Top Ten Tuesday #271

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Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good weekend, like many other people I watched Hamilton on Disney+ this weekend and of course I loved it, and I’m sure many rewatches will follow. It definitely reminded me how much I miss seeing live theatre and I hope to be able to get back to see the West End version again when theatres reopen!

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic was meant to be Authors I’ve Read The Most Books By but I did that topic a few years ago, and to be honest, though the numbers might have changed, the authors haven’t really, so I decided to do a different topic this week. Instead, I’m going to do Best/Most Disappointing Series Enders (I wanted to do just the best but it turns out I do not have ten of those!):

Best Series Enders

  1. A Conjuring of Light-VE Schwab

I had the biggest book hangover after finishing this book, it took months for me to read another book that lived up to this one. It was such a brilliant finale, brought all of the threads of the series together and wrapped it up in such a satisfying way. I’m so excited for Threads of Power (the sequel series) when it comes out!

2. Undivided-Neal Shusterman

Dystopian finales have a tendency to be a bit repetitive, you get the big violent uprising against the government, the rebels win, yay everything’s on it’s way to being good! So I appreciated that Undivided took a more understated approach in that sense, whilst still being action packed, a lot of fun and tying up all the characters stories really well.

3. Firestarter-Tara Sim

Again, I had a massive book hangover after reading this book because it was just so good! Incredibly high stakes, emotional, brilliantly written and again everything wrapped up for the characters in a really satisfying way.

4. The Last Olympian-Rick Riordan

Everything comes together so well in this last book, with the fulfilment of the prophecy, the battle against Kronos and the other Titans and the Percy/Annabeth arc has a really satisfying conclusion!

5. The Raven King-Maggie Stiefvater

Okay, so looking back, technically The Raven King is probably not the best written book, it does kind of wander all over the place and there’s a lot that doesn’t make sense. But weirdly I still loved it as a series finale, because it’s one of those books where I got so into it that I lost all sense of time and place when I was reading and that doesn’t happen to me all the time!

Most Disappointing Series Enders

6. Allegiant-Veronica Roth

Weirdly, the reason I hated this last book in the Divergent trilogy is not for the reason that everyone would think (if you’ve read the book then you know). That part was actually the only bit about it that I really liked? Mostly, it’s overly long, quite dull and I didn’t like the change to dual perspective.

7. Ruin and Rising-Leigh Bardugo

The original Grisha trilogy was quite uneven for me, I was kind of meh about the first book, loved the second one and then the third one was also kind of meh. The pacing was all over the place, and the final battle was kind of anti-climactic. I also didn’t find the conclusion all that satisfying.

8. Finale-Stephanie Garber

I loved Caraval and Legendary, so not loving Finale was a big disappointment to me. It lacked structure and focus, the book was lengthier than it needed to be and I didn’t love all the focus on the romantic drama.

9. Hero At The Fall-Alwyn Hamilton

Again, this one was such a massive disappointment because I really enjoyed the first book in the Rebel of The Sands trilogy and I liked the second one well enough but this final book was overly long, slow paced and the final battle was incredibly anti-climactic.

10. Capturing The Devil-Keri Maniscalco

The mystery in this one got lost beneath all of the romantic drama between Audrey Rose and Thomas, so it wasn’t as satisfying a conclusion as it could have been because I spent so much time frustrated at them!

So there we go, those are my favourite/most disappointing series enders! Have you read any of these? What did you think? What’s your favourite series ender? Most disappointing one? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, this time we’re talking Books That Make Me Smile, which should be a fun one.

Top Ten Tuesday #270

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Hi all! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, I finally got to see both my friends together for the first time since January last Thursday and it was so lovely, it felt almost like pre-lockdown times!

Anyway, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (my 270th!) is another annual topic, and this time we’re talking our Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half of The Year. Weirdly, I actually struggled a bit more with this list than usual, normally the second half of the year is the one that is more packed with new releases for me, but for some reason this year, most of my anticipated releases were in the first half of the year. These will be in release date order, so it’s no indication for how excited I am for each book:

  1. The Notorious Virtues-Alwyn Hamilton-Releases 18th August

 

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I know this was on my first half of the year list as well, but its publication date got moved back to August so it’s making another appearance here. I’m really excited for Alwyn’s new book, heiresses in a 1920s inspired fantasy world based in the same universe as Rebel of The Sands, competing to be the family heir? Sounds amazing, plus that cover is gorgeous.

2. Where Dreams Descend-Janella Angeles-Releases 25th August

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AGH I’M SO EXCITED FOR THIS ONE! It’s meant to be Moulin Rouge (my favourite movie ever) meets Phantom of The Opera which sounds just perfect. Plus I’m a sucker for circus stories and a group of magical performers facing off against each other whilst avoiding being murdered sounds brilliant.

3. Queen of Volts (The Shadow Game #3)-Amanda Foody-Releases 1st September

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This is definitely up there with my most anticipated releases of the entire year! King of Fools was one of my favourite books from last year and I’m so excited to find out how Enne and Levi’s story ends. It’s also pretty perfect that this book comes out the week before my birthday, so a lovely early birthday present to myself!

4. The Silvered Serpents-Roshani Chokshi-Releases 22nd September

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How gorgeous is this cover? It kind of reminds me of Christmas actually with the red and the silver! Anyway, I really enjoyed The Gilded Wolves when I read it last month and I’m super excited to see what happens next when the sequel is released in September.

5. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue-VE Schwab-Releases 6th October

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Probably my most anticipated release of the entire year, let alone just the next six months! I mean what about an epic story that takes place over centuries about a girl who is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets after making a deal with the devil to live forever doesn’t sound incredible? I love VE Schwab’s adult books so much and I can’t wait to finally get to read this one.

6. The Tower of Nero (Trials of Apollo #5)-Rick Riordan

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I haven’t read the fourth book yet, but I’m still excited/slightly sad for this one as it will probably be my last Rick Riordan book (at almost 24, I’m just feeling a little old for them now) but I have loved his books over the years and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this series ends.

7. The Book Of Two Ways-Jodi Picoult-Releases 20th October

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I always get very excited for new Jodi Picoult books, and I just got approved for this one on Netgalley! This one sounds just as interesting as always, a death doula (someone who helps people die) has a near death experience and subsequently has to choose between returning to her life and exploring a path she could have taken over a decade earlier.

8. Kingdom of The Wicked-Keri Mansicalco-Releases 27th October

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I really enjoyed Kerri’s Stalking Jack The Ripper series, so naturally I’m excited to see what she does next. This book sounds awesome as well, a murder mystery set in Italy following two witch sisters, one who is killed, the other who is searching for vengeance on her murderer.

9. These Violent Delights-Chloe Gong-Releases 17th December

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I am not usually a Romeo and Juliet girl as I hate how some people romanticise that story (it’s a tragedy guys, not the kind of romance we should be aspiring to) but this one sounds brilliant: it’s a retelling set in 1920s Shanghai where Juliette is heir to a criminal network and has to work with her greatest enemy in order to stop a monster from taking over the city.

10. The Nobleman’s Guide To Scandal and Shipwrecks-Mackenzi Lee-1st December

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This was meant to come out in August but has been pushed back to December. I’m so excited to see what the Goblin is like as a teenager and see what Monty and Felicity are getting up to as adults.

So there we go, my most anticipated books for the rest of 2020. What books are you looking forward to for the rest of this year? Do we share any? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, this time I’m going to be going slightly off topic and talking about my Top Ten Series Enders, to go with my most recent discussion post about what makes a satisfying series finale.

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday #269

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, mine has been relatively quiet, but I’m getting to see my friends again on Thursday which I’m really excited for.

Anyway, it’s a very special Top Ten Tuesday today, as we’re celebrating 10 years & 500 topics! I’ve only been participating since 2015, but it’s always been the highlight of my week on the blog and has connected me to so many other bloggers. So congrats to Jana and the other ladies from the former The Broke and The Bookish on this amazing milestone. Long may it continue!

To celebrate, I’m tackling an old topic that I missed, Top Ten Series I Need To Finish. For this, I’m only including series that have all their books out because if I dive into unfinished series as well then this list would never end:

  1. The Great Library Series-Rachel Caine: Books To Finish:-#3-5

So I started the Great Library Series back in 2016 and I read the second book pretty soon after, but for whatever reason, even though I bought the third book I never got around to reading it. Then the fourth and fifth books came out and I still hadn’t read the third one! I did enjoy this series, so I want to finish it, but I just haven’t got around to it yet.

2. The Daevabad Trilogy-S.A. Chakraborty: Books To Finish: #3

Okay so technically I’m still in the process of reading the second book, but that should happen this week and then the third one will be the only one I have left to read. The end of Book 2 is shaping up to be pretty exciting, so I can’t wait to see what the final book has in store.

3. The Girl From Everywhere Duology-Heidi Heilig: Books To Finish: #2

I read the first book in this duology way back in 2017, but I found it really hard to find the second book afterward. I finally got my hands on it this year, so hopefully I will get around to finishing Nix’s story soon.

4. Everless Duology-Sara Holland: Books To Finish: #2

I read the first Everless book way back before it was released at the end of 2017, but never got around to the sequel. I’m hoping to rectify that at some point soon because I really enjoyed the first book.

5. Young Sherlock Holmes Series-Andy Lane: Books To Finish: #8

I was really into these books for a while and I read almost all of the series, up to number 7. I have the eighth book, but I never got around to it and then I found out that the series had been dropped by the publisher and so it was going to be left unfinished and I hate having to read a series with no closure. Still I would like to find out what Young Sherlock got up to on his last adventure at some point.

6. Daughter of The Pirate King Duology-Tricia Levenseller: Books To Finish: #2

I read the first book in this duology back in 2017, but then I never came across the second book in the series, so I never finished it. At some point I would like to get my hands on the second book and find out how Alosa’s adventures conclude.

7. The Archived Duology-VE Schwab: Books To Finish: #2

My reasoning for not getting around to this one is again that the publisher dropped the series and I don’t like having to leave a series unfinished. Still, I know that Victoria has talked about wanting to get Book 3 out there at some point, so I’m sure I will eventually get around to The Unbound.

8. Every Trilogy-Ellie Marney: Books To Finish: #2 & #3

I read the first book in this trilogy way back in 2017 and I do have the second book but it’s in storage in Scotland and I haven’t got it back yet. Hopefully when I get the rest of my books back out of storage then I’ll finally be able to get around to finishing this trilogy.

9. Pegasus Series-Kate O’Hearn: Books To Finish: #4-#6

It’s been a while since I read this series and to be honest, they are probably a little young for me now but I really enjoyed the first three when I read them and I hate leaving series unfinished when I start them!

10. The Lunar Chronicles-Marissa Meyer: Books To Finish: #3&#4 (plus novellas)

I wasn’t entirely sure about Cinder but I enjoyed Scarlet and I would like to finish this series, I just haven’t got around to it yet. I think I’m going to do the rest of the books on audio as the third and fourth books are rather chunkier than I usually prefer to read.

11. The Arc of A Scythe Trilogy-Neal Shusterman: Books To Finish: #2 & #3

I read the first book ages ago and I’ve had the second book for a while, but both of the latter two books in this trilogy are quite chunky and I just haven’t got around to them yet. Hopefully I will soon!

12. Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy-Laini Taylor: Books To Finish: #3

I read the second book of this series back in 2018, and was massively disappointed in it so I’ve kind of put off the final book in the trilogy. I still want to finish it for closure’s sake but my expectations are pretty low.

13. Between The Lines Duology-Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer: Books To Finish: #2

I read the first book in this duology way back in 2012 and it was super cute, if maybe a little young for me. I bought the second book, but again, it’s up in storage in Scotland so I haven’t had access to it for a while. When I finally get my books back in the same place, I definitely want to get around to finishing this duology.

So there we go, those are the series I want to finish. Have you read any of these? Did you enjoy them? What topic did you choose for today’s celebration? Have you been with TTT since the start or did you join more recently? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, this time with our annual Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half of The Year.

Top Ten Tuesday #268

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Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, it’s been another week of boredom here for me and my hayfever is out in full force, but I’m slowly starting to get to see more people which is really nice, it’s been far too long!

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, which means another Top Ten Tuesday courtesy of Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is our annual Summer TBR topic, which is always a fun one. I did pretty well with my Spring TBR, I read 8 of the books off that list (well technically I still have to finish Incendiary but as I’m only 4 chapters from the end, I’m counting it) so I’m hoping I’ll be just as successful with this TBR. The one benefit of lockdown is that I’ve got a lot of reading done, so long may that continue!:

  1. Dry-Neal Shusterman

My current read, I’m about halfway through it at the moment and I’m…..well enjoying it seems like the wrong word since everything is going to hell for all the characters at the moment but it’s definitely very eye-opening.

2. King of Scars-Leigh Bardugo

My July #RockMyTBR book, I’m so excited, it’s been a while since I last read a Grisha book (I finished the original trilogy in January of last year) and Nikolai is one of my favourite characters from the series, so I can’t wait to see what he gets up to in the first book of his duology.

3. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes-Suzanne Collins

This was on my Spring TBR, but I didn’t get around to it, it’s a lot chunkier than I was expecting. Still I’m determined to get around to it this summer as it’s one of my most anticipated releases of this year, so hopefully will get around to it in either July or August.

4. The Dead Queens Club-Hannah Capin

This is my August #RockMyTBR book, I’m hoping that my second outing with this author goes better than the first. I wasn’t a massive fan of her 2020 release, Foul Is Fair, but given how much of a Tudor nerd I am, I’m hoping this contemporary take on the wives of Henry VIII will go a lot better for me.

5. Girl, Serpent, Thorn-Melissa Bashardoust

This is my current Netgalley read, I wasn’t the biggest fan of her first book, Girls Made of Snow and Glass but I’m only about 5 chapters into this one and I’m already feeling that I’m enjoying it more than that one. It’s #ownvoices based around Persian mythology which is pretty cool as I’ve never read anything inspired by that mythology before.

6. Empire of Gold-S.A. Chakraborty

I’m currently reading Kingdom of Copper and I cannot wait to see how this whole thing works out in Empire of Gold. KoC has been a bit slowgoing but I’m sure that it’s building up for a really exciting conclusion in this final book.

7. The Court of Miracles-Kester Grant

I’ve been seeing mixed things about this on social media, but I’m still really excited to get to it because Les Mis meets Six of Crows sounds amazing and French historical fantasies have been working really well for me so far, so I have decent hopes for this one.

8. The Nobleman’s Guide To Shipwrecks and Scandals-Mackenzi Lee

I’m doing this as a buddy read with a friend from the YA book club I’m in on Goodreads and I’m really looking forward to seeing Monty and Felicity as adults, as well as meeting the Goblin as a teenager!

9. Sightwitch-Susan Dennard

I’ve been working my way through the Witchlands books this year, and Sightwitch is next up. I don’t usually bother with novellas, but apparently this one has some important information for Bloodwitch, so I’m hoping I will enjoy it.

10. Sherwood-Megan Spooner

A FEMALE ROBIN HOOD RETELLING! I have been wanting one of these for ages, so I’m super excited to read this book where Marian takes centre stage as the “Robin Hood” character.

11. Queen of Volts-Amanda Foody

I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am for this one. This was probably my most anticipated release of all new releases for this year, I can’t wait to see how this trilogy ends, what happens to all the characters I love. September cannot come soon enough, it’s a lovely little early birthday present for me that this book comes out just under two weeks before my birthday!

12. Dangerous Remedy-Kat Dunn

Like I said, historical French set fantasies have been working really well for me recently, so I have decent hopes for this one, set during the French Revolution. It’s also got a cast full of LGBTQIA+ characters, which I love and definitely want to see more fantasies with!

So there we go, that’s my Summer TBR! It’s a little more ambitious than I would usually go for, but since I’ve been reading about 5 books a month since lockdown started, I figured it was worth having a couple of extra books on there. What books are on your summer TBR? Have you read any of these? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with another TTT, this one is Top Ten Tuesday’s 10th anniversary, which is super exciting, we’re doing topics we didn’t get the chance to do initially, so I’m going to talk about Series I Need To Finish, as I didn’t really have that many unfinished series the first time that topic came around and well…..I do now!

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday #267

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Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since my last TTT, I finally got to see one of my friends, Hannah for the first time since January and it was so lovely to see her in person finally, even if social distancing with your friends feels very odd!

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, which means another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking Books I Added To My TBR and Forgot Why and ooh boy…..I had like 60 of these to start off with. I managed to narrow down to ten, but it was tough! On the up side, doing this topic made me go through my TBR and delete a lot of the books that I’d completely lost interest in, so that’s something. Here we go, Top Ten Books I Added To My TBR and Forgot Why:

  1. The Hidden Memory of Objects-Danielle Mages Amato

I added this along with a load of upcoming 2017 releases at the end of 2016/beginning of 2017 and completely forgot about it. I mean it sounds quite cool, sister tries to solve her brother’s murder, but there are so many more recent releases that I’m more excited for that this one has kind of fallen by the wayside.

2. Winter Queen-Amber Argyle

I don’t even remember adding this one, and I’m definitely not sure why. I reckon it was back in 2015 when Sarah J Maas had made more interested in Faerie stories, but I can’t say I feel all that excited about Fae right now, so I doubt I will be reading this anytime soon.

3. Those Who Save Us-Jenna Blum

Again, I don’t even remember when I added this one to my TBR, it’s been there that long! I do like WWII stories, so it is possible that I will come back to this one at some point, but then again, I feel like if I was really interested in reading it, I wouldn’t have forgotten about it for so long!

4. The Boy Who Dared-Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Another WWII book that I added to my TBR and forgot about. This is much the same as the one above, I like WWII stories but I’ve forgotten about this one for so long that I kind of doubt my interest in it was that high in the first place.

5. Holding Smoke-Elle Cosimano

This sounds cool, a guy in prison for murder who is able to escape prison by leaving his physical body. Also though it’s been on my TBR forever and I’ve never actually felt “I really need to finally get to this” so again, I’m just not sure if my interest in it has waned from that initial excitement.

6. The Girl I Used To Be-April Henry

I had no idea this was even on my TBR until I scrolled through it looking at my books! I do like murder mystery thrillers, but I can’t say it’s a genre I’ve felt pulled to recently and they nearly always seem to disappoint me, so I don’t know if I’ll be picking this one up in the future.

7. The Next Together-Lauren James

Again, I don’t really remember why I added this one, I think everyone on Twitter was talking about the author and I was just intrigued. It sounds very similar to Outlander, which I do love, but in much the same vein as I will never read the Outlander book series, The Next Together sounds way too romance focused for me to fully enjoy it, so I’m not sure why I added it in the first place.

8. Burning Midnight-Will McIntosh

The concept for this one does sound very unique, which I think is why I added it in the first place, but I have come across it a few times in bookshops and never really felt the urge to buy it so I feel like I may have lost interest?

9. These Rebel Waves-Sara Raasch

I barely even remember adding this one, I reckon it was probably before I read Snow Like Ashes and realised I wasn’t a massive fan! I do love pirates, so I feel like I should be more keen on trying this one, but I just haven’t felt the need to pick it up since I added it.

10. The Assignment-Liza M Weimer

I added this one last year when I was looking up 2020 releases, and it does sound interesting, but I added so many 2020 releases that I probably forgot like half of them! I think I will still get to this one at some point in the future, but it’s not top of my TBR.

So there we go, those are the books I added to my TBR and completely forgot why. Have you read any of these? Are they worth it? Are there any I should remove from my TBR? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with my annual Summer TBR, funnily my second summer TBR for this year since I was in South Africa during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter!

Top Ten Tuesday #266

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Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since my last TTT, nothing has really changed here, we’re still in lockdown and though I could see more of my friends now, I live too far away from most of them to visit without using public transport, so that’s not great. It looks like the weather is going to turn more typically UK in the next few days as well (i.e. cold and rainy) which is a shame!

Anyway, since it’s Tuesday, I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking Books That Give off Summer Vibes, which I’m not going to lie was a tricky one for me. Most of the books I read definitely fit into the Autumn/Winter vibe category, I prefer books that are a bit darker! So suffice to say, this week’s list will be a bit shorter than normal, because I just couldn’t come up with much:

  1. The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants-Ann Brashares

This entire series is set over consecutive summers in the lives of Bridget, Lena, Carmen and Tibby, plus it’s all about friendship so definitely fits with the theme of warm, summery vibes.

2. Rebel of The Sands-Alwyn Hamilton

Nothing says summer vibes like reading a book that’s primarily set in a desert? Ironically, I read this one in February, so the weather was definitely not summery, but what is reading for if not to escape the gloomy, British weather!

3. Percy Jackson and The Olympians Series-Rick Riordan

This was one of the first books to come to mind when I this topic came up, since obviously all of the original series books are set during summers at Camp Half-Blood (well except the third one) and the humour and friendship in this series also gives off very summery vibes.

4. Dangerous Girls-Abigail Haas

The whole murder part of this book doesn’t exactly give off summer vibes, but it is set in Aruba, a decidedly warm and sunny setting so I think it qualifies. It works in a sort of Death In Paradise kind of way, gorgeous setting, gruesome murder. Plus this is one of my favourite thrillers ever!

5. The Girl From Everywhere-Heidi Heilig

Okay, so technically the large majority of this book is set in October, but it still feels very summery to me, I don’t know if that’s because when I think of Hawaii, my mental pictures are usually quite summery, but there’s just something about the book that gives me a very summery feeling.

6. The City of Brass-S.A. Chakraborty

Again, the setting here gives off very summery vibes. We open up in Cairo and obviously again when I think of Egypt, I think of heat and then when we get to Daevabad, there’s something about the city that just feels very summery to me, just the way that it’s described gave off very summery vibes.

So there we go, that’s my shortened TTT for this week! I wish I could have come up with more, but honestly, I just don’t read that many summery books! Have you read any of these? What summer reads would you recommend? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week, hopefully with a normal length TTT, talking about Books I’ve Added To My TBR And Forgotten Why.

Top Ten Tuesday #265

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Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, the monotony of lockdown life continues over here, but I went for a nice walk with my family on Bank Holiday Monday yesterday and the weather continues to be nice so it’s not all doom and gloom here.

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday courtesy of Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking Opening Lines. I was initially going to do my favourite Opening Lines from books, but then I realised that most of the ones I had were remarkably similar to ones I’d used for a Thursday Quotables topic a few years ago. So I decided to tweak my choice of Opening Lines topic a little, and go with Best Opening Lines From My Favourite Authors’ Books. Some are the same as from that Thursday Quotables topic, but this allowed me for a lot more new ones, so it shouldn’t be a complete rehash:

  1. “Look I didn’t want to be a half-blood” -The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan

I was instantly hooked by this first line and wanted to know more, which is exactly what an opening to a book should do. I really hope the new TV series starts with this, would be so brilliant!

2. “Kell wore a very peculiar coat” -A Darker Shade of Magic, VE Schwab

Again, this opening line is just instantly intriguing. We have no idea who Kell is or what about this particular coat is strange, but you want to know more, don’t you?

3. “Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told she’d kill her true love” -The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater

The opening line to this book (and series) tells you a lot that you need to know already, before you’ve even met most of the characters. You know that Blue is going to be important and you know that she’s going to kill her true love. What you don’t yet know is how or why, which sets up an intriguing beginning for a very strange series.

4. “Maybe I’d always been broken inside” -A Court of Mist and Fury, Sarah J Maas

The opening line to A Court of Mist and Fury really sets up Feyre’s current state of mind and the journey that she is going to go on over the course of the book.

5. “Gordon Edgely’s sudden death came as a shock to everyone-not least himself” -Skulduggery Pleasant, Derek Landy

It’s an interesting move to start a series with a character that is not the main character, but it really works here. It sets up the humour and tone for the book whilst also making the reader wonder, well who is Gordon Edgely and why is he dead?

6. “By the time Alex was able to get the blood out of her good wool coat, it was too warm to wear it” -Ninth House, Leigh Bardugo

It was a toss up between this and the opening to Six of Crows, but I went with this one because as good an opening line as Six of Crows has, Joost is barely relevant to the story. This one on the other hand, sets up the main character of the book, establishes that this opening is set sometime in the future so we know that we are likely to be flashing back through the book and it also establishes that someone has likely died, given that Alex’s coat has blood on it. That’s quite a lot of heavy lifting that this opening line does!

7. “Mr and Mrs Dursley of Number 4 Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much” -Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling

I will admit that I wouldn’t necessarily position JK Rowling as a favourite anymore, given well…..everything, but I do still love Harry Potter and this opening line is pretty iconic. By setting up the story with the Dursleys and establishing how normal they are, you are immediately given to wondering where the “abnormality” is in this particular world.

8. “It’s rare that a story starts at the beginning” -The Mime Order, Samantha Shannon

This doesn’t really do much in terms of setting up world and characters (though it is a second book, so that’s pretty well done by this point) and it’s more sort of a mini prologue before we get into the story proper, but I really love this musing, because it’s very true? When we read books, we’re never actually starting at the beginning of someone’s story. we’re starting at the beginning of whatever interesting thing is about to happen to them.

9. “The scythe arrived late on a cold November afternoon” -Scythe, Neal Shusterman

I immediately have questions on reading this, you want to know exactly what is a scythe, what is this particular one doing and why is he important to the story?

10. “They said that the only folk who belonged in Deadshot after dark were the ones who were up to no good” -Rebel of The Sands, Alwyn Hamilton

Again, I’m instantly intrigued. We have a setting, Deadshot and we know that the people who live in this town might be less than savoury. You also immediately want to know exactly what kind of “no good” our narrator might be up to.

So there we go, those are some of my favourite opening lines from books by my favourite authors! Do you like any of these? What are your favourite opening lines? Let me know in the comments!

I will be back next week with a new Top Ten Tuesday, Books That Give off Summer Vibes, which might be a tricky one for me, since I am firmly an Autumn/Winter vibe kind of reader, but we’ll see if I manage to come up with anything!

Top Ten Tuesday #264

TTT-Big2

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all been doing well since I last did one of these, not much has changed here, we’re still largely in lockdown and I’m still pretty bored, though all the extra down time has allowed me to get a lot of reading done which is good and the weather has been nice so far this week, so you know…small silver linings.

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re given largely free rein, as the topic was Reasons Why I Love….(insert topic here). I’ve decided to share the Reasons Why I Love VE Schwab’s books, as she has become one of my favourite authors in the last few years.

  1. They remind me why I fell in love with reading in the first place

Not that I’ve ever fallen out of love with reading, but when I first read A Darker Shade of Magic, it reminded me exactly why reading became one of my favourite things. It takes a very special book to really transport you to another world and forget about the one you’re in for a while and A Darker Shade of Magic did that for me.

2. Her characters are brilliant

Nothing is ever black and white in a VE Schwab novel, all her characters live in various shades of morally grey. I mean she wrote two entire books about people who are objectively villains and yet we still fall in love with them because in a VE Schwab book nothing is ever as simple as villain/hero. I’ve fallen in love with so many of her characters over the four years I’ve been reading her books, and they are definitely one of the biggest draws for me.

3. She creates amazing worlds

World building is one of the biggest things to get right in any fantasy novel and VE Schwab nails it. She creates these brilliant worlds, detailed enough for you to get lost it but not so complicated that you find them confusing. I would love to get transported into the Londons and just explore!

4. No two of her books are the same, yet you can always feel that she wrote them

One of my favourite things about VE Schwab’s books is that though her books all have a very distinctive style and you can definitely tell that she is the author, no two of them are the same. She really does have something for everyone, whether you want to read about ghosts in haunted Edinburgh, or supervillains with ExtraOrdinary powers, she’s written so many books with different worlds and characters that there’s something for pretty much everyone if you look for it.

5. I love her writing style

Her writing is just brilliant and it really works for me as a reader? She never falls into the flowery prose trap, her writing is both beautiful and eminently quotable but it also always purposeful.

6. Reading her books inspired me to write again

When I picked up A Darker Shade of Magic in 2016, I hadn’t really written anything except fanfiction in a good four/five years and I’d kind of put my author dreams on the back burner. I fell so hard in love with A Darker Shade of Magic that it reminded me exactly why I’d started writing in the first place, and by the end of that year, I’d done my first NaNoWriMo.

7. She’s really open about the realities of publishing

This is more a general author life thing rather than specific to her books, but I appreciate how open she is about publishing and the difficulties she’s faced (as well as the great things that have happened to her) because it gives young writers like me a much clearer picture of the realities of the business.

8. She writes the best villains

This is kind of connected to #2, but villains are really hard to write well and VE Schwab does it with ease! Her villains are genuinely complex and scary (the Dane Twins anyone?) and she never falls into the trap of the cookie cutter, mustache twirling villain which I really appreciate.

9. She writes in different age categories so you could grow up with her books

Obviously this isn’t relevant to me, but it’s just something that I love, she writes middle grade, YA & Adult so if a kid started reading her books at 11 or 12, they could grow up through different age categories still reading her books.

10. Her books are generally paced really well

There have been some exceptions to this, as there always are but by and large, her books are brilliantly paced, which is something that always seems to be a massive issue for me with most books and I usually never have an issue with it in VE Schwab’s books: once I’ve started, I’m completely in it and carried along for the ride!

So there we go, those are the reasons I love VE Schwab’s books! Have you read any? Which one is your favourite? Are you planning on reading her books soon and want recommendations on where to start? Why do you love her books? Let me know in the comments!

I will be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, this time we’ll be talking about Opening Lines and I’ll be sharing my Top Ten Favourite Opening Lines of Books.

Top Ten Tuesday #263

TTT-Big2

Hi all! I hope you are all doing well and have had a good week since I last did one of these. Not much has changed here, we’re still on lockdown in the UK and though some of the restrictions have been lifted this week, none of them are going to make any difference to me, except maybe being able to exercise a little more.

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana from That Artsy Reader Girl. Today we’re talking The Last Ten Books I Abandoned, which could be interpreted as any number of things. I’m going to talk about The Last Ten Books I DNF’ed as in the past I’ve never had enough books to do this topic and now I do. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, I’m going to take it as a good thing, since I’ve been trying to allow myself to put down books I’m not feeling into without feeling bad about it. So here we go, the last ten books I DNF’ed:

  1. The Fowl Twins-Artemis Fowl

I requested this last year because I loved Artemis Fowl when I was a kid, however I just couldn’t really get into the story, probably because I’m now 23 and not 14 like I was when I first read it and so I abandoned it after a few chapters.

2. The Fountains of Silence-Ruta Sepetys

This one hurt. I loved both of the other Sepetys’ books I’ve read and I thought this one would be no different, but I really struggled. I was over 200 pages into the book and basically nothing had happened. It was such a shame because the idea of a story set in Franco era Spain was brilliant but I just wasn’t into it.

3. We Hunt The Flame-Hafsah Faizal

I’ll be honest, I didn’t really read that much of this one, maybe one or two chapters but when I sat down to read it, I never actually felt like it and I took that as a sign that I wasn’t really into it. Maybe I’ll try it again someday but for now it’s on the DNF shelf.

4. Wonder Woman: Warbringer-Leigh Bardugo

Again, this one hurt because I love Leigh Bardugo. I was about 5 or 6 chapters into this one but the chapters were just SO LONG and I wasn’t really getting into the story at all, so I decided to put it down and try something else rather than forcing myself to power through.

5. Spinning Silver-Naomi Novik

I’ve not had much luck with Naomi Novik’s books, what with this one and then Uprooted. Novik’s writing style was a bit too much for me, and honestly again I was just bored. Nothing really seemed to be happening and I had other Netgalley books I was more excited about, so I just left it.

6. The Belles-Dhonielle Clayton

Again, the writing style just didn’t work for me here. It was too flowery and descriptive and I got quite frustrated by the lack of speech marks as it meant I never knew who was talking when!

7. Beasts Made of Night-Tochi Onyebuchi

I really wanted to like this one, the concept sounded so good and such a unique idea. Sadly, I just didn’t really like the way it was written and I couldn’t really get into the story, so I had to put it down.

8. Invictus-Ryan Graudin

I’ll be honest, my abandonment of this one was less due to boredom or not liking the story, but more due to the fact that I ran out of time to read it when I got it from Netgalley! I may try it again if the mood strikes me, but I haven’t felt like it yet.

9. The Hanging Girl-Eileen Cook

Again, I did run out of time to read this one, but also I was kind of bored by it? Granted I wasn’t very far in, but I wasn’t feeling particularly connected. Again, I may go back to it at some point but I haven’t felt the mood strike me yet.

10. Final Girls-Riley Saeger

Once again I was just bored by this one. I was almost halfway through and barely anything had happened. I expected to be thrilled by a thriller and I just wasn’t by this one.

Have you read any of these? Did you like them? What were the last books that you didn’t finish? Let me know in the comments!

I will be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, I’ll be talking Reasons Why I Love VE Schwab’s Books.

Top Ten Tuesday #262

TTT-Big2

Hi all! I hope you are all doing well and have had a good week since I last did one of these. My cabin fever continues, as we are still locked down here and it looks like we probably will be for at least the next month, possibly even longer. Thankfully the weather seems like it’s going to be nice this week, so I should be able to get a run in and maybe some reading out on the balcony, after all lockdown is all about the small pleasures.

Anyway, since it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking Things I’d Have At My Bookish Party, so I’ve decided to go for Fictional Characters I’d Have At My Bookish Party. Now let’s be honest, I’m not really a party person, so when I say “party” I generally mean me and a couple of friends with pizza and movies! A party with 10 other people in real life would definitely not be something I would do, so rest assured this is definitely something that would only happen in a fictional universe:

  1. Izzy O’Neill-The Exact Opposite of Okay-Laura Steven

Izzy would be super fun to hang out with and I reckon she would definitely be down for a chill evening of stuffing her face with pizza and watching lots of movies! Our love of food is something we have in common, so I reckon we would have a lot of fun together.

2. Percy Jackson-PJO Universe-Rick Riordan

Percy would be a lot of fun to have at a party, as long as he didn’t bring any Greek monsters with him! I would definitely love to spend an evening listening to more stories about his adventures.

3. Fred and George Weasley-Harry Potter-JK Rowling

Wouldn’t Fred and George be so much fun to have at a party? They could bring along their fireworks and we could have a fireworks display to end the night (safely in the back garden and not inside the house of course).

4. Evie O’Neill-The Diviners Series-Libba Bray

Where there is a party, there has to be Evie O’Neill. Granted, I reckon the two of us would have very different ideas of what makes a fun party, but if there’s a party going on, no matter how low key, Evie would want to be involved.

5. Leo Valdez-PJO Universe-Rick Riordan

Leo would also be a lot of fun to have at a party, he could bring Festus and we could all take turns riding around on him, which sounds a hell of a lot more fun than dancing!

6. Henry “Monty” Montague-Montague Siblings-Mackenzi Lee

Much like Evie, where there is a party, you tend to be able to find Monty. Again, I think we’d have different ideas of what makes a fun party, but he would be a lot of fun to hang around with, so I can overlook that. Plus he’s definitely mellowed from being with Percy.

7. Safiya Von Hasstrel-Witchlands series-Susan Dennard

Safi would be so much fun to hang around with, I reckon she and I would have a great time playing cards, though we definitely couldn’t play Cheat, as Safi would wipe the floor with me!

8. Queenie-Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein

Queenie is definitely one for a good time, and with her penchant for pretending to be other people, a party with her would definitely not be boring!

9. Enne Salta-The Shadow Game Trilogy-Amanda Foody

Enne might be more used to balls than pizza parties, but I reckon she would enjoy having a chance to kick up her feet and relax with a few slices of pizza and lots of movies!

10. Aelin Galathynius-Throne of Glass series-Sarah J Maas

Aelin is definitely one for a party and since she loves music so much, I’m sure she’d be willing to be the party’s DJ! Plus, she would bring a myriad of sweet treats, so we definitely wouldn’t be short on chocolate.

Which fictional characters would you invite to your bookish party? What kind of party would you have? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, this time we’ll be talking Last Ten Books I Abandoned, so I’ll be sharing the very few books that I have not finished in my time as a reader, since I finally have enough to actually make a Top Ten List!