Tuesday 31 December 2013

Best of the Bunch December 2013

Best of the Bunch is a book blog hop hosted here on the last day of each month, where we can look back over the books we have read over this past month and give a Best of the Bunch award to our favourite book of that month.

I always put up my post on the last day of the month, but remember, you can add your link in anytime in the following month.
For more info and to grab the button and stickers visit the BOTB page here and then when you've written up your post, add your linky to the list below. 

December 2013
This month I have read-

  • The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher - 3 of 5 stars
  • Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Divergent, book 3) - 4 of 5 stars
  • Fractured by Sarah Fine (Guards of the Shadowlands, book 2) - 3.5 of 5 stars
  • Vanish by Sophie Jordan (Firelight, book 2) - 4 of 5 stars
  • The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead (Bloodlines, book 4) - 4.5 of 5 stars
  • When the World was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach - 3 of 5 stars
  • Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder (Healer Avry of Kazan, book 3) - 4.5 of 5 stars
  • Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake (Anna Dressed in Blood, book 2) - 4 of 5 stars
I have reviewed- 
I also wrote a post of my top ten books of 2013

And the winner of the Best of the Bunch for December 2013 is...

...dramatic pause...

Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead!

Fiery Heart  by Richelle Mead

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives.

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life, and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her . . .

But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path – or risk being sent to re-education. Her skill with magic is growing in ways she never imagined – but that doesn't stop the near-constant threat of evil magic users, Vampire Hunters, and Strigoi from growing ever closer.

I adore all of Richelle Mead's books anyway- her writing just sucks me into these worlds and puts me square in the shoes of her characters, but I think this series has gone from strength to strength and this book is probably the best one so far. It's action packed, so romantic, funny and smart. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in the series. 

So I'd love to know- what was the best book you read/ reviewed this month? Link it up here! 
Already written up a monthly wrap-up post? Why not link it up here!? And don't forget to visit the other blogs to get some great new book recs. 

Just let me know- Who gets your bananas?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Top 10 books read in 2013

Well it's nearly the end of the year now, and I wanted to sum up the best books of the year.
These are the top ten books I read in 2013...

Boy, this has been a hard list to narrow down!

  • Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (Infernal Devices, book 3), probably the most anticipated release of this year- and it didn't disappoint!
  • Altered by Jennifer Rush. A surprising thrill ride of a book, very clever.
  • Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles, book 2)- I love everything about this series.

  • Angel Fever by L.A Weatherly (Angel, book 3). I was so excited to read this one- I picked it up the second it arrived and then couldn't put it down. This series is so absorbing.
  • Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock. Not sure you like werewolf books? Then try this book- it may just change your mind! I love it.

  • Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger. The potential of this series is huge- I felt like it was a new Harry Potter series, with magic and intrigue, humour and a great cast of characters in a school setting. 
  • Dare You To by Katie McGarry (Pushing The Limits, book 2). I didn't think anything that strayed from the story of Noah and Echo would ever be as good- but this one took my breath away just as much as the first in the series. This one kept me awake at night because I couldn't put it down. 
  • The 100 by Kass Morgan. I can literally not stop thinking about this book- it's got it all- action, survival, a great cast of characters, a romance and a good back story. 
  • Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, book 2). I love this series so much- the complexity of it and the great characters, and the beautiful writing... if I was stranded on a desert island I would want this series with me to reread over and over again.
  • If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch. This book made me cry. I admired the strength and integrity of the main character so much, and the story itself kept me gripped. This is another book I couldn't put down. I always say I don't read very many contemporary novels, but the ones I have picked up this year have been incredible. 

So, those were the best books I read in 2013.

I read a lot of really amazing books this year, and I've enjoyed reminding myself of these gems I loved throughout the year. 

Monday 9 December 2013

Review: The 100 by Kass Morgan

The 100 by Gail Carriger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source: Bought 

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland... before it's too late.
Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they've only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they're haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust - and even love - again.

This is probably one of the best books I have read this year- I seriously loved and connected with this story. If I could give it more than 5 stars I would. 
I love that feeling when you are reading a book and you are completely immersed in it- you love the characters, you can see the world in your head, and when you stop reading you can't stop thinking about it. Since I finished reading The 100 I have thrust it into at least two people's hands going "you HAVE to read this book!"
So, if I can stop fangirling for a minute and try and explain why I loved it so much...
A lot of people when they hear 'sci-fi' just think aliens and spaceships, and "not a real story", but this book focuses so heavily on the experiences, emotions and lives of this band of fantastic characters that it is easy to believe in, and connect with them. 
It is almost like two stories in one as you have in every chapter the story itself unfolding, and then flashbacks to what happened a year ago, relevant to what is happening in the present. What is very clever about this is not only a gradual unfolding of the complete picture, but you can see how each everything is connected to each other. Each of the character's lives and stories, and all the events are all linked up to one another in very subtle ways, and I loved seeing all the tiny puzzle pieces slowly coming together by the end. 
For me personally I don't think any story is whole without a decent love story within it, and in this book we have at least two really good ones. There are struggles, forgiveness, separations, complications- it is never easy, but it feels real, and you really root for these people.
The society itself is hard and brutal. The main characters are all criminals, but for a lot of them it is a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or just being unlucky. You get the sense immediately that really they are decent people with a good heart, that have just had a tough break. 
You have the guy who's desperate to protect his younger sister; the rich kid who would do anything to look after the girl he accidentally betrayed; the former rich girl prisoner who escapes to find her former love; and the troubled girl who is tormented by the memory of her parent's death. 
The young criminals are sent to try to recolonise a damaged and polluted Earth, being the only members of the population the leaders of the ships are willing to risk attempting to find out if it is safe to live on Earth again after 300 years. It becomes a story of survival, and I loved seeing these youngsters struggle to adapt, survive and learn to work together in the woods on Earth.
But running parallel to these events we also see the events unfolding on the spaceships after the 100 leave, through the eyes of Glass, the only one who managed to escape off the drop ship. The ships themselves are interesting to read about- you have sectors that are like uptown and downtown- the poor side and the rich side, and both have very different motivations. 
It is currently being made into a TV series, and I can't wait to see it converted onto the screen- I think it will translate really well because the book itself is written in a very narrative way. This book is clever, moving, exciting and a constant thrill ride. I cannot wait to watch the show, and I'm keeping a lookout for a follow up book as well. 

This book also won the Best of the Bunch award on the blog for November 

Sunday 8 December 2013

End of the Year 2013 Reading Cram Read-a-thon!

So, I have decided to take part in the

End of the Year 2013 Reading Cram Read-a-thon!

hosted by Juliababyjen's Reading Room and Dana Square to try and chisel off some of my huge TBR pile before the end of the year. 

Goodreads tells me I am 32 books behind where I should be at this point in the year to achieve my goal of reading 130 books- so I obviously don't think I'm going to manage to achieve that challenge this year! 

But, I would like to pack a few more books in toward that target before starting afresh with 2014.

The readathon runs from December 9th to 22nd, and there are lots of mini-challenges and the chance to network with other bloggers and  to spur each other on!

I'll also be updating progress on twitter with the hashtag #ReadingCram

I hate setting goals of specific books to read, (as I normally change my mind and end up reading something completely different), but I'm hoping to get through at least 6 books in that time. I normally read around 2 books a week, so this is more than usual but still achievable for me. 

the books, possibly-

  •  Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder
  • Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead
  • Vanish by Sophie Jordan

  • Elegy by Tara Hudson
  • Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
  • Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Getting reading to read like a demon- here I go!



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