WWW Wednesday [August 24th 2016] –

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading –    memory book
I haven’t taken a photo of this yet because I started it this morning. I decided to read The Memory Book as part of the Read-Them-All-Thon as “a book that might make you cry” or something like that. When I read the synopsis of this I was like 85% sure this was going to make me cry. Now I’ll see if I was right.

The Memory Book follows Sammie as she starts to write everything down so she will be able to remember. Sammie has been diagnosed with NPC (Neimann-Pick type C) which will, among other things, take her memories and more than likely kill her. Sammie dreamed of moving to New York after graduation, going to NYU and becoming a lawyer but this doesn’t seem like it will be possible now.

So now you can probably see why I think it will make me cry because I’m pretty sure I know how this books is going to end. CqWPUHpVYAA6UfP

Recently Finished –
I finished Shield yesterday, the last book in the Spark trilogy by Rachael Craw. I was sent a copy of Shield from Walker Books Australia t review.

I loved the first two books in the trilogy and I loved Shield too. I tried to make this one last because I flew through Spark and Stray. I managed to stretch it out four days. I didn’t want the story to end but at the same time I needed to know how this ended.

I’ll be reviewing Shield soon. Probably after it’s been released on September 1st. CqChJfsWgAA4yKc

I also finished The Regulars this week. It wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be but I liked it. I’m not going to get into it much here because I’ll be doing a full review soon.

The Regulars follows three twenty-something women as they struggle with their daily lives. Then one of them comes across Pretty, a “potion” that can turn them drop dead gorgeous for one week with only one drop.

I found the three women all annoying at times, for different reasons, but overall I liked them. They all had their flaws, which I think helped them make the decision to take the Pretty in the first place. I’ll be reviewing this soon. 5

Reading Next –
I was sent a copy of The First Journey (I think that’s the title) from the author in June I think. So I thought it was about time that I read it.

I think this is about Raven, the main character, obviously going on a journey for revenge and finding more than he thought he would. But other than that, I know nothing. It’s been two months since I read the synopsis and I never remember them.

Anyway, that’s my week in books. Not the best but not bad. What are you currently reading?

– Aimee.

Top Ten Tuesday (August 23rd): Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf Since I Started Blogging That I STILL Haven’t Read Yet.

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. You can check out the themes (if that’s what they’re called…) here. I changed this week’s theme for me because 1. I was too tired to actually read what I was meant to be doing and by the time I realised I’d already finished the post and 2. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to the books that were on my TBR before I started blogging. So I changed it to books that have been on my shelves since I started blogging that I haven’t gotten to. If I did what’s still on my TBR instead of unread books on my shelves it would be a very looong list. But, I don’t care if my Top Ten Tuesday is different from everyone else’s.

1. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
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I’ve had this book sitting on my shelves since I bought it in January 2015. I love Jodi’s books so I have no excuse for not reading this.

2. Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray
y450-293I loved the first book, A Thousand Pieces of You and was really looking forward to reading the sequel. I just havent read it yet.

3. Ice like Fire by Sara Raasch
17404295I think the reason I’ve been putting off reading this is because I need to re-read Snow like Ashes first. I read that so fast that I’ve forgotten a lot of what happened, which is why I need to read it again before I can read Ice like Fire.

4. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Partick Ness
TROUJLH-hb-cover-640x1024I won this in a giveaway and I’ve heard so many good things about Ness’s writing. I’ve read The Chaos Walking trilogy and When a Monster Calls. I also have More Than This sitting unread on my shelves…

5. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
MTI4ODM3MzYwOTk2NzUxODM4I got this as a gift on my birthday this year. I want to read more classics but I just haven’t picked it up.

6. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
movie-tie-in-Fellowship-of-the-RingI got the first book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy free through a rewards system here in New Zealand. I read The Hobbit a few years ago but I wanted to have all the books in the trilogy before I read the first book. I do have the other two now so I want to read them soon.

7. Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl
Black-Widow-Forever-RedI received this as a gift for Christmas. I love Natasha in the movies, I don’t really read graphic novels, so I wanted to read this when I heard about it. Again, I just haven’t picked it up.

8. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
tumblr_nkyfe6XEWj1u0il5ao3_500I wanted to re-read the first books in the series before reading QoS. I have read Throne of Glass again but that’s where my re-read of the series ended. Now need to get to them soon because Empire of Shadows is going to be released soon.

9. Winter by Marissa Meyer
Winter_CoverI won this in a giveaway last year and it took the person who held the giveaway so long to send it that I never thought I’d actually get it. I think I’ve had it a few months now. I’m reading it as part of the Read-Them-All-Thon so I’ll be reading it in the next few weeks.

10. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
5174bb6ee422c0029a4c3a60a53bc933I got Frankenstein in a book swap. Like I said earlier I want to read more classics and this is one I’ve wanted to read for a while. When I saw it in the pile of books someone wanted to swap I was happy to take it off their hands. Hopefully I’ll read it soon.

So those are the books that have been sitting on my shelves since I started blogging.

What are some books that have been sitting on your shelves for years?

Aimee.

ARC August 2016 Update [Week 3].

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I read two books for ARC August this week. Well, I read one and finished another. But I’m going to count it as two. CptyTJSUsAA5DxN

The first book I read was The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan. I think I mentioned in my last update that I received an ARC of this recently from Penguin Random House NZ. It hasn’t been sitting on my shelf for almost a year. I think the ARCs of The Sword of Summer were sent out around this time last year… I’m not sure.

Anyway, I can’t remember when I finished this… Monday or Tuesday last week I think. I loved it and I cannot wait to read The Hammer of Thor when it comes out in October. Magnus is a great character, kind of funny and sarcastic but I still think Percy is better.

And the second book I read last week for ARC August wasCqChJfsWgAA4yKc The Regulars by Georgia Clark. I received a copy of this from Simon and Schuster Australia to review.

I didn’t really know what to expect with this when I started it but I actually liked it. It’s about three twenty-something woman in New York who are all struggling with something in their lives. Then they come across Pretty, a magic potion type thing and will one drop they turn jaw-droppingly gorgeous for a week and with their new body comes new opportunities… But is Pretty as good as it seems?

I wasn’t really sure if I’d like this but I did. Some parts were boring-ish and annoying. But I’ll get to those in my review.

So that’s three books down, two to go. Hopefully I can get them read by the end of the month.. But I’m not sure it will happen.

How’s ARC August going for you?

– Aimee.

Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White.

Title – And I Darken
Series – The Conqueror’s Saga #1
Author – Kiersten White
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 484 pages
Publication Date – July 7th 2016 by Corgi Childrens, imprint of Penguin Random House
ISBN – 9780552573740
My Rating – ★★★★/5

“A princess unlike any you’ve ever known before;
ruthlessness is the key to her survival.

Her brother, Radu, is everything she is not: beautiful, introspective and delicate. 

At first Lada takes Mehmed for an enemy. He is, after all, son of the sultan holding her captive. 

Their three lives balance on a knife edge and the ties that bind them together will be stretched to breaking point.”

I received a copy of And I Darken from Penguin Random House to review. I’m going to put a warning here – there are some tiny spoilers in my review so if you haven’t read the book yet and don’t want to read this then stop here. I haven’t given away anything major though.

I don’t know anything about the time in history that And I Darken is based on/inspired by or the actual people that these characters are based on so it was very easy for me to go into this with an open mind. I’d heard some good things about this book so I was really excited to read it.

The world in And I Darken was annoying, with women being treated as lesser than men. I get really frustrated when I read books set in a time when women were only useful for CpD4WfbUMAQEqu-producing and raising the children. But Lada, who was my favourite character, didn’t want to be married off to some man so that he can breed from her and then leave. She didn’t want to end up like her mother and refused to accept the role society expected her to have. Lada wanted to be treated as an equal to the men. She did annoy me at times but her strength and determination not to bow to others expectations made up for that.

Radu, Lada’s younger brother, was the character that annoyed me the most I think. Although Mehmed was a close second. Radu whinged too much for me and I just cannot handle whinging, crying children and it just put me off him. But, his obsession with Mehmed didn’t help things. I didn’t see him as being in love with Mehmed, it felt more like an obsession to me and it was not healthy at all. I mean, don’t people usually move on and get over the person they’re supposedly in love with when they realise that nothing will actually happen between them? I could be wrong and something may happen in the next book.

Then there was Mehmed. I think there was only one thing about Mehmed that annoyed me and that was he used the stupidest excuses to go to the harems. There was obviously a reason he kept going back and it wasn’t because “it was what people expected” of him as a ruler. Just because it’s what previous sultans had done it doesn’t mean he had to. But like I said, I don’t think that’s why he went to the women. Other than that I liked him, I think. His obsession with taking Constantinople was a bit much but like I said earlier, I don’t know anything about these people so I don’t know if the real Mehmed was as obsessed.

I don’t know if I should look into these people now that I’ve read the book or wait until after the last book has been released. I know things might change from what actually happened because it already has been. Vlad the Impaler is now Lada, I think. If I remember correctly.

This review sounded like I didn’t like the book at all but I loved it. Yes, some characters annoyed me but I’m not going to like every character in a book. I thought the ending was one of the best parts, not that I was glad it was over or anything, but because I cannot wait to see what Lada does in the next book. I think she’s definitely going to be a character to watch and is one of my new favourite female characters.

*Thank you Penguin Random House New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

Sorry this review was a bit long and I rambled a bit. I would definitely recommend And I Darken to anyone looking for a new badass female heroine.

– Aimee.

Review: The Crown by Kiera Cass.

Title – The Crown
Series – The Selection Series #5
Author – Kiera Cass
How I Got It – From the publiser
Pages – 279 pages
Publication Date – May 3rd 2016 by HarperCollins
ISBN – 9780007580248
My Rating – ★★★★/5

When Eadlyn started her own Selection, the first princess in Illea ever to hold one, she wasn’t expecting for actually fall for any of the 35 suitors. Recent events at the palace have pushed her even further into the spotlight and Eadlyn realises she might not be happy standing there alone.

Eadlyn doesn’t expect find the fairy-tale ending that her parents have. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you.

I received a copy of The Crown from HarperCollins New Zealand to review. This is the last book in The Selection Series.

I have loved every book in The Selection Series so far and The Crown didn’t let me down. I loved it just as much as the others. I think I’ve said this a few times now but I’m just going to repeat myself. When I first picked up The Selection (three years ago I think) I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. I’d heard it was going to be a TV show and I wanted to read the book first so I just bought the first two books (the only ones out at the time) and I couldn’t put them down. It reminded me of The Bachelor with a twist and I was hooked from the start. This series has been so addictive.

I reviewed The Heir recently, you can read that here, which I’d heard mixed reviews on. Especially about Eadlyn but I liked her. Not as much as America and she did annoy me a Co49Ky2VMAAG-lblittle at the start of The Heir but she did grow on me through the book and she really stepped up in The Crown. Eadlyn is the first woman in inherit the throne and that has put a lot of pressure on her as she’s grown up. She’s had to deal with the people of Illea doubting her ability to lead but instead of letting what people think of her get under her skin it makes her want to prove them wrong, that she is a capable leader and does have what it takes. And I think she definitely proved that in The Crown.

I was really interested to find out how Eadlyn’s Selection ended. I’m not going to give anything away but I will say there were two guys that I could see her with and she ended up choosing one of them. I think she did the right thing with the other guy too and I also think she made the right decision.

I loved seeing that America and Maxon’s relationship hadn’t changed at all from the first three books. And I loved to see them with their children. Because The Heir and The Crown were from Eadlyn’s perspective there wasn’t as much shown with Ahren, Kaden, Osten and their parents but there were some good scenes where it was obvious that America and Maxon were great parents. I loved Osten!

I loved the ending of The Crown, everything was wrapped up nicely and Eadlyn had the last word with one very annoying person. I loved it.

I’m so glad that I gave The Selection a chance instead of dismissing it because it reminded me of The Bachelor, which I’m not a fan of. This is one of my favourite series ever and if you haven’t already read it I highly recommend you give it a chance.

This review was all over the place today, I’m really sorry.

*Thank you HarperCollins New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

Leave me a comment if you’ve read The Selection Series and let me know what you thought.

– Aimee.

WWW Wednesday [August 17th 2016] –

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading –    14
I started reading The Regulars this morning. I’m not really sure what to expect with this, so far it’s a little weird but I definitely want to know what’s going on and what will happen to Willow, Evie and Krista.

Simon and Schuster Australia sent me a copy of this last month to review. I have an uncorrected proof so this is going to count as part of my ARC August and it’ll be my first book in the Read-Them-All-Thon that I’m participating in. I’m meant to read a book with a red cover but I don’t have one atm so this will have to do.CptyTJSUsAA5DxN

Recently Finished – 
I finished reading Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer last night. It took me a little longer than I thought to read but that’s because I’ve been distracted a lot lately.

Penguin Random House New Zealand sent me a copy of this recently and this is also an uncorrected proof so it was my second book for ARC August.

I loved this book. I think there have only been three books of Riordan’s that I haven’t really liked and they were The Kane Chronicles, I just couldn’t get into them. Even though I didn’t know a lot about Norse gods before reading this (the Thor movies don’t count right?) it was easy to pick up. Magnus is really funny, kind of like Percy, and I loved that Annabeth was in this. I was expecting it with the last name Chase though and I’d already read The Last Oracle where Percy mentions that Annabeth is busy with family in Boston.

I’ll be reviewing this soon. I can’t wait to read The Hammer of Thor!CpjGnt4UMAApTUo

The Outliers wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I thought they, the Outliers, were some kind of group that could read people’s minds and it wouldn’t be set in ‘out time’ but it was not anything like that. Probably a good thing because my idea is pretty stupid.

Anyway, The Outliers was so good and I couldn’t put it down. I really liked it and I cannot wait to read the next book in the trilogy. I think it’s a trilogy anyway. The ending was so frustrating. Not frustrating like it was bad but frustrating like I need the next book right now!

I’ll be talking about this more in my review, which I’ll be posting soon.CpX8aOUUAAEeC6p

On the Other Side was the first book I read for ARC August. I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this either but it was good. I think I gave it three stars on Goodreads.

It’s not a bad book but I thought it was kind of cheesy on places and a little weird too. I liked the main character, I think her name was Evie but I’m not 100% sure. I’m like, 85% sure her name was Evie.. Anyway, she wanted to have her own life, not follow the really stupid traditions of her parents and their friends. Then stuff happens and Evie’s life doesn’t end the way she wanted it to. It wasn’t a bad life but she’s kept secrets from her kids and they are weighing her down now that she’s died. To pass on into her personal heaven she needs to relieve herself of those secrets.

I’ll be reviewing this soon too. I have no idea when though. 6

Reading Next –
I will be reading Shield by Rachael Craw next. I received a copy of this from Walker Books Australia on the weekend. This is the last book in the Spark trilogy and I cannot wait to find out how Evie’s (yes, that’s three different Evies in three books..) story ends.

I was going to skim Stray for a little refresher but I just don’t have time so I’m hoping I can pick up the story again as I read Shield. I did it with Glass Sword and I know I missed a few things but I did eventually figure most of it out and it didn’t affect the story for me. I just hope I can remember things from Stray that I’ve forgotten…

There’s another week in books. I think I’m finally out of that horrible slump. Now I just need to stay out of it and catch up with my reviews because I am so behind on them.

What have you been reading?

– Aimee.

Monthly Recommendations #2: 1 Year Celebration.

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Monthly Recommendations was created by Trina at Between Chapters and Kayla at Kayla Rayne. You can join the Goodreads group here.

This month is a celebration of one year (but this is only my second time participating) and I’ll be sharing one book from the past 12 topics. If that makes any sense. Instead of sharing photos of each book I’ll link them all back to Goodreads.

1. An underrated book.
Spark by Rachael Craw.

2. A book set in school.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

3. A creepy book.
 The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King.

4. A trilogy.
The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski.

5. A book you think others should read ASAP.
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.

6. A fantasy book.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

7. A book with little to no romance.
The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight.

8. A standalone.
When We Collided by Emery Lord.

9. Your favourite survival story.
The Starbound Trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.

10. Favourite book friendship.
Harry, Hermione and Ron (Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling)

11. A book set outside the U.S.
In the Skin of a Monster by Kathryn Barker.

12. A book with your favourite empowering female character.
Lada from And I Darken by Kiersten White.

So that’s another month of Monthly Recommendations. I think next month is somethings to do with sci-fi books and I haven’t read a lot of those so it should be interesting. Sorry I didn’t really share my reasons behind picking the books but I’m just too lazy for that today.

Aimee.