Monday, 28 December 2015

Daughter Of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor | Review

Genre:  YA , Fantasy , Paranormal
Publication Date: 27th September 2011
Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers
Rating: ✰✰✰✰✰

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

This book is set in a really interesting fantasy world , with monsters , angels and wishes thrown together. Although the world building is not complete yet , it's clear that this is an epic fantasy world. For me , this book started off slow and it would've been a 3 or 4 star review but by the time I was halfway through I couldn't put it down! The plot twists and turns and although some parts of it were predictable , it felt like a mystery where I had to put pieces together and come up with a possible truth.

I adored Karou as a character! She was independent . intelligent , loyal and brave but at the same time she was vulnerable and I related to her a lot. I liked how she knew what she had to do but she did in the way that she wanted. 

I wasn't sure whether I liked Akiva or not at the start but as we read from his perspective more I began to understand that he was both genuine and broken. I quite liked their relationship and I liked how it unfolded into something larger than you could've expected but I'm not 100% sure about him yet. As a character I think that he is very interesting and dimensional and I look forward to learning more about him.

I feel as if I've been searching for a book that I can love and feel so much about as I did with this book for months now and I am thrilled to have found this series. I've been reading a lot of contemporary lately and I'm happy to get back into the dark stuff! I can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The Beautiful Blogger Award

I was nominated by Kaavya from Out Look On A Book for the beautiful blogger award. I'm very flattered , thank you! Everyone should go and check out her fabulous blog!


>Link the blogger who took the time to nominate you.

>List seven random things about yourself.
>Nominate seven beautiful , creative bloggers.

>Notify the amazing people who you nominated for the award.

7 Random Facts About Me

1) I'm terrified of elevators.

2) My favourite musical at the minute in Miss Saigon.

3) I can speak English and Irish fluently and a little bit of French but we're also learning Spanish and Russian in school this year.

4)History is my favourite subject.

5) I find it really hard to sit and watch an entire movie.

6) If I could eat pasta for every meal , I would.

7) I've never been sure what colour my eyes are , they're a mix of everything.

I nominate :

Amy from Powisamy 
Sofia from Accio Reviews
Denise from The Bibliolater 
Nicola from Nicola Reads YA 
Emma from Emma's Bookery
Sally from The Dark Dictator 

My 2016 Reading Challenge

Last year , I set a reading challenge of 60 books for myself on goodreads and ended up reading 65. I was thrilled with that number and really proud of myself for reaching that goal but this year I'd like to switch things up a little bit. All though 65 is a big number for me , most of the books I read in 2015 were in the first 9 months of the year as I was in a reading and blogging slump for a month or so. My one reading regret of 2015 is not expanding my range of what I read so this year I'm going to set goals of genres rather than a number. Below are the genres or type of book that I want to read in 2016. 

1) A classic novel.

2) A book based around a medical condition. 
*I actually read 2 or 3 books like this this year but I want to read more!*

3) A book by an Irish author.

4) Reread a favourite.

5) An adult novel.

6) A nonfiction novel.

7) A book that you said you'd never read.

8) A book set over 100 years ago.

Feel free to take this list or add your own! I'd really love if you could comment recommendations for some of the topics. Are you setting yourselves any goals or are you just going to run with it? 

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Top Ten Books Of 2015

 2015 is coming to an end and it is time to make one of the most difficult decisions of the year , what were the best books I read this year? After much consideration , I have come up with my top 10 out of 65 books of 2015! My average goodreads rating was 4.6 so as you can tell this was a really great reading year. 

10) Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This series was such a pleasant surprise! I love Armentrout's writing style but this was the first series of her's that I felt connected to. It's definitely one of my favourite series of her's! Also , an honourable mention to all of the JLR books that I read this year , all 20 of them.

9) The Next Together by Lauren James

This probably would've been higher on my list if I had read it at a different time to when I did but I still really enjoyed it! It was so interesting and I'm a historical fic lover!

8) A Darker Shade Of Magic by VE Schwab 

This book is such a perfect example of what I love in a fantasy book! It feels like it's been years since I read this book and I cannot wait for the rest of the series! 

7) Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank 

I read this series during my exams in June and it was my entire stress relief during that time! It's an Adult series which is completely out of the ordinary for me but it's one of my favourite series!

6) To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

This book was so cute! I felt so happy while reading this , it was so adorable and fluffy!

5) Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

This book guys , so many emotions! There's not much more I can say about this other than it's beautiful! Another , honourable mention to the other Colleen Hoover books that I read in 2015!

4) Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

While I was reading this I kept pausing to say "This is so good!" to no one in particular , sometimes to an empty room. I was surprised by how much I adored this book and the characters in it.

3) One by Sarah Crossan 

This book was heartbreaking and beautiful. It's written in verse which is really cool but the story is amazing and I know that it will stay with me for a long time.

2) Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

This book was unlike anything I had ever read before! It was hilarious , scary ,inspiring and emotional! There were cute little illustrations in this book as well ,it was a truly beautiful book!

1) Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J Maas 

My thoughts when I finished this book was "If I could enjoy every book as much as I enjoyed this one , I would be the happiest person alive." I can't find the words to tell you how much I loved this book but it's been 3 months and I'm still not over it.

So , that's it for 2015! What books did you love in 2015? Is there anything you'd like to see on my blog in 2016? Merry Christmas!

(Here's a little pointless doodle of my best book of 2014 giving my best book of 2015 the award)

Friday, 18 December 2015

November 9 by Colleen Hoover | Review

Genre: New Adult , Romance
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: November 10th
My Rating: ✰✰✰✰✰

Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Fallon and Ben meet once a year and those days are what we read in this book. I think that Hoover did an amazing job with this! She tells the story of two people by focusing on one day per year , yet we learn so much about how their lives progress over the years. 

Fallon and Ben were great characters to read about. They're flawed and intriguing but they make realistic decisions and react in ways I understood.  Fallon is passionate about theatre and reading and Ben is a writer which are all things that I have an interest in.  Both characters have horrible backstories that unfold throughout the book and it really broke my heart.

There were chapters in this book that were really hard to read as they were so raw and emotional. The level of emotion reminded me of Ugly Love , which is my favourite Colleen Hoover book but this one is probably joined second with Slammed! The story was beautiful and heartbreaking in the way that all Colleen Hoover stories are.

I'm a big fan of the way Hoover writes NA and I would definitely recommend this to you if you like NA or want to give it a try! 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

TV Shows That I Am Currently Watching

One of my favourite things to do is watching a good TV show while I draw or paint. I've never been a movie person but I get very emotionally invested in books and TV shows. This is a list of the TV shows that I am currently watching! These shows are all currently airing or in the middle of seasons!

1) Once Upon A Time 

Once Upon A Time is all about fairy tale characters and what they get up to while living in one town...and none of them remember who they are. I binge watched season 1-4 at the start of this year and I love the whole concept of it! Season 5 is incredibly intense and wonderful as always!

2) Fresh Meat 

This show is very different to what I usually watch but it's a British show about freshmen in college. It's lighthearted and hilarious! If you're looking for something easy to watch where you don't have to commit to 6 seasons and the risk of heartbreak , I'd give this a go!

3) Orange Is The New Black

This is the only one on the list that I'm not up to date with! OITNB is about a minimum security women's prison and it's a Netflix original series so all of the episodes stream on Netflix! I'm on season 3 and I started it a few weeks ago , it's ridiculously addictive!

4) How To Get Away With Murder

This show is about 5 law students who work for an attorney. I did not expect to love this show as much as I did. The dynamics between the characters are amazing and it's so interesting to see how they win cases and get away with murder. 

5) Reign 

Last but definitely not least , my all time favourite TV shows. Reign is about Mary Queen Of Scots and it is so , so good. I don't know how to describe it , it's like historical fantasy romance! The characters are flawed and realistic , it deals with heavy subjects and the costumes and sets are so beautiful.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell | Review

Genre: YA , Fantasy 
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Book
Publication Date: October 8th
Rating: ✰✰✰✰✰

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savour his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he'll be safe. Simon can't even enjoy the fact that his room-mate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can't stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you're the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savour anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you'd expect from a Rainbow Rowell story - but far, far more monsters.

Carry On is the story that anyone who read Rowell's previous YA novel , Fangirl will remember as the fanfiction that Cath wrote. It's a strange concept and I wasn't sure whether I would like it that much but I almost completely forgot that Simon Snow was even vaguely related to Cath , Levi and the Fangirl story.

Simon knows that he has to save magic but he doesn't believe he has the power to do so. Another obstacle is his roommate and enemy Baz. I loved every part of their relationship but one of the most interesting elements was that they both think that in the end one of them will have to kill the other.

In this book you read from the point of view of most of the main characters but also people that Simon doesn't speak to , including ghosts! There was a secret revealed in someone's POV but Simon never found out and I feel like it was better that way but it felt like we were let in on the secret. There were many really great elements like that.

The romance in this book was wonderful. It was everything you could expect from Rainbow Rowell with the happy sighs and smiles! The fantasy and world was really great as well and I hope Rowell writes some more fantasy! 

Carry On was a phenomenal read for me! It was definitely one of my favourite books of the year. I'd recommend it to any fantasy or contemporary lovers because it's a perfect mix of the two.