Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Christmas Cracker Book Tag

This is another tag I've seen a lot on BookTube and wanted to try it out on my blog. This is the last post I'll be doing for a little while because Christmas is tomorrow! Now, let's begin the tag!

1. Pick a book with a wintry cover.
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
This is a very common pick as far as wintry covers go, but I picked it because whenever I see this cover it just makes me think of winter.

2. Pick a book you're likely to buy as a present.
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
I'd probably give this book as a present because it's one of my favourites, and I think anyone will enjoy it!

3. Pick a festive themed book.
My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins
This is a collection of short stories, written by a bunch of different authors that involve a bunch of different holidays. Every time I hear about it, it gets me excited for the holiday season!

4. Pick a book you can curl up by the fireplace with.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
This was my favourite book for quite some time, it's now on my favourites list. This seems like the perfect book to curl up with and read.

5. Pick a book you want to read over the festive period.
Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
I have yet to read this book so every year at Christmas time I challenge myself to read it, and it's still not happened yet.

6. Pick a book that's so good it gives you the chills.
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
This book is so amazing! Every time I read about Cricket Bell I just get the chills because he's so perfect and I love him and Lola together!

7. Pick a book going on your Christmas wish list.
Definitely In The End by Demitiria Lunetta because I just read the first book and I need to know what happens next!

Well that was the Christmas cracker book tag! By the way I wasn't tagged by anyone. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Top 14 Books of 2014

Finally, the time has come for me to post my favourite books of 2014! I'm so excited to share these with you, I've been saving this post for a while! As of now, I've read 93 books in 2014; there's a slight possibility I'll read more but I don't want to force myself since I've already reached my goal of 90. Well, the moment you've been waiting 14 most favourite books of 2014! These aren't just books that were released in 2014, but books I've read during the year. (Also, these are in no particular order because it was hard enough narrowing it down to 14!)

14. Origin by Jennifer. L. Armentrout (Lux #4)
Rating: 5/5
Loved this book! It's my favourite book in the series because it was so action-packed and hilarious! But that cliff hanger...

13. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
Rating: 5/5
This book came as such a surprise to me! I read it because it was the Booksplosion book of the month and didn't expect to love it as much as I do!

12. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me #3)
Rating: 5/5
Ohmigosh this book was and is phenomenal! The perfect conclusion! You could really see the depth of Juliette's growth in this, and Warner was just perfect as usual. Of course one can't forget Kenji and his trademark humor!

11. Cress by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #3)
Rating: 5/5
This is now my favourite in the series so far! Each book just gets better and better! I don't know what I'm going to do when the series is over and I'm going to have to say goodbye to the characters, but at least I don't have to worry about that for another two books!

10. In The After by Demitria Lunetta (In The After #1)
Rating: 4.75/5
This was such a fantastic sci-fi! Loved every second of reading this! I can't wait to continue on and see what's in store for Amy!

9. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Rating: 5/5
This was a truly beautiful book, definitely a must read. This is a timeless tale that anyone can learn from. I'm so happy I finally got around to reading it!

8. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Rating: 4.5/5
I didn't expect to love this book because a lot of people were saying it doesn't live up to the hype, but I was pleasantly surprised. I loved this book, it's my first YA mystery novel and this really put me in the mood to read more books in this genre!

7. Unhinged by A.G. Howard (Splintered #2)
Rating: 5/5
Ok, honestly it's no surprise by now that these books are literally my favourites because I do nothing but talk about how awesome they are, so I'm not going to say too much because I mention them in every post!

6. Graceling by Kristen Cashore (Graceling Realm #1)
Rating: 5/5
This is the first fantasy novel I've ever read and it's made me super excited to pick up more books from this genre! It didn't take me long to read this book, I found the premise really interesting, and the plot very engaging! It was also fun to follow Katsa and Po around all the time!

5. Maus I by Art Spiegelman (Maus #1)
Rating: 4/5
This was such a fantastic graphic novel. I loved all the history that was included in this, and the characters and setting were portrayed uniquely which made the book a lot more intriguing.

4. Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky #3)
Rating: 5/5
I have to admit this conclusion was so amazing it moved me to tears! This was such a bittersweet ending! I loved the way it concluded, I'm just sad to say goodbye to some of my favourite characters!

3. The One by Kiera Cass (The Selection #3)
Rating: 4.25/5
This was an amazing installment in the series! America was becoming more independent and self-aware in this book! We really got to see a lot more of the world in this book, and I'm excited to learn more in the next installments!

2. To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (To All The Boys #1)
Rating: 5/5
This book was hilarious! I loved reading about Lara Jean and Peter! This was one of the few books where I really loved the main characters family! Jenny Han's writing style is fantastic and I can't wait to read more of her books!

1. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Rating: 5/5
This book was really inspirational. I related a lot to the main character Emily, and I enjoyed reading about her journey and seeing her grow as a person! This is such a fantastic contemporary novel and I'm so happy I read it!

Those are my top 14 books of 2014! It was so hard to choose because I read so many amazing books this year! What are your favourite books of the year? Thanks for reading!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Top 5 Favourite Female Protagonists

I thought I'd mix it up today with a not so Christmas themed post. I'm finally going to talk about my favourite female protagonists! There are so many amazing girls I've read about, and so many I have yet to discover! The main factor for me that makes a book enjoyable is obviously the main character, so to find one that leaves an impression on you is remarkable! I think the main characters need some more recognition, considering they have such a huge impact on us! These are just my top five but trust me, there's plenty more where these came from!

5. Juliette from the Shatter Me trilogy.
Juliette is such an incredibly strong character who goes through intense character development. She's so admirable and I've definitely been inspired by her in many ways!

4. Alyssa from the Splintered trilogy.
I love Alyssa for many reasons, but mainly because she was thrown into this new, twisted and scary world and was strong enough to adapt and work through it at the drop of a hat.

3. Tris from Divergent trilogy.
Tris is a model of true bravery and courage. Since I first read the series a couple years ago Tris has inspired me to be brave and to never give up (as cheesy as that sounds).

2. Katniss from The Hunger Games trilogy.
Katniss was the first person I ever read about that really resonated with me. She's completely changed how I think, she's shown me how to be strong, conscious, and observant.

1. Cath from Fangirl.
While reading this book I was amazed because Cath is so much like me. We're both extreme introverts that love to read. I became immensely attached to this book because I related so much to Cath. Seeing her grow, and change into a more out-going person really made me feel like I could do the same (it's a work in progress).

*Honourable mention*: Amy from the In The After duology.
I've only read the first book in this duo and so far Amy has bee absolutely incredible! I love how strong, independent, and smart she is! I couldn't make a post about amazing female protagonists without mentioning her!

Sorry this post was short today, I've been busy and I'm starting to run out of ideas! I've been saving a post I'm really excited about for closer to the 24th, so look out for that! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Bookish Christmas Gift Guide!

I've seen this topic going around YouTube so I thought I'd bring it over to blogs! I'm going to be recommending books to buy for certain types of people. These books can be interchanged for different people because  not everyone is the same so it depends on the person you're shopping for. Please keep in mind this is my opinion on what to buy for these kinds of people. Hope you enjoy!

1. The Romance Lover
I definitely know people who don't read too often, but when they do they prefer contemporaries with cute couples. For this kind of person I'd recommend The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer. E. Smith. Despite the long title this book is quite easy to fly through and is really enjoyable. It's about this couple that meets at the airport and continue to bump into each other throughout the book.

2. The Dare Devil
For this type of person I'm going to recommend an action-packed dystopian novel. Some great choices are Divergent and The Hunger Games, but chances are they've already read them or watched the movies. So I think Legend by Marie Lu would be a great choice. Marie Lu is probably the queen of writing action scenes. The book is easy to fly through, and full of interesting concepts. Definitely a great read!

3. Out of This World Thinker
Otherwise known as sci-fi lover. I'm going to recommend an amazing science fiction book that's great for someone you know who loves thinking about outer space! I highly recommend getting them Across the Universe by Beth Revis. It's an amazing book that takes place in the future, on a space ship that's travelling to set up an Earthen colony on another planet. This book is filled with mystery, and will leave the reader asking many questions by the end!

4. The Extraterrestrial
This book is for the person who is a true believer in aliens. In The After by Demitria Lunetta is such a great alien novel, which takes on a new and interesting spin on these well-known creatures. Filled with action and mystery, this story will hook anyone in, and will be impossible to put down!

5. The Warrior
I'm now going to recommend a book for the person who loves fantasy stories. A great book to get you started in the genre of fantasy is Graceling by Kristen Cashore. The world is easy to understand, the characters are amazingly strong and independent, and will keep you on the edge of your seat!

6. The Detective
This is for the person who loves to solve mysteries. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is a great mystery novel! Filled with twists and turns it'll have you constantly second guessing yourself! If you read this book, make sure you don't get spoiled because it will ruin the surprise of the novel!

7. The Kid who Doesn't Like to Read
If you know a younger kid who doesn't like to read much but you still want to get them a book, I suggest The Percy Jackson and the Olympian series by Rick Riordan. These books are great for kids (and teens too!) because they're fast-paced, and hilarious! The story is based on Greek mythology which makes it even more interesting!

8. The One with a Timeless Heart
Also known as the person who loves to read classics. For this kind of person I'd recommend The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. While this book isn't a classic, it definitely should be! It's a beautiful tale that takes place in Germany during WW2. It will definitely move you in ways you can't imagine, but it's worth every tear.

9. The Person Who's Read Practically Every Book in Existence
What do you get for the person who's read almost every book? One that's not well known of course. The thing with uncommon books is that sometimes they aren't that good. But this one is fantastic and definitely deserves a lot more hype! Splintered by A.G. Howard is a sort of retelling of the classic tale: Alice in Wonderland. It has fantastic characters, a unique story line, and it's unputdownable (it's so good I had to make up a word to describe it!).

10. The Deep Thinker
This book is one that deals with a lot of serious issues. Most people are probably familiar with it but I thought I'd recommend it because it moved me in many ways. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. This is such an amazing book, with an inspiring lesson, one that's sure to move anyone. I'm not going to say too much about it because I don't want to spoil it for you, but this book is definitely for the person who isn't afraid to cry.

I hope these suggestions have helped you decide what book to get for anyone you know! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Christmas Carol Book Tag

I've been seeing this tag around lately on a lot of blogs and thought it looked fun so I decided to do it myself! I first saw this tag on's blog and thought it looked really cool! I wasn't tagged by anyone I just felt like doing this for fun to get in the Christmas spirit! Without further ado, here's the tag!

1. "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch"
Name a villainous character you can't help but love to hate.

Queen Levana from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. She's just an amazing villain, and I love to hate her so much, and since she's such a mystery it makes hating her that much more interesting!

2. "All I Want For Christmas is You"
What book do you most want to find under the Christmas tree this year?

In The End by Demitria Lunetta because I just read In The After and I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

3. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
Name a favourite character that had to overcome a major obstacle. Why are they your favourite?

Ah, this is a hard one. For this I'm going to go with Cath from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Throughout the book we see Cath struggling with who she is and how introverted she is. She's my favourite in this aspect because I related to her a lot.

4. "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"
Which character do you think is on the top of the 'Nice List' and who's at the top of his 'Naughty List'?

I think Sebastian, from the Mortal Instruments series is definitely on the tippy top of the Naughty List, how could he not be?
I think Baby from In The After is on the top of the Nice List because she's so sweet and such a good person.

5. "Frosty the Snowman"
What book just melts your heart?

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. I cried through the whole thing, not because it was sad, but because I just love Cricket Bell so much.

6. "Feliz Navidad"
Your favourite book that takes place in a country other that your own.

The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. This series takes place in the past, in London, England. It was a phenomenal series (mostly because of Will Herondale).

7. "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
What book do you read to get you into the Christmas spirit?

There isn't a specific book I read to get me into the Christmas spirit, it's just whatever I'm currently reading, or what's next on my TBR list.

8. "Sleigh Ride"
What character would you most like to spend the holidays with?

Probably Ron Weasley from Harry Potter because when reading the books I've always loved Ron so much, so to spend the holidays with him and his family would be amazing!

I hope you enjoyed the Christmas Carol Book Tag! Thanks for reading!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Top 5 Most Anticipated Books of 2015!

These are some of the books I'm most looking forward to purchasing and reading in 2015! I'm so excited for all of these and can't wait to finally have my hands on them!

1. Ensnared by A.G Howard. I'm constantly talking about this series because it's literally my favourite of all time so of course I can't wait to finally give this on a place of honor on my shelf! It's set to release on January 6th 2015 by Amulet Books.
"After surviving a disastrous battle at prom, Alyssa has embraced her madness and gained perspective. She's determined to rescue her two worlds and the people and netherlings she loves. In the final installment of the wildly popular Splintered trilogy, Alyssa and her dad journey into the heart of magic and mayhem in search of her mom and to set right all that's gone wrong. Together with Jeb and Morpheus, they must salvage Wonderland from the decay and destruction that has ensnared it. But if they succeed and come out alive, can everyone truly have their happily ever after?"

 2. Fairest by Marissa Meyer. This is the 3.5th book in the Lunar Chronicles series. If you haven't started this series yet I highly suggest you do, it's phenomenal! This is to be released on January 27, 2015 by Feiwel & Friends.
"In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told. Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now. Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series."

3. I Was Here by Gayle Forman. This is her newest contemporary novel, I'm so excited for this because I've loved every other book by her so far!  This is also set to come out on January 27, 2015 by Viking Juvenile.
"When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question."

4. Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge. Despite having a stunningly gorgeous cover, I love Rosamund's writing. I can't wait to see what this novel has in store! It's to be released on May 5, 2015 by Balzer + Bay.
"Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?
Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

5. The Heir by Kiera Cass. This is the continuation of the Selection series, another favourite of mine, and I'm so ecstatic for this one! It's gorgeous and to be released also on May 5, 2015 by HarperTeen.
"Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought."

What book are you most looking forward to reading? Thanks for checking out my blog!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Announcement: More Uploads Coming Your Way!

I have exciting news! From the 19th to the 24th of December I'll be posting something on the blog everyday! Whether it be a review, a tag, or a wrap-up there will be something new everyday! This is to make up for the lack of posts over the months my blog has been running, and also because there are so many fun, Christmas themed things I want to talk about! I hope you enjoy them, and I hope they put you in the Christmas spirit!
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

2015 Reading Resolutions

As of December 7th, 2014 I've read 89 books. Which to me is a huge accomplishment, I've never read this many books in a year in my entire life. The main difference this year than any other reading year for me is that this year I discovered the reading community, whether it be on BookTube or on Book Blogs, these two mediums have pushed me to read much more and to really see the value of reading.

My reading goal on Goodreads for 2014 is to complete 90 books, I'm only one book away from meeting this goal, but the number I've been pushing myself toward is 100. Of course, during the summer 100 looked like an attainable number, but now that school's started again this is going to be a hard feat. There are a lot of things I'd like to change about the way I read in 2015.

Firstly, I'm definitely going to set a reading goal on Goodreads because they're a great way to keep track of how many books you've read, and keep you going so you can complete your goal. I don't think I'll be aiming for 100 books in 2015 because it's really not a realistic number for me and what's going on in my life right now. My goal will probably be set on 70-80 books but I haven't quite decided yet.

Another thing I'm going to work on is scheduling out my time more. Since I know have a lot of school work and I'm attempting to run this blog, I need to schedule out certain days where I'll post on the blog, and make time for school work and reading. This, I think, is going to be a challenge for me because I'm really bad at making and sticking to schedules but I'm definitely going to work on that because I really enjoy reading and blogging.

In 2015 I'm also going to try to read a wider variety of books, I find I generally gravitate towards Young Adult, mainly dystopian and contemporary. I plan on trying to push myself out of my comfort zone and read some middle grade, some more paranormal, sci-fi, and graphic novels. The few books I have read from these genres were excellent, and they've made me want to read more from this genre.

Overall, in 2015 I just want to expand and improve my reading habits, that's my one major goal. I hope to become a better blogger and review more books, and I hope to read more books and not waste so much time on reading slumps, or books I'm not liking. I really hope these resolutions aren't like the other ones where you forget about following through the week after New Years.
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook

The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook
Published: Simon Pulse, December 4th, 2012
Pages: 246
Source: Paperback, library
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: 3.9/5 (79%)

How I Felt: Ok, there needs to be a universal law that no standalone book can end like this! There's just too much left unclear. Recently for me, many contemporaries have been ending in this "loose string" fashion, so the rest is left up to the reader. I don't like this technique one bit, if I get to the end of a story it's because I've grown to love the characters (or at least tolerate them) so I'd like to see how their story ends, not make up one of my own. If I wanted to fill in the pieces of the ending myself, I would've wrote the book. All that being said, don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed this book. I had a great time reading it, it actually got me out of a slump. I just would've liked to see how the characters solve the problem we were left with to think about.

I really like the concept of this book, it takes place on an island where there are distinct social class differences. The rich all stick together and the same goes for those with less or almost no money. I originally picked this book up because I read that it was about a girl who was a con artist; this intrigued me because I never read a book about a character like this before and the whole premise was new and exciting. Not quite so surprising with contemporaries, but this book turned out to be much more than a poor girl looking to make money faster, this book was deeper than that, and this added a new element to the story I really enjoyed seeing play out.

If this book had anything it's amazing character development! We went from reading about Sadie who thought she had her whole life planned out; in the fall she'd take all the money she saved and move off the small island where she grew up to attend Berkeley and make a new name and life for herself. All her plans were ready to be set in motion until her mom used her funds to pay for a lawyer to get her father out of prison. After this point things start falling apart for Sadie. This story is all about Sadie trying to figure out who she really is, and her trying to come to terms with her life and move forward. A lot of development was shown by Sadie's parents and herself. In the beginning of the novel Sadie had almost no respect for her parents whatsoever, she wanted to leave them and her life on the island behind as soon as possible. But by the end of the book you could see how much her love for her mom and especially her dad has grown, and the same goes for her father because he didn't like to show her any sort of love.  Out of everyone in this book my favourite character would have to be Sadie's best friend, Brendan. He was always there for Sadie when she really needed him and I admired him for that, I also admired him for his wit and his ability to always know what to say to Sadie to put her at ease (which comes with being friends for so many years).

The reason I didn't give this book a four or five star rating was because I didn't think the plot was well executed or written/planned out. It was a little choppy, especially towards the end. I also couldn't give it the full rating because of how it ended, everything I wanted to happen was finally falling into place and then the book just ends.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, it was entertaining, funny, and just all around sweet.  I recommend it if you like contemporary or mystery books. I look forward to reading more by Eileen Cook in the future!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Couples

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey or GinerReadsLainey on YouTube. This week's topic is top 5 favourite fictional couples. This is such a fun topic I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make a post about it. It's pretty hard to choose couples because I don't want to spoil any love triangles going on in any series, so I'll do my best, enjoy!

5. Cath and Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I found both of them so cute! I couldn't get enough of their relationship!
Book Rating: 5/5

4. Lola and Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. I loved these two so much! While reading this book I couldn't help but cry every time Cricket was in a scene or even mentioned. I don't know what it is about these two but they've just stuck with me.

Rating: 4.8/5

3. Hermione and Ron from the Harry Potter series. I was a big shipper of these two from the beginning of the series. I love Ron's wit mixed with Hermione's smarts, I think they're perfect together and I wouldn't except it any other way!

2. Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace Lancaster from the Fault in our Stars by John Green. I love their relationship, they're so adorable together, I had the best time reading and seeing their relationship grow and progress. This is one of the most heart warming/breaking books I've ever read, and I thank Gus and Hazel for sharing their journey.

Rating: 5/5

1. Day and June from the Legend series by Marie Lu. They are just the ultimate power couple. They are both so independent and strong, but they work so well together. I love them both separately, but I love them even more when they're together because they become unstoppable!

Those are my top 5 favourite couples! This was a really hard decision and a lot of my other favourites were cut out. Some honourable mentions will have to be: Aria and Perry from Under the Never Sky, Katniss and Peeta from the Hunger Games, and Katy and Daemon from the Lux series. Thanks so much for reading!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Top 7 Favourite Book Covers

This was a topic for Top 5 Wednesday a few weeks ago and I really liked this idea so I decided to dedicate a whole post for some of the most beautiful book covers (in my opinion). There was also too many gorgeous covers to pick only 5, so I narrowed it down to 7. These novels are in order: 1 being the prettiest out of the 7.

7.  Crewel by Gennifer Albin

6.  Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

5.  Black City by Elizabeth Richards

4. The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

3. Splintered by A.G Howard

2. Entwined by Heather Dixon

1. The Heir by Kiera Cass

All these covers are stunning! Of course there are many more covers I think are beautiful as well. To see a list of some other ones I love I'll leave a link to the books I voted for on the Goodreads list.
Let me know what your favourite book cover is! Thanks for reading! ~Birdie


Monday, 20 October 2014

Graceling by Kristen Cashore

Graceling by Kristen Cashore
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 1st, 2008
Pages: 471
Source: Paperback, purchased
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 (97%)

How I Felt: This was my first ever fantasy read, I don't usually gravitate toward this genre because the unique worlds take a long time to develop, and I don't always have the time to dedicate building a whole new fantastical world in my head. But Graceling was fantastic! I instantly grasped the meanings of the world, and I instantly connected with the characters, which I didn't expect to happen. This is a great first fantasy book because it's easy to get used to the writing and the world. When reading other reviews of this book I found that most people found the writing style to be quite slow paced, but my feelings were quite opposite. I felt the story had a great continuous pace, and it never lagged for me at any point while reading.

In the Seven Realms there are seven different kingdoms, each ruled by a different king, but they all communicate and trade with each other. In this world, people also have the possibility of being born with a 'Grace'; some enhanced skill they can preform. These Graces range from something simple as being a good cook to being able to read minds.

Our main protagonist, Katsa, has the Grace of killing, so therefor she is used by king Randa, of the Middluns (also her uncle) to do his bidding, and to make sure not one citizen takes advantage of him, and also to rule his land in fear of his niece. Katsa has grown up in Randa's palace without a real family because she doesn't know what happened to her parents. Her only friends are her cousin Raffin, and her caretaker Helda, so she's grown up to be quite independent. By the end of the story you could tell how much she and the other characters had grown and matured over the short span of just one novel.

Throughout the story I could easily see so many admirable themes of independence, feminism, and being self-confidence. I really enjoyed how these were emphasized throughout the story, and that made Katsa a much more relatable character.

I really loved how each individual Grace was hashed out and explained for the reader's understanding. The explaining of both Katsa and Po's Grace was done really well, and didn't take too long for me to understand.

My favourite character overall would have to be Bitterblue. I just admired her strength, courage, and determination so much, especially since she was only 10 years old. I found her to be a character that even despite her age, I really related to her in some ways, and in others, looked up to her. I definitely look forward to reading Bitterblue, which is all about her story eight years after Graceling. Now without getting too spoilery my favourite scene would have to be when Katsa and Po talk to Grandfather Tealiff, there was just something about that scene that had me close to tears.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is hesitant about diving into the fantasy genre. I look forward to reading more books set in the Graceling Realm!

Favourite Quotes:
  • “I'm not going to wear a red dress," she said.
    "It would look stunning, My Lady," she called.
    She spoke to the bubbles gathered on the surface of the water. "If there's anyone I wish to stun at dinner, I'll hit him in the face.”
  • “When a monster stopped behaving like a monster, did it stop being a monster? Did it become something else?”
  • “How absurd it was that in all seven kingdoms, the weakest and most vulnerable of people - girls, women - went unarmed and were taught nothing of fighting, while the strong were trained to the highest reaches of their skill.”
  • “I'll teach you how to defend yourself, how to maim a man. We can use Po as a model.'

    'Wonderful,' Po said. 'It's quite boring really, the way you beat me to death with your hands and feet, Katsa. It'll be refreshing to have you come at me with a knife.”
  • “It seems better to me for a child to have these skills and never use them, than not have them and one day need them"
***Quotes taken from and Graceling by Kristen Cashore***
*Info on book taken from*

Friday, 17 October 2014

The Program by Suzanne Young

The Program by Suzanne Young (The Program #1)
Published: Simon Pulse, April 30th, 2013
Pages: 405
Source: Hardcover, purchased
Genre: Dystopian
Rating: 4/5 (89%)

How I Felt: This books revolves around the topic of depression, and I found this intriguing because I haven't read any novel about this topic before. Overall I thought this story was amazing! It was excellently written, I love the way Suzanne writes. The words just flew by and I did enjoy my reading experience with this book. The pace of the novel was excellent, and there wasn't a portion of the book that lagged. I was expecting it to be bad or constantly in a gloomy mood because it's all about depression and suicide but it was actually entertaining! (As weird as that sounds.) There were parts that would be really funny and I'd laugh out loud and those pages would balance out the extreme sadness coming from the previous pages. The topic never felt too overwhelming and I enjoyed that aspect of it. Although, there were a few things that bothered me, but I'm not sure if they bothered anyone else. For example, the adults of the world are frustrated with the youth/teens because they think suicide is the solution to there problems. So knowing this they create a product called "QuikDeath" to assist them in there suicide attempts. I found this annoying because the product kept being mentioned and the adults didn't seem to notice this as a problem. The whole concept of the actual Program was a good idea, but it was taken way to far. These kids do need counseling to try and deal with their problems, but to erase their memories is just opening up opportunity for them to try and make those same mistakes again because they never had any time to learn from them. Immediately from the beginning of the book I was skeptical of James, there's something about him I just don't completely trust. Even now, after he reunited with Sloane. I also hated Sloane's mom when we first met her because she thinks she's doing something good to benefit her daughter, but she's not looking at how Sloane's acting, she's looking at a list of stereotypes; no child is similar and it really comes down to how well she actually knows Sloane and she proved in the book that she doesn't. The moments Sloane had with her father were really sweet because he was only trying to help her but her mother kept insisting on the Program so he went a long with her.
Overall I really enjoyed this books and I hope to continue on with the sequel soon!

Favourite Quotes:
  • “...some things are better left in the past. And true things are destined to repeat themselves.”
***Quotes taken from and The Program by Suzanne Young***
*Info on book taken from*

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz
Published: Disney-Hyperion, April 1st, 2014
Pages: 384
Source: Hardcover, library
Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Rating: 3.25/5 (79%)

How I Felt: Overall I enjoyed this book, I just don't think it's fantastic. I expected a little more from this book because people rave about how amazing an author Melissa is, but honestly in this book I didn't see that. This book was really slow to start off and I just couldn't get into it, but after about 80/90 pages it became a little bit more entertaining and the pace picked up a bit. But by the end the story really started to get annoying because the characters I was finally growing to like just took a turn for the worst and everything started to fall apart by the end. It often came to a point where I couldn't stand to read any more, and I had put the book down on multiple occasions. One of the main issues I had with this book was that it took me a long time to start to like the characters and get used to them and their point of view. The characters just didn't immediately attach themselves to me until near the very end, and by that point there were major plot twists that switched everything up again, distancing me from the characters all over again. Usually when I read a book I can find something I like about the characters that I can relate to myself; just to make the story more enjoyable, but with these characters this process was quite difficult. One thing I can say I enjoyed was the world development. The world and time period this story was set in was quite enjoyable and interesting. I felt like it was also expertly explained. It's kind of an alternate twist on history, and because I love history I found this aspect quite enjoyable. The incorporation on magic and all these fantasy elements really added depth to the book and plot and made me sit at the edge of my seat at times. I don't even think I have a favourite character, they were all just okay, most of the time there's at least one character I gravitate to but again I just didn't have that in this story. If there was a sequel I would most definitely read it because I'd like to find out what happens in the kingdom, and with the main characters. This book as a whole was enjoyable. I can't say I highly recommend it but if you're looking for a fantasy book to read you might like this one.

Favourite Quotes:

  • “What happened to your face?' she asked.
    'It fell on a fist.' He shrugged.
    'That happens a lot?'
  • “It was a story they could tell their children, something out of a fairy tale. How their mother had not known who he was when she accepted him, and the frog turned out to be a prince. But the princess had been unwilling to kiss the frog, the prince remained warty and unloved, and now there was no adventure to be had.” 
***Quotes taken from The Ring & the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz and***
*Info on book taken from*

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Book Spotlight: Reboot by Amy Tintera

            Book Spotlight is a new segment I wanted to start on my blog, so I thought Reboot by Amy Tintera would be a great book to start with!
           Reboot is the first book in a duology and is Amy's debut novel. First, let me just congratulate Amy on not only such an amazing debut novel, but a fantastic debut series as well! This is such an interesting and unique take on zombies that I found really enjoyable and intriguing. The writing style of this book is fantastic. Reboot has a great pace, and it flowed nicely throughout the entire book. I loved how it was a fast-paced, continuous/consistent story in that it never started to lag or drag, and the writing always had the same feel.
            This book has everything a reader could ever want in a novel: action, wit, and romance! I've re-read this book multiple times, and for each one I couldn't put it down, and my love for it increased with every turn of a page.
             This book has an interesting twist on zombies. Mostly found in teens (occasionally adults), a newfound disease causes people to wake up or come back to life after they die, and depending on how long they're dead for they become stronger, faster, and more emotionless than an average human. We follow Wren, the Reboot with the longest death time of 178 minutes. The pride and joy of HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation) As they're most prized soldier she's incredibly fast, strong, and well, empty. Or so everyone thought. Later she meets Calum, 22. Complete opposite of herself, and together they work to find out what secrets HARC has been keeping from them, and what really lies out in the world behind the fences of Texas.
              If you haven't read this book yet I highly recommend it! Both books are out now so you can marathon the whole duology.

Published: HarperTeen, May 7th, 2013
Pages: 365
Source: Hardcover, purchased
Genre: Dystopian
Rating: 4.8/5 (92%)
Favourite Quotes:
  • “Want to dance? We have music this time. And I don't have to punch you when we finish.”
  • “Humans had a brightness to them, a glow that only death extinguished.”
  • “I still have the scars from when they captured me and beat me in the middle of the street."
    "You don't get scars."
    "Emotional scars then.”

Sunday, 28 September 2014

10 Books I enjoyed in 2014 so Far!

I was going to wait until the end of the year to post my favourites, but I've read so many amazing books this year so I wanted to make sure all of them were mentioned! Since a lot of books are going to be mentioned, the reasoning as to why I chose them will be short. (They're in no particular order)

1. The Lux Series by Jennifer. L. Armentrout
This is sort of cheating, but I just loved the series so much and couldn't pick just one! (Though if I did it would probably be Opposition) If you're looking for a fast-paced, entertaining read this is it! (4.75/5)
2. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
This was such an amazing conclusion to the series, and I loved how it wrapped up one series while simultaneously starting another. (4.5/5)
3. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
This book was AMAZING!!! Such a great end to this beautiful, magnificent trilogy! I read this so quickly, and was in tears by the end! I loved it and highly recommend it! Her books are beautifully written and funny at the same time! (5/5)
4. Perfect Lies by Kiersten White
This is the last book in the duology and I liked it so much better than the first. This book really made me appreciate Annie more as a character. I also love the way the book was written from two different points of view, and then they both came to the same point in the end! (4.8/5)
5. Cress by Marissa Meyer
This is the third book in the series, and they just keep getting better and better! I read this book while on vacation over March Break; I wouldn't leave the hotel room until I finished at least two chapters because I literally couldn't stop reading! It was non-stop action/adventure! (5/5)
6. The One by Kiera Cass
This is the third-but not final-book in the Selection series! I loved this so much! It was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it sure didn't disappoint! (5/5)
7. Unhinged by A.G. Howard
Ahhh! The Splintered series is my favourite series of all time and this book made it official! Who knew a sequel could be so FANTASTIC! This series is unique, fast paced, witty, entertaining, and all around fun! Highly, highly recommend! (5/5)
8. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
I only read this book because it was the Booksplosion book of the month. By the time I finished it I LOVED it! It was hilarious, but had an amazing plot! Can't wait for the sequel! (4.8/5)
9. To all the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
This was a great contemporary. I loved the writing and how there was a really strong family dynamic; and that's something that's excluded from most YA novels. (5/5)
10. Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
I love this trilogy so much, it's just so captivating and unique! All the books in this series are action-packed and just so well written! (5/5)
Like I said earlier, these are just ten of the many books I enjoyed throughout the year so far! I will post another entry at the end of the year where I discuss my ultimate top 10! Thanks for reading! ~Birdie


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