Saturday 4 January 2020

My 2019 4.5 star reads

Hi booklovers

It's time to share with you my 2019 4.5 star reads. 
These books were not necessarily published in 2019.

*Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5) by Brandon Sanderson
This was my favourite of the current three books of Mistborn Era 2.

This one is filled with a lot of twists and turns and the ending is such a big cliffhanger.

*Skyward (Skyward #1) and Starsight (Skyward#2) by Brandon Sanderson
I really enjoyed both books (I have to admit that I actually read Skyward at the end of 2018 and then reread it before starting Starsight). Starsight didn't go where I thought it would go and I missed some of the characters from Skyward, but I found some new favourite characters as well. I'm very curious to see where book 3 will take us. Unfortunately, it won't be published until 2021 :-(

There is one sci-fi book on this list:

*One Word Kill (Impossible Times #1) by Mark Lawrence
This is Mark Lawrence's venture into YA sci-fi and I enjoyed this a lot. It takes place in the 80s and being an 80s kid myself some things were familiar. I actually listened to the audiobook of this one and the sequel and only recently got the physical copies. I also pre-ordered the final one on audio and I'll definitely be getting a physical copy as well.

The other 3 4.5 star reads were NA contemporary:

*The Risk (Briar U #2) and the Play (Briar U #3) by Elle Kennedy
Elle Kennedy is one of my favourite NA writers and I thoroughly enjoyed both these stories.

I've read a couple of the books in the Shacking Up series, but these are still my favourite ones.

Btw, these NA covers are so cringe-worthy, it's one of the reasons I read these on my e-reader.

Have you read any of these? What were some of your 4.5 star reads of 2019? Do you use half stars in your rating? Let me know in the comments.

Bye for now


Thursday 2 January 2020

My 2020 reading goals

Hi booklovers
First things first: Happy 2020. Here's to a year filled with love, great books and lots of chocolate ;-)
I haven't had the chance to take a look at my current number of TBR books (to be honest, I'm scared to count them), but I know there are over 100 unread books on my shelves.
Last year I participated in the Beat the Backlist challenge and I managed to read about 50 backlist books. This year I want to continue focusing on my owned TBR.
When looking at my shelves I noticed there are a lot of unread YA books on there. Over the past two years, I've started reading more adult fantasy and I've ignored my stack of YA TBR books. This year I want to try and do something about that. I've come up with a way to make myself pick up more of those unread books:
I've written down all the titles and put them in a jar. I'll pick 3-5 books every month (or every two months, I haven't decided yet) and then read at least 1 (maybe 2) of those during that month/those months.
The reason I'm picking more than one book is that I don't do fixed TBRs. If I were to pick only one book, I'd never get around to it, because as soon as I put a book on a fixed TBR, I don't want to read it anymore.
I'll be posting the books I can choose from and let you know if I've read them, what I thought of them and whether or not I want to continue with the series (if they are part of a series).
Hopefully this will help reduce my TBR by the end of the year.
I'm going to be really strict about buying sequels as well. I have to be really convinced I want to continue a series before buying the sequel. That's why I'm going to wait at least two - three weeks before getting a sequel. The reason I'm doing this is that sometimes when I finish a book I want to immediately buy the sequel even though I don't read books in a series back to back. If I wait a couple of weeks I sometimes lose interest in the series, so there's no point in getting the next book. That way I'll hopefully manage my book buying as well.
Something else I want to do this year is keep better track of my reading. I've ordered the Novel Companion volume 3 from Little Inklings Design. Hopefully I can keep up with it.
I'm also going to try and write more reviews. I'm not making any promises, because school has been extremely hectic the last couple of months and will continue to be hectic during the rest of the school year, but I want to at least give it a try. We'll see how it goes.
Finally, I've set my GR reading challenge to 50 books. At the beginning of 2019, I set it to 30 books, but I upped that number to 50 throughout the year. So, this year, I'm just putting it at 50 because I'm pretty sure it's achievable.
Have you set yourself any reading goals or do you just go with the flow :-) Let me know in the comments.
Bye for now

Saturday 28 December 2019

My 2019 4 star reads

Hello booklovers

Very long time no see, it's been almost three months since I last wrote a post. I just haven't felt like posting anything lately... I'm going to give it one more try, I guess and see where it leads me. I want to write more reviews, but they are so time-consuming and school has been really hectic with all the changes there have been.
Anyway, I thought of doing a top 10 of 2019 but when I started looking at my GR list of read books, I had a hard time narrowing it down to 10 books. So, instead of a top 10, I'm going to list my 4, 4.5 and 5 star reads of this year.
These books are in no particular order and they weren't necessarily published in 2019.
*Shadowblack (Spellinslinger #2) by Sebastien de Castell
I reread Spellslinger so I could read this one (even though I'd only read it back in April), because I wasn't totally invested in the story the first time I read it. After having enjoyed it a lot more the second time around I didn't wait very long to read Shadowblack. I really liked this one and I already have book three Charmcaster on hand.
*The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) and The Broken Eye (Lightbringer #3) by Brent Weeks
I have been meaning to read a Brent Weeks book for a while now. I've had the first book in his Night Angels trilogy on my TBR for years. But I decided to try his Lightbringer series first.
So far, I've read three out of the five books in this series and even though I'm sometimes confused when reading them I'm really enjoying them as well.
*The Alloy of Law (Mistborn #4) and The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn #6) by Brandon Sanderson
I really love the Mistborn Era 1 trilogy and was really curious to read the Era 2 books. They aren't as good as the original trilogy, but I still enjoyed being back in this world. And the humour is again very good. I thought this was a trilogy, but apparently, a fourth book has been announced.
*Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen #1) by John Gwynne
This is another one that I've had on my TBR for ages. I started it a couple of years ago, but I couldn't really get into it (I don't have the audiobook for this one, so it was taking me ages to make any progress) but in August I decided to give it another try. And I'm so happy that I did. I even went and bought the rest of the series after finishing this one. Malice is perfect for fans of the more classic fantasy writing style.
These were all the fantasy books that were 4 star reads.
The other two 4 star reads were an adult dystopian and a New Adult contemporary:
*The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
I watched the first two seasons of the TV-show before reading this so I had some idea of the bleakness of the story being told here, but wow, the book painted an ever bleaker version of that possible future. I'll be picking up The Testaments when it's released in paperback.
*Him by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen
I've read quite a few books by Elle Kennedy, but I hadn't read anything that she co-wrote with Sarina Bowen yet. This is also only the second M/M romance that I've read and I have to admit I liked it a lot. My biggest fear when reading M/M romance is that it will be cringe-worthy, but that's definitely not the case in this story. I'm definitely going to pick up the sequel at some point.
What were some of your 4 star reads this year? Let me know in the comments.
Bye for now

Wednesday 2 October 2019

WWW Wednesday - 2nd October / September wrap-up

Hi booklovers

"Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!"

I found this on Nadine's blog.

The Three Ws are: 
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading
I picked up Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson a couple of days ago. It's really nice to be back in the Mistborn universe. I'm on page 127 and I'm loving the humour in this :-)
This is one of the trilogies I want to finish before the end of 2019.

Recently finished
At the very beginning of September I finished Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. This book was my least favourite of the trilogy because I was very confused while reading it. I gave it 3.75 stars.
Another finished trilogy to check off my list :-)

I also finished The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks. I really enjoyed this and I can't wait to continue with the series.
I gave this 4.5 stars.

The third book I finished in September was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019: Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff. I was scared going into this because I'd seen some very heavy reactions to the ending and I also didn't want the story to end. It was an emotional read (although, I didn't get emotional over the same chapter that most of the other readers did :-) ) but I loved it. I love how Jay used a lot of sarcasm to mock all the criticism about his writing style. He definitely doesn't take himself serious.
This is a trilogy I'll definitely reread in the future.
A very definite 5 star read.

The last book I read in September was The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. I wanted to read something completely different after finishing DD, so I went for this.
Phew, this book paints such a scary image of the future (I knew what to expect since I've already watched the first two seasons of the tv-show).
It's a well-written book, but the format is a bit difficult sometimes because it jumps 'timelines' quite frequently.
I'm a bit sorry that I didn't read this before watching the show, because there are quite a few differences between the book and the show :-s
I'll definitely pick up The Testaments.
I gave this 4 stars. Alternating between the physical and the audiobook (narrated by the actress who plays Offred in the tv-show) made it a quicker read.

What's next?
I don't really do TBRs, so picking my next read(s) pretty much always depends on my mood.
Here are some of the possible choices: Valour by John Gwynne, The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks, Northern Lights by Philip Pullman or Knight's Shadow by Sebastien de Castell.

What are you currently reading, have you recently finished or will you pick up next? Tell me in the comments.

Bye for now


Saturday 31 August 2019

June - August 2019 book haul

Hi booklovers

I just realised I never posted a June book haul, so I'll just include it in my August haul.

At the end of June I rewarded myself with a trip to my local Waterstones and an independent English bookstore (Sterling books) and these are the 10 books that I got:

*The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
*Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend
*Shadows of Self and The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
*The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks
*Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
*Red Seas under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
*Fool's Errand by Robin Hobb
*Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
*Red Rising by Pierce Brown

I managed to restrain myself from buying any books in July, but that restraint fell away when I went to those same bookstores with two friends at the beginning of August.
The ones on the right I got for €25 in total in the bargain section of two Fnac shops.

*Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri
*The Deathless by Peter Newman
*Blood Song by Anthony Ryan
*Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
*Sabriel by Garth Nix
*The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell
*Valour, Ruin and Wrath by John Gwynne
*The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks

I know I said I needed to get my TBR down by the end of the year but every now and then I totally fall off the wagon and buy a lot of books :-s

Are there any here that I should put higher on my TBR? Which books did you get in the previous month(s)? Let me know in the comments.

Bye for now


Wednesday 28 August 2019

WWW Wednesday - 28th August / August wrap-up

Hi booklovers

"Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!"

I found this on Nadine's blog.

The Three Ws are: 
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading
Being on a mission to actually finish the trilogies/series that I start, I picked up Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence.
I've reviewed both books 1 and 2 (click on the numbers to go to the reviews).
I'm currently on page 270 and I'm enjoying it (at least this time I know that '5 years earlier' means that the whole chapter is set in the past) but I'm not sure where the story is going.

Recently finished
At the beginning of August I finished Malice by John Gwynne. I enjoyed it a lot and you can find my review here.

After all those big fantasy books I was in the mood for some quicker reads so I picked up Getting Down and Hooking Up by Helena Hunting. I really enjoyed both with HU being my favourite of the Shacking Up series so far. Lexington is just so cute, caring and sexy AF.

After that I started and finished my reread of Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff. I still absolutely love this book and I'm not ready for this story to end.

I also decided to reread Traitor's Blade by Sebastien de Castell because I finally want to continue with the series. I loved this just as much as the first time around and I'm very much looking forward to reading book two: Knight's Shadow.

Then I picked up I Flipping Love You, book three in the Shacking Up series. I enjoyed this, but not as much as Hooking Up.

The last book I finished was Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I liked it, but didn't love it. I had very high hopes for this one since The Illuminae Files is one my favourite trilogies. I think I might have compared it a little too much to those books. I'm curious enough to continue on with the next book, though.

What's next?
In September Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff comes out, so I'll be reading that as soon as it arrives :-)

I also want to pick up Knight's Shadow by Sebastien de Castell, maybe after I finish Emperor of Thorns, we'll see.

Oh, btw, I kind of gave up on my NEWTs, I just wasn't feeling it. I have completed a couple of prompts, but not that many. Ah well, maybe I'll do better next year.

How's your reading been this month? Let me know in the comments.

Bye for now


Saturday 24 August 2019

Traitor's Blade by Sebastien de Castell - non-spoiler review

Hi booklovers

Today I'll be reviewing Traitor's Blade by Sebastien de Castell. This is book 1 in the Greatcoats series.
I first read this book about a year ago, but I never got around to reading book 2, Knight's Shadow. Because I finally want to continue with the series I thought a reread of book 1 might not be a bad idea, so that's what I did. (Apparently, I never got around to writing a review last year either.)

One of the first things I noticed in this book is that it has a lot of humour. I was actually laughing from the very start of this book. That's something I like a lot in books, humour and sarcasm.

This book follows the story of Falcio val Mond, First Cantor of the Greatcoats. The Greatcoats used to be a group of elite soldiers who served the king. However, they have been disbanded after the king was murdered and now they are mockingly called 'tatter-cloaks'. Through the eyes of Falcio we get to see how he and his two best friends try to continue to do the honourable thing and speak justice, but since this is a story full of intrigue and plotting, you can imagine this is easier said than done. We follow the three along their path to more or less restoring the idea of the Greatcoats, but their journey is full of twists and turns.

Another thing I liked in this book is the friendship. The friendship dynamics between Falcio, Brasti and Kest is wonderful. They each have very different personalities; Falcio being the 'brains', Brasti a cocky archer and Kest a level-headed - but extremely good, if not the best - sword-fighter. But they fit very well together. These friendship dynamics remind me of the friendships in The Lies of Locke Lamora.

This book is fast-paced, action-packed and has some incredible fight scenes. And, like I said, it has a lot of humour strewn in, which makes the sometimes dark atmosphere a little 'lighter'. This is a very good example of how humour can help people through even the most horrific events.

Even though this book has only one POV, we get to know the other characters pretty well too. There are some characters I really liked: the dynamic trio, Aline, the Tailor. There were also a few I really disliked (which means that they are written so well that you have to dislike them).

Knight's Shadow will be one of the next books I'm going to pick up, because the revelation at the end has made me very curious to see how the story will continue!

Have you read this book or his Spellinger series? Let me know in the comments.

Bye for now