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 🙂

Top 5 Wednesday 1/3/17: Fictional Jobs You’d Want to Have

Heeeeyyyyyyyy,

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

Today I am bringing you my first T5W in a couple of months! I got so busy over the holiday period, and in all honesty, it slipped my mind! I have not done one since the 14th of December. I am well aware that this is terrible. I’m not altogether great at remembering to post, it would seem.

Today’s topic is “TOP 5 FICTIONAL JOBS YOU’D WANT TO HAVE”. This one made me reeeeeaaaalllllyyyy think. Because really, sometimes I would just like to live a life of leisure (not that I don’t LOVE my job- because I do, very much!).

Let’s just get into it! In no particular order…


Caraval performer, from Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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Ok, so I LOVED Caraval and the world it created. I would really love to dress up in fancy costumes, and act like someone else for a while. Even though it is pretty creepy, and it is entirely possible I would die at some point, you get eternal youth while you work there! I think that is super cool!

Shadowhunter- From all of Cassandra Clare’s books (and the TV show…)

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This job would be incredibly stressful, and I don’t know how I would go with the whole putting runes on myself thing, but I think that going crazy and kicking demon ass would be a shit ton of fun. So fight me.

Glamourist- From Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

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I don’t know of many people who have read this series, but it is kind of Jane Austen inspired with magic thrown in. The magic that these people have is glamour, which means they can make things appear different to what they actually are (if that makes sense). They can create all sorts of beautiful art with their glamour, and make people look different too! And they are paid handsomely for their services, sounds good to me!

Traveler- like Kell from the Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab

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I can’t remember the name of what Kell actually is, but he is essentially a Traveler. He travels between 4 different Londons, all in parallel worlds, delivering messages between the different monarchs. I honestly just think it would be cool to travel to parallel dimensions and get paid for it, haha.

Hogwarts Professor- From The Wizarding World created by the one and only J.K. Rowling

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I’m sure I’m not the only one who has added a career based on The Wizarding World to their list. I’m a teacher in real life, so being a Hogwarts professor would literally be my DREAM job. I think I could imagine myself as a Charms or Transfiguration professor, definitely not Potions (terrible at cooking and measurement) or Herbology (being outside is the worst). AND YOU GET TO LIVE IN A CASTLE! And being a wizard would be pretty awesome, too.


There you have it!

Let me know if any of the careers I have listed, are ones that you too would like to try your hand at! I had a lot of fun writing this post, I will try to keep up to date with my T5Ws in future.

Peace,

Happy reading!

Jess 🙂

Caraval- Review

Hellloooo everyone,

Today I am bringing you my review of Caraval by Stephanie Garber.


Quick story before we get started…

Well, the buzz about Caraval has been insaaaaaaane. It was one of my most anticipated releases of the start of 2017, and as soon as it dropped I ran out to buy it from my local book shop. At this stage, I had not seen all of the freaking beautiful secret covers! (For those of you who don’t know, each copy of Caraval- UK editions – has a secret cover underneath the dust jacket. Exhibit A:

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HOW FREAKING BEAUTIFUL, AM I RIGHT?)

So anyway, I bought the paperback because I’m obviously dopey as hell. Once I started seeing the beautiful covers posted all over Instagram, I told myself that I would buy the hardcover online if I rated it a 4 or 5 star read. And I rated it about a 4.5/5! I LOVED IT! So I finished my 5 books for the cycle (see my previous posts for details on my book buying restrictions of the year) and jumped on to Book depository to make my order because they were half price, woohoo! As soon as I got on there, they were sold out. On all websites. I am crushed right now guys! I guess I will just pay full price when it becomes available again 😦


ANYWAY, back to the review.

My rating: 4.5/5 STARS!

I’ll break my review into 4 sections: plot, world, characters and writing.

Plot

Caraval, within the story, is this magical carnival that people can attend, and become completely immersed in. For certain reasons, Legend, the master of Caraval had decided to stop the performances for a number of years.

Scarlett had been writing to him for years, asking if he could bring Caraval to their island, but he never returned her letters. One day, in a last ditch effort, Scarlett writes one last letter to Legend asking him to come. She is completely shocked when he responds to her letter, with tickets to Caraval and the secret location.

Scarlett and her sister Tella, caged in their own home with their abusive father, the Governor of their island, escape to Caraval and all its’ mysteries. But they have to remember, it is only a game.But is it? 

That might not have been a great summary, but it was the best I could do without giving away important plot info e.g. spoilers. Caraval was equal parts whimsical, eerie and romantic, with some great action thrown in for good measure. The plot was really well paced, and had me hooked from start to finish. It did get a little slow in the middle, but not slow enough to hinder my enjoyment.

I loved the twist and turns in Caraval, especially the twists in the last 50 pages! Oh my!

World

The world built in Caraval reminded me a little bit of colonies in the early 1900s. Many of the islands were referred to as “Conquered Isles”, so that is really what gave me the impression. This time period combined with the general ambiguous “fairy tale” period of most Disney films. And that is it, the whole book is almost like reading a fairy tale, well, a bit of a creepy fairy tale.

There was no magic anywhere in the story, except for in Caraval. And atmosphere in Caraval was nothing short of magical. The descriptions and use of colour made the world building really vivid and easy to imagine. Everything had this feeling that it was just a bit off, though. Which is the point, I think it is supposed to make you feel uneasy! It was a very rich world, and the whole inner workings of Caraval and its history were very clear and made sense (well, as much sense as can be made of a magic carnival.)

Characters

Our main character, Scarlett, while she has the best intentions, is still flawed and a bit of a special snowflake at times, but I still found myself cheering for her. I did get a bit annoyed with her at times, but not enough for me to want to stop reading. Anyone would probably be bound to make stupid decisions in her position! She is caring and kind and always wants to do what is right in the big picture, not so much what might be right in that moment.

Tella, Scarlett’s younger sister, is the complete opposite.The sisters reminded me a little bit of Elinor and Marianne in Sense and Sensibility, Scarlett being Elinor and Tella being Marianne. Tella did annoy me a fair bit, but once I got to the end of the book, I finally understood most of her actions.

Julian, our love interest, is not always entirely honest. He was very morally grey and I LOVE HIM! He was probably my favourite character out of all of them.

Their father as the villain however, I think he needed to be fleshed out a bit more. This apparently put a lot of people off the book, because they found him one dimensional. I can agree to an extent, his actions kind of lacked any motivation that made sense. Overall, he had a real “Disney villain” vibe to him.

And I don’t know enough about Legend (who is mental, I’m pretty sure) to make too many comments, but he needs more fleshing out as an antagonist or whatever it is he ends up being.

Writing

I personally LOVED the writing. Garber’s use of colours in her descriptions and metaphors was absolutely beautiful. It really gave Scarlett, as a character, perspective, and I could visualise the world the way that she saw it.

Considering Garber is a debut author, I can’t wait to see where she goes from here.

 


I loved Caraval, in case you couldn’t tell!

Go pick it up if you can!

Comment down below if you have read it, I want to know your thoughts! I know it was a perplexing read for some!

Happy reading,

Jess 🙂

 

UPDATE! BD has the hard cover in stock, I can’t wait to see which cover I get!

Manga Review: Orange

Hello!

Today I am bringing to you a review of the best Manga I have ever read (so far… lol).

ORANGE- written and illustrated by Ichigo Takano.

Rating: 10000000/5***

Ok, so I’m just going to put it out there. I am absolutely OBSESSED with Japan and Japanese culture. I visited Japan in 2015, and it was the best time of my life. My favourite place in the world. I love the traditional culture, the food, and especially the pop culture, a lot of it brings me those warm fuzzy feels of nostalgia (DBZ, Sailor Moon, Pokemon). But one of the reasons I love anime and manga, is not the warm fuzzy feelings, the hilarious storylines or the lovable characters (although these all contribute). The main reason is because it makes me feel like I’m back in Japan. And this just fills me with joy!

However- where I live,  its hard to come across manga (that isn’t Fairy Tail or Death Note) in stores near me, I often have to buy it online. So I haven’t read all that much of it. I watch a lot of anime, but I hadn’t read that much manga in the past.

One of my goals this year was to read more manga and graphic novels.And I love slice of life, so that was another thing that interested me. I had heard great things about Orange from people I trust, so I bit the bullet and bought Orange: The Complete Collecion 1 online.

And it was fucking fantastic.

The first collection consists of 3 volumes, and I finished it in a few hours. I could not wait to purchase the second collection and wait for it to ship to me, so I read it on Kissmanga (sorry not sorry) and I cried like a fucking baby.

Plot

When Naho is 17, she starts receiving letters from her future self, giving her instructions to follow so that she can fix the things she regrets. These letters set Naho on the path of changing the future to save her friend, and that is where the story takes off from.

I wont go into any further detail, because I don’t want to give away the story, but I will tell you that the twists and turns in this story were so emotional, and I was on the verge of tears numerous times, actually cried twice, and laughed out loud more times than I could count!

Now don’t go thinking that it is a super sad sob story, it isn’t. It is a story of beautiful friendships, and I was crying because it was just so fucking beautiful. (and yes in some parts, devastating).

The plot really explores love, fate, destiny, and whether or not you can change the past or future. It had so many layers of beauty. I cannot praise it enough.

Characters

Many of the characters in the story follow the general slice of life archetypes, a shy MC, a cool sporty guy, serious nerdy friend, over the top loud friend, tough friend, sensitive friend, etc.

But they were all so damn lovable. I was SO attached to all of the characters in this story that I could not bare to lose any of them. I just wanted happiness for them all!

The dialogue between the characters was so funny and witty, and natural. You could tell that the friendship group already had well established and strong relationships.

Art

The creator actually includes little illustrations with info about him, and how he wanted to show us his favourite parts of his city in the manga, which was set in Matsumoto. I loved the little details.

Overall

PLEASE READ THIS MANGA, OK?! IT IS JUST SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL, AND IT REALLY PULLS ON YOUR HEART STRINGS AND MAKES YOU THINK ABOUT THE BIGGER PICTURE, AND HOW WE NEED TO THINK OF OTHERS, NOT JUST OURSELVES.

Ok, I should calm down, but I can’t.

JUST READ IT OK!?


Let me know down below if you have read or plan to read Orange!

Happy reading,

Jess 🙂

Author Gush- Nicola Yoon

So I have not posted on this blog for a very long time. Life happens sometimes.

For me, a combination of going back to full time work after the Christmas break, and the exhaustion that comes with that has meant that I have not been posting as much as I would like! (i.e. not at all in the last couple of weeks).

Even though I have been exhausted, I have still been reading (duh) so I’m getting back into the swing of things with some posts gushing about my favourite/autobuy authors. The list is growing, so I thought I would share them with you beautiful people.

Today’s author is… Nicola Yoon! (As you may have guessed from the title of this blog…)

Nicola Yoon is the author of YA contemporaries, Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also A Star.

I had been hearing rave reviews of Yoon’s books for the last year, and January this year (2017, for those playing at home) I finally decided THIS WOULD BE THE YEAR OF YOON! Well, the month of Yoon, because she only has two novels published at this time, AND IT JUST IS NOT ENOUGH, DAMMIT!!!!

Her writing is just so refreshing. Generally speaking, the format of most contemporaries is pretty stock standard. Chapters of prose with (nowadays) the occasional passage of text or email chains. Yoon incorporates a range of short chapters, from a range of different characters, either one of the protagonists, or various minor characters. Not only this, but her characters are so diverse! And realistic! A+++++!

Her dialogue is witty and quick, and her characters are so likeable, I had soooo much fun reading these novels!

I should probably give you a bit more detail about both of the books, so you might want to actually go and pick them up because THEY ARE SO GOOD!

Everything, Everything

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Everything, Everything follows the story of Maddy, a girl who is essentially allergic to the world outside of her house, that she has not left in 17 years!

Maddy falls for the boy next door, and things kick off from there.

There is so much more to this story that it seems at first glance, there are layers of emotion depicted through beautiful writing and even some illustrations, which just made this book so much better than I expected.

As I said before, I just love Nicola Yoon’s writing. It is so quick and easy to read, and the way she writes her characters just makes you so attached to them, even though they are flawed.

I gave Everything, Everything 5/5 stars, of course.

The Sun is also a Star

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Even though I love both of Nicola Yoon’s books, TSIAAS is definitely my favourite of the two. Being her second novel, it is slightly more polished than the first. It took the layers of emotion and meaning involved in Everything, Everything and turned it up to level 100.

This book was so beautiful. A book about love. A book about believing in love. A book about believing in science. A book about fate. A book about destiny. This book will leave you thinking that everything truly does happen for a reason.

AND IT WAS SO FREAKING BEAUTIFUL!

TSIAAS is told from the perspectives of Natasha, a 17 year old girl about to be deported back to Jamaica, and Daniel, a 17 year old son of Korean immigrants, trying to decide what to do with his life. (Fun fact- Nicola Yoon is Jamaican, her husband is Korean (I think) HOW CUTEEEE!!!)

Daniel is a hopeless romantic, he believes in fate. Natasha is a realist. She believes in science. Daniel and Natasha have one amazing day together.

Along with Daniel and Natasha’s story, and all of the little events that bring them together, chapters about the lives of characters that appear for only a scene are interspersed throughout  the novel. This really brought home to me the fact that every single person you meet has a life just as complicated and rich as your own. Everyone has a story, you just need to listen to them.

This book broke my heart, made me laugh, and moved me beyond belief.

I GIVE IT 100/5 stars! PLEASE READ IT!


So, in short- please check out Nicola Yoon! She is an amazing author that will make you feel all of the feelings, and will make you fall in love with her writing.

Let me know down below your thoughts, opinions and feelings!

 

Happy reading,

Jess 🙂

100 Followers Q&A :D

Hello everyone!

Just over a week ago, I put the call out for a Q&A to celebrate my small milestone of 100 followers!

Thank you so much for all of your support! I love reading a lot, and I loving having an outlet for all of my feelings! I have been a bit inactive lately, but I am trying to make up for it!

Thank you to everyone who sent in some questions! Here are the answers:

Teacher of YA asked:

1) When did you start blogging and what made you decide to start then?
I started blogging around October/November 2016. I don’t even know what possessed me to start it then! I had been thinking about it for a long time, but I just hadn’t gotten around to it. I was always posting reviews on Goodreads, but I wasn’t sure that they were reaching many people, so  I decided to pull the pin and make my blog!

2) What could you reread right now? Like right this min?
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, I could read that book a million times and not get bored of it!

3) What’s your favorite genre and if you have one, your fave author?
My favourite genre is YA fantasy, and my favourite author is Sarah J. Maas! (I am trash)

4) If you could pick anyone from a book to be your best friend, who would it be and why?
Hmm, any character from any book? Probably Morrigan from ACOMAF. She is amazing and welcoming and kind!

BookBumZuky asked:

How long have you been blogging and how do you promote your site?
I have only been blogging for a few months! I promote my site by being active in the blogging community, i.e. reading and commenting on other blogs and communicating with people! I also have a link to it in the bio of my bookstagram (_jessreadsbooks_ if you’re wondering!)

What 3 books do you think are grossly overrated?
These may be unpopular opinions! But I really did not enjoy Truthwitch, at all. I find it confusing and the pacing is completely weird. Also not a fan of Wuthering Heights. Or The Da Vinci Code.

The Book Prophet asked:

How do you organise your shelves?
I have two shelves, one is a bit random and I keep my non-fiction, colouring books, board games, anime & manga and some other books I don’t really love in it.
My favourite bookshelf is organised mainly by genre, and then just by size and whatever looks good really!
I would lovvvveee a rainbow shelf but sometimes when the sizes are all over the place it looks weird on my shelf.


Thank you so much for all of the questions, and the following!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Happy reading,

Jess 🙂