Book/series recommendations 2016

I’ve had plenty of people ask me for recommendations on series/books to read. So I decided to write a top 10 series/book recommendations. This is in no particular order.

  1. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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This series is Young Adult science fiction. It follows this girl named Cinder who is a Cyborg. She lives with her step mom and two step sisters. She finds herself tangled with the prince Kai. This series is such an amazing read. Each book is based on a different fairy tale princess. Cinder: Cinderella. Scarlet: Little Red Riding Hood. Cress: Rapunzel. Winter: Snow White. I wrote a review for this series, which you can check out above.

2. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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A disease goes through the youths of the world. They end up with these freaky powers that leave the adults scared. They’re put into camps and mistreated. I loved this series, although it was hard to get into at first. But once you get into it, you can’t put it down. Again, I wrote a complete review above. I put this one on my list because it’s supposed to be getting its own movie, which I’m excited to see.

3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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This series follows a lady named Claire Randall in the year 1945. After the second World War, she goes with her husband, Frank Randall, to Scotland on their second honeymoon. However, things go awry when Claire takes a walk and ends up going through a stone circle called Craige Na Duine, which transports her to the year 1743. She is taken captive by the Mackenzie clan, where she meets Jaime Fraser. Claire must figure out how to get back, but along the way, ends up giving her heart to Jaime.

What I love about this series is the complexities of the characters. This is a historical fiction series with fantastical elements to it. I learned a lot about Scottish history and the Jacobites. This series brings history to life and you won’t be disappointed when it comes to the thrill of reading. I’m only on the third book right now and I can say for certain that I love this series. There are eight books out so far and two seasons of the TV show out. Definitely recommend to anyone who loves history or even Game of Thrones.

4.. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

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I just have to say that the fact that they are searching for a Welsh king made it so much more enjoyable while I’m here in Wales. I loved the characters and the plot line. I think this series has so much for everyone. The series is mainly character based. Meaning that the story moves forward with character development. You won’t be disappointed with this read. To find out more about what I have to say, click the link above.

5. The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard.

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This book series follows Mare Barrow, a Red, who has some Silver powers. There are two kinds of people in this series. The Reds, which are people like you and me, who bleed red blood. And then there are the Silvers, who have magical powers and their blood bleeds silver. After falling in front of a royal court, Mare is thrust into this world of politics and power. She must marry the prince or be condemned to die. It’s a dystopian setting where the Silvers hold hierarchy over the Reds. There are two books currently out in the series and I cannot wait for the third one. The twist at the end of the first book though. I’m still shocked.

6. Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johanson.

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This series follows Kelsea Raleigh, Queen of the Tearling. She was in hiding for most of her life after her mom died and her uncle took over the throne. Kelsea must take back her throne and defeat the Red Queen, who is a crazy lady who only wants power. Kelsea’s mom made a deal with the Red Queen to send twice a year a shipment of her people to Mortemese. (I don’t think that’s how you spell it.) When Kelsea stops this shipment, she openly declares war with the Red Queen. Kelsea herself has powers and must learn to control them. The setting is centuries after the Crossing. Which was around the year 2080 or so. Basically, people went on a ship to find this other land and start a new life. Definitely worth a read. The third and final book is coming out at the end of this year.

One thing that was particularly different than most other stories of this kind is the absence of a love triangle or some guy holding the girl back. While there is some form of love or infatuation in the first book, and some in the second, the series does not focus on that. It focuses on the political portion of the plot. I didn’t really like the first book because it was really confusing. But the second book definitely gave more background as to the setting and answers a bunch of questions that I had about the Crossing.

7. A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

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This series is just… ahhh!!! There is no other way to describe it. Along with “Throne of Glass” which I will talk about later, Sarah J. Maas has a way with words. This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast… but with faeries and magic. Honestly, I wrote a great review on this series and I cannot start having feels again so soon. Rhysand!!!

8. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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Basically this story focuses on this girl named Celaena who is an assassin. She is thrown into this game of the king’s to be his assassin. The king has banned magic and magical things keep happening around Celaena. Here’s the Goodreads synopsis since I’m apparently doing a horrible job at describing this series.

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Definitely worth the read. The fifth book comes out in September and I’m super excited to read what’s in store for Celaena.

9. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

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Definitely a summer read. I loved this book so much and was so glad that I did read it during the summer. If you want a summer contemporary book, this is the book for you. Read my review for more info and some great pictures.

10. “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell

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So if you’ve read “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell, you will know that this is the book that Kat is so obsessed with. Don’t worry, if you haven’t read that book, you can still read this book. It’s very Harry Potter like. It centers on this kid who is a foster kid and his journey to this magical place. I feel like I’m forgetting a lot of the major details, but it’s all in the book review above. I loved this book so much and would highly recommend it to anyone who loved Harry Potter.

Book Update 3: Invasion of the Tearling and Rock and Roll book tag

Here comes my book update!!!

I’m really happy with what I have been able to read this week. Well, it’s more like just one book, but that’s good enough. The book I am reading is called “The Invasion of the Tearling” by Erka Johanson. It’s the second book in the “Queen of the Tearling” series. I’m only halfway through the book and I’m pretty happy that I picked this one up.

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Unfortunately these aren’t the covers I have. But the ones I have are still gorgeous.

Honestly, I forgot most of what happened in the first book, so I came into this book a little fresher than I would have liked. Unlike most books, this book didn’t summarize what happened in the first book in the beginning of the second. I kind of had to guess at things.

This book has different perspectives, and sometimes it’s not the greatest thing. I would have just liked to stay in Kelsea’s head. I’m so confused by her character at this point, because her appearance is changing. For those who have not picked up this book, I will just say that as for second books go, I do like it so far.

The first book in this series was hard for me to get into, but this one was easier. I liked the idea of magic and how it came about after the “Crossing.” This happens around the time of 2060. Well, that’s when they cross some ocean and end up almost going back to the stone age. When I got into this series, I thought it was a medieval setting and that they had never heard of telephones because they hadn’t been invented yet. But apparently all technology had been obliterated in the crashing of the ship as they found this “new world.” I am a little confused as to how they could have found this new world if they had technology back then and had already seen the Earth. It’s slightly confusing and I really want to know more.

One thing that I find compelling to read in the second book is the world that Lily Mayhew lives in. A girl from the “pre-crossing” years, who Kelsea has visions about. Lily was born in 2058 (I think this is correct, but if not, around that time) and things are looking bad for her. Basically she lives in a sexist and homophobic society in which she has no voice and is very much repressed. The thing I find really scary is that the future in this book isn’t an impossibility. We’ve made some great strides as a nation and society, but they might be slowing down as we start voting for the next American president.

Also, the fact that they were editing books and banning written books was something I really wanted to learn more about.

That’s it for my book update so far. When I finish the book I’ll probably do a review about it to discuss ways in which the world is scarily familiar for today’s times.

Now on to a book tag!

ROCK MY TBR SONG AND BOOK TAG

1. SMELL LIKE TEEN SPIRIT (Nirvana) – A Contemporary I Want to Read

“Second Chance Summer” by Morgan Matson. I read “The Unexpected Everything” and I saw this book on the shelf the other day and really want to read it. Unfortunately I probably won’t get to it till maybe next summer.

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2. SHUT UP AND DANCE (Walk to the Moon) – Most Anticipated Book You Have

I guess I’ll put this one up. I won’t be getting it till tomorrow night, but it’s one of my most anticipated books. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

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3. CENTURIES (REMIX) (Fall Out Boy) – A Twist on a Classic or Fairy Tale

That I love? Well, lets see. This is my favorite. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer review

4. YOSHIMI BATTLES THE PINK ROBOT (The Flaming Lips) – A Science Fiction Book or a Book Set in the Future

I’m halfway through this book and I’ll just recommend this one. Conjuror by John and Carole Barrowman.

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5. SHE LOOKS SO PERFECT (5 Seconds of Summer) – A Book with a Girl on the Cover

Throne of Glass series. I love the UK covers better.

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I just really love how badass she looks on this cover.

6. AFRICA (Toto) – A Book Set in a Foreign Country

I need to put this in here somewhere, so OUTLANDER!!!

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7. ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST (Queen) – A Book or Books That Will Complete a Series

This question seems vague, so I’m going to interpret it as “what book or books didn’t need to be in the series to complete it?” So I’m going with the Selection series. The last two books didn’t need to be there at all.

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I did love the covers. So how unfortunate was it that they were so beautiful, yet the story just lacked… beauty??

8. SOMEONE NEW (Hozier) – A Book by an Author You Haven’t Read Yet

I just got this one. I met the author yesterday and have never read his books yet. It took this guy 7 years to write this. It’s called “I Saw a Man” by Owen Sheers. He’s apparently Welsh.

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9. HELLO (Adele) –  A Book your DNF or Weren’t in the Mood for at the Time

This one is easy. Winterspell by Claire Legrand. I just could not read the book. The story was not interesting and it was very confusing. I got this book with a gift card so I don’t feel so bad. I thought the cover was beautiful though. See, that’s why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover!

 

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10. LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT (Kylie Minogue)– A Book You Bought Because of the Cover

Look above and you will have your answer.

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I only like one of the songs on this list and have no clue of the others. But anyways I hope you guys like this update. Follow me for more of these fun things!

Scotland Trip 2016

Hello there lassies! I’ve just come back from a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. I have to say it was an eye opening trip. Without the surroundings of my friends and family, I could really be me. Sure, I came to Cardiff alone and made some friends here, but I got to experience something truly alone. It was glorious.

First day:

I arrived in Edinburgh around 8:30 am. Took the Tram to the City Center. I had gotten off at the wrong stop since I looked at the map wrong. So I had to walk about forty minutes to my hotel. It wasn’t that bad of a walk. It gave me some perspective on what I wanted to check out later on in my trip. Edinburgh was more hilly than Cardiff. Not San Francisco steep, but close. The place I got off at was a bit quiet. I didn’t see that many people around. But when I got closer to the City Center, I saw more people.

The City Center was lovely to behold when I got there. There’s two parts of town. There is the Old Town, which is the architecture that was there when it was just starting as a city. And then there was the New Town. Basically a different style of architecture that came around later in the city’s history. In between

the two towns is a park. There was a Ferris wheel, two museums and even a cemetery. The New Town was where I ventured out mostly for the first two days. The hotel I stayed at was only five minutes away from the City Center. There were plenty of places to eat around it and the Tram station was RIGHT THERE! I didn’t need to walk all that way. But you live and learn.

The hotel was super close to Nando’s!  Seriously, if you’ve never been to Nando’s, you should. Or if it’s not in your country, try to imagine amazing chicken wraps and burgers. They specialise in chicken.

I couldn’t check in till two, so I got to roam around more. I hadn’t gotten any sleep the night before so I was exhausted. I got lunch and looked through part of the museum. When I finally checked into the hotel, I fell asleep for five hours. When I woke up I went to Nando’s for dinner and looked around some more.

Second Day:

I woke up late and missed my chance to go to Doune Castle, which is the location they shot Winterfell at and also Castle Leoch in Outlander. I ended up just walking down the street from my hotel and explored. I forgot my umbrella so when it started to rain halfway through my walk, I got drenched. I caught one Pokemon and then I turned off that app. I walked a good four miles and then I went to take a nap. After my nap I went to get some cheesecake and did some more window shopping. It wasn’t the most productive day of my trip, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

They say that you need to do things when you’re visiting a foreign country. But my favorite things to do when I travel is examining how the down time of the city is.

Third Day:

This was the day I was looking forward to the entire trip! After I finished reading “A Dragonfly in Amber” by Diana Gabaldon, I got the idea to visit the Highlands. So this trip was leading up to this. I bought a ticket to this tour around the Highlands. I saw the Loch Ness, Glen Coe, the famous Whiskey distillery, a double rainbow, and some Highland “coos.”

The view was breathtaking! All the amazing scenery I saw in “Outlander” was what brought me to Scotland. I definitely was impressed with all of the nature. Most people who know me think I’m more of a couch based person, but I do love the outdoors. I just really like complaining about being outdoors.

The tour guide was hilarious and if given the chance, I would love to go on another one of his tours. The company is called “Rabbies,” which is not the disease, but the name of a famous Scottish poet. If you’re ever wondering what to do in Scotland and have never seen it, I would recommend this tour.

Fourth Day:

This day I went to Edinburgh Castle. I only went for two and a half hours, then I took a nap. Yeah, I took a bunch of naps during this trip. I loved just seeing the people around the castle and the amazing architecture. It felt like the castle was on a cloud. Also, the food was amazing! I had Haggis for the first time… really good! Just don’t look up what it is.

Fifth Day:

This was my last full day in Edinburgh. I went to the palace, the World’s End pub, and the Elephant House (where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter). It was a nice day, but then I got a headache and had to lay down.

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I know that some of that was a little short, but I do have photos. I had such a great time in Scotland and I am glad to have gotten the opportunity to do this. If I could go back, I would. Next time I go, I would like to take someone else with me.

Book Update 2: Scotland bound and SUMMER!!

Here is another book blog update!!! I’m super excited to announce that I’ll be in Scotland next week!!! If you can imagine, this is something I’ve been wanting to do for some time now. Ever since Sasha Alsberg started me on my Outlander obsession, I’ve wanted to go. Also, Winterfell was shot in Scotland so that was a plus. Definitely check out Sasha’s channel above for everything BookTube related.

I’ve sadly not read much this week. Le GASP!!!

The only book that I was able to pick up at all was “Summer Days and Summer Night” edited by Stephanie Perkins. It’s kind of an anthology of short stories based on summer and love. It’s sort of like the sequel to “My True Love Gave to Me” which was the winter anthology. Wait, would you call it an anthology? I’m not entirely sure.

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I’m only part way through the book and can only really tell you that I am having the same reaction I had for the “My True Love Gave to Me” book. Some of the stories are intriguing, but some of the others aren’t really fun to read. Stephanie Perkins’ short story was a continuation of her short story in the other book. Which I found fun to read. I feel like some of the stories are very slow paced and was a bit of a let down.

SHORT STORIES!!!

I will tell you guys that I’m not a fan of them. I’ve written a short story before and it was the hardest thing I’ve had to do. It was for this short story class I took and I was not a fan. After I handed that one in, I immediately added more to make it into a novel. Which, if you’ve been following my blog from the start, I’ve had several versions of that novel in here. It’s not completely done and I’ve put that one off to the side so I can work on my recent novel.

Anyways, short stories are fun, now and then, but I won’t go out of my way to read them. Throughout my time as an undergraduate, and now a post graduate, in Creative Writing, I’ve had to read several short stories and come up with different exercises for short story writing. They’re fun, but I like the extended pleasure of a novel.

Since I really like doing book tags, I am going to do the UNPOPULAR OPINIONS BOOK TAG!!! I’ve seen this tag go around BookTube and I wanted to participate in it so bad.

1. A Popular Book or series that you didn’t like.

Divergent. The first book was a really good set up, but I just could not get into it. I haven’t even finished the series.
2. A Popular Book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love.

Hmm… I guess the closest one for this question is Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Some people didn’t like this one, but I loved it. Seriously, I have reread this series so many times, I’m almost sure I could give you a play by play of everything that happened.
3. A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with (warn ppl for spoilers) OR an OTP that you don’t like.

This one kind of ends up in the grey area part, but Rowan and Aelin from the Throne of Glass series. I get the hype, but part of me is still hoping for Chaol and Aelin to get together.
4. A popular book Genre that you hardly reach for.

That would have to be Science Fiction. I don’t have anything against the genre, but it’s a little intimidating when I’m not a science fan. Although I am writing a Sci-Fi novel, so I should read more of the genre.
5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like.

Katniss Everdeen. She was such an annoying character and I could never tell what she was feeling exactly. It always seemed like she was playing the victim and that her fame was all due to circumstance.
6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into.

James Patterson. I read Maximum Ride, the first book and was really put off by his writing style. I tried with another book of his, but could not finish it.
7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing. (examples “lost princess”, corrupt ruler, love triangles, etc.)

The “chosen one” trope. Seriously, it’s too played out. Yeah, Harry Potter was the “chosen one” and then after that everyone wanted to base their characters off of that. Boring.
8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading.

“The Maze Runner” by James Dasher (is that how you spell his name??). Definitely something I would rather not get into. I saw the second movie out of boredom and it was alright, but not enough going on for me to want to pick up the books.
9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

I prefer “Perks of Being a Wallflower” over the book, only because it added a lot more depth. I’m not saying that I hated the book. I LOVED the book. It’s just that the movie was so phenomenal within itself that it felt like it surpassed the book a little bit.

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So that was the book tag. I had so much I wanted to say for this update, but it’s all failing me. I will probably be more into writing next week after Scotland. Oh and for anyone interested, I’m going to Edinburgh. I’ll be seeing the city and taking a tour of Loch Ness and the Highlands. I’m going to try to read some of “The Invasion of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen because it feels more Scottish than the other things I have on my TBR pile.

Also, I saw Star Trek: Beyond! Such a great movie! Had me on my toes the whole time. They had a great tribute to Leonard Nimoy. I shed a tear over Checkov since I know we won’t be seeing him in the future. I always saw Checkov as my little baby, so I’m going to be so sad when the next film comes out. Definitely worth the watch.

 

Reading Update 1: Dragonfly in Amber and Outlander tag

As promised, here is my reading update of the week. I realize that I don’t blog as much as I want to and that really bugs me. I am always reading and would love to keep my followers up to date with what I’m reading. So this is an update. Each week I will discuss the books I am currently reading and maybe even do some book tags.

What is a Book Tag? 

If you aren’t familiar with the term, a book tag is basically like a questionnaire that you answer. It’s supposed to be really fun and exciting. Because of my recent read, “Dragonfly in Amber” by Diana Gabaldon, I will do the “Outlander Tag” which was started by Sasha Alsberg on YouTube. I know that was meant for BookTube, but essentially you can actually put them in blog form.

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For those not familiar with the series Outlander, here is a synopsis. Claire Randall goes on her second honeymoon with her husband Frank Randall in 1945 to Inverness, Scotland. Things go crazy when she stumbles through this stone circle called the “Craigh Na Dun.” She ends up in 1745 Scotland, where the Jacobite rising is just beginning. She finds herself captive of the clan MacKenzie, where she meets Jamie Fraser. This series is a historical fiction novel that has fantastical elements to it. It follows Claire and her adventures in the Highland army and culture. There’s even a show based on the book series. Watch it. It’s one of my favorite book to TV adaptations.

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I really love this poster for the show. Can we talk about the actors? They are all brilliantly portrayed and I am so happy I got into this!!! I do wish they picked someone else as Claire, but I do like the lady playing her. I just thought she’d be a bit more… prettier I guess. Oh well.

But JAMIE!!! I swoon so hard over him. I want him to be my husband so bad! I love his character development and the guy playing him portrays him so well that I forget that he’s not really Jamie Fraser. Oh, if only he were! I love the Gaelic phrases and mannerisms of the Scots. One of my favorite things that I love about Jamie and Claire’s relationship is how he calls her Sassenach and Mo Duinne. Sassenach means “Outlander,” which is an insult, but when he calls her that, it’s very sensual and just… wow.

I went into this book series thinking it was going to be like Game of Thrones, but I was so wrong! The first 200 pages of the first book is hard to get through, but once you read that first 200 pages, you’re hooked. This series will keep you on your toes.

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Can that be me??? I’d like for him to call me Sassenach.

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That woman is a lucky lady. Can he touch me like that???

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#OutlanderBookTag

1. You touch some standing stones and get transported back in time, what year would you hope to land in?

As much as I loved reading about Scotland and other 18th century lands, I would much rather just go back to a more recent time and see what happens then. I would hope to go back to when Green Day was just starting out and befriend them when they were in their teen years. I wouldn’t have the means to survive Victorian Era clothing or personal hygiene habits. I need actual plumbing and the ability to take a shower in peace.

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2. Claire is a very good nurse, what type of skill would you want to have that a fictional character excels at?

Since he is a fictional character, I’m going to go with Sherlock Holmes and his skill of deduction. Seriously, he’s smart and witty. I just wish I could be as skilled as he is in that field.

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3. Jamie and Claire are ultimate relationship goals, who is your favorite fictional couple?

This is so hard! But right now I’ll have to go with Rysand and Faeyra from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. They are amazing and I wish I could be like them.

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4. The ending of outlander was shocking, what is one book you read that totally blew your mind?

A Court of Mist and Fury… need I say more???

5. Scotland has lots of castles and we see quite a few in Outlander, what fictional kingdom would you want as your own (castle included)?

Maybe some people won’t know this one, but the kingdom in “The 10th Kingdom.” I would love to just be a part of that world and rule in peace with all of the fairy tales.

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6. Outlander has some very steamy scenes, what is your favorite romance novel?

I don’t think I read that many romance novels… so I will have to go with “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes. It was sad and sappy. Just the way I like romances.

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7. The Jacobite Rising is a huge plot point in the Outlander series, what book has your favorite battle in it?

I did like the battles in Game of Thrones. Can’t really pick one though. They were all my favorite.

8. Jamie and Claire get married very unexpectedly, what fictional character would you want to marry on a whim?

Gansey from “The Raven Boys” by Maggie Stiefvater.

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9. Scotland is a beautiful place, what is one fictional world you would love to visit?

The Shire! Land of Hobbits!!!

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10. If you could change the past, would you?

Probably not. All of my mistakes and failures have made me who I am today. And I don’t think I could stop big historical events. I’ve watched too much Doctor Who and have seen that episode of Supernatural to know that you can’t mess with history.

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So that was the tag. Hope it was fun to read. As for a reading update, I just finished “Dragonfly in Amber” and I’m super thrilled to have finished it. I shed a bunch of tears and I can’t wait to read the next one. Unfortunately I probably won’t get the next book till I get a job, so I will hold off on that one. Next on my list to read is “Summer Days and Summer Nights” edited by Stephanie Perkins and “The Invasion of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen.

I’ve been working on my portfolio this week and hanging with friends. I’ve had a decent week and look forward to what next week has to offer me.

I tag everyone of my followers to do this booktag. Even if you haven’t read Outlander, you can still do this tag.

Since I will probably finish this series next year, I will talk a little of what I thought of the book. The second book had a small slump, but definitely made my heart stop a little. I cried some tears and danced for joy. I can’t wait to get to know more of the new characters in the next book and hope it all works out in the end. I need more Jamie!!!!

Memoir writing: a rant

Memoir writing is something new I’ve been tackling for the past year. And I am happy to say that it all stemmed from writing this blog. What got me into memoir writing was the piece I wrote for my grandma. I looked at it and thought, “what if I could use this for my portfolio?” So I started turning pieces of it in to my workshops for class. I did a fairly good job at keeping my classmates interested in what I was writing. After that, it’s all I’ve been focusing on, except for the few times I write my novel.

I really don’t like non-fiction novels. I would much rather read something fictional. However, through discussions with my supervisor, I think I have my own story to tell. I thought that maybe because I am only in my 20’s that a memoir wouldn’t be appropriate, but it fits me better. I haven’t read many memoirs and so this whole subject is new to me.

For memoir writing, I feel like the story is there, I just have to dig deeper to find it. It’s a different technique than writing fiction. At least for me. There are truths that I want to put down, and there are truths that I DON’T want to put down. So getting those ones I don’t want to put down is very hard. I can write two paragraphs and not feel like writing for a week because it was hard to put those words on paper. Or the screen.

This is a new area for me and I feel like it can either go well for me, or it could very badly. I will take this to wherever it may lead me.

I know I haven’t been blogging that much lately and I apologize. I truly want to keep up with this blog, so I will post an update every Wednesday about my life, reading and other bookish things.

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater book review

This review is something I’ve wanted to do since I started the series. I was very intrigued by this series because it had Welsh elements to it. And what is that series that I’m talking about? It’s The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. My friend told me the other day how reviews are a lot of gushing about the books and while I wanted to disagree, I really could not. Since that’s what I am going to do for some of this review. Most of the gushing will be in the spoiler section of this review.

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The series follows this girl named Blue who lives with a family full of psychics. She’s been told since birth that if she kisses her true love, he will die. So she avoids kissing in general. Then she meets the “Raven Boys.” These are boys from the private school named Aglionby. And you guessed it. Their mascot is a raven. Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah are intertwined with Blue when they go looking for this Welsh King named Owen Glendower (Owain Glywndr in Welsh.)

Based in Virginia, the story centres on the fact that the Welsh took Glendower to Virginia to hide his body from the English. Because the body of Glendower was put on a magical ley line, its said that if you wake him up, you get a favour.

With this hunt for a magical king comes other magical elements. Other people are trying to find Glendower and most importantly, the Greywaren, which is supposedly this magical object that can make dream objects come to life. In this adventure story, we are shown snippets of information throughout each book.

This book was a great read. After I read the third book I felt like this was one of those overhyped books. And after finishing the fourth book, I do have to keep that opinion, but admit that it was pretty good to finish it. I heard somewhere on BookTube that it’s really a character based story and that plot works differently in this series. That was very much true for this series. Most of the story is based on character development bringing it forward.

I enjoyed this book a lot, but I wouldn’t say it was my favourite series. I would give this a 4.5/5 stars.

The fact that they were looking for a Welsh king was fun to read in Wales. I get to see the Welsh landscape every day and to think of the past in this fictional book was exciting. I did get to go to the Owain Glyndwr pub in Cardiff.

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Excuse the belly. Seriously, I am not pregnant. The shorts were a bit tight and so my belly stood out.

What was interesting for me was the fact that my copies were written in UK English. I only noticed when they would talk about going to a parking lot and they would call it car park. Or they spelled color like “colour.” I looked up why and apparently it’s because of publishing rights. It was published by Scholastic in the UK so it’s in UK English. I mean that was weird. They’re in Virginia and they’re calling a parking lot a car park? That was weird.

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The Fifth Wave Trilogy book review

I’ve been in a huge reading mode. I’ve read 30 books so far in the year 2016. I have talked about most of them on this blog and I will continue to post reviews on some of the upcoming books on my TBR list. This review has been a while in the works.

As you guys who follow any kind of Young Adult Literature know, this book was made into a movie. It follows this girl named Cassie who is fighting to stay alive. Aliens have taken over the planet, taking us out in waves. In a battle of humanity, the aliens have completely obliterated the idea of trust and cooperation.

Which book series is this? Yes, it’s the Fifth Wave series by Rick Yancey!

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This book reminded me of “The Host” by Stephanie Meyer. The aliens implant themselves in humans and seek to kill off humanity in order to take over the planet.

I enjoyed this book series. I did not particularly like the second book, but the third book really hit it for me. The first book was exciting to read. It was definitely a page turner.

However, I felt like the names were all really confusing. Maybe it’s because I read the second book months after reading the first book, but I felt like the nicknames got in the way of the story.

Speaking of the story, I didn’t understand exactly what was happening in the second book. I think it got confusing as to who were the aliens and how you can tell what was other.

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I loved the movie! Probably some people didn’t, but I did. It was exciting and I think made the book even better. And the guy who played Evan Walker was really cute. I loved Chloe Moritz as Cassie. I wasn’t sure at first when they announced who was going to play Cassie, but after seeing the movie, I’m impressed. Great job!

As an overall review, I would give the series a 3.5/5 stars. It was interesting to read, but I think it lacked clarity. I kept hoping that the final book would answer all my questions, but it just left me wondering what was actually happening. Pick this book up if you want a thrilling adventure that you have to imagine what actually happened. Also, I did not like the changing of perspectives. It was one of the reasons why it was so confusing.

I hope you liked this review. There will be more. The next one will be for The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stievater .

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Macau Trip: that was one year ago!!!

What have I learned this past year since my Macau trip?

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Well, fellow readers, I’ve learned many things. When I first set off on my trip to Macau, I thought I could handle it. I did a fairly okay job being the leader of my casa and making sure everything went well when we were in Macau. But what I didn’t anticipate how I was ill prepared to venture out alone when I was going to Hong Kong. I think now that I’ve had some more experience going alone to places such as Bath or even Barry Island, I am not as scared as I was a year ago.

I’ve learned some interesting social skills and find myself wishing I could go back and be a nicer person. I’m not saying that I was a horrible person on the trip, but I could have been less annoying and more willing to accept some things. I tried really hard to be liked and I think that may have come across in the wrong way. Looking back, I think that I was a tad bit more immature than I am now. Although I’m sure a few people didn’t see it that way.

I’m sure travelling Europe is different than Asia, but I think I was just not in the right place to be able to handle myself alone. Now that I know a few tricks to how to feel comfortable in a new place and the effect of research, I definitely would try to go travelling by myself again. This time I will do my research in to what hotel would suit me and which part has more activity to do at night. I definitely will not book a hostel that is in the middle of nowhere on a hill that I’d never hike up.

Although I don’t speak to the people I met on the trip on a daily basis, I do enjoy seeing what they’re doing through Facebook. I think Facebook tends to filter out what news you see on your page. I would happily meet up with anyone for coffee (or tea) that I met on the trip. Well, most people.

Looking back on what happened on my last day in Macau, I realise that I handled it pretty well for someone in my situation. Some people would blame themselves, but what could I have done? I had no clue of the pressures that girl was being put on to accompany me. If so, I would have been understanding and told her it was fine. But to not have heard from her at all that day felt bad. But that’s in the past. I don’t hold it against her and I’m moving past it. After all, I was originally just going alone anyways.

I’ve written a lot about my Macau trip and I even have it on my main page under “Macau Trip.” I’m eternally grateful for that opportunity and I can’t believe it’s been a year!

Here’s me now:

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Definitely a big change! I’ve learned so much and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings me!!!

A Court of Thorns and Roses series review (first two books) by Sarah J. Maas

My love for books knows no bounds. What I love doing more than reading (okay, probably the same as) is writing about books. So you’ve read so many of my book reviews in the past few days. WordPress has said that my stats has increased in the past day and I’m thrilled. So with the process of writing comes the flow that will not stop. Seriously, once I start writing, sometimes it’s hard to stop. If I stop, I’ll lose motivation. So I will write another book review.

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This book series is yet to be finished, but I really want to talk about it. It’s a really important book that everyone should read. Okay, not that important, but you should still read it. The book series is called “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas. It follows this girl named Faeyre (I’m seriously naming my first child that if it’s a girl) who is a huntress. She kills a faerie and must live out her life as a prisoner in the faerie lands. The faerie who takes her “prisoner” is named Tamlin and is high lord of the Spring Court. Faerie lands are divided into seasons and times. For instance, there is a Night Court (which we will see more of in the second book), Day Court, Summer Court and Autumn.

Faeyre lives in luxury in Tamlin’s court while her siblings and father starve. Although Tamlin takes care of them. With this concept of faeries comes MAGIC. Tamlin can turn into a beast. If you’re familiar with “Beauty and the Beast” I’m sure you know where the story is headed. There is a blight in faerie magic and Tamlin is trying to fix it.

The first two books in the series are amazing. I was invested in the story from page one and the second book was not a disappointment. You know how most second books in a series *cough cough* New Moon *cough* have that “second book slump?” Well this one has the “second book spunk!” Okay I stole that from Sasha but whatever. Halfway through ACOTAR, we meet this guy named Rhysand who is very mysterious. He makes a pact with Faeyre near the end of the first book and things get crazy from there.

If you’ve read the “Throne of Glass” series that Maas also wrote, you might see a pattern in the way relationships are formed. You think that the first one is the true love, but then stuff happens and BAM! You no longer ship them and feels are had.

I think what I liked best, as I’ve said in most of my other reviews on different books, is characterisation!  The dynamic between Faeyre and her siblings are written in such a way that you can’t help feeling angry at the siblings. And the father is such an idiot!!!

If you are into faeries and fairy tales, you might like this series. I’m excited to see what happens next and can’t wait to get my hands on the next book.

I would give this a 5/5 stars for awesomeness! I was hesitant to start this book because I was unsure of the Beauty and the Beast element, but it was well worth it!

SPOILER SECTION!!!!

 

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