#SixforSunday, Roundup / Recap, spoiler free

S4S – 2019 Favourites

Six for Sunday

Happy Six for Sunday! This prompt for this week from the lovely Steph at A Little But A lot is 2019 favourites. I did a top ten favourite books for 2019 already SO I decided that I would tweak what I think the intended meaning was a little bit and give you a list of six of my favourite book-related things from last year!

London Darkdawn Launch
I didn’t go to a huge amount of events last year but the ones I went to I really enjoyed, especially the London event for the Darkdawn launch. I got to hang out with my friends, bring my husband to his first bookish event, visit Goldsboro books, eat ice cream, listen to Jay’s talk chaired by Samantha Shannon and then meet the guy himself and get my books signed, it was amazing and serial and honestly some of the most fun I’ve ever had at an event.

Being asked to recommend Star Wars books 
This one is going to sound a little silly but I’m always insanely flattered whenever anyone asks me for book recommendations and when I posted about Star Wars (which was a LOT last month) a number of people actually asked me about the Star Wars books and where to start, which ones I’d recommend etc and as someone who is a bit of a Star Wars fangirl and still trying to pluck up the courage to email Century about reviewing for them this really touched me and made my week with every message.

Doing a Q&A with Lauren James 
I was so amazed and excited to have been added to the blogger list for Walker this year, mainly as they publish books by Lauren James who is one of my all-time favourite authors so I pretty much lost my mind when not only did I manage to get an early copy of The Quiet at the End of the World but also had the opportunity to host aQ&Aon my blog with Lauren herself! I have never worked so hard on a set of questions in my entire life let me tell you. I’m so happy with how it turned out and it’s hands down I think my favourite blog post I’ve ever done.

Receiving early copies of some of my favourite books  
I guess this one might sound a little simple but I am honestly SO grateful for being able to work with so many great publishers who have given me fantastic opportunities to review books from their authors. Last year I got to receive and review early copies for some of my absolute favourite books including (but not limited to) Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder (who has been a favourite author of mine for over ten years now), The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James, The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman, Once and Future by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta and Sanctuary by V.V/Vic James! (Thank you Maria, Walker Books, Titan Books, Rock the Boat/Oneworld and Gollancz).

Memento 
The Illuminae Files books by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are my favourite books. If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time it’s quite likely you already know this as I don’t really shut up about them so when the Memento novella was announced I was devastated it wasn’t something that we would be likely to get in the UK until Goodchoice books in the US announced they were shopping their copies of Aurora Rising with them and I was over the moon to get my hands on one! Reading it was like coming home, I missed the world and format of these books so damn much and DAMN it was good.

Blogger Brunch at MCM 
I was invited to the Blogger Brunch at MCM London last May and although I’ve been invited to other events before this one just felt so relaxed and chill I had the best time. Meeting all of the authors was fun and chatting with them felt organic and it was the least nervous I have ever been in that kind of setting. Not to mention I met some other lovely bloggers, got a bag of goodies and some books signed! A brilliant event and I hope to get invited to another if they have one! Fingers crossed!

There we have it! Six of my bookish favourites from 2019, I’m excited to see what 2020 brings with it! Maybe I’ll finally e-mail Century?

 

 

Roundup / Recap, spoiler free

My Favourite Reads of 2019

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I originally wrote this as in the place of a Six for Sunday post a week or so ago and then was ill and forgot to post it. So, as I’m a still a little under the weather I thought I would add a few more books to even the list out and share them with you today!

I decided it was time to reflect on some of my favourite books I’ve read this year, which seemed like a good idea at the time but then I had to go through fifty-five books and pick just six and I can’t decide if this was more fun or stressful but it was definitely a little of both so I hope you enjoy my list.

Just a note that this is my personal list and is linked only to my enjoyment. These are not “THE BEST” books of 2019, I’m in no way qualified to judge that and not all of these books are even FROM 2019 but they are my favourites so they count here.

The Wicked King by Holly Black
I’ve enjoyed this series on a whole but shockingly the middle book has turned out to be my favourite book of the trilogy and one of my top books, certainly of the year if not in general. This book had such a wonderful mix of things I just adore, the politics, the fighting, the kissing, Cardan being an ass and Jude just being…Jude. *Chef kiss*

Sanctuary by V.V James
A book I read on a whim after it was recommended by a friend that just completely blew me away. There were some great twists and turns that had me hanging on the edge of my seat, frantically turning pages and wanting to pull out my hair in places. A brilliant witchy read with some themes that remind me of The Crucible.

Finding Home, Vol Two: The Healer by Hari Conner
MY BOYS.
So, I know they’re technically Hari’s boys, not mine but I would happily protect them as if they were my own. Chepi and Janek captured my heart in Volume One of Finding Home but Volume Two was a whole new level. I love these two so much and I just want to keep them safe but at the same time they are both utter messes and honestly, I think that just makes me love them more. This volume had so many, interesting, beautiful, heartbreaking and tense moments throughout, not to mention a couple that made me laugh out loud. I think this might have been my favourite read of the year, I can’t fault it any conceivable way, it was perfect.

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
Riverdale meets Stranger Things is the best way to describe TDG and honestly, someone needs to make it into a show already because it’s brilliant and has all the right vibes. I love the rival families, the secrets, the ANGST. I am already chomping at the bit for The Deck of Omens like I can’t begin to explain.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
So I was in two minds whether or not to include Nevernight. Partially because it wasn’t released this year and also because I’ve spent so long trying to work out how I feel about it. The beginning is slow and I’m pretty sure anyone who’s read it will agree but MY GODS the rest of it is sublime. Murder Hogwarts? CHECK. Murderous, unapologetic knife wife? CHECK. Sarcastic cat made of shadows?! CHECK CHECK CHECK.

Heartstopper Volume Two by Alice Oseman
This book (both of them really) are my happy place. I could honestly just read them forever. These books feel like a warm hot chocolate on a cold day. The second volume in particular just had so many great moments on so many levels.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Although it wasn’t quite the level of the Illuminae series I loved this first book and I can’t wait for more, Aurora Burning is currently my most anticipated book next year so far. I love Squad 312, Finn especially!

The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James
A beautiful entwining of two compelling stories both linked to a “soft” apocalypse. This, as I’m sure comes to no surprise to anyone who’s read anything by Lauren James, had some spectacular twists and was incredibly thought-provoking.

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas
This was not a book I expected to love but I absolutely adored it. I expected it would be a lot of fluff and fan service and although there was definitely that it was so much more, it had an interesting little storyline and I believe paved the way for the next trilogy to come. I’m glad I finally got around to reading it this year.

Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder
After some problems with the first book and not enjoying it as much as I thought I would I was SO pleased that Chasing the Shadows was fantastic! I love the sci-fi lore behind it, we had some great twists and turns, got to know our characters a little better and find out some HUGE secrets!! It was one of the best sequels I’ve ever read and will definitely be rereading via audiobook next year.

Did any of these books make your top list this year? What are some of your top reads of the year?

 

spoiler free, Tags

Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

Oh sorry, WHAT. How is it that time already? How has it been HALF OF A YEAR already? I honestly have no idea where the time has gone, it feels crazy. I’m technically doing this about a month early as last year I posted this on July 19th instead of June 20th but here we are, I figured this was as good a time as ever.

First off I had a look at last years Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag and at the time I was 72% through my Goodreads reading challenge so I thought it would be fun to compare that as well. I’m currently at 52% I’m four books ahead at 31 out of 60 which considering the month difference as I’m doing this a little earlier makes sense as that 72% last year was 36 out of 50. I thought I was a little slower this year so that’s interesting.

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2019

So this is a really tough question and I’ve had to come back to it after answering all the others and having a think about it for a few days and I don’t think I really have a clear answer, I like a few books the best so far for different reasons. I loved the crazy twists and immense tension and storytelling in both A Good Girls Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson as well as Sanctuary by Vic James, I fell in love with the ragtag crews in both Once and Future by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta and Aurora Rising by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff and I had my mind absolutely shattered to pieces by The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James. Not to mention the Memento Novella (also by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff) I’ve been lucky enough to have read so many great books this year already and I refuse to choose.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019

The Wicked King by Holly Black. I know these books are hit and miss for some but I personally love them to bits, especially the second. Jude and Cardan are absolute trash and I love them both.

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3. New release you haven’t read yet but want to

There are honestly so many but I’m really looking forward to reading the Ghosts of the Shadow market bindup. I’ve been watching the Shadowhunters TV show again lately and it’s got me nostalgic for some Nephilim goodness.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson. I adored Skyward and I can’t wait for the sequel!!

5. Biggest disappointment

I think this probably goes to Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young, I had really high hopes for this book but found it fell a little flat for me personally. I’m still excited to read her next book though, The Girl the Water Gave Back.

6. Biggest surprise 

Nexus by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings was definitely a pleasant surprise, it was really good, especially in comparison to its predecessor Zenith which although I did enjoy overall I feel had a lot of problems that were absolutely rectified in Nexus. I’m actually pretty gutted we’re not getting a third book now.

7. Favourite new author (Debut or new to you)

I LOVED The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman and I definitely think Christine is one to watch, I’m beyond excited for the sequel and for the new book she just announced coming next year.

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8. Newest fictional crush

I absolutely have a platonic crush on Ed from The Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie, I love him so much! As for a romantic crush, I think I may have a thing for Cole from The Near Witch by V.E Schwab.

9. Newest favourite character 

Definitely Finn from Aurora Rising, he’s the best bean, I love that he’s sassy and funny and he’s such a sweetheart too I would die for him.

10. Book that made you cry

So I’ve cried at a few books this year with the front runners being Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman, (I think I cried within the first ten pages of that book), Once and Future by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta, Aurora Rising by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff and The Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart destroyed me.


11. Book that made you happy

Heartstopper volume one by Alice Oseman filled me with so much joy and love that I can’t even begin to explain. It made me so immensely happy and just reading it feels like wrapping myself up in a nice cosy blanket on a rainy day.  The Paper and Hearts Society was another great feel-good book that made me happy as well.

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12. Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year 

I think we all know the only answer to this is Good Omens because COME ON of course it is.

13. Favourite review you’ve written this year

I haven’t posted it yet but I’m immensely happy with my review I’ve written for Sanctuary which I’ll be probably be releasing at the beginning of July. This book was INTENSE and I was worried I would have trouble writing the review for it but honestly, it was one of the easiest reviews I’ve ever written and if I may be so bold, one of the most eloquent. You’ll just have to wait and see.

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

The Quiet at the end of the World, beautiful both inside and out. Look at that beautiful cover, it’s absoloutley gorgeous and I love all the little reports inside about the things Shen and Lowrie find, not to mention the story itself is a work of art in it’s own right.

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15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, Gilded Cage by Vic James, Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare and various authors and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

As usual, I’m not going to tag anyone in particular but if you wanted to have a crack at the Mid-Year Freakout Book Tag for yourselves then consider yourself tagged and have at it!

 

#SixforSunday

S4S – 2019 Books I’m Excited for

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There are so many great books out this year that choosing just six was super difficult and I almost certainly know there are probably some great ones I’ve missed out but in line with this weeks Six for Sunday post (prompts by Steph from A Little but a Lot) here are six 2019 books I want to read.

Nexus by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings
Although I had some inital mixed feelings about Zenith I still can’t wait to read the sequel. It’s one of my favourite kinds of Sci-fi stories and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all gets rounded off in this second and final story.

Starsight by Brendon Sanderson
I ADORED Skyward and I’m crazy excited for the sequel and more M-bot, this really can’t come around quick enough to be honest.

Again, but Better by Christine Riccio
Christine was the very first book tuber I ever watched and I’ve loved watching her writing videos so I’ve always been eager to read the book that came out at the end of it all but even without that the premise sounds really interesting and a book I would really want to read even if Christine hadn’t written it which is an added bonus.

Star Wars: Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse
I’m still behind on my reading of the newer Star Wars books and although I’m eager to read Master and Apprentice as well I’m most anticpating this book set between the events of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker.

Paper Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie
My most anitcpated contemporary release this year is Paper Hearts Society! The cover is so beautiful and eye catching, I love Lucy’s bookish content already and a story about a book club sounds so lovely ❤

Dev1at3 by Jay Kristoff
I recenntly finished LifeL1k3 and I can’t wait to read the sequel!! I’m desperate to find out what happens next!!!

Thank you for checking out my Six for Sunday post this week, I really enjoyed this prompt and it’s gotten me so excited for so many upcoming releases coming soon!

 

 

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Aurora Rising Cover Reveal and Book Tag

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Yesterday we were treated to the cover reveal for the newest book by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kauffman, Aurora Rising! Designed by Debra Bilson and illustrated by the amazing Charlie Bowater the new cover features a girl who I can only assume is Aurora herself adorned with various star constellations on a beautiful purple, black and white space background.  The details, such as Aurora’s freckles and the little ‘beauty spot’ under her right eye are fantastic, not to mention she looks like someone you absolutely do not want to mess with! You can find more details at on Jay’s blog here but below you can find the synopsis, the full cover itself AND a special book tag treat from me!

From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

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In celebration of my most anticipated book coming next year I decided to use the description of the new crew #Squad312 to create a brand new book tag which I hope you’ll enjoy, I’ll tag a few people but if it takes your fancy feel free to give it a go to and let me know so I can check out your answers!

First up, Squad Leader Tyler Jones – Your favourite main character
I’m usually a bigger fan of supporting characters but I hands down kind of adore Lazlo Strange from the Strange the Dreamer books. He’s a massive book nerd, gets lost in his imagination and creates beautiful dreams. Not to mention that he sounds pretty gorgeous and thanks to Steve West he sounds like a slightly huskier Orlando Bloom circa the Legolas Years.

Next, we have the Cocky Diplomat with a black belt in sarcasam – Best sassy quote
“If by fawning, you mean he’s a deer, I have a gun, and it’s hunting season, then I guess you’re right.” I believe this is from Lemons and Liars by Sage Kafsky and it kills me every time.

Now time for the Sociopath Scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates – A character you love that you really probably shouldn’t.
This one was easy. The Darkling from the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. There’s just something about him and I know he’s really REALLY not a good guy but I can’t help it! (A.I.D.A.N gets an honourable mention because I love him but I’m not so sure we’re meant to hate him).

Not forgetting the Smart ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder – Favourite piece of fictional technology.
M-Bot from Skyward by Brandon Sanderson! The smart, sassy, fungi loving Artifical Intelligence inside a ship is fantastic and was my favourite part of Sanderson’s newest book out last month.

Also, an alien warrior with anger management issues – A book that made you mad.
The Island by M.A Bennett, I had to stop reading a few times because I was just so damn mad at some of the things Link did and/or got away with. Just thinking about it now is making me mad.

Annnnd A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, (Tyler) in case you were wondering – Favourite ‘frenemies’ to love couple.
Another easy one, Nik and Hanna from Gemina. I hated Nik’s guts to start with and hoped Hanna gave him a butt kicking but I very quickly found Hanna and myself falling for the tattoo covered, smoking idiot and now they’re one of my all-time favourite ‘ships’ which I did not see coming!

Last but by certainly no means least as her name is LITERALLY in the title Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, she is a girl out of her time and out of her depth – If you could pick just one book or series to read for the rest of your life what would it be?
Is it cliche in a post promoting the new book by the same authors to say The Illuminae Files because if it is then tough. I’ve been trying so hard to resist rereading these books at the moment because I’ve got so much to get through at the moment that I couldn’t justify rereading anything at the moment but when I found I kept picking them up and just reading half of the damn things before realising I was meant to be making the bed or dinner or something I caved and am now listening to all the audiobooks…again.

That’s all folks! I’m going to tag Jay Kristoff himself (you never know!), Georgi from Niffler reads, Jeann from Happy Indulgence Books, Destiny from Howling Libraries, Jenn from Jenniely and Kate from Reading Through Infinity

Aurora Rising is due to release May 2019 so get pre-ordering now and save your receipts (especially if you’re an illuminae fan apparently!) as early next year there will be a Pre-order offer! I personally CANNOT WAIT for this book and I’ve just been screaming at all the pictures of the different ARCs and now the actual cover itself! Can I start a count down to May now??

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