May Wrap Up and June TBR

Saturday, 30 May 2015 0 comments

So I thought I would start a little segment on my blog that I know is very popular around the book blogging community and that is to discuss what I read in the previous month and what I intend, or hope to read in the following month. So here goes nothing, this is my May Wrap Up and my TBR for the month of June!



Oh my goodness you guys, where on earth did May go?! It literally feels as if I was only typing up my wrap up for April just a few days ago. In terms of how busy I was this month, well I didn't find myself with as much work as I would have expected but I did find myself busy with job interviews and applications. They certainly kept me on my toes. I also had a lovely trip up to Edinburgh one week end with my girlfriend so I didn't really get a lot of reading done their either. Saying that though, I read a great amount of books this month and I thoroughly enjoyed a lot of them. There are a lot of awesome releases in June and I'm really excited to read the books I have on my TBR! This month I read a grand total of 7 books, the same amount as March and April! I am on a roll you guys. Can I aim higher for next month? This brings my total for my Goodreads challenge up to 33/50 books read which puts me at 66% of the challenge completed and 13 books ahead of schedule! At this rate I could happily take a month off and I'd still be ahead. Not that I'd do that though. So let's see what I read this month and my opinions on them!



1. Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life: Volume 1, Colour Edition by Bryan Lee O'Malley (4/5 stars)
Oh guys I loved this first instalment in which looks to be a very exciting and exhilarating series. I've read Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley and absolutely adored it. The story and the artwork was so colourful and I was excited to see this continue into this graphic novel as well. Now I've watched the movie adaptation of this graphic novel series (you know, the one with Michael Cera playing Scott) and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was funny, light hearted and adventurous. The graphic novels seem to be no different so I can't wait to pick up the second volume! I'm so glad I chose the colour version over the black and white one too, so much more of a pleasurable reading experience!

2. Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (5/5 stars)
Where to I even begin with my feelings on this book?! It was such a touching contemporary. There is so much I could say about this book in regards to the love of the characters, the realism of the plot ect. Overall this book was fantastic, it was emotionally gripping and tackles strong yet sensitive issues that face a large percentage of teenagers in the modern age. Becky Albertalli does an amazing job at creating a very pragmatic story in an unidealistic and yet familiar setting. The pace was timely and overall the novel was perfection.This is definitely a book that will make you crave more than just Oreos! You can read more of my thoughts on this book in my review here.

3. Remix by Non Pratt (4/5 stars)
Remix was a complete blast to read, it was witty, to the point and quite frankly was an extremely fun book to be absorbed in. Non Pratt is a genius UKYA author who targets her audience well and gives them something that both she and they can be proud to be a part of. Non is not afraid to discuss topics that often in Young Adult novels, authors tend to shy away from or try to bluntly navigate their way around. Drugs and sex are a prime example of this. I don't know how much more applause we can give her! In this way, Non for me is a very brutally honest and pragmatic author of YA literature and I believe that this is something she should be extremely proud of. An intense read for those readers who just want to explore and experience a little bit of freedom. You can read more of my thoughts on this book in my review here.

4. Legend: The Graphic Novel by Marie Lu (3/5 stars)
A pretty decent adaptation of Marie Lu's first book in the Legend series. The art was fantastic, exactly how I pictured the characters and the expressions were amazing. A few characters lacked a bit of depth and some elements of the story weren't involved, which made it feel extremely short but overall it was a quick and exciting read. I would only advise you read it however if you have read the book, otherwise you won't feel as enthusiastic about the relationships between the characters.

5. Talon by Julie Kagawa (4/5 Stars)
This book was a great introduction to what I can imagine is going to be a very successful and action packed series. Yes this book wasn't heavily packed with action scenes besides the ending, but I felt that a contemporary vibe introduction is exactly what the first book in this series required. The ending sets up the scene for book two where there is definitely more action for those readers who were clawing away for something more intense and suspenseful. Talon is just a fantastic read with all of the elements that a great book should have. You can read more of my thoughts on this book in my review here.


6. Rogue by Julie Kagawa (4/5 stars)
Definitely more of a 4.5 than a 4 star rating. Rogue was a very intense and action-packed rollercoaster of a book. One that messes with your emotions and at times leaves you breathless in suspense. The book was epic. So much more action and adventure. I loved it. The only thing that put me off making this a 5 star book was the love triangle. Up until now it wasn't a major issue but suddenly it's played a role on my enjoyment. It does however keep it extremely interesting! Also, Julie Kagawa knows how to kill her readers with those epilogues. I need the next book pronto. 2016 is just too far away. You can read more of my thoughts on this book in my review here.



7. The Best Kept Secret by Wendi Nunnery (3/5 stars)
This was a really lovely contemporary novel to review, even if I did have some problems with it along the way. The story was a journey of discovery. It touches on truths, the meaning of real friendship, the ignorance of struggle and the lesson that the best kept secrets are truly the ones that create an impact on us. For more details, check out my review which is scheduled to upload on June 2nd! Also I'm part of the blog tour for Wendi's book so keep an eye out for her guest post, it's all about her Top Ten Things To Know About Being a Published Author!



So those were all 7 of the books I read in May, but what do I plan on reading in June? Well I have a bit of travelling to do in the beginning of June so hopefully I can get a book or two bashed out on the train ride there and back! Apart from that I'm expecting to have more work as the schools are getting closer to the summer, and that is when supply teachers tend to be needed! I have a few ARC's incoming from publishers that I'd like to bash out as well as a few of my own books that I'm excited about! Here are the books that hopefully I will get around to in the month of June:


  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas (Currently re-reading)
  • Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas
  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas
  • The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle (ARC)
  • After the End by Amy Plum (A re-read)
  • Until the Beginning by Amy Plum (ARC)
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

So those are the books that I'm aiming for in my TBR for the month. There is a possibility as usual that I will end up straying from the path and finding something else to read. However, I'm determined to try and get the Throne of Glass series up to date in preparation for Queen of Shadows later this year. You'll notice I've also got a few ARC's in there. The lovely people at Harper360 are sending me an ARC of Until the Beginning. Book 2 in the After the End series, so I want to re-read After the End to refresh my memory! I've also received an ARC of The Accident Season from the lovely people at Random House Children's UK so I'm excited to get to that too!

Let me know in the comments below what books you read this month and one book you're looking forward to reading next month! Are any of you going to be reading one of the books I'm reading this month?

Falling Behind on Friday # 9: The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

Friday, 29 May 2015 0 comments

Falling Behind on Friday is an original weekly feature created at Moirae the Fates. The idea is that each week you pick a book that you are ashamed to admit has been on your TBR pile for a longtime and showcase it to your audience. You can find out more about this feature here.

This week I am falling behind on:

THE CHAOS WALKING TRILOGY BY PATRICK NESS
 


Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?
Why am I falling behind?

It's such a shame that I'm falling behind on this series because everybody I talk to absolutely rants and raves about it! It sounds like an awesome series as well, but I just found the writing style to be really tricky to get into. I own the eBook of the first book, The Knife of Never Letting Go and just the integration of the thoughts into the writing made it really difficult for me to gain the concept of. I think I got as far as Todd meeting up with the girl and then I stopped reading. This is definitely a series I am desperate to catch up with so hopefully I can return to it soon and give it the second chance it deserves!

What books are you falling behind on this Friday?

Let me know in the comments below, or over on any of my social media platforms. I'd love to read which books you guys are falling behind on.

Cover Redesign # 2: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Thursday, 28 May 2015 1 comments

Recently I had an idea. I thought to myself, what if I could choose an alternative to some of these covers that I've seen about. As my first point of call in a bookshop, I like covers to be able to stand out and make me want to read the story inside. Sadly not all covers can be amazing. I'm not a huge fan of face covers as many of you know, and sometimes the initial design of a cover doesn't really tell me anything about the story...

So, this is going to be a prominent feature on my blog, depending if I have enough time/ can be motivated enough. I am going to be redesigning current covers of books. Now these will most likely be books that I really admire and enjoy looking at but there will be a few covers that I wish I could do over - however these will be clearly stated.

Today, I have one redesigned book covers for you guys: Panic by Lauren Oliver. Now I really enjoyed the story for this one but I didn't think the cover reflected the book at all. So here is my take on the cover.


PANIC BY LAUREN OLIVER


Now this novel for me was quite intense and at times really had my heart beating in my chest. The idea behind the story is facing your fears and trying death-defying challenges to try and win an insane amount of money to you. Does the actual cover reflect this at all? I don't know about you but frankly this cover doesn't really make me want to panic. It's a face cover, and I'm not really sure what the aim of it was trying to be - I know it fits in really well with Lauren Oliver's Delirium trilogy, but whether it was suited for this cover, I'm not so sure.

What I aimed to try and get from my cover was to make the novel as striking as possible. The phrase panic really makes you want to feel something, and I tried to reflect this in my cover. I've tried to keep it as simplistic as possible because I think in a way that it makes it more dynamic. Theres a wonderful scene in the beginning of the book where the challengers who want to enter panic have to dive off of something to enter. I really liked this image and wanted to capture it in the cover. From the way the people are free-falling in this cover, it's safe to say that there isn't the safety element to it. You have a guy arms spread, falling towards the ground, you have the girl jumping off of the building in delight and then you have the realism of the guy falling backwards, reaching for the air. I love the progression of these characters feelings based on what we can see. The first is excited, then it declines to more cautiousness and then to full frontal fear and panic! The challenges were all death-defying and I really wanted to capture this rawness. It shows that not all of the challenges are safe, and there are risks you have to take to do them. 

As for the font, I wanted to choose something striking and very bold. I like the font on the current cover but I felt it needed to be capitalised to really highlight the importance of the word. As for the author's name, I wanted this to be completely separate from the boldness of the title font whilst still being of importance on the cover. I really like the font I used for it - I'll be sure to use that more often. As for the tagline, there wasn't one on the original cover but once again I really wanted to capture the dynamics of the themes highlighted in this book through the competition. 'Are you ready to face your fear?' I feel it's the question that everyone asks themselves as they stand up on that high ledge, waiting to jump and enter themselves into the competition. 
So there we go guys, there is the book cover redesign for you to oggle and discuss about. Please note I am in no way stating that I am professional, because frankly because they are just images from google, some of them have turned out horrific. This is a fun project, I'm not being serious about any of these. Let me know down in the comments which covers you think I should do next and perhaps I'll attempt them! Until next time.

Waiting on Wednesday # 10: Night Owls by Jenn Bennett

Wednesday, 27 May 2015 0 comments

Waiting on Wednesday is an original weekly feature created at Breaking the Spine. The idea is that each week you make a post that spotlights upcoming releases that you're eagerly anticipating. You can find out more about this feature here.

This week I am deciding to spotlight:

NIGHT OWLS BY JENN BENNETT


Publication date: September 24th 2015

Since school had let out in May, gold graffiti had been popping up around San Francisco. Single words painted in enormous golden letters appeared on bridges and building fronts. Not semi-illegible, angry gang tags, but beautifully executed fonts done by someone with talent and skill...

Meeting Jack on the Owl—San Francisco's night bus—turns Beatrix's world upside down. Jack is charming, wildly attractive...and possibly one of San Francisco's most notorious graffiti artists.

On midnight rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who this enigmatic boy really is. But Jack is hiding much more - and can she uncover the truth that leaves him so wounded?

So this book has been pitched at the next Fault in Our Stars or Eleanor and Park. That is totally not something we've ever heard before about an upcoming contemporary, right? However there is something about this one that captures my attention more than the other comparisons, but I just can't put my finger on it. I adore the cover for this one, I think it works really well and is extremely bold and vibrant. I'm very excited to pick this book up in September - hopefully I can try and obtain a proof before then because that would make me ecstatic! Especially with how amazing the proof covers are.... *drools*

So what is your Waiting on Wednesday pick this week? 

Let me know in the comments below, or over on any of my social media platforms. I'd love to read what your picks are!


Cover Redesign # 1: A Malmont Summer and Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda


Recently I had an idea. I thought to myself, what if I could choose an alternative to some of these covers that I've seen about. As my first point of call in a bookshop, I like covers to be able to stand out and make me want to read the story inside. Sadly not all covers can be amazing. I'm not a huge fan of face covers as many of you know, and sometimes the initial design of a cover doesn't really tell me anything about the story...

So, this is going to be the beginning of what I think will be a long feature on my blog, depending if I have enough time/ can be motivated enough. I am going to be redesigning current covers of books. Now these will most likely be books that I really admire and enjoy looking at but there will be a few covers that I wish I could do over - however these will be clearly stated.

Today, I have two redesigned book covers for you guys: A Malmont Summer by Joshua J. Johnson and Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I love both of these book covers so it was difficult for me to try and adapt them. 


A Malmont Summer by Joshua J. Johnson  


Now I really enjoy the cover for A Malmont Summer and Joshua has released the information that he feels it reflects the tones of the book well, especially the colour schemes - so this is something that I really wanted to play around with. 

For the first cover design I found the original picture Joshua used for his background and then brightened up the colours a bit to make them a bit less dynamic. I did this so that the title and author name could really stand out. Although I love Joshua's choice of font, unfortunately I couldn't find to it on my laptop, so I chose another one that reminds me a bit of the original font for Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson. The curvature of the letters made me feel reflected summer well. As for the author name, I wanted something bold and very contrasting - hence the capitalisation and the plain font. I think it turned out really well. 

For the second cover design I wanted something completely different but I knew I wanted the silhouette kind of idea on the cover. I browsed Google until I found one I was happy with and then I played around with the hues to try and get the sky the right colour that I wanted. Once again I brought back the same fonts I used on the previous design because I really like those fonts - they're bold and dynamic and fit well as a parallel to one another. Unlike the previous design, I included Joshua's tagline. On the previous design I just felt that the cover was better plain because then you could focus more on the image and the title. However on this design it felt like something was missing so I had the idea to try and include it in, and I felt it worked really well!

Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli



Simon's cover was extremely tricky for me because I adore this cover and frankly I don't think it needs any improvement. Saying this, because I love it so much it gives me creative licence to mess around with it as much as I can. 

So please ignore the first cover because it's terrible and it was just a template board for the real cover. I decided that I wanted to stick with a person on the cover but it was only going to be specifically their t-shirts (the stickmen were the only blank canvas I could find.) I also contemplated about having other bodies in the background, like on stage at a show. I knew on the t-shirts that Simon's had to have something to do with Oreos considering the US version of this book has Oreos on the back and the UK's doesn't. Major sad face publishers! THIS BOOK NEEDS MORE OREOS! Blue's was more difficult - because he stays anonymous for most of the book, I decided to keep him neutral and have a simple email logo with a question mark in it. Quite effective in my opinion. Obviously the show is a focus of the novel but I found it too difficult to try and fit in - hence the plain background in the end. At first I wanted to keep the bubble idea for the title but then decided to include it as an email subject to Blue from Simon. I really like this idea considering The Homosapiens Agenda is an actually email conversation they have in the book. I knew as well that I needed to keep the speech bubbles and it seemed clear to me that I would have to include the quotes from the back of the book. 

So there we go guys, there are two book cover redesigns for you to oggle and discuss about. Please note I am in no way stating that I am professional, because frankly because they are just images from google, some of them have turned out horrific. This is a fun project, I'm not being serious about any of these. Let me know down in the comments which covers you think I should do next and perhaps I'll attempt them! Until next time.

Top Ten Tuesday # 10: Ten Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer

Tuesday, 26 May 2015 0 comments

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list that you have to answer. You can find out more about this feature here.

This week's feature is: Ten Books I Plan To Have in My Beach Bag This Summer or Ten Books I Think Make Great Beach Reads. I have to admit, I've been quietly anticipating this weeks feature, because with summer creeping up on us quicker than ever I've been compiling a list of books I've been desperate to read. So without further ado, here are the books that I intend to have in my beach bag this summer!


1. The Last Summer of Us by Maggie Harcourt

Limpet, Steffan and Jared. Three best friends crammed into a clapped-out rust bucket of a car on a whirlwind road trip to forget their troubles and see out the end of the summer. But no matter how far they drive, they can’t escape the hidden secrets and slow-burning romance that could upset the balance of their friendship – perhaps forever.


2. A Malmont Summer by Joshua J Johnson

Set in Santa Monica, A MALMONT SUMMER follows four girls who attend St. Malmont—a boarding school for the teenagers of the extremely rich, located between golden sands and sparkling waters, raving nightclubs and fast cars—as they go about enjoying their summer.
But when a difference in views arises between Heidi and Danielle, their typical summer they had been expecting is turned upside down—almost literally, as they end up flitting to the other side of the globe to Australia, where their summer truly kicks off.With their two other friends, Lottie and Hannah, the four girls make a plan to follow two very different bucket lists, based on two very different sets of opinions, in order to be able to settle their argument once and for all.

Along the way, however, their summer becomes much more eventful than they ever anticipated—secrets are revealed, love lives are tangled, and crimes are committed…and that’s just the start.Because, when you’re the daughters of extremely rich families, the sky is the limit when it comes to proving your points...


3. Mosquitoland by David Arnold

"I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange." After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the "wastelands" of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland. So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane. 

4. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.
 

5. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back? Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough. Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a stranger? Um... Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait...what?

6. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E.Lockhart

As a girl, Frankie knows she is supposed to play by the rules, but the rules were made by Old Boys for boys and therefore are not her rules to begin with.
So Frankie Landau-Banks decides to take matters into her own hands, outsmarting the secret all-male society at her rich kid boarding school by tricking the members, including her own boyfriend, into believing her increasingly outrageous commands are their leader's.
Undaunted by her male peers, Frankie contests the old-fashioned idea that it's the boys who rule the school proving that girls are not to be dismissed even by her own father, a former member of the all-male society himself.

7. How to be Bad by E.Lockhart, Lauren Mryacle and Sarah Mlynowski

When you've had enough of being good, sometimes you've got to try a little bad...

Jesse, Vicks and Mel couldn't be more different. Jesse, a righteous Southern gal who's as thoughtful as she is uptight, is keeping a secret that she knows will change her life forever. Vicks is a wild-child: seemingly cool, calm and collected on the outside, but inside she's furious at herself for being so anxious about her neglectful boyfriend. And Mel is the new girl in town. She's already been dismissed as just another rich kid, but all she wants is to get over some of her fears and find some true friends. 

But for all their differences, the girls discover they've got one thing in common - they're desperate to escape. Desperate to get the heck out of Niceville and discover their true 'badass' selves! Even if it's just for the weekend... One 'borrowed' car later, it's time to hit the road and head for Miami. Hearts will be broken, friendships will be tested, and a ridiculously hot stranger could change the course of everything.

8. Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpott

When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden... until now.
 

9. Trouble by Non Pratt

When the entire high school finds out that Hannah Shepard is pregnant via her ex-best friend, she has a full-on meltdown in her backyard. The one witness (besides the rest of the world): Aaron Tyler, a transfer student and the only boy who doesn’t seem to want to get into Hannah’s pants. Confused and scared, Hannah needs someone to be on her side. Wishing to make up for his own past mistakes, Aaron does the unthinkable and offers to pretend to be the father of Hannah’s unborn baby. Even more unbelievable, Hannah hears herself saying “yes.”

10. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to centre stage of her own life - and suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two boys. One boy takes Lennie out of her sorrow; the other comforts her in it. But the two can't collide without Lennie's world exploding... 




Thanks for reading my list! Feel free to share your thoughts on these summery books in the comments below, or over on any of my social media platforms. If you feel like doing this then feel free to do your Top Ten Tuesday post and link me it, I'd love to read what you come up with!

Falling Behind on Friday # 8: Pride and Prejudice

Friday, 22 May 2015 0 comments

Falling Behind on Friday is an original weekly feature created at Moirae the Fates. The idea is that each week you pick a book that you are ashamed to admit has been on your TBR pile for a longtime and showcase it to your audience. You can find out more about this feature here.

This week I am falling behind on:

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE BY JANE AUSTEN



When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.

Why am I falling behind?

I hate to admit this one because it's one of those classics that pretty much everyone has read. It's also the basis for some of the most romantic traits that occur in YA novels today. I have technically started this as I was meant to read it for school, but as I decided to drop English Literature during my second year of A Levels (worst decision ever!), I never found my self to picking it back up again. I even have two copies of this book - a battered school copy and a pristine beautiful cover edition. Oops? I do hope to get to this at some point this year as I am desperate to see what all of the fuss is all about!

What books are you falling behind on this Friday?

Let me know in the comments below, or over on any of my social media platforms. I'd love to read which books you guys are falling behind on.

Book Review # 41: Rogue by Julie Kagawa

Thursday, 21 May 2015 0 comments
Please note that before you read this review that I am reviewing this publication for Mira Ink. I received an advanced readers copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. In no way is my opinion influenced by the fact that I received this free of charge. Now on with the review!


Title: Rogue
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Mira Ink

Format: Paperback
Publication Date: April 28th 2015
Pages: 400
Source
Review Copy from Publisher/ Maximum Pop Books
Rating
☆☆☆
PurchaseBook Depository / Waterstones

Deserter. Traitor. ROGUE. Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can't forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he'd signed his own death warrant. Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order's headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember's own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George. A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day...or start an all-out war?

Right, if you are reading this and you haven't read the first book then leave now, pick up that book and then return because I have lots of spoiler things to discuss. So you've read Talon? Fantastic, then you know how amazing it was and how much we desperately needed the sequel. Well now that its out and I've had time to read and review it, I'm sure you'll agree that this book was just as fantastic as the first book, if not better. Julie Kagawa really exerts herself in this book and it definitely shines through. The first book was more of a contemporary/fantasy mash up, whilst this one took you from one extreme to the next in terms of the action. It had so much more of a fast pacing than the first book and you can tell that Julie was really trying to get her readers to be emotionally invested in this book. So what did I think of it?

Quite frankly I really enjoyed this book and I knew instantly from the first few pages that this was going to be a book that I would steam through in a few hours. I didn't want this experience however so I purposely made myself avoid it so that I could space out the intake of epic action scenes and kick ass characters over a few days, especially as the third book 'Solider' doesn't come out until Fall 2016. That's a long time to have to wait. So I slowly digested this book and each time I picked it back up I seemed to fall for it even more than the previous chapter. It was only really towards the end that docked the star off the rating, otherwise this would have been a 5 star read! Right from the beginning of the novel we as readers are thrust into the world of what being a rogue really means. Constantly on the run and with the ever so present feeling of danger wafting through the air. This made for a really exciting and adventurous reading experience because although we get the dragon action and the kick ass subplots, we also get to experience first hand what it's like to be wanted, and the dangers that rebellion can bring with it. I adore it when books bring that element into their story because it really makes a book stand out in terms of reliability. Secretly we're all craving that little bit of danger in our lives, right? Throughout this book I could not get enough of all of the plot twists, especially the one that happens three quarters of the way through the book. If you've read it then you know what I mean. Although I did kind of see it coming, it was definitely an intense moment and it really got the adrenaline pumping in my system. 

As I mentioned before this book seemed to have the perfect pace to it because you never seemed to go 20 pages or so without there being some major conflict or action for readers to absorb. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that there was action alone in this sequel, oh no! There was a great deal of character development too! Ember as a character is breaking away from her confines of Talon, venturing out into the world as a rogue. In this respect she is opening herself up to a whole new world, and Ember has to experience all of this for the first time. It's a very emotional experience for Ember, leaving everything she knows behind but you soon come to realise that she's not quite as dependent on her brother as you may think. Riley's character in this book was definitely one that changed my opinion completely. In the first book I thought he was completely overbearing and that he was crossing the line between an interest and an obsession. In this book I felt that that role was relaxed completely and that from his perspective (of which we get a lot more of in this book) we can see that he is solely focused on the well-being of his fellow hatchlings. I really enjoyed seeing this and gaining the insight that was needed for his backstory. In my mind it allowed him to be a lot more redeemable than I would have originally cast him as, and this was a very good thing. I really enjoyed the interactions between Riley and Wes because they remind me so much of an old married couple. Some of their conversations are pure gold, especially when Wes is having a go at Riley for doing something predictable or stupid, and I loved that fact. It really added a human side to Riley that I was beginning to appreciate, it wasn't all just dragon lusting. 

The romance in this book however is something that in mind became debatable as the novel went along. Don't get me wrong, I love a good hearty competition but some of the romantic interactions between Ember and her love interests were just cliched and a tad melodramatic. I mean, I'm still rooting for my favourite (#TeamGember) and that ending where Garrett walked away almost killed my feelings but I just questioned a lot whether some of the interactions were overly necessary to be included. The introduction of the dreaded love triangle. Mmm. Feelings on this I do have. I enjoyed where the story is going in terms of Riley finding an emotional connection to Ember, but I really felt that the sudden statement of romantic intentions at the end of the novel kind of felt a bit unnecessary. I think the way the romantic trio has been set up so far has been great, it's not overly raw but it's also not vague enough that you can't see it. The ending however really just stamped on the book that this is a love triangle - I mean you might as well have it written in large letters in sharpie all over the pages it was that obvious. In this retrospect I felt it could have been introduced a bit more subtly - Riley admitting his feelings for Ember but then noticing her passion for Garrett and backing off because he loves her. It would have made my feelings for Riley skyrocket, but instead he had to take the dragon defensive and make himself out to be a massive douche. Hopefully this 'subtlety' will ease off in the next book, one that I am dying to get my hands on ASAP. I will sacrifice whatever animal is necessary to the dragon gods to get an early copy of that book. Even a synopsis and a cover reveal would do it for now. 

Now the ending of the book once again was left on one of Julie Kagawa's notorious cliffhangers and it literally makes you itching for the next book, both for the romantic twists and that of Talon's secret plans. Literally when they unveiled that secret in the epilogue I was sitting there thinking 'Ooooh. Now it's going to kick off', making my wait for Solider just that little bit unbearable - even if it means the title suggests the book will focus on Garrett. (Can I get a hell yeah?) 

So overall Rogue was a very intense and action-packed rollercoaster of a book. One that messes with your emotions and at times leaves you breathless in suspense. As I mentioned earlier, Soilder (Book 3) isn't due for release until Fall 2016, so it's going to be a long wait for us Talon Saga fans, but hopefully a few re-reads of the series so far will tie us over until then. I award Rogue by Julie Kagawa a 4 out of 5 stars on my classification scale, although it probably leans more towards a 4.5 than anything. If you've read Rogue and are willing to discuss your thoughts and feelings on the series so far, please feel free to leave a comment or send me a message on Twitter because I would be more than happy to discuss opinions with you. It's one of those books that has left me in awe of what to expect next. 

Waiting on Wednesday # 9: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

Wednesday, 20 May 2015 0 comments

Waiting on Wednesday is an original weekly feature created at Breaking the Spine. The idea is that each week you make a post that spotlights upcoming releases that you're eagerly anticipating. You can find out more about this feature here.

This week I am deciding to spotlight:


A THOUSAND NIGHTS BY E.K. JOHNSTON

Publication date: October 6th 2015
Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time.But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.
For some reason I cannot wait to get my hands on this! At the minute I've been on such a craving for retelling or adaptation novels and this one is focused around 1001 Nights , such an intense set of stories and this premise just sounds absolutely wonderful and I can't wait to get my hands on it! October cannot come sooner!


So what is your Waiting on Wednesday pick this week? 

Let me know in the comments below, or over on any of my social media platforms. I'd love to read what your picks are!

Top Ten Tuesday # 9: Top Ten Book Bloggers/Booktubers from Twitter!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015 0 comments

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list that you have to answer. You can find out more about this feature here.

This week's feature is: Freebie - Your choice of topic. So as it's my choice I've thought long and hard about what I could feature and I've found it quite difficult. I've seen some great posts already about LGBT reads and ARC's people are going to try and grab at Book Expo America, but I thought I'd keep it simple and go with the top ten book bloggers/booktubers from Twitter. Now this can be bloggers I talk with often or it could just be that a secretly stalk their blogs and adore their content. I'll leave all of the links to their sites next to their names! So without further ado and in no particular order, here are my top ten bloggers/booktubers from Twitter!

1. George (@TheGeorgeLester) https://www.youtube.com/user/GesterG91

2. Beth (@BookLoverx) http://wordsfromareader.weebly.com

3. Chelle (@ChelleyToy) http://talesofyesterday.co.uk

4. Kieran (@GayMonst3r) http://bookbitchreviews.blogspot.co.uk

5. Faye (@Daydreamin_star) http://daydreamersthoughts.co.uk

6. Joshua (@JoshuaJAuthor) https://www.youtube.com/user/JoshuaJVlogs

7. Fiona (@northeastnerd) http://www.northeastnerd.co.uk

8. Sally (@TheDarkDictator) http://thedarkdictator.blogspot.co.uk

9. Lize (@t4ngled_) http://lizebronwenreviews.blogspot.co.uk

10. Daphne (@wingedreviews) http://wingedreviews.com

Thanks for reading my list! Feel free to share your thoughts on these bloggers/booktubers in the comments below, or over on any of my social media platforms. If you feel like doing this then feel free to do your Top Ten Tuesday post and link me it, I'd love to read what you come up with!

Confessions of a Bookworm

So I recently saw Fiona over at @northeastnerd remind her followers on Twitter about #BookwormConfessions and I instantly had to know what that was about. Clicking the link she provided it took me to her link-up post about her cringeworthy confessions she had as a bookworm. She's left the invitation open for anyone to join in with so I thought why not! Here are my five confessions as a bookworm... Don't judge me.

1. I used to fold pages in half to count as a bookmark.

You thought dog-earing was bad? Well because as a child I was never overly fond of just folding the corners, I would literally fold the page in half. Now I didn't see myself as an oragami expert by far, it just seemed a lot more appropriate to do it that way. Why I didn't just use a tissue or something to act as a bookmark I'll never know...

2. I used to steal from my school library.

Now before you make up all of the assumptions, I did take them back eventually! All except one that I found under my bed a few years ago (it wasn't even a book I had a desire to read!) As the only times that were available for students to take out books in our school library were lunchtime, the line was always stupidly crowded to take books out and I didn't have time for that - so I'd sneak into the corner of the library that was blocked by bookshelves and gently slip the book into my bag. Such a thief! 

3. I dropped my copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in the bath.

It wasn't intentional I promise, it was just an accident! I remember casually reading through the book and then when there was an intense moment (I think it was the duelling scene) I threw down the book in shock and totally forgot I was surrounded by water. The book was pretty much destroyed, but what made it worse was that I took I snuck into my brother's room and exchanged it for his copy. He wasn't a huge fan of the books and they were bought as a present for him so they were kept at the bottom of his bookshelf at the back. Oops!

4. I signed a fake autograph.

Now this one is kind of shameful (as if the others aren't) but when I was younger I had this huge crush on this girl I knew. Being the total smooth talker that I was as a 12 year old, for her birthday I thought I would be awesome and get her a copy of her favourite book. At the time I was also competing against this other guy who liked my friend, so I decided to sign the author's name into the book to trick her into thinking the book was signed so then I'd have the upper hand. It didn't work out as planned but I do know for a fact she still has that book today and it's one of her prized possessions. I just don't have the heart to tell her it's fake. 

5. I bash the Twilight books without having read a single page.

Being the huge Harry Potter fan that I am, when Twilight came about and became popular as being the 'next Harry Potter', I immediately took the defensive and started bashing the books as most fan's did. The truth however is that I've never even read a single page of any of the books. I mean, yes now I have seen the movies because I had to take my sister due to her not being old enough but at the time I got extremely defensive. Nobody was going to be talking shit about my fandom and they were especially not going to compare it to some sparkly vampire crap. I suppose that feeling has never really left has it...


So there you have it! Those are my five most embarrassing but truthful confessions about me being a bookworm. Don't hate me! If you want to write your own post with your confessions then please feel free! You can add your link to Fiona's original post here. I would definitely go and check out her post as well because her use of appropriate gifs are on point. 

My Top 5 Favourite Dragons: A Talon Saga Inspired Post!

Sunday, 17 May 2015 0 comments
So as I'm currently in the middle of Rogue (Book 2 in the Talon Saga), I've been thinking a lot about the different dragons that I've come across as I've grown up. Now most of these were from films, but there were a couple that featured in books too! 

Today I thought I would do a post inspired by  Julie Kagawa's Talon/Rogue by telling you guys what my top 5 favourite dragons are. The task has been tough as there are so many out there to choose from, and a lot of them the favourites, so without further ado and in no particular order, here are my top 5 favourite dragons!


Elliot from Pete's Dragon

Does anyone remember that Disney film? Such a classic. When I was a lot younger than I am today, Elliot was the first dragon that I was ever introduced to and he had such a big impact on my perceptions of dragons. Even when I saw other films where dragons were pitched as dark, evil creatures I knew there was always good dragons in the fantasy world too and Elliot showed me that!



Maleficent in Dragon Form

I don't care if people argue that technically Maleficent wasn't a dragon in the entire movie, I'm still counting her. She was a very dramatic and impressive dragon for a Disney movie and inset fear into Daniel when he was about 6 years old. Maleficent still stands as my favourite Disney villain so it makes sense for her to be on this list!




Mushu 

Mushu I think has to be one of my favourite dragon's of all time and simply because he was so comical and really brought a humour to such a serious film. Mulan teaches us a lesson all about being who you truly are and that you shouldn't have to hide it, but if you look at it from Mushu's perspective it's about persistance of a cause can lead to greatness - and of course then you get to be super smug about it afterwards.

Falkor the Luck Dragon

Falkor is another one of my favourites because The NeverEnding Story was one of my absolute favourite childhood movies of all time - it is up there competing with Labyrinth (the one with David Bowie in it!) I don't know what it was about the movie but I loved Falkor the Luck Dragon, he brought wisdom and humour to the film when the concept of the film was quite dark.




Toothless

Last but certainly in no means least is the ever so loveable Toothless. I don't know what it is but Toothless as a character is just plain and simply adorable and brings that sense of happiness to the How to Train your Dragon franchise. The on screen version of Toothless was the perfect depiction of how I imagined him in the books - childish and yet at times very versatile. 



So there you have it! There are my Top 5 Favourite Dragons - a post inspired by the wonderful Talon Saga by Julie Kagawa! If you want to find out more about the first book in the series, Talon then you can click here to go to my review and find out my thoughts about it. Alternatively if you want a mini non-spoilery review then you can click here to read my feature on Maximum Pop!'s website.

Let me know who you consider to be your favourite dragons in the comments below! I'd love to hear who you come up with!

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