September + October Wrap-Up Post

34076952I didn’t read that many books in September so I decided to just combine my wrap up with October’s. I only read four books in September 😦 but finished nine in October thanks to a lovely invention called audiobooks. I also reached the 50 book mark, which makes me more confident about reaching my goal of 75 books by the end of the year. Recent faves:

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo – This anthology of six fairytale-like illustrated stories set in the Grishaverse is absolutely stunning! I’ve only read Shadow and Bone and I didn’t feel like you needed to read every Grisha book to understand this one. My favourite story was Little Knife, mainly because the ending truly wowed me. The illustrations were gorgeous and really made the book. This is also a short read, so it’s a great book to add to your reading challenge.

Ghost by Jason Reynolds – This is the first MG book in the author’s Track series and OH MY GOD it was amazing! I listened to the audiobook, read by Guy Lockard, and both the writing and the narrator were incredible. I don’t think I have ever read a book that actually made me want to run (something I hated in public and high school). I never wanted this book to end, it was so good. I can’t wait to finish Patina, the next book in the Track series and to read Sunny, the 3rd book in the series.

September Books Read:

Vampire Knight Vol. 18-19 by Hino Matsuri

Inuyasha Vol. 16-17 by Takahashi Rumiko

October Books Read:

Defy by Sara B. Larson

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

Enna Burning by Shannon Hale

The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

ICYMI:

Top 5 September Releases

Back to School: 6 Books to Add to Your TBR

Recent Cover Reveals in YA Sci-fi

Top 5 October Releases

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Book Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

34076952The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

Leigh Bardugo & Sara Kipin (illustrator) 

4.42/5 stars

Release Date: September 26, 2017

Publisher:  Macmillan/Imprint

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Chapters/Indigo.ca | B&N | Kobo

Synopsis on Goodreads:

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

Review:

THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS by Leigh Bardugo is a gorgeous anthology of six fairytale-like illustrated stories set in the Grishaverse. Whether you’ve read every Bardugo book or the Grishaverse is entirely new to you, there will be a story to enchant and frighten you. The illustrations were stunning and truly made the stories.

The format of the book: the writing would be in the usual place, taking up most of the page with illustrations surrounding it.

I loved that as you turned the page, the illustration would be added to, as if you’ve been given another clue as to how the story will end. The more you read, the more hints you’re given. The pages that followed the end of the story would be a completely illustrated two-page spread. It just added so much to the anthology.

The only reason I didn’t give this book 5 stars was because sometimes I get annoyed with that common fairytale narrative “a couple had a daughter but she was boring/ugly/useless so they treated her more like a servant but the daughter became used to it so oh well” or “she was so beautiful everyone wanted to marry her but also very kind”. I know they’re central aspects of a fairytale but they still annoy me.

Here are my individual ratings and thoughts on each short story:

Ayama and the Thorn Wood – 4/5 stars – I liked this one and it was definitely the right story to start the anthology. Bardugo explains in the author’s note where her inspiration for this story came from, but I saw different fairytales and myths in this one.

The Too-Clever Fox – 5/5 stars – This is probably my third-favourite story in the collection. I loved Koja, the “too-clever fox” and I didn’t guess the plot twist until it was too late.

The Witch of Duva – 3.5/5 stars – I’ve read this one before so it didn’t entertain me as much as the first time but I still didn’t guess the ending until halfway through.

Little Knife – 5/5 stars – I absolutely loved this one! This is probably my favourite out of all of them, simply because the ending truly wowed me. I didn’t see it coming and now I’m imagining so many possibilities, of what happened after the ending. Just superb!

The Soldier Prince – 4/5 stars – I liked the last half more than the first. I really loved the way it ended. This one was set in Kerch and when I read Six of Crows (hopefully soon) I’ll be looking for hints of this story in the SoC duology.

When Water Sang Fire – 5/5 stars – This one would’ve been my favourite because mermaids! if the ending of Little Knife hadn’t wowed me so much. This story deserves a gold star or something for drawing the most emotion out of me. I felt joy, sadness, anger and a need for revenge!! The ending had closure and I can pretty much guess what a sequel would entail but I still need one.

SPOILERS BELOW

That being said, the more I think about the ending, the more angry I am. I would’ve taken a happy ending over a character who’s fate is basically to become an anti-hero or villain. I actually thought Ulla and Signy would end up throwing the prince away and rule together as queens. I don’t know, that’s what I got from the way they interacted with each other.

SPOILERS END

I would still 100% recommend this book.

25 Books I Must Read Before 2018

mustread2018

If you’re like me you probably have a ton of books on your TBR (almost 1000!). When you add up all the amazing recent releases + the ones coming out later this year and even the backlist titles, it’s way more than you can read in a year. I’ve decided to make a list of 25 books I really, really want to read before 2018. Top priority. It was super hard getting this down to 25, but I want an actual attainable goal here. Most of these are recent releases and backlist titles but there’s a few books that haven’t come out yet – I either have the arc or I’m trying to plan ahead.

I’ve made a shelf on Goodreads and the 50 Book Pledge so you can see my progress. I haven’t decided if, when I cross off a book, I’ll add another one to it or just make a whole new list. I am going to try to read two books on this list before reading one that’s not on it. Click on the titles to add them to your Goodreads TBR shelf.

In no particular order:

  1. The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
  2. I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
  3. Flashfall by Jenny Moyer
  4. Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider
  5. The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie
  6. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  7. Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
  8. The Reader by Traci Chee
  9. Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
  10. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  11. That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim
  12. The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi
  13. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
  14. Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
  15. Island of Exiles by Erica Cameron
  16. 27 Hours by Tristina Wright
  17. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  18. Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard
  19. Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
  20. The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
  21. The Broken Ones by Danielle L. Jensen
  22. Riders by Veronica Rossi
  23. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
  24. Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
  25. The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana

I’d love to know what your priority reads are? Have you read any of these and if so, what did you think?

Goodreads Choice Awards 2016: Final Round

The final round for the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards has begun! If you remember, I posted about my favourite books and authors that made it into the semifinal round here. Some of them made it and others didn’t, so I’m sharing that below. Voting ends November 27, 2016.

Best Historical Fiction:

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien didn’t make it to the final round, I’m a bit sad about that. These four did and I think I’m voting for Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. All sound good though.

Best Fantasy:

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab made it to the final round! I’m so happy about that, I hope you all vote for it. Or if you haven’t read it, add it to your TBR along with the first book A Darker Shade of Magic.

Best Poetry:

princess

 

 

 

 

The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace made it to the final round! I haven’t read it, but have only heard good things.

Best Debut Goodreads Author:

Three of the four books I was rooting for made it! I’m sad The Reader by Traci Chee didn’t make it, but am super glad about the other three. I’ve been really rooting for The Girl from Everywhere, so I hope you vote for that one, or at least add it to your TBR.

Best Young Adult Fiction:

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis didn’t make it this round, but I knew it’d be tough – a lot of great books were selected. I’m also sharing a book I didn’t mention last time: A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. This is a Sherlock Holmes retelling set in present day. The main character, Charlotte is actually the great-great-great-granddaughter of Sherlock. I haven’t had the chance to read it, but it sounds really entertaining.

Best Young Adult Fantasy:

My Lady Jane and Ivory & Bone didn’t make it 😦 This category is basically overrun by super popular or overhyped books. I knew ACOMAF would still be in the running and I’m voting for it this time. It is my favourite book of 2016 – yes, the year isn’t over but I doubt any other book will top it.

Thanks for reading and please vote here! Did any of your favourites make it to the final round?

Goodreads Choice Awards 2016

The semifinal round for the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016 has started and I just wanted to take this moment to write about and highlight some favourites. Obviously you can only vote for one, but I hope you find some new reads. I’m only sharing the categories and books I’m interested in, but make sure you check out all 20 categories and vote here. Voting ends in three days (November 13).

Best Historical Fiction:

I haven’t read any of these but have heard good things so they’re all on my TBR shelf.

Best Fantasy:

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab is one of my favourite novels so I couldn’t not vote for its sequel A Gathering of Shadows. City of Blades and Cursed Child are also on my TBR shelf.

Best Poetry:

princess

 

 

 

I haven’t read The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace but have heard so many good things about it. I’m a huge fan of the author’s book blog.

 

Best Debut Goodreads Author:

I loved Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton and have heard really good things about The Girl from Everywhere, The Reader and The Star Touched Queen! I personally voted for The Girl from Everywhere so I hope you vote for that one too, but the rest are great choices.

Best Young Adult Fiction:

There’s a lot more good books in this category but I couldn’t fit them all, so I’m highlighting the ones I really, really want to read. I voted for The Female of the Species, in case you were wondering hint hint 😉

Best Young Adult Fantasy:

So this category has a lot of good books and a lot of NYT Bestselling, big name authors. I’m really proud of Julie Eshbaugh, her debut Ivory and Bone made it among authors like Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo and Victoria Aveyard. I was talking to Jodi Meadows on twitter, the author of My Lady Jane and The Orphan Queen (really good duology!) and she was really surprised to see My Lady Jane had made it into the semifinals. Even though ACOMAF was technically my favourite book, I decided to vote for My Lady Jane because I knew a lot of people would be voting for SJM.

I’d love to hear what books you voted for or if any of your favourite books made it to this round.

May + June Wrap-Up Post

tumblr_o94xrqi3dh1sefywro1_1280I didn’t have a chance to blog about what I read in May so I’m combining it with June’s wrap-up post. I read a lot in May, but it was all novellas – no full-length novels so I’m a bit bummed about that. That made me determined to read more novels in June, which I did but not a lot. I did finish ACOMAF which is basically three books in one, so that’s got to count for something. 🙂

 

 

May:

The Black Knife by Jodi Meadows

The Witch of Duva by Leigh Bardugo

The Siren by Kiera Cass – unfortunately this one was a DNF

The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster

Vampire Knight Volumes 7-10 by Matsuri Hino

June:

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Queen Song by Victoria Aveyard

I loved ACOMAF! It’s definitely my favourite Maas book to date and one of my favourite reads of 2016. It’s the sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses and I totally recommend it.

How did everyone do with their reading last month? Any good books to recommend?

So I was looking at my Goodreads Currently Reading shelf and noticed I have 10 books on there. 10! I’ve also started a couple other books that I haven’t added onto there, so I am determined to finish a couple of those this month. I’m also planning to finally start some books that have been sitting on my shelf for almost a year. Anyone else have the same problem?

ICYMI:

Movie Review: The Jungle Book (2016)

Review of Rabbit Ears + Interview with Maggie de Vries

April Wrap-Up Post

IMG_0850Hi everyone! I’m a little getting this post out, but this past week has been a little hectic. I started my first week of classes for the summer semester, spent yesterday celebrating my sister’s birthday (yay for cake!) and have been busy trying to catch up on some reading. So in April I read a total of eight books. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to read anything for ARC April 😦 Many of those were novella-length so I feel like I cheated a bit with my reading challenge, but a book is a book.

 

Books Read:

Genius of Jinn by Lori Goldstein

Flames Like Vines by Sara Raasch

A Dawn Most Wicked by Susan Dennard

Roar and Liv, an Under the Never Sky story by Veronica Rossi

Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

The Demon in the Wood by Leigh Bardugo

Vampire Knight Vol. 6 by Matsuri Hino

A Dawn Most Wicked was my favourite April read! This is a prequel novella to Dennard’s Something Strange and Deadly series, so it gives a bit of backstory to Daniel as well as other characters like Joseph and Jie. The writing is gorgeous and I was completely and totally in Daniel’s head (told from Daniel’s POV). If you’re not already a fan of Daniel, this novella is sure to change your mind. I recommend you read this only after reading Something Strange and Deadly, but it isn’t required. You can read my review here.

ICYMI:

Nefarious Tales: Disney Villains & their Backstories

How did everyone do with their April reading goals? Anything to recommend?

Shrinking the TBR Pile

IMG_9118So I have this really bad habit of buying books and never getting to them until maybe months or years later. I realized there’s just three months left of 2015 and with the new year, comes all these amazing 2016 books I’m dying to read! Before that happens, I really want to cut down on my to-be-read pile so I feel a little less guilty about starting those 2016 releases. I’ve decided to challenge myself to a really focused monthly reading challenge. Emphasis on the focused. What sort of challenge will I be adopting for October? I’m only going to be reading books I’ve bought or received* in September.

Here they are:

Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch (eARC)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Firewalker by Josephine Angelini

At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

The Illegal by Lawrence Hill

Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

Anne and Henry by Dawn Ius

Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

Hollywood Witch Hunter by Valerie Tejeda (ebook)

Air Awakens by Elise Kova (ebook)

Fire Falling by Elise Kova (eARC)

The Heartless City by Andrea Berthot (ebook)

*Some of these are review copies I’ve received from the publisher or author so I’m using a loophole to read them this month. Also, you’ll notice in the picture Shadow and Bone and Tonight the Streets Are Ours are library books, but the authors’ are doing a book event mid-October so I want to read them beforehand.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?