My Favourite Releases of 2016 (so far)

June 22, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 2

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

So, as I was away for a long weekend I only came back into to work yesterday, which meant that for me yesterday was Monday. Then last night upon realising it was actually Tuesday got super mad at myself for not posting my TTT on time! Therefore I am posting it today, which may officially be Wednesday, but for me it’s Tuesday!

I have read some great books already this year, a good mix of new and previously owned but never read books. But my list today is all about the new releases that I read and absolutely LOVED!

This Is Where It Ends Cover never never part 3 cover Honesty Cover

This Is Where It Ends – Although I struggled to connect with some of the characters, this book captivated me and was a very brave and respectful story about the consequences of guns in schools.

Never Never Part 3 – I loved this entire trilogy, but this book was best because it was the final one and we got all the answers we had been waiting for since we started part 1.

Honesty – Seth King has such beautiful writing and this book is no different. It broke my heart in so many ways but was in it’s most basic form a story full of love.

Beautiful Burn Glass Sword Cover Stars Above Cover

Beautiful Burn – I loved this one because 1) it featured a Maddox brother and 2) it was all about the Alpine Hotshots, and elite firefighter group who fight wildfires. It was steamy, both because of the fires and the romance and was an excellent addition to the series.

Glass Sword – I only started reading this series this year and was addicted from page one. This book was such a great continuation of the series and THAT ENDING just made desperate for the next book!

Stars Above – I LOVED THIS BOOK! It gave us so many little extras to The Lunar Chronicles, and an epilogue which was just the perfect ending to this entire series!

A Thousand Boy Kisses Cover Winners Kiss Cover Some Kind Of Perfect

A Thousand Boy Kisses – This book broke my heart again and again and again…and I loved every minute of it. If you are looking for a book that it going to make your heart burst with love whilst also being torn into tiny pieces then THIS is the book for you!

Winners Kiss – This was one of my most anticipated books of the entire year and WOW did it give me exactly what I wanted. This entire trilogy was incredible, but this ending was just perfection.

Some Kind of Perfect – The ending to a series that I never wanted to say goodbye to. I laughed, I cried, I swooned, then I cried some more. I have been with the characters for ten whole books and this one was a beautiful ending for them all.

Walk the Edge – I am a big fan of Motorcycle Club (MC) books and this series is my second favourite one (after Tillie Cole’s of course!) I think I actually enjoyed this book more than the first, and can;t wait for more of them!

Have you read any of the books on my list? Or are you hoping to read them at some point?

What’s on your list this week?

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Sunday Funday: Bookish Bars

June 19, 2016 Sunday Funday, Uncategorized 1

Sunday Funday Logo

The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

This weekend I am in the Lake District with the bf and feeling sooooooo relaxed. I have been looking forward to this weekend for months. We’ve been eating loads of yummy food, checking out some beautiful places and of course I managed to fit in some reading time too!

Next month I will be going to YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) in London, and whilst looking for some bookish stuff to do whilst I am there I found some great bookish bars. So I thought I would share some of my favourite, for those of you who live or will be visiting the UK in the future…

The Drawing Room, Southbank

 

The thing I love most about this place is that to get to the drawing room you have to find the secret door behind a bookcase! So cool!

The Society Club, Soho

 

A bookstore AND a bar, what could be better?! Apparently there book selection is amazing, and when combined with their selection of bar snacks, it;s the perfect place to hang out!

Far Rockaway, Shoreditch

 

If your more of a comic book fan than a book lover then this is the place for you! It just looks so chilled out and homely.

Library, Covent Garden

 

If you’ve got £500 to spare then buy yourself a membership for this VERY exclusive place in Covent Garden. Their book selection is meant to be amazing, and if you find yourself still there reading late into the night then you can stay in one of their overnight rooms!

You check out more of the bookish bars in London right here

Have you ever been to a bookish bar? Which is your favourite from this list?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

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Mid-Year Challenge Check Up

June 16, 2016 Challenge 1

So, it’s mid way through the year and I decided to check out how I was doing on my challenges. Last year I really struggled with my challenges, and realised it was because I picked WAY too many with WAY too optimistic goals.

This year I have tried to be more realistic and haven’t signed up for as many. You can check out all the challenges I am taking part in and see details for each here.

Goal – Read 70 books in 2015

I am currently at 24, but since I have had 2 major reading slumps already this year I think that’s pretty darn good! I’ve got some time booked off over the next couple of months and there are some great releases on their way so I don;t doubt I will have any problem hitting this one.
You can keep up with this challenge here.

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Real Book Challenge

Goal – Read at least 30 “real” books.

I am currently at 7/30 for this challenge. I think my main problem is that I have seen some pretty great looking books up for request this year and obviously they always come as eBooks. However I do have a pile of physical books on my shelf that I am planning on reading this summer including The 5th Wave and Lady Midnight.

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Goal – To read at least 12 Debut Author Books in 2015

I have read 4/12 debut author books so far this year, which I don’t think is too bad. My main problem at the moment is that a lot of my favourite authors are releasing new books which I really want to read. But this means that I am not reading as many debuts. Will be on the look out for more during the second half of this year.

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Goal – To Re-Read at least 15 books

Erm, so I have reread 1/15 books this year. Oops! Somehow I don’t think I’m going to complete this challenge I just don’t seem to have the time anymore.

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Read at least 12 Non Fiction books

I’ve actually really enjoyed the Non-Fiction books I’ve read this year, and for someone who had never read non-fiction before (unless forced) I think that 5/12 for this point in the year is pretty good! I’ve got some more waiting on my bookshelf so don;t think I will have any problem reaching my goal this year.

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To post at least 12 discussion posts (one for each month!)

Wohoo! 7/12, I seem to be excelling at this category! I do love a good bookish chat and I really enjoy writing these posts, and reading all the comments that I get from them.

So that’s my mid year check up for my 2016 challenges. How are you doing with yours?

Are you taking part in any of the same challenges as I am?

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Releases I’m Looking Forward to in Part 2 of 2016

June 14, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 7

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

So sadly we are back to typical UK summer weather … rain! But it’s still really humid here, which is not fun because I feel like I spent the whole day just feeling hot and sticky but with non of the sunshine benefits! But on the bright side, I only have 2 more days in work before I get to spend a looooooong weekend in a little cottage in the Lake District with the boyfriend. And I am SO excited!

I totally cheated and picked 12, mostly because I want so many books, but also because I like it when my graphics match!

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Summer Shadows (Joss Stirling) – I have loved every single book in the Benedicts series and cannot wait for more of the Savent world. No specific date for this one yet, but sometime in July, I can’t wait! (Release July)

This Savage Song (Victoria Schwab) – I’ve read some ARC reviews for this book and it has made me want it even more then I do. I am fascinated about the storyline and the world in which it is set. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one. (Release July 5th)

Deep Redemption (Tillie Cole) – The forth book in the Hades Hangmen series and I feel like I have been waiting for this one forever. I’m curious about this one because it’s all from the POV of the bad guy of the series, so I can;t wait to see how I feel about him by the end of it. (Release July 12th)

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (J.K.Rowling) – I get the feeling this one is going to be on a lot of lists today, and it doesn’t really need a reason why other than… IT’S HARRY POTTER! I cannot wait to get my hands on this one! (Release July 31st) 

It Ends With Us (Colleen Hoover) – A new CoHo book, horray! I love her romances, and her damaged characters and the beautiful stories that they become. I can’t wait to fall in love with Lily and Ryle the way I all in love with all of her characters. (August 2nd)

A Beautiful Funeral (Jamie McGuire) – I am a big lover of the Beautiful series and I can’t wait for more time with the Maddox’s. From the title it sounds like it is going to be an emotional one and I am just so excited for it! (August 15th)

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Ravage (Tillie Cole) – The 2nd of Tillie’s books released during the second half of the year and I am SO DARN EXCITED for this one. The last book in the Scarred Souls series ended in such an OH EM GEE moment that I really really want this book like NOW so I can find out what happens next. (August 16th)

A Torch Against the Night (Sabaa Tahir) – The first book in this series, An Ember in the Ashes, was incredible and I was so so happy when they announce there would be more. The world building was just wow, and I loved our MC. I can;t wait to see this story and characters develop more. So excited for this one! (August 30th)

A Shadow Bright and Burning (Jessica Cluess) – Powers, monsters, magic…this books sounds PERFECT for me. I have been looking for another fantasy series to get my teeth into and this one looks like a superb choice. Guess we will see! (September 20th)

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The Fever Code (James Dashner) – Ever since reading the Maze Runner trilogy I have been desperate for a prequel of Thomas. I can’t wait to see who he was before the maze and how it all came to be! (Release September 27th)

The Last Beginning (Lauren James) – I just read book one, The Next Together, last month and I absolutely loved it but needed so much more! I was so happy when I found out there was going to be a sequel. Can’t wait! (Release October 6th)

Heartless (Marissa Meyer) – I loved the Lunar Chronicles and I know there is so much excitement surrounding this book. Meyer is a genius when it comes to retellings so I can’t wait to see what she does with this one. (November 8th)

Are you excited for any of the books on my list?

What’s on your list this week?

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Review: “The Sin Eaters Daughter” – Melinda Salisbury

June 13, 2016 Book Review 1

Sin Eaters Daughter CoverThe Sin Eaters Daughter – Melinda Salisbury
(website . twitter)

Publication Date: February 24th 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 336
Series: The Sin Eaters Daughter
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format/Source: Bought physical book
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The Story
 .(summary from Goodreads)

A startling, seductive, deliciously dark debut that will shatter your definition of YA fantasy.

Sixteen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn’t a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins?

Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess

Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies-a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice.

Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

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My Thoughts

I am ashamed to say that this book has been on my bookshelf for over a year and I only just picked it up this month. It was such a captivating book and once I had started it I could not put it down and actually ended up ordering the next book when I was only at chapter 2 of this book!

So, why do I love this book?

1) I loved the world, it was incredibly built. I loved the history of it, with the war ad the myths of the sleeping prince and the gods that they pray to and the different religious beliefs. The world had everything and was written in such beautiful detail I found myself rereading pages hoping for more and more of the world.

“I am the perfect weapon, I can kill with a single touch.

2) I liked Twylla, although for the life of me I have no idea how to pronounce her name. I will be (fingers crossed) meeting the author at YALC this year and I know I’m going to make a complete idiot of myself trying to pronounce Twylla’s name!

I found her role as Daunen Embodied really intriguing and the whole histroy and peoples beliefs was really cool to read about. Twylla really develops in this book, starting out as a lonely, timid and very much suffering young girl, who has been forced to do such terrible things and has to live with the consequences, to a much stronger woman who really starts to find herself and realise who she is apart from her Daunen Embodied title.

“I believe there are men and women whose lives are made easier by believing someone is watching over them.”

3) I really like Lief, Twylla’s new guard, because he gave her friendship in a life full of loneliness. I love that he didn’t stick to the rules for a guard and proceeded to do what he wanted. I really liked the development of their relationship, it was sweet and believable. I know that it has been mentioned in some reviews about a love-triangle in this book between Twylla, Lief and Prince Merek but for me there really wasn’t. Yes, there are feelings, but it is very clear from the start who the winner is and at no point does Twylla declare love for the other.

“If I come to you, I want it to be because I am choosing you, for no reason other than that. I don’t want for to ever doubt it.”

4) I really loved the Queen (which is strange because she was totally evil) but she was just so cruel and conniving is the best kind of way. One amazing thing about this book is how deceptive everyone and everything is. It really does seem like no one is being truthful with anyone and there is always a side agenda. Which makes for a lot of shock moments when something happened that I just wasn’t expecting, especially the way in which the book ends.

“It’s difficult to grieve for an idea.”

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Final Thoughts

I think my favourite thing about this book had to be the detail that went into the world building, and I can’t wait to discover more of this world in the next book as well as read the continuation of this beautifully written story.

Re-Readability: Definitely

My Rating: Loved

I would recommend this book to fans of: fantasy worlds, magic, forbidden romance, stories about royal families

Rating Loved it

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Have you read The Sin Eaters Daughter? What did you think?

What did you think of THAT ending?

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Sunday Funday: First Impressions

June 12, 2016 Sunday Funday 2

Sunday Funday Logo

The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

This weekend has been a laaaaaaaaazy one. The sun has disappeared and we are back to a typical english summer … rain!

There is nothing more important than the first few lines of a book. They draw us in, get us hooked and make us want to continue reading. The below infographic (source: Visualistan) features some of the best starting sentences in books of all time…

34 Compelling First Lines of Famous Books #infographicYou can also find more infographics at Visualistan

Which is your favourite from this list? Which is your favourite first line from a book?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

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Review: “Some Kind of Perfect” – Becca & Krista Ritchie

June 8, 2016 Book Review 0

Some Kind Of PerfectSome Kind of Perfect – Becca & Krista Ritchie
(website . twitter)

Publication Date: May 20th 2016
Publisher: Self Published
Pages: 742
Format/Source: Ebook from Amazon
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This book is part of the Addicted/Calloway Sisters series. You can find reviews for the rest of the books (in their reading order) below:
Addicted to You (Addicted #1)
Ricochet (Addicted #1.5)
Addicted for Now (Addicted #2)
Kiss the Sky (Addicted #2.1, Calloway Sisters #1)
Hothouse Flower (Addicted #2.2, Calloway Sisters #2)
Thrive (Addicted #2.5)
Addicted After All (Addicted #3)
Fuel the Fire (Addicted #3.1, Calloway Sisters #3)
Long Way Down (Addicted #3.2, Calloway Sisters #4)
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The Story
 .(summary from Goodreads)

Falling in love was just the beginning

The conclusion to the epic ten-book series about the unbreakable strength of family, friendship, and love.

Lily & Lo are back one final time. Childhood best friends and soul mates.

Ryke & Daisy are back one final time. Wild risk-takers and flirty adventurers.

Connor & Rose are back one final time. Genius rivals and intellectual teammates.

Ten years of laughter. Of heartache. And love.

***Authors’ Note***
Some Kind of Perfect is a full-length epilogue novel. It is highly recommended to read this book after Long Way Down. Otherwise, it will spoil the entire series. Some Kind of Perfect is meant to be the 10th book in the series.

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My Thoughts

So I know that I said that the previous book was the last book (and it kind of was), but this one really is the last book and in fact it is an epilogue novel spanning ten whole years in a massive 742 pages!

So, why do I love this book?

1) I have to start with the size of this book, because wow is it mega. I bought my copy as an ebook, but I imagine anyone with a physical copy having very sore arms! It seems strange for a contemporary book to be this big, this page amount is usually reserved for fantasy/sci-fi type books, but it worked really well and at no point did I feel like it was too much and that I just wanted it to end. It was the perfect amount of pages to end this story.

“We speak of moving mountains, but sometimes people can completely rotate the world, just so someone else can land upright on their feet.

2) As I mentioned above the book takes place over ten years and most years will have a chapter from each characters POV. I will admit that I got a little bit lost at times about what month and year I was up to, as all we get is a little title at the beginning of each chapter like “Rose: October 2024” and different characters POV could be from different months. So we could have a chapter from Lo in January 2019 followed by a chapter from Lily in September 2019 and a whole different story would be happening.

Look how far we’ve come. Look at us now. Ache for ache. Smile for smile. I only ever wanted to live this life with her

3) The characters were just as perfect as they have always been. Lily, Lo, Rose, Conner, Daisy and Ryke. I love this group of characters, I love their friendships, relationships, sister love, brotherly love and bromances. I love that Becca and Krista Ritchie managed to fit in a unique relationship between each of these characters without it feeling like too much.

I never looked back in that way before, but for the very first time, I did. I looked back, and I only looked back at her.

4) We got to meet some of the groups kids already in previous books but in this one we get them all, and not just as babies anymore, some of them we get as teenagers. I love seeing each of the different parenting styles for each of the couples. I love how it’s totally acceptable to the kids that Ryke swears but is Lo does then he has to put a dollar in the swear jar. I love the family dynamics in that the kids feel more like brothers and sisters than cousins and all of the adults care for each others kids as if they were their own. It’s just like one BIG family.

“Our bad days have the ability to become better. It may be a horrible month. A horrible year. But there will be good days, good moments, great seconds.”

5) The Addicted series was more than just a series of books, it was an adventure. An unforgettable journey of friendship and family, love and sacrifice. A journey that took our characters from rock bottom to happily ever after. When I picked up the first book I has no idea what to expect and I can’t lie, I thought I was going to hate it. But from that very first book I found myself in love with it all, the characters, the story, the authors and there was no way I could have stopped reading this series part way through, I was in it for the long haul!

“And then we end – we end where we started. Just us. All six of us.

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Final Thoughts

I’ve stuck with this series through 10 whole books and I can’t believe it’s reached the end. Becca and Krista Ritchie give us a beautiful gift in this final book of letting us see the happily ever afters finally taking place and it is the perfect conclusion to this epic saga. I couldn’t have asked for anything better, or more beautiful or more full of love than the ending they gave us.

Re-Readability: Over and over and over…

My Rating: Beyond Loved (Favourite)

I would recommend this book to fans of: the Addicted Series, the Calloway Sisters series, New Adult Romances, friend to lover, bromances.

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Have you read Some Kind of Perfect? What did you think?

What about the rest of the series? Which is your favourite book?

Who is your favourite couple: Lily/Lo, Rose/Connor, Daisy/Ryke? Which is your favourite kid?

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Ten Reasons Why I Love Tillie Cole

June 7, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 8

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

I am totally LOVING the weather we have in the UK at the moment. Normally for us summer means one day of sun followed by 2 weeks of rain. But we seem to be very lucky at the moment and every single day has been sunny and oh so hot. Temperatures yesterday even reached 26 degrees (That’s about 78 degrees Fahrenheit!) which is HOT for us UK people!

Ok, so I’m trying to make my TTT list the least amount of pyscho-stalker as possible. When I saw todays TTT topic (of Top Ten Reasons I Love X) I knew this would be the perfect time to share the reasons why I love Tillie Cole, but then I found it really hard to write my list without sounding like an obsessed fan (which I kind of am, but don’t tell anyone!).

Tillie’s book Sweet Home was one of the first I ever reviewed on my blog and I have been involved in every single one of her tours ever since. She books have shown me just how diverse YA/NA can be and how amazingly inspirational some stories can be. She routinely makes me cry with her books, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

So, here are the ten reasons why I love Tillie Cole, and why you should to…

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She is from the UK
I love when I find UK authors whose books I enjoy because a lot of the authors I read are US, so it’s always cool to find an authors from the same country that I am from! I know that Tillie now lives in the US but she was from England, so technically she is UK!!! I always find it funny when people comment on her videos saying “I really like your accent” and I’m like “what accent?” Haha.

Her books have BEAUTIFUL covers
All of Tillie’s book covers are gorgeous, and the series covers all match (I love matching covers) which makes me super happy and desperate to own them all so I can put them all on my bookshelf.

Sweet Series Tillie Cole

She uses her own life experiences as inspiration for her books
If you have read Sweet Fall then you will know what I am talking about, and I have to admit that reading Tillie’s author note at the end of this book and finding out that a lot of Lexi’s hard times were actually a lot of Tillie’s real life hard times made me cry. This author who I love so much had bared her heart on the pages and it just made me love her even more!

She gave us characters who are both big/scary/violent but also MASSIVELY vulnerable
As you will read further down, Tillie writes EPIC bad boys, but she also writes men who are big and tough and violent who have been put through a ton of abuse and so are really really vulnerable too. Her Scarred Souls series is amazing and features some of my favourite wounded characters I’ve ever read.

Scarred Souls Series Tillie Cole

She isn’t scared to tackle the hard topics 
Eating disorders, religious cults, sexual assault, physical assault, drug use, gang violence, illness, mental health problems, death. They are not happy things to read about, but they are REAL, and the way that Tillie writes them is just incredible.

She writes the most amazing bad boy characters
There are so many complaints nowadays from people saying that they are bored of “bad boy books” and yes at times it gets a little tedious at times. But not when it’s a Tillie Cole bad boy! They ride motorbikes, are covered in tattoos and sport some mega beards, but they also have their softer sides when it comes to their women and I just can’t help the swooning!

She is constantly posting pictures of half naked guys on her facebook group
Following on from the point above, Tillie likes to involve her fans in “research” for her leading men (and women too) and so there are always lots of pictures being posted on the facebook group. This means that I get pictures of semi naked men on a daily basis and it is awesome!

Hangmen Series Tillie Cole

She makes inspiration soundtracks for her books
I love when I book comes with a soundtrack and Tillie is always making playlists on spotify for each of her books. I really like listening to them whilst I am reading the book and trying to guess which song goes with which scene.

She writes beautiful words
I have quote notebooks full and a bedroom wall covered in Tillie Cole quotes. They made me smile, cry and feel inspired. Never have I read books with words that are so beautifully and carefully written.

My Maddie Painting
In one of her books one of her characters paints a beautiful painting of themselves and the person they love, and so Tillie Cole had it made into a print so we could all have a copy! It is truly a beautiful image and just adds that little something special to the story.

my maddie

I will never look at blossom the same way again
Tillie wrote a book that absolutely tour my heart out but it is one of my favorites because of the amount of love and life that it holds. I finished the book, yes in tears, but also totally inspired. Every time I see a blossom tree it reminds me of how inspired I felt when I finished this book, and never fails to make me smile.

You can find Tillie on:
Website . Twitter . Facebook . Goodreads

Check out my Tillie Cole reviews:
Sweet Home . Sweet Rome . Sweet Fall . Sweet Hope . Sweet Soul
It Ain’t Me Babe . Heart Recaptured . Souls Unfractured
Raze . Reap
A Thousand Boy Kisses

Have you ever read any Tillie Cole? Do you love her as much as I do?

What’s on your list this week?

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Monthly Review: May 2016

June 3, 2016 Montly Review 0

Image of the Month

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Sunshine and countryside. I had a perfect bank holiday weekend int he middle of nowhere this month (we didn’t even have phone signal!) It was absolute bliss and was exactly what I needed whilst work is so stressful at the moment!

You can keep up with all my month’s images through my Instagram.

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5 things that happened

1) My Uni Friends Came to Visit – I love that I am still in touch with a lot of my friends from uni and we have mini reunions a few times a year which is great. This time they all came to visit me and we went to see Busted in concert as well as having a night out with TONS of dancing. I had so much fun!

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2) I’m still doing my swimming challenge – I was meant to complete this on 22 May, but due to some illness at the beginning of the challenge I’ve given myself a few weeks extra to get it complete. I had passed the halfway point by the end of May and definitely feeling like I’ve improved since I started.

3) Family Weekend Away – It was my Auntie’s 60th birthday last month so we arrange a surprise weekend away for her with all the family. I didn’t realise though how much I needed the time away and having 4 days just chilling in the middle of the countryside in the sunshine and reading books and just hanging out with my family was perfect.

4) I made a Teapot cake – I was in charge of the cake for my Aunties birthday weekend away and I spent the past month making various prototypes of this cake before making the finished product last week. It was a lot of stress and I’ve never been so nervous carrying anything in my life, but I’m so proud of the finished product and my auntie was absolutely made up (she even cried!)

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5) I Enrolled on a Masters Course  – As of May I am officially signed up to start my Masters in Creative Writing in October this year. I think at this point I am equal amounts of nervous and excited but I can’t wait for the challenge of doing this. I will be doing it Part Time (whilst still working Full Time) for the next two years, and after that I can start putting MA after my name!

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Song of the Month

Wheatus were actually one of the bands supporting Busted and being able to hear this song from my teenage years being performed lie right in front of me was amazing, and was definitely one of my highlights of the night!

You can check all the tunes I have been listening to in my Spring/Summer 2016 Playlist.

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top 3 books I read

Number of Books I Read this Month: 3

It’s been a bit of a slow few months for reading, but I finally feel like I am getting back into it which is perfect for the summer weather and chilling outside in the sun reading! I’ve only actually read 3 books in May but all of them were amazing, so they all make my list!

The Next Together Cover Some Kind Of Perfect Scarlett Says

The Next Together (Laura James) – I cant believe I’ve had this book for 9 whole months and I’ve only just picked it up! It was so so good and exactly what I had hoped it would be like. My only criticism would be that I wanted MORE, but luckily with the next book coming out in October I will get that!

Some Kind of Perfect (Krista & Becca Ritchie) – Saying goodbye to this series was HARD and there may have been some tears a long the way. I remember picking up the first book and thinking that I wasn’t going to like it, but taking a chance and falling head over heels in love with it! So sad it’s over! Review coming next week!

Scarlett Says (Scarlet Moffatt) – I’m not a non-fiction reader and yet I find myself reading more and more of it. This book was just so darn funny and an excellent take on the world from a really great person. Review coming in June!

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Fav Quote this month

“We speak of moving mountains, but sometimes people can completely rotate the world, just so someone else can land upright on their feet.” – Some Kind of Perfect

I love this book (an in fact the entire series) because in it’s most basic form it is about 6 people who are all going through their own individual problems, but the others would literally do anything/sacrifice anything to help get that person back on their feet. It’s the kind of friendship/relationship that everyone int he world deserves.

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Most Pop Review

The Runaway Princess cover

The Runaway Princess Review
I recently reread this book after finding it at the back of my bookshelves during a spring clean. I forgot how much I loved it and decided to share my love with you guys and you couldn’t get enough. Apparently a few of you have this sat on you shelf/kindle and haven’t tried it yourself yet either. Get on it!

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Most Pop post this month

Books I Changed My Mind About Over Time – I don;t normally changed my mind about a book. If I hated it then I probably still will, and if I loved it then again, I probably still will. But there are a few with my opinion definitely changed about, number 1 on the list…Twilight!

At What Point Do You DNF a Book? – I’ve gotten a lot better recently at putting down books that I am not enjoying. But I never know how far into it I should read before I ultimately decide it’s not for me. Is 10% too short, is 50% too much?

Bookish Words and Wisdoms #1 – I am a sucker for a good bookish quote, but I realised that I don;t really talk about them on my blog. So I started a feature which is all about the quotes that I love, starting with this one.

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Excited for Next Month

1) I’m going to the Lake District for the Weekend! – After the weekend away with my family in May coming back to work was not fun, but knowing that in 2 weeks I get another long weekend off to chill out in the lake district made it not so bad. Just me, the boyfriend and BOOKS! Ok, so maybe not too many books, I should probably be social too, but hopefully there will be some gorgeous weather so we can get out and about!

2) I Will FINALLY finish my Swimming Challenge  – Don;t get me wrong, I have really enjoyed this challenge, but I can’t wait to finish it and to just go back to swimming for fun rather than having to keep a check on how many lengths etc. It really has got me back into swimming though, so I am thankful for that!

3) Books!  I’ve got a gigantic pile of books that I want to read next month including Me Before You, which I really want to read before watching the film which is released this month

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How was May for you? Are you getting ready for summer too? 

Chose a category from above and tell me about your month! 

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Review: “The Next Together” – Lauren James

June 2, 2016 Book Review 3

The Next Together CoverThe Next Together – Lauren James
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Publication Date: September 3rd 2015
Publisher: Walker
Pages: 356
Genre: Romance
Format/Source: Physical
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The Story
 .(summary from Goodreads)
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How many times can you lose the person you love?

Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.

Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?

Maybe the next together will be different…

A powerful and epic debut novel for teenagers about time-travel, fate and the timelessness of first love. The Next Together is told through a mixture of regular prose, diary entries, letters, “original” historical documents, news reports and internet articles.

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My Thoughts

Oh wow, why have I not read this book sooner?! It’s been sat on my bookshelf for 9 whole months and yet I have only just read it! But I am so so glad that I finally did.

So, exactly why did I love this book?

I love anything time travel/takes place over different times related. Now this one isn’t time travel, but it’s more of one of those ‘the same two people born over and over again’ type of stories and I loved seeing all the different versions of Katherine and Matthew and how they changed over time and through each time period they were in.

When I first started reading the book I thought I was only going to like the “newer” versions of Katherine and Matthew, set in 2039. I don’t really do historical fiction, at all. So a book that was partially set in 1745 and 1854 had me worried a little bit. But if possible, I think I liked the “older” versions even more than the “newer versions”.

1854: Kate, an orphan, has been living as ‘Kit’ (a boy) for two years when she gets a job as a with Matthew, a journalist reporting on the front lines of the Crimean War in an effort to portray not just the small victories but also the brutality of war. Meeting under the toughest of conditions only brings the two closer together, as well as closer to danger.

1745: Kate, a young lady in waiting born to English nobility, lives in the town of Carlisle at a time when England faced invasion and a rebellion uprising was gaining momentum. There she meets meets lowly coach driver Mathew and develops a, potentially scandalous, tentative friendship while on the brink of invasion.

2039: Kate And Matt both find themselves studying Science at the University of Nottingham. Drawn to one another, it isn’t long until the two discover their namesakes; married couple Katherine and Matthew, who were tragically killed under the accusation of biological terrorism in 2019. They come together to clear Katherine and Matthew’s names but end up discovering a rich history of war, lineage and a romance that will span several lifetimes, each tragically ending in much the same way.

It’s a contemporary book very cleverly hiding some time travel and science fiction in there too but ultimately it is an ‘across the ages’ romance. I really liked the inclusion of texts, emails, post-it notes and journal entries as a way to show the relationship between the Katherine and Matthew of 2019.

Each version of Katherine and Matthew was different, as was each relationship/romance and  at no point did I forget which version of the characters I was with. There was a point however when things got a little confusing due to a bit of a switch-around, and although I liked the way that the story went it did take me a little time to settle back into the story.

I loved the whirlwind and forbidden romance of 1745 and the sweet and tentative relationship of 1854. The Katherine and Matthew of 2019, who we only get to know through notes etc, were fun, down to earth and most definitley in love. The only couple I struggled with slightly was the 2039 versions of Kate and Matt who didn’t seem to develop their relationship enough, for me, by the end of the book. However, as a sequel is expected later this year, I am very hopeful that we will get a continuation of their story which will make this romance as epic as the previous.

“She didn’t know if she was crying for Matt, this Matthew, or for every Matthew she’d known and lost. All throughout history they had been doing this, finding and loving each other and then being ripped apart before they even had a chance to live. Why did Matthew always leave her alone?
Why did it always end? Why did it always even start?”

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Final Thoughts

This book was exactly what I had wanted it to be, my only problem was that I needed so much more! I will definitely be checking out the sequel to this book when it is released in October, and more books by Lauren James in the future.

Re-Readability: Definitely

I would recommend this book to fans of: historical fiction, romances set over time, time-travel, forbidden romances

Rating Loved it

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Are you a fan of romances based over multiple time periods? Hve you read any books like this before?

Have you read The Next Together? Are you a fan?

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Sunday Funday: Bookstores Around the World

May 29, 2016 Sunday Funday 2

Sunday Funday Logo

The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

I have been spending my bank holiday weekend in a big house in the countryside with my family and it has been PERFECT. We are in the middle of nowhere, which means no phone signal and nothing but bird song as noise. I have been having such a bad time at work etc recently that this mini break has been exactly what I need, and I am dreading having to go home tomorrow.

My Sunday Funday this week is all about bookish travels and some of the best bookstores around the world. I found this great article on The Independant Website which lists 12 amazing bookstores, and I’ve picked out some of my favourites for you below.

Shakespeare and Company, Paris

Paris by itself is amazing, but being able to visit a bookstore with so much history would be so cool. 2 whole floors of old and new, there is definitely a book for everyone in this store!

Scorpio Books, Christchurch

After a massive Eartquake in 2011 a lot of alternative buildings popped up along the seafront, one of which being this bookstore made out of a shipping container and is filled to the brim with some of the best sci-fi and fantasy books of all time!

Brattle Book Shop, Boston

This pop up outdoor bookstore is crazy cool and appeared in the 80’s after the original building burnt down. The bookstore is there every single day (but only if it’s not raining or snowing!)

Check out the full article and all the bookstores HERE.

Have you got any bookish quilts? What do you think of these?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

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Books I Changed My Mind About Over Time

May 24, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 12

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

I have a cold. And not just a normal cold, but the worlds WORST cold! (I promise you, it’s worst than any cold you have ever had!) Ok, maybe I’m being slightly dramatic, but still it sucks.

I’m stuck in work feeling like rubbish drinking a disgusting flavoured green looking liquid (that the people in my office swear will make me feel better) and I just can’t concentrate on anything. I’m also that annoying person int he office who sniffs every 30 seconds and keeps making gross noises when I blow my nose. I just want the day to end so I can go back to bed!

But in the meantime, lets make the day a bit happier with some TTT. This week the theme is books that you have changed your opinion on over time. And I really struggled with this one, because the majority of the time I decided how I feel about a book and stick with it. Even so I managed to gather some books together for today’s list.

My Opinion Went DOWN
The Twilight Saga was right at the beginning of my YA reading life and at the time I really like it (apart from the ending!). I think I got all caught up int he romance of it and didn’t really pay attention to the actual writing. Now, looking back I find myself not as happy with it. I mean, could Stephanie Meyer nof find a way to describe Edward’s skin as anything other than “as cold and hard as marble”, it’s in there like 50 times!

My Opinion Went UP!
I read the Alex Rider books when I was a lot younger and back then it was all about the action and the cool gadgets. But then I reread them as a Adult, and woah there is a lot more tot hese books then just gadgets. I think as well, reading them as an adult I notice things likee the emotional toil the whole thing was taking on Alex and it just became so much more for me and I fell in love with the books even further. This series is not just for kids!

My Opinion Went UP!
I really really liked this book when I first read it, and then a few years later the movie came out and after watching it I immediately read the book again. I don;t know if it was because of seeing the film, or because I just hadn;t read it in so long but it just seemed to be so much more than I remembered. The writing was even more beautiful, the emotional even stronger and my feels for this book became even greater.

My Opinion Went DOWN
When I first read this book I loved it. The uniqueness of the A (the MC) and the entire story was just wow. Then a few years later I read book 2, Another Day, and it made me realise how much I hate Rhiannon (the other MC), and that realisation made my opinion of both books go down and sadly I don’t see myself reading them again.

My Opinion Went DOWN
After finishing reading this I was a tinsy bit disappointed in the ending but otherwise liked it. Then the second book came out and I found myself not really wanting to read it and suddenly I wasn’t loving this book as much as I originally thought I did. Which sucks, because I love Marie Lu and adored her Legend series.

Only five from me this week. How about you?

What’s on your list this week?

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Sunday Funday: Bookish Quilts

May 22, 2016 Sunday Funday 0

Sunday Funday Logo

The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

O My weekend has been totally manic busy and I am absolutely knackered, but at the same time I have had such a great few days! 5 of my university friends came to visit me and we went to see Busted amongst other things. I really love how even three years after we graduated and seperated all over the UK we are still so close and it always feels like no time has passed when we meet up.

So, to my Sunday Funday this week…bookish quilts!

You are all like WHAT?! But seriously, these are pretty cool. And for a craft geek like me I really want to learn how to make one of these for myself!

I absolutely adore this Harry Potter quilt. It’s got a cauldron, owl, sorting hat and time turner to name just a few. Plus all of the books have hand stitched titles which just makes the whole thing look gorgeous. Jennifer at Sewhooked has made a great tutorial here.

For those of you who aren’t HP fans (WHAT?!!!) there are also some great bookish quilts too like this one below. (not sure about the cat thought)

Instructions for this quilt

Have you got any bookish quilts? What do you think of these?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

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Bookish Words and Wisdoms #1

May 19, 2016 Bookish Words & Wisdoms 0

Ok, so I’m a little bit of a quote junkie. I have quotes on my goodreads, dozens of quote notebooks and my bedroom walls are full of scraps of paper with bookish quotes on them. For me there is nothing as magical as finding that perfect quote that just makes you feel so inspired. I am constantly finding new and interesting quotes from books that I’ve never read before and it always makes me pick up the book and give it a go.

So that’s why I’ve decided to start this new feature ‘Bookish Words & Wisdoms’ in which every so often I will share one of my favourite quotes with you, and hopefully inspire you to try something new.

As this week is Mental Health Awareness week I thought it was only fitting to chose a quote to match.

Quote ATBP J.Niven

This quote comes from All the Bright Places, an extraordinary debut from Jennifer Niven. The book is, well emotional, and contains some beautifully written characters who battle with their own struggles and mental health.

I think it’s impossible to not know someone with mental health problems in the world today, and someone close to me has told me something very similar to this quote about their own struggles with mental health illnesses.

Mental health is still something that comes with a stigma attached to it and with the “what have you got to be unhappy about” or “just smile, you’ll feel better soon” responses from people who just don’t fully understand it.

This quote reminded me of how much further we have to go in our battle against Mental Health stigma, and just how much support our friends, family and work colleagues who suffer with mental illness need from us.

All The Bright Places
Goodreads . Amazon UK . Amazon US

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Ten Books I Bought/Read on a Whim

May 17, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 0

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

I’ve been so jealous this weekend, seeing everyone’s BEA pictures all over facebook/twitter. I wish we had something as big as it int eh UK, but sadly not. I am pretty excited for YALC in July though, it may not be as big as the US but still … BOOKS!

This week’s TTT is all about books I’ve picked up on a whim, which is not an easy one for me because I’ve been doing less “whim” reading recently in an attempt to read less books that I end up DNF-ing.

What I Didn’t Say – Keary Taylor

I found this one whilst flicking round amazon years ago and it just sounded so different that I thought I’d give it a go. It is still, to this day, one of my top ten books.

Unbreakable – Rebecca Shea

When I first joined Goodreads this popped up on that “because you read X, you should read THIS” list. Read the description, thought it sounded ok so gave it a go and devoured it. SO many emotions in this book, I must have reread it at least 5 times since the first read.

Addicted to You – Becca & Krista Ritchie

I don;t remember exactly where I saw this one first, but I hadn’t seen anyone else chatting about it and I was slightly dubious by the fact that the two MC’s where a sex addict and an alcoholic. I’ve been burned by books before pretending not to be erotic fiction and then turning out to be VERY erotic. But this one surprised me and I LOVED it from page one. Plus the other 8 books in the series, all of which are amazing!

Sweet Home – Tillie Cole

I found this one on Amazon whilst sat in Vegas airport waiting for my flight home. I thought, why not, and downloaded it to my kindle. I then spent my entire flight home wide awake because I couldn’t put this book down. Which didn’t really help with the jet lag, but as this book was so good I didn’t care. I have been a massive Tillie Cole fan ever since and cannot recommend her enough!

Emerge – S.E.Hall

I think I bought this one whilst in between large fantasy series and I just wanted something light to give me a break from all the intensity. The characters in this book (and the remainder of this series) really are what make it so special and S.E.Hall has created possibly one of my ultimate friendship groups ever!

Take Back the Skies – Lucy Saxon

I saw this on a stall last year at YALC, and then the author was dressed up in a costume so big that she couldn’t sit down for her interview, so I felt like she was quirky enough that her book might be pretty cool. I mostly liked it, until the ending and then (for me) it just disappointed (certain things happened that I didn’t agree with). But the world building was fantastic and I would definitely say it’s worth the read.

The Year We Fell Down – Sarina Bowen

Another one I came across on Goodreads and thought it sounded interesting. I don’t read many books with characters with disabilities (not that I have anything against them, there just aren’t that many around in the mainstream) so thought it would be a pretty unique story. I fell in love with the characters immediately and have followed them, and their friends through the entire series. So much love for this one!

Confession’s of a Virgin Sex Columnist – Kay Marie

When I read the blurb to this one my mind immediately went to some kind of Bridget Jones type character. Happily that was exactly what I got and it was a halarious read. Only downside was that it would have been perfect as a standalone, but apparently there is a sequel. I’m boycotting it in protest!

Stupid Girl – Cindy Miles

Found this one on Amazon and thought it would be a nice easy pre-bedtime read. But there was so much more to this book and it had me up until the early hours because I just couldn’t put it down. Another macho bad boy getting knocked on his ass by a seemingly good girl, but I could read this again and again, and have actually done so!

Waiting for Prince Harry – Aven Ellis

Ok, so I may have been stalking Prince Harry online and this book pinged up somewhere a long the way. But it was SO MUCH FUN to read. I connected instanley to the MC, who loves baking and sewing (me too!) and the hotty love interest who was just a nice guy (no bad boy hidden within). Loved this book, mostly for the fact that it made me discover Aven Ellis and all of her amazing books!

Do you obsessively visit any of these websites too?

What’s on your list this week?

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Sunday Funday: Bookish Furniture

May 15, 2016 Sunday Funday 2

Sunday Funday Logo

The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

I’ve had such a super busy and productive weekend that I didn’t even realised until a few minutes ago that I forgot to post my Sunday Funday post! We’ve had such gorgeous weather this week so I have done TONS of gardening (I’m growing actual REAL vegetables!) as well as some baking. In fact I have been practising the same cake for the past month in preparation for my aunties birthday and have nearly got it perfect! Yeay!

Ok, so my Sunday Funday, this week I HAD to show you two awesome pieces of bookish furniture that I really really want in my house!

Link
Who wouldn’t want this sofa in their lives? It’s the coolest place for any reader or book blogger to sit and appreciate everything bookish. And if you’re not a fan of it in this colour, don’t worry, there are another 19 to choose from!

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Link
I’m not going to lie, it may have taken me a while to figure out what this actually said. Then I finally did, felt an equal mix of stupidity (for taking so long!), pride (that I had finally figured it out!) and a desperate need to have this bookcase in my life!

Do you have any bookish furniture? What do you think of these ones?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

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Review: “The Runaway Princess” – Hester Browne

May 13, 2016 Book Review 2

The Runaway Princess coverThe Runaway Princess – Hester Browne
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Publication Date: October 2nd 2012
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 431
Genre: Romance
Format/Source: Physical
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The Story
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If Amy Wilde’s new boyfriend, Leo, treats her like a queen, that’s because he’s secretly a prince himself: Leopold William Victor Wolfsburg of Nirona, the ninth most eligible royal bachelor in the world. Amy soon discovers that dating an heir to a throne has many charms—intimate dinners, glittering galas, and a dazzling new wardrobe with tiaras to match.

But there are also drawbacks: imagine the anxiety of meeting your boyfriend’s parents multiplied by “riding in a private jet,” “staying in a castle,” and “discussing the line of succession over lunch.” Not to mention the sudden press interest in your very un-royal family.

Amy would do anything for Leo, but is finding her Prince Charming worth the price of losing herself?

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My Thoughts

I am not an adult genre reader, it just doesn’t happen. And on the rare occasions when it does happen I get bored very quickly and stop reading. But I couldn’t get enough of this book. It really was a feel good story, with characters I couldn’t help but love and a romance that gave me butterflies.

So, exactly why did I love this book?

(Warning! Because I am a massive geek I have decided to fill this review with princess gifs. Prepare yourself for the Disney Princess love!)

I LOVED Amy. She was just such a normal, down to earth character who I really can’t say a bad word against. I love seeing her, as a London garden designer trying to adapt to this new royal world and it made for some great moments. I also really liked the relationship that she had with her parents, and her concern for them and their well being when things get a little crazy.

Leo is most definitely every single girls prince charming. So much of the time male characters in romances are bad boys, or rich boys or just too much of something that makes them annoying. Leo was a nice guy (and a hot guy) who was just perfect in every way. I found myself swooning with so many of the things he would say or do, and although he does make mistakes, everything he does is with his family or loved ones in mind. Everyone needs a Leo in their life!

The romance between Amy and Leo is incredibly sweet, and Browne makes sure to get us heavily invested in their relationship before inevitable obstacles make there appearance. Sadly no steamy sex scenes in this one, but I liked that it wasn’t all about the chemistry and passion behind closed doors. Instead it focused on Amy and Leo’s genuine respect and admiration for one another, which made their romance all the sweeter and their relationship all the stronger which showed as usually the problems that occurred in their relationship were from the others actions, rather than any underlying problems in their own sense of self or in their love for one another.

Browne does a fantastic job at conveying the emotional rollarcoaster that goes along with an average girl being swept up into a royal world. She gives us a girl to route for, a prince to swoon over and an epic romance to fall in love with. My only complaint would be that I wanted more of it!

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Final Thoughts

The title and blurb gives away some big spoilers for this book, but the beauty in it for my is the journey of Amy and Leo’s romance and how they get to that place. I wish there was more of this book, or possibly a sequel, but if not then I am more than happy to read this one over and over again.

Re-Readability: Hells Yes!

I would recommend this book to fans of: adult romance, royal romances, average girl meets non average boy, books set in london, books set int he UK

Rating Loved it

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Have you read any Royal Romances recently? Are you a fan?

What are you most excited for in the final book?

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Ten Websites I Waste the Most Time On (That Aren’t Bookish)

May 10, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 4

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

The past few weeks have not been great for me. My reading has been totally off due to a book which I was not enjoying but refused to DNF, which really knocked me of balance with my reading. Plus my grandad had a fall in his house and ended up staying with us for a couple of days (thankfuly he is ok) and to top it all off my blood glucose levels have had a mind of their own!

But then this weekend everything just seemed to get better. The sun came out, I did some gardening and had a really nice date night with my boyfriend. I’ve picked up another book, started some new healthy eating and things just seem to be a lot better.
Which is perfect because it’s just in time for summer.

So, now to my TTT list. And this week it’s something very unbookish as instead we all chose out favourite non-bookish websites. I thought I was going to find this really easy, but it turns out I don’t visit that many non bookish websites!

The website I probably spend the most time on has got to be Buzzfeed. It’s one of those sites that I click on one article, and then end up loosing an hour of my life to surveys and gif filled posts. I also get tons of crafty tutorials and recipes from the site, as well as my daily harry potter fix. Don’t know how I would survive without this site!

Whoever invented Pinterest is a GENIUS! As a craft geek this website is such a happy place for me and I have about a gazillion boards filled with all kinds of things (I may or may not have a board filled with knitting patterns for baby booties, just incase!). There is so much good stuff on there, the only problem is remembering to do it all!

I have quite a few quirky friends who are into unique and vintage type things so Etsy is the best place for me to buy gifts from. I also have bought some great cross stitch patterns from Etsy in the past too (craft geek!) and I spend hours just scrolling through the pages trying not to spend all the money on my bank card!

Anything I watch gets checked out on IMDB. I’m one of those people who needs to know everything about a tv show or film and this site is PERFECT for it all! I even have the app on my phone, so when someone tells me about a show I should watch I can immediately check it out.

Again…whoever invented this site is a GENIUS! I watch so many awesome TV programs and films through Netflix. Another one that have have the app for so I can watch wherever I want (not that I sneakily watch videos in work!) and there is so much selection I can always find something perfect for whatever mood I am in.

Do you obsessively visit any of these websites too?

What’s on your list this week?

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At What Point Do You DNF A Book?

May 9, 2016 Discussion 5

April was a really bad reading month for me, like REALLY bad! I have been reading 2 books simultaneously but haven’t reached the end of either. I hate it when I can’t read, it puts me in such a rubbish mood and also results in me having nothing to review on my blog! (hence the slightly quiet month!)

One of the books that I have been reading is Firstlife, a book which I was super excited to read and had seen some pretty good reviews for. The whole concept of the book is really unique and I was excited for some really cool world-building. Plus I LOVE the cover.

But I have been reading this book for an entire month and I still haven’t reached the end!

Basically this entire book is about Ten, our MC who needs to pick a side: Myriad or Troika. The problem, she can’t decide and would rather go through months of torture then actually make a decision. And the really frustrating thing, she never actually tells us why she wont decide, she just keeps telling us that she wont. (Plus, there is kind of a love triagle but it’s not even the slightest bit lovey and the whole thing just annoys me!)

Now, I’m all for authors making us wait for the big decision/exciting moment a little bit, but I’m at 64% and other than a couple of slightly action moments nothing has really happened and this girl has STILL not made a decision.

I made myself continue reading because I kept thinking that she would eventually decide, but she hasn’t, and now it’s gotten to the point where I don’t think I actually care what she decides. Sadly there is nothing about this book which makes me want to continue reading it, and I’m thinking that it’s that time when I should call defeat and put the book down.

But then if I do that I feel like I have wasted an ENTIRE month on only 64% of a book that I am never going to read the ending to.

Maybe I should have just given up earlier? But then if I had given up at say 20% then would I have spent the rest of time wondering if I had just read another 10% then I might have actually gotten to a good bit and totally fell in love with the book?

So here’s my question: When is the right time to DNF a book?

Do you give yourself to a certain % or number of pages? Or do you stop if the author writes something unforgivable?

Also, has anyone actually read all of Firstlife and can tell me which she chooses?!!! (in a private message! No spoilers on this blog!)

Brocs Bookcase

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Review: “Wild Swans” – Jessica Spotswood

May 6, 2016 Book Review 4

wild swans coverWild Swans – Jessica Spotswood
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Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 304
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format/Source: ARC via NetGalley
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The Story
 .(summary from Goodreads)
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The summer before Ivy’s senior year is going to be golden; all bonfires, barbeques, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad’s intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives—and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse.

Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child?

But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel. The very people she once trusted now speak in lies. And all of Ivy’s ambition and determination cannot defend her against the secrets of the Milbourn past….

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My Thoughts

I have to admit, I wasn’t sure about this one when I requested it on Netgalley, but I thought I’d give it a shot. Turns out I probably should have gone with my first instinct.

So, what did I think about this book?

I didn’t hate it, but it was just such a vanilla book (I hate using that phase because I LOVE vanilla, but it works, so I’m going with it!). It just felt like nothing happened, I couldn’t connect with the characters and then it just ended.

She told my sisters I’m their aunt. Her little sister.

Ivy was a character who I should have wanted to connect with. She basically spent her whole life being abandoned and not feeling good enough because she didn’t have a special talent like everyone else in her family. But I just found her a bit whiney. She had a great family and some really funny friends but she was just a bit drab for me.

…the Milbourn women are all reckless and bound for bad ends.

There is a slight attempt at some romance in the book, which is interrupted by an attempt at a love triangle (the whole best friend since kids and now in love with her thing) but that lasted about 1/2 a page and then the guy appeared at the end of the book and said sorry. The romance totally lacked any kind of chemistry or swooniness, and I just wasn’t feeling it.

Also I didn’t feel satisfied with the ending. Ivy had gone through a load of crap and everything just ends up ok-ish in the space of about 10 pages and then just ends. I know life isn’t perfect and I didn’t want everything to be tied up in perfect little bows, but I wanted more than I got.

Erica doesn’t know me, but she’s managed to zero in on my greatest fear: that I’m not enough, will never be enough, for anyone to love.

I have to repeat that it wasn’t a bad book, and after checking on Goodreads there are plenty of people who liked it. But for me it was wasn’t enough.

It was a nice easy read and was a good book to read on the bus, in the queue at Starbucks, on the toilet (yes, I totally read on the toilet!) and was very easy to nip in and out of, but it wasn’t by any means spectacular. It was nice and easy but that was about it. No big emotional moments, no big excitement.

“Everybody freaks out at some point. It’s how you patch yourself up that counts.”

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Final Thoughts

I definitely should have stuck with my initial feeling, this book just wasn’t for me, I need more excitement in my reading and this book just didn’t have it.

Re-Readability: Nope

I would recommend this book to fans of: YA contemporary, summer romances, books set at the beach

Rating Conflicted.5

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Have you read Wild Swans? What did you think?

What are you most excited for in the final book?

Brocs Bookcase

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Sunday Funday: Bookish Walls

May 1, 2016 Sunday Funday 2

Sunday Funday Logo

The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

I LOVE Bank Holiday weekends! A whole 3 days off, and then only 4 days in work the following week, bliss. What will I be doing on my extra day off you ask? Well, me and my bestie are going to an amusement park, so I will most likely be spending the day with my hands in the air and screaming (in a good way of course!).

Now, I don’t know about you but this picture has been all over my Facebook feed this week, from a lady who painted the first page of Harry Potter onto her wall!

I’ve similar stuff before and I am always really jealous of these people! Sadly, because I still live with my parents I have no say on what gets painted on the walls, but even if I did I have a feel that they would strongly disagree with me wanting to paint an entire book page of a book onto a wall!

So I decided to share some of my favourites, and some of the walls I would most love to have in my future house! (hopefully the person I end up living with will appreciate bookish walls!)

This one would be perfect right opposite the front door. Visitors will walk in and immediately see this sign, I would be super excited to explore anyones house that had this in the entrance and would be waiting for something magical to appear round every corner!

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Definitely a library/reading room wall quote 🙂

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Ok, so first…wow for the bookish staircase, and second… I love this quote! I feel like it would fit in well in a kitchen too though.

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This one would be perfect in a study, or any room in which a lot of work is done. It would remind you during the stressful times that a little bit of imagination and fun can fix anything.

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Another one to put in the study for when things get tough!

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Dr Seuss quotes were made for children/baby rooms, although I love how they also still relate to adults too. There are so many Dr Seuss quotes that I love, but this has to be one of my favourite.

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Most definitely a quote for above the bed! It would be perfect (although maybe in a different font!)

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I would put this one right over my front door, so I could see it every time I leave the house and go on a new adventure.

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This would be a really nice one to have above the bed. A nice romantic quote for me and my loved one to look at every morning when we wake up and every night before we go to bed. (I’m mushy like that!)

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Do you have any book quotes on your walls? What quote would you love to have?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

Brocs Bookcase

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Page to Screen – Shadowhunters (Season 1)

April 29, 2016 Page to Screen 0

Page to Screen

There are so many books being turned into Movies or TV Series at the moment. This feature chats about the good bits, the bad bits and is never afraid to ask the ultimate question: Page or Screen?

So, first the facts:

The 6 book Mortal Instruments series was was written by Cassandra Clare and released between 2007-2014. The series is a part of an even larger set of books all set in Clare’s ‘Shadowhunter world’.
In August 2013 a film of the first book City of Bones was released, but due to its poor reception the rest of the series was never made into films. In 2015 production started for the Shadowhunters TV Series which premiered on the 12th January 2016.
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You can check out my review of The Mortal Instruments series here
Shadowhunters on IMDB
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Warning: the following post does contain some small spoilers for both the book and TV series.

CHARACTERS

Shadowhunter Character profiles

Clary – She looked the part, but Katherine McNamara just didn’t quite pull of Clary for me. She seemed to lack any kind of deepness in her performance, however I also don;t think that the script helped matters. Clary seemed to go from clueless to I’ve only just found out about this world but I’m better and smarter than all other shadowhunters. Was a bit of an unrealistic jump, and not at all like the Clary in the book.

Jace – I really liked Dominic Sherwood as Jace and I’m really gutted the script writers didn’t put more of his sarcastic comments into this first season. It took a few episodes for Dominic to get the vaulnerable Jace perfect, but once he did he was Jace for me. He has got a lot of issues to deal with through the next series and I cannot wait to see a lot more vulnerable Jace.

Alec – Can we agree now that Matthew Daddario is HOT! He makes a perfect Alec, although it seemed like the directors where only interested in him once his romance story line picked up. I wanted more Alec, especially early on.

IzzyEmeraude Toubia was the perfect choice for Izzy and pulls off all her different moods perfectly! She goes through some great character development through this series and is pretty kick ass throughout. I really wish that we would have got more of her though, and especially more of her cooking!

Magnus – I hated the casting for Magnus in the movie, but Harry Shum Jr. is the PERFECT Magnus. He was literally born to play that part. He is totally believable as an immortal, flirty warlock! I love that he kept his sarcastic personality and I can’t wait to see more of him next season!

Simon – Another one I was worried about because Robert Sheehan was PERFECT in the movie but I was pleasently suprised by Alberto Rosende, he was a good choice. Plays the part well, especially with Simon’s new problems, and I’m interested to see how he does next season when things start to get even tougher for him.

THE RELATIONSHIPS

Jace & Alec (Parabati) – For me there wasn’t nearly enough Jace & Alec time. Their Parabati bond was mentioned a few times but not as much as I wanted. Hopefully when things sort themselves out a bit more in season 2 we will get more of them.

Jace, Alec & Izzy – This trio started off great together, but once Clary came into the picture it just shattered, which yes happens in the book but not this bad! There were definitely more times in the book when it was just the three of them and I would have LOVED some more family time with the three of them. Jace didn’t seem like the brother to them that he was in the book.

Jace & Clary – Things seemed to take ages to happen, and then once they did happen it all happened very quickly (like in one episode!) The actors had great chemistry together and it was believable, but when the ‘big announcement’ was made at the end I wasn’t int he same heartbroken was that I was in the book.

Clary & Simon – They definitely got this one right, it was just as awkward watching as it was reading in the books. Clary ruins it slightly (bad acting again) but Simon is the perfect mix of in love with her and tortured and it makes for a perfect ‘complicated friendship’

Alec & Magnus – Total change to their storyline which I was NOT happy about (random wedding anyone?!), but LOVED these two together. The chemistry was there, Magnus was the perfect amount of flirty, Alec the perfect amount of shy. They were just awesome. Can’t wait to see this one develop.

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THE SHADOWHUNTER WORLD

Ok, so lets start with why the hell are there so many Shadowhunters int he institute?! There are meant to not be enough of them, the institute is mean to be empty, and yet every episode there are tons of Shadowhunters just strolling round.

Also, did anyone else think it seemed a little too modern in there? Jace isn’t meant to know what eBay is, and yet they all have mobile phones and mass loads of computers etc. They are meant to be all about tradition etc, it doesn’t quite fit with the modern look of some parts of the institute.

Otherwise I really liked how they had adapted the world to TV. The various vampires, werewolves, faerie, demon etc were all great and totally looked believable (no glittering vampires or dodgy furry suits for the werewolves. The magic and the history of the world was explained well without taking over and things seem to very much make sense.

THE STORY

There were a few dodgy moments thrown in there but as a whole, in my opinion, the first season went ok. I think when us fans watch these types of adaptations we need to know that they are not going to be exactly like the book that we fell in love with, and accept that and move on.

There were some differences I wasn’t very happy about though, including a certain character getting engaged and a whole wedding episode that was necessary. There was also an episode with an ‘alternative world’ which was fun to watch but in the great scheme of things didn;t add anything to the story line.

One change that I was ok with though was Luke’s career. In the books he owns a bookstore but int he TV show he is a detective. wouldn’t say that I like him more as a cop, but it adds something new to the story which was interesting.

One thing that I do think made this first series suffer slightly was the small amount of episodes that it had. First seasons are always known for being short, but this one at just 13 episodes felt rushed at times as it tried to fit a 448 page book and the introduction of an entire world into it.
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THE SOUNDTRACK

I really liked the music featured in the show, it always matched so well with the action that was happening on screen. I like that they didn’t use chart music either and as such I have discovered some great new artists who I now follow.

Full Soundtrack Here

SO, THE BOOK OR THE TV SHOW?

No doubt about it, the book will always win. But the TV show has managed to do what the film didn’t and that is get it’s own fan base. There is a lot of hype about this series and it was very quickly signed for a second season. As for me, I really enjoyed it, as a separate thing to the books, and will definitely continue to watch it in future.

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What do you think of Shadowhunters? Did you like the changes they made? Did you ever watch the Mortal Instruments film? Which casting do you prefer?

Which is your favourite: book, film or tv show?

Brocs Bookcase

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Ten Things That Make My Inner Bookworm Happy

April 26, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 7

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

Last week (IRL) was massively busy, which meant that blog life last week was pretty quiet. I still don’t feel like I’ve properly caught up with everything since I got back from my holiday 3 weeks ago, but we have a nice long bank holiday weekend coming up in the UK so I have big plans to get on top of stuff and also hopefully do some reading! (I am sooooo behind with my reading!)

Book Sniffing – I don’t know about you but I love sniffing my books! In the same way that people think listening to music whilst reading enhances the experience I feel the same about the way my book smells! I am still convinced that Hogwarts smells how my HP books smell!

Discovering a New Favourite Author – I love when I read a new book and absolutely fall in love with it, and then decided to read all that authors their books and love them all too.

Bookish Clothing – I’m a bit obsessed when it comes to bookish clothing and I have ended up with quite a lot (mostly HP!). My favourite time to wear bookish clothing is when I’m at work. I love how I look all professional, but I have a sneaky pair of Dobby socks on or I’m wearing my Quidditch tank top under my shirt. Hehe, always makes me a happy bookworm!

Fangirling with Fellow Bookworms – I love fangirling with new bookish friends. I got to meet up with some really cool people at YALC last year and we totally fangirled over the authors that were there that day. Bookworms are the best types of people!

Book Quotes – Anything I see that features a quote from a book on it, I immediately want it. Mugs, t-shirts, necklaces, posters, bookmarks, pillows literally ANYTHING! I love book quotes, and so seeing them on things in shops and the bookish love being shared to the world is the greatest!

Unappreciated books – I love it when I find an amazing new book that no one else I know has read. I will literally recommend it to EVERYONE and make them all read it, and then they will tell other people and so on and so on. You feel like you are helping TONS of new people discover this book.

Days with no Plans – My life can be pretty busy. I work Mon-Fri and I’m often helping my parents with housework, gardening, grocery shopping etc at the weekend, as well as visiting family members. Plus I’m blogging, doing a proofreading course and hanging out with my boyfriend and/or friends. I hardly ever get an entire day when I am completely free, so when these days come around and I know I can just sit and read an ENTIRE book (or more!) uninterrupted, it makes my bookworm heart very happy.

Matching Sets – So many authors are swapping there cover designs half way through the series nowadays, and as someone who likes all their covers to match it is mighty frustrating. So owning an entire series that matches is one of my favourite things.

Recommendations – I’ve always been a little nervous about recommending books to people. What if they don’t like it, and then what if they think I’m weird because I like it? Giving someone a book suggestion and then have them come back and tell me that they loved the book makes me so HAPPY! (and relived that the person doesn’t think I’m weird)

Bookworm Social Etiquette – It’s taken a while to teach, and doesn’t always work, but every so often I experience that special moment when someone walks into the room that I am reading in to talk to me or ask me to do something and instead of interrupting me they just wait for me to finish my page/chapter. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does it’s BLISS.

Tidy Bookcase – I recently got a GIANT bookcase for my birthday and spent hours arranging all my books and swag on it. It gets a bit messy sometimes and so every so often I have a tidy and rearrange things and it probably sounds really geeky but I LOVE it! Walking into my room and seeing it there looking so pretty makes me super happy!

Have you read any of these books? Did these characters make you laugh too?

What’s on your list this week?

Brocs Bookcase

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Page to Screen: Allegiant

April 22, 2016 Page to Screen 0

Page to Screen

There are so many books being turned into Movies or TV Series at the moment. This feature chats about the good bits, the bad bits and is never afraid to ask the ultimate question: Page or Screen?

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So, first the facts:

Allegiant (the third and final book in the Divergent series) was published October 22nd 2013 (my birthday!!!). On it’s release day the book sold 500,000 copies worldwide and it’s pre-sales were beating Suzanne Collins ‘Mockingjay’ 5 to 1.
The film, of the same name, which covers the first half of the book was first released on March 20th 2016 and made over $29 million (in the US) in it’s opening weekend.
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You can check out my (non-spoiler) review of Allegiant here or my spoiler review here
Allegiant on Goodreads

Allegiant on IMDB
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Warning: the following post does contain some small spoilers for both the book and the film.

CHARACTERS

Tris in this film let me down slightly. I want to be clear here and say that it was not Shailene Woodley’s acting. Instead it was the story that the writers/directors gave her. I didn’t like her storyline in this film, it wasn’t what I had expected or wanted. Also, they put her in the most ridiculous white outfits. For a character who I really love, her part in this film was a total let down.

I did however like Four. A discovery in the Bureau makes him question who he is, and the fact that Tris isn’t around much to help him deal with it puts a little strain on their relationship. Theo James played this broody and vulnerable Four perfectly, and although his storyline didn’t exactly follow that in the book I still really liked him.

Jeff Daniels is great as David, mostly because I found myself hating him right from the first moment we meet him! I found it annoying though that they made it so obvious that he was a bad guy, to everyone (the audience and all of the characters) except Tris, which just made her look like an idiot.

We finally got Uriah in the second film but they seemed to have forgotten that he is meant to be a big part of the final films too? In the books something major happens involving him and Four and it changes Four as a person. But it doesn’t seem like that is going to happen, and I’m a little frustrated about it.

Allegiant Character Profiles

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THE WORLD & FACTIONS

I was excited for the film and to see the world outside of Chicago. The “dead mans land” was just as creepy as I had imagined it (with raining blood too – kinda gross) but I have to admit that the Bureau wasn’t quite what I had expected. It just seemed a little too shiny and white.

THE STORY

I’m going to come right out and say it, I had no idea what was happening in this film. It really didn’t stick much to the story of the book. There were some good moments, but I think this film would probably be preferred by people who haven’t read the books so who don’t know the original story line.

The decision to split the final book into 2 films is not a new and has been done previously by both the Harry Potter and Hunger Games franchises and worked well because there was enough in the books to fill 2 films. In the case of Allegiant there really wasn’t enough for 2 films and therefore we end up with all these extra bits and changes in the storyline which there were no need for. It definitely would have been better if they had just stuck to the story and made one film. As it stands I have no idea what is going to happen in the next film.

SO, THE BOOK OR THE FILM?

If I was judging this as a film not adapted from a book then I would say it was good. But as a lover of the series it’s just a little bit too different for me and there was a lot in there that didn’t need to be in there and just felt like it was filling time. I probably will still go and see the final film, but it’s not something that I’m massively excited about. For a film series that started great it has steadily lost its way and in my opinion moved less and less away from the amazing story that we all fell in love with.

No doubt, I’m choosing the book over the film!

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What did you think of the movie? Did you like the changes?

Was it better or worst then the book?

Brocs Bookcase

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Ten Books/Characters that Made Me Laugh

April 19, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 4

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

So this weeks topic is actually meant to be ‘Top Te Books That Will Make You Laugh’ but I don’t really read that many ‘funny’ books. I’m more of a ‘books that will rip my heart to pieces and make me ugly cry’ type person. So I really didn’t think I would be able to do this topic.

But then I started looking through the books that I have read and realised that there are some books that I laughed at whilst reading, and some characters that made me laugh a lot too. So I’m focusing on them instead!

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Books

TTT Laugh 7

Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist
The whole premise of this book is amusing, and as the main character is very much a Bridget Jones style character who is put in a very awkward position of having to give sex advice with no experience of having ever had sex.

Characters

TTT Laugh 1

The Mortal Instruments
Jace gets a bit damaged and broody the further you get into this series, but at the very beginning (and during good moments through the rest of the series) he is cocky and sarcastic and just absolutely brilliant. His comments often made me laugh.

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TTT Laugh 2

The Winner’s Curse . The Winner’s Crime . The Winner’s Kiss
When we first meet him he is kind of scary looking and we are unsure if he is going to hurt our MC Arin. But then we get to know him, and his friendship with Arin turns into a bit of a bromance and he becomes halarious.

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TTT Laugh 3

Addicted to You . Addicted for Now . Addicted After All
I’m totally counting this as three! But I’ve put them together because it’s their bromance which makes me laugh the most. Especially the relationship between Ryke (a f*ck you, over protective, mountain climbing kind of guy) and Connor (the well educated, well dressed, well spoken guy) which at times is just hilarious.

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TTT Laugh 4

Cinder . Scarlett . Cress . Winter . Stars Above
Another character who is great with the cocky sarcastic one liners and who the Lunar Chronicles would have so much less without. He is the comedic relief throughout the entire series, and his friendship with Cinder and their back and forth banter kept me laughing through the entire thing.

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TTT Laugh 5

Emerge . Embrace . Entice . Endure
I really loved this series because of the really great group of characters created by S.E.Hall. But mostly I love it because of Sawyer and his man whoring but lovable ways. He made me laugh through out this entire series, and I especially loved seeing him as a parent in the final book and his totally hypocritical view on how his teenage daughter should not be wearing a bikini because then all the horny boys would be chasing her around the pool!

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TTT Laugh 6

Where Rainbows End/Love, Rosie
She is blunt, sarcastic and doesn’t soften her words at all, but she is always there for Rosie and the majority of the time if the only one talking any sense! She made me laugh so much with her various emails and texts to Rosie in the book. I really loved Ruby in the movie adaptation of this book too, she was exactly who I wanted her to be and made me laugh so much!

Have you read any of these books? Did these characters make you laugh too?

What’s on your list this week?

Brocs Bookcase

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Sunday Funday: Harry Potter Bookish Buys

April 17, 2016 Sunday Funday 0

Sunday Funday Logo

The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

SPRING IS HERE! I don’t know what the weather has been like where you live, but here in my little bit of English countryside it’s not been the greatest, up until the past week when the sun has FINALLY come out! I planted some vegetables last weekend and I love waking up in the morning and seeing them all happy (Yes, I can feel my vegetables emotions. It’s my superpower) in the sunshine. Plus it makes me want to be outside so much more, which my dog loves because it means lots of walks for him!

Anyway, to my Sunday Funday post. I was hunting around the internet the other day for Harry Potter related goodies and came across a great store Mud In My Blood. Now, as I haven’t done a Harry Potter post in at least a month (ok, the past 2 weeks!) I thought I would share some of the awesome HP bits the store sells with you guys!

Candles!

  

Buy candles here
I love bookish inspired candles, and these ones are great because they are inspired by each character. I love the descriptions that come with them and would love to sniff each one! I’ve only included 3 in this post (yes, there is a Voldemort one!) but there are TONS of them on the site, literally for every character! There’s even a Dobby one!

Buttons!

 

Buy buttons here
Who doesn’t love a good set of buttons, and this site has so many! Buttons inspired by characters (“Weasley is Our King or “Potter Stinks” anyone?) or by house or just some of our favourite sayings (Nitwit, Blubber, Oddment, Tweak) and crests of the school and houses.

Quidditch Necklace!

 

Buy here
Ok, so how cool is this! It’s like an entire Quidditch Pitch on a necklace! I really really love this and is perfect for any Harry Potter fan!

Earrings!

 

Buy Time-Turner Earrings . Buy Golden Snitch Earrings
Ok, so firstly the Tim Turner earrings are simply gorgeous. And they each have a tiny little hourglass in them, how cute is that?! I really like the snitch earrings too and in fact I have the snitch necklace that these would go perfectly with!

What do you think of these? Do you own anything Harry Potter inspired?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

Brocs Bookcase

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Prescribing Books for Mental Health

April 15, 2016 Discussion 2

So I was meant to be posting a review today, but then one of my friends shared an article with me and it was something that I really wanted to talk about.

The article, which you can read here, spoke about how GPs (as well as counselors and school nurses) can now prescribe certain books to young people suffering with mental health issues. The ‘Reading Well for Young People’ campaign, launched by the Reading Agency is aimed at ages 13-18 year of which it is estimated that 1 in 10 suffer from some form of mental illness.

  

The list includes books like I’ll Give You the Sun (Jandy Nelson), Every Day (David Levithan), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Mark Hadden) and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky).

You can find the full list here.

“The list can be recommended by GPs but also you can explore it at your own pace, which I think is really good because if more people educate themselves and have better understanding of mental health generally, it will make a difference.”

One thing I really like about the list is that it’s not full of self-help or non fiction books although there are some great non fiction books included. But there is a whole pile of fiction in there too with books about characters going through things like depression, anxiety and identity issues.

  

Novels are not written to educate or impart advice and there will be a lot of young people who find it easier to read about a character going through the exact same thing as them with the emotional connection to them too.

Another great thing about this list is that it heavily features books which are YA. There are a lot of skeptics out there that consider YA to be a lesser subset of “real books”. But they could not be more wrong! YA is just as diverse, has just as many talented writers and is just as worthy of being recognised as any other non YA book and now it will be, and as something that can help young people.

“I think fiction, if anything, works better for young people – a lot of young adult books deal with things young people go through, and through relation to the characters, it can be a way of getting advice without being told [what to do],”

I’ve quite a few books with feature mental illness, especially over the past year, and I think one of my favorite has to be My Heart and Other Black Holes which deals with suicide and which I think would make a great addition to this list.

Mental illness is something very real that we will all come into contact with at some point in our lives (whether ourselves or through people we know and love) and I think it’s great that this campaign has been started to help people even more. I’m not saying that books are better than medication but I just think it’s a great additional way to support people.

“Books can be a safe space – it’s so much easier to talk about the characters in, say, The Perks of Being A Wallflower than to say ‘I’m depressed’.” (Juno Dawson) 

There have been so many times in the past that I have had a really bad day and I’m feeling particularly down about something, and without even thinking about it the first thing I do is pick up a book. Reading is like therapy to me. It calms me down, it lets me escape, but it also lets me see how blessed I am with my life when I read about people in worse off situations than I’m in. Plus I have learnt so much through reading.

So what do you think? Do you think the right book could help someone with a mental illness?

What do you think of the approved list? What would you add to it?

Brocs Bookcase

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To Re-Read or To Not Re-Read?

April 14, 2016 Discussion 4

Before I started Broc’s Bookcase my reading wasn’t massively diverse. I read a hell of a lot but it always seemed to be the same books over and over. My friends and family always used to question it and ask me did I not get bored repeating the same story. But for me re-reading these books was about reliving my favourite moments over and over, or discovering that one new little thing that you didn’t notice the time before.

Since starting my blog my reading has diversified both with new authors and new genres and I am so happy about it. I’m reading about new topics, I’m learning about new things and I’m experiencing new bookish feelings. I don’t regret starting my blog or diversifying my reading, but boy do I miss re-reading.

I’m not the most organised of bloggers, I think we all know that, so many of my blog posts etc end up being done the day before or even the day of being posted and sometimes I end up reading a book the night before a blog tour I have signed up for. I’ve tried to be better this year and not overwhelm myself with ARCs and blog tours, but still the mix of blogging, reading ARCs and reading books that I’ve bought, well that kind of takes up a lot of time.

To re-read a book or an entire series of books would take time away from the books that I am reading for my blog, so I barely do it anymore. Which is so sad because I really do love re-reading.

This month The Winner’s Kiss (final book in Marie Rutkoski’s Winners trilogy) was released and I have known for a while that I wanted to re-read the previous books before starting this new one. A lot happens in the first two books and I was scared that I would miss something important in the third book because I had forgotten some little detail from books 1 or 2.

So I planned it into my schedule when I was going to read them. Luckily I was going on holiday to Canada just before the final book was released so 24 hours worth of trains and planes meant that I had a decent amount of time to re-read the previous two books that I otherwise wouldn’t have had time to.

I am constantly seeing reviews from bloggers who are reading some of my favorite books or series for the first time and reading their reviews and hearing them getting so hyped up about them makes me want to reread the book and experience it all too. But that means that I have to plan it in advance so I can make sure I still have time to read the books I need to review on my blog/Netgalley.

I guess my post doesn’t really have a point this week other than to say how crazy it is the planning that I have to put into re-reading a series? I used to read the Harry Potter books on repeat over and over for months and the world didn’t fall apart, but if I was to do that now the I would have no books to write about on my blog.

There was this TV show I used to watch when I was younger and it had this boy in it who had found a magic watch which stopped time. I have often said that I would love a watch like this if only so I could have more time to get through all my reading!

If I had the chance I know exactly which books I would re-read first:
What I Didn’t Say, The Inheritance Cycle, Under the Never Sky trilogy, Harry Potter (yes, again!), the Gone series (re-read and complete!) and Percy Jackson and the Olympians (re-read and complete) … and that is just the start of my list!

So I guess my question is, do you re-read? And how easy do you find it to do whilst also reading new books for your blog?

Which book/series do you really want to re-read?

Brocs Bookcase

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Ten Books Every YA Skeptic Should Read

April 12, 2016 Uncategorized 18

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

So, I don’t know about you but when I tell people that I review books online they get very excited, and then they ask which types of books I review and when I say “mostly young adult” I get an eye roll and they walk away. So often people think that YA is a lesser subset of “real books” and for my that could not be more wrong!

YA is just as diverse, has just as many talented writers and is just as worthy of being recognised as any other non YA book. Each of these books is a standout in its genre. Not just its YA genre, but its overarching genre. So here is my list, for the skeptics, which represent just how great this genre is…

The Dystopian/Fantasy Series

Winner's Trilogy

The care that went into this beautifully crafted trilogy is evident in every single page of all three books. Sure it’s got a young adult female heroine (just like a lot of YA) but Kestrel is something completely different. The intelligence of the characters but also of the story told in this trilogy is fascinating and it really shows the political side of war and it’s consequences in a way that no other YA book I’ve read ever has.
The Winners Curse . The Winners Crime . The Winners Kiss

mortal instruments

The amount of worldbuilding that went into this series is incredible and NO ONE can fault the world that Cassandra Clare has created, nor the story within it. This is only one of multiple series set in Clare’s Shadowhunter world, but it is my favourite which is why I’m mentioning it. The characters, the world and the story are incredible (and not to be judged by the film or TV programme!)
City of Bones . City of Ashes . City of Glass .
City of Fallen Angels . City of Lost Souls . City of Heavenly Fire

the hunger games

Skeptics may have seen the films advertised and judged, but as much as I loved the films the books (as always) are so much better. Katniss isn’t your usual heroine and for someone so young she is put through a hell of a lot and ends up coming out of it suffering from PTSD. This isn’t your usual ‘take on the bad guys and then live happily ever after’. This book deserves recognition.
The Hunger Games . Catching Fire . Mockingjay

Lunar Chronicles

I know what the Skeptics are thinking. ‘A fairytale retelling, it must be a teen/childs book’, but they would be oh so wrong. Once again the world building in this series is phenomenal and the entire thing deserves to be recognised as more than just a fairytale retelling, because it is so so much more than that.
Cinder . Scarlet . Cress . Winter . Fairest . Stars Above

The Ones With the Powerful Messages

if i stay cover

For a story that will change your life in ways you never thought a book could I give you If I Stay of the book that my boyfriend so nicely refers to as “the book with the girl who ends up in a coma and has to decide whether to live or die” (so eleoquently put). For me, this books message is about the power of love and family, and that sometimes the things that we think are the most important, and the choices we believe are the hardest to make … really aren’t. Gayle Forman is a master, and this book is so incredible that literally anyone of any age could relate to it, which is why deserves to be known as more than just another YA book.
If I Stay

My Heart and Other Black Holes Cover

Suicide is sadly something that is becoming more and more common in our world today, and a new things that is rising within this is ‘suicide partners’. This book is so delicately written with such important themes that how anyone can judge it to be “just another YA book” is beyond me. This book, and others like it are SO important for all people to read (not just teens and young adults) because they carry such important messages and deserve so much more respect than they get at the moment.
My Heart and Other Black Holes

Honesty Cover

Seth King picks a not so easy but very relevant topic for the world today in this book. His message is honest and powerful and you get the feeling that his stories are written, not to change the world, but so that maybe it will make things better for even just one person. It’s books like this one that deserve peoples appreciation, because they are just as life changing as the no YA books out there.
Honesty

The Ones With the Epic Romances
(that also made us sob)

Just because a YA romance involves young people does not make it any less epic. Romeo and Juliet were only 16 year old yet their story has been told as one of the greatest love stories of all time, so why do YA romances get so little appreciation?!

fault in our stars

Probably one of the most recognised YA books of recent years and often referred to as ‘that book with the kids who have cancer and fall in love’ But it is SO MUCH MORE that a cancer book. Hazel and Gus taught us how to live in the moment, appreciate life and to keep going even after everything goes wrong. Plus it made us (and by us I mean millions of people!) cry, a hell of a lot, and for that reason it deserves your respect!
The Fault in our Stars

November 9

In the same style as the hugely popular One Day, this book features a romance that spans years whilst only actually featuring our MCs on one day a year. The romance is epic, and heartbreaking and just oh so satisfying. Colleen Hoover is the goddess of YA romance and her books are, in my opinion some of the greatest love stories I’ve ever read.
November 9

A Thousand Boy Kisses Cover

If you are looking for an epic romance then Tillie Cole’s books are most definitely worth the visit and especially this one. Any skeptics out there who say that YA cannot produce a romance story that will both break and make your heart then I dare you to read this book and continue to say that! This book deserves every little bit of praise it has received so far, and mountains more beyond that!
A Thousand Boy Kisses

Have you read any of these books?

Which books are on your list this week?

Brocs Bookcase

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Review: “The Winners Kiss” – Marie Rutkoski

April 11, 2016 Book Review 1

Winners Kiss CoverThe Winners Kiss – Marie Rutkoski
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Publication Date: March 29th 2016
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Pages: 496
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: The Winners Trilogy
Format/Source: ARC via NetGalley
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The Story
 .(summary from Goodreads)
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Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.
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The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement… if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.
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As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them..
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My Thoughts

I feel like I have been waiting for this book to be released FOREVER and it was definitely one of my most anticipated reads of 2016.

So, what do I love about this book?

After the way Rutkoski ended The Winner’s Curse we were left absolutely desperate for the final book in this trilogy. I have always loved the way that she has weaved this story with all it’s different elements together and she really showed her talent in this final book which was full of the tension and the ‘almost’ moments which make this trilogy incredible.

“You don’t need to be gifted with a blade. You are your own best weapon.”

For a character that has always been so confident and sure of herself we see a very different Kestrel in this book. She ended the previous book in a very unfortunate position and for the first time there is no one there to save her when she cannot save herself. I love Kestrel in this book, maybe even more than I have in previous books as although she is the same, there is also something different about her, a sort of vulnerability which made her so interesting to read.

“You will be lonely, but you’ll become strong.”

I have to be honesty, I spent the beginning of this book yelling at Arin through the pages to notice that something had gone wrong with Kestrel in the Empire. But he did have a lot going on trying to save his people an all so I’ll let him off. But one thing I wanted to mention that I absolutely loved about Arin in this book was his friendship with Roshar. He very quickly became a cruicial character in this trilogy and he added so much to every scene that he was in, including a great amount of comedy.

“Did you have to bring the tiger?”
“I kept him hungry during the journey here, just for you,” Roshar said. “Go give him a nice snuggle, won’t you? He’s come all this way to see you. The least you could do is give him one of your arms to eat. Too much? What about a hand? At least some fingers. Arin, where’s your hospitality?”

Throughout this entire series we have been super frustrated by the ache that is Kestrel and Arin’s relationship. I don’t know about you but I have yelled at these characters constantly to actually communicate truthfully with each other about their feelings rather then all the secrets and lies that came with trying to protect the other one.

I’m not going to give any spoilers but I have to say that I love the way that their relationship was taken in this final installment and that I still ached massively for the two of them through the entire book. It wasn’t an easy book for them and Rutkoski was still throwing obstacles in their way whilst also giving us glimmers of hope that things would work out for our favourite pair.

“Later, Kestrel wished she had spoken then, that no time had been lost. She wished that she’d had the courage that very moment to tell Arin what she’d finally known to be true: that she loved him with the whole of her heart.”

Kestrel and Arin really do make a fantastic pair and their dedication to each other along with their abililty to sacrifice so much for the other is what gives them their strength as a couple. But seperate both are extremely strong characters too and even when things get rough and all hope is lost they pull themselves through. Each of them is intelligent in their own way and I love how much they compliment each other both as partners in a war but also in life. It was an incredibly satisfactory resolution for them after three books and I couldn’t have chosen a better ending for them.

“Arin pulled her onto his lap. He held her shaking form, tucked his face into the crook of her cold neck as she sobbed against him. He murmured that he loved her more than he could say. He promised that he would always choose her first.”

The way that this book was written was truly a work of art. The structure, the alternative POVs, the flow of the story, the pacing … it all just worked. I’m not one to notice stylistic things or literary devices but it was obvious to even me how beautifully Rutkoski had crafted this book. The entire thing was a sensory experience with Rutkoski setting the scene carefully for us  so that we saw, heard, felt and smelt every single thing that she wrote.

I have loved reading this series and watching everything in it develop so beautifully under Rutkoski’s hand. She really does have an amazing talent and I can’t wait for more books by her to immerse myself in.

“Will you come with me?”
“Ah, Kestrel, that’s something you never need to ask.”

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Final Thoughts

It’s one of those bittersweet moments when you finish an incredible book series that ended fantastically and you can’t stop smiling because of it, and then you realise that you aren’t going to get any more of these characters and it makes you sad. (but in a good way!) Most definitely one of my favourite books of the year, but also one of my favourite series of all time.

Re-Readability: Most Definitely

I would recommend this book to fans of: YA Fantasy series, forbidden romances, rebellions.

Rating Beyond Loved

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Have you read any of The Winners Trilogy? What did you think?

What are you most excited for in the final book?

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Ten (ok, maybe just six) bookish social media accounts you must like/follow/stalk immediately!

April 5, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 4

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

So having just got back from the most amazing 2 weeks in Vancouver stupid me decided to come right back into work the day after I arrived home and have been suffering since with jet lag! I actually fell asleep on my desk today and got sent outside for a walk around the lake outside our building for some ‘fresh air and a wake up!’

But it is all worth it because Vancouver was amazing! I’ve got a bit of catching up to do this week with my blogging including reviews for an AMAZING book I read whilst over there and for the newest installment in the Divergent movie series: Allegiant.

But first it’s time for my TTT list, and this week is all about the best bookish accounts to follow on social media. I didn’t quite make it to ten, firstly because I ran out of time in my lunch hour to write this post but also because I really did just pick the creme de la creme of social media accounts I follow!

YouTube

TTT Social About to Read

I don’t really follow that many people on YouTube as it’s not something I spend a massive amount of time on, but in saying that I always make sure to check out the About To Read account because she always gives great recommendations!

Twitter

TTT Social Paper Fury

I LOVE Cait @ Paper Fury. I follow her on every platform I can, but I especially love following her on Twitter when she is writing (which she does quite a bit) because her updates are always hilarious and she always gives little snippets of her WIP which are always amazing.

TTT Social Maureen Johnson

I feel horrible to have to say this but I’ve never read any of her books, but I stalk her religiously on Twitter because she is fabulous and makes me laugh so much. I really should read one of her books one day!

Instagram

TTT Social Lost in Lit

I love co-ordinated bookish photos and Lost in Lits are always fabulous!

TTT Social Abi's Cupboard

With images like this one do I even need to explain why I love this instagram account?! Her photos are adorable and totally creative and unique.

Facebook

TTT Social Aestas

Aestas has a MASSIVE following on facebook, and there is a good reason for it…she is awesome! She is always posting updates on bookish sales, new releases, reading book nooks and bookworm problems. One account I love following!

Have you read any of these books?

Which books are on your list this week?

Brocs Bookcase

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I’m on holiday…and kinda forgot to blog!

March 30, 2016 Blogging 6

So I had this great plan before I came on my holiday to Vancouver that I would write a load of blog posts and schedule them for whilst I was away. Which worked for the first week I was here, and then I forgot to do the second week worth of posts!

So I just wanted to say a quick halloooo, and let you know that I am still around and apologise for the lack of posts this week!

I am totally still reading though and in fact literally just finished The Winner’s Kiss, which was incredible. Tried to write a quick review for it just now before I go out for the day, but it’s not really a book that you can just write a quick review for, the book deserves so much more!

But there will be a review soon, a very fan-girly one because this book was incredible!

For now, I am off to explore Vancouver a little more with the few days here I’ve got left.

Sadly I will be back in England on Sunday and back in work on Monday (booooooo!) so everything should return to normal for next week!

I hope you all had amazing Easter weekends, can’t wait to tell you all about mine!

Brocs Bookcase

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Sunday Funday: Egg-streme Easter Fun #4

March 27, 2016 Sunday Funday 0

Sunday Funday Easter

The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

I hope you all have an awesome Easter Sunday and get totally full up on chocolate eggs!

If your looking for something to do then check out these Easter Egg Hunt Ideas and this Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt, sure to make you day full of fun!

Also, if you haven’t already seen them, check out my previous Easter themed Sunday Funday posts for this year:
Egg-streme Easter Fun #1
Egg-streme Easter Fun #2
Egg-streme Easter Fun #3

>>>

If you’ve been around Broc’s Bookcase during Easter then you will have probably seen my Easter posts from previous years. But here are the links incase you missed out…
Easter Eggstravaganza #1
Easter Eggstravaganza #2
Easter Eggstravaganza #3
All You Need Is Love…And Chocolate Eggs #1
All You Need Is Love…And Chocolate Eggs #2
All You Need Is Love…And Chocolate Eggs #3

Also, don’t forget to check out my Easter board on Pinterest which is full of so much more Easter inspired food, crafts, eggs etc.

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Happy Easter and have an egg-cellent weekend!

Brocs Bookcase

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Sorry, You Asked WHY You Need the Illustrated Harry Potter Book in Your Life?!!!

March 25, 2016 Book Review 4

Story by J.K.Rowling . Illustrated by Jim Kay

So I was going to so a full on review for this book, but then I realised that I already have right here. Word-wise this book is no different from the original Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. From the ‘Yer a Wizard Harry’ to the game of life size wizards chess!

But then when you look at the rest of the book (not including the words) there is of course one giant difference … it’s illustrated! (and beautifully done too!)

I was trying to think back to the last illustrated book I read and I honesty can’t remember what it was. I’m going to take a guess that I was probably around age 8, and I was totally obsessed with Percy the Park Keeper at the time. Now, no offence to Nick Butterworth, but he’s got nothing on Jim Kay’s beautiful illustrations in this book.

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The entire book really is a work of art (so much that I always wash my hands before picking it up! I’m a nerd like that!) and I would love to have every single illustration within it in a frame on my wall at home. Some of my absolute favourite images include Platform 9 3/4, Hogwarts and the Mirror of Erised. There is also a totally creepy image of Voldemort’s eye peeking out from the back of Quirrell’s head as he unwraps his turban.

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And that’s just the full page/double page spread images. There are also tons of mini illustrations within the written pages that the story is told on. They make such great additions to the pages and it’s really cute to have owls etc flying through the pages.

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So does it add anything to the story? Hells yes! Sure, I’ll admit that the way that Jim Kay has illustrated Harry & Hogwarts is not exactly how I imagined it, but it most definitely didn’t ruin the story for me.

Instead it adds extra layers of magic to an already magical book and gives us fans another beautiful book to add to our collections.

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If you haven’t already, I would definitely recommend you getting yourself a copy of this book, and whilst you are at it, pre-order yourself a copy of the illustrated version of HP & the Chamber of Secrets too!

Buy Links

Harry Potter & the Philosophers Stone Illustrated
Buy UK . Buy US

Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated
Pre-Order UK . Pre-Order US

Brocs Bookcase

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Ten Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven’t Talked About Enough

March 22, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 10

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

Us bookworms read so many books and it’s often hard to keep up with all the ones that we love because they are very quickly replaced by the new books that we love. Here’s some books that I read a little while ago and feel like need a little bit more love, both from me and the rest of the bookish world!

  

Eragon (And the entire Inheritance Cycle) – I have been meaning to reread this entire series for quite a while. I really need to review this series on Broc’s Bookcase and show everyone just how amazing it is and why more people should read it.

What I Didn’t Say – This was the first book that I reviewed on my blog and it is still one of my favourite. Yet I can’t remember the last time I read it, or talked about it. So I’m sharing the love right now. Everyone needs to read this book!

Unbreakable – Another one that I read quite a while ago and can’t believe I haven’t talked about since. This book was amazing! Totally heartbreaking at points, but amazing.

  

Under the Never Sky – This trilogy was amazing. The world-building especially had to be one of my favourite things about it.

Fading – This trilogy was incredible. It’s not easy reading, there are some pretty heartbreaking moments, but it is incredible and more people need to know about it.

Addicted to You – Initially I was worried about this series, a sex addict? How could that make a good story. But it was amazing, as was the rest of the series.

  

Eden – A mix of Terminator and the Walking Dead, this series was amazing. I literally the entire trilogy in the space of about 4 days. Totally addictive.

The Perfect Game – Another trilogy that I devoured in the space of a few days. I never see anyone talking about this series, more people need to read it!!!

Across the Universe – I don’t think I’ve talked about this book since I first read and reviewed it, which is stupid because this entire trilogy is amazing!

Have you read any of these books?

Which books are on your list this week?

Brocs Bookcase

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Blog Tour: Walk the Edge – Katie McGarry

March 21, 2016 Blog Tour, Book Review 2

DirectIngest,

DirectIngest,

Walk the Edge – Katie McGarry
(website . twitter)

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Publication Date: March 29th 2016
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 384
Series: Thunder Road
Genre: YA Romance
Format/Source: ARC from Author
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The Story

(summary from Goodreads)

One moment of recklessness will change their worlds.

Smart. Responsible. That’s seventeen-year-old Breanna’s role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyber-bully’s line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas “Razor” Turner into her life.

Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don’t belong. But when he learns she’s being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it’s time to step outside the rules.

And so they make a pact: he’ll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she’ll help him seek answers to the mystery that’s haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they’re both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they’re going from here.

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My Thoughts

I loved the first book in this series and had been keeping an eye out for ages for the announcement of her second book. I was desperate to get my hands on  copy of her book as soon as possible, and once I did I devoured it in one sitting. If you haven’t read any of this series then I would definitely recommend you start with Nowhere But Here, the first book. This one can be read as a standalone but it is much better when it comes after book1.

So, why do I love this book?

1) I love MC (motorcycle club) bookish. I’ve read a couple of MC series now and love them all in their own way as they are all totally different. I have found this seres so far to be the tamer of all the series I have read. This club doesn’t dabbble in the normal illegal things my other MC books do: drugs, guns etc. They are totally legit (although they will push the rules if need be) and so there is nothing too graphic in these books. So if you are interested, but scared because you think an MC book is going to be all sex, drugs and shooting guns then you should definitely read this series first, because you are bound to love it.

“I’m searching for magic – not the Christmas morning type, but the type of magic that can be found by being courageous, being the girl who takes chances, being the girl who will dance. I want to be the girl who is seen.”

2) I connected to Breanna in this book a lot quicker then I connected to Emily in the first book. I don’t know why but I just seemed to love her from page 1. She’s got a pretty crappy school situation (being bullied for being the super smart one) and rubbish home situation (number 5 of 9 kids, she has to pick up the slack whilst her parents are at work and either gets bullied or ignored by her family) and she has no romantic life. She really isn’t happy at the start of the book, and even though a tons more crap happens to her during, it was nice to see her grow as a character and figure out her place int he world and not be ashamed of it or who she was.

“I promise I’ll take care of you,” he whispers. “You’re safe with me.”

3) Oh Razor! I think I loved him just as much as I love Oz in book 1. He is troubled by a dark past and a secret he knows he isn’t being told which eats away at him and as such threatens every relationship he has, more so his family at the Reign of Terror. Razor has MASSIVE trust problems in this book as he fights to work out what is being kept from him. Another hard exterior, soft interior kind of guy he is so broken in this book that I loved watching his story unfold and watching him develop in this book.

“…as I attempt to release her, she squeezes my hand and offers a shy smile. Something within me shifts. No, I don’t get nervous, but Brenna transports me to all sorts of new places. It’s not her physical proximity getting to me, it’s the fact that she makes me feel.”

4) YA Romance is McGarry’s thing, and once again she proved her talent with this book. I really liked that McGarry added the strain of being with a club member into this book and that Breanna didn’t just jump into club life. She had spent her whole life being told how dangerous they are and so is hesitant at times about what a relationship with Razor would mean. But the romance in this book was spot on and Breanna and Razor became exactly what each other needed to help them develop, and also made for some very sweet and swoony scenes as well as some totally heartbreaking ones.

“This is heartbreaking and consuming and addictive. It’s terrifying and peaceful, crazy and serene. It’s a million things in one brief moment and it’s something I don’t understand and never want to live without.”

5) One thing I really love about MC stories is that feeling of family. It’s not all about blood relations, it’s a brotherhood built on trust, loyalty and respect. That trust in this book isn’t as strong for Razor but he still has a deep love for his brothers in arms and his family. Also, just incase you were wondering we do get some Oz & Emily time in this book. Oz is there through practically the entire thing with the rest of our favourite brothers, but Emily does make an appearance, and a memorable one at that.

“The boy everyone sees but nobody knows is with the girl who everybody knows but nobody sees.”

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Final Thoughts

A spectacular sequel for this addictive series. Kate McGarry has shown her talent once again and I cannot wait for more books in this series.

Re-Readability: Yes! Yes! Yes!

I would recommend this book to fans of: YA Romance, MC stories, The Hades Hangmen Series (Tillie Cole), close families.

Rating Beyond Loved

Have you read any Katie McGarry before? Interested in this one?

Ever read any other MC themed books?

Brocs Bookcase

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Sunday Funday: Egg-streme Easter Fun #3

March 20, 2016 Sunday Funday 0

Sunday Funday Easter

The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

Only 1 more week until Easter…yippeee! An entire weekend of eating chocolate awaits! I am currently spending my first full day in Vancouver, Canada with my big sister. I’m here for a whole 2 weeks!

Firstly, if you haven’t already seen them, check out my previous Easter themed Sunday Funday posts for this year:
Egg-streme Easter Fun #1
Egg-streme Easter Fun #2

Now, Chocolate eggs are a big part of Easter eating, but there are so many other treats you can make too! Here are some of my favourites…

Instructions here
I love Rice Krispie cakes, they are the perfect Easter treat and so simple to make. If you’re not a fan of marshmallows you can always swap them for some melted white chocolate (or you can use milk/dark chocolate and make a ‘nest’ instead with the eggs placed in it).

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Instructions here
A fan of cookie dough? These are super yummy and are perfect for beginner bakers. Just make the dough balls and then cover in icing, simple! The only way you can go wrong with these is if you forget all about them and leave them in the oven for hours and burn them (this is why alarms were invented!

>><<

Instructions here
I am a massive fan of rocky road, and so what could be better than Easter themed Rocky Road! It’s such a simple thing to make too, you really can’t go wrong with it! Plus, it’s a great way to use up any leftover Easter Eggs (not that anyone ever has any left over Easter eggs!)

>><<

Instructions here
And finally, how about some Creme Egg Fudge?! My family always make fudge at Easter time and it probably only lasts about a day before we have eaten it all! This recipe is a great way to use up Creme Eggs and Mini eggs in a totally yummy way.

If you’ve been around Broc’s Bookcase during Easter then you will have probably seen my Easter posts from previous years. But here are the links incase you missed out…
Easter Eggstravaganza #1
Easter Eggstravaganza #2
Easter Eggstravaganza #3
All You Need Is Love…And Chocolate Eggs #1
All You Need Is Love…And Chocolate Eggs #2
All You Need Is Love…And Chocolate Eggs #3

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Do you make special treats at Easter? What do you think of these?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

Brocs Bookcase

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Of Course I Want Read a Book that Will Rip My Heart to Shreds and Make Me Ugly Cry Like a 5 Year old

March 18, 2016 Discussion 4

There is nothing I love more than a book that will bring on the ugly tears. You know the kind, the ones that you can’t stop (and don’t even try to because you know it’s futile) from pouring from your eyes and soaking your face, clothes and most probably your book too!


(Don’t you just want to give him a hug?)

My non-bookish friends always find it really strange that I like books that make me cry. They are always asking me questions like:

“Why do you want a book that is going to upset you? Isn’t reading meant to be fun?”

Well yes…but also no.

Reading is meant to be enjoyable, but that doesn’t meant that you should spend the entire time you are reading with a massive grin on your face.


(I love a good Arnie smile!)

Books are meant to MAKE YOU FEEL something. Books give you characters and a story  to invest your self in and that you will route for. A book is meant to make you smile, laugh, snort and swoon but it’s also meant to make you frustrated, angry, devastated and heartbroken, because all of these things mean that you are FEELING something. And that is what reading is all about.

(I couldn’t NOT include this gif in my post. I love this scene in Mean Girls!)

I’m not really into humor novels, I don’t read crime or erotica or science fiction. But what I do love to read are books with characters who are broken in some way. Characters who find themselves in the worst place possible (whether literally, physically or mentally) and have to find the strength to pull themselves out.

Characters who are grieving the death of a family/friend, characters with illness’ or disabilities, characters who have been attached or abused, characters who are dealing with the repercussions of a bad childhood, characters who have lost the person they love whether through death or a break up.

All of these things sound pretty depressing, and none of them sound like they are going to make an enjoyable story. But you would be wrong, because these are the characters who are going to make you feel the most.

These are the characters that you will cry with and you will route for and when things go wrong for them you will be angry for them and throw your book across the room (and then cry because you hurt your book).

You will stick with these characters right until the end, through anything. And if the worst should happened and they don’t make it to the end of the book then you will ugly cry and sob and grieve for this character you loved so so much. But you will also be inspired by the incredible life that that character lived and the strength they showed through the dark times and you will leave the book with this deep sense of acceptance because you realise that this is how life goes sometimes.

Or you could read a book with a happily ever after. Your character survives, or they get back together with their love or they simply find their way out of the darkness that they started in and you are left feeling thankful for how beautiful life can be and inspired to do more with your own.

All of these you could feel in just 300 pages.

I read a similar post by Cait @ Paper Fury a little while ago and had to quote her in my post because she really does perfect it with the following statement…
“can we take a second to point out that A COUPLE OF DEAD TREES GLUED TOGETHER WITH BLACK AND WHITE SCRIBBLES ON THEM ARE GIVING US FEELINGS???? Because that’s amazing. And really weird, when put that way…”

>><<

So, on a final note I want to say  BIG THANKS to all the amazing authors who have torn my heart to pieces, made me ugly cry in public, caused mascara streaks down my face, made me suffer through book hangovers and basically just caused me to be heartbroken and beautifully inspired over and over again.

“So if people ever look down upon you for crying for fictional characters, you should give them a gentle pitying look and feel bad for them. If they’ve never cried for a character, then they’ve never loved one (and what a joy that is). If they’ve never cried a a book, a movie, a piece of music, then they’ve missed one of the great please life has to offer. Just because fiction does not contain things that are real doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain truth, and we find truth through the alchemy of our tears” – Cassandra Clare

So thank you! Because you made me feel, and I love you all for it!

Special mention here to: Tillie Cole, Colleen Hoover, E.K.BlairMalorie Blackman, Gayle Forman and Seth King

Do you like books that make you cry?

What was your favourite book that made you cry? Whats the most awkward place you have been caught crying because of a book?

Brocs Bookcase

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Blog Tour: “All For You” – Kristina O’Grady

March 16, 2016 Blog Tour, Book Review 0

Tour banner all for you for JENNY
image002All For You – Kristina O’Grady
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Publication Date: March 10th 2016
Publisher: Carina UK
Series: The Copeland Ranch Trilogy
Genre: NA Romance
Format read: ARC from Author
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Buy it (UK) . Buy it (US) . Goodreads
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.The Story(summary from Goodreads)

Is it time for a second chance at love?

When Lily left her home town – and the love of her life Wade – 8 years ago to start her acting career she had big plans to make her dream a reality. However, a few dead end jobs and one dead end relationship later she is back to make a fresh start with the only good thing to come out it all – her unborn baby.

Lily soon realises however that the heart wants what the heart wants, and hers clearly still wanted Wade Copeland! Can they overcome the hurt and pain of the past to allow themselves a future?

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My Thoughts

It took my a while to get into this book, like a whole 65%. But once I did it became the story that I had hoped all along that it would be.

I really struggled to like Lily at first. She just said and did really stupid things. I felt like I started to like her after she had gotten her life together, but whilst everything was a bit of a mess I didn’t really have any sympathy for her, nor did I massively like her.

Wade was a good love interest, but I never felt like I totally connected with him. He just seemed to keep changing his mind about things. “I like you” “I don’t like you” “I like you again” “You’re prgnant so I must now turn into super protective man who doesn’t want to be your friend” “I’m totally ignoring your baby bump and now I love you.” Ahhh!!!!

I was really hopeful for a second chance romance (they are my favourite kind) but there didn’t really seem to be all that much of the past to make it feel much like a second chance romance.  The relationship didn’t seem to develop, one minute they were friends and the next they were playing house. It just all felt a little disjointed.

I had big hopes for this book and sadly it didn’t quite achieve them all, but it was still a nice storyline. Everything just felt a little rushed, especially the ending. It seemed to just end and I feel like some more pages would have really made the difference with this book.

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Final Thoughts

The storyline was a really nice idea and I bet if you read it as part of the trilogy it is great to see the same characters back again. It’s an easy read and not too deep so perfect if you are looking for something not too heavy to read.

Re-Readability: Probably Not

I would recommend this book to fans of: NA Romance, second chance romance, pregnant characters, books set int he countryside, books set in small town

Rating Conflicted.5

The Author

8119512Kristina O’Grady has always loved telling a good story. She took up writing at a young age and spent many hours – when she should have been doing her math homework – scribbling romance stories in a book she hid in her sock drawer. She grew up on a cattle ranch in Western Canada and loves reminiscing by writing about cowboys and their horses.

In 2000 Kristina met her own knight in shining armour/ cowboy who swept her off her feet and across the world to New Zealand, where she now lives on a sheep and beef farm with her amazingly supportive husband, three gorgeous young kids, seven working dogs and one very needy cat.

All for You is her fifth book.

Website . Twitter . Goodreads

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Have you read any of the Copeland Ranch trilogy?

What’s your favourite second chance romance?

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Ten Books I Really Hope to Read this Spring

March 15, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 14

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

I had a bit of a book slump last month. The same thing happened to me around the same time last year, and it totally knocked me off course with my reading for the rest of the year. This year I decided to try something different and as soon as I went into book slump mode I switch my reading to non-fiction.

I think reading something that wasn’t so heavy was the best thing for me to be reading whilst feeling slumpy, and I managed to get through with my reading unscathed! So, to cut a long story short…I am on a massive reading high right now and cannot wait to read the following books…

  

Lady Midnight
So I’m actually reading this one at the moment, but had to mention it because it was one of my most anticipated reads of this year, let alone for Spring this year.

Walk the Edge (Release 29th March)
The second book in Katie McGarry’s Thunder Road series I have been so excited for this book! I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this book and have big plans to sit and do nothing for the rest of the week so I can read it non stop!

The Winners Kiss (Release 29th March)
Ok, so my absolute most anticipated read of this year! I am SO EXCITED for this book and I feel like I have been waiting FOREVER for it to be released. I adored the first two books in this fantastic trilogy and I can’t wait to see how the trilogy ends.

  

The Glittering Court (Released 5th April)
I have read some really great reviews for this book and it sounds like the start of an amazing series. I love the storyline and the world-building sounds like it will be incredible. I cannot wait to get my hands on this one.

Flawed (Released 5th April)
I’ve absolutely loved the previous Cecelia Ahern books I’ve read, so when I heard she was doing her first ever YA book I knew I needed to read it. Super excited for the release of this one!

Wild Swans (Released 3rd May)
I was sent an ARC of this one and just couldn’t resist it once I read the description. Plus, the cover is so pretty

  

Night Speed (Released 3rd May)
I really like the sound of this one, it reminds me of the film Limitless a little bit, but more fast paced and with super-powered teens. I want this book now.

The Last Time We Were Us (Released 10th May)
I really really like the sound of this one. It sounds like a cross between a second chance romance/friendship and a healing romance, both of which are my favourite types of romances!

It Wasn’t Always Like This (Released 17th May)
OMG I LOVE THIS STORY! I haven’t even read it yet, but boy do I want it baaaaaaaaad! The whole ‘live forever but forced apart’ storyline just kills me every time I see/read it (does anyone else remember the film Hancock? I don’t think I was meant to cry in that film, but wow was it heartbreaking!)

 

The Sin Eaters Daughter & The Sleeping Prince

So The Sin Easters Daughter one has been out of a while now, but since the second book (The Sleeping Prince) is being released on May 31st I really want to read the first one so I’m ready for it. I have heard such amazing things about it, I’m excited to fangirl with the rest of you guys!

I’m so excited for Spring reading! Are you planning on reading any of these books too?

Which books are on your list this week?

Brocs Bookcase

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Blog Tour: ‘A Thousand Boy Kisses’ – Tillie Cole

March 14, 2016 Blog Tour, Book Review 2

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A Thousand Boy Kisses CoverA Thousand Boy Kisses – Tillie Cole
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Publication Date: March 15th 2016
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: YA Romance
Format/Source: ARC from Author
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The Story
 (summary from Goodreads)

One kiss lasts a moment.
But a thousand kisses can last a lifetime.

One boy.
One girl.
A bond that is forged in an instant and cherished for a decade.
A bond that neither time nor distance can break.
A bond that will last forever.
Or so they believe.

When seventeen-year-old Rune Kristiansen returns from his native Norway to the sleepy town of Blossom Grove, Georgia, where he befriended Poppy Litchfield as a child, he has just one thing on his mind. Why did the girl who was one half of his soul, who promised to wait faithfully for his return, cut him off without a word of explanation?

Rune’s heart was broken two years ago when Poppy fell silent. When he discovers the truth, he finds that the greatest heartache is yet to come.

My Thoughts
If you are looking for Tillie Cole biker boys or hot football players, you are in the wrong place. If you are looking for a Tillie Cole story which makes your heart sore and then be shredded into pieces all within 300(ish) pages…then you are in the right place!

So, why do I love this book?

So firstly, I am a massive fan of second chance romances. So even before I knew the characters I was really excited for this story. The book begins with us seeing Rune & Poppy first meet when they are 5 years old, and then we get to see them again at 15 before they are separated when Rune goes back to Norway. I loved seeing these two as young children and seeing how their bond grew over the years, Seeing them at this younger age meant that everything that comes later is so much more believable because you have seen how their friendship and their love for ever other grew.

Kiss number three hundred and fifty-four. With my Rune, in the blossom grove … and my heart almost burst. My kisses are all yours, Rune. No one else will ever have these lips but you.

Seeing the difference between the Rune at the beginning of the book, before he left, and the Rune who returned from Norway was heartbreaking. His pain was immense and you could see the effect that it had had on him and his life. His relationship with his father is destroyed because of his anger towards his father making them leave for Norway and therefore making him leave Poppy. And his pain and confusion from not being with Poppy and having been cut off from her just makes him a total mess. The beautiful and happy boy we met at the beginning of the book was gone and in his place was a broody, angry leather clad teen, and there was nothing more heartbreaking for me.

“I’m half a heart. This, who I am now, was due to a life devoid of you. This darkness, this anger, was born from you not being by my side. Poppymin. My adventurer. My girl.”

I loved Poppy, right from page one. I loved her view of the world, and the beauty that she saw in the small things and in the everyday details of life. She is one of those characters who does what she wants to do (from playing the cello to wearing bows in her hair), not matter what people think of her, but also has a vulnerability to her. I really loved her jar, given to her by her grandmother, to fill with boy kisses and the adventure that it takes Poppy, and Rune, on.

I was going to do this for her. I was going to do my damnedest to make her happy. I’d win her back. I’d win her back as the Rune I was now. There was no choice. This was us. This was our new adventure.  

Told in dual POV we get to see everything and feel everything that our characters go through, and it was intense. I’ve tried so hard not to say too much in this review when I just want to list every single little thing that makes this book so perfect. But I wont! The best way to go into this book is spoiler free, so don’t ask anyone else why has read it anything and that way when you read it you get to feel everything.

“Kiss eight hundred and nineteen was the kiss that changed it all. The kiss that proved that a long-haired brooding boy from Norway and a quirky girl from the Deep South could find a love to rival the greats.”

This book deserves every single tear shed for it. I have never felt so emotionally exhausted yet so satisfied at the end of a book as I did at the end of A Thousand Boy Kisses. Tillie writing flows so beautiful she doesn’t force anything, and she doesn’t need to force emotions from us, they come easily as we read each word of this story that Tillie has poured her heart into.

Maybe we’re like the cherry blossom, Rune. Maybe we loved too much too young and burned so bright that we had to fade out.

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Final Thoughts

This book is unlike the usual ‘brooding bad boy’ stories we have come to expect from Tillie, but I think it has got to be one of my absolute favourites. Be warned, when Tillie says this is a tearjerker, what she really means is that she is going tear your heart out, rip it to pieces, stamp on it a few times and then shove it back in your chest (she’s so talented!).
But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Re-Readability: YES! (you couldn’t keep me away from it!)

I would recommend this book to fans of: Tillie Cole, Colleen Hoover, YA Romance, books that will make you cry, second chance romances, tearjerker romance

Rating Beyond Loved

Check out my other Tillie Cole reviews:
Sweet Home . Sweet Rome . Sweet Fall . Sweet Hope . Sweet Soul
It Ain’t Me Babe . Heart Recaptured . Souls Unfractured
Raze . Reap

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The Author

Tillie Cole Author Photo

Tillie Cole is a Northern girl through and through. She originates from a place called Teesside on that little but awesomely sunny (okay I exaggerate) Isle called Great Britain. She was brought up surrounded by her English rose mother — a farmer’s daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.

Website . Twitter . Facebook . InstagramGoodreads

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MAJOR thanks to Thessa at Sweet Spot Book Blog for organising this blog tour.

Brocs Bookcase

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Sunday Funday: Egg-streme Easter Fun #2

March 13, 2016 Sunday Funday 0

Sunday Funday Easter

The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

So this time next week I will be chilling in Canada with my big sister and I am so so excited. But before then I’ve got 4 days left in work, lots of packing to do and of course my latest Sunday Funday post.

There is only 2 weeks until Easter, so I will be carrying on with the Easter themes Sunday Funday following on from last weeks Egg-streme Easter Fun #1 in which I showed you some really great (inexpensive and easy to make) Easter gifts.I really love doing these because it’s something a little different to my usual bookish posts and I really love showing off my love for crafts and baking too, which there will be a lot of during the next few weeks. But for this week we are all about the Easter cards!

Just like with last weeks gifts, Easter cards do not need to be expensive or flashy. Card shops can be so expensive and I am always put off when in them by the same generic messages in the cards. I want something more personal, which is why I always prefer to make my own.

I love this card, it’s so cute with the little bunny tail but is also so easy to make. Make sure you pick a spring coloured background to stick ont he front of your card, and then cute a bunny shape out of a white piece of paper/card (you can find templates here) and stick this white piece of paper/card on top of your coloured one. Then a small ball of cotton wool and a little bit of glue and hey presto, you’ve got yourself a bunny card!

Just like with the card above all you need to make this card perfect is some coloured paper and a bunny template. You could even put your coloured paper through the printer and print the template on it to make it even easier to print out. And just look at how cute it could look! Who wouldn’t love a card like this?!

A non-bunny related car, this one is a great way to use up all those odd buttons you’ve got hanging around the house! I would advise drawing the stem & leaves on first, and then sticking the button on top. Super simple but doesn’t it look great?!

Another super simple but great looking card and all you need is some strips of paper and glue. No one can go wrong when sticking paper on paper, I promise you! This card could be used to make tons of Easter related shapes for example a bunny, chick, flower, just to name a few.

>><<

If you’ve been around Broc’s Bookcase before during Easter then you will have probably seen my Easter posts from previous years. But here are the links incase you missed out…
Easter Eggstravaganza #1
Easter Eggstravaganza #2
Easter Eggstravaganza #3
All You Need Is Love…And Chocolate Eggs #1
All You Need Is Love…And Chocolate Eggs #2
All You Need Is Love…And Chocolate Eggs #3

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Do you give cards at Easter? Do you make them yourself? What do you think of these?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

Brocs Bookcase

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Review: “Stars Above” – Marissa Meyer

March 9, 2016 Book Review 0

Stars Above CoverStars Above – Marissa Meyer
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Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: Feiwell & Friends
Pages: 369
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Genre: YA Dystopian
Format read: Physical
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 This book is part of the Lunar Chronicles. Check out my reviews for other books in the series below:
Cinder
Scarlet
Fairest
Winter
Stars Above
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.The Story(summary from Goodreads)

The enchantment continues….

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

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The Keeper: A prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, showing a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.
Glitches: In this prequel to Cinder, we see the results of the plague play out, and the emotional toll it takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch….
The Queen’s Army: In this prequel to Scarlet, we’re introduced to the army Queen Levana is building, and one soldier in particular who will do anything to keep from becoming the monster they want him to be.
Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: Thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne has big plans involving a Rampion spaceship and a no-return trip out of Los Angeles.
After Sunshine Passes By: In this prequel to Cress, we see how a nine-year-old Cress ended up alone on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.
The Princess and the Guard: In this prequel to Winter, we see a game called The Princess.
The Little Android: A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.
The Mechanic: In this prequel to Cinder, we see Kai and Cinder’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective.
Something Old, Something New: In this epilogue to Winter, friends gather for the wedding of the century…

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My Thoughts

WARNING! If you haven’t read any of the books in this series then I would very much recommend that you not read this review (yes, that’s right. I am actively turning people away from my blog!) Although there will be no spoilers for I cannot promise that through my review I wont say something that may be a little bit spoilery for one of the previous books. Feel free to check out my earlier reviews though (all links above) and let me entice you towards this incredible series.

The Keeper

“I have a thought.
Both men glanced at her.
“What about…Cinder?”

It was nice to properly get to meet Michelle Benoit in this story as we’ve only seen glimpses of her before. I really liked her, she’s an extremely brave and loyal character as well and unquestionably kind. She takes in Cinder, no questions asked, and even though she spends the next few years in fear for her life she never regrets her decision. I really liked the small glimpse we were shown into Michelle’s trip to Luna and how it was back before Levana’s rule from someone else’s POV other than that we got in Fairest. It was entertaining to see that Scarlet didn’t change as she grew up, she was just as stubborn as a teen as she is when we first meet her in her book.

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Glitches

“If only she could show to Adri, and even to Garan, that she wasn’t a useless addition to their family after all. That she was grateful they’d taken her in when no one else would. That she wanted to belong to them.”

The birth of Iko, or at least Iko and Cinder. I found this story a little sad, as Cinder is introduced to her new family but is still just as alone as ever. I don’t feel like Garan dealt with the situation very well. He basically just abandoned Cinder with his wife and kids and then went and hid in his shed. Although I don’t think even if he was nicer about it that it would have made a difference to Adri, she really was cruel right from the start. It was interesting to see Cinder at the start of her new life, all confused and unable to move her new body parts correctly. It shows how much she grew in the years before we first meet her in Cinder and becomes a confident and skilled young woman.

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The Queens Army

“Please,” he said, wrapping his arms around her waist. He knew how strong he was. If he held on tight enough, they could never force him to let go. He clamped his eyes shut as the first hot tears slipped out. “Please don’t let them-“

Oh my, this one was heartbreaking. We’ve seen Levana’s army in action and we’ve heard bits and pieces about Wolf’s time in training, but never before have we seen or heard about the beginning of his career as a soldier in Levana’s army. And as I said before, it was heartbreaking and I think it only made me love Wolf even more.

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Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky

“The school forwarded your status reports this morning,” he said, pausing for dramatic effect before adding, “They are not up to standards.”
“That’s unfortunate,” Carswell said. “I’m sure I almost tried this time.”

Hahaha, I love teenage Thorne! Just as sarcastic and sneaky as adult Thorne. I love that everyone always underestimates him but secretively he is so so smart finding new and inventive ways to make himself more money so he can get away from his parents and one step closer to his beloved Rampion. I would have loved for teenage Cinder and teenage Thorne to have met each other, it would have been hilarious to read.

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After Sunshine Passes By

“I’m … to live here?” she squeaked. “Alone?”

Poor naive Cress. She is so smart when it comes to computers but so naive when it comes to the real world and people manipulating her. It was sad to see how she ended up trapped in the satellite, but I like thinking forward to her book and how she wont take any sh*t from her Mistress or Levana anymore. I love Cress, she may be tiny and shy but she is also totally kick ass.

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The Princess and the Guard

“It has to be this way,” said Winter. “I will accept this side effect. I will accept any amount of monsters my mind wants to give me, but I will not become a monster myself.”

I always found Winter a little strange. Don’t get me wrong, I loved her, but she was a little harder to connect to due to her craziness. So it was really nice to see her before all the craziness took hold. It was also totally heartbreaking to see the exact reasons why she stopped using her gift, and the horrible things she had to go through (I hate Levana) whilst fighting against using her gift. I loved this little addition to Winter’s story and definitely made me love her more. Also, seeing Jacin as a younger person and seeing exactly what he sacrificed for Winter, it was slightly swoony. I was always a little ‘eh’ about him, but after reading that, I love him so much more!

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The Little Android

“Then, so suddenly she almost missed it, space opened up before her. Black and expansive and endless and filled with more stars than she could ever drink in. More stars than she could ever compute. It was so much better than a holograph.”

I don’t really know what to say about this one other than it’s a really cute little story, and we get to see the kindness of Cinder once again.

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The Mechanic

“That mechanic was going to change everything.”

I really loved this story and loved seeing Kai’s first impressions of Cinder when he first met her. I love how awkward the two of them are, both trying to hid their interest from the other (and Cinder also trying to hide her missing foot). I loved this scene from Cinders POV but even more from Kai’s. You can tell that they are just meant to be together! Plus the irony of Kai thinking that Cinder is going to help him to save everything by fixing his android. If only he knew then…

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Something Old, Something New

“Kai?”
He grunted in response.
“I love you.”
A sleepy smile curved across his mouth. “I love you too.”

So I was kind of hoping that the wedding was going to be between a certain two people, but it wasn’t, and although initially I was kinda disappointed about this, I actually really liked the way this story played out. It was really nice to see the gang reunite years after the end of Winter and now all more settled in their ‘happily ever afters’. The relationships between all the characters have only grown stronger, and especially loved that Cinder and Thorne’s banter was still there. There were some really cute moments in this one, like when all the boys decorate the house in wedding attire and Scarlet’s “something old, something new” story.

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Final Thoughts

This book is an amazing addition to the series. Each story brings something different and gives us the chance to see each of our characters before they join in the main story of the series. If I could I would always wish for more stories from this incredible group of characters, but if this is the way it had to end then I’m good with that too.

Re-Readability: Yes! Yes! Yes!

My Rating: Loved (a new favourite)

I would recommend this book to fans of: Retellings, futuristic worlds, YA dystopians, rebellions
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Have you read any of The Lunar Chroncicles?

Who is your favourite character from the entire series? Which was your favourite book from the series?

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Characters that I Didn’t Like, But Apparently People Love (they’re wrong!)

March 8, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 6

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

There are some characters which I just … URGH. And there are some (very strange) people who actually like these characters that I URGH! (How dare they!)

TTT Dislike 1Red Queen . Glass Sword
I read in a review the other day that someone ‘ships’ Maven and Mare. Seriously?!!! What is this madness?!

TTT Dislike 2Firsts
In all the reviews for this book I’ve read so far everyone was all about the sympathy for Mercedes. (crazy people!) For me she made WAY too many bad choices, I just couldn’t connect with her. I think I tolerated her more than I liked her.

TTT Dislike 3Never Always Sometimes
Oh no, she annoyed me and anyone who liked her is totally bonkers! She basically played Dave the entire time. Not worth my love, but apparently worth the love of many people who write reviews on Goodreads! (you are all WRONG!)

TTT Dislike 4What You Left Behind
This is probably the only one on today’s list that I feel bad about as they were put in a totally impossible position (teenage pregnancy, pregnant teen gets cancer, baby is born, teen mum dies, teen dad has to raise baby all by himself. You know the story, right?!). But I didn’t agree with the way either of them dealt with it, nor any of their choices and all the reviews I’ve read are all full of love and sympathy for this couple and I’m screaming at my PC screen like “They don’t deserve your love!!!”

TTT Dislike 5The Young Elites
Adelina … (grrrr) … the reason I am missing out on a Marie Lu book (because I don;t want to read a book with her in it. I’ve read reviews in which people compared her to Katniss and Tris and label her as another YA heroine. ARE YOU CRAZY?! She is totally crazy and evil! We should not be liking her!!!

TTT Dislike 6It Ain’t Me Babe . Heart Recaptured . Souls Unfractured
Tillie is beautifully talented at writing damaged characters that we can’t help but love, but I really haven’t found any love for Cain yet. Tillie fans are all over the swooning for this dark and damaged man, but I’m not feeling it. Being a psychopath is not sexy, sorry guys! Maybe with the release of the next book which is from his POV will turn me, but for right now I just don’t.

TTT Dislike 7Riders
Ok, so I may have only read the first 30% of this book, but still I would have expected to have liked the MC by now. I found him frustrating, annoying and stupid. People actually liked this guy? He becomes one of the four horsemen and treats the whole thing like it’s a joke! … Maybe I should read the rest of the book?

I’ve ran out of characters to dislike!

Who made your list this week and why?

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Cover Stories: Black & White Covers

March 7, 2016 Cover Stories 0

Cover Stories Logo

People always say: “You should never judge a book by it’s cover.” But here on Cover Stories, that is exactly what I do.

It’s no secret that I have a MASSIVE love for book covers. Some are so beautiful they are like works of art, but sometimes it’s the most simple ones that are the best. I don’t have many black and white book covers on my shelf, but the ones that I do have are gorgeous.

Check them out for yourself…

Fading Covers

Fading . Freeing . Falling
These have got to be some of my absolute favourite covers of all time. The stories within are raw and honest and that shows on the covers. I really like that the faces aren’t visible as I feel like they would only distract. Instead it’s just naked bodies in what we would see as distressed poses. As I said, the stories are raw and these covers are fabulous at showing that.

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Twilight Covers

Twilight . New Moon . Eclipse . Breaking Dawn
Black and white with a hint of red, totally appropriate since the books are all about vampires and they love blood. It’s never been clear why Meyer chose these specific symbols for her covers and they make not make sense to many of us, but you can’t deny that they look good.

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Noughts and Crosses Covers

Noughts and Crosses . Knife Edge . Checkmate . Double Cross
One of my favourite books series and the first ever YA book I ever read (and also the first YA book that tore me apart emotionally!). This series is all about race, and so it is only appropriate that the covers are black and white. I like how the lines between them are bold, there is no blending between colours, there is only black and white, much like in the books.

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Hush Hush Covers

Hush hush . Crescendo . Silence . Finale
I really like the human figures on these covers. They aren’t silhouettes but they are strong and bold, just like the characters within. Just like with the Twilight covers there is a hint of red in these covers and I especially love the coloured feather on the Crescendo cover.

Do you have any black and white covers on your bookshelves? Which is your favourite black and white cover?

Have you read any of these books that I’ve mentioned?

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Sunday Funday: Egg-streme Easter Fun #1

March 6, 2016 Sunday Funday 1

Sunday Funday Easter

The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

Firstly, Happy Mothers Day to all the fabulous mothers out there! My sister has gone on holiday today so we celebrated with our mum yesterday but I hope everyone shares the love today and there are lots of mums feeling super spoilt. The whole weekend got me thinking about my favourite mothers in literature (Mrs Weasley, obviously!), who are your favourite?

So, it’s officially 3 weeks until Easter, which means it’s time for my annual Sunday Funday Easter inspired posts in the run up to the big day. I really love doing these because it’s something a little different to my usual bookish posts and I really love showing off my love for crafts and baking too, which there will be a lot of during the next few weeks.

Now, I don’t know about you but I absolutely LOVE Easter (any holiday that involves chocolate is a winner in my book!). Me and my family usually give each other little gifts at Easter and I always homemake mine because buying them can be SO expensive and also, it’s a lot more personal to make little gifts.

They don’t have to be flashy or expensive, sometimes it’s the simplest things which look the best and mean the most. Check out some of my favourites that I have found recently and will definitely be creating for my family this year…

Full Instructions Here
How cute are these Easter Bunny Treat Jars from Heidi at Happiness is Homemade? And they are seriously easy to make. All you need is a jar, an Easter shaped sticker and some paint, it’s impossible to mess up! Then just buy some Easter treats and fill it up and voila, an impressive (but totally cheap and easy) gift for your friends and family.

If you liked these you should also check out these really cute Glitter Easter Jars by Crazy Little Projects.

Full Instructions Here
Another totally simple and cheap gift to make is the Easter Bird Box by Zoe at Paper Is Bliss. Just choose your paper and use the template on her page to cute out your own bird box, then fill it with with some mini Easter eggs and tie shut with a bow. Easy and cheap but will have everyone you gift singing your praises for this cute little boxes.

Full Instructions Here
Got a friend/family member who doesn’t like/can’t eat chocolate? Well there is no need to miss them out with these really cool Easter bath bombs by Sara at Bitz and Giggles. They take a tiny bit more effort than the previous two gifts I’ve posted, but they are still so much cheaper than buying and you can personalise them to smell like your friend/family members favourite smell!

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If you’ve been around Broc’s Bookcase during Easter then you will have probably seen my Easter posts from previous years. But here are the links incase you missed out…
Easter Eggstravaganza #1
Easter Eggstravaganza #2
Easter Eggstravaganza #3
All You Need Is Love…And Chocolate Eggs #1
All You Need Is Love…And Chocolate Eggs #2
All You Need Is Love…And Chocolate Eggs #3

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Do you give gifts at Easter? Do you make them yourself? What do you think of these?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

Brocs Bookcase

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Review: “Glass Sword” – Victoria Aveyard

March 4, 2016 Book Review 2

Glass Sword CoverRed Queen – Victoria Aveyard
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Publication Date: February 9th 2016
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Red Queen
Pages: 444
Format/Source: Physical (Own)
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The Story(From Goodreads)

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

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My Thoughts

After finishing the first book in this series my very first thought was “Thank goodness I waited so long to read ths book that I can just start the second book straight away!” Upon finishing this book my thoughts were not so happy and were ore of a “WHHHHHHHHHY?! Why must I wait SO LONG for the next one?! I NEED it NOOOOOOOOW!”

Yeah, it was that good.

“If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.”

Like every young heroine thrust into a rebellion things change dramatically. Katniss got PTSD, Tris went a little crazy and decided to sacrifice herself for anyone and anything, Mare meanwhile…she went a little dark, but after everything she has been through you can hardly blame her.

Mare is one of those characters who takes the worries of the entire world and puts them on her shoulders. Everything she does, no matter how morally right or wrong, is for her main goal of protecting herself and those like her. And reading from her point of view you can see how she justifies this, but as a third party you can also see how sometimes she doesn’t see the whole picture and may take things a little too far.

She damages a few of her friendships/relationships in this book, but after the betrayal of Red Queen you can hardly blame her trust issues. I wouldn’t say that I’m worried about Mare going full on bad, because I think by the end of this book she had learnt her lesson, I’m just hoping she manages to repair the friendships quickly, because I really do love some of the relationships in this series.

“Anyone, anything, can betray anyone. Even your own heart.”

I felt so bad for Cal in this book. He is very much in the middle of the Silver’s and Red’s and no longer has a place where he belongs. The Silver’s hunt him down for his supposed traitorous act against the kingdom and the Red’s don’t want or like him because he is Silver, a Royal and therefore had a hand in sending Red’s off to war.

He ends up with Mare’s small group of rebels, but he struggles with tying himself to them and being known as a fellow rebel.  He sticks with them because he wants revenge on his brother and they give him the best chance of getting that, but he doesn’t want to be associated with a rebellion, knowing that nothing good could ever come from it.

So yeah, I felt bad for him, he had a hell of a lot to deal with in this book: betrayal, loss, banishment, constantly fighting for his life. I really hope that he finds his place in the next book.

“No one is born evil, just like no one is born alone. They become that way, through choice and circumstance.”

There were some subtle romance in this book but not anything worth talking about. It really does take a back seat in the face of all the rebellion type stuff. You can definitely see the potential for a romance there, but at the moment it very much feels like a Katniss & Peeta “comforting friendship”. But I have big hopes that these two characters will eventually realise that they love each other and get together.

“I must freeze my heart to the one person who insists on setting it ablaze.

I really liked discovering the ‘newborns’ as they are named in this book. There were some really cool powers/abilities that turned up, but I was a little sad that they didn’t get more time in the spotlight. They were there for the action, but otherwise just seemed to be in the background. But then I guess that we are reading from Mare’s POV and as she is distancing herself from everyone that we aren’t really going to see all that much of them.

“Kneel or bleed.”

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Final Thoughts

It was maybe a little slow to start off with but by the end of the book I was on the edge of my seat, and that ending was just so gooooood! I heard that this is actually going to be a 4 part series and not a trilogy, which has me slightly worried as I don’t know if there is enough stuff left to fill another two books unless Aveyard introduces something big to the story. Even so, I am desperate to get my hands on the next book!

Re-Readability: Most definitely!

I would recommend this book to fans of: dystopian, fantasy, characters with powers, rebellions, strong female characters

Rating Loved it.5


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Have you read Red Queen and/or Glass Sword?

What would be your chosen ability?

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A World Book Day Bookish Love Story

March 3, 2016 Discussion 2

Firstly I must say a very Happy World Book Day to you all! Anyday that promotes the wonderful things that are books is ok by me.

I used to love WBD as a kid in school. Me and my sisters would plan for weeks what we wanted to go dressed up as and I always put so much effort into my costume (have always been a craft nut!). But my favourite part of WBD had to be in the afternoon when each teacher would chose a book to read and all the students in the school had to pick which story they wanted to go and listen to.

It was in 2000 that my friends dragged me along to Mrs Turners classroom and I first discovered my love of Harry Potter as I listened to her read me this fantastic tale of a young wizard who goes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (plus she did a REALLY good Dobby voice!).

I was most definitely a book nerd as a kid, and I remember whizzing through the official school reading books in primary school so fast that I ended up reading books that were 3/4 years above my class. It got to the point when I would have to pick older books from the school library because the school had ran out of official reading books for me to read!

Books and reading have always been there for me no matter what. High school wasn’t always easy for me (like a lot of other people, I guess) and I loved immersing myself into these totally different worlds and following characters on these epic adventures. It allowed me to escape my own ‘not so happy world’ for a while and for that I will always be grateful to books.

I have also found through books that I have learnt so much new stuff, and not just from non-fiction books, but from fiction ones too. In books we meet characters with different jobs, skills and who live in different places. It’s quite surprising how many little details I’ve picked up on in the past and my family are always amused when I share some random fact with them that I have discovered through reading a fiction book.

Books have also taught me lots of life lessons through the years, some harder than others. Books taught me that being smart is not something I should be ashamed of (thanks Hermione), they taught me that sometimes friendships can fall apart and that people can betray you. Books taught me to be loyal, they taught me that sometimes grown ups get it wrong too. Books taught me that sometimes things happen and you have no control over it, they taught me that it was ok to fail. Books taught me about strength (and all the different kinds) and they taught me that I wasn’t alone.

Nearly 3 years ago I took the plunge and started a book review blog and it has got to be one of the scariest but best things I have ever done. It has opened me up to an even bigger world of books that I never knew about. I used to buy my typical ‘teen girl’ books at my local Waterstones bookstore. Now I’m buying self published books, I reading ebooks I’ve bought from amazon or got from Netgalley, I’m getting sent ARCs, I’m winning books in giveaways.

I’ve learnt so much more about the world of authors and publishers and the process that goes into producing a book and I was lucky enough to get to spend an entire day at the Hachette UK offices in London.

Books have been in my life since day one and I know for a fact that they will be in my life for many many years to come. Sure my reading tastes have changed over the years, and I have no doubt they will again. But one thing that I hope never changes is that excitement of opening a new book, that bookish smell, the ability to escape to a completely different world, the tears on the pages, the laughter caused by words, the magic, the inspiration and the emotional instability that comes with finishing a book you have adored.

Happy World Book Day everyone!

Here’s to another fabulous year of bookish love

What is your bookish story?

Why do you love reading?

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Books You Should Read if You are in the Mood for a Healing Romance

March 1, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 2

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

I love romance stories that involve one or both of the characters going through some kind of healing. Whether they are damaged because of a past relationship or a childhood event, somehow being with this new person makes everything better for them and allows them to heal.

I got a bit over excited this week and tried to keep my list to just ten, but it didn’t happen! I could have mentioned so many more, but her are my absolute favourites …

Tillie Cole

Sweet Series Tillie Cole

Sweet Home . Sweet Rome . Sweet Fall . Sweet Hope . Sweet Soul
This has to be one of my most favorite series ever and it is sue to the beautiful damaged characters and healing romances that they feature. Child abuse, eating disorders, gang life, orphaned and homeless characters this series really had the ultimate in damaged characters and the most heartbreaking but healing romances of all.

Hangmen Series Tillie Cole

It Ain’t Me Babe . Heart Recaptured . Souls Unfractured
The series (so far) features 3 young women who escape a religious cult and find sanctuary with a biker group. Each of the women is drawn to one of the Hangmen bikers and together they deal with their demons. A little bit more of a dark romance, but still totally beautiful and of course a healing romance too.

Scarred Souls Series Tillie Cole

Raze . Reap
Probably Tillie’s darker romances which feature (so far) two big and very dangerous but totally damaged men who have been forced into a life full of darkness and pain. They meet their significant others and a whole lot of healing romance takes place. Love these two books and can’t wait for the next to be released in August.

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Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits Series Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits . Dare You To . Crash Into You . Take Me On
Katie McGarry has this ability to take two totally damaged young people and shove them together then write the most beautiful and sometimes heartbreaking romances of all. I really like how different each story is although they share the same themes of family, whether is be family death, abandonment by family or just plain old bad relationships with family.

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Sarina Bowen

Ivy Years Series Sarina Bowen

The Year We Fell Down . The Year We Hid Away . The Shameless Hour
I didn’t include all of the books in this series because I didn’t necessarily feel like they were all healing romances, although they were all amazing and you should definitely read them all! The most healing of the romances had to be in The Year We Fell Down which features Corey who is trying to recover from an ice hockey accident that has left her in a wheelchair, who falls for Adam, another ice hockey player with a broken leg!

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E.K.Blair

Fading Series E.K.Blair

Fading . Freeing . Falling
I love these books so much. They focus on three main characters Cadance, Jace and Ryan and all three stories take place around the same time and are all affected by an attack that Cadance suffers. If you are looking for damaged characters then these are them and although totally heartbreaking, all three stories are totally inspiring and all feature a beautiful healing romance that will fill your tummy with butterflies.

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Colleen Hoover

Hopeless Colleen Hoover

Hopeless . Losing Hope
CoHo totally killed me with these two books and the tragic story they contain. Sky and Holders story is heartbreaking at times and beautiful at others. I don’t want to say anything more and spoil it, but if you want a romance that heals then these two books are a must!

Ugly Love Cover

Ugly Love
More CoHo because quite frankly she is amazing and this book contains one of the sexiest damaged characters I’ve ever met, although it isn’t all that obvious at first just how damaged they are. I also have to mention that this book is being made into a film, so you need to read it soon and be ready for the movie!

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Keary Taylor

what i didn't

What I Didn’t Say
The first book I ever reviewed and it still hold such a special place in my heart. Jake is a normal teenage boy, with normal dreams and crushes all until a car accident leaves him without the ability to speak ever again. Then comes along Samantha, a character with her own troubles to deal with but who takes the time to show Jake that he is more than just his voice and there is still so much he has to live for. I can’t recommend this book enough.

Do you like healing romances as much as me? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned?

What did you chose for this weeks topic?

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Monthly Review – February 2016

February 29, 2016 Montly Review 4

Image of the Month

IMG_8443

So my doggy had an operation this month, and although it wasn’t anything massively serious, he is getting older and so the op totally took it out of him. This picture is from the day he came home and was so wiped out he literally just lay in front of the fire and slept all day and night, which was scary but reminded me just how much I love him. Thankfully he has recovered really well and is back to his mischievous self.

You can keep up with all my month’s images through my Instagram.

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5 things that happened

1) I went to see Lord of the Flies – I bought tickets for me and my boyfriend for Christmas and although I haven’t read the book (the shame) I have heard amazing things about the play. It was an incredible performance, full of flames and massively emotional at points. I really do need to read the book!

2) I started swimming challenge – I mentioned this last month, but I signed up for a swimming challenge in which I have to swim 22 miles between 22nd Feb – 22nd May. I just started last week and I’m up to 74/1416 lengths.

3) I went away for the Weekend – My first anniversary with my boyfriend was this month and I booked a really nice hotel in the countryside for a totally chilled weekend away. I can’t believe we have actually been together for an entire year, it has gone so fast, but I’m really looking forward to what the future holds for us. (sorry for the cheesiness!)

4) My dog had an operation  – As mentioned above my dog had an operation this month. Luckily it went really well and he is nearly fully recovered and most definitely back to his naughty self.

5) I read Non Fiction! – I For those of you who frequent Broc’s Bookcase you will notice that I don’t really wander far from the genres that I am used to. Well this year I decided that I was going step out of my comfort zone and I actually read some Non-Fiction books and I liked them!

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Song of the Month

I love this song and have been singing it none stop all month. Plus the music video is totally cute, so much love for Ellie Goulding!

You can check all the tunes I have been listening to in my Winter 15/16 Playlist.

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top 3 books I read

Number of Books I Read this Month: 6

Honesty Cover Illustrated Compendium of Animal Facts Cover Red Queen Cover

 Honesty (Seth King) – This has to be one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read, and probably one of the most heartbreaking stories. Seth King is becoming a favourite of mine and I see myself reading a lot more of him in the future.

The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts – Such a fun and book. The facts were interesting and the drawings unique. Big recommendations for this one.

Red Queen (Victoria Aveyard) – I can’t believe it took me so long to get round to it reading this book, but I’m glad I finally did because it’s an amazing start to what promises to be an incredible series.

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Fav Quote this month

“There’s nothing wrong with chandeliers” – Honesty (Seth King)

To anyone who has read this book, they will know the power behind this quote. To anyone who hasn’t, it’s about accepting that which or who you love without shame or guilt of it or them not being ‘right’.

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Most Pop Review

never never part 3 cover

Never Never Part 3 Review
I always love seeing past reviews that are still getting a lot of love months after I have posted them. This book was incredible and deserves every bit of attention it gets.

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Most Pop post this month

My Favourite Swoonworthy Moments in Books – I decided to go all romance for Valentines week and chose some of my absolute favorite romantic moments in books. It was hard to keep from writing down hundreds of them!

What?! I Missed Another Book Release? – I am terrible at keeping up with the books I want to read and their release dates! In this post I basically moaned about my struggles … and asked for some help on how to be better!

Historical Events I Would LOVE to Read About in Books – I don’t really read any historical fiction so I was worried I wouldn’t think of anything for this TTT topic, but then I realised that there are a lot of periods in history that I find fascinating, so maybe I’m just reading the wrong types of historical fiction.

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4 posts I bookmarked

Why Do We Read Painful Books? – I LOVE books that make me cry, and I find that a totally normal thing, but there are a lot of people who don’t understand why I want to read a book if I know it’s going to make me a sobbing mess. Next time I get asked why I will be producing Cait’s list, because it is perfect and so so true!

Free Ecourses | Blueprints, Brands, Business & Pinterest – I really enjoy blogging and I am always looking for ways to be better and get my blog ‘out there’ a bit more. I really appriciated this list, put together by Nellie and Co which can help me to do that at a lower cost. (Check back soon for my thoughts on these courses!)

Life Lessons From Gayle Forman – This month A Perfection Called Books put together this great post in which they share what they have learnt about life through Gayle Forman quotes. I am a massive Forman fan and so loved seeing some of my favourite quotes as life lessons.

Reading Guilt – Readers in Wonderland does a great job of summing up reading guilt in this post whether it be from reading as a form of procrastination from something more important, or feeling guilty for not reading when you feel you should be. I found a lot of truth in this post as there are so many times I have felt the same way.

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Excited for Next Month

1) I’m going to Canada!!! – My sister has been living in Vancouver, Canada now for nearly 2 years and I am FINALLY going out there to see her. We have big plans to see the Rockies as well as just catching up and I am SUPER excited!

2) Easter  – I love chocolate, so Easter has to be on of my favourite holidays. I’ve been really good recently trying not to eat too much chocolate but once Easter weekend arrives I am going BIG!

3) Books!  There are some amazing books being released in March including The Winner’s Kiss... you don’t know how excited I am for this book! Also, Tillie Cole’s newest book A Thousand Boy Kisses, this one sounds different from some of her more recent work so I am intrigued to read this one and find out what it’s all about.

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How was February for you? Did you read anything romance-y for Valentines Day? 

Chose a category from above and tell me about your month! 

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Sunday Funday: Bookends!

February 28, 2016 Sunday Funday 0

Sunday Funday Logo

The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

This weekend I am celebrating my 1 year anniversary with the boyfriend, which is quite a big deal for both of us because neither of us have celebrated a 1 year anniversary before. After a totally stressful week in work I am so excited to spend the weekend in a little hotel in the countryside being totally lazy! Which meant that (wait for it) I actually wrote this post in advance and scheduled it! (get ready to start seeing pigs flying past your window!)

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This weeks Sunday Funday involved bookends, lots and lots of beautiful ones! I may have found a pair of Harry Potter Deathly Hallows bookends about a week ago and then got a bit over excited and went crazy for about 2 hours searching the internet for lots more! So here are some of my favourites with the places you can buy them from…


Buy link
Since I mentioned them already, these are the HP ones that I originally found and fell in love with. How cool would these look on your book shelf! I want them!!!

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Buy link
There have been so many Pirate books released already this year, why not keep them all together on your shelf with these totally cool Pirate ship bookends!

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Buy link
Want to show off your bookish love in style, then grab yourself some of these Bibliophile bookends! They would love great on any book lovers shelves.

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Buy links
For those of you with ultra organised book shelves these Indice bookends would be PERFECT! I don’t think I am organised enough for these!

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Buy link
And finally, for those of you looking for something simple, whats more simple then BOOK-END bookends?!!! I love these and would totally buy them for my shelves!

Do you own any bookends? What do yours look like?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

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Review: “Red Queen” – Victoria Aveyard

February 26, 2016 Book Review 2

Red Queen CoverRed Queen – Victoria Aveyard
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Publication Date: February 10th 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA Dystopian
Pages: 383
Format/Source: Physical (Own)
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The Story

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart …

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My Thoughts

This is a book that I was ridiculously excited to get my hands on last year and as soon as it was released it was in my hands. Then I put it on my bookshelf and totally forgot all about it until recently when I heard about the second book being released and remembered I hadn’t read the first! And now that I have I can’t believe I waited so long!

This is EXACTLY my type of book! Dystopian world, people with powers, love between people of different…in this case blood types I guess and a whole big rebellion/war type thing going on. Plus, how gorgeous is that cover!

“If you know someone’s fear, you know them.”

Our MC comes in the form of Mare, a red girl from the Stilts (basically the worst place to live) and life is pretty rubbish with her three brothers all sent off to fight the Silver war and her own conscription date fast approaching. A show of kindness leads Mare to a job in the Silver Palace where it doesn’t take long for her totally unexpected powerful abilities to appear.

I really liked Mare, right from the start. She was tough and very very loyal to those she cares about and would literally risk or sacrifice anything for them. I loved watching her character develop into something different as she spent more time with the Silvers and saw the horrors of their world from a different POV and discovered that there was more going on then she knew about.

She starts the book as a feisty girl, unhappy with the way the world is run, but without the confidence to do anything about it. However as she sees more behind the scenes she sees exactly how bad the system is and from that gains the motivation and confidence to do something about it.

“Flame and shadow. One cannot exist without the other.”

I know from the various reviews I have read for this book there is a lot of ‘Team Prince Maven’ vs ‘Team Prince Cal’ going on. I will happily state right now that I am Team Cal all the way and have been from the moment we met him in this book!

Heir to the Throne and a general with his own soldiers to command Cal has a lot resting on his young shoulders. He is fierce and fire-y (you get it? because he has fire power!) but there is also a soft and kind side to him which he shows to Mare on multiple occasions helping her out of some not so great situations purely for the fact that he wants to help her. Maven was someone who I quite liked at the beginning and then slowly grew more suspicious of throughout the book. For me he was just a bit too perfect at times that it didn’t seem real so I don’t think I ever fully trusted him throughout this book.

“Words can lie. See beyond them.”

Another thing I’ve read about in other peoples reviews of this book is the ‘love triangle/square’. Now sure, Mare has friendships/relationships with 3 guys and she gets close to those guys and some of them are interested in something more, but apart from 1 time when she actually physically shows signs of liking someone (by kissing them) she doesn’t show any actual romantic feeling for any of them! So in my head, the love triangle in non-existent and so if it is something that would potentially keep you from reading this book then don’t, because it’s nothing to worry about!

“The truth is what I make it. I could set this world on fire and call it rain.

I have to say that the world building in this book was fantastic and I loved seeing the differences between the red and silver worlds. There are some great histories/traditions written into the story which just makes the world seem even more real. The story flowed really well and had a great mix of action and emotion with some great twists along the way. Aveyard ends the book on a high after an excellent last few chapters which made me desperate to read more. Lucky for me, I had the next book waiting on my bookshelf at home!

“Rise, red as the dawn.”

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Final Thoughts

Such a great start to what is going to be a superb series. I can’t wait to see more of Aveyards world in the second book and see the further development of the characters and their relationships with each other.

Re-Readability: Most definitely!

I would recommend this book to fans of: dystopian, fantasy, characters with powers, rebellions, strong female characters

Rating Beyond Loved
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Have you read Red Queen?

What would be your chosen ability?

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I Read Non-Fiction… and I Liked it!

February 25, 2016 Book Review 4

So as I mentioned in this weeks TTT post, I really don’t read around much. I know what I like (YA, NA, Fantasy, Dystopian) and I stick with it. Mostly out of fear I guess, because the few times I have venture away from my typical genres it hasn’t gone so well.

But this year when deciding on my challenges I decided to throw a ‘Non Fiction’ one in there to read 12 Non Fiction books this year.

I’ve found in the past that non fiction books can, at times, be a little more expensive then the usual books that I read. So I have been looking on Netgalley at the Non Fiction on there and have found some really good ones which I have really enjoyed reading. (I’m sure they must have thought that someone must have hacked my account when I started requesting non fiction after 2 years of only requesting YA!)

The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts

Illustrated Compendium of Animal Facts Cover

Release Date: 29th March 2016
Goodreads . Pre-Order UK . Pre-Order US

This is the perfect little book for an animal lover, or just anyone who loves amazing their friends and family with their knowledge of random facts! I, myself, have already amazed my sister with some fascinating facts about polar bears actually being black and bees never sleeping!

Illustrated Compendium of Animal Facts Pic Illustrated Compendium of Animal Facts Pic2

I haven’t read an illustrated book since I was in school but I loved the illustrations in this one. Such a unique style of drawing, Säfström managed to show off the animals personalities with just a pencil.

A gem of a book, I highly recommend the paper version though, as the eBook was a little hard to read and be able to fully appreciate the illustrations.

Untitled design (1)

Simple Calligraphy: The Beginners Guide to Elegant Lettering

Simple Calligraphy Cover

Release Date: 19th April 2016
Goodreads . Pre-Order UK . Pre-Order US

I have always found calligraphy to be such a beautiful and useful skill to have and so when I saw this book I immediately wanted it with hopes that by the end of it I would be writing super beautiful calligraphy everywhere. Well I’m not going to lie to you, unfortunately you wont be a brilliant calligraphist after reading this book, but you will know how to do what you are meant to be doing (even if, like me, you still can’t do it!)

The book is divided into various sections for the various things you will be wanting to write such as small letters, capitals, numerals, flourishes etc. It gives loads of information on the tools and materials you need to be using, plus some great ideas for the type of things you can create with your new (or non-existent in my case) calligraphy skills.

Just like with the animal facts book I would definitely recommend you getting this one as a paper book, as the eBook was slightly hard to use when looking at the images. Even so, I feel like this book gave me a great basic knowledge of what I’m meant to be doing and after some (a lot!) of practice I should be able to write something half decent.

Untitled design (1)

Frientimacy

Frientimacy Cover

Release Date: 22nd March 2016
Goodreads . Pre-Order UK . Pre-Order US

I don’t know about you but I often have moments when I feel a little insecure about the friendships in my life. I can go and meet up with some of my friends and have a catch up and a really great time, and then sat on the train home I seem to analyse the evening and how my friends reacted to me or the things that I said or did. Maybe it’s just me?

I went into this book not really knowing what I was expecting from it or what I wanted from it. If anything I feel like it made me feel even more insecure about my friendships! There were a lot of rating questions for example, on a scale of 1-10 how satisfied are you with your current level of frientimacy? I’ve never rated my friendships before and it wasn’t something I found easy to do here, plus what even is ‘Frientimacy’?! I read most of the book and still have no idea what this word really means!

On reflection I don’t think this book is for me. With chapter titles like ‘Owning Our Intimacy Gaps’, ‘The Frientimacy Triangle’ and ‘Identifying Frientimacy Imbalance’ it seemed a bit , I don’t know the right word… cheesy (?) patronising (?) at times. Nelson talks about how she sits with her friends and they go round the circle and each say something they like about their friendship group and something more they want from their friendship group. I think if I suggested that to my friends they would all laugh.

A lot of people will find this useful, no doubt about that, but for me I think I’ll stick to weekly cocktail catch ups with the girls, as they seem to be working out fine for me so far!

Untitled design (1)

So, Non-Fiction…

So far I’m really liking what I’ve read. I think I’m better with the books that I actually learn facts or a skill from rather than the discussion books like Frientimacy which I found a lot harder to follow and much of the information a little useless. I’ve started to look round at some more books to try out which no-doubt I will be telling you all about soon!

Do you read much Non-Fiction?

What sort of non-fiction books do you like reading?

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Books I Enjoyed that Were Out of My Comfort Zone

February 23, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 2

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

I realised at the end of last year that I am really stuck in my reading genres. I don’t go out of my comfort zone very often, and when I have I have found that I don’t always enjoy what I am reading. Maybe I’m not choosing the right books? Or maybe I go into it not feeling great about the book so cause myself to not enjoy it?

This year I decided I would be better and have actually been reading quite a bit of non-fiction which is something I usually hate but have been enjoying (more on that in another post). But when I tried to look back on books I’ve read in the past that were out of my comfort zone I really struggled to get ten! So here are six…

The Sister Pact Review
I don’t really read much on suicide, I find it a pretty hard topic to connect with and I don’t know why but I just do. But I decided to give this book a go and was surprised that I actually quite enjoyed it.

Naked Review
This book featured prostitution which is not a topic that I would usually choose to read about. It had some eh moments, but as a whole I did enjoy it.

Inside Game of Thrones Review
I read non-fiction! Not only was this book beautiful but featured some really interesting facts about the TV show Game of Thrones and I really enjoyed reading about it.

Where Rainbows End/Love, Rosie
I read this one over a year ago now, but still love how much this one surpised me. It wasn’t the genre that was different with this one, but it was totally written as correspondence. Which gave me a couple of frustrated moments, but as a whole I loved!

Say Her Name Review
I don’t do horror, like ever. I am such a wimp I get freaked out so easily. But last Halloween I decided to bite the bullet and read something scary. And I was surprised that I did quite like it (even thought I refused to leave my bed for fear of being killed by Bloody Mary for like 2 weeks!)

A Little Something Different Review
Like with Love, Rosie this book wasn’t a new genre to me, but a new way of writing. The story was told from 13 different perspectives (none of them being the MC) and although there were some frustrating moments when I just wanted to know what the MC’s were thinking, I did enjoy this different way of storytelling.

Did you struggle with this week as much as me? What type of genres are out of your comfort zone?

What do you think of the songs I’ve mentioned above?

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Sunday Funday: Bookish Silhouette Lamp

February 21, 2016 Sunday Funday 0

Sunday Funday Logo

The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

This week has been really good. My boss was off on holiday all week so work was a lot less stressful without him stressing out about various things next to me. I went out for some yummy food on Wednesday, got some new books delivered and spent Saturday in my dads bar saying goodbye to one of the best members of staff he has ever had who is moving to Australia. Today I’m out for a meal for my boyfriends mums birthday and in typical boy style he totally forgot to get her a birthday present! Lucky for him I am the BEST girlfriend ever and got her a present and handmade her a card, so disaster averted!

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Anyways, to the Sunday Funday!

So I happen to be searching around the internet a few weeks ago for ways to make my reading space a bit more bookish but without having to spent ridiculous amounts of money on stuff and I came across this…

A Silhouette Reading Lamp by Chica and Jo

How cute does this look? And it’s super simple to make!

All you need is a lamp, which you can get for SUPER cheap at car boot sales or charity shops or if you feel like splurging then you can get yourself one new, which still wont cost you that much!

Then you pick your silhouette, print it, cut it out and stick and VOILA! You have yourself a silhouette lamp!

For full instructions check out the original post here.

It got me thinking, which silhouette I would want in my lamp, and came up with some awesome bookish ideas below to get you inspired…

Hogwarts

Mortal Instruments Runes

Deathly Hallows Logo

Okay Okay

What silhouette would you put in your lamp?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

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WHAT?! I missed another book release?!!!

February 19, 2016 Discussion 6

(Warning! I got a little over excited with GIFs!)

Don’t you hate it when you find out a book that you have wanted to read for AGES has been released and you totally forgot about it?!

Well it just happened to me … again!

Another book that had been on my TBR for ages and I was so excited to read for months and months and then … I totally forgot about it!

This happens to me a lot with series because the gap in between book releases is normally around a year (which is total torture if it is an amazing series) so that is a lot of time to have remember the next book release. Especially since I will probably be starting like another hundred series (slight exaggeration!) in that time. As much as I try to make myself remember, a lot of the time it just doesn’t happen.

This always makes me feel like a failure of a fan though. How can I love the series if I can’t even remember the next book! I am super scared of forgetting the release of The Winners Kiss (Marie Rutkoski) at the moment. The release date isn’t for like another month, but I am on Goodreads nearly every day, just checking in case I got it wrong!

This also happens to me a lot with standalones, which was the case this time (how could I forget about Passenger?!!). I spend a lot of time browsing Goodreads for books I want to read, many of which are future releases, and put a whole load of them on my TBR (this is not helping with my challenge of culling my TBR down to 300 books!).

So they are on my TBR, all ready for me to read … and then I forget about them! And then months later I start seeing reviews for them on peoples blogs and I’m like:

WHAT?! I FORGOT IT! BUT I WANTED TO READ THAT BOOK IMMEDIATELY!

So how to stop this? How to make sure I NEVER forget about a book release EVER AGAIN?!!!

I’ve tried a few methods before including putting them on my calender and a reminder app on my phone. But I always find that they ping up at the worst time, and then by the time I am near a computer or have the time to actually buy the book I’ve forgotten about it all over again!

I read this post from Cait at Paper Fury about the things she would change about Goodreads if she ruled the world (she is just waiting on her dragon to appear). One of the things she said would be alerts for books that are on your TBR on or just before the release date.

That would be useful, but then at the same time I have A LOT of books on my TBR which I am probably never going to read and just added because it looked nice (this is the reason for my needing to cull) and so would it get annoying getting tons of notifications from Goodreads for books I actually don’t want to read?

Basically I think I just need to be more organised (story of my life) and find a way of remembering and stick to it! And then I can have more happy moments when I actually remember a book and get to buy it on the day it’s released an not months later!

So my question is: how do you make sure you never miss a book release?

Have you ever forgot a book release for a book you REALLY wanted to read?

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Review “Honesty” – Seth King

February 18, 2016 Book Review 0

Honesty CoverHonesty – Seth King
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Publication Date: TBC
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: NA Romance
Format/Source: ARC from Author
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The Story

In it’s most basic form this book is about the story of a first love and all the pain that comes with it when it involves two people of the same sex. The struggles, the shame, the ignorance and fear that comes with wanting to love someone whom society dictates you should not be in love with.

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My Thoughts

I read this book nearly two weeks ago but it has taken me so long to be able to put pen to paper (or more like fingers to keyboard) and explain how incredible this book is.

“What’s braver than honesty.”

Once again Seth picks a not so easy but very relevant topic for the world today. His message is honest and powerful and you get the feeling that his stories are written, not to change the world, but so that maybe just one person might not have to go through what these characters went through and have the chance at something a little better.

“Fate is an artist, and every human body contains two souls intertwined like brush strokes on an artists canvas: your, and the soul of the person you were born to meet.”

The story is told from the POV of Cole, young and in love he wears his heart on his sleeve. He was the sweetest character but struggles with the expectations his family and the world have for him which leads to a lot of self loathing as he fights to find himself a little bit of happiness. He grows a lot in this book from a shy and insecure boy into a man who accepts who he is and what he wants for his life.

It felt like a modern day Romeo and Juliet type of forbidden romance but ten times worse. The injustice in this book for both Cole and Nicky, the pain and heart ache they are forced to go through everyday by denying themselves the simple right of being loved and loving someone in return without judgement or consequence.

“I like you too much. If you were a book, I would read every chapter twice and then tuck you into bed next to me. And the scary thing is…I’m afraid you wouldn’t even pick me up if you passed me in a bookstore.”

This book is about the bravery of being with someone who your family and society deems unsuitable. It’s about the raw desperation of loving someone so much and wanting, needing, that love back in return. The honesty in which Seth tells this story is breathtaking and beautiful but also heartbreaking as we fall in love with these characters and stand beside them as they are put through so much pain and tragedy.

Seth always finishes his book with an authors note, each one of them has made me cry and this one was no different. It was raw and honest and in reading it I realised just how much of himself he poured into this books pages. I never used to read authors notes, and sometimes I still don’t, except with Seth’s books and I have always looked forward to reading them, knowing that I am about to read something personal which as a reader it makes me feel even closer to him as an author.

“To read is to dance with the world, without ever leaving your own brain.”

I am very lucky in the way and the place that I live. I live in the countryside, but not so far from a city. I have a few friends who are gay and most are in relationships and very happy. For some of them there was the initial “coming out” issues, but all of them have very supportive friends and family who accepted them for who they are and support their decisions. They are gay, they are out and they are happy. The life that Cole and Nicky are living is so completely different to the one that I know of and my shame at being so naive to other parts of the world (especially in developed countries) who still treat same sex couples like this and make them feel ashamed of who they are was very prominent when I was reading this book.

“There’s nothing wrong with chandeliers”

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Final Thoughts

Seth King has the ability to make me feel emotions that I crave when reading books like this. Being brought to tears, being heartbroken, actually being made to FEEL the story that I am reading is something that Seth never fails to do and I cannot recommend this book enough.

Re-Readability: Most definitely

I would recommend this book to fans of: Seth King, forbidden romances, epic romances, heartbreaking romances, books that make you cry, beautifully written books

Reviews for other books by this author:
The Summer Remains, Autumn Rising, Invincible Summer

Rating Beyond Loved
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Have you ever read anything by Seth King?

What is your favourite forbidden romance story/book?

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Ten Songs I Wish Would Be Turned into Books!

February 16, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 18

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

I love this weeks topic! I actually did a song-to-story TTT for freebie week last year and loved sharing the songs that I think would make amazing stories. Here are my more recent choices…

TTT Songs 1Full Lyrics . Music Video

Going back to the corner where I first saw you
Gonna camp in my sleeping bag I’m not gonna move

I would love a book based on this song. It sounds like it would make an epic romance with a guy so desperate to find the girl he loves he refuses to move and ends up on the news. I feel like CoHo would write an excellent book for this song!

TTT Songs 2Full Lyrics . Music Video

He said, “Son when you grow up,
Would you be the savior of the broken,
The beaten and the damned?”

I LOVE the beginning of this song. It’s sounds like this father preparing his son to lead some great rebellion for the ‘broken, beaten and damned’ people. I feel like this would make a great fantasy/dystopian book.

TTT Songs 3Full Lyrics . Music Video

She walked to the mailbox
On that bright summers day
Found a letter from her son
In a war far away

I love books about soldiers at war, and the story featured in this song is beautiful and in my opinion would make such an emotion and powerful read.

TTT Songs 4Full Lyrics . Music Video

If you could see that I’m the one who understands you,
Been here all along.
So, why can’t you see, you belong with me.

This is one of those typical YA high school/college romance stories about the guy being with the wrong girl whilst the right girl is his best friend whose been there forever. Yes, we’ve all read this story many times before, but it’s still just as good!

TTT Songs 5Full Lyrics . Music Video

In another life I would make you stay
So I don’t have to say you were the one that got away

This song is so tragic but beautiful. I know for a fact that I was not the only one sobbing after hearing this song for the first time! I would be such a emotional mess if this was made into a book, but it would be amazing!

TTT Songs 6Full lyrics . Music Video

I remember it now, it takes me back to when it all first started
But I’ve only got myself to blame for it, and I accept it now

I had to chose this one because I actually have a WIP which is inspired by this song. It’s all about realising mistakes from the past and letting them go so you can give yourself another chance. It’s such a beautiful song and makes for a beautiful story.

TTT Songs 7Full lyrics . Music Video

I will not make the same mistakes that you did
I will not let myself cause my heart so much misery

Such powerful lyrics I think this one would make a really great story about a character trying to overcome their past and potentially not so great parents. It would be a hard one to read at time but the story would be such a powerful one.

TTT Songs 8Full lyrics . Music Video

We were the kings and queens of promise
We were the victims of ourselves
Maybe the children of a lesser God
Between Heaven and Hell

Another one that just makes me think about fantasy worlds and great battles and rebellions. About the ‘lesser’ characters rising up against their oppressors! Just me? Ok then.

TTT Songs 9Full lyrics . Music Video

I’m miles from where you are,
I lay down on the cold ground
I, I pray that something picks me up
And sets me down in your warm arms

Ok, so this is another song which is totally inspiring a chapter in a current WIP in which two characters end up separated but so desperate to be back together again. The heartbreak and the love in this song is just so beautiful.

TTT Songs 10Full lyrics . Music Video

When you were standing in the wake of devastation
When you were waiting on the edge of the unknown

Yes, ok, it’s another one about rebellions and great battles in fantasy/dystopian books. But there are just so many great songs that fit with this kind of story!

Which did you choose for music week?

What do you think of the songs I’ve mentioned above? What songs would you love to see as books?

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Review: “Beautiful Burn” – Jamie McGuire

February 11, 2016 Book Review 2

Beautiful BurnBeautiful Burn – Jamie McGuire
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Publication Date: January 31st 2016
Publisher: Self Published
Pages: 300
Genre: NA Romance
Series: Beautiful
Format/Source: Ebook from Amazon
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The Story
 .(summary from Goodreads)

Fresh out of college, Ellison Edson has fallen through the cracks of rock bottom. While staying in her family’s vacation home in Colorado, her behavior has finally gained the attention of her parents—but not in the way she hoped. Cut off from the millions she’s always taken for granted, and left alone to fend for herself, Ellie spirals further out of control, making a mistake she can’t take back.

Like his twin brother Taylor, Tyler Maddox is a member of the Alpine Hotshots, fighting wildland fires on the frontline. As arrogant as he is charming, Tyler’s nomadic lifestyle makes it easy to contain his relationships to one night. When he meets Ellie at a local party during off-season, her extreme personality and dismissive attitude fascinates him at first, but as his feelings deepen, Tyler realizes that the crippling inner demons of the woman he loves might be the strongest enemy any Maddox has ever faced.

 

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My Thoughts

I have to admit that I didn’t find this book as easy to get into as I have the previous ones. Ellison at the beginning of this book was not my type of character. She was the kind of character that makes me put a book down. But having read every single book in this series and loving them all I put my trust in Jamie McGuire and carried on reading…and I am very glad that I did so.

So why did I like it?

1) I realised whilst getting further into this book that Ellison is a character that we are not meant to like when we first start reading this book. We meet her when she is at her worst and have to watch her hit rock bottom before she starts to become a character that we can actually like. And when she did become a more bearable character I did really like her. She is such a strong character, and for someone who has grown up with people opening doors for her and pulling back her chair she is really good at getting stuck in and taking care of herself.

“Holding my camera, freezing, and a mile from flames that could burn me alive, I’d finally found what I didn’t know I was looking for.”

2) Oh, Tyler. How to describe how much I loved Tyler in this book. All of the Maddox brothers are basically huge hearts wrapped in an extremely sexy and tattoo’d exterior, but Tyler seemed to have an added softness to him that I’ve never noticed with the others. Unlike his brothers, he didn’t need a woman to tame him, he seemed to have already grown into that person. And a mighty fine one at that!

“I’m a firefighter, Ellie. I do the saving in this relationship.”

3) I really loved the scenes with Ellie and the Hotshots in them and could have read so many more of them! In Beautiful Sacrifice we hear about Taylor and Tyler’s job, but we never get to actually see it, and from Ellie’s POV it was just incredible. I really liked hearing about the way that these guys work with these fires, it’s something I never knew about before and now have a whole new respect for anyone who would chose to do that as a job (I love how much books can teach you about real world things!) Plus I loved the relationships she had with the entire crew. The way she become like a mother/big sister to all these guys who spent their days fighting giant fires, but would wait for Ellie’s permission to tell them what order they could shower in! They really were some of my absolute favourite scenes in this book!

“Love made people hate in a way they never would have before.”

4) But I also have to mention the Maddox family scenes, because of course they were my other favorite scenes in this book! Thanksgiving at the Maddox household and I loved seeing everyone together again. Abby from Ellie’s POV was really interesting to see because Ellie was really good at picking up on Abby picking up on things which when reading from anyone else’s POV they never seem to notice. I really liked whilst reading this book noticing that little things that showed us how all the stories link together. When Tyler gets a call about the fire at Travis’ college, and when Taylor meets “some girl” who works in a cafe. I loved these links and it made me really nostalgic to the entire series. But mostly I just love this entire family. Their jokes and their relationships and just the whole dynamic of them. I love brotherly love and this book is FULL of it!

“When a Maddox boy falls in love, he loves forever…”

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Final Thoughts

I never want this series to end, and although we have now discovered a grl for each of our Maddox boys I’m really hoping that there are so many more stories to come (and hopefully more from the brother POV too).

Re-Readability: Yes!

I would recommend this book to fans of: Jamie McGuire, the Beautiful series, the Maddox Brothers series, bad boys with big hearts, characters who overcome addition, characters who are firefighters

Rating Loved it.5

Have you read this book or any of this series?

Favourite book? Favourite Maddox brother?

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My Most Favourite Swoonworthy Moments in Books

February 9, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 4

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

Swoony moments are THE BEST! And I have so many, but I was really really good this week and only did ten! (But it was super hard!)

TTT Swoon 1

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (SUZANNE COLLINS)

“I don’t want you forgetting how different our circumstances are. If you die, and I live, there’s no life for me at all back in District Twelve. You’re my whole life.” Peeta says. “I would never be happy again. It’s different for you. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be hard. But there are other people who’d make your life worth living.”

“No one really needs me,” he says, and there’s no self pity in his voice. It’s true his family doesn’t need him. They will mourn him, as will a handful of friends. But they will get on…. I realise only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me.

“I do,” I say. “I need you.”

>><<

TTT Swoon 2 (1)

DIVERGENT (VERONICA ROTH)

“I have something I need to tell you,” he says. I run my fingers along the tendons in his hands and look back at him. “I might be in love with you.” He smiles a little. “I’m waiting until I’m sure to tell you, though.”

“That’s sensible of you,” I say, smiling too. “We should find some paper so you can make a list or a chart or something.”

I feel his laughter against my side, his nose sliding along my jaw, his lips pressing my ear.

“Maybe I’m already sure,” he says, “and I just don’t want to frighten you.”

I laugh a little. “Then you should know better.”

“Fine,” he says. “Then I love you.”

>><<

TTT Swoon 3

IF I STAY (GAYLE FORMAN)

“Mia, Mia, Mia,” he said, stroking the tendrils of my hair that had escaped from the wig. “This is the you I like. You definitely dressed sexier and are, you know, blond, and that’s different. But the you who you are tonight is the same you I was in love with yesterday, the same you I’ll be in love with tomorrow. I love that you’re fragile and tough, quiet and kick-ass. Hell, you’re one of the punkest girls I know, no matter who you listen to or what you wear.”

>><<

TTT Swoon 4

THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF GLASS (CASSANDRA CLARE)

“And now I’m looking at you,” he said, “and you’re asking me if I still want you, as if I could stop loving you. As if I would want to give up the thing that makes me stronger than anything else ever has. I never dared give much of myself to anyone before—bits of myself to the Lightwoods, to Isabelle and Alec, but it took years to do it—but Clary, since the first time I saw you, I have belonged to you completely.  I still do. If you want me.”

For a split second longer she stood motionless. Then somehow, she had caught at the front of his shirt and pulled him toward her.  His arms went around her, lifting her almost out of her sandals, and then he was kissing her—or she was kissing him, she wasn’t sure, and it didn’t matter.

>><<

TTT Swoon 5

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (JOHN GREEN)

“I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”

>><<

TTT Swoon 6 (2)

SWEET HOME (TILLIE COLE)

He forced a swallow and rasped, “Hey, Mol.”

I sucked on my lip to stop the trembling. “Hey, you.”

“You gonna give up that sweet kiss?”

“If that’s what you want.”

He closed his eyes for a moment before snapping them back to me. “It most definitely fuckin’ is.”

He lunged forward, his hands gripping under my arms, and with an incredible strength lifted me over the barrier and into his arms, his moist lips colliding with mine. I wrapped my arms around his neck, my legs around his waist, and kissed him right back.

>><<

TTT Swoon 7

CRESS (MARISSA MEYER)

Bending his head, Kai pressed his lips to her knuckles. The plating had no nerve endings, and yet the touch sent a tingle of electricity along her arm.

“Cinder?”

“Mm?”

He lifted his gaze. “Just to be clear, you’re not using your mind powers on me right now, are you?”

She blinked. “Of course not.”

“Just checking.”

Then he slid his arms around her waist and kissed her.

>><<

TTT Swoon 8

NOUGHTS AND CROSSES (MALORIE BLACKMAN)

“I love you,” Callum said softly.

“Then let me go. Please…”

Callum’s finger on my lips stilled the words. “I love you,” he repeated. “I told you once before – when you were asleep and couldn’t hear me. I was afraid for you to hear me. But I’m not anymore.”

Callum loved me…

>><<

TTT Swoon 9

BEAUTIFUL DISASTER (JAMIE MCGUIRE)

I pounded the mattress with my fists. “You can’t tell me what to do anymore, Travis! I don’t belong to you!”

In the second it took him to turn and face me his expression had contorted into anger. He stomped toward me, planting his hands on the bed and leaning into my face.

“WELL I BELONG TO YOU!” The veins in his neck bulged as he shouted, and I met his glare, refusing to even flinch. He looked at my lips panting. “I belong to you,” he whispered, his anger melting as he realised how close we were.

Before I could think of a reason not to, I grabbed his face, slamming my lips against his. Without hesitation, Travis lifted me into his arms. In a few long strides he carried me to his bedroom, both of us crashing to the bed.

>><<

TTT Swoon 10

REAP (TILLIE COLE)

I stared at her face, her pretty face, her soft eyes, entranced by the way she looked at me. I put my finger to her heart, then put my finger over mine, and I asked, “You are … for me?”

A whoosh of air passed through her parted lips. Her words caught in her throat. Her dark eyes shone brightly as water filled them, soaking her long black lashes.

Slowly her hands moved to each side of my face and threaded in my long wet hair. I held my breath, heart beating loudly. Then she did something I’d never felt before, she pressed her lips to my forehead.

Which did you choose for your Valentines week list?

Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned above? Do you agree with their swooniness?

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Sunday Funday: Bookish Mugs #2

February 7, 2016 Sunday Funday 4

Sunday Funday Logo

The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

So this weekend I went to see Lord of the Flies on stage with the boyfriend. I was planning on reading the book before I went but I totally forgot (bad Hannah) but I still managed to keep up with the play and WOW was it amazing! I definitely need to read the book now! We also went to one of our favourite restaurants to eat after and YUM it was delicious. So the perfect end to a kind of ‘Meh’ week.

So, mugs. I really do love them. I’ve got a couple of bookish mugs, one of my more recent being a Harry Potter mug I got for Christmas from one of the ladies in work. (It was by far the best work present I have ever received!) But here’s some that I’ve found recently that I totally need (ok, so maybe I just want them) in my life…

Mug 1

Buy here
This mug speaks such truth, and is exactly the reason why I always seem to have a sore back from the stupid amount of books I am always carrying around!

Mug 2

Buy here
Haha, this one made me chuckle, but look how pretty it is! I think having this mug on my desk at work would provide a wanting to anyone who doesn’t know me and approaches me to do something for them whilst I am on my lunch break and reading!!!

Mug 3

Buy here
I love this one! Again, so pretty with the flowers, but I could totally use this one for times when I am blogging. I always have a nice big mug of hot chocolate whilst I am blogging and this would be the perfect mug to drink it in!

Mug 4

Buy here
Yep, this is me like every night! I may have been lying to my boss recently and told him that I’ve not been sleeping very well which is why I am constantly yawning. I think it’s more the fact that I spend my night reading that’s the problem!

Mug 5

Buy here
The mug speaks the truth! I have made so many new friends due to our mutual love of the same book. And I’ve lost so many due to us not liking the same … nah only kidding!

Mug 6

Buy here
Ok, so this one is pretty AND purple (I love purple by the way!) and it’s got swirly writing which I also love. It’s official, I need this one.

Do you own any bookish mugs? What do you think of these ones?

If you got to choose your perfect bookish mug what would it have on it?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

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Review: “Before We Were Strangers” – Renee Carlino

February 4, 2016 Book Review 2

Before We Were Strangers CoverBefore We Were Strangers – Renee Carlino
(website . twitter)

Publication Date: August 18th 2015
Pages: 320
Genre: YA Romance
Format/Source: Physical (Own)
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Buy it (UK) . Buy it (US) . Goodreads
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The Story
 .(summary from Goodreads)

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing andNowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?

M

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My Thoughts

This was one of my most anticipated books of 2015 … which I forgot to read *hangs head in shame* but FINALLY picked up this year. I’m a BIG fan of second chance romances and the fact that this book was set in both present day and 15 years earlier made me VERY interested in reading it!

So why did I like it?

1) I really liked the sound of this one when I saw it on Goodreads, as I said above I am a MASSIVE fan of second chance romances. The initial romance was slow to build (maybe a little too slow) but there were some really sweet moments in there and I did like that it was based on a really strong friendship. I found the second chance romance a little disappointing and not as emotional as I had hoped it would be.

2) We first meet Matt in the present day and he is not in a happy place. Now, theres a reason I don’t read a lot of adult fiction, and that’s because I’m not fan of 30-something year old characters with marriage, finance, child etc problems. I am scared of being a grown up so avoid anything that will remind me of all the bad things that come with it! So initially I was worried because this was basically where Matt was at. But then we went back to the past and got to see how Matt ended up where he was in the present day and I did start to sympathise with him.

“It was like the universe was teasing us; we saw each other just a second too late.”

3) One thing I really liked about Grace was that she was such a contradiction. On the outside she was a confident and free spirited but inside she was vulnerable and insecure. Her families financial situation isn’t the best and through this she shows how selfless she is as she literally gives them everything she has and at times goes without food so they can eat. I didn’t feel like I got to know Grace as well since the dual POV favoured Matt more than Grace, but still I did really like her.

“You were always with me, Grace. I never found a way to let you go.”

4) It was a ‘nice’ story, and let me be clear when I say it I do mean it in a positive way. I found the book easy to read and once I had picked it up didn’t put it down until I reached the end. But it didn’t make me swoon and my heart wasn’t racing. I didn’t get all emotional over the bad times the characters went through. I just read it from beginning to end and then put it back on my book shelf.

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Final Thoughts

It was unique in the way that is was told, but otherwise it was the same type of romance we read about a lot. I liked it and I would definitely say that more people should read it, but if you are anything like me just don’t expect some epic, heart racing romance.

Re-Readability: Possibly

I would recommend this book to fans of: second chance romances, books set in college, books set in the present and past.

Rating Okay.5

Have you read this book yet? What do you think?

What did you think of the theme of the book?

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Historical Events I Would LOVE to Read About in Books!

February 2, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 9

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

So I don’t really read historical fiction … like ever. But there are some historical events that even I have to admit would make really good backdrops to a story. I only managed 5, but for someone who doesn’t read historical fiction, I think I did pretty good!

Copy of elsie

Such a devastating event in history but I think it would make for such a powerful story. I really love the film based on Pearl Harbour and I feel like the amount of extra emotion that a book would give us would make for an incredible read.

Copy of elsie (3)

It’s all legend so probably not true, but I really love the whole King Arthur period of time. I would love stories about his Knights of the Round table too, I can imagine they’re just like a big brotherhood.

Copy of elsie (4)

Another totally devastating moment in history that has such a powerful story to tell. There were over 3000 people on that ship, that means a lot of stories to tell. I would love a story set on the titanic from multiple POV.

Copy of elsie (2)

Just like King Arthur I LOVE stories about Robin Hood. I would love to read a book about him and his gang of outlaws who rob from the rich and give to the poor.

Copy of elsie (1)

I know that it’s considered Greek Mythology so it probably isn’t actually real, but I would love some stories about people who were around in the time of the battle of troy.

Which settings did you choose this week? History or Futuristic?

What do you think of my choices? Would you be interested in reading a book based in these settings too?

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Monthly Review – January 2016

February 1, 2016 Montly Review 1

Image of the Month

It has been SO cold this month. There is so much crazy weather happening in the world and we have been lucky enough that it’s not massively inconvenienced us, except for the house being freezing and us all (the dog included) having to be wrapped up every night to keep warm!

You can keep up with all my month’s images through my Instagram.

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5 things that happened

1) Reunion with the Uni friends – It’s been nearly 3 years since I graduated from university and me and my friends make a big effort to make sure to see each other at least a few times a year. This month we all met up in Bristol and had an extremely funny (and drunken) weekend!

2) I signed up for a swimming challenge – I have been wanting to be healthier for a while but can never stick to anything, so this year I have signed up for a swimming challenge to raise money for Diabetes UK. I have to swim 22 miles between 22nd Feb – 22nd May which workd out as 1416 lengths of my local pool! Wish me luck!

3) I booked flights to Canada! – My sister moved out to Canada 17 months ago and still haven’t been out there to visit. But this month I booked my flights and I am super excited to spend Easter with my big sister.

4) My cousins baby turned 1! – Ok, so I know that I’m biased, but my cousins son is the cutest little boy ever, and this month he turned 1 and had a big birthday party. (I ate a stupid amount of cake)

5) I started watching Homeland – I’m really late to the party with Homeland but WOW do I love it. I’m just at the beginning of season 2 and I am so addicted but the biggest problem is that I’m watching it with my dad and sister so can’t binge watch it!

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Song of the Month

I’m not a massive Bieber fan, but this song was a big part of many a funny drunken moment during my reunion weekend with friends so it has to make the pick!

You can check all the tunes I have been listening to in my Winter 15/16 Playlist.

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top 3 books I read

Number of Books I Read this Month: 4

never never part 3 cover Firsts Cover This Is Where It Ends Cover

Never Never Part 3 – Such a fantastic ending to this incredible trilogy. I have loved every minute of it and it ended EXACTLY how I wanted it to!

Firsts – This book with it’s stupid teenage decisions frustrated me, but I was so addicted to it I read it in like half a day!

This is Where it Ends – I feel like I’ve been waiting for this one forever, and it was totally worth it. Haunting and powerful but totally unique.

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Fav Quote this month

“You can do far more than you ever imagined.”
Marieke Nijkamp, This Is Where It Ends

“Trust your gut. Not your heart, because it’s a people pleaser, and not your brain, because it relies too heavily on logic.”
Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher, Never Never Part 3

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Most Pop Review

never never part 3 cover

Like I said above, I LOVED this book and it was such a perfect ending to the trilogy. I have massive hopes for future CoHo & Fisher colaborations.

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Most Pop post this month

Cover Stories: Comparing (and Judging) Harry Potter Covers – I love that 6 months after I originally wrote this post people are still loving it! The amount of time and love I put into this post, it makes me super happy how popular it is!

Character Names I Love and Would Totally Use For My Future Kids – I really enjoyed writing this post. There are so many names in books that I love and I already have a whole list of potential literary baby names (I am not pregnant! Just very organised) that I was so happy to share!

Ratings…What do they mean? – I hate ratings, they really frustrate me and have landed me in a few awkward situations because people don’t know what my ratings stand for and the same with me about their ratings. So I decided to have a rant discussion about it!

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4 posts I bookmarked

How to (Nicely) Attack People with Friendship on the Internet – Cait @ Paper Fury speaks such sense (and in a totally entertaining kind of way!) I loved this post and it totally made me realise how unsocial I was being online.

What To Do When Someone Else Has Your Awesome Idea – I found this post via Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner and after reading it was just like YES! This has happened to me a number of times and I’m always so worried about going forward with my idea and looking like I’ve copied the other blog.

What Book Bloggers Actually Do! – I forget how much is involved in book blogging because it’s just second nature for me now to go update a book on goodreads, retweet a blog post or like a photo on instagram. But this post reminded me of how much is involved, we really are pretty cool us book bloggers!

10 Things I Wish Someone Would Invent – Having JUST accidentally seeing a spoiler for a book that I have been meaning to read for AGES, Jamie’s great idea for a device that helps you to unsee spoilers would be perfect right now, as well as the other 9 things on her list!

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Excited for Next Month

1) I’m going to see Lord of the Flies on Stage  – I really like book to play adaptations and I’m super excited to go and see this one. Although I really do need to read the book first!

2) Weekend Away  – Mine and my boyfriend’s anniversary falls two weeks after Valentines Day, so I’ve arranged a surprise weekend away for the two of us in the middle of the two dates. Luckily he never reads my blog so he shouldn’t find out until I want him to!

3) Books!  There are some amazing books being released in February (see below) that I am SO EXCITED for! Especially Stars Above which is released TOMORROW!

   

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How was January for you?

Chose a category from above and tell me about your month! 

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Sunday Funday: The BEST Bookish Bits and Bobs

January 31, 2016 Sunday Funday 0

Sunday Funday Logo
The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

I got paid this week, which was fabulous after 6 weeks since my last pay day! So what was the first thing that I bought? Do you even have to ask…books! (closely followed by flights to go an see my sister in Canada! Yeay!)

I was also having a little mooch around some of my favourite bookish online stores and came across a new one which I immediately fell in love with and just HAD to share with you all!

Her store is FULL to the brim with amazing handmade bookish merchandise that are truly works of art. If you are a fan of the Lunar Chronicles, Stephanie Perkins, Throne of Glass, The Raven Cycle (and so many more!) then trust me you will want to visit this store! And will probably end up just throwing all your money at it!

Find some of my favourite bits from her store below. Nearly all of these designs are available as a range of things including clothing, mugs, phone cases, tote bags, clocks etc. So if you like one of the designs make sure to check out the store for all the various ways you can get it!

The Art of Young Adult

(click the header to be taken to the store)

the-lunar-chronicles-vneck-tshirts

Buy link here
How cool is this amazing Lunar Chronicles inspired t-shirt? I love that it has got all of our heroines from the entire series on it!

lady-of-shadows-queen-of-light-bags

Buy link here
Any fans of Queen of Shadows here today? How cool is this tote! I would love to fill this with some books and stroll around showing off my bookish love for this series.

eleanor-park-with-headphones-cases

Buy link here
I LOVED Eleanor and Park, and I love this phone case just as much! How cute would this be on your own phone! I know I want it on mine!!!

the-happily-ever-after-pillows french-name-english-accent-american-school-anna-confused-wall-clocks

Cushion Buy Link Here . Clock Buy Link Here
I ADORED Stephanie Perkins series and absolutely love these Anna & the French Kiss and Isla & the Happily Ever After bookish merchandise. I would be so proud to hang that clock on my wall, and have the cushion on my couch!!! Make sure to check out the store for some Lola & Cricket merchandise too!

you-destroy-me-framed-prints

Buy link here
You can never have enough bookish prints on your wall, and this one is a must! Inspired by Shatter Me it is just SO DARN PRETTY! I need it!!!

books-books-books-nsc-mugs

Buy link here
And finally, this bookish mug! I would love this sat on my desk at work!

Ok, so who else is going to be poor for the rest of the month after checking out this store?!!!

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

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Review: “Firsts” – Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

January 27, 2016 Book Review 1

Firsts CoverFirsts – Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
(website . twitter)

Publication Date: January 5th 2016
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
Pages: 320
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format/Source: ARC via Netgalley
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Buy it (UK) . Buy it (US) . Goodreads
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The Story
 .(summary from Goodreads)

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.

 

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My Thoughts

Such a relevant topic to everyone I did quite enjoy this one. I spent a lot of time totally frustrated at teenagers and their bad decisions, but I couldn’t put it down, so I guess that was a good thing!

1) Ok, so firstly, teenagers are idiots! I spent so much of this book in total shock that any of these characters thought this was actually a good idea. Sure, lets cheat on our girlfriends so we can give them better sex. I mean, who ACTUALLY thinks that would be a good idea…teenagers of course! And that is what is so great about this book, it’s so real because it’s exactly the kind of thing that teenagers would do! (Except me, I was a much smarter teenager) Flynn does a great job at capturing the teenage voice even if I did spend the majority of the book angry at them for their stupid ideas!

“Virginity is supposed to be something a girl gives up only when she is ready and feels comfortable, something a girl discusses at length with her friends and flip-flops over a million times in her mind before actually doing it. A guy is expected to be born ready…

2) Mercedes had me conflicted. I could see in her head how this was a good idea, how she thought she was helping people. But then at the same time being older than her I could totally see all the bad things about this and I was dreading when it all fell apart. I didn’t really feel like I could fully connect with her, I don’t know if maybe I was feeling a little judgy? Her judgement about the world just seemed really off, and although she seemed to be this totally in control grown up who could plan the worlds best dates and sex, she also had some very immature moments and at times her naivety really shone through. As I said, she had me conflicted, but was a fascinating character to follow.

“…But what I realized after Tommy is that they’re not. They’re just as scared as their girlfriends, maybe even more so because the onus is on them to be gentle, make it last, make it memorable. And most of them haven’t a clue.

3) I was VERY intrigued when I read the description to this book. It was a totally unique and also kind of risky topic and I was curious to see how it had been written. One thing this book did well was showing the double standards with girls and guys. When things go wrong and Mercedes secrets are spilled out to the entire school she is the one who gets the majority of the hating and slut shaming. Erm, hello? What about the guys, the ones in relationships who cheated on their girlfriends? Sure their girlfriends were mad with them but it was Mercedes who bore the brunt of it all. It’s cruel but it’s real and I really respected that Flynn included this in her book.

“I want to be just fast enough for Zach to have to run to catch up, because if I stay ahead, I won’t ever have to see his retreating back.”

4) Loosing our virginity is one thing that everyone has to go through at some point in their life. Girl or boy, gay or straight, we all have to loose it. I remember the all the talk in high school and the pressure to not be the only one out of my friendship group to have not been with a guy. The there was the fears, is it going to hurt, what if I’m rubbish at it, what is I get pregnant. Having sex for the first time is totally scary and a big deal, which is why it made me really happy that Flynn also included Angela’s (Mercedes best friend) story of her being totally conflicted about whether or not it’s was the right time for her to loose it.

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Final Thoughts

Not many authors would be brave enough to take on a topic like this but Flynn does it with style. Virginity is such a relevant topic to everyone that I think it is a boo that everyone would read and see a part of themselves or their own experience in there.

Re-Readability: At some point

I would recommend this book to fans of: books set in high school, books about loosing virginity, books about teenagers bad choices, books about teenage sex, books about good intentions that turn bad.

Rating I Liked it

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Have you read this book yet? What do you think?

What did you think of the theme of the book?

Brocs Bookcase

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Ten Character Names I LOVE and Would Totally Use to Name My Future Kids

January 26, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 19

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

It’s freebie week! I was totally stumped on what to do this week, and then I came across a buzzfeed article about literary baby names of which I had only read like 5 of the books! So I decided it would be the perfect topic for my list this week!

I decided to just use books that I read in 2015, as if I did all books then I would never have been able to keep it under ten (I still didn’t manage to do this anyway!)

**Just to confirm: no I am not pregnant, no I am not planning on having children any time soon. I just really like names!**

adelina

The Young Elites
I had never heard this name before reading TYE and I have to admit that every time I say it I think it comes out more Italian sounding than the time before! But it’s so pretty and unique.

miles

Ugly Love
I don’t know what it is exactly about this name but I just love it. I feel like it would be a great name for a guy at any age (plus the Miles in Ugly Love is really hot!)

aria

Under the Never Sky
I really like the way this name just sounds. So so pretty and again totally unique.

elsie

Sweet Soul
Ok, so this may sound a little mean (and apologies to any Elsie’s in advance) but up until recently I always though of Elsie as an old lady name. But then I read Sweet Soul and I fell in love with the character and therefore the name too!

skylar

Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist
I really love how unique this one is, I don’t know of ANY Skylar’s in the world (except for those in books) I like that it’s a different kind of name but not a totally crazy one.

elias

An Ember in the Ashes
I spent the first half of this book calling the character Ellis, which is a name I love. And then I was corrected and immediately thought, ‘Elias is no where near as good a name as Ellis’. But then I read the second half of the book and I was totally in love with the name by the end o it!

silas

Never Never
Another one which I always saw as more of an old person name (I blame Silas Marner for this!) but then after reading this amazing trilogy I totally changed my mind and now I really like this name.

levi

Sweet Soul
I really like this as a guys name. Usually I’m not into names that are inspired by places, brands or things, but I really like the name Levi.

loren

The Addicted Series
Ok, so I think that my love for the character made me love this name, but it really is a good name! Plus, I love that it can be shortened to ‘Lo’

fallon

November 9
LOVE this name. It’s so so unique but again not a stupid sounding name at all. There is just something really pretty about it. Also, is it weird that it makes me think of a bird?

laia

An Ember in the Ashes
My cousins little girl is called Laia and it is such a pretty name. True, it makes me think of Star Wars every time I read it, but you can’t deny it’s pretty.

arin

The Winners Trilogy
I’ve just realised that I have quite a few ‘A’ names on my list today, but this is the first one for a guy. I like the simplicity of this one. It’s not complicated or hard to say. It’s straightforward, but also totally unique in its own way.

Which books did you chose this week? Did you manage to stick to ten or completely fail like me?

What do you think of my choices? Are you hoping to read any of these too?

Brocs Bookcase

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Sunday Funday: Bookish CAKE!

January 24, 2016 Sunday Funday 1

Sunday Funday Logo
The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

I love books. I also love cake. Therefore I really love bookish cake.

Here are some of my favourites…

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Have you ever made a book inspired cake?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

Brocs Bookcase

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Review “Never Never Part 3” – Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

January 20, 2016 Book Review 4

never never part 3 coverNever Never Part 3 – Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher
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Publication Date: January 19th 2016
Pages: 92
Series: Never Never
Format read: eBook from Amazon
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 This book is part of the Never Never Series. Check out my reviews for other books in the series below:
Never Never: Part 1
Never Never: Part 2
Never Never: Part 3
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New York Times bestselling authors Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher are back with the much-anticipated final installment in the Never Never novella series.

Together, Silas Nash and Charlize Wynwood must look deeper into the past to find out who they were and who they want to be. With time ticking down, the couple are in a race to find the answers they need before they lose everything.

Can they regain what they once had? And will it restore who they once were?

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My Thoughts

So a little bit of a shock last night when I had a quick flick around facebook before going to bed and found out that this book had been released! The first two books in this trilogy were incredible and this final installment is a phenomenal ending to a story we have been dedicated to for the last year!

Just like with the previous two, the best way to go into this books is to do so blind! This does make it super hard for me writing my review without telling you ANYTHING about why this book is some amazing. But hopefully you will be able to tell from my fangirling throughout this review just how much you need to read this book! (after reading the first two of course!)

So, what makes this book incredible?

1) Once again I have to pay a MASSIVE amount of respect to Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher. It’s crazy to think that this trilogy is the first time that they have written together because it’s so seamless, something that many writing duo’s would have taken a lot longer to achieve. I’ve loved the way that they wrote all three of these books, one doing Silas’ POV and the other Charlies POV to give us two very distinct character voices. The shortest book of the entire trilogy, Never Never is perfectly paced and packed with enough action to keep us on the edge of our seats right until the last page.

“I could spend every day getting to know you all over again, Charlie, and I don’t think I’d get sick of it.”

2) I have loved the journey that Silas and Charlie have been put on in these books. When we first meet them they don’t even know who they are, so we get to know them as they get to know themselves, both separately and as a couple. I really like the addition of the letter and journals in this book again, which show us past Charlie and Silas before any of this happened to them and it’s interesting to see the similarities and differences between them then and now. It’s been interesting to see their relationship develop throughout all three books even though they have lost their memories a few times, the romantic connection between them doesn’t seem to disappear and grows stronger through the books.

“Trust your gut. Not your heart, because it’s a people pleaser, and not your brain, because it relies too heavily on logic.”

3) I thought I had figured it out by the end of Part 1, and then I read Part 2 and everything I thought I knew got turned on it’s head. So I went into this book (very excited and) accepting that anything could happen. I really didn’t want another cliffhanger, I wanted answers, and I don’t feel like I’m ruining anything by telling you that we do get those answers. There were a couple of different ways that CoHo and Fisher could have taken this and I really like the direction that they chose for the reason behind Silas and Charlie’s memory lost.

“Fate is the magnetic pull of our souls toward the people, places, and things we belong with.”

4) This book was everything I wanted and needed it to be and I was so happy with how this series ended. The whole story line was just so a unique and addictive and I loved that I had no idea what was coming next. I know there has been quite a bit of negativity around the fact that this story has been split into three separate books, but I actually really like that it has been done in this way. (although, like always, having to wait between book releases was torturous!)

“Adults like to pretend that our feelings aren’t as big and important as theirs—that we’re too young to really know what we want. But I think what we want is similar to what they want. We want to find someone who believes in us. Who will take our side and make us feel less lonely.”

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Final Thoughts

An amazing end to a phenomenal trilogy. Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher deserve our respect and undying gratitude, and a lot of begging for more callaborations by them in the future!

Re-Readability: Again and Again and Again!

I would recommend this book to fans of: Colleen Hoover romances, Tarryn Fisher a totally unique concept, mysteries that they just love to figure out!

Rating Beyond Loved

Check out my other Colleen Hoover reviews:
Hopeless . Losing Hope
Ugly Love . November 9

Have you read Never Never Part 1 or Part 2 yet?

Have you read anything else by Colleen Hoover or Tarryn Fisher?

Brocs Bookcase

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Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My GIGANTIC TBR Pile

January 19, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 10

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

I decided to go with all 2016 releases this week because there are a whole lot of them in my TBR at the moment (so much for getting my TBR number down!) most of which I am desperate to get my hands on. 

I totally went over ten, but it would have been impossible to stick to, and I get the feeling after checking out everyone else’s lists today my TBR is going to expand ridiculously!

(Release: May 17th 2016)
It Wasn’t Always Like This
– I love this ‘love across time’ type of story and I am so so so eager to get my hands on this one!

(Release: May 3rd 2016)
Shuffle, Repeat
– I love the look of this quirky romance. It’s one of those stories that you know how it’s going to end, but it’s the journey (or car journey in this one) that makes the story unique.

(Release: March 1st 2016)
In Real Life
– This one has a hint of Because We’ll Never Meet to it, but I’m hopeful that I will like this one better. Plus, I love the cover.

(Release: May 24th 2016)
Outrun the Moon
– There are so many books recently in with young female heroines ‘saving the world’, Katniss Everdeen and Tris Prior being just two examples. But the thing that makes this book and female lead stand out to me is that they are set in the real historical backdrop of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.

(Release: May 31st 2016)
Wanderlost
– I do love a good romance, and this one looks great. Plus, after reading Jen Malone’s bio on Goodreads I feel like I need to read all of this ladies books so we can become BFFs and I can hear all her crazy travel stories!

(Release: July 19th 2016)
A World Without You
– I loved Beth Revis Across the Universe trilogy but this is something so totally different. I have never read anything like this and I’m so intrigued about this one that it immediately went on my TBR.

(Release: August 30th 2016)
A Torch Against the Night
– I absolutely LOVED An Ember in the Ashes and I am desperate to get my hands on the next book in the series!

(Release: February 2nd 2016)
Stars Above
– I was a bit late to The Lunar Chronicles, but my love was no less than anyone else’s and I am so desperate to get my hands on this book and the additional scenes it gives us!

(Release: June 14th 2016)
False Hearts
– This one just looks so different to any story I’ve ever read that I have to read it!

(Release: February 23rd 2016)
Firstlife
– So excited to get my hands on this one!

(Release: May 17th 2016)
The Problem With Forever
– One of my best friends has been trying to get me to read Armentrout’s Lux series forever, but I still haven’t gotten round to it. I don’t know, maybe it’s the wrong genre for me. But this book looks like exactly my type of book, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

(Release: March 29th 2016)
Walk the Edge – I LOVED Nowhere But Here, the first book in this new series by Katie McGarry and so when I found out about the second book I immediately added it to my list!

Which books did you chose this week? Did you manage to stick to ten or completely fail like me?

What do you think of my choices? Are you hoping to read any of these too?

Brocs Bookcase

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Review: This is Where it Ends – Marieke Nijkamp

January 13, 2016 Book Review 2

This Is Where It Ends CoverThis Is Where It Ends – Marieke Nijkamp
(website . twitter)

Publication Date: January 5th 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 292
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Format/Source: ARC via Netgalley
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Buy it (UK) . Buy it (US) . Goodreads
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The Story
 .(summary from Goodreads)

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m.
The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05 a.m.
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

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My Thoughts

First book review of 2016! Wahoo!
I’ve had this book on my kindle for quite a while but for some reason I’ve been avoiding it, waiting for the right time to read it. I wanted to be in the right head place, I wanted to have the time to really imerse myself in it, I needed to be somewhere that I could get all emotional and cry and not be judged. It took a while, but I finally found the right time and place and got to read this book, and this is what I thought…

1) I have to admit I was intrigued when I saw the description for this book. Gun crime in schools is something very relevant to our world today and having never read a book on the subject before I was curious to see how such a sensitive subject would be tackled. I have to admit I was expecting to be in a highly emotional state by the end of the book, and although I wasn’t I still can’t deny how captivating the story was.

“I didn’t need to die for him to kill me.

2) The format of the book was great, with the events unfolding through the eyes of four people: 2 trapped within the auditorium, 1 trapped in the school and 1 outside of the school, all of whom are linked to each other and the shooter in various ways. I will admit that although I liked all four of these characters it did take me a while to grasp who everyone was and the various friendships, relationships and family bonds.

Splitting the book up into the different time periods was something I really liked about this story and it’s quite eary when you get to the end of the book and you realise that after all that horror and death and everything that has just happened for the past 292 pages, it’s only been 54 minutes.

“We’re more than our mistakes. We’re more than what people expect of us.”

Along with the various POVs came flashbacks, which were great for seeing the events that led to this event and I wish that there had been more of them so I could get to know and connect with the characters a little more. In amongst the narratives we got text messages, tweets, blog posts etc which gave us a view of what the outside world was seeing through this event. It was a nice addition, but for me it didn’t really add all that much to the story.

“I know the auditorium may be big enough to hold a thousand students, but it’s too small to hide just one.”

3) One thing I really struggled with was connecting with these characters who we meet only 5 minutes before the shooting actually starts. I don’t feel like I was able to get to know them enough to really feel their fear and the pain once everything started falling apart. People were dying, but I didn’t know them and so although I was sad about it I don’t feel that this book was able to give me the emotion that I had hoped it would.

For me, the emotion that I had wanted to feel through this book came with the epilogue. And it was the only point in the entire book that I cried.

“You can do far more than you ever imagined.”

4) The thing that makes this story shine though it how real it is. One thing I was really curious about before reading this book was if any of it was going to be from the POV of the shooter. It wasn’t and I’m kind of glad about that. I like though that we get to see it from the POV of people who are all linked to him in some way and were involved in events that led to the him deciding to take such extreme action.

I liked the reality of the book. We read a lot of fiction now a days with teenage heroes/heroines saving the world. But in reality not everyone can be a hero and teachers can be just as scared as children. The whole hing is handled so respectfully none of it seems dramatised, and Nijkamp didn’t keep her characters in that auditorium any longer then she needed to.

“This is how I shape our future.”

Final Thoughts

Massive love for Nijkamp. Not many authors would be brave enough to take on such a serious and relevant topic as this, or handle it so incredibly.

Re-Readability: Maybe not right away, but yes

I would recommend this book to fans of: books set in high school, books with relevant to the world today themes, serious topics, multiple POV books

Rating Liked.5

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Have you read this book yet? What do you think?

Have you ever read any books about a school shooting?

Brocs Bookcase

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Books Released in 2015 I am Totally Embarrassed to Confess I Never Read

January 12, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 20

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

There were so many books released last year that I wished that I had gotten round to reading. Some of them I am totally embarrassed to have to say I never got round to them. But here’s to hoping that I get the chance to read them this year instead!

(click on the covers to be linked to Goodreads)

I loved the sound of this book and have heard some amazing things about it. I’m really hoping to grab myself a copy of this one eventually!

There were a number of suicide themed books released last year, but sadly this wasn’t one of the ones I got round to reading. I actually follow Jennifer Niven on Instagram and she is always posting up the most beautiful quotes from this book. I really need to read it!

I actually went to a signing of this book and got to meet Gayle Forman. And then stupidly went home and put the book on my shelf. This is the one I am most ashamed of not reading because I know, it being a Gayle Forman book, that it is going to be incredible!

Why oh why have I not read this book yet?! I have read such amazing reviews for this book, plus the cover is gorgeous, but I still haven’t read it! Bad Hannah!

I know what you’re going to say. And you’re right. Why have I not read this book yet?!!! It is sat on my shelf teasing me but for some insane reason I still haven’t picked it up!

Oh the shame! I love CoHo books so so so so much and I have absolutely no excuse good enough for why I haven’t read this book!

I was so excited to read this book and waited and waited for it to be released. And then it was … and I never read it. I will read this one in 2016!

Another one that I really wanted to read and then totally forgot about! Have heard incredible things about this book.

I was actually waiting for this one to go down in price a bit before I got myself a copy. And then it totally slipped my mind…

I loved Non’s debut in 2014 and so I immediately picked up a copy of this one (and got it signed!) at YALC this year. But then I brought so many good books home that it seemed to get lost in the pile, and it’s been sat on my bookshelf ever since.

Another one that is sat on my bookshelf looking all pretty having never been touched! Really really want to read this one!

I only heard about this one near the end of last year, but I immediately needed it…but never seemed to get it.

Did you read any of these books last year? Any good? 

Are any of these on your list this week too?

Brocs Bookcase

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Sunday Funday: Bookish Candles

January 10, 2016 Sunday Funday 5

Sunday Funday Logo
The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

Anyone else have their first week back at work this week? Wow, it was a hard week! Having to get up at obscene times (like 7am, which is obscene compared to the 11am I used to get up over the holidays!), having to actually do things rather then just lazing around, going into food withdrawal because you are not used to only eating 3 meals a day!

But hey, we survived it … and get to go back tomorrow and do it all over again! But for now, it’s still the weekend. So put your feet up and grab a book and be lazy! Oh, and check out my Sunday Funday because this week it is fabulous…

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I am a great lover of candles, so when I came across The Melting Library on Etsy I knew it was something I needed to share with you all. They make candles that smell like your favourite books! Confused? See below:

“Step into one of your favorite books with our hand poured candles! I’m a huge book worm and I adore when writers really flesh out a scene with vivid descriptions that involve all the senses, such as scent. Surround yourself with candles inspired by your favorite scenes and feel like your part of the story.”

And here are some of my more coveted candles:

“Inspired by the always popular drink, butter beer, from the Harry Potter series, this candle is a yummy blend of dark rum, creamy butter & spicy cloves.”

Yup, that’s right. It’s a Harry Potter inspired candle! I want it, no I NEED it! Buy link here.

“Inspired by Gatsby’s extraordinary parties and the decadence of our favorite time period,the roaring 20’s, this candle smells like bubbly club soda and warm citrus scents, followed by sharp notes of rosemary, balsam and ginger. We also threw in a splash of daisy. Perfect for your favorite flapper or fella!”

Or if you are looking for something a little more ‘All that Jazz’ then there is a Great Gatsby inspired candle. Buy link here.

“Traipse through Wonderland and stumble upon the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party with our yummiest smelling candle ever! You can just imagine yourself surrounded by the aroma of warm, rich tea and a big slice of spongy lemon cake. This candle has notes of lemon, orange, vanilla, rosewood & maple.”

Ever wished you could attend the Mad Hatter’s tea party? Well you could be one step closer with this Alice in Wonderland inspired candle. Buy link here.

“Before we wished for our letter to Hogwarts, we were praying for our very own Golden Tickets!  This candle combines rich warm notes of chocolate, peanut butter and graham cracker. It’s scrumdiddlyumptious!”

I feel like this would be a dangerous candle to have as after smelling it I would want to eat it! Buy link here.

Which book would you love to have a candle for and what would it smell like?

Don’t forget to check out the full range of candles at The Melting Library store on Etsy.

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

Brocs Bookcase

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Ten Bookish Things I Resolve To Do in 2016

January 5, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 15

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

Ok, this year I am definitely sticking to my resolutions! I promise… I think.

I had a look back at my 2015 resolutions yesterday and I actually only ended up fulfilling 3 of them. So this year I need to achieve at least 4 of them and I’ll be happy! I went for all bookish resolutions this year too, and feel (mostly hope) that they are a lot more achievable!

TTT1

There are quite a few of my all time favourite series that I read before I started Broc’s Bookcase and I’ve never reviewed on here. Series like Harry Potter, the Inheritance Cycle, His Dark Materials, the Hunger Games etc. I am always talking about how much I love these series but I don’t show it on my blog. Plus I am taking part in a reread challenge this year so this will most definitely help towards that too!

TTT2

For the past few years I have always said that I am going to finish all the series I am reading, which is stupid because by the time I get to the end of the year I have always started more so I am back where I started. This year I am going to finish 5 that I started pre-2016. First on the list is the Gone series and Percy Jackson!

TTT3

This year I managed to get my TBR down from nearly 1000 books to less than 800. This year I’m going to get it below 300! Every time I look through it there are always so many books that I don’t even remember putting on there so there is definitely a lot of culling to be done, as well as a lot of reading of the ones that I keep forgetting are on there!

TTT5

I’m trying to be better at reading different things and I am actually taking part in the Pop Sugar 2016 Reading Challenge because I think that it will be a great way to do so. Non Fiction isn’t something I read a lot of, but I am determined to learn something new this year and so thought maybe I could combine that want with reading some Non Fiction. I’ve gone easy on myself though and only aimed for 6, which gives me plenty of time to do it this year.

TTT6

I’ve been trying so hard this year to be better at replying to peoples comments and to actually take the time out to comment on other peoples posts. I find that I go through weird blasts of visiting other blogs and commenting and then I wont do anything for like a month after that. I am always missing out of excellent posts because I don’t visit other blogs enough. So this is something I want to become better at this year.

TTT4

I started doing this a bit more in 2015 but I want to try and do it for all of my reviews this year. It’s such a good way to help promote these authors and their books and it’s really not all that hard to just copy a review from one to the other, but alas I don’t do it enough!

TTT7

I think I put this on every single year, but this year will be the one, I feel it! (she says at 10am on Tuesday, writing her Top Ten Tuesday post in work!) Ok, so maybe it will take me some time to get into it, but by the end of this year I will be a scheduling queen! (Maybe)

TTT8

For the past two years I have attended YALC (basically the UK version of BEA for those of you who don’t know) and I absolutely love it. I’ve already got my tickets for this summer but I want to find even more events to go to. They are always so much fun and I have met some great people (both authors and attendees) before at them. Plus … signed books! Yeay!

TTT9

I am constantly posting about bookish things to make in my Sunday Funday posts and I have an enormous pile of second hand books that I have been collecting for these crafts, but still haven’t used. I have big plans this year to make my own bookish Christmas decorations, but I also have some other fun crafty things that I want to make too. I’m thinking that my house needs more Harry Potter arty things…

TTT10

I love reading, but with everything going on in my life at the moment I don’t have nearly enough time to just sit and read. I want to make more ME time in 2016 when I can just pick up a book and zone out for a few hours rather then reading books on my phone in little 10 minute spurts.

What resolutions did you pick this week? Are yours bookish, personal or a mix of the two? 

What do you think of my choices? Are any of these on your list this week too?

Brocs Bookcase

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Looking back on 2015 …and the bookish goals that I failed!

January 4, 2016 End of Year 0

2015 was a good year for me. I didn’t start it in the best place: I had no job, no money, my friends were all miles away and everything just became a bit of a struggle. With with some hard work and a lot of support from my family I ended this year on a high after such a fantastic year.

I found myself a job, which sure is not the job I see myself doing for the rest of my life but I’m not a snob and I was so lucky to find it. It has given me money to support myself and has put me back into a happier routine. Plus, it is the same place where my (new for 2015) boyfriend works, who has also helped to make 2015 a pretty awesome year.

Broc’s Bookcase did really well this year too and after putting in the effort I have seen it develop even further then I ever imagined. When I started this thing I didn’t think I would even last 1 year, but in 2015 I celebrated my 2nd Blogiversary. I attended YALC again and got to meet some amazing authors and some fellow bloggers and I was honored to be one of 30 people invited to the Insight to Publishing day at Hachette UK which was one of the best experiences of my life.

The Bookish Goals…

At the beginning of 2015 I made some resolutions and also decided to take part in some bookish challenges. Looking back there were some things that I achieved very easily, others didn’t go as well…

The Resolutions

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Yeay! Resolutions that I actually achieved…
I managed to finally read The Ivy Years series, The Lunar Chronicles and quite a few standalone’s from my TBR which have been there for AGES! I also managed to do some culling and got it down to less than 800 books!

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…And the Resolutions that I failed miserably!
My Goodreads challenge of 100 books had to be decreased in November as there was no chance of me making 100 books last year. I have no idea why I chose to read more classics because I think I knew a year ago that it would never happen! And the 10K, well lets just forget I ever wrote that on my list (exercise … urgh!)

The Challenges


So my challenge was originally for 100 books, and when it was obvious that wasn’t going to happen I decided to decrease my total a little bit to 60 books. Which I did! Whoppee! (totally not cheating!) I’ve just set my 2016 challenge to 70, as I feel there is a much better chance of me actually reading that many books!

I really liked this challenge and it made me realise how many physical books vs electronic books that I read. I aimed to read 30 but only made it to 16. Still I feel like this one was quite successful and will definitely be doing this one again for 2016 with more effort for the ‘real’ books.

COMPLETE! Go me! I thought that this one would be a struggle and so only aimed for 12 books. I managed to read 14 and in the process discovered some great new authors. I will definitely be taking part in this one for 2016 and really hoping to discover some more great authors.

Oh dear, this one was a fail. I only managed to reread 7 books out of the 20 I had wanted, and none of them were the books that I actually wanted to read. I find that my life has been quite busy at times this year and I barely have enough time to read new books let alone reread books that I have read before. But I’m not giving up! I have some reread plans for 2016.

This has been a challenge that I have been doing for AGES but keep forgetting to keep up with. I planned to read 5 more ‘around the world’ books, which I think I did, but I didn’t actually keep count. So who knows?!

How did you resolutions and challenges go last year? Any plans for 2016?

Check back tomorrow for my Top Ten Resolutions for 2016, and also keep an eye on my 2016 Challenges page to see which challenges I will be taking part in this year.

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Sunday Funday: Bookish Storage

January 3, 2016 Sunday Funday 7

Sunday Funday Logo
The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

You may have noticed that Broc’s Bookcase has been a little bit quiet over the Christmas period, apologies for those of you who stopped on by and saw nothing new. It’s one of those times of year in which I do a lot of stuff with my family. My grandad comes to stay with us for like 2 weeks and my sisters came home (one from Vancouver and the other from London).

There has been a lot going on, not just with Christmas stuff but with my sisters 30th and my cousins babies 1st birthday and just so many lazy days playing board games and watching films with my family that I didn’y have time to do any blogging. In fact I don’t think I even read one book!

But now we are in 2016 and I’m back to work tomorrow so thought I woud start being social again. Plus I’ve kinda missed blogging. So tadaa, I’m back!

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Ok, so I’m guessing that you like me got a nice big pile of books for christmas? And there is probably a chance that you are struggling to find anywhere to put said books as your bookcase has already expanded all over the rest of your room/house. Am I right?

I was looking for new ways to store my books and cme across some great ideas that I knew I had to share with all the rest of you suffering with the same problem!

Under the stairs – I love this one and it is such a good way of using the space under the stairs that is (in my house) just a dumping ground for coats and bags! This looks so much prettier and I would love for people to come into my house and see something like this.

In an old drawer – Put an old drawer on it’s side and hey presto you have new storage for books and it could be a bedside table too! Looks totally vintage and is a great way of recycling.

Bedside book nook – How cute are these?!!! It’s super clever too because you can put the book that you are currenlty reading on top and it will save the page that you are on.

Fireplace – is there a fireplace in your house that you never use? Then get rid of it and fill the space with books! So much more useful than an unused fireplace and it looks super cool too.

Any old nook and cranny! – Just like with the fireplace above, if there is a space in you room/house (no matter how small) that you are not using then stick some shelves in there and fill it with books!

Which unusual places do you store your books?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

Brocs Bookcase

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2016

December 29, 2015 Top Ten Tuesday 10

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

Weirdly, I haven’t read all that much since I have been off for Christmas. I had all these plans of so many books that I was going to read and I haven’t read ANY! However, I have had a pretty good Christmas break with my family so thats all right with me!

There are some fabulous books being released next year and I am super excited to get my hands on these next ten especially…

Goodreads (Release: February 2nd 2016)
This book contains 9 extra stories all set at different parts of the Lunar Chronicles, including a epilogue to Winter in which “friends gather for the wedding of the century”. I am SO EXCITED for this one!

Goodreads (Release: March 29th 2016)
The wait for this one has been so hard! But it’s nearly time and I cannot wait to get my hands on the last book in this trilogy. I have big hopes for the ending and I really really hope that it goes the way I want it to, but even if not I will still love Rutkoski because this series is incredible!

Goodreads (Release: February 9th 2016)
A blackbeard esche story. Hells yea! I think this is one of my most anticipated for 2016!

Goodreads (Release: January 5th 2016)
I was lucky enough to get this one from Netgalley but haven’t actually read it yet. It’s a very relevant topic in todays world and I can’t wait to see how Nijkamp tackles it.

Goodreads (Release: January 5th 2016)
Ok, so first how beautiful is this book! And second, how beautiful does this story sound?! I really can’t wait to immerse myself in this world and incredible journey.

Goodreads (Release: February 16th 2016)
I was gifted with the first 30% of this book by the publishers as a teaser and wow was it good! Now I’ve been having to wait for the book to be released so I can read the rest of it!

Goodreads (Release: February 16th 2016)
A ship that travels through time, I mean, is there anything else we need to know to make us want to read this book?! No! I want it now!!!

Goodreads (Release: March 1st 2016)
I feel like, from the description of this one, it would be perfect for fans of Marie Lu’s ‘The Young Elites’ and Sabar Tahir’s ‘An Ember in the Ashes’. I’m excited to read about this new world from Purdie.

Goodreads (Release: February 9th 2016)
So first line int he description “Jane Austin meets X-men”, you’ve got to admit, you are intrigued just as much as I am!

Goodreads (Release: March 1st 2016)
I feel a Romeo and Juliet style romance happening but between an Alien and half blood in an interesting sounding world. Very interested in reading this one!

Which book did you choose for this week?

What do you think of my choices? Are you excited for any of these?

Brocs Bookcase

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Sunday Funday: Bookish Calendar 2016

December 25, 2015 Sunday Funday 3

Sunday Funday Logo
The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

So Christmas is over *sob* but thankfully for me I am not back in work until Monday 4th January. Whoop!

I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas and got all the book that Santa asked them for! I’ll be sharing my own list tomorrow! So what now? Back to normality I guess. Sad times.

This week I wanted to show you something that we will all be needing in the next week … a Calendar!

Normally I go for something book related, I’ve had a few Harry Potter calendars over the years, and one last year that was full of inspirational quotes and so when it came to trying to find a bookish calendar for this year I across this one and thought it was excellent!

Apparently this calendar has been around for years (failure of a booklover only just discovering it!) and for each day there is a new quote and recommendations for books we should be reading, like this page below for 26th January (spoiler alert!)

You can get them from TONS of places online and they probably have them in most bookstores, but I’ve included a couple of links below if you want to order yourself one. I already have and I’m super excited for my new calendar!

Amazon UK . Amazon US . PageADay.com .  Literary Gift Company . Calendars.com

Have you got a calendar yet for 2016? Is it a book inspired one?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

Brocs Bookcase

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

December 22, 2015 Top Ten Tuesday 19

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

My bookish list for Santa was pretty large this year because there have been so many books that I meant to get this year which I forgot to or didn’t have the money to at the time. Therefore I have resorted to my back up plan: Santa!

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The Wrath and the Dawn . The Sin Eaters Daughter
I have heard such amazing things about both of these books this year and have been meaning to get myself a copy for what seems like FOREVER! This year I read A Thousand Nights by E.K.Johnston and wasn’t massively impressed but was told that The Wrath and the Dawn would be the perfect read for me so hoping that Santa gifts me with my own copy. The Sin Eaters daughter has such an interesting concept, plus the cover is GORGEOUS! I really really want to read this one, and then display is beautiful cover on my bookshelf!

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The Anatomical Shape of a Heart . Things We Know By Heart
I love a good contemporary/romance and both of these are exactly my type of book. I have read some amazing reviews for both of these books and I’m really hoping for them both so I can immerse myself in some loooooove over the Christmas break.

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The Lies About Truth . None of the Above
I am really ashamed that I still don’t have None of the Above after the amount of hyping I did over it before it was released! I have been needing The Lies About Truth for so long, but it was one of those books that I meant to buy and then totally forgot to when it was released so fingers crossed Santa brings it for me!

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The Headhunters Race . Mechanica
I have been looking for a new dystopian series now that I have finished Hunger Games, Divergent, Legend, Maze Runner etc and I found The Headhunters Race on Goodreads a while ago but never got round to reading it. I also really love the cover and so I’m hoping that I will have my owwn copy to put on my shelf on Christmas day. Also, Mechanica! Why do I not have this book already! Save me Santa and bring me a copy!!!

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One . The Boy Most Likely To
I have heard such wonderful things about One and it seems like such a beautifully unique storyline. Everyone raves about Sarah Crossan and so I need to get in on this author love! Same for Huntley Fitzpatrick whose book My Life Next Door I LOVED, so I really need to read the sequel!

Which books did you chose this week? Are you hoping to get any of the same as me?

What do you think of my choices?

Brocs Bookcase

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Sunday Funday: We Wish You A Bookish Christmas #3

December 20, 2015 Sunday Funday 0

Sunday Funday xmas
The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

Can you believe it’s already the last weekend before Christmas?! I don’t know about you but this month has gone SUPER fast!

So in my last festive Sunday Funday of the year it’s all about the food! All the yummy little treats you can make and spend Christmas getting fat from! So below are some of my FAVOURITE festive foodies that are so simple to make that even the cookery challenged of you out there (if you are someone who can’t even make toast without setting off the smoke alarms then I am talking to you!) can handle!

You can also check out the links to my festive treats posts from previous years below:
Sunday Funday: It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas #4 (2014)
Sunday Funday: Getting in the Spirit of Things #2 (2013)

Instructions here
How cute are these Reindeer Oreo Cookie Pops from Oh Nuts?!!! And super simple to make! These would be perfect for the little people and the big ones at any Christmas event. I have big plans to make these and hand them out to everyone in work on the last day. Nothing like a Rudolph pop to keep everyone happy on the last day of work!

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Instructions here
Prepare yourself people! This one requires … cooking! But no need to worry, because these are so easy that it would be super difficult to mess them up! We don’t really eat much peppermint stuff at Christmas (other than Candy Canes) so I decided this year to include some more peppermint recipes for the festive period. I’ve made these once already and they all went within 24 hours, so I’m going to say that they were a success! Big thanks to Creme de la Crumb for making me the most popular person in work that day!

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Instructions here
I’ve always had big love for Cheesecakes, but when I saw these ones I may have got a little over excited! So darn cute!!! Created by Baked by Rachel they would be the perfect snack or mini desert for any get togethers over Christmas, or just for yourself if you are feeling greedy!

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And finally, to those of you who LOVE hot chocolate, check out this great ideas by Patricia Conte of SheKnows that you can use to spice up your hot chocolate. I will definitely be trying out the Nutella one and maybe the Pumpkin one too!

What foodies do you have a Christmas?

Fancy checking out what other countries get up to at Christmas? Check out my Christmas Around the World post!

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

Brocs Bookcase

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Page to Screen: Mockingjay Part 2

December 17, 2015 Page to Screen 0

Page to Screen

There are so many books being turned into Movies or TV Series at the moment. This feature chats about the good bits, the bad bits and is never afraid to ask the ultimate question: Page or Screen?

.So, first the facts:
Mockingjay was published August 2010 and in it’s first week along had sold over 450,000 copies. As of March 2012 that number had risen to over 9 million copies.
The film, Mockingjay Part 2, was released on November 20th 2015 and in one week (as of 28th December) the film had made more then $372 million worldwide.
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You can check out my review of Mockingjay (book) here
*Please beware that this review features spoilers for the entire book, and therefore the Mockingjay Part 2 film*

Mockingjay on Goodreads
Mockingjay Part 2 on IMDB

Warning: the following post does contain some very small spoilers for both the book and the film.
(If you have read the book but not seen the film then you will be fine!)

I am so sad that this film series is over, but wow what a way to end it! It has been one of my favourite movie adaptation series of all time and the work that has gone into making it just as incredible as the books really shows and is the reason that is has been so well received.

I remember struggling slightly with the pacing of the 2nd half od the Mockingjay book, but this film does not suffer the same affliction and manages to provide

KATNISS

I have loved Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss throughout this entire series. She was the perfect choice, and not just because of her incredible talent at portraying Katniss but also for her chemistry with the other actors which really shows between the characters in the films. Katniss’ development throughout this series has been amazing to watch and Lawrence does an amazing job at portraying the heroine as she suffers through guilt and PTSD (although it is never official confirmed that she is suffering with this.)

She has to be one of the most reluctant heorines in YA, which is rare now a days, and this final film has a unique and strong sense of morality. Katniss may be broken and has seen more horror then most of the characters in the film but she refuses to fight dirty and sacrifice people to reach her end goal. This is one thing I felt that was done really well in the film, and no matter how lost Katniss was she still had this sense of fairness about her, which was beautiful to see.

PEETA & GALE

This final film gives us the answer we have been waiting for through the entire series: Peeta or Gale (well, for those of you who haven’t read the book already!) The last film was a complete reversal of the previous two with Peeta in the Capitol it was Gale who become the main man in Katniss’ life.

Having to watch Peeta be broken down in the last film was horrible to watch, but having read the book I knew it wasn’t going to be easy for him to come back from that. Under the illusion of tracker jacker venom Peeta is the most dangerous thing to Katniss now, turned into a weapon by the Capitol. But love conquers all, and Peeta is the boy with the biggest heart and starts to come back to us. His struggles in this book are hard to watch, and seeing this beautifully good man have to live through the horrors he is forced to commit was emotional. But John Hutchinson does an incredible job and I couldn’t have imagined it any better.

Gale really found himself in the previous film as he becomes a strong an prominent player in the rebellion. But in this film he starts to loose some of the better parts of himself as the end goal becomes the most important thing and he will do anything in order to get to that point.

It is quite interesting to see the difference between Gale and Peeta at this point. Gale the ‘good guy’ who is happy to do anything to end this war no matter the consequences and Peeta the ‘under the influence bad guy’ who is tortured by the bad things that he is being forced to do.

SUPPORTING CAST

This cast has been incredible and it would take me all day and a lot of world to describe how much I love each and every one of them. So I’m only going to pick a few:

Effie – whoever made the decision to go against the story in the book and include Effie in the past two films having her present in district 13 is a GENIUS! She has developed so much since the first film and putting her in the situation help give her a deepness that she wouldn’t have had otherwise. Plus she provided great comidic releif in some of the worst moments.

Plutarch (Philip Seymour Hoffman) – Hoffman may have died before the final film was finished filming but he still appears in a large amount of it. A mix of real footage and computer generated made sure that he would be in as much as the story as possible and in my opinion it was the best way that they could have done it.

Prim – she has had such a great development through this series, starting as the scared little girl and becoming a confident young woman. I love the role reversal between Prim and Katniss as Prim becomes one of the people Katniss needs to keep her going in this final film.

THE STORY

As mentioned above this entire series does a fantastic job of keeping to the story of the books whilst also adding in some of their own subtle changes which, in my opinion, make it even better. The story of this final film focus’ onthe end of the rebellion, but whereas most other storylines of this theme follow a ‘kill the bad guy and then everything will be perfect again’, the Hunger Games is a lot more clever as it’s characters and therefore it’s audience see the effects of war and how even when it’s over it doesn’t mean that everyone is going to live happily ever after.

It brings up things that are very relevant to our world today, the rules of war and the consequences that follow. When I finished the book I remember talking to my mum about it and saying, it’s like a happily ever after but no one is happy. It’s the reality of war and it was raw and powerful and is the reason, in my opinion, this story is so poinent.

SO, THE BOOK OR THE FILM?

This is hard, but if I’m honest I have to say the film. The second half of the book is very hard to follow with lots of gaps due to Katniss constantly fainting or blacking out. We miss out on some big moments because she isn’t there to see them, but in the film we get them, and so much more. So yes, for me it’s most definitely the film!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Read in 2015

December 15, 2015 Top Ten Tuesday 6

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

Ok, so my top ten best books of 2015? This one has been SUPER hard and of course I went over 10, but only by a couple!

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TTT Never Never

Never Never Part 1 . Never Never Part 2
By far one of my most favourite collaborations of all time, Hoover and Fisher are masters and the first two books in this series have been incredible! I’m counting this as one, because I’m a cheat, but both of these books are truly amazing and had to be on my list this week!

TTT Winners

The Winner’s Curse . The Winner’s Crime
I was a bit late to this one, but it was great because it meant that I got to read both books together and didn’t have to wait an entire year between them (like I am having to do for the final book in the trilogy, The Winners Kiss). Marie Rutkoski is one of my favourite authors from this year (especially since I got to meet her at YALC!) and both of these books truly deserved their place on my list!

TTT Sweet

Sweet Hope . Sweet Soul
Not really a big surprise that so many Tillie Cole books made my list this year because she has released a few and they have all been amazing! I can’t recommend either of these books enough (or the entire series) and there was never any chance that they would not make my list today!

TTT Addicted

Fuel the Fire . Long Way Down
Another of my favourite collaborations of all time, the Ritchie sisters released the final two books of the Addicted series this year and wow where they both incredible! Romance, heartbreak and oh so much emotion! These books are by far some of my favourite of all time, let alone 2015!

TTT Nov 9

November 9 . Kaleidoscope Hearts
Another CoHo book on my list this week because DUH, she is amazing and this highly anticipated book was such an incredible read! Kaleidoscope Hearts introduced a new author into my life this year, who I will definitely be reading more of in the future, if I ever get the time in between rereading this amazing book over and over again!

TTT Lunar

Cinder . Scarlet . Cress . Winter
This only counts as one!!!!! (yes, I am cheating again!) Part of me is sad that it took me so long to read this series, but then the best thing about only reading it this year was that I got to read it as one long story with no torturous waits in between! All four of these books were amazing and all deserved their place on my list this week!

TTT Tillie

Souls Unfractured . Reap
More Tillie Cole! I’ve never been one for bearded bad boys normally, but when Tillie writes them I just can’t help myself and I adored both of these books and the broken characters they featured who completely broke my heart. Some of my absolute favourite books ever!

TTT Ember

An Ember in the Ashes . My Heart and other Black Holes
Both of these were new to me, debut authors for 2015 and both of them totally blew me away. Tahir wrote one of the most incredible dystopian books with a fantasy world I couldn’t get enough of. Whilst Warga ripped out my heart with the beautifully haunting book about two teenagers who become suicide partners. Such powerful books and such incredible authors that I will definitely be reading more of for years to come!

Which books did you chose this week? Did you manage to stick to ten or completely fail like me?

What do you think of my choices? Have you read any of these this year too?

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Blog Tour: “Sweet Soul” – Tillie Cole

December 14, 2015 Blog Tour 0

Sweet SoulSweet Soul – Tillie Cole
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Publication Date: December 15th 2015
Publisher: Self Published
Format/Source: ARC from Author
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This book is part of the Sweet Home/Carillo Boys Series. You can find more of my reviews via the links below:
Sweet Home (Sweet Home #1)
Sweet Rome (Sweet Home #1.5)
Sweet Fall (Sweet Home #2, Carillo Boys #1)
Sweet Hope (Sweet Home #3, Carillo Boys #2)

Sweet Soul (Sweet Home #4, Carillo Boys #3)
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The Story
 (summary from Goodreads)

One shy lost soul.
One silent lonely heart.
One love to save them both.

Life has never been easy for twenty-year-old Levi Carillo. The youngest of the Carillo boys, Levi is nothing like his older brothers. He isn’t dark in looks or intimidating to everyone he meets. In fact, he’s quite the opposite. Haunted by a crippling shyness and the tragic events of his past, Levi spends his days with his head buried in his books, or training hard for his college football team. Too timid to talk to girls, Levi stays as far away as possible and completely on his own… until he saves the life of a troubled pretty blonde, a troubled pretty blonde that might just be the exception to his rule.

Elsie Hall is homeless. Or at least that’s all anyone ever sees. Everyday is a fight for survival on the cold streets of Seattle, everyday a struggle to find food and keep warm. Alone in life—a life that’s dangerous and cruel—her will to keep going is an ever-losing battle. In her world of silence, Elsie has given up hope that her life will contain anything but constant struggle and pain… until the beautiful boy she has severely wronged comes to her rescue at precisely the right time.

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My Thoughts
It’s been over 2 years since I read the first book in this series and it has managed to break my heart many times over. This book is no exception to that and it has taken me nearly a week to find the words good enough to tell you just how beautiful a story this is.

So, why do I love this book?

1) Levi Carrillo is nothing like his big brothers. His gentle and loving heart has suffered so much tragedy that he has become shy and shut off, hiding himself from the world rather than living his life. He has a good, beautiful heart and unlike most of his friends he isn’t interested in the normal things that twenty year olds are interested in. He refuses to live in the frat house, he doesn’t party, he avoids the guys on his team and he has never kissed a girl. He is such a broken and lonely character searching for even a shred of happiness that you can’t help but want to reach through the pages and give him a hug.

Levi’s troubled past is very much centered around tragic events surrounding his mothers death, and it really was emotional to read. I would have liked to know a little bit more about his past in the gang, but then at the same time I don’t think it was needed for this story (I’m just being nosey!).

“She was becoming my girl”

2) I really loved Elsie, and even though the first time we meet her she is stealing I never felt anything but love and sympathy towards her. Like Levi, her childhood has not been easy and the ghosts of her past still haunt her every single day. She is a very strong character, having survived on the streets for years by herself, but she also has an incredible vulnerability about her and she refuses to speak or let anyone hear her voice.

I really loved Elsie’s development in this book as she finally starts to trust the world again and lets them see, and hear, the real her. Levi’s patience and belief in her is the thing that gets her through the darkness and his determination to show her that she has so much to offer the world helps her to realise her full potential and to stand up for herself and other like her.

“Levi, you…you make me want to give my heart away.”

3) Levi and Elsie together were perfect and were alike in so many ways. They manage to bond and heal together over the pain of their childhoods. One thing I especially liked was that they both are extremely shy and don’t talk very much and so are able to appreciate the silent moments all the much more. Their relationship has been one of my favourite to see develop and I was rooting for them the entire time (along with all the other characters too!). They caused me a ridiculous amount of tears and swooning with some beautifully sweet and heartbreaking moments.

“You’re stealing my soul Levi. Like a thief, you’re taking my soul and making it your own.”  

4) Bullying is very prominent in this book and at times is very hard to read about. But Tillie, being the master author that she is, takes this very serious topic and creates a powerful story that broke my heart over and over again until I was having to wipe the tears of the screen of my kindle so I could finish reading this book!

“Words are the worst kind of ammunition, Levi. Physical pain fades in time, but bullets of cruelty forever penetrate the soul.”

5) I can’t tell you enough how much I love this series. I still remember the first time I read Sweet Home way back in October 2013 thinking is would be a nice easy read for my place journey back from my holiday. I still remember the weird looks I got the entire way home after my tearful break down in the middle of a 10 hour flight and since then every book in this series has hit me the same way. All the books in this series are rough and raw and totally heartbreaking. But then there is so much beauty in them and such unique storys with such incredible characters that you can’t help but fall in love with the series over and over again.

“Whoever you end up with, my son, whoever claims your heart, will be a very special girl indeed.” He fingers stroked my cheek. “So much love, mia luna. You will love with your whole being, and it will be forever. You could not love any other way.”

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Final Thoughts

Once again Tillie Cole rendered me speechless in the best way possible and it was a bittersweet moment finishing this book. Tillie is one of those authors that I don’t need to read the description of her book to buy it. Just seeing her name on the cover is more thatn enough to get me to buy it, and my biggest wish is that more people realise how fantastic an author she is and how beautiful her stories can be.

Re-Readability: YES! (you couldn’t keep me away from it!)

My Rating: Beyond Loved. (An All Time Favourite)

I would recommend this book to fans of: Tillie Cole, the Sweet Home Series, healing romances, books that feature sport, books that feature disabilities.

Check out my other Tillie Cole reviews:
It Ain’t Me Babe . Heart Recaptured . Souls Unfractured
Raze . Reap

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The Author

Tillie Cole Author Photo

Tillie Cole is a Northern girl through and through. She originates from a place called Teesside on that little but awesomely sunny (okay I exaggerate) Isle called Great Britain. She was brought up surrounded by her English rose mother — a farmer’s daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.

Website . Twitter . Facebook . Goodreads

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Giveaway.
Tillie is having a Giveaway for a Kindle Fire! Don’t miss out on your chance to win this incredible prize (and just in time for Christmas!)
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a Rafflecopter

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MAJOR thanks to Kelly at Have Book Will Read for organising this blog tour. She is totally amazing and always puts up with me!

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Sunday Funday: We Wish You a Bookish Christmas #2

December 13, 2015 Sunday Funday 0

Sunday Funday xmas
The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

Only 12 days until Christmas!

Now I don’t know about you, but we are pretty late putting up our decorations this year. In fact we are only doing it today (not because we don’t like Christmas decorations, but purely for the fact that I was traveling for like the first two weeks of December!)

Anyways, so I was looking around for inspiration for something new to do with my decorations this year and came across some seriously cool bookish Christmas decorations that are super easy to make which I wanted to show you!

This bookish bauble looks great and is super easy to make. You can buy empty baubles in most craft stores and then all you need is a page or two from an old book. Simple and yet it looks so cool. Perfect for your tree or you could make a whole bunch of them and arrange them in a bowl or something in a really arty way.

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Instructions here.
Another bookish bauble, this one however may take a little more time as it requires some paper mache-ing. But this is another cheap and fairly easy project that makes some fantastic looking bookish baubles. You can hang them on your own tree or give them as gifts to friends and family.

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Instructions here.
In need of a wreath this year? Instead of buying one, why not make one? It’s not too difficult to make, although at times a little fiddly, but look how cool it looks!!!

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Instructions here.
So, saving the best until last…bookish Christmas tree. This is so unbelievably cute and perfect for any bookworms home this Christmas! Plus, they are not even that hard to make, it just requires a whole load of folding and some sticking and then you get to decorate it. I’m definitely going to try and get one of these made before Christmas!

You can see more bookish decorations with my post from last year HERE?

Do you have any of your own bookish decorations? Homemade or bought?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

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Hello World! I’m Back!!!

December 9, 2015 Me 0

So it’s been a little bit radio silence on the blog for the past 10 days because I’ve been doing some travelling, but I’m finally back and ready to be social with you all again!

Like always I had this great plan to be organised and schedule posts and to continue to be active on social media the whole time I was away but I didn’t and I wasn’t and Denmark and Norway where just so fabulous that I forgot everything except the fact that I was on holiday. Which I think is allowed every so often!

But now it’s time to catch up and I have a ton of posts that were half finished before I went away that I am now finishing so I can post them up! For example, my Page to Screen review of the Mockingjay Part 2 movie, which was amazing. I also have an Monthly Review (which is incredibly late now) for November which I still want to share with you because I had a really great month book-wise!

But for now I just thought I would say hello and brag a little about how much I enjoyed my little holiday. I got to visit a 100 year old theme park in Copenghagen, stand under the Northern Lights in Norway and go on a husky sleigh ride in Tromso.

I also had the chance to actually read books whilst I was away and not have to worry about everything I should be doing whilst I was reading! Mostly they were books that I have been meaning to read for a while, but just hadn’t gotten round to them…

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And then there were some ARCs too which I was lucky enough to get my hands on and really enjoyed reading…

I was lucky enough to get my hands on the first 30% of Riders, the new book by Veronica Rossi being released in February. I really loved it, and so it was painful when I reached the end of my copy and can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of it.

I was super happy to find this book on my kindle on the last day of my holiday and just before a 2 hour train journey home! I finished it in about 6 hours and it was incredible. I have no idea how I’m going to find the worlds to write a review for this one!

So, that was my last 10 days! I hope your’s have been awesome too and you have been reading some great books too! Any recommendations, let me know!

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Sunday Funday: We Wish You a Bookish Christmas #1

December 6, 2015 Sunday Funday 0

Sunday Funday xmas
The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

Hello from a very dark Tromso, Norway!!! So apparently because I am so far North at the moment the sun doesn’t rise, like at all! So it is constantly dark here! Which I don’t mind because it means that the Christmas lights are constantly one and it looks really pretty all the time!

To start off this years Christmas themed Sunday Funday I thought I would share some of my favourites bookish gift ideas I have seen around this year. They could be something you get for a bookish friend, or just something you beg your own family & friends for instead. But all of them are fabulous!

So first I need to point you towards The Literary Gift Company who have an entire website full of beautiful bookish things, some of which are below.

Also, one of my favourite shops Not On The High Street has a whole section dedicated to gifts for bookworms and includes some of these fabulous things below…

So what bookish things have you asked for for Christmas?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2016 Debuts I’m Looking Forward To

December 1, 2015 Top Ten Tuesday 5

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

So I must apologise for my post looking a little plain this week. I am currently travelling Denmark and Norway and created this post between my tiney tiny phone and a computer with very bad internet access!

I took part in the debut challenge this year and until I started counting them I actually wasn’t aware of how many debuts I read. I managed to meet my goal of 12 by September! I will definitely be taking part in the challenge again and here are some of the debuts I am most looking forward to…

Blackhearts (Nicole Castroman) – A blackbeard esche story. Hells yea! This one just seems like such an amazing topic to write a debut about! I think this is one of my most anticipated for 2016!

This is Where It Ends (Marieke Nijkamp) – I was lucky enough to get this one from Netgalley but haven’t actually read it yet. It’s a very relevant topic in todays world and I can’t wait to see how Nijkamp tackles it.

The Girl Who Fell (Shannon M. Parker) – I’m aways looking for new authors who write a good romance and this one looks like it would be a perfect swooney read. 

Firsts (Laurie Elizabeth Flynn) – I must admit, I’m interested to see where this one goes. I got a copy through Netgalley and it’s on my list to read next, so super excited to see where it goes.

The Girl From Everywhere (Heidi Heilig) – A ship that travels through time, I mean, is there anything else we need to know to make us want to read this book?! No! I want it now!!!

Burning Glass (Kathryn Purdie) – I feel like, from the description of this one, it would be perfect for fans of Marie Lu’s ‘The Young Elites’ and Sabar Tahir’s ‘An Ember in the Ashes’. I’m excited to read about this new world from Purdie.

These Vicious Masks (Tarun Shanker) – So first line int he description “Jane Austin meets X-men”, you’ve got to admit, you are intrigued just as much as I am!

Beyond the Red (Ava Jae) – I feel a Romeo and Juliet style romance happening but between an Alien and half blood in an interesting sounding world. Very interested in reading this one!

Timekeeper (Tara Sim) – The premise of this one really fascinates me. I’m a big fan of book involving Time as a major part of the story, and this one with it’s weird magical clocks that stop time when they stop sounds totally fascinating. Want it now!

Bookishly Ever After (Isabel Bandeira) – Ok, so it was the title that pulled me towards this one (and the cover!) but which of us hasn’t wished we could have a romance that is just like a bookish romance. This one looks cute and a perfect read for 2016!

Which movies did you choose for this week?

What do you think of my choices? Have you watched/are excited for any of these?

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Sunday Funday: The Countdown Begins…

November 29, 2015 Sunday Funday 0

Sunday Funday Logo
The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

Hello from cold and rainy Denmark! I’m currently sat in a cafe in Copenhagen trying to dry off because me and my sister has the great idea to go on holiday somewhere even colder than England! The cold I don’t mind, but the rain right now is horrendous!

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be posting up some Christmassy things, both bookish and some just plain old festive!

But for this week I want to know what makes Christmas for you???

Do you read a certain festive book every year? Or watch a Christmassy film? Any good recommendations?

What are you favourite things to eat? Do you bake gingerbread houses or Yule logs? Do you do secret Santa?

Do you make your own decorations? Do you go carol singing? Do you go to any Christmas markets? Ever been to watch a nativity play?

So share the Christmas cheer and tell me what makes Christmas for you?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

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Review “Long Way Down” – Becca & Krista Ritchie

November 26, 2015 Book Review 0

Long Way DownLong Way Down – Becca & Krista Ritchie
(website . twitter)

Publication Date: November 20th 2015
Publisher: Self Published
Pages: 599
Format/Source: Ebook from Amazon
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Buy it (UK) . Buy it (US) . Goodreads
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This book is part of the Addicted/Calloway Sisters series. You can find reviews for the rest of the books (in their reading order) below:
Addicted to You (Addicted #1)
Ricochet (Addicted #1.5)
Addicted for Now (Addicted #2)
Kiss the Sky (Addicted #2.1, Calloway Sisters #1)
Hothouse Flower (Addicted #2.2, Calloway Sisters #2)
Thrive (Addicted #2.5)
Addicted After All (Addicted #3)
Fuel the Fire (Addicted #3.1, Calloway Sisters #3)
Long Way Down (Addicted #3.2, Calloway Sisters #4)
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The Story
 .(summary from Goodreads)

With a seven-year age difference, Ryke & Daisy have faced an uphill battle in the eyes of the world and their families. Known as the most adventurous, fast-paced couple — their next step has always been elusive to the rabid media.

Behind the scenes, heartbreaking troubles continue to test Ryke & Daisy’s resilience and shape their future together.

They promise:
To never slow down.
To never compromise who they are.
To never abandon their love for each other.

But preserving their happiness also means adding more risks. Ones that Connor Cobalt wouldn’t even take. As a professional free-solo climber, Ryke is no stranger to risk, but his next step with Daisy wagers more than just his health.

With their lives on the line, Ryke & Daisy head towards the vast, wild unknown in this epic final conclusion to the Addicted series.

***Authors’ Note***
It’s possible to only read the Calloway Sisters spin-off series without reading the Addicted series, but you MUST read Fuel the Fire (Calloway Sisters #3) before reading Long Way Down (Calloway Sisters #4).

It’s highly recommended to read the books in the recommended reading order, which is in tangent with the Addicted series.

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My Thoughts

I can’t believe we have reached the end of this incredible series. I remember being sent the first book to review and thinking, “What? A book about a sex addict?! This does not sound like my type of book.” But it was, and the rest of the series continued in style and each book made me love these incredible characters more and more, and the perfect writing duo, Becca and Krista Ritchie for bringing them into our lives!

So, why do I love this book?

1) I couldn’t pick my favourite couple in this series, but Ryke and Daisy will always hold a special place in my heart because the build up to their relationship was fantastic (and also agonising because we just wanted them together!). Theire relationship is different to the others with the trust and friendship groundwork being layed first before ny kind of relationship began. This book throws some pretty serious obstacles in their way, but like always they run towards them head first willing to take on anything to get to their happy ending.

I have this theory…

2) They are the the reckless ones, the risk takers, but they are also the most selfless out of the entire group. Both Ryke and Daisy have had some big struggles in their lives and neither of them have come out of it unscathed. But Ryke is still there, the rock for the entire group and is always there with love and understanding to anyone who needs him. And then there is Daisy, who has been burned and hurt by the people she has trusted, but she is still a beautifully caring person and hasn’t let such horrible experiences define who she is.

“Then one day I realised that you are lightning. And together we make the perfect storm.”

3) The dynamics of the group has always blown me away and I don’t think I will ever meet a group of characters quite like this again. Whether it’s the Calloway sisterhood or the brotherly love of Lo, Connor & Ryke, the Ritchie sisters continue to develop and grow these characters and make us fall in love with them over and over. Saying goodbye to these characters has been hard, but being with them through everything has been quite the experience and one I feel extremely lucky to say I have read.

Relationships that take the most effort and the most time become the most mightiest, most resilient bonds in the end.

4) I’ve been really good in this review and tried to tell you nothing at all, because going into this story blind is by far the best way to read it. But I have to mention, there is this epilogue…and it’s the best thing ever. If you are anything like you you will cry and swoon and happy dance and then cry some more, because it is that awesome.

We deserve better. We deserve happiness. As sisters. And as friends.

5) The Addicted series was more than just a series of books, it was an adventure. An unforgettable journey of friendship and family, love and sacrifice. A journey that took our characters from rock bottom to happily ever after. When I picked up that first book I has no idea what to expect and I can’t lie, I thought I was going to hate it. But from that very first book I found myself in love with it all, the characters, the story, the authors and there was no way I could have stopped reading this series part way through, I was in it for the long haul!

I’ve watched Lo become sober
I’ve watched Lily curb a relentless addiction
I’ve watched Rose blaze her own trail and put fire to stereotype.
I’ve watched Connor fall in love. With more than just himself.
I’ve watched Ryke Meadows unclip his shackles and rise again.
I’ve discovered who I am.

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Final Thoughts

Exhilarating yet heartbreaking, I dare you to not fall in love with this book. Becca and Krista Ritchie bring it all in this book and give us the perfect conclusion to this epic saga. I couldn’t have asked for anything better, or more beautiful or more full of love than the ending they gave us.

Re-Readability: Over and over and over…

My Rating: Beyond Loved (Favourite)

I would recommend this book to fans of: the Addicted Series, the Calloway Sisters series, New Adult Romances, friend to lover, bromances.

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Have you read Long Way Down? What did you think?

What about the rest of the series? Which is your favourite book?

Who is your favourite couple: Lily/Lo, Rose/Connor, Daisy/Ryke?

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Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Things I Am Thankful For

November 24, 2015 Top Ten Tuesday 8

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

Guess what?! You’ll never believe it!

This post…was scheduled!

I actually made a post in advance and pressed that little schedule button. I’m surprised that no pigs have flown past my window yet, but until that time I’m going to celebrate this extraordinary accomplishment!

And after that, here are my Top Ten things that I am thankful for this year, both personal and bookish.

The personal ones…

TTT Turkey 1

The most important thing in my life is the people. My parents, my sisters, my boyfriend, my best friend and all the rest of my family and friends. Life would be so very lonely without them all and I don’t think I would have made it through half of the bad times without them. So thanks to you all, for being there when I needed you and for putting up with me the rest of the time!

TT Turkey 2

I may not have the most perfect health (I’m diabetic) but compared to other people in the world I have it easy. I can live a normal life and as long as I am good (which is hard when there is so much yummy chocolate in the world!) then my health should continue the way that it s which means a long and happy life for me which I am so grateful for every single day. As I am for my job. I had quite a dark year of no work before I got this job and it was a real struggle to pick myself back up again, but I did it and I am also very grateful for that.

TTT Turkey 3

There are so many horrible things happening around the world at the moment. People’s homes being destroyed, people fleeing their homes and people’s safety in their homes being taken away. I am lucky to be one of those people with a roof over my head when so many don’t. I have somewhere warm and safe to go when things get bad and it hurts so much to see all the people around that world who don’t have that right now. So for that reason I am thankful for home.

And now for the bookish ones…

TTT Turkey 4

It makes me so sad to know that there are hundreds of thousands of people in the world today who cannot read. Who never have and maybe never will pick up a book and escape to another world or into another characters life. Books are magic and they have taught me so much. I believe that everyone has the right to be able to read and so I am thankful that I am one of the lucky ones who can.

TTT Turkey 6

I am thank for for Goodreads and all the books that I have discovered because of it. All the people I have met through it and the book club reading groups I have joined. I don’t know how I lived without goodreads for all those years and now it is the first website I go on, before my social media. So thanks Goodreads, you gave life that extra little sparkle!

TTT Turkey 7

I love going to bookish events and standing there in the middle of it surround by lots of other people and thinking, these people all love the same thing as me. The first even I went to was YALC and I went by myself and it was scary, but it was also incredible to discover this whole bookish community that I have never known away from my computer screen. I’, so grateful for the opportunities that I have been offered as a blogger and for the amazing authors and people I have met all through events, both ones on my blog and ones out int he real world.

TTT Turkey 8

I am so grateful that my parents encouraged me to read and bought me so many fantastic books. Books that have taught me things, both knowledgeable and personal. Books that have changed my opinions on things and books that have changed my life. I’ve had such a rich reading history and I am so grateful for each and every book that I have had the chance to read, whether I liked it or not, each one means something.

TTT Turkey 5

This one is kind of the same as the previous one, but also kind of different. I am thankful for the amazing authors whose books I have had the honour of reading. The books that make me cry, the books that make me angry, the books that make me laugh out loud (always in awkward places) the books that I throw at my wall (and then pick up, stroke and apologise to!). I love books that make me feel something, no matter what they are about. And lucky for me I have had the chance to read some incredible books that took me on emotional rollarcoasters. Here’s to hoping to lots more in the future.

Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

What do you think of my choices? What are you thankful for this year?

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Review: “Winter” – Marissa Meyer

November 23, 2015 Book Review 3

Winter CoverWinter – Marissa Meyer
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Publication Date: November 10th 2015
Publisher: Feiwell & Friends
Pages: 823
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Genre: YA Dystopian
Format read: Physical
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 This book is part of the Lunar Chronicles. Check out my reviews for other books in the series below:
Cinder
Scarlet
Fairest
Winter
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(summary from Goodreads)

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

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My Thoughts

WARNING! If you haven’t read any of the books in this series then I would very much recommend that you not read this review (yes, that’s right. I am actively turning people away from my blog!) Although there will be no spoilers for Winter I cannot promise that through my review I wont say something that may be a little bit spoilery for one of the previous books. Feel free to check out my earlier reviews though (all links above) and let me entice you towards this incredible series.

I always find writing review for books that I have loved to be the hardest. How do you put into words just how amazing the book has been? How do you convince people to read it too without being able to tell them all the spoilery things that make it so amazing. How do you stop fan-girling long enough to actually be able to write a half decent review?!

Good reviews are the hardest, and will always be the hardest for me to write. But I write them because people need to know how amazing the book was, the book deserves to be talked about, and I’m hoping that I do a half decent job in this review of telling just why I loved Winter so much…

“She’s our lost princess. And she’s coming home.

1) Starting right at the very beginning of this book with the cover which is gorgeous and in keeping with the other covers in this series. The title and apple very much hint at the fairy tale the book is themed around. I love the way that Meyer manages to incorporate parts of the original fairy tales into the story whilst also keeping her heroines totally unique characters in their own right.

“Winter started to clap. “Brilliant speech. Such gumption and bravado.”
“And yet strangely lacking in any sort of actual strategy,” said Scarlet.
“Oh, good, I’m glad you noticed that too,” said Iko. “I was worried my processor might be glitching.” “

2) This is Winter’s book, so I guess I should talk about her first. When I read the final chapter of Cress (book #3) which featured Winter I was a little nervous, I didn’t know if I could like this girl. She seemly a little strange and I wasn’t sure if she was good or bad. But then I read Fairest and I learnt her backstory, and then I started Winter and she was simply beautiful, and not just physically. Her whole character was just so innocent and pure despite all the horrors she had been put through and I couldn’t help but like her just as much as Cinder, Scarlet and Cress.

As she has grown up she has been seen as this weak girl due to her nightmares and hallucinations, when in fact the strength that it has taken her to to not use her gift of mental manipulation (which causes her nightmares & hallucinations) is staggering. She has spent her whole life fearing for her life from Levana, but still not once does she give into the lure of her gifts and therefore shows her incredible strength.

“I’m going to make it a law that the correct way to address your sovereign is my giving a high five.”
Kai’s smiled brightened. “That’s genius. Me too.”

3) But even thought this was Winter’s book we still got POV’s from all the other characters we have come to love (and hate) in this series. All of these characters, even with their flaws and insecurities and occasionally questionable morals, are the best kind of characters. Loyalty, trust and love make up the bond that has kept our favourite crew stuck together through this entire series, and even on the really bad days they have pulled each other through.

Winter’s POV slides seamlessly into this book and at no point did I feel confused about whose POV I was reading. Meyer has done an amazing job of giving each character their own individual voice and it is very easy to swap between them and know whose POV you are reading from.

“Oh, I fully intend to form an alliance with Luna.” Kai glanced at the cyborg foot again. “I just intend to put a different queen on the throne first.”

4) I hate endings and I was petrified, uncertain how this book was going to end for everyone, and there was definitely a couple of characters in particular that I was very very nervous about. All the relationships are at different points in this book, some brand new others having been there since Cinder but they all continue to develop in this book (even though they are all trying to overthrow a monarch!) and I love that even in the madness Meyer made time for the cute, the sweet and the romantic little moments for each of our characters.

Each of the romances in this book is different but totally believable and it would pain me to try and pick my favourite. They all have their beautiful moments and their heartbreak. There was never one couple that I was totally sure would make it to the end of the series together. Meyer liked to tease with us, constantly separating our couples and then throwing them back together until my heart couldn’t take anymore!

“They’re the first crew I’ve ever had and most of them even call me Captain. I’m going to miss them.

5) This book was brutal at times, I mean our characters were in the middle of a war so we knew this had to happen and the way in which it was done was so very believable. But really, how many times can you have your characters captured and then rescued/escape in one book?! I lost count!

With most books like this you have to wait until the end for some big action filled fight, which in the case of Winter would be torture due to its 800 pages. But Meyer writes this book perfectly and there were so many action filled moments leading up to our big ending that I kept getting scared I had reached the end and it was about to be over.

“Did you see any rice in there? Maybe we could fill Cinder’s head with it.”
Everyone stared at him.
“You know, to…absorb the moisture, or something. Isn’t that a thing?”
“We’re not putting rice in my head.”

6) I was a latecomer to the Lunar Chronicles but no less of a fan. I loved this series from the first page of Cinder to the last page of Winter and it was so hard saying goodbye to these characters, my favourite crew. Meyer has done herself proud with an incredible debut series that managed to twist some of our fairy tales into the most incredible of stories and I am in awe of how she imagined all this in her head.

The world building in particular was incredible and the addition of Lunar in this book made for some magical imagery. I can’t believe we aren’t going to be getting any more stories from this incredible series and although it makes me sad, I am also extremely happy because it was perfect and an honour to read.

She hesitated before asking, “Do you ever think about the future?”
His expression turned wary. “Of course I do.”
“And … does it include me?”
His gaze softened in a way that made her pulse skip. Releasing the overhead pipe, he tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “That depends on whether I’m thinking about the good future or the bad one.”
Cinder shut her eyes and tucked her head under his chin. “As long as one of them does.”

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Final Thoughts

This book is going to cause a lot of bookish hangovers but is an amazing ending to the series. It may seem a bit scary at 800 pages, but every single one of them deserves its place and adds something incredible to the story. I can’t wait for more books from Marissa Meyer, but for now I’m going to mourn the end of this fantastic series.

Re-Readability: Yes! Yes! Yes!

My Rating: Loved (a new favourite)

I would recommend this book to fans of: Retellings, futuristic worlds, YA dystopians, rebellions
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Have you read Winter yet?

Who is your favourite character from the entire series? Which was your favourite book from the series?

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Things I have learnt in my 2 years of blogging (and some things I still suck at!)

November 20, 2015 Blogging 1

This week I have been trying to be good and write & schedule my blog posts for 2 weeks time when I am on holiday. I was very proud of myself, I’d finally learned and I was being organised!

Then it only occurred to me that I hadn’t actually scheduled any posts for this week! So whilst it was great that I am totally prepared for when I got on holiday in 2 weeks, I’ve been rather quiet this week!

I guess I actually don’t learn!

Anyways, to my post… so I recently had my two year blogiversary and wanted to post about all the things I have learnt. So drafted up this post and then totally forgot about it (yet again showing how amazingly organised a blogger that I am) so I thought now would be the perfect time to actually post it!

Now I know I’m not the most experienced of bloggers and it’s not like I’ve got lots of wisdom, but I thought I would share my thoughts anyway…

  1. Get involved!
    Don’t worry, I’m not expecting you to enter a fight to the death match, but there is always something going on within the community that you can get involved in (that doesn’t involve strenuous exercise!).
    Challenges, giveaways, read-alongs, blog tours, cover reveals… there’s so much! There are tons of book clubs and challenge pages/groups on goodreads for starters! Taking part in things is a great way to make new friends and discover new books and authors. I’ve met loads of new friends through doing The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday feature, plus it’s always so much fun to take part in.
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  2. If you want your blog to get more traffic then look at what is already getting traffic and do more of that!
    I have found that some of my more popular posts are when I chat about all the amazing bookish stuff that I want to buy around the internet, jewellery and clothes etc. So I tend to do these types of posts at least once a month.
    I also learnt which of my reviewing styles people tend to prefer and now write all my review like that.
    Although you shouldn’t be ruled by stats it’s important to keep an eye on them to see what is and isn’t working on your blog.
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  3. Shake it up!
    Change your picture, start a new bookish feature, start doing video reviews…these are just a few ideas of things you can do to shake things up on my blog.
    I’m not saying that you should change your entire theme and layout every year, that would get very confusing and probably expensive if you are paying for new designs. But some new additions to your blog could bring in a whole new audience, and also stop you from getting bored posting about the same things all the time!
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  4. It’s Ok that you don’t have the prettiest format.
    Every one has blog envy at some point! You can work on your blog design for hours and hours and love it, then go onto another blog and suddenly you wish yours was more like theirs. My advice would be to make your blog as accessible as possible so it is easy for people to find stuff on it, I hate going to visit blogs and not being able to find their reviews.
    I would also say put as much of your personality into it as possible! It’s your blog so make it something that you want and like. No point in giving your blog a pink theme if you hate pink because you’re the one who’s got to look at it every day!
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  5. Sometimes you will enjoy a book you have had for years over that ARC you really wanted but didn’t get accepted for.
    Every one loves free books, and even better everyone loves a free book that hasn’t been released yet. I remember when I started my blog I was constantly seeing ARC reviews all over the blogosphere. So once I started getting emails from authors about reviewing their books I said yes to everything I could. This resulted in me totally under pressure to read tons of books which I actually wasn’t enjoying that much! If you write good reviews then people will still want to read them whether you have reviewed the book a month before it was released or 2 years after!
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  6. Ask! If you want something then get out there and ask for it. Publishers are not going to know that you are there unless you tell them!
    Much of the time if you see a blog that has received an ARC, or done an interview with an author, or taken part in a blog tour it is because they have asked the author/publisher/blog tour organisers etc.
    Yes, there are the very popular blogs out there who get contacted by these people and are asked to take part, but the majority of us have to source these things ourselves. So what if your blog is only small and you only have 100 twitter followers, you will never know if you don’ ask and what have you got to loose?!
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  7. Don’t leave meaningless comments, people don’t like them!
    There is nothing that annoys bloggers more than a meaningless comment. When we have spent time writing a review or a post and we get that wonderful little notification that someone has commented on it and tapping our fingers on the desk for 10 minutes whilst the stone age computer (I do a lot of my blogging in work!) loads it up and then our heart drops as we see that comment: “Great review, check mine out at …”
    There is nothing more disappointing and frustrating than a meaningless comment! Bloggers don’t expect mile long comments, but it’s nice if you leave a comment that actually talks about something we mentioned in our post so it actually looks like you have read it!
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  8. Be social on social media!
    That’s what it is there for! It’s the perfect place to connect with authors and other bloggers and to share links to your own posts! It’s so simple to like or share a status, or if you are feeling extremely brave you could leave a comment or tweet! The worst part is trying to fit everything you want to say into just 140 characters!
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  9. You forgot to post or you haven’t posted on your blog for a few days – it doesn’t matter!
    It’s ok, no need to freak out! As I said above, I haven’t posted since Tuesday and now I am finishing this post last minute during my lunch hour!
    Life happens and sometimes you forget or can’t post for a few days, we all understand that. So don’t worry if you miss a few days, we will all still be here when you get back!
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  10. If all else fails add a GIF!
    Everyone loves a good GIF! They make us chuckle and are a great addition to any blog post (especially those that are a bit longer, kinda like this one!) Just make sure you don’t go overboard! You don’t want your post to look too crazy, plus it will take forever for the page to load!
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  11. There is no point in blogging if you are not enjoying it!
    Yes, there are times when blogging can get a bit stressful. Stuff is happening in the real world that you have to deal with, or you are struggling to cope with the blogging/personal life/work life balance. Trust me this stuff happens to me a lot!
    But if you find yourself struggling to find the motivation to blog or the whole thing just feels like a big pressure and you are not enjoying it anymore then maybe it’s time to stop.
    Blogging takes work, but it is also meant to be fun. I’ve known of a few bloggers that have decided to take some time out or to stop blogging because they just weren’t enjoying it anymore/needed a break. At the end of the day its your blog and it’s up to you. But as long as (the majority of the time, in amongst the last minute posts and the balancing everything struggle!) you are enjoying it then keep going!

Are you a blogger? How long have you been blogging for?

What have you learnt in your years of blogging?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favourite Quotes From This Year

November 17, 2015 Top Ten Tuesday 16

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.

I love quotes. I have an entire wall in my bedroom dedicated to my favourite quotes and it is full of them! This weeks topic was hard because I am such a quote junkie that only picking ten would have been impossible, so naturally I went over! (But only by a little bit!) Below are the quotes that inspired me, made me laugh and made me cry…

TTT Never Never Quote

Never Never
I loved this book and there so many good quotes in it (and in Never Never Part 2 as well) but this one has to be my favourite. It totally gave me butterflies when I read it.

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TTT Souls Unfractured Quote

Souls Unfractured
A Tillie Cole book always gives me a mountain of quotes but this one is my favourite from Souls Unfractured. It’s one of those quotes that actually means something and it also comes at a very powerful part of the book.

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TTT Sweet Hope Quote

Sweet Hope
Another beautiful quote that is so true. If there is one thing that Tillie Cole excels at it is taking something broken and making it beautiful, especially in her characters.

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TTT Invincible Summer Quote

Invincible Summer
I LOVE this quote from Seth King. Like everyone else, I’ve struggled at times, and it’s quotes like this that bring me out of it and make me think about how incredible life is.

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TTT Kaleidoscope Hearts Quote

Kaleidoscope Hearts
Another one that made my big wall of quotes. I’m a great believe in fate and karma and that everything happens for a reason, so this quote couldn’t be more true to me.

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TTT My Heart Quotes

My Heart and Other Black Holes
This book was emotional and totally heartbreaking and this quote really struck a chord with me. There are times when everything can get a bit tough and at these times I usually end up curled up in my bed feeling very sorry for myself. I have this quote right next to my bed and it is the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning. It reminds me that I can beat anything.

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TTT Winners Curse Quote

The Winners Curse
There were so many smart quotes from the first two books in Rutkoski’s Winner’s trilogy, but I think I like this one best. I love the ability that books have to make us believe in the unbelievable, it’s the whole magic of them and the reason I love them so much.

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TTT Reap Quote

Reap
This one was a swoony one. I can’t reconmend this book enough and when you get to this quote you will understand why I picked it!

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TTT Fuel the Fire Quote

Fuel the Fire
I really like this quote because it is so relevant to the world today. Who cares if you are attracted to girls, boys or both. If you like boys who dress or as girls or girls who dress up as boys. If the person that you are attracted to is smart or dumb or beautiful or ugly. People are people, the details don’t matter. This quote speaks true to that and it’s why I love it.

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TTT Scarlet Quote

Scarlet
Ok, so I picked this one purely because it made me laugh. I was trying to read the book really sneaky in work and was doing such a good job until I got to this quote and burst out laughing and then had to confess to everyone in the office that I had been reading!

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TTT November 9 Quote

November 9
Another swoony quote. I just recently read this book and it was well worth the wait! So many swoony moments (followed by lots of heartbreaking moments!) but this quote was just perfect!

Which movies did you choose for this week?

What do you think of my choices? Have you watched/are excited for any of these?

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Review: “Invincible Summer” – Seth King

November 16, 2015 Book Review 1

Invincible SummerInvincible Summer – Seth King
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Publication Date: November 17th 2015
Publisher: Self Published
Pages: 335
Series: The Summer Remains
Genre: NA Romance
Format/Source: ARC from Author
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This Novella is part of the Summer Remains Series,  you can find my reviews for previous books in this series below:
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 (summary from Goodreads)

We all remember our first love, that one affair that took custody of your heart and never really let it go. Readers around the world were touched by The Summer Remains, a heartbreaking and inspiring novel about one of these romances – but Cooper Nichols, the enigmatic young man at the center of the novel, was largely silent on the matter. Until now.

“I just can’t believe it’s over between you guys,” my best friend said as we walked down the pier. “You two were supposed to last forever.”
I stared out at the blue sea. “Oh, trust me, it’s not over. I am going to see that girl’s face in every crowd I look into, forever. And maybe a few forevers after that…”

And so begins the tale of young writer Cooper Nichols. Left in ruins after a tragic summer romance, Cooper is afraid the sun may have set on him for good – until his mother discovers a copy of Cooper’s journal he kept of that summer. As he reluctantly slips back into his own past in the pages of his notebook, Cooper starts to rethink everything he thought he knew about life, death, and all the love that can bloom in between – and what follows is a thrilling and breathtaking journey back to joy that will sink into you and stay there for the long haul.

Illuminating, romantic and soul-stirring, Invincible Summer is a testament to the miraculous power of love, in all its immortal glory and everlasting majesty. If you have ever found yourself drifting back to a long-lost romance during a quiet moment, prepare to be pulled under all over again.

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My Thoughts

This book has me so so conflicted. Part of me is a little sad because it wasn’t the book that I had expected to get. But then it was beautiful, so I can’t really complain…

I wanted Cooper’s story. This book was meant to tell me how he was coping, how he was going to overcome this horrible thing that has happened. I wanted to see him achieve great things in his life and find someone to love and for his heart to heal. I got my story, but just not in the way I had expected.

“Any human who leaves love in the heart of at least one person will live on in the eyes of history, because that love will physically inhabit the soul of that person when they leave, and stay there.”

The premise of this book, for me, was a comforting one. About how the ones that we’ve lost are always looking down on us. That our love for them continues no matter where they end up. And that when the time comes we will all be reunited in some place better.

Seth’s inspiration for The Summer Remains came from his own personal experiences and the tragic events surrounding his brother’s death. That book broke my heart. This one healed it. While The Summer Remains was a champion of a book for people with disabilities, Invincible Summer is a gift for anyone who is grieving.

“This love…this life…was just…beyond words.”

You can feels Seth’s pain throughout this book and if anything it makes it all the more heartbreaking, inspiring and powerful. His bravery as an author to put so much of himself and his own feelings and experiences into his books is something that I am in awe of and if the reason why I find his books so incredible.

Once again there were massive parts of this book that I wanted to copy and paste onto my quote wall in my room. I always come away from a Seth King novel with lots of quotes and this one was no different. Quotes of love and inspirations and just so many beautiful words.

“The world was filled with love stories – ours killed me, and it was still my favorite.”

If you are person who believes with great epics loves and that they can conquer all then this is the book for you. If you believe in soul mates and how a love can last for generations through even the most tragic of events then this is the book for you. If you are a person who wants a story that will completely rip your heart apart and leave you an emotional mess then this is most definitely the book for you.

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Final Thoughts

Seth King has the ability to take something tragic and make it beautiful with his writing. Although this book wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for, it was beautiful in it’s own right and a comforting story to read.

Re-Readability: Probably

My Rating: It was nice

I would recommend this book to fans of: Seth King, the Summer Remains, the afterlife, moving on, characters who are grieving, books set in heaven
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Did you read The Summer Remains?

What are your thoughts on Novellas??

 

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Sunday Funday: Book Printing

November 15, 2015 Sunday Funday 0

Sunday Funday Logo
The weekend is almost over, which means back to work tomorrow for most of us. So to cheer you up (and myself) I am going to be giving you a little bit of bookish fun every Sunday, to make the end of the weekend that little bit easier!

It’s been a bit of a solum weekend this week. I feel like I have constantly been glued to the TV and watching as devastating news after devastating new rolls in. We read about wars and deaths in our books every day, about the tragedies that our characters go through. But we never expect it to happen in reality.

The way that the world has united this weekend has been inspiring and proves that there is good in the world and it’s at sad times like these that we need to remember that. My thoughts go out to those in Paris, Japan, Baghdad, Beirut and Mexico but also to everyone else around our world who has be impacted by the events of this weekend.

I hope wherever you are that you are safe and that over time we can heal together and united.

#PrayforPeace

So now to my Sunday Funday. This week I wanted to revisit something that I did WAY back during the first year of blogging, and that is book printing.

It is such a simple craft and will cost you next to nothing, all you need is some book pages. These can come from charity shop books or books you were going to throw out/give away… really any type of book page will do! It doesn’t matter the size or the colour or the type of paper. It just needs to have words on it!

Then you find an image you like, pop the book page into your printer and press go!

Sunday Funday Book Print 1

You could go for a bookish quote or just an image that you like. I’m a massive Disney fan so something with Micky Mouse on it would be perfect for me, or a Walt Disney quote. Also, how cool is that giraffe!!!

Sunday Funday Book Print 2

If you’re musically inclined you could use song lyrics! Also, if you have any music sheets lying around that you are not going to be using again, maybe you could print on them rather than book pages?

Sunday Funday Book Print 3

You can grab some really great ‘sketch’ images off the internet for free and I absolutely love these Alice in Wonderland inspired ones, especially the ones with a little bit of colour added in.

Sunday Funday Book Print 4

And then there are the Harry Potter quotes! I have been buying cheap Harry Potter books for a while now and I have big plans for some HP book printing!

Sunday Funday Book Print 5

And then the best bit… pop them in a frame, stick them on your wall and everyone will marvel at your incredible artwork!

There are also TONS of places that you can buy these prints on line too. I’ve listed some of my favourite online stores below:

Black Baroque

Owls Nest Cottage

Prints Variete

What if your favourite book print from this post? What would you put on your print?

Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!

Brocs Bookcase

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Review: “November 9” – Colleen Hoover

November 13, 2015 Book Review 10

November 9November 9 – Colleen Hoover
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Publication Date: November 10th 2015
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 310
Genre: YA Romance
Format/Source: Physical Copy from Amazon
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Buy it (UK) . Buy it (US) . Goodreads
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The Story(summary from Goodreads)

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day of her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel.

Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

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Initial Reaction

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My Thoughts

It is impossible for this woman to write a bad book. I mean it could be the worst concept ever and no doubt she would still turn it into something magical that had us sobbing throughout and finish with a heart so full of love and inspiration.

This book is incredible, there is no doubt about it. The hype surrounding this book has been BIG, and I am not one for book hype but this was Colleen Hoover so it was more than acceptable.

So, why do I love this book?

The best thing about this book was going into it with no expectations. The blurb doesn’t give us all that much so we really don’t know what to expect apart from the obvious: a romance spanning over several years and the “ultimate plot twist”. Normally when books say this you know it is a total exaggeration, but in this cast it is not, it really is the ULTIMATE one! And one that I did not see coming and I loved the surprise it gave me!

You can’t leave yet. I’m not finished falling in love with you.

The first page of this book literally throws us right into the story and I liked that we weren’t immediately told everything about our characters. We are given the important details as and when they are needed.  It really helped the story to focus on the characters in that moment without all the additional and unnecessary information that would have just distracted from the main story of this incredible book.

This is real life, and in the real world you have to bust your ass for the happy ever after… When you find love, you take it. You grab it with both hands and you do everything in your power not to let it go.

I don’t want to say too much about Fallon and Ben, because just like with the plot I want you to discover them for yourself, the way that I did. But there are some things that I will say.

Fallon’s character development in this book is beautiful to read, like inspiring kind of beautiful. She made me frustrated at points but mostly I was like a proud mother, tissues at the ready. (She also has great knowledge of which toilet cubicle you should choose when using in public toilets!

Ben’s ability with words made me laugh, cry, swoon as breakdown like a heartbroken teenager. I loved them separately (most of the time) but I really really loved them together in all situations romantic or not.

She’s the only one I want with me today, and here she is.
Just for me. Because she missed me.
If she’s not careful, I just might beg her to stay.
For good.

I LOVED the development of their relationship and CoHo set it up so strongly that even though there were entire years between their meetings it was totally believable that they were able to pick up right where they had left off the year before. With each new year I was desperate for them to reconnect and couldn’t wait to see how their relationship would change with the new year.

I found it incredible that these characters would spend just a few hours with each other once a year and yet their romance could could be so believable. I was totally invested in it the whole time and was their with them through the good the bad and the heart melting love.

“He slowly plants kisses down my neck, keeping my hands secured to the bed, not allowing me to touch him back while he explores my skin. God, I’ve missed him. I’ve missed the way I feel when I’m with him. I wish I could have this every day. Once a year isn’t enough.”

This story really built as we got further into the book and THAT TWIST! Wow! I had no idea, like at all and I loved that! Then came the rage, the angry tears. I was furious at THAT character, no way was I going to forgive them! And then came the apology to out do all other apologies! Wow was I a mess, a swoon filled, heart bursting, sobbing mess of emotion! SO MANY FEELS!

I think about you every second of every day and I don’t know how to get over you,” she says.
“Don’t,” I beg her. “Please don’t get over me.

I started this book quite late at night (stupid idea!) and ended up until 2 am so I could finish it in one sitting (work the next day was horrendous!).  The range of emotions I felt in that one night was ridiculous! Excited, angst filled, swoony, furious, heart broken and finally so ridiculously happy that I probably went to sleep and had a smile on my face all night!

If she’s not careful, I might just fall in love with her. Tonight.

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Final Thoughts

I hate writing reviews for books that I have loved, I’m really quite terrible at them. There’s so much that I want to say but can’t say (spoilers) and so I end up just fan-girling all over the page and not really giving out any decent information about the book! Hopefully I sold this one to you, but if not let me give it another go…

BUY IT! READ IT! LOVE IT! NOOOOOOOOOW!

Re-Readability: HELLS YEA!

My Rating: Beyond Loved (a new favourite)

I would recommend this book to: Colleen Hoover fans, second chance romances (and third and fourth),

Check out my other Colleen Hoover reviews:
Never Never Part 1 . Never Never Part 2
Ugly Love . Hopeless . Losing Hope

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When I Realised I’m a 3rd of the way into NaNoWriMo and I’ve only written 5,488 words!

November 11, 2015 Writing 6

So this year I finally decided to be brave and take part in NaNoWriMo. For those of you who have no idea what this is, it’s a part of National Novel Writing Month in which everyone who takes part tries to write a 50,000 world novel between 1st November and 11.59pm on the 30th November.

So as of today we are over a third of the way into NaNoWriMo, and I am totally behind! Check out the table below, that grey line, yep that is where I should be with my novel right now, and those teeny tiny brown bars down at the bottom? Yep, that is where I am at!

NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo very nicely informed me today that if I carry on the way that I am then it’s going to take me until January 2016 to finish my novel. Basically they told me that I suck at this so much that it’s going to take me an extra two months to do what everyone else is going to do in 1 month! Or in the case of Cait from Paper Fury, in 4 days!

Ok, so enough freaking out.

There is still tons of time, I just gotta get into it and write a decent amount of words each day. Life has been a little busy recently so I really haven’t been writing much at all. Which is the exact reason why I signed up for NaNoWriMo in the first place!

I figure if I write in my lunch hour at work (which I usually spend flicking around buzzfeed articles) I can reach my word count each day. Plus I can do some big weekend writing sessions…this is totally possible.

I can do this! And I will! (but don’t get angry if I don’t!)

beautiful books link up

So, as I’ve not given up (yet), I’m linking up with Beautiful Books again for their second link up of NaNoWriMo…

  1. Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?
    Erm, definitely not defying any expectations. I had hoped that I would be a bit further on with it at this point but otherwise no expectations. I’m just writing and I’m not going to look back at it until I’ve hit 50,000 words!
  2. What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
    “Thortus sat at the edge of the lake looking at the world around him in wonder.” Sounds wonderous right?
  3. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?
    I’ve tried both but I don’t really know which one is best for me. I spent a lot of time planning stupid stuff and then ran out of time and suddenly it was October 31st and I was like WHAAAT?! BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN MY STORY?! So I have a timeline, but that’s about it. My main goal at this point is to end up with a whole story because before this my story has always been in bits here, there and everywhere. I want a full story, and then I can go back and work on the details that I forgot to plan for.
  4. What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?
    Erm, I haven’t met one yet. I’m sure there will be lots of chocolate involved when I do though.
  5. What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?
    Eh, a group of my characters are very into nature, so have been trying to get some nature type names for them. At the moment they seem to all be named after trees: Ash, Elm, Rowan etc but I’m hoping to find some better names for them (although by the time I do this I am probably going to be so used to the tree names that I won’t want to change them!)
    I also have this bad habit of just filling in the name with anything until I find the right name. At the moment the bad guys in my book are called BAD GUYS. Evil sounding, right?!
  6. What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
    I like endings, because I like that the story seems to be going a certain way, and then I get to the end and just totally twist everything and do the complete opposite.
    I struggle most with the middle. I have all my ‘big moments’ planned out, but it’s the in between bits that I find hard to write.
  7. Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?
    I haven’t got to her yet, but it’s Jada. I can’t wait until I get to her, she steals the show every time she gets on the page!
  8. What kind of things have you researched for this project, and how do you go about researching? (What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched?!)
    Names, plants, animal abilities that can be turned i