Monday, 31 July 2017

Review: Magpie's Song by Allison Pang

So, this was a later request of mine from Netgalley, but as it was soon to be published (August 8th) I thought I'd read and review it before my other Netgalley acceptances!

So, as I said, this book is due to be published on August 8th, and before I even review it I'll tell you it is definitely one to read! I was drawn to the cover on Netgalley, and the description had me intrigued, so I decided to be hopeful and request it. And, voila! It got accepted, and I was so happy, as it was my third acceptance from Netgalley!

Here it is:

In the slums of BrightStone, Moon Children are worth less than the scrap they must collect to survive. It doesn’t matter that these abandoned half-breeds are part-Meridian with their ancestors hailing from the technologically advanced city that floats above the once-thriving, now plague-ridden BrightStone. Instead they are rejected by both their ancestral societies and forced to live on the outskirts of civilization, joining clans simply to survive. Not to mention their role as Tithe, leading the city’s infected citizens deep into the Pits where their disease can be controlled. 

Nineteen-year-old Raggy Maggy is no different, despite the mysterious heart-shaped panel that covers her chest. Or at least she wasn’t… Not until her chance discovery of a Meridian-built clockwork dragon—and its murdered owner. When the Inquestors policing the city find Maggy at the scene of the crime, she quickly turns into their prime suspect. Now she’s all anyone can talk about. Even her clan leader turns his back on her, leading her to rely on an exiled doctor and a clanless Moon Child named Ghost to keep her hidden. In return, all she has to do is help them find a cure for the plague they believe was not exactly accidental. Yet doing so might mean risking more than just her life. It also might be the only key to uncovering the truth about the parents—and the past—she knows nothing about.

Isn't the cover just beautiful? I had an e-book version of this book, but for the cover alone I am very tempted to buy the paperback version when it is out. In the kindle version, the breaks in the book are separated by the pretty feathers illustration like the ones on the cover, and it makes the book all the more spectacular (I hope it's like this in the paperback too).

I liked this book because it had so much going on in it, it was never slow, it was fast-paced and busy and I love books like that. For me, books that are fast paced and never-stopping are much quicker to get through and this book especially made me feel like I was trying to keep pace with Maggy, whether she was running over rooftops, shimmying up drain-pipes or just trying to find a place to hide. It was just such an action packed book. There is even a little bit of a romance for those of you who like that in your books (a bit of a slow-burn though).

The main character Maggy is my favourite, though I do love some of the other characters too. Come on though, she has an iron heart, a mysterious one at that, one which no-one knows where it actually came from, other than that it is technology from the flying city of Meridion (which no-one has gone to since the mysterious plague broke out in Brightstone). It is the one mysterious thing in this series that I am itching to find out about: why Maggy, an orphan, was given this iron heart in the first place.

I'll warn you now, the end of the book will leave you wanting more as it stops just as you expected more action (I even tweeted the author Allison Pang and told her how much I wanted to read the next book in the series even before the first one had come out).

One thing I actually thought was great about the book was that at the beginning of each chapter was a little rhyme. Granted, they are similar to our rhymes, but with a much darker twist to them, but they were interesting little starts to the chapters and kept me amused through out waiting for the next one on the next chapters.

The next book in the series will be called Magpie's Fall (publication in December) and I know I will definitely be trying to get a copy of it! 

I definitely would recommend this book to Fantasy and SciFi lovers out there, and it can be bought from August 8th!

Saturday, 29 July 2017

I went to Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium!

So, As you may have heard from my Twitter, I went to a cat cafe today! More specifically, I went to Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium in London. My sister received a voucher for the cafe for Christmas and we finally got around to using it, and oh my god it was amazing (I nearly bought the majority of the cute merchandise they had on offer).

We decided that instead of going just for a drink and to see the kitty cats we would do the High Tea that they offer, which included 90 minutes with the cats and an afternoon tea with refillable drinks.

And yes, it does taste as amazing as it looks! It was also way too much to have in just an hour and a half, so we had to take some home with us (the staff were amazing and even wrapped it up and put it into a paper bag for us, isn't that sweet!)

If you're wondering how much this would usually cost, the high tea and 90 minute cat session here is £25 per person (which is reasonable for all the food and drink you get).

I'll tell you what though guys, I was amazed walking down into the main kitty cat play area, it just looked so magical, with the fairy lights and the tree cat-climber/bridge and all the little nooks the cats could play/hide in. I mean, just look at this:

It's so magical!

Unfortunately for us, the only cats that were lively when we were there were the new kittens (not that we were complaining, they had unlimited energy to play it seemed like!). You can also see some of the kittens playing on my twitter (HERE - playing in the wheel - and HERE - playing on the scratching post)

However, we did see some of the sleeping older cats, and I got some pictures of them in their little nooks (isn't the hat hideaway the cutest thing?) and as a big surprise, nearing the end of our session this majestic fluffball of a cat came prowling out and let us take some photos! (she wouldn't let us pet her though, she just wanted to show off mainly). As you can see in the top photo of the next set she pictures beautifully!

And I can't forget to mention this lovely little kitten, who walked around and then settled down for a big old fuss, isn't she cute?! It was purring like an engine and kneading the cushion it was on, so adorable!

I'll definitely be going back (with the hope the kittens are still playful, and that the older cats will be more awake next time) but I couldn't leave without a picture of me drinking a lovely spot of tea (caramel cream flavour!)

To top the day off, we stopped at Oxford Street for a bit of shopping, and I couldn't resist a trip the Foyles bookstore, with their lovely Harry Potter displays!

I would definitely recommend the cat cafe as a day out, but book well in advance as the spots go very quickly!

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by S. J. Maas

So, this book has been on my TBR list for ages, as I absolutely loved Sarah's Throne of Glass series, so I was hoping I'd love these set of books just as much. So, I bought it.

You can maybe tell how excited I was to read it by the fact that it was a new buy, and put onto my last week's TBR post (see HERE).

Here's the book:

Feyre is a huntress.

She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price...

Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy's kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape. Her captor's body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked - but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre's feelings for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she's been told about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows.

Feyre must find a way to break a spell, or lose her heart forever.

So, I must admit that it took me a while to get into this book. I don't know if it was because a few people have told me they DNF'ed this book, or just because I had a bit of trouble understanding some of the history inside the book. All I know is that I was tempted to give up after I didn't get caught up in the story from the beginning.

I'm not used to not getting into a book straight away, so it put me off a bit. However, I pushed through and kept at the book, and boy am I glad I did. It took me a while, but I got pulled into the world, and Sarah didn't disappoint.

Yet again, I fell in love with a book that is very similar to Beauty and the Beast, but what can I say, I love that kind of story line.

It was nice to see the slow build between Tamlin and Feyre, and even the slow budding friendship of Feyre and the other Fae that she is living with (I especially loved the friendship between Lucien and Feyre, it made me want a friend like Lucien). In fact, Lucien was hands-down my favourite character of the lot, well, after he stopped being a bit annoying in the beginning.

The romance between Tamlin and Fayre made me so wistful in this book. One scene, especially, just made me wish I could climb inside the book and become a part of the scene as it just sounded so magical. It was when Feyre and Tamlin dance in a meadow during a Summer solstice celebration. The imagery in that scene just blew me away, and it had to have been one of my favourite scenes in the book.

Of course, romance isn't the only thing that is part of this book, there's a lot of intriguing hints peppered through the pages that I didn't pick up on until the very end, but what I can say is that there is a lot of action jam-packed into the last part of the book. I feel like the majority of the action in this book was near the end, and maybe that's why I had trouble getting into the beginning of the book, but either way by the end I couldn't put the book down, and didn't want to put the book down, until I had devoured the whole thing.

I could talk about the plot all day, but I don't want to spoil anything for you if you've not read the book, all I can say is if you love faerie stories and you love a book that is both action-packed and romance filled you will surely like this book.

Have any of you read the book? Do you agree with me? Comment below!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Review: North Child by Edith Pattou

This book may also be known as East by some of you!

I first read this book while in senior school, and not just once, but many times. I borrowed it from my school library, and I must have been the one that filled the requests page with the many dates it had on the front page (I think I must have taken it out at least 6 times during my time at school).

I don't know what first made me like the book, maybe it was the cover, as I thought, hey, why is there a girl walking next to a polar bear? Maybe it was the description. Like I said, I don't know, but all I do know is that when I read it, I loved it, and hence, I took it from my school library so many times.

Then, passing a few years, I watch a TV show and it reminds me of the book I loved so much in school, so I immediately went to Amazon and bought this much loved book so I could read it again!

Well, here it is:

Superstition says that children born facing North will travel far from home, and Rose's mother is terrified that Rose, a North child, will face a lonely, icy death if she follows her destiny. But Rose is unaware of this, so when an enormous white bear appears and wants to take her away she agrees to his bargain.

Rose travels on the bear's back to a mysterious castle where a silent stranger appears to her night after night. Overwhelmed by curiosity, Rose does something that has terrible consequences. Now she must embark on an epic journey to save the one she loves and fulfil her true destiny.

So, this book starts with Rose, an eighth child, who was born facing North. Her mother though, refuses to admit that and instead insists she is an East child, because of a prophecy that she was given when younger that said that any North child she had would grow up to die a cold, horrible death, suffocating under ice and snow. As you can probably tell, Rose later finds out the truth and in rebellion she decides to go with the White Bear when he comes calling and offers a bargain to help stop the misfortune that has befallen Rose's family.

That is just the beginning of the book, as it is actually split into 4 different parts: East, South, West and North. I think this comes in handy for someone who only likes to read in small parts, as they could easily read just one part of the book and then come back later to the other parts if needed.

I did say I had no idea what drew me in to this book, but I must admit, usually it is the covers of books that catch my interest and then the blurb. This book's cover not only intrigued me with the girl and the white bear on the front, but the compass is beautiful on the front too.

And well, the blurb also mentions that this book is familiar to Beauty and the Beast, and as you'd expect, that made me all the more interested.

I admit, it actually does remind me a bit of Beauty and the Beast, with the fact that Rose was chosen to try and end an enchantment that was put upon the White Bear by the Troll Queen's father as a punishment. However, it differs slightly as Rose ends up sleeping next to an unknown person at night in the castle, and as the lights are enchanted to go out whenever the person enters the room she is unable to find out who it is. In fact, this book is based on a Scandinavian folk tale called East of the Sun and West of the Moon.

The main thing I think I adore about this book is the love that Rose feels for the White Bear, which makes her choose to go on a most difficult journey North to follow him and save him from another character, the Troll Queen. On this journey North, Rose meets many different people, including a drunk Viking (one of my favourite characters), and a settlement of Inuits.

This is a book that shows a girls journey to find herself, and also offers a tale of love and shows just what that girl would do to keep the love of a creature who is more of a beast than a man, and that is what had me reading this book over and over.

Have you read this book and if so what do you think of it?

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Review: The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Okay, so, I admit, I used to be a Twihard (obsessed with Twilight) and so, when looking at Stephenie's website I found out about this book: The Host.

The blurb drew me in, it just sounded so interesting, and I bought it. And, guys, this book has had so many uses. Like, the copy I have is very loved and very battered from so much use. So, without further comments, here's the book:

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away.

Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.

When Melanie, one of the few remaining “wild” humans is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn’t expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Wanderer probes Melanie’s thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer’s mind with visions of the man Melanie loves—Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body’s desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.

One of the things I love about this book is the journey that both Melanie, the human who has been taken over, and Wanderer (later dubbed Wanda), the 'host' that has taken over Melanie's body, take to becoming friends. It's a slow go, but it was great to see the friendship and understanding between the two girls grow throughout the book.

I'll warn you now, the romance situation in this book is certainly weird, but it is also interesting as Wanda learns just what love is, and then later has to decide if it is just Melanie's feelings that she is feeling, or if they are her own. In fact, in this book there is kind of a love triangle (or a love square if you count the fact that Melanie is still her own person in Wanda's mind), so if you like interesting romance plots mixed into YA fantasy/SciFi, this book is definitely for you.

However, the romance side isn't everything in this book, in fact the main plotline of this book that I see is Human's that hate these invaders slowly learning about and understanding them because of the experience of living with one of the other species (Wanda).

All I can say without spoiling anything nearer to the end is that I love this book, and it always seems to make me cry as there are so many different emotions throughout it. I feel like I'm on an emotional rollercoaster when reading this (a good one).

I just love it. And I'd highly recommend it to anyone that like SciFi or Fantasy books.

Have any of you read The Host? And do you agree with my love of the book?

Disney: Illustrated Version

So, yet another Disney post. Yes, I know, there's been a few Disney related posts already, but in my bio I did warn you that I am Disney obsessed!

But, when you see what book I am talking about you'll understand why I had to make this post, as the sheer beauty of the book will blow your minds.

What Disney books am I talking about this time? I hear you ask. Well, I'm talking about the hardcover illustrated versions, with beautiful illustrations from MinaLima (surprise, it's also to do with Harry Potter, they do some of the illustrations for HP merchandise too!).

So, I first saw these books when I went shopping at our local Costco. Obviously, the names of the books drew me in, first I saw Peter Pan, then at a later date I saw The Jungle Book. I should also mention I have a weakness for hardcover books with beautiful covers, and these drew my eye so quickly.
Aren't they just stunning?

I put off buying them, until I found out there was a Beauty and the Beast version coming out (my sisters favourite Disney movie), and so I decided to buy it. And boy am I glad I did, just look at the inside illustrations (only showing one so I don't spoil the surprise if you decide to buy it)!

There's even little interactive pictures in the books, and it's just such fun.

I know I'll definitely be buying the Jungle Book and Peter Pan soon (and fuelling my obsession with Disney)!

What do you think of these beautiful books? And do you think you'll buy one of them? If so, which one do you think you'd like most?

Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Okay, so, this book has been sitting around in my bookshelves for an unknown amount of years. I remember trying to start it, but being put off by a male POV, as I'd only really read books with a female POV at that point in time.

So, I put it down and just kind of forgot about it for a few years.

Then, the film came out and my mind was like 'Hey, I have that book, but why haven't I read it before?'

So, I decided to buck up and read it (after I had watched the film on TV, oops).

Here it is:

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Even on my second read I still found it hard to get into I must admit. But, with the knowledge of what happens from the film I thought I'd suck it up and just get through it as I did love the plot in the film.

All I can say, is that it helped me a lot to know what was going to happen so I didn't just give up before I got going. And I'm glad I did give it another chance. Obviously, as you can expect, the book had a lot more details than the movie, and that's where it helped me to get more interested.

Overall, I'm still not quite sure where this book series is going, but I liked the book enough to buy the next in the series and find out, so I guess you could say that the ending was definitely interesting enough to get me asking 'what's going to happen?!'.

I would definitely still recommend this book, as I think I just sometimes have difficulties with Male POV's. If you're okay with male POV's then definitely give the book a try, as it is an interesting plot line and the way it was left at the end left me wondering just what was going to happen.

And, I think you should check back to this blog at a later date to find out what I think of the second book in the series: Beautiful Darkness.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Disney Movies: the kiddies books!

Okay, so, this isn't really a proper review post, but more of a: how cute are these books post.

Though, if I was reviewing them I would give them a 10 out of 10 review, as they are just the cutest little things.

So, anyways, to the books. I must admit, I feel like a little kid collecting them, but in my defence they're going to be for reading to my little nephew as he grows up...

(yeah, totally for my nephew, totally not secretly for me)

Well, kind of a little bit for me. In case you haven't read my About Me page, I am a big Disney lover. And, I'm hoping that these books, while lovely and sweet little things that look great on my bookshelf, will also let me get my nephew onto the Disney hype earlier than most.

But, I bet you're wondering what Disney books I am talking about. I'm talking about the little Disney Movie Collection Books like these:

I mean, who wouldn't want to collect these little gems? I only have like 4 at the moment (mainly the ones that the nephew may like the most) but I'll soon get collecting the ones I like most too. But I wonder if the ones not from Tesco's are the same as the ones I've been buying (hope so, I love having series with the same covers).

What's your favourite Disney movie? And would you collect these like me too or do you think I'm a bit too Disney obsessed? :P

Blogger Recognition Award!

Rebecca (the amazing girl that she is) was the one that tagged me for this award, so many thankyou's to her! You can find her HERE.

I know that a few people that I tag in this post will probably already have been nominated for this/posted their version of this, but I'm still going to tag them, as they're all amazing individuals that you should check out!

Anyways, here are the rules:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

2. Write a post to show your award.

3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.

4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.

6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide the link to the post you created.

How My Blog Started:

Well, as you may be able to tell, my blog is relatively new! In fact, it's barely a week old so far! But, I admit, I was following a few different book bloggers on Twitter, and I always thought, hey, I read a lot, why don't I make a book blog myself?

Of course, I never did act on these thoughts until it came round to a 24hr read-athon from Zoe at No Safer Place. She was so nice and interactive, and a special guest post about new bloggers made me decide to finally do my own book blog.

Then, my little idea bloomed from there!

Advice for New Bloggers:

1. Use social media. My blog mainly started on Twitter. And that is where I get most of my interactions from all the other bloggers and where I get my followers. I've even already had a few authors/publicists get in touch about reading their books, even after just a week of blogging! Also, Instagram can be very useful, I've been very popular on there, even though I'm not the best photographer. 

Most of all though, if you're using social media, use Hashtags. Some may think I'm hashtag crazy, but I think it really gets you out there on both twitter and instagram! And I think that is where I manage to get most of my page views from. So, yeah, use hashtags if you can!

2. Interact! I didn't have much interest from other people until I started to interact with other bloggers, and when I did it made being a bookblogger so much more fun! I even joined in things like the Sunday YA chat on Twitter, and I'm planning on joining in on many more of these discussions as I met some lovely people. Plus, if you interact with others, they'll interact with you more and it helps build up your confidence so much!

Essentially, use social media, especially Twitter, it's really helped me so far!

Here are my bloggers I suggest taking a look at, they're awesome and so friendly and I'm sure you'll love them (click on names to go to their blogs)!

I know I'm meant to do 15 blogs, and there are some many other lovely people I'd love to tag but I'd be here forever! These are only a few of the lovely people I've got to know in the bookblogger community!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Review: Sabriel by Garth Nix

Okay, time to fess up, I haven't read this book this week (or fully for a little while) but I constantly have it on my Kindle for when I finish a book and have nothing else on me to read, so I think I'm about 50 pages in on my kindle version at the moment.

Yes, I do have both a kindle version and a book version, this is how much I love this book.

So much that the series is on my top 5 re-reads (see these here) and that I have actually read it an unknown amount of times (that means a lot). So, here it is:

Dark Secrets, Deep Love, and Dangerous Magic

Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals its malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories.

As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death—and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own destiny.

Okay, so, one thing I love about this book, and which makes me read it more, is that technically it could be read as a stand-alone. So, if you're short on time and just want a travel read, or just don't want to commit to a series just yet, this book is great. Plus, then, if you love it like I did, you can just choose to read the other books too!

Why do I love this book so much? I hear you ask. Well, there's just too many reasons to explain! But one reason is the world that it is based in. One half of the land seems like a normal, if dated, version of where we all live now (Ancelstierre), while the other half of the land is just magical (The Old Kingdom). The only thing that separates these two halves of the land is a Wall. Yet, the seasons differ, and no technology can survive past the Wall into the Old Kingdom. It just makes it so much easier to connect to this book when you can see that Ancelstierre is just like a normal dated country.

One thing I love about this book is that while it shows the difficult journey that Sabriel has to take from the place where she has grown up (Ancelstierre) to the place where she was born (the Old Kingdom) it also shows her more personal journey from just a schoolgirl to a woman and more importantly, her journey to becoming Abhorsen. Which is a pretty big jump. And I don't know why, but big personal journeys like that always interest me in books!

But, come on, if any of you have ever read this book, I bet you're all asking why I have yet to mention the character that is the best and most mysterious, the cat Mogget. Well, technically he isn't just a cat, but the cat is my favourite Mogget shape. He's just my favourite fiction cat ever. His personality in the book is just amazing, and I think if you read this you can't help but love him, and his mysterious origin is tackled in later books (if you choose to read them).

So, that's only like, 3 reasons why I love this book, and there are so many more but if I wrote them all I would just end up with a giant post that no-one would ever get through. Which wouldn't be good.

All I can say now then, is that I highly recommend this book, and even this series, and it is highly likely that I'll eventually get round to reviewing the whole series at some point. 

Garth Nix's world he imagined in this book is just amazing and if you don't read this book, I think you'll really be missing out on a stunning adventure.

Feel free to leave your comments on the book!

TBR: This week's new books

Okay, so, if you follow me on Twitter or on Instagram, you've seen my posts about my book haul this week, and on twitter I've posted about getting accepted for my first Netgalley book requests too.

So, I'd thought I'd do a quick post about these books that are very likely going to be read in the next few weeks and why I'm so excited about them! (The names of the books will link to their Goodreads pages if you wanted to check them out).

First, the two Netgalley requests:

The cover for this book drew me in to request it, and as it's been compared to the maze-runner (which I loved) I thought I'd give it a try. It was my first ever Netgalley request to be accepted, so I'm super excited to get stuck into it!

So, the author of this book contacted me and asked if I would like to review this book, and when I saw the description it intrigued me. And I thought, hey, I kinda want to know whats going to happen in this book now, so I requested it. It'll be fun I think to review this one.

And now my paperbacks from my book haul this week:

So, I loved so many of her other books, and I've seen so many raving reviews about this series too that I decided to buy it and try it myself. Here's hoping I love it as much as her other books!

So, if you havent seen my review of the first book: Miss Peregine's Home for Peculiar Children, you should check it out HERE. I loved it, and I loved the second book, so I'm eagerly awaiting the time that I can finally get stuck into the third and final book of the series.

So, I've read the first book in this series (this is the second) and the first book has made me wonder just what storylines these authors have for this second book. Also, the covers are just beautiful, this one is an amazing blue colour. So, yaknow, hopefully the book is as beautiful as the cover.

Obviously, I have so many more books to read in my bookshelves, but these are the ones I think I'll be reading first, keep an eye out for the reviews of these in the future!

Have any of you read these books? Comment your thoughts on them if you have.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Review: Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Okay, so, I have a little confession here. I only heard about this book because I watched the film first.

*shocked gasp*

Yeah, I know, it should be book first then movies. But, in this case it was movie first. And I was fascinated by the movie, so I decided to buy the book! And boy, was I glad I bought this book. It was so intriguing.

Anyways, here it is (yes I chose the original cover, because even if I like watching movies that come from books, I rarely like the movie book covers, plus this is the cover I got):

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

So,  what can I say about this book? Other than it was very peculiar. 

Yes, yes, I know that seems like a cop-out seen as it is actually called Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children. But, it's the truth.

Also the truth: it took me a while to get into the book.

I don't know if it was because of what I had seen in the film, and so I already had expectations, or just because I was so fascinated by the photos in the book, but yes, I found it hard to get into.

However, I did eventually start to get hooked on this book, and all the children in it. I think the further I got in, and when it started to divert from the film a bit, I got into it much more quickly. 

The photos were what made this book for me. Fascinating photos of the people or things that were described in the book helped me to visualise characters more easily, which then made the plot a lot more real for me. Plus, as the book was filled with the pictures it just made me picture the whole story world myself, and considering sometimes I have problems being able to visualise people clearly this made the book all the much better.

I would definitely suggest reading this book if you love to visualise characters, and even if you're not much of a reader the film was good too, and might convince you to read the book after.

But, overall, I liked this book, and you can tell how much I got into it after the rocky start by the fact I was itching to buy the next two books in this trilogy as soon as I had turned the last page of it, as the cliffhanger at the end was frustratingly good (in that I was frustrated it ended like that and I couldn't read more, and that yet it was one of the most interesting cliffhangers I had read before).

So, yes, read this book, and marvel at the astounding pictures Ransom Riggs has used inside.

Any comments on what you thought of this book? or even the film?

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Review: Fairest of All by Serena Valentino

So, a short and sweet review, for a short and sweet book aka Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino!

How did the Wicked Queen become so evil?

When the King asks for her hand in marriage, the beautiful daughter of a cruel mirror-maker accepts, hoping her fortunes will change for the better... but will they?

This is the untold tale of love, loss, and dark magic behind the classic story of Snow White.

Okay, so, I felt like reading something to do with Disney this morning (you should all know I'm also obsessed with Disney) and I've had some of Serena's books in my bookshelf for a little while now and decided to have a quick morning read.

And what can I say about this book? Wow. That about sums it up. I love fairy tales and books that show a different side to fairy tales, and this book covers the other side of the Snow White story perfectly. Covering the Wicked Queen's start (marrying the King) and how it all came to the end where the Queen decides to try and kill Snow White. I think it was amazing to see the way that the Wicked Queen developed from a lonely, sweet woman into what she was in the original Snow White Story.

One thing about this book I found is that it could interest readers of all ages, and as it is quite a short book it may even be a great book to recommend to people who don't like to read much either. So, it could be said that this book could easily suck everyone into it's story if they chose to pick up the book (which I highly suggest you should).

So, to be short and sweet, I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves fairy tales, or even just someone who loves Disney. This book was amazing, and I expect I'll be just as amazed by the other Serena Valentino books I have in my TBR list aswell!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Review: Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

So, my first review!

I thought I'd start out with the book that I was currently reading, because, well, why not?
Seems silly to be reading something and instead start on a new book to review.

So, I admit, I picked up this book a few years ago in a used bookshop, and I have read it before. Not the whole series, I never got round to finishing it as I'm missing two of the later books, but I've read the first few in the series.

What called out to me about this book? Well, I'd heard of Rachel Caine before and this book had vampires in it, and I'm a vampire junkie sometimes. Well, here's the description:

Welcome to Morganville. Just don't stay out after dark.

Morganville is a small town filled with unusual characters - when the sun goes down, the bad come out. In Morganville, there is an evil that lurks in the darkest shadows - one that will spill out into the bright light of day.

For Claire Danvers, high school was hell, but college may be murder. It was bad enough that she got on the wrong side of Monica, the meanest of the school's mean girls, but now she's got three new roommates, who all have secrets of their own. And the biggest secret of all isn't really a secret, except from Claire: Morganville is run by vampires, and they are hungry for fresh blood.

What can I say about the book? Well, I did fall in love with one of the main characters, a boy named Michael. Just because he's cool, he plays guitar, he's protective and he's got a mysterious air about him (you find out why in the book, I won't spoil it). But I must admit, I just picture him in my mind and well, like I said I fell a little bit in love.

But who doesn't fall in love with characters in books? (hopefully it isn't just me)

But, back to the book, it's great to see the main character, Claire, kind of come into her own in this book as she started off quite quiet and a little bit meek at times when dealing with some horrible people at the college. I like it when characters slowly become more outspoken as they go along in the book, maybe that's just me though.

And the main characters in this book are just so easy to like, well, the non-vampire ones anyways. Eve, especially, is one of my favourites, the girl who is a goth in a town where anything gothic is seen as a rebellion to the vampires, and this girl is one of the biggest rebels in the town when it comes to that. I always get clear images in my mind of Eve as a character, when sometimes I find it hard to stick to one main look when picturing characters in books.

Anyways, to keep it short, I love the book, but like I said I have a weakness for vampire books, so I may be a bit biased. But, as a book, I'd read it again (as I have already read it before once), and Rachel Caine didn't disappoint with the plot.

I'll be reading the other books in this series as my travelling books this month (bus, train, etc.) and I think I'll just review them as a whole series at the end, unless any of them blow my mind, so, that's all for now on the Morganville vampires and my first review!

Feel free to comment any of your thoughts on the books!

My Favourite Re-Reads

So, first blog post for me!

I thought I had best start with those books that I just love, and can't help but to re-read.

So, be aware, if I don't post for a while, it's probably because yet again, I am re-reading one of my favourite books (though I will tell you that on Twitter so you don't think I've just given up on reading!).

Granted, the next time I re-read something, you will all get to see my lovely review of whatever book it is, as I'll just HAVE to review them, but I doubt you'd all want to hear my raving reviews of the same books over and over.

So, just to get it out of the way, I'll give you a list of my top re-reads!

1) Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

Okay guys, time to get it out there now: I am a Potterhead. I love everything to do with the Harry Potter world! (even joined a HP society at uni, but that's info for another time). I have read these books multiple times (unfortunately not recently), and I will probably re-read them forever. So, be prepared for multiple Potter posts.

2) The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix

I have read these books so many times, and have them in both paperback as well as on kindle, that is a sign of how much I love them. Obviously, there are a few more books added to these three now, but I've not had a chance to re-read the others yet.

3) The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

So, these are some of my favourite childhood books, and occasionally I like to re-read them and remember my childhood and the lovely magical world that C. S. Lewis created.

4) The Study Series by Maria V. Snyder

So, these books, I have read at the least 10 times each, I just keep going back to them. There is more to the series, but I haven't been able to get around to them yet. However, the first three are some of my favourite books and ones that I can just re-read whenever.

5) His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

I love these books, I mean, who doesn't?! And I was super excited to hear about the new books that are coming out to do with this series too. My excitement to read them can't be contained! Hence, these make my list as I can re-read them many times before the new book comes out, to add to the other times I've read this series too.

Of Course these aren't my only books that I re-read, you'll find I like to re-read books a lot, it helps me to get to know different points of the stories each time. But, these are some of the books that I always go to when I feel like just reading something I know.

But, I thought I'd tell you about them, and maybe encourage you to read them yourselves before I get around to reviewing them myself, as they are all amazing books.