A-Z Book Tag

Here is the first tag post on my blog, thanks to Lauren over at Northern Plunder for tagging me and I tag anyone that wants to do this tag for their own blog! Here goes..

A: author you’ve read the most books from

J. K. Rowling purely because of Harry Potter, though I’m getting pretty close to that with Banana Yoshimoto and Yukio Mishima books.

B: best sequel

I’m going to go with Catching Fire from the Hunger Games series.

C: currently reading

The Wicked King, it’s getting intense I’m scared.

D: drink of choice while reading

Whatever I happen to be drinking.

E: e-book or physical book

Both! Kindle is great for bed time reading because it lights up, during the day I usually read a physical book.

F: fiction character you would have dated in high school

I was always attracted to the dweebs at school so probably Ron Weasley.

G: glad you gave this book a chance

Throne of Glass. I heard so much love/hate regarding the series that I put off trying it, until I tried it. I’m now up to Queen of Shadows.

H: hidden gem book

Revenge by Yoko Ogawa, I will keep mentioning this book until everyone reads it.

I: important moment in your reading life

Watching PewDiePie’s first ‘book review’ video in early 2018 and hearing about Yukio Mishima. I decided to pick up one of his books after not reading a book in years and have been a regular book reader ever since. Cheers Felix.

J: just finished reading

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend, highly recommend!

K: kind of books you won’t read

I’m rarely in the mood to read contemporary because it’s not a big enough escape from reality for me.

L: longest book you’ve read

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami (617 pages).

M: major book hangover because of

Deathly Hallows, I dragged that book out for months because I didn’t want it to end.

N: number of bookcases you own

3, I would get more but lack of space.

O: one book you’ve read multiple times

I’m pretty sure I’ve yet to re-read a book!

P: prefered place to read

Laying in bed.

Q: quote that inspires you/gives you feels from a book

“He had never been willing to believe that life had to be as gray and dull as people claimed. He heard them saying: “Life is like that,” but he couldn’t agree. He never stopped believing in mysteries and miracles.”
Michael Ende, The Neverending Story.

R: reading regret

There are no books that I regret reading, but I regret NOT reading for so many years.

S: series you’ve started and need to finish

Throne of Glass.

T: three of your all time favourite books

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

The Neverending Story by Micheal Ende

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

U: unapologetic fangirl for

Death Note.

V: very excited for this release

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon.

W: worst bookish habits

Buying books and not reading them for months.

X: x marks the spot! start at the top of your bookshelf and pick the 27th book

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Gryffindor edition.

Y: your latest book purchase

Orange The Complete Collection.

Z: zzz snatcher book, last book that kept you up way too late

The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge, highly recommend!

Book Review: Beneath The Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

beneaththesugarsky‘When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. But Rini can’t let Reality get in the way of her quest – not when she has an entire world to save!

If she can’t find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn’t have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests…’

The third book in the Wayward Children series, this one revisits the school some time after the events of the first book. There are a few new characters as well as some beloved old ones and they are all trying to bring Sumi (my favourite character from book 1) back to life, hurrah!

Sumi’s daughter falls out of the sky and in to the pond at the back of the school where she is discovered by some familiar characters and one new (chubby mermaid) girl. They decide to help her on her quest to try and find Sumi’s body and some how figure out how to bring her back to life before Rini completely ceases to exist, she is slowly disappearing (one finger at a time) so the race is on.

The usual hilarity ensues and we get to travel to some different worlds via a magic candy bracelet, confront a queen of candy, bargain with the lord of the dead and meet a god of confection! These books are always a joy to read and I have enjoyed them all so far. Book 4 (In an absent dream) is newly released and I can’t wait to read it!

If you like dark humor and interesting characters, please read book 1 in this series! (Every heart a doorway)

GOODREADS –  AMAZON

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

THIS BOOK WAS PURCHASED BY MYSELF

My Top 10 Books of 2018

KAFKA ON THE SHORE BY HARUKI MURAKAMI

6564051I read my first Murakami book in 2018 and oh boy, this book is now one of my favourites of all time! One of those books I feel everyone should read at least once. I’m not a huge re-reader (ok not a re-reader at all) but I will for sure be reading this book again in 2019, and probably once a year until I die to be honest. Please read it!

SHADOW OF THE FOX BY JULIE KAGAWA

37004954Most people who have read this book describe it as being an anime in book form, and that is pretty accurate. What a fun, emotional ride. Being a huge fan of Japanese culture and mythology I enjoyed this SO much. Great cast of diverse characters, good and evil and a giant monstrous centipede. The sequel comes out in 2019 and I can’t wait.

VICIOUS BY V.E. SCHWAB

viciousMy first V. E. Schwab book and what a great introduction to an author. Self made super villains, switching timelines and great characters. This book challenges morality and the way we perceive what’s wrong or right. Who will you root for?

THE SOUND OF WAVES BY YUKIO MUSHIMA

628052018 was also a discovery of my new favourite author and I ended up reading the majority of his English translated work. Sound of waves in particular touched me and gave me all the feels, another one I will end up re-reading. I still have some of his books to read in 2019 but I’m savoring them like the precious gems that they are.

GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE BY NATASHA NGAN

34433755I feel like this was quite a popular book from 2018 and rightly so. It has a lot of trigger warnings for sexual abuse, violence and rape though. It also features a F/F romance and is written really well in my opinion. The sequel is out in 2019 and I will for sure be picking it up, this book leaves on a bit of a cliff hanger and I need to know how this plays out.

REVENGE BY YOKO OGAWA

17789899Another awesome Japanese author discovery for me, this book is made up of 11 short stories that all inter connect in some way and will leave you feeling CONFUSED, but in a good way. An excellent unique read and another that I would recommend everyone to read at least once.

ALICE BY CHRISTINA HENRY

aliceI recently posted my review for this book but in summary, a VERY dark Alice in wonderland inspired story, set some years after the events of the original story. Trigger warnings for extreme violence and sexual abuse. Revisit all of the old Alice in Wonderland characters with a very evil twist.

SCYTHE BY NEAL SHUSTERMAN

scytheSet in the future where all illnesses are cured, humans can live forever, no poverty or hunger issues. So how do they keep the population down? Random people get chosen to become Scythes and they get to pick and choose who dies, for good. Great read aside from the unneccessary romance.

EVERY HEART A DOORWAY BY SEANAN MCGUIRE

25526296A pleasant surprise, I went in to this thinking it would be more of a children’s book but I was WRONG and it was amazing. A school that children come to after they return from spending years in a different world. Loved the humor,  characters and dark themes.

CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE BY TOMI ADEYEMI

childrenofbloodandboneA great author debut from 2018. Multi perspective fantasy adventure trying to reclaim the magic that was taken from them very brutally. There is one character I didn’t really like and some insta love that didn’t make too much sense but over all a fun read. The sequel comes out in 2019.

Book Hooked Box January 2019

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Book Hooked Box is a new monthly bookish subscription box based in the UK, launching with their first box in January 2019 themed ‘Fairy Tales’ I decided to give it a go at the recommendation of Lauren and a very reasonable price of £25 per month/box. I was given a shipping notice and the box arrived the next day. Although my box was a bit squished, everything was well packaged and in perfect condition.

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Each box comes with a small box of chocolates, a hot drink, a bath/body item and a new release book (this one came with a signed book plate!).

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As a first box bonus we also received an art print by the very talented Tecsie and a bookmark.

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This months book was Stain by A. G. Howard, a dark princess and the pea retelling.

February’s theme is ‘Surviving Disaster’.

Subscribe to Book Hooked Box

Book Review: Alice + The Red Queen by Christina Henry

‘In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.
In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…
Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.
Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.
And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.’

These books are definitely not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. But for someone like me that likes a bit of gory violence in their literature, this was awesome. Also trigger warnings for sexual violence and rape. The first book focuses on Alice and her prison buddy Hatcher escaping and finding the rabbit. Alice’s memories of what happened to her all those years ago are very foggy and as the story progresses, she remembers more and more of the horrific events that happened.

I especially liked how the traditional characters from wonderland were incorporated as twisted human characters in this world, unfortunately we run in to them all and they are all as horrifying as each other (Cheshire isn’t quite so bad), but the Caterpillar and the Walrus are pretty nightmare worthy. We finally reach the Rabbit and learn about Alice’s terrible past and manage to escape along with some other unfortunate souls we met along the way.

Enter book 2 and we spend half of it lost in a forest with man-eating giants and something burning everything in sight. Hatcher loses the plot and we are left alone to try to stop the Red Queen, the way to which is through a tree, of course. I can’t say much about book 2 without spoilers but trust me it is just as good and twisted as the first book and I found the ending to be satisfying.

Books I definitely want to re-read at some point in the future. Lost Boy and The Mermaid by Christina Henry are also on my soon to be read list.

GOODREADSAMAZON

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

BOTH BOOKS PURCHASED BY MYSELF

Book Review: Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

fireandheist‘Leading your first heist is a major milestone in Sky Hawkin’s family—even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It’s a chance to gain power and acceptance within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated—especially when you’re a wyvern, a human capable of transforming into a dragon.’

What a fun read! It did feel more like reading a middle grade than a YA book at some points and I flew through it. Sky’s mother goes missing and her father won’t explain what happened to her, so Sky has to seek out the answers by herself against her father’s wishes. She has 3 older brothers which are each very entertaining characters along with her new best bud Grabriella (who is a human, not half-dragon like the others) who in my opinion is the best character in this book.

It explores different class systems both in our human world and Home (where the half-dragons originally came from) and quite harshly faces the reality of how we ‘rank’ and treat people based on their worth. Aside from some cringey kissing scenes, the whole book is one big plot and heist after another. Along with the constant humor in this book, I never found it boring and wanted to keep reading until the end. Although maybe a bit more predictable, there were still some twists that caught me off guard.

Recommended if you’re looking for an easy, extremely entertaining read full of plotting, dragons and unicorns. I will personally be picking up some more books by Sarah to read in the future.

GOODREADSAMAZON

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

BOOK RECEIVED IN DECEMBERS FAIRYLOOT BOX

Book Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

thecruelprince‘Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.’

Another book I was intrigued in to reading due to the hype, and I’m glad I did! I haven’t read many stories based on Fae and this one was based on what Fae are really supposed to be, dark and cruel. I’d say 80% of these characters were unlikable, which is the point, they’re not supposed to be likable and I found it quite refreshing to read. The book starts off grim and continues to be grim until the very end which I loved. Not all stories have to be positive or hopeful. This book is full of murder, bullying, betrayal and awful love interests, which thankfully our main character isn’t all that interested in.

The main character in this book is actually a human girl, taken away along with her twin sister and older sister who is half-fae. Taken away to live in faerie where humans are treated as lesser and slaves by the Fae, our main character is quite tired of being treated this way as you can imagine and decides to stop caring and be rebellious, what most other humans living in Faerie are way too scared of being. Beautiful Fae Prince Cardan is the biggest pain in her side and is relentless with his tormenting of her and her twin sister, who is far less rebellious and wants to try to fit in with the Fae.

This book is full of plot twists, non of which I saw coming but I’m not that great at predicting these things. The sequel is on my soon to be read list (The Wicked King) and I’m super excited to continue the journey with all of its cruelty.

GOODREADSAMAZON

My Rating: 4.25/5 Stars

THIS BOOK WAS PURCHASED BY MYSELF