Top Ten Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015

Top Ten Tuesday  is a meme hosted over at The Broke and Bookish.

This week it’s our top ten most anticipated debut novels for 2015. I made a whole list of some of the 2015 releases I’m looking forward to from the first half of the year so click here to go read that. However most of my releases weren’t debut novels so I had to do a little bit of research for this one. I will just be listing the 10 releases and writing a short comment about how excited I am or why I’m excited. You can click on the title of the book to go to their goodreads page.

Wrapping up 2014: Every Book I Read

I’m here again with another post to wrap up 2014 and this time, it will just be a simple list of every book I read this year in chronological order starting from January and the rating I gave them.This probably will not be very interesting but it’s really for my own benefit. If I have done a review of the book(which isn’t really that likely for most of them), I will tell you this and put a link to the review next to it. Also just a note, any novellas that I read will be in red.

September Wrap Up

So, it’s the end of September  and I feel really bad because this month I just got caught up in school work and I have been busy during the weekends. I just haven’t been making sure that I have time to blog so I’m sorry I apologise. I’m currently in the middle of some posts which I’m probably going to schedule just so that I upload some posts in October. As well as posting less, I’ve also been reading less. This month, I’ve read 6 books but one of them was very long so don’t judge  me. Next month, hopefully I’ll have more of a schedule so I’ll be reading more and posting more hopefully. Now let’s talk about the books  I actually read this month.

The first book I read this month was of course Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas. Now I must say this book took over a week for me to read because I just couldn’t find myself to just fall straight back into the world because it has been almost a year since I read Crown of Midnight but after I got past the first 100 or so pages, I fell into the book and I just loved it so much. The reason I haven’t written a review of it is because it is the third book in a series and I can’t write a review of it without talking about what actually happened in it. This is my favourite book in the trilogy because it was so fabulous. I can’t even tell you why I loved it so much because I loved everything about it and there was nothing I didn’t like. There were new characters in this book and I loved them all. BUT THAT ENDING! The ending just made really excited for the next one because oh dear lord what even happened?  I need to know what happens next. Seriously Sarah J Maas? After the cliffhanger at the end of Crown of Midnight, I thought Heir of Fire wouldn’t have a cliffhangery ending but it did! And it was an even worse ending and I just need to know what happens next! Obviously I ended up giving it 5 out of 5 stars.

The next book I read was A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall. This was a really cute fast paced contemporary romance that I read in less than 24 hours. I really needed to read this after that ending to Heir of Fire and this book was just everything I needed. It was a cute romance that was just told in 14 different points of view so it wasn’t just your ordinary romance story. I wrote a whole review on this book so definitely go check that out if you’re interested. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars because it was fabulous.

The next book I read was The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey. I was so excited for this book because I read The Fifth Wave the week it was released and I really loved it so I had really high expectations for this book. However it was slightly disappointing. The first half of the book was so slow and it took me so long to read it. However the second half was really action packed and I loved the second half. However, the second half wasn’t about Cassie or Evan. It focused on Ringer and I did love her a lot more in this book. However I was expecting more Evan Walker in the book and that really depressed me. I couldn’t write a review of this book because I just don’t know what I’d say.  I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars because the second half just bumped it up higher.

The next book I read was another book I read in just over 24 hours and that was Rites of Passage by Joy N Hensley. I had been so excited for this book for a couple of months now because it just sounded so fabulous and unique. So when I did finally get around to reading it, I just fell in love with it so much! I loved it so much and I somehow managed to put my opinions about it into a review so click here if you want to watch it. But honestly, this book is so unique and different and everyone really needs to read this book because it teaches you about so much.

The next book I read was Half Blood by Jennifer L Armentrout. Now I shall be writing a review of this very soon because I got it for review from Bookbridgr. But let me just say a few things. Throughout this whole book , I was convinced that I was reading Vampire Academy with the names changed. These two books are really similar but I did still enjoy Half Blood, especially towards the end. I am currently reading Pure, the second book in this series and I’m loving it a lot more. I did give this book 4 out of 5 stars but look at for a review coming out soon hopefully!

The last book I read this month was another book that I read in less than 24 hours and that was Hung Up by Kristen Tracy. I wanted a quick light-hearted contemporary that I would just fly through really quickly so I picked up this one. I did fly through it quickly because it is told entirely in phone calls but I just didn’t like it at all. The two main characters were really annoying and I just found the whole situation completely unbelievable. Some of the conversations they had weren’t really appropriate conversations for two people that had actually never met before. I ended up giving this book 2 out of 5 stars.

Monthly Wrap Up:

Books at each star rating:

1 star: 0 books

2 stars: 1 book

3 stars: 0 books

4 stars:2 books

5 stars: 3 books

Favourite book of the month:  Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

I didn’t have a bad reading month but I could have read more and hopefully I will in October! I’ll see you guys soon with another post.

Sofia

Solitaire Launch Party

So last night I attended the launch party for a new book called Solitaire by debut author Alice Oseman over at Waterstones Birmingham. Having read and loved this book, I was incredibly excited for this party and it did not disappoint. So here’s my recap of the evening.

I am no stranger to these YABirmingham events, since I really do love YABirmingham and everything they do. As soon as they announced this, I already knew that I was going to be there! I love the book so much so of course I wanted to come and support Alice as she started her journey as an author. Me and my friends were  some of the first people to arrive, even before Alice herself had arrived so we saw her as she walked in. She did look absolutely stunning. The whole room was also absolutely stunning. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of it since my camera phone decided to break down but there was an amazing Solitaire banner and there were balloons everywhere. We sat down for a while as Alice talked to some of her family and friends but then as everyone started walking in, we started to mingle slightly. And then the actual party begun. Alice sat on the stage and read some passages from Solitaire, which was really fun to listen to especially since I knew exactly what part she was reading. I felt like I could read along with her and I knew some of the next lines which was amazing. It was amazing to hear the voices the way the author had imagined them and to see her act them out was just fabulous.

She then did a Q&A with Bex from YABirmingham which was entertaining to see her views on some things. She wasn’t afraid to talk about things that other authors may be afraid to talk about. For example, she talked about perfect castings that she’d imagined which was fun(especially when she said Robert Sheehan). She answered many questions about writing and getting your book published and gave some quite helpful advice for young aspiring authors(such as myself). She answered so many questions on the night and it’s hard to remember some of the answers. She did say that she is in the early stages of writing a second book which is due to come out next summer! I am incredibly excited for all the future books from Alice since her writing is honestly fabulous.

They then ended the Q&A and Alice set up to start signing books. Me and my friends were at the start of the queue and were incredibly excited to get our books signed since some of us had already read the book! We went down and she asked if I had a colour preference which was sweet. I chose the purple pen after getting peer pressured into it. She saw my name and recognized me from twitter which was amazing! It felt amazing to get recognized for the love you have for an author and her book. I got my individual picture with her but I looked absolutely terrible so no I won’t share that photo, however we did take a group photo with her which I’ll put at the end.

We then spent the rest of the night socializing and trying some of the amazing food they had for us. Unfortunately, we had to bid farewell to everyone and go home but the night was so amazing and I loved it very much. Thank you to YABirmingham for holding another fabulous event! If you’re interested they have three other events coming up in August with David Levithan, Lauren Oliver, Moira Young and Leigh Bardugo. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend any of the events but I’m sure they will be just as amazing as the rest so go check out their blog for more details. Also go follow them on twitter @YABirmingham and definitely go follow Alice on twitter as well @AliceOseman. You should all go buy Solitaire since it is an amazing book written by an amazing author. If you want more reasons as to why you should read Solitaire, check out my spoiler-free review here. Again a massive thank you to YABirmingham and to Alice herself for such an amazing night.

Our group photo with Alice Oseman!
Our group photo with Alice Oseman!

Sofia

Not A Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Recently, I received a copy of Not A Drop to Drink and I couldn’t have been more excited to read it. Ever since I heard about this book last year, I was so excited to read it but I never ending up getting my hands on it. But now I have one and I’ve read it. I absolutely did adore this book. If you don’t know what this book is about, here’s the synopsis for you:

Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water. 

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

This is a great dystopian novel that is just simply a story of survival. What I did love about this story was that it was just about a girl who was doing whatever she can to survive. When I first started reading this book, it took me a while to get into it but once I got into it, I couldn’t stop reading because it was a fast paced dystopian novel. I have missed reading fast paced dystopians so this one was amazing.

I think Lynn was a great main character. She was strong and she knew what she had to do in order to survive. She did grow throughout that book as she started off as a very lonely and isolated character but she grew to let people in. However she didn’t lose her essential desire to survive. She didn’t let people do things for her, even at the end as she is a very independant person who likes to be in control. However, when she first comes across the other characters and starts talking to them you realize just how much she doesn’t know. Living with her mother in an isolated house for her whole life meant that she wasn’t aware of things that we all know such as flirting or sarcasm. This made her a very weird person around others as she didn’t understand fully. I still did really enjoy Lynn as a character and I think in the second book, I will like her more.

poor-conversationalist
Whenever Lynn would talk to anyone throughout the book this gif ran through my mind(and not just because it has Dylan O’Brien)

Most of the side characters were good too. I loved Stebbs, Lucy and Eli. I feel like they all bought out a new side to Lynn and they did change her quite a lot. Stebbs made her open up and let people in because he convinced her that she needs to start talking to other people. Lucy made her realise just how much she enjoys the company of others and how she can still take care of others while protecting herself. Eli just changed her and made her better because he helped teach her new things that she wasn’t aware of and he taught her how to love. I really didn’t understand Neva and I didn’t like her character at all.Even after what she did at the end, I didn’t like her. The final side character that appeared was Vera. However, she only appeared about 80% through the book and I hardly got to know her but for now I like her.

This is only a four star read because at the start, I found it to be quite slow until the thing happened that completely changed the book as a whole as well as the pacing of the book. It is also only four stars because I felt as if the ending of this book was too rushed. If this book was slightly longer and the ending was spread out over possibly 100 more pages, I would have enjoyed it a lot more and possibly have given it 5 stars. I also really didn’t like the thing that happened to a character at the end. Why did that have to happen? I felt as if it was unnecessary and the response to what happened was too quick to really appreciate why it happened.

When that thing happened at the end, I didn't feel overwhelmed with sadness. This was basically me when it happened.
When that thing happened at the end, I didn’t feel overwhelmed with sadness. This was basically me when it happened.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. I am very excited to get my hands on the second one and read it as soon as possible. Thank you for reading and see you soon with another post.

Sofia

The One Where Sofia Discusses Her Love For Friends

I love many TV shows(check out my top ten TV couples list) but Friends will always and forever be my favourite TV show so I thought I’d tell you all why I love Friends so much. This is not a book related post but I wanted to do it anyway.

friends-gif

 

So why do I love Friends? I got into Friends in year 7. For those of you who live in the UK, Friends used to come on every day on E4 and me and my mum used to watch almost every episode. It has since been replaced by The Big Bang Theory(don’t get me wrong I love The Big Bang Theory but it isn’t Friends) and has been moved over to Comedy Central. I don’t have Comedy Central which is quite annoying so the first big purchase that I ever made with my own money was the complete Friends boxset. This is normally around £100 but it was on sale for £40 so I bought it and I have not regretted it ever since. So I guess the first reason as to why I love Friends is because of sentimental value. I still remember watching the episodes with my mum and my siblings occasionally and I loved that.

I got into Friends at the same time that I got into Harry Potter. I’d seen the odd Friends episode before but I had never started loving it until then and the same thing happened with Harry Potter. I had seen all the films but I had not fully appreciated it’s beauty until then. I made friends in year 7 because of my new found love for Harry Potter and because of my new found love for Friends. As a group we all loved Friends and we would talk about it endlessly and watch episodes together. So the second reason I love Friends is because it helped me make friends.

The third reason is because I see parts of myself in all of the main characters. Even though I am clearly not an adult going through the things they go through, I still feel like I can relate to them all in different ways. Chandler is basically like me in the way that he is quite sarcastic and he uses humour as a defence. I don’t always use humour as a defence but I do sometimes and I can be very sarcastic when I want to be(which is most of the time).  People don’t always think he’s funny because they don’t get his jokes and I’m like that because I make fandom related jokes and nobody understands them. He also has a lot of self esteem issues and that is basically me as well. He also isn’t very good at advice or comforting people and I think we’ve already established that I’m basically Chandler Bing. Also, he can’t cry just like me!

chandler advice chandler bing funny

 

I am also quite like Monica. I love to cook(mainly baking but I still love to cook) as does Monica. I’m also very annoying without realising. I’m somewhat of a neat freak as well but not as much as Monica is. I am slightly crazy like Phoebe and I’m wacky and weird like her. I also am a bit silly and stupid sometimes like Joey. I’m also just as bad at French as Joey is and I’m doing it for GCSE so I am well and truly screwed. I also get confused over everything just like Joey does. Also I share his love for food, especially pizza. Pizza is just the best thing ever. I am not as similar to Ross and Rachel as I am with the others but I still love them.

joey-confused joey-pizza

I haven’t yet told you the main reason why I love Friends so much. That is because it is so bloody funny! I love to watch Friends no matter how I’m feeling. Whenever, I’m feeling down I watch Friends because it always cheers me up. I think I’ve seen every Friends episode so many times that  I could probably quote whole episodes to you. I just love Friends so much. I share this love with most of my friends especially Priya and Veena and I think our love for Friends has strengthened our own friendship. So my love for Friends is similar to my love for Harry Potter because it helped me find friends and it’s always there to cheer me up. so thank you Friends and anyone who was ever involved in making it. I love you all because you’ve just made my life happy.

I love everybody who was involved in making Friends as much as Joey loves Chandler.
I love everybody who was involved in making Friends as much as Joey loves Chandler.

Sofia

Q&A with Sophie Davis

Hey! Recently, I read the whole of the Talented saga by Sophie Davis in less than a week and let’s just say I got a little obsessed. Sophie Davis had sent me a copy of Talented for review(click here for my review) and then I automatically went and got the rest of my kindle and read them all. I then emailed Sophie and told her that I loved her books and that I was interested in doing a short Q&A with her for the blog. Surprisingly, she agreed! Now I had to think of some questions but since I had never done this before, I ended up coming up with the generic questions but honestly, I was interested in her responses to the questions. I’m not a very creative and original person so I had to go with the generic questions. I loved Talented very much but you can’t buy a physical copy within the UK. However if you have a kindle or a device to read kindle books on, Talented is free! Definitely go check it out. If you don’t know what it’s about here’s the goodreads summary for you:

Block it out. Impossible for Talia Lyons. When you’re a Mind Manipulator, it’s hard enough to block the thoughts of others, let alone your own.

Block it out. The pounding, siren-ready world Talia inhabits as she trains with her fellow Hunters, the country’s top-secret covert operatives. The physical demands. The emotional toll.

Block it out. The secrets that Talia’s boyfriend is hiding. Talia’s unbidden feelings of frustration and annoyance toward her teammate, the Casanova of the compound. The wondering why she cares what he thinks.

Block him out. Ian Crane. The man behind the bloodshed marring Talia’s memories of her murdered parents. The man she’s determined to kill.

Block it all out. Focus.

Talented is an emotionally raw Dystopian Romance, about the life of a girl with extraordinary psychic powers, and what happens when a heart is torn between love and rage.

So without any more waffling from me, I present to you my very short Q&A with Sophie Davis, the author of the Talented saga.

What was your inspiration to get into writing?

 Hmmm, well, let’s see.  I have been making up stories in my head for as long as I can remember.  I used to be an avid runner, and would pass the time on long runs by telling myself stories.  Each run, I’d pick up the story where I left off the last time.  Sometimes I’d start the story over, sort of revising as I went.  But I didn’t actually try to write one of my stories down until I met a work friend who is really into writing.  I started reading her stories and providing feedback, which gave me the idea to give writing a try.  There were a lot of false starts, but eventually, Talented, was finished.

 Any tips for aspiring authors?

 Write every chance you get.  Just like with anything else, the more you practice, the better you will become.

 How did you get the ideas for this unique world?

 The idea for the Talented world came while I was studying for the bar exam just after law school.  I was staying with my parents in the boonies and the only non-studying time I had was during my runs.  I was so overwhelmed that I started to think how much better life would be if I could just read the minds of the smarter students around me.  It all sort of snowballed from there.  By the end of that summer I had the overall storyline for Talented Saga mapped out.  It would take me another three years to actually write the first draft.

Your book centers around people with Talents and they are basically like superheroes. Do you have a favourite superhero?

Favorite superhero….that’s a hard one.  Do the Incredibles count?  I LOVE that movie.

 Do your characters reflect a bit of you in them? Are you more like Erik or Talia or any of your other characters?

 A little bit.  Talia physically resembles me in some aspects.  I, too, am pretty short and have brown hair that I sometimes wear curly.  When I was a teenager, I was a lot like Talia in the act-first-ask-questions-later respect.

 What is your favourite part about being a writer?

 The work wardrobe.  I live in pajamas and yoga pants!

 Do you have a specific area where you love to write?

 I have a large desktop computer where I do most of my writing.  But I do love sitting outside to write.  It helps me block out distractions like my dogs, the overflowing hamper of dirty laundry, and the dishwasher that needs to be emptied.

 Your Talented series contains a lot of romantic scenes, are these easy or difficult to write?

 The romantic scenes are usually pretty easy to write, but extremely hard to revise/edit.  It’s sort of strange reading back through those scenes to make sure they aren’t too steamy or too boring but just the right amount.

 Your book also contains a lot of violence, do you prefer to write violence scenes or romantic scenes?

 It depends what type of mood I’m in.  The fighting scenes are usually easier to come up with since I think a lot about them while I run, when my adrenaline is going.  Both the fighting and the romance scenes are fun to write, though, since they are the most interesting to read.

What is your favourite YA book?

 My favorite YA book is the Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler.

And finally, for a little bit of fun, who would you marry, who would you kiss and who would you throw off of a cliff: Erik, Donavon or Henri?

I’d definitely marry Erik, kiss Henri, and throw Donavon off of a cliff .

 

Thank you all for reading and thank you to Sophie Davis for agreeing to do this Q&A for my blog! Make sure you all go check out Talented because it is absolutely fabulous. See you guys soon with another post.

Sofia