Wednesday 31 May 2017

Wednesday Catch-Up 31st May 2017

Every Wednesday we are linking up with WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is hosted at Taking on a World of Words and asks 3 questions: What are you currently reading?, What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you'll read next? You can click any of the images to go to the Goodreads page for that book!

Currently Reading:

No Love Allowed (Dodge Cove, #1)
I am actually nearly finished with No Love Allowed and kicking myself for not having got the whole trilogy at once. This first book is a fake-romance-turns-real thing which seems to be a trope I love at the moment. The second and third books also look amazing and I can't wait to read them.

Recently Finished:

Royce RollsThe Upside of UnrequitedUnder Rose-Tainted SkiesTen Tiny Breaths (Ten Tiny Breaths, #1)
One Tiny Lie (Ten Tiny Breaths, #2)Four Seconds to Lose (Ten Tiny Breaths, #3)Five Ways to Fall (Ten Tiny Breaths, #4)The Way to Game the Walk of Shame
I have mini reviews up for Royce Rolls and The Upside of Unrequited both of which I loved. And I have a discussion post coming soon for Under Rose-Tainted Skies (because it was just too personal to review it). I then read the Ten Tiny Breaths series. I didn't hugely enjoy three of them. But the third book Four Seconds to Lose made up for it by being excellent. And then finally I read The Way to Game the Walk of Shame which was about as cute as I expected it to be but also way better character wise than I expected - I've already shoved this at Ann because I know she will love it.

Planning to Read Next:

The Distance Between UsThe Fill-In BoyfriendBy Your Side
Next up I am (finally) jumping on the Kasie West band-wagon. I've heard so, so many amazing things about her books. These are the three that most interest me. Also - already love these books on shoes alone. I want all these shoes?

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Monday 29 May 2017

Monday Highlights #8

The idea is to just link your favourite blog post from the past week (for example a post you're very proud of or just had a lot of fun making) and then I, and hopefully others, can discover new blogs to follow and interact with and discover more posts from blogs we may already follow!

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Sunday 28 May 2017

Sunday Post 28th May 2017

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, it's a chance to post a recap on the past week, show the books we have received and share what we plan for the coming week. Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and the aim is to show our newest books and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops or downloaded on to their e-reader. As always you can click on any of the pictures to be taken to the Goodreads page for that book if you're interested in finding out more about it or click the title to go to the review.

Last Week on the Blog:

  • Monday Highlights #7
  • Top Ten Books I Want to Read This Summer
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • Mid Year Freak Out Tag
  • Friday Reads
  • Mini Reviews

Exam Updates

I did yet more exams this week and I thought that I would give you all an update on how they went. This week I finished both of my English literature and they both went well I believe. I am just happy to not have to quote any books, plays or poems any more. I also did a maths, physics and geography exam and I know get a week of before having to do another 10 more exams!

Books We Got This Week:

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare: I came home after one of my exams this week to find that Clare had brought me this book as a present and I found it very hard to resist not reading it straight away.

Reading Update:

Love Song
Love Song by Sophia Bennett: I managed to find some time this week to read and finish Love Song while still revising for all my exams and I loved it! It was an amazing book and I was glad I was able to finish it!

Next Week on the Blog:

  • Monday Highlights #8
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • Clare's May Wrap Up and June TBR
  • Friday Reads
  • Ann's May Wrap Up and June TBR

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Saturday 27 May 2017

Mini Reviews: Contemporary Romance I LOVE

Royce RollsTitle: Royce Rolls
Author: Margaret Stohl
Source: Purchased
Pages: 400
Rating: 5/5
Blurb: Sixteen-year-old Bentley Royce is the wild child of a super-glam reality TV dynasty. She has it all – designer clothes, a fancy school and an actual Bentley to drive around in. Her ambitious mum Mercedes has dragged the family from trailer park to Hollywood stardom. But Bentley wants out – she wants to go to college, escape her own storyline, be NORMAL – but Royces don't do normal (or college).

Rolling with the Royces is running out of ways to keep viewers hooked and suddenly the show is threatened with cancellation. Bentley faces an impossible choice. Without the show, she could live the college dream – but her family would crumble (they are already twenty million dollars in debt). Bentley Royce has a mission. She must use her brains to save the show; if she saves the show, she can save her family – and she'll do whatever it takes …

Honestly just so much better than I was even expecting! Bentley was such a wonderful character to be in the mind of and I adored all the side characters as well. The plot developed in a way I NEVER expected and did not see coming. I just really wish Rolling With the Royces was a real show cause I would 100% watch it. 

If you love reality TV, or even if you don't actually, this is a perfect tongue in cheek, send up yet homage to the whole reality culture. It's so hard to describe but as someone who takes an odd sort of delight in reality shows I was able to laugh at all the behind the scenes drama but also came away feeling a glowing feeling from how hopeful and loving the family were. 

In the end this is the perfect depiction of a family. Crazy and weird and messed up but loving each other more than all of that. I just adored this book and definitely recommend it.

The Upside of UnrequitedTitle: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Source: Purchased
Pages: 336
Rating: 5 stars
Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love-she's lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can't stomach the idea of rejection. So she's careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.
Then a cute new girl enters Cassie's orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly's cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly's totally not dying of loneliness-except for the part where she is.
Luckily, Cassie's new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny, flirtatious, and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she'll get her first kiss and she'll get her twin back.
There's only one problem: Molly's coworker, Reid. He's an awkward Tolkien superfan, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

Oh guys. Guys this book. OK, just to get a little personal for a sec - I'm bisexual and it's enormously rare that I get to read anything about bisexuality (or in the case of this book pansexuality) so that was an immediate draw for me. 

Molly, our MC is so wonderfully relatable for me. It's hard to review this book without getting personal if I'm being honest because so many of the things I loved about this story and these characters are, at least partially, personal for me. I loved that Molly had anxiety, and was on medication for it and that, it was dealt with so well. I know there's a lot of controversy around medication for mental health sometimes but as someone who has tried being on and off meds and found that on definitely works best for me I appreciated seeing it as a normal thing for a character. 

I also appreciated how the book dealt with weight and body shaming. Because really, if you're healthy and comfortable with yourself why should it matter what dress size you are? But see as easily as I can say that I will still find myself getting insecure when a dress doesn't work for me because of my body shape, or when I have to go a size up in one store (for a load of high school I refused to shop in one store because there sizes ran just a little bit smaller than everywhere else - and I loved their clothes but I hated the way it made me feel). And Molly was such a perfect mix of this. She doesn't hate her body. But she is painfully aware of what other people say or think about her. And I related to that so much.

ANYWAY, outside of all that there's also a super-cute romance (so, so adorable) two actually if you count Cassie and her new girlfriend (which I do because duh they were SO CUTE). And a lovely family plot, the sister part of which really hit me because Ann and I have such a close relationship now and it terrifies me the thought of losing that - which is kind of how Molly and Cassie feel. 

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Friday 26 May 2017

Friday Reads 26th May 2017

Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice and Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader. The idea is to share a sentence or so from the first page and the 56th page of the book you are currently reading!

The Upside of Unrequited
Book Beginning:
"I'm on the toilet at the 9:30 Club, and I'm wondering how mermaids pee."

Friday 56:
"Because there's nausea and fog, but there's also this: an unshakable feeling that something wonderful is about to happen."
Upside was one of my most anticipated reads of the entire year. Yet it was released nearly two months ago and I still haven't read it. Why? Because Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of my favourite books of all time - and there's a part of me that is terrified Upside won't live up to that. But I'm finally starting it and I'm more excited for it than I am nervous now thankfully. I've heard so much good about this book since it was released and I can't wait to dive in.

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading. 

Thursday 25 May 2017

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

We're a little early with this tag - I think the actual mid-year point isn't for a little while. But we're both a little busy with exams and later preparing to go to London in July so we thought we'd do a little not-quite-mid-year tag now! (Edit: This tag was originally created by ReadLikeWildFire and Ely Jayne)

1. Best Book You've Read So Far in 2017
Perfect (Flawed, #2)The Smoke Hunter
Ann:  Oh now this is a hard question to start with, because I hate picking favourites but I think that I am going to say Perfect by Cecelia Ahern because I was looking forward to it so much and it was incredible!
Clare: Oh you fiendish tag making me choose. I'm gonna go for The Smoke Hunter by Jacquelyn Benson because I just have this uncontrollable urge to go on about this book endlessly. I love it. A lot. 

2. Best Sequel You've Read So Far in 2017
Promises I Made (Lies I Told, #2)Mafiosa (Blood for Blood, #3)
Ann: I think that this question is a bit easier as I have not read many sequels this year yet but the best sequel I have read this year is Promises I Made because it was a good ending and I really enjoyed it.
Clare: I have, embarrassingly, read hardly any sequels this year. All my good intentions for nothing. I so meant to not start new series this year until I'd finished the ones I'm already reading. But nope. So the best one this year was Mafiosa by Catherine Doyle because it was just such a great conclusion to the series.

3. New Release You Haven't Read Yet But Want To
Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)
Ann: Currently Lord Of Shadows by Cassandra Clare but I hope to change that soon as Clare brought it for me recently! I am just trying to decide whether I should wait to read it until my half-term or read it now.
Clare: ACOWAR!! Don't even have to think about this one. I've been wanting A Court of Wings and Ruin for so, so long and now I'm waiting to read it until I've finished my semester but god it's hard.

4. Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2017
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)
Ann: Umm I don't think I have an answer for this because I don't really know any of the new releases coming in the second half of this year. I prefer to read what Clare recommends!
Clare: Ooh so many to choose from. I think I have to go for Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo. I would say Odd & True by Cat Winters as well but I got an e-arc of that on Netgalley so I'm technically not having to wait for it? But those two are the most exciting releases for me!

5. Biggest Disappointment
Deathcat SallyBlood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion, #1)
Ann:  Deathcat Sally by P.S Brooke, this is not even a hard question to think about, I was excited when I first read the blurb but when I started reading it I was extremely disappointed by it.
Clare: Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves super let me down. I'm always excited when a fantasy novel seems to offer something new and this being set in Hungary was so exciting but it was just such a disappointment. I didn't write a review for this but I buddy read it with Vera @ Regal Critiques who did write a great review which you should definitely check out!

6. Biggest Surprise
Famous in LoveMy Lady Jane: The Not Entirely True Story
Ann: Famous in Love, I had seen the trailers for this TV show and so decided to read the books but I wasn't expecting much because I didn't really like the look of the TV show but I was surprised by how amazing the books were, they were definitely better than the TV show.
Probably My Lady Jane. I was so nervous about this one and it had the potential to go so wrong but honestly it was hilarious and romantic and I cannot recommend it enough! It's the ending I wish Jane got.

7. Favourite New Author
Songs About a Girl (Songs About a Girl, #1)I Want It That Way (2B Trilogy #1)
Ann: Chris Russell, I read his book Songs About A Girl and I loved it! I am very excited to read the next book because the author managed to make me actually enjoy the love triangle which is weird because I normally hate love triangles.
Ann Aguirre. I just read her 2B trilogy and it was superb. Really, really good New Adult (and I don't say that a lot - it is not my favourite genre) so now I really want to check out her other books as well!

8. Newest Fictional Crush
The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga, #1)
Ann: I don't really think that I have read many books this year so far with any fictional characters I could have a crush on. Hopefully I will read a book with a good fictional crush in it soon.
Ari in The Alchemists of Loom was just so incredible. Complex and flawed and intelligent and badass and just... more please??

9. Newest Favourite Character
Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1)
Ann: Audrey Rose Wadsworth from Stalking Jack the Ripper because I loved how different and amazing she was through out everything she went through!
Clare: Alosa from Daughter of the Pirate King was just SO badass and fun and I just loved her. She was a great character to be in the head of and I am very excited for the sequel!

10. Book That Made You Cry
A List of Cages
Ann: I don't really cry when reading books, I think that I have only ever cried when reading one book and that hasn't been for a few years.
Clare: A List of Cages by Robin Roe broke my heart. It was a really tough read in places but god was it worth it.

11. Book That Made You Happy
UnconventionalDating Sarah Cooper
Ann: I think that I am going to go with Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt, this book not only made me happy but it got me very excited about going to YALC in July!
Clare: Everything about Dating Sarah Cooper made me happy. I've been wanting to re-read it almost constantly since I finished it. 

12. Favourite Book to Movie Adaptation You've Seen So Far in 2017
Beauty and the Beast
Ann: I am going to have to go with Clare on this one, the only book to movie adaptation I have really seen this year has been Beauty and the Beast which I thought was incredible.
Clare: Does Beauty and the Beast count? Cause I don't think I've seen any others? Although I did re-watch A Long Way Down and remembered how much I adore that film (more than the book if I'm honest).

13. Favourite Review You've Written So Far in 2017
Remnants (Brandon Fisher FBI Series Book 6)Crimson and Bone
Ann: Umm I haven't really written many reviews this year but I think that my favourite of all my reviews was Remnants by Carolyn Arnold because not only did I love the book but I also think that it was one of the best reviews I have ever written.
Clare: Oh, god I'm so bad at praising my own reviews because reading them back just makes me cringe so hard every time. So here's the LAST review I wrote instead which is for Crimson and Bone by Marina Fiorato which is, by the way, really, really good!

14. Most Beautiful Book You've Bought So Far This Year
Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)
Ann: I haven't really brought any books this year but I think that the most beautiful book I have gotten this year so far is Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare because the cover is so detailed and beautiful.
Clare: GOT to be Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. This book is just crazy beautiful! The blue sprayed pages, the drawings, the fact that it's SIGNED - I'm just constantly in awe of it. Other contenders though could have been Caraval (which we have two copies of cause its PRETTY) and Alchemists of Loom which I didn't actually buy myself but got from my brother for my birthday (thanks John) and spent the rest of my birthday cooing over.

15. What Books Do You NEED To Read By The End of The Year
Ann: I don't normally like to set myself a TBR but one book that I definitely want to read by the end of the year is Songs About Us by Chris Russell because I really want to know what is going to happen to the characters!
Clare: Gonna limit myself to 5 here because otherwise this is going to get out of hand. A Court of Wings and Ruin because OBVIOUSLY, Wonder Woman, A Gentlemans Guide to Vice and Virtue, Daughter of the Burning City and Odd & True. OH and There's Someone Inside Your House which sounds AMAZING!

We tag (no pressure - if you don't do tags or don't want to do this one!!);
Esther @ Bite Into Books
And anyone else who wants to do this tag please go ahead and leave a link so we can check out your answers!!

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Wednesday 24 May 2017

Wednesday Catch-Up 24th May 2017

Every Wednesday we are linking up with WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is hosted at Taking on a World of Words and asks 3 questions: What are you currently reading?, What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you'll read next? You can click any of the images to go to the Goodreads page for that book!

Currently Reading:

The Progeny
I am about halfway through The Progeny by Tosca Lee and really enjoying it. I was a little worried initially because I am not a huge fan of plots dealing with memory loss as it's painfully personal for me but I love the main character and there has been plenty of action so far. My main worry now is cliff-hangers as the second book isn't readily available here.

Recently Finished:

Shadows on the NileThe Italian WifeThe Lost Girl of Astor StreetSpontaneousScorchedThe Raft
Shadows on the Nile was a re-read and The Italian Wife was the second to last Furnivall book I haven't read yet (the last being The Liberation). I didn't enjoy either as much as I expected to but they were still good historical reads. The Lost Girl of Astor Street was a great mystery with compelling characters. I wish I'd felt more emotional attachment at times but for the most part I really enjoyed it and hope there will be more. Spontaneous was another disappointment, this time because I just didn't care about any of the characters. It became a real struggle to get through. To fend off a reading slump I then read two really short, quick reads. Scorched was a great addition to Stirling's series and I loved how it ended and The Raft was a very good survival read - definitely strong on the realism front though so be prepared for dehydration and shark attacks and starvation galore. Such fun.

Planning to Read Next:

TornVanishing GirlsContagion (Dark Matter, #1)
Next up I will be reading two recommendations from Veronika @ Regal Critiques. Torn by Cat Clarke is one I am very excited for. I believe Cat Clarke will be at YALC this year which Ann and I are attending so I'm eager to read some of her books before going. Meanwhile Lauren Oliver is always an author I am drawn to so Vanishing Girls is a promising one as well. And then finally I might read Contagion. I'm in a very weird, fickle reading mood at the moment and keep picking up books and putting them down one chapter later so it's hard to tell what I want to read next but this really does appeal to me so hopefully??

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.