Books I Didn’t Think I’d Love But Did (2.0) | Discussion

I enjoyed writing up the first post (click here to see it) and it was well received, so here I am doing part two. I’m pretty excited and I hope y’all like this part two as much as part one. I think after this I’m going to try “books I thought I’d love but hated” because the list of those books is ridiculously long. I may also do “books I knew I’d hate and I did” because I hate myself and have even more of those (actually probably just one post).

Enough waffle though, let us jump into these books! I’m super interested to hear your thoughts so make sure to comment below!
Read More »

Advertisements

The “Me in Book Characters” tag

I was so excited to be tagged in this original tag! I love the girls over @ Windowsill Books so here I am with the ‘me in book characters‘ tag. Thank you so much for tagging me in this Ash and Lo! I hope you enjoy my answers.


The Rules:

  1. Thank the creators of the tag (Us! Ash & Lo @ Windowsill Books)
  2. Thank whoever tagged you!
  3. List 5 book characters who you are most like and explain why.
  4. Tag your friends!

So, let’s jump into this! I was going to include fanart for each character but some of these characters don’t have any, unfortunately. I highly recommend all these books as well (obviously).

  • Ginny Weasley / Harry Potter

I absolutely adore Ginny Weasley. She is straight up my favourite character in the book universe. Hell, my mum even got me her wand for my 20th birthday. She is such a strong individual who never gives up. I see myself in her because she stayed resilient despite every struggle in her life, whether it be her or family. She never gives up and is not afraid to kick ass. My family say I’m more like Hermione, but I see so much of myself in Ginny that I can’t agree with them.

  • Nesta Archeron / A Court of Thorns and Roses

I’ve been told by countless of my friends that I am similar to Nesta from ACOTAR. At first, I was offended because of how she treats Feyre, but as we got to get to know her over the series I understood. She is fierce and loyal. You don’t mess with her family or her friends or she will come after you. I’m similar. If you do my friends or family wrong they may forgive you but I never will. I will be your worst nightmare. I also see Nesta as someone who doesn’t care for herself as much as she cares for whom she loves, and I believe I’m the same way. I’ve been told more than once that I ‘put my life on hold’ to take care of my mum but I disagree.

  • Julian Blackthorn / The Dark Artifices

Again, another fiercely loyal character. Is there a theme here? I seem to see myself as very loyal. Julian is a character I saw myself in with his struggles. He doesn’t want to ask for help despite the fact he knows he needs it. He knows that he will die under the stress he places on himself but he doesn’t care if he can keep his family innocent. For years my sister and I kept what was happening with our mum a secret. We didn’t want to worry our family or have them on our doorstep taking us away. I just love Julian so much. I am definitely not artistic like him though.

  • Grace Glasser / How To Make A Wish

Grace was basically me in a book. Her struggles with her mum, her personality, her determination. It was difficult to read because I related too much. The only varying factor of the book was our sexualities, this being one of the first f/f books I read. I still find myself reflecting on this book and just how powerful it was for me. The parallels I found between my life and Grace’s have me itching to re-read this.

  • Monty / The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice & Virtue

Yet another character who is fiercely loyal. There is one part of Monty I relate to intensely. That being his reaction when he finds out his best friend has epilepsy. It is incredibly ableist and not the best response, but it was raw and it was real. I finally got to read something I had gone through five years ago and that was so powerful for me.


Tags

Honestly, I don’t have anyone to tag for this but please feel free to do it! Tag me in your answers too, I would love to read them and what characters you find yourself present in!


Happy reading everyone!

 | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads |

If you use my Book Depository link I will receive a 5% commission from your order at no expense to you. I would sincerely be grateful if you chose to use it.

The same goes for my Booktopia link, which is a great service for Aus and NZ residents.

Top 17 Books of 2017

Wow, 2017, what a year. So much has happened in my life. There have been so many hardships throughout this year and sometimes it was a mess. Sometimes it left me having a relapse in my room at 3am and sometimes it ended with me on top of the moon being so glad of all the progress I made.

But, you’re not all here to read about my mental health and my hardships of this year. You’re all here to read about what are my top 17 books of 2018. This was strangely an easy list to format. I tried to keep it mainly to 2017 releases, but some are just books I read this year and I adored. So, let’s get stuck into it. This list is in no particular order, so don’t assume because a book is higher up or lower it has more value.


1. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas | Review

This is the one that will have people screaming at me the most I think. I know so many people despise Sarah and her books, but her representation of PTSD really helps me. So, having Chaol, the main character, suffering throughout the book was something that resonated with me and left my feelings all over the place. It was also interesting to learn about his recovery, my mum had been in a car accident and told she’d never walk again (she did and does) so it was interesting to read about something that upsets her too much to talk about.

2. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesa Zappia | Review

I think this hit a lot of people’s favourite books this year. The fandom representation and anxiety throughout hit the nail on the head. It was also interesting to see a character who wrote and fanfiction to be incorporated into a novel. I used to write fanfiction (cringe) so I sincerely enjoyed this dynamic because I met one of my closest friends from writing it.

3. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu | Review

Now, this had to be one of my top books of 2017. It was incredible. It was the book I needed when I was younger and not sure where I fit in the world. When I truly needed some girl power. Honestly, I’m still speechless about this book but I will continue to scream about it and shove it into anyone’s hands I can.

4. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare | Review

Okay, so obviously Lord of Shadows was my favourite book of the year. I’ve made it clear how much I adore Cassandra Clare’s books and The Dark Artifices series is no exception. Her writing has improved so much over 10 years so I’m even recommending this series who didn’t like The Mortal Instruments. I really am still speechless over this book. I will definitely be re-reading before Queen of Air and Darkness releases next year.

5. The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty | Review

Now, The City of Brass is a shock favourite of the year honestly. It was such a magical read that really drew me in. The culture and just, overall, the story was so absolutely incredible. I am still unable to really grasp what happened in it and it’s another book I want to shove onto absolutely anyone who will listen.

6. The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee | Review

Mackenzi Lee’s work is one book that has stuck with me since I read it months ago. It was so what I needed. A story about two young men and a girl causing mischief throughout Europe with a sense of adventure and serious tones throughout the novel. My favourite thing about this particular work was the inclusion of epilepsy. As someone who’s mum has epilepsy, it was incredible to see it represented in fiction with such a raw emotion. It truly is difficult to see someone you love suffer.

7. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco | Review

I absolutely loved the first book in this series and the second book was no exception. I loved it. Honestly. This book also had some PTSD representation throughout it, that in my opinion, was so well done. The storyline is just as incredible as the first, even if I guessed the killer in this one. Maniscalco is just an incredible writer who I sing the highest of praises to.

8. A List of Cages by Robin Roe | Review

I read this book before I had my blog and really had a chance to rave about it. There are a lot of triggers in this book I wasn’t aware of but I read it in one sitting and was awake until late in the night crying over what happened. I still think about this book. My best friend actually bought me a physical copy for my birthday and I’m just so in love. It was just such an emotional punch so be prepared for that.

9. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor | Review

This is probably the most shocking book on my list. I put this book down after starting it and wasn’t expecting to ever go back. I had bought it because it was pretty and $11. One day though I picked it up on a whim and wow. This book. I am completely in love with Lazlo. Yet another book I am recommending endlessly to my friends and family. I really think this particular one is a good fit for anyone.

10. They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera | Review

I just loved this book. There are no words for me to even describe how great it was. Read it. Now.

11. Everless by Sara Holland | Review

This is a debut I just loved. The concept is just so intricate and so elaborate. I was blown away by it, not at all expecting a favourite book to come out of reading it. Sure, it doesn’t come out until next year for the US but this book is just so incredible you need to preorder now. 

12. How To Make A Wish By Ashley Herring Blake | Review

Similar to They Both Die At The End I have no words to describe this book. I am trying to shove it on my sister quite aggressively (because it needs to be shared) but she refuses to read it and it frustrates me. So, to everyone reading this you need to pick up this book. Obviously you need to pick up every book on the list, but still.

13. Renegades by Marissa Meyer | Review

I knew I was going to love Renegades. So, I wasn’t shocked when I loved Renegades. Recently its been the target of some homophobic reviews which is really annoying because this book is incredible. I absolutely love the anti-hero concept so I sincerely loved reading about it in Marissa’s beautiful writing style.

14. Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan | Review

This one kind of speaks for itself. It’s the final book in a series and makes the list because Rick Riordan is an incredible writer. His inclusion of the mythologies in his worlds are so flawless and engaging that I can’t help but fall in love with absolutely everything.

15. The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones | Review

This was probably the biggest shock for my list. I picked it up on a whim because the ebook was on my phone was some reason. I thought it was a series as well, I’m not sure why? I fell in love completely. This book is so underhyped. Why haven’t more people read it? I don’t understand, honestly. It is truly a masterpiece. The writing, the storyline,  the romance. All. So. Incredible. Pick this up, please.

16. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed | Review

If you like Moxie, then you’ll love The Nowhere Girls. These two go right together with feminism movements. However, this one is a tad darker and intense. The girls fight back and a movement begins to protect others. It also made me realise some things about my own life I had to move through mentally. It was, however, such a powerful feminist read and I highly recommend it.

17. The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie | Review

Another unexpected favourite. This book got really popular on Goodreads for awhile and I decided to jump on the hype train. It’s such a beautiful f/f romance with pirates involved. Was not what I expected at all but I am glad to have it on this list!


So, there we have it! My top 17 reads of this year. Obviously, I recommend them all highly and sincerely suggest you give them as gifts to yourself (or others) this holiday season. All 17 books meant something important to me this year.

Have you read any of the books on this list? What are some of your favourite reads of 2017?

Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

I’ve seen everyone doing this tag and I was pretty curious so here I am. Ignore the weird format of the pictures throughout, I was learning how to add photos to a blog post!

1. BEST BOOKS YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2017?

So, so, so many! But to list a few (because I could go on for a while) here we go:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. BEST SEQUEL OF 2017 SO FAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lord of Shadows by far has been the best sequel I have read this year. I was blown away by how much Cassandra Clare has improved as an author.

3. NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET, BUT YOU WANT TO

This one is a pretty hefty list, but to name a few

 

4. MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE OF THE SECOND HALF OF 2017?

5. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

Caraval was a book I had small expectations going into but it let me down even more than I expected!

6. BIGGEST SURPRISE

Not Your Sidekick & The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice & Virtue!

7. FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR (DEBUT OR AUTHOR TO YOU)

Cale Dietrich

8. NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

Can I say Julian Blackthorn? That’s a continuous fictional crush I’ve held since last year. No? Fine. Since I just finished it the other day, Monty from The Gentlemen’s Guide.

9. NEWEST FAVORITE CHARACTER

Kit Herondale in Lord of Shadows!

10. BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY 

What doesn’t make me cry?

I sobbed in Lord of Shadows & The Gentlemen’s Guide, I got a tad weepy in A Court of Wings and Ruin and I had tears running down my face the whole time I read A List of Cages.

11. A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY 

I’m not sure I’ve read too many happy books this year, so I’m going to pick The Hating Game by Sally Thorne which I actually re-read.

12. FAVORITE BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION YOU’VE SEEN THIS YEAR

I haven’t watched too many but let me just say not Shadowhunters.

13. FAVORITE REVIEW YOU’VE WRITTEN THIS YEAR? 

I’ve only just started blogging but my favourite reviews on Goodreads are the ones where I dislike the books. I think my favourite one was probably my Caraval review.

14. MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT OR RECEIVED THIS YEAR?

Or my limited edition Waterstone copies of Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare! 

15. WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?

Way too many. Don’t let me check my iBooks library either because then we are entering dangerous territory!

The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice & Virtue by Mackenzi Lee | Review

5/5 Stars.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: homophobia, epilepsy, racism, ableism, PTSD, alcoholism, parental abuse.

SIDE NOTE: I’m not 100% on all those triggers, I’m not a diversity blogger (despite loving when it is featured) so I will do some more research as this book continues to be reviewed and come back and edit this at a later date!

Going into this book I had little to none expectations. Why? Purely because I kept seeing this book hyped on all social media platforms. Everyone was saying it was great. I received an early copy but wasn’t able to get around to it before the books release, unfortunately. Now that I’ve read it, I wish I had made time for this book because wow. 

This story follows Monty, Percy and Felicity in a Victorian era. The trio are going through Europe on Monty’s Tour – but each of them have conditions that will be met when they return to England at the end of the year. Felicity will be at finishing school, Percy going to law school, and Monty taking over his father’s business. Sounds fantastic, right? Wrong. There are underlying problems that make each circumstance that may sound fantastic, not.

The major problem that we learn comes around about 30% into the two years. Now, I have been hunting for a book that features epilepsy for around five years. I have found nothing or simply books that don’t interest me. Epilepsy is using the brunt of jokes in books as well. However, Mackenzi Lee writes epilepsy perfectly within this book. At least for me.

My mum had her first fit when I was 10. Terrifying. She was in a coma for four days and died three. It didn’t happen again and I simply forgot. Until I was 15 and they started again. However, they didn’t go away. For five years, my sister and I have been caring for my mum and facing the repercussions that come with the stigma of epilepsy. So, seeing a fit written perfectly, in my opinion, had me sobbing in my room.

Now, I’m not a minority in any way. I’m cis, white and straight. But, seeing epilepsy represented in YA fiction is so important to me. I’ve seen people flinch when I tell them my mum has epilepsy and my sister has had friends bully her over it. So, a positive representation of epilepsy was very important to me.

I’ve read a review saying that they DNF’ed this book at the point the epilepsy was introduced because of ableism themes. The ableism themes that are featured though are accurate to what I felt when my mum received her diagnosis. How can I fix this? How is this going to affect my life? Sure, that’s wrong and I admit that but I was 15 and my family had just left a domestic violence situation. I think Monty’s reaction to discovering his best friend had epilepsy was very real.

I also want to touch on the PTSD that is featured in this book. That too was real. I suffer from PTSD and the descriptions are scenarios I have felt. There were times when a touch to my face would give me a panic attack. So seeing a character suffer from another circumstance I had faced? Amazing.

I’m not even sure how to get into the plot. I am just so in love with every event and scenario that took place. I was never bored. Not once during a single scene which is amazing. I fell so in love with the writing style, the dialogue and even the descriptions of scenes. I felt each character was fleshed out perfectly and not a single one was unnecessary to the plot.

The romance as well! I’m not a big fan of romance in books. I love plot over romance. But, around one chapter in I was already in love with the romance between Monty and Percy. They were both such beautiful characters that made me want to cry, whether they were together or not. They are simply so beautifully written.

I mean, just check out this perfect fan art of them;

source: https://twitter.com/ToriRyan90 

Felcity is also the love of my life and actual girl crush.

My only problem with this book was that Monty got a little annoying to me. I was rolling my eyes sometimes at his actions. However, the fact he had great communication skills in other scenes gave me the ability to overlook that.

I just can’t recommend this book enough. If not for its diverse cast, then for the fact this book displays PTSD and epilepsy in such realistic ways that this will stay with me for a long time.