I suppose this is a bit of a life update as well as a little rant about how excited I am about reading all of these wonderful books. Tomorrow (or at least it will be tomorrow when I post this (if I can keep to a schedule) on the 22nd of September) I am moving to Chester to begin my university life. Let me very briefly list all the emotions I’m feeling right now: fear, excitement, sadness, nerves, worry, happiness and all those bad ones that make you want to glue yourself to your bedroom so you have an excuse to stay. But alas, tomorrows the day little Sam leaves the home she has lived in all her life with the people she has lived with all her life. From what I can tell about my roommates, they all seem really nice and lovely but its still daunting to think that I’ll be living with 6 other people I have never met in my life but I know they are probably thinking the exact same thing right now -not because I’m psychic but because it’s common sense.
1. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor
I was blessed enough (and lucky enough) to receive this from a giveaway run by one of my fellow bookstagrammers/ bloggers (thank you again!). I’m actually really excited to read this book, it sounds really interesting and something completely out of my personal reading comfort zone. Usually I tend to stay away from historical fiction because being the historian I am, instantly I’m picking them apart and looking for anything that isn’t historically correct. Which is strange. Now that I think about it I highly enjoyed “Stalking Jack The Ripper” by Kerri Maniscalco and “A Gentleman’s Guide To Vice And Virtue” by Mackenzie Lee and they are both Historical Fiction novels so maybe I like the genre more than I think I do.
Here’s a bit about the book:
1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becomes celebrated throughout England, the subject of poems, ballads, and plays. But far more precious than her unsought fame is the friendship that develops between Grace and a visiting artist. Just as George Emmerson captures Grace with his brushes, she in turn captures his heart.
1938: Newport, Rhode Island. Nineteen-years-old and pregnant, Matilda Emmerson has been sent away from Ireland in disgrace. She is to stay with Harriet, a reclusive relative and assistant lighthouse keeper, until her baby is born. A discarded, half-finished portrait opens a window into Matilda’s family history. As a deadly hurricane approaches, two women, living a century apart, will be linked forever by their instinctive acts of courage and love.
2. Inferno by Dante Alighieri
I’ve actually already started this book/ poem thing and I can’t put into words how much I’m enjoying it. Poetry has very recently become a very big passion and part of my life, over the past few years I have been doing poetry because of school but it has only been over this holiday that poetry has become close to my heart. While doing A-levels I think that Keats and Blake might have very much kicked me into loving poetry but Inferno has only amplified this. I think what made me dislike poetry for so long was that fact I could barely understand it but Inferno is so easy to understand. It is littered with the names of God’s and historical figures I’ve never heard of and it has been a pleasure researching and throwing myself into the true underlying messages of the poems.
Here’s a little about Inferno:
Depicting one man’s horrifying journey into the depths of Hell, ‘Inferno’, the first part of Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’, is a soaring spiritual epic that continues to echo through the centuries with its moving portrayal of human sin and the tragedy of those condemned to eternal damnation.
3. A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab
So many people rave about this series and I have no idea why it has taken me so long to read this book! I’ve had this copy of the book since Christmas and yet still it remains unread.
Here’s a bit about the book:
Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.
4. Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Again, another book I’ve had for such a long time and haven’t gotten round to reading it. I also know a very limited amount about this book!
Here’s a bit about the book:
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
5. The Kiss Of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
This is actually a reread because its been so long since I last read this book but I really want to continue with the series. The first book was phenomenal and I adored every last page of it. I remember reading it at my cousin’s house when I went there for a sleepover, I’m so sure I read this entire book in one sitting as well because it was so enticing.
Here’s a bit about the book:
A princess must find her place in a reborn world.
She flees on her wedding day.
She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.
She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.
She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.
The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.
Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.
6. All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
This is another reread. The first time I read this book little under a year ago, I was completely blown away by Maggie (yet again)! Her writing style it the most beautiful thing I have ever read and I just realized how much I wanted to read this book again no matter what plus it would no doubt inspire me to write even better when I’m doing my creative Writing Course.
Here’s a bit about this wonderful book:
Here is a thing everyone wants: A miracle.
Here is a thing everyone fears:
What it takes to get one.
Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.
At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.
They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.
7. Children Of Blood And Bone by Temi Adeyemi
All I know about this book is that there is magic involved and that instantly makes me want to read it! plus the front cover is literally the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. But other than that I know nothing.
Here’s a little bit about the book:
They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.
8. Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
This is the sequel to Scythe, one of my favourite books ever. Its no secret that Scythe blew me away, it was phenomenal and I still can’t comprehend the genius behind it. I can’t wait to read this book now!
Here’s abit about Scythe so i’m not ruining anything for you all:
Thou shalt kill.
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.
9. Sonnets by William Shakespeare
I’m taking Poetry so I just through that I would need to read a bit of poetry so I can understand it more. Plus this edition is beautiful!
Here’s a bit about the poetry selection:
Shakespeare’s sonnets are lyrical, haunting, beautiful and often breath-taking, representing one of the finest bodies of poetry ever penned. They demonstrate the writer’s skill in capturing the full range of human emotions within a carefully prescribed form and creating something unique in every one. Some are familiar – Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? – others unexpected, but together they form an extraordinary meditation on the nature of love, lust, beauty and time.
10. Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch
This is the finale of the Snow like Ashes series and I am ready.
Here’s a bit about book one:
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
11. An Ember In The Ashes & A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir
While I’ve read the first book in the series I have yet to read the second or third. All I can tell you about the first book is that Tahir does crazy things! She ain’t afraid to kill off some characters!
Here’s a bit about An Ember In The Ashes:
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.