Tuesday 30 June 2015

Top Ten Books Read So Far in 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and you can find their top ten here. So Ann isn't available for this one (maybe I can get her to add hers on later) so I have to go it alone. A lot of whether I love a book comes down to character, so I apologise in advance for all the "I loved the characters/the characters were amazing". They are in no particular order.

1) Rook by Sharon Cameron
Honestly this was kind of a surprise for me. I wasn't blown away by the description but I loved the cover. The first sentence hooked me completely and I was in love with the whole book. The romance was incredible (and not insta-love thank god) and the heroine was amazing.

2) Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Oh boy was I looking forward to this one. I adored Cruel Beauty last year and I love fairy tale re-telling's. Little Red Riding Hood may seem like an odd choice to retell but it honestly worked so well. Rachelle is probably one of my all time favourite female characters now.

3) I Was Here by Gayle Forman

I really loved her If I Stay duology and the Just One Day duology but this one was, if possible, even better. I loved all the characters and I thought it was a difficult subject that was dealt with so so well.

4) All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

A similar issue to I Was Here but handled very differently. I know this is a really divisive book, some people love it some people hate it. But I couldn't do anything after I read this book. I was still so lost in the story and the characters.

5) Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard

Honestly this whole series. It was so difficult to get hold of in England and I eventually had to order it from America (and then wait forever for it to arrive) but it was so worth it. Very unusual and interesting.

6) I Am Her Revenge by Meredith Moore

Vivian is one of the most interesting characters I have ever read. Looked at objectively she is kind of the villain but she is so fragile and twisted but so strong on the inside and I just want to love her and protect her.

7) The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Wow. I remember reading The Arabian Nights when I was a kid because it just looked like such a grown up book but I never really got into it. This however was amazing. The characters were wonderful, the romance was pretty near perfect. I cannot wait for the next book. Also the hardcover for this is one of the most gorgeous things ever.

8) The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson
I waited so long for this book comforted by the thought it would be the last one. But no, not  trilogy. There will be a fourth book. I am not sure I can survive the wait.

9) Solitaire by Alice Oseman
I picked this up more or less on a whim. And then ended up loving it. Its absolutely amazing and so well written, I am looking forward to Alice's next book a lot.

10) I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
My brother got this for me for my birthday (thank you John) and I really enjoyed it. The characters are very flawed and not always likable but I was so interested in what was going to happen.

So those are my top ten books I've read so far in 2015, there are loads of books to be read in the rest of the year and I am super excited for them! Let me know what your top ten books are.

Monday 29 June 2015

Haul 22nd June 2015 - 28th June 2015

So I have a fairly enormous haul this week. Although in my defense most of it is from the bargain section of Amazon (I'm talking like one to two pounds) and the rest I got on a day out with my brother because I had a Waterstones gift card!

Amazon Bargains:

It Felt Like a Kiss by Sarra Manning: I've read a couple of her books before and this sounded quite good. She is usually fairly funny.
The Vintage Girl by Hester Browne: I have already read this and gave it 3 stars. It was good and had some funny moments but I wasn't that invested in the characters.
Single Woman Seeks Revenge by Tracy Bloom: As I have probably mentioned before I love revenge. This was hilarious and I seriously enjoyed it.
The Dish by Stella Newman: This is about a woman who meets a man who may be perfect except she is a food reviewer and he is a chef so she decides to lie about her job, this sounds like the set up for a lot of hilarity.
Return Engagement by Lynn Michaels: This is a it-just-sounded-cute book.
Always a Bridesmaid by Lindsey Kelk: I loved her I Heart Series and the About a Girl series (which is as yet unfinished).
Recipe for Love by Katie Fforde: I have read all her books and this is probably my favourite so far. Not perfect but a very good read.
Wedding Season by Katie Fforde: Not my favourite of her books. For young characters they have very old fashioned views a lot of the time which can be frustrating. Not to mention they talk like they are middle aged.
A Vintage Wedding by Katie Fforde: I was a bit dubious because this sounded like Wedding Season, but it was actually a lot better. I really liked all the main characters.
The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood: I love vintage things and this book about a grandmother and her granddaughter writing an advice book together sounds intriguing.
The Year I Met You by Cecelia Ahern: Cecelia Ahern is a confusing author for me. I generally adore her books but occasionally she will write something I am unable to finish. I have just started this one so fingers crossed I love it.
Paper Towns by John Green: I love this book so I got the movie cover in honour of the film which I cannot wait to see with Ann!

Waterstones Gift Card Buys:

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia: I so nearly pre-ordered this one and then changed my mind, I can't remember why, but I love the cover and the concept.
Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger: I loved The DUFF and her other books. I actually had it pre-ordered but Waterstones had it out before the release date so I got it.
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen: I really like Sarah Dessen's books and this one sounds like on I will enjoy.
Endgame The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton: This one has been drawing me in for a while and in my gift card confidence I bought it. Plus the blurb mentioned a puzzle in the book and that sounds like a challenge.
The Awesome by Eva Darrows: This one just sounds hilarious and a kick-butt heroine is something I will never say no to.

Friday 26 June 2015

Taylor Swift Book Tag

We may be jumping on the bandwagon a little late with this one, but Katytastic did a Taylor Swift Book Tag (find it here) and we thought we'd give it a go.

 1) We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together: pick a book or series that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with.

Ann: I picked Divergent by Veronica Roth, or more accurately Allegiant. No spoilers but if you've read it you probably know why.
Clare: I was going to go for that but I so knew Ann would get there so, Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. I went through a totally obsessed stage where I loved it. And then I tried to re-read it. Which was pretty much the death of that relationship.

2) Red: pick a book with a red cover.

Ann: I picked Ptolemy's Gate by Jonathan Stroud, an author that I love. The first book of his I read was The Screaming Staircase and I ended up reading more of his books.
Clare: I'm gonna pick a recent one and go with The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. Love. Love. Love this book. Possibly my book of the year so far.

3) The Best Day: pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic.

Ann: The obvious choice is Harry Potter and since I can't think of anything else right now that's what I'll go with.
Clare: Just to be different (although my true answer is probably Harry Potter again) I'm going to say The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye. I loved that book so much when I was younger and it still makes me smile.

4) Love Story: pick a book with forbidden love.

Ann: I picked Delirium for this one, because in that world love is against the law.
Clare: Hello, pretty much every ya novel. I was going to say Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. Actually I'm still going with that one, it's a really complicated thing and I don't want to over simplify it, but their love is definitely forbidden. With a capital F.

5) I Knew You Were Trouble: pick a book with a bad character you couldn't help but love.

Ann: I know I always pick Sebastian from The Mortal Instruments for any question like this, but I am picking him again.
Clare: Oh god. I'm a sucker for bad characters. And morally grey characters. I can't pick Warner (Shatter Me) every time, much as I might want to. So... Anise from Winterspell by Claire LeGrand. There were so many things I loved about this book, but for a moment there I totally rooted for Anise. Which considering everything she does is either a testament to how well written her character is, or a statement on my insanity. Or both.

6) Innocent: pick a book that someone ruined the ending for.

Ann: For this one I picked Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter which my friends all read and then kept on talking about around me so they ruined it a bit.
Clare: I am sooo careful with spoilers, I didn't read Allegiant as soon as it came out and avoiding spoilers for that was a struggle. But I managed it. I did kinda ruin Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier for myself accidentally which totally interfered with the suspense element.

7) Everything Has Changed: pick a character who goes through extensive character development.

Ann: I picked Meghan Chase from The Iron Fey series because she goes through a pretty huge change.
Clare: The main character in New Girl by Paige Harbison, or actually any main character in her books she does character development so very well.

8) You Belong With Me: pick your most anticipated book release.

Ann: I don't really pre-order books (I'm only 14) but I am excited for Zoe Sugg's second book which doesn't have a title yet.
Clare: My pre-order's are completely out of control. Especially October. Good God October. And it is one of October's releases I am most excited about and that's Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. This book is like an actual answer to my prayers. I need it.

9) Forever and Always: pick your favourite book couple.

Ann: So I don't pick the same ones as Clare, I will pick Penny and Noah from Girl Online by Zoe Sugg.
Clare: I am incapable of choosing so, Four and Tris from Divergent AND Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games. Obviously very different couples. I love how Four and Tris are kind of independently together, they don't rely on each other, they're fine on their own they're just better together. And with Katniss and Peeta - I remember when I first read the books I was SO STRESSED that she'd pick Gale. They just work so well. Rambling over. Sorry.

10) Come Back Be Here: pick the book you would least like to lend out for fear of missing it too much.

Ann: The Magyk series by Angie Sage. I love it so much.
Clare: OK, so I have a specific hardback signed copy of TFIOS by John Green, which is obviously never leaving me. But I have 3 other copies which I happily lend out. I love lending books, which is an odd thing to say when I consistently lose books this way and I am so stressed but there are some books I just want to shove at everyone.

11) Teardrops on My Guitar: pick a book that made you cry a lot.

Ann: I don't cry at many books but I did cry at Allegiant by Veronica Roth. One of the few books to ever make me cry.
Clare: I cry at all the books. I'm not even kidding. I just read a chick-lit book with zero sad moments and I cried because the ending was so happy. I'm hopeless. I agree with Allegiant it's the first, and hopefully last, time I have hit a book against the wall whilst sobbing. I was a fairly non-crying child and the first book that really made me cry was A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens when I was a fair way through my teens, so I'll go with that.

12) Shake It Off: pick a book that you love so much, you just shake off the haters.

Ann: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud, none of my friends like it but I really love it.
Clare: I don't usually mind whether people love the books I love, but I have definitely guilty pleasure books. I am probably not supposed to pick a genre for this, but in the interest of laziness - regency romance. The ridiculous over the top clearly historically inaccurate type. You can tell me as much as you like that it's rubbish but sometimes I just want a guaranteed happy ending. I don't care if it makes me look silly.

Sunday 21 June 2015

Haul 15th June - 21st June 2015

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews: Obviously the film is coming out soon and almost everything I've heard about this has been great.
The ABC's of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro: Possibly not the most enticingly titled book out there. But the plot sounded cute which is kinda what I'm craving right now.
The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith: Basically just the only one of her books I don't yet own, and it was in the bargain section of Amazon so I went for it. I love her writing.
Fool Me Twice by Mandy Hubbard: I have seen a few people talking about this one, and it was in the bargain section as well.
Far From You by Tess Sharpe: This book has very mixed reviews but I am intrigued.
Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott: This was, again, just the last of her books I didn't own. I find her books a bit hit and miss. Some I love, some I feel sort of in the middle about.
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg: I am so excited about this.
Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison: Another cute sounding love story.
What's Your Number? by Karyn Bosnak: I've been craving a chick-flick in book form. And when I was looking for the DVD of this film (which I love) I discovered it was a book! The reviews make it seem great so fingers crossed!

So overall its been a contemporary-heavy week. I will probably get to all of these books very soon since I am in the right mood to read them!

Thursday 18 June 2015

Top 5 Books You Read in One Sitting

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Gingerreadslainey and you can find the group on goodreads here.

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
I've read this a few times before so when I re-read it its easy to finish in one sitting.
2. Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
One I recently read and completely adored. I lost track of time and had finished it before I even thought about taking a break. You can find my full review here.
3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I wanted to see the film so I had to race through it.
4. Magyk by Angie Sage
It felt like all the chapters ended on a cliffhanger
5. Delirium by Lauren Oliver.
It was such a gripping read I felt like I wanted to know more.

1. Slammed by Colleen Hoover
This was my first Colleen Hoover book (I am currently reading Hopeless which is not a one sitting book for me) and I loved it. I was so desperate for everything to work out ok and I had to reach the end as soon as possible!
2. Clockwork Prince & Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
I was going away for the weekend and wouldn't have been able to take them with me so I stayed up all night and read them both before going. I was exhausted the next day but it was totally worth it.
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
I remember when this came out we had been waiting what felt like forever and I knew my brother wanted to read it as well so I read it the day it came out and passed it on, I am pretty sure he read it in one sitting as well.
4. Madam, Will You Talk by Mary Stewart
She just does mystery so well. I love all her books and I have read them all in one sitting but this was the first of hers I ever read.
5. Sylvester by Georgette Heyer
Another one where any of her books would work. Or in fact any regency romance. Its a genre I always do in one sitting so I have to be very careful not to start a regency just before I go to bed or I won't be going to bed. This was the first Heyer I read and the first regency (unless you count Austen), it was one I didn't especially want to read but I was bored and it was there and then I tore through it.

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Top Ten Books on Our Summer TBR

Top Ten Tuesdays is an original feature created by The Broke and The Bookish and you can find their page here. Below are the ten books we are most excited to read this summer. For our ten most anticipated new releases click here , and as always you can click on any of the books to get more information if you are interested in reading any of them.

Ann's Picks:

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross: Always interested in steampunk so this should be a good read.
Icons by Margaret Stohl: Really loved the Beautiful Creatures series she co-wrote with Kami Garcia.
PathFinder by Angie Sage: Angie Sage is one of my favourite authors and the Magyk series is possibly my favourite series. Super excited for this one.
Percy Jackson series and Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan: Clare keeps pestering me to read these.
The Disappeaing Duchess by Imogen Rossi: A magic paintbrush, some mystery and Venice!
The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner: This is another favourite of Clare's she keeps pushing on me!
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini: Greek myths and forbidden love
The Pain Merchants by Janice Hardy: About a girl who has the power to heal with a touch. (Clare says: if you like this one read Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder)
Shadows by Amy Meredith: A little bit of a Buffy vibe. High school girl has to fight demons.

Clare's Picks:

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han: I have been so intimidated by this book. I have the bind up of all three books and it is HUGE, plus everyone loves it so much it kinda scares me. But Summer seems like the perfect time to finally jump on this bandwagon!
Confess by Colleen Hoover: I loved Slammed and Point of Retreat. I liked though didn't love her other books so I am excited for this one - plus it has artwork in it. Do you know how much I wish I could say that about all books?
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg: About a boy who goes away to boarding school and decides to go "back into the closet" as it were. The plot of this sounds really funny and interesting and I am excited.
Me And Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews: Another one that everyone loves, the film is coming out soon and I'd love to go see it so I need to get on this one quick.
Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertali: I have head nothing but good things about this.
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King: A.S. King seems like one of those authors everyone has read, I also have and want to read Please Ignore Vera Dietz.
Far From You by Tess Sharpe: I have heard very mixed things about this. But the main character is apparently bisexual, which is enough for me to be excited (LGBT representation is getting better yes but we need more, please!?)
Illusive by Emily Lloyd Jones: I mentioned this in the anticipated releases. Superpowers = yes please.
Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell: Oh Cinderella retelling with the beautiful cover. August seems so far away.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: I am not sure why my cover is different from everyone elses but I am actually in love with mine (just ask Ann - when it arrived I roamed the house telling people to stroke it and look at it under the cover). I studied Ancient Rome and Greece in college so I love reading books set in them, this isn't exactly but its a fantasy world based on Rome. Which is close enough!

So Ann seems to have gone for a more varied set of books there, she has historical, fantasy, romance. Meanwhile I seem to have fallen into the "summer reading=contemporary books" cliche. We are both seriously excited for our summer reads. What books do you plan to read this summer?