Saturday, January 2

Happy New Year and 2016 Goals

Hey Guys,

I know I have been absent on the reading and blogging scene for a while but I'm here to tell you why and what is going to be going on in the coming year.

To be honest, I'm not really reading all that much anymore and it's kind of great to be having an extended break. No stress over reading book in a certain time frame and when I come home from work now I just kinda chill out in front on the TV rather than reading because I'm just exhausted all the time and I can't hack it anymore. The good news is that I am planning on getting back into reading and blogging again. I am still on an extended break indefinitely but I am slowly going to get back into it.

So now for the reason, last year saw me accept my very first permanent, full-time job teaching and it was way more exhausting and tiring than I thought it would be. When I get home I no longer want to read as my eyes are far too tired to focus enough. But my plan for thie year is to try and read a bit more on weekends. If I can focus on my Netflix addiction during the week then I hope to read a bit more each weekend.

Okay so now what to expect on the blog:
The blog is going to be very quiet. Much quieter than usual. Last year I bought my own domain for the blog so K-Books is going to be moving over there this year but progress is very slow and it'll probably take about half the year or something due to my, and my helpers, very busy schedules.
There'll be no memes this year. You can expect to see Waiting on Wednesday and I Still Haven't Read to come back to K-Books eventually but it takes a while for me to find what book I want to feature and then to do the post. Time that unfortunately I don't have. There will be no vlogs this year either. Vlogs take so much time to edit and I just don't have the time to do them right now so all my monthly posts will be up in written post-form only. Also my book haul and monthly wrap up will be combined into one post. I don't have time to be doing them seperately anymore.

So what have I been reading while I've been away you ask? Not much to be honest. I haven't actually completed a book since September when I started my full time contract. But I DO want to share with you my Top 10 Books of 2015 as well as my challenges for 2016.

Top 10 Books of 2015:

These are in no particular order. Just my favourites of the year.

A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR #1) by Sarah J Maas
Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry
Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch
Mortal Enchantment (Mortal Enchantment #1) by Stacey O'Neale
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
Am I Normal Yet? (Normal #1) by Holly Bourne
Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J Maas
The Secret Fire (Alchemist Chronicles #1) by CJ Daugherty and Carina Rozenfeld
Forever with You (Wait for Me #5) by Jennifer L Armentrout

I loved these 10 books and all of them completely blew me away.

2016 Challenges:

In 2016 I am aiming to read 40 books. A lot lower than usual but like I said I'm not reading much. As well as that I'm trying to get through some of the series that I have started but not continued or finished. So for this challenge I've chosen 12 books (1 per month) of books where I have started the series but not continued. These are the ones I have chosen...

Winter (Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer
Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms #2) by Morgan Rhodes
A Mad Zombie Party (White Rabbit Chronicles #4) by Gena Showalter
Stolen (Heart of Dread #2) by Melissa de la Cruz
The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa
If I Should Die (Revenants #3) by Amy Plum
The Heir (The Selection #4) by Kiera Cass
Untold (Lynburn Legacy #2) by Sarah Rees Brennan
Sever (Chemical Garden #3) by Lauren DeStefano
Ensnared (Splintered #3) by AG Howard
The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die #2) by Danielle Paige
Invaded (Alienated #2) by Melissa Landers

These are the ones I have picked out but hopefully I will manage a little bit more.

Thanks for reading and I will speak to you all very soon.

Thursday, November 5

Review: The Secret Fire (The Alchemist Chronicles #1)

The Secret Fire (Alchemist Chronicles #1) 
CJ Daugherty and Carina Rozenfeld

Published By: ATOM Publishing
Publication Date: September 10, 2015
Date Read: September 20, 2015
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: For Review from ATOM Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pages: 424
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From Goodreads:
French teen Sacha Winters can't die. He can throw himself off a roof, be stabbed, even shot, and he will always survive. Until the day when history and ancient enmities dictate that he must die. Worse still, his death will trigger something awful. Something deadly. And that day is closing in.

Taylor Montclair is a normal English girl, hanging out with her friends and studying for exams, until she starts shorting out the lights with her brain. She’s also the only person on earth who can save Sacha.

There’s only one problem: the two of them have never met. They live hundreds of miles apart and powerful forces will stop at nothing to keep them apart.

They have eight weeks to find each other.

Will they survive long enough to save the world?

The Secret Fire was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015. I have never read anything by either of these authors previously but after meeting CJ Daugherty at this years YALC I couldn't wait to read her books. I am such a big fan of Fantasy books that I knew that this one is the one that I needed to read. The Secret Fire absolutely blew me away.

Set in both England and France The Secret Fire follows two teens as they put together a mystery that links both of their families together. They must race against time in order to save both of their lives.

I absolutely loved every moment of this book. From the moment I started the book it was fast paced and action packed. I was hooked right from the start and I couldn't put it down. I absolutely loved both Taylor and Sacha and I couldn't read fast enough for need to know what was going to happen to them.

The Secret Fire has really shown me that I need to read the rest of the books by these two authors because they are just phenomenal authors. The Secret Fire utterly blew me away and I cannot wait to read the next instalment in the series and where the story is going to go from here.

Thursday, October 29

Review: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)
Sarah J Maas

Published By: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Date Read: September 4, 2015
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: For Review from Bloomsbury Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pages: 648
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From Goodreads:
The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series contrinues Celaena's epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

"She was a whirling cloud of death, a queen of shadows..."

Queen of Shadows is probably THE book that was my most anticipated book for the entire of 2015. Ever since I got my hands on an ARC of the first book Throne of Glass a few years ago I have been obsessed with this series. It is my favourite YA Fantasy series and nothing can quite compare to my love for it. To say I was excited for this book was a total understatement and I know there is a lot of mixed views for this book but I have to say: I FREAKING LOVED EVERY MOMENT OF IT!!!!

Queen of Shadows is a game changer. Completely and utterly... nothing in this series will be the same after this one... in the best way possible. From the very first page of this book I was completely and utterly hooked. I couldn't put it down but at the same time I was trying my very very best to take my sweet time with this one as I never wanted it to end. Sarah J Mass is amazing. She has firmly held her place as one of my favourite authors of all time. She is a literary genius and no other YA fantasy series can quite live up to the awesomeness of hers.

When you look at the difference in the characters from the first book and this one you couldn't compare them. They are totally different characters and nothing alike... but I adore that. It shows how much they have all grown. I've seen so many other readers complaining about this fact but I think it is completely realistic. Nobody could go through what they did and not have developed and changed and come out the other side different. It would be unrealistic for them not to.

Queen of Shadows changed everything. So many things happened in this story and it broke my heart... yet I loved every moment of it. It made this story that much more exciting and amazing. I understand why some people really didn't like it. The fact that the romance of it changed somewhere that not many people would have wanted it to go. But I think people need to remember that this story is way bigger than the romance. It's about Aelin becoming a Queen... it's about her taking back her kingdom and ruling her people as she always should have been. To me the romance is just a secondary storyline to that. It doesn't matter who she ends up with as long as the characters end up happy.

Yes, the love triangle changed completely in this book but I loved that. I am still holding onto my hope for Aelin and Chaol to work out but if it doesn't thats ok too. I am still Team Chaol deep down and I think I always will be, but my god I fell so hard for Rowan in this one. He is just amazing and sweet and beautiful and I adored him. Yes, I would have liked Chaol and Aelin to work out in this one but they have both changed into different people right now and that's ok. That's not to say that they won't work out and grow back together in coming books. We still have 2 books to go and anything can happen!

Queen of Shadows completely and utterly blew me away. It was the perfect instalment to the perfect series and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book. Sarah J Maas is a Queen and she breaks my heart so completely but makes me love every moment of that heartbreak. I genuinely cannot predict what the heck she will have happen next but I can't wait to go on that journey with my favourite characters and find out. Is it time for book 5 yet? I'm sat here with bated breath waiting for it... maybe it's time for a whole series re-read while I wait.

"You make me want to live. Not survive, not exist. Live."

Wednesday, October 28

Waiting on Wednesday

Starflight (Starflight #1)
Melissa Landers

Published By: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: February 6, 2016
Genre: YA - Sci-Fi
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From Goodreads:
Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world--and each other--the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...

I absolutely loved Melissa's other YA Sci-Fi series Alienated and so I am so excited about this new sci-fi series. It's bound to be great as she is such an amazing author. I'm super stoked for this one.

Monday, October 26

I Still Haven't Read...

This weeks pick...

Descent Series by SM Reine

#0.5 Death's Avatar
#1 Death's Hand
#2 The Darkest Gate
#3 Dark Union
#4 Damnation Marked (Haven't Got Yet)
#5 Dire Blood (Haven't Got Yet)
#6 Defying Fate (Haven't Got Yet)
#7 Paradise Damned (Haven't Got Yet)

Have you read this series?

Thursday, October 22

Review: The Wizard Returns (Dorothy Must Die #0.3)

The Wizard Returns (Dorothy Must Die #0.3)
Danielle Paige

Published By: Harper Teen
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Date Read: August 27, 2015
Genre: YA - Fairytale Retelling
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
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From Goodreads:
The Wizard left Oz in a hot air balloon—or did he? This digital original novella is the third installment in the prequel arc to the edgy and exciting New York Times bestseller Dorothy Must Die.
Dorothy Gale is back . . . and she's not the sweet little heroine of Oz anymore. She's power-hungry and vicious, and she leaves a trail of destruction beneath her spike-heeled, magical shoes. But she wasn't always in charge. There used to be a different ruler of Oz. Someone who also came from the Other Place, and who stole power for himself. They called him the Wizard.
The story goes that when a young Dorothy revealed the Wizard as a fraud, the man behind the curtain fled Oz in his hot air balloon. But in The Wizard Returns, he wakes in a field of poppies to find out that not only had he never left, but that he has no memory of who—or where—he is. As he undergoes a series of tests to uncover his memories, he finds that the very girl who threw him from the Emerald Palace is in control. And that Oz may be his destiny after all.

The Wizard Returns is the third novella in the Dorothy Must Die 6-part novella prequels. The first two prequel novellas completely hooked me to the series and I really enjoyed them. This one, although it was good, wasn't amazing. I had loved the first two but this one bored me a little bit. It took me quite a while to get through as I wasn't all that interested in it, but I needed to read it so I can continue.

The Wizard has always been a selfish man, only thinking of himself. In this novella the Wizard is put to the test to see if he has changed and cares about anything, namely Oz, more than himself.

I guess because I have never really been a fan of the Wizard I wasn't that interested in his story. I had loved the previous 2 novellas but I actually liked their characters. The first one about Dorothy, and as much as this series may have changed my opinion of her, at the time of reading (before Dorothy Must Die) I liked her and wanted to know what happened to her. And then I adored Jellia, whose story was in the second prequel novella. The Wizard... well he's a bit selfish and I don't much care for him so I didn't much care for this novella.

I really enjoy this series and I am really looking forward to reading more. In this series I will be tackling the second novel first before the other prequel novellas. As amazing as these prequel novellas are I feel like they also spoil aspects of the main series and so are better read in publication order. I can't wait to read the next one.

Wednesday, October 21

Waiting on Wedneaday

Rebel of the Sands
Alwyn Hamilton

Published by: Faber and Faber
Publication Date: February 4, 2015
Genre: YA - Epic Fantasy
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From Goodreads:
She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him...or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

Ever since I got the preview of this book at YALC in July I have been dying to get my hands on this book. It's just going to be awesome and I know it's the kind of book that I will love. And now, look at that cover! It's just gorgeous. I need my hands on this book like NOW!