Wrapping Up The Week (8th January – 14th January)

This week just flew by! It was my first full week back at work, we were launching our new website and I’ve been super busy. It definitely makes the time fly by faster and before we know it, half the month will be gone! I hope you all had a great week as well and are getting back into a routine after Christmas.

The weekend was spent trying to catch up on some sleep, reading and writing. My sister just came back home from Ireland with my dad (she stayed longer than us) and it was great to see him on the Saturday. It’ll be a while until I see him again in May, just before I head off for my holiday, which I am also looking forward to.

I think I mentioned in a previous blog post about trying to read a paperback/hardback book at the same time as a book on my Kindle and I think it’s going pretty well. I managed to finish a novella and am over halfway through my current paperback (its nearly 600 pages, but I’m determined to finish it in the upcoming week).

Books I read and reviewed…

the young queens

As I said above, I read a novella and it was none other than The Young Queens by Kendare Blake, which was only released this week. I flew through it and found myself easily slipping back into the world of Fennbirn and the three sisters. If you loved Three Dark Crowns and One Dark Throne, I would definitely suggest checking this out! I gave it a solid 5 stars and you can read my review here.

I am currently reading…

I think I underestimated how long it would take me to read Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas, the third instalment in the Throne of Glass series. It is a big book at nearly 600 pages and there is so much information I am finding myself taking the time to soak it all in. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t like it, because I absolutely love it! It’s just taking a while to finish.

This week I also started The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton, which I was approved for on NetGalley. I’m only about 10% of the way through, as I tend to read it just before I go to bed, but it’s really good so far. I love the New Orleans vibe and the beautiful descriptions of the world. Hopefully when I get stuck into it more I have some great things to say about it.

Posts from the week…

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant To Read In 2018 But Didn’t Get To

WWW Wednesday

First Lines Fridays

Well, I managed to stick to my goal of 3 blog posts a week and I’m more than happy with that. In the future I am hoping to come up with some unique blog post ideas that I hope you will enjoy, it’ll just take me time to get it all sorted.

My WIP…

Over the Christmas holidays I didn’t get a lot of writing done as I was spending time with family and I was more than fine with it. So this week I wanted to get back to it and I think it was a successful week.

At my job I have an hour for my lunch and I’m managing to spend all of it typing away on my laptop, working on my novel. Each time, without fail, I write 1,000 words, which is the minimum that I have to reach everyday. So, within the week I wrote over 5,000 words, as some days I wrote a few hundred more, but I took a break yesterday as my brain felt fried. Turns out the day off was what I needed as I’ve written way over 1,000 words today, giving me a total of 59,000.

Fingers crossed I can carry this on in the upcoming week!

Other Fun Stuff…

A visual representation of me trying to think of something fun…although I can’t come up with anything. I’ve literally just been working, reading and writing. I’m also waiting for all my TV shows to come back from the break. So until then, I don’t think there will be a lot in this section.

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That was my week in a nutshell. I hope all of you had a successful week of reading and whatever else took place!

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.

Wrapping Up December & Setting Goals For 2018

December was a strange month. Not only did it fly by with Christmas looming in the distance, the first couple of weeks were stressful due to my boyfriend’s operation. The Christmas break allowed me time to relax, de-stress from the last few weeks and spend some quality time with the ones I love (although I wish I hadn’t been ill for most of it).

Today I just got home from my holiday in Ireland with my dad and family (btw, flying in the wind is not fun) and I am ready for the New Year, heading back to work and setting myself some goals to achieve in 2018. When I was thinking about what I wanted to achieve, I decided to make them as realistic as possible. Here are just a few:

  • Finish writing my novel (I’m 50,000 words in and hope to finish it and have it edited by the end of 2018).
  • Read 50 books (seems do-able with one a week).
  • Work on my health and fitness (this is one I know will take time, but I am more than willing to commit).
  • Post more regularly on my blog (If I can do at least 3 a week, I’ll be happy).
  • Save money (this will be the most difficult for me, I like to buy things).
  • Always look at the positives in every situation (if the last few months have taught me anything, it’s that things aren’t always as bad as they seem).

Fingers crossed, that at the end of 2018 I can look back on these and say that I completed them. Now to go onto the important things, the books I read. While it may not seem a lot, I have to remind myself that it was a busy month and I can work on it in the New Year.

Books I Read…

Everless By Sara Holland

Everless

I feel that Everless was one of my favourite reads of 2017, if not my favourite one! It was incredible, original and fast paced. Everless was everything I love in a book and I cannot wait for the sequel. I was easily able to give it five stars and you can check out my review here.

Angelfall by Susan Ee

First_cover_of_the_paperback

Finally I got around to reading Angelfall after hearing so much about the series and I have to say that I enjoyed it. While it isn’t what I am used to reading now (I prefer Fantasy books and novels with a more grown up POV), it was a great change of pace and was worthy of the 4 stars. You can read my review here.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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All I can say is, Holy crap…this book was incredible and that ending was amazing. I loved Crown of Midnight even more than Throne of Glass (if that is even possible) and I have a feeling this series is going to get better and better with each one. Easily a five star read and you can check out my thoughts here.

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I guess 3 books isn’t too bad considering all that happened in the space of a month. I am aiming to read at least 4 every month if I can and maybe sometimes I will read even more.

Hopefully you managed to read some incredible books in the last month of 2017 and here’s to many more in 2018!

Wrapping Up The Week (6th Nov – 12th Nov)

Boy has it been a busy week for me. Not in terms of reading, but it terms of having meetings with recruitment agencies and arranging for interviews in the upcoming week (I have 3 at this moment in time). There has been so much going on, coupled with my dad coming to visit for the weekend, that I haven’t had much times to blog or read. Fingers crossed that can change this week and I will get a little bit more organised.

I do have a couple of fun blog posts scheduled in and a book review to post as well so definitely keep an eye out for those next week. I cannot believe how quickly this month is going by already, soon it will be December and Christmas will be upon us. There are so many Christmas adverts on my TV and it is getting me excited. Have you seen the John Lewis one? If so, what did you think? Personally I loved it and I’m not going to lie, I did have tears in my eyes by the end.

Onto what went on during the week on the blog…

Books I read and reviewed…

A Darker Shade Of Magic

So, while I finish A Darker Shade Of Magic, I haven’t gotten around to posting the review yet. I will be trying to get it posted for tomorrow (although I have 2 interviews to attend so it may be in the evening).

I loved the book and am so excited to go out and buy the others in the trilogy. It was magical, with fun and dark elements that made the book so interesting to read. And the characters are incredible as well! I feel like it could definitely be a 5 star review for me.

I am currently reading…

Glass Sword

The next book I am going to read will be Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard, the second instalment to Red Queen. I’ve heard some good things about this sequel and I’m intrigued to find out what else will happen in the story.

Posts from the week…

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Who Would Make Badass Leaders

What Are You Reading Wednesday #1

First Lines Fridays #3

Like I said, a very quiet week but I am hoping to change that and get some great posts written up! Some good news though is I got my first Netgalley approval through which I am looking forward to reading and will mention in my November Haul at the end of the month.

Other Fun Stuff…

Stranger-Things-saison-2-image-une-critique-4-premiers-épisode-TROP-BIEN

My boyfriend and I finally got around to watching Stranger Things Season 2 and only have 2 episodes left. We are loving it, not as much as the first season but there are still a couple episode left where it can get better. I still feel like there’s more to know and discover, so we shall see.

Thor-Ragnarok-International-Character-Posters-feat

Whenever my dad comes over from Ireland to visit we always make a trip to the cinema if there are some good films out and luckily for us, Thor Ragnarok was still being shown. I love Marvel films, always have, and I think that this is one of my favourite to date. It was amazing! With great action sequences, special effects and it was hilarious from start to finish. The whole cinema was laughing at some of the lines. Definitely worth the watch!

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So that is my week in a nutshell, not too much going on with my reading, but I know that I’ll have a lot to read throughout December. How has your week been? I would love to know in the comments!

What Are You Reading Wednesday #1

what-are-you-reading-wednesday-header

I saw this on The Introverted Bookworm and just had to join in. What Are You Reading Wednesday was created by RhiannaMarissa, and Kendall. The idea of What Are You Reading Wednesday is to create an online space for bookworms to chat, discuss and recommend their current reads. All you have to do is answer a few questions and link up with one of the host’s sites. So easy!

THE NITTY-GRITTY

Share the book/s you are reading with their author, maybe even the cover, and then answer these questions for at least one of them

  1. Why did you decide to pick up this book–cover or content?
  2. Who is your favourite character so far, and why?
  3. Will you finish this one?
  4. Finish the sentence: This book reminds me of…(other books, movies, tv shows…)
  5. What type of read is this one? (slow but interesting, cannot put it down…)

My Current Read

A Darker Shade Of Magic

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, travelling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

1. Why did you decide to pick up this book – cover or content? 

I actually picked up this book after watching one of Peruse Project’s videos on YouTube, where she talked about some of her favourite fantasy books. After reading a little more about the book I just knew it would be one that I’d love.

2. Who is your favourite character so far, and why? 

I would have to say Kell (the main character), although Lila is a close second. He’s very intriguing to me and the fact that he is one of the only Antari left makes him unique. I feel that he is only going to become more complex as the book goes on and he is a definite risk taker. Some of his decisions have already got him into trouble and I can only imagine what else will happen.

3. Will you finish this one?

One hundred percent yes and I will definitely have to go out and buy the rest of the trilogy.

4. Finish the sentence: This book reminds me of…(other books, movies, tv shows…)

I feel like this is such a difficult question because in all honesty I’ve never read anything like it. With the magic, it is elemental magic and there are lots of books where characters can wield the elements such as the House Of Night series. Apart from that, it doesn’t mind me of anything else I’ve read or seen.

5. What type of read is this one? (slow but interesting, cannot put it down…)

In one word, captivating. From starting this book I haven’t wanted to stop reading and I want to know more about the worlds. It is so intriguing and magical, yet dark. If I had all the time in the world I could read this in one sitting.

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I have really enjoyed answering these questions and I think this will be something I take part in every Wednesday. What book are you currently reading?#whatareyoureadingwednesday

Wrapping Up The Week (30th Oct – 5th Nov)

It’s been a relatively quiet week, we didn’t even have any trick or treater’s to the house on Halloween (so we kept the sweets for ourselves). Another reason that I didn’t do a lot is that my dad is coming over from Ireland on Friday to see us for the weekend, which I am definitely looking forward to. I haven’t seen him since he came over in summer so it will be good.

Christmas decorations are up in the shops, I’ve bought my Christmas scented candles (Gingerbread and Magical Christmas Tree which both smell incredible) and I am looking forward to getting the tree out! It’s hard to believe that in less than two months 2017 will be over. While I haven’t completed all the resolutions I set myself way back in January, I am feeling pretty good and already looking forward to next year.

Books I read and reviewed..

Throne of Glass

I only managed to read one book last week (my own writing is taking up more of my time at the moment) and that book was Throne of Glass and you can check out my review here. I cannot wait to buy the rest of the series and get stuck into it!

I am currently reading…

A Darker Shade Of Magic

After starting this book last night, I can honestly say that A Darker Shade Of Magic has me hooked and I am so intrigued by Kell and the multiple worlds. I have a feeling I will be finishing this one soon so expect a review before the week is over.

Posts from the week…

Wrapping Up October

Top Ten Tuesday: Things To Do On Halloween

October Book Haul & November TBR

The Genres I Tend To Stay Away From

First Lines Fridays #2

Somehow I managed to post near enough every day, which is the first time I have done so since I started this blog at the beginning of October. And I managed to reach over 50 followers in the first month which is great. I am loving writing for my blog and talking to other bloggers, and I feel that writing everyday is helping to push me with my own novel.

Other Fun Stuff…

outlander-moms-women-ratings

I watch a lot of YouTube and I’m a fan of Sasha Alsberg (fun fact, we both share the same birthday, I’m just a year older) and she uploaded a video where she visited Scotland to see where Outlander was filmed. So this week I also started watching Outlander and I have to stay that I am enjoying it and can’t wait to watch more of it.

That’s all for this week! Let me know what you have all been up to as well.

First Lines Fridays #2

first-lines-fridays

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…

“Kell wore a very peculiar coat.

It had neither one side, which would be conventional, nor two, which would be unexpected, but several, which was, of course, impossible.”

First Thoughts

Straight away I am left wondering what on earth this all means. How can a coat have more than one side? How is that even possible? The first few lines of this book have definitely caught my attention and I want to read more. I want answers.

And the book is…

A Darker Shade Of Magic

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

This book I cannot wait to read! Would the first few lines intrigue you?

October Book Haul & November TBR

October was extremely quiet on the book-buying front with only one addition to my shelves. I am trying not to buy many books in the lead up to Christmas. One reason being that I have a lot that I want to read which I’ve already bought (don’t want to get ahead of myself). The second reason is that I know people will be wanting to buy me stuff and it’s easier to give them a list of books that I want and let them choose what one to get. Can you imagine how big the December book haul will be? I can’t wait!

So, getting onto the one lonely book that my boyfriend kindly bought for me. I got One Dark Throne knowing that I would be reading Three Dark Crowns relatively quickly last month. You can find my reviews for both here and here.

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Like I said, there are a lot of books that I still want to read before I got out and buy anymore. The month of November will be filled with starting new series and they are all ones that I have been dying to read, but for some reason never got around to. They are the following…

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen #2)

Talon by Julie Kagawa

I already know that some of you will be asking why I haven’t read any of Sarah J. Maas’ books and honestly, I don’t have a good enough answer. This book has been sat on my shelf since 2012/13 and I don’t know why I haven’t picked it up yet. I’ve been hearing so many people raving about it, especially the newer ones, so you can be guaranteed that I will buy more from this series in November.

What books are you planning on reading this month?

Review: One Dark Throne

One Dark Throne

Title: One Dark Throne

Author: Kendare Blake

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Year: 2017

Wow. I think starting this review with that one word is a great start because this book was incredible. As soon as I finished Three Dark Crowns I dived straight into the sequel and I loved it so much more than the first (if that was even possible). The UK cover is, once again, better than the US and beautiful, with the sisters abilities wrapping around the sword.

The second instalment picks up where the first left off and Kendare Blake doesn’t keep us waiting. The action begins practically straight away. Compared to the first book, the pace is a lot quicker and not once did I feel like I was plodding through the chapters. The plot was so much darker than the first too, something that I was hoping for more of in the sequel. I got just what I wanted, with the sisters plotting each others’ demise and evil schemes falling into place. Katharine definitely shone in that department (but we always knew she was harsher than the other two from the first book alone).

In terms of character development, it was greatly improved with this book and I felt a connection with some that I didn’t care for in the first book. My favourite sister from the first book, Arsinoe, is still the one I relate to and love the most, and she definitely got her chance to shine. Mirabella grew on me, slightly redeeming herself for some of her actions in the first book, and I couldn’t help but root for her too. I even felt sorry for Katharine (which isn’t easy when she’s one of the most evil in the book). And in a story where two out of the three sisters has to die? It makes it very complicated when I care about two of them. I still couldn’t make my mind up about who I wanted to be Queen. In a perfect world none of them would die and they could live happily ever after with the people they love. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that happy endings exist in Fennbirn.

The relationships between character were put to test throughout the book and the romantic ones in particular felt much more genuine this time round. My personal favourite has to be Arsinoe and Billy who had such a sweet friendship that was natural and made me smile when reading. I can’t not mention Jules, the kind of friend to Arsinoe that I would love to have for myself. She is strong, protective and her story definitely took a few turns along the way.

Having gotten used to the POV that Blake uses in the first book, I found it a lot easier to keep track of all the characters and the events taking place. It flowed so perfectly and there was no stopping with this book. The tension kept building, the story growing more complicated. There is violence, blood shed and so much emotion. Especially towards the end of the book. You can’t predict where this story will go and there were twists that I didn’t expect at all. I am beyond excited for the third one. I just hate that I have to wait until next year.

It is so hard to review this book without giving too much away and spoiling it, but it is definitely one of my favourite reads of the year so far. I am going to give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Review: Red Queen

Red Queen

Title: Red Queen (Paperback)

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Publisher: Orion

Year: 2015

When I bought this book two years ago I was beyond excited to start it, so I did. But life has a way of getting in the way and I never finished it. I finally got around to picking it up again not that long ago and realised I couldn’t remember what had happened. You could even see the last dog-eared page (around ¾ of the way though). So, I started it all over again and I can honestly say that I enjoyed it more the second time (I started to remember bits as I made my way through it).

Our main character, Mare, is strong and badass, something I love in a female protagonist and she doesn’t need anyone by her side to accomplish things. She lives in a world where the Silvers, those with Silver blood and exceptional powers, rule over the Reds, people like you and me. Mare has always been Red, through and through, until one day she isn’t and her world is turned upside town. She has powers she never knew could be real for someone like her and it takes her down a dangerous path. Playing the role of a long-lost Silver princess, she has to be careful, because getting caught could be life-threatening.

Victoria Aveyard writes beautifully, creating a world that I imagined so vividly as I read the words. I flew through the book and I was kept wanting to know more. Some of the twists that happened were unexpected, making me enjoy the book all the more. I love a book with betrayal, conflict and secrets, and Red Queen definitely has all that and more. While this book reminded me of a few other dystopian novels I’d read in the past, that didn’t make it any less interesting and I thought that the fantasy element gave it something that the others don’t have.

Some elements of this book were predictable and others weren’t (I think it all depends on how perceptive you are). I would say the only downfall to this book is the romance. Personally, I love a good romance story (one that is believable, mind you) and I felt that some of the romantic relationships were a little forced and I just couldn’t love them. But, at the end of the day, this book is about much more than romance and the fantasy element is more intriguing to me.

I have the next instalment, Glass Sword, sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read. I am hoping that it is as good as the first. This book is going to receive 4 out of 5 stars from me.