Thursday, 22 January 2015

TBR Pile

So I thought I would do a little update on my TBR Pile. Which I know, is enormous, and I am quite ashamed of it. But.. In my defence, my Read pile is pretty much exactly same, there are only about twenty books in it.

I'm clearly not going to go through ALL of my unread books. But there is roughly about 250 books here. Which is a huge amount, then if you add that to the 220-230 that I've read, it means that I've got a rough amount of about 470 books in total, which is crazy!

Below is a picture of about 6 months ago when I put all my unread books together for the first time.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Siege and Storm Review

Again, like all fairly popular books, I am quite late to the Grisha trilogy, and I honestly don't know what I've been doing with my life for so long before reading these books. They are phenomenal, really and truly.

Siege and Storm is the second and middle instalment in the Grisha trilogy. I gave the first books, Shadow and Bone, 5 stars, and I was so hopeful that I would go on to love the second book just as much and thankfully that was true.

So much happens in the space of this book, and yet nothing feels rushed or quickened to get to certain points. The writing clever and mesmerizing. Again I loved all the Russian influences.
I've admitted before I have a penchant for slightly darker books, and though the story isn't quite 'dark', it has literal darkness in it and I found it all so fascinating. The Darkling growing power has me mesmerized.
The Grisha are shattered and scattered, and the stakes are so high with everything, the tension of when the Darkling will next appear never leaves you throughout the whole book.

I'll admit that I did notice the absence of The Darkling, but not in a way that made me disappointed.
Leigh Bardugo cleverly manges to insert him into the core of the story even though he isn't actually as psychically present as he was in the first book.
It just made me even more eager for him to finally show again.
I will say that I hadn't banked on seeing The Darkling so very early into the story, which was a pleasant surprise.

The biggest transformation comes easily from Alina herself. When we first met her, she was a lowly soldier without a place in the world, and yet, we've seen her grow and flourish, and even sometimes beginning to questions her when her actions are not to what we have come to expect from her.
I love Alina's struggle with her growing power and I loved her desire to do what was right for Ravka, especially at end.
Can I jusy say how much the last few sentences had me pumped for the third and final book.
Shit is about to go down!

Now I think I mentioned this is my review of the first book, but I was never overly fond of Mal. Just the fact that it had taken him so long to 'see' Alina. I just find him a little boring. Not as a character, but as a love interest. I need a little more excitement that just 'growing up together'. The only thing he really brought were his tracking abilities. That doesn't mean I wasn't rooting for them, and that my heart didn't give a sad little tug when Alina was saying that their story would never be over.
I feel that Mal will play an even bigger part in Ruin and Rising though, and I am very intrigued at how their relationship will now play, given everything that has happened and all that Alina has faced and still has to face.

Stormhond, he was fantastic and such an intriguing character, I very much loved him. He was ruthless and yet fair and I quit liked his ruggedness. As Nikolai, I still enjoyed his character immensely and I really hope that this was not the end of him.

Unfortunately for most series, the middle books or sequels are most usually the weakest in the series. That most definitely is not the case with Siege and Storm, I enjoyed just as much as it's predecessor, even more actually.

I have to read Ruin and Rising. Now. I need to know how this story ends. And I have no doubts by now that Leigh Bardugo will execute it to absolute perfection!
The Grisha series is certainly making its way very quickly up my favourites list and I hope that the third will cements its status as one of favourites series of all time.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Everything Leads to You Review

Everything Leads to You is a book I went into very much expecting to love.
The whole 'movie' element is something that was always incredibly important, even if at times it wasn't the very main focus, and I loved that, as a self confessed movie buff is was nice to read about someone else who had the same level of love for movies.

And as someone who is a firm believer in letting people be whoever it is they want to be, the sexuality of the main character was not a big deal to me in any way. I found it so refreshing to have a character who was already well aware of their sexual identity and that it was well established from the beginning.

When I got to PART 3, entitled The Apartment. I couldn't help but feel like I was waiting for something bad to happen. I don't know if it was just because I was a little used to small tragedies because a couple of my recent reads had them, but I kept waiting for something to come along and blindside me.
Which now I think about it, is pretty silly. Everything Leads to You, isn't a book thats going to break your heart just because it could. This book is fun and light and quite beautifully done. The cover for Everything Leads to You is absolutely stunning too!

I really enjoy Emi's attention to detail when it comes to her sets, and her methodical way of achieving what she envisions for scenes.

I wished we had known Morgan a little more. She is all Emi can think about in the very beginning and yet, we only meet her 3/4 times in the whole of the novel. I just would have liked to know a little bit more about their relationship.

All the characters were very well written and plausible. Each with their own flaws to make them more relatable.

And though I did like this book. It wasn't as 'thrilling' as I hoped it would be.
Nothing really big or exciting happens. Everything goes exactly as Emi plans it would.

I will say also that I'm not sure if I was a fan of the ending or not. It just seemed like it could have gone on for a little more and then I would have been satisfied to let them go.

The writing is quite beautiful, and yet, I found this book lacking. There was no real 'romance', there is only one page of 'flirting' and there is only one kiss in the entirety of the book. Now that wouldn't be a problem at all if Emi hadn't been thinking about all these things from the very near beginning after meeting Ava. 

Everything Leads to You, is in no way a bad book. But it was just a little to light for me. As a lover of things dark and disturbing, I find it to good to be true when things are going exactly how the main character wants them to.

So with a heavy heart I give this book 3 stars.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

2014 Favourites

I read some really amazing books this year. I definitely think it's been my favourite year of reading.
I finally got around to some really popular reads and I also discovered some hidden gems.
Unfortunately, I only started my Goodreads Reading Challenge at the beginning of June, and I have no record of what I read in the very beginning of 2014, so my favourites were also based on the books I could vaguely recall reading this year.
It was a bit of struggle trying to determine if some were read late 2013 or early 2014.
But from June of 2014 I read a total of 42 of my 30 books goal.

As to be expected, narrowing down my list of favourites to just 5 is an impossible challenge, so I instead chose 7.

  1. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  2. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
  3. Easy by Tammara Webber
  4. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
  5. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
  6. Before I fall by Lauren Oliver
  7. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Though I did say that it seemed an impossible task to order these books, I do have to say that there is one that was by far my favourite and that was The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. 

It was the originality that really made this book my favourite. It is so unlike anything that I've read that even 100 pages in, I knew this was going to be a new favourite.

So for my Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2015 I have set my target for 60 books, I have a good feeling that I'll easily accomplish this number, especially if this year is anything like 2014.