ARC Review: Rikki – Abigail Strom

Synopsis: rikki-cover

Ever since junior high and an ill-fated game of seven minutes in heaven, Rikki Eisendrath and Sam Payne have hated each others’ guts. But when they end up at the same college—and the same dorm—they figure it’s time to declare a truce.

They even become friends . . . sort of. But when Sam asks Rikki to model for his sculpting project, they start spending more time together—and her feelings for him get more complicated.

She tries to focus on the guy she’s been crushing on instead. But Sam’s the one she can’t stop thinking about, even though their arguments are starting to heat up as much as the chemistry between them.

With antagonism and attraction this intense, there’s bound to be an explosion. But when the dust settles, will Sam and Rikki be enemies, friends . . . or something more?


I received a free e-edition of this book courtesy of the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a pleasantly light read, which was definitely helped by its short length. At just over 200 pages, this book was barely over the length of a novella. And yet it contained enough storyline development to appease me which was good to see  – although some things would have definitelly benefitted from more development, I can’t really complain as the majority was developed to a good standard. I also really liked Strom’s writing style, it gave the story the kick it needed at points and definitely was a big bonus of the book.

There were concepts in the story that didn’t sit quite right with me – for one, a person basically a year older than me admitted to sleeping with over 20 individuals… and NO-ONE was even the slightest bit concerned? This is freshman/ first year of university we are talking about, these people are barely adults – when or how have they found the time to do that?? Unless of course they were partial to one night stands, and even then… why did no one question that?

The heroine bugged me at times, but the hero was quite a pleasant addition to the story and made it all the more bearable.

This book was actually quite innocent as far as New Adult novels go, there was the right balance of angst and romance (which was gloriously slow burning unlike many other books of this genre, it was given plenty of page time to develop which made it all the more realistic and pleasing) which created the basis of a good story.

The story did fall apart at one point, when Sam decided to do something that really didn’t seem to fit in his character’s description but Strom managed to pull it back together enough for me to want to pick it back up after throwing it into the corner of despair and shame after a certain event happened.

Whilst I hadn’t really found many bad things in this book, it was much alike to other books in the NA genre and maybe that was where the majority of my problem lay, I feel like I have burned out reading this particular genre and would benefit from a break from it in order to provide more objective reviews.

Overall, I think that the book set up hope for the rest of the series and I will probably look into reading its successors to see whether the story develops complexity wise as more characters are introduced.

My Rating: 2.5 /5 Stars

Book Review: Unforgettable: Always 2 – Cherie M. Hudson

Synopsis:unforgettable-always-2-cover


My name is Brendon Osmond. I’m a 25 year old post-graduate student who knows three things with absolute conviction. I know damn near everything there is to know about keeping in peak physical shape. I have a plan to make a lot of money from that knowledge. I’m an optimist who’s not easily rattled. But then the girl I fell in love with almost two years ago texts me out of the blue and everything I know is thrown out the window.

Am I rattled? No. Not until I fly to the other side of the world and discover the girl I fell for has kept a very big secret from me.A secret that mocks all my knowledge of the human body and how to keep it healthy. A secret that shatters my plans for my own personal training business. A secret with my eyes. A secret who needs me more than I can comprehend. Ask me again if I’m rattled.Now ask me if I’m still in love.


I received an e-edition of this book courtesy of Momentum Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book was a pile of feels mixed with heartbreak, there were definitely moments when I thought I would require a box full of tissues to mop up my tears. But there were also moments of laughter and slight annoyance with Amanda scattered throughout.

One thing that I really enjoyed about the novel was the fact that it was written completely in a male POV. We don’t get that enough in romance, we really don’t and I wish we did because it’s interesting to be able to get inside a guys head. Hudson did a great job at creating Brendon’s voice which kept my attention for the entire length of the story.

The contents of this book are one huge spoiler minefield so I cannot disclose much without ruining their effects. Be warned though there are definitely some difficult matters brought up throughout.

Although it is part of a series, I read this book as a standalone and didn’t feel like I required more background information than was provided so I wouldn’t say that you MUST read the prequel, although given the fact that Hudson has a pretty good writing style and hell, any story with similar characters by the same author who writes well is bound to be pretty good – so I’d say go for it if you wish.

I definitely liked the realness of the book – the issues were not sugar-coated and the mixed feelings Brendon had throughout really shone through. I could understand why he was so hurt by Amanda and what she had done because her actions weren’t really understandable (although, don’t get me wrong I felt bad for the girl nonetheless because no one deserves to go through what she did ) and I heavily disapproved and wished at points that Brendon would leave before he was really hurt, which caused me to be annoyed as I couldn’t sympathise with some of the decisions that she was making as they seemed quite irrational.

Aside from the fact that I couldn’t connect with the female in this book,  I still definitely would say that this is a great read for fans on NA romances full of angst but with a plot that will make you feel all of the emotions throughout.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Book Review: The Way We Fall – Cassia Leo

the-way-we-fall-cover

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo comes a twisted and passionate love story that pushes the boundaries of loyalty.

Maybe we shouldn’t have fallen so fast and so willingly.

Maybe we shouldn’t have moved in together before we went on our first date.

Maybe we should have given our wounds time to heal before we tore each other to shreds.

Maybe we should have never been together.

Houston has kept a devastating secret from Rory since the day he took her into his home. But the tragic circumstances that brought them together left wounds too deep to heal.

Five years after the breakup, Houston and Rory are thrust together by forces beyond their control. And all the resentments and passion return with more intensity than ever.

Once again, Houston is left with a choice between the truth and the only girl he’s ever loved.


I received a free copy of this novel courtesy of Gloss Publishing LLC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

This book was… complicated. And so are my feelings towards it.

For one, I honestly cannot remember for the life of me the majority of the plot… and it hasn’t even been remotely long since I’ve read it – which does bring up a few red flags in my mind already and deeper thought about the novel hadn’t even commenced.

The characters made this book difficult to read. Not because they were badly written, but honestly their character traits were far from favourable and I did come to the conclusion that I indeed pretty much hated Houston, and only felt bad for Rory because of her experiences and not because I genuinely cared about her. Houston was the typical douchebag of NA romances… full of himself, with some deeply-set issues (much unexplained) that he clearly wasn’t ready to let go of in order to get his shit together and treat the woman that really loved him right. I honestly had so many other issues with his character I could possibly write my own novel about them, but a lot of them would involve spoiling bits of the story and that isn’t the purpose of a review.

And Rory, well there was nothing particularly wrong with Rory as a person, just I found myself not caring about her as much as I possibly should have. I did think, however, that at points it would have been quite nice if she grew up a little and gotten her act together – and perhaps gotten over Houston. But at no point did that happen.

And so the book was a giant rollercoaster of their relationship and its ups and downs – although if we’re being honest, largely the down as there were only brief intermittent happy scenes scattered through the novel.

Their romance wasn’t developed enough, we really aren’t given much back story other than the whole “they got together as kids” thing – and even then that fact is glossed over so quickly my head was left spinning at the speed.

However, I did like the pacing and Leo’s writing style made the book quite a manageable reading experience. It wasn’t too long, nor too short – it felt just right (I feel like Goldilocks 2.0 after saying that) which helped it not to fall down into a 10-foot deep hole with no point of return.

Also, I quite liked the intensity of everything that was happening within the story. It was almost as though every single emotion that the characters were feeling was ramped up and amplified at least thrice, and I think that worked really well in the context of the story and conveyed the angst-filled, on-off relationship pretty well.

Furthermore, the supporting characters? Solid A grade effort for those – I actually have to say I preferred them to the protagonists and cared for them more too… which may not have been the point of the book??

The cliffhanger end killed me inside, though… it wasn’t a pleasing one and it left me largely disgruntled. To the point where I am willing to read the next book to see if the situation is resolved at all, or if I will continue to be as annoyed with the story as I was.

However, I do have to say that a lot of the problems that I came across whilst reading this novel were probably of my own making and I do realise that others may not experience the same problems and so definitely do encourage others to read it.

My Rating: 2.25/5 Stars 

Book Review: Radio Silence – Alice Oseman

Synopsis:radio-silence-cover

What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?

Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside.

But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.

Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…
She has to confess why Carys disappeared…

Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets.

It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness.

Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.


I received an e-copy of this book courtesy of HarperCollins UK, Children’s via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

So finally,  it has come.

The review of my favourite book of last year and my favourite read for a very, very long time. Why it has taken me so long to review it, I don’t really have an answer to that; I could only suggest the fact that this book was such an incredible masterpiece that has stayed seared in my brain for so long after reading it that I could not even begin to fathom words that would do it justice. And I still cannot, but this post is going to be a crude attempt at doing so.

let-me-list-my-feels

And feels there were. I am pretty sure I actually cried for a good portion of the story, but with good cause.

Oseman crafted such realistic, diverse and relatable characters it really didn’t take long for me to become attached to them with no way of turning back. And I loved every single one of them.

Frances was a brilliant protagonist (and it was also great to see that she, unlike many other YA protagonists out there had a very supportive, unicorn-onesie-wearing mother in her life to care for her), I think she portrayed the struggles of teenagers in Britain’s sixth forms remarkably well. I mean, with the first-hand experience of how attending one of said institutions feels like – I can definitely confirm that a good percentage of the ‘smart’ individuals definitely have multiple crises a week…

Which in turn leads me to my next point. I honestly feel like thanking Oseman for her realistic take on the British (and probably global) education system. It was not sugar-coated in the slightest – there was failure, it was also shown how easy it is to be deemed a failure; especially by relatives when following a path in life that they do not quite approve of or not wanting to follow a path that they do… This book also dealt with the pressures put on students by the schools themselves, which of course do not help at all when trying to deal with the whole ‘life’ thing whilst being told that it “only gets worse in the real world” whereas, in all fairness, the hardest years will probably be over once school and university for those who want to attend it are over and done with.

Back to the characters, their relationship was so bloody refreshing. A book based solely on the ideas of friendship is rare, especially where there is potential for some romantic chemistry to occur. I mean Frances was bisexual and Aled identified as asexual, so there was basically no reason for them not to get together other than the fact that their relationship was entirely platonic. THANK YOU SO MUCH BOOK GODS FOR FINALLY ANSWERING MY PRAYERS FOR AN AUTHOR WHO FINALLY UNDERSTANDS THAT TWO TEENAGERS OF OPPOSITE SEX CAN BE FRIENDS WITHOUT WANTING TO GET INTO EACH OTHER’s PANTS AT ONE POINT OR ANOTHER.

Their friendship was honestly flawlessly written, whilst still possessing flaws – there were fights and disagreements but it was clear that there was a lot of platonic love between them, and paired with understanding and a general love of similar things – they made a wonderful pair.

This book was definitely not an easy read, with the aforementioned reflections on the education system – but also with the general works of being a teenager and trying to find yourself whilst simultaneously losing yourself in the process whilst trying to overcome all the other hardships that life will throw in your way such as familial issues, and general not knowing what to do which comes quite often as a teenager in present-day society which inadvertently pressurises us to get our metaphorical shit together and adult slightly before we are actually ready to in a lot of cases. I mean – deciding what I want to do with my life at 16? No thanks… I’d much rather not, but unfortunately, there is just no escaping it.

I loved every single thing about this book, down to the way in which it was written, the style was easy to read and made the 470 page book shrink down into one sitting of just over an hour and a bit…. The transcripts were a brilliant addition, and I honestly felt as though I could hear Aled speaking when reading them. The concept of Universe City was truly brilliant (have I used the word brilliant enough in this post??) and whilst it definitely made me cry towards the end, I appreciated the messages which it carried.

Also, may we talk about how bloody realistic and relatable this book generally was? Oseman honestly did a brilliant job, and I think that is partly due to her age – there were honestly so many points during the novel at which I simply felt like saying “same” or “that’s me and so and so” and I honestly don’t think enough books have gotten that sort of reaction out of me, so huge HUGE kudos to the brilliant author.

One thing that actually had me bouncing with excitement was the fact that this book was actually set in my home town’s surrounding area. The descriptions of the highstreet and its cobblestone streets rang a bell whilst reading, but it didn’t fully click why it was a little bit too familiar until I found out Oseman’s origins. This in turn left me a wee bit inspired and with hope that I too may be able to create similar wonderful things with my writing if I stick with it… so I guess this is a huge personal thank you for her from me too.

I could easily continue, but I feel as though it would be boring and many of the next points would be bordering on spoilery, so I am going to end my review here. I hope that many of you who read it will choose to embark on the journey that this book provides, because it truly is an extraordinary one that I will likely never forget.

My Rating: More than 5 / 5 Stars

“And I’m platonically in love with you.”
“That was literally the boy-girl version of ‘no homo’, but I appreciate the sentiment.”

ARC Review: A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard

Synopsis:a quiet kind of thunde.jpg

Steffi doesn’t talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen.
Their love isn’t a lightning strike, it’s the rumbling roll of thunder.

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life – she’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it.

From the bestselling author of Beautiful Broken Things comes a love story about the times when a whisper is as good as a shout.


I received an eARC edition of this book courtesy of Macmillan Children’s Books via NetGalley in exchange 

Is there a single person who can say that they didn’t at least tear up at this book at one point or another? Probably not. This novel did something Barnard’s previous book didn’t manage to do – it made me feel things. Good things, bad things not much of the in between really. I was crying, laughing and definitely thinking slightly too hard about the contents that this novel held within its pages.

It definitely dealt with some pretty difficult subjects, anxiety, panic attacks and grief were handled in an adept way, much more I felt than in Beautiful Broken Things. It was just dealt with in a really matter of fact yet gentle way.

Steffi was a great protagonist – there was no moment in which she turned into a giant whiney mess, despite having every reason to. Of course, she had her down moments; which were palpable through the pages yet  I felt like she and the people around her dealt with them in incredibly mature and sensible ways.

Parents played an important role in this novel, unlike others of the genre they were actually present. But that wasn’t always a good thing… Steffi’s mother…. was an interesting character. I disliked her quite strongly at points, there was no reason for her to blame Steffi for the way she was and yet I feel like her mother did exactly that making the heroine feel slightly inadequate. Yet at other times, it was still clear that she loved Steffi, although showed it in strange ways sometimes. And I feel Barnard reflected on regular parent-child relationships really well when it comes to that, it is often how relationships of that kind work and this book showed that really well.

The romance, whilst a bit on the rushed side which irked me slightly was great. There was no “girl meets boy and suddenly she’s all better” instead, it was a collaborative effort between Rhys and Steffi, I felt like they were honestly so good for each other – it was clear that the love between them was genuine, and that they really did care for each other and it just made the whole slight insta-love thing more bearable for me.

THE REPRESENTATION IN THIS BOOK. From physical to mental disabilities – the novel was truly divere. I also really liked the fact that Barnard cared enough to actually seem like she researched into BSL enough to be able to give a solid rendition of it within her book. The fact that there were snippets that “taught” you how to do some of the signs which were relevant to the story at the time was a great idea and really added to the experience for me.

However, the plot of the story sort of meandered and seemed to do a tennis-match a lot, back and forth between some topics. Which slightly detracted from my enjoyment, but not largely enough to lower my rating drastically.

My Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars

2016 End of Year Survey 

So 2016 is (finally) over. And I don’t know whether to be happy or sad – whilst the year had definitely kicked the global butt, taking lives and stealing hope from many-  it brought about changes for the better in my life, which I honestly could not be more grateful for.

Anyhow, I have chosen to do the 7th Annual End of Year Survey for this year, an idea that was created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner – I loved how it really made me think about my year last year so I thought that it’d be nice to give it another go!


2016 Reading Stats:

Number of Books Read: 69/50

Number of Re-Reads: One (I should probably raise that number a little in 2017, there’s so many worlds I’d like to visit again).

Genre You Read The Most From: YA Fantasy


Best In Books:

1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

This is honestly the hardest question.  From 2016 releases – it’d have to be Radio Silence by Alice Oseman and backlist… definitely Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I think anyone close to me must be sick of hearing about this particular book by now.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

STEALING SNOW by Danielle Paige…. Honestly, the book was so bad compared to my expectations of it I was almost on the verge of huddling in the corner with a blanket weeping… I honestly expected it to be great due to the prospects that the synopsis offered. But –

no, it's not. It's not okay.gif

You can read my review of it here.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

I was actually really surprised that I liked a John Green novel, mainly because An Abundance Of Katherines  actually doesn’t follow the “John Green Formula” that his other books tend to religiously.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Definitely Red Rising for this one again. I even got some very non-bookish people to read it – an accomplishment I am incredibly proud of if I’m entirely honest.

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

So I won’t include 2017 releases in this question… although I probably would .So Lady Midnight by Cassie Clare was my best series starter, it honestly made me want to return to the Shadowhunter world ASAP. I have high hopes for Lord of Shadows. The best sequel would definitely have to be Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. Pierce Brown wrote a masterpiece of a series ender though, taking the cake with Morning Star, I could not be more happy with how the story ended – and that is a rare thing for me to say.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

everyone gif.gifNo, honestly… I can’t pick. Basically all of the books I have read and loved in 2016 were books by authors that I had not read books from before. So honestly…. I cannot pick.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

This would definitely have to be Hello Me, It’s You by Hannah Todd. To be fair, I have never read a similar book in the style, so that’s why I have chosen it for this question. I would give it ALL OF THE STARS because it truly was a masterpiece in its own right and made me bawl my eyes out from cover to cover…

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Either Red Rising again, or if we’re going to be more original on this question and include a new book which I loved too – Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo would be the one. So much action, so much thrill, I only put it down once to eat and didn’t want to either.

9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, I have yet to review the book because I could not give it justice with my words at the time I had read it. But I think a re-read would be best before I do.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

lady midnight cover

11. Most memorable character of 2016?

Vivi from When We Collided has stuck in my head indefinitely. She was so vibrant and so alive in the novel that I still cannot quite get over her story… and how it ended.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

the-star-touched-queen-cover

The metaphors and style of this book were really pleasing to read.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

Hello Me, It’s You again. Honestly, the book made me reflect on so many aspects of my present, past and future life… I could not recommend it enough.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

The entirety of the Mara Dyer Series by Michelle Hodkin. Those books came out years ago. And I hadn’t read them until Summer 2016 which was a great mistake because  I actually really liked them.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?

“Fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return.”
Leigh Bardugo, Crooked Kingdom

or

“Kaz leaned back. “What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”
“Knife to the throat?” asked Inej.
“Gun to the back?” said Jesper.
“Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina.
“You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.”
Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

Bardugo is truly a genius when it comes to writing. I could have picked many more quotes from the duology with ease.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

Shortest: History by David O’Hanlon – 52 pages. Longest: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare – 698 pages (which is much shorter than I expected my longest read to be really)

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

The Deviants by C.J. Skuse. SO MANY PLOT TWIST. SO MANY FEELS. No need to say more (but my thoughts on it can be found here)

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

KAZ BREKKER AND INEJ GHAFA (Six of Crows). MATTHIAS HELVAR AND NINA ZENIK (Six of Crows). STEFFI AND RHYS (A Quiet Kind of Thunder). I have a lot of feelings, okay?

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Frances and Aled from Radio Silence. Honestly, I could not contain my excitement when I found out that the love between them was of the platonic kind. Finally an author that understands that maybe, just maybe a guy and a girl can be friends without wanting to get into each other’s pants at any given point….

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

 

the problem with forever cover

Yes, I know Jen features on this blog a lot. But I do honestly love her work.

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Okay, this isn’t a book that got 5 stars from me. But the word solely was highlighted in the question. And a fellow ginger bookworm had recommended Last Will and Testament to me, and I thought it was decent if I’m honest. Despite it not really being my usual reading material.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

I CAN’T. DON’T MAKE ME CHOOSE. nuh uh.gif

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

my kind of crazy cover

Although it was hard to believe that this was a debut novel because of how well-written it was.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown. That world is still ingrained into my brain in vivid detail and probably won’t be leaving anytime soon. Especially given the fact that we will hopefully be receiving another series set in the same world sometime in the not too far (we’re talking couple years max. hopefully) future.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

The Six of Crows Duology. The jokes and easy banter these characters had between themselves made me chuckle rather loudly at times, probably alerting my family to my weirdness.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

all of them.gif

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Blue Waters by India R. Adams – I had never heard of her books before I was contacted to review them. And I am honestly so glad that I had.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Either Hello You, It’s Me again for this one (I think the bawling my eyes out as an answer to the earlier question may have hinted at this) or Radio Silence. Both honestly made me think slightly too much which ended in a cryfest.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

I don’t know how he does it. Patrick Ness is yet again the answer to this question with The Rest of Us Just Live Here. The book was the right amount of wacky with a good balance of well-handled execution of anxiety and OCD in a character.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

When We Collided made me mad with its ending. But I have gradually come to accept it, so I can’t say that it made me mad in the bad way. Stealing Snow however irked me to the point I saw red…. so I can’t say the same for that particular novel.


Your Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016?

It would have to be the blog of one of the nicest people I’ve met because of blogging this year. Namely Sally over at TheDarkDictator. Her blog is honestly everything I would want mine to be!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?

My review of Something In Between by Melissa De La Cruz was probably the most entertaining to write because I do like meself a good rant now and then. And it provided me with an opportunity to do so. You can read it here.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

The “I Dare You” Book Tag was really fun to answer – I honestly haven’t had more fun writing a post in a long long while.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

The Howler Party back in February was honestly one of the best evenings of my entire 2016 blog-wise. I had so much fun, met so many great people and I feel like it honestly helped me get over my fear of talking to people in the book blogging community at least partially which was rather nice and felt slightly monumental.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?

Most of it really, I love having the opportunity to converse with authors of my favourite novels more often than I had dreamed it possible. Also, meeting all the great people I had this year at the events I attended – those were definitely the best things that the blog has brought me this year. As well as the ability to  continue  sharing my passion with people.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

I’ve talked about this in my previous post. But it’s either been finding motivation or time. Both of which have been in scarce supply. But I think I’m managing.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My discussion on the existence of the Middle Book Syndrome proved to be quite popular. Followed closely by the “I Dare You” Book Tag.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I mean, this technically had nothing to do with books, or seemingly so anyway. But I sort of wish my Writing Prompt post got slightly more love (or even criticism if I’m honest… I want to know if I’m doing an alright job at this whole writing thing before embarking on a novel writing escapade)

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I haven’t actually discovered any new stores or sites this year that I wasn’t already at least aware of. Perhaps you could recommend some down in the comments?

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?2016-goodreads-challenge

I think you can say that I have 🙂


Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?  

I’m now starting Lucian Divine by Renee Carlino, which is a January release that I wanted to read in December but didn’t quite have the time.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?lord-of-shadows-cover

Or Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor, but it felt like cheating to put that first because I have already read it.

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I cannot wait till everyone reads Caraval by Stephanie Garber because it is definitely a special book that I absolutely loved reading and I think that people will definitely enjoy it. But as for a book that I have yet to read. An Empress of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza intrigues me.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

See the above. Lord of Shadows needs to be in my hands like, right now.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

Definitely read more, and blog more – try to find the spark that made me want to blog in the first place again.

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

Either the aforementioned Caraval, or A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard. Or Frostblood by Elly Blake. Something for fans for different genres. Honestly all 3 of them have gotten close to or 5 stars. I have yet to review them, but they will definitely get good reviews once I do.


So I guess that’s my 2016 Survey done, it was definitely fun to compare this to my 2015 one and see all the differences between the years. So much has changed, so I am definitely looking forward to doing this again next year!

ARC Review: Sanctuary Bay – Laura J. Burns, Melinda Metz

Synopsis:sanctuary bay cover.jpg

When Sarah Merson receives the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the most elite prep school in the country-Sanctuary Bay Academy-it seems almost too good to be true. But, after years of bouncing from foster home to foster home, escaping to its tranquil setting, nestled deep in Swans Island, couldn’t sound more appealing. Swiftly thrown into a world of privilege and secrets, Sarah quickly realizes finding herself noticed by class charmer, Nate, as well as her roommate’s dangerously attentive boyfriend, Ethan, are the least of her worries. When her roommate suddenly goes missing, she finds herself in a race against time, not only to find her, but to save herself and discover the dark truth behind Sanctuary Bay’s glossy reputation.


I received an eARC edition of this novel courtesy of St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I – I need a sequel. That cliffhanger ending, well; that well-developed “cliffhanger” ending was just too much for my brain to handle. If this turns out to be a standalone novel I am going to be greatly disgruntled because I just need to know where the story went after the words ran out in a very Hazel Grace Lancasteresque way.

It took  me a while to warm up to the idea of the story however, I’m not particularly fond of the tropes which it held within itself . The whole poor girl in school full of rich people thing didn’t bode well with my dislike of similar stories and I found that the sliight love triangle sort of thing that I smelled very early on in the story didn’t help at all.

BUT, these rich kids weren’t the usual arseholes that we usually meet in these sorts of novels – they were actually quite nice to the MC which I found rather surprising.

I also really liked how dark the story got at times, it was captivating and mildly terrifying but the odd combination of feelings actually worked in favour of the book .

The mystery part of the novel actually worked; there were countless plot twists which managed to catch me off guard. And if that isn’t a sign of a successful book of this genre, I don’t know what is. The suspense definitely built up during the course

The suspense definitely built up during the course of the novels thanks to the MC’s unawareness to what was going on around her. I actually really liked her voice, Burns and Metz had a pleasant to read writing styles which weaved flawlessly together to make a story I enjoyed.

I’m not going to lie, this book was really trippy at times, it was largely a case of having to figure out things along with the protagonist, which was difficult as things weren’t always what they seemed and even when she was sure of something, something else proved to be true/ messed up what she thought and it was just so incredibly suspenseful in a really cleverly crafted way, the story was honestly full of so many dark and unexpected secrets!

I can safely say that I enjoyed this book and would definitely be willing to read its sequels if any were to arise (which would put my bookish needs to rest).

My Rating: 4/5 Stars