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