Monday, 29 February 2016

February Wrap Up!

Hi there!

It hasn't been the biggest reading month for me in February, due to being super busy with college leadership things. So only four books read! Nonetheless, I have thoroughly enjoyed most of the novels I read this month so I thought I'd share them with you anyway.

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
I'm hoping to read one of the Outlander series at least every two months until I get through the series, and it is going fantastically so far! See my (spoiler) review here for my detailed thoughts on the second in the series.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
I'd heard all about this novel on booktube, and thought it was finally time to pick it up. I know a lot of people don't really like Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver series but I actually loved it when I was in high school and read it so many times! And likewise, I adored The Raven Boys! I literally cannot deal with how much I enjoyed this novel. I need to own it and read it again and again and read the rest of the series and I can't even. Really.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys 
I also have a review for this one, here, if you'd like to check it out. This is another one that absolutely blew me away. I'd never read anything of Ruta Sepetys before and now I am so keen to pick up Between Shades of Grey. So so good!

Counting Stars by Jordan Deen
This novel was a bit of a disappointment for me, however I did find the plot quite interesting. A good contemporary to open your eyes to the lives of extremely wealthy teens. Review here!

Let me know in the comments what you read in February, or if you've read and loved any of the book I read this month!

Love always,


Counting Stars by Jordan Deen - non-spoiler review


So I was lucky enough to be given access this novel by Smashwords Publishing through Netgalley. It is set to be released in April this year and is available on ebook.

I found this a very interesting read, and very different to the contemporaries that I have read before. Counting Stars follows Madison, a teen legacy whose life revolves around escorting bachelors to parties as a means of increasing her and her family's social status. This all changes when her father is involved in a terrible accident and thus requires her to escort someone rather different to her usual male companions.

Throughout much of the novel, I found Madison a very difficult character to relate to, due to her constant focus on material items and social status. However, as the story progresses you are able to view her more intricate character quirks and flaws. This is also the case with the minor characters in the novel, including Maddie's best friend Tisha.

Jordan Deen's writing style is very straightforward, and doesn't leave much room for the reader to make their own character judgments. I found this a bit of a let down, as the novel had more of a middle-grade writing style, despite it's older themes.

Overall, Counting Stars had an interesting storyline and was definitely a change from the YA novels I am used to reading. While it's not something I'd read again, I am glad that I gave it a go and would recommend picking up the ebook for a new perspective on the extremely wealthy in our societies.

Rating: 2.75/5

Love always,


Sunday, 28 February 2016

Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

So I've seen this tag all over booktube and book blogs and it always looks like so much fun so I've given it a go! 
How it works:
1. Pick 5 books
2. Turn to a random page
3. The first name you see gets to be on your zombie survival team (yay?)
4. Apply the characters to the 10 situations and types of people in the order you got them 5. Fret over how doomed you are.
My books:
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Ruby Red by Kirstin Gier
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Doon by Cary Corp and Lorie Langdon
Aaaand the results are:
1. The first person to die: Simon (Carry On)/ Nooo, Simon!!
2. The person you trip to get away from the zombies: Aunt Fiona (Carry On). Not super upset about this one, haha!
3. The first person to turn into a zombie: Nathaniel (Clockwork Angel). Again, not overly sad about this, to be honest...
4. The person that trips you to get away from the zombies: Tessa (Clockwork Angel). Why, Tessa?! 
5. The idiot of the team: Gideon (Ruby Red). Gideon is many things but an idiot, haha! He can be very stubborn though so I guess that would work against him sometimes in this situation.
6. The brains of the team: Lucy (Ruby Red)
7. The team medic: Augustus (TFIOS). I could see Augustus being a good medic, he is pretty level-headed and super loyal. 
8. The weapons expert: Kaitlyn (TFIOS). Kaitlyn as a weapons expert...this would not go down well whatsoever. 
9. The brawler: Fiona (Doon). Fiona is seriously the least likely person to start a brawl I could think of! She is so sweet!!
10. The team captain: Jamie (Doon). I could totally see this! Jamie is a wonderful leader in Doon and would hopefully help the team survive a bit longer. 
So, not gonna lie, this is a pretty weird team! I doubt that I'd last very long, although there are some strengths in there. 
Let me know in the comments if you've done this tag, I'd love to check it out! And if you haven't done it yet, I tag you! It's super fun. 
Love always,

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon - review (SPOILERS)

Hi there!

So my obsession with Outlander is well known, and I have now completed book two in the series! It was in no way a disappointment, still furthering my love for Scotland and Diana Gabaldon's magical writing style.
This review will be a spoiler review, obviously as Dragonfly in Amber is the second novel in the Outlander series.

When I began the novel, I was super super confused when Jamie and Claire's daughter Brianna appeared straight away! I had a total freak out that we weren't going to see what happened to Claire and Jamie in between that time, but of course Diana would never do that to us! While I am obsessed with the Scottish highlands thanks to Outlander, I adored the change of scenery we got for a while in this novel. The characters in Paris were just as rich and fascinating as those back in Scotland. I was slightly concerned when it seemed that Claire was going to have problems with being called a witch again, but that was luckily avoided. Also, how agonising was it when Claire wasn't speaking to Jamie after the incident with Black Jack? I wasn't sure how everything was going to go down with them, but I was fairly certain that Black Jack could not be killed, as then Frank would never exist. My theory is that they cannot change anything in history as what has happened has happened, right?

I also adore the characters introduced in the future setting, including Brianna. She's just as incredibly stubborn and beautiful as you'd expect of Jamie and Claire's daughter, along with her own little quirks and flaws. Her relationship with Roger is heartwarming and I found it a lovely addition to that aspect of the story. Their relationship is so different to Jamie and Claire's, so it is, in a way, a refreshing change for a little while.

Some people have said that the ending was an unexpected turn, but I did see it coming from the very beginning. I mean, Jamie couldn't just disappear from the series, could he?! That didn't bother me though, the story was still full of Diana's classic twists and turns. Her storylines are so intricate yet easy to follow, and I am so so excited to continue with the series soon.

Rating: 5/5

Let me know your thoughts on the Outlander sequel. Did you like it as much as it's predecessor? I'd probably still say Outlander was my favourite, but Dragonfly in Amber comes super close!

Love always,


Thursday, 18 February 2016

Books that I loved during my childhood/early teen years!

Hey there!

Hope you're having a fantastic day! Today I thought I'd discuss some of the series and stand alone novels that I loved during my childhood and early teens. I've always been the type of person to re-read books over and over again. For example, I've read the Harry Potter series around 13 times! So there are many books like these that I continually re-read while I was still in school.

So, here are the top ten books/series that I loved during my childhood/early teens (in no particular order, except the first one):

1. Harry Potter series (duh) by J.K. Rowling
As usual when I mention Harry Potter, no explanation required.

2. Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
This seems to be a series that loads of readers loved when they were young. Looking back on it, they seem like they should have creeped me out way more than they did, but I still adore these books!

3. North Child by Edith Pattou
I haven't heard anything on book blogs or booktube about this book, but I've read it so many times, even as I've gotten to my late teens. This novel is loosely based on The Beauty and the Beast, and is incredibly touching, a little eery and super adventurous!

4. Stravaganza series by Mary Hoffman
This is a series that I feel could be enjoyed by both children and adults. Based in an alternate Italy, it is filled with mystery, culture, romance and adventure. Absolutely beautiful.

5. Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
Another super popular series, and for a very very good reason! The Percy Jackson series teaches you loads about Greek mythology whilst following Percy on his exciting adventures in Camp Half-Blood and beyond.

6. 39 Clues series
This is another series that taught me loads about history. I read it so so many times and still love it! The 39 Clues follows a brother and sister in a race around the world to find clues left by their ancestors to a secret treasure.

7. Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage
This is one that I think all Harry Potter lovers would adore, though it is completely different in plot and characters! Beginning with Magyk, the Septimus Heap series explores a fantasy world of magic which is extremely intricate and very entertaining.

8. Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke
I always loved this series because I would pretend I was the main character, Maggie, and could read characters out of books too! What an awesome power that would be, hey?

9. His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
I adored this series when I was younger, and last year re-read it to see if it still held it's magic. I actually found that I enjoyed it even more this time as I was able to understand so much more of the underlying themes and symbols. I highly recommend that you read this as an adult, as Pullman's atheistic beliefs really come out in this series, particularly the final book, The Amber Spyglass. I definitely enjoyed this one the most as everything came together and you could finally see what was really driving the whole 'dust' notion. Super interesting!

10. Rondo series by Emily Rodda
This trilogy warms the cockles of my heart! I still love to go back and re-read it, re-immersing myself in the beautiful world of Rondo. It is such a lovely, funny series that reminds you of all that is good in the world.

Let me know what books were your favourite in the comments!

Love always,


Sunday, 14 February 2016

Book Boyfriend Tag!

In celebration of Valentine's Day (or if you don't celebrate this day, it can just be to celebrate beautiful fictional boys!), I thought I'd do the Book Boyfriend Tag, originally created by Rachel Reads on YouTube. Check that video out here. Let's get into it...

1. Most romantic boy
I have two fictional boys for this, and they are Jem from The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare, and Augustus Waters from The Fault in our Stars by John Green. Jem is just such a loving and caring person, and of course his violin skills are also swoon-worthy! Augustus is so wonderful to Hazel, and whilst he is into grand gestures, he also knows that the little things in relationships can be just as romantic.

2. Dark and moody bad boy with a good side
Jamie from Doon, by Cary Corp and Lorie Langdon. When Veronica first meets Jamie, he's very dark and moody, but later shows his lovely true colours!

3. Paranormal boy
Sam from Shiver by Maggie Steifvater. It's been a while since I've read this series but I always loved Sam's love for music and books, and of course being able to shift into a wolf is pretty paranormal!

4. Boy you want to tame
Falco from Venom by Fiona Paul.

5. Boy you friend zoned
Simon from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I'm sorry Simon, but like Clary I would have to friend zone you! Simon is hilarious and kind, and would definitely be someone I'd love to be friends with.

6. Your soul mate
Dorian from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. He loves books. He is funny. He is flirty. He is kind. Hence why Dorian is my soul mate, for sure.

7. Boy you want to elope with
Jamie Fraser from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Jamie is such an interesting character who knows so much about the world. He treats Claire incredibly and always forgives her when she makes mistakes. Who wouldn't want to elope with him?!

8. Boy you'd venture anywhere with
Gansey from The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater. I feel like Gansey is the perfect answer to this questions, firstly just because I adore his character. And secondly, he is so interested in learning things about the world, particularly supernatural things. So it would be super cool to travel to different places with him!

9. Boy you'd want to be stranded on a desert island with
Ron Weasley from Harry Potter by (queen) J. K. Rowling. I absolutely adore Ron, and may even venture to say that he is my favourite character in Harry Potter... He would always keep me laughing on a desert island and when we decide we'd like to leave he could apparate us away!

10. Most badass boy
Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. What could get more badass than fighting demons? Also, Jace is hilarious and super cute.

Let me know in the comments who your favourite book boy, or girl is. Also if you've done the book boyfriend, or girlfriend tag link it below, I'd love to check it out! Whether you're celebrating Valentine's Day or not, have a wonderful February 14!

Love always,


P.S. This post is scheduled, as I won't have time to write posts over the next two weeks due to college things, so I will read and reply to any comments after then! xx

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys - non-spoiler review

Hey there!

Today I finished Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys and I had to write a review right away because I was blown away. This novel is a young-adult historical fiction, set during World War II. It follows four different perspectives, all of young adults on the run and fighting to survive the war. At first I was concerned that the four perspectives would be too much and difficult to follow, but they were so distinct in their character voices that I had no problem whatsoever.

It was the predominantly the characters that really amazed me in this novel. Ruta fleshed out every one of them, even minor characters. They were all entirely three-dimensional, with their own flaws and goals driving them towards safety.

Ruta also utilises symbolism frequently throughout the novel which was absolutely incredible! Many I didn't pick up immediately but when they became clear everything tied together perfectly. Through this she weaved such an intricate web of a story, based on horrific true events that really should be addressed more in young-adult literature. This is definitely a must-read, it will have your heart-breaking for those affected by the horrifying event that was World War II, as Ruta depicts it so clearly through her poetic words.

Rating: 5/5

Love always,

Source: I was lucky enough to be given access to this novel through Netgalley by Penguin Random House Children's Publishers. Thank you so much, as you can tell I absolutely adored it!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

January Wrap Up!

Hey hey!

I am very happy to say that I read a total of 8 books in January, most of which I extremely enjoyed.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - 5/5
I've posted a review of both the book and TV show of Outlander, which you can check out here if you're interested. But in short, this book is incredible and you need to go read it now. And after you've read it, you need to go watch the TV show which is also incredible!

Matched by Allie Condie - 4.5/5
I've heard mixed things about this series, but I saw it for a couple of dollars in a charity shop and thought I'd give it a go! I really appreciated the premise of this novel, and as a lover of dystopian novels found it very thought-provoking. Some of the characters I struggled to connect with and wished we could have learnt more of their backstories but all in all a very enjoyable read! Not sure that I will be continuing this series though, as I've hear terrible things about the second novel... Let me know what you think if you've read it.

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons - 5/5
This book. So many feels. An incredible historical fiction with one of the most beautiful romances I have ever read. Highly highly recommend, and I am definitely continuing on with this series.

Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon - 5/5
As a new obsesser of everything Scotland thanks to Outlander, I had to give Doon a go! Based on the play Brigadoon, this is the perfect adventure/romance in which two best friends stumble across another world. I found this a really heartwarming read.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - 5/5
So obviously I am seriously behind the times with this series, as it seems to be one of the most talked about YA novels in the book blogging/vlogging world. And now I finally understand why. I was a little unsure when I heard this was about an assassin, but holy cow it is addictive and I've now gone and purchased the rest of the series!

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout - 3.5/5
I had heard some amazing things about this series, but I have to say that I was a little disappointed. To be fair, I'm not a huge lover of sci-fi, but I also found it very hard to connect with the characters. I found them all very angsty, and also found some of the writing a bit awkward. However, it was quite a gripping story so would recommend for lovers of aliens and romance!

Graceling by Kristin Cashore - 5/5
Another amazing fantasy adventure with a beautiful romance as a bonus! I especially loved the main character, Katsa. She was a strong female in various different aspects, however she had evident character development and we got to see her soft side as well.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken - 5/5
My last post was a review of this fantastic novel, which you can check out here if you'd like. This book was absolutely insanely wonderful and completely tore my heart into pieces. In a good way. Kind of. What I'm trying to say is read it!!

As you can see, I've given out a heckload of 5 stars this month. This is partly due to me being the kind of reader who generally enjoys everything I read. However it is MOSTLY due to the fact that I chose loads of amazing books this month! Highly recommend you check them out if you haven't already.

Let me know in the comments if you've read any of these, and what you rated them. Also let me know what you read in the month of January!

Love always,


The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken - review

I know, I know, I am SUPER late to this bandwagon. Ever since discovering booktube I have heard so much hype surrounding this series, and now I completely understand why. I was blown away.

For those of you who are even further behind the times than me, The Darkest Minds is a young adult dystopian novel. It follows the story of Ruby, a teenage girl living in future America. When she younger, an epidemic broke out among children around the ages 8-12, causing them to suddenly drop dead. However, those who did not die as a result of the illness were taken by the government to camps, as they had special powers which were deemed dangerous. Ruby is one of these, and she must endure the hardships of the camp and attempting to understand and control her powers.

Alexandra Bracken's writing flows so well, she immediately pulls the reader into the story. In the style of YA, the novel is easy to read, however has loads of underlying messages and comments about society which I found extremely interesting. For those of you who love dystopian, you will absolutely adore The Darkest Minds!!

Rating: 5/5, SOOOO GOOD

Okay, first of all can I just say Liam. Liam is so freaking beautiful! One of my favourite characters ever, for sure. And possibly one of my favourite books ever. I adored every one of Bracken's characters, especially Ruby, Liam, Chubs and Zu. Each of them were so well fleshed out, and we got just enough backstory of each.

Can I just say, there are literally so many bad guys in this book! First we get all excited that Ruby's escaped the camp. Then, oh no, the Children's League is evil. Then we finally find the slip kid, wooo. Oh wait, no, don't get too excited, he's evil too. Can we trust anyone?!?! By the way, whilst I'm mentioning the slip kid, did anyone else figure out really early that he was the president's son? Even before I got there I was betting that it was either him or the orange that Ruby first saw when she arrived at the camp, if he had managed to escape. Super cool twist anyway!

What I really really really want to talk about is that ending. THAT ENDING. This was one of the most emotional endings I have ever read. I was literally lying in bed just staring at my wall saying "no" over and over again for a good five minutes. First we're all excited because the gang are free and going to achieve what they set out to. Then holy cow, Chubs is shot. Then Ruby presses the panic button and lo and behold she's back in the position she was trying to escape this whole time, except now Liam and Chubs are there too!!! And finally, Ruby wiping Liam's memory. All. The. Feels. I don't know if anyone else saw this coming, but I sure did not. My heart is aching just thinking about it. I haven't got the next two books in this series yet, but if Liam doesn't somehow get his memories back I am going to be so so so upset.

Let me know if you've read this book, and what your thoughts were. Were you as shocked at the ending as I was?

Love always,