Reading Jar 2016!

So starting in 2015, I’ve kept a reading jar each year of what books I’ve read, the date I finished them on (not necessarily when I started them) and a rating out of five.

I didn’t have my blog in 2015, but here’s a photo of that reading jar anyway:

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And here’s my 2016 one!

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So a normal piece of paper in here looks like this:

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This year I read 27 books (compared to last year’s 50-something, that doesn’t feel like a lot!) but I am halfway through a lot of others that are scattered around my room.

Anyway, onto my read books of 2016!
(Any that I’ve reviewed are linked)

January
8th – Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
28th – Afterworlds, Scott Westerfield

February
1st – Running Girl, Simon Mason
13th – The Potion Diaries, Amy Alward
17th – Fans of the Impossible Life, Kate Scelsa
24th – House of Secrets, Jennie Walters

March
13th – Lady Midnight, Cassandra Clare
20th – The 5th Wave, Rick Yancy
31st – The Sky is Everywhere, Jandy Nelson

April
1st – Rebel of the Sands, Alwyn Hamilton
8th – The Child Thief, Brom
13th – Seeking Crystal, Joss Stirling

May
14th – The Hidden Oracle, Rick Riordan
21st – Broken Heart Club, Cathy Cassidy
29th – Eliza Rose, Lucy Worsley

June
23rd – Marked, P.C. & Kristin Cast
30th – Scarlett Says, Scarlett Moffat

July
1st – Messenger of Fear, Michael Grant
9th – The Raven King, Maggie Stiefvater
31st – The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkein

August
4th – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling
7th – Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo

October
1st – The Fever Code, James Dashner
28th – Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor, Rick Riordan

December
28th – Eyes Like Stars, Lisa Mantchev
30th – The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
30th – Five Go on a Strategy Away Day

I’ve also read The Great Gatsby and Othello too, but I can’t remember when I finished them, so that takes my total up to 29!

Target for next year is 50, as always, and I will put up a post with my to-be-read books for 2017…

Happy New Year!

Holly xx

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Favourite Book Covers

Although we’ve been told ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ countless times, we all do it anyway. Why would you buy an old, battered book in the place of one with a shiny, appealing cover? (Unless, of course, you were looking for that old battered title in particular.)

Here are some of my favourites! (In no particular order)

Tiger Lily – Jodi Lynn Anderson

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I just love this one, the picture, the font, everything about it. Also the caption at the top really makes this book for me!

Briar Rose – Jana Oliver

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Okay, so I mainly love this one for the beautiful font. and the forest background. The sleeping girl freaks me out a bit to be totally honest.

 Ash – Malinda Lo

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Again, the font, but also the whole forest thing. I seem to have a type here, don’t I?

The Novice/The Inquisition – Taran Matharu

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At first I actually thought this was something to do with the Throne of Glass series, but apparently not. How many weapons does this guy need? (The books are fantastic btw – or at least the first one is, I haven’t actually got around to reading the second yet!)

I’ll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson

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Not my usual type, I’ll admit, but it certainly brightens up my shelf. Also the inside has the sketchy look of a art book, which is one of my favourite things.

Rebel of the Sands – Alwyn Hamilton

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Just look at this beauty. The colours, the mystery. All gorgeous.

The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater

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It reminds me of Harry Potter’s patronus. Also, I don’t remember a stag in the book, but it looks majestic enough, so I’ll leave it here.

 Ballet Shoes – Noel Streatfield

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One of my favourite books of all time. I can’t actually pick a favourite cover, and yes, that is a real ribbon around the first one.

So, there’s a little look around some of the pretty books on my shelf! Let me know in the comments what your favourite is!

Holly xx

June Recommendations – Fantasy

Everywhere I turn, new books seem to be sitting proudly on shelves, clamouring for attention. Their covers are shiny and new. People are giving them glowing (and sometimes not) reviews.

But what about the books that have been out for a while? The books that have long been read and are no longer being recommended? Or maybe books that just haven’t been read enough to be well known?

My point is that each month, I’m going to try (try being the operative word) and recommend a few books of a particular genre that aren’t quite as well known as they should be. This month: Fantasy.

Without further ado!

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Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson (2012)
Peter Pan adaptation, beautiful imagery and a captivating tale. If you love Peter Pan stories, then this one is a must.

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The Night of the Solstice/Heart of Valour by L.J. Smith (1987/1990)
Okay, so these ones are actually pretty old but they create a good story. I’d recommend them to younger people on the YA spectrum.

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Briar Rose by Jana Oliver (2013)
A lot of people dislike this book. I, on the other hand, love it. Try it if you like weird fairy tale retellings in nightmare universes.

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His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman (1995/1996/2000)
You have probably heard of The Golden Compass which is the film of the first of these books, Northern Lights. This trilogy is pretty heavy going, but it’s worth it. (Actually, the last page confused the daylights out of me, so maybe not. The world building is incredible though.)

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The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (1950-56)
Okay, so maybe a little young, but these are high fantasy books and they’re all relatively short. Some are better than others, I’ve got to admit.

So there we have it! A bunch of oldish (and a couple of newish) books that nobody really talks about.

Are there any other books that aren’t talked about enough?

Holly xx

Hello!

Hello!

I’m Holly, nice to meet you. You like reading, you say? Good. We’ll get along great.

As this blog is going to be mostly dedicated to reviewing books (and potentially movies based off books), I thought that I would start things off with a list of my top 10 all-time favourite books/series. That way, you can get to know me a little, and I can see whether anyone wants to stick around.

Here we go!

10. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Obviously this was going to be on here. I’m actually surprised that it’s not a lot higher, but it has been a long time since I read these. Everyone knows what this is about, so I really don’t need to explain. (Also, if I do, you should go read them instead. Just saying.)

9. Rose series by Holly Webb
This series holds a special place in my heart. Victorian era mixed with magic? Yes please! It is aimed at younger readers, but I have always adored these books, so yeah, they’re on the list. (The sequel series is not, btw; they’re terrible.)

8. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Romantic and hilarious, this book was finished within a day. It’s set in the stunning city of Paris with a cast of amazing characters. If you like rom-coms, you’ll definitely like this!

7. Gone series by Michael Grant
If you’re not a fan of gore, you may want to skip these ones. They are incredibly violent, however they are fast-paced and action packed. Think X-Men meets Under the Dome, with kids instead of adults and you’ll get the idea.

6. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Rose Hathaway is a hero. If you haven’t read these, then please go read them, then come back. We have a cast of diverse characters and loads of action to see us through. Plus a sarcastic narrator. That’s always good.

5. Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan
Another sarcastic narrator, this time male. And half-god. I should probably mention that part.

4. Running Girl by Simon Mason
Mystery time! Garvie Smith is a genius and when his ex-girlfriend Chloe turns up dead, he can’t help but try to solve the case.

3. The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare
Whilst I didn’t love The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices has long been one of my favourite trilogies. A devastating love triangle is actually the least of Tessa Gray’s worries, which must be saying something.

2. The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner
Lots of people hate this trilogy. I love it. I love it mostly for the characters, like Minho and Newt (seriously, who doesn’t like those two?) and partly for the plot. If you like a happy (kind of) ending though, stop reading about three chapters into the third book.

1. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
This book is beautiful. It’s based on Peter Pan and is narrated by Tinkerbell. I adore the imagery and the storyline is fantastic. If you’re a fan of Pan, or fantasy at all, then I strongly recommend that you read this book.

That’s me done! Feel free to tell me if you agree or disagree in the comments. Looking forward to it!

Holly xx