September Wrap-Up

September Wrap-Up

So this post is super late and it’s going to be brief for so many reasons but without boring you here is my September wrap-up.

With trips home at the beginning of the month and awful things thrown in in between I’ve been a little preoccupied. Sadly, not much reading took place over September.

I have managed a total of four and a half books this month which is awful.

 

Image result for controversial princess

The Controversial Princess – Jodi Ellen Malpas

On a busy Friday rush hour train choosing something to read that requires my sole attention is probably the worst decision I could make. I get distracted too easily when I’m on trains. I will start up a conversation with the person at the side of me and my concentration disappears. A clear example of this is when I was heading down to Sheffield at the beginning of the month. A lecturer from The University of Sheffield sat down at the side of me and we chatted most of the way home about EVERYTHING. Our studies, our favourite classics, why we moved away from home and never moved back. The list goes on. With easy reads I can dip in and out of them without losing my place and forgetting things. Jodie Ellen Malpas’ writing is so easy to ready and follow so it is great for these moments.

 

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Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas

At the beginning of the month I decided to re-read Maas’ Throne of Glass so I could continue with the series. This backfired. As soon as I had completed the book and I was ready to move onto Crown of Midnight I found a copy of A Discovery of Witches. I’d heard that the show was coming out and all of the reviews online had hinted that it needed to be read so obviously I had to buy it.  The Throne of Glass series has been forgotten for the time being. I’ll get to it eventually I just hope this is sooner rather than later.

 

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A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness

I am so glad a picked this book up when I did. I LOVE IT! It’s my favourite read this year so far. My review was uploaded a little while ago if you want to check it out. After reading the first instalment I needed Shadow of Night in my life. As usual when there is a huge hype about a book Amazon run out of their copies and there was a pre-order system going on. After stewing over the wait time for a while I decided to order elsewhere. (I am happy to announce my new books have arrived and I own the complete series)

 

I have only just noticed how specific my selection of books was during September. It seems I was in a Deborah Harkness and Sarah J Maas mood.

 

Image result for a court of frost and starlight

A Court of Frost and Starlight – Sarah J Mass

This is by far my worst read of September. I hated it. This is a new experience for me with Maas’ writing. I don’t think she has ever disappointed me before. I just can’t get over how poor this book was. Yes, I know it was a novella and it was released to fill the gap between Feyre’s story and the upcoming new release but the writing was dreadful and the way the characters were portrayed just didn’t work for me.

 

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Shadow of Night – Deborah Harkness

I am still reading this book and was debating whether to add it to my wrap-up but I don’t think I could have finished the month with a total of 4 books. It would just make a shitty month even worse. This book has been stated and will be finished shortly.

 

Lucy
xx

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REVIEW – A COURT OF FROST AND STARLIGHT

Image result for a court of frost and starlightBook: A Court of Frost and Starlight
Author:
 Sarah J Maas
Genre: YA 
Fantasy
Release Date:  1 May 2018
Pages: 250(ish)

My Rating:  2 Stars 

Goodreads

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

Review

So, it’s time for me to actually write down my thoughts on Sarah J Maas’ A Court of Frost and Starlight. People seem to be loving this book and honestly, I just don’t get it. The last thing I want to do is offend someone who really enjoyed this book but each to their own. I was so disappointed with this book. There were so many problems with it and absolutely nothing happened.

I was expecting so much more from this story. Maybe it’s because I have so much love for the series. From what I understood going into this story, it was a bridge between the old series and the upcoming new release. I thought everything would have been tied up and closed neatly in preparation for the next instalment. In my opinion this did not happen, and I am left feeling a little sad that Sarah’s writing for the first time has made me feel blah. I don’t even know what to call this mood that I am in.

At the end of A Court of Wings and Ruin I was a little sad that Feyre and Rysand’s story had come to an end. After learning this novella was being released I was a little excited because I’d be getting a bit more from the two of them. Never in a million years did it cross my mind that it would get to the point where I am over them and their relationship. I think this book just took it too far.

I know this book is focusing on the end of the war and how the group are moving on with their lives and coping with the aftermath of everything but there are things that I’m really struggling to appreciate. Feyre’s ongoing battle with having nothing to having everything got tiresome.  Additionally, Rysand’s constant I’m horny attitude got on my nerves real quick. I’m all for a little smut but I didn’t expect so much of it in a YA book. The worst thing is that it was cringeworthy and badly written. Especially in the later chapters. There was too much of and it was not needed. Image result for gag gif

“Do you want to begin at the wall, or finish there?”

NO!!!!!!!!!!! In  a YA book I think things should be left to the imagination. Especially if it’s badly written.

A part of the book that I hated involved Amren. Out of all the things we could have learnt about Amren from her past or currently life experiences Maas focused on her toilet habits. Since when has this been an interesting topic for anyone to discuss with their friends? Just no. That was a moment that could have easily been avoided.

Then there is Tamiln. Yes he’s the villain. He did some horrible stuff throughout the other books and everyone hates him. We get it. He’s lost everything. He’s alone and he’s clearly suffering. There was definitely no need for Rhysand to behave like he did.  I feel like this was taken way too far. Rhysand’s behaviour was just ridiculous. there was no need for the gloating and the ongoing ‘I want to kill him’ attitude. I think it is time that Tamlin is forgotten about and just left alone. The story can continue quite easily without him.

The fact that Maas included so many different perspectives in such a short book was great. I was so pleased to find out that we would be able experience the thought process of other characters.  Like Cassian and Mor. However, this was ruined with the first person and third person switch over. I don’t understand how it was okay for Feyre and Rhysand’s point of views to be written in a first-person narrative, but all the other characters getting a third person narrative. I just feel that the book would have flowed so much better if everything was the same. It doesn’t even matter which one. As long as it was the same the entire way through.

I feel like this book was pointless. The only positive thing to come out of this book was the teaser for the next instalment. After reading this book I’m actually relieved that Feyre and Rhysand’s story is over. I don’t think I can take any more of their relationship and point of view(s). We get it. They’re mates. They’re supposed to be together forever. It’s so shitty that a short novella can ruin two characters that you used to love. Can we just pretend that I never read this so that they can just stay great?

I can’t lie. It’s about time something new came out that focused on the side characters. I will absolutely be reading the next instalment(s). I just hope that it isn’t as forced and pointless as A Court of Frost and Starlight is.

The only reason this book got two stars was for the teaser at the end of the book. My fingers are crossed that the next book is an improvement.

 

Was anyone else as disappointed with this book as me?

 

Lucy
xx

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Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday

It’s Top 5 Wednesday time.

This weeks topic is:

Top 5 Book Covers

 

Once again this is an awesome Top 5 Wednesday topic.

Now, when it gets to book covers the simpler the better. I hate it when they are over complicated and there is too much cramped into a small space.

Every so often an amazing cover will catch my eye and it usually deserve a spot on my wall instead of on a bookshelf but it is a rarity.

I just have a preference for simple, eye catching book covers with a little bit of colour.

There are way too many covers out there to choose from and the 5 that I have chosen are not in any specific order.

So here are 5 of my favourite covers from my ever-growing list:

 

Colleen Hoover – Confess

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I love this book cover. I was scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest one afternoon and this book randomly popped up.  I bought it straight. It’s so pretty! I think it was around the time the TV show aired in the US.

 

Neil Gaiman – Norse Mythology 

Image result for norse mythology neilImage result for norse mythology neil

I am obsessed with history and mythology and I heard about this book and wanted to read it. When I saw the book cover I got even more excited because I love it. This book was published with both a black and a white cover and although I like both the black cover is my favourite. It just really stood out to me.

I went to Budapest over the summer and due to a layover in Amsterdam and the 2 short flights in both directions I wanted something I could pick up and put back down easily without interruption. This is why short stories are great when travelling.

I intended to buy this at the airport before taking off to Amsterdam. Sadly, when I arrived they had sold out of the black cover. I looked around for a while to see if there was anything else I wanted to read but I couldn’t find anything, so I ended up buying the white one. I can’t lie I have no regrets it’s still beautiful.

 

Deborah Harkness – A Discovery of Witches 

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There are several covers for this book but just look at this one. It made it onto my favourite list straight away. It’s simple, effective and beautiful. It depicts important elements of the story brilliantly. The photography and the splash of colour just grab your attention straight away and I don’t have much to say other than I really do love it.

 

Naomi Novik – Uprooted

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Look how beautiful this cover is. One again it is simple with a splash of colour. You should be able to see the trend in my favourite book covers at this point. It’s a wonderful tale with a pretty cover that suits the story completely.

 

Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus

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I saw The Night Circus cover a long time after the hype of the book died down. I was in a charity shop browsing the shelves and this one just stood out. I know that there are so many different covers for this book and I honestly love them all. The one pictured above is the one on my bookshelf.

This is a story that I went into blind. I bought the book due to the book cover. I remember telling my friend that I had bought it and she started raving about the story. She had really enjoyed it and I’m so glad that I picked it up.

 

 

I literally can’t pick just one favourite book cover. Can you? What is your favourite cover?

 

 

Lucy
xx

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February Wrap Up

As if it is March already! The beginning of spring is here, although the weather outside may lead you to believe otherwise. I do love snow but after 48 hours of nothing but blizzards and wind it does become a nuisance. Thankfully, everything seems to be back to normal now and I’m looking forward to the warmer weather and longer days that spring will bring.

February was a great month. I didn’t read much at all but it was to be expected with everything my boyfriend and I had planned.

Books

Everless (Everless #1), Sarah Holland

Image result for everlessIn the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

Goodreads

Review

I was instantly intrigued by the concept of this book and as soon as I read the synopsis I could not wait to pick it up and experience a new fantasy world.  I remember watching the film ‘In Time’ starring Justin Timberlake and really enjoying it so a book with a similar plot got me all excited.

Although the premise was promising the story really fell short for me from character development to the predictable moments within the story. Now don’t get me wrong it wasn’t all predictable and the end of the novel was a lot more interesting than the beginning. It just did not grasp my attention as a book should and I found myself getting bored while reading it over and over again.

The possibility of me reading the second novel in the series is quite slim and Everless did not help pull me out of the major reading slump I was stuck in during January.

 

Hunted, Meagan Spooner

HuntedBeauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

Goodreads

Review

After the struggle of reading Everless I really needed a good book to read. I picked up Hunted in Barnes and Nobel on my holiday and I had really high expectations. Especially after seeing all the hype surrounding this book on booktube and within the blogging world. I have always loved my fairytale retellings and after reading Naomi Novik’s Uprooted it was time to find another mesmerising tale to dig me out of my reading slump.

I really hated this book. I was so close to DNTing it on a number of occasions but I was determined to persevere and make it to the end.

There were so many occurrences within the book that I though the story could have gone without and the relationships between a number of the characters including Yeva and the Beasts really irritated me.

Although I have so many negative opinions on this book I do have to admit the the writing itself was beautiful. It was a well written story. I just really did not enjoy the story itself or the characters.

 

TV

Doctor Foster (Series 2)

Image result for doctor fosterA trusted GP sees her charmed life explode when she suspects her husband of an affair. As she uncovers secrets that shock her to the core, how will Dr Gemma Foster react?

Doctor Foster

Hell hath no fury like a woman scored.

I watched series one of Doctor Foster when it first aired on BBC One back in 2015. I stumbled upon it by accident and I was hooked from the first episode. I found myself counting down the week for the next episode.

So when it was confirmed that a second series would be made I was so happy, although a little reluctant to watch it. Why ruin something that ended in the perfect way?

Unfortunately, due to commitments I missed the second series when it aired on tv. However, it was recorded ready for me to watch when I had some free time. I just never got around to it.

I had a long haul flight this month and it was the perfect opportunity to catch up with the show. Especially as British Airways had the entire series as part of their inflight entertainment.

I devoured the series during my flight to New York and I can tell you it did not disappoint. It was an emotional rollercoaster that made my blood boil one minute and left me in tears the next.

The ending itself broke my heart and although a third season to end the heartbreak would make me ecstatic I think it should be left be.

I have so much praise for this show and recommend that everyone watches it.

 

Peaky Blinders

Image result for peaky blindersA gangster family epic set in 1919 Birmingham, England and centered on a gang who sew razor blades in the peaks of their caps, and their fierce boss Tommy Shelby, who means to move up in the world.

Peaky Blinders

My dad got me into this show. I never thought I’d see the day where he would obsess over something that is not football or western related. I mean if he’s not at the footy you can guarantee he’s watching some old ‘classic’ cowboy western.

During the christmas and new year holidays I binge watched the first three series’ of this show. I was instantly hooked. I do love a historical show! I am aware that this has been over-exaggerated for TV but it has become one of my favourite shows.

I started series four this month but I have decided to take my time with it. Season five is in production and I am so excited that it hasn’t been cancelled but 2019 is too far away to have to wait for a new episode once they run out.

If you haven’t already seen Peaky Blinders where have you been? I cannot recommend it enough. My Dad can’t recommend it enough. I quote “It’s reyt good, you need to watch it! And can you please order me a new flat cap. I have a grey and brown one. I need a black one”. Thomas Shelby: My dads new fashion icon.

 

Reign

Image resultMary, Queen of Scots, faces political and sexual intrigue in the treacherous world of the French court.

Reign

Whilst flying from Newcastle to London I was chatting to the woman sitting by me. We were taking about history and adaptations of historical events. She stated taking about a show she had watched recently called Reign.  During the recent bad weather I was scrolling through Netflix and it popped up. With a cup of tea in hand I decided to give it ago.

Now, I am not going to lie and say it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I could happily live without it in my life. There are so many things that infuriate me about this show as a person who loves history. It’s ridiculously unrealistic from the costume design to the way the characters behave.

I understand it is a tv drama and most productions these days are not historically accurate (I mean Peaky Blinders is one of them) but it is like watching an episode of 90210 or Gossip Girl set in the 1500s. Mary Queen of Scots’ life is a something I read about often, it is such a riviting topic and it didn’t need the modernisation and untruthful adaptation to make it interesting.

I suppose it was created this way just to gain the attention of teenage girls and to glorify life during this time period.

I am still watching this show and I do intend to finish all seasons because I want to see what else is changed for the purpose of entertainment.

 

Everything else

NEW YORK!

The boyfriend and I went to New York in February. Our first trip away since we bought our home last summer.

I won’t go into much detail as I do intend to write a post about this trip in the future.

I will say that it was everything I expected it to be and more. Amazing atmosphere, Fantastic food and it was one memorable moment after another. We were constantly on the move because we didn’t want to missing anything and I cannot wait to go back.

I think one of the main reasons I didn’t read much this month was because of this trip. The week before I was packing, shopping and cleaning (for two I might add as the boyfriend was not very helpful when it got to the packing part). The week after we returned I spent every free minute sleeping. It is safe to say that I do not cope well jet lagged while working 40 hour weeks. It was worth every minute of suffering though!

 

 

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My most anticipated releases for 2018

Happy new year everyone!

I can’t believe how fast 2017 went by.

I’ve mentioned previously that I had a tough 2017 and my attention was needed elsewhere so my focus on reading really did dwindle.

This year I am hoping to stick to my reading plans and there are definitely a number of books that I am really excited to get to.

To be prepared (which is really not like me) I have broken down my most anticipated reads by month.

January

Image result for the Cruel Prince The Cruel Prince, Holly Black
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
Goodreads

32320661

Everless, Sara Holland
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.
Goodreads

The Hazel Wood

The Hazel Wood, Melissa Albert
Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.
Goodreads

 

February

35181314 Heart of Iron, Ashley Poston
Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.

Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.

When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.

What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?
Goodreads

 

March

34499221

To Kill a Kingdon, Alexandra Christo
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?
Goodreads

 

April

30238163Ace of Shades, Amanda Foody
Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.
Goodreads

 

May

27188596War Storm (Red Queen #4), Victoria Aveyard
Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.
Goodreads

31076583

A Court of Frost and Starlight, (A Court of Thrones and Roses #3.1) Sarah J Maas
Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated—scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.
Goodreads

35997816

Royals, Rachel Hawkins
Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but

Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.
Goodreads

 

June

31179006Sweet Black Waves, Kristina Pérez
Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them.

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what’s right, even as her powers grow beyond her control, will set Branwen against both her best friend and the only man she’s ever loved.

Inspired by the star-crossed tale of Tristan and Eseult, this is the story of the legend’s true heroine: Branwen. For fans of Graceling and The Mists of Avalon, this is the first book of a lush fantasy trilogy about warring countries, family secrets, and forbidden romance.
Goodreads

 

July

36502054Sea Witch, Sarah Henning
Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch.

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.

The rise of Hans Christian Andersen’s iconic villainess is a heart-wrenching story of friendship, betrayal, and a girl pushed beyond her limits—to become a monster.
Goodreads

August

35796008Dance of Thieves, Mary E. Pearson
A new novel in the New York Times–bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.

When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty’s resentment and anger.

At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.
Goodreads

 

 

 

Strangely, I don’t have any anticipated reads for the rest of the year at this time. I am really looking forward to  the above books and I can guarantee that my most anticipated reads list will grow and grow. This is not the final list. Where would the fun be in that?

I really want to know what are you looking forward to reading this year? Am I missing anything to you?

Once again, a very happy new year to you. I hope you have a happy and prosperous 2018.

Lucy xx

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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 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.  Brownie points were lost! It felt as though Rhysand was more concerned about Feyra. I feel like we’re heading towards a love triangle.

I’ve heard that A Court of Mist and Fury is so much better than 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:

3.5 stars