Thursday, 28 July 2016

Mini Review | Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass

Image and video hosting by TinyPicHappily Ever After by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #0.4, 0.5, 2.5, 2.6
Published By: Harper Collins
Published On: October 8, 2015
Genre: Dystopian
Pages: 387
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★½

Amazon | Goodreads

Meet Prince Maxon before he fell in love with America, and a girl named Amberly before she became queen. See the Selection through the eyes of a guard who watched his first love drift away and a girl who fell for a boy who wasn't the prince.

The Queen
I had already read this as an ebook but with the added illustrations, and because I love this series so much, of course I read it again and actually liked it more the second time. I liked getting to see what Amberly and Clarkson were like before Maxon and before we meet them in The Selection. It was interesting to find out more about Amberly and her life before she was thrust into the public eye. I definitely still wasn't a fan of Clarkson, even though you do find out a bit more about why he is the way he is, to me he was just disrespectful and a downright not very nice person.

The Prince
This is another one I had read before and while I liked it the first time, I loved it the second time around. It was interesting to see the scenes from The Selection in a different way as they were shown from Maxon's point of view. It was also good to see a bit of what Maxon's life was like before The Selection. Really I just love Maxon so I obviously loved this story.

The Guard
Again I had read this before and again I liked it more the second time around. I did find it less interesting than The Prince, as I did the first time around, but I still really enjoyed it. This is the one I remember the least about after reading it, I don't know what that says about it. I will say though, it made me like Aspen a little less than I previously had.

The Favourite
This was the only one of the stories I read for the first time and OH MY GOODNESS I loved this! I was in tears, I just loved Marlee's story so much. She was always one of my favourite characters so to find out more of her story, particularly her love story, was great.

As well as the novellas, there were some other extras; scenes from Celeste's POV, a scene from Lucy's POV, bonus epilogue, where are they now feature. I really loved these. The scenes from Celete's POV were my absolute favourite. I loved seeing her character change and grow just through three short scenes and it was really interesting to see the though process behind some of the things she did throughout the series. All of the other extras were also really great and fun bonus features that any fan of the series would find interesting.

Overall, I would definitely recommend you pick this up if you are a fan of the series. While I enjoyed both The Heir and The Crown, neither compared to this extra insight into the world of the original trilogy. I loved going back to some of my favourite characters and getting to relive some of my favourite moments in the series.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Tag | Mid-Year Book Freakout 2016 Edition

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I did this tag in September of last year as a recap of my reading year so far and thought it would be good to do it again this year. By that point of last year I had read 44 books, this year I have managed a grand total of 23. There is a fair difference in my progress this year but I am hoping that this will give me a bit of a boost to get back on top of my reading.

1. Best Book You've Read So Far In 2016
Flawed by Cecelia Ahern is the only book I have given 5 stars to so far this year, not including rereads, so I guess that's an easy one. I really loved Cecelia Ahern's first YA novel and she just proved that she can write anything and still do it well. I have a full review of this coming very soon.

2. Best Sequel You've Read So Far In 2016
I haven't done a great job with the sequels so far this year so I guess I'll have to go with The Crown by Kiera Cass. I did have some problems with it but overall I thought it was a good conclusion to The Selection series. For more of my thoughts, look out for my spoiler discussion coming very soon.

3. New Release You Haven't Read Yet But Want To
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson! I bought it as soon as it was available but I just haven't had a chance to pick it up yet. I just recently read Since You've Been Gone and really enjoyed it so I can't wait to get to this.

4. Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year
Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern! It's Cecelia Ahern, that's all I have to say.

5. Biggest Disappointment
Well this is an easy one. I definitely have to say Confessions Of A Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. I had heard so many great things about this series so I expected to love it. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. This one just really wasn't for me.

6. Biggest Surprise
I would probably have to go with I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre. I really wasn't expecting much at all from this book, if I'm honest, but I was so pleasantly surprised. I ended up really loving it and I can't wait to continue on with the series.

7. Favourite New Author
Kody Keplinger! I read The DUFF quite early on in the year and I really, really enjoyed it. I loved the way it was written and how the lives of the main characters were actually realistic to the majority of people their age. I definitely want to read more from her.

8. Newest Fictional Crush
I feel like he's probably been everyone's fictional crush for years but definitely Jace from City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare (I've only read book 1 so no spoilers!). It has taken me a really long time to start this series but now I can see why people talk about Jace!

9. Newest Favourite Character
This is a hard one because I haven't really found a character that I LOVE so far this year but I did really like Emily from Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson. I totally think we could be best friends.

10. Book That Made You Cry
I challenge you not to cry while reading Love Is The Higher Law by David Levithan. The way the events of 9/11 and discussed and the impact it had on the characters lives, it's all so raw and emotional. 

11. Book That Made You Happy
A lot of books made me happy but I will go with This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith. I mean, the clue is in the title!

12. Favourite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year
It has to be Mockingjay Part 2! The Hunger Games movies are probably my all time favourite book to movie adaptations and the final film did not disappoint. Certain things crushed my heart just as I expected.

13. Favourite Review/Post You've Done This Year
I don't really think i've done anything great but I did quite like my review of Love Is The Higher Law by David Levithan. The book stirred so many thoughts and emotions in me that I really enjoyed writing my review and getting them written down.

14. Most Beautiful Book You've Bought So Far This Year
I am still in awe over how gorgeous Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard is. So beautiful!

15. Books You NEED To Read By The End Of 2016
There are so many that I could probably do a whole separate post on that. I do definitely want to finish the Harry Potter series, continue on with the Mortal Instruments series and make some space on my YA contemporary bookshelf.

What is the best book you have read so far this year?

Sophie :)

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Books I Have Brought On Holiday | Summer 2016

Choosing what books from my ever growing TBR pile to take on holiday with me is a struggle I face every time I go away. I really just want to take them all but obviously, with limited space, that isn't possible. If I'm travelling by plane and staying in a hotel, it's easy. I take my kindle and whatever physical book I am in the middle of and that's me sorted. However, for most of our family holidays we take our caravan, meaning I have a whole cupboard area just for my books. As great as that is, it makes the decisions pretty tough for me. So, this year I thought I would share the books I decided to bring away with me.

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Billy & Me by Giovanna Fletcher - It's really about time I read one of Gi's books! I love her as a person and own all of her books but for some reason I just haven't got to reading any yet. This sounds like it could be a great, very cute, summer read.

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern - This is possibly my favourite book of all time (I know, this is only like the 1000th time I've said that) so I figured it's about time for a reread. This book is perfect to read any time of year but I think it'll be especially great over summer.

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The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle - This is a paranormal/mystery kind of book so not really a summer read but I like to throw in something a bit different. I read 90% cute contemporary during the summer so it's good to have some change.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - It is pretty much unacceptable that I have not read this book yet! Everyone seems to love it and rave about it but I seem to have just left it sitting on my shelf, until now.

On The Fence by Kasie West - I read The Distance Between Us last year and really enjoyed it so I definitely want to get to some more Kasie West this summer. This one looks like a really cute, fun read.

The Start Of Me And You by Emery Lord - I read Open Road Summer towards the end of last year and despite reading it in the totally wrong season I really enjoyed it. I have heard so many great things about her second book so I can't wait to read it.

Summer Days And Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins - I am so excited for this! I loved My True Love Gave To Me so I cannot wait to see what perfection lurks within the pages of this summer version.

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Frostbite by Richelle Mead - I read Vampire Academy whilst on holiday last year and really liked it so I don't know why it has taken me this long to continue on with the series. I definitely want to work my way through this series this year so I better get a move on.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer - Another book that I should really have read by now. I have heard so many great things about The Lunar Chronicles but again just haven't picked it up yet. This one is definitely a top priority.

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling - It really is about time I finished this series. I have been putting it off but I need to just bite the bullet and tick this series off the list. It will definitely happen this year but hopefully I can get to it during my holiday.

Which of these should I pick up first?

Sophie :)

Saturday, 2 July 2016

TBR | July 2016

I have been terrible at sticking to my TBR recently, hence why I haven't posted one for most months this year. I know I won't be reading anything for the first week, which does suck but I'll be busy roadtripping with my best friend so I guess thats acceptable. After that though, I'm pretty sure I'll be doing nothing but reading so I have gone for quite an ambitious TBR, we'll see how well I can do this time around.

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Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling -
I REALLY need to finish the Harry Potter series! Like seriously, it's getting slightly ridiculous that I'm still reading it so I need to get my act together and get to it this month. I've been putting it off after how long it took me to read Half-Blood Prince and I'm nervous that I met end up back in a reading slump. Hopefully I'll bite the bullet and read the last book in July.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer -
This is a series I really need to get around to starting. I have heard so many great things about this series so it's definitely time I see what the fuss is all about. It sounds really interesting, I mean a Cinderella retelling with a Cyborg main character(!!), so I don't know why it's taken me this long to get to it.

Billy And Me by Giovanna Fletcher -
 I absolutely love Gi, her Youtube is my favourite, but I have yet to read any of her books (despite owning almost all of them) and I feel terrible about it. However, this is definitely changing this month. I have heard loads of great things about Gi's debut novel so I am really excited to get to it.

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern -
It's no secret that this is my favourite book of all time and I've been wanting to reread it for ages, so now is the time. I'm getting really excited just writing this because I want to jump back into Rosie and Alex's life. I've thrown this into my TBR for the month just in case Deathly Hallows does but me into a bit of a slump, this is guaranteed to get me out of it. Even if I am slump-free, I will still be reading this for sure.

Summer Days And Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins -
I loved My True Love Gave To Me so much that I very almost screamed when I heard about this, the summer version of that anthology. I am so excited to read this, especially since there are different authors featured in this than the last, including a lot I haven't read anything by. This just seems like the perfect thing to read this summer.

Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding -
I have had this on my Kindle for years now and it is about time I read it. I really like the movies and with the new one coming out this year, its kind of the perfect time to read it. I also love light, funny reads for the summer so this is perfect for me this month.

PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahern -
I have been listening to this on audiobook recently but it always takes me forever to finish an audiobook so I want to make a conscious effort to listen to this during the month. Cecelia Ahern is one of my favourite authors, if not my all time favourite, so I definitely need to read her debut novel.

What do you plan to read in the month of July?

Sophie :)

Friday, 1 July 2016

Wrap Up | June 2016

These months seem to be getting faster and faster, I can't believe it's already July! June was a pretty relaxing month for me, not much happened and I managed to get in an OK amount of reading, which I am happy about considering the first few months of the year. Hopefully with a 2 week holiday thrown in July will be better.

My Life In June...
- I spent a nice week in a little seaside town with my family.
- I graduated from university so I now officially have a Law degree.
- I celebrated my graduation with a lovely family dinner.

Watched In June...
- Chicago Fire Season 3 - 5/5
- Geordie Shore Big Birthday Bash - 3/5
- One Tree Hill Season 4 - 4.5/5
- One Tree Hill Season 5 - 4.5/5
- One Tree Hill Season 6 - 4.5/5
- The Secret Life Of The American Teenager Season 2 - 3/5
- The Boss - 3/5
- The Pacifier (rewatch) - 4/5

Read In June...

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This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith - 
This is my fourth Jennifer E Smith book and not one so far has lived up to my love of The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight. This follows a girl who randomly receives an email from a boy her age who turns out to be a movie star filming in her town during the summer. I did enjoy this book but I didn't love it. It was a fun, quick read and I would recommend it as a light summer read. It was enjoyable and got me in the mood for summer, with a pretty cute romance, but nothing special. 3/5

Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman -
I picked this up having heard nothing about it but I was intrigued by the synopsis. It is about a girl whose sister dies in a tragic accident so she is sent to a summer camp for bereaved teenagers. While she is there she starts receiving IM messages from someone who is apparently her dead sister. I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. It was a very good mystery with an ending I definitely did not see coming. It had a similar feel to We Were Liars, though the story is completely different the atmosphere of the book reminded me of that. 4/5

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson - 
I finally got around to the book everyone was raving about last summer. This is about a girl whose best friend goes away at the beginning of summer but leaves her a list of things to do while she is gone. This book had so much hype that I was a bit nervous about it. I did end up really enjoying it, though I didn't quite love it as much as a lot of people. I had a bit of a problem with Emily and Sloane's friendship but other than that I thought it was a great, fun summer read with a good underlying message. 4/5

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon -
So many people love this book that I was so sure I would be one of them. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. This is about a girl who suffers from a disease that basically means she is allergic to everything so can't leave her house. However, when a boy moves in next door who wants to get to know her, things get complicated. I didn't hate this book, there were a lot of things I really liked. I loved the unique way this was written (that itself has gained one star), I somewhat liked the story but I wasn't a huge fan of the characters and had some real problems with the end. 3/5

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell -
This was a short story written for World Book Day. It is about a girl who decides to camp out for the new Star Wars movie, however there turn out to only be two others doing the same. Somehow, Rainbow Rowell manages to do the same thing in 62 pages as she does in full length novels. This was really cute and fun and I definitely enjoyed it. I know pretty much nothing about Star Wars so a lot of the references went straight over my head, but I did still like it. 3/5

Blogged In June...
- I posted a mini review of Sea Of Monsters by Rick Riordan.
- I shared my May Wrap Up and Haul.

What was the best thing you read in June?

Sophie :)

Haul | June 2016

I am so bad at not buying books! I swear I really tried not to buy books this month but when you go away to somewhere with some great bookshops and then exciting things get released, it's just too hard! Anyway my attempt at not buying book in the month of June has resulted in me buying 19 books. I know, I'm really good. To the books...

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Take Me On & Breaking The Rules by Katie McGarry - I had planned to start the Pushing The Limits series this month (didn't happen!) so when I saw books #4 and #1.5 pretty cheap I picked them up.

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry - Jumping on the Katie McGarry train full force, I don't even know what this one is about.

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Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard - Such a beautiful cover!! This is about a group of friends and the challenges a new girl poses to their friendships.

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver - A girl's sister vanishes on her birthday but when another girl also goes missing she must find out what is going on. This sounds like a really interesting mystery.

The List by Siobhan Vivian - At the start of each school year one girl from each year is chosen as the prettiest and one as the ugliest. This has intrigued me for so long.

Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales - Girl goes on a road trip to find a blogger who says all the things she feels. It's set in New York, need I say more?!

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Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell - Rainbow's short story written for World Book Day about a girl who decides to camp out for the new Star Wars movie.

Summer Days and Summer Nights Anthology - The Summer version of Stephanie Perkins Christmas anthology My True Love Gave To Me, featuring twelve summer love stories.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
 - A woman returns to her hometown to report on the murders of two young girls but must also deal with her toxic family and childhood memories.

Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman
 - After the death of her sister in a tragic accident, Skye is sent to a camp for bereaved teenagers, but there she receives IM messages from her dead sister.

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Zoella's Book Club with WH Smith
Zoella (Zoe Sugg) released her redesigned 'Book Club' picks in association with WH Smith and the 8 book bundle was available for a crazy good price of £29.99. So obviously, despite already owning 6 of the 8 books, I just had to buy the bundle. I know, I know, but the new covers are just so pretty!
The 8 books are:
Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard
We Were Liars by E Lockhart
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward

And those are all of my many June purchases. What did you buy in June?

Sophie :)