Best Books of 2018 (so far)| Top Ten Tuesday

This’s weeks Top Ten Tuesday prompt is to choose your favourite books you’ve read in 2018 so far. Honestly this is a bit of a difficult task because I’ve read 22 books at the moment and more than half of those were just mediocre reads (sadly). However I’m really excited to share the portion of those books that have already made my year 10x better!

Image result for simon vs the homosapien agenda cover1. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda– In a string of lacklustre and disappointing YA contemporaries, Simon vs. really proved why it deserves all the hype and love. It is just such a charming and funny book! Most of the credit goes to Simon because he’s such a likeable and memorable character although the whole cast of characters form such a diverse and lovable friend group that I always looked forward to their interactions and antics. The storyline is intriguing and actually has a purpose (which is where I think a lot of other YA contemporaries fall short). The book’s message is extremely important and the ending is very fulfilling!

Image result for everything i never told you cover2. Everything I Never Told You– I hardly think any book I read in the second half of the year will be able compete with this as my favourite book of 2018. It has seriously left a lasting impression on me and although I hardly ever re-read books I think I might just do so with this one. The book focuses on the sudden death of the eldest daughter of a Chinese-American family. The aftermath of the tragedy sets into motion a deep review of the family’s history and how their past has affected how much they fail to understand each other in the present. It reveals so much about human nature and how much our past experiences can shape our choices in the present; for better or for worse.

Image result for landline cover3. Landline– I knew I would love this book because although I am not a fan of Rainbow Rowell’s YA books (Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, Carry On) I really adored her adult novel Attachments. Landline is just as good if not better. It’s such a quick and easy read while at the same time having an interesting premise. Even though it’s short, Rainbow Rowell does a great job of keeping the reader engaged in the character’s relationships while also exploring serious topics such as marriage and career fulfilment.

Image result for the hidden oracle cover4. The Hidden Oracle– Oh how I have missed Rick Riordan’s world and writing! Just the thought of Percy and the gang at Camp Half-Blood is enough to get me emotional. This book is told from the POV of Apollo who has been turned into a human as punishment and must go on a quest to prove his worth as a god. Apollo is incredibly selfish, ignorant, and narcissistic and so to watch him turn from a mighty god to a measly human is absolutely hilarious!

Image result for winter book cover5. Winter– After reading Cress back in 2015 I finally managed to convince myself to finish this series and oh man am I glad I did! This was a perfect conclusion to such a fantastic series, Marissa Meyer really outdone herself. It had all the necessary elements of romance, suspense and action. This meant I was a giggling mess half of the book while intensely gripping the pages the other, which is a great combination if you ask me.

 

Image result for little fires everywhere cover6. Little Fires Everywhere– Celeste Ng is really talented at writing character driven books, all her characters are dynamic and have a purpose for all they say and do. Their actions are more often then not linked back to their past experiences and the book explores how that influences who they are in the present. Little Fires Everywhere also deals with relationships between families and how their dynamics differ based on how and where they were brought up. It is insanely gripping and although its characters are the prime focus the book also manages to have a suspenseful storyline throughout.

Image result for every heart a doorway cover7. Every Heart a Doorway– This was such a little surprise of a book! I did not expect to love it as much as I did. The premise drew me in and the characters and mystery made me read on. It’s about children who have slipped through magical worlds through doorways, rabbit holes, wardrobes and the like but eventually manage to come back to the real world. It deals with their efforts to adapt to their old life at a specialised boarding school while still longing for the worlds they left behind. The book turns very creepy very quick and is filled with mystery. There is great diversity in the characters and the writing is also exceptionally beautiful.

Image result for eleanor oliphant is completely fine book cover8. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine– Ok so I have technically not finished this book yet but I’m 300 pages in and I can already tell it would have made the list. It is such a quirky and refreshing book that at the same time deals with a lot of serious topics such as abuse and depression. I’m very excited to see how it ends!

 

 

So I know I’m supposed to list 10 books but honestly these were the only ones I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend to others. Hopefully in the second half of the year I’ll have better luck picking up books!


Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? What was your favourite book of 2018 so far? Let’s chat in the comments!♥ 

Until next post,

marades

 

 

Advertisements

Down the TBR Hole ☆.*。・゚

Web

Down the TBR Hole was created by Lost in a Story and the aim is essentially to de-clutter your Goodreads TBR shelf to books you’re actually going to read instead of hoarding unnecessary books from 5 years ago.

I think I’m pretty good at organising my TBR shelf because all the books on it are ones I’ve added in the past year but I’m sure there’s always room for more tidiness!

The rules:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

The books:

Image result for the knife of never letting go1✿ The Knife of Never Letting Go: This is the only book that’s been on my shelf for a long time. The Chaos Walking trilogy was really hyped up online and on Booktube a few years ago when I joined the book community so I ended up buying all three books at once. They’ve been collecting dust on my shelf for a while now. The more time passes the more I become reluctant to reach for them. However, the premise of the books still interests me even after such a long time! I just need to convince myself to read the first 50 pages because I know I’ll be hooked after. Verdict: Keep

Image result for flame in the mist2✿  Flame in the Mist: When I heard this was blurbed as Mulan meets Throne of Glass in the backdrop of feudal Japan, I was sold. However since then I’ve tried reading the author’s other book The Wrath and the Dawn and I couldn’t really get into it. Plus the book’s been getting pretty mediocre reviews so I think I’ll pass for now. Verdict: Go

 

Image result for never let me go3✿ Never Let Me Go: I’m pretty sure I’ve read 100 pages of this book but I cannot for the life of me tell you why I didn’t finish it. It’s like there’s a memory missing after those 100 pages because all I remember is that the book somehow ended up back on the shelf and I had another book in my hands. I really enjoyed what I read of it so I definitely want to continue! Verdict: Keep

 

Image result for the raven king4✿ The Raven KingOk confession time. I read The Raven Boys in 2015 because of all the hype and praise surrounding it. I mean this series has a really strong fanbase and it seemed like everywhere I looked someone was mentioning it. I remember wanting to love is so badly because everyone else did, but I didn’t. To me it was dull, dragged out and I couldn’t wrap my head around the content or care less about it. But online I kept saying how much I loved it and put myself through 3 books that I didn’t enjoy just because my 16 year old self was scared of backlash. It seems really silly now but back then I really felt like I couldn’t have a drastically different opinion to everyone else. Thank god that that time has now passed! Verdict: Go (if someone wants to be so kind as to spoil the last book DM me on twitter!)

Image result for i believe in a thing called love5✿ I Believe in a Thing Called Love: This book has a really cliché and cheesy plot line and I would not have spared it a second glance had it not been for the fact that the main character uses Korean dramas as a formula to find romance, her so called “K-drama Steps to True Love”. I mean there’s no way I can pass up on that! The reviews seem mixed but someone said it’s a perfect read for fans of Jenny Han (me) so I really hope I end up liking it. Verdict: Keep


Well that was really fun! I’ll probably do this again when my TBR shelf starts to over-flood.

Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? Do you agree/disagree with my decisions? Let me know you’re thoughts! 

Until next post,

marades

June Wrap-Up!

In the month of June I managed to read a total of 8 books which is a bit more than I usually manage so I am quite happy with that amount!  ᵔᴥᵔ

Image result for winter book

The first book that I read was Winter, the fourth and final book of the Lunar Chronicles. After starting the series in 2015 I finally managed to convince myself to read the final book and I am so happy I did! The book was a whirlwind of so many emotions ranging from excitement to suspense to joy to fear to never-ending giggles. It was a pure delight to read, probably my second favourite book of the entire series! I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect conclusion. (rating: ✿✿✿✿✿)

Image result for this song will save your lifeAfter the weight of Winter, I was in the mood for a contemporary and so I picked up This Song Will Save Your Life. Overall I thought it was an enjoyable read. The premise was really interesting and different from other contemporaries I read before. It follows our MC Elise who has a hard time making friends and when her latest attempt to recruit some fails she is moments away from giving up. Fortunately enough she happens to stumble upon a warehouse party in the dead of night and is introduced to a whole new world of friendship, romance and DJing. Elise is a very relatable character, while reading her narration I sometimes felt like I was reading my own thoughts from when I was 15/16 and insecure about myself. While the situations Elise found herself in were not very realistic I still think it was a good read!  (rating: ✿✿✿, trigger warnings: suicide, self harm, depression, bullying)

Image result for colleen hoover it ends with usNext I read It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. I have read a couple of Colleen Hoover books before when I was younger and I’ve always enjoyed her writing. I know some of her books are quite controversial, however I think It Ends With Us is one of her better if not best one. I believe this is a book you should go into without knowing much about because it packs much more of an impact. Just know it is a heart wrenching story of passionate romance, friendship and familial ties. It explores situations that are difficult to understand and even harder to accept. It is an incredibly raw and honest book. It was so emotional that I cried multiple times while reading it. It might not be for everyone, even I had some issues with it, however if you are thinking of reading any Colleen Hoover book let it be this one. (rating: ✿✿✿✿, trigger warnings contain spoilers so look them up at your own risk)

Image result for blue lily lily blueThen I finally managed to finish Blue Lily, Lily Blue, the third book in the Raven Cycle. I started this book in 2015 (!!!!!) and have been reading it on and off for 3 years now. I don’t know what was wrong with me because there was certainly nothing wrong with the book. I would just always pick it up at busy points in my life which resulted in it getting neglected and put off countless times. I really do enjoy the Raven Cycle series however I feel like I didn’t like this book as much because it dragged on for so long (my fault entirely). However I also felt like not a lot happened in this book in general which was a bit of a letdown. I was considering not finishing the last book however seeing as there are no spoilerly plot summaries online, I might just have to go out and buy it! (rating: ✿✿✿)

Image result for a gentleman's guide to vice and virtueAfter Blue Lily, Lily Blue, I fell into a bit of a reading slump. To ease myself into a new book I decided to listen to the audiobook of A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. To be honest, I expected to be blown away by this book because I’ve been hearing nothing but hype and praise for it since it came out. Unfortunately, I think my expectations were too high and as a result this book fell flat to me. I think the book could have been much shorter because there were a lot of dull moments where I was just waiting for the action to re-commence. Even the action and the epic quest that was blurbed was not very exciting. I found the characters really likeable though and I loved their relationship, I just wish the context in which they were in was more suspenseful and adventurous. (rating: ✿✿✿)

Image result for on the fence bookNext I decided to read On the Fence. I know so many people who refer to Kasie West as the queen of contemporaries so I decided to give her books a chance…..big mistake. I had a lot of problems with On the Fence. The MC was very annoying, rude, defensive and entitled. For example when a friend’s grandma passes away in the middle of a soccer game her response is “Should we finish the game, then?” and “What should I understand about some lady dying of a disease she’d been fighting?” She feels that because she lost her mom at a young age it entitles her to be rude because she went through more grief. She’s also one of those girls that is “different” because she’s sporty and doesn’t wear makeup. When asked What do you mean by ‘normal’ girls? her response is Girls that aren’t into sports. Her idea of normals girls is those who are into “shopping or hair or whatever.” That annoyed me so much, like what era are you in? There are no limitations to what being a girl is, don’t put yourself and other girls in a box for goodness sake. Eventually she learns she can be BOTH sporty and wear dresses (shocker I know) however since she spends the the majority of the book being ignorant I found it hard to enjoy. (rating: ✿✿)

Image result for every heart a doorwayFinally I read two books in the Wayward Children companion series, Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones. The first book is about children who have slipped through magical worlds through wardrobes and rabbit holes and eventually manage to come back to the real world. It deals with their efforts to adapt to their old life at a specialised boarding school while still longing for the worlds they left behind. The book turns very creepy very quick and is filled with mystery and suspense. There is great diversity in the characters which are all vibrant and unique. The writing is also exceptionally beautiful. The only flaw of the books is how short they are! I felt like the 170 pages could have easily been at least 300. I would have loved to read a more in depth exploration of the characters and the mystery involved. Thankfully as it is a companion series we get some character backstories in the later books! (rating: ✿✿✿✿.✿)

That is all for this post,

marades

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!

Since we are already half-way through 2018 (omg!) I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do this tag as a way for me to get back to book blogging after a long hiatus!

The tag was created by Tea & Titles and A Book So Fathomless

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018

Image result for everything i never told youThat would have to be Everything I Never Told You by Celest Ng. The book focuses on how the sudden death of the eldest daughter sets into motion a deep review of a Chinese-American’s family history and how their past has affected how much they fail to understand each other in the present. It reveals so much about human nature and how much our past experiences can shape our choices in the present; for better or for worse. The book has truly made a lasting impression on me, it is such a gripping and emotional read! Celest Ng is also the author of another amazing book Little Fires Everywhere which I also read and loved this year!

 

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018

Image result for winter bookThere is no competition there, it has to be Winter the fourth and final book in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Having read the third book way back in 2015 I was finally able to convince myself to finish the series and it did not disappoint one bit! The entire book was 800 pages of pure joy, adventure, giggling and suspense. Simply the best way to wrap up an amazing series!

 

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

One is Save the Date by Morgan Matson which came out earlier in June and will be perfect once I’m in a contemporary mood, while the other is The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan which I’ve heard nothing but praise for!

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Image result for queen of air and darkness

I’m looking forward to a lot of releases this year but the one book I’m most hyped about is none other than Queen of Air and Darkness, the third and final book in the Dark Artifices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. It pains me to have to wait until DECEMBER (!!!) to read it, I want to know what happens so badly! (especially after that cliffhanger in book 2 ughhhh) If you haven’t read any of Cassandra Clare’s books yet do yourself a favour and pick them up asap!

 

5. Biggest disappointment

Image result for leah on the offbeatI’ve already read a couple of disappointing books this year which is unfortunate but the book that let me down the most was Leah on the Off-Beat by Becky Albertalli.  I expected to be blown away by this companion novel because I loved Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda so much! However, Leah was such an unlikable character and had no excuse for her rude behaviour towards her friends and mom. As for the romance, I basically felt like I was reading fan-fiction, I was not a fan. The book was all sorts of problematic so yeah…big disappointment to say the least.

6. Biggest surprise

Image result for every heart a doorwayDefinitely Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire! The premise was enough to get me to read this short but delightful book! It focuses on children who have slipped through magical worlds through wardrobes and rabbit holes and eventually managed to come back to the real world. It deals with their efforts to adapt to their old life at a specialised boarding school while still longing for the worlds they left behind. The only flaw I would give this book is that it is too short, I could have read at least 200 more pages it was that good!

7. Favourite new author (Debut or new to you)

That would have to be none other than Celest Ng! Between Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere, I am convinced I will be purchasing anything and everything she publishes in the future.

8. Newest fictional crush

As strange as it may sound, I don’t think I have one yet this year!

9. Newest favourite character

For sure Simon from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda he’s just so lovable and funny!

10. Book that made you cry

Not gonna lie, half of the books I’ve read so far have made me cry. I’m a big book cryer. But I remember It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover made me especially emotional.

11. Book that made you happy

Literally so many I’ll go with The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee for this one because it made me very giddy and excited!

12. Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year

Image result for call me by your nameHands down Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman. That movie is the end of me, I have seen it so many times! It is one of those rare cases where I prefer the film much more than the book. A close second adaptation is Love, Simon.

 

13. Favourite review you’ve written this year

This is my first blog post this year, oops.

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Image result for circe madeline miller

 

Probably the UK hardback of Circe by Madeline Miller, I remember seeing it in Waterstones and being in awe! I hope it is just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside.

 

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

All the books on my Goodreads, it’s too many that I don’t even want to think about it!


So far this year I’ve read a total 22 books which I think is pretty good and I really hope I’ll manage to get to my desired goal of 50 by the end of the year!

See you next post,

marades

Character Development 101 | Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. For info about the topics and how to participate, click here

Today’s TTT is: Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught X 101

For mine I decided to choose Character Development 101 as the subject, because there are so many wonderful character growths in the books I read!

1. To Kill a Mockingbird

I read this novel nearly 4 years ago and I just remember being very mesmerized by Scout’s character development. Her thoughts and opinions changing over the course of the story and her growth from a innocent child to a mature young woman made a huge impact on me, especially when I was younger.

2. Shatter Me

All the major characters in this series go through such overwhelming character development. The characters grow and change so much with each book, that by the last installment they are so different from how they were at the beginning of the series.

3. Pride and Prejudice 

I recently re-read this novel and Elizabeth and Dracy’s character growth still hit me hard. They are both flawed characters, Darcy being a very prideful man and Elizabeth being quick to let her prejudices cloud her judgement. But as the book progresses they learn from each other how to become better people.

4. Since You’ve Been Gone

In this coming of age novel Emily, the main character, goes from a wallflower to a confident girl. I loved reading about Emily’s transformation and her willingness to get out of her shell. She grows tremendously by the end of the book.

5. Percy Jackson and the Olympians

A major part of this entire book series is character development. Rick Riordan is a genius when it comes to writing complex and flawed characters that, by the last book, grow so much.

6. The Heroes of Olympus

I had to include this series as well. I think I might actually prefer this one to PJO. Even thought this series has many characters they all go through their individual character development. And like I said before Riordan is a genius when writing characters.

7. Finding Audrey

This book is extremely character driven and focuses a lot on character development. The main character, Audrey, has severe social anxiety and the book follows her journey as she tries to overcome her disorder.

8. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

This is an amazing coming of age contemporary about accepting yourself and others. The main characters, Ari, goes from a moody and pessimistic character to a genuinely happy and appreciating person. I don’t want to give away too much, but you should read it.

9. Throne of Glass

Everyone knows Celaena to be this badass assassin, but I love how throughout the series Sarah J. Maas also shows Celaena’s downfalls, failures, various rampages and emotional breakdowns. It makes for such a great and complex character.

10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I think all the major characters have great character development in this novel, but especially Charlie. This book follows him trying to fit into high school and make friends while also dealing with issues that happened in the past.

So those are all the 10 books I’d choose if I taught Character Development 101. Let me know if you agree with any of my choices or just tell me a book you would choose for this subject!

I hope you all had a lovely day and I’ll see you in my next post,

marades

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

unpopsHey guys!

So I’ve been seeing the Unpopular Opinions Book Tag all around Booktube and it seemed like a really fun tag so I decided to do it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ You can check out the original tag video here.  

Note: Please don’t hate me if I bash any of your favorite books or characters ^-^

1. A popular book or series that you didn’t like:

The Fault in Our Stars– I remember reading this when I was 13 and just not getting what the hype was about. I’m not saying I hated the book, but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as i would have liked. I didn’t even shed a tear during the entirety of it and I’m a major book cryer.

2. A popular book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love:

The Selection Series– I know this series is dumb. I know the main character is the most insufferable character to exist. I know the love triangle is laughable. I know the whole selection process is a complete joke. But these books are so much fun. They are so entertaining and fast-paced and I really like them.

(not counting the 4th book because even I can’t handle that one)

3. A love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with OR an OTP that you don’t like:

Josh and Isla from Isla and the Happily Ever After– I didn’t like this book and I didn’t like Josh and Isla together at all. It just felt as though Stephanie Perkins found the only 2 single people and mashed them up together. I was not a fan, sadly.

4. A popular book genre that you hardly reach for:

Thriller, Mystery and Crime– Those genres are just not my type of thing.

5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like:

Chaol from Throne of Glass– I really liked him in the first book, but my opinion of him changed during the 2nd and 3rd book of the series. I know a lot of people love Chaol, but I just find him very bland, indecisive and annoying. (please don’t kill me :’D)

6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into:

Scott Westerfeld– I read Uglies by him and found the book to be very dry and uninteresting. I also tried reading Afterworlds and couldn’t get into it. I guess I just don’t like his writing style.

7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing:

The chosen one, love triangles, good girl likes bad boy, 2 oh so quirky teenagers are so different from all other teenagers and speak with a vocabulary of 80 year olds– to name a few. I could go on and on and on and on and on…you get my point.

8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading:

The 5th Wave– Everyone loves this sci-fi novel so much, but I honestly have no intention of ever reading it. Plus I heard the sequel isn’t that great, soooo…

9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

Coraline– I actually really liked this book, but the movie is so much better in my opinion. I have seen the movie at least 20 times and I am in no way joking.

That’s the end! I really do hope you’re not in the middle of making a voodoo doll of me because I bashed one of your favorite books or characters.

Tell me if agree with any of my unpopular opinions or just let me know one popular book you didn’t like 😀

Hope you all had a lovely day and I’ll see you in my next post,

mara4

Anatomy of a Misfit- REVIEW

Title: Anatomy of a Misfit

Author: Andrea Portes

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Source: Purchased physical copy

Pages: 336

My rating: 1.5/5

Anatomy of a Misfit is Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Anika’s hilariously deadpan delivery will appeal to readers for its honesty and depth. The so-sad-it’s-funny high school setting will pull readers in, but when the story’s dark foreboding gradually takes over, the devastating penultimate tragedy hits like a punch to the gut. Readers will ride the highs and lows alongside funny, flawed Anika — from laughter to tears, and everything in between.

General Opinion:

I honestly don’t know where to begin. I tried, I really tried to like this book. The cover is beautiful, the premise sounded promising but the story, oh the story, was just so horrible. The thing about Anatomy of a Misfit is that it was trying to prove a good point, which I appreciate, but the execution of it was so terrible that it caused the story to contradict all the good points the author was trying to make. Since reading it I have donated the book to my local library because I could not stand to look at it on my bookshelf. If you’re interested in why I dislike this book so much, I’ll explain it in more detail below. I’ll also be including quotes lots of quotes!

Continue reading