A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J. Maas (Book Review)

This contains spoilers for both A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist And Fury.

A Court of Thorns and Roses was forgettable for me.download (2)

Going into A Court of Mist and Fury was hard, I honestly couldn’t remember a lot of what happened in the previous book and struggled to get into the new novel. As I started reading, small things came back to me… Feyre killed what she thought was a wolf but what turned out to be a faerie, so is taken captive to the other side of the wall where faeries live and humans don’t. This is where my mind became very blurry; I remembered her slowly falling in love with Tamlin and something to do with a curse that only she could break…  I remembered that A Court of Thorns and Roses was a loose retelling of Beauty and The Beast and I remember the plot to Beauty and The Beast so I figured reading A Court of Mist and Fury would be like following on from my favourite Disney film.

I do not remember Feyre dying… No do I remember much about any of the trials she went through Under the Mountain.

This was a slight problem at the beginning of A Court of Mist and Fury but I soon realised that this book was so much better than the first. If you struggled with A Court of Thorns and Roses and are unsure about continuing onto the next book?  Honestly, you will not regret continuing.

Where do I even start with this book? The story was great, I found that it was really easy to follow and unlike a lot of 500+ page books, I never once wondered where it was going with the plot or when it would end. I often read big books and after 100 pages, I feel like everything has already happened and the rest of the book is just filling pages. This was different, after 100 pages I was hooked.

In this follow up novel we see Feyre unhappy and struggling to find peace with previous events which happened Under the Mountain. (I still can’t really remember those events.) Feyre is living with Tamlin who is trying hard to protect her so won’t let her leave the house or grounds fesring for her safety, much to Feyre’s annoyance. After making a bargain with the enemy Rhysand, she is swept off to his court (Night Court) for one week a month. This soon becomes a blessing as she feels trapped at home feels more like a prison since she can’t leave. After a day when Tamlin leaves Feyre locked in the house she is saved by Rhysand and goes to live with him in Night Court deciding that Spring Court (Tamlin’s home) is no longer her home.  Once in Night Court she realises Rhysand isn’t all that bad and she soon begins to find herself with him and his close friends.

Now let’s talk about Rhysand, or Rhys for short… I’ve always classed Luke Brandon, from the Shopaholic series, as my ideal book boyfriend but since reading this book that has all changed. Rhys is perfect. He’s your typical bad boy who everyone hates but when you get to know him you realise he isn’t all that bad and in fact he’s actually a really nice guy. I fell in love with Rhys so bad, throughout the whole thing I was just waiting for Feyre to realise that he is perfect and he’s everything she wants in a man and when it eventually happened (and things got VERY explicit) I was overjoyed.

As I mention, the book is very explicit, especially considering it’s written for a young adult audience but Sarah J. Maas writes it just so perfectly. The sex scenes never once made me laugh or cringe and I felt it was written in a good way for young adults who are perhaps reading about sex for the first time. It didn’t say that you have to be married before you have sex but it did bring out the message that sex is better with someone that you care about and love. Considering the age of the target audience, I found this aspect very important.

The characters were all so well written throughout the entire book. I loved Mor and found Amren sassy and strong. Cassian and Azriel were very macho but they cared about their friends more than anything else and I found myself wanting to be part of their friend group and I wanted to live in Velaris with them all.

Throughout A Court of Mist and Fury we find out that when Feyre was brought back from the dead by the leaders of each court, she was given power from each of them and I loved finding out what Feyre was able to do. Her struggle with understanding her power and the slow realisation that she was actually able to master them was brilliant. I specifically loved the wolves that she made out of water and the way she was able to control them.

The ending got a little bit muddled for me. This was the only thing I wasn’t 100% with in the book. After spending most of her time writing about Feyre and Rhysand’s relationship, the end felt somewhat rushed. Feyre had successfully collected both parts of a book which they needed to use in order to destroy The Cauldron (which was going to be used as a key feature to the oncoming war where mortals would all die or become slaves to faerie) and  so they went to do so however Feyre gets distracted and fails in her goal before Tamlin and Lucien (Tamlin’s right hand man) turn up and explain that they had agreed with the king that if he brought Feyre to Tamlin, Tamlin would allow faerie to pass through his court and enter the mortal realms thus starting the war. This bit all happened within a couple of chapters and I honestly felt like too much was happening all at once. The book was already 600+ pages so why not add 100 more to tell the story properly?

All told, the book was amazing; it had everything I look for in a good novel. It has great romance and a great friendship groups.  I loved the plot and I even loved the rushed plot twist. My only issue is that I have to wait for the next book to be released and I don’t think I’ll find something that I loved this much before the next book in the series.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

Book review – The Lunar Chronicles (Marissa Meyer)

This review contains spoilers. You have been warned.

I’ve been avoiding doing this review for a while because the series became so big and so popular that I worried if I reviewed it then I wouldn’t do it justice. Today I’m slightly hungover and I already feel like crap so if everyone hates this then it’ll just add to my sad hungover day but people MIGHT like it and if so it could make my day so much better.Cinder_book_cover

I should start off by saying that this is about the four main books; Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter. I own Fairest and Stars Above but I haven’t yet got round to actually reading them.

The books kick off with Cinder, a cyborg girl who lives with her step mother and two sisters. Sound familiar? Well it should do, each book is a retelling of a classic fairy tale. Cinder is a retelling of Cinderella, Scarlet retells Little Red Riding Hood, Cress is about Rapunzel and Winter is based on Snow White and to be honest this as the reason I even picked up the books in the first place.

Cinder is loathes by her step mother and one of her sisters but unlike the classic story, she actually has a great relationship with her sister Peony. After her father’s death and loss of fortune, it falls on Cinder to make money for the family by becoming a mechanic in the market place. As there is a plague killing half the country, working in the market place isn’t the safest place to work. Luckily one day Prince Kai walks into Cinder’s workshop needing his android fixed and he takes a shine to Cinder instantly. As Cinder is a cyborg she is generally thought of as a lower class and Kai doesn’t realise Cinder is a cyborg so she has to hide her metal arm and leg from him, only falling and revealing her true self in front of him and the queen of Luna at the royal ball at the end of the book.download (1)

In the second book we meet Scarlet, a feisty redhead who lives and works on a farm with her grandmother. On the same day that Scarlet meets a sexy stranger, she gets home only to realise her grandmother is missing and Scarlet just knows that her grandmother didn’t leave at free will. With the help of the stranger from earlier, Wolf, Scarlet sets out to find her grandmother and save her.

Next we meet Cress. Cress has spent her entire life locked up in a satellite working as a top hacker work for the evil queen of Luna. By this book the queen is trying to find Cinder and wants her dead so knowing that Cress is the best hacker, she sets her the challenge of finding Cinder who is now on the run. Luckily Cress isn’t evil like the queen and she decides to become a double agent, making out that she is helping the queen but in reality she is helping hide Cinder and it helps that Cinder has teamed up with Captain Thorne who Cress is madly in love with.

After a rescue mission which finds Cress and Thorne together on earth, we meet Winter, our final hero. Winter is the step daughter to Levana, the evil queen, and Winter has slowly been going crazy because she refuses to use her magic gift in order to make life easier and look more beautiful. Winter is known to be beautiful but she’s also a beautiful person inside but feels alone on Luna, her only real friends are her guard and childhood friend, Jacin, and the animals in her menagerie. Winter hears of Cinder’s rebellion and her plan to take Levana’s throne and decides to team up with the group now made up of Cinder, Prince Kai, Scarlet, Wolf, Cress, Thorne and Cinder’s faithful android Iko.13206828

I love this book series for a number of different reasons but primarily for the kick ass women portrayed in them. Yes there is romance throughout each book and quite quickly it’s established that the protagonist of each book will fall in love but romance isn’t the main feature of the books. The girls are all portrayed as strong minded women who stand up for themselves and the love interests simply help them along the way and help them become better versions of themselves. I loved this idea because I read so many young adult books that portray unrealistic relationship goals and the idea that you can find a man who will help you with your goals and love you for who you are is the message I felt was portrayed in the Luna Chronicles and that to me is a realistic goal and one that people should be aiming towards.

My favourite character changes constantly but at the minute I think Scarlett is my favourite. I love that she remains strong and her relationship with Wolf is only strengthened by the fact that she is strong minded and independent. Scarlet is the only 100% human character out of the lead female characters and can therefore be controlled by people from Luna, due to this she is put through a lot and she comes out at the end stronger than ever because of it.

Queen Levana was an interesting character for me because ii felt she was more than your typical evil queen. I felt that by the end of the books I felt for her and was upset in the end because it became clear why she ended up as bitter and horrible as she did. I felt by the end that she wasn’t just annoyed that she wasn’t the most beautiful person in the end, I felt more that she was simply someone with real issues who let those issues get the better of her and with this she became much more real to me.41SSIYbE2LL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

The guys in the book are amazing. They’re not my favourite love interests that I’ve ever read but they’re written so well. I genuinely found myself really concerned that something was going to happen to one of them but they were such perfect fits for their female counterpart that I couldn’t even imagine one being without the other. When the main guys and women made it through the end I was overjoyed and cried a little bit because I loved Wolf so much.

I can’t recommend the Luna Chronicles enough. They’re exactly my cup of tea, fairy tale retellings with really cool women who fight for the throne and don’t ever give up no matter what is thrown at them? Yes please.

My Favourite Childhood Books

I’ve loved reading from a young age and as a child my most prized possession was my library ticket so I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite books and book series from my childhood.

Each Peach Pear Plumdownload

I still have my very worn copy of this book and at twenty-eight I can still recite the entire book from memory. Before I could read, this was my go to book. Every day I would ask my parents to read this to me and I eventually learned the poem of by heart so I would then ‘read’ the book to my parents.

The Chronicles of Narnia

You’ll most likely all know the sorties of Narnia, the books follow a group of children who find a magical world where they meet Aslan the lion who helps them fight evil in the land and claim the throne. I say I love the series but I mostly loved The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. A group of kick ass kids fighting queens and talking to animals? Yes please.

Goosebumps

Around the age of eight I was getting better at reading and Goosebumps came into my life. goosebumps-featI can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved these books. It was my first glimpse into the world of horror and shortly after I (and the rest of my school) started reading them, the TV show was aired in the UK. It soon became ritual for my friends and I to read a book then watch the episode and discuss if we preferred the book or TV episode better. Goosebumps are a collection of horror books, each with an individual story, written by R.L. Stein. My favourite books include Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, What Lies Beneath the Sink and Be Careful What You Wish For. These books lead to a love of mystery and it was the first time I realised that not every story has a happy ending.

Point Horror41viZadC1VL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

Staying in the same category as Goosebumps, Point Horror fiction were horror books written by various authors, my favourites being R.L. Stein and Linda Cargill.
These books were a step up from Goosebumps, horror for a slightly older audience. I would have been around thirteen or fourteen when I started reading these books and the fact that they included some romance (sometimes it didn’t end well) made me feel like I was reading more grown up fiction. My favourite books included The Boyfriend, The Snowman and The Lifeguard.

Sweet Valley High

1758847Now it’s time to admit a slightly more embarrassing collection of books I loved. I turned thirteen and suddenly realised that boys existed and took to the world of books to understand how they worked. Sweet Valley High follows the lives of identical twins, Jessica and Elizabeth, as they made their way through high school. If I’m honest, I don’t remember too much about individual stories in this series, I just remember feeling really grown up reading about high school relationships.

The Babysitter Club

BSC_Logo_(book_series)These books followed a group of friends who run a ‘Babysitters club’, each book is written in first person by the person named in the title (Kirsty wrote ‘Kirsty’s Great Idea’ and Claudia wrote ‘Claudia and the Little Liar.’) Claudia was my favourite character to follow; she was vice president of the club and always described as creative and arty. I basically wanted to be Claudia. The books basically told the story of children growing up facing normal childhood problems such as their parents going through divorce, sibling rivalry and friendship issues. They helped me with whatever issue I faced at the time.

Harry Potter

downloadI’ve spoken about Harry Potter time and time again so I won’t go too in depth but I could never have written this post without including the book series because from the age of around twelve, there was no book series that I enjoyed more. Harry Potter is the reason I still love reading so much, they made me understand just how amazing it is to get completely lost inside a fictional world.

Dark Places – Gillian Flynn (Book Review)

I can honestly say that I’m slightly worried about Gillian Flynn.

After being totally overwhelmed by Gone Girl, I was desperate to read another of Flynn’s books to find out if they were just as twisted and just as hard to put down. I certainly found that with Dark Places.

Dark Places follows Libby Day who, at seven years old, witnessed her brother murder her mother and two sisters. Libby testifies against her brother Ben and spends the rest of her life trying to forget that morning. Twenty five years later Libby is running out of money and agrees to attend the ‘Kill Club’ – a group run by people who are interested in murderers and who want to find out more about them.  After her first meeting, everything she has been trying to hide from is brought back up and she starts to doubt if her brother actually did commit the crime, aftdownload (6)er all she never actually saw him do it, she was hiding from it the whole time.

I would say that I loved this book but I just don’t know how I actually feel about it. I couldn’t stop reading and strived to find out the truth in the same way that Libby did but in all honesty, at times, I found the book really hard to read.

The Day family are not wealthy, before the murders they lived on a rundown farm and were constantly in fear of the place being repossessed. Because of his families poverty, Ben feels hard done to and acts out against his family making him the perfect fit for the murderer as he is always angry at his family and lifestyle and he gets in with the wrong crowd.

For me, Ben’s chapters were the hardest to read. There were some subjects that were completely new to me in terms of reading. The book graphically describes killing animals and sexual feelings that are more than a little inappropriate. While I appreciate that the author was willing to go there and write about something that a lot of authors would be scared to touch (don’t quote me on this, I really haven’t read that many thriller/horror novels to know)I just didn’t enjoy reading it.

Although there are a few chapters that aren’t easy to get through, it does give you a good idea of what life was like for the Day family. Ben is constantly pressured into doing things he doesn’t want to and reading his reactions to these situations could at times be eye opening realising just how these things happen.

One issue that I did have with the book was that I found there are no likable characters. Although I sympathised with Libby and what she went through, I didn’t like her as an adult. As an adult she was living off the death of her family, hoping that sympathetic strangers would donate money in order to help her build a future. I never quite got over the fact that Libby was so lazy and refused to ever get a job and stick to it. Other than Libby I just didn’t care about the characters, by the end I quite honestly couldn’t have cared less if Ben got out of jail or not because I simply didn’t like him and although the rest of the family were dead, I was never particularly sad about it. I found the book more about finding the truth rather than actually building any likable characters.

The only person that I would say I liked was Lyle, the guy who first takes Libby to the Kill Club, I found it rather sweet that he was trying to help Libby out but even still, at the back of my head I kept remembering that he only ever connected with Libby because he was obsessed with her families murders.

Overall the book wasn’t half full of suspense as Gone Girl but it was still a page turner and I would certainly recommend reading it if you like the ‘who done it’ type of read. The ending was clever and each chapter leading up to the ending was crucial to the story and how it all wrapped up. Just be warned that if you do pick up Dark Places you may be slightly grossed out and it may make you ask the question of how twisted Gillian Flynn’s brain is to come up with these ideas.

3.5/5 stars.

Totally Should’ve Book Tag

  1. Totally should’ve gotten a sequel

Pride and Prejudice, it’s my favourite book and the reason I have unobtainable relationship goals but I there’s one thing wrong with it, it’s that I just don’t know enough about Elizabeth and Darcy’s relationship. I would love nothing more than a sequel about their marriage and lives after Pride and Prejudice.

  1. Totally Should’ve had a spin off series

Harry Potter. I mean let’s be honest, it’ll more than likely happen eventually and J.K. Rowling has already written The Cursed Child but so far that’s not a series. I would love a series based on James and Lily’s time at Hogwarts but mostly because I need Snape back in my life.

  1. An author who totally should write more books

Nathan Filer. If there’s ever a book that broke my heart, it’s The Shock of The Fall. I loved this book from start to finish and I cried more than I’ve ever cried over a book. Nathan Filer is an amazing author and I honestly can’t understand why he hasn’t written anything more.

  1. A character who totally should’ve ended up with someone else

Peeta Mellark. I just feel he deserves someone who loves him more than Katniss does. It’s not that I really care who Katniss ends with because she had plenty of options but Peeta was one of the nicest characters I’ve ever read and I feel like he ends up with a girl who just settles with him because the guy she really loves potentially killed her sister.

  1. Totally should’ve ended differently

I didn’t like the end of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children and I felt no inclination to read the second book in the series as I found the first one a little muddled. I have real issues with the act that no one cares that a child has gone missing and the fact that Jacob doesn’t seem to give a second thought to the fact that he’s leaving his family behind for a group of people he hardly knows.

  1. Totally should’ve had a movie franchise

There’s always a chance it will be turned into a film because this is still a pretty new book but I’d really love to see To All The Boys I Loved Before turned into a movie. It has a typical YA plot but it has some really strong characters and I think it would make a great film… Let’s be honest, we all want Kitty to be real.

  1. Totally should’ve had a TV show

I feel there’s a strong chance that The Lunar Chronicles will be made into films but personally I would love for the book series to be made into a TV show. By making them a TV show it means that they can dedicate a lot more time to actually getting to know the characters and we can have a bit  of back story. I would quite happily watch a full series per book and there’s potential to also include Fairest and Stars Above into it.

  1. Totally should’ve only had one point of view

I honestly can’t tell you a book where I think different points of view don’t work. I love knowing more about the characters and having more than one narrative is the perfect way to do this. If I’ve ever had a problem with a book, it’s because of the plot or writing style not the different views.

  1. Totally should’ve a cover change

I really hate the covers for The Summer I Turned Pretty. As a general rule, I hate covers with real people on, from time to time it works but as a general rule people should not be used for covers.

  1. Totally should’ve kept the original covers

The Gone series by Michael Grant. I’ll be honest when I tell you that I judge books by covers and Gone instantly grabbed my attention with it’s mostly black cover and coloured pages but after reading Gone and Hunger, I went to buy Lies and could only find the new cover with people on it.

  1. Totally should’ve stopped at book one

The Maze Runner. I’m really sorry to all of you guys who loved this series but I thought the books just got worse and worse as they progressed. I would have been happier if The Maze Runner had of been an extra two hundred pages, they could then skip The Scorch Trials and sum up The Death Cure in the last couple hundred pages. The Kill Order was completely unneeded.

 

My tips for getting out of a reading slump

Now we all have moments where we just don’t want to pick up a book. Sometimes it’s a day or a week and then we get back into reading but sometimes it’s longer and when it gets to that point I realise I’m in a real reading slump so try to get myself out of it. Today I thought I’d share some of my tips. They won’t work for everyone but they may help some.

Of course these tips wont work for everyone but they may be worth giving a go. They work for me.

1 – Don’t stress

I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been in a reading slump and stressed out about the fact that I’m in a reading slump. Trust me, it doesn’t make it any better. Try to relax about it and remember that reading is something you should enjoy doing and not something you should feel pressured about.

2 – Take some time off

I’ve found that sometimes in order to get out of my reading slump, I simply need to give myself a few days off. This goes back to number one, if I don’t give myself some time off from reading I start to realise that I’m not enjoying reading. I’m simply reading for the sake of it and on those occasions, I don’t pay full attention to what is going on in my book.

3 – Dedicate time

Find a time of the day that you know you have free. It might be first thing in the morning before you get ready or it may be just before you go to bed. It may even be a half hour break at school/work where you know you have time to sit down and read. I like to set an alarm on my phone so that I physically can’t ignore the fact that I should be using that time to read.

I like to plan my time in advance. Generally I read before bed so I set an alarm for 10pm all week and I mentally prepare myself to read in this time frame.

4 – Pick a spot

Find somewhere comfortable to read. I’m a big fan of reading in bed because I’m generally quite restless so can’t sit on the same spot for too long. I like to move around while I read so a bed allows me to sit up if I want or if need be I can stretch or lie down.

5 – Try to turn off any distractions

Sometimes this tip is impossible (like sometimes I read while at a cafe and I can’t help the fact that there are people around me who could distract me) but try to get rid of anything that might distract you. Turn your phone onto airplane mode or silent. Turn off your TV and use the loo before you sit down to read. This way you’ll stay way more focused on reading.

6 – Work out if you prefer sound or silence.

I read more when I listen to music so putting some on in the background helps me concentrate but this isn’t the case for everyone. Some of my friends can’t read unless there’s silence while others are only able to read if there are people moving on around them. If you’re stuck in a slump and don’t know why, try changing environment to see if that help.

7 – Pick up another book if need be

If you don’t like the book then put it down and pick up something new. I’m the kind of person who has to finish a book regardless of weather I like it or not however if it’s a book that I’m just not picking up then I’ll read a a different book before finishing my current book. Sometimes all it takes to get out of your reading slump is simply a book you really love.

8 – Watch a film to get you in the mood

Don’t get me wrong, I generally don’t like to watch a TV/film adaptation until after I’ve read the book because I don’t want to ruin the ending. Sometimes however, I just don’t know what’s happening in my book and when that happens I put on the TV show or film to help myself understand.

If you’re completely against the idea of ruining the ending then try watching something of a similar theme. After watching Game of Thrones I generally want to pick up a fantasy book and after watching Disney I normally feel like reading something for a younger audience. Sometimes watching a film will help you find out what mood you’re in for a book.

9 – Go online

BookTube is my lifeline when it comes to books, watching someone talk about books they they’re excited about makes me more excited about reading in general. It reminds me how amazing books can be.

There are also a tonne of other sites and apps (Goodreads and Books Amino being amongst my favourites) forums and blogs. Luckily for us the book community is awesome and so supportive so if you’re in a slump, head over to your favourite source and someone will always be happy to chat and help you out of your slump.

10 –  Reward yourself

Cake gets me through everything so I often set a goal and if I reach this goal I will reward myself with a tasty treat. I often decide that for every 100 pages I read, I can have two chocolate biscuits. Of course your reward doesn’t have to be food, it can be anything you enjoy. Just promise yourself that you wont do it until you’ve reached your goal.

My Favourite Book Series

I generally shy away from book series due to the fact that I have major commitment issues. I really want to read more series but instead of being excited about what they might entail, I only manage to see a pile of books that once I start, I’ll feel obliged to read regardless of how much I like them.

That said, on a rare occasion I’ll see a series that I want to read or I’ll pick up a book, not realising that it belongs to a collection and I’ll love it so much that I’ll read the rest.

Today I thought I’d share with you a few that I’ve loved and sometimes even read more than once. Yes they’re fairly obvious choices but I can’t help being generic so here is my top five in no particular order.

Side note: When I say series I mean two or more books.

The Harry Potter series J. K. Rowling

As I say, this list is in no particular order but I still wanted to start with my favourite series of all time. I know a lot of people out there will be banging their heads against they’re keyboard after seeing the most obviously predictable series but I couldn’t make this list without mentioning it. In 1997 J. K. Rowling published Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or the Sorcerer’s Stone if you’re American) and at nine year old it changed my life. I can honestly say that I doubt I’d love reading as much as I do today if it weren’t for this series. After reading the first book, I was hooked and I was first in line on release day for each book that followed.download (3)

Unless you’ve been living in a world without any source of media for the last twenty years, you will be aware that this series follows a young boy, Harry, as he goes from a mistreat child to a famous wizard who is constantly being threatened by one of the most dangerous wizards of all time.

Why do I love these books? Because they were perfect for me. I was part of the Harry Potter generation, the generation that grew up as Harry did and as his stories became more complex so did my own life. Although I never received my Hogwarts letter, I still related to so many issues within the books, they may follow a fictional world but they also tell a true story of how hard life can seem but how much easier it can feel if you have good friends along the way.

There won’t be many people (if any) who read this and haven’t read the Potter books previously but if you’re one of the few then please pick them up. I promise* you’ll be sat at your letterbox waiting for an owl to bring you some important news.

*You might not.

The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer

A series where the main character is a kick ass woman? Yes please! I was a little bit late to the party with this one. By the time I picked up Cinder, Scarlett and Cress were already released but the idea of books based on well-known tales (Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White) was enough for me to buy all three at once. Cinder stole my heart, I honestly love the character and even after the series has ended, she’s my favourite. There’s so much that I love about this series but the fact that it shows off a lot of strong women made it perfect for me.

download (4)The series starts with Cinder who is living with her step mother and step sisters in a world where letumosis, a deadly plague, is spreading rapidly. Cinder, an overworked and underappreciated cyborg, realises that she is immune to the disease and with that revelation she discovers a whole lot more about who she is and who she was before she came to live with her step family.

I couldn’t put these books down. As the series progressed I loved them more and more. The characters are all so strong and relatable and I had serious book crushes on all the male love interests. I adore the fact that although there is romance within the books, it’s not the main story, instead they focus on the protagonists and how they develop themselves based on the situations they’re forced into and the friendships they forge.

The Hunger Games trilogy – Suzanne Collins

So far all my choices have been super predictable, I’m aware, but I love The Hunger Games and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Again I didn’t read in the beginning, by the time I picked up the first book, the other two had been released already but at the time I wasn’t aware of the buzz around them and there hadn’t been any films released yet.download (5)

Again, I’m sure you’ll all be aware of the premise of The Hunger Games. In this dystopian series, every year the government host the hunger games, a game that is broadcast across the world (made up of twelve districts- but secretly there’s an active thirteenth) and forces two children from each district to partake, one male, one female. The children fight to the death and whoever is the last person standing is the victor and wins a lifetime of fame and fortune. After her younger sister gets picked to be part of the games, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her position and we follow her through the games and through the rebellion that follows after her victory.

I’ll be honest (please don’t hate me for saying this) I didn’t like the last book. I found it was a lot of running around the Capitol and hiding from the law but it doesn’t stop me thinking as a whole, it’s an amazing series. I love Katniss in book one. I love that she’s strong minded and she loves her sister so much that she’s willing to put her life at risk for her. As I was reading book two and three, I found myself starting to dislike her more and more. I found her too whiney and miserable. It wasn’t until I re-read the books that I started to appreciate this about her. I realised that yes she was miserable all the time after winning the games but then who wouldn’t be? After being forced to kill a bunch of kids they then stuck her back in another game where she had to instead kill a bunch of adults in order to survive, after she was finally away from the games forever she was forced to be the face of a rebellion that she never agreed to start.  I think I really like the fact that the books portray how real people would act under these circumstances.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before –Jenny Han

There are only two books to this but I’m still putting it in here. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was my favourite YA romance that I’ve read and I’ve read a lot!

15749186In this duology, Lara-Jean has written five letters, all to boys who she has loved at some point in her life. These letters are put into a hat box and she never plans to send them but one day she finds they’ve been posted and her secrets are revealed.

The books are predictable and typically YA but I loved them. I loved Lara-Jean’s love interests, in most YA I just can’t deal with the love triangles but for once I loved it. I understood how this love triangle happened and I understood why Lara-Jean had such a hard time deciding what she wanted. She felt every bit the sixteen year old girl wanting the best of both worlds and I never once felt annoyed with her for not immediately making up her mind. Oh, I also bloody loved Kitty.

The Shopaholic series – Sophie Kinsella

Now this is a weird one because although it’s one of my favourite series, I feel a little like it’s being dragged out and that Sophie needs to just finish it.The_Secret_Dreamworld_of_a_Shopaholic

This series follows Becky, a twenty-something journalist who has a big spending problem. She’s obsessed with buying things and she really can’t afford everything she is buying. Becky meets Luke Brandon, a successful businessman who she forms an unlikely attraction to but whom she has to hide her spending issues from.

There are so far I believe there are eight books in this series and with every book I’ve come to love Luke a little bit more. If you ask me who my ideal book boyfriend is, I will always answer Luke Brandon. He’s just perfect. He’s hard working, motivated and loving. He also constantly puts up with Becky’s shit and sometimes I really don’t understand why. Up until Mini Shopaholic (book six) I really loved Becky, I felt she grew as a character and she deserved the outcome of every book but with the latest instalments I’ve started to hate her. All the hard work Kinsella did to make Becky a lovable character seems to have evaporated and Becky has become ungrateful and annoying. I’ve just finished reading the newest book, Shopaholic to the Rescue and I admit Becky redeems herself a lot and I enjoyed this book a lot more than the previous two books so I’m hoping it all just stops there while I love Becky again.

I know this doesn’t seem like a glowing review but up until Mini Shopaholic, I really love the series and I genuinely found it hilarious and heart-warming.  I love the characters and I love Sophie’s writing so I would recommend the series to anyone. Just pretend it finishes with Shopaholic and Baby.

Meet Me In Paris – Juliette Sobanet (Review)

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If there’s one thing I can’t resist it’s a book about Paris. My two great loves are reading and Paris and having already read some of Juliette’s previous work and loving it, I jumped at the chance to read her latest book, her very own memoir.


Meet Me In Paris follows Juliette (real name Danielle) through her divorce and her struggles to find what she wants from life while everything she has known as an adult begins to change.
Early on we find out that towards the end of her divorce, Juliette meets a man, also married but in an open relationship, who she begins an affair with and this plays a huge role throughout the book. At times I found this subject hard to deal with as I’ve never agreed with cheating while in a relationship but I tried to keep an open mind and understood that I shouldn’t judge a situation that I’ve never been in because in reality I have no idea what I would do. I’m glad I kept this open mind as the further I got the more I understood Juliette’s thoughts behind the affair and I began to understand why she finds it so hard to stop. I did however hate her lover more and more as the story progressed, to me it felt like a typical married man who will never leave his wife but doesn’t want to give up his lover and I struggled to empathise with him when he was upset about the affair as I felt like he knew exactly what he was doing and I couldn’t take his tears seriously.
Although the affair plays a major role in the book, I found the main aspect was Juliette’s self discovery, realising what it was that she wanted from life and I loved this theme. I think ultimately what she needed in life was to be in a city where she felt happy and surrounded by good friends and for her that place was France. Between Paris and Lyon Juliette is able to see some close friends and with there help she is able to sort through all the thoughts in her head and realise what is important to her. I loved Juliette’s version of France, her thoughts on why Paris and Lyon are so beautiful and why she enjoys spending time there so much.

There was one particular theme that I can want to mention, Juliette meets a couple and one half of said couple is a writer who believes in reincarnation. This is something I’ve thought of from time to time but never in depth yet the subject stuck with me. They mention that Juliette will have lived lives before and in her past life she probably lived in Paris as when she first travelled there she felt a connection with the city and instantly felt at ease. This is something I understand completely as I felt exactly the same when I went to Paris, a feeling I’ve never felt with any other city that I’ve travelled to. Exploring this idea was something completely new to me. I’ve never read a book where the author talks about reincarnation in any sort of detail and I adore the fact that Juliette has the confidence to do this.

I would pre warn any potential reader that there are constant sex themes but in reality they are done so well and I never felt like they were grotesque or unnecessary, mostly I felt they were there because that is just real life. The constant reminder that Juliette and her lover would meet up and spend the majority of their time in a hotel room just made me feel even more that this relationship wasn’t going to last, I constantly felt that for her lover it was nothing more than sex even though it was portrayed to be a lot more than this.

Meet Me In Paris was a great read and I applaud Juliette for actually being able to write this because it must take a lot of courage to pour your heart into pieces of paper that you know the world will be able see. Her journey was heartbreaking at times and I can only imagine what it must feel like to have to say goodbye to a life you’ve known for years and start afresh. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and meeting the people in Juliette’s life who helped her through the tough times. If you love romance and you love Paris then I’d say to pick up a copy of Meet Me In Paris, the true story is actually quite lovely and tells a great tale of how with good friends you can make it through anything. Now all I need is a ticket to Paris.

Disclaimer – Renée Knight (Review)

It’s going to be hard to write about Disclaimer without giving anything away, the whole book is full of twists and surprises and almost every chapter shocked me.download (2)

There are two main protagonists to the story, first we meet Catherine who at first glance lives the dream, she is well known in the film industry for making documentaries, she has a husband who she loves and a grown up son who leads an independent life away from home. Next we meet Stephen, a retired teacher who has lost his wife and seems to live a solitary existence.

At first, it’s not clear how the two are linked but Catherine soon finds a book on her nightstand which, as an avid reader, she picks up to read only to find that she is the main character within the book and she realises it holds a secret to her past that if her family found out about, it could destroy them. Shortly afterwards it is revealed that Stephen is the author of the book and knows a part of Catherine’s past that no one else has ever heard.

When I started reading Disclaimer, I found it a little slow to begin with. Catherine’s chapters are in third person while Stephen’s are written in first person and I found it somewhat hard to grasp what was happening due to the chapters constantly switching between the two plots. As soon as I started to understand what was going on with both characters I was gripped. I read this on my Kindle and when I got to 30% I honestly didn’t know how there was still 70% left because I felt the story had almost been told that there was nothing more to happen. Another 5% in and I realised there was so much more to this book and I wanted to know everything.

As soon as things started to progress, I found I had more and more unanswered questions, I would find myself staying awake longer than I had meant to so I could read ‘just one more chapter’ in the hope that it would answer at least one of my questions, what I generally found however is that the one didn’t answer any of my questions, instead it usually presented me with new questions.

Of course the questions weren’t fully answered until the end, about 70% in and we start to learn the truth, questions started getting answered and I finished the last 30% in one sitting because I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep without having found out the end of the story.

Was the end predictable? Yes and no, I went through one hundred different theories in my head while I was reading so one of them was bound to be the right conclusion. When I got the answers I found that it was what I was expecting yet somehow it didn’t find it any less shocking, if anything I was gripped by the revelations. I can’t say much more about the outcome because even the smallest detail will spoil the book but I can say that it was well done and I was heartbroken by the ending (if you have read it, I was mostly upset by Stephen’s conclusion.) It wasn’t on par with Gone Girl for me, with that I honestly could never have predicted the middle; I wasn’t expecting it and was completely shocked. Disclaimer did shock me to an extent but it was the aftermath of the truth that really hit me.

The way the two narratives came together and slowly started to unravel a story, was beautiful to me. Although at times the story was complex, I found the book in whole really easy to read and would certainly describe it as a page turner. On top of the two main narratives, at times we got to hear from lesser talked about characters which added excellent insight and new perspectives.

If you’re looking for a book that has an interesting plot but is still easy to read then I’d highly recommend Disclaimer.

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My Top 5 BookTubers

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Like many, I get a lot of inspiration to read from YouTube. When I have no idea what I want to read, I log onto my favourite channels and see what they’re reading and even when i’m in a reading slump, it helps me out of it.
I could have given you a list off at least fifty channels that i subscribe to and check daily but i thought I’d share my top five channels, the ones I first check when i need some reading ideas.
Peruse Project
Regan is probably my first go to channel. She posts videos regularly and I trust her reviews completely. Her channel is a mix of book hauls, book reviews and favourites mixed with the odd book tag. Regan is a self-confessed lover of fantasy which is a genre I am generally terrified to pick up but she’s always honest with how she found a book and she’s not scared to say if she hated a book meaning that when I’m browsing book shelves I feel a little more confident in what I’m buying.
A Book Utopia
I simply adore this channel; Sasha is always full of energy and her energy comes through in her videos. Having only just read the Harry Potter series, she’s a newly converted super fan and being a fan makes me like her and trust her more. She has a great range of videos, she has the usual collections of hauls, wrap ups and TBRs but she also constantly posts fun tags and she’s not scared to take her camera out and about with her when he visits book stores/goes travelling. On top of this she hosts a read-along with Regan where each month they chose a book for their book club PeruseUtopia which I generally try and read along with.
Heart Full of Books
Twins, Bee and Maddie, are girls after my own heart, they love young adult fiction and they’re not ashamed of it. They’re currently in their first year of uni and they’ve took their YouTube channel with them. Again they have the usual host of videos (hauls, TBR’s, etc.) but they’re the go to girls if you want to know more about young adult or romance.
Lucy The Reader
I first came across Lucy’s channel when I was trying to find information on books about anxiety, when I found her channel, I was hooked. Lucy is a fan of young adult and classics but she also explores subjects which many people wouldn’t touch upon. I’ve seen videos on her channel about anxiety, feminism and menstruation to name a few. I have a massive respect for her given that she is happy to openly talk about those topics, reaching out to a younger audience who could possibly feel embarrassed or reserved about these subjects. Lucy also has a monthly video in French, which I understand none of but appreciate she is reaching out to a wider audience. I believe she is currently writing a book where the main character suffers anxiety and as soon as it’s out, I’ll be there waiting in line to buy it.
Read By Zoe
Zoe’s reading choices are exactly like mine. I’ve lost count of how many books I’ve seen her review that I loved already or books that she’s reviewed and I’ve completely loved as a result. She mostly posts the usual videos but she spent a year studying in England and I loved following her adventures over here. Zoe generally reads a mixture of young adult and romance and I constantly feel I can relate to her book emotions.
If you like the sound of any of these channels, please check them out. There are so many more that I could have mentioned but these five I just relate to that little bit more.