December Wrap Up 

So December has been a very hectic month for me. I’ve had 2 interviews for unis and a late trip to London to figure out if I wanted to volunteer abroad (I don’t 12 weeks is too long for me). So instead I’m planning a month backpacking through Asia. I’ve been given a place at Strathclyde, and the woman said to me at Aberdeen that she’d be giving me a place though I haven’t heard officially.

I had a horrendous cold. Which I got the morning of travelling to London so that was an absolute whale of a time.

I hope you’ve all had a fantastic festive season and if you received gifts you got everything you wanted. Book wise I got the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown, Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy, The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Adieh, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated Edition, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Screenplay.

I also got Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE for the WiiU and have been playing that constantly. Why does this game have no hype, it’s so good!

This month I read 18 books:

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Corrupt Me by Jillian Quinn
Sabriel by Garth Nix
The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee
One by Sarah Crossan
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
The One We Fell in Love With by Paige Toon
the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace
Always With Love by Giovanna Fletcher
Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
From the Stars by C.S. Wilde
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling
How To Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

I posted previous months reviews:

Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher
Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne
Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
The Martian by Andy Weir
Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
How to Find Love in a Book Shop by Veronica Henry
Half Wild by Sally Green
Champion by Marie Lu

I posted a discussion post on periods that I was quite proud of to be honest.

I bought these books:

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (preorder)
Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake
The Reader by MK Harkins
Black-Eyed Susans by Julie Heaberlin
What Light by Jay Asher
My True Love Gave to Me
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
The Longest Holiday by Paige Toon
History is All You Left by by Adam Silvera
I Heart Christmas by Lindsey Kelk
Iron to Iron by Ryan Graudin
The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Soulmates by Holly Bourne

It looks like a lot but there was a huge Kindle sale so literally every single book bar More Happy Than Not and ACOWAR were 99p.

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Champion by Marie Lu

The previous novels in this series were ok and I liked them enough but there was never that thing that made me love them, but this one was just so good in comparison.

This book brings some interesting questions to mind about the politics of our own countries. Antarctica won’t give any medical help to the Republic despite them suffering from numerous plagues and having barely any money. This reminded me of numerous times that the US and UK and EU won’t help much with struggling countries. The news barely shows anything in the Republic’s war either, again, like the stuff happening with Aleppo etc. It was thought provoking.

We get to go to another continent in this book, finally, and oh man it was so cool. They go to Antarctica where they have a points system where you get rewarded for doing good things, like recycling and I just thought the idea of this was so good and interesting I’d never heard of an idea like this in a sci-fi/dystopian. It brings the question of what is a good action and would this turn the community into complete robots?

The pacing was so good with this one, it didn’t feel too slow unlike how I felt about Prodigy, this read so damn easy.

I was awkwardly happy with the ending, like I was vaguely happy with it but part of it made me like “really? you did that?” because there was something so cliche about it. I cried a little bit as well. However it did feel right, it wasn’t that perfect ending and I liked that.

I hope to start The Young Elites at some point soon but you all know what my TBR is like. I’m really glad I gave this series a go even though the first book felt like a typical YA dystopian because it turned into so much more than that. So if you do read the first book and aren’t invested, keep reading.

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Ringing in the New Year Book Tag

Thank you to Raven for the tag! I’m excited for 2016 to end what a strange year

Rules:

  • Link to the person who tagged you
  • Link to the creator of the tag – Rae @ Bookmark Chronicles
  • Share the tag image
  • Answer the questions below
  • Tag friends (or not if you don’t feel like it)

Best book and/or series that you’ve read in 2016

I posted a favourites wrap up last week, I can’t choose my favourite hahaha

Authors that you’ve recently found and would like to read more of in the new year

I would like to read more Yaa Gyasi after Homegoing, more Morgan Matson, more Leigh Bardugo, more Naomi Novik etc etc

Most anticipated book turned movie/tv show?

I learned recently that Ready Player One is going to be a movie so I’m excited about that, and of course the ToG series although I’m nervous about it

Name a character that you wouldn’t mind sharing a kiss with at midnight (if there is one)

RHYSAND

What’s on your TBR for 2017? (Top 5 will suffice if it’s an extremely long list!)

I’m posting a most anticipated next week so keep an eye out for that

How many books do you hope to read in 2017?

I’m going to set my Goodreads goal at 100

Will you participate in the Goodreads Reading Challenge or any others (PopSugar, Read the Books You Buy, etc.)

Only goodreads I think, I have too many books on my tbr to add more from checking off a list.

Any New Year’s Resolutions? (Bookish, blogging, and otherwise)

I went vegetarian on Monday so that’s probably it.

I tag:

Lauren
Kourtni
Fadwa
Magda

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DNFs of 2016

So last week I did a post on my favourite reads of 2016, this week I’m doing the complete opposite and doing a post on my least favourite reads, aka the ones I didn’t even finish.

Luckily all of the books are ones I requested on netgalley and not ones that I spent any money on.

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How Many Wrongs Make a Mr. Right by Stella Hervey Birrell

I really wanted to like this one, it’s set in Edinburgh and seemed like a nice easy read contemporary romance but the writing style just didn’t gel with me at all.

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Because I Love You by Tori Rigby

This started off an easy read about teen pregnancy, then it just kept getting more ridiculous and I just couldn’t keep reading it because it had nearly every bad YA romance trope known to man.

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The Sway by Ruby Knight

Originally this sounded interesting, teen spies, classic YA trope but it didn’t keep me interested enough to keep going and nothing that was going on was explained well.

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Losing It by Emma Rathbone

This sounded like a funny read when I requested it, an older woman trying to lose her virginity but oh my god the MC was literally the worst person ever and I just couldn’t read anymore than I did because she was just awful. All she cared about was losing her virginity and she invaded her aunt’s privacy and yuck.

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Half Wild by Sally Green

I’m desperately waiting for Half Lost to be sent to me by the library because this book left me reeling.

One of my favourite things about this novel was how it was completely unafraid to talk about being gay and being interested in someone of the same gender. Nathan’s best friend, Gabriel, is in love with Nathan and that’s never glazed over. Gabriel is probably my favourite character actually, I was constantly desperate to read about him and his feelings towards everything.

Nathan has truly accepted that he is “bad” in this book. But he knows that he’s still not sure of himself and he doesn’t know if his new gift makes him truly a bad person or just “bad” in the eyes of the government who are very much against him and his whole family.

There are some characters in this book, not to name names, who I was really uncertain of but man they really showed themselves towards the end. But a lot of the other characters really come into their own in this book and you see people that you didn’t really like in the first book coming into their own in the fight against the horrible white witches.

When Nathan is near someone with a mobile phone he hears this horrible noise in his head, some people in reviews didn’t like the format of the noises but I loved it. Whenever you saw the “ch” on the page you knew there was a white witch there, and personally I found it kind of nerve wracking, it worked really well for me.

I honestly don’t know what is going to happen in the final book because the way this left off literally just had me like ?????

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The Christmas Cuisine Book

Thank you Kirstie for this interesting tag!!! Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you have a fab Christmas day if you celebrate it and if you don’t I hope you have a great festive season!

The Very Serious Rules:

  1. Thank the person who tagged you with a virtual hug and happy thoughts (and pixie dust if you can find it?)
  2. Mention the creator (ozbooksnail @ Upside-Down Books)
  3. Try to eat as many of the foods as you can whilst writing this.
  4. Wear funky socks.

1.

Yule Log
a beautiful edition of a book that you won’t touch for fear of ruining it

I have a Colour In edition of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell that’s signed that I picked up in Waterstones and it’s so white and pristine that now that I’ve read it I’m never going to touch it again because I don’t want to damage it

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 2.

Gingerbread House
a book that was a struggle to read but worth it in the end

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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You guys should know by now that this is my fave but man it’s heavy going


 3.

Roasted Hazelnuts
a book you absolutely have to, with no excuse, read or stroke fondly at Christmastime

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‘Nuff said.


 4.

Turkey
a character that everyone else loved but you only pretended to

Daemon from the Lux series by JLA

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Ok first off what the fuck is this question, people pretend to like Turkey???

I wouldn’t say I pretended to like Daemon and didn’t, I liked him just fine but I really don’t get why everyone loves him so much, he’s just your standard YA guy.


 5.

Pavlova
the book you’re most looking forward to reading next

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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I’m so close to finishing the ridiculously long pile of library books I’ve had since July practically and once I do I will be able to read all the books I’ve been buying and Six of Crows is the one I’m most hyped for as EVERYONE has been talking about it lately.


 6.

Ham
a book that makes the ordinary extraordinary

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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Rowell manages to take things that are so normal to me like fanfiction and make it into something so wonderful to read about and such a magic experience


 7.

Christmas Cake
a book that had just about everything in it . . . and pulled it off

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

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This book follows the family line of 2 half sister’s and it could have gone so badly wrong with home many different POVs it had but man, IT IS GOOD READ IT PLEASE


 8.

Prawns
the most popular book you read this year

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

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This has one of the highest rating on Goodreads at the moment and rightfully so.


 9.

Sachertorte
an intimidating book that was actually an easy read

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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So like, the book is huge, the series is huge, the hype is huge, I love the show, and I’m Scottish, I was a bit worried I wouldn’t like this. But the language was surprisingly easy to read and I really enjoyed reading this.


 10.

Vitel Toné
a book you were skeptical about at first but pleasantly surprised

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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I’d heard so many mixed reviews about this book, some people absolutely loved it and some people found it so slow, and for the first 100 pages I had no idea what was going on and then it clicked.


 11.

Stollen
a book that sounded like the same old plot line BUT DID IT SO MUCH BETTER

 Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

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All YA vampire books are the same right? Not this one, this was more about friendship than some crazy human x vampire love story.


 12.

Porkkanalaatiko
a book you need right now

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

I agree with Kirstie’s answer here, I’M DESPERATE FOR THIS BOOK


 13.

Ciorba de perisoare
a book you bought without needing to read the blurb

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

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I still don’t know what this book is about, but I know it’s about gay kids and depressed kids and that sounds right up my street. And everyone says it’s fantastic and Adam is such a cutie.


 14.

Risalamande
a book with a surprising plot twist

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

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I don’t want to talk about it.


 15.

Mince Pies
a book you would never sell, even if you don’t reread it

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

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I hate this book now, it’s so rife with shit I stand completely against but it was such a big thing for me as a teenager, it meant so much to me that I couldn’t get rid of it when I gutted my room this year.

I tag:

LarkinLarkin
Orangutan Librarian
SammySammy
Fadwa
Jill
Donna

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How to Find Love in a Book Shop by Veronica Henry

Thank you to Netgalley and Orion Publishing Group for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

How to Find Love in a Bookshop is a multiple POV book which follows the lives of a few select individuals in a small town and how they fall in love all surrounding a bookshop.

The opening of this book reminded me a lot of Up. You get to know the characters in a nice way then one of them dies. Some of the story lines were sweet and it was a mindless quick read but I wouldn’t specifically recommend it.

My biggest issue with this book was that the POV and narrative were so jumpy. I didn’t really know what was going on and who was who half the time. I don’t know if it was a formatting error with my review copy or what but I felt like there really should have been more of an effort to make the reader aware of whose POV it was. There were so many characters as well that it took me until halfway through the novel to kind of figure out what exactly was going on.

Don’t get me wrong I liked this book enough but I couldn’t connect to the characters, maybe because the POV jumped about too much, maybe because they kept making silly decisions.

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Favourite Books of 2016

As the year is coming to a close here are my favourite books that I read this year, I’ve linked the reviews if they’ve been posted if you missed them and are interested in my thoughts.

Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas (ToG, CoM, HoF, QoS, EoS)

One of the first series I started with in my mission to catch up on reading and I did not regret it.

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

So much better than the first book and I cannot wait for the third, Sarah absolutely ruins me and gets better with every book.

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Such an incredible, magical read.

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Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

Such a step up from Wolf by Wolf

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I love the show and I was worried it would ruin the show for me, but it didn’t. As a Scot I found it fairly accurate in it’s representation.

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Champion by Marie Lu

Took everything I loved from the previous 2 books and just made an explosion for a final book.

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Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

Feminist, funny, perfection

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Cress by Marissa Meyer

Took everything I loved from the previous books and just raised the bar completely

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Didn’t expect to love this as much as I did, cannot wait for the film

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Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

My first graphic novel, it was wonderful

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City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

The best of the TMI series by far.

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Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

My first Sarah Dessen and I need to read more!

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I’m still squealing over this I can’t wait for The Upside of Unrequited

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare (Angel, Prince, Princess)

This is by far better than The Mortal Instruments and I wish people screamed about this as much as they did TMI

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The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

One word: dogs

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Me in book form

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The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

My heart still hurts

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Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

I’m still thinking about this and I just have so many feelings

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Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys 

I’m still crying

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Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys

Read this book.

I love Ruta Sepetys’ writing and this book didn’t disappoint. I was hit really hard by it. She knows how to write really horrible thing that actually happened in real life from a teenagers perspective without making them seem like an oblivious idiot.

Similar to Salt to the Sea this focuses on a little talked about part of the second world war: eastern europeans being deported from their homes to work in labour camps in Russia. Lina and her family are taken from Lithuania and placed in a camp in Siberia after a horrible long journey in a train car.

You could really feel the horrors of everything happening when reading this book, feel for the characters whose lives were completely unraveled. I just felt so sad reading this, knowing that this happened to real life people.

I connected to the characters far better than Salt to the Sea. Maybe because it was in one perspective I don’t know. Everyone felt so human, it didn’t feel like I was reading a novel it felt real, the characters spoke how I imagined they would, they reacted in both bad and good ways, there was nothing fake.

Sepetys’ research ethic is unparalleled, I love how much work she puts into it and making sure she thanks everyone who spoke to her.

My one gripe with this book was that I wish there was more about their lives after everything had happened. I wanted to see what their lives were like continuing after going through everything.

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The Martian by Andy Weir

I did a bad thing and watched the movie before reading the book. I honestly wasn’t even interested in reading the book until I watched the film though. The film was pretty true to the book I felt.

I’m sure you know what the Martian is about but if you don’t it’s about a guy called Mark Watney who gets stranded on Mars after his crew thinks that he died. The next mission to Mars isn’t for 5 years and he only has enough rations for 1-2 years.

I was worried after watching the film how they would explain all the science stuff in the books, I’m pretty good at understanding science related wording because I studied science a lot in school. It honestly was fairly straight forward, there was a lot of jargon but it was explained for the most part. However after a while I found my mind numbing with all the jargon, there was just so much. I get that it’s science fiction, I get that it’s all about getting a man back from being stranded on Mars, but honestly some of it was hard work. I didn’t have trouble understanding it, it was just tiring.

Despite the tiring jargon though it really felt like something that was actually happening. It felt like it was all in the realm of possibility, and I really felt myself getting to the edge of my seat sometimes, even though I knew what was going to happen.

Something I really adored about this book was how funny Mark was. Honestly his humour was right up my street, he’s a smart ass and I love reading people like that in books.

The rest of the characters were pretty diverse but also they kind of felt non existent sometimes. I couldn’t remember who all he people working at NASA were and who was what part of the team.

I think the film and the book are pretty on par in my opinion, which doesn’t happen often. So if you can’t be bothered to read all the info but could sit through a movie, you should watch the movie, if you aren’t a movie person the book is good too.

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