Monday, August 31

I Still Haven't Read...


This week's pick...


The Brightside Series by Katie Delahanty:

#1 In Bloom
#2 Blushing (Haven't Got Yet)

Have you read this series?

 

Saturday, August 29

Early Non-Review: A Whole New World (Twisted Tales #1)

A Whole New World (Twisted Tales #1)
Liz Braswell

Published By: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Date Read: August 3, 2015
Genre: YA - Fairytale Retelling
Source: eARC from Netgalley
Format: E-Book
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From Goodreads:
Welcome to a new YA series that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. Each book asks the question: What if one key moment from a familiar Disney film was changed? This dark and daring version of Aladdin twists the original story with the question: What if Jafar was the first one to summon the Genie?

When Jafar steals the Genie’s lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed Princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war.

What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.

A Whole New World was a book that I just couldn't wait to read. The moment I heard about it I thought 'Oh My God, this book is going to be amazing'. As soon as it was available on Netgalley I just had to request it and I was so freaking excited when I got approved. Before I go on to review this book I just have to say that I am the most enormous Disney fan. I own an enormous collection of Disney movies on DVD, I watch them all the time, know every word and even have the soundtracks on my iPod. So this should have been the perfect book for me right? RIGHT... except it wasn't. I was so disappointed in this book and I couldn't even make it all the way through the book.

A Whole New World and this series in general had so much potential. It's such a great idea. I adore fairytale retellings and why wouldn't I love retellings of Disney movies but with a major twist in the storyline. I should have loved it, but I feel like the execution of this book just lacked. The first 20% of this book was a retelling... wait, no that's not right... not a retelling but a novelisation of the beginning of Aladdin. I mean it was completely copied, even right down to the dialogue from the movie. I was so conflicted at this point. I mean a part of me was super excited because I love Aladdin. But soon I thought well if I wanted this I would just watch the movie but I persevered because maybe it would be better when the twist came into play.

The twist was a great idea, it really did make me think of how different the story would have been if Jafar had got the lamp before Aladdin... I mean without Abu's theivery that's technically what was supposed to happen. Even after the twist I felt like I was reading the ending of the movie when Jafar does get his hands on the lamp but too early. It really felt like I was reading a novelisation of the movie but with a big chunk of it missing. At this point I was so disappointed that I just couldn't continue.

A Whole New World should have been amazing and the perfect book for me... but it just wasn't. I feel like it had great potential but this book does not bring anything of value to the storyline of Aladdin. The book made me want to watch Aladdin again but that's just because of the fact that it would be a better use of my time than reading this book. I more than likely will not be picking up the other books in this series. I wanted to like it so much but this book is a miss for me. If you're interested in this book my advice to you would be not to bother and just go watch Aladdin.



Thursday, August 27

Review: Only Ever Yours

Only Ever Yours
Louise O'Neill

Published By: Quercus
Publication Date: July 7, 2014
Date Read: June 26, 2015
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400
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From Goodreads:
In a world in which baby girls are no longer born naturally, women are bred in schools, trained in the arts of pleasing men until they are ready for the outside world. At graduation, the most highly rated girls become “companions”, permitted to live with their husbands and breed sons until they are no longer useful.

For the girls left behind, the future – as a concubine or a teacher – is grim.

Best friends Freida and Isabel are sure they’ll be chosen as companions – they are among the most highly rated girls in their year.

But as the intensity of final year takes hold, Isabel does the unthinkable and starts to put on weight. ..
And then, into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride.

Freida must fight for her future – even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known. . .

Only Ever Yours was the book everyone was gushing about and I was told that I just had to read this amazing book but to be prepared because it would break my heart. This book makes me so sad and writing this review makes me super sad too. This is the book that absolutely everyone loves... everyone but me. I don't know what it was but I just didn't connect with this book or the characters very much. It clearly just wasn't for me.

This dystopia novel sounded amazing and something I would love. I am such a massive fan of dystopia novels and I adore so many of them. Don't get me wrong I really liked the start of this book. It's very unique and different and I really liked that about it. My issue was the more that I read the more I lost interest in it. Only Ever Yours is a very dark and slightly depressive book and I got a little bit overwhelmed by it all which then turned into boredom. I just lost interest with the characters and honestly I would have DNF'd it, but I was curious enough as to what was going to happen to the characters so I continued...

I kind of wish I had DNF'd it. If you like nice happy endings then this is not the book for you. It has one of the most dark and depressing endings of any book I have possibly ever read. After finishing the book I kind of felt like what was the point in suffering through this dark and depressing book for that! I understand that not everything in life works out with a happy ending but this was just too much for me. I was highly disappointed. So many people loved this book and really I wish I were one of them but I just didn't like it very much.


Wednesday, August 26

Waiting on Wednesday


Soundless
Richelle Mead

Published By: Razorbill
Publication Date: November 10, 2015
Genre: YA - Fantasy
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From Goodreads:
From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore.

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever...

AHHHHHH a  new Richelle Mead book. I am so excited for this. I adore Richelle Mead and she is one of the authors that I will read anything she puts out regardless of what genre it is. This one sounds just incredible. A fantasy standalone based on Chinese Folklore and Mythology sounds like something that is right up my alley. I'm so excited for it.


Monday, August 24

I Still Haven't Read...


This week's pick...


Across the Galaxy by Heather Hildenbrand

Have you read this book?

Saturday, August 22

Review: Remix

Remix
Non Pratt

Published By: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: June 4, 2015
Date Read: June 25, 2015
Genre: YA - Contemporary Romance
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
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From Goodreads:
From the author of Trouble comes a new novel about boys, bands and best mates.

Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the love of her life... Ruby is bored of hearing about it. Time to change the record.

Three days. Two best mates. One music festival. Zero chance of everything working out.

"Do you want to talk about it? No. I want to watch Harry Potter."

Non Pratt's debut novel, Trouble, was the book I read last year that moved me the most. It was just so amazing and it blew me away and stole my heart. Right then and there Non Pratt became a favourite author that I knew I would just auto-buy all of her books. I couldn't wait to read more from her and when I heard about Remix I could not wait to get my hands on it. Although it didn't touch me in the way that Trouble did it is still a crazily addictive and fantastic novel. There's just something about Non's books that makes me completely obsessed with them.

Remix is a very beautiful and meaningful story. It's an incredible journey about friendship, love and discovering yourself. Set in the excitement of a music festival Remix takes you on an amazing journey and both our main characters go through major journeys of self-discovery over the course of the weekend.

I loved every moment of Remix. It is an amazing, touching story and I really couldn't read it fast enough. Every time I put the book down no matter what I was doing all I thought about was what was going to happen next in the book. I couldn't read it fast enough. One of the things I love the most about Non Pratt's books is that they are raw and real. There's no romantacising hard things that happen in life, she tells it as it is and that's what makes her books so beautiful. Remix wasn't as emotional and raw as Trouble was but it was moving and amazing in a different way. I can't praise this author more. She is absolutely stunning.

Remix was a fun, beautiful and heartfelt book and I genuinely loved every single moment. I can't wait to see what Non Pratt will come up with next. She is definitely an auto-buy author for me. I adore her and all of her fantastic storytelling. She is awesome and she has me waiting very impatiently for her next novel.

"When a kiss becomes a knife in the heart you know you were in love."


Thursday, August 20

Review: Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (Harry Potter #1)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter #1)
JK Rowling

Published By: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: June 26, 1997
Date Read: June 5, 2015
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
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From Goodreads:
When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he’s the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord’s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts, a wizarding school brimming with ghosts and enchantments, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers which could be valuable, dangerous – or both. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

"NEVER-INSULT-ALBUS-DUMBLEDORE-IN-FRONT-OF-ME!"

Harry Potter has always been, and will always be, my favourite YA series of all time. I grew up with this series being only 6 years old when the first book published and it still remains to be one of the best books I have read to date. I have read this series about 6 or 7 times but as I didn't blog then never reviewed it. So I thought it was about time for a re-read and for me to review them.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is such a stunningly additive introduction to this highly obsessive series. We are introduced to our amazing hero Harry while he is in such a horrid situation. It's only when he discovers that he is actually a wizard and not a muggle (non-magic folk) and that he will soon be on his way to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that things start looking up. Be prepared for a stunningly magical adventure because that is exactly what you will get in this book.

JK Rowling is really one of the most amazing YA authors and right from the very first page I was sucked back into this amazing world. I read it in one sitting as I just couldn't put it down (even with this being a re-read and me knowing what was going to happen). Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone is filled to the brim with magic, adventure and danger. I loved every moment of it.

I have to say I enjoyed this book way more reading it as an adult than I ever did as a child. It took me back and turned me back into a Harry Potter fangirl while reading. I was squealing at all of my favourite parts and constantly going 'oh why wasn't that bit in the movie'. I loved re-reading this amazing, phenomenal and heartwarming story. I absolutely love this series and I cannot wait to re-read the rest of the books in the series. Now I'll just sit here and wait for my Hogwarts letter to turn up....

"Nicholas Flamel is the only known maker of the Philosopher's Stone."


Waiting on Wednesday


Racing Hearts (Hamilton Racing #1)
Melissa West

Published By: Lyrical Shine
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
Genre: Adult - Romance
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From Goodreads:
In the lush heart of Kentucky, the Hamiltons are racing royalty. To win takes heart and soul—and to love takes the wild spirit of the land itself…

The oldest of three headstrong brothers, Trip Hamilton is considered the best horse trainer in the world. He is focused on winning and nothing more, until a stubborn, sexy rider thunders back into his life, breaking his resolve—along with several of his rules—and taking his heart right out of the gate…

Emery Carlisle has a point to prove. She’ll be the first woman to win the prestigious Kentucky Derby, if only Trip will agree to hire her so she can ride again. It’s supposed to be strictly business, but as the race approaches, and their undeniable chemistry builds, Trip and Emery may be headed for the greatest win of all—as long as the losses of the past don’t gain on them…

I'm not usually a big reader of this type of book. I do read adult romance occasionally but I have to be in the right mood to read it and my preferred genres usually win out over this one. But this series that is starting sounds amazing and Melissa West wrote it so naturally I am going to love it because Melissa is one of my all time favourite authors. So excited for this new series from her.


Monday, August 17

I Still Haven't Read...


This week's pick...


Ganzfield Series by Kate Kaynak:

#1 Minder - Already Read
#2 Adversary
#3 Legacy
#4 Accused
#5 Operative
#6 Soulmate (Haven't Got Yet)

Have you read this series?

 

Sunday, August 16

Book Tag: Disney Book Tag

Hey Guys,
So my good friend Tyler over at The Reading Pile decided to bring book tags, which are typically done in the booktubing community over to the blogs. She does one every week so you should check that out.

I'm not doing them every week but when I see one that I like I'm gonna post it on the Sunday. I couldn't resist with this one because it's Disney... and I'm a biiiiiig fan of Disney!!!


1. The Little Mermaid - A Character who is out of their element - a "fish out of water"

This one has got to be our little Amy Gumm from Kansas swept away to Oz where everything has changed. She is so crazily out of her depth when she is brought face-to-face with Dorothy, her warped friends and the witches.

I love this book and I loved how Amy truly was a 'fish out of water'.




2. Cinderella - A character who goes through a major transformation.

This has got to be the amazing Kalin from Stacey O'Neale's Mortal Enchantment series. Kalin knew about elementals but grew up in the mortal world with her mother. Once she hits 16 she goes to the land of the Elementals to live with her father to find him missing and now she is the rightful ruler of his kingdom. Kali goes through such a transformation going from carefree teenager to fearless elemental princess. LOVE IT!!!!




3. Snow White - A book with an eclectic cast of characters.

Now let's be honest if you have read this series you will know you can't even say the word eclectic without thinking of this book. I mean surely when you look up the word eclectic in the dictionary there you find a picture of Morpheus.

From the wonderful Morpheus, to the other wonderful characters that we come across in wonderland this is definitely the book with the most eclectic and wonderful characters in it.


4. Sleeping Beauty - A book that put you to sleep.

I really, really hate to say this because pretty much everyone I know loved this series but to me... it was just... so boring! It took me so long to get through it and it really did put me to sleep. I even tried book 2 but that too put me to sleep.

:(




5. The Lion King - A character who had something traumatic happen to them in childhood.

To be fair this could have been any NA contemporary book I've read... because they're all the same but Sky in Hopeless really takes the title for this one. She does have something traumatic happened to her in childhood but she's repressed it and doesn't even know for most of the book and when she does remember my heart broke. 





6. Beauty and the Beast - A beast of a book (a big book) that you were intimidated by, but found the story to be beautiful.

This one has got to be Angel Fire. At 720 pages long this book is MASSIVE! I was intimidated by it and I wasn't. I was because holy crap that's a massive book but I loved the first book in the series so much I also couldn't wait to read it. I was not disappointed and everything about this book is gorgeous and beautiful. One of my all-time favourite series.

I could have gone with Game of Thrones for this but let's face it that's more traumatic than beautiful.

7. Aladdin - A character that gets their wish granted - for better or for worse.

Lacey definitely gets her wish granted in this book... no... literally it's about genies! When she finds the enchanted box and frees the genie she gets three wishes... but are her wishes really what she needs or wants in her heart?

I loved this book so unique and amazing!




8. Mulan - A character that pretends to be someone or something they are not.

Frozen contains many characters that pretend to be something their not. The main one being our heroine, who has to hide what she is in order to protect herself as otherwise she may just get killed.

Loved this book and I can't wait to continue the series.




9. Toy Story - A book with a characters you wish would come to life.

Naturally this has got to be JLA's Covenant series. This is mt favourite series of all time and who wouldn't want the Pures and Halves and Gods come to life. Plus I'd have Aiden and Alex and Aiden and Seth and Aiden and Deacon and Aiden and Apollo and did I mention Aiden?






10. Disney's Descendents - Your fave villain or morally ambiguous character.

It's got to be our most favourite Hogwarts Professor, Severus Snape. He is the epitome of morally ambiguous and I love him and this is without a doubt the best series and characters ever created. I will love it for how long you ask?

Always.




There we go guys my Disney Book Tag. I am not tagging anyone in it but if you do choose to have a go please tweet me a link so I can see your selections.


Saturday, August 15

Early Review: Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2)

Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2)
Sara Raasch

Published By: Balzar and Bray
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Date Read: May 31, 2015
Genre: YA - Epic Fantasy
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
Format: E-Books
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From Goodreads:
It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?

As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.

The excitement that went through me when I got an ARC of Ice Like Fire is a feeling unable to put into legible words. The first book, Snow Like Ashes, is one of my all-time favourites. It completely blew me away and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. I was so excited to have this book in my hands but to be truthful I have some majorly mixed feelings about it. In some ways it was a great book but then it wasn't all at the same time.

We were thrown right back into this amazing world with these amazing characters and I loved it. I had already fallen in love with this world, the magic and the characters and I was so excited to be back with them and I was hotly anticipating what was going to happen in this book. I loved the beginning of this book. It was amazing and then I hit around 40% and the book slowed down and I mead slooooooooooooooooooowed down. It became so slow in the story that I got really bored. I am very much a plot-driven reader. I like action and excitement and it slowed down so much I felt like that plot and excitement had just kind of gone. To be honest if it weren't for my love of the characters and the fact that the first book is one of my favourite books I probably would have DNF'd it. But I remembered how much the first book blew me away and I really wanted to know what was going to happen so I powered through... and I am so glad that I did. The last 25-30% of the book was mindblowingly good. It was exciting, fast-paced and everything that I had loved about the first book. It was a phenomenal and exciting conclusion to this book.

Even though this one was slow it was 100% a game changer. I couldn't believe what was happening, not only in terms of plot but in terms of character change. I am definitely that reader that once they have a 'team' in the love triangle I stick by my team no matter what... but in this book that characters changed so much I completely switched teams. I went from being angry at Mather to absolutely adoring him and I went from absolutely adoring Theron to being so angry and disappointed in him. I mean Sara Raasch what the heck have you done to me? I cannot wait to get my hands on book 3 and see how everything is going to pan out.

Ice Like Fire is definitely a case of 'middle book syndrome'. I find with many trilogies I adore the first book find the second book a little bit 'meh' and then love the third. I found that this one was so slow as it was a little bit like a stepping stone. It was putting everything in place ready for the excitement of the finale of the series in book 3. I am definitely excited for the third book and there is no doubt in my mind that it's going to be amazing. This is still one of my favourite series and I am dying for the third book.

"I'll always fight for you. I'll always keep you safe."