Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Red, White and Blue Covers

Top Ten Tuesday was originally hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish and is now over at Jana’s blog, That Artsy Reader Girl.

This weeks topic was chosen to celebrate July the 4th in the US, but since the UK also have the same colours in its flag, I figured I’d stick with it. Considering it’s very hard to find covers with all the colours I am going to alternate between all three. and they are all books that I have previously read (which makes it harder for me to find them).

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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Considering this is the book I am currently reading and it has a red background, it is the first to make the list! I love how bright the red is and the silver thorns that travel across the cover.

2. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

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With an intricate and detailed drawing like that, a white background is perfect to show it off. And there is even a bit of red thrown in there with the font!

3. To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

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A much darker blue for this cover to represent the ocean and a hint of red thanks to the ruby on the sword. Such a great book as well, if you haven’t heard of it before and you enjoy reading about mermaids and pirates.

4. Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

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I love this cover so much and it perfectly matches the story. The cover for the second book in the series is blue and looked equally as good as this!

5. The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

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I love how the white background helps the colours to really stand out and it ties in perfectly with the story.

6. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

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Simple, yet powerful, I love how mysterious this cover is and how the leaves overlap the title.

7. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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A mixture of red and white with this cover, and it is one of my favourites for the whole series. It just looks so bad ass and I love the red flames behind her.

8. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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I always find books with white backgrounds to look so clean and classic, and the hardback version of this is exactly that. It looks amazing on my shelf.

9. Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

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A book I read many, many years ago, but I always loved how simple this cover was and it incorporates all three colours as well!

10. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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I absolutely adore the new US edition for this book. I would have bought it but the shipping was too expensive and I figured I’d save some money by reading it on my Kindle.

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There were quite a few more covers I could have picked, but looking through all the books I’d read made me realise how many have dark designs and colours the covers have. I guess it’s a fantasy thing.

What cover do you like best out of these?

Wrapping Up June ’18 – A Very Hectic Month

EDIT: It’s a good thing I pre-scheduled this post to go out today, because I am currently tucked up in bed with a fever and the start of a chest infection. I haven’t even been able to read or do anything but try and sleep, which sucks and I’m just hoping I feel better soon.

I felt that June was a busy month, not just because I was busy reading some great books, but also the fact that I started writing a new story that seems to have taken over my life. Trying to squeeze everything in is a challenge, especially when my boyfriend and I are watching a TV show that’s on every night at 9 (it’s Love Island for anyone intrigued) and it’s made me realise that losing an hour really does make a difference.

At the beginning of the month I set myself a target of reading 6 books, but unfortunately I only managed 5. I am totally putting the blame on my writing for that as there were some times when I wrote in the evening instead of reading. I also slacked a little on writing reviews, so there are a couple that haven’t been written yet but I’ll get around to them soon.

Books I Read…

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

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The first book I read in June was Empire of Storms, the fifth book in the Throne of Glass series and boy was it a big read. With over 600 pages and a small font, it took me a while to make my way through this book. Not to mention the fact that there is so much to take in, but I have to say that I really enjoyed it and that’s evident in my very long review, which you can read here. I’ve heard that the next book, Tower of Dawn, is only about Chaol and what he was up to during the events of Empire of Storm, so I am really excited to read the final instalment, Kingdom of Ash, when it comes out in October.

Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes

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In June I picked up the next couple of books in the Falling Kingdoms series and flew through them. I love everything about this series and the characters, especially Cleo and Magnus, with the latter growing on me within this book. There was plot twist after plot twist, and we got to see sides of characters that we hadn’t seen before. While it was a little slow in the beginning, it really took off in the second half. As the series goes on more perspectives are added, such as Amara and Nic, which adds another dimension to the series. Overall, I really enjoyed Frozen Tides and ended up giving it 4 stars.

Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

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As soon as I finished the previous book I dived straight into Crystal Storm and loved every second of it. So much happened and I still can’t get over the ending. There were some very interesting revelations regarding some characters, Jonas being one of them and I have a feeling he will play a big part in the final book. I also enjoyed finding out more about the Sanctuary and what Lucia’s role is in saving it. Of course, there is a lot of betrayal, as there always is in these books, and so many shocking events that take place at the end. I wish I had the sixth book but I’m just going to have to wait patiently and read what I already have. A five star read for me!

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

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This book…Words cannot describe how incredible this book is and how worthy it is of being a sequel to Scythe, which is probably my favourite read of the year so far. This series has one of the most intriguing worlds that I’ve ever read and we learn so much more in Thunderhead, especially about the all-powerful Thunderhead which watches over the population. I won’t say too much because I wrote a very long review, but the last 50 pages absolutely blew my mind and I am still reeling after having finished it over a week ago. You can check out my review for this 5 star read here.

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This was a last minute buy on my Kindle, mainly because I couldn’t stop seeing people raving about this series and I felt like I was missing out. A Ember in the Ashes was such a great read and very different from other books I have read. I love the Roman influence with the brutal Empire, the terrifying Commandant and the way the Scholars are ruled by them with force. I’m not gonna lie, there are some tough scenes in this book with children dying, slaves being whipped and gruesome injuries, but the characters are incredible. There are two perspectives, Laia and Elias, and I can’t decide who I like more. I really enjoyed the journey that these two took and how their paths crossed eventually. I have yet to write a review, but you can expect to see it very soon!

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While I didn’t read as much as I wanted to, I’m still happy with all these books as they were four stars and above! I feel like 5 is a good number to predict in a month, especially with all my other hobbies, and any more books is just a bonus!

What is the best book that you read in the month of June?

Wrapping Up The Week (25th June – 1st July)

I feel like this week has been one of the longest ever. It’s been a bit all over the place as I was ill, my boyfriend was ill, I was working from home for one of the days, and now I am ill again as my boyfriend has given me his cough/chest infection thing. Saying that, I have done quite a bit this week and I definitely managed to blog a lot more than I have been doing recently.

This weekend has gone by super quick and I only wish that I had done more reading. Although, I did have my friend over for a couple of hours yesterday, which was great. It was so good to talk about everything we had been up to as we worked out it was almost a year since we last hung out. I find that since she went off to uni and I stayed put working, we fell out of touch, but now that she is home we can hopefully she each other more. Especially as she lives literally ten minutes away in the next village.

Books I read and reviewed…

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Earlier on in the week I got around to writing my review for Thunderhead, which I can say is probably one of my favourite books of the year. If you haven’t read Scythe, then go pick that up first because this series only gets better. It’s one of those books that I can’t get enough of and it’s going to kill me to have to wait until next year for the final one. If you’re interested in reading my thoughts, then check out the review here. It’s a very long one because there is so much to talk about and I pretty much love everything about Thunderhead.

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I haven’t written a review yet, but I finished An Ember in the Ashes last night and it was amazing! So much was being said about this series and how great it is, so of course I had to give it a try and I am so happy I did. I love the Roman influence on the Empire and Blackcliff, as well as the two main characters whose perspectives tell the story. It’s hard to say who I loved more because I looked forward to reading about both of them. I can’t wait to tell you all about my views on the book in my upcoming review.

I am currently reading…

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Finally, I am starting this trilogy. So many people love these books (and I think they prefer them to ToG) and as it is Sarah J. Maas my expectations are pretty high for this one. It’s not too long at just over 400 pages, so I am hoping I can finish it before next weekend. I am starting to get into books about the Fae more now and can’t wait to see Maas’ take on them.

Posts from the week…

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Series I Gave Up On

WWW Wednesday – An Explanation

A pretty simple week with a couple of blog posts going out. Next week will be different as there will be my June wrap ups and July TBR lists which I can’t wait to get to. So many amazing books to read over the summer that I just can’t choose!

My WIP…

As I haven’t been feeling my best, I haven’t done a lot of writing over the last week. However, I am about 800 words away from reaching 30,000 words on my dragon WIP and I am so excited. I am just about the start getting into the exciting stuff, but I need to get some more planning done so I have a clear focus.

I used to be one of those writers that just winged it, but with this book I can’t. Mainly because there are so many moving parts to the story and I want to keep the plot holes to a minimum, so that it is easier to get through the second draft. As I’m reaching the end of the first act (of three) I am going to go back and read through what I’ve got written so far, just to jot down important information that I can relate back to later on in the story. Fingers crossed it all goes well because I would love to have this written and finished before #pitchwars in September (which is on Twitter).

Other Fun Stuff…

Well, I already talked about meeting up with my friend, but I also started a new TV show which is The Shannara Chronicles. So far, so good. It’s not the best show I have ever seen (mainly because I find the dialogue a little stiff) but the action is pretty good and I love the story elements to it. I’m over halfway through season 1 already and I’m hoping to finish it by the end of the week.

Something I don’t talk about too much on my blog is my artwork and drawing ability. I took art at school from year 7 up until year 13 for sixth form (although I began drawing at a much younger age, probably for as long as I can remember). However, with work and all my other hobbies, it fell to the side four years ago and up until recently I hadn’t touched my drawing equipment in a while. However, I changed that this weekend and started working on a piece from over a year ago, which is pictured below.

I made quite a bit of progress on the horse yesterday and by the end of the two hour session, my hand was aching from shading in the dark section. I had forgotten how enjoyable and relaxing it was to just put on some music and get lost in the drawing. You can probably expect to see more of my artwork on the blog from now on.

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So, there we have it. My week in a nutshell, which now I think about it, has been quite busy. I’m just praying that my throat and cough don’t get much worse, but unfortunately I have terrible luck when it comes to being ill.

What have you all been up to this week? Let me know in the comments below!

WWW Wednesday – An Explanation

WWW Wednesday was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm, and was taken over by Taking on a World of Words.

It’s been a few weeks since I last took part in WWW Wednesday, but I have a perfectly good reason. Almost three weeks ago I came up with a story idea which wasn’t the one I was currently editing (which my mum moaned about because I can never stick to one thing). It came to me out of the blue and everything was so clear; the characters, the story, the romance, the antagonists, everything! So I just had to start writing it and I haven’t stopped since. I’ve written 27,000 words so far and it has basically taken over my life. I can’t stop thinking about it.

For a little bit of background the story features a race called the Dracari who have the ability to shift forms into dragons and each one has an elemental power. I won’t give away what my main character, Afira, has as her power, but each Dracari has a dragon guardian and hers is Kato. I absolutely love writing about their relationship because it is different to anything else I have done before. Of course there is a handsome clansman who she has some history with and there are the hunters in the neighbouring Kingdom that have broken the treaty. Or have they? I can’t say too much, but I am so excited to keep on writing!

So, yeah. That is the reason why I haven’t been around a lot, but I am going to try and change that.

What Are You Currently Reading?

an ember in the ashes

This is a book series that I am seeing everywhere, especially as the third book just came out, so I knew I had to start it. I am already over 30% of the way through (I’m reading on my Kindle) and I’m really enjoying it. I can see how it has been inspired by the Roman legions and there’s quite a bit of brutality, which is to be expected. I love the dual perspectives from Laia and Elias, and how different they are. It will be interesting to see how their paths cross and what will happen. Something tells me I’ll want to buy the second one when I finish it.

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

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This book wrecked me. I still can’t get over it and I finished it 5 days ago! I think the Arc of a Scythe series is my favourite ever. I can’t even begin to describe how much I love the writing, the world building, the diverse characters and all the political drama that comes with the Scythedom. Scythe was a perfect book and I wasn’t sure it would be topped. I was wrong.

Thunderhead was an incredible read and the last fifty pages had me holding my breath because it was so tense. 2019 seems so far away, which is when The Toll comes out, and it’s made even worse by the fact that it had a cruel cliffhanger. Definitely a set of books I could read again. If you haven’t read Scythe then you can check out my review here, and if you have then you can check out the one for Thunderhead over here.

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

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This has been on my TBR list for a while now and I think it’s time to give it a go. I have only heard good things about this series, which makes me even more excited to read it. If it’s as good as the Throne of Glass one then I’ll be more than happy. I don’t know too much about the world and the characters (thankfully I haven’t run into any spoilers on social media) but I can’t wait to dive into the world of the fae.

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Once again, I am sorry for being a little MIA. I still have two reviews to write for Frozen Tides and Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes, both of which I adored, but I think that because I am so far into the series now I am going to do mini reviews instead. Plus, I’ve read a couple books in between that and my memory isn’t all that good.

What book are you currently loving (or not loving) at the moment?

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Series I Gave Up On

Top Ten Tuesday was originally hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish and is now over at Jana’s blog, That Artsy Reader Girl.

This weeks topic is all about the book series that we never got around to finishing. Unfortunately, I have quite a lot to choose from, but most of my reasons for giving up on them were good enough. I also realised I’ve forgotten about so many books, but the majority of them were read over six years ago!

1. Angelfall by Susan Ee

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While I enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, I feel that at this age it isn’t my cup of tea anymore. I am much more into the older section of YA, with a focus on Fantasy more than paranormal. So, unfortunately I won’t be picking up the next two in the series.

2. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

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I feel like I could put all of Cassandra Clare’s books into this section. I started reading this series, as well as The Infernal Devices series, and I ended up giving up with both of them. I think I just fell out of love with the story and characters, or got bored in some cases. It happens and while it can make us feel bad, at the end of the day we shouldn’t force ourselves to read something just because everyone else loves it.

3. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

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I wanted to love this series as much as I love The Vampire Academy, but it just didn’t work out for me. I ended up only reading the first two, even though I owned the third, and didn’t realise it went on for so long!

4. Divergent by Veronica Roth

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I feel like a lot of people say they never finished this series. I never even watched all of the films. Divergent tried to be like the Hunger Games and I don’t think it worked for me. I remember liking it at the time but I didn’t think it was anything special, and I had gone off of dystopian as a genre until I picked up Scythe by Neal Shusterman (but it has a new twist on the genre).

5. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

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I think I enjoyed this book, although I don’t remember much about it and I never read the second one. This isn’t the first series that I didn’t finish by Julie Kagawa, as I never finished her Iron Fey one either, even though I own all the books (fellow bookworms, why do we sometimes buy a whole series and THEN realise we don’t like it? I’ve since stopped doing it).

6. The Violet Eden Chapters by Jessica Shirvington

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I picked this up when I was going through my angel phase, you know, the one that included Halo and Fallen? Anyway, I can’t remember a single thing about this book and I wouldn’t even know the main character’s name unless it was in the series name.

7. The Mara Dyer series by Michelle Hodkin

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Again, another book that I can hardly remember because I read it so long ago. I think it was a mystery, thriller type book, but I could be completely wrong. I may have picked this up because the cover looked cool (no judging please).

8. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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This could be one of the series I gave up on too quickly considering how many people love it and can’t wait for the final book to be out (unless it already is out, I can’t keep up). I can remember a few details about this book, which shows that I probably did enjoy it, but I don’t think I will be playing catch up anytime soon.

9. House of Night by P. C. Cast

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Why couldn’t these books have finished while they were still good? I absolutely adored this series up until Tempted (I think) and I even re-read them a couple of times (it was my vampire loving phase and I blame Twilight for it). It would be quite funny to do a re-read and see if they are as good as I remember, or worse than I thought. Could be an interesting experiment.

10. Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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I think I remember these books being based on Greek mythology, which is something I enjoyed at the time (which was about 6/7 years ago now) and all I know is I loved the first two books. I can hardly remember a thing about them and I never carried on reading, even though I had Deity on my shelf. I doubt I will ever pick them up again, but you never know.

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There were quite a few that could have been added to this list, but they aren’t as well known as my chosen ten.

What is the most well-known series you gave up reading?

Review: Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

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Title: Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2)

Author: Neal Shusterman

Publisher: Walker Books

Date: 3rd May 2018

I think I found it, my favourite book I have ever read. No, that’s not right. This is my favourite series I’ve ever read. I find it funny how I was wary when I started reading Scythe, mainly because I’m a fantasy girl, but this story has blown me away. Everything about it is incredible! The writing, the characters, the plot twists, and the world building is on another level. I’ve never read another series like this, and I’ve even convinced my dad to give it a try, which is a feat in itself as he doesn’t read many books. Be warned, there will be spoilers for the first book in this review of Thunderhead, but you can check out my review for Scythe here.

Thunderhead picks up a year after the events of Scythe, with Citra becoming known as Scythe Anastasia, gleaning with compassion in an unorthodox way with Scythe Curie as her mentor, while Rowan has gone off the grid, hunting down corrupt scythes under the guise of Scythe Lucifer. The Thunderhead sees all that is happening in and around the Scythedom, some of which he is pleased about and others he is not, yet he is powerless to intervene. But when it becomes clear that Citra and Scythe Curie’s lives are being threatened, the Thunderhead must decide if it should intervene in the only way it can. Greyson Tolliver has grown up under the guidance of the Thunderhead, his parents abandoning him at a young age, and the Thunderhead has plans for the boy that will make him question everything. Unfortunately for the Scythedom, there will be times where the all-powerful Thunderhead finds himself powerless to help the world that is beginning to crumble around them.

I finished Thunderhead a couple of days ago and I am still reeling from having finished it. The ending was incredible, with the last fifty or so pages filled with so many plot twists and revelations. All I could do was stare as I reached the last page and curse the fact that the third book isn’t out yet. How can I wait for so long after a cliffhanger like that? Scythe was such an incredible read and I knew it would be tough to follow it up, but somehow Thunderhead did just that. I felt that the plot was more intriguing for the second book, with so many moving pieces that I had no idea what was going to happen until it was all unfolding before me.

Something that I loved about this sequel was that we got to delve deeper into the Thunderhead and what it feels about the world and the Scythedom. This was done in the form of journal entries, replacing those in the first book that were from the scythes. We get to see more emotion from the Thunderhead and see that all it wants is the best for humanity, making it a benevolent force in the story, which is refreshing given that most AI is portrayed as being the ‘bad guy’.

Each entry gave little hints as to what was to come in the story and it really helped to expand on this incredible world that Shusterman has created. We got to travel with Citra and Scythe Curie as they were on the run from those wanting to kill them, and visit Texas, where the Thunderhead doesn’t enforce the rules, which was interesting to read about. Not only that, but we are introduced to the Unsavories, people that the Thunderhead has branded as being rebellious and a disruption to society, which has an important role to play within the story. There are also the Tonists, who we were introduced to in Scythe, and are the only religious faction left in the world who are searching for the Great Resonance.

I would say that the only downside to Thunderhead is that I didn’t get to read more about Citra and Rowan, as we had new characters making an appearance, such as Greyson. I was unsure what his role in the story would be, as it progressed quite slowly, but gradually everything began to make sense. I think that is what I love about Shusterman’s writing. He can weave a story so easily, with so much detail, and when everything finally fits together it genuinely shocks you that you didn’t see if before. There are some massive shocks in this book that I can’t talk about, because spoilers, but the stakes are so high in the sequel.

While I didn’t see as much of Citra and Rowan as I wanted to, it was wonderful to see how they had changed since the events of Scythe. Citra has become a strong woman with opinions that challenge those of the other scythes. She doesn’t back down and that is one of the things I love about her. Not only that, but we also see a different side to her relationship with Scythe Curie, one that is caring and sweet. Sacrifices are made in this book, and as heart breaking as they were, it only grew my love for the characters. Scythe Faraday also features in Thunderhead as he embarks on his own quest to discover if there is a way to save the Scythedom from destroying itself due to the corruption of the New Order scythes. While there are questions left unanswered, I am sure that the third book will give them to me.

I could go on and on talking about this book and the series. I can’t remember the last time I fell head over heels like this for a book and it is so refreshing. Arc of a Scythe is definitely a series that I could read again, which will most likely happen before the final book ‘The Toll’ comes out next year. I just don’t know how long the wait will be, considering there isn’t a final date proposed yet. However, I am looking forward to seeing what the cover for The Toll will be as the other two are some of my favourites!

Overall, this book is amazing and a worthy sequel to Scythe. If you haven’t read this series then get out there and buy them, because I can assure you that you won’t regret it! 5 out of 5 stars for me, but if I could give it more I would.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Summer TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday was originally hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish and is now over at Jana’s blog, That Artsy Reader Girl.

I’ve been a little MIA lately, which I will explain about in another blog post, but I have been super excited to write this blog post. There are so many amazing books that I want to read over the next few months. I get really bad hay-fever so I tend to try and stay indoors when the pollen levels are high, which means I get a lot of time for reading.

It wasn’t too difficult to choose which books to put on this list, mainly because they’re all ones I’ve been meaning to read for a while.

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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I’ve been meaning to read this series, but I was so caught up with the Throne of Glass series that I figured it would be best to wait. Well, I only have Tower of Dawn to read, so you can bet that I am starting this. Everyone always says how much they love these books and the characters, so I can’t wait.

2. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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I am seeing this series everywhere, so of course I’m going to want to read it (spoiler: I already bought it on my Kindle). Plus, that cover is gorgeous! I originally wanted to buy it in this version, but I couldn’t find a seller, and I won’t order from the US Amazon because shipping is too high. However, I am really excited to read these books and see what all the hype is about.

3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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The time has finally come when I can read this series! I am so excited to dive back into this magical world and meet new characters that everyone loves. I have a lot of expectations going into this new series and I hope that they can be met!

4. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

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I already know what’s going to happen. I’m going to end up enjoying Six of Crows and I’ll just have to dive into the next one. And then I’ll feel sad that I read them so quickly.

5. Furyborn by Claire Legrand

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While I haven’t bought this book yet, I definitely will be within the next two months. I have heard some amazing things and people are raving about this book. It is such a unique idea and while I don’t know too much, I can’t wait to be surprised.

6. Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

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I absolutely loved Nevernight. It is one of my favourite reads ever, and the UK paperback for Godsgrave comes out very soon! I will probably read this towards the end of the summer, mainly because the third and final book, Darkdawn, won’t be out until next year. I am definitely looking forward to this one.

7. Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes

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How am I already onto the final book? I don’t want this series to end! I love all the characters and each book in the series has hooked me even more than the last. I only finished the fifth one a couple of days ago, so I still have to buy this, but I cannot wait. I have no idea how it will end. I just want Magnus and Cleo to live happily ever after. Please.

8. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

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Gearing up for the big finale in October! I’m a little sad that this won’t feature all the other characters, as it’s mainly about Chaol, but I’m still looking forward to reading it. Although the blue cover REALLY stands out against the rest, which are all white. Not quite feeling it, but if Kingdom of Ash is dark, it’s alright.

9. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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I’ve already read this once, back in March, but I am going to an event at Waterstones to meet the woman herself! I am so excited and figured it would be a good idea to re-read the book so I am prepared for the event. Expect lots of pictures and a long blog post about it all in the beginning of August.

10. A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

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It has been a good few months since I read A Darker Shade of Magic and I am ready to jump back into this world. I’ve heard that the books just get better as they go along, and also that they crush a lot of peoples’ hearts, but I’m gonna ignore that part.

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That is all!

What books are you looking forward to reading the most this summer?

WWW Wednesday – Cliffhangers!

It’s the peak of the week, as my manager at work likes to call it. It’s been a great week so far, not that anything incredible has happened, I’m just very happy. It helps that there are only two days left of work and then I have a weekend of reading and writing ahead of me.

Speaking of my writing, I hit 8,000 words of my dragon WIP today after writing 1.5K at lunch and I am loving it! The characters are perfect to me and they seem so real when I’m writing them, which makes me realise I’m doing something right. I might even do a bit more tonight if I have time before Love Island (which I shouldn’t be watching but I can’t help it – it’s addictive).

What Are You Currently Reading?

crystal storm

I know I said in my last weekly wrap up that I would read Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman next, but with a cliffhanger like the one Frozen tides gave me, how could I not pick up Crystal Storm? Already I am a third of the way through and I am loving it. More characters are being added into the fray and it seems like everyone’s paths are about to cross once more. I am so glad with the way Magnus is acting in this book, it makes my heart happy. Fingers crossed I can finish this before the week is up!

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

frozen tides

That ending! This book! There was so much treachery, I loved it. I swear this series just gets better and better, with so much political manoeuvring that it’s hard to keep up. There were some unlikely alliances, and romances that I was happy to finally see come to life. I am pretty sure that Falling Kingdoms has solidified itself as one of my favourite series ever at this point! Keep an eye out for the review, which I will probably be writing tomorrow.

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

thunderhead

I think I am going to be spending my weekend dedicated to this book. Thunderhead has me so excited, especially with the way that Scythe ended. I won’t lie, my expectations are high for this, just because of how much I loved the first one. I highly doubt that it will disappoint. Not to mention, the covers for these books are so pleasing. I just love the design and the colours…Amazing! I can’t wait to see what colour the third will be. I’m kind of hoping it’s either dark blue or purple.

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There we have it! My plans for the rest of the week are pretty much sorted at this point.

What book are you currently reading?

Wrapping Up May -18 – Hitting New Targets

I think I blinked and May just disappeared in an instant. How did it go by so quickly? Probably because the month was jam packed with fun activities, movie trips, lots of editing for my novel, and a tonne of amazing books!

At the beginning of the month I set myself a target of reading 7 books (a lot more than I’m used to) and I am happy to say that I reached it. I only deviated from my TBR once because I was approved for a book on NetGalley, but apart from that I read everything I wanted to.

Books I Read…

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

falling kngdoms

I started off the month by finishing Falling Kingdoms and I was swept away by this incredible story. I was completely hooked by the characters and the world that Rhodes created. A lot of people have talked about this series, mainly good things, and I am so glad that I gave it a chance because it is one of my favourites! As soon as I finished it I went onto buy the next two in the series. I ended up giving this 5 stars, and you can read my review here.

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

queen of shadows

These books are getting so big! I finally went back to reading this series in the month of May and I really enjoyed this instalment. So many amazing things happened and there were some reveals that left me in shock, especially towards the end. Aelin is a complete badass, as always, and I can confirm that my love for Rowan has grown considerably in this book (I knew it would happen eventually). It left me excited to read Empire of Storms, which I am currently reading, and it was so easy to give it 5 stars. You can check out my full review here.

Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes

rebel spring

By the time I had finished reading Queen of Shadows, the next two in the Falling Kingdoms series had arrived, so I was pretty certain with what I would be reading next. Once again I was drawn into the story and enjoyed everything that happened. The story definitely starts to develop more in this one and there wasn’t as much action unfortunately. However, we got to learn more about the characters and what means the most to them. You can read my 4 star review here.

Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes

gathering darkness

Well, this series just got kicked up a notch and it was torture not being able to carry on with the series (I hadn’t ordered the next ones at this point). I love how unpredictable the books are and I never really know what is going to happen. There was a lot of character development in Gathering Darkness, with some events happening that changed the lives of a few. We get to see a different side to Magnus and we realise how dangerous Lucia can be. As well as this, there was the introduction of some new characters that are probably going to feature a lot in Frozen Tides. In the end I gave this a solid 5 stars and you can find my review here.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

scythe

May was the month that I finally found a sci-fi book that I fell in love with! Something I have mentioned before is that I don’t tend to read books from this genre, but I took a chance with Scythe and I am so glad that I did. This book is incredible and so unique! I love the ideas behind the world and how everything functions, with the Thunderhead governing the world and the Scythedom deciding how to whittle the population down through gleaning. There are so many twists within the story and unexpected events. I was blown away! One of the easiest 5 star ratings I have ever give, and you can read my thoughts here.

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

ace of shades

A last minute approval from NetGalley saw this book make its way into my reading list and I felt very lucky to have been given the chance to read it. Ace of Shades was such an enjoyable read, with great characters and a unique world that is mimicked off of Las Vegas. There are high stakes, a tonne of mystery and plenty of banter between the characters. I was pleasantly surprised by this novel and cannot wait until King of Fools comes out next year. I ended up giving this a solid 4 stars and if you want to know my full thoughts, click here.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

ruin and rising

And last, but not least, I finished off the Grisha trilogy with Ruin and Rising, which I just finished my review of today. I always hate finishing a series off, but I guess the good thing is that I have two spin-off series to look forward to in the future. Ruin and Rising offered, what I thought, was the perfect ending for the characters and so much happened. There were a couple plot twists that I wasn’t expecting and a lot of heartache for the characters. While this series isn’t the best (I much preferred Bardugo’s writing in The Language of Thorns) it still captured my heart and for that reason I gave this 5 stars, which you can read about here.

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There we have it! Turns out every book I read this month was 4 stars and above, which is pretty good going I think. I loved all these books for different reasons and they have made me even more excited for the books I am reading in June.

What was your favourite book that you read in May?

Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

ruin and rising

Title: Ruin and Rising (Grishaverse #3)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Date: 17th June 2014

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

I had been waiting to finish this trilogy off since I read Siege and storm a little while ago and it was great to finally do so. Ruin and Rising was everything I wanted it to be, and the ending was perfect for me. It’s always bittersweet to say goodbye to characters, but at least I can carry on reading about the world in Six of Crows and find out more about Nikolai when King of Scars comes out next year (which I am super excited for).  As this is the third in the series there will be spoilers, as I reference events that happened previously.

After the attack in Siege and Storm, Alina and her followers have been pushed underground while the Darkling rules over Ravka. Hiding within a network of tunnels, the Sun Summoner is under the protection of the Apparat and those who worship her, but they do not know that she is broken. Unable to conjure the light, she must wait until her plan to escape takes place. She has to find the firebird, the third and final amplifier, so that she can rise against the Darkling and save Ravka. There is also the matter of finding the outlaw prince, who is said to be causing havoc above ground. A desperate race begins as they all put old rivalries aside to find the one thing that can save them all, but it will come at a cost.

After the second book, which was a little slow in places, I felt that Ruin and Rising set a great pace from the beginning, building with each chapter as we anticipate the final battle between Alina and the Darkling. You could feel the desperation of Alina and her friends, as well as the torment that they endure at the hands of the Darkling. So many lives have been lost throughout the series, and we can see how broken the world is. I’ve always loved the way Bardugo makes the world so vivid, and I think that she is a great writer. Not the best where this series is concerned (I read her collection of tales first) but I have really enjoyed the trilogy, and how each book focuses on finding one of the amplifiers.

There were definitely some unexpected events, mainly to do with Nikolai and the search for the firebird. I love that I never really knew what was going to happen and during the last 50 or so pages, when the battle was taking place, I found myself reading even quicker to find out what would happen. It didn’t disappoint in the slightest and the characters got the ending that they deserved. I also liked the way the Darkling was portrayed in this final instalment and the way we got to see another side of him (but I won’t spoil that for you).

Alina has had quite a bit of development from when we first met her in Shadow and Bone, where she was a lot weaker and didn’t always speak her mind. Now she can’t seem to stop, and while she was harsh in places it was interesting to see how she handled the power that she had. With the fate of Ravka resting on her shoulders, she became obsessed with finding the third amplifier, as anyone would in her position. She has lost a lot during the course of the series and the third book isn’t any different, with a final sacrifice that I wasn’t expecting.

Then we have Mal, a character I grew to dislike very much in the second book, but seemed to do a massive turn around in this book. While he used to be selfish and a bit of an ass, it was great to see him become more caring. It was also interesting to see Mal and Alina trying to mend their strained and slightly broken relationship. Of course, I absolutely love Nikolai, although I didn’t love some of the things that happened to him. The fact that he is getting his own series is the best news ever because I need more of his sass and charm.

The dialogue between the characters is amazing and I feel that is where Bardugo really shines. I always find myself smiling and laughing at the banter between the characters, and Zoya really surprised me as I found myself beginning to like her. And of course, we have Baghra making her appearance with her snarky comments which never fail to make me chuckle. I wished I could’ve gotten to know the other characters more throughout the series, and seen more of their interactions.

Overall, I felt that Ruin and Rising was a great way to end the trilogy, and it has made me so excited to move onto Six of Crows next. I can’t get enough of this world that Leigh Bardugo has created! This is a five star read for me!

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