweet and romantic with his “Stay in Ketterdam. Stay with me.” But I’m too much of a city girl…so I’ll probably end up ruining the moment by saying “Ketterdam sucks. Come to Australia.”

5. Rowan Whitethorn (Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas)

My sexy fae prince. I love Rowan’s determination and how he protects those he cares about. Also his possessiveness is just *squeeaaalls*

6. Prince Theron (Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch)

Theron was the character that I fell in love with straight away in Snow Like Ashes. He loves poetry and the arts, and he’s just really sweet and romantic. I don’t like Theron as much in Ice Like Fire but I’ll always be in love with first book Theron.

7. Captain Carswell Thorne (The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer)

I was tossing up between Prince Kai and Captain Thorne…but ultimately, I went with Thorne because he’s hilarious and will provide so much comic relief. All the other guys are pretty serious and intense, and Captain Thorne will bring all the fun! Plus he can drive a spaceship so… fun space adventures are in my future.

8. Cluck Corbeau (The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore)

I read The Weight of Feathers recently, and it’s become one of my favourite books. Cluck is just an amazing love interest. He’s another character that I want to hug and never let go of. He’s been through a lot but I’ll be sure to treat him well.

9. Jem Carstairs (The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare)

I love Jem. Not as much as Will, but it’s pretty hard not to love Jem Carstairs. He’s so caring and loyal and unafraid to do what’s right. Even demonic cats love him. But mostly, he’s on this list because I just could not split up Will and Jem.

10. Willem De Ruiter (Just One Day by Gayle Forman)

Willem is another enigmatic character but I love that he’s a bit of a lost soul. He loves to travel, so we could travel around Europe together. He speaks French, Dutch and English… which I find extremely attractive. And he’s also super romantic… and I love romance.


So keeping in mind that all ten of these men belong to me (mwahahaha), who would you invite to join your harem?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Villains / Morally Ambiguous Characters

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Welcome back to another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a freebie week, so I’ve chosen to feature some of my favourite villains and morally ambiguous characters. These are in no particular order.


1. Queen Levana (The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer)

The Lunar Chronicles is my favourite series and one of the reasons why I love it so much is because of the villain in the series. Queen Levana is so evil and complex and I just loved her and thought she was a great villain.

2. Mayor Prentiss (Chaos Walking – Patrick Ness)

Mayor Prentiss is terrifying! He was so evil in the first book of the series and I loved that about him. But then I read the second book, and his motives and intentions were so morally ambiguous that I had no idea what to think of him… which made him even more terrifying.

3. Manon Blackbeak (Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas)

I loved Manon from the first time I met her in Heir of Fire. She’s fierce, fearless and just cutthroat. But she also has a soft side and I can’t wait for Sarah to explore that side of her a little bit more in the remaining books.

4. King Angra (Snow Like Ashes – Sara Raasch)

This guy is just pure evil. Totally terrifying and I’m kinda scared for the last book of the trilogy, Frost Like Night.

5. Max (Max – Sarah Cohen-Scali)

Max is not a villain. But he’s a child born into the ‘Lebensborn’ program, groomed to become a Hitler youth and fight for Germany during WWII. This whole book was about Max’s childhood, from his birth in 1936 until he’s found by the UNRRA after Germany’s defeat.

6. Bellatrix Lestrange (Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling)

I love Bellatrix. She’s absolutely batshit crazy and scary. I especially love Helena Bonham-Carter as Bellatrix in the movies!

7. Arobynn (Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas)

Arobynn is just the biggest asshole and I still haven’t forgiven him for what happened in The Assassin’s Blade. But he’s such a confusing and complex character that I couldn’t help but be intrigued.

8. Aeduan (Truthwitch – Susan Dennard)

Aeduan is arguably my favourite character in Truthwitch. He’s so mysterious and interesting, and I can’t wait to find out more about him and his connection to some characters that are mentioned.

9. Mr Gray (The Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater)

Mr Gray appeared to be the villain of The Dream Thieves but Maggie Stiefvater never ceases to surprise her readers with how complex her characters are. We not only got to see his villainous side, but also his fear and the more human side of him that just wants to belong. I loved his character.

10. Draco Malfoy (Harry Potter – J. K. Rowling)

Draco is my favourite character of the series and I had to include him in this list.


I know, I know. I didn’t include The Darkling on this list… but that’s because I don’t really like him that much. Sorry! Who are your favourite villains?

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books That I Read in 2015

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the group at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is top books of 2015, so I’ll be featuring my favourite books that I read this year. I’ll be posting my favourite YA releases of 2015 over at Happy Indulgence later this week and I’ll probably do a bookish awards post on this blog at the end of this month! Yep, you guessed it, this is just me cheating and not actually choosing favourites.

On to my favourite books I read this year… I’ve tried to put these into some sort of order, which was the toughest thing I’ve had to do this year… but I did it!

1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Is anybody actually surprised by this one? This is my favourite book of all time! This novel follows Marie-Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, a German Nazi youth, during WWII and what happens when their lives and stories converge. It has the most wonderful characters and plot, and the most beautiful writing I have ever read. PICK UP THIS BOOK!!! JUST DO IT!

(Btw, I have a 6-month blogoversary Twitter giveaway for this book here, ending on December 25 at 11:59pm ADST).

2. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

This book was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize earlier this year, which was what pushed me to pick it up. A Little LIfe follows four men from their teens until their 50s or 60s. We see their failures and their successes and their relationships. But mostly, this book is about Jude, who ties the four of them together, and his struggle to belong to the group and to the world. This book broke my heart into so many pieces that I’m still slowly putting it back together again. It was amazing and definitely worthy of being a Man Booker Finalist!

3. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

My favourite YA novel of all time, I’ll Give You the Sun is about two twins, Jude and Noah, who used to be close but have drifted apart after a family tragedy. They each hold secrets that have kept them apart for years but if they come together again, they can piece those secrets together to form a complete picture of what happened. This book explores so many different kids of relationships and it has beautiful writing that will have you feeling all the feels.

4. Winter by Marissa Meyer

This is the last book in The Lunar Chronicles and was my favourite sci-fi/fantasy read of the year. It was epic, intense and had everything I could’ve wanted. The ending was so satisfying and everything was resolved so neatly (perhaps too neatly, but I don’t care). I’m so sad that this is over and I highly recommend this series, if you haven’t read it. It’s my favourite series of all time!

5. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess is the last book in The Infernal Devices trilogy. I absolutely love the Shadowhunter books and this was an amazing trilogy. For me, this is so much better than The Mortal Instruments, and I’d recommend it even if you didn’t like TMI. Clockwork Princess was an absolutely heartwrenching finale. It had me in tears for most of the book and the bromance in this trilogy is just unbeatable. The best.

6. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. I was a bit skeptical about Rainbow Rowell’s first fantasy novel, especially because I skimmed through a lot of the Simon Snow sections in Fangirl. But this book was a pleasant surprise and had me raving about it for weeks! Carry On is about Simon Snow, the most pathetic superhero of all time. He isn’t able to control his magic and half the time he ends up blowing up the place. But now he needs to figure out how to save the magical world before it’s destroyed by the villainous Humdrum! This book has my OTP of the year! SnowBaz was just adorable and I’ll go down with this ship!

7. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Set in the Grisha world from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, Six of Crows follows a group of six misfits as they travel across the Grishaverse to pull off an extraordinary heist. This book is epic, action-packed and exciting! It has the most wonderful ships that I’m totally on board with. The writing was fantastic and the whole book was just mindblowing!!

8. Just One Day by Gayle Forman

My very first Gayle Forman read has made it into my favourites of the year! Just One Day follows Allyson, a recent American high school graduate, who is on a student tour around Europe. On one of her last days in Europe, she meets a mysterious but attractive Dutch boy named Willem, who invites her on a day trip to Paris before she returns home. She accepts and they spend a romantic day in Paris but when she wakes up the next day, Willem has disappeared. The rest is a coming of age story as Allyson tries to fly away from her mother’s restrictive nest and find her way back to Europe and to Willem. This book had the most amazing coming of age story. The character development in Allyson was astounding and I also thoroughly enjoyed Gayle Forman’s writing!

9. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

A Romeo and Juliet reimagining, My Life Next Door blew my mind! Samantha Reed is the daughter of a senator and her mother has always hated the loud family next door who can’t stop adding kids to their already large family. Sam is forbidden from interacting with the Garretts next door but when she meets Jase Garrett, she can’t stay away. This book was a wonderful story about love, family and doing the right thing. It had the most amazing characters and I am in love with Jase, who I call ‘the ultimate good guy’.

10. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Queen of Shadows is the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series and it was a fantastic continuation. It’s probably my favourite book of the series so far (though Heir of Fire comes a veeeerrrry close second. Or maybe they’re tied. I can’t decide!). This instalment had the most amazing climax and resolution and it had me bouncing in my seat and so excited for Book 5 to come out!


Are any of these books your favourite? Let me know what your top 3 books of the year are and I’ll be sure to check them out! Don’t forget to head over to Happy Indulgence on Sunday to see what my favourite 2015 releases are!

The Burrito Bowl Book Tag

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The Burrito Bowl Book Tag is the brain child of Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts and Cristina @ Girl in the Pages.  I was tagged by Summer @ Xingsings a couple of weeks ago, but I needed to stock up on chips, salsa and spicy guacamole before I could write up this post.

RULES TO DEVOUR THIS TAG:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you to make your own burrito bowl, linking back to their site
  2. Answer the tag questions
  3. Tag 5 others to create their own bowl
  4. Food coma

THE BURRITO BOWL BOOK TAG

RICE: THE FOUNDATION – “THE BOOK THAT GOT YOU INTO READING (OR BOOK BLOGGING)”

blinky-billthe-magic-faraway-treeBlinky Bill by Dorothy Wall and The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton were both books that were read to me when I was about 5 or 6 years old.

These books really made me interested in reading, and I think as soon as I could read for myself, I read nearly all of Enid Blyton’s books and I followed them up with lots of Roald Dahl as well.


BEANS: THE FILLER – “A BOOK WITH A WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING HAPPENING”

a-little-something-different A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall was a whole book of nothing.

It’s a story about two college students falling in love and their journey towards being together… Except they fall in love in the first 5 pages, and the rest of the book is just 200 pages of them staring at each other longingly across the room, talking about mundane things and eating at the same cafes and restaurants. It was actually the most boring romance ever. Definitely not worth your time.


PROTEIN: THE BUILDING BLOCK – “A BOOK QUOTE TO LIVE BY”

I had the hardest time choosing a quote for this question. There are a lot of quotes from books that I like, either because they’re funny or because they make me go all soft and squishy inside. But it was really hard to come up with a quote to live by… I ended up going with a Throne of Glass quote:

My name is Celaena Sardothien,” she whispers. “And I will not be afraid.
The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas


FAJITAS: THE CRUNCH OF TEXTURE – “A BOOK WITH IMMACULATE WORLD BUILDING”

harry-potter-and-the-philosophers-stone Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling was the obvious choice for this one. Although I was going to choose Six of Crows and the Grisha world by Leigh Bardugo, since I read that one recently.

The whole wizarding world in Harry Potter is so well thought out. I mean who doesn’t love Hogwarts, Hogsmeade and the rest of the world? The magic system is amazing… and OMG just everything about the Harry Potter world is perfect.


SALSA: THE DANCE OF FLAVOUR – “A BOOK THAT KEPT YOU ON YOUR TOES”

six-of-crows Okay Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo wins this one. It was super hard to choose between this one and Winter but the whole heist story in Six of Crows definitely kept me on my toes.

There’s so much that happens in this book and there are twists and turns everywhere. Even though the characters have a plan that they need to execute, there are so many surprises and unexpected turns of events that made the book unpredictable!


CORN: THE EXPLOSION OF SWEETNESS – “A MEMORABLE SCENE INVOLVING FRIENDSHIP/ROMANCE”

carry-on How could I choose anything but SnowBaz from Carry On by Rainbow Rowell?!

Every single scene with Simon and Baz are my favourites but I think the scene that made my heart melt the most was their first kiss. It was so heartwarming to see Simon be led by his feelings and nothing else. There was no hesitation on his part, and it was just the most unexpected but perfect scene ever.


CHEESE: THE BOND OF CALCIUM – “TWO CHARACTERS FROM DIFFERENT BOOKS YOU WISH COULD BE FRIENDS”

I have so many friendships that I want to see happen but I chose two characters that I’ve read about recently. Cress from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and Inej from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. They’re both kind of badass in their own ways, but they’re also both really quiet, sensitive and loyal to their friends. They’d be really great besties!


SOUR CREAM: THE TANGY TOPPER – “THE QUIRKIEST CHARACTER YOU’VE EVER READ (PROTAGONIST OR SUPPORTING)”

winter Yes, I chose Winter from Winter by Marissa Meyer (I actually cannot shut up about this book).

Winter’s not quirky as much as she is just plain crazy. She has some crazy hallucinations due to her not using her Lunar powers. She frequently sees blood on the castle walls and also sees herself freezing into a block of ice all the time. But she does some really strange things and also has some crazy one-liners. I love her.


GUACAMOLE: THE COST OF CREAMINESS – “A BOOK YOU PAID TOO MUCH FOR (BASED ON UTILITY EXPERIENCED)”

dream-cities The Dream Cities – Colouring for Mindfulness book was definitely a book that I’ve paid too much for.

I think I’ve coloured in about 20% of a page… and nothing else. I bought this one online and didn’t really like the illustrations in it. I much prefer the other two that I own: The Secret Garden by Johanna Basford and Tropical Wonderland by Millie Marotta. I’ve done a bit more of these ones.


LETTUCE: THE HANDFUL OF CRISPNESS – “A REFRESHING CONCEPT/THEME IN A BOOK”

the-rest-of-us-just-live-here The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

This was a fun and unique spin on the whole idea of the Chosen One in fantasy. It’s a satirical piece that makes fun of the concept of the special group of kids or “the indie kids” who seem to always be running into dangerous situations or saving the world. The Rest of Us Just Live Here focuses on the normal characters that are in the background while the indie kids are doing their thing.


CHIPS: LE PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE – “A MUST-READ RECOMMENDATION IF YOU LIKE [THIS BOOK/GENRE – YOU DECIDE!]”

the-lake-house The Lake House by Kate Morton is a book that I would recommend if you like historical fiction.

My go-to recommendation for historical fiction is always All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which is my favourite book of all time. But I thought I’d change it up this time. The Lake House is a wonderful historical fiction novel about the mysterious appearance of a baby in Cornwall in the 1930s and what really took place that evening.


TABASCO: THE KICK TO THE FACE – “YOUR FAVOURITE FIGHT/ACTION SEQUENCE”

queen-of-shadows I haven’t given enough love to Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas lately (btw I’m meeting her on Wednesday!!!)

I absolutely loved the last action scene of Queen of Shadows. It was such an epic climax and ending to the book! My favourite part of that scene was when you know who transforms into a ghost leopard and comes racing through the streets to save the day. That was so epic and it made me love that character even more!!!


I TAG:

I’m going to go back to my old method of sharing the love. Today I’m tagging 5 of my recent followers to make their own burrito bowl 🙂

Your Future Book Tag

your-future-book-tag

I saw this tag on Josie’s Book Corner and it was such a fun tag to read that I knew I had to do it! Check out her post because she had a blast doing it and I had an amazing time reading about her fictional future! Josie tagged all her readers so I’m considering myself tagged!

So the rules: I have to pick five books from my bookshelf and answer two questions for each book to determine my future. You’ll see how it works!

I chose five books that all have a big cast of characters so we’ll see how this goes… I also put them into alphabetical order by title so there’s no cheating here!

Book 1: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Book 2: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Book 3: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Book 4: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (Yes, I chose this instalment because Rowan is in it)
Book 5: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


QUESTIONS

1. Open Book 1 (Clockwork Angel) to a random page. Look at the first word on the page. If it’s less than 5 letters, you will go to college. If it’s more than 5 letters, you won’t go to college.

Page 246 (US hardcover): The first word on this page is “fingers”, which is longer than 5 letters. I guess I’m not going to college? Except I already did and graduated. *hugs my testamur plaque* You will not take this away from me!

2. Open Book 1 (Clockwork Angel) to a random page. The first name you see. Think of that person’s job – that will be your job. (Note: Is that person still in school? You will be a teacher. You don’t know that person’s job? You will be unemployed.)

Page 95 (US hardcover): The first name is Will! Yes, I got my bae! So I guess my occupation is Shadowhunter? I wonder what that translates to in the real world… whatever, I’m happy with demon hunter!

3. Open Book 2 (Miss Peregrine’s) to a random page. The first name you see will be the person you will marry.

Page 136 (paperback): Millard! Okay this might be a problem. Millard is the invisible boy in the book so I might have a hard time being married to him. But everyday would be so much fun. He’s also super knowledgeable about everything and loves books so I’m sure we’d get along!

4. Open Book 2 (Miss Peregrine’s) to a random page. The first name you see will be your best friend.

Page 118 (paperback): This is actually a photograph and not a page of text.. but it’s a photo of Hugh! I absolutely love Hugh and I’d love to be besties with him. He has the ability to control bees and store them in his stomach – it’s weird I know. But he has an awesome scene in Hollow City, which was my favourite scene of the whole book.

5. Open Book 3 (My Life Next Door) to a random page. Look at the second word on the page. Count how many letters that word has, remove two letters. That’s how many children you will have.

Page 252 (US hardcover): I got the word “campaign”, which has 7 letters. So I’m having 5 kids in the future. I don’t know about that… I think 2 or 3 is a good number. 5 is probably too many.

6. How many children did you have? Open Book 3 (My Life Next Door) as many times to see who your children will be. If you have no children, open the book once. The first name you see will be something of your choice (e.g. neighbour, father-in-law etc).

Page 32 (US hardcover): Patsy. Omg I love Patsy! I totally want her to be my daughter.
Page 54: George. YES! George is probably my favourite of all of Jase’s siblings so I’d be stoked to have him as a son. He’s pretty much a walking encyclopedia and is totally adorable! ❤
Page 104: Nan. I really didn’t like Nan in this book. She was a terrible friend to Samantha and I couldn’t really stand her. Hopefully she’s a better daughter.
Page 120: Jase. I wanted Jase to be my hubby, not my son T_T. But he’d be the most helpful and caring son in the world!
Page 373: Duff. Another one of the Garrett siblings. He doesn’t really have a big role in the book so I don’t know very much about him, but welcome to the family, Duff!

7. Book 4 (Queen of Shadows). Where does this book take place? This will be the place where you will live.

I don’t know how I feel about living in Rifthold… I’m a city girl so I’m glad that at least I’ll be in a busy, city location, rather than in the middle of the forest.

8. Open Book 4 (Queen of Shadows) to a random page. The first name you see… does this person have a car, bike, etc.? That will be your transportation. (Note: teleporting, broom etc. is allowed. If your character has no means of transportation that you know of, you will be using public transport.)

Page 268 (UK paperback): The first name is Manon! YAY, I get to ride a wyvern! I’m sure Abraxos will be super gentle and won’t try to throw me off. Manon might get angry at me for stealing him away though 😀

9. Does Book 5 (Shadow and Bone) have animals in it? Pick your favourite animal to be your pet. No animals in the book? You will have no pets.

I don’t really recall there being any animals in this book. Oh I know! There are horses. I guess it’ll be nice to have a pet horse. Abraxos might not like that though.

10. Open Book 5 (Shadow and Bone) to a random page. The first name you see will be your enemy.

Page 222 (US hardcover): The first name on this page is Ivan. He was a bit of a dick so I don’t mind him being my enemy. Also, I think I can take him! I have a wyvern after all.


SUMMARY OF MY FUTURE

I am apparently going to give up my hard-earned degree to become a Shadowhunter and kill demons. I guess that’s a pretty good excuse for a career change. Psychology is way too mundane (see what I did there?) anyway. My best friend will be Hugh and all of his bees. I will marry Millard the Invisible Man and we will have 5 kids: Patsy, George, Nan, Jase and Duff. We will live in Rifthold and our mode of transportation will be wyverns! I have claimed Abraxos, who may or may not fight with/eat my pet horse. My archnemesis will be Ivan, but since Millard is invisible, I’m sure he can just stab him to death with a concealed knife. Or maybe Abraxos can just tear him apart. I’m also a Shadowhunter so I think I have the training to take him on. And as a last resort, Hugh’s bees can sting him to death.

I guess it’s a pretty good life after all!


I TAG: EVERYONE

This was such a fun tag to do and I hope you all have a great time reading it. I tag all of you because you’re missing out on the fun if you don’t do it!!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

top-ten-books-so-far-2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a freebie week so I’ve chosen to feature ten of my favourite titles that I’ve read so far in 2015. I believe this was a topic back in June but I missed out because I hadn’t started doing Top Ten Tuesday posts. I’ve read 144 books so far this year, so the 10 that I’ve chosen to feature are the creme de la creme of them all (in my opinion).

My Top Ten Tuesday lists are usually in no particular order, but today I’ve tried to put them into some sort of order for you, starting with the book in the 10th place position.


10. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin:

This is a book that I think all book lovers would enjoy. I definitely enjoyed it immensely when I read it in March. It centres on the life of A.J. Fikry, a grumpy bookstore owner who has had some terrible luck in the last 18 months. He feels like there’s nothing good in life, but one day he finds a package left in the children’s section of his bookstore – a baby. He then cares for this baby as if she’s his own and he is transformed in the process. This book contains so many kinds of love: familial love, romantic love and of course, love for books. It had so many heartwarming moments and also a lot of heartbreaking ones too.

9. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli:

I read this novel in April and it is one of my favourite diverse books that I’ve read this year. (For more diverse recommendations, check out my previous Top Ten Tuesday post on diverse characters. I also recommend David Levithan’s books.) This was a cute and light-hearted LGBTQIA+ book that also contained some serious messages. I think this book is masterful in the way that it was able to shine a light on the issues without being an angst-filled and heavy novel.

This novel follows Simon who is emailing another boy called Blue. They are both gay but have not come out yet. Somebody then stumbles across Simon’s emails to Blue and starts blackmailing Simon. Through the process, Simon and Blue are able to find the courage to embrace who they are and even fall in love.

8. SNOW LIKE ASHES – Sara Raasch:

Snow Like Ashes is the first book in a fantasy trilogy. I read this in August and I fell in love with the world and the characters. It is set in a fascinating world that is split into 8 unique kingdoms. The book was intense and action-packed and I need the next book, Ice Like Fire, RIGHT NOW.

7. MY LIFE NEXT DOOR – Huntley Fitzpatrick:

I only discovered Huntley Fitzpatrick this year when I read her books in July. My Life Next Door is the kind of contemporary novel I enjoy. The pace of it is just right and it contains some very sophisticated writing.

This book is inspired by Romeo and Juliet, and it follows Samantha and Jase who are next door neighbours. Sam’s mother is very put together and controlling, and she hates the Garretts who have moved next door. The Garretts are loud and there are 7 kids in the family. I loved the family elements that were explored in this book, and I really loved all of the characters in this book.

6. Just One Day – Gayle Forman:

This was the first Gayle Forman book I had ever read and it’s my favourite out of everything she’s written. I read this back in March and then marathoned Just One Year and Just One Night straight after. This book follows Allyson, who is a recent high school graduate. Her parents send her on a teenage tour around Europe. On her last day abroad, she meets a mysterious guy named Willem in London, and they decide to take an overnight trip to Paris. But when Allyson wakes up the next morning, Willem has disappeared. This is a book about self-discovery and Allyson is always the character that comes to mind first when I think about character development.

5. QUEEN OF SHADOWS – Sarah J. Maas:

This is the fourth instalment in the Throne of Glass series. This was released at the beginning of this month so it’s a very recent read for me. This is my favourite book in the series so far. It’s filled with so much drama, action and revenge! Plus the romance in the book… my ship is sailing!

4. Clockwork Princess – Cassandra Clare:

Clockwork Princess is the last book in The Infernal Devices trilogy. I read this in May. It was definitely the best series finale I’ve ever read. It made me love, it made me ugly-cry and it made me so happy too. This is my favourite book of Cassandra Clare’s.

3. I’ll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson:

I read this book at the end of February and it is by far my favourite YA book I’ve read this year. It won the Printz Award 2015 and I think it was well deserved. I’ll Give You The Sun is heartwarming, funny, romantic and quirky. It follows Jude and Noah, twins, who used to be very close up until they turned 13. They’ve each kept secrets from the other and told lies but now, at 16, they need to come back to each other and ‘remake the world’. The novel is written from dual perspectives and dual timelines. We see Noah’s side of the story from when they’re 13 and Jude narrates their 16 year old lives.

Go read this book. You won’t regret it!

2. A LITTLE LIFE – Hanya Yanagihara:

A Little Life is a recent read for me, but it has become my second favourite book I’ve ever read. It’s been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize this year and I think it’s absolutely brilliant. The novel follows four men, who were college roommates, from their college years up until their 50s or 60s. It’s a real and haunting story about the ordinary and extraordinary moments in life. The story has really stuck with me and I still think about it even now.

If this sounds interesting to you, I encourage you to check out my review, as well as other reviews, because this book contains some very mature themes as well as some triggers.

1. ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE – Anthony Doerr:

This should come as no surprise to anybody who has been following my blog for a while. This is my favourite book of all time. Ever since I read it back in February, I’ve been recommending it to everybody I see (including strangers at bookstores) and I’ve bought it for 3 of my friends for their birthdays this year. It is also the 2015 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

This is a World War II historical fiction novel about a blind French girl and an orphaned German Nazi youth, and how their stories eventually intertwine. This book has some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read and a story that has stuck with me for the last 6 months.


Honourable Mentions:


What are your favourite books you’ve read this year?

Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

queen-of-shadows

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Release date: September 1, 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1408858614
Pages: 645
Goodreads || Book Depository

Queen of Shadows is the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. This review will not contain spoilers for Queen of Shadows, but there may be spoilers for the preceding books. You can check out my reviews for the first three books: Throne of GlassCrown of Midnight and Heir of Fire. Also, if you haven’t read the prequel novellas, The Assassin’s Blade, I would recommend reading them first. It will give you a much better background on some of the characters that appear in Queen of Shadows.

No masters.

No limits.

No regrets.

Celaena Sardothien is cloaked in her assassin’s hood once more. She is back in Rifthold, but this time she is no one’s slave. She must delve into her most painful memories and fight for her survival, while resisting a smouldering passion that might very well consume her heart. And she will face her former master, the King of Assassins, again – to wreak revenge for a decade of pain…

MY THOUGHTS

5 stars

This fourth instalment was so good! It was just as good as, if not better than, Heir of Fire. After reading Heir of Fire, I thought I had a good idea of where the series was going to go next but this book showed me that nothing is predictable when it comes to Sarah J. Maas’s books. It was unexpected and unpredictable in the best way.

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