Tag Archives: Stephanie garber

5 Of The Best Books I’ve Read This Year

I feel like December is the perfect time to look back and reflect on what I’ve read during the year. I’ve read some amazing books this year, some not so great and some I’ve not been able to finish. I have some new favourites, books that have disappointed me and some that have surprised me. Here are the favourites I’ve picked out..


I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore.

This year was finally the year I got around to reading the Lorien Legacies. As it’s sci-fi I didn’t imagine I’d enjoy it as much as I did, but I loved it. The first 3 books in the series I rated 5 stars, and the rest came out at 4. I’ve got Generation One waiting for me on my shelf – I’m excited to dive back into the world with a new set of characters.


Caraval and Legendary by Stephanie Garber.

I was super late to the Caraval party and boy was I missing out. This book was an unique, exciting story and the only annoyance I had with it is I have to wait until next year for the final book. They were both a 5 star read, however, I did enjoy Legendary a little more because I preferred the narrator. You can read my review for Caraval here, and my review for Legendary here.


We Are Okay by Nina LaCour.

I bought this book because I loved the cover (guilty). Although I know I should stop my judgy eyes when it comes to books and their covers – I’m really glad this time it worked in my favour. You can read my review here.


Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

As this is the final book in the Illuminae trilogy I knew I was going to feel all kinds of emotions. I’ve loved this whole series so much and Obsidio didn’t let me down. Having everything wrapped up was beautiful and sad at the same time. It’s a series I know I’ll always come back to when I need to get out of a slump or I’m craving reading old favourites.


What are the best books you’ve read this year?

Halloween Creatures Tag 2.0!

Blogtober graphics with leaf and black cat

Welcome to Blogtober day 8. Today I’m going to be doing this awesome tag that Paige @ Bookish Paige tagged me in. You should go and check out her blog, it’s awesome and she’s so lovely 🙂 Without further rambling here are my answers!

RULES 
Answer all prompts.
Answer honestly.
Tag 1-13 people.
Link back to this post.
Remember to credit the creator. (Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward)
Have fun!


Witch – a magical character or book.

There is only one book I can mention for this and that’s Harry Potter. For me – there is no other book that can contend with the magical story and characters in this series.


Werewolf – the perfect book to read at night.

If you haven’t read Caraval (what are you waiting for?!) the game takes place at night. That reason alone makes this the perfect book for this one.

My review is here if you’re interested!


Frankenstein – a book that really shocked you.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman shocked me. Not in the sense that there were plot twists – but because of the content of the book. This book is set in a dystopian future where parents with a child between age 13 and 18 have the right to sign an order to have their child ‘unwound’. This is where they are taken to camps to have their body parts harvested for later use. I’m not a mom yet – but I could never imagine signing over my child’s life. Urgh.


The Devil – a Dark, evil character.

Lord Voldemort – A.K.A most terrifying villain ever.


Grim reaper – a character that never should have died.

Fred Weasley. Every. Single. Time.


Zombie – a book that made you hungry for more.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. Luckily I read the first book in this series whilst 3 of the books were released, so I got to binge read those. However, it has left me hungry for more and the massive gaps between books makes me feel I’m going to be old and grey by the time this series is finished.


Gargoyle – a character you’d protect at all costs.

Dobby from Harry Potter. Even though he didn’t exactly go about it in a good way at first – all Dobby ever wanted to do was protect Harry. He just got his freedom – loving life – and then boom, he was gone. My heart breaks every time I think about it and I would protect him with my life.


Vampire – a book that sucked the life out of you.

Anything by John Green. I’ve tried to read so many of his books but they just aren’t for me. They’re not bad books – in fact many people love them – but it was exhausting for me to read every sentence and I just had to stop.


Ghost – a book that still haunts you.

My Real Name is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih. I read this book not long ago (review here if you’re interested) and it was such a beautiful coming of age story whilst surviving world war 2.


Skeleton – a character you’d have a bone to pick with.

Nathan from the Half Bad trilogy. He was so mean to Gabriel and I spent so much of this series furious with the way he treated him.

My review is here if you’d like to read it!


Demon – a book that really scared you.

Asylum trilogy by Amy Cross. This book series seriously freaked the living daylights out of me. It also has a fantastic plot line!

Mummy – a book you’d preserve throughout time.

Now I was going to say Harry Potter again. However, because I’ve already mentioned that a lot I’m going to say We Are Okay by Nina LaCour.

Review here.


Creepy doll – a cover too scary to look at.

I haven’t actually read this book yet – but I came across The House of Dead Maids by Claire B. Dunkle a few months ago and it’s legit probably the creepiest cover I’ve ever seen.


The monster mash – it’s fun to be with friends at Halloween. Tag your friends.

Ben @ Ace Of Bens.

Amalee @ Imagineamalee.

Marina @ Books Of Magic.

Sara @ The Bibliophagist.

Book Review | Legendary by Stephanie Garber


Title – Legendary.

Author – Stephanie Garber.

Publication date – 29th May 2018.

Publisher – Flatiron Books.

Series status – Second book in the Caraval series.


Synopsis

‘A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister, Scarlett, from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice, but now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever…

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . the games have only just begun.’

Add to Goodreads.


My thought on the book

5 star book review

I didn’t think that any sequel could beat Caraval but honestly this book was so much better than the first. Especially because I have this terrible habit of hating the second book in a series.

It sent me on a topsy, turvy rollercoaster ride that I never wanted to get off. It was surprisingly more magical than the first book. I loved the switch up of the game – it was an interesting change to the format but still had the familiar structure seen in Caraval.

I preferred Tella as the narrator and I didn’t realise how annoying Scarlett could be. Every character I came across – I had no idea who I could trust or whether to believe anything that came out of the characters mouths.

The world building was yet again phenomenal. I could literally feel myself walking down the streets with the characters. I was so absorbed I lost track of time.

If I thought Caraval broke my heart – it was nothing compared to Legendary. This series is that good I want to shout it from the rooftops. If you haven’t already read this series what are you waiting for?


About the author

‘When I’m not writing, I teach creative writing at a private college in Northern California, where I’ve been known to turn assignments into games and take students on field trips that involve book signings.

To help pay my bills during college, grad school, and the breaks in between, I worked as a barista, a waitress, a bartender, a customer service representative for an energy consulting company, and as a sales girl at Bath and Bodyworks. I also spent years working with youth; I worked as a counselor at space themed summer camp, volunteered at a school for deaf children in Mexico, and I took multiple groups of college students overseas to spend their winter vacations serving at youth hostels in Amsterdam. But out of everything that I’ve done, writing young adult novels has been my favorite job.

My debut YA fantasy novel, Caraval is out now (Flatiron Books/Macmillan—US and Hodder & Stoughton—UK). Caraval has sold in thirty foreign territories and the movie rights were picked by Twentieth Century Fox.’

Find Stephanie: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads.

Have you read the Caraval series yet? If so, what did you think about it?

Book Review | Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

Title – Caraval.

Author – Stephanie Garber.

Publication date – 31st January 2017.

Publisher – Flatiron Books.

Series status – 1st book in the Caraval trilogy.

5 star book review


Synopsis

‘Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.’

Add to Goodreads.


My thought on the book

This book sucked me into the black abyss of ‘one more chapter’. The description was beautifully juicy and I was absorbed into the story, the writing lulling me into the magic. Everything Scarlett felt – I felt. Confusion, fear, bewilderment – I felt it all.

The characters were fascinating. I was rooting for Scarlett the entire way through and I was desperate for everything to work out. I hated Governor Dragna from the very first time we met him. I could feel his hot breath and his vicious tone bearing into my soul from through the pages. I couldn’t stand the way he treated his daughters and the way he punished them when they did something wrong.

Julian became my favourite character by the end of the book. I honestly couldn’t decide what I thought about him at first. He came across as cocky, bigheaded and selfish. But the deeper I looked the more I started to wonder if he did secretly care about Scarlett. The more the story went on – the more I fell in love with him.

The game of Caraval was just as intriguing for me as it was for the characters. I was desperate to discover everything surrounding it. The mysteries tumbled and twisted together until I could barely see from the absolute need to know what happened next. Just like Scarlett – I had no idea what was real and what was the game. I couldn’t tell who was the bad guy and who wasn’t, I didn’t know who to trust. Every page I turned – the more the story dragged me in. Long after I’d turned that final page I couldn’t believe what had just happened, and it was impossible to shake off the magic of Caraval.

This book literally ripped my heart in two, stomped on it and sewed it back together again in one swift motion. There were so many twists and turns and just when I think I’ve got it all figured out – it pounces and I’ve no clue what’s going on again. Let me just say I am so freaking happy I have Legendary because I literally need to know what happens next or I might be sucked into the abyss of no return.


About the author

‘When I’m not writing, I teach creative writing at a private college in Northern California, where I’ve been known to turn assignments into games and take students on field trips that involve book signings.

To help pay my bills during college, grad school, and the breaks in between, I worked as a barista, a waitress, a bartender, a customer service representative for an energy consulting company, and as a sales girl at Bath and Bodyworks. I also spent years working with youth; I worked as a counselor at space themed summer camp, volunteered at a school for deaf children in Mexico, and I took multiple groups of college students overseas to spend their winter vacations serving at youth hostels in Amsterdam. But out of everything that I’ve done, writing young adult novels has been my favorite job.

My debut YA fantasy novel, Caraval is out now (Flatiron Books/Macmillan—US and Hodder & Stoughton—UK). Caraval has sold in thirty foreign territories and the movie rights were picked by Twentieth Century Fox.’

Find Stephanie; Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads.


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WWW Wednesday #2

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

The meme consists of answering 3 questions;

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

If you’d like to take part, head on over to Sam’s blog to find out how.


Currently reading.

This book has lurked on my TBR shelf for so long and I have finally gotten around to reading it. It’s slow going at the moment but I think that’s because it’s so hot and I can’t concentrate. I’m loving the magic and mystery of it all and the characters are different and addictive.

I am always learning about the craft of writing and striving to get better and improve. I like this book because it’s combined with a memoir. I love reading about other writers experiences and seeing the world through their eyes. I think it’s important to do this to help our personal growth.

I went into this book blind. It’s not a genre I normally delve into but I decided to give it a go when I saw it on Netgalley. I’m liking it so far – the descriptions are vivid and irresistible so I’m hopeful for the rest of the book.


Recently finished.

We are okay by Nina LaCour

this is a story that will stay with me for a long time. It's an eye opening, coming of age story of loss and survival. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a deep and thoughtful story. A story that will make you think about the horrors of the past but also about the people who fought to survive such harsh conditions.

I loved this book with my whole heart. It’s one of those stories that I know I’ll love forever. My review for this book will be coming soon!

I’ve read some great books lately and this is one of them. You can read my review here.


What I’m Reading Next.

As soon as I’m done with Caraval I’m going to be going straight into Legendary and I honestly cannot wait.


What are you currently reading?


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Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Want to Read by the End of the Year

Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Lainey @ gingerreadslainey and hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes. If you’d like to check it out and take part then you can find the Goodreads group here.

As usual, I have a TBR the size of Mount Everest and there are many books I want to read right this second! Unfortunately my brain can only handle reading 1 or 2 books at a time (but believe me I’ve tried to read more!). Here are the 5 books/series I want to read by the end of 2018.


1. Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

Yes yes, I’m still in in the minority of people who haven’t read this yet. I’ve had both books on my shelf for so long but I’ve not yet picked them up. I don’t know why because I’ve heard such amazing things. I’m determined I’m going to read them by the end of this year.


2. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour.

I shall confess I bought this because of the cover 🙈 However, it is a book I know I will love!


3. Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo.

I was so excited when they announced this series and I have both this and Batman on my shelf. I have no excuses as to why I haven’t read them yet, I shall blame my lack of restraint when it comes to buying new books.


4. Caraval/Legendary by Stephanie Garber.

Another popular series I haven’t read yet. I am terrible at keeping up with new releases (so many books, so little time) but I will be reading this by the end of year. This is on my July TBR but we shall see if I stick to it or not.


5. Witchborn by Nicholas Bowling.

Another one I bought because of the cover. Well, I did read the synopsis before I purchased it so that’s an improvement 😂


What are some of the books you want to read by the end of the year?


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