Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Top 5 Books That Aren't YA

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And I thought I'd do something a bit different on my blog today other than the reviews that I usually do (I still need to review The Hate U Give and The Wolf Wilder, but no worries, they'll be up soon!)
Most of the books I read tend to be YA. And I'm okay with that, but I feel like books that aren't YA don't get enough recognition on this blog, so I thought I'd do a post on all the Adult/ Children books that I've read and enjoyed.

Top 5 Books That Aren't YA
1. The Harry Potter series, by J K Rowling
I feel like this one is kind of given. There's a lot more darker stuff than what should be okay for the younger audience, but Harry Potter is just one of those stories that parents love to read to their children when they're going to bed, and Harry Potter is often the story that introduces children to reading, and that is one of the reasons that I love Harry Potter.

2. Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell
This isn't just a children's book, it's also a classic. And surprisingly enough, it was one of my absolute favourites when I was a kid. Told from the perspective of the horse, it really opens your eyes about what the horses went through back in the Victorian era. This is a tale about a horse that had an unfortunate, yet hopeful life, and for whatever reason, I easily read this ten times as a child, and I totally recommend this to anybody who thinks they might enjoy reading about a horse.

3. Me Before You, by JoJo Moyes
If you haven't read or seen the film, you need to. This book discusses issues that no book I'd previously read had discussed. I cried at both the book and the film (though admittedly more at the film), and all I can say is that this books hits you right in the FEELS.

4. My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
I love this book so much that I even wrote an essay on it for college! It doesn't matter how many times I read this, I connect with the characters and the story and don't hesitate to get invested in the story ever. Since I read this all those years ago I've read a bunch of Jodi Picoult books (four at last count), and this story still remains my favourite after all these years. Both the film and the book are amazing, so check them out (but read the book, it's amazing!)

5. Heidi, by Johanna Spyri
This is yet another book that I read over and over as a child, and I still love now. It's been a while since I've read this, but this is one of those classics that I think everybody should read. It describes Switzerland so perfectly, and to this day I've always thought that if I could go anywhere in the world it would be up a hill in Switzerland, just so I can admire the view.
So that was my Top 5 Books That Aren't YA! I hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any favourite books that aren't YA, let me know in the comments!
So that is all I have for today! I hope you have a wonderful day, and I will see you on Friday!

-Abi xxxxx

Monday, 24 April 2017

April Book Haul (2017)

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And since it's nearing the end of the month, I thought it only fitting that I post an April Book Haul (2017)! Even though there are only four books this month, I'm super excited about all of them, and I wish to share them with you all!

April Book Haul (2017)
1. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
The amount of times I've talked about this book, if you don't love it as much as me, you're probably getting sick of it by now! Well I have already read this book and loved it, and unless I read a bunch of OUT OF THIS WORLD books between now and the end of the year, it will definitely be making my favourite books of 2017 list! This book is about a case that is a result of a white man shooting an unarmed black boy, but it is so much more than that. Expect a review before the month is out.

2. Us (One Day #2), by David Nicholls
To be honest, I didn't even know the book One Day (it's a film as well), had a sequel? This book was kind of an impulse (and the pressure from a book seller that personally recommended this book to me) to buy and read. I haven't read it yet, and I don't know when I'll get to it (hopefully within the year, as my goal for this year is to finish my TBR list), but hopefully I'll enjoy this as much as the first one! Let me know in the comments if you've read it, and if you enjoyed it or not!
3. Perfect (Flawed #2), by Cecelia Ahern
Yet another book I've been waiting for since I finished the first one back into December. I loved the first one, and I hope to love the second just as much. I've also got the hardcopy for this one, and even though I don't love the cover as much as I love it for the first one, I can't wait to read the second and final book in the Flawed duology. Highly HIGHLY recommend the first book in this duology, you truly can't tell that this is her debut YA novel, such brilliance.

4. The Chemist, by Stephanie Meyer
Yet another book that's been on my radar for quite a while. Intrigued by the mystery d├ęcor, and the obviously high intensity, and the fact that it was written by Stephenie Meyer, of course it drew me in! I haven't heard much about this on booktube, but what I have heard, I've liked. And no joke, I got this at pretty much mint condition in a charity shop! Don't underestimate charity shops! (And yes, hardback!) I am so excited to read this, it is unbelievable! Let me know your thoughts on this book in the comments!

So that was my April Book Haul (2017)! I hope you enjoyed it, even if it does just have four books in it... But they are all books I am really looking forward to reading, and hopefully you are too (let me know in the comments!)
So I hope you have a wonderful day, wherever you are in the world, and I will see you all on Wednesday!

-Abi xxxx

Sunday, 23 April 2017

The Lie Tree, by Frances Hardrindge

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And since it's been a long time since I reviewed a book, and I seem to have a pile of books I've finished but haven't yet reviewed, I think it's time I start reviewing them, starting with my review of The Lie Tree, by Frances Hardringe!

The Lie Tree, by Frances Hardringe
Title: The Lie Tree
Author: Frances Hardringe
Genre: Historical fiction and mystery
Release date: 7th May, 2015
Pages: 410
Blurb: "Faith has a thirst for science and secrets that the rigid confines
of her class cannot suppress. And so it is that she discovers her
disgraced father's journals, filled with 
the scribbled notes and theories of a man 
driven close to madness. Tales of a 
strange tree which, when told a lie, will
uncover the truth: the greater the lie, the
greater the truth revealed to the liar.
Faith's search for the tree leads her into 
great danger- for where lies seduce, 
truths shatter..."

My Thoughts
I don't know what I was expecting when I started this book, but that wasn't what I got (that's a good thing). 
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I can honestly say I was super surprised how much I enjoyed it! 
The Lie Tree is set in Victorian England, and a big part of this book was the stigma that women and girls should not be Scientists, and what I liked about Faith's character was that she refused to let that stop her from discovering and learning about what she wants to do, which is become a scientist.
At the start of the novel, Faith and her family are moving hastily from Kent to an island, Vale, which is pretty much isolated from the rest of the world. The story starts to unfold when Val finds out that the reason for the move is one of her father scientific experiments. And then when her father dies under mysterious circumstances is when the story unfolds.

But what is so great about this book is that it brings the belief of magic and mystery, and a tree that thrives on lies, and brings them together in an enthralling, interesting and captivating story that will stay with you way beyond the last page.

Another thing that I loved about the book was that the description of the time period that the book was set felt so realistic, yet Hardringe was able to convey mystery and darkness into the story as well.

And all though this though-provoking, eccentric story, the story just seems to flow, paying enough detail to description and character development. The writing went from strength to strength, and it all fit so well together that I couldn't help but love it.

There wasn't much to say for the characters, they were just part of the mystery, on opposing sides as for whether magic can exist in Science, and the beliefs that a women should not be a scientist.
They were interesting, and I enjoyed reading about them, and they fit nicely into the story that centred around the Lie Tree.

So overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this read. It did an amazing job at seeping mystery and darkness into the presence of The Lie Tree, whilst also accurately conveying the reality of what it was like for a 14 year old trying to become a scientist in Victorian England.
The writing was amazing, and the plot was creepy.
And I'm so glad I read it.
I recommend this for readers who like reading about creepiness and darkness and characters that challenge the time that they're in.

So that was my review for The Lie Tree! I hope you enjoyed it (sorry it took me so long to finish it!).
But if you have any thoughts about the review, or the book itself, let me know in the comments!
I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you tomorrow!

-Abi xxxxx


Monday, 17 April 2017

All the Dynamic Duos!

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And today I thought I would do something I haven't done in a while, and do a list!
This list is about all the characters that have each-other's backs, it's the two of them against the world!
There doesn't seem to be a lot of that in YA at the moment, and I thought it would be good to do a list for something like that.
So, enjoy!

All the Dynamic Duos!
1. Fred and George Weasley (Harry Potter)
Even though I put (Harry Potter) in brackets, these two need no introduction. But these two are the first two that sprung to mind when I thought about this list. These two always have each-other's back, to the point where they even opened a tricks shop together! Who doesn't love this dynamic duo, even just for their sense of humour, and their ability to make you smile when you're down.

2. Callie-Rose and Tobey (Noughts and Crosses series)
Now, I feel like not many people know about this series, and that breaks my heart. A big part of why I love these is these two characters. You just get to see how they grow up together, go from childhood friends, to going to the same school when they're 11, to adolescence, to just blossoming into this funny, get meaningful and beautiful (and tragic) relationship. I just love how they grow to love one another in their own way throughout the second half of the series. Just flawless characters.

3. Anna and Kate (My Sister's Keeper)
Now even though Anna was born to save Kate's life, this is the bond that every sister wishes they could have with their sister. These two are so alike and so close, that Anna was literally willing to do what Kate wanted, even at the cost of her life (sorry, spoilers, but the film has been out for literally 8 years, and the book has been out even longer). Now if that isn't the mark of two people that would do anything for each-other, I don't know what is.
(Go read the book or see the film, either one is AMAZING).

4. Day and June (Legend)
What I love about this couple is that they are constantly looking out for the other without them knowing. Literally everything they do is to protect the other! Also, their relationship is so kick-ass and awesome and... tragic, that you can't help but love the two of them together. They would take on the entire world to get to one another (and they have the skills and the stubbornness to pull it off too). But seriously, if you haven't read this trilogy, what are you doing with your life?

5. Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain (Skulduggery Pleasant)
Wow, this duo: so kick-ass, so... OMG, this duo has taken on a God, and multiple bad guys, and WON. Their journey started when Valkyrie was just 12, and from then on she learned by Skulduggery Pleasant, the skeleton detective. And what does it for me, these characters, both of them are flawed, and they have this dark, evil edge to them, but no matter what the other does, again, they are willing to risk anything to save that person from... and the spoilers stop there. I cannot stress how much I love this duo, both individually and as a duo. And to add to it, they are both so witty and sarcastic that you just can't help but love them!

So that is my All the Dynamic Duos list! I hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any favourite duos that you think I missed, let me know in the comments! I would love to hear about your favourite duos!
So I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you all on Wednesday!

-Abi xxxxxx

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The Easter Book Tag

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And it is time for another book tag! Since it is Easter at the moment, I thought it only fitting that I do the Easter Book Tag!

The Easter Book Tag
1. Rabbits- A book that you wish would multiply- So a book you want a
sequel to (that doesn't have one)!
Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell

After much consideration (frankly, most standalones I read I'm happy with the endings), I think I want to go with Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell. Even though this book ended a way I liked it, I think I'd like to see the characters dealing with the aftermath of what happened in Carry On. And maybe divulge a bit more with magic.

2. Egg- A book that surprised you
Songs About A Girl (Songs About A Girl #1), by Chris Russell
I think this was one of the biggest surprises I have ever read. I don't know what I was expecting when I bought this, but I am so glad I did! And when I review it, the author was nice enough to contact me about the review! This is the link to the review here.

3. Hunt- A book that was hard for you to get your hands on
Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3), by Brandon Sanderson
Even though it isn't potentially hard to get any book nowadays because of book shops and the internet, I did find it hard finding the last book in the Mistborn trilogy because I found it in a charity shop. I was searching mercilessly for that book for ages because I got the second in the trilogy in a charity shop too.
As for the first one, I will continue to look for that in charity shops, but come September (birthday month), if I haven't found it by then I'll just buy it off the internet or Waterstones.

4. Lambs- A children's book that you still enjoy
Matilda, by Roald Dahl
This was one of my favourite childhood books, and I still love it today because it truly is timeless. It's also one of those books that everyone should read, at least once because truly anyone can enjoy it. And what's more, it's currently on stage in London and is due to tour round the UK next year! It's one of those shows that I desperately want to see and hopefully that wish will be fulfilled next year!

5. Spring- A book with a cover that makes you think of spring
Since You've Been Gone, by Morgan Matson
This one really reminds me more of Summer instead of Spring, but this was the first one that popped into my head, so this is what I'm choosing!

6. Rising from the dead- A book with a deceased author
Little Woman, by Louisa May Alcott

I don't think I have many books with deceased authors but I'm going to pick Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott. This is such a classic, and I'm in tears every time I read it!  

7. Baskets- A book that is in your Amazon cart or on your wish list right now
Perfect (Flawed #2), by Cecelia Ahern
This is at the top of my wishlist at the moment. It is the second and final book in the Flawed duology (I read the first in December- the link for my review is here.) This was released on 6th April, and I can't wait to see how it all wraps up!

8. Candy- A book that is sweet
I'll Give You The Sun, by Jandy Nelson
This book is more than sweet. It is hopeful and beautiful, but the main element is sweet. You cant help but sigh happily at how sweet the dialogue is, and how these characters feel about each-other.

9. Peeps- tag people!
I'm going to tag anyone that wants to do this tag!

Hi! That was my Easter Book Tag! I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you all on Friday!

-Abi xxxxx 

Monday, 10 April 2017

Heartless (Heartless #1), by Marissa Meyer

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And I seem to be going through times when I just don't have the time to post... but last week was because I had a show, (Anything Goes, anyone know it?)
Anyway, I was going to post this review on Friday, but I was too busy playing an upper-class-woman on a ship! But nevertheless, here is my review of Heartless, by Marissa Meyer!

Heartless (Heartless #1), by Marissa Meyer
Title: Heartless
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Fairytale Retelling
Status: First book in a trilogy/series
Release date: 2nd November, 2016
Pages: 450
Blurb: "Long before Alice fell
down the rabbit hole...

And before the roses
were painted red...

The Queen of Hearts
was just a girl, in love
for the first time."

My Thoughts
The Queen of Hearts has always been one of those characters that I just love to hate. She's just one of those characters that's like 'You dare to cough in her direction, and she will cut off your hand or even your head!' And she isn't bluffing.
But this character is so blunt, it was hard to see how she came to be so brutal and 'heartless' really.
Until I read this book, and now it's all too easy to see how she got to this place.
And I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually related to her really easily.

This book was sweet, and hopeful, and more than a little bitter, but with a dramatic side that was lingering throughout the book. The book starts with Cath, a girl with a passion for baking, and dreaming of starting a business with her friend (but was her servant) Mary Ann. Based in the time when girls were raised to marry a rich man instead of pursuing their own dreams and ambitions, it seems unlikely, but Cath has other ideas. It's the night before a ball that the King will look for a wife in, and he enjoys her cakes and pies. From that point onwards, this story is a world of crazy, involving The future Queen of Heart's slow descent into the power hungry queen we know so well.

There are a number of things that I liked about this book. I liked the familiarity of the characters: they were the same as we know and love, but this time they had pasts, and more than a little character development, and it was interesting to see how the relationships of the characters before Alice in Wonderland took place.

What was also interesting was that even though we know where Catherine ends up, it was cool to see another side to her, and her slow descent as she became the character that would soon rule all of Wonderland.

But as much as I liked the characters and the overall feel of the book, I still can't ignore the issues. I mean, going into this, I had almost impossibly high standards because this was written by the Lunar Chronicles, and even though it was decent, it wasn't what I thought it would be. It all fit too well together, and I kind of wanted to see what the darkness of Wonderland a bit more than I did.
(But hopefully I'll get to see more of that in the second book.)

So overall, this was an alright book. I had some issues with it, but the good stuff outweighed the bad by far. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and even though it didn't compare to the Lunar Chronicles, I am really looking forward to the second in the series.

So that was my review of Heartless by Marissa Meyer! I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you all soon!

-Abi xxxxxx

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4), by Maggie Steifvater

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And even though it's been a while since I read this book (I've finished two books since), I still want to do this review, because it is the last book in the series, as well as the best one yet!
So, everyone, here is my review of The Raven King, the last book in the Raven Cycle series!

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4), by Maggie Steifvater
Title: The Raven King
Author: Maggie Steifvater
Genre: Paranormal  
Release date: 26th April, 2016
Pages: 438
Blurb: "For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find
a lost king. One by one, he's drawn others
into his mission: Ronan, who steals from
dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his
own; Noah, whose life is no longer a life; and
Blue, who loves Gansey ... and is certain she
is destined to kill him.

Nothing dead is to be trusted.

Now the endgame has begun.

Nothing living is safe.

Dreams and nightmares are converging.
Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest
refuses to be pinned to a path."

My Thoughts
If there is one thing I will say, is that this blurb is 100% accurate. This book truly refused to follow a path, there was stuff happening all over the place. And even though there was plot stuff happening left and or right, the character didn't fall by the wayside either like you'd think. And these events (I'm not going to spoil them, because it is the fourth book in the series) start off right off the bat.

This book starts straight after Blue Lily, Lily Blue, which I thought was a good tactic, considering what happened at the end of the last book. The characters, at the start of the novel, are talking and thinking about changes on the horizon: not just the search for Glendower, but also the prospect of what they will do when they graduate, and I liked that, because it was also what the audience was feeling too, like getting ready to say goodbye to the characters that we have known to love, but also don't want to say goodbye to just yet.

Now, the plot. The plot was just one explosive event after another. And like a good plotline, at any point throughout the book, you never had any idea what was going to come next, and during those points, I could not pull my eyes away from the page!

The romance was slightly more prominent in this book than it had been in the previous ones, and I was totally okay with that, surprisingly. It was just so done, and so well blended into the rest of the story, (and it was never the main focus of the story, so there was that) that it was just enough for the story.

Also, can I just talk about heart-wrenching this story was. There were fast and gripping moments, times when it was so adorable cute, and there was also a bit of a creepy element in there too, which was something I wasn't expecting, and was happy to see!

Also (and I am aware that this review is sort of all over the place), leading up to this book, there was always the "Blue will kill her true love if she kisses him", and in this final book is when it that plotline took place. Blue was falling, and she was trying hard to control herself throughout the book, and even though I love the Blue from the previous books, this was when I really started to relate, because we all know that feeling of first love, and add the fact that she can't kiss him, it's difficult as heck!

Which brings me to character development: if it's possible, I think I loved the characters even more in this book as I have in the previous books (if that's possible). In the past three books, the foundation was built, then they became more defined individually, and then they started to argue.
But it was in this book that they all came together and really had each-other's backs: they were there for each-other, through thick and thin. And that was one of the strongest components in this series; not just in this book.

So overall, this series is about a group of four boys, on the search for the ley line; they are known as the Raven Boys. And then there is Blue, the girl that has been prophesized that she will kill her true love if she kissed him. But these two groups come together, and become friends. That is what the story is about, how you can accomplish anything so long as you have your friends by your side. This series is funny, with quirky and witty characters, with paranormal and thrilling moments. Amazing series overall.
I thoroughly enjoyed this series, and I recommend this to anything who has even thought to read it!

So that is my review for the concluding book in the Raven Cycle series, The Raven King!
I hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any thoughts, let me know in the comments!
I hope you have a wonderful day, and I will see you all on Friday!

-Abi xxxxxx

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

April TBR (2017)

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And I apologise in advance for not posting this yesterday, but I was crazy busy with rehearsals and the like.
But I'm here now, and I have my list for what I plan to read in the month of April.

April TBR (2017)
I'm going to read slightly less this month, due to being over-ambitious last month. I'm going to be attempting 6 books this month, and these books are:

1. The Lie Tree, by Frances Hardringe 
I'm already about halfway through this, and I'm already loving it. It not only completely hones on the mystery surrounding the tree, and the suspicion behind the main character's death, it perfectly captures the time period that it's set in, and the book in total challenges that a girl cannot be a scientist, because she isn't a male. This books is amazingly easy to be pulled into, and so difficult to put back down once you've started. Review on this soon.

2. Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys
I read the "Between Shades of Gray" by the same author, and I was eager to read more (link for the review is here). I don't know much about this, but I know that it is four teenagers that are on their way to a place that promises to be everything they hope for since the war started, but that that place isn't all it's made out to be. And these four teenagers all have secrets. That's all I know about it, but that's all I need to know, and if it's anything like Between Shades of Gray, it's bound to still be amazing.

3. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
I'm going to put both editions of this book up for this one because the first is the UK edition, and the second is the US edition, which I have to say, I think is so much nicer. But even though the first edition is awful, the words and the story is what matters. And this is one story I have been waiting for over a month for, so of course I'll be putting it on my TBR for April! It seems like people all over the world have been reading and loving this book, and hopefully I'll be one of them! Will also be reviewing soon, too!

4. Orangeboy, by Patrick Lawrence
This book has been out for quite a while, and it has also been gathering dust for more or less the same time, so I reckon it's time it got read. I know even less about this than I do for Salt to the Sea, but I do know that it takes place in the world of gangs, and violence, and it's been a while since I've read a book about those things, so hopefully it'll be interesting! Looking forward to reading this already.

5. The Edge of Everything, by Jeff Giles

I only got this a couple of months ago, and even though I didn't particularly like it at first, everybody else seems to love it, so I thought I'd give it another go. (Besides, I only read a couple of pages for the first attempt, and I wouldn't really call that an attempt.) If any of you guys have read or have any thoughts on this book or are currently reading this, let me know in the comments!

6. After You, by JoJo Moyes
To be honest, I was kind of on the fence as to whether to put this on my TBR... I'll see how I feel when I read it, but this has been on my shelf gathering dust for too long, and I need to read it! So, this is the book that takes place after Me Before You (you should know what Me Before You is, if you like Sam Clafflin, or eyebrows from Game of Thrones or the book!) That's all I know about it so far, but hopefully I'll get to read it this month.

So that is my April TBR (2017)! I hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any thoughts on any of the books on this list, positive or otherwise, then feel free to let me know in the comments!
I hope you have a wonderful day, and look out for my review on the concluding book in the Raven Cycle series: THE RAVEN KING, by Maggie Steifvater!

-Abi xxxxxx

Friday, 31 March 2017

March Wrap Up (2017)

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And there's a quick post for you today!
My March Wrap Up (2017)!

March Wrap Up (2017)
I feel like I say this every month, but I cannot believe it is already the end of March!
We're a quarter through the year already!
But enough of that, lets talk about the books that I read this month!

So, in the month of March, I read a total of 8 books! 3 of them were re-reads, which is why they didn't show up in the Goodreads "Read" section on the side of the page.
Here are the books I read in the month of March:

 1. The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1), by Maggie Steifvater
2. The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), by Maggie Steifvater
3. Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3), by Maggie Steifvater
4. The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4), by Maggie Steifvater
5. Slated (Slated #1), by Teri Terry
6. Fractured (Slated #2), by Teri Terry
7. Shattered (Slated #3), by Teri Terry
8. Heartless (Heartless #1), by Marissa Meyer

As far as whether I achieved my TBR or not this month (I'll link it to " March TBR (2017)"), I sort of did. I completed one/three of the series' that I listed, and one of the spin-offs (that wasn't a series or trilogy). And I finished the series that I most wanted to finish, as well as re-reading another trilogy, so I call it a good month.

So that is my March Wrap Up (2017)! I hope you enjoyed it (told you it would be a quick one!)
And I will see you on Monday, when I will be posting my April TBR (2017)!
I hope you have a wonderful day, and I will see you then!

-Abi xxxxxx

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Books 11-20 of 2017

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And since I've read another ten books towards my Goodreads Reading Goal, I saw that I needed to do another Books of 2017!
So here are my Books 11-20 of 2017!

Books 11-20 of 2017
11. Would You Rather, by Chris Higgins
I can tell you now that this was just one of those re-reads to get myself out of the reading slump I can fallen into. This book is short, cute and funny with likeable characters that anyone could like. And it's just one of those books that you know you can read and re-read without your like for the actual story lessening at all. Would You Rather is a book about writing, and adoption, and family, and it is one of my favourite Chris Higgins books. It's so easy to fall into the perspective of the protagonist Flick, and fall into the story of her and her family, which is one thing I really like about. I think it's perfect for teen readers that don't want too much of a time commitment.

12. Caraval (Caraval #1), by Stephanie Garber
This book might be considered one of my favourites so far this year (and we're only in March!). I just love the mystery and mystique of the whole book. This is the story of Caraval, and Scarlett and her sister Tella are just desperate to go, entranced by the mysterious game that is Caraval. But once they get there, it isn't all that it seems. What I liked most about the story was that it was treated as if it was real, but we were also warned not to look too closely or else we might descend into madness. We were constantly trying to guess what was real and what was fake. If you are a fan of the Night Circus, I highly recommend this.

13. The Hate List, by Jennifer Brown
The Hate List really surprised me! I had it on my shelves for months on end gathering dust, and then when I finally picked it up, I was sucked into the story, along with the characters that either supported- or hated- Valerie. This is set nine or so months after Valerie's boyfriend- Nick- comes into school with a loaded gun and shoots all the people on a list- The Hate List- a list that Valerie, along with Nick created. Valerie jumped in front of the gun, saving the school, and then Nick shoots himself. This book is sort of the aftermath, and no- even her family herself- are sure what to do next. This book really surprised me, and not in a bad way. This book does have some serious issues, so I recommend it for older readers, but it is still a jolly good book!

14. Not If I See You First, by Eric Lindstrom
Another book that really surprised me! This is set from the point of view of a blind girl, and when you read this, you forget all the stigma that surrounds a blind girl as a protagonist. This book might not seem very interesting from the outside, but I think it's one of those books that everyone should try. I don't want to reveal too much about this book, because I went into this with no idea what it was about- other than what I just told you- and I think everybody else should too. Overall, this is a light, funny story about not letting anybody stand in your way of whatever you want to do, even if your blind! But honestly, loved this book and I totally recommend to anyone who is considering reading it!

15. It's a 50/50 Thing, by Chris Higgins
Yet another Chris Higgins book! This was yet another book that I decided to read on the spot, and since I hadn't read this one in a while, so I decided to read it (yet again). This is a slightly darker and mysterious Chris Higgins book, which even though it isn't like her other ones because of all the mystery around Gem (love interest), I still love it intensely. It kind of sparks the question of how far you would go for love, as well as bringing family life into it too, without making it too overbearing and mysterious. If you are in the mood for a short, yet consuming and engaging read about toxic love then this is the book for you.  

16. The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1), by Maggie Steifvater

17. The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), by Maggie Steifvater

18. Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3), by Maggie Steifvater

19. The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4), by Maggie Steifvater
Although I haven't reviewed all of these books (I've got one left, and I will be doing this after my March Wrap Up and April TBR) I immensely enjoyed this series and I highly recommend this for anyone who wants something different to read in YA. If you like mystery, mythology, and a romance on the side, then this is the story for you. These books truly do get better with each one, though I do recommend reading them in order or else it won't make as much sense. But this is a cool story, and one that I cannot seem to get out of my head, especially the last one.

20. Slated (Slated #1), by Teri Terry
I'd been meaning to read this trilogy for a long time before now, but I saved it for when I was having a slow reading month, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. This is my favourite book ever, so I was so happy to read it again. I recommend this to anyone who likes Sci-fi and YA and wants a unique, mysterious and addicting trilogy to read. READ IT (it's so amazing, I promise you will love it).  

So that is my Books 11-20 of 2017! I hope you enjoyed it, and the point to these is kind of like take a look back at the books I've read recently.
So I will see you on Friday (when I will be posting my March Wrap Up (2017), so look out for that!
I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you all then!

-Abi xxxxxx

Monday, 27 March 2017

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3), by Maggie Stiefvater

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
Today I am going to be reviewing Blue Lily, Lily Blue because I do not have enough books to do a Book Haul!
So here it is!

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3), by Maggie Steifvater
Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Author: Maggie Steifvater
Genre: Fantasy, paranormal
Release date: 21st October, 2014
Pages: 389
Blurb: "Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs. The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost."

My Thoughts
This was the book that kind of did it for me. Up to this point, how invested I was in the story was... questionable. But then something about this book clicked, and suddenly I was hooked. It might have had something to do with the fact that the book wasn't just about getting to know the background, the premise and the characters, and that the story actually had a bit of direction this time.

A lot of this series is about the future, and the anticipation leading up to a prophesised event. And this is the book that made the leap from one point, to a closer one. And you begin to see how it all forms together in the lead up to the massive ending that is the last book.

By this point, the characters have changed and evolved so much, that you just can't help to love them. And not just as a group. They're not just one pure emotion anymore, and it's so refreshing how they've all gone through individual journeys but have emerged as a group, and it's so nice to see. And if that sounds cheesy, sorry.

Yet, I wouldn't say the characters fell by the wayside, just that they kind of blended into the whole story, instead of them being the centre of the story, and I was surprised to find that I liked it a whole lot more.

Yet, as much as I wanted to love this book, it did have some problems. When I was reading this, I just kept wanting more. It was never quite there. It was a great book, but it wasn't super amazing OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING. But those problems were kind of insignificant compared to what I liked about this book.

Now, the writing. Steifvater is so good at painting a picture in your mind and making you a part of the story that it's almost a crime. Just the way she writes the characters, makes them intricate, yet gives them flaws of their own, and makes them come alive on the page, it's just magical.

There's a sprinkling of romance in this book too, which is something else I want to talk about. The romance was just enough, yet again. It played it's part, which was prominent at some points, but it was never the main plotline.
It gave the reader the time to think about the MASSIVE NOSE DIVES AND PLOTS TWISTS, try to get their head around all the mythology, and just enjoy the story, which was ridiculously easy to do.

Overall, I'm starting to think that these books do actually get better every book (and I am right, because I've already finished it, and it was AMAZING). This was the perfect lead up to the finale in the series, and my favourite so far.
I recommend this for those that want to read something that is truly different to the world of YA Paranormal, mainly because of the lack (but also prominent) of romance, or love triangle. 
I loved this book.

Hey! So that was my review of Blue Lily, Lily Blue: the third book in the Raven Cycle series, and my second favourite in the series! I hope you enjoyed the review, I'm sorry it was kind of all over the place, but that's just the way my thoughts went when writing this review!
I still hope you enjoyed it, and I hope it encourages you to pick it up because it truly is a really really decent book that I did really enjoy!

So I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you all on Wednesday!

-Abi xxxxx 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), by Maggie Steifvater

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And today I'm doing my review on The Dream Thieves!

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), by Maggie Steifvater
Title: The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Steifvater
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Release date: 17th September, 2013
Pages: 450
Blurb: "Blue didn't mean to fall for the Raven Boys,
but she has- and the more her life entwines
with theirs, the more dangerous it becomes.
Ronan is the most dangerous of all.
He's the haunted one, the darkest
the most raven.
His dreams invade reality and
confuse what is true.
With magic growing stronger around
them, now is the time to be wary.
Before everything unravels...
Friendships will be tested.
Someone will get hurt.
And a kiss will get shared."

My Thoughts
Second books in the series kind of have a stigma- they always seen to be worse than the first one. But this happens to be the exception, because this one is first and foremost- not going to sugarcoat it- it's a heck of a lot better than the first one. And to add to that, it made me really looking forward to the next one! (Blue Lily, Lily Blue).

What I liked more about this one as opposed to The Raven Boys is that there was more of a story to this one, it wasn't as heavily character based. (There was still a lot of character development, specifically for Ronan, who is the centre of the story- as you can see from the blurb- but it all seemed to flow better now that there was some direction to the story).

I can't say much about the plot, as it would spoil the first book, but it kind of started the foundation that would eventually lead up to the fourth and final book (that I'm currently reading now, but reviewing the second book now shows how what was happening in The Dream Thieves has impacted the entire story).
So basically, the story couldn't be as good as it is now without this book.

As much as I want to say that Ronan is my favourite character, because he is the focus of this novel, I can't- because they are all truly my favourites. Again, the character development was flawless, and the best part of the book by far. Just the way they all grew as people as a group, and they were so raw and lifelike just completed the book. We did get to meet another character in this book,- he's called the Grey Man- I won't say anything else, because he's super mysterious and your not sure what his purpose is in the book, and that's what I want to keep it as.

But I did like that we got to learn more about Ronan, that we got to see a bit more behind the curtains of the dark mysterious and violent Raven that we really didn't get to know much of in the first book. It wasn't that the other Raven Boys took a backseat, because they didn't, we found out more about them as well, but Ronan was the centre of the book, and I can't say that I minded too much :) .
But because the character that the book centres around is Ronan, the book was slightly grittier and darker, and more mysterious than the previous one, which is what kept me engaged from the start if I'm honest.

Also, somehow Maggie Steifvater manages to make her writing both poetic, and dark, gritty and mysterious, all at the same time! (And trust me, that's hard). But the writing was strong from the first page, all the way through the middle, and then the end too.

So overall, I really enjoyed this book. I felt like they were brewing this book up to make for an even better second half to the series, which I'm really looking forward to reading. So the characters were great, the writing was, and the plot was engaging. I also totally recommend this series, even though this is the second in the series! (Although I do recommend reading the first one before!)

So that was my review of The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), by Maggie Steifvater! I hope you enjoyed it (and I hope it wasn't too long)!
So I will see you all on Friday!
And I hope you have a wonderful day!

-Abi xxxxxx

Monday, 20 March 2017

Reading Books That Match The Season

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And I was thinking I was going to post my review of the Dream Thieves today, but I just don't feel like reviewing something today!
So today I am talking about reading books to match the season.
This is sort of a rant/ rambling of thoughts, so I hope you enjoy it!

Reading Books That Match The Season
Today I want to talk about other people's reading habits, like whether or not they obey the seasons, and read things like fantasy (epic fantasy, urban fantasy etc) at winter, and summary and happy reads during spring? I used to be one of the people that ignored the seasons and used to just read what I felt like (like mysteries, and Sci-fis during summer, and contemporaries during winter), but now I find it hard to imagine the scenarios that the characters are in, because of where I'm reading it.

I mean, there are certain books that you can read whenever you want, and you'll have no problem imagining what is happening between the pages (such as Harry Potter, Hunger Games etc), but I feel like most books you have to be in a certain mood, or it has to be a certain season to read them (like you wouldn't read Let It Snow in the summer, or Since You've Been Gone in the winter).

Because as much as I wish I could read a whole lot of mystery and intrigue when the sun is shining, it just isn't something I can do.
This post is also sort of a discussion too, because I want you guys to tell me your thoughts on this too. Can you all read the deep and time consuming series when the sun is shining, or do you like to read books that match the weather? Tell me your thoughts :) .

To think about it, this sort of applies to holidays too. Like reading romance books around February 14th. Even though most books have some form or subplot that centres around romance, do you guys like to read full blown romance books around that time, or just books that feature just that tiny sprinkle of romance scattered throughout the book?

I think that's all I have to say on the subject, but I want to know your thoughts! Let me know in the comments below what you have to say on the subject!
So I will see you all on Wednesday, and I hope you have an enjoyable day!

-Abi xxxxxx

Friday, 17 March 2017

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1), by Maggie Steifvater

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And since I've already read three out of four in this series, I figured I better get to reviewing!

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1), by Maggie Steifvater
Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Steifvater
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Release date: 18th September, 2012
Pages: 454
Blurb: "Even if Blue hadn't been told
her true love would die if she
kissed him, she would stay away
from boys. Especially the ones from
the local private school. Known as
Raven Boys, they only mean trouble.

But this is the year that everything
will change for Blue.

This is the year that she will be drawn
into the strange and sinister world of
the Raven Boys. And the year Blue
will discover that magic does exist.

This is the year she will fall in love."

My Thoughts
Going into reading this for the second time, I knew I wasn't going to fall in love with it. And I was right. But I did enjoy it more than last time.
There were aspects that I enjoyed about this book. The characters for one, the group dynamic, the four individual, yet complete set of boys that were both unique in their own way, but complimented each-other so perfectly, was one of the best parts of the book. And that was unwavering.
But there were certain aspects that I expected to enjoy, and I didn't.
So all in all, it was disappointing to say the least.
Another thing that I liked was that, all the way through the book, the moment that Blue and the group of Raven Boys that she was so hesitant to get to know, they didn't welcome her with eager arms the minute she started to get to know her either. And I liked that. I liked how realistic that was.
Now let's talk about the Raven Boys. These boys consist of Gansey, Noah, Adam, and Ronan. They were this groups of boys that were all primarily one emotion, though they weren't at all stereotyped. In fact, I'd go as far to say that I have never read about a group of characters quite like this one. Just the way they didn't agree about everything, they had their own opinions, and their own unique way of looking at things, in some way, it all seemed to work out. This group of boys were in it deep together, and in the situations where they surprised both themselves and the rest of the group and stuck their neck out for another, it was refreshing to see.
They all shared a common interest too (which you will get to see if you read the book), which also helped.
And then Blue and the Raven Boys met. And that's the start.
As you can see, this book is quite heavily character orientated. And if you've been following this blog for a while, you know that that's something I like in books.

Next, the plot. Not much really happened in this book. Up until the end, when a bunch of moments, that left you realising that you were actually much more invested in the story than you originally thought, (mostly the characters), there was some searching, and some character development. It was enough to keep me occupied, and keep me reading, but I was never fully engaged in the story.

The pacing was kind of slow. Well, not kind of, it was slow. Granted, it did give me the chance to get to know the characters inside out, which was probably the purpose of the slow pacing, but it was largely the reason why I was never fully invested.  

The writing wasn't too flowery and poetic, but it wasn't completely nitty and gritty either. The feel of the chapters were polls apart (they switched from Blue, and her physic family, to the Raven Boys, getting up to mischief), but the contrast made the book flow in a way I never thought it would.
The writing was a nice steady medium.

So overall, it was an okay read. I know it gets better from here, which is why I'm saying that I'm glad I read it again, and continued the series. If you are reading this now, and wondering whether to carry on the series, I promise it gets better after. 

So that was my review of The Raven Boys, by Maggie Steifvater! I hope you enjoyed it, and even though it wasn't singing it's praises, it was totally honest.
So I will see you all on Monday, when I will be posting my review of The Dream Thieves, the second book in the series!
I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you then!

-Abi xxxxx