Thursday, December 8, 2016

Review: A Year and a Day


Title: A Year and a Day
Author: Isabelle Broom
Publisher: Penguin
Year published: 2016
How I got this book: I got it as an arc through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review
My rating: 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
A heartwarming and heartbreaking story about love and life in one of Europe's most romantic cities, Prague.

Welcome to a city where wishes are everywhere.

For Megan, a winter escape to Prague with her friend Ollie is a chance to find some inspiration for her upcoming photography exhibition. But she's determined to keep their friendship from becoming anything more. Because if Megan lets Ollie find out about her past, she risks losing everything - and she won't let that happen again...

For Hope, the trip is a surprise treat from Charlie, her new partner. But she's struggling to enjoy the beauty of the city when she nows how angry her daughter is back home. And that it's all her fault...

For Sophie, the city has always been a magical place. This time she can't stop counting down the moments until her boyfriend Robin joins her. But in historic Prague you can never escape the past...

Three different women.


Three intertwining love stories.

My thoughts:
This book is amazing. I am seriously considering visiting Prague because of this. I fell in love with the story, the characters and Prague.

We follow three main characters; Megan, Hope and Sophie, who happen to be visiting Prague for different reasons, but at the same time. The POV's are in rotation, and we never have the same POV for two chapters at the time. 

The descriptions and imagery in this book was amazing. It really felt like I was there, in Prague, with the characters. I could visualize everything, and I felt calm reading this book. And it definitely made me excited for Christmas, though that is not the main point of the story.

I am not going to spoil anything, but this story is so intriguing. There was something that made me relate to all of the characters in different ways, and it was easy to understand their actions. 

I don't really have much more to say about this book, because I don't want to spoil anything. It is definitely a book I would recommend picking up, it is an amazing read, and the author is incredibly talented.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 New-To-Me-Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish


Debbie Macomber

Carrie Hope Fletcher

Jojo Moyes

Zoe Sugg

Marissa Meyer

                Erica James                                                                                                 Giovanna Fletcher

     Brandon Sanderson                                                                                                    Eliza Freed
Paula Hawkins


Who is your favourite author that you read for the first time this year?

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Review: Seraphina


Title: Seraphina (Seraphina #1)
Author: Rachel Hartman
Publisher: Random House
Year published: 2012
How I got this book: I listened to it as an audiobook on the app StoryTel
My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons int he kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as amassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high. 

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered - in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

My thoughts:
Seraphina spent a long time on my TBR before I finally got around to reading it. And I'm so glad that I did. This is a book I really enjoyed, and it was easy to get into.

Despite this being a fantasy book, I didn't feel like I had to try to get into the setting. It just came naturally, and the world opened up as you read. I really liked the dragons in this book, and the fact that they can take human forms. I haven't really read a lot of books with dragons, so I don't know if this is anything new, but I found it interesting and it really made the story something special.

We only follow Seraphina's perspective in this book, which works wonderfully. We discover her own secrets as she uncovers them all, and we learn about the world with her. 

Though I found this to be a light-hearted book, I also think it brought up injustices we have in our own society. Especially racism towards each other, depending on how we look and come from, and not how we are as people.

This is a book I will recommend to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy book, because I really think they'll enjoy this. Even if you're not a big fan of fantasy, I suggest you give it a shot. It's not going to be for everyone, but you'll never know unless you try it. 

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Review: Wrecked


Title: Wrecked
Author: Maria Padian
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication date: October 4th 2016
How I got this book: I got it as an arc through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
My rating: 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
Everyone has heard a different version of what happened that night at MacCallum College. Haley was already in bed when roommate, Jenny, arrived home shell-shocked from the wild Conundrum House party. Richard heard his housemate Jordan brag about a cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny formally accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard find themselves pushed onto opposite sides of the school's investigation. But conflicting interests fueling conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible - especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict.

My thoughts:
This book brings up a really important topic, especially with everything happening at schools right now. 

We don't read from the victim's perspective in this book, but her roommate, Haley. We also read from Richard's perspective, the roommate of the accused rapist. I found this as an interesting twist, because as readers, we don't ever know more than what Haley and Richard know. 

The story is gripping, and I found it really hard to put down. I wanted to keep reading, find out what happened and how everything was going to turn out. Though the main focus in the book is about the case, and finding out what happened, we also get to know Haley and Richard, and how their relationship evolves, despite being on two different sides.

I found the characters in this book to be really relatable, and likeable, most of the time. I really connected with Haley, and yes, she was selfish at times, but she's only human. We meet plenty of characters, and most of them felt like real people that you got to know.

Between each chapter we are also told what really happened, but only in small parts. We don't really know everything until the end of the book. 

I felt like this was a realistic story about sexual assault at colleges, and it was heartbreaking. The book is called Wrecked for a reason. We see how much resistance the victim gets through both the school, and the other students around them. It's great that authors are writing about it, and encourages the debate. This is a topic that needs to be addressed, and it's amazing that authors like Padian does it in such a wonderful way.

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Wrap Up: September



Hello!

This month was my last one with no school and no worries, so I fille expect to read a lot less in October. I managed to read 17 books in September, and even started an 18th. I'm super pleased with myself, and I am so grateful that I was able to read as much as I was during the summer. 

Gravbøygen våkner (Alvetegnet #1) by Sigbjørn Mostue - 3,5 stars
Nissedreperen (Alvetegnet #2) by Sigbjørn Mostue - 3 stars
Krakens gap (Alvetegnet #3) by Sigbjørn Mostue - 3,5 stars
These are all Norwegian books, and they have not been translated to English, and therefore don't have any English titles. Roughly translated, Alvetegnet means "the sign of the elves"

Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan - 3 stars
Paris for One by Jojo Moyes - 4 stars
The Muse by Jessie Burton - 4 stars

Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes - 4 stars
The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes - 4 stars
Photographs from the Edge by Art Wolfe - 3,5 stars - REVIEW

You're the One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher - 4 stars - REVIEW
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman - 4 stars - REVIEW
Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas - 5 stars - REVIEW

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson - 4 stars
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien - 4 stars
On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher - 4 stars

1984 by George Orwell - 4 stars
Wrecked by Maria Padian - 5 stars - REVIEW


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Review: You're the One That I want


Title: You're the One That I Want
Author: Giovanna Fletcher
Publisher: Penguin
Year published: 2014
How I got this book: I listened to it as an audiobook on the app StoryTel
My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
Maddy, dressed in white, stands at the back of the church. At the end of the aisle is Rob - the man she's about to marry. Next to Rob is Ben - best man and the best friend any two people ever had.

And that's the problem.

Because if it wasn't Rob waiting for her at the altar, there's a strong chance it would be Ben. Loyal and sensitive Ben has always kept his feelings to himself, but if he turned round and told Maddy she was making a mistake, would she listen? And would he be right?

Best friends since childhood, Maddy, Ben and Rob thought their bond was unbreakable. But love changes everything. Maddy has a choice to make, but will she choose wisely? Her heart, and the hearts of the two best men she knows, depend on it...

My thoughts:
This is my first book by Giovanna Fletcher, and I definitely want to pick up more books from her after this. The book si light-hearted, captivating and heart-breaking. 

We follow Maddy, Ben and Rob throughout their childhood until their all adults, from the perspectives of Maddy and Ben. Their story begins when they were all children, all of them in the same class. I really enjoyed how we got the see how their relationships evolved as they grew up, and how the dynamic in the group changed with them.

The story takes place several places, depending on where the characters are in their lives. We follow them on a class-trip to Paris when their teenagers, and they are obsessed with finding the love of their life in the City of Love.

We have one chapter from Maddy and one chapter from Ben at the different stages in their life. The story is easy to follow, especially as we get to know their age in the chapter title. Without that, it might have been a bit more confusing.

The best thing about having this dual perspective, is that we learn how to people experience the same things. Even though they are best friends, they react so differently from each other, and it's clear that they can think for themselves, and not just follow each other.

If you're a fan of light-hearted romance books, with a lot of focus on friendship, I would recommend picking this book up. It is definitely a romance novel, but the two narratives aren't the love interests, which makes this story all the more interesting. We learn about their friendship through their lives, and how life-changes like moving to university affects their friendship.


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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Review: Empire of Storms










**This is the 5th book in the Throne of Glass series, and will contain spoilers for Throne of Glass,  Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows. **

Title: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year published: 2016
How I got this book: I bought it at Waterstones
My rating: 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don't.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

My thoughts:
I have to warn everyone, this review will contain a lot of spoilers for this book. I have so much I need to share. If you haven't read this book yet and don't want to be spoiled, stop reading. The only non-spoilery thing I can say, is that I absolutely loved it and it broke my heart.

*Spoilers below*

I don't even know how to being this review, I have so much on my mind and I don't know how to get it all onto the page, with it still making sense. Because of that, I'll just start with the characters.

Aelin. My favourite heroine of all time. She's amazing in this book as well. We have a vast choice of perspectives throughout this book, and I don't think there's one I enjoyed more than the others, but Aelin is one of my favourite characters. She's so complex, and it's clear that she isn't just a selfless, perfect heroine. She's selfish and doesn't always make the best choices. She's very obviously flawed, but that makes her all the more likable, in my opinion.

And then we have Rowan, who we first met in Heir of Fire. He's just as amazing in this book as the others, and I really enjoy reading about his relationship with Aelin. I know a lot of people say they hate the fact that they became romantic, but I don't have anything against it. I'm on board with whatever Maas decides. 

We get to know Lysandra a lot in this book, and we learn a lot more about her shapeshifting. I found this so intriguing, and Lysandra is one of my favourite characters, though, to be honest, they all are. I loved learning about how it worked, and how Lysandra was able to take one shape, and then tweak it to make it better for what she wanted. And her Sea Dragon moment was amazing, I've never been more scared in my life. 

We also see a lot of Manon in this book, which I really enjoyed. Pretty early in this book we learn that she's actually a Crochan Queen, not just a Blackbeak. I did not see that coming, and I'm so excited to see what this means for the next book. I still can't get over the fact that she sacrificed herself to give her Thirteen time to run away, because she cared so much for them. I am just so glad she didn't die, because I don't know what I would have done if that happened.

I also want to talk about Manon and Dorian. We got hints in the last book that something might happen between them, though no one was sure if it would be platonic or romantic. I totally ship them together, and if that what makes them happy I'll support it. Both Dorian and Manon deserves happiness.

And then we have another ship that a lot of people didn't like, Elide and Lorcan. Again, I'm on board with whatever Maas decides, so I really liked this as well. It was interesting reading from both of their perspectives, and I feel like we learn more about this world and the dynamic with every perspective added. 

The last ship, though they're not "together", is Lysandra and Aedion. Aedion is so clearly in love with Lysandra, and he just want her to be happy. They form this strong friendship, which, of course, is broken by the ending of this book. I also really loved that we get to know that Aedion is bi-sexual, in such a casual way. 

We have all of these characters in this book, and many are complaining that Chaol isn't in this book. I didn't really mind it, because the book worked the way it is. I'm used to reading series where not every character is in every book. And the only thing he did during this book was being on a boat, travelling to healers. Though I am a big fan of him, I don't think it would have added anything to the story, and would have made the book so much longer. And we even got a novella about him and his journey, and honestly, that was enough for me.

I can't not mention the Battle at Skull Bay in this review, where Lysandra becomes the sea dragon to fight the wyerns in the water. I cried so much, I was terrified that Lysandra was going to die. Maas surely knows how to write action, because I could not put the book down.

A lot of people have been complaining about the sex in this book, and though I understand that some people might not enjoy them, I don't understand all the complaining. There are 3 sex scenes in this book, and if you wan't to you can skip them. They don't bring anything to the plot, but I don't think they made the book worse. People complained that the sex scenes were mature content, but I felt like a lot of the action was that as well.

Before I get to the ending, I just have to discuss Maeve a little bit. She is definitely the new main enemy, and I cannot stand her at all. I hate that Lorcan, Fenrys and Gavriel had their blood oaths to her, and that she was able to just control them like that, and they didn't have any choice. I've seen a lot of people saying she's the "new Umbridge", and I definitely agree. Some villains you love to hate, but others you just want gone. And Maeve is one of those.

I cannot believe the ending of this book. I was honestly not okay after reading it, I had no idea what to do with myself. We learn all of these hidden plot points, even from previous books. This just shows how smart Aelin is, to keep it hidden from everyone. Because of all the perspectives, Maas was able to hide from the readers as well, and it worked so great. I was so sad, and excited at the same time, when everything got revealed in the end. But I still cannot deal with the fact that Aelin is now all alone, captured by Maeve. I felt sick to my stomach reading the last chapter, especially with the whipping. 

I really hope you've read the book if you're reading this, unless you really wanted to be spoiled. I can't wait for the next one, which I'm sure will be just as great as the others. 

What did you think of Empire of Storms?


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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Review: Photographs from the Edge


Title: Photographs from the Edge
Author: Art Wolfe, Rob Sheppard
Publisher: Amphoto Books
Year published: 2016
How I got this book: I got it as an e-arc through NetGalley
My rating: -

Goodreads synopsis:
With more than 500,000 books sold, celebrated nature photographer Art Wolfe recounts the stories and techniques behind the images of his forty-year career around the world.

Legendary photographer Art Wolfe presents an intimate behind-the-scenes guide to the experiences, decisions, and methods that have influenced forty years of stunning images captures around the world. Wolfe and co-author Rob Sheppard transport readers on a global journey, while carrying on a dialog about photography, tolls and process, world travel, close calls, and photographic opportunities both taken and missed. From the rich sights and smells of the Pushcar Camel Fair to the exact moment when a polar bear and her cubs leave their arctic den, Photographs from the Edge represents the instances when circumstance, light, and subject miraculously collide to form an iconic image. Many of these photographs can never be duplicated as cultures and landscapes are transformed and wildlife diminishes or disappears all together. No matter his subjects, Wolfe regales us with the stories behind the photographs and helps us experience life on the world's most unique photo safari. Photographs from the Edge is a lifetime of experience distilled into a rich photographic education.

My thoughts:
Before I start my review, I want to mention that I got this book for free as an arc through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions here are my own, and not influenced by the fact that I got this for free.

I've never read a photography book before, because I'm not really that interested in it, to be honest. But when I got accepted for this on NetGalley, I was excited. The cover drew me in, it's absolutely stunning, and I really wanted to see more pictures from Art Wolfe. 

What I really enjoyed about this book was that it wasn't just pictures. Wolfe told about every picture he included in this book, how he got it and the adventures he experienced travelling throughout the world to find these pictures. The stories were all intriguing, and I learnt about different cultures and animals, about whatever he had pictured. 

Beneath most of the pictures they also included to short paragraphs, one called "The nature of the photo" and "photo tip". The first one gave us some basic information about the picture, whilst the latter was written by Rob Sheppard giving photography tips, usually something relevant with the photograph. 

I really enjoyed reading this. Because of all the pictures, this was obviously a short read. I can imagine this being the perfect coffee-table book. You don't have to read all of it in one sitting, though that's what I did. It's a book that's perfect to pick up now and then, working slowly through it. I can imagine this being a great gift for someone, because it can also be used to decorate a home. You don't have to like to read to enjoy this, because it's mostly looking at beautiful photographs.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Audiobooks

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Hello!

I'm a big fan of audiobooks, and this summer I listened to loads of them. I'm lucky enough to have a job where I'm able to listen to them whilst working, and because of that I'm able to get through quite a lot of books during work. I'm soon starting uni, I only have 2 more days of work after this one, so I won't be able to listen to as many audiobooks anymore, but I will still try my best to include it in my reading. 


The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, read by Rob Inglis. This is the book I'm currently listening to, and I'm really enjoying it. I think this is easer for me, personally, instead of reading the physical book.

Life & Laughing by Michael McIntyre, read by Michael McIntyre. My absolute favourite audiobook of all time. McIntyre is my favourite comedian, and listening to him reading his own book is extremely funny. I listened to this at work, and I can honestly say I laughed out lout at several occasions. 

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, read by Roy Dotrice. Though I've only picture the first book I mean the entire series, which I listened to as audiobooks. One word; amazing.

The Narnia Chronicles by C. S. Lewis, read by several people. Again, though I've only pictured the first book, I mean the entire series.


Summer at the Lake by Erica James, read by Antonia Beamish.

Act of God by Jill Ciment, read by Barbara Rosenblat.

You're the One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher, read by Ben Elliot and Kate Rawson.

The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes, read by Elizabeth Bower, Ben Elliot, Nicola Stanton and Steven France.


¨

Armada by Ernest Cline, read by Will Wheaton

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes, read by Christoper Ragland


What is your favourite audiobook? Do you prefer audiobooks or physical books?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Review: The One Plus One


Title: The One Plus One
Author: Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Penguin
Year published: 2014
How I got this book: I listened to an audiobook through the app Storytel
My rating: 4,5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
One single mum

With two jobs and two children, Jess Thomas does her best day after day. But it's hard on your own. And sometimes you take you shouldn't. Because you have to...

One chaotic family

Jess's gifter, quirky daughter Tanzie is brilliant with numbers, but without a helping hand she'll never get the chance to shine.And Nicky, Jess's teenage stepson, can't fight the bullies alone. 

Sometimes Jess feels like they're sinking...

One handsome stranger

Into their lives come Ed Nicholls, a man whose life is in chaos, and who is running from a deeply uncertain future. But he has time on his hands. He knows what it's like to be lonely. And he wants to help...

One unexpected love story

My thoughts:
This story is absolutely adorable. We read from four different perspectives, Jess, Tanzie, Nicky and Ed. With the audiobook there were four narrators, so we heard different people depending on which perspective we were reading.

I enjoyed all four of the perspectives, and didn't really have a clear favourite. My favourite character in the story has to be Tanzie, I just fell for her. She is this little math genius, and she can do anything. Her personality was really likeable, and it was interesting to learn how she perceived the world around her. 

It was so easy to connect with all the characters, and I felt like a knew all of them personally. I really wanted good things to happen to all of them, and I got really sad when it seemed like the entire universe worked against them. They all have their flaws, but I found their personalities and experiences really realistic.

This book made me realise that I really enjoy books by Jojo Moyes. I will continue reading her books, because they all have realistic plots. This is definitely a book you should pick up, even if you haven't read anything by Moyes before. 

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