The A-Z Bookish Survey

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Bookish questions are my absolute favourite questions to answer – there is just something I find very satisfying in sifting through the books you’ve read to figure out the answers to a book-related tag. So, today I am doing the A-Z Bookish Survey: 26 bookish questions, each starting with a different letter of the alphabet. Thank you to Alice (@ Most Ardently Alice) for tagging me; I have seen this tag floating around for a while and loved the look of it, so I am very excited to answer the questions myself!

Author you’ve read the most books from:

Definitely Cassandra Clare – I have read all of her books, I’m pretty sure, and I own all except the two books in The Dark Artifices series. They have their own space in my room, so that I can go back and reread them easily.

Best Sequel Ever:

For this, I have to say The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury. I really enjoyed The Sin Eater’s Daughter, but the sequel was the book that really made me fall in love with the trilogy, and it added so much wonderful depth to the plot.

Currently Reading:

I am currently reading Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, which I am loving – I really enjoy Jane Austen’s writing, and I always find her books entertaining and adorable.

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Review – Flame in the Mist

23308087Title: Flame in the Mist
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Published by: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date: 16th May 2017
Pages: 416, hardback
Genre:
 young adult, fantasy, romance, retelling

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

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Flame in the Mist was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017, but somehow I never got around to reading it! I finally picked it up after writing my blog post on my fantasy TBR, which got me really in the mood for this genre, and I am so glad I did not wait any longer. I have been looking forward to sharing this review all week, as I have so much love for this book!

What intrigued me about this book from the beginning was it’s marketing: a retelling of Milan. Sounds perfect, right? Once I started reading, I found that it the story followed the plot of Mulan very loosely; aside from the fact that Mariko disguised herself as a boy, the story really took on a life of its own, which I loved! This book was action packed, with a little bit of romance and mystery, which, in my opinion, is absolutely perfect.

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Scholastic Bloggers’ Book Feast 2018

On Saturday, I attended Scholastic’s Bloggers’ Book Feast for the second time! It’s been so long since I have gone to any book events (I think the last one was YALC in the summer), and I hadn’t realised how much I missed doing bookish stuff that wasn’t confined to social media. It was so wonderful to see some of my blogging friends again, and to make some new ones!

I travelled to the event with my sister and fellow blogger, Jess, and because I have absolutely no time management skills whatsoever we were a couple minutes late, but still were right on time for the beginning! We started by hearing about Scholastic’s 2018 releases, which was very exciting, and has me desperate for 2018 to hurry up already so that I can read all these books! Here’s the complete list, in chronological order:

  1. Shell by Paula Rawsthorne
  2. The Light Jar by Lisa Thompson
  3. Tender by Eve Ainsworth
  4. The State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury
  5. Spark by Alice Broadway
  6. The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill
  7. Night of the Party by Tracey Mathias
  8. Your Turn to Die by Sue Wallman
  9. Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
  10. Noah Could Never by Simon James Green
  11. A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood
  12. Showstopper 2 by Hayley Barker
  13. A Storm of Ice and Stars by Lisa Lueddecke

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YA Fantasy On My TBR

It’s been so long since I read some fantasy, despite the fact it is my favourite genre! My fantasy TBR has been getting far too long, and most of the books on there are part of a series! Anyway, the books on here range from very recent, to slightly older, but they are the books that are at the top of my TBR!

 

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh – this will hopefully be one of the books on this list that I get to sooner, considering I own a copy! I’ve heard that this story was inspired by Mulan, which is unbelievably cool, and I think will make for a fantastic story!

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – I have yet to read anything by Holly Black, but this book has been so highly praised ever since it was released at the beginning of the year. This particular fantasy novel is about faeries, which is a branch of fantasy I have not read much of, so I am very excited to read this book!

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Review – No Filter

29478908Title: No Filter
Author: Orlagh Collins
Published by: Bloomsbury
Publication date: 13th July 2017
Pages: 355, hardback
Genre:
 young adult, contemporary, romance

This is the story of THAT SUMMER … the one when everything changes.

Emerald has grown up in a privileged world – the beloved daughter of a wealthy family, friends with all the right people, social media addict. But Emerald’s family has secrets – and when Emerald finds her mum unconscious on the bathroom floor, no one can pretend any more. Now she’s being packed off to stay with her grandma in Ireland while her mum recuperates and her dad just works and works and works. 

Grandma’s big, lonely house is set back from the beach, and there’s no phone signal or wifi. It’s going to be a long summer … Until she meets Liam. 

When you’re falling in love, it’s hard to tell someone everything. Even if you’ve got nothing to hide any more. And when secrets and lies are all you’re used to, how do you deal with real love – brave and true – with no filter? 

The fresh, funny and poignant debut novel from Orlagh Collins, a bright new voice in YA fiction. Authentic, down to earth and sweepingly romantic all at once, No Filter is perfect for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Goodreads | A Great Read 

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No Filter was one of the books I read last month, making it one of my first YA reads of 2018! I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of this book by Orlagh, the author of No Filter, as I am going to be interviewing her next month as part of the YA Shot Blog Tour. In the mean time, I read this book, and thought I would review it!

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In January I Read | 2018

My new reading goal for 2018 is to read 60 books, leveling out at five books a month. I had honestly thought I could do that without a problem, but whilst I did read five books in January, I read the first four within the first twelve days, and then finished the last one just before midnight on the 31st! So I think five was a good number to settle on, and I read some really great books this month.

First of all, I read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – this took me a little while to get through, as I found it quite hard to get into at first, but I eventually warmed to the style of writing and the plot. I watched the film of A Tale of Two Cities in December, and I had enjoyed that, and I think that made the book easier to digest. My favourite part of this book was definitely the ending, which left me feeling quite unexpectedly emotional (and if you are interested in reading this particular classic, you can buy it from A Great Read for just £2.50!). ✮✮✮

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After that, I read my first YA book of the year – Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a huge fan of this book; I found the protagonist very annoying, and I really struggled to get to grips with the plot and the narrative style. I did start to enjoy the book more around halfway through, but I was overall slightly disappointed with this read (I reviewed it in full here, if you are interested in hearing more of my thoughts!). ✮✮✮

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January: How Are My Goals Going So Far?

The first month of 2018 has flown by already, and I think it’s time for a bit of reflection. I haven’t really touched upon the personal goals I set myself for 2018, and I am not even going to talk about all of them in this blog post; I will be mentioning quite a number, however, and they are all non-bookish ones!

If you’re serious about sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions, I think January is crucial – if you can’t stick to it in the first month of the year, what hope is there for the remaining eleven? So don’t worry, I’m not going to be doing these every month, but I thought that as it is now the end of January, I would reflect on my progress so far! I am considering doing a monthly round up of this kind more often, one which focuses on things that happened in my personal life each month, so let me know if you think that would be interesting!

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I went to see at the Winter Lights in Canary Wharf on the weekend. It was such a nice atmosphere, and the lights were, unsurprisingly, stunning.

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