2018 Reading Wrap-Up

Monday, 31 December 2018

Hello everyone!

It's the last day of 2018 and wow is it a grey day! I was hoping for a sunny, wintry day where I could reflect on all my resolutions for next year, but no we have a cloudy, dull and dark day where it's not even that cold. *Sigh* The UK winter is a bit disappointing so far. I do love a crisp winter! 

It's the time of year for wrap-ups so today I wanted to do a review of my resolutions and goals for 2018. I always start the year with grand plans, then I inevitably fall short. Let's see how I did :-) 

2018 Reading Goals: 
  1. Only achievable challenges  I only did Mr. GingerSnap's challenge so this was easy! 
  1. Read 5 big books  Yes! I did so well at this challenge, I read waaaay more than 5 books.
  1. Over 10 Penguin English Library titles  Failed utterly at this, I think I read 6...
  1. Finish Sherlock Holmes Again, totally failed this one. I read no Sherlock this year.
  1. 5 books by new authors Yes! Smashed this one.

Mr. GingerSnap Challenge: 

My partner, Mr. GingerSnap loves to set me a good reading challenge and this year he set me 120 books to read! I actually managed to top this at 121 books so I feel very proud of myself. Especially as my Goodreads goal was only 60 books. 

Top 5 Books: 

Okay guys, these won't be in order because it was tough enough picking just 5, so bask in that moment and if you want a top 1 - Forget It!! 

  • Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare 
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden 
  • Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell 
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber 
  • The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar 

2019 Reading Goals:

  1. Finish 5 book series I've already started 
  2. Read more Brandon Sanderson 
  3. Read 5 books over 700 pages 
  4. Complete a 60 books Goodreads challenge 
  5. Finally read Emma by Jane Austen 

Mr. GingerSnap Challenge:

Mr. GingerSnap is setting me a devilishly difficult challenge for next year. He has challenged me to clear my 35 book TBR with the only new books purchased being important new releases I want to blog about! Wish me luck guys, I'm going to need it :-) 

How did you get on with your reading goals this year? Got any good resolutions? Let me know your highlights in the comments below :-)


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Worst Books Of 2018

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Hello everyone! 

I hope you are all enjoying a lovely relaxing Sunday surrounded by books, I certainly am. Everyone else is hungover and tired from a party last night and here I am blogging away fresh as a daisy :-) Perks of not drinking right! 

As we head towards the end of the year we all start to get very reflective and decide which books we loved and which ones we didn't enjoy so I thought I'd hop on that bandwagon today. 2018 has been a pretty good reading year for me so writing this post was really hard! I'm always such a soft touch and end up rating books quite high. Usually if it's a 5 star I loved it, 4 stars I enjoyed it, 3 it was okay, 2 I didn't like it and 1 I hated it! 

I didn't actually read any books I didn't like or hate this year as I tend to stick to books I know I'll most likely enjoy, so all my low books this year are 3 star reads :-) 

My least favourite five are:

  • Shadowsong by S. Jae Jones - disappointingly average after a really good first book
  • The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr - a little waffly and far-fetched
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green - a bit too quirky for me! 
  • Matilda by Mary Shelley - dark and disturbing, but not as good as anticipated 
  • The Surface Breaks by Louise O'Neill - over-hyped so I expected better, so this one may be on me! 
I was really disappointed by these books as I really wanted to love them! I'm hoping next year the books I'm excited about will live up to the hype :-) 

What books were you disappointed by this year? Let me know in the comments below! 


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Christmas Book Haul

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Hello everyone! 

Merry Christmas to all of those who celebrate and happy holidays! I hope you have all eaten lots of delicious food and are now in a food-coma debating whether one more mince pie will actually kill you. Whenever I reach that food coma stage I like to distract myself with a good book. This year, what with all the different family gatherings, I haven't been able to get stuck into my Christmas books yet! 

I'm sure I will be back in the reading swing soon, especially as I only have one last book to finish and then I will have reached my reading goal of 120 books. That's right y'all I'm on the final book :-) *Applause* *Bows* *Gets back to typing*. 

As you have all probably received lots of lovely books for Christmas and I am a nosy parker and like to know what books people have got, I thought I would create a post for the other people like me! So without further ado let's get into my Christmas book haul and let me tell you I am one lucky girl :-) 

The wonderful Mr. GingerSnap spoiled me with three books this year. He picked up The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams, which shockingly I have never read or watched. This is a funny, deep space chunky novel which I cannot wait to get into!

He stumbled on volume 1 of Archie Comics when searching for Neil Gaiman and as I am a huge Riverdale fan he couldn't resist picking it up. I have been known to read the odd graphic novel and will definitely enjoy this classic all american comic. It'll be so fun to compare Archie, Jughead, Veronica and Betty in their original form to their on-screen counterparts. 

The final book is one I almost picked up for myself and am now so glad I didn't! We spotted Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero whilst browsing the fantasy section of our local Waterstones and the blurb sounded so fun. It's an adult, semi-scary spoof of Scooby Doo, which for any 90's kid sounds like a dream come true. 

My lovely sister in law is one of my favourite people to talk books with and she has very similar tastes to me, so she got it spot-on with her gift. Many years ago I read The Mortal Engines series by Philip Reeve as they were released and fell in love with the world he created. The hype around those books has been huge this year as Peter Jackson turned his hand to the first book and created an amazing movie. Seriously guys, read the books and then go see the movie, you will not be disappointed! She very kindly gifted me The Illustrated World Of Mortal Engines, which is a stunning companion book to the series. 

The final book I was gifted is Becoming by Michelle Obama, a book by an amazing woman. My mother in law saw this and knew I would love to read it. Michelle Obama has had an incredible career and always looks so elegant, both in manner and dress. I can't wait to learn more about her life. 

What books did you guys get for Christmas? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


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Books I Want To Finish In 2018

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Hello everyone! 

I hope you are all feeling suitably festive in the lead up to Christmas! Mr. Gingersnap and I have been frantically wrapping presents and getting food ready, we feel completely taken by surprise this year. Since when did Christmas get so sneaky? I swear it was August 2 weeks ago :-) 

I finished my Goodreads challenge a while ago, but Mr. Gingersnap set me a different challenge too. He set me 120 books to read this year! Brutal, I know. By some miracle I've read 118 books so far and am currently in the middle of two more. I'd love to prove him wrong and finish this challenge so wish me luck guys! 

Finishing two books in the next 7 days doesn't sound too bad, but you have to factor in family Christmas, work on Christmas Eve and after Boxing Day aaaannnd the fact that we still have 3 kittens growing up in our house. Lots of work and so little reading time *sigh*. 

The first book I have left to finish is Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. This is the sequel to Six Of Crows set in the GrishaVerse. I'm about three quarters of the way through this book and am reading it on audiobook so hopefully I can get some reading done while I'm preparing for Christmas! This book follows the dregs as they continue on their epic heist in Ketterdam. This book features magic, wit, dastardly deeds and heart-in-mouth action! 

The second book I'm still reading is A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir, the second book in the An Ember In The Ashes series. I am loving this book! I am just under halfway and cannot wait to binge read the rest one evening. Elias is one of my favourite male protagonists across all YA fantasy. This book also features magic :-P, starting to see a theme at all? This book follows Laia and Elias as they flee across the Empire racing the clock to free Laia's brother from the dangerous Martial prison, Kauf. 

I have a feeling Mr. Gingersnap is going to set me an even harder challenge next year, he was muttering about my ever growing TBR the other day. Lord help me if he sets me the challenge of reading it all before buying any more books! 

Who else has a few books left to finish their challenge? Let me know what your challenges were this year in the comments below :-) 


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Anticipated Book Releases 2019

Friday, 21 December 2018

Hello everyone, 

I hope you are all well and feeling ready to welcome in the new year! In my opinion one of the most exciting things about a new year is the next round of new book releases. I have been keeping my beady eyes on my favourite author's websites and being a total nerd have compiled a list of my most anticipated released for 2019.

I have no photos of these books as they aren't out yet!
So have my weekend breakfast book instead :-) 

Now this is by no means exhaustive and these are all follow-ups to series I am already reading so take a peek and let me know if you think I have missed any out: 

  1. The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden 
  2. Finale by Stephanie Garber 
  3. Beneath the Twisted Trees by Bradley Beaulieu 
  4. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo 
  5. Sword and Pen by Rachel Caine 
  6. Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab
  7. Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare 
  8. Queenslayer by Sebastien de Castell

I think that's all of them! Whew I have quite a few exciting books to wait for. I am very excited about finishing off Caraval and Winter of the Witch as I have been reading these series for quite some time, but over-all Beneath the Twisted Trees and Queenslayer are my most anticipated releases! I love these high fantasy series. Both Beaulieu and de Castell have fantastic narrative styles that keep you turning the pages long after the lights should have been switched off. If you are a fan of intrigue, sorcery and complex character relations then you should definitely check out these two series. 

What are you guys excited to read next year? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


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December 2018 Book Haul

Monday, 17 December 2018

Hello everyone! 

Time for another monthly book haul, yes I know it is just before Christmas, but I'll probably check in with another haul then. Unfortunately I have been unwell for most of this month so far and have been off work recuperating. This has meant that I have had a lot of reading time as with doctors ordering me on strict rest I haven't been allowed to do much else. Anyone who knows me will understand how frustrating this is as I am usually a very active person! However, I have been able to live vicariously through my favourite book protagonists! 

I have picked up quite a few books this month so far, which is a tad naughty, but hey ho it's the time of year for indulgence! 

The first book I picked up was Lyra's Oxford by Philip Pullman. This book is a short story taking place after the events of His Dark Materials and follows Lyra on an adventure through Oxford after a mysterious witch's familiar appears in her room. I love this world and have been catching up on the short stories in preparation for reading The Book of Dust next year. 

The next two books come as a pair, as I picked up the first and second books in The No1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. I loved the TV series of these books when I was younger and always wanted to pick up these books. They are a wonderful series following Precious Ramotswe after she sets up her detective agency in Botswana. They are filled with intrigue, laughter and heart warming events. I love how easy to digest these books are and they have a real feel good vibe. 

This year I have fallen in love with Sebastien de Castell's writing style, having dived into Spellslinger after Mr. Gingersnap surprised me with it for my birthday. I have been working my way through his books and picked up the third in the series - Charmcaster. This author is one of the funniest writers I have read for a while and he genuinely makes me laugh out loud. This series follows Kellen, a sub-par spell-caster and his adventures with his squirrel cat companion. They are both sarcastic and deeply flawed characters, but it makes them feel so real! Pick up this series if you love the wild west, magic and rude jokes! 

Next I picked up A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir. I devoured An Ember In The Ashes last week and felt an overwhelming need to continue the series as soon as possible. As usual I am late to the party with these books, but at least I can binge the first 3 books without the agonising wait for the next instalments. These books follow Laia and Elias as they navigate the dangerous world of the Martial Empire and the down-trodden scholar race. This book has magic, brutality, political intrigue and jaw dropping plot twists. If you haven't read these yet, join me in my late reading! 

In honour of me going back to work this week I have downloaded my next audiobook Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. I always listen to audiobooks on my drive to and from work as I spend about 10-12 hours each week driving and I don't want to waste this precious reading time! Six Of Crows follows the dregs, a group of criminal misfits as they take on an impossible heist. Six Of Crows was a gripping new take on the GrishaVerse and I absolutely loved it, so I cannot wait to dive into the next one. These audiobooks have multiple narrators so each character has a unique voice, I especially enjoy this aspect of the books as it makes the listening experience so much more enjoyable.

The final book I picked up was Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor. I have never heard of this book and know next to nothing about it. A bookseller in Waterstones recommended it to me as a new sci-fi series to read. She described it as "time travellers who make hilarious mistakes" and as "one for the Doctor Who lovers". That had me sold! 

Have you read any of these? What have you picked up this month? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


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Book Series I Finished In 2018

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Hello everyone! 

How are you all? We are rapidly heading towards the end of the year with only 16 days left before we welcome in 2019. We all know what the end of the year means for us readers, all the wrap-ups! So today I will be wrapping up all the series I actually managed to finish this year. 

As many of you will know I am a big series reader, I much prefer them to stand-alone books. In some ways this is great as it means I get to really immerse myself in a new world, but on the flip side it means I am in the middle of a lot of different series and can get quite bogged down and distracted. I decided this year I would try to finish as many series as I could :-) I'll list them in chronological order and talk about my favourites at the end! 

  1.  The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare - 5 Stars 
  2. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare - 4.5 Stars 
  3. Wintersong duology by S. Jae. Jones - 3.5 Stars 
  4. The Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman - 5 Stars 
  5. Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan - 4 Stars 
  6. Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan - 4 Stars 
  7. Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo - 4.25 Stars 
  8. The Old Kingdom by Garth Nix - 5 Stars
As you can see above I gave the series star ratings overall and hopefully most of you will agree with my ratings! I adored the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare and actually preferred them to the Mortal Instruments. Infernal Devices puts a whole new spin on the Shadowhunter world, placing our main characters in Victorian London. Clare manages to weave such a narrative spell, balancing plot twists, engaging story and heart-wrenching character relationships! I would recommend these to anyone who loves fantasy. 

I listened to the Illuminae Files on audiobook as I had heard they were good and man were they! There was a different narrator for each character and there were all sorts of sound effects, which made the case file format of the story so easy to digest and stay connected to. These books are a triumph of deep space adventure, featuring criminal organisations, deadly viruses, exploding planets and really witty characters. These books are for lovers of Doctor Who! 

It goes without saying that Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series would be a 5 star series. I have been loving these books for years and finally got around to reading the short story collections which accompany the main book series. The series follows a range of characters fighting evil spirits in an almost medieval magic setting. Garth Nix has a fantastic narrative style and can draw in old and young readers with these books. I really hope he continues to write stories set in this world! 

As a parting note, I just want to give a little nod to the adorable Percy Jackson! I really enjoyed diving (see what I did there!) into his world and am quite excited to be including more Rick Riordan series on my lists for 2019. 

What series have you guys wrapped up this year? Let me know your reading plans in the comments below :-)


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Mini August Book Haul

Monday, 20 August 2018

Hello everyone! 

It has been a very long time since I last did a book haul, which is such a shame because they are some of my favourite posts to read and write. Now, I was on a more or less successful book ban for quite some time so I ended up trickling books onto my shelves instead of actually going out and buying a whole bunch. Technically I am still on a book ban (my tbr is so beyond out of control that it is threatening to overtake me in height), but I was left unattended in the book shop on Saturday. Big mistake Mr. Gingersnap!! Of course this led to a bit of a splurge, but as far as hauls go this is a modest one :-) 

The first book I picked up was The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare. I have been excited to read this one for ages as Magnus Bane is one of my all time favourite characters. As a bit of back-ground, for those who live under a rock, The Bane Chronicles is a series of 11 short stories following the warlock, Magnus Bane, throughout various anecdotes of his life. He has been alive for hundreds of years (I forget exactly how long) and so has had a wide range of wacky adventures. Magnus is a key character in Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunters series, following a group of warriors fighting demons to protect both the mundane and Downworld. Sounds pretty cool right? Magnus is one of the most flamboyant, extravagant and witty characters I have read and I can't wait to learn more about his past! 

The second book is actually an exception to the book ban rules. Three authors are exempt from the ban, they are Terry Pratchett, Tolkien and Neil Gaiman. I have been super into Neil Gaiman recently and absolutely love his short fiction so I picked up Smoke And Mirrors. Seriously, this cover is so gorgeous! I love the tree design on most of his books, and I actually found out the other day that if you put them all together they make a picture. Go on, try it! You know you want to! *Pictures readers frantically pulling Gaiman off their shelves*. Anyway, this set of short fiction sounds amazing. Neil's selections are always dark, gothic, sarky and eccentric so are perfect to be read as 1 story each day to add a little colour! This set varies between an old woman finding the Holy Grail under an old coat in a thrift shop, a boy under a bridge arguing with a troll and a stray cat locked in a fierce battle to protect his adoptive family. So excited to get into these! 

The third, and final book, is Hollow City by Ransom Riggs. I know, I know, why haven't I read this series yet? Well, I'm sorry, but I missed all the hype! I am planning to hop onto this bandwagon as soon as possible as I have heard rumour of a fourth book hitting shelves later in the year. Hollow City follows Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children after they have fled their safe haven to hopefully save themselves and others like them. Equipped with their unique powers and as much information as they can gather they must set out on a life or death quest. This book has magic, monsters and of course a cracking romance so it really is a must-read! 

What have you guys been picking up this month? Let me know in the comments below and I will be sure to update y'all soon on what I thought of these books! 


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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 :-) 


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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 :-) 


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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 :-) 


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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! 
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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 :-) 


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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 :-) 


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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. 

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 :-) 


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