Top Ten Tuesday #113

1fe45-toptentuesday

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great week since I last did one of these, I’ve had a pretty quite week really, but my parents were away over the weekend, so I made the most of it by watching all my favourite musicals plus all the Harry Potter movies! Best weekend ever! Anyway, I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of the lovely ladies over at the Broke and the Bookish. This week is Best Books We’ve Read So Far in 2017. I’ve had a pretty good 2017 when it comes to books, but most of the books I’ve read have been in the 3-4 star range, with only one book standing out above the rest as a 5 star. I’ve only read 18 books so far this year, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to pick a full 10 out of that, but we’ll see! Here are my current 2017 favourites (for once in order of preference!):

  1. A Conjuring of Light-VE Schwab-5 stars

My only five star read of 2017 so far! I swear this book is the reason I’m having trouble finding any more five star books, because nothing I have read since has lived up to this. It was the most perfect series finale I could have hoped for and probably one of my most favourite books ever, not just of 2017.

2. Caraval-Stephanie Garber-4 stars

I was worried about this one, because I’d heard a lot of comparisons to The Night Circus which I struggled with when I read it last year but I fell in love with the beautiful writing and the magical setting and the growth of the main character was so wonderful.

3. A Court of Mist and Fury-Sarah J Maas-4 stars

Everyone and their cat seemed to love this book and I was worried that I’d be the black sheep who didn’t, luckily that was the case! This book was so much better than the first one, Feyre grew so much as a character and actually became someone I liked rather than merely tolerated. I also loved the new cast of characters in Rhys’ court and can’t wait to see where they all go in the final book.

4. The Dark Prophecy-Rick Riordan-3.5 stars

I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as the first one, but it still had a great cast of characters, was extremely witty and a fast paced fun adventure. Plus my favourite Leo was back in this book, so that made it even better! The best thing about Rick Riordan books is that they never fail to put a smile on your face, they remind me of one of the things I love most about reading, the simple joy that immersing yourself in a new world can bring.

5. Daughter of The Pirate King-Tricia Levenseller-3 stars

Some of the books lower on this list actually have a higher rating from me, because the writing style in this one was little simplistic and the pacing was a little off, but it was such a fun, piratey adventure and I just really enjoyed reading it, so I thought it deserved to have a high place on my list, even if I did only give it a 3 star rating.

6. Traitor To The Throne-Alwyn Hamilton-3.5 stars

This book did suffer a little from middle book syndrome, but I still really enjoyed it, the stakes were higher, the plot was more complex, Amani’s development was brilliant, we got to meet some great new characters and there were a lot of great twists, it was just a shame about some of the pacing issues in the middle of the book, otherwise it would have got a much higher rating from me.

7. The Crown’s Game-Evelyn Skye-3.5 stars

There were some pacing issues in this, but I did overall love it, the magic was great, the setting was wonderful, there was so much gorgeous FOOD, the writing was vivid & there was a masquerade which is basically catnip to me!

8. Under Rose Tainted Skies-Louise Gornall-4 stars

I know this has a higher rating than some of the other books that are placed higher on here, it was a really great book, just extremely intense due to the nature of the subject matter discussed, so I’m not sure “enjoy” is really the right word for how I felt about this book, it was enlightening more than anything else.

9. Paper and Fire-Rachel Caine-3.5 stars

This book also suffered a lot from middle book syndrome (it’s not technically the middle book of this series, but I think the syndrome still applies), however it was still a really solid read, I love Caine’s characters and world, I’m just not always thrilled with her writing or pacing. Still, the great character dynamics, diverse cast and brilliant settings in Caine’s book definitely overcame my lack of love for her writing and pacing.

10. Salt To The Sea-Ruta Sepetys-3.5 stars

I didn’t love this one as much as I loved the other Sepetys book I’ve read Between Shades of Grey, but it was still an interesting book about a historical event that I knew nothing about and as a History student, I always love getting to learn about new things that I didn’t know about before!

I’m going to stick to just ten this week since I only have 18 books to choose from anyway! What have been your favourite books of the year so far? Have you read any of these? Did you like them? Let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday is going on hiatus until August, the girls deserve a break after all! Don’t worry though, I’ll be going through the archives and seeing if there are any old topics that I can do until they’re back. In the meantime, I’m hoping to keep regular posting going throughout the summer, so there should be no shortage of new stuff for you guys!

Jo Talks Books: On My Problems With DNFing

Hi everyone! I know, I know, it’s really late for me to be doing my first (and probably only) discussion post of the month, but in my defence, I have been really busy what with coming back from Uni and then being on holiday! This was a discussion post I had planned to do a while ago, but being me, I got distracted with all the other things I wanted to talk about that I totally forgot about it. Luckily I hadn’t really planned anything to talk about this month, so I figured why not use this? So what I’m going to be talking about today is DNFing books and how even though it’s been something I’ve been working on, I still find it really hard to put down books that I’m not enjoying.

For those of you who aren’t bloggers or maybe aren’t familiar with the term DNF, it stands for Did Not Finish, ie those books that we put down before we make it to the end of them. I’ve always had a problem with this, but becoming a blogger has created new challenges for me in this department, which I will discuss over the course of this post.

Currently on my Goodreads DNF shelf, I have four books. Yup that’s right. Four. I have probably not finished more books than that over the course of my life, as obviously not every single book I’ve read/tried to read is on my Goodreads, but I’d guess that the number of books I’ve not finished is probably still in single figures, quite an achievement for someone who has read as many books as I have. However, my desire to complete every single book I pick up is not always a good thing as it has meant over the years me struggling through books up not really enjoying just to finish them. So why do I do it?

Well first off I have a closure problem. This is true for my life, not just specifically books, I like things to be finished, to be tied up in a nice neat bow (which is more of a problem in life as things don’t necessarily come with a nice neat bow, but that’s besides the point of this discussion) and if I drop a book before I’ve read the ending, then I never get to know how things turn out and I find that infuriating! I need to know that everyone’s okay! This is why I’m so picky about series that I read, I need to be pretty confident that I’m going to love it before I read it as if I don’t like it, I will be stuck reading it for however many more books there are just because I’m desperate to know how things work out. It’s the same for movies and TV shows, I won’t stop watching even if I don’t like it very much because I need to see how things turn out!

I also feel like I owe it to both myself and the author to finish their book. After all, they worked really hard on it and if I don’t make it to the end then I’ll feel really bad because they spent years working on this book and I can’t even make it through a few days/weeks to finish it? Just seems wrong to me, even if I know I’m not enjoying it. Plus I spent my money on that book (usually) so I’ll feel like that was a waste if I don’t finish the book. It’s perhaps slightly easier to not finish books that I’ve got on Netgalley or been sent by publishers because I didn’t pay for them but then you have the whole guilt of letting the publisher down malarkey to deal with.

Becoming a blogger has produced added challenges in my difficulty DNFing, for a number of reasons. Firstly because I now have Goodreads, which in some ways is great, because it gives me a way to track what I’m reading and see what my friends and fellow bloggers are reading but it also means that I feel more pressured to finish every single book I read, as I know the book won’t count towards my Goodreads challenge if I don’t finish it (honestly I could do a whole post on the pros and cons of Goodreads, which I think I might!), so this means that I’ll always be pushing myself to finish whatever I’m reading even if I don’t enjoy it. I also feel like I have to finish everything because if I don’t then I can’t write a review for it and I’ll feel like I’ll be letting everyone who reads my reviews down, which is ridiculous and makes no sense but there you go!

It’s also hard to tell when you should give up and decide it’s not for you. After all a lot of books are slow in the first half but get really good in the second half, so you think, well maybe this is just a slow starter and it will get better. I don’t want to miss out if it does get really good! It’s the same with series, even if I’m not a big fan of the first book, I will still try the next one because I’ve often found the second book in a series improves on the first one, and I’m glad I do this because if I didn’t then I would have missed out on a lot of what are now my favourite series. So when do you decide a book is not for you? 10 pages? 20? 50? 100? There’s no defined place where you can be like, ah this book isn’t for me. I like to give a book until halfway through, but by that point, I’ve already invested so much time in it that I want to read to the end! Yet dropping the book before then feels like I haven’t given it enough of a chance! It’s a vicious cycle.

Also if it’s a book that “society” thinks you should read, like a really important classic or something then you’ll feel really bad about not finishing it because this is something that you’re supposed to love and find really important and be like “yes you have to read this before you die” and you just feel a little embarrassed that it’s this big classic you’re meant to have read and you couldn’t finish it. This happened to me with Jane Eyre, I just couldn’t finish it, it was too boring, but I still feel a little guilty to this day because it’s Jane Eyre! Which is ridiculous because you should be able to finish/not finish whatever books you want, no matter how important other people think they are.

I also don’t feel like I can fully form an opinion on a book I haven’t finished. I’m constantly changing and reevaluating my opinion (and final rating) of a book whilst I’m reading it and if I don’t get to the end, yes I can say if I did or didn’t like what I did read, but I have no way of forming an opinion on the book as whole. Though I will say that I’ve usually made my mind up about a book by the time I’m about halfway through and it will take something major in the climax to change it-but then if I never read the climax, how will I know? I could be hating a book most of the way through and then get really engaged at the end (this has happened before) but if I don’t give myself the chance to get there, then I will never know. It’s the whole closure thing again, I need to know the whole story in order to fully form an opinion on it and if I don’t then the only opinion I’ll have is that I didn’t love it but I want to know what happened in the end!

I have been getting better at not forcing myself to read books that I don’t love, I know there’s so many books out there, heck so many books already on my shelves, that there’s no reason to push through with stuff that I’m not enjoying. But it is still very hard to overcome the urge to find out what happens at the end, even if I wasn’t a big fan of the beginning and middle. I always used to actually flip to the last page (yes I know, I know I’m horrified at me too, I still self spoil a bit, I’ve been getting better at not doing it though!), to find out what happened at the end before I’d even started reading because I was so desperate to know. My need for closure is something that I don’t think will ever change, but I have been trying to work on the issues that Goodreads presents, by making sure that I have a manageable challenge and space to DNF if I want to. I also occasionally read books that I won’t review for the blog (very occasionally, I’ve only read one this year), so that I don’t feel like I have to review every single thing I read. And I think I’m getting better at telling when books are not for me and I should give up, although I don’t always do so!

Over to you! Do you have difficulty in putting books you’re not enjoying now? Any tips for me as to how to be better at it? Will you carry on series when you didn’t enjoy the first book to see if they get better? Let me know in the comments!

I’m not sure if I’ll get another discussion post up before the end of this month, but if I do, it will be about the Pros and Cons of Goodreads (and yes I had that idea whilst writing this post!) and if not then that will be my first discussion post of July. In the meantime, the next that you’ll hear from me will probably be on Tuesday for my latest TTT post!

Unique Blogger Award

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all been having a great weekend, mine has been pretty awesome, I spent Friday night watching all my favourite musicals, then Saturday & Sunday have been devoted to Harry Potter, as I’ve had the house to myself this weekend (maybe my parents should go away more often! Just kidding!). Anyway, I haven’t been nominated for one of these in a while, so when Stephanie from Stephanie’s Novel Fiction nominated me for this one, I figured, why not? Thanks to Stephanie for nominating me! You can find her post here: https://stephsfictionandfamilylove.wordpress.com/2017/06/24/unique-blogger-award/

The Rules:

  • Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  • Answer the questions.
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
  • Ask them 3 questions.

Stephanie’s Questions:

  1. What’s the funniest book you’ve read/tv show you’ve ever watched? Or both?

Funniest book, well books, has to be either the Skulduggery Pleasant books or the Percy Jackson books, as they are amongst the few books that have made me actually laugh out loud. TV show, I would have to say Friends, as I have watched it more times than I can count and it still makes me laugh.

2. What is something you’ve always dreamed of doing but never have?

Ooh this is a tricky one! I’ve always wanted to live abroad and I’ve never done that, but I’m only 20 so there’s still time!

3. What author, living or dead, would you like to spend an entire day with? Why?

This one’s obvious, JK Rowling. She’s my ultimate author inspiration, so I would love to get to spend the day with her chatting about all things writing and Harry Potter.

Here are my three questions:

  1. If you could go any place in the world, where would it be and why?
  2. Which fictional character would you want to switch lives with?
  3. Favourite TV show at the moment?

I have absolutely no idea who’s done this and who hasn’t, so if you haven’t done this and you want to, or if you have but you’d like to do it again, then go ahead!

Under Rose Tainted Skies Review

29566743Book: Under Rose Tainted Skies

Author: Louise Gornall

I acquired this book at YALC last year, signed by the author (who was lovely by the way)  but for whatever reason, did not get around to it until now, for both the #RockMyTBRChallenge and the YALC Reading Challenge I am running. I have read quite a few books about mental illness that I have enjoyed, but this one definitely stands out for me, you can tell that the author is drawing on personal experience (this is an #ownvoices book, Louise Gornall suffers from the same conditions as Norah) because Norah’s voice just feels so authentic and real. This is not an easy book to read by any means, Norah’s thoughts are intense and scary but I think it is an important one, because those of us who do not suffer from mental illnesses cannot possibly hope to fully understand what it’s like, but we can be given small insights from books like these, and it’s even more important because the author has actually experienced the illness she is writing about. We need to give exposure for these kinds of invisible illnesses to people who have suffered from them, in order to get a true understanding of what it’s like. Here is a short synopsis of the book:

Agoraphobia confines Norah to the house she shares with her mother.

For her, the outside is sky glimpsed through glass, or a gauntlet to run between home and car. But a chance encounter on the doorstep changes everything: Luke, her new neighbour. Norah is determined to be the girl she thinks Luke deserves: a ‘normal’ girl, her skies unfiltered by the lens of mental illness. Instead, her love and bravery opens a window to unexpected truths …

An important and uplifting debut from a British author, which tackles mental health issues such as agoraphobia and OCD.

I guess first of all I should probably say that I loved Norah, as she is the main character of the novel! She felt so authentic and relatable and although I’ve never suffered from agoraphobia or OCD or anxiety, I could definitely relate to certain aspects of her struggles, her awkwardness around people (boys in particular), her not liking being touched, her googling how to kiss, her fears of being judged, are all things that I have experienced at one point or another in my life. I liked how her mental illness wasn’t all she was, she had interests and dreams outside of that, but at the same time, the author showed how her mental illness put limitations on her life, I thought she got the balance perfect. Norah also had such a strong, distinctive voice, which I liked. I also appreciated Norah’s witty, self deprecating humour, she knows that aspects of her illness are irrational and she’s able to laugh about it, I really loved that.

The mother-daughter relationship was portrayed so well in this too! So often in YA books, mothers are absent so I appreciated seeing Norah’s mother not only present here, but actually taking an active role in her daughter’s life, it was refreshing to see.

Norah’s thought processes were incredibly intense, I appreciated the authenticity of this, but it did make me feel very uncomfortable (which I acknowledge was probably the point, you’re not meant to feel comfortable with a book like this) and I don’t suffer from the same illnesses as Norah, so I would say if you do suffer from anxiety, agoraphobia, OCD or depression, it could be potentially triggering, as her thoughts are so intense and the panic attacks are described quite vividly. There are also sections of self harm in the book as well, so that could also be potentially triggering.

I liked Luke, he was sweet and understanding and everything, but I did feel like his character was a little flat. He was just the cute, understanding, sweet boy next door and there didn’t feel like there was much more to him? I don’t know, maybe this was just me. I also felt the same for most of the other characters apart from Norah, they felt pretty one dimensional.

I appreciated the awkwardness between Luke and Norah, too often it feels like YA characters are way too good at flirting? Like I make a complete fool of myself around guys I like and you guys are just trading back and forth witty banter so easily? No. Just not realistic. So I appreciated that that wasn’t all smooth sailing for them, and that they found flirting awkward, because it is! I didn’t really feel a romantic spark between the two of them though? They felt more like friends to me than love interests, and no, that wasn’t just because Norah’s illness prevented them from touching, it was more than that. It’s hard to explain, but when two characters like each other in a book, I usually feel it and here I just didn’t. I also felt like the plot relied a little too much on the romance as aside from Norah meeting and falling for Luke, not much really happens.

I liked the tone of the writing, how it could go from intense one moment, to witty and self deprecating the next, I think Louise Gornall struck a great balance between the intensity of mental illness and at the same time kept up a great sense of hope and humour through the book. The actual writing itself was quite simple, and did occasionally lean towards overly descriptive, with a few too many similies and metaphors, but it was decent overall.

It was definitely a more character driven novel than a plot driven novel, which I didn’t mind so much as Norah’s voice was so strong, although there were times when I got a little bored because the plot was relatively thin.

The chapters were nice and short, which I liked because it meant the book was fast and easy to read, but it did cause a few problems when it came to the climax of the book, because it felt rather rushed because of this and the ending was kind of abrupt.

There were also certain parts of the plot that felt unrealistic. Like Norah’s mum leaving her alone for all that time? It seems to me like if your daughter was as mentally ill as Norah, you would have someone you trust at least coming in to check on her. It also seemed weird that she wouldn’t make sure her daughter had enough food before she left, rather than relying on strange food delivery people when she knows her daughter is terrified of strangers. It was just little things like that, which yes needed to be there to make the plot work but were also seemed unrealistic that kind of bugged me. There were certain characters, like Amy and Norah’s grandmother, who were brought up a lot and then didn’t really seem to have any impact on that plot.

I liked that Norah had a great support system with her mum and her therapist and Luke, that was nice to see and it was also nice to see therapy and medication for mental illnesses being portrayed in a positive way because that isn’t always the case.

It also impressed me that Louise Gornall managed to set this book all in one house and still have it be engaging and not feel monotonous as that could have quite easily happened.

I really wasn’t a fan of the ending, it felt like it kind of came out of left field and didn’t really fit with the rest of the book? Like you have this contemporary and then suddenly in the last thirty pages it almost becomes a thriller? And as I said earlier the end was kind of abrupt. I did like that Norah wasn’t “cured” of her mental illness by the end of the book (and that she wasn’t miraculously healed by falling in love with a boy) but it did leave off with a sense of hope that things could get better for her, even if it was a little abrupt.

Overall, this was a solid debut. The experiences that the author brought to the book from her own life definitely heightened the authenticity of the mental health aspect and the character voice was extremely strong. The plot was a little thin for my liking and the ending could have used a little more time and page space, but it was overall an enlightening book and I would definitely be willing to read more from this author!

My rating: 3.5/5

My next review will be of The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon.

Quarterly Rewind (March-June 17 edition)

Hi everyone! It’s that time of year again, time for another Quarterly Rewind, the feature where I look back over the last three months of my life for you and share what’s coming up in the next three. Summer has definitely arrived here in the UK, it’s been boiling and I only got back from holiday yesterday! I hope the heatwave ends soon, I’m not sure how much more I can take! Still back to the topic at hand, this post will cover from 20th March-21st June:

Image from this Spring:

DSCF1426.JPGThis is a photo of Santorini, from my recent holiday to Greece, it’s the view out over the top of Caldera. You don’t get views like that in the UK!

Favourite Quote From A Book You Read This Spring:

“This moment will just be another story someday.” -The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

I actually preferred the movie to the book in this case, but the book does have some really lovely quotes and this one was my favourite. as a reader, it really resonated with me.

This Spring In One Word:

Awesome!

Most popular review this Spring:

I’ve actually read 10 books in the period this post covers and finished two others that I started in the period that was covered in my last rewind. The most popular of these was my review of Code Name Verity’s prequel, The Pearl Thief:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/the-pearl-thief-code-name-verity-0-5-review-e-arc/

Top Two Books This Spring:

Most of the books I’ve read this Spring have been in the 3-4 star range, so no particular 5 star standouts, but of the books I’ve read, these are my favourites:

  1. A Court of Mist and Fury-Sarah J Maas-This is definitely my favourite book that I’ve read this Spring, I was apprehensive about it because I didn’t love the first book, but Sarah J Maas definitely stepped up her game for the second one!
  2. The Dark Prophecy (Trials of Apollo #2)-This wasn’t as good as the first book in the series, but still incredibly enjoyable and just what I needed at the time I was reading it.

Two Things I’m Looking Forward To This Summer:

  1. Being able to drive-I’m taking my driving test in a few weeks time, and if *fingers crossed* I pass then I’ll actually be able to drive!
  2. Going to YALC-I’m so excited for my third year at YALC at the end of July! There are so many great authors going this year, it’s going to be amazing.

Three New Obssessions This Spring:

I always find it hard to come up with these as I’m very loyal to my long standing obsessions, new ones don’t happen often! Still I’ll try:

  1. Greece-Okay not exactly a new obsession since I’ve been obsessed with Greece and Greek mythology since I was a kid, but now that I’ve actually been to the country, you can call me even more obsessed!
  2. Lucifer-I watched this in April/May time, and caught up with both seasons pretty quickly. I never knew I could find the Devil so attractive!
  3. IZombie-I started watching the first season in April, caught up in like two days and am now totally caught up with the third season! You can definitely call me obsessed with this one!

Five Most Popular Blog Posts This Spring:

As usual, all of my most popular posts this Spring were Top Ten Tuesday posts:

  1. Top Ten Tuesday #110-This Top Ten Tuesday from a few weeks ago where I talked about YA Fantasy books that I had recently added to my TBR. You guys, this year is going to be so good for YA Fantasy!:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/top-ten-tuesday-110/

2. Top Ten Tuesday #101-I was surprised that this TTT was so popular since I was talking about my favourite TV fandoms rather than my favourite bookish fandoms, but I think it just goes to show how much us bookworms also love TV!:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/top-ten-tuesday-101/

3. Top Ten Tuesday #109-This TTT was talking about my most anticipated upcoming releases for the rest of 2017 and I’m so happy it got so much love as I love getting to talk about books that I’m excited for!:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/top-ten-tuesday-109/

4. Top Ten Tuesday #108-This TTT was me talking about all the books I have on my Summer TBR. It’s only June so I’ve only read 2 full books and most of a third from my TBR but I’m hoping to have finished most or all of them by the beginning of September:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/23/top-ten-tuesday-108/

5. Top Ten Tuesday #107-This TTT was one for Mother’s Day where I talked about all of my favourite TV mothers! It is nice to sometimes do some non-bookish posts!:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/top-ten-tuesday-107/

Four Posts I Enjoyed On Other Blogs This Spring:

I don’t feel like I’ve actually read many posts from other blogs this Spring, but I’ll try to find some!:

  1. Cait @ Paper Fury did this wonderfully funny post about why books are more successful at life than we are:

http://paperfury.com/10-reasons-books-successful-at-life/

2. Cait also did another post about editing your novel which I found really helpful as I’ve kind of been hitting a brick wall on my own editing recently! I will definitely be trying out some of her tips:

http://paperfury.com/how-to-edit-your-novel/

3. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction did a great post about why she finds rating MG & YA books hard, because she’s not the target audience and whilst I can’t say I’ve had the same problems (at least not with YA as I still feel relatively close in age to the characters, MG is sometimes a little harder), I found her post really insightful:

https://feedyourfictionaddiction.com/2017/05/rating-middle-grade-sometimes-ya-darn-hard-lets-discuss.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

4. Mish @ Chasing Faerytales did this awesome post about shipping non-canon couples. Whilst I’ve been relatively lucky in most books and TV shows that the couples I’ve shipped have been canon, I have definitely shipped some non canon couples in my time (fanfic is a beautiful thing) and can understand the pain!

http://chasingfaerytales.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/a-shippers-musings-when-your-ships-arent-canon.html

Five Things That Happened This Spring:

  1. I went to Greece on holiday with my friends as an early 21st birthday celebration, and it was completely amazing! I can’t wait to go back there one day!
  2. I finished my second year of University, I’m officially halfway through my degree (how scary is that?).
  3. I spent a few days in London with my mum after I came back from Uni, which was pretty cool.
  4. I went to the first Cat cafe in Stirling with my friends, it was awesome, the cats were so friendly!
  5. I spent my Easter holiday in France with my family, the first time the four of us had all been together since Christmas.

Six Songs I Listened To Way Too Often This Spring:

  1. Gravity-Sara Bareilles-I’ve been listening to this one a lot lately, the lyrics have just really resonated with certain things that have happened in my life.
  2. She Used To Be Mine-Sara Bareilles-Again, I just find that I really connect to the lyrics of this song, so I listen to it a lot.
  3. Galway Girl-Ed Sheeran-I just love this song, it’s so catchy!
  4. Castle On The Hill-This is one of my new favourite running songs, it’s just so perfect for that!
  5. I’m On It-Nashville-Another song that comes up a lot when I’m running.
  6. On My Way-Nashville-One of my favourite songs from the new season!

So that’s my Quarterly Rewind for Spring, what do you guys think? What have you enjoyed most on my blog this Spring? What have you guys been up to this Spring? Let me know in the comments!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #112

1fe45-toptentuesday

Hi everyone! The wanderer has returned! I just arrived back from Greece today and had an amazing time on holiday. Greece is such a beautiful country, if any of you ever get a chance to go, you definitely should! Anyway, I’m back, and just in time for a new Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of the lovely ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish. This week we’re talking about Top Ten Series We’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t, otherwise known as The List of Shame (though to be fair, the list of series I still need to finish is probably more shameful!). I read so many series, it’s far too easy for several of them to fall through the cracks! These are the ones I feel most ashamed for not having started yet:

  1. Scarlet Trilogy-AC Gaughen

I love Robin Hood. I love retellings. You would think that would mean that I would have read this series already right? But no. I got the book from my secret sister in the last round and I keep meaning to read it, but story of my life, I get distracted by all the other pretties! Soon, I will definitely get to this soon.

2. Embassy Row Series-Ally Carter

I loved Ally Carter’s Heist Society books, so when I saw she had a new series I was really excited! This of course meant that I didn’t acquire the first book for years (thanks Secret Sis) and then left it sitting on my shelf because you know…..bookworm.

3. The Darkest Minds Trilogy-Alexandra Bracken

I added this to my TBR when I was going through my big dystopia phase and then that kind of fizzled out and I just never got around to starting it. I’ve heard good things about it from my friend though and our tastes in books are really similar, so I would like to try and get around to this series one day!

4. Shatter Me Series-Tahereh Mafi

Another tragedy of my dystopia phase! I have seen lots of love for this series online though and apparently there have been more books added to the series? This might be the perfect time to catch up.

5. The Network Series-Katie Cross

This series sounds so cool, like a cross between Harry Potter and The Worst Witch. I mean witches? Magical education? Why haven’t I started this yet? #SerialProcrastinator.

6. Matthew Shardlake Series-CJ Sansom

This series has detectives and Tudors, two things I love the most, I really need to stop procrastinating reading it! Sure, I read lots of young adult pretties, but I shouldn’t forget about the great adult stuff that is out there, just because YA is my main source of books.

7. Inkworld Trilogy-Cornelia Funke

This is a series about books that has fictional characters coming to life as well as real people being able to disappear into stories. Nothing about this series sounds like I wouldn’t LOVE it, so why do I keep putting it off? I have no idea!

8. The Star Touched Queen Duology-Roshani Choski

This duology sounds amazing, Indian mythology? Royalty? Death and destruction? All of these things sound like things I would love. I have heard such brilliant things about this duology, I really need to get on it!

9. Splintered Series-AG Howard

This sounds like such a fun, wacky, whimsical story, so perfect for an Alice In Wonderland story. I’ve heard some really good things about this one and I’m definitely hoping to get around to it soon.

10.  The Grisha Trilogy-Leigh Bardugo

My friend loves these books and is always saying how amazing Leigh Bardugo’s writing is, so I definitely need to try and start this series soon!

I’m going to stick to just ten this week, because I have so many series that I’ve been meaning to start that if I kept going, I’d probably be here until next Tuesday! What series have you been meaning to start but haven’t? Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s list is Best Books You’ve Read In 2017 so far, I’ve only read 18 so far this year, so it might be hard to pick a ten out of that, but I’ll give it a go! I’ll hopefully be able to do regular posting this week, starting with a new Quarterly Rewind tomorrow, so stay tuned for that!

Top Ten Tuesday #111

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Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great week. When you’re reading this (because yes, I wrote this post in advance, I know, shocker!), I will be in Athens, soaking up the sun and the sights with my friends, so excited! Anyway, I’ve got a new Top Ten Tuesday for you, courtesy of the lovely ladies over at the Broke and The Bookish, and in honour of Father’s Day on Sunday, they’ve given us a Father’s Day related freebie. Since I’m not particularly inventive with these kinds of things, I’m just going to do Top Ten Best/Worst Dads, five of the best and five of the worst. So here goes:

Best Dads

  1. Arthur Weasley-Harry Potter-JK Rowling

I love Mr Weasley, he gets so excited about mundane muggle stuff and he clearly loves his kids and enjoys their hijinks. Plus he’s so great to Harry and is just as willing as his wife to adopt him into the family.

2. Hans Hubermann-The Book Thief-Markus Zusak

Hans might not be Liesel’s biological father, but he certainly treats her like she is his daughter. He teaches her to read, he protects her from the Nazis, he’s loving and caring and just the sweetest man!

3. Atticus Finch-To Kill A Mockingbird-Harper Lee

I didn’t feel like I could do this list without including Atticus, he sets such a good example for his kids and is generally just a wonderful and loving father.

4. Desmond Edgely-Skulduggery Pleasant-Derek Landy

I just love Desmond, he’s so weird and funny and he clearly loves his daughter.

5. Maxim Maresh-Shades of Magic Trilogy-VE Schwab

Maxim doesn’t really have much of a role in books 1 & 2 but it’s clear that he truly loves his son and when we do get to see more of him in the third book, it’s shown that he will do whatever it takes to protect his son, which I think makes a pretty great father!

Worst Dads

6. Mr Wormwood-Matilda-Roald Dahl

I think we can all agree that Mr Wormwood is absolute scum. He ignores his daughter, indulges his son, cheats people out of money and is just a general crook. I seriously cannot think of one redeeming quality this man has!

7. Callum Harker-This Savage Song-Victoria Schwab

Callum Harker is just completely soulless, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything but gaining more power and he just uses his daughter as another tool to do this.

8. Governer Dragna-Caraval-Stephanie Garber

Governer Dragna physically and emotionally abuses his daughters, I think that probably makes him the worst father on this list.

9. Prospero The Enchanter-The Night Circus-Erin Morgenstern

Prospero is just the worst! I mean he trains his daughter from childhood to compete in a contest that he knows could get her killed and for what? For his own ego that’s what. He abuses her in order to teach her magic, and he always seems to be looking out for himself rather than for his daughter.

10. Lucius Malfoy-Harry Potter-JK Rowling

I mean the guy was a Death Eater, so he likely killed a lot of people and was quite willing to make sure that his son followed in his footsteps, passing on his bigoted views to him and offering him up to Lord Voldemort, without caring that it might get him killed. Not exactly going to win a Father of The Year Award anytime soon.

I’m going to just stick to ten this week! Who do you think are the best and worst fictional dads? Do you agree with my list? Who would you add? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s list is Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t, otherwise known as the list of shame, as I’m sure there will be far too many on there! I probably won’t be on here much (if at all) this week, because I’m in Greece, so the next time you hear from me will probably be when I get back.