This book is set during WW2 and follows the story of four teenagers. All four what passage on the Wilhelm Gustloff and they all have secrets that they will do anything to hide.
This book was excellent. It had received a lot of hype before I started it and I was worried that I wasn’t going to enjoy it as much.I ended up flying through this book as I couldn’t put it down. This book is really fast paced and this is helped by the multiple POVs. The multiple POVs really helped the story to flow as we quickly moved from each character. At first, I wasn’t sure about the multiple POVs but I found that each character had a really distinct voice so I didn’t get confused which I find often happens with multiple POV books. Due to this being a WW2 book I knew that it was going to be emotional and it was especially towards the end. This was my first Ruta Sepetys book and I thought that her writing was excellent. I thought the way that she connected all of the characters was done really well. I thought that she created really realistic characters and I felt really connected to them. I think this made the story even more heartbreaking as you know that there isn’t going to be a happy ending. I was really impressed with this book and I look forward to reading more from Ruta in the future.
This week’s topic is Gateway Books to Your Favorite Genre. I did a post about my all-time favourite fantasy books which you can see here. In this post, I thought I’d recommend some YA contemporaries. Contemporary is probably my second most read genre behind fantasy. If you want to check out the Goodreads group then the link is here.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell– This book follows Cath who moves to college with her twin sister. Cath is quite shy and prefers to stay in and write fanfiction whereas her sister Wren is more outgoing. I really enjoyed this book as I could relate to Cath so much. I also really liked the relationship between Cath and Levi as it built up slowly and was really sweet.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins– This trilogy is perfect if you are looking for light hearted cute romances. This is a companion series so each book follows a different character but characters from the other books appear as well. I really like that each book takes place in a different city.
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen– This book is a bit more serious as it deals with serious topics such as eating disorders and rape. I thought that these topics were handled really well. I liked that this book had a slow building relationship between the two main characters. I like that they bonded over their love of music.
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella– I love Sophie Kinsella’s books and I really enjoyed her first YA book. This book follows Audrey who is dealing with anxiety and I think Kinsella wrote about this really well. I liked that although this book dealt with a serious topic there were still some funny moments.
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon- This one is a recent favourite but I would still highly recommend it. This book is about Maddy who is allergic to everything and can’t leave her house. She’d accepted this as her life until she met Olly. I thought that this was such a cute story and the plot took a surprising twist.
Which books made it to your list?
This week’s topic is books that are on my fall TBR. As I am at uni I have a limited number of books with me so I am more likely to stick with a TBR as I don’t have as much choice as I would when I am at home.
The Crown by Kiera Cass- I really want to finish this series. I have really enjoyed the past books in this series and although I wasn’t as keen on The Heir I still want to see how the story gets wrapped up.
Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard- I have had this book since March and I really want to read it. This book deals with mental health and I really want to read more books that deal with this topic.
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas- I need read this book ASAP. I keep hearing so many good things about this book and how it is even better than the first book. I have managed to avoid spoilers but I know that this won’t last forever.
Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas- This is the same as the above. I am really excited to see where the story will go and I have heard very good things about this book.
Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys- I have really enjoyed the other two books that I have read by Ruta Sepetys and I am looking forward to reading this one. This is another WW2 book and I have heard nothing but good things about it.
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry- I read The Giver at the start of this year and I really want to read the other books in the series. This is the next one in the series and I am looking forward to diving back into this world.
I Heart London by Lindsey Kelk- I have read the other 4 books in this series and I really want to complete this series. This is the second to last book in the series and I am saving the last one (I Heart Christmas) for December.
Nerve by Jeanne Ryan- When I saw the film trailer I knew I really wanted to see it and when I heard that it was based on a book I knew that I had to read it before I saw it.
Ruthless by Sara Shepard-Last month I read a few books from this series and I really want to complete this series before the end of the year. There are 6 more main books in this series and two short story collections.I want to see how the author wraps everything up.
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson- I really wanted to read this during the summer but I didn’t get around to it so I have put it on my autumn TBR. I have heard so many good things about this book and I am really in the mood for a light contemporary.
Which books are on your autumn TBR?
This is a bind-up of two short stories set before the events of Red Queen. The two stories in this collection are Queen Song and Steel Scars.
This story follows Queen Coriane who is King Tiberias’ first wife. This follows her relationship with the King and the birth of their son Cal. Coriane is worried about the dangers of the court.
This story follows Farley as she starts out on rebellion operation. She begins by recruiting individuals and then she meets Mare who she realises is going to be key for the success of the operation.
Overall I didn’t think that either of these stories added anything to the series. I think that you could quite easily read this series without reading these stories. The bind up is quite short and a large portion of it is taken up with a preview for Glass Sword so I’d reccommend if you want to read this that you get it from the library. I preferred Queen Song as I gave it 4 stars whereas I only gave Steel Scars 2 stars. I thought that it was interesting to learn about Cal’s mother as she is breifely mentioned in the series but we know very little about her. This story is particularly heartbreaking as she had loads of dreams that she knew would never come true because of the family that she was born into. We also see how her paranoia drove her to sucide and this was particularly heartbreaking to read. I have never been a fan of Farley’s character so her story didn’t really interest me. I found her character to be really dull. This story is told through reports from the Scarlet Guard which I found really boring and confusing. I found myself skipping over the reports as they were not very interesting. I would suggest checking this book out if you are a fan of the series but I’d suggest borrowing a copy as it is a lot of money for a very short book.
Etta just wanted to be the best violin player that she could be but she discovers that she has the ability to time travel. She ends up traveling back in time and meeting Nicholas. A powerful family called the Ironwoods believe that Etta can find a lost object and Nicholas must help her to find it. Etta and Nicholas begin a journey through time following clues left by a previous traveler in order to find the object.
This book received a lot of hype at the start of the year and I was worried when I started it that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. When I first started I wasn’t sure whether I was going to enjoy it as it seemed really confusing. It was very slow to start with and it took me awhile to get into it. Once the pace started to pick up I found that it became less confusing and more enjoyable. I have not read anything else by Alexandra Bracken but I really liked her writing in this book. I loved her descriptions of all the places that Etta and Nicholas traveled to. I thought the descriptions were really beautiful and I could easily picture the places that were being described. I liked the characters but I wasn’t a huge fan of the relationship between Etta and Nicholas. I felt that the relationship was very insta love and I would have preferred to see a slow building relationship. I was shocked by the ending as it is left on such a cliffhanger. I can’t wait for the next book to be released and I can’t believe we have to wait until next year for it. I believe that this is going to be a duology which is really interesting and I am really looking forward to seeing how the story will be wrapped up.
Top 5 Books I Read In Spring
I found this list to be really hard to put together as I feel that I have become much harsher with my ratings and very few books get 5 stars which means that I end up with a lot of 4-star books so it was really difficult to narrow down which ones to include in this list.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak- I read quite a few WW2 books during the summer. After reading Salt to the Sea I really wanted to read more from the genre. The Book Thief is an extremely popular book and rightly so because it was such a good read. The narrator in this book is Death and I found this really interesting and unique. I think that this book is a really powerful and emotional read and I would highly recommend it.
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult- Another emotional read is My Sister’s Keeper. I thought that this was a really unique story about cancer. The ending really shocked me as it was not what I was expecting to happen at all.
The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen- This was a fantastic sequel and I would really recommend this trilogy if you love fantasy. We learned so much in this book and we saw a lot of character development. Reading this made me really excited for the last book.
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins- I don’t think that this list would be complete with a cute contemporary. I loved this series so much as the relationships were really sweet and I think this series is perfect for the summer time.
The Witch’s Kiss by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr- I really enjoyed the mix of fairy tales and witches in this book. I found myself hooked from the start and I couldn’t put it down. I am looking forward to see what will happen in the next book.
What was your favourite book that you read this summer?
Twylla is engaged to the Prince but everyone fears her as she is the castle’s executioner. She can kill people with a single touch and she is sent each week to kill those that have been accused of treason. A new guard shows up at the palace and he is able to look past Twylla’s ability and see her as a real person.
I found the start of this book to be a little slow going and confusing as the author was setting up the world. When I read this I noticed some similarities to other YA books. Particularly the evil queen which reminded me of Queen Levana from the Lunar Chronicles and the Queen in the Red Queen series. I found the concept of the Sin Eater really interesting. When someone dies the Sin Eater has to eat all of their sins and can’t stop until all the sins have been eaten. There was a lot of unexpected things that happened in this book that I really did not see coming at all. There was a particular betrayal that came as a huge shock to me. Overall despite the similarities to other books, I really enjoyed this book and I was really keen to read the next book in the series. I have since read the second book and I enjoyed it just as much as this one and I will be reviewing separately soon. I can’t wait for the next book to come out.
What did you think of this book?