The Fellowship of the Ring Tag

This fabulous Lord of the Rings themed tag (and it’s lovely graphics) comes from Nandini @ Unputdownable Books. As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of the LotR books (too wordy and too much info dumping, although they do have some really wonderful individual quotes, as you can see from this post) but I looooovvveeee the movies so when I stumbled across this, I knew I had to do it. Nandini’s also added in Gollum just to round out the question total.


Gandalf – A Book that Taught You Something

The Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling

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I’m going to double down on Nandini’s obvious answer for this one with good old HP. I grew up with this series and I think I learned a lot about bravery, friendship and loyalty from it. Hermione, in particular, taught me a lot about having a great work ethic and not being ashamed of being smart. Luna showcased the fact that it’s okay to be a little bit quirky and not to worry about what others think of you when you have good friends who accept you as you are. From Neville, I learnt that you can still be brave even if you’re scared and that it’s important to call people out on things even if they happen to be friends. Honestly, I could keep going but better not otherwise we’ll be here all day. 

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Frodo – A Book that Left a Mark on You

Sadie – Courtney Summers

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Sadie was such a raw, emotional and unflinchingly honest read. The book goes to some pretty dark and deep places, and tackles some heavy topics. I don’t think I’ve read many things like it. As a result, it really burrowed its way into my thoughts and emotions. Even without the sudden and open ending, I still think this book would have been playing on me for a long time afterwards. It’s definitely not something I’ll easily forget for a long time.

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Legolas – A Book You Finished in One Sitting

The Selection – Kiera Cass

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I find it difficult to get enough time to read books in one sitting because of my schedule but also because the books I read are often a bit too big. So, instead, I’ve picked something I raced through like there was no tomorrow (which also happens to be very short). The Selection is not well written and its main character, America, can be extremely frustrating, but it’s just so darn addictive in its trashy-ness. I mean, it’s the dystopian Bachelor. I had an absolute ball reading this book and finished it in no time at all.  It’s comfort fiction at its best.

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Gimli – A Book that Features an Unlikely Friendship

Zelie & Amari (Children of Blood & Bone – Toni Adeyemi)

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While I didn’t absolutely adore Children of Blood and Bone in its entirety, one of the parts I really enjoyed was the development of Zelie and Amari’s friendship. These two are from very different worlds and part of a social structure that puts them at odds with one another. When the book starts out, Zelie is extremely judgemental and resentful of Amari, treating her like the snobby and useless princess she believes her to be. However, over time she comes to realise that Amari is a lot more than this. Zelie helps Amari to come out of her shell and be brave. In turn, at the end of the book when Zelie needs it most, Amari is there for her and pushes her to stay strong even when it seems like all hope is lost.

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Merry – A Book that Pleasantly Surprised You

Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

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I went into Fangirl thinking it’d be another cute, fluffy YA contemporary book that I’d enjoy but because of the hype would likely end up feeling a bit overrated. In the end, I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it (a lot) but especially by the fact that it actually covered some more serious issues like mental health, broken families, and binge drinking. This book gave me some serious fanfiction nostaglia and while I’m not crazy about it like some people are, I wouldn’t say it’s massively overrated. Also, Levi = major love heart eyes.

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Pippin – A Book that Made You Laugh

The Hating Game – Sally Thorne

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Books rarely manage to make me laugh out loud beyond a casual snort, or maybe a slightly heavier breath, but as I mentioned in my recent review, The Hating Game did it on multiple occasions. I just love the banter and snark between Lucy and Josh – they have fantastic chemistry and although the barbs can be brutal on occasion, I can’t help cracking up when the real winners come out. Lucy, as a narrator, also manages to come up with some pretty funny commentary on events, while even some of the situations themselves are just amusing on their own (e.g. paintball warfare).

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Boromir – A Book/Series that You Think Ended Too Soon

Shades of Magic Series – V. E. Schwab**

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Okay, with already three books in this series I’m probably just being greedy. Also, considering the fact that a lot of series go on far too long beyond where they should have finished, Schwab likely did the right thing going out on a high. Still, I want MORE. *spoilers* A Conjuring of Light ends with Kell and Lila going off to explore the world together. Rhy has become king and is back together with Alucard. I would love to have read about Kell & Lila’s adventures, seen more of the world beyond the taste we got in book 3, and found out how Rhy rebuilt Red London/learned how to be a ruler. *end spoilers* I also feel like there’s a whole bunch of questions I’d really like to get answers for, in particular about Kell’s and Lila’s backgrounds.

** Okay, in the process of writing this post, I’ve actually just realised (HOW DID I MISS THIS) that last year Schwab signed a book deal for three more novels set in the same world as ADSOM. It’ll be called Threads of Power *jumps up and down and screams in excitement*. Okay, it’s not a direct sequel but I’ll take it!

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Sam – A Book with Memorable Side Characters Who Stole the Show

The Shadowhunters Books – Cassandra Clare

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Last year I re-read the first two books in this series (I will eventually re-read/read the rest, okay! I’m slow!) and realised that my favourite characters actually weren’t in them as much as I remembered. Over time, I think Cassie realised that although Jace, Clary and Simon were her leads,  people really loved Isabelle, Alec and Magnus, and as a result, they became much more present as time went on. Honestly, Magnus and Alec are so shortchanged in the early books, it’s almost criminal. I’m so glad that over time they got more page time to properly develop their stories and relationships.

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Aragorn – A Good Book with a Bad/Average Cover

Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead

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I’ve mentioned my eternal love for the Vampire Academy books repeatedly on this blog. It’s one of my absolute favourite series (exciting plots, fantastic characters, dramatic and funny writing, fab ships, and a great friendship at its heart) but the one thing I just can’t get behind is the covers. *sigh* Especially the first book in the series. What is it about YA books and their tendency to put random models on covers in awkward or weird positions? Worse, they’ve been recovered a couple of times and can never seem to come up with a winner. Even the 10th-anniversary edition is lacking a wow factor. Just because a book has vampires in it does not mean it has to look seedy.

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Gollum – A Book that had Great Potential but Disappointed You in the End

Sabriel – Garth Nix

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Sabriel is one of those books in fantasy circles that people seem to really talk up and Garth Nix isn’t exactly an unknown author either. The book has an interesting concept, too, and with all this in mind, I thought I’d be in for a really great read. Parts of it were good but on the whole, I had such a hard time getting into it and often found myself bored. The magic system that I’d heard so many amazing things about massively confused me and the world itself just felt a little odd. If there was one thing I did quite like it was Mogget, Sabriel’s massively powerful magical companion trapped in a cat’s body.


And there we have it. Done and dusted. You guys know I’m not one for tagging people but if you’re a LotR fan and would love to do this tag, I highly recommend it- just make sure to link back to Nandini’s original post.

Who’s your favourite member of the fellowship? Mine is definitely Sam – that sweet little hobbit, saving the world with his heart of gold and a frying pan. But if we’re talking movies,  I should also mention that I’m with you, Eowyn – Aragorn is a total dreamboat.

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Top 10 Tuesday: Favourite Friendships in Books

This week’s TTT topic, thanks to host Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl, is platonic relationships in books. I’ve decided to go all basic and just do friendships because there are few things I love more than balanced, well developed and amazing friendships in the books I read. So here are ten of my favourites, of which there are TOO many (and yes, expect to see a lot of frequented choices, sorry not sorry).

Will Herondale & Jem Carstairs (The Infernal Devices Series – Cassandra Clare)

  • They’re so close, they’re basically brothers
  • Jem tells Will when he’s being ridiculous, risky and over the top (demon pox). Will encourages Jem to get out and have hope for the future even though he’s technically dying
  • Even though they’re in love with the same girl, they’re both willing to accept Tessa’s choice and just be happy for their friend because they honestly believe he deserves it *heart tingles*
  • Badass parabatai warriors

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Rose Hathaway & Lissa Dragomir (Vampire Academy series – Richelle Mead)

  • Rose dedicates her whole life to protecting Lissa and is willing to beat up anyone who hurts her (even emotionally)
  • Lissa brought both Rose’s boyfriend, Dimitri, AND Rose back from the dead at risk to her own sanity
  • Their skills and temperaments make up for what the other half lacks and when they work together, they kick ass
  • They have a magical bond that allows Rose to know what Lissa is thinking and feeling, meaning she always knows when her friend needs support

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The Inner Circle (A Court of Thorns and Roses Series – Sarah J Maas)

  • They’ve managed to be friends for god knows how many years and still aren’t sick of each other (well, mostly)
  • Snow ball fights and jokes about wingspans
  • They perfectly span the spectrum of very serious to massive shit stirrer which makes for fabulous dinner parties
  • Would die for each other
  • Basically family and in some instances, probs a better family than actual family

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Harry Potter, Ron Weasley & Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling)

  • All bring something different to the table – humour, intelligence and…err, sass and chosen one-ish-ness in order to save the day, repeatedly
  • Do not give two stuff about school rules
  • Stick by each other even when things look awful
  • Took down big evil wizard and saved the wizarding world together
  • Bicker in a way I find very amusing
  • Just generally give me life, okay

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Sevro Au Bacca & Darrow (Red Rising Series – Pierce Brown)

  • Sevro stops Darrow from getting a big head when things are going too well and Darrow stops Sevro from going on massive murder sprees except where it serves his agenda= goals
  • Fought side by side during epic space battles and have saved each other repeatedly
  • Trust each other so much they’re willing to follow the other person’s plans even when they’re absolutely insane and more likely to get them killed than succeed
  • That banter

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Nikolai Lantsov & Alina Starkov (The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo)

Choosing to ignore the whole potential romantic interest thing and focus on awesome friendship instead because it was honestly one of my fave parts of this series.

  • Can have serious heart to hearts but also two second later switch to Nikolai being a cocky bastard and Alina saying she doesn’t like him at all (LIES)
  • Just generally get each other
  • Alina not being freaked out by Nikolai even when he’s a flying, fangy, people eating darkness creature
  • Nikolai following Alina around while being said people eating creature and still recognising her

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The Losers club (IT – Stephen King)

  • Teaming up to throw rocks at asshole bullies
  • Brave enough to go into scary, dark, icky sewers looking for a child eating clown and to vow to come back and kill it if it ever returns
  • Put up with Richie being a little pain in the ass with terrible impressions (who’s still loveable somehow)
  • Help Bev clean her bloody bathroom after Pennywise badly redecorates

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Anne Shirley & Diana Barry (Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery)

  • Because they’re kindred spirits and bosom friends
  • Anne saves Diana’s little sister’s life when she gets super sick one night
  • Diana doesn’t get mad at Anne for accidentally getting her drunk off mulled wine when she thought it was raspberry cordial
  • Diana indulges Anne’s insane dramatics and fantasies
  • Anne encourages Diana to live a little and have fun, even though it may be bending the rules

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Eragon & Saphira (Inheritance Cycle – Christopher Paolini)

  • Can read each other’s thoughts – so basically know all the good and bad parts of each other
  • Work in sync to be the dream team in big epic battles
  • Tell each other when they’re being stupid – mostly Saphira telling off Eragon because he does a lot of stupid things and gives her plenty of opportunities for snarky commentary
  • Just generally have a great dynamic

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Kell & Rhy Maresh (A Darker Shade of Magic Series – V. E. Schwab)

Pretty much brothers but great friends too.

  • Kell brought Rhy back from the dead by binding Rhy’s ife to his own. Now that’s friendship.
  • Rhy tricks Kell into going out to bars, drinking and socialising = basically the kind of friends my introverted, couch potato self needs
  • Kell is willing to threaten Rhy’s romantic interests with immense violence to make sure they don’t break his brother’s fragile little heart
  • Rhy encourages Kell to enter a magic competition to blow off some steam even though it is clearly a very bad idea

SPECIAL MENTIONS: Frodo Baggins & Samwise Gamgee (LotR), Mia Corvere & Mr Kindly (Nevernight – Jay Kristoff), Madeline, Celeste & Jane (Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty)


What are some of your favourite bookish friendships or other platonic relationships?

Top 10 Tuesday: Jaw-Dropping Book Endings

This week’s TTT topic (courtesy of of Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl) relates to commonly used words in the book titles of certain genres. I’m not really feeling this one so instead I’ve chosen a much older topic to have some fun with: jaw-dropping book endings. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a big, shocking, twisty ending? And by enjoy, I mean have a very complicated love-hate relationship with. Interestingly, there’s a lot of sequels on my list and because of this, and also the nature of the list, I’ll say up front, WARNING:

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Alright, prepared yourself? Good.  Let’s go!

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City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments 1#) – Cassandra Clare

I still remember reading this book for the first time on a lengthy car ride to visit my grandparents. When the plot twist regarding Jace and Clary’s relationship was revealed at the end of the book, I was shocked. My first reaction was, wow, way to rip off Star Wars, my second was, WHYYYYYYYY????? A ship had crashed and burned in front of my eyes (well, or so I believed).

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A Gathering of Shadows (A Darker Shade of Magic 2#) – V. E. Schwab

A lot of the stuff in this book is fairly light weight and unrelated to anything that happened in book one. Everything seems to be going okay and then all of sudden right at the end, it all goes to complete crap. Actually. It’s so bad that it takes all of book three for the characters to fix things. Safe to say, I was definitely keen to get my hands on A Conjuring of Light.Divider3Image result for golden son

Golden Son (Red Rising 2#) – Pierce Brown

This book was seriously action packed and then just when you think everything’s settled down, it goes full throttle again in the worst (or is it best?) possible way. The main character is betrayed by a close friend, someone significant dies, and multiple main characters are left in an absolutely terrible position going into book three. I was just a little bit heart broken. Divider4Related image

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer 1#) – Laini Taylor

I only have myself to blame for this one as the ending is revealed at the very beginning of the book. Yet, for some reason I convinced myself that it must have been a dream or something else entirely. Nope, neither of these things. A major character died in a pretty awful way and one of the others was blackmailed into accepting a terrible bargain. Where’s book two already?Divider5Image result for handle with care jodi

Handle with Care – Jodi Picoult

Jodi is known for endings that hit you like a stack of bricks. This was no different. I sat there shocked for several minutes and then just bawled. I rarely cry at books but this one got me, hard. After everything the characters go through in this story, it’s rendered insignificant in the space of only a couple of pages right at the end. Damn you, Jodi, you always know to hit where it hurts!Divider6Image result for shadow kiss

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy 3#) – Richelle Mead

While book two’s ending was definitely sad and shocking, it’s three that takes the cake. Dimitri and Rose are one of my favourite book couples and they end this instalment in an absolutely terrible place after a massive vampire attack on the Academy. I couldn’t believe what had happened and I was desperate for book four to make sure everything turned out okay. Divider7Image result for The Mime Order

The Mime Order (The Bone Season 2#) – Samantha Shannon

The Mime Order is vastly different to book one of the series but still remains a really engaging read. There’s a lot of new elements introduced but somehow everything manages to come together right at the end in an ‘oh, shit’ kind of way, converging the story lines of both books. Quite a few things click into place about people’s behaviour, motivations and plans, and it was certainly enough for me to go: Damn, better read book three. Divider
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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter 7#) – J. K. Rowling

This was the book in which everything finally made sense and past events were given entirely new perspectives. The horcruxes, Dumbledore’s history, Harry’s importance, Snape’s true motivations, the reality behind Dumbledore’s death, it was A LOT to take in. Then there was the numerous character deaths and the fact that after that many years it was finally over. Done. Finito. If this book wasn’t a jaw dropper, I don’t know what is. Divider9Image result for atonement book

Atonement – Ian McEwan

What a heart breaker, a soul crusher. The shock of this ending comes from the fact that all is not as it seems. It’s almost like a cruel joke on the reader disguised as a kindness by a major character. You realise that you’ve been reading a lie for quite some time and that not all endings get to be happy ones. You’ll stare at a wall for a while. Trust me. Divider10Image result for Catching Fire book

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games 2#) – Suzanne Collins

And so the revolution began, with a bang and important characters being left behind to be tortured by the Capital. There’s a reveal about the supposedly destroyed District 13, the destruction of District 12, and a spectacular break out from The Hunger Games arena.  We also find out that an important capital official was a rebel all along. All together, it’s a wow ending that sends you running for book three. Divider

Q: What were some of your biggest jaw-dropper endings? Did any of these books get you like they got me?

Love Ashley

Top 10 Tuesday: My Favourite Series

Recently I stumbled upon an old video by book vlogger, Christine Riccio, in which she was talking through her top ten favourite book series. Suddenly I thought, you know what, why don’t I do that as a Top Ten Tuesday topic? (I mean, I never seem to do the set topics like I’m supposed to anyway…)

Of course, then I realised that picking my favourite series is actually ridiculously hard and involves a lot of questions of ‘would I rather read this or that’? And, ‘is it how I feel about the series now or are we going retrospective here’? Decisions, decisions… *shakes head* Anyway, so these are the ten I’ve ended up with and to my surprise there’s actually a lot of books I’ve only discovered in the last two years.

So the rules are simple:

  1. The series must consist (or will consist once they’re all released) of at least three books. That means no duologies – sorry, Six of Crows.
  2. I must have read at least two books in the series for it to count.

Sounds simple enough right?

Of course it’s not bloody simple. Being a bookworm is NEVER simple, I tell ya. But regardless, here they are, in no particular order (because having to do it like that might actually kill me):

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As if you didn’t see this coming. HP is my favourite series of all time. I could read these every year until the day I die and still not get sick of them (…probably). I’m not sure if it’s because I grew up with them but they’re still just as good as the first time. Every time I read them, I laugh, fall into the pits of sadness, and experience that strange sense of wonder that only the magic of Harry Potter can provide. These are the ultimate comfort books and one day, if I ever have kids, I’ll be cracking out my illustrated editions to hopefully instil the same love and appreciation in them.

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Ah, VA. You have such a terrible name and teenager-y covers and yet, the wonders you hold inside… I’ve read this series so many times and I love it. Love, love, LOVE it. So many vampire books from this period slowly became cliché or lost their “sparkle” as I aged (get it? I made a terrible Twilight joke) but these ones are still gold.  Rose remains one of my favourite protagonists, I adore the friendship between Rose and Lissa, there’s an adequate amount of kicking ass, and the dialogue is still hilarious. Plus, I’ll likely ship Rose & Dimitri til the day I die. In other words, it’s the perfect recipe for a great series as far as I’m concerned.

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My discovery from 2017 and I AM SO HAPPY ABOUT IT. Book three doesn’t come out until later this year but good things come to those who wait. The series has a unique, amusing and sometimes brash narrator, world building based on ancient Rome, an absolute bad-ass main character in Mia, and really interesting magical elements.  Godsgrave was the first sequel in a while that I was desperately keen to get my hands on the day and minute it came out (and I wasn’t disappointed!), and I feel like that adequately sums up my love for these books.

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Ah, Schwaby. Your novels make my little bookish heart sing. I adore the characters, world building, magic, and storytelling. Her writing is fantastic and I love it so much that I can’t wait to read them all again without having to wait in between novels.  This series has parallel universes, powerful magics, charismatic pirates, a thief, racially and sexually diverse characters, and an exciting plot in every book. Adventuring with Kell, Rhy, Lila and Alucard is where it’s at, guys.

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I fell in love with this series when I was about ten years old and it’s still one of my favourites. Sure, it has a lot of stuff I now know to be fantasy tropes but I don’t really care. Alanna is the definition of a strong female MC – willing to spend years as a boy just to become a knight. There’s a love triangle with a prince and a thief, a war,  a conniving magician after the throne, quests to far off places, magical artefacts, goddesses, and well, everything my fantasy loving heart desires. Better yet, the books are super short and perfect for reading in an afternoon when you’re stuck at home.

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Yep, I’m a cookie cutter YA fantasy fan. I ain’t ashamed  of it. You guys know all about this one, I’m sure. This series re-interested me in faerie stories. While book one was a bit average, books two and three are fantastic. The fantasy world is well developed, all of the major characters are fleshed out and loveable, there’s a strong and emotionally realistic female protagonist, and the romance is gradually built up and balanced. There’s magic (which I’m always a sucker for), battles, betrayals, many, many couples to ship, and emotional turmoil. Definite winner.

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The newest addition to this list. I actually had to make some modifications to my original draft because I knew I needed this one on here. For the first 50 or so pages of RR I was so bored but then we hit Darrow’s transformation from red to gold and I was hooked. Space battles, squabbling and politics between powerful families, revenge vendettas, a group of rebels determined to overthrow a cruel regime, friendships and betrayals, gasp worthy twists, just everything really. Impossible to put down sci-fi.

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Okay, I’ll admit, I still haven’t read the last book in this series – I WILL GET THERE! I’ve read book 3 once and I’ve read books 1 & 2 a bazillion times. Once again this is another series I now know has a lot of fantasy tropes in it but don’t care. I love it. It’s the definitive dragons in fantasy series for me. Eragon and Saphira make the perfect team and I love nothing better than following them around Alegaesia in their quests to overthrow the evil  Galbatorix. There’s also amusing dwarf sidekicks, MORE magic and an awesome warrior-elf princesses. Just don’t talk to me about that travesty of a movie.

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This series is just so much fun. It’s funny, ridiculously action packed, and has actually managed to successfully get me with multiple plot twists. I mean, a hacker with pink hair, crazy AI, zombie-like outbreak, and an interstellar war. Who could say no to that? I’m really excited to get my hands on book three in March because I know it’s bound to be awesome. I also love the variations in writing style which are so different from the things I normally read and give the books a little something extra.

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Everyone needs a guilty pleasure series and this is mine. Richelle Mead is one of my favourite authors. She writes complex, witty female characters (which Georgina is, for sure), and she’s always able to make me laugh out loud. I’ll admit that this series does have a bit of a weak point around book four but overall it’s fun, sexy and really entertaining. But then again, what else would you expect of a series about a succubus?

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This was HARD okay. I just love too many books. AHHHH!! So two more bonus series just for fun.

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This isn’t a series for everyone – there’s a lot of information to take in about the world itself but if you can get past that, it’s fab. The story evolves quite a bit over time with different elements of the world and characters being fleshed out as you go along. Paige is a solid protagonist in her balance between strong and vulnerable, there’s an interesting magic system, and a good blend between the bigger stakes of the dystopian world with the issues of the criminal underworld.

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The good old Hunger Games. What can I say about this except that it’s a fantastic dystopian YA series with good world building, a strong protagonist, and a great concept. I’ve read these through several times and they’re still exciting reads that manage to drive knives through your gut (repeatedly) whilst still managing to give you some hope for the future.

Let’s Talk:

What are some of your favourite series? Are any of these in your top 10 or are you thinking about reading them some time soon?

Love Ashley

The Fantasy Tropes Book Tag

I’m about to reveal something that will not shock you in the slightest: Fantasy is my favourite genre. And…that was the sound of no-one’s jaw’s dropping. When I came across this tag on Holly’s blog, Nut Free Nerd, I knew I just had to do it because not only am I a fantasy fan, I’ll admit that I’m also kind of susceptible to a lot of common fantasy tropes. I know that it’s wrong, okay! It just feels so right! Special thanks to One’s Particular for creating this awesome tag.


The Lost Princess

A Book/Series you Lost Interest in Halfway Through

Air Awakens by Elise Kova – I read the first three books in this series and it started so promisingly!  I really, really enjoyed book one but all you have to do is look at my Goodreads ratings to watch them drop from a 4 to 3 and then finally 2 before I just stopped reading the series.


The Knight in Shining Armour

A Hyped Book/Series you were Swept up by

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The Red Rising Series. It had to be. I’d wanted to read RR for about a year before finally starting it the other week. I had a bit of a rocky start with book one now I’m just captivated. I finished book two earlier this week and believe me, I’ll be buying book three as soon as I’m next at the bookshop. The action, politics, romance, twists, characters, ah! It just has everything and more.


The  Wise Old Wizard

 An Author who Amazes you with his/her Writing

I’m not sure whether this means I-love-this-author’s-books or whether it’s about amazement at the actual writing style. So here’s both.

Option 1: Victoria Schwab –  because I love everything I’ve read of hers. Her world building, characters, dialogue and plots are wonderfully done every single time.

Option 2:

Andre Aciman: I just finished Call Me by Your Name and it’s not even close to my usual book type but there are just some points I reached in the story where I couldn’t help but pause and go, wow, now that line is truly beautiful and gut wrenchingly real. It’s like poetry.

Laini Taylor: The writing in Strange the Dreamer, guys. It’s so magical and lovely – definitely befitting a title with the word ‘dreamer’ in it.


The Maiden in Distress

An Undervalued Character you Wished had a Bigger Story Line

HP

Marauders. As simple as that. We all know how it ends but I would love to read about the journey – schooling, creating the map, learning to become animagi, the war. I’d be so down for that.

**You guys should check out Viria13‘s other awesome fan art on DeviantArt


The Magic Sword

A Magical Item/Ability you Wish Authors Used Less

Okay, I’m going to call this magic because it always seems to turn out correct – tarot card readings. I’ve noticed them cropping up in so many books now. The hero/heroine gets a reading from a mystic who somehow predicts the suffering, betrayal and romance to come. I wouldn’t say I’m sick of it, it’s just something I’ve started to notice authors using a lot.


The Mindless Villain

A Phrase you Cannot Help but Roll your Eyes at

A) “You’re special/different,” – Aren’t they always? Damn, chosen ones.

AND

B) “I never should have trusted you.” Well, duh.


The Untamed Dragon

A Magical Creature you Wish you had as a Pet

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I would love to have a dragon but I feel like they’re so majestic and intelligent that calling it a pet would be pretty awful, more like a companion. So instead…Would someone just get me a niffler already? I mean, sure it’ll steal all my valuables but they’re so bloody cute, it’s worth it. They’re basically magical platypuses.


The Chosen One

A Book/Series you Will Always Root for

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I’m always using Harry Potter so I should probably spread the praise round a little. I’m going to go with Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead for this one. I fell in love with the series during high school and I’ve read it so many times since – still just as amazing as the first time. They’re full of action, magic, romance, humour, friendship, and are just generally great reads. *Waves pom poms and cheers*

If you love fantasy, TAG! You’re it. 

Top Ten Tuesday: Back to School

So, first up, sorry for the lack of posts last week. Turns out that getting home at 8 PM multiple days in a row is not conducive to publishing blog posts but I promise that this week I will back in full force – tags, memes, reviews and discussions. Let’s get the ball rolling with TTT.

This week’s topic is Back to School and the lovely ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish  have given us quite a bit of freedom as to how we interpret this. I’ve decided to go fairly literal and discuss books that involve schools or academies of some kind. It’s a bit of an odd collection of books but eh, my blog, my list. In no particular order…

1. Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

My current, amazing read. This novel features a “school” of sorts except that in this instance it’s focused on shaping its students into proficient assassins. With the teachers not above theft, poisoning, dismemberment, and torture, the trick is surviving the training process. Yikes!

2. Vampire Academy Series – Richelle Mead

I was the biggest fangirl of this series in my mid and later high school years. You’d think it’d be the most trope-y, lame thing ever, but it’s not (well, in my opinion). This series was when I first fell in love with one of my favourite authors – Richelle Mead.  A school that teaches it’s students to use elemental magic and kill bad vampires, yep, sign me up.

3. This Savage Song – Victoria Schwab

To be honest I actually wasn’t expecting a school setting for the first half of this book.  I don’t know what I was expecting, really. Regardless, the two main characters meet at school while one is doing reconnaissance and it all ends up a mess from there (for the characters that is, not the plot because this book was great!).

4. Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult

Quite a socially relevant book for the United States when it came out, a time in which school shootings were regularly in the news. It’s an interesting look at the students, teachers and families linked to a high school in the lead up to and aftermath of a shooting by one of the students. Both emotional and a little scary.

5. Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling

I’ll probably use Harry Potter on almost every list I ever create from here until the end of time but I think you can see why it’s justified here. Hogwarts: the most awesome magic school in literature. Enough said.

6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

The events that make up this novel are triggered by the main character, Charlie, starting high school. It’s here that he meets the interesting cast of characters that we follow throughout that year. We get the usual high school story plot points – the big dance, relationship dramas, bullying, house parties – and yet they never seem to feel cliché here.

7. The Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater

The focus of these books isn’t the school setting, especially considering the characters always seem to be busy dealing with other things like disappearing forests, mixed up timelines, searching for dead kings, and so on. However, Aglionby Academy does play a role in shaping the characters’ identities – Ronan’s disregard for his studies, Adam’s dedication to them, Gansey’s outward appearance as the almost stereotypical Aglionby student, etc. Plus, it’s the whole reason the boys are referred to as ‘The Raven Boys’.

8. The Austere Academy – Lemony Snickett

Across the thirteen books that make up A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Baudelaires find themselves in every possible setting you can imagine – a circus, a reptile house, ski slopes, a submarine, a mill, and of course, a prestigious preparatory academy. As with every book in the series, it’s weird and yet very enjoyable.

9. The Mediator Series – Meg Cabot

Going back to my tween years with this one. I used to love this series. Suze is a catholic school student with the ability to see ghosts. She often has to work with her school principal, Father Dominic, to work out what’s going on with restless spirits in order to get them to move on. The first book involves her trying to rid her school of a very angry former student turned poltergeist.

10. IT – Stephen King

I’m probably stretching things with this one but whatever. In one of the two concurrent story lines, the characters are all kids aged about 12 or 13 and attend the same school which is how they meet one another. It also means they all happen to attract the attention of the same awful, older bully.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Favourite Fictional Couples in Books

For those who don’t know (I’m not sure if there is actually anyone still out there), TTT is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new topic is posted for people to express ten thoughts on a particular theme. The meme is on hiatus until August but because I’ve never done a TTT before there are HEAPS for me to choose from and have fun with in the meantime. The fictional world is full of wonderful couples that make us swoon, and squeal, and yell “I will go down with this ship!”. Here are 10 of my favourites (in no particular order).

1. Henry & Clare (The Time Traveller’s Wife)

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“I place my hands over her ears and tip her head back, and kiss her, and try to put my heart into hers, for safekeeping, in case I lose it again.”

** *** **

“I hate to be where she is not, when she is not. And yet, I am always going.”

2. Jamie & Claire (Outlander)

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“When the day shall come that we do part,” he said softly, and turned to look at me, “if my last words are not ‘I love you’-ye’ll ken it was because I didna have time.”

** **** **

“You are my courage, as I am your conscience,” he whispered. “You are my heart—and I your compassion. We are neither of us whole, alone. Do ye not know that, Sassenach?”

3. Feyre & Rhys (ACOTAR)

Charlie Bowater
Rhys and Feyre by Charlie Bowater

“I fell in love with you, smartass, because you were one of us—because you weren’t afraid of me, and you decided to end your spectacular victory by throwing that piece of bone at Amarantha like a javelin. I felt Cassian’s spirit beside me in that moment, and could have sworn I heard him say, ‘If you don’t marry her, you stupid prick, I will.” 

4. Ron & Hermione (Harry Potter)

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‘OK, write that down,’ Hermione said to Ron, pushing his essay and a sheet covered in her own writing back to Ron, ‘then add this conclusion I’ve written for you.’

‘Hermione, you are honestly the most wonderful person I’ve ever met,’ said Ron weakly, ‘and if I’m ever rude to you again -‘

‘- I’ll know you’re back to normal,’ said Hermione.

5. Anne & Gilbert (Anne of Green Gables)

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For a moment Anne’s heart fluttered queerly and for the first time her eyes faltered under Gilbert’s gaze and a rosy flush stained the paleness of her face. It was as if a veil that had hung before her inner consciousness had been lifted, giving to her view a revelation of unsuspected feelings and realities. Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps…perhaps..love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.

6. Katniss & Peeta (The Hunger Games)

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[W]hat I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that. So after, when he whispers, “You love me. Real or not real?” I tell him, “Real.”

7. Rose & Dimitri (Vampire Academy)

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“She was right about something else too,” Dimitri said after a long pause. My back was to him, but there was a strange quality to his voice that made me turn around.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“That I do still love you.”
With that one sentence, everything in the universe changed.

8. Alec & Magnus (TMI)

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“What welcome?” Magnus asked. “I’d say it was a pleasure to meet you, but it wasn’t. Not that you aren’t all fairly charming, and as for you—” He dropped a glittery wink at Alec, who looked astounded. “Call me?”
Alec blushed and stuttered and probably would have stood there all night if Jace hadn’t grasped his elbow and hauled him toward the door, Isabelle at their heels. 

9. Kaz & Inej (Six of Crows)

meabhd: “ I mean.. I said I would… Redbubble ” I am dead. Thank you, @meabhd ❤️

“I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”

** *** **

“I can hear the change in Kaz’s breathing when he looks at you.”
“You… you can?”
“It catches every time, like he’s never seen you before.”

10. Will & Tessa (TID)

I don’t have enough Wessa on my tumblr, this needs to be fixed.
by Taratjah

“Marry me,” he said. “Marry me, Tess. Marry me and be called Tessa Herondale. Or be Tessa Gray, or be whatever you wish to call yourself, but marry me and stay with me and never leave me, for I cannot bear another day of my life to go by that does not have you in it.” 

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Who are some of your favourite couples in books?

Love Ashley