2018 Reading Wrap-Up: Books 1-10

Hello all! It’s Alice here from Married To Books and for today’s upload, I’m going to be wrapping up the first ten books that I’ve read so far in 2018! These first reads of the year were a mixture of some interesting and memorable plotlines and those that didn’t quite hit the mark for me personally. If you would like to hear my thoughts on any of the books mentioned here, add me on Goodreads to see reviews: www.Goodreads.com/Marriedtobooks44 

So, in star order starting with my least favourite all the way up to my favourite of the collection, they are the following:

1 Star

Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

2 Stars

Lady Catherine’s Necklace by Joan Aiken

3 Stars

Appetite by Anita Cassidy

Luca, Son of the Morning by Tom Anderson

The Apple Tart of Hope by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

The Island At The End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

A Mighty Dawn by Theodore Brun (3.75 out of 5 stars)

4 Stars

You Won’t Know I’m Gone by Kristen Orlando

Swoon Reads: Winter 2016 Sampler

5 Stars

The Red Ribbon by Lucy Adlington

 

Here are some books that I am currently reading!

How is your 2018 reading year going? Read any incredible books that have stuck with you? Or a book that you really disliked? I’d love to know in the comments section below, so don’t hesitate to post.

Thanks so much for reading, have an awesome day and please subscribe to see what books I read and review next. 🙂

Alice x

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A Lookback On The Year 2017!

A Lookback on the Year 2017!

Wow guys, just wow. As I sit here writing this on the day after the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere, its dawned on me just how fast this year has flown by. At the very start of 2017, I was really struggling with anxiety and depression and when I was finally diagnosed with both of those, that really helped others to understand that what I do have to experience on a daily basis is incredibly serious and my moods change often. But less of that and more onto the achievements and pure awesomeness that I have experienced so let’s start!

Education

I was very nervous to return back into full-time education. I had done that twice and failed on both occasions, dropping out and not knowing what to do next. However, getting back into College was a very big step to take. As a nineteen year old and seeing all of your friends going off to University or travelling the world made me feel rather lonely and that’s not how I wanted to vision the rest of my life to be. I’ve met new people on my course and we all have the same goal which is to get into University and do our dream courses. I already have four offers for Creative Writing which is just mind-blowing. Definitely know that my heart lies in books and creating new tales for others to read and experience is the calling in life I felt. After I was called childish for wanting to pursue this, it’s actually close to becoming a reality.

Volunteering

I gave back to the local community for five months this year by offering my help at one of the local charity stores near my area. Through doing this, I learnt such a lot in just a short amount of time (learning how to operate the till, money sorting, book sorting, pricing, general admin). I left just before my course started but I was able to get out of the house, meet new people and have something to put on your record to show other places in the future. If you are looking for a real-life experience, then you should consider becoming a volunteer.

My 19th Birthday

I turned nineteen this year which means the last year of the ‘teens’ is currently in full swing. It does feel nice getting older and having a sense of freedom such as being able to go to more events and staying out longer (even though I prefer to stay close to home). I may not look the part but one thing’s for sure, others have started to take me a lot seriously now that I’m into adulthood which is refreshing to witness.

Social Media Achievements

I reached 1,000 followers on my Twitter!: https://twitter.com/MarriedToBooks3

I reached 3,000 followers on my Goodreads!: https://t.co/NDQAaBQMYx

I reached 1,000 followers on my Instagram!: https://www.instagram.com/alicetiedthebookishknot/ 

I reached 200 subscribers here on this blog! The perfect early New Year’s present so thank you all ❤

The Book Community

Back earlier in the year, I discovered The YA Room on Twitter which is a book group based in Melbourne, Australia and joined in the monthly chats despite the massive time zone difference and met the lovely people including Sarah and Alex who I can say are friends for life ❤ and also through Nanowrimo and other chats on Twitter, I’ve met so many people that love to read or write (or both those things!) and I’ve learnt so much about the publishing and writing worlds. I can say for sure that I know which events I would love to visit one day and meeting up with online friends face to face!

Winning Nanowrimo

After seven previous attempts across both Camp Nano and the main event in November, I finally won on attempt number eight! I didn’t finish my novel but I discovered so many methods to actually writing and getting the storyline out on paper. It was at times tiring but overall, an amazing experience and one which definitely increased my love for studying creative writing at University.

Falling in Love… Again

In the past on this blog, I have mentioned a few boyfriends I’ve had but after realising that I really needed to find the person who truly understood me for who I am and also wanting to get in on the book action, I met on Snapchat a guy called George who I actually used to go to the same High School with however, we never really spoke to one another until the middle of Spring this year. We’ve been going four months strong as a couple and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so happy 😀

Add his Book Twitter readers! He will follow back if you ask him: https://twitter.com/G_BuriedInBooks 

That’s all for this wrap-up post, thank you to everyone who has followed and supported me this year and see you in the next one!

Alice x

January 2018 YA Releases List!

 

 

Hello readers! The first month of 2018 is almost upon us and now, it’s time to look forward to all of the new monthly YA releases that the year has to offer. As of right now, there are 48 YA books scheduled to be released in January (according to the Goodreads list) and this post contains 5 of those releases that I’m very excited for. I would have loved to mention every single release in this post but sadly, that would be a very long read and a little bit stressful. To see the list for yourself, here is a handy link!: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/112878._YA_Releases_of_January_2018 

So, in no particular order, here are the ones I would like to discuss about in this post!

#1- The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

ME: Personally, it’s no secret just how much buzz I’ve seen on Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads surrounding Holly’s new release. It’s faeries, adventure and heart-pounding thrills. I was a little upset that I wasn’t able to get an ARC of this but I hope to read another one of Holly’s book The Darkest Part of the Forest in the New Year to tie in with this new release.

#2- The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

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Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

ME: When you know that the main character shares the same first name as you, this is a ultimate must-read. Sadly I wasn’t able to get an ARC of this either since I went to YA Day at Bath Children’s Literature Festival and wasn’t able to find them *cue sad faced emoji*.

#3- Reign Of The Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

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Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

ME: THERE’S A SKULL ON THE COVER AH AH AH! Fangirl moment over, this is the first book in a brand new series and every day now for the last three weeks, I’ve always seen this float around on my Twitter feed. It’s a sign, me and this book were meant to be OK? XD

#4- You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon

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Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon.

But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. While Tovah finds comfort in their Jewish religion, Adina rebels against its rules.

When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s. The other tests positive.

These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving?

From debut author Rachel Lynn Solomon comes a luminous, heartbreaking tale of life, death, and the fragile bond between sisters.

ME: This is the only contemporary novel on this list but as someone who loves to read and promote debut novels, I’m intrigued to see what happens to the twins Adina and Tovah and their struggles after the result of the test for Huntington’s.

#5- Our Dark Stars by Audrey Grey and Krystal Wade

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While she sleeps, the whole universe changes.

Princess Talia Starchaser has it all. Wealth. Status. Adoring citizens. But on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, she’s forced to publicly betray her best friend, a companion mock she’s had since birth, setting events into motion that lead to the destruction of the humans, and the princess floating through space, a remnant of a time when humans ruled over droids.

One hundred years later, half-mock captain Will Perrault and his ragtag crew discover a device floating in space. When a very human Talia emerges from its depths, Will suspects she’s the key to buying his way back into the regiment he once commanded against the last remaining rebel humans—and the ruling mock queen’s good graces.

Both Talia and Will would rather get space-tossed than trust one another, but with the queen’s forces chasing them across the galaxy and the fate of both worlds hanging in the balance, they’ll forge the unlikeliest of alliances to survive.

ME: Cough, that stunning cover cough 😀 I’m really surprised that there currently isn’t a lot of buzz for this book on Goodreads. One of the reviews posted reveals that this is a SciFi retelling of Beauty and the Beast which I am totally ready to jump on the book train for!

That concludes this exciting post, thanks so much for reading! Comment down below what releases you are looking forward to and don’t forget to subscribe to my book blog for regular uploads. Have a great day!

Alice x

Add my Twitter: www.twitter.com/MarriedToBooks3

Blog Tour: Hinder

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Hello readers! Welcome back to my blog for today’s post which is the tour stop for Hinder, a New-Adult Paranormal novel by Kristin Ping! Contained throughout will be more details about the book as well as my own review and a international giveaway running. Ready? Let’s get started!

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Book details:
Hinder
by Kristin Ping
(Guardian of Monsters #1)
Publication date: May 15th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal
Synopsis:

Ethan Sutcliff seems like a normal seventeen-year-old—at least that’s what he’s trying to portray. In a secret society run by the Supernaturals, Ethan is what witches call a Bender. Benders are Witches’ Guardians, who are able to control a witches’ ability, bend it, or move it away from harming humans. In Ethan’s case, he is able to bend the Earth element. But at the age of fifteen, he lost all connection to it, and the reasons behind it could only mean one of two things: His Wielder is either dead, or hiding out somewhere.

Alex Burgendorf has been living in her aunt’s locket for the past sixteen years with her mother—a Fire Wielder, and her father—a Water Wielder. For sixteen years, her parents vowed to protect her, and they have, as she is the last Earth wielding witch. However, time is running out. Alex must find her Bender, or the fate of the Supernaturals might be at stake.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35145741-hinder?ac=1&from_search=true

Pre-order: 
Kristin
AUTHOR BIO:
Kristin resides in South Africa with her husband, two beautiful girls and two bulldogs that tries to eat her house.
She has been writing for the past eight years and her first debut novel, Hinder: A Bender’s novel will be published 2018 by Fire Quill Publishing.

When she isn’t writing, she is spending her time with her family, or trying to teach her two bulldogs to not eat her house. You can find more about Kristin at www.authorkristinping.com

 
Author links:
REVIEW: I was super excited when I learnt that I had been selected to be a part of the Hinder tour. This 2018 release is one that you definitely need to keep an eye out for! Ethan is a bender which his Mum died trying to protect him. He uses the Earth element and has the skill to bend it and be in control of witches. The other main character Alex is trapped in her Aunt’s locket and she needs to find her bender before everything crashes around her. When Ethan and Alex’s worlds both collide, they have to stay alive before evil creeps up behind them and swallows them away in a puff of black smoke. I don’t read a lot of New-Adult but when I do, I thoroughly enjoy it. Hinder was visual, action-packed and also portrayed the joys and strains of relationships very well. As this is the first book in a series, I did like how the ending wasn’t a cliffhanger but at the same time, did leave some mystery behind which hopefully is solved in book 2? I would say what but that’s spoilers 😉
GIVEAWAY!: As part of the blog tour, there is a giveaway going on to win a $75 Amazon gift card and… it’s INTERNATIONAL entries! To be in with a chance to win, click on this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251232205/  Entries close on January 7th 2018!
That concludes this post! A big thank you to the team at Xpresso Blog Tours and Kristin for the opportunity to be a part of the tour. Don’t forget to stop by all of the other blogs that are currently participating in this too.
Alice x

My Favourite Reads of 2017

Welcome all to my year’s round-up of books that I’ve read in 2017 and absolutely enjoyed! This post will be split into two parts starting with the books I gave the full five stars to and then ones I gave 4 or 4.5 stars to and some reasons why, so without further ado, here are my favourite reads!

FIVE STAR READS:

 

There’s no denying that by having images of stars in the sky on the book cover, I end up absolutely loving everything about the book. The Little Prince was one that truly left me speechless and even trying to type up a book review for it was tricky at times. Autoboyography is a recent read and one that when offered for free to read as part of the Riveted Lit 25 Books, 25 Days promotion that is currently running, 4am me was left mesmerised and excited for more!

FOUR/FOUR AND A HALF STARS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’ve enjoyed receiving free books as part of blog tours or sent to me via publishers. This year, I have also made use of libraries at both my College and public ones near my home. You see by the covers featured that there were a variety of genres, characters and plotlines I experienced which left an impact on me. All of these books are listed on Goodreads!

Thanks so much for reading this post, what were your favourite reads of the year?

Alice x

I’ve Been Reading Books!- Review Round-Up.

If you like my book reviews, add me on Goodreads!: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/45911840-alice-marriedtobooks

Sorry everyone for the lack of activity on my blog, I’ve decided to no longer participate in this year’s Blogmas for personal reasons. Hope you all can understand that this decision was a difficult one to make and had to take a lot into consideration regarding the posts I had planned as well as assignment matters. But the good news is that I’ve been reading books again and have some new reviews to share! So, let’s see what I thought of these three books:

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I am part of a YA book group, this was October’s pick of the month but have only just got around to finishing it yesterday. Going into The Girl Of Ink and Stars, I wasn’t really sure what to expect other than adventure and um… Stars. Me being me, I thought this was a book set in space, it isn’t. I would definitely say however that the plotline sounded more MG to me then YA but I like reading MG and as a nineteen year old, I have loved reading stories for a younger audience. The story follows young Isabella who lives on a island with a father as a cartographer (person who draws maps and follows the constellations of stars in the sky above). A girl Isabella knows is murdered then her best friend Lupe goes missing after she ventures out to solve the mystery surrounding the murder itself. Being worried, Isabella disguises herself as a boy and joins the search party looking for Lupe and using the map skills she has acquired from her father.

What I enjoyed was the astrological aspect as well as the adventure involving Isabella on the search for Lupe. Sadly, the length of the story is what let it down for me a little, once I did feel fully on board with everything that was happening, the adventure was over. I think younger readers around the age of 12 or 13 will really enjoy this. Overall, a great idea that just needs some more development to it. The illustrations in my edition were really pretty to look at, what made the reading easier was that the story was clearly split into sections so for example, the first part is set in Joya then it moves onto the forests and so on.

Rating: 3/5 stars

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Guys… My little classic movies heart is just bursting at the seams. The references made just askajaksjaksa. Anyway, onto my actual thoughts! I read Alex Approximately in one sitting pretty late at night and enjoyed the experience. If you are a fan of the film You’ve Got Mail, this is basically like the film itself, just having teens as main characters and set in California, not Brooklyn. Bailey also known as Mink has been chatting to a guy called Alex online on a film lovers forum and harbouring a secret crush for him despite not knowing what he looks like. Her parents are divorced so she moves into a town on the coast which is the same one that this Alex is said to be located in to be with her Dad who is also dating a local police cop. Finding work at a local museum, she meets one of the security guards called Porter who is not only a twit, he’s a very attractive one too. As the summer turns to autumn, Bailey must work out what her heart really wants. This mysterious Alex or Porter.

The perfect Contemporary summer read for teens over the age of fifteen. I loved the fact that Bailey is against such a film fanatic and not reading a character like that before in YA, that was super refreshing to see. It is a long book but I was satisfied with the conclusion and as a standalone, am pleased where the story stands. The story touched on so many other things such as peer pressure, parent relationships, friendships, I could go on and on. There are scenes of gun use around 40% of the way in so little warning to those who are interested in reading Alex Approximately and find those kind of scenes uncomfortable to read. I am excited to read some more books by Jenn!

Rating: 4/5 stars

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People, it was worth waking up at 4am in the morning to pick up Autoboyography, my feels are still in tatters right now a few hours later after I finished the epilogue. I have absolutely no hesitation recommending this book to others, hands down one of my most favourite books that I’ve ever read (and I don’t say that very often). The cover is absolutely stunning and once I read one of my closet friend’s reviews on her blog, I was instantly sold. Tanner is the main character, he’s an eighteen year old who has moved states from California to Utah. Once openly bisexual, he is forced to retract from that and hide away. His hiding suddenly comes to light when his friend Autumn suggests that he takes a seminar offered by the high school they attend. The goal is to write a novel in four months, but a massive distraction in the form of Sebastian Brother, a novel he wrote in the previous year’s seminar which ended up with a publishing contract and is back to mentor the year’s students. From the start, both of them discover that everything in life can be an adventure and whether taking the risks would be worth it.

This novel tackles aspects such as writing, family relationships, love, Mormon (as Sebastian is Mormon and bought up in a family of Mormons), religion and life changes. From the first page, I was left spellbound by the growing desires between Tanner and Sebastian. I love it when authors and writing are involved within the plotline. The tensions and relationships, joy and heartbreak which was experienced throughout. I was generally left in tears once the ending of book arrived. The writing style was simply beautiful and again as a standalone, was left satisfied with the pacing and life developments. I love, love, love this book, it was everything I could have wanted and ask for. I’m tearing up as I write this oh my. But for anyone looking for a good LGBTQIA+ YA novel, this is the one, look no further.

Rating: 5/5 stars!

Here are images of the books I am either currently reading or just about to start:

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Let me know what books you are currently reading and see you all very soon!

Alice x

 

 

#Blogmas Day 3: An Online Writing Milestone!

I’ve been busy writing and uploading more of my Nanowrimo chapters to Tablo Publishing, a free online writing website I discovered last month after their Twitter account followed mine. It seemed like a great place to upload my stories and poetry too. Mainly, very quiet in regards to number of users online but the interface and actual genres available to write under are great. A few minutes ago, I noticed this on my Tablo profile.

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So, to break things down for you!

  • I currently have 7 followers which is good however, I have been actively promoting around on social media my profiles but very few have seemed to take a genuine interest into following it. Maybe because it’s not Wattpad (I do have one but hardly ever use it) or because they are worried that making an account costs, it doesn’t, it’s completely free and you don’t have to upload anything, just reading and reviewing writing is totally fine.
  • I have 221 reads across my 4 published works on my profile, they are 2 completed short stories, a book of poetry and my Nanowrimo novel.
  • As of right now, the total number of words I’ve uploaded to Tablo is in excess of 37,700 words and is set to grow quickly.

So readers! It would mean a lot to me if you could stop by on my Tablo profile and follow, doing this means you are supporting my writing projects and joining me in my adventure to become a published author and a successful online writer.

Link to my Tablo profile: https://tablo.io/alice-mtb44 

Thanks for reading, do you write and post stories online too? I’d love to know!

Alice x