Books That I Want to Reread in 2016

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I know it’s quite late to be posting this, but I’ve been watching a few videos or Booktubers talking about the books that they want to reread this year and it got me thinking. I used to reread a lot, but I haven’t for a while now, since gaining a lot more books, but there are some (mainly series) that I would love to go back and revisit, for different reasons.

The House of Night series – P. C. and Kristen Cast

This is one of my all time favourite series. I first read it around seven years ago and I’ve read the earlier books multiple times. I know that it has a lot of mixed reviews, but I started reading it before my decision could probably be influenced and I fell in love with it pretty much straight away. I haven’t reread it for a while now, and I am desperate to revisit the story. I’m considering maybe a book a month as there are twelve, although one month will have to have two, as I won’t get chance to start it this month. I daren’t marathon the whole lot as last time I did that it put me in such a long reading slump because I couldn’t get over the books and I don’t want that to happen again!

The Harry Potter Series – JK Rowling

Need I explain? Believe it or not, I’ve only read this series once, and I have never read the final book. However, since joining bookstagram / booktube seeing everyone’s posts has made me want to read it again. Also my friend (you know who you are because I’m 99% sure you will read this!) has recently read it and won’t stop talking about it and it’s made me want to read it again!

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

I don’t know why, but I just really feel the urge to reread this one. I’m one of those people who rarely cries at books (and pretty much never at films) but this one had me laughing then sobbing and then laughing through my tears, and I just really want to experience that emotion again (I know, I’m weird, but I think every book lover has wanted to reread an emotional book over and over again).

1984 and Animal Farm – George Orwell

I’m going through a George Orwell phase, I’ll admit it. and I really want to read his two most favourite books again. Adult dystopian is one of my favourite genres and 1984 is the dystopian to read. I read both of these about five years ago, so it’s about time for a reread. When I read Animal Farm I read it when I was thirteen and I didn’t fully understand it, not in the way I would now. So I want to read it and appreciate it now I’m old enough to thoroughly understand what it’s saying.

Holes – Louis Sachar

I recently found this book out as I was rearranging my bookshelf (I made a new one so that I can fit pretty much all of my paperbacks on it) and remembered how much of an enjoyable book it actually was. It’s short and a younger book, but I think it will be fun to sit down and reread a book from when I was 12 / 13.

Three books that I want to reread but aren’t such a priority compared to the others:

The Giver – Lois Lowry

This book is just amazing. It was the first book that I read in 2015 and it has embedded itself in my mind and I just want to absorb it again. Honestly, it’s fantastically written and a wonderful (dystopian) story which is thought provoking and interesting (my kind of dystopian basically) and it’s really short, so it won’t take long to read.

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

This is one of my favourite books and I just want to relive the story again and again. I love the interesting narration and the setup of the book and it’s just brilliant. Also, the film is actually really good for this book – I’m not normally a film person and I had such low expectations as I wasn’t sure how they’d work with the narrator but they did such a great job in my opinion and I’d highly recommend it.

Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

This is such a cute book and I love Cath as a character (I love all of the characters to be honest) and I repeatedly see it on bookstagram, booktube and blogs which have all made me want to reread it and fall in love with it again. (But first, I want to read Carry On).

Are there any old favourites that you want to reread at some point this year? Do you reread books a lot or not so often?

The Light That Gets Lost – Natasha Carthew

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Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary.

Publication Date: November 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury Childrens

Format: eARC from Bloomsbury Children’s via Netgalley

A small boy hiding in a cupboard witnesses something no child should ever see. He tries not to look but he still hears it. And when he comes out, there’s no mistaking. His mum and dad have been killed. And though he’s only small, he swears that he’ll get revenge one day. 

Years later, Trey enters a strange camp that is meant to save troubled teenagers. It’s packed with crazies, god-botherers, devoted felons and broken kids. Trey’s been in and out of trouble ever since the day the bad thing happened, but he’s he not here for saving: this is where he’ll find the man who did it. Revenge and healing, salvation and hell are a boiling, dangerous mix, and Trey finds himself drawn to a girl, a dream and the offer of friendship in the dark.

(from goodreads.com)


I can’t quite decide how I feel about this book, as there were parts that I really liked and parts I didn’t. One thing I must mention though, is that I was reading an ARC of this book and it really did read like it hadn’t been edited. So any mention of it reading like it hadn’t been edited could literally be because it hadn’t been edited and therefore corrections hadn’t been made (the incorrect “your” was used at one point which really irritated me, and this is why I feel that it definitely hadn’t been edited).

One thing that kept nagging at me as I read this book was that there were references made in this that made it sound slightly dystopian. I don’t know, this could just be me, but reading a book where the world is becoming more violent and the balance of power is shifting etc definitely shouts dystopian to me. I wouldn’t definitely class this as a dystopian though, as it does read very much like a contemporary and very little is learned about the outside world as the story is set in a camp.

If I’m honest, I didn’t like the writing style and I took a long break from this book before going back to it (although the masses of homework I had did not help things) as I was finding it hard going. The writing is choppy and short, and I struggled with the characters and what they were saying too. So many words in their dialogue were shortened or slang, and it made it difficult to read. I’m all for the use of accents and slang, but I think that there is a point when it makes it difficult to read if you’re not from the area that uses such words. (Or just don’t understand the words that they use – even if they’re not specific to an area).

The character development was really very good however, especially in the case of Trey. He started off as a very simple character and throughout the book more and more was revealed about him and he changed and grew as a character, learning lessons throughout. I really enjoyed this change in Trey as it was slowly developed throughout the story and didn’t just suddenly happen, which was good.

On the other hand, I found it difficult to like many of the characters. Lamby, who I was supposed to like, I found annoying (although I didn’t hate him) and the characters that I was meant to dislike really got on my nerves. I did like Kay however, as she seemed the most level headed in the story and her character was needed to stop it seeming melodramatic and over the top in places.

The plot of this story was good and fast paced, with a lot happening. In the earlier parts of the book, these events are all minor, until everything changes around halfway through, when it picks up pace. It’s quite violent, and almost disgusting at points (both in that it’s (kind of) gory (it has a couple of vivid descriptions) and some of the characters were just vile) but these disgusting parts aren’t common.

I did enjoy this book in a way though, and I’d probably recommend it, because a lot of people will enjoy the writing style and thus enjoy the book, as the writing style was the main thing that I disliked about it. It was a good story and it wasn’t very long and I also did like the main characters. The character development was extremely strong in this book and probably my favourite aspect of the story was the change in attitudes Trey goes through and how he changes throughout.

Rating: 3 / 5 stars.

Beside Myself – Ann Morgan

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Genre: Thriller, Adult, Mystery

Publication Date: January 14th 2016 by Bloomsbury Publishing

Format: eARC from Bloomsbury Publishing via Netgalley.

Helen and Ellie are identical twins – like two peas in a pod, everyone says. 

The girls know this isn’t true, though: Helen is the leader and Ellie the follower.

Until they decide to swap places: just for fun, and just for one day.

But Ellie refuses to swap back…

And so begins a nightmare from which Helen cannot wake up. Her toys, her clothes, her friends, her glowing record at school, the favour of her mother and the future she had dreamed of are all gone to a sister who blossoms in the approval that used to belong to Helen. And as the years pass, she loses not only her memory of that day but also herself – until eventually only ‘Smudge’ is left.

Twenty-five years later, Smudge receives a call from out of the blue. It threatens to pull her back into her sister’s dangerous orbit, but if this is her only chance to face the past, how can she resist?

(from goodreads.com)


 

I’m going to start by saying that I nearly did not finish this book at 15%. Characters play such an important role in whether I like a book or not, and I hated all of the characters at the early stages in the book. I mean, the mother was just awful and the way the twins treated each other was absolutely vile. The mother was the worst, the way she treated the one daughter like a princess and spoilt her rotten and the other one like she was an irritation. They’re twins. It doesn’t matter who is who, they should be treated equally. This hatred of the characters nearly made me leave it. It’s only because I was so kindly given this for review that I actually made myself finish it. It’s sad, because it looked so interesting in the summary on Netgalley.

Having said that, it did grow on me. The book alternates between the past and the present tense (I’ll talk about this in a minute) and while I couldn’t care less about the childhood chapters / parts, I quite liked the ones that talked about Smudge and I began to feel something like sympathy towards her *gasps*. I found the present tense of the story much more interesting (and the later past-tense parts) as they were not so much about interaction with the other characters, rather they looked into Smudge’s life and isolation.

The writing style wasn’t for me either, though before I explain why, I can see why people may enjoy it. I just found it too jumpy and manic, and it frequently distracted me from the story itself because I couldn’t get on with it. I also had a problem with the way that the ‘past tense’ parts changed from first to second person around halfway through for no apparent reason. The only thing I have to say about this is why?

I would not call this a thriller, it didn’t have the normal intensity that so often makes thrillers difficult for me to read (I don’t deal well with scary / tense moments). At the same time, I have no idea what I’d actually classify this as, but me mentioning this is more of a heads-up if you’re expecting something extremely fast-paced, with action and mystery. Having the alternating past/present pretty much ensures there is no mystery (though I’m not complaining because I’m not sure I could have read it if it worked through chronologically). A lot have said this is a psychological thriller, and yes, it does play with the mind a lot, so I guess that’s the best option.

I was expecting to end up so confused throughout this book, seeing as two twins had swapped names. My initial thoughts before I started reading were along the lines of ‘how is this not going to be confusing?’. But I wasn’t confused once. Morgan really did this well. By focusing on the one twin, it made it a lot easier to follow and I applaud her for this, because there was a lot of potential for this to go wrong.

Despite what I’ve said, I wouldn’t ‘not’ recommend this book. I’m not going to sit here and tell you all to go out and buy it immediately because that wouldn’t be fair. But if you are interested in the storyline and you want a book with a different writing style, then this book is for you. I’ve read some reviews that have rated this book higher purely because they loved the writing, so it definitely depends on what makes you enjoy and want to read on with a story. For me, it’s definitely the characters, but these did improve later on in the book, and I was much more invested in later chapters than in the beginning, so don’t be put off if you do pick it up but don’t like it to start with.

Rating: 2 / 5.

This Raging Light – Estelle Laure

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Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Publication Date: (UK) January 14th 2016 by Orchard Books

Format: eARC from Orchard Books via Netgalley

Lucille has bigger problems than falling for her best friend’s unavailable brother. Her mom has gone, leaving her to look after her sister, Wren. With bills mounting up and appearances to keep, Lucille is raging against her life but holding it together – just.

A stunning debut to devour in one sitting, Laure captures completely the agony and ecstasy of first love.

(from goodreads.com)


The storyline was gripping and I couldn’t put it down. Definitely a one-sitting read, and I read it in an afternoon / evening because I loved it. I did have a few problems, but honestly, this book was so great (and not just because of the literary references).

Problem? It was a bit overdramatic at times, and I don’t mean the way that the character acts, as that can be a character trait. Some of the events were over the top and I felt like perhaps they could have been dealt with / described in a slightly more realistic way. Although I did love the sequence of events and definitely didn’t see some things coming.

Lucille was a great character, although she did get on my nerves at times with her moaning. However she wasn’t a passive character who let others do things for her, she was determined, got up and did what she had to do, and I love reading about strong characters who can look after themselves (and their little sister) despite their struggles.

I nearly cried towards the end – tears were definitely in my eyes – because Lucille has such a rotten time of it but I adored how Laure showed the compassionate side to humanity too. It pulled at my heartstrings and was so lovely. With so much heartache and negativity that Lucille has faced, it was wonderful to see how others could help her – something that features strongly throughout the book because of her fantastic best friend, but especially later on in the story.

It was slow off the mark, I found, but as the book progressed the story got more interesting and more events happened which obviously grabbed my interest, seeing as I finished it so quickly. The final line though, I was not expecting. But at least the thing that always seems to happen in YA didn’t happen (sort of spoiler: death). That just made it so much better because although so much is left unsaid at the end of this book (sequel?) I liked that it avoided taking the easy route. *Cheers*

Wren, she was so adorable and her feisty attitude had me giggling as she is only a little kid. The way that Laure presented the relationship between the sisters was beautiful and though I have no siblings myself, I could understand and feel Lucille’s emotions and determination to care for Wren.

I really liked this book and it deals with loss and grief and overcoming difficulties very well, in my opinion. I can see it becoming extremely popular. I did like Laure’s writing style, although I found she could be overdramatic at times, but it wasn’t too much that it was annoying, and it was only really noticeable at one point whilst I was reading. Other points were only after I looked back and gave it some thought.

So yes, a worthy read with great characters and a cute romance. (The romance I don’t feel was the main aspect of this book, hence why I haven’t really mentioned it – but it was cute). I feel like this would be a good summer read, or just a great, short book if you don’t want to get into a massive heavy book with school or work etc.

Rating: 4 / 5 stars.

Firsts – Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

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Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary.

Publication Date: January 5th 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Format: eARC from St. Martin’s Griffin via Netgalley

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process.

(from goodreads.com


This is a fantastically written book with a unique and powerful storyline and although I didn’t like the main character that much (I still haven’t made my mind up whether I like her or not) I loved this book.

I’ll start with Mercedes, it seems right, seeing as I can’t make my mind up about her. At some points during the story I really felt sympathy for her, and I quite liked her character. Yet at other points she came across as a complete bitch who thinks she’s better than everyone else. Hence, I couldn’t make my mind up about her. I feel as though I liked her more than I disliked her though.

I loved the storyline to this book, it was so unique and original and I couldn’t stop reading. It was fast-paced, which I wasn’t expecting it to be for some reason, but it kept me hooked. Also, so much more happened than what I was anticipating from the synopsis and honestly I didn’t see what happened about halfway through coming at all. It was a complete surprise.

Another thing, I adored the side characters. Faye, Zach and Angela were all so unique and lovely and I’d happily have a group of friends like them. They were all so different from one another and they worked. Flynn didn’t try to make them a certain way to fit with what’s expected of YA, she made the characters into unique (fictional) beings and I greatly appreciated this. (As I said in a previous post, there will be a post coming up soon about standard characters in YA). All of the characters were so normal too, they were real, and I think good side characters are a sign of a good writer. (I say this because I normally don’t enjoy books where I don’t really like the main character, and I enjoyed this one immensely).

The change in Mercedes was really interesting as the novel progressed. She starts off, in my opinion, as arrogant (though arguably this is a facade), but her personality changes as events unfold and by the end she had morphed into a decent human being. This change wasn’t spontaneous or unrealistic, it made sense in the context of the story and it was clear how the events could and did change her. Everything just worked, and had obviously been well planned.

If you want a cute and unique romance then I would definitely recommend this book. I liked that it wasn’t solely focused on the romantic side and that it focused on the psychological impacts certain events can have, but not in a way that makes it tedious. This was definitely a lot more fun, even when everything seemed to be going wrong. I love contemporaries, and this one is no different and yet it is, because it’s unlike any other contemporary I’ve read, as I haven’t seen another plot like it.

It was fresh, new and made me laugh. I detracted a star because I couldn’t make my mind up about Mercedes; she really was a bitch at times. But overall I was very impressed with this book and I loved the writing. If Laurie Elizabeth Flynn writes anything else, I’ll be picking it up straight away.

Rating: 4 / 5 stars.

Worlds of Ink and Shadow – Lena Coakley

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Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

Publication Date: January 5th 2016 by Amulet Books

Format: eARC from Amulet Books via Netgalley

Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. The Brontë siblings have always been inseparable. After all, nothing can bond four siblings quite like life in an isolated parsonage out on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from their strict upbringing, actually transporting them into their created worlds: the glittering Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. But at what price? As Branwell begins to slip into madness and the sisters feel their real lives slipping away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as their characters—the brooding Rogue and dashing Duke of Zamorna—refuse to let them go.

Gorgeously written and based on the Brontës’ juvenilia, Worlds of Ink & Shadow brings to life one of history’s most celebrated literary families

(from goodreads.com)


This book combines so many different things I don’t know where to begin. First of all, I really enjoyed it. I adore Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre (the latter being one of my all-time favourite books) but knew very little about the Brontës themselves. This book, though not a biography, incorporates many facts about their lives and it really taught me a lot about the siblings.

The plot was really intriguing as there were so many new discoveries as the story progressed. There were things that weren’t disclosed until nearly the end, but it worked (normally when things are held back I get really frustrated with the book) and because so much was happening elsewhere it didn’t really matter that some things were mentioned later on.

I feel that it’s difficult to talk about the characters in this book as after all, they were real people. However, they were exactly how I’d imagine them to be, especially Emily. I feel that the author did a great job of bringing the characters to life I feel like I understand the Brontë siblings and their lives a lot better than I did before. For example, I never knew that Lowood in Jane Eyre was based on a school that Charlotte and her sisters actually went to.

I loved the descriptions of the settings that were included in this book and they made the places seem real, even the completely fictional locations. I can imagine the moors fairly well – I’ve seen them on TV and I’ve read Wuthering Heights – but this added to the image that I have in my head of them being bleak and mysterious and strangely beautiful.

The magic included in this book was not over the top or unrealistic because the author used characters / stories that seem (I don’t know whether they actually are or not) local to the area and thus the character ‘Old Tom’ seems as though he is just a part of the local folklore. In other words, she hasn’t given the Brontës supernatural powers that they didn’t really have, instead their power came from another source that works perfectly with the setting and the context of the story.

My one problem with this book was that, at times, I got confused with the characters. There are a lot of them in this book, and whilst that makes it interesting, it was slightly confusing at times as well. It was especially a problem earlier on before I’d worked out which characters were fictional (i.e. made up by the Brontës) and which were ‘real’. A lot of the time the book just flitted between worlds and thus it took some time to register which world the Brontës were in, but after a while it was easy to tell as the world they created (Verdopolis) was extremely extravagant and different compared to the Yorkshire Moors.

I really enjoyed the combination of the real world and the fantasy world and I think that it allowed for a lot more to happen, with different characters being able to cross into the other world that they don’t live in. I like having the two worlds contrasting as sometimes I find that books set in a completely different world can be too confusing (I don’t read a huge amount of fantasy – that is changing though) and therefore with this book it was good because I was able to compare the real and the fake and work out what was going on when they came back to their normal world.

As I said, I really liked this book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves the work of the Brontê siblings and anyone who perhaps wants to learn more about them, without reading a non-fiction article or book explaining every detail of their lives. Obviously this isn’t solid fact and it is a fictional novel (I mean there’s a fantasy world involved, realistically it’s not going to be all fact) but if, like me, you just want an idea of some of the main events of their early lives, with a fantasy twist and a good story, then this book is for you.

Rating 4 / 5.

This Song Is (Not) For You – Laura Nowlin

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Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult.

Publication Date: January 5th 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire.

Format: eARC from Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley.

Bandmate, best friend or boyfriend? For Ramona, one choice could mean losing them all. 

Ramona and Sam are best friends. She fell for him the moment they met, but their friendship is just too important for her to mess up. Sam loves April, but he would never expect her to feel the same way–she’s too quirky and cool for someone like him. Together, they have a band, and put all of their feelings for each other into music.

Then Ramona and Sam meet Tom. He’s their band’s missing piece, and before Ramona knows it, she’s falling for him. But she hasn’t fallen out of love with Sam either.

How can she be true to her feelings without breaking up the band?

(from goodreads.com)


This was such a good book and I loved so much about it. Before I start with the praise, I’m going to mention the one thing that I didn’t like about it, and it’s the fact that not a lot happened. I just wish there had been a little more to the plot as a lot of events felt like they were repeated again and again and nothing new was introduced, with the exception of the development of the romance.

Talking of the romance, it was adorable. I was expecting a love triangle (*groans*) by the synopsis and the opening chapters. This was, for the most part, avoided, even when it seemed inevitable. I’m so happy about this, and it made the story much more interesting and enjoyable for me, as I’m really getting sick of love triangles (aren’t most people?!).

I loved the characters in this book as well. They were all individual and the author had given a lot of thought to their families as well, which was something that I picked up on and liked. Often characters in young adult books either have the generic loving family or broken, angry family, and nothing in between. Yet in this book I found that each set of parents was different and had their own way of acting and bringing their children up. There was a fairly strong focus on family throughout this book, in the way that the characters mention their parents a lot, whereas they are quite often ignored or rarely mentioned in a lot of YA books.

This was another book with multiple narratives, but it allowed me to understand what was going through the mind of each person, which is quite important to this storyline, as it would have been difficult to understand if you didn’t know how each character felt. I really enjoyed Nowlin’s writing style and thus it was a fun and easy read and I read it really quickly (I think it took me a day to read – maximum of two).

The outcome of this book is unlike anything I’ve read and I greatly appreciated this unique (and adorable) twist. I know that the outcome won’t be for everyone and some people may be uncomfortable with it, but if I’m honest I loved it as it highlighted something that people and society merely judge without understanding. The characters are allowed to sort themselves out without judgement and so it was good to see how they genuinely felt without the pressure of society, and none of them particularly care what others think anyway. I like discovering new things in books, and learning about things that I know very little about, and this book allowed me to learn a little more about the relationship featured (I’m not mentioning it because it’s kind of a spoiler).

This was such a cute read and I would recommend it as some light relief after a difficult book or in the summer especially. I can really see this being a great summer read for some reason – probably because I like light-hearted, fun books that I can read really quickly and easily without having to think too much! I know not much happens, which drags down its rating for me, but I loved the characters and I think that the characters are the most important part of a story and they make this story great.

Rating: 4 / 5 stars.