What I’ve Been Reading in 2014

As I haven’t been blogging so far this year I wanted to catch up on the books I’ve been reading. So far I have managed to read 28 books and I feel like I am going slow however I am currently on track for Goodreads goal for the year of 60 books. Sadly I’ve not found anything this year that’s really blown me away, I have enjoyed some books, but most of them have just been OK. Currently I am reading The Fellowship of the Ring which isn’t helping me feel like I’m reading fast but I am getting through it and so far liking it so hopefully the second half of the year will be a better one for reading.

Rainbow Rowell   

My very first book of 2014 was Eleanor and Park which I enjoyed it a lot and have since read both her other published books; Fangirl and Attachments. I didn’t realise this former was an adult book till I got into it but it was just as good as her other work telling a really interesting story about three characters who’s lives are coming together. Fangirl is her other YA book and was a very easy read with a really enjoyable contemporary story that would make a perfect summer read.

Patrick Ness  

This year I have also got to sample some more of Patrick Ness’ work. Firstly I picked up A Monster Calls as they had it at a cheap book store. I was expecting it to be a creepy thriller type story but it turned out to be a very beautiful story about a child learning to deal with illness that definitely left me with wet eyes. More Than This on the other hand was more of a sci-fi story looking at the capabilities of the internet and a very different view of life after death.

War Books 

I also wanted to show some respect to the 100th anniversary of WW1 and the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings in a personal way by reading books set during the war. I’ve managed to read a few thanks to the library but the one that I enjoyed most was All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. Unlike a lot of war books I have read it was set during World War 1 but what made it more interesting was it is from the point of view of a German solider and it very much put across the fact that in the end, it was just boys who have done nothing wrong but fight for their country.

Adult  

Another person goal of mine has been to branch out with me reading, particularly to stop being afraid of adult novels. The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs was one of the first books I read this year and I really enjoyed it. It’s a dark romance involving the paranormal and was an intoxicating read. My biggest surprise of the year was a book I picked up in the library purely for the name. The Library of Shadows by Mikkel Birkegaard turned out to be an exciting adventure with a touch of magic and I think will definitely be making me top reads of 2014.

Classics  

Similarly reading more classics is on my list for the year and I recently read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. This was one of those books that stays with you long after you close it. There isn’t a huge plot to the book but the society and the ideals presented in the book give you plenty to think about. Another more modern classic I’ve got through is Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. This was never on my To Read list and I hadn’t seen the film but when I over heard my friends talking about the twist in it I decided to give it a shot. It was certainly an interesting read and having now seen the film I am glad I read the book first.

Series    

There’s been a lot of good and bad series going about the last few years and I’ve not got many on the go at the moment but I did have Shattered by Teri Terry to look forward to. This was the final book in a dystopian series and this last book was quite a change from the first two. I enjoyed the change of setting for this book, however I feel there was maybe a little to much worry about the romance. A better balance of romance to action could be founf in The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey which I only recently finished. This book turned out to be another one that was different from what I was expecting but definitely in a good way. I can’t wait to see where this series will go. I finally also managed to pick up The Giver by Lois Lowry. It was a very quick read with some interesting ideas but it didn’t blow me away like I had expected.  A book I had never planned really on reading but picked this year was The Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. I have seen the start of the movie adaptation of this several times but never made it to the end so it is good to finally know what happens. I’m not going to carry on with these at the moment but I did find it a worth while read and certainly an entertaining one.

Booksplosion 

Lastly is We Were Liars by E Lockhart. This is being read by a group of booktubers I watch and being so short I figured I would just give it a go. It’s a book you need to go into not knowing anything about it however for me I was expecting a great story from all its hype and sadly it didn’t live up to that.

There have been more books this year but these are the ones I feel are worth noting about. I am looking forward to hopefully getting through so more noteworthy books soon and maybe getting some good review up soon!.

 

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Best/Worst Series Enders

This week The Broke and The Bookish have asked for our Top Ten Best/Worst Series Enders. When we have a choice like that I like to put some from both and this week is no different. I think sometimes I might over read the topics because for this week I considered that you could have favourite or worst ends in terms of what actually happened but also just having a good or bad last book, I’ve gone the second option because its the way its written that makes what happens good in the end and it also made writing my list a lot easier.

Favourites

  • Rapture – Fallen Series by Lauren Kate
  • United We Spy – Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter
  • Brothers to the Death – The Saga of Larten Crepsley by Darren Shan
  • Monsters of Men – Chaos Walking Series by Patrick Ness
  • Sons of Destiny – The Saga  of Darren Shan by Darren Shan
  • Ascend – Trylle by Amanda Hocking

Worst

  • Requiem – Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver
  • Double Crossed – Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  • Missing Me – Girl Missing Series by Sophie McKenzie
  • Extras – Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld

 What Are Your Best and Worst Series Enders?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books Featuring Travel In Some Way

This week The Broke and The Bookish‘s topic is our Top Ten Books Featuring Travel In Some Way. I didn’t think I was going to find this topic that easy when I first seen it but once I started thinking about it there were quite a few books to choose from. I have cheated a little by adding a few series but these are the ones I enjoy the most. My favourite is the last one on the list but the rest are in no particular order.

  • Passion by Lauren Kate 
  • Angel by L.A. Wetherly 
  • The Darren Shan Saga by Darren Shan    
  • The Saga of Lartren Crepsley by Darren Shan    
  • Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver 
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness 
  • Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter     
  • Between Shade of Gray by Ruta Sepetys 
  • An Abundance of Katherine’s by John Green 
  • We’re Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury 

What Are Your Favourite Books Involving Travel?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters Ever

This week The Broke and The Bookish have given us a great topic, out Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters Ever. I think this is a brilliant topic cause there are some character’s that really drive me crazy.

1. Seb from Angel Fire by L.A. Weatherly It really frustrated me when Seb was introduced into this series because I didn’t want anyone getting in the way of Willow and Alex. Throughout the book he seems so sure of himself and how he wants to love willow and I just find it arrogant. I don’t want them to end up together. 

2. Corrine Dollanganger from Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews How any mother could do what she does to her children is beyond me. I don’t know how anyone can not be frustrated be her.

3. Aaron from The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness This may give a little bit away about the book if you haven’t read it by Aaron really annoyed me because he just wouldn’t die. He kept coming back and getting in the way at the last minute. 

4. Zack from Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter Zack particularlt annoys me in the latest book of this series because he can’t just admit his feelings for Cammie and let them be together. He even lets her think bad of him and although it is because of his spy training it still infuriates me.

5. Lena from The Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl In the second book in this series Lena goes totally off the rails and I just can’t understand her. It seems to go against everything she says in the first book and that annoys me. 

6. Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien I don’t know is this counts but the reason Bilbo frustrates me is because he isn’t a likeable character in the book but in the film he is palyed by Martin Freeman who I think it brilliant. 

7. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen How can anyone not find Darcy frustating? He can’t seem to allow himself to accept his feelings for Elizabeth and seems ignorant to the fact he is seem by other as pompus

8. Tally from Uglies by Scott Westerfeld Tally is just one of those main characters that there is nothing to like about her. She can’t make up her mind about what she wants and ends up taking the wrong side and turning into everything she didn’t want to be. 

9. Peeta Mallark from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Peeta is only frustrating in the last book in the series and it isn’t really his fault but it frustrates me how he looses his memory. All through the series his love and how he treats Katniss is that of a perfect gentleman and it drives me crazy that he looses all of that.

10. Edward Cullen from The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer I do mostly like Edward however there are a few things that really frustrate me about him. The first was when he leaves in the second book. I understand why he does it but it really is unnecessary and not only does he put her in more danger but breaks his promise her. The other things are in the last book, one when he wont believe that he hasn’t hurt her after they sleep together and then wont sleep with her again and then again with the way he deals with the pregnancy. 

Which Character’s Really Frustrate You?

Monsters of Men

Book Blurb

In the riveting conclusion to the acclaimed dystopian series, a boy and girl caught in the chaos of war face devastating choices that will decide the fate of a world. 
As a world-ending war surges around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most, or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption, or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale.

My Synopsis

Just when Todd and Viola finally have the Mayor at their mercy Viola has to go and meet the scout ship and Todd is left with the decision of what to do about the Spackle who are advancing on them. With no other choice he lets the Mayor be untied and once again they find themselves on different sides of the fighting and unable to communicate. However neither forget about the other and their actions are fuelled by their growing love for one another. They are told though that they cannot make war personal and soon their actions are getting not just them but they whole planet into trouble.

There is one among the spackle though who has revenge on his mind and is taken under the wing of their leader to keep him at peace because what is really wanted is peace for the planet. It almost happens. The Spackle have more than one secret that will change the course of the war. However it is also this that changes the Mayor and just when things have finally settled everything seems lost again. 

Viola and Todd continue fighting for on another though and it might just be enough to pull everyone through. 

Review

I really, really enjoyed the final book in this series. I was slightly concerned when I read reviews that talked of it just being 600 pages of war but although it was it was engaging every step of the way. I loved that through out the whole book we were still trying to guess who was the good leader, who was really wanting to do right for the planet. In this book we see both begin to weaken slightly and why they see so much in Viola and Todd and I almost think there is a theme of leadership through the book. This is seen also in the new voice that we are introduced to in this book. I found those sections of the book sometimes a little harder to read at pace but it was really interesting to find out more from the character and how their position was very similar to the Todd and Viola’s. 

This is my favourite book in the series by far. There was a lot going on and the nature of the war changed through out the book but this made it interesting. I was really surprised by how each character was developed and the changes they made through out the book but also by the ending. There was no way I would have guessed it. 

I think what makes this an interesting dystopian is that it isn’t very far away from what we could have if it weren’t for the issues raised by nature on the new planet. However it is dealing with the issue of  power and that is something that we can’t get away from because if we were all equal could we really function effectively? 

The Ask and The Answer

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss.

Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor’s new order.

But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? 
And where is Viola? Is she even still alive?
And who are the mysterious Answer?

And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode…

When Todd and Viola finally reached Haven things didn’t pan out the way they had expected. Now they have been separated again but both are fighting to find one another. The problem is is that the Mayor has other idea’s for Todd.  Put to work with his son Davy, they have work to do to learn how things are going to be done from now on in preparation for the arrival of Viola’s ship. The mayor also knows that Viola is the key to controlling Todd and he soon finds himself doing things he would never have imagined.

Viola however isn’t having any easier a time. Put to work as a healer she is being looked after by someone that has just as much determination as the Mayor. Someone who is just as manipulating and knows that Viola has no where else to go.

Though they may have their doubts about one another when chaos begins to break out in New Prentisstown they still fight to find one another but will it be enough?.

I really enjoyed the second book in this series. It carried on well from where the first book left off and we got to see how Todd’s character has developed from everything he had been through. I think all the characters in this book are well written and it makes it easy to connect with story. I also think the books are well written. I particularly liked this book  because we got to read chapters written from Viola’s point of view. I wasn’t sure how they what exactly was going to happen with this book or how it was going to end but it wasn’t at all disappointing. I think the last book may be a bit more violent considering the end of this book but I am looking forward to reading it as there a few things left to resolve.

2012 End of Year Book Survey

I have been thinking about review my bookish year on my blog for the past month and came across this lovely survey created by The Perpetual Page-Turner that she has been creating for the past few years. With New Year almost here and this being my first year as I blogger I am going to use it to look back over my year and hopefully relive some great moments. I think overall it’s been a good year and that includes for my reading and blogging.

Best in Books 2012

1. Best Book Read in 2012? There was an option to put these books but genre but I think I do havea  favourite book of this year and that’s  Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. I’m not sure why I loved this book because in theory its a girly love story but I just couldn’t put it down.

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t? I was so looking forward to reading Warm Bodies by Issac Marion this summer but sadly I  felt like it lacked energy.

3. Most surprising (in a good way) book of 2012? Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver The first book in this series was a bit disappointing so I wasn’t sure what to expect from the second book however it was written slightly differently and it was so much better. 

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012? Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson This book was recommended to me by a friend and since I’ve read it I have told everyone I know who loves reading about it. 

5. Best series you discovered in 2012? This question depends on if it is a new series that isn’t finished yet or a whole one you only read this year.  I think I’m going to say the Divergent series by Veronica Roth though as this was the first dystopian I picked up after The Hunger Games and it matched up to it for me.

6.Favourite new author you discovered in 2012? It’s hard to pick a favourite because some authors I read more books of that other’s but I am going to say Jamie McGuire and Patrick Ness

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you? The Black Pear  by Allan Porter This free kindle book was just something that sounded a bit different and I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was totally different from everything else I have read else I had read and I really enjoyed it. 

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012? Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson This book has you questioning everyone and their motives in it the whole way through and the end will still surprise you. 

9. Book you read in 2012 that you are most likely to re-read next year? Slated by Teri Terry I feel I didn’t really understand the ending of this book so I am going to re-read it before the next book in the series comes out. 

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2012? Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

11. Most memorable character of a book you read in 2012? This is also a difficult question I don’t think I can narrow it down to one. Katniss from The Hunger Games of course is one but also Travis from Beautiful Disaster, Link from the Caster Chronicles and Harmony from Bumped.

12. Most beautifully written book you read in 2012? Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein I find this really hard to answer but I have gone for this book because it handled war and the reality of being a prisoner of war really well. 

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012? Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews This was the most intense book I have ever written and there was so many moments in it that till fill me with emotion. 

14. Book you can’t believe you waiting until 2012 to finally read? This one is quite easy to answer really there is The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I am finally able to say I have read Jane Austen and I can now count my self as a true book lover.

15. Favourite quote/passage from a book you read in 2012?

“In approved places, every story serves a purpose. But forbidden books are so much more. Some of them are webs; you can feel your way along their threads, but just barely, into strange and dark corners. Some of them are balloons bobbing up through the sky: totally self-contained, and unreachable, but beautiful to watch.
And some of them- the best ones- are doors.”

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver pg 152

16. Shortest & Longest books you read in 2012? Callum  by Malorie Blackman was shortest at only 66 pages and the longest was re-reading Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer at 756 pages.

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to someone about? This in an interesting question, I think I will have to say Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews, it was full of scenes that had my heart pounding and my mind racing.

18. Favourite relationship from a book you read in 2012? I have two answers for this one, my favourite friendship was between Queenie and Maddie from Code Name Verity. My favourite romance however was between Link and Ridley from the Caster Chronicles because it was so dysfunctional yet you could tell they really felt something more for one another.

19. Favourite book from an author you read previously?  The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer, I finally got around to reading it and I was surprised to find that I actually really enjoyed it. 

20. Best book you read based solely on a recommendation from someone else? The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. Ever since I started blogging I have read continuous good reviews about this book so I got it out of the library to give it a shot and I had to agree with all the good comments I had read. 

Book Blogging/Reading Life 2012

1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2012? The Broke and The Bookish is by far my favourite blog of this year because it allowed me to discover lots of other people who blog about books and brought people to my blog.

2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2012? This is really hard to answer as I am still not totally sure what makes a good post but I think my review of Flowers in the Attic is good because I had so much emotion still in me from reading it when I wrote it. 

3. Best discussion you had on your blog? I didn’t have many discussions on my blog, just comments that I replied to. hopefully next year I can change that. 

4. Most thought provoking review or discussion you read on someone else blog? Jacket Musings: Gemma Malley by Words and Pieces I really liked this post cause it brought about the fact that books are judged by their covers.

5. Best event you participated in? This year I went back to the Edinburgh International Book Festival for this first time in years and I had a great time. 

6. Best moment of book blogging 2012? Because this is my first year of blogging my favourite part has been getting comments, every one I get excites me still. 

7. Most popular post this year on your blog? I have picked the post for most popular based on comments so with 10 comments by top post was Top Ten Tuesday – Freebie – Top Ten Classics I Want To Read.

8. Post you wished got a little more love? I think this one has to be my movie review of Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 because the film really surprised me and filled me with excitement I really want to know what other people thought of the film.

9. Best bookish discovery? The Top Ten Tuesday meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish as it has really helped me fill my blog and improve my reviews. 

10. Did you complete and reading challenges/goals that you had set yourself at the beginning of this year? My only challenge this year was the Goodread’s 2012 Reading Challenge. I had set myself the goal of 75 books and I am currently on book 84.

Looking Ahead

1. One book you didn’t get round to read in 2012 but will be your number 1 priority in 2013? This year I discovered dystopian and picked up Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I haven’t read it yet but I got it as a Christmas present and can’t wait to get started on it.

2. Book you are most anticipating in 2013? Angel Fever by L.A. Weatherly is due out at sometime next year though the date keeps getting moved. I can’t wait to see how this series will end. 

3. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging 2013? I have a few challenges for next year but I think what I really want to do is read more classics, I think I will aim for at least 6 as this allows me to do some of the other bookish challenges I have signed up for. 

I hope everyone has a great New Year and enjoys a bookish 2013!

Friday Finds 14/12

Friday Find is a meme I found through Should Be Reading. It is a weekly post where you share the book titles you discovered or heard about during the past week. These can be books you were told about,  discovered while browsing online or you bought.

I may have gotten a bit carried away this week with adding new books to my to-read list. Between last weeks Friday Finds and Monday I had already added 11 book. Here are this weeks finds;

           

  • Dead Romantic by CJ Skuse
  • Lady of the Shades by Darren Shan
  • Torn by David Massey
  • Girls, Stolen by April Henry
  • The Watch That Ends The Night by Allan Wolf
  • Trackman by Catriona Child
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • By The Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
  • Cut by Patricia McCormick
  • Willow by Julia Hoban
  • Hurt by Tabitha Suzuma
  • The Fairy-Tale Detectives (Sister’s Grimm #1) by Michael Buckley
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

What Books Have You Discovered This Week?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Favourite New To Me Authors Of 2012

This week our topic from The Broke and The Bookish is the Top Ten Favourite New To Me Authors of the year. I hadn’t realised how many new authors I have picked up this year till I started planning this post but it turned out to be more than I expected and to my surprise more than ten. So here are the ten in no particular order I have put as my favourites.

1. Teri Terry Author of Slated

2. Jamie McGuire Author of Beautiful Disaster

3. Patrick Ness Author of The New Word

4. Cat Patrick Author of Revived

5. SJ Watson Author of Before I Go To Sleep

6. Veronica Roth Author of Divergent  and Insurgent

7. Alan Porter Author of The Black Pear 

8. Suzanne Collins Author of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mocking Jay 

9. Elizabeth Wein Author of Code Name Verity

10. Lauren Oliver Author of Delirium  and Pandemonium

The Knife Of Never Letting Go

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

Todd just wanted to be a man like everybody else. He was fed up being the only boy left and how everyone treated him because of it. What he doesn’t know though, is that being a man would mean even worse things. Just a month before he turns 13 he realises something isn’t right and to make matters worse he stumbles on a secret that is about to esculate his problems. Forced to flee for his own town he is about to discover everything he thought he new about his world was a lie and not only is he going to have to fight for the truth but also the lives of everyone he has come to love.

What made me enjoy this book was the suspense that was great about what the truth was in New World. There were moments where you think you have worked it out but I will admit I didn’t quite have it totally worked out once it was finally revealed. Through out the start of the book I really thought the present from his mother was going to be the key and I was so frustrated at him but as the plot progressed I lost that.

The pace of the book was perfect in my opinion. There was just the right balance of action and a break to keep you hooked and not wanting to put the book down. I also felt this about the feelings of hope that occurred with the characters, you really felt every chance and blow they went through.

I have only just finished the book and I wasn’t expecting the ending. I wasn’t sure how it was going to carry on to the next book but what happened was nothing like anything I had considered. I can’t decide if I like it or not, but that is more to do with the emotional attachment more than the writing. From a writing point of view it is probably perfect.

This book has had so many good reviews I was nervous I wouldn’t enjoy it. Of course it has had so many good reviews and of course I did really enjoy it. I will admit that I couldn’t didn’t between a 3 or a 4 star rating on Goodreads. I am sure many people will think it should have 4 or 5 but although a very good book it doesn’t stand up against my favourites. However I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one and find out what is going to happen next.