First Lines Fridays

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Finally it is Friday! My first full week back at work was a success and I’m not as tired as I thought I would be. Now that it’s the weekend it means that it’s time to get reading and writing (my favourite part of any week).

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? It’s pretty simple really, the rules go like this…

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

So here are the lines from the book I have chosen…

“The servants called them malenchki, little ghosts, because they were the smallest and the youngest, and because they haunted the Duke’s house like giggling phantoms, darting in and out of rooms, hiding in cupboards to eavesdrop, sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last of the summer peaches.”

First Thoughts…

I love long complex sentences. They’re my favourite kind and already I am intrigued to know about the people who are wandering about the house. I’m assuming they are children, which makes me wonder why they are there. These first few lines make me want to read more.

And the book is…

shadow-and-bone-the-grisha-1-leigh-bardugo

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

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As I stopped reading books a few years ago and only recently picked up the hobby again, I’ve never actually read any of Leigh Bardugo’s books. Shocking, I know, so I currently have Shadow and Bone on my Kindle and the Six of Crows duology in paperback, reading and waiting for me to pick them up.

I cannot wait to start reading these because I have heard so many amazing things and I’m excited! Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments below!

WWW Wednesday

This is my first time taking part in WWW Wednesday and I’m excited to start something new. WWW Wednesday was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm, and was taken over by Taking on a World of Words.

I’m going to start by saying that I have way too many books I want to read and it’s getting difficult choosing which ones I’m going to read next. I’ve come up with a good plan of how I will manage to read more and that is to read two books at once. One will be a physical book and the other will be on my Kindle (I like to read at night and it’s easier with the Kindle). It’s going well so far, although I will finish my current Kindle read quickly as it’s a novella.

So without further ado…

What Are You Currently Reading?

The Young Queens by Kendare Blake (E-book)

I pre-ordered this a little while ago and as I loved Three Dark Crowns and One Dark Throne so much, I knew I had to buy this. So far I’m about 40% of the way through and I’m really enjoying it. It’s great to get a bit more of a backstory of when the girls were born, what their mother was like and how they are growing up within the homes of their foster families. I’m flying through it and wouldn’t be surprised if I finished it tonight.

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas (paperback)

This series just blows me away every time I read it. I might even go as far as to say that it will become my favourite (that spot is currently held my The Vampire Academy series) and I am loving the third instalment. So far I have loved how it switched from the different POVs and I am particularly liking learning about the Ironteeth witches (badass or what). I’m over a third of the way through (these books really get big, don’t they?) and hopefully I can finish it at the weekend.

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

Keeper

I finished Keeper by Kim Chance a few days ago and overall I really enjoyed it. I found it different to read from the POV of a 16/17 year old girl and to me, it seemed immature at times, but Chance perfectly captured her voice. The story was great, with a few twists here and there, and I was thoroughly entertained. You can read my review here.

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

Well, here’s a funny story. In my mind I had planned to read Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings as I pre-ordered it on Amazon. Now, I pre-ordered it with The Hazel Wood, which doesn’t come out until February. Yesterday I received an email saying that Zenith would be delivered to me on the 14th of February. FEBRUARY! So I was super confused and annoyed, and then I realised it’s because I went for free delivery which groups your items into as few packages as possible. Safe to say I was very annoyed that I am going to have to wait an extra month.

So instead, I have decided that my next E-book read will be The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton which I received from NetGalley. As soon as I read the synopsis I knew it was something I’d like. And as for paperbacks, I am going to choose The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell, which I received for Christmas from my dad.

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What books are you currently reading or have just finished? I’d love to know.

Merry Christmas + Bookish Gifts

Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays if you don’t celebrate Christmas)! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful day and enjoyed spending time with your loved ones. For me, it’s been a blast and I couldn’t have wished for anything more. I have to say that my Christmas Eve lasted until at least two in the morning (very late and I was very drunk), but we had so much playing games, laughing until I had a coughing fit (still ill from my cold/flu) and eating some amazing food with my boyfriend, mum and sister.

As we were up late the following the night, we didn’t wake up until around ten and our morning consisted of eating croissants (a family tradition) and opening up our presents. I got a selection box, some money and of course…bookish gifts that you can see below.

I’m going to take a moment and talk about the Kindle Paperwhite that my amazing boyfriend got for me (along with a hot pink leather case and the charger adaptor). Rewind to about five or six years ago and I would be proudly telling people that I would never buy a Kindle and that I was a traditional book girl. Well, I certainly changed my tune as I had been on about one for a while and he got me it! Safe to say I am very happy and have two new books for the Kindle, which are:

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

As well as this I received three books from my dad that were from a list of about six (of course, he chose the three that I really, really wanted). What surprised me is that The Last Magician is actually the US version (I can tell from the flimsier pages) so it is much bigger, but I like that.

The rest of the day was filled with helping my mum prepare the Christmas dinner and boy, did it stress me out a bit. Luckily, nothing burned and everything was ready on time. And let me just tell you now, it was absolutely incredible (although the food defeated us in the end and we couldn’t finish it all). Here is a picture of the spread and me in my green crown.

Overall, it has been an incredible day and getting to spend it with the ones I love is more than I could ask for. Tomorrow, for Boxing Day, we are heading over to my boyfriend’s parents house for a second Christmas Dinner and once we are home, it will be Games Night round two!

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I hope you all got what you wished for and had an enjoyable day. Merry Christmas everybody!