Top 3 Historical YA of 2014

I’ve decided that over the remainder of December, I’m going to talk about my top 3 favourite books I have read this year in 5 different genres (historical, paranormal, contemporary, fantasy and sci-fi/dystopia).

So here are my top 3 historical reads of 2014!!

In no particular order…

 1. Masquerade by Kylie Fornasier

Masquerade

Goodreads synopsis:

It’s the Carnevale of 1750 and Venice’s ballrooms, theatres, palazzos and squares are filled with delicious gossip, devilish fun and dangerous games. In this glittering masked world, everyone has a secret…

Set in an age of decadence made famous by Casanova, Masquerade uncovers the secrets of seven teens, from the highest aristocrat to the lowest servant – their dreams, desires, loves, loyalties … and betrayals.

All the world’s a stage. Let the show begin.

My review

Goodreads

 2. Venom by Fiona Paul

Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1)

Goodreads synopsis:

Beauty, romance, murder… A novel as stunning and seductive as Renaissance Venice itself.

Cassandra Caravello is part of Venice′s wealthy elite. Her world is one of fabulous gowns, society parties and privilege, yet she longs for something more. While her fiancé is away studying in Paris, she has a chance meeting with an artist called Falco. He is attractive, audacious…and highly unsuitable.

When Cass stumbles upon the body of a murdered woman – with a bloody X carved across her heart – she′s drawn into a dangerous world of secret societies, courtesans and killers. Falco is quick to offer his assistance, but then another body is found and Cass starts receiving death threats… Is Falco more involved than she imagined? And will she be able to stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for someone she′s not even sure she can trust?

Goodreads

 3. A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier

A Death-Struck Year

Goodreads synopsis:

A deadly pandemic, a budding romance, and the heartache of loss make for a stunning coming-of-age teen debut about the struggle to survive during the 1918 flu.

For Cleo Berry, the people dying of the Spanish Influenza in cities like New York and Philadelphia may as well be in another country–that’s how far away they feel from the safety of Portland, Oregon. And then cases start being reported in the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode–and into a panic. Headstrong and foolish, seventeen-year-old Cleo is determined to ride out the pandemic in the comfort of her own home, rather than in her quarantined boarding school dorms. But when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she can’t ignore the call. As Cleo struggles to navigate the world around her, she is surprised by how much she finds herself caring about near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student and war vet. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies begin to pile up, Cleo can’t help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?

Riveting and well-researched, A Death-Struck Year is based on the real-life pandemic considered the most devastating in recorded world history. Readers will be captured by the suspenseful storytelling and the lingering questions of: what would I do for a neighbor? At what risk to myself?
An afterword explains the Spanish flu phenomenon, placing it within the historical context of the early 20th century. Source notes are extensive and interesting.

My review

Goodreads

Best YA Travel Books

So, are you lucky enough to be going on a holiday or trip of sorts sometime soon?

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 (image credits – plane: courtesy of arztsamui, book: courtesy of khunaspix @ Free Digital Photos)

In a few months I am, and yes, I’m already choosing what books I’m going to take.

So what is the ideal plane book? Or at least my ideal plane book?

My criteria is:
– interesting. On a long flight, I want to be entertained.
– about average in length. Nothing crazy long, unless there is a book you really want to finish in the epic size range. But nothing short, or you’ll finish it before the flight is over! Plus if you’re like me and keep track of the page number, you don’t want anything that takes forever to get through because it makes the flight seem longer.
– reasonably well paced.
– If it’s a physical copy, paperback. Hardbacks are heavier.
– something I have been looking forward to.

So based on the above criteria and books I have read on/off planes and trains, here are my YA recommendations for long trips! My top five per genre.

Fluffy reads:

  • Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan MatsonAmy and Roger's Epic Detour

Fantastic for a road trip. And for those of us out there who love a great travel romance story.

  • Geek Girl by Holly SmaleGeek Girl (Geek Girl, #1)

This is my favourite book in this genre ever. That’s not true, I adore the second book even more, actually. I love this. It’s quirky, funny, captures my essence perfectly and you can annoy people sitting next to you with the random facts dotted through out.

  • Flirting in Italian by Lauren HendersonFlirting in Italian (Flirting in Italian #1)

Does this really need explaining? It’s cute, travel and romance all in one book.

  • Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend by Katie FinnBroken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend (Broken Hearts & Revenge, #1)

It’s sooooooo good. Especially if you’re going somewhere sunny. I can NOT wait for the sequel.

For dystopian book lovers:

  • The Selection by Kiera CassThe Selection (The Selection, #1)

This one is great for if your main focus is entertainment. It’s like watching The Bachelor but with a small side of dystopia. It’s not exactly a literary masterpiece, but definitely entertaining and addictive. I will probably bring this one myself.

  • Wither by Lauren DeStefanoWither (The Chemical Garden, #1)

Same deal as with The Selection. Entertaing, but not a literary masterpiece. Seriously, I am so addicted to both of these. They kind of remind me of eachother.

  • The Maze Runner by James DashnerThe Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)

I know that these are all obvious choices, but there’s a reason for that. I actually preferred the Scorch Trials (the second book) but both make for great plane reads because it’s such a unique world and there are so many questions you want to know the answer to. And there are twists.

Contemporary:

  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow RowellEleanor and Park

This is my top contemporary book at the moment. I read it when I was on holiday and loved it. Just use the holiday as an excuse to read it. And for some reason it’s really engrossing.

  • Notable by Marni BatesNotable (Smith High, #3)

Another really addictive book about travel. Plus the main character is a little different from average. The mean girl goes to Cambodia.

Paranormal:

  • The Summoning by Kelley ArmstrongThe Summoning (Darkest Powers, #1)

It really is great. Honest.

  • Nevermore by Kelly CreaghNevermore (Nevermore, #1)

One of the thicker ones on here. And another one I read on holiday. Bonus points if you’re a fan of Edgar Allan Poe.

  • The Goddess Test by Aimee CarterThe Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1)

Very addictive. I read this series earlier this year and adored it. It’s especially great if you want a series to fly through (see what I did there?).

Sci-fi:

  • Across the Universe by Beth RevisAcross the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

My favourite ever sci-fi book! There’s mystery, space and a great story set in the future. Definitely recommend.

Fantasy:

  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J MaasThrone of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

This one is for those of us who want a little assassin and adventure set in a kingdom. Don’t be afraid to admit it. I took this on holiday and have the sequel ready for this coming holiday.

  • The False Prince by Jennifer A. NielsenThe False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)

I personally recommend the audiobook. It’s kind of like Throne of Glass in the kingdom sense, but there is the competition for the crown as well. LOVE.

Historical:

  • Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversGrave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)

You could wear my outfit inspired by this. You would be the best looking person on the plane/train/bus/boat. You could also read the book. Rephrase: you SHOULD also read the book.

  • The Luxe by Anna GodbersenThe Luxe (Luxe, #1)

It’s Gossip Girl in the 1920’s. Each book in the series gets a lot better.

  • The Falconer by Elizabeth MayThe Falconer (The Falconer, #1)

Another assassin/hunter book. But this time in Scotland in the 1800’s with faeries.

Humour:

  • The Hunger Pain by The Harvard LampoonThe Hunger Pains: A Parody

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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Anyway, I hope this list helps you when you are picking your next book to take on holiday!

Grave Mercy Inspired Outfit

Trendy Thursday 15#

The Rules:

  • You can make an outfit that can be worn in real life inspired by an character in a book you have recently read and reviewed. If not, you can just make an outift for any book.
  • Design an outfit you think they would wear.
  • Leave a comment down below with the link to your blog.
  • Post the Trendy Thursdays sticker on your blog (or make your own) with a link to my blog (Bookcomet).
  • Try to post something for each catergory.
  • Have fun!

This week’s book is…

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)

Goodreads synopsis –

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

—-

The dress:

The hairstyle:

The makeup:

Nails:

The shoes:

 

 

 

 

*Please note that these images were taken from Google Images, except the book cover (Goodreads) and the Trendy Thursdays sticker (me).

Review: Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park

Publication date: April 12th 2012

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Number of pages: 320

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Borrowed, although I wish I’d purchased. This is my honest opinion.

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 Goodreads synopsis:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

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 Review:

The hype, the hype, the cover, the hype. If you follow many blogs or watch BookTube, you will have seen this book. Probably a minimum of ten times. And no doubt you will have seen Rainbow Rowell’s other book, Fangirl, just as many times.

Honestly, I was a little skeptical. I requested Eleanor and Park because I wanted to know what I was missing out on. Quite a bit apparently. I hadn’t read the blurb prior to requesting and when I eventually read it, I was just kind of like “oh.” To me it really didn’t sound exciting.

To be fair to my early impressions, going by the blurb, there wasn’t really that much of a plot. But that’s the weird thing. I was more engrossed in this book than I have been with many others. Sure, like 90% of it was just interaction between Eleanor and Park but it was really, really enjoyable.

The writing in Eleanor and Park was so, so unique. It kind of had this quirky, sarcastic tone and just all these other little things that really brought the book together.

Then you had Eleanor and Park. So different, yet so right. Never in my life can I recall coming across a character like Eleanor. She was mean, rude, sarcastic, frustrating, likeable, lovable, quirky and unique. All at once.

I couldn’t get this book out of my head when I was and wasn’t reading it. I couldn’t wait to keep reading. In fact, the ending got so good that I didn’t even realise I was nearly finished. I didn’t really want it to end.

Not to mention the setting and time era. So cool.

I absolutely loved this book and will probably be forcing it upon people to read it. Then I will grab a copy of one of her next books.

 5/5 comets!
Bye, bye Earth! out of this world.

Add to Goodreads

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 Goodreads author bio:

Rainbow RowellRainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.

She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.