Saturday, 28 May 2016

Weekly Recap: I'm a Stressed Human This Week

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In all honesty, I have had such a stressful week and I am so looking forward to this long weekend... I need it! My work week has been pretty shitty and it's hard to really pinpoint exactly why. Some of the people I work with are getting on my last nerve, to the point where I just dread having to spend the day with them. I'm also not happy there in general as it doesn't challenge me enough. I love to be busy at work, but here I am just struggling to find something to do. I know I'd be a lot happier if there was more work to do.

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My spirit animal!
The other big stress for me this week is that my fiance's brother has moved in with us. He used to live here but moved out about two years ago. He quit his job, that gave him a free flat, and so had to move back in. AND I HATE IT! I absolutely hate it. It's been two days and I am already sick of it. He's fine, like it's not because of him. It's just the suddenly having to share space with another person again. Nope. It's not for me. No more running around the flat, singing Hamilton songs at the top of my lungs. Living with people is not fun. I feel like I wasn't made to interact with other human beings. Animals, sure, but not humans!

Other than that I have been buying a ton of books - I spent like £100 but I was pre-ordering a bunch and so don't actually get charged till they all ship. I won't be including my pre-orders in my haul, just the books I bought that actually arrived. I've also been trying to read a more often and I have been sticking to that - totally helps that I have been blogging way less!

The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski: I read this forever ago and already have the paperback, but I own the others in UK paperback AND Us hardback... So, yes, I did have to buy a second copy!

The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan: I haven't even finished the first Percy Jackson series yet OR Heroes of Olympus but, fuck it, it was cheap. I will read them eventually.

Walk the Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson: I don't know why I caved and finally bought this but I did. I have seen a lot of mixed reviews and so I am a little nervous to get to it.

Wicked Heart by Leisa Rayven: I read and really enjoyed Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet so I wanted to read this one, although it focuses on different characters. I am currently reading it and really enjoying it.

Paper Girls by Brian K Vaughan: I bought this because Vaughan is behind Saga and that is my new favourite thing. Sadly this one was just super weird and utterly confusing and I'm not really sure if I want to continue. 

The Wicked + The Divine by Gillen, McKelvie, Wilson & Cowles: I put off buying this for ages because of mixed reviews. I so regret that as this was fucking epic! So, so good. And it gets a million bonus points for being set in London. I will buying all the other volumes on pay day, I have to have them! 

Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick: This was sent to me for review and I am excited to read this one.

The Second Love of My Life by Victoria Walters: This is another book that was sent to me for review and it sounds like it could be a read that might make me cry.

What have you been up to this week? Have you read any amazing books?

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The Crown's Game: A Magic Imperial Russia Makes Me Happy

Title: The Crown's Game
Author: Evelyn Skye
Publisher: Harper Collins
Buy this book: Amazon / Book Depository
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.
anastasiaThe moment I heard that The Crown's Game was set in an alternate Imperial Russia where magic exists, I knew I had to read it! You may not know this about me, I have a lot of love/huge obsession with Imperial Russia. That was started from an early age because the children's film Anastasia was one of my absolute favourites. That movie made me fall completely in love with Russia, and has made me desperate to go to Russia and see the Winter Palace for myself. So the fact that this was set in a similar setting, with the bonus of a magically fight between two enchanters to work for the Tsar, it completely sold me on this book. I am so happy to say that I wasn't disappointed, even if I have to admit that the book wasn't exactly what I had been expecting.

The blurb for this book described the Crown's Game as an ancient duel of magical skill, the greatest test an enchanter will ever know, and the loser is sentenced to death. Serious stuff!!! So you can forgive me for thinking that the game would end up being super deadly and dangerous. I have to admit to being disappointed when that turned out not to be the case. I was truly surprised to find that they were essentially using their powers to decorate. No, I am not kidding. The first move of the Game involved someone magically decorating a city, and the second involved creating colourful fountains. Ooooooh, impressive! Why is this what they are using to impress the Tsar and show off their powers? How is that going to convince him to make you his enchanter? He could have a painter and decorator come in and do what they just did. The plus side was the few times our two enchanters actually attempted to end the game early, by killing the other. That's what I had originally expected the Game to be like. It was the only time that the duel seemed even a little deadly, and also the only time they seemed to truly show off the way that their powers could prove useful to the Tsar.

I was concerned going into this book because the blurb screams LOVE TRIANGLE, and I hate that! I can't stand love triangles, they always bug the shit out of me and I rarely ever see it done well. Thankfully the love triangle didn't get in the way of the story at all. I do feel like the guys got far too instalovey about our leading lady, Vika. I really loved that fact that Vika was not anywhere near as bothered and seemed to realise she had far more important things to worry about then guys.

The writing in this was absolutely glorious, especially when it came to the descriptions of Russia. Evelyn Skye was able to describe it all so vividly, I could see it all so clearly in my head and I felt like I was there myself - like I'd sat on one of Nikolai's benches and been transported straight there. I also loved all her descriptions of food, especially those that came from the Pumpkin bakery... I was basically drooling thinking about all the delicious food.

I enjoyed all the twists, turns and surprises that thus story had to offer. There was so much that I didn't see coming. The ending was so frustrating for me though, one of those endings that leaves you with a lot of questions and absolutely desperate to get your hands on the next book in the series. My only real issue with this book was the complete change of a character. It felt like they'd had a personality transplant and I just wasn't happy with the direction this characters story is going in. I really do hope this is put right in the next book. I don't want the character to stick to this personality switch, I want them to redeem themselves in the next book.

4/5 Butterflies

I really loved this book and I am so excited to get my hands on the next book in the series. A magical Imperial Russia is everything I need and want in my life. I hope for many things from the next book -I want the magic to really shine and actually show how powerful our characters are. I don't really care for romance so I don't want the love triangle aspect to be drawn out. I also want our character to redeem themselves and go back to being the person they were for the first 90% of the book. If you're a fan of fantasy then you definitely need to check out this book.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Weekly Recap: I'm Trying To Be A Good Blogger

It's been a few weeks since my last recap, so I have a few things to catch up on. I've been trying hard to get back into my blogging, as a lot of my time has gone in to my Instagram instead. It is going well so far, I have been posting more frequently and I also have plans for a lot more posts, including a bunch of discussion and tip posts that I am super excited about. I feel I have done very well in the last few weeks of balancing out everything. I have done a lot of reading, I've drafted up a bunch of reviews and posts, I've also been able to take part in four challenges on Instagram, it has been a good week for me!

kristen wiig frustrated unimpressed bridesmaids are you kidding meI don't know if you guys have heard but it was recently announced that Dan Brown is writing a YA version of The Da Vinci Code. That's right, he is rewriting one of his novels to try and make it 'easier' for YA readers to understand. 'Cause YA readers are clearly fucking invalids with zero grasp on the English language. I have never heard anything more insulting to young adults. I read The Da Vinci Code back when it first released and I was 14 years old, I was a young adult. I had zero struggles with this book, it wasn't exactly hard to read. And then he expects YA readers to act totally grateful and not insulted by his obvious attempts to make some quick cash.

Fury (The Seven Deadly Series #3)Greed by Fisher Amelie: I bought this after reading and absoutely loving Vain, so I had to get the next two books in the series. I enjoyed this one too, just not as much as book one. 

Greed (The Seven Deadly, #2)Fury by Fisher Amelie: I'm currently halfway through this and really enjoying it.

Air Awakens by Elise Kova: This is one of the books I have bought thanks to all the love it gets on Bookstagram. It's part of a series and I can't wait to get started, I just hope it lives up to the hype.

The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game, #1)The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye: This is a fantasy book, set in an alternate Imperial Russia and involves magic and competition. I really enjoyed this book and I am excited for the sequel to release to see where the series goes next. 

East of West, Vol. 1: The PromiseA Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas: Yes, I do need hardback and paperback copies of this and every other SJM book. I can't help myself! This book blew me away and you can read my full review here

Nothing Tastes as Good by Claire Hennessy: An unsolicited review copy from Hot Key Books and one I am excited to read, they publish some awesome reads.

Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten HolyWith Malice by Eileen Cook: This was another unsolicited review copy from Hot Key Books and I am excited to get to this one too although I know zero about the book.

Rat Queens Volume Two: This finally arrived and so I got to continuing the series, I really enjoyed this one and am excited for more of this series. 

Rat Queens, Vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N'rygothI Hate Fairyland - Madly Ever After: This was a new graphic novel series that I decided to try and I really enjoyed it. It tells the story of a woman who has been trapped in Fairyland since she was a child, she's now a grown woman but still trapped in her child's body. She's basically now insane and goes around killing a lot of people. It's hilarious and I am excited to get myself the next volume. 

I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1: Madly Ever AfterLumberjanes: This was a graphic novel series that was recommended so I decided to buy myself the first volume. It was okay but just didn't work for me and I don't think it is a series I will continue. 

East of West Volume One: Another graphic novel series I have started - Yes, I have a new obsession! This one involves the Four Horsemen of the Apocolpyse in a Western world and it is rather awesome! 

East of West Volume Two: A lot more was revealed in volume two and made me want to continue this series. 

This is what I read on top of the books I hauled that I've already read, which was 8 of them - which is so good for me! And then I read the following books as well:

Teach Me Vain (The Seven Deadly, #1) The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys, #1) Clipped Wings (Clipped Wings, #1) Rat Queens, Vol. 3: Demons

Teach Me by R. A. Nelson: Not only did I put a dent in my recently haul booked, I have also started getting through some of my unread owned books. Teach Me was an interesting take on the student teacher relationship and it was well written, but the end just felt like it wrapped up far too quickly and cleanly. 

Vain by Fisher Amelie: This was a total cover buy for me and then it just sat on my shelf for months and months and months. I finally decided to pick it up and read it and LOVED IT! I finished it and immediately went to order the other two in the series. If you like New Adult or romance then I highly recommend this. 

The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines: Yeah, this was not good. I didn't enjoy it, a cheating story being made out to be a romance. Nope. 

Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting: A book I have owned for over a year and I put off reading it as I didn't think it would be something I'd enjoy... I was wrong, I really loved it. 

Rat Queens Volume 3: Really enjoyed this and it has cemented my love of this series and now I need more!!!! 

I have spoken a lot (I'm totally not sorry!) about my love of Instagram and how much I love taking bookish photos for it. I recently reached 6,000 followers on there and thought it was a good time to do a giveaway. I am offering £30 worth of books to the winner - the winner gets to choose their books from Book Depository. To find out how to enter GO HERE.

What have you been up to this week? Have you read any 5/5 read this week, if so, what?

Thursday, 19 May 2016

A Court of Mist & Fury: Beware, Flailing and Fangirling Ahead

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury 
Buy this book: Amazon / Book Depository
Feyre is immortal.After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people - nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand's dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.
fangirling crazy fangirling gif let me love you gif damn that butt!
I hope you're ready people, this review is going to get pretty lengthy. It might also get rambly as hell. I'm not even a little bit sorry. This book actually blew my freaking mind, I wasn't expecting it to be the pure work of fucking genius that it turned out to be. I'll admit, Queen of Shadows had left me doubting Maas's ability a little, as that book was a little all over the place and left me completely unsure how I even felt about it. This book erased all that from my mind and once again reminded me why I love Sarah J. Maas and her books. She is one incredibly talented lady.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

I Knew Absolutely Nothing About These Books I Ended Up Loving

It's time for Top Ten Tuesday and this weeks topic is:

Best Books I Picked Up On a Whim

So these are all those books I picked up without knowing anything about the book. A lot of the books I read are ones I have heard so much about or seen everywhere, so this is a lot harder now. But before I was a blogger, especially as a kid, I found some of my favourite reads by just picking up a book in a book store at random and buying it.

Northern Lights (His Dark Materials, #1) Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1) The Sight The Declaration (The Declaration, #1) 

excited awesome rami malek so awesomeNorthern Lights by Philip Pullman: This book is such a classic now that it is hard to imagine a time where I wouldn't have known about this book. But child me had never heard of it. And I received it in a bag of books from my nan one year. I was intrigued by the cover - mine at the time had a girl on it, a polar bear and it just looked really cool to seven year old me. So I picked this up and ended up completely falling in love with it. I'd found a new favourite series and I still count this as one of my top favourite series of all time.