Monday, 28 September 2015

Disney Book Tag

there was a Disney themed tag and I just had to do it!
If you don't know, my family are Disney fanatics so I grew up on the movies and surrounded by everything Disney (even our old bathroom was themed and had a sink in the shape of a Mickey head ahah). This tag is just perfect, so thanks to the wonderful Katytastic for creating it, and Ellen @ Random Smiles for tagging me in her post.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11808950-sweet-evil?from_search=true&search_version=serviceThe Little Mermaid - a character who is out of their element, a "fish out of water"
Anna from Sweet Evil doesn't know how to be bad and her life depends on it (making such a great book!) I also thought about Kaidan for this question because he doesn't know how to be anything but how he was brought up, including how to be in a relationship (making me love him all the more!)

Cinderella - a character who goes through a major transformation
The first character who comes to mind for this is Juliette from Shatter Me. At the beginning I'll admit her constant pity party pushed me to the brink of putting down the series all together, meaning I'd have missed out because her character development made it really enjoyable.

Snow White - a book with an eclectic cast of characters
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare has such a range of characters, from the gay warlock to the evil brother, to the faerie queen! I love the series for it <3
Sleeping Beauty - a book that put you to sleep
This book made me think I fell asleep (the romance was too sudden) until it actually did make me fall asleep because nothing much was happening. And it's Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson.

The Lion King - a character who had something traumatic happen to them in childhood
An easy one: Celaena Sardothian from Throne of Glass. I don't know who I feel worse for, her or Simba...

Beauty and the Beast - a beast of a book (a big book) that you were intimidated by, but found the story to be beautiful
Apparently it's strange how I don't take in the length of a book until I'm reading it and/or have finished it. If it's really amazing I can fly through the pages and not even notice, which happened with The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of Twilight, Meyer can write beautifully which is shown in this book.

Aladdin - a character who gets their wish granted, for better or worse
I had to think a little bit about this one, until I saw an advert for the Scorch Trials movie on TV and realised Thomas! He always wanted to get out of the maze afterall ;)

Mulan - a character who pretends to be something they're not
Another question which had me thinking: I came up with Allison from The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa who hides the fact she is a vampire when surrounded by people who would otherwise kill her.

Toy Story - a book with characters you wish would come to life
There are so many different ways of responsing to this because I have so many favourites and since I don't want to repeat an answer (and I can't seem to go a tag post without including this series somehow) I'm going with the characters from the wizarding world in Harry Potter because they are epic. Simple.
Disney Descendants  - your favourite villain or morally ambiguous character
Recently I finished Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo so naturally I thought of the Darkling. He is one handsome devil with a darkness that lures you in;  you've got to love his character.

And lastly, since I don't have time to tag anyone in particular (might come back to this) I TAG YOU!!

Monday, 21 September 2015

Review: The Summer Marked (The Winter People #2) by Rebekah L. Purdy

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23014840-the-summer-markedGoodreads Synopsis:
The sequel to the chilling Winter People returns to the world of Faerie, and is a romantic and enchanting follow-up.

Salome left humankind behind to be with her boyfriend, Gareth, in the Kingdom of Summer. But now forces of darkness are rising. Her happily-ever-after is coming apart, and the Kingdom is on the brink of war. 

Newly-single Kadie Byers is on her way home for Thanksgiving, imagining a visit filled with hot chocolate, a hot guy for a little rebound action, and some girl time with her bestie, Salome. Except she receives a message from Salome with two important words: PLEASE HURRY.

When Kadie rushes to help Salome, she’s ripped from the human world and pulled into the kingdoms of Faerie, where she's shocked to learn that Salome's monsters are real, and that she's now at the mercy of one extremely vengeful Winter Queen... 

Now both Salome and Kadie must find a way to survive the deadly chaos...or lose themselves to Winter's deadly, icy grasp.


Review:
***I received the ARC eBook free as a review copy from the publisher Entangled Teen via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review***

I’ll be honest when I say that the first book didn’t impress me all that much, so believe me when I say this one did. It’s a slow burner, meaning that I gradually grew more and more invested in the story, until I had to put it down and realised I didn’t want to! Simple as that I was hooked.

What originally caught my interest more than anything is the beautiful (yet often chilling) faerie world which we’d only heard about before. The settings worked beautifully to immerse the reader and enhance the emotions of the characters. Pretty much nothing turned out how they expected and this continued throughout the novel…

Salome has grown up a lot since we last saw her in the sense that she’s learning to conquer her fears and also how to survive in a world where enemies are hiding everywhere, even in plain sight. Her romance with Gareth had (and will continue to have) many obstacles but the story didn’t revolve solely around this which I loved.

What I didn’t like at first was the introduction to Kadie’s perspective. In fact I rarely ever like it when authors do this in the middle of a series, but as I said before, it grew on me and I reached the turning point where I couldn’t imagine the book without it. Not only did her chapters provide more insight to the world, her story is an interesting one involving many more characters I’m glad we got to see.

Overall, with more characters, more action and more awesomeness, The Summer Marked is a book you won’t want to end. Thankfully there is a sequel, which I can’t wait to read!
Favourite Quotes:
“We’re gonna defeat Winter, and then we’ll all live happily ever after.”
He chuckled. “Has anyone ever told you that you read way too many fairytales?”
“I don’t need to read them anymore – I’m living one.”

Friday, 18 September 2015

Blogger Recognition Award

Back in March the lovely Olivia @ Olivia's Catastrophe nominated me for the blogger recognition award (originally created by Eve @ Edge of Night) and today finally I am doing it!

Since then I was also nominated by Lauren @ Always Me, Trinity @ The Midnight Princess and Ardis @ Pondering the Prose.
Thank you all so much!! <3

The Rules:
Write a post to show off your reward!
Give a brief story of how your blog got started, and give a piece or two of advice to new bloggers.
Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.
Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to and list them in the post. Comment on each bog and let them know you nominated them. Provide a link to the award post you created.

My Blog's Story:
I started book blogging at the end of May last year (2014) after I'd been thinking about it for months. I've always been a reader but it was during secondary school when I discovered The Hunger Games that I truly unlocked the magic of reading. At the time I had been reading religiously, reveling in the way it took me away from reality, but it was a very solitary and personal experience. None of my friends shared the same passion so it was only when I read Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout which introduced me to book blogging that I realised others did too. Immediately I was online looking for these mysterious blogs; once I'd been following them for a while I decided to make my own. And after a long time spent designing, working out how to use a laptop (my technology inexperienced brain took it's time (nothing's changed there!)) and of course writing... here we are today! :D I'm loving it.
Advice:
I agree with Lauren about this one - blog about what you want. Don't feel pressured to write specific types of posts or about specific books/genres because blogging is meant to be fun, otherwise it will become a chore and then what's the point? Your own voice will come through naturally and viewers will be able to tell; they'll enjoy reading your posts more too.

My Nominees:
Denise @ The Bibliolater
Megan & Catherine @ Books of Fascination
Cody-Leigh @ Literary-ly Obsessed
Cari & Haley @ My Addiction: Books
Jodie @ SummerB00ks
AND YOU!!

How did you start blogging? Any advice? I'd love to hear from you

Monday, 14 September 2015

ARC Review: Rebels (The Reverians #2) by Sarah Noffke

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26118981-rebelsGoodreads Synopsis:
Em returns to Austin Valley, but there are many things that don’t add up about her homecoming. She’s left Rogue behind and is adamant that Dr. Parker must leave the Valley with her. Zack agrees to help her, but soon learns she’s not telling the whole truth when Rogue comes storming back. With the threesome reunited, they work on a plan to stop the Defect crisis. Their plan places all of them at risk, but Em knows they have no other choice. Hundreds of kids are being injected with poison every day and Nona, her sister, is one of them. Em Fuller has one mission and will stop at nothing to achieve it: Bring the government of Austin Valley down.


Review:
***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

Long ago I fell in love with Sarah Noffke’s writing, and now I have fallen in love with her characters in The Reverians too. This, naturally, meant my heart was in for one hell of a ride!

Every second of this book was spent enraptured by the events taking place and the emotions they triggered in the characters, along with myself as a reader. It was so easy to connect with the story and that meant it felt real. Real enough that I care about what happens and will throw a fit when I don’t like it *glares at book*. I may understand why certain things happen but that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it! *grumbles*

The characters have, and will continue to go through so much if the ending is anything to go by – I can’t wait for the third book to see what else is thrown their way. Needless to say that shit will go down! Em is not just another one-sided badass heroine, there is so much to her and that means her emotions are just as complicated. Of course it wouldn’t be a Sarah Noffke book if the relationships weren’t also just as complicated…

In this second instalment, the plot has thickened and people are starting to realise just what’s at stake. You won’t want to miss it.

Favourite Quotes:
“Rarely does the truth set us free. Usually it chains us to the earth like a ghost.” 

“He makes me perfect and so very flawed in my love. Makes me realize all the ways I could love him better, but in this moment we are perfect. Reunited. Happy in each other’s arms. Accepting of each other’s stupid decisions.” 

“He’s my calm in commotion. He’s the rebel smiling when the danger mounts. He’s the guy daring to joke in the face of death.” 

“The beautiful thing about best friends is we can part and when we’re reunited no time will have passed between our hearts.”

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Announcement: Etsy Shop!!

Last week I hinted to a post that had been in the works for a while (originating over the holidays) and this is it!

I have opened an Etsy shop, selling book related bottle jewellery/crafts.
It all started after I'd been seeing these cute little bottles around and then at Comic Con I saw them turned into necklaces which set my mind racing about what I could do myself. Of course with reading being one of the biggest passions in my life, I thought it would be great to link everything together.

And so... Enchanted Bottle Craft was born!

In celebration I am holding a GIVEAWAY, where 3 winners will win 1 necklace of their choice from the designs in my shop right now (including the ones above).

There are 3 ways to enter:
You can repost the photo from my Instagram.
Retweet from my Twitter.
Enter the rafflecopter on this post below.

I will pick 1 winner from each ^^ and IT IS INTERNATIONAL
Some of the designs:


 I hope you've enjoyed this post and share in a little of the excitement!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

ARC Review: Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2) by Sara Raasch

17404295Goodreads Synopsis:
It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?

As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.


Review:
***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the publisher HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review***

I don’t want to say it, I don’t, but I fear Ice Like Fire has a case of middle book syndrome *stares despairingly at beautiful cover*. There was so much politics and far less action than I would have liked (especially after the epicness that is the first book), it slowed down the pace tenfold. That said, I remained invested in the story and its characters.

Meira, the newly revealed Winter Queen remains a protagonist worth admiring. Granted there were many moments when she struggled between being the person she thought the Winter kingdom needed and the girl who takes risks – I’m just glad that however long it took, she knows the best thing is to stay true to yourself.

Theron and Mather are whole other stories… My heart is so confused; I don’t know what to do. Both have developed so much in different ways and while before I felt conflicted over liking both, now I’m not sure if I want either (with Meira of course *looks innocent* I wasn’t talking about me). Mather’s perspective was interesting, even though his chapters had godawful timing, and I welcomed the addition of the Children of the Thaw. Many more characters were introduced, my favourite being Ceridwen. I implore you to read this book if for no other reason than to see why this girl is so awesome.

Another reason to pick up Ice Like Fire is the thrilling conclusion that lasted for 20% of the book. With things hitting the fan left, right and centre it has set up the third book in the best way possible. Already I can tell that it is not to be missed. Neither is this series, so if you haven’t started yet… you should!
Favourite Quotes:
“No one should be forced to be something they aren’t.”

“The Winter we know has always been one of our own creation, a kingdom built on dreams. So you’re right, Feige. We’re all Children of the Thaw. Our own hybrid of the past and the future.”

“That’s how relationships work – when one person is blind, the other must see for them. When one person struggles, the other must remain strong.”

“The most powerful magic of all is choice.”

Friday, 4 September 2015

Book Fangirling Blog Award


Thanks so much to Ash aka FearStreetZombie @ Reviews of a Fear Street Zombie for nominating me! :D She's written some great questions which I'm excited to get to, but first...


Rules:
  • Create a blog post to accept your award
  • Add the blog award button and put it onto the side of your blog
  • Answer the questions the person who has nominated you has come up with
  • Nominate 5-10 book bloggers who you think deserve this award
  • Come up with your own 5 questions for your nominees


Questions:
  • If you could remove one book or one series from the world, what would it be?
Even if I hate a book, there's someone out there who will like it (for a reason I can't comprehend) so I couldn't bring myself to remove it. On the other hand... I recently studied Wuthering Heights for school and would happily burn every single copy in the world so no one else has to go through that torture (if it was never written - even better!)
  • Do you have certain playlists you play while you read?
Usually I don't listen to music while I read, preferring silence.
  • How do you arrange your books on your bookshelf?
They're arranged alphabetically by author's last name and while it's a pain to add new books (which happens far more regularly than my parents would like), I don't mind the chaos <3
  • If you could be the main character in a book, who would you be and why?
Most, if not all main characters have a pretty hard time, most of the time! Even looking at people in amazing worlds (Harry Potter), or with swoon-worthy love interests (Celaena Sardothian) have been through tragedy and I wouldn't last 2 seconds as them... In the end I don't have an answer.
  • How many books do you read in a month and in a full year?
Typically I'll read 12 - 16 books a month which equals over 150 books in a year. It varies a lot though with how much I'm enjoying what I read and dreaded reading slumps.



My Questions:
  • What was the book that got you into reading?
  • Do you re-read books?
  • Are you a fan of book to movie adaptations?
  • If you could go back and forget a book which would you choose and why?
  • You can only read one series for the rest of your life. What would it be?


I nominate:
Cari & Haley @ My Addiction: Books
Megan & Catherine @ Books of Fascination
Jodie @ SummerB00ks
And anyone else who would like to do this post

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

August Monthly Wrap Up

With August over my summer holiday is also drawing to a close and while I originally thought the opposite might have been true, that hopefully means I'll be posting more now!
     These last few weeks I've taken an unexpected hiatus from blogging because of other things happening in my life (including something I'll have a post about soon which I'm excited about!) but I'll tell you something - I've missed it.
     That said I have still been reading and finished a total of 13 books, 3 novellas:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20345202-the-girl-at-midnightThe Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight #1) by Melissa Grey
This book was all over the place with me. The characters made it an enjoyable read but overall it lacked the "wow" factor. In the end I gave it 3 stars. 

Semester Aboard (More than Magic #1) by Elizabeth Kirke
I was surprised by how invested I became in this story. It became hard to put down and I cannot wait to continue with the sequel. Full review.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/25327818-night-owlsNight Owls by Jenn Bennett
A lot of people know I'm not the biggest fan of contemporaries, but after picking up the arc for Night Owls, I thought why not? And the decision payed off because I truly loved it.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10335701-carrier-of-the-markStolen by Lucy Christopher
This is the reason I don't read contemporaries. It was boring and predictable (bear in mind the ending is said at the beginning) but what lowered my rating to 2 stars is the fact I didn't get emotional. Me - the person who cries over every other book or the mere memory of a character...

A Malmont Summer by Joshua J. Johnson
A great summer read with enough drama to keep me coming back to the pages. Full review.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16096824-a-court-of-thorns-and-rosesCarrier of the Mark (Carrier #1) by Leigh Fallon
It's rare for me to not have much to say about a book, particularly when I didn't actually like it, but all I can really say is that it wasn't for me.

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J Maas
I knew (and definitely hoped!) I'd love this book, I just didn't know how much. Incredible. Simply incredible. And Tamlin *fans self*

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17404295-ice-like-fireThe Lynburn Legacy Trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan
Including Unspoken, Untold, Unmade and the novellas The Night After I Lost You, The Spring Before I Met You and The Summer Before I Met You.
LOVED THIS SERIES!! It is epic and hilarious and beautiful and so damn heartbreaking <3

Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2) by Sara Raasch
Even though I'd consider this book to have a case of "middle book syndrome" it is not to be missed. There was so much potential in the first book, and now even more for the third. ARC review to come.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8220745-steelSteel by Carrie Vaughn
What I loved more than anything about Steel, is the fact it's about pirates! There are not nearly enough (if you've read any I'd really appreciate recommendations) :D

A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell Mystery #1) by Deanna Raybourn
My first ever mystery novel, I had no idea what I was getting into. Now though I'm really excited for more! Full review.

I hope you had a great month! Let me know the best book you read in the comments. Have you read any of the ones I mentioned above?