Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Top Ten Books On My TBR For Summer 2015

   



Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at The Broke and The Bookish. Every Tuesday a topic is supplied, which you then make a top ten list out of.


Hey Guys, as per usual this week's TTT isn't particularly fitting to the title. I don't find that my reading habits change with the seasons, so none of these books are particularly summery reads, but since I'm from the UK we don't get much of a summer anyway. My TBR pile has grown significantly over the past few months, so I've taken to reading my books based roughly in the order I've owned the longest which means I've owned most of these since last year. No new releases on this list! Onto the books...



1. Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead - Okay, so I know this isn't actually just one book, but I've gotten into the habit of binge reading series where possible so you'll be seeing a lot of this on the list. I actually started the first book in this series a couple of days ago, and so far so good!


2. Under The Never Sky Trilogy by Veronica Rossi - This was a auto buy after seeing Lainey from Ginger Reads Lainey on YouTube recommend it. I don't know why I haven't gotten around to this yet (well I do, it's because I have a ton of books to read), but I'm looking forward to it.


3. Ashes Trilogy by Isla J. Bick - I actually didn't realise this was a series and bought the third book from The Works (a discount book site in the UK) on a deal thinking it was a standalone. Obviously once it arrived I found out I'd just bought the last book in a trilogy, so I looked up reviews on Goodreads and actually found it was rated fairly well, and bought the first two of Book Depository.


4. The Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout - I impulse bought these shortly after completing the Lux series by Jennifer because I enjoyed it so much I wanted to read more of her writing. Unfortunately, by the time they arrived I'd moved on to something else and ended up overlooking these. Hopefully now there's some structure to the order in which I'm reading I'll get round to these fairly soon.


5. Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld - These books have always been on the edge of my radar since they came out, but I never felt compelled to buy them. Last year I saw a couple of reviews of them and decided it was about time I give them a try, so I picked up the boxset. They seem to be a bit like marmite, with people either loving or hating them, so I'm interested to see which side I fall on.


6. Handling The Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist - This was another of the books I bough ton a deal from The Works. I hadn't really heard of it before, but I'm always up for a zombie book so I chucked it in the cart. I'm a sucker for a good deal!

7. The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey - This had a lot of hype surrounding it when it was first released, and again it had a zombie sounding feel to it so I was instantly intrigued. When I was out shopping with my dad he said he'd buy me a few books, so I picked this up.

8. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld - I bought this around the time it was released, it was hard not to with all the press around it. A lot of people seemed to enjoy it, and I know the main character is LGBTQ and there's a need for more diverse books and characters out there so I'm more than happy to support the cause.


9. The Restless Dead by Deborah Noyes - This is a short story anthology based around horror (obviously), and I'm going through both a horror and short story phase at the moment so this was a no brainer. It's also so a few well known names to it such as Holly Black, Libba Bray, and Marcus Sedgwick making it even more tempting.

10. Zombies vs Unicorns by Holly Black & Justine Larbalestier - Another short story anthology with zombies, one of horrors most well known monsters, and edited by Holly Black! I couldn't say no to this one, I mean zombies AND unicorns?! What is this madness?
If this lives up to expectations, then it's what I've been waiting for my whole life.


Well that's all of em'. I know, I know, technically there are 27 books on this list, not 10. What can I say, rules are made to be broken. Or at the very least bended slightly. I've noticed a predominant zombie/horror theme running through this post, clearly I was very much in a horror zone at the end of last year. I'm not complaining.

What books are on your summer TBR? Have you read any of these? What did you think? Are you crazy for zombie horror like me? Let's eat brains together, AARRGHHH!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The Rest of 2015



Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at The Broke and The Bookish. Every Tuesday a topic is supplied, which you then make a top ten list out of.


Hey everyone, this weeks Top Ten Tuesday is going to be a quick one! I'm just going to ignore the fact that I've got this up a day late because I've been sick, sorry about that. I'm messing with the rules in more than one way this week as I just couldn't narrow it down to 10 books, so I've got 18...

Let's get to it!


July


1. Paperweight by Meg Haston - 2nd July
2. Survive The Night by Danielle Vega - 7th July
3. Armada by Ernest Cline - 16th July


August


4. Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell - 1st August
5. From Where I Watch You by Shannon Grogan - 4th August
6. Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke - 18th August


7. The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick - 18th August
8. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness - 27th August


September


9. The Body Institute by Carol Riggs - 1st September
10. Dumplin' by Julie Murphy - 15th September
11. A Mad Zombie Party by Gena Showalter - 29th September
12. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti - 29th September


October


13. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell - 6th October
14. Shadows of Self (Mistborne #4) by Brandon Sanderson - 6th October
15. Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins - 8th October


16. Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs - 15th October
17. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - 20th October
18. This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzie Lee - 22nd October

Well that's all of them!

What books are you looking forward to in the coming months? Were any of the books I mentioned on your list?

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll


Synopsis:
'It came from the woods. Most strange things do.'

Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.

These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.

Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there...

I can't remember how I came across this book, but boy am I glad I did. I've only recently begun my foray into graphic novels, yet I've yet to find one that let me down, Through the Woods included.

This is the first horror themed graphic novel I've read, and I can't imagine a better one to have started with. I wouldn't describe as horror in the expected way's horror normally is. There's no gore or graphic images, nothing that you would usually come across in YA horror.

So it's not scary in the usual way. It's more of an unsettling type of fear. The kind that keeps you looking over your shoulder, and checking for creatures in the shadows that creep in the corners of your room. It's similar to the original faerie tales, before they were all made PG and given the Disney treatment (not that there is in fact anything wrong with the Disney versions).

The artwork is deliciously creepy, and hauntingly beautiful. There's a main colour scheme of black, white and vivid red, making the illustrations all that much more immersive. 

Overall this was a captivating, mystical, and dark read. It was also a quick read but by no means did this detract from the experience. It's the type of book you savour each and every page of. Possibly one of the easiest 5 star ratings I've ever given. I couldn't recommend this more if I tried, just go read it! 


Have you read any graphic novels in the horror genre? If so, which ones have you loved? How do you feel about graphic novels as a whole?




Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Top Ten Books I'd Love To See As Movies/TV Shows



Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at The Broke and The Bookish. Every Tuesday a topic is supplied, which you then make a top ten list out of.


Hey Guys, This week's TTT was so hard to narrow down to just ten books. I want to see most of the books I've read turned into a movie or TV show! An issue most people will probably mention in this weeks post is the quality of the adaptation. Although recently book to movie adaptations have improved in quality, it's hard to forgive when someone makes a movie out of your favourite book and completely butchers it. I would bet on it that it's happened to every bookworm at some point or another, which makes adaptations a terrifying concept.

For example, look at all the hate Cassandra Clare has been getting on twitter over the cast of the new Shadowhunters TV show. Even though she has no say in who is or isn't cast, people are taking it out on her. I have a feeling everyone's as equally worried as they are excited for the show, due to the movie bombing so terribly. There's so many examples of them going wrong that people almost talk less about the one's that get it right, like TFIOS, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Warm Bodies, and that's only a few! Regardless, everyone gets excited when they hear a book they've enjoyed going to the big screen. So here are a few I would both squeal with excitement and tremble with fear over if they got optioned.



 


1. All of Rainbow Rowells Books! - I know, I know! First one and I'm already bending the rules, gimme a break okay?! It was crazy difficult narrowing it down. Anyway, I think each and every one of her books would make the best movies. However, these are some of the books that if it got done wrong I would be furious and heartbroken. The people that adapted John Greens books would be perfect for putting these into movie form.


     


2. Dark Places and Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn - I haven't actually seen the Gone Girl movie yet (or read the book! Shh) but I have heard it was done really well. These books just read like a thriller movie, making them ripe pickings to actually become one. They'd be deliciously creepy and gripping, I know I'd definitely want to see them.




3. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas - I only read this one recently and couldn't help thinking the whole way through how well it would translate to screen. The way it jumps back and forth in time makes me interested in knowing how they could format it as a movie. It would be the perfect chick flick style thriller.




4. Say Her Name by James Dawson - This book would make the kind of movie that would be perfect for a gaggle of teenage girls to watch on a Halloween sleepover. The kind of horror movie that's a perfect introduction into the genre, being a bit cheesy and predictable but still with frights abundant throughout.

5. Sick by Tom Leveen - I can imagine this being along the same line as Warm Bodies when made into a movie. Similar to above, the perfect horror for teens who also like a bit of comedy mixed in. I'm by no means a zombie-flick expert, but I can't think of any movies that would be similar to this.

6. The Merciless by Danielle Vega - Again, a similar concept as the last two, the perfect girly teen horror. A bit stereotypical? Yes. Infuriating choices made by the main character? Yeah. Predicatble? You got it. Despite all this it would still make a great film, albeit one that isn't for the movie critics out there. But hey, why fix something that isn't broken?




7. Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix - This is just asking to be turned into a parody horror comedy. I mean, a horror story in an Ikea?! I can't think of anyone who wouldn't want to go see this, even only out of curiosity.

8. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black - Think the Twilight movies, but actually good. I love this book for actually managing to make something new in the YA vampire genre. Since Twilight, any YA paranormal section if infested with vampire novels, 80% of which are just the same story repeated but with slight differences so as to avoid copyright but guarantee a sale. This would make a beautiful movie, I can picture it done in Tim Burton's style and actually start drooling a little.




9. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter - I imagine this as a TV series like Vampire Diaries but with zombies. I'd love to see some of the Alice in Wonderland elements represented a little stronger in a TV show, as they were pretty subtle in the books. Because of the type of plot this trilogy follows I think it could be kept going for longer than what's been written so far, there's always new adventures the crew could be having.

10. Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol - This would make the best kid's cartoon ever! But one of those kid's cartoons that loads of adults watch too just because it's so freaking funny. It's so easy to picture it as a cartoon already too because it's a graphic novel so the artworks there, it just needs to be animated. 

So that's all of em'. There were so many more I could have included but I would have been writing this all day if I did that. Some of my favourites are actually being made into movies as we speak, including Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Legend, and Monument 14.

What books would you like to see adapted to the screen? Are there any upcoming book to movie releases you're excited for? How do you feel about book to screen adaptations on a whole? 








Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Top Ten Authors I REALLY Want To Meet



Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at The Broke and The Bookish. Every Tuesday a topic is supplied, which you then make a top ten list out of.

Hey Guys! Since this week's TTT was a freebie, and I've been slacking the past couple of week's, I thought I'd just use last week's topic. It also didn't hurt that there's a crazy amount of authors I would kill to meet, well obviously not literally (maybe). Although that makes it sound like it would be effortless to write this post it was actually crazy difficult because there was just too many! Let's get to it.

1. Neil Gaiman - Although I'm relatively new to his books, he almost instantly became one of my favourite authors. I just love how whimsical yet still creepy and haunting his writing is. I've taken upon myself the task of reading all of his books, even the short stories he's written that are in anthologies. I call it a task but really it's a complete pleasure. He is also a huge inspiration to me as a writer.

2. Stephen King - I could copy and paste everything I wrote above and just stick it here, but I'm not because that would be lazy. Also, Mr King deserves his own paragraph. His writing is so honest and real, even when he's writing things that aren't even remotely real. I've found him to be such a unique voice among all the authors I've experienced before. Again, he is one of my inspirations as a writer and his book 'On Writing' is one of the best I've ever read on the topic.

3. Rainbow Rowell - I discovered Rainbow's books fairly early in discovering the book blogging and booktube community, and upon that discovery immediately bought all her published books. She was raved about everywhere I looked and I didn't see one bad review. All her books are so relateable and feel good that you can go back to them whenever you need a pick me up.

4. John Green - 'The Fault in our Stars' was the book that got me back into reading, especially YA, after a couple of years where I barely picked up a book. As soon as I finished it I went out and bought all of his other books and immediately devoured them within a week. I think because of this he will always hold a special place in my heart for helping me rediscover my passion for words.

5. Nathan Filer - Although I only read 'The Shock of the Fall' last week, it became a favourite upon finishing the last page. I love how he portrayed mental illness, making it something anyone could begin to understand through this book. I would love to discuss it with him, as well as talking about his past in mental health services, as mental illness is something very close to me.

6. Ransom Riggs and Tahereh Mafi - Okay, I'll admit I'm cheating here. It's just that I love both their books equally. Plus I can't get over how two of my favourite authors are married! (I know I've said that most of the authors here are my favourite...I just love them all okay?!) The interviews and meetups I've seen them do together are adorable, and don't even get me started on their social media interactions! I mean just look at how they're bringing out my soppyness, I am not usually like this! Goals. Just goals.

7. Holly Black - I've read a substantial amount of paranormal books, and without a doubt Holly Black writes some of the best out there. She is incredible at world building, even making a world that appears similar to our own feel unique. Her character development is second to none. Basically she's just awesome. I also love her blue hair and feel we would definitely bond over dyeing our hair all the colours of the rainbow.

8. Stephanie Perkins - Although this list may have you think otherwise I don't actually read a lot of straight up contemporary. I just find it a bit bland most of the time. Who knows, maybe I'm just looking in all the wrong places. Regardless, when I read 'Lola and the Boy Next Door' I fell in love. I could see so much of my self in Lola and swooned over Cricket, I mean that boy is freaking adorable. I think if I met Stephanie I would just spend every second gushing about Cricket.

9. Cassandra Clare - I only recently gave into the hype of The Mortal Instruments series and finally read the books. All I can say is the hype was so worth it. I could rattle of a list as long as my arm about all the things I love about her books, but instead of doing that I'm just going to say READ THEM! I also read The Infernal Devices trilogy and loved them just as much. I cannot wait for all the other series set in the Shadowhunter world she is working on at the moment.

10. Jennifer L. Armentrout - This lady has made me scared to read any books involving aliens, because I just know they'll never live up to the Lux series! It may be the only series of hers I've read but I already know I'll enjoy anything with her name on it. I've already got the Covenant series sat on my TBR shelf begging to be read. If you haven't read the Lux series yet just do it, I personally guarantee that you'll love it.

Well, there you have it, a very small amount of the authors I would love to meet someday. I've linked to the authors website on their names, as well as the Goodreads links to any books I've mentioned. I hope you enjoyed reading through the list.

Have you got any of these authors on your lists? Or maybe you've already met some of them, in which case I will be forever envious! How many of your favourite authors have you met? How was it?

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor


Synopsis:
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hairactually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
 

When I decided to start Daughter of Smoke and Bone (hereby referred to as DOSAB), I was terrified. Not in the sense that I was scared of the book, more of my own expectations. I've seen countless reviews of DOSAB everywhere, all of which were overflowing with praise. I couldn't escape the hype. In all honesty, that's probably the only reason I bought the book. More often than not the whole angel demon thing isn't for me.

I found the book slow to start, but I like my fantasy to get straight into the nitty gritty. Karou was almost too mysterious, meaning I found it hard to get inside of her head and truly understand how she was feeling. I obviously knew how she was feeling from the writing, but it felt like I was just reading it rather than actually experiencing it, if you can understand what I mean! However, as soon as Zuzana was introduced I really started to get into it. She's a tiny, Czechoslovakian me! I definitely connected with her more than Karou. 

I found the whole concept of the Brimstone, Karou's Chimaera caregiver, collecting teeth in exchange for wishes totally intriguing. Although Karou felt excluded and even slightly used by Brimstone as she got older, due to being used for transactions between humans who supply the teeth and Brimstone who supplies the wishes, the bond between her and the chimaera who raised her was clearly very close and loving. Even though the chimaera are definitely not humans, I still found it easy to understand Karou's bond with them. Seeing her go on her quest's to find teeth is a little heartbreaking, as you know it pushes away her human friends whilst making her feel used by the chimaera, though that's definitely not what they were doing.

Not a lot can be said from that point in the book onwards without giving spoilers. You're definitely introduced to some more interesting characters and find out a hell of a lot more backstory to everything. Finding out more about the Chimaera and where they come from, as well as Karou's origin, is satisfying if only briefly. As soon as you get an answer, another question is raised. But this is what made the book so hard to put down.

Laini's writing style is whimsical, making it effortless to visualise the world you're in. Although it took a little while for me to get to grips with the characters, once I did you begin to feel as if you know them, even if only a little. I loved that it was written in third person, it made it so much easier to get everyone's perspective and really dig deeper into all the elements of the story.

All I can say about the end is that there was a plot twist I definitely didn't anticipate. By the end I was feeling all kinds of feels towards this book and just needed more. Like, right now! As I said earlier the whole angel demon thing is getting overdone in the YA genre now, however this put a good twist on it, saving it from falling in with all the other clich├ęs. Although I was expecting crazy epicness from this book due to the hype surrounding it, and I didn't feel like that's entirely what I got, I still really enjoyed it. I'll for sure be carrying on with the rest of the series. A solid 4/5 stars!


What do you think about the angel demon theme becoming increasingly used in YA fiction? Do you think if there's hype surrounding a book it can make it less satisfying when you actually read it? Have you read DOSAB yet? If so, how did you find it?