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?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Took Me Completely By Surprise

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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 books that took us by surprise, and it was left to us to choose whether it would be in a good or a bad way.

We pick up a book because we want to enjoy it, we want to connect with the characters and the journey they embark on. Sometimes a book takes us by surprise because we love it so much, and that has happened on a few occasions for me. There have been times when I went into reading a book and didn’t expect too much, only to be blown away by the story telling.

Below are all the books that wormed their way into my heart and took me completely by surprise.

1. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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I had never read any of Leigh Bardugo’s books before, so I figured a great place to start would be her collection of dark fairy tales set in the Grishaverse that she created. It was the best decision I’ve made. I was completely blown away by the writing, the vivid descriptions and the characters. I read the whole thing in less than 24 hours, something I haven’t done in a very long time. Now I am reading Shadow and Bone, the start of her trilogy, and I’m already loving it.

2. To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

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A debut novel that I received from NetGalley, and one that took me by surprise. While I was in a slump reading this, it didn’t take away from the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The characters were amazing, the dialogue was natural and the action sequences were fast paced and easy to follow. This book had everything for me and found a place in my heart.

3. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

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Another 2018 debut novel that I fell head over heels for. This book was incredibly vivid, full of beautiful descriptions, unique ideas and a dark undertone that I loved. Dhonielle Clayton created a fantasy world that was bright with colours and I could see everything clearly. While I was given this book to review from NetGalley, I would head out and buy a copy for myself to keep.

4. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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I went into this book carefully because I had heard so many amazing things, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up and in the end I loved it. I was a little surprised it lived up to the hype (hype can be dangerous) and then proceeded to buy the rest of the series. I’ve read the first three in the series and cannot wait to continue with it in the near future.

5. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

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I had no idea that this book series would mean so much to me when I first started reading them. I have only read them once (a re-read is in order) and I couldn’t get enough of the characters, the story and the world that Mead created. It is still one of my top ten series and I hope it stays that way, although there are some amazing books coming out, and series that I still need to complete.

6. Everless by Sara Holland

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The third and final debut novel of 2018 on this list (there are so many amazing books this year). Everless is based on such a unique idea with characters that you root for and plot twists that take your breath away. I can’t wait until I can enter this world again in the second book when it comes out.

7. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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I don’t read thrillers often and, in fact, this was my first book of that genre and I loved it. I was hooked from the beginning, trying to guess everything and I just kept turning the pages until I found out. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed this book, so much so that I went on to read her second novel, Into the Water.

8. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

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I picked up this book because of PeruseProject over on YouTube after she mentioned it in quite a few of her videos. I had no idea what to expect, but I ended up loving this incredible fantasy world and it has made me want to read the rest of her books. I have the second instalment sitting on my shelf, waiting for me.

9. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

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It had been a while since I read a book by Kendare Blake, but since I enjoyed her Anna Dressed In Blood duology I figured I would give Three Dark Crowns a go. Well, this series just blew me away, the second book is definitely my favourite so far and I am super excited to see where the series will go when the next book comes out later on this year.

10. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Another book that was seriously hyped up. I went into this hoping I would like it and I ended up loving the dark and twisted tale. It had been a while since I read a book about faeries and I loved Black’s spin on the folklore and the mingling of humans with the race. Now that the cover for the second has been released, I am counting down the days until I can read it.

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I’m sure there will be more books in the future that surprise me, in good and bad ways, and I can’t wait to discover the ones that will become my favourites. What would be in your top ten?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Read Again

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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 books we could re-read forever. I’ve changed it a little (as I tend to not re-read books that often) to what I would read again in the future, whether that’s a year from now, five or even ten! These are books that hold a special place in my heart, ones that I know I will get around to again.

1. The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

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I have only ever read this series once and since then it has been my all time favourite. I felt everything with this book. I laughed, I cried, I was angry and I got the ending I wanted. This will definitely be re-read in the future, possibly even this year.

2. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

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One of my favourite debuts from an author this year and it was so easy to give The Belles five stars. Everything about this book was perfect, so imaginative with dark undertones, and it was a delight to read. I received it from NetGalley, but I am very close to buying a copy so I have it in person. That’s how much I loved this book.

3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

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While I haven’t read all of the books in the series, I did see the films (which I still love) and a few of the audio books. I’m still upset that they never made The Horse and His Boy into a film because that was my favourite audio book (I used to listen to them when I fell asleep at night). One day I will buy the books again and start reading them.

4. Throne of Glass by Sarah. J. Maas

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While I haven’t finished this series yet, I just know that it is going to be a favourite of mine and one day I will read them again. I read the first book so quickly and loved how descriptive the writing was.

5. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

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Again, another series that I have yet to finish, but one that has captivated me and I am sure to read again at some point in the future. I need to get my hands on all of Schwab’s books because her writing is incredible.

6. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

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I adore these book and cannot wait until the next instalment is out later on this year. They are so dark and twisted, a total page turner and a series that is likely to remain on my shelves as I will want to read them again at some point.

7. Goddess Summoning by P. C. Cast

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One of the first adult series I read that perfectly captured my love for Greek mythology, this series is one that I remember devouring. I still have one book of the series left to read that I am probably going to get to in the coming months. Maybe it will spur me into reading some of my favourite ones again, such as Goddess of Spring.

8. The Hunger Games by Susan Collins

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I read this series before they even said the films were being made and I absolutely loved it. I was big into dystopian at the time (it was the ‘in’ thing) and this series kept me hooked. The films were great as well, not as good as the books, so I hope that one day I get the chance to read them again.

9. Everless by Sara Holland

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Again, another debut novel from 2018 that I couldn’t get enough of. I flew through this book because the idea was so unique and different from anything I had read before, and I need the next book. I don’t know if this is going to be a duology, but you can guarantee that I will be reading this again before it comes out.

10. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

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How could I not have Twilight on this list? I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve read this series, far too many to count, and I would love to read them. Even if it was for the last time, I need to do it. After all, this is the series that put my love of reading into high gear.

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And there are my top ten books! What would you choose to add to your list?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Really Liked But Can’t Remember Much About

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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.

For this weeks topic I had to head over to Goodreads and consult the list that shows all the books I read years ago. There were so many four and five stars reviews and I honestly cannot remember much of the plot or the characters. I suppose when you’re reading 2 books a week you can only retain so much information.

1. The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

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This was when I was going through my mythology phase and I was obsessed with books like this. Unfortunately I hardly remember anything about this book, even though I rated it five stars. I can’t even recall much about the characters and I read the two books afterwards as well. Although, it does make me want to write my own mythology book…There’s an idea.

2. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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I only ever read the first book in this series and it is one that I want to get around to finishing, but I would have to re-read Cinder as I can’t remember a thing. I raved about it in my review and I vaguely remember some small details.

3. Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

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I only ever read the first book, although I do have the second one sitting on my shelf as well. This was a time when I was really into books about angels and I loved this. I couldn’t tell you anything about it now, but at the time I raved about it. Especially the gorgeous covers!

4. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

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The first book I read by Kendare Blake and I remember loving the fact that it was from the POV of a guy. I had never read that before and it was different, but enjoyable. Although I don’t remember what happens in this book or the sequel. I think there was a bit of action and a horror element to it, but that’s all.

5. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Well, I adored this book when I read it and it was mainly to do with Daemon. I obviously had a thing for the bad boys (still do in some ways) and it was unique to have a book about aliens. The details are very murky and I can’t remember a lot, but I remember there being action, drama and some hot love scenes.

6. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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I was entranced by this book and I remember loving it, even when others didn’t. I would love to re-read this book, but I would be scared of it changing my mind on it. I like the memories of loving this book and how complex it seemed at the time. Maybe one day I will.

7. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

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Well, I can’t remember a single thing about this book. Nothing. And it’s so strange because, judging from my review, I was blown away by this book. If I didn’t read the synopsis I couldn’t even tell you how this book starts. I never read the others afterwards, but I think that’s because I started drifting away from contemporary novels.

8. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

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You’ve gotta love a book about Vampires. Ever since Twilight came out it seemed that everyone became obsessed with them, but I remember that Julie Kagawa had a different take on them. I can’t remember a lot, and I know I want to re-read this again, but I gave it five stars so it must have been good.

9. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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I remember waiting for this book to come out and being so excited about it’s release. I couldn’t wait for it to come out in the UK so I bought the US edition and I loved it. I don’t remember much, I know the basics from the blurb and that is about it. I never read the others though, although I’m not sure why I didn’t considering how much I loved the first. I don’t think I will get around to reading the series now.

10.  Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

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Oh boy, did I love this book when I read it. I think it had something to do with the really hot angel called Patch. He was the dark, dangerous bad guy and I remember drawing him in an anime style when I was at school (I’m cringing at the memory). I don’t remember much though. I think there’s a part with a roller coaster and another when they are trapped in the school. Either way, I rated this book five stars and I obviously enjoyed it.

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So, that is my top ten. It was fun getting to look through my old reviews (and cringing a little at the way I used to write them). I was surprised by how many I couldn’t actually remember and it was hard to choose ten. I probably could have chosen more!

What books would be on your list?

ARC Review: Keeper by Kim Chance

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Title: Keeper

Author: Kim Chance

Date: 30th January 2018

Publisher: Flux Books

I am so thankful that I was approved on Netgalley to review this book because as soon as I read the synopsis, I knew it would be my cup of tea and I was right. Keeper was the first book that I read on my Kindle and I really enjoyed it. Kim Chance created a book that is fun, entertaining and gripping, with a hint of danger. There were a few plot twists I wasn’t expecting (some I did) and I was left wanting to read more. While it isn’t the best book I’ve ever read (I think it has to do with the fact I’m more used to older characters so a 16 year old girl was a bit different) I did enjoy reading it and found myself laughing out loud at some parts.

Lainey Styles is your average 16 year old girl, until she is attacked by a 200 year old witch who won’t leave her alone. It seems impossible and as hard as she tries to convince herself that it isn’t real, she has to face the reality she is being haunted. With the help of her comic-book loving best friend Maggie and street fighter Ty, they piece together the mystery and realise that Lainey is also a witch.

She isn’t just any old witch though. Lainey is a Keeper, just as her mother was, and she has the ability to unlock and use the Grimoire her family has spent centuries trying to protect. But the Grimoire was stolen by the Master, a dangerous and malevolent man who is hell bent on ruling the supernatural world. It’s Lainey’s job to get it back.

I will start off by saying that it does take a little while to get into the action of this book. I felt that it took a bit of time to get to all the witchy magic, but once we do it is great. There is action, drama and fighting scenes (I love those), as well as twists and turns that made me gasp (yes, they were that shocking). The writing was fun, bubbly and easy to read. Kim Chance perfectly captured the way a 16 year old girl would react to being told she is a witch and the language she used was perfect.

The characters in this book are just as good! Lainey was wonderful, smart, funny and unique. It was great to be in her mind and experience the emotions that we would be feeling in her situation. She doesn’t just accept what is happening to her and I loved that. I also enjoyed seeing her relationship with her Uncle Gareth and his girlfriend who is a seer (Lainey’s parents died when she was young) and how much they cared about her.

As for Lainey’s best friend Maggie, well…how can you not love someone who always uses superheroes for analogies (I’m a big Marvel fan). She also says ‘holy crapkittens’ which made me chuckle, and she will do anything for Lainey, something I could definitely appreciate. Ty was a little mystery that captured my heart the more we learned about him. He’s charming, a total kickass and kind towards Lainey. While they may have seemed a little cheesy and cliche, I ended up loving the characters, especially our mysterious 200 year old witch.

Yes, there are some YA tropes thrown into this book, but I felt that they were different to others and it was refreshing. I found myself flying through Keeper, especially after the halfway mark and the last quarter was my favourite part. There is a lot of action, magic usage and problems that Lainey and her friends encounter. We have an interesting villain who wants magic for himself and is ruthless when he doesn’t get his way.

Overall, Keeper was an engaging read and it has left me wanting to read the next one (let’s home Kim Chance does write it because I need answers to some things). It is not the best YA book I have read and even though it is a little similar to others, I ended up enjoying it. When it comes to giving this book a rating, I am deciding between 3 1/2 stars and 4 stars, so I’ll give it the higher one!

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Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

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Title: Angelfall

Author: Susan Ee

Date: 23rd May 2013

Publisher: Hodder

I remember hearing about this book when it was only available as an e-book, and I was absolutely against getting an e-reader, so I never read it. Then, a couple years ago I found it in Waterstones as a paperback and was so excited to finally read it. But I never did, until I picked it up at the end of November (it took me so long to read as I was reading a few at the same time). I wish I had read it sooner because it was great. Not the best book I’ve ever read, but it was fun, fast paced and entertaining (everything a book should be).

Penryn and her family are hiding and on the run from the angels that invaded their world. It has been six weeks since they began to destroy everything that they know and supplies are running low. It’s not just the street gangs that come out in the day that you have to worry about, it’s the angels that prowl the night sky. While on the run, Penryn’s little sister is taken by one of the angels and flown away. Penryn has to find her and to do that she must work with her enemy; the angel known as Raffe, who she saved from being killed by his own kind. They have to work together to survive and find their way to Penryn’s sister before it’s too late.

I had been so used to reading third person novels that it was quite a change to read in first person. It definitely took some getting used to and I had to remind myself that it was the mind of a 17 year old girl, so there wasn’t the descriptive elements that I was used to. That being said, Susan Ee created a book that was fast paced and full of action. We are thrown right into the thick of it and we never slow down. The scenes where they had to fight their way out, or seek out supplies to survive, gave the book a sense of realism. I found this book so easy to read, which I think is something we need from time to time.

As for the characters, I loved them, especially Penryn. She was such a kick-ass character who was strong, selfless, witty and always ready for a fight. There were situations where she had to be strong where others would fail and she was smart, always thinking out of the box. It was refreshing to read from a characters perspective that wasn’t always fawning over a boy and complaining about their life. Speaking of the boy, Raffe was just as good a character as Penryn. He was complicated and mysterious, but that obviously comes with being an angel. When the two were together I couldn’t help but smile and laugh along with them. It seemed so natural and that was one of the best things about this book.

Not only are the main characters amazing, the supporting characters aren’t so bad either. Especially Penryn’s mum who is a little bit crazy (we all need that sometimes though). Then again, if I saw some of the things that happened in this book, I’d go a little crazy, too. I can’t mention others as it would give away the plot, however, everyone had a role to play and were there for a reason.

When I finally put down the other books and focused on Angelfall, I flew through it. There was so much action, especially towards the end of the novel and it was heart pounding. There were some shocks along the way that surprised me and I can honestly say I am already looking forward to the next book. Knowing that it is a trilogy is even better because I love it when books have a definitive beginning, middle and end.

Overall, this was a great book to read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I don’t even have anything remotely bad to say about this book and I know that if I had read it when I was younger, I would have adored it even more! I am going to give Angelfall 4 stars.

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