First Lines Friday – 17 April

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“If I believe in omens, this would be a bad one.
There’s only one suitcase left on the baggage carousel. It’s bright pink, covered with Hello Kitty stickers, and definitely not mine.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 17 April”

Goodreads Monday – The Institute by Stephen King

It’s the first Goodreads Monday of 2020, friends! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.

So last week was his son’s book and this week it’s The King’s turn with The Institute. I may not be a fan of horror but apparently I do like giving in to the hype and adding them to my shelves in the hopes that I will, one day, read them 🤣 This horror/thriller has a 4.21 star average with 83.8k+ ratings and 10.2k+ reviews, which is pretty great!

Continue reading “Goodreads Monday – The Institute by Stephen King”

#ARMEDWITHABINGO Announcement & Possibility Pile

This year I also joined the #ARMEDWITHABINGO reading challenge hosted by Kriti and Ariel @ Armed with a Book. I thought this sounded cool as it’s a personalised book bingo challenge with regular check-ins, book giveaways, guest posts and more! The challenge has 24 prompts that require individual books for each square (except for the book over 500 pages long, which counts for two!) and it runs throughout the year.

The sign up is open until 15 March, so if this sounds like a fun challenge to you, head on over to their page and let’s BINGO! 😃

So what’s in the bingo? My personalised card below has all the prompts:

I know my announcement is coming in pretty late into January *cough* so I’ve actually managed to already cross of four of the squares so I’m just a tiny bit closer to bingo 🤣

A book in the middle of a series
A book from the last decade (2010-2019)
A young adult novel
A dystopian novel

I still haven’t figured out the books I’m reading for all of the prompts but I do have some ideas. Part of me wants to just “wing it” and see if what I read throughout the year will fit any of the prompts, but that attitude is what caused me to bomb hard last year? So I’ve already started identifying options for some of the prompts 😅 Consider this my mostly “loose” possibility pile. Since I’m trying to cut down on spending most of these are books I already have on my shelves–though I’ma be nice to myself and allow for some of this years’ releases because I mean… I’m only human riiiiiiight? 😬

A book that’s published in 2020
An anthology or poetry collection
A book that a friend recommends
A book that has a number in the title
A fantasty/science fiction

A book by an Indie author
A book with a beautiful cover
A book you saw someone else reading
A book which was gifted/borrowed
A book longer than 500 pages (2 spaces!)

I’ll be sharing progress updates for this along with all the other challenges I’m doing this year in a monthly reading challenges recap post, so be on the look out to see if I’ve managed to cross any other boxes by the end of this month!

Are you joining this reading challenge too? What do you think of my choices? Do you have any suggestions for any of these spaces that you think I must read?

2019 End of Year Book Survey: Part III!

I first discovered this post on BookLoversBlog on NYE and decided it was the perfect way to wrap up my reading and blogging year. The survey was originally created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner and asks us questions that reflect the last year of books, reading and blogging. I was wondering how I would do my yearly wrap up and I’m so glad I stumbled across this survey because it’s not only fun but also covers all the bookish and blogging bases. And so we’ve come to the third and final part of this comprehensive survey and it’s about Looking Ahead in 2020. If you’re curious, don’t forget to check out Part I (2019 Stats & Best in Books) and Part II (Blogging/Bookish Life)!

1. One book you didn’t get to in 2019 but will be your number 1 priority in 2020?

Well, there’s a disappointing number of books that I was adamant I’d read before 2019 ended and I didn’t end up getting around to… I think that’s perhaps the worst part about being a mood reader and if I force myself to pick it up anyway I’d probably really not enjoy it. But I digress! One book I’m really looking forward to reading is The Toll by Neal Shusterman. I’m starting my re-read of Scythe now, so I’ll hopefully get to The Toll very soon!

Continue reading “2019 End of Year Book Survey: Part III!”

2019 End of Year Book Survey: Part I!

I first discovered this post on BookLoversBlog on NYE and decided it was the perfect way to wrap up my reading and blogging year. The survey was originally created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner and asks us questions that reflect the last year of books, reading and blogging. I was wondering how I would do my yearly wrap up and I’m so glad I stumbled across this survey because it’s not only fun but also covers all the bookish and blogging bases. I’ve decided to split up the survey into three posts though because it’s quite long and I want to answer all the questions! Part I will cover my 2019 Stats and Best in Books, Part II will be about my Blogging/Bookish Life, and Part III will be about Looking Ahead in 2020.

Number of Books Read: 206
Number of Re-Reads: 3 (The Cruel Prince, The Hating Game, Pumpkinheads)
Genre Read the Most From: Contemporary Romance & YA Fantasy (I think it might be a tie!)

1. Best book read in 2019?

I really don’t think I can pick one best out of 200+ reads… It’s already difficult enough picking 30, 20 or 10 lol so I’m going to leave you links to my Top 30 and Top 10 books! 😬

Continue reading “2019 End of Year Book Survey: Part I!”

First Lines Friday – 03 January

Yayaya, HAPPY FRIYAY, book lovers and friends 😍We’re back with another First Lines Friday! This is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are THE RULES:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“Even in death the boys were trouble.
The secret graveyard lay on the north side of the Nickel campus, in a patchy acre of wild grass between the old work barn and the school dump.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 03 January”

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones – #BookReview

Goodreads: The Bone Houses
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror
Panda Rating:

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.

I was expecting to be terrified reading this ‘historical fantasy horror’, especially considering the title and it’s basically about zombies, but it had just the right amount of spook that even a chicken like me could read it alone at night! What a treat of a read this was 😍 Even before picking it up, I knew I’d enjoy it but I didn’t expect to not want to leave it for even a second!

“The anticipation of the loss hurts nearly as much as the loss itself. You find yourself trying to hold on to every detail, because you’ll never have them again.”

The writing was simple, atmospheric and the story read a little bit like a fairytale. I liked how things were so simply but vividly described but mostly I loved the magic in the story. It’s woven through so naturally it was almost difficult to picture the world differently. Although this is a fantasy, I was wondering what country inspired the story, and it’s Welsh folklore/mythology! I haven’t read anything Welsh inspired before (at least not to my knowledge) so that was pretty cool. The plot was fast paced and well paced. There were some ‘quieter’ moments towards the end of the book, but it didn’t slow the story down. There wasn’t much surprising in the plot though–it was quite linear which made it easy to predict what would happen in the end, but that’s OK. There were still some unique elements to the story that made it enjoyable!

What really made the story for me were the characters. Ryn is incredibly fierce, loyal and stubborn. She has a temper that gets the best of her at times, and while she does make some stupid decisions without thinking of the consequences, you can’t help but love her anyway. She’s hanging on to the past in the hopes that one day her father will return and it broke my heart a little bit. She’s the character that makes you feel safe and like everything’s going to be okay because they’re around. We don’t learn or spend a lot of time with her siblings but I loved Ceri! She’s a bright light in a dark story and her bubbly personality and love for baking and animals had me smiling from ear-to-ear.

“She was half a wild creature that loved a graveyard, the first taste of misty night air, and the heft of a shovel. She knew how things died. And in her darkest moments, she feared she did not know how to live.”

Then we have Ellis, the mapmaker who comes into town. Little is known about him at first, but it was pretty easy to figure out his story as we learn more about the curse. I loved Ellis’ character a lot! He had a certain innocence about him that stemmed from his questions about his past but he also had some great dry/sarcastic humor! I even liked the romance that bloomed! It’s progression felt natural and I liked the easy banter that flowed between them. Although they’re opposites in so many respects, they share a keen understanding in their loneliness, losses and grief, and as such complemented each other quite well. Opposites definitely attracted here!

Also, did I mention the amazing goat yet?! Because it definitely might have stolen the show! I loved it as much as everyone told me I would and I know that sounds weird AF but trust me, when you read this, you’ll love the goat too! I pre-ordered the book just so I could get that extra story about the goat! Overall, I’m so glad that I finally read this book. I enjoyed so much about it and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a fantastical zombie fairytale-esque story that’s just a little on the spooky side!

Have you read The Wicked King or is it on your TBR?

#TopTenTuesday: Best 10 of 2019

Friends, it’s the last #TopTenTuesday of this year and decade! How insane is that?! I just wanted to say that wherever you are and whatever you do to ring in the new year, I hope you have a wonderful 2020. For those who’ve had a particularly trying 2019, I hope that the fresh year will bring more light into your life. And as always, I hope everyone has a very amazingly book-filled year ahead! – 🐼💙

It’s that time of the week again, friends! We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: favorite books I read in 2019. Last Friday I already tried to narrow down my list of favorite reads from the 200+ books that I read this year. I broke it down into categories and I managed to narrow it down to five books per category, which left me with a Top 30–it was hard 😅 Lol I think I just feel guilty because in narrowing it down I end up not mentioning the other amazing books I’ve read, and it’s like I’m ignoring them or not acknowledging the hard work the authors did? 🤣 Is that just me? I’m determined to still try and narrow it down to a Top 10 though so here goes nothing. I’m also gonna keep it short and sweet and stick to pictures.

HOLY HECK, THIS WAS SO DIFFICULT!
What books made it into your Top 10 reads of 2019?
Did we pick any of the same books as top reads this year?

Friday Favorites: Top Reads of 2019!

It’s time for another Friday Favorites hosted by Kibby @ Something of the Book! This weekly meme is where you get to share a list of all your favourites based on the list of prompts on Kibby’s page. Sounds fun, right? This week’s prompt is: favorite reads of 2019! Well, I guess I can no longer afford to keep avoiding thinking about this question because… The year is very quickly drawing to a close. It’s the last Friday of 2019 (!!!) and I guess there’s a slim chance of more contenders for my top spot! I’m wondering if I should divvy this up into genres just like I did last week because I honestly don’t know if I can narrow it down to just 10 books in total? So I’m going to look at the top five (max) reads for these genres: Contemporary, Thrillers/Horrors, Fantasy, Romance, Non-Fiction, Graphic Novels… Let’s get to it…

Continue reading “Friday Favorites: Top Reads of 2019!”

First Lines Friday – 27 December

Yayaya, HAPPY FRIYAY, book lovers and friends 😍We’re back with another First Lines Friday! This is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are THE RULES:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“I’m gonna miss the draft.
The Hadfield is disintegrating around me. Black arcs of quantum lightning are melting the ship’s hull to slag. My spacesuit is screaming seventeen different alarms, the lock on this damn cryogenic pod still won’t open, and that’s the one thought blaring in my head.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 27 December”