Tuesday 30 June 2015

My 10 Favourite Books I've Read So Far in 2015

Just before I started typing up this post I had a quick look back at my 2014 So Far post, and I was some sort of reading demon last year! I had read 57 books?! I bow down to my previous awesome, ‘cause this year hasn’t been quite as good. In 2015 I’ve read 39 so far. Not bad, but I’m beginning to feel my competitive side emerging and I’m doing my best to squash it before it takes over!

This year I mightn’t be reading as much, but in general, I’m enjoying the books I’m reading more. Out of the 39 books I read, I rated 31 of them 3 Stars or above. This is awesome! I have been a lot picker with the books I'm reading, and I'm happy I've at least liked the vast majority of what I've read so far this year.

Unsurprisingly, the ten books I've chosen have come from the right hand side of that pie-chart! But, to rank or not to rank, that's the decision I've been battling with. Choosing the books was fairly easy, but the actual ranking part is so hard! I have accomplished this painful task, and I’m trying to refrain from changing the order again…

I'm linking up with the Top Ten Tuesday meme, run by The Broke and the Bookish.

Books Ten - Six

End of Days by Susan Ee Cress by Marissa Meyer Tunnel Vision by Susan Adrian

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson Ensnared by A.G Howard

10End of Days by Susan Ee

9Cress by Marissa Meyer

8Tunnel Vision by Susan Adrian

7The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

6Ensnared by A.G Howard

My Top Five

5Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

I’d seen the hype for Snow Like Ashes, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. It was so entertaining and moreish, I loved it!

4Say Her Name by James Dawson

This is easily the best YA horror book I’ve read in a long, long time. Horror with blood flying everywhere doesn’t scare me, but when you have an atmosphere with a psychological element that slowly builds until you can cut the tension with a knife and then all hell breaks loose, oh gosh it’s awesome! I highly, highly recommend Say Her Name if you like scary books. Just… don’t say Bloody Mary five times into a mirror at midnight. And avoid dripping taps. And puddles. Just saying.

3The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

I was really hesitant to read The Winner’s Curse, but I’m so glad I gave in and read it a couple of weeks ago – I loved it! I had seen so much love for the trilogy all around the ‘sphere, I was so scared the hype monster would have gotten to me. I need to get my hands on book two!

2An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This. Book. Was. FABULOUS! I loved how dark, bleak and intense it was. For a YA book, I was really impressed with how far it went. Plus, I really liked the characters and that’s always a huge plus point for me!

1A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I don’t think choosing A Court of Thorns and Roses as my favourite of my favourites is too shocking! I read it back in February, and it’s the one book that’s hasn’t really left my mind since reading it. It’s a little early to call, but it’ll probably still be in my top three by the end of the year. Queen of Shadows IS on the horizon… so that could change things!

Have you read any of the books on my list? What did you think of them? And! Do we share any favourites? Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday 27 June 2015

June 2015 Wrap-Up

Life Re-Cap

I’ve been in lovely denial land for quite a while, and I think it’s about time I face up to the truth… I’m struggling with blogging right now. The passion I had last year has been missing for a while and sometimes it feels like I’m blogging on vapours. It’s so hard to describe how I’m feeling… kind of hollow and without a proper focus. When I think about blogging, the guilt starts to creep in about how I’ve let things slide, and I become overwhelmed with everything I need to do. It doesn’t help that the family situation I mentioned last month hasn’t improved. I won’t to go into that as this post is turning very depressing all of a sudden!

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone that's stuck by me the past few months that I've been all over the place. It means the world to me that you visit this little corner of the internet. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You don't know just how much it means to me. xx

I’m linking up to both Stacking the Shelves and The Sunday Post memes this weekend.

What I Read in June

Reading has become my big distraction this month – well, reading and playing The Sims 4! I gave in and bought the Get to Work expansion recently, and I like it. The vanilla base game was really disappointing, but this expansion pack has been a lot of fun. But, back to books!

I’ve read 6 books so far and DNF’d 1, which makes 7 books read, two months in a row! This is huge. I think I might be settling back into my old reading pattern. It’s taken three and a half months, but YAY!! It helps that I’ve read some awesome books this month. Oh gosh, I loved, loved, LOVED The Winner’s Curse, An Ember in the Ashes, and Snow like Ashes. WHY hadn’t I read them sooner?!

The Hit by Allen Zadoff Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine The Winner’s Curse  by Marie Rutkoski – 5 Stars

Give up the Ghost by Megan Crewe An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

The Hit by Allen Zadoff – 2.5 Stars
Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine – 3 Stars
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski – 5 Stars
Give up the Ghost by Megan Crewe - DNF
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – 5+ Stars
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke – 1.5 Stars
Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch – 4.5 Stars (maybe 5… haven’t decided!)

Wow, my star ratings have been all over the place! There is still some time left in June and I’m currently reading two books.

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan Waterfall by Lauren Kate

I started Waterfall at the beginning of the month, but it hasn’t really held my interest for long. I plan on chipping away at it and finish it as soon as I can. I plan to start Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan later on today, and I’d love to have it finished by the end of the month, but no rush.

Books I Got this Month

Does pre-ordering a book count? I did pre order Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas because Queen. Of. Shadows! It was physically impossible for me NOT to pre-order it at some stage.

Other than that, it’s zilch. Nada. Nothing. And this is a first! I feel strangely liberated by this, though. I’m finally chipping away at my TBR piles without replacing the books I’ve read with twice as many new books. I didn’t request or get any ARC’s either. I have one pending request, but that’s it. I’m determined to keep my Netgalley ratio nice and healthy now that it’s in good shape. My goal is to clear all Netgalley ARC’s on my to-read pile by the time Halloween rolls around. *Fingers crossed, knocks on wood, rubs a horseshoe, searches for a leprechaun for luck… totally normal stuff.*

On the Blog this Month

Review: Endgame by C.J. Daugherty

Books I'd Love to See on the Big (or Little) Screen

Review: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

My Summer 2015 TBR List

Review: The Hit by Allen Zadoff

Mini-Reviews: Midnight Alley and Give up the Ghost

Review: Twist by Karen Akins

What have you been up to this month? Any awesome reads you can recommend?

Have a fab weekend, and happy reading!

Friday 26 June 2015

Review: Twist by Karen Akins

Twist by Karen Akins book cover

Title: Twist
Author: Karen Akins
Series: Loop, #2
Format: Hardback, kindly provided
by the publishers in exchange for
a review. (Thank you!!)
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
My rating: 4.5 / 5

Add to Goodreads

Bree Bennis finally has it all—a non-comatose mother, an uber-hot (albeit anachronistic) boyfriend named Finn, and a new-found mission to protect the timeline from those who would skew it for their own gain. But when she leans over one day to smooch said boyfriend, her lips meet those of her arch-nemesis Wyck instead. The timeline has been altered, and Bree is caught in the crosshairs. But when she goes back to repair the damage, she is stopped by none other than her Future Self, who delivers an urgent message: Someone is kidnapping Shifters from the distant past. It’s up to Bree to stop them. But first, she has to figure out who... and why.

To follow the trail of chronocrumbs, Bree reluctantly accepts her new undercover gig as Wyck’s girlfriend. Everything goes spiffy until Finn shows up in the 23rd century on the eager arm of a gorgeous fellow Shifter, Blark. Even as Bree struggles with jealousy, she battles the nagging dread that Finn might be better off with someone less chronologically complicated. Her worst fear is confirmed when Finn becomes the kidnapper’s next victim. As Bree zeroes in on the culprit, they unravel her life one timeline-change at a time. She realizes that she alone has the power to save herself and everyone she loves. But to do that, she may lose Finn forever.

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

*I received a copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. This didn't influence my opinion in any way.*

I loved Twist so much! It was just as entertaining and fast paced as Loop, and oh gosh, the titles for this two-part series are simply perfection. The pacing is blisteringly fast, and the story twists, turns and loops on a hairs breath and keeps you on your toes from beginning to end - it’s fabulous!

Bree finally has a little normality and stability in her life after the events that took place in Loop. She almost up-to-date with correcting timeline changes and is beginning to feel like she has everything under control… until one evening when she’s on a date with Finn, and she leans over to kiss him, but ends up kissing Wyck instead. Someone is messing with the timeline, and Bree is firmly in their sights. When Shifters start going missing, it’s up to Bree to find the source of the changes and save the timeline from begin thrown into irreparable chaos. Little does she know just how tangled things are, and with some interference from Future Bree, correcting the timeline once and for all could cost Bree everything.

Both Bree and Finn are simply adorable characters! While we didn’t get quite as much Bree and Finn together time in Twist as we did in Loop, I still loved their banter when they were together. They both have really likeable personalities that bounce off each other so well, and this creates so many hilarious moments. Add in Bree’s snarkishly sassy inner monologue, and it’s so awesome to read! The entire story isn’t all fun and laughs though, and I felt so many emotions throughout the book and I went from laughing one minute to fighting off tears the next.

As I briefly mentioned earlier, the plot is VERY fast paced. When the story really began to kick off there is so much going on all at once, with dozens of different directions the plot can go in, and I really applaud the author for crafting this book so clearly. I loved the perfect balance of heart pounding action, lightning fast plot, and entertaining, humorous and adorable characters. There isn’t a dull moment, and I loved finding out everything right along with Bree, and I was afraid to blink or I’d miss something.

The ending, the ending, oh gosh, the ending! I just about had a heart-attack during that last chapter. I’m not going to say anything specific, don’t worry, but I loved how well wrapped up everything was, but it wasn’t without some heartbreak. I’m a little sad that this is the final book! I was hoping it would be a trilogy, and I’m not really ready so say goodbye to these characters.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed both Loop and Twist, and I highly recommend both books. Time-travel is such a tricky topic to pull of believably, and I thought Karen accomplished this brilliantly. Add in two adorable, courageous and loveable characters, and I’m completely in love! I can’t wait to see what other stories we get from her in the future – and I’m going to be over here living in hope that there might be something from Bree and Finn, too!

Wednesday 24 June 2015

WoW #55: The Secret Fire by C.J. Daugherty and Carina Rozenfeld

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I'm waiting on...

The Secret Fire

by C.J. Daugherty and Carina Rozenfeld

 The Secret Fire by C.J. Daugherty and Carina Rozenfeld book cover

Series: The Secret Fire, #1

Expected Publication: September 3rd 2015

Genres: Fantasy; Paranormal; Young Adult

Add to Goodreads

French teen Sacha Winters can't die. He can throw himself off a roof, be stabbed, even shot, and he will always survive. Until the day when history and ancient enmities dictate that he must die. Worse still, his death will trigger something awful. Something deadly. And that day is closing in.

Taylor Montclair is a normal English girl, hanging out with her friends and studying for exams, until she starts shorting out the lights with her brain. She’s also the only person on earth who can save Sacha.

There’s only one problem: the two of them have never met. They live hundreds of miles apart and powerful forces will stop at nothing to keep them apart.

They have eight weeks to find each other.

Will they survive long enough to save the world?

I love the sound of this so much! The cover does remind me of The Witch Hunter, but I still really like it. I haven’t read anything by Carina Rozenfeld, but I know just how amazing C.J. Daugherty’s books are, so I have very high expectations for The Secret Fire. I still have withdrawals from her Night School series! It has become one of my favourite series over the years and I can’t believe it’s concluded, but it’s awesome to have another book co-written by C.J. to look forward to, and it’s only a few months away! The Night School series is Contemporary, and I’m REALLY curious to see how she handles a Fantasy. The Secret Fire is the first book in a two part series, and I’m really excited about this. We get so many trilogies these days it’ll be nice to have a shorter series to look forward to!

What do you think of The Secret Fire? And what new releases are you waiting on this week?

Monday 22 June 2015

Mini-Reviews: Midnight Alley and Give up the Ghost

Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine book cover

Title: Midnight Alley
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Morganville Vampires, #3
Format: Paperback, owned
My rating: 3 / 5

Add to Goodreads

When Claire Danvers learned that her college town was run by vampires, she did what any intelligent, self-preserving freshman would do: She applied for a transfer and stocked up on garlic. The transfer is no longer an option, but that garlic may come in handy.

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

Midnight Alley is the third book in the Morganville Vampire series, and I’ll admit I’m starting to like this series despite its flaws. They’re quick and entertaining reads, and I really enjoy that the vampires are more blood thirsty than some of their YA counter parts of recent years.

I really liked that we got to learn more about why Morganville exists, and how the vampires came to inhabit the town. But this is the height of what I can take away from the book, and I can’t get away from feeling that Midnight Alley was all over the place. We have lots of Shane and Claire together. Roommate problems. A sprinkling of Amelie drama. Myrnin. Monica being… nice? Lots of random little things happened, but I don’t really see how they collectively came together to move the story forward.

While I like Claire, Shane, Michael and Eve in general, I don’t feel they’ve progressed or developed a whole lot since the beginning of the series. Claire, the genius that got into college at sixteen, continually makes stupid and irrational decisions. Shane is getting even more hot-headed and in honestly, it’s getting very frustrating to read. He needs to cop onto himself already! Both Eve and Michael sort of faded into the background despite having pretty big roles in the book, and it’s a shame as I felt they were two of the more memorable characters from the first two books. I don’t know what it is that’s addicting me to this series, but I need to know what happens next. Yes, maybe the cliff-hanger ending has a little something to do with it, but it’s more than that… that certain something I can’t put my finger on, but it’s got me hooked! I know it’s a long series and I’m really, really late starting it, so I think I’ll take it book-by-book, and see how far I get.

Give up the Ghost by Megan Crewe book cover

Title: Give up the Ghost
Author: Megan Crewe
Series: Standalone
Format: Paperback, owned
My rating: DNF

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Cass McKenna much prefers ghosts over “breathers.” Ghosts are uncomplicated and dependable, and they know the dirt on everybody…and Cass loves dirt. She’s on a mission to expose the dirty secrets of the poseurs in her school.

But when the vice president of the student council discovers her secret, Cass’s whole scheme hangs in the balance. Tim wants her to help him contact his recently deceased mother, and Cass reluctantly agrees.

As Cass becomes increasingly entwined in Tim’s life, she’s surprised to realize he’s not so bad—and he needs help more desperately than anyone else suspects. Maybe it’s time to give the living another chance….

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

DNF’d @ page 51

I might come back to Give up the Ghost at some stage in the future, but for now, it’s a DNF. I was under the impression that it was something along the lines of The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade – which I absolutely adored – but this wasn’t the case. I tried to stick it out as it’s a short read, but from the first chapter I could tell the book wasn’t for me. I didn’t click with the writing style, and I didn’t feel any sympathy or connection toward Cass. She came across as vengeful and bitchy and it became off-putting very quickly. Not my cuppa, unfortunately.

Saturday 20 June 2015

Dystopia Reading Challenge 2015

Tracy over at Cornerfolds is the new host for the Dystopia Reading Challenge. I love dystopian reads, and this sound like the perfect challenge for me! I'm a little late signing up, but better late than never, right?!

The guidelines for the challenge are as follows:

- This challenge will run from January 1, 2015 - December 31, 2015, and you can join at anytime.
- Books must be read and reviewed in 2015.
- Audiobooks, re-reads, short stories, and crossovers are fine.
- If you're a blogger, grab the button below and create a post or page about this challenge and your goals with a link back to this post.
- You don't have to be a book blogger to participate! You can track your progress on Goodreads, Shelfari, Booklikes, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc.
- Sign up on the designated Mr. Linky below with your post, shelf, etc. and comment on this post.
- There will be giveaways at the halfway point and at the end of the challenge in December.
- You can link your reviews here!

For this challenge I’m going to be at least a Recruit, but hopefully a Rebel. Reading and reviewing between 7 and 12 books feels like a realistic expectation, and that’ll be my aim for the rest of the year.

Technically, I’ve read five dystopian books so far this year, but I’m counting four of them toward this challenge. I read Gone by Michael Grant quite a few months ago but never reviewed it, and honestly at this stage, I doubt I will. I do plan on reviewing both End of Days and Cress very soon, but I’m WAY behind on review writing in general, and somehow, some way, I need to conquer my procrastinating ways!


  • Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee – Read and Reviewed
  • The Infinite by Lori M. Lee – Read and Reviewed
  • End of Days by Susan Ee – Read
  • Cress by Marissa Meyer – Read

Thanks for reading, and best of luck to everyone taking part in the challenge!

Thursday 18 June 2015

Review: The Hit by Allen Zadoff

The Hit by Allen Zadoff book cover

Title: The Hit
Previously published as
Boy Nobody, and I Am The Weapon
Author: Allen Zadoff
Series: The Unknown Assassin, #1
Format: eGalley, kindly provided
by the publishers via Netgalley for
review. (Thank you!!)
Publisher: The Hit by Allen Zadoff
My rating: 2.5 / 5

Add to Goodreads

Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school, in a new town, under a new name, makes few friends and doesn't stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend's family to die -- of "natural causes." Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, and moves on to the next target.

When his own parents died of not-so-natural causes at the age of eleven, Boy Nobody found himself under the control of The Program, a shadowy government organization that uses brainwashed kids as counter-espionage operatives. But somewhere, deep inside Boy Nobody, is somebody: the boy he once was, the boy who wants normal things (like a real home, his parents back), a boy who wants out. And he just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program's next mission.

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

This is one of those ‘it’s not the book, it’s me’ occasions. While I think the concept is fabulous, and I can see why so many people love The Hit, overall it didn’t really work for me. I was completely wrapped up in the story when I began reading, and I had really high hopes that I’d end up loving it. But, a pesky little thing called sleep had to happen so I had to put the book down. I don’t know why, but when I began reading again the following day, I couldn’t get back into the story. I didn’t grip my attention anymore, and the characters started to feel flat and one-dimensional. I’m intentionally keeping things quite vague in my review – I think it’s best to go into this book knowing very little about it. If at all possible, read it in one sitting! This is my biggest regret, and I’m pretty sure I would have completely fallen in love with it if I had.

The main character is the perfect representation of how I imagine a cold-hearted emotionless assassin would be. We don’t get to know his real name, but he takes the name ‘Benjamin’ for this particular assignment. I loved how cold and detached he was, but here in also lies my problem. The entire book is emotionless. I didn’t have anything to root for, my emotions weren’t engaged at any stage, and the characters felt a little too remote and distant. I’m a character focused reader, and I thrive on connecting and empathising with the characters in the books I read. Sadly, all of this was missing here and I had very little to root for. Add in a touch of insta-love… and you’ve lost me. The romance portion of the book didn’t feel real or believable and things progressed a little too quickly for my tastes.

Initially, I was a big fan of the writing style. It’s crisp, clinical, blunt and straight to the point and I felt it added a lot to ‘Ben’s’ character overall. Unfortunately, the more I read the less I enjoyed the style. It became tedious and took a great effort to remain focused on reading. I really wish I could have loved The Hit more. The concept intrigues me so much, but without connecting with the characters and a writing style that doesn’t really suit my reading tastes, I ended up feeling a bit disappointed.

Wednesday 17 June 2015

WoW #54: Oblivion by Kelly Creagh

This week, I'm waiting on...


by Kelly Creagh

Oblivion by Kelly Creagh book cover

Series: Nevermore, #3

Expected publication: July 28th 2015

Genres: Fantasy; Paranormal; Gothic; Young Adult;

Add to Goodreads

This electrifying conclusion to the Nevermore trilogy takes one last trip to the dream world of Edgar Allan Poe to reveal the intertwined fates of Isobel and Varen.

The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? —Edgar Allan Poe

The fine line between life and death blurred long ago for Isobel Lanley. After a deadly confrontation with Varen in the dreamworld, she’s terrified to return to that desolate and dangerous place. But when her nightmares resume, bleeding into reality, she is left with no choice. Varen’s darkness is catching up to her. To everything. Threatening to devour it all.

Isobel fears for her world. For her sanity and Varen’s—especially after a fresh and devastating loss. To make matters worse, the ghostly demon Lilith wants Varen for her own, and she will do anything to keep him in her grasp—anything.

Can Isobel ever find her happy ending? Worlds collide and fates are sealed in this breathtaking finale to the Nevermore trilogy.

Words cannot express how much I NEED this book in my life. RIGHT. FREAKING. NOW!! I was late to start the trilogy – I only read Nevermore in 2014 – but it still haunts me. Everything about the book I loved… the characters, the atmosphere, the writing style, EVERYTHING. I need to know how this trilogy ends, but I’m so scared! I really want a nice, sweet and happy ending but then I remember the trilogy is influenced by Edgar Allan Poe. Nice, sweet, or happy doesn’t really come to mind when I think of his works! I’m hopeful and terrified all at once, but I really expect this conclusion to be epic. I have complete trust that the wait will be worth it, but seriously, July 28th needs to arrive tomorrow. *Nods*

Have you read the Nevermore trilogy? What did you think of it? And what new releases are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday 16 June 2015

My Summer 2015 TBR List

I had a quick glance back at my Spring TBR list, and I had hoped to read at least five books out of ten.

I read two.

Well, there is a bright side to this: it can only get better from here!

I’m choosing books I already own so I can avoid the temptation of pre-ordering more!


We Were Liars Not a Drop to Drink

I bought both We Were Liars and Not a Drop to Drink when they were on sale last year, and they’ve been hidden away on my Kindle App ever since. I usually favour physical books over ebooks mainly because I walk right by my TBR bookshelves every time I walk in my bedroom door, and it's easier to pick a book that's right in front of me instead of rooting around on my iPad!

Physical Books

I’ve started so many different series, and I’d love to start catching up and keep up-to-date with new additions and releases. If I Should Die is the conclusion to the Revenants series, and I’ve had it sitting on my shelves for quite a while. Hopefully I’ll FINALLY get around to reading it over the next couple of months! I bought Fairest not too long ago, and I can’t wait to begin reading it soon. With Winter on the way, I’d love to read it sooner rather than later.

Then we have these little darlings. I have to confess… I’m SCARED to start some of these! I want to love Cruel Beauty, but what if I don’t?! And it’s the same with Snow Like Ashes and Red Queen. They’re hugely hyped books, and I really, really want to love them. I know I need to just read them and stop over-thinking… but it’s so hard! I don’t want to be bitten by the hype bug!

Have you read any of the books on my list, and which one should I read first? And what books are you hoping to read over the summer? Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!


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