Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Top Ten Underrated Books I've Read That Not Enough People Squawk About

Hello everybody!

I hope you're having a marvellous day so far! 

I'm SO excited for this prompt as there are many, many books I've read that deserve all the love but BARELY ANYBODY HAS READ THEM AND IT BREAKS MY POOR LITTLE BOOKISH HEART. SO, now is the perfect opportunity to force persuade you to read these books. ARE YOU EXCITED? You should be.

Image result for you're welcome gif

The Darkest Part of the ForestThe Last Summer of UsThe Rain (The Rain, #1)

WHY DO NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST?? It has gorgeously morbid writing and fierce but broken characters and it's got that quaint fairytale vibe with a sadistic twist and EVERYONE NEEDS IT IN THEIR LIFE. 

The Last Summer of Us features a girl (who is recovering from the death of a loved one), not one but two boys (who gloriously contrast with another), a summer road trip through Wales, saying goodbye and starting anew - ALSO, THERE'S NO LOVE TRIANGLE. There is a subtle romance but NO LOVE TRIANGLE. Do you know how rare it is for a book to contain a girl and two guys and not have a love triangle? Super rare. Go read it now. Because rare.

The Rain is wonderful (it feels slightly sacrilegious to say that as there's a killer virus in the rain and pretty much everyone dies but we'll roll with it) - Ruby is your typical teenage girl trying to navigate an apocalypse. She's 100% snarky, pretty selfish and self-centred but she's a flawed character you can't help but love. Also, there's an adorable guy who feels like a real teenage boy and not the perfect specimens that fictional boys often are so YAY for realism. I think that's what made The Rain even more terrifying is how real everyone felt and how realistic everything is, it felt like the rain outside my window was poisoned which was scary but good too? NOT BECAUSE IT'S POISONED, but because the book made it feel like it could potentially be? Which is always a sign of good storytelling, right?

Radio SilenceUnrivaled (Beautiful Idols #1)White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)Talon (Talon, #1)

Radio Silence was one of the best books I read last year and NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE HAVE READ IT. It's a diverse book (asexuality, bisexuality, POC characters), the characters are so relatable and so adorable. They're shy and quirky and wear patterned leggings and create fan art and have Tumblr blogs and I HAVE A SUDDEN YEARNING TO REREAD IT BECAUSE SO FREAKING GOOD.

I was so excited to read Unrivaled when I received an arc of it last year! I'd read one other Alyson Noel book (Fated, I think) AND I LOVED IT. So when this came in the post with the pretty cover and the intriguing synopsis my expectations were high and you know what - IT BLEW MY (already high) EXPECTATIONS OUT OF THE WATER. Like guys, I loved this book. And the ending was a TOTAL cliffhanger and there was this air of suspense the entire way through and the characters were all backstabbers and liars because they'd do anything to get to the top and IT WAS SO INTRIGUING. READ IT.

I feel like nobody (except Cait who actually recommended these on her blog - THANKS, CAIT) has read these and when I mention it people are like "The Curseworkers series, the one you drone on and on about constantly but I never take in what you're saying? What are they about, again?". WELL, SIT DOWN AND LET ME SUM IT UP FOR YOU. Mafia. Magic. Cons. Mobsters. Mobsters who curse people with the touch of a hand. Snazzy gloves. Dysfunctional families. Cats. A tortured cinnamon roll of a main character who was born to be bad but who so badly wants to be good. IF THAT DOESN'T SELL YOU, THEN I DON'T KNOW WHAT WILL.

The Moonlight DreamersLove SongMore of Me

THESE BOOKS. WHY HAVEN'T MORE PEOPLE READ THEM?? The Moonlight Dreamers was incredible and I feel like rereading it all of a sudden because good golly that book is incredible! The characters are so unique and complex and so real that I feel like they're my friends. I genuinely felt like I had four new best friends once I had closed the book - ISN'T THAT THE BEST FEELING EVER?! Yes, I agree with me too.

Love Song was SO ADORABLE. At first, I was worried that I wouldn't like it as I've never really understood the obsession with bands like One Direction and 5SOS but LSKJLGJS it was so good. The romance was SO cute and the main character was SO relatable and it was SO FUN getting an inside look on how the other half lives. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

More of Me...that book frikkin' broke my heart. I was sitting in the lounge and I turned the last few pages of the book and I started bawling my eyes out and my parents were like "Are you okay?" and I was like:

Image result for angry tears gif

I'll probably never recover. BUT GUYS. READ IT. It's about this girl Teva and every year (as she gets older) she splits in two, leaving her younger self behind. So the house they live in is filled with ten other Tevas (I think this started when she was 5) and the latest Teva has to go into the real world and live her life whilst the others stay at home, forever the same age, forever living behind four walls. IT'S HEARTBREAKING AND CREEPY AND WONDERFULLY WEIRD AND PLEASE GO READ IT.

These are my top ten (wow, I actually put only ten books for a change - miracles do happen, I guess) books that I feel are severely underrated and EVERYONE MUST KNOW OF THEIR BRILLIANCE. Have you read these?? PLEASE TELL ME YOU HAVE SO WE CAN FANGIRL. If not, are there any of these that you want to read but haven't got to yet? What's one book that you've read that not enough people know and love? RECOMMEND ME ALL THE BOOKS.
Read More »

Monday, 16 January 2017

What I've Been Reading #12


I hope you all had a lovely weekend! I spent mine studying (bleh) and reading so it wasn't too bad (except for the studying because maths, ew). 

Also, random piece of information, but I'm really pleased with myself because today is my 12th day without chocolate! WHO EVEN AM I?! I wanted to reduce my sugar intake as I eat a lot of chocolate so I'm trying to go 2-3 weeks without it because I think it's more of a habit than anything else BUT MY RESISTANCE IS WAVERING OMG HELP. 

I'm also super happy because yesterday I had the best workout. I did abs, legs, and arms and I really enjoyed it. LIKE I ACTUALLY ENJOYED WORKING OUT?? I didn't know such a thing was possible but apparently it is! You guys probably didn't need to know this but I'm super proud of myself so I thought I'd like flail about it on my blog because why not?

So my resolution to be healthier this year is going pretty well! Now I just need to focus on getting to sleep earlier (I have miserably failed at that) and meditating more. I've really been struggling with stress and anxiety the past few weeks and I've definitely found, that in the past, meditation works wonders! 

I managed to read 2 books this past week which I'm quite proud of as I've been drowning in school work! I'm just doing maths at the moment as there are three textbooks I have to complete and IT'S SO MUCH WORK. But I'll survive. *sips chamomile tea and tries not to panic about exams and school and life in general*

Unmarked (The Legion, #2)The One Memory of Flora Banks

Unmarked by Kami Garcia ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr 

I really enjoyed both of these! I LOVED Unbreakable (Unmarked's predecessor) so when my reservation for Unmarked came in I nearly died of excitement. I really enjoyed it but not nearly as much as I loved the first book. There were a few plot twists that left me with my jaw on the floor so YAY FOR PLOT TWISTS. 

I also read The One Memory of Flora Banks which I was highly anticipating and although it started out slow and I wasn't in love the first 100 pages or so, after that I devoured it. It was suspenseful and heart-wrenching and I highly recommend it!

As I've just finished TOMOFB I'm not reading anything yet but...

A Girl Called Owl

I'll be reading this next! I'm trying to read my arcs in a more timely fashion (also failing that so far this year BUT I'm trying, peoples, I'm trying) and as this one is coming out in ten days, I'll be reading this next! It's sounds adorable and LOOK AT THAT COVER. I am muchly excited. 

I might go write my review for The One Memory of Flora Banks now but...I kind of feel like playing Sims. I haven't played it in months and it's time, guys, it's time...to go on a four-day binge of nothing but Sims because that's the only way to play, right?

How's your week been? What are you planning on reading this week?
Read More »

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Make sure ...And a Happy New Year? by Holly Bourne is one of your first reads of 2017!

...And a Happy New Year? (The Spinster Club, #3.5)Title: ...And a Happy New Year?
Series: The Spinster Club #3.5
Author: Holly Bourne
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: November 1st, 2016, Usborne Publishing
Pages: 224 Pages, Hardcover
Source: Thank you to Usborne Publishing for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 4/5 Cupcakes!
Evie, Amber and Lottie are having a new year party to remember.
For the first time since leaving college, all three girls are back together. It's time for fun and flirting, snogs and shots.
(And not tears or tantrums or terrible secrets)
Because everything's going great for these girls - Spinster Club for ever! Right?

THIS BOOK. MY FEELINGS. I absolutely adore the Spinster Club novels and this book was no exception. Whenever I read one of the books I feel as if I'm being welcomed by old friends. I don't think I've ever read a book where the characters feel so real, whereby merely referring to them as characters feel like sacrilege of sorts. I absolutely adored being reunited with Evie, Amber, and Lottie but it was a bitter-sweet moment as I knew this was the last Spinster Club novel and I wasn't ready to let go. At all. 

This book tore at my heartstrings for several reasons besides it being the last time I get to spend with my favourite fictional friends (*cries forever*). The characters are more grown up, they've changed and gone their separate ways, the result being a new small, but still noticeable distance, between them emotionally. They're not the same people they were in the previous novels and they're all doing their best to adjust to a life that isn't turning out how they expected it to. 

Lottie is struggling to make friends at her London university, she's branded a feminazi and is finding it difficult to make friends like Evie and Amber, who accept her for her ranting, zealous self. Evie's recovery from her OCD is going brilliantly and she's loving her university experience and the societies she's joined and the friends she's made...however, Oli has relapsed so severely to the point where he can't even leave his house and Evie's struggling with it. She wants to experience the freedom that has been returned to her after reaching a sense of normality, however, she doesn't want to abandon Oli as he's going through this difficult time and she's weighed down with guilt for wanting to go out when he's at home being tormented by the thoughts in his head and she's laden with more guilt for all the bad thoughts swirling around her head. Amber has a secret to tell the girls but she knows it's going to tear them apart - it doesn't help that they're all masquerading happiness and success and not telling each other all the darkness and uncertainty beginning to creep into their lives. 

I think what I love most about these books is the girls' incredible friendship and I love how this book emphasised how a genuine friendship like theirs can make the darkest of days seem a little brighter. I love how supportive and caring and understanding they are with each other, especially when it comes to Evie's anxiety. I wish there were more people like Lottie and Amber as they're so incredibly thoughtful and understanding and I wish more people were as willing to understand mental health as those two. Seriously, though, the friendship in this book is incredible and I loved how Holly showed that even though a friendship is so strong and full of love, it can also experience low moments but that if you truly love those in your friendship group, you make it work, even when it seems like everything is going against you.

Once again, I loved the characters so. freaking. much. Especially Evie because I just relate so hard. There were so many thoughts echoing through Evie's head that had me practically weeping because Holly Bourne gets it. She gets anxiety and if you struggle with an anxiety disorder, you'll know how much it means to see yourself in a character because it's a much-needed reminder that this is okay and that we're not alone. As I was saying, I love the characters. I love how kind, caring and understanding Evie is and I love how she's a stellar example of how even terrible things like an anxiety disorder can have a silver lining - in this case, turning you into a wonderfully compassionate human being. I love how brave Evie is and she gives me hope that I'll one day reach a point where I'm nearly fully recovered. I love how this book still showed that she's working on it and that the journey to recovery is pretty much a continuous thing. I've read so many books where a romantic relationship heals everything and I'm so glad that this series doesn't sugar coat mental health and the recovery process. Thank you, truly.

I adored Lottie and Amber as well, of course. I feel like Amber has become so much more confident and self-assured and it's lovely seeing that! It was quite unsettling seeing Lottie so upset and lonely and I felt so sorry for her because we've all been in a place where we feel secluded and unwanted and I just wanted to help Lottie through the loneliness she was experiencing. It was so lovely when she was reunited with Evie and Amber as you could see the positive impact they had on her and it just made my heart SO HAPPY.

I won't say too much on the romances featured in the book as it might be considered spoilery. But I'll just say I was a little sad and a little mad at one of the guy characters because reasons.

...And a Happy New Year? was a bittersweet but perfect ending to a brilliant series that means the world to me. The Spinster Club will forever hold a special place in my heart, it made me laugh and it made me cry and it made me realise that I was normal and I wasn't alone in facing the battles inside my head. Filled with feminism, the terror of growing up and evolving into a person you don't particularly recognise anymore, friendships that are once in a lifetime and an accurate portrayal of not only the trials and tribulations of becoming an adult, life turning out in a way you weren't expecting but also a genuine, brutal look into the thoughts of someone with an anxiety disorder. This series is so genuine and refreshing and so beautifully relatable, I will love it forever.

I give it: 4.5/5 Cupcakes!

Read More »

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

2016 Releases I Didn't Manage to Get To Because I Was Busy Reading All the Other 2016 Releases (so many books omg help)

Hello everybody!

I hope you're having a great week so far! 

I'm really excited to write this post as I know it will make me super amped to read all the fantastic books I missed getting to last year. However, I'm also ashamed by this post because there are so many amazing books I didn't get to last year, which makes my heart sad. BUT I'll be sure to get to these in 2017!

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)

I know, I can't believe I haven't read A Court of Mist and Fury and Lady Midnight yet either, WHO EVEN AM I? These two are definitely top-priority reads for 2017! I adored ACOTAR and I LOVE Cassandra Clare's books so I have no idea why I haven't gotten around to reading them yet. I bought a copy of Truthwitch a few months ago and I think now that Windwitch is out I'll bump it up my TBR pile. A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT, AKSLHFKA. I still haven't got me a copy but it's my birthday next month so...😉

Ruined (Ruined, #1)Stealing Snow (Stealing Snow, #1)When We CollidedThe Sun Is Also a Star

Ruined sounds amazing. When I first heard of it I was like "eh" but then I started hearing stellar reviews from book bloggers whose opinions are similar to mine and I was completely convinced that I needed it in my life. Stealing Snow, When We Collided and The Sun is Also a Star are sitting on my bookshelf/Kindle and I'M SO EXCITED TO READ THEM. I love love love contemporaries so I'm super excited to read When We Collided and The Sun is Also a Star, especially seeing as I loved Nicola Yoon's debut.

The Unexpected EverythingMy Lady JaneThe Forbidden Wish (The Forbidden Wish, #1)Walk the Edge (Thunder Road, #2)

LOOK AT THE CUTE DOGGIES. Seriously, that cover had me sold. I LOVE DOGS. Ahem. Besides that, I've also heard brilliant things about Morgan Matson's books so I'll definitely be buying a copy of The Unexpected Everything soon - it's definitely on my spring/summer TBR! I've heard endless good things about My Lady Jane - historical fiction, magic and humor, yes please. The Forbidden Wish sounds so good and can we just admire that cover for a second? Look at it, it's beautiful. Walk the Edge - I need to read. Katie McGarry's books are absolutely incredible and she's definitely at the top of my favourite YA contemporary authors list!  

The Diabolic (The Diabolic, #1)Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1)You Were HereConsider (Holo, #1)

The Diabolic sounds incredible, it takes place in space, there's politics and apparently a cute romance and IT SOUNDS AMAZING. Nevernight (askljhgks), after reading Illuminae and Gemina a few months ago I need to read everything Jay Kristoff writes. You Were Here sounds like such a heartbreaking contemporary and you know how I love those (kind of. I read The Serpent King last week which is the epitome of heartbreaking and I still haven't recovered. I love them but I also don't because MY HEART), so I need that book in my life yes, please and thank you. Consider is a science fiction but the main character has an anxiety disorder!!! I'VE WAITED FIFTY YEARS FOR THIS. Most of the time mental illness is featured in contemporary books and I've always wondered about how a character with severe anxiety would handle things if they lived in a dystopian/sci-fi/fantasy world because I know I wouldn't cope very well (normal life is scary enough, thank you very much) so yes, I need this book.

Wow! So many brilliant books...that I still haven't got to. But I'll definitely try reading most of these this year! 

Did any of these books make your list? Which 2016 release are you making sure to get to this year? Are you as bad as me with keeping up with the new releases? Let's talk!
Read More »

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

In which I squawk at you to read Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen

Optimists Die FirstTitle: Optimists Die First
Series: N/A
Author: Susin Nielsen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: March 2nd 17, Andersen Press
Pages: 224 Pages, Paperback
Source: Thank you so much to LoveReading4Kids and Andersen Press for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 4/5 Cupcakes!
Beware: Life ahead.
Sixteen-year-old Petula de Wilde is anything but wild. A former crafting fiend with a happy life, Petula shut herself off from the world after a family tragedy. She sees danger in all the ordinary things, like crossing the street, a bug bite, or a germy handshake. She knows: life is out to get you.
The worst part of her week is her comically lame mandatory art therapy class with a small group of fellow misfits. Then a new boy, Jacob, appears at school and in her therapy group. He seems so normal and confident, though he has a prosthetic arm; and soon he teams up with Petula on a hilarious project, gradually inspiring her to let go of some of her fears. But as the two grow closer, a hidden truth behind why he’s in the group could derail them, unless Petula takes a huge risk. . . 

I loved this book. I picked it up at 6pm and it was finished two hours later. I very rarely read a book in one sitting so if that doesn't convince you to pick up Optimists Die First, fear not because I have quite a few reasons more to persuade you to pick up this raw, poignant novel with its flawed yet lovable characters and its sharp dialogue.

I adored the characters. We have our main character, Petula, who I could relate to so much. I have anxiety, not in the form that she has, though, but I also always jump to the worst of conclusions and I'm often plagued by the “What if?” question when navigating day-to-day activities that shouldn't warrant thoughts regarding such catastrophes. I can also be quite pessimistic and cynical (even though I'm trying to change that!) so there were many instances when I could some of my own worries and insecurities in Petula. I absolutely love it when I can relate to a character as it makes me feel that much more understood – just one of the things I love about reading.
I adored Jacob as well! I loved how kind and understanding he was, how he tried to make everybody feel better about themselves because he knew how it felt to have the world turn your back on you and retract its offered hand once it had found out about your quirks and the darkest parts of you that you needed someone to forgive and not discriminate you for. I loved his personality and his sense of humour and I just wanted to wrap him in a big hug BECAUSE HE'S SO SWEET AND ASDFGHJK.

I fell utterly in love with the other characters in this book too, specifically all the people who attended Petula's art therapy class. Alonzo, Koula and Ivan had all danced with demons who threatened to defeat them, they had their flaws and they showed a darker side of them that was hard for them to forgive – I loved them. I loved how real they were. I loved how this book showed that we all have things we're not proud of, every single person has struggles and if we can learn to love and forgive not only others who have made mistakes, but also ourselves, we could make so many more people – including us – happier. I loved seeing how they could learn to love themselves and each other despite the guilt and the sadness that was choking them, I loved watching them put aside their differences to lift each other up, it was beautiful watching all of them turn into happier, confident people. The friendship all five of them developed was beautiful and I may have cried. Once or twice.

I loved the romance as well and more than once I found myself clutching my copy of the book and squealing “I LOVE THIS BOOK AND THEY'RE SO CUTE I SHIPPITY SHIP THEM”. I loved how they were friends first, I loved their banter, I loved how Jacob helped Petula and all the others in YART, I loved how they made adaptations of novels with Petula's cats...I just loved the romance and despite a few issues they experienced I still think they make a wonderful couple. I love how they showed each other they were both capable of loving and being loved – it made me smile.

I seriously fell in love with this book. It made me realise that I needed to forgive and love myself more and embrace who I am, it made me realise that I need to forgive others for their mistakes and not be so quick to judge because we're all laced with scars and that some just hide it better than others. A thought-provoking, heart-warming novel that blends the ache of grief, the beauty of our flaws, the anchor of guilt and the incredible miracles a sprinkling of kindness and acceptance can work, to form a beautifully poignant love story that is raw and real. Not only does it contain a romance that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, it is filled with friendship, love, forgiveness and cats – what more could you ask for? I fell deeply in love with this book and I'm sure you will too.

I give it: 4/5 cupcakes

Read More »

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

2017 Debuts I'm WAY too excited for

There are so many incredible books coming out this year (nearly wrote next year haha, oops) and I want to read all of them because they sound so utterly amazing and I need them in my life. There's still so many releases from 2016 (and 2015, 2014...2012 etc) that I still want to read - CAN I BE IMMORTAL SO I CAN READ ALL THE BOOKS EVER?!

Caraval (Caraval, #1)WintersongDaughter of the Pirate KingPoison's Kiss (Poison's Kiss, #1)

Can I be allowed a moment of shallowness and say I adore the covers of Caraval and Wintersong? Like if I saw those in a bookstore I'd buy them in five seconds because just look at it. Caraval sounds amazing, circus-y and magical and perfect, really. Wintersong has goblins. I haven't read much about goblins so I must remedy that IMMEDIATELY. Daughter of the Pirate King - PIRATES. IS THIS THE PIRATE NOVEL I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR FOR THE PAST 728 YEARS?! I still remember one of the first books I read (the early reader ones) was a pirate book and I loved it so freaking much. Poison's Kiss is a fantasy story about a teenage assassin who can kill someone with a single kiss. I AM INTRIGUED. Also, it's based on Indian folklore which I don't know much about but would really like to learn more about because India. I've always wanted to go to India.

Empress of a Thousand SkiesToward a Secret SkyYou Don't Know My Name (The Black Angel Chronicles, #1)The Love Interest

ASDKLHF these books sound freaking epic. Empress of a Thousand Skies sounds like a sci-fi I need in my life. Toward the Secret Sky is a fantasy that involves secret, international organisations, clues left behind and a race against time to find the clues. SIGN ME UP KTHXBAI. You Don't Know My Name is a thriller that I'm extremely amped for because it has top secret agencies, combat training and spies. THIS BOOK HAS MY NAME STAMPED ALL OVER IT. The Love Interest sounds incredibly unique as well and I needed it like, yesterday.

One of Us Is LyingFollow Me BackIf Birds Fly BackRomancing the Throne

I barely ever read murder mysteries/thrillers because I'm the scaredy cat of scaredy cats but this sounds SO GOOD and I'll try to read this because it's so intriguing. Follow Me Back sounds chillingly epic as well! If Birds Fly Back and Romancing the Throne sound SO FREAKING ADORABLE I CAN'T EVEN. NEED.

This Beats PerfectAfter the FallWait for Me#famous

I was actually incredibly lucky to receive This Beats Perfect and #Famous for review and I'm actually starting #Famous next because it sounds really cute and lighthearted and I need that after having my soul completely crushed by The Serpent King. After the Fall sounds like a heartwrenching contemporary that will probably break my heart but it sounds so good. Wait for Me is a historical fiction novel that sounds like something I need to read - I've been wanting to read more historical fiction so I iz excited.

These all sound so amazing and I'm so excited for the incredible reading year we have ahead of us!

Are you excited for these? Which 2017 debut are you most excited for? Let's talk!
Read More »