Top 10 Tuesday: Cover Redesigns I Loved/Hated

I have to admit I can be really picky when it comes to my covers. I like to have a matching set for a series, so if get redesigned when I’m in the middle of the series and I end up with a mismatched set, it does irritate me!

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

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Book Review: The Rose Society by Marie Lu

9780399167843The Rose Society by Marie Lu

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publishing Info: 2015 by Penguin (first published 2015)

Pages: 397

Star Rating: 4/5

Back Cover Summary:

Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends.

Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all …

Adelina Amouteru’s heart is set on revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she flees Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army.

Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.

But Adelina is no heroine. The leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead, and her former friends at the Dagger Society want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

The Rose Society is the second book in Marie Lu’s Young Elites trilogy. Having loved the first book, I was glad to find The Rose Society was just as dark and addictive. As the series doesn’t follow your typical protagonist, it makes the story so much fresher. It makes such a change from the hero-centric plotlines I am used to reading. Adelina is such a complex character, inhabiting neither the space of hero or villain. What makes the book so interesting is that Lu makes me sympathise with her. I understand exactly why she is doing what she’s doing, and it makes me think, is she really bad? Are the others really good? It makes it so exciting not really knowing if any of the sides are truly ‘good’ or ‘evil’.

Once again Adelina is really and truly the focus of the book. Told from her point of view, her internal conflict is such a big driving force for the story. Lu does such a good job of portraying what’s going on in Adelina’s mind. I truly understand her character and feel completely wrapped up in her wild emotions, in a deep way I don’t often find in young adult books.

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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: 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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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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