Saturday, January 13, 2018

I think after reading comtemporaries for so long (for me) the "Forever" Series what a good series to jump back into the world of fanasy. It was still based in the real world but with fantasy entertwined - a very believable werewolf story which I was very thankful for. In all honestly, it took me WAY longer than it should have to get through the series - and it was probably a combination of being too busy at work and not being as into the story as I'd hoped I'd be. I had planned on writing a review but it took me so long to read that anything I'd wanted to say has completely left my brain. I think I'll have to do a re-read if I have any hope of writing a half decent review. So, I'm not wasting any time in writing the "A Court Of..." Series reviews. I was planning on writing a review on the whole series once I was done but I decided I'll just do it one book at a time. So... without further ado (and potential spoilers)..

Image result for a court of thorns and rosesA COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES - By Sarah J. Maas.

Feyre is human. A huntress. At 19, the youngest of a poor family,  she is trying to keep her Dad and two sisters alive. They weren't always poor. Her Dad was successful, until he made a critical error and ended up losing money for the wrong people, which cost him is job - and nearly his life. Feyre's older sisters Nesta and Elain, who still remember living in luxuary, struggle to come to terms with poverty. 

Feyre is hunting to feed her family when she too makes a critical error - she kills a wolf, but not just any wolf. The wolf she kills is actually a faerie.

An exciting journey unfolds as she is swept away by a Beast-like creature to pay for killing the wolf-faerie. Friends are made, albeit cautiously, a romance blossoms, a curse needs to be broken and an enemy makes their way ever closer.

Okay so can we just pause a minute to talk about how much I wish Fae were real. Because OMG. I wish Fae were real. In every book I've ever read involving Fae all the legends and stories are the same. The can't lie yet they choose their words very wisely. They are very tricky and mischevious. They are beautiful and magical and they aren't afraid of their promisquity. I just, I need a beautiful Fae man in my life. And faerie males in this book make me want one even more. 

I think one of the things I enjoyed about this book was how loosely it was based off Beauty and the Beast. Feyre is whisked away by a beastlike creature to the Spring Court to live out the rest of her days as punishment for killing the wolf-faerie. The Beastlike-creature as well as the entire Spring Court has been cursed to roam around for the rest of their lives with masks that obscure their faces; who they truely are. 
Tamlin is our beastlike creature - devistatingly beautiful. He is Feyre's captor and protector. 
Along with his friend and emissary, Lucien (from the Autumn Court), they show Feyre all that life has to offer being a fae - and a High Fae none the less. They show her riches beyond her wildest dreams and she gets used to living a life of weath and leisure. 

Feyre is by no means my favourite character in this book but I really enjoy her development. 
She is very much the type of girl who has been forced to fight to survive her entire life. To begin with she fights against everything but she is so young so of course when you have someone who takes care of you and protects you and makes sure you have every comfort you ever wanted your resolve will break and your walls will fall. Because it's nice to have someone give a shit about you. It's nice to not have to worry about defending yourself. So as Feyre warmed up to Tamlin, so did I. 
Even though he was unlike anything Feyre had ever experience before, and even though he harboured many secrets from her, he also cared for her, which was something she was never used to. He made sure she was safe; and the fact that he was beautiful definitely helped her fall for him. Even though I was weary of him I started to think that maybe my sceptism was misplaced. 

Although, somewhere around the middle we get introduced to Rhysand. Who is definitely right up my ally being the type of guy I'd most definitley go for. Obviously beautiful, but dark and dangerous and mysterious. The type of guy you know you should have no business wanting but that makes you just want him even more. 
I found myself reading more quickly, just wanting to get another glimpse of him. Find out more about who he is. We only see him a couple of times in this book. And he is an arrogant ass hat who has some hold over Tamlin - and seems far too interested in Feyre. But most of that just seems to be because it seems to bother Tamlin. 
There was a part of me that thought for a bit it was because Rhysand was in love with Tamlin - but let me just say, I'm very glad I was wrong. 

What I did enjoy as well was that the plot develops really quickly without leaving you feeling like you've missed out on major character developments. 
And things manage to go from bad to worse really fast but it keeps you on your toes. It was honestly one of those books where I wasn't sure the leads would make it out alive (and maybe that just comes from reading Game of Thrones) but I was honestly hoping that Feyre would pull through. Also, the antogonists in the book are very evil. Some not for any reason at all other than because they are pure, vile creatures. Which I enjoyed as well because intrinsically evil characters literally can and will do anything - they have no rhyme or reason for being evil. They just are. And I'm not going to delve into the main Antagonist at all because honestly, when she turned up things got very very interesting so I'll leave you all to read the book and find out for yourself but by the end of it I was left feeling content that what needed to be done was done, and excited to find out more about how Rhysand would continue to fit into the whole picture. 

Over all I give A Court of Thorns and Roses a very strong 8/10. Would definitely read again.

Image from -

You've Got Mail #3

Hello Hello lovelies & Happy New Year!
Is everyone as baffled as I am that we're 2 weeks into 2018 already!? Because I'm sitting here wondering where the time went.

I have been very busy since Christmas.
Worked finished up on the 22nd December and it's just been Go! Go! Go! since then.
The majority of it is my own doing but I've finally got one more week before I go back to work where I'm just planning on doing absolutely nothing.
Don't get me wrong - being away and road tripping for the past couple of weeks have been amazing and as hectic as it is, it's so good to be back home in Auckland.
And, having time to do nothing else but read to my hearts content.

So, I'm sure this is not just me - I feel like everyone who enjoys reading has this affliction, but I have a really bad habit of reading more than one book at a time. I am only halfway through my first reading of Lord of the Rings, I am halfway through reading Salem's Lot, I am trying to read The Bane Chronicles  - I think it's the 10th time I've restarted, it's one of the books I keep picking up when i'm at my parents and have nothing to do - and I have just completed A Court of Mist and Fury. I think we can see a bit of a pattern here; I love a bit of Fantasy. But also - apparently I have the attention span of a goldfish (and I also have no book loyalty. HA!).

The plan is to write a review for A Court Of... Series. I just need to get my hands on the 3rd book. But keep an eye out and bear with me on this. I've enjoyed the first two so much so far and I really cannot wait to sink my teeth into the third.

For Christmas by BFFL gave me 4 books (hard cover too!) so I'm thinking I might pick up one to read & review for the time being.

Hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday season and I'll see you all for my next review.

- C xx

Friday, November 24, 2017

You've Got Mail #2

It is Saturday morning and I am awake before 10!
Actually - now that I think about it, this has been happening more often than not of late as life has actually just been stupidly busy.
I had all of the good intentions to review the Forever series once I was done reading it all but every time I sat down to write it I came up blank.

I've now finished - and I'm still coming up blank. I even went as far to open a word document to write as I got through each book and then post it all at once so I wasn't trying to sit there remembering every detail from all 3 books and the feels I felt while reading it but here I am. Still unable to write anything constructive. 

It has taken me a REALLY long time to get through them and I don't know whether that was a lack of the story grabbing me or whether I just had far too many other things going on in my life.
Maybe I'll do a proper review at some point in the future but for now I'll just say a few words.
The imagery was beautiful; and honestly after the Raven Cycle I expected nothing less from Stiefvater. The twist on the original werewolf legend is super interesting and even though it took an age and then some to get through the books I wish there was more to it. I know it's not really the point of the book but I'm super interested in the werewolf situation and how that can be fixed. I think they're books I can really get behind but maybe just need to be in right state of mind for. 

On the other hand, I started reading A Court of Thorns and Roses on Tuesday and I am almost finished. It is so flipping good. I wish Faeries were real. The most interesting mythical creatures. I feel like the more I read about them the more obsessed I become.
Not sure whether I'll write a review yet but maybe I should. We'll see how life goes in the next couple of weeks with Christmas looming. 

I have many plans to travel these holidays; many road trips planned so maybe keep an eye out for my Travel Diary Blog - which is very much neglected at the moment. But I might take a pause in my first Africa trip (still!) to update some fun trips around New Zealand with Family and Friends. And then hopefully when Canada becomes a thing there'll be more travel things to write about.

Till next time - C xx

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The water hit the bottom of the porcelain like a damn breaking free from it's confines. As she watched the water rise higher she felt everything she'd been postponing to feel come slowly to the surface. Every tear hastily wiped away, every sob swallowed, every scream choked. For every dark corner in her heart and mind she turned on lights. It was time to feel before she lost her mind. She stood in the bright white of the bathroom stark naked, feeling the heat of her body bleed out through her pores. She raised her right leg and slowly lowered her foot to the water; big toe entering first, then the second, third, forth and fifth until her entire foot, up till the ankle was submerged. She knew instantly that she'd made it too hot. It was scalding. On reflex her body wanted to whip her foot right back out but she pushed past the prickling sensation. It would soon pass - and besides, it was good to feel something other than numb. She placed her right foot at the bottom of the tub, raised her left leg and placed that foot too, at the bottom of the tub. For a moment she just stood there, reveling in the feeling of the burn. She turned right, bent down to place both hands on either side of the tub and lowered herself slowly into the steaming liquid. For a brief moment her mind flickered to her knowledge of burns and the temperature your skin could handle before it became first, second or even third degree burns, but before the thought even left her mind her skin was acclimatizing to the temperature. She lay back, letting the water raise over her thick thighs, over her well fed belly, envelope her shoulders. She directed her gaze towards the ceiling, watching the tendrils of steam rise. She thought about the boy she should love, and the boy she did and let out a sigh; her breath mixing in with the steam. She thought about the pain she felt and the pain she didn't want to cause. She thought about her selfishness and the choices she would have to make - sooner rather than later. She inhaled, her breath catching in the throat. She exhaled shakily as she felt her heart contract. She waited for the sob to surface but surprisingly she kept on breathing without interruption. She'd left it for far too long - the time to grieve had passed. She could feel the sadness, but tears would not be shed any longer. She knew she'd have to say goodbye. And for the first time in a long time she found that her heart had said the goodbyes before he head had. She knew it was the right thing to do, if felt right. But the little selfish, lonely girl within didn't want to let go yet. She had to learn to grow up, she had to learn to let go. Life wasn't a fairy tale, it wasn't a romantic comedy. You don't get the things you want just by wishing for it. Yes, sometimes the universe gave you what you were hoping for but generally you have to put in the long yards. And sometimes hard work doesn't pay off. So it was time to let it go. Let him go. Sweat it all out, and watch it rise and float out the window with the rest of the steam. She lay in the water for what felt like ages. Waiting for it too get to cool for it to be pleasant anymore. Finally she sat up, blood rushing too her head too quickly making her head stuffy and her vision swim. Pass out, pass out right now she thought with a macabre grunt. Imagine that was how she went. Blood pressure, heat and fast motion was a lethal weapon. With her right hand she groped below the surface of the water and pulled the plug. That was how she sat, legs pulled up to her chest, chin resting on her knees, watching the water lower as it drained out, down the sink taking with it all the things she didn't want to feel - and now no longer had to.  

Friday, August 4, 2017

You've Got Mail - Update #1

Open homes are still ruling my life at the moment and the past few weeks have been so hectic it's been difficult to find the time to actually read. I've been trying to put aside even half an hour of my night before I go to sleep to read - but even then, sleep is slightly more important.

I've just finished reading 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck. It was in my pile of books that I could take to work to read. It's a classic - one of those books I knew I had to read and I enjoyed it. It gave me hope of being an author one day as it isn't very big. So even if I start out small, it might just end up being a classic one day!

I am still trudging along through my first book in my Stephen King pile, 'Needful Things'. So far it's everything I was expecting from a King novel. If I ever get the chance one day I would love to just sit down and have a conversation with him - see how his mind works. As I've mentioned before I think everything King does is genius. I love his play with sci-fi and the supernatural. And how all of his stories are based in the real world. In places that actually exist. And even though he is writing about aliens or a 'demon' of some kind he writes it in such a way that it is believable. He writes the antagonists as if they could be real people in your life. It almost makes you look a little closer at the people around you - and pay more attention to those strange feelings you get. I think I love his writing under is pseudonym way more! I love they way he takes our thoughts and best intentions and twists it. I feel like he sits down and goes - right, what is the worst a human could do if they were given the opportunity and goes a bit further than the worst. I love how dark his writing, topics and themes are. I love how he can find horror in the everyday mundane.

Next on my list are the above two series. And I am SO excited to jump back into other worlds. I've been needing a break from reality so bad and as much as I love stand alone novels, nothing brings me more joy than a series - and I've heard great things about both. Obviously I got the above from my lovely Bestfriend (honestly, I feel sorry for everyone else because they aren't best friends with her, she is the greatest), who is always reading amazing new books and letting me borrow said books when she is done. It's like she is my own personal library. She loves both series and I trust her judgment above all. We're generally quite different as best friends go but when it comes to books our tastes become one.

Friday, July 14, 2017

What's Next...

This right here is my new current to be ready pile, it is literally what is on my bedside table right now. I was going to post about all the books my best friend gave me but we're currently in the middle of open homes and it was far too much effort to take them all out of the box. I sorted through the NOW, LATER and MAYBE piles. All of the Classics (Austin, Dickens, Twain etc.) went into the later pile. They're books I NEED to read but I'm not really in the mood for right now. The now pile as you can see consists of Stephen King, Irvine Walsh and a few others that I've been meaning to get around to reading but never have.

Because basically everything King does is brilliant I'm not going to be reviewing anything. I know I'm going to enjoy every book so we'll just keep it at that.
The majority of my maybe pile also made it to the now pile - it's a bunch of small books that I can easily fit into my bag for work to read. It'll definitely help me get through me TBR pile faster. Especially since Canada is looming and I don't have that much time left to get through all the books I want to read.
 Also I'm going to need to start packing away everything I have already read to go into storage because I'll be moving into my new place in a couple of weeks and I need to seriously downsize. So you probably won't see much of me for the next couple of weeks - unless my BFFL gives me something new I need to read.

Monday, July 10, 2017

PERFECT - By Cecelia Ahern

"When we embrace all our flaws, that's when we can finally become perfect."

If any of you happened to read my review of the prequal to this book then you'll know that I could not put it down. I read it from start to finish in about 2 days and I loved the majority of it - considering I really don't share much love with dystopian novels anyhow.  However, I have currently been staring at this page for the better half of 10 minutes and I have no idea where to begin.

Almost exactly a year after reading Flawed I finally manged to jump into Perfect, and I was excited. My best friend had lent me her copy and I couldn't wait to get stuck in. I said as much as we sat outside in the last disappearing rays of the Saturday afternoon sun discussing the pile of books she'd just given me to borrow. She took a drag of her smoke, and upon exhale with a grimace she said all in one breath something along the lines of, "I kinda didn't like it, but that's just my opinion". I'm not the type of person to let others sway my opinion so I didn't take it heart, she is my best friend but she is the chalk to my cheese - we can't be expected to agree on everything. 

So finally, after finishing Carry On I picked up Perfect. I was excited to be back with Celestine as she hid out at her Grandfathers; After managing to evade her Whistleblower - Mary May. I was excited to finally find out what happened to the Mysterious Hottie, Carrick, who said he'd "find her". I wanted to see what her plan would be for Crevan and the entire Guild that put her in this situation in the first place and I wanted to find out if Celestine had finally figured out the footage of her sixth branding was in the bloody snow globe all along (something I figured out the moment Tina, the guard from Highland Castle, had given it to her in the first book). I was about 7 chapters in when my heart sunk. I hadn't felt this since I picked up The Hunger Games for the first time and I realised, Perfect was going to be struggle. 

Ahern is a wonderful writer when it comes to romance and I give her mad props for trying, but in my opinion she falls short on teen dystopian.
Events unfolded out of nowhere; almost as if she thought of them as she was writing and went "that's a good idea! I'll put it in now and then just come up with an explainer chapter after". Nothing made sense, there was no build up and when there was a chapter explaining how Celestine and her comrades had gotten to that particular situation the explaination had no depth, no grasp, nothing to make me believe something like that could really happen. I rolled my eyes more times than I could count at the things Celestine said or did. She infurated me so much that sometimes I found myself just wanting to close the book and never pick it up again because how could someone be so stupid and naive, how does one change their decision so quickly on a whim. And maybe that was the point, maybe that was her being true to her character, a naive, scared teenage girl but none of it felt believable enough for me. 

Even Celestine's love for Carrick and his supposed feelings towards her didn't feel believable. Their first kiss and  'love' scene glossed over so quickly I'm not even sure it happened. There was far too much emphasis placed on describing setting and unnecessary surface features without any further explaination into it rather than focusing on the characters and their development in the story.
Part Four of the novel was were all the action happened and was the only time I found myself wanting to turn the next page to find out "what will happen next". But again I found myself rolling my eyes because the events that unfolded just didn't seem real. The characters decisions didn't make sense; they rose to leadership too easily or crumbled under authority too easily. There were far too many extra characters that didn't need to be in the spotlight as much as they were and I think that's why the central characters' developments were so lacking. 

The last few chapters felt rushed, almost as if Ahern had lost interest in the book herself and needed the fastest way to just get on with it. The idea of the story is actually really good and holds so much potential to be so much more but I was just left feeling disappoint and unfulfilled. 4/10.