Friday, 30 December 2016

December Wrap Up // goodbye to a weird year

Not the most efficient reading month, but it's been a weird one. I've been busy with work and have been a little out of it lately. But looking back at my reading this year as a whole, I have to say I'm impressed with myself. I read over 70 books (something I've never managed before) and found so many new favourites that are now very close to my heart.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Friday, 23 December 2016

Diverse Reads of 2016

Reading diversity is super important, so I've decided to list all the diverse books I read this year (with the encouragement of these challenges 1, 2)! I will also be writing the reason why these books are diverse, so you might be able to read about social identities you haven't read before, or maybe find some more books that represent YOU!

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff // the good, the bad and the ugly

Title: Nevernight
Author: Jay Kristoff
Genre: Fantasy
Warnings: graphic gore, violence and sex scenes
Rating: 2 stars
Add to Goodreads
As a starter I thought I'd give a heads up - this is 110% not YA despite some goodreads tags. The characters are teens, but the contents of the story are most definitely adult.

My enjoyment of Nevernight flickered around a lot, making it very tricky to review. So here's it summed up as best I can.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under the Tree

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Here are some books on my TBR that I didn't manage to get this year, but maybe some Christmas magic will change that.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Underrated Middle Grade Books You Need to Read

In England we don't really have such thing as a middle grade, but there are some books from my early teens that were way too good (and sometimes even a little dark) to be classified as kids books. A lot of these books were by British authors and I don't think half of them got the attention they deserved. Here are 10 of my personal favourite Middle Grades that you may have never heard of, but definitely need to read - no matter how old you are.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Releases I'm Looking Forward to in the First Half of 2017

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
There weren't too many new releases I was looking forward to this year, but 2017 has me excited. Coming up next year are books by authors I love and continuations of series I'm hooked on, plus a few others that have caught my interest.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Paper and Fire // a crazily captivating sequel

Title: Paper and Fire (The Great Library #2)
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: Fantasy
Warnings: violence, death, torture
Rating: 5 stars
Add to Goodreads
You can find my review of Ink and Bone (book 1) here.

THIS. WAS. EVERYTHING. I described Ink and Bone as everything I could ever want in a book, and Paper and Fire is everything I could have asked for from a sequel.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

New-To-Me Authors Read in 2016

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
2016 has been a big year for reading, and with that comes a whole bunch of authors whose books I've never read before. Here's my list of authors I've read for the first time in 2016 that I'm looking forward to seeing more of.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe // aka the scrappy diary of a racist farmer

Title: Robinson Crusoe
Author: Daniel Defoe
Genre: Classics, Historical, Adventure
Warnings: racism, mention of suicide
Rating: 1 star
Add to Goodreads
DNF at 25%

Robinson Crusoe reads like a scrappy diary of a racist farmer. For an interesting premise, nothing happens. And this would be okay with me if the writing was engaging - but it wasn't.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

November Wrap Up // help I'm trapped in the Grishaverse and I never want to leave

This month I read not 1, not 2, but 4 Leigh Bardugo books and I have no regrets. Her writing is fantastic and gets better with every book she publishes. I was weird with my reading order and read the Six of Crows duology before The Grisha series. As a result The Grisha books have a much lower rating but they are still MINDBLOWINGLY GOOD - it's just that Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom are A THOUSAND TIMES BETTER and I couldn't justifiably give them a similar rating. I personally didn't plan to read The Grisha trilogy at all, but after the trauma that was Crooked Kingdom I knew I wasn't ready to leave the Grishaverse just yet. So here we are and I am now an insane Bardugo fangirl.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Holiday Gift Guide - Books to Buy People Who Aren't Big on Reading

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
We all have people in our lives that don't read much. Maybe they don't have the time, or simply don't enjoy it or have the patience for it. Whatever the reason, I believe you can always find a book to appeal to someone. Here are a few I'd recommend to those who aren't big readers.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Paper Girls, Vol. 2 // weird but kind of wonderful

Title: Paper Girls, Vol. 2
Story: Brian K. Vaughan
Genre: SciFi, Graphic Novel
Warnings: blood, gore, violence
Rating: 4 stars
You can find my review of Paper Girls, Vol. 1 here.

To like Paper Girls I think you need to be willing to accept the weird. And there is a heck of a lot of it.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Ms. Marvel, Vol 6 // some big questions - and my favourite so far!

Title: Ms. Marvel, Vol 6: Civil War II
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Genre: Graphic Novel, Superheroes
Rating: 5 stars
This volume was so enjoyable to read, and definitely my favourite so far. And I had so many doubts! The whole concept behind universe resets really frustrates me (I'm not an big comic reader, sue me), so I've been expecting the 2016 issues to fall short for me. But what I love about this series is that I don't feel obliged to read the other series in order to understand what is going on.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo // a fab conclusion to the series

Title: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy
Warnings: abusive relationships
Rating: 3 stars
Add to Goodreads
I enjoyed this trilogy far more than I ever expected to.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo // a fascinating character-driven story

Title: Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy
Warnings: abusive relationships, violence, blood, war
Rating: 3 stars
Add to Goodreads
I'm regretting not reading this series before Six of Crows now. Even though it's amazing, I feel like it would do an injustice to the brilliance of the Six of Crows duology if I were to give The Grisha books a similar rating.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Authors I Am Thankful For

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week is a thanksgiving freebie, so I've decided to list a few authors I'm thankful for.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo // the start of something special

Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy
Warnings: abusive relationships
Rating: 3 stars
Add to Goodreads
Let me start by saying that I don’t consider 3 stars to be a bad rating – especially not for this book. It’s largely because I have already read Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology, and so I know that her writing gets so much better. But that does not mean that Shadow and Bone isn’t a fantastic book.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Movies I need to Watch

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
I don't watch a lot of movies - they seem to require an amount of time and patience that I'm not willing to give. But there are a few I think I need to find the time to watch, so I'll try and gather them together for this post.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Who Has Your Vote for Best YA Fantasy & Sci-Fi?

It's finally that time of year where Goodreads collects together some of the finest books for their choice awards. Of course, I haven't read all of these books (as much as I wish I could), so I'm going to be focusing on the category I am most familiar with - Best Young Adult Fantasy and Sci-Fi.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Ten Books that are New to the Queue

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
You may be surprised to know that I like to keep my TBR relatively short. I only ever add a couple of books to it every few months - and that's only if they're by authors I already love, have been recommended to me repeatedly, or simply have a concept that is incredibly inticing and impossible to not pick up. With that in mind, here are 10 of the most recent books that managed to worm their way onto my TBR.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo // magnificent and unforgettable

Title: Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Warnings: blood, gore, torture, death, murder, rape
Rating: 5 stars
Add to Goodreads
"Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don’t forget."
I wish I could remember every word of this book the way that crows remember faces. If I could I would never let those words go.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Books that are Perfect for Book Club Discussions

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
There are some books that are really good for opening up a conversation. I don't have a book club, but if I did I don't think I'd want to stick to a particular genre. I'd want to read books that have an element to them that can be discussed in a group of people. So here are 10 books I would recommend your book club to read.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

October Wrap Up // required reading and WORLDS COLLIDE TOUR

I have a lot of required reading for classes, so I thought I would spend October getting the majority out of the way. This mission ended up being a success and I got through 8 of my 9 texts! (Ignoring that I DNFed 2 of them woops).

Friday, 28 October 2016

Classic Mini Reviews: Mrs Dalloway and The Driver's Seat

Time for EVEN MORE mini reviews of classics I have recently read for class. This post will focus on the books I have read that were written in the 20th century.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Spooky and Mysterious Books on my TBR

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
I'm not a big fan of scary stories, but I do love a good mystery and spooky elements in my books. So here are a few books on my TBR listed under Mystery/Horror/Thriller that I'm excited to read.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Top 10 Most Memorable Fictional Pets

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
For this TTT I was going to do bookish things I would name my future pets, but since I'm already pretty decided on naming my future pets after breakfast foods, I decided to list you 10 fictional pets that I personally found very memorable.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Classics Mini Reviews: Frankenstein and Madame Bovary

You may have noticed a lack of reviews on my blog lately. The primary reason: required reading. I love studying books from the past, but often I don't enjoy reviewing them as much as newer releases. It feels a little like writing a sparknotes summary or recapping what we've said in class, so it feels a little counter productive. Nevertheless, I am here today to give a handful of mini reviews for the books I have been studying.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Books That My Friends Encouraged Me to Read

Normally I am the one forcing new books down all of my friend's throats 24/7 and I often ignore books they recommend me (I've got too much to read, okay!). But sometimes I do listen to their recommendations because the books they rave about just sound too good not to read, or they're so passionate about them that I'm sure I'll love them too.

Friday, 7 October 2016

The Problem with Killing Off Minority Characters in Fiction

Characters die in fiction all the time, especially in Fantasy, Crime and Sci-Fi. It's just the nature of the genre. But something that has recently come to my attention is that, for some reason, it seems like the person of colour always dies first.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The 5 Main Types of Villains

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
I love a good villain. A lot of the time they're way more complex than our generic heroes, and when a villain is well written it's a beautiful thing. What's great about fictional nasties is that they come in all shapes and sizes, so I've tried to squash the different villain tropes into 5 main categories, with an example of my favourite villains that falls into that trope.

Friday, 30 September 2016

September Wrap Up // LGBTQIA Reads (and rereads!)

This month I tried to add some books to the reading challenges I have been participating in this year, one of which is to read more LGBTQIA books. I didn't read quite as much as I hoped, but I think that's to be expected now that the academic year has begun anew.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Pantomime by Laura Lam // a splendidly rare gem of a book

Title: Pantomime (Micah Grey #1)
Author: Laura Lam
Genre: Fantasy
Warnings: Domestic abuse, rape, murder
Rating: 4 stars
Add to Goodreads
I normally rest my faith in book hype. Although hype can betray us, I often find books are hyped for a reason. But sometimes you find a wonderful gem of a book hiding under the radar and it makes you think - "why is no one talking about this?!"

Pantomime is that splendidly rare gem of a book.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

My Autumn TBR

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Above are the 7 books I own that have yet to be read. I have decided to make it my mission to read at least half of these this Autumn, which will be a challenge since I now have a bunch of books I also need to be reading for school.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The Foxhole Court // a book with undelivered potential in both its characters and its story

Title: The Foxhole Court (All for the Game #1)
Author: Nora Sakavic
Genre: Contemporary
Warnings: violence, murder, drugs, alcohol
Rating: 1 stars
Add to Goodreads
The Foxhole Court is about a bunch of troubled kids from messed up backgrounds finding escape through sport. And there's something about that idea that's hard not to love - 10 people at odds in every way slowly forming a bond over something they care about.

But it turns out the execution didn't quite work for me.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

8 Artists I Would Happily Listen to Forever

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week is a not-so-bookish theme and is all about audio. As I've already shared my favourite podcasts in the past and I don't listen to audiobooks frequently, I thought I would share my all time favourite artists with you!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

More Than This // One Crazy Messed Up Existential Book (but kind of in a good way)

Title: More Than This
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Sci-Fi
Warnings: death, suicide, child abuse, life after death
Rating: 4 stars
Add to Goodreads
I have a very specific list of existential anxieties and More Than This checks off all of the boxes. This is one crazy messed up book and had me freaking out on countless occassions - so much so I had to put it down for a day before I could bring myself to read it again.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Contemporary Fiction - Favourite Books of my Least Favourite Genre

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.
Contemporaries rarely appeal to me, but when I think about it there are a few excellent ones that come to mind. So I thought I would make this week's topic of 'All Time Favourite Books of X Genre' a little more interesting but focusing on my least favourite genre.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe // Lyrical and Genuine

Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz
Genre: contemporary
Rating: 5 stars
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This is my second time reading Aristotle and Dante, but it felt like I was reading it for the first time all over again.

The story is about two boys coming to terms with growing up, learning about their families and their heritage, and understanding that people can show love in different ways.

Friday, 9 September 2016

A Monster Calls // the most raw and beautiful thing I've ever read

Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Fantasy
Warnings: topic of death
Rating: 5 stars
A Monster Calls is the most raw and beautiful thing I've ever read. 

When I started reading this I had no idea of the impact it would have on me, yet somehow in the next 200 pages Ness managed to reel me in with the writing that I saw before in his Chaos Walking trilogy - the kind that says so much in hardly any words at all.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

My Top Favourite Action/Drama TV Shows

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Next to books, I'm a bit of a TV fanatic. There are so many good shows out there, some of which don't get the attention they deserve, and some of my favourites are in the action and drama genres. Here are my top Action/Drama TV shows (starting with my absolute favourites).

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer // the magic has gone

Title: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Warnings: disease, death
Rating: 2 stars
Add to Goodreads
The novelty of this series has worn off. And it's sad, because only days ago I was gushing about how fun Cinder was.

Scarlet jumped around with locations a lot and it didn't flow at all. It all felt rigid - which was largely due to the undynamic writing style.

Friday, 2 September 2016

August Wrap Up // a month of alternative histories, Sci-Fis and ARCs

As you can see from above, I went to Disneyland Paris this month! As with every good holiday, it consisted of countless book pictures and endless reading.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Cinder by Marissa Meyer // the most original retelling I've ever come across

Title: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Warnings: disease, death
Rating: 4 stars
Add to Goodreads
Cinder is the most original retelling I've ever come across. With all the hype for this series, it's a wonder that it took me 4 years to finally start.

The concept is just so mind blowingly brilliant. The futuristic setting is gorgeous and if Cinder as a character wasn't interesting enough, she also happens to be a cyborg.

Books I'd Love to Teach If I were an English Teacher

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
I'm one of those rare people who pretty much loved every book we had to study in high school, so you'll find a few of those on this list, along with some books that I selected myself, and some books that I know others have done that I wish I did too.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin // alternate history with a dash of fantasy

Title: Wolf by Wolf (Wolf by Wolf#1)
Author: Ryan Graudin
Genre: Historical Fiction
Warnings: murder, war
Rating: 3 stars
Add to Goodreads
Wolf by Wolf is an alternate history with a dash of fantasy.

As a young Jewish girl living after the events of the second World War, Yael has lost many people. And the losses continue, because in her world the Nazis won and Hitler still rules. But her time being experimented on in concentration camps left Yael with an extraordinary gift - the power to shift her skin to appear however she wants. And with the annual motorbike race approaching, Yael will finally have a chance to enact her revenge and kill the Fuhrer.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Why diversity across all forms of fiction is so important to me

It's no news that representation in fiction is important to me. I mention it a lot on this blog, and my friends know I highlight diversity or lack thereof in books and TV frequently. But one thing I haven't explained is why it's so close to my heart.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Books That Have Been on my TBR since Before I Started Book Blogging

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.
I started blogging in June 2015, but the number of books on my TBR since before then is super small. This may be surprising, but if you've been stalking my goodreads (don't worry, I wont judge you) you'll know that I'm very careful to limit how many books I add to my 'to read' shelf. Right now there are only around 30! Hopefully I'll get to reading the following books this year.