Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing This Year

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.

The topic for this week is:The Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing This Year.

Ooooooooh so many, so, so many. Most of the books I really want are ones that I never got round to buying…I hope Santa has a bottomless sack! 😉

Dear Santa,

I have a been a very good girl this year, so if you would be so kind, I would like these books in my life…(in no particular order).

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More Than This – Patrick Ness: I always need more Ness in my life!

Of Scars and Stardust – Andrea Hannah: This was my second favourite book of the year, which I had as a digital advance copy but I need to own a physical copy. I wanted to read it again as soon as I’d finished it!

Rebel Belle – Rachel Hawkins: It looks so pretty and sounds bad-ass too!

Heir of Fire – Sarah J. Maas: So much love for this series but I just keep forgetting to buy it!

The Bane Chronicles – Cassandra Clare: I never did finish TMI but Alec and Magnus Bane were totally my favourites.

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The Jewel – Amy Ewing: I need to fill the void that The Selection trilogy has left and this sounds like it could be up to the job. There’s too long to wait until The Heir is released!

Subversive Horror Cinema (Countercultural Messages of Films from Frankenstein to the Present) – Jon Towlson: I don’t buy a lot of non-fiction books but one or two always end up on my Christmas list. I’m a huge fan of cinematic horror and this sounds really interesting to me.

Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Sáenz: I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this book. It’s been on the top of my wishlist for a while now.

The Girl Who Walked on Air – Emma Carroll: I loved Frost Hollow Hall and have been meaning to buy this one, the second book by Emma, since it was released. I have failed.

The Chaos Walking Trilogy – Patrick Ness: It makes me sad that I don’t own these books. I borrowed them off my friend Di but I definitely need my own copies ASAP!

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!

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

insur
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

11235712 (1)
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!

September 2014 on Lipsyy Lost & Found/ October Releases

September hasn’t been my best month, reading wise and beyond.

I had a successful month free of booze (hurrah), but I also had to start job hunting, which left less time to read than usual (not hurrah). However, I’m trying to see the whole palaver as an opportunity. On to bigger and better things…I hope.

But for now, let’s just get on with the stats…

Total Posts: 24
Books Read: 5

Reviews (5):

  • Trust In Me by Sophie McKenzie, 4/5 (View)
  • Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence, 3/5 (View)
  • Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah, 5/5 (View)
  • Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead, 3/5 (View)
  • How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, 4/5 (View)

Read But Not Yet Reviewed: N/A

The Breakdown

Most Surprising: Of Scars and Stardust
Most Disappointing: Prince of Thorns
Most Exciting: Of Scars and Stardust
Most Swoon-worthy: Shadow Kiss
Most Beautifully Written: Of Scars and Stardust

Genres: YA (3/5); Thriller/Mystery (2/5); Dystopian (1/5); Supernatural/Paranormal (1/5); Fantasy (1/5)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (2/5); Paperback (3/5); Owned (1/5); Borrowed (2/5)

Friday Features:

  • Book Event Envy (View Post)
  • Horror October: Ghostly Guest Posts & Slimy Submissions Wanted (still open!) (View Post)

Guest Posts, Promos and Other Highlights:

Most Viewed Posts:

 

Added to the Shelves:

I lifted my book buying ban to buy some books for Horror October…and The Maze Runner for good measure.
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Netgalley Approvals:

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Awards

botm - sept
cotm - sept

mlft - oct

October Releases

Here are the October releases I’m most excited about:
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Available to pre-order from Waterstones.

Cherry-loving Wolves, Bloody Knives, and People Made of Magic…

Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah

arc1
Title: Of Scars and Stardust
Author: Andrea Hannah
Series: N/A
Edition: ARC, 366 pages
Publication Details: October 8th 2014 by Flux
Genre(s): Mystery; Thriller; YA
Disclosure? Yep! I received a copy from the Publisher/Author in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads
Purchase

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.

Woah. This book.

I have a total book hangover from this so please excuse my babbling review.

First of all, I didn’t even read the synopsis of this book before I picked it up. I requested it on the basis of the title and the cover alone, and went into it pretty blind and I’m so glad I did.

Not that I think it would have been any less amazing if I’d heard more about it, but I wasn’t expecting that.

Claire is living an average teenage existence in Ohio, going to bonfire parties where they drink cherry vodka and tell stories about the wolves that stalk the cornfields. Claire’s little sister, Ella is full of creativity and imagination and sees the world through magical eyes like only an eight year old can.

When Ella is asked to leave a party that she followed Claire to, she’s attacked on her way back. Her face will never be the same again, and Claire, now obsessed with the wolves that she believes attacked her is shipped off to New York. The only thing that brings her back to Ohio is when Ella disappears.

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.

I loved how Claire saw her sister, and tried to make sense of the world as she saw it. She was terrified, damaged, and often alone, but she never felt like a victim. As the book went on it became clear that not only did Claire not know who to trust, but we as readers are not sure if we can trust her either.

I don’t think I even took a breath during the second half of this book, I was literally on the edge of my seat – which is pretty hard to do when you read in bed. If someone could come and pick my jaw up off the carpet, that would be great.

I loved setting, I loved the characters and I loved the uniqueness of this book, but I don’t want to say much more about it in case I ruin it for others.

What I will say, is that as soon as I finished it, I wanted to start over. Therefore, I give it all of the unicorns. Keep them all. And let them breed.

unicorn rating

Pre-order Of Scars and Stardust now, you won’t regret it!