Sunday, 20 November 2016

Updates | Getting Back Into Blogging

Oh my goodness, I cannot believe it's been almost 4 months since I last posted anything! Life has been pretty mad over the past few months and blogging most definitely took a back seat for a while, even reading did at one point.

In September I started my second degree and boy is it different from the first time around! For my first degree I pretty much managed to get away with doing as little as possible. I didn't go to class, I did all my assignments the day before they were due and studied as little as I could get away with. Somehow, I still graduated with a decent degree at the end of all that! This time, I definitely can't do that! I am now doing a nursing degree and it is so much more work than I ever imagined. I spent the first few months either in uni for theory lectures or at home spending all my free time studying and doing online work. I am now just about to finish my first placement and I honestly don't remember the last time I was this tired! It is incredibly hard work and takes a lot of my time and energy, especially as I want to do really well this time around.

So basically that's where I've been! As I said I am almost finished my first placement and after that I have two days of class, one assignment and one exam and then I am finished for Christmas! No doubt I'll still find some work to do over the Christmas break but I definitely plan to devote a lot of my time to reading and blogging over that time and hopefully get back into the swing of things.

Expect a wrap up as soon as I can, that should give you an idea of how little time I have had to read these past few months!

Sophie :)

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Review | Forever by Judy Blume

 photo Forever_zps6rshkdg4.pngForever by Judy Blume
Published By: Macmillan
Published On: October 1, 1975
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 178
Format: Papaerback
Source: Read It Swap It
Rating: ★★

Amazon | Goodreads

Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year's Eve party. They're attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they've decided their love is forever, they make love. 

It's the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine's parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart...

I understand that this is cult classic and has been extremely well loved since its publication in the 1970s but I just wasn't a fan. If I hadn't been on holiday, with pretty much unlimited reading time, I would have DNFed this. While I can understand the appeal of the book, I just don't think it was for me and there are several reasons for that.

This book is 41 years old so obviously a lot has changed in terms of the style of writing over the years. While the outdated references and wording didn't bother me, I just couldn't abide the older writing style. You could really tell from the writing style just how old the book was, and though when reading classics this issue doesn't arise, for some reason it really bugged me during this book. It did become less of an issue as the book went on.

This is probably a very unpopular opinion, given the hoards of people who love this book, but I didn't think this was an accurate portrayal of love at a young age. At 21, I have been through all of this, and it wasn't even slightly like it is portrayed in this book. This relationship was complete instalove! I would hazard a guess that at least 90% of teenagers do not enter into serious relationships the day after meeting someone for the first time. These characters literally met on page 2 of the book and were inseparable and in love by page 4! This is not at all realistic. I found the relationship, because of this, to be quite fake and forced. I didn't see any kind of chemistry or connection between the two characters.

If I'm being completely honest, I found this book to be fairly boring. There didn't seem to be much of a story beyond the main characters struggle to decided whether or not she wanted to have sex, and then about sex itself. There was the capacity for more of a story with the introduction of topics like mental illness and death, but those were simply glossed over and pushed to the side to make space for more sex chat. I understand that this book is about first love and the first time having sex, but at this stage in your life the world does not just revolve around sex, life continues and other things are important too.

Overall, despite my problems with this book, it was a very short, quick read that I managed to get through in just a few hours. However, I wouldn't have spent any longer on it. It is obviously a well loved book, considering I am here talking about it more than 40 years after it was initially published, but it just wasn't for me. Though I can see why people would like it, I just had too many problems with it. I do think, though, that this is one you have to read for yourself, not rely on others' opinions of.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Reading Challenges | 2016 Progress

With it now being just over half way through the year, it seems like a good time to check in with the challenges I set myself back in January. I haven't had the best reading year so far so I don't expect to be doing great with the challenges but we'll see.

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Goodreads Reading Challenge
Goal: 50
Progress: 27
When I checked in on my goals last year I had read 44 of 50 so I'm definitely not doing as good as last year. However, I am only 1 book behind schedule so I don't think I'm doing too badly. As long as I keep reading and don't get into another mega slump I should be on track to reach my 50 book goal.

Ebook Reading Challenge
Goal: 10
Progress: 6
Last year I was on 8/10 by this point but I'm not too concerned about that. I'm almost positive I can get to another 4 ebooks before the end of the year, I have some great ones on my Kindle just waiting to be read.

Audiobook Challenge
Goal: 1-5
Progress: 0
This is a new one for this year. I got into audiobooks last year but with a 45 minute commute it was easy to get in listening time. Now that I don't have that commute it is trickier. I am currently listening to one so when I finish that I will have technically met my goal, however I would like to get to 5.

TBR Pile Challenge
Goal: 11-20
Progress: 9
Finally one I am more successful on this year compared to last year. I may not be reading as much this year but I am doing well with getting through the books I have had on my shelf for a good while. I am happy with this progress, I should definitely at least get to 11 before the end of the year, but I am aiming for nearer 20.

Popsugar Reading Challenge
Goal: 40
Progress: 14
I am very doubtful I'll complete this one. I have completed 14 of the 40 challenges but the majority of the ones left involve reading things I wouldn't usually pick up, and while that can be good every now and again, I don't want to be doing this for the rest of the year and abandoning the books I want to read.
I have decided (like literally, this minute) to change this challenge. I have been kind of taking part in the Around The World In 52 Books challenge, which is very similar to this one, and I think I prefer that one.

Finish 5 Series
Goal: 5
Progress: 1
I'm not making great progress with this one. I have made steps to completing a few different series but have only actually managed to complete 1. I have a couple that I only need to read the last 1 or 2 books, so I might manage this challenge by the end of the year if I really try.

Start 5 Series
Goal: 5 10
Progress: 7
I managed to complete my initial goal of starting 5 series pretty quickly so obviously rather than focus on my other challenges I decided to just increase my goal. I have so many series that I want to read and this is definitely encouraging me to finally pick them up. This might be the challenge I am enjoying most so far.

How are you doing with your reading goals? Can you recommend any series for me to start?

Sophie :)

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Mini Review | Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass

 photo HappilyEverAfter_zps4vzbsqve.pngHappily Ever After by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #0.4, 0.5, 2.5, 2.6
Published By: Harper Collins
Published On: October 8, 2015
Genre: Dystopian
Pages: 387
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★½

Amazon | Goodreads

Meet Prince Maxon before he fell in love with America, and a girl named Amberly before she became queen. See the Selection through the eyes of a guard who watched his first love drift away and a girl who fell for a boy who wasn't the prince.


The Queen
I had already read this as an ebook but with the added illustrations, and because I love this series so much, of course I read it again and actually liked it more the second time. I liked getting to see what Amberly and Clarkson were like before Maxon and before we meet them in The Selection. It was interesting to find out more about Amberly and her life before she was thrust into the public eye. I definitely still wasn't a fan of Clarkson, even though you do find out a bit more about why he is the way he is, to me he was just disrespectful and a downright not very nice person.

The Prince
This is another one I had read before and while I liked it the first time, I loved it the second time around. It was interesting to see the scenes from The Selection in a different way as they were shown from Maxon's point of view. It was also good to see a bit of what Maxon's life was like before The Selection. Really I just love Maxon so I obviously loved this story.

The Guard
Again I had read this before and again I liked it more the second time around. I did find it less interesting than The Prince, as I did the first time around, but I still really enjoyed it. This is the one I remember the least about after reading it, I don't know what that says about it. I will say though, it made me like Aspen a little less than I previously had.

The Favourite
This was the only one of the stories I read for the first time and OH MY GOODNESS I loved this! I was in tears, I just loved Marlee's story so much. She was always one of my favourite characters so to find out more of her story, particularly her love story, was great.

Extras
As well as the novellas, there were some other extras; scenes from Celeste's POV, a scene from Lucy's POV, bonus epilogue, where are they now feature. I really loved these. The scenes from Celete's POV were my absolute favourite. I loved seeing her character change and grow just through three short scenes and it was really interesting to see the though process behind some of the things she did throughout the series. All of the other extras were also really great and fun bonus features that any fan of the series would find interesting.

Overall, I would definitely recommend you pick this up if you are a fan of the series. While I enjoyed both The Heir and The Crown, neither compared to this extra insight into the world of the original trilogy. I loved going back to some of my favourite characters and getting to relive some of my favourite moments in the series.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Tag | Mid-Year Book Freakout 2016 Edition

 photo MidYearBookFreakout_zpslmmy5gzn.png

I did this tag in September of last year as a recap of my reading year so far and thought it would be good to do it again this year. By that point of last year I had read 44 books, this year I have managed a grand total of 23. There is a fair difference in my progress this year but I am hoping that this will give me a bit of a boost to get back on top of my reading.

1. Best Book You've Read So Far In 2016
Flawed by Cecelia Ahern is the only book I have given 5 stars to so far this year, not including rereads, so I guess that's an easy one. I really loved Cecelia Ahern's first YA novel and she just proved that she can write anything and still do it well. I have a full review of this coming very soon.

2. Best Sequel You've Read So Far In 2016
I haven't done a great job with the sequels so far this year so I guess I'll have to go with The Crown by Kiera Cass. I did have some problems with it but overall I thought it was a good conclusion to The Selection series. For more of my thoughts, look out for my spoiler discussion coming very soon.

3. New Release You Haven't Read Yet But Want To
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson! I bought it as soon as it was available but I just haven't had a chance to pick it up yet. I just recently read Since You've Been Gone and really enjoyed it so I can't wait to get to this.

4. Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year
Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern! It's Cecelia Ahern, that's all I have to say.

5. Biggest Disappointment
Well this is an easy one. I definitely have to say Confessions Of A Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. I had heard so many great things about this series so I expected to love it. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. This one just really wasn't for me.

6. Biggest Surprise
I would probably have to go with I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre. I really wasn't expecting much at all from this book, if I'm honest, but I was so pleasantly surprised. I ended up really loving it and I can't wait to continue on with the series.

7. Favourite New Author
Kody Keplinger! I read The DUFF quite early on in the year and I really, really enjoyed it. I loved the way it was written and how the lives of the main characters were actually realistic to the majority of people their age. I definitely want to read more from her.

8. Newest Fictional Crush
I feel like he's probably been everyone's fictional crush for years but definitely Jace from City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare (I've only read book 1 so no spoilers!). It has taken me a really long time to start this series but now I can see why people talk about Jace!

9. Newest Favourite Character
This is a hard one because I haven't really found a character that I LOVE so far this year but I did really like Emily from Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson. I totally think we could be best friends.

10. Book That Made You Cry
I challenge you not to cry while reading Love Is The Higher Law by David Levithan. The way the events of 9/11 and discussed and the impact it had on the characters lives, it's all so raw and emotional. 

11. Book That Made You Happy
A lot of books made me happy but I will go with This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith. I mean, the clue is in the title!

12. Favourite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year
It has to be Mockingjay Part 2! The Hunger Games movies are probably my all time favourite book to movie adaptations and the final film did not disappoint. Certain things crushed my heart just as I expected.

13. Favourite Review/Post You've Done This Year
I don't really think i've done anything great but I did quite like my review of Love Is The Higher Law by David Levithan. The book stirred so many thoughts and emotions in me that I really enjoyed writing my review and getting them written down.

14. Most Beautiful Book You've Bought So Far This Year
I am still in awe over how gorgeous Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard is. So beautiful!

15. Books You NEED To Read By The End Of 2016
There are so many that I could probably do a whole separate post on that. I do definitely want to finish the Harry Potter series, continue on with the Mortal Instruments series and make some space on my YA contemporary bookshelf.

What is the best book you have read so far this year?

Sophie :)

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Books I Have Brought On Holiday | Summer 2016

Choosing what books from my ever growing TBR pile to take on holiday with me is a struggle I face every time I go away. I really just want to take them all but obviously, with limited space, that isn't possible. If I'm travelling by plane and staying in a hotel, it's easy. I take my kindle and whatever physical book I am in the middle of and that's me sorted. However, for most of our family holidays we take our caravan, meaning I have a whole cupboard area just for my books. As great as that is, it makes the decisions pretty tough for me. So, this year I thought I would share the books I decided to bring away with me.

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Billy & Me by Giovanna Fletcher - It's really about time I read one of Gi's books! I love her as a person and own all of her books but for some reason I just haven't got to reading any yet. This sounds like it could be a great, very cute, summer read.

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern - This is possibly my favourite book of all time (I know, this is only like the 1000th time I've said that) so I figured it's about time for a reread. This book is perfect to read any time of year but I think it'll be especially great over summer.

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The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle - This is a paranormal/mystery kind of book so not really a summer read but I like to throw in something a bit different. I read 90% cute contemporary during the summer so it's good to have some change.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - It is pretty much unacceptable that I have not read this book yet! Everyone seems to love it and rave about it but I seem to have just left it sitting on my shelf, until now.

On The Fence by Kasie West - I read The Distance Between Us last year and really enjoyed it so I definitely want to get to some more Kasie West this summer. This one looks like a really cute, fun read.

The Start Of Me And You by Emery Lord - I read Open Road Summer towards the end of last year and despite reading it in the totally wrong season I really enjoyed it. I have heard so many great things about her second book so I can't wait to read it.

Summer Days And Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins - I am so excited for this! I loved My True Love Gave To Me so I cannot wait to see what perfection lurks within the pages of this summer version.

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Frostbite by Richelle Mead - I read Vampire Academy whilst on holiday last year and really liked it so I don't know why it has taken me this long to continue on with the series. I definitely want to work my way through this series this year so I better get a move on.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer - Another book that I should really have read by now. I have heard so many great things about The Lunar Chronicles but again just haven't picked it up yet. This one is definitely a top priority.

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling - It really is about time I finished this series. I have been putting it off but I need to just bite the bullet and tick this series off the list. It will definitely happen this year but hopefully I can get to it during my holiday.

Which of these should I pick up first?

Sophie :)

Saturday, 2 July 2016

TBR | July 2016

I have been terrible at sticking to my TBR recently, hence why I haven't posted one for most months this year. I know I won't be reading anything for the first week, which does suck but I'll be busy roadtripping with my best friend so I guess thats acceptable. After that though, I'm pretty sure I'll be doing nothing but reading so I have gone for quite an ambitious TBR, we'll see how well I can do this time around.

 photo July01_zpsw3gs2wiy.jpg

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling -
I REALLY need to finish the Harry Potter series! Like seriously, it's getting slightly ridiculous that I'm still reading it so I need to get my act together and get to it this month. I've been putting it off after how long it took me to read Half-Blood Prince and I'm nervous that I met end up back in a reading slump. Hopefully I'll bite the bullet and read the last book in July.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer -
This is a series I really need to get around to starting. I have heard so many great things about this series so it's definitely time I see what the fuss is all about. It sounds really interesting, I mean a Cinderella retelling with a Cyborg main character(!!), so I don't know why it's taken me this long to get to it.

Billy And Me by Giovanna Fletcher -
 I absolutely love Gi, her Youtube is my favourite, but I have yet to read any of her books (despite owning almost all of them) and I feel terrible about it. However, this is definitely changing this month. I have heard loads of great things about Gi's debut novel so I am really excited to get to it.

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern -
It's no secret that this is my favourite book of all time and I've been wanting to reread it for ages, so now is the time. I'm getting really excited just writing this because I want to jump back into Rosie and Alex's life. I've thrown this into my TBR for the month just in case Deathly Hallows does but me into a bit of a slump, this is guaranteed to get me out of it. Even if I am slump-free, I will still be reading this for sure.

Summer Days And Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins -
I loved My True Love Gave To Me so much that I very almost screamed when I heard about this, the summer version of that anthology. I am so excited to read this, especially since there are different authors featured in this than the last, including a lot I haven't read anything by. This just seems like the perfect thing to read this summer.

Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding -
I have had this on my Kindle for years now and it is about time I read it. I really like the movies and with the new one coming out this year, its kind of the perfect time to read it. I also love light, funny reads for the summer so this is perfect for me this month.

PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahern -
I have been listening to this on audiobook recently but it always takes me forever to finish an audiobook so I want to make a conscious effort to listen to this during the month. Cecelia Ahern is one of my favourite authors, if not my all time favourite, so I definitely need to read her debut novel.

What do you plan to read in the month of July?

Sophie :)

Friday, 1 July 2016

Wrap Up | June 2016

These months seem to be getting faster and faster, I can't believe it's already July! June was a pretty relaxing month for me, not much happened and I managed to get in an OK amount of reading, which I am happy about considering the first few months of the year. Hopefully with a 2 week holiday thrown in July will be better.

My Life In June...
- I spent a nice week in a little seaside town with my family.
- I graduated from university so I now officially have a Law degree.
- I celebrated my graduation with a lovely family dinner.

Watched In June...
- Chicago Fire Season 3 - 5/5
- Geordie Shore Big Birthday Bash - 3/5
- One Tree Hill Season 4 - 4.5/5
- One Tree Hill Season 5 - 4.5/5
- One Tree Hill Season 6 - 4.5/5
- The Secret Life Of The American Teenager Season 2 - 3/5
- The Boss - 3/5
- The Pacifier (rewatch) - 4/5

Read In June...

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This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith - 
This is my fourth Jennifer E Smith book and not one so far has lived up to my love of The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight. This follows a girl who randomly receives an email from a boy her age who turns out to be a movie star filming in her town during the summer. I did enjoy this book but I didn't love it. It was a fun, quick read and I would recommend it as a light summer read. It was enjoyable and got me in the mood for summer, with a pretty cute romance, but nothing special. 3/5

Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman -
I picked this up having heard nothing about it but I was intrigued by the synopsis. It is about a girl whose sister dies in a tragic accident so she is sent to a summer camp for bereaved teenagers. While she is there she starts receiving IM messages from someone who is apparently her dead sister. I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. It was a very good mystery with an ending I definitely did not see coming. It had a similar feel to We Were Liars, though the story is completely different the atmosphere of the book reminded me of that. 4/5

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson - 
I finally got around to the book everyone was raving about last summer. This is about a girl whose best friend goes away at the beginning of summer but leaves her a list of things to do while she is gone. This book had so much hype that I was a bit nervous about it. I did end up really enjoying it, though I didn't quite love it as much as a lot of people. I had a bit of a problem with Emily and Sloane's friendship but other than that I thought it was a great, fun summer read with a good underlying message. 4/5

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon -
So many people love this book that I was so sure I would be one of them. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. This is about a girl who suffers from a disease that basically means she is allergic to everything so can't leave her house. However, when a boy moves in next door who wants to get to know her, things get complicated. I didn't hate this book, there were a lot of things I really liked. I loved the unique way this was written (that itself has gained one star), I somewhat liked the story but I wasn't a huge fan of the characters and had some real problems with the end. 3/5

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell -
This was a short story written for World Book Day. It is about a girl who decides to camp out for the new Star Wars movie, however there turn out to only be two others doing the same. Somehow, Rainbow Rowell manages to do the same thing in 62 pages as she does in full length novels. This was really cute and fun and I definitely enjoyed it. I know pretty much nothing about Star Wars so a lot of the references went straight over my head, but I did still like it. 3/5

Blogged In June...
- I posted a mini review of Sea Of Monsters by Rick Riordan.
- I shared my May Wrap Up and Haul.

What was the best thing you read in June?

Sophie :)

Haul | June 2016

I am so bad at not buying books! I swear I really tried not to buy books this month but when you go away to somewhere with some great bookshops and then exciting things get released, it's just too hard! Anyway my attempt at not buying book in the month of June has resulted in me buying 19 books. I know, I'm really good. To the books...

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Take Me On & Breaking The Rules by Katie McGarry - I had planned to start the Pushing The Limits series this month (didn't happen!) so when I saw books #4 and #1.5 pretty cheap I picked them up.

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry - Jumping on the Katie McGarry train full force, I don't even know what this one is about.

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Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard - Such a beautiful cover!! This is about a group of friends and the challenges a new girl poses to their friendships.

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver - A girl's sister vanishes on her birthday but when another girl also goes missing she must find out what is going on. This sounds like a really interesting mystery.

The List by Siobhan Vivian - At the start of each school year one girl from each year is chosen as the prettiest and one as the ugliest. This has intrigued me for so long.

Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales - Girl goes on a road trip to find a blogger who says all the things she feels. It's set in New York, need I say more?!

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Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell - Rainbow's short story written for World Book Day about a girl who decides to camp out for the new Star Wars movie.

Summer Days and Summer Nights Anthology - The Summer version of Stephanie Perkins Christmas anthology My True Love Gave To Me, featuring twelve summer love stories.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
 - A woman returns to her hometown to report on the murders of two young girls but must also deal with her toxic family and childhood memories.

Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman
 - After the death of her sister in a tragic accident, Skye is sent to a camp for bereaved teenagers, but there she receives IM messages from her dead sister.

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Zoella's Book Club with WH Smith
Zoella (Zoe Sugg) released her redesigned 'Book Club' picks in association with WH Smith and the 8 book bundle was available for a crazy good price of £29.99. So obviously, despite already owning 6 of the 8 books, I just had to buy the bundle. I know, I know, but the new covers are just so pretty!
The 8 books are:
Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard
We Were Liars by E Lockhart
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward

And those are all of my many June purchases. What did you buy in June?

Sophie :)

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Review | I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre

 photo IWantItThatWay_zpsankjn24e.pngI Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre
Series: 2B Trilogy #1
Published By: Harlequin
Published On: August 26, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she's determined to make them come true—for her parents' sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B…. 
Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can't risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, a social life is out of the question. The last thing he wants is for four noisy students to move into the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia's and Ty's paths cross, and soon they can't stay away from each other. 
The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can't know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.

I picked this book up on a total whim; the cover looked pretty, the title reminded me of the Backstreet Boys song, and it was really cheap on kindle. I wasn't expecting much from it but it completely exceeded my expectations. I had not read much NA before this so I had anticipated your average 'boy meets girl' kind of story with the predictable storyline, but this was different. Though the story takes a lot of the turns you expect it to, there is nothing particularly 'typical' about this book in my opinion.

When the main character in in college, you have preconceived ideas of how her college life will be portrayed and what that aspect of her life will involve. However, I really loved the different way that college was portrayed in this book. You didn't have the constant partying, getting drunk and having sex with random guys that you often find with popular culture's idea of college life; although there were a few parties, a girl has to have some fun. Nadia's college life was also nothing like my university experience (which was awful, FYI), but it was great to read about. I loved the focus on her friendship group but also her dedication to her studies and the emphasis on how important her classes and schoolwork were.

Speaking of her dedication to her studies, I loved that Nadia had such great ambitions and would do anything to reach her career goals. It was great to read about someone who knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life and wouldn't let anything get in the way of that. I loved the daycare and school parts of the book as I really enjoyed reading about Nadia's interactions with the children.

Children seem to be a great addition to NA books for me. One of my favourite NA books, Ignite by Lily Paradis, involves children and Ty having a child was one of the things I loved most about this story. Sam was such a great addition to the story and brought a whole new element to Nadia & Ty's relationship. Not only was he funny and adorable, he brought out a different side of Ty that gave him more dimension as a character. I also thought it was great to have a young single father, as it is a lot more common to have young single mother characters, it was nice to have something different.

As well as my obvious love for Sam, I really loved all the characters. I found them all to be very enjoyable to read about, not just Nadia and Ty as the main characters, but also Nadia's friends. I absolutely adored Max, he is probably my favourite character of the book, so it was great to fall in love with a whole cast of well written characters. Knowing that the second book in the series is Max's story makes me all the more excited for it.

Despite their being very strong friendship and family aspects to the story, the relationship is obviously the main focus. This relationship was a strange one for me because you wouldn't think these characters would work together but somehow they just do. You could almost feel the sexual tension between them coming out of the pages (nice work, Ann Aguirre!). The relationship was just so well written that there was no doubt in my mind these two were meant to somehow be together and that is what kept me reading.

Overall, this was a surprisingly great read. It was not only a great romance but the friendship and family elements to the story were perfectly additions that were done so well. I couldn't put this down, I was so invested in these characters and their stories. It was a great book to get me started in the NA genre as I am still trying to find me feet in there. I would highly recommend this to any fans of NA!


Friday, 24 June 2016

Review | The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

 photo GirlOnTheTrain_zps57r7oepg.pngThe Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
Published By: Random House
Published On: January 15, 2015
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Pages: 319
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. 
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

This book was a bit of a struggle for me to begin with, it took me a bit of time to get into. I can't 100% blame that on the book itself as I was very slumpy when I first picked this up. However, it did take a bit of time to really get into the story which I found a little bit boring if I'm being honest.

Despite the slow start, as soon as it got into the action and mystery I was completely hooked. The mystery aspect was so well written that I just couldn't put it down. I was so thrilling and intense that I just had to know what was going to happen. I was definitely very impressed with the writing.

Again in reference to the writing, the plot twists were great. I can't say they were all huge surprises, I did have my suspicions as you always do, but there was definitely a lot that I didn't see coming. It was written so well that there was a lot of arousing suspicion but not too much given away. I was constantly kept on my toes and definitely on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen.

One of the greatest things about this book was the characters. Rachel was a fantastic main character. She was so unreliable, and we all love a good unreliable narrator, which really added to the mystery of the story. You never knew what to believe or what areas of her story were true, which I enjoyed. On top of this, despite her many faults, I really enjoyed Rachel's character in itself. I really didn't expect to like her but she definitely quickly grew on me and became quite a likeable character.

My biggest worry about this book was the ending. I always seem to be disappointed with the endings in this type of novel and was almost setting myself up to be disappointed. However, that was not the case and I was very satisfied by this ending. The ending was so thrilling and not at all what I expected so it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat, and I was not at all disappointed.

Overall, this was one of the better mystery/thriller novels I have read recently. It was extremely well written and very thrilling. It kept me on the edge of my seat throughout and, other than the slightly slow start, there was not a dull moment. I would highly recommend this book, and already have to various people.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Wrap Up & Haul | May 2016

Well May just flew by! I cannot believe we are already in June and almost half way through the year. I start my next university course in just three months, and even the thought of that terrifies me. But on a more cheery note, I FINALLY had a good reading month! I managed to read 7 whole books in May, which is by far the most I have read in a month this year. I'm glad to finally be back to normal with my reading and I hope this will continue, at least through the summer.

My Life In May...
- I spent a few days at the beginning of the month away at a lodge in the country with my family.
- I official took part in my first readathon - Bout Of Books 16.
- I finally made a start on one of my New Years resolutions by joining a gym.
- I got to spend a bit of time with family I don't often see, including my little nephew.
- I had the joy of seeing the musical Joseph while on it's UK tour, and meeting the lovely cast.
- Some friends and I went to a charity fundraising lunch which was a lot of fun.
- I also got the chance to see the musical of Mary Poppins while it is on it's UK tour.
- I got to see The Tide at one of their 'FanFests' and got to meet the boys, which was great.
- We spent the last week of the month away for another break as a family.

Watched In May...
- Geordie Shore Season 12 - 4/5
- The Lady In The Van - 1/5
- The Descendants (rewatch) - 4/5
- The Last Song (rewatch) - 3.5/5
- Chicago Fire Season 1 - 5/5
- Chicago Fire Season 2 - 5/5

Read In May...

 photo May01_zpsijv9a6jc.jpg

Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass - 
With the fifth and final instalment in The Selection series being released in May, it seemed only appropriate to dive back into this world through these novellas. I had already read three of the four novellas, but I did end up liking the ones I had read more the second time around. I also really enjoyed the additional scenes and the other extras. I thought it was a great addition to the series. 4.5/5

Forever by Judy Blume - 
I picked this book as my first for the Bout Of Books readathon because its so short, so I assumed it would be a quick read. I did manage to power through it in one day but boy was it a struggle. This book was published in 1975 and you can definitely tell. I did get over the older writing style but I just didn't enjoy the book in general and I had some big problems with certain aspects. 2/5

City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare - 
This FINALLY happened! I have been saying for probably well over a year that I am going to start this series but I always pushed it aside, mainly due to the hype surrounding it. Now that I have finally read City Of Bones, I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed the world, the characters and the story. I thought it was a great start to the series and I particularly liked how the world was developed without constant info-dumps. I can't wait to continue with the series. 4/5

The Crown by Kiera Cass - 
So The Selection series has now come to an end. It was such a bittersweet moment opening this book, I was so excited to see what happened but at the same time I really didn't want it to end. While I loved the first three books, I wasn't blown away by The Heir, due to the main character Eadlyn, and I did have this issue somewhat in The Crown. Though Eadlyn did redeem herself greatly in the final book, I still didn't love her as I had America, which meant I wasn't in love with the book to the same extent. I also didn't love where the story went but I did enjoy the book as a conclusion to the series. 4/5

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern - 
Cecelia Ahern has done it again! This woman can honestly do no wrong in my eyes. Flawed is my first 5 star book of the year, not including rereads, and it is totally deserved. I was nervous about Cecelia Ahern branching out into YA but she can absolutely write YA just as well as she can adult. I loved this story, the world, the characters, everything was just done so well. It was written really well and you could tell how much passion the words were written with. I absolutely loved this book and can't wait for the sequel. 5/5

I Want It That Way by Ann Aguire -
This was a totally on a whim purchase that I pretty much forgot I owned until I pulled it out of my TBR jar. I wasn't expecting much from it but I was very pleasantly surprised, I actually really enjoyed it! I loved the story, the characters and the fact it was a more unique take on the usual NA. I definitely plan to continue this series! 4/5

The New Girl by Tracie Puckett - 
I got this as a random free ebook a little while ago and decided to pick it up for the readathon because it's so short. I have pretty mixed feelings about this. I did like it for the most part, it was a fun quick read. However, this involved a student-teacher relationship and I just don't like that at all. I felt very uncomfortable reading about the relationship because of that. So I think if it didn't include that aspect I would have enjoyed it but, unfortunately, I didn't. 2/5

Bought In May...

 photo May01_zpsnkpx8gbr.jpg

The Crown by Kiera Cass -
Obviously as I talked about this book already it is no secret that I picked up the final book in The Selection series as soon as it was released. I think I've said enough about this one already.

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson -
This was another one I picked up as soon as I could. I read two of Morgan Matson's books last summer and really enjoyed them both so I decided to try out her newest release as well. The main character in this book is a dog walker and the daughter of a politician who's life is changed by a scandal involving her family. It sounds really interesting and I hope to get to it this summer.

Blogged In May...
- I reviewed Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling.
- I shared my haul from the month of April.
- I wrapped up the month of April.
- I shared my TBR for the month of May.
- I reviewed The DUFF by Kody Keplinger.
- I announced my participation in the Bout Of Books 16 readathon.
- I shared my readathon goals and TBR.
- I took part in the readathon's Day 3 challenge.
- I shared my updates throughout the readathon.

Did you read or get your hands on any great books in May?

Sophie :)

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Review | Hello, Goodbye And Everything In Between by Jennifer E Smith

 photo HelloGoodbye_zpsu3juxx7x.pngHello, Goodbye And Everything In Between by Jennifer E Smith
Published By: Headline
Published On: Sepetmeber 1, 2015
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 248
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

First things first, THIS COVER! How beautiful is this cover? I think I am genuinely in love. Based on cover alone I would give this 5 stars! But onto the other important stuff...

I have been so hit or miss with Jennifer E Smith previously so I had no idea what to expect from this, I was more just giving her another chance to wow me like she did the first time. I will say I definitely didn't love this as much as I loved The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight. However, it was an improvement on The Geography Of You And Me, which I didn't hate but it didn't blow me away. I did really like this one.

I have seen a fair bit of negativity surrounding this and I can understand why people didn't like the premise. However, for me this was so relatable. A lot of reviews I have read complained that this situation was unrealistic and that even considering breaking up for going away to college was stupid. I can tell you this kind of thing does genuinely happen. I went through a very similar situation before I started university and I completely regret the decision we made, so I fully supported these characters in taking the time to decide on what was best for them in the situation.

There was one thing that really sold this book for me - I LOVE books set in one day/night. This was the same thing that attracted me to The Statistical Probability and it was my favourite thing about this book. I don't know what it is, I just love them! They can sometimes drag or have parts that seem unnecessary but this was very well done.

I really liked Clare & Aidan's relationship. It seemed very genuine and natural with none of the usual annoying cliches or instalove. The fact that this book dealt with an already serious, long-lasting relationship was interesting and I enjoyed getting glimpses into their past as a couple while they navigated the present. I really felt their connection and enjoyed reading about them.

I thought this book was very unique in that it dealt with a relationship ending rather than beginning. It is most common to read stories of discovering a first love or blossoming romance but much less common to read stories of relationships ending. I thought this was a very interesting twist to the norm and it was done very well.

This book was full of raw emotion. There were times where I related so strongly to what was happening or felt such a strong connection to the characters that I felt as though these things were happening to me. Particularly when the characters were all saying their goodbyes before leaving for college, I felt as though I was saying goodbye myself.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Though some parts were a little predictable, I thought it was very well written and enjoyable. I loved the characters and their story, particularly the one night setting and the relatability of the story.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Mini Review | Sea Of Monsters by Rick Riordan

 photo SeaOfMonsters_zpscxcjeahl.pngSea Of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2
Published By: Puffin
Published On: April 1, 2006
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 265
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan's amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a "half blood" whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan's series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment. In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book's drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.

Wasn't as good as book one.
I enjoyed this instalment in the series but I didn't think it was a good as the first. I can't put my finger on why but it just didn't have me turning the pages as quickly, needing to know more.

Greek mythology is my favourite thing.
I still really loved the Greek mythology aspect of this series. I love Greek mythology, as I have mentioned before, and I think this is a great way to learn more about it in a more fun way. It also adds more excitement to the story.

I still love the characters.
I fell in love with the characters in book one and that did not change in book two. I also really enjoyed the new characters that were introduced, particularly Tyson.

There is never a dull moment.
These books are so action packed. There is never a chapter without some kind of monster or whatever other force Percy and the gang have to defeat. The constant action and adventure make this a very fast-paced read, full of fun and hilarious antics.

Overall, it was a good continuation to the series, but not quite as good as the first book. I'm excited to carry on with the series and see what is in store for Percy and his friends.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Review | Confessions Of A Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

 photo ConfessionsOfAShopaholic_zpshgpwccvq.pngConfessions Of A Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Series: Shopaholic #1
Published By: Black Swan
Published On: March 1, 1999
Genre: Chick Lit
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★

Amazon | Goodreads

Becky Bloomwood has what most twenty-five-year-olds only dream of: a flat in London's trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season's must-haves. The only trouble is, she can't actually afford it --- not any of it. Her job writing at Successful Saving magazine not only bores her to tears, it doesn't pay much at all. Still, how can she resist that perfect pair of shoes? Or the divine silk blouse in the window of that ultra-trendy boutique? But lately Becky's been chased by dismal letters from Visa and the Endwich Bank --- letters with large red sums she can't bear to read --- and they're getting ever harder to ignore. She tries cutting back; she even tries making more money. But none of her efforts succeeds. Her only consolation is to buy herself something ... just a little something ... 
Finally, a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life --- and the lives of those around her --- forever.

This book, and the rest of the series, are so well loved that I was absolutely sure I would love it too. Unfortunately, this was a huge disappointment for me! I really hate to say it but I absolutely hated it, which I can't understand considering the huge popularity of the series. Everyone has different opinions I guess.

The one thing I did like was Sophie Kinsella's writing style. I really enjoyed her humour especially and often throughout the book it was the one thing that made for a more bearable read. I have definitely not been put off reading her other books, just this particular series is not for me.

So why is this series not for me? I HATED the main character. I don't use the word hate lightly but I honestly couldn't stand Becky Bloomwood. I found her to be extremely materialistic, immature are just plain stupid. She made incredibly stupid decisions and spent her time lying to everyone about any little thing. Seriously, half of her problems could have been solved by her telling the truth! It irritated me no end.

My main issue with this book was that huge issues were treated as trivial. Debt is a very serious issue that affects so many people around the world, a lot of whom have had their lives ruined by their circumstances. However, it was made to seem like something that could easily be avoided if you just ignore the problem and keep making excuses to the bank, while continuing to make excessive and unnecessary purchases. There are people who are in debt simply by trying to keep their family fed and a roof over their head and the way this issue was treated like some kind of joke made me quite angry. I think it was meant to be light-hearted and a joke but I, for one, definitely did not find it funny.

To end my review on a positive note, some of the side characters were good. There were those few side characters who spoke a lot of sense and had some funny moments which kept me going a bit while I tried to get through it.

Overall, this series just definitely is not for me. I will try some of Sophie Kinsella's other work as I enjoyed her writing, but Becky Bloomwood is not someone whose story I wish to read more of.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Bout Of Books | Updates

Bout of Books

Day 1 - May 9th
Forever by Judy Blume - 178 Pages
City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare - 25 Pages
Total Books Read: 1
Running Total: 203 Pages

Day 2 - May 10th
City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare - 139 Pages
The New Girl by Tracie Puckett - 76 Pages
Total Books Read: 2
Running Total: 418 Pages

Day 3 Challenge - 5 Favorites

Day 3 - May 11th
City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare - 136 Pages
Summer Sky by Lisa Swallow - 9 Pages
Total Books Read: 2
Running Total: 563 Pages

Day 4 - May 12th
City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare - 211 Pages
Total Books Read: 3
Running Total: 774 Pages

Day 5 - May 13th
I was so busy I hardly had time to eat never mind read!
Total Books Read: 3
Running Total: 774 Pages

Day 6 - May 14th
Summer Sky by Lisa Swallow - 23 Pages
Total Books Read: 3
Running Total: 797 Pages

Day 7 - May 15th
Summer Sky by Lisa Swallow - 6 Pages
Total Books Read: 3
Total Pages Read: 803 Pages

Sophie :)

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Bout Of Books | Challenge Day 3

Bout of Books

One of my goals for this readathon was to complete at least one challenge, so that's what I'm doing. Today's challenge is '5 Favorites'. I decided I wanted to spread the love for 5 of my all time favourite contemporary novels (/love stories/relationships/books in general). I adore all 5 of these books but I have managed to put them into some kind of order.

1. Where Rainbows End (Love, Rosie) by Cecelia Ahern - Goodreads/Review
2. Isla And The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - Goodreads/Review
3. Ignite by Lily Paradis - Goodreads/Review
4. Where She Went by Gayle Forman - Goodreads
5. How To Fall In Love by Cecelia Ahern - Goodreads/Review

Sophie :)

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Bout Of Books | Goals & TBR

Bout of Books

My Goals:

- Read every day.
- Read over 1000 pages.
- Participate in at least one challenge.

TBR:

(this is very likely to change)
- Forever by Judy Blume
- City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare
- Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
- Summer Sky by Lisa Swallow

Sophie :)

Readathon | Bout Of Books 16

So i'm a little late to the party with this post. I had intended to unofficially participate in the readathon as I usually find that's a bit less pressure, but instead I decided to go ahead and make it official. Why not join in the fun properly right? So Bout Of Books...

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I'll be sharing my TBR and progress so far very soon.

Sophie :)

Monday, 9 May 2016

Review | The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Image and video hosting by TinyPicThe DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Published On: September 7, 2010
Published By: Hodder
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 342
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face. 
But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him. 
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

I had heard such mixed things about this book that I was very wary going into it, I didn't have high hopes. However, I enjoyed this way more than I was expecting to! A lot of the time it pays not to go into a book expecting great things and this was definitely the case for this. I spent much of the time I was reading this wondering what people found to dislike, but obviously everyone has different tastes.

Before I get into raving about it, I should quickly mention the one thing that stopped me giving this 5 stars - I struggled to get into it. Now I don't know if it was just due to me being a bit slumpy or whether the beginning of the book was just a bit slow but if that is my main fault with it, I think that's pretty good going.

The characters were a major strong point for this book. Bianca would be such an easy character to hate, if she wasn't so damn relatable. I couldn't help but love her! Her attitude and perception of the world, and life, I completely related to and I could definitely see a lot of myself in her. I loved her sarcasm and cynicism. She made the book even more enjoyable and even had me laughing out loud at times.

I also freaking loved Wes. If there's one thing I can't resist, it's a bad boy. He was definitely that boy that you should totally hate but he always knows the right thing to say or do to make you fall in love with him. And that's exactly what I did. I absolutely loved him as a character, even when he was being absolutely horrible and I knew that I should hate him for what he was doing.

I know a lot of people had a bit of an issue with the relationship, and that is the reason for a lot of negative review, but I thought it was great. I thought it was a very real teenage relationship, for once. There was no instalove. There was no 'light and fluffy' perfect beginning to a relationship, the kind you dream about. This was meaningless sex that escalated. I thought this was a far more honest and true representation of teenage relationships these days. Relationships don't always start with some perfect chance meeting and you fall in love the second you look into each others eyes - often it is something far from perfect, a situation like Wes and Bianca's.

The thing I loved most about this book, somewhat relating to my previous point, is the way teenagers are treated like actual teenagers. This is one of the few times in YA contemporary novels where I feel like teenagers are written as genuine teenagers. Teenagers have sex, drink alcohol and do other things they probably shouldn't be doing and those teenagers are not just those represented as the 'bad influences' in most YA contemporary novels. I loved the fact that Kody Keplinger didn't treat casual, supposedly meaningless, sex, in particular, as something restricted to the bad influences but instead as something a lot of people these characters' age are doing.

While Bianca's relationship with Wes and her friends are the main aspect of the story, the underlying family aspect of the story added a lot of depth. There are some very serious issues dealt with throughout this story which are not necessarily at the forefront of the story but were still incredibly important. These family issues helped to explain Bianca's character and her attitude, while also carrying an important message and adding another layer to the story.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable, funny read, with a great underlying message. Both the story and the characters had me laughing out loud. I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good rom-com, as this read a bit like a movie to me (lets not talk about the actual movie).

Thursday, 5 May 2016

TBR | May 2016

I haven't given myself a set TBR in a few months now because of being in such a slumpy mood. I usually give myself 5 books and out of the 5 I chose back in February, I managed a grand total of 1. However, now that I am getting back on track I decided to try again.

 photo Apr01_zpssl2zqvca.jpg

This was a totally random choice. I picked a spot on my bookshelf without looking and this was what I found. I only just hauled this and mentioned that I know very little about it. I know it is a very popular coming-of-age story and one several people have told me is a must-read, especially for teens. I may have missed out on it back then but I can give it a go now. It's pretty short so I should hopefully get through it fairly quickly.

This is a series of novellas and bonus features from the original Selection trilogy by Kiera Cass. With the fifth and final book in the series, The Crown, being released this month, I thought I would pick this up to get myself back into the world. I have read 3/4 of the novellas before but it will be good read them again and remind myself why I loved the original trilogy so much.

I have been planning to read this for so long now but I keep putting it off. Honestly, I am a bit scared to start this series because of how well loved and popular it is. I am really hoping to get over that this month and make a start on the series finally. I even pulled this book out my TBR jar so it must be meant to happen soon.

Cecelia Ahern is the author of my favourite book so of course I'm dying to read her first foray into YA. I know very little about this book other than it is dystopian and I think it is to do with society's obsession of perfection. I am really looking forward to seeing what she can do in this genre.

I have been reading a few NA books recently and really enjoying them so I thought this was the perfect time to pick up another. This one follows a girl who has just left her cheating boyfriend and a boy who has just left his rock star life behind as both escape to a small English seaside town. Hopefully this will be as much of a success as the last few NA books I have read.

What do you plan to read in the month of May?

Sophie :)

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Wrap Up | April 2016

April has been a blur! How can a month go so fast? I have had a super busy month, involving a lot of concerts (6 to be exact) and a little holiday, but I also finally managed to read more. I think I may finally be out of my reading slump and while I didn't read a huge amount I am definitely getting back on track.

My Life In April...
- I started the month with my last date of the Collabro tour which involved a trip to Grimsby.
- Staying a bit nearer home I then went to see Little Mix, supported by my fave Nathan Sykes.
- Having been rejected from the last uni to respond, I accepted my offer for my first choice university.
- My mum started her chemotherapy treatment, which has been a bit of a rollercoaster.
- I got the chance to meet one of my favourite boybands, Hometown, at a meet-up.
- I then went to see then support my other faves, The Vamps, with one of my best friends.
- The very next day I was lucky enough to meet Hometown again while having lunch in a hotel.
- That same evening I got to meet The Vamps as I had M&G tickets for a second show.
- I then travelled to Manchester with my cousin and met Hometown again at a meet-up there.
- And the main reason for travelling to Manchester, we got the chance to see The Vamps again on their final night of tour.
- Back closer to home again I went to see the amazing 5SOS.
- I ended the month with a little family trip away for the week.

Watched In April...
- Teen Mom OG Season 2 - 3/5
- Pretty Little Liars Season 6B - 4/5
- Grease 3/5

Read In April...

 photo Apr01_zps5aleatqp.jpg

Sea Of Monsters by Rick Riordan -
I read the first book in the Percy Jackson series back in December 2014 so it really was about time I continued on with the series. I really enjoyed the first book and while I did also enjoy the second, I didn't think it was as good. There's never a dull moment in these books and the characters are great. I also really love the Greek mythology aspect. This was a really fun, quick read, just not quite as good as the first in the series. 3/5

Hello, Goodbye And Everything In Between by Jennifer E Smith -
This book follows a couple, Clare and Aidan, on the night before they are separated for college, during which they must decide whether or not to stay together. I loved my first Jennifer E Smith read, but wasn't a huge fan of my second so I wasn't sure what to expect from this. I love books set in one day/night, so that was a huge bonus for this book. I related to this story and to the characters, I really felt for them in this decision and, despite having seen negative comments in various reviews, I completely understand why this was such a big decision that needed to be made. I did have a few issues with this book but overall, I enjoyed it. 3.75/5

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn -
This was a short story written initially for George RR Martin's Rogues anthology, but released alone in 2015. This was very strange, as expected from Gillian Flynn, but upon finishing it felt a little like I had wasted the half hour I spend reading it. The story is extremely odd and the twists are unexpected but I was really a bit bored reading it. Also, I hate open endings to that was a disappointment. 2/5

UnStrung by Neal Shusterman -
This novella is #1.5 in the UnWind series and follows Lev during the time he was separated from the others. Though it had been some time since I read the first book, I did manage to keep up with what was going on (thanks Recaptains for helping me out there). I found this novella quite interesting as it introduced a whole new culture into the UnWind world and, despite the limited number of pages, this was done very well. Neal Shusterman managed to fit a lot into this novella and somehow just 60 pages managed to tug at my heart strings. This isn't a necessary read, I don't think, but I would definitely recommend it if you enjoy the series. 3/5

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins -
This has been raved about since way before it was even published last year and has already been turned into a movie, to be released later this year. With all this hype I was quite scared to pick this up but I was so intrigued that I finally gave in. This took me a little while to get into, but once it got into the action I could not put it down. I loved the mystery and how unreliable our main character was, you didn't know what to believe. I really enjoyed this book, there is no question as to why there is so much hype, it is definitely well deserved. 4/5

Blogged In April...
- I wrapped up February & March.
- I hauled the books I accumulated during February & March.

What did you get up to in the month of April? Did you read any great books?

Sophie :)

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Haul | April 2016

After these past few months I am most definitely needing to go on another book buying ban! Despite being so good during lent, in which I gave up buying books, I have been overindulging just a little recently. That really needs to stop though, I at least need to be staying in single figures next month!

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Hello, Goodbye And Everything In Between by Jennifer E Smith - I've had a hit and a somewhat miss from Jennifer E Smith so I had to give her another go. Spoiler alert: this fell in the first category.

Far From You by Tess Sharpe - A mystery that everyone seems to rave about, sign me up!

Made For You by Melissa Marr - Again, a mystery that everyone raves about. I was obviously in this mood during that shopping trip.

How To Be Bad by Lockhart, Myracle and Mlynowski - This sounds like a fun summer read. It was on my list to check out so when I saw it I picked it up.

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle - Totally on a whim purchase. I had heard some buzz around it and the synopsis intrigued me when I read the back.

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What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick - It was buy one, get one half price so I had to do it. Contemporaries seem to be my thing at the moment.

When We Collided by Emery Lord - I really enjoyed Open Road Summer so it seems only right to collect all of Emery Lord's other books.

The Art Of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson - I read a review of this and it just sounded like such an important message, I had to pick it up.

Sleepless In Manhattan by Sarah Morgan - If it has anything related to New York in the title, it is highly likely I'll pick it up.

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This month I discovered Read It Swap It, a website through which you swap books with other readers. I have completed three swaps through the site already, I think it's great. Here's what I've got so far.

Forever by Judy Blume - This seems to be pretty popular so I was intrigued, even though I know nothing about it.

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall - I haven't heard the greatest things about this but it sounds like such an interesting premise.

A Nurse And Mother by Evelyn Prentice - I'm off to study nursing in September so these types of books really interest me.

Yeah, I definitely need to cut back on the book buying again! What have you bought recently?

Sophie :)