Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Top 5 Villians

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly feature and you can find their goodreads group here. I thought that I would struggle with this but as soon as I came up with one idea I came up with a lot more characters.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
1) Sebastian from The Mortal Instruments
I know that he is supposed to be the villain but I kind of love Sebastian he is a great character and I love how evil he is!

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)
2) President Snow from The Hunger Games
I never really like President Snow but I have to admit that he was a brilliant villain who was so sick and twisted. However overall I hated him as a person!

Peter Pan
3) Captain Hook from Peter Pan
I did not think of this character at first but I was struggling to come up with someone until I thought about childhood books and I remember Captain Hook and how much I liked him as a character when I was younger.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
4) Mr Hyde from Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
I am currently reading this at school and am really enjoying it. However I think that Mr Hyde is very evil and twisted but he makes a great character.

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)
5) Warner from Shatter Me
I personally don't think that Warner is a villain but I know that he is supposed to be a villain so I am going to include him on this list because I just love him as a character so much!

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading.

Wednesday Catch-Up 30th November 2016

Every Wednesday we are linking up with WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is hosted at Taking on a World of Words and asks 3 questions: What are you currently reading?, What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you'll read next?

Currently Reading:
Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling, #1)Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
I am just about to start reading Slave to Sensation which is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series. I am super excited for this one as I have heard some great things and I really just need some quick, exciting reads right now! I am also still reading Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy. Although I keep saying this but I have only opened it once. I intend to start reading one story a day.

Recently Finished:
Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1)Burn (Dark in You #1)Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Newt Scamander: A Movie Scrapbook (Fantastic Beasts Film Tie in)Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay
I had heard so many good things about Nevernight so I was excited to buddy-read it with Veronika from Regal Critiques but I ended up being really disappointed. I never got into the writing style nor did I connect with the characters so it wound up taking me far longer than I would've liked to finish it. The bones of a good story are there and I kind of want to know what happens next but ultimately I don't think I will finish the series. I then read Burn by Suzanne Wright which was a quick read. I did enjoy it although I had a lot of problems with the plot which was a bit messy and the romance was just not for me. But it was the sort of fast read I really needed after Nevernight. Newt Scamander: A Movie Scrapbook was another Fantastic Beasts book - I liked it but it definitely seemed more oriented towards children than The Case of Beasts was, the latter had more in depth information. I think this is one I will probably read with my younger brother. The Fantastic Beasts Screenplay was wonderful. It really is such a beautiful book (I keep just staring at it on my shelf) and reading it reminded me of how much I genuinely loved the film.

Planning to Read Next:
Firelight (Darkest London, #1)The Viscount and the Vixen (Hellions of Havisham, #3)Someone to Love (Westcott, #1)
Next up is Firelight by Kristen Callihan which is another one I have heard some great things about. I love historical romances and I love fantasy/paranormal so the combination should be a hit. I am then planning to read two new releases. The Viscount and the Vixen is set for release tomorrow so I am hoping my copy arrives on time! And Someone to Love is the start of a new series from Mary Balogh, who is one of those authors I constantly come back to!

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading.

Monday, 28 November 2016

December Releases

December is a pretty quiet month for new releases but there are still a few I am intrigued by (and at least one I am crazy excited for)!


The Viscount and the Vixen (Hellions of Havisham, #3)Spindle (A Thousand Nights, #2)Split the Sun (Inherit the Stars, #2)
The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine Heath: This is the third book in the Hellions of Havisham series. I haven't read the first two but I don't think it's necessary to and this is the plot that most appeals to me. Released 1st December.
Fantastic Beasts Magical Creatures Coloring Book: I haven't done a coloring book in a while so this is exciting! Plus I need to relive the film again! Released 1st December.
Spindle by E.K. Johnston: I didn't love A Thousand Nights but the writing was beautiful and I can never resist a Sleeping Beauty retelling. Released 6th December.
Split the Sun by Tessa Elwood: This is the sequel to Inherit the Stars. I am really starting to read more Sci-Fi so this is a series I definitely want to give a try. Plus I think each book follows different characters? Which I love. Released 6th December.
Crystal Storm (Falling Kingdoms, #5)The Burning Page (The Invisible Library, #3)Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms, #1)Lady Claire Is All That (Keeping Up with the Cavendishes, #3)
Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes: The most exciting book of December! The 5th book of the Falling Kingdoms series. I am so nervous for Magnus and Cleo though. I need for them to be OK. Please? Released 13th December.
The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman: This is the third book of the Invisible Library series. I have only read the first book so far but I definitely want to continue the series! Released 15th December.
Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill: I love the cover for this and I believe it's high fantasy. But I don't know much more than that and I don't want to. The cover does remind me a lot of Ruined by Amy Tinterra though. Released 27th December.
Lady Claire is All That by Maya Rodale: This is not an author I have tried before but this is a regency retelling of She's All That (which is such a fun film). The first book in the series is Bridget Jones' Diary and the second is, I think, Chasing Liberty? All three are films I love so I am excited to hopefully find a new favourite author. Released 29th December.

Please let me know what books you are excited for in December or if you've already read any of these! I need to add to my TBR!

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Sunday Post 27th November 2016

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The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, it's a chance to post a recap on the past week, show the books we have received and share what we plan for the coming week. Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and the aim is to show our newest books and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops or downloaded on to their e-reader. As always you can click on any of the pictures to be taken to the Goodreads page for that book if you're interested in finding out more about it.

This turned out to be a pretty good week for me! I finally saw the Coca-Cola Christmas advert (the official start of Christmas). And Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life was released. I hadn't had time to rewatch the original series but I remembered enough to thoroughly enjoy the revival. There were some things I would've liked to be different but overall I loved it and am desperately hoping for a season 2!

Last Week on the Blog:

Books We Got This Week:

Christmas Under the StarsFrozen CharlotteDeathcat Sally
Christmas Under the Stars by Karen Swan: I always love Karen Swan's Christmas books and with Christmas fast approaching this seemed like a good time to get her new book! 
Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell: This is the second Zoella Book Club pick and I have heard great things about it. I am not always great with horror but this one intrigues me.
Deathcat Sally by P.S. Brooks: I was sent this by the author (along with a lot of amazing extras including some artwork). I am really excited to read this. The concept intrigues me a lot and it just looks beautiful!

Reading Update:

Ann:
Girl Online Going Solo (Girl Online, #3)
Girl Online: Going Solo by Zoe Sugg: 5 stars, I loved this book and I thought that it was incredible, if you want to find out more of what I thought of it you can go check out my review which was posted yesterday.

Clare:
FrictionThe Case of Beasts: Explore the Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Friction by Sandra Brown: 4 stars, The "who" of this is figured out pretty quickly and then the rest of the book is spent wondering why and trying to convince the police (who seem fairly inept) of what's going on. There were a lot of terribly frustrating side characters but I liked the main couple.
The Case of Beasts by Mark Salisbury: 4.5 stars, After loving the film last week this was a really great way to hang onto a bit of the magic! There were some great details and props in here and it's definitely one I will be re-reading!

Next Week on the Blog:

  • December Releases
  • Top Ten Holiday Gift Guide
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • Top 5 Favourite Villains
  • Clare's November Wrap-Up and December TBR
  • Friday Reads
  • Ann's November Wrap-Up and December TBR

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Ann Review: Girl Online Going Solo by Zoe Sugg

Girl Online Going Solo (Girl Online, #3)Title: Girl Online Going Solo
Author: Zoe Sugg
Series: Girl Online #3
Format: Hardback 
Source: Purchased
Pages: 327
Rating: 5/5
Blurb: As Penny starts the school year she's ready to face the world - alone. Noah has gone off the radar after ending his world tour early and no one, including Penny, knows where he is. So when she accepts Megan's invitation to visit her performing arts school it seems like an opportunity to make some new friends.

Helping everyone else seems to be the right remedy - Elliot needs her friendship more than ever, and she meets Posey, who she can really help with her stage fright. But is charming Scottish boy Callum the right kind of distraction? And can Penny truly move on when Noah's shadow seems to haunt her round every corner?




This is one of the books that I have been looking forward to reading ever since I found out that it was being published and it was as sensational as I expected it to be and I loved nearly everything about it. I think that it is incredible how the author managed to put advice on blogging and a loy of other things into the story with mailing it an advice book!

This is the third book written by this author about these characters and I loved how the main character, Penny, has changed so much since the first book. I think that the way she has become able to deal with her anxiety and is trying to help others deal with their problems is wonderful. I think that Penny is a great character because I can actually imagine her being a real person who I could meet and probably be friends with. I also love Elliot and his boyfriend Alex who were so adorable throughout the book and it was great how they relied on each other a lot and truly loved each other! Overall I loved how realistic all the characters were. However there was one character who I just really didn't like and that was Callum, who I thought was just kind of annoying and really frustrating!

When I first started reading this book I was extremely excited to read it and see what happens to the main character Penny and her relationship with Noah and it did not fail to impress. The plot of the book was wonderful and I loved how the main character spent the book helping someone deal with stage fright trying to use what she learnt from dealing with her own anxiety, which I think is incredible. One of my favourite parts of the story is when Noah returns as it happens when you are least expecting it and it is so well written that it fit into the story excellently. Overall I loved the plot of this book although it was sort of obvious what was going to happen at some points throughout the book.

The description of all the settings in this book are so well described that if I closed my eyes I felt like I was there and at times it sounded so picturesque that I wish I was there. I also thought that there was just the right amount of description of the settings, they were well described while not going into to much detail which I loved. The writing in this book was great because there was a lot of dialogue which kept the story moving and for me personally I have always preferred the dialogue to the description!

As far as I know this is a the last book in the series and it had a great ending however I would love for a fourth book to be written! Overall I thought that this was an incredible book, which was as good if not better than the first two books and I would recommend you read it, especially if you have read and enjoyed the other two books.



You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Top 5 Books I Want To Reread

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly feature and you can find their goodreads group here. As soon as I heard this top five, I immediately new what books I was going to pick!

The Female of the Species
1) The Female Of The Species by Mindy McGinnis
I only read this book recently but it is one of those books that I would love to read over and over again. I loved everything about this book and it was so amazing!

Girl Online (Girl Online, #1)
2) Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
I have already reread this book a couple of times but it is one of those books that I love to read whenever I just need to read a simple book that I love a lot!


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

3) Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
I love these books and I don't think that I know a single person who doesn't love them too. Once you have read them once, then you can reread any of them in any order and they never get boring!


The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., #1)

4) Lockwood And Co by Jonathon Stroud
I love to read ghost stories and I discovered this one after reading the first chapter of the first book during an English lesson. I have been reading the other books in the series ever since and would love to reread any of them.

Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1)
5) Anne Of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery
The first time I read this book I loved it so much and it was one of the first classics that I have ever read, and it made me want to read even more classics so I would love to reread it!


You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading.

Wednesday Catch-Up 23rd November 2016

Every Wednesday we are linking up with WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is hosted at Taking on a World of Words and asks 3 questions: What are you currently reading?, What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you'll read next?


Currently Reading:
Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1)Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
I am currently about 200 pages in to Nevernight which is taking me a really long time to read. It's not very fast paced at the moment and the writing is a bit heavy but I like the main character. And finally I am reading Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy which is a collection of short stories set in the Shadowhunter World. 

Recently Finished:
The ChemistFrictionThe Case of Beasts: Explore the Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
I wound up enjoying The Chemist much more than I was expecting to. It was definitely longer than it needed to be and there were times, especially towards the end, when I just wanted them to hurry up and get on with it. But overall I enjoyed this book and I have a full review posted here. I then read Friction by Sandra Brown which was a good read. I didn't enjoy it as much as Sting but I was definitely engaged by the characters and really wanted to reach a happy conclusion with them, my review for this will be up next week. And finally I also read The Case of Beasts which I really enjoyed - it was so great seeing extra information about the film and the world.

Planning to Read Next:
Burn (Dark in You #1)Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling, #1)Firelight (Darkest London, #1)
My next read is Burn by Suzanne Wright which I have for review and I am very excited to read. After that is another paranormal romance novel Slave to Sensation which was recommended to me by Veronika from Regal Critiques - she loves this series and it's made me excited to read this one. I then want to read Firelight which is a book that has been on my wishlist for so long. And then a relatively new release - Someone to Love by Mary Balogh which should be a gentler romance.


You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Clare Reviews: The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

The ChemistTitle: The Chemist
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Format: Hardback
Source: Purchased

Pages: 518
Rating: 3.5/5

Blurb: She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.
Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.
When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.
Resolving to meet the threat head on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life, but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.


The best way to describe this book is as one of those action movies. You know the ones - there is an implausible plot, plenty of not-quite-realistic action sequences. And a love story thrown in for fun. One of those "Oh my god stop flirting this is a life and death situation I thought you were a professional" kind of relationships. But you know what? I love those movies. They're fun and you don't have to think about them too hard. Perfect for a relaxing evening.

Our main character is "The Chemist" of the title. Her real name isn't revealed until a little way into the book and even after it is revealed she continues to switch names constantly. Which required me to be able to remember who she was in any given conversation (which I kept forgetting). But it was a good way to illustrate the life she lived - especially when someone used her real name and she got momentarily confused. She is a hard character to describe. She wasn't always likable - especially when you got hints of what she had done for "the department" but she was snarky and strong and well able to hold her own which I appreciated. I can't really talk about any side characters without giving spoilers but for the most part I liked them too.

One thing that really annoyed me  was the continual censoring going on inside the heroine's head. This may be a small and petty thing but whenever a character swore she would cut the dialogue of mid sentence and say something like "he added several quite unflattering descriptions of her; she knew all the individual words, but the combinations were fairly unusual." I understand that maybe the writer doesn't swear and couldn't bring herself to actually add swear words to her novel. Or maybe this is just a hangover from writing books for teens. But in a novel that, to use films as a reference again, should be a "15" rating, bringing it back down to "PG" in this way just felt unnatural to me. After all these characters do and experience - using a swear word should be pretty painless surely.

I've already mentioned the romance, briefly, and whilst I would say that it is definitely a little unbelievable at times it was also pretty sweet. I thought they were well matched and balanced each other out nicely so I wound up really wanting them to be OK by the end of the book. I also greatly appreciated the lack of a love triangle. There was a moment there where I thought that was where the book was headed but thankfully the book stayed on track and I wasn't too distracted.

I know I've been comparing this to a film a lot in this review which may be a bit unfair. But to me that's what it felt like. This book would make a really fun film and I would definitely watch it and probably rewatch it. But as a book there were parts that dragged, especially towards the end, and it did wind up taking me a long time to finish as a result. If I sound like I am being too harsh on The Chemist it's because I am. In reality, this was a fun read with a main character I definitely rooted for. It's far from perfect but ultimately enjoyable. If you're already a fan of Stephenie Meyer you probably don't need me to tell you that you'll enjoy this book. If you weren't a huge fan of her YA novels but this intrigued you - bear in mind that this won't compare to serious spy thrillers you've read in the past - but if you want more fun than suspense then I say go for it. 

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Sunday Post 20th November 2016

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The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, it's a chance to post a recap on the past week, show the books we have received and share what we plan for the coming week. Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and the aim is to show our newest books and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops or downloaded on to their e-reader. As always you can click on any of the pictures to be taken to the Goodreads page for that book if you're interested in finding out more about it.

This week we went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them! I was really looking forward to it and it definitely didn't disappoint. It was a lot funnier than I was expecting and all the wonder of the world was still there! I am very excited to see where the series goes next!

Last Week on the Blog:


Books We Got This Week:

Ann:
Girl Online Going Solo (Girl Online, #3)
Girl Online Going Solo by Zoe Sugg: I have been looking forward to reading this since I found out that the author was going to be writing it!
Clare:
Firelight (Darkest London, #1)Nemesis (Nemesis #1)Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling, #1)
Firelight by Kristen Callihan: I feel like I've been wanting to read this series for a really long time and it's finally time for me to read it! If I really enjoy this then I will definitely be wanting to pick up the rest of the series.
Nemesis by Anna Banks: I have been really curious about this book and I am so, so excited to finally have a copy and hopefully read it soon!?
Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh: This is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series which was recommended to me by Veronika at The Regal Critiques and I am super excited for it. Again, if I enjoy this one it will be another series for me to get into!
Game of FearTales from the Shadowhunter AcademyThe Case of Beasts: Explore the Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Game of Fear by Glede Browne Kabongo: Thank you so much to Glede for sending me this for review - I am very excited to get reading. It looks like it will be amazing!
Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman: I am not too sure what these stories are about (although I know they mostly follow Simon) but I am excited to get into them.
The Case of Beasts by Mark Salisbury: I've already had a quick flick through this and I love it. There are replicas of things in the film and behind the scenes details which are great.


Reading Update:

Ann:
The Lovely and the Lost (The Dispossessed, #2)The Wondrous and the Wicked (The Dispossessed, #3)
The Lovely And The Lost by Page Morgan: 5 stars, I really enjoyed this book a lot and I loved the all the characters and how determined they are to succeed.
The Wonderous And The Wicked by Page Morgan: 5 stars, This was a great  ending to the series and I loved how all the characters have changed since the beginning of the first book. Overall I loved it!

Clare:
The Chemist
The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer: 4 stars, The story definitely dragged in places but for the most part I was totally on board with this. I enjoyed it a lot more than I had expected to. My full review will be up next week.

Next Week on the Blog:

  • Clare Reviews: The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
  • Top Ten Thanksgiving Freebie
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • Top 5 Books I Want to Re-Read
  • Ann Reviews: Girl Online Going Solo
  • Friday Reads
  • Clare Reviews: Friction by Sandra Brown


 You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading
 
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