Book Shame - Series I Need to Finish

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Hello everyone, 

So it may be August, but that has not stopped me from curling up in a blanket with hot chocolate and re-runs of Vampire Diaries while I write this post! I'm still deep in a book ban while I try to reduce my tbr pile from rivalling the Empire State building to maybe Eiffel Tower height. This ban has also served an unexpected purpose, it has revealed just how many book series I still need to finish. 

Instead of wallowing and hiding my shame in a box at the back of my wardrobe I thought I would share it with you here! That way all you other bookworms can sympathise and feel less lonely in your own shame. 

Now this is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are my priorities. 

1. Shades Of Magic by V. E. Schwab
I really can't explain why I haven't finished this series yet, I only have the last book left and it is an amazing series! It follows Kell as he travels between different worlds via their one common feature - London. Black London is rising from the dead and bringing with it a lethal form of dark magic, one that only Kell can fight. 
I seriously need to finish this series and as soon as I own the last book I will! 

2. The Gentlemen Bastards by Scott Lynch 
Again, another series I love. This one is high fantasy following Locke Lamora, infamous thief of Camorr as he and his friends get embroiled in the most intricate plot the city has ever seen. Any lovers of Robin Hood will adore this darker version and I am beyond excited to read the next one :-) 

3. Peter Grant by Ben Aaronovitch 
Okay, so I'm not sure this one even counts as I am currently reading book 2, but this series is too good not to be included. Now I love police stories and I love magic/fantasy so this book series about a division of the metropolitan police that deals with magic is so perfect! Every time I open these books I end up getting so sucked in that I can't put them down! 

4. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Now this one is a big source of shame... I feel like the world and his wife has read the first 2 instalments of this book and are eagerly awaiting book 3, all except me. I have tried reading Nevernight and just could not get past the first 100 pages. The narrator is just so irritating!! He keeps interrupting at exactly the most annoying moments, which I do get, he's trying to be Lemony Snicket, but he isn't and I just want him to stop and let me get on with the story!
I will try to pick this one up again, but I make no promises.

5. Song Of Shattered Sands by Bradley Beaulieu 
I pinky swear I will read this one because I am head over heels for this series! I have good reason for not reading it yet too! I am waiting to read it nearer the next book release so I don't have to wait so long. Ceda's fight to assassinate the 12 kings of Sharakhai has me completely spell-bound <3 

6. Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs 
Picture me blushing bright red with shame over this one. I feel like this series is an essential part of YA fantasy, but as usual I am late to the party and have only read book 1. I bought and read book 1 years ago, hoping it would be super dark and gothic. To be brutally honest, I was underwhelmed by this and felt it could have been waaaayyy scarier! 

7. Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan 
Guys I have no idea how I completely missed out on these books as a teen, I must have lived under a rock or been so far into the vampire/twilight phase that nothing without fangs penetrated my tunnel vision. Recently I have been playing binge catchup with these books and am now onto book 2 of the Heroes Of Olympus section, so I'm making good progress! I plan to continue onto the Kane books and then Magnus/Apollo so I can be all up to date :-) 

8. The Old Kingdom by Garth Nix 
I am so close to being done with this one!! I adore this series and have been dragging it out on purpose as I don't want to run out of story. I really hope Garth writes another book! The last one left for me to read is a set of short stories called Across The Wall and I'm hoping to get to it in the next couple of months :-)

What have you guys been reading? Any series you need to finish? Let me know in the comments below :-) 

xoxo

P.S. Follow my Facebook here

Mid-Year Book Freak Out

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Hello everyone! 

We have reached the middle portion of June which means the internet is being flooded with mid-year reading panic. June is the month to re-assess whether you set realistic reading goals for the year or not :-) So I am coming to you today to update y'all on how my reading is coming along. 

So for those of you who didn't read back in January or who missed my resolutions post, I set myself the following goals. 


  • Read at least 10 books from the Penguin English Library list 
  • Read at least 5 books over 700 pages 
  • Read at least 5 books by authors I've never read before 
  • Read all of the Sherlock Holmes books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 
Not too ambitious as you can see! I think the hardest one to complete will probably be the Sherlock Holmes goal, as there are so many of those. I have a big, hardback bind-up of these and it is over 1000 pages of thin, tall paper with teeny tiny writing! 

I'm actually doing really well with these goals, and am well on my way to completing three of them. So far I have read: 

  • 6/10 Penguin English Library books 

Star rating top to bottom: 3, 5, 5, 5, 5, 4
  • 2/5 big books (apologies for the lack of actual photos, we're moving house so most books are packed away right now! :-( ) 
 5 stars 

5 stars 

  • 5/5 new authors 
4 stars 

 3 stars

5 stars 

 5 stars

5 stars

  • I'm 51% through the complete Sherlock Holmes according to GoodReads! 
Now Goodreads is a whole other story! I set myself the goal of 60 books this year and I am absolutely smashing it with 45 books read so far :-) 

I'm hoping to race through loads more Sherlock Holmes when it gets to autumn as these are such autumnal/winter stories to read, I just don't feel like diving into them in the summer. Plus it will count as one of the over 700 page books. To finish off the 700 page challenge I'm planning to read The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins (a PEL!!) and Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (also a PEL, hell yeah!!). Wish me luck with reading my goals guys! 

How are you guys getting on with your reading goals? Let me know in the comments below :-) 

xoxo

P.s. Follow my Facebook here



April Reading Wrap Up

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Hello everyone! 

May is here! That means it should be Spring right? So where is the warm weather? Did I sleep through Spring and Summer or something? Well hopefully it'll be warm soon so we can bring on the summer contemporary romance books :-) 

April was an amazing reading month for me, I read a whole ton of books! If I'm honest I did cheat a little, by reading some short stories and graphic novels, but they were all part of series I needed to catch up on I swear. You might notice I did binge a lot of books by the same authors, I find it much easier to immerse myself in a fantasy world if I read all the books very close together. I like to live and breathe the world and its characters, it helps me connect with the story. 

My favourite of the month has to be Katherine Arden's The Girl In The Tower, which makes her my favourite author two months running. This book is the much anticipated sequel to The Bear And The Nightingale. It follows Vasya as she journeys across Russia trying to find her place in the world. Along the way she gets embroiled with savage bandits, treacherous politics and daring horse races. This would all be simply exciting, if there wasn't the added element of fear of discovery. Vasya has to masquerade as a man to survive. What will happen when her identity is revealed? And what is the gathering darkness in Moscow? Vasya will have to dig even deeper into her soul if she wants to save her people.


Now I hear you all shouting "Stop rambling and get on with the ratings", so without further ado here they are: 


  1. In The Village Where Brightwine Flows by Bradley Beaulieu - 4 Stars 
  2. The Doors At Dusk And Dawn by Bradley Beaulieu - 5 Stars 
  3. The Tattered Prince And The Demon Veiled by Bradley Beaulieu - 4.5 Stars 
  4. City Of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare - 5 Stars 
  5. Of Sand And Malice Made by Bradley Beaulieu - 5 Stars 
  6. City Of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare - 5 Stars 
  7. The Girl In The Tower by Katherine Arden - 5 Stars 
  8. Snotgirl #3 by Bryan Lee O'Malley - 3 Stars 
  9. Snotgirl #4 by Bryan Lee O'Malley - 3 Stars 
  10. Snotgirl #5 by Bryan Lee O'Malley - 3.5 Stars 
  11. Lumberjanes Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson - 4 Stars  

11 books you guys! How did I even achieve that?! I am beginning to think I might be a little too generous with my ratings or maybe I'm just lucky with the books I choose? Let me know what you think in the comments below, and don't forget to tell me what you read in April :-) 

xoxo

P.S. Follow my Facebook here

Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

Monday, 30 April 2018

Hello everyone! 
Recently I've been loving watching Booktube Tag Videos, they look like so much fun and there are so many that you would never run out! Watching all those tags put me in the mood to do one on here too, so me being me I did loads of research to find one that would put me in the mood for Spring :-) 

The tag I've chosen is the Beauty and the Beast tag, feel free to join in on any questions that take your fancy! 
1. “Oh what a guy, Gaston!” A villain you can’t help but love-
Julian from The Forbidden Game by L. J. Smith, he tries so hard to be evil, but his good side always wins out. Yes he pushes all the characters into a horrible, gruelling game where they face cruel trials, but you can tell he actually wants them to win. He can't fight his better nature. 
2. “Here’s where she meets Prince Charming” Your OTP- 
Ooh this is a hard one! There are so many great couples out there. Obviously, like the rest of the world I want Cassandra Clare's Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood to be together forever. However, my heart beats for Henry and Clare in Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveller's Wife. They captured my heart from the first page and I don't think I'll ever read characters like them again. 
3. “I want so much more than this provincial life” A character destined for greater things. –
This one has to be Percy Jackson from Rick Riordan's amazing books! You just know he is going to be great, aside from the whole demi-god thing I mean. He's a solid guy, he loves his friends, he loves his Mam and all he wants is to be good at something. Even if he wasn't the son of Poseidon, he would still have a cracking destiny. 
4. “Be our guest!” A book that made you hungry.- 
Haha this is such a weird question! Hmm, I think this has to be J.K. Rowlings The Prisoner Of Azkaban. Honeydukes sounds like a dream, their chocolate would be the best on earth :-) 
5. “Beauty and the Beast” Opposites attract. 
Definitely Baz and Simon from Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I know Baz is supposed to be the villain, but in a lot of ways he is the light and Simon is actually the dark. Simon has a lot of unresolved issues and makes a fair few selfish decisions. Meanwhile Baz sacrifices his own desires to protect people and hides his nature, defying his family's wishes. They are perfect opposites, but they match.
6. “But there’s something in him that I simply didn’t see” A character who is more than they appear- 
Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter series is so much more than a spoilt rich kid. Just think about the parents he had, I can't imagine he had any support growing up. He would have been under so much pressure to make his father proud of him, something Lucius could show off like his flashy house and wand holder. I doubt Draco ever got praise or affection, just corrections and contempt. Maybe if Harry had been more understanding in sixth year and reached out a hand he would have had a chance. 
7. “I was innocent and certain, now I’m wiser but unsure” A book that changed you in some way- 
Can I say The Time Traveller's Wife again? That book teaches me something new every time I read it. The first time I read it I simply enjoyed it, the second time it broke me and remade me anew. Reading it from an adult perspective, instead of a teenager, made me really understand Clare and her need for a child. 
8. “Kill the Beast!” A book you picked up because of hype. – 
This one has to be All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. Man I wish I hadn't picked up this book, Finch irritated the life out of me, but then the ending! He leaves her a suicide trail to follow, wtf! Nope, this book was not for me. There is no romance in suicide, it is sad and someone should have helped him. I wish the author had focussed more on that. 
9. “I’ll never shake away the pain” A book or moment that always makes you cry- 
Okay I cry really easily, so this one is a tricky one. I guess the wedding scene in Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson, it is such a joyful and triumphant moment. The beauty and emotion is in the small details and it gets me every time! 
10. “How does a moment last forever” A book that you’ve loved since you were little.- 
Easy, The Kin by Peter Dickinson :-) This was the first big book I read on my own and I loved every second of it. I have read and re-read this book many times over the years. This tale of a group of kids in the early days of speech never fails to inspire me. Their resilience and ingenuity is so real and I find myself rooting for them at every new chapter! 
So now that I have waffled on for far too long, I'd like to tag the following amazing bloggers: 
I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it :-) Feel free to answer the questions in the comments below and let me know your favourite reads! 
xoxo
P.S. Follow my Facebook here

March Reading Wrap Up

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Hello everyone! 

I think, *crosses fingers*, that Spring is finally here in the UK to stay. We didn't get any of the snow forecast for the bank holiday weekend and it's finally starting to get sunny! I love Spring and summer, and not just for the warmth, flowers and outdoor activities, but because I find that I am much more productive in the lighter months. I read more and tend to do more re-organising, which is especially good this year as Mr. GingerSnap and I have some exciting changes coming up, but I'll talk about those at a later date :-) 


Staying true to my usual habit of wanting to read more in Spring, I read 10 books in the month of March. Now for some of you that sounds like quite a reasonable number, but I work very long hours so for me that is a huge number! 

If I go into detail on all the books I read then you will be here forever... So I'm just going to give you my star ratings and talk about my two favourite books of the month: 


  1. The Bear And The Nightingale by Katherine Arden - 5 Stars
  2. The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin - 3 Stars
  3. Call The Midwife by Jennifer worth - 4.5 Stars
  4. Blood Upon The Sand by Bradley Beaulieu - 5 Stars
  5. Caraval by Stephanie Garber - 5 Stars 
  6. Lady Susan by Jane Austen - 4 Stars
  7. The Old Nurse's Story by Elizabeth Gaskell - 5 Stars
  8. Daphnis And Chloe by Longus - 4.5 Stars
  9. Happily by Chauncey Rogers - 4 Stars ( full review here! )
  10. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare - 5 Stars
My two favourites were Clockwork Princess and The Bear And The Nightingale. Clockwork Princess is the final book in The Infernal Devices trilogy and oh my lord did I cry at the end! I probably cried solidly for the last 150 pages, it was so heart wrenching and beautifully written. Cassandra Clare crafts such stunning prose that it really gets under your skin. In this book Tessa is getting ready for her wedding to her dying fiance Jem, but they might not make it that far. The army of automatons is on the move and they want Tessa at all costs! 


Look at this spine!! <3 

The Bear And The Nightingale was arguably one of the biggest debut fantasy releases of last year. As a big fan of Russian literature I was super excited to get into this one. It is strongly interwoven with Russian fairytales and mythology, creating an ethereal and spellbinding world. It follows Vasya as she grows from a child to an adult woman in the countryside. After her mother died giving birth to her, he father remarries a very pious woman. Her stepmother gradually beats out all the old superstitions of the village and imposes her own strict religion. Nobody realises how dangerous this really is, only Vasya can see the decline of the local spirits protecting the house. As their spirits fail, an old evil creeps into the village and only Vasya can do anything about it. 


If that intro for The Bear And The Nightingale doesn't tickle your fancy, nothing will! For the next month I am going to continue Wild Reading and just pick up whatever I fancy reading next :-) At the moment I am reading City Of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare and Matilda by Mary Shelley. What did you enjoy reading last month and do you have any books you want to get to next month? Let me know in the comments below :-) 

xoxo

P.S. Follow my Facebook here

Sequels I Can't Wait To Read

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Hello everyone! 

How are you all doing? Enjoying Spring so far? I certainly am looking forward to some sunshine :-) Today I thought I'd tell you all about the sequels I am most excited about! As many of you know, I am thoroughly addicted to series as they allow so much more character development and let me stay immersed in a particular world that much longer! So here they are in all their glory:

1. The Girl In The Tower by Katherine Arden


This is the much anticipated sequel to The Bear And The Nightingale. This story follows Vasya after she flees her village branded as a witch. She rejects the two choices for women, convent or marriage, and instead dresses as a man and seeks freedom. All I know about this one is that it delves deeper into  the old magic coursing through Vasya's veins as she figures out who and what she is. 


2. Legendary by Stephanie Garber


This is the follow up to Caraval, which took the world by storm over a year ago. Caraval is an enchanting book and thoroughly stole my soul! The end of Caraval leaves us with Scarlett and Tella free from their father's grip and enmeshed in the world of Master Legend, the leader of Caraval. This series is spellbinding, filled with magic and danger. Legendary follows Tella as she embarks on a dangerous quest to revel Legend's true name, but if she does it will mean the magic of Caraval dies forever... Excited much? Hell yes I am!! 


3. Veil Of Spears by Bradley Beaulieu 


Words cannot describe how excited I am for this one! This is the third book in Bradley Beaulieu's series following Ceda as she tries to assassinate as many of the twelve kings of Sharakhai as possible. The last book, Blood Upon The Sand, left us with a major cliff hanger and I can't wait to see where Ceda will go next! Will her and Emre find each other? Will she survive? Will anything be salvageable from the ashes of a city burned by a war? We'll see :-) 


4. Smoke And Iron by Rachel Caine


I have been waiting for a year for this book to come out! The Great Library series is one of my favourite YA fantasy series of all time and this is going to be the fourth instalment. In the world of The Great Library all the knowledge in the world is controlled by library branches. However, some people want to fight against this. The smugglers do this covertly, as the name implies, but the Burners want to set the world on fire and rebuild it differently. They are radical and dangerous, but they might just be in the right... 


5. City Of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare 


Okay this is an old book, hardly news, but I still haven't finished this series. To be perfectly honest, I have been putting it off because I don't want it to end :-( That being said I am in a massive Shadowhunters phase at the moment and really want to read the rest and catch up before Queen Of Air And Darkness comes out :-) The Mortal Instruments series is such an amazing series, all the characters really suck you in and make you wish you were a part of their world. This series follows Clary and her friends as they battle demons and the shadow world to protect not just themselves but all the humans blind to the evil that stalks the world! Very dramatic right? 

So that's it, the top 5 sequels I can't wait to read! The real list is as long as my arm, so I thought I'd just give you the shortlist :-) What sequels are you excited for? Let me know in the comments below :-) 

xoxo

P.S. Follow my Facebook here





Happily by Chauncey Rogers - Review

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Hello everyone, 

It's once again time for a book review :-) I was lucky enough to be sent an ARC (advance reader copy) of Chauncey Rogers' newest novel Happily. Chauncey Rogers is an American author and this will be his third published novel. I was really excited to get my teeth into this one as I love fairytale retellings. 


38363145
No bonus points for guessing which fairytale inspire this one :-P

Happily follows Laure, a sassy street urchin, as she tries to gather enough money to escape a country she has grown to hate. She lies, she steals and has very few morals left, but then an opportunity presents itself. The King has decreed that the young woman who fits the ridiculously large glass slipper can marry the Prince and have access to the crown's money. Sounds like a dream come true for Laure! Teeming up with her new friend Luc, all she needs is a tiny glass slipper, one huge foot and enough time to reach the shoe. Sounds like a piece of cake right? Well fairytales are never that easy! 

Rating: 4 Stars 
Positives: witty characters, funny plot twists and fairytale logic 
For lover of: Amy Alward's The Potion Diaries, Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland

I found this story very engaging and easy to read, I read it across 2 days and was actually a bit sad when it ended. The narrative was very fast paced and clever. It featured every essential fairytale element: star crossed lovers, kingdoms at war, bandits and near misses. I particularly enjoyed the fairytale logic, switching from plot twist to plot twist at a ridiculous rate! It was great! 

The characters are well developed and full, there was definitely no rushing in writing them. There were no insignificant or filler roles, giving the story much more depth. I loved Laure's sassiness in contrast to Luc's open heart and generosity. This book was lighthearted and funny, making it the perfect spring read!

I would recommend this book to any fairytale lover or YA fantasy fan! It publishes on April 3rd so check it out! Let me know in the comments below if you have any retelling recommendations :-) 

xoxo

P.S. Follow my Facebook here!  
Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs