Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Top 10 Favourite Standalones

I read a lot of standalones, so narrowing this down was pretty hard. I will also have you know that I didn't include any qualifiers. No books that can be read as standalones or part of a series. I am dedicated that way. Yeah when it got to the last four I was sitting here tugging at my hair trying to decide which order to put them in. It was like trying to choose a favourite child. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy!

10. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman



You've probably never seen me mention this book before. That's because i don't actually mention it a lot because most people have no idea what it is. Let me start off with, I first learned of the book because when I was a kid I watched the movie adaptation, you know, the one with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. After watching the movie a thousand and one times, I one day noticed that in the opening credits it said "Based off a best selling novel by Alice Hoffman" and I knew I needed to read it. Now the movie wasn't that close to the book, but I ended up loving both of them nonetheless, for I am an incurable lover of magic and romance.

9. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell



From the very beginning I couldn't help but relate to Cath (more and more with each passing day) and this story has stuck with me throughout the years.

8. Ensnared by Rita Stradling



I just read this one a few months ago and ever since I finished it I still think about it a lot. Once i finished it the first time I just had to go back and read the whole thing over again because I was just addicted to the writing and the story. Usually I don't go for robot books, but I didn't even mind while reading this book.

7. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie



This was my first whodunit mystery novel, also my first and only Agatha Christie novel and I have to say I was not disappointed in the slightest about this book.

6. Ready Player One by Ernest Clines



This book was so epic. I'd been hearing so much hype around this book for years and finally I decided to pick it up, not thinking it would be as good as everyone said it would be. It was. I had such a wild ride while reading this book and I regret putting it off so long.

5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte



I don't often read classics, I like to think I'm sophisticated and an intellectual who devours classics often, but I really don't. Which is why when I read this book straight through it was unexpected. This book (mostly) had it all, love, feminism, and a great sense of morality.

4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern



This book was just so different. It had an almost ethereal quality to it, I never wanted to look away while reading it. A must read.

3. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness



This story was so heartbreaking because of how relatable it was. It had a devastating accuracy about what we see in ourselves but don't want to admit. I will forever idolize this book.

2. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton



This was the first time I ever read a book for school that I didn't dislike. It showed me that reading for school didn't completely suck. Not to mention the actual story taught me a lot about life and social differences and all that jazz. If you haven't read it, you should. It's like a right of passage.

1. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson



Don't worry, one day I will stop mentioning this book so much.


Well, I hope you guys enjoyed and please do tell me some of your favourite standalones!

Monday, 29 May 2017

The Hero of Ages Review

The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3)

The Hero of Ages

by Brandon Sanderson

Spoilers


Synopsis:



Tricked into releasing the evil spirit Ruin while attempting to close the Well of Ascension, new emperor Elend Venture and his wife, the assassin Vin, are now hard-pressed to save the world.

My Thoughts:

I gave this book 4.5 stars. This was an epic end to an epic trilogy. I couldn't have pictured it being better than it was. This book will leave you with your mouth hanging open stunned that you didn't guess how it would end.

Basically going into this book you have to know that everything you think is true from reading the rest of the series, isn't true. It will take you by surprise and not in a completely horrible way. I most definitely was not mad by how this book ended.


The only issue I had with this book is that we didn't get any more character development. Pretty much all the character development happened in the first two books for Elend and Vin, so they were just the same throughout this book, I guess there were no longer anymore changes to be made. 

I actually read this book pretty quickly, I did take a bit of a break in the middle so I could read a couple other books that i just had the sudden urge to read, but when I was reading the book I flew through it really quickly. It was a very fast paced and engaging read, the plot was thick, the characters were morally grey and relatable. Brandon Sanderson has managed to surprise me with each of the books in this series while I didn't think it would be possible.

I loved the new character arc for Spook. He was this huge minor character for the first two books, no one really cared much for him. He was just sort of there to help. Well, in this book he bloomed, he became this ring leader of sorts, making plans and worming his way out of sticky situations. The book left him with an open ending so I'm pretty sure, I haven't actually checked, but I'm pretty sure he may have his own book(s) in the rest of the series, I mean, there is a book called The Lost Metal that's coming out next year. Plus, considering the ending of this one, I would think he should be a part of that.

Sazed. We constantly underestimate Sazed. Or at least I did. I just thought he was there to help out the gang, to be the rock that keeps them all grounded with his knowledge and his religions and his overall wisdom. He is in fact, the Hero of Ages and I found that to be the most surprising outcome of all. I'm really not mad about this, I think it's kind of genius.

The most heartbreaking occurrence in this book, to me was when Vin and Elend died. I know, at least they died together and are now together in their eternal life or whatever you want to call it, but I think it's sad because they were so young and still seemed to have so much life to live. I'm just thankful that they're together.

Throughout the story I knew Marsh was going to be important, he was there the whole time lurking in the background, doing shady things. We all knew something bad was going to happen with him. We just didn't know when it was going to pop up. Marsh deserved better than what fate gave him.

Overall, if you like fantasy, read the Mistborn Trilogy.

Quotes:

“Elend smiled. "Oh, come on. You have to admit that you're unusual, Vin. You're like some strange mixture of a noblewoman, a street urchin, and a cat. Plus, you've mangaged - in our short three years together - to kill not only my god, but my father, my brother, and my fiancĂ©e. That's kind of like a homicidal hat trick.” 


“It's a mystery," Vin said, narrowing her eyes and smiling. "We Mistborn are incredibly mysterious."Elend paused." Um...I'm Mistborn too, Vin. That doesn't make any sense.""We Mistborn need not make sense," Vin said." It's beneath us. Come on-the sun's already down. We need to get moving.” 

“Ham smiled. "Cett's going to be furious."Elend shrugged. "He's a paraplegic. What's he going to do? Bite us?” 

“Elend started. "Vin!" Then, he smiled. "What took you so long?""I got delayed by an Inquistor and a dark god," she said. "Now hustle.”

Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Princess Bride Review

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride

By William Goldman
Mild Spoilers

Synopsis:



Beautiful, flaxen-haired Buttercup has fallen for Westley, the farm boy, and when he departs to make his fortune, she vows never to love another. When she hears that his ship has been captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts - who never leaves survivors - her heart is broken. But her charms draw the attention of the relentless Prince Humberdinck who wants a wife and will go to any lengths to have Buttercup. So starts a fairy tale like no other, of fencing, fighting, torture, poison, true love, hate, revenge, giants, hunters, bad men, good men, beautifulest ladies, snakes, spiders, beasts, chases, escapes, lies, truths, passions and miracles.

My Thoughts:


I gave this book 5 stars. I've read a lot of romance novels in my life, I've also watched a lot of movies where love is the central theme, so I can say with great confidence that this is without a doubt in my mind the greatest love story of all time.


A lot of my thoughts on this book stemmed from a comparison to the movie. To say that the book actually surpassed the movie is actually quite a feat in itself. I felt that the atmosphere in the book was actually different than in the movie itself. I can't really describe it.


To me, Buttercup was a lot feistier in the book. In a way, I was reminded of Ygritte from Game of Thrones. Not quite that fierce, but she was described as having a sort of wild appearance, before her transformation into a princess. Also, she has "hair like autumn". What does that even mean? because if they were talking colour wise I would think they were trying to say red, but it's already been established that her hair is blonde, so I'm a bit confused. And it isn't like it's something I can just let go, because the author uses this phrase multiple times in the book to describe her hair. If anyone knows what this means, do you mind telling me?


Now of the main differences between the book and movie is that the book itself had a lot more detail. It had an in depth background on Fezzik and Inigo. These scenes were not boring in the least, I loved having all this extra information, it made these characters seem that much more real. In the movie we do get a little bit of background on Inigo, but Fezzik for the most part is a mystery. We don't know much about him other than he's a gentle giant whom the sicilian hired to help capture the princess. It was intriguing for him to become more three dimensional.


One of the greatest subplots of the book, to me, was the fact that William Golding made up this whole other life for himself, made us think that S. Morgenstern was real, that he had this son that he was trying to get to love this book, and that his father had read this book to him when he was a child. I thought this was such a unique idea for a book that I'd never have thought of in a million years.


Westley is so sassy. You don't get to see this at first because you just see him from Buttercups point of view and he's in love with Buttercup and he pretty much only ever says "As you wish", but after he comes back as a pirate his sass is on at full force. I have to say he's probably my favourite character in this story.


The one issue I had with this book was that it had one chapter in the middle that was over 100 pages long and I have this personality issue where I have to finish the chapter before I can close the book and do anything productive. Which pretty much meant I had to sit there for years so I could finish up the chapter.



Overall, if you've seen the movie and loved it as much as I have, then you should most definitely read this book. This book has something for everyone.

Quotes:

“Life isn't fair, it's just fairer than death, that's all.” 

“Inconceivable!""You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” 

“My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!” 

“Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches.” 

“I am your Prince and you will marry me," Humperdinck said.Buttercup whispered, "I am your servant and I refuse.""I am you Prince and you cannot refuse.""I am your loyal servant and I just did.""Refusal means death.""Kill me then.” 


“He held up a book then. “I'm going to read it to you for relax.”“Does it have any sports in it?”“Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True Love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest Ladies. Snakes. Spiders... Pain. Death. Brave men. Cowardly men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles.”“Sounds okay,” I said and I kind of closed my eyes.” 

Friday, 26 May 2017

Why I Love Goodreads

Because I've been doing a lot of rants lately I decided to even out my negativity by also raving about things that I love. Now last week I ranted about Goodreads Shelves, and to combat my anger towards that I decided to also talk about why I love Goodreads so much.



First off, Goodreads is what helped me find other books I ended up loving. Before Goodreads it was sort of, I would just pull a book off the shelf at the bookstore and I would read it. A lot of the time this ended up in me getting the second book, I'll talk more about that later. It was really random, so finally having a platform that would show me what others thought of books and which books were similar to ones that I liked was such a great thing to me. It honestly changed my life for the better.



Second, I got to engage in my love of books with other book lovers. Goodreads has a huge community and it's hard to not become involved. You get to hear other people's thoughts and feelings on books that you may have loved or hated. If you hate a book, there's probably a review out there somewhere of someone voicing the same opinions as you. There are some really funny one's out there. Here is a link to a review of a book I didn't like, Twilight, and here is a link to a review of a book I did like, Lolita.



Third, it helps you organize everything. I love that I can keep track of all the books I've read and that I want to read, and I don't ever have to worry about losing it because it's a website and not a list that I wrote myself. It's so efficient and I love it to death. Now onto the previously mention, the fact that I've bought several second books in a series. I hated doing that, it happened twice and I never actually read the first books in those two series's. I originally tried to read both before I realized I had no idea what was happening and then I came to the realization that they were in fact, not the first books. That dilemma eventually solved when I discovered Goodreads and realized I could find out if a book was the first or not. Could have saved myself some confusion if I'd found it earlier.



Fourth, you can find out such cool stuff on Goodreads. Connect with authors, at least the ones that are active. But they give you chances to get ARCs and win stuff, and you can sometimes get snippets of their books or little extra scenes with some of your favourite characters. It's wonderful.



Fifth, all the other stuff that's on the website, like, there is this entire section just dedicated to giveaways. There are groups you can join, bookclubs that are hosted here, then there is glorious Listopia, that, if you read my recent post on How to Choose Which Book to Read, I mention because it's amazing if you are looking for something specific.



Honestly, if you don't use Goodreads, I would highly suggest it because that website has made my life a thousand times easier.

I hope you guys enjoyed this!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

How To Choose Which Book To Read

I'm about to make all of your lives ten thousand times easier. I'm gonna share, in my opinion, the best way to choose a book to read. As and example I will use my personal preferences. I hope you guys find this useful!



1. Figure out which genre’s you generally like





Fantasy, mystery, really anything with magic.


2. What are some thing’s you are interested in?



I like mythology, animals, and investigating unsolved murders.


3. What mood are you in? Happy, sad, angry? What mood do you want to be in?




I'm in a bit of a inquisitive mood.

4. Find a genre that will coincide with these feelings.


The best genre for me right now would probably be mystery or a thriller.


5. Now you must do some research. This part is pretty simple, all you have to do is look online. Goodreads’ Listopia is a great place to start. Search up something you are generally interested in from number 2.




6. Look at the ratings and read the synopsis’s. Something will eventually capture your attention enough to make you want to read it.




From extensive research I've concluded that I should read Sticks and Stones by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban. Romance and a mystery, I love it.


7. Go find the book, whether it’s an eBook, a library book, or a book from the bookstore.




8. Read and enjoy.





Please do tell me if this helped you guys at all!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Top 5 Favourite Minor Characters

This one was kind of hard after I got number one and two done. I usually don't care much for minor characters because we don't see them all that much. So I hope you like this lis that took me forever to compile.

5. Fleetfoot



Legit the only character from the Throne of Glass series that Sarah J. Maas has guaranteed will survive. Fleetfoot may be a dog, but I love dogs so it's a completely justified thing to put her on this list.

4. Matt



He was barely there during this book, but the brief moments he appeared, he completely stole my heart. My poor little Matt.

3. Tensoon



He grew on me, what can I saw?

2. Dobby



My poor Dobby. He was a free elf and I shall love him forever. So pure and innocent was this beautiful elf. Okay, I'm getting a bit doom and gloomy about this, but I love that elf.

1. Finnick Odair



My husband. Sadly, he was only a minor character, but I still love him. He's my book husband so I won't hold it against him.

What are some of your favourite minor characters?

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Breakwater Spoiler Free Review

Breakwater

Breakwater
by Catherine Jones Payne

Release Date: May 30th, 2017

Synopsis:


A red tide is rising.

As the daughter of one of the mer-king’s trusted advisors, seventeen-year-old Jade has great responsibilities. When her fiancĂ© murders a naiad, plunging the underwater city of Thessalonike into uproar, tensions surge between the mer and the naiads. Jade learns too late that the choices she makes ripple further than she'd ever imagined. And as she fights against the tide of anger in a city that lives for scandal, she discovers danger lurking in every canal, imperiling her family and shattering the ocean's fragile peace.


Can the city's divisions be mended before the upwelling of hate rips apart everything Jade loves?

My Thoughts:

***I received this ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review***

I gave this book 3 stars. It was creative and fun and it tackled Speciesism. That is probably the one and only time I will ever use that word. I actually had to look it up specifically for this review. 

Now I love a good mermaid tail. Pun intended, obviously. So it really was no skin off my nose to read this book. It was, however, not really what I was expecting. I don't know, I feel like whenever I go into a mermaid novel I'm hoping it will be a bit dark and mysterious with a sort of Pirates of the Caribbean mermaid vibe. I never seem to get that though. This was a pretty standard mermaid novel though.

Even after finishing I still can't decide if I like the main character or not. Jade is the daughter of two prestigious merpeople, she was raised in the upper class and has been taught to always treat the Naiads right, with respect. Now, most of the other merpeople don't agree with this, the naiads are basically treated like leapers. Now while I commend the Jade for not being an asshole to the naiads, she basically kept trying to make herself a martyr throughout the book, just doing such stupid things all the time. It drove me crazy because her thought process was just so confounding at times. Someone would be really mad, like crazy mad, mad enough to kill her and she would be like "Oh, it's the perfect time to go out for a swim by myself, with no protection from threats whatsoever." Even when her mother told her not to. No common sense.

As for the story itself, we didn't get a lot of world building or any explanations for the most part. It was just sort of there and we either had to catch up fast or be left behind all confused as to what was happening. Now, I went into this book with no idea what a Naiad was, so I had to google because I was so confused. Honestly, I've never come across that word before. It's basically just a water nymph.

I can always appreciate a book with a murder plot and then you dive a bit deeper and there's just a huge mess under the surface. At first you think everything is fine, but in reality everything is just being held together by a couple threads. I liked how this played out and I can honestly say that I now need to read the next book. Spoiler alert there's a cliffhanger. 

I would recommend this book to people who like mermaid books. 

Top 10 Favourite YA Books

YA is the prime genre I read. So it was a bit hard to narrow it all down. I kept feeling like I was missing important ones, but then I wouldn't want to take off others so I was at a bit of an impasse for a bit. No worries though, I will eventually make another top 10 favourite YA books.

Let us begin.

10. Shatter Me Series



This series was the first book series that I realized what good character development was. It was amazing and it changed my entire outlook on all books.

9. Mara Dyer series



This series was creepy and badass. I know it's got a lot of mixed reviews, but I will love it no matter what because I think it''s worth it.

8. Sweet Evil



I am unable to pinpoint exactly what it is I love so much about this series. The main character maintains her innocence throughout the series without being annoying, it's sexy, I love the overall idea of the story. It's just well written.

7. The Raven Cycle



I love Maggie Stiefvater so much. I couldn't not put this series on my list. Especially since these books have my baby Ronan, and my OTP Pynch. Pynch forever.

6. Sinner



I love Maggie Stiefvater so much that she's on my list twice. She has such an amazing way with words, they are her bitch. This past year I've definitely held her higher in esteem. She has become one of my favourite authors. I will never not read her books.

5. The Lux Series



The beginning of the end. The Lux series was the series that first introduced me to Jennifer L. Armentrout. Now flash forward to about 3 years later and I've read pretty much all of her books. Give or take a couple I haven't gotten to yet. Of all her book series's this will probably always be my personal favourite.

4. The Shadowhunter Chronicles



I couldn't choose just one series, so I'm choosing them all. They all thread together so nicely. You can read one series by itself and still understand what's happening, but if you read all of them it completely enriches the experience of Cassie Clare's books. Let's not forget the humour. Her books have some of the driest of the dry humour.

3. The Vampire Academy Series



Oh yes, the series that got me addicted to vampire novels. I'm not even sorry that I still love reading vampire novels in 2017. I will probably read vampire novels until I'm old and grey.

2. Throne of Glass Series



I honestly had such a hard time trying to decide if I should make this one number 2 or if I should put The Vampire Academy as number 2. I finally decided on this one. There are just so many characters that I love and so many different plot points that keep me o engaged. It's not even confusing in the slightest. Now I'm going to address the elephant in the room. Yes I chose to put Throne of Glass on here and not A Court of Thorns and Roses, but I have to say that I do prefer ToG. I wasn't the biggest fan of the first ACOTAR book, I loved the Second and I loved the third. But I've loved every single Throne of Glass book. It's such an intense love that it's pretty much a part of my personality by now.

1. I’ll Give You the Sun



I probably don't have to get into this one because if you've been following my blog for a while you know that this is my favourite book of all time, other than Harry Potter. I honestly have nothing new to gush about because I'm all gushed out.

What are some of your favourite YA books?

Monday, 22 May 2017

Little Things I Like to See in Books

The reading experience is all about those little things that make you smile, so here are some things that I generally like to see whenever I'm reading.

1. Strong Friendships



Friends are what make life seem that much brighter. It's good to have friends in and out of books.

2. Little Actions of Support



When another character just shows another character that they are there for them and they will back them up if they need it. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

3. Cameos



When an author has a series that switches main characters of has several stand alones and characters from different books make cameos in other books.

4. Animals



I will coo over any animal, even the fictional kind. Prime example, A Dog's Purpose. I was a complete wreck after that book.

5. Jokes



I just like to laugh, so whenever a book can do that I appreciate it.

6. Transitions in Emotional State



When a character goes from deep depression to happy and powerful it just feels so satisfying. They have gone through a large journey and now they are where they need to be. I always feel immensely proud of them for getting through it.

7. Lovers Being Friends



I love when characters have more in common than just wanted to kiss each other all the time. When they can talk forever about things they both love, when they can joke without each other. The inside jokes, the general chemistry is what makes it work.

8. Enemies Becoming Friends



Those are always my favourite friendships. They hated each other and they soon realized that their similarities far outweigh their differences and they form an unbreakable bond. They end up being the friends no one wants to fuck with.

9. Advice



I love when I'm reading a book and the characters give some sort of advice or instructions that I find helpful in my life. Like things you shouldn't do when making a pie, or a little trick to help with anxiety. It helps and I love it.


What are some of your favourite little things to see when reading?