Books · Top 5 Wednesday

Reading List for Class on YA| Top 5 Wednesday

top5weds

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme, GoodReads group here with all the topics + discussion!
This weeks topic is; Book List for Class on YA
This week topic is pretty cool, in honour of going ‘back to school’ this week we’re making a class reading list on a topic/genre of our choice.
I thought I would take this opportunity to recommend some YA books from different genres!

1) YA Feminist
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

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Every class should have to read a feminist novel, in my opinion. It is an extremely important message to share and I feel Moxie does that well!



2) YA Fantasy
Spellslinger by Sebastien De Castell


Everyone likes a good fantasy, right? Sebastien De Castell was a new author to me this year. I picked up Spellslinger on a whim, not knowing anything about it and ended up loving it!



3) YA LGBT
Simon vs The Homosapien Agenda by Becki Albertali


Another important message; LGBT. Unfortunately, I haven’t read a lot of it, which I need to change but my favourite so far is Simon vs. It’s such a cute story and a must read in the LGBT genre!


4) YA Sci-fi
The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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The Illuminae Files
are definitely some of my favourite sci-fi books, the unique format and fast paced plot is amazing. However, I have yet to read the final book, I know, I know, I need to get on it asap!


5) YA Romance
A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

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If you’re looking for a cute, fluffy romance, then I highly recommend this. It is a seriously adorable story that even warmed my cold heart.


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Books · Review

Review: Still Me by Jojo Moyes

 

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Synopsis:
Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She has been hired by the superrich Gopniks—Leonard and his unhappy, much younger second wife, Agnes—and finds herself amid a never-ending array of household staff and hangers-on. But Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her job and this very privileged New York life.

As Lou tries to keep the two sides of her world together, she finds herself carrying secrets—not all her own—that cause a catastrophic change in her circumstances. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?


Plot:
The plot of this book really surprised me, I definitely didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I did. After reading After You, which was mediocre, I didn’t have high hopes for this one.
The plot was a bit predictable, as I find with a lot of romance/contemporaries, however, this didn’t take from the enjoyment.
The first half was a bit slow, Louisa working as an assistant wasn’t the most interesting storyline but it wasn’t super boring. The story definitely picks up when Louisa’s job takes an unexpected turn.

I liked the New York setting, with Louisa being thrown into a new place and job, still trying to find herself after losing Will. I really liked the fashion aspect, since that is a huge part of who Lou is and after the last book where we see her dressing completely unlike herself.

There were some emotional parts to this book, which reminded me of the tone of the first book and why I was so attached to that story. I didn’t expect to tear up at all, I don’t cry at books often but Me Before You made me sob. I didn’t cry or feel any emotions for After You so it was unexpected when I teared up reading this!

Characters:
Louisa:
She is just as lovable and funny as she’s always been. I adore her personality and I find her really realistic and relatable. She always finds herself in a mess and nothing seems to go right for her, she’s always facing some kind of obstacle.

Side Characters:

Sam: Since Louisa moved to New York, Sam is struggling with their long-distance. As Sam gets a new partner at work, Katie, this causes Lou to be jealous and untrusting of Sam. 
Josh:
Josh is introduced as a rival of Sam, he reminds Louisa of Will and this causes more tension in Lou and Sam’s relationship. I liked Josh as first but he’s definitely not as he seems.
Agnes: Lou’s employer. Thought her character was a bit stereotypical, she’s an immigrant married to a millionaire and everyone thinks she’s with him for the money. She was a horrid character, regardless.
Lily: The super immature, annoying daughter of Will, introduced in the last book. I hated her in After You and hated her just as much in the little part she played in this.

Overall: It was an entertaining read, I enjoyed my time reading it. Was it necessary? Not really.  Do I think Me Before You needed sequels? No. I’ll be discussing my thoughts on the whole series in another post. (Coming soon)

Rating: 4 Stars


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Books · Review

Review: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Synopsis:
When Elizabeth Bennet meets Mr. Darcy she is repelled by his overbearing pride, and prejudice towards her family. But the Bennet girls are in need of financial security in the shape of husbands, so when Darcy’s friend, the affable Mr. Bingley, forms an attachment to Jane, Darcy becomes increasingly hard to avoid. Polite society will be turned upside down in this witty drama of friendship, rivalry, and love—Jane Austen’s classic romance novel.


Plot:
I think everyone knows the plot of Pride and Prejudice by now! Going in I knew it was going to be a romance, obviously, however, I definitely thought the plot would be more centred around Elizabeth and Mr Darcy.

The first half of the book was so boring, it took me a week to read the first 200 pages! I then switched to reading on my kindle, (as I read much faster on there) and I managed to knock out the last 240 pages in a day?! I always have found classics to be super slow reads for me, the writing style isn’t something I can fly through.
The second half was much more enjoyable but I still hated all the side plots and the younger Bennet sister’s stories, I didn’t care for them and had no interest in their escapades.

Basically, I find it pretty damn boring. I only cared for Elizabeth and Mr Darcy (Jane wasn’t too bad) and am overall pretty disappointed. However, I am glad to cross another classic off my TBR pile.

Characters:
Elizabeth:
  I did enjoy Elizabeth as a character, I just wish the book focused solely on her instead. I like the fact she was headstrong and honest with everyone, she was definitely a feminist icon! (Especially for her time!)

Mr Darcy: Bless him, he’s quite useless with women isn’t he? I found him quite endearing, regardless.

Mrs Bennet: Quite possibly the most annoying character ever. Dear god, all I wanted was for this woman to shut up!

Rating: 2.5-3 Stars

I did immediately start watching the BBC adaptation after finishing the book, which I enjoyed significantly more! I’ll write a post on my thoughts soon!


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Books · Top 5 Wednesday

Redemption Arcs | Top 5 Wednesday

top5weds

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme, GoodReads group here with all the topics + discussion!
This weeks topic is; Redemption Arcs

I definitely need to read more books with redemption arcs! I love great character development.

*There will be minor spoilers*

1) A Court of Thorns and Roses By Sarah J Maas

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Rhysand
Probably my favourite character in the series. His redemption arc was a complete 180 flip, he a presumed to be evil and horrid but is actually a cinnamon roll.
I personally never hated Rhysand anyways, I found his character very amusing and one of the best parts of ACOTAR.


Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Akiva (and some of the Angels) I definitely loved this redemption arc since I was obsessed with Akiva and Karou! Also Liraz, her story is so cool and underrated!


3) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Since I just finished reading and watching Pride and Prejudice, how could I not include Mr Darcy!
I mean, I obviously knew he was going to end up with Elizabeth, it’s no secret. But to the Bennets, Mr Darcy was a horrible man and they all despised him. Elizabeth, obviously, gets to know him more and falls for him and he is redeemed in her eyes.


4)A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin

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Jaime Lannister
(Book-Jaime not show-Jaime)
I’m just going to start off by saying; Jaime isn’t even close to being one of my favourite characters from this series (or the TV show). However, I do appreciate the development of his character throughout the books and I will admit him ends up not being such a bad guy.


5) Star Wars

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How could I not mention Star Wars?! I mean, I will talk about it at any given opportunity but it does have one of the best (and surprising) redemption arcs.
The character who was redeemed was, of course, Darth Vader/ Anakin Skywalker.
He sacrificed himself for Luke and was the Jedi who returned.*sobs*


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Blog Tour · Books · Review

Arc Review: Vox By Christina Dalcher

 

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VOX new 14

Synopsis:
Silence can be deafening.

Jean McClellan spends her time in almost complete silence, limited to just one hundred words a day. Any more and a thousand volts of electricity will course through her veins.

Now the new government is in power, everything has changed. But only if you’re a woman.

Almost overnight, bank accounts are frozen, passports are taken away and seventy million women lose their jobs. Even more terrifyingly, young girls are no longer taught to read or write.

For herself, her daughter, and for every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice. This is only the beginning…



Plot:
The plot of this is definitely heavily influenced by The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, it has a very similar world, women have been stripped of their freedom and their rights.
The first half of the book is pretty slow, not much happening but there is world-building, helping set the scene of Jean’s current situation. It is an interesting concept, it really makes you think about what it’d be like to have your voice stripped from you.
I feel as though the story could’ve benefitted from being cut down a bit, though it is just  320ish pages, it felt longer and dragged in places. There was a lot of medical detail, which doesn’t add in anything unless you understand it, which I’m assuming a lot of people won’t.
There were a few plot twists, which I didn’t predict – which was really great and surprising and definitely added more enjoyment, as well as picking up the plot.

The last 100 or so pages was definitely the best part, the pace picked up and it got a lot faster to read. I did worry since it’s quite similar to The Handmaid’s Tale that it would end similarly but I’m glad it didn’t. Although the ending was quick, everything was resolved fairly quickly, maybe a bit rushed.

Characters:

Jean: She’s an okay protagonist, I did feel for her and her struggles. I did sympathise with her, I can’t imagine living in a place like that and watching your children being brainwashed into believing the ludicrous views of this society.
I definitely do not agree with the adultery – her husband was awful and there was no way of her splitting up with him, given the current situation but I still can’t get behind it, it was happening before the counters were forced upon women.

Side characters: Patrick, Jean’s husband – so boring, so annoying, hated him!
Steven, Jean’s eldest son – Such a little shit.

Jackie, Jean’s old college friend – She was a crazy feminist, loved her!

Rating: 3.5 Stars!
*Thank you so much to HQ for sending me an ARC of Vox and to be apart of Vox Blogger Day!*

Vox is available in the UK on August 23rd
Preorder your copy now! Amazon UK | Book Depository


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Books · Review

Review: Catwoman: SoulStealer by Sarah J Maas

Synopsis:
When the Bat’s away, the Cat will play. It’s time to see how many lives this cat really has. . . .

Two years after escaping Gotham City’s slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Batwing is left to hold back the tide of notorious criminals. Gotham City is ripe for the taking.

Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove he has what it takes to help people in his role as Batwing. He targets a new thief on the prowl who seems cleverer than most. She has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and together they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman may be Batwing’s undoing.


I have little to zero background knowledge on Catwoman (and most DC characters), I am not the biggest DC fan, I’d never read any of the comics and went into this blind. I don’t think you need tons of DC knowledge to go into this, I still really enjoyed it and it made me way more interested in the DC universe. Of course, there were probably references I missed but I don’t think it took away from the enjoyment of reading this.
Plot:
I found the story well-paced and engaging from the start, I was instantly intrigued and invested in the story. As with all of SJM’s books, it was such a breeze to get through, I love SJM’s writing style and I always devour her books.

The first half was a slow build up to a better second half – which I don’t think is a bad thing, as someone who has little knowledge on Selina, I appreciate getting to know the character and having some background information that justifies/explains her future actions and motives. By the second half, I was flying through – I just had to know where the story went. As per usual, SJM includes plot twists that fly out of nowhere.

I definitely didn’t think this book would affect me emotionally but it did. Once again SJM manages to make me an emotional mess.

Overall, it was just a really fun read.

Characters:
Selina Kyle/Catwoman: I really liked Selina! I thought she was a great main character, she was badass and awesome – just how I expected. I love a morally grey character and I found Selina to be a fun and cool character.
I loved her friendship with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn and I didn’t hate her relationship with Luke either.

Luke Fox/ Batwing: I honestly I had no idea who this was, I had to google Luke Fox and Batwing to get some background knowledge. I had never even heard of this character before. He was an okay addition, he was somewhat interesting, though his chapters weren’t my favourite.

Side characters:
Poison Ivy + Harley Quinn: I thought the addition of these two was really cool! It added a nice touch of friendship to the story and a Female/Female relationship, I’m glad SJM kept the characters LGBT, like the comics.
I could seriously read a whole series with Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn teaming up! It’d be so cool.

Rating: 4 Stars


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Books · Top 5 Wednesday

Forgettable Books | Top 5 Wednesday

top5weds

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme, GoodReads group here with all the topics + discussion!
This weeks topic is; Freebie!
I decided to go with; Forgettable Books which was a topic back in January. 

 

1) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

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I think it’s apparent by now that I hated Wuthering Heights and the moment I was done I forget everything.


2) The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
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This was okay when I read it, however, now I have forgotten the majority of the plot. It was a bad book, it just was unmemorable. I don’t remember hardly anything that went on, everything was a bit bland and therefore, forgettable.


3) Rebel Rising by Beth Revis

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I’ve been trying to work my way through the new canon of Star Wars novels and this one was just okay. It was fairly average but unmemorable, unlike Lost Stars by Claudia Gray, which I still constantly think about. Disappointed, since I loved Rogue One but this was just meh.


4) Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard 

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I enjoyed the first two books, whilst I was reading them but the last book I hated, it was SO boring. Since then I have forgotten the majority of the story, the characters are bland and forgettable (except maybe Maven). I’ve lost interest in reading the final book, I may pick it up in the future but for now, I won’t bother.


5) The Night Circus by Eric Morgenstern

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Controversial!
I know this is literally everyone’s favourite but I didn’t like it. It was slow, so boring and I honestly remember nothing. I had a hard time reading this, I really don’t see the hype everyone else does. I didn’t like the characters and kept waiting for something exciting to happen and it never did. I now don’t remember anything that happened. At all. Oops.


Let me know some books you found forgettable! I love to know your opinions!

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Books · Tips & Tricks

Reading on a Budget: How To Get Books For FREE!

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Hey guys!
Make sure you check out my first ‘Reading on a Budget’ post; Where to Find Cheap Books
In this post, I’ll be talking about how you can get books for free!

 1) The Library

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The obvious place to go if you want free books is your local library!
I am guilty of not using my library enough, however, I am planning to change that.
The library is great, free books and it means you don’t have to find space for a new book. Plus if you don’t end up enjoying the book, you have no money loss!
Also, most libraries have eBooks and Audiobooks, which brings me to the next way:


2) BorrowBox/ Overdrive
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Your local library will probably use one of these apps to allow their members to access eBooks and audiobooks. My library uses BorrowBox but I think most use Overdrive, either way, it’s definitely worth knowing about and using! I so far have never paid for an audiobook, I only use my libraries options.


3) NetGalleyImage result for netgalleyNetGalley is a reviewer website, where you can access advanced readers copies of books. If you sign up you can request books from publisher to review before they are released. It’s a great way of reading new releases, it helps the books get publicised before they’re published and it’s free! The only ‘downside’ is that it is eBooks only, if you don’t like reading eBooks/ on your phone or e-reader then it wouldn’t be for you. I personally love reading ebooks, I find them quicker to read and I own a kindle so it isn’t an issue for me, they are sent directly there for me!


4) Giveaways

Image result for goodreads logoGoodreads has a giveaway section under the browse option.
There is a huge selection of giveaways going on at any given time, they’re very quick and simple to enter. I have personally won quite a few books through there.
It’s always worth entering!
Image result for twitter instagram facebookAlso be sure to look at Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for giveaways and contests on there!


5) #BooksforTrade on Twitter

If you are a blogger/Instagrammer and receive ARCs, the best place to unhaul them is on Twitter. Trading is a great way to unhaul books and get new ones in exchange!
You can trade any books/arcs/merch on there, loads of the book community is involved and trading. You will have plenty of opportunities to get rid of a few things and gain some new in the process. Win, win situation!
Just be careful when trading, make sure you see pictures of the books/merch beforehand. Make sure the person’s account is legit if it doesn’t look very active or no pictures/tweet, question it. It’s better to be safe than sorry.


*Not sponsored by any of these companies, I have personally used these sites and want to recommend them. 

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Books · Review

Review: The Light Between Us by Katie Khan (Spoiler Free!)

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Synopsis:
Isaac and Thea were once close, but they’ve grown apart.

Thea works tirelessly, convinced she can prove everyone around her wrong – convinced she can prove that time travel is possible. But when one of her attempts goes wrong, she finds herself picking up the phone and calling her old friend.

Isaac is in New York – it’s the middle of the night, but when he sees who’s calling him, he cannot ignore his phone. At Thea’s request, he travels home, determined to help her in her hour of need.

But neither of them are prepared for what they will discover when he gets there.



Plot: 
Okay, so let me start off by saying; Katie Khan is a beautiful writer. I absolutely adore her writing style, it’s such a joy to read and such a breeze to get through!
Her books are Sci-fi/Romance done right.  I previously read her book Hold Back the Stars, although this didn’t live up to that one, for me,  it was still really enjoyable. I cannot wait for her to write another book, she is definitely an auto-buy author for me now, I just love the way she writes!

The book follows Thea as she is kicked out of Oxford for going ahead with her experiments to prove time travel to be real. She ends up going back to her family home and continuing the experiments there, except this time it goes horribly wrong. One of her friends, Rosy, who volunteered to go back in time, disappears, the story follows Thea and Isaac trying to piece together what went wrong and how to get their friend back.

I wasn’t quite invested in the plot of this book as I was with Hold Back the Stars, I did really like the characters but the plot was a bit weak. I felt it focused too much on Isaac and Thea’s relationship rather than spending time looking for Rosy. I felt that fact that Rosy was missing took a bit of a back seat to the romance between Isaac and Thea. I did like their relationship and I’m a little sad at the ending!

Characters:
Thea: It’s so nice to have a smart, determined female main character, especially one who has to explain science to a man! It’s so common for women to be the ‘dumber’ one and have men explain to them how science works, it’s nice to see the roles reversed.
Thea is a quirky, weird but fun main character, I did really like her and enjoyed reading from her perspective.

Isaac: Isaac was adorable! I liked his personality and his cluelessness when it comes to science was funny and very relatable. His relationship with Thea is pretty cute!

Rating: 3.5 Stars

The Light Between Us is out NOW! Get your copy here:
Amazon UK | Book Depository

*Thank you to Penguin Books UK for sending this to me, in exchange for an honest review.


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Books · Top 5 Wednesday

Books I Like with Tropes I Hate | Top 5 Wednesday

top5weds

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme, GoodReads group here with all the topics + discussion!
This weeks topic is; Books You Liked with Tropes You Usually Hate

First of all, let’s talk tropes.
A trope I am really not a fan of, yet seems I like a lot of books with it in is;
Love Triangles.
First of all, I think it’s wrong, it’s essentially cheating and that’s just plain wrong. Man, YA writers love a good love triangle, really it’s such a bad thing to normalise. Yet I am trash for certain books with love triangles!?  What is wrong with me. Love triangles have a tendency to annoy me anyway, as the author usually turn one of the love interests into an arse.

*Warning there will be spoilers*


Juliet, Adam and Warner
Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

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Okay, so I don’t absolutely love these books or the ships but it’s an enjoyable series. The love triangle, however, was the worst part of this book. I didn’t really like Adam or Warner much, Warner did grow on me towards the end but overall just meh.
I hate the fact Warner is redeemed in literally every way possible and that Adam starts off being nice and is turned into an arse so that Warner looks like a better match.

 


Dorian, Celaena and Chaol
Throne of Glass

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The first love triangle from SJM on this list, this is the one that doesn’t bother me as much as the next. I shipped Dorian and Celaena from the beginning (and I’m still kinda mad they never got together?!) After Celaena and Chaol ultimately get together she then turns Chaol into an arse and gives her another love interest. *Sigh*


Adam, Blue and Gansey
The Raven Cycle

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This kind-of love triangle doesn’t bother me too much. I adore the characters in this and I love the pairings they ultimately end up in. However, there is a bit of a love triangle as it is kinda obvious Adam and Blue are going nowhere and that Blue starts falling for Gansey. I can’t be mad at it as it is painfully obvious from book one that Gansey is Blue’s true love.


Tamlin, Feyre and Rhysand
A Court of Thorns and Roses By Sarah J Maas

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I love ACOTAR but was the love triangle necessary? No.
Was it necessary to turn the first love interest into a completely unlikeable arse? No
What could’ve happened was Feyre just falling out of love, it happens, it’s normal but no SJM has a habit of turning previous love interests into unlikeable characters.


Change of trope now; The Lost Princess
The whole lost Princess thing is usually way overdone and it can be a bit annoying. This trope also works with Throne of Glass.
But I decided to go with Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen.

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I have to admit, this is done really well. The main character, Kelsey, knows she’s royalty but it is hidden away for her own safety until she’s old enough to rule. I really love this trilogy but the ending is another story.



Let me know any books you love with tropes you hate!  I’d love to hear your opinions!
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