My Top Books of 2015!

Guys, I’ve had such a difficult time putting this list together! I decided not to include ARC’S that I read in 2015, instead I just included published books. I didn’t know it would be this hard to rule out some of my babies! I couldn’t go any lower than 8 so… Here are my top 8 books of 2015!

*DISCLAIMER- These books are in no particular order and all opinions are mine.*

#1 The Rain duology by Virginia Bergin!

The Rain was the very first book I read this year and I knew from the minute I read it, it would be on this list! I read the sequel the minute it came out and I am so sad to see this series go! I look forward to any more releases from Virginia Bergin in the future, her writing is fantastic!

It’s in the rain…and just one drop will kill you.

They don’t believe it at first. Crowded in Zach’s kitchen, Ruby and the rest of the partygoers laugh at Zach’s parents’ frenzied push to get them all inside as it starts to drizzle. But then the radio comes on with the warning, “It’s in the rain! It’s fatal, it’s contagious, and there’s no cure.”

Two weeks later, Ruby is alone. Anyone who’s been touched by rain or washed their hands with tap water is dead. The only drinkable water is quickly running out. Ruby’s only chance for survival is a treacherous hike across the country to find her father-if he’s even still alive.

Review of The Rain: https://yourbestbookpal.wordpress.com/?s=the+rain

Interview with Virginia Bergin: https://yourbestbookpal.wordpress.com/2015/06/17/an-interview-with-virginia-bergin/

#2 Landline by Rainbow Rowell

After a huge binge read of Virginia Bergin, I decided I needed a little bit of contemporary to bring me back down to earth. so I turned to my favourite author Rainbow Rowell who I knew was going to give me another amazing read. And she did. Wow it was good, I highly recommend it, this book is amazing. Especially for those who want to move into adult fiction, this book is a great starting point and, it’s Rainbow Rowell, what’s not to like?

As far as time machines go, a magic telephone is pretty useless.

TV writer Georgie McCool can’t actually visit the past; all she can do is call it, and hope it picks up. And hope he picks up — because once eorgie realizes she has a magic phone that calls into the past, all she wants is make things right with her husband, Neal.

Maybe she can fix the things in their past that seem unfixable in the present. Maybe this stupid phone is giving her a chance to start over. . . . Does Georgie want to start over?

#3 The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

This is probably the most under-hyped book on my list and I cannot understand why no one has heard of this book because honestly they would love this book if they knew about it! I love the whole idea of using an Amish community because it is just so different and I haven’t read anything like it before or since. With swoon-worthy romance and terrifying horror- this book is guaranteed to grab you and not let you go till the last page. Oh, and did I mention zombies?

If your home was the last safe place on earth, would you let a stranger in? 

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church. But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie’s safe world starts to crumble. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world. Something is out there…and it is making a killing.

Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a decree: no one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elders’ rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community—but what else is she bringing in with him?

#4 Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I know that this year officially marks the release of the final book in the series… I know you guys are probably thinking ‘Where’s Winter!?!?!?’

I haven’t read it yet and I just can’t wait to! I also read Scarlet this year but if you guys have read the series you can see that Cinder was just that little bit better than Scarlet… eeeeeever so slightly. I cannot wait to delve into Cress and Winter and maybe even Fairest! Bring on the completion of The Lunar Chronicles!

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless Lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

#5 The Shatter Me trilogy

Before I read this trilogy, I had heard so much hype surrounding it that I was sceptical I wasn’t going to enjoy it as much as everyone else had. But boy, was I wrong! This trilogy got loads better with each book and came together for one of the most explosive finales I have ever read! I highly recommend this to all lovers of… Books. Yes,it will appeal to every, just go buy it.

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

#6 The Territory by Sarah Govett

This book was probably one of the most rewarding books I read in 2015… I got to meet the author and have a meal, I got to interview Sarah and I got to receive a copy of one of the most poignant books I’ve read in advance! This book gave me the heebie-jeebies but I loved every second of it and cried all night when I had finished with it… Man, this book was rough.

Noa Blake is just another normal 15 yearold with exams looming. Except in The Territory normal isn’t normal. The richest children have a node on the back of their necks and can download information, bypassing the need to study. In a flooded world of dwindling resources, Noa and the other ‘Norms’ have their work cut out even to compete. And competing is everything – because anybody who fails the exams will be shipped off to the Wetlands, which means a life of misery, if not certain death. But how to focus when your heart is being torn in two directions at once?

Review of The Territory: https://yourbestbookpal.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/the-territory-by-sarah-govett-review-no-spoilers/

Interview With Sarah Govett: https://yourbestbookpal.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/83/

#7 The Silence of Six by E.C Myers.

The Silence of Six was the first book I ever buddy read and so it will always hold a special place in me (God that’s cheesy). Anyway, I loved the elements of hacking and love as well as the mystery and suspense. But, you the thing that really sold it for me was the trailer for this book. Seriously, I’m just going to stop typing and just let you watch it for yourself!

Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dlptk5Q9ziM

“What is the silence of six, and what are you going to do about it?”

These are the last words uttered by 17-year-old Max Stein’s best friend, Evan: Just moments after hacking into the live-streaming Presidential debate at their high school, he kills himself.

Haunted by the image of Evan’s death, Max’s entire world turns upside down as he suddenly finds himself the target of a corporate-government witch-hunt. Fearing for his life and fighting to prove his own innocence, Max goes on the run with no one to trust and too many unanswered questions.

Max must dust off his own hacking skills and maneuver the dangerous labyrinth of underground hacktivist networks, ever-shifting alliances, and virtual identities — all while hoping to find the truth behind the “Silence of Six” before it’s too late.

Review of The Silence of Six: https://yourbestbookpal.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/the-silence-of-six-by-e-c-myers-review-no-spoilers/

#8 The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

I have only just discovered the world of LGBT+ fiction and ever since reading this book I have been searching and searching and searching for more books that I can sink my teeth into. I loved each and every one of the characters in this book and it helped teach about ideas that I know nothing about. I love reading about LGBT themes because unfortunately it is a taboo subject and it really, really should be talked about more freely.

Two boys. Two secrets. David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl. On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year 11 is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long …

Interview With Lisa Williamson: https://yourbestbookpal.wordpress.com/2015/09/06/an-interview-with-lisa-williamson/

Wow, that was probably the longest post I have ever written and I am so sorry that you guys had to read that! Well, you didn’t have to but hopefully you read a bit!

I promise you my next post won’t be as long!

Speak to you soon!

 

Read-a-thons 2016!

Hey all!

Here I have complied a list of all the read-a-thons I know of, happening all through 2016. Obviously this is not every read-a-thon out there so if you guys know of any happening in 2016 I would love to hear about it in the comments below. This list will be constantly updated as I hear more so keep checking back here!

January:

1st-31st: #AYearAThon (Benchwarmers)

1st-7th: New Year’s Readathon 2.0 (Instagram)

3rd-9th: Biannual Bibliothon

4th-10th: Bout of Books 15

4th-10th: #TBRTakedown

16th-17th: 24in48 Readathon

February:

1st- 29th: #AYearAThon (Theme TBC)

March:

1st-31st: #AYearAThon (Theme TBC)

April:

1st-30th: #AYearAThon (Theme TBC)

23rd: Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon

May:

1st-31st: #AYearAThon (Theme TBC)

?Harry Potter Readathon

June:

1st-30th: #AYearAThon (Theme TBC)

July:

1st-31st: #AYearAThon (Theme TBC)

?: BookTube-A-Thon

August:

1st-31st: #AYearAThon (Theme TBC)

September:

1st-30th: #AYearAThon (Theme TBC)

October:

1st-31st: #AYearAThon (Theme TBC)

November:

1st-30th: #AYearAThon (Theme TBC)

December:

1st-31st: #AYearAThon (Theme TBC)

?BookTube-A-Thon

I know that there aren’t many read-a-thons on here as of yet but as I learn about more read-a-thons I will definitely add to this list! Let me know if I missed one!

 

Blog Posts To Come!

Hey all!

Just a quick update to let you guys know all the exciting blog posts that are coming your way very soon- I have so many ideas and I don’t just want to post them all in one day so I thought I’d let you know what’s in store!

I was thinking about doing a post about all the readathons I know of happening in 2016 because I’ve looked around and there isn’t a list as of yet… So I’ll make one! So if you guys know of any readathons you’d like to share please let me know! I will also be doing individual posts about each of the readathons I am taking part in nearer their start date so you can get excited and come chat with me about the readthon (look out for a post very soon!)

I’m also doing a post about my top books of 2015- I haven’t yet decided whether this is 10 or 15 books but I have to decide soon!

I’m also preparing a monthly segment where, at the end of each month where I let you all know the books that will be coming out next month- so obviously my January 2016 list will be posted very, very soon!

As well as my obvious reviews of the books I read, I will also be talking about little struggles to do with reading like balancing reading with revision and readathon hacks etc. so if any of you guys have any requests be sure to leave them in the comments below!

If there’s anything else you want to see please let me know in the comments- I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Off to write all these posts!

See you soon guys!

Merry Christmas and an Announcement!

Hello everyone,

Things are going to be a lot different from now on…

Now I have my swanky new laptop- courtesy of my parent’s pockets- I can blog a lot more than I used to so we can have discussions, we can talk about anything you want and I can talk to you all a lot more!

That’s all for now, I’m off to do some internet book shopping with my newly acquired money!

Post to come soon on that!

Ta ra guys! Merry Christmas!

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard Review (No Spoilers)

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Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan Publishers for sending me an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion, all opinions are mine only.

Title: Beautiful Broken Things

Author: Sara Barnard

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Pages: 326

My Rating: 5/5 stars

I was brave
She was reckless
We were trouble

Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realises, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.

Okay, wow, I don’t even know where to begin with this book… Do I start with the end or the beginning…? Going into this book, I had no idea what to expect, but coming out of it, I was so pleasantly surprised, no wait, overwhelmed at what I just read. This story was absolutely phenomenal and something that I think the YA community has really been missing out on! A brilliantly poignant tale of how friendships are the most crucial part of teenage life- I fell head-over-heels in love with it!

So I think it’s fair to say that I was really affected by this book… the friendships and the characters were so realistic that I genuinely felt like I was reading about real people. Rosie, Caddy and Suzanne certainly were not perfect and at times they were annoying but I didn’t mind that! It made them seem more human, and then to me, all the more likeable. Barnard’s characters are so different and yet their sparse similarities are what pull them together and make their unlikely bond a lot stronger.

Like I said, at the beginning, I had no idea what I was getting into with this book, and even 100 or so pages in, I still had no idea where the story was going to go and I loved that! I loved the feeling of complete uncertainty and having no clue what was going to happen to create the inevitable story arc.

Shall we just skip to the ending? and my feels… It’s the first time I’ve talked about this since it happened but it was just beautiful. Well, not my tears. I remember really clearly the whole scene when I finished. I was lying on my bed with my head hanging off so everything was upside down and suddenly the water works just came on and I started sobbing my eyes out! I just remember my forehead getting really wet and thinking ‘this is really weird, I’m crying backwards’ but at the same time thinking ‘whyyyyy, whyyyyy!’

Ugh, I know, the feels.

For anybody who’s a fan of books, I seriously consider checking out Sara Barnard’s debut novel on the Goodreads and definitely pre-ordering it on the Amazon, you will not be disappointed!

Goodreads link- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25437747-beautiful-broken-things?from_search=true&search_version=service

Amazon link (pre-order)-http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/150980353X?keywords=beautiful%20broken%20things&qid=1446151419&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1

Liquidator by Andy Mulligan Review (No Spoilers)

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Thank you so much to David Fickling Press for sending me a press release copy of this book in exchange for and honest review. This does not affect my opinion, all opinions are mine only.

Title: Liquidator

Author: Andy Mulligan

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Comedy, Thriller

Pages: 416

My Rating: 4.5/5

LIQUIDATOR! The brand-new, delicious and wildly popular energy drink. “For those who wanna win!” The company that makes it is set to earn a fortune, with its global launch climaxing at an international rock concert that will SHAKE the planet. The only problem?An innocent child is dying. Meet Vicky and her class-mates – their work experience is about to spin totally out of control as they uncover a secret that could change the world. And put them all in mortal danger …From the award-winning author of TRASH comes an action-packed thriller full of danger, hilarity and – above all – friendship.

When I first got my hands on this book, my first impression was how intriguing the book looked as a whole. That sounds weird but honestly this book has the full package. Spread throughout this book are emails, posters, text conversations … Everything that is mentioned in the book is visually given and that is one of my favourite things ever. I love when a book has visual elements- it really adds to the whole experience! Also, I really liked the ‘spillages’ on every page. Seeing as this book is about a drink that may not be what it seems it was really fitting to have spillages of the drink everywhere. I found it so clever how the number of spillages on each character’s pages corresponded to their traits. That sounds confusing but you’ll understand when I talk about the characters.

Okay, plot. The whole pacing of the book was so, so fast because the story was just so fluid and easy to fly through. It made me feel really great that I managed to get through a 400 page book in three or four days. I loved the whole idea of setting the story around work experience, especially as I have already don’t some work experience and I will be doing it again next year. So I really related to the feelings that the characters, especially Vicky, felt- all the stress and the tiredness and just the general teenage feels. One of the really amazing things about this book is the speed at which we got into the action. Literally, there was action 50 pages in and it was actually crucial to the story line rather than early action that doesn’t mean much… I can’t really say too much more about the plot without giving away spoilers but just know it was such a fun, fast-paced read. A hell of a ride.

Yay! Let’s move on to my favourite part of the story which was the characters! When I first saw that this book was going to be written from no less than 10 perspectives, I was a little nervous because I sometimes find it really difficult to distinguish between different character voices- sometimes they just seem a little bit too similar to me. But here, it was as if every character was a real friend of mine and I was reading about a story they’d all been on together. Also, every single character was different. Take Vicky for example. I knew from the moment i started reading about her that she was the dominant one, the leader of the group. It was the fact that she had so many more chapters than anybody else that told me that. Edgar. I could tell that he was gay and that he had a crush on….. someone, I’m not going to say who- read it to find out! He was my favourite character because he gave me all the feels and he was just so adorable. I won’t comment on all ten characters but there are two more that deserve honourable mentions. First is Michael. Remember earlier when I said that the spillages on the pages represented each characters traits? Well Michael’s pages were completely clean if that tells you anything. I sussed him out to be the OCD, scared of everything child who wanted to be somebody but was brought up in such a way that he didn’t know how. And I was right, hopefully. Lastly is KatKat, wow she was a character. I think she was a little full of herself but didn’t exactly know it. She just had little touches. Like the way she named all her chapters dramatic things and no one else did. She made me giggle.

As you can probably grasp by now, there is a hugely eclectic mix of characters and character traits which I absolutely loved and gave the story a whole new dimension. Each character went on a completely different work experience but the way in which Andy Mulligan weaves it all together is practically ingenious. I loved his writing style and the way everything flowed so fluidly, it was just perfect. There was never a moment where I felt confused or as if the story was lacking in some sort of edge or plot twist. This book covers every genre and I had such a good time reading this.

Highly, highly recommended and I wouldn’t mind giving this a re-read some time in the future!

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27223936-liquidator

Come follow me on Instagram and see photos of this and other gorgeous books!: https://instagram.com/_proudfangirl_/

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Review (No Spoilers)

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This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart…

I’m sure most of you will know about this book and there have definitely been some incredibly mixed things going around about it. I mean, some people really hate this book and they just cannot see and differences between this and any other YA books and then there are some who absolutely love this book and have it as one of their favourite books of 2015.

I have to say that I really enjoyed this and I really don’t see how people could hate it as much as they do. but I’m also not obsessed with it like some people. That does not mean it’s a bad book, honestly I really enjoyed it and I read it so fast and trust me, the betrayal was on point!

Okay, let’s back up a bit and talk about plot. The initial plot of this, I felt, was a dead end and I couldn’t see anywhere it could go. I also thought the separate elements didn’t fit together and I was so so confused… But when I persevered and pressed on and everything began to unravel I was so surprised! There were actually times when I was reading the book and something happened that was so unexpected, I had to put the book down and go for a walk and generally catch my breathe. No joke.

The idea of separate societies is definitely not unique, but the idea of division by blood is something that I really enjoyed and was really unique to me. I really like how Victoria Aveyard made you question something that should be so obvious- who was Silver and who was Red and then once you think you’ve finally sussed it out, everything just flips around and confuses you! I think I yelled multiple times whilst reading this book. Honestly, if you want all the fangirl feels then you should really check out this book!

I think my favourite character in the whole book was… Cal. Or Mare… I can’t tell. But let me tell you, I ship those two so much! I can’t tell whether there was a purposeful love triangle going on… I don’t think I ever hated Cal who I think we were pushed to try and hate for a while. The only thing I could possibly question about Mare is that she doesn’t like any other female character and I think that’s really sad and maybe she’d be happier if she had just one girl she could connect with… that’s all I can say…

I absolutely loved Victoria Aveyard’s writing style. I found it to be so fluid and I just whizzed through the book so fast because her writing was so suspenseful and mysterious and I just needed to know what happened because every chapter ended on a cliffhanger which resulted in me reading 100s of pages in one sitting.

I would highly recommend this book to anybody who is looking for a suspenseful dystopian with all the fangirl feels and a fast pace. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I recommend it to anybody who just likes books!

Red Queen Goodreads link- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17878931-red-queen?from_search=true&search_version=service