Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Top Ten Nineteen

Top ten if you like this ... try this

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/feature hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic was one I actually found quite hard to think of a list to for some reason, as alot of the books I would suggest normally I realised were either quite obvious (e.g. in the same series/ by the same author) or may have also been one alot of people would have heard of.  So with that in mind, I managed to put together a list of recommendations I hope may be less known (with some exceptions).  So here are my top ten if you like this... try this: 

1) If you liked Twilight  -  Try My Blood Approves - Another vampire series that focuses on a family, plus it includes a love triangle.  What else could you want? 

2) If you liked The Mortal Instruments - Try The Switched Series - I found it quite hard to think of another urban fantasy, so decided on this instead as it includes the supernatural element of trolls and is just another great series to try, particularly if you like some of the forbidden love and family side of the shadowhunter series.   

3) If you liked Anna and The French Kiss -  Try The Geography of You and Me - Another cutesy romance which includes amazing settings and some truly heartwarming scenes.  

4) If you liked The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Try We All Looked Up -  Another story set around school and unique, different characters as well as a key friendship.  Its also just an amazing read! 

5) If you liked We Were Liars -  Try Ketchup Clouds - I actually have yet to finish this one, but that doesn't mean it can't be recommended.  Another with a secret and betrayal which always keeps you guessing, jumps between present and past and is told in a unique style.  

6) If you liked The Book Thief - Try The Midnight Palace - If haven't read one or either of these books, then you need to because they are both amazing stories told beautifully and set against a historical backdrop.

7) If you liked If I Stay - Try Everyday - Both of the main characters in these spent most of the book in out of body experiences, with the main character in Everyday being more of a soul than a body.  They also both show how love can have life changing effects.  

8) If you liked The Fault In Our Stars - Try Before I Die - Again, I know many people have also heard of this one, but if you have yet to read it and liked TFIOS, then I would definitely give it a go.  A story about a girl with cancer falling in love and learning to make the most of the time she has left.  Warning, it's also just as emotional.  

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson


After reading Since you've been gone last year, I picked this one up just before the summer hoping for another good book.  I had loved the addition of playlists in that one, as well as enjoying her style and so was excited to read another of her books, especially as this one promised more 'extra content'.  I'd also heard alot about this one from other people, and so wanted to pick it up at last.

Firstly, I really liked the beginning of the book and how the plot developed.  I liked reading about the growth of both of the main characters, Roger and Amy, and really enjoyed watching as they slowly became closer throughout the story.  It was nice to see Amy come out of her shell as she began to trust Roger more and more, something I loved seeing.

I also liked the flashbacks that seamlessly slipped their into the story, with one always coming at just the right moment.  I liked how the mystery of the crash slowly came to light to us as it did to Roger and loved hearing stories of her past as Amy slowly learnt to deal with it herself.  I enjoyed getting a glimpse into her old life, the flashbacks giving alot more to the story than a simple explanation would have.

Moving on from that, I also liked almost all the characters we meet, no matter how insignificant or small a part they played.  There was not one person who the pair meet on their travels that I majorly disliked, something I was not expecting.  I also found that I never got bored of either Amy or Roger, something I expected to happen as most, as they are the two characters we spend by far the most time with.  I actually found Roger reminding of Frank from Since You've Been Gone slightly, that a comparison I was by no means against!

However, there was one aspect relating to the pair that I wasn't the fondest of - the romance.  Going into this, I knew it was almost guaranteed that they would end up together, as is the way with many romance novels, and despite not having any problem with this, I did feel slightly underwhelmed by it all.  After rooting for them all along, I just found the ending of their story to be a bit iffy, and quite brief.  Don't get me wrong, I loved the scene when one of them finally stepped up, but after that it just went downhill for me.  Sorry!

Onto an more positive note, one of the aspects which adored was the travel side of things, as well as the added content that came along with it.  I loved reading about the new places they explored and the new people they meet, and loved seeing what they picked up from each place.  But as before, my favourite out of them had to be the playlist, something I once again loved.  Music is another one of my loves, and so I liked reading through each one and trying to pick out anything that sounded interesting or that I had heard of before.  I also liked seeing the comparison between both of their music tastes, something which made them seem so much more real.

So overall, I did like this one, with only a few things niggling at me after I read it.  I would definitely tell anyone to give it a read if you want a quick little read with a deeper story woven into it, or if you just fancy giving it a go!

Character: Roger
Scene:  Amy talking to Walcott on the golf course 
Quote: "The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren't looking for them."
"You've got to have pride in your home.  You are where you're from.  Otherwise, you're always going to be lost." 

Relate a:
Song(s): If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now - The Lucksmiths
Other Book(s): The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith 


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday Eighteen

Top Ten Books on my Autumn TBR

Top ten tuesday is a weekly meme/ feature hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic was one I was actually quite looking forward to as it both allowed me to organize my reading plans and get me excited about reading these books whilst still creating a blog post!  So, without further ado, here are the books that I am planning to read throughout the season of Autumn: 

1) Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - This one has been sitting on my shelf for far too long, and honestly I don't know why I have yet to pick it up since I'm actually quite excited to read it - putting it straight to the top of the list of books I want to read this Autumn.
2) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Despite only picking this up a couple of weeks ago, I have never actually read a classic outside of school, so I would love to finally read one of my own accord.  

3) To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han - Another which I just need to read simply for how long it has been sitting on my shelves.  

4) The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne - I have actually already this one, but would love to reread it as I don't remember a ton and what I do likely come from the film rather than the actual book.  

5) Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein - I attempted to read this one earlier on in the year whilst in a reading slump, and so never got further than a 100 pages in, but I would like to give it another shot soon when I am in a better reading mood.  

6) Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher - I read My Sister lives on the Mantlepiece earlier this year, and really enjoyed it, so I am quite excited to read another by her, especially as the summary of this one draws me in even more.  

7) Lament by Maggie Stiefvater - This is another one that I would like to reread as once again I don't remember a ton and so would like to see if it is worth remembering.  

8) A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly - I first picked this one up around a year ago,  or maybe even longer before that, but only got to chapter two, so I really do think that this one more of a chance than that.  

Monday, 21 September 2015

The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon


I picked this one up recently after it having sat on my shelves for far too long, this story a long overdue read of mine.  I read The Prince of Mist around two years ago now, and absolutely adored it, so I was slightly nervous to pick this one up as I didn't want to be disappointed in an author whose writing I was expecting to once again love.  But luckily, I think its safe to say that I definitely wasn't let down by this one.

Firstly, I loved the characters.  I liked the variety within the group and, despite never getting to know some of them hugely well, I still feel as though I got a sense of each of their characters.  I ended up caring about what happened to each and everyone of them, and so I found myself connecting to them all well.  

But as much as I liked all the characters in this book, I will always have my favourites, this time around them being Ian and Isobel.  I liked how strong minded and smart she was, her character being one I couldn't help but love.  And as I recently mentioned in my last TTT post, my main reason for liking the character of Ian was simply down to how good a friend he was.  Not only this, but I liked how normal he seemed, his character a good yet believable one.  

Moving away from the characters, another factor that kept me going was the beautiful writing style.  For me, the way a story is written is something that can either draw me in or put me off, so I love it when I come across a book written in a style so unique and detailed that I can't help but admire the words as I read.  I also felt that it worked so well with the setting and the story, the atmosphere it creates perfect for this tale.

Nonetheless, I don't think I could have or would have loved the writing as much had the setting not been to my taste.  Beautiful and enchanting settings are another major weakness of mine, with this one just fitting with the story so perfectly well.  It was the best backdrop for this eerie yet magical story, with shadowy figures and dark stories fitting comfortably into it.  

But, despite how amazing the characters and setting maybe, the most important part of a story has to be the tale and plot itself - so its a good job that this one was fantastic.  I loved almost every part of this plot, from the way the mystery unraveled to the fast paced sections.  I enjoyed reading about and uncovering such a spooky and chilling tale that was hidden within this one, the story within the book being as good as the book itself.  All in all, I just loved it.  And honestly, I can't wait to pick up another Carlos Ruiz Zafon book some time soon!

Character(s): Isobel and Ian 
Scene(s): Ian, Sheere and Ben entering the house 
Quote(s): We had yet to learn that the devil created youth so that we could make our mistakes, and that God established maturity and old age so that we could pay for them... 
In the book of life it is perhaps best not to turn back pages

Song(s): A Rush of Blood to the Head - Coldplay 
Other book(s): What I Was by Meg Rosoff 


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday Seventeen

Top ten favourite fictional friendships

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme by The Broke and Bookish.  This week was a freebie, so I decided to take this opportunity to talk about and share some my favourite friendships from books.  I always seem to love any book with a good, strong or unique friendship in it, so without rambling on any further, here are some of my favourites: 

1) Liesel and Rudy from The Book Thief - Not only are these two out of one of, if not my favourite book, but their friendship is also one I adore so much.  I love how they grew up together throughout the book, how completely they trusted and helped each other, and honestly couldn't get enough of them as a pair.  

2) Simon and Clary from The Mortal Instruments - These are two whose relationship I have both loved and hated throughout the series, but after recently reading the fourth installment, City of Fallen Angels, I couldn't help but want to put them on this list due to just how honest they are with each, as well as the fact that after everything they have been through, they are still friends.
3) Gemma and Harper from The Watersong series - These two are likely my favourite fictional sisters just because of how much they care for and support each other, something which majorly influences almost all of this series.  

4) Ethan and Henry from The Game of Love and Death - Honestly, I don't entirely understand what exactly made me love their friendship, but I just really enjoyed their relationship and liked how well they worked together and just cared for each other.  

5) Will Grayson and Tiny Cooper from Will Grayson, Will Grayson - This seemed to be a rather unconventional yet still heartwarming friendship, and again I just couldn't help but get attached to it.  

6) Ian and Ben from The Midnight Palace - With this one, I liked how their friendship took quite a back seat and wasn't always the main focus, but yet still how Ian was always there for Ben and just how well he knew his friend. 

7) Isla and Kurt from Isla and The Happily Ever After - Honestly, I found the relationship between these two to be one of my favourite friendships out of the series, with it being made clear almost instantly how close they were and how much they supported each other through everything - plus I just loved Kurt as a character.  

8) Issac and Augustus from The Fault in our Stars - I feel as though this is one of the more obvious ones, but it is definitely one that I still wanted to mention.  I just really liked the great relationship that these two had and loved the funny moments their friendship gave us.  

9) Alice and Bobby from The My Blood Approves series - For some reason, Bobby is likely my favourite character out of this series, one of the reasons for this being the relationship he has with Alice.  I just loved seeing how they slowly began to like each other and how unconventional yet godd their friendship became.  

10) Audrey and Daisy from Revived - Finally, I couldn't complete this list without including these two, both of whom I love as individually as I do together.  They just work so well and I just loved seeing their amazing friendship - this book would definitely not be the same without it.  

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday Sixteen

Top ten series I have yet to finish

Top ten tuesday is a weekly meme/feature hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic was one that I knew I wouldn't find too hard as I have started a fair few series recently, with a few more I plan to start soon as well.  So here are my top ten series that I have yet to finish: 

1) The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare - I've made quite a way through this series, having read four of the six books in it, and I'm almost certain that I will get it complete sometime next year.  

2) The 5th Wave series by Rick Yancey - So far, i have only read the first of these books, but i do own the second one and am determined to pick it up sometime soon, particularly with the movie trailer being released recently.  

3) The Kanin Chronicles by Amanda Hocking - Again, I have only read the first of these, and honestly don't know why I have yet to pick up the second, as I do plan on continuing on sometime, hopefully soon.  

4) The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa - I read the first of these earlier on this year, and have just started the second one a number of days ago, so I'd like to think that I am slowly but surely making my way through this series.  Hopefully this time next year I while have finished or will be close to finishing it entirely.  

5) The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling - This series is one I hate admitting that I haven't read, especially as I haven't even tried hugely to change this yet, having only ever read the first one earlier this year.  I love the films and so do plan to read the other six books, I'm just not in a huge hurry to get round to them, as I already know the basic story. 

6) The Numbers Trilogy by Rachel Ward - This is a strange series for me, as I never seem to realise that there is another book until a couple of months after reading either the first book or the sequel, causing this to be one which has been on-going for a while now; but it's safe to say that I'm really excited to read the conclusion to this series, which so far I have hugely enjoyed.  

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins


This was yet another of my summer reads, after I read both Anna and Lola at some point over the past year.  I have been waiting so long to read this as I was so scared of disappointment, until I finally allowed myself to this August; and, as much as I liked it, I did have a few problems with it.

Firstly, as is always the case with Stephanie Perkins, I loved the romance element in this book.  I liked how realistic Isla seemed in relation to her crush on Josh, with this adding some unexpected humour to the beginning of the book.  I also liked how the romance happened alot quicker than in the first two books, even if it did feel slightly too quick in my opinion; lets just say that I wasn't a huge fan on how they got together.  But nonetheless, I really enjoyed reading about their relationship, particularly as they began to encounter problems that they had to learn to overcome.

One element which I seem to have many mixed views on is the characters.  I found myself loving most of the side characters, such as Kurt and Hattie, but then not being too keen on the two main characters, Isla and Josh. Starting positively, I loved Kurt and Isla's relationship and liked seeing a friendship like theirs in here.  I also liked how much Hattie contrasted him, with the relationship she has with her sister being an argumentative one instead.  But most of all, I just liked how both of the characters evolved throughout the book, with their personalities growing so much.

However, as much as loved these two, I found myself having some problems with the main couple in this book.  I don't know why exactly, but I could just never seem to really connect to Josh at all really, with him as a character being someone I just didn't click with.  And as for Isla, as much as I related to her (especially in the beginning of the book) and did seem to connect with her more, in the middle of the book particularly I found her to be slightly immature and kind of irritating, although she did redeem herself towards the end of it.

Now, I couldn't do this review without mentioning setting, which for this book is both New York and Paris.  Once again, I adored both of these backdrops, with the return to SOAP being a welcome one.  My only problem, and it is honestly just a little niggle, is that we didn't see more New York/ Manhattan, as I would have loved to have seen more of this, new setting as well as some of the returning setting.

Finally, I feel as though I have to talk about the ending, or at least the last fifty or so pages of this book, as they honestly redeemed this book so much in my eyes.  Firstly, I loved seeing the resolution between Isla and Hattie, as well as seeing Isla finally realize some things that she was wrong about.  But most of all, I just loved seeing the return of all the characters throughout the series, with everyone coming back for what I can only imagine is the perfect ending of the series.  And no matter how badly I couldn't connect with Josh, that scene was just pure amazingness.

So, I'd have to say that, all in all, I did enjoy this one.  It certainly didn't knock Lola and the Boy Next Door off the top spot for my favourite one out of the series, and I would properly also have to give Anna second place, but that doesn't mean that this wasn't a good book.  It gave a great ending to the series and I can't wait to see what Stephanie Perkins has in store next!


Character(s): Kurt
Scene(s): Isla and Josh's first date
Isla reading Josh's book
Quote: "The best relationships are the ones that are as happy and content in silence as they are in action."


Song(s): Sparks Fly - Taylor Swift
Let's Love - Echosmith 
Other Book(s): Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith


4/5 stars