Monday 29 February 2016

February Wrap-Up.

I'm pleased as punch for the second time this year! I didn't manage all of my scheduled reads, but 6 out of 7 is great! Especially as I took some time out to visit family and go on holiday!

  1. 'Wolf By Wolf'; Ryan Graudin. Wow, wow, wow! What a read! Normally I don't like to read Thrillers but this one had me on the edge of my seat and I'm so excited about the prospect of reading more from this series (i.e. the next book)! Thank goodness Illumicrate sent this book to me or I definitely wouldn't have read it for a very long time! Great plot and an imaginative idea of what history could have looked like if WWII had gone differently. 5/5 Stars.
  2. 'Love Letters To The Dead'; Ava Dellaira. This was a well-crafted story with writing to die for! Dellaira covered a lot of sensitive topics in this story and handled them all really well. For me, the main character was the biggest issue because I didn't really like her all that much. She whined and cried a lot, and came across as ultra needy. The romance didn't really interest me either, I much preferred the complicated LGBT relationship between Hannah and Natalie, and I felt like more thought had gone into it. 2.5/5 Stars.
  3. 'Beautiful Broken Things'; Sara Barnard. This YA contemporary read is one of the most talked about books of the month and it's very easy to see why when you read it. You won't find any tacky romances here. Instead, Barnard creates a beautiful, touching tale on friendship and the damaging effects of abuse and mental illness. I loved that Barnard included Social Media in this book, something that's often missed out in YA books: surprising considering the huge impact it has on the lives of young people. 4.5/5 stars.
  4. 'Red Queen'; Victoria Aveyard. There were so many great aspects to this book: it felt like a great fusion between Fantasy and a Dystopian-like sci-fi. I really liked the characterisation in this one too, and Aveyard did a fantastic job at plot twists that actually took me by surprise. It was a bit of a slow starter and took me a while to get into it, but when I did I really enjoyed it. 3.5/5 Stars.
  5. 'Under The Light'; Laura Whitcomb. I was a bit worried about reading this sequel because after reading 'A Certain Slant Of Light' I didn't feel like there could be much more of a story to tell. How wrong could I be? Jenny & Billy's story was so much fun to read, and Whitcomb's writing remained as beautiful as I remember it. Helen's inclusion puzzled me a bit because it didn't add much to the plot and mostly came in the form of flashbacks. Nevertheless, this was a wonderful conclusion to the series and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 4/5 Stars.
  6. 'Let The Right One In'; John Ajvide Lindqvist. Wow, what a roller-coaster of a story. Honestly, this was everything I wanted from a Vampire Romance. There were beautiful moments between Oskar and Eli, the complicated and well-constructed main characters of the book. There were also brutal, violent and shocking moments that were hard to read but added to the honesty of what I was reading. Definitely one of my new favourites! 4.5/5 Stars.
This month I have read four books for Pretty Deadly Review's Backlist Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to seven. This month's reads were:

- 'Love Letters To The Dead' by Ava Dellaira
- 'Red Queen' by Victoria Aveyard
- 'Under The Light' by Laura Whitcomb
- 'Let The Right One In' by John Ajvide Lindqvist

This month I have read one book for Falling For YA's Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge bringing my yearly total so far to three. This month's read was:

- 'Beautiful Broken Things' by Sara Barnard

This month I have gained two points for Novel Heartbeat and Writer Grrl Reads' Prequel & Sequel Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to fourteen. This month's points were as thus:

- +2 for 'Under The Light' by Laura Whitcomb

This month I have read one book for [un]Conventional Reviews' New Releases Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to three. This month's reads were:

- 'Beautiful Broken Things' by Sara Barnard

This month I have read zero books for the Daily Prophecy's Fairy Tale Retelling Challenge, bringing my yearly total to two.

And here's my finished Bookish Bingo card and updated Story Sprites board!

Romance: Love Letters To The Dead; Ava Dellaira.
Snow On Cover: Dot; Araminta Hall.
Has Been Translated: Let The Right One In; John Ajvide Lindqvist.
Multi-POV: A Feast For Crows; George R.R. Martin.
Series Finale: Winter; Marissa Meyer.
Fantasy: Stealing Phoenix; Joss Stirling.
Pink Cover: This Raging Light; Estelle Laure.
2015 Release You Missed: Wolf By Wolf; Ryan Graudin.
A Friend's Fave: Red Glove; Holly Black.
Freebie: A Study In Scarlet; Arthur Conan Doyle.
White Cover: One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest; Ken Kesey.
Book That Was A Gift: Under The Light; Laura Whitcomb.
2016 Debut: Beautiful Broken Things; Sara Barnard.
Graphic Novel: The Fox & The Star; Coralie Bickford-Smith.
Start A New Series: The Dark Days Club; Alison Goodman.
Royalty: Red Queen; Victoria Aveyard.
Blue Cover: The Lovely Bones; Alice Sebold.

Clairvoyance/Sixth Sense: The Lovely Bones; Alice Sebold.
Single Word Title: Dot; Araminta Hall.
First Book In A Series: Wolf By Wolf; Ryan Graudin.
Novel With A Rebellion: Winter; Marissa Meyer.
Book-To-Movie Adaptation: A Study In Scarlet; Arthur Conan Doyle.
Enchanted Forest: The Fox & The Star; Coralie Bickford-Smith.
Purple-Themed Cover: Love Letters To The Dead; Ava Delleira.
Scandinavian-Born Character: Let The Right One In; John Ajvide Lindqvist.
Novel With A Map: Red Queen; Victoria Aveyard.
Strong Female Friendship: Beautiful Broken Things; Sara Barnard.
Supernatural Feud: The Dark Days Club; Alison Goodman.
Last Book In A Series: Under The Light; Laura Whitcomb.

Book Review: Let The Right One In; John Ajvide Lindqvist.

I watched the Swedish adaptation of this film quite a long time ago and really liked it. Since then, I've also seen a West End performance adapting the same book, which impressed me just as much. I've been really eager to read the original book ever since but of course, being me, have only just got to it. Nevertheless, I'm through it now and excited to share my thoughts!

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: Let The Right One In

AUTHOR: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Quercus Publishing
PAGES: 528
GENRE: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Horror, Thriller

RATING: 4.5/5 Stars

It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumoured to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last—revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.

But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door—a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night...

What I Liked:
  • The characters in this book were so complex and that was probably the aspect that really appealed to me. Some of the people that I read about were really the dregs of society and yet for each, there was no black and white. Oskar, the hero of the story, was every bit the frightened, lonely victim of bullies and yet at times his thoughts were very dark and troubling. Eli was clever and cold, but displayed affectionate behaviour at times also. Even Håkan, the murderous paedophile came across as totally powerless and guilt-ridden. It was difficult not to empathise with such cleverly-written personalities and humanity as a concept was well-reflected here.
  • I have only ever heard of Sweden being a clean, advanced, near-perfect society so it was a shock to the system to read about dirty buildings, worn bridges, drug addicts, drunkards, poverty and prostitutes. I found the world-building refreshingly honest and gave the book a kind of authenticity that was a surprise to me. World-building is very important to me and here, it was done right!
  • I didn't realise that this was the kind of Vampire love story that I've been wanting to read! I've always said that I didn't like Stephanie Meyer's 'Twilight' or the kind of trend it set for vegetarian, sparkly vampires who did nothing but brood. Here I was treated (is that the right word?) to some deeply unpleasant subject matter. Alongside brutal, violent vampire attacks came attempted rape, horrific imagery and unsettling implications. I actually had to force myself to read a few of the scenes but I felt like this is how any story involving vampires should be. The romance too was slow-building, different, and I adored the LGBT implications (due to Eli being neither boy nor girl).
What I Disliked:
  • The story did have a few issues that slightly bothered me. For one, the pace is pretty slow throughout so at times I ended up skimming to get to a more interesting part of the story. The constant introduction of new characters frustrated me too. I did like the extra plot-lines to keep me occupied and build the plot, but occasionally it felt distracting.
Overall Conclusion:
This was a really great book and definitely a new favourite of mine, as I thought it would be. Lindqvist's writing was truly impressed me, and I loved that it read more like a Psychological Thriller despite focusing on the supernatural. The world was built really well and the characters were so complicated which made for great reading. I can't wait to, in the future, get hold of more of this author's work! 

Last Week's Shenanigans (22nd February - 28th February)...A trip to Amsterdam!

What a busy week it has been! Normally I don't have an awful lot to tell you guys on these posts, but this week has been the most fun-filled in absolutely ages! Why? Because I went to AMSTERDAM! I had so much fun out there and can't wait to tell you guys all about it! On Monday I was still at my parents of course, and only had a Dentist and hairdressing appointments to worry about. Later on afterwards, Mat and I went to his parents to visit them and had a really lovely dinner and catch-up. We returned to London pretty late and packed before bed.

On Tuesday we woke up pretty early and rushed round the house, packing last minute bits and bobs and preparing for the travel. The journey to Amsterdam was actually incredibly short, the flight taking us less than an hour in the end. When we arrived it was barely afternoon. Our hotel was lovely and just outside the City Centre, meaning it was cheaper but not miles away. We quickly unpacked and then headed out to explore the city more, as we wanted to desperately see Anne Frank's House before it closed. The queue was long but we managed it. I have to say it's a very emotional experience, and I completely understand why Hazel Grace from 'The Fault In Our Stars' struggled up those stairs! They are so steep! We weren't allowed to take pictures inside but I came out of it feeling very sad and with a burning desire to read her diary at some point soon. After that we had a look at the lovely canal views and had dinner before heading back to the hotel.

Wednesday was probably my favourite day of the three. In the morning, while we were eating breakfast, it snowed! Not for long of course and it barely had time to lay but I haven't seen snow in such a long time that it was still exciting to me. Our first stop was the Van Gogh museum! Museum entrance fees are very expensive in Amsterdam and this was one I really wanted to visit. I learnt so much here about Van Gogh's life and the aim behind a lot of his paintings. 'Starry Night' wasn't there which was a little disappointing, especially as they'd also taken down 'Sunflowers' to learn more about it. Nevertheless, it was a gorgeous collection and there were a great deal of paintings by other artists that related to or inspired Van Gogh's work which I enjoyed.

On Wednesday afternoon, after eating bagels for lunch, Mat and I caught the train to a small village outside of Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans. This was the absolute highlight of the entire trip and it really deserves so many more visits than it gets (though I enjoyed the peace and quiet). It's dubbed the Windmill Village for a reason: it's home to a ton of working mills, some of which are the last of their kind! The village itself is filled with some wonderful shops that sell souvenirs and food (particularly chocolate and cheese) that are made locally. I just found it such a quaint and charming place to explore and we easily filled half a day there. Upon our return to the hotel, after a small issue with the trams, we ordered some food to the hotel and had a lovely evening in.

Thursday was our last full day and we spent a good portion of the morning relaxing and planning what to to in the City Centre with our afternoon. In the end, we decided to walk through Rembrandtpark first (which was right next to the hotel) and quickly pop into the adorable petting farm they have there before going further in. Mat and I opted to go on a Canal Cruise and in the process learnt more about Amsterdam's history, before walking back towards a Pancake restaurant I wanted to eat at! All in all it was a more laid back day in our holiday which came at a bit of a relief, and ended our wonderful trip.

Friday was spent travelling so we actually arrived back in England late Friday morning and spent the day catching up with things that needed doing. It was such an enjoyable few days off that I was a little sad to have to go back to work on Saturday but the shift itself was pretty quick and I had another lovely day off to relax on Sunday! What a wonderful week!

I Read:

I Received:

- 'Radio Silence' by Alice Oseman: Approved by Netgalley (26/02)


Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed In The Last Year That Weren't My Usual Reads

Wednesday 24 February 2016

Book Review: Under The Light; Laura Whitcomb.

I remember reading the first book in his duology and adoring it, but wondering what on Earth a sequel could possibly offer. The story had felt like it had reached a natural conclusion. I needn't have worried, as this was a wonderful second installment to the series!

TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: Under The Light

AUTHOR: Laura Whitcomb
SERIES: Light (#2)
HMH Books For Young Readers
PAGES: 256
GENRE: Young Adult, Romance, Ghost Story

RATING: 4/5 Stars

Helen needed a body to be with her beloved. Jenny had to escape from hers before her spirit was broken. It was wicked, borrowing it, but love drives even the gentlest soul to desperate acts. And Helen, who has returned to help Jenny, finds herself trapped, haunting the girl she wished to save. Jenny and Billy's love story begins out-of-body and continues into the tumultuous realm of the living, where they are torn apart just as they begin to remember falling in love.

What I Liked:
  • Laura Whitcomb's writing is beyond beautiful. The lyrical, gentle tone is soothing to read and I just absolutely adore it! I wish more people read this series because I know so many people who would fall for and appreciate Whitcomb's writing as much as I did! It was my favourite thing about the first book in this series, 'A Certain Slant Of Light', and I think it was my favourite aspect of this book too. Whitcomb knows how to spark the imagination and at the same time her words are very deep, particularly concerning the afterlife.
  • I didn't think that the story could really go a whole lot further but I found that in the case of Jenny and Billy, I was completely wrong! Whitcomb of course had to address the issue of their memory gaps and what impact the actions of Helen and James would have on their lives. I loved watching them try to solve the mystery, and in the process, their complex relationship develop into a sweet little romance. Some of the unanswered questions from Book One are addressed too which is lovely and I loved the idea of them, now having reclaimed back their bodies, claiming back their lives too and particularly Jenny becoming a strong, resourceful young woman.
What I Disliked:
  • Despite the fact that I loved this book, I felt like Helen's inclusion was a little unnecessary. As much as I loved her in Book One, I felt like her story had really ended and there was no need for her to come back in this one to make sure things were okay. Especially as she didn't really have a huge impact on the story so to speak. Most of her parts involved a large number of flashbacks too, which took up a lot of story space that could have been used to progress the plot. I understand Whitcomb's desire to have Jenny and Helen interact but in the end, I think it took away from the story rather than adding to it.
Overall Conclusion:
I am very relieved to have enjoyed this book and despite my reservations about the need for a sequel, I'm so glad that Whitcomb decided to write one! It was a sensitive, hauntingly beautiful read and shone a whole new light on the lives of Billy and Jenny as well as developing them into something more than just lost souls. Helen's inclusion was a little disappointing as she didn't really contribute to the story, preferring instead to reflect on past events. While not necessary, I suppose she did manage to shine another interesting light on the afterlife and some of her interactions with Jenny were chilling and sad. Nevertheless, I would have preferred more book space dedicated to Billy and Jenny, and their surrounding family members.

Tuesday 23 February 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Books I Enjoyed In The Last Year That Were Not My Usual Reads'.

What an interesting topic! It's going to be quite hard for me because I rarely step out of my Fantastical comfort zone, but there are some genres that I've been trying to read more of recently, namely Contemporary YA among others. I have a few picks that I really enjoyed too, so here they are!

1) 'Beautiful Broken Things' by Sara Barnard.

Genre(s): Contemporary YA

I actually have pretty mixed experiences with Contemporary YA, hence why it's a genre I don't read a lot of. Sometimes I find myself not overly impressed by what I'm reading, but in the case of books like this I realise I'm really missing out. This was a recent read of mine that I adored for a variety of reasons: diverse and complex characters, taboo topics handled with sensitivity, a lack of cliché romances and a great handling of what being a teenager is all about.

2) 'Wolf By Wolf' by Ryan Graudin.

Genre(s): Thriller, Suspense

Graudin was actually the author that showed me that Thriller books could be something more than predictable, cheap thrills with terrible covers. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book of hers I read, 'The Walled City', but this book impressed me beyond belief. It was set in an alternate past, yet had a Dystopian feel to it. Most of all, I loved the fast-pace that the book was written with. 

3) 'Dot' by Araminta Hall.

Genre(s): Contemporary YA, Literary Fiction

I've already talked about my reservations about Contemporary, but this mixed with Literary Fiction is definitely not something I read a lot. Books written in that style are often interesting but a little too slow-paced and flowery for my tastes. I found this one refreshing in it's own way, due to it's brutally honest tone. I liked that it was aimed more towards a Young Adult audience too, as it felt more accessible.

4) 'Vengeance Road' by Erin Bowman.

Genre(s): Historical YA

Historical YA is something I don't normally read unless it involves an element of Fantasy. This one in particular is set in in the Wild West, which is definitely a setting I have never read about before. I loved this book to pieces and it's absolutely inspired me to give more Historical YA a chance. After all, I love History and I love YA! Why not mix the two together more?

5) 'Station Eleven' by Emily St. John Mandel.

Genre(s): Literary Fiction, Adult Dystopian

As I said, Literary Fiction is something I often find overwhelming so I have to be in the mood for some deeper thinking. This book was one of the best books I read in 2015 because it made me reflect a lot as well as having something a bit different in it's plot: the apocalypse. Most books focusing on the subject are full of zombies or young teenagers running around Dystopian societies. This book focused on the moment directly after the Apocalypse and how humanity react to such a disaster. I was hooked.

6) 'More Than This' by Patrick Ness.

Genre(s): LGBT Fiction

So this book ended up being part Literary Fiction and part Science Fiction/Dystopian also, but the aspect of this book that got me was the LGBT relationship it discussed. The thing is, it made me realise that I don't read nearly enough LGBT fiction despite the fact that when I do, I love it! I need to read more! 

7) 'Life After Life' by Kate Atkinson.

Genre(s): Literary Fiction, Adult Sci-Fi

I felt weird placing this book as Adult Science Fiction but there was a lot of time travel and parallel universe hints, so I felt it belonged to the genre. That mixed with Literary Fiction made a very bizarre but deeply satisfying mix. It was a book that made me think about choices in life and how they change us, but it also contained a fair amount of action, a dose of horror and gripped me from start to finish.

8) 'Moon Over Soho' by Ben Aaronovitch.

Genre(s): Mystery, Crime

These kinds of books, while I do like trying to guess a mystery, generally bore me. I'm sort of cheating with this choice too because it's a YA Urban Fantasy primarily, but it's one of the few Detective novels that I've actually become invested in. Great characters and interesting plot-lines are definitely what I get from Aaronovitch's series and this was my favourite of the two I've read so far!

9) 'The Storied Life Of A.J. Fikry' by Gabrielle Zevin.

Genre(s): Literary Fiction

I'm beginning to wonder if I actually read a lot more Literary Fiction than I realise! This one was unique because it felt aimed for a younger audience than the Literary Fiction normally attracts. I loved the focus on family and happiness (and of course books), and it exposed to me a good range of very flawed, very human characters.

10) 'Between The Lives'; Jessica Shirvington.

Genre(s): Contemporary YA, Sci-Fi

Yet another book that focuses on parallel universes/lives that really grabbed me. It's contemporary YA but with a Science Fiction twist that really got to me. It is also romance, something that I don't like to read a lot because I find it too predictable most of the time. There were a lot of great twists that kept me reading and I would love to rea more books like this!

Monday 22 February 2016

Last Week's Shenanigans (15th February - 21st February)...

I have to be honest, not a whole lot of notable things happened this week guys! After Valentines Day, Mat and I had plenty of bits and bobs to get on with (he had Uni work and I had chores) so Monday was spent inside the house. For the rest of the week, as usual, I worked! There wasn't a whole lot of time to do anything very fun but Mat and I caught up on some episodes of Season 2 Gotham that we had missed and watched a bit of Arrow too. I even found time to squeeze in an episode of Once Upon A Time, a series that Tash and I are very slowly making our way though (we are on Season 5 now at least).

Sunday was probably the most action-packed day as I went back to Ashford to see my parents and sister! It was a lot busier than I originally anticipated because trains between the two stations I normally travel between weren't running properly so I had to get a train part-way there and then a bus for the rest of the way. I got to my Mum and Dad's house very early afternoon and had a really lovely catch-up with my whole family, as well as ordering curry and playing some games. Mat came and joined us late, after he had finished work, and it was nice to see them after so long. We stayed overnight so I'm actually writing this post from their house with a busy Monday ahead of us.

Posts this week are going to be on the sparse side because Mat and I are jetting off to Amsterdam for three days tomorrow (Tuesday)! We have a very packed schedule which leaves very little reading time, so be prepared for not a lot to happen on the Blogging/Book front this week.

I Read:

I Received:

- 'Truthwitch' by Susan Dennard: Received from Illumicrate (15/02)
- 'Salt To The Sea' by Ruta Sepetys: Approved by Netgalley (16/02)

I Posted:

Illumicrate Unboxing! (Box 2)


Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Give Theme Songs To

Saturday 20 February 2016

Book Review: Red Queen; Victoria Aveyard.

I definitely had to get my thoughts in order before reading this book, so it's going to be a roller-coaster of a review. I was a bit nervous about reading it actually because while some people raved about and loved it, others accused it of being a bit of a 'Red Rising' rip-off. There are similarities of course but I don't think that's a fair statement as there are so many differences too! I liked both books a lot, but not necessarily for the same reasons.

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: Red Queen

AUTHOR: Victoria Aveyard
SERIES: Red Queen (#1)
PAGES: 383
GENRE: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopian

RATING: 3.5/5 Stars

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The poverty-stricken Reds are commoners, living in the shadow of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from the Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Then Mare finds herself working at the Silver palace, in the midst of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

What I Liked:
  • The world-building was pretty unique and I liked the way Aveyard mixed a medieval feeling hierarchy with a futuristic dose of electricity and technology. Sometimes it felt like I was reading about sorcery of the fantastical kind, while at others it was more like the next step of evolution. I've seen others attempt to write a civilisation that is set in the future but feels like the past and fail. Miserably. Aveyard didn't fail because she was very clear in the information that she gives the reader. The places that Aveyard described sounded beautiful and there were some really small but great details that made the whole world a lot more believable, such as the silver blood's effect on blushing.
  • The characterisation was by far the most impressive part of the book. I don't normally like love triangles but here, it actually sort of worked and I can tell that Aveyard is going to keep building despite the last plot twist really seeming to scupper a certain boy's chances. The inclusion of another male character for Mare, the heroine, to interact with was greatly appreciated also because he was just her friend. Male + Female friendships are hard to find so I really hope it stays that way! Personally I'm hoping for some real redemption as I can already tell there is no black and white when it comes to where a character falls on the evil scale in this book. I'm looking forward to seeing the grey areas and I want so badly for this all to be...a misunderstanding?
What I Disliked:
  • This book, despite it's good points, was a slow starter. It took a long time for any real action to get going, because Aveyard chose to stick a lot of her world-building into the early chapters. While I like to learn about my book's setting, it would have been nice to have more action in those early chapters. The things that happened seemed to bear little consequence to the book's plot so they were really just distractions. Halfway through the plot picked up a lot and I loved the fast pace of the second part of the book.
Overall Conclusion:
I really did like this book a lot despite my initial reservations. It was slow-paced to begin with but the world was well-constructed and Aveyard had clearly put a lot of thought into the world she was trying to build. The writing was decent enough too though at times character conversations didn't quite convince me as much as they should. The development of those characters remained amazing throughout however, and Mare at least was consistent in her thoughts. I liked that Aveyard write every one of her characters as possessing a terrifying and a vulnerable side. It made things much more believable. I look forward to 'Glass Sword' though I'm hoping that Aveyard hops straight into the action this time!

Tuesday 16 February 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Books I'd Give Theme Songs Too'.

I've actually been looking forward to this week's theme because one of the things that I enjoy doing as much as reading is listening to music and finding new artists to play. It helps me relax, it calms me down when my anxiety is getting to me, it makes me happy and it can be great for helping my imaginative juices flow when I'm writing. I never did the theme songs TTT that others may have done, so I'm glad to have the opportunity to do so!

1) 'Beautiful Broken Things' by Sara Barnard.

Chosen Song: Broken Wings - Flyleaf

I used to listen to this song a lot when I felt sad because it reminded me that I still had friends to pick me up and care for me. That is the exact premise of this awesome book! I feel that Suzanne would really benefit from listening to this song and remembering that no matter what, Caddy & Rosie are there for her. In fact, any of the three friends could learn something from this song!
"So close your eyes but don't dream too deep, And please pass me some memories, And when I fall you're underneath, A thousand broken hearts, Carried by a thousand broken wings."

2) 'Wolf By Wolf' by Ryan Graudin.

Chosen Song: Nothing's Fair In Love & War - Three Days Grace

I hear this song a lot when Mat is listening to music but I've liked this band for a long time. When choosing a song for this book I wanted a song I could imagine riding a motorbike to really, really fast as that's the main premise of the book. This song makes me think of the war that Yael is fighting (internally as well as externally) and the choices she is forced to make. The song is actually very poignant for the end of the book too, after the dramatic plot twist!
"It's too late tonight! Nothing's fair in love and war! Your hand, My knife, Your heart, My life, There's no wrong or right, When nothing's fair in love and war!"

3) 'Winter' by Marissa Meyer.

Chosen Song: Snow White Queen - Evanescence

I could have picked hundreds for the series as a whole but 'Winter' is so fresh in my mind. This song might actually be a little dark for this book but it came to mind when I was reading this book. Especially when I read about Thamaturge Aimery's creepy fixation on Princess Winter. The thing is, this song could also apply to a lot of other things. The hold that Levana has on Princess Winter's life and her desperation to escape from the pressure placed upon her to be someone different. It makes me think of Winter's hallucinations too because this song has some very bizarre imagery.
"You'll never know the way your words have haunted me, I can't believe you'd ask these things of me, You don't know me, now or ever."

4) 'Vengeance Road' by Erin Bowman.

Chosen Song: Leave My Body - Florence & The Machine

So this song just screams cowboy to me. It's something about the background vocals that play and I adore it. Just as Florence & The Machine are one of my all time favourite bands, this book was my favourite (narrowly) of last year. I love the lines that talk about her past 'pulling her down' which is the central plot point for the novel. Kate can't move on from her Father's death and wants revenge. The lyrics really put in mind a cowboy lifestyle too. Great song!
"I don't want your future, I don't need your past, One bright moment, Is all I ask, I'm gonna leave my body (moving up to higher ground), I'm gonna lose my mind (History keeps pulling me down)."

5) 'Neverland' by Shari Arnold.

Chosen Song: Take Me Away - Avril Lavigne

As a young teen I used to love this song and while reading this book, I actually rediscovered it. The more I think about it, the more that I think this song really taps into Livy's pain in this book. Since the death of her sister, she has been unable to handle the grief she is feeling properly and constantly holds onto thoughts and memories of her wherever she goes. I like the idea of this song being aimed at Livy's younger sister, but also a plea to Meyer, whose dangerous and childish games do help to take her away from the pain she feels without her sister. Awesome song and a gorgeous book!
"All the thoughts lead back to you, Back to what was never said, Back and forth inside my head, I can't handle this confusion, I'm unable; come and take me away."

6) 'Between The Lives' by Jessica Shirvington.

Chosen Song: Choose The One Who Loves You More - Copeland

This song is perfect. Seriously! For those that don't know, this book is about a young girl who is forced to live two lives, shifting from one to the other every twenty four hours (at midnight) in one she is rich and popular, yet strangely lonely. In the other she has a broken family but a sister she adores and a best friend to help her through the bad times. This song is about her desire to choose  one life and end the other so that she doesn't have to keep on worrying and that's why I think this song's lyrics just fit so well!
"Oh, smile, smile in a day, Fear takes its place at night, Oh, oh, I'm pretty in the rain, I love your secret life, It can make you face all your fears."

7) The 'A Song Of Ice & Fire' series by George R.R. Martin.

Chosen Song: Seven Nation Army - Zella Day

Of course the original White Stripes version can also apply here too but I like Zella Day's cover a lot. There's a lot to talk about in this song. It's told from what seems to be a vengeance-seeking viewpoint, which seems to be what motivates most of the ASOIAF characters. It also makes reference to multi-POVs and a general feeling of building towards war. I can picture this song being a trailer music choice for the Season 6 trailer too, that would be awesome!
"Don't wanna hear about it, Every single one's got a story to tell, Everyone knows about it, From the Queen of England to the hounds of hell."

8) 'The Snow Child' by Eowyn Ivey.

Chosen Song: Whole Wide World - Big Tree

Okay this was tough because I actually had a few to choose from I just wanted to find something to put me in mind of not only the crippling isolation that is central to this book's tone, but the strange supernatural feel that I got while reading. The book itself really sets off the imagination and so does this song. Certain lyrics really put me in mind of the sadness of both the original tale and Ivey's re-telling.
"You're sad in winter, I'm sad in spring and Fall erases everything, I just returned from faraway, And the whole wide world seems different today."

9) The 'Hunger Games' series by Suzanne Collins.

Chosen Song: Night Terror - Laura Marling

This series of books, though YA, is terrifying. So many terrible things happen, and I think that this song perfectly symbolises how badly the events of the series affect Katniss and Peeta even when it's all over. I can perfectly picture both of them suffering with terrible nightmares and having to calm each other down during the night. This has been a favourite song of mine for some time! It definitely should have been on the movie soundtrack (which by the way had some great songs and it was so hard not to pick any of them)!
"I woke up and he was screaming. I'd left him dreaming. I roll over and shake him tightly, And whisper 'If they want you, then they're gonna have to fight me'."

10) The 'Daughter Of Smoke & Bone' series by Laini Taylor.

Chosen Song: Keep - Emma's Imagination

When thinking of songs for this series, I really wanted a song that would be played when Madrigal and Akiva are at Ellai's temple as that is when their love is at it's peak. Where they realise they are completely connected but a little worried for the future too. It's a calm, soothing song filled with hope but also hints at forbidden love and the temporary nature of it.
"And I wonder with wings that I keep in my dreams, Never to come to the meaning of what all this means, Means that could break stars, Show me who you are. Can this go too far? One life twice beating."