Tuesday 25 August 2015


I just wanted to let you know that I’m taking a sort of mini-hiatus for the next week or so. I’ve been slowly edging into a blogging slump recently, and it hit pretty hard last week. I’m starting to emerge from it a little the past day or two, but I’m going to play it safe and say I’m taking this week off as well. I hope to catch up on review writing and replying to comments, but I won’t have any new posts on the blog this week. I’ll be back posting as normal in September, and hopefully I’ll be free of this wretched blogging slump by then! Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Reading!

Tuesday 18 August 2015

My Top 10 Auto-Buy Authors

This week’s prompt is “Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors”, but I do feel my list is more an ‘auto-want-to-read’ list, rather than auto-buy. Having an endless book buying budget would be my idea of heaven, but alas, that doesn’t seem very likely to happen any time soon! Whenever I DO go on a book buying spree, if these authors have a new release at the time, then odds are I’ll be getting my hands on it as soon as I possibly can!

Sarah J. Maas, Suzanne Collins, Veronica Rossi, A.G. Howard, Marissa Meyer

Sarah J. MaasSuzanne CollinsVeronica Rossi - A.G. HowardMarissa Meyer

Kelly Creagh, C.J. Daugherty, Marie Ruthkoski, Sarah Rees Brennan, Sara Raasch

Kelly CreaghC.J. DaughertyMarie RuthkoskiSarah Rees BrennanSara Raasch

I’m a character focused reader, and actually, all ten authors on my list have created at least one of my favourite characters! I’m completely addicted to the Throne of Glass series and anything Sarah J. Maas writes, I need to read. (And only TWO WEEKS until Queen of Shadows is released! I can’t wait :)) How awesome would it be if Suzanne Collins wrote more books?! I would LOVE to read more. I know most of the other authors I’ve mentioned have more books on the way in the near future, and I can’t wait to read all of them!

Which authors made it onto your auto-buy list? Do we have any in common? Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!

* Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme run by The Broke and the Bookish. *

Saturday 15 August 2015

Guest Post by Sarah Nofkee: Creating the World of the Reverians

Today, I’m delighted to have author Sarah Nofkee join us on the blog to introduce her brand new dystopian series, The Reverians. She talks about creating the Reverians dystopian society, and be sure to watch the trailer for the first book in the series which releases today – Defects.

Defects by Sarah Nofkee book cover

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In the happy, clean community of Austin Valley, everything appears to be perfect. Seventeen-year-old Em Fuller, however, fears something is askew. Em is one of the new generation of Dream Travelers. For some reason, the gods have not seen fit to gift all of them with their expected special abilities.

Em is a Defect—one of the unfortunate Dream Travelers not gifted with a psychic power. Desperate to do whatever it takes to earn her gift, she endures painful daily injections along with commands from her overbearing, loveless father. One of the few bright spots in her life is the return of a friend she had thought dead—but with his return comes the knowledge of a shocking, unforgivable truth. The society Em thought was protecting her has actually been betraying her, but she has no idea how to break away from its authority without hurting everyone she loves.

Buy on Amazon.com || Amazon.co.uk

Creating the World of the Reverians

Dystopian is a genre I love to read, however, it’s not something I ever pictured myself writing. I’m a sci-fi girl. I flock to fantasy. I’m partly liberal. Why in the hell would I ever want to write books about characters being oppressed by a government entity? And now after writing The Reverian series I have an answer: Because it’s fun.

Let’s be honest, breaking rules is fun. And breaking dumb rules, meant to disempower a society, is deliciously fun.

So when I started writing Defects I decided that there had to be a ton of rules. The more rules, the more things my characters could do to break them. In this series there are rules regarding schedules, food, appearance, dress, etiquette, jobs, bedtime, sleep habits…you get the point. If a human can do it, then the Reverians have a rule on it.

The Reverians are a society who love rules, starched appearances, religion and hierarchy. There’s a uniform way men of a certain status must wear their hair. It is a law that if you dent your bike then you must fix it. Everyone must fix all mistakes, because the society firmly believes that the reminder of a mistake leads to more of them. And every rule is backed up with the reason that the gods deem it so. And strangely these gods appear to take on the political agenda of the government officials.

In Defects, I introduce a bubble society who think they’ve got it figured out. The President of the Reverians boast that his citizens live longer than others, make more money and are happier. However, only those who follow all the rules all the time are happy, and only because it’s a rule that they must be satisfied. Then there are those who prefer a slouchier dress and a flexible schedule. These are the defective people in this world. They are the ones who I created to fix this seemingly utopian society which is actually quite fatally flawed.

Defects Trailer

Meet Sarah

Sarah Nofkee author

Sarah Noffke is the author of The Lucidite Series. She’s been everything from a corporate manager to a hippie. Her taste for adventure has taken her all over the world. If you can’t find her at the gym, then she’s probably at the frozen yogurt shop. If you can’t find her there then she probably doesn’t want to be found. She is a self-proclaimed hermit, with spontaneous urges to socialize during full moons and when Mercury is in retrograde. Sarah lives in Southern California with her family.

Website || Twitter || Facebook || Goodreads

Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Reading!

Wednesday 12 August 2015

WoW #61: Untamed by A.G. Howard

This week, I'm waiting on...


by A.G. Howard

 Untamed by A.G. Howard book cover

Expected publication: December 15th 2015

Genres: Fantasy; Retelling; Young Adult

Add to Goodreads

A post-Ensnared collection of three stories—available in both print and e-versions.

Alyssa Gardner went down the rabbit hole and took control of her destiny. She survived the battle for Wonderland and the battle for her heart. In this collection of three novellas, join Alyssa and her family as they look back at their memories of Wonderland.

In Six Impossible Things, Alyssa recalls the most precious moments of her life after Ensnared, and the role magic plays in preserving the happiness of those she loves. Alyssa’s mother reminisces about her own time in Wonderland and rescuing the man who would become her husband in The Boy in the Web. And Morpheus delves into Jeb’s memories of the events of Splintered in The Moth in the Mirror, available in print for the first time.

This collection expands upon Ensnared's epilogue, and includes some deleted scenes to provide a “director’s cut” glimpse into the past and futures of our favorite Splintered characters.

It’s no secret that I love the Splintered series, but, ok, let’s be honest here. There is one reason and one reason only why I NEED Untamed in my life: and that glorious reason is… MORPHEUS. I don’t really care about the other characters that much, so if it’s a book of Morpheus from cover to cover, I’ll be VERY happy. Plus, it’s released the day after my birthday. Morpheus as a birthday present really does sound quite appealing…

Have you read the Splintered trilogy? Did you like it?? And what new release are you waiting on this week?

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

Friday 7 August 2015

Review: Winterkill by Kate A. Boorman

Winterkill by Kate A. Boorman book cover

Title: Winterkill
Author: Kate A. Boorman
Series: Winterkill, #1
Format: Paperback, owned
My rating: 1 / 5

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Emmeline knows she’s not supposed to explore the woods outside her settlement. The enemy that wiped out half her people lurks there, attacking at night and keeping them isolated in an unfamiliar land with merciless winters. Living with the shame of her grandmother’s insubordination, Emmeline has learned to keep her head down and her quick tongue silent.

When the settlement leader asks for her hand in marriage, it’s an opportunity for Emmeline to wash the family slate clean—even if she has eyes for another. But before she’s forced into an impossible decision, her dreams urge her into the woods, where she uncovers a path she can’t help but follow. The trail leads to a secret that someone in the village will kill to protect. Her grandmother followed the same path and paid the price. If Emmeline isn’t careful, she will be next.

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

Oh Winterkill, I was convinced I’d love you. Both the cover and the synopsis drew me in, and I was almost certain it would be added to my favourites list. I went into this story expecting a fabulous dystopian novel with a horror undertone, but it ended up being a confused mystery story that didn’t appeal to me at all. I spent more time trying to figure out what time period the book was set in than caring what was going on with the characters and the general story line. I’ll warn you now: this review may get a little ranty.

Every story needs a good foundation, and for me, this is usually provided by a combination of three things: world building, setting and time period. I love knowing exactly where a book is set, whether it’s in the world as we know it, or if it’s entirely fictional. I subconsciously look for that sense of stability and equilibrium and from the vague little snippets we’re given in Winterkill, the book seems to be set somewhere in northern North America: most likely in Canada, due to French and English being the languages spoken by the characters, and the intense winters the settlement endures. So excellent, we have our backdrop: Canada.

Now this is where all my issues begin. Is Winterkill set in the past, or the future? If it’s meant to be set in the future, I’m sorry, but you’d have lost me by the second page. I don’t see this as a dystopian, either. The only way this book makes any sort of sense is if it’s an alternative history or a retelling of the discovery and colonisation of North America. The language used throughout the narration is quite modern, but then we get some olden words and sentences thrown in that completely disrupts the flow and rhythm of the story. Oh, and another thing: if I EVER see the word ‘mayhap’ again in my life, it’ll be too soon. If the story is historical, make it fully historical, if it’s modern, make it fully modern, and if it’s futuristic make it bloody futuristic, but the half-past half-future unnecessary confusion drove me completely BATTY! I’m not sure if this constant chopping and changing was meant to create tension and atmosphere, but it didn’t work for me. Honestly, I should have stopped reading by chapter ten.

I didn’t connect with the main character, Emmeline. She’s grown up in a puritanical society where your reputation is everything, and I can understand up to a point why she acts the way she does. Her grandmother was Wayward, and she and her father are Stained, and living with the stigma of her transgressions. But, I was hoping Emmeline would at least attempt to rise above all of that. She whined and wallowed in self-pity far too much, and any sympathy or empathy I had for her was used up by the hundredth page in honesty. I don’t know if she’s bravely stupid or stupidly brave, but after being punished for missing Virtue Talks, the very next day she decides to go explore the forbidden woods. If she’s caught she’ll be taken to the Crossroads and hanged. Girl, do you have an ounce of cop on in that head of yours?? If you’re going to risk your neck, at least wait until things settle down for a day or two! Oh! But of course, the Council leader is in love with you, and wants your mind-numbingly dull hand in marriage. My bad! Oh! Buy why stop there! Might as well have another pathetic asshole of a boy fall in love with you too! ‘Cause you’re so desirable and all.

Fuck. My. Life.

If all of this wasn’t bad enough, the pacing was painfully slow. And I mean snail moving across molasses slow. Honestly I was hoping for a ferocious attack by the malmaci to spice things up. With the settlement being fortified and guards stationed all around the perimeter to prevent these vicious ghostly beasts from taking the poor helpless villagers, I was expecting nightly raids and bloody battles of epicness. But, no, the terrifying beasts have never managed to breech the walls of the wooden fortifications, and Takings are few and far between. Oh my, how… terrifying.

*Sigh* I hate writing negative reviews. I wanted to love this book so much, and it completely sucks when expectations aren’t met. The concept was so awesome, but the execution was a complete let down for me. Can’t love ‘em all, unfortunately.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

WoW #60: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnstone

This week, I'm waiting on...

A Thousand Nights

by E.K. Johnstone

 A Thousand Years by E.K. Johnstone book cover

Expected publication: October 6th 2015

Genres: Fantasy; Retelling; Young Adult

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

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

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

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

I’m so excited for this book! I LOVE retellings, and this one sounds so amazingly fabulous. AND THE COVER! Just look at it. It’s. So. Beautiful!

So, I have a little question: WHY change the cover for the UK??

A Thousand Years by E.K. Johnstone A Thousand Years by E.K. Johnstone

US vs UK

The US cover SCREAMS awesomeness. And the UK cover is… a feather. While purple is my favourite colour, seeing these covers next to each other there isn’t much of a contest. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on the US version, but we usually get the UK covers over here in Ireland… so we’ll have to see.

What do you think of A Thousand Nights? Do you plan on reading it? And, which cover do you prefer? Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!

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

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Review: Rome In Love by Anita Hughes

Rome In Love by Anita Hughes book cover

Title: Rome In Love
Author: Anita Hughes
Series: Standalone
Format: eARC, kindly provided by
St Martin's Griffin (Thank you!!)
My rating: 1 / 5

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When Amelia Tate is cast to play the Audrey Hepburn role in a remake of Roman Holiday, she feels as if all her dreams have come true. She has a handsome boyfriend, is portraying her idol in a major motion picture, and gets to live in beautiful Rome for the next two months.

Once there, she befriends a young woman named Sophie with whom she begins to explore the city. Together, they discover all the amazing riches that Rome has to offer. But when Amelia's boyfriend breaks up with her over her acting career, her perfect world begins to crumble.

While moping in her hotel suite, Amelia discovers a stack of letters written by Audrey Hepburn that start to put her own life into perspective. Then, she meets Philip, a handsome journalist who is under the impression that she is a hotel maid, and it appears as if things are finally looking up. The problem is she can never find the right time to tell Philip her true identity. Not to mention that Philip has a few secrets of his own. Can Amelia finally have both the career and love that she's always wanted, or will she be forced to choose again?

With her sensory descriptions of the beautiful sites, decadent food, and high fashion of Rome, Hughes draws readers into this fast-paced and superbly written novel. Rome in Love will capture the hearts of readers everywhere.

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

Oh, boy. Rome in Love and I didn’t get along very well. Essentially, the book is a retelling of the movie Roman Holiday. I love retellings in general and fairy-tale retellings in particular, and I thought this would be a really nice change of pace and a chance to see how a contemporary version would work for me. And it’s set in Italy! Who doesn’t love Italy?! Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped.

I really wish I could sugar coat this, but there isn’t a nice way to say it: I absolutely hated the writing style. The only way I can describe it is formulistic and emotionless. I need to feel some sort of connection to the story, and I felt nothing throughout the entire book. I’m a foodie and the descriptions of food in the first chapter or so was awesome! But… then I began noticing a repetitive trend: every single scene and everything the characters do is described in the same way. She saw blah, blah, blah. She smelled blah, blah, blah. She ate blah, blah, blah. She studied ... She felt ... She heard ... She climbed ... She walked ... Just remove the blah, blah, blah, and ellipses and insert any descriptive words you like and it’s annoyingly repetitive. And this isn’t just one or two sentences dispersed throughout the chapter, it is actually whole blocks of text used like this to describe what’s going on. I think the intention is to create an immersive atmosphere, but for me, it didn’t work. It was so unappealing and it detracted from the story and the characters completely.

The characters are usually my main focus when I read, and if I love the characters I can forgive a whole load of things I dislike. Sadly, the characters didn’t work for me either. This goes back to the writing style again, but there was far too much attention put on unnecessary details. I don’t care about bicycles going by, or crossing guards, or what clothes people are wearing or what they smell like, or what every random character is eating, just please, please, please, make me FEEL something toward the main characters! With the way the book is written, there is so much focus on the outside world that the characters don’t get the chance to progress and develop from mere names on a page.

Amelia’s character felt a little bit hypocritical at times. We’re constantly told how much she wants to be a successful actress, yet her actions in the book suggest she’s not very committed at all. We don’t get to see much of the actual filming of the movie – which sucks – just a random sentence or paragraph here or there. She’s in Rome for two months and they’re shooting on location, yet she gets to spend a lot of time exploring the city and doing her own thing. This didn’t really gel with what I would imagine the environment of a Warner Brothers blockbuster movie being filming on location would be like. Especially since they invested a hundred million dollars into the movie! I don’t know… it just didn’t feel right to me.

I was hoping to love this book, but alas, Rome in Love was not for me. While the concept is fabulous, the writing style put me off very early on and it definitely influenced my feelings for the entire book. A lot of people really enjoyed this book, so take my opinions with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, you can’t love ‘em all.

Saturday 1 August 2015

July 2015 Wrap-Up


Things have been a lot better this month, thankfully! My aunt’s health is improving, and things are looking up. Normal routines are starting to appear again, and I never thought I’d appreciate them so much. Hopefully August will continue on this way and settle back to normal.

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

What I Read in July

I’ve had a pretty good reading month: I read eight books and I’m currently half-way through my ninth.

Winterkill by Kate A. Boorman 
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart Waterfall by Lauren Kate

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan The Selection by Kiera Cass

Fairest by Marissa Meyer Rome in Love by Anita Hughes

Fairest, Untold and The Heart of Betrayal were easily my favourites, and the rest were all-round meh or terrible. I don’t know if I’m getting harder to please, but with the exception of the Lynburn Legacy trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan, nothing has really wowed me since I read An Ember in the Ashes a while back. I’ve tried writing a review for that book several times and the glittering fangirling I’m feeling isn’t really transferring into text form that easily!

Books I Bought

Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

I’m currently reading Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan, and it’s the final book in the Lynburn Legacy trilogy. I read Unspoken at the end of June, and I ordered the next book straight after I finished reading. Rinse and repeat with Untold, and now I’m just about to finish the trilogy around a month later. This doesn’t happen very often! Most of the series I’m currently obsessed with have more books still to be released, so it’s a real treat to find a new series that I love and can devour right away.

I can’t wait to read The Winner’s Crime! I think the third book is released early next year… so technically I should hold off reading it for a while and cut down on the wait time. Humm. We’ll see how well that works out! While I was on Amazon recently, I found a brand new hardback edition of The Falconer for £3. Needless to say, it’s now mine! I also got Shiver, Storm Glass and The Bronze Horseman on Amazon, and they’re all second hands. I’m not exactly happy with the cover of The Bronze Horseman… I ordered a different one! Thank goodness it was cheap, so I can’t complain too much I guess.

My New TBR Jar...erm, Box

I’ve seen so many bloggers and booktubers with TBR jars, and I’ve been intending to make one for myself for quite a while now. I was in Ikea the other week and I had a plain jar eyed out, but then I spotted this pretty box, and changed my mind!

Jar… Box… Same thing. Tomayto, tomahto. Anyway!

The vast majority of titles in this box are physical books, with maybe around a dozen or so ebooks. I NEED to chip away at the books that are sitting around the house, and this seems like it could work.

I’ll be using my lovely box:

    1) Each month to choose a TBR pile book to read.

    2) When I can’t decide what to read next. Having all my to-read book titles that I own in one place means I can pluck a book at random, thus avoiding having an internal debate over the merits of which book cover is prettiest, and therefore I should be reading it.

My August pick is The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas. I’ve been putting this book off for so long, as I have a pretty good idea it’ll kill me! I need to read it before Queen of Shadows arrives and I hope to get around to reading the novellas ASAP. I've pre-ordered Queen of Shadows, and let's be honest here, once I have that book in my hands everything else will not exist!

How was your July? What did you get up to, and what books did you read? Are you anxiously waiting Queen of Shadow’s release, like me?? I can’t believe it’s only a month away! Hope you have a fabulous weekend, and happy reading!


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