WWW Wednesday 17.12.2014

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

Happy Wednesday, Guys!

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Currently Reading:
I’m reading Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake by Sue Watson and I also picked up The Girl With the Glass Feet by Ali Shaw which I’ve had sitting on my shelf for a couple of years. Oh boy is it pretentious. Not sure if I’ll get through it at this stage!

Recently Finished:
The last one I finished was A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale which I really liked. My review is here.

Up Next:
Definitely Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber! :)

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Read in 2014

toptentuesday Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

So guys, it’s the big one this week. The topic is: The Top Ten Books I Read In 2014. I can’t believe I’m compiling this list already. How it is nearly the end of the year!??

Anyway, here goes…in descending order for the EXCITMENTZ!

10. DIVERGENT – Veronica Roth

DIVI often forget how much I loved this book. I still haven’t finished the series though. And don’t even get me started on the movie!

Goodreads
Review

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

9. TAKE BACK THE SKIES – Lucy Saxon

take This book got some bad reviews but I don’t know why – I loved it!

Goodreads
Review

Catherine Hunter is the daughter of a senior government official on the island of Anglya. She’s one of the privileged – she has luxurious clothes, plenty to eat, and is protected from the Collections which have ravaged families throughout the land. But Catherine longs to escape the confines of her life, before her dad can marry her off to a government brat and trap her forever.

So Catherine becomes Cat, pretends to be a kid escaping the Collections, and stows away on the skyship Stormdancer. As they leave Anglya behind and brave the storms that fill the skies around the islands of Tellus, Cat’s world becomes more turbulent than she could ever have imagined, and dangerous secrets unravel her old life once and for all . . .

8. VAMPIRE ACADEMY – Richelle Mead

345627 I can’t believe it took me this long to start this series. It was so much better than I expected. I read books 1-3 in 2014, but the first one was definitely the best.

Goodreads
Review

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

7. POISON – Chris Wooding

w1 I still haven’t reviewed this one! Slap my wrist. I had never heard of this book or the author for that matter, until one of my friends told me I had to read it. I can’t believe it had passed me by for so long.

Goodreads

Poison has always been a willful, contrary girl, prone to being argumentative and stubborn. So when her sister is snatched by the mean-spirited faeries, she seeks out the Phaerie Lord to get her back.
But finding him isn’t easy, and the quest leads Poison into a murderous world of intrigue, danger, and deadly storytelling. With only her wits and her friends to aid her, Poison must survive the attentions of the Phaerie Lord, rescue her sister, and thwart a plot that’s beyond anything she (or the reader) can imagine. . . .

6. SCARLET – Marissa Meyer

www1 I loved the second book in the Lunar Chronicles almost as much as the first. Favourite series of the year by far!

Goodreads
Review

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

5. BURIAL RITES – Hannah Kent

burial Iceland. Murder. An execution. Amazing.

Goodreads
Review

Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

4. THE ONE – Kiera Cass

15844362 I was so sad when this series came to end…but now there’s going to be more. Squeal!!

Goodreads
Review

The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

3. SHE IS NOT INVISIBLE – Marcus Sedgwick

siniI loved Sedgwick before this. I love him even more now. I will read anything he writes!

Goodreads
Review

Laureth Peak’s father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers–a skill at which she’s remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness. She Is Not Invisible is an intricate puzzle of a novel that sheds a light on the delicate ties that bind people to each other.

2. OF SCARS AND STARDUST – Andrea Hannah

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I didn’t know what to expect from this and it just blew me away!

Goodreads
Review

After her little sister mysteriously vanishes, seventeen-year-old Claire Graham has a choice to make: stay snug in her little corner of Manhattan with her dropout boyfriend, or go back to Ohio to face the hometown tragedy she’s been dying to leave behind.

But the memories of that night still haunt her in the city, and as hard as she tries to forget what her psychiatrist calls her “delusions,” Claire can’t seem to escape the wolf’s eyes or the blood-speckled snow. Delusion or reality, Claire knows she has to hold true to the most important promise she’s ever made: to keep Ella safe. She must return to her sleepy hometown in order to find Ella and keep her hallucinations at bay before they strike again. But time is quickly running out, and as Ella’s trail grows fainter, the wolves are becoming startlingly real.

Now Claire must deal with her attraction to Grant, the soft-spoken boy from her past that may hold the secret to solving her sister’s disappearance, while following the clues that Ella left for only her to find. Through a series of cryptic diary entries, Claire must unlock the keys to Ella’s past—and her own—in order to stop another tragedy in the making, while realizing that not all things that are lost are meant to be found.

1. CINDER by Marissa Meyer

11235712 (1) It just has to be. So. Much. Yes!!!

Goodreads
Review

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I’m especially looking forward to seeing what made everyone’s lists this week. Even if I’m a bit later to the party!

A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale

ng4Title: A Christmas to Remember
Author: Jenny Hale
Series: N/A
Edition: Digital ARC, 316 pages
Publication Details: October 10th 2014 by Bookouture
Genre(s): Romance; Christmas/Holiday
Disclosure? Yep! I received a copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an HONEST review. Many thanks to Bookouture.

Goodreads
Purchase

Everyone loves Christmas – don’t they?

Carrie Blake loves her job as a nanny but, while her friends are settling down, all of Carrie’s spare time is spent with other people’s families. Though it breaks her heart, her New Year’s resolution is to embark on a new career and fix her love life.

As Carrie starts her last job, she’s sure she’ll be going out on a high – the house is amazing , the kids are adorable, and she’s in charge of decorating the tree!

The only problem could be her boss… single-dad Adam Fletcher might be both handsome and successful, but he’s always working. Doesn’t he realise he’s missing out on precious moments with his son and daughter?

As Adam’s family arrive for Christmas including his sensitive sister, Sharon, and his fun-loving elderly Grandpa, Walter, Carrie realises that she might just have found the perfect allies in her quest to persuade Adam to loosen up. There’s still time for Carrie to make this the best Christmas ever… after all, Christmas is the time for miracles, isn’t it? Let the festivities begin!

Review

A Christmas to Remember is a heart-warming, feel-good, festive read. It follows protagonist Carrie through what she hopes is her last job as Nanny, over the Christmas period.

These kind of chick-lit holiday books are a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. You know exactly what you’re going to get – drama, romance and a warm and fuzzy ending – and this book didn’t disappoint. Plus, it had other aspects that I wasn’t expecting too.

Carrie loves her job but it’s meant that she’s had to make a lot of sacrifices in her personal life. When she’s on a job she is on call 24/7. She has little-to-no time for friends, her own family or outside commitments so she finds herself in her 30s with no friends to speak of, no man, or even past relationships. All she has is her work – other people’s children.

I found Carrie quite relateable, but man, she was way too neurotic for me! She’s all like wahhhhh I love my job, but wahhhhhhh I want my own family. And then there was all the ‘am I supposed to eat dinner with his family?’ and ‘he’s just being polite, he doesn’t like me blahblahblah. Arrrghhh. I wanted to scream in her face… and that’s not a bad thing! You should all know by now, that I love a book I have to scream at. I couldn’t put it down, and ended up devouring it in two sittings.

I also really liked that Adam, the work-a-holic whose life she enters (and takes over) owns his own brewery. I thought it gave a bit of a unique edge to the story as it wasn’t something I was expecting. Usually in this type of story the guys are all corporate business men with faceless/nameless companies, but here we realise that Adam’s journey has been a rags-to-riches one, and that he’s a self-made man through sheer determination and hard work. It definitely helped me to warm to him despite him being a rubbish father to begin with.

And y’know, he’s clearly pretty hot.

Overall, A Christmas to Remember was a fun, festive story that I couldn’t stop reading. What more can you ask for? Pass the mince pies!

unicorn rating 4

A Christmas to Remember is available in paperback from Waterstones now!

Lazy Saturday Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

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Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Series: The Maze Runner #1
Edition: Paperback, 371 pages
Publication Details: August 4th 2011 by Chicken House
Genre(s): YA; Dystopia
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it.

Goodreads
Purchase

When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade – a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they came to be there – or what’s happened to the world outside.

Review

OK so this is more of a book-to-movie rant than it is a review. Soz.

I really wanted to read the book before I watched the film, but that didn’t happen. And it turned out that I really loved the film. I needed to know what happens next so I figured I’d finally pick up the first book and move on to book two ASAP…but now I’m not really sure I want to.

In my experience with book to movie adaptations, I ALWAYS prefer the book, and spend a lot of time ranting about what they changed or missed out…but I also nearly always read the book first.

Therefore, with The Maze Runner, I found it really hard to judge how much I would have enjoyed it if I’d read it first, because seriously guys, I preferred the film so much more. I found myself picking out parts they did better in the film and completely agreed with why they changed some things.

In the book, protagonist Thomas is a bit of a cry-baby to start with and I just found him annoying throughout. I also much preferred the relationship between both Thomas and Chuck and Thomas and Teresa in the film. The book felt quite one dimensional and evoked little emotion from me.

I guess I liked that the whole solving the maze was more about the code in the books, but then I think what they did in the film with the Griever’s machinery as it were, was genius.

Overall, it is a really great story full of action and suspense but I’m not sure if I’ll continue with the series. Don’t get me wrong, I do still really want to know what happens next, but I kind of want the movie version not the book one.

And that my friends, is truly a first.

It leaves a weird taste in my mouth.

unicorn rating 3

The Maze Runner is available in paperback now from Waterstones.

Festive Thursdays: So much festive!

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Every Thursday I’m going to be sharing with you all of my Christmas preparation, the books I’m reading, the films I’ve watched, gift ideas I’ve found, and the festive events I’ve attended. Because, well, I LOVE CHRISTMAS SO HARD.

I didn’t manage to post last Thursday, but to be honest I didn’t do much anyway, other than making a mini Gingerbread House and watching Frozen four times in two days. No, really.

Anyway, on to this week’s rundown…

1. Christmas Cakes (stage 1)

As I mentioned in my first post, I’m putting together some Christmas hampers to give as presents this year. Everything is going to be made by yours truly, with the exception of the baskets/boxes (which I don’t have yet), and the jars!

This week, I made a start on making individual Christmas cakes by soaking the dried fruit in a whole bottle of cherry brandy, and a glug of honey brandy to boot. It smells amazing, and after a week I think it’s ready!

festivet1

I know some people soak their fruit for months but I don’t think it’s necessary. I pour brandy over the cake afterwards anyway. More booze than cake is my motto at Christmas! This is the recipe I’ve roughly followed over the last couple of years. It’s one that doesn’t require soaking at all, but I still do.

Hopefully I’ll have stage 2 – baking & decorating – done for next week’s post.

2. Chilli & Apple Jam

I’d never made jam before, or even chutney, but was assured it’s quite easy, and it really was!

I wanted a ‘jam’ that was spicy to suit my Dad and Brother’s tastes, but was also Christmassy, so I combined two different recipes – this Nigella one, which is so simple, and I added some clove-studded apples to the mixture as it boiled, which I’d seen in a different recipe I was tempted to try.

chillijam

I also used a few different types of chillies and preserving sugar instead of regular. At first I thought it wasn’t going to set, but after an hour cooling, and 30 mins in the fridge it firmed up and is a perfect consistency. The only fail – it only filled two of my jars so I had to make some more. But it was so easy it didn’t matter!

For the second batch, I added a whole lemon to the chillies (instead of the apples) and blitzed the whole lot. And I ran out of preserving sugar so just used regular. It came out just as good, and the lemon tastes really great with the chilli. This one’s my favourite. I might have to keep one for myself!

3. A Christmas to Remember

I read, and pretty much devoured this book! My review will be up on Monday, hopefully.

ng4Everyone loves Christmas – don’t they?

Carrie Blake loves her job as a nanny but, while her friends are settling down, all of Carrie’s spare time is spent with other people’s families. Though it breaks her heart, her New Year’s resolution is to embark on a new career and fix her love life.

As Carrie starts her last job, she’s sure she’ll be going out on a high – the house is amazing , the kids are adorable, and she’s in charge of decorating the tree!

The only problem could be her boss… single-dad Adam Fletcher might be both handsome and successful, but he’s always working. Doesn’t he realise he’s missing out on precious moments with his son and daughter?

As Adam’s family arrive for Christmas including his sensitive sister, Sharon, and his fun-loving elderly Grandpa, Walter, Carrie realises that she might just have found the perfect allies in her quest to persuade Adam to loosen up. There’s still time for Carrie to make this the best Christmas ever… after all, Christmas is the time for miracles, isn’t it? Let the festivities begin!

I also posted my review of Dying for Christmas – an altogether different kind of Christmas read!

4. Christmas 24 and the rest!

I’m such a sucker for those made-for-TV Christmas films. Seriously, I can’t get enough. Most of them are terrible, but in a really good way. And now and again you find some that are actually great, in nothing but a great way!

This week however, I watched One Christmas starring a very old and scary-looking Katharine Hepburn and THE FONZ. Sounds great right? Wrong. It was so, so bad, and not very festive at all. Avoid!

5. Miscellaneous Festive Funtimes:

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This week I also bought a new Christmas jumper which is AMAZING and I bought some red candles in the hopes that I’d find a cheap candelabra thing to put in the window but I couldn’t find one. Any ideas for my candles? There’s always wine bottles I guess. Bit boring though.

Up Next: More festive reads, my Christmas cake progress, and hopefully salted chocolate & cinnamon fudge gets added to my hampers. And I’m going to an ELF Quote-A-Long at my favourite cinema. Yessss!

Merry Festiving!

WWW Wednesday 10.12.2014

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

10.12.2014…ALREADY! It’s only ten days until I go back oop north for Christmas with the fam!! Ahhh!

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to this week gone by.

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Currently Reading:
I’m reading A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale. Liking it so far, but waiting for it to give me that warm fuzzy festive glow…who am I kidding, I’ve had that since November!

Recently Finished:
The Barefoot Queen by Ildefonso Falcones. I had mixed feelings about this historical fiction book but I’m really pleased I read it. My review went up yesterday.

I also finished The Maze Runner which was good but I kinda preferred the film. Shh. A mini review will be up at the weekend. Hopefully.

Up Next:
Obviously I’m going to continue on my festive reading rampage so I have either Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber, or Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake by Sue Watson which are both Netgalley reads.

The Barefoot Queen by Ildefonso Falcones

barefoot
Title: The Barefoot Queen
Author: Ildefonso Falcones
Series: N/A
Edition: Digital ARC, 656 pages
Publication Details: November 25th 2014 by Crown
Genre(s): Historical Fiction
Disclosure? Yep! I received a copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads
Purchase

It’s January of 1748. Caridad is a recently freed Cuban slave wondering the streets of Seville. Her master is dead and she has nowhere to go. When her path crosses with Milagros Carmona’s-a young, rebellious gypsy-the two women are instantly inseparable. Milagros introduces Caridad to the gypsy community, an exotic fringe society that will soon change her life forever.

Over time they each fall in love with men who are fiercely loyal and ready to fight to the death for their rights as a free people. When all gypsies are declared outlaws by royal mandate, life in their community becomes perilous. They soon find themselves in Madrid-a city of passion and dancing, but also a treacherous one full of smugglers and thieves. Caridad and Milagros must help in the gypsy’s struggle against society and its laws in order to stay together; it’s a dangerous battle that cannot, and will not, be easily won.

From the tumultuous bustle of Seville to the theatres of Madrid, The Barefoot Queen is a historical fresco filled with charaters that live, love, suffer, and fight for what they believe

Review

When I requested this from Netgalley I’d been reading YA after YA and felt like I needed to get stuck in to a grown-up book to break the monotony, but by the time I got round to starting this 600+ page book, I wasn’t really in the mood to be honest. Therefore I’m not sure if my enjoyment of it – or lack of- is down to that, or something more.

The Barefoot Queen started so promising. I flew through the first hundred pages eager to find out what would become of Caridad, a former slave whose master died on the ship The Queen, which took her to Cadiz.

I thought the writing was beautiful and it started off at a good pace…but then I got lost. It didn’t take me long to realise that Falcones was going to throw in unnecessary details, backstories and cultural observations that added nothing to the story in my opinion. It just got too bogged down and I struggled to get through.

I really agonised over what to rate this book because there were parts of it I loved, and in essence it’s a great story that deserved to be told. It was just a slog. I felt sorry for Caridad who finds herself in Seville completely clueless as to what to do with herself after a lifetime of slavery. She needs to find work, but only knows how to labour on a plantation, and who’s going to hire a negro woman with no master?

When she meets gypsy, Milagros, the two discover just how dangerous it is to be a woman in 1700’s Spain.

Again, I wanted to like this book. It’s an epic tale of two women’s bravery and is clearly well researched. I just wish Falcones had pulled it back a bit, and not got so bogged down in detail. The pace was too slow for me…that’s what binge-reading YA books does to you.

Overall, I wouldn’t want to put people off this book as it’s an important and interesting story if you don’t mind a bit of a slog. It’s also extremely violent in parts, and you won’t come away from this book without a twinge of sadness and despair for these poor characters who really go through the ringer.

unicorn rating 2

The Barefoot Queen is available in hardback and paperback from Waterstones now.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

toptentuesday Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014.

I was introduced to so many new authors this year so I really enjoyed making this list. Some were completely new with debut releases and some were authors I’d read so much about but only got round to this year.
All quotes are from my own reviews. Click on the links to read the full review if you so wish :)


10. B. I Woolet

hunter
I’m so glad I requested The Hunter, The Bear and The Seventh Sister from Netgalley back in January as I absolutely loved it. I described it as ‘an amalgamation of all my favourite childhood reads’, and it really was. The second book in the series was released recently and I can’t wait to read it.

The authors, Benji & Ila Woolet also did a great guest post for me in February. Go check them out.

9. Laura McHugh

weight
The Weight of Blood is Laura McHugh’s debut novel and I was very impressed with this intricate small-town crime story.

‘Reading The Weight of Blood felt like sitting on a swing-chair on a porch in the sticky night-time heat with Dragonflies bashing against your lantern; kind of peaceful and beautiful but there’s this uncomfortable feeling rising to the surface, and you know where it’s coming from but if you just ignore it, it might go away. Obviously, it never goes away…’

She’s definitely one to watch.

8. Alan Bradley

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I don’t know how I hadn’t discovered Alan Bradley before 2014. I’d never heard of the Flavia de Luce series and I somehow requested The Dead in their Vaulted Arches without realising is was book 6. But it didn’t matter. I loved it! I really need to read the whole lot now! ‘Think Young Sherlock Holmes meets Veronica Mars and you’re there. I’m off to find the first 5 books now. Tally ho, jolly good show!’

7. Chris Beckett

darkeden
Dark Eden. Woah. What a book. I still think about it. A lot.

Dark Eden is a book full of questions and very little answers. It is set on what we assume is an alien planet (although it’s pretty similar to earth) where almost two hundred years ago, humans crash landed. Some attempted to get back to earth, while one man and one woman thought it was too dangerous and stayed behind, deciding to make a go of living in the blackness of Eden until they were rescued.”

6. Veronica Roth

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I LOVED Divergent so much, and thought this was going to be my new favourite series by my new favourite author, but then I kind of got over it. (Also Marissa Meyer happened but more on that later). Insurgent was good too, but then I’d heard so many bad things about the third book I never got round to it. I still plan on finishing it some day.

5. Chris Wooding

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So Chris Wooding completely passed me by until my friend gave me Poison to read recently. It was amazing. I still haven’t written a review but it was basically all of my favourite fairy tales, plus Alice in Wonderland and countless others, swirled together in a dark and sinister cauldron of awesomeness. I need to check out his other books!

4. Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

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I read two of her books this year and loved them both. Sarah has a sort of whimsical ‘twee’ story-telling style and I found them both unique, cute and exciting all at the same time.

‘Oh man, this was a rollarcoaster. Once I got into it I couldn’t put it down. I needed to know how things had spiraled so out of control for Oscar and Meg. It really captured something special about being young, especially the perils of school days and friendship.’

3. Richelle Mead

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Yes I know. Completely behind the times, but I only started the Vampire Academy series this year. I was really pleasantly surprised by them and I hope to continue the series with book 4 soon!

2. Andrea Hannah

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I find it hard to express how much I loved Andrea Hannah’s debut Of Scars and Stardust.

It was such a surprise as I only requested it on the basis of liking the cover and the title. I want to read it again. And again!

Of Scars and Stardust completely blew me away if you can’t tell already. It was a mystery, a psychological thriller, a romance, and it was written so beautifully it made me want to cry.”

1. Marissa Meyer

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What can I say about Marissa Meyer…she blew everything else out of the park for me this year. At first I thought Cinder looked a little silly – Cinderella as a cyborg and set in a dystopian Beijing – What!? But I was so wrong. The Lunar Chronicles is definitely the best series I started this year, and possibly EVER. EVER I SAY.

I’m excited to see who you guys picked, feel free to leave a link!

November 2014 on Lipsyy Lost & Found

I can’t believe November has been and gone and December is flying by, like it always does! I didn’t even get round to doing an October round-up…fail!

November wasn’t the best month for me in real life terms. I lost my job, and started working in my friend’s pub to keep me going until I find something more substantial (it’s like going back in time 8 years – very odd!). Therefore my schedule has been all out of whack and with job hunting – gahhh, it’s taken its toll on my reading and blogging, but I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself. I’m posting when I can!

Here’s what did happen on the blog in November though! I’ve included October reviews too.

Total Posts: 15
Books Read: 4

Reviews (Nov / Oct): 4 / 5

  • Dying For Christmas by Tammy Cohen, 3/5 (View)
  • Back to Blackbrick by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, 4/5 (View)
  • Printer’s Devil Court by Susan Hill, 4/5 (View)
  • Wakening the Crow by Stephen Gregory, 3/5 (View)
  • Killer Spiders by Lex Sinclair, 2/5 (View)
  • Dark Satanic Mills by Marcus & Julian Sedgwick, 5/5 (View)
  • Doll Bones by Holly Black, 3/5 (View)
  • Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner, 4/5 (View)
  • Needful Things by Stephen King, 3/5 (View)

Read But Not Yet Reviewed:
Poison by Chris Wooding
The Barefoot Queen by Ildefonso Falcones

The Breakdown

Most Surprising: Back to Blackbrick
Most Disappointing: Doll Bones
Most Exciting: Dark Satanic Mills
Most Swoon-worthy: Uhm none of them actually. How depressing.
Most Beautifully Written: Printer’s Devil Court

Genres: YA (4/9); Thriller/Mystery (2/9); Supernatural/Paranormal (3/9); Fantasy (2/9); Horror (4/9); Graphic Novel (1/9)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (3/9); Paperback (4/9); Hardback (2/9); Owned (4/9); Borrowed (2/9)

Friday Features:

These kind of fell by the wayside this month. Must try harder!

Guest Posts, Promos and Other Highlights:

    • The Goth Girl Series by Chris Riddell (View Post)
    • Horror October, The Finale: You’re Next by Graeme Reid (View Post)

Most Viewed Posts:

          1. This is Endgame (for the second month running)(View Post)
          2. Top Ten Tuesday: Winter Reads (View Post)
          3. Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels to Read (View Post)

 

Added to the Shelves:

After lifting my book buying ban to buy some books for Horror October, I’ve gone back to being good (broke) and didn’t buy any books in the last two months. I did go a bit mad in the virtual aisles of Netgalley though to make up for it.

Netgalley Approvals:

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Awards:

botm-oct14

botm-nov14

mlft-dec14

All available to buy from Waterstones.

WWW Wednesday 03.12.14

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

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Currently Reading:
I’m struggling through The Barefoot Queen, which is a really interesting read about a Cuban slave, but too bogged down in unnecessary details for my liking. And it’s soooooooooooo long, but something is making me want to finish it! I CAN DO IT!

Recently Finished:
The last one I finished was Dying For Christmas by Tammy Cohen which I really liked, and reviewed here.

Up Next:
I can’t wait to start my festive reads – I have Mr Miracle by Debbie Macomber, A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale and more! And, I want to read Maze Runner by the end of the year too. Ahhh.