Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Top 6 | Books I Have Read So Far In 2015

The top ten books you have read so far this year is the topic of next week's Top Ten Tuesday. However, I won't be around next week as I will be busy running about after about a group of 8-12 year olds (I'm a leader at a summer camp, it's not as weird as it sounds!), so I decided to do this list this week instead. I decided to narrow it down to the top 5, as some books I would be including in my top ten were just reasonably good, rather than great. As I expected, though, I couldn't choose between two so ended up picking my top 6.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
I didn't intend for these to be in any kind of order but this is probably my favourite book I have read so far this year. I put off finishing this series as I had heard so many mixed reviews of Allegiant; some people completely loved it, while others hated it so much they refuse to keep it on their shelf. I was, obviously, one of those who loved it. I thought it was a great ending to the series and, despite the controversy surrounding the way the book ended, I think Veronica Roth did a fantastic job of concluding the series. I have a full review of this book here where you can read more of my raving.

2. The Selection series by Kiera Casss
I decided to include the first three books in The Selection series - The Selection, The Elite and The One - as one, because collectively they are definitely next in line after Allegiant when it comes to favourites of the year. I absolutely loved the first three books in the series, despite hearing many mixed review, and though I wouldn't consider the fourth book, The Heir, as a favourite of the year, I did still enjoy it. I have a review of all three books - The Selection, The Elite and The One - if you want to know more of my thoughts.

3. How To Fall In Love by Cecelia Ahern
This is the last of my five star books I have read so far this year. This is only the second book I have read by Cecelia Ahern, with the first being my beloved Where Rainbows End, and I was very impressed. I really wanted to love this book, considering how much I loved my first of her books, and I was so relieved when I loved it. Cecelia Ahern has this incredible talent of taking something as serious and solemn as suicide and making it light-hearted and funny, while still being sensitive and respectful of the subject matter. I don't have a review of this one yet but it will be coming soon.

4. Ignite by Lily Paradis
This may have been a four star read from me but it was still great. This was my first experience of the New Adult genre and it has definitely made me want to read more. I loved this story, particularly the aspect of the main character suddenly becoming responsible for three children, but also the romance aspect. The characters were great and I became so immersed in their story. I have a full review of this one here if you want to know more.

5. I Was Here by Gayle Forman
This is another book relating to suicide, but it is completely different from How To Fall In Love. This was definitely a more serious take on the subject but it was still very enjoyable. The characters are very relatable and I enjoyed reading about them. More importantly, this was a great story of friendship and family and it really touched me. I don't have a full review of this one yet but I will have very soon.

6. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
This is the only 'light and fluffy' contemporary I have amongst my favourite books of the year so far because, surprisingly for me, I haven't read that many. This was a very quirky take on the usual contemporary love story. The main character was very different from the usual, though great, and even the setting was quite unusual. There wasn't really anything particularly stand out about this book but I did really enjoy it. I will have a full review of this coming soon.

So those are my top 6 books of 2015 so far. Have you read any of them? What have your favourites been so far?

Sophie :)

Monday, 22 June 2015

Review | Playlist For The Dead by Michelle Falkoff

Image and video hosting by TinyPicPlaylist For The Dead by Michelle Falkoff
Published By: Harper Collins
Published On: January 27, 2015
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 281
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
Narrated By: Davis Brooks
Rating: ★★

Amazon | Goodreads

Here's what Sam knows: There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, his best friend, Hayden, was dead. And all he left Sam was a playlist of songs, and a suicide note: For Sam—listen and you'll understand. 
As he listens to song after song, Sam tries to face up to what happened the night Hayden killed himself. But it's only by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to the people around him that he will finally be able to piece together his best friend’s story. And maybe have a chance to change his own.

After his best friend Hayden unexpectedly commits suicide, leaving behind nothing but a playlist of songs, Sam is lost. With his only friend gone, all Sam can do is play video games and attempt to decipher Hayden’s final message to him, the playlist. With the accompanying note read ‘For Sam – listen and you’ll understand’, Sam sets out to uncover the truth surrounding is best friend’s death. 

This was the first novel I decided to pick up as part of the Debut Author Challenge this year, so I was excited to get to it. Unfortunately, I found it to be quite boring. The idea of the story had great promise, with books of a similar theme proving to be very popular. However, this book was not as good as it could have been.

I found the plot twists to be either predictable or just not that exciting. I think this is the main reason I found this book to be boring. Though plenty was going on within the story, nothing was particularly exciting or shocking. This often meant that climactic moments ended up falling flat for me.

Unfortunately, I also felt nothing towards any of the characters. None were particularly likeable, though I didn’t particularly dislike any either. My indifference towards the characters made it hard for me to engage with their struggles throughout the story.

From the title and synopsis of the book, I understood that the playlist would play a significant part in the story. Having finished the book, I still don’t understand its significance at all. It seemed to have very little to do with Sam understanding Hayden’s situation. In fact, it almost seems as though it was simply used to fill up some space in the story. Maybe I’m missing something.

To be completely honest, if I hadn’t listened to this on audiobook I probably would have given up on it. I doubt I would have made the effort to sit down and struggle my way through this book. The fact that I could listen to it on the journey to and from university or while I was doing housework was probably the only reason I finished it.

Overall, I did not enjoy this book. I found it to be quite boring and just did not enjoy it. I expected something emotional or a great mystery to be uncovered but it completely fell flat for me. I really wanted to enjoy it, especially with it being a debut novel, but, unfortunately, I did not.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Summer Biannual Bibliothon | TBR

I have never officially taken part in a readathon before, as they seem to always take place when I have exams, but since my last exams is tomorrow (Saturday), I'm going to make this my first. The Summer Biannual Bibliothon runs from Sunday 21st June to Saturday 27th June and all the information can be found here. This readathon has set challenges, which I really enjoy, so I am going to share my TBR for completing those challenges.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Paper Towns by John Green -
Challenge: Group Book and Book Involving A Social Issue
Paper Towns is on my TBR for the month of June so I was excited when I saw that it is the group book for this readathon. I want to read this book before the movie comes out, which is also the reason why it has been chosen as the group book. I decided to double up on challenges for this book as I believe it features mental illness, primarily depression, which is a social issue I am passionate about.

The Naughtiest Girl In The School by Enid Blyton -
Challenge: Reread A Book From Your Childhood
I struggled to think of a book for this challenge as I don't remember much of what I read as a child. I do remember having a book including the first three books in the Naughtiest Girl series, and I remember quite enjoying them, so I decided to reread a book from this series. I managed to find the first book in the series on iBooks so I will be rereading that for the challenge.

Free Four by Veronica Roth -
Challenge: Companion/Novella/Prequel
This is the last of the Divergent novellas that I own so it's about time that I read it. I believe this novella features the knife throwing scene from Divergent but from the point of view of Four. This is only around 40 pages so should be an easy one to get through.

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban by JK Rowling -
Challenge: Book From The Genre You've Read Least This Year
I have only read one fantasy book so far this year and that was the second Harry Potter book. It's really about time I read this series and since the third book is on my Summer TBR, this seems like the perfect choice for this challenge.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner -
Challenge: A DNF Book
I started this book last year but put it down after about 50 pages as I wasn't enjoying it. I think I just wasn't in the mood for it but I am a little nervous to try again. I am going to give it a go during the readathon, if I get to it, but I am still a bit unsure about whether I will like it.

The Geography Of You And Me by Jennifer E Smith -
Challenge: Book Set In A Foreign Country
Living in Scotland, I had a lot of choices for this challenge since very few books I read are set here. I decided to go for this one partly because I really want to read it but also because it is set in various countries around the world, including my own actually. I thought this would be a good choice as I think the various countries are actually important to the story, as it is about a long-distance relationship.

Those are the 5 books and 1 novella that I am hoping to read for the Summer Biannual Bibliothon. I feel that this is a little ambitious but I will give it my best shot. It seems like a great way to start off my summer so I am looking forward to it.

Will you be participating?

Sophie :)

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Mini Reviews | A Mixed Bag

I started doing some mini reviews at the start of the year for those books that I don't have loads to say about. There are times when I read a book but when it comes to reviewing it, there isn't enough to say to make up a full review. I don't want these books to go unnoticed, however, so mini reviews are perfect. In these reviews I will mention a few things I liked about the book, and a few things I did not like.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And That's When It Fell Off In My Hand (#5), Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers (#6) and Startled By His Furry Shorts (#7) by Louise Rennison
Series: Confessions Of Georgia Nicholson series
Published By: Harper Collins
Published On: 2004 (#5), 2005 (#6) & 2006 (#7)
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 269 (#5), 310 (#6) & 272 (#7)
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Amazon | Goodreads

What I Liked: These are very quick, fun reads, particularly because they are written in the form of diary entries. The interesting, and slightly odd, characters make these books even more enjoyable and add to the hilarity of the stories told. These stories are your typical high school drama and boy problems but with the addition of complete madness.
What I Disliked: As I am 20 and these books are aimed at girls much younger than me, I do find these books to be a little immature. As a 14/15 year old, I would have loved them but now, though I do enjoy them, I do have some problems relating to the characters and their situations. I also had a few problems with book 6 in the series as there were some characters I couldn't quite take to.
Rating: Book 5 - ★★★
Book 6 - ★★½
Book 7 - ★★★

Image and video hosting by TinyPicHarry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets by JK Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #2
Published By: Bloomsbury
Published On: May 28, 1999
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 251
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Amazon | Goodreads

What I Liked: I enjoyed this book much more than I did the first book in the series. I had seen the first movie so many times that I knew exactly what was coming throughout the book. For this one, however, I had only seen the movie once and remembered almost nothing about it. This made the book much more enjoyable as it was more of a surprise. As with the first book, I really like the characters and the Hogwarts setting, and found it to be extremely well written.
What I Disliked: There is very little that I disliked about this book, and in fact my issues have nothing to do with the book itself. There is so much pressure to love these books and I find it harder to enjoy them because of that. I also feel slightly less connected with the characters as they are so well loved by everyone. It is as if they are someone else's friends so I can't be there friend, if that makes any sense to anyone other than me.
Rating: ★★★★

Image and video hosting by TinyPic  Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
Published By: Hodder
Published On: March 21, 2008
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pages: 512
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Amazon | Goodreads

What I Liked: As a law student, I found some of the legal aspects of this book to be interesting. Obviously this is fictional but some of the legal points made were quite though-provoking.
What I Disliked: Unfortunately, I don't even know where to start for things I disliked. This was not at all what I was expecting, though I don't know what that was exactly. I found this to be very boring and repetitive. It definitely did not need to be over 500 pages as everything seemed to be repeated multiple times. What should have been a heart-breaking story did nothing for me, I just wanted it to be over.
Rating: ★★

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

Sophie :)

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Review | Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse

Image and video hosting by TinyPicBefore We Met by Lucie Whitehouse
Published On: January 21, 2014
Published By: Bloomsbury
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

A whirlwind romance. A perfect marriage. 

Hannah Reilly has seized her chance at happiness. Until the day her husband fails to come home . . . 

And can you ever really know what happened before you met?

When Hannah’s husband does not come home from a business trip one night, she begins to worry, expecting the worst. What she doesn’t expect, however, is the secrets from her husband’s past that begin to unravel as a result. As she discovers more from his past, Hannah begins to question whether she truly knows the man she married.

This was compared to Gone Girl so I had quite high expectations. While I didn’t love Gone Girl, this was mainly due to the ending; I actually enjoyed the majority of the book. I liked the mystery aspect of Gone Girl and was looking forward to something similar with this book. However, this did not meet my expectations.

I liked the idea of the book. The plot is interesting and I think the concept of the person you marry, and think you know very well, turns out to not be who you thought they were. This had a great deal of potential but I don’t think it was done as well as it could have been.

Like most of the book, the characters were very average for me. I didn’t particularly like any of them or have any kind of connection. Then again, I didn’t really hate any of them either. They were nothing special, but enjoyable enough to read about. I feel the characters could have added much more to the story.

I expect a plot filled with unexpected twists in a mystery/thriller novel, however this was quite predictable. None of the plot twists were particularly shocking or exciting and there was nothing to get my heart racing. Also, for the most part, I could see where the story was going and the ending was not much of a surprise to me.

Overall, this book was enjoyable enough but not one I would recommend. You may appreciate it more if you have not read the likes of Gillian Flynn but this did not live up to the standard of her works, and as this book has been compared to Gone Girl, that is what I expected.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Top Ten Tuesday | Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke And The Bookish. Lists galore, I can think of nothing better!

This week's theme is Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR and there were a lot more than 10 books to choose from for this. I have so many books that I want to read during the summer and I know I'm not going to get to all of them, I probably won't even get around to all ten of these, but I can try my best. I am always in the mood to read a lot of Contemporary during the summer months so I have split this list into contemporary books and other genres.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

1. Paper Towns by John Green
This is on my TBR for June so I can hopefully get this one read quite soon. I really want to read this one before the movie comes out in August here in the UK. I know very little about it but the trailer for the movie looks really good, so hopefully I will enjoy this one.

2. The Geography Of You And Me by Jennifer E Smith
I read The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E Smith last summer and really enjoyed it so I am in the mood to read some more from her. I have a couple of her books but decided to go with this one as it is, I believe, about the struggles of a long distance relationship, and part of the book takes place in Edinburgh so as a Scot, that interests me.

3. Isla And The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
This one is a reread for me. I am desperate for some Stephanie Perkins in my life but since we don't seem to be getting anything new from her until next year at the earliest, I shall just have to reread my favourite of her books. I absolutely loved Isla when I read it last year and instantly wanted to read it again so I will definitely be doing that at some point this summer.

4. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
As soon as this was released last year, everyone was raving about it. I am, as usual, pretty late joining this bandwagon but I am definitely planning to see what the fuss is about this summer. This is about a girls whose best friend, whom she tends to hide behind, leaves without warning but gives her a lists of things she must do during the summer. This sounds like it could be a lot of fun and something very relatable to me.

5. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
I have heard it said that this is the perfect series to read during summer and since I have also heard such great things about Jenny Han's writing, I am looking forward to giving this series a go. I know there's a love triangle in this series, so I'm not sure how I'm going to feel about that but I will give it a go and hopefully I enjoy it.

6. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
I own three Rainbow Rowell books and have yet to read any of them so it is definitely about time I made a start. I wasn't sure which of the three to start with so I decided to read them in publication order which means, according to Goodreads, that Attachments is first. This sounds really interesting to me, about a man whose job is to regulate the company emails and in doing so discovers a conversation between two female colleagues, one of which he starts to develop feelings for. I'm definitely looking forward to this one.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
It seems to be taking me forever to get through the Harry Potter books considering I read the second book back in February. It's about time I continue with the series so I am planning to get the the third book during the summer. I had actually intended to read all three books last summer but that obviously never happened so we'll see if I can get to this one during this summer.

8. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
I have had this book on my shelf since back in my Twilight days so it really is about time I finally get around to reading it. I don't know why I haven't got to it yet considering it has been on my monthly TBR quite a few times over the past year. I will get round to reading it at some point this year...hopefully.

9. City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare
I must be one of very few people who have not even started this series yet and plenty of my friends are constantly telling me to get reading it. I am slightly intimidated by it, not only because it's a pretty lengthy book, but also because several people have said the first book is not that great compared to the rest in the series. I will give it a try and hopefully I'll get to it this summer.

10. Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout
I have heard such great things about this series so I don't know why I still haven't read it yet. I have never read anything featuring aliens before, which is why this series sounds so interesting to me. It is a little out of my comfort zone but I definitely want to stretch myself a little and try it out. So many people are huge fans of Jennifer L Armentrout and her writing, so there is a bit of pressure to like it, but I am hoping it will be worth the hype.

Have you read any of the books on my Summer TBR list? What are you planning to read this summer?

Sophie :)

Monday, 15 June 2015

Review | The One by Kiera Cass

Image and video hosting by TinyPicThe One by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #3
Published On: May 6, 2014
Published By: Harper Teen
Genre: Dystopian
Pages: 323
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift
Rating: ★★★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

The time has come for one winner to be crowned. 

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown--or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose--and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.

The One is the third book in The Selection series by Kiera Cass, and follows America Singer as she continues her journey through The Selection. I have a full review of both The Selection and The Elite if you would like to know my thoughts on the previous books in the series.

Having read all three books in the initial trilogy, I can definitely say this is one of my favourite series of all time. I absolutely loved the first two books in the series and, despite hearing comments that the series goes downhill with each book, I loved The One just as much. This series is consistently good and I have liked all three of the initial trilogy equally.

As I had heard negative reviews, I kept waiting for something to make me not like this instalment. I was so sure that if so many people had disliked this book, there had to be something terrible coming to make me feel the same. However, there was nothing that made me dislike this book in any way.

I still love America. I can’t understand why people have such a strong hatred of her. I think she is a great main character and, though she is not the typical kick-ass heroine, she is definitely a strong female character and a very relatable one at that. I have mentioned my love for America in my reviews of both the previous books and my opinion is, as you can see, unchanging.

I very much appreciated the character development of some more minor characters. There were various characters who were revealed in a different light, most in a good way though some not so much, and it was great to see that Kiera Cass made the effort to further develop the more minor characters, rather than main characters.

This could have been quite a predictable instalment in the series, as I was sure I knew where the series was going, but there were some plot twists that I was not expecting. Some of those plot twists were very enjoyable, others were completely heart-breaking, but they definitely added to the overall enjoyment of the book.

Had Kiera Cass left this series as a trilogy, this would have made a great conclusion. Everything was nicely wrapped up, with all questions answered and no frustrating open ending. However, I can also see how it nicely sets up the next book in the series, The Heir, which I am now very excited to read.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book, and am loving this series as a whole. I have very little to say about The One that I haven’t already mentioned in my reviews for The Selection and The Elite, as I have been declaring my love for these books in all three reviews, so I have more coherent thoughts in those reviews, if you would like to know more.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Review | Lost & Found by Nicole Williams

Image and video hosting by TinyPicLost & Found by Nicole Williams
Series: Lost & Found #1
Published On: May 7, 2013
Published By: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary
Pages: 354
Format: eBook
Source: Free from Amazon
Rating: ★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

There’s complicated. And there’s Rowen Sterling. 
After numbing pain for the past five years with boys, alcohol, and all-around apathy, she finds herself on a Greyhound bus to nowhere Montana the summer after she graduates high school. Her mom agreed to front the bill to Rowen’s dream art school only if Rowen proves she can work hard and stay out of trouble at Willow Springs Ranch. Cooking breakfast at the crack of dawn for a couple dozen ranch hands and mucking out horse stalls are the last things in the world Rowen wants to spend her summer doing. 
Until Jesse Walker saunters into her life wearing a pair of painted-on jeans, a cowboy hat, and a grin that makes something in her chest she’d thought was frozen go boom-boom. Jesse’s like no one else, and certainly nothing like her. He’s the bright and shiny to her dark and jaded. 
Rowen knows there’s no happily-ever-after for the golden boy and the rebel girl—happily-right-now is a stretch—so she tries to forget and ignore the boy who makes her feel things she’s not sure she’s ready to feel. But the more she pushes him away, the closer he seems to get. The more she convinces herself she doesn’t care, the harder she falls. 
When her dark secrets refuse to stay locked behind the walls she’s kept up for years, Rowen realizes it’s not just everyone else she needs to be honest with. It’s herself.

When troubled ‘bad girl’ Rowen is sent to work on a ranch in the middle of nowhere in exchange for her mother paying for her to go to art school, she expects nothing but the worst. In fact, working there all summer is her worst nightmare. However, things are not quite as Rowen expects on this ranch, and when Jesse Walker appears in his extra tight jeans, the summer might not be so bad after all.

I picked up this book for free from the Kindle store so I really wasn’t expecting much. I have read a few ‘girl gets sent to the middle of nowhere and happens to meet cute boy’ stories and I didn’t think this one would be anything special. It may not have been the most unique story I have read but it was enjoyable and I liked it much more than I was expecting to.

I really like reading about troubled characters so I loved reading about Rowen. She is not the most likeable character at the beginning of the book but her tough, bad-girl shell began to crack quite early on. From very near the beginning, character development was a very strong aspect of the book and added a great deal to the story. Rowen became a very relatable, and actually quite likeable, character. 

I can’t resist a cute cowboy so of course I loved Jesse. Not only was he a great love interest and I liked the developing relationship between him and Rowen, he was a great character in general. I am so used to the ‘bad boy’ love interest but it was great to see a genuinely nice guy, and one who had his own story to tell as well.

I loved the family aspect of this book. Though Rowen comes from a very dysfunctional family home, the Walker’s are a great family unit. I loved reading about their relationship with each other, and with Rowen. A very important aspect of this book was the idea that family does not need to be biological. This is a very important theme throughout the book, both in relation to the family feeling of the ranch workers, and the relationship Rowen has with the Walker family. Also, I have mentioned in reviews before that I always love kids in books and the younger children in the Walker family are just adorable. I love their inclusion in the book.

Though there was much that I enjoyed about this book, the plot was very predictable in places. For a lot of the book I knew what was coming and nothing was really much of a surprise. Obviously, as I have mentioned, the concept has been done many times before, which may be why this is not the most unique story out there. This point, and the fact that it took me a little while to get into, is the main reason for my lower rating.

Overall, though I was not expecting much from this book, it was a fun, enjoyable read. The plot is a little predictable but the great characters, and the very well written character development, make up for that. It is a fun read, though there are serious aspects to it, and I will likely continue on with the series in the future.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

TBR | June 2015

I had a really great reading month in May, reading a total of 8 books and a novella, so I'm hoping to keep that up throughout June. I am quite busy this month, meaning I might to read quite so much, so I've tried not to get too ambitious with my TBR.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This was on my TBR for May but after struggling to get my hands on a copy, it didn't arrive before I went on holiday for the last two weeks of the month. I was really excited to read it as soon as it was released, as I absolutely loved the first three books in The Selection series. I was obviously going to read this one as soon as I was able to and have already finished it.

I figured it was about time I read another 2015 debut for the Debut Author Challenge and since this is the only one I currently own, I decided this would be a good place to start. This is about four people who want to rid themselves of their labels in the two months before an asteroid hits. I don't think I've read anything like this before so I'm excited to see what I think of it. I have heard great things about it from the people in Waterstones when I was buying it, which gives me hope.

I have had this on my shelf for years and finally pulled it out of my TBR jar this month. It's been a good three years, at least, since I read a Nicholas Sparks book, and I have loved all of his books that I have read, so I'm looking forward to reading this one. This is about a soldier who meets a girl while on leave but re-enlists after 9/11, forcing him to leave her behind. I have seen this movie and really enjoyed it so I am hoping that the book will be just as good.

I was kind of on the fence about reading Paper Towns until I saw the trailer for the movie when I went to see Pitch Perfect 2. The movie looks like it's going to be great so I have decided that I need to read the book before I see the movie. I don't know much about this book but I think I will keep it like that and go into the book knowing very little about it.

I know absolutely nothing about this book and there isn't even a description on Goodreads to help me out. This is my eBook for the month that I pulled out of my TBR jar. There is a long story which explains why I came to have a lot of books on my Kindle that I did not buy and because of this, there are several books in my TBR jar that I don't know the first thing about. There is a very high chance that I will end up DNFing this book, as I haven't had great success with these random books in the past, but I thought I ought to give them all a fair go.

I finally managed to finish the audiobook of We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist at the beginning of June so I am hoping to at least start another this month. I have a few to choose from so I'm not completely sure which one I want to listen to, but hopefully I can start one.

That's my TBR for June, what do you plan to read this month?

Sophie :)

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Haul | May 2015

I was doing pretty well with my book buying throughout the month of May. However, in the last week or two of the month I was on holiday in a small town which had a charity shop known for it's books. Of course this meant that I had to pay a visit, especially since I was with my grandfather who is just as book obsessed. As you may expect, that visit ended in a lot of books being bought. They were only about £1.50 each and the money was going to charity so that's justified, right?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The Geography Of You And Me by Jennifer E Smith - I made an unplanned trip to a small Waterstones while on a search for The Heir and as I couldn't find what I was looking for, I couldn't leave without a book so picked this one up. I read The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E Smith last summer and really enjoyed it so I want to read more of her work. Also, this book is partly set in Edinburgh and I very rarely read books set in Scotland.

The Heir by Kiera Cass - I was so desperate to get my hands on this book but it turned out to be quite the challenge. There was some kind of problem with the book in the UK meaning that not only did Amazon not have any in stock for weeks, no bookshops had it around here either. I eventually managed to order it on Amazon about two weeks after it was released! This is the fourth book in The Selection series and it is not secret that I loved the first three books.

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson - I have heard so many people rave about this book so when I saw it on offer on Amazon while I was buying The Heir I decided to add it to the order (hello free delivery over £10!). I don't know very much about this book other than it being about twins and that it seems to make everyone cry. I am not a fan of this cover at all, or the orange page edges, but hopefully the book itself will be good.

Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols - I know absolutely nothing about this book, so why did I pick it up? Well, other than the free deliver on orders over £10 scenario, I like the title, I like the cover, and Goodreads recommended it to me once and that somehow made me really want to read it. This was definitely an impulse buy but hopefully I will enjoy it.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Billy & Me by Giovanna Fletcher - I love Giovanna and that is the main reason I want to read her books. I have heard great things about her debut novel, Billy & Me, so I am planning to read her books in publication order. As soon as I seen this I knew I had to get it, especially as it was only £1.50.

I'll Take New York by Miranda Dickinson - I have no idea what this book is about but as soon as my mum saw the title she thrust it in my face and told me to buy it. I have a small, okay not so small, obsession with New York so if a book is set in New York, I'll probably want to read it. 

I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk - This is similar to the previous book in that I picked it up because of the title mentioning New York. I have heard some great things about this series though, which made me even more eager to check this one out.

Confessions Of A Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella - I have heard so many great things about this series and loads of people have told me I need to read it, including my grandmother! I was slightly put off  this series having watched the film, which I didn't particularly love. I have heard since that the book series is pretty different from the film so I will give it a go.

Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella - This is like the fifth book in the Shopaholic series and I wouldn't usually buy the fifth book having not even read the first. However, when I find a hardcover for around £2, I'm not one to pass up that opportunity if it's a book I think I will read in the future.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson - This is a book that I have been wanting to read for years having heard so many good things about it. I bought a copy from ebay a few months ago only to find it was in pretty bad condition, and I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to the condition of books. I remember reading a couple of chapters of this one as a sample a few years ago but remember very little of what it's about.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater - I was on the fence about whether or not I wanted to read this series, especially as it seems to have very mixed reviews. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about werewolves now, as I haven't read a book featuring werewolves since the Twilight series. I'm going to give it a try as I found the first book for such a good price.

The Luxe by Anna Godberson - I have heard this series described as Gossip Girl with pretty dresses and as a huge Gossip Girl fan, that has me sold. My best friend read this and struggled to get through it but we do have slightly differing taste in books, so I'm hoping this just wasn't her thing but I will like it. I am looking to give historical fiction a go and this seems to be a very good place to start.

Have you read any of the books I bought in May? Do you search charity shops for some good book finds?

Sophie :)

Monday, 8 June 2015

Wrap Up | May 2015

May has been one of the hardest months I have had in a long time, not just of this year so far. However, in order to get away from all of the things going on in my reality, I managed to get a whole lot of books read, mainly in the last two weeks of the month. I read a total of 8 books and a novella, which is more than I think I have ever read in a month.

My Life In May...
- I started the month of May with a weekend away with my family and got to see one of my best friends who lives about two hours away.
- I had the final two out of my three exams, both of which were terrible!
- I spend the day away with some of my closest friends as part of a church event.
- Sadly we had to get our family dog put down in May. It was very unexpected, as he wasn't ill at all, but scans revealed a cancerous mass in his liver which had spread to his lungs and kidneys.
- I ended the month with a two week holiday travelling around England with my mum.
- I got to see the same best friend for the second time in a month which was great (we usually see each other about twice a year).

Watched In May...
- How To Get Away With Murder Season 1 (Part 2) - 3.5/5
- Pitch Perfect 2 - 5/5
- The Last Five Years - 2/5
- Grey's Anatomy Season 11 - 5/5

Read In May...

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Luuurve Is A Many Trousered Thing by Louise Rennison -
This is the 8th book in the Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series, which I have been slowly working my way through since the end of last year. The books in this series have generally been getting a consistent 3 star rating from me as I find them to be enjoyable but a little immature for my tastes. This instalment was, as with the others, a fun, quick read. 3/5

How To Fall In Love by Cecelia Ahern -
Cecelia Ahern's Where Rainbows End was one of my favourite books I read in 2014, and possibly of all time, and after reading How To Fall In Love, Cecelia Ahern is definitely a favourite author. I absolutely loved this book. It is about a woman who stops a man from jumping off a bridge, who then gives her just two weeks to prove to him that life is worth living. This book is incredibly heart-warming while also being very funny, which was not what I was expecting. Cecelia Ahern is incredible at striking the perfect balance of humour and a very serious topic. 5/5

The Queen by Kiera Cass -
This novella is #0.4 in The Selection series. It follows Amberly, Prince Maxon's mother, as she competes in her Selection. I enjoyed this story as it gave a little more insight into the characters we don't see quite as much of in the books, Maxon's parents. I loved Amberly in the books and though this novella did make her seem a little immature, I did still like her as a character. I do still hate Clarkson though. 4/5

Amy & Rodger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson -
I'm still trying to process my thoughts on this book. I liked it but I didn't love it, which surprises me given all of the raving reviews. This book follows Amy as she embarks in a journey across America with the son of a family friend, Rodger. There was so much I liked about this book; the characters, the road trip aspect, the really great writing and inspiring quotes, the playlists. However, I didn't love it. There was just something, possibly the hype surrounding it, that didn't work for me. 3.75/5

Make It Count by Megan Erickson -
This is the first book in a New Adult companion series centred around a group of students at a university. This first book it about a girl, Kat, who develops feelings for her new tutor, who just happens to be her boyfriend's best friend. I really liked this book to begin with. I thought the characters were great and was enjoying the story but it just became to repetitive for me and got a bit boring after a while. 2.5/5

Stop In The Name Of Pants by Louise Rennison -
This is book 9 in the Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series. Like I mentioned already, I think these book are enjoyable, fun reads and they are really quick and easy to get through, but I find them to be slightly immature. I enjoyed this book but not quite as much as I have most of the previous books. There are certain characters which feature a lot in this instalment that I find to be quite annoying, causing me to drop my rating slightly. 2.5/5

Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? by Louise Rennison -
This is the tenth and final book in the Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series. I absolutely flew through this last book, despite it being the longest of the series. I really enjoyed this book and thought it was the perfect ending to the series. I did, as with the others in the series, still find it to be a little immature but I know that 15 year old me would have loved this ending. 3.5/5

One Born Every Minute by Maria Dore & Ros Bradbury -
This is a non-fiction book by two of the midwives featured in the first two series of the Channel 4 documentary series. It contains stories about their experience as midwives and lots of information about the work they do. I am very interested in midwifery so I found this to be very interesting and informative. My only issue is the fact that as there were two authors, there is a lot of information repeated. 3/5

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West -
I really enjoyed this book. It is a YA contemporary about a girl who meets a rich boy in the doll store owned by her mother and, despite her dislike of the rich, begins to fall for his charm. I absolutely loved the characters in this book. They are not your average characters, especially the main character Caymen, who is amazingly snarky. I really enjoyed the story and how unique it was compared to the typical YA contemporary. I did find the ending to be very abrupt, which disappointed me slightly. 4/5

Blogged In May...
- I wrapped up April and shared my haul for the month.
- I shared my May TBR.
- I reviewed Ignite by Lily Paradis.
- I reviewed Four by Veronica Roth.

So that is my May wrap up. What did you read in the month of May?

Sophie :)