Tuesday, June 27, 2017

(79) Top Ten Best Books I've Read in 2017 So Far

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic: Top Ten Best Books I've Read in 2017 So Far.


1. Wild Beauty
This book was simply AMAZING. I loved the writing, the beautiful love story, the relationship between the Nomeolvides women, the friendship between the cousins especially and how they love with their whole hearts.

2. A Conjuring of Light
This is one of my favorite series enders ever. It was emotional and intense and sob-worthy but I just freaking loved it. These books and these characters have a piece of my heart forever now.

3. Saving Francesca
Another hit from Melina Marchetta. She's quickly become one of my all-time favorite authors. I rushed through this one, which I wish I wouldn't have done, but I loved it so much. It's definitely reread-worthy.

4. The Names They Gave Us
This was full of so many things I love: strong friendships, a swoony romance, an MC who is imperfect but trying, summer magic. It was trademark Emery Lord, but my FAVORITE of her books so far. It means a lot to me personally. <3

5. Under a Painted Sky
This book was just FANTASTIC. I loved it so, so much. The characters, the setting, the journey that is dangerous and terrifying but that brings hope of bright futures for Annamae and Samantha, and love.

6. Strange the Dreamer
Although this wasn't a 5-star read for me (had to do with how I felt on the actual plot), I fell deeply in love with it. A fantasy with a bookworm MC who is the most Hufflepuff of Hufflepuffs? YES, PLEASE SO GOOD.

7. Letters to the Lost
I've read all of Brigid's previous works, but this was my favorite of hers. Hands down. It was so emotional and personally relatable for me that it's hard to put into words how it made me feel. JUST READ IT, GUYS.

8. Daughter of the Pirate King
This was nowhere near perfect or the best fantasy I've ever read, but I loved it so. much. It was a fun, banterific read that was all about that hate-to-love ship. I honestly cannot wait to read the sequel. 

9. Infini
I really loved Amour Amour, but this one was even better. I fucking adored Luka and Bailey and their relationship with one another. Their love was so infused in these pages that I could not help but root for them all the way. SO BEAUTIFUL.

10. Every Breath
I loved this whole series, but I have a soft spot for the first book. I was so freaking obsessed, I finished it within a day because I couldn't stop reading.THE SHIP WAS JUST SO SHIPPY AND I LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT IT.

honorable mentions: The Upside of Unrequited, When Dimple Met Rishi, and The Hate U Give. I loved all three as well, but I wanted to stick to 10 here. But I highly recommend they make your TBR! :D

What books made YOUR best list? Did we have any in common? Let's talk! :)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Cover Reveal: No Limits by Ellie Marney

I just recently read and absolutely LOVED the Every series by Ellie, so I had to participate in this cover reveal. Harris' character is one who has more depth than you initially think, and I'm so excited that he's got his own book now. So, without further ado, here's the cover! AND READ THE EVERY SERIES IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY.












New Australian YA romantic crime from the author of the award-winning Every series…
Boozer, brawler, ladies’ man – nineteen-year-old Harris Derwent is not a good guy.
His one attempt to play the hero – helping out his old flame, Rachel Watts – has landed him in hospital. Now injured, broke, and unemployed, he’s stuck back in the country, at his father’s mercy. Harris needs to pay off his dad’s debts, and fast. But working as a runner for a drug cartel is a dangerous path – especially if Harris agrees to narc…

Eighteen-year-old Amita Blunt is the perfect police sergeant’s daughter – practical, trustworthy, and oh-so responsible. Getting involved in Harris’s case was never part of the plan. But working at the hospital, she’s invisible – which makes her the ideal contact for a boy feeding information back to the police…

Harris and Amie’s connection is sizzling hot – but if the cartel finds out about them, things could get downright explosive. Backed into a corner, with everything at stake, it’s time for Harris and Amie to find out if love really has no limits…

“A novel of bruising empathy and excitable romance…This is modern Australia for so many growing up on the periphery right now, picked apart with exquisite and smart insight from one of Australia's best crime and YA writers.” – Danielle Binks, Begin End Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology

The book is a standalone (although if you’ve read some of Harris’s story in Every Move – nice one!), and is pitched towards older YA readers.

The release date is 14 August 2017. Pre-orders will be available from 1 August.

The book will be released on ebook and print on demand on Amazon – readers can order their copies (including print copies) there. More platforms to follow.

Folks can get updates by signing up to my newsletter at my website: www.elliemarney.com.


2014 shortlisted Gold Inky Award, Ned Kelly Award, Davitt Award
2015 ALIA listed Top Ten most-borrowed YA books in Australian libraries

2015 Davitt Award YA Winner

2016 shortlisted Davitt Award

Newest release

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

(78) Top Ten Series I Haven't Read Yet

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic: Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning To Start But Haven't.
1. Percy Jackson
Man, this has been on my TBR FOREVER. And I still haven't read the series yet, but I want to. I have watched the movies, but I've heard they aren't really like the books? And I quite enjoyed them, so I'm sure I'd feel the same when I read them! Haha.

2. The Darkest Minds
I really loved Alexandra's Passenger/Wayfarer duology, and I've heard such good things about this trilogy, so I'm excited to get to it. Hopefully this summer!

3. The Winner's Trilogy
I honestly cannot believe I haven't read this series yet! It's been such a popular one, and I have always been interested in it, and now that I have all the books, I will definitely be reading it this year.

4. Jenna Fox Chronicles
I fell deeply in love with Mary's Remnant Chronicles, so I want to read this series and hope that I love it. Because if it wasn't written by this author, I probably would just skip it, tbh.

5. Scarlet
Any story that's a retelling/reimagining of Robin Hood, and I need to read it. I've heard mixed things, but I have a feeling I'll enjoy the books.

6. Precious Stone Trilogy

This is one of those, like Jenna Fox, where I'm not 100% interested. Like I want to read these series, but I don't know if I'll enjoy them? So it's gonna be a toss-up whether or not I'll like them. But I want to give Ruby Red a try for sure! 

7. Storm Siren Trilogy

This might have passed me by if I hadn't heard from friends how good it is, and I'm really looking forward to starting it. It's not a priority for me, so I don't know when that'll happen, but it'll definitely happen.

8. The Wolves of Mercy Falls

After absolutely LOVING The Raven Cycle, I can't wait to dive into another one of her series. I think the reason I've put it off is because it's about werewolves, and I'm not really a fan of thse supernatural creatures. But it's Maggie Stiefvater, so OF COURSE, I will read it.

9. Graceling Realm

I only have the first book, but the other two are at the library, so will most likely be getting to this series this year. I've heard AMAZING things about it, and I really can't wait. I also can't believe I've waited on this one too, given how much I've wanted to read the books, but SOOOOON. I HOPE.
10. Fate

This is another one of those series I feel like I've had forever but have kept putting off. I've read a few of Heather Lyons' books before, and I'm a fan. But it's a long series (5 books!) and I just need to be in the right mood for that.

Have you guys read any of these series yet? If so, what did you think of them? Did any of these make your list? Let's talk! :)

Monday, June 19, 2017

May Mini Reviews

I didn't read as many May releases as I'd hoped, but the three I did get to were really good, and I enjoyed them all immensely!


Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: May 30th, 2017!
*I picked up a copy of this from ALA. 

 My Review!
*Minor spoiler, so proceed with caution!

This was so freaking ADORABLE and full of shippy goodness that I just. can’t. Dimple was a lovely MC, and had a lot to work through. She has always wanted to make a name for herself, go after a career, instead of settling down with a guy when she’s fresh out of high school. But it’s what her parents kind of really want for her (except they just want her to be happy too), and part of her Indian culture. And here is Rishi, who is traditional but wonderful and who doesn’t quite understand her but who wants to try because she’s worth it. Dimple doesn’t want anything from him, but she decides to make the best of the situation, even when she knows it won’t go anywhere. Theirs wasn’t supposed to be a story of love, but they become friends and end up something more. It scares Dimple, and I definitely understood her choices in this book, and I wish people would see where’s she coming from too. I’ve seen a little anger turned toward her already, but Dimple was not an impulsive person who put her feelings above all else. She was logical, and she wanted the chance to figure out who she is first. So like I was totally expecting this to not have an HEA, but was pleasantly surprised when it did. The development of their romance was so cute and sex-positive (which is always a plus in YA!!), and I utterly fell in love with it. GET THIS BOOK, GUYS. READ IT AND THEN YELL AT EVERYONE TO DO THE SAME.
RATING: 4.5 Paw Prints! 

Title: That Thing We Call a Heart
Author: Sheba Karim
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 9th, 2017!
*I picked up an ARC of this from ALA.

My Review!
Aw, I liked this one. It wasn’t always entertaining, but I really appreciated how it showed both the joys and pains of being a teenager. Shabnam was awkward and quiet, unsure of where she stood and not religious enough to feel like a Muslim girl, but who decided that it was okay for her to figure out who she is on her own terms. She wasn’t always easy to like, and she made mistakes, and she let her feelings for a boy take over her summer. But she was endearing, and I loved how this tackled first love and heartache and growing relationships and how scary and exciting changes can be. Also, sex positive for the win! And it was very feministic which made me go like YESSS GIRL GET IT. Plus the friendship between Farah and Shabnam was pretty great. They had things to work through, but they did it together, and it made their bond stronger. And I adored her relationship with her parents! Her socially inept and unself-aware dad and her attentive and kind mom; they let their daughter choose her own paths but were there for her in the ways that she needed and didn’t know she wanted. That Thing We Call a Heart was not only about romantic love, but about familial and friend love too. Because, after all, those loves matter just as much, if not more.  
RATING: 3.5 Paw Prints!

Title: The Seafarer's Kiss
Author: Julia Ember
Publisher: Duet Books
Release Date: May 4th, 2017!

My Review!
I really enjoyed this. I wasn't truly invested until over the halfway point, because the storyline before that was kind of meh. But once Loki came into the picture, I really wanted to see what would happen. I thought Julia's take on The Little Mermaid and Norse mythology was interesting, and the latter half of the book was fairly fast-paced and focused on the overarching theme of sacrifice and happiness and chasing after what you want even when people are trying to stop you. This could've been longer, though, with more time for relationships to develop and for me to get a better feel for the characters. But I quite liked it a lot anyway, and I will definitely read more of this author's stories.  
RATING: 3.5 Paw Prints!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Two Book Adaptations I Watched First

I generally *always* try to read a book first, because 10/10 of the time, it's better than the movie. However, sometimes I just don't want to wait, or I'm not very interested in the book. Or like in the second movie's place, I'm staying away from that particular genre for awhile. Or I get spoiled (aka Me Before You, which I haven't seen yet but will be doing so soon since I'm no longer going to read the book first). There have been cases, like the Percy Jackson movies and Hidden Figures where I either didn't realize they were book adaptations or forgot. But I don't think the fact that I watched them first is going to ruin my reading experiences (at least with PJ, since I've heard the movies aren't quite like the books??? Plus I've heard the HF book is terrible, so I'm going to stick with rewatching it over and over again because it's just that amazing). ANYWAY I should move on or I'm never going to stop talking about how much I love Hidden Figures. Here are two book adaptations that I watched without reading the books recently!

The Girl on the Train
I was so interested in this movie and I just couldn’t wait to read the book first. The wait at the library was SO LONG, and I didn’t want to buy it in case I didn’t like it, so I ended up just renting the movie after awhile. And I’m honestly glad I did that. Because while I enjoyed the story, I didn’t *need* to read it beforehand. It was almost like a straight-up thriller that I can find anywhere on the shelves. It did have a lot of wicked turns to it, and I wasn’t able to call some of the twists. It was highly entertaining, and I HAD to find out what happened. But it’s also something I won’t be watching again for the simple fact that the mystery is now solved.

The 5th Wave

I’m writing this as I’m sitting here watching this movie, and it’s actually what inspired this post. I had hoped to eventually read the book first, but that just wasn’t going to happen. For one thing, I’ve sworn off dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels for the immediate future. And to be frank, they don’t totally interest me anymore anyway. So yeah, I’ve gotten to the part where Cassie and her brother, Sammy, have been separated. I’m getting Zombieland vibes from this, but it’s not about zombies, thank goodness. But it’s about aliens, which isn’t completely better. However, I like the acting so far, and I’m very interested in seeing how goes. Also omg, they’re building an army of KIDS. WHAT???? This is such a weird movie. It’s a good one to have going while I work on my dark fantasy, at least. But. Meh. It was predictable and honestly really ridiculous. Thumbs down for this one.

Have any of you guys read or seen these movies yet? If so, what did you think of them? Do you always read the book first? Let's talk! :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Some of the Best Dads in Fiction

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic: Father's Day related freebie, favorite dads in literature, best father/daughter or son relationships, books to buy your dad, worst dads in literature, etc. 

God, Trevanion went through a lot of shit, but he never gave up. He didn't let what happened turn him into a mean individual. And he was always the rock that held everyone together, the captain of the guard, the man who fought over and over again to protect his son, and those of his people, and his Queen. I feel like Perri deserves to be here, too. And Sir Topher. They were awesome father figures!


Starr's dad was the ultimate papa bear. A little gruff, but who absolutely melted toward his kids and who tried to give them whatever they wanted and needed. Her parents in general are #goals tbh. I loved them!


I remember just LOVING Kami's dad because he was 100% there for his kids, and like wow it's very rare when you like a dad more than the mom, I feel. DON'T GET IN-BETWEEN HIM AND HIS BABIES.

The Song girls' mother died when they were kids, so they've just got their dad. And he is wonderful. He doesn't always know what to do, and sometimes he feels at a loss because, you know, he's far out of his element. But he tries so hard to be both roles for them.


It's been a LONG time since I've read this book (which is still one of my all-time favorites), but I quite liked Lola's dads. I don't think I always agreed with their choices re: parenting, but I loved that they let Lola be herself, without judgment and pressure.

Nikolai is not an actual father, but he took guardianship of his younger siblings when his parents didn't want to look after them while they were traveling with a circus. And he did it because that's who he is. He doesn't always know what to do, and is a little hard around the edges, but he loves them SO much. He'd do anything for them. 


Sloane's dad was a writer, and such a nerd. I loved how into fandom he got, and how he was also so present in his daughter's life. Their relationship just made my heart happy, and it was an important one in her life.

No one tell me that Sirius wasn't a father figure, because he was to Harry. And a damn good one at that. He wasn't perfect, but he loved his godchild SO much, and everything he did when he escaped Azkaban was to protect Harry. HE WAS THE FATHER HARRY SHOULD'VE BEEN ABLE TO GROW UP WITH AFTER JAMES AND LILY DIED.

The boys of the Addicted series have grown up a HELL of a lot, and they're such great dads. They're loving, protective, and give their kids a safe and inclusive place to be whoever they want to be. I can't wait to really see more of them being dads.


Michael is not their father, but he became his brothers' guardian after their parents die. So not only is he grieving those losses, but he's got 3 younger brothers to protect and care for. It's a lot on his plate, and he didn't always know what to do or say, but he did his best. And that was what mattered.

What are some of YOUR favorite dads in fiction? Did any of these protective papa bears make your list? Let's talk! :)