Update & Giveaway of Red Rising [INT]

Hey everyone, I hope you're all keeping well! I'm slowly feeling like I'm becoming human again; still not 100%, but at least I'm back reading (at a snail's pace, but I'm enjoying it which is the main thing) and thinking of future reviews. I'm making my way through The Walled City at the moment and I hope to review it and get back to blogging soon. I miss the blog and talking with you guys!

Anywho, even though I'm not active in the blogosphere, I've been scrolling through Instagram every day to see what everyone is reading and what they've hauled - which is why I've decided to host a giveaway on there. 
Thanks to the kindness of a fellow reader, Red Helldiver, I have a copy of Red Rising by Pierce Brown to give away. I thoroughly enjoyed Red Rising (I still need to finish off my review! SOON.) so I'm super excited to share the awesomeness with one of you.

If you'd like to enter the giveaway, you can do so here or find me through the Instagram app at @booksunderblankets :)


Personal | Taking a Break

Hey everyone. Sorry for the lack of posts I had planned for last week. Unfortunately, I suffer from poor health at the best of times, but this past week has been much worse than usual; I just can't get my brain into gear to put together any sort of coherent post, or find the time and energy to enjoy reading while feeling this unwell.
The last thing I want to do is put up half-assed posts just for the sake of posting, so I'll be taking a break until I get back on form.
Hope you're all keeping well 

"Waiting On" Wednesday | A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick of the week is:

Bloomsbury Children's
May 5, 2015

From Goodreads:

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. 

 As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

I've been excited about this book even before I knew anything at all about it. Sarah J. Maas is one of my favourite authors; whatever she publishes, no matter the genre - I'm sold. When I found out A Court of Thorns and Roses was a unique twist on Beauty and the Beast but with fae, I was even more sold. I cant wait to get my hands on it!

What releases are you excited for?

The Avenged Sevenfold Book Tag

a7x book tag 3
Inspired by the Taylor Swift book tag, originally posted by The Book Life

The Songs

• Nightmare - your favourite horror book
• A Little Piece of Heaven – a book you have a love/hate relationship with
• Not Ready to Die– a series you don’t want to end
• Burn it Down – a book you hated that everyone else loved
• Hail to the King – your favourite author
• The Wicked End – a book with a killer cliffhanger
• Seize the Day – a book that made you thankful for your life
• Until the End – your favourite BFFs
• Danger Line – a book with a lot of action
• City of Evil – your favourite dystopian
• Shattered by Broken Dreams – a book that crushed your soul
• Darkness Surrounding – a book with a dark MC or antihero

My Picks

Your favourite horror book

This is one of the first books that really got me interested in sci-fi novels with horror thrown in. It's creepy. Some of the scenes literally had me with palpitations, and tears in my eyes.

A Little Piece of Heaven
A book you have a love/hate 
relationship with

I love the idea of this book; I love the plot, I love the setting, I love the Indian mythology. Aesthetically speaking, I also love the covers of every single book in the series. However, I absolutely hated the finished product of Tiger's Curse. 

Not Ready to Die
A series you don't want 
to end

The Raven Cycle is, without a doubt, my favourite YA Paranormal series. Now that we have the title and release date for The Raven Cycle IV, The Raven King, the end feels so near AND I AM NOT PREPARED.

Burn it Down
A book you hated that 
everyone else loved

Everyone I've seen mention this has loved it. I, on the other hand, thoroughly did not. I love Epic Fantasy -it's probably my all-time favourite genre- but even though it has potential, Falling Kingdoms just felt like a waste of what could've been a good story. To me, it felt too childish and predictable.

Hail to the King
Your favourite author

George R.R. Martin has ruined my life on more than one reading-occasion. I pretty much binge read the first five books over the space of two months; I just couldn't stop. I'd never read anything on such an epic scale before. Even though I felt personally tormented by most of the character deaths, the life-ruiner himself fast became my favourite author.

The Wicked End
A book with a killer 

I don't know if you could call the way this ended a "cliffhanger" but, honestly, I was so distraught. I read this in December of 2013 and then, even though the final book was already out, I had to wait until January of this year for it to be translated into English. That was definitely one of the most painful waits for a book.

Seize the Day
A book that made you
thankful for your life

While I don't remember every detail of this book -like the whys and hows- I do remember feeling extremely moved by it. It's one of the few books that got me crying, and just feeling glad that I have what I have. I definitely need to reread this.

Until the End
Your favourite BFFs

The friendship between Karou and Zuzana just, simply, warms my heart. I love their understanding of each-other and how they always have each-other's backs. I want a friendship like this.

Danger Line
A book with a lot of

I read this last month and, to me, it was the perfect book. There's a lot of action but it's really well done.

City of Evil
Your favourite dystopian

Partials has been my favourite post-apocalyptic dystopian since I first read it. I love the world and I love the characters. It's awesome.

Shattered by Broken Dreams
A book that crushed
your soul

I don't care if this is a cliche answer to give because, seriously, this book hurt me like no other. I've never sobbed as much reading a book as I did with TFIOS; I was a mess.

Darkness Surrounding
A book with a dark MC
or antihero

I don't even know what to say about this book other than : If you haven't read it already, go do so. It's wonderful and dark, and messed up.

Sunday Post #3

The Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap this past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

It's been another relatively quiet week for me. I can't even remember what went on at the start of the week; clearly nothing exciting, then!
I spent Friday and Saturday up in Dublin with my friend who came down to visit and that was great as we don't see each other very often. Not only that, there was a lot of shopping involved - MANY BOOKS! I wasn't able to find The Darkest Part of the Forest or Fairest so they must not be released here yet :( I did end up getting a few other books I'm really excited about, though, so it was a nice end to the week!
Next week, I'm back off to Dublin again for two concerts, so there's good times to look forward to!
I hope you're all keeping well :3

Last Week On The Blog

Next Week On The Blog

 The Avenged Sevenfold Book Tag

 Top Ten Tuesday | Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike When It Comes To Romances In Books

 Waiting On Wednesday

 Review | Red Rising - Pierce Brown

 Feature + Follow Friday

 Stacking The Shelves

Instagram Highlights

Stacking the Shelves [4]

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks.
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by  Tynga's Reviews.


Young Adult
Golden Son - Pierce Brown
Looking for Alaska - John Green
Lament - Maggie Stiefvater
172 Hours on the Moon - Johan Harstad
We Were Liars - E. Lockhart

Legion and The Emperor's Soul - Brandon Sanderson

Graphic Novels
Seconds - Bryan Lee O'Malley

Received for Review
In Search of Lost Dragons - Élian Black'mor

Mug Cakes - Lene Knudsen

I managed to accumulate all but one of these since yesterday - I'm lethal when I go book shopping in Dublin :| I have read a couple of these already as eBooks, but seeing as 172 Hours on the Moon was on sale at €1.99 (how even?!) and We Were Liars was a cheap secondhand copy, I couldn't resist.
I'd also been looking for that 10th Anniversary copy of Looking for Alaska since I first saw it online and was very nearly giving up on ever finding it locally, but today I found it; I couldn't believe it! It's gorgeous and I'm so glad I finally got my hands on it.

What did you get this week?

Feature & Follow Friday #2

Review | All the Bright Places - Jennifer Niven

Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: January 8, 2015
Page count: 400
Genre: Contemporary 
Age bracket: Young Adult
Source: Purchased Paperback

The story of a girl who
learns to live from
a boy who wants to die.

From Goodreads:
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
 Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's recent death.
 When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it's unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the 'natural wonders' of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It's only with Violet that Finch can be himself - a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink.
~ • ~

Set in the town of Bartlett, Indiana, All the Bright Places follows Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, two highschool students who form an unlikely friendship in the unlikeliest of places.
Finch is an outcast and deemed a "freak"; he has a morbid fascination with death and thinking up all the possible ways in which he could end his own life. Violet is a California girl who feels trapped in this small Indiana town. Before, Violet was a cheerleader, a writer, and an all-round popular girl. But now, after her sister's death, Violet has strayed away from her friends and hobbies, and counts down the days until graduation, when she can finally attend university as far away as she wishes and leave all the bad memories associated with Bartlett behind. When Finch and Violet meet one morning on the school's bell tower, both contemplating jumping and ending it all, it's uncertain who actually saves who.

Paired up for a geography assignment, the two wander Indiana together, visiting the state's highlights and landmarks, and, over time, Theodore discovers what it's like to have a true, close friend, and Violet learns to live again.

Unfortunately, All the Bright Places didn't live up to my expectations. I wouldn't say my expectations were extremely high, however, but I just felt there was something lacking; for me, it was missing a spark. There is just so much hype surrounding this book but I myself just couldn't get a grasp on why other people are loving it so much.
All the Bright Places is being labeled as a mix of The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor & Park which, in my opinion, leaves this book with very big boots to fill. I didn't make comparisons to those two books while reading but now, looking back on it, I don't think there's too much in common other than quirky outcast teens fighting to keep their relationship alive. However, when I think of those two books, I think of a story that brings on all of the feelings and, as was my experience with TFioS, tears you apart completely. Strangely enough, I didn't feel an onslaught of any emotions while reading All the Bright Places; it's a story that should provoke emotions but, to me, it just felt bland. If I were to compare, I'd say it's more along the lines of Let's Get Lost and Looking for Alaska. I feel this didn't particularly offer anything groundbreaking or new other than its more severe take on mental illness - which, honestly, I don't think it handles in the best of ways.

All the Bright Places centres around the very serious subject matters of suicide and depression which, most of the way through the book, seem to be painted as a light and cute picture instead of what they really are. In this book, it's like suicidal thoughts are something "quirky" to have.
I really don't think this is the best of books for young, impressionable teenagers. 
I can't recall at any point thinking "this is going to be helpful to someone who's feeling down and needs a boost - a reminder that everything can turn out okay" or "this is so enlightening". To me, it really came across as pushing the message that you're better off hiding your problems, that adults are not going to take your issues seriously, and that seeking professional, medical help is a waste of time. Basically, you're eff-ing doomed if you're in Niven's book.
As the story progresses, when the light and cute comes to an end, you finally see the tragic downward spiral into mental illness in full-force. I found this part of the story true to life - that everything is peachy and then suddenly it's not, but I just wish that Finch's issues could've been written more seriously in the first three-quarters of the book rather than as quirky personality traits that young girls are likely to fawn over.

Other than that, I can't say I thoroughly enjoyed the story - bleak subject matter or not.
I didn't feel much of a connection to Finch. At the beginning, he really infuriated me; he comes across as one of those boys who won't take "no" for an answer when girls show no interest. He turns up at Violet's house at nighttime without waiting for a proper "yes" before they properly know each other 
(how did he know where she lives, by the way?), and then there he is one morning, eating breakfast with Violet's parents when she wakes up, without any prior arrangement. He doesn't seem to have any understanding of boundaries. You're going to have some impressionable 12 year olds (yes, I checked; 12 years old is Penguin's recommended starting age for AtBP) thinking of Finch's oftentimes manipulative behaviour as something romantic and acceptable. NOT GOOD.
I found Violet's character more relatable than Finch, but still .. at times, she felt quite one-dimensional, dull, and didn't have an awful lot of substance to her.

Niven states in the Author's Notes that she herself has experienced the loss of a loved one - honestly, this surprised me as the topic was written in such a pretentious,
 unsympathetic way. I think that when you're writing about a subject as touchy as this, more so when it's aimed at young people, you need to be extremely careful as when they love your book to that degree they may very well take your written word as fact -I know, I've was one of those teenagers myself. This story, however, doesn't provide any semblance of hope for those battling mental problems, neither does it give the feeling that there's always light at the end of the tunnel even in the darkest of times, or even an enlightening view or understanding of the struggle of mental illnesses. The only sort of weird take on positivity it gives is that the people a person who commits suicide leaves behind can move on and learn from that experience. Yes, true, people learn to move on over time - but you kind of don't want to be encouraging the fact that a possible teenage suicide will be a wonderful learning and life experience for others. I felt like Finch was simply a character used for nothing more than, eventually, sending Violet on the right path - when his own story was needlessly tragic and romanticised.
Christ almighty, what was this woman thinking.
I don't know what Niven was hoping to achieve when writing this book, but if her goal was for it to be a complete downer of a book - she succeeded.

I'm giving it a standard three-hearts rating as I can't say I liked nor horrendously disliked it. My issues are all with the poor handling of mental illness and the it's okay for Finch to do that because he's mentally ill character manipulation. I have no qualm with Niven's actual quality of writing, her writing itself is fine - it's how she executed the story that's the problem.

I learned that not everyone is disappointing, including me, and that a 1,257-foot bump in the ground can feel higher than a bell tower if you're standing next to the right person.

"Waiting On" Wednesday | The Fire Sermon - Francesca Haig

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick of the week is:

Gallery Books
March 10, 2015 

From Goodreads:

Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has turned primitive following a nuclear fire that has laid waste to civilization and nature. Though the radiation fallout has ended, for some unknowable reason every person is born with a twin. Of each pair, one is an Alpha—physically perfect in every way; and the other an Omega—burdened with deformity, small or large. With the Council ruling an apartheid-like society, Omegas are branded and ostracized while the Alphas have gathered the world’s sparse resources for themselves. Though proclaiming their superiority, for all their effort Alphas cannot escape one harsh fact: Whenever one twin dies, so does the other.
 Cass is a rare Omega, one burdened with psychic foresight. While her twin, Zach, gains power on the Alpha Council, she dares to dream the most dangerous dream of all: equality. For daring to envision a world in which Alphas and Omegas live side-by-side as equals, both the Council and the Resistance have her in their sights

The Fire Sermon is something I heard about only a couple of weeks ago over at Charley Reads's channel on Youtube. It sounds like a lot of things I love to read about rolled into one -and it's kinda giving me Endgame vibes-  so I'm super excited about getting to read this when it's published!

What releases are you excited for?

Top Ten Tuesday | Top Ten Books I Want To Read From The Paranormal & Contemporary Genres

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.


This week, I struggled to choose ten books I want to read from any single genre so, to save wasting the post with only a couple of books, I've chosen both Paranormal and Contemporary and picked five books from each :)


Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare : Before I pick up this series, I want to finish The Mortal Instruments series (I swear I will read City of Heavenly Fire this year). I'm super intrigued to see how the Shadowhunters of the 1800's will compare to what I know from TMI.

Everneath - Brodi Ashton : This is a book I've been wanting to read for a couple of years and I still don't know an awful lot about it. I've heard nothing but good things about it throughout the Booktube community, though.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea - April Genevieve Tucholke : This definitely looks like a book I will enjoy whenever I get around to reading it. I've heard it's super creepy, so I'm very excited to pick it up.

Poison Princess - Kresley Cole : Another book I've heard a lot of good things about. I really like the sound of the synopsis -it seems to be a lot of things I love rolled into one- and I think I'm really going to have to get around to reading it soon.

The Bone Season - Samantha Shannon : I actually started reading this last year. I ended up getting extremely frustrated that main aspects of the story were being constantly mentioned but not explained (the psychic talents, if you're wondering), and I found the glossary not much help. I feel like I might've not been in the right frame of mind for a book like this -and not patient enough- so I've decided I want to give it another chance. 


The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks - E. Lockhart : I thoroughly enjoyed E. Lockhart's writing in We Were Liars so, even though I don't know much about it, I'm really interested to see how this book will pan out.

Winger - Andrew Smith : This is a book I've heard a lot of rave reviews about but, I'm ashamed to say, the cover has always put me off reading it. I don't know, it's just not an appealing cover to me. Anyway, I saw it at the bookstore and finally decided to get over my cover-phobia and buy it. I'll be reading it this month!

Burn For Burn - Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian : I've heard a lot of good things about this series and I've also see it compared to Pretty Little Liars, which I'm a fan of. I've had Burn For Burn as an eBook for at least two years now but still haven't got around to reading it.

#scandal - Sarah Ockler : After reading all (and loving all but one) of Sarah Ockler's other books, it's a given I want to read #scandal. I enjoy her books when I'm not really in the mood for heavy reads or continuing on with series, or I'm in a bit of a slump, so I'm not sure when I'll actually pick it up.

The Museum of Intangible Things - Wendy Wunder : I read Wunder's The Probability of Miracles but, unfortunately, I can't say I really enjoyed it. I'm curious about this one, though, as it sounds more like my kind of book - and I love that cover!

What are some Paranormal and Contemporary books you really want to read?
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