Friday, 17 March 2017

Book Review: History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Book: History Is All You Left Me
Author: Adam Silvera
Genre: YA Contemporary

You’re still alive in alternate universes, Theo, but I live in the real world where this morning you’re having an open casket funeral. I know you’re out there, listening. And you should know I’m really pissed because you swore you would never die and yet here we are. It hurts even more because this isn’t the first promise you’ve broken. OCD-afflicted seventeen-year-old, Griffin, has just lost his first love – his best friend, ex-boyfriend and the boy he believed to be his ultimate life partner – in a drowning accident. In a desperate attempt to hold onto every last piece of the past, a broken Griffin forges a friendship with Theo’s new college boyfriend, Jackson. And Griffin will stop at nothing to learn every detail of Theo’s new college life, and ultimate death. But as the grieving pair grows closer, readers will question Griffin's own version of the truth – both in terms of what he’s willing to hide, and what true love ultimately means...- Quoted from Goodreads

My Rating: 5/5 STARS

My Review:
I read Adam Silvera's debut book, More Happy Than Not, last year and I loved it so much I knew I was definitely going to read his next book.  I was so excited for History Is All You Left Me and I'm so glad I ended up loving it.

History Is All You Left Me is about Griffin who is trying to deal with the loss of his first love (and who was also his best friend), Theo.  The book is told in alternating chapters between the present where Griffin is trying to deal with his grief, and between the past where it shows how his relationship with Theo began and how it came to be how it is in the present. 

I was not prepared for how emotional and heartbreaking this book was, it just felt so raw and it was written so well that I could almost feel Griffins pain and grief. 

Although Griffin and Theo had been friends for years History Is All You Left Me focuses on when they began dating (which is told in the history chapters) and continues until the present where Theo is dead.  It is only two/three years but it felt like a long time and because of that I felt so much more attached to the characters.

Throughout the book I was very curious to see how their relationship, which began so happily in the past chapters, came to the point of the present chapters where Griffin and Theo were no longer in a relationship before his death.  In the present Griffin is trying to deal with his feelings on Jackson, who was Theo's boyfriend when he died.  Although I felt sad for Jackson, I didn't feel as attached to his character as I did with the others.    

Like I said before, the focus of History Is All You Left Me is Griffin and Theo's relationship but there was also other relationships it focused on and those relationships grew more complex as the book went on and secrets were revealed, it felt like such an emotional roller coaster. 
Griffin has OCD and I liked how Adam Silvera wrote about the illness.  He didn't shy away from it and it didn't miraculously go away or disappear, it was always at the forefront of Griffins mindset.    

Overall I loved this book.  It was such an emotional and heart wrenching read and I loved the way it was told (in both the past and present chapters). I thought the writing was very well done and can't wait to read more books by Adam Silvera in the future. 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Top Ten Tuesday - Books On My Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's topic is: Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR.

Here are six books that I've been meaning to read for a while now and so I'm planning on reading them within the next few months.

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and The Dawn book 1) by Renee Ahdieh

The Final Empire (Mistborn book 1) by Brandon Sanderson

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels book 9) by Ilona Andrews

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles book 1) by Amanda Bouchet

I also recently made a post on books that I've recently added to my TBR list.  I'm planning on reading a lot of books on that list in spring. You can find the link to that here.

I'm also going to be reading some new releases when they come out, like Lord of Shadows (Dark Artifices book 2) by Cassandra Clare and A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR book 3) by Sarah J Maas.

What books are you planning on reading in spring?  

Saturday, 11 March 2017

My TBR List: Recently Added - 11/03/17

We all have that list we just keep adding books to. I don't know when I'll actually get around to reading these but here are some books I've added to my list within the last few months.

Remix by Non Pratt
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
Lies We Tell Ourselves and Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Nana Vol 1 by Ai Yazawa
Behind the Scenes!! Vol 1 by Bisco Hatori

What books have you recently added to your TBR list?

Friday, 10 March 2017

Book Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Book: This Savage Song
Series: Monsters of Verity book 1
Author: Victoria Schwab
Genres: YA, Fantasy/Paranormal

Kate Harker and August Flynn's families rule opposite ends of Verity, a grisly metropolis where violent acts summon real monsters: bloodsucking Malchai; clawing Corsai; and soul-stealing Sunai. The truce that keeps the families at peace is crumbling, and August is sent to spy on Kate. But when Harker's men try to kill her and pin it on the Flynns, August and Kate find themselves running from both sides, in a city where monsters are real... - Quoted from Goodreads

My Rating: 3/5 STARS

My Review:
I loved the world of this book and thought it was interesting.  It's a world where violence breeds monsters and they actually manifest at the crime scenes.  The city of Verity felt vivid in my mind, I could really picture how dark and deadly the streets were.  And I liked how the two sides of the city were shown.  When I think about this book the thing that immediately comes to mind is the world.

I disliked the main female character and I'm glad This Savage Song had a dual perspective so I could take a break from her pov.  She wasn't the worst character I've ever read but from the very start of the book I thought her actions were childish and selfish.  I wasn't overly fond of the main male character either but I thought the family dynamic in his pov made it fun to read.  I liked reading about his different family members and their relationships with each other.

I felt the main plot was a bit boring, especially compared to the exciting world the author created.  I definitely think more could have been done so that the storyline wouldn't feel as generic as it did.  That was what I was most disappointed in, the lost potential of it.  I would've liked to have seen more of the history between the rulers of the North and South side of Verity.

Overall the main thing I liked about this book was the world that was created but unfortunately the characters and plot didn't live up to it but I am interested in reading the next one when it comes out.  

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

February 2017 Wrap Up

In February I read four books and one manga volume but I also ended up DNFing two books.  Here's a list of the books I read and some of my thoughts on them.

Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter book 9) by Nalini Singh - 4/5 STARS
I really love this series.  It's an adult urban fantasy/paranormal romance series and each book centres on different characters but they still feature a lot of the characters from the other books.  I really liked this book and can't wait to read the next in the series. 


Storm Glass (Glass series book 1/ Chronicles of Ixia book 4) by Maria V Snyder - 3/5 STARS
I read the Poison Study trilogy a few years ago and really liked them and I kept meaning to continue with this series.  The Glass trilogy is set in the same world as Poison Study but has a different main character.  I didn't like this one as much as Poison Study.  I didn't like the main character and thought the overall story was a bit disjointed.  I thought Storm Glass was boring in parts but I still think this series can be interesting at times.

The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick - 2/5 STARS
Just like with Marcus Sedgwick's other books I thought the storytelling in this book was interesting but, unlike his other books, I felt the plot of it fell short.  I was really disappointed in this book. This book is split into four parts, each part is set in a different time with a different plot and characters.  I didn't feel connected to any characters or parts of the story/stories despite them all being different and so I ended up not really caring about what happened in it.

Horimiya Vol 1 by Hero and Daisuke Hagiwara - 3/5 STARS
This manga was fun to read but I didn't like it as much as I've liked other manga series. I'll probably continue with the series but right now I'm not in a rush to do so.

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity book 1) by Victoria Schwab/ V.E. Schwab - 3/5 STARS
I thought the world of this book, a world where violence breeds monsters, was really exciting to read.  The world the author created in this book was the thing I liked the most about it.  I didn't like the main female character and I thought the general plot, and how the story went, to be very generic. 


The books I DNFed were:
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel- I DNFed this book at around the halfway point. - I was interested in the beginning of this book by the whole mystery of the outbreak but after that, when the book went forward to how the world was now, I got bored of it.  There were character flashbacks that took up a lot of the book and I thought they weren't really needed. 

Dragon Marked (Supernatural Prison book 1) by Jaymin Eve  - I also DNFed this book when I was about halfway through it. - I read a lot of paranormal books with many supernatural creatures in them because it's one of my favourite genres to read so when I read the premise of this book I was really intrigued.  I ended up really disliking the main character and as the story went on I was less excited about it.

February was kind of a bad reading month for me since most of the books I read I ended up rating 3 stars or under and then I DNFed two books so I thought I'd talk about some non bookish things I enjoyed in February. I finally watched a new K-Drama series, I watched School 2013 in February and IT WAS SO GOOD.  There was so much emotion and the BROMANCE was one of my favourite bromances in a K-drama (HEUNGSOON!!), they went through so much together! :').
I also watched season 3 of Haikyuu! What an intense season, I loved it and can't wait for season 4! Also BTS' comeback was in February and seriously I've just been listening to Spring Day and Not Today nonstop!

What did you read in the month of February? 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Top Ten Tuesday - Books I Liked More Than I Thought I Would

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is: Books I Liked More Than I Thought I Would.  I decided to just talk about books I've read in the past two years or so.

The Diviners (and Lair of Dreams) by Libba Bray
I read these two books last year and I really enjoyed them a lot.  The overall atmosphere of these books really makes them stick out in your head and I wasn't expecting that.  

The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski
When I first read the synopsis of this series it sounded like a lot of other books out there and because of that I didn't pick it up for a while until I started hearing a lot of people rave about it and then I ended up flying through the books.  I really liked the story and how smart the main character was.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
This book had so many twists and turns that I wasn't expecting it to have and because of that I ended up loving it more than I thought I would.  

What If by Rebecca Donovan
I really liked this book and I thought it had a lot more depth to it than I was expecting.  It's definitely a book that I think people shouldn't read up on too much before reading it because it will be easily spoiled. 

Orange: The Complete Collection by Ichigo Takano
I really wasn't expecting to like this manga as much as I did.  The synopsis sounded good but I was really shocked at how emotional and beautiful the story was.

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard
I read this book recently and I was really surprised at much I liked the story.  You can find my review of it here.

Solanin by Inio Asano
This is another book I read fairly recently and I loved it.  I wasn't expecting this manga to be so relatable and because of that I ended liking it a lot more than I expected.  You can read my review of it here.

The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
I was wary to read this book because I heard a lot mixed reviews on it but it sounded so interesting that I just decided to read it and I'm glad I did.

A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Oima
This was another manga that I ended up enjoying a lot more than I thought I would.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
I was surprised at how much I ended up loving this book.  I thought it would take me a while to get into the story but I ended up really loving this book from the start.

What books did you like more than you thought you would?  

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Book Review: Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

Book: Beautiful Broken Things
Author: Sara Barnard
Genre: YA Contemporary

I was brave
She was reckless 
We were trouble

Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated.
As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realises, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own. - Quoted from Goodreads

My Rating: 4/5 STARS

My Review:
I really liked Beautiful Broken Things and I felt it was very refreshing to read because this is a YA contemporary that doesn't focus on romance (in fact there was no romance at all) but instead it focuses on the friendship between the three main female characters.  The relationships between the three girls felt so intricate and real that you can't help but want to keep reading to see how they all end up.

In the beginning Caddy becomes jealous of Rosie and Suzannes friendship and I was wary because I thought that that would be the main theme of the rest of the book but I was glad that I was quickly proven wrong.  Beautiful Broken Things is about the friendships between all three girls and it deals with the trials and tribulations that come with it.  I liked seeing the gradual growth of their friendships and I liked how it focused on both the positive and negative sides of friendship.

I liked reading about how different their friendships with each other were, like Caddy and Rosie's long lasting friendship, Caddy and Suzanne's friendship that's only beginning, Rosie and Suzanne's friendship from Caddy's point of view and then seeing them all together.

I can't say I loved the characters because some of their actions annoyed me but I definitely found them interesting to read especially the mystery of Suzannes past and how it affects her current situation.

I was surprised how deep and emotional the storyline got as it went along and I liked how the author ended the book.  This book has some serious topics in it such as mental illness and abuse but I felt it dealt with it in a very real way. 

Overall I really liked Beautiful Broken Things and I think that it definitely stands out in its genre for not focusing on romance but on the strong bonds of friendship.  I can't wait to read more books by Sara Barnard.