Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week there is a new topic for bloggers to choose and list their top ten. This week’s theme is Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR List.

I’ve never really been good at sticking to TBR lists. All you need to do is look at some of the monthly ones I’ve set in the past to see how bad I am at sticking to them. The ten books on my list this week are books I want to read (but as a mood reader that could change at any given time) and that I hope to get around to soon, but whether I do or not is anyone’s guess.

Top Ten Tuesday #98

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books that Surprised Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week there is a new topic for bloggers to choose and list their top ten. This week’s theme is Top Ten Books that Surprised Me.

In my opinion there’s nothing better than when a book surprises me in a good way. A lot of the books I’ve picked up on a whim have ended up being incredible reads I’m grateful I discovered. However it seems like for every amazing book out there there has been one that ended up really disappointing me, so for this week’s topic I split my list in two and featured five books that surprised me in a good way and five that surprised me in a bad way.

Top Ten Tuesday #97

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Title: Unearthed

Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Series: Unearthed, #1

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Release Date: January 9th 2018


Four Stars

When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying’s advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.

For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study…as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don’t loot everything first. Mia and Jules’ different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.

In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race’s secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race…

– Blurb courtesy of

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A Postcard from Romania

At the end of January I went on a short city break with my friend – my very first holiday of the year in the very first month of 2018 – to Romania. Unlike all my previous holidays this was a tour, and instead of staying in one city for the five days we was in Romania we travelled from the capital city of Bucharest, to Peles Castle in Sinaja, to Brasov, to Bâlea Lake, and finally to Bran Castle in Bran.

Was it a lot to pack into five days? Yes, but was it an amazing holiday? Also yes.

Romania (1)

Romania (2)

Bucharest is like plenty of capital cities I’ve seen before, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have something unique to offer. Most of our time there was spent wandering around the winding streets of the Old Town and seeing what hidden gems we could find. We saw the Stavropoleos Church and the Old Court where Vlad the Impaler used to reside. After Bucharest we headed off to Peles Castle, which is probably one of the most gorgeous buildings I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

Romania (3)

Given we went to Romania in the middle of January the further into the country we travelled the more snow there was, and the colder it got as well, but it really added to the fairytale atmosphere the city of Brasov had, which was our next stop. If I had to pick between Bucharest and Brasov for my favourite city Brasov would win.

Romania (4)

Romania (5)

The highlight of the trip for me had to be the time I spent at Bâlea Lake. We took a cable car up the mountain and most of the day was filled with the various snow activities the lodge hosted; I went tubing, snow mobile-ing, rode a raft and banana boat around on a frozen lake until the hood of my coat was covered in ice. That evening dinner was served in the ice restaurant amazing, food but really cold considering I was sitting on a block of ice, and at night I slept in the ice hotel.

If you have a chance definitely definitely try to go to the ice hotel in Romania. While absolutely freezing (and honestly I can’t emphasise that enough; even wearing a pair of thermal socks and a pair of slipper socks under my boots I still lost all feeling in my toes) it’s the experience of a lifetime, and the views at the top of the mountain simply cannot be missed.

Romania (6)

Romania (7)

Romania (8)

Our last stop was Bran Castle, the famous home of Vlad the Impaler (or Dracula). More of a fortress than a castle I can’t say Bran was as gorgeous as Peles Castle was, but it was still a great part of the trip. After all when you think of Romania Vlad the Impaler, or Dracula, is normally one of the first things that comes to mind.

Romania (9)

Romania (10)

Advice (a.k.a. learn from my mistakes)

  • If you are going in the winter, take sunglasses…When I saw this advice in the brochure I laughed; travelling somewhere in the middle of January, when there is going to be snow on the ground and below freezing temperatures, sunglasses are the last thing you’d think to pack. However in all seriousness you will need them, and possibly sun cream too, if you’re going up into the mountains and it’s a clear day.
  • Make sure to try the local food, especially the desserts…Papanași is a traditional fried Romanian dumpling/doughnut and it is beyond yummy, I’m tempted to travel to Romania again just to get another one, also the kürtoskalács (chimney cakes) cannot be missed. I’ve had them in Prague and Budapest now and they’re probably my favourite food ever.
  • Make sure you have good shoes, and wrap up well if you’re going in the winter…Take thermals, take multiple pairs of socks, take plenty of woolly jumpers. The temperatures get really cold, and while inside any building the heating is cranked up high outside it doesn’t take long before the freezing cold starts to affect you.

A Postcard from Romania (2)

Like Krakow and Budapest Romania is a good place to go if you’re on a tight budget. Everything there was quite cheap and you get a lot for the money you’re paying as well.

The tour me and my friend went on, if you’re interested, is called The Ice Hotel Experience and it was all arranged through Untraveled Paths. I would highly recommend this company; they did an amazing tour and it wasn’t expensive to book either. We got to see so much more of Romania with them than we would have if we’d gone and arranged everything ourselves.

The Unique Blogger Award

I haven’t been nominated for the Unique Blogger Award before so I was thrilled to be tagged by Pierina at Pierina Reads, A at Fandomly Bookish, Alaina at An Infinite Book World, Jade at Drink Coffee and Read Books, and Lila at Hardcover Haven. Thanks so much for the tag everyone, I had a lot of fun with this one so I hope you enjoy reading my answers just as much.

The Unique Blogger Award


  • Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  • Answer the questions.
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
  • Ask them three questions.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favourite Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week there is a new topic for bloggers to choose and list their top ten. This week’s theme is Top Ten Favourite Book Quotes.

When it comes down to it I could fill a book longer than the longest book I’ve ever read (and bearing in mind I’ve read four of the five A Song of Fire and Ice books so it would be quite long) with all my favourite book quotes. In order to narrow down to list I’ve picked my favourite quotes from some of my favourite books that I read or re-read last year (and even that was a struggle I will admit).

Top Ten Tuesday #96

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Hero at the Fall | Tales from Sand and Sea

Hero at the Fall

Title: Hero at the Fall

Author: Alwyn Hamilton

Series: Rebel of the Sands, #3

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Release Date: February 1st 2018


Five Stars

Once, in the desert country of Miraji, there was a Sultan without an heir.

The heir had been killed by his own brother, the treacherous Rebel Prince, who was consumed by jealousy and sought the throne for himself.

Or so it was said by some. There were others who said that the Rebel Prince was not a traitor but a hero…

In the final battle for the throne, Amani must fight for everything she believes in, but with the rebellion in pieces, and the Sultan’s armies advancing across the desert plains, who will lead, who will triumph, who will live and who will die?

– Blurb courtesy of

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

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February 2018 Recap

(Let’s all pretend I’m posting this recap at the end of February rather than the beginning of March).

It’s cliché I know, I even started my first recap of the year with this, but where has the month gone?! February is the shortest month of the year and this year I could really tell because I’m struggling to think of what I did with myself over the last twenty-eight days. It was a bit of a mixed month for me, but overall there was more good than bad.

Monthly Recaps - This Month

Books I Read

February Recap (1)

Wires and Nerve: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer – Four stars
Check out my review here.

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman – Five stars
Check out my review here.

Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton – Five stars

Tales from Sand and Sea by Alwyn Hamilton – Four stars

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – Five stars
Check out my review here.

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner – Four stars

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray – Five stars

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green – Four stars

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – Five stars

Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor – Five stars

February This Month

Again (as of the end of February at least) I’m on track to complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 125 by the end of the year. However I’m thinking of lowering it. I don’t know if I can reach my goal and the thought of falling behind is giving me low-key anxiety issues. I’d rather lower my challenge to an amount I know I can read but still try to 125 books.

February GR 2018 Reading Challenge

The best book I picked up in February was really hard to narrow down. Last month I bemoaned how long it took me to finally have a five star read but this month there were a couple of outstanding and incredible books I got through. I think I’m going to have to go for Daughter of Smoke and Bone. This was a re-read for me but it was just as magical and enchanting the second time around as the first.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

The worst book I picked up this month was again another really hard choice because all the books I picked up were good. Tales from Sand and Sea was good, don’t get me wrong, but as a collection of short stories from the Rebel of the Sands trilogy I didn’t really have any expectations for it and all in all it was kind of forgettable compared to the other books I picked up.

Tales from Sand and Sea


To everyone out there who knows how much of an epic procrastinator I am it’s probably going to come as no surprise when I say I’m still a little behind compared to where I wanted to be on my WIP. My original plan was to start writing in March but currently I am only halfway into my plan/research stages (it was the naming of my characters which has thrown me off schedule).

Now my plan is to finish my plot outline, finish naming all my characters (God help me), and finish expanding my world before starting the actual re-write of my WIP in April. Just in time for Camp NaNoWriMo (do you see what I did there).

Life in General

I splurged and had afternoon tea with my best friend in London. We’d waited months for a table for Cutter & Squidge’s Genie’s Cave Afternoon Tea to open up, but let me tell you it was well worth the wait. The food was incredible and we are definitely going back there again, they do different themes every few months and come summer there’s going to be something new.

February Recap (2)

I also made it to the Harry Potter History of Magic exhibition at the British Library, something else I’d waited months for. It was amazing, there was a different room for each class Harry had at Hogwarts filled with historical and cultural facts that J.K. Rowling had used to create the world.

February Recap (3)

The Beast from the East (God I hate that name) hit the UK, and then Storm Emma came along afterwards bringing snow, snow, and even more snow to the UK. I know other countries out there have it worse than what we’ve had in the UK, but we’re a country that’s never prepared for extremes in weather, and it’s been horrible. It’s March and there’s supposed to be blossom on the trees but we still have snow on the ground.

Sorry, rant over.

February Recap (4)

Monthly Recaps - Book Haul

After January I seem to have hit the other extreme in book hauls and didn’t buy much in February, but wait until you see the books that will be in my March haul.

February Recap (5)


February Recap (6)

Fairy Loot

Monthly Recaps - Last Month



Can anyone guess what book I’m excited for this month? There are some incredible March releases but Obsidio is at the top of my every list, as soon as I have it in my hands I’ll be getting started on it. I’m also planning more re-reading; I want to finish the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and in preparation for Obsidio I’m going to be picking up Illuminae and Gemina again as well.

February Next Month

I start my new job on Monday (I am both nervous and excited) so it may be a bit of a struggle at first juggling my increased workload with blogging but I have faith in my time management skills. I hope to end March on track when it comes to blogging and ready to start the re-write of my WIP.

I hope everyone else had a good February, and I hope you all have an even better March as well.

Let me know what books you’ve read during the second month of the year, and if you’ve found yourself wondering where this month has gone? Does anyone have any big plans for March, they don’t have to be blogging or reading plans, and who else is beyond excited for the release of Obsidio?

Happy reading!

Discussion Time: How Do Reviews Influence Our Own Opinions and is it a Good Thing?

One of the amazing things about reviews is that they can lead you to books you may never have picked up otherwise. The Bone Season series, the Percy Jackson books, Bone Gap. What those books all have in common is that they are stories I love, but ones I doubt I would have picked up had it not been for the reviews I saw on WordPress.

It also works the other way around. There have been books I’ve added to my to-read list that have quickly been taken off again when I saw one too many negative reviews. However, and I’ve said this before a few times, we all have different tastes in books so why do we trust others people’s opinions on books so much without trying giving it a chance ourselves.

How Do Reviews Influence Our Own Opinions and is it a Good Thing

How Do Reviews Influence Our Own Opinions and is it a Good Thing?

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Emoji Book Tag

I’ve done this tag before, but given how many emojis there are I can take part as many times as there are emojis left unused. I’m not one for using many emojis, other than hearts and smile-y faces, so I picked some of the more obscure ones out there. I was tagged by Sophie at Blame Chocolate. Thanks so much for the tag Sophie, I had a lot of fun with this one so I hope you enjoy reading my answers just as much.

The Emoji Book Tag

The rules for this tag are simple; pick five emoji’s and then pick five books that fit them.

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