Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie! Books I'd Want On a Desert Island

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week was a freebie, so I decided to go with books I'd want on a desert island. I'm going to mention series as just one book, because it's my list and I make the rules. And also, I'm probably going to bring some pretty big books with me.

So the first book(s) is obviously going to be the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. I love all of the books, and I can reread them forever. Which makes them the perfect books to bring to a desert island.

The next book(s) is the A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. All of these books are so huge, that it takes a long time just to read one of them, and there are 5 books out so far. Though I haven't reread this series, I haven't even read the 5th book yet, I know that they are perfect for rereads. So much stuff happens all the time, I'm sure I'll keep noticing new things every time I read them.

The next ones are The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. These books I've only picked because I love them so much, and not because of their size. You fly through them, and you can be done with all of them in less than 3 days. But even so, I can't imagine not being able to read them, and therefore I have to bring them with me.

The next book is actually a stand-alone, and that is The Bible. People who know me might be confused by this as I'm not a christian, but I've always wanted to read the Bible. The problem is that it's so long and intimidating, so being stuck on an island is the perfect excuse to finally get to it.

 The next ones out it yet another series, and though this hasn't been finished yet, I'm counting on being sent the next books as long as I'm stuck on the deserted island. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is of course the books I'm talking about. I have yet to reread them, as I just discovered them a year ago, but when the last one comes out I'm planning on marathoning the entire series, so they are definitely worth a reread.

Are there any other books I should bring with me? Which books would you bring with you?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Recently Added To My TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher
The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
Finding Hope by Colleen Nelson
This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Starflight by Melissa Landers
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Review: Fire

Title: Fire (Graceling Realm #2)
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Dial books
Year published: 2009
How I got this book: Got it through BookDepository (affiliate link)
My rating: 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.

If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was.

My thoughts:
I feel like you either love or hate this book. I read Graceling, the first book, about six months ago, and loved it. Finally, I was able to pick up this one, the second book in the companion series. I didn't have a lot of expectations to this, as I haven't read a lot of companion series and didn't know how I felt about them. Even though this is the second book in a series, I don't feel like you have the read the Graceling first. The story in Fire takes place before the story in Graceling, and therefore nothing will be spoiled. I've read that you should read Graceling before reading Bitterblue, since that takes place after Graceling.

Fire, the main character, is a "monster". Her hair is brightly coloured, and people have trouble behaving around her. Oh, and she has the power to control minds. This story takes place in a different part of the world than Graceling, and the people here have never heard of people having graces. I think Cashore's worldbuilding is wonderful, and I everything makes sense. The descriprions in this books gives me the ability to picture everything clearly in my head, without being boring or dragged out.

I think Fire is one of my favourite characters ever. I didn't always agree with her, but I really connected with her anyways. And, we both play the violin, so I might be a bit biased. As I said, I didn't always agree with her thoughts or actions, but I always understood why she did what she did. I felt like I could really connect with her, and I want more books with Fire.

We had a sort of love-triangle in this book, but it was in a new way and didn't bother me. We have Archer, who has been her friend forever. He sleeps around a lot, even though he wants to marry Fire. Fire however doesn't want to marry him, and is happy with their current relationship, which to me seemed like some sort of friends with benefits. Then Fire meets Brigan, who she eventually falls in love with. I don't have the warmest feelings toward Archer, as he came across as jealous and way too controlling. I did like Brigan, he seemed so nice, even though he also had his bad moments. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'm not going to talk more about the story, but rather wrap it up.

I really liked this book, and would recommend it to most of my friends, if they like fantasy. Even though this is a hit or miss book, I think people should try it. Just because someone you know doesn't like it, doesn't mean that you won't. I didn't read any reviews for it before I bought it, and I'm glad I didn't. My expectations and enjoyment of the book would have been changed, with all the negativity. And I loved it! I can't wait to read Bitterblue, but I also want to wait so the series doesn't end yet.

Have you read Fire?

Buy this book?
Amazon (US)
Amazon (UK)
Bookdepository (Affiliate link, worldwide)
Adlibris (Norway)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: 2015 Releases I Meant To Get But Didn't

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

There were so many great books published in 2015, and though I didn't get them all, I was able to get my hands of most of them! These are the ones that I really wanted, but never got around to buying, Hopefully I'll be able to pick most of them during 2016.

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir
Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard
Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo
A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
The Witch Hunter (The Witch Hunter #1) by Virgina Boecker
Soundless by Richelle Mead

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Which releases did you mean to pick up during 2015, but never got around to it?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Resolutions For 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

In this list, I'll mix both personal resolutions and reading resolutions. I don't really have that many, as I don't really feel the whole "new year, new me" stuff, but I did come up with some. I usually prefer to make resolutions at the end of summer, before school begin, as I feel like that's more of a fresh start instead of the middle of the schoolyear. However, as I've mentioned, I did come with a few resolutions.

I'm going to start with my reading resolutions. As I've already made a post about this, which you can read here, I'm going to keep it brief.

My Goodreads challenge this year is set to 35 books. I hope, and think, that I'll pass that without much problem, but I don't want to put any pressure on myself.

I'm also doing a somewhat modified version of the Popsugar Reading Challenge, and you can find my page about that here. I'm doing this to remind myself to branch out and not just read the same thing.

I have a couple of books I have on my TBR for this year as well, that I really want to read. Those books are:
1. Bitterblue (#The Graceling Realm #3)
2. All I Know Now
3. Carry On
4. A Court of Mist and Fury 

Those are all of my reading resolutions, so I'm moving onto my personal resolutions.

The first one is the one everyone has, to get healthy. I don't have any specific goals for this, I just want to be more conscious of what I eat, and stay active.
I also want to focus on being happier. I tend to overthink stuff and look at it negatively, and I want to change that. I'm going to focus on approaching things more positively and open-minded. 

The last, and most important one for me, is to get into a university. I am currently in the process of getting answers, and can't really do anything but wait. I've actually got answers from everyone, but one. I'm applying through UCAS, and the University of Essex wants me in for an interview at the end of this month, so I am super excited, and nervous, for that.

So those are my resolutions for the new year! What are yours?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 | Reading Challenge


I have set a few challenges for myself, reading wise, this year. There's nothing big since I don't want it to be a stressful component in my life, but more of a challenge to branch out a bit.

First, I have my goodreads challenge. Now, last year I read 80 books, and usually I would challenge myself to read more than I did the year before. But since the number is so high, I don't feel the need to do that. Therefore, I set the challenge to 35 books. I did consider setting it to 52, doing one book a week, but I have no idea what this year is going to bring, so I'm playing it safe.

I have on other challenge. It's pretty much the popsugar 2016 reading challenge, but with a few changes and such. My finished challenge ended up looking like this;

  • A book based on a fairy tale
  • A YA bestseller
  • A book set in Norway
  • A book translated to English
  • A romance set in the future
  • A book set in Europe
  • A book that's under 150 pages
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A book that's becoming a movie this year
  • A self-improvement book
  • A book you can finish in a day
  • A book written by a celebrity
  • A book at least 100 years older than you
  • A science-fiction novel
  • A book recommended by a family member
  • A graphic novel
  • A book that's published in 2016
  • A book with a protagonist who has your occupation
  • A classic from the 20th century
  • A book from the library
  • An autobiography
  • A book about a road trip
  • A book about a culture you're unfamiliar with
  • A satirical book
  • A book that takes place on an island
  • A book that's guaranteed to bring you joy
  • A book written by a comedian
  • A dystopian novel
  • A book with a blue cover
  • A book of poetry
  • The first book you see in a bookstore/library
  • A book that takes place during summer
  • A murder mystery
I 'll probably combine some of these challenges, but it's still a great challenge for reading something I normally wouldn't read. I will also have a page with this challenge on it, where I'll put up the books I read that fits into the different categories. 

What are your reading challenges this year?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 | A Reading Year In Review


I can't believe 2015 is already over, and I can't believe how much I've read this year! My goal for 2015 started out as 25 books or something, but as the year progressed I realised that I needed something a lot more challenging, and two days before the new year I finished my final goal, 80 books. When I look back, I don't understand how I managed to read so many. With everything that's been going on at school, I don't get how I had time to read anything else.

As I did read 80 books, I will obviously not talk about all of them here. If I did, this post would take forever to write, and to read. I will just sum it up. Overall, I feel like I had pretty awesome reading year. Yes, some of the books I read did disappoint, but you can't really expect anything else. I read so many fantastic books, and I discovered new authors that I want to read more of.

I want to mention some books in this post, so I'll do some categories.

The first category: Favourite book(s) of the year

I'm having a lot of trouble with this category, because there were so many good books. I excluded Harry Potter, Hunger Games and other rereads, because that just wouldn't be fair. But, after careful thinking I have come up with my answer, and that is Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Or really, the entire series. I started it back in January, and though I had some trouble getting into it at first, I fell in love with it. And yes, the books are great, but have you seen the covers? They are so amazing as well, and they all look so pretty together. Everything Maas writes is so great, and her other book, A Court of Thorns and Roses, are high up on the list of favourite books as well.

Here are links to my reviews for Heir of Fire (ToG #3), Queen of Shadows (ToG #4) and The Assassin's Blade (#0.1-0.5), as well as my review for A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Then, moving on to the second category: Biggest disappointment 

Unfortunately, I did read some disappointments this year as well, but luckily there weren't many of them. The biggest disappointment was Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Going into it, I really thought that it was a book that I was going to enjoy a lot, but I found it really confusing and boring. It's not a book I'm recommending to anybody, even though it is considered a "classic". The other classics I've read I've enjoyed, or at least understood why they became famous.
You can find my review for Slaughterhouse-Five here.

The third category: Prettiest cover

Hands down, the prettiest book I read this year must be Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley. I noticed that people were talking about it online, but the main reason I decided to actually buy it was because of the cover. I think it's so fascinating and beautiful, and I can honestly spend a long time looking at it. Fortunately, this books doesn't just have a pretty cover. I didn't have any expectations about this book, and I didn't really know what it was about, but it blew me away.
You can read my review for Magonia here.

The fourth, and last, category: Favourite author

The absolute first name I though of was Sarah J. Maas, and I'm going to stick to that answer. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that know me, because I've been talking so much about her. I didn't really discover Maas until this year, and during 2015 I managed to read all of her published books so far. I read the entire Throne of Glass series, the ones that has been published that is, and I read A Court of Thorns and Roses. My most anticipated releases this year are her books, A Court of Mist and Fury and the 5th book in the Throne of Glass series. Something about her writing just calls out to me, and I am always completely immersed in her books whilst reading them. And she is fantastic at writing swoonworthy male characters, and how can I not like that. And she's not only a really talented writer, she's also super funny and nice. I've personally never met her, but you can see videos of her on youtube, and you can tell that she has humor. It might not be the best sense of humor, but it's similar to mine, and that just makes me like her even more. She seems so down to earth, at least according to her instagram, and just seems nice. She's someone you would like to have as a friend.

And remember, if you need to buy some more books, you can get them really cheap at the BookDepository (affiliate link)

How was your year? Did you read a lot of great books, and if you did, which ones are your favourites? Which ones disappointed you?