Top Ten Tuesday · Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday- Most recent additions to my tbr list

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was created by The Broke and the Bookish but is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today I’ll be listing some of the most recent additions to my ‘tbr list’ (taken from my Goodreads ‘want to read’ shelf). Here they are

(1) Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

(2) The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey

(3) Song of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury

(4) Broken Throne by Victoria Aveyard

(5) A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy

(6) A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan

(7) The Outsider by Stephen King

(8) Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

(9) The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

(10) Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand


Have you read any of these books? What are your most recent additions to your tbr? I’d love to see your answers in the comments!

Reviews · Uncategorized

Lifel1k3: A Rollercoaster Ride from Start to Finish

Author: Jay Kristoff

Year published: 201

  • Plot: 4.5/5
  • Characters: 5/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Overall: 4.5/5

Lifel1k3 was a rollercoaster ride from start to finish, full of adventure and imagination with an awesome cast of characters. After I finished reading it, I was completely and utterly shook (in a good way). It’s set in a dystopian America where there has been a ‘War 4.0’ (it doesn’t go into much detail) that has left everything is disarray, California has broken off and formed its own little island and everything is controlled by giant tech corporations. Also, there are loads of robots who have, basically, been reduced to slavery.

Firstly, some basic definitions: automata are “machines with no intelligence of their own which operate on pre-programmed lines”, machina are “machines that require human operators to function” and logika are “machines with their own intelligence and are capable of independent action”. Lifelikes are robots that do everything that humans do and more. They are flawless, strong and their wounds heal by themselves. There are three laws of robotics that, in essence state that if you are a robot: your body is not your own, your mind is not your own and your life is not your own. These are ideas that are key themes in the book and they really drive the plot.

The protagonist was a girl called Eve, who lived in The Dregs (what used to be California) with her ill grandfather and best friend, Lemon Fresh. She tried to get as much money as she could to buy medicine for her grandfather by ‘domefighting’, which is a bit like gladiator fighting but with massive robots instead. One day, she accidentally ‘manifests’ during a fight and destroys a colossal automota with crazy mind powers she never knew she had. Overall, I thought she was a very determined character and she was very loyal to those she loved.

“This is not the end for me.

This is just one more enemy.”

Eve went through quite a lot in the book (and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT) and I’d say she handled it pretty well although instead of having a character arc, she had more of a ‘character downwards spiral’ and by the end she was very literally a completely different person full of vengeance and anger. I’m interested to see how her character will continue to develop in the next book.

For me, Lemon Fresh was the star of the show. She was the best friend anyone could ever ask for and she had sass on demand.

“I’ll have you know I take my fabulosity very seriously…”

Her friendship with Eve was so adorable and they even referred to each other as their ‘bestest’ (seriously where can I find a friend like Lemon Fresh). They also had a really catchy slogan:

“Stronger together.”

“Together forever.”

The villain person was ‘Preacher,’ a mysterious bounty hunter who was hell-bent on killing Eve for the entirety of the book. I still don’t fully understand his role in the story, but I suppose we will understand in the later books.

Ezekiel was a Lifelike and rather boring but his romance with Eve was quite sweet.

“Your father gave me life. But you were the one who made me live.”

I guess Ezekiel could have been more interesting if he wasn’t a cardboard cut out of the ‘classic YA male love interest’ trope. Although, he most certainly wasn’t perfect.

The other supporting characters were Kaiser, the loyal cyborg dog who I adored and their was also a little robot called Cricket who seriously reminded me of Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio (you know, ‘let your conscience be your guide!’) because he was so serious but in a cute way and worried about everyone’s wellbeing all the time.

In general, the book was about accepting everything in your past, the bad and the good, and moving on with your life.

“Your past doesn’t make calls on your future. It doesn’t matter who you were. Only who you are.”

It also emphasised the importance of friendship and the fact that although all of the characters had lost everything, they found each other and made each other their family.

The writing was amazing (as per usual when we’re talking about Jay Kristoff) and the world building was incredible. There was everything from giant-sea-sweeping-octopus-things to deserts made of glass.

Overall, I thought it was a thrilling read and I’m still recovering from those gargantuan plot twists at the end.


Have you read Lifel1k3? What did you think?

#SixforSunday · Uncategorized

#SixforSunday- Bookish Hates

#SixforSunday is a weekly meme hosted by A Little But A Lot. This week’s theme is, ‘bookish hates’, so this post will be about the six book characters I hate the most. There are some spoilers for the books mentioned so read with caution!

(1) Maeve from the Throne of Glass series:

I despise Maeve. She ruined everything in Empire of Storms. I do not take kindly to one of my favourite characters being whipped and put in an iron coffin. Not at all. In Kingdom of Ash, what she did to Aelin was so horrible and really hard to read about and I think we were supposed to feel a bit sorry for Maeve by the end of the book, but I didn’t because I couldn’t get over all the harm she had caused.

(2) Professor Umbridge from the Harry Potter series:

Professor Umbridge was such a terrible person. She was really creepy and had a weird obsession with cats. Not to mention the fact that she found hurting young children fun. “I must not tell lies…”

(3) Rhysand from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series:

This is probably going to be really unpopular with loads of people but I just don’t understand the fuss about Rhys. In ACOTAR, he hurts and abuses Feyre and then suddenly in the next book we’re supposed to forget about all of that and start fawning over him just becayse they’re mates and he says some nice stuff to Feyre. I just don’t understand it and I don’t think he’s that much of a likeable character anyway.

(4) Alina from the Shadow and Bone series:

I guess I don’t hate Alina, per se, I just strongly dislike her and I find her really bland. She’s a very annoying and whiny main character to read about.

(5) Cal from the Red Queen series:

I don’t hate Cal either but he is so frustrating and boring. Also, for some reason he can never make up his mind! One minute he says, “I love you Mare! You are my everything! I can’t live without you!” and the next minute he goes, “actually… on second thoughts…. I’d rather be king. I must be loyal to my people because they need me!” and then the next day he’s back apologising to Mare. I just don’t understand him. What’s more incomprehensible is why Mare, or anyone else for that matter, were able to put up with him.

(6) Taryn from The Cruel Prince:

I haven’t read The Wicked King yet so maybe she gets some sort of redemption arc, however, in The Cruel Prince, I didn’t like Taryn because she kept so many secrets from Jude and betrayed her.


Which characters do you strongly dislike? Do you agree with the ones I’ve chosen? I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments!

Reviews · Uncategorized

Empire of Sand: A Sprawling Desert Tale

Author: Tasha Suri

Year published: 2018

  • Plot: 4/5
  • Characters: 5/5
  • Writing: 4.5/5
  • Overall: 5/5

Empire of Sand was an intricate story inspired by Mughal India. The world building was spectacular, I felt fully immersed in the culture and history.

It tells a tale of a noblewoman called Mehr who had an Amrithi mother and an Ambhan father. The Amrithi were desert people who were said to be descended from the daiva (in the book the daiva are the children of the gods) and can perform special rites through dancing and movement. The Ambhan empire shunned them and took their land causing their numbers to dwindle.

“What are you supposed to do when you have lost the war and every possibility of victory has been absolutely, thoroughly annihilated? “

Even after Mehr’s mother left her and her sister, Arwa, to their father, Mehr still tried to carry on practising her Amrithi traditions and retain her identity in a world that refused to accept them.

Mehr was a strong woman but not in the way we usually see, by waving swords around and tearing down enemies left, right and centre. She had an inner strength, a quiet strength. No matter what happened to her, no matter who came along and tried to hurt, manipulate or own her, she clung on to who she was and she clung on to her hopes and dreams.

The pacing of the book was quite slow, but I didn’t mind. It enables us to be with Mehr every step of the way and appreciate her character development even more. Also, it gave time for Mehr and Amun‘s relationship to grow, for them to build up trust and friendship before taking it further. They were so adorable together and I loved how they spent time talking to each other and sharing things about themselves which you don’t often see in many books. Amun even makes a tent out of a shawl and pillows in their room to cheer up Mehr when she’s upset.

Empire of Sand was a pleasure to read and I loved the world building and the relationships between the characters the most.

Discussion Posts · Uncategorized

The Best First Lines of All Time

In my opinion, what makes a first line (or first lines) good is if I am hooked from the start or I feel curious enough to read on.

First lines are very important, they’re like the icing on a cupcake. If you like the icing then you’re going to enjoy the whole cupcake much more than if you don’t. However, first lines aren’t a necessary ingredient in a good book. Cupcakes don’t require icing and you can scrape it off, if need be.

Anyway, enough of my random cupcake analogy. These are the best first lines of all time, in my opinion:

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein:

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort”

These first two lines have all the feels for me. I’m not sure why but I always feel really nostalgic whenever I read them.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo:

“Joost had two problems: the moon and his moustache.”

Personally, I think this opening is random but absolutely iconic. (Spoiler ahead!) Joost may have died in the first chapter (R.I.P) but he will always be remembered for his really weird problems.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens:

“Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.”

This opening immediately hooked me. I was full of questions: Who is Marley? Why is he dead? Why is he significant? It’s just brilliant.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor:

“On the second sabbat of Twelfthmoon, in the city of Weep, a girl fell from the sky.”

This first line sounds so magical, like the beginning of a fairy tale. When I read it, I immediately knew I was going to adore the book.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

“First the colors.
Then the humans.
That’s usually how I see things.
Or at least, how I try”

I adore The Book Thief and I like its first line because it doesn’t make much sense at first, then you read on and you begin to understand. It’s so whimsical and I feel like it captures the tone of the entire book.


What are your favourite first lines? Are there any I should add to my list? I’d love to see your answers in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday · Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday- Books I meant to read in 2018 but didn’t get to

Hello everyone! It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday. Today, I’ll be listing 10 books I meant to read in 2018 but didn’t get to. In all honesty, there were loads but these are the books that I wanted to read the most:

(1) Circe by Madeline Miller

I love mythology so I obviously wanted to read Circe but I just didn’t get round to it last year. However, it was at the top of my tbr list for 2019 and I’ve read it now!

(2) The Stone Sky by N.K Jemisin

I loved The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate but for some reason I didn’t read The Stone Sky. I’m not really sure why…

(3) Fire Falling by Elise Kova (and the rest of the Air Awakens series)

I liked Air Awakens and I think it has potential as a series (also I’ve heard loads of good things about it). I kept wanting to continue the series and I kept forgetting.

(4) Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Uprooted was amazing and I really wanted to delve into the world of Spinning Silver last year, but I never got to.

(5) Smoke in the Sun by Renée Ahdieh

I read Flame in the Mist in 2017 and I still haven’t got around to its sequel!

(6) Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Furyborn just sounds like it will be so cool. Hopefully, I’ll read it this year!

(7) The Fall of Gondolin by JRR Tolkien, Christopher Tolkein

I’m a giant Tolkien fan so I definitely need to read this at some point.

(8) Mirage by Somaiya Daud

This own-voices book inspired by Morocco sounds amazing and I can’t wait to read it!

(9) The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

I’ve heard so many good things about this book and I heard it talks about mental illness. I wanted to read it in 2018 but never got round to it.

(10) The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

This novel sounds amazing. It’s about two girls living 800 years apart. One is a Syrian refugee and the other is an adventurer apprenticed to a mapmaker. I really hope I get to read it this year!

Which books did you want to read last year but never got to?

Reviews · Uncategorized

The Lost Sisters: A Half-baked Apology

Author: Holly Black

Year Published: 2018

  • Plot: 4/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Writing: 4/5
  • Overall: 4/5

“Be bold, be bold, but not too bold…”

The Lost Sisters was basically Taryn’s half-baked apology addressed to Jude for everything that happened in The Cruel Prince, from Taryn’s perspective.

We get to learn about some useful tidbits of information that weren’t mentioned in the book and more about Taryn’s motives and thoughts.

Yes, I do understand Taryn more now. She’s
less headstrong than Jude and she’s more of a daydreamer. She knows she can’t make a place for herself in Faerie the same way that Jude wants to so she tries to forge her own path- and I kind of get that. But her apology is, frankly, just terrible. Let me paraphrase it for you: ‘Dear Taryn. Sorry you think I messed up but I was just doing what I had to do, so I’m going to keep doing it. PS: In my defense you nearly ruined everything for me- so we’re even.’

I think that if you’ve read and enjoyed the Cruel Prince, then you should probably read this. It gives another perspective on all that passes and it’s good how it’s written as if Taryn is talking directly to Jude so that we get her side of the story.

Reviews · Uncategorized

State of Sorrow: Political Intrigue and Evil Magical Farmer Lords

Author: Melinda Salisbury

Year published: 2018

  • Plot: 4/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Writing: 3/5
  • Overall: 4/5

TW: Drug addiction

State of Sorrow was a captivating fantasy and was full of political intrigue and mystery.

Sorrow was the daughter of the Chancellor of Rhannon. Her father had been distant ever since his first son was killed in an accident and his wife died whilst giving birth to Sorrow- he had a low key resentment towards her because of that- and became addicted to drugs. He then threw the entire country into a state of mourning for years and years where no one was allowed to laugh, smile, sing or even open a window. Sorrow spent her life sequestered in the palace and being raised by her grandma until everything changed and she learnt that she must fight to make her country what it once was.

The world building was pretty good I liked how we slowly found out little facts about the political systems, fashions, customs and features of the various countries instead of a confusing info-dump at the start.

Some ideas were really cliché like the Rhyllian people with pointed ears and magical abilities (aka boring copies of elves). And when Sorrow goes to visit the miners she meets a person called ‘Wood’ and another called ‘Salt’. Seriously?! Those are the most terrible names I have ever seen in a fantasy novel.

The plot was very slow to unravel but it was still interesting. I enjoyed reading about the politics and their search to find out who Mael actually is. It was so funny how the big bad villain of the book was just a evil magical farmer lord who wants to grow his evil magical trees to take over the world.

Sorrow and Rasmus were so boring and predictable and insta- at one point I wanted to throw the book at the wall because of them. I was actually happy when they broke up and I don’t know why but I ship Sorrow and Luvian much more. I just felt sorry for Mael. Everything seemed out of his control and he was just the puppet of the evil magical farmer lord. There was a part where I just wanted to dive into the book and give him a hug because he seemed so sad but I do want to know who he really is. Sorrow was pretty good and she did grow in character by the end of the book. She had her moments though, like when she was being attacked in her room and she tried defending herself with a bar of soap.

Overall, the writing was pretty good but there was this phrase that was over used and really got on my nerves:

“Sorrow choked on thin air”

That doesn’t even make sense?!?! You can’t choke on thin air! Why is the air thin? Is Sorrow at a high altitude? Is she climbing a mountain or something???

Anyway, this book wasn’t perfect but I’m going with my gut because for some reason I still liked it so it’s getting 4 stars.

I’ll leave you with the randomest moment in the entire book.

“Luvian crawled out from under the bed, “Behold my redemption arc,” he said”

Uncategorized

I’m doing the Popsugar Reading Challenge!

Hello everyone! I’ve never done a reading challenge like this before but this year, I’m going for it. Wish me luck! These are the ones I’ve decided to read so far for the prompts (they may change) but there are still few that I’m not sure about.

Regular prompts:

(1) A book becoming a movie in 2019:

?

(2) A book that makes you nostalgic:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

(3) A book written by a musician:

The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket

(4) A book you think should be made into a movie:

?

(5) A book with at least one million ratings on Goodreads:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

(6) A book with a plant in the title or on the cover:

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

(7) A reread of a favorite book:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

(8) A book about a hobby:

Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

(9) A book you meant to read in 2018:

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

(10) A book with “pop,” “sugar,” or “challenge” in the title:

?

(11) A book with an item of clothing or an accessory on the cover:

Fire by Kristin Cashore

(12) A book inspired by mythology, legend or folklore:

Circe by Madeline Miller

(13) A book published posthumously:

The Children of Hurin by JRR Tolkein

(14) A book you see someone reading on TV or in a movie:

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

(I saw this being read on a TV show called You)

(15) A retelling of a classic:

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton (retelling of King Lear)

Or

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White (retelling of Frankenstein)

(16) A book with a question in the title:

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick

(17) A book set on a college or university campus:

?

(18) A book about someone with a superpower:

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

(19) A book told from multiple character POVs:

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

(20) A book set in space:

The Martian by Andy Weir

(21) A book by two female authors:

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

(22) A book with a title that contains “sweet,” “bitter,” “salty,” or “spicy”:

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

(23) A book set in Scandinavia:

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

(24) A book that takes place in a single day:

An Inspector Calls by JB Priestly

(25) A debut novel:

The City of Brass by SA Chakraborty

(26) A book that’s published in 2019:

The Wicked King by Holly Black

(27) A book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature:

The Novice by Taran Matharu

(28) A book recommended by a celebrity you admire:

?

(29) A book with “love” in the title:

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

(30) A book featuring an amateur detective:

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

(31) A book about a family:

?

(32) A book written by an author from Asia, Africa or South America:

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

(33) A book with a Zodiac sign or astrology term in the title:

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

(34) A book that includes a wedding:

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

(35) A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter:

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Or

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

(36) A ghost story:

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

(37) A book with a two word title:

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

(38) A novel based on a true story:

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

(39) A book revolving around a puzzle or a game:

Warcross by Marie Lu

(40) Your favorite prompt from a past Popsugar Reading Challenge – 2016: A book at least 100 years older than you:

The Odyssey by Homer

Advanced Prompts:

(41) A “cli-fi” book:

Clade by James Bradley

(42) A “choose your own adventure” book:

Lost in Austen by Emma Campbell Webster

Or

Choose your own Disaster by Dana Schwartz

(43) An “own voices” book:

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

(44) Read a book in the season it is set in:

?

(45) A LitRPG book:

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

(46) A book with no chapters / unusual chapter headings / unconventionally numbered chapters:

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

(47) Two books that share the same title (1):

?

(48) Two books that share the same title (2):

?

(49) A book that has inspired a common phrase or idiom:

?

(50) A book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage or convent:

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Are you doing a reading challenge this year? Also, if you have any suggestions for the prompts I’m missing books for, I’m all ears!