Wednesday, 30 August 2017

August Wrap Up (2017)

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And even though I only read six books this month, none of them have been re-reads.
So let's get into the Wrap Up, enjoy!

Here are the books I read this month:

I already have a review up, which I posted last week, and you can check it out by clicking on the title!
This is the second book in the songs about a girl trilogy, and I have to say, I was blown away by how good it was. Going into it, at the start I was kind of nervous, just because of the usual stigma of maybe the second book won't be as good as the first, but I was totally surprised by how much I enjoyed it! This was the book where we got to know yet more about the characters we got introduced to in the first book, and it was absolutely amazing.
Totally recommend this trilogy to anyone who might be interested in reading it.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review at the end of last month, and again, if you want to read about my more in-depth thoughts, you can check out the review. All in all, even though there were a few problems with the book, such as the pacing, and the heavy info- dumping at the start, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I will definitely be continuing the series when they are released.
Recommend this to older readers, just because there are some graphic scenes.

3. All That She Can See, by Carrie Hope Fletcher
I was so excited to read this book once I bought it, and I was not disappointed! This book screamed Carrie Hope Fletcher in the writing- just goodness and happiness and bursting with glitter. Carrie's books just flow so well, and the characters are just so well-crafted that I flew straight through this, and read it in a single day!
This is the story of Cherry who, spreads happiness and solves people's personal demons with her baking, as well as a bit of magic; until she meets the person who does the opposite.
This book was so clever and magical, and just so wonderful that I urge people to pick it up because this is a contender for my favourite books of 2017!

4. Us (One Day #2), by David Nicholls
Right off the bat, I'm going to say, this wasn't my favourite book of the month. Let's just say, it left a lot for improvement. The pacing was slow, I wasn't particularly interested in what the story was about, and I didn't connect with any of the characters. There were times when I questioned whether I should just put down the book and choose something else. But the message, behind the book: Not to give up, and even if the situation seems hopeless, don't lose hope. Although the characters were never more than characters on a page to me, I couldn't help but admire what the main character was trying to do throughout the course of the book.

5. The Circle, by Dave Eggers
This book. When I think about this book, my first reaction is to groan: "URGGHHHH". Just because it was so frustrating. I'm not giving out spoilers, but the people that have read this will understand which part I'm talking about.
I was emotionally invested in this book, and I didn't even realise it! I wouldn't say that Mae herself is easy to relate to, because I didn't particularly like Mae all that much, but the situation was easy to relate to, because she works at the Circle, which is basically an entire world of social media.
This book wasn't exactly what I expected it to be, which threw me off a bit, but I was more than happy with what I got. If you like social media, I recommend this, just because of the debates that this book sparks up.

6. History Is All You Left Me, by Adam Silvera
I finished this a couple of days ago, and even though I didn't fly through it like I thought it would, this book threw an arrow at my heart and did not let go. It went in a different direction to what I thought it would, but like *tears*.
This book is truly what everybody says it is! It goes from being super cute and laughing out loud, to reading something really sad that the contrast sis like you've been stripped emotionally. The pacing is perfect, the characters are amazing, and they all play their part to make the amazingness that is History Is All You Left Me! Recommend this if you are in the mood for a tear-jerker.

TV Shows
1. Pretty Little Liars Season 6
At the start of the month, this was the show. I still need to purchase Season 7 (watching them on DVD), but I still need to watch Season 6 first. I can't disclose much about the plot, because it's Season 6, but this season, they took the intensity up a notch!
I didn't read too much of it in the second half of the month, but hopefully I will be able to finish season 6 by the end of this month!

1. Girls' Trip
This film! What a blast, I was rolling in my seat laughing at everything in this film! (If you didn't know, this is a 15 Comedy). Totally crude but also super funny, you won't regret going to see it! I became interested in it because Queen Latifa is starring in it, but when I went to see it, it wasn't just her, I love all of the characters! And the surprising part: IT HAS AN AMAZING PLOT LINE, IT ISN'T JUST A COMEDY! This was the icing on the cake, because I often find that comedies don't always have the best storylines, but I was over the moon when I went to see it and realised that it had a plot line.
(It's amazing!)

Even though I didn't do as much as I wanted to (though I doubt I'll ever reach that, due to other responsibilities, *sigh*) I did still do quite a bit this month. I'm currently at page 60, so I've nearly doubled the page I was on last month, which I'm happy about. By the end of September, I'm hoping to be on page 80-85 in terms of editing.
Let's hope!

So that is my August Wrap Up! But I want to hear what you lot have been up to! What have you been writing and reading? Let me know in the comments, because I love to hear from you guys!
So that is all I have for you guys today! I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you on Friday with my September TBR!

-Abi xxxxx

Monday, 28 August 2017


Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And after getting this book yesterday, the first post that sprung to mind was an introduction, because I truly want to share how much I love this!

Strange the Dreamer... where do I begin?
This was a book that was released...

*checks release date on the internet*

(How long did I wait to buy this thing?)

just under a year ago.

And for some reason, after finding out that Laini Taylor was releasing a new book, I was immediately drawn to it, even though I'd never even attempted to read the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy.
But something about this book just seemed to draw me in.

Also, can I just talk about the cover? It's just so beautiful that I couldn't help getting the hardcover, instead of waiting for the paperback next year.

Aside from that, this book has been getting nothing but fantastic reviews since it was released, and even though this means that I have high expectations, the fact that I'm going into this book knowing absolutely nothing other than what the blurb tells me, hopefully that'll help me not to expect too much from a book by an author that I haven't attempted yet.

Here's all I know about the book at the moment, as well as the cover:
Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian,
has always feared that his dream chose poorly.
Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with
the mystic lost city of Weep, but it would take
someone bolder than he to cross half the world in
search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

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

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

That's pretty much all I know about the book, but one thing I can't WAIT for is to divulge myself into this mysterious, fantasy filled world that Laimi Taylor had created.

Let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts about Strange the Dreamer, or if your just as excited to read it as I am!

If not, I hope you have a lovely day and I will see you all on Wednesday, with my August Wrap Up!

-Abi xxxx

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Songs About Us (Songs About A Girl #2), by Chris Russell

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And this review has kind of been thrown to the wayside next to everything else that I've posted this month.
So I think it's time that I post this review so I can share my thoughts!
With further ado, here's the review!

Title: Songs About Us
Author: Chris Russell
Genre: Contemporary
Release date: 13th July, 2017
Status: Book 2/3 in trilogy
Pages: 441
Blurb: "From where I
stood, cracks were
appearing in
The Biggest
Boy Band On The
Face Of The Earth. But for the
next ten minutes, none of that
would matter. Because when
those four boys hit the
stage, they lit a fire
inside your soul...

Charlie Bloom is
just an ordinary girl.

Who happened to spend last
winter hanging out with the hottest
boy band in the world. No biggie.

But that's all ancient history. And now
Charlie doesn't have time to even think
about Fire&Lights. Or what went down with
Gabe... Until she's pulled into their world
of glamour and paparazzi once again.

As old feelings are rekindled, Charlie
notices that the band seems different
this time. But then again, so is she..."

My Thoughts
After the roaring success of Songs About A Girl, I was both very excited, and a little nervous about what the sequel would be like. Because surely, it couldn't be just as good as the first one?
Could it?
It totally was.
There was the normal amazingness, and then add another level.
It was that good.
And the reason?
The plot.

Taking place a few months after the events of the first book, Charlie Bloom has returned back into the anonymously of her normal life. Although it doesn't take much for her to delve back into that band crazy world with Fire&Lights.
But anyway, what I loved about the plot was that this time around, when Charlie when back into that world, something was different. The unity of the band members, just wasn't there, which gave everything an edge. There was a wonderful undertone to the store and, along with the added tension on this strain that was so clearly in the band, my heart was beating with each confrontation. There was so much tension in each of the chapters, that the anxiety for these characters was there constantly.

Which brings me to the characters. There wasn't just the, confrontations between Olly & Gabriel, there was some character development between the other band members too, as the connection between Charlie and the band grew ever stronger. It put the dynamic between Fire&Lights into perspective, getting to know that there was more to the others than just a backing for the sound-off between Olly and Gabriel. 
Along with that, a lead that was introduced at the end of the first book became sort of a minor focus in the story which, I have to say, was a fine way to create conflict between the characters.

 Contrary to popular belief, what I loved most about this book was that it when far deeper than the "girl with a passion whilst also fangirling about popular boy band". Because Chris Russell grew up in a boy band, this was nothing like it seems to be, which is something that became a part in the first book, and it went a lot deeper in this one. It was like having a backstage pass to a sold out concert. It was so realistic that the situation seemed normal, which adds up to quite an inspiring book that gives the message that "you can achieve anything you set your mind to."

So overall, this was an inspiring, wonderful, yet tension filled (but still AMAZING) book that will have you on the edge of your seat from the first page and leaving you desperate for more. (The twists and turns will leave you scolded, but scouring the pages with your eyes, wanting to know what happens next, trust me). Another fantastic book, and I can't wait for the conclusion of the trilogy next year!

So that is all I have for you today! Let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts and I will be sure to reply, because this is now one of my favourite books of 2017!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I will see you all on Monday!

-Abi xxxxxx 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

August Book Haul (2017)

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And... this month I've obtained some new books.
What else is new?
So I thought it was time that I share them with you.
Here's my August Book Haul!

1. Aaru (The Aaru Cycle #1), by David Meredith
Even though I don't have the physical copy of this book, I have the ebook on my Kindle, I'm still counting it, because it's a new book I've got! Aaru is about a family that is waiting for the storm- Rose is dying of cancer. But all is not lost. When her mind and her personality is uploaded to a computer she is able to live inside Aaru, a world based on a computer based entirely on what she wants it to be. I have a spoiler free review on my blog if you are interested in seeing any more of my in depth thoughts, which is part of the exchange I made to read this book.

2. New World: Rising (New World #1), by Jennifer Wilson 
I really just took a flying leap with this one. Also, on the kindle, when Benjaminoftomes talked about the free copy for ONE DAY ONLY, I literally just downloaded this on a whim. But having read the synopsis on Goodreads, it sounds like a decent book. It's book one in a new trilogy, and it's about a girl that has one goal: surviving on the outside of The Walls. An orphan since the age of eleven, this is a book about survival, instinct (who can she trust in a world that is against her), trauma and human connection, this truthfully, sounds like a very interesting book.

3. Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3), by Cassandra Clare
Guys! Story time! I ordered this off of Ebay- and the picture showed the old design. So I ordered it... and it showed up with the new design! Not that it matters, but I did want them to match... I'll hopefully be marathoning the trilogy next month, because I now have the complete Infernal Devices trilogy! And you can expect reviews for all of them!  I'm so excited! Let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts on the Infernal Devices because I know that most of you love this trilogy!

4. We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart
I don't know too much about this either, which was kind of planned because I heard from somewhere that it's better to go straight into this book without knowing too much about it, and that's exactly what I plan to do. What I do know is that you have to try and tell what is real and what is fake, and that this book can be called surreal and mysterious, and I hope to read it soon because it's been the longest time that I've wanted to read this!

5. History Is All You Left Me, by Adam Silvera
This is a book that I have blogged about repeatedly about wanting to read this: and now I will! This is about Griffin, a boy dealing with the fact that his best friend and ex-lover, someone who he thought he would end eventually end up with for all time, has now died. Now, dealing with grief and the OCD that he has had to deal with for years, he turns to the one person he didn't expect to: Theo's new boyfriend. He is now faced with a choice: confront the past, or miss out on the future he has built. From what I know, this is a heartbreaking, yet joyful and beautiful book and I know I will be reading this sooooooonnnn.

6. The Start of Me and You, by Emery Lord
From what I know, this is a book about a girl looking to the future and re-clawing back what she had before- after her first boyfriend died in a swimming accident. She's made a list of things that she wants to do to get back from reality, and just from reading the blurb, I know that this is going to be a powerful book about learning to live and learning to love again, and it's a book that I really can't wait to pick up! (Hopefully soon).

So those are the books that I've got this month! Most of them I haven't read yet, but I'm certainly looking forward to reading them! If you have any thoughts on any of the books I mentioned here today, then let me know in the comments! I love to hear from you guys!

So that is all I have for you today! I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you all on Friday!

-Abi xxxxxx

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