Sunday, 10 May 2015

Soundtrack Sundays - Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

I know I'm going against the grain a little by doing Soundtrack Sundays rather than Saturdays, but what is life without breaking a few rules?

So for this week's Soundtrack Sunday, I've put together a playlist for Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. The scene descriptions may provide some spoilers, so don't proceed unless you've read the book!

Artist / Song Title / Scene

Woodkid / Run Boy Run (instrumental) / The Market Chaos
Ellie Goulding / Beating Heart / Mare's Power Reveal
Lorde / Everybody Wants to Rule the World / Becoming Mareena Titanos
The Runaways / Cherry Bomb / Mare's Training

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #1 - A Court of Thorns and Roses

Hello, fellow readers! Today I'm posting my first Waiting on Wednesday blog post! Today I'm going to be talking about the highly-anticipated book by Throne of Glass author, Sarah J Maas- A Court of Thorns and Roses. (Warning: may contain a high number of GIFs).

Is it just me, or does the cover remind you of Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones?

I've been hearing about this book for a couple of months around YouTube and Goodreads, and I've already pre-ordered my copy!

If you haven't heard about this yet, A Court of Thorns and Roses (which I will refer to as CTR) is the newest book by the bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series, Sarah J Maas. CTR is the latest retelling of Beauty and the Beast. If you know me, you know I'm a sucker for any fairy tale retellings, especially ones based on Beauty and the Beast, so I knew that this one was for me straight away.

Of course, as there always is with retellings, CTR has some original twists on the tale. For one, the 'Belle' of this book, Feyre, is far from the sweet, innocent bookworm. No, this girl is one who would mercilessly kill a wolf in the forest at night.

But she can't get away with it, oh no. She is caught by a beast that drags her to the treacherous world of evil faeries. But, low and behold, her attacker isn't an animal at all, but Tamlin, one of the evil faeries that used to rule her world.

She is made to stay on his estate where their "icy hostility becomes fiery passion". She learns about the world of the fae, and things start to look up, but all is not well. There is an evil shadow forming over the faerie lands and Feyre must find away to stop it before Tamlin is doomed forever.

I don't know about you, but to me that sounds AWESOME!

A Court of Thorns and Roses comes out on the 5th May but, unfortunately for me, my copy doesn't arrive until the 12th. How will I cope? The anticipation is real.

If you've read ACR, let me know your thoughts in the comments! Happy reading!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Teaser Tuesday - Numbers by Rachel Ward

This week I'm starting all of my weekly posts, and today's is the first of my Teaser Tuesdays!

This week, I'm reading Numbers by Rachel Ward. So I flipped through to a random page, and it just so happened to land on one that contains a sentence that encompasses one of the biggest events of the book. It's in the synopsis though, so it's not really a spoiler!

"And that's where we were, leaning on the bridge, looking along the water, when we heard the bang and saw the London Eye blown to bits in front of us."

Monday, 4 May 2015

Musing Mondays #1 - Buying Books For Others

I love the idea of Musing Mondays, so here's my first one!

What would you do if you wanted to buy a book for someone, but didn't know what they like to read? Would you ask them? Would you choose something you, yourself, like? How would you go about buying them something?

This is actually quite an easy one for me to start off with! Generally, I tend to ask people what sort of genres they like and ask for examples of books they've read in the past. Then, if I've heard of any of those books, I'll try to find ones that are similar and that I also liked. I am a bit selfish in that way- I like to pick books that I've read so that we can have future fangirling sessions!

What's your view?

April Wrap Up and May TBR

It's gearing up towards exam season and I haven't had an awful lot of time to get any reading done. But I still managed to read a novel, a novella and a manga, so I'm feeling pretty good about my reading levels this month. 

May has a TON of amazing books being released that I can't wait to read, so my TBR is going to be quite juicy. Enjoy!

Let's kick it off with the first book I read in April: Death Note Volume 7: Zero by Tsgumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.
After volume 6's action-packed ending, I was really excited to start this one. Despite the slow decline in my attention towards Death Note, Zero was quite the book. This volume was more dedicated to character than action, especially as the whole volume was building up to the death of a character, who I will not name. After reading this, I wasn't sure how the series could continue, but I've just started volume 8 and things are picking right back up!

The next book I read was one that I received an e-book of from NetGalley. This is Summoner: The Novice by Taran Matharu.

Just a side note: Taran Matharu is great at interacting with fans of his book. Within hours of posting a review on Goodreads, I received a message thanking me.

The Novice has fast become one of my favourite books of the year, and I'm sure it will make my 2015 Favourites. 

If the cover wasn't enough to draw me in to requesting this book, the fact that this book was a Wattpad hit would have done the job.

The Novice is centered around an orphan named Fletcher, who comes across a scroll that leads him to find out that he can summon demons!

Summoners are a rare thing in the world of The Novice, and Fletcher- who is on the run after an unfortunate incident in his home village of Pelt- is enrolled in Vocans, the school for would-be summoners.

Also in the small population of Vocans are high-borns, commoners, an elf and a dwarf! One thing I loved about this book is that the characters, especially the main ones, were very likable. They all had distinct goals, many of which related to the unstable politics of their world, and tried their best to achieve them.

If I had to compare this book to others, I'd say that this is a good mix between Lord of the Rings and The Golden Compass (Northern Lights).

The last book I read this month was the novella, Summoner: Origins - a prequel to The Novice. As soon as I finished TN, I started browsing things related to the book and came across this novella for free on Amazon! I downloaded and read it straight away.

Not only was it free, this novella is about one of the most intriguing characters from The Novice, Arcturus. This book focuses on how Arcturus came to be a summoner and the troubles he faced when he first came to Vocans.

I loved seeing little details that linked to The Novice, such as how Arcturus and Lovett know each other.

This book would be great for anyone who wants a great introduction to the Summoner trilogy!

The first book in my TBR for may is End of Days by Susan Ee. I read the first two books in the Penryn and the End of Days trilogy toward the start of the year and I can't wait until End of Days is released. I really feel for the people that have been waiting an entire year for the last installment.

The next book I'm planning to read in May is A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I'm getting a real Sansa Stark vibe from the gorgeous cover art! I love anything and everything to do with beauty and the beast, so I'm super excited to read this!

What did you read in April? What are you planning to read this month? Comment below!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Beauty and the Beast - A Timeless Tale

Now, I'm pretty sure that all of us have at least heard of Beauty and the Beast. I was introduced to the tale through the Disney animated movie, and I've only grown to love it more over time. What I find extremely interesting though, is the way it shares features with other stories and has the potential to be retold over and over, each time with some new element to shake things up!

First of all, I just want to go over the things that make me adore this story.

Belle. She is one of my favourite female protagonists of all time. I love that she loves to read because... well I'm a book blogger! But that's not the only reason I think Belle is great. She doesn't want to settle for a mediocre life with a piggish husband who thinks that she is no more than an ornament to make him look good. She decides what she wants in life and goes for it.

The love story is still one of my all time favourites; the angst, the redemption and the moral of Beauty and the Beast makes it unforgettable- not to mention the beautiful dress Belle wears in the ball scene.

Lately I've become enamored with Greek Mythology, namely the myth of Hades and Persephone. Then I realised why I loved the myth so much- so many of the elements are shared with Beauty and the Beast! I love finding parallels between the two because it adds so much more depth to both of the tales.

Not only does Beauty and the Beast share similarities with myths, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of retellings of the story. There are the TV power-couples, such as Rumbelle from Once Upon a Time, as well as many books. One that I'm hoping to read very soon is Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. It features around a girl called Nyx, who is forced into an arranged marriage with the Gentle Lord, who just so happens to be the Prince of Demons. That's all I know about the book, but I'm hooked on the idea already. I only hope it lives up to the original, and I'm excited to see what twists and turns are in store!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard [review]

Red Queen, the first book by debut author, Victoria Aveyard, is already one of my favourite books of the year. Just about everything was perfect: the pacing, the storyline, the characters, that frickin’ plot twist! (WARNING: Mild spoilers, nothing that will destroy the book for you).

That cover tho.

Set in a dystopian world, society is divided into two distinct castes- the low-born Reds and the elite, high-born Silvers, who just so happen to have a variety of amazing super powers.

If I had to compare this book to something else, I'd say that it's a good mix of Throne of Glass, Game of Thrones and X-Men. Sounds promising, right?

Well, Red Queen did not disappoint! 

Firstly, the protagonist, Mare Barrow, is extremely relatable despite her rather unfortunate circumstances. And while I don't possess the ability to shoot electricity out of my hands, I found that I was able to connect with her without really trying.

Now, I'm sure we've all heard of the overused cliché of love triangles. Now I'll admit that I did roll my eyes when I first heard that there was going to be one in this book, but upon reading I was pleasantly surprised! As soon as I met both of the love interests (well maybe not straight away for one of them) I didn't care that it was a love triangle- I was so excited to see where things were going to go.

Of course, as this is partly a dystopian novel, there were some political areas that were a mix of all of your favourite dystopian uprisings (I will say that this book contains some faint echoes of The Hunger Games, but not enough to make it seem like a copy) while presenting a twist of originality. I, for one, want to know more about those ruins of the old world! There wasn't an awful lot of that side of the book until near the end, and I think it's going to play a much larger role in books 2 and 3.

Overall, I rate Red Queen 4.5 out of 5 stars, but I'll let you be the judge. If you've read queen, comment what you think and I'd love to hear your views!

P.S. The plot twist broke me. Here's the only way I can express my feelings towards it: