Saturday, 30 May 2015

May 2015 Wrap-Up


Things have been a bit mixed up and stressful since my last re-cap post. A lot of stuff that isn’t blog related has been occupying my mind – we had a family emergency, and a close relative of mine had a bad fall and broke her hip. Everything is quite messed up right now, and any free time I get I just want to relax and chill out and just read rather than take care of stuff for my blog. Now that the surgery is over, I really hope things begin to settle down a little. I managed to get a couple of hours in yesterday to reply to comments and try and to catch up on review writing. I’ve been seriously neglecting all of this and I want to apologise for not keeping up with things the way I should be.

I’m linking up to both Stacking the Shelves and The Sunday Post memes this weekend.

Books I Read in May

I read 7 books this month – a huge improvement on 3 books in April!

Shutter by Courtneyv Alameda Cleo by Lucy Coates End of Days by Susan Ee
From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion Twist by Karen Akins Endgame by C.J. Daugherty

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

Witch Hunter and Endgame were by far my favourites, with End of Days and Twist a very close third and fourth. Shutter was my biggest disappointment, though. I was hoping for a truly terrifying read… but it completely fell flat, unfortunately. I’m not having very good fortune with scary YA books lately! The only one that I absolutely adored was Say Her Name by James Dawson.

You know that little yearly challenge widget on Goodreads? I swear its evil. Every time I log in it haunts me, and it just loves reminding me I’m 10 books behind schedule. Needless to say, this isn’t exactly encouraging! So yesterday I decided to chop 20 books off my goal of 100 for the year, and I’m just about on schedule. Yeah, it’s probably cheating… but less stress and torment! Freedom! So much WIN!

Books I Got

After the huge book haul I got when I was in the States a few weeks ago, I’ve been trying to keep things a little lean on the forking over cash front! There have only been two arrivals since then: I won a Goodreads giveaway for an ARC of An Ember in the Ashes, and was approved for an eARC of Night School: Endgame from NetGalley.

An Ember in the Ashes ARC
Night School: Endgame by C.J. Daugherty

Thanks so much to both HarperVoyager and Bookouture for these!

I’ve already read Endgame, as it’s the conclusion to one of my favourite series, I just had to start reading it as soon as I could. I loved it, but I’m so sad the series has ended. And Sylvain… *sniffle* I love that boy! Yep, I’ve change my mind again. I’m not usually this indecisive! I tend to stick to my original ship like glue, but nope, this time I’m all over the place with my opinions. I hope to read An Ember in the Ashes soon, but I’d like to keep chipping away at my Netgalley eARC’s first. I’ve been a LOT picker over the past couple of months with what I’m requesting and/or accepting, and it’s helped so much. I know I have a few books that have been sitting on my Kindle app for months and months but the problem is they don’t really appeal to me anymore. When I requested them, they seemed perfect, but now… not so much.

On the Blog this Month

My Holiday Haul and Pics!

Ten Authors I'd Love to Meet

June 2015 New Book Releases

Review: City of Fae by Pippa DaCosta

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

10 Books I’d Love to Read Again for the First Time

Review: From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion

7 Sequels I Wish I Loved More... And Why I Didn't Love Them

What have you been up to this month? What books did you read, and any recommendations you could give?

Hope you have a fab weekend, and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 29 May 2015

7 Sequels I Wish I Loved More... And Why I Didn't Love Them

7 Sequels I Wish I Loved More... and Why I Didn't Love Them

I love a good standalone book, but there is something about series that suits me better as a reader. I love getting to know the same characters over the course of a series or trilogy. I love seeing how they grow and develop in each book, and how their relationships and friendships evolve over time. That kind of really detailed development rarely happens in a standalone, and it’s why series and trilogies appeal to me so much.

No matter how we wish to love every book in a series, it doesn’t always happen. After waiting for months and months to read the next installment, there is nothing more soul destroying that not enjoying that book. There mightn’t even be anything technically wrong with it... maybe the vibe isn’t the same, or the spark that made you LOVED in the first book disappears.

It’s even harder when it’s the LAST book in a series! I completely get and respect that it’s the authors’ vision and ultimate decision about what happens, and 9.99 times out of 10 I completely agree with it. But, as a reader that loves the characters the author created, I have lots of hopes about what I’d love to happen. I can’t help it! I want what’s best for those little darlings I care about! It’s unrealistic to expect every little hope and whim to be met, but I usually have one main hope that consistently stays the same: I hope each character gets the ending that makes sense to their personality and that stays fairly consistent with the storyline that’s been established in the previous book(s). If that happens, I’ll be happy. (Ok, it might take a lot of time for me to get to that state… I usually go through denial, crying, ranting, hating the universe and rejecting the outcome first... but after all that, I’ll be fine!)

And please note, these are just my opinions, and it’s not my intention to offend anyone with this list.


Divergent by Veronica Roth Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Divergent - Insurgent

I loved the pure adrenaline vibe I got when I read Divergent. It was awesome and so much fun to read, and I completely glossed over my feelings that very little of the overall world-building made sense to me. Then I read Insurgent, and I had the complete opposite reaction to Divergent. It was boring! I was gutted! Where’s the action, the adrenaline, the DANGER?! And this may be extreme unpopular opinion time… but I began to severely dislike both Tris and Tobias. They didn’t communicate, and I didn’t believe any of the feelings they're meant to have have for each other. I had planned to read Allegiant eventually, but when an author I was following on Twitter at the time spoiled a certain twist that happens in that book, I chose not to read it.

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh

Nevermore - Enshadowed

I read Nevermore at the beginning of 2014, and I instantly fell in love. I loved the atmosphere, the world building, the characters, the writing, the plot… everything. I couldn’t wait to read the sequel, but I knew the final book in the trilogy was delayed by a year, so I decided to keep Enshadowed until closer to Oblivion’s release date. Since it’s scheduled to be released this summer, I read Enshadowed a couple of months ago, and I felt so… deflated. Honestly, at times it felt like Nevermore-Lite. The atmosphere I loved so much didn’t appear until the end of the book, and I was so disappointed. If only what happened in the last 80-100 pages occurred for the entire book, then it would have been epic! I hate saying it, but it’s made me a little wary about the last book… my expectations won’t be so high! I love Varen and Isobel so much, and I really hope the middle book was a little blip and the conclusion will be fabulous. *Fingers crossed!!*

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

The Iron King - The Iron Daughter

I’m a character focused reader, and sometimes it’s very obvious what the endgame will be really early in a series. When a love-triangle is handled well, they can be so entertaining to read, but when they’re added just for drama and conflict… they’re not much fun at all! I feel this is exactly happened when I read The Iron Daughter. I love a certain character beginning with the letter P, and to see how he was treated… Yeah, I wasn’t impressed. At freaking ALL! With the decisions that Meghan made, I lost all respect for her and I honestly would love to ask her what the heck was she thinking?!


The Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Lux Series

It pains me to include this series in my list, but, I was SO DISAPPOINTED with how mild the ending was. I loved all four of the previous books, and I was gutted that Opposition felt rushed and anti-climactic. Daemon and Katy are two of my favourite characters, and they felt like shells of their former selves. Unfortunately, the last book has tainted my overall love for the Lux series. Honestly, I wish I could go back in time and skip reading Opposition, and hold onto the love I had when I finished reading Origin.

Consequences by Aleatha Romig and Convicted by Aleatha Romig

The Consequences Trilogy

This series was one of the biggest mind-fucks I’ve ever read. It’s not explicit, but you can fill in all the fade to black scenes, and holy crap, it’s not pretty. The first two books left me reeling with some of the things that happened. It’s shocking, creepy and just plain INSANE at times! Conviced was following down the same awesomely crazy route… until the ending happened. For how messed up this series was, things sort of felt a little too… happy. It’s not a bad ending; it sort of… fizzled out.

The Breathing Trilogy by Rebecca Donovan

The Breathing Trilogy

The first two books in this trilogy are fabulous! I liked Reason to Breathe, but I loved Barely Breathing, and I was hoping for an epic conclusion to the trilogy. I don’t read a lot of contemporary, and to LOVE a book… this is a rare thing for me! I was so happy! I could find a favourite contemp series! Then, I read Out of Breath, and everything fell apart. The characters were completely unrecognisable, the vibe of the previous books didn’t exist anymore, and in honesty, it felt like it was written by a different person. It was such a horrible chalk and cheese feeling, and I ended up hating every character by the time I finished the book – and that’s definitely NOT the way I hope to end a series!

The Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris

The Southern Vampire Series

I may have ranted about the ending of this series a few times… and ok, twist my arm, I’ll rant again. I’ve never been so disappointed with how a series ends before or since reading the conclusion to the Sookie Stackhouse series. It’s a thirteen book series, and I still really like the first nine or ten books – basically, when Eric was Eric – but the final few were, quite honestly, terrible. It hurts when you’ve invested so much time into reading and waiting for the next book in the series and then all of a sudden, everything that happened in an earlier book is rewritten within the space of a paragraph! It felt like the conclusion was being twisted, changed and forced into the final two books, and it didn’t sit well with me at all. I could eventually get over the ending… particularly if it was hinted at consistently through the entire series, but it’s very difficult to accept considering the manner in which it was done. I don’t like feeling cheated, and that’s exactly how I feel with this series. (I mean, why on Earth would the series be called the Southern VAMPIRE series when a VAMPIRE doesn't WIN?!?! Uughh!!)

I’m really curious: Have you been disappointed with a sequel to a book you love, and why did it disappoint? Are you character driven (like me!) or more plot-focused? And how do you feel about endings that don’t quite live up to your hopes?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

WoW #52: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I'm waiting on...


by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

 Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff  book cover

Expected publication: October 20th 2015

Genres: Dystopian; Science Fiction; Young Adult

Add to Goodreads

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Oh wow… did you read that synopsis?! It sounds AMAZING! I love Sci-fi, so this sounds absolutely perfect for me. Plus, most of the early reviews are uber-positive, so my expectations have gone through the roof. The 600+ page count does terrify me a bit though… Anything over 500 and I get a bit scared!

What do you think of Illuminae? And what books are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

10 Fantasy Books I'll Have In My Beach Bag This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme run by The Broke and the Bookish.

I don’t know about you, but the weather here has been absolutely FREEZING cold the past couple of weeks, and it feels a little strange to be thinking about beaches when I’m kinda craving roaring log fires and hot chocolate!

I’m a mood reader and my reading tastes rarely change based on the seasons, and strangely, I usually read heavier fantasy and horror books during the summer and lighter, fluffy books in the autumn! I’m doing a little spin on the topic, and listing 10 fantasy books I plan to have within easy reach this summer. Hopefully a beach bag will be needed… but with Irish summer weather, I'm not holding my breath!

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Fairest by Marissa Meyer 
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir The Shadow Revolution by Clay and Susan Griffith

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

The Shadow Revolution by Clay and Susan Griffith

What books will be in your beach bag this year? Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to leave a link to your TTT post (if you have one).

Monday, 25 May 2015

Review: City of Fae by Pippa DaCosta

City of Fae by Pippa DaCosta book cover

Title: City of Fae
Author: Pippa DaCosta
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Format: eARC, kindly provided
by the publishers via Netgalley
for review. (Thank you!!)
My rating: 3 / 5

Add to Goodreads

From the moment Alina touches London's hottest fae superstar, breaking one of the laws founded to protect all of her kind, her fate – and the fae – close in.

Below ground, the fae High Queen plots to claim the city as her own and places her pawns, ready for the battle to come. A battle she cannot lose, but for one small problem – Alina. There are four ancient keepers powerful enough to keep the queen in her prison. Three are dead. One remains … And to fight back, Alina risks sacrificing everything she has come to love.

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

You know those books that you like almost everything, but nothing happens to make you love it? City of Fae is exactly that book for me. I really like the concept and how the world was developed and explored, but that little something that’s so hard to put your finger on that makes a book amazing and unforgettable was missing.

Alina is our protagonist, and the book is written in the first person from her perspective. The story kicks off right after she’s fired from her job as a journalist, and she’s desperate to get her job back. When she stumbles upon a Fae rockstar, Sovereign (Reign), in the London Underground, she sees this as her ticket to get the perfect story to re-launch her career. Little does she know that Reign is being pursued by the Fae Authority, and her decision to help him causes her to be caught up in a Fae world she never knew existed beneath the streets of London.

While I generally liked the characters overall, I didn’t feel particularly attached to any of them in particular. I didn’t see anything overly unique or distinct about them, they just sort of… existed. I don’t know what it was about Alina, but I never felt like I got a proper read on her personality. Being as vague as I can to avoid spoilers, the book sort of splits in two and during the first half of the book I wasn’t too sure what to make of her. When a certain something happens, things become a lot clearer and everything begins to make sense, but by then, my opinion of Alina’s character was already formed. Reign, being a Fae, was slightly more interesting to me, but I don’t feel his character developed a whole lot over the course of the book. I liked both of them while I was reading, but I wasn’t overly invested in their eventual fates as I would have hoped to be.

I thought City of Fae had quite a unique Fae concept, but I’m a little disappointed that it was put into your standard urban fantasy framework. The vast majority of UF’s I’ve read have been set in the US, so I had really high hopes that we’d get something different and unique here. Sadly, I don’t feel the London setting stood out as much as I was hoping it would: it really felt like the book could have been set in any city in the world.

Even though I had a few issues with some things, I really enjoyed reading City of Fae overall. Once things began to kick off around the half-way mark, I had to keep reading to see what would happen next. I enjoyed seeing how the Fae fitted into the story, and seriously, arachnophobia sufferers beware, there are some seriously creepy spider scenes! While I wish I connected with the characters more, overall, I found it to be a solid, entertaining urban fantasy read, with quite a few twists and turns throughout to keep you on your toes.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

June 2015 New Book Releases

Can you believe we’re almost half way through 2015?! This year has gone scary-fast, but there is a good side to this: NEW BOOKS TO READ!

The first June new release I want to share is Endgame by C.J. Daugherty, and it’s the last novel in one of my favourite series. I was very fortunate to get an ARC, and I’ve just started it on Thursday evening past, and oh my goodness, it’s AMAZING! I highly recommend giving the Night School series a go, and now with the last book on the way, it’s the perfect time to read all five books back to back!

Endgame by C.J. Daugherty

Add to Goodreads


Broken. Scattered. But not defeated.

The spy is gone but the cost has been high - the rebels at Cimmeria Academy have lost their leader, and Carter West is missing. Nathaniel can taste victory. But Allie and the other survivors aren't done yet. First they have to get Carter back. Then they plan to make Nathaniel pay.

One way or another - the game must end.

Endgame is the thrilling fifth and final book in the internationally bestselling Night School series.

Three other books I can’t wait to read that are released in June are The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker, The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent, and The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes. I was so lucky to get approved on Netgalley for The Witch Hunter, and I’ll hopefully get the chance to start it over the weekend. The early reviews I’ve read for both The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly and The Stars Never Rise are looking really positive, and I can’t wait to read them for myself.

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

Add to Goodreads


Your greatest enemy isn't what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth's witch hunting past--if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she's thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.

The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

Add to Goodreads


Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

Add to Goodreads


The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust.

And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it's clear that Minnow knows something—but she's not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is a hard-hitting and hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith—and the power of having faith in oneself.

Some other June new releases that caught my eye:

 Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen  Tangled Webs by Lee Bross  The Leveller by Julia Durango  The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
 Spelled by Betsy Schow  Mindwalker by A.J. Steiger  Storm by Amanda Sun  Alive by Chandler Baker
 The Shadow Revolution by Clay and Susan Griffith  After Hours by Claire Kennedy  The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler  The Devil You Know by Trish Doller


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