Thursday, 25 May 2017

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Wednesday Catch-Up 24th May 2017

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

Currently Reading:

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

Recently Finished:

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

Planning to Read Next:

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

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

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Top Ten Books I Want To Read This Summer!!

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and you can find a full list of past and future topics here. I love making TBRs (I'm not so good at sticking to them but that's a whole other issue) and there are a whole load of books I am determined to read this summer. That said, not sure how much reading time I'm going to have with my module exam and YALC but I'm being hopeful!!

1) Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
Daughter of the Burning City
I need this because 1) GORGEOUS COVER and 2) a Carnival. Carnivals and circuses are my reading kryptonite so I am 100% on board for this!

2) Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)
I mean. Leigh Bardugo is one of my all time favourite writers. Wonder Woman is my all time favourite superhero (although there isn't that much competition - I tend to love the villains) so this is a combination that should work super well!

3) The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
This was described as Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets the 1700s which is just everything I never knew I needed? Honestly my anticipation for this book is waaaay off the scale at this point.

4) Roar by Cora Carmack
Roar (Stormheart, #1)
Kind of a more tentative one? I love the idea of storm magic but I dunno. Going into this kind of skeptical and I'm not sure why. BUT again gorgeous cover. 

5) Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee
Tash Hearts Tolstoy
I'll be honest I wasn't initially that excited for this because me and Tolstoy? We don't get on so well. I've been trying to finish Anna Karenina for years and don't even get me started on War and Peace. But I love the idea of the plot and I adore that the MC is asexual so fingers crossed I can get past my Tolstoy aversion and love this!!

6) Want by Cindy Pon
This is one of those books I want purely because of hype. I'm not even sure what this is about honestly. Not a clue. But everyones raving about it and/or can't wait to get their hands on it so I'm getting vicariously excited? Is that a thing?

7) Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle
Spellbook of the Lost and Found
I loved Fowley-Doyle's debut The Accident Season and this sounds just as great. Plus this cover just appeals to me more and more the longer I look at it.

8) The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson
The Sandcastle Empire
ALL I know about this (literally all) is that there is some kind of survival element? I love survival stories for some reason. I would never actually "survive" any of them cause I am useless but they're so much fun to read!

9) Dreamfall by Amy Plum
Dreamfall (Dreamfall #1)
As someone who has insomnia this sounds like it could be potentially terrifying to me. And I'm not sure why that appeals to me but it does. Bring on the terror? Also I really enjoyed Amy Plum's past trilogy Die For Me.

10) A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang
A Beautiful Poison
Anything recommended for fans of Libba Bray or Cat Winters is just automatically going on my to-read list no questions asked. I've heard no advance anything about this book but I am still super excited for it!

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

Monday, 22 May 2017

Monday Highlights #7

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

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

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Sunday Post 21st May 2017

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

Life Update:

I started my GCSE exams this week and have so far sat 6 of my 21 exams, so I thought that I would do an exam update this week and for the next few weeks of exams! So far this week I have done 2 Science, 2 RE and 2 French exams. I think that so far all my exams have gone okay, except I am a little worried about my French exam because I have never really been very good at speaking or understanding French. Hopefully however, I will be able to pass all my exams and get in to the courses I am hoping to do at College. I shall let you know next Sunday about my exams next week. Wish me luck!

Last Week on the Blog:

Books We Got This Week:

Almost a Bride (Destination Love, #2)Odd & TrueEverything Must GoWater in MayThe Smallest Thing
Almost a Bride by Jo Watson: Received copy from publisher for review. This looks super cute and summery and I am really looking forward to it! I'm a huge fan of the fake-relationship turns real trope. 
Odd & True by Cat Winters: I legit screamed when I got the approval email from Netgalley for this. Probably my most anticipated release for the rest of the year - I adore Cat Winters' books! 
Everything Must Go by Jenny Fran Davis: Just such a fun, crazy cover that initially drew me in. This was also received via Netgalley and is being released in October.
Water in May by Ismee Amiel Williams: Received via Netgalley. In contrast I was drawn to the simplicity of this cover and then totally hooked by the blurb. It sounds like it could be quite an emotional one. This is another September release!
The Smallest Thing by Lisa Manterfield: Received via Netgalley, this is released in June, I am really in the mood for thrillers/adventures at the moment so this intrigues me.
The Love InterestThe Secrets of Lizzie BordenThe Italian WifeThe Lost Girl of Astor StreetThe Scarecrow Queen (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, #3)
The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich: One of my most anticipated books of the year! Spies, and LGBT romance and tropes done in a tongue in cheek way. 
The Secrets of Lizzie Borden by Brandy Purdy: MORE Lizzie Borden you ask incredulously. Yes. More. Always more. 
The Italian Wife by Kate Furnivall: One of my favourite historical authors. This actually disappointed me (you can see my thoughts below).
The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill: A mystery set in the 20s was always going to appeal to me plus the cover is gorgeous!
The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury: Found this in a charity shop and had to buy it cause I have the first two and now I can read the whole trilogy. Someday.
Gena/FinnContagion (Dark Matter, #1)Spontaneous
Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson: This is a novel told entirely through email and text and blog posts which is a format I adore. 
Contagion by Teri Terry: I went to Waterstones. Which is always a bad idea for my poor bank balance. But also a great idea because look these two books. I actually kind of want to read both of these straight away so I don't even feel guilty about it.
Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer: "The smartest and funniest book about spontaneous combustion you will ever read." Yeah sure John Green. Especially since it'll be the ONLY book about spontaneous combustion I've ever read? But hey this sounds really fun.

Reading Update:

Unfortunately due to doing exams almost everyday this week, I have not really been able to read much but I have read half of Love Song a book that Clare brought me recently so I am hoping to have finished that by next week.

 As Long As You Love Me (2B Trilogy, #2)The Shape of My Heart  (2B Trilogy #3)Queens of GeekThe Far Side of the Sun
As Long As You Love Me and The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre: 4.5 stars, I just genuinely love this series! Such good romances and non-cliche-driven storylines. If you like New Adult then I very much recommend these! 
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde: 4 stars, Super super cute. I really appreciated having a bi main character and also a main character with social anxiety - both felt real and relatable for me and it was so lovely to see myself in both main characters so clearly! 
The Far Side of the Sun by Kate Furnivall: 4.5 stars, Really enjoyed this. Super good character development, liked both romances and the mystery was engaging and I solved it just before the characters did which gave me this great "NOOOOO don't trust them" moment before they figured it out. 
Shadows on the NileThe Italian WifeThe Lost Girl of Astor Street
Shadows on the Nile by Kate Furnivall: 4 stars, I re-read this one just because reading The Far Side of the Sun reminded me how much I enjoyed it. I definitely still like it although I would now recommend TFSotS more!
The Italian Wife by Kate Furnivall: 3 stars, My least favourite Furnivall novel to date. Wasn't a huge fan of the way some of the issues were handled. The mystery and the romance were still good but I just wasn't as engrossed as I usually am with her books which was disappointing.
The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill: 4 stars, This was a really good read. The mystery was sad and compelling and I loved the main character. I do wish there had been a bit more character development for the other characters because I found myself badly unattached when something sad or eventful happened. But otherwise really good and I hope there are more books about Piper. 

Next Week on the Blog:

  • Monday Highlights #7
  • Top Ten Books I Want to Read This Summer
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • June Releases We're Making Room on Our Shelves For!!
  • Friday Reads
  • Mid Year Freak Out Tag

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