Wednesday, 2 August 2017

July 2017 Wrap Up

In July I read 10 books.  Here is a list of them and some of my thoughts on them.

Six of Crows (Six of Crows book 1) by Leigh Bardugo - 4/5 STARS
I read this book last year but I decided to reread it before I went into Crooked Kingdom.  I liked it just as much this time around as the first time.

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows book 2) by Leigh Bardugo - 3/5 STARS
I was disappointed in Crooked Kingdom, I felt there were too many things going on that really didn't need to be going on and that made the book drag on for me.

Atlantia by Ally Condie - 3/5 STARS
This was a really quick read.  The storyline was a bit too predictable but I found the world to be interesting.

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven - 4/5 STARS
I really liked this book.  I love Jennifer Niven's writing style, she makes her characters seem so real.

Burned (Fever series book 7) by Karen Marie Moning - 4/5 STARS
I did enjoy this book a lot even though I kind of missed Dani's narrative.

Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer - 4/5 STARS
I thought this book was great.  I really liked the overall plot of it and I also liked the writing of it.  It's a really great friendship based story.

Behind the Scenes!! vol 1 (manga) by Bisco Hatori- 3/5 STARS
I thought this manga was okay but it didn't really leave a lasting impression so I don't know if I'll continue with the series. 

I Found You by Lisa Jewell - 1/5 STARS
I don't usually read much thrillers/mysteries but I decided to just pick this book up because it sounded interesting but I didn't really like it at all.  I found it predictable and I thought the characters made stupid decisions and were uninteresting.

Wildfire (Hidden Legacy book 3) by Ilona Andrews - 4/5 STARS
I really liked this book, I think this series has really good world building and great characters.

Giant Days Vol 1 (graphic novel/comic series) by John Allison and Lissa Treiman - 4/5 STARS
I thought this was a really fun comic.  I loved the characters and I thought the artwork and colours used were great. Can't wait to read the next volume.

So I ended up having a great reading month in July.  I read so many books and I hope I can keep up this reading pace in August.  In July I watched a historical korean drama called Hwarang.  I haven't watched a historical kdrama before but I loved watching Hwarang.  I loved the characters and the story and I thought the soundtrack was amazing. I would really recommend watching it.

What did you read or watch in July?    

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Book Review: Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer

Book: Proof of Forever
Author: Lexa Hillyer
Genres: YA Contemporary (with a slight sci-fi element)

Before: It was the perfect summer of first kisses, skinny-dipping, and bonfires by the lake. Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe knew their final summer at Camp Okahatchee would come to an end, but they swore they’d stay friends. 
After: Now, two years later, their bond has faded along with those memories. 
Then: That is, until the fateful flash of a photo booth camera transports the four of them back in time, to the summer they were fifteen—the summer everything changed. 
Now: The girls must recreate the past in order to return to the present. As they live through their second-chance summer, the mystery behind their lost friendship unravels, and a dark secret threatens to tear the girls apart all over again. 
Always: Summers end. But this one will change them forever.

My Rating: 4/5 STARS

My Review:
I hadn't heard much talk of this book before I read it so I didn't know what to expect from it.  All I knew was the synopsis which had two of my favourite things to read about in it.  Time travel and friendship.  These are the main themes of Proof of Forever, so I knew I had to read it for that alone.

The book is told from the point of view of 4 girls who used to be best friends but have now grown apart.  At a summer camp reunion something happens to them and they find themselves transported two years into the past, to their last week together at summer camp.  

I fell in love with the idea of this book.  Like I said before, this book had two of my favourite things in it so the story really sucked me in and held my attention.

I really liked the writing and the plot of Proof of Forever.  It was very interesting to me and I found the story to be really emotional as well.  I liked that it had all 4 girls povs and I really liked reading about each one and seeing how they were all dealing with different things in their lives.  I think the writing flowed very nicely and a lot of the book was quotable.

Although there is the main focus on the friendship between the girls, there is a lot of the story where they are doing their own things and I would've preferred to see more of them together with each other.  The girls also had some love interests and it felt to me that a lot of the love interests sounded similar to one another.  I also would've preferred less focus on the love interests and more (like I said before) on the girls' friendship.

Overall I really liked this book.  It's a great story about second chances and friendship.  I enjoyed the writing and thought the story was very emotional.  I would really recommend reading it. 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Book Review: Atlantia by Ally Condie

Book: Atlantia 
Author: Ally Condie
Genres: YA, science fiction/dystopian

Can you hear Atlantia breathing? 
For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamed of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all Rio’s hopes for the future are shattered when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected choice, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long silenced—she has nothing left to lose.  
Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the corrupted system constructed to govern the Divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.-Quoted from Goodreads

My Rating: 3/5 STARS
My Review:
Atlantia is a book I've been wanting to read for years now.  Years ago I read the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie and I really enjoyed that series so I decided to pick up her next book even though it has took me years to do that.

In Atlantia people have been living underwater in specialised dome-like cities for years after it became too toxic for people to live Above (on land) and once you reach the age of 16 or so you can choose to leave the underwater city of Atlantia and live Above.  The people of Atlantia are taught that the people who go Above don't live as long as those in Atlantia.  So this story is about Rio who has always wanted to go Above but she promises her twin sister (who doesn't want to live Above) that she'll stay with her and so on the day of the choosing she chooses to stay but she is shocked when her sister decides to suddenly go Above instead.

The choosing ceremony at the beginning of the book had me really reminiscent of Divergent and so I was worried it would be too similar but it wasn't.
I found the world of Atlantia to be really interesting, the way things were described really painted a good impression of the world in my head.

I liked how the story was about Rio trying to find her way back to her sister, I liked how that was the main focus of the book.  I didn't feel much of a connection to any of the characters and I thought some of them were a bit boring.  The plot was good but it was also predictable.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book, it was a quick fun read.  The main thing I liked was the world of Atlantia.  And even though none of the characters really stood out to me and I thought the plot was predictable I still found it to be an enjoyable read.  

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Book Review: White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2) by Ilona Andrews

Book: White Hot
Series: Hidden Legacy book 2
Author: Ilona Andrews
Genres: adult, urban fantasy, paranormal romance

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan. 
Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada's "talent." But there's no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice . . .

My Rating: 4/5 STARS
My Review: 
White Hot introduces a new investigative case for Nevada when Cornelius (a character introduced in Burn for Me) comes to her for help.  His wife was murdered but no one gave him any answers as to why so he goes to Nevada.

White Hot is a great continuation of this series.  It has the same elements I loved in the first book and more.  It has a great engaging plot with the political feuding behind the Houses and their magic.
I really liked how the romance between Nevada and Rogan developed in this book.  I felt the connection between them and I liked how it grew throughout the book.
We find out more about Nevada's and Rogan's background in this book and I really liked that because it added a lot to my view of them.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and if you liked the first book in the series then you'll most likely love this book too.  The plot and the relationships between the characters are really ramped up in White Hot and I think it's a great continuation to the series.

Friday, 30 June 2017

June 2017 Wrap Up

In June I read five books and DNFed two.  
Here is a list of them and some of my thoughts on them.

Lord of Shadows (book 2 in The Dark Artifices trilogy) by Cassandra Clare - 5/5 STARS
As expected, I loved this book. It was a great sequel to Lady Midnight and I love how real the characters feel.  I am so excited for the third and final book in this trilogy but I can't believe we have to wait so long for it!

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley - 5/5 STARS
I felt so many different feelings during this book, it's a highly emotionally charged book.  And I think more people should definitely read it as I think this book is a very important book.

Burn for Me (book 1 in the Hidden Legacy series) by Ilona Andrews - 4/5 STARS
I really enjoyed this book.  I liked the characters and thought the world was very interesting.  If you're looking for a new urban fantasy series then I'd really recommend this book. It's one of those 'don't judge by its cover' books. 

White Hot (book 2 in the Hidden Legacy series) by Ilona Andrews - 4/5 STARS
I thought this was a great continuation to the series and I really liked finding out more about the characters in this series.

The Wrath and the Dawn (book 1 in The Wrath and the Dawn series) by Renee Ahdieh - 2/5 STARS
I was really disappointed by this book.  I've wanted to read it since it came out but I really didn't like it.  I didn't like the characters and found the overall storyline to be boring. I won't be reading the next book.

The two books I DNFed were:
The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North
Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

I'm really happy with my reading in June, I read a lot of great books.  Also in June I watched the anime Yuri On Ice.  I loved it so much, it was so fun to watch (and that intro is so addictive).  Another thing I watched in June was Westworld, the tv series.  I really loved this too, there were a lot of twists and turns and the world was so interesting.  I can't wait for season 2.

What did you read or watch in June?

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Top Ten Tuesday- Best Books I've Read in 2017 So Far

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's topic is: Best Books You've Read in 2017 So Far.
So far this year I've read 27 books and I've enjoyed a lot of them but I've decided to keep this post simple and list my favourite five.

Solanin by Inio Asano 

Lord of Shadows (Book 2 of The Dark Artifices trilogy) by Cassandra Clare

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera 

A Court of Wings and Ruin (Book 3 of the ACOTAR series) by Sarah J Maas

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley 

What are some of your favourite books of this year so far?

Friday, 23 June 2017

My Summer TBR 2017

It's already a few weeks into summer but I thought I'd do a post about the books I plan to read for the rest of the summer.  I didn't read many of the books I planned to read in my spring tbr so hopefully my summer tbr goes better.

Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer

Atlantia by Ally Condie

Dreamin' Sun Vol 1 by Ichigo Takano

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Am I Normal Yet? (The Spinsters Club book 1) by Holly Bourne

What books are you planning to read in summer?

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Top Ten Tuesday- Series I've Been Meaning to CONTINUE But Haven't Yet

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
The week's topic is: Series I've been Meaning to Start but Haven't.  But instead I'm changing it to: Series I've been Meaning to Continue but Haven't yet.

Cainsville series by Kelley Armstrong
I've read the first two books in this series (Omens and Visions) but I really need to get around to continuing with this series.

The Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken
I read the first book in this trilogy a few years ago but I still haven't picked up the next book in the series.

Fever series by Karen Marie Moning-
 I've read the first six books in this series and I've really enjoyed them but for some reason I haven't read the 7th book (Burned) yet.  I do have the book on my kindle so I hope I can get around to it soon.

Psy-Changling series by Nalini Singh
I've read the first two books in this series.  It's quite a long series so maybe that's why I've been slow to continue with it.

Age of Legends trilogy by Kelley Armstrong
I've read the first two books in this trilogy but I haven't picked up the last one.  Part of the reason for me not continuing is that I've kind of forgotten what happened in the first two books and this trilogy doesn't really leave a lasting impression on me so I don't really know if I do want to finish this trilogy or not.

Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
I've read the first four books in this series and I really like this series but I'm not too sure if I want to continue with it or not.

Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson
I've read the first three books in this series and I know some people choose to stop there and not continue with the series as the first three books are their own story and it concludes that story arc in the third book.  But I have read the blurb for the fourth book and the premise sounds really interesting so I am looking forward to reading the rest.

The Chronicles of Ixia/Study series by Maria V Snyder
I've read the Poison Study trilogy and I've also read the 4th book in the series (the first book in the Glass trilogy) and although I enjoyed the Poison Study trilogy I found the 4th book to be just okay.   

The Others series by Anne Bishop
This is a series I've decided to take my time with.  I've read the first three books in the series but I need to pick up the fourth book.

Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
I really like this series and I've read the first 8 books but I haven't gotten around to reading the 9th or 10th that are out but I really should because I feels like I haven't read these books for a long time.

What series have you not got around to continuing yet?

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Book Review: Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy #1) by Ilona Andrews

Book: Burn for Me
Series: Hidden Legacy book 1
Author: Ilona Andrews
Genres: adult, urban fantasy, paranormal romance

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire. 
Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive. 
Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

My Rating: 4/5 STARS
My Review:
I love the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews so I was really interested to read another new urban fantasy by the same authors.  Burn for Me has been out for a few years now but the second book was just recently published so I decided to (finally) start this series.  And I'm glad I did because I really liked this book.

In Burn for Me magic is passed down through generations after the government created a special serum that gave people magical powers and I liked how that was explained, it was really interesting.

I really liked the main character, Nevada, and one of my favourite things about Burn for Me was Nevada's family and the relationship they have with each other.  Nevada runs an investigation company with her family, which includes her mother, grandmother, her sisters and her cousins.  It was so much fun to read about their family dynamics and I loved how protective they were of each other.

I really enjoyed the overall storyline, it was exciting and fact paced.  I found Mad Rogan (the main male character and love interest) interesting to read about.  How his character and his background are described makes me want to read more about him to try to figure him out.  I really liked the relationship between Rogan and Nevada although I would've preferred the romance side of their relationship to go more slower.

Overall I really enjoyed this book.  I liked the characters and I thought the storyline and world was exciting and fresh.  I think if you're looking for a new urban fantasy/paranormal romance then you should definitely check out this series as it does not disappoint.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Book Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Book: Lies We Tell Ourselves
Author: Robin Talley
Genres: YA, Historical

Lie #1: I'm not afraid 
Lie #2: I'm sure I'm doing the right thing 
Lie #3: I don't care what they think of me 
It’s 1959. The battle for civil rights is raging. And it’s Sarah’s first day of school as one of the first black students at previously all-white Jefferson High. 
No one wants Sarah there. Not the Governor. Not the teachers. And certainly not the students – especially Linda, daughter of the town’s most ardent segregationist. 
Sarah and Linda are supposed to despise each other. But the more time they spend together, the less their differences matter. And both girls start to feel something they’ve never felt before. Something they’re determined to ignore. 
Because it’s one thing to stand up to an unjust world – but another to be terrified of what’s in your own heart.- Quoted from Goodreads

My Rating: 5/5 STARS
My Review:
This book is set in 1959 during the time of desegregation in schools and the book follows the point of view of Sarah who is one of the first black students to enter a school that previously had only white students and Linda who is a white student who is currently studying at the school.  So from the blurb alone you know how hard hitting the story will be but I was still very shocked at how this book made me feel.  My emotions were all over the place.

The book opens with Sarah's pov on the first day of the desegregation so we (the readers) are thrown straight into the thick of the racism and I wish I could say it got easier for Sarah as it went on but unfortunately that wasn't the case.  I felt disgusted by each new horror Sarah and her friends had to discover each day they went to school.  

I loved Sarah and I thought she was a very strong character and I also liked her sister Ruth and her friends Chuck and Ennis and although the book is from Sarah and Linda's pov I liked how we got an insight into the other characters lives through them.
Linda's character confused me.  She sees the wrongness and unfairness of it all but she still holds onto some of her core racist views.  So even by the end of the book I still didn't know how I felt about her character. 

Sarah and Linda's relationship is another main theme of the book.  In the midst of all that is going on they are struggling to come to terms with their sexuality.  I really liked reading about both Sarah's and Linda's realisations on both themselves and the society they live in.

Obviously this book is not a happy fun read, it's brutal and raw and it really pulls on your emotions.  I loved this book because it's an emotionally thought provoking book with a powerful message. It's a story that will always stand out in my head and because of that I would highly recommend reading it.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Oldies but Goodies #1

I decided to do a new feature on this blog called 'Oldies but Goodies'.  It's just a post I'll be doing every so often (it might end up being a weekly thing) where I showcase a book or series that I read years ago. Not that books that have been out more than 4 years are old but I think sometimes we end up prioritising new releases instead of books that have been out a while.  So this feature is just to talk about some of the forgotten books that I feel are still relevant.  I know a lot of people have already done posts like this but I just thought it'd be fun to do as well (also I might end up changing the title).

Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld

BlurbTally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. In just a few weeks she'll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she'll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world-- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally's choice will change her world forever...
- Quoted from Goodreads

I read the Uglies series back in 2010, so it's been 7 years since I read these books but this series still really stands out in my head.  This series has great action scenes, an exciting plot with a lot of moral dilemmas for the characters and a world that really makes you think.

Have you read the Uglies series? What are some books you read years ago that you think people should read these days? 

Saturday, 3 June 2017

May 2017 Wrap Up

In May I read four books.  Here is a list of the books I read and some of my thoughts on them.

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn book 2) by Brandon Sanderson - 4/5 STARS
I felt like I grew a lot more attached to the characters of this series in this book and I was really interested in each characters journey.

A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR book 3) by Sarah J Maas - 5/5 STARS
I loved this book and I can't wait to read more books set in this world.  The characters in this series are so fun to read about.

Paper Girls Vol 2 by Brian K Vaughan and Cliff Chiang - 4/5 STARS
I really enjoy this comic book series.  I love the story of it and I find the plot to be really exciting.  And the artwork of the series is beautiful.

The Hero of Ages (Mistborn book 3) by Brandon Sanderson - 4/5 STARS
I really liked this book and how it concluded this trilogy.  I thought it was a really great ending to the trilogy.  

I had a great reading month in May.  I don't know if I want to continue with the Mistborn series since the next books are set in a different time and are about different characters but the blurb of the next book (4th in the series) does sound interesting, so if you've read the next books in the series how do you feel they compare to the original trilogy? 
I watched The 100 in May and I have to say this series is one of my all time favourite series'.  Each new episode is so exciting, the acting is great and there is a great balance of emotional scenes with action scenes (in my opinion).  Besides The 100 I haven't watched much else.  I have a long list of anime and kdramas to watch so I might get to watching them this month.

What books did you read in May?   

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Top Ten Tuesday- Most Anticipated Books For The Second Half of 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This weeks topic is: Most Anticipated Books For The Second Half of 2017.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

Warcross by Marie Lu

Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners book 3) by Libba Bray

Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter book 10) by Nalini Singh

Genuine Fraud by E.Lockhart

Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass book 6) by Sarah J Maas

What are some of your most anticipated books for the rest of the year?