Book Wishlist – Top 5 Wednesday

So I have decided to start doing the Top 5 Wednesday posts again as I really enjoyed doing them previously and it’s something that I want to start again. So this first post is about the books that you have put on your Christmas wishlist, these books are ones that I have been wanting for a while but put it off because I have too many books and Christmas is an excuse to get more books without being shamed!

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

9329354I have read the first book in the Mistborn series and I have fallen in love with his writing to the point where I want every book that he has ever written, the only thing that has put me off of doing this is because his books are massive and a bit daunting but I do really want to marathon his books one day.

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The Bear and the Nightingale – Book Review

The Bear and the Nightingale

By Katherine Arden

Series: Winternight Trilogy #1

Published: 5th October 2017

Rating: ★★★★

33797941In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family, tales of old magic frowned upon by the church.

But for the young, wild Vasya these are far more than just stories. She alone can see the house spirits that guard her home, and sense the growing forces of dark magic in the woods…

This book was our book club pick of the month which made me laugh as I had just picked it up from the library a couple of days before the club! I did find that this book had a slow start and took a while for the book to get any kind of traction as there was a lot of focus on world building and character introduction before anything really happened. This book has made me want to pick up more books that are based or revolved around Russia.

One of the main things that I loved about this book was the introduction of the old gods and the lands protectors and what they can do to change animals behaviours and the land around them. I also loved the interactions between Vasya and the old gods as they all became firm friends and protectors of each other. Another thing that interested me was the introduction of Christianity and how it was affecting the old gods by slowly killing them as people stopped leaving out offerings and believing in them this was causing a lot of trouble for the village as it was spreading sickness and the winter was getting harsher than the last couple of winters.

This was because of the priest Konstantin arriving at Vasya’s village and putting the fear of god into the villager’s and constantly telling them that if they didn’t change their ways their souls were damned and they were going to experience the wrath of God. Konstantin is an interesting character as he seems to come across as very egotistical and holds himself in a higher standard and placing when he compares himself to the rest of the villagers which I found strange as I would have thought he would have been the complete opposite considering he is a man of God.
Konstantin really creeps me out with how much he was fixating on Vasya as it seems wrong for a man of his age and standing to be that way because it was almost obsessive in the way he would think of her. Konstantin also seems to be weak minded as he gets fooled straight away by Morozoko’s brother into believing that he is talking to God and doing his bidding when actually he was helping him defeat Morozoko (The Winter King) and try to create an eternal winter (frozen eat your heart out!).

My all-time favourite character in this book was, of course, Vasya as she had this unbreakable spirit in her and would refuse to bend to anyone’s will because it was expected of her. Another thing that I loved about Vasya was her kindness and determination to the old god’s and with the horses as she went out of her way to make friends with as many of them as possible. When Morozoko saved Vasya from the freezing cold I was expecting there to be some kind of insta-love between the characters but I was pleased to be wrong but I do think that there is a chance that a romance plot will happen between those two if he comes back in the second book which I won’t be disappointed by as it won’t be an insta-love relationship. Another thing that I liked about the relationship between Vasya and Morozoko was the reluctant respect between each of them to a point where Morozoko intrusts one of his horses Solovey to Vasya as he knows she will treat him with the respect that the horse deserves.
When Vasya returns from Morozoko’s home (?) she finds out that she is being blamed for everyone being sick or dying and for the terrible winter that they are experiencing because Konstantin is trying to force her out as she still believes in the old god’s and still believes that the person that is talking to him is god and tries to sacrifice her to the bear.
Another character that I had a serious problem with was Anna Ivannova as she seemed to have it out for Vasya for being able to see the same things as Anna could. I did think that they were going to strike an unlikely friendship and Anna would have come to terms with the things that she was seeing as a gift and not a curse, but I was sorely disappointed and she seemed hell-bent on destroying Vasya’s life in any way possible.

The action in the book came near the very end which surprised me because there was a lot of build-up to this battle that was going to happen and it seemed that it was going to be a very one-sided battle as the bear was supposed to be very powerful. I was a little disappointed that he was defeated so easily and that there wasn’t a lot of drawn-out fighting but that could be down to reading to many action-packed spy etc. books. One thing that did break my heart was Pytor’s sacrifice to save Vasya and her brother as they are now considered orphan’s but I totally understand why that plot point had to happen. I was still sad that Vasya had to leave the village as everyone still believed that she was the cause of all the bad things that were happening to them to the point where she couldn’t even see her father buried before she had to leave, but I am hoping in the second book that she does get to go back to her family at some point as that is her strength is her need to protect her family.

I was stupidly excited when we found out that Solovey’s name roughly translated into the Nightingale and that Morozoko’s brother’s nickname was the bear as I love it when the title gets referenced somewhere in the book. Even though there were several things that disappointed me about this book I still really enjoyed it and have taken the second book out of the library as I am interested in how the series goes on.

Solitaire – Book Review

Solitaire

By Alice Oseman

Published: 31st July 2014

Rating: ★★★

20618110In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.

I really don’t.

A friend of mine has been trying to get me to read this book for a while as she really loved it and thought that I would love it as well, which spoiler alert I do!

Solitaire is about a girl called Tori who has depression but doesn’t really know/recognise the fact that she has it, personally, I think it because of all the things that have happened to her family and especially with one of her brother’s Charlie. Tori barely have any friends and the one she does she doesn’t really talk to her much.
When the new school year start so does two new boys (which I thought was going to turn into a love triangle) Lucas is an old friend of Tori’s from primary school and doesn’t seem to know how to act around her considering how much she has changed. The other boy is Michael who everyone is telling Tori to avoid as he seems to be an outcast and makes trouble at school.
At the same time as the two boys starting the school a new blog has become popular called Solitaire, as first, it starts off as small pranks but quickly gets out of hand.

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Sunshine and Biscotti Club – Book Review

Sunshine and Biscotti Club

By Jenny Oliver

Published: 19th May 2016

Rating: ★★★★★

28674865

Moving to Italy to set up a baking club is a dream come true…

…until Libby catches her husband cheating just weeks before The Sunshine and Biscotti Club opens its doors.

With the first wave of guests set to arrive any day, Libby has no choice but to tie on her apron and get set to bake. But with a dash of sunshine and a sprinkling of old friends, Libby’s kitchen nightmare might just become the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

After all, you can’t bake biscotti without breaking a few eggs…

I received this book from a book subscription box called Thoughtful Books, who offer a range of subscriptions to choose from like preloved books which this book was at a really good price. You can also choose new releases or a mixture of the two, I think next time I will choose to have a mixture of the two books. When you receive the book it comes all nicely packaged up in some recycled wrapping paper, red twine and a little note from the person who sent it to you. The funniest thing about this book was that I had just taken it out of the library to read so I was ecstatic to receive this in the post.

So let’s get started on this book, I don’t usually read romance or chick lit books but I do seem to have a soft spot for those that are set around some kind of bookshop/bakery/cake shop. It is centred around a group of friends who all have some kind of personal trouble, Libby’s husband has just left her and her hotel after she found out that he had been cheating on her, Eve’s marriage was on the rocks and Jessica was a workaholic. There is a couple of guys in the book but it does revolve around these three especially. At first, the relationship between Libby and Eve was strained as it had broken down due to Eve having kids and Libby’s growing fame on her food blog and Jake (her husband) being slightly controlling. As the gang help her fix the hotel Libby goes from being the person that Jake has made her into, back into the person she used to be and starts to make her own choices.

Libby had also started to create a baking workshop that was going to be run on the hotel property but when she decided to give it a test run with the group it had turned into a disaster after everyone had basically gotten their heads out of their asses it went really well. After Libby and Eve had got their friendship Eve had encouraged her to open herself up on her blog as she had created this persona of herself to the point that she had almost lost herself to it.

Eve had become obsessed with comparing her life to the other mum’s in the village and with peoples lives on the internet, she also runs her own perfume company but hadn’t made a new fragrance in the last couple of months, which meant that she was losing business. At first, she wasn’t going to go until her husband sat her down and told her that he felt that their marriage needed a break and encouraged her to go to Italy and help with the renovation of the hotel. When she turned up an old friend called Jimmy was there and they used to have an on/off again relationship when they where younger, these feelings come back for both of them to the point where Eve almost has an affair with him but stops herself when she realises that she doesn’t really want him she was Peter who is her husband.

Jessica is a workaholic at her own advertising company that she co-runs with another friend called Dex, Jessica is also in love with another one of her friends called Miles but he had married someone else and she never moved on. Dex convinces her to go to Italy to help Libby with him as she needed some time off, whilst there she is confronted with her feelings with Miles and near the end of the book she realises that it is the guilt of what she had said to his fiancé before the wedding more than being in love with him. Also whilst renovating the hotel a local bar owner (Bruno) takes a fancy to her, which she also reciprocates but it scared of starting something with him as she lives in New York and he is in Italy. When she returns home she has stopped being the uptight workaholic and becomes more open to new opportunities and the people she works with. She then gets surprised by Bruno who has a sister that lives in New York. When the book jumps forward a year it turns out that they have started a relationship together and both split their time between New York and Italy.

It turns out that Jessica was not the only one to be in love with one of her friends, Dex was in love with Libby from the moment that he had met her but never got the courage to say anything to her until it was too late. During his time at the hotel he gets the courage to tell her his feelings but makes it known that he doesn’t expect anything from her, in the flash-forward she approaches him and basically tells him that she would like to start a relationship with him.

Like all chick lit/romance books it does have a happy ending for all the characters but there was a couple of spanners that had been thrown in that made me wonder if they were going to have a happy ending. I have planned to read more of Jenny Oliver’s work and I am happy to report that they also revolve around some kind of bakery which makes me very happy.

Keep Readin’

Jay xx

The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet – Book Review

The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet

By Becky Chambers

Series: Wayfarers #1

Published: 13th August 2015

Rating: ★★★

24956528Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space—and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe—in this light-hearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.
Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.
Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe.

First of all, we have to talk about how beautiful this book cover it is something that I wish I had taken as it is gorgeous. This is probably going to be a short review as I don’t want to spoil too much of the book as this is a book best going into blind especially as it is more focused on the relationships between the crew than it being action-packed.

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Children of Blood and Bone – Book Review

Children of Blood and Bone

By Tomi Adeyemi

Series: Legacy of Orïsha #1

Published: 6th March 2018

Rating: ★★★★★

34728667 Zélie remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. When different clans ruled

– Burners igniting flames, Tiders beckoning waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoning forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, anyone with powers was targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Only a few people remain with the power to use magic, and they must remain hidden.

Zélie is one such person. Now she has a chance to bring back magic to her people and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must learn to harness her powers and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where strange creatures prowl, and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to come to terms with the strength of her magic – and her growing feelings for an enemy.

When I first started this book I was a bit wary as it was surrounded with a ton of hype and I had really high hopes, but I am happy to say that I absolutely enjoyed this book from start to finish to the point where I didn’t want to put it down.

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All The Light We Cannot See – Book Review

All The Light We Cannot See
By Anthony Doerr
Published: 23rd April 2015
Rating: ★★★★★

25414672

For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic

layers within the invaluable diamond that her father guards in the Museum of Natural History. The walled city by the sea, where father and daughter take refuge when the Nazis invade Paris. And a future which draws her ever closer to Werner, a German orphan, destined to labour in the mines until a broken radio fills his life with possibility and brings him to the notice of the Hitler Youth,
In this magnificent, deeply moving novel, the stories of Marie-Laure and Werner illuminate the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

From the start of this book, I knew it would be something that I really enjoyed as the writing style really flowed, and I found myself trapped in this world. At first, I thought that this book would be heavy on the romance and be a kind of Romeo and Juliet type story but I was glad to be proven wrong.

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