Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Best Books of 2014

2014 was not a good year for me book-wise. I did not read a lot. I started a few new jobs this year that required a lot more time than my previous one, but I also experienced my greatest reading slumps this year. I did however pick up a few gems that I loved this year.

14. The One
The third and thought to be final book in the Selection series was really good in my opinion. We FINALLY get to see who America chooses. Is it Prince Maxon or her childhood boyfriend. I really enjoyed this series. It was cute and a really quick read.

13. Scratch
 Scratch was an emotional read that I really enjoyed. Casey had a tough childhood that left her with some serious scars. She didn't realize that her past was affecting her life until she met Daniel and he forced her to come to terms with what happened to her. I'll be honest I read this book in early September so I can't remember what her childhood trauma was, but I'd love to re-read this to find out. 

12. The Archived and The Unbound
These books were unlike anything else I had read before. The world in this series is so intriguing that I wish our world was like this...kinda. I know a lot of youtubers rave about Victoria Schwab's novel Vicious, but I preferred this series. The characters were adorable and the writing was impressive.

11. One The Fence
This was an adorable story about a girl that has always been just one of the  guys with her brother and the boy next door, but soon everything changes. This book was a cute look at first love and an incredible family.

10. Maybe Someday
I don't want to say much about this one in case you haven't read it yet. I loved the major twist. This story was emotional one, but this shouldn't surprise you if you've read any of Colleen Hoover's other books.
*cough* skip Ugly Love *cough*

9. Name of the Star and The Madness Underneath
When I heard that Maureen Johnson wrote a series that involved Jack the Ripper I was eager to read it immediately. I was so not disappointed. Rory moves from Louisiana to London, England and quickly finds herself in the center of another Jack the Ripper...or is it the same killer who viciously murdered women in 1888? I loved the paranormal aspects of the books as well as the quirky characters.

8. Clipped Wings and Inked Armor
These books are based on one of my favourite Twilight fan fictions. This fact alone has made them eligible for this list. :)

7. Rebel Belle
This book was crazy, but crazy good too. Southern bell, Harper Price is thrown into becoming something that she never imagined. She has new powers and is responsible for protecting the one kid in school that drives her crazy. This recipe for disaster was a really fun read and I cannot wait for the next one.

6. Stay With Me
This is the third book in the Wait For You series and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  This book stood on it's own two feet, but also incorporated the characters from Wait For You that I just loved. Hell even Cam and Avery's turtles made an appearance. Jennifer L. Armentrout's writing is really good and I fully intend to read more from her in 2015.

5. Isla and the Happily Ever After
If you didn't read (and love) this book than you probably haven't been introduced to Stephanie Perkins' amazing writing. Just go ahead and pick up Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and Isla and the Happily Ever After right now. Just go. You can come back to the blog later. ;)

The last 4 books are basically tied for first place because they are just so good, so just remember that.

4. Breakable
This is Easy told from Lucas' perspective. It gives a lot of insight into what he was thinking and feeling throughout the time he fell in love with Jacqueline as well as what his childhood was like. Incredible read. 

3. Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress 

These are an incredibly written recreations of some of your favourite childhood stories. Cinderella becomes Cinder, Little Red Riding Hood becomes Scarlet, and Rapunzel becomes Cress. The books are placed in the future and have really interesting sci-fi elements that are really interesting.

2. The Darkest Minds and Never Fade

Children are getting sick and developing powers that terrify the adults and this results in them getting sent to concentration camps. The powers are ranked by colours reds, oranges, yellows, greens, and blues. The Darkest Minds follows some of those children and their lives inside the concentration camps as well as their lives outside of them. These books remind you that society fear the unknown. Even if you do not think that these books will be your thing, check them out. I didn't think I'd like them either, but clearly I do. :)

1. Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire

I cannot thank Regan from Peruse Project enough for making a video about Throne of Glass. This series is just amazing. Celaena is a kickass assassin who just happens to be a gorgeous woman. She can kill a guy all while looking amazing, but also not caring if she doesn't look perfect. 
I am not doing this series justice, so just pick up a copy of the books and dig in.

Well there you go. These were my favourite 14 in 2014. What were yours? Are any of them the same as mind? Do tell!

Monday, 29 December 2014

Stay with Me (Wait for You #3)

Goodreads Summary 

At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.

But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she'd left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.

Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.

My Thoughts
I read Wait For You and Trust In Me a few years ago and really enjoyed Avery and Cam's story. J. Lynn is really good at writing about heartbreaking people without making the story cheesy or overdone. I knew there was a book about Cam's sister Teresa and his best friend Jase, but I thought I knew everything I needed to know about those two and decided to read Stay With Me instead. I'm glad I did. Having said that though, I will be going back to read Teresa and Jase's story because I love J. Lynn's writing so much.

This book had me laughing out loud, crying, and wiggling in my seat. All three make this a good book.  The characters were just as good as in her other books. Calla had a terrible childhood that left her with scars that she cannot hide. Jax is the gorgeous bartender at her mother's bar. He also happens to be really interested in Calla and she is not used to the attention. They were endearing to read about. They had their problems and Calla had her insecurities (don't blame her one bit), but they were so adorable that I didn't mind the drama.

I think that if you already know that you like Jennifer L. Armentrout's writing style than you will love this book, but be sure to start with Wait for You.  

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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Girl Online (Girl Online #1)

Goodreads Summary 
Penny has a secret.

Under the alias GirlOnline, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family - and the panic attacks she's suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love - and capturing every moment of it on her blog.

But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny's cover - and her closest friendship - forever.

My Thoughts
I have to start by saying that I am so proud of Zoe for writing this book! If you watch her videos  or follow her blog than you probably know that she enjoys writing. She has mentioned a few times in vlogs that she used to write as a child and her blog (sure is filled with amazing photography as well) is really well written.  I think that it took guts for her her to put pen to paper (ok probably all done on her laptop) and write this novel. Great job Zoe!

Girl Online follows Penny, a small town blogger.  Penny's life mirrors Zoe's in a lot of ways. They both have adorable brothers, dads who are amazing cooks, and of course they both blog. I know that she has gotten some bad reviews because of the similarities, but I think that's unfair.  It's hard to not think about the fact that Penny is so much like Zoe. Yes their family dynamics are different and other than a few other minor differences they are remarkably similar, but of course they are! This is (unless you count the ones she wrote in her childhood bedroom) Zoe's first novel. Of course she is going to write about what she knows. I loved that she incorporated so much of her experiences in this.

I think that Girl Online is a perfect book for a teenage. This book talks about issues like bullying, insecurities that we all have growing up, first loves, the scary online world, and of course anxiety. I loved the blog posts that Penny writes. I found her to be an inspirational voice and one that could really help a lot of people.

I think that if you are a fan of Zoe's than you will really love this.

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Monday, 24 November 2014

Worth The Fight (MMA Fighter #1)

Goodreads Summary
It didn’t matter that the ref called it a clean hit. Nico Hunter would never be the same.

Elle has a good life. A job she loves, a great apartment, and the guy she’s been dating for more than two years is a catch and a half. But it’s boring…and she strives to keep it that way. Too many emotions are dangerous. Her own past is living proof of what can happen when you lose control.

Then Nico walks into Elle’s office and everything changes…for both of them. But what can the tattooed, hard-bodied MMA fighter and the beautiful and always steady attorney have in common? A lot more than they bargained for.

My Thoughts
I have to admit that this was a cover read. How can you come across this cover and not want to crack it open? Plus I'm currently hooked on the tv show Kingdom about MMA fighters training to be good again. This fit in with my head space perfectly.

I enjoyed the characters. Elle is a sassy lawyer who has a troubling past. Nico is a fighter who can't get back in the ring after a terrible accident. I enjoyed the two of them together. Nico was a great balance of sweet and strong, although sometimes a little too possessive. At times I was expecting him to just pee on her and get it over with. 

At the end of the day this book was a good read. The characters were fun, the sex was hot, and the drama wasn't over the top. 

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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Bloodrealms (Bloodmark #2)

*This book was sent to me by the author to review. I reviewed Bloodmark back in February and was honoured to read its sequel. Thank you Aurora for sending me this!*

Goodreads Summary
Werewolf princess Ashling Boru’s eighteenth birthday is only a year away, which means that she only has twelve months before she is claimed and fulfills her prophecy to unite the packs and lead her people. Her father decrees that her four suitors must fight in the Bloodrealms, the werewolves’ ancient underground fighting world, and the winner will have King Boru’s choice to win Ashling’s hand. The wolf laws are rigid and barbaric, and Ashling’s illicit love for Grey, if discovered, will mean his death. But when Ashling and Grey get trapped in the blood-soaked depths of the Bloodrealms, they find ancient horrors far greater than Ashling’s father’s rule.

With betrayal around every corner and old nemeses set to destroy Ashling, she is more divided than ever between the destiny she didn’t choose and the love that she did. To make matters worse, her decision will not only set the course of her future, but the future of her entire race.

Bloodrealms is the second novel in Whittet’s Bloodmark saga.

My Thoughts
I love these book covers. They are gorgeous in their simplicity and I love the tribal feel to them. They fit so well with the world and the feel of the novels. 

I wish I had time to reread Bloodmark before picking up Bloodrealms because it had been almost a year since I read the first one and I didn't remember everything that happened. I remembered the love story and all the main characters, but I didn't remember the entire journey they took or some important events that took place. Some sequels beat you over the head with facts from the previous book(s), but with this one we got almost nothing. I just wish that there was some recap to help readers remember. 

I liked the idea of Ashling not having a choice about who she will marry. She is in love with Grey, but her culture doesn't allow her to just be with him. She is to be courted by three other men who will fight to become her husband. The other three men were interesting and so different. Brychan has been in love with her since she was young. He's knows that he's strong and charming. Channing is chivalrous; he's definitely too chivalrous for the free-spirited Ashling. Then there's Eamon who just happens to be the brother of the monster that kidnapped her and tried to claim her as his own. She became close to them, but is still completely drawn to Grey.  

When I read Bloodmark I enjoyed the world because it was so different than anything else I had read. This time around I appreciated the world, but the more we learned the less interested I became. I felt like creatures were being created with the sole purpose of destroying the main characters. Books need conflict, but the conflict didn't seem well thought out. It was almost as though things happened because the plot was trapped and things had to progress that way in order for things to make sense. I also had a hard time imagining the Bloodrealms. The world was a little confusing for me. It was terrifying, Aurora succeeded with that, but so immense that I couldn't completely understand it. 

I know there's to be a third book in the series and I wont let the few flaws from the second book keep me from reading it. 

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Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Name of the Star and The Madness Underneath (Shades of London #1 and #2)

My new job has left me with almost no time to read. I get up before the sun, go to work for 9 hours, and then go to sleep soon after the sun sets. I do most of my reading on the way home from work. (Don't worry, I don't read and drive.), which means it takes awhile to finish a book...no matter how much I like it.  I know that this sounds like an excuse for why I have not been reading as much, but it's the truth. Thankfully I have weekends to plow through a book or two.

Goodreads Summary  
Jack the Ripper is back, and he's coming for Rory next....

Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school just as a series of brutal murders mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper killing spree of more than a century ago has broken out across the city. The police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man believed to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him - the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target...unless she can tap her previously unknown abilities to turn the tables.

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 Goodread Summary
After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Deveaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance to get back to her friends. But Rory's brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she's become a human terminus, with the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. She soon finds out that the Shades--the city's secret ghost-fighting police--are responsible for her return. The Ripper may be gone, but now there is a string of new inexplicable deaths threatening London. Rory has evidence that the deaths are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on, and now she must convince the squad to listen to her before it's too late.
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My Thoughts On The Series So Far 
These two books were a delight to read. I already knew that I liked Maureen Johnson's writing style thanks to books like 13 Little Blue Envelopes, its sequel The Last Little Blue Envelope, and Let It Snow. She has a way of making characters that are so easy to connect with even if you aren't, haven't been, or could never possibly be in their shoes. Rory was one of those characters.

Rory Deveaux was just your average high school senior when she moved from Louisiana to London, England. She had no idea that she would stumble upon a world that would change her life forever. She thought the hardest thing she would have to endure was moving to a new school and having a couple roommates. Boy was she wrong.

After a near death experience Rory is thrown in with a trio of young adults that have a very strange career. Boo and Rory become friends almost immediately. They live together and have all the same classes, so not getting along became an impossibility. Callum, a former football star, took some convincing to accept Rory into the group, but quickly realized that her link to the Ripper meant she needed protecting. Then there was Stephen. He's my favourite of the group. He's the youngest police officer Rory had ever seen and he's mysterious in a straight laced kinda way. He's no doubt the leader of the group and sometimes holds all of the responsibility on his shoulders. I just loved the dynamic between Stephen, Callum, and Boo, but when you throw Rory in the mix it just gets even better.

The Jack the Ripper element of the books was spooky, but not so much where I couldn't sleep at night. I thought it was kind of ingenious of Maureen to use one of the most prolific serial killers as the backdrop of a modern story. His killing spree was over a hundred years ago and people are still interested to know who he was and why he did it.

Well there's not much more I can say without giving anything major away.  Just know that I am very frustrated with how The Madness Underneath ended because I have to wait until February to find out what happens next. I NEED to know what happens with Rory next!!  

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Gone Girl

Goodreads Summary 
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

My Thoughts

Wow. Ok how do I even begin?

*takes a moment to wrap my head around this one*

This book is even more messed up than I was prepared for it to be. A book about a man's wife going missing is bound to be dramatic, but this book took it to a whole other level. There were things that did not surprise me in the least. I thought I had the whole thing figured out a third of the way through...and I did. However, my theory was revealed and another half of the book remained.  O.O

Talking about the plot is risky because there is too much that can be spoiled. Talking about the characters is pointless because that will just reveal too much about the plot. I will say that this isn't the book for everyone and if you thoroughly enjoy this book than I might be a little afraid of you. 

I wonder if the movie did this one justice. 

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Thursday, 25 September 2014

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)

Goodreads Summary 
**Might not want to read it you haven't read Throne of Glass or Crown of Midnight**

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

My Thoughts
 Reviewing sequels can be really difficult because you don't want to give too much away, but you also cannot say nothing. I'll do my best to keep this spoiler free. 

Heir of Fire has Celaena separated from Chaol and the prince. ( You might want to reread Crown of Midmight right before this because I had a difficult time remembering exactly what took place.) She must challenge herself in order to gain answers from her scary aunt, the queen. This of course brings in a whole slew of new characters whom I adored. Most notably there is Prince Rowan. He is ordered by the queen to train Celaena in order for her to be worthy to gain her answers about the Wyrdkeys. He's dark and brooding. To be honest I didn't warm up to him until well into the book. I still want Celaena to be with Chaol though. 

We also met Celaena's cousin Aedion. I really liked him and hope that he is in the rest of the series. He knew Celaena before she was the assassin she is today. They both fear what the other will feel when they see each other because they have both been through so much, but you can tell that they care about the other. I can't wait to see how this relationship will be after so many years. 

I loved how much Celaena grew in this book. She was already a really strong woman in Throne of Glass but this journey tore her down and completely rebuilt her in a way that I was truly shocked and inspired by. She learned so much about herself, her past, and her magic. 

Sadly there were a few flaws with this book.  There were chapters about these witches training these creatures that I just didn't understand. I get that the king was using them in part of him master plan, but they still didn't seem to add anything to the novel. You could have taken them out completely and I would have been happy. Maybe they will make more sense in the next book because the king always has something up his sleeve, but I don't know. These chapters made he book lag a little bit. I wish they weren't there, but I still enjoyed the book. 

This series is a must read!!

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