Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Top Five Wednesday | Most Unlikeable Characters

Here it is, another top five wednesday but this week I'm going to talk about the top five characters that I hate even though they were not designed that way. These are not antagonists or anti heroes. Instead they are either the protagonist or a side character in a particular novel that I hated for some reason.

Cho Chang from Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling
For some reason I have always hated Cho Chang. Maybe because she got in the way of Hinny but for me she was just so horrible. She is such a gold digger. She was only interested in Cedric because he was the Hogwarts Champion and then went for Harry because he could protect her. She was made to seem weak when really I felt that she was bale to manipulate anything to go her way. She just .... I don't know how to describe it really. But I feel as though I'm the only person who dislikes her in the world since people feel sorry for her.
Not me though. I just felt that she was a needy little girl who wanted to be the centre of attention all the time. I mean she doesn't even really apologise for revealing the information about Dumbledore's Army when everyone else was able to resist it.
In my opinion, she was just a selfish little girl who would do anything to get her way ... and I mean anything!

Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments, by Cassandra Clare
I can't explain why but I never clicked with Clary. I didn't feel sorry for her and I just felt that if she looked at the situation before making rash decisions half the things in the books wouldn't have happened. I mean, I haven't finished the series or anything because it's really not my cup of tea, but I just couldn't stand her as a protagonist at all.

Wolf from The Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer 
Slightly controversial, I know, but this has always been a feeling of mine. There has always been something about Wolf that I didn't like. I don't know why but I just don't love him like the rest of the characters. Maybe because of how we were introduced to him as a character. He just seemed too bigheaded for me and even in Stars Above at the wedding I was just sat there thinking, there's something off about you. I can't explain it, but to me Wolf has always been a character I can't stand!

Newt from The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
Shots have definitely been fired! I'm sorry but for some reason I didn't ever click with Newt. Everyone in the world seemed to love him but I just didn't like him. I always felt like there was something in the background, that he was suddenly going to be the evil one in the group. Maybe that was an original plot line or something, but when I first started to read this series I just sort of sat there and thought 'I don't like you.'
Please don't kill me!

Dorien from Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas
Now before you all scream at me, let me explain. This was my feeling before the end of Heir of Fire. Now I just feel sorry. If you've read the books you will understand. But up until that point I just didn't like his character. I felt like he was such a spoilt brat and that he had to get his way the whole time. I couldn't stand him. Hate is probably too strong a word for how I felt about him, but I just didn't like him.
Looking back I can see that it was difficult for him but that doesn't mean that I actually liked him. I certainly didn't like him with Celaena. I didn't like Celaena with Chaol either but that's another story.

In fact, I think it was these two gentlemen when they were infatuated with Celaena that made me not like them. Their relationship felt forced and that annoyed me ... so maybe that's why I didn't really like Dorien initially. Now I feel sorry for him (but he still isn't one of my favourite characters ever!)

And that's me done, what characters do you hate even though they are supposed to be completely loveable characters? Feel free to let me know!

Book Total of 2016 - 61

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Top Five Wednesday | Most Recent Additions to Your Wishlist

Here I am back with another Top Five Wednesday and this week I'm going to talk about the five books that I really want to get my hands on; the ones I recently added to my wishlist. I'm doing the Read Five Before You Buy challenge to help me attempt to cut down my never ending tbr pile (and to help me save money, I'm a student after all) but that doesn't mean that there aren't so many books that I want to own. Most of the books that I'm so excited about are ones that aren't due to be released for a bit. So I thought I'd share those with you in no particular order.
  • The Cursed Child, by J.K. Rowling. 
This is a play that is currently performing in two parts on the West End and talks place after the events of Harry Potter. I'm guessing about twenty years after, don't quote me on that please. I've purposefully ignored everything about this just so that I know find out what it is about for myself when I get chance to read it because I can't afford to actually go and see it because ... it's expensive and i'm a student. I feel like I'm repeating myself.
This comes out at the end of the month, on Mrs Rowling's and Harry's birthday and hopefully I will be able to get my hands on it as soon as possible.
  • Heartless, by Marissa Meyer. 
I believe that this is a standalone novel that is based around the backstory of the Red Queen from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Marissa Meyer is probably one of my favourite authors so I cannot wait for November to come along and I can get my hands on this beautiful piece of work!
  • Gemina, by Amie Kaufman and Andrew Kristoff
My top read of last year was Illuminae which is a space opera of sorts that was written in a completely unique way, taken from email extracts and cctv recordings and I fell in love with the characters and the events. It was breathtaking. Especially since it distracted me from a lot of waiting in hospitals for different X-rays at that moment in time. Since then I've been waiting for Gemina so it is obviously going to be at the top of my waiting list. I'm just praying that I'm not overhyping it in my mind because then I might not enjoy it.
  • Empire of Storms, by Sarah J. Maas
Earlier this year I all but marathoned the Throne of Glass Series. Yes, I am ashamed that i've only just started reading this series but oh my god how I've loved it. And since I finished Queen of Shadows I just needed to get my hands on the next book and it looks so pretty! Ahh! Why is the release date so far away?
  • Tales of the Peculiar, by Ransom Riggs 
Another series that I was really late coming to read was Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Trilogy which I finished back in February and I adored it. Even though I'm annoyed that I got the hardback of Library of Souls, the final book, because they said that the paperback wouldn't be in the UK for a couple of months. They lied it was out like the next week. But hey, enough about that. The Tales of the Peculiar is a novel, I think, that contains the different stories in The Tales of the Peculiar which are mentioned in the trilogy so I'm dying to get my hands on this beautiful book which won't be out for a few months! Now that is a really reader problem!

What about you? What book are at the top of your wishlist?

Book Total of 2016 - 56

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Top Ten Books I Want To Read This Summer

My long summer has been underway for about two weeks now and that means one thing, reading. So I thought that I would share with you the top ten books that I want to get to this summer. This isn't a tbr because I can never ever stick to them but just a few books that are on my shelf that, so long as I don't get stuck in a reading slump, I want to read. Let's get started in no particular order.

Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
This follows Katsa who has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight - she's a Gravelling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. Even though she is the King's niece she is forced to work as a thug.

I picked this up when I was in a reading slump a few months ago but I was in a slump so I couldn't read it. But so many people love it and I really want to read it. Hence why it's on this list.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
This gigantic books is set in 1806, with the Napoleonic War as a backdrop, and most people believe that England is all but dead. That is until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers. Jonathan Strange, a practicing magician, becomes Norrell's student and they join forces in the war against France. But Strange is ever drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic, straining his partnership with Norrell, and putting at risk everything else he holds dear.

This is an enormous book that I've been putting off for some time just because of the immense size. It sounds really interesting and people who've read it always say that it is brilliant. But it is huge!

A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin 
Summers soon decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

Really I just want read the whole series, well the books that are out at the moment anyway. But I think that the first book is probably the best to get started. I have read a few of the books yet rereading them all with give me a broader insight on the world once more. I do adore the tv show anyway but I just want to see the tiny details that Martin is so famous for.

It, by Stephen King 
To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, it was just their home town: familiar, well ordered for the most part. A good place to live. But it was the children that saw and felt how horribly different Derry can be. In the drains, IT lurks and will take on the the shape of your deepest darkest fear.

I've wanted to read this for so long but every time I pick it up and my mind goes in a sort of fear; at both the immense size and the content. But I want to read it so that's not going to stop me!

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne 
My desire to read more classics this year is continued with Captain Nemo and the Nautilus. But Nemo is out for revenge and no one will get in his way.
This is something that I've wanted to read for so long and this time I'm actually going to read it.

Flowers in the Attic, by V. C. Andrews 
This thriller tells four children who are hidden away from the world in their grandmother's attic whilst their mother is away. But they soon realise that they may never be allowed out again.

I found this and immediately made it a part of my collection but this blurb has been stuck in my head for so long that I want to read it before this summer ends! It just sounds amazing.

The Shining Girls, by Lauren Beukes
Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future. Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbled on a House in the era of Depression Chicago that opens on to other times. Harper is the ultimate hunter, vanishing into another time after each murder, untraceable. That is until his last victim survives and Kirby must bring her would be killer to justice.

This was a book that I bought for about three pounds in hardback at the works, bargain, and I liked the sound of it. But it's just sat there on my shelf for ages until now. I am going to pick it up this summer!

Inferno, by Dan Brown
In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centred around one of history's most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces ... Dante's Inferno.

It's been over a year since I read a Dan Brown book and, though they are hard to get into, I always find them extremely gripping and they do turn my head a bit. So, since they are fairly long, I know that a long summer holiday will be the best time to read one of these books.

A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas
Eyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court - but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human and she can't forget what she had to do to survive. Not to mention the bargain she had made with the High Lord of the Night Court which she will be taken to so that she can spend part of the year with him.

I attempted to pick up a few months ago but I couldn't concentrate because of how much work I had to do. But now that I basically have nothing to do then I know that I'll definitely be able to read it at last!

Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Not its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee; Alina Starkov.

When I picked this up originally I was entering a reading slump so I couldn't get into it at all. But so many people rave about this trilogy that I need to give it a go!

So there are the books that I want to read this summer. What about you? Anything fairly major that you feel like reading during the summer holidays this year?

Book Total of 2016 - 54

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Bye Bye Books | Book Unhaul

The other day I was looking up at my shelves and I realised something. There are so many books on my shelves that I either picked up and hated or I know i'll never actually read it. Some of the books were given to me by relatives or I picked up a few years ago in 'fill a bag for a pound' sale at either my school's or local library. A couple I actually own copies of and I just don't see the point in having too copies because I'm not that found of them. So I've been going through my books and I've decided to do an unhaul. Now these are my own opinions so I'm sorry if your favourite book is in this list but we are all entitled to our own opinions, right.

Right then, this list is made up of books and it really has shortened my tbr. Not by a lot but it does help a little bit. Shall we begin?
  • The House of Spirits, by Isabel Allende 
  • Ten Days to Zero, by Richard Ashley 
  • The Princess Plot, by Richard Bole 
  • The Greatest Knight, by Elizabeth Chadwick 
  • The Sixth Wife, by Suzannah Dunn 
  • Jane Boleyn, by Julia Fox
  • When Christ and his Saints Slept, by Sharon Penman 
  • The Ruby in the Smoke, by Phillip Pullman
  • Secrets of the Tudor Court, by Darcy Bonnette
  • Death Force, by Matt Lynn 
  • The Healer's Keep, by Victoria Hanley
  • The Lady and the Unicorn, by Tracy Chevalier 
  • Burning Bright, by Tracy Chevalier 
  • No Going Back, by Matt Hilton 
  • The Pleasure's of Men, by Kate Williams 
  • Dear Silvia, by Dawn French 
  • The Husband's Secret, by Liane Moriarty 
  • The Secret Countess, by Eva Ibbotson 
  • The Light of the Oracle, by Victoria Hanley
  • Night World, by L.J. Smith 
  • John Thomas and Jane, by D. H. Lawrence 
  • The Maze Runner, by James Dashner 
  • The Plumed Serpant, by D. H. Lawrence 
  • "Who Could That Be At This Hour?" - All The Wrong Questions, by Lemony Snicket
  • Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibson 
  • Heretic, by Bernard Cornwell
  • Devil's Own Daughter, by Meg Hutchinson 
  • The Horse Whisperer, by Nicholas Evans 
  • The Code of Romulus, by Caroline Lawrence 
  • Op-Centre: Divide and Conquer, by Tom Clancy 
  • Bread and Chocolate, by Phillipa Gregory 
  • Triptych, by Harin Slaughter 
  • Elegy For A Lost Star, by Elizabeth Haydon 
  • Payback, by James Barrington 
  • Spellbinder, by Mark Shirrefs and John Thomson 
  • Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
  • The Murder Bag, by Tony Parson 
  • Eclipse, by Stephenie Meyer
  • The Secrets of Vesuvius, by Caroline Lawrence 
  • Hex Hall, by Rachel Hawkins
  • Spy Girl: Once Upon A Time, by Carol Hedges 
  • The Queen's Fool, by Philippa Gregory 
  • The Boleyn Inheritance, by Philippa Gregory
  • Arbella: England's Lost Queen, by Sarah Gristwood
Time to say goodbye to 44 books. Rather sad but at least someone else will enjoy them when I know that I won't. 

Book Total of 2016 - 52

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Top Five Wednesday | Favourite Books Outside Your Comfort Zone


My second week of Top Five Wednesday and this week I'm going to talk about the five books that I loved that are taken from genres I don't usually read. Because of these books I've actually started to pick up more from their genres. Usually I go for either fantasy or science fiction but I like to change things up slightly at times.

Now, let's get started.

All I Know Now, by Carrie Hope Fletcher 
I hardly ever read non-fiction unless its to do with school but I picked this up because it's Carrie and I've loved her Youtube videos for as long as I can remember. This is a self help guide, once again something that I would never read, but I loved it. I really really did. It was just like having her talk to me. It was rather perfect.

Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
Contemporary books are something that I rarely read. Sure I'll pick them up occasionally but I've never really loved them. But Fangirl really sounded like something I could enjoy and relate to, even though I'm not at uni yet and I don't have a twin sister. It opened this whole new genre up to me and I know now that I want to read more of.

Passenger, by Alexandra Bracken
Even though I adore science fiction and fantasy, one genre ... well sub genre ... that I never seem to read is time travel. I know that there are quiet a few genres out there that fit into this genre but it's something that I never read. In fact, I can't actually remember reading a time travel book before reading Passenger. It was so different to anything else that I know I'll probably pick up more. Not all the time but occasionally.

Wolf by Wolf, by Ryan Graudin 
A couple of years ago I used to adore historical fiction, I'm a bit of a history geek so it was always something that i'd read but I hardly ever read it now. Especially not alternate universe historical novels. My knowledge of what happens usually causes me to hate it in some way and I just sit there thinking "why?"
But Wolf by Wolf drew me in immediately and I devoured it in a matter of days. It was beautiful and even though it is outside of my comfort zone, I know that it is something that I will think about for years.

Me Before You, by Jojo Moyles
I am not someone who enjoys reading a sob story. Chick lit has never been my thing. I'd rather read some space opera than sit sobbing in the corner about some doomed relationship, because that is how these books will usually go. I picked this up because of the film trailer and I thought it might be a quick read. Who would have known how many tears I shed over this. I'm not a crier so I don't know how that happened. Reading this, really took me out of my comfort zone .... in a good way.

So there we go, my top five books that took me out of my comfort zone. What books took you out of your comfort zone yet you loved them?

Book Total of 2016 - 51

Monday, 4 July 2016


I'm currently in the middle of writing my March to June Book haul because I haven't written one in forever! And I've just realised how much money I am spending on books when really I should be saving up considering that in a little over a month I move to London and will be completely independent so .... yeah .... I think I need to  go on a book buying ban.

Now I know that I'm not going to be able to stop buying books. The only time I was able to do that was from November till about February but I did buy a few in that time because it was christmas and I needed to save up for going to New York and Iceland but whilst I was away I did buy some books. But that was part of the money that I'd saved up so it was allowed .... yeah, it was. But since then I have been so stressed that I keep buying a load of books and yes, it makes me so happy to see all these beautiful books sitting on my shelves but I can't afford it so time to go on a book buying ban.

Yet I recently came across a new challenge called the Read Five Before You Buy. Basically, if you haven't heard of it, you read five books and then you can go and buy a new book. I think that this is something that will really motivate me to continue reading so that I know at some point I'll be able to buy a book! There are so many books coming out soon in the next few months that I will be buy no matter what, even if I am in a book buying ban, so by having this then I'll be able to save up some credit so that I can buy them and just not buy books for no real reason.

Now I'm not going to class any review copies that I've requested as buying books because I like doing this stuff for authors because it really can be so helpful for them to get honest opinions. But I won't buy anything! Deal? Deal!

Since I've just hit my original reading goal for the year I'm going to start this Read Five Before You Buy challenge starting from fifty and I think I'll save up the books that I've read for when I want a book really badly. That seems fair, right! Hopefully I'll be able to stick to this!

Please tell me that i'm not the only one who needs to go on a book buying ban. Let me know if you are!

Book Total of 2016 - 51

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Reading Wrap Up | June 2016

So, June has come and gone and that means that it's another month closer to me going off to Drama School!!!!!!!!! AHHH!!!! Excuse me whilst I silently die in the corner from excitement. This month I was able to get a surprising amount of reading done. No, I didn't complete my reading challenge for the year like I thought I would but that's fine by me. I'll do it next month.

This month I was able to read eight books and considering that I was revising and taking exams for the most of the month, I'm impressed with that. There was a mixture of good and bad books this month, I quite liked a few but others I was slightly put off by or they just weren't my cup of tea. So shall we get started?

The Darkest Part of the Forest, by Holly Black
Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries' seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once. 

At the centre of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking. 
Until one day, he does .... 

As the world turns upside down, Haze; tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?
This book was different, completely unlike anything I've read revolving around Fae. It was set in the modern day but still had a hint of the old through the creative writing of Holly Black. The characters were believable and I fell in love. It was beautiful hence why I gave it *****

The Walking Dead, Volume One: Days Gone Bye, by Robert Kirkman 
The world we knew is gone. 
An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept through the world causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. 
In a matter of months society has crumbled. There is no more Government, television or sense of security. 
In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to truly start living. 

For me, this was a reread. Something short that allowed me to take a quick break from the endless amount of revision. It passed the time and fully immersed me into the world of The Walking Dead. Hence why I gave it ****

The Rest of Us Just Live Here, by Patrick Ness
What if you aren't one of the chosen ones? The ones who fight the zombies, or soul eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? 
What if you're like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and finally have enough courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again. 

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this weeks end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your life. 

I loved the fact that Patrick Ness was able to poke fun at the idea of the "chosen one" but it still had the usual flare of his writing. It was so good. Yes, the writing was  fairly simplistic in comparison to some of his works but it was lovely. Hence why I gave it ****

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, by Holly Black
Tana lives in a world where walled cities known as coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. And once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave. 

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her ex boyfriend who has now been infected and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana faces a race against the clock to save the three of them in the only way she knows; by going straight to wicked heart of Coldtown itself. 

There was something about this that sent thrills going down my spine. Holly Black's writing created this gripping world with a twist that I did not see coming. And then ending, it was left in such an open way in which I could interpret it however I wished. Truly it was a breathtaking piece of work that deserved *****

Queen of Hearts, by Colleen Oakes
As the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah's days are filled with an endless repetition of teas, tarts and humiliation at the hands of her cruel father, the King of Hearts. The one highlight coming from the future Knave of Hearts, Wardley, her childhood friend - and love of her life. 

Yet mere weeks before her coronation, Dinah's world is turned on its head and she is forced to unravel the tangled web of madness that is held before her before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe. 

I have to admit, this took a while to get into. But once I was past the first thirty pages or so, I found that I couldn't put it down. Really, I didn't expect to enjoy an Alice in Wonderland retelling as much as I did and that is why I gave it ****

The Walking Dead, Volume Two: Miles Behind Us, by Robert Kirkman 
An epidemic has spread rapidly across the world, causing the dead to rise and feed from the living. And Rick Grimes is discovering how difficult it is to keep those he loves safe from people he once new. Characters live and die as they brave a treacherous landscape filled with new villains. 

Another reread to pass the time when I felt like I was about to head into a reading slump. Surprisingly I didn't love this as much as I did the first time round. I don't know why, but I just didn't click with it Sure it was the same as before and expanded up the Walking Dead universe but it just didn't feel the same. Hence why I gave it ***

Rats, by James Herbert
It was only when the first bones were discovered, flesh picked clean, that people began to fear for their lives. For millions of years, rats and man have been enemies but it seems that now the scale has finally been tipped. 

This isn't something that I would immediately pick up but I wanted a change and I was surprised at how easily I found it to finish. The chapters were short and it wasn't too scary, just the right amount of suspense that kept me on the edge of my seat. And that's why I gave it ****

Kat in Zombieland, by Gena Showalter. 
A short story in the Alice in Zombieland series based around the character Kat and her time as a witness. 

I quite liked the first three books in the Alice in Zombieland series, it was interesting. Not a retelling like it claimed to be but still, interesting. I hatted this short though. Kat just isn't the sort of character that I could like, her personality was too in your face and the writing was just poor. And it didn't really add anything to the plot line either. Maybe it would fit in with the final book in the series but it was dull really and I wouldn't recommend it. Hence why I gave it **

What was your favourite thing you read in June? 

Book Total of 2016 - 48