25 February 2016

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

November 9 by Colleen Hoover
Series: No
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
Publication Date: November 10th 2015
Source: Bought (Audible)
Narrator: Zachary Webber & Angela Goethals

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?

Colleen Hoover's books never fail to completely destroy me, and November 9 was no exception. It follows Fallon and Ben who meet the day before Fallon is due to move to New York. They  connect and spend Fallon's last day in L.A. together and before they part they decided to meet up on the same day every year and give each other tasks to push each other.

This book actually sounded like the most adorable book ever. A slow burn romance with the characters only having contact one day per year, giving they time to experience new things and grow as characters. 

I adored Fallon. She's feisty and determined, but lacks confidence due to a fire that she was trapped in when she was younger which left her covered in burns and ruined her acting career. She took a major hit to her confidence, and I adored seeing her becoming comfortable in her own skin and gaining the confidence to put herself out there again. 

Ben is a completely different story. He's basically an enigma for most of the book. We never really hear much about Ben's past, and he's pretty secretive about his personal life. But Ben is the sweetest guy ever. He's adorable and charming, and he really helps Fallon come out of her shell. He was just such an amazing character.

And then came the biggest plot twist Colleen Hoover has ever written that completely and utterly destroyed me. I had no idea how I was supposed to feel after the twist or what I was supposed to do. It's the most horrific and heartbreaking twist ever, and I had no idea what was going to happen between Ben and Fallon after the reveal.

November 9 is probably the most cruel book Colleen Hoover has ever written. But it's beautiful and heartbreaking, and I loved every minute of it.

23 February 2016

Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas

Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas
Series: A Wicked Thing #2
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: February 23rd 2016
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)

Asleep for a hundred years, awoken by a kiss, Aurora’s life was supposed to be a fairytale. But since discovering that loyalty to the crown and loyalty to her country are two very different things, Aurora knows she can only dream of happily ever after. Once the enchanted princess, savior of her people, she is now branded a traitor.

Aurora is determined to free her home from the king’s tyrannical rule, even if it means traveling across the sea to the kingdom of the handsome and devious Prince Finnegan—someone who seems to know far more about her magic than he should. However, Finnegan’s kingdom has perils of its own, and any help he gives Aurora will come at a price.

As Aurora and Finnegan work together to harness her power—something so fiery and dangerous that is as likely to destroy those close to Aurora as it is to save them—she begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding the curse that was placed on her over a century before…and uncover the truth about the destiny she was always meant to fulfill.

Kingdom of Ashes picks up with Aurora on the run. She's escaped from court and left a huge mess in her wake. After the events that led up to Aurora fleeing, she's even more determined to find a way to save her Kingdom from the evil King. Aurora meets up with Nettle again, and the two of them journey to Vanhelm to get the help of Prince Finnegan. 

I liked Aurora a bit more in this one. She's not stuck in a position where she has no power anymore, so she's more determined to do whatever she can to save her Kingdom. She comes across a lot stronger than she did in the first book. She's still naive and makes some foolish decisions, but I did like her.

Aurora's love interests get slashed from 3 to 1 in this book, which I liked - I hated Aurora's indecision in the first book. Aurora spends a lot more time with Finnegan, and I adored the two of them together. Their banter is still my favourite thing about them. Finnegan is charming and flirty, and likes to tease Aurora. They're perfect for each other, in my opinion.

I liked to see Aurora learning more about herself and her powers. Her link with the dragons that destroyed parts of Finnegan's kingdom was intriguing and I enjoyed learning more about it.

There were, however, parts of the story that I did find slightly boring and I did find myself skimming parts of the book. But most of the time, I did enjoy the story.

The last few chapters were full of action and Aurora fought for her Kingdom, but again, there's still so much left unresolved and Aurora still has a lot left to learn and uncover about herself. Overall, Kingdom of Ashes was a great follow up to A Wicked Thing and I'm looking forward to the next book - if there is one - to find out more about Aurora and hopefully see more of Aurora and Finnegan together.

17 February 2016

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #2
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: February 11th 2016
Source: Received from publisher (Netgalley)

If there's one thing Mare Barrow knows, it's that she's different.

Mare's blood is red - the colour of common folk - but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from the prince and friend who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by the Silver king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red and Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

Red Queen was one of my favourite books of last year and I've been eagerly anticipating the sequel ever since! So I was super excited to get the chance to read it early and I spent a whole day doing just that and avoiding everything else I should have been doing. Glass Sword was an amazing sequel and yet again, Victoria Aveyard has left me dying for the next book!

So, Glass Sword picks up right after Red Queen. Mare and Cal have escaped from the Silver King and have joined up with The Scarlet Guard. The Scarlet Guard are intent on taking down the Silver King and everything he stands for. Mare comes up with a plan to rescue more 'newbloods' (people with Red blood and Silver abilities) like herself and build and army to fight the King.

Holy crap this book man! This book! As soon as I finished Red Queen last year I've was dying to get my hands on the sequel and it was totally worth the wait! Glass Sword was jam-packed full of action and kept me on my toes! 

Mare is still so damn amazing! I love her. She's strong and determined, and she'll do whatever she has to to save her people, no matter what the consequences are. I also loved getting to see more of Mare's family! I adored seeing Gisa again and seeing how she's adjusting to her hand injury. She's blossoming and still trying her hardest to make beautiful things. I also really enjoyed getting to see Mare's relationship with her brother Shade. Mare has spent the past few years thinking her brother had been killed, but he's been alive all along and working with The Scarlet Guard. So it was really nice to see them together again because they were so close.

Calis not entirely sure what side he's fighting for in Glass Sword. He can't bring himself to kill his own blood, no matter what they do to him or anyone else. He still feels like he should be loyal to his people, even if they are hunting him. I really don't like Kilorn. He was acting like a 5 year old. He's in the middle of a war and throws a hissy fit when he can't go on expeditions. GROW. UP.

Story wise, the book was just action, action, action! We were always following Mare on trips to find other 'newbloods' or running from The Silver King, there was never a chance to catch my breath! I was always on edge!

And then yet again Victoria Aveyard DESTROYED ME with that damn ending! WHY MUST YOU TORTURE ME?! But anyways, now I'm even more excited for book 3!

12 February 2016

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Series: Me Before You #1
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: January 5th 2012
Source: Bought

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. 

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

Me Before You has sat on my bookcase unread for almost 2 years and I finally decided to pick it up after the trailer popped up on facebook - because I had absolutely no idea it was being turned into a film. So, I figured it was about time I got around to reading it. Also because it was one of the books Brittany recommended me for our Reading Challenge last year which we both failed at and have carried over to this year.

Me Before You follows 27 year old Louisa Clark. Louisa works at The Buttered Bun tea shops and she enjoys her life. But when The Buttered Bun shuts down, Louisa finds herself without a job and hasn't a clue what she's going to do. Then a job comes up to be a carer for a quadriplegic man and Louisa is offered the job on the spot. She'll be there to keep him company and do some work around the house. Will Traynor feels like his life has been destroyed since the motorcycle accident. He feels like his life is wasted and he knows what he wants to do. But when Louisa enters his life, everything starts to change. The more time they spend together, the more they alter each others lives.

I haven't cried so much at a book in a while. Me Before You definitely packs an emotional punch. I completely adored every aspect of this book. I loved all of the characters - mainly Will and Lou - but Lou's family and Will's family, and also Nathan were all very important parts of the story and they each had their own role to play. Lou is eccentric and peppy. She's been with her boyfriend Patrick for years now, but it doesn't really feel like is working out - but Lou refuses to admit this out loud. She's sacrificed a lot for her family to help them stay afloat. She's got such a kind heart and she'll do whatever it takes to show Will how to live again. Will is depressed and snarky when we first meet him. He's basically given up and is just going through the motions because of a promise he made to his parents. But as soon as Lou enters his life, Will begins to change. He becomes less grumpy, and is more willing to have conversations. He becomes more light hearted and begins to come out of his shell. I loved seeing the effect that Lou had on his life, and how she gave him so many new and amazing memories.

Me Before You revolves around Will's decision about what he's wants to do with his life. He's been looking into Dignitas - a clinic in Switzerland that legally allows patients to take their own lives - and when Lou discovers what Will is planning, she sets out to show him that he can still live and to show him all of the things he's capable of. I enjoyed seeing all of the things Lou managed to get Will to do: going to listen to an orchestra; dancing at a wedding and the tattoos! I loved Lou's determination to show Will a new way to live, but ultimately, the decision that Will has isn't Lou's to make. 

Me Before You is a powerful and emotional read that will leave you sobbing. I couldn't read the last few pages due to the tears streaming down my faces and I may have even chucked the book away for a bit before I could continue. It packs a very hard punch and I'd recommend having loads of tissues the closer you get to the end.

1 February 2016

January Wrap Up

Hello everyone! Can you believe the first month of 2016 is over already? Honestly, I'm glad January is over, I've had a pretty shitty and emotional month and I'm looking forward to getting on with the rest of the year and hoping it'll be so much better,

So, in January I read 9 books which I'm pretty happy with since I was doing quite a few late nights at work this month. I also DNF'd a book this month - Shallow Grave by Kali Wallace just wasn't for me. I didn't like the main character or the writing style. The story was so slow and boring that I just couldn't continue to read it.

Anyways, on to the 9 books I did manage to finish this month!
1. The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt 
2. First by Elizabeth Laurie Flynn 
3. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard 
4. The Deal by Elle Kennedy 
5. Sever by J.M. Miller 
6. The Mistake by Elle Kennedy 
7. November 9 by Colleen Hoover 
8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 
9. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella 

DNF Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard was definitely my favourite book of the month - November 9 was a very close second. I've been dying to read Glass Sword since around this time last year and it was everything I could have asked for and more! It was action packed and again left me dying to read the next book!

In February I'm hoping to read 9 books again. I'm in the middle of listening to the audiobook of Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor and I have to say I'm enjoying the series a lot more on audio. I think if I'd listened to the full of DoSaB on audio I would have enjoyed it more. But we'll see! 

So, that's my January wrap up! Let me know in the comments what your favourite book you read in January was.