Top Ten Tuesday- The First Ten Books I Reviewed On My Blog

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together. 

This week it’s all about the first reviews that we’ve written. I decided to go for my first ten reviews on my blog. Well, this was cringy experience for me! Ha! Here they are, with links going to the review!

 

  1. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry– Rachel Joyce
  2. Some Kind Of Fairy Tale– Graham Joyce
  3. In The Time Of Butterflies– Julia Alvarez
  4. The Abigail Affair– Timothy Frost
  5. One Moment, One Morning– Sarah Rayner
  6. The Other Daughter– Lisa Gardner
  7. The Song Of Achilles– Madeline Miller
  8. Specials– Scott Westerfeld
  9. Sense and Sensibility– Jane Austen
  10. Magic Under Glass– Jaclyn Dolamore

What were your first reviews? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

Advertisements

Top Ten Best/Worst Series Enders

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week we’re given a topic to create a Top Ten list. This week the list is Top Ten Best/Worst Series Enders.

Now I have a problem with this list. I am in the middle of so many series. I haven’t finished many series, so it’s going to take quite some time to put this list together. It has inspired me to try and get around to finishing some of the series I’ve started though, so that’s a positive thing!

Best:

818056
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows J.K Rowling– I really didn’t like the epilogue, but I didn’t want to label it as one of the worst series enders, because aside from the epilogue I think it ended brilliantly. Just how I wanted it to.

200px-Specials2

Specials- Scott Westerfeld- Specials was one my favourite books out of the Uglies trilogy. I’m not including Extras. Conveniently forgetting about that book otherwise it would be in the worst series enders section.

16186
MeridonPhilippa Gregory– I have a lot of love for Philippa Gregory. I loved The Wideacre Trilogy and this for me, was a brilliant ending!

7534846

Mini Shopaholic Sophie Kinsella– I really love the Shopaholic series. I’m not sure if this one is the last in the series, but she hasn’t brought one out for a while. So I’m going with it!

13049981

Boundless Cynthia Hand– I imagine for some people, this book is going to be on their worst series enders section. I think it really depends what ‘team’ you’re on. But for me, I ADORED Boundless, so it’s well worthy of a place of my best series enders list.

Somewhere in the middle:

7710333

Mockingjay- Suzanne Collins– This book falls somewhere in-between best and worst. I loved aspects of it and hated aspects of it. I found it a lot slower than the first two books.

1162543

Breaking Dawn Stephenie Meyer– I know that the Twilight series isn’t the most outstanding piece of literature, but for what it is, I think the final book in the series was okay. Not mind-blowing, but definitely not as awful as I was expecting, given some of the reviews.

Worst:

608216

The Summer Garden Paullina Simons- The Bronze Horseman series had two amazing books. I was left slightly disappointed with this one. I ended up hating a character I loved for the most part of the book!

4649992
The Other QueenPhilippa Gregory- I loved the Tudor series so much but I was left disappointed with this book, which is such a shame!

I’m throwing back to my childhood with the next book:

109073

Charlie and The Great Glass Elevator Roald Dahl– I was so disappointed with this book as a child. I think Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is such a magical book that anything that followed was bound to be a disappointment.

Please feel free to leave a link to your Top Ten posts. I’m intrigued to see what series you have loved and/or disliked!

Top Ten Best Sequels Ever

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s Top Ten theme is the best sequels ever. This is going to be a tricky one for me. I have read a lot of series, but most of them I’m stuck on book one, waiting to read book two. It’s highlighted to me how much I need to carry on with the series I have started!

As ever click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page for the book!

13049981

BoundlessCynthia Hand- I wasn’t really sure about reading Boundless, as I didn’t really like Hallowed as much as Unearthly. For me, Boundless completely made up for Hallowed. I was so impressed. I was also SO happy with the way it ended. I know some other readers aren’t, but for what ‘team’ I was on, it ended very well for me.

13104080

Unravel Me– Tahereh Mafi- I loved Shatter Me, but I thought Unravel Me was slightly better. I loved Kenji in this book. Such a great character!

17340050

Losing HopeColleen Hoover– I don’t know why this book worked so much, as essentially it’s much of the same story of Hopeless from a different point of view. But I liked reading it from Holder’s point of view.

imagesCAUSDFEL

ScarletMarissa Meyer– I enjoyed Cinder, but I really thought that Scarlet was a better read. I think Scarlet is a fabulous protagonist.

200px-Specials2

SpecialsScott Westerfeld– This one was my favourite in the series. I was slightly disappointed with Pretties, so this one really made up for it!

6472227

Catching FireSuzanne Collins– I love The Hunger Games series, but this one just had a little extra something for me. It was action packed!

464164

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban– J.K Rowling- This is my favourite book in the Harry Potter series. It’s the one that gripped me.

37470

The Other Boleyn GirlPhilippa Gregory– I fell in love with Philippa’s writing when I started this series. This was my favourite book from the series!

I only have 8 for you, so I’m going to highlight two books that I can’t wait to read:

10616322 15768409

Allegiant by Veronica Roth and The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. I can’t wait to see how they finish!

Please feel free to leave your links to your Top Ten Posts so I can come and see what sequels you love. I’m sure I’m going to find lots of series that I need to start!

Top Ten Favourite Books With A Dystopian Setting

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list is Top Ten Favourite Books With A X Setting. I have decided to pick my top ten books with a dystopian setting, as I’ve been into my dystopian reads recently! These books aren’t necessarily in order. I find it way too hard to judge my books against each other.

These settings are dystopian settings I enjoyed reading about. Click on the book image to take you to the Goodreads page for the book!

24770 24768

200px-Specials2 493456

UgliesScott Westerfeld-  I started this series before I became a book blogger, although I have reviewed Specials and Extras on here. Specials was one of my favourites of the series. I found Extras quite pointless and missed Tally. I loved the dystopian setting in this series.

7735333 15812814 13125947

Matched- Ally Condie- I haven’t finished this series yet, but aside from the pretty covers I think it’s quite a ‘nice’ dystopian read. It’s not the best written series in the world, and there are far superior dystopian reads but I think it’s certainly an interesting concept if not the most original!

1656001

The HostStephenie Meyer- I thought this book was far superior to the Twilight series. I really liked the world that Meyer created.

2767052 6472227 7710333

The Hunger GamesSuzanne Collins- This is another series that I read in my pre-blogging days. I loved Katniss being such a kick-ass female character. The dystopian setting freaked me out a little bit, but it’s intriguing for sure.

8525590 11112619 12383869

The Chemical GardensLauren Destefano- I haven’t finished this series yet, but I absolutely LOVED the weird Science-y Dystopian setting.

11594257 14742334

Under The Never SkyVeronica Rossi- I haven’t read Through The Ever Night yet, but I loved the setting of Under The Never Sky. It felt like I was right there in the action.

13455782 13104080

Shatter MeTahereh Mafi- I love this series and the setting that Tahereh Mafi has created. It’s very creative. The covers are beautiful too, although very similar. The third and last book in the series is going to be called Ignite Me. I can’t wait to see what happens!

cinder imagesCAUSDFEL

The Lunar ChroniclesMarissa Meyer- I love retellings of fairy tales and The Lunar Chronicles, is so far, very unique.

12476820 cover26924-medium

PartialsDan Wells- I haven’t started Fragments yet, but I have it ready for me to read. I really like the concept of it and hope to read Fragments soon..

11614718 9593911 9593913

DeliriumLauren Oliver- I’ve still got Requiem to read, but I’m putting it off because a lot of people haven’t enjoyed the ending at all. This makes me so nervous as I really like this series!

Please feel free to leave your links to your Top Ten lists. I’d love to know what setting you’ve picked this week!

Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book

toptentuesday

This is a weekly meme by The Broke and The Bookish. This week the list is Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book. I’ve included an example of a book that I’ve loved with the particular word/topic that made me pick it up. In no particular order…

1. Tudors– I have a bit of an obsession with The Tudors and I have no idea where it’s come from. I just find that era fascinating. I loved the Philippa Gregory Tudor series. I never watched the TV series The Tudors. I wonder if I should, or whether it’s just reading about them that I love to do.

538206

2. London– I absolutely love London, and know it fairly well, so books that are set in London really appeal to me. I just love knowing the places that authors discuss in their books. I have a lot of special memories from London trips. If I could live there I would.

16038247

3. Teaching- I work in an infant school, specifically with 5-6 year olds. Stories around teaching/school life always make me smile.

cover24596-medium

4. Music- Another passion of mine, besides reading, is music. I don’t think there’s a day that goes by without me listening to music in some shape or form.

Saving June

5. Magical- If a book has a magical element in it, I’m usually drawn to it. I love suspending disbelief and just going with the story, no matter how ridiculous it may seem.

6461779

6. Dance- I can not dance to save my life, but I really love watching dancing (especially ballet) so if I read a book is about dance in some way I’m very likely to pick it up.

12788061

7. Psychological Thriller- I used to read the same sort of books but within the past year or so, I’ve really got into psychological thrillers. I seem to like reading things that are a bit messed up!

10227033

8. Dystopian- I’ve recently got into Dystopian books a lot more. I know there are a hell of a lot of Dystopian books out there, some not so good as others but so far the ones I have read I’ve really enjoyed!

24770

9. Fairy tales- I still seem to fall in love with fairy tale stories or retellings.

Splintered

10. Chinese/Japanese- I’m also very likely to fall in love with a story based in China or Japan. I just find the way they’re told so beautiful.

1103

Please feel free to share your links to your Top Ten post so I can see what topics make you pick up a book!

Extras

250px-Extrascover1

How did I get it?:

I bought it!

Synopsis:

These days it’s all about the fame. As if life isn’t hard enough when you’re fifteen, Aya Fuse’s face rank of 451,369 is so low, she’s a total nobody. An Extra. But when she meets a clique of girls who pull crazy, dangerous tricks in secret, Aya sees a way to get her popularity rating to soar…Aya is sure she’s destined for a life in the spotlight, and if she can just ‘kick’ the story to show everyone how intensely cool the Sly Girls are, then the spotlight will be on her. But is Aya really prepared to be propelled out of Extra-land and into a world of instant fame, celebrity…and extreme danger?

Thoughts:

I have been a big fan of this series. I’ve loved Uglies, Pretties and Specials but unfortunately Extras didn’t quite work for me. It’s not all negative though. The first half of the book which mainly revolved around new character Aya was intriguing and I thought the idea of a face-rank system, where your standing in society was determined by how much people spoke about you was interesting. It made me reflect on current celebrity culture. Aya is so determined to become famous and spoken about that she’d ‘kick’ a story about a clique that no-one know much about to become famous. I think my main problem with the character of Aya was that she really didn’t go on a ‘journey’. I hate that word, but hey, I’ve just used it! There was no character development, she was just as shallow at the end of the story as she was at the beginning.

Halfway through the book Tally came into the story and I was excited. I thought things were really going to be shaken up, but I was disappointed. Tally was portrayed as someone completely different to the other books. I understand though, that this is because the main focus isn’t on Tally. The way she comes across is how Aya experiences her. Maybe I’m just too attached to Tally.. she did go through a lot in the trilogy but I was disappointed that she was so cold.

Scott Westerfeld has some amazing ideas and some of his sci-fi creations are brilliant. I wouldn’t hesitate to read another book by Scott. However, with Extras, I’m left not knowing what I really feel about it. Some parts were great, but some parts just seemed completely unnecessary. I just wish I loved Extras as much as the rest of the series.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Reading next:
How A Person Should Be?- Sheila Heti

Specials

200px-Specials2

How did I get it?:
I bought it.

Synopsis:

Special Circumstances – These words have sent chills down Tally’s spine since her days as a rebellious Ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumour – frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally’s never been ordinary… Now she’s been turned into one of them: a superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the Uglies down and the Pretties stupid.
The strength, the speed, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel better than anything Tally can remember… most of the time. One tiny corner of her heart still remembers something more. Still, it’s easy to tune that out – until Tally’s offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: carry out the mission she’s programmed to complete, or listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat telling her that something’s wrong… Either way, Tally’s world will never be the same.

Thoughts:

Scott Westerfeld concludes the trilogy of Uglies with Specials, which in my opinion is the best in the triology. But more of that later. I know, I know, he did write Extras after Specials but that was a bit of an after thought so I’m discussing Uglies, Pretties and Specials as a trilogy.

Tally is still a strong character and now she has the power to change her life. All of the characters in this book are so well developed. Specials is a book full of action and is really thrilling, the plot isn’t easy to guess which is always a bonus. Whilst I disliked Special Circumstances in the previous books I began to understand them through Tally’s perspective. Special Circumstances did mean to do well in the beginning, but as happens sometimes, it didn’t always go to plan!

Specials was different to Uglies and Pretties in the way that it actually made me quite emotional. I won’t spoil which part but if you read it or have read it I’m sure you’ll know which bit I mean. I’m absolutely gutted with what happened but it makes sense to not make Tally’s life perfect and its through what happens to her that she develops and grows throughout all the changes she’s been through. Throughout the series I have really got to like Tally. She’s a strong and genuine character.

What I like about Specials, in some twisted way, is that it’s not a happily ever after story. It makes it seem more real. Not everyone has a fairy tale ending and it happens all too often in books.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Reading next:
Sense and Sensibility- Jane Austen (Part of my Back To Classics Challenge 2013)