Friday, 6 May 2016

April Book Haul : Book Haul #3

Hello Book-Lovers!

As you can tell from the title, this is a (slightly excessive) book haul. I went a little crazy last month and bought way more books than I meant to. (I ended up putting myself on a book buying ban about two weeks into April).

The Darkest Minds & Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

I found these two at my local used book store in basically brand new condition, and I grabbed them without thinking twice. I don't really know much about this series (I'm pretty sure it's a trilogy) except that it's Dystopian, and I've seen some pretty mixed reviews.

The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

I have no idea what this book is about, I remember putting it on my TBR years ago when it came out, and then I saw it on Book Outlet for super cheap so I grabbed it.

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

This is a re-purchase for me, I read this book back in high school and I loved it so when I saw it on Book Outlet for super cheap I grabbed it. This is the first book in this like, Urban Fantasy/Faerie series.

I received this book for review. It's a debut, YA Contemporary novel set in Southern USA. I've actually already read and reviewed this book > HERE < and I really, really enjoyed it.

I don't know anything about this book really, except that it was really popular a few years back. It was one of those books that I saw at my local used book store, recognized the title, and picked it up.

This is a beautiful Contemporary novel following two twins, Noah and Jude. I've actually already read this book during AuthorAThon last month, and I loved it.

You by Caroline Kepnes

I don't know much about this book, but I've been seeing it floating around the internet a lot lately so when I saw it at the bookstore for bargain price, I grabbed it. All I know about it that it's some kind of Thriller-type novel. 

I have no idea what this series is about, other than it's some kind of Fantasy. I've heard really good reviews, so when I saw them both on Book Outlet for really cheap I grabbed them.

So, there are all the books I acquired in April. Have you read any of these? If so, what did you think? Which of these should I pick up first? I'd love to here your thoughts. Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you next time with my next post.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Top Five Wednesday : Authors You'd Want To Meet at BEA/Bookcon (#T5W May 4th)

Hello Book-Lovers!

It's Wednesday, and that means it's time for another Top Five Wednesday.

Top Five Wednesday is hosted by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes. There's a link for the Goodreads group here if you want to join.

This weeks topic is authors you'd want to meet at BEA & Bookcon. Unfortunately I won't be attending either, but a girl can dream. This is basically a wishlist of a few of my favourite authors.

5&4. Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

I just loved Illuminae and I would love to meet the brilliant minds behind it.

3. Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me is my favourite YA dystopian series. (Also I follow Tahereh on instagram and she has the coolest style.)

2. Leigh Bardugo

Again, another of my favourite series. I love, love, love the Grisha Trilogy, and she is one of my all time favourite authors.

1. Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles is one of my all time favourite series, and I would love to meet the woman who wrote it.

Well, that's my Top Five Wednesday this week. Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you next time with my next post.

Happy Reading!

Morgyn @morgyngillis

Monday, 25 April 2016

Book Review : The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner *Spoiler Free*

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

4/5 Stars

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Released: March 8th, 2016
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 384

“If you're going to live, you might as well do painful, brave, and beautiful things.” 

In the story, we have our three main characters: Dill, Lydia, and Travis, who are a close-knit band of friends. Dill is the son of an incarcerated preacher, who has a passion for music. Lydia is a sassy, goal oriented blogger who dreams of bigger things. And Travis who is a big dude with a love of fantasy novels, and the outsider of his stereotypical southern family. 

This is not the type of book I normally would pick up. Truthfully, if I hadn’t been given this book, I probably would never have read it. That being said, this book surprised me. I went into this book knowing nothing (except that there was something about snakes and religion). And when I found out I was getting the book, I actively avoided reading anything about it (I didn’t even read the summary). 

At first, I almost DNF’d this book. Why? Because I’m not that big into YA contemporary stories. But, The Serpent King definitely isn't your typical YA Contemporary novel. It is a mix of everything you wish a YA Contemporary could be, and it wasn't totally cliche. I’m so glad I continued with this book. This book emotionally destroyed me in all the right ways. It’s the first book to make me cry (I’m talking gross, uncontrollable sobbing) in a very long time. (I think the last book to do that was The Fault in Our Stars back in 2012). And I wasn’t expecting it. I wasn't prepared for it to shatter my heart into a million pieces. Throughout reading the first half of this book I didn’t think it would hit me so hard. It really started as a 3 star read and ended as a solid, 4 star read. 

This is a very character driven novel and each character felt very real. The characters in this book are all incredibly unique and easily relatable. Seriously, there is something in every character that you can easily relate to. The characters are really what make this story. Even the plot is somewhat unique, and what I loved about this book is that didn't even make the characters attending classes a major focus. This is a well-crafted, beautiful story about three teenagers finding themselves. 

This book is the perfect blend of comedy, romance and drama that all fit perfectly together into one beautiful puzzle. The writing is compelling, original and in some places so intense you cannot help but continue reading, this book had me up all night trying to finish it once I got hooked. Truly, this book is stunning. I can't say enough about it.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Top Five Wednesday : Books You're Intimidated By (#T5W April 20th)

Hello Book-Lovers!

It's Wednesday, and that means it's time for another Top Five Wednesday.

Top Five Wednesday was created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey, but is now hosted by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes. There's a link for the Goodreads group here if you want to join.

This week's topic is books you're intimidated by, which is pretty self-explanatory. I find books can be intimidating for a lot of different reasons (size, series length, hype, etc.). So, let's get to it.

5. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

I keep eyeing this book every time I go to the bookstore, but I never pick it up. Why? Because it's a six book series (with four books currently out), and that's a lot of books to commit to. I do think this is a series I will pick up though.

4. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

I've been sitting on this series for a while now, and I've heard very mixed reviews. Which has just put me off reading it a little. I'm just worried about investing my time into this (slightly bulky) trilogy if I might not love it.

3. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This series seems to be a very well-loved series, and I've basically avoided reading it because I'm worried it won't live up to the hype. (Also, four book series. Lots of books to commit to.)

2. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

I picked up this book and it's sequel, The Mime Order, from Book Outlet knowing nothing about it. And then I looked it up on Goodreads and apparently it's going to be a seven book series. And they're fairly large books. (I just have commitment issues when it comes to series longer than three books).

1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

This is my number one because I'm mostly afraid that I won't like it. I loved The Grisha Trilogy (and this is set in the same world), and I've heard nothing but good things about this book, but I just haven't picked it up yet. I want to, I'm sure I'll love it. I'm just avoiding it in the off-chance that I won't.

Well, that's my Top Five Wednesday this week. Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you next time with my next post.

Happy Reading!

Morgyn @morgyngillis

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Book Review : Vicious by V. E. Schwab *Spoiler Free*

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

5/5 Stars

Publisher: Tor
Released: September 24th, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 364

“The paper called Eli a hero. The word made Victor laugh. Not just because it was absurd, but because it posed a question. If Eli was really a hero, and Victor meant to stop him, did that make him a villain? He took a long sip of his drink, tipped his head back against the couch, and decided he could live with that.” 

(I need to drop the whole blurb here, because no description I give will do this book justice.)
"Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?"

See what I mean?
I’m going to try and eloquently express my opinion, but it’s probably not going to work.(Also it’s so hard to talk about this book without giving anything away. And honestly, this is a book you want to go into without spoilers.)

I went into this book not knowing much about it. (I tend to do this; I don’t like look up a book before I read it.) I saw it floating around the internet attached to phrases like “morally grey superheroes” and “best book I’ve read”, and I knew I needed to get this book. And so I did. The second I saw it pop up on Book Outlet (I usually go with Book Outlet for authors I haven’t read yet, just in case) I grabbed it, not even thinking twice about it. And then I let it sit on my shelf for a year, almost completely forgotten, pushed aside for newer, shinier books. I regret taking so long to read this book. It was amazing. No, it was beyond amazing. This book might just be my favourite read of 2016.

One of the things I really liked about this book is the way the story is told. The chapters go back and forth between past events and current events, where every past event is followed up by something that is currently happening because of those events. I also liked the multiple narrators used. I’m not usually a fan of multiple narrators, I find it tends to get messy when there’s too many people to follow (I just have a hard time following multiple narrators/story lines). But it fit this book so well, because everything comes together so beautifully. Also, I love nice, short chapters and this story was structured perfectly in that sense.

What I absolutely adored about this book were the characters. No one was perfect, no one was entirely good; everyone was flawed. They were messed up, they had struggles, and fears; and secrets of their own. Every single character had to face obstacles, and the best part is that every one dealt with their obstacles in completely different ways. The characters were hauntingly real because of their imperfections. 

Another thing I loved about this book is the way it poses questions about morality – about how what you think is good isn’t always what’s actually good, and about the consequences of dealing with death and whether anyone has the right to decide when a life has to end. (All because you think what you’re doing is what’s right). What I can tell you is that this really is one complex book.

This book was a roller-coaster from start to finish, and I loved every second of it. It was an addictive and a compelling page-turner. This was such a great book, with such a great concept. This was really different from what I usually read, but in the best way possibly. I loved the writing style, and I can’t wait to read more books by Schwab.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Author-A-Thon & Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon TBR

Hello Book-Lovers!

I've recently become a little obsessed with read-a-thons. (I participated in #TBRTakedown last week, and I'm still running off that high). So, in light of that, I went on the search for new read-a-thons in the near future. And I stumbled upon two. Two that are, coincidentally, happening at the same time. (Author-a-thon is April 18th-24th, Dewey's 24-hour Read-a-Thon is April 23rd.) And of course, why would I pick one when I can do both?


Author-a-thon takes place from from 12:00 a.m. (your time zone) on April 18th to 11:59 p.m. (your time zone) on April 24th. Author-a-thon was created by Joana (Joana Sousa) and is being co-hosted by Sam (Thoughts on Tomes). Follow @AuthorAThon on twitter for updates.

So, for this read-a-thon you can either just read books by one author, or use the provided challenges. I'll be using the challenges (except #5- I don't have a book for that one).

The challenges are:

1. Read a book by one of your favorite authors.
2. Read a new-to-you author.
3. Give an author a second chance.
4. Read a debut author (2015 or 2016).
5. Read a book written by more than one author.
6. Read a book from an author who is from a different continent than you are.

My TBR for this read-a-thon is:

The Rose Society by Marie Lu

This is the book I'm reading for the first challenge. Her Legend trilogy is one of my favourites, and though I didn't love The Young Elites, I am curious to see where this story goes.

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Challenge #2. I've heard really great things about Jandy Nelson's novels (both this and The Sky is Everywhere). But, this is the one I have, so it's the one I'll be reading.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

This is technically the third chance I'm giving Sarah J. Maas. I've read both Throne of Glass & A Court of Thorns and Roses. And since I kind of enjoyed Throne of Glass, and the sequel to ACOTAR isn't out yet, this is the book I'll be trying. (I'm hoping for the best, I really want to love a SJM book).

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I have been dying to read this book since it came out last year, and for some reason I just haven't picked it up yet. Part of that is the hype that surrounded this novel made me a little nervous to read it. But, this is Sabaa Tahir's debut novel, so I finally have a reason to cross it off my list without excuses.

Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

I picked this book up at my local used book store because everyone was recommending Sophie Kinsella to me, but I've never really been in the mood to pick it up. (It's not really the genre I tend to go for). But, Sophie Kinsella is a British author (challenge #6), and I needed another Contemporary to break up this mostly Fantasy list.

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-A-Thon

Dewey's 24-hour Read-a-thon takes place on April 23rd, 2016. different from many readathons in that it starts across the world at the same time. (You can find your start time here). This read-a-thon is hosted by Heather and Andi of The Estella Society, along with help from volunteers. You can follow @readathon on Twitter, and I'll leave a link to the website > here < so you can find more information. (I highly recommend you give it a look-through).

This readathon doesn't really have any set challenges, so you basically just read whatever you want for 24 hours. Which is great for me, because I already have the list of five books I'm reading that day. But I want to set aside one book to read specifically on that week. (If I do happen to finish the book, I'll just be continuing with the Author-a-thon TBR).

And that book is:

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I just really want to read this book, and I keep putting it off. So what better time to read it than during a read-a-thon? (This book was super hyped last year, and I kind of avoided it for that reason).

Well, I guess that's it. That's my (slightly ambitious) TBR for Author-a-Thon & Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon. I'm a really slow reader, so chances are I won't get through half of these. But I'm always up for a challenge, and I really need to knock a few books off my ever-growing TBR pile.
Are you doing either/both of these read-a-thons? What's on your TBR? Have you read any of these books? Let me know below, and if you're doing either of these read-a-thons please comment down below with links to your blogs/social media/Goodreads and I'll follow you.

So thanks for reading, and I hope to see you next time with my next post.

Happy Reading!

Morgyn @morgyngillis

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Book Review : Uprooted by Naomi Novik *Spoiler Free*

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

5/5 Stars

Publisher : Del Rey
Released: May 19th, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 438

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

The story opens in a village where 17-year-old Agnieszka has been living with her family all her life. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. In order to keep the Wood at bay, the villagers rely on the help of the Dragon, a powerful wizard. As compensation for his efforts, the Dragon demands a tribute: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years. With the next choosing approaching, she is afraid. Everyone knows that the Dragon will take her best friend, Kasia. But when the Dragon comes, it isn’t Kasia he chooses. Instead he chooses Agnieszka.

Uprooted has quickly become one of my favourite reads of the year. It has everything I could ever want in a book. That being said, I’m finding it surprisingly difficult to write a review for it. I went into this book knowing very little; I actively avoided reading anything about this book after I picked it up. And I think that’s partially why I enjoyed this book so much. I didn’t know what to expect going in, so I really couldn’t be disappointed. And I was definitely not disappointed. This book blew me away. From start to finish, this book held me in its grasp and didn't let go.

I won't go into specific plot details. To give it all away would ruin the experience that is this book. (And boy is this book an experience). But I will say that it was very well done; complicated, dark and twisted in all the best ways. Seriously. What I really loved the most about Uprooted was the feeling it gave me. It’s an indescribable feeling, almost like a nostalgic love. It has all the makings of a familiar fairytale story, something you might have heard as a child. And this book is so well-defined that it produces powerful feelings and strong, clear images in your mind. You can practically feel the evil lurking inside and seeping through the pages.

Another thing I loved was the focus on the friendship between Agnieszka and Kasia. Kasia always seemed to remain her priority at all times; and the strengths and weaknesses of their friendship felt honest and real, especially for their age. And it was a much greater focus than the romance. And I love that. I love books with strong female friendships. But don’t get me wrong, I also enjoyed the romance-y bits. It’s just refreshing to see it take a bit of a back seat.

I have to say this book was such a beautiful, dark fantasy read. It read like a modern fairytale. Great world-building, engaging narrator, and spectacular depiction of magic without dumping too much information. I could easily see this book becoming a classic in the future. If you're a fan of beautifully crafted stories, hideous monstrosities that are all too human, and good triumphing over evil, read it.