Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Snowed In? So Read! Giveaway

Welcome to the Snowed In? So Read! Giveaway Hop hosted by Stuck In Books! Up for grabs is any book you like, either YA or Adult and up to the value of $15 from the Book Depository as long as they deliver to your country - find the list of countries here. The only condition is that it must be something you would read whilst stuck indoors because of the weather, so a hefty big tome or something fluffy and so on, the choice is up to you :) The hop runs from now through to midnight on January 15th 2014 and simply follow the instructions on the rafflecopter to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the list below for lots more chances to win, thanks for entering and good luck!

Top Ten Tuesday #37 - Top Ten Books I Read In 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is -

Top Ten Books I Read In 2013

So, the top ten books I read in 2013 were quite hard to narrow down to just ten. After a lot of deliberation I came up with a plan and these are the ten books that I gave top marks to in 2013!

Fortunately, the Milk - Neil Gaiman

The Book of Secrets - Elizabeth Joy Arnold

Bitter Greens - Kate Forsyth

The Fairest of Them All - Carolyn Turgeon

Lover At Last - J R Ward

Midwinterblood - Marcus Sedgwick

Golden - Jessi Kirby

Throne of Glass - Sarah J Maas

Among Others - Jo Walton

Six Months Later - Natalie D Richards

Monday, 30 December 2013

2014 Series Challenge

So, in a bid to keep me on the straight & narrow I'm joining a very small number of challenges in 2014. Along with the annual Goodreads challenge I'm joining two (maybe three) others, the first of which is the 2014 Series Challenge hosted by Octavia at Read Sleep Repeat.

I am most definitely guilty of buying books in a series and then not reading them because I suffer from 'I'm waiting for the other books in the series to come out first just in case there are any nasty cliffhangers and I don't want to have to wait to find out what happens next' Syndrome - an officially recognized disorder amongst readers...

  • You have to FINISH the series
  • If the series isn’t complete yet, or will not be completed before December 1st, 2014 read up to the most recent book in said series.
  • Novellas count, but are optional.
  • HAVE fun.
  • If you decide to break up with a series after book one, it does not count!
  • You do not have to START the series in 2014, you just have to FINISH it in 2014
  • Series that you started prior to 2014 are fine as long as you FINISH the series in 2014
  • The series has to have at least 2 books out prior to December 1st, 2014
  • Proof that you finished the book is required. It could be a full review, a mini review, or a rating with a few lines.
  • DNF’s do not count. PERIOD.
I'm counting novellas, there are quite a few series that, although I'm yet to start them properly, I have read various novellas that accompany the books. I'm also adding a rule to the ones above to fit in with my own challenge - all books must already be owned by me or available from the library at some point over the next year. This is so I can stick to my plan of not buying any books during 2014!!! 
There are badges for those who finish the challenge, four different difficulty levels and the chance to win a prize! I'm going for Platinum which is twelve or more series, this shouldn't be a problem as I think I've probably got more than fifty series either not started or not finished! I'll update this list as I think of more series I would like to finish and to add links to my reviews when I finally get round to reading them. In the meantime, enjoy the start of my list!

In my 'started' list I'll only list books I've read and in my 'not started' list it'll be books I own but haven't read.

Series Finished

Benny Imura - Jonathan Maberry

First Night Memories - read in 2013

Rot & Ruin - read in 2012

In the Land of the Dead - read in  2013

Dust & Decay - read in 2013

Dead & Gone - read in 2013

Flesh & Bone - read in  2013

Tooth & Nail - read in 2013

*Fire & Ash - read in 2014

Chemical Garden - Lauren Destefano

Wither - read in 2013

*Fever - read in 2014

*Sever - read in 2014

Divergent - Veronica Roth

Divergent - read in 2012

*Insurgent - read in 2014

*Allegiant - read in 2014

Eve - Anna Carey




Mortal Instruments - Cassandra Clare

City of Bones - read in 2008

City of Ashes - read in 2008

*City of Glass - read in 2014

*City of Fallen Angels - read in 2014

*City of Lost Souls - read in 2014

*City of Heavenly Fire - read in 2014

Series Started But Not Finished

Across the Universe - Beth Revis

Across the Universe - read in 2011

Dark Heart - Lee Monroe

Dark Heart Forever - read in 2011

Dark Heart Rising - read in 2014

Daughter of Smoke & Bone - Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone - read in 2013

Fracture - Megan Miranda

*Eleven Minutes (Prequel Novella) - read in 2014

*Fracture - read in 2014

Gods & Monsters - Kelly Keaton

Darkness Becomes Her - read in 2013

*A Beautiful Evil - read in 2014

Infernal Devices - Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel - read in 2010

Matched - Ally Condie

Matched - read in 2010!

The Grisha - Leigh Bardugo

The Witch of Duva - read in 2013

The Hollows - Kim Harrison

Dead Witch Walking- read in

Series Not Started

Fire & Thorns - Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire & Thorns

Lumatere Chronicles - Melina Marchetta

Finnikin of the Rock

Froi of the Exiles

Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me

Unearthly - Cynthia Hand





Sunday, 29 December 2013

End Of The Year Survey 2013

I've seen this survey by Jamie* for a couple of years now but am only now deciding to jump in and take part. I think this is a great way of keeping a record of 'best of' the year so hopefully this will become an annual event for me too. Going through my answers you may come to the conclusion that I only read a handful of books this year as I mention a few titles frequently, it's only because I really loved them and I want everyone to read them!

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

I've got no idea how to narrow this down, I've read some amazing books but I think I'll go with what I've seen on a few other blogs and choose one adult title & one YA title!

Adult - Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

YA - Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

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

Thorn Abbey by Nancy Ohlin

I love Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier and was really excited about this one but it was a huge letdown. Whilst I enjoyed it for the story it was I didn't feel it captured the menacing atmosphere or Gothic creepiness that Rebecca has.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

Shiloh - Helena Sorensen
Every now and then you come across hidden gems and Shiloh was one of them this year so a huge thank you to Helena for sending me a copy!

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

Bitter Greens - Kate Forsyth

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

I couldn't choose between these two so you get both - Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor and Glamourist Histories by Mary Robinette Kowal

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

I'm going to say Laini Taylor but this is cheating slightly as I read the first Dreamdark book, Blackbringer, last year. I think she qualifies though as this is the year I finally got round to reading Daughter of Smoke & Bone!

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Can't really answer this with just one title but I would say YA contemporary which I never used to read at all but this year I appear to have read quite a few.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

Golden by Jessi Kirby, Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth, Six Months Later by Natalie Richards and Among Others by Jo Walton

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth (I know I've mentioned this three times already but I really loved this book!)

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

The Dark Is Rising - Susan Cooper

This is another one that may be a bit of a cheat because I re-read The Dark Is Rising at least every other year but look at that cover!!!

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

Karou from Daughter of Smoke & Bone, gotta love a girl with blue hair and also Taylor from Second Chance Summer. I have only just read this in the last week but having been through the same thing (with my mum) that she's going through with her dad I knew exactly how she felt.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth and Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick. There's something about these two authors' writing that gives me chills.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, First Last Kiss by Ali Harris and Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson, any book that makes me cry makes an impact but these three are the books that resonated most with me this year.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?  

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor, I am kicking myself for letting it sit unread on my shelf for so long...

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

I don't really do quotes very often but this one from The Book of Secrets by Elizabeth Joy Arnold is spot-on about book lovers - even if we don't admit to doing it!

“I ran my fingers over the text then held the book up to my face, closed my eyes and inhaled the sweet-sour scent of old paper and binding glue. Did everyone who loved books do this when they encountered a new one? I loved the physicality of books just as much as the stories inside, the feel of pages between my fingers, the intricacies of classic fonts winding along the neatly lined rows of words.” 

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Longest - Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (864 pages)

Shortest (not including novellas) - The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry (95 pages)

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

I feel like this about every book! Too many to narrow it down so that's my answer :)

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

The relationship between Chloe and the Sinclair children (Nate, Cecelia & Grace) in The Book of Secrets by Elizabeth Joy Arnold

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Fairest Of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon. I've read a few of Carolyn's books now, mainly the fairy tale-ish ones but this one is my favorite so far.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else

If I Stay - Gayle Forman

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

According to Goodreads the genre I've read most books from is Fantasy which is probably right, at heart I'll always be a fantasy fan in one form or another.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

I've never really done crushes on book characters unless you count Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables when I was younger...

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

If You Find Me - Emily Murdoch

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

I could list a lot of books here but I won't! Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth, Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor and The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

The Humans - Matt Craig

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and The First Last Kiss by Ali Harris. Both of these had me crying in that big sobbing, snotty mess way - and in public too, as I read both whilst on the train. What worried me though was the fact that everybody around me ignored the fact I was sobbing loudly!

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

Among Others - Jo Walton


 1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014? 

Two books for me, Cinder and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer and hopefully before my copy of Cress arrives in February!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)? 

Two by the same author, The Caller and Dreamer's Pool both by Juliet Marillier. Fingers crossed neither of these get pushed back to 2015...

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Half Bad - Sally Green

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014? 

As usual I'm oblivious to what series are ending in 2014 so I'm going to say all the series enders I'm going to read as part of the 2014 Series Challenge I've signed up for!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?   

Just one thing??? I could list dozens but I'll narrow it down to a) being more organized in writing reviews & blog posts and b) finding more great books to share with you!

If you've taken part in the End of the Year Survey leave me a link, I'd love to check out your answers too! 

* End of Year Survey images from Jamie @ Perpetual Page Turner 

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Book Haul #57

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly event hosted on Tynga's Reviews and Letterbox Love is a UK edition hosted by Narratively Speaking. Here we can share what new books we've picked up this past week. There are also lots of other 'book haul' memes out there for you to choose from!

As I thought I didn't get books for Christmas from other people but I certainly treated myself! I splurged on something I've needed coveted wanted for a while and also picked up a few extras - I should never go shopping with my sister as we always seem to end up spending a small fortune, we enable each other! This is the last book haul that would include books I've bought, I'm going to try and be good in 2014 which means only reading books I already own, that come from the library or if I'm lucky, review titles. It's going to be hard but I have so many things I want to do and that means saving the pennies!


The Dark Is Rising - Susan Cooper (Folio Society)

The Nightmare Before Christmas - Tim Burton

Path of Needles - Alison Littlewood
These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt

Familiar Spirit - Lisa Tuttle

The Pillow Friend - Lisa Tuttle

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope that wherever you are you're enjoying the holidays and Santa has brought you lots of books!

Back in a few days...

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #36 - Books I'd Like Santa To Bring!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is -

Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me

This turned out to be quite hard, I never get books at Christmas or for my birthday, the only way it happens if someone gives me a gift certificate and I choose them myself.  Therefore, narrowing down this list to just ten took quite some time because I just didn't know what to pick!

Cabinet of Curiosities - Guillermo del Toro

Charm & Strange - Stephanie Kuehn

Once We Were - Kat Zhang

Shadows - Robin McKinley

Dracula - Bram Stoker

The Coldest Girl In Coldtown - Holly Black

Summer Morning, Summer Night - Ray Bradbury

Kinslayer - Jay Kristoff

Through the Zombie Glass - Gena Showalter

Never Fade - Alexandra Bracken

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Bout of Books 9.0

Hurrah! The first read-a-thon of the new year so it would be rude not to take part! I think I managed 9 books in BoB 8.0 so that's my goal for this time too, a more detailed goals post will appear shortly before January 6th when the reading madness starts again.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

If you feel like joining in the fun be sure to write a post saying you're insane enough to join BoB 9.0 and add your link here.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Book Haul #56

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly event hosted on Tynga's Reviews and Letterbox Love is a UK edition hosted by Narratively Speaking. Here we can share what new books we've picked up this past week. There are also lots of other 'book haul' memes out there for you to choose from!

So, January 1st is just around the corner and my year of not buying books starts! I'm making the most of these last few days of buying and picking up books that I really want to read but know that my library won't get in. Unless I get books for Christmas - which I never do - this will probably be my last big book haul :( But on the bright side, I have Unhinged!!!


Witch Finder - Ruth Warburton

When the Sea is Rising Red - Cat Hellisen

Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea - April Genevieve Tucholke

A Darkness Strange & Lovely - Susan Dennard

All Our Pretty Songs - Sarah McCarry

Skarlet - Thomas Emson

Goth Girl & the Ghost of a Mouse - Chris Riddell

Unhinged - A G Howard


Fae - C J Abedi

The Secret of Isobel Key - Jen McConnel

Doon - Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

The Winter Witch - Paula Brackston

Kindle Freebies

Sunset Rising - S M McEachern

Descended - Debra Ann Miller


Perfect Ruin - Lauren Destafano

The Wood Queen - Karen Mahoney

Dark Heart Rising - Lee Monroe

Monster High - Lisi Harrison

Black Ships - Jo Graham

Red Rock - Kate Kelly

The Silence of Ghosts - Jonathan Aycliffe

Night School: Fracture - C J Daugherty

The Shadow Year - Hannah Richell

Ice - Sarah Beth Durst

For review

Mistress of the Wind - Michelle Diener

Maybe One Day - Melissa Kantor

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