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Thursday, 18 January 2018

Best Books Of 2017

This is it, the year is over ! I bet you are all super excited to hear my choices. But first you must hear about my life … 2018 has started positively which is good, although yesterday I spilt a drink on my Dad’s laptop ! What an idiot ! Luckily it didn’t die but a friendly reminder to myself and others, don’t drink by computers !  Anyways, I am finally reading, which is more than can be said for those last months of last year ! As I’ve said in my previous post I did manage to reach my Goodreads target which was 25. This year I have pushed it up to 30. So I’ve got to keep up my reading pace ! I gave 3 books 5*, which seems like I’ve not read many good books but I have ! I’m just a reluctant 5* giver. It’s really got to wow me. So, because I struggled to cut down on all my 4* books, this year I’ve decided to pick one book per category. This means there may be some surprises that may not be on the list. The categories for 2018 are; sci-fi, dystopia, fantasy, historical and crime. This is it, are you ready ?

Sci-fi
Gemina – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Is this a surprise to anyone? I didn’t think so. This series is just so incredible. I can read these books like nobodies business. They are such an immersive experience, it really is like you’re watching a film or something. I admit, they are chunky, but you can read through them so quickly as the pages are all so different. Some have text posts and some is just dialogue. You have to praise the authors as they have done such an excellent job of creating these books. I would honestly recommend these books to anyone wanting a great read, I fact I did. Hen Pen loved it too. I’d say it’s the best space book I’ve read. I have no doubt that the final book will be on my best books of 2018.

Dystopia
Scythe – Neal Shusterman
 I got this book for Christmas last year, and it wouldn’t ever be something I would’ve picked up on my own. The cover is great and from reading the blurb, the concept sounds great; there’s no more death so people have to take up the mantle and do it. Sounds pretty interesting right? I was super surprised by how sucked into this book I was. It was just something so different to read, I’ve never read anything like it before. I loved the twists and turns and I can’t wait to read how this story develops and unfolds.

Fantasy
Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo
The fantasy category was the hardest for me to pick just one book. But ultimately this was the clear winner. I read both books this year and oh my god they were just great. I just loved this immersive story. The world building is incredible and so in depth, you’d almost think Ketterdam is a real place. The characters are great and I just got so into the story and loved how it all ended. I say everyone should read this series ! I feel like I need to read her other series since I liked this one so much. I have high hopes !

Historical
And I Darken – Kiersten White
Now I will admit this book started as a complete cover buy. I saw the sequel in a book shop p, and I was just like I have to read this book. Sadly, they didn’t have the first one so I had to order it online. But, my was I glad I picked it up. I loved the main character, she was such a great, strong female lead. I also really enjoyed the historical aspect, it was something I’d never really read before. It’s opened up a new genre for me, and I would now read more books like this. I did find this book to lull in some places, when the storylines split, but overall the book really intrigued me and I’m really looking forward to seeing where the storyline goes in the other books.

Crime
The Method – Shannon Kirk
2017 was the year I really got into crime books. I’ve really read any full on crime books, I’ve read mysteries and such, but last year was all about the crime thrillers. And this was a gooden. I read this on holiday and was fully invested straight away. I loved this story. It was so interesting and intricate, I couldn’t tell what was going to happen at all. I found the storyline to be really original and something totally new for me. It’s about a kidnapping where the shoe is on the other foot … The writing style is clever and really immersive, it’s also a one off so no need to wait around for another one !

So that’s the category winners, but I can’t go without adding some honourable mentions; The Diabolic by S.J Kincaid, World After by Susan Ee, The One by John Marrs and A Court Of Wings And Ruin by Sarah J Maas (of course!).

I think you’ll agree I read some pretty good books! Hopefully I’ll read lots of great books this year to reach my target, and maybe have a longer favourites list next year!
TTFN


Sunday, 7 January 2018

December Wrap Up

Happy new year everyone ! New year new me and all that. Lol jokes, more of the same I’m afraid. But my book challenge has increased this year to 30 books. But before we talk about January we’ve got to go back to 2017 and talk about December. December is always busy what with Christmas and my birthday, and also this year Hen was here on Christmas Day and that was the best ! Even though I’m working I still get the Christmas holidays which is even better. I get the holidays without the work so yay for me.

 I got so many great books which I’m really excited to read. I think the most ever ! Even some hardbacks which I love. Hopefully I’ll get to read them all to reach that target I’ve got.
Back to the books I actually read in December … zero. I known I know, another month with no books. Luckily I managed to reach my target because I read so much in the summer, so I got away with a couple of non reading months. I say I've not read anything in December, well no books that count. I’ve been reading a lot of fanfiction. I saw Star Wars twice in December and I’ve become slightly obsessed. It’s not my fault, it was a good film !

Now it’s a new year I’m really going to try and push myself to get reading. I’ve got a big target to hit and I’m looking to reading to lots of books, new and old.

Let’s see what January brings !
TTFN

Thursday, 28 December 2017

November Wrap Up

Wow, this one is super late. I’ll probably be writing my December wrap up straight after this …
November, November, November, what did I do. I finished one job and started another, which I’m really enjoying so yay good decisions all round. I now work in a school and this month I was a scribe for exams which was an interesting experience. I started watching Christmas films and went to the cinema a couple of times. I got to see Hen lots which is always nice.

Right, enough with the rambling, I’ve got a confession to make. I didn’t read a single book this month! I know I know crazy times. I’ve read 100 pages of two books but I’ve just not been feeling it recently. I’ve just been excited about what books I’m going to get for Christmas! I think the main issue is that I hardly ever read before bed and that’s the only time I get now I have a job. I’ll have to try harder!

I literally have nothing else to add really. No books mean nothing to talk about so sad times.
I hope I have more to say next month. Sorry it's so short.

TTFN

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

October Wrap Up

October Wrap Up

It’s November and you know what that means … it’s nearly Christmas ! Yay Christmas ! I’m so excited ! I know what you’re thinking, Molly this blog is incredibly late again. I’ve been super busy this month starting my first full time job. I forgot how much time I spend reading during the day that I can’t do anymore ! So I’m trying, but when I get in from work and done some bits and had dinner, I just want to chill. But anyways, back to it being nearly Christmas ! I’m buying presents as we speak which is also distracting me from writing this …

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
This will be one of my quickest reviews ever as I really cannot remember much about this book. Even when I was reading it, I didn’t know the main characters name. That being said, I don’t think it’s actually said that much. So the book is essentially about a girls time in New York, it should be the best time ever, but for her it’s not going that way. I realise that’s not exactly a good description of the book, but honestly I really can’t remember. I did read it over a month ago! The book most reminded me of the Catcher In The Rye, a sad teenager spending time in the city not really doing anything. My biggest gripe is that to me the book seemed to be in two parts. The part in New York and the part where she has a complete break down. I was actually pretty confused to be honest, it was a sudden change and seemed somewhat disjointed from the rest of the book. I’m glad I read it as it’s a classic, and has been something I wanted to read for a while, but I don’t think it’ll be going on my favourites list.
My Book Rating – 3*

Turtles All Way Down – John Green
So this book got me all kinds of excited. Some of John Green’s books are my all time favourites, so I had high hopes. I even preordered it which I hardly ever do. This book is a bit of a mystery novel. The main character, Aza is on a mission to uncover the truth of the disappearance of the towns billionaire Russell Picket (who happens to be her old crushes dad). Aza, however is struggling to cope with her own internal spiralling of her thoughts. This leads her to have strained relationships with her family and friends. Will she solve the mystery, or will her own struggles prevent her from discovering truth? This book most reminded me of Paper Towns. The whole mystery/crush scenario. I did like Aza as a character, she was complex and interesting but very human. Her flaws were obvious and she struggled to deal with them at times. She tried to be better but ultimately she was unable to do so all the time. I really enjoyed her monologue at the end, and for me that was the best part of the whole book. It was sadly not very memorable, which is probably why I’m struggling to add much else. Overall it was a good novel but I prefer his other works.
My Book Rating – 3*

This is my shortest blog in a while, but I think next months one will be even shorter … I have just been so much busier than normal and just not in a reading mood. It makes me sad when I don’t read because there are so many I want to read ! Hopefully this is just a phase and will back reading lots soon. But until then
TTFN


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

September Wrap Up

Look at me go ! By some miracle I’m actually writing this in good time. What did I do in September ? I went shopping with my mum a couple times, there was some family events like my Nan and Grandads 60th wedding anniversary, it was my sisters birthday and we went out for a cream tea, and I saw Henry a lot and we did fun stuff like going cinema and eating waffles. Sounds like a pretty good month all in all and I only had a couple meltdowns, so yay ! I read another two books this month, and I’ve reached my 25 book target. So another yay moment for me. The books I read were pretty hefty, I wonder if I can write that much about them…

The Bone Season – Sammantha Shannon
This was another one of those books that I got as soon as it came out and was so excited to read, but did I read it ?  No I did not. I have no idea why I didn’t, I remember going into Waterstones the day it came out, having a chat with the man about how excited we were and how we knew it would be a great book ! But here I am, 4 years later, just reading it. I am truly a terrible person. Anyways, enough about my failures as a person and on to the actual book.
So, The Bone Season. We start with a general fantasy concept, humans are scared of magical beings so try to outlaw them. Said magical beings go underground and in hiding. If they are caught they are killed or imprisoned.  Got it? Good. Now in The Bone Season, the magical beings are clairvoyants and our main character is Paige, and she is a dreamwalker, one of the more rare types of clairvoyants. The underground network in London is criminal and Paige works for one of the best. Her job is to break into people’s minds and steal information. Like Inception! Also did I mention that this is set in 2059? Serious Blade Runner vibes here. At least this is just a fantasy future! Anyways, getting off track. On one fateful night she accidentally kills someone with her power, the next day she is kidnapped, but not by Scion police. She is kidnapped and taken to the Rephaim. Aliens? Maybe. Gods? Also maybe. In all honestly I’m not really sure. They say they are all powerful and they have weird blood, and feed off auras. So let’s just say, they weird. This race of Rephaim, capture the clairvoyants and make them work for them, if they refuse, they are basically left to die and perform for everyone else’s benefit. So not good. Paige is assigned to the care of a Rephaite called Warden. From the moment we meet him, his is a suspect character. Then through some Stockholm syndrome stuff, they become friends and set out to help each other. Like I get playing along till you can leave, but don’t fall in love with the guy! Now I know this seems hypocritical as I know this happens in other books, but this is one that struck me as most odd. Just get out of there girl! Anyways another tangent. All  is not what it seems with the Rephaim, who knew? And Paige is key to helping everyone escape. There’s an underlying plot of rebellion and politics, but in all honesty I thought that bit was unnecessary. Maybe not unnecessary, but I just found the book to be a bit too long and stuff just wasn’t needed. I liked it fine but there was points when I had to really push to keep reading. I enjoyed Paige as a character, and I’d like to think at some point I will read the next one, but it just won’t be at the top of my list.
My Book Rating – 3*

Tower Of Dawn – Sarah J. Maas
As a kind of disclaimer I must say before I start that I started this book on a bad note. That is because I was waiting for the finale of Throne of Glass and that was pushed back for this book, which I did not want or particularly care about. Obviously I read the book and my thoughts did change but bitterness has stuck with me. This book takes places at the same time as Empire of Storms, and centres around Chaol and Nesryn as they travel to the Southern Continent seeking an alliance with the Khagan to aid them in the war. But also to seek the help of healers to heal Chaol of the injuries he received that left him paralysed. I was never really a big fan of Chaol anyways, especially not after Crown of Midnight so I was a bit dubious about this book. Luckily Sarah J. Maas loves an alternating POV so I didn’t have to deal with him all the time. From reading this book, I have discovered a love for Nesryn. I found her chapters much more captivating, and her story arc in general was just better. Chaol is super grumpy all the time in this book which I swear he wasn’t before. And not just grumpy but also rude and whingy. Well he softens up a bit at the end. Yrene is sent to heal Chaol, and at first she completely hates him, but of course that hatred doesn’t last very long. You can guess what happens next. So basically Chaol and Yrenes storyline is long and boring about his healing and there’s some murders in there to shake things up but that’s about it.  Nesryn, however was off on adventures with a Prince, flying Ruks, killing giant spiders and impressing everyone with her skills. I know which chapters I preferred reading! Now this book is super long and is a big commitment, but I think it’s worth it for the ending. It’s cute, everything ties up nicely and it does link in well with the other stories. But a word of warning, the final chapter is a killer. It was only put in there to mess with your head ! We do find out some important information that will come in very usual for the final book, which I am still super excited for even though I’ll probably be waiting ages for it.
My Book Rating – 4*

Another two books down. Maybe I’ll read two again in October, maybe I could start a two book trend! Who knows what will happen!? Certainly not me and it’s my life! The world of book reading is beautiful and unknown and I look forward to seeing what lands I discover in my next reads.
TTFN


Thursday, 28 September 2017

August Wrap Up


Late again Molly ! What is wrong with me these days ! I am just not finding the time to write these posts and when I do I am just not in the mood. I thought once uni was over I’d have it all sorted, but I don’t. Turns out I can’t just read books for the rest of my life which would’ve been ideal. All I know is that I want to be with hen pen and what’s wrong if that’s all I want ? I say nothing ! I read two books in August, which is less than anticipated for a summer month but ah well as all is not lost ! I went to Disney with Henry and it was the best holiday ever ! We went on all the rides and had some really lovely food. I cannot wait to go on so many more holidays together ! Anywho, back to the books …



And I Darken – Kiersten White
I actually picked up the sequel before I realised there was one before it. What drew me to it was the cover, oh my god I love it. It’s so striking I think the lady on the front is staring into my soul ! I was like she means business, I have to get it. Obviously it was the sequel so I couldn’t but I ordered this book and it came the next day so yay ! I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting from this book when I started reading it. I had no idea about the history behind this period and I’d only ever heard of Wallachia from the TV show Castlevania. I’m not saying this book is purely historical as it has fantasy elements to it as well, so it’s more of an alternate universe history? Does that make sense? I don’t think it does, but anyways. I’m not usually one to go for a historical piece but I did really enjoy it. The basic premise is that Lada, our main character tries in earnest to impress her father, but he however cannot get over the fact that she is a girl and therefore cares very little about her. Lada and her brother Radu are sent to the Ottoman Empire as a sort of bargaining chip. They are left here and have to navigate the many paths of enemies, friendships and themselves in order to survive. I loved Lada as a character, she truly subverts the whole princess archetype and is totally aggressive and vicious and I love it. The only parts of the book I found less enjoyable were the chapters that solely focussed on Radu. They were fine but I was missing me some Lada ! There was a lull in the middle with the separation of the characters but it picked up nicely at the end, brought everything together and bam ! I want to read more. Simple as. Get me the sequel.
My Book Rating – 4*

Good Me, Bad Me – Ali Land
The only reason I picked this up was because the character is called Annie and that’s my sisters name. I read the back, thought it sounded good so I bought it. It was not really my cup of tea but I still thought it to be alright. Annie is the daughter of a serial killer. For years she watched her mother kill, and the only way to make it stop was to go to the police herself. Under her new name Milly, she tries to start a new life with a foster family, her secrets however are struggling to stay buried. Milly is constantly feeling her mothers presence with the bad thoughts that are in her head. But can she truly start a new life, or she more like her mother than she knows? I thought the story had a great premise and the ending is a real punch in the gut, but I didn’t find it to be particularly thriller-like. Yes the ending was good but I thought you could see it coming and nothing really surprised me. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the writing style. I think it was supposed to be what Milly is thinking/what’s going on in her head, so it’s all a bit like he said she said, which isn’t my personal favourite. I enjoyed reading the flashbacks as you got more into Milly’s childhood and upbringing, and I think that was necessary to read about. I think if you are into your crime books you’ll like it but it’s definitely more psychological than thriller.
My Book Rating – 3*

So that’s two very different books for August. Thinking back on it now maybe more similar than at first they seem. Since this is so late in the month I doubt I’ll read anything else this month, so I’ll have two books to review again and fingers crossed it’ll be up sooner than this one !
TTFN


Saturday, 26 August 2017

July Wrap Up

So here we are basically at the end of August and I still haven't written my July post! Shame on me, but let me tell you what I got up to in July. I went on holiday with my friends, I graduated Uni, I saw my brother and me and Hen played croquet. Lots of fun stuff. I’ve had a super fun August too, but I’ll have to wait to the next post to tell you (which won’t be that long really!). Since I went on holiday I actually managed to read a lot of good books in July, so onto the reviews!



The Method - Shannon Kirk
This was the first book I read on holiday and I was so excited to read it. My mum was actually reading it before me but let me take it on holiday, so kind! The premise of the book is what drew me to it; a 16-year-old girl gets kidnapped in the later stages of her pregnancy; however, they really chose the wrong girl to pick on. This girl was a machine! She refused to back down and was not going to let this be her ending. Throughout the book there is alternating chapters between the girl and a FBI investigator on the case. I found his chapters to be a bit meh to be honest and would always find myself trying to power through them to get back to the main story. What I liked best about our main character was that she turned the kidnap victim trope on its head and she saved herself. Throughout the story we hear about the ‘assets’ she has been collecting from the house she is being kept in; some string, a knitting needle, water and a radio. At the end of the book they are all used together to destroy her enemies and escape! It is a great final showdown and I love it. I also really enjoyed the trial scenes and watching her be totally crazy. Once I had returned from holiday and mum read it, she said that I was like the girl! I mean I’m taking it as a compliment, but it made me laugh when mum said it.
My Book Rating – 4*


The Catcher in the Rye – J.D Salinger
What better place to read a classic than on holiday. In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. So, it’s a very short book which is another reason why I decided to take it, and as I’m sure lots of you know the book is centred around Holden Caulfield, who has just been kicked out of yet another school. The book doesn’t really have a plot of sorts and nothing really happens. But nonetheless I enjoyed it. It’s very difficult to give this a proper review, I can’t say anything about the writing style, it’s set over a weekend so there is no character development, and all he does really is walk around New York talking to people. But what I did like about it is that I found it so easy to read, I read it at the beach in one sitting. I actually really liked Holden as a character, he was just an angsty teenager and normally I don’t like that but this time I did. I don’t really think I’d ever want to read it again but I’m glad I read it at least once.
My Book Rating – 4*


The Young Elites – Marie Lu
The only reason I wanted to read this was because I loved the Legend series so much, I cried when it ended! I so wanted to like this just as much but sadly I didn’t. The concept was good but I just didn’t enjoy the final payoff. Our main character Adelina is a survivor of a deadly illness that swept the nation, killing everyone in its path. The survivors are left scarred and rumours are spreading that they were left with more than scars; special abilities making them more powerful than anyone else. They are called the young elites. Sounds amazing right, well sadly I don’t think it lived up to the greatness that I had imagined. I think what annoyed me the most was that the main character kept going on about how she was fed up of being used and pushed about, but honestly I don’t think she lived up to hard and cold persona that was created and I found it slightly disappointing. I also didn’t really like the final showdown, it was full of near misses and close calls and it was just annoying me. Someone just get stabbed please! I can’t say for certain if I’ll carry on reading, I’d like to say yes but it probably won’t be high on my list.
My Book Rating – 3*


The One – John Marrs
This was the final book I read on holiday and it was just crazy. There’s about 5 different points of view, focussing on different couples coming to terms with ‘the one’. This is the general premise; a scientific discovery has found a gene that we share only with one other person. The twists and turns that this story takes are insane, you never know what’s around the corner. Of course, I preferred some story lines to others and sometimes I was skipping ahead as I wanted to know what happened. The ended left me hanging a bit and I was a bit confused but overall I did really enjoy it. I don’t normally read crime thriller books and I think that’s why I liked it so much, it was something different to my usual reads.
My Book Rating – 4*


Nemesis – Brendan Reichs
Another book with a great concept that I just don’t think delivered. I heard about this book months before it came out and I was just so excited. The cover is amazing the premise is great and I was just waiting till I could buy it. The book started off strong, every 2 years on her birthday, Min is killed by a strange man she does not know. Then it went into this strange story of asteroids and aliens and the end of the world and government conspiracies, and I started to dislike it more. Also, don’t get me started on Noah, I found him to be such a wet blanket and so annoying and so woe is me. As the book went on I found it to be similar to the Gone series by Michael Grant and I liked that series much better. It’s such a shame that I didn’t enjoy this fully, I really wanted to. I’m sure I’ll read the next book and hopefully it’ll improve.
My Book Rating – 3*


That basically took me all day to write! And I’ve got to write the one for August in just a couple of days! Luckily, I haven’t read as many books this month so hopefully it’ll be easier to write. I’ll give myself a couple days rest and I’ll be back on writing!

TTFN