Monday, 29 June 2015

Top 10 books of the year so far | Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and you can find the topics here .
This weeks topic is The Top 10 Books Of The Year So Far. Click on the title to be transported (ooo) to the goodreads page or my review of the book. You may notice that most authors on the list appear twice or more because usually I read authors in bulk and I've been on a contemporary kick for the last few months so there's a lot of contemporary! 



10) Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout.

I loved the entire series and can't remember what I thought of each book individually so I'm just going to say book 1.

9) Be With Me by J Lynn

 
 
8)Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover


7) Slammed by Colleen Hoover


6) Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover


 
 

5) All I Know Now By Carrie Hope Fletcher


 
4) Vicious by VE Schwab


3) A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

2) A Darker Shade Of Magic by VE Schwab


1) Twenty-Eight and A Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank
Again , I can't choose a favourite so I'm just writing book one! I rave about this book every few blog posts , it's one of the best series' I have ever read! I recommend it so much!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Camp NaNoWriMo

Today's post is a little bit different as I want to explain what's going on for the next month. I've a feeling that blog posts will be less frequent because I will be doing Camp NaNoWriMo!
For anyone who doesn't know what that is it's basically lots of people picking a word goal for a book and trying to write it in the month of July! I'll hopefully be writing a lot and won't have as much time to read , not a lot of books means not a lot of reviews.
I'll still be posting my usual Rachel Recommends , Top 5 Wednesday and Top Ten Tuesday posts but there will probably be a lack of reviews.

I do plan on posting writing updates to talk about my progress and what the book is about. I'm so happy to be participating in it because I never thought I could write something big and developed enough to be a full length book. I have most of it plotted out and I'm passed the point of caring if its good or not. I love my characters and I love my story , doing this will give me the confidence to learn from my mistakes and do it again.

Are you participating in Camp NaNowWriMo ? Have you done so in the past and if so do you have any advise for me?

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Be With Me by J Lynn | Review

Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for Plan B – college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.
Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.
As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together, and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not…

Genre: New Adult , Contemporary , Romance 
Publication Date: February 4th 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins   
My rating: 4.75/5 stars 
Firstly , I feel like I have to show you the cover that was on my kindle for this book because it's so much better. 

I can't find it anywhere else , or in colour and I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but this cover is so much more meaningful.

We briefly meet Tess in Wait For You which is the first book in this companion series. You don't need to read Wait For You to read Be With Me but I enjoyed the involvement of the Wait For You characters! I didn't enjoy Wait For You as much but from what I knew of Tess she was a passionate dancer so as soon as I read the synopsis for this book I knew it'd be interesting. I loved reading from Tess' point of view as she struggles to find herself when her dreams have been crushed. My heart broke for Tess and I was rooting for her to be able to dance again. She grows so much throughout the book and I felt like a proud mother because I really connected with her. Tess is a very layered character who has gone through more in her life than most people should but she comes out at the other end stronger. 

We also met Jace in Wait For You but we didn't know much about him other than his relationship with the main character. He is Tess' older brothers best friend and they know eachother through him. Jace was frustrating but in a way that you couldn't blame him instead you wanted to help him see the light. Jace has not had an easy life and like Tess' he grows so much but in a very different way. I loved Tess and Jace's relationship because I knew that they loved eachother when they wouldn't admit it. 

The story had many plot twists aswell as some tragic and horrifying scenes. There was a scene that had my heart thumping from the intensity! I loved the overall message of the story and by the end I was smiling like an idiot. It's one of those stories that give you a bit of knowledge that you'll keep forever until you need it , it was very inspiring! 

All in all , I was so glad that I read this book. With character arcs that bettered me as a person and the discussion of topics that need to be mentioned more often I would definitely recommend this book!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Rachel Recommends #2 | Anna and a The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna Oliphant has big plans for her senior year in Atlanta: hang out with her best friend, Bridgette, and flirt with her coworker at the Royal Midtown 14 multiplex. So she is none too happy when her father sends her off to boarding school in Paris. However, things begin to look up when she meets √Čtienne St. Clair, a gorgeous guy–with a girlfriend. As he and Anna become closer friends, things get infinitely more complicated. Will Anna get her French kiss? Or are some things just not meant to be? Perkins has written a delightful debut novel with refreshingly witty characters. The chapters are concise, and the steady pacing leading up to the “will they or won't they?” moments will capture even reluctant readers. Teens will feel like they are strolling through the City of Lights in this starry-eyed story of finding love when you least expect it. 
 
Genre: young adult , contemporary , romance 
Cuteness: 10/10 
Sadness: 2/10
Humour: 9/10

I've read Anna and The French Kiss twice now and I love it even more after 2 reads.  If you are about to fall into a reading slump after a big series , pick this book up! It's jam-packed with hilarious characters and a cute romance that'll make you (almost) forget the sadness from your last read! 

You could also read it for no reason other than wanting to read a good book or maybe you want to read more contemporary books , either way this is the book for you! It's fast paced and very character driven. I find that studying abroad is something that I like to read about as I'll never have the experience (that is a long story) but I can get a taste of what it would be like through books like this.  

If you read this book and want to read more books in the same style , Lola and the boy next door is a companion novel to it. Anna and Etienne appear in Lola and the boy next door which is fun , but it stands on it's own! Same goes for the next book Isla and the happily ever after! 

Tell me if you've read this book or if I have convinced you to add it to your TBR.

   

Top 5 Character I would like to drown | Top 5 Wednesday

 
As always Top 5 Wednesday was created byGingerreadslainey and you can find out more on the Goodreads group

Enjoy my list of characters who would've made my life easier if they had gotten themselves drowned...even if their stories wouldn't make sense without them. 
America Singer from The Selection series by Kiera Cass 

I pretty much wanted to drown America in chapter 1 and almost didn't finish the books 3 times because of her irritating ramblings.

Tris Prior from Divergent by Veronica Roth 

I actually likes Tris for the first book but she made the most illogical and ridiculous decisions. I couldn't stand her by book 3 and I would drown her. I'd make a joke here but I can't post spoilers so I'll leave it up to your imagination. 


Valentine Morgenstern from The Mortal Instruments 

Valentine isn't annoying and he's a very interesting character but I hate him so much that I would drown him in book 1 if I could. He has ruined so many lives and if someone were to hypothetically drown him , I don't know , 20 years ago? It would've saved a lot of lives and a lot of tears.

Adam Kent from Shatter Me

I say shatter me but I really mean unravel me and ignite me. He irritated me to know end and basically, I want to drown him. 

Violet Gardner from The Rose Gardner Mystery series 
For a while I made excuses for Violet but the way she treats her sister was unforgivable. Her sister , Rose , forgives her again and again and I get that beside sisters have a sort of (almost) unconditional love but I definitely did not. 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

My Most Anticipated Releases

The problem with reading so many books is that I lose tracks of the books I want to read most when they're not even out yet. This is a list of the new books coming out in the next year that I want to read.

Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout (book 3 in the The Dark Elements series) 

Out July 28th 2015 
Click here to read the synopsis because there are spoilers for book 1and 2. 

  



Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon 

Out September 1st 2015 

This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. 
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.   
Thirty-Five and a Half Conspiracies by Denise Grover Swank (book 8 in the Rose Gardner mystery series)
Out November 2015   

I can't find a synopsis or a cover but you can read my review of the first book in the series here






Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J Maas (book 4 in the Throne Of Glass series)

Out September 1st 2015

The synopsis for Queen of Shadowsof the synopsis for book 1




Winter by Marissa Meyer 

Out November 10th 2015 

Read the synopsis for  Winter or book 1 Cinder


Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (Book 1 in the Dark Artifices series) 

Out March 8th 2016 

 Los Angeles It's been five years since the events of The Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge.
Raised in the Los Angeles institute with the Blackthorn family , Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention — they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn't the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute , if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they'll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise it's open war between faeries and Nephilim.
The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she's absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.


Sunday, 21 June 2015

Vicious by VE Schwab | Review



Release Date: 24/9/13
Genres: sci-fi , fantasy , paranorm 
Pages: 368
Stars: 5/5

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end? 

One of my favourite aspects in a book is the conflict between heroes and villains. Are the heroes one sided and arrogant or are they really doing what's right? Do the villains have  an understandable goal or are they downright insane? Well, in this story you don't know. Victor and Eli were the most confusing characters I have ever read about. We see them from the eyes of eachother of other characters and themselves so it's very hard to figure out if they're actually good or if it's extremely biased. Victor wants revenge and of course you can understand why he'd be angry after years in prison but it is that really the answer? Eli genuinely thinks that what he is doing is right and that he is a hero so how can you hate him? Victor and Eli terrified me at different times and I couldn't tell if I cared about them or not. Despite my frustration it really was a very interesting thing to read. 

The timeline of the book is one chapter in present day and then another set 10 years ago , you want to find out how the characters went from friends to foes and each chapter fills in the gaps. There were a lot of other characters that were very interesting and hard to judge aswell as lots of different perspectives

This book was intense at times , towards the end chapters are called "6 hours till midnight" and "30 minutes till midnight" and you could almost hear the clock ticking while reading it.

All in all , this book was cleverly planned out and incredibly well written. I would recommend it to anyone who likes anti-heroes and villainous characters! It is one of those stories that will stay with me forever and have an impact on how I write and judge characters in the future. 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Why I love my Kindle


Kindles and other eReaders are a pretty controversial topic for book lovers and I was pretty iffy about then until I got one six months ago and it has been my saviour.
This post is basically going to be about why I love my kindle and what types of books I read on it. 

The first book I bought on my kindle was Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I flew through this book and half way through I was already in love with my kindle. Right after that I read Lola and then Isla and I was so pleased with how easy and fast it was to download them. 

Another set of books I read on my Kindle are The Lux series , The Covenant series and The Dark Elements series by Jennifer L Armentrout. These books aren't out in Ireland so buying them all as I read them was so much easier than waiting 2 weeks for an online order. Jennifer's books are quite lighthearted and funny and I think they're the best books to read on it. 

Other authors I never would've read if it weren't for the easy accessibility are Colleen Hoover and Denise Grover Swank! They are two of my favourite authors and both of their books have lighter hearted writing with a lot of deep moments in there.

I also buy the Shadowhunter novellas on kindle and I love it so much! They're only short and they're very cheap but I look forward to them every month and I love that I don't have to wait for the finished copy to read them all! 

In conclusion , I think kindles are great for contemporary , light hearted and short books and it's definitely one of my favourite possessions. I don't like reading fantasy or very heavy books on it because they are generally longer and harder to read. I still prefer physical copies but cheaper books = more books I can buy! 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Top 5 Books I read in one sitting | Top 5 Wedneday

I'm going to change this topic a teeeeenyyyy bit to books I read very quickly!

As always Top 5 Wednesday was create by Gingerreadslainey and you can find out more on the Goodreads group

5)The Fault In Our Stars by John Green 

When I read this book it was the best thing in the world and now that I've read MUCH better books I know that's is not that great but hey I still read it in a day! 

4)The Shatter Me trilogy by Tahereh Mafi
I read all 3 books in one weekend which I thought was pretty impressive. I've read the size of Shatter Me in a week so 3 in one weekend is pretty great. 

3)The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare 
I read all 10 books ( The Mortal Instruments 1-6 , The Infernal Devises 1-3 and the Bane Chronicles) in 2 weeks which is A LOT of books , I mean have you seen the size of City Of Heavely Fire? 

2) Colleen Hoover books in general 
I read Slammed , Maybe Someday , Confess and Ugly Love in singular days. I read Confess and Ugly Love in the same weekend and I read the rest in 24 hours. Let's just say I fly through contemporary books! 

1) The Rose Gardner Mystery by Denise Grover Swank 

I read all 7 in one week. A book a day. In an EXAM week. It was insane and it was also last week so I'm currently having withdrawals. It's such a great series please read it , I recommend it every chance I get ! 

What books did you read quickly? 

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Top 10 books on my TBR for Summer | Top 10 Tuesday

I've wanted to participate in Top Ten Tuesday for a while now and decided to start this week. This isn't the best topic for me and I only have a few books on my tbr but at least I've started now! 

Original post:  http://www.brokeandbookish.com/p/top-ten-tuesday-other-features.html?m=1

1)The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 
My auntie gave me this book a couple of months ago but I haven't read it because it's very big and I had exams. I'm really excited to read this book , it's so many people's favourite! 

2) Fairest by Marrisa Meyer 
I want to read the novella to theLunar  Chronicles before the release of Winter next November. There are a lot of mixed feelings about this series but I personally loved it! I really need to reread it to remind me where the characters are at for the final instalment.


3)Sabriel by Garth Nix 
I've had this book for quite a while but I haven't picked it up. It sounds like a perfect book for me and I really cannot wait to read it.

I don't actually have that much of a set TBR so I just sort of wing it when I finish a book. So this is all of the books that I definitely what to read , I also want to read some contemporary so if you have any recommendations for that please leave them in the comment section! 

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas | Review

Genre:
 
fantasy , young adult 
Publication Date:  May 5th 2015
Page Count: 432
Stars:5/5


When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

I had very high expectations for this book because of Sarah J Maas' other series Throne Of Glass as well as the hype that has been surrounding this book. I was not disappointed , in fact , my expectations were exceeded. I didn't think this book would be as good as Throne Of Glass but it was definitely on the same level! This book had a very obvious begining , middle and end and it felt like I had been living in the world for a year when I'd only been there for 2 days.

This is a Beauty and The Beast retelling and although I'm not a Disney girl , I do love fairy tales especially Beauty and The Beast. It's loosely retold so it's not predictable but you can see the references from time to time. My only complaint would be that the relationship between Feyre and Tamlin was very slow and when you start to notice that there could be a chance of them being together , they suddenly are in love. It wasn't that big of a deal and you almost forget about it but I wrote in down in my notes as something had bothered me a little bit.

There was some very interesting character as well as a very interesting world in this book. Feyre , our main character, was the only one supporting her family and missed out on basic things like reading and writing as a child. There are challenges in this book that force Feyre to overcome those challenges and although it's painful to read at times , you can tell that she will grow so much as a character as the series progresses. I have to say that she's not as cool as Celaena though , but she's not an annoying angsty teenager which means I'm happy! 

As this is a Sarah J Maas book , we all know that our ideas of love interests will be thrown up in the air by the next book but I really like Rhys and I think he will come into play a lot in the next book. I have so many theories about the book and where it's going! 

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy and steamy romances! 

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Top 5 books of the year so far |T5W

The top 5 Wednesday Goodreads group and creator


This year is a state exam year for me (they start the day that this goes up...yay...) so a lot of the books I've read have been deliberately lighthearted. There's not many big fantasies or beautifully written books that I've read this year but I've still enjoyed most of them! 


5) A Little In Love by Susan Fletcher 



This book is a retelling of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables from the point of view of Eponine. I've never read Les Mis in full , although I do plan to, but I've seen the all recorded versions of the musical countless times so I was definitely interested in this book. I loved how Eponine was portrayed in this novel aswell as the other main characters from the musical like Cossette and Marius. I loved meeting people like Enjolras along the way and getting to know characters that aren't in the musical. If you have seen les mis I would definitely recommend this book! 

4)The Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout 






This book is about the ancestors of Greek gods and the discrimination between purse and half bloods. This is definitely a more lighthearted series than something like Throne Of Glass but I enjoyed it very much. Although if wasn't as serious as other series's it does have some deep moments in there. I went into more detail about why I love this series  here

3) A darker shade of magic by VE Schwab 







This is one of the only high fantasy books I've read this year and it's also the first VE Schwab book I read. This book is set in a world in which there are 4 alternate London's. It has lots of perspectives that tie in together at the end and is packed full of interesting characters. The contrast between the characters and the differences between the London's was very interesting to read about. I went into greater detail in my review

2) A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas 





This is another one of the only high fantasy books I read this year. I read Sarah J Maas' Throne of Glass series last year and loved it so I had high expectations for this book. And if a new series by one of my favourite authors wasn't enough to excite me , it's a Beauty and The Beast retelling! Now I'm not a Disney girl (to be honest I'm not a movie girl in general) but Beauty and The Beast is one of my favourite stories. It's about the fae and is very loosely retold but you can see the similarities! I read this book in 2 days but it felt as if I had been reading it for a year because so much happens! There is a very obvious begining, middle and end. I can't wait for the rest of the series!

1) Twenty Eight and A Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank 




This is the last book that I read and that is not why it's number 1 , I promise! It all starts when Rose Gardner sees herself dead. Rose has lived under her abusive mothers rule for 24 years and decided that enough is enough. She writes a list of the things she wants to do before she dies and doesn't care what we mother thinks anymore. Rose has the sight , she can see the future of other people but has no control over it and whenever she sees something she has to say it out loud. This gets her in quite a bit of trouble , especially when she finds her mother dead in the same spot she was fortuned to die in! Rose is now a key suspect in the murder and when another person she knows is murdered , she starts to question her involvement in all of it.
I have so much to say about this book , firstly it's the first mystery I've ever read ! I want to read mysteries now , it was such an interesting aspect of the book. Rose is one of the most interesting characters I've ever read about and she made me laugh out loud at times. I've reviewed this book ,you can check it out  here

Monday, 1 June 2015

Rachel Recomends #1 : The Covenant Series by Jennifer L Armentrout


I want to start recomendation series on my blog so I can share some of my favourite books. I'll hopefully post a new recomendation every (or almost every) Tuesday. 

Synopsis:

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much.

Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule 1#: Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. 

Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

Genre:paranormal/romance , young adult.

Books in series:

Why do I recommend this series?

Characters : 

Over the course of the 5 books we meet lots of interesting characters. We have our main character Alex who doesn't take no for an answer ( even when she really , really should) but you love her anyway and we also have Aiden , who is one of the nicest , yet coolest characters I've ever read about. We have Caleb , Alex's bestfriend. Their relationship was one of my favourite things about the series and I loved how nothing could stop them from being there for eachother. 
And then , last but definitely not least, we have Seth. He doesn't come in until book 2 (I think...?) but he is one of those characters who are good and bad and heroic and evil all at the same time. Although those type of characters can be frustrating , they're one of my favourite things to see in books.

Greek Gods : I've never read Percy Jackson (I'll get to it someday) or any other books with Greek gods in them but after reading this I really , really want to. 
They're sassy , hilarious and terrifying all at the same time and it added so much to the books. I loved how we travelled to different worlds and saw what happens  when they die rather than read about it in a history book.

Prophesy: 

At the begining of the series there is a prophesy that lasts throughout the series. I loved how I was constantly guessing what it meant and was always surprised! 

Other reasons: 

If you haven't read any of Jennifer L Armentrout's other series's , you obviously arent familiar with the writing style. I think simple sums it up pretty well. It's no literary work of art but she tells stories so so well. The simpleness keeps it lighthearted with the occasional dark moment , I'll admit I cried a lot at the end but all in all it's a very fun read.