A Note About Wrap-Ups and TBRs
I have been thinking a lot lately about the content I've been posting recently and how I want to try out new things/ways of doing certain blog posts. One of these is the way that I want to change my Wrap-Up and TBR posts.
With my TBRs I feel like I don't really stick to them, apart from my December one, which I pretty much completely stuck to. What's the point of me telling you guys what I'm going to read that month if I never actually read those books? Don't get me wrong, I do normally read like two of the books I set, but after that I just want to read what I feel like reading and that's where the next thing comes in.
You may be wondering what I'm actually going to do about this and it's actually pretty simple. I'm not going to stop doing TBRs, I love doing them too much. However, I am going to change the way I do them. I will be picking two or three books that I KNOW I will be reading that month and then I will leave the rest blank. Throughout the rest of the month I will give currently reading updates and TBRs for the next week etc. Hopefully you will understand what I'm trying to say, I know I'm not exactly the best at explaining things haha. I'm hoping that this way will be better for both me and for you, because then I'll be telling you books that I will actually be reading (if I have time to read).
By the time I get to the end of the month to do my Wrap Ups, I feel like I've forgotten a lot about the books that I've read and therefore I feel like I'm not really telling you anything. I'm actually making a few changes to this one and one of these is I made my own sort of book journal in my notepad, I keep track of the book, author, pages, date started/finished, notes and also quotes. So far I can already feel a change when I write my reviews, I feel like I've literally just read the book and it's helping me write better reviews (well, I think so anyway.)
Another change I will be making is one I've seen a lot of people doing this year and I'm not completely sure whether I'm going to give it a go or not. It's when I feel like doing a Wrap-Up I will one and for example it will be like Wrap-Up: Book #1-4 or something like that. I'm not sure whether to do this though as I feel like the book journal I'm keeping may help me by the notes I've been keeping. That's where I need your help - comment down below or message me/comment on my post telling me whether I should stick with my normal style of Wrap-Up or change it up. Whatever you guys decide, I will still be doing my normal style for my January Wrap-Up as it's too late to change it.
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK DOWN BELOW OR ON MY INSTAGRAM ('SPRINKLE_OF_BOOKS)!
Spoiler-Free Review: Nicky and the Fairy Named Anika by Loren Bukovka
Title - Nicky and the Fairy Named Anika
Author - Loren Bukovka
Pages - 209 Pages
Synopsis - This is the story of Nicky Hanniky, a young poet who gets taken to fairy land and has so many fun adventures she forgets to be sad about her Grandma's death. Featuring gracious fairies, singing gnomes, and galloping unicorns, this fantasy is suitable for kids aged 10 to infinity, including grown-ups and teens who wish to revisit fairy land.
*I received this book from the author in trade for an honest review.* Thank you Loren for sending me a copy of this book and I really enjoyed it!
This book follows a young girl called Nicky, who is struggling to deal with the recent death of her Grandma. They had a very close relationship and dealing with the grief has changed Nicky's dreams and hopes for the future. She so badly wanted to be a poet for the longest time, but after her Grandma's death she no longer wishes to be so and she has lost her motivation for her dream.
For years, Nicky has wanted to go to Science Camp, where her Grandma went as a young girl. Her Grandma used to tell her lots of stories about the camp and ever since Nicky had been dying to go. This year, Nicky's parents have finally agreed to send her there. However, Nicky is not as happy there as she thought she'd be. She can't stop thinking about her Grandma and she misses her more than ever.
A fellow girl at Science Camp, Kira, is determined to make friends with Nicky and also to cheer her up. The pair decide to go to the lake and look for mermaids, though they both know that they don't exist (or do they?..).
Nicky dives in, but doesn't resurface and Kira begins to panic. She has no idea that Nicky has been captured by an evil monster that has been caged at the bottom of the lake. The next thing Nicky knows is that she's being saved by someone and then transported into a world that she never believed existed.
She's surrounded by fairies, gnomes, pixies and other mythical creatures. She's in the world that her Grandma used to tell her stories about and she's about to be thrown into a world of magic and adventures, as she fights to rediscover her dream.
I loved all of the characters, but especially Nicky. She was a curious young girl and one that I think a lot of children that age would be able to relate to. She has to face a lot of challenges, but she's strong just as she is curious and has it in her to defeat her problems, if only she tried hard enough.
Another favourite of mine was Umka, a gnome that Nicky meets and spends a lot of time with on her adventures. Umka was just so sweet and really cared for Nicky. She always knew how to make her smile.
I had a few more favourites, but those two were just the best,. Overall, I think that the characters were well-created and planned out and a lot of them had unique abilities, that just added to the story.
I adored the writing style! It was super easy to get into and understand. It was full of fun and there was never a dull moment.
The world building was also spot on and I had a clear vision of what the world would look like, which got clearer the further I got into the book.
Another thing that I loved was the rhymes and songs throughout the book, they really added to the story. There was also a lot of great descriptive parts, which used similes and a lot of them made me smile.
Here are some of my favourites:
"A forest covered the hills there, like a prickly blanket over a napping dragon."
"The sound of cottonwood leaves behind her was like the pages of countless books turning, with children's laughter woven and blended in."
Like I said previously, there was never a dull moment. Despite the fact that this is a Children's/Middle Grade book, there was still some surprises along the way that even I wasn't expecting.
I found the plot to be unique and I really loved the touch on the main character as she struggled coping with the death of her grandma. I personal have never read a Children's/Middle Grade book that deals with that topic and I found it really interesting to see how Loren talked about it. I feel that Loren did deal with the topic very well and that it added a lot to the story.
After thinking for a while, I decided to settle on a 4/5 rating. I will definitely be continuing on with any future books in this world and other books by Loren in general. After finishing this book, I was left with a few questions and also wanting more - I hope the next book in the series can answer them and help the longing I feel for more adventures with these characters.
I do definitely recommend this book for children of all ages, but also teens and even adults. I myself am a teen, but that didn't stop me getting enjoyment out of it. I loved this book and hope more people, who read it will enjoy it as well. I am so grateful to Loren for sending me a copy as it was so fun to read such an enjoyable book. Thank you Loren!
BUY THE BOOK:
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28147415-nicky-and-the-fairy-named-anika?ac=1&from_search=1
BD - http://www.bookdepository.com/Nicky-and-the-Fairy-Named-Anika/9781519708700
Author Q&A with Holly Sparks!
Holly Sparks is the Author of The Enrule Seires, the first book being Enrule #1, Holly is an excitable and dedicated reader. She loves young adult fiction. Romance with a twist. Holly enjoys reading books curled up next to the fire with a warm blanket thrown over her.
With the family's two cats (Socks and Slippers) constantly meowing between books it's hard to concentrate on one book at a time with Holly's busy schedule. She finds herself buried within ten books at a time!
Writing is one of Holly's pure enjoyments in life and she's so happy that she can share her work with the world now.
1) How were you able to publish your book? (From abookwithbea on Instagram)
HS: Well, there are many routes to go down with publishing such as publishing houses, agents but I chose to self-publish, then I had full rights to my work and I could choose what cover I wanted and how the book would look. I couldn't be happier and I had some help from some wonderful people along the way and have mentioned them in my acknowledgements section. It's a different story every time you publish and I would like to explore all the different ways in which to publish as I have lots more writing ahead of me.
2) Can you say that writing is hard in a way, but very fun to do? (From abookwithbea on Instagram)
HS: It is most certainly what my life revolves around. I love writing, developing characters, different worlds and completely setting myself inside different characters shoes. It's wonderful to make your own worlds and your own characters and when people fall in love with them just as much as you had fun writing them, it just makes it all the fun! I will admit, I do suffer from writers block but I smash through the wall and just carry on.
3) What is your favourite and least favourite thing about writing?
HS: Favourite thing would be creating the first chapter and the new characters. I love completely leaving reality and diving into a different world. Least favourite is looking back over my work and thinking "Wow, that's just terrible." Then it's the editing process that takes forever but so enjoyable!
4) Describe your book, Enrule, in 5 words.
HS: Fast paced, zombie killing, action packed. Whoops... That was six words ;)
5) If you had to pick one song to go along with Enrule, what song would you pick and why?
HS: The playlist that inspire the book was 'The Divergent Soundtrack' but if I could pick one song it would be: Human by Christina Perri or Demons by Imagine Dragons.
6) What was your inspiration for Enrule?
HS: I get my inspiration from songs, pictures, movies and other books! Mostly I can just be daydreaming and an idea will come to me! Also dreams! They make some of the best books ever.
7) Who are some of your favourite authors?
HS: I love Alyssa Rose Ivy, Amanda Hocking, Rachel Hawkins, Emma Pass, Jennifer Armentrout. Those are only some! I love loads of authors.
8) Had you always wanted to be an author?
HS: Yes, I've always wanted to be but never had the courage to start writing until a few years ago! Shows what can happen when you out in some very hard work!
9) Finally, why should people buy your book? (Apart from the fact that it sounds amazing and it's written by you!)
HS: Hehe, why thank you. I would just love to share my writing and book with the world and anyone who buys it is like family to me! I love all you guys, you're the reason I got the courage to publish my work!
Enrule (Enrule #1) by Holly Sparks
Synopsis - I remember waking to the scream.
I remember calling my sister's name.
I remember seeing the blood smeared along the staircase.
I remember the creature's green eyes.
They say there's a cure. They say there's a way to stop this madness, a way to stop the hunger.
I think they're lying.
My name is Ella, and this is my story.
In this exhilarating debut, Holly Sparks presents a horrifying dystopian world, a remarkable heroine, and an unforgettable adventure.
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28154979-enrule-1
AMAZON - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Enrule-1-Holly-Sparks/dp/1519542941/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453491042&sr=1-1&keywords=enrule+holly+sparks
Spoiler-Free Review: The Vampire, The Handler and Me by Eileen Sheehan
*I was sent an ebook copy of this book by the author in trade for an honest review. *
In a romantic triangle of good and bad, it's hard to tell who is good and who is bad. Lizzy Ewing is caught in a romantic triangle between a two enemies; the handsome vampire, Nevi, and the hunky handler, Geoffrey. A handler herself, Lizzy must choose between Nevi and Geoffrey. One wants her for all the right reasons and one doesn't. Will she discover who is who before the bad destroys the good?
As a lot of you probably know from previous books I've reviewed, this is definitely out of my comfort zone. I've NEVER reviewed a book like this, but in 2016 I really want to try and read more books and genres out of my comfort zone. Therefore, when I received an email asking me to review this book, I automatically agreed.
Also, if you don't know I've previously done a Q&A with Eileen, which I'll link at the end.
Anyway, let's get into the review!
Introduction - Background Info
As this book isn't what I would normally read, I didn't go into this with ridiculously high expectations, but I'm glad to say this book definitely surprised me!
The book starts off with Lizzy, the main character, hoping for a new start to the New Year. She's at a New Year's Eve party and isn't exactly having the best of times. That night, she's been pushed and shoved, ignored and she's already thrown up due to the cheap, nasty wine. As you can see she doesn't exactly get the best start to the New Year.
After a terrible night/morning, she decides she better get home. She gets in her old car and goes to drive off, however she notices her car is basically out of petrol. She doesn't really know the part of town where she is, but she manages to make her way to a petrol station.
When she's there she meets Nevi. Nevi is your typical "A" list guy, someone who Lizzy thought she'd never even talk to. From then onwards her life is filled with craziness, especially when she meets Geoffrey. She must decide which guy she wants, but also decide which is one is bad. Things aren't what they seem and Lizzy soon realises that.
To start off with, I want to say that I really enjoyed all of the characters (apart from one, but I will mention that in a minute) and I was surprised by the detail and depth of some of them, especially Geoffrey and Nevi. I felt that all the characters played a part and they were all interesting in their own ways.
However, there was one character I just didn't like. That was Lizzy, despite the fact that she's the main character, I just really hated her for some reason. I felt no connection to her and began to dislike her the further into the story I went, apart from the end when she stood up for herself and actually ended up transforming into this strong, female character.
When planning this review, I tried to come up with a list of some of the reasons to why I disliked Lizzy.
Here's what I came up with:
- She made the most stupid decisions at times and it made it so frustrating.
- I also found her at times to be quite selfish and just annoying.
- That's about all really, I just found her to be so frustrating.
However, she did have her good moments like at the end, when she completely transformed into this strong, brave character when she had to save the person she truly loved.
Moving on, my favourite character had to be Geoffrey, despite all of the stuff that happens. Part of the reason why I like his character so much was to do with the depth and detail Eileen created with him. I found it so interesting and also his job, a "handler", was such a unique idea and one which I really liked.
I really enjoyed Eileen's writing style, despite that it was quite different to the normal styles I read. Overall, I found the writing style most of the time to be both easy to read and understand.
I was over the moon to find the plot to be unique and interesting at the same time. Along the way there was also a few surprises, especially at the end and I loved each one. I didn't find there to be a dull moment apart from the start and a teeny bit in the middle.
I think there's even more potential for this storyline if it was to be matched with a better pace.
The pace of the story was my main problem and basically the reason to why my rating is lower than normal.
At the start of the story I felt as if the pace was too slow, parts were dragging out longer than necessary. These parts were so long for me that I was actually struggling through this and debated whether to stop reading, but I'm glad I didn't.
Different to this I felt as if the events at the end: pregnancy, marriage, attacks etc, went too fast and it would have been better if it was longer. It felt as if Eileen was rushing to get to the end. Despite this, the ending still went out with a bang and it was a satisfying ending.
Due to my struggle with the pace, it took me a lot longer than usual to finish the book and not because of the length. However, in the end I did end up enjoying the story.
Due to my issues with the pace I had to lower my rate to a 3.25-3.5/5. I did enjoy this book and I would recommend it to someone looking for a vampire/paranormal romance with a good love triangle.
Author Q&A with Eileen Sheehan - http://sprinkleofbooks.weebly.com/blog/author-qa-with-eileen-sheehan
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27272383-the-vampire-the-handler-and-me?ac=1&from_search=1
BD - http://www.bookdepository.com/The-Vampire-the-Handler-and-Me-Dawne-Dominique-Kier-Smith-Eileen-Sheehan/9781629293110
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