21/06/2016

Rating the 9 Books of 2016 I’ve Actually Read So Far

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic: Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far This Year.

I’ve never been one who’s always on top of new releases. I like to read some reviews and hear some opinions after the hype has slowed down, because it’s one of the ways I can keep my TBR somewhat in control *coughs*. HOWEVER. Being more active in the book community means I’m paying more attention to new releases this year and I actually really enjoy being more in the loop! I’ve read nine 2016 releases so far, so I’m going to change the theme of this weeks Top Ten Tuesday a bit to be able to participate.

I will order this list from highest to lowest rating. Which means it starts with..

1. A Gathering of Shadows – V. E. Schwab / published February 23rd
Rating: ★★★★★
My first true 5 star rating of this year! I looooved this sequel and can’t wait for the next installment.

2. A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J. Maas / published May 3rd
Rating: ★★★★1/2
It was SO GOOD to be back in this world and even more awesome characters are added to the mix. I was pretty much on #teamRhys already after reading A Court of Thorns and Roses, but now I can say he’s perfect and he’s my imaginary husband and all that jazzzz.

3. The Hidden Oracle – Rick Riordan / published May 3rd
Rating: ★★★★
Another new series by Rick Riordan and this one worked way better for me than Magnus Chase. It’s very much a Percy Jackson style book, but with a new main character who’s very different than Riordan has written before.

4. A Study in Charlotte – Brittany Cavallaro / published March 1st
Rating: ★★★1/2
I really enjoyed A Study in Charlotte, but the end felt lacking and too easy and well..  the mystery was better when it was still a mystery :’)

5. And I Darken – Kiersten White / expected June 28th
Rating: ★★★1/2
This was a special read for me because it was my very first advance reading copy I got approved for on NetGalley. I loved Lada, one of the main characters and am curious to read how this series continues, but the story drags in the middle and I got bored.

6. Kindred Spirits – Rainbow Rowell / published February 25th
Rating: ★★★1/2
A short story I read during Deweys 24 Hour Read-a-Thon. Cute, true Rainbow Rowell style about a Star Wars fangirl (see what I did there) waiting in line for the new movie.

7. Rebel of the Sands – Alwyn Hamilton / published February 4th
Rating: ★★★
I was so excited and immediately got it after I spotted it in the bookstore. The cover is gorgeous, but I didn’t really had a connection with the characters. Near the end, more fantasy elements were added and then I started to like it more.

8. Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet – Charlie N. Holmberg / expected June 28th
Rating: ★★★
The premise sounded so interesting: a girl who infuses her cakes and cookies with emotions during baking. But unfortunately, this was but a small part of the story. I felt confused at some point and didn’t really care for the ending.

9. Glass Sword – Victoria Aveyard / published February 9th
Rating: ★★
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Red Queen but still found it enjoyable. But I had a hard time with Glass Sword. It was still a fast read, but nope, the writing was messy and I found the main character Very Annoying.

15/06/2016

My most anticipated releases for the second half of 2016

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic: the most anticipated releases for the second half of 2016.

For the second half of 2016, there are a few books I’m absolutely counting the days for until release day! For the others, they’re more of a ‘I’ve already seen them around a lot in the book community so I’ve added them to my TBR too’ choice.

So, the books I can’t wait to get my hands on? Probably no big surprises here:

EMPIRE OF STORMS – SARAH J. MAAS

Expected September 6th

My boyfriend once asked me if I was in love with Sarah J. Maas because apparently I talk a lot about her books? Especially after the amazingness that was A Court of Mist and Fury, I couldn’t shut up about it. I already want to reread ACOMAF! And then we also get a new book in the Throne of Glass series. Yesssss. I’m thinking of rereading the entire series to refresh my memory (and actually referring to it as the Empire of Storms pre-party in my head).

CROOKED KINGDOM – LEIGH BARDUGO

Expected September 27th

I looooved Six of Crows because of the amazing characters and thrilling story. I can’t wait to see what Bardugo does next and want to be reunited with the gang ASAP.

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD – J.K. ROWLING

Expected July 31st 

Because Harry Potter. Duh.

THIS SAVAGE SONG – VICTORIA SCHWAB

Expected July 5th 

I’ve been swooning over A Gathering of Darkness for days now. It was perfect and my first 5 star rating of this year! I’m not really one to hand out 5 star ratings easily (even A Court of Mist and Fury didn’t get the whole 5 out of 5 because there were a few (sex) scenes that didn’t work for me),  so that says enough about how much I loved it. Now I’m planning on reading more of her books – Vicious is already on its way to me – and the blurb for This Savage Song sounds so cool!

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The next books are some that I’ve added to my to read list, but am not as impatiently waiting on as those above:

THE HAMMER OF THOR – RICK RIORDAN

Expected October 4th

While I didn’t really like the first book in the Magnus Chase series, I loved Rick Riordan’s other new series (Trials of Apollo). So hopefully, The Hammer of Thor has a bit more of the Apollo vibes.

FURTHERMORE – TAHEREH MAFI

Expected August 30th

LOOK AT THAT COVER. I think it’s gorgeous and that’s one of the reason it’s on my TBR. I haven’t read the Shatter Me series so I have no idea what her writing style is like, but I’ll definitely try this one.

HEARTLESS – MARISSA MEYER

Expected November 8th

This year, I finally dove into The Lunar Chronicles and thought it was so good! I liked how there were some elements of the fairy tales but also were completely new stories. Heartless promises to be another great retelling.

A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING – JESSICA CLUESS

Expected September 20th

Because this sounds really cool:

“Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers.”

STRANGE THE DREAMER – LAINI TAYLOR

Expected September 27th

Haven’t read anything by Laini Taylor but this book has been getting some hype already. Or at least, I’ve seen it in a lot of video’s and BEA-hauls!

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR – NICOLA YOON

Expected November 1st

Everything, Everything is still waiting untouched on my selves to finally get some attention (I will get to you soon, book, I promise!) buuuuut this cover is equally colorful and it sounds like a cute contemporary.

Are any of these books on your list of anticipated reads for the second half of the year?

11/01/2016

Bookish resolutions for 2016

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Fight the never ending TBR

Like many, many readers, I find myself stuck in the to be read trap as well. I’m always adding books to my TBR list. When scrolling through Instagram or reading blogs or Goodreads, I hardly ever leave without writing down an author or title I want to read.

Unfortunately, my reading speed doesn’t match my adding books pace. Which results in brand new books on my shelves that have never been touched, apart from when I put them there. So this year, I want to read at least one book from my TBR a month.

Participate in reading challenges

2015 was the first year I set a Goodreads goal. It helped me to get back into reading regularly. It doesn’t feel as a burden for me, but works as motivation. I’ve set my number for this year: 60 books. Challenges are a good way to keep myself motivated.

I’ve seen some fun challenges, like the fairy tale retelling challenge or the Rock your TBR or reading more classics. But I didn’t want to drown in my own enthusiasm so I decided on one big challenge for this year. It’s the Around the Year in 52 Books challenge, over on Goodreads.

I like it because it has enough ‘save’ categories for books already on my TBR, but also some themes that will help me read outside my comfort zone. And I tried to sneak in some classic in as well. You can check out my reading plan for this challenge here.

Become smarter Read more classics

I’m reading a lot of young adult, which I love. But I’ve always liked diving in to classics as well. Mostly when I’m on vacation and have the time and concentration for something a bit more slow paced. I remember that feeling of accomplishment when I finally finished Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Oh man. I felt so proud.

However, I haven’t read a classic in ages! A shame, because I like learning more about classics and their influence on the bookish world. Maybe it will also help me reach my lifelong goal of being one of those people who can quote smart things from memory. Or finally understand references without googling them.

via GIPHY

ok, moving onnnn…

Get to know the book community

The last few months of 2015, I slowly discovered the bookish world online. The Broke and The Bookish hosts a yearly Secret Santa I’m so glad I joined last year. I had so much fun reading all the messages everyone posted. That’s why I would love to participate more in discussions, comment more on blogs and post more frequently on Instagram.

I love the whole bookstagram community. The people are awesome and I’ve discovered a lot of new books already. The photos are gorgeous as well and so inspiring. So I’m going to make more of an effort to post nice pictures as well (instead of a random picture every few weeks – my current Instagram routine).

Make more notes while reading

I’m a pretty fast reader. Most of the time, that’s a good thing. I should make a habit of making small notes though. When I like a book, I race through it because I don’t want to stop. It’s easy to forget things when it’s an action packed book. When I have almost no notes, I find it so hard to write a review. Reviewing books helps me to understand them better and think about the story and characters on a deeper level.

What are your reading goals for 2016? Are you participating in any reading challenges?

04/01/2016

My most anticipated releases for the first half of 2016

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic: the most anticipated releases for the first half of 2016.

While I’m usually not one to look very far ahead when it comes to books, I’ve shelved quite some 2016 releases over on Goodreads. I’m reallyreallyreally excited for two new Sarah J. Maas books this year. The fifth Throne of Glass novel isn’t due until September though, so that’s not featured in this list.

A COURT OF MIST AND FURY – SARAH J. MAAS

Expected May 3rd

A Court of Thorns and Roses was one of my favorite reads of 2015. I can’t believe Sarah J. Maas pulls it off to write two AMAZING series at the same time, with worlds so unique and detailed. I absolutely loved all the characters and can’t wait to see what happens next (and if I’m officially going to be #teamRhysand or if Tamlin is going to win me back).

TRUTHWITCH – SUSAN DENNARD

Expected January 5th

While I haven’t read anything by Susan Dennard myself, I’ve heard so many positive things. The premise of Truthwitch sounds amazing. Great world building and character development are two of my most valued things in books and that seems to be the case here. Witches! Magic! Epic friendship!

PASSENGER – ALEXANDRA BRACKEN

Expected January 5th

Two highly anticipated books released on the same day?! People are going to be reading ’til way after midnight on this day, I guess. I read Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds last year. I loved the idea and it was off to a great start, but unfortunately it lost that magic later on. I’ve heard great things about Passenger so far though, so I’m really curious.

A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE – BRITTANY CAVALLARO

Expected March 1st

The great-great-grandson of John Watson and the great-great-granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes meet in this YA mystery novel. SOLD.

BLACKHEARTS – NICOLE CASTROMAN

Expected February 9th

This one is a Blackbeard retelling, a story of his pre-pirate years. While I would’ve loved the actual pirate story, I’m intrigued by this synopsis as well. It promises more of an historical fiction romance, and that’s fine by me.

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GLASS SWORD – VICTORIA AVEYARD

Expected February 9th

OK so I didn’t LOVE Red Queen.. I rated it 3.5 stars because overall, the whole story felt unoriginal. But I enjoyed the writing and I’m curious to see how it all continues. Also, it will probably be one of the most read books of 2016 so can’t keep that one waiting, can I?

FRONT LINES – MICHAEL GRANT

Expected January 26th

I’ve read the Gone series over the past few years and really enjoyed them (even though the last books had some gory scenes). Michael Grant writes captivating stories and I’m looking forward to his new project. It’s about three girls fighting at the front lines of World War II – an alternate history!

BURNING GLASS – KATHRYN PURDIE

Expected March 1st

This one has great reviews already and it sounds very promising. A new fantasy trilogy and with over 500 pages, not a short one. So that should be more than enough for amazing world building and great characters, right? But I might be setting myself up for some disappointment with this enthusiasm. The whole ‘choosing between two royal brothers’ thing sounds a bit too Red Queenie for me though. I’m going to keep an eye on the reviews when we’re getting closer to the release date.

SALT TO THE SEA – RUTA SEPETYS

Expected February 2nd

I’m hoping to read the author’s first book, Between Shades of Gray, sometime soon. Salt to the Sea sounds like another beautiful, haunting historical fiction. It’s a World War II story as well, but about a mostly unknown part of the war.

And where is number 10? Well, it was going to be Sword and Verse. But the reviews haven’t been great so my hopes aren’t as high anymore.

Which books are on your list? Are we anticipating some of the same novels? Let me know!