Book Review #73: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Sunday, 15 November 2015 0 comments
TitleWinter (The Lunar Chronicles #4)
AuthorMarissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Format: eBook
Publication Date: November 10th 2015
Pages: 824
Source: Bought
PurchaseThe Book Depository / Waterstones

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

After what feels like years of waiting, we finally have the final instalment in The Lunar Chronicles series. That's right, Winter is here people, don't forget the hashtag! Being the last book in the series, there was obviously a lot of expectation and anticipation for what might happen on Luna. We cheer for our favourite characters and we cry when they die, but luckily Marissa's happily ever after stories remained just that.

First and foremost I have to address Marissa Meyer's phenomenal writing style because it really defies expectations in this book. Marissa's writing is very, very reminiscent of a fairytale (which is extremely relevant) because of how fluid the story flows off of the page and into the hearts and minds of it's readers.

At over 800 pages in length, this book wasn't short of things happening. This book was action packed right from the beginning and there was never a dull moment. Throughout this story, Meyer packs a punch with all of her plot twists and added diversions, but never strays away from the underlying fairytale that reinforce these character's stories. In the past we have seen elements taken from the original stories woven into the narrative, and with Winter there was no difference. Taking elements from Snow White's story, there were very clear tributes to the original classic, and whilst I know these fairytales inside out, it still caught me off guard when things happened to the characters that happened in the fables.

With such an eclectic cast of characters, Meyer manages to provide equal perspective time to each of her beloved fictional children. As the books have progressed in this series, we naturally are introduced to new characters along the way, providing a confident background to each of them. In this book we gain a broad view into the life of Princess Winter and her romantic interest, Jacin. Of all of the characters I definitely think Winter's story was one of the strongest in the series, with Cinder's coming in a very close second. Looking more in depth at the character's themselves, we really got to see the impact this book had on the relationships they had formed with one another - both the romantic and the platonic. This book explores some truly dark and difficult situations for these characters, and their relationships are really put to the test at times. However, it wasn't just their romantic ventures that were tested, because each of the character's had to go through some rough ordeals in this book to come out where they did.

This book takes us away from the boundaries of Earth to a completely new setting that we've only seen glimpses of in the prequel novel, Fairest. In this book we got to look beyond corridors and chambers of Levana's castle and extend our view out to the multiple sectors of Luna. Exploring the different sectors on Luna was truly fascinating and I was truly interested to see how each of these sectors worked and contributed to the society. I enjoyed the we got to follow our beloved characters into these sectors, and to interact with the people. This broader perspective really allowed the novel to gain an element of realism for me, as the sectors and their reasoning for being seemed almost relatable to some societies today, minus the fact that this all takes place on the moon, of course. What I was really interested to see was the very clear contrasts between the monarchic ruling of Luna and the republican way of The Eastern Commonwealth and the way that these were distinguished through their use of society.

Overall, there is so much I could say for this review, but I don't want to go in depth with spoilers to avoid ruining someone else's experience of this beautiful book. This novel really exemplifies everything that this story stands for, and readers will truly admire everything Meyer has done to conclude this journey. It is without a doubt that this novel is clearly one of my favourites of the year, perhaps even the novel to beat. I award Winter by Marissa Meyer a 5 out of 5 star rating on my classification scale. Readers will definitely not be disappointed with how well Meyer has crafted her conclusion to this stunning series. It is with deep sadness that I have to say goodbye to this series because it is definitely one I am going to miss being a part of. The world, the characters, everything that has made this series what is is. You can definitely expect me to revisit these books sometime in the near future!

Subscription Box Review: Illumicrate #1

Hey guys! Today I'm here with a little something different, because I am here to review a book subscription box! The box in question, Illumicrate was founded by our very own Daphne from Winged Reviews! For those of you who don't know, Illumicrate is a UK based book subscription service that runs on a quarterly basis - meaning you'll get one box every three months (that's a total of four per year!)

Now being a huge fan of subscription boxes, I was thrilled to see one based in the UK so I jumped right in and subscribed myself to this service! I've always been drawn to the subscription services in the US, but often found that their postage prices skyrocketed through the roof, and frankly it just wasn't worth it by the time you added up all of the costs. What enticed me about the Illumicrate box was that shipping to the UK was free and that everything was included in the one payment. With a bright and vibrant exterior (which is extremely well designed,) I was eager for my box to arrive so I could see what wonders were buried in this newly found venture.

So my Illumicrate box arrived yesterday morning, and after so much mystery behind what was going to be included, I was ecstatic to dive straight in and see what this box included! Opening the box up, I was greeted with a vibrant yellow Illumicrate flyer that contained all of the items that were included in the box, as well as the names to the shop providers and some bonus content/ exclusive discounts for Illumicrate subscribers. Beneath the flyer was a rolled up poster and lots of yellow crinkled paper filling. 

Removing the cute tape from the poster and rolling it out revealed a stunning Harry Potter series poster by Abbie Imagine. This poster contained wonderful redesigned covers for the series, which I think are simplistic and beautiful. I strongly believe this poster will look fantastic on any wall and I think I'm planning on having mine framed.

Removing the slot in tray and diving further into this box, I was greeted by the rest of the included Illumicrate items as well as the book for this quarter's box, Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin! I have had my eye on this book for a while now and actually had it on my wishlist, so I am very glad that Daphne chose it for the first Illumicrate box! What makes it even more worthwhile is the fact I received a signed bookplate to go inside my book and an exclusive video from Ryan discussing some behind the scenes content on the Wolf to Wolf duology! Very cool.

Also included in the box was a Wolf by Wolf themed tattoo bookmark, designed by Skinny Hues. I own some of their bookmarks already, more specifically their customised hashtag range which I use on Instagram. They're absolutely wonderful and I am extremely happy to be adding another one to my collection of them. Especially as this bookmark is customised solely for Illumicrate subscribers!

The box also included a handmade, wooden Mockingjay necklace designed by My Clockwork Castle with the memorable movie quote 'If we burn, you burn with us.' It's such a wonderful design because with it's unisex design, it means that the box doesn't necessarily linger to one gender, which is awesome.

Alongside various other bookish swag, Raspberry Finch included a Looks Before Books Pocket Mirror, an ironic styled mirror in exclusive colours purely for Illumicrate. Whilst practically, I don't use pocket mirrors an awful lot, the design on the reverse side appeals to me greatly and you can bet I'm going to be using it as a bookish item to decorate my bookshelves with. It has also proven to be beneficial for taking awesome inspirational photos as can be seen on the photo above on the right!

However, not everything you get for subscribing to Illumicrate is a physical item inside of the box, because on the item packing list is a code for discounts at all of the shops featured in the box! I think its a pretty good deal! The discounts for the shops are as below:
  • 10% off orders of £25 and above at My Clockwork Castle
  • 15% off any order at Skinny Hues (valid until 31 December 2015) 
  • 15% off any order at Abbie Imagine (valid until 31 January 2016)
  • 20% off any order at Raspberry Finch

And there we have it, there are all of the neat bookish items carefully curated into the first ever Illumicrate box! I honestly think Daphne has done a fantastic job in bringing together a box that I can see a lot of people are going to enjoy. 

For £29.99 per quarter, value for money wise I think some people will be quite taken back by it and assume it's too expensive for what you get. However, I don't think it's that bad, especially considering the shipping is included in that price. If there were less items, then I think I would definitely question it's affordability.

Whilst some items may not be for everyone, Daphne has done a stunning job in simply celebrating bookish goods and I think everyone can appreciate that somehow. Because this box is quarterly, I don't mind spending £30 on this box, because it's only a little treat every few months. If this price was monthly, then perhaps I would question whether I could splash out the amount it costs for this box, but as it's quarterly, I'm pretty sure I would pay it again.

Would I buy Illumicrate again? Most definitely! After some confusion due to my lack of technology knowledge, I managed to cancel my subscription early, but you can bet that when the doors open to subscribe once again, I will be at the front of the queue! Daphne you can be safe in the knowledge that Illumicrate definitely did brighten up my day. See you in February for Box #2! In the spirit of Illumicrate, I award the first box four llumicrate logos!

For more information about Illumicrate, feel free to check out the Illumicrate website as well as any of their social media sites. All links to social media and to the online stores included in this box will be displayed below:

Illuminate Website             Twitter               Facebook               Instagram                Tumblr

Abbie Imagine               Skinny Hues              My Clockwork Castle              Raspberry Finch  

Book Review #72: The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew

Monday, 9 November 2015 0 comments
Please note that before you read this review that I am reviewing this publication for Bloomsbury. 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: The Light That Gets Lost
Author: Natasha Carthew
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Paperback
Publication DateNovember 5th 2015
SourceReview Copy from Publisher
Rating☆☆/ DNF
PurchaseThe Book Depository / Waterstones

A small boy hiding in a cupboard witnesses something no child should ever see. He tries not to look but he still hears it. And when he comes out, there's no mistaking. His mum and dad have been killed. And though he's only small, he swears that he'll get revenge one day.

Years later, Trey enters a strange camp that is meant to save troubled teenagers. It's packed with crazies, god-botherers, devoted felons and broken kids. Trey's been in and out of trouble ever since the day the bad thing happened, but he's he not here for saving: this is where he'll find the man who did it. Revenge and healing, salvation and hell are a boiling, dangerous mix, and Trey finds himself drawn to a girl, a dream and the offer of friendship in the dark.

When I requested this book from Bloomsbury a month or two ago, I was overly excited to get to it. Due to schedules and life, unfortunately this opportunity never arose, until now. From the synopsis, I was instantly drawn into the intrigue of the plot. Entering a strange camp for troubled teens after witnessing your parents being murdered? Sign me up! It sounded like a book that was going to target issues of possible mental illness and what traumatic events can do to people's minds. Alas, this book was not that, and I hate to admit that I marked this book as DNF after only 77 pages in. 

I couldn't do it guys, I just couldn't. This book had so much promise, and I had heard some really good things about it, but it was just a total let down. First and foremost, the writing style was completely all over the place. I'm aware that I was reading a proof version of the book, but still, I expected the sentences to at least make sense. Following on, the dialogue in this book. Oh my days don't even get me started. For a novel set in Cornwall, yes Cornwall, the characters spoke like they were from a southern state in America. The portrayal of speech in teenagers was just completely unrealistic in my opinion. Too much slang to actually make sense, which really threw off my attention while reading.

Unfortunately, the plot of this book didn't really escalate in those 77 pages I read. Now I'm aware that obviously this is not a large amount of the book, and I may very clearly be missing some extremely detailed plot events later on in the book, but from where I read, nothing was really happening. Nothing excited me or incised me to read on. Actually, as I type this, I have spoken to someone about the plot of this book, and I am aware of the events that happen towards the end of the novel. Alas, it does not excite me, or surprise me in any way - which is a real shame because I really tried to love this book. I gave it so many chances. What strikes me is odd is that every time I put it down and told myself I was done with this book, there was still part of me that questioned whether I should just stay invested in the story. We will see what the future holds for this book, you never know, it may be given a final chance to surprise me in the future.

Character wise, there really isn't much I can say because I don't want to completely slate the book. For me, a main character has to be quite dynamic, and be able to form some sort of bond with the reader - this can range from something tiny to something quite large and impactful. For me, Trey just did not click. His revengeful nature, whilst understandable, had no real means of explanation. There was no build up to how he got this way, besides seeing the brief prologue. Now don't get me wrong, I am not stating that should you see your parents murdered, you wouldn't feel a bit revengeful, because in all honesty I think I would. However, this constant mention of the revengeful inner demon inside Trey just completely threw any hopes of him being redeemable out of the window and he lost all of my respect. Whether this was due to the writing of his character, or purely his motives, I do not know. All I am aware of is that I was not relating to him in any way. Such a shame. As for the rest of the characters, or the ones I had met so far in the 77 pages I had read, non of them stuck out to me. I struggled to remember who was who, their personalities blended into one big mess, and really I wasn't curious to find out more about why they were there. 

Overall, I can't really say more about this novel than it had so much potential and it was just completely translucent. From what I have gathered, the author attempted to push a storyline much alike Holes by Louis Sachar, mixed with Lord of the Flies further on in the story. An odd combination if I ever saw one. I award The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew a 2 out of 5 star rating on my classification scale. I would give this a 1 star, easily, but I'm giving it 2 for it's bizarre ability to have me curious to pick it up again, even if at this moment it is completely undesirable of me. We shall have to see what the future holds. 

October Book Haul

Hey guys! I thought I'd do a little post that amalgamates all of the photos I've put together on Instagram over the past few weeks to document the books I got in the month of October! Now these are a combination of books that I've either bought myself, been given by my blogging friends or have been sent by the wonderful people in the publishing industry! I thought I'd turn this into a monthly segment for my blog so you guys can see the books that I'll be reviewing in the near future, and hopefully this builds up your excitement for them as much as mine!

So without further ado, here are the books that I received in the month of October!

As per usual, I find myself saying that I was quite fortunate with books this month. I am glad because this month I'm only hauling 13 books this month, and whilst that looks like a lot, in comparison to last month's 27 books, it's actually not horrific, which I'm pleased at!  This month I attended a book signing and YA Shot, a book festival held in Uxbridge, so a lot of these books were obtained in preparation for those! Some of them are actually pre-orders too!


This month, I was sent 5 books for review, and 1 book for donating to Patrick Ness's charity appeal. Not too bad in comparison to last month's review list! 

This month I received a care package from Electric Monkey for joining their blogger's list!  I also received a book from Titan Books as well as a graphic novel from Melissa De La Cruz for donating to the charity appeal.

These are the books I received and their release dates:
  • Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith (February 1st 2014)
  • The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith (February 26th 2015)
  • Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant (August 26th 2014)
  • The Tattooed Heart by Michael Grant (September 1st 2015)
  • Blue Bloods Graphic Novel by Melissa De La Cruz (January 15th 2015)
  • Harry Potter: The Character Vault by Jody Reversion (September 25th 2015)


This month I didn't too awfully on buying books, especially considering I was on a book buying ban. So I have 7 books, and I know what you're thinking, I failed didn't I? Well, technically no because 2 of these books were pre-orders and the rest I had bought for YA Shot before I set the ban! 

What makes this haul even more special is that 6 of these 7 books are signed and dedicated to me, which is amazing!

These are the books and their release dates:
  • Seed by Lisa Heathfield (April 16th 2015)
  • The Secret Fire by CJ Daugherty and Carina Rozinfeld (September 3rd 2015)
  • The Almost King by Lucy Saxon (June 4th 2015)
  • The Next Together by Lauren James (September 3rd 2015)
  • All of the Above by James Dawson (September 3rd 2015)
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (September 29th 2015)
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: The Illustrated Edition by J.K.Rowling (October 6th 2015)

So there we have it! 13 books! I think next month I'm definitely going to recline my requesting and book buying habits because with moving in December, I don't want to have to take more books with me than I am already! Thank you to everyone who has sent me books, I do appreciate and read them.

Let me know what books you guys have recently purchased/received for review etc in the comments below or on any of my social media platforms. I'd love to hear about them! If you have any specific recommendations then definitely let me know, I'm always open to suggestions!

Book Review #71: Harry Potter: The Character Vault

Please note that before you read this review that I am reviewing this publication for Titan Books. 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: Harry Potter: The Character Vault
AuthorJody Revenson
Publisher: Titan Books
Format: Hardback
Publication DateSeptember 25th 2015
SourceReview Copy from Publisher
PurchaseThe Book Depository / Waterstones

Unlock new information about your favourite characters from the Harry Potter movies with this definitive coffeetable book profiling the good, the bad, and everything in between within the Harry Potter universe. Dive into the personal journeys of beloved Harry Potter heroes, and an insightful look at the motivations and actions of the films’ most notorious and complicated villains.

Concept art, behind-the-scenes imagery, and film stills track everyone from Harry, Hermione, and Ron to Dobby, Mad-Eye Moody, and Dolores Umbridge, telling their complete stories as they evolve throughout the film series. A comprehensive collection of the movies’ beloved characters, this beautifully designed book is the ultimate Harry Potter character overview.

As a ridiculously large Harry Potter fan, having the opportunity to go back and revisit your favourite moments and characters from the books and films is a dream come true. I'm sure most fans of the series will be able to agree with me on that note. With this third instalment of the Harry Potter film art book series, The Character Vault takes an in-depth exploration of fan favourite characters from the Harry Potter series. Now initially, I thought this may present itself more of a compendium of knowledge based purely on the characters and their traits, but upon flipping through I discovered a lot of information to do with the character's ties to the movie franchise that I hadn't thought about before. For example, did you know they actually cast someone to play Peeves? They had his drawing done, and then decided to take him out of the films last minute!

As readers turn each page, they are greeted with extensive profiles on all of their favourite characters. From the initial sketches of character design, to polaroid images of the actors in costume on set, each page will surprise readers with facts and exclusive behind the scenes footage that they might not have known previously. What amazed me whilst reading, was to the extent of the detail that the character profiles go in to! From details about character's props, to initial inputs by the actors, it was pleasant to read about just how much detail went into casting these iconic characters for the big screen.

Flicking through the book and admiring the stunning illustrations throughout, readers will very clearly be able to see just how much time went into making sure the transition to transition from book to screen. Illustrators' images reflect very clearly the idea of what a character would look like inside fan's imaginations, and they have produced a wonderful job at crafting this very particular look around the actors playing them.

Overall, readers and fans of the Harry Potter franchise will be thoroughly impressed with the amount of detail that has gone into deciphering each of these well loved characters. And as an added bonus, readers are treated to two posters depicting members of The Order of the Phoenix and the squad of Death Eaters that feature in the films.  I award The Character Vault a 4 out of 5 star rating! Lover's of this world will admire and enjoy the beauty that is this compendium of wonder, and through it will be able to once again immerse themselves in the vast wizarding universe that this franchise has created.

Event Wrap Up: Magic and Mayhem with Leigh Bardugo and Melinda Salisbury

Sunday, 8 November 2015 0 comments
Hey guys! I thought I would finally type up the notes I took at the 'Magic and Mayhem with Leigh Bardugo and Melinda Salisbury' event that was held in Newcastle! Once again it was held by the wonderful people at Seven Stories, this time on Friday 23rd October between 6pm-8pm. Unfortunately the last event I went to wasn't held at the Seven Stories venue due to it being closed for refurbishment, but luckily this event was held there and the building itself is stunning. 

Walking into the Attic where the event was being held, you are instantly drawn to two things: the beautiful fairy lights that weave between the beams above your head and the wall long tribute to Jim Kay's Diagon Alley from the new illustrated Harry Potter book! It's absolutely spectacular to behold- definitely a place that a book event as awesome as this one should have taken place.

So sitting down, we were introduced to Melinda and Leigh by Lorna, the wonderful event co-ordinator. The event started off swiftly with Melinda's adoration of the Diana Wynne Jones archive on one of the lower floors, beaming with delight that she got to touch the original manuscript of Howl's Moving Castle. She also exclaims that anybody, regardless of sexual orientation is able to find book Howl hot. After much discussion, the event moved briskly onto obvious comparisons to both Mel and Leigh's books, highlighting the obvious political intrigue in both series and the fact that they were both quite clearly books set in fantasy worlds.

Before moving onto further discussion of their books, Lorna explained that both Leigh and Mel were going to be reading from their books, with Mel actually reading the prologue to her debut's sequel 'The Sleeping Prince.' On hearing this news, Leigh demanded that Mel go first as she could not wait much longer to hear such stunning prose. I admit, I was incredibly excited to find out this news, especially as it was the first time Mel had aired it out loud to anyone besides her editors. Guys, I have to state, it was brilliant. The prologue sounds phenomenal and really grasps your attention right away. For those of you weren't fortunate enough to witness it, let me summarise in a few bullet points some important parts.

  • Death within first few lines.
  • Gollums and the Sleeping Prince.
  • Death and more death.
  • Beautiful, lyrical writing.
  • Did I mention DEATH?

With Mel, it's very clearly no surprise for her to go on a brutal rampage of murderous destruction before even properly beginning her sequel. I think fans of The Sin Eater's Daughter have a lot to look forward to after listening to this heart racing except. 

Following on from Mel, Leigh decided to read out a passage from the middle of her new book, Six of Crows. Unfortunately I was too invested in her reading out the passage that I forgot to take notes so alas I cannot tell you which bit she read out. Good thing I guess, it avoids spoilers! However, what I can tell you is Leigh had to put on an irish accent for one of her characters, and it really intensified the mood. Even if it did make me chuckle once or twice. Leigh had forewarned us that she's not the best at the accent, but I thought she nailed it for the scene!

When Leigh had finished reading her except, Lorna moved on to the questions. Now I'm not going to list every question and every response because realistically I'd be here forever typing it up, that and I cannot scribe the exact word for word sentences that came out of these author's mouths - therefore paraphrasing shall occur!

There was a lot of discussion on folklore and the research that both authors had to do for their books. Mel's coping method for research is to eat a lot of dry toast and to travel. She explained that she eats the toast so that she can afford to travel. Now her advice is that you don't need to travel far, inspiration can come from simply walking a different way home, or getting off of the bus a stop earlier or later than you intended. For Leigh, there was a lot of research for dictatorships and cities (which she adores.) She knew she wanted to write a cosmopolitan district in the Grisha world, and a middle class economy, so she did.

There was a brief discussion/debate about whether you have to research things you're making up. Mel argues that if you're making it up, you can go anywhere with it because nobody can tell you you're wrong - it's made up! Leigh on the other hand states that you have to have some element of research to make it believable. In the end they agreed to disagree on some points but strongly agreed with each other's arguments.

When it came to discussing characters, Mel announced that she doesn't consciously name characters. Twylla was very simply Twylla when she came to Mel in the shower, after an amazing solo jamming session. Twylla starts singing for the King and the book derives from there. Leigh says that for her, all of the crows names also just arrived. However she finds it difficult to be able to write the character until the name actually settles. She also states that she makes long lists so that she doesn't stop her momentum, and she also uses question marks throughout which she later comes back to regret in editing. Don't we all!

After discussion about which characters were easiest to write, how they came up with titles, how to plot and why death is a powerful writing tool, the conversation moved swiftly on to what each of the authors would do if they weren't a writer. Leigh would be a fashion designer and Mel would be a zoo keeper or in a fantasy world she would be a dragon keeper. The conversation very quickly took a turn as there was major discussion about the topic of picking up poo, and how Mel would be prepared to stand there with her shovel and bag. Let me tell you, the conversation had the audience howling. It was definitely a sight to behold. Apparently Mel can't go to an event without either comparing her book to incest or talking about poop.

Moving swiftly on from that conversation, the question was pitched of if you had to write fan fiction, what would it be about. Mel's automatic answer was Marauder's fanfic. Everyone is always wanting it, so why not give it to them. Leigh stated that she would do a fanfic for the Sleeping Prince from Mel's sequel! Mel also went onto joke about the Cursed Child musical, questioning wouldn't it be funny if Albus Severus's curse was just that he was a bit emo and going through a My Chemical Romance phase. Oh bless Mel, you never fail to make me chuckle!

I could go on forever with this wrap up because I have pages of notes, but as I mentioned before I will literally be here forever. So to sum up, here are Mel and Leigh's final thoughts on who you should be reading at the minute.

Leigh: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu, Laini Taylor, Gene Luen Yang and Maggie Stiefvater.

Mel: Leigh Bardugo, Rainbow Rowell, Holly Bourne, Non Pratt, Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison.

Following the event, we got the chance to meet Leigh and Mel and to get our books signed. They were both lovely and I definitely look forward to meeting them again sometime in the near future!

If you wish to purchase either of Mel or Leigh's books then you can use the links below!


October Wrap Up & November TBR

Friday, 6 November 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 October Wrap Up and my TBR for the month of November!

If I'm being totally honest, October was a bit of a crappy month for me, because while I was trying to read as many books I could on my TBR, unfortunately life got in the way, big time. With a major death in my family, sorting arrangements for it and prepping for a job interview (which I got the job for), I have literally not been in the mood to read at all. When I have found time to read, I've been continuing on with Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, but besides that, unfortunately I haven't completed a single book this month. My apologies go out to all publishers/authors that I owe a review for - I'm sure you understand. In terms of the yearly reading challenge, I am currently still standing at 63/50 books, meaning I am 26 books ahead of schedule and only 12 books away from my new target of 75 books! With just two months left of the year, lets see if I can manage it, because I can see these next two months being very hectic, with sorting out preparation for my new job as well as Christmas. My goodness that has come across fast.

So as I haven't completed a book yet, and it's too early on to describe my exact feelings on Truthwitch, I'm just going to redo my TBR for the month of November, and hopefully I can regain my reading mood and read some of the books I had previous planned! I'm still going to be keeping the list rather short though, and will probably fill it more with some books that are going to elicit strong feelings in me, in attempts to get my reading mood back on track! So without further ado, here is my TBR for the month of November!

  • The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands (ARC)
  • Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (ARC)
  • The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School by Kim Newman (ARC)
  • Winter by Marissa Meyer
  • The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew (ARC)

So those are the books I'm aiming to read in November! I know it's a limited selection but after the reading month I had in October, I'm not being too cautious!

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?

Book Review #70: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Thursday, 5 November 2015 0 comments
Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
AuthorSarah J Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Paperback
Publication DateMay 5th 2015
PurchaseThe Book Depository / Waterstones

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price.

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

Being a fan of Sarah's 'Throne of Glass' series, I was aware of how well she can take her general thoughts and turn them into something spectacular. Going into A Court of Thorns of Roses, I expected nothing different and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was right, and that she had really taken things to the next level in this book. Originating as a Beauty and the Beast retelling, Sarah J Maas brings her love of fae into this new world and crafts it so spectacularly that you would believe it was part of the folk tale from the beginning. 

Right from the beginning, Sarah's beautiful writing style and realistic characters pulls readers into this world of mystery and beauty and never makes them want to set the book down. With every page I found myself to be more and more enthralled with Feyre's journey as she is plunged into this new land where everything she knows doesn't come into play. It's a fresh new discovery and Feyre only has one goal - to make sure her family is protected, no matter the cost. As the world around Feyre slowly begins to unravel and the secrets behind the mysterious Tamlin come to light, she is thrust into a situation that threatens everything she knows. It is with no surprise that Sarah manages to construct such an intricate world with dynamic plot and mysterious and strong characters - and she does so in a marvellous way that really blows away any expectations your previously had. It's stunning.

In regards to characters, it is no shock to realise that Sarah has once again created very realistic characters, both in their traits and in their actions, and whilst the dynamics between some of them were a lot steamier than I had first anticipated, they were all really strong and very vivid characters. What I think I enjoyed most about them was the interactions that they all had between each other. There were so many side characters that all had their own backstories and traits that they worked so well together. What is breathtaking is also the way that Mass never fails to surprise her readers with just how much you can empathise with her characters. Due to their likability, readers are automatically drawn into this wondrous world and feel truly impeded into the story, with their emotions often replicating that of the characters.

At it's heart, A Court of Thorns and Roses really exemplifies Sarah's ability to bring all of her elements together to tell a truly fantastic story, one that I can definitely see reader's enjoying. Not only does it embody everything that Sarah is so wondrous at bringing together, but it also starts a brand new journey for readers with so many opportunities for development. This story could literally go in any direction and I for one am incredibly excited to be going along for the ride. I award A Court of Thorns of Roses a 5 out of 5 star rating on my classification scale. Although very different from her Throne of Glass series, fans of her previous work will be excited to learn that Sarah just keeps giving more and more.

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