Tag Archives: book reviews

My Top 15 Books in 2015!

2015 has been a really great year for reading I completed my Goodreads reading challenge for the first time EVER  and have been making an attempt to expand my reading choices- In no particular order here is my top 15 books of 2015!

  1. Like a Virgin by Gorgon Steel

like a virgin

Like a Virgin is a play centered around two teenage girls and the bubble gum drama that surrounds their everyday lives, for those looking to start reading plays I highly recommend. Check out my review click here.

2. Saga Vol 1 & 2 by Brian K. Vaughan 

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Saga was my big introduction to the world of graphic novels and boy was I happy to have been introduced. I really enjoyed the love story between the main characters and their trials and tribulations due to their inter-species romance and baby together not to mention the war going on around them. I have now read volume 2 and plan to read volume 3 soon!

3. Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blackman

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Prisoner of Night and Fog is a young adult novel set in the lead up to the Second World War. Gretchen had been brought up in Hitlers inner circle and he is known to her as the loving and kinds ‘Uncle Dolf’ it is only when she meets a young Jewish journalist that she realizes that her world as she knows it might not be as she seems. This was one of the first books I read in 2015 and one of my favourite books of the year I absolutely recommend.

4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky

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I don’t normally like high school books but Perks is such a beautifully written story. Perks of being a wallflower is the story of Charlie a quiet high school boy who is just finding himself, his friends and coming to terms with some deep rooted issues. Perks is a heartbreaking novel but at the same time so, so beautiful.

5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  by J.K Rowling

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2015 was the year of Harry Potter (well for me at least) I have been a long time fan of the films but have never actually read the books which as ‘reader’ is shocking. Prisoner of Azkaban was my favourite of the seven mainly because there is so much Lupin he is my favorite character in the books and the films and it was so great to read the more well developed book version of him and to read the Harry Potter series in its entirety.

6. The History Boys by Alan Bennett

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Unlike Like a Virgin ,which, when I bought it I was naive to the plot and author when I bought The History Boys I had heard of the play, the stage play and the film. The cast is filled with well known actors and it was the plays reputation that lead me to reading it. The History Boys follows a group of Ox-bridge hopefuls and their and their teachers journey together and their attempt in getting the young hopefuls into the prestigious universities. The dialogue in this play is insane so worth reading, I only wish I could have seem it live!

7. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H Lawrence

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Class crossing classic love story a really interesting read.

8. The Host by Stephenie Meyer

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Alien/Human love story – four people three bodies- perfect. My Review

9. Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

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Beautiful Irish immigration story with a love triangle to boot, all I need now is to see the film. My Review

10. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me was my first read of 2015 I was drawn in to the Dystopian world that the prisoner Juliet embodies. She is the girl who can’t be touched, who can’t touch anyone or they will die. But some how I was enthralled in a love triangle to end all love triangles. I still need to read book 2 and three in this young adult series but as things stand  I am currently rooting for Adam.

11. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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This was my last read of 2015, this book is a creepy YA read the story is told along side authentic antique photographs of children much like the little girl on the cover. The story follows Jacob whose Grandfather dies mysteriously in his arms. Jacob discovers his Grandfather has a deep, dark secret and encouraged by his Grandfathers dying words Jacob becomes determined to find out the truth.

12. Divergent by Veronica Roth

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I’m sure this book needs no introduction but as of 2015 I was a newbie to the Divergent fandom. I have only read Divergent but am relatively update with the other books because I have seen all the films. Really enjoyed the Dystopian world created by Veronica Roth and Four… Four!

13.Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

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What if you could live forever? My Review

14. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

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Literature, love and Shadowhunters this is Cassandra Clare at her brilliant best. In celebration of Shadowhunters t.v show starting on Freeform in January next year I will be doing a Mortal Instruments reading challenge to refresh my memory for the up- coming series.

Clockwork Angel Review

Shadowhunters T.V Show Vs Movie

15. The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwall

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Historical fiction novel following the Danish/Vicking invasion of Britain this book follows Uhtrud a young Elderman  captured by the Danes and raised to be like them and too love them. When is re-captured by the Saxon thanks to his Elderman status Uhtrud must choose is he a Saxon or is he a Dane and who is he really fighting for. In the life and times of Alfred the Great this book is set in a period when England was created, it is violent and dangerous world but so compelling and full of characters that I just wanted to know more and more.

And because I some how forgot to make it part of this list I would like to add an honorable mention. 

Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes Me Before You is probably the book I have talked about on my blog the most this year and am really excited for the up and coming movie. Click here for an update on the movie and Click here to read my review.

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I hope you enjoyed my top 15 of 2015- Happy reading X

 

After You by JoJo Moyes – Book Review

Ebook provided by Netgalley in return of an honest review.

Spoilers for Me Before You Ahead!

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After You is the sequel to Jo Jo Moyes international bestseller Me Before You. The first novel followed Lou Clarke a young woman stuck in a rut and suddenly finds herself desperate for a job and working for Will. Will is a former international playboy, business man and now Quadriplegic.

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Will and Lou (or Finnick and Khaleesi!)

Will wants to die, he intends to end is life and for his friends and family the clock is ticking to change his mind and keep him living. Lou finds that in Will’s sad life she might have something to learn from a man who used to live big and Will finds that from Lou he might just have something to Learn…

Me Before You was one of my favourite reads of the year it is heartbreaking and beautiful and left me feeling like I really knew all the characters but in particular Lou and Will.

So when I heard there was going to be a sequel to a book that a genuinely LOVE I was nervous but really excited.

big yes

What did I think?

after you

After You picks up about a year after Will’s death and we take a look at the repercussions for Lou and the other characters. Lou is suffering greatly without Will and her grief leads her to getting drunk and falling off a roof(classic Lou). Her fall leads to Lou meeting the lovely Sam a paramedic and perfect for our grieving heroin.

Me Before You

After You is a book about grief, Lou’s grief, the grief of Will’s parents and the grief of characters who are new to the story. It’s  a book that is a process, Lou wanting to fore-fill her promise to Will. I really enjoyed re-visiting Lou again but as I was reading the problems I had with the original novel were still present- I don’t really like Lou’s family, I find them selfish and grasping and to be honest just really unlikable and I have similar issues with Will’s family.

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Emilia Clarke as Lou in the up and coming film (2016)

What made Me Before You great was having Lou and Will together in their different  family dynamics and I missed the dialogue between the two of them with Nathan always in the back ground making a happy three.

I enjoyed reading After You but the best part for me was the end-

SPOILERS

When reading Me Before You and now After You all I wanted for Lou was a happy ending and After You gave me that and I’m so grateful.

Would recommend. 4/5 Stars keep your eyes peeled for the film that comes out in 2016!

 

 

 

 

 

Station Eleven- Review (& Bout of Books Rap up)

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel is in it’s most very basic form a group of Shakespeare actors who are performing King Lear and then… The End of The World happens! Truly though while the Shakespearean actors are one set of characters in this novel the book is about a group of characters including the actors -all linked by a character who dies in the beginning of the novel (don’t freak guys this is sooo not a spoiler).

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No doubt this is a great book BUT I personally have my issues with it. It’s brilliant and original no question but the narrative structure is such that it is really hard to fall in love with, root for, or hate/dislike a particular character. This being so I did sort of lose interest about 3/4 of the way though, but this is just my personal preference – I enjoy having a character to root for.

I would still recommend this book to a friend but the right friend. From afar I could appreciate this book for what it was (a superb piece of writing), up close I was just looking forward to my next read.

Over all I gave it a Goodreads rating of 3/5 stars.

While reading Station Eleven I was participating in bout of books 13.0 I think my reading list was a bit ambitious as I have had a busy week but I managed to get though Station Eleven and Saga Volume one which was brilliant! It was my first ever graphic novel and I was, before reading a bit unsure about the whole medium but I was so wrong. The art was fantastic, the story was so great, I was torn between flipping through the pages as fast as I could to find out what happened next and gazing at the amazing art work for as long as possible.                                                                                                                      515jeiadAzL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

I gave it a Goodreads rating of 5/5 stars! (Would definitely recommend to graphic novel newbies! But be aware of adult content.)

Overall I didn’t get though as much as I wanted too in bout of books 13.0 but there’s always the next read-a-thon 🙂

Taking part in Blog Tour – The Destroyer by Warren Murphy

Hi guys just a quick note to say I am taking part in a blog tour for Created, The Destroyer  thanks to Clara Diaz at The Little Brown Book Group.

Created, The destroyer by Warren Murphy is book one in a long running thriller series which has sold over 60 million copies worldwide.

The series is the story of a former police officer, Remo Williams, who gets sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit BUT hours before he sits in the electric chair a mysterious monk visits him and gives him a black pill to bite just before he dies. He bites the pill and after “dying” he wakes up in an ambulance! He has now been rescued/recruited by a secret government organization as an assassin. He is now The Destroyer.

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My part in the blog tour will take place on the 21st September and this is when I will be publishing my book review.

Would love to hear from anyone who has read the series (Spoiler free of course) all opinions discussions welcome!

Remember to look out for my review- September 21st 2014

Cover reveal – Solitude of a Birdcage (Forget me not) By Brielle Sky

Hi guys,

Today I am participating in the official cover reveal for Solitude of a Birdcage (dubbed forget me not) by Brielle Skye. If you have not heard of Brielle check out her website where your can find pre-released chapters of Solitude of a Birdcage (Forget me not) and get a little taster of what the novel is about. Or you can check out the books synopsis below. The book is due to be release October 15th 2014, you can find Brielle on her website  www.lost20s.com or on Twitter  @brielleskye. 

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Synopsis 

In the battle between duty and desire, there will be casualties.

Maxie Shannon and Savannah Trimmel are more than best friends. They’re sisters, bound by a tragic past and an unbreakable bond. When Isaac, Savannah’s boyfriend, falls victim to an act of violence that leaves him with no recollection of the prior eighteen months, both women tend to his recovery. For Savannah, it’s simply an attempt to care for the man she loves.

For Maxie, it’s a chance at redemption.

She tells Isaac nothing of the passionate secrets they’d been keeping from Savannah, nor of the unyielding feelings that nearly consumed them both. 

But as the fragile wall obstructing Isaac’s memory begins to crack, hidden truths slip through the fissures, and Maxie will once again be faced with an impossible choice– her loyalty, or her heart.

Lasting one week Brielle is offering US participants a giveaway widget code for more information on this drop me an email and I will send you the code, if you want any more information on Brielle Skye she is on Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/brielleskye and Facebook www.facebook.com/brielleskyewriter.

So hurry up and check out Solitude of Birdcage NOW!

 

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo Gricha Book 2 (Spoiler Free)

Siege and Storm is the second novel in the Gricha trilogy and I should probably say straight away that I am not big fan. I loved Shadow and Bone, but when reading Siege and Storm I just couldn’t fall into the book as easily as I had done with book one.

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Gorgeous book cover

My major problem is that I am struggling to know who to root for, obviously not the Darkling unless there is going to be some kind of major plot twist. I just found it really hard to connect with the characters this time around, I’m not even sure that Mal and Alina’s relationship is believable, his whole role in this novel is to guard her… I sorry but dull. Where is the passion, the romance, why I aren’t I rooting for this couple? When I feel nothing for a character or a set of characters and lose the will to know how their journey works out something has gone wrong and I can’t even put my finger on what it was.

Prince Nikolai was a great ray of light in this book, I found him an interesting and diverse anti-hero and every moment he is on the page I have no idea if he is good, evil or somewhere in the middle and he delivers some cracking one liners to Alina. It’s a shame she can’t be a but more sassy they could of had some great banter.

It’s hard for me to say what exactly I did and didn’t like because  it was a compilation of things – there was lots of getting on and off of boats and I found that really irritating because there wasn’t any real world building or description of where the characters were and their environment always seemed hazy unless they were in a palace, which is obviously self explanatory.

I should probably worn anyone who is planning on reading this book that it is very, very, open ended and there is a bit of a wait until the third book is out.

All in all I would give this about a 2.5/5

Poor sequel to a great first book, this book made me fall out of love with characters I had previously loved particularly Mal who hopefully perks up a bit by book 3.

It’s not all bad Mal there’s plenty more Gricha in the sea…PLEASE!

A Steam Punk Sensation- Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

A Steam Punk Sensation – Clockwork Angel By Cassandra Clare

 As a huge fan of The Mortal Instruments series when Santa left Clockwork Angel in my stocking this year I couldn’t have been more delighted.

Now, I had been hearing all sorts of things about this Will Herondale (Thank you Goodreads) and as Jace is, well lets just say I love him and I wasn’t sure there was room for other Shadow Hunters in my life.

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Will and Jem

If you have not read Clockwork Angel it is a steam punk, fantasy,  YA novel, set in Victorian London – the story follows Tessa Grey who is an American and has just arrived in the country. Upon her arrival she is met by two women who claim to be there as a favor to Tessa’s brother and will take Tessa to her new home as he has been unavoidably detained. This is fact a complicated lie and the truth is slowly reveled throughout the novel. The women known as the dark sisters believe that Tessa is not the ordinary girl she believes herself to be but a Warlock who has a great power and they reveal it is their job to unlock this power as it is currently lying dormant.

I was a little hesitant about this book at first probably because I am such a fan of The Mortal Instruments series. I just couldn’t imagine another story within that world but I was so wrong, Cassandra Clare has written a rich and developed world with engaging characters and I cannot wait to see where this trilogy is going. I have only read Clockwork Angel so far and it seems to me that the love triangle is being set up so that our leading lady Tessa will eventually end up with Will the novels resident bad boy.

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Now, bad boys have never really done it for me  I just want to give that Will a slap and tell him to behave himself and stop being so horrible to our lovely Tessa in her hour of need and, just when I’m having a head meets palm moment in swoops Jem, our silver haired night in shining armor.

The book is the ultimate good boy versus bad boy debate, who will Tessa choose and what does the internal devices trilogy have in store for her? In a world when nothing is ever as it seems.

Tigerlily Review by Jodi Lynn Anderson

I have had this book on my Goodreads to read list for-ever, so I was really excited to finally get around to reading it, Tigerlily is a unique re-telling  of the classic J.M Barrie tale Peter Pan.

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Tigerlily book cover

This story rather than focusing on Peter is the story of Tigerlily the girl with the feather in her hair- told through the eyes of the infamous Tinkerbell.

Tinkerbell is a great narrator for the story, telling Tigerlily and Peter’s story though her own assertive and loyal eyes. Tinkerbell’s telling the story right before Wendy came to NeverLand and, this story is not of Peter’s love for Wendy but of his love for Tigerlily, Wendy comes later…

I went into this book thinking I was going to love it, so I suppose I set myself up for a bit of a fall.

Tink really is a great narrator but it’s the rest of the story that I find problematic. Because, the story is essentially a love affair between Peter and Tigerlily and, the characters were aged up which straight away lost some of the charm of the original tale for me.

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 (Peter, Tinkerbell and Wendy- 2003)

The whole point of Peter Pan is that he is the boy who never grows up but some how in Tigerlily all the magic of Peter and Neverland, the whole boyhood and childishness of the tale has been written away. In Tigerlily’s Neverland it’s a place were you stop ageing after the most significant moment in your life has passed so mothers can in fact look younger than their daughters and aging in referred to as a disease.

A great character, probably my favourite character in this book was the character of TickTock, Tigerlily’s adoptive father.

( Tigerlily – 2003)

Tick Tick is described as a man who can not decide whether he is a man or a woman and has decided he will live as both. I found him an interesting and ultimately diverse character, and may have shed a tear or two for Tick Tock along the way.

Although there were good points I have to stand my by original conclusion Tigerlily is an interesting re-telling but I found that turning Peter Pan into a half starved emaciated teen struggling to survive in the harsh and ruthless Neverland took some magic out of the story.

Neverland became such a cold and callous place I began to wonder what a fairy like Tinkerbell was even doing there and, with Mr.Smee more menacing than Captain Hook I knew there was a problem.

Hook – 2003

All in all an interesting read for any Peter Pan fan but it just wasn’t for me.