All about Books
This is the page where I will be discussing what I'm reading, reviewing those books and be open to suggestions to keep adding to my To Be Read pile. Honestly, I'm never going to get through that thing anyway, so the more the merrier.
Today's second book review is for a book classed as a children's book, and I think it's now known as a classic, since there have been several film versions made over the years.
This book is 'A Little Princess' by Frances Hodgson Burnett, who also famously wrote 'The Secret Garden'. I only first read both of these as a teenager, so I think I have a bit of catching up to do yet. :)
But I do love this book, almost as much as 'Black Beauty' which I re-read earlier in the month.
This is another book counted as a children's classic which I wanted to re-read (I have four of the Puffin Classics books and am finding time to read them all again). I'd not heard much of Frances Hodgson Burnett beyond The Secret Garden when I was bought this several years ago and hadn't even read that at this particular time.
When I began A Little Princess, something about Sara Crewe stuck with me and every time I read it, I do wonder if she isn't a little too good to be true. Spoilt rotten from an early age and always trying to behave as well as possible- hence the 'princess' part. But she does come from a wealthy background. Through her hardships, Sara does stay kind to those around her and tries to help people less well off than her, even when she becomes so poor that it would be very easy for her to be selfish. I always liked that about her. I think Sara definitely comes out of the main situation somewhat changed and probably would go on to be even nicer.
The children at the school are accurate of what children are like even today, though the adults there are awful and Miss Minchin deserves all she is told about her. It's good that their are adults able to see right through her and willing to stand up to her.
I love the way Sara can make up all kinds of things which comfort her and possibly keep her sane too. This is where some of the magic of the story comes in, even reading it as an adult. There are several happy endings to be had which are well deserved and this is certainly the right kind of book to be marked down as a 'classic'. I always enjoy it.
I still rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.
Adults can still read 'children's' books, so if you've read 'A Little Princess', what are your thoughts on it?
As always, happy reading and all the best. :)
Hey! I'm back with two book reviews today. The first is for a Young Adult book in a series I'm very fond of. Let's get started. :)
Title: The Vanishing Throne
Author: Elizabeth May
Part of a trilogy: Yes, book 2 in The Falconer trilogy
Original publication date: 19th November 2015
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (Read October 2017)
As much as I enjoyed The Falconer (which I read during the summer on holiday), this was a definite step-up. The pacing, the way time has moved on and everything has completely changed for Aileana.
I also enjoyed the introduction of new characters to love or hate and I'd like Aithinne to be real, thanks. I adore her; she's sassy and a badass warrior and such a loyal person. I feel like I prefer her even to Aileana (which I know is bad since Aithinne isn't the main character, but I can't help how I feel!). The relationship she and Kiaran have, given their history, is actually really nice. And wow, this book didn't hold back on the surprises and revelations. Most of the time I felt like I was either wanting to punch people or on some kind of rollercoaster (I love books that do that).
I admit it did lag a little bit in one or two places in the middle, or else I think I would have given it the full 5 stars. But everything in it has improved since the first book, so I'm hoping the ride keeps steady in the final book, The Fallen Kingdom. Because I really don't know what to do with that ending, especially since I got a sneak peak at book 3 in the end of my copy of The Vanishing Throne.
And I mean...
...I need it.
For anyone who has read this trilogy, let me know what you think of it. And for anyone who hasn't, if you like reading books about the Fae, then I'm sure you'll like these ones. :)
Happy reading. All the best.
This is a tag that's been going around a short while and something I found out about, since Katherine nominated me this morning. I was interested in other people's questions and answers, so tracked it back to a blog that had an explanation to the whole thing.
The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring.
(So when you read this, Katherine, thanks a lot and your blog's coming on great! Glad you enjoy mine too. :))
Without further ado, here are the answers to the 11 questions I was given, followed by my own questions and people I'm nominating.
1. If you could live in any fantasy world, which one would it be?
Wow, great first question, and I'm putting Hogwarts aside for once. I'm going to choose Velaris, in the Night Court from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas.
2. What's your Hogwarts house?
I'm a proud Hufflepuff! :) We've had some great people in there.
3. What's a book you loved that everyone hated?
I'm not if everyone hated it, but I have seen some pretty negative reviews on Goodreads for Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. I love this series, how the characters have matured and the books get better as they go on.
4. What's your favourite thing about blogging?
Getting to think up fun and different posts every now and then as a break from reviewing books- ok, so that can also be stressful sometimes! However, blogging has opened me up to improving on certain skills like time management and patience, and overall I've really enjoyed it in the few short months since I started. I don't know why it took me so long!
5. What's your favourite book cover?
I don't have a specific favourite, because there are too many pretty covers decorating my bookshelves, but I do like the cover for The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, which I think this is the UK cover.
6. Who is your all time favourite character? (Male and female)
For a female character, I'm definitely nominating Hermione Granger. Reasons have been discussed in other posts (but I plan to mention more at a later date). For a male character, this is a lot harder, but I want to say Azriel from A Court of Mist and Fury (Yes, I know I'm mentioning that book a lot, but it's one of my all time favourites- seeing as we're on this topic!) He's kind, loyal, has lots of great advice to give, but will defend those he cares about even if it puts him in danger.
7. Worst book tropes?
Insta-love. There's so much of it in YA books. And seeing bad mental health rep. It either makes me want to be sick or punch someone.
8. What under-rated book do you want more people to read?
Can I choose two? I'm going for Radio Silence by Alice Oseman and Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall. My reviews for both are on my blog.
The first book has great diversity in many ways and some mental health related things, following what you want to do and being your own person. The second book has incredible mental health rep, based off some of the author's personal experiences, and knows that finding love doesn't 'cure' mental illnesses.
9. What movie/TV adaptation was just as good as the book?
I really liked the film version of Divergent. There were some minor changes I picked up on, but nothing that really took away from the book. I was really pleased with the result, though I haven't watched the others yet.
10. How big is your TBR & are you coping?
Er...I'm going to talk about my physical TBR and not look at Goodreads!
It's big enough, and a month ago I might have said ye to part 2. Now...I'm just looking at it an wondering when I'm going to have the time to read all of those books, and why did I buy 5 at once a couple of weeks ago...
I'll just drift away into this black hole of books. You might not hear from me for a while!
11. Who is your current number one book boyfriend?
So I really want to say Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury, but he's been there for a while. :D I also really like Jesper Fahey from the Six of Crows duology. (He's not the only reason you all hear me talk about those books a lot.)
Now here come the nominations and my questions. I'm nominating:
My questions are:
1. Who are the authors you would auto-buy from?
2. Did you like the last book you read?
3. What's the longest book you've ever read?
4. Where's your favourite place to read?
5. Favourite aspect of blogging?
6. Do you ever collect book merch?
7. For aesthetic purposes, do you arrange your shelves by colour, author (insert other option here)?
8. Have you ever met an author and who was it?
9. If you're doing the Goodreads reading challenge, how's it going?
10. What books are you determined to read in 2018 that you haven't got around to yet?
11. Do you wish to be an author?
Today, I'm taking you on a journey to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It's been too long since I read the books, so let's get started!
Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone [20th Anniversary Hufflepuff House Edition]
Author: J K Rowling
Part of a trilogy: No, book 1 in the Harry Potter series
Original publication date: 1st June 2017 (First published 26th June 1997 in the UK)
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (Read October 2017)
As I'd never collected my own copies of the Harry Potter books, I knew I had to start when the 20th anniversary editions came out and to also show my house pride. The paperback Hufflepuff edition is so pretty and nice to look at. It was also fun finding out extras about my house. I can't quite believe it's been 20 years- I was 3 when this first came out! :) I also haven't read the books since my childhood, though I've seen the films many times. It's interesting to see how much was left out.
Anyway, it was nice to see how normal the Dursleys lived, until everything happened and Harry showed up. I had also forgotten how funny the book is! Visiting Diagon Alley with Harry and Hagrid, meeting Ron and Hermione, and seeing Hogwarts for the first time have always been some of my favourite moments and it was so exciting and magical to read about them again. I was 11 myself when I first picked this book up and can't say time has lost any of the magic and appeal for me. :) I'm so glad to have been able to enter this world through page once more.
It's interesting too, because although I know what's going to happen, there are so many details that I'd forgotten about, so often it felt as though I was experiencing pieces for the first time. And everyone needs a teacher like Professor McGonagall and a friend like Hermione.
Hermione Granger will always hold a special place in my heart. When you first meet her, she does seem really bossy and really, really smart. Ravenclaw was clearly a very close second choice for the Sorting Hat. But then you realise that Hermione is just afraid- afraid of being expelled from the only place he's ever truly fitted in, in a place where she can grow and thrive as a witch and be around people who truly understand and appreciate her for who she really is. Her early projection of her character is just her way of trying to fit in and be accepted.
I always related to that. My 11 year old self was thrilled that she'd finally found someone like Hermione to relate to. Whether for good or bad, my self now can still relate, in some ways. I understand Hermione's fears and anxieties because they were, and still are, my own. The people-pleasing and trying to get good marks in everything I could were a case of wanting a good job and hopefully then finding where I belonged. Everyone always says to be yourself. In my school days, I had no idea of who that person was. I'm glad to say that Hermione finds her true self a lot faster than I did.
In the next books, I'm looking forward to meeting the new characters and expanding on the ones we've already met. As a film, Chamber of Secrets is one of my favourites, and I'm so excited to see more of Molly Weasley in the book. Everyone also needs a Molly in their lives. :)
All in all, I've spent too long away from the books and am really glad to return to them. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone gets the full 5 stars.
Feel free to comment and let me your thoughts. Do you own a 20th Anniversary edition, or is it with the original cover? If it's the former, what house are you in? :)
Happy reading and all the best.
Today's post is a little bit about my reading habits. The idea comes from the blog of a friend of mine on Goodreads, where she attempted to write out 50 questions related to her reading (but managed 43).
Her answers are here, if you want to read them too.
So without further ado, here are my answers to these 43 bookish questions. :)
1. What was the last book you read?
It was 'One Dark Throne' by Kendare Blake.
2. Was it a good book?
Yes, I really enjoyed it.
3. What made it good?
As the second in this particular series, I found the stakes were higher, it was faster paced and everything was just stronger.
4. Would you recommend it to other people?
Yes. I know some people had mixed opinions on the first book, but the second improves quite a bit.
5. How often do you read?
I try to read every day, but realistically, it's sometimes every other day.
6. Do you like to read?
Yes. I've been reading often for as long as I can remember.
7. What was the last bad book you read?
It was 'The Snow Rose' over the summer. I ended up not finishing it, and that's rare for me.
8. What made you dislike it?
There was far too much info dumping at the start and I didn't really for any of the characters. I heard about the ending which I know would have either creeped me out, confused me, or both.
9. Do you wish to be a writer?
Yes. I've been writing for a number of years now, but it's mostly a creative outlet for me and in that way, I call myself a writer. Though it would be nice to get published one day, I'm not after that right now.
10. Has any book ever influenced you greatly?
Many books have had a huge impact on me over the years. Most recently, I would say 'Moxie' has been important- even as a self-described feminist, it made me realise how little things can have a huge impact wherever you are. It was fantastic.
11. Do you read fan fiction?
I tried it once or twice and some I found were quite good. But I don't anymore.
12. Do you write fan fiction?
I used to a little bit a few years ago. As with the above question, writing it for a while made me read some, but then I realised how much I wanted to make my own material, rather than dream up 'what could have been' for other people's characters. Their story went a certain way for a reason.
13. What's your favourite book?
You might as well ask 'What's your favourite child?'. :) (Though I don't have any of those yet.)
Ok,...of all time? I'll say all of the Narnia books, and all Harry Potter books, because you can't make me choose. And my favourite book not from my childhood? I'll say A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas. Please don't ask me to name by very long list of reasons for these answers- thanks...
14. What's your least favourite book?
I think that would have to be 'The Morganville Vampires' series. I started liking them, but by the fourth or fifth book I just lost interest completely. I didn't care about the characters or their circumstances anymore.
15. Do you prefer physical books or reading on a device?
Physical books. I once wanted a Kindle but didn't go through with it. I adore hearing pages being turned and holding the book. Plus, walking into a shop filled with books always relaxes me. You can't get that with an electronic library.
16. When did you learn to read?
I want to say school. But I think my parents were reading to me even before then, so maybe a mixture of both??
17. What your favourite book you had to read in school?
Hmm...'An Inspector Calls' by J. B. Priestley. It was for my English Literature GCSE in Year 11. Something about the characters and how it was still relatable to the modern day really stuck with me. I still like it now, seven years later.
18. What is your favourite book series?
Aforementioned childhood aside, A Court of Thorns and Roses series, Six of Crows duology and the Talon saga. Sorry, but choosing one only is really hard!!
19. Who is your favourite author?
Both Sarah J Maas and Leigh Bardugo. On a side note, my author discovery of the year has been Victoria Schwab. I don't know why I waited so long to begin reading her books.
20. What is your favourite genre?
YA, Fantasy, a bit of historical fiction thrown in sometimes.
21. Who is your favourite character in a book series?
Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood. Please don't make me choose between them.
22. Has a book ever transported you somewhere else?
All the time. I love visiting- and then re-visiting- my favourite worlds and exploring new ones.
23. Which book do you wish had a sequel?
I want to say 'Radio Silence' by Alice Oseman. It ended on such a positive note and had everything tied up. But I kind of want to know where the characters go next in life.
24. Which book do you wish didn't have a sequel?
This is also a hard one. I'm going to say 'The Lovegrove Legacy' trilogy by Alyxandra Harvey. Not because they were bad, but because unfortunately, the publisher dropped it after the second book for some reason. The third had to come out as an E-novella, rather than a full book, which I sadly can't access. It's good that the author managed to resolve things, but many people have said it was too short. It was a really hard situation to have happened to what otherwise was shaping up to be, and would have been, a great trilogy.
25. How long does it take you to read a book?
This is completely dependant on how busy I am. But on average, a couple of days to a week. Really long books can take between a week and two, and I have been known to devour a fantastic book in a matter of hours. But these latter books are rare for me.
26. Do you like it when books become movies?
Of course, provided they're adapted well. A lot of people sadly don't seem to have time to read books and usually rely on a film version for the story. Though I always think the books are usually still better than the film.
27. Which book was ruined by its movie adaptation?
I'm nominating 'The Golden Compass'- the book-to-film adaptation of 'Northern Lights'.
28. Which movie has done a book justice?
I thought 'Divergent' was done well and I was impressed that it mostly stuck to the book.
29. Do you read newspapers?
Usually. Though I try not to look at the horrible stuff if I can help it.
30. Do you read magazines?
Not really, unless I want a new hairstyle.
31. Do you prefer newspapers or magazines?
Neither really. I just have easier access to newspapers.
32. Do you read while in bed?
Yes. I sometimes read when I wake up, but I'm usually still too sleepy to properly concentrate. But my bed makes a comfortable spot later on for reading. :)
33. Do you read while on the toilet?
34. Do you read while in the car?
I can, but only do if it's on journeys longer than ten minutes.
35. Do you read while in the bath?
No. What if I ruin a book by dropping it in the water?!?!
36. Are you a fast reader?
Yeah, usually, though it can depend on the book..
37. Are you a slow reader?
That would depend on the book and how much- or not- I'm enjoying it. I also tend to go slower on bigger books sometimes.
38. Where is your favourite place to read?
Curled up on my bed. :)
39. Is it hard for you to concentrate when you read?
As my bedroom is in a quiet part of the house, it mostly depends on how tired I am and if I have things on my mind. Otherwise, no I don't think so.
40. Do you need a room to be silent while you read?
I can have some background noise, but I like to be able to properly concentrate on the world I'm reading about. Having something like the TV on in the background can at times be a bit jarring, so usually I like the peace and quiet.
41. Who gave you your love for reading?
My mum and ad read to me when I was young, so I'm going to thank them for it.
42. What is next on your to read list?
I've just started 'The Vanishing Throne' today. After that, it's 'Legend' by Marie Lu and 'Ash and Quill' by Rachel Caine.
43. When did you start to read chapter books?
I think it was both 'Malory Towers' and 'The Famous Five' series by Enid Blyton...maybe?? I remember my mum and me reading the latter together, while I read the Malory books by myself. (I still have a shelf dedicated to her books.) So I'm going to say those.
There we are, those are my 43 answers. Thanks Katherine! :D
Feel free to add your own answers on your blogs. All the best.
After being in something of a reading slump over the last week or so, I've finally written another proper book review for you all. *Hands out gold stars and your favourite food for being so patient*
Title: One Dark Throne
Author: Kendare Blake
Part of a trilogy: No, book 2 in the Three Dark Crowns series
Original publication date: 21st September 2017
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (Read October 2017)
I only started this series earlier this year and this book picks up more or less where Three Dark Crowns ended, only now everything has changed. It takes a bit more of a backseat on Jules to actually focus on Arsinoe, though Jules and Camden- I want that cat!- are involved. There are so many twists and turns. It's now all or nothing as the Ascension Year has begun.
The characters who were ruthless don't seem to become any kinder. There are new characters as well as all the old ones. I had some measure of goodwill for Katharine at the end of Book 1, but now I just want her dead. Mirabella grows up and is a lot nicer to people, while still trying to protect her friends from her sisters. Arsinoe and Jules' relationship grows and they both have secrets to keep, even while they both become stronger. The trips to each sisters' home and resulting events made for a faster pace than in Book 1, which made it better.
Everything seems to happen in this book and there were many things I never saw coming, but the plot and character arcs were handled well. I'm not 100% sure about why a couple of things happened the way they did at the end, but I suppose we'll find out.
Now the series has been extended from two to four books, there is so much potential, though I'm also not certain it needs four books. At this point, I don't think the Ascension Year will end with two queens dead though, as tradition on Fennbirn has been for generations before. If it does, I'm going to be heartbroken one way or another!
Overall, while One Dark Throne took longer to read, I prefer it over Three Dark Crowns.
Have you started this series yet (I recommend it) and what did you think? What are some of your theories? All the best and happy reading. :)
Today's review is of one of my favourite books and an absolute classic- Black Beauty. It was first published in 1877 and Anna Sewell knew something of its success before her death, but since then, it has become so huge.
Let me know thoughts on this iconic book and if you've seen the film, ect. :)
Today in two sittings and about four hours, I read Black Beauty again. By now, I've completely lost count of how many times it's been and have also watched the 1994 film version a good few times.
This book is one of those timeless few, and one that made a real change in society at the time it was written. It was the only book Anna Sewell ever wrote, but I'm glad she did. This edition- my copy is getting a bit tatty- has an introduction and all kinds of extras in the back which are good to read about.
I think it's because I've always loved horses that I first picked this up however many years ago. It being Black Beauty's autobiography was a new and exciting way I'd never known to be done before and his voice and journey still captures my full attention today. The other horses he meets and the owners good and bad- he has, and all for him to keep to his mother's early advice...leading him onto to a final home, safe and loved.
I will never give this anything other than all the stars it- and Black Beauty- deserve.
This review, beginning my October reads, is for the 4th book in a series which has quickly become a favourite- the Talon saga.
Author: Julie Kagawa
Part of a trilogy: No, book 4 in the Talon saga
Original publication date: 4th May 2017
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (Read October 2017)
I was, like so many other people, very nervous at the end of Soldier and interested to see how the beginning of Legion would play out. On the one hand, I'm happy about it, but on the other, I'm now curious to find out in book 5 if anything more comes from those events. I think it could perhaps be taken further.
So much happened! In contrast to Rogue, where it lacked something, with just enough action to keep it interesting, everything has been steadily cranked up since then. In Legion, it gets pushed- and there's still one final book to come!!
I was glad Mist made her return and it's interesting to see the dynamics between her and Riley/Cobalt play out. And I definitely hate Dante with a passion. The fact that he no longer cares about Ember getting hurt makes me want to punch him, regardless of whether he thinks he's going the right thing for Talon. No, he's doing the right thing for himself, and there's a difference.
That finale was...amazing and scary. Everything changes in this book and I'm equally nervous and excited for how things will end with my ragtag bunch of humans and dragons in Inferno.
This was an easy 5 stars to hand out. Thankfully, I now only have about half a year to wait instead of the full year (Having a mountain for a TBR pile does have its advantages, I guess).
Comment if you've read it I highly recommend the series, particularly if you're a fan of dragons. As always, all the best and happy reading. :)
Today's book is one I'd been looking at and bought after not realising it was out now. :) We're talking feminism- all about the equality. Therefore, this is also a spoiler-free review.
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Part of a trilogy: No, it’s a standalone
Original publication date: 19th September 217 (US) and 21st September 2017 (UK)
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (Read September 2017)
To the right is the US cover and personally my favourite one.
"It occurs to me that this is what it means to be a feminist...all it is is girls supporting each other and wanting to be treated like human beings in a world that's always finding ways to tell them they're not."
I think this quote sums up the book and the word feminism. For so long, I didn't want to attach the label to myself, but then I realised labels don't always have to matter and it is a part of how I am, so, now I'll happily say I'm a feminist.
A short review, since the book has only just been released. It made me laugh and cry, I loved all of the 'zines'. The overall plot was great and highlighted very important things. it felt really relevant to nowadays and quite relatable. This book also got brownie points for detailing and showing what an American high school is like without assuming all audiences automatically know. It was nice to realise the author knows not all people reading this book are American.
On the more negative side, I do think Viv could have been more patient with people at times, and Claudia a bit more understanding, but I guess the characters are teenagers. It felt sometimes as though the romance was a bit rushed, but overall, was handled well.
And the UK cover- there is a bit too much pink in it for my liking. I know pink is traditionally a colour for girls, but I've never really been a fan.
In the end, I've rated this book with a well deserved 5 stars and it would perhaps be nice to see more books like this in the future.
Have you read this book yet? What did you think of it, if you have? All the best.