Rapid Fire Book Tag!

Summer has officially arrived! It’s warm and humid out but I’m not complaining too much because sunshine! Yay!! Anyways it’s Sunday and for some reason, I do quite liking doing a tag on this day! Not sure why but let’s just go with it!

I found this tag on Going Through Books, which a pretty cool blog make sure you check it out and it was originally created by GirlReading.  This tag is a series of random book-related questions.

E-Book or Physical Book? 

E-books and this is purely for convenience because it allows me to carry almost my entire book library around with me.

Paperback or Hardback?

Paperback – because I find them more comfortable to read than a hefty hardback.

Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

Both – I probably do more online book shopping but I do love browsing book shops.

Trilogies or Series?

Depends on my mood, I enjoy both.

Heroes or Villains?

I’m a sucker for a hero!

A book you want everyone to read?

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas– I’m obsessed with this entire series!

Recommend an underrated book?

With This Heart by R.S Grey – This book totally took me by surprise with how good it is.

The last book you finished?

Onyx (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Last Book You Bought? 

I bought these together: Forces of Nature by Brian Cox and Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Weirdest Thing You’ve Used as a Bookmark?

A lollypop stick

Used Books: Yes or No?

Yes

Top Three Favourite Genres?

  • Romance
  • Fantasy
  • Paranormal

Borrow or Buy?

Buy

Characters or Plot?

I kinda feel you need both for a book to be really good.

Long or Short Books?

In general Long but if the story is good I don’t really mind

Long or Short Chapters?

Both – depending on the story and writing style

Name The First Three Books You Think Of…

Books That Makes You Laugh or Cry?

The Foxe and the Hound (R.S. Grey) really made me laugh there were so many funny moments!

Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Fictional Worlds

Audiobooks: Yes or No?

Yes

Do You Ever Judge a Book by its Cover?

Yes I have and I do this quite often which is really bad and it’s a habit I’m trying to break

Book to Movie or Book to TV Adaptations? 

Defiantly Book to TV Adaptations.

A Movie or TV-Show You Preferred to its Book? 

The Vampire Diaries and PS I Love You.

Series or Standalones?

I’d don’t have a preference, it usually depends on my mood.


That’s it, please feel free to have a go and link back to me so I can see your answers!

Update & New Post Announcement

Update: A new look for Books & Other Pursuits!

Hi, I hope you are all having a great weekend.

As you may have noticed over the last month or so I have given this blog a brand new look. It’s running a new theme: Toujours. I have designed a brand new header image along with new feature image templates for each post. Basically, all the big things have been replaced. I have also changed the color scheme and fonts that I’m using.

Here are some before and after photos:

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Before
Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 15.45.34
After

Overall I’m pretty happy with how it has turned out, I think it looks like a proper blog now. I’m hoping this is it in terms of big changes. I’m still working on smaller things like page dividers and add an “add to GoodReads” graphic etc.


New Post Announcement.

When I first decided I wanted to start a blog I knew I wanted it to be mainly focused on books but I also wanted to leave it open so that if I did want to discuss other things I could, hence the name “Books & Other pursuits.” Now that I have a rhythm with the bookish it part of this blog I feel it’s time to expand a little.

So I’m super excited to announce that I will be posting a monthly post called “Other Pursuits” in which I will be giving you a round up of everything else I have been up to during the last month. Things that will feature are; what I’ve been watching on TV, Movies that I’ve enjoyed and anything else I think might be interesting or significant that it needs a mention.

These posts will be scheduled to go live either on the last day or the first day of the month depending on what day it happens to fall on because I don’t want it to interfere too much with the other things I post weekly.


That’s all from me, this should be the last update a do for awhile!

– See you on the flipside! 🤓

A-Z Bookish Survey

As I have no review for you today, I thought I’d do something fun! This survey is hosted by Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner.  So definitely check her blog out.

Let’s Begin:

Author you’ve read the most books from:

Jennifer L. Armentrout – I’m obsessed with her books!

Best Sequel Ever:

Hands down A Court of Mist and Fury! Seriously there is no contest

Currently Reading:

A Strange Hymn (The Bargainer, #2) by Laura Thalassa

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Usually tea or coffee

E-reader or Physical Book?

E-reader

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Kayden Rowe – Sweet Evil Series

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

Throne of Glass –  I stopped and started this book twice before I persevered and read the whole thing and I’m so glad I did because it’s such an awesome series!

Hidden Gem Book:

Easy by Tamara Webber. This spent a longggggg time on tbr list but boy was it good.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

A couple of months after starting this blog I received my first ever ARC which was pretty exciting!

Just Finished:

The Foxe & the Hound by R.S. Grey

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

Thrillers, Crime and true story books do not interest me at all.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

Hmmm probably Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Major book hangover because of:

A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah j Maas

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Obsidian – Jennifer L. Armentrout

Preferred Place To Read:

I have a corner sofa and I like to wedge myself in the corner of it when I read.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

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Reading Regret:

Jumping on the hype train and reading Divergent! It was such a waste of time.

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series):

The Star Bright Series

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

  • Every Last Breath – Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • A Court of Mist and Fury
  • Rhapsodic – Laura Thalassa

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Sarah J. Mass and JLA – I have zero regrets about how much I go on about these authors!

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

The last book in the Throne of Glass series!

Worst Bookish Habit:

Ok…. This is a bad one but I always priorities books that are written in the first person!

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

Cinder & Ella – Kelly Oram

Your latest book purchase:

When It’s Real by Erin Watt

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

Nocte by Cortney Cole…


And that’s it! Feel free to do your own 😁

Let’s Talk (#3) –  Top 5 book Turn On’s

Last week I talked about all the things that put me off reading a book. To balance this out I thought it would be good to list the things I enjoy the most.

  1. If the story is written in the first person. This is my preferred narrative because I feel like I can connect to the story better when it’s written this way and, I just get find more enjoyment reading from this perspective.
  2. Retellings of Fairytales – I adore these, the more creative the better!
  3. Slow building romance, when this is done well it’s a joy to read!
  4. Stories that take place in space or on another planet hugely fascinate me.
  5. A strong female lead – I love nothing more when reading than having the lead female character be strong independent women who don’t need a man to save the day!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, feel free to leave a comment

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Let’s Talk (#2) –  Top 5 book turn offs!

This is something that I have been thinking about a lot this week, generally, there isn’t much that puts me off reading a book, but here are 5 things that annoy me the most from least annoying to the most:

  1. Repetitive use of the same word over and over again – I mean just why? When I come across this my first thought is “who the heck edited this?” so yeah it really annoys me when the same words or phrases are used to describe a multitude of things.
  2. Really really really slow intros – I find it really off-putting when it feels like nothing is happening fast enough but at the same time I’ve read half a book.
  3. Little or no character development – I find it so frustrating when you come to the end of the book and the main character is still the same whiny brat that they were at the beginning.
  4. Insta-Love!! – seriously it’s so unrealistic, insta- attraction yeah I get that but loving someone after like 10 secs of knowing them….. Nah I don’t think so!
  5. Unhealthy relationships that are portrayed as normal – this is at the top of my list because it’s the thing that really makes my blood boil when I’m reading. It usually goes something like this: male love interest treats the female main character like utter shit, she thinks it’s normal and her friends go along with as it’s seen as him just loving her. I’ve read a few books where this is the case i.e. Beautiful Disaster and Belong to You and each time I’m left dumbfounded.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, feel free to leave a comment 😊

Scheduling & Changes

Hey!

I just wanted to give you guys a little update on the plans I have for this site.

Scheduling

In an effort to have some sort of schedule my blog I have decided that every Tuesday I’ll be posting a quote from either a book I’m currently or have read over the course of the week (so Tuesday to Tuesday) These posts will be known as: “Quotable” Tuesdays I’m also hoping to link this up to the Pinterest account I’m setting to go along with this site.

Thursday I’m going to be starting Let’s Talk… on Thursdays, in which I will be picking a topic relating to reading and books discussing certain themes in detail, for example; Things that guarantee I’ll read a book, reader pet peeves Etc. basically, it will be me talking book stuff or anything that may have come up during the week 😊

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I’m keeping free for reviews and the weekends will also feature reviews (depending on how much I’ve read during the week) along with some fun things like book tags and list etc

This schedule will be starting from next week.


Changes

I’m planning on making some design changes over the next month or so it’s going to take me a little while as I’m not sure exactly what direction I want to go I just know that I’m not entirely happy with how the blog is looking at the moment. So if you see any weirdness that’s why.

I think that’s all for now.

Thanks for stopping by! 😊

Cat

The Book Life Tag

I stumbled upon this tag whilst browsing a group on GoodReads. There is a link to Crazy for YA’s  blog which is where the tag is posted.

Here we go:


Who would your parents be?

 

That’s a hard one… I think I’m going to go with Suze’s parents from the Mediator series.


Who would be your sister?

 

Katie from the Lux series because we could share our love of books and maybe calibrate on our vlog/blogs.


Who would be your brother?

 

Deacon from the Covenant Series. I love Deacon he’s such a caring character plus we could sit and binge watch Supernatural


Who would be your pet?

 

Fat Louie – The Princess Diaries, he’s a cat need I say more


Where would you live?

 

Carmel – which is where The Mediator takes place. I visited there a couple of years ago and it’s absolutely gorgeous!


Where would you go to school?

 

Mythos Academy which is the school from The mythos academy series. It’s school for Myths, Magic, and Warriors.


Who would be your best friend?

 

Feyre from A Court of Mist and Fury! I love her character she is so badass and I’d have to visit the Night Court every time I’d want to visit her.


Who would be your significant other?

 

Ho this is hard….. It’s a toss up between Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury and Roth from White Hot Kiss…..I think I’m going to go with Roth. Mainly because I wouldn’t want to take Rhys away from Feyre!


And there you have it! 😊

Top 10 Book Boyfriends

In lull of a new review, I thought I would do something a bit different today. I’ve drawn up a list of my top 10 book boyfriends:

  1. Roth – White Hot Kiss (Jennifer L. Armentrout)
  2. Rhysand – A Court of Mist and Fury (Sarah J. Maas)
  3. Damon – Lux – (Jennifer L. Armentrout)
  4. Rowan – Empire of Storms (Sarah J. Maas)
  5. Jesse – The Mediator Series (Meg Cabot)
  6. Cam – Wait for Me (Jennifer L. Armentrout)
  7. Reed – Inescapable (Amy A Bartol)
  8. Kayden – Sweet Evil (Wendy Higgins)
  9. Lucas -Easy (Tammara Webber)
  10. Ren – Wicked (Jennifer L. Armentrout)

I have tried to put them in like order 1 being my favorite but if I’m honest Roth and Rhys are a tie, there is no way I could really choose between them.  Most of the guys on the lower part of the list are from books that I read a couple of years ago and I remember them being just awesome characters.

I’d like to make a special mention to No 5, Jesse has been one of my favorite book boyfriends probably for the last 10+ years. I have read the Mediator series numerous time just for the joy it brings me to read about him!

So there you have it! Feel free to let me know some your favorite book boyfriends in the comments ✌🏼

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The Ultimate Book Tag!!

I’ve been wanting to do one of these for awhile. I discovered this one over on The Well-Thumbed Reader’s blog and decided to give it ago!

  1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

No, and I’m so thankful because I do the majority of my reading during the week on my commute to work!

  1. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

Nicola Yoon, I’ve only read Everything Everything but I really liked how short and snappy the chapters were written plus all the quirky illustrations were so awesome!

  1. Harry Potter or Twilight?

Defiantly Harry Potter! I used to really like Twilight but then they made that horrific movie and Kristen Stewart has forever ruined it for me!

  1. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what’s in it?

No

  1. Do you smell your books?

Yes! Who doesn’t?

  1. Books with or without little illustrations?

I honestly don’t mind either way.

  1. What book did you love while reading but discovered later that it wasn’t quality writing?

Oh, that’s a hard one… I think I’m gonna have to go with Inescapable by Amy A Bartol. When I read it the first time I totally fell in love with it but, I during the re-read I discovered it wasn’t so great.

  1. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood?

I used to make my mum re-read the same book to me over and over again! She’s never let me forget it either!

  1. What is the thinnest book on your shelf?

Stage Left – Ali Parker

  1. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

A court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J Maas

  1. Do you write as well as read? Do you yourself in the future as an author?

I think I’m a much better reader than a writer, I would love to write a book though!

  1. When did you get into reading?

Probably when I was around 9

  1. What is your favorite classic book?

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

  1. In school, is your best subject English?

No, my best subject was Science!

  1. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated…what would you do?

Give it to someone who would enjoy it or take it back to the store and exchange it for a different book

  1. What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or The Hunger Games?

Touch of Frost – Mythos Academy has some similarities to Harry Potter.

  1. What is a bad habit you always do while blogging?

Umm I don’t really thing I have one.

  1. What is your favorite word?

Umm this changes but at the moment its imbecile

  1. Nerd, dork, or dweeb?

Nerd!!

  1. Vampires or Faeries?

Faeries, no contest! Vampires are so over rated I actually actively avoid books with vampires!

  1. Shapeshifters or Angels?

Angels! I love books Angels in them!

  1. Spirits or Werewolves?

Spirits – Thanks to the Mediator books by Meg Cabot

  1. Zombies or Vampires?

Can I say neither???

  1. Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

Probably action packed with a few loved scenes!

and that’s it, thanks for stopping by!

The Jewel – Amy Ewing

Blurb

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence… and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.


STATS

Page Length: 358
Publication Year: 2014
Genre: Dystopia/Young Adult/SciFi
Characters: Violet, Ash, and Raven


Story: 

I think the blurb for this book really undersells it. My main motivation for reading this was that I was looking for something different and this defiantly hit the spot. It’s told from Violets POV in the first person. I found the writing style very easy to read and I was quickly sucked in by the storyline.

Violet was taken from her family at the age of 12 to be trained as a surrogate for Royalty. This is because the Royal blood line has become damaged, babies are either born sick or deformed if a royal tries to bare a child themselves. Surrogates are used as they have an ability called The Augries, these Augeries help repair the damage in the royal embryos.

I found the concept of this book fascinating. There are lots of secrets and lies surrounding the Royal people. There are 5 families (if I remember correctly) and it seems they are in competition with each other. The Duchess that Violet is a surrogate for comes across as a bit unhinged, she wants to have Violet to use the Augries to speed up her pregnancy so that she gives birth within 3 months of getting pregnant. 1 month per trimester, from what can gather this is so she can secure a more advantageous marriage for her daughter.

Characters:

Violet, I spent the vast majority of this book feeling sorry for, she has had all of her choices taken away from her. I liked that she was quite strong-willed and that she took some huge risks especially when it came to Ash. I also liked that she was fiercely loyal to Raven, to the point she sacrifices her freedom to save her. I can’t wait to read whats next for her!

Ash, his character is introduced quite late in the story, he is a “companion” aka escort for the royal family that Violet is with. He chose this way of life to help pay for his sick sister’s medical treatment. Like Violet, he has no freedom and has not seen his family since becoming an escort.

I can totally see why they fall in love with each other and why they continue to see each despite the risk of them being caught.

Favorite Quote:

“I want you forever, Ash, but that’s not going to happen and I get that. But I’ll take you for as much time as I can have, and I won’t waste a single second of it.”

Conclusion:

I didn’t really fall in love with this book until the last few chapters, up until then I wasn’t convinced that I would continue with the trilogy, but ending definitely made me want to read more about Violet and to find out what happens next.  If you enjoy dystopian/fantasy books with a little science fiction thrown in I would recommend this to you.

My Rating 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

The ebook version is free on Amazon UK at the moment