Top 5 Wednesday| A Diamond in a Lump of Coal

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.

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There is something rather wonderful about picking up a book, without any hype, and finding that its just as good as the New York Bestseller everyone is raving about. Its a rare occurrence, which is why its a cherished experience, as a reader.

1. Temeraire (Temeraire #1)
Naomi Novik

Most people will know Naomi Novik for her book Uprooted, but I knew her for her Napoleaonic War books with Dragons. I loved her depiction of trainer and dragon, just thinking about a warm bubble of warmth.

2. Starborn (Worldmaker Trilogy #1)
Lucy Hounsom

This book was incredibly clever in how it flipped traditional fantasy tropes on its head. 

3. The Ninth Rain
Jen Williams

I think more people need to pick up Jen's books. I absolutely love her characters, plot and most of all? Her FANTASTIC dialogue.

4. Pantomime
Laura Lam

I go on about this book enough. Look for my review in the A-Z Book Reviews tab, if you want to know more as to why this book is great.

5. The Archived
Victoria Schwab

I love this book series. Well of the two books of the trilogy we have anyway. I support Victoria in any decision she makes in reference to finishing the series. I can understand why she feels the way she does (the publisher pulled out). The reason why we haven't go book 3 is because not enough people picked it up and read it. 

New to Me Authors| 2018

I have so many new authors that I want to check out this year, in fact, I can already tell you now that I have so many on my list that I know that I won't be able to get to them all.

So, what better way to not fall into that hole of dissappointment than trying to just stick to a small number: 


Runemarks (Runemarks #1)
Joanne Harris

Goodreads

I've heard a lot about these book, and with A Pocketful of Crows, still, on my to be read pile. And after meeting Joanne at YALC 2017, I am even more intrigued to pick them up. 


Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen #1)
John Gywnne

Goodreads

This is one of the audiobooks that I got when I paused my Audible account, just before the new year. 
I'm in a great "adult" fantasy kick for most of 2017, and I'm hoping that this continues way into the new year.



Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1)
Mark Lawerence

Goodreads

How many freaking TBR posts do I need to put this on, before I actually get to it?
The answer: I've lost count.





The Fifth Season
 N.K. Jemisin

Goodreads

I did that thing I said I wasn't going to do anymore.
The thing where I buy an entire series and trilogy, before actually reading the first book at least. 
But, then book two and three were like £2.00 each on Amazon and I got clicking-happy. Obviously, now, I've got to read them.


The Falconer
Elizabeth May

Goodreads

Elizabeth's tweets are probably up there on favourite twitter content. She's funny, her cats are adorable and she kicks sexism right where it needs to be kicked in. 
I've heard mixed things about this series, but I'm intrigued and would love to see if this is something I'm going to love.

Top 5 Wednesday| We Should Discuss That

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.

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This weeks topic is a difficult one, Books We Dislike but Love to Discuss,  because nothing instantly sprang to mind. 

1. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3)
Susanne Collins

I didn't really like the ending of The Hunger Games trilogy, and the first time I read it I skipped over the last three chapters and read the epilogue, just to be done with it. 
I do like looking at the way Collins presented PTSD and love listening to open discussions on it.

2. Empire of Storms
Sarah J. Maas

I still love discussing Maas' books. Whether to disects them and look at how they didn't work, or to just cringe with other like minded individuals over the ridiculous sex scenes.

3. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad

I had to read this during a Literature module at University and couldn't even make it past the second page. It was
presented as this great piece of revolutionary text that didn't have racist undertones. OH BOY.

4. Wuthering Heights
Emily Bronte

An A-Level text. By "enjoy a discussion" about this text its more, me taking the piss with the Kate Bush song. 

5. Twilight
Stephanie Meyer

Its not a discussion as much as a story I like to tell with this one. During the height of the Twilight days I did attemot to read a copy. Only I feel asleep in the school library and had the librarian wake me up before I could miss tutorial. 

BLOG TOUR| The Fandom

The Fandom
Anna Day

Add to Goodreads


Release Date: 4th January, 2018

UK Publisher: Chicken House

Synopsis:


Cosplay ready, Violet and her friends are at Comic-Con.

They can’t wait to meet the fandom of mega movie, The Gallows Dance. What they’re not expecting is to be catapulted by freak accident into their favourite world – for real. Fuelled by love, guilt and fear, can the friends put the plot back on track and get out? The fate of the story is in their hands ...


I am honoured to have Anna on my blog today, talking about one of my favourite events in my annual calendar, YALC!


Over to ANNA DAY, author of THE FANDOM:

      I went to YALC/Comic-Con for the first time last July to promote my debut novel The Fandom. What better place, as part of the book is set at Comic-Con in the very same building, Olympian National Hall. I’d done loads of research online, read blogs and watched YouTube videos, and got a taste of the vivid world of cosplay. So I was very excited, and a bit nervous, to finally go there in person. Excited to be part of something I’d only imagined, and nervous I’d imagined it all wrong.

      Well I was not disappointed. And I like to think, for a moment, I felt just like the protagonist, Violet. Completely awestruck and overwhelmed by it all. Olympia was every bit as vast and stunning as I’d hoped, and the cosplayers were even more convincing and colourful than I’d envisioned.

        The above photo shows the first group of cosplayers I approached. I’m a Lord of the Rings fan, and was instantly struck by how realistic their costumes were. I was a little anxious, introducing myself in a slightly hesitant voice, asking if I could chat to them about their costumes and have a couple of photos. Honestly, I felt like the little nerd trying to get in with the cool gang! But my concerns were completely unfounded. They were such a lovely bunch of people, so welcoming and happy to talk. They told me about their costumes, which were all hand made by the lady dressed as a hobbit. She was such a talented seamstress, the detail in the costumes was astounding. They totally gave me the confidence to approach other cosplayers, who were all equally as nice. Below you can see me posing with some more amazing cosplayers (next year I am totally going in costume … it’s in print, no take backsies!)

      I think this is what stayed with me the most from visiting Comic-Con; the sense of comradery amongst cosplayers, bound together by their passion for creativity, stories and all things geektastic. My research had served me well in terms of writing about the venue and the costumes, but I think it was only then, that moment at Comic-Con, I realised what an honour it was to have written a book dedicated to all things fandom.

  
 








    Anna Day is the debut author of THE FANDOM, out now, priced £7.99. Get your copy here and follow the conversation online using the tag #jointhefandom!   


Get your copy now, at all good bookstores!! 


Series Crackdown 3.0

Series Crackdown is a 10-day long readathon, that I've had my eye on since the first time I was made aware of its existance, and this round I plan to participate. Run by The Book Moo and a few friends.

The objective is to read a whole series, be it a duology, trilogy or something longer. But you can just as easily start a series or read one or two of those sequels that we say we want to read and then never do. 



I'll post a TBR over on twitter when I've got one,  but for now, this is just a post to make you aware and to tempt you into joining.

Follow the official Twitter account: @SeriesCrackdown

Top 5 Wednesday| Do I Know You?

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.


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This week its all about those books, both good and bad, that we just don't seem to remember. 

1. Queen of the Tearling
Erika Johansen

I remember reading this during my summer holiday once, after hearing a crap tonne of hype. I don't remember anything else other than what the synopsis gives it or how I felt afterwards.

2. Assassin's Apprentice
Robin Hobb

I want to read more Robin Hobb, but to do that I would need to reread Assassin's Apprentice as I can't remember anything that happens in the plot. 
Although, I did like this one.

3. Legend 
Marie Lu

I read the final book in series last year, and it was the biggest mistake and waste of time going. I couldn't remember anything, and was just reading
it for the sake of getting it over with.

4. Snow Like Ashes
Sara Raach

Something about different seasons, and a lost princess trope?

5. Our Dark Duet
V.E.Schwab

I inhale read this one, and now its all just fuzzy. Was it a good conclusion? I don't know. I'll have to reread it in the future.

Top 10 Books of 2017

Well I ended up completing my Goodreads Reading Goal.
Sixty books!
Over 20,000 pages!
An average rating of 3.7, oh.
Pretty mediocre, if you ask me. I feel like this year I was really stingy with my ratings, savouring my five stars for the mind blowing.

When putting this list together, there was only a few that instantly sprang to mind when compiling my list. And then I went back through, and did the traditional "I read that THIS YEAR?!" and then adding it to the list.

Without further ado (and in no particular order):


Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1)
Laini Taylor
⭐⭐⭐⭐+

[REVIEW]

This was everything that I expected to come out of that wonderous brain of Laini Taylor. I'm sure you've heard me rave about this enough.





Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
Susanna Clake

[GOODREADS]

I am completely cheating by putting this book on here, but I have read at least half on this. That's why I don't have a rating for it yet.


Pantomime (Micah Gray #1)
Laura Lam


[REVIEW]


This is on of the few that have made it on the list, not because I gave them anything but five stars, rather because they were memorable.
Even know I can think back on this books and it shines above all the other books.



The Hate U Give
Angie Thomas



I haven't had time to write a book review for this one yet, but I am very sure that this will be making it on many list this.
I found some of the writing to be a little tedious in description which is why I only gave it five stars, but in terms of plot and character and importance - this one deserves to on the list.

A Skinful of Shadows
Frances Hardinge


[REVIEW]


I'm putting this one on the list for it's beautiful prose, the characters and found family that runs it course through this book. 





Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicles #2)
Jay Kristoff
⭐⭐⭐⭐+

[REVIEW]

This was probably my most anticipated sequel of 2017, along with Lord of Shadows and The Song Rising.

And it lived up to my expectations. AND THAT FREAKING ENDING?!

Still not over it.



A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2)
V.E.Schwab
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

[GOODREADS]

I know some people have had some issues with the pacing of this book, yet I'm one to disagree. 

I need that slower paced opening to see the development of characters, such as Rhy, who we didn't get to see very much of in the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic.


The Song Rising (The Bone Season #3)
Samantha Shannon
⭐⭐⭐⭐


This was another one of those most anticipated sequels that I had talked about. Still making it onto this list, because although it may not have packed a punch like its previous, it still resonated deeply and has stuck with me throughout the rest of the year.

I loved the character growth that this novel was able to give up in its short 350 (ish) pages.


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


I had so much fun reading this one. 

And even got those shipping "feels" that you get when you read about two characters. Inside my head the words "just kiss. just kiss. just kiss" circulating round.

I'm bouncing on the balls of my feat, eager to get into book two- The Bitter Twins.

A Shiver of Snow and Sky
Lisa Lueddecke
⭐⭐⭐


I'm a sucker for unique and beautifully written books, alright?
At least I know that's where my faults lie.
This book is one of a kind in today's YA market, the world building was snowy and tantalising. The mythology had me intrigued and the prose?
Up there with Laini Taylor, honestly.

Top 5 Wednesday| Maybe This Year?

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 was a large of number of books that I wanted to get to last year and never got to, but here is my ultimate this year or never selection:


1. Six of Crows
Leigh Bardugo

I refuse to start this book until I've finished the Shadow and Bone trilogy. That's going to happen this year- I swear it!

2. Gilded Cage
Vic James

I KNOW?! I've put this on my TBR countless times but newer shinier books have always grabbed my attention.

I just KNOW I'm going to love this one.

3. The Fifth Season
N.K.Jemisin

I don't remember when this copy turned up in the post, but I've heard nothing but good things about this SFF mix.

4. The Lies of Locke Lamora
Scott Lynch

I found this first edition hardback (in the cover edition I adore) in a Charity shop when I came back to Bangor. 

5. Three Dark Crowns
Kendare Blake

This book has been on my unread pile since I grabbed a cheap copy out of Morrisons. I'm still really eager to read it. 

Maybe, this year, will be my year.

TBR| January 2018

The first To Be Read post of the year!

My first goals of 2018 is to finish any books that have a bookmark in them, be it physical or electronic. If you missed my Wrap-Up, the books I'm taking about are:
  • A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  • The Fandom by Anna Day
  • Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
I have a feeling that my reading is going to revert back to how it was during October and November due to deadlines and the second semester at University.

I plan on trying to read for at least an hour a day, either early morning or some part in the evening. 

Zenith (The Androma Saga #1)
Sasha Alsberg, Lindsay Cummings


I don't know if I'm going to like this, I've heard such a mix bag of opinions that I just want to read it and see where I fit.









Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone #3)
Leigh Bardugo


This was on December's TBR and I never got round to it. 










The Belles (The Belles #1)
Dhonielle Clayton


UK Release Date: 8th February, 2018
UK Publisher: Gollancz

This popped into my post on Christmas Eve from the brilliant Gollancz. 

Coming out at the beginning of February, I want to try and get this read and reviewed before then.

WRAP-UP| December 2017

Both my October and November wrap-ups have been abysmal. I barely read anything, and then December happened. I read 12 books, yes, t-w-e-l-v-e books.

Books carrying on to January 2018:
  • A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  • The Fandom by Anna Day
  • Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Books finished:

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


Goodreads


They Both Die in the End
Adam Silvera




Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow (Harry Potter #7)
J.K. Rowling
No rating



Ten Thousand Things
Emily Critchley




The Colour of Magic (Disworld #1, Rincewind #1)
Terry Pratchett


Goodreads


Sightwitch (Witchlands #0.5)
Susan Dennard



The Hate U Give 
Angie Thomas



The Princess Diarist
Carrie Fisher






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



Red as Blood and White as Bone
Theodora Goss


On the Other Side
Carrie Hope Fletcher

Witches of Lychford (Lychford #1)
Paul Cornell





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