Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Edit Dec 2016 (spoilers): So there’s been a lot of rumbling about how this book is ableist and stuff and I think that’s probably why I had problems with the end of it, it felt like such a cop out for her to not be allergic to everything, for it to be due to her mum having a severe mental disorder. I would’ve much preferred to  see how the couple got on with their relationship despite Maddie having SCID. I liked this book a lot but it has a lot of problems and if you’d like to read more here is a post about it: http://disabilityinkidlit.com/2015/09/04/review-everything-everything-by-nicola-yoon/

Edit March 2017: here is another review where the reader has a similar illness https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1444235181

Oh man what a wonderful book, a wonderful contemporary book that has so much diversity in it and problems and all that stuff but also made me feel so happy.

Maddy is completely allergic to the world. She can’t leave her house, she can’t meet new people and she has to been home schooled over skype. One day she has some new next door neighbours who intrigue her so much that she wants to leave her house and discover what awaits outdoors, but her mum is completely against it and so Maddy ends up emailing the boy next door late at night.

I loved that the MC was a biracial Asian/African American, like that’s something that you don’t see a lot in novels and it was just great to read. Olly was just wonderful, I need an Olly in my life.

Continue reading “Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon”

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September Wrap Up

September has been, in a word, hellish. As happens every year, people have left my work to go back to uni, but on top of that a couple members of regular staff have left. I have a seasonal job so by now things should be beginning to slow down with customers, but it isn’t and I’m basically working 40+ hours every week. On top of that I’ve started volunteering at my old high school as to buff up my application for teacher training. I am exhausted. But next month I go on holiday for 3 weeks so it’s all going to be ok eventually. I just need a whole lot of sleep right now.

I’m sorry that due to my crazy work schedule I haven’t really had time to keep on top of commenting and liking posts, if there’s a post you want me to read, if you feel proud of it, feel it hasn’t got enough attention, etc. link me to it and I will promise to have a look. I feel really bad but I just haven’t had the time 😦

I won a twitter competition from Bloomsbury for signed TOG books as art of their PR for Empire of Storms. I didn’t know what they were actually going to send but I got all 6 books in the series signed I was in shock when I got the box in the mail.

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I read 14 books this month:

The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Prodigy by Marie Lu
As I Descended by Robin Talley
You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour
Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
We Were On a Break by Lindsey Kelk
Half Bad by Sally Green
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Something In Between by Melissa de la Cruz
Cress by Marissa Meyer

I posted reviews for last month’s reads:

The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

 

I bought 7 books this month:

Smut by Karina Halle
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
Graceling by Kristen Cashore
Winter by Marissa Meyer
Baby Doll by Hollie Overton
The Teacher by Katerina Diamond
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

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The Summer Reader Book Tag

Thank you to Kayla for the tag! I know it’s no longer summer but you know, here we are. I’m not going to tag anyone because, well, it’s Autumn.

Lemonade: Pick a book that started off bitter but got better

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I’m going to take this as the themes were bitter rather than the book itself and go with The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

 

Golden Sun: Pick a book that made you smile beyond compare

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell 100%

 

Tropical Flowers: Pick a book set in a foreign country

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Being in the UK a lot of books are set in a foreign country so I’m going to go with Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys which is set in Poland

 

Tree Shade: Pick a book in which a mysterious or shady character was first introduced

I have no idea?

 

Beach Sand: Pick a book that was grainy, and the plot barely developed

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Losing It by Emma Rathbone, I hate to say harsh things about books because someone has put a lot of work into them but God this book was just so not for me

 

Green Grass: Pick a character that was full of life, making you smile😊

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Lou was very full of life and was an incredibly likeable character

 

Watermelon: Pick a book that had some juicy secrets

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ACOMAF just has new secrets coming out at every turn

 

Sun Hat: Pick a book that had a vast, big universe/setting

 

How can I pick any single one book for this? Literally every fantasy book has a huge setting.

 

Barbecue: Pick a book in which a character was portrayed as a hunk

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Dorian is definitely described as a hunk. Chaol too.

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Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

 

This was a cute story about anxiety and being British basically. I haven’t read anything Sophie Kinsella but when I saw she did a YA novel I thought “oooooooooh”.

Audrey has really bad anxiety and has had to take time out of school after a really bad incident. She wears sunglasses all the time because she doesn’t want to look people in the eye and she doesn’t leave the house. Then her mum starts going a bit daft after reading an article about video games ruining your brain and makes Audrey’s brother quit playing video games and things start to change.

Honestly, this book is absolutely hysterical. I don’t know if it’s because it hits a little close to home on the mum wanting to limit internet usage front or what but oh man I was laughing for like 60% of this. There was so many classically British moments that aw I just loved it.

The anxiety element of the story began to be a bit downplayed for the romance really, but the humour really made up for it. And I would say rather than love fixing her anxiety it just helped. She has moments where she thinks she’s better than she is and ends up stunting her recovery and I think it was a really important detail to show that people do have relapses because they push themselves too hard.

This was a really fast read for me, it was easy to read and on top of that half the book was made up of screenplay format which was just so fast. I think I read it in a couple of hours, so if you’re looking for something funny and cute I would recommend it.

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All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

This was a book I eventually intended to read but the library got it for me and so I read it a lot earlier than I would’ve. This is on the Zoella Book Club so has been gaining a lot of attention as of late, which is nothing but good really. The Zoella book club is definitely not a bad thing, I hope it does for young readers what the Richard and Judy book club does for adult readers.

Finch and Violet are two very different people but somehow they become friends and bond over being sad. That’s the long and the short of it, but this book is so much more than that.

Honestly this reads very much like your typical contemporary YA with 2 fucked up heterosexual kids. However it has a very important that aren’t in your usual cliche contemporaries: you can’t just fix someone who has depression with a relationship. Finch still has problems despite being in a happy relationship with Violet. People who have mental illness can be in a good relationship and still feel so incredibly awful and not right, love is not the cure. A person just can’t be “fixed” by getting into a relationship with someone.

There’s also a lot of talk about grief and how people react differently to the loss of a loved one. How sometimes people don’t want to talk about it and just getting out and living is a good way to heal the wound.

There was classic kind of YA contemporary cheesy one liners that I can see kids quoting and making graphics out of. Violet had a slight air of manic pixie dream girl but definitely wasn’t even 20% MPDG. Finch was a bit of an asshole at times, but that’s what happens when you’ve got depression, you can be a bit of an asshole, I know from experience.

 

I’m not going to spoil the end, I’m not a knob, however I should have seen it coming from a mile off. It was quite an important ending and I’m in two minds about it just because of what happens and how that affects everything else.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good book, it wasn’t perfect and the parenting was absolutely shocking that I felt like there was no way in hell they could be that bad, but you never know. If you liked TFIOS you would probably adore this book.

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Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

This is a YA High Fantasy so of course it was on my radar. I’d seen a lot of criticisms of this book saying that it isn’t a great book and the series gets much better after this one but I thought it wasn’t that bad actually and quite enjoyed it.

After a bit of an altercation at a village, the three kingdoms of Mytica are at unrest and a war is looming. Falling Kingdoms follows 4 characters, and their importance in the power struggle between the 3 nations.

It can be difficult to create a high fantasy novel such as this with different POV characters and give every character a separate personality, but this was achieved in this book. I was interested in every character and every political climate and every kingdom. I understood who each character was instead of getting everyone confused which I oftenfind when you’re introduced to a new world.

Continue reading “Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes”

Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden

Thank you to netgalley and Penguin Random House Children’s/Puffin for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

Denizen is an orphan, then his aunt decides she wants him to be in her life so he packs up his belongings to move in with her. On his way he sees an angel made of tarmac and his chauffer kills this monster. Denizen arrives at his aunt’s to find that she’s the leader of the Irish counter part of an army that fights shadow beings, like the tarmac angel.

This has a lot of potential. I like middle grade books, and I liked this, but it did kind of feel like classic middle grade. Lack of parents then some parent figure comes along and tells the MC that they’re special, then something happens that is scary, the MC does something silly, cliffhanger ending. The general fantasy element of it was interesting though, it was something I hadn’t really read before, creatures making themselves out of the resources they can find in the area, for a kid with a really active imagination this could be absolutely horrifying honestly.

I found it kind of difficult to understand quite what was going on when the action parts were happening, it seemed to happen a bit too quickly for me and I had to read it over a couple times to figure it out. As this is a middle grade book I feel like this could be a big problem as kids have short attention spans.

I didn’t really get a good enough idea of the side characters personalities and I wasn’t really sure who everyone was even by the end of the novel apart from about 2 of them and that was only because they played a larger part of the whole plot. I would hope that they get built upon in the rest of the series.

I liked that it was set in Ireland as I don’t feel like Ireland is a place where things are often set when it comes to Urban fantasy apart from, of course, Artemis Fowl. I’m interested to see how the geography comes into the rest of the books.

I really think this could turn out to be a good series and I was entertained enough by this first entry that I want to read more and see what happens. For a debut novel I was impressed, there was a good ending with enough to feel content about the ending but know that there’s a lot to be done in the next parts of the series.

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The Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

Thank you to Casey for the tag! Beauty and The Beast is one of my fave Disney movies of all time so I’m all over this tag.

1. “TALE AS OLD AS TIME”A POPULAR THEME, TROPE OR SETTING YOU WILL NEVER GET BORED OF READING.

Probably friends to lovers, it’s so lame but I adore it, like the uncertainty and everything like that it’s so wonderful.

2. BELLE – A BOOK YOU BOUGHT FOR IT’S BEAUTIFUL COVER THAT’S JUST AS BEAUTIFUL INSIDE TOO

Hmmm, I don’t really have an answer for this because they only books I’ve cover-bought as of late I haven’t got round to reading.

3. BEAST – A BOOK YOU DIDN’T EXPECT MUCH FROM BUT PLEASANTLY SURPRISED YOU.

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You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina Lacour was a recent read that I was surprised by considering I tried to read a David Levithan book recently and couldn’t get past the first few pages

4. GASTON – A BOOK EVERYONE LOVES THAT YOU DON’T

I can’t think of one for this yet

5. LEFOU – A LOYAL SIDEKICK YOU CAN’T HELP BUT LOVE MORE THAN THEIR COUNTER PART.

Lucien, Tamlin is just a knob but Lucien is lovely.

6. MRS POTTS, CHIP, LUMIER & COGSWORTH – A BOOK THAT HELPED YOU THROUGH A DIFFICULT TIME OR THAT TAUGHT YOU SOMETHING VALUABLE

Harry Potter for sure, I read it a lot as a child when there was lots of problems in my childhood and it just transported me to a whole other world.

7. “SOMETHING THERE” – A BOOK OR A SERIES THAT YOU WEREN’T INTO AT FIRST BUT PICKED UP TOWARDS THE END.

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I wouldn’t say towards the end by The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater even though I’ve only read 2 books, the first book was ok but I was just like ??? but then the second book was good.

8. “BE OUR GUEST” – A FICTIONAL CHARACTER YOU’D LOVE TO HAVE OVER FOR DINNER

Draco Malfoy, I want to speak to him person to person an tell him he’s not a bad person.

I tag:

Dez @ TheFunInReadingBooks

KeeTheReader

OlaReadsBooks

RavenAndBeez

Sammie @ BookshelvesAndBiros

 

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City of heavenly fire by Cassandra Clare 

This was honestly such a fantastic end the the series. I felt emotional, happy, exhausted, so many different feelings.

The ending was so different and original to any way this could have ended, or at least from the books I’ve read so far. Of course there was some loopholes that they managed to get themselves out of against all odds but it’s not a YA fantasy novel if that doesn’t happen at the end. There was so many twists and turns that despite knowing how things ended because I am the spoiler queen I was like “omg how are they going to get themselves out of this one?”. And it genuinely felt quite stressful at times.

I was so glad I read the books in publication order because there was so much stuff from The Infernal Devices that I wouldn’t have picked up on at all in COHF if I hadn’t done so. There was so much of it that made me so happy and I was nearly crying in a hotel room in London because of how wonderful it was.

 

I was just so happy with the way things ended but I also loved that through the novel Clare got us used to Emma Carstairs, in preparation for Lady Midnight, I’m really excited to read about the LA institute now.

I really felt like the characters came out of their shells in this. Clary and Jace weren’t obnoxiously whiney about each other and falling apart at the seams. Izzy was bad ass. Simon and Alec finally felt like characters that could hold their own as side characters and weren’t just there for random scenes to add to it.

I honestly don’t know what else there is to say without ruining huge elements of the plot but I’m so glad this ended like this, it was the perfect end novel.

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Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

I honestly don’t even know where to start with this review. I’m still reeling after finishing EoS and now I have to wait a year for the next instalment. I hate myself for reading this so quickly, less than 2 days, and I’m just sitting here like “CURSE YOU SJM”.

Once again Sarah J. Maas proves why she’s a force to be reckoned with in young adult fantasy, though there’s so much sex in this that it’s not exactly YA anymore (this isn’t a spoiler there’s a bloody warning on the back of it, even ACOMAF doesn’t have a warning on the back of it.)

One thing I wanted to talk about was how a week or so ago a bunch of people found some spoilers and were absolutely fizzing about it on twitter and how “omg Chaol isn’t in the book, Sarah hates him, first she makes him disabled now he’s not even in it, she’s trash” etc etc etc. I love how they were saying all that nonsense without even reading the bloody book. Chaol isn’t in the book but that doesn’t mean Celaena doesn’t think about him, it doesn’t mean that Dorian isn’t missing him. He’s mentioned a fair amount and come on, he’s in another country getting healed after all the crap that happened to him in QoS.

So if you’re a regular reader of fantasy fiction you’ll be aware that periods aren’t something that’s spoken about. Women just continue on as if they don’t bleed every month, they can go on very long quests and have no mention of bleeding or pain or anything. THIS HAS PERIODS IN IT. Well, one, but it was and important part of the book, because the character hadn’t had one for a while due to being malnourished she had to go to a town to get supplies for it leading to some action happening.I was honestly so happy when I read this part because it’s just not a thing in fantasy, and it’s as if it’s taboo, despite most people who have a womb have a period.

I really loved getting to see more of Erilea as in previous novels we’ve only really being in Adarlan and Wendlyn. Yeah I know that there’s more in The Assassin’s Blade but I haven’t read them yet, I’m leaving it until I get really antsy waiting for the next one. On top of that everyone is back together for this one, after being all split up for the past 2 books all my faves are in the same place and bonding and I was just so happy and squealed a couple of times.

Aelin is her classic arrogant self but every now and then insecurities show through and you can tell at times that she’s just stumbling through it and getting lucky and it’s really nice to see her letting her guard down and showing that she’s not always powerful and mighty. GOOD CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

Now there is a lot of sex in this as I said, if sex in books makes you uncomfortable, do not read this. I’ve read a lot of sex in book and in fanfiction so it didn’t bother me but some of the language was a bit dodgy, though nothing compared to that of romance novels. My personal favourite was describing a penis as “velvet-wrapped steel” I could not stop laughing about it.

There’s so many big reveals as per standard in a SJM book, she always keeps you guessing. I often compare her to JKR in terms of everything being planned and foreshadowing things that you didn’t even think of in previous books and they suddenly are so important. I love it, it keeps me on my toes when reading which I both love and hate.

I don’t really know what I’m going to do with myself for the next year, I mean at least the next ACOTAR is out in May but man I don’t know if I can hack waiting. Especially the way this book ends, like I was literally sitting here in shock and nearly started crying, I only stopped myself because my dad was sitting next to me. Speaking of my dad he’s now reading it, which I’m not exactly thrilled about because of all the sex but oh well.

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