Friday, 18 August 2017

Aaru (Aaru #1), by David Meredith

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And even though it hasn't been long since I've finished this book, I thought it was time I reviewed it, because that's part of the deal.
So, with further ado, let's begin with the review!

Title: Aaru
Author: David Meredith
Genre: Science Fiction
Release date: 9th July, 2017
Status: Book 1/3
Pages: I don't know, I read it on my Kindle.
Blurb: "Rose is dying. Her body is wasted and skeletal. She is too sick and weak to move. Every day is an agony and her only hope is that death will find her swiftly before the pain grows too great to bear.

She is sixteen years old.

Rose has made peace with her fate, but her younger sister, Koren, certainly has not. Though all hope appears lost Koren convinces Rose to make one final attempt at saving her life after a mysterious man in a white lab coat approaches their family about an unorthodox and experimental procedure. A copy of Rose’s radiant mind is uploaded to a massive super computer called Aaru – a virtual paradise where the great and the righteous might live forever in an arcadian world free from pain, illness, and death. Elysian Industries is set to begin offering the service to those who can afford it and hires Koren to be their spokes-model.

Within a matter of weeks, the sisters’ faces are nationally ubiquitous, but they soon discover that neither celebrity nor immortality is as utopian as they think. Not everyone is pleased with the idea of life everlasting for sale.
What unfolds is a whirlwind of controversy, sabotage, obsession, and danger. Rose and Koren must struggle to find meaning in their chaotic new lives and at the same time hold true to each other as Aaru challenges all they ever knew about life, love, and death and everything they thought they really believed."

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts
Going into this book, I had high expectations, especially considering how much I liked Reflections of Queen Snow white (which I reviewed for the same author a year or so ago).
But, I have to admit, because I promised to give an honest review, that I was really disappointed at the beginning. Looking back, it was probably because this book was a slow burner, and got better as the plot progressed, but at the beginning I was sort of just waiting for something to happen.

One of the reasons why this was more of a slow burner in the beginning was because of the amount of information that we got in the beginning was almost overbearing, and even though the amount of information was necessary, it didn't make the plot much better, just because I was waiting for something to happen from the start to about 60 pages in.

One thing that stuck with me throughout the course of the book, and kept me hooked on it (in the start) there was the question of "How is this possible?" which was stuck in the back of my mind constantly. And I was waiting with bated breath to see when something proved that this couldn't possible be as good as they claimed it would be.
Because the premise, the fact that you could talk to somebody who had died was impossible, inconceivable. Which is a big reason of why I gave this book a four stars.

 On the other hand, along with how much information I got, as well as that question that was constantly stuck in my brain, it made the pacing really slow, and made me loath to pick it up again once I put it down.

But despite the slow beginning, once you got into the story, it picked up in a big way. Told by the perspectives of Rose, who was residing in Aaru, and her sister Koren, the spokesperson for the same project, you never felt you were missing anything from either of the girls. Which made for a rather interesting story, especially as the plot progressed and the characters developed.

Let's talk about the plot. Even though it took a while for the plot to progress, once it did, I could not keep up! Surprise after surprise, I could not put this book down. No chapter was boring. Each one had me reeling, and super eager to read on, so I could find out what would happen to these characters that I had somehow grown so attached to.

Speaking of these characters, not only were they good as individual characters, in their own chapters, but it was wonderful to see that sisterly bond when they came together. As I read more about the overall story, it is so easy to relate to them as characters, first because any family could find themselves in that situation, and then as their separate stories merged together to make one big story and one direction, you saw what type of people they were and it was all too easy to follow their journey as more than just characters.

Saying that, as innocent the premise seems to be, there are a lot of adult scenes in this and I wouldn't recommend this to anyone under the age of 17, just because I found some of these scenes raw and really adult. I won't go into detail because these scenes were pretty far into the story and I don't want to spoil anything, but be prepared for some pretty emotional and upsetting scenes when you pick up this book.
And I have to say that even though these scenes were super intense and not for younger readers, I will say that I think they might have been necessary, because it was important to show the seriousness and what the reality of being in the public eye might come to. These scenes gave a good message of, be careful of what you put online and, even though this wasn't the main plot point, that was the way I interpreted it.

So overall, even though I had a few negative opinions about this book, it was thoroughly interesting, and I will most definitely be continuing on with the series, because I feel like this book has only been the tip of the iceberg of what this story has yet to tell.

So that was my review of Aaru, by David Meredith! I hope you enjoyed it, and let me know what you thought in the comments below!
I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you all on Monday!

-Abi xxxxx

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

What I Want To Accomplish By 2018

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And as we are heading towards 3/4 of the way through 2017, I thought I'd make a list of all the book-ish things I want to do by the end of 2017!

There are actually only three things that I hope to accomplish by the end of the year: two of which are book related, and the other concerns my writing!

1. Finish all the books on my TBR!
Yep! I will try to finish all the books on my TBR this year, which is the goal I said I would try to achieve at the start of 2017.
To consider there isn't a lot on my TBR at the moment. The odd couple of books that I need to read to finish series (such as The 5th Wave, Skuldugger Pleasant: Resurrection, and King's Cage); some series where I need to find one more books before I can marathon the series (TID & Mistborn), and literally this month's TBR. I also want to catch up on the new Dark Artifices series, but I can't do that until I finish The Infernal Devices, so TID is top priority.
As well as that, there are also the sequels that are set to be released in the next few months (like One Dark Throne for example). That isn't too much, and I am confident that I can read them all by the end of the year!
Series to finish:
-Book 2&3 of The 5th Wave
-Book 3 of Red Queen
-Resurrection, book 10 of Skulduggery Pleasant (re-reading the entire series before this one, can't wait)

2. To edit my manuscript as much as possible
I'm not going to strive to finish it completely, but I maybe want to get halfway, so I can start to look for beta readers in the new year, and start to contact literary agents. I'm currently 60 or so pages into editing out of 233 at the moment, so I've still got a long way to go. Wish me luck!

3. Read books by a number of specific authors:
So there are a number of authors that I have wanted to read for a while now, or some that I would like to read more of. There authors (or books, if there is a specific book for that author) are:
-History is All You Left Me, by Adam Silvera
-We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart
-Wonder, by R J Palicio
-The Sky Is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson

So those are sort of the three main things that I want to accomplish by the end of the year. After finishing this month's TBR, all I'll have to read are the book to complete the series' I've yet to finish!

So that is all I have for you guys today! I hope you enjoyed it, and let me know what you want to accomplish by 2018 in the comments below!
I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you on Friday!

-Abi xxxxx

Monday, 14 August 2017

Book Lovers Survival Tag

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And I've twice this tag has been showing up on my Booktube feed, so I figured it was time I put it into words!

Basically, the question to Book Lovers Survival Tag is to talk about 5-8 books that you would take to a desert island for an unforeseeable amount of times.

I'm choosing 8 books because they still would not be enough. (Obviously)

1. Twilight Reimagined, by Stephanie Meyer
Okay, I know this is kind of cheating, but it counts, because it's one book. And this can be read a bunch of ways too, like a chapter at a time, and it would be interesting to see how the stories unfold separately. Also, it gives me a chance to still have twilight close to me on this desert island!
2. My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
I love this book so much I wrote an essay on it, so it would make sense that I would bring it with me. I love the sense of family dynamic, especially as there is a lot of conflict within that family dynamic, and fans of Jodi Picoult know as well as I do that she is one for twist endings. In short, Jodi Picoult knows how to make a well rounded story, and well rounded characters.

3. Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell
Truthfully, I don't know why I picked this. It might be something about how Rainbow Rowell did a really good job at a juxtaposition story: darkness and light within the characters and the story, a good combination between fast paced action, and character development, which was always first class. But this story just screams cute, which is one of the biggest reason why I chose it.

4. Heartless (Heartless #1), by Marissa Meyer
When I encountered the tag, I knew straightaway that I wanted a fairytale retelling on this list. And at this point, I didn't want to use up all the options I have left, so I settled for this. It doesn't have a cliffhanger, and there's only book in the series out so far. It includes baking, and the description is so good it just makes me want to eat until I BURST, and there's also an extremely good character arc that starts with an innocent girl, in love for the first time, that turns into the ruthless Queen of hearts.  

5. The One Memory of Flora Banks, by Emily Barr
I was deliberating for the longest time about whether to include this because not a whole lot happens in this book. But just this ending, the ending had me wanting more, and it was something that I was looking for throughout the entire book, and then you get that at the end and it just had me wanting MORE. Like another book entirely. Those of you that haven't read this won't understand, but those that have read it will understand why I want more. Just, I need this type of book on a deserted island because I need a book that is going to get me physically running around the island in frustration. Don't ask me why.

6,7,8. The Legend trilogy (Legend, Prodigy, Champion), by Marie Lu
Again, I knew I wanted some form of trilogy in this selection, and I was honestly going between the Legend trilogy, and the Divergent trilogy, both of which I've only read once before. Just something about the bond that Day and June have is just a little bit more real than Tris and Four put this trilogy in favour. Also the fact that I read this trilogy like my ass was on fire, and I can still remember every aspect of the plot even half a year later. ... And it reduced me to tears whilst reading it, which barely ever happens. Which is why I chose this trilogy.

Okay, so that was the Book Lovers Survival Tag! I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you all on Wednesday!

-Abi xxxxxx

Friday, 11 August 2017

Most Anticipated Autumn Releases

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And it just occurred to me that there are a lot of books coming out in the last quarter of the year that I haven't talked about yet!
So... I thought it was about time I did.
This is my "Most Anticipated Autumn Releases"!

1. A Map For Wrecked Girls, by  Jessica Taylor
Even though I'm undecided about whether I think I might love or hate this, I'm willing to give it a chance based on some of the ARC (non-spoiler) reviews on Goodreads. This is the story of two sisters, who were once close, but then something happened and now they couldn't be further apart. In a twisted motion of fate, they end up on the shore of some unknown island, their only companion a boy called Alex, a boy with his own thing to deal with. To find their way home, they have to get past what has split themselves apart to find their way off the island and back home. From what I got from the Goodreads reviews, this is one heck of a page turner with a lot of survival, which is what sounds interesting to me about this book. This is released on 15th August, four days from now.

2. Fireblood (Frostblood #2), by Elly Blake
Even though I thought that Frostblood (book 1) wrapped up pretty nicely, I still want to see what direction the second book will take. And something tells me that this is going to be a book worth reading. I can't disclose too much about the plot as it is the second book in the series, but from what I know is that we get to explore a bit more of the world that Elly Blake has created in the second book, and there are some new characters in this one too.

3. Warcross (Warcross #1), by Marie Lu
As far as I know, this is a story about a hacker called Emika, who exposes people that use Warcross, something more than a game- more like a way of life- illegally. When she is recruited by the creator of Warcross to become a spy in a championship- he wants her to uncover a security problem in the game. Dazzled by his offer, she accepts the job- and gets everything she has ever wanted. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the game, worldwide. This sounds a bit like Ready Player One, but more fast-paced and with higher intensity. This is also released on 12th September.

4. One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2), by Kendare Blake
Even though this is only released one week later, on the 19th September, I think this will be top of my TBR, once it's released. The ending to the first book left me shocked for a good 10 minutes after finishing the last page, and I still can't believe I didn't see it coming, three months after having finished it. Also, can we take a moment to admire how cool the cover looks! It's one of my favourites by far out of all the covers I've seen in my lifetime, and I can't wait to read the book! (So excited)!

5. Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Edition
There isn't much to say about this except for the fact that I can't wait to see the illustrated (I feel bad for saying this but I especially can't wait to see the illustrations for the dementors). This is released on the 3rd October and even though I doubt I'll get this straightaway but I hope to get this eventually.

6. Without Merit, by Colleen Hoover
I've been hearing about these amazing books by Colleen Hoover for about a year now, so I think it's time that I read one. And from the Goodreads reviews (ARCs) this is just as good as the others. This tells the story of a girl who, before escaping her family's life forever, exposes all their darkest secrets. But when her escape plan fails, she has to live with the consequence of telling the truth. It looks really interesting and I can't wait to read it. (Finally). This is also being released on 3rd October.

So that is the list of "Most Anticipated Autumn Releases"! I hope to read them all by the end of the year, and if you are looking forward to reading any of these, let me know in the comments so we can have a little discussion about them!

So! I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you on Monday!
What are you reading in the weekend?

-Abi xxxxxx

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2), by Leigh Bardugo

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And the amount of thoughts I have on this book is insane!
I read this a couple of weeks ago, but I think it's time to post it!
Don't forget to comment below if you have any thoughts or any points you would like to discuss!

Title: Crooked Kingdom
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy
Release date:
Status: Book 2 in duology
Pages: 536
Blurb: "KAZ BREKKER and his crew have just
pulled off the most daring heist imaginable.

But instead of divvying up a fat reward,
they're fighting for their lives.

Double-crossed and badly weakened,
they're low on resources, allies and hope.

While a war rages on the city's streets,
the team's fragile loyalties are stretched
to breaking point.

Kaz and his crew will have to make
sure they're on the winning side...
no matter what the cost."

My Thoughts
It's taken me almost a year to finally read this book, mainly because of the significant size of it, coupled with the fact that I didn't particularly connect with any of the other characters as much as everybody else was seeming to. But after giving Crooked Kingdom's predecessor a re-read, I was more than willing and able to jump right back into the world of such diverse characters, not to mention such a fantastic world.

Going into this book, I knew how this book needed to be read: slow and steadily. I knew that if I tried to read it quickly, and just to say that I had read it, I wouldn't take in half as much as I would have otherwise (when I was actually thinking about the words rather than just skimming the pages) and that was exactly how I read it.

Let's talk about the words! The dialogue was snappy, Leigh Bardugo has mastered the devious side to the characters, with just the perfect one liners, the description was indepth and detailed enough that you got an idea of the places that the story was taking place without making you feel jumbled in your own head of where you were or what the characters were doing at any one time. And there were quotes like "No mourners, no funerals" that just fit the feeling of the story perfectly, and left a pang in your chest whenever you read it.

On to the characters- The friendship between the six crooks that was forged together in the first book was the most consistent thing in this book, and it was also what I loved most about it. Not only in the relationships between the ships in this book, but between every single member of the party too. Crooked Kingdom is all about how they are all for one another, and it's wonderful to see the bond that was created in the first book continue to grow as they work as a team throughout the book.

One relationship in particular that I loved to see was the friendship between Nina and Inez. It is so rare to see two women- that have completely different personalities, I might point out- become almost like sisters. You really see it when they meet after one of them has attempted something potentially life threatening, and that was lovely to see. However, the best scenes were when they all came together to plot and scheme a plan for what was next on the agenda in the next part.

Also, when the characters were going solo, when they were doing something by themselves, the bond that that character had created with the rest of the crew sort of strengthened their resolve. Despite this, each and every character still remained themselves. They used the others in the crew to motivate and inspire them to complete the task at hand, but they stayed the same people, they didn't lose their own individual character, who they were themselves, which is another point that I like to see in books such as these.

Also, if there's one thing I like to see in books is the backstory. There's nothing like a backstory to help you to sympathise to a character. It gives you something to root for the character, to see how far they have come from then to now, and if I'm honest, the lack of backstory for the characters was a bit of a negative I had for the first book.
But in Crooked Kingdom, we got a whole load of backstory. And it was one of my favourite things about this book.

Now, can we talk about the ships in this devastating finale! Love was never the thing that was going to fix all the problems that the Crows encountered in Crooked Kingdom. It was the reason for why you were fighting,  your strength and courage for doing what was right. The characters were learning to live for their other half, and the love these characters had for one another was what reminded me that they were all in their late teens, and it was so easy to forget that because they all seemed so much more intimidating if they were early 20s. But the love that these characters had for one another was their reason for fighting the darkness that they encountered in this book.

One of the things that got me interested in the Six of Crows duology in the first place was the plot. There was a clear goal, as well as a bunch of interesting characters, but first and foremost, it was the premise, the plot that pulled me in. Leigh Bardugo absolutely shined in the fight scenes, the actions almost cinematic, in how clear it was. But the ticking of Kaz thinking up a plan that was dangerous, and more than a little risky when he was faced with what seemed like an unending number of setbacks was what really takes the cake. Watching Kaz and Pekka face off again and again was both heart-raking and satisfying, because you were never sure whether Kaz was going to have some master trick up his sleeve or whether Pekka was really going to win it this time. It was like a knife-edge between those too and it was so intense I was surprised that I wasn't ripping my hair out at one point.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this final book in the duology and I can't wait to see what Leigh Bardugo comes up with next because I will certainly be picking it up on release day. The ending to this amazing trilogy pretty ripped my heart out, and even though I wish it wasn't over, I'm satisfied with the ending.

* * * * *

So that was my review of Crooked Kingdom! I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you all on Friday!

-Abi xxxxx 

Monday, 7 August 2017

41-50 Books of 2017

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And even though I said that the last one of these would be the last because I was close to completing my Goodreads goal, but since I extended my Goodreads goal of 2017, it looks like it's time for another one!

41. Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty
As I said in my wrap up, this book has a strange quality that just makes you want to keep reading. It's not the sort of book that I like to pick up normally, but this book is dripping with secrets and suspicion, in the most unlikely of places. It was also really fun trying to piece together the mystery of how something so petty could  equal to... a murder. Just a really good book.

The amount of times I've talked about this book... just, the link to my review is in the title, if you want to see any of my more in depth thoughts.

43. Noughts and Crosses (Noughts and Crosses #1), by Malorie Blackman

44. Knife-edge (Noughts and Crosses #2), by Malorie Blackman

45. Checkmate (Noughts and Crosses #3), by Malorie Blackman

46. Double Cross (Noughts and Crosses #4), by Malorie Blackman
Again the amount of times I've talked to you guys about this series, you must be so bored of it by this point. But this book series takes place over generations, and it goes from noughts being treated like they're nothing, and it generates a number of themes that have me crying every single time I read the words. It deals with first love, racial class, terrorism, and it gives a perspective from both sides, which just makes it that much more realistic. Seriously, if you get the chance to pick any one of these books up, please do!

47. Northern Lights (His Dark Materials #1), by Philip Pullman
God damn this book was slow! (That's just my initial thought). But despite the fact that it was one of the slowest books I've ever had the fortune to read, it was also kind of interesting, and the parts where something actually happened were like short staccato bursts of surprise that would almost knock you off your feet if you weren't prepared. You also got to see how all the different places that Lyra travelled too, all the while completely clueless as to what she was destined to do. If I have nothing else to read, I might consider carrying on with the trilogy, but not before then.

48. Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1), by Leigh Bardugo
Even though this was just a re-read, just a recap so I could familiarise myself of the story before I continued on with Crooked Kingdom, I did actual enjoy reading through it a second time, compared through to the first. It might be something to do with how I read it all the way through in one go, rather than in little segments over an extended period of time. I connected with the characters more, and they became real, like real, genuine people.

49. One of Us Is Lying, by Karen M. McManus
Even if the challenge for this book was to finish it in one day, I have no doubt that I would have finished it in one day anyway! I have already talked about this in my wrap up, you can check it out, and at one point I will definitely be posting a review, so look out for that! This tells the story of five people that come into detention, and only four leave. Under suspicion for their murder, you follow the four of them as they try to find out what has happened- but you never know if one of them to lying to the group, which is part of why I love this book, because there's never the confirmation that they're all on the same page!

50. Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2), by Leigh Bardugo
And finally, Crooked Kingdom (review coming up this week, I promise!) The second and final book in the Six of Crows duology, and I have to admit, I was super intimidated at first! Just because it was so big, and the print was smaller, but I actually ended up being sucked right into, which I love to do with a book this complex and intricate and fast paced. What I loved is that the crew from the first book have become closer, and they're also more like family now, which makes what happens in the book all the more heart-breaking. It's like the second and third book all rolled into one. There's a build up, a kind of foreboding that whatever is going to happen in this book is going to be big- bigger than all of them, and they don't know who is going to be left afterwards. I would actually go as far to say as you should read this duology purely for the second book.  

So that was my 41-50 Books of 2017! Hopefully I'll get to do another one of these because I have (again) extended my Goodreads goal!
So that is all I have today! I hope you have a wonderful day, and I will see you all on Wednesday!

-Abi xxxxxx

Friday, 4 August 2017

One of Us Is Lying, by Karen M. McManus

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And it's been a while since I've posted a review.
But instead of going straight in deep with a 500+ page (like Crooked Kingdom) I think I'm going to slowly diverge myself back into them, which is why I'm starting off with a review of One of Us Is Lying, by Karen M. McManus.
Enjoy :)

Title: One of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre: Mystery & Contemporary
Release date: 29th May, 2017
Status: Standalone
Pages: 358

Yale Hopeful BRONYWN has never publically
Sports star COOPER only knows what he's doing in
the baseball diamond.
Bad boy NATE is one misstep away from a life of crime.
Prom Queen ADDY is holding together the cracks
in her perfect life.
And outsider SIMON, creater of a notorious gossip app at
Bayview High, won't ever talk about any of them again.
He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest
secrets online. Investigators conclude it's no accident.
All of them are suspects.
Everyone has secrets, right?
What really matters is how far
you'll go to protect them."

My Thoughts
Let me just jump right in. Even though I hadn't seen hide nor hare of the Breakfast Club, the premise was what attracted me to the idea of this book from the start. I find it really interesting that a group of characters, all from completely different social groups would meet in detention, and when one of them well, dies, these people are the ones that are under suspicion of being guilty of murder.

What I loved about the premise was that they were all completely different people, from different socials groups. I love an authentic and realistic character, it's the thing I most look out for when reading a book. I love the story arcs of a character, seeing a noticeable difference from the start of the book to the end, and that was such a big part of this book, that I couldn't help but love it.

But what did it for me, with this book, is that I was able to clearly see the character arcs of them as individuals, as well as see the role each of them took in the group dynamic. It was super easy to tell which perspective I was reading from, which is always a good thing when reading a book with multiple perspectives.
I don't mean to say that they were all stereotypes. Far from it. I mean, they did have a couple, but it was easy to look past that because of the situation they were in.

Which brings me to the character arcs and the dynamics of the group. Even though these four remaining people were from completely different family situations (which did play a substantial part in the book, I'm glad to report- it's too easy to forget about the family of the protagonists in these types of books) and completely different socials clubs and groups, they were thrown together in a whirlwind of events in which they were being blamed, and it was lovely to see them become close, and come to rely on each-other, because they were all in the same situation. Those social groups, and the fact that they were from completely different backgrounds became meaningless, because they all had one goal- proving that they weren't guilty.

It would have been so easy to make this book seem depressing and like the characters had no hope (I mean, having the media out all your deepest secrets just to make them seem guilty isn't good), but the feeling that I got from this book was that the characters were determined to prove that they were innocent and unable to give in, even when the situation seemed impossible, which I really liked about this book.

What I now know about how Karen M McManus is that she can pack one hell of a punch into her novels. The things she put her characters through were super personal to that character, to the point where I would find myself wincing when she did something to a character that I knew would change them- for the better or worse. And before you knew it, you were emotionally invested in the characters, and the story they were in.

On the other hand, with a title like One of Us Is Lying, it would make sense that each person would have doubts of those close to them. And by that, I mean out of the three others. That question of, "Did somebody else possibly kill Simon?" and "Do the others know more about this than they're letting on?" That question of whether there is a rat in the group never went away, which added a layer of mystery to what was already a dense story.

This book just got me so frustrated, the way it was told. Not in a bad way, just that the police weren't investigating why those four-specific people were in detention in the first place, even though there was circumstantial evidence against what landed them in detention!
But what I mean by being frustrated was all in the story, frustration at the characters, not the writing.
Which is what I mean by being emotionally invested in the story.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was short, so it isn't a big time commitment either, which is always a bonus. These characters are realistic and authentic, and if you are a fan of good characters, I highly recommend you pick this up because you are going to be glad you did (once you've read it).

So that was my review of One of Us Is Lying, by Karen M. McManus! I hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any thoughts on the book, let me know in the comments!
I hope you have a wonderful day, and I will see you all on Monday!

-Abi xxxxxx

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

August TBR (2017)

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And it's August! I can't believe there's only 5 months left from the year!
But with another month comes another TBR.
So here's my TBR for the month of August!

1. Songs About Us (Songs About A Girl #2), by Chris Russell
Even though I finished this book yesterday, I'm still including it because it is still on the August TBR. This is the sequel to Songs About A Girl, and it takes place a couple of months after Songs About A Girl has ended in terms of times. I can't disclose too much about the plot because it's the second book in the series but when Charlie returns, she notices something that something has changed. But she's changed as well.
Because I wrote a review on the first book in the trilogy, I will also be reviewing this one too, because I have a lot of thoughts on it!
Pages: 419

2. Aaru (The Aaru Cycle #1), by David Meredith
If you've been here since the beginning, last February I received a free copy of The Reflections of Queen Snow White, and I received a free copy for an honest review.
This is what I'm doing now, reading the book and giving an honest review.
And I have high hopes for this, considering how much I enjoyed The Reflections of Queen Snow White.
All I know about this book is that it's about a girl that has cancer and her family. She dies, but not before she leaves an imprint of her brain, memories, happy feelings, and when she dies, she is able to come back alive, though how, I don't know yet.
I'll be reviewing this at some point this month.

3. All That She Can See, by Carrie Hope Fletcher
This was one of the books that I planned to read for the readathon, but I didn't get to it due to lack of time. But I'm hoping to get to it fairly soon so I can read about magic, and romance, and a lot of description about baking, which I am really looking forward to. Pages: 351

4. Us (One Day #2), by David Nicholls  
Although this is the sequel to the well-known book One Day, as far as I know, there are no previous links to the first book, which is why I'm not re-reading that one. But this seems like a short but sweet read, and a good ending to One Day. (By the way, since this is the sequel, I'm counting it as a duology, like I did with the Me Before You duology- I'M COUNTING IT). This is about a couple- an artist and a scientist- that have been married for more than twenty years. They are all set to go on a holiday with their only son. When their marriage ends, out of nowhere. So in a last ditch attempt to save his marriage, Douglas decides to take them anyway. What could possibly go wrong?               Pages: 397

5. The Circle, by Dave Eggers
This was a book that was on last month's TBR, and for some reason I did not get to it. Maybe because I just wasn't in the mood? But I am determined to finish all of my TBR by the end of the year, and that means reading this. It doesn't actually seem that bad, it's got a lot of mystery and intrigue and sneaking around, which sounds really exciting! More on the wrap up (when I eventually finish this). Looking forward to reading this and sharing my thoughts (either in a review or my august wrap up). Pages: 491

6. The Chemist, by Stephenie Meyer
This was also on my TBR for July, and it was yet another book that I did not get to last month. But I am determined to complete it, because 1) Stephenie Meyer, for one thing, and 2) It's a crime novel that promises to be super intense and fast paced. This is the story of an ex agent, that is on the run from her agency company, and she must take on one final mission, which could clear her name and save her life. And the information she has recently acquired makes this mission all the more dangerous. This sounds gripping and exciting and I can't wait to read it!

So that is my August TBR (2017)! I chose these books because next month is my birthday and I want to be able to get the final books that will finish the Mistborn trilogy (so I can finish those), and the INFERNAL DEVICES (finally)!
So if you guys have read any of these and have any thoughts, or you will be reading one of these this month, let me know in the comments!
I hope you have a wonderful day, and I will see you all on Friday, with my review of Crooked Kingdom!

-Abi xxxxx

Monday, 31 July 2017

July Wrap Up (2017)

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And as it is the last day in July, it's time for my monthly wrap up!
I read 12 books this month (mostly re-reads), so let's get into that!

Here are the books I read this month:

1. Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty
This was an interesting read, to say the least. It centres around three mums, and their children, ready to start school that following September. Pushed together by a friendship formed because one of the mums is under fire because of something nobody has any evidence of (single mum Jane's child Ziggy was accused of something by one of the most influential mum's and she didn't step down. This takes place in a high society estate, so you can imagine how that went down.) Even though that was big, nobody ever thought that this would result in murder. And everyone has secrets. What matters is how far you'd go to protect them.
When I say this was an interesting read, I don't mean the plot or the characters. What I mean is that this wasn't a particularly fast paced book, but you were intrigued enough that you just didn't want to put the book down. Just the group dynamic, the different relationships within this story. Wives and husbands, mums and other mums, the mums and their children, and the whole group together. If you want an infectious, slightly pulse-raising book (the intensity was something else entirely) with mystery and good character dynamic, I recommend this book in a second.

As I've already read this book, the review is on the title, and you can click that if you want to.
What I like most about this book is that this is an insanely quick read. So if you want to read something that going to make you glad your just reading a book and not doing all the crazy things in the book your reading, then I highly recommend this.
Because the dares in this game are insane. And it hits you hard, because it's so easy to picture yourself doing all these things.
But they just get bigger and bigger.
I have not seen the film yet, even though I badly want to.
But I really do like the book a lot.

It wasn't a complete choice to marathon this series until I started Northern Lights and just- didn't get too into it. (I'll get into Northern Lights when I'm talking about that book- because I did end up finishing it.) But it had been ages since I'd re-read the series and this is one of those series where I just remember a certain quote or relationship which I particularly loved, and I just felt an urge to re-read the series. (Mixed in with the fact that I didn't want to waste the days when I was attempting Northern Lights). But, and I can't stress this enough, but if your someone who enjoys reading about two people that are determined to be together, even if the odds are stacked against them- even if the only problem is that one of them is a nought and the other a cross- then I urge you to pick up this series. This is a series that deals with racism, class, crime, freedom, love, hate, hope and territory, and I swear, this series has made me cry more than ANY OTHER. I kid you not. And it takes a lot to make me cry.

(Booktube-a-thon books read from here)

7. Northern Lights (His Dark Materials #1), by Philip Pullman
Having attempted to read this a couple of times, I was less than enthusiastic to pick it up when it was assigned to my book club for this month. But after picking it up and finishing it, I enjoyed it, though I had a few problems with it.
I mean, when I picked up the book, I became invested in the story, the detail of the world that the story took place in. And it raised some interesting ideas about the world that I don't think any book has suggested.
But the book was so slow.
Don't get me wrong, the world was detailed, and the story was super interesting, which I reckon is why this trilogy is considered a masterpiece, but there wasn't much in this book that just made me jump out my chair, eyes glued to the page. It was good enough, and I suppose I would attempt the Subtle Knife if I had nothing else to read, but I don't think I'm going to carrying on with the trilogy any time soon.

Even though my review is slightly less than positive (I wrote it just under a year ago), I definitely enjoyed this book a lot more the second time around. Maybe because I had too high expectations, and I wasn't yet familiar with Leigh Bradugo's writing style. But when I read it this time around, I definitely slowed down, concentrated on what was happening, and thought about it, and I have to say, I connected with the characters a lot better this time around.

9. One of Us Is Lying, by Karen M. McManus
From the moment I heard about this, I was super intrigued. It tells the story of five people, all from different socials circles, that share detention. But only four leave detention alive. But the death was no accident. And the other four are suspects. Because Simon had secrets he would expose after about the other four.
Even if this challenge wasn't "Finish a book in one day", I'm still willing to bet that I would have finished it that day. Because the characters were so real, even though they were living a bunch of tropes (the stereotypes for what their social groups were.) But it was so good to see the whole group dynamic. And you never got the characters mixed up, which is a hard thing to do with a multi perspective book like this one.
Definitely reviewing this at some point this week.

10. Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2), by Leigh Bardugo
#intimidated. I'm just going to say that. Do you know how big this book is, and how small the print is????
But once I got over that, and got into the book itself, I was so blown away, I fell out of my chair!
(Not really, but THIS BOOK, OMG).
There are no words. Just read it.
Because it's amazing.
Just the emotions you feel when your reading this book. You become so angry, you want to hit something, just because you hate a certain character so much. Then you're just lost, the impact of the shock hits and it sends you reeling backwards, then you're sobbing your heart out because something irreversible has happened and it'll never be right again.
Just, read it.
DEFINITE review coming up.

11. Before I Die, by Jenny Downham
Before I start, you can probably tell, just by the title that this book is sad and depressing.
But it's also so god damn beautiful.
Here's the summary: Tessa Scott has leukemia. She's going to die, and there's no getting past that. But before she does, she has a list of ten things she wants to do. And she's not going to die until they're all done. This book is raw and gripping. But it's also hard to read, even though it's so easy to read through.
With this book, there are both sad and beautiful moments. And sometimes they seem sad, and beautiful, and it's all caught in a whirlwind, so you don't know which way is up sometimes! I've given this to some of my teachers, my mum, even my friends.
They all cried and loved it.
I cannot recommend this enough.

I re-read this because I wanted to relieve the love I had for this book, before I continue on with the trilogy next (I obtained the second book, which I talked about it in my july book haul , you can check that out too) and it was the last book I read for the booktube-a-thon that finished last night. For my full thoughts on the book you can click the review!

1. Waterloo Road (Series 3)
Although I haven't watched as much as last month, I have still continued to watch the first tv show that I watched as I grew up- and it still continues to excel and do amazing.
The amount that school has to deal with, I'm surprised it isn't closed (yes, I am aware that it's a fictional school and isn't real).

... As for writing, I've done like literally nothing, because I've been reading so much.
But writing is my priority this month, and I'm hoping to get to page 100 for my second draft (I'm currently on Page 37).

So that is my July Wrap Up (2017)! I know it was rather a long wrap up, considering the amount of books I've read this month, but thank-you for reading it!
I hope you have a wonderful day, and an even better reading week, and I will be back on Wednesday with my August TBR (2017)!

-Abi xxxxxxx

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

July Book Haul (2017)

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And since it's nearing the end of the month, I think It's time I post a July Book Haul. (Especially as I've actually bought enough books to do a haul, and some of them are quite popular at the moment).
And I've even read one of them!
So let's get to it!

1. All That She Can See, by Carrie Hope Fletcher
From what I know, this is about a girl called Cherry, who from some sort of power, uses her baking skills to make people happy, and she's the only one that has this gift that she meets. And then she meets somebody else (not certain of his name) that has the same gift, but uses it in the opposite way. It's Carrie Hope Fletcher's second novel, and it has baking, love and a little bit of magic, and is sure to be an absolute winner in the charts apparently, from what I hear of the reviews.
2. Songs About Us (Songs About A Girl #2), by Chris Russell
This is the second book of the Songs About A Girl trilogy, and let me tell you, I cannot wait to see how Charlie Bloom's career in photography intertwined with Fire & Lights. It sounds cheesy, but it is anything but. There's a love triangle, which I normally don't like, but the first book, was the exception for some reason. I'm actually sort of nervous to see the direction that the story will take, though I hope it's as good as the first book was. No doubt I will be reading this soon, so more in a review or wrap up soon.
3. One of Us Is Lying, by Karen M. McManus
I only bought this the other day, and those that follow my Instagram (you can click it on the side, there's a section) know that I have already read it! It was one of the books for the booktube-a-thon, and I have to say, if you think you might like this book, PICK IT UP. Putting a daunting new spin on the Breakfast Club, five people enter detention, and only four leave it alive. When the police conclude that this death was no accident, the four remaining students are now the four main suspects, because Simon is all set to reveal their deepest secrets. How far would you go to conceal the truth?
4. Resurrection, by Derek Landy
I finally got it! As much as the cover change sticks out like a sore thumb against the rest of the series, I am so excited to see yet more adventures that Valkyrie and Skulduggery might try to overcome. This is basically my childhood, but in a much more epic way, and I am so excited, you cannot UNDERSTAND. Skulduggery, Valkyrie, Ghastly, maybe Tanith, I don't know! I know absolutely nothing, yet I know there will be sarcasm, sarcastic wit, action, and unity, and a butt full of ACTION AND LAUGHTER from us as readers!
5. Lady Midnight (Dark Artifices #1), by Cassandra Clare
Even though I haven't read the Infernal Devices yet, I do plan to read them later this year, and buying this means that I can jump right in with the Dark Artifices series. I do not know squat about this series at the moment, and that's the way I want it to stay. (Don't want any spoilers). But, I know that I will love this book, because... Cassandra Clare.
6. Oblivion (Power of Five #5), by Anthony Horowitz
I have already loved and completed this series, and let me just comment on the cover for a second: it perfectly grasps the feeling of the place where this fifth and final book in the series is set: Alaska. This book is harsh, and will take your affections on a journey, that will take you by surprise, by how much you will come to care for these characters. This is the story of five children, all with supernatural gifts, and ten thousand years ago, they defeated and banished the Ancient Ones. But ten thousand years later, the Ancient Ones are back. But so are the children. And they are the same children. (They're not actually children, they're 14-15 years old.) But this series is slit-through, and almost cruel, what they have to do during this series. It is one of my favourite childhood series, and I love it so much.

So that is my July Book Haul (2017)! I hope you enjoyed it, and let me know what you thought in the comments!
I hope you have a wonderful day and a great reading day!

-Abi xxxxx

Monday, 24 July 2017

BookTube-A-Thon TBR

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And even though this marathon is meant for booktubers only, I'm thinking that I'll give it a try (not the video challenges, but the challenges with which I have to read these books.
And I've bought a bucket worth of books this month, so I might get to read those sooner, rather than later.

I am aware that this booktube-a-thon has already started, so I better list these books and start reading!

1. Read a book with a person on the cover.
Chosen book: Songs About A Girl (Songs About A Girl #1), by Chris Russell
If you've been here a while, I read this book last September, and absolutely loved it. And now, I have the sequit el! And I need to re-read the first, purely because I loved it so much! (And it has a person on the cover, so that works).

2. Read a hyped book.
Chosen book: Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2), by Leigh Bardugo
This is a book that I was going to read next month, but it looks like I'll be reading it sooner than I expected! This is something I've been wanting to pick up since I bought it about six months ago. I am also including Six of Crows for another challenge which I think I'm going to read first because, duh, but hopefully I might be able to finish both!

3. Finish a book in one day.
Chosen book: One of Us Is Lying, by Karen M. McManus
I chose this book because 1)It's approx. 350 pages, so it's pretty short, and 2)because it looks super interesting. If you didn't know, this is a story based on the breakfast club...
(Except somebody dies...)

4. Read about a character that is very different from you.
Chosen book: Northern Lights (His Dark Materials #1), by Philip Pullman (this is set in the Arctic mostly, which is how it differs). I'm thinking that I'll complete this first, because I'm already working on this for my bookclub on Thursday.

5. Finish a book completely outdoors.
Even though this is quite fluid, and I haven't decided yet what to read outside, (I'm thinking I'll save this for later, so I can decided later), but the front runner is All That She Can See, by Carrie Hope Fletcher, because it just seems like the cutesy, sweet (she bakes) book that would be perfect for finishing outside. Anybody else read this book lately?

6. Read a book you bought because of the cover.
Chosen book: Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1), by Sara Raasch
Funny enough, I actually struggled with this one, because I haven't impulsively bought a book because of the cover for ages.
But, last time I read this book, I didn't love it as much as I thought.
But I'm giving it another chance.

7. Read seven books.
Chosen book: Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1), by Leigh Bardugo.
As I said when I was talking about Crooked Kingdom, I'm reading this to refresh my memory about what happened in the first book, so I can delve straight into the second and final book in the duology. The first book is able seven notorious villains, all with some special skills of their own, sent on an impossible heist.
And they might just do that- if they kill each-other first.

Even though you are allowed to overlap these challenges, the aim is to complete all seven challenges. And even though I might (very small might) be able to do just that, I still want to assign seven books.
All through this week I will be doing updates, so if you aren't interested in this booktube-a-thon, you've been warned!

So that is my post for today, I hope you have a good day and a wonderful reading day, and I will be seeing you on Wednesday!
Keep smiling!

-Abi xxxxxx