I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

I”m far too happy that I found a copy of this book in a book store in China in English. It was like the story was meant to find me. Then five days later a friend was leaving and had a lot of books she was leaving behind, a much prettier yellow copy of I’ll Give You The Sun being one of them. So I was meant to find to find this story as much as those characters were meant to find each other. And this book, the characters and their stories did help me so much. It lifted me up in a way I didn’t know I needed. It made me think about things I didn’t know I needed to think about. I recently read We Are Okay by Nina Lecour and that was amazing and thought provoking, but this, this is what I needed. A book that loves art and talks about art and people’s messy lives.

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I’ll Give You The Sun

by Jandy Nelson

5 / 5 stars

I love contemporary novels that describe things as if they’re fantastical. It adds this new layer to the novel and also gives the book a little bit of natural magic. (I may be biased because I flipping love fantasy.)

Anyway I loved I’ll Give You The Sun from the very beginning. I could just hear Noah’s voice from the first page and I loved how he had drawing ideas from everything and I could picture his ideas too. I was taken to the idea of the twins, as stories about twins are always fascinating and how their relationship dynamic works. They divvy up parts of the world as if they’re small gods, hence the name of the novel. I found their relationship very believable.

I enjoyed Jude’s POV too, which is written two years after Noah’s. I liked the whole Clark Gable thing and her wacky ‘bible’. Also her hypochondriac tendencies, which everyone does every so often. But I did find the two year skip a little spoilery in terms of flicking back to Noah’s POV. Even though the stories were supposed to flow like that. It did make me prefer Jude’s POV over Noah’s.

The twins’ journeys were so interesting to read about. One thing I would have loved to read about actually was Noah’s POV while he was sixteen, he was going through a very hard point in his life and I really wanted to know what he was thinking.

I loved Oscar and Guillermo. They were funny and amazing. Honestly, I loved this novel and it’s hit my all time favourites.

I have a soft spot for stand alone novels now that there are so many trilogies and such out there but I think I would love a continuation of this book! Contemporaries don’t get enough sequels, supernaturals hog that corner of the market so much.

Tell me your thoughts! I may have fan-girled a bit. :’)

A Court of Flipping WAR (A Court of Wings and Ruin Review)

It has been two days since the penultimate novel has came out and I have finished it on a small tiny phone screen. And I loved it, of course!

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A Court of Wings And Ruin

by Sarah J Maas

5 / 5 stars

Now have I mentioned I love Sarah’s stories? Because by the way, I do, in case you missed my fan-girling already. ACOTAR was my least favourite in the series and then I fell truly in love with ACOMAF and I think it is probably my favourite book of all time – quote wise, the issues it covers and because of the plot, description, world. It just didn’t shy away from anything. So it was almost inevitable that I would love her third novel. I missed those characters as if they were a little family of my own. And if you could guess by the 5 / 5 rating I loved it. But maybe I’m just being picky but I felt like… the book should have hurt me more (strange thing to want, I know.)

Okay well let me GUSH for a minute in a somewhat neat style about what I loved:

  • HEY EVERYONE’S BACK. Picking up from where we left off Feyre goes to infiltrate Tamlin’s court and she’s being a manipulative goddess.
  • Feysand.
  • We hear more about the courts as they all attempt to band together to stop Hybern.
  • More evil booglie fae monsters are revealed.

If you loved ACOMAF pick up this book, why haven’t you yet? 😀 If you’ve only read ACOTAR oh-my-gosh why haven’t you read further, so much happens. ACOTAR is so different in comparison to the rest.

Anyway here is my one thing against the book, which is a slight spoiler so if you don’t want a single hint on how the book may make you feel don’t read further! 🙂

So now let me explain my one problem about it all. There is this huge war that’s going to happen and there are so many powerful things on either side and everyone is using so much magic. They constantly run out, which is fair enough they’re all being stretched thin. So when they get to the penultimate battle (Obviously, not a spoiler unless you believed Hybern was going to poof in to smoke. Spoiler he doesn’t.) and fight. Why was my heart not ripped from my chest? I cried while reading it, a true sign of a book that can emulate feels and I was happy with the outcome. But I didn’t feel like they lost so much. It felt too good to be true.

Maybe I’ve become a cynic. But that’s just my take on it. Loved it all but I feel like I should be heartbroken…but I’m really not. Hope this babble made some ounce of sense. I’ve tried not to be too spoilery! They do lose things, but in my opinion not enough. Also did anyone else find this book less quotable? So many awesome things happened but I felt like I could have highlighted half the pages in ACOMAF as quotable whereas not really at all with ACOWAR.

Also I’m hoping we see more Tamlin in the spin-off series she’s planning to do. Tamlin was complex and his actions in ACOWAR really made me want to know why. What was going through his head?  What did you guys think (if you’ve finished it yet?)

 

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We Are Okay by Nina Lecour

Do you want to know why I bought this book? Why I am a terrible human being? because I loved the cover. I freaking loved it. LOOK AT IT. Did I know what the book was about when I impulse bought it? Hardly at all.

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Also because I heard about it on PolandBananasbooks channel and I loved the premise of a girl leaving home with just her phone, wallet and a picture of her mother and I wanted to know why.  But it turned out to be more than a mystery novel, maybe you guys know more about this novel than me but I went in to it virtually blind because I only I had eyes for the cover. It wasn’t what I expected but I loved it all the more for it.

Also my crappy book photography is back ~

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We Are Okay

by Nina Lecour

5 / 5 Stars

The first few pages felt a little Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfied-esque to me. The empty beds, a letter, the weather; it all had to mean something to Marin. And I kind of liked that and I didn’t.  I liked Catcher in the Rye (sort of kind, that is a rant / babble that I might save for a later post). I liked it because you can feel the character’s personality almost instantaneously through different objects and its not all she felt like this and this blah blah. It spices it up. But it also stops doing that very quickly, which is good because while I liked Catcher in the Rye it was a bit slow going and boggily too introspective at times. So the beginning of We Are Okay gave me moody teenage flashbacks for a minute. But crisis averted, it moves on!

To the mystery sort of why did she run away. We are informed her good friend she cut off all ties with from her home town is coming to visit. And then I am waiting for this. Because when her friend arrives it will reveal why Marin did this super extreme thing.

I really loved this premise. To just run away and leave everything because doesn’t everyone have those days where you just want to get up and go? You’re on a train, at work, or just sitting on the couch and you think what if I just go? But we never actually do it, which is why I was intrigued to read about a character who did it. But of course, Marin’s reasons are spurred by trauma.

Which is where it now becomes hard to talk about the rest of the novel without spoilers. So I’m going to say that it’s definitely worth a read if you enjoy reading books about finding yourself, teenage love but also family secrets (ones you wished you’d never known). This book was a roller coaster. And I found the ending satisfying.

I want to say so much more about this book! But I feel like wordpress isn’t the best platform to gush about spoilers because it’s hard to hide them from unsuspecting eyes. So let me know your thoughts on the book, if you’ve read it and if you haven’t DO! Sorry for the babble, love you all! 🙂

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The Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix

I wrote a review on the first book Sabriel a few months ago but after reading the rest I really want to go back on my five star recommendation… Maybe 4? I would give Lirael and Abhorsen 3.5 each.

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The Old Kingdom Trilogy by Garth Nix

3.5  / 5 stars

The thing is I loved the beginning of all of these books and the end. But the middles…are just too long. It’s all Lord of the Ring’s journey-esque and I feel it could really have skipped or glossed over some things.

But the endings are truly a good climax to the books, there is action, it’s well described. I love it, in fact I’d rather the endings were longer. There’s never a page or two of oh now they’re doing this. Instead it’s all oh hey they survived THE END. And I mean sometimes open endings are great but I’ve followed this character walking through chapters upon chapters of forest, can’t I have something?

But the series’ world is amazing, I love how the Charter that sorts all magic is organised and how all the magic that is not Charter works around this. We get to see how it affects the people. The shrouded mysterious history of the world is interesting. And I loved Sabriel and Lirael as main characters. I think I loved Lirael far more. But the middles of the books really are a slog and that’s why I would harshly give it 3.5. Shame on me!

I think it’s worth a read if you have patience – or like a good old novel about taking a freaking long time to get somewhere! Because of this I’m not an avid Lord of the Rings fan, yep shame on me.

But I love Lirael as a character, we first meet her in Lirael duh! And we follow her life for a few years as a girl who doesn’t fit in with the rest of her people. But the story was done really well and she didn’t feel all that whiney. I was really rooting for her. Anyway, the characters and the world is what kept me ploughing through the middle of these books.

Have you read the series? Tell me your thoughts! (Also how is Across the Wall? Is it worth picking up?)

Flash reviews of the books I read in February. And a brief intro of me making excuses about why I don’t post regularly.

Hey, so I don’t normally make a list of what I’ve read last month but my life has been pretty hectic and so I haven’t had the time to cover as much as I want. This month I finished a novel and am now trolling through the processes of queries, synopses and receiving my first rejection – what a milestone! XD And I moved back to China to finish the last few months of my contract working as a teacher. I also feel like I owe myself to make the effort to see more of the country, which I have been failing to do. And I feel like I need to make this blog more regular. So I’m thinking I’m going to start regularly posting weekly, likely Tuesday and when I say Tuesday that could mean Wednesday but my heart’s in the right place.

Pros

Cons

 

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Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

3.5 / 5 stars

 I found it pretty slow. I preferred Passenger. This was all shrouded in a bit too much mystery for me. I wanted a character to have all the facts so they could act upon them. Instead of it being divided but we, the reader knows and becomes incredibly frustrated watching the characters bumble around. I liked the story but there were times it dragged on a little and I couldn’t enjoy Nicholas’ POV.

However, I liked the coverage on Henry and wished their could have been more. And to see Sophie develop as a character was nice too.

I feel like I owe this series a re-read honestly because Wayfarer seemed so different in comparison to Passenger. I want to believe it is me being an idiot and forgetting the details of a book I read a year ago.

 

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Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

3 / 5 stars

This is a retelling of the fairytale Wassalissa the beautiful and I hope I might have a better understanding of this book if I read the original. Because Vassa in the Night seemed so strange. I like strange but this was another level.

I also feel like Vassa could have had some more motivation as a character.

But I did love Vassa’s doll, Erg. She reminded me of a time when I was a kid and wished my toys were real.

 

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The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman

5 /5 stars

I loved it and cannot wait until the next book comes out. I’m planning on writing about the three books as a collective because this series needs more hype. Secret agents. An evil baddie. Alternate worlds. Magic. My list will go on in a future post. Pick up The Invisible Library if you haven’t tried this series yet.

 

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Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

4.5 / 5 stars

I got to spend some time with the characters I love. This book is just a homage to all the characters from   Cassie’s Shadowhunters series’ I recommend it if you loved those.

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Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

4 / 5 stars

See my review here. I liked it.

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

5 stars

Also see my review. I freaking loved it.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

I loved this book, I flew through it and then…I reached the ending and I didn’t.

( AND I AM BACK WITH MY INCREDIBLY AMATEURISH PHOTOGRAPHY! Are you not entertained? )

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Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

4 / 5 stars

There are some books that I almost wish were stand-alones not because I didn’t like them but because I felt like they would have an insanely strong ending if they didn’t have to carry on. But hey, that’s just my opinion. I am also seeing way too many series now, which is great because I get to visit the lives of the characters I love all over again but I am beginning to want books to end. (Never expected that).

And I can’t really say much about my thoughts on the ending of Three Dark Crowns without obviously spoiling it. What I will say is something happened right at the end with Arsinoe and Katherine and I kind of guessed this was the case from like a few chapters in after I learnt the lore surrounding their story. So yay I was right and I mean I actually liked the twist at the end but I didn’t like how it ended. There was this huge build up to the three queens’ battle and I did not find the ending fulfilling.

That aside, I loved it.

I loved Katherines voice – who we meet first. She is just this sweet girl who has never been good enough but still tries so hard. She is the poisoner queen.

I was rooting for Arsinoe too who has no powers and despite the very hopeless future she has I was constantly rooting for her to find her familiar.

There was a lot of POV jumping and that didn’t make me hate the book as it was interesting learning about everyone’s lives I did at times want a little more on the queens etc. But everyone always has favourites when it comes to multiple POVs!

Let me know who you were rooting for below!

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Did you know you can a have different cover according to what queen you’re rooting for? I wish I’d known but then I have Arsinoe’s cover so that’s not so bad. Although Katherine’s green poisoner cover looks lovely.

I will be picking up the sequel Dark Throne. I do recommend this book! 🙂

Why Crooked Kingdom is freaking amazing.

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It’s been a week since I finished Crooked Kingdom because please I am a professional-amateur-barely-serious book blogger who knows to wait before gushing about a novel. You’ve got to wait a little while to reorder your feelings and make sure you’re not clawing at the back of the hype train that has already left the station because the book is finished and the story is over.

But this book has left me reeling after a week and you know that means it was a good book.

 

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

5 /5 Stars – Flipping amazing, buy yourself a house, buy your whole family a house.

Anyway, don’t you hate it when someone over hypes something? I do, so much. So I’m going to take a deep breath and say why I loved this little duology and why I think the second book was so much better than the first.

THE CHARACTERS: 

  • Kaz Brekker and his amazing schemes. How coldly logical he is, but also strangely kind and misunderstood because to the outside world he appears to an evil machine of plots and plans. Crooked Kingdom also indulges in more of the characters’ histories and while we’d heard Kaz’s before I liked how his desire for revenge was always part of his character.
  • Inej also known as The Wraith. She’s always been a fun character to read about, closer to Kaz but very much her own person. I won’t say much on it but how the novel ended with her fit her character very well after everything she had been through.
  • Nina and Mathias. I loved their relationship struggles and how much their own pasts affected them.
  • Jesper and Wylan. They are both so cute and I could honestly gush about all the characters and how real they seemed all day but seriously read the novels for yourself if you haven’t.

Kaz’s Plans: They were just so fun to read about. How things they had done before linked to another scheme later on.

Ketterdam: The description of the city made it so real to me. Details were given in snippets throughout both books and it slowly created this huge picture in my head. All the workings of thugs and thieves in the Barrel, even the plays the people loved and all dressed up as characters from it. It all seemed so real, almost like a circus in a city. A tourist attraction for sure. Every corner had some little snippet of history.

Honestly i could babble all day about why this book is amazing all day. How I loved Six of Crows and the insane heist they were on but Crooked Kingdom made me love the story even more. Leigh Bardugo is an insanely talented writer and I hope she doesn’t stop!

I can’t decide whether I loved the Six of Crows duology more than the Smoke and Bone trilogy. Either way I think this is a great start to 2017! Let me know your thoughts =)