Thursday, October 26, 2017

September Reading Wrap Up

Oh hey. This is my first post in about 5 months, I'm aware that's awful.
So this is a bit of a change in blog content but I feel like I spend every spare minute reading so it really is all I have to talk about.

In September I managed to complete 13 books. I read 8 physical books and 5 ebooks. My goodreads ratings ranged from 1 star right up to 5 stars so a real mix.

Book one: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy? Goodreads

I've finally taken the first step on my Cassandra Clare journey. If I'm honest, this book was a pretty 'meh' read for me. I don't think I've even rated it on goodreads yet. I can't work out whether this is due to the fact that I watch (and really enjoy) the Shadowhunters tv show. I think it's likely it was just the initial reaction of my brain trying to separate the two. 
To give this book its dues, I think it does a brilliant job at character introductions and initial world building and I'm absolutely continuing with the series.

Book two: A House in London by Amy Cross
Rating: 2/5

"You'll love him. He's such an easy boy to love." 
Short of money after moving to London, Jennifer Griffith accepts a job babysitting for a wealthy couple. When she arrives at their house, however, she quickly learns that this particular baby isn't quite what he seems. 
Although she agrees to go through with the job for one night, it doesn't take long before she starts to regret her choice. Something dark lurks in the shadows of the house, something that wants something from Jennifer. Something that won't let go, not even after she heads home... Goodreads

This story was very strange. I buy a lot of random stories on Kindle when they're at 99p and I think this must have been one of them. There's no way to discuss this without spoiling it. At first it was just a thriller that I was flying through but it got very bizarre at the end and I feel like with an alternate ending it could definitely have received a higher rating.

Book three: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J.Maas
Rating: 5/5

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.
His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them. But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

I'm one of the few people who were actually excited for this. It seems Chaol lost a lot of fans throughout the Throne of Glass books but he's honestly always been my favourite guy. I liked a lot of the new characters that we got to know and I'm excited to see how they interact with the main gang. I love the series as a whole but this was my favourite book and I'm glad that out of everybody it was Chaol who got his own book. I really enjoyed his character progression because I think he's a strong character who struggled to find his place once more characters were introduced and I hope that when everybody reunites in the next book that he's able to stand his own and his character isn't jeopardized at the expense of everyone else.

Book four: Solitaire by Alice Oseman
Rating: 3.75/5

In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.
My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.
Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden. I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden. I really don’t. Goodreads

I have never before read a book that I could relate to so much. I know it's not the best thing but I'm a shy pessimist. I'm okay admitting that my brain always naturally jumps to the worst conclusion off the bat. Tori is much the same. 
I think the emotions she portrays perfectly sum up how I felt when I was Tori's age.

Book five: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Rating: 3.5/5

When Mateo receives the dreaded call from Death-Cast, informing him that today will be his last, he doesn't know where to begin. Quiet and shy, Mateo is devastated at the thought of leaving behind his hospitalised father, and his best friend and her baby girl. But he knows that he has to make the most of this day, it's his last chance to get out there and make an impression. 
Rufus is busy beating up his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend when he gets the call. Having lost his entire family, Rufus is no stranger to Death-Cast. Not that it makes it any easier. With bridges to mend, the police searching for him and the angry new boyfriend on his tail, it's time to run. 
Isolated and scared, the boys reach out to each other, and what follows is a day of living life to the full. Though neither of them had expected that this would involve falling in love...  Goodreads

I think my expectations were too high for this book. The hype was real and, for me, it didn't live up. I'm a crier, I'm not ashamed to admit it but this book just didn't hit me like I wanted it to. The premise for this book is absolutely brilliant, I would love for this to be a thing that existed. I just didn't find myself invested in the characters. I'm planning on keeping hold of this and rereading it next year when the hype has died down.

Book six: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.” Goodreads

Another one I haven't rated yet and another one where I feel like I've set my expectations too high. I feel like I'd give it a 3.75 maybe (if I could). I enjoyed this to a certain extent. Having finished the first book I don't know that I'm overly interested in any of the characters. I love the concept and I feel like I'll probably get more into it as the series continues so I'll definitely be continuing at some point but I'm not in any rush.

Book seven: Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

You will be punished…
Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.
But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found flawed.
In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where perfection is paramount and flaws lead to punishment. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything. Goodreads

I really like Celestine as a protagonist. I found myself really rooting for her and that meant that there were a couple of scenes that I had to skim read because (without going into detail) people don't always treat her very well. It definitely made me uncomfortable to read at times, but because I cared.
I'm excited to pick up the sequel to this because I've got high hopes that Celestine and Carrick are going to be able to change the unjust system in this world.

Book eight: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Rating: 5/5

Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. 
She's wrong. Goodreads

I loved this book so much. I went into this expecting to like it but also expecting to be very confused and I'm honestly so annoyed I put it off for so long. People say that this really f**ks with you mind and I don't know what it says about my mental state that it didn't freak me out at all. I just thought it was brilliant. I love Mara, I love Noah, I love Mara's brothers. I want to know all about what happened in the past and I need to know everything that's going to happen in the coming books. 

Book nine: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Rating: 1.5/5

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. Goodreads

I know a lot of people really love this series and I wish I was one of them but I honestly thought about DNFing this book a handful of times and I won't be continuing onto the rest of the books. I loved the writing style with the crossed out dialogue. I think the premise is brilliant but then you can immediately see that Juliette's going to be stuck in a bloody love triangle and I've never taken an instant dislike to a character as much as I did with Warner. I don't care about a redemption arc for him and I'm happy leaving my reading at the first book.

Book ten: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Rating: 3/5

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.
Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.
If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers. Goodreads

I'm still not sure whether I'll be continuing with this trilogy. I think first book has set everything up for the second and third books to be a lot better so there's a chance that if I find them in a charity shop at some point I will pick them up but I'm not in any rush.

Book eleven: Too Damn Nice by Kathryn Freeman
Rating: 2/5

Do nice guys stand a chance? 
Lizzie Donavue went from being the sister of his best friend to the girl Nick Templeton most wants to kiss. On her birthday, he finally summons up the courage to make his move. But it looks like Nick’s missed his chance when he discovers that Lizzie has been offered a modelling contract, which will take her away to the glamorous fashion scenes of New York and Los Angeles.
Nick is forced to watch from the sidelines as the gawky teenager he knew is transformed into Elizabeth Donavue: top model and ultimate English rose pin-up, forever caught in a whirlwind of celebrity parties with the next up-and-coming Hollywood bad boy by her side. 
But then Lizzie’s star-studded life comes crashing down around her, and a guy like Nick could be just what she needs. Will she take a chance on him? Or is he just too damn nice?Goodreads

After being underwhelmed with my previous two reads I decided I wanted a contemporary I would fly though and wouldn't need to think about. This was certainly that. I still found myself underwhelmed, it didn't quite do it for me. The reason the nice guy didn't get the girl in this book is because she didn't know how he felt. I liked seeing their opposite worlds and the fact that the relationship needed work. I enjoyed that Lizzie wasn't portrayed as a ditzy celeb with no substance, she definitely had stuff she needed to work through.

Book twelve: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Rating: 4.5/5

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She prides herself on being loved by everyone at work - except for imposing, impeccably attired Joshua Templeman.
Trapped in a shared office, they've become entrenched in an addictive, never-ending game of one-upmanship. There's the Staring Game, The Mirror Game, The HR Game. Lucy can't let Joshua beat her at anything - especially when a huge promotion is on offer.
If Lucy wins, she'll be Joshua's boss. If she loses, she'll resign. So why is she questioning herself? Maybe she doesn't hate him. And just maybe, he doesn't hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game . . .

I loved this. I don't do contemporary so I didn't expect to love this as much as I did but it's one of my favourites of the year.
I really enjoy hate to love relationships when it doesn't include one person being the fucking worst to the other for no reason and then it turns out it's because he can't deal with being in love with her and she falls in love instantly pretending nothing happened. In this story there is a workplace rivalry between two well developed characters and it naturally progresses into something. I knocked it down half a star because I did feel like the ending was a little rushed. 

Book thirteen: Stuck With You by Carla Burgess.
Rating: 2/5

One lift. Two strangers. Anything could happen! Elena thought that today would be just like any other day…until the supermarket lift jams and she realises she’s stuck. And not just stuck in the lift. Stuck with her childhood crush, Daniel Moore, who unfortunately seems to be just as gorgeous as she remembered… Goodreads

After loving The Hating Game so much I decided I might as well stick with contemporary because that mood doesn't strike me often. The lift is the catalyst and plays a super tiny part. I know it's about a couple who knew each other years earlier and were reconnecting but it definitely felt like this moved very quickly and I think that's why it was such a low rated read for me.

I know this is super late in the month but I wasn't sure I was going to post this. 
What have you read and loved lately?
Nikki x
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