Books I’ve Read So Far This Year.

Way back in 2014 I read a grand total of 54 books, and ever since then I’ve been attempting to reach a similar target. But of course, I’ve not yet been able to reach anything near this number of books! So, with Christmas being just around the corner, I thought I’d show you lot the books I’ve read so far this year and hopefully give you some inspiration for the perfect gift for someone who adores books! Or if you’re looking for something new to read, this list may have what you’re looking for!

YES PLEASE – Amy Poehler
I scored this 5* on Goodreads

Amy Poehler is one of the many strong and talented women that inspire me on a daily basis. Amy’s words were both encouraging and relatable. For anyone trying to find their place in the world, be it as an actor/actress, a parent, a romantic partner or even a friend, I’m sure Amy’s first book will give you some hope that will encourage you to keep at it. Amy’s frank and sometimes blunt way of putting things is really like having a friend give you advice.

If you or anyone you love is obsessed with Amy or Leslie Knope (everyone should aspire to be Leslie Knope) then I’m sure they’ll love this fantastic insight to Amy’s life, mind and soul.

RED QUEEN – Victoria Aveyard
I scored this 5* on Goodreads

As soon as I read Red Queen, I’ve been obsessed with the entire series! I wrote a review of this book not too long ago so I won’t go into too much detail here with why this book is amazing. You can check out the full review here. In this fantastic and unique dystopian fiction, the world is divided by blood. The powerful and powerless. But one girl is about to change everything, making all that she knows as her reality crumble and burn. Mare Barrow will soon be known as the Lightening Girl, she is most definitely a storm to be reckoned with.

I recommend this book to anyone and everyone because it’s most definitely one of the most enchanting, thrilling and exciting books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN – Paula Hawkins
I scored this 4* on Goodreads

The Girl on The Train has since been turned into a major motion picture starring Emily Blunt as main character, Rachel. The story starts with Rachel watching over a couple she named Jess and Jason (their names are really Scott and Megan) every single day as she goes ‘to work’. Rachel finds comfort in imagining a fantasy life that Jess and Jason must lead as a way of dealing with the life she only recently lost. When one day, something isn’t right. Did Rachel really see what she thought she saw? Will anyone believe her? Does she even believe herself? Little does Rachel know, she’s about to be entangled and engrossed with one of the most haunting experiences of her life.

Although the film is very similar to the book, the book has a few extra details which will keep you up all night trying to guess what exactly happened to Megan. Having Rachel, a drunk, unreliable and dishonest character leading the story will make you question everything. The characters in this book are awful. If they were real people, we’d be sure to avoid them at all times. And that’s what makes this book so exciting. Can we trust any of them? What if the most truthful person in the entire story is the one that’s missing? But the biggest question of them all, what on earth happened to Megan and how does Rachel fit into any of this?!

THE AGE OF MIRACLES – Karen Thompson-Walker
I scored this 3* on Goodreads 

This has to be the most unusual and thoughtful book I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. My mum actually suggested I read it after she had finished it and fell in love with it. The Age of Miracles is a sweet and innocent read that brings your attention to topics and issues that we hear of every single day, but it emerges you into a universe where the worst really has come, all thanks to Global Warming.

11-year-old Julia is growing up in this disoriented world where days extend longer than 24 hours, night becomes day, day becomes night. Those that live according to the sun and moon are shunned. Old friends become strangers, love and hate, anger and joy are what makes Julia’s world go round. This isn’t a typical coming-of-age tale, you’ve got the end of the world as we know it as the cherry on top. If only things could be simple again. But maybe the bright sunny nights are the perfect cover for secrets, lies and hope.

NORTHERN LIGHTS – Phillip Pullman
I scored this 4* on Goodreads

If you’re looking for a lighthearted fairy tale, then this is not the book for you. This book has some very dark undertones with an awfully big adventure waiting at the turn of every page. A world where anyone can betray anyone, kids go missing, bears fight in armor and talk like kings – anything can happen here.

Every time I watch The Golden Compass, I fall in love with the Pullman created. So at long last, I decided it was time I finally picked up the first book in his series and really get to know the world I fell in love with all those years ago. This book takes you on the start of an awfully big adventure. Jam packed full of excitement, cunning, liars, friends and foes, Lyra is on the course to discovering something much bigger than anyone could have ever imagined.

DOROTHY MUST DIE – Danielle Paige
I scored this 5* on Goodreads

We’re all familiar with the story of Dorothy getting caught up in a tornado and being suddenly thrown into Oz. But what happens after Oz? Who goes back to leading Oz into the magical kingdom we all know and love? Why, Dorothy herself of course!

In this contemporary tale, Dorothy goes rouge and becomes ‘The Queen of Oz’ – controlling everything and everyone that lives in the wonderful world of Oz. It’s time for change, and the Wicked Witches are ready to bring that change along with the help of Dorothy 2.0, Amy Gumm. In this twisted story, we see Oz as we’ve never seen it before. The character’s we’ve all grown to love are not who we think they are. What is right and what is wrong? That is for you and Amy Gumm to find out.

THE NAME OF THE STAR – Maureen Johnson
I scored this 5* on Goodreads

Would you believe me if I told you that Jack The Ripper is back? Well, you’d better believe me as The Name of The Star delves into a spooky supernatural tale in modern London where the famous Jack The Ripper murders are being recreated.Every detail is the same, even the tiniest of things, it’s happening all over again and it’s sending London crazy with excitement, fear and wonder.

This may not be your average spooky read, Rory comes from America, down south, she’s a bit elaborate and is trying to jump straight into British culture – oh, and did I mention she can see ghosts? With the help of unusual friends, Rory might be able to stop The Ripper from killing more innocent people. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this fantastic book by Maureen Johnson and couldn’t stop reading until I’d read cover to cover. If you enjoy spooky thrillers, then this is definitely the book for you.

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE – J.K Rowling
I scored this 5* on Goodreads

I feel like I don’t have to justify giving this one a 5*- nor do I really have to give you any type of description of what this book entails. Only muggles have no clue what Harry Potter isn’t about.

However, this has to be my favourite in the series. It’s full of every single emotion you could think of. You can see the noticeable change from the lightheartedness from the first book all the way to here where darkness is looming, and a war is brewing. What more could you want from a book?

CARRY ON – Rainbow Rowell
I scored this 5* on Goodreads

I read this straight after Harry Potter, and if I’m honest – I felt really disappointed in Rainbow Rowell because it just seemed like childish version of Harry Potter. But, once I got into it – I really got involved with the story and the characters. I loved how things developed from one thing to the next, and there was always something exciting happening from one page to the other.

Baz and Simon are enemies, always have been always…..will? Just as Harry Potter explores love, coming-of-age, magic, family and most importantly friendship, Carry On dips into an equally magical journey. You feel as though you’ve been there from the very beginning, and you end up falling in love with yet another beautiful magical world.

13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES – Maureen Johnson
I scored this 5* on Goodreads

13 Little Blue Envelopes has been on my TBR (To Be Read – if any of my non-bookish readers were unsure of what TBR meant)  list for the longest time possible. So when I finally got round to reading it, I can honestly say I was not disappointed. I felt as though I was journeying through Europe alongside Ginny. 13 Little Blue Envelopes follows a sweet tale of Ginny doing one last thing for her aunt that passed away so suddenly, it almost seems as if she just disappeared. The envelopes contain more than just money and instructions, they contain something much more valuable to Ginny.

Reading this sad but heartwarming book reminded me that it is perfectly okay to be your own person. It’s okay to be Plain Jane or Spontaneous Sarah. You’ve got your own rhythm and path to walk, but sometimes, it helps to walk the same path as someone else so you can really understand how they became the person they are/were.

LIES – Michael Grant
I scored this 4* on Goodreads

I’ve been reading this book series for such a long time. It all started when my dad bought me Plague (a book that was in the middle of the series) and I decided I’d read the books that came before it. I didn’t expect to be sucked into this awful, hungry, thirsty, cold world that Michael Grant created, with just a sprinkle of hope and super powers to top it all off. I know that this series is meant for young teens/ pre-teens, but I can’t help but be sucked in deeper with every chapter of Grant’s books. I question everything, religion, my own beliefs, what would I have done if I was 14/15 and in this cruel heartless world like Sam and Astrid?

Lies continues to follow the events happening in Perdido Beach, where anyone over the age of 15 has just disappeared. Poof. Gone. Sam, Astrid and the other kids have to find ways of surviving this cruel world. Oh, did I mention some of them have developed kind of super powers? Well, there’s that tiny part to deal with too. With kids turning against ‘the Freaks’ for their mutations – it’s up to the council of kids to enforce a law that can keep everyone safe. With some serious bumps along the road, this books makes for such a thrilling and exciting read. You’ll start to question everything and anything due to Grant’s phenomenal writing style and imagination.

ALL MY SECRETS – Sophie McKenzie
I scored this 3* on Goodreads

Now, this book had so much potential. At least in my opinion it did. It started off strongly, with a fascinating and totally unique story unfolding before me. But then, it lost it for me. However, I gave it a 3* because I know a younger version of myself would have probably been all over it and enjoyed it from cover to cover. For me, it became so unrealistic and the ‘romance’ between the characters was beyond childish and very cringe-worthy.

Evie finds out one of the biggest truths her family has kept from her for years. Who is she meant to trust? How can she process this information when she can’t even process the fact her family lied to her? After discovering that the person she called a mother, was in fact, not her biological mother – this information sends Evie slightly mad. With the help of her newfound uncle, she is sent off to a summer school to help slightly troubled kids. What would have been a thrilling ghost story/ psychological thriller, it fell short here. Without giving away plot twists and surprises that make up for the awful direction the book went in, it was a good read – for someone in their early teens. Not for a 21 year old that wanted something fairly relatable yet thrilling to read.

THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH – Maureen Johnson
I scored this 4* on Goodreads

As much as I loved The Name of The Star – The Madness Underneath just wasn’t the same. It was utterly brilliant, but it had lost the charm that Name of The Star had. With nothing major happening and lots of little things happening instead, it just made for a rather slow read. When reading this book, Rory felt cold and full of self-pity. This isn’t the Rory I grew to know and love from the first book. So, I would say on that front it was slightly disappointing. However, this book got me thinking. Who or what could be the villain this time now that the second ripper was finally dead (and I mean really dead)?

After convincing her parents to let her come back to Wexford after the attack that changed her life, Rory tries to continue on as she had done before it all went wrong. Forcing a relationship with Jerome. Trying to be as normal as she can around Jazza, even Charlotte. But that’s not going to happen. It’s never going to happen. She has to find her friends, they’ll understand. But what happens if they don’t want to be found?

21 PROMS – Various authors
I scored this 2* on Goodreads

I hated it. Plain and simple. It was full of pointless stories that weren’t captivating, imaginative or at all appealing. If anything, a lot of them were cringe-worthy and awkward. I can honestly say I was disappointed. I expected so much more from the countless brilliant authors that worked on this project. With books such as Twelve Days of Christmas… I was expecting to bounce from one lovely and unique story to the next. But sadly, I was left praying for the stories to end and for at least one enjoyable tale to come my way.

As each story was completely different, I can’t give you a breakdown on the overall plot. But as you would imagine, this book contained 21 different prom experiences. Some were alright. Others were painful to read. Read at your own risk. I only gave it a 2* for the odd short story that really made me not want to stab myself in the face.

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS – Sara Shepard
I scored this 5* on Goodreads

I’d be lying if I told you I hated this book, but then, I’m not a pretty little liar. Did you see what I did there?! This book was utterly phenomenal! I devoured it from cover to cover, half expecting what I already knew from the show, half expecting the unexpected. Sara Shepard did not disappoint in the first of a thrilling, and iconic series. Who would have thought that the disappearance of one teenage girl would cause a group of her closest friends to fear for their secrets being spilled more than losing their lives?

Alison goes missing, who would take Ali? The Queen Bee of Rosewood High School? Who would want her gone so much, they’d do anything to get rid of her? Hanna, Spencer, Aria and Emily regroup after spending years apart. Things are about to get… interesting. It begins and ends with an A xo.

PLAUGE – Michael Grant
I scored this 4* on Goodreads

I won’t bore you with yet another explanation of events which have led up to Plague – all you need to know is that a sickness has arrived. And it’s not resting unit you’ve coughed your lungs up and fear any type of contact with others.

Plague was most definitely an interesting read for me. I continued to question life, and choices I’d make if I were in a situation like any of the characters Grant created. Would I still believe in God? Would I still believe in right and wrong? Would I be a leader or a followers? Would I envy the ‘Freaks’ or would I want them gone? Even if you’re 21 or 13 you’ll still be forced to think about the world in a way you’ve never ever had to before. It may even make you a tiny bit scared of getting the flu.

GLASS SWORD – Victoria Aveyard
Currently Reading!

I’m currently reading Glass Sword – I’ve been trying to read it for a few months now, but you know me. I either do everything all at once, or I’ll crash and burn and put it off for as long as possible. With any sequel, I always fear that it won’t be as great as the first. But this series just keeps getting better and better. I can hardly wait to wake up in the morning, catch my train and read before going to work!

Mare is on a mission to save Newbloods – Maven is on a mission to stop her. In a world where you can trust no one, not even your own brother, what on earth will Mare do to save herself, her loved ones and her future?

I’ll obviously review Glass Sword in more detail once I’ve read it from cover to cover. I’m honestly so in love with this series, it’s unreal. I almost wish it was real life so I could hang out with everyone. I have no doubt this book will give me an even bigger shock than the first. Heres to hoping it won’t give me a heart attack or make me lose hope in Cal.

So that’s it for me for today! I’ve been trying to write this post for weeks. Literally weeks. I’ve just had a lot of things going on with work getting busier and busier. I’m still grieving for my Grandfather and life just keeps kicking me back down. But I’ll get back up and get back on it eventually. If I have the time I’d love to do Blogmas, but I don’t want to commit to anything I know I won’t be able to do. So we shall see. Anyways, I hope life is reading you guys a lot better than it’s treating me. I’ll look forward to being around you guys a lot more in the coming weeks, and as always, have an awfully big adventure for me.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. agshap says:

    Doesn’t matter how many books you read – as long as you read (I was once told)

    Like

    1. Lily says:

      I agree with that!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I read a total of 9 books over the summer

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lily says:

      Which ones did you read?? 🙂

      Like

      1. Oliver Twist, A Clearing in the Forest, 2 Land of Stories books, One Hundred Story Home, Same Kind of Different as Me, Queen of the Tearling, Five Little Pigs, 150 Years of Musical Theatre

        Like

  3. Camryn says:

    I know how you feel. I used to get so much reading done, but now, because of college, I’m struggling to get anything read.

    Like

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