2015

Hi there,
So as 2015 comes to close we reflect on experiences had, both good and bad. Similarly I reflect on books I read, both good and bad, but specifically today I’ll be discussing my favourite books of 2015. These are books that weren’t neccessarily released in 2015 but that I read in 2015 so if you don’t see a book on here I probably read it a previous year. These books are in no particular order. Alright, without further ado, let’s jump in!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Okay I literally just finished this but I already know it’s a favourite. The plot was exciting and the world was immensely interesting, so much so I may have to buy Hollow City immediately. Despite the awesome plot I feel like the characters really make this story happen, it is them that keep the excitement alive, each one as unique as the last.

Crown of Midnight/Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
These are the second and third books in the Throne of Glass series, a series I am falling head over heals in love with. This series is action packed from the get-go, the characters are kick-ass and the storyline sucks you in. I recommend this to literally everyone, I think you will all get something out of, whether it be from the plot or the characters. I cannot wait to continue with this series in 2016 and see where it goes.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
This is the fifth book by Rainbow Rowell and it’s a sort of spin-off to Fangirl. And it. was. amazing! I seriously could not get enough, I read it in one sitting it was that good. The characters are what make this story and this world come alive, they are unique and interesting (Baz was my personal favourite) and they pull you deeper into the world. The spells were a fun addition to the novel, being based off of common sayings like come out, come out, wherever you are. I recommend this to everyone too and, although you don’t have to, I recommend reading Fangirl first.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
I actually only read the first three in this series this year (I’ll pick up Winter soon) but it had to make my favourites list because these books are incredible. From beginning to end the excitement is there and the love for the series only grows as new characters are introduced. You’ll think Cinder is the best ever and then you’ll read Scarlet. You’ll think Scarlet is the best ever but just wait until Cress, because it all hits the fan then! The characters are super awesome and the pairings (particularly Wolf/Scarlet and Cress/Thorne) are adorable and actually add an exciting element to the plot.

World After/End of Days by Susanne Ee
These are the second and third books in the Angelfall trilogy, a trilogy that I completely fell in love with. First of all Penryn and Raffe are the most adorable couple to ever exist! Second of all, the plot is super exciting; third, the villains are some of the most interesting I’ve ever read about. This trilogy was supposed to be six books and honestly, I would’ve loved that. But in the end the three books did their job: they entertained me. I fell into this world with high expectations that were met at every turn. This was a series that cannot be easily put down or forgotten about.

I’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson
I feel like I don’t talk about this book as much it deserves. This book is so moving and so emotional and it scores high on every level a book should. The thing I loved most is that it’s a contemporary stand-alone but it’s about so many different relationships, not just the romantic kind. There’s, mother and son, mother and daughter, father and son, siblings! It’s about growing up and living life and sad times and happy ones and I cried so much through this book because it moved me to such an extent. You all should pick up this book, I promise it is worth it.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor
I think we all knew this would be on the list! I read this trilogy early on the year and it surprised and excited me from the first book! First books in high fantasy series don’t often do that for me. The characters were amazing! Karou and Akiva are some of my favourite fictional characters of all time, and one of my favourite pairings of all time. The supporting characters (particularly Zuzanna and Mik) are some of the best I’ve ever read about. This series will forever have a special place in my heart.

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancy
This book blew me away! It’s a sensational read, with sensational characters. The history of the waves was so interesting and so detailed that I never craved more. With the exception of the second wave of course. Cassie was my favourite to read from but in terms of learning about the world, Zombie gave a better idea. The Others are the most intersting villains I’ve ever come across. The only negative is that Nugget seriously annoyed me.

Legend trilogy by Marie Lu
This trilogy had one of the saddest endings I’ve ever read in my entire reading life. But it still makes the list. The characters were exciting and interesting and the storyline was really creative. Seeing the same war from different sides of the fight was the best thing about this series. It showed that the villain is always different when shown from different perspectives, something us readers often overlook. It was an amazing series that deserves so much recognition.

Outlander/Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
I think we all knew this was coming. I mean, let’s be real for a second, I pick Jamie for every  answer in a book tag ever and I mention this book in basically every single post. Outlander is one of the most creative historical books I’ve ever come across; it has one of the best plots and some of the best characters ever. I felt so connected to the story and never wanted to leave the characters behind (still don’t to be honest). An absolutely amazing series that deserves every inch of attention it can get.

Alright so they are my favourite books of 2015. I hope 2015 was a successful year for you all, both in reading and your everyday lives. Always remember that no matter the challenges you face, you can overcome them; a new year is always waiting. So here’s to an amazing 2016, to a year of adventures and fun and good times, to a year of truly finding yourself. Happy New Year to you all, I hope you realize everything you want to achieve.

Signing off, Verity

The Joy of Christmas Book Tag

Happy Christmas Eve! Sorry for not introducing but I’m just too excited! It’s T-Minus 12 hours and — minutes until Christmas is here. As you may know, Christmas for me is the best time of the year and always will be my absolute favourite thing. So on this most amazing day I thought I’d do the Joy of Christmas Book Tag for you all. It was created by Samatha at the YouTube channel Novels and Nonesense, so go check out her channel. Alright well lets just jump right in.

1) Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?
It would 100% be Lady Midnight, the first book in Cassandra Clare’s new Dark Artifices series. It was supposed to come out this year but got pushed to April 2016 and I am so excited for it!
13541054

2) Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but sing praises for?
The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Is there even any other series that deserves such a high level of praise? I don’t think so.
51i-XYWlxGL._SX304_BO1,204,203,200_

3) Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world building?
Right this is tricky, because so many books have wonderful world building. It’s going to have to be a tie I think. It’s between the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas or Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Both are beautifully created and developed worlds.

4) A Christmas Carol: Favorite classic or one that you want to read
I’d have to go with, and I’m not sure if this actually counts, but To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee would be my favourite classic. I know, it’s a kinda cliche one but I love the way it’s written and the metaphors around equality.
715VLP6M-OL

5) Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas?
Oh, there are just so many! I think for right now though I’ll say Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, the third book in the Outlander series. Just talking about it before has ignited it fresh in my mind!
Gabaldon-Voyager-220x332

6) Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling?
Any Stephanie Perkins book ever! Also Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. Just, contemporary’s man.

7) Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favorite book covers?
Definitely the illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and the 20th anniversary Outlander. They are two that I’m in love with right now.

8) Christmas Joy: What are some of your favorite things about Christmas And/Or some of your favorite Christmas memories?
The decorations are my favourite part I think. That and Christmas lunch. In my family we have an entire day for decorating the house and we always watch Elf and I love that. I think another one of my favourite things is that every year my sisters and I decorate our names on a piece of paper to put next to our sacks so we know which presents are ours.

Alright so that is it for the Joy of Christmas Book Tag! I hope you enjoyed it and feel free to comment your answers down below. I tag anyone who loves Christmas as much as I do.

Signing off, Verity

Never Judge a Book by It’s Cover

Hi there,
So a Friday went by and I missed it . . . Sorry about that. Instead (on this glorious Sunday) I will share with you 7 books that will make you decide to not judge books by their covers. These are amazing books that just so happen to fall flat with their cover designs (as we know all too well). Alright so lets just jump in!

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Now these are the original covers I’m talking about. The whole series’ covers are an abomination to the series but City of Bones is particularly awful (probably because of the nasty yellow colour). These books are amazing and are filled with kick-ass characters slaying demons, but does the cover reveal this? No. It’s a mans chest with tattoos who lives on the sun probably (just look at that yellow).
City_of_Bones

Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Now with this book cover I’m specifically talking about the UK edition. It tells me nothing of the awesomeness within, nothing about the absolutely incredible characters and comedic genius. And just to add insult to injury, it’s yellowy, I mean I know it’s the sun and all but seriously?
511iDjSG3OL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
This cover is just pointless. There is nothing on the cover that suggests that angels are involved, nothing that even hints at the incredible storyline and kick-ass protagonist, Karou. It’s just a door. Is this a book about a mysterious red door? Are there even people? Is this a book about a band of doors that are friends? Because that’s the impression this cover gives!
61czWGfS9PL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

The Martian by Andy Weir
This is an incredible book about a man who is stuck on mars. And whats on the cover? A mans face with sweat drops. What does that even mean? The book isn’t about a sweaty man, it’s about the science of staying alive and the patriotism that comes with renewed hope. And once again the cover is annoyingly yellow!
Martian-book-cover

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
This is again the UK cover (why are they all so bad?) and once again it has nothing to do with the story! The book is about young people with special abilities but this cover just has a girls face on it, a face with a weird looking headband. I just don’t understand why someone would design this and decide that “yeah, it’s totally fine”.
16149368

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Now this is the mass-produced paperback version, the version that’s just blue and has a symbol on it that, unless you were very knowledgeable about history, you would have no idea about. The story is so good as well! It’s romantic and funny and has some magic involved and I just love it so much and this cover makes me so mad! At least it’s not yellow.
Outlander-blue-cover-198x300

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
This is the old cover I’m talking about, the one with a couple of randoms sitting on a bench whose hands are almost touching. This is just nothing, I mean seriously Anna was never that forward with Etienne in the first place. Argh, it’s just so ugly.
6936382

Alright so that is is for the covers that’ll make you not want to judge books by their covers. I hope it’s been enlightening for you and that you enjoyed it. Feel free to comment other books that’ll make you feel the same and I’ll see you all next time.

Signing off, Verity

TFF: Favourite Christmas Movies

Hi there,
So Friday is upon us, the second to last Friday before it’s Christmas Friday! So, because I am insanely excited about Christmas, it’s time to count down my Top Five Favourite Christmas Movies for this weeks’ Top Five Fridays. Alright, lets get started.

1) Father Christmas
This is technically an animated short, approximating about 23 minutes, but it’s about Christmas and it comes on it’s own DVD so it totally counts. This is my all time favourite Christmas film, it’s funny, it’s adorable and it shows Father Christmas in the in-between Christmas stage, a unique way to do a Christmas film.
father-christmas-1991-dvd-cover

2) Nativity!
Nativity! is a family music filled film that is so much fun to watch. The story centres around Paul Maddens (played by Martin Freeman) who must find a way to bring Hollywood to his classes nativity play. The acting from the adults is amazing and the children in the film give a realistic and moving performance. The songs are original and so much to sing. This is a film that can be enjoyed by absolutely everyone.
nativity

3) The Nightmare before Christmas
A film that is equal parts Halloween and Christmas will always be amazing. Jack Skellington, Halloween Towns’ Pumpkin King, discovers Christmas and decides to try something new for a change.  This film is fun and festive and has amazing songs! The characters are all unique and the stop motion animation is really fun to watch. The moral of the story though is particularly hard to decipher.
The_nightmare_before_christmas_poster

4) Elf
A Christmas Classic (in my house it is anyway), a fun and magic filled film about the spirit of Christmas.Elf is both festive and hilarious, with it’s comedy as refreshing at it appeared the last time you saw it. As well as being funnily festive, it holds a great message: family is the most important thing of all.
elf

5) Scrooge
An old Christmas classic, Scrooge is musically fun and brings the classic Dickens tale to life! The characters, while based off of those in a book, feel entirely original due to the brilliant acting. Scrooge’s transformation is subtle, almost imperceptible to the audience. This is a Christmas film I think everyone should take the time to see.
scrooge

Alright so that is it for my Top Five Favourite Christmas Films. I hope you enjoyed and feel free to comment your favourite films in the comments below.

Signing off, Verity

TFF: Saddest Disney Moments

Hi there,
So once again another Friday! Today I decided to end the week on a sad note, because that’s always delightful. And to make it even sadder, it’s Disney! So get those tissues ready to relieve some tearful moments. And yes, there will be spoilers so I’ll only be putting the names of the films as the titles of the list so you can skip it if you don’t want to be spoiled. This is in no particular order because they are all as sad as each other.

1) Lilo and Stitch
Lilo and Stitch for the most part is a heart-warming movies about acceptance but there is one scene that makes me tear up! When Stitch find the Ugly Duckling book and leaves Lilo, calling out that he’s “lost”. It’s so emotional as a scene because I think everyone at some point in their lives has felt like they’re unloved and don’t belong.
blue-cartoon-cute-disney-lilo-and-stitch-lost-Favim.com-76822

2) Brother Bear
Brother Bear is a film that is sad from beginning to end but two scenes stand out the most to me. The first, when Kenai is telling Koda what he did and the second when Koda sees his mother’s spirit. They are really emotional scenes, particularly because they involve family and as a person whose family is very important to me, I cannot imagine going through those situations.
8d10622a32efc96ff791c40eb6c7c6b9

3) Toy Story 3
This was always going to be a sad film, with Andy grown up and no longer into toys like he once was. The saddest scene in the film was the at the end when Andy made the decision to give his toys, including Woody, to another little girl. Then Woody looks into the distance as he goes and says his final goodbyes. Cue the tears.
98e94fbb0d2a19ffb0cbce2baef85e4f

4) Monsters Inc.
Monsters Inc. is a beautiful Disney film with a sad middle and a good ending. The most heart-wrenching scene, however, has to be when Sully has to say goodbye to Boo and she opens her wardrobe expecting him to be there. A heart-breaking moment because everyone can relate to losing someone they love.
BxXBmVL.gif

5) Up
Everyone who has ever seen this movie knows what scene I’m talking about. The Ellie and Carl montage at the beginning of the film. You know, the montage that develops a relationship perfectly in about 5 minutes? The montage that makes you want that kind of relationship and makes you sad for every person who has ever lost anyone they love. Yeah, that one.
8331bbe3e820b3318a869f9d7c29c198

I hope you enjoyed my top five saddest Disney moments (and didn’t use too many tissues). Feel free to comment your saddest moments down below and I’ll see you next Friday.

Signing off, Verity

 

 

November Wrap-Up

Hi there,
So this is a little late because it’s the second of December but oh well. Today will be me sharing the books I read in November (it’s an appalling amount) and I know I usually pair this with a December TBR but I have no ideas at all about what I’m going to read. Alright so, without further ado, lets get started.

November Wrap-up

1) Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
This is the third book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas and it was amazing! The characters were incredible and the story was so fun and fast and exciting. I have absolutely no idea what to expect of the story but I am seriously scared for quite a few characters (Dorian). It was an amazing book in an amazing series and I highly, highly recommend it to all of you.
Rating: * * * * *

2) The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
This is a stand-alone that centres around Lex, a girl whose brother killed himself, making it difficult for her to move on. Lex has kept a text that her brother sent on that night secret, a text that could’ve changed everything. This was a book that I expected a lot more from. It gave good insight into the experience of a family after a tragedy such as that but characters were underdeveloped and sub-storylines were bland. This book really effected we though, in a way I didn’t think it would. It made me realize that when people kill themselves they not only lose out on their life, but the lives of those they love. I recommend this to people who love contemporaries but do be wary of the intense subject story.
Rating: * * *

3) The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
This book started off really bizarrely but got really good by the end. It posed so many questions and is a book that really makes you think. It focuses on Hanna and Michael, particularly during Hanna’s trial for charges during the time in which she was a Nazi. It’s incredibly mind-boggling and you just cannot make sound decisions about anything, which I think is possibly the whole point. A thoroughly enjoyable read that really makes you think.
Rating: * * * *

I hope you enjoyed reading the ridiculously slim amount of books I read this month but oh well, maybe this month will be better.

Signing off, Verity