November Wrap Up & December TBR.

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It’s that time of the month again where I do my monthly wrap up and TBR. I didn’t read that much in November but I’m just glad I read some books. Anyway, onto my November wrap up.

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This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab – ★★★★
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven – ★★★★
Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks – ★★★
Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan -★★★
Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige – ★★★
Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow – ★★★★
Devolve; The Wolf by Mike Hooper – ★★★★
Hotel for the Lost by Suzanne Young – ★★★
Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan – ★★★★

Not a lot of books but still a pretty good reading month. Now onto my December TBR.

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I had Ten Thousand Skies Above You and The Jewel on my November TBR but I didn’t manage to read them so I decided to add them to my December TBR because I really need to read them. Although The Jewel is a re-read.

I’ve read Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin and am currently reading the illustrated edition of A Game of Thrones.

I have no idea how many of these I’ll actually read. A Game of Thrones is over 800 pages so that’s going to take me a while. I guess I’ll just see how the month goes.

What’s on your TBR for this month?

Aimee.

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Review: Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks

Title – Two by Two
Author – Nicholas Sparks
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 496 pages
Publication Date – October 4th 2016 by Sphere
ISBN – 9780751550023
My Rating – ★★★/5

Russell Green has is all  – a family he loves, a successful career and a beautiful home. But underneath his perfect world, cracks are starting to appear… No one is as surprised as Russ is when the life he’s been taking for granted is turned upside down.

Finding himself caring for his young daughter, London, while trying to start his own business, Russ wants to shelter his daughter from all the changes while he’s still adjusting.

As Russ embarks on a new and unexpected chapter in his life, a chance encounter may lead him to a happiness he never could have imagined.

I received a copy of Two by Two from Hachette New Zealand to review. I’m not usually one for romance books but there’s something about a Nicholas Sparks that I love.

This one started off kind of slow for me. I’m not really sure why, I normally enjoy his books. But once I was more interested in Russ’s story I found myself not wanting to put the book down because I wanted to know what would happened to Russ and London.

Two by Two wasn’t focused on the romance. It was focused towards the bonds between a cwscamrvqaamremparent and their child, what a father is willing to do to be in his daughter’s life, family relationships and saying goodbye to a loved one. I did see that last one coming pretty early in the book though.

I really liked that this book was more about the relationship between Russ and London instead of a romantic connection between him and a woman. I mean, it’s a Nicholas Sparks books so there’s going to be something happening at some point in the book but it’s not all about that relationship.

Russ grows a lot in Two by Two. At the start he’s not really involved in London’s day-to-day life. When he takes on the daily care of her, he realises how much he’s missed out on and how much he actually likes his daughter, not just loves her. Along the way he finds himself missing her when she’s at school or at an activity. Then, Russ figures out how much he wants London is his life and what he’s willing to do to keep her there.

I really liked most of the characters in this book. There was one stand out character from the start that I just couldn’t stand and she seemed to get worse before she got better. But the rest I really liked and some were even funny. Especially his sister. I don’t want to get into all the characters but they were all good in their own way.

I loved the ending in this. It felt realistic to me, full of possibility, kind of sad but at the same time happy because it was obvious what was going to happen next for Russ and London. I was glad that the ending wasn’t tied up in a pretty bow, with Russ running off into the sunset with a woman. He was definitely in a better place than he was at the start of the book but it wasn’t exactly a happy ending.

I don’t know what it is about Sparks’s books but I’ve really enjoyed most of them. There are a couple of exceptions but this isn’t one of them. I liked Two by Two and would definitely recommend it to any Nicholas Sparks fan.

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

What are your favourite Nicholas Sparks books?

– Aimee.

WWW Wednesday [November 16th 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 – cxf-mowuuaaygsh
I’ve been reading Stealing Snow since Saturday or Sunday (I can’t remember when I started it) but it’s not going very well so far. I didn’t read much on Monday because I went to visit a friend and her kids. But I think I might be starting another slump.. I’m so sick of reading slumps!

Anyway, I’m like twenty chapters in at the moment and Snow is kind of annoying me. The way she’s been going from one guy to the next and the next is crazy. She says Bale is the love of her life yet she keeps forgetting he’s apparently in some kind of danger and kissing/wanting to kiss these others guys. What the hell woman? Just pick one and shut up already.

Stealing Snow is a Snow Queen re-telling. I think I may have mentioned in my last WWW Wednesday that I haven’t read the original fairy-tale. The only other re-telling I’ve seen is Frozen and Once Upon a Time. 5

Recently Finished –
I have finally read the graphic novel re-telling of Snow White. So I won’t be saying I’ll be reading it next anymore.

I loved the illustrations, they were really good. I thought this different take on Snow White was pretty good. Again, I’ve never read the original fairy-tale but I’ve seen the Disney movie and obviously the take Once Upon a Time did on Snow White too. Which I loved.

I’ll hopefully be reviewing this soon. I’ve fallen so far behind on my reviews and my reading it’s not even funny. Hopefully I can catch up over the holidays. cwscamrvqaamrem

I have also finished Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks. This book didn’t start off that well for me, I’m not sure why, but as I got into Russ’s story and was more and more frustrated with his wife Vivian I found myself not wanting to put the book down.

In the end I did like the book and how it wasn’t as lovey as his past books. By lovey (which I know is not a word) I mean Russ finding someone who can fix him or his life, falling in love and walking off into the sunset with everything all nicely wrapped up in a bow. Because that’s not real life. I felt like the ending in Two by Two was more realistic.

Anyway, I’ll be reviewing this soon too. 1

Reading Next –
I’m finally going to read Girl in Pieces next. I keep hearing really good things about this so I thought it was time to start it.

I think this follows a girl who cuts herself but that’s all I can remember…

What have you read recently?

– Aimee.

WWW Wednesday [November 9th 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 –    cwscamrvqaamrem
I started Two by Two yesterday. This is the latest book by Nicholas Sparks. I’m a little over 100 pages in so I can’t really say much about it yet. I will say that I cannot stand the wife, Vivian. She’s driving me crazy and I can see it continuing through the book.

Two by Two follows Russell as he takes over parenting of his daughter from his wife while she goes back to work. Russ struggles with his new role, the Mr Mum, at the start but as he gets to know his daughter, London, more he realises likes being around her.

I’m hoping to read more today but I’m really struggling with Vivian. Not that it’s affecting the book. cwcxqmhucae13xi

Recently Finished –
I read Holding up the Universe last week and I loved it. I especially loved Libby and how confident and happy she was with who she was. I wish I was like that in high school. She’s been through some tough times and come out the other side stronger.

Then there was Jack. I get why he hid behind his douche persona but at the same time I don’t think it was the right thing to do. And he knew it too. I know he just wanted to get through high school but he had bigger problems than that. He did grow on me through the book though.

But I’ll be talking about this more in my review. cwc9ncdumaar2sv

I’ve also finished This Savage Song. I wasn’t sure if I’d like this when I started it but I don’t think it took that long for me to be hooked.

I really enjoyed This Savage Song. I liked both Kate and August and cannot wait for the next book. It sounds really good.

I’ll be reviewing this soon hopefully. I’m behind on my reviews again. Life keeps getting in the way and I’ve just been too busy to write them down these last few weeks. Hopefully I can catch up at the weekend though. 2

Reading Next –
I keep saying I’m going to read the Snow White graphic novel but I never do. So I’m giving up on it for now and going with Stealing Snow.

This is a retelling on The Snow Queen which is why I put my Elsa Funko in the photo… I’ve heard really mixed review of this but I still want to see what it’s like for myself. I love fairy-tale retellings even when I haven’t read the original story. I have seen Frozen though. More than once thanks to my god-daughter.

Let me know what you’re reading right now?

– Aimee.

September Wrap Up & October TBR.

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Okay, so my reading has slowed down again. I only read eight books in August. I think that’s the worst reading month I’ve had all year.

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Winter by Marissa Meyer – ★★★★/5
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken – ★★★/5
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas – ★★★★/5
The Last Star by Rick Yancey – ★★★★/5
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – ★★★★/5
Breathing Under Water by Sophie Hardcastle – ★★★★/5
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer – ★★★★/5
United as One by Pittacus Lore – ★★★★/5

Even though I didn’t read much in August I still read some pretty good books. Two of them were re-reads though.

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This month I’ve already read one book and I’m a little into the second, neither of them are on my TBR though.. I’ve read Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina and I’m currently reading Swarm by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti.

What’s on your October TBR?

Aimee.

September 2016 Book Haul.

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It’s that time again. Another book haul. I got 11 books this month. I bought one and the rest I received from publishers. 1

The first book I received from HarperCollins New Zealand. I read An Ember in the Ashes last year and really enjoyed it. I’ve got it out from the library again because I wanted to re-read it before I started A Torch Against the Night but I don’t think I have the time with all the other review books I have to read. I did try to use a website that was supposed to give a summary of what happened in AEITA but it wasn’t that great.

I’m still trying to decide if I should re-read AEITA or just go straight into ATATN. But I’ll probably just pick it up and read it with out re-reading the first book like I do all the time.

The next two books were also sent to me from HarperCollins New Zealand for me to 2review. American Monsters is the last book in the Demon Road trilogy. I’ve read and reviewed the first two books and am looking forward to finding out how this trilogy is going to end.

I’ve been seeing The Thousandth Floor online lately and thought it sounded like a futuristic Gossip Girl, which I loved, so I was definitely interested in reading this.

I’m hoping to read both books this month but my reading has been so slow lately. Fingers crossed I can get to both of them.

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Penguin Random House New Zealand sent me a copy of The Hypnotist to review. I’d never heard of this before it arrived at my house but when I read the synopsis I thought it sounded interesting.

If you’ve been reading my monthly book hauls for a while you’ll know how bad I am at remembering what books are about once I’ve read the synopsis. I read this one at the start of September and it’s October 3rd today so there’s no way I’d remember it in between then and now. But I do remember that I was interested in reading it when I read it.

Empire of Storms is the only book I bought this month. I still haven’t caught up on the 4Throne of Glass series but I have finally re-read the first three books (Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire) and I want to read Queen of Shadows this month. I’m not sure if I’ll get to it or not but I have put it on my October TBR anyway.

I know a lot of people have a problem with Queen of Shadows and Empire of Storms but obviously I haven’t read them yet and I try not to judge books with out reading them first. There are some exceptions but I do try. And I love the first three books (plus Assassin’s Blade) so I do want to keep reading the series. I hope I still like them when I’ve read the next two books because buying the hardbacks wasn’t exactly cheap… 5

I was so excited to receive Replica from Hachette New Zealand this month. I’ve read a few of Lauren’s books and have liked two or three of them… But Replica is such an interesting idea. I’m hoping I’ll love it. I think this is the first book in a duology.

I think this pretty much follows the “there’s two sides to every story” thing. I’m not sure whose side to start with… Is Lyra first because Gemma is at the back of the book? I have no idea.. But I have figured out that I’ll be reading one chapter of Lyra then flipping the book to read a chapter in Gemma’s perspective. So, this will be the first book where I’ll have to use two bookmarks. Replica is also on my TBR for October.

Allen and Unwin New Zealand sent me a copy of Swarm to review. I read the first book in 6the trilogy last year and liked it. It wasn’t my favourite book of the year but I did like it and wanted to read the sequel when it came out this year.

I’m not sure when this picks up after the first book but it follows the Zeroes as they come across two strangers with powers as they wreak havoc in their illegal underground nightclub. After following the strangers they learn that they’re running from someone even worse than them. Someone they call Swarm. And he’s coming to town. But each Zero is also dealing with their own problems too. How do I know the synopsis of this and hardly any other book in this haul? I started it today so I can’t say much about it but I like it so far. 7

Allen and Unwin New Zealand also sent me a copy of Paper and Fire to review. I read Ink and Bone last year and love it. And it’s also another book I can’t really remember much about other than the fact I loved it. I don’t know if I should try that recap site again or just pick Paper and Fire up and read it. It’s not like it helped when I looked An Ember in the Ashes up on there.

Obviously I can’t tell you anything about this because I can’t even remember the first book. I did give it five stars and I remember wanting the sequel straight away so I must have liked it. I’ll see what happens when I get to this.

Hachette New Zealand sent me Nicholas Sparks’ new book to review. I have read all of his 8books, except this, and have enjoyed most of them. I think there are a couple I didn’t really like but I’m not going to get into them here.

I think this follows a guy, can’t remember his name, as he splits up with his wife and has to adjust to being a single father. Not sure if he has full or part time custody though. Then he meets an old girlfriend again and obviously things start to happen. That’s about all I can remember and even that could be wrong…

A lot of Sparks’ books feel the same but different at the same time. I am really not into romance but there’s just something about his books that I love. I don’t know what though. Two by Two is also on my October TBR. 9

Penguin Random House New Zealand sent me a copy of Holding up the Universe to review. I read All the Bright Places last year and really liked it so I am excited to read this.

I can’t remember what it’s about but I think it follows a teenage girl that’s overweight? But again, I could be completely wrong.

I think Holding up the Universe comes out this month. Soon I think so it’s definitely on my TBR for October.

And the last book I received from Walker Books Australia to review. 10I’ve never reviewed a children’s book before but A Child of Books stood out to me because it includes classics in the illustrations.

Obviously this won’t take me long to read because it is a children’s book. My mother has already read it and she really liked it. I think I’ll take some photos of my favourite illustrations for my review as I read it.

I don’t know when I’ll be reading it yet though. It’s not on my TBR yet. If I have time I might squeeze it in.

The last thing I got that was bookish in October were two bookmarks from Confessions by Court. I’ve only taken a photo of one of the bookmarks though. Courtney is on holiday at11 the moment but she does beautiful wooden bookmarks inspired by a few different fandoms and some with flowers on them. If you like anything in her store when it opens again you can get 15% off with my discount code – AimeeReads15.

My favourite bookmark is still the Stormtrooper Alice that I bought a few months ago.

So that’s my September book haul. How many books did you get last month?

– Aimee.

Top Ten Tuesday (September 27th): Books On My Spring TBR List.

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is going to be pretty easy. I’ve changed it from Fall to Spring because I live in New Zealand and we’re now in Spring 🙂

Let’s get into my TBR!!

1. Replica by Lauren Oliver. 5
I’ve seen this all over Bookstagram and I thought the idea behind this was interesting. There’s always two sides to every story. I’m still not sure how I want to read this. I think that if I read Gemma’s perspective first and then went and read Lyra’s I’d already have formed an opinion of her from Gemma’s story. And I don’t want to do that. So I might have to read one chapter of Gemma’s story, flip the book and read one of Lyra’s. I’m sure it will annoy me but I think that’s the way I’ll end up reading it.

If anyone has read Replica please let me know how you read it.

2. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir.
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I really want to read this soon but I think I may have to re-read An Ember in the Ashes first.. Which I really don’t want to do. Not that I didn’t like it, I loved it, I just don’t really have the time to re-read it. I managed to figure out Glass Sword without re-reading Red Queen and I really needed to so I might just pick it up and see how I go. I remember most things, I think, it’s just tiny details I’ve forgotten.

3. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas.
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I still haven’t read Queen of Shadows. But I have finished my re-read of the first three books, which I also didn’t have time for but somehow fit them in. I wanted to jump straight into Queen of Shadows when I finished Heir of Fire but I had to read some review books first. I’m hoping to get to it soon.

4. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas.
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I can’t wait to continue the Throne of Glass series. I hope to read both Queen of Shadows and Empire of Storms next month. I love these covers!

5. Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine. 
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I loved Ink and Bone when I read it last year and have wanted to read the sequel as soon as I finished it. I don’t know when I’ll read it but it’ll be on my October TBR. And I love this cover!!

6. Unrivaled by Alyson Noel.
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I received a copy of Unrivaled from HarperCollins New Zealand a couple of months ago. I wasn’t expecting it but I thought I sounded like something I’d enjoy. I still haven’t read it yet though.

7. United as One by Pittacus Lore.
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The only photo I have of this is with Black by Fleur Ferris (which I also need to read). I am excited to finally see how the Lorian Legacies will end. I’ve really enjoyed this series.

8. Stars Above by Marissa Meyer.
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This is the last book that I have to read in The Lunar Chronicles. I finally finished Winter at the start of this month. I know this is novellas and I have read two of them when they were e-novellas. I read Glitches and something else but I can’t remember which one.

9. Swarm by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti.
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Swarm is the sequel to Zeroes, which I read last year. It wasn’t my favourite book of 2015 but I did want to see how the next book in the trilogy went.

10. Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks.
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I got this in the mail yesterday. I don’t normally read romance books but there’s just something about Nicholas Sparks’ books that I love.

What books are on your Spring/Fall TBR?

Aimee.