Monthly Archives: Oct 2016

September Wrap-Up 2016


*Image not mine

At 22 books, I had an absolutely fantastic reading month this September! (A fact which I blame almost entirely on my ridiculously high levels of procrastination)


The Books

All titles link to Goodreads

A Monster Calls

By Patrick Ness


4 Stars

An absolutely fantastic and extremely emotional read. A Monster Calls has a unique and powerful take on grief that definitely pulled on my heartstrings.

Dark middle grade, I recommend going into it knowing little or nothing at all.


Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)

By Sarah J. Maas


5 Stars

I have been reading this series since only the first one was out and I can safely say that Throne of Glass will always be one of my favourite series, and Sarah one of my favourite authors. This was a re-read for me.

This series, with it’s magic, banter, wit, humour, fae, fantastic characters, sass, character developments and overall story arcs fills my little heart with joy (and addiction). Throne of Glass is one of those books that checks all the right boxes for me, and I am so excited (and scared) to see what’s in store for the finale.

I also got the chance to meet Sarah last year, and she is such a lovely person.


Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)

By Sarah J. Maas


5 Stars


Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness #1)

By Tamora Pierce


5 Stars

A time-old favourite, the world of Tortall will always be one I will read and re-read.

Criminally under-hyped, this book, series, and accompanying world is a fast, fantastic read full of magic, phenomenal characters, knights and fun times. Likely my third re-read by now (I’ve lost track) it is such a phenomenal story and easy to fly through in one sitting.


In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness #2)

By Tamora Pierce


5 Stars


The Woman Who Rides Like A Man (Song of the Lioness #3)

By Tamora Pierce


5 Stars


Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness #4)

By Tamora Pierce


5 Stars


Wild Magic (Immortals #1)

By Tamora Pierce


5 Stars

A sequel series to Song of the Lioness, Immortals stars different characters, but said characters do interact with the crew from Song of the Lioness, which means there are minor spoilers for those starting out with Wild Magic (as I did).

A favourite of many years, this is probably about my fifth re-read of this quartet. Immortals is my favourite series by Tamora and is a quick, fun read with magic, animals, fantasy, dragons, strong female characters and sass.


Wolf-Speaker (Immortals #2)

By Tamora Pierce


5 Stars


Emperor Mage (Immortals #3)

By Tamora Pierce


5 Stars


In the Realms of the Gods (Immortals #4)

By Tamora Pierce


5 Stars


Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)

By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff


5 Stars

Another re-read for me, Illuminae was just a fantastic the second time round. With unique formatting, great characters, lots of sass, a slightly evil brilliant AI, spaceships, and a deadly disease that basically turns people into zombies, Illuminae appeals to a broad audience and is definitely worth the read.

Not only is this proudly #LoveOZYA, but I have met both Amie and Jay and they are lovely. I also stalk follow their twitter accounts, and they are often hilarious.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1)

By Ransom Riggs


3.75 Stars

A solid read, though I wouldn’t say it was particularly creepy or overwhelmingly fantastic. I liked it well enough and will continue with the series, but it certainly does not live up to the hype.

Piece of advice to those thinking of reading: LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS. Don’t expect it to blow your mind, but enjoy it for what it is. And if you end up loving it? Power to you.

Also, I will say that the romance was kind of creepy because reasons.


Splintered (Splintered #1)

By A. G. Howard


5 Stars

First of all, let me just say that I LOVE THIS SERIES.

Taking only a single sitting, Splintered totally captivated me. The characters, the world, the plot twists… It was all just completely fantastic, whimsical, empowering and generally amazing.

Can everyone take a moment to appreciate the gorgeousness of this book? The stunning cover, the PURPLE print, the pretty headers, the floppiness… The aesthetics are completely on point here.

This is also one of the love triangles that I actually like – and am still not sure which team I’m on… (Though I’m leaning towards Morpheus to be honest)

An overall fantastic, fun, exciting read, if you feel like Splintered might be your thing, I 100% suggest going for it. This is also a great series to marathon (I certainly did!)

Just a quick side note, I’ve interacted with Anita over Twitter and she is so lovely! (I know I keep saying that these authors are lovely but it’s true).


The Moth in the Mirror (Splintered #1.5)

By A. G. Howard


3 Stars

An okay read, The Moth in the Mirror didn’t really add anything to the story for me. As it is mainly told from Jeb’s point of view (as these are his memories) I have discovered that I’m not really a fan of his voice. I did, however, end up loving Morpheus more than ever.


Unhinged (Splintered #2)

By A. G. Howard


5 Stars


Ensnared (Splintered #3)

By A. G. Howard


5 Stars

As previously stated, I am a huge fan of this series and I really loved how it concluded. Everything about this book was fantastic and I love it to pieces (especially the end).


The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)

By Maggie Stiefvater


5 Stars

This is one of the series that had bee sitting unread on my shelf for a year, and my TBR before that – despite the fact that I was sure I would love it (spoiler alert: I did). Thanks to the shrieking recommendation from Cait at Paper Fury and Sam on Twitter, I finally picked it up – my only regrets being that I didn’t read it sooner.

Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate just how gorgeous the hardcovers are? I am in love.


The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2)

By Maggie Stiefvater


5 Stars


Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)

By Maggie Stiefvater


5 Stars


The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4)

By Maggie Stiefvater


5 Stars

I love this series so much. The writing, the characters, the ships, the plot, the mythology… but mostly the characters.

Rich and beautiful, relatable and heartwarming, these characters are my children and I love them so. They are so ALIVE and precious and I can vividly picture them as if they were alive and lived here, in our world. They are so developed, so real. Their fears, loves, losses, growth, hopes, dreams… Everything.

The characters make the book, it is their story just waiting to be written. Needing to be written, shared. They are the most dynamic and real characters I have ever read and I love them, and I love how they love each other – the overarching rightness of it all.

There is no doubt: this book, this series, is cyclical, and it is made all the more beautiful due to the nature of this book – how it plays with time.

It is about hope, growth and making your own path but knowing some things are meant to be. 100% recommend.


Graceling (Graceling Realm #1)

By Kristin Cashore


4.5 Stars

I technically finished this one on October first, but it was 4 in the morning, so I’m counting it.

Graceling was a lot of fun and a solid read. An easy story to read in one sitting, it has strong characters, a great romance, character development, a fast-moving plot and is technically a stand alone.

I’m interested in seeing what the other instalments are like as they focus on different characters, but I’m mostly interested in Bitterblue as the protagonist is introduced in Graceling and I really liked her.


Blog Posts


Other Notable Points

  • At last, I’m back from my (practically year-long) hiatus. I have lots of exciting ideas and am aiming to post weekly(ish) from now on.
  • I finally got to reading a lot of books I’d been anticipating for quite some time but had been putting off (see previous point about procrastination) and absolutely loved them.
  • I met a number of bookish friends from Twitter in real life for the first time at Dymocks’ Our Chemical Hearts book launch.
  • I reached 200 followers here on Live. Laugh. Read. so thank you all for that! It means the world to me 🙂


Let’s Discuss!

What books did you read this September? What was your favourite? Which was the most problematic? Are you reading anything at the moment?

Have you read any of the books I listed? If so, what were your thoughts?

Please leave a comment so that we can discuss!


Omari and the People


Author: Stephen Whitfield

Narrator: Curt Simmons

3.5 Stars



Audible | Book Depository

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In a squalid ancient city on the edge of a desert (based in part on the African Sahara’s Empty Quarter) a weary, thrill-seeking thief named Omari sets his home afire to start anew and to cover his many crimes. When the entire city is unintentionally destroyed by the flames, the cornered thief tells the displaced people a lie about a better place which only he can lead them to, across the desert. With the help of an aged, mysterious woman who knows a better place actually does exist, they set out. The desperate people must come together to fight their way through bandits, storms, epidemics, and more. As a result of Omari’s involvement with Saba, a fiercely independent woman who is out to break him in the pay of a merchant whom he has offended, his ability  to lead – his very life – is jeopardized.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Note: I received this book from Jess at Audiobook Promotions in exchange for an honest review as a part of this tour. The tour is being sponsored by Stephen Whitfield and Curt Simmons. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Although not a story I would usually reach for, Omari and the People was a solid read.

First of all, the narration in this book was fantastic. Curt’s slight accent kept me captivated and coming back for more. With a relatively slow plot and overall story arc, that was important for me. It also serves to further highlight that this was not, indeed, a european setting. I’m not great with accents, but I believe his was possibly arabic.

Omari and the People is largely character driven, rather than plot heavy. The characters, while slightly hard to keep track of due to similar sounding names on audio, were interesting and developed throughout the story. Umal, an older lady, was my favourite character as she was the most intriguing – shrouded in mystery, constantly surprising everyone, incredibly wise, and perhaps even possessing paranormal abilities, Umal was always one to look forward to. Sofia, mother of two young sons, and Umbaric, former captain of the city guard, were also quite interesting.

On a quick side note, shout out to Dab of Darkness for including character names in her review, for otherwise I would have no idea what any of them were (save Omari and perhaps Saba).

The setting, according to Stephen, is loosely based off Africa, but to me – perhaps because of the accent Curt assumes – it appears to be more Middle Eastern, the characters Arabic. However, due to the nature of the descriptions, the desert could really be anywhere. The whole “exodus across the desert” is reminiscent of the story of Moses, but there are no real religious mentions – with the exception of a few characters having possibly supernatural gifts. So, again, the story is one that encourages readers to build the overall world and time for themselves.

A character-driven exodus of a people lead by hope and just looking to survive, this story does have some elements of romance but it is more a side element than anything. I recommend giving Omari and the People a read (or listen, as I would suggest) if you’re looking for something slightly different but enjoyable none the less.