Thursday, 31 December 2015

Monthly Wrap Up: December 2015

Happy New Years Eve!

I know, I know, I've never done a wrap up post before. But I've decided that I want to start doing them because I have joined a massive amount of reading challenges for 2016 so that I will be reading more, and I like the idea of having more frequent life updates instead of scattering them randomly throughout the year. So here is my first every monthly wrap up!


Let's do it!



This month I managed to read seven books which makes me very happy. I read Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut for school, and didn't really like it. The movie was better. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt was just amazing and one of the best character driven books of all time. I can see why it won the award. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater was probably my biggest disappointment of the year because there is such a huge hype about it and I couldn't like it at all. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafiz was very inspiring and although I did know her story, I truly didn't know how much there was to it. Open and Read by James P. Burns simply made me so happy as I read it, and I definitely want to read more books of poetry now. 

As for ebooks, I read the graphic novel Frakenstein Underground by Mike Mignola which was okay, but didn't really capture me at all, despite loving the Frakenstein story. Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is a murder mystery I have wanted to read for the longest time, and I loved it. Even if I did have massive spoilers for the whole thing. (More about that in the review.)





 I'm being a bit ambitious with my TBR in order to get a head start on my 2016 challenges. I have been meaning to read Wonder forever, so I am doing so this month. And I've already read the first chapter of Emma by Jane Austen. It was time for a classic and I have always wanted to read this one as well! The rest are review books! A mythology, a romance, a mystery... I'm trying to spread over the genres.


I did take a week off in the middle of the month somewhere, so there aren't as many as usual...



December has been a very good month to me. It was quite busy with exams in the beginning, but I have a few results and am happy to say they went fine :) I even got full marks on my economics exam! Then I went to England to spend Christmas with my nan (because it would be her first Christmas alone), and my two oldest sisters met us there as well. I really enjoyed the time to relax. We finally saw the latest James Bond movie, Spectre, which I loved to bits. And because my dad is a massive star wars fan, we also saw The Force Awakens. It was very good, but I do have a few qualms with it (all coming in a later review!)
As for Christmas presents, I got 0 books! But that is perfectly okay because I did get a lot more books this month... again >.> So my haul will still be pretty big. I did get my camera which I can't wait to use for my booktube to improve my videos, and for bookstagram as well. I now also have Supernatural season three, and Sherlock season three in my possession, so I shall be wasting my evenings watching those. 

I'm feeling very optimistic about the new year and am looking forward to all I can do then! Hopefully I can achieve some of my long waited for goals :3


 (Pictures: Me and one of my cousins, a picture to remember my grandfather on Christmas day, and me helping to decorate the tree!)


I namely wanted to make wrap up posts to keep up with all the challenges I have joined! I have my usual goal which I achieved of reading 100+ books! Oh, and this year I also did the 2015 Popsugar reading challenge!

I will be doing the 2016 Popsugar challenge and also all of these (we'll see what I get done, no pressure to finish them all)





The 2016 Alphabet Soup challenge where you read a book for every letter of the alphabet (you can remove the word "the")

The Backlist Books challenge where you read books that were published a year or more before you read them (to read books which aren't new releases!) Aiming for 50 of these.





The Colour Coded challenge to read a book which a certain colour on the cover every month.










The 2016 Ebook Reading Challenge where you read as many ebooks as possible. Aiming for 50.


The 2016 TBR Pile challenge is where you read as many books in your TBR as possible that aren't review books. I'm aiming for 100!







The 12 Month Classics challenge is where you read a classic every month that fits a certain category!





The Monthly Motif challenge is where you read  book a month which needs to fit a certain category.


And lastly, to keep up with my review copies, the Netgalley and Edelweiss reading challenge where you read as many books from those places as possible to keep the percentage high! I am aiming for 50 of these, hopefully.


 Apologies for the long post! It's all those pesky challenges. :3 See you in 2016!

Olivia's Question: Have you made any new year resolutions?

Olivia-Savannah x

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

2015 Year Summary ~ Bookish Survey!

Hello there! 


I'm back from my little hiatus where I went home for Christmas and I had a really good time. I can't wait to get back into the blogging rhythm of things. It's almost the new year as well! Perpetual Pageturner usually hosts a blog survey to summarise the year, and I am joining in this year! Here goes :3


BEST IN BOOKS


1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

Do I really have to choose? It was hard enough doing my Top 15 reads of 2015 post! So go there if you want to see what some of the best books I have read this year was. 

2. Book You Were Excited About and Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?


Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater definitely takes this place. Everyone talks about how brilliant that story is and her writing style, but I wasn't feeling it in the slightest.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way) book you read in 2015? 

The most surprising book in a good way had to be Variables of Love by M.K. Schiller which I wasn't expecting to like at all, especially as it is outside the usual genre I read. But I ended up giving it a massive five stars!

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2015?


I don't really push books at others because they don't read too much about me, although they do read somewhat. I pushed everything Michael Grant my sister's way though, and she has gone off into her own fangirling world.


 5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?


 Best series I started? Had to be A Game of the Thrones, although the Lunar Chronicles did give it a run for it's money. I have to say the best sequel was Ten Thousand Skies Above You! As for series ender, it was the last book in the Snapped series by Ketley Allison. 

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?


 Marissa Meyer. Said and done. 

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?


 I don't read NA often, but Variables of  Love by M.K. Schiller has me rethinking that decision because that book blew me out of the water. It was just so amazing and wasn't only romance but culture in there as well. 

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?


I would have to say Never, Never by Brianna Shrum. I loved Hook's character and the way he was portrayed, and I needed to know if his story ended the same way as in the fairytale or not.

 9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?


I read the Spiderwick Chronicles this year and I can just see myself rereading them when I am in the mood for something light hearted and fun. 

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?


 Made You Up by Francesca Zappia is just beautiful!


11. Most memorable character of 2015?


Jem from Clockwork Angel. He can hop out of the pages and marry me because he is such a gentleman. 

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?


I really thought Dreamstrider was beautifully written because if the book was based on language alone I would drown in its beauty.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?


 Violent Ends by Shaun Hutchinson and various authors. It had be scribbling down so many notes and I couldn't stop thinking as I was reading. It definitely made me think about my perspective on life and the reasons why some people do what they do, and whether it makes them good or bad. 


 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?


I can't believe it has taken me this long to start in on the Anna and the French Kiss series! I loved the first two books and now am anxiously awaiting the time I get to read the last book!

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?


"Today is your day! You're off to great places, you're off and away!" ~ Dr. Seuss (but I discovered it when I read All the Bright Places.)

 16. Book That Shocked You The Most?


We Were Liars by E. Lockhart hands down. THAT PLOT TWIST THOUGH. I couldn't get over it for weeks. I tried to find out how I could see it coming but... just, no. I was even writing poetry inspired by this book in the end. 

17. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Me + every book boyfriend I have ever mentioned to you. The sad thing is, I'm not even kidding. 
...
Alright, alright, let's go with Anna and St. Eclair from Anna and the French Kiss.

18. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year


Even though I didn't particular enjoy the third Harry Potter book I read this year, I do like the friendship the main trio share.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously


I really did like Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. I've loved the TMI series *eep telly show to come!* so I wanted to try The Infernal Devices. Book one didn't disappoint!

20. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Sanez was recommended to me time and time again. I constantly avoided it because it wasn't my genre. This year I read it and quite liked it. 

21. Best 2015 debut you read?


I read quite a few debuts but All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven was so good. I think she even won an award for this category as well. 


22. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?


Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith. I know I mentioned this book already but it was so immensely well planned and drawn out that I can't even with this world building...

23. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?


Open and Read by James P. Burn III always made me smile. And The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud was a lot of fun! Had me laughing at some points.  


24. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?


One that nearly made me cry at the beginning was Heart of a Dove by Abbie Williams. It was about prostitution and was so beautifully sad.

25. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?


I really did think that The Revenge Playbook by Rachel Allen was a fun but meaningful read about friendship. I think a lot of people have skipped over it which is why I am making it my hidden gem. 

26. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?


One that made me mad was It's Not You, It's Me by Mhairi MacFarlane. I'd been anticipating this since 2014 and it made me so mad because divorce was involved and her ex-husband didn't know what he was missing out on. 

YOUR BLOGGING/BOOKISH LIFE


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015? 


 I have discovered WAY too many blogs for this. I love you all!


2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015? 


The more passionate I feel for a book, the longer my review tends to get. You should see my review for We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?


I think that would have to be either my How to Fangirl 101 post of about coming out as a booknerd!

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?


 I loved running my first event, which was the Fantasy Favourites Read-a-thon with Karolina and Inge. 

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?


 When I reached 1000 bloglovin followers and when I kicked up my Youtube channel again. I had so much support and it makes me want to squeeze all of you to death with the love I feel! :D


7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?


My most popular from this year is my Fantasy Favourites Read-a-thon sign up I shared!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?


My middle grade mini reviews could do with some more love! I don't usually read middle grade and those reviews got a little overlooked... :(

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?


I discovered the Book Depository this year. Through entering giveaways mostly, but it was wonderful because FREE SHIPPING TO MY COUNTRY!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?


I completed popsugar's 2015 reading challenge which was no easy task, come to think of it...


LOOKING AHEAD


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?


I am so reading Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin next year. You just try and stop me!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?


Can someone just give me the final book in the Firebird trilogy by Claudia Gray already? Because I need it! I don't think you understand. Need it! ;.;




3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?


Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman!

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?


Shoving aside the Firebird trilogy in fear of being repetitive, I am also looking forward to seeing the finale to the Winner's Curse series come out... even though I have yet to read book two >.> Whoops!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?


My main goal is to read half of my physical TBR! I am so ready to try and do this, you guys. But in terms of blogging I am going to be revamping my Youtube channel and trying to keep up with having original photography on here...

Olivia's Question: What are your goals for 2016?

Olivia-Savannah x

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Top 15 Reads of 2015 (and a mini-hiatus!)

Good morning everyone!

Today is my last day of school! Christmas and the New Year are very much almost upon us :D

Mini Hiatus announcement! I am going to be going on a mini hiatus. You should expect to see me back sometime after the 28th! I will be going to England to be with family for Christmas, and I also will be taking the time to get back into social media and write, read, etc. It's not a very long break (just about ten days) but I though I should let you all know nonetheless. When I get back I decided I am going to revamp my youtube channel and really put a lot of effort into it. I will also be working on making the best quality posts for the blog as well!

My top 15 reads of 2015. I know what you're thinking! But 2015 isn't over yet, so how are you possibly doing this? Well, I'm currently reading 7 books because I've been picking them up when I feel like it, and I know that none of them will be as epic as these ones although some will be very good. So here we go, in no particular order...





The Snapped Series by Ketley Allison

This is a series of short episodes and I loved each and every one. It was a twist up between fame, a murder mystery and also a lot of romance. It was incredibly hard for me to know who had done it and predict the outcome, and the suspense was running so high! Definitely got points for unpredictability and I couldn't stop reading. This would make an epic series on television. 


Open and Read by James P. Burns III

Well, you should all download this one for free or check out my giveaway of it running at the moment!

The best thing about this book was that it never failed to cheer me up, and the poetry was simplistic but beautiful. It earned a spot on this list just because of that. 


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I read these two books in the series this year and I know there is one more to come. Basically, before reading these I was a bit iffy with the romance genre and didn't like reading pure romances. But after reading these two and falling in love with them, I went on a contemporary and romance binge read. I couldn't get enough of the characters. I might have liked Lola and the Boy Next Door a little less than Anna and the French Kiss, but they are both still wonderful ^.^


The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

This is one I was gifted for my birthday from my friend. It reminded me of the Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch. As you likely already know, middle grade is not usually my genre. But I have read four middle grade books this year and loved each and every one. I'm started to think I do like middle grade fantasy and mystery books. Either way, this one was a magical London which had all sorts of things in it. The main character is a smart kid who decides he is going to play with djinni and gets into all sorts of trouble. And this one even has footnotes! I love footnotes in books!


Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

If you couldn't tell from my gushing review of this wonderful book, I just loved this one! I found it to be the perfect balance of dealing with a mental health issue, and yet still trying to live a life and a plot going on too. The cover is just mind-aweing and the book was just perfection inside and out. 


Variables of Love by MK Schiller

I think this was the book that surprised me the most. I chose it thinking it would be a YA romance. I couldn't have been more wrong because it was a NA romance that dealt with the issue of culture. Now, I don't usually read NA because it is too erotic for me in most cases but this book - this book was something else. It handled the issue with different cultures, opinions and values incredibly well and just left me reading until I got until the end. It's making me thinking again about the NA genre completely. 



Talking about brilliant romances... this one was perfect. It had two characters who I couldn't help but love and ship like crazy, and then it is also talked about two distinct kind of arts as well. It leaned a bit on looking to the future and ambitions, as well as a bit on the issue of mental health. I loved every page.


Violent Ends by a collection of authors

I read this one in the summer and it chilled me to the core. It's about a school shooting, and the book takes you to 17 different perspectives. Some of them are victims in the last moments, some of them are people he spared. Some of them are people he only encountered once, some have nothing to do with the school and one point of view was even the gun. It made me think a lot, and I have to say I was left speechless.


Inconceivable by Tegan Wren

This one was just so much fun to read, which is why it is on this list. I loved the voice of Hatty, the main character immediately. It's also a royal romance, and that aside it deals with the case of infertility. Seeing as Hatty is in with the royal family, there is a lot of pressure to have a successor as well. It handled the topic amazingly well because the author has experience with it herself, and half the profit from this book will go to a charity that supports women with infertility. How much better can that get?



Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray 

This one is the sequel to A Thousand Pieces of You which I read in 2014 and absolutely loved. I literally ticked down the days until this came out and was crushed when I heard I couldn't get a review copy because they don't send physical copies to the Netherlands and they didn't have ebook copies for reviews. A publisher I know pulled some strings and managed to get me one and I LOVE her for that because this book was devoured quickly and tasted sweet. The sequel was even better than book one in my opinion, and the set up has me eager for book three!


A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin 

So I read this one at the beginning of the year and it was long, but it was a glorious deep fantasy with battles and war and different points of view. Everything was so well planned that you can tell this book took some immense time. The game for the throne was just so well written and intrigued me, and there were characters I loved, and some I loved to hate. I can't wait to read the sequel!


The Complete Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi 

My other middle grade read for this year! This is one book I seriously wish I had read when I was a child because I know I would have loved it, just as much as I do from reading it now. There are goblins and elves and dwarves and all sorts of creatures. There are themes of family, divorce and sticking together through thick and thin. I also really liked that it was a band of siblings who all shared the main role. Just, read this one guys ^.^
 

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

I read the first four books in the Lunar Chronicles this year and I LOVED THEM. I am a big fan of retellings so I was already a bit partial to it when I started. But the characters in this series are just perfect. Although the first one was predictable and they generally have some predictable plot lines, it really is the journey they take to get there that makes the books so fun to read. I can't wait to read the last one in the beginning of the next year, and anything else Marissa Meyer writes you can know I will be buying. 


We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach 

I wasn't sure whether or not I was going to include this one or another book, but I decided to in the end because this one was just so realistic. My only issue with it was that it didn't portray teenagers in a very good light. However, it was still a good read and made me think a lot because it was written with elements of philosophic thinking tied in there. The ending was just the way it should've been, and I don't think the author could have made a better choice there.


We Were Liars by E. Lockhart 

The plot twist. The plot twist, the plot twist, the plot twist. That is all you really need to know. Once I finished the book I couldn't get over my mind-blown state of mind. I watched youtube videos with showed the insane amount of hints that the author had left but there was still no way I could predict what was going to happen. I pulled a lot of lovely quotes from this book and even wrote a poem based on it. That's the level of greatness it was at. 

New Video!



Olivia's Question: What was one of your favourite reads of 2015? 

Olivia-Savannah x