Posted in General Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday: Books by Unread Authors!

It’s time for another Top 5 Saturday, a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and this week’s topic is: books by unread authors you want to read. Friends, I’m loving and hating this prompt because it’s a keen reminder of all of the unread books sitting sadly on my shelves and the guilt is making itself known just a little bit right now and it’s making me feel like such an irresponsible reader! *flails dramatically under mountain of guilt* Now, with that out of the way, here are five books by unread authors that I’m hoping to read before the end of 2019! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

SYNOPSIS: How far will you go to protect your family? Will you keep their secrets? Ignore their lies? In a small town in Virginia, a group of people know each other because theyโ€™re part of a special treatment center, a hyperbaric chamber that may cure a range of conditions from infertility to autism. But then the chamber explodes, two people die, and itโ€™s clear the explosion wasnโ€™t an accident. A powerful showdown unfolds as the story moves across characters who are all maybe keeping secrets, hiding betrayals. Chapter by chapter, we shift alliances and gather evidence: Was it the careless mother of a patient? Was it the owners, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? Could it have been a protester, trying to prove the treatment isnโ€™t safe?

The Farm by Joanne Ramos

SYNOPSIS: Nestled in the Hudson Valley is a sumptuous retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, private fitness trainers, daily massagesโ€”and all of it for free. In fact, you get paid big moneyโ€”more than you’ve ever dreamed ofโ€”to spend a few seasons in this luxurious locale. The catch? For nine months, you belong to the Farm. You cannot leave the grounds; your every move is monitored. Your former life will seem a world away as you dedicate yourself to the all-consuming task of producing the perfect baby for your รผberwealthy clients. Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines and a struggling single mother, is thrilled to make it through the highly competitive Host selection process at the Farm. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her own young daughter’s well-being, Jane grows desperate to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on deliveryโ€”or worse.

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

SYNOPSIS: Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own. Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, sheโ€™s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her fatherโ€™s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayerโ€”a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago. Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akiraโ€”a brilliant investigator whoโ€™s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

How to Make Friends With the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow

SYNOPSIS: Here is what happens when your mother dies.
Itโ€™s the brightest day of summer and itโ€™s dark outside. Itโ€™s dark in your house, dark in your room, and dark in your heart. You feel like the darkness is going to split you apart.
Thatโ€™s how it feels for Tiger. Itโ€™s always been Tiger and her mother against the world. Then, on a day like any other, Tigerโ€™s mother dies. And now itโ€™s Tiger, alone.
Here is how you learn to make friends with the dark.

Birthday by Meredith Russo

SYNOPSIS: Two kids, Morgan and Eric, are bonded for life after being born on the same day at the same time. We meet them once a year on their shared birthday as they grow and change: as Eric figures out who he is and how he fits into the world, and as Morgan makes the difficult choice to live as her true self. Over the years, they will drift apart, come together, fight, make up, and break upโ€”and ultimately, realize how inextricably they are a part of each other.

Are any of these books on your own list? What books by unread authors would you have on your list? Any of them to be read before 2019 ends?

Posted in General Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday: Books with a Survival Theme!

It’s time for another Top 5 Saturday, a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and this week’s topic is: books with a survival theme. So it’s been a hot minute since I participated in a top five saturday post because I’ve either been too busy on the weekend or I’ve just been too mentally drained to feel inspired, but I’m glad to be back this week. That said, I’ve pretty much drawn a blank for this week’s prompt because do I even have any books with survival themes on my TBR or read list? Then again, ‘survival theme’ has a pretty broad scope and can be interpreted in a few ways: actual survival from the elements/nature or survival of a trying situations. So I’m going to do my best with that for my list of five books that I want to read one day!

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
I’ve not read the book or seen the movie (with Reese Witherspoon!) but I’ve heard some pretty amazing reviews about this book. It’s definitely one I’m keen to check out!

The Stand by Stephen King
This is a story about those who survived after a worldwide plague killed off 99% of the population. I have no doubt that this post-apocalyptic story is going to be creepy AF (I mean just look at that cover?) and we all know how I am with creepy books. But it just sounds too good to not try!

The Revenant by Michael Punke
I really enjoyed the movie when it came out and have been interested in the book ever since. It sounds like a brutal story about survival and revenge after being left to die in the Rocky Mountains!

These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman & Megan Spooner
I haven’t had this one sitting on my tbr for too long but I’ve been wanting to read another book by Kaufman for a while now! This is about survival in space with a bit of romance thrown in!

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
This one is very obviously a different kind of survival story but it’s very much a survival story. I’m super keen to read it as I’ve heard so many great things; I just really hope it lives up to all the hype!

Have you read any of my ‘survival themed’ book picks? Any recs on which one to start first and any more recs to add to my list?!
Come let me know in the comments and let’s chat! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Posted in General Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday: Books That Cast A Spell On Me!

It’s time for another Top 5 Saturday, a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and this week’s topic is: books that cast a spell on me. I think this topic is pretty open to interpretation; it can be about a book that wrapped you up completely in its story, it can be a book whose cover enchanted you, it can be a magical/witchy story. For this one I think I’m going to look at five books that cast a spell on me by completely wrapping me up in its story, only to spit me out at the end in a daze (almost always very satisfied with the ending and most of the time also emotionally destroyed).

After hearing so much hype about this book, I read it together with a group of bookstagram buddies in June and it completely shattered me. I a crying hot mess by the end of this story–and I’m not just talking about silent tears, it was the ugly kind of crying where I couldn’t catch my breath. This book honestly sucked me in so much that I felt like I’d never been SO INVESTED in the lives of book characters before I read it. Obviously, that’s not true, but the story swept me up completely and I was lost in both Isabelle and Vianne’s lives. If you love historical fiction set during WWII/the Holocaust, strong/bad ass female characters, sister relationships, and a touch of romance, then read this book!

I literally just finished this book yesterday and every time I picked this book up, I felt completely immersed in this terrifying gothic tale. It’s like a shroud of creeping horror would be pulled over my head each time I started reading it again (you can get I made sure to only read it during the day)! It was really unique and I don’t think I’ve read anything like this before. It was definitely refreshing to read a retelling based one of the more obscure fairytales by the Brothers Grimm.

I honestly don’t know what to say about this book other than it gave me the biggest book hangover of my life. I wasn’t able to focus on another book for almost a month after finishing ALL! I also spent a full day in bed after finishing it bawling my eyes out and basically scaring everyone at home who came to check on me to make sure I was well (I WASN’T). This is probably one of the most difficult books I’ve read emotionally and mentally. There’s a lot of criticism against it but also a lot of praise for it–I kind of feel like there’s no middle ground when it comes to ALL. But I was completely in it all the way to the heartbreaking end. THIS BOOK.

This book has been shared a lot every where by everyone and I think by now a lot of people are sick of hearing it always be recommended (same might go for The Nightingale actually lol). But the way Owens wrote about the marsh teeming full of all kinds of life, and about Kya, the Marsh Girl, who absolutely stole my heart, definitely cast a spell on me. This was a very slow paced novel, but it was so atmospheric, I felt I could smell the tang of the salt from the sea, the dragging humidity of the marsh, and the call of the wildlife all around me. It was beautifully written and one of my favorites this year!

I’ve mentioned this book frequently on this blog. This was my first Gaiman and it was what made me want to catapult myself into the wildly bizarre and captivating worlds in his stories. I was enchanted by the dark and magical elements of London Below. I love stories that write an alternate reality of places I’ve been and am somewhat familiar with. My imagination would love to believe much of it is true, although it would also be terrifying.

What are the books that cast a spell on you? Any of these get you like they did me? I’d love to know in the comments below! Let’s chat! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Posted in General Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday: Books with the Scariest Covers!

It’s time for another Top 5 Saturday, a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and this week’s topic is: books with the scariest covers. If you don’t know me by now I’m letting you in on a not-so-big-secret: I’m a BIG chicken. Like, all the ghosty-spooky things are really not my jam! So it should come as no surprise that I have few to no books with scary covers on my shelf. I actually just acquired one today and since figuring out what’s on the cover, I’ve been sufficiently freaked out ๐Ÿ˜‚Just to be clear, I had to look up some scary covers for this one and I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be sleeping with the lights on tonight ๐Ÿ™ƒAlso, I totes realize that what’s scary for me probably won’t be that scary for others; I’m really that much of a wuss! LOL (and of course a dog starts barking loudly and abruptly while I’m writing this post, shattering the complete silence of the evening. How am I getting to sleep tonight?!)

Rules for Vanishing by Katie Alice Marshall
I honestly didn’t figure out what was on this cover until I saw it about six times. When it clicked I just went: OMFG and closed the tab. Of course when I saw it at the bookstore today I went ahead and picked it up anyway — my excuse is that I’m challenging myself to read outside of my comfort zone this month? I’m really just a masochist who loves to torture herself by getting even less sleep than usual!

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
I haven’t read this book but I’ve seen the movie and all I can remember from it are the dogs that die and that absolutely broke my heart ๐Ÿ˜ญThis cover is sufficiently creepy though! Especially with that red background!?

Unwind (Unwind Dystology #1) by Neal Shusterman
The whole silhouette of the hand pressed up against a barrier is one of those ‘iconic’ creepy pictures that never fails to have goosebumps breaking out over my skin. It’s just CREEPY AF.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Graham-Greene and Jane Austen
I remember how shook I was the first time I saw this cover. I almost dropped the book in shock and immediately looked away. I came back to it after mustering some guts and found myself oddly repelled and fascinated by the zombie half of such an iconic image ๐Ÿ˜‚

Night of the Living Dummy (Goosebumps #7) by R.L. Stine
Look, I know this is kids book, but can you tell me you don’t get at least a little bit freaked out when looking at that cover? I mean… DUMMIES. CREEPY DUMMIES. I honestly can’t believe I ever checked this book out of the library as a kid (let alone the countless other Goosebumps tales I devoured). Pretty sure that I already hated dolls/dummies by the time I picked this one up LOL

Alright, that’s it folks. I’m now off to read something HAPPY AND FLUFFY to get these images out of my head! We’re totally fine. What are some of the scariest covers you can think of? Are you a lover of things that go bump? Maybe come let me know in the comments and let’s chat? ๐Ÿ˜‚

Posted in General Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday: Books with Maps!

It’s time for another Top 5 Saturday, a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and this week’s topic is: books with maps. I’m a real sucker for a good map at the start of a story! If there’s a map at the front I’ll constantly flip to it as I’m reading to better situate myself; plus, I love making a trail to see where our characters have been and where they’re going next. The one thing I hate about reading SFF on my Kindle is that I can’t see the maps in as large of a scale as I want to. The zoom feature stresses me out ๐Ÿ˜‚ Which is why I buy the physical book if I end up liking the story because the map is one of my favorite parts of reading SFF! I love when the maps include different details for different areas–I think the more detail in these maps the better because I just want to absorb ALL THE DETAILS. Here are five maps that I absolutely love:

Godsgrave – The Nevernight Chronicle
I mean, I couldn’t NOT include this map. I want to blow it up and hang it on my wall somewhere. Lucky for me, I think my Darkdawn Illumicrate box does come with a map (it’s not huge, but it’s bigger than the book)! The details in this map are exquisite and I kept staring at it trying to soak in EVERYTHING!

Erilea – Throne of Glass Series
I think this was one of the first fantasy series I read and even though I’m putting off reading the final book because I don’t want it to end, I love the vast world that Maas created.

The Four Corners of Civilization – The Kingkiller Chronicle
I honestly wish that this map was more detailed. I love this story and I loved flipping back and forth to the map while reading the story, but I think it would’ve been so much better if it had more detail!

Grishaverse – The Shadow and Bone Trilogy
I honestly love the details in this map. It’s not as overloaded as let’s say the Itreya map, but it’s still got awesome illustrations that depict the unique areas of the Grishaverse. I definitely flipped through to the front of the book several times while reading this series to trace the characters’ steps!

Ketterdam – Six of Crows Duology
This is the type of map that makes me want to shove it right in my face so I can make out every single curving street and minute detail that was put into creating a map of a city! I loved the description of the city of Ketterdam and this map definitely helped me to picture it better ๐Ÿ˜

Do you like maps in books? Any of these a favorite for you too?
Let me know which maps are your favorites in the comments below!

Posted in General Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday: Over 500 pages!

It’s time for another Top 5 Saturday, a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and this week’s topic is: books over 500 pages. I’ve decided to dive into my terrifyingly large Goodreads Want-To-Read list for this week’s post! I was surprised by how many books I had on there that were over 500 pages, but I also kind of expected more ๐Ÿ˜… I was also surprised by which books were 500+ pages; some I really had no idea of at all (despite having some of these books on my actual shelf) That really tells you just how aware I can be! Without further ado, here are five books over 500 pages that I want to read:

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak – 512 pages
I received a gorgeous edition of this book during my first Christmas in the UK, and I got it as a Secret Santa gift too. I was definitely impressed! Seven years later, and I still haven’t touched it yet ๐Ÿ™ˆ LOL

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James – 620 pages
This is probably one of the most hyped books I’ve ever seen hyped on bookstagram and of course I was sucked in by it! I haven’t read any of James’ books despite having three of them on my shelf, and while I’m really curious, this book also scares the hell out of me. I’m worried I won’t “get” it lol

The Secret History by Donna Tartt – 629 pages
So… I still haven’t managed to finish a book by Tartt yet. The Goldfinch is still sitting unfinished on my shelf ๐Ÿ™ˆ and looking at it eats me up with guilt (sort of). But while I’ve heard people have struggled with Goldfinch, a lot of people have loved The Secret History, so I’m looking forward to it!

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie – 647 pages
I am dying to read this book but it’s also intimidating AF. I don’t always gel with magical realism and from what I hear, Rushdie might be the king of the stuff. It scares me, but I’ve also heard incredible things about this book, so I’m determined to at least try reading it!

The Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1) by Brent Weeks – 659 pages
I’ve seen a lot of love for this book since I’ve joined the book community and it sounds really good. I only just realised that it’s a pretty hefty book, though since it’s fantasy, I’m really not surprised lol

What are books you want to read that are over 500 pages? Any of these? Recommendations in the comments below are very welcome!

Posted in General Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday: Books Set in Space!

It’s time for another Top 5 Saturday, a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and this week’s topic is: books set in space. You know, this prompt has made me realise that I really haven’t read many books set in space. I’ve got a lot that I want to read but I still haven’t managed to tick them off my TBR yet. I’m excited to get to them eventually ๐Ÿ˜‚ (this feels like dรฉjร  vu)! I find space settings can be really creepy, but I’m mostly always in awe by the descriptions of the vast nothingness; the silence. Who knows what’s out there?

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
I had no expectations going into this book but I loved it. It was intensely atmospheric and I left was questioning if what was happening was real or if it was the imagination of a lonely girl, stuck lightyears from Earth, with no one to talk to. Space has never been creepier! Check out my review.

The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Not only is this series told in the most creative way, it was heartbreaking, full of snark and such an incredible adventure. I mean, never have I loved and hated an AI more than I did AIDAN. This is one of my all time favorites!

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I feel like you either really love or hate Aurora Rising and there’s very little in between. It’s definitely not Illuminae, but many of the elements that I loved in that story were present in this, so I loved it. The best part of the series so far are the characters. I love the found family trope and I think this band of misfits fit the bill perfectly. I can’t wait to see what happens next! Check out my review.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
I’m sure it’ll be no surprise to hear that I love the Lunar Chronicles. I love retellings and this is probably one of the most unique retellings I’ve read. I mean, sci-fi retellings set in space? Very cool!

Skyward (Skyward #1) by Brandon Sanderson
I was so excited to get my hands on this book when it came out, but until now I still haven’t read it yet. I’m really the worst! I’m very excited for it though since I’ve heard some pretty amazing things! Maybe it’ll be good for me to pick it up closer to the release date of the second book!

What are your favorite books set in space? Any of these?
Please leave me some recommendations in the comments below!