Easter book tag! 

I found this on Thrice Read’s blog and just had to   steal it. Easter book tag! 

Rabbits – A book you wish would multiply, or have a sequel? 

I remember reading Audrey Niffenegger’s A Time Travellers Wife when I was in college. My friend loves the book and had recommended it to me. I fell in love with Henry and Claire and when the book came to an end I was so sad. I remember thinking that it would be great to have a sequel from Alba’s perfective. It would be fascinating to watch how she lived her life with the genetic disorder as her father. 

Egg – A book that surprised you.

Another book from college is F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. I remember having to read it with the class and I absolutely loved it! I expected to hate it but it really surprised me. 
Hunt – A book that was hard for you to get your hands on.

I don’t think there is a book that I have struggled to get my hands on. 

Lambs – A children’s story you still enjoy.

All Roald Dahl books! 

Spring – A book with a cover that reminds you of spring.

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders. It’s been stuck on my shelf for moths now waiting to be read and I think it’s beautful. The birds make me think spring! 

Rising from the dead – a book from a deceased author.

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte. When reorganising my bookshelves this weekend I came across my first copy of this book. I really want to re read it before summer gets here.

Baskets – A book in your wishlist right now.

A Court of Wings and Ruin. The release date is so close but yet so far! 

Candy – A book that is sweet. 

Everything Everything! So so cute. Contemporary Books are the best at providing you with a sweet read.

Happy Easter Everyone! I hope everyone has a great long weekend. ❤️

Review 9 ‘Confess’ Colleen Hoover

Hi guys!

It’s review time – Confess

I think this is the first review I have written when I don’t actually want to give anything away in case you haven’t read it. Seriously, if you love a new adult contemporary romance please read it! Here is a brief (Yes BRIEF) synopsis.

Confess is an upcoming art ‘studio’ owned by Owen Gentry. (I use the term studio loosely, it’s more of an apartment that holds an exhibit once a month where the public can purchase the exhibited art work). The business is aptly named due to the confessions posted through Owen’s door, he uses these secrets for inspiration and each piece of art is based on one a particular confession.

Auburn Reed is struggling through life after losing almost everything but she has a plan to get her life back on track and to get the things she has lost back. Stumbling upon Confess at Owen’s time of need he offers her a job to assist him during his show for a couple of hours. With nothing to lose and $200 in her pocket at the end of the night Auburn agrees to be his helper.

Throw in some instant attraction and addictive chemistry and we have the beginnings of the perfect relationship.  When obstacles are thrown at both Auburn and Owen, and secrets can no longer be kept we follow their journey as they overcome the challenges.

It’s passionate, addictive, heart-breaking and enthralling.

I loved this book! I love Colleen Hoover and this book does not disappoint. There is something about her writing that I just obsess over.

After reading the first few pages I was on the verge of tears and I knew I had fallen hook line and sinker for the story and the characters.  I was a goner and I just couldn’t put It down. It is safe to say I finished this book in several hours. Yes, some people might say it is too fast paced but sometimes you need a dose of insta-love and honestly even if it is fast paced there’s no lack of drama.  It’s cleverly written and you are taken on an emotional roller-coaster from the very beginning to the end.

Auburn and Owen are perfect for each other.  I was rooting for Auburn to get everything she wanted from the very beginning. She has gone through too much for any twenty one year old and her determination to get her life back on track is admirable. Owen. Oh I love Owen, even with all of his secrets. He puts everyone he loves before himself and he is so dreamy. Their relationship is perfect, you can feel the connection between the two of them from their first meeting and it is great to bare witness to their relationship from the very start.

The secrets that a revealed throughout this book drive you bonkers but they keep you enthralled in the story and you cannot put it down. Hoover has a great ability of releasing the perfect dosage of secrets at the ideal time. This keeps you hooked throughout the story. Both Auburn and Owen have experienced loss in the most tragic way and this definitely brings them closer. They have a connection that cannot be interrupted and this connection is strengthened as the story comes to an end. Everything just makes sense!

The confessions concept is great. I love it. It’s imaginative, unique and memorable. Strangers post a confession and it is turned into art work. Could you imagine the stories you could write from something like this? If this is a real thing and it happens somewhere in the world please tell me where. Not that I have much to confess but it’s equally as cool as the locks chained onto the fences in Amsterdam and Rome.

I really do love this story and I have been wondering since I finished it why it has taken me so damn long to read it.

Rating:

4 stars

Memorable Quote:

Please don’t allow anyone to make you feel less than what you are.

Review 8 ‘The Valiant’ Lesley Livingstone

Hi Guys,

 

Review Time – The Valiant

 

Spoiler alert!

Fallon is the daughter of a Celtic king. She is a proud, strong and confident seventeen year old with a single dream of becoming a legendary warrior just like her late sister.

When Fallon was a young child Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland and her sister was killed in battle. Fallon was determined to follow in her sister’s footsteps to protect her land and die for her people if necessary.

She’s in love with her best friend Mael and they intend to marry when Fallon is given her warrior title.

With his own determination the King destroys Fallon’s dreams. He does not want lose his youngest daughter in battle too and he declares she will not follow her in her sister’s footsteps and become the warrior she so desires. During Fallon’s birthday celebrations the King’s wishes are shared and he announces that she is betrothed to Mael’s estranged brother Aeddan.

Devastated with this news Fallon runs from the lavish party with a plan forming in her mind. Mael follows and she shares her plan to run away with him to start a new life. With a determination for freedom Fallon readies to leave her life behind and runs off into the night.

Just as she leaves she stumbles upon Mael and his brother fighting over Fallon. To her dismay Mael is killed and she runs for her life, away from her betrothed, her father and her princess status. Shortly after fleaing Fallon is captured by slave traders and is sold to an elite training school for female gladiators. This particular school is owned by Caesar himself the very person who is to blame for her sister’s death.

Fallon not only has to overcome her hatred for Caesar to survive she also has to battle with fellow bitchy gladiators, survive deadly fights and training obstacles and keep grave secrets that could not only ruin her life but her fellow trainees.  This tale is jam packed with action, surprises and strong female characters.

I really enjoyed this book. There are some elements that I dislike but overall it is a good read. It’s addictive and I will definitely be picking up the upcoming sequel.

It was great to pick up a historical book that is based in an era that I know little about. And witnessing a new period in time from a strong female’s perspective was enthralling.  The only other gladiator story I have experienced is Ridley Scott’s 2000 blockbuster with Russell Crowe.

Fallon is the kind of person you would love to be friends with. She has an awful lot of admirable characteristics. Overall I loved her strength and determination to get what she wants.

The the love story between Cai and Fallon was a nice element. Cai, a Roman soldier is the type of person that Fallon would avoid falling for. I mean her strong dislike for Romans would ordinarily lead me to believe she would prefer him dead. But hey-ho. I do love a forbidden romance.  It did annoy me slightly that she got over her true love and best friend (Mael) quite fast but the love story wasn’t at the forefront of the novel. It was a nice to see it on the side line and to be reminded of it every now and then. During the next instalment(s) it would be great to see a little bit more of how this relationship would work and what they have to overcome to be together.

As I have stated, I really did enjoy this book. However, there were several instances that I thought it could be improved. One particular point that I thought could be better was how some parts of the tale were rushed. I believe that Livingstone didn’t go into enough detail throughout vital moments of the story. For example, when Fallon first runs away from home she was caught instantly. I feel like it would have been much more interesting if she has survived a little longer. Yes, she is a brave, strong independent character and all of this is portrayed throughout the rest of the book but this could have been demonstrated an awful lot more outside of fight scenes. We could have experienced her living in the wilderness for a little while before her capture. I believe this would have helped us get a deeper understanding of Fallon’s character.

I loved how the representation of strong women started from the very beginning of the book and the friendship between two strong female characters made this story better. Fallon and Elka’s relationship is great. It was so nice to experience a friendship where the two characters are so different yet they complement each other so well.

I recommend this book for anyone who loves an action packed read full of strong, inspiring female characters.

 

Rating:
3.5 Stars

 

Memorable Quote:
There is only forward. Only tomorrow. No yesterday, no going back. And nothing of value is left behind, so nothing is truly lost.

 

 

I dare you book tag

I found this on sydneysshelves blog and had to give it a go. 

RULES:
You must be honest
You must answer all the questions. You must tag 4 people. 
1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?

I remember buying Northanger Abbey when I was around 15 years old and that book is definitely on my shelf.  I left most of my childhood books at my mums when I moved to university and she gave a lot of them away after I moved to Sunderland perminantly. I believe Northanger Abbey might be the book that has been on my shelf the longest. 

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

My current read is Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo and I’m really struggling to get into it. My last read was Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas and my next read will be Kings Cage by Victoria Aveyard. 

3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?

At the moment I’m really struggling with Six of Crows. I’m only a couple of chapters in and I’m determined to continue on for a while longer. I just hope it can grab my attention. 

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t? 

I keep telling myself that I will read Gone with the Wind by Margeret Mitchell but I’ve seen the film so many times I don’t think I could make it through the book without comparing and I love the film too much! 

5. What book are you saving for retirement?

I’m not one for saving books. If I want to read it I will read it. 

6. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?

Wait until the end. I think I did this once and I have never forgiven myself. 

7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

Definitely not a waste of paper and ink. I can understand why people write them. I wrote one myself in my masters dissertation. I just don’t read them as often as I probably should. 

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

I don’t think I could ever have one definitive answer for this question, my mind changes all the time. However, I wouldn’t mind switching places with Claire Randall at this moment in time. Hello Jamie Fraser. (Outlander) 

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time person?) 

The Twilight series reminds me of college. Michael Morpurgo’s Friend or Foe reminds me of my year 5 teacher Mrs Burton, I reread it a few months ago and I was reminiscing about primary school.  Bronte’s Wuthering Heights reminds me of undergrad and dissertation library sessions. This list could go on and on. 

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

I really don’t have an answer for this one. How boring am I? 

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

My mum gave all my children’s books away. I was so angry with her but then she told me where they had gone and I was a little more forgiving. I’ve never really given my books away to anyone. I’ve recommended and I’ve let my friends borrow books but that’s about it. 

12. Which book has been with you most places?

My Tess of the D’urbervilles book by Thomas Hardy and Bronte’s Jane Eyre have both been to every single house I have lived in since I left home in 2010. I’ve lived in 6 places, soon to be 7. I’m not going to lie, with my kindle and nook I don’t tend to take books away with me. I prefer to use my suitcase space for shoes when I go on holiday! I’ve probably read into this question wrong but there is no other way for me to answer it. 

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later? 

Shelley’s Frankenstein!  I remember having to write about it in year 11 for my GCSE’s. I ended up writing my masters dissertation on it years later. 

14. Used or brand new?

Both, used books help out on the money front. I get to buy more books if they are used as they’re cheaper.

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Nope and I don’t think I will either. 

16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

The Notebook by Nicolas Spark. 

17. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

I have an Asian cuisine cook book on my shelf that gets me every time. Sadly, the boyf isn’t a fan and he prefers Italian food. I don’t think I’ve used it since we moved in together which was years ago! 

18. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

My mum! She doesn’t read often, it tends to be when someone recommends something to her but if she enjoys it it’s got to be good. It just sucks because most of the time what she reads just isn’t for me. I hate crime, horror and thriller books! 

19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving? 

Ooo urm I’m not sure. I recently watched Testament of Youth – a true story based on a young woman’s life during the First World War. I tend to stay away from novels based on true events but I bought the book and it is currently on my tbr pile. I really wanted to give it a go. Fingers crossed I will enjoy it! 

Review 7 ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ Sarah J Maas

Hi guys,

 

Review time – A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J Maas

 

Spoiler alert!

 

The hardest thing about writing about this book is that so much happens and there is too much to write about in a summary.  I don’t even think it is possible to make this brief.

A court of Thorns and Roses is a Beauty and the Beast retelling.  Feyra is a young woman with the whole world on her shoulders. Her family lost their fortune, and since her mother’s death she has taken it upon herself to look after her two sisters (Nesta and Elaine) and her father. As the bread winner of the family she provides them with meals as often as she can and after one extraordinarily lucky hunt Feyra returns home with a deer and a wolf. Not only will this feed them all for a while but it will also provide them with fur for clothing and extra money at market.

Unbeknown to Feyra the wolf she killed was a Fae. Now, the relationship between humans and fae is pretty much non existent. They hate each other!  Humans had once been slaves for the faerie race and for centuries they had both abided rules to ensure they lived in peace. Feyra killing the wolf broke the treaty between them and a beast like faerie soon went after Feyra demanding payment. She was given a choice; she could either pay with her life or she was to return to Prythian with the beast to live out the rest of her days over the wall in the faerie realm.

Feyra chose the latter and the Beast, also know as Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court takes her away. She is surprised by the amount of freedom she is awarded by Tamlin when she arrives at the Spring Court, He provides her with anything she needs or wants and even ensures that her family are taken care of. As time passes Feyra begins to trust Tamlin more and more along with his friend Lucien.

One night, during the Fae’s solstice celebration Feyra is asked to stay locked in the estate. Well she’s not really asked it’s more of a demand but Feyra’s own curiosity gets the better of her and she wanders off to explore the activities. Whilst she is there she walks into trouble, literally. It’s like she is a magnet for it.  She is saved by a stranger named Rhysand. Rhysand like Tamlin is a high fae however, he has an alliance with the Queen which is deeply frowned upon. Escaping Rhysand’s clutches Lucien finds Feyra and before she gets into anymore trouble she is returned to the estate.

Tamiln and Feyra’s relationship grows following the solstice celebrations and it isn’t long after that Feyra’s life is once again put in jeopardy. Rhysand arrives at the Spring Court and whilst intimidating Tamlin and Lucien he finds Feyra. There is drama, a lot of testosterone and things spiral out of control once again. For her own protection she gives Rhysand a fake name thinking all will be well. Tamlin thinks otherwise and he sends Feyra back to the human realm.

Unhappy with Tamlin’s orders Feyra can’t just go back to living her life. She can’t settle and doesn’t fit in with her family anymore.  She believes Tamlin is in trouble and after realising she loves him she needs nothing more but to find her way back to him. She makes her way back to the Spring Court to find it abandoned and wrecked. One servant remains (Alis) and she explains that a curse has been placed on Tamlin. This was done by the Queen. Now Queen Amarantha has a strong hatred for humans and has had Tamlin cursed for 49 years after he refused to become her lover. The only way this curse could be broken was if he made a human fall in love with him and the human that falls in love with him must have killed a Fae out of hatred (the wolf remember). After failing to get Feyra to proclaim her feelings Tamlin has become a slave / prisoner of the Queen’s. (I use the terms loosely but it becomes clear something epic is going to have to happen to free him). The staff at the Spring Court were not allowed to explain this to Feyra while she was at the Spring Court and after this revelation a new wave of determination instills into Feyra as she sets out to save Tamlin from the Queen’s clutches.

(This is getting so long, if you’re still with it I applaud you!)

Feyra is soon captured  by the Queen and to save Tamlin, Feyra has to complete three ridiculously impossible tasks or answer a riddle. Unable to work out the answer of the riddle Feyra battles through each of the tasks. After the first task she is badly wounded and it soon turns infected. Rhysand (remember the High Fae with the alliance with the Queen, will turns out he’s her whore? (Is there even a word for a male whore?))  forces Feyra to make a deal with him, he will heal her and save her from dying from a fever but she is to spend a week of every month with him for the rest of her life. He tattoos her to mark their deal and has pleasure flaunting it in front of Tamlin while Feyra is held captive.

Feyra completes all three tasks to the Queens dismay and just when you think everything will all be well, the Queen turns even more psycho. She goes back on her word and murders Feyra in the most brutal way. On the brink of death Feyra solves the riddle and the Queen’s curse is broken. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to save Feyra. Amazingly there is one more twist in the tale as the High Fae’s come together and share their powers with her. This raises her from the dead but also turns her into a High Fae in the process.

The tale ends with Feyra dwelling on the choices she made in the Queen’s dungeons, in the arms of her true love and an eternity with him ahead of her.

Now there is so much missing from this summary, probably some vital parts but when it gets to over a thousand words on the word count  it’s like I have written one of my first year university assignments minus the conclusion. Too long!

Finally, my thoughts…

I went into this book knowing it had mixed reviews but after an awful reading slump it was great to find something new to read that had gained my attention. The amount of books I had picked up and put straight back down again after the first ten pages was increasing at a frustrating pace and it could not have arrived at a more perfect time. I had totally forgot this series existed and when looking into upcoming releases for 2017 I saw that the third instalment was due for release in May. I looked into the series and went ahead and bought the first two books. I’m kinda glad I did! Three cheers for this book that finally broke the reading slump!

I absolutely adored how this book was not a carbon copy of Beauty and the Beast. Sarah J Maas’ imagination is just incredible and this story proves just how much this genre and style of writing suits her. The connection between this tale and Beauty and the Beast was so loose it was great to experience it in a brand new way. It’s important to state that all the vital parts of the original tale were included and it was all incorporated into more mature and adult friendly story that held my attention from beginning to end. In a number of retellings I have read it’s been the exact same as the original tale, it has been just as childlike as the Disney version and I’ve been left unimpressed.  This was great!

There was a perfect amount of romance in this book and it did not overshadow the adventure and fantasy elements. The pace of the book was great and there were very few dull moments if any at all. Yes, I know people will disagree but psssh I don’t care. It was an addictive and emotional read all the way through and I really did love it!

I like Feyra as a protagonist, there were some instances throughout the book where she annoyed me but I soon got over them. She was strong, determined and fierce from the beginning. The life she was living pre Prythian was admirable, in particular her determination to survive and care for her family. Feyra was a lot more emotional than I expected her to be. I though this was a nice trait to include especially with a lot of the heroines we are getting in other books within this genre at the moment.

Now, Tamlin. Oh Tamlin. He’s so dreamy. Who’d have thought Faeires could be hot? He is a perfect blend of mystery, confidence and manliness. Well that is until the end when he is in the Queen’s clutches and then everything just changed and I was left disappointed and pissed at him. I just don’t get how he could sit there and watch the ‘love of his life’ go through so much shit without doing something about it. He could have at least tried. Yes, I know he’s stuck in an awful position with a psycho queen controlling him but it’s the love of his life. He should not have just sat there. Brownie points were lost! It felt as though Rhysand was more concerned about Feyra which is slightly irritating because I can see where this is heading. It’s pretty clear there is going to be some kind of love triangle between the three of them throughout the next book.

I’ve heard that A Court of Mist and Fury is so much better that this instalment and if that is true I am definitely in for a treat. I’m so glad I gave into this series, I’m thankful it brought me out of the reading slump in and I cannot wait to get my hands on the second book!

 

Memorable quote:

“Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy.”

 

Rating:

4 stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading Slumps and life.

Hi Guys,

So I’ve had a particular busy few months which has caused my lack of posts. Hopefully as March approaches everything will now settle down and I’ll be able to dedicate more free time to my writing and reading.

The boyf and I have been going through a mortgage and I’ve got to tell you I didn’t think it would be this stressful. It’s been an emotional roller-coaster from the get go. We were given great news but that was short lived and that swiftly changed to bad news. Then that bad news had more bad news attached to it. Eventually we found a solutions and we are in a good position, come May the paperwork can be sent back off and we will have our beautiful house. If there is one thing I have learnt from this process is not to get my hopes up straight away. I mean I’m not solely to blame. Our offer was accepted and the bank approved the mortgage, when they retract their offer I was bound to be left disappointed but like I said, we found a resolution and the house we put an offer in is still going to be ours. Fingers crossed it will all be well from now on.

I visited home this month. It’s a rare occurrence and my favourite thing to do. I saw everyone and had a huge catch up. Obviously I was spoilt rotten. Endless amount of food was available without me having to actually cook and I drank so much it was like being a student again. The long weekend I spent at home  was as amazing as always. It weird to think that it was only last weekend, especially as this weekend I have spent my time off work sitting with my laptop, green tea and endless amounts of paracetamol and tissues. This cold  just needs to go away!

With everything that has been going on this past month or two I seem to have found myself in a reading slump. The worst reading slump I’ve been in for a while. My reading list is ridiculously long and I haven’t even started making a dent in it. Friends of mine who are into the ‘New Adult’ genre have been sending me books to read and I’ve been more into them than my list. I do love a good romance, especially if it is an easy read that has a predictable ending. Sadly, they haven’t helped with this issue.

Hopefully March will bring less stress, more free time and my reading slump will disappear. I really want to attack my current to read pile. Due to the slump I have decided to go with the flow this month. There will be no ‘to read list’ or  ‘to read post’, I think the best way to get through this is to pick up the book that takes my fancy on that particular day.  I do intend to stick to books that I have not read yet. There will definitely be no re-reads this month and I will try to not stray from my current list. Though it is pay day weekend I feel there may be new purchases to come.

As always I’m taking book recommendations. Especially if they are bound to get me out of this slump. Have you got a specific book that helped bring you out of a slump? Just let me know.

 

Lucy xx

Review 6 ‘Last Year’s Mistake’ Gina Ciocca

Hi guys,

Review time – Last Year’s Mistake, Gina Ciocca

 

Spoiler alert!

 

Her family moving away couldn’t have come at a better time for Kelsey, a new school, a new look and a new attitude to life was all it took to hide her past. That is until former best friend David appears back in her life during their senior year. This puts her new life in turmoil as secrets of her past life could ruin everything she has worked for. Last Year’s Mistake follows Kelsey journey as she rekindles her friendship with David and their misunderstandings are cleared up.

It’s a dramatic YA contemporary that I really did not enjoy. Usually if I dislike something I can rant about it for hours and I’m really going to have to reign it in a little.

I was quite looking forward to reading this book. As everyone knows I love a good cheesy romantic contemporary novel but I found this book to be predictable, annoying and boring. It was such a let down.

Neither of the characters know what they want which is extremely infuriating. I believe that the ending would have been better for them to both go their separate ways. To figure shit out instead of getting together for the hell of it which I think is what happened. They could not make their minds up about their feelings for so long and I personally believe that Ciocca rushed the ending a little by getting David and Kelsey together.

Kelsey and David’s friendship/relationship was irritating. The misunderstanding was ridiculous and was easily solved. I’m not going to lie I wouldn’t run away from something like that. I would have confronted him and found out the truth then and there. They were best friends it wouldn’t have been too hard to ask for an explanation and resolve the issue. But no! Kelsey runs away from the one person she is supposed to trust the most and then goes against everything she believed.

Urgh, the fact that Kelsey changes her self and becomes something she is totally against was not ok! I was definitely brought up to be myself and to never change for anyone else. If someone doesn’t like me then they aren’t worth it as my mum used to say to me. I hated how she thought she needed to change herself and becomes ‘popular’. It’s so stupidly annoying.

All the characters in the book are complete dicks and my opinion will not change.

It didn’t take me too long to complete this book and for that I’m glad as I was able to start something more interesting. Although I didn’t like it I did want to know what happened at the end so I kept at it. It’s a thing I do, I hate not completing a book. I think this has happened once and I’m still considering going back to finish it.

 

Memorable Quote:

Not happening!

 

Rating:

I rate this book 2 stars.

The book does earn one good comment from me. The format of the book gets it an extra star. I did like how the past and present were alternated throughout the story.

 

 

 

 

Lucy xx