Best Reads of 2017 (Simply the best..)

Yohoho!

It is officially 2018. Congratulations. You made it.

I was going to recap my reading goals I set this time last year, but I did NOT GO WELL. I mean, I read over 100 books which is gr9! But I only read two of the six series I said I would read, so…. yes. So I am setting NO TBRs this year! I am going to read what I want whenever I want. I have my TBR shelf, which I am trying to whittle down slowly, but I don’t have a set order in which I will read them in.

ANYWAY. UNRELATED.

You are undoubtedly here because the title of this post said I would be talking about my favourite reads of 2017. Not all were published in 2017, but I read them in 2017 obviously.

I’m not going to go into why I loved each one. Basically, it’s because I loved the characters, the humour, the writing or the feelings. I, of course, SUPER RECOMMEND every book on this list. Read them. You won’t regret it!

These are all the 5 star ratings I gave this year. HOWEVER- some I still liked more than others. Some are grouped as series. They are in order or my least favourite-favourite to my MOST FAVOURITE FAVOURITE So lets get into it!


20: The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke

19: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

18: The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

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17: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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16: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

15: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (Trilogy) by Jenny Han

14: Your Name vol 1 & 2  by Makoto Shinkai

13: A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Oima

12: Orange collection 1 & 2 by Ichigo Takano

11: The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

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10: And I Darken by Keirsten White

9: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

8: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

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7: The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

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(The top 6 are all pretty much interchangeable, it hurts me to put them in order) 

6: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of The Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

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5: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stievfater

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4: My Lady Jane by The Lady Janies

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3: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz

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2: The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

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1: Nevernight and Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

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If you want to know my in depth thoughts, feel free to leave a comment 🙂

Also, leave a comment letting me know your favourite books of 2017!

Happy reading 🙂

Jess

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Most DISAPPOINTING books of 2017 (IMO)

I sit here, on the second last day of 2017, The Greatest Showman soundtrack playing, ready to tell you all about the shit books I read this year.

Now, they may not be actually shit, but for me, they fell short, and I did not have fun reading them. This is a post about subjective shittiness. Some of it is probably my fault for going in with my expectations too high, but I stand by my dislike of these books.

Soooooo let’s get into it.

****DISCLAIMER**** These are my opinions, if you disagree, that is fine.


IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

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*Prepares self for a lot of hate*. Now I only read the first book, and when I read it, it was ok. I didn’t have any strong negative feelings. BUT! This series is SO HYPEDDDDD!!! And I honestly just found it… incredibly boring. Jury is still out on whether I will finish the series. I might just wait until its all released but…. I honestly don’t care enough to bother thinking about it.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

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*Prepares for even more hate*. SO MANY PEOPLE LOVED this book. SO. MANY. I will say I loved the character of Darien A LOT. But everything else to me was pretty juvenile. The writing wasn’t that great, and the dialogue made me cringe A LOT. I have a full review and breakdown of what I did and didn’t like about this book on my Goodreads, the link should be somewhere on this page. It was OK, just not as amazing as everyone else is saying.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

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Now this one is a classic case of Jess having TOO HIGH expectations. Let’s start off with the cover, it is BEAUTIFUL (don’t be deceived…). THEN it was compared to ACOTAR (and anyone who knows me, knows that this is one of my favourite series) but the comparisons really end with their basis on Faerie Lore (which is fine).

The writing in this book was lovely, funny and quirky, but that wasn’t enough to carry the story. The plot was all over the place, the character development and romance was wayyyy too rushed(the instalove was strong with this one) and the world building was wishy-washy! In short, EVERYTHING could have been further developed. And even though it was barely 300 pages, I had to push myself to finish it, it took me two weeks to read!

So really, this book was ok but… disappointing.

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

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The gorgeousness of this cover only makes me more salty about it. Now I am probably contradicting myself because I didn’t HATE this book as much as I do now when I first posted my review. But in short- shittest sequel I have ever read and every time I look at it on my shelf I get mad. I think this is also due to my expectations, but Passenger was great and this book was a mess.

Roar by Cora Carmack

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Now, the REAL salt begins. I fucking HATED this book. So. Much. Reading it was like slogging through thick and disgusting soup. BUT the first and last 10% were good, so that makes me mad. I have a full rant review about this one on my Goodreads (again, link is somewhere). But, in short (so I don’t get angry again): characters- ew; plot- a shit storm (get it?); world- so much potential but poorly executed. I’m about to stab myself in the eye with a pen so I’m going to stop this here.

It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

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I love Jenny Han, but everything about this book is the worst. The romance was THE WORST I HAVE EVER READ. EVER. The characters were TERRIBLE PEOPLE. The plot was nothing, nothing even happened. This book has no redeeming features. Eugh. Here is a screenshot of my goodreads rant-


Anyway. These are the books I was less than impressed with this year. If you liked them, that’s fine! Not everyone likes the same books, that’s what makes being a reader so interesting :).

Ok, done now.

Later, I will post my FAVS of 2017 (which is a MUCH longer list).

Happy reading! (AND I HOPE YOUR 2017 WAS 10/10!)

Jess 🙂

The Reputation Book Tag

Hello friends!

A lot of wonderful things have happened in the last few weeks. Notably, one of my queens Taylor Swift (AKA T Swizzle, Tay Tay, Swifty, etc.) released her first studio album since 1989, reputation. AND LAWWWWDY it is SO GOOD GUYS! My favourite songs so far are Delicate and TIWWCHNT. OH AND GETAWAY CAR!

My lovely friend Michaela created a reputation book tag on her youtube channel, here is a link to her original video! (You should totally subscribe, she is a delight). Anyway, she tagged me, so I’m doing it!


…Ready For It | A book that you were NOT ready for

For this one I am going to say The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James. I was expecting a light and fluffy sci-fi BUT THAT IS DEFINITELY NOT WHAT I GOT! It was a shocking surprise but also a pleasant one?

End Game | Bookish OTP

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It used to be Feysand from A Court of Mist and Fury in particular, and I still love them a lot but in ACOWAR they got a little bit mushy and gross in parts. However, I am rereading the Throne of Glass series at the moment and I am finding all new appreciation for Rowaelin. They are amazing together. (Credit to the artist of this beautiful art of the reunion in QOS)

I Did Something Bad | A character who does bad things because it makes them feel better

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Mia from Nevernight by Jay Kristoff does SO many bad things, and she loves it. Before she develops some semblance of a moral compass, that is.

Don’t Blame Me | A character who does stupid things in the name of “love”

Henry from Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley does SO MANY STUPID THINGS! SO MANY! All for nothing as well!!

Look What You Made Me Do | Taking down an authority

Literally any dystopian would work here but I’m going to go with taking down the authority of the Death Eaters in the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows!

Getaway Car | A book where the character rids their life of toxicity

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas. Feyre does some serious purging in this book haha.

King/Queen of My Heart | Book love

I hate to talk more about SJM but here is a list: Cassian, Tarquin and Rhys from ACOTAR series, Rowan and Aedion from TOG series.

But others include: Richard Gansey III from The Raven Cycle, Don Tric from The Nevernight Chronicles, Maxon from the Selection. I could go on guys! I’m a sucker for a well written love interest. OH AND SEAN KENDRICK FROM THE SCORPIO RACES

Dancing with Our Hands Tied | Pairing that can’t be together for various reasons

Arin and Kestrel in The Winners Crime- this book broke my soul so bad.

Delicate | Cute start to a relationship

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Puck and Sean in The Scorpio Races had such a cute beginning. I mean, after he yelled at her to get off the beach. Everything that happened after that was so natural and sweet!!

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things (DARRRRRLINNNNN) | WAR AND THEATRICS

The war in The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson was super intense. Also the battles in Empire of Storms by SJM were INSAAAAANE.

New Year’s Day | A book you want to hold onto forever

This is more of a physical holding onto but my Hamiltome, I love holding it makes me feel so much joy. Also my signed and personalised UK Hardcover of Nevernight. I die.

Dress | Friends to lovers

Blue and Gansey in The Raven Cycle! Talk about a slow burn. I love their friendship AND their love. Holy shit I need to reread this ASAP. I MISS THEM SO MUCH!!!

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Gorgeous | Cringeworthy book

UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT! But I found Geekerella to be a massive cheese fest. I cringe whenever I think about it.


Extra optional questions:

Call It What You Want | Character who doesn’t give a damn anymore

So It Goes | Character who is a bad influence


If you feel like completing this tag, consider yourself tagged!

Happy reading (and listening)

Jess

🙂

Hamilton Book Tag

Hello everyone!

I have finally decided to get off my ass and post another entry in my blog for the first time in foreverrrrr.

Anyone who follows me would know that I am SLACK AS FUCK when it comes to actually posting on my blog. But I’m trying! If you want to follow me on IG (@_jessreadsbooks_) I am A LOT more active on there. I also have a Litsy! (@jessreadsbooks) so, check that out if you wish.

Today I am bringing you a tag that is very dear to my heart. It has been going around for a couple of years, but I have only discovered Hamilton this year. And oh my fucking god. It has changed my life! I now see my life in two parts, BH and AH, Before and After Hamilton.

If you don’t know what Hamilton is, it is a musical about the founding fathers of America (specifically Alexander Hamilton- DA DA DA DA DA DA DUNNNNN) told in hip hop songs. It is the best thing in the world. Here is a link to the youtube playlist.

This musical is everything. I listen to it all the time (like right now). The music, the story, the choreography, THE ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST I CANNOT EVEN GUYS.

My favourite songs change all the time, but Wait For It, Satisfied and Its Quiet Uptown are probably leading the pack at the moment.

Maureen Keavy created this tag, here is her original video. 

SO LETS GET INTO IT:

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  1. The Room Where it Happens: A book world you would put yourself in.
    It is hard to think of a world where I would not immediately be killed, but I’m going to have to go with Prythian from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas so I can finally be with Tarquin, my husband.

 

Image result for hamilton sisters2. The Schuyler Sisters: An underrated female character.  

Pretty much everything I read these days has a plethora of kick ass female characters. I’m going to think in terms of fandom and who people fangirl/boy about. I think that Mia from Nevernight by Jay Kristoff deserves more love in the book community! She is an incredibly complex and interesting character and I just love her so much.

3. My Shot: A character that goes after what they want and doesn’t let anything stop them.

For this one I am going to go with Richard Gansey III (Gansey) from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stievfater. Gansey is an incredibly intelligent and driven guy and he will stop at nothing to find Glendower. His personality actually draws a lot of parallels to Alex, however Gansey is a lot more empathetic and considerate.Image result for hamilton my shot

4. Stay AliveA Character you wish was still alive.

SPOILERS FOR CROOKED KINGDOM BY LEIGH BARDUGO. DO NOT READ THE STRIKE OUT  IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED.

MATTHIAS DESERVED BETTER.

5. Burn: The most heartbreaking end to a relationship you have ever read.Image result for hamilton burn

SPOILERS FOR CROWN OF MIDNIGHT AND BEYOND BY SARAH J. MAAS. AS USUAL AVOID THE STRIKE OUT.

So I am definitely a Rowaelin shipper now, (is there any other kind?) but when Chaol and Celaena broke up in Crown of Midnight I cried more about that than Nehemia’s death. Oops.

6. You’ll Be Back: Sassiest Villain

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Probably a lame answer but I think it goes well with Groffsauce- Prince Humperdink from The Princess Bride. The man is so sassy.

 

 

 

 

7. The Reynolds Pamphlet: A book with a twist you did not see coming

Pamphlet is such a funny word guys. For this one, I’m going to say The Raven Boys again. There is twist in that first book that I somehow wasn’t spoiled for AND IT BLEW MY MIND!!!

8. Non-stop: A series you marathonned

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When I first read Throne of Glass, I read the first 4 books and the novella bind up in a week and a half I think! That was a really good week.

 

 

 

 

9. Satisfied: Favourite book with multiple POVs

Six of Crows. No question. Image result for hamilton satisfied

10. Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story: A book/series you think will go down in History.

Just like everyone else, I am going to say HARRY POTTER OBVIOUSLY! I mean the franchise is still HUGE and the books turned 20 this week! That is incredible! Plus HP is a part of my identity.

 


There you have it! I hope you enjoyed this tag! Anyone who loves Hamilton or who just likes the questions is free to give it a go! Please comment or message me if you want to fangirl about Hamilton with me!

Happy reading/listening!

Jess 🙂

Why I DNF Books

It has been a long time since I have posted anything on this blog. That is entirely the fault of the universe and the fact that society expects me to be able to manage my time. Adulting is damn hard! But really, I have just been busy as shit. It may be a bit rambley. You don’t have to agree with me, but if you do, that’s cool! So, that brings me to the topic of today’s post:

Why I DNF books

Now this is a pretty contentious topic. A lot of different people have a lot of different opinions about DNFing books. I used to sit firmly in camp NEVER DNF! But, recently, I have jumped ship. I now stand proud as a DNFer.

For those who are new to the book community, you may be wondering, “What the fuck is this woman on about?” well, let me explain.

If you mark a book as DNF, it means you Did Not Finish it. Simples!

I used to be someone who wanted to READ ALL OF THE DAMN BOOKS, EVERY SINGLE ONE! If I started a book, even if I wasn’t enjoying it, I would push through it and then review it accordingly.

That has changed. Life is busy. I have a career. I am building a house. I get very stressed. And some books are shit, lets be honest.

I had the epiphany a few months ago. I signed up for NetGalley. I wanted to be a book blogger who got all these free ARCs and got to read books early, wouldn’t that just be so fantastic? I got approved for a few titles, downloaded them to my phone, and then never looked at them again. The books that I was getting were not the quality I would generally wish for in a book. So I would read a few pages, and then close them, never to be opened again. This was when I realised: I blog for fun. I bookstagram for fun. I write reviews for fun. To be a part of the community. To share my love of books with others.

I have so much respect for people who are able to read books and write critical reviews while simultaneously being entertaining. I love how so many people have made careers out of book reviewing and Booktube! But, that simply isn’t for me. I realised that I can be a part of the amazing online book community without doing that. And by realising this, I realised that meant that I don’t have to waste time reading books that I don’t like, just so that I can review them and tell everyone how much I didn’t like it.

I felt liberated!

Reading is my passion and my number one passtime outside of work. It calms me down, centres me. It makes me feel more emotions than I ever thought I could. It helps me connect with others, make friends who I never thought I would make friends with.

But because reading is my passion and hobby, I don’t want it to become a chore. I want to read books that I enjoy. Books that will become some of my favourites. Books that make me feel something. Books that I will fall in love with every time I read them.

I realised: if I think a book is shit, that’s ok. If I can’t bring myself to finish a book, that’s ok.

Life gets busy. Being an adult is intense. There is always something going on. When I read, I want it to be for enjoyment. I don’t want to feel like I have to finish a book if I don’t want to. I have finished Uni, I don’t have to read books for class anymore, I can read whatever the hell I want!

Life is too short to waste time reading books that you hate. Even if it is hyped, even if it is popular. If you don’t like a book, put it down! Don’t waste your precious time! Life is so short!

Anyway- I am aware this reads like a stream of consciousness. I’ve also realised that I don’t have to pressure myself to blog, I can do it whenever and however I please!

I would love to know your thoughts on DNFing books!

Happy reading!

Jess

🙂

Top 5 Wednesday- 22nd of March: Favourite Angsty Romance

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Ginger Reads Lainey and is hosted by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes, see the Goodreads group for topics!

March 22nd- Favorite Angsty Romances
–This topic has been much requested! Talk about your favorite ships that have a healthy side of angst. (definition: adj.: describes a situation or literary piece which contains dark, depressing, angry, and/or brooding emotions from the participating characters.)

HOOOO BOY! I have been waiting for a topic like this! Romance with a healthy serve of angst, and those epic hate-to-love journeys are my absolute FAVOURITE! I AM SO EXCITE TO TELL YOU GUYS ABOUT MY FAVS!

READY!!!

LETS GO!!!


5. Jamie and Claire Fraser- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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I LOVE the romance between Jamie and Claire Fraser. I loved Claire’s complete and utter hatred of Jamie in the beginning, her complete disgust of Jamie, the Scots and the way they lived, before they grew to have a love so passionate and epic that it spanned centuries.

4. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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One of my all time favourite romances, their hate-to-love story was the first I ever read! I love how Lizzie was so quick to think ill of Mr. Darcy, then, as soon as she realised her feelings, she was SO worried that he thought ill of her instead! Their story is so perfect.

3. Maxon and America- The Selection Series by Keira Cass

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I love Maxmerica’s story, but let me just tell ya, if you’ve got more than one girlfriend/boyfriend at once, there is going to be angst lol.

2. Arin and Kestrel- The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

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Arin and Kestrel’s journey is amazing. Arin’s hatred of Kestrel and her kind, constantly back and forth between loving her and hating her. Kestrel’s constant flip flopping between being loyal to Arin and being loyal to her country and father. What Kestrel is forced to do to save him. ITS JUST SO GOOD GUYS. GO READ IT.

1. Rhysand and Feyre- A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas.

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MY FAVOURITE ROMANCE OF ALL TIME! ALL TIME! And it has so much angst! It might be a bit spoilery, but their hate-to-love journey is amazing, and if I start gushing about my OTP  I won’t be able to stop, so I’m going to quit before I get ahead of myself.


^^^^These are my favourite angsty romances!

Comment yours down below!

Happy reading!

Jess 🙂

Top 5 Wednesday: 8/3/2017- Favourite Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Ginger Reads Lainey and is hosted by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes, see the Goodreads group for topics!

This weeks’ topic is Favourite Science Fiction and Fantasy Books in honour of the SFF awards! I have been hanging out to share with you guys some of my favourite Fantasy and Sci-Fi books, because fantasy is my jam, and I’ve started to get into sci-fi a bit more over the last 12 months!

I had trouble limiting myself to 5 books, so I’ve gone with 5 series, and one honourable mention!

So lets get stuck into it shall we!


Honourable Mention

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The first fantasy series I ever read, and a series I am still completely in love with today. Need I say more?

And now, in no particular order (though, if you know me, you can probably figure out the order, haha)

THE TOP 5!


The Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo

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This duology is unlike anything I have ever read (and I am yet to read the Grisha Trilogy, so this statement is VALID.) I love the Grishaverse, i.e. the world that this amazing story takes place- I love all of the elements of Russia, because I have realised in recent years that I am super interested in Imperial Russia (and even though that isn’t at all what the book is like, I still like it lol). The characters in this duology are what make it, and I feel like characters are the strength of a lot of great fantasy novels. If you can build a solid and interesting world, and create characters that people will care about and grow to love like their own children (smol beans), you have the ingredients to a decent fantasy.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND OBVIOUSLY.

The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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I’ve never been that much into sci-fi. Like, I love Ready Player One but I’m pretty sure that is more dystopian than sci-fi.

But then I found these books, and I can tell you that I am now trash for space operas.

Again, the characters in this series are unreal, but it is the innovative and interesting format of these books which shot them straight to the top of my fav sci-fi ever (albeit, it is a short list).

The A Court of Thorns and Roses (soon to be!) Trilogy by Sarah J. Maas

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MY ALL TIME FAVOURITE SERIES! This world, these characters, I just love them so much. They own a part of my soul, I swear. I get emotional talking about these books, I actually turn into a full on squealing fangirl- but if you aren’t into Fae before reading these books, you definitely will be after you’ve finished!

The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

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Similar to above, I have so much love for the characters in this series, and I am in love with the world. I just love the worlds and characters that Sarah J. Maas has created AND I’M GETTING EMOTIONAL!!!

The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson

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The world in this series is so intricate and rich, and yes the characters are amazing (obviously, are you seeing a trend??). One of the things I loved most about this series was the air of mystery in the first book, which lead to the world expanding and building in the second and third books. The romance was also fantastic!


So there you have my top 5 favourite fantasy and sci-fi books (this was very difficult!)

Let me know in the comments if you have read any of these books and what you thought of them 🙂

Happy reading!

Jess 🙂