What I Read On Holiday…

I’ve recently come back from 10 days in Vanuatu. It was a beautiful and relaxing holiday. If you ever get the chance to go, do so, because it’s a lovely place – the water is so blue and the snorkelling is excellent.

One of the best parts of my holiday was all the extra reading time I had – I managed to devour five books. So without further ado, here is what I was reading on my holiday:

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – 1.5 stars[Review]
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon – 5 stars[Review]
Heartless by Marissa Meyer – 3 stars[Review]
Sting by Sandra Brown – 3 stars[Review]
Confess by Colleen Hoover – 4 stars[Review]

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Travel Hiatus!

Hey all, I’m off overseas to Vanuatu for a week, so Words Read & Written is on another travel hiatus.

See you all when I get back!

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Author Spotlight: Elle Kennedy – Off Campus Series

In celebration of the 4th book in the Off Campus series being released, I decided to do a little spotlight on the series and its author Elle Kennedy.

I adore this series. It’s such a fun and sexy NA romance. The first three books were all 5-star reads for me, and while the fourth was only 2-stars, I still thoroughly recommend this series if you’re looking for something sexy to read.

The Deal – 5 stars – [Review]
The Mistake – 5 stars – [Review]
The Score – 5 stars – [Review]
The Goal – 2 stars – [Review]

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Bookish Update… Lots of books read and lots of reviews!

What I’ve been reading…

Since my last Bookish Update I’ve been devouring the following books…

I was REALLY disappointed in the sequel to An Ember in the Ashes. That one was a 5 star read for me, but I barely finished A Torch Against the Night. It sucks when sequels don’t live up to the hype.

Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward – 2 stars [Review]
All the Rage by TM Frazier – 2 stars [Review]
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – 5 stars [Review]
A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir – 2 stars [Review]
The Deal by Elle Kennedy – 5 stars [Review]
Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas – 5 stars [Review]
The Mistake by Elle Kennedy – 5 stars [Review]
Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James – 4 stars [Review]

New to my bookshelf…

Some I purchased, some were sent to me from publishers… Paper Princess and Broken Prince are both books I’ve read, loved, and decided to add to my shelves.

What have you guys been reading?

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The Truth About Being a Book Blogger…

I’ve been a book blogger for almost two years now. It was in September 2014 that I sent out my first ever review request email, and in the subsequent two years hundreds of paperbacks showed up in my mailbox.

I mean, really, how awesome is being a book blogger! Not only do you get free books, but you get to share your love for reading with the world!

I think all book bloggers initially have that desire to be apart of EVERYTHING. You want to request every book in your favourite genre, take part in every blog tour, cover reveal, author interview and weekly meme.

But I think when you do that, when you saturate your blog with blog tours, just because you are building your blog and are excited to be one of the “chosen ones”… what happens is that all of your favourite books sort of get buried under all of that noise.

When I first started out, I was posting all my reviews to my blog. So my blog was riddled with 1 star and 2 star review books. It was saturated with author interviews who were promoting books I’d never read. I had books appearing in my mailbox that I knew I’d never get around to reading.

I suppose it’s a problem that all bloggers have. And like all book bloggers, who have been in book blogging land for a while, you reach a stage where you inevitably cut back.

If you follow Words Read and Written, you will notice I haven’t been posting very often lately. I’m still reading (70 books this year according to GoodReads), but my blog has become less of a “dumping ground” and more a place where I can promote and recommend the books and authors that I truely care about. And also a place where I can sum up what I’ve been up to and what I’ve been reading without getting too deep into the what’s and why’s.

So I think my blog will have a distinctly different feel and vibe as I move into my third year of blogging. But I’m excited for that.

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Book Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

Title: Empire of Storms, book 5 in the Throne of Glass series
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, High Fantasy
Links: GoodReads


The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

Why I picked it up:

Okay. I admit it. I cried when I opened my package from Bloomsbury containing Empire of Storms and the Throne of Glass colouring book. I didn’t expect to receive it a week early, so getting my hands on it was such a wonderful surprise. I adore this series, and being able to read the fifth instalment before it was officially released was pretty awesome. Especially since I’d re-read the first four books in preparation, so I was more than ready for this!

My Thoughts:

Delving into Empire of Storms was like sitting down to coffee with old friends. I know these characters so well and love them all so much. I was excited to hear what they’d been up to!

I think Sarah J Maas is a really smart author. Her stories always delve down paths that astound me in their simple brilliance.

Quite frankly, Manon stole the show for me in this. The whole section at Skulls Bay dragged for me because I was SO DESPERATE to get back to whatever Manon was up to. I’ll really need to re-read this book so I can relax and enjoy the story for what it was without dying to know what was going to happen with Manon.

This book had a distinctly different vibe to the others. Empire of Storms was really about the war beginning, where as the first four in the series were more about planting the seeds and introducing the key characters and their relationships to each other. I feel like so much happened in this book that I definitely need to sit down and read the series all over again.

There were some moments that dragged, but in a book of 688 pages, I suppose that is to be expected. I really feel like this series is definitely coming to a climax now. So much was revealed, and the you really begin to see how much of a journey these characters have been on. I cannot wait till the next book!

A worthy addition to the series.

My Verdict – 5 stars

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Blog Tour: Words In Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Title: Words In Deep Blue
Author: Cath Crowley
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Links: GoodReads

Hi Cath,

Welcome to Words Read and Written, and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!

Thanks for having me on the blog. ☺

Can you tell us a little bit about WORDS IN DEEP BLUE for those who haven’t had a chance to read it yet?

It’s a love story set in a second-hand bookstore. It takes place over time, between people who know each other, and between strangers. It’s about Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie getting a second chance at love.

When you aren’t writing, what do you like to get up to?

When I’m not writing I love to read fiction. I find it hard to do that while I’m working on the voice of my novel, so if I’m between works I make sure I’m feeding myself with great novels. Other things I love to do – go to exhibitions, films, go for walks, have interesting conversations, travel.

Is there any specific advice you would give to aspiring writers?

My advice would be to read widely – read YA and books for other age groups. Feed your writing –art, the written and spoken word, films, friends, new people and places – curiosity is essential. Be aware of the market, but don’t be limited by it. The books that have stayed with me have broken boundaries of some kind. Finish it – finish the book you’re working on. When it gets hard, when it feels impossible, keep going. We need storytellers.

After winning the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for your last book Graffiti Moon, do you have any further ambitions for your writing career?

I’d like to challenge myself, write the stories that I have to write, but write them as well as I can. Read more, learn more, and learn more about the craft of writing; I’d like to work on not worrying about failing. Because if you take risks with writing, and I think you have to take risks, then you’ll probably fail sometimes.

Can you give us an insight into Rachel’s character in WORDS IN DEEP BLUE? What is about her that you feel makes her special?

I love Rachel because she’s all science. She doesn’t believe in ghosts or the supernatural or time travel. But she wants to, desperately, when her brother died. I can relate to that. I can relate to believing and disbelieving in ghosts at the same time. It happened to me when my grandmother died, and when my father died. I also love Rachel because she’s willing to change her mind about things. She’s practical and solid. And she loves Henry.

Do you write full-time or part-time, and if part-time do you do any other work in the arts/writing industry?

It changes through the year, and over the years. I wrote Words in Deep Blue almost full time. This year I’ve done some teaching and some editing work and freelance writing work. If I had my choice, I’d write full time six months of the year, and work full time six months of the year.

Where do the ideas for your books usually come from?

They come partly from the things I’m reading, the people I’ve talking to, the art I’m looking at, the preoccupations I have. And they come from somewhere I don’t really understand – the subconscious or the unconscious. That place where the things I’ve thought about connect in strange ways and appear on the page.

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