ABC Challenge – B

I saw this over at Thrice Read.

Previous posts: A


Remarkable Book

I’m a little torn between The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. They’re very very different books and I love them for different reasons, so it’s hard to pick. As such, I think I will call it a tie and go with both.

Book on TBR

This is going to be another tie. One of the books is Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie, which is the sequel to The Blade Itself and which I actually own, so hopefully I will get to soon. The second book is Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. I don’t own this one yet, but I really enjoyed the first to books and I want to continue with this series.

 

Sequels I’ve Read in 2017

I am very bad about reading sequels. I start series and then I never finish them. I’ve talked about this before, in various posts. But I do read some sequels and I’m trying to be better about it. So this post is a sort of pat on the back to myself. I’m not going to count re-reads, because those don’t really count.


A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab

conjuring of light

This is one of the few series that I read the sequels straight away, or in the case of this final one, as soon as it came out. I loved it. I love the series and I loved the conclusion. So good.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

dream thieves

Another great sequel. I am excited to continue with this series hopefully soon.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Mass

acowar

Another series that I kept up with and pretty much read as soon as it was out because I love this series. Unfortunately, this one was probably my least favourite in the series. I still really liked it, but I had some issues with it. If you want to know more, check out my discussion.

Attack on Titan vol. 2 & 3

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I read the first volume and then quickly read the next two, but they count so I’m including them!

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

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Another series that I’m up to date with. At least I have a few that I’ve either completed or am up to date with.

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

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I adore this series. I cannot wait for the next one. Another one I’m up to date with!

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

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Finally continued with this series. I read the first book in like 2015 and loved it. I’ve been meaning to continue with it ever since, and now I’ve finally read the second one. Hopefully I’ll move on with the series soon.

 

February -April 2017 Wrap Up

It’s been an age since I’ve done a wrap up. I think probably the last one was in January. That’s because I didn’t read much in February. Or March. Even April has been only okay. *sigh* Life just kept getting in the way. Anyway, here are the books I’ve read since January. I have reviews for most of them, so I’ll link those if you are interested.


 Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

nevernight

5/5 stars

I think this is the only book that I read in February. At least it was a good book. I loved everything about it and I cannot wait for the second one to come out. This book was just badass. I have a spoilerfree review of it, if you would like to know more.

A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab

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5/5 stars

The conclusion to her Shades of Magic series. It was SO. FREAKING. GOOD! I love this series so much and Victoria has been announced as a guest at YALC this summer and I just can’t wait to meet her! It was such a good conclusion to such an awesome series. It made me feel feelings, okay? I also have a review of this, if you would like to know more of my thoughts.

 

The Waste Land by T. S. Elliot

3/5 stars

This is not so much a book. It’s just a long poem. I don’t read a lot of poetry, and when I do, I often don’t enjoy it. This was the case with this. I felt that there was too much background reading that was necessary to understand this poem and I didn’t get it. I feel like everyone should be able to take something out of a good poem, regardless of whether they’ve read as extensively as the poet has.

 

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

neanderthal seeks human5/5 stars

This was a re-read for me. I was deeply into a reading slump and I wanted something light and easy to read, but also kind of clever and engaging. I read this book last year and was surprised by how much I loved it. I really enjoyed it the second time around as well, and it actually helped pull me out of my reading slump, at least a little. I have a full review of it if you’re interested.

 

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

173706184.5/5 stars

This is the second book in The Raven Cycle series. I liked it a lot more than I liked the first one. I’s not that I didn’t like the first one, it’s just that this one cleared up a lot of the things that had me confused in the first book.  It was a little bit slow in terms of the plot progression, but there was plenty of character development, so I didn’t really mind. I also have a review of this one.

 

Replica by Lauren Oliver

284482874.5/5 stars

The first Lauren Oliver book I’ve read. I enjoyed it quite a lot, I read it in one day. I thought the way it was written was very engaging and I really liked the themes it explored. It’s almost entirely character driven, so it may not be for everyone. The plot really wasn’t that good. It wasn’t bad, it was just meh. But I got the impression that the plot was more of a backdrop for exploring the themes the author wanted to explore, so it didn’t bother me. Check out my full review if you want to know more.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

caraval1/5 stars

UGH. THIS DAMN BOOK FRUSTRATED ME SO MUCH! I was so disappointed by absolutely everything about this book (except for the cover). I had to skim the final 150 pages. It was just boring and badly written and ugh! I have both a spoiler free review of it and a spoilerific rant, so check those out if you want to know all the reasons for which I hated this book.

 

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

65472585/5 stars

My newest obsession. This is the first book that I read this year that kept me up until 3 am. I just could not put it down. I loved it so much, I need to read the rest of them ASAP! I don’t know why I haven’t read Brandon Sanderson until now, but I have now joined the fanclub. Give me all the Brandon Sanderson. I have a spoiler free review of it and a spoilerific rave as well.

 

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

stealing snow1/5 stars

I hated the guts out of this book. I haven’t reviewed it yet, but you can be sure I will have one hell of a rant about it! It’s coming. I requested this book from NetGalley in September 2016. I started reading it in September 2016. I finished it in March 2017. You can imagine how much I hated it. I almost never DNF books. I push through even when they suck. But I very nearly gave up on this one. It was horrible. I hate it. I HATE it. Stay tuned for my review.

Sabriel by Garth Nix

25688174/5 stars

This is a pretty old book. It feels like the ancestor of YA. It was really interesting, it follows a necromancer, which was really cool. I really liked the world and the magic and the atmosphere of the book. Unfortunately, I had a problem with the writing style. I couldn’t connect to it, and that made me not really connect to the characters. Still, I will be continuing with the series, as it seems cool. I haven’t got a review of this one yet, but it should come soon.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K Rowling

5/5 stars

I’ve been re-reading the HP series. I audiobooked this one this time around and found I really enjoyed it. I listened to the Stephen fry audiobook, and it’s good. I’m currently listening to Order of the Phoenix. I wouldn’t recommend audiobooking it if this is your first time reading the books. But as a re-read, the audiobook is great.

 

Spring Book Haul

I have decided that for this haul, I would do a video because some of the books that I have to haul are just so beautiful and I wanted to adequately fangirl over them, which is difficult to do through pictures and text. If you don’t feel like watching a shitty, badly edited 12 minute long video of me rambling on about book, then I will put a list of the books in my haul with all relevant links below, so keep scrolling past the video. If you’re okay with a shitty, 12 minute long rambly video, then enjoy.

Books and links

Cradle and All by James Patterson

Book Depository | Goodreads

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Book Depository | Goodreads

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Book Depository | Goodreads

A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab

Amazon | Goodreads | Review

*Also review of A Darker Shade of Magic A Gathering of Shadows

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Book Depository | Goodreads | Review

*Also review of The Raven Boys 

Replica by Lauren Oliver

Book Depository | Goodreads

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Book Depository | Goodreads | Review

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Book Depository | Goodreads

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – Book Review

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – Book Review

17370618Rating: 4.5/5

Genre: YA, paranormal, fantasy

First published: 2013

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

***SPOILER ALERT*** Second book in the series. There may be spoilers for the first book from here on. Review of the first book here

Synopsis: Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

Book Depository | Goodreads


I’m so glad I decided to continue with this series. I mean, I enjoyed The Raven Boys. But it was so confusing and vague and… it didn’t really blow my mind. I liked the characters and I thought the mythology was cool, but I just found it confusing and it was really not what I expected. But going into the second one, I knew what to expect. I knew that it was going to be vague and confusing and almost nonsensical at times and that allowed me to integrate the peculiarity as part of the story instead of trying to logic it and somehow, that made it better.

There was a lot of character development going on in this one. I think my main problem with the first book was that it was too complex and not well explained enough. But a lot of the loose threads in the first one were tugged on, if not tied up, so it clarified a lot of the confusion and there weren’t that many completely new elements added. Rather, the old elements were expanded on. And that was really satisfying. Which is an odd word to use, but that’s the best way I can describe it.

The writing, in my opinion, was so much better than in the first book. I really enjoyed the writing, whereas I don’t remember enjoying it as much in the first book. It’s amazing how much Maggie has grown as an author between the two. And actually, I recently read about two thirds of Shiver and that book is horrible. I don’t know whether it’s her debut, but there was almost nothing I enjoyed about that book. The writing, was bad, the story was bad, the characters were bad… just, no. And it’s fantastic to see how much she has developed as a writer. I love seeing these things, it’s great to watch an author grow and develop their skill.

Going back to the characters. I really love all the characters. They’re all quirky and unique and so themselves and I love to see that in books. Which once again shows how much Maggie’s skill has grown, because in Shiver, I could not distinguish the characters from one another. I couldn’t even distinguish the POV characters. Sometimes, I would forget whose POV I was reading. So, yeah I loved the characters. I loved them in the first book as well, but even more in this one. Ronan… I love Ronan. And we got to learn so much about him in this book and it was awesome. Some of the plot-twists, particularly regarding Ronan really took me by surprise. I really did not see them coming.

We also see Gansey and blue growing together, which wasn’t a surprise, given the first book. But it promises a lot of angst in the following books and I’m a sucker for some good angst. We also get to meet a new character, whom I really enjoyed. I didn’t think that I would enjoy him quite as much, but I really did.

I would say that this book was mainly focused on character development and sort of just clarifying the first book. It’s not that nothing happened in it, it’s just that most of the things that happened were less significant to moving the story forward than they were to character development. It was like a sort of preparation of the characters for  what’s to come. And I find that’s often the case with second books in series. And that can either make the second book the worst in the series, or really good (maybe even the best), depending on how it’s done. And I think this one has been done very well. I definitely enjoyed it a lot more than the first book.

I hear the Blue Lily, Lily Blue is the best book in the series, so I’m really looking forward to that. Hopefully, I will get to it soon. I’m really excited for it now and I wish I had bought it so I could read it straight away. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you read The Raven Boys and were kind of on the fence about whether you want to continue with the series. Just give this one a try before making your mind up.

10 Books I recently Added to my TBR – Top Ten Tuesday

10 Books I recently Added to my TBR – Top Ten Tuesday

Okay, I know it’s not Tuesday, but I’ve been busy. Don’t judge me!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is books recently added to your TBR. Here are mine (in ascending order).

1. The Bone Queen by Alison Croggon

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I remember I was in a book store and I saw this and I read the back of it and thought it was cool, so I added it. But I can’t for the life of me remember what it was about. I know that it’s a prequel to a fairly popular series (which I also can’t remember what it’s about.) Yeah, I kind of just randomly add books to my TBR.

2. The Naming by Alison Croggon

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Ah yes, this is the first book in the series I previously mentioned. I probably googled The Bone Queen, saw it was a prequel to a series, so I went and found the first book in the series and added it as well. Now you know why I have hundreds of books on my TBR.

3. Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes

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A while back, my best friend bought this book and read it. And she told me it was good, so I added it.

4. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

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I added this after reading The Raven Boys (review here). I’ve taken to adding series to my TBR one book at a time just so I don’t clutter my TBR as much with books that I may or may not read. So if after reading a book in a series, I decide not to continue with it, I don’t have to fish through my TBR to remove the books that I no longer intend to read.

5. Furthermore by Tahareh Mafi

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Saw a bunch of people talk about it on booktube and it sounded cool, so I added it.

6. Catwoman by Sarah J. Maas

Yeah, okay I added this because it’s written by SJM. No regrets.

7. Wink, Poppy, Midnight by April Genevive Tucholke

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I think I read a review of this somewhere and I found it intriguing. Also, I like the title.

8. Mengele: The Complete Story by Gerald Posner

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I recently read a memoir called Surviving the Angel of Death (review here) by Eva Mozes Kor and I realized that I know very little about Mengele and I wanted to inform myself on the topic.

9. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

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This book was actually recommended to me by one of my lecturers. It’s about this woman who died of cancer a while back and cells from her tumour were cultured and her cell line is still alive today and used for research. Which is cool. I mean, not for her, I guess.

10. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

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A friend is reading this book and it’s really pretty and sounds interesting. So I want it. Again with my fantastic standards.

 

 

 

Book Recommendations Based on the Seven Virtues

A while ago I made a post recommending books based on the Seven Deadly Sins. You can check that out here if you missed it. So today, I thought I would turn that idea on its head and recommend books based on the Seven Virtues.


1. Chastity

pride-and-prejudice_bnPride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I love this book. I love the story and I love the characters and it takes place in Victorian England, so it’s pretty chaste. This is one of my favourite love stories and if you haven’t read it, or at least watched the film (the Kiera Knightley one!), then what are you doing?

Book Depository | Goodreads

2. Temperance

darker shade of magicA Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. Kell is probably the most level headed and tempered character I’ve come across in a while. This book and this series is absolutely amazing, I loved it! I literally cannot wait until the next one comes out! I love the world and the characters that Victoria has created and I can’t wait to read more of her books. She’s awesome! (Pst, I also have reviews for both books in the series. Here and here.)

Book Depository | Goodreads

3. Charity

nightingaleThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. This book was so beautiful and if any book portrays charity, it’s this one. The girls both sacrificed so much for other people and they gave so much in a time when there was scarcely anything to give but one’s life. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone.

Book Depository | Goodreads

4. Diligence

the-raven-boys-maggie-stiefvaterThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Gansey’s diligence when it comes to his search for Glendower is remarkable. This is a YA paranormal book. I’ve only read this one in the series and I really enjoyed it, but I hear the rest are even better. I have a review of the book here.

Book Depository | Goodreads

5. Patience

acotarA Court of Thorns and Roses By Sarah J. Maas. I chose this series for two reasons. One, because there are quite a few characters who patiently bid their time, waiting for the perfect opportunity. And since the characters in this series have quite the long lifespan, they were really, really patient. The second is that patience is the virtue I need to exhibit while waiting for the next one and it’s proving to be problematic. I love Sarah J. Maas! I recommended her other series in the deadly sins post, so it seemed fitting to put this one here. Also, did I mention I will be meeting her in less than a month? *squee*

Book Depository | Goodreads

6. Kindness

the book thiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Definitely a book about kindness and the power of words. Another one that I universally recommend. There are just some books that everyone should read and this is one of them. I have a review of it here if you would like to hear more of my thoughts on it.

Book Depository | Goodreads

7. Humility

the-ascendance-trilogy-the-false-prince-35473004-935-475The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen. I’ve talked about this series before, although I haven’t really seen or heard much about it around the community, which is a shame because I really loved it. And Sage, the main character is probably one of the most genuinely humble characters. In the sense that he puts everyone else before himself and he genuinely does not believe himself to be better than they are, not in the sense that he is self deprecating.

Book Depository | Goodreads

These are my recommendations based on the seven virtues. Do you agree? What books would you choose?

August Wrap-Up

Another month has come and gone. I don’t think I traveled through the month of August through the normal means. I think I fell through a wormhole because I swear I posted my July wrap up last week. As such, I’ve hardly had time to read anything and have only read like, 3 books and a poem.


571First thing I read was the poem Burnt Norton by T.S. Eliot. I really liked the poem and I read it because of Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. I read somewhere that the poem was an inspiration for the book so I was curious. I don’t have a review of the poem, but I do have a review of Cruel Beauty if you are interested.

 

 

134866324/5 stars

Second book I read was The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. Which is to say I finally finished this book. Despite it taking me the better part of two months to read, I did really enjoy the book. I have a review of it if you want to hear more of my thoughts on it.

 

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5/5 stars

Book number three was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, which has become one of my favourite reads of the year. I loved, loved, loved it and I can’t wait for Crooked Kingdom! I’m glad I don’t have to wait long for it. I have a review of this one as well.

 

the-raven-boys-maggie-stiefvater4/5 stars

Last book I read this month was The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. This is one of the 4 books I said I absolutely want to read by the end of 2016 in one of my previous posts. So I finally got to it and it was pretty good. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but I did like it. I also have a review of this.

 

This is it for August. I thought I was going to be able to finish Glass Sword as well, but I’m just not liking it enough. I’m struggling to get through it. I don’t even think I’m halfway through.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – Book Review

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – Book Review

the-raven-boys-maggie-stiefvaterRating: 4/5

Genre: Paranormal, YA

First published: 2012

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Synopsis: Every year, Blue accompanies her psychic mother to the “corpse road”, a line where one night a year, the spirits of the soon-to-be dead walk by. She is used to hearing her mother ask the names of people only she can see, but what she doesn’t expect is to see one of them herself. 

His name is Gansey, one of the rich students of Aglionby Accademy, also known as Raven Boys. Blue has a strict policy of staying away from Raven Boys, but she finds herself inexplicably drawn to Gansey and his friends. 

Blue has always been told that if she kisses her true love he will die. It never really concerned her before, but as she is drawn into the boys’ strange quest, she begins to wonder if she hasn’t been wrong.

Book Depository | Goodreads 


This was a strange book. The synopsis was quite misleading, it was really not what I expected. I expected it to be high fantasy for some reason. I tried to summarize it as best I could, but I haven’t done a particularly good job either. It’s a hard book to summarize because there is a LOT going on in it.

It had a pretty slow start and it was very confusing for the most part. It was very vague. Everything was vague. I don’t really know how to explain the vagueness of it. When something was explained, it didn’t really clear anything up. Sort of like talking to a psychic. I don’t know whether that was intentional or not but it seemed to fit the story well. Still, it was a bit frustrating.

Paranormal is not really my favourite genre when it comes to books, but this is hands down the best paranormal I’ve ever read. Despite the vagueness and the confusion, it made me very curious and I remained engaged with the story throughout. I think its main fault was that there was so much introduced at once, so many threads that were left hanging. Something would be hinted at, but then dropped. I’m sure those things are addressed in the following books, but they made this book much more difficult to read and enjoy.

I liked the characters a lot. They were all quirky in their own way and sometimes they were absurd and ridiculous which added a lot of humour to the book. And I liked that they were all unique and had very individual personalities. Sometimes, it feels like you’re reading about the same character only with different names and descriptions, but this wasn’t a problem in this book. You could clearly tell who was talking without being told, just by the way they said it and they behaved.

I liked the mythology of it. It was really cool. Usually, I get bored with the mythology in paranormal,  but this was cool and interesting and unlike what I’ve encountered before. I look forward to reading the other ones, because if nothing else, this book managed to make me really curious.

Summer Book Haul

Summer Book Haul

It’s been a while since I’ve done a book haul and I’ve accumulated a few books since then. So I’ve decided to do another book haul and show them to you.I was too lazy to take individual pictures of each one, so here’s one picture with all of them.

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A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab. I’ve read both of these and I also have reviews for both of them, which you can check out by clicking on the title.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I’ve also read this, but I haven’t put up a review for it yet. Stay tuned though, it’s coming up soon.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. This one is probably my second favourite book of the year, after ACOMAF (which I still haven’t reviewed… I suck, I know). But I have reviewed SoC and you can read that by clicking on the title. The book was fantastic!

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. I think this one was in my other book haul as well, but it hadn’t arrived then, so I put it in this one as well. Anyway, another one that I have read and reviewed

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. This is what I’m currently reading. And it’s going slowly. I’m finding it hard to get into. I hope it’s just the beginning that’s so annoying (Mare is really getting on my nerves with her special butterfly attitude).

Notice how most of the books are red, black and white and then there’s Glass Sword, sticking out like the sore thumb it is. Because so far out of these, it’s the one I’m enjoying the least.