2016 Favourites & The Dashing and Smashing Character Awards!

Hi all!

It’s that time of year again when we look back and decide what the best books of 2016 are. This year hasn’t been the best in terms of reading for me because other commitments have meant that I couldn’t read as much as I wanted to.

However, I may not have read much, but what I did read was super! According to my Goodreads, my average rating was 4.2 stars out of 5, so choosing a single favourite book is basically impossible (also I’m just very indecisive, but shh we’ll blame it on Goodreads!).

These won’t be in any order, but enjoy my favourites of 2016!dsc03290

  • Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare – This is the first book in The Dark Artifices series,
    and Cassie didn’t disappoint with another Shadowhunters novel! I love this world so much, and the development of the characters and the world was so strong that I couldn’t help but adore this book. I’m so excited to read Lord of Shadows.dsc03295
  • Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – THESE BOOKS. I’m sure you’ve seen t
    hem all over bookstagram and booktube, but the praise is well-deserved. Having met Leigh Bardugo I love these books even more because the author is so sweet and funny.

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  • Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray – I know I said I wasn’t going to have a definite favourite, but if I did, it would be this one. I have SO MUCH LOVE fo
    r The Diviners, the first book in this series, and the sequel was even better! Libba Bray creates the most wonderful world of 1920s New York, and I can gush about this series so much that I wrote a blog post on it, which you can find here.
  • Cdsc03293arry On by Rainbow Rowell – I am so glad that I went to the Worlds Collide tour (my recap of the event is here if you’re interested) because it motivated me to read Rainbow Rowell’s books, and they definitely lived up to the hype! I love Fangirl, but I decided that Carry On was my favourite because I loved the setting of Watford and Simon and Baz.
  • Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton – I pdsc03292icked this book up in the middle of a reading slump, wanting something quick and easy to read. Instead I got evil ballerinas and a competitive dance academy, and it was brilliant. The atmosphere at the school is so tense, and you can feel the stress and the mistrust between all the dancers as you read the book. As soon as I had finished it I wanted the sequel, and I’m still thinking about it a week later.

As well as my favourite books of 2016, I thought I would do a few questions from the Dashing and Smashing Character Awards! This fun tag was created by the lovely Cait @ Paper Fury, and I thought it would be a great way to wrap up my 2016 reading experience.

  1. Fiercest fighter – I think this has to go to Manon from the Throne of Glass series (I refuse to put Aelin because I’m realising that I don’t like her very much!). Manon is fierce and ruthless in battle, but she’s also fiercely loyal and caring and I like that about her.
  2. Best sidekick – Iko from The Lunar Chronicles gets an honourable mention in this category, but I think I’ll have to say George from Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, who helped Simon settle in and lightened the mood of the short stories.
  3. One You’re Surprised You Loved – I picked up Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford on a whim at the airport, but I am glad I did! It was just the right mix of historical fact and fiction, revealing the busy world of the BBC in the 1920s that I didn’t know existed, and I warmed to the main character, Maisie, especially as we saw her journey from a shy woman to one in control of her life.
  4. The best ship of all – This is so hard to decide! Emma and Julian? Simon and Baz? Helen and Lord Carlston? I think they’re close seconds, but I have to give this title to BLUE AND GANSEY from The Raven Boys series. They are just…perfect. And I would really like someone to give me a Gansey please.

That wraps up my 2016 reading year! How was your year? What was your favourite book you read? Let me know in the comments!

I hope you have a wonderful 2017!

Thanks for reading (:

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Beautiful People: March

Hey everyone!

The questions from last month’s Beautiful People for writers thing (Still don’t know what to call it!) really got me thinking about the characters in my series, and you seemed to like the post (See here for my reply to the February questions), so I thought I would do March’s questions too! I found them on the blog Paper Fury. Without further ado, here are my answers!


1. What first inspired this character? Is there a person/actor you based them off?
Esme is based on another character I created for an earlier version of this story, and I can’t remember what first inspired the early draft of her character! I know she was called Arianna, but I prefer Esme now. Looks-wise she was based on Lily James, as I was watching War and Peace when I started redrafting this series…I haven’t watched the end because I’ll cry!

2. Describe their daily routine.
Esme generally wakes between eight and nine, and arrives at the Department of Supernatural, which she is the head of, by about ten. She stays here, sorts out any business – attending meetings, visiting struggling supernatural people – and stays at the Department for most of the day, getting lunch during a small break. Then, she goes home, perhaps meeting some friends for tea, but mainly just stays inside. She isn’t too exciting before the books start, but she’s very dedicated to her job.

3. If they joined your local high school, what clique would they fit into?
 To be honest, I feel like Esme would be in a popular clique! Either that, or she would have her own clique that annoys the popular people constantly and gets into a bit of trouble but manages to get their way out of it again…that seems to be her speciality at the moment!
 
4. Write a list of things they merely tolerate. Ex: certain people, foods, circumstances in their lives…
  • When people underestimate her
  • Most of her colleagues in the government
  • Coffee
  • People insulting her uncle
  • Mushrooms (unlike myself…as I hate mushrooms!)
5. How do they react in awkward silences?
She’s the type of person that would allow an awkward silence to go on for only so long before she remembered something they needed to do! Esme always has plans whirring away in her head, and she can be quite bossy when she wants to be. 
 
6. Can they swim? If so, how did they learn?
Esme can’t swim as she lives in the middle of a city, even though it is a coastal city. Her uncle never thought that she would need it, and she was never that bothered to learn how to swim either. 
 
7. What is one major event that helped shape who they are?
The biggest event that happens in her life occurs a few months before the series begins, and it is the death of her uncle. Esme has been raised by her uncle all her life as her parents passed away when she was a baby, and she has to mature a lot in a short space of time to take over her uncle’s role in the government.
 
8. What things do they value most in life?
Esme values her friends most, and loyalty is very important to her. She loves her house as it was where her uncle and father grew up and it contains lots of happy memories for her, and later on in the series she values a certain ring as well… no spoilers! The portraits of her parents and uncle are incredibly important to her.
 
9. Do they believe in giving other people second chances? Do they have any trust issues?
If Esme really cares for the person who has wronged her, she will give them a second chance as she doesn’t let a lot of people into her life and doesn’t want to lose anyone. As for trust issues, she doesn’t particularly have any, but because she didn’t have many friends when she was young she isn’t very open and doesn’t share things with lots of people, although as the story progresses she does try and share more.
 
10. Your character is having a rough day…what things do they do to make them happy again? Is there anyone they talk/interact with to get in a better mood?
If Esme was having a rough day, she would find her love interest, Henry, and he would know the way to cheer her up, or let her rant until she feels better. If Henry was busy, she would probably find her best friend Jay and they would complain together and Jay would go beat up whoever had made her unhappy! And, if all else fails, Esme would go and sit in her uncle’s study and read one of his favourite books.

Hope you liked my answers! Let me know what you think of Esme!
(This post took a lot longer than it needed to because I kept getting distracted by Hamilton…)
Thanks for reading(:

    Bookish Resolutions 2016!

    First of all, Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all have amazing 2016s filled with equally amazing books.

    1. Conquer my TBR list! It feels like I have a million and one books to read – okay, maybe only
      (Some of the 70-80 books I need to read!)

      70-80 books – and this fact is stressing me out a bit. So this year I have a plan to Read More, Buy Less! I doubt this will work, given all of the incredible books that are coming out in 2016, but I want to try and limit my book buying, maybe only buying as many books as I read in a month? I’m still not 100% about how to go about this, though.

    2. Read the Harry Potter series – Don’t kill me, but I haven’t read the Harry Potter books! *runs away from angry mob* I never really had an interest in reading them, but this year I have decided to try them
    3. Read Crown of Midnight (and reread Throne of Glass) – I read Throne of Glass last year and, while I thought it was all right, I was not blown away by it (unlike most of the book community!). However, I want to give this series another try to see what everyone loves about it.
    4. Be a better book blogger – A little bit of a vague resolution, but I want to post more often and develop a posting schedule, and maybe write more review and tag posts. I haven’t devoted enough time to this poor little blog!
    5. Finish the novel I’m currently writing – This story feels like my first proper attempt at writing a full-length novel, so I really want to finish it! (I have a bad habit of starting stories and then forgetting about them for years…and years). I may participate in NaNoWriMo – although I already know I’m going to be so busy in November – and, if I finish it, I may post up a couple of chapters on Wattpad.

    Let’s see how many of these I end up completing by the end of the year! (Probably not many, but I can dream!) I’ve set my Goodreads challenge to 50 books, as I know I’m going to be busy this year, but it would be nice if I read more! In 2015 I read 61 out of 60 books. Do you have any bookish resolutions for 2016? What have you set your Goodreads challenge to?
    Thanks for reading(: