Stars Above

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Stars Above – Marissa Meyer
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi, Novellas

RATING: ★★★★★

Goodreads page

I was so pleasantly surprised by this! It’s not often that a novella (or several for that matter) creates a good impression on me. I’m normally left wanting more depth and detail so novellas rarely cut it. That said, Stars Above was incredible! There were loads of short stories which gave a tremendous insight into the past of all the main characters of the series but, without a doubt, the greatest novella was the last one, which was set after Winter and saw the whole team come together again to celebrate Scarlet and Wolf’s wedding. I personally wasn’t a massive fan of Fairest, the prequel to the Lunar Chronicles which gave a background on Levana, so if you’re skeptical to read this collection because the other novella didn’t quite do anything for you, I can assure you that these novellas are incomparable and an absolute joy. Any fans of the Lunar Chronicles would, I am certain, really love this accumulation of epic short stories.

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Warbreaker

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Warbreaker – Brandon Sanderson
Genre: High Fantasy

RATING: ★★★★★

Goodreads page

I can thank my two friends for encouraging me to give this one a go! With a lot of college reading over the summer, I knew a great big fantasy series just wasn’t on the cards but I wanted my fantasy fix and this did just that. If you’ve heard of Sanderson, you’ve probably heard of the Mistborn trilogy and while I sincerely loved that series, this stand-alone had something extra and I was even more impressed. Any fantasy lovers will know the genre has an abundance of epic fantasy series’s but is lacking in some powerful one-offs. Luckily, Warbreaker filled that void and by no half-measure either. Racking up to about 600 pages, it’s still hefty but provides a fast-paced, exciting tale that I guarantee will take an awful lot of willpower to put down!

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone (DOSAB #1) – Laini Taylor
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

RATING: ★★★★★

Goodreads page

I seem to be on a re-reading kick at the moment (and I’m not complaining!). This book was just as good as I remember it with such beautifully crafted characters through some incredible writing. Laini Taylor most definitely knows how to make a dull scene interesting. Great for anyone who is looking for an introduction to the fantasy genre and for those who really appreciate good writing.

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Throne of Glass

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Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) – Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

RATING: ★★★★★

Goodreads page

This book was even better the second time round! I read Throne of Glass when it was all the hype a couple of years ago and absolutely adored it, along with the current sequels. There are a few more being released into this series soon, including Empire of Storms (coming out in September – so exciting!!) and a TOG colouring book around the same time too! These books are about a young assassin named Celaena Sardothien who has been taken out from the mines in Endovier, where she is currently imprisoned, to partake in a competition against fellow felons and criminals to become the King’s Champion, where she’ll have four years of service before absolute freedom. Being the self-assured, confident character that she is, Celaena doesn’t quite anticipate the strength of her competitors, like monstrous Cain, and other difficulties that stand in her way. Who knows if she can do it? And at what cost?

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Mara Dyer series

The Unbecoming/Evolution/Retribution of Mara DyerMichelle Hodkin
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Thriller

RATING: #1 – ★★★★★, #2 – ★★★★✩, #3 – ★★★✩✩

Goodreads page

This series, as a whole, was seriously good. It’s a shame that my fondness lessened as the series went on but my overall judgement towards the trilogy is positive. As a brief summary for the first book, Mara Dyer is a teenage girl who has recently moved away from her home town after experiencing a traumatic event that really shook her but the most frightful aspect is that she can’t remember it at all. The story follows Mara adapting to new life as she slowly uncovers what happened that night and more is revealed about her character. While adjusting, she meets a boy named Noah Shaw who, on the surface is a player and arrogant teen but, in reality, has a connection to Mara that is remarkably unimaginable.

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Me Before You movie review

Me Before You (adapted from the novel by Jojo Moyes)

RATING: ★★★★★

My book review

I had been highly anticipating this movie ever since I read and adored the book. My excitement was only heightened when I heard that Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games) and Emilia Clarke (my dearest Khaleesi from GOT) were starring in it alongside some other familiar faces like Neville Longbottom and Tywin Lannister. Safe to say, they nailed the casting. Each of them played their characters so well and were brilliant at portraying them in the way I had imagined from reading the book. And it’s true what they say: tissues are a must. I balled my eyes out like no other, in one particular heart-wrenching scene and I commend Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin for acting in a way that made me so unbelievably connected to their characters which, in turn, initiated such an emotional reaction from me. That said, the movie is not exclusively sad. For the most part, it’s actually hilarious with some genuine laugh-out-loud moments so don’t expect tears to fall from start to finish (unless the tears come from laughter – in which case, you’re not alone!). And so, regardless of what your ‘typical’ type of film taste is, I thoroughly encourage you give this one a watch as it easily the best film I’ve seen of 2016.

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Me Before You

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Me Before You Jojo Moyes
Genre: Adult fiction, Contemporary

RATING: ★★★★★

Goodreads page

I read this in preparation for the film adaptation that is coming out in June of this year with really no expectations but not in a negative way, I just went in as openly blind as could be and oh my goodness, I think my rating says it all. For someone who rarely dabbles into contemporary nowadays, I was thoroughly shocked at how much I enjoyed this novel. Moyes explores a sensitive topic in a non-generic and exciting way, which made Me Before You a phenomenal read.

The story follows Louisa, or Lou, a 26 year old woman in a small town who, due to unforeseen circumstances, loses her job as a waitress at the Buttered Bun, an independent cafe just below the town’s castle. With her limited experience, she struggles to find anyone who will employ her, let alone someone who will pay her enough to support her mum, dad, granddad, sister and nephew. When all hope seems lost, she eventually finds a job as a carer for Will Traynor, a 30-something quadriplegic whose condition demands 24-hour care. What neither of them know yet is that this job is going to change both of their lives oh so very much. The plot may sound typical but believe me, it is far from that.

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