Thursday, 9 March 2017

Inspirational (Fictional) Women

To celebrate International Women's Day, I've chosen a few quotes from some strong female protagonists from YA books. I know for me, I love reading about strong female characters, especially in YA, because they give me something to aspire to. I want to be like them in my life. Their lives are so much more complicated than mine so, if they can keep going, then know I can too. Which female protagonists do you admire in YA?

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Background Stock Image: Nguyen Nguyenhttps://stocksnap.io/photo/TNXFPX1WIM  

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Thursday, 16 February 2017

A Letter to Aelin Ashryver Galathynius

Aelin,

I have read many books, hundreds of them, and with each one I leave a part of myself within the pages. When I first found you, you were called Celaena, and you were in a terrible place - somewhere worse than anything I could ever imagine and I know that I would not be strong enough to survive, let alone thrive in the way that you did. Was it hard? To keep going day after day; to be shackled in the mines with no light to find your way? I imagine it must have been. Especially knowing that, in another world, you could have created your own light to banish the darkness, even if the very thought terrified you.

I guess I want to ask you how you do it. How did you keep going, when everything around you was telling you to give up. How did you keep your confidence that everything would turn out okay? When Rowan confronted you, about reclaiming your throne - how did you overcome the idea that you weren't good enough, weren't worthy to sit on the throne?

I have started down the road to the career of my dreams, and yet every day, at some point, there's a little voice in the back of my mind telling me I'm not good enough. That this isn't going to work. I have no doubt that all of the stress and worry that I'm going through will be worth it in the end, but I wanted to take a moment to thank you.

Thank you for coming into my life right when I needed you the most. Thank you for being the strong, confident, kick-ass woman that you are. Thank you for teaching me that no matter what life throws at you, you need to keep going, because you never know what amazing things lie ahead. Thank you for showing me that loving people with all your heart can lead to the worst pain imaginable, but can also mean spending your life with the most wonderful characters. Thank you for doing all of the above as a woman, with all the highs and lows that brings. For fighting on when your body betrayed you and for loving shopping with a passion that is not healthy. Thank you for loving books and proving to me that you can be the most kick-ass person in the whole city, and still get weepy over a romance book.

Thank you Aelin Ashryver Galathynius. For giving me the female role model that I have been waiting for.

Lots of love,

A friend xx

Friday, 3 February 2017

Crow Mountain by Lucy Inglis

Crow Mountain by Lucy Inglis

Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis: While on holiday in Montana, Hope meets ranch-boy Cal Crow. Caught in an accident, the two of them take shelter in a mountain cabin where Hope makes a strange discovery, More than a hundred years earlier, another English girl met a similar fate. Her rescuer: a rugged horse-trader called Nate. In this wild place, both girls learn what it means to survive and to fall in love, neither knowing that their destinies are intimately entwined.

Review: I really wanted to like this book. I read Lucy's debut novel City of Halves in 2015 and I absolutely loved it, so I had high expectations for this book. And, I was a little disappointed with it. City of Halves had me gripped from the very beginning - it is very similar to The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare with the supernatural beings hiding in London, but there are differences (my review of City of Halves is ) - there was so much action in City of Halves that I was hooked from start to finish. This book, while it did have action in it's own way, didn't really deliver for me.

Now, I often find that books like this; where two stories from two different time periods link together in the present day, are usually disappointing. The author has two different main characters, two different worlds, a whole extra cast of characters to develop and one story always seems to be less developed than the other, and this book was no different. Unusually, I thought the modern day story of Hope and Cal was more underdeveloped than Emily and Nate's, which is the opposite to what I normally find.

I found Hope and Cal's story quite boring and a little tame. All the characters in the modern day world seemed really underdeveloped and I didn't buy in to any of the relationships. I was really disappointed with Hope though. As our modern day protagonist, I wanted her to be strong and independent, like Emily became in her story and this just didn't seem to happen. I spent the whole book waiting for her to become the protagonist I wanted her to be and she didn't. When Hope and Cal were in the cabin, Cal did pretty much everything. I was kind of waiting for Hope to offer to collect firewood or do something other than read Emily's journal and it annoyed me that she didn't, and that it was left to Cal.
  Cal as well, although more capable than Hope, had an almost stereotypical sob story of a history. I wanted Lucy to change things up with him and add a twist to the tale, something I wouldn't have expected but, his story was quite predictable to me and, again, he seemed underdeveloped.

While I didn't enjoy Hope and Cal's story, I loved Emily and Nate's story. I would have loved a whole book dedicated purely to them and their relationship. It was so interesting to see in to this world of a newly formed Montana, with the Indians and the forming of lifelong enemies. I loved that Nate pushed Emily to become strong and capable, who could ride a horse like a man, who could hunt like a man. One of my favourite little moments was the transition of Emily not being able to bake bread to her learning to do it. Of seeing how sheltered her life was and how Nate helped her to survive. I adored every aspect of their story and, while I hated how it ended, I really liked how Lucy had given Emily the strength to go on and carry on and make a name for herself and, in the end, her and Nate really were forever - Emily made sure of that.

In all, I did enjoy this book and, despite everything this wasn't the worst book of this type that I've ever read - it was definitely saved by Emily and Nate's story and I would have preferred it if the book was simply based on their story, and cut Hope and Cal and the whole modern day aspect out of it entirely. Out of her two books, City of Halves was definitely the better of the two in my opinion and is a book that I love to reread, whereas Crow Mountain is a book I don't think I'd pick up again, despite my love of Emily and Nate.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Most Anticipated Books of 2017

I cannot believe 2017 is here already! I hope you all had a very happy new year and have had a good start to 2017. It doesn't seem like two minutes since I was writing about my most anticipated books of 2016, but it is that time of year again and these are the books I am most looking forward to in 2017. (On another note, I feel like every year my most anticipated book list gets shorter rather than longer, but anyway...)

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit - and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre but for her world as well.
As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords - and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

I think this is my MOST anticipated book for this year. I absolutely adored A Court of Mist and Fury last year and it quickly became my favourite book not just of the year but of all time. I am so excited about this book you don't understand. According to Goodreads, this book is due out on May 2nd.

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late.

This is the second book in the Dark Artifices series and I'm really looking forward to it. I wasn't expecting to love Lady Midnight as much as I did so I'm really looking forward to seeing where this second book will go. I'm a little disappointed at this cover to be honest - Lady Midnight had such a gorgeous cover that this one seems like a polar opposite. Julian is so tiny! I love this world though and I can't wait to go back there. According to Goodreads, this book is due out on May 23rd.

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk.

Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives.

As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable… and might just run out on both of them.


Passenger was a tough book for me because although I sped through it, I didn't fall in love with it the way I was expecting to. It was a book that got such a lot of hype that I was a little disappointed with it. However, I am looking forward to seeing how this duology ends and this book sounds so interesting that I'm hoping the spark I was missing in Passenger appears in Wayfarer. According to Amazon UK, this book is out on January 12th.

I'm going to finish the way I started with another Sarah J Maas book. The last book in the Throne of Glass series is something I am so looking forward to - I don't think I'm going to be able to wait until September - it's so far away! As of right now, we don't have a title or a cover so all I can say is that according to Goodreads, our hearts will be ripped out on September 5th.

So those are my most anticipated books for 2017. What have I missed? Are there any book releases I should know about? What books are you most looking forward to getting your hands on in 2017?

All synopsis' and images from Goodreads. All publication dates are from either Goodreads or Amazon UK and may change. No Copyright Intended.

Friday, 30 December 2016

2016 Reading Re-Cap

So 2016 is almost over and I wanted to look back at all the books I've read this year. So many amazing books came out this year and I've fallen in love with so many characters that I can't wait to go back to in 2017. I have reviews on my blog for all of the books below so if any of them catch your eye you can go and check them out (although some of them contain major spoilers for the books themselves). Thank you for reading and supporting my blog. I hope you all have a very Happy New Year that's full of great books!


From Bottom to Top:

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
The Jewel by Amy Ewing
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Unspoken series by Sarah Rees Brennan
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
The Night Circus by Erin Morgernstern
Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan & Maureen Johnson
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Uglies and Pretties by Scott Westerfield
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J Maas
Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas

Friday, 16 December 2016

Blogmas

Today I want to share with you my Christmas Playlist. The past few days I have been busy making my Christmas Cards and some of my Christmas presents and these are the songs that I have been cranking out while I do it. A small collection of old classics and modern day hits, I am loving this playlist. I can't help but think of Kat and Daemon from the Lux series when I listen to this playlist - I like to think these are the songs they would listen to while trimming the tree. Maybe that's just me though...

  1. Melanie Thornton - Wonderful Dream (Holidays Are Coming)
  2. Michael Buble - It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas
  3. Leona Lewis - One More Sleep
  4. Ariana Grande - Tell Me Santa
  5. Wham! - Last Christmas
  6. Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas
  7. The Pogues - Fairy Tale in New York
  8. Katy Perry - Everyday is a Holiday
  9. Paul McCartney - Wonderful Christmas Time
  10. Kylie Minogue - Only You (feat James Corden)
  11. Michael Buble - Let It Snow


Monday, 12 December 2016

Blogmas

Since this is a book blog, today I am resurrecting an old book tag that made the circuit on booktube a few years ago; The Winter Wonderland Book Tag. The original tag was started by JackEatsBooks here.

1. What book is so happy and sweet it warms your heart?
I have a collection of Winnie the Pooh stories that was a gift on my christening day that I love. I don't think there are any books that are totally happy and sweet - there's angst in every story surely?

2. What is your favourite book with a white cover?
Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas. That book destroyed me in every way possible and was my favourite book in the Throne of Glass series.

3. You're sitting in a nice comfy chair, wearing a onesie, with a lovely warm hot chocolate but what MONSTER read are you reading?
I don't think I own a truly monstrous book, although Sarah J Maas' books this year have been huge, so I think I'd probably have to go Empire of Storms again, just because they had to print the book on Bible pages so they would fit on bookshelves.

4. It started snowing so you decided to have a snowball fight! What fictional character would you love to have the snowball fight with?
I'm going to say Daemon from the Lux series, just because I would love to wipe the smug look off his face. There would have to be a rule that he couldn't use his super speed though so that I would have a chance of winning!

5. Sadly, your fire is beginning to go out. So what book would you tear the last few chapters out to throw into the fire?
Allegiant by Veronica Roth. Not because of the ending per say but the whole book in general was just a let down after the first two books. The dual POV didn't work and both Tobias and Tris annoyed me so much in that book.

6.  What book is so close to your heart that you would gift to someone this Christmas who hasn't read before but wants to get into reading?
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. I think the plot and the world and the characters are just so amazing in this series and, although it takes a while to get going, the last couple of hundred pages grip you and ACOMAF has you hooked from start to finish. So I would gift this series.