HAPPY GALENTINE’S DAY <3 – Our Top Ten Favourite Romances

HAPPY ALMOST VALENTINE’S GALENTINE’S DAY ❤

The Broke and Bookish inspired us with their Valentine’s themed Top Ten’s, so here are our absolute FAVOURITE romances – whether they get a happily every after or not! These couples and almost-couples definitely gave us ALL. THE. FEELZ.

OLIVIA

01

Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour

My favourite contemporary novel to date. I love the look inside film production, the main characters obsession with the golden age of Hollywood and the fact that the main character is a lesbian and this ISN’T her coming out story.

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress X Thorne is everything.

The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The on again off again love between Shazi and Khalid is so entertaining.

My True Love Gave To Me (North & Marigold) by Stephanie Perkins

Girl likes boy. Girl buys tree from boy. Boy carries tree to girls house. Boy cleans girls house……AKA the cutest love story I’ve ever read!!!

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

New boy next door moves in but Madeline has a serious condition. She’s deathly allergic to basically everything. Should be no issue what so ever right?


 

RISABELLA (with some of my reviews linked!)

03

Isla & The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Where do I even begin? Josh & Isla are my favourite couple from Stephanie Perkin’s trilogy. They’re so YOUNG and foolish and in loooooove, ugh. They make all the stupid teenage decisions and I can’t help but reminisce those carefree days of young love.

The Heir by Kiera Cass

This one was sooooooooo romantical, seriously, Eadlyn has ALL the boys lined up for daaaaays. This particular Selection was more enjoyable for me, because who wouldn’t want 35 eligible bachelors vying for their hand?

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

While this may not seem like your typical contemprary romance, this had ALL THE COUPLES. There is so much TENSION in this that I literally can’t with all three couples. I just love that no one gets left out and it’s all about the UNREQUITED LOVE. (Also, throwback to Olivia’s take on this GEM of a book.)

04

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

THESE TWO ARE PERFECTION. And yes, all of these caps are necessary. They’re an adorable, mismatched pairing and you can’t help but cheer them on as they find their way to each other. There’s also the holiday feel that makes their romance extra special.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

AMY. AND. ROGER. OH. MAN. Quite possibly my favourite couple of 2015. Their love is slow and so, SO awkward. Also, Roger is just my ultimate dream man. Nerdy, compassionate and a total BAAAAABE. I’ll take one please!


Do our favourite romances match up with yours? Which fictional boyfriends are we missing?!?!

 

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Lost in Time

This week’s Top Ten is a tough one… The Broke and Bookish prompt us with our favourite historical AND futuristic societies. It’s hard to pin them down because we want to live in all of them!

HISTORICAL

01

For all of these which take place in and around the 18th century, the struggle of being a woman during this time period is touched upon in each novel. While there were pretty dresses and balls and many other grand frivolities, girls had very little power over their own lives and were seen as the ‘inferior sex’, too weak willed and physically inadequate to their male counterparts. A big reason why these historical novels appeal to us is that they have female protagonists who rebel against their unjust society and situations and do something about it. FIGHT THE SYSTEM!

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

When you find out you are a secret demon hunter but also have to dress up for fancy parties to find a husband… #18thCenturyProblems

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

To solve the mysterious death of her father, Jo (an aspiring reporter) takes matters into her own hands and investigates the dark plot surrounding his death doing most un-lady-like things (at the time).

Absolutely LOVE Jo’s gumption, everybody discounts her but she forges her own path with often mixed results.

Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra

Leonora is from a wealthy family with good prospects but she has a speech impediment that cripples her own voice but allows her to imitate, or mimic, others speech to perfection. This skill or curse is the shame of her family but becomes the key to her accidental involvement in the dangerous opium trade that threatens her city.

Lady Grace Mysteries by Patricia Finney

What I would give to be a lady-in-waiting for Queen Elizabeth I! Lady Grace fulfilled every wish I had to live and breaaaaaathe the Victorian era.

 

FUTURISTIC

02

The Ear, The Eye and The Arm by Nancy Farmer

Taking place in the future with super cool technology, three detectives are hired to find three missing children. The Ear, with supersonic hearing. The Eye, with incredible sight. The Arm, with long stretchy limbs. Together these unlikely heroes search for the missing children who get themselves into a series of unfortunate situations.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Virtual reality world sounds amazing where there are no limitations the possibilities are endless!!

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen01

While this series feels like its in medieval times with horses, sword fights and epic struggles for power we get these hints throughout the book that this is actually in the future. They have knowledge of things like cars and medicine but it becomes like a myth to them.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer03

There are cyborgs, androids, robots, spaceships, and moon people all with fairytale roots and twists…need I say more?

02

Starbound by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

SPACE TRAVEL IS POSSIBLE. IN THE STARBOUND UNIVERSE. I need this to be available in my lifetime, TY. Folding space, all the physics I never understood, the space-time continuum and all this living-on-other-planets-businessGOALS.


Thoughts on our favourite times of the past and present? What are some of you favourite reads in a different time?

The Last Place On Earth and the Last Thing I Expected

imageBook: The Last Place On Earth

Author: Carol Snow

Published: February 23 2016

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co (Macmillan)

Genre: Contemporary Young Adult


What’s It About?

When Daisy’s best friend Henry, who is basically a 16 year old genius, goes missing one day without a trace her life is turned upside down. Only after breaking into his house to find a note from him: “Save Me” are Daisy’s suspicions of alien abduction or a witness protection program less and less far fetched. In a desperate search for her friend, Daisy traverses into the Californian wilderness following a trail of clues seemingly left by her friend and stumbles upon a discovery that may change her friendship with Henry for ever.


 

What I Liked:

  • Likeable characters
  • appocalypse feel
  • surprising plot twists
  • NO INSTA-LOVE (for the most part)

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The fact that there were no aliens, I was convinced this was going to end up as an alien sci-fi but I was wrong
  • Characters felt somewhat underdeveloped to me
  • pacing was a little off at times
  • all parental figures were complete idiots

Overview:

I truly enjoyed this book, I give it a solid 3.5/5. With a strong protagonist I sped right through this book. The best parts were the surprise twists, they really had me going. My favourite part is a little spoilery so stop reading here if you don’t want to be spoiled !!!

“Is this some kind of cult?” I Asked Henry. His father answered. “Of course not. People in cults are crazy.”

Big thanks to Raincoast Books for the ARC! You are the best!

 

Ten Most Recently Added to Our TBRs!

We’re playing catch up on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday from the Broke and Bookish!

The ten most recent adds to our TBRs, though it was so hard to choose just ten!

OLIVIA

02These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker

The pitch for this book is Jane Austen meets X-Men, with a rise in paranormal and fantasy historical fiction recently I am so ready for this!

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Not much to say, the sure to be heartbreaking, mind-blowing and epic beyond compare conclusion to the Raven Cycle. Can’t wait to read this but at the same time don’t want it to be over.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

This book is going to give me major feels, I can tell. When Cameron’s parents die unexpectedly and she is forced to move to a small town with her ultra conservative aunt. Things get complicated because Cameron likes girls and that is not a part of her master plan to blend in into her new home.

I’ve read a lot of really good reviews of this recently and have that NEED to get my hands on it feel.

Shutter by Courtney Alameda03

About a modern day descendant of Van Helsing (yes you heard that right).  Give me ALL that paranormal fiction!

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

There was lots of buzz leading up to the release of this book and now that it’s out EVERYBODY WON’T SHUT UP ABOUT IT! But seriously, treasure hunt through time? Sounds pretty amazing to me.


 

RISABELLA01 9.36.09 PM.jpg

Front Lines by Michael Grant

The Book Thief meets Code Name Verity – I AM IN. Basically WWII with women, I love it already!

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Olivia won’t shut up about this… It’s about time I read this!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I AM LOVING VICIOUS. So I need to, need to, NEED TO get on this one!

04The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz & Stieg Larsson

Need to catch up on my favourite hacker! And see how this ghostwriting worked out!

Star Above by Marissa Meyer

AHHH! Olivia and I and our dear friend have made some EPIC plans becaaaaaause Marissa Meyer is making a stop on her Stars Above book tour at a bookstore near us! Need to prepare our hearts and our bodies for the amazing human that is Marissa Meyer as we continue to deny the end of the Lunar Chronicles.


A healthy mix of new releases and 2015 releases that just slipped past us – which do we read first?!?!

Lessons in Demons and Decorum: The Dark Days Club

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
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Release Date: January 26th 2016

Publisher: Penguin Random House

3.5/5 The Dark Days Club is the first of a new series for Alison Goodman. Her previous works Eon and Eona are epic tales involving magic and dragons featuring asian mythology and astrology. This being the first book in the new Lady Helen series ,while having a fantasy element, is in stark contrast to her previous works.

 

The Dark Days Club takes place in London during the Regency era in 1812. Our heroine, Lady Helen, is a part of high society and now that she has come of age is effectively being married off for the best match possible by her aunt and uncle as her mother died in disgrace when she was a child.

What appears at first to be a tale much like Pride and Prejudice detailing English society, Lady Helen is soon drawn to the darker underbelly of London where demons lurk unbeknownst to the general population. As her awareness grows we learn of the demon infiltration into every level of society and how she might be an integral part of the fight for humanity.

This book is a wonderful example of a well-written and thoroughly researched historical fantasy that should appeal to lovers of Cassandra Claire’s Clockwork Angel series, and lovers of historical fiction in general with its rich detail.


 

So the reason I only gave this 3.5/5 and nothing higher even though I thought it was a really good book was because for me it was a little slow. Specifically the first half of the book, the pacing was a bit too slow for my liking. The demon storyline takes awhile to weave its way into the plot. I think there is a lot of world building and setting up in this book for the rest of the series.

Goodman brings her beautifully detailed writing and a head strong, independent female lead that tries to remain true to who she is in a time where everything is against her as a woman. In this book you get the drama of high society England, female friendship, some sizzling almost romance and of course demons! So definitely keep an eye out for this one, I predict it will be a wonderful series.

This book is when Pride and Prejudice meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

If this sounds like the book for you, I would also recommend some of these other historical fiction/fantasies I have enjoyed:

 

 

 

Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn’t

Back in full force for 2016 with another Top Ten Tuesday from the Broke and the Bookish .

I weep for those books that got left behind. Those books that I had the best of intentions to read, those books that got shafted somehow and now sit on my shelf taunting me…

PicMonkey Collage1

1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowel

Aside from a couple of short stories I have never read any of her books *hangs head in shame* its one of those things I keep meaning to do but it never happened. With the release of Carry On in 2015 I told myself I would first read Fangirl and then devour Carry On, but sadly it just never happened.

2. Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

Loved Snow Like Ashes and was so excited when I bought Ice Like Fire but unfortunately it just sat on my bookshelf most of the year as I read different books.

3. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Was so excited by the premise of this story as I love fairytale retellings. Bought it, was super stoked to read it but just never got around to it. However a friend of mine just read it recently and was singing it’s praises so I have a renewed desire to read this.

4. Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Was such a fan of the brutality of Red Rising but somehow Golden Son slipped out of reach and I never read it. Am hoping to start over and read Red Rising, then Golden Son just prior to the release of Morning Star so it will all be fresh in my mind.

5. Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Heard nothing but good things and was and still am wanting to read this badly but I CAN ONLY READ SO MUCH IN A YEAR WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!!

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6. Another Day by David Levithan

The companion novel to Every Day which blew my mind, this book I vow will be read someday but the urgency has died down a bit for me.

7. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Upon realizing that I had not read any of Patrick Ness’ earlier works I decided to put this one aside and start with A Monster Calls and the Chaos Walking Trilogy so I would get a better sense of his writing.

8. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

I really wanted to read this one based off of friends reviews but them I went into a fantasy only period and kind of forgot about this one. I endeavour to read this one is 2016 though!

9. Dumplin’ by  Julie Murphy

A much hyped up contemporary novel supposedly with empowering themes that I wanted to give a shot but was reluctant to start it in case it was overhyped, will try and get around to reading if eventually.

10. Walk On Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson

A really cool premise about a girl who can sense gold in the earth that peaked my interest from the beginning. This is one that I simply ran out of time to read in 2015, but look out because I am coming for you in 2016!

 

Deadly Doppelgängers: The Unquiet

The Unquiet by Mikaela Everett

22595271 3/5 I received an ARC from Harper Collins in the fall of 2015. I hadn’t heard anything about this book previously but once I got the breakdown of doppelgängers, alternate Earths and trained children assassins I was sold.

This book gave me some major Orphan Black vibes with the layers and layers of conspiracy and moral ambiguities.

giphy

I felt very conflicted about this book; there were elements that I loved and parts that just didn’t do it for me. For example I both like and dislike the cover, it both makes perfect sense but at the same time doesn’t.


Things I Liked:

  • Amazingly unique premise
  • Dark undertones in the novel with war, murder and deception
  • Female led story (YAY)
  • Haunting look into main characters tormented and contradictory thoughts and feelings
  • Killer ending

Things I Didn’t Like:

  • inconsistent narrator
  • choppy timeline and sequence of events
  • all the confusion I felt while reading this book

 

Overall this was an enjoyable read and I think that the often confusing and choppy narration was a device to illustrate how damaged and messed up the main character was by her upbringing. While I can appreciate that, for me it was too much and I was left with many questions and frequently confused as to what was even going on in this story. So mixed feelings for this one but still worth a read if you get the chance.