Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

I feel that it's only right to do a recap of this year for me. I guess it'll all be book related, since this is a book blog but I guess I'll have to see what pops up. Starting with the beginning of the year. 

To be honest, I can't remember anything that happened in January! It was March that things really started to pick up. Well, not on here. I didn't really have much drive blog-wise back in March. This is what really set my year off with a bang.

**Added further news that's happened, but everything in blue is after New Years! I really wanted to post something before New Years and I did (in a massive rush) but I've missed a bit out! So everything in blue is me going back and adding :)

Where it all started:
Book Events:

So on the 6th March, I went to my first author signing. The most incredible experience I've ever had. I met Lauren Oliver and I was a ruined wreck, uncontrollably shaking even before she appeared. It was amazing. She is amazing and we were allowed to have a few minutes with her to talk about the Delirium series as well as get pictures!

This was a trigger. After this event, I found myself checking book shops in London for different YA events and I just found myself hopping from event to event. Some author events I went to were just so out of the blue.  The description said a YA author and I'd immediately jump at it. No doubt, I became a little obsessed. In October/September I went to four different events in three weeks!! It hit me bad. 

Time To Choose Some Reading Challenges...

So it's time.

Having rebooted my blog in the middle of the year and engulfing the book blogging life, a new year is arriving and I must choose a book challenge for 2014!

Ok - so I've been digging around trying to find a reading challenge that is a real "challenge." One which I love is the Rewind 2014 Challenge - but the books I read are already normally delayed compared to others as I rarely buy books on the same year as published! 

So it got me thinking, I can set myself my own challenge right? So here we go...

Sabrina's Stacking Shelves #1

I've given up waiting around for the remaining books to arrive. So here I am, typing my first 'Sab's Stacking Shelves.'

I've broken my books into sections. I spent a lot on books this month and worst of all, this isn't even all of them!!! 

Feast your eyes. 

Books that are part of a series:

Matched by Ally Condie

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Storm by Bridget Kemmerer

Finale (Hush Hush #4) by Becca Fitzpatrick

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

My 2013 Bests: Books, Music, TV and Movies!

I can't even remember half the things I did this year - everything's just gone by so quick. I thought I'd mix it up a bit and but my 'best' books, music and TV shows of this year! - All of which are *new* to me this year.

*If you press the book covers, I've linked it to their GoodReads page ;D

These are (some) of my best best books I found in 2013 (I hope I didn't miss anything out...)

The Delirium Series by Lauren Oliver - it seems like such a while ago I finished this series but it's seriously one of my favourites. Oliver's writing is just so perfect, with her beautiful description and the ending that surprisingly left me happier the more I thought about it, rather than disappointed which is what I know a lot of people thought. - Admittedly this isn't a new new series that I picked up this year, I picked up Delirium at the end of last year but I finished reading it this year, so it counts in my mind :P

Soulmates by Holly Bourne - a romance book with a twist. Not exactly the 'typical' of sorts but it was perfect. I love the fact that it didn't fit the ordinary lovey-dovey romance novels.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick - I read this book at the beginning of 2013 and it's stuck by me all the way through this year. As soon as I read about Samantha's life and Jase, I fell in love with the whole fictional world. It tore out my heart and I felt everything Sam was feeling. I need to find my Jase. 

Waiting on 2014: An Author I've Enjoyed In The Past - I'll Pick Up Their Next Book: USA

2014 just needs to hurry up, right? I mean, I can't even express my excitement for some of the releases that will be out next year!!

So what am I waiting on? I have to admit they are mostly romance and dystopian novels -- but these are two of my favourite genres.

I shall tell you ;)
Masquerade by Nyrae Dawn (Expected publication: January 7th 2014 - USA, Forever) 

After I finished reading Facade, which is the second book in the Games series, I am so amazed by the way Dawn is able to write and keep me constantly on my toes!

Cress by Marissa Meyer (Expected publication: February 6th 2014 - UK, Puffin)

I don't think I need to say much about this book. I can't wait to see how they all meet!

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi (Expected publication: February 6th 2014 - UK, ATOM)

Can't wait to finish this trilogy!! I wish this series got more recognition. 

Debate: I Judge a Book By Its Cover! So What?

I went to a talk a while back about the gender gap. The discussion led to the idea of how we judge books and if it’s the covers that attract us as a reader or if we do further research beforehand. I found that this conversation went on for quite a while and the whole idea that if you read in public, gripping onto is a typically ‘girly’ book, people will judge you.

Imagine you’re at college, it’s that time to celebrate the day you found your favourite book by rereading it, so you take it to college. You’re reading a stereotypically girly book in the canteen as it starts to fill with people. First thing that pops into people head is: ‘Are they reading for enjoyment?’ - because apparently no one reads for enjoyment and if they do they're weird.. Anyway, after figuring out that you are clearly reading for enjoyment reasons, the second thought is: ‘Oh dear, they’re into those sort of books!” - An issue?

One of the guest speakers was Maureen Johnson. She was the one who was most passionate about this topic. Later when I returned home, I did some further research on the idea that popped up. Flipcovers. This was sparked when Maureen started to receive emails from male readers basically saying ‘stop putting such girly covers on your books!’ – Errrr, but why are you even picking up that book in the first place? And I kinda feel like, if you picked up that book, you just have to deal with it...

‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ they all say. But how can I not when all they do is flash their cover fronts in my face. They are there for a purpose.

Book Reveiw: Let The Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

Title: Let The Sky Fall 
Author: Shannon Messenger
Published: 5th March 2013 (Simon Pulse)
Pages: 416

Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who’s swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is.

Seventeen-year-old Audra is a sylph, an air elemental. She walks on the wind, can translate its alluring songs, and can even coax it into a weapon with a simple string of commands. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect Vane at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing her own life.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra’s forced to help Vane remember who he is. He has a power to claim—the secret language of the West Wind, which only he can understand. But unlocking his heritage will also unlock the memory Audra needs him to forget. And their greatest danger is not the warriors coming to destroy them—but the forbidden romance that’s grown between them
[via GoodReads]

Ok, so I read this book through Pulse It, which is a reading community made by Simon Pulse which shares free books online every month. With the lead up to Christmas they are releasing a free book everyday. I so recommend you check it out because I know I basically want to read all the books! Click here to find out more.

For those who enjoyed reading Under The Never Sky, this book is for you. I'm, yet again, stuck for words to even explain how much I enjoyed this book. The narrations were just so natural and the everything was just tied down so well.