Saturday 31 October 2015

October 2015 Wrap-Up

Firstly, Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone had a great October. This month I took part in the Blog Ahead 2015 challenge. If you’re unfamiliar with it, the aim is to get ahead with writing blog posts, and to schedule the posts after the challenge ends. This is my second year participating, and overall, I’m calling this year a HUGE success. As of today I have 11 posts scheduled in advance, and a further 8 in various stages of draft-hood. Considering I’m a non-planner, I’m really pleased! Going into the challenge I knew I wasn’t going to complete all 31 posts, so I’m really happy with what I’ve managed to get done. If you were participating, how did you do?? I hope you completed all your goals!

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

Books I Read in October

October was a quite a slow month – only 4 books, 5 when I finish The Falconer later on today. You know that horrible feeling when you’re convinced a reading slump is just around the corner? I’ve been feeling like that all month, and I really hope I don’t fall victim to one again. I do have quite a few ARC’s and review requests haunting me right now, and they’ve been playing on my mind a lot. I know I need to read them, but, gosh, all I want to do is curl up and read Ink and Bone, which will be quickly followed by A Darker Shade of Magic!

Oblivion by Kelly Creagh Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Tell the Story to Its End by Simon P. Clarke

Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Books I Bought This Month

I did quite a bit of bookish shopping this month, which is never really a bad thing!

Oblivion by Kelly Creagh

Oblivion by Kelly Creagh

It won’t be much of a surprise that I began reading Oblivion right after it arrived in the post. It was everything I had hoped it would be, and so much more. I suspect this book is the cause of my almost-reading-slump. It’s the last book in the Nevermore trilogy by Kelly Creagh, and I haven’t felt this gutted about a series ending before. I'm in denial. I don’t want to say goodbye to the characters! I need more books! *Sobs*

Endgame by C.J. Daugherty and The Witch Hunger by Virginia Boecker

Endgame by C.J. Daugherty // The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

I was really lucky to get eARC’s for both of these books earlier in the year and I kinda needed to get my hands on the physical editions. We’re all occasionally guilty of this, I think!

Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine and City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine // City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

I’m determined to keep chipping away at the Morganville Vampires series. I finished reading the fifth book this month, so hopefully I’ll get this one read in November / early December. After I finished reading Lord of Misrule, I couldn’t help thinking 5 down, at least 10 more to go. It’s a bit intimidating. (Help me!) And yep, I’ve got City of Glass! I really hope I like it. I’ve heard it’s the book in the series to get you hooked, and I've promised that I’ll read the first three and then make a decision if I’ll continue on with the remaining books. I want to love this series – I really, really do – so I hope City of Glass is awesome.

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

This cover. Oh my heart, I love it so much! It’s one of those gorgeous textured covers, and I almost don’t want to touch it and ruin it. But, sacrifices have to be made because I can’t freaking wait to read it!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab and The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab // The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

I’ve heard lots of awesomeness about V.E. Schwab’s books, so I have pretty high expectations for A Darker Shade of Magic. The Sin Eater’s Daughter, on the other hand, I’ve seen quite mixed things about. I really hope I at least like it!

On the Blog Recently

If These Authors Wrote a Book Together, My Mind Would Implode

Review: Romancing the Dark in the City of Dark by Ann Jacobus

Review: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

11 Book Series I'll (Probably) Abandon

The Reading Habits Tag

What have you been up to this month? Any plans for Halloween? And any tips on preventing a reading slump setting in?

Have a fab weekend, and Happy Reading!

Thursday 29 October 2015

Review: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski  book cover

Title: The Winner's Curse
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Curse, #1
Format: Paperback, owned
My rating: 5 / 5

Add to Goodreads

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love...

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

You know those books where you want to say so much, but can’t manage to get beyond yelling ‘I LOVED IT!’ repeatedly? Well, The Winner’s Curse is precisely that book for me. I really wish I could find all the words to express just how much I loved everything about it, but I can’t get past ‘I loved it’! It was imaginative, refreshing and completely captivating, and it helped me get out of my post A Court of Thorns and Roses reading slump that I had been suffering with for months.

The book is written in the third person, with Kestrel as our main character. The majority of the novel is focused on her perspective, but we also get to briefly see Arin’s side of things now and again. I really enjoyed how this worked, and it gave a more complete picture of the overall plot. Initially, Kestrel was a hard character to have a lot of sympathy for, but as the book progressed I grew to really like her. I loved that she wasn’t afraid to use her intelligence to her best advantage, and to see just how sly and cunning she is was awesome. And Arin was completely adorable! I loved his quiet determination and his unwavering never-give-up attitude. His character was a complete surprise, as initially I hadn’t expected to like him very much. I really liked the romance that slowly developed between Kestrel and Arin, and I thought it was so well done. It didn’t feel fake or forced, and I really wish more slow build and believable romances like this were shown in YA in general. I also really liked all the other secondary characters in the book, and I can’t wait to see how their stories progress.

The world-building was awesome, and I loved how easy it was to clearly imagine the setting. I loved that the back-story to the Empire was spread throughout the book, and I couldn’t read quick enough to find out more about the Valorians and the Herrani. The writing style was simply gorgeous, and it grabbed and held my attention right from the beginning. I just HAD to keep reading a few more pages any spare minute I could get, and I love when this happens.

This review is quite a bit shorter than I was expecting it to be, and in honesty, I can’t sum it up any other way than saying I loved everything about The Winner’s Curse. Overall, I highly recommend this book, and I can’t WAIT to continue on with the second book in the trilogy and to find out what will happen after that ending.

Wednesday 28 October 2015

WoW #69: The Shadow Queen by C. J. Redwine

This week, I'm waiting on...

The Shadow Queen

by C.J. Redwine

 The Shadow Queen by C. J. Redwine book cover

Expected publication: February 23rd 2016

Genres: High Fantasy; Retellings; Young Adult

Add to Goodreads

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

I swear, every time I see a new beautiful cover I go through the same thing, and it’s something like this: Ooooh, soooo preeetty! … *stares at the screen*… There’s a blurb? What’s a blurb?... *more staring* … Who cares what it’s about, I WANT IT! … *even more staring* ... *starts stroking the screen*… *notices the publication date… and starts crying.*

But in seriousness, a Snow White retelling + ogres + dragons + beautiful cover = I really, really need this book!

What do you think of The Shadow Queen? Do you like fairy-tale retellings? And what new releases are you looking forward to this week? 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 27 October 2015

10 Scary Books I Need to Read ASAP

If you’ve visited my blog before, you may already know that I absolutely love reading scary stories, particularly ghost and horror stories. Very few horror books scare me, but when it comes to watching horror, I can be quite the fraidy-cat. Honest, I really can be! I have a weird overactive imagination, and usually any whiff of a horror movie will set the screaming and nightmares off on a rampage. And don’t even get me started on horror games! You should have seen me play Slender a few years back. Umm, actually, it’s probably best that you DIDN’T see me play Slender! You’d be still laughing at me… But, I digress.

These are the ten creepy-sounding books I’d love to read soon, and they seem to be super scary. really hope they’re super scary! If you’ve read any of them, let me know which ones were the scariest – those will be the ones I’ll try to get my hands on first!

 The Merciless by Danielle Vega  The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich  Daughters unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

 Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge  Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

The Merciless by Danielle Vega

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

Daughters unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge

Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

 The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco  The Fall by Bethany Griffin Raven by Stacey Rourke

 The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy  Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

The Fall by Bethany Griffin

Raven by Stacey Rourke

The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie

Are you planning on reading any scary books over Halloween? If you have any recommendations for scary books, I'd love to hear them!
Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Reading!

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

Monday 26 October 2015

November 2015 New Book Releases

November 2015 New Book Releases

It’s almost Halloween! For the past couple of years, I usually planned to go on a scary book binge over the Halloween weeks, and I ended up learning a very important lesson: Being a mood reader sucks! I ended up doing the exact opposite of what I had planned, so this year, I’ve left it completely up to my mood. Maybe a scary movie or two would be a better idea? Any recommendations?

My Most Anticipated Releases This November

Reap the Wind by Karen Chance Mystic by Jason Denzer

Reap the Wind by Karen Chance - November 3rd

Mystic by Jason Denzer - November 3rd

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Winter by Marissa Meyer - November 10th

More November Releases to Look Out For

November 3rd

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M. H. Boroson Cam Girl by Leah Raeder

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M. H. Boroson

Cam Girl by Leah Raeder

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn Need by Joelle Charbonneau

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn

Need by Joelle Charbonneau

November 10th

For the Record by Charlotte Huang November 9 by Colleen Hoover Da Vinci’s Tiger by L.M. Elliott

For the Record by Charlotte Huang

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Da Vinci’s Tiger by L.M. Elliott

November 19th and 23rd

The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May Queen of Always by Sherry D. Ficklin

The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May - November 19th

Queen of Always by Sherry D. Ficklin - November 23rd

Friday 23 October 2015

The Reading Habits Tag

The Reading Habits Tag

The Reading Habits Tag has been around for quite a while, and I’ve been intending to join in for the longest time. A few months ago, Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian took part and openly tagged everyone, so I’m taking her up on the offer! Thanks Krystianna!

1. Do you have a certain place for reading at home?

I do most of my reading in bed, so I guess that’s my reading spot! I can pretty much read anywhere as long as I’m alone with minimal distractions and it’s nice and quiet. If there’s a comfy chair, couch or other place I can perch on, even better!

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

I love my bookmarks, but let’s be honest here, in a pinch anything nearby will do! I have a severe aversion to dog-eared pages, so old receipts, takeaway menu’s, junk mail, bills or anything else can substitute nicely. (But, after twenty minutes my perfectionist ways will kick in, and I’ll get antsy until I find a bookmark!)

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or a certain number of pages?

There are times when you have to drop the book and run, but I will always try to stop at the end of a chapter, or at a page break or other natural pause in the story if I have the chance. If I do stop in the middle of a chapter, I’ll keep thinking about it until I give in and finish the remaining pages, or I’ll end up going back an rereading the entire section again. (Yeah, I’m a bit weird! ;))

4. Do you eat or drink when reading?

No, not usually. I mainly read in bed, so avoiding waking up with crumbs stuck in odd places is a nice incentive!

5. Do you watch TV or listen to music whilst reading?

Reading is the only thing I need as close to complete silence for. With everything else I normally have multiple things going on at once. When I’m blogging or writing reviews for example, I’m usually listening to Spotify and can concentrate perfectly. I can get distracted really easily though, (*cough* YouTube *cough*) and when I’m reading I don’t like being distracted, so eliminating temptation seems to work well for me.

6. One book at a time or several at once?

It depends! I guess my normal mode would be one book at a time, but if I do read more than one, they’ll be in different formats.

7. Reading at home or everywhere?

At home, but I can read anywhere as long as it’s nice and quiet ;)

8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Silently. Definitely. Unless it’s by request or mutual consent, I wouldn’t like someone randomly starting reading to me, so I wouldn’t do it to others. But… since I read late at night, I would LOVE to see the reaction if I start reading aloud when everyone in the house is fast asleep! HA! Oh, I think I shall try this… *cackles*

9. Do you ever read ahead or skip passages?

Sometimes I’m guilty of this! I don’t intentionally do it, though. When I reach the end of an intense chapter or after some big event, I’ll start thinking about what I’ve read and begin flicking the pages of the book completely subconsciously. Then, I’ll glance down at the pages… and I’ll notice a character name… then a few words… and I’ll get curious, stop flicking the pages and read a sentence… and then I’ll feel all sorts of guilty when I realise what I’ve done!

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

NEW! My preference will always be new and pristine. To save money, I do buy second hand books and sometimes the spines are already broken. I can live with it in these situations, but I’ll never intentionally break the spine of a brand new paperback I’ve forked out over €10 on!

11. Do you write in your books?

Nope! Before I began blogging I did a lot of rereading, and if I made any highlights or notations, I’d become distracted by what I had written before rather than being immersed in the story again. It’s a purely personal thing, and I like to get as close to a ‘new book’ reread as I can.

I tag: YOU! If you’d like to answer these questions, consider yourself tagged!

If you decided to do the tag, let me know so I can read your answers! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a fab weekend. Happy Reading!

Wednesday 21 October 2015

WoW #68: The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

This week, I'm waiting on...

The Dark Days Club

by Alison Goodman

 The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman book cover

Expected publication: January 26th 2016

Genres: Fantasy; Paranormal; Historical;
Young Adult

Add to Goodreads

New York Times bestseller Alison Goodman’s eagerly awaited new project: a Regency adventure starring a stylish and intrepid demon-hunter!

London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

In honesty, you had me completely sold at demon-hunters in Jane Austen era London. I don’t need any more convincing than that!

What do you think of The Dark Days Club? Have you read any of Alison Goodman’s other books? I recently bought EON, which I’m so excited to read.

What new releases are you waiting on this week? 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. *


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