Dewey’s 24 hour #readathon – April 2017

At 10pm tonight, Saturday 29th April, I will be participating in my second Dewey’s 24hour #readathon.

Please click on the link above if you want to know more about the #readathon. It also contains info on how to sign up. Also the page contains the origin story and pages if you would like to donate towards a charity. Or you could go and see some pre-readathon blogs!

I had so much fun participating in my first #readathon back in October 2016! Not only do you get a lot of reading done, but I love the environment on Twitter, Instagram, Litsy and BookAmino, which you can find me on all of them using @jadedeverafter. What’s better than reading and talking about your reading with others who love to read?

Everyone in the world will start at the same time so please go to website to see what time it will be in your part of the world 🙂

Of course, you don’t have to read for the whole 24 hours and since my start time is at 10pm, I do plan to get a bit of reading in, then some sleep!

I always have a fun time picking out a TBR for a readathon, so without further ado, please see my picks below:

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader – Anne Fadiman

Untitled Ex Libris was a Modern Mrs Darcy book club pick that I never got to. I ordered this copy at the start of the year from eBay really cheap. It arrived in perfect condition and is super short, only 128 pages, making it the perfect in between read for a #readathon.

Ex Libris is a collection of essays about Anne Fadiman’s love for reading and books in general, and I have been saving it for a #readathon, even though so many times I’ve eyed it from my shelf, wanting to jump into something made specifically for those of us who love books.

New American Best Friend – Olivia Gatwood

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New American Best Friend is the first book of poetry I have ever bought. I followed the Button Poetry Facebook page and saw a video of Oliva Gatwood reading out “Ode to Bitch Face” and knew I had to read more of her work, so I bought the book, even though conversion rates and shipping was super expensive to Australia. This book is super thin, 47 pages long, so another great book to pick up in between the bigger reads.

Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

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So this is one of those children’s classics that I never, ever read while I was younger.

I run the book club at work and we have decided to participate in Modern Mrs Darcy’s 2017 reading challenge. Yes, there is a theme occurring, I am a BIG fan of Modern Mrs Darcy’s blog, book club, pod cast, reading challenges, etc. Anyway, the Reading for Growth Challenge has a category of:

A Newberry Award Winner or Honor book

One of my work colleague’s researched the list of award winners and saw that Charlotte’s Web was a winner and she owned the book and very generously loaned me her daughter’s copy (who has made me swear to return the book as it was her childhood favourite – as if I wouldn’t – I know the codes of book loaning). So the pressure is on to read this one and return it as soon as possible.  Also I read the Witches by Roald Dahl in the last readathon and I found a children’s book to be a great pick, fast to read and immensely enjoyable as well.

Hunted – Meagan Spooner

UntitledOnce again I am super behind for this month’s bookclub picks. I am a part of a real life YA bookclub hosted by Dymocks Brisbane, where 3 books a month are picked. We are meeting on Wednesday and I haven’t read any! I am going to attempt to read a pick (Roseblood – A.G. Howard) today before the #readathon starts, but I would like to get to this one and hopefully finish it!

Plus, Hunted is a Beauty and the Beast retelling in a fantasy setting! AND it is by Meagan Spooner, who I haven’t read before but she is one half of the writing duo with Amie Kaufman, another author who I love and think is amazing and funny so I am trusting Amie’s great judgement of character 🙂

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful – Eric Lindstrom

UntitledThis is the actual set book for the bookclub (Dymocks sets a book, we vote for the other two). I need to finish this one as well!

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful focuses on a mental illness and it has great reviews so far. I am looking forward to reading it and seeing what I think.

So all up this is my TBR:

UntitledI honestly think I can do it. I also have books due back at the library that I desperately need to read. So if I do get through this stack, I can jump into one of those.

Let me know if you are participating and what your TBR/reading plan will be, I would love to know!

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon – My First Time

Readathon Announcement!

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is on 22 October and I will be participating for the very first time.

So what is it?

Dewey created the readathon on her blog (now archived) in 2007 but sadly she passed away in 2009. Her husband used to attend 24 hour comic events so she decided to do the same with books. The readathon continues in her memory and is held every April and October.

It is basically a pretty low key event that encourages you to read as much as possible in 24 hours. There are prizes to win, even for just signing up and posting throughout the day on all social media platforms. You can also volunteer. There are options to sign up to be a cheerleader, helping to organise the readathon, help with the prizes, etc.

Everyone in the world starts at the same moment but you will need to work out what time this is for you. It depends on where in the world you live! There is a helpful date and time tool on the website to help you work it all out.

To sign up (completely free and very easy to do!) or for further information, please click here.

My Starting Time:

Brisbane, Australia start time is 10pm, on Saturday 22 October, so 24 hours from then is 1opm Sunday 23 October.

Where will I be active?

Twitter: @jadedeverafter
Instagram: @jadedeverafter
Books Amino App: @jadedeverafter
Goodreads: @jadedeverafter
Litsy: @jadedeverafter

I am going to be a cheerleader!

This means I will check out some other participants and drop by their social media accounts and/or blog and say hello and give a few encouraging words

My TBR:

While I have decided to have a TBR, I may only follow it loosely. It will definitely be subject to my mood. I have a few graphic novels I want to read, which I may catch up on at 10pm, at the start of the readathon before I sleep! I also have some bookclub books I need to read and I am trying to stay with a spooky theme for Halloween. Or at least attempting too (since this is also the theme for our bookclub this month – besides Crooked Kingdoms which technically isn’t spooky but EVERYONE just wanted to read it).

Graphic Novels:

Untitled Untitled

I got both Rat Queens Vol 1 and Saga Vol 2 at Brisbane ComicCon this year and I am really looking forward to reading them. It’s been awhile since I have read Saga Vol 1, so I may dive into the first one before reading the second.

I figure it’s always handy to have some graphic novels on hand, whether I choose to read them late on Saturday night so I can fit some reading in before I sleep at the start of the readathon, or to break up my reading later on Sunday.

Shorter Stories:
Untitled Untitled

The Witches by Roald Dahl is a favourite of mine from when I was younger.The Witches is a perfect short read for a readathon. It also fits the Spooky theme for the month of October. I am trying to buy up Roald Dahl’s books secondhand and read them all so this will be my first book read (hopefully!) towards that goal.

I recently picked up The Woman in Black by Susan Hill  from a Lifeline Bookfest event. It is an extremely short novel and fits the spooky theme perfectly. I haven’t watched the movie or read the book before so I don’t know much about it, other than that it is quite creepy.

My Bookclub Picks:

UntitledUntitledUntitled

So for my bookclub (hosted by Dymocks in Brisbane, everyone is welcome!), we have a set book a month and then we all vote for two others. Usually we have a theme and this month is a spooky one. The Call is the set pick for the month and Nightfall and Crooked Kingdom won the most votes out of a list we nominated at the meeting. (Crooked Kingdoms technically isn’t very spooky but we all read Six of Crows for another month and desperately need to know what happens!!).

Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski will be my official novel that I am going to attempt to finish in the readathon. It focuses on a set of twins living on an island where it has been 14 years of day and 14 years of night is fast approaching and everyone needs to leave the island, but just when this is about to happen, the twins’ friend disappears and they volunteer to go and find them, not knowing if they will make it back in time. Sounds spooky for sure.

Crooked Kingdoms by Leigh Bardugo is a highly anticipated release for me.  I actually don’t think I will read it in this readathon BUT it will be next on my list. Who knows? I may even get a chance to start it in the readathon – we will see!

The Call by Peadar O’Guilin is  YA, paranormal dystopian?? I think? It’s confusing and weird and wonderful. I am about halfway through as you can see. I may just finish this one  in time for the readathon. Otherwise I will be finishing it off at the start and putting too much pressure on myself.
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Let me know about you!

Are you participating this year? Do you want to encourage each other? Have you participated previously? Any tips and tricks for a first time 24hr readathoner? Let me know 🙂

 

Lady Helen & the Dark Days Club Book Review

Lady Helen & the Dark Days Club Book ReviewLady Helen and the Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1) by Alison Goodman
Published by HarperCollins - AU on December 14th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Source: Dymocks
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Book Depository

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

London, April 1812. Lady Helen Wrexhall is set to make her debut at the court of Queen Charlotte and officially step into polite Regency society and the marriage mart. Little does Helen know that step will take her from the opulent drawing rooms of Mayfair and the bright lights of Vauxhall Gardens into a shadowy world of missing housemaids and demonic conspiracies.
Standing between those two worlds is Lord Carlston, a man of ruined reputation and brusque manners. He believes Helen has a destiny beyond the ballroom; a sacred and secret duty. Helen is not so sure, especially when she discovers that nothing around her is quite as it seems, including the enigmatic Lord Carlston.
Against a backdrop of whispered secrets in St James's Palace, soirees with Lord Byron and morning calls from Beau Brummell, Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club is a delightfully dangerous adventure of self-discovery and dark choices that must be made ... whatever the consequences.

Goodreads
four-stars

Bookclub pick

Enter into the Dark Days Club – If You Dare

Regency society dictates that a lady must behave a certain way. They must wear corseted dresses, be chaperoned always, receive calling cards from their visitors and probably shouldn’t fight demons??

Lady Helen has been raised in her Aunt and Uncle’s house, with her older brother. She does belong to a respectable family, well, despite all those rumours surrounding her parents all those years ago. She is preparing for her big debut into society, climaxing in the meeting of Queen Charlotte in her court.

Oh and by the way, that handsome, suspected murderer, Lord Carlston, yeah, him? He is back in town.

Helen really shouldn’t be distracted, but mystery surrounds her keepsake locket from her mother, things live in the shadows and Lord Carlston knows the answers. Or is he not to be trusted?

First off, Historical Fiction Win

So it is no surprise that I happen to absolutely adore historical fiction. While I am not an expert by all means in the regency area, from what I do know, this book is really good at nailing the era. I poured over the research notes made by the author in the back of the book.

Sidenote – she mentions an Austen Festival that happens in Australia – HOW DID I LIVE HERE IN ALL MY YEARS SINCE BIRTH AND NOT KNOW THIS??

Back to the review.

Regency. Great job. Historically accurate as far as I am aware. Loved the clothes, the customs and the shops. Just really glad that I don’t have to live in that era. I mean, chaperoned, all the time? Calling cards? Dancing actual dances and not just moving awkwardly to the music?

Demon Hunters Y’all

So you have the scene laid down for the Regency area, all you need is some demons and paranormal aspects, amrite?

Helen has no idea what is going on and MUST enlist the help of a Lord Carlston, who is just casually back from who knows where but suspicion surrounds him for possibly killing his wife. (So of course he is to be trusted?) Carlston  belongs to the Dark Days Club, devoted to population control of the paranormal and strange. His mentor may be unhinged, he is shifty at best and Helen finds some items and a letter from her past that may convince to take another route to what Carlston is offering.

Love Triangle Insert Here

Lord Carlston isn’t the only catch. Helen has also attracted the attention of her older brother’s bestie. Who happens to be handsome and oh so rich. Too bad that almost every time she is with him, ‘unusual’ activites arise.

SO I loved it

I loved the historical aspects, Helen’s a pretty kick-ass character (for her time) and the love triangle seems to work in this one. I am partial to bad boy though or at least a man with a mysterious past so I am team Carlston. Also the ‘magic’ has consequences which I appreciated. There is a lot of room open for where the series could go.

I gave it a solid four stars (I don’t do half stars – though I like popping in my star ratings in the scorecard below and seeing what it spits out as the final rating).

The ONE THING I do not like is this Australian cover – The American hard back is so pretty! (So I’ve left that link in case your interested the top of the page under either Book Depository or Amazon).

Also in case you didn’t know, this is Alison Goodman, you know, from the Eon/Eona fame? Which I haven’t read yet but everyone I talk to, read or watch, says it’s brilliant.

Oh and the Lord Byron cameos – so awesome.

I read this book because it was picked for my bookclub. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have picked it off the shelf (due to horrible pink cover) but I am glad I did read it and I look forward to finishing the series as it comes out.

 

four-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Goodreads Challenge

Latest Update: Blog, books, life

So hey, how have you been?
Here is update on me.

First, the blog update…

I have made the move to a self-hosted website.... Click To Tweet I also have an evil plan to post regularly and pop up some long overdue reviews. May even harness the power of a scheduled post or two. Look me trying to be all book blogger fantastic over here.

If you are a wordpress.com subscriber, you may need to subscribe to my website again. This is so you will receive an email when I update. Otherwise I will only appear in your reader. If you are happy with that, you don’t have to do a thing 🙂

Secondly, the book world update…

Life has been busy but I am managing to read, on average, 10 books a month which I am happy with.

In book related news, I have:

  • Attended the Brisbane Writers Festival and met Jay Kristoff, Melina Marchetta, Amie Kaufman, Jaclyn Moriarty. No big deal – just casually let Melina and Jaclyn know I was their BIGGEST fan growing up
  • Hit up the Sunshine Coast Lifeline Bookfest with the motto ‘treat yo’ self’ and that I did (cheap books and benefiting a charity, win win I say!)
  • Have been attending my monthly YA bookclub and being surrounded by other  YA book fans – if you live in or close to Brisbane, you should check it out – go to the Dymocks Brisbane facebook page and have a look
  • Saw Tim Winton speak during my lunch break last week – he is a super popular Australian author and was so refreshing to see and hear him talk. I HAD to leave early though, to get back to work in time, but I left a book with a friend to get it signed for me
  • FINALLY reorganised my bookshelf into alphabetical order by authors last name and catalogued it ALLLLL! (Sidenote, I have 900+ books) (additional sidenote – the Zs do not fit on my shelves – yes, plural, and actually Z does make up more books than you think). I have 12 books with the author’s last name starting with Z! 12 just sitting on the top on my bookshelf all lonely and angsty away from their other book friends
  • Loving Book Riot and the Modern Mrs Darcy – I get their daily emails on kindle deals, and they have the best articles on books, though they are both very dangerous for my TBRs, with all their excellent recommendations
  • Pretty excited and fangirling over the fact that Meg Cabot has a new book in the Boy series – has anyone read it yet?

Thirdly, my life in general update…

In just regular life news I have:

  • Attended my best friend’s wedding – she was gorgeous, he was gorgeous, the venue was to die for, and now both of us, married in the same year, are going to become old married ladies together 🙂
  • While making the trip down to cold Melbourne for my friend’s wedding, I was also able to make it in time for both my nan and dad’s birthdays and got to spend some time with my family #familybondingtime
  • Seen Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (just tonight actually) and loved it – this could also fall under bookish news above I guess – I do now have the urge to read books two and three (I know, SHAME!)
  • Witnessed an engagement of two close friends – it was romantic and lovely and included all of our friends
  • Attended birthday parties – September is a busy month for birthdays in my family and friends group!
  • Started a new food box subscription – I need to eat and cook more healthy, I have decided
  • Thinking about, but not starting, a new exercise regime – I have been feeling a bit flat lately
  • Spending time with my two little fur monsters and the husband (can’t believe its been four months since we married)

My current read is Burial Rites.

I am going to see Hannah Kent in Brisbane really soon and I haven’t read anything by her yet.

Apparently it’s an amazing book. I have just started it so I will have to let you know.Burial RitesHave you read Burial Rites? Let me know what your thoughts were if you have! I would also love to know what’s going on with you guys at the moment, bookish or otherwise.

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And I’m Back….

Hi everyone.

I had quite some time off from blogging (but not reading!) and now I am back and ready to dive back into the blog and get it up and running again!

pokemon

The reason for my absence is an extremely happy one. I got married! There was so much to do leading up to the wedding with all the planning and the wedding happened to be interstate which made it so much more easier to plan (NOT!). I flew back and forth quite a bit and organised not only the wedding but also the honeymoon as well, our first overseas trip. I have so many photos and I love them all but I’ll include two of my favourites below:

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Leading up to the wedding, everyone tells you the day goes so fast but it’s not until you are experiencing it, that you actually realise just how fast it goes. It wasn’t until the very end of the night, after we had walked through the goodbye arch in the photo above, that we finally got a chance to just sit and enjoy the moment, just the two of us, knowing that we were actually married!

 For our honeymoon we both experienced our very first trip overseas, to Hawaii.

lilo and stitch.gif

Hawaii was beautiful and we were lucky enough to spend three weeks there, travelling between all the main islands. We had a great time but the trip also opened our eyes to the crazy world of travelling and we picked up on so many differences between our Australian culture and the American one, that we were not expecting. I also went to my first Barnes and Noble and my husband treated me to a shopping spree so look out for that haul 🙂

So now we are home. I have to say I was starting to get very homesick towards the end of our trip, mainly because I missed our dogs so very much. My new husband (!) and I are slowly getting back into the usual routines and I am so excited to share the books that I have been reading or that I am highly anticipating. It seems as if all my favourite authors have gathered together and came up with a plan to take all my money.

How have you all been? Any exciting news? I have been active on Books Amino lately, I am jadedeverafter there as well, so if you want to see what I am reading, check me out there, or on goodreads.

There has also been a lot of readathons happening. Did any of you participate? I read four books for the booktubeathon which was short on my goal of seven but I was pretty happy with the effort.

I will be back very soon with some book related posts

Angela’s Ashes Book Review – ‘It’s a hard knocked life’

Angela’s Ashes Book Review – ‘It’s a hard knocked life’Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
Series: Frank McCourt #1
Published by Harper Perennial on October 3rd 2005
Genres: Nonfiction, Adult
Pages: 432
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Book Depository

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”
So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy — exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling — does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.
Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.
Angela’s Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt’s astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.

Goodreads
four-stars

Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge (RGRC)

Reviewing Angela’s Ashes

I picked up Angela’s Ashes for my January pick from the RGRC (Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge). Please click on the link if you want more information on the RGRC .

It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.

Angela’s Ashes is Frank McCourt’s childhood. Frank grew up in Ireland, with disease and poverty a commonly accepted part of life. You were lucky to survive your childhood. If you did, you would have the scars, invisible or indeed, visible to prove it.

Frank McCourt tells his story with a dry sense of humour that I absolutely adored. It was a slow read but one that drew me in, giving me a glimpse at how the socioeconomic factors and religion shaped the development of the main character’s life.

From his shoes being worn, to punishments, to his drunken dad and poor mother, Frank had an interesting life growing up. It broke my heart at how many of his siblings did not pull through. In the retelling of his earlier years, Frank gives us a glimpse at a hard life, one a lot of us would not be able to comprehend and one that quite a few people still live through.

I fell in love with the story when Frank discovered his love of  Shakespeare when he was sick in hospital. He would sneak read poetry and stories to a sick girl in a nearby room. He also got into trouble for doing so.

Frank doesn’t take himself too seriously. He wants what others have but is content with what he is given, most of the time. I was in tears of laughter when he was wearing his grandmother’s dress when washing his own set of clothes, even though the fact that he hardly had any clothes should have been a sobering one. Mr Court’s storytelling style draws you in and you feel as if you are a part of the atmosphere.

As Frank begins to leave his childhood behind in Ireland, he continues his life story in both ‘Tis and Teacher Man. I need to know what happens!

Tisteacher man

With lines like the one below, I encourage you to read this if you get the chance:

The master says it’s a glorious thing to die for the Faith and Dad says it’s a glorious thing to die for Ireland and I wonder if there’s anyone in the world who would like us to live.

Let me know

Have you read Angela’s Ashes? Have you seen the movie? Are you also participating the RGRC? Please let me know in the comments below!

2016

Pages read: 1,835

  1. The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) by Rick Yancey
  2. Me Before You (Me Before You #1) by JoJo Moyes
  3. Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt #1) by Frank McCourt
  4. Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1) by Alison Goodman
four-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Goodreads Challenge
  • Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge

Kiss Me, I’m Irish Book Tag

I was tagged by Larkin@wonderfilledreads. Thank you for the tag! I am not sure of the creator, but please let me know in the comments below and I will add them into the post!


Green: A book with a green cover

little-women-cover-02.jpg

For this one I chose Little Women by Louisa May Alcott in the Puffin edition. I got this version when I was interstate and I had just purchased my wedding dress. That memory combined with being such an amazing story and one I can read again and again makes this book special to me.


Blarney: A book that deceived you into either liking it or was overhyped and you ended up disliking it

Dumplin.jpg

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy was so hyped at the time and I was so excited to get the hardback edition in my first ever Owlcrate. Sadly, I wasn’t blown away though I do think we need more books about being confident about your body.


Brogue: A book where one of the characters has an accent

Outlander.jpg

Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series, starting with Book 1: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.This series is amazing and I love Jamie and his Scottish accent.


Leprechaun: a book you enjoyed when you where a little person

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The Magic Faraway Tree Collection by Enid Blyton would have to be the first series I ever remember reading. This was before I (or the world) had heard of Harry Potter. I was in Grade one and our teacher would read sections of the book out loud to the class so I begged my mum for the same copy the teacher had so I could follow her in the classroom. It was after this, I become obsessed with reading and haven’t looked back. The series is so magical and I recently found audiobooks narrated by Kate Winslet that I want to move onto soon to relive the stories.


Pot of Gold: A book that cost you a lot or is of great value to you

Penguin editions.jpg

I am going to cheat and choose two books published in this gorgeous penguin hardcover editions: Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park and Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta. My soon-to-be husband bought both of these for me for a birthday present and that meant so much to me as it showed that he had been paying attention to all my chattering at the bookstore (he does not read books at all). Also individually each of these books made an impact on me during different stages of my childhood/teenage years and are books I have reread so many times. Melina Marchetta is actually my favourite author and I do not say that lightly. Additionally, these editions are absolutely amazing, with gorgeous covers, beautiful end pages and just the overall colouring of text and little details just makes me so happy as a book collector and lover of beautifully printed editions.


Four-leaf clover or Shamrock: More than one book. Pick your current or old favourite series

lumatere chronicles.jpg

So you know how I was just saying Melina Marchetta is one of my favourite authors? This series is a big reason as to why. The Lumatere Chronicles are simply amazing, starting with Finnikin of the Rock, continuing with Froi of the Exiles and finishing with Quintana of Charyn. The covers above have just been released in paperback as new editions and they put my old editions to shame – I feel a whole series rebuy coming soon! (Why do publishers do this? WHY?). This series got me into fantasy – it has so many amazing characters, great character development and such an unique magic system that actually plays a secondary role to the plot in most cases. I recommend this series to EVERYONE!


Magic: A book that you found magical or a book where you enjoyed a magic element that was found in the storyline

warbreaker.jpg

Ok we all know Harry Potter is the obvious answer, the other books I would have chosen are already included in other categories (Lumatere Chronicles, Outlander, The Night Circus) so I thought Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson would be the perfect pick. I mean any of Brandon Sanderson’s magnificient pieces of work would fit, as the man can write great magic systems but Warbreaker stands out, it is a standalone (with a possible sequel even though it doesn’t need it – though anything else Brandon would like to add into the world I am all for), it has strong female characters, interesting concepts and great world building as you would expect from his novels. But the magic system is on point, its about breath and colour! How amazing does that sound? Do yourself a favour and read a Brandon Sanderson book as soon as possible, even if it is not this one. The Mistborn Trilogy and the Stormlight Archive Series also receive honourable mentions here 🙂


Kiss: Your current favourite book pairing or your all time favourite book pairing

The Night Circus.jpg

So my all time favourite pairing is Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy but I feel like that is a too common answer so I decided to go with The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, in particular Celia Bowen and Marco Alisdair. I recently reread this book for the second time and I loved it even more, if possible. This is another book I would consider for the magic category as it is such an enchanting, magical read.


Luck: A book on your shelf that you will luckily get to…someday

throne of glass.jpg

So I think I am one of the few book readers out there that hasn’t yet started the first book in the series Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. I have been collecting the hardcover versions but have been hesitant to start the series until it is finished or the last book is about to be published. I have been burnt by fantasy series before that take too long to be finished and I feel like I may want to binge read this one.


Jig: A book that you don’t currently own but if you could get a hold of it, it would make you dance with joy

the rose and the dagger

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh is my most anticipated release this year. I read the Wrath and the Dawn for bookclub at the start of this year and I absolutely adored it. The writing is so luxurious and enchanting, I just wanted more so luckily I found out there would be a sequel because cliffhanger!


I tag:

Hollie @thehollieblog

Claire @CupOfBooks

Jamie @WindUpWonderland

Don’t feel obliged to do the tag if you don’t want to!

February TBR

FEB TBR

This has been posted a little bit late but these are all the books that I wanted to read in February and reflecting back, I actually did quite well in getting to most of them.

  1. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina.jpg

This was my RGRC (Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge) book for February. I downloaded the ebook on my Kindle for this one. For those who don’t know, Anna Karenina follows the story of Anna, her love affair, and the loves and lives of her brother and sister-in-law, as well as her brother’s best friend and her sister-in-law’s sister’s (it sounds more confusing than it actually is!)  blossoming relationship. It is set in Russia prior to the Russian Revolution and I looked forward to reading the building tensions towards each class in society as well as society’s double standards at the time regarding men and women. This is a MASSIVE book, so be prepared for a time investment if you want to read this one.

Sidenote – when actually reading this, I had an audiobook and other books on the go as I needed to break it up to prevent a reading slump I felt was coming on. It worked and reading slump prevented!

2. Charmed Life – Diana Wynne Jones

Charmed Life

Over the Christmas break I watched Howl’s Moving Castle for the first time and absolutely adored it. I looked in BorrowBox and could not find it but did find this gem. This is the first in the Chrestomanci series and focuses on a young boy Eric (but everyone calls him Cat) and his sister, Gwendolyn. Gwendolyn is a witch and Eric is not, but Eric loves her anyway and puts up with all of her magical tricks and pranks she plays on him. The w0rld they live in is magical with hedge witches and necromancers living in town, offering their services for a fee. The two siblings are orphans, with their affairs being looked after by the town and them living with a hedge witch who is not the most advanced witch in the world. Through a series of events (and Gwendolyn’s meddling), the two orphans end up living in Chrestomanci Castle with other children and a host of interesting beings. With Gwendolyn under strict orders NOT to practice magic, and Gwendolyn determined to show how powerful she is, Cat has his work cut out for him in keeping the peace.

Sidenote – I thoroughly enjoyed this book so much and have no idea why I did not discover it when I was younger.

3. The Princess Diaries – Meg Cabot

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I started reading this series when I was in high school but I never finished it! I love Meg Cabot’s writing and have enjoyed other books of hers. Ms Cabot released an adult book in the series, Royal Wedding and as I am getting married this year, I thought it was about time to finish the series.

Sidenote – I wasn’t sure if would be able to enjoy the series now that I am at least ten years older than Mia when this series begins, but I loved it!

4. Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

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This book has been on my wishlists forever but I never made the plunge until I found Jen Campbell’s other book, The Bookshop Book and I decided to finally get it. It is a compilation of all the different things Jen has heard working in bookshops. It makes you laugh otherwise you would cry at the silly things customers can say. Working in retail all throughout my high school and uni years, I know all too well that customers are not always right!

Sidenote – I was having a not very nice week, and this book just made me giggle and feel so much better.

5. Tonight the Streets are Ours

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I read This Song Will Save Your Life last year from the library and it was one of my favourite reads of the year. So when this popped up on Borrowbox I just had to add it to my TBR list as soon as possible.

6. Does My Head Look Big in This?

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One of the three bookclub picks of the month. Admittedly, this book has been on my radar since I was in high school but I never got around to it. It is about a Muslim girl who decides to wear the habib full-time at school, about being true to who you are and about friends because when you are a teenager in high school, your friends help you get through.

7. The Graveyard Book

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This book is one of my bookclub’s picks of the month. Another book that I have been wanting to read. I read Coraline last year from the library and really enjoyed it.

8. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

this disreputable history of Frankie Landau-Banks

My bookclub’s pick of the month. I looked forward to reading an E.Lockhart book and this one sounded awesome, a girl developing into who she is and possibly becoming a criminal mastermind in the process.

9. Passenger

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I added this to my Borrowbox queue as soon as I could. This book is getting a LOT of hype. With time-travel and pirates, it does sound pretty awesome. I read Outlander last year and loved it so I am in the mood for a good time-travelling novel.

10. Da Vinci’s Tiger

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This was my last pick for my February 2016 TBR. I received a hardback copy in my Owlcrate subscription. This book is set in Venice and focuses on Leonardo Da Vinci’s muse. How awesome does that sound? A bit of historical fiction is right up my alley at the moment.

Me Before You Book Review – Careful, it makes you cry

Me Before You Book Review – Careful, it makes you cryMe Before You by JoJo Moyes
Series: Me Before You #1
Published by Michael Joseph (UK) on January 5th 2012
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 481
Format: Paperback
Source: Secondhand bookstore
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Book Depository

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

Goodreads
five-stars

Recommended by colleague; knew a movie was coming out.

 

This book broke me.
But it also made me laugh out loud.

I had heard from a colleague at work and through reviews that this was a great book but I never got around to it (you know how it is). I had picked up a copy secondhand and it was just sitting on my shelf, gathering dust until one night I decided to go the gym.

This resulted with me being hardly able to walk which meant I needed to soak in epsom salts IMMEDIATELY. I love to read in the bath. I am also very clumsy. So I chose a secondhand copy to read – here comes the rescuing off my shelves of Me Before You, which I had picked up from a secondhand store a month or so previously.

Plus I heard a movie version was coming out.

Well, fast forward two hours later, wrinkly and cold, I found it hard to put it down, get out of the bath and go to bed, at midnight, when I had to get up for work at 5am the next day. On the plus side, I didn’t get the book wet this time. (The book did end up with tear-stained marks at the end. That’s another story however).

This book was everything.

The main character Lou made this book for me. I loved how she expressed herself through her quirky dress sense and her sense of humour. She could take a joke but also give one back. Lou was brave and fearless, eating cheesecake in a group of fitness fanatics is quite a scary thing to do. She was loyal and committed and never gave up.

I also liked Will immensely. He was dealt a horrible hand in life and I liked that the author didn’t gloss over that or make him polite with other people and their awkwardness around him. It was their problem, not his and he made that abundantly clear. He would never be able to walk again, experience the life he once led and that sucks. So why shouldn’t he be a bit bitter about it? I know I definitely would be.

I loved the friendship that developed between the two characters, first and foremost. Lou didn’t take Will’s crap and Will respected her for that. I liked that Will wanted to educate her on the ‘finer’ things in life, but she was really educating him on appreciating the little things and finding joy, no matter what the circumstances.

The slow building romance was just a bonus.

I enjoy well-written supporting characters and this book had an abundance of them. Will’s stern but caring mum. His dad that doesn’t quite know what to do. Lou’s loving parents who are going through so much but always put their family first. Her sister was her best friend and her nephew was so cute. Lou’s grandpa who made me giggle quite a bit with the little outbursts/face expressions he made. Lou’s family did not have much materially but they had that special dose of family closeness that shone through even in the tougher times.

The only thing I did not love is Lou’s boyfriend Patrick. What is such an amazing woman doing settling for such a self-absorbed (insert bad word here)? He didn’t treat her badly but he didn’t exactly go out of his way to care for her either. I do not condone cheating or having feelings while you are with someone else. It is one of my ultimate peeves in book relationships (and real ones of course). However, I made an exception in this case. I wanted, no, NEEDED Lou to end up with Will.

I could write a whole other post on my opinions of the ending but I won’t go into it here.

That is all.

Before I start to remember how sad I was and start bawling again.

2016

Pages read: 1,835

  1. The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) by Rick Yancey
  2. Me Before You (Me Before You #1) by JoJo Moyes
  3. Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt #1) by Frank McCourt
  4. Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1) by Alison Goodman
five-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Goodreads Challenge

The 5th Wave Book Review – My First Review for 2016

The 5th Wave Book Review – My First Review for 2016The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Series: The 5th Wave #1
Published by Putnam Juvenile on May 7th 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Apocalyptic
Pages: 474
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Book Depository

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother--or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Goodreads
three-stars

Bookclub pick, Movie due to be coming out soon

“If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans” – Stephen Hawking

This quote is the premise of the 5th Wave and in fact, is used at the start of the book. The alien race in the 5th Wave is the advanced species. Also very much like the first settlers, this advanced race wants to play finders keepers with our planet and supposedly dispose of the pesky humans that overrun it.

What would be the perfect way to do this? Shut off our technology or more specifically our electricity. How often do you use your phone throughout the day and how alone do feel when you think you have lost it? Now try to imagine a world where we don’t have access to wi-fi, internet, computers. Not to mention most cars use some type of computer these days. So no electricity, no cars/transport. Now think to the hospitals, we may not use them very often but the machines in there often save lives. Imagine all that lost in an instant. Then throw in a new virus that no one will have the tools or resources to cure. That should do the trick, right?

The alien invasion in The 5th Wave is logical to me.

It makes sense. The shutting of electricity and spreading the virus happens in ‘waves’, hence the title. Human existence is dissolving and Cassie is trying to make sense out of the craziness she has been plunged into.  Cassie needs to survive, she doesn’t know who to trust and MUST keep her family together despite everything thrown her way.

“I may be the last one, but I am, the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running, not staying, but facing. Because if I am the last one, than I am humanity. And if this humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.”

The worse happens. Cassie is separates from her brother, not by choice. She spends the book trying to find him, feeling as if she is the last human alive. She is torn between her instincts – on one hand, if she stays by herself, never trusting a single soul, she may keep herself alive, scrounging the leftovers from the world she once knew, however, always on the run, never being able to feel safe again. On the other hand, if she decides to trust someone or go searching for a group, she may be able to amount an attack and fight for what is left, to feel safe again. If there is anyone left to trust, since the alien have been taking over the human bodies.

So what did I think?

The 5th Wave is a post-apocalyptic, young adult novel about humanity, an indirect take on our overuse of technology and about family at the heart. However it is also about a teenage girl with hormones and even in the post-apocalyptic setting, a love triangle blooms. Throw in some multiple points of view, a tough as nails training ground that raises the remaining young children into automatic weapons and some high-tech alien technology and an army base that you can never quite figure out if the aliens have invaded or not and you have a tangle of a book that could have turned out amazing if it wasn’t for all that teenage angsty love feels. Also Cassie’s thoughts – they did begin to get annoying.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good romance and even though in this type of setting, I personally would not want to get involved with anyone, I do get it. There is an absence of the good stuff that used to exist and in a world that you don’t know if you are going to see the next day, you might as well take some risks and go for it. But……. It didn’t work for me in this instance. It may work for you though. This one line did make me feel a little something:

“I had it all wrong,” he says. “Before I found you, I thought the only way to hold on was to find something to live for. It isn’t. To hold on, you have to find something you’re willing to die for.”

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I liked the story and I do want to continue with the series. Mainly because I have an obsession to complete things. Though the fact that I didn’t go and see the movie may mean that it is not high on my priority list. I will wait for the DVD for this one. What did you guys think? Have you seen the movie?

Let me know your thoughts!

2016

Pages read: 1,835

  1. The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) by Rick Yancey
  2. Me Before You (Me Before You #1) by JoJo Moyes
  3. Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt #1) by Frank McCourt
  4. Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1) by Alison Goodman
three-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Goodreads Challenge

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