Wednesday, 14 March 2018

I Love Spring Book Tag

Hey guys, this is Abi here, 
And it's time  for my monthly book tag!
As Spring is finally here, I thought it fitting to post a tag about spring! 

1. How is spring where you live?
Well at the moment, it's uncharacteristically warm and bright in the UK, but my prediction is that once April Showers hits, there won't be much sun from around that point. I'm cherishing the sunlight at the moment, because I know it won't last. 

2. Most anticipated book this spring?
I think I'm going to go with this one. I need the Hardcover copy because that's what I have for Caraval, but that's not even why its my most anticipated spring release. The first book in the trilogy was so dark and mysterious and I can't wait to see what Stephanie Garber has done with book two!

3. What book cover makes you think of spring?
I actually struggled with this question quite a lot. I was scrolling through my Goodreads, looking at books that I've read. Then I saw this and I was just like "Yeah!". Because the cover kind of makes me think of hope, the serene blue background, the flower, and the bright pastel colours. I know that the themes within this book bears no resemblance to peace and hope, but that's what I interpret from the cover. 

4. Where are you going to read this spring?
In my usual places? On the college bus, and during lunch at the Nursery?
I don't know, maybe if it's warm, and there's a barbecue at my Nan's house or something, maybe then I'll read outside. But besides that, I highly doubt that I'll venture outside to read.

5. Find a cover with the sun on it!
There's the sun at the top, and it's shimmering on to the water. It's a beautiful cover and I as much as it seems like it's a cool contemporary, it's NOT. It's nowhere near. And I'm so glad that it isn't! Nothing more than that; if you haven't read it, go and read it. 

6. What are your favourite spring reads?
Although this isn't a terribly drastic change, I do tend to read more contemporaries in the spring and summer seasons, more so than I would in the autumn and winter months. Saying that, if there's a fantasy or a sci-fi YA read that I'm particularly excited about, I'll pick those up too. 

7. Find a book with a ton of different colours on it. 
Something about this just screams colourful to me. The opposing components of colour within the circle, that glint of shine on top, and the section of shadow. It perfectly symbolises what the book is about, and it draws you in with the different colours. 

Elin @Book Owlie

So that's going to do it today! I hope you enjoyed the tag, and let me know any answers to any questions on here in the comments! 
I hope you have a lovely day and I will see you all on Friday!

-Abi xxxx

Friday, 9 March 2018

Stealing Snow (Stealing Snow #1), by Danielle Paige

Hey guys, this is Abi here, 
And because of my huge funk away from posting last month I realised that I am a million book reviews behind schedule! 
So, this is the start to the steady climb back up to the top, when it comes to reviews! 
The first one is Stealing Snow, so enjoy! 

Title: Stealing Snow
Author: Danielle Paige
Genre: Fantasy 
Release date: 20th September, 2016
Status: Book 1 in the Stealing Snow trilogy 

My Thoughts
Before I read this all the way through, I had previously tried maybe a year ago, and never got past like 70 pages or so. I thought the book was hard to get into, it put me off the idea of picking up another Danielle Paige book ever again. 
But, spurred on by the challenge I had set myself, to read every single book that I hadn't get finished, I cautiously picked it up again. 
And for some reason, I didn't hate it. Maybe it was that my reading taste might have changed over the past year, or maybe it was because I was in the mood for a fairy-tale retelling that didn't take itself too seriously, I don't know. But it was exactly what I needed at the time. 

Saying that, it wasn't the perfect fairytale retelling. There were certainly some issues that I had with this book, though we'll get to that later. 

At the start of the book, Snow is a patient in a mental hospital, after walking into a mirror when she was six. She has dreams that of a mysterious tree that she's never seen, so she thinks that she's crazy. She also has a relationship/friendship with Bane, a fellow patient with a fascination for fire. 
A random visit from a stranger who tells her to meet him at the Tree, and Bane is dragged through a mirror, not to be seen again, and Snow makes her escape to search for Bane. 

When she arrives at the Tree, Snow discovers there is not one but two prophesies that claim that she is the princess of Algid, which is the kingdom, and that she will either end the destruction of Tyrannic father, or that she will aid him in his evil ruling. 
That's where the story starts. Over the course of the next 250 pages, she will explore the rest of the kingdom, find out more about her heritage, and there are some pretty interesting fight scenes too as Snow tries to take control of her power. (She can control snow and ice)

When it comes to Snow, I didn't particularly dislike her, but she just seemed generic to me. She was kind of like every female heroin to me. She was unwavering in her search for Bane, which proved that she was loyal, and that's no small feat when being told she will either aid or go up against the King in less than a month, and learning to gain control over her powers all at once. 
We got introduced to a bunch of interesting characters throughout the course of the book, and the most interesting in my opinion was the band of thieves that can communicate telepathically. I very much enjoyed meeting them. 

Which brings me to something I wasn't so fond of. The love square. That's right, SQUARE! There were three love interests throughout the book, and they all seemed sort of disconnected from each-other. I just feel like they could have been better. 

An ongoing part of the book that I enjoyed has to be Snow's training of her constantly emerging powers. She was pushed off a mountain, and almost drowned so she could learn to master her powers better. It was certainly a test of power and put her under pressure. It was kind of random the way they went about it but it was a part I enjoyed all the same. 

One little critique I have is that the story seemed to jump from one point to another super quickly. It was almost fast paced, then it was resolved, and then it was like, "Okay, on to the next part." And everything that had happened previously was forgotten. There was no learning character for Snow, except for the progression of the powers.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read. It had it's flaws, which I said at the beginning, but the good outweighed the good (even if it may not seem like that from my review.)
The ending was one to remember, so I will definitely be picking up the sequel when it comes out in 2019.
I would recommend this for readers that enjoy fairytale retellings, and are looking for something that they'll be able to fly through.

So that is all I have for you all today! I hope you enjoyed my review and don't hesitate to comment what you thought about the book yourselves! It was certainly an interesting read for me and I'm wondering if you thought the same!
I will be back on Monday, I hope you enjoy the weekend, and I'll see you then.

-Abi xxxxx

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

1-10 Books of 2018

Hey guys, this is Abi here, 
And I've finally reached 10 books this year! I'm 1/6 of my way to completing my Goodreads goal, and even though that doesn't seem like much, I'm right on schedule apparently! 
Here are the books I've read so far this year!

I have a review linked up at the title if you want to check out my more in-depth thoughts on this book but if you can get past the info-dumping at the start, you become invested in this book not long after. I can also excuse the info-dumping because it's relevant to the story, and necessary so you fully grasp the world and the plot that you are reading about. But if you are a fan of sci-fi this is a must read. Each ending to each chapter left me wanting more and I couldn't stop reading! A must read for sci-fi junkees!

This review is from a couple of years back, (linked in the title), but all the thoughts are still relevant to what I thought when I was re-reading this, after my mind was blown by the ending of Mortal Coil. I needed time to process what I was reading with This Mortal Coil, and this was the perfect read for that. If you haven't read it yet, pick it up if you're in the mind for a contemporary that includes LGBT issues, being true to yourself, mental health issues, Alzheimer's, in a real and truthful way, then pick this up, because let's face it, I talk about this book often enough.

Yet another book that expresses my full thoughts in a review. Though unlike the others, I am unable to tell you my overall thoughts with this book, because it's everything. The writing, flawless. The characters, flawless. Perfection, and I can't wait for the second and final book,  in this duology (Muse of Nightmares) to be released on 2nd October. That isn't even the full extent of how much I am anticipating this book, but that's all I can say. 

4. The Diary of Anne Frank
I literally can't fault this. It was real life, this physically happened. So hard-hitting, when I was reading it, I'd be reading it, and then you realise that it was real life, and it just hits you that much harder, the hardships that they all went through, every single one of them. I feel like this should be a book that everybody should experience at some time in their life. 

This was the book that above all, surprised me the most for the books that I read in January. I flew through it in a couple of days and frankly, the third and final book in the trilogy can't come fast enough. I don't have to wait too long though, because Nightblood is released on 5th June. In truth, I honestly think that Fireblood was better than the first, which is hard to top, because Frostblood was a pretty amazing book. The story starts with Ruby and Arceus, ruling the Frostblood kingdom, although the Frost Court don't approve of Ruby. The Minax is creating havoc elsewhere, possessing and killing. Ruby believes the only way to stop the Minax is to catch an opposing Minax- and so she begins her journey to the Fireblood kingdom and our story begins. 

6. My Husband's Son, by Deborah O' Connor
This was a quick read. Not particularly rememberable, though I wasn't expecting the ending. Some of it. The rest I saw a mile coming. Similar to Baby Doll, by Hollie Overton. So, if you enjoyed Baby Doll, I recommend picking this one up too. I just feel like I could have gotten more from this book, but it was still enjoyable.

7. Stealing Snow (Stealing Snow #1), by Danielle Paige
Although it doesn't come as a surprise, considering my blogging funk last month, but I can't believe I don't have a review for this yet! There's one coming this month, I promise! To be honest, I was sort of hesitant coming into this, because I'd tried it before and I didn't like it at all! But second time round, with lower expectations, I was surprised to discover I actually enjoyed this! Although it wasn't perfect, it was a decent read and I'm looking forward to next year, when the sequel comes out!

8. All the Boys I've Loved Before (All the Boys I've Loved Before #1), by Jenny Han
My god, the favourite of February for sure! I read this in less than 24 hours, I'm about to start the sequel but I've got high expectations because this one was so amazing. If you haven't picked this up, what are you doing? It's so cute, so funny, it's family orientated, and it's a contender for not just one of my favourites, but my top five list. I actually can't believe how long I waited until I picked this up. But I have now, and I can't wait for the second.

9. Handle with Care, by Jodi Picoult
This was a surprisingly easy book to fly through. I mean, I didn't read it any quicker than I would any other book, but since it's 500+ pages, I figured that was pretty good! It shared some similarities to My Sister's Keeper, but the case was different, and it was something I was interested in, for some odd reason. So overall, it was a book I enjoyed, though it's not one of my favourites. I recommend this for people who enjoy books that bring court cases and medical ideology within the book.

10. Contagion (Dark Matter #1), by Teri Terry
This was a re-read, to recap on what I'd read before I picked Contagion, which I have just recently finished a few hours back. Contagion is the start of a trilogy, and it's a sci-fi book, but it reads like a bit of a Dystopian. It's a story about an epidemic that is spreading throughout the country, killing 95% of the population. Nobody is safe, but Shay and Kai are searching for Callie, Kai's little sister. My brain is in knots from the second book's ending, but I highly recommend this to any reader, really because Teri Terry is one of my absolute favourite authors!

So those are the first 10 books that I've read in 2018! Hopefully I'll be able to read more amazing books like these in the future!

So that is all I have for you guys today!
I hope you have a good book to read, because I am all set with P.S. I Still Love You!

I will see you all on Friday, with my Greatest Showman Film Review!

-Abi xxxxx


Friday, 2 March 2018

March TBR (2018)

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And it's a new month! Great way to start spring- with a heap of snow in my town!
But with a new month comes a new TBR- and I can't wait to get to this one!

1. Deception (Dark Matter #2), by Teri Terry
I am currently about 100 pages into this book at present, and although it's a slow going, something about this book is super intriguing. I'm worried because it's the second book in the trilogy, and often the second book in the trilogy is not up to the standard of the first. I can't give much away about the plot because it is the second book, but it's basically a search for the truth of what started an epidemic that has wiped out 95% of the population. The survivors are hunted, believed to have the powers to control the population. The first book was fast paced and gripping and I can't wait to see what the next one has to bring!

2. P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #2), by Jenny Han
I read the first book about midway through February, and I'm eager to pick up the next. I've heard somewhat mixed reviews of this one, that it's not up to the hype of the first one, but I'm excited to pick this up all the same. I don't know as much about this one as I did the first, but I'm holding back the urge to pick this book up right this second because I have to read something else first! Fingers crossed I don't give in! Wish me luck!

3. The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood #1), by Melissa Albert
I know precisely zilch about this book, but it was on for a deal in the Tesco near my college, and this has gotten so much hype and so many fantastic reviews, and I was intrigued. It's the second shortest read in my TBR this month and I'm hoping that I'll be able to fly through it. From what I know of the genre, it's meant to be fantasy, and It's been a while since I've read a fantasy, so I'm looking forward to picking it up.

4. Love, Simon by Becky Albertralli
First things first: this is the same story as "Simon vs the Homosapien's Agenda". It just has a different title and cover. And do I wish I had the original design? Definitely. But I saw this book (this was the other for the deal in Tesco, by the way) and I want to read it. And so, I got the book with the other title and the new cover. Okay, now that's over. I can't to read this. I will for sure be going to see the film and I will also definitely be reviewing it! The book however, I know like nothing about. I know it's meant to be light-hearted and adorable, and I'm pretty fine with just knowing that to be honest.

5. This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1), by V.E Schwab
6. Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2), by V.E Schwab

Finally, I have this duology on my TBR! I don't know what it is, but something about this duology just keeps making me think about it! There's a select group of trilogies and series' and duologies that I cannot get out of my brain. Series' like this one, the Nevenight trilogy, or the Shiny Pretty Things duology. This is one of them! And I can't wait to pick them up and just marathon straight through them.

So that is my March TBR (2018)! I hope you enjoyed it, and let me know what books you'll be reading this month!
So that is all I have for you guys this month! I will see you all on Monday with my Greatest Showman film review, so look out for that!
I will see you then, goodbye!

-Abi xxxxxx

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

February Wrap Up (2018)

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
Long time no see! I have to say, other things that I consider to be more of a priority (like my future career and work) kind of came before blogging. I don't really regret that to be honest, because it's how it should be.
But that means I have a ton of exciting post ideas for next month!
(For example The Greatest Showman review, which I went to see on Monday :), so that'll be up soon.)
But so suddenly, another month is at it's end, and so another Wrap Up post!

I read a total of five books this month (well four, because I finished My Husband's Son after I posted my January Wrap Up last month, but it still counts as January.)
But here's the list:

1. My Husband's Son, by Deborah O' Connor
This was an easy read. That was the first thing that popped into my head when I thought of this book. It wasn't truly captivating like one of my favourites, but it was an easy book to fly through. If you've read Baby Doll, by Hollie Overton, and was a fan of that book, I'd suggest picking this one up too. I have to say it had a surprising ending, but the rest was something I saw coming a mile away. A decent read.

2. Stealing Snow (Stealing Snow #1), by Danielle Paige
I have to say, I did enjoy this more than I thought I would. There were definitely some noticeable problems, I won't deny that. But the base of the story was quite interesting, I have to admit. I got a good look at the world, which I loved the different types of characters I got to meet along the way. Snow was a good enough character, though there wasn't much that was original about her to be honest. And the story tended to jump from love interest to interest, without really much depth to any of them. It was a dark book, and that was something that I thought that was done well. Overall, it was okay. I'll have to wait a while for the sequel though because it doesn't come out until 2019, but I'm willing to wait.

3. To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1), by Jenny Han
OMG THIS BOOK WAS SO CUTE I CANNOT. I finally get the hype. And when I finished this, I wanted to pick the next one up! But I was just like NO. I WILL PROLONG THIS TRILOGY AS IF MY LIFE DEPENDS ON IT. And March is tomorrow. Which means, I get to pick the next one up. As soon as I read my current read, which I'll get to in a bit. By the way, I will be posting a review for the book sometime in March. P.S. I loved this book so much, if you couldn't tell.

4. Handle With Care, by Jodi Picoult
Not unlike My Sister's Keeper, by the same author, this book read as something super familiar. But it was still an enjoyable read. (huge shocker there! Not.) The premise was that a woman with a child with osteogenesis imperfecta is suing her best friend. It means that if she had known that said child had this condition sooner, she would have terminated the pregnancy. It jumps from perspective to perspective. And reading it from a childcare student perspective was really interesting.

5. Contagion (Dark Matter #1), by Teri Terry
I just recently finished this, i.e. today. This was primarily a re-read to read emerge myself in my love of the new trilogy that Teri Terry created last year. The sequel came out this month and I am ready to pick up Deception starting tomorrow. This did nothing more than remind me why I love Teri Terry's storytelling as much as I do. I recommend this to sci-fi fans and anybody that thinks they might be interested in starting to read sci-fi.

For this month I am just titling this section films as I have watched no tv shows (literally) this month.
I've pretty much watched only one film, and that was at the cinema.

The Greatest Showman

This film! I'm obsessed with the soundtrack! They're all amazing, all the songs and I want to see it again! For sure I want to see it again.
Full review coming soon.

So that is all I have for you today.
Man, it's good to be back! Missed you guys!

I will be back on Friday with my March TBR! (Is it just me or do you guys also love picking out the books that you want to read at the start at the month? Comment down below!)
I love all of you, and I will see you then!

-Abi xxxxx

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