Top Ten Tuesday: My Reading Wishlist…

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is:  Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist (if you could make authors write about these things you would. Could be a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a time period, a certain plot, etc.)

It’s been two hours and I still don’t have a single thing on my list for this week.

I think that’s possibly because for most things I’m interested in there have been novels written with those characters or setting or whatever.

Here’s what I’ve come up with for this week’s list:

1. A modern retelling of John Keats and Fanny Brawne’s relationship – epistolary fiction preferably.

2. More modern retellings of the Aladdin and the Lamp story.

3. A story about a psychic who can predict how their future relationships will end before they start. Pretty sure that there will be a twist of fate and they don’t see their soul mate coming.

4. Were turkeys. I’ve always love the idea of a person being able to turn into a turkey. I like shapeshifters but they’re often just human to wolf. I want something a little different. Maybe Elephant weres or people who turn into fish.

5. People who have died get the chance to take a pill that will take them back twenty-four hours and it’s up to them how they change the past. I think I’ve read one or two that are somewhat similar to this but not quite.

6. The Loch Ness Monster reveals himself as the King of Atlantis

7. A psychic is haunted by an ex who helps the psychic right all the wrongs they’ve committed in their life.

8. A novel inspired by this picture

9. or this one

10. Or this one 🙂

How did everyone else go with this week’s topic? I can’t wait to go around and read what others had for this week. I have a feeling it’s going to be an interesting read!  Feel free to leave me a comment – I love reading them! 🙂

Follow on Bloglovin

Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Debuts I’m Excited For!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten 2014 Debuts I’m Excited For! 

For this week’s list I’ve tried to list books that aren’t in the series I’ve talked about on the blog before. Late last year I did mention five debut novels that I can’t wait to read (Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Releases I’m dying to read) and I’m still very excited for those books but there are so many new authors with brilliant books being released this year that it was not a struggle to mention ten more that sound amazing.

Bird by Crystal Chan – This one is cheating. Because I was lucky enough to get a review copy of this book and am currently reading it. It’s gorgeous. It’s an emotional read (or at least it has been for me) and so very beautifully written. I feed no shame pimping this book as part of my top ten for this week.

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy – I love the sound of this one. A girl with cancer and a not so great prognosis decides to complete her bucket list and settle scores only to find out that she’s gone into remission.

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira – I saw this book on many lists last year and knew I had to put it on my to-read list. It looks amazing and I definitely have a soft spot for books with letters in them.

The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine – Average girl falls for bad boy jock. It might be a cliché but it’s one of those that I usually like reading about. Some of the reviews I’ve read for this book haven’t been all that favourable but I love cute contemporary romances and the blurb makes this one sound adorable (and I love the idea of an Arthurian catering hall).

The Falconer by Elizabeth May – Heiress. Debutant. Murderer. A new generation of heroines has arrived. Need I say more? I think that it’s been listed by people as YA steampunk with fae just makes me that just more eager to read it!

Half Bad by Sally Green – Good witches, Bad Witches and a teenage boy who is a bit of both. Sounds interesting.

Camelot Burning by Kathryn Rose – I’ve always liked Arthurian legends so this new series by debut author Kathryn Rose definitely appeals to me.

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord – Road trips, the boy next door and music? Sounds like a contemporary romance not to be missed.

Falls the Shadow by Stefanie Gaither – Creepy murderous clones. This looks like a scifi novel that I’d love.

Fates by Lanie Bross – Mythology, falling in love with the one you’re fated never to be with. Sounds deliciously heartbreaking!

Bird Side Effects May Vary Love Letters to the Dead The Promise of Amazing The Falconer (The Falconer, #1) Half Bad (Half Life, #1) Camelot Burning (Metal & Lace, #1) Open Road Summer Falls the Shadow Fates (Fates, #1)

 

If you’ve already read these books – I’d love to know what you thought of them. Any debuts I’ve not mentioned that you think I’d like – please let me know! Thanks for visiting my list for this week.

Follow on Bloglovin

Discussion: What to Read Next?

Thoughts Read Next

With a to-read pile like mine it might seem that choosing a book to read should not be a problem. But much like people with full closets and nothing to wear – I can have bookshelves full of books and seemingly nothing to read!

Choosing your next book to read can sometimes be a bit of a daunting task. Do you continue on with a series? Do you switch genres? Do you not read at all and catch up with some household chores (okay. This one never seems to win out with me)? With so many amazing books being published all the time, how do you choose what to read next?

For the past few months I’ve had no problem choosing my next book. I’ve been trying to finish up some of my 2013 challenges or been hooked on series that I just HAVE (that’s right – not a want but a need) to find out what happens next. I’m currently on track with the books I have for review after toting them with me on my recent trip around Tasmania. But now I’m facing a bit of a problem.

How should I choose what to read next? 

I’ve tried sites like What Should I Read Next? and Which Book? but sites like these don’t seem to work for me. I have either a) already read the suggested books or b) find the titles to be a little too obscure for my taste.

There are times when I binge read on series. But this leads to another problem – sometimes even the best writers start to feel repetitive when you read more than 5 or so of their books in a row. I’ve done this with many authors. I find one of their books and love it so I devour their entire back catalogue within weeks. This is no the best idea. The characters start to feel the same just with slightly different names and the plot gives a distinct feeling of deja vu. When continuing reading the work of an author I adore isn’t an option, I need another way to find  my next book to read.

Another way of selecting is the proximity rule which basically sums up at reading what ever is closest. This often works for me but currently all the books that are piled up on the back of the couch, the coffee table and in various spots around my living room just don’t seem to capture my attention. This doesn’t make them bad books – I will get around to reading them. But right now I’m not in the mood for Amish romances, books about Egyptian culture or paranormal romances about angels.

After reading slumps – when nothing can capture my attention for longer than twenty pages or I just can’t bring myself to read – I do one of either two things.

Goodreads and Twitter.

I use goodreads a lot. I love lurking about and seeing what people have thought about books. And interestingly enough – when I can’t find a book to read its books with negative review that I want to read most. Those pesky one star books where some reviewers have been unnecessarily cruel – those are the books I want to read. I believe in being honest but fair with reviews. When I see a book being slammed in a way that feels hateful and mean… it makes me want to read that book. Possibly not what that particular reviewer was intending but I want to give the book a fair go – this is how I found my way reading Embrace by Jessica Shirvington and I found myself thankful for the hater who got me started on a great series.

And then there’s twitter. I love twitter. I don’t use it as much as I probably should but I enjoy seeing what people are talking about and what they have to say. It’s amazing how conversations on seemingly random topics can result in brilliant book banter. Just last night I was lured in and now feel like I MUST! read The Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor (okay, I was going to read this novella anyway but now it’s more of a burning desire than just a ‘I’ll get around to it someday” kind of feeling).

How do you choose your next book to read? Recommendations by friends and family? Does the blurb on the back of the book entice you to pick it next? Do you have a certain method of determining what you’re going to read involving complex algorithms or formulas? 

Feel free to leave me a comment. I’d love to know how you choose what you’re going to read next.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me!

This was a topic that was a Top Ten Tuesday last year and I do now own four of those ten books and have read three. I won’t include the other six books from last year’s list here because there are a thousand other books I’d love to receive!

I’ve decided to list ten (and trust me – it’s hard to restrain myself to just ten!) books that have been released and I haven’t got my hands on a copy yet.

  1. The Lies of Locke Lamora  by Scott Lynch – I only heard of this book a few weeks ago. Erica from Theft and Sorcery mentioned that for the End of Year Survey she would probably only use this one book. It sounds fantastic.
  2. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black – Have you ever felt like a book is stalking you? This is one of those books that I keep seeing everywhere. I feel like it might be a sign that I should read it. I’ve read some great reviews for it and the premise sounds interesting.
  3. Someday Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham (Also that one by Monica Seles [The Academy – Game On] if we’re going with Celebrity books) – I only really want to read this because I’ve been a Lauren Graham fan since Gilmore Girls.
  4. Holier than Thou by Laura Buzo – I always like to discover new to me Aussie authors and Holier than Thou looks right up my alley.
  5. The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot – As a Heather Wells fan since way back I can’t wait to get around to reading the wedding!

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1) The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Someday, Someday, Maybe Holier Than Thou The Bride Wore Size 12  (Heather Wells #5)

6. Once We Were by Kat Zhang – This is the second book in the Hybrid Chronicles. I thought What’s Left of Me (the first one) was well done and would like to see where Ms. Zhang takes the characters next.
7. Golden by Jessi Kirby – I have cover lust for this one.
8. Well Read Women: Portraits of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines by Samantha Hahn – I’ve wanted to get my hands on a copy of this book since I saw Books and Quills September Book Haul. The illustrations are gorgeous and I like the idea of having quotes and drawings from fabulous fictional heroines.
9. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
10. The Golem and the Djinn by Helene Wecker – This is an adult book but it looks lovely. I borrowed it from my local library but had to return it before I finished it. And then – and you know it’s a great book when this happens – there was a few month wait to reserve it.

 Once We Were (The Hybrid Chronicles, #2) Golden Well-Read Women: Portraits of Fiction's Most Beloved Heroines Love Letters to the Dead The Golem and the Djinni

I love making up wish lists. Realistically I can’t see myself unwrapping any of these books tomorrow but it was fun to write my list and if I get any gift cards then I already have my shopping list here! 😀

I apologize if there are any huge messes in this post. I’m babysitting my niece and she decided it was more fun to play on her Aunt’s computer than to watch Play School.. She loves the caps lock button and typing things that I’m sure make sense to her 20-month-old self. I triple checked to make sure there’s not any random Niece typing. Also – she loves reading and I’m sure that for Christmas she would love Mr Mo by Roger Hargraves. Or at least I hope she does since I bought her a copy!

Mr. Mo

 

Follow on Bloglovin

Discussion: Bookish Gifts

Thoughts bookish gifts

I love to give bookish gifts. I’m not ashamed to be a self-proclaimed ‘book pusher’ and often find myself buying multiple copies of books I loved to give to friends with the hope that they will love them as much as I did. I think that being told “you’re right! That book was amazing” is such an incredible feeling. But buying books as gifts can be fraught with some complications.

5 Reasons Why Books Might Not Make the Best Gifts

  • You don’t know their taste well enough
    Romantically, politically or religiously – there are some books that just might not be appropriate as gifts. I have been devastated before when I’ve given people books that I’ve adored for whatever reason and find myself disappointed when others don’t like them for the reasons I loved them. I once gave a male friend my copy of Persuasion by Jane Austen and was slightly shattered when he thought the romance was contrived and silly.
  • The person you’re buying for has read everything – twice!
    Book worm or book nerd – call them what you like but some people are so well read and read so much that it makes them impossible to buy. You may find that even after you’ve gone and bought something obscure and wonderful only to find out that your giftee has already read it. I think in this case its wise to keep the receipt and try not to be offended if they’ve already read your gift. Take it as a compliment that your gift is so right for them that they have already read it! (Note: a gift card might be best for this type of person.)
  • They don’t like reading books
    Some people find books to be too big a reading commitment or they like the shiny pages of a magazine more. Books aren’t for everyone and I think that it’s better not to push a gift that won’t be appreciated.
  • They don’t like reading the books you like
    I have a sister who enjoys reading the occasional book – but she can’t stand most of the books I love. If it’s fantasy or paranormal then she takes a wide berth. I should take my own advice and stop giving her books that aren’t her thing… as evident that she never even took the two I gave her last Christmas home with her…
  • Books just don’t fit in their lifestyle
    Too busy, not enough space – there are a number of reasons why someone might not want a bookish gift. If it’s a lack of time then perhaps a compilation of short stories could be an idea and for the space challenges maybe ebooks would be a good compromise.

 

That said – I still love to give books. They’re easy to wrap! They give people the opportunity to unplug from technology (ereaders aside) and relax. It’s cheap to travel to different worlds through a book and even cute fluffy reads can be educational.  I’m giving a lot of books to my family this Christmas – from my 21 month old niece who is getting a ten book set of Grug books to my sister who will be receiving the latest Bridget Jones novel – and I’m excited to see what they think.

I also hope to receive some books as gifts – or some bookish gifts! If you love to spread love of literature but you’re not sure how the written word might be received, you can also give some book themed gifts.

A few of my favourites include:

  • book quote scarves from storiarts on Etsy. They even have my favourite book Persuasion and sells for just under $50 AUD

Persuasion Book Scarf

  • Paper Passion perfume – apparently this smells just like freshly printed books. I love the idea but haven’t smelt it. The packaging is gorgeous – with the bottle resting in what looks like a hollowed out book ($65.70 AUD from Amazon)
  • I love to have a good cup of tea or coffee by my side when devouring a book and love literary mugs. I currently drink from a Little Miss Trouble mug but have been lusting after these Penguin mugs for a while. In fact it’s the entire Penguin collection of merchandise that I love. So many gorgeous things!

 

 

What are your thoughts about giving books as gifts? Do you like non-literary bookish gifts? What things are you gifting to loved ones this year?

 

Top Ten Tuesday: New to Me Authors I Read in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten New to Me Authors I Read in 2013

There are so many fantastic authors that I “discovered” this year. Here is a list of only ten of them.

Cristin Terrill – I adored All Our Yesterdays. It’s an amazing novel about one of my least favourite concepts: time travel. I loved the characters and the writing and definitely consider this to be one of my favourite new authors of this year.

Ambelin Kwaymillina – Last week I read her first two novels: The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf and The Disappearance of Ember Crow. They’re brilliant dystopian novels about people with special powers and a government who is trying to capture them. If you’ve not read either of Ambelin’s novels before – I urge you to try them out. The Tribe is one of my favourite YA dystopian series that I’ve read so far.

Ellie Marney – Earlier this year I read Every Breath. It’s a murder mystery set in Melbourne and I loved it. The first in a series, I can’t wait to read the next instalments and see what Rachel and Mycroft get up to next!

Colleen Hoover – I read Slammed and thought it was lovely. That’s even despite having one of my least favourite types of romance in it (I can’t stand student/teacher relationships in case you were wondering). It lead me to attending my first (and so far only) poetry slam and this is definitely an author I intend to read more of.

Tara EglingtonHow to Keep a Boy From Kissing You was such an adorable read. There are times when you don’t want to read anything too heavy or life threatening and a cute contemporary story about a girl and her first kiss is exactly what you want. That’s what this book was for me. I’m currently reading the second book in the Aurora Skye series and it’s just as enjoyable as the first book.

All Our Yesterdays The Disappearance of Ember Crow (The Tribe #2) Every Breath  

AJ Betts -Her book, Zac and Mia, was a great realistic look at teenagers dealing with cancer. I liked her style and enjoyed the journey she took her characters on and me as a reader.

Tammara Webber – Easy is still one of my favourite New Adult reads. Real and sincere with characters I enjoyed and a NA plot that was more than just sex. I definitely want to read more from her.

Liz Fichera – As someone who is not the most athletic, I never thought I’d like Hooked as much as I did. But it’s such a great book that deals with racism, sexism and has some sweet and amazing characters. I loved Fred and am eagerly awaiting Sam and Riley’s story!

Gayle Forman – I read If I Stay and thought it was beautiful. The writing is really heartbreaking and heartwarming both at the same time. I haven’t quite mustered the courage to read the second book but it’s definitely one on my epic to-read list.

Samantha Shannon – I still can’t believe that the Bone Season was written by a nineteen year old. The writing is sophisticated and this is an incredibly well researched novel. The first in a seven book series, this series promises to be an incredibly journey.

Zac and Mia Easy  If I Stay The Bone Season

 

Here is my list for this week. I’d love to hear from you – what ere you favourite new to you authors this year? Any from my list that you liked as much as I did? Any you think I need to read? Feel free to leave a comment. 🙂

Follow on Bloglovin

2013 End of Year Book Survey

 

best books 2013 end of year survey

Welcome to the  4th annual End of Year Book Survey hosted and created by Jaime over at The Perpetual Page Turner.

I participated last year (see my 2012 End of Year Book Survey) and had a lot of fun reflecting on my bookish ways for the last year. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to take part in Jaime’s survey on their own blogs. IF you do fill in the survey on your blogs – please leave me a link in the comments. I love seeing what other people thought about books. 

Best YA book 2013

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

Contemporary YA – The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson; Slammed by Colleen Hoover; Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan; Wild Awake by Hilary T Smith; Every Breath by Ellie Marney

Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic – Pawn by Aimee Carter

Paranormal — Daughter of Smoke and Bone & Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, Endless Knight by Kresley Cole

Science Fiction — All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill;

Fantasy — Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

Non YA — Grace Grows by Shelle Sumners;

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Beautiful Creatures and Looking for Alaska

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

Pawn by Aimee Carter. I’d read her Goddess Test series and enjoyed it but I wasn’t expecting her to wow me like she did with Pawn.

 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

I think that was probably Every Breath by Ellie Marney. I love getting people to read Aussie authors and this was a great contemporary murder mystery with a gorgeous romance too.

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

Ambelin Kwaymullina’s The Tribe series (which I only read a few weeks ago but it still counts!) and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Both amazing stories that are beautifully written.

 6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2013?

Cristin Terrill or Laini Taylor.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I don’t read a lot of translated fiction but I’ve read two in the past few months. The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol was originally written in French and Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier was originally in German. They’re both so very different from each other and not quite what I usually read but I enjoyed both. The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles is a more adult novel and it was a great romantic ensemble comedy with some out there characters.

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill – this was my cereal for dinner book. The kind where instead of stopping to make and eat dinner you just pour a bowl of cereal with one hand and keep holding the book with the other! I also read Allegiant by Veronica Roth in a matter of hours.

 9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I don’t do a lot of rereads. I tend to prefer to read a new book than one I’ve read before but it’s highly likely I’ll re-read Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins or This is what Happy Looks like by Jennifer E Smith. 

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2013?

Angelfall by Susan Ee or These Broken Stars.

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

Alaska Young from Looking for Alaska by John Green or Mangus Bane from City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

I really enjoyed the writing in Wild Awake by Hilary T Smith. I also thought Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan was beautifully written. Same goes for Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 

This is such a hard question. I think I would have to say Easy by Tammara Webber. I was on the verge of giving up on New Adult altogether but really liked this one.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 

Looking for Alaska or City of Bones. They’ve both been around for a LONG time and are constantly mentioned on blogs I read. Well I got there! I finally get all the references!

 15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

“There once was a girl who found herself dead.
She peered over the ledge of heaven
and saw that back on earth
her sister missed her too much,
was way too sad,
so she crossed some paths
that would not have crossed,
took some moments in her hand
shook them up
and spilled them like dice
over the living world.
It worked.
The boy with the guitar collided
with her sister.
“There you go, Len,” she whispered. “The rest is up to you.”
― The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

“He’s on the verge of it–we can tell. He is on the verge of finding that very hard truth–that it will never be complete, or feel complete. This is usually something you only have to learn once–that just like there is no such thing as forever, there is no such thing as total. When you’re in the thrall of your first love, this discovery feels like the breaking of all momentum, the undermining of all promise. For the past year, Neil has assumed that love was like a liquid pouring into a vessel, and that the longer you loved, the more full the vessel became, until it was entirely full. The truth is that over time, the vessel expands as well. You grow. Your life wides. And you can’t expect your partner’s love alone to fill you. There will always be space for other things. And that space isn’t empty as much as it’s filled by another element. Even though the liquid is easier to see, you have to learn to appreciate the air.”
– Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

“People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.”
– Wild Awake by Hilary T Smith

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

The shortest was a novella – Blood Phantom by Rhiannon Hart at only 15 pages. The longest was Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia.

 17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead. Yep – this is one of those books that gave me all the ‘feels’ that people talk about. I actually put it down because I wasn’t sure I could cope… turned out to be only one page from the end because the rest of the book was just the first chapter of Vampire Academy. But still… Oh. My.

18. Favourite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

I loved the friendship between Zuzanna and Karou in Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

The romance between Rachel and Mycroft in Every Breath is great. I also enjoyed the love between Lennie and Joe in The Sky is everywhere.

19. Favourite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Feeling Sorry for Ceila by Jaclyn Moriarty was a fantastic Aussie contemporary novel. I quite liked Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins too. And – if I’m including series then anything from Richelle Mead is on the list.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. It’s… there aren’t words. It’s just… one of the best books I’ve read. People have been telling me for SO LONG to read it and I think because of that I was very intimidated. But I finally read it (just finished this morning) and loved it.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

Paranormal/Urban Fantasy. But I did read the entire Weather Warden’s series by Rachel Caine and reread the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Death from Endless Knight by Kresley Cole. Sam from Hooked by Liz Fichera. Finn from All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill. And I know it’s not a new crush but I still adore Adrian from the Bloodlines series.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

I want to say The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. I know I didn’t give it five stars and I did for other debuts but I was astounded by the author – it was so well researched and she was only 19 when it was published!

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. And also These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

How To Keep A Boy From Kissing You by Tara Eglington was fun. So was Finding Cassie Crazy by Jaclyn Moriarty and Mad about the Boy by Helen Fielding

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

On the Jellicoe Road made me tear up  – and I’m not one who often cries during books.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

The First Third by Will Kostakis. This is a great book. One that I started reading on the way home the day I bought it and I haven’t pushed it onto enough people.

reading-life-2013 

(optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013? 

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013? 

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

2014-books

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

 4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

 

 

Will come back to this during the month.

Discussion: Love Triangles

Thoughts Triangles

Love them or hate them – they are a prominent feature in YA literature. And chances are even if you’ve not read a young adult novel you’ve run into Team Edward or Team Jacob supporters. Love Triangles add a little extra spice and drama to a romantic relationship.

Love triangles are nothing new. Shakespeare often had them in his plays, Eponine, Marius and Cosette are entangled in Les Miserables and Dumas’ The Three Musketeers faced their share too. But it seems lately that I can’t go a week without reading a young adult novel with a triangle in it. True, these aren’t real triangles in the geometry scheme of things (they’re more angles than triangles) nor are they like the Triangular Theory of Love that I learned in my first year of psychology but I still think of them as triangles because whilst there isn’t a romance between all three sides, there’s a relationship between them all – with fierce rivalry between the two suitors.

The most common type I’ve encountered in YA novels is as follows:

LoveTri

The heroine has to choose between the nice guy (often the best friend) and the bad boy (usually mysterious and somewhat dangerous).

So how do I feel about love triangles?

Like with everything – it depends. There are times when I adore the give and take of the romantic leads. But it does rely on a few different factors.

The LOVE IS EVERYTHING! triangle – I’m not a fan of this type of triangle. This is the type when love is the be all and end all. Other plot points are secondary to the intense romance and feels that are going on. I need some more plot with my romance. They often focus on the female and this is a reason I tend to dislike them. They don’t seem to take into account the feelings of the different parties nor does it seem to be an issue if the woman is a little manipulative and using both sides (albeit at times the girl doesn’t realize she’s doing this). Twilight with the Bella/Edward and Bella/Jacob relationships is an example of this. I think I’m often confused by this type because they often feature girls who are apparently plain, dull and uninteresting and all of a sudden they’re fighting off drop dead gorgeous men with a stick. It feels unrealistic and more like fanfiction than anything else (and considering I went though a period where I read and wrote a LOT of Dawson’s Creek fanfiction, I know what I’m talking about).

The IT’S NOT REALLY A TRIANGLE BUT BOY IS IT CONFUSING triangle – Whilst I didn’t like Twilight, I enjoyed Stephenie Meyer’s other novel, The Host. This book involves a fairly confusing type of relationship with the main character Wanda sharing a body with Melanie. Melanie is in love with Jarrod and Jarrod with Melanie but Wanda (who is in Melanie’s body) is starting to fall for Ian and Ian for her. It’s not quite a triangle but I enjoyed how it all played out. I liked how this one played out because the romance did take a lot of page time but there was a lot of other plot going on and ultimately the romance didn’t overshadow everything else that was going on.

The BADASS HEROINE, LOVE COMES SECOND triangle – This is the type of book that I love best. The kind where the heroine is determined to do whatever it is her mission is and she doesn’t let her confusing romantic entanglements get in the way. This is the kind that appears in Throne of Glass, Vampire Academy, The Hunger Games and many other books that I’ve enjoyed. The females don’t try to play her suitors off against each other nor does she become a victim to her relationship. They’re strong on their own and if they do choose one of the guys, it’s because it’s true love and not just because they didn’t want to be alone.

The ONE GUY TO MANY GIRLS triangle – I admit I’m a lover of The Bachelor and I’m a little surprised I haven’t come across all that many books with this type of triangle. I think it’s possibly because when it’s attempted, the male character often comes across as a player and not the sensitive new aged guy he’s supposed to be. Books like The Selection feature this type but it’s a little more complicated with one of the females vying for the male is also in a separate triangle of her own. I don’t mind it in The Selection as it makes so many more possibilities of who is going to end up with who. This series doesn’t try to hide what it is and I don’t mind that it’s focused on romance because that’s what I was expecting going in.

 

I think what it comes down to for me is how well it’s written. If it’s believable and well written with characters I like and are trying to sort things out – I’ll enjoy it. I just don’t like relationships where characters are being unfair to each other or the triangle is the story’s focus and the biggest twist in the plot turns out to be who the apex of the triangle chooses.

 

What are you favourite love triangles? Any that you really didn’t like? Are there any series with amazing love triangles and relationships you would recommend that I read? 

Let me know what you think about love triangles. Comments are always welcome 🙂

Novella Review: Blood Phantom by Rhiannon Hart

Blood Phantom (Lharmell, #0.5)

Title: Blood Phantom (Lharmell #0.5)
Author: Rhiannon Hart
Genre: Young Adult, Vampires, Fantasy, 
Publisher: Curtis Brown Digital
Publication Date: 9th December 2013
Pages: 15
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Life in tatters and far from home, Rodden Lothskorn struggles to cope with the harming menace and his own harming nature. When an offer of marriage reaches his friend, Prince Amis, Rodden discovers that the bride’s inhospitable homeland might contain one part of the harming poison he would dearly like to get his hands on. But if summoned northwards, will Princess Lilith bring something – or someone – he dreads most with her? Locked in a years-long struggle with the Lharmellins, Rodden senses the battle is only now about to begin.

My Review:

This short novella gives us a brief glance into Rodden’s life before Zeraphina. I’ve always liked Rodden and I’m so pleased that Rhiannon Hart gave us this short story from his point of view. From the castle as Amis’ best friend and advisor right up till finding Zeraphina and learning what she is – this is a great addition to the Lharmell series. Roddin is the same amazing character that I liked from Blood Song and Blood Storm but seeing the world from his eyes – just made him more well rounded and enjoyable for me.

At only 15 pages, Blood Phantom is just enough to whet my appetite and I am now eagerly anticipating the release of Blood Queen that much more! This remains one of my favourite series and I recommend this novella to all fans of Zeraphina, Rodden and Lharmell!

Note:

I have to say that I adore the new style of cover that Blood Phantom and Blood Queen (expected publication is April 15. 2014) have compared to those of Blood Song and Blood Storm. I feel like this darker theme are more fitting to the amazing story within their pages than the first two books – which whilst gorgeous never seemed to fit for me.

Blood Song (Lharmell, #1) Blood Storm (Lharmell, #2) Blood Phantom (Lharmell, #0.5) Blood Queen (Lharmell, #3)

 

Thanks to the author for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Discussion: To Be Read Piles

TBR

As long as I can remember I’ve had a TBR. A list of books that I want to read – a sort of To-Do list for books. And until September 2010 my list was fairly manageable. But then I joined goodreads and my list exploded.

bookshelves

My Goodreads Bookshelves

I love finding new authors and books I’ve not heard of to read – and as a result my Goodreads to-read list has more books on it than books I’ve read. Lately I’ve been seeing people talking about their TBRs and how they need
to ‘prune’ them as they’re getting out of hand. But to be honest I don’t mind my list having close to a thousand books on it. I’d rather be drowning in the abundance of reading possibilities than living in a drought with nothing to read.

For my Goodreads list I do have a few rules.

  • I try to only add one book from a series to my TBR. If I’ve not started a series then I only add the first book even if I intend on reading the whole series.
  • Every few months I go through the books I’ve added and see if I’m still interested. I tend to go through phases and add a lot of a certain kind of book but later on reflection I realize that I’m not as interested as I was when I added them.
  • If I’ve started a book from my TBR but not finished it for whatever reason I move it to another shelf called “Put on Hold” with the intention of some day getting back and finishing it. I also have a “Did Not Finish” shelf that has books I’m never intending on finishing. That shelf is currently only at 2 books (Outlander and Atlas Shrugged – they hold a special place in my heart but not for the best reason).
  • There can never be too many books on the list. I know some people who don’t let their TBRs get over a hundred but that’s clearly not the case with mine.

In addition to my goodreads list I have a lot of physical books that I already own and plan to read. I don’t read to a strict schedule but I do like to plan out what I’m going to read in a loose sense. The books that I’m planning on reading in the next few months are in a cardboard box that sits underneath my coffee table. Easy access but mostly it’s because I currently need to buy some more shelving. I’ll probably have finished reading these books by February – but never fear. Christmas is near giving me opportunity to buy more books and get some as gifts to fill up another box.

My Current To Be Read pile

My Current To Be Read pile – Very excited to read Stormdancer and The Hobbit

Lately I’ve been rather good at reading the books already in my possession but every now and then I can’t help but buy a new book or I come home from the library with half a dozen books that I read first. There are times when emotion dictates what I want to read next (I occasionally get in a mood where I must read a certain genre) or I read a review and then simply have to read a particular book (like a few weeks ago when I decided enough was enough and bought a certain Melina Marchetta book).

Feel free to leave me a comment about TBRs or even just reading in general. I love all comments and will visit back.

How do you maintain control of your TBR and do you have any suggestions? Does your TBR ever intimidate you? What book from your TBR do you plan on reading next?