Our First Book Unhaul!

As the new year has rolled around, and we got plenty of new books for Christmas, it was about time to re-evaluate some of the books on our shelves, and which ones were itching to find new homes via our local charity shop. We wanted to go through some of the reasons we decided to get rid of these books, and questions we’ll now ask ourselves when considering whether a book is worth keeping or not! Continue reading “Our First Book Unhaul!”

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Top Series I Can’t Wait To Complete!

head over heelswinter queen of shadows
Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness. Does this even need explanation? The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourite series, and I love any opportunity to read a fairy tale retelling. I can’t wait to see how everyone’s stories end, and hopefully, I’ll have another OTP to add to my list by the final page of this book! (Also, that cover though. The apple looks magnificent.)

Head Over Heels (Geek Girl #5) by Holly Smale

Both Bee and I have always been huge Holly Smale fans from the very beginning. ‘Geek Girl’ spoke to me in a way no other book had. I can’t believe that a few years later, Harriet’s had five different adventures, and is possibly about to have her last? I hope this series goes on forever, literally. ‘Head Over Heels’ is going to be such a treat.

Queen Of Shadows (Throne Of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas

After not being that impressed by ‘Heir of Fire’, I can’t say this book is at the top of the list. BUT, I’m still interested enough in the series to read on. Well, that was before Bee read it and I think it’s fair to say that hate isn’t a strong word when it comes to her review. Maybe I’ll delay reading this one for a bit in that case…

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The Raven King (The Raven Cycle Quartet #4) by Maggie Steifvater

The series finale! Ahhh! I’ve had mixed feelings about this series. I thought it was progressing too slowly and not enough was happening, but really, all the other books were building up to this moment. Gainsey’s fate was sealed from the very first book…I just hope Maggie Steifvater has some tricks up her sleeve so she doesn’t break too many hearts!

The Winner’s Kiss (The Winner’s Trilogy #3) by Marie Rutkowski

This has been one of the most intriguing and successful trilogies I’ve read. I’m not really a huge fan of high fantasy, and this gave me a beautiful taster into the genre. Hopefully, Kestrel will discover her heart in the final book and all will be OK. I think ‘The Winner’s Kiss’ is a very promising title indeed!

Revenge, Ice Cream and Other Things Best Served Cold (Broken Hearts & Revenge #2) by Katie Finn

Bee loves Morgan Matson, not matter what name she’s writing under. Although this series isn’t her favourite of Katie Finn’s books, she’s still going to read the heck out of it. (and let’s be honest, nothing can beat her beloved ‘Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour’!)

Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas23848145
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Published by: Bloomsbury
Pages: 644
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★
Series: Throne of Glass (#1) | Crown of Midnight (#2) | Heir of Fire (#3)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

This book should be subtitled: Caleana Sardothien is dead and gone, so don’t expect anything. Okay, so I’m not this series’ biggest fan – it’s got plenty of those already – and it’s no secret that I didn’t really enjoy Heir of Fire either, however Queen of Shadows takes the biscuit. After all the hype I was reading on GoodReads I found this book to be terribly disappointing.

Continue reading “Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas”

Book Signing: Meeting Sarah J Maas!

On Monday 25th May, Sarah J Maas was doing a book signing in a bookstore as close to us as possible, so we rounded up our best friend, and fellow ‘Throne of Glass’ lover, Sarah and jetted to Waterstone’s for the signing and release of ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’.

Because Bee and I had already read the book, (check out our review!) we only bought one physical copy, and then gathered our Throne of Glass collection to have signed.

photo 1The ride over was super fun. We just screamed, I mean sang, along to Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood in the car, before arriving. The signing was meant to happen from 4pm-6pm. It had just turned 3pm when we arrived, and people were already queuing! Luckily, it wasn’t a Disney World sized queue, but it was enough to snake outside the store. I’d say we were in line for about half an hour to forty minutes before we were close enough to see Sarah J Maas.

Overall, it was a good experience, but over in a second. We got our books signed. Bee got Crown of Midnight made out to her because that was her favourite one, and I got ACOTAR, while our copy of TOG just got a signature, because the policy was one dedication and one signature per person.

photo 2I always wonder what to say to authors. I wanted to say I liked her writing, and that fairy tale retellings are my favourite genre, but when the time came, I just smiled and said hi. Thirty seconds really isn’t enough to say anything more profound than hi, or convey how much I liked the series so far, and where I hoped ACOTAR would go.

It got me thinking about the author experience, and, if I were an author, how I’d want my fans to feel after meeting me. I’d want them to feel like meeting author me was special. I’d want to ask them questions like “Who was your fave character?” or “What was your favourite setting?” rather than “So, how far did you travel to get here?” which doesn’t really give shy fans like me the opportunity to say how much I admire an author.

photo 3It just all felt a little impersonal. Other authors I’ve met have written cute stock messages in my book that fit the story, like Cathy Cassidy wrote ‘Life’s a beach!’ in ‘Driftwood’ and that level of story intimacy was absent from Sarah’s dedication. But, I’ve only met three authors in my life so far, two of which have happened this year, so I never really know what to expect. At least Sarah was giving out badges at the signing. Plus, she had a first edition of Throne of Glass, the US edition, all library bound, that she wanted us to sign. That was a cool touch.

It was definitely interesting and great to meet such a high profile author before she jetted off to BEA, but perhaps not as memorable as my other author encounters…

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

UK Heir of FireHeir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance
Published by: Bloomsbury
Pages: 560
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★
Series: Throne of Glass (#1) | Crown of Midnight (#2)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

I have to say that I was slightly disappointed by this book as a whole. 550 pages is probably one of the longest books I read, and I didn’t think that enough actually happened to make this as much of an engaging read as the first two books in the series – which I LOVED, by the way. The writing style was still incredible, and Rowan’s character development was unparalleled. Sarah J. Maas, is an extremely talented writer, but I still didn’t enjoy Heir of Fire all that much and found myself really having to push towards the end. HOWEVER, I think this book has set up Queen of Shadows to be absolutely amazing, I just wish it could have done that with 200 less pages!

Continue reading “Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas”

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

17670709Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance
Published by: Bloomsbury
Pages: 418
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★★
Series: Throne of Glass (#1) | Heir of Fire (#3)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

This book was so action packed, it literally never stopped! The amount of content in this series so far really is incredible, and the pacing is perfect for a fantasy novel, where the world needs detailed explanations. I was literally in shock after Part One, after which I thought the story went downhill, but about 100 pages from the end, man, did it pick up rapidly!

Continue reading “Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas”

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

throne of glassThrone of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy
Published by: Bloomsbury
Pages: 412
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

Bee and I got the opportunity to read ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses‘ a few months back, which meant we read Maas’s books in kind of the wrong order. Everyone loves the Throne of Glass series. Everyone loves Maas’s writing style and the fantasy setting. Well, when ACTR fell a little short of the mark, we didn’t know what to expect when it came to reading her debut. Thankfully, it was AMAZING. Here’s what we thought…
Continue reading “Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas”

Cover Comparisons: Girls in Dresses

As part of the gendered covers debate, I thought for this ‘Cover Comparison’, I’d discuss some covers filled with girls in dresses, a classic trope used to obviously market books to a female audience.

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The first collection of books are ‘The Selection’ series by Keira Cass. These stand out, as America’s dress is the central feature of the cover. It makes sense, and links to the almost-beauty-contest concept of the novel. The covers are accurate and appropriate. These books are very ‘girly’, focused on romance and making a good impression because of appearance. Only in the final book are the social injustice themes prominent. Looking at these covers, you wouldn’t be expecting anything more than a cutesy light read.

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The ‘Precious Gems’ series by Kerstin Gier does the same thing as ‘The Selection’ series. The appearance of Gwen, in fancy ball gowns, is quintessential to her time-travelling adventures – she needs to fit in with the societies she’s investigating. At least there’s a slightly dystopian looking background of curled clocks and cities.

the winner's crimethe winner's crime

So, what about ‘The Winner’s Trilogy’ by Marie Rutkoski? Like with ‘The Selection’ the focal point of the covers are Kestrel’s dresses…she just happens to be holding a sword. I think covers like this do the content an injustice. Boys are going to be less likely to pick up this book because of the cover, when in actuality, the books are filled with war, conflict and social struggle, set in a high fantasy world resembling the 18th Century. Why wouldn’t boys be interested in that?

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The His Fair Assassin trilogy is a real contrast to the previous examples. With the stormy backgrounds, dark colour palette and the weapons. It’s important to notice that their dressed are not made of satin and silk, but much heavier materials like velvet – these girls are obviously not afraid of getting their hands dirty, and I wouldn’t mess with them because they look extremely comfortable holding those weapons. These covers are excellently well designed and I think actually do the story justice. You can see the tense emotions, and even the titles are enticing. These covers tell you that you are in now way about to experience a fluffy read.

throne of glass throne of glass back

The ‘Throne of Glass Series’ by Sarah J Maas is taking book covers in the right direction. Sure, Celaena is on the front of every cover, but she’s not in a ball gown. She’s wearing combat weaponry, cloaks and armour. I love that when you look at the back cover, only then do you seen a girl in a dress, because Celaena is a warrior first and a lady second.

Spring Recommends

Previously, we have given some Christmas Recommends. This is something we’d like to do more of! As part of our seasonal recommends, we bring you the best books to read during the season of new beginnings!

the iron king1. ‘The Iron King’ by Julie Kagawa
Faery tales are absolutely perfect for the spring time! The scenery is perfectly decked out for the spring time, although The Iron King has a technological twist that really makes this faery world stand out. Spring is the best time for faery revelry and discovering new worlds, and Julie Kagawa’s faeries certainly won’t disappoint.

The Unbecoming2. ‘The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer’ by Michelle Hodkin 
Spring is all about NEW. Mara Dyer was neither contemporary, a fairy-tale retelling or a dystopian; the genres I find myself reading from most. So, to read a book that was so far outside my comfort zone, I couldn’t even see it on the horizon, was an excellent decision. I think the best label for this series is ‘supernatural thriller’. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, as you’d expect from spring recommends, but if you don’t mind unnatural powers, mild gore and oodles of sexual tension, I’d totally recommend picking this book up! (You’ll be in for a wild ride!)

To All the Boys3. ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ by Jenny Han
However, if sunshine and rainbows books are more your thing, ‘To All The Boys’ is the perfect read (and basically anything else Jenny Han has written too!) Concerned with boy trouble and romantic solutions, Lara Jean and her adorable family are sure to entertain you on a warm-weathered afternoon.

why we broke up4. ‘Why We Broke Up’ by Daniel Handler
This book is all about getting over a broken heart (well, we’ve all read the title.) Min, our protagonist, takes us through the story of her relationship with Ed, from the halcyon days of holding hards and sweet kisses, to the dark days of smashing cups and stomping on flowers. So, yes, it’s kind of depressing. BUT it’s also all about new beginnings and letting go of whatever’s holding you back – the perfect springtime outlook!

160968245. ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ by Sarah J Maas
What’s better than one book about fairies? Two books about fairies! If Mara Dyer was stepping out of my comfort zone, this book was very much in the centre of my ‘favourite types of books’ Venn diagram. With most of the plot taking place in the spring, and in the Spring Court of the fairy world, this book pretty much hits the recommendation on the nose.

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

16096824A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Published by: Bloomsbury
Pages: 400
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★★
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

We will preface this review by saying that we were really excited to read a A Court of Thorns and Roses, because we knew that it was a cross over of a Beauty and the Beast retelling and faery fiction, and unfortunately hype can sometimes heighten expectations, which can be a bad thing. Something we weren’t expecting was how easily this book fits into the New Adult genre so is definitely unsuitable for younger readers that may just want to read whatever else Sarah J. Maas has written.

Continue reading “Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas”