The three books to read if you are looking for peace of mind in 2016

Hey guys, I have been reading three amazing books that I think you will love if  like me,you are hoping for a better 2016 that will take you on a spiritual journey and ensure you achieve all that your heart desires.

1.

 

The little book of wisdom should be owned by everyone. This tiny little book has a simple, motivational message on every page and is perfect to dip into for a little inspiration.
This book suggests small and practical ways to change the way we think and interact with people to help us be happier in our every day life.

2.

A perfect little gem that speak to your heart through the writings of the Dalai Lama who teaches important lessons about life, death and love.

3.

I absolutely love this book, I think it provides a great insight into  leading and living a peaceful life.

I am sure that by now you guys will have noticed that all of the books I have recommended are focused on Buddhism. This is mainly because I believe that Buddhism is the perfect starting point for those beginning  to learn how to change their life for the better and will hopefully inspire  you to achieve all your goals for this year.

Please leave me a comment if you guys decide to read any of these books- I want to hear your opinions.

The Secret Fire Book Review

424 Pages

Published by Atom

Summary:

French teen Sacha Winters can’t die. He can throw himself off a roof, be stabbed, even shot, and he will always survive. Until the day when history and ancient enmities dictate that he must die. Worse still, his death will trigger something awful. Something deadly. And that day is closing in.

Taylor Montclair is a normal English girl, hanging out with her friends and studying for exams, until she starts shorting out the lights with her brain. She’s also the only person on earth who can save Sacha.

There’s only one problem: the two of them have never met. They live hundreds of miles apart and powerful forces will stop at nothing to keep them apart.

They have eight weeks to find each other.

Will they survive long enough to save the world?

Book Review: 

First of all, let me just say this book is absolutely incredible. A major well done to C.J Daugherty and Carina Rozenfeld for delivering such a stellar start to an obvious beautiful series.

Typically, I don’t like co-written series as I usually find that the authors styles of writing conflict and the story becomes jumbled. Well C.J and Carina have converted me guyss, I can not describe enough how amazing this book actually is.

Sacha Winters lives in Paris and comes from a family who is cursed: Every first-born son will die on his 18th birthday and not a day before. With only weeks until his birthday Sacha’s English teacher urges him to get in touch with a girl from England for some online tutoring. Taylor is a straight A student from England whose dream is to study at Oxford, so when the opportunity came to earn some extra credit by tutoring English to a French boy (which is sure to look great on her Oxford application), she jumps for it. The only problem is Sacha is the worst student eve. He’s rude and arrogant .But, Sacha and Taylor’s ‘meeting’ was no accident, they are connected and could be key to saving each other.

In terms of character development, Taylor wasn’t your usual stereotypical ‘geek’ that usually becomes annoying after the first few chapters… She was funny, smart and vulnerable, yet carried herself with such grace that she quickly became one of my favorite protagonists. Sacha was my kind of character… He was sarcastic yet sweet. Strong yet so loving. Words can’t describe how much I LOVE Sacha and Taylor’s relationship, it was such a lovely thing to watch develop and I literally spent half the time counting down until they met face to face.

This book was suspenseful, fun and adventurous. It was everything I love about a book all in one, I can not thank the authors enough for writing such an amazing story. I think it is pretty obvious that I would recommend this book to EVERYONE!!!!!!!!

Rating 5*

Pretty Thing Review

Pretty Thing by Jennifer Nadel

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Published February 5th

Published by Corsair

Summary:

A stunning coming-of-age debut full of love and danger, secrets and lies: this is a dark, tense, hard-hitting novel about two girls forced to grow up fast…

When fifteen-year-old Becs meets Bracken, she is convinced she’s found her soul mate. So what if he’s much older? He understands her, she feels free with him and when he holds her she feels safe.

But is she?

Review:

*This review might be a bit short because as much as I enjoyed this book, I also hated it so it is just really hard to write a comprehensive review, sorry guys*

I received this book a few months ago from The Guardian to review for The Childrens Book Site.However, due to the backlog of books that I have had to read these past few months, I just never got time to read it.

Set in the 70’s to the soundtrack of the Beatles, Bowie and the Stones. The novel follows Becs, a fifteen year old girl who along with her best friend, Mary Jane is having a hard time finding herself… that is until she meets Bracken, the one guy who pays attention to her and makes her feel safe. However, when her best friend, Mary Jane is sexually assaulted, Becs begins to realise that may be the world isn’t as safe as she thought.

This book was one of those that once I started, I completely struggled to put it down. Nadel effortlessly sets the atmosphere through her use of vivid imagery, that even if you weren’t born in the seventies (I sure as hell wasn’t) you sure feel like you were.

I also loved the main character Becs, she was such a convincing character and completely portrayed all the emotions teenage girls go through. She was insecure yet quite wise beyond her years, in comparison to most teenagers her age. However, the affair between her and Bracken is somewhat dark and extremely perverted, I found it very unsettling throughout the course of the story. Honestly, it just reminded too much of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita and left me feeling angry once I finished it.

It was also quite nice to see Becs develop over the course of the story and begin to take control over her life as she gained the strength to do so. Overall, I think Pretty Thing is an okay read and definitely something you can read over the weekend as it is quite a quick read.

Rating 3* (I did not really like the ending as I found it to be anti- climatic)

A Summer Like No Other- Elodie Nowodazkij

A Summer Like No Other by Elodie Nowodazkij

Published July 30th 2015

Series: Yes 1/2

Summary:

She’s his best friend’s little sister. He’s the biggest player of them all.

They shouldn’t be together. But this summer’s just too tempting.

Click on the goodreads link below for a longer, and more detailed summary 🙂

Goodreads Link

Review:

I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review, all opinions stated are of my own.

When I first got the email from Netgalley to say I had been approved to read A summer like no other, I was pumped to say the least. The blurb sounded really interesting and definitely like the kind of book I could get into… and I was definitely not disappointed.

A summer like no other follows Emilia and Nick, the somewhat ‘star-crossed lovers’ who are longing to be together but find themselves prevented by the non stop obstacles thrown their way. This leads to them making an agreement… one that could make or break their friendship, they decide to get together for the summer and then go back to being friends after that. But can sacrifices always work out for the greater good?

I enjoyed reading A summer like no other so much, I found myself getting completely engrossed in the story and the characters and becoming frustrated when their relationship suffered a setback. I was definitely championing for Emilia and Nick throughout the story and often wished they were given better circumstances so that they could be together.

Emilia was a honest character that often documented her feelings towards Nick during her POV’S. However, I did find her to be quite fragile and insecure often second guessing why Nick would choose her when he has his fair share of girls… I’m not sure if this is down to her deeper issues surrounding her adoption and birth mum and the feeling like she isn’t good enough because her mum abandoned her as a baby.

Although, I do believe that Nick is a lot more fragile than Emilia as he lacks independence due to his father constantly controlling his decisions through blackmail. It often seemed to me that Nick relied on Em to give him a sense of independence and freedom, as it isn’t something he is accustomed to.

There was one thing that irritated me about Nick though, he continuously lies to Em about the extent to which his father’s controlling goes to ‘protect her’, however if she really loved him she would actually understand and be angry that someone would put him through this, which made me question whether he was actually just quite selfish and cared more about his needs than hers.

If you’re anything like me the ending of A summer like no other will probably frustrate you because it finishes with such a climax, and quite frankly you don’t even see the ending coming. I kept scrolling right because I thought my phone was frozen as I could not believe the story was really finished, it seemed to fly by.

All-together, I totally ship Em and Nick’s relationship because I do think it is obvious how much they love each other and want to be together and I can not wait to see more of their adventures in the second novel.

Rating: 4* (due to the ending that left me wanting more)

The Liebster Award

liebsteraward

I am really happy and excited because I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by  https://mudandstars.wordpress.com/… check out her blog, it is amazing. Thank you so much for nominating me girlie 🙂

The aim of this award is to bring more awareness to blogs that have less than 200 followers, which I love because it is so hard to get recognition for your blog if you haven’t got a lot of followers.

The rules:

1) Display the award, and acknowledge the blogger who nominated you

2) Answer eleven questions the previous blogger set for you

3) Give eleven facts about yourself

4) Nominate from 5-11 blogs (with less than 200 followers) that you think are deserving of the award

5) Let the bloggers know you’ve nominated them

6) Come up with eleven questions for your nominees to answer!

Q&A’

  • What’s your favourite thing about book blogging?

My favourite thing about book blogging is connecting with other book addicts like myself and fangirling over books, which brings me on to my next point… one of my favourite things about book blogging is that I can excessively fangirl over a book and no one will bat an eyelid or call me crazy, because we’re all in the same boat when it comes to that.

  •                  Which five books would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island all on your lonesome?

The five books I would bring with me if I was stranded on a desert island would be We Were Liars by E.Lockhart because that is one of my favourite books of all time, City of Bones by Cassanda Clare because Cassandra is my favourite author and TMI is my all time favourite series, and quite frankly I don’t think I could live without a Clary and Jace fix for too long. I would also bring Life Moves Pretty Fast by Hadley Freeman, The fault in our Stars by John Green and any book by Sarah J Maas.

  • Who is your favourite author?

My all time favourite author is Cassandra Clare, I love her with all my heart and I was fortunate enough to meet her this year at YALC which will forever be burned into my memory kinda like a rune.

  • Who is your biggest book crush?

I have sooooo many but my all time biggest book crush is Jace from The Mortal Instrument series. I would literally marry him in an instant if I could.

  • If you could be any character for a day, who would it be and why?

If I could be any character for a day, it would have to be Celaena Sardothien from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas because she is a badass that doesn’t ask for anyone’s approval. Also, as grim as it sounds I think it would be kind of cool to be an assassin for a day.

  • If you could slap any character upside the head, who would it be and why?

LOL at this question but oh what a frustrating one, as there have been so many characters that have annoyed me over the years. However, one that will always stick out is Bella from Twilight…I hate her in the books and I hate her in the films *sorry Twihards*

  • Which books have you struggled with/given up on?

I really struggled to get through Bleed, an arc by Vax Darley that I was approved for on NetGalley. I found it all too predictable and boring.

  • Which book series would you recommend?

I would recommend Mortal Instruments, it is an amazing fantasy series written by my fave Cassandra Clare. IF YOU HAVE NOT READ IT, BUY IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

  • What was your favourite book as a child?

My Favourite book as a child was anything by Jacqueline Wilson. I can’t even pick a favourite because I love all of her books.

  • What is the essential factor in whether or not you’ll enjoy a book?

I will hate a book if the characters are too cliched and unrelatable and I will love a book if it takes me on a journey… if a book can make me laugh, cry and get angry from the start to finish then I know it is a keeper.

  • Pick a favourite line or quote from a book.

“Be a little kinder than you have to”- We Were Liars *words that I think everyone could do with living by*


Eleven Facts About Me:

  1. My name is Savannah.
  2. I have an old soul and a young heart.
  3. My favourite genre of music is country music.
  4. I love eighties movies, more than anything.
  5. I am socially awkward.
  6. I have never had a boyfriend, or a first kiss.
  7. Selena Gomez is my inspiration.
  8. My aspiration is to become a broadcast journalist.
  9. Cassandra Clare is my favourite author
  10. I have a massive addiction for tv shows, it is all consuming to the point where I no longer even know what shows to catch up on.

12. I WILL MEET ONE DIRECTION ONE DAY… THAT IS A FACT.


Questions for my nominees:

  1. If you could live in one book series for a week, what one would you pick and why?
  2. Which three male characters would you kiss, kill and marry and why?
  3. Who is your favourite author?
  4. Is there a book that you have read that would like to see turned into a film?
  5. What is your favourite book quote?
  6. Is there a film adaption of a book you’ve read that you are sincerely disappointed with?
  7. What is your favourite children’s book?
  8. Would you rather be stuck in a horror book or a fantasy book?
  9. If you could write your own YA novel, which actor would you want to play the male lead?
  10. Why and when did you start a book blog?
  11. Do you want to write in the future?

My Nominations:

Dystopia Book Review

Dystopia By Anthony Ergo
22587941266 Pages

Published 2014

Summary:

It’s Friday the Thirteenth and it’s Sasha Hunter’s birthday. It’s also the anniversary of Dystopia day; a catastrophic world-wide blackout, and the day Sasha’s mother disappeared. Three years on, the world has started to recover. But for Sasha, everything is falling apart…

Goodreads Link

Review:

So I picked up Dystopia after meeting Anthony Ergo at YALC, I knew it would become a favourite as soon as he gave me a brief summary… turns out I was absolutely right!!

 Dystopia is Anthony’s Ergo debut novel and the first in what I imagine to be an outstanding series that explores the supernatural (ghosts, empaths and all sorts),  history as well the geography of London. I would definitely suggest making yourself comfortable before you start Dystopia as I can guarantee, you will not be able to put it down.

The story follows Sasha who after uncovering her father’s secret is exposed to the world of the supernatural. After a powerful entity named the hangman ghost puts Sasha’s father in hospital, she is forced to join forces with two fellow agents to destroy one of the biggest poltergeists in history.

The characters in Dystopia are very relatable- the main protagonist Sasha is an insecure, superstitious teenage girl whose thoughts I could definitely relate to at some point or another… I mean which teenage girl hasn’t felt insecure or crushed hard on a guy before. I thought it was really cool that Sasha suffered from asthma (she suffers frequent asthma attacks throughout the story) and had these really obsessive supernatural beliefs, it made her different to most YA female protagonists. Sasha doubts herself often and I sometimes wondered whether it was because she was so used to being alone, as up until she uncovers her dad’s secret, they have quite a fractured relationship… Sasha is somewhat of an anti-heroine in the sense that she doesn’t necessarily adapt to her newly found responsibilities, it takes her a while to get used to the idea that she could be useful.

Aaron… Aaron…Aaron, I finally have a new fictional crush and I am so happy. As you all know, I have been crushing hard on Gat from We Were Liars for a while now but I am officially over it, Aaron is just everything I look for in a male protagonist. He was sarcastic, beautiful *I mean, in my head he is Alex Pettyfer x100* and caring… he was great and I love him and I’m rambling, so I am going to stop now before I lose it.

 The concept of the hangman ghost was really creepy, there were some embarrassing occasions that involved me, my duvet and a torch because I got too freaked out but we will leave that story for another time. I loved that the hangman ghost was based on a real life executioner that operated in Britain many years ago and is actually regarded as one of the most infamous executioners in history. The clues to what he wanted from the characters and who he was were unraveled slowly which was good because it meant that you were constantly at the edge of your seat trying to work out his intentions.

The ending of Dystopia was amazing, it answered all your questions and created more for the next book which I do not have because I foolishly did not buy it at YALC so now I am depressed and upset because I really want Hysteria in my hands like NOW!!!!!!!!

Rating:5*

1 Book, 1 Song

I am currently in the middle of reading Dystopia by Anthony Ergo and A Summer Like No Other by Elodie Nowodazkij, which means I probably wont have a review posted until mid-afternoon tomorrow However, I did not want to leave you guys hanging for another day so I decided to create a filler post called 1 book, 1 Song. The idea is that I present essentially my ‘book of the moment’and with that a song that I think describes the book perfectly… This may already be a meme or whatever, I honestly don’t know as I am still pretty new to the blogging world and learning new memes as I go along, so please don’t berate me if it is.

ANYWAY, on to my ‘book of the moment’, the book that I am loving right now is We Were Liars. I read this book about a month ago but the remnants of it seem to be following me everywhere because no matter how hard I try, I keep on getting drawn back to the crazy, seductive world of the Sinclairs. WeWereLiars__140612011956-575x883

Summary:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE

When it came to picking a song, I instantly knew… listening to this song whilst reading We Were Liars is like melted chocolate and marshmallows, it is a match made in heaven IMO. Youth by Daughter perfectly describes the five liars who are just starting to explore the world around them and gain a better understanding of who they are.

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Are there any other songs you think can go with We Were Liars? Comment below…

Hate List Book Review

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

405 Pages

Published September 1st, 2009

Published by: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Summary:
Five months ago, Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life

Goodreads Link

Review:

Hate List is an extremely powerful and compelling story, one which I would recommend to all ages.

The novel follows the character of Valerie as she returns to school, five months after her boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria, killing and injuring many of their fellow students.

Although Valerie herself was injured defending another student, she is still somewhat implicated because of the list. The list she and Nick made of people they hated. The list Nick used to pick his targets.

I honestly felt for Valerie throughout the whole book. She was always prone to second guessing herself, never certain if she somehow indirectly coerced Nick into doing what he did, but at the same time battling with her feelings for him.

It almost seems expected by those around her that she should hate Nick, but no one takes a second to realise that they were in love, and that is something that doesn’t die within a few months. It’s almost as if no one realises that she is grieving for not only Nick but also the people he murdered, Valerie will always be one of those characters that I feel sorry for because it is like she can’t win… all she ever wanted was for her and Nick to be accepted but sadly Nick wasn’t as strong as her.

Hate List reminded me a lot of my own high school experience. No, we didn’t have a killer at my school, but isn’t every school the same? The kids who walk around thinking they are better than everyone else even though others have done nothing to deserve the way they are treated. I was bullied in high school, and looking back I realise that it was always ‘acceptable’ for those who were popular to belittle someone that wasn’t in the same social group… almost as if it was the norm.

Through the use of flashbacks Brown creates a story that is emotionally driven and very relatable. The flashbacks really allow you to see the incident through Nick’s perspective who after years of taunting and abuse pretty much just cracks, I do not think his actions can ever be justified but they can definitely be understood… you might think I am crazy for even slightly defending him but being a victim of bullying, I know that not everyone is strong enough to get through it.

I loved watching Valerie’s journey to redemption from the beginning of the story to the end. She is such a strong girl and watching her get even stronger was really beautiful :

Overall, Hate List is a well written story and an obvious 5*, as it touches upon real issues that at some point I think everyone can relate to.

Rating: 5*

Bleed Book Review

Bleed by Dax Varley

217 Pages

Published: September 1st, 2015

Summary:

LIFE IS A NIGHTMARE for Miranda. Without knowing when or why, blood oozes from her palms – an anomaly that makes her feel like a freak. But her abnormality is now the least of her worries. She’s just enrolled at “Suicide High.” Three deaths in three months – one occurring just days before her arrival.

When she bumps into a cute boy named Jake, things don’t appear so glum. Especially since Jake’s a psychic who can predict the immediate future. But his gift of sight can’t prepare her for the horrors that await.

Through Jake, Miranda meets three other extraordinary students:

Topher – who can heal by touch.

Sam – who eats the sins of the dead.

And Xyan – who speaks and understands all languages.

It’s then that Miranda learns the secret behind why she bleeds.

When it becomes evident that supernatural forces are at play, the five determined friends team up. Now it’s up to them to destroy the evil infecting their school.

Review:

First of all I just want to say thank you very much to Netgalley, Dax Varley and Garden Gate Press for giving me the opportunity to review this book. I also want to apologize to my followers for my tardiness, I know I haven’t been posting much this past week but I have been so busy looking after my little brother that I have had barely any time to open my laptop.

I initially wanted to read Bleed after scrolling through the YA pages of Netgalley and coming across it’s cover. The cover for bleed is beautifully haunting and extremely captivating, I am pretty sure I spent about ten minutes just drooling over the cover. Now i’m sure most of you are familiar with Netgalley but if you are new to the blogging world like I am, then you may have no idea what I am on about. Netgalley is a website that provides free books to reviewers, booksellers etc via the publishers in e book form, you have to request for the books that catch your eye and just pray the publishers let you read them. Luckily for me I was accepted to read Bleed by Garden Gate Press a few days after my drooling incident.

Me looking at the Bleed cover

I loved the concept of Bleed, however I felt that the storyline was lacking in some areas which I found disappointing as I had such high expectations for the story. I did feel like the beginning of the story was badly written at times, it often reminded  me of a cliched fanfic on wattpad. Some of the characters were just very under-developed and hard to relate to, although the characterization of the characters improves significantly as the story develops which could be because the main protagonists begin to see the true value of their powers and bond.

There are a few twists in the story, however in my opinion they fall flat due to the fact that I was able to call many of the twists from the beginning. I would definitely link this back to the point I made before about some parts mirroring a Wattpad fanfic, as many of the plot-twists are quite overused cliched ones that you now really only see in badly written Wattpad stories, and even those are rare because the standard on Wattpad is so high now compared to when I first started it five years ago.  This was all very frustrating for me, I literally considered throwing my phone at the wall at one point lol.

Overall this book was okay, I would still recommend it for the main reason that we are all different and there may be someone out there that loves it and thinks I am absolutely crazy in this review. However, it was a definite one time read for me 🙂

Rating: 3*

My Top Ten Favourite YA Book Quotes

I don’t know about you but I love quotes… Even more so book quotes. They make it so much easier to connect to the character and really understand their voice, and at times you just might just find that one quote that speaks to you on such a personal level that the story becomes more than a book… It becomes a friend. I know I have had this happen to me so many times, that I now have a notebook dedicated to book quotes so that I can go back to my favourites when ever I am feeling a certain type of way.  I won’t lie to you my quotes can be long, they can also be depressing but I love them because they speak to me in more ways than you could possibly imagine.

Enough with the talking, let’s get on with it… Shall we?

  1. “It is better to be alone, she figures, than to be with someone who can’t see who you are. It is better to lead than to follow. It is better to speak up than stay silent. It is better to open doors than to shut them on people.
    She will not be simple and sweet. She will not be what people tell her to be. That Bunny Rabbit is dead.”
    E. Lockhart, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
  2. “We all bear scars,… Mine just happen to be more visible than most.”
    Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass
  3. “The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.”
    Cassandra Clare, City of Bones
  4. “What a slut time is. She screws everybody.”
    John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
  5. “There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”
    John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
  6. “Do not accept an evil you can change.”
    E. Lockhart, We Were Liars
  7. “Because the world isn’t divided into the special and the ordinary. Everyone has the potential to be extraordinary. As long as you have a soul and free will, you can be anything, do anything, choose anything”
    Cassandra Clare,City Of Heavenly Fire
  8. “Love, it never dies. It never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it. Love can make you immortal”
    Gayle Forman, If I Stay
  9. “I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.”
    Gayle Forman, If I Stay
  10. “Any one of us could be made to look a monster, with selective readings of our history.”
    Abigail Haas, Dangerous Girls