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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

January Wrap Up and February TBR

Hey lovelies,

So this month I have actually found the time to read some books whilst juggling just about the busiest month I have every year. Since I have been on the go this month, most of the books I have read were brought (by me) on my Kindle Paperwhite which I love, (a previous kindle fire girl), and I have found that some of these books I should have gotten down to reading ages ago, and some of them I feel that I wouldn't really pick the book up again. Either way, this is my January wrap up for what I have read this month. 

Did I Mention I Love You? By Estelle Maskame
A fellow wattpader! I had heard from one of my favourite booktubers that Estelle had come out with her trilogy of books and I jumped at the opportunity to purchase the first one. I must admit, I was reluctant as the synopsis of the novel is much like the popular themed books on Wattpad, but I am obsessed with Estelle's writing (I always have been), so I gave it a go and ten pages in I was in love. I really appreciate and support writers who have come from a platform such as Wattpad, and will continue purchasing their work. I loved this story. It focuses on Eden who spends the summer at her Dad's house in L.A where he has recently remarried. Eden has a new step mom and along with that, comes new siblings. One of which is particularly irresistible. 
Without it sounding cliche, the book is actually really good. I found myself laughing, crying and enjoying every minute of the story. I finished it in one sitting. It's a good book if you're looking for a contemporary, young adult romance that makes you feel just about everything. 
The only thing I will say about this book, is that the plot is very predictable and although this can be seen as a 'yawn, I'll pass' sort of thing, I believe that people wouldn't use these plots and story lines if they didn't sell or made people feel something.
I have already purchased the sequel, Did I Mention I Need You?

WHERE TO BUY IT: click me

Only Ever Yours By Louise O'Neill
This is literally one of my favourite books I have ever read. Like honestly, definitely in my top 10. This book is basically everything that shouldn't happen in a dystopian, romantic, modern day telling. But it's everything more. This book literally opened my eyes to how corrupt our society is, just by noticing there's. This book follows freida (with a lowercase 'f') who, with the rest of her 'sisters' at their school has turned sixteen which means that they will be ranked and placed into three different roles. The top, chosen girls are picked by men to be companions (their wives), and the ones who aren't picked are chosen to become concubines (which isn't good basically). The third role barely happens and these girls will become chastity's, the teachers of the girls. This is a life nobody would want. The story is so rare. It follows how the girls starve themselves to become their target weight, how they have to fight with the outside struggles of not being pretty enough, skinny enough or liked enough. It's basically everything the modern day girl has to go through, expect their teachers at this school force it on them, making each other point out their flaws and given them pills to stop 'disgusting' things such as their periods.
It makes me feel angry and sad that this society is happening in this book, and they are so focused on these wealthy men choosing them to be their wives at the end of their school time that I couldn't help but read it. It's phenomenally done, the writing is excellent and the use of lower casing the girls names highlights how they are nothing more than bred for men. It's makes me seethe in anger, but it shows me just how easy this could happen now. Louise O'Neill writes this brilliantly and if I ever could recommend a book to you that you must read, it would be this. I loved it.

WHERE TO BUY IT: click me

Side Effects May Vary By Julie Murphy
So I started this book loving it. I really did. It's my sort of young adult novel, but maybe it's because I have come off too very good highs on these superb books beforehand that when I got half way through the middle of the book, I found it tiring. I'm someone who has to finish a book, I can't bare leaving it unfinished as I believe that it could get better towards the ending, but this one just didn't do it for me. It focuses on Alice who is diagnosed with cancer. Before this point in her life, she seemingly has it all, but being diagnosed with cancer changes all of that, as it most likely would. Alice has a lifelong best friend, who, until this point, they have become distant called Harvey. The story basically focuses on their developing relationship and Alice and Harvey's dynamic with Alice being diagnosed with cancer, then be deemed in remission.
As I said, I started off loving it. I loved Alice's character and the flashbacks from her having cancer and her experience of now being in remission after thinking she was terminally ill. (This isn't a spoiler as it is in the blurb). I found that through the middle Harvey was just annoying. He was like a three year old wanting to be with his parents. I don't know, it just irked me. He was far too clingy to Alice and although I tried to emphasise with him and put myself in his shoes, I just couldn't see his perspective on his whole demeanor. Then Alice started annoying me as a character, so as the MC, I found myself skipping pages and chapters and reading quickly to get it over and done with. I just think the beginning started off very good, but the middle and end was stuck in the same place the beginning started off with. I just think so much more could have been done with it. I did enjoy the plot line so to speak. I loved the idea of the novel, and I thought some of the secondary characters were stronger than the protagonists.
I will try and pick up something from this author again as I do like her writing and her ideas, but I just think there was something missing in this story.

WHERE TO BUY IT: click me

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
This was another 'I think I am really going to enjoy this book, but half way through I got bored' sort of deal. I love, love, love the premise of this novel. It's based on two teenagers, Lucy and Owen who live in the same building and one day they both meet whilst stuck in an elevator. Their friendship/relationship all takes off from there really and it focuses on all the different, interesting places they visit and how they communicate being far a part. In general, it's a really interesting, my type of thing to read book and although I did enjoy it, I found some places dragged and the page length didn't need to be as long as it was (311). I feel like Jennifer could have completed the book at even 200-250 pages and the extra 60 or so were just fill in's.
In other words, I thought that the characters were strong. I liked both Lucy and Owen as people and appreciated the alternative points of view to get a more varied understanding of each character. I had a strong liking for Owen's Dad throughout the whole book which took me by surprise because I'm not one to like the secondary characters so much. It terms of the plot, the concept was interesting and refreshing and I did think as a whole Jennifer delivered with a consistent plot line. My only issues were with the irrelevant chapters that, if taken out, wouldn't affect the book so much as an inch.

I will be reading more of Jennifer E. Smith's work as I do admire her writing and find her to be a funny, contemporary novelist.

WHERE TO BUY IT: click me

February TBR (to be read):

Thanks lovelies!
What have you been reading?

Disclaimer: all the links to where you can buy the books are from Amazon, however I have no affiliation with the company at all. I read a lot on my Kindle and purchase the books I read here, this is why I am suggesting this website. 

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Mass Shout Out to Undiscovered Authors (Pt. 1)

Hey there,

So I would apologise for not updating this website, but I think this post will be long enough without it. The purpose of this post is that over a couple of months, lots of #holliehannahreads and other sneaky little things I have been doing on my account have contributed to the pile of people and their brilliant stories I wish to feature for you all to check out. All of these people at the time of this post have under 5k followers, reads etc and this post is something I really want to do to spread awareness to some of these talented undiscovered writers!

Part one will have romance and mystery writers featured! 
There will be lots of parts to this as I am planning to do one every month with a couple of my faves.

Romance Section:
These romance, teen fiction writers literally write similar themes/topics as I do, meaning if you enjoy any of my work, you're bond to enjoy there's too!

wohnderwall - Brewed Hearts

Blurb: So maybe she had the kind of smile that made you feel happy to be alive and just that little bit more human. And maybe her smile shined like the stars in the sky, with no bright city lights to dim them. It was like the sun opened its eager light to shine about her, only brightening her perfectly aligned teeth. Maybe, It was the reason I gave her a smile that wasn't so lit with sadness.❞
Link: click me

My opinion: what the hell, if you haven't read this book or its been sitting in your library for too long, read it. I love it. I just do. You will too.

misconstrued - Gravity

Blurb: Because the galaxy loses its stars the day Max loses Wendy.
Then everything's just empty, and Max is left struggling for gravity
Link: click me

My opinion: there is something about this book that makes me think I am really excited to love. I don't know what it is, its just there.

I love mystery and thriller books. It's my new thing.  I really enjoy the odd dabble in writing mystery too, (shameless plug to check out my co-written book, Melancholia). I think the following authors have nailed it, and they really are an inspiration.

confiance_ - Things You'll Never Know

Blurb: In which she learns that no one is ever as they seem.

Link: click me

My opinion: massive fan of this book so far. I find the characters to be complex and interesting and I really enjoy the perspectives. I think there is so much this author can do with the book and this makes me really excited.

stereohearted  - Fault Lines

Blurb: It's been almost three years since Astrid Rosewood's best friend died, yet she can't seem to shake off the idea that it was not a suicide. Moreover, when a boy moves in next door, things start to spiral out of control.
Link: click me

My opinion: so the book hasn't began yet, but doesn't the blurb just make you want to read it all in one sitting, cry and scream, love and laugh and all of that other crap that happens when reading a fantastic book? I just find this author to be incredible with words and I can't wait for the next chapters. I really recommend saving it to your library. Based off the other books, I'm looking forward to this one!

Thanks lovelies!