Top Ten Tuesday #156


Hi all! I hope you’ve all been having a good week, I am taking a break from the hell of exam revision to write this post, but at least by the end of next week, it will all be over!

Anyway, it’s Tuesday now, and that means another Top Ten Tuesday courtesy of Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Today we’re talking Frequently Used Words In Titles (a topic I suggested!). A while back I did a post on unique YA Fantasy Titles, and today, I’m going to explore the opposite side of the coin, and talk about the Most Commonly Used Words In YA Fantasy Titles. It was difficult to narrow these down, because there are SO MANY commonly used words, but I picked what I think are the most overused ones. So here we go:

  1. Shadow

For some reason, YA Fantasies really love the word Shadow! I don’t know, I guess shadows conjure kind of dark and eerie images and that’s a vibe a lot of fantasies want to go for?

Examples (not an exhaustive list): Shadow and Bone, Queen of Shadows, A Shadow Bright and Burning, Lord of Shadows, Reign of Shadows, Sea of Shadows, Empire of Shadows, Shadow Scale, Shadow Study, Prince of Shadows, Dance of Shadows, Shadows On The Moon, Shadow Kiss, Library of Light and Shadows, Shadow Crown, Mask of Shadows, Cloaked In Shadow, The Shadow Throne, A Skinful of Shadows, Shadowsong, Seven Deadly Shadows, Shadows on The Moon, The Shadow Hour

2. Bone

Bones also appear very frequently in YA fantasy titles, again, I guess because a lot of fantasy these days eers towards the dark and what is dark and creepier than bones?

Examples: Children of Blood and Bone, Shadow and Bone, Ink and Bone, Ivory and Bone, City of Bones, The Bone Queen, The Bone Witch, Daughter of Smoke and Bone

3. Blood

Since there is a trend towards a lot of death and violence in quite a number of YA fantasies, it makes sense that Blood is a commonly used word in YA fantasy titles, as an indicator of what is to come within the pages!

Examples: Children of Blood and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight, Frostblood, Fireblood, Nightblood, Blood Rose Rebellion, The Blood of Stars, A River of Royal Blood, Blood of A Thousand Stars, Silver In The Blood, Blood Promise, Blood Passage, Sisters of Blood and Spirit, Blood and Sand, Blood of The Prophet, Isle of Blood and Stone, Blood Magic, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince, Half-Blood, RoseBlood, Song of Blood and Stone. The Blood of Olympus

4. King/Queen/Prince/Princess

Royalty is a key aspect of a lot of YA Fantasy, so it’s unsurprising that royal titles comprise a large portion of YA Fantasy titles.

Examples: Queen of Shadows, The Shadow Queen, Daughter of The Pirate King, Daughter of The Siren Queen, The Raven King, The Caged Queen, Red Queen, The Star Touched Queen, Princess of Thorns, Winter Queen, King’s Cage, The Iron King, Prince Caspian, The Traitor Prince, The Half Blood Prince, The Cruel Prince, Traitor Prince, Prince of Shadows, Ash Princess, The Orphan Queen, The Imposter Queen, The Sleeping Prince, Queens of Innis Lear, The Queen’s Rising, The Rogue Queen, The Fire Queen, The King’s Traitor, The Young Queens, The Demon King, Clockwork Princess, Clockwork Prince, Queen of The Tearling, The Queen of Air and Darkness. The Iron Queen, The Wicked King

5. Daughter

Titular daughters are incredibly common in YA, although often these titular daughters are daughter of “things” rather than daughters of people-you know since parents are usually absent in YA Fantasy!

Exmaples: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Daughter of The Pirate King, Daughter of The Siren Queen, Daughters of The Storm, The Sin Eater’s Daughter, Daughter of The Burning City, The Watchmaker’s Daughter

5. Crown

Given the obsession with royalty in fantasy, it’s unsurprising that crowns make more than a few appearances in YA Fantasy titles!

Examples: The Crown’s Game, Three Dark Crowns, Crown of Midnight, The Crown’s Fate, The Crown and The Arrow, Cruel Crown, Hollow Crown, Shadow Crown, The Crown of Embers, Crown of Ice, The Crimson Crown, Crown of Thunder

6. Fire

Fire seems to be a quite common magical power in YA fantasies (including in my own WIPs), so naturally, it appears quite often in their titles!

Examples: For A Muse of Fire, Heir of Fire, Firestarter, Ice Like Fire, Paper and Fire, Of Fire and Stars, Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Fire Thief, The Secret Fire, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, Playing With Fire, Spindle Fire, Fireblood, The Fire Queen, Trial By Fire, Fire, Fire Lines, Girls of Paper and Fire, Wicked Like A Wildfire, Bright Smoke Cold Fire, City of Heavenly Fire

7. Throne

Because where there are royals, there are thrones!

Examples: Traitor To The Throne, One Dark Throne, Throne of Glass, Throne of Fire, The Shadow Throne, The Gray Wolf Throne, Throne of The Crescent Moon, The Vanishing Throne

8. City

Honestly I’m not entirely sure why City is so popular in Fantasy books? I guess maybe it’s a way to indicate Urban Fantasy?

Examples: City of  Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, City of Heavenly Fire (yup that’s just The Mortal Instruments books!), Tarnished City, City of Bastards, Hollow City, City of Brass, Black City, The Secret City

9. Night

I mean YA fantasy loves a bit of darkness, so it fits that Night is a common title word choice!

Examples: Torch Against The Night, Frost Like Night, The Night Circus, Night of Cake and Puppets, Beasts of Night, Night Study, Nevernight, The Night Realm, Evernight, Nightshade, Nightblood, Midnight, Crown of Midnight, Girl at Midnight, Muse of Nightmares, Vassa In The Night, Wink Poppy Midnight, A Thousand Nights

10. Stars

Because in a genre obsessed with nighttime and darkness, stars are just the next step right?

Examples: The Star Touched Queen, Ruin of Stars, Obsidian and Stars, Of Fire and Stars, A Court of Frost and Starlight, Days of Blood and Starlight, Blood of A Thousand Stars, The Midnight Star, Girl of Ink and Stars, Even The Darkest Stars, The Stars Never Rise,

So there you go, some of the most commonly used words in YA Fantasy titles! I’m sure there’s many that I’ve missed, so leave your suggestions in the comments. I’m going to be kind of MIA over the next couple of weeks because of exams, I will try to get my review of Hero At The Fall up but I don’t really have time to sit down and write it at the minute because of my exams, so it might be a bit late! But I will be back with my newest Top Ten Tuesday post next week, talking about Books I’d Slay A Lion To Get Early, so stay tuned for that!




Top Ten Tuesday #155


Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week, I had my University Sports Ball on Friday night and it was so much fun, I love getting the chance to dress up and go for a fancy night out with my friends, plus I’ll go basically anywhere as long as I’m fed (and they gave us a three course meal, including brownie and salted caramel ice-cream for desert so you know, very happy Jo).

But anyway, it’s Tuesday now, and time for another Top Ten Tuesday courtesy of Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Today we have been given free reign to do whatever we like, with a freebie topic, so I am, in a frankly shocking move, not going to be talking about books today. Instead, I thought as we had a free topic this week, I would share with you one of my other great loves: films. Specifically, musical films. Much as I love talking about books on here, I do have other things that I love and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share some of my favourite musical movies with you guys (I’m not including anything Disney on this list because let’s face it, they could be a list entirely of their own). So here we go:

  1. Moulin Rouge

My favourite movie of ever, so of course it tops my list this week. I’ve actually lost count of how many times I’ve watched it by now, but put it this way, any kind of celebration for me usually involves this movie, pizza and a ton of Ben and Jerry’s. I’ve also forced basically all my friends to watch it multiple times (I’d apologise, but you guys know that I’m not at all sorry). I mean this film has everything, an awesome soundtrack, incredible choreography (THE TANGO SCENE), amazing costumes and great actors. And let’s face it, brooding writer and musician Ewan McGregor is definitely Ewan McGregor’s best look.

2. Hairspray (2007)

Yes, I’m talking the 2007 version here, not the original 1988 one, because I haven’t actually seen that one! Hairspray is definitely my go-to feel good movie musical, since you know, much as I love Moulin Rouge, it is kind of a downer. Again, obviously the soundtrack is AMAZING, but I also love the costumes (it’s the early 60’s, so everything still looks kind of 50s-esque) and it just generally makes me smile (aside from I Know Where I’ve Been, which definitely makes you cry).

3. The Greatest Showman

I’m totally addicted to the soundtrack of this one and it’s been really hard to find a decent movie musical that’s non-Disney in the last few years, so this one was definitely a welcome surprise. Obviously a lot of liberties are taken with the actual life of PT Barnum, and some of the more unsavoury aspects of his character are glossed over, but this musical is definitely a visual and aural spectacle and Hugh Jackman is outstanding as the lead. I dare you to leave the cinema after watching this without a) a smile on your face and b) belting out one/more of the songs.

4. The Last Five Years

I may have a minor (okay not so minor) crush on Jeremy Jordan because of this movie. His voice though……. This movie does live and die on the music, since it is almost entirely sung through, and both Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan have great voices, and the songs go from fun and incredibly catchy to ridiculously heartbreaking and back again as we proceed both forwards and backwards through Jamie and Cathy’s five year relationship to see where it all went wrong. Honestly this musical is so underrated, and deserves so much more love than it gets, because it’s brilliant.

5. Mamma Mia

Yes, it’s incredibly cheesy and Pierce Brosnan’s singing leaves A LOT to be desired, but anything with Meryl Streep in it really can’t go too far wrong. This is another one of my favourite uplifting feel good musicals, you just can’t help but sing and dance along with ABBA’s greatest hits. I’M SO EXCITED FOR THE SEQUEL THIS SUMMER.

6. Chicago

Honestly this movie would make it on this list for the Cell Block Tango alone, if I ever did a list of my favourite dance scenes in movies that would definitely be up there with El Tango De Roxanne from Moulin Rouge, and the tango from Take The Lead (apparently I really like the tango!). But you know it also has killer (sorry!) tunes, awesome costumes, amazing choreography and great actors. I would be mad that this won an Oscar for Best Picture and Moulin Rouge didn’t, but it’s such a great film, I can’t be (plus I was six at the time and hadn’t actually seen either film yet).

7. Fiddler On The Roof

It is almost three hours long, but it doesn’t feel like it because the songs are all so amazing and it’s a very aesthetically pleasing and well acted movie.

8. Walking On Sunshine

Yeah okay, so this film might not have the best singers or the best actors, or the best choreography, and yes, it’s ridiculously cheesy, but THE SONGS. It’s cheesy 80s tunes wrapped up into an hour and a half package of ridiculous fun and that alone makes it worth the watch (and the rewatch, and every subsequent rewatch).

9. Country Strong

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned before that I like country music, but I do and this musical drama is full of it and has some great original country tunes alongside some really awesome covers. Plus I love Leighton Meester and Garrett Hedlund is super hot. I can usually take or leave Gwyneth Paltrow, but she is really good in this movie.

10. Pitch Perfect

I have yet to see the third movie, and can take or leave number 2, but I do love the original movie, it’s a great modern take on the movie musical, and I love that it’s all about female friendship and girl power because those are things I am definitely here for.

Honourable Mention: The Sound of Music-I always found this one a little overly long and I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually seen all of it the whole way through, but it has a special place in my heart because it was one of my Nana’s favourite films.

So there you have it, my favourite movie musicals! Have you seen any of these? Do you like them? What are your favourite movie musicals? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is Frequently Used Words In X Genre/Age Group Titles, so I will naturally be doing Frequently Used Words In YA Fantasy Titles. I don’t know if I will have anything for you guys in the meantime, as I’ll be revising for my exams, although I’m nearly done with my current read Hero At The Fall, so I’ll have a review of that for you guys very soon.



Top Ten Tuesday #154


Hi all! My Uni is officially done for the semester, just exams to go now. I can’t wait until everything is over and I can spend my entire summer reading, although perhaps not as much time as I had originally thought because……I GOT A JOB. I am officially going to be wrangling kids for six weeks of the summer (which is fine, it means I still have another six to do nothing but read).

Anyway, since it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday from Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Now today’s topic is a little tricky for me, because it’s Books I Loved But Will Never Reread and for me, part of loving a book is feeling that impulsion when you close the book to want to go back to the beginning again. Whether I actually do it or not, is immaterial, if I really love a book, I will feel that way when it’s over. So I’m going to alter the topic slightly and go with Books I Will Probably Never Reread, whether I enjoyed them first time around or not. So here we go:

  1. Stealing Snow-Danielle Paige

I suffered enough with this the first time around, there is no way I would subject myself to it again. THERE WAS A LOVE QUADRANGLE. I am still shivering with rage just thinking about it.

2. The Night Circus-Erin Morgenstern

As much as I LOVED the aesthetics in this, I don’t think I’ll ever read it again, because the story just wasn’t really for me. I would love to be able to visit Le Cirque De Reves though!

3. Glass Sword-Victoria Aveyard

OH THE PAIN THIS BOOK CAUSED ME. It was so dull and I just couldn’t deal with Mare Barrow at all. It pains me that this book is signed and personalised because it means I now can’t get read of it.

4. Graceling-Kristin Cashore

I was really expecting to like this one and then, I just…didn’t? I do love strong female characters, but with Katsa, that was her only characteristic, there wasn’t any complexity to her character and she just really annoyed me. Plus, the plot was just SO SLOW.

5. The Princess Diaries Series-Meg Cabot

I did enjoy these when I read them, but my reading tastes have changed a lot since I was 12/13 and I don’t think I would enjoy them as much now as I did back then (plus from what I can remember, Mia really annoyed me and I actually preferred her in the movies).

6. The Roman Mysteries-Caroline Lawrence

I LOVED these books when I was a kid, but I wouldn’t reread them now, simply because I don’t think I’d find them as good as I did when I was a kid, because I’m not really the target age range anymore! It does make me sad that I never actually finished this series though.

7. Lord of The Flies-William Golding

I mean I never would have read it in the first place if I hadn’t been forced to for school, so there’s NO WAY that I’m subjecting myself to the torture of this book again.

8. The Fault In Our Stars-John Green

Yeah……I barely made it through once, so I don’t think I’ll ever be trying this one again……plus I gave my copy away, so yeah.

9. Allegiant-Veronica Roth

If I ever do a reread of the Divergent Trilogy (highly unlikely) then I will definitely be missing out this last book. It wasn’t a fun experience the first time, so I don’t think I’ll be putting myself through it again.

10. The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Nighttime-Mark Haddon

I know people who really like this one, but the writing style and story just wasn’t for me at all, and I don’t think I’ll ever read it again (in fact I think this is another one that I’ve got rid of).

So there we go, the books I will probably never reread! Do you agree with me on any of these? Disagree? What books will you probably never reread, either because you liked them or because you didn’t? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is a freebie, so you’ll have to wait until next week to see what I decide to do! In the meantime, I’m hoping to have a new discussion post and a new Writing Corner post for you guys very soon.


Top Ten Tuesday #153


Hi all! I hope you all had a really great Easter, I don’t really celebrate the religious aspects of the holiday (being an atheist), but it was nice to have my family all together, as we haven’t all been together since Christmas, and my parents are staying up in Stirling for a few weeks so that will be nice.

Anyway, since it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday from Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl, this week we’re talking about Favourite Characters In Books We Didn’t Like, but since if I don’t like a book, characters tend to be a big part of that, I’m going to switch the topic around and talk about Characters I Hated In Books I Liked (which yes, I realise seems like a bit of an oxymoron, since I just said that characters are a big part of my reasoning for liking a book, but usually if I like a book, I love the main characters, but there can still be side characters that I don’t like as much). So here we go, Characters I Hated In Books I Liked:

  1. Severus Snape-Harry Potter Series-JK Rowling

Yes, okay, I know this one might be quite an unpopular one, but I hate Snape. I don’t feel like JK Rowling’s justifications for his actions actually justify anything he did. You were bullied and the woman you loved didn’t love you back, big whoop. That doesn’t justify bullying CHILDREN (like Snape was Neville’s biggest fear-how is that okay?). He never would have changed sides were it not for Harry being the chosen one-had it been Neville, he wouldn’t have given a damn. He tortured people, he was at one point a follower of Voldemort, he bullied students and he never really showed remorse for his action.

2. Danny-The Exact Opposite of Okay-Laura Steven

UGH. Danny is exactly like your Ross Geller or your Ted Mosby, thinking he deserves the girl because he’s a supposed “NICE GUY” except he’s not actually nice at all and thinks that he can buy Izzy’s affections if only he gives her enough gifts. Self-proclaimed nice guys are the actual worst.

3. President Snow-The Hunger Games-Suzanne Collins

Okay, you’re not meant to like Snow, he is the villain of the series, but I do like The Hunger Games trilogy, so he does fit with the topic! President Snow is just the actual worst, he sends children to their death and doesn’t care and is basically just an egomaniacal tyrant.

4. Dolores Umbridge-Harry Potter Series-JK Rowling

Yes, again, I know we’re not supposed to like her, but she does fit with the topic! I hate Umbridge possibly more than I hate Voldemort, she is just quite frankly a vile woman, and part of the reason that I struggled so much with the fifth Harry Potter book, other than the fact it was so frickin’ huge, was that I wanted to throw the book across the room every time Umbridge appeared in a scene.

5. Nikolai Karimov-The Crown’s Game duology-Evelyn Skye

I wasn’t all that keen on Nikolai in the first book, and then the second one I really hated him, he did a total 180 in character and you just couldn’t root for him at all, he was essentially the villain in the second book, although I didn’t like the second book as much as the first, I’m still counting Nikolai for this as I didn’t really like him all that much in the book of the duology that I actually did like and then it just got worse in the second book.

6. Mason Starkey-Unwind Dystology-Neal Shusterman

Again, you’re probably not really supposed to like Starkey, but I really despised him. At first I felt really sorry for him, but as Unwholly went on, I could totally understand why his parents wanted to unwind him and was kind of actively rooting for him to die? I know, I know, it’s bad, but read the book and you will totally understand! I felt more sorry for Roland than I did for Starkey, because although Roland acts as the villain in Unwind, his actions are more understandable and I don’t think he acted out of outright malice, I didn’t feel like he deserved what he got. Starkey absolutely did.

7. Tamlin-ACOTAR Series-Sarah J Maas

Honestly he’s just such an ass. I hated him in the first book and pointed out in my review that his behaviour towards Feyre was abusive, which is why I couldn’t really understand all of the fangirls being all “you did a complete 180 on his character” in this book, because umm no? The signs of him being abusive were all there in book one, he was just a lot more open about it in book two. Honestly, this is a problem I have with all of SJM’s male fae characters, they’re all really possessive and it bothers me, even the supposedly good ones, show aggressive and possessive tendencies but Tamlin is definitely one of the worst culprits.

8. Jason Grace-Heroes of Olympus Series-Rick Riordan

UGH I LOATHE JASON. I could use Piper for this too, but I’m going to focus on Jason because I do enjoy Piper’s charmspeak powers and she kind of came into herself a lot more in the last HOO book, which redeemed her a little for me. Jason just irritates me, he’s basically a cheap copy of Percy with none of the personality that makes me love Percy so much. I always felt bored reading Jason’s chapters and wanted to move onto one of the more fun members of the seven!

9. Akiva-Daughter of Smoke and Bone-Laini Taylor

I was really enjoying Daughter of Smoke and Bone, right up until Akiva was introduced, and essentially, I hated Akiva so much that it ruined the rest of the book for me, which was really unfortunate! He was just such a damp squib, had no personality to speak of and his affections for Karou felt so contrived, even after their backstory was explained. I’m hoping that maybe he gets more fleshed out in the rest of the trilogy, so he doesn’t irritate me so much!

10. Thomas-The Maze Runner Trilogy-James Dashner

Now whilst I have to admit, The Maze Runner series has been tarnished for me by the revelations that have come out about James Dashner sexually harassing women, when I read it, before I knew any of this, I did like the series, but I always found Thomas really bland and boring, and had it not been for the engaging side characters, I don’t think I would have liked the books anywhere near as much (prior to the whole, “oh by the way, the author is an asshole who has assaulted multiple women).

Over to you! Do you have any characters in books you enjoyed that you just hated? Do we share any? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic Books I Loved But Will Never Reread, which I might have to again alter, because usually if I love a book, I will feel like I want to read it over and over again, but I’ll think about it during the week! In the meantime, I should have my review of The Hazel Wood and my update for March’s #RockMyTBR Challenge very soon, although I have a deadline for Friday, so it likely won’t be before then!


Top Ten Tuesday #152


Hi all! I hope your week has been good, I’m currently suffering with some medical issues (not going into the details) and in quite a bit of pain and discomfort, but it’s nothing serious, and hopefully should clear up soon!

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so that means another Top Ten Tuesday from Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking Books That Take Place In Another Country, which I’ve done as Books Not Set In The US, which was a topic I did back when The Broke and The Bookish hosted TTT, but since it was a year and a half ago and I’ve read a lot of books since then, so I figured it was about time for an updated list. So here we go, my updated list of Books Set Outside The US:

  1. Shades of Magic Trilogy-VE Schwab-London, UK (for Grey London at least!)

Granted, yes, three of the Londons in these books are fantastical, but there is one real London and they are all inspired by the real life London, so I figure they count! When I was at VE Schwab’s event with Samantha Shannon and Neal Shusterman last week and she was asked how she chose the setting for her world, she said she choose London because it was instantly recognisable, so it would be easier to strip down to its barest bones and build the other Londons on top of it.

2. Chainbreaker-Tara Sim-Enfield & London, UK & India

I could count both Timekeeper books for this post, but I figured I would just use Chainbreaker because although some of it takes place in the UK, the majority of it takes place in Victorian India, such a cool setting and allowed for so much depth in the worldbuilding of different cultures and societies in Tara’s clock tower controlled world.

3. Orphan Monster Spy-Matt Killeen-Germany

This is one of my more recent reads, and it takes place mostly at a Nazi girls boarding school in Germany. It’s not my favourite WWII book I’ve ever read, but I did appreciate it explored a different story as so often WWII stories can get kind of samey!

4. Frozen Charlotte-Alex Bell-The Isle of Skye, Scotland, UK

Why don’t more books take place in Scotland? It’s so beautiful up here and has so much history and culture, you’d think more people would want to use that in books! The Scottish setting definitely works here, an old school house with creepy Frozen Charlotte Dolls? Could only be set on an isolated island off the coast of Scotland!

5. The Pearl Thief-Elizabeth Wein-Scotland, UK

I don’t know if it’s actually mentioned where in Scotland this book takes places, I remember that it mentions the Tay at one point, so it’s either Perth, Dundee or up in the Highlands, I have a feeling its Perth but I can’t remember! Anyway, it takes place in Scotland and is a delightful 1930s mystery based prequel to Code Name Verity, giving us insight into a young Julie Beaufort-Stuart.

6. The Crown’s Game-Evelyn Skye-Imperial Russia

Not only is this book set in Russia, it’s Russia during the times of the Tsars which is a really interesting time in Russian History. Add magic to that already pretty awesome setting and you have the makings of a really good book (also the author did a degree in Russian Literature and her passion for the country really comes through).

7. Salt To The Sea-Ruta Sepetys-East Prussia

If you have not read a Ruta Sepetys book yet, then you are missing out and you definitely should! She takes lesser known historical events for her books, like this one which is based around the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff during WWII, one of the biggest maritime disasters in history and yet relatively unknown. I always come out of her books feeling like I’ve learned a lot and wanting to do further research. This book is set in East Prussia, which was a Kingdom of Prussia in it’s day, but is now a part of modern day Russia, Lithuania and Poland.

8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone-Laini Taylor-Prague, Czech Republic

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is set in Prague, where my friend Nicola is currently studying (I think in part due to reading this book!) and it is the perfect setting for this slightly whimsical fantasy! I always say a great book will make me want to go and visit the place where it’s set and whilst I may have had my issues with Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the setting certainly wasn’t one, I would love to go and stroll the streets of Prague with Karou and Zuzana.

9. Every Breath-Ellie Marney-Melbourne, Australia

I wasn’t totally in love with everything about this Sherlock retelling, but I did love the setting, I’ve never read any books set in Australia before this one, so it was nice to get to go somewhere new! Plus the romance was totally shippable 🙂

10. The Bone Season series-Samantha Shannon-London, Oxford, Manchester and Edinburgh, UK

One of the things I love about The Bone Season series is that it keeps moving around, in 3 books, we’ve been to four places in the UK, and the next one will take us further afield to Paris, at the event with VE Schwab and Neal Shusterman, Shannon said that her plan is to keep moving out as she wants to explore lots of different places , which I think is awesome as I suffer from a severe case of wanderlust and want to go everywhere possible (in my books as well as in life)!

Over to you! What books set outside of the US have you read? Do we share any? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is Characters I Liked That Were In Non-Favourite/Disliked Books, I’m not sure about this topic as if I dislike a book, the characters are usually a big part of that, but we’ll see. In the meantime, I will hopefully have a discussion post up before the month is over, so stay tuned for that.


Top Ten Tuesday #151


Hi all! I hope you’ve all had a good week, I just came back from London, where I went to Neal Shusterman, Victoria Schwab and Samantha Shannon’s book event with my friend Hannah, which was awesome, getting to see three of my favourite authors all at the same time is probably one of my favourite ever bookish experiences, well worth the 10 hour round trip to London (and thankfully not snowed off! Seriously, it’s nearly official Spring and we’re still having snow?).

Anyway, it’s Tuesday and so that means another Top Ten Tuesday from Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking our Spring TBRs, otherwise known as the list of books we say we’re going to read this Spring and then abandon for other books that we feel more like reading. So here we go, this is what I’m planning to read this Spring, whether I do or not is another story:

  1. Moxie-Jennifer Mathieu

This is my current read, after reading The Exact Opposite Of Okay, I was feeling in the mood for more feminist books, and this one was on my #RockMyTBR list for this year, so I figured why not make it my next read? By the time you read this I’ll probably have finished it though, as I’m writing this ahead of time, and I’ll have been on a 10 hour round trip to London!

2. Rose Under Fire-Elizabeth Wein
Another of my #RockMyTBR books, I’m hoping to read this one in April. I love WWII stories and I really enjoyed Wein’s other book, Code Name Verity and liked its prequel The Pearl Thief, so I’m hoping I will enjoy Rose Under Fire also.

3. Hero At The Fall-Alwyn Hamilton

I have been eagerly awaiting this book’s release since last year, so of course when it released in February, I got it on release day and then proceeded to stare at it for the next month, you know as per usual. I will definitely get to it next month though, I want to see how this series ends!

4. Language of Thorns-Leigh Bardugo

This is another one of my #RockMyTBR books, which I’ll probably read in May. I love it when authors expand the stories and mythologies of their worlds, so an entire book of tales that are told to children in the Grisha-verse, is exactly my kind of thing.

5. Daughter of The Burning City-Amanda Foody

This was on my Autumn TBR for last year and I totally failed at getting round to it, so I’m going to make it a priority this Spring. I will also have Amanda Foody’s other book Ace of Shades to read, but I want to read this one first.

6. The Burning Maze-Rick Riordan

Naturally, Rick Riordan’s upcoming new release is high priority for me, as he’s one of my favourite authors, so I’m definitely hoping to read this one as close to release as possible, this will probably be my reward for finishing my exams!

7. The Toymakers-Robert Dinsdale

I had this on my Winter TBR, and I totally meant to read it before release date, but it’s taken me longer to read The Hazel Wood than I expected. I only have one month left to read this before it expires from my Adobe Reader, so I’ll definitely be reading it soon!

8. Shatter Me-Tahreh Mafi

I got this from Netgalley as I guess it’s being released in the UK soon, although I honestly thought it was already out here, so I’m not really sure why it’s there, but hey ho! I’ve heard mixed things about this series, but it sounds good, so I’m excited to give it a try.

9. Not If I Save You First-Ally Carter

I’m so excited for this one! I haven’t read a new Ally Carter book in ages, I loved her Heist Society books when I was a teenager so I’m excited to see what her new offering is like.

10. Almost Love-Louise O’Neill

Like I said earlier, I really want to read more feminist books this year and a new Louise O’Neill is a great place to start. A lot of books feature toxic relationships without actually acknowledging that the relationship is destructive so it will be interesting to see a deconstruction of that kind of relationship where the toxicity is acknowledged.

Over to you! What books are on your Spring TBR? Have you read any of these? Did you like them? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is Books That Take Place In Another Country, but I think I’ve done a similar TTT topic before, so I might change it to something else, we’ll see. In the meantime, I’m hoping to do another discussion post and a Writing Corner post before the end of the month, so stay tuned for those.

Top Ten Tuesday #150


Hi all! I hope you’ve been having a good week, mine has once again been pretty quiet, strike action is still ongoing, so I don’t have classes today, although it seems like the strikes may be coming to an end soon (with unfortunate timing as I’m going down to London next week and was hoping to be able to do it without missing a class), but we’ll see what actually happens as it’s really only hearsay at the moment and nothing official has been announced. Also today marks my 150th Top Ten Tuesday post, so yay for that!

Anyway, today is Tuesday and that means another Top Ten Tuesday from Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking Books That Surprised Me (In A Good Or Bad Way), which should be a fun topic as I love it when books surprise me (in a good way obviously, books surprising me in a bad way makes me want to throw them across them room!). So here we go, the books that surprised me (in a good or bad way):

  1. And I Darken-Kiersten White-BAD WAY

And I Darken surprised me….in a really bad way. I’m usually really good at telling what books will work for me and what won’t and on paper, And I Darken should have been really good for me, I mean 15th Century history, stabby, violent heroine, it should have been a home run. But I found it really boring and not nearly as violent as advertised.

2. My Sister’s Keeper-Jodi Picoult-GOOD WAY

On paper, this book shouldn’t have been the kind of thing I liked, in fact on paper, Jodi Picoult shouldn’t have been an author I liked, I mean adult fiction exploring deep complex topics, not usually my thing at all. But My Sister’s Keeper really drew me in, the sisterly and mother/daughter relationships at the heart of it were excellently drawn and I really rooted for Anna in her mission to finally gain control of her body. And of course, I wailed horrendously at the end.

3. Panic-Lauren Oliver-BAD WAY

I was expecting something way, way different when I read the blurb of this book, so naturally I was surprised by the form it actually took. The blurb smacks of YA dystopia, so that’s what I was expecting, but what I got was a rather dry contemporary that wasn’t nearly as exciting as I was hoping.

4. Cross My Heart-Carmen Reid-GOOD WAY

This surprised me, not because I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it, because WWII stories are usually my jam, but because it was so good I was surprised that I had never heard of the author before! This was a book that I literally picked up on a whim, I think to make a 3 for 2 deal, without really knowing anything about it, or the author. I was completely enthralled by Nicole’s adventures in the Belgian Resistance and by the end, I was seriously wondering why I had never heard about Carmen Reid before!

5. One of Us Was Lying-Karen McManus-BAD WAY

The hype around this one had been huge, so naturally I was expecting to love it as much as everyone else, but for a YA thriller, I didn’t end up feeling very thrilled! There were some decent twists but for the most part it was quite slow paced, I didn’t like who the killer ended up being and I thought some of the plot twists were rather problematic. I’ve read YA thrillers which have thrilled me a lot more than this one did.

6. Pure-Julianna Baggott-GOOD WAY

Again this was one I hadn’t heard much about, so when I read it, I was really surprised that I hadn’t because I thought it was really good. Dystopians have a tendency to get kind of samey, but this one felt quite different, I loved the gritty world that Baggott created, with all the weird fusings, in contrast to the perfect world inside the dome, it definitely pulls on familiar dystopian tropes but twists them in a way so it feels like it’s something you’ve never read before.

7. Graceling-Kristin Cashore-BAD WAY

I should have loved this, female powered feminist fantasy, but I didn’t. The type of feminism that Katsa espoused is the kind of radical feminism that dissuades people from feminism, like in order to be a feminist you have to despise anything feminine and if you’re strong physically, you have to be weak emotionally and that being physically strong is the only way to be a strong woman and those messages really didn’t sit well with me. It’s kind of difficult to enjoy a book when you despise the main character!

8. Dangerous Girls-Abigail Haas-GOOD WAY

I was both surprised by this book because the ending is so frickin’ mindblowing, but also surprised because I had barely heard anything about it and it was so good! This is now the YA thriller that I hold all other YA thrillers up to (none have surpassed it yet) and it was literally just something I picked up on a whim in Waterstones one day!

9. Look Who’s Back-Timur Vermes-BAD WAY

This was billed as a Hitler satire, so I was expecting something really funny and it just….wasn’t? There were some funny moments but for the most part it was a little dull, with no real coherent plot and a lot of infodumping about politics and Hitler’s policies. It’s also kind of difficult to understand as a British reader because it relies on knowledge of German culture and politics that I just don’t have.

10. Hate List-Jennifer Brown-GOOD WAY

Again, this didn’t surprise me because I didn’t think I’d enjoy the story, it surprised me because it was yet another one I had picked up in Waterstones on a whim, without really knowing much about the author or the book and after I’d finished reading it, I couldn’t really understand why, because it was such a good book! I reckon it would have even more resonance now, given the recent events that have happened in America (the book is about the aftermath of a school shooting).

Over to you! What books have surprised you in a good or a bad way? Do we share any? Do you disagree with any of mine and the book surprised you in the opposite way? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is Books on My Spring TBR, otherwise known as Books I say I’m going to read over the next three months but will actually abandon in favour of other books, #bookwormproblems. In the meantime, I’m getting close to finishing my current read, Orphan Monster Spy, so I should have a review of that up for you sometime this week (hopefully).