Top 5 Wednesday: YA Series I Abandoned

This week’s Top 5 is a freebie, so I’ve decided to talk about young adult book series that I have given up reading. I’m sure other people have enjoyed and loved these series, but they just weren’t for me. In some cases I knew from the first book I wasn’t going to complete the whole series, but for others I started out enjoying them but ended up disappointed. T5W is a group hosted on Goodreads, if you’d like to participate check it out here.

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Books I Want to Read in 2019

This post comes to you a little later than planned as I started off the new year with a horrendous cold. There are so many books I want to read this year, I know I won’t get round to reading them all. My Goodreads reading goal for 2019 is 20 books, as I decided to set it to something more realistic. If I read more, that’s great, but I would like to read at least 20. I don’t have as much time for reading as I would like unfortunately. So, here are some of the books I particularly want to read this year.

9781408855690I started re-reading all of the Harry Potter books over the last couple of years and would like to continue that by reading the next one – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I’m looking forward to re-reading this one as I remember when I first saw the film, not long after reading it the first time, that they had left a lot out.

There are a couple of series I have been reading for a while that I want to continue making some progress with. It feels like I’ve been reading Michael Grant’s Gone series for ages. I’m up to the fifth book, Fear, so I want to read that this year. I’m also trying to catch up on Cassandra Clare’s books. She’s released so many I’m really far behind! I only have one book left in the Infernal Devices series to read, Clockwork Princess. A book that’s been sitting on my shelf for a while is Four by Veronica Roth, a collection of short stories about the character Four from the Divergent series. I bought this book ages ago but as Allegiant was such a disappointment Four has been collecting dust at the back of my bookshelf for a little too long.

display-fc50240451e1a8ad53dfd740b958413fThere are four series I started reading last year that I want to continue. Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray was my favourite book of the year, so I’m excited to read the sequel, Defy the Worlds. Marie Lu’s The Young Elites was also a highlight and I have the sequel, The Rose Society, waiting on my shelf. Last year I read the first two books in Sarah J. Mass’s Throne of Glass series, and I’m totally sucked in, so I need to get my hands on book three, Heir of Fire.

Having finally read A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin last year, I also want to read the next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Clash of Kings. It’s pretty massive though so I need to psych myself up for reading it.

As well as all these series I’d also like to discover some new authors and read some standalone novels as I seem to end up reading a lot of series.

What books are you looking forward to reading this year? Let me know in the comments!

Book Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Mass

18005628Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Mass  

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publishing Info: Kindle edition 2013 by Bloomsbury

Pages: 432

Star Rating: 4/5

Back Cover Summary:

She is the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But does she have the heart of a killer?

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. But Calaena is far from loyal to the crown. Keeping up the charade – while pretending to do the king’s bidding – will test her skills in an entirely new way. And it certainly isn’t the only point of confusion for the young girl. Because though she’s made her choice between Dorian and Chaol, the ways of the heart are never simple…

The final book in this series, Kingdom of Ash, was recently released, and here I am still on book two, Crown of Midnight! I have some catching up to do. Having loved the first book, I was excited to read the sequel. I was wondering where the plot would go, as Throne of Glass was focused on the competition, which finished at the end. For once, the sequel is most definitely a step up from the first book.

Crown of Midnight was slow to start. It didn’t have much direction to begin with, as the tournament from the first book was over, and there wasn’t much suggestion of where the plot would go next. However, the pace picked up as it went along. While Throne of Glass is very much focused on the competition and character relationships, this book widens the picture and focuses more on the bigger plot. There is a big turning point about half way through that I did not see coming. It turned the plot in a new direction for the rest of the book, and by the end there were even more surprises.

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Book Review: Specials by Scott Westerfeld

81vov3tq3hlSpecials by Scott Westerfeld

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science-Fiction

Publishing Info: May 2011 Simon Pulse (first published 2006)

Pages: 350

Star Rating: 3/5

Back Cover Summary:

Tally thought they were a rumor, but now she’s one of them. A Special. A super-amped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.

But maybe being perfectly programmed with strength and focus isn’t better than anything she’s ever known. Tally still has memories of something else.

Still, it’s easy to tune that out—until she’s offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she’s programmed to complete. Either way, Tally’s world will never be the same.

 

Specials is the third book in the Uglies series, and the final book in the main trilogy. There is a ‘companion’ novel, Extras, and Westerfeld recently released Imposters, which is set in the same universe. While I enjoyed this book to a small degree, it didn’t blow me away. It didn’t leave me with any significant lasting impression.

The book opens with brilliant writing. Some amazing descriptions really make you feel like you’re seeing the world through Tally’s special super sense eyes. However, this isn’t carried through the rest of the book. That level of description all the way through would be too much, but I’d have expected more. If you introduce the idea that a character has these extra senses, you have to carry that through and show how they see the world with their super senses in the rest of the book too, not just at the opening to get the reader’s attention.

They’re supposed to be specials, superior to everyone else. They might be in terms of their super reflexes and senses, but they still go around doing tricks and acting not much different from how they did before in some ways.

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Top 10 Tuesday: Books By My Favourite Authors That I Still Haven’t Read

There are so many books I have enjoyed, but haven’t read any more works by the author. I really should read the books on this list.

Top 10 Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish, but as of January has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. If you’re interested in taking part click here.

1) Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows – I finished the Grisha trilogy this year and now I’m looking forward to diving into another of Bardugo’s series.

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2) Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince and others – I feel very behind on Clare’s books. I still haven’t finished the Infernal Devices series and she keeps bringing out more and more novels.

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Mid-year Reading Round Up 2018

33154647We’re already halfway through 2018! So today I’m looking back at what my best books have been so far this year and looking ahead at what novels I want to sink my teeth into in the second half of 2018. According to Goodreads I’m on track to reach my 2018 Reading Challenge goal of 25 books, having read 12 so far this year.

Two books that I loved were Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray and The Young Elites by Marie Lu. Defy the Stars had me hooked all the way through and I loved the darkness of The Young Elites. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass was also a highlight.

I finished Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy but unfortunately was disappointed by the final book, Ruin and Rising. The series is still a favourite of mine though. Other books that didn’t live up to my hopes were The Girl King by Meg Clothier and S.T.A.G.S. by M. A. Bennett – both had great concepts and potential, but could have been much better.

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