Book Tag: Mid-Year Freak Out 2016

I saw this tag on Keeper of Pages and Jill’s Book Cafe and really enjoyed reading their posts so I thought I would do my own!! Why don’t you head over to their posts and read about their mid-year favourites??

Best book you’ve read yet in 2016

I’m going to have to pick my top 4 of the year so far.  I’m stuck between these 4:
Letters to the Lost   One Hot Summer: A laugh-out-loud love story   Last Dance in Havana   We Are All Made of Stars

These books have all made me laugh, feel happy, gripped me and made me lose sleep.
Letters to the Lost
One Hot Summer
Last Dance in Havana
We Are All Made of Stars

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2016

Again, I can’t choose.  This time it’s 2 books.  I always tend to start a series and rarely finish it, but these are the sequels I’ve made sure I’ve read.  Neither are newly published books, but I don’t think anyone really cares do they?
The Invasion of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #2)   Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)
The Invasion of The Tearling
Siege and Storm

Siege and Storm introduced one of the best characters of the series, and The Invasion of The Tearling has left me with even more questions than I started with!!

New release you haven’t read yet but want to

This one is easy, as it was published a few days after I finished the first book, An Ember In The Ashes. The sequel, A Torch Against The Night, has been on my wishlist ever since!!
A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, Book 2) by [Tahir, Sabaa]
A Torch Against The Night

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

I’ve got this on my Kindle reading for reading and reviewing and I have loved every other single book by her.
Small Great Things by [Picoult, Jodi]
Small Great Things

But, saying that, Victoria Hislop has a new book being published as well so maybe I’ll add that:
Cartes Postales from Greece by [Hislop, Victoria]
Cartes Postales from Greece

Biggest disappointment

I’ve been disappointed by so many books this year!! There’s been loads that people have raved on and on about, building the hype and they’ve just fallen flat on their face for me. The 4 I can think of straight away are:
The Girl on the Train   All the Light We Cannot See   The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane: The funny, feel-good read of the summer  The Cosy Teashop in the Castle by Caroline   Roberts

The Girl on The Train
All The Light We Cannot See
The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane
The Cosy Teashop in the Castle

Biggest surprise

Hands down, it has to be Escape to the Riviera by Jules Wake.  Anyone who read my review will remember that I tried starting this book god knows how many times and failing to get into it. I was determined and stuck with it and ended up giving it 5/5.  I loved this book and still highly recommend it!!!
Escape to the Riviera
Escape to the Riviera

Favourite new author

This one is Kat French.  The 2 books I’ve read this year have been fun, funny, romantic, and her men are real men who I have falling madly and deeply in love with (I’m still looking of my order form for my own Robinson).  I laugh, cry, fall in love, fall out of love, and feel every other emotion when reading her books!! I’ve added another of her books to my bookcase in the last few weeks as well.
Her books published so far are:
Undertaking Love   The Piano Man Project   One Hot Summer: A laugh-out-loud love story
Kat French Amazon Page

Newest fictional crush

This book is on a roll on this post!! This will be the third time it’s popped up! It’s Robinson from One Hot Summer by Kat French. Complete knee weaking, swoon-worthy hunk of an American cowboy… Gosh….  I can imagine Scott Eastwood **Fans myself from hot-flushes!!** playing him if it ever gets made into a film.
One Hot Summer: A laugh-out-loud love story

Newest favourite character

I have two, both from the same book.
An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)
Laia and Elias from An Ember in The Ashes.  They worked perfectly together, had a great chemistry and were written beautifully.  It was great to read his story as well as hers, we always just get the girls!

Books that made you cry

This one is easy, there have been a few this year.  It’s been an emotional year for me, and I do love to have a good weep from time to time!!
We Are All Made of Stars   Letters to the Lost   The Last Letter from Your Lover

Book That Made You Happy

What book doesn’t make me happy?!  But I’ll say this one as it’s the first one I thought about:
Late Summer in the Vineyard
Late Summer in the Vineyard

Favourite book to film adaptation

Hmm.. This is a tough one.  I don’t think many of the books I’ve read have been turned into films recently so I’ll say:
Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)
Me Before You
Me Before You has to be my book of 2015.  I’d been putting off reading it for months and months, probably even years but then I thought to myself “It’s Time”.   So I read it, I cried.. A lot.. And the more I thought about the book afterwards, the more I cried.  I watched the film when it was released earlier this year and guess what, yep, I cried. A lot.  they portrayed the book perfectly I thought, and although I originally couldn’t see the people cast in the roles, it worked out wonderfully.

Favourite post you’ve done this year.

Probably this one. I’ve only got one Blog Tour under my belt, with another on the way.  I’ve yet to do any author Q&A’s or giveaways.  Plus, this one has made me really think about what I’ve read this year.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year

Just a select few from my shelves (or should I say the ones I remember???):

Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)   Christmas at the Little Village Bakery  Holding                               You And Me, Always   The Thousandth Floor

 

Trilogy Review: The Paper Magician Trilogy By Charlie N. Holmberg

The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician, and The Master Magician by Charlie N.  Holmberg
The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #1)
The Glass Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #2)
The Master Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #3)

Synopsis for all 3:
Book 1: Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic… forever.
Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined — animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.
An Excisioner — a practitioner of dark, flesh magic — invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.
Book 2: Three months after returning Magician Emery Thane’s heart to his body, Ceony Twill is well on her way to becoming a Folder. Unfortunately, not all of Ceony’s thoughts have been focused on paper magic. Though she was promised romance by a fortuity box, Ceony still hasn’t broken the teacher-student barrier with Emery, despite their growing closeness.
When a magician with a penchant for revenge believes that Ceony possesses a secret, he vows to discover it…even if it tears apart the very fabric of their magical world. After a series of attacks target Ceony and catch those she holds most dear in the crossfire, Ceony knows she must find the true limits of her powers…and keep her knowledge from falling into wayward hands.
Book 3: Throughout her studies, Ceony Twill has harbored a secret, one she’s kept from even her mentor, Emery Thane. She’s discovered how to practice forms of magic other than her own — an ability long thought impossible.
While all seems set for Ceony to complete her apprenticeship and pass her upcoming final magician’s exam, life quickly becomes complicated. To avoid favoritism, Emery sends her to another paper magician for testing, a Folder who despises Emery and cares even less for his apprentice. To make matters worse, a murderous criminal from Ceony’s past escapes imprisonment. Now she must track the power-hungry convict across England before he can take his revenge. With her life and loved ones hanging in the balance, Ceony must face a criminal who wields the one magic that she does not, and it may prove more powerful than all her skills combined.

My Thoughts:

Firstly, let me explain why I’m reviewing as the whole trilogy and not separate books.  I read all 3 as one book as they were so short.  I finished the first one and just wanted to keep reading about Ceony and the world of Folding.  Emery helped as well, I need my Emery in my life!! He was a fantastic character.  Anyway!! As I said, I read them all together, one straight after the other, which I rarely do.

In my opinion, the books could have been a lot longer than they actually were.  There wasn’t enough depth to the fictional London it was set in, and there wasn’t enough explanation into the villains motives or anything.  I mean, I get she was a part of Emery’s past and all but why did she actually do what she did??? I have more questions that answers for all 3 books I’m afraid.

Getting, I did love Ceony – although she was a little predictable and just reckless.  I have already stated my feelings on Emery, he was a great character and I’d love to read his own story.  Langston needed more, and Delilah as well.  I would have liked to have seen more of Ceony’s own family but I understand that they were more of a back story.

I read a few of the bad reviews before reading the books and I’m a tad frustrated with some of the comments, well mainly one.  The book was set in Victorian England, and within the reviews I read there was complaint about the author not doing any amount of research into the time period.  Who Cares?? It’s a FICTIONAL London, not a complete time period replica.  I don’t care if there wasn’t actually any Secondary Schools in Victorian London, or what other things that were complained about!!! But obviously, everyone has their own opinion on things like this, otherwise the world would be a boring place.

The love story between Ceony and Emery was sweet, innocent and a tad predictable.  Predictable was a good thing, not a bad thing though.  It meant that you could concentrate on Ceony being reckless, a bit naïve with certain things, and the story as a whole.  You weren’t trying to figure out if they were or were not involved, or if they would be, if anything was actually going to happen.  It was set out from the beginning, you knew where they were heading and where it would end for them.  It was a nice romance, no messing around.

I rated each book 4/5 on Goodreads, and as Trilogy (or one big story) I still rate it 4/5.  It was a wonderful story, if not a little different on the magic side of things.  I liked the thought that each individual magician could only control one man-made substance (things like fire, rubber, glass, metal, and paper). Just a beautiful world I hope to read more about in the future!!!