Top 5 Wednesday - Favourite Character Tropes

Welcome back to Top 5 Wednesday! This week we are talking about popular books tropes that you actually enjoy reading. A book trope is a commonly occurring event, theme or story device that are found in books. If you have any favourites, check out the Top 5 Wednesday group here to join in. Let's jump into these shall we.

1) The Declaration of Love
I love, love and when I read about it I absolutely adore when there is a moment when someone spills their heart our to another person. I love these moments in books and in movie. My absolute favourite moment is in the movie When Harry Met Sally when Harry tells Sally that he loves her on New Years Eve. I have that whole scene memorized. I know it's a movie example but it is my all time favourite so I have to talk about it.

2) Best Friends Falling In Love 
If you didn't already notice from my first example I love, love so I love it when 2 people who have been friends forever fall in love and finally get together. Now, this one probably has a lot to do with the fact that my current boyfriend was one of my good friends before we started dating. I love when it  seems to take forever for the couple to get together. It just makes me so friggen' happy.

3) Trials or A Competition
I love when a character is chosen to participate in some sort of intense competition. This could be a competition to the death like the Arena at the Hunger Games or like the Tri-Wizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. If there is some sort of kick ass competition in a book, I will probably want to read it.

4) The Band of Misfits
I really appreciate characters that are unique and different from each other. I love it even more when they all become friends and work together to complete some kind of adventure. I love when a group of people seems so mismatched that it shouldn't work but it does. Usually, with some sort of hilarity ensuing. My favourite example of this is in The Princess Bride by William Goldman. The cast of characters are all unique that when their group is together it is perfection.

5) Royalty 
I love books that have royalty in them. I love the the dynamic that is created by having one family rule an entire kingdom. I especially love books that take place within the castle or within court. It is so interesting the gossip and drama that ensues. I especially love the historical fiction books that take place during real reigns of kings or queens. It's just all so interesting and I would grab a book like that any day.

Stacking The Shelves #01 - I Might Be Addicted to the Library

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by by Tynga's Reviews. It was created to showcase all the new books that have come into your possession which can include physicals books, arcs, ebooks, library books and any other book formate under the sun. Check out the launch page to join in!

It's my first week joining into Stacking the Shelves and I am excited because I really want to talk about all the books that I have borrowed from the library this last week. I recently joined my cities library and it has such an amazing selection. I am seriously addicted, I may never buy myself a book again (unlikely).

Library Books: 

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir 
When I saw this one come into my library's collection I jumped right into the holds line and I went and picked it up this week. I have already started reading it and I am enjoying it so far I think. It's a bigger book than I anticipated so it might take me a week or so to read but hopefully I thoroughly enjoy it. However, I am worried that it might be an over hyped book. We shall see but I do really like to read new releases.

Armada by Ernest Cline 
I was surprised I got this one so quickly! I jumped on the hold line as soon as my library ordered copies of this book. Ready Player One was my favourite book from last year so I had to pick up Cline's next novel. I don't know too much about this one but as long as it has a similar geeky charm I know it will be a good read.

Keep Sweet by Michele Dominguez Greene 
This book I picked up at the library because I am really interested in polygamy. Weird thing to say but I wanted to read something different than I have been reading. This has been on my TBR for a while so I was feeling that it was time to read it. It's super short so this shouldn't take me too long.

Hopefully, I can get through all these before there due dates. The first 2 are the most pressing so look out for my reviews soon! Time to get reading. 

Review: Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Published: 05/15/12
Series: The Royal Circle   {Companion Series}
Pages: 398 pages
Format: Library Hardback
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Indigo

Goodreads Summary: 

In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free--
and love comes at the highest price of all.

When Kitty Tylney's best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII's heart and brings Kitty to court, she's thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat's shadow, Kitty's now caught between two men--the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat's meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

My Thoughts:
I picked up this book because King Henry VIII is my guilty pleasure. I love him and his drama, I find it fascinating. So a few months ago I went on a trip to London and visited a bunch of the royal palaces; these included The Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace. After visiting I wanted to read something that took place there, during Henry's reign. I wanted to know the stories and secrets that those rooms held.
Me at Hampton Court Palace
Gilt fit that bill pretty well. It was told in the perspective of Kitty who was the best friend of Cat, or better known as Catherine Howard. If you know anything about Tudor history you know that Catherine was one of Henry's more "infamous" wives. This story was very guilty pleasure for me. It was easy to get wrapped up in the court lifestyle and gossip. I love all the affairs and flings that are going on and it keeps the story interesting.

However, the story isn't perfect. Cat can be very annoying and extremely self centred. Kitty was very dependant on Cat for everything which also bothered me. One thing I am starting to have a hard time with now is reading about the treatment of women during this era (and many other ones too). It's impossible to imagine how it would feel to be property to some old man twice my age. But this is common in so much of history and even in present day it makes me want to vomit.

Gilt, wasn't an amazing book but it was very interesting. If you are into the rise and fall of Catherine Howard then this book would be awesome to pick up. The characters aren't great but the life in court is so interesting I can't not like it. The one big thing is that I want to know more about Henry. I want to know how he feels and what he is thinking during all these major wife changes. He has a side to the story, and I want to know it so bad. But seriously, who couldn't love this face?
In Conclusion: Very interesting, however not the much "fun" book you will ever read. Definitely watch out for some beheading. I really liked knowing the story behind Catherine Howard, she's a very interesting one of Henry's wives. If you like Historical Fiction and the Tudors check this out.

Top 5 Wednesday: Character's That Deserve Their Own Series

It's my first ever Top 5 Wednesday post! Yippie! I have been wanting to join into this for a few weeks and decided to do it on my blog. If you want to join in, check out the Goodreads group here.

Number 5: Voldemort for Harry Potter
I would really like to read more about Tom Riddle and how he became the villain we all know and love. I feel like Voldemort's rise to power would make an amazing side story. Imagine the sequence of events that lead up to him making the horcruxes, that would be really cool.
Number 4: Dumbledore from Harry Potter
On the same note as Voldy, I think seeing a side story of Dumbldore's youth would be amazing. I want to know more about the relationship Dumbledore has with Grindelwald. I think Dumbledore had an incredibly interesting back story and getting to see how he became one of the greatest wizards of all time would be super cool.

Number 3: Lucien from A Court of Thorns and Roses 
Ever since this book came out everyone says that Lucien is their favourite character in this series and I tend to agree. He also has an interesting back story. I think a side story about him would give all kinds of new insight into the faerie world and how the magic nearly destroyed it.

Number 2: Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Ingio is my favourite character in any book ever. I am hopelessly in love with him and would really love to see a whole novel just dedicated to his character. He would have an awesome training segment when he becomes and amazing swordsman. It would also give some more story to Vizzini, who is also a hilarious villain. So how do I get someone to write me this story?

Number 1: King Henry VIII from Gilt by Katherine Longshore
I am hopelessly in love with King Henry. I think it has a lot to do with the series The Tudors. Jonathan Rhys Myers was a very sexy Henry. I would love to read a story about what happened to each of his wives from his own perspective. He is such an interesting person, especially when his outlook on life changed after his jousting accident. I bet there is a book out there like that, I just need to find it. 

Bonus points if that book has lots of sexy time. ;) 

Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Published: 01/03/2013 by Corgi Children's
Pages: 315 pages
Format: Library e-book
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Indigo

Goodreads Summary 
You can't blend in when you were born to stand out.

My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August Pullman wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things. He eats ice cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside. But Auggie is far from ordinary. Ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids don't get stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, he's being sent to a real school - and he's dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted - but can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, underneath it all? Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches forever, Wonder is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

My Thoughts
I cried, and everything is beautiful. This book made me so much happier in with this world. I fell in love with August, he is an amazing human. Everything about this book was really amazing and I can see this book being taught to middle grade children. This book is even great for adults to read because even we need reminders on how not to judge someone based on their appearance.
I really enjoyed how you got to read from multiple different perspectives in this book. It was very interesting to see what other people thought of August and how their opinions change once they get to known him. However, August was still my favourite prospective to read from. He is just a regular kid even if he has a facial deformity.

I hated when people treated him poorly but all my faith was restored in humanity at the end. I definitely cried during this book. I cried from sadness and cried from happiness. You definitely felt the range of emotions and it was awesome.
Conclusions: Wonder is amazing and might be a new favourite of mine (I don't give out that honour lightly). It's incredibly heart warming and I think everyone should read this at least one time. It has an amazing message which is important for everyone to hear. All of the thumbs up.

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Romance
Published: 05/12/15 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn
Pages: 388
Format: Library Hardback
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Amazon | Goodreads | Indigo

Goodreads Summary
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

This book seriously makes me want to watch Aladdin again. 

The Wrath and the Dawn is a fun, exotic, and interesting retelling of 1001 Nights. Even though I don't really even know the original... oppies. Ever since starting this book I have had the song "Arabian Nights" from Aladdin stuck in my head. I did really enjoy this book. My biggest problem with it was that I found the beginning quite slow. I wasn't invested in the story or the characters until after the first 1/4 of the book. However, I did eventually buy into the story and thoroughly enjoyed it. 
I am a sucker for romance, I accept that as a fact in my life and don't deny myself cheesy romance. I really enjoyed Shazi and Khalid together, it might not be the easiest romance to buy into but I really enjoyed them. They definitely have chemistry, and you can really tell from the way the author described them together. However, I am going to be super annoyed if there is a love triangle going on in the next book. Shazi and Tariq have history but she knows she loves Khalid and doesn't feel any connection to Tariq anymore. 
Shazi is also a strong female character which is really good to see. She doesn't have to become strong, she just is from page one. I liked seeing her be brave at every turn because becoming Khalid's bride was incredibly brave. I also like how she doesn't want to be Khalid's possession, I am like that in my relationships too so I loved seeing that. Khalid is your fairly typical distant romantic interest. You know he is keeping a secret and most of the book which you are craving to find out what that is. I did like this plot point, I kind of guessed it early on but I still enjoyed it. You really learn why he is the way he is and you definitely feel for him.

One thing that I really loved in this book was the description of the food they were eating. OMG, it made me starving. I have been craving flat bread dipped in oil for days now. If Renee Ahdieh gives up on fiction, she could make a killing as a food blogger. 

Conclusion: The Wrath and the Dawn was pretty awesome. I can see why so many people enjoy it. If you love romance with substance this is for you. I can really see this book taking some interesting turns in the next instalment. I would definitely recommend this book, 2 thumbs up! 

Combo Review: Destroy Me & Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Published: 02/10/12 & 17/12/13 by Harper
Series: Shatter Me (novellas)
Format: Library e-books
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

These are the 2 novellas in the Shatter Me series. Destroy Me is Warners point of view after Shatter Me and Fracture Me is Adams point of view after Unravel Me.

I didn't enjoy either of these novellas, but that was to be expected. I don't like either of these characters they are both very obsessive of Juliette. I only read them because I heard that they were "mandatory" reading for the series and you get a new perspective for their characters. So I borrowed the ebooks from the library and read them. What bothers me the most in these books is that both of these characters are not good for Juliette. I'd much prefer to see her happy and alone than with either of these too brats. Warner obsesses over Juliette like she is a possession he must have. He at least knows that she is strong and powerful. Adam on the other hand sees Juliette as a fragile child that needs protection. Clearly, she is much more powerful and a stronger person than he is. He should know this by now and treat her with more respect; but nope. Adam thinks of her as a female stereotype that he needs to protect. Adam, news flash, women are just as strong as men. Especially women that that spend years in an asylum and who's touch can kill.
I did get some light into Warners character but you really can figure that out on your own by the end of Unravel Me anyway. If you are not a superfan of this series, these novellas are just annoying. Especially, if you don't like the characters. I makes me sad because I know this series is just going to end like this: 

Review: Trial By Fire - Josephine Angelini

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published: 09/02/14 by Feiwel & Friends
Series: The Worldwalker Trilogy
Pages: 374
Format: Library Hardback
Rating: 3.25 out of 5 Stars
Amazon | Goodreads | Indigo

Goodreads Summary 
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear. Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily's other self in this alternate universe.
What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

My Thoughts
Look at me, finally finishing a book! 

Trial by Fire took me forever to read. Not because it was bad but just because it did. Happens to the best of us. I enjoyed the ride that this novel took me on. It was very different from most of what I had read and it has witches. Very powerful witches. 
There were things that I really enjoyed about Trial by Fire and there were things that I didn't enjoy. I found that the narration of the story was confusing at times. It is told in Third Person but sometimes I feel like it switched to First Person and I got confused. Mostly it was third person which was refreshing at times. I enjoyed seeing multiple views without hearing everyone in first person. 

Now onto the plot, which for the most part I did enjoy. It follows Lily, who ends up being brought into an alternate version of Salem. My biggest problem while reading was that I didn't completely understand WHY she was brought into this world. I feel like there wasn't a solid reason, or if there was one I missed it. 

The romance however was awesome. It was exactly what was needed and worked well with the story. You can understand the motives of both the characters. In addition, there is some bromance that adds to the storyline. I enjoyed the side characters and all the magical elements. Very interesting.
I am a bit unsure of the science element in this novel. On one hand I absolutely loved it, I have my Bachelor's of Science and really enjoyed the use of the laws of thermodynamics in this novel. However, the villain was a crusade to eliminate science. Which I don't know if I liked. I love science and I makes me worried when fiction creates misconceptions about some of our greatest developments. I hope people know this a fictional world and before you draw conclusions please research the science in our world. 

Conclusions: Grips aside this was a very interesting novel and I am very interested to see where the series goes.  I found the magic system unique and I am attached to some of the characters. The second book in this series comes out in September and I will definitely be picking it up.