October Wrap Up

So this has been a successful month for me in all honesty. I’ve read some reasonably big books and quite a few which is good considering how busy I’ve been.



Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter Review

This is actually a pretty cool poetry book but feels like it’s aso in the style of a play as it mixes between three voices. It is nice for something different if you want to pick it up and try it then you can as it’s really short.

Swarm by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti Review

Oh this feels like I read it so long ago but I loved this book. If you’ve read Zeroes then this is a must read. It builds on the world and the powers and makes it a much more full and fleshed out world. There is also an actual villain in this book which is good because the last book was more dealing with a situation. I’m really looking forward to the next book because there is a HUGE cliffhanger.

And I Darken by Kiersten White Review

I didn’t really know what to expect going into this but it focuses on her younger life which is really interesting but I think it should be known before you go into the story. I also love how the author makes it seem like such a large cast of characters but keeps it manageable bu letting them leave and then reintroducing them.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Review

So this was a nightmare of a book for me. It felt like two books especially since I read the first 25-30% in June and gave up right before we got to Hogwarts because all I wanted was to be back at Hogwarts. Then the rest flew by and I loved it.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Review 6th November)

I liked this book but it is such a long book that I alternated between reading it and the audio book. I think it is an interesting concept for a book but there were so many sections that I just found unnecessary. I also had a problem with some of the characterisation that happened. I have since started Half Blood Prince and it seems to be back in line with the books prior to this which I am enjoying.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Review 13th November)

I loved this book. It is incredible and it is such an amazing sequel. It builds on the other side of the story of Illuminae and it took a while to get used to the new characters but they were done really well and you really started to connect to them. There is a lot of si-fi happening in this book with some abstract concepts but I really enjoyed that. The plot twist were build around the si-fi which makes it incredible.

I’m not doing a Novemeber TBR, if you want to know what I’ll be planning on reading till the end of the year you can check out My end of year TBR


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling


Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy – until he is rescued by an owl, taken to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch and does battle in a deadly duel. The Reason … HARRY POTTER IS A WIZARD!

Published: June 26th 1997

Pages: 320

Rating: Should Read It




The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls’ bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley’s younger sister, Ginny. But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone, or something, starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects: Harry Potter himself?

Published: July 2nd 1998

Pages: 352

Rating: Must Read It



Harry Potter is lucky to reach the age of thirteen, since he has already survived the murderous attacks of the feared Dark Lord on more than one occasion. But his hopes for a quiet term concentrating on Quidditch are dashed when a maniacal mass-murderer escapes from Azkaban, pursued by the soul-sucking Dementors who guard the prison. It’s assumed that Hogwarts is the safest place for Harry to be. But is it a coincidence that he can feel eyes watching him in the dark, and should he be taking Professor Trelawney’s ghoulish predictions seriously?

Published: July 8th 1999

Pages: 435

Rating: Must Read It



So moving onto Goblet of Fire

goblet-of-fireHarry Potter is midway through both his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). He wants to find out about the mysterious event that supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for hundreds of years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal – even by wizarding standards.
And in his case, different can be deadly.

Published: July 8th 2000

Genre: Fantasy, Magical School

Pages: 734

Rating: Must Read It

Format: Ebook

Read from June 23rd to October 14th (yeah I know…..)

So at the beginning of the year I wanted to read a Harry Potter Book a month and finish the series in a year but I got to this book and hated it so gave up. Then loads of books were coming out and Harry Potter was no more.

Now, calm down, I didn’t hate this book, I just really didn’t enjoy the first quarter. Like the whole tournament was interesting but it just was too much and went on too long that it no longer felt like Harry Potter. I do agree that it was important to the story later on but not important enough to be such a long segment.

Turns out I stopped this book right before I got to Hogwarts so when I went back to it I was straight into Hogwarts which is my favourite section because things actually happen! I loved it so much, the story was so rich and there was a real development of characters between Hermione, Ron and Harry. There was also plenty of world building and history brought in with the introduction of other schools and characters. I am a little disappointed that we didn’t get to find out much about the other schools ad magic and I think that would actually be a pretty cool spin off idea (is there any fan fiction out there of that?).

I really love that things have picked up but I’m struggling to relate to Harry’s Age because he’s now at the awkward stage but I think it was harder because I wanted to imagine him older than he was I think. I did really enjoy this book and the element of the game and trials but it annoyed me how much of it was Harry figuring things out the night before…. Like, it was kind of stupid.

I enjoyed the different layers and plot points that ran throughout the story. It really didn’t feel like that long of a book and it made me really want to continue on with the series and keep reading it. How everything came together was what made me love this book so much. I do love how things all have a purpose and that everything tends to get revealed at the end but also a cliff-hanger for the next book.

I always struggle to write a lot about books I enjoy and this is probably my favourite in the series as long as I ignore the beginning portion.


The Sunshine Blogger Award

I was nominated by MirakelBooks, go check him out. Thanks so much for the nomination, this is a pretty fun thing to do!


  1. Thank the person who cominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the eleven questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award & ask them eleven new questions.
  4. List the rules & display the Sunshine Blooger Award logo in your post and/pr in your blog.

Why did you start up a blog?

I wanted to keep a log of all the books I read and my thoughts a feelings so I could look back on them. I am also a bit of a data freak so being able to look back and see everything I’ve read especially when I pick up the sequel is a really handy thing. The community thing has also been a really nice thing.

What are your goals for 2017?

To get to all the books that have sequels or finish in 2017 that I didn’t start in 2016 and are books/series that I’m really interested in. I’ve organised it already don’t worry.

What are your top two books in 2016?

The Martian by Andy Weird and Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

What are your top two TV shows/movies in 2016?

Kubo and the two broken strings, and suicide squad. I’m not much of a TV or movie person so they’re pretty much the only films I’ve seen.

What is your favourite quote and why?

“I’ll die for you but I won’t live for you” – Stephen Chbosky

People always talk about looking out for people and relying on them but the thing is you still have to live your life when people are gone and not try and be them or live their life because then you aren’t truly making the best use of your life or their memory.

What do you prefer: hardback, paperback, or an ebook?

Ebook all the way. I’m not much of a collector and they’re cheaper so it works out. If the physical copy is cheaper then I will buy that version but apart from that they’re not really for me.

What world from books, TV shows, and movies would you like to live in, other than Harry Potter?

I would like to live on the Earth world of The Martian, I think that would be a really exciting world in terms of the level of technology and to know what the future would be like.

Which characters in the books would you love to be friends with?

Blue Sargent and the Raven Boys. Basically Blue Sargent is like my best friend and we would just get on so well.

Pick a scene for you to look out while you are reading: a mountain, a forest/wood, a lake/pond, or an ocean?

Well I am Scottish so it has to be the mountain of course. That’s probably the best because although I’m not far away from the highlands but due to living in the city I don’t get to see them as much as I would like.

What is the best pet name in a book?

Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon. I really want a black cat with green eyes to call them toothless, sounds perfect to me.

What covers are your absolute favourite, even though you love it or hate it?

I love the Raven Boys books, they just capture the story so well. They also have a really nice flow as a series.

I nominate:

Watch Jame Read

Book Wraiths

Books and Fiction

Diana Prince Reviews

Lauren’s Page Turners

The Angel’s Pearl

A Bibliophile’s Obsession

Casey Carlisle

R.M Peterson

The Critiquing Chemist

A Court of Coffee & Books

My Questions;

  1. Three top most anticipated reads for 2017?
  2. Most anticipated read for the end of 2016?
  3. Book you still haven’t got to this year?
  4. Favourite book that was the end to a series?
  5. Favourite sequel? (can’t be same as 4)
  6. Favourite place you’ve visited?
  7. Three places you want to visit?
  8. Favourite dessert?
  9. Favourite band?
  10. Fvourite drink?
  11. Favourite blog post of 2016?

Please link your answers in the comments so I can see! And have fun, keep reading!

My end of year TBR

So I recently sat down and looked at 2017 releases and that brought with it the panic of what books I haven’t read. So this my TBR of the books I want to finish before 2016 is done.

Harry potter and the Half Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

I set out a goal of finishing Harry Potter this year and it sort of fell apart so I’m back with renewed vigor and I will complete it.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


This has just been released and after a few days of fiasco I finally have it in my hands! I’m super excited for this that I put down Half Blood Prince because I need to know!

The Sun is also a star by Nicola Yoon


So I read everything, everything and I loved it so much so since this is coming out I’m super excited.

Heartless by Merissa Meyer


It’s a retelling by Marissa Meyer and has a link to Alice in Wonderland, which I love, gimmie gimmie.

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen


This is my most anticipated book of this year. I need to have the ending to this amazing story. this is one of my favourite series so I’m really scared that it’s not going to go out with a bang.

Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir


I keep putting this book off and it’s gotten past ridiculous now.


My next goal is just to finish as many series as I can. Any books in a series that are planning to be released next year that I haven’t read I’m just going to read them to coincide with their release. These are series that I can complete because all the books are released and I’ll chose from these.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

The Grisha by Leigh Barduigo

Red Rising by Pierce Brown


And I Darken by Kiersten White


No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

Published: 28th June

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Pages: 475 pages

Rating: Must read 

Format: Ebook

Read from 4th to 8th October

This actually has turned into one of my favourite reads of the year. It’s set in such a unique time and place that you feel so far removed as if it is a fantasy but it isn’t. I’ll be honest; this is one of my favourite parts of this book along with the political intrigue and court manoeuvring.

I’ve really been struggling with fantasy books lately because they just don’t have the level of complexity that I want but this book completely filled this well of desperation I have been stuck with. I absolutely love the premise behind the story. I don’t know much about Vlad the Impaler except the obvious so I found this a really interesting take on it.

The one thing that did surprise me is that this book feels like a prequel to the whole crusade and impaling malarkey. I really loved the characters. The author did such a good job building each of our characters as they aged and the relationships between them all that were constantly evolving.  She also had a really clever trick of making it feel like we had a large cast of characters but instead the characters were just removed and reintroduced to the story. This meant that you were only dealing with a small subset of the characters at a time.

I have a couple of issues that I would like to address that seems to be common more commonplace in young adult, fantasy, and books in general:

  • Why is our main protagonist not allowed to be religious? This could be due to a display of rebelliousness but why does this need to be the show of this? Surely there are plenty of other ways to show it, and this book is full of Lada running against the grain. Or it could be a more sinister reason that being religious is just a bad thing and authors need to make sure you know this. Either way I’m not happy about it because it’s become so commonplace to bash on religion (especially Christian religions) but at the same time people are crying out for diversity and wish for less westernised religions to be given the limelight. Now don’t take this as me bashing on diversity but I don’t believe we should bash on another group in search of this.
  • Why is sexual preference being used as a plot point or plot twist? I have multiple issues with this in terms of the fact that I believe again in diversity but not in the sense that it should be this big revelation to shock and awe…. I like that it’s included and I would encourage authors to give it its place but not as a story telling device.
  • Why to be a strong badass woman do you need to be comparable to a man? I pride myself on being a very confident, strong willed female so I may have issues with this due to my biased nature but I don’t understand why you have to sacrifice traditionally feminine qualities in pursuit of that. I fully accept that it can be hard to build up a character to harbour these qualities but it can come across that for a woman to be respected she has to be held to a standard of being a male. For this book it works and I don’t have issues with it in this storyline because it fits but it does cause me to raise the questions.

If you think I’m being overly critical and bashing then please tell me because that isn’t my gain and I would really value perspectives other than my own but these are just some of the issues I have been encountering in books as of late.

However, I seriously did love this book, my issues raised above are very minor points in this book and I never wanted to put this book down because it was just so interesting and different and I would strongly encourage anyone to read this. (You may require a strong stomach)


Swarm by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti (Zeroes #2)

So this review may contain spoilers for Zeroes so here’s a synopsis for the first book.


Don’t call them heroes.

But these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart. They can do stuff ordinary people can’t.

Take Ethan, a.k.a. Scam. He’s got a voice inside him that’ll say whatever you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Which is handy, except when it isn’t—like when the voice starts gabbing in the middle of a bank robbery. The only people who can help are the other Zeroes, who aren’t exactly best friends these days.

Enter Nate, a.k.a. Bellwether, the group’s “glorious leader.” After Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals. And at the heart of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases.

Published: 29th September 2015

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Superpowers

Pages: 546

Rating: Should Read It

Zeroes is a unique kind of superhero book where it isn’t really about heroes but instead young kids trying to deal with their powers which are pretty unusual and diverse. It mainly follows them on their training  missions but we get to delve into the interesting powers and backgrounds of the characters which keeps the story interesting.

If that sounds like your cup of tea then give Zeroes a try.

Now moving onto Swarm.


They thought they’d already faced their toughest fight. But there’s no relaxing for the reunited Zeroes.

These six teens with unique abilities have taken on bank robbers, drug dealers and mobsters. Now they’re trying to lay low so they can get their new illegal nightclub off the ground.

But the quiet doesn’t last long when two strangers come to town, bringing with them a whole different kind of crowd-based chaos. And hot on their tails is a crowd-power even more dangerous and sinister.

Up against these new enemies, every Zero is under threat. Mob is crippled by the killing-crowd buzz—is she really evil at her core? Flicker is forced to watch the worst things a crowd can do. Crash’s conscience—and her heart—get a workout. Anon and Scam must both put family loyalties on the line for the sake of survival. And Bellwether’s glorious-leader mojo deserts him.

Who’s left to lead the Zeroes into battle against a new, murderous army?

Published: 27th September

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Superpowers

Pages: 448 pages

Rating: Must read 

Format: Ebook

Read from 26th September to 4th October

I really enjoyed this book; you get to delve into each of the Zeroes and their past as well as their powers. This time around the team has to deal with someone that is hunting them down and trying to kill them. This comes with a lot of complications and them having to face their own morals and powers face on.

This book does a good job dealing with the bigger issue and the plot and supporting it with character development, relationships and situations that each member of the team has to deal with. I like that there are stories within the group and certain people but that they also fit into the wider story. This book has so quite hard moments to deal with in it that I really wasn’t expecting. There are some graphic scenes in this but I suppose they are in it to make things more dramatic but also to put perspective on the powers. These powers are definitely not a positive and I like that this book that’s that view but not explicitly, you can make up your own mind but it can be really hard to see any of the benefits to this especially considering if you want to use them for good.

I do like that the powers are focused on a group dynamic but I’m waiting for it to be explained why Scams is an individual thing or for a significance to come into it. I don’t want to think it is because the authors couldn’t think up another group dynamic because they proved in this book that they can. I just want something to be tied to it or at least to have someone else for him to bond with. On that note I also would like to know why they have their powers but this is a more minor point. I can deal with it being a millennials thing but at the same time it would be cool to get more information around that but that make be out with the scope and story or this book as it’s not really the goal of the team.

I did enjoy this book and I think that anyone who liked Zeroes would enjoy this too. I think I did prefer it to its first book but I don’t think it would be enough to interest anyone that didn’t like Zeroes.

Have you read this or have you read Zeroes?


Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

grief is the thing with feathers.jpg

In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother’s sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness.

In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow – antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This self-described sentimental bird is attracted to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him. As weeks turn to months and physical pain of loss gives way to memories, this little unit of three begin to heal.

Published: Septermber 1st 2016

Genre: Poetry, Fiction, Magical Realism

Pages: 114

Format: Physical

Rating: Try It

Read from 30th Sep to 2nd Oct

So this is a book that reflects on death, grief and morning. It follows a father and his two sons that have just lost their wife and mum. Enter Crow; a character to replace the mother and to represent the help that a family need to get back on track.

This book is written more like a play in terms of having acts and the characters have their own monologues throughout. It is less focussed around a story and more a central theme that they deal with. The idea is that the Crow is their councillor and helps the Dad work through his problems while trying to keep the boys in check.

It is a representation of what happens to those left behind. The struggles, the change in life and routine, what is held on to, and what effect grief has on each party.

We never really get to know anything, we don’t know the names, how the wife died, the time period, and everything is very abstract.

It is more a style of poetry but I was happy to read it even though I’m not the biggest fan of poems and tend to avoid it but this does feel close enough to a story to be enjoyed by a wider audience.

It’s such a short book and if you’re looking for something different then you should go for it and pick it up.

Till Next Time.