Wednesday, 22 November 2017

November Book Haul (2017)

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And even though this isn't going to be the biggest book haul I've ever done, I'm super excited to share what books I've recently obtained.
And so, with further ado, here's my November Book Haul for 2017!

1. The Crow Girl, by Erik Axl Sund
First thought about this was how big it looks. I kid you not, this has cleared 500 pages. And as a paperback, that's all the more intimidating. But there was something about this book that caught my eye. That, and the fact that my friends at Waterstones recommended this. So, I figured, why not pick it up? The Crow Girl is a psychological thriller, and starts at a murder, the victim's hands bound, and covered in marks. When Detective Jeanette Kihlberg uncovers two more, with the same factors, she realises she is hunting a serial killer. With everything she has ever worked for on the line her, along with psychotherapist Sofia, they uncover a chain events that lead back to 50 years ago- but what will this line lead them to? Yes it sounds cheesy, but there's something about it that makes my skin crawl. And for me, that's a good reason to pick it up.  

2. The Host, by Stephenie Meyer
You'd think with me having read Twilight, as well as The Chemist, that I would have got through this. But, I've never got all the way through it. I don't DNF many books, and I don't know why I put this down when it was good, but put it down I did. But don't fear, I have a physical copy now, and read it I shall. And besides, the last time I picked this up, was like 6 years ago, so hopefully my tasted have changed since I was fourteen. Who know? Maybe it hasn't. But I'll get to find out with this anyway.

3. Handle With Care, by Jodi Picouolt
Not going to apologise for having obtained yet another Jodi Picoult. Yes, it has a trial from what I'm heard. But this sounds beautiful and intense and like your standing on a knife-edge constantly. This centres around a family where the youngest daughter has a severe bone condition called osteogenesis, where bones break much more easily. The story takes place when the family decide to sue the hospital concerning their daughter's condition (not too sure of the details at this point), but what it comes down to, is the fact that, in order to win the case, they would have to admit that they wish their daughter had never been born. And just from that, I'm ready to pick this up. Soon.

4. The Diary of Anne Frank

WHAT A COINCIDENCE IS THIS? That I just HAPPEN to stumble across a copy when I'm playing her sister. (That was last week by the way and I was sobbing by the end because that cast is my family). But no doubt, this is something I will be reading next month. Not only because of the play, but because of the power of words, but also how hopeful and light the words were- even in the face of darkness.

So... that's my November Book Haul (2017)! I hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any thoughts on these books, if you enjoyed any, if you absolutely hated any and you want to tell me that, let me know in the comments below!
I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you all on Friday!

-Abi xxxxx

Monday, 20 November 2017


Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And since Winter is fast approaching,
I thought I'd talk about something slightly different today.
Here's why I love it so much.

1. All the Christmas books, i.e. Harry Potter
Books like Let It Snow (which is being made into a film), and Harry Potter are just the right fit to read for this time of the year. There's just something about the Harry Potter series that screams family, and love and happiness, which is what Christmas is about.
Also, for me. Something about Christmas makes me want to read fluffy contemporaries. I don't know if I'm alone in that, but I'm never in the mood to read anything too depressing.
With the exception of If I Stay. Maybe.

2. All the films.
Okay so, films like Wizard of Oz, and The Holiday, Elf, The Grinch and The Nightmare Before Christmas are on constantly. And at this point, I just love it. I'll even watch one or two tear-jerkers. (For example, I have The Theory of Everything recorded and I'm waiting for Christmas to watch it).
But these films are a big part of why I love Christmas, just because It's nice to sit, and watch with your family.

3. All the Disney films.
There's nothing like having a whole day dedicated to Disney.
I wouldn't know... I've never had the chance, but I would love to try it. Like, I am a huge fan of Disney, I know (most) of the soundtracks off by heart.
Not all of them, but when I discover a new soundtrack, I get obsessive.
But, Disney. Disney, and Winter, and Christmas just go together hand in hand.

4. All the lovely hot beverages.
Not just the hot chocolate with HONEYCOMB, but the spiced gingerbread lattes. Those drinks are LIFE.
Who else agrees?

And finally...
The amount of layers you put on during winter is ridiculous. (In a good way). Like, there's barely any fashion trend, but just being comfortable. Scarves, hats, gloves, I just love it.
Don't ask me why.

So that is : What I Love About Winter/Christmas!
I hope you enjoyed it, and hey! Let me know what you love about winter/Christmas in the comments below and we can chat about it!
I know this was a bit different, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I hope you did too!

-Abi xxxxx

Friday, 17 November 2017

Books 61-70 of 2017

Okay, so, it's been a while since I've done one of these...

Oh, hello!
How have you guys been?
So, this is a post today that I've more or less neglected...
Today I'm doing a post on Books 61-70!
I say I've kind of neglected this post. but really, I'm one book finish off from having to do the next one after this!
So, I really have been putting off this post!
Here's Books 61-70 of 2017!

These two! I finally realise the hype. This trilogy deserves everything that has been said about it and more, because believe me when I say- there is nothing else like it. I can't believe how long I waited until I picked it up, but I am so happy now I have. Links to my reviews in the titles.
:) :) :) :)

63. We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart
If you've read this book, you'll understand. You don't even realise half the things that are taking place within this book until close enough the ending. Your mind basically breaks when you realise, and then you scan through all the clues that you totally and completely missed when reading it through, and it all makes sense. And you kick yourself for not getting it sooner. But that in no way lessens the enjoyment of this book. Like, I'm remembering this book now, when I'm typing this, and the wrench it my gut to pick it up again is almost overwhelming. Just, pick it up.
64. The Start of Me and You, by Emery Lord
Okay, when I first saw this, I wasn't totally obsessed at the start. I'd heard of Emery Lord, from last year's release, When We Collided. I'd heard he was good, but he just wasn't on my radar, really. And when I saw this, I wasn't really all that excited. I'd seemingly read a bunch of books similar to this only recently, and I wasn't that keen to repeat that experience. But, on a random whim, I picked it up. And I finished it in, I kid you not. One afternoon. Not even a day. Because it was absolutely amazing, that's why.

65. Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1), by Cassandra Clare
Cassie Clare has done it again. I didn't soar through this as much as I did TID, but it was a supreme read, if I say so myself. This book pulled at my heartstrings, caught between the struggle that is Emma and Julian, and everything that's going through the story. I think I'll leave Lord of Shadows until 2018, but I can't wait to divulge into the wonderful Shadowhunter world, and see what happens next!

66. The Sky is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson
Not the best cover, but I still enjoyed it immensely. It kind of creeps up on you, really. Having read I'll Give You The Sun first, I can tell that Jandy Nelson got better between the two novels, but it was still an enjoyable read, and one that will stick with you long after you finish the final page. Maybe not an absolute favourite read, but I have to say it's close. And I loved the way the music tied into the whole book too.

If you want to see any more in depth thoughts you could check out my (spoiler-free) review. No, but if you are in the mood for a Sci-fi, virtual reality book, pick this up. It's fairly short, so you don't have to battle your way through too much, (or anything at all, really, because it's so easy reading). But whether you're a gamer or not, this is a must for any YA reader!

68. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
This was... odd. It shared a likeness to Harry Potter, and there were a bunch of nostalgia moments that I absolutely loved, but there was something different and almost silly, and goofy about it. The characters had an unexpected funniness about them, Harry in particular, I thought. It was super easy to fly through, I read it in an afternoon, but I just wasn't blown away by it. By all means, read it if you want to, and I don't regret picking it up, but it just wasn't what I thought it would turn out to be.

69. The Chemist, by Stephenie Meyer
Although this took me a fair amount of time to get through, I thought it was worth the time. Stephenie has gotten so much better with her writing, and she took you on the journey with this. It was so smart, the way she wrote it, and even though I didn't form that strong a connection to the characters, it was an action-packed, mind blowing read that I thoroughly enjoyed. If you get the chance, and you like spy, technological reads, then definitely consider picking this one up.

70. The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2), by Rick Yancey
You start on a trilogy... you end on one. This was book two in the 5th Wave, and even though it was super underwhelming compared to the 5th Wave, it still held promise for the third book and the wrap up of the trilogy. Not much happened, though we did get introduced to a few more new characters. It was an okay book, and it did take me longer than I thought it would, but I got through it.

So, that was my Books 61-70 of 2017! I hope you enjoyed it, and let me know in the comments if you had any thoughts about any of the books I mentioned.
So! I hope you have an amazing weekend, and I'll see you lot on Monday!

-Abi xxxxxx

Monday, 13 November 2017

Gemstone Book Tag

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And I know that it's been a while...
Yeah, that's an understatement.
Last week was just so crazy, I didn't have a spare moment to do anything but my course, and rehearsals, because Anne Frank is actually this week! (Tomorrow, actually, and it scares me so much, thinking about it now).
But I'm back! And I'm back with a tag!
I'm back with the Gemstone Book Tag!

(Also, did you know that it's #WorldKindnessDay- this tag has nothing to do with that, just thought I'd mention it).

1. Garnet: Name a book with the darkest/evilest character you can think of.
The person I came up with surprised even myself. I think I'll go with Flora's mother in The One Memory of Flora Banks. I can't go into why because it's a HUGE spoiler, and what's interesting about this choice is that, once you realise this flaw to her character, you can't really fault her in it. But I'm still choosing her, because what she did is unforgiveable, really.

2. Amethyst: Name a book with regal qualities.
I think I'm going to have to go with Three Dark Crowns, by Kendare Blake. There's just something regal about how the book, the courts, the regality of how the whole thing is arranged. There's just a constant theme of regality throughout the course of the book, and even though the princess' don't really follow that, which I thought was a good thing, but it was definitely a prominent factor in the book, which I actually thoroughly enjoyed.
I should really get on and read One Dark Throne...

3. Aquamarine: Name a character that is 'wishywashy' (not strong). Can also be a follower.  
I think I'll go with Jess, from Last Chance Angel for this one. She doesn't really change much in her story, and she never shows any sign for strength. Not only physical strength, but emotional strength. Not a very likeable character, all in all, if I'm honest.

4. Diamond: Name a book you love that is not very well known.
I think I'll go with Not If I See You First, by Eric Lindstrom. This was a book that truly surprised me by how much I ended up enjoying it. The main character is super blunt, and that's not a trait you generally expect in blind characters. What I loved about it was that it didn't shy away from the awkward subjects. And for that reason, it's one of my favourites.

5. Emerald: Name two characters that are good for each-other. Balance each-other out.
It seems that the perfect duo to choose for this question is Scarlett and Tella from Caraval. One's impulsive, the other is sensible and responsible. One gets taken. The other comes after her. Polar opposites, but they are tied to each-other no matter what. There is no stronger bond than these two, I don't think.

6. Pearl: Name a character that is loyal to the very end.
I think I'm going to pick dear old Rudy Steiner in this one. So tragic, but you can't help but love his character. He is loyal to the end, and I can't help but cry when I think about dear Rudy Steiner. When reading The Book Thief  I was rooting for him from the get go. And, if you've yet to read The Book Thief, what are you doing with your life?

7. Ruby: Name a book that made your blood boil, a book that made you mad.
No brainer. I'm going with The Circle. Just, eurggghhhh. The ending. Why?
This left me so mad. I can't even explain why. Just read the book, and then come and talk to me and we can rant about it together.

8. Peridot: Name a side character you like more than the more character
Ermmm... Twilight, I suppose?
Actually, can I just opt out of this one please?

9. Sapphire: Name a book that had a calming effect on you
After looking through my books, I think I'm going to go with After You, by JoJo Moyes. This leaves me happy, and looking forward to the future, with infinity possibilities. It's not a big unhappy ending, but a peaceful, positive ending. And one heck of a book along the way too. Nicely consistent. Calming.

10. Opal: Name an iridescent (beautiful) book
I can't not put the British version of Strange the Dreamer for this one.

11. Topaz: Name a book with a resilient protagonist.
Yeah, I'm going with Katniss Everdeen. She's been to hell and back and still remains strong. And she's not without scares, which makes her all the better resilient protagonist.

12. Blue Zircon: Name a book with a friendship you wish you were a part of
Okay, so I feel like people are going to say something about this choice, but I have to.
I want to be part of the Perks group! Yes, they aren't the most perfect of human beings, they all have their anxieties and they all have their issues, but just that bond, that freedom. Like, they all have that... thing. And it's so beautiful. I can't even explain it.
I'll just use this quote.

So, that was the Gemstone Book Tag! I hope you enjoyed it, and comment below about any of my choices if you feel the need to!
I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you all on Wednesday!

-Abi xxxxxx

Friday, 3 November 2017

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And I finished this book yesterday, and I felt like it was the perfect post to do today because... well just because!
I hope you enjoy it!

Title: Wonder
Author: R.J Palacio
Genre: Contemporary
Release date: 14th February, 2012 
Status: Standalone
Pages: 313
Blurb: "My name is August.
I can't describe what I look like.
Whatever you're thinking,
it's probably worse."

My Thoughts
How do I even begin to sum up what this book accomplished? It had just the right balance for such a sensitive subject. And it was done with a lightness that was just right. Not too harsh, but definitely not all butterflies and rainbows.

One of the best things about this book was that it gave you a chance to take a step back and think about what your reaction would be, based on the people around Auggie, and their different reactions to him. It's also really easy to put yourself in Auggie's shoes, to see what it's like from his perspective.

Which brings me to Auggie as a character. Strong, never even thinking of letting the stares and whispers get to him, never giving up, losing hope. Nope. Humorous, intelligent and focused, he is by far one of the best characters I've read about this past year. I'm not going to say he doesn't have those points in this book, his ups and downs, but that's just what makes him human, because nobody's perfect.

But this book is more than just being perfect, it shows that the insecurities is what makes us human.

 The thing that will nail you to this book is how beautifully it was written, and the narrative will take you on an emotional rollercoaster, it will make you laugh, and it will make you cry. I was almost crying on the bus with this book, I was definitely getting some strange looks.

And a big part of why this book got to me was how far Auggie came in this book. Like, normally with a character, you get to see an emotional journey, but with this it was more than that. You really got to see Auggie grow up, and mature, from a little boy, completely shielded from a society that judged him, to this strong young man that took it all in his stride, hopeful for the future. And that was just lovely to see.

Of course, Auggie wasn't the only main focus: there were perspectives of his friends, his sister, that gave a different side to a story that had just been told from a different perspective, and it really made you look at things a different way.

One quote that I absolutely loved in this book was:
"Be kinder than necessary."
It's said by Auggie's English teacher, and it love what it means, really. Just that kindness doesn't cost us anything, so why not be kinder than necessary? It pretty much illustrates the entire message of the book.

So overall, this is a heartfelt, humorous and beautiful book that I think everyone should read, regardless of whether they are adult or child. This will for sure be on my Favourites List for 2017, so look out for that!

So that was my review on Wonder! I hope you enjoyed it, and let me know in the comments if you have read this and have some thoughts on it, so we can chat about it!
So, I hope you have a nice weekend, and I will see you on Monday!

-Abi xxxxx

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

November TBR (2017)

Hey guys, this is Abi here, 
And although I didn't have the best reading month last month, I remain optimistic that I will be able to reach my Goodreads goal for this year (80 books). 
With the start of a new month, a new TBR is in order. 

1. Wonder, by R J Palacio
This was just a spur of the moment pick, having read my current book, Turtles All The Way Down, when I had planned to keep reading that on the way home from college today. But, it is on my Want To Read list, and I figured this would be a nice quick read to take in over the next couple of days. There is also a movie come out in the near future, and I would like to read it before I see the film. This is about a boy with breacher collins going to his first day of school. This book is supposed to powerful and lighthearted and I am very much looking forward to reading this later today!

2. Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1), by Laini Taylor
I'm not even going to say anything. This is getting ridiculous. I need to read this, which is why it's second on my TBR for the month. I'm going to be reading this this month. End of story. 

Yes, I am aware that Halloween was yesterday, but I so badly need to read the spin-offs in this series, as well as the new release, Resurrection, which came out in May. So I figured, why not just enjoy the massive experience that is the Skulduggery Pleasant series? Also, because this is such a long series (10 books with two spin-offs along the way), I need most of the month to commit to it, which is why this is going to be the last point on my TBR for the month!
But just to show you exactly what I will be reading, here's the list of books I'll be reading in the series!
1. Skulduggery Pleasant
2. Playing With Fire
3. The Faceless Ones
4. Dark Days
5. Mortal Coil
6. Death Bringer
7. Kingdom of the Wicked
7.5- The Maleficent Seven (Spin-off)
8. The Last Stand of Dead Men
8.5- Armaggadon Outta Here (a collection of short stories set way back as far as I know)
9. The Dying of the Light
10. Resurrection
This is a middle grade series, where you will laugh out loud. This was kind of like the Harry Potter phenomenon for me, because this was the series that I grew up reading. The first book came out in 2007, and in 2009, at the age of twelve, I read the first book. The end of the first series was released in 2014, when I was 17, so you can see why I make such a big deal about this series. It has kick-ass characters, such a dry humour to it, which for me, equals a first class series that anyone could get a kick out of. I can't wait to read this, and if you think this is something that you might like, PICK IT UP!

Right, so that was my November TBR (2017)! I appreciate that it was very short and there aren't many books on it, but I want to leave the month open to re-read one of my favourite series. If I possibly have a spare moment, I might pick up something Christmassy, like Let it Snow, or If I Stay, but if not, that's it for this month!
So that is all I have for you today! I hope you are having a good week, and feel free to let me know what you will be reading this month in the comments!

-Abi xxxxx

Monday, 30 October 2017

October Wrap Up (2017)

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And I'm sorry it's been so long! Really.
Last week was just so crazy!
But, it's calmed down a bit now, finally.
And I have some time to write on here!

So, here's my October Wrap Up (2017)!

So, this month I did okay, but nowhere near as good as last month. I read a total of four books, one of which was a re-read, but I am still on track to reach my *new* Goodreads goal of 80 books.
Here are the books that I read this month:

1. The Chemist, by Stephenie Meyer
With this, the pacing was kind of crazy. I'm not going to say it was all over the place, because it wasn't. But, it took a while to get into it. Also, you need to go into this book with the mind-set to concentrate, because it'll take forever to get through this book if you don't. At least, that's what it was like for me. Let me get this straight, I did enjoy it , Stephenie truly did surprise about how good she'd got, but there was something stopping me from giving it 5 stars, which I think is the pacing. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who does enjoy spy, scientific with guns and explosions.

2. The Infinite Sea, by Rick Yansey
3. The Last Star, by Rick Yansey
...How do I begin to explain these two? Did I love them? No. But were they a solid two part to the end of the trilogy. Yes. Some parts were slow as death, and by that I mean very. But other parts were like meh. And then some parts were just... crazy good. It ended differently to how I thought it would, and even though it wasn't the best way to end the trilogy in my opinion, it is only my opinion and I am satisfied with how it all wrapped up. Do I recommend it? To the right reader, this has the potential to be one of their favourite trilogy's. But to the majority, I think they'd be a bit more picky.

4. My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult (Re-read)
I'm pretty confident I have a review somewhere on my blog. If not, this is one of my favourites and it had been a while since I've read it. You should read it.
End of description.
Also, there's a film for this. It's about a girl called Anna, who is suing her parents for the rights of her own body. Basically, she was created in a dish to save her sister, who has leukaemia. She is a perfectly matched donor, and she's had enough. Now, what I love about this book is you get the whole family's perspective. I love it. As I said before, it is one of my absolute favourites.

So, just because this month has been so, so hectic with college and rehearsals, I have had zero chance of writing.
As for watching...

Dance Academy
I'm legit watching Dance Academy as I work on this now. I got the urge to re-watch it again!
Don't judge me...

So that is my October Wrap Up (2017)!
I hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any thoughts about t-shows, or books, or...
If you're competing in NaNoWriMo, let me know!
I hope you have a wonderful day, and I will see you all on Wednesday!
Okay, byeee!

-Abi xxxxxx