Thursday, 16 June 2016

WHAT I'M READING THIS MONTH: JUNE

I don't want to speak too soon, but I think June is going to be a pretty good reading month - I've already read four books! I'm off on holiday towards the end of the month but I'll be posting the books I plan to read then in a seperate post, so I'm hoping to get this lovely lot finished by the 26th.




A Court of Thorns and Roses & A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

I'd been hearing about ACOTAR all over the blogging world for a while, and it'd been sat on my bookshelf for an embarrasing amount of time. With the release of ACOMAF, which I'd bought the day it came out despite not having read the first in the series, I decided to make a start. These are two of the books that I've already read this month and Oh. My. Gosh. I cannot explain how much I loved these books. I whizzed through ACOTAR last Sunday and had finished ACOMAF by the following Thursday and I'm still feeling that book hangover now. My first five star books of 2016 and the best books I have read in a long long time. Keep an eye out for a review. (Please excuse the terrible creases in the spines, I tried SO hard to prevent them. I guess it means I'll just have to buy the hardback...)

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Another book I've already finished this month is November 9 by Colleen Hoover. A YA romance novel, it isn't typically my first choice of book but I'd read a couple of great reviews and saw it was available at my local library so I thought why not?

milk and honey by Rupi Kaur

I bought this after a friend recommended it to me and it has been described as "food for the feminine soul"; a collection of poems by Rupi Kaur about love and survival. Split into four sections, Kaur takes us on a journey through the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara 

Another recommendation from the above friend. I know basically next to nothing about a Little Life, except that it follows the story of four friends who move from a small town to New York. The reviews that I have read sing nothing but praise for this book, calling it "exquisite", "powerful and disturbing" and "nothing short of an utter masterpiece". How could I not want to read it? It's a very intimidating book at over 700 pages of tiny print, but I'm eager to make a start.

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

After how blown away by the ACOTAR series I was, I had to add another series by Sarah J Maas into my life. The Assassin's Blade is a collection of novellas set before the Throne of Glass series begins, which follow Celaena as she embarks on five daring missions. I don't know much about this series at all, except for that apparently it is amazing.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Another book that is raved about everywhere and I'm so excited to start it. From what I've read, The Raven Boys is a young adult fantasy novel that follows Blue and her travels with the Raven Boys from the local privagte school as they try to find a lost King. I do love fantasy stories, and though this sounds a little different than my usual type, if the reviews are anything to go by I'm going to love it!


Have you read any of these books? What are you planning to read in June?

Monday, 13 June 2016

LOST IN A BOOK

It's been a long time since I've posted a tag on amyjanealice, but after seeing Aisling's post I just had to! Reading is one of my favourite things to do and it's had the biggest influence on who I am today so I thought it'd be cool to talk about my reading habits a little.


Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
My bed tends to be my favourite place to read, after propping myself up on a few cushions and getting cosy under a blanket. It's super comfy and is nice and private for when I decide to bawl my eyes out at anything and everything. The only downside is that sometimes I can't resist the temptation to close my eyes for just five minutes and zzzz.... (this could be a sign of a boring book, or the fact that I am ALWAYS tired).

Bookmark or random piece of paper?
I would choose a bookmark over a piece of paper, but I tend to read until the end of a chapter or try and remember the page number. I always track my progress on Goodreads so I can always refer to that if I forget!

Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop at a chapter?
I kind of answered this above - if I can make it to the end of a chapter or if I'm really invested in that part of the story I'll keep going, but I don't mind stopping part way through if need be.

Do you eat or drink whilst reading?
Neither really. I might snack in between bouts of reading and I'll keep a drink handy but I just can't coordinate eating/reading while flicking through my book!

E-reader or real book?
Real book, hands down. I went through a period of only reading e-books, and while it can be more convenient, especially if the physical copy is huge, I just don't find that you get the same experience if you're reading from a screen. Also, who doesn't love a bursting to the seams bookcase?

Music or TV while reading?
I can read with either, but I've recently discovered reading while listening to intstrumental or jazz music. I don't know why it's taken me so long but I love it! The TV can be ok, I feel like silence can be too distracting, but only if I have it on a low volume otherwise I end up reading the same chapter five times.

One book at a time or several at once?
I'm part way through a couple of books at the moment and I hate doing that, but if I'm just not into it I'll move it aside and pick something else up. If I'm invested in the story I can only read one at a time - my heart and head couldn't deal with all the emotions of more than one book at a time!

Reading at home or everywhere?
I read at home/my boyfriend's home the most, but I used to read on public transport quite often. I also take a book to work with me most days so I sometimes read at lunchtime. Home will always be my favourite place to read though.

Reading aloud or silently in your head?
In my head. I don't think reading aloud would be much fun.

Fiction or non-fiction?
I love a bit of both. Fiction is my true reading love, though I do enjoy non fiction every now and again.

Do you read ahead or skip pages?
If I can see that something is about to happen my eyes do have a habit of drifting down the page a little but I have to be firm and say "NO" and keep the suspense built. I hate spoilers!

Break the spine or keep a book like new?
Aaarggh I hate breaking the spine of a book or creasing a page or bending a corner, but sometimes it just cannot be helped. I do my best to keep my books in a good condition, but at the end of the day, a well loved book will look like exactly that.

Do you write in your books? 
No no no. Aside from the fact that I have been known to rip pages out of notebooks if I don't like the way my handwriting looks, I feel like writing in a book would be like violating or destroying it in some way.

Your favourite book?
A couple of days ago I would have said this was a hard question. But now? A Court of Mist and Fury. No doubt. It is honestly one of the best books I have read in a long time. I am getting around to writing a review but right now, I feel like I need to re-read it. It is just incredible.

So there we go, now you know all about my reading habits. Please let me know if you take part in the Lost in a Book tag , I'd love to read your answers!


Saturday, 11 June 2016

WHAT I READ THIS MONTH: MAY



This month I did a pretty good job of sticking to my TBR list, reading four out of the six I had planned (I did at least make a start on the other two)! May started off a little slow but picked up towards the end, and I enjoyed each book I read which was nice.


My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
3/5 stars

The story follows Samantha Reed who sits and watches the Garrett family next door every day. The Garretts couldn't be more different than the Reeds, and after meeting Jase, Samantha is welcomed with a warm embrace into his family although she must hide him from her own. We follow Samantha and Jase as they fall in love for the first time, with each other, until tragedy strikes and Samantha must quickly make a tough decision.

This is a young adult contemporary novel, and while it isn't typically a well loved genre of mine, I quite enjoyed this one. First of all, I liked how mature the main characters were for their age which made the story seem a lot more realistic. Though I did find it quite hard to warm to Samantha at first, as the story went on she became more likeable but I never fully invested in her. The relationship between Samantha and Jase was nicely paced and again, realistic. I particularly liked how Fitzpatrick didn't shy away from the awkward points of a first real relationship which made a refreshing change! My Life Next Door is a quick and easy read - perfect for a Summer holiday!


You. Where do I start with You? Written in the second person, the story is told as if we are in Joe's head, who is eessentially a physcopath. He becomes obsessed with student Beck after she comes into the shop he works in one afternoon and he stops at nothing to know where she is, who she's with and what she is doing at all times. It was a pretty creepy read and quite uncomfortable in some parts - I would definitely describe this as a more mature read due to the nature of some of the scenes. I found that because of the style You is written in, you find yourself glossing over some parts of the books, that if you read in any other book you would be like "WHAT THE HELL!?". You almost find yourself agreeing with Joe's reasoning, which is definitely not ok! You is a brilliant thriller, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, creepiness and all.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn 
4/5 stars

This was my first foray into the world of Gillian Flynn, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Flitting between 1980s and present day America, we follow Libby Day, who hid in a cupboard while her entire family were massacred - her evidence put her brother Ben away for life. Libby is contaced by secret society the Kill Club, a local group obsessed with notorious crimes, and after offering her money in exchange for her help and information, Libby takes a look back into the case.

Written from three perspectives, we hear the story from Patty Day (Ben and Libby's mum), Ben Day and Libby Day. I'm usually not a fan of mulitple POV stories but this was done very well; Ben and Patty's perspectives come solely from the day of the murders while Libby looks back from the present day. Dark Places is, if you didn't guess already, a very dark book. It deals with difficult themes like poverty, satanic cults, alleged sexual abuse, physical abuse and more, Reading from Ben's POV was hard at times, as you could see him spiralling and some of his thoughts were very grim and it did make you wonder: Was he capable of killing his entire family?

I was completely sucked into this story and it kept me thinking and guessing right up until the end and I still didn't manage to figure out what happened completely. It isn't only a mystery, but a pyschological thriller as well I would say as it really does affect you. Dark Places is a twisted, yet bloody brilliant book. Well done Gillian Flynn.

Another horror/thriller story, but with a serious twist. Horrostor is set in an Ikea inspired superstore in America, called Orsk. Things are going terribly wrong overnight: furniture is being destroyed, writing is appearing on the walls and questionable substances are found on sofas. To try and find out who, or what, is causing the carnage, employees stay through the night, with awful consequences. I can't really say much more without ruining the story, but let me tell you that this is one creepy book. Though the horrors do seem very unrealistic, I found myself so gripped to the story and I couldn't guess what would be coming next.

I loved that Horrorstor was set out like a real Ikea catalogue; each chapter started with what looked like a product advertisement and description. Once the action got going, these products got more and more horrific which I found really added to the plot. The references to the stores day to day goings on brought a smile to my face too, as they were basically just talking about Ikea! From the wardrobes, to the layout, to the cafe, it was a really relatable read. I found myself picturing my local Ikea when I visualised the story. I've never read anything like Horrorstor and would definitely recommend it - in fact, my dad is already half way through and loving it!


Have you read any of these books? I'd love to hear your thoughts! I'm already a few books down in my June "to read" pile - I can't wait to tell you what I think so keep an eye out for my June wrap up!