May wrap-up & June TBR

May has been a busy month for me – I had my exams, found out my results (I passed!) and went on a plane for the first time! I went abroad for the second time in my life and saw the beautiful Lanzarote with some uni friends and of course the highly anticipated ACOWAR came out which I devoured in two days (and cried at a book for the first time). It has been a crazy month, thankfully full of ups and good news and not to mention some brilliant books!

Books I read in May:

 

A Court of Thorns and RosesImage result for a court of thorns and roses uk

Author:ย S J Maas
Publisher:ย Bloomsbury
Rating:ย Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starย (reread)

 

 

 

 

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A Court of Mist and FuryImage result for a court of mist and fury uk

Author:ย S J Maas
Publisher:ย Bloomsbury
Rating:ย Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starย (reread)

 

 

 

 

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A Court of Wings and RuinImage result for a court of wings and ruin uk

Author:ย S J Maas
Publisher:ย Bloomsbury
Rating:ย Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

 

 

 

 

 

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Given To the SeaImage result for given to the sea

Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Putnam’s Childrens
Rating:ย Image result for starImage result for starImage result for star

 

 

 

 

 

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Everything, EverythingImage result for everything everything

Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher:ย Corgi Children’s
Rating:ย Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the wonderful ACOWAR came out and I absolutely LOVED that book! I couldn’t stop reading and read it in two days, crying on the last page purely because of the terrible sense of loss, of something ending that I didn’t want to end. It was amazing and I loved it, but I still think ACOMAF is my favourite. I got the beautiful colour map of Prythian as well which I’ve stuck on my wall ๐Ÿ™‚

I loved rereading ACOTAR and ACOMAF but it’s never quite the same as when you read a book for the first time! It’s interesting picking up on little things you may have missed or get mentioned later on.

Given To the Sea was the book included in the April Fairyloot box and I started it on holiday but only just finished it a few days ago. I have to say it’s not a favourite of mine and I didn’t really enjoy it that much, however Everything, Everything was so good and just what I needed!

My TBR for June will include some more contemporaries I think, like Wing Jones and Summer Days and Summer Nights (a collection of twelve summery short stories). I need to finish off my ACOWAR reread and possibly read the Fantastic Beasts screenplay. Hope you all had a brilliant month and June is even better for you!

Jo x

Book hangovers

So recently I finished the amazing and brilliant A Court of Wings and Ruin and it has given me a MASSIVE book hangover and it got me thinking – do I love or hate book hangovers?

And the answer is both. I truly love reading a book that has captivated my attention so much that I am wholly invested in the characters and storyline so that when it comes to an end, it’s like losing something beautiful.

But then I alsoย hate book hangovers because I can’t think about any other book for ages and the prospect of just picking up another book is incomprehensible! I did it last year (after reading A Court of Mist and Fury, coincidentally) – I picked up another book to read after having reading ACOMAF in two days and then rereading it in one. However that was not the right choice because that book paled in comparison which perhaps didn’t reflect my true feelings on the story because, in my state of book hangover, nothing would be as good as the book I had just read.

So I learnt my lesson. Any book that gives me a hangover, I will reread it again slowly and give myself time to get over it at my own pace. There’s no point forcing yourself to read another book, maybe just to get closer to that goodreads goal, because your heart doesn’t want it! It just wants to cling to the book you just read, be apart of it and not say goodbye to the characters or places just yet.

It’s a bittersweet upon finishing a book you’ve waited months for, and there’s always that struggle of wanting to devour it in one go, but also wanting to make it last because you know the more you read, the closer you are to the end of the story.

So give yourself time. Reread that book again, write down your favourite quotes, chat to people about it. Book hangovers mean you’ve read a truly awesome book that will stay with you for a long time, but they also sit heavy on you for days and whilst your mind is refusing to let go of that story, just let it. Time is the best cure for a book hangover – and maybe another reread ๐Ÿ˜‰

What do you do to get over book hangovers?

Jo x

The Rose and the Dagger book review

by Renรฉe Ahdieh (2016)ย Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

Image result for the rose and the dagger cover

With the threat of war looming in the distance and Shahrzad ripped from her love, the Caliph of Khorasan, Khalid, they must each come to terms with their choices and strive to save their beloved city. Khalid desperately tries to rebuild his city broken apart from the lightning attack as finds himself alone as he pushes his dearest friend, the Captain of the Guard away. Meanwhile Shahrzad is back with her first love, Tariq, who is prepared to do anything to protect her.

Shahrzad needs answers to the magic rooted deep inside her and an answer to her most desperate question of all – how to break the curse on Khorasan. But with enemies waiting in the shadows to take down the boy-king of Khorasan, who can Shahrzad trust?

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โ€œFrom the stars, to the stars.โ€ – Renรฉe Ahdieh, The Rose and the Dagger

I adored the beautiful The Wrath and the Dawn and it has taken me ages to finally get round to reading the sequel but as suspected, it was just as wonderful as the first book. Full of sumptuous writing and a love between two characters so strong it could rival the classics, this book is definitely a fitting end to a gorgeous duology.

The Rose and the Dagger picks up where Wrath left off with Khalid dealing with the aftermath of the storm and Shahrzad back with her family and Tariq. Neither is coping well without the other as Khalid burdens the curse that has poisoned his city for so long, and Shahrzad is trying to discover and understand the magic that runs through her blood.

Shahrzad and Khalid are just the most beautiful pairing ever and I love the honest and deeply-rooted respect they have for each other as equals.

โ€œNo. He was not here to retrieve his wife. For his wife was not a thing to be retrieved.โ€ – Renรฉe Ahdieh, The Rose and the Dagger

It’s lines like this one that just made me want to hug the book and thank the author for writing it – it was amazingly refreshing and emotional to read a book where ‘prince charming’ didn’t save the woman or she have to rely on a man to save her. They were both willing to die for each other and had the same stubbornness and need for protect the other – they were one and the same.

Image result for book hug gif

Seriously their love for each other was the stuff of fairytales and I could read more and more books centred around these two characters and in fact, I’d love it if another series was written based in this world because two books is not enough! I love the stories Shahrzad tells and the hint at the A Thousand and One Nights retelling this book is inspired from.

I just love this book so much and I can’t wait to read more from this author!

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I’ll mention a few spoilers now so if you don’t want to see, now is the time to look away!

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There are just a couple of things that happened that I simply have to mention – TARIQ – ahem, excuse me so let’s start with Jahandar.

Once a caring and loving father turned power-hungry, book-clutching crazy man who literally set the whole city on fire thanks to his lightning storm. He won’t give up the book but Shahrzad finds out that its destruction is the only way to break the curse without having to fulfil it.

Shahrzad’s sister, Irsa, goes to deliver the book she managed to rip from her father’s death-grip and just as Shahrzad and Khalid are coming into view, TARIQ decides that he can’t control his anger and lashes out and fires an arrow at the Caliph because he ‘swore’ one of them would die when he next saw him.

(She chose Khalid, just let it go, Tariq!)

And somehow in the time it takes an arrow to be fired, a few pushes and shoves occur between Khalid and Shahrzad and Shahrzad is the one to end up with an arrow in her back.

TARIQ YOU ABSOLUTE MORON. Well done, you just shot your love in the back with an arrow because you couldn’t just stop andย think that maybe she’s happy and maybe she doesn’t want you.

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But all is well and Shahrzad recovers and somehow they all forgive each other?! Personally I wouldn’t if I had been shot in the back with an arrow…

But anyway I was actually stressing out so bad when they finally had the book because I just wanted Khalid to DESTROY IT ALREADY! Has he not read books? Bad things happen if you wait to do something that isย vital in like I don’t know, breaking a curse or something?!

But thank goodness that nothing bad did happen and he finally,ย  finally destroyed the book and broke the curse on his city.

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HOWEVER. It was at this point that Shahrzad got captured by Khalid’s horrible, vile uncle. But thanks to the help from Despina and Vikram, she manages to escape so again, it’s cheers all round and Shahrzad and Khalid are finally going to be back together and rule over Khorasan as Caliph and Calipha!

But OH NO because GUESS WHO’S BACK – the one and only TARIQ and he can’t LET IT GO that someone has harmed Shahrzad. So he lashes out and tries to kill Khalid’s uncle which of course turns everything into a fight and Rahim –ย Rahimย – is the unfortunate casualty in this case as he leaps in front of the Caliph to save his life.

IS NO ONE GOING TO SLAP TARIQ?

Thanks to him, Shahrzad got an arrow in her back and Rahimย died because he couldn’t just curb his temper.

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Okay so besides that moron basically ruining everyone’s lives, there is an even worse person lurking behind the scenes as none other than Shahrzad’s father, furious at losing his book and source of all his powers, leaps to destroy Khalid. He basically wants to win his daughter’s love again since he has become such a horrible power-hungry person so he thinks the best way to do this is to kill his eldest daughter’s love.

I was actually internally freaking out at this bit but thank the lorrrrrd Jahandar came to his senses and did the one useful thing he could do and gave his life to bring back Khalid.

The ending was so cute with Shahrzad and Khalid with their child – I love books that end on a good hopeful note so you can imagine a good life for your characters long after parting with them โค

โ€œIn the end, there is only time for love.โ€ – Renรฉe Ahdieh, The Rose and the Dagger

April wrap-up & May TBR

My exams start tomorrow so this month has been a bit slow on the reading due to revision, but I managed to read five books! One was a poetry and the other a book of quotes so they were very quick reads. I also got to meet Laini Taylor this month and read her brilliant book, Strange the Dreamer. Plus, I got the fabulous April Fairyloot box so even though it’s been a busy month, I’ve had some good bookish treats to get me through!

Books I read in April:

 

Beauty and the Beast Book of the FilmImage result for beauty and the beast book of the film

Author: Elizabeth Rudnick
Publisher: Parragon Book Service
Rating:ย Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star
Review here

 

 

 

 

Beauty and the Beast Lost In a BookImage result for beauty and the beast lost in a book

Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher: Paper Rocket
Rating:ย Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

 

 

 

Strange the DreamerImage result for strange the dreamer uk

Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher:
Rating:ย Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

 

 

 

 

Belle’s LibraryImage result for belle's library

Author:ย Walt Disney Company
Publisher: Disney Press
Rating:ย Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

 

 

 

Love, and youImage result for love, and you gretchen gomez

Author: Gretchen Gomez
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Rating:ย Image result for starImage result for starImage result for star

 

 

 

 

My favourites were Strange the Dreamer because the writing was just outstanding and I loved the characters, plus the story was amazing!!! I also really enjoyed reading the Beauty and the Beast Book of the Film after I had watched it and was still hung up on the brilliance of that live action film. Belle’s Library was a really cute collection of quotes and the illustrations were so adorable, whereas I found the Lost In a Book just slightly less interesting and I found Belle and the Beast to be written differently compared to their characters in the film.ย Love, and you was a really heart-rending collection of poems but personally, I didn’t connect to it much purely because the book was entirely on relationships so it was my least favourite. I recommend all of these books though if you want to experience some awesome writing!

I’m currently rereading ACOTAR in preparation for the release of ACOWAR tomorrow!!!! Unfortunately I have exams so I’ll have to wait till next week to get round to reading it. This month I also want to finally get round to some books that have been sat on my TBR shelf for a while; I need to finish off City of Ashes and maybe read the book that was in the April Fairyloot box!

Have a great month reading everyone! Let me know what you thought of any of these books if you read them.

Jo x