Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Fireblood (Frostblood Saga #2), by Elly Blake

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
This review has been coming for like a week, so I'm glad I finally get a chance to write it.
I hope you enjoy it, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Title: Fireblood
Author: Elly Blake
Genre: Fantasy
Release date: 7th September, 2017
Status: Book 2 in trilogy
Pages: 408
Blurb: "Ice and fire are still at war.
Ruby has defeated the tyrannous Frost King, and Arcus,
the exiled warrior who captured her heart, has taken his
rightful place as ruler of the Frostblood kingdom.

But Ruby is the only Fireblood in a castle of frost and
ice, and the courtiers will not accept her. Even worse, the
dark threat release from the King Frost's melted throne is
stalking the land, bent on destruction- and as the one
who set it free, only Ruby can stop it.

To find the knowledge she needs, she must leave Arcus
and journey south to the land of the Firebloods. But the
homeland Ruby's never seen is treacherous, and friend
and enemy wear the same face.

If she's to save both kingdoms, Ruby must figure out
who she can trust- and unleash a fire powerful enough
to do battle with darkness..."

My Thoughts
I never know how to start reviews.
Bear with me.

Sequels are often tricky to get right, especially if the first book of the trilogy/series was amazing and full of hype, like this one was. But I have to say, I enjoyed this as much as the first, and very possibly more so than the first book in the trilogy.

The second book starts a few months after the first one ends, when Prince Arcus has taken over the throne from his evil brother. Meanwhile Ruby and Arcus are still together, and even though the Royal Court has some less than agreeable thoughts on that idea- they don't really care.
Though I did actually enjoy the political controversy between Ruby and the Court, especially when they clashed. (Which was actually all the time).

At the same time, the Minax from the previous book is creating havoc in the world, possessing people into being awful things, and there's nothing to stop it. So that's a lingering threat.
But after Ruby does some research with Brother Thistle (who we don't get to see much in this one unfortunately) and decides that the only way to defeat the Minax from the Frost throne (that's a tongue twister) is to use the Fire throne Minax to defeat it.

And after a bit of chaos at a party, Ruby makes her way to the Fireblood kingdom to find the Fire throne, and to learn more about the kingdom where her heritage remains. Along with a mysterious yet charming character named Kai. (Love that name by the way, though my loyalty lies with Arcus).

So, what I liked about the book:
Firstly, the controversy between Ruby and the Royal Court, which I've already said I loved. There's nothing like polite confrontation not 40 pages into a story to start it off right (it's better than I'm describing, I promise).

When Ruby arrives at the Fireblood kingdom, she finds out that in order to search for the Minax throne, she needs to become a Fireblood master, and to become one, she must complete three tasks: she gets no clue as to what they can be and nothing to prepare herself for them. What I loved this book was how Ruby took this new challenge. It gave her an excellent character development because she pulled her socks up and worked hard, which I really loved to read about. It was kind of like Fireblood training and as a lover of sport and school, it was a good combination.

Also, the introduction to the new kingdom means a whole new set of characters. You're never quite sure who to trust until the very end, when they all reveal what side their loyalty lies on. It was all quite exciting really, that nagging suspicion that was constantly in the back of your head.

And finally, the end. It was crazy and amazing and... just wow. It was a whirlwind. The ending is still firmly stuck in my head and I can now not wait for the third and final book in the trilogy-
Nightblood- which comes out 18th June this year!
I'm awaiting the last release but I also don't want it to end!

Overall, an impressive book. As you can see, I couldn't fault it.
I highly recommend this book (though of course, you need to read Frostblood first.)

So that's my review of Fireblood! It was a long time coming, but finally it's finished and I'm happy I've written all my thoughts down.
(Let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts.)
I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you all on Friday!

-Abi xxxxx

Monday, 12 February 2018

Stranger Things Book Tag

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And it seems like forever since I've posted a tag!
Yes I am aware that it is Valentine's Day on Wednesday, and that it would make more sense to do a Valentine's Day Book Tag, but as an eternal singleton, that's just another Wednesday to me
(after Pancake Day).
So, I hope you enjoy the Stranger Things Book Tag!

 Frostblood, the first book in the series of the same name. I was like what happens now? But also super intrigued and excited about what would happen next. Then I read the sequel last month and loved it even more than the first, and now that's the case with this third and final book.

The Hunger Games for sure. I would never want to live in that world, ever. That wasn't hard at all.

Well, most of my books are damaged, so I can pretty much pick anything. I'm going to go with Mind Games, a book I savour the words in. It's my favourite Teri Terry novels, though I love all of them to pieces and is damaged (though not through fault of mine). I don't read it enough. Maybe that'll change this year.

I don't think I have a favourite trilogy that I go to whenever I need a pick me up. I tend to pick up standalones, so I don't deviate away too much from my monthly TBR. But I do have a selection of contemporaries that I like to pick up, depending on my mood. This list is:
-Chris Higgins books (not that long, so a quick read, that contain themes that don't make them too chick-lit)
-I'll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson
-Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell

Double Cross!
I would not want to cross Alex McAuley- ever! He just creeps me out and even though Toby is so much smarter than him, I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him- which isn't far because he's so tall.

The first person that came into my head was Kaz!
But I can't choose him!
Can I?
Yeah... he leads a team that at the end is all but ready to kill each-other.
He also has a past history of manipulation, and we see that throughout the duology.
But he also has other qualities, that make me love him as a character.

I dunno... all the books I've read this year?
I think I'll go with Fireblood, by Elly Blake.
That was the main surprise of January, and it's now a contender to be on my Favourites list for 2018!
When is the next book out? Does anyone know?
I can't wait to read it!

I'm going to go with the Skulduggery Pleasant series! It's interesting and dead cool, but just that little bit nitty gritty, and I love it, because the characters- villains and heroes alike- are just that!

For the Stranger Things Book tag, I'm going to go and tag:


If you want to do this tag, feel free to do the tag!

So that is all I have for you guys today!
And before I go, I have to address something.

Last week was a hectic week, where I didn't have a spare minute. And if I did, it was spent almost coughing my guts out.
But it's half term now, which means I have the time to dedicate to the type of posts that you guys deserve.
And It'll give me time to rest and recover, so when I go back to college, I'm able to keep posting.
...And I'm done.

So I will see you all on Wednesday.
-Abi xxxxx

Friday, 2 February 2018

February TBR (2018)

Hey guys, this is Abi here, 
And new month equals new TBR for the month of February! 
I actually had some trouble deciding on what I want to read this month, because of that urge to think-
But nevertheless, I have created one!

1. Stealing Snow (Stealing Snow #1), by Danielle Paige
I am already over halfway through this, and surprisingly, I'm not finding it as horrible as I first thought it was. It's actually a fairly decent novel, and I was surprised to discover that I'm nervous as to how the first book is going to end, especially as I have to wait until next year to read the second book. With my thoughts at the start, compared to now, I will most definitely be reviewing this in the month of February. 

2. To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1), by Jenny Haan
I literally only decided this in a split second last night, after realising that 1) the last time I read a new contemporary/romance was back in September, also 2) that I really needed to read one SOON. So, I thought, because it's Valentine's Day, I could read this, as it's kind of both genres merged into one. Also, I'll read this in February, the second in March, and the third and final book in April!
3. Handle With Care, by Jodi Picoult

This is currently one of the biggest books on my TBR. And it's been ages since I've read something like this, w

here a debate is discussed within a story. They're so intense and so interesting, and I love to see how they're going to end, because it's never in the way I expect. Handle with care is a story about a couple with a child, Willow, who will suffer from hundreds of broken bones, because she was born with osteogenesis imperfecta. It involves a court case, and some what-ifs that have some weight to them. Like what if their daughter had been born healthy? Or what if their daughter had never been born? To gain compensation, that is what they will have to admit to the court. And I can't wait to see what happens.
4. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
Aside from the fact that I really want to read this book, it's also one of the books in my TBR Jar and I have to yet to complete one, even though I own the books to tick off three of them! So I am eager to tick one off! This book was one of those books that changed the way people think about racism, and kind of open their eyes to the idea that people are equal, despite their race, gender or class. And I can't wait to pick it up!

5. One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2), by Kendare Blake
Yeah, I need to get on this at some point this month because everybody that has read this, says it is absolutely fantastic. This is the book where they all face off, and as much as I loved the first book, this is what I've been waiting for. And as much as I want to know what happens, I know that it won't be a happy ending. But that Kendare Blake herself confirmed that there will be one queen at the end of this book, something makes me think that they'll be a twist somewhere, and I can't wait to see what happens (especially as I think there's going to be another book after.)

So that is my February TBR (2018)! I hope you enjoyed it, What books are you reading this month? Do you have a planned list, or are you just winging it?
Let me know in the comments!
And that's gonna do it for today!
I hope you have a good weekend, full of books and reading and I will see you all on Monday, when I will be posting my Fireblood review!

-Abi xxxxx

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

January Wrap Up (2018)

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And this month has been more balanced than I thought it would be. I've read less books, but all but one have been new (one re-read).
I've watched more, and even though I haven't done much in terms of working on my manuscript, I've prioritised my career, which is kind of the way it should be.
Here's my wrap up!

I've read a total of five books this month, and enjoyed every single one of them, which I have to say does not happen often, so it came as quite a surprise!

There is a review up for this if you want a more in-depth view on this book, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed it. It got off to a bit of a rocky start, what with it being kind of info dumpy, but it turns into a book where you don't know what's up sometimes, a book that you just don't want to stop reading, with each new chapter. Frankly, it was an amazing way to kick of 2018!

This review is back from 2016, so I doubt it's that detailed, but I'm going to link it anyway because, I loved it then, and I loved it in my re-read this time around as well. It wasn't my absolute favourite, but it still remains a comfortable 4 star read, a story about bringing the generations together, and not fearing who you are. These individual stories fit very comfortably side by side, so they mould into one big story about love and family.

I have a review for this too! Although the start was a tad bit slow, it picked up immediately! This novel is well worth the hype, and will most likely end up on my Favourites list of 2018, for sure! It was on another level of fantasy than I have read, and although I waited so long to pick this up, it means there's less time before the sequel is released, which I can't wait for!

4.The Diary of Anne Frank
Such a hard-hitting book that almost had me in tears at the end- and I was reading this on the bus! I really can't fault this. But what kind of stops you in the track is that you can clearly picture Anne writing this in her diary, where it's so easy to see the circumstances, to put yourself in that place with her, and it's just so powerful! I recommend this not just to readers, but everybody. It's just one of those books that everyone should read.

5. Fireblood (Frostblood #2), by Elly Blake
I've had a month of reading a bunch of fantastic books and this one is no exception. Elly Blake's writing is so smooth, going from one plot point to another does not seem forced at all. I read this book in four days, and I was never so surprised at how good a book was as when I devouring every word in Fireblood. The story takes place a few months after the first one ends, where Ruby's presence has disrupt the peace of the Frostblood court. From that point on, we see more of the world from enemy lines, and see Ruby attempt to control her wild Fireblood powers. And let me tell you, there was never a dull moment when I was reading this. I have no clue how Elly will wrap this up and I can't wait to find out!

Like I said at the top, I didn't do a whole lot of writing. 
I looked over maybe 30-40 pages at the start of the month, caught in the want to write, write more, and write yet more. But around the middle of the month, I went back to college, and something else took priority. From the rate I'm going, I should finish it by about half-way through the year, around the time that I finish college, but I'll finish my second draft as soon as I can. 
Until then, college takes priority. 

1. The Next Step
I've had this recommended on YouTube for the longest time and I continued to fight it, unsure whether I wanted to watch it because of how many episodes there were (there is literally 5 seasons x at least 30 episodes a season), but alas, I could not resist any longer. This was about a fortnight ago, and I am now halfway through season 3! It was a bit slow going, especially the first half of season 1, but then it just picked up and kept getting better! It's about a dance club/building/business, and there's A-Troupe, B-Troupe, and J (Junior) Troupe. A-Troupe is competitive, so it goes to regionals etc. There's also a ton of drama, most of which is romantic hehe. 
But it's really good, so go watch!

2. Orange is the New Black
Now, I'm not as far in as "The Next Step" because I'm on like episode 10, but this was the tv show that I jumped into, having finished Pretty Little Liars, a couple of days into 2018! 
This is such a crazy show, I know that even from just 10 episodes, and I cannot wait to see what happens in each season!

1. Fame
It may not be the original, but this film shows the harsh reality of what life in the stoplight is... even if they wish to be there, even if it's the one thing that fits you better than anything else. The characters in this film want it, and they won't stop until they can spread their wings and fly. I love this film because they're doing it for the joy of theatre, and because they want to be good. This is one of my favourite films, and I could watch it every day. 

2. Mother's Day 
This is kind of the opposite of the other one. It's sort of the opposite of intense. It's funny and light-hearted, and what I love about it was the different story-lines each character has. They were all unique, they were all easy to follow, despite the fact that they were weaving between one another.  Also, there are so many famous actors in this that I knew it was going to be good. A classic pick me up if you're feeling down, and you can watch it at any time.   
So that is my January Wrap Up (2018)! I hope you enjoyed it! 
What did you get up to in January? Anything exciting? Let me know in the comments, whether they're book related or not!
Let's hope for a positive February!

-Abi xxxxx

Monday, 29 January 2018

Introducing... Monsters of Verity duology, by VE Schwab

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And yes, I am aware that I have done a bunch of these recently.
And it's just because I've bought a bunch of books that I'm excited about, and I did not want to wait until the monthly book haul!
So, yeah!


So, after having reserved the second (and having ordered in the first because Waterstones didn't have it in store) I finally have the Monsters of Verity duology!
This is the synopsis of "this savage song", because I know nothing otherwise!

"Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city,
a grisly metropolis where the violence has begun to create
real and deadly monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless
as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes
the inhabitants pay for his protection. August just wants to
be human, as good-hearted as his own father- but his curse
is to be what humans fear. The thin truce that keeps
the Harker and Flynn families at peace is crumbling, and an
assassination attempt forces Kate and August into a tenuous
alliance. But how long will they survive in a city where
no one is safe and monsters are real."

WOW. Even just reading that synopsis, I know this is going to be amazing. Also, I love the incorporate of music into the title, and the juxtaposition (which means two complete opposites things together) of something so harsh, and something so sweet and good together just puts me on edge.
Also, this duology has got crazy good reviews!

I have also heard that people come to read this book, expecting to love it, and coming back from it, having loved it even more than they originally thought they would. It's that kind of book.

Also, there isn't a romance, from what I hear.
Which I am really looking forward to reading about.

So that is all I know about the Monsters of Verity duology! I kind of want to read this in the next month or so, so reviews will be up soon, hopefully!
If you have read the Monsters of Verity duology, or also want to pick it up yourself, let me know in the comments!
I hope you have a wonderful week, and I will see you all on Wednesday!

-Abi xxxx

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

December & January Book Haul (2017/2018)

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
So, the last time I posted a book haul was back in November.
So, I thought it was time I posted a new one, because I've bought more books these past couple of months!

1. Wool (Wool #1), by Hugh Howey
The summary on the back is kind of vague, but that's one of the things I like about this. It talks about a community that lives underground, the ones that have been the 'unluckiest' to survive. They live a life full of rules of regulations, where some of them dream to go up. They are the dangerous ones, the ones that need to be feared. And that's all it says. This is a series that has been on my radar for years, now. Something I might read in my spare time. It still is, but I saw it in a charity shop, and I thought, why not?

2. It, by Stephen King
I mentioned this in my TBR Jar for 2018 post. I recently got this book for Christmas, and well, it's about clowns. There's a character called Pennywise, and there was a film about it. I haven't seen the film, I haven't read the book yet, but I'm thinking Halloween, because it would be perfect! (And I'd likely be haunted by it for the entire month).

 3. This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1), by Emily Suvada
I have already read and thoroughly enjoyed this. It's a heavily info'ed Sci-fi novel about DNA. But it is so good! I was so in the mood for a good sci-fi book and this one totally fit the bill in the right moment. I have a review for it, you can check it out here. But what I loved about this book was that the world, and the concept was so good. There were twists and turns that I did not see coming, and I cannot wait for the sequel, which comes out sometime in the next couple of years.

4. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
This is a book that is on my TBR Jar for 2018, and probably one of the most anticipated read from that hand-full of books on that particular list. It's set in 1962, and was one of those books that I think, really opened the eyes of a lot of people, to things like the 'black lives matter' movement, and it's one of those books that I've wanted to read because of that reason. I have to say, I'm expecting a lot from this book, but I have hopes that it'll most certainly live up to them.

I actually found these in a charity shop for under £7. And I just had to have them! Now I have every book that I have read by Cassandra Clare with me! Now all I have to do is find space on my bookshelf...

6. The "To All The Boys I've Loved Before", by Jenny Haan trilogy
I mentioned that I had recently bought these when I posted my TBR Jar for 2018 too, so it would make sense that I'd include these. The covers are beautiful, I can't wait to read this, and I will read them as soon as spring is here, so March/April time. Everybody that has read this had read them and loved them. They are kind of chick-lit and romance contemporary, and they are meant to amazing. So, I can't wait to read them!

So that is my December/January Book Haul (2017/2018)! I hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any thoughts on any of these books- whether you liked them, whether you want to read any yourself, or whether you hated them! Let me know in the comments!
I hope you have a wonderful day, and I will see you all on Friday!

-Abi xxxxx

Monday, 22 January 2018

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1), by Laini Taylor

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And I was going to post this, but I had to prioritise.
But I'm back, and I'm ready to post this review!

Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: Fantasy
Release date: 28th March, 2017
Status: Book 1 in trilogy? Duology? Not too sure
Pages: 532
Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian,
has always feared that his dream chose poorly.
Since he was five years old, he's been obsessed with,
the mystic lost city of Weep, but it would take
someone bolder than he to cross half the world in
search of it. Then a stumbling opportunity presents
itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer
and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to
seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago
to cut it off from the rest of the world? What
exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the
name of God? And what is the mysterious problem
he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more
mysteries- including the blue skinned goddess
who appears in Lazlo's dreams. How did he dream
her before he knew she existed? And if all the Gods
are dead, why does she seem so real?"

My Thoughts
First things first: overall thoughts. This was on another level of fantastic.  I didn't even realise how invested I was getting into the story. Not so much the characters, it took me a while to feel for the characters, and the hardships that they went through, though that happened eventually, but the story was so surreal, which is why it was perfect as a book about dreams.

I had a couple of problems, but more on those later.

First up, let me talk about the writing.
The writing style was everything. It was poetic and smooth, and so goddamn beautiful. It was like the sky on a sunny day, blue and beautiful.
It's like ice-cream on a sunny day.
The writing took what have been a decent book, to another level.
The writing style was fantastic.

The characters. I fell in love with Lazlo instantly. There's nobody that's like him anywhere that I have read in YA, or anywhere for that matter. He's such a precious bean and he remains that way, untainted and perfect. Even though his physical status changes, his personality remains sensitive and emotionally strong. And that's what I love about him.
I have to admit, I felt a bit sorry for Thyon. Constantly pressured to come up with something brilliant, there was always a consequence to his actions, and he paid for it so harshly.
I kind of want to see more of the two of them in the next book, but because of recent events, I highly doubt that's going to happen.

Also, Sarai, and the other Godspawn really brought a lot to the story. Amazing and incredibly thought out, she destroyed you piece by piece, by each heart-breaking memory after enough.
Along with the other Godspawn: Feral, Ruby, Sparrow.
And MINYA. I'm not even going to say anymore.

The plot. It was more than just the direction of the story. It was crazy and detailed. To god it was detailed. The plot was so fleshed out, the two POVs' journeys intertwined to make the plot. I found that I was never bored, once the story got into it.

What I didn't love:
1. The first 80 pages was info dump. There's no two ways around it. There were words that I was just like "What?!" for, because I had no clue what they were talking about.
2. When is the next book coming out?
(I know it's called Muse of Nightmares, but as of now, I do not know the release date other than some time this year.)

Overall, I cannot wait for the second book. I would for sure recommend this to any fantasy lover. Or even any lover of books, really. The characters are so brilliant, the plot is crazy good.
And Strange the Dreamer is now a strong contender for my "Favourite Books of 2018", already!

So that is all I have for you today! I hope you have a wonderful day, and I will see you all on Wednesday!
P.S.: Comment down below your thoughts on Strange the Dreamer!

-Abi xxxxx