October – January Wrap Up

So since I’ve been taking a break from blogging I’ve obviously read quite a few books that I haven’t spoken about so I figured I’d just do a huge wrap up rather than posting small individual ones (as I really didn’t read a lot per month). I’m trying to get back into regularly posting now as things have been hectic these past few months so try to bear with me. You also may notice that I haven’t been reading a lot of books and that’s because I’ve been having vision problems that are making it hard to read and I’m currently having that looked at to see what the problem is. I have been trying to listen to audio books though but I just haven’t been able to get on with the narrators so feel free to recommend some good audio books if you know of any. Thanks for reading this long paragraph and sticking with me! (BTW sorry if this is a bit slap dash as I just really wanted to get this posted.)

the-girl-with-all-the-gifts-by-m-r-careyThe Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

An original and exciting  apocalyptic novel that takes the typical zombie lore in a completely different direction. Melanie is a young girl who knows nothing of the world outside of the school she lives in, every day she is taken from her cell, strapped into a wheelchair and taken to class. This continues on and on and slowly Melanie notices things are changing, her classmates seem to disappear randomly and things are tense in the compound. i just had so much fun reading this book, it’s fast paced and exciting and just so easy to read. I loved the character development of both Melanie and the people around her as they accept the world that they live in. I really liked this and I can’t wait to see the film.

bones-and-allBones and All by Camille DeAngelis ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

This book is kind of a magical realism take on cannibalism, i know that sounds really strange but it’s such a good story. Maren and her mother have to move every few months, every time they settle down for too long Maren ends up eating somebody. Yes, eating somebody. On her eighteenth birthday Maren wakes to her mother gone, leaving only enough for her to get by, she’s been abandoned. This leads Maren to search for the father she’s ever known and possibly the answer to her cannibalistic problem. Maren is such an interesting character and I enjoyed reading from the perspective of a sort of anti-hero as she struggles to control her urges. It’s definitely not a happy story (note – cannibalism) but it’s so interesting to read. I loved following Maren’s journey as she is thrust into the real world after being protected by her mother her whole life whilst also trying to be a normal teenage girl. It’s definitely an underrated novel that I think’s worth a read.

faithful-placeFaithful Place by Tana French  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Another great addition the Dublin Murder Squad series! This time the story focuses on Frank, an undercover officer who we met in the second book. I enjoyed his story a lot more than I thought I would and Frank quickly grew on me despite my issues with him early on. Faithful Place focuses on the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Frank’s first love and the resurfacing of her suitcase in the rundown house they used to meet in. I had an inkling to the plot twist early on but I still really enjoyed it and I loved the dynamic between Frank and his family, it came across as really authentic. I can’t wait to get around to the next book as this has quickly become one of my favourite series.

172-hours-on-the-moon-by-johan-harstad172 Hours on the Moon by Jonah Harstad ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (3.5)

172 Hours on the Moon is a science fiction YA horror novel about 4 teenagers who all win a trip to Mars on the first space mission since the moon landing. The book focuses on the different perspectives of the people involved in this mission as well as the teenagers as they prepare for this mission, it also has interesting pictures and mixed media aspects to add to the reading experience. To be honest after hearing how terrifying this book was supposed to be I was slightly underwhelmed. It’s creepy but not terrifying as I’d hoped, I think I expected a more exciting reveal to all of the secrets and hints to what lay on the moon. Despite this it was a fun book and the ending went a totally different way than I was expecting.

defender-by-g-x-toddDefender by G. X. Todd ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I’m going to be writing a full review ASAP. Quick thoughts though – this book was so action-packed and fast paced that I genuinely couldn’t put it down. It has so many unexpected twists and turns that you never know what may happen next so you have to keep reading. It’s set in a post apocalyptic world and was a really fun read. More in my review!

forgive-me-leonard-peacockForgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I’ve had this book for a while and picked it off of my bookshelf on a whim one day when I was looking for a stand-alone book to read and I was actually pleasantly surprised with how this book turned out. Leonard is a teenage boy who decides that the only option for him is to kill his ex-best-friend turned bully and then himself. But first, he has to say goodbye to the few friends he has and it doesn’t exactly go the way he expects. As expected this is a sad yet sometimes funny story that focuses on the struggles of a teenage boy as he has to deal with things that no child should have to deal with. This is my first Matthew Quick novel and I own a few others and after this I can’t wait to pick them up. Definitely look up potential triggers for this book though as it does deal with some sensitive subjects.

you-know-me-wellYou Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

You Know Me Well is one of the cutest and loveliest books I’ve read. It tells the story of two gay teens, Katie and Mark as they deal with their respective relationship problems and how they help each other after meeting at a gay club during Pride. I love stories that focus on friendships and I think this book kind of took the ‘whirlwind romance’ trope and applies it to the friendship between Mark and Katie. As mentioned though there is a little bit of romance in this book as both of our protagonists are dealing with crushes that they really want to work out, Katie on her best friend’s cousin and Mark on his lifelong best friend. This book deals with a lot of different topics such as unrequited love, toxic friendships and just generally being a teenager whilst also being a fun and light read which I really liked. I definitely recommend this if you’re looking for something quick and easy to break up you’re reading.

a-monster-callsA Monster Calls by Patrick Ness ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This book is genuinely one of the most beautifully told stories I’ve ever read. I read from the edition that featured the illustrations and tied with Patrick Ness’ writing it definitely made for an emotional read. A Monster Calls is about a young boy called Connor who is visited by a tree monster at night and in the weeks that follow the tree monster tells him three stories that change everything. I absolutely loved this book, as always Patrick Ness writes beautifully and the story is wonderfully told. I just loved it and I think it’s an important read for people of all ages. I also went to see the film adaptation in the cinema and it’s just as amazing as the book.

everything-everythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A really sweet and lovely story about a young girl who hasn’t been able to leave the house for most of her life due to severe allergies and what happens when a new family (and boy) move next door. This was such a quick read as Nicola Yoon’s writing is so addictive and the romance is so compelling that you just have to find out what happens. I haven’t read a lot of romance based YA in a while but this has definitely made me want to pick up more which is great seeing as I received Yoon’s newest novel, The Sun is also a Star for Christmas.

sherlock-holmes-and-the-disappearing-diamondSherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond by Sam Hearn ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I posted a full review here as part of a blog tour.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

Advertisements

February Wrap Up/March TBR

Since I didn’t read a lot in February I figured I’d just combine my February Wrap Up with my March TBR to make it a bit quicker and easier. I only managed to finish 2 books in February (I started 2 others) despite having a really good reading month in January so I’m kind of disappointed. Hopefully I can make up for it in March! So here are the books I read in February –

Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This was such a captivating (no pun intended) read, it gripped me from start to finish and I immediately ordered the second book once I finished. Captive Prince focuses on political intrigue and relationships that develop in this historical fantasy-esque society where slavery (particularly sex slavery) is the norm. The main relationship is so unhealthy and messed up and though I fundamentally disagree with the characters actions I just really want to see how it plays out which was the main factor that kept me reading. Captive Prince basically goes against everything I stand for but I couldn’t put it down. It’s very intriguing but very violent and disturbing so I recommend looking into potential triggers before reading. I was really gripped by this book though so I can’t wait to continue on with the series because I just can’t see how the story is going to work itself out.

Stalking Darkness by Lynn Flewelling ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
A great sequel to an amazing first novel. I loved how the story developed in this book and delved deeper into the relationship between Seregil and Alec as well as expanded upon secondary characters such as Beka (who I love). I don’t really want to go into too much detail as this is the sequel but I will say that this book took a lot of unexpected twists and turns and I loved it. I definitely recommend picking this series up if you’re looking for a fun but intriguing epic fantasy. You can find my review of the first book here.

I also started A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab and Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti  and I hope to finish them both in March.

This month’s TBR is a bit big seeing as I didn’t read much in February but these are the books I’d really like to get to and the pile I’ll be choosing from this month so I figured I’d just list them all. The books I hope to read are –

Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens (I’ve started this and I’m really liking it!)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (I read this a long time ago but I want to refresh my memory for Jane Steele.)

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Chasing the Stars by Malorie Blackman

Prince’s Gambit by C. S. Pacat

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I also want to read a few books that were on last month’s TBR such as Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb and Traitor’s Moon by Lynn Flewelling.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

 

 

REVIEW – Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling

luck in the shadowsTitle – Luck in the Shadows
Author – Lynn Flewelling
Publication date – September 1996 (7 months before I was born!)
Genre – Epic Fantasy
Rating – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Goodreads | Author’s Twitter | Buy the book

When young Alec of Kerry is taken prisoner for a crime he didn’t commit, he is certain that his life is at an end. But one thing he never expected was his cellmate. Spy, rogue, thief, and noble, Seregil of Rhiminee is many things–none of them predictable. And when he offers to take on Alec as his apprentice, things may never be the same for either of them.

Soon Alec is traveling roads he never knew existed, toward a war he never suspected was brewing. Before long he and Seregil are embroiled in a sinister plot that runs deeper than either can imagine, and that may cost them far more than their lives if they fail. But fortune is as unpredictable as Alec’s new mentor, and this time there just might be…Luck in the Shadows.
Goodreads Description

This book was so much fun! It’s the perfect mix of cheesiness and seriousness that you’d want in an epic fantasy. Though in third person the books switches between three or four POV’s, mainly Alec’s and Seregil’s. This gives the reader the chance to not only get to know each character personally but also see them from an outside POV. Alec and Seregil (though sometimes also Micum who is a lovely character) are an amazing duo who go on loads of different adventures together whilst also dealing with the underlying conspiracy that’s gripping the kingdom. Different plot points intertwine and it makes for a complex but gripping read.

Flewelling writes interesting and well developed characters that you really grow attached to and start rooting for, I just loved both Alec and Seregil. I can’t wait to see where there relationship goes and how it develops alongside the ups and downs of the drama in Skala. There are a variety of different side characters that grabbed my interest as well such as Beka (Micum’s daughter) and Princess Klia. The variety of characters has me excited to see how they’re developed in future books. I’ve actually picked up Stalking Darkness (the sequel) which I hope to finish soon. I definitely recommend picking up Luck in the Shadows, it seems like it’s going to be a fantastic series. 🙂

Have you read this series? Let me know in the comments!

REVIEW – The Three by Sarah Lotz

the threeeTitle – The Three
Author –  Sarah Lotz
Publication date –  March 10th 2015
Genre – Fantasy
Rating – ★ ★ ★  ★ ☆
Goodreads | Author’s Website | Buy the book

‘They’re here … The boy. The boy watch the boy watch the dead people oh Lordy there’s so many … They’re coming for me now. We’re all going soon. All of us. Pastor Len warn them that the boy he’s not to­­–‘

The last words of Pamela May Donald (1961 – 2012)

Black Thursday. The day that will never be forgotten. The day that four passenger planes crash, at almost exactly the same moment, at four different points around the globe.

There are only four survivors. Three are children, who emerge from the wreckage seemingly unhurt. But they are not unchanged. And the fourth is Pamela May Donald, who lives just long enough to record a voice message on her phone. A message that will change the world.

The message is a warning.Amazon Description

This book is a very compelling and interesting read. It centres around the three young survivors of four simultaneous aeroplane crashes around the world. It’s told as if it’s a book written by a writer who is investigating these children so the story is told through interviews, diary extracts and messages by people who have had strange experiences relating to these children known as ‘The Three’.

I read it in a day in very long sittings because I just needed to find out how everything resolved. It’s so intricate and complex and there are so many subtle connections that it took me while to figure stuff out and even after I’d finished I kept thinking about it. I can’t really explain the plot or go into more detail as it’s very easy to spoil and even now I’m not 100% sure what happened but I definitely think it’s a book worth reading and I can’t wait to read Sarah Lotz next novel ‘Day Four’.

REVIEW – The Crimson Ribbon by Katherine Clements

The Crimson RibbonTitle – The Crimson Ribbon
Author – Katherine Clements
Publication date –  March 27th 2014
Publisher – Headline
Genre – Historical Fiction
Rating – ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Goodreads | Author’s Twitter | Book Depository  

England 1646. The Civil War is raging and society turned upside down. 

What should be a rare moment of blessing for the town of Ely takes a brutal turn and Ruth Flowers is left with little choice but to flee the household of Oliver Cromwell, the only home she has ever known. On the road to London, Ruth sparks an uneasy alliance with a deserting soldier, the battle-scarred and troubled Joseph. But when she reaches the city, it’s in the Poole household that she finds refuge. 

Lizzie Poole, beautiful and charismatic, enthrals the vulnerable Ruth, who binds herself inextricably to Lizzie’s world. But in these troubled times, Ruth is haunted by fears of her past catching up with her. And as Lizzie’s radical ideas escalate, Ruth finds herself carried to the heart of the country’s conflict, to the trial of a king.

Based on the real figure of the extraordinary Elizabeth Poole, The Crimson Ribbon conjures a mesmerising story of two women’s obsession, superstition and hope. – Goodreads Description

The Crimson Ribbon is a beautiful tale of love and obsession and I think Katherine Clements captured the atmosphere of the time period within this book perfectly. The main character, Ruth is a really complex but frustrating person and as the book goes on you slowly begin to understand the reasoning behind her decisions. I became really invested in her character and I wanted her to realise how bad the situation she was in was and just leave or at least do something to prevent it.

Her relationship with Lizzie was really hard but interesting to read about. Ruth seemed almost blind to Lizzie’s faults which I found realistic but sometimes irritating. I normally don’t enjoy ‘love triangles’ but the way Katherine Clements wrote the Lizzie-Ruth-Joseph story was very subtle and didn’t overtake the actual story itself. Ruth’s struggle between her choices was something that I found engaging rather than boring. Both of the love interests were flawed and real which made Ruth’s choices even more realistic as she realised that they weren’t as perfect as she chose to believe they were. She sort of puts Lizzie on a pedestal and her slow realisation of her true character was something that drove the plot for me.

I loved how the time period played a significant part of the story as you learned how the society and time Ruth lived in shaped her and how historical events effected her life. Weaving Oliver Cromwell into the story was really interesting and learning about his relationship with Ruth made it all the more compelling as you learned with Ruth throughout the story. The historical aspect was just a really great part of the book and witnessing historical events through Ruth’s eyes made it even more fascinating. I also loved the Lizzie and Ruth relationship in this book as there is definitely a problem with diversity in novels and there are even fewer LGBT historical fiction novels and I think that this book delivered the relationship between Lizzie and Ruth in a really realistic and gritty way.

I couldn’t give it five stars because there were times when I became really frustrated with Ruth and I feel like some aspects were dragged out for slightly too long. Also the ending wasn’t what I had hoped for. Despite this I absolutely loved The Crimson Ribbon and I think that it’s something that a lot of people would enjoy, especially historical fiction fans.

Have you read this book? Are you interested in reading it? Let me know down in the comments! 🙂