QUARTERLY BOOK HAUL| Jul-Sept '17

Fun story- this might not be all the books I have received. I've kind of lost track? Or, I've moved back to Bangor from London so books are still arriving at my Nan's address and I don't know what they are. So... *shrugs*, they'll have to just be included in October's book haul.

Side note: I broke my book-buying ban twice? I was stressed and am dying to read the books I bought.


July



The Incorruptibles (The Incorruptibles #1)
John Hornor Jacobs

Goodreads


Bought or Sent: Sent
Status: Unread



Foreign Devils (The Incorruptibles #2)
John Hornor Jacobs

Goodreads

Bought or Sent: Sent

Status: Unread



Infernal Machines (The Incorruptibles #3)
John Hornor Jacobs

Goodreads

Bought or Sent: Sent

Status: Unread


The Falconer
Elizabeth May

Goodreads


Bought or Sent: Sent

Status: Unread


The rest I won't speak to much about, due to already mentioning that I acquired them back in my YALC wrap-up.



  • The Fandom by Anna Day
  • The Last Namsara by Kristen Cicc
  • The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven
  • Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings
  • The Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Leuddecke
  • Because You Love to Hate Me by Various Authors
August


Starborn (The Worldmaker Trilogy #1)
Lucy Hounsom

Goodreads


Sent or Bought: Sent (via Pan Macmillan)

Status: Read


Heartland (The Worldmaker Trilogy #2)
Lucy Hounsom


Sent or Bought: Sent (via Pan Macmillan)
Status: Unread

A Skinful of Shadows
Frances Hardinge

Goodreads


Sent or Bought: Sent

Status: Read


Sleeper
J.D. Fennell


Sent or Bought: Sent (won from Publisher)
Status: Unread


Life's a Drag
Janie Millman


Sent or Bought: Sent (won in a giveaway)
Status: Unread

They Both Die at the End
Adam Silvera


Bought or Sent: Sent (Giveaway win)
Status: Unread




September

The Tiger and the Wolf (Echoes of the Fall #1)
Adrian Tchaikovsky



Bought or Sent: Sent (Giveaway win)
Status: Unread
Tarnished City (Dark Gifts #2)
Vic James


Bought or Sent: Sent (via Publishers)
Status: Unread

Moxie
Jennifer Matheiu

Goodreads


Bought or Sent: Sent (Giveaway win)

Status: Read


Seventh Decimate (The Great Gods' War #1)
Stephen Donaldson


Bought or Sent: Sent (via Publisher)
Status: Unread


The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1)
N.K. Jemisin


Bought or Sent: Bought
Status: Unread

The Ninth Rain (The Winnowing Trilogy #1)
Jen Williams


Bought or Sent: Sent (via Publishers)
Status: Read
Ringer (Replica #1)
Lauren Oliver 


Bought or Sent: Sent (via Publisher)
Status: Unread




The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentlemen Bastards #1)
Scott Lynch


Bought or Sent: Bought (Charity shop)
Status: Unread

I think this is everything. What ones have you read? Are there any that I listed that you are interested in reading? 



Top 5 Wednesday| The Bloggers, They Made Me Do It

Top 5 Wednesday is a book meme that was started by Laini from GingerreadsLaini and is now hosted by Sam over at Thoughts on Tomes.

If you ever want to join the fun, join the Goodreads group- here.

There are so many books that I have gone on to read, or even pick up and stick on the TBR pile that have come from the hype of bloggers. This week I have ranked them as to most grateful to still grateful (1 being my favourite and 5 the least- if possible).


1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Series: Standalone

Oh, I fell IN love with this book. Magic, love and a circus. Yes, please!


2. The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Series: The Archived

I was going to pick ADSOM but I thought I would go right back to the first Schwab book that I was ever recommended. If you haven't picked it up yet, do, the more people who buy a copy the better. I need book three and if people show an interest it might get picked up for Victoria to finally write it.

3.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bones

Thank the blogger Gods that I read this one. Laini's writing was a breath of fresh air in the YA market when they arrived. And an author that I know, will pick up every new book she brings out.

4. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Series: An Ember in the Ashes

I didn't particularly enjoy the first book but loved the second. So, I thought I'd stick it in the list, because of the hype that surrounded this book. And know the it's worth it for the second  book in the series.

5. The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and The Dawn

I still need to read the second book. Which is a shame. I really liked the influence of culture, that isn't from the a-typical Western world. And the writing was gorgeous too!

REVIEW| A Shiver of Snow and Sky

A Shiver of Snow and Sky (Untitled #1)
Lisa Lueddecke


Add to Goodreads


Release Date: 5th October, 2017

UK Publisher: Scholastic Children's Books

Synopsis:


Red, red, the lights glow red
Beware the dangers up ahead…


On the frozen island of Skane, the sky speaks. Beautiful lights appear on clear nights, and their colours have meaning: Green means all is well, and the Goddess is happy. Blue means a snowstorm is on the way.

And then there’s red. Red is rare. A warning.

Seventeen years ago, the sky turned red just as Ósa was born, unleashing a plague that claimed the lives of hundreds of villagers, including her own mother. This time, when the night sky once again bleeds crimson, she must discover what it means before so many lives are lost again.
 


Review 

The Cover


This cover isn't too different to the one that Scholastic had designed for the ARCs, nor to the one that was used at the Scholastic booth at YALC 2017. 

It speaks of being a winter tale, with a heavy emphasis on the star-filled sky. Filling 95% of the cover. The colour scheme of  black, white and red is a safe one, but one that fits perfectly. Even if I feel that I am always picking out when publishers do use it. In it's final form, it has two types of foiling and is so beautiful that I have to keep wiping the drool from my copy.

The Content
"Here, two of the most powerful forces in the world seemed to collide: the sea and the sky."
For a book with a heavy focus on stars and astronomy in it's encompassing world building, it's the writing that really shines and makes this the book that it is. When reading the press release for this book it is being likened for readers who enjoy Laini Taylor and Leigh Bardugo's writing and I can see why. 

Set in a Nordic-inspired fantasy, A Shiver of Snow and Sky was beautiful, atmospheric and wintry. A perfect read, as the British weather falls back into decline, calling for our sweaters and those leaves that crunch beneath out footfalls every Autumnal season.

The world building was slightly lacking. Two-thirds of the novel is built around magic and myth of the stars, these people's Goddess and the raw magic of the old stories that Ósa retells in her narrative. It wasn't that the world building it was missing was something that was needed, but rather something that when I closed the book for the final time I just wanted more. I had questions that itched for an answer (this is what the sequel is for, I hope). 

Ósa was a good lead character, with her own internal conflicts as a teen protagonist, that was explored throughout the story. Brave, in a way that is believable and relatable. That made her likeable and up there with all our usual heroines. Although, I am a conflicted on how I feel about the love interest- Ivan- was adorable, if a bit piney. 

Overall, I still recommend for a quick, winter read. This book still remains like and unlike any book I have read. I enjoyed it greatly. And look forward to the sequel.



Back to Bangor Books

It's that time of year, where I have to drag my sorry ass to Wales and somehow be an adult and a student, trying to get a decent degree. Of course, I will be dragging some books back with me. Some for moral support and others because I need to get my ass into gear and get through my TBR.

I would have taken a picture of the ones I've packed, but just the cover will have to do. Unfortunately, I packed them all two weeks before writing this post. Because, I am an idiot apparently.


I have said ass way to much already.


I'm going to start with moral support books, as there is only three:

  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E.Schwab
  • The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

And the others that need reading?:


A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3)
V.E.Schwab

Goodreads


It's signed. And the final book in the trilogy that I need to read. So it gets hauled back across British borders.



Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1)
Vic James

Goodreads


Another signed book.

I feel like this is going to be a good one, beside's I'm bringing the sequel.

Shadowplay (Micah Grey #2)
Laura Lam

Goodreads

Really enjoyed the first book in the series, Pantomime, and would love to read the second book in the trilogy before the end of the year.


Seventh Decimate (The Great Gods' War #1)
Stephen Donaldson

Goodreads

This one came in the post just before I was due to leave for University, so I just quickly shoved it in the bag and left to get the train. It's due for release in November some time, so expect a review then.

Top 5 Wednesday| Favourite Fancasts

Top 5 Wednesday is a book meme that was started by Laini from GingerreadsLaini and is now hosted by Sam over at Thoughts on Tomes.

If you ever want to join the fun, join the Goodreads group- here.

This weeks is tricky. I don't pay attention to fancast as much as I did in 2012/3. To adaptations in general, really. I've just realized how white this list is and that makes me really mad. I think I'll have to do another list.

Domhnall Gleeson
Maisie Williams
1. Domhnall Gleeson as Kell Maresh
Series: Shades of Magic by V.E.Schwab

I've seen a few fancasts for Kell, as well as a few aesthetic posts. And Domhnall Gleeson has turned up, and struck a cord in my heart.

My other choice would be Eddie Redmayne. Both are too well known and I would rather the role go to a newer talent.

2. Maisie Williams as Delilah Bard
Series: Shades of Magic by V.E.Schwab
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Astrid Berges-Frisbey
Because I can?

3. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Prince Charming
Series: Shrek 
*laughs hysterically*
Okay, that's enough of that.

If there was ever a live-action remake of Shrek I wan't NCW to
Lupita Nyongo
play Prince Charming. And yes, this is based entirely on a meme.

4. Astrid Bergès-Frisbey as Alina Starkov
Series: Shadow and Bone Trilogy

Astrid is better known for being the mermaid in Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides and often get's fancast as Tessa Gray from the The Infernal Devices. I see her more as Alina.

5. Lupita Nyongo as Nehemia Ytger
Series: Throne of Glass

I have gone completely off the Throne of Glass series. Off Sarah J. Maas in general really. Maybe I'll pick up the final two books in the Throne of Glass series when they're done- but, meh.

Books I'd Rather Toss in the Bin

Admit it, you've all had that one book that you wanted to toss out of the window or flush down the loo. I've been known to throw a book or two on the floor whilst reading, groaning in frustration as I dramatically flail my arms in the air.

Here are a few of those books.

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Marissa Meyer

But, Lauren, haven't you read the entire series?

Yes, gentlefriend, I have.

Doesn't mean I liked book one. I got told that if Tangled was my favourite Disney movie, I should continue on and get to book three because of Cress and Thorne. I LOVE CRESS AND THORNE.

The writing was meh, the plot so unbelievably predictable. And I found the characters 2D.

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)
Sarah J. Maas

I have a love/hate relationship with Maas'. I loved ACOMAF and QoS. And that's about it. Oh no- I did enjoy the first two books in SJM's Throne of Glass series. This one just lacked editing. The plot circled rounI twice over and we're supposed to route for Aelin? NAHHHH. If she wrecks Manon in the final book- I'm gonna be burning my copies.

The Death Cure (The Maze Runner #3)
James Dashner

I hold no love for this book. Or this series really.
But, that ending. AFTER ALL THAT?! A fucking cop out, in my opinion. I won't spoil anything, but if you've readcop, you know.
I get there are more books in the series and a prequel. Well nope. Fuck that.

Anna and the French Kiss
Stephanie Perkins

Anna is just ARGHGH! Wants to be a film critic but basically doesn't know that there is more to cinema than American and British films. Have you seen Danish and French films?! They're great!! I know nothing about films, yet still know this.

One of the conflicts is based entirely on cheating. And the love interests is more of a destination map than a person.

Matched (Matched #1)
Ally Condie

This got thrown into the YA mix when we had that big boom a
of dystopias. Remember?
*shudders*
I finished The Hunger Games and Divergent, and needed that new fix. The characters where bland, the plot the same just with a new filter. I'm not upset about the book, just that I paid full. fucking. price.


Are there any books that you'd rather toss in the bin then let others pick up?

REVIEW| A Skinful of Shadows

A Skinful of Shadows
Frances Hardinge


Add to Goodreads

Release: 29th September, 2017
UK Publisher: Macmillan Children's

Synopsis

This is the story of a bear-hearted girl . . .

Sometimes, when a person dies, their spirit goes looking for somewhere to hide. 
Some people have space within them, perfect for hiding. 

Twelve-year-old Makepeace has learned to defend herself from the ghosts which try to possess her in the night, desperate for refuge, but one day a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard. 

And now there's a spirit inside her. 

The spirit is wild, brutish and strong, and it may be her only defence when she is sent to live with her father's rich and powerful ancestors. There is talk of civil war, and they need people like her to protect their dark and terrible family secret. 

But as she plans her escape and heads out into a country torn apart by war, Makepeace must decide which is worse: possession – or death.


Review

The Cover:

This cover doesn't fall into the usual design of Hardinge's books. Such as The Lie Tree (see right), The Cuckoo's Song and Face like Glass. Instead it's reminiscent of Katherine Arden's The Bear and the Nightingale

It's interesting use of mirroring of the animals and nature references that occur throughout the story. In my notes I said something about the reflection on yourself and consciousness. There is something in that.

It's an attractive, intriguing book cover and suits the mood better than previous cover art.

The Content:

You know that feeling when you read someone's writing and it just feeds your soul, and like a three course meal you can't help but feel well fed and satisfied at the end. You pop open the top button on your jeans and just sit there, bloated and happy and unable to move. But, that's okay. Cause your appetite has been sated for a few more hours. This is how I would describe Hardinge's A Skinful of Shadows.
"The pale light prised at her eyelids  and the whispers seeped and licked at her ears and the air was thick with them."
I saw the quote on the back of the book and knew instantly that this was prose I was going to love. Its full of rich, dark, eerie, gorgeous writing that evokes the imagination. I think that's what makes this book successful; as well as, how they can appeal to an older reader like myself and older than that.

A Skinful of Shadows is a window, looking into the English Civil War, through a supernatural-fantasy lense. Seeped in British history, without the need for major historical turnpoints. The use of social constructs and Purist names such as Makepeace. But, refraining from becoming the entirety for the plot. 

I absolutely fell in love with Makepeace. The seeds planted for her to grow throughout the story kept me reading.
 She became that feisty, intelligent being with an independent mind that I wanted. She was a joy to read and to experience her journey through her eyes. 

Top 5 Wednesday| Just Read It.

Top 5 Wednesday is a book meme that was started by Laini from GingerreadsLaini and is now hosted by Sam over at Thoughts on Tomes.

If you ever want to join the fun, join the Goodreads group- here.

I'm someone who likes going into books blind. Maybe, I might have heard something good about it, is attracted by its cover, 

1. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
I knew next to nothing about this book. Only that is was being given a lot of praise by a lot of people I trust.

2. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I'd advise this about any of Laini's books. Just be prepared to be taken off to far off lands, and engulfed in beautiful prose. 

3. Uprooted by Naomi Novik
If you don't want to read it because of the cover than your loss, truly.

4. A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Leuddecke

I'm cheating this one slightly, because it won't be released until the October 5th and I received an ARC. But, I think this will definitely be one that you should go into without knowing anything other than it's a perfect wintery read.

5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This one is tricky because it has so much well-deserved hype, but I don't even want you to know why this is such an important book in YA. I just want you to read it. Digest it. And learn from it.




REVIEW| Lord of Shadows

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2)
Cassandra Clare
⭐ 1/2

DISCLAIMER: 

Find on Goodreads

Synopsis:

Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late.
 


Review

The Cover:

This doesn't work as well as Lady Midnight, does it? I don't understand the spacing used by Cliff Nielsen; my only question is why is Julian so small and pushed to the top corner? 

There is too much negative space. The colours are a bit murky. It wouldn't have catched my eye if I wasn't looking for it or if it weren't on a Waterstones table.

The Content:

I liked this more than I liked Lady Midnight, even though I gave it a lower rating. Interesting.

Unlike LM, there are multiple settings, some we have seen before like London and Alicante, and some we haven't seen. 

I think the one thing I thought Cassandra Clare handled better was already existing character, like Jace and Clary. They felt like they had purpose in the world and story rather than Cassandra Clare just waving around the page for the sake of having characters that we've grown attached too, for no real reason at all.  

However, where I felt like I knew the characters that we have spent another entire series with, and there was some great character development with Kit, Ty and Livia, other characters lacked the complexity that Cassandra often gives her characters. Like Mark and Kieran. I adored Mark in Lady Midnight, understanding his mind and his journey back into the Shadowhunter world, and his relationship with Kieran. And both seemed really out of character and distant. They didn't know quite where they were in the grand scheme of thing and how they needed to react.

The middle plot felt a little bit lost. I knew we would finally get to be exploring the faerie world outside of the Seelie Court, but I thought more of the conflict and resolution would take place there, rather than a couple of chapters of their journey. I felt like I was reading for the sake of reading and not hitting those key plot points. 

Until, we get to THAT ending. Be prepared, this book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and will leave you waiting. Just thank your lucky stars that the release date for Queen of Air and Darkness has been pushed up to Fall 2018.
ACityofBooks + BLOG DESIGN BY Labinastudio