Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week – I’m thinking I might not take part every week but just see if a week takes my fancy. Where has this year gone?! As we’ve only got a few weeks left, here’s the ten books I’ve loved the most this year. In June I talked about my favourite books I’d read so far this year so if you want to know about some other awesome books and to see which ones made both lists shimmy over here.
For once I’ve put these in order, going from ten to my number one book of the year.
10. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I love me some thrillers with unreliable narrators and The Girl on the Train certainly has that! I loved how Rachel wasn’t reliable or even likable a lot of the time and it was one of those mysteries that left me guessing till the gripping finale.
9. Fear and Loathing in La Liga: Barcelona vs Real Madrid by Sid Lowe
Barcelona and Real Madrid’s rivalry is legendary and Fear and Loathing in La Liga delves deep into both clubs history and looks at Spain’s history too. This was a fascinating read, it was sometimes a bit dense and a little dull when it was talking about players I didn’t know about but on the whole it was great read.
8. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
I thought A Monster Calls was just a children’s book and I was so wrong! Yes it has illustrations and is about a young boy but it deals with grief and death and abandonment so well. It really makes you think and the beautiful passages go so well with the often scary drawings.
Princess Winter, the stepdaughter of Queen Levana, is admired by the people of Lunar for her beauty and her grace but little do they know about the visions in her head. Winter finds comfort and sanity in her childhood friend Jacin as she struggles to stand up to her stepmother and her rules. There’s some hope for Winter as Cinder and her crew plan to invade Lunar and start a revolution. Winter must find her courage and the threads of her sanity to try and work with Cinder to help save her people.
As this is the third book in the series there may be some vague spoilers for the previous books Cinder, Scarlet and Cress but they will be kept to a minimum.
Winter is a fascinating character. On the surface she seems quite mad and perhaps a bit useless when it comes to overthrowing a Queen but really she is incredibly strong and smart. She has horrible visions that often have her frozen in fear but because so many people think she’s crazy, they underestimate her and how she’s more perceptive than people might think. Also I love how kind Winter is to the people of Lunar, she puts them before herself a lot of the time and never feels better than them because she’s royalty. (more…)
Fairest is a prequel novella in The Lunar Chronicles and tells the story of Levana, what she was like as a teenager and how she became Queen of Lunar and the villain we know her to be from reading the series.
I’d definitely say if you’re going to read Fairest, read it after Cress as it deals with events and characters that are mentioned in the main series so you might get spoiled for some great moments in the series. Also you don’t really have to read Fairest to enjoy The Lunar Chronicles but it does add an extra layer of creepiness to Levana and makes her seem more interesting than this foreboding figure you’ve seen in the previous books.
In Fairest you see Levana commit these horrible acts that you’ve just seen mentions of before and it is sometimes really disturbing. You see how Levana was treated by her family and in some ways you can almost sympathise with her because her life is quite sad but then she does something that is incredibly weird and unsettling and it puts you right off her again. Her relationship with a palace guard is very disturbing and her infatuation with him is often uncomfortable to read, she believes what she feels to be true and she’s so disillusioned that it’s slightly terrifying.
Fairest is really a character study of Levana and how she became who we see in the series. You can see that in some ways she’d make a great Queen as she is interested in the running of the country but then she has a cruel streak that wouldn’t make her enamoured to the people. While it is mainly a character study, you do see the seeds of major plot points from the series planted in Fairest as the story starts about 18 years before the events in Cinder.
Fairest is a super quick read and it’s fascinating to see more of who Levana is and why she’s as messed up as she is. 4/5.
WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words. It’s a simple meme where you just have to answer three questions:
– What are you currently reading?
– What did you recently finish reading?
– What do you think you’ll read next?
I think it’s a great way to share my recent reads as my reviews are always way behind what I’m actually reading.
So here’s my answers!
What am I currently reading? Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn
I love anything to do with heists. I love true stories about heists (as long as no one got hurt) and I love books and films about heists so this book is right up my street. It’s all about a missing painting and I’m pretty much bang on half way through and I do like it even though the main characters dad is the absolute worst – he is really not a good parent and he bugs me whenever he appears.
What did I recently finish reading? Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Though it’s not a proper part of The Lunar Chronicles (Re)Readalong I wanted to read Fairest before Winter came out this month. As Fairest is a prequel it was interesting to see what Lavana was like when she was younger and what made her so evil or if she was always like that. It was a quick read and now I’m really looking forward to see what happens in Winter.
What do I think I’ll read next?
It depends on when I finish my current read. Either I’ll read The House of Hidden Mothers by Meera Syal, a book that seems like it’s a family drama but also has some humour in it, or if it’s out I’ll go straight to Winter by Marissa Meyer because I can’t wait to see how the series ends.
Cress has been locked in her satellite for most of her life, it’s her own little world where she spies on Earth for Queen Levana. Soon Cress’s world gets a lot bigger when she makes contact with Cinder and her motley crew. Cress ends up on Earth in the desert with Thorne. Meanwhile Cinder, Iko and Wolf need help and Scarlet is all on her own. Cress needs to be brave as she’s suddenly in a world of adventure she’s only ever dreamed of.
As this is the third book in the series there may be some vague spoilers for the previous books Cinder and Scarlet but they will be kept to a minimum.
While Cress may be the titular character, that doesn’t mean all the characters you already know don’t have a lot happening with them. Cress is definitely an ensemble book and the finale features them all working together in a heist! I love heists a ridiculous amount and seeing how all these different characters who each have their own problems and differences work together to try and save the day was a joy. (more…)
The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. The aim is to share a few sentences of a book (whether it’s the one you’re currently reading or not) so other people might be enticed to pick it up.
Here’s the rules:
– Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
– Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
– Post it.
– Add the url of your post to the Linky on Freda’s most recent post.
Kai thrust his finger toward the blackened netscreen. “Cinder became a cyborg when she was eleven, after a freak hover accident. You think an eleven-year-old had a choice about anything?”
That was from 56% mark on my kindle book of Cress by Marissa Meyer.
This month I continued with The Lunar Chronicles (Re)Readalong aka #TLCReadAlong on Twitter run by BookAddictsGuide and read Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – I ended up enjoying this book even more than the first one. As a part of The Lunar Chronicles (Re)Readalong there’s bonus posts you can do and I’ve chosen to write about some awesome grandparents in film. Scarlet’s grandmother is pretty great, she used to be in the military, won’t be bullied and has a great relationship with Scarlet. So here’s some other great grandparent relationships.
The Princess Diaries
Queen Clarisse Renaldi is the Queen of Genovia and isn’t perhaps the most maternal grandmother to start with, she’s incredibly prim and proper but that’s just because she cares what happens to her country. Still, after spending time with Mia, they get along really well, she even discovers the joys of corndogs and the funfair, and will do her best to protect Mia from the press and anyone else who tries to hurt her.
Grandma Annie is hilarious – Betty White plays her so of course she is. Her 90th birthday is the reason Margaret and Andrew are up in Alaska pretending to be in love and engaged. Gammy dances for the Gods, she has a cute Pomeranian and she’s the one who realises that Margaret really does love Andrew and even fakes a heart attack to help them actually talk to each other. Gammy is the best. (more…)