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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Illumicrate November Unboxing!

Hi all!

I received my November Illumicrate box a few weeks ago and I finally have time to do a review of it. Overall I was quite pleased with everything inside, but I wish there was a feature that reminded you if you wanted to carry on subscribing or just have a one-time box, because I didn’t remember to cancel my subscription in time! However, all of the items inside the box were lovely and I think I would have loved them even more if I had actively subscribed to it.

 The Bookish Goodies:

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  •  An AIDEN Candle from Meraki Candles – This is my joint favourite item in the box! The candle is not only based on a book I love (Illuminae), but it smells really good too. I won’t be burning it anytime soon but I really like it.
  • An ‘Evil Plans’ notebook – This is so cute! I love notebooks, and this one seems to be of good quality and it’s perfect for my evil plans for all my characters!
  • A pair of stripy socks from Happy Socks – These will have to be another of my favourite items. They’re so comfy and I’ve never seen a subscription box that includes socks before, so it was a nice surprise.
  • A coffee warmer from Sparrow and Wolf – While this item is cute and well-made, I unfortunately don’t drink coffee! Or tea for that matter, so I don’t think I’ll be using this a lot. However, I know that a lot of bookworms love coffee so this will be perfect for them!
  • Various posters from books I haven’t read (yet), including a gorgeous print from Replica by Lauren Oliver.
  • A sampler of The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr – I had never heard of this book before I got this box, so now I’m going to keep a look out for it and see if it seems like something I’d like.

The Book:dsc03251

This month the book in the box was The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid! I’ve seen this all around bookstagram and Youtube, but I have to admit that I wasn’t that keen on picking it up. For that reason it’s not going to be at the top of my TBR list for 2017, but hopefully it’ll be one of those books that impresses me.

Did anyone else receive this Illumicrate? If so, what did you think of it? And has anyone read The Diabolic and think I need to read it right now?? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading (:

Worlds Collide Tour!

Hi all!

On Friday I attended the Worlds Collide tour, which was the UK tour for Leigh Bardugo and Rainbow Rowell. It was so much fun, so I thought I would recap it in this probably overexcited post. The event was held at Manchester Central Library, which is beautiful.wp_20161028_20_32_06_pro

I arrived at the event half an hour early, but there was already a huge queue outside the library!  Luckily it wasn’t raining and the queue soon went down as more people were let into the building. Once I was inside, I went to collect the books I had bought and chose my exclusive poster (there was a choice between the poster and a T-shirt, but when I saw the poster I knew which one I wanted!). The artwork is gorgeous and it’s made of strong paper as well which I didn’t want to roll up, which made getting it home a challenge!dsc03212

There was loads more people than I had expected, but there were plenty of seats and even though I was sat near the back I had a great view. There was a small delay, which I think had more to do with the fact that there was so many people to get into the building rather than the authors, and then Leigh and Rainbow arrived!

They were so much fun, and you could tell that they were genuinely friends. They were open and honest about how they met and told us different stories about events they had been to, and then they re-enacted some scenes from Carry On and Crooked Kingdom which was hilarious. Leigh was brilliant as Baz!

Afterwards there was a Q&A session, where they offered some writing advice and talked about publishing as well as their books. One thing I really appreciated was the fact that they kept the talk spoiler-free, which was useful for me as I hadn’t read Fangirl yet! (I got my reading schedule mixed up; I finished Carry On on the train there!).

As there had been a fifteen-minuDSC03204.JPGte delay, I was really scared that I wouldn’t have the chance to get anything signed as I had a train to catch which was one of the last ones home, but luckily my row was one of the first to get signed! I first met Rainbow Rowell, who was really sweet and said she liked my shirt. I told her how much I enjoyed Carry On and how much I was looking forward to Fangirl, and she dedicated both of my copies of the books.

Then I met Leigh Bardugo, who was just as lovely! I said how thDSC03210.JPGe Six of Crows duology was one of my favourites and how I was very happy when a certain character emerged in Crooked Kingdom (those of you who have read it will know who I mean!), and she personalised both of my books for me. I picked up one of the Six of Crows cards and got Jesper, who looks as confident and teasing as he is in the books!

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The cute little badge I got with my books!

The event was so much fun and definitely worth the large amount of travelling it took me to get there! Thank you to Leigh Bardugo, Rainbow Rowell, and the people in Waterstones and the Manchester Central Library for putting on a great night!

 

Have you read any of these authors’ books? What did you think? And what was your favourite book signing that you’ve been to?

Thanks for reading (: