Trees of Reverie Read-a-Thon Wrap Up

My progress for the Trees of Reverie Read-a-thon, day-by-day!

Saturday 25th June

I…. Didn’t read anything.

Sunday 26th June

  • 84 pages of The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
  • 34 pages of Lumberjanes Volume 3

Monday 27th June

  • 96 pages of Runaways Vol 6 
  • 64 pages of The Last Star by Rick Yancey

Tuesday 28th June

Nothing, again. I am the worst.

Wednesday 29th June

  • 118 pages of The Last Star by Rick Yancey
  • 25 pages of W.B. Yeats: Poems selected by Seamus Heaney

Thursday 30th June

  • 44 pages of The Last Star by Rick Yancey
  • 94 pages of Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson

Friday 1st July

  • 317 pages of Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson
  • 20 pages of The Last Star by Rick Yancey

Saturday 2nd July

  • 92 pages of The Last Star by Rick Yancey
  • 48 pages of DC Bombshells Vol 1

Sunday 3rd July

  • 48 pages of DC Bombshells Vol 1

 

And that is everything I read over the read-a-thon! My total page count was 1084! Yes! I finished 5 books, and nearly finished DC Bombshells but had to put it down before I could before I was tired and nothing was making sense.

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Trees of Reverie Read-a-Thon TBR

This is something new to my blog- a TBR! And for a Read-a-Thon! I’ve taken part in the Trees of Reverie Read-a-Thon… three times before, if my memory isn’t failing me, and it’s super chill.

These read-a-thons take place several times in a year, and typically last for a week- this one lasts from June 25th (the day before I release this post) to the 3rd of July. You can read more about the read-a-thon over here, and I do recommend taking part if you can! I’ll do a post with all of my daily page counts (my thoughts on the books I read will be in my wrap-up!) at the end of the read-a-thon, but for the time being- MY TBR!

  • The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
    • I read the first book in this trilogy, The 5th Wave, in 2 days and loved it, and even though I’m already 200 pages into this one pre-read-a-thon, I’m still including the last third as part of this. Honestly recommend this series, I’ve seen complaints about this book but I think it’s a great follow up to the first so far!
  • The Last Star by Rick Yancey
    • Yup, the third book in the trilogy! I just really, really adore this series, okay? I feel like it blows all YA Dystopians/Apocalyptic novels out of the water and just completely defied all of my expectations. It’s probably one of my favourite trilogies now, up there with the Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant. Which is saying something, because I adore that trilogy.
  • Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan 
    • This is another book I’m 200 pages into and haven’t finished, mostly because I lost the motivation to read it, even though I really enjoyed what I’ve read so far. I hope to finish this, The Infinite Sea and the next comic I’m going to mention in the earlier part of the read-a-thon!
  • Lumberjanes Vol 3: A Terrible Plan by Noelle Stevenson
    • I only have one issue left in this volume, but I thought I’d include it anyway! I’m enjoying this one, and the artist change isn’t as drastic as everyone made it out to be- I actually think it’s quite a smooth change, honestly, and really captures the whole feel of the comic!
  • DC Bombshells Vol 1: Enlisted by Marguerite Bennett 
    • I am honestly so excited to read this. This series is set in an alternate reality and follows the superpowered women of DC as they fight at the front lines of the war. This volume follows Batwoman, Wonder Woman and Supergirl, and I think I might be most excited for Batwoman (I just love the bat family in general!)
  • The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
    • The 5th Wave has really put me in an apocalypse/zombie book mood, so I will be picking this one up after I finish reading the trilogy. I watched the new trailer for the film and really loved it, and apparently it’s quite accurate, so I’ve got high hopes for this one!
  • Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
    • Yeah… This might sound familiar to some, seeing as I read it in May. I’m going to be re-reading this as I want to write a review for it, and I read it so quick last time that I didn’t have time to take notes on it. And considering how much I adore it, I need notes to write the review.
  • The Aliens are Coming by Ben Miller
    • I can’t really explain my fascination with space and aliens. I think, in another life, I might have been Agent Mulder from The X-Files. I’m so excited to read my first non-fiction book about space/aliens, and I have a feeling this will be a quick, fun read!

So I don’t think I’ll be able to get through all 8 of these while simultaneously finishing up my first year of A-Levels and dealing with work experience/University open days, but I’m already half way through 2 of the books and one of the comics, so who knows? I might surprise myself! I hope to finish between 800-1000 pages, so we’ll see what happens.

If anyone else is taking part in this, let me know what you’ll be reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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April/May Wrap Up

So if you’ve read my very recent March wrap up, intense studying for my A-Level exams has led me to having to do a dual wrap up for the months of April and May. Luckily, I still read/watch a lot during these two months (mostly comics- I’ve fallen into the comic black hole and I’m not coming back!).

As per usual, I binge read a lot, so the links will only be to reviews of the first book/volume to avoid spoilers. Also, I haven’t had time to write my reviews for a few of these, but I’m planning on making reviews/discussions about them anyway, so keep an eye out for those!

Reading Month(s)

  • The Foxhole Court: After starting this book in March (I think) and putting it down after a measly 13% till I was in the mood, I finally decided in early April that I was in the mood…. So I finished the remaining 87% in a night and then bought the next two books on my kindle the following day. Yeah. To say I enjoyed this is an understatement, and if anyone’s interested (please be interested!!!) just know that there is a trigger warning for rape, drugging and violence throughout this trilogy.
  • The Raven King: Not to be confused with that Raven King, this is the sequel to The Foxhole Court, and a very strong follow up indeed.
  • The King’s MenYup, you guessed it: this is the third book in the All For the Game trilogy and my favourite of the bunch. Seriously, so good. This started my slow descent into hockey madness, as this was followed by me binge reading Check, Please! again (I’m also working on a webcomic recommendation post right now, if anyone is interested!).
  • Giant Days Vol. 1: So many expectations met with this one. Giant Days follows 3 girls in their first year at University, and all of the mundane, generic things that come with that time in your life. This is set in England, which is great, and it has a humour and art style that I absolutely LOVE. Really couldn’t recommend this one enough to whoever still needs to pick it up!
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau Banks: A real feminist read, this one. This follows 15/16 year old Frankie after she realises her new boyfriend is in a secret society that refuses to allow females to join, and begins to mess with them as an act of anarchy against the system. It’s really freaking good, and may have even been more entertaining, despite me giving it a slightly lower rating, than We Were Liars. If E.Lockhart ever wrote a book with a queer protagonist, there’s no doubt in my mind that it would end up as one of my favourites.
  • Radio Silence: Alice Oseman is a gift to the YA genre and everyone should read her books. She’s also documenting the writing process of her 3rd book in vlogs, which is so great so far. Radio Silence is phenomenal, following 17/18 year old Frances during her last year of A-Levels, and shows her relationship with Aled, the boy who lives across from her. Bisexuality is talked about, University and expectations of young people plays a prominent role in the plot, an incredible platonic love is established between Frances and Aled, and I cried. Wait until I write my review, it’ll be 90% me praising Alice.
  • A Gathering of Shadows: I read this in a day. A day. Go big or go home, I guess. A Gathering of Shadows is a sequel to V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic, and is honestly such a good follow up I may like it even more than the first. I read this, Radio Silence and the last half of Frankie-Landau in the space of 2 days while my laptop was busted, and it was such a great way to spend my time.
  • The Raven KingThis is that Raven King. And I loved it. Shocker? Not really. I couldn’t be more happy with this conclusion, if I’m honest, although I wouldn’t say no to any extra small stories, if Maggie ever wants to write some.
  • Paper Girls Vol. 1: Ahhhh this is so good! This follows 4 Paper Girls in the 80s, and is absolutely mental- I didn’t expect it to go in the direction it did, and underestimated how intense it would actually be. Really recommend this one.
  • Nailbiter Vol.1: Nailbiter is definitely for an older audience. Set in a town that’s spawned 16 of the worst serial killers the world has ever seen, the most recent being someone who would chew the finger’s down to the bone of, and then kill, people who bit their nails, Nailbiter follows NSA agent Finch, local Sheriff Shannon and the Nailbiter himself Edward Warren as Finch tries to find a friend who went missing while investigating why so many people in this town ended up as serial killers. A really solid first volume, and I’ll be binge buying the next 4 volumes for my birthday next month!
  • Runaways Vol.1: As a Young Avengers fan, I feel like reading Runaways is a requirement, and I’m very happy I felt that because gosh DAMN I enjoyed this. Runaways follows 6 teenagers who find out their parents aren’t exactly who they first thought they were, and how they deal with finding these things out. The next few trades have all surpassed my expectations, and I can’t wait to catch up so I can start collecting the Runaways/Young Avengers cross over comics that came out around Civil War!
  • Runaways Vol.2,Vol.3,Vol.4: Yes, I binge-read the next three volumes of this one after the other. Volumes 2 and 3 are the conclusion to the first arc established in Volume 1, and Volume 4 introduced a new arc that I am loving just as much as the first. Seriously, such a good series! If anyone’s interested in a closer discussion of Runaways (and Young Avengers!) let me know, because I’d love for more people to pick these up! I feel like they are a seriously good introduction to Marvel and superhero comics in general, so I’d recommend these to starters.
  • Nailbiter Vol.2: Although I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first volume, it’s still a great volume, and I cannot WAIT to pick up the next one. There’s so much mystery and intrigue, and the development of Warren as a character in this volume, however brief, was probably my favourite part.
  • Harrow County Vol.1: The song Fight for Me from Heathers the Musical starts with a bunch of people yelling ‘HOLY SHIT!’, and that basically summarises how I feel about this comic. Because, can I just say: HOLY SHIT. Harrow County has an amazing female character that I love after just one volume, witches, creepy haints, creepy forests, creepy/beautiful art, and is just… everything I could want in a horror comic. Please, read this. Please.

 

Movie Month(s)

  • South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (8.5/10 stars)
  • Heathers (8.5/10 stars)
  • Beira Mar (Seashore) (6.5/10 stars)
  • Captain America: Civil War (Watched twice) (8/10 stars)

I admit, my rating system is a bit skewed, especially considering how different all of these movies are. I enjoyed CA:CW more than Age of Ultron (which doesn’t take a lot, that movie was, and is, trash) but less than The Winter Soldier; South Park is a favourite animation of mine, and I love musicals, so this re-watch was well worth it; Heathers is a dark comedy and a teen movie with serious commentary on society that I analysed the shit out of for my film exam, and Beira Mar, while beautifully shot, was not as mind-blowing as reviews made it out to be, and it only really got to the sexuality aspect half an hour towards the end.

General Month(s)

  • Someone please talk to me about Beyonce because oh my gosh I love her so much, why didn’t I listen to her this much before I binge-read Check, Please! again? Speaking of…
  • WEBCOMICS. I decided to re-read loads of webcomics I’d fallen behind on, which has inspired me to do a whole post on webcomic recommendations alone. For now, know that Check, Please! is a current favourite that I 100% recommend.
  • You know how I was writing that essay for a University competition? Yup. Didn’t win. BUT!!! It really helped me in learning the essay writing format, and I now know I’m capable of writing a University-level essay, coming a long way from the pre!essay me who had no clue how to write anything of the sort. I’ve also been throwing some Uni names around, so if anyone lives in England and has a recommendation for a good English Uni course, please don’t shy away from talking to me about it, I’m desperate to hear about more Unis!

 

Next month, this month, potayto potahto, expect even more books/graphic novels/comics to be read, because I will officially be done-so with exams. It’s also Pride Month, so I will be posting (hopefully!) posts related to LGBT+ things. What did you read/watch/do in April/May? And do you have anything planned for Pride Month?

 

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March Wrap Up

So I made a mistake. I left writing my wrap up so late, it’s now nearing the end of May. Which means I’m going to have to do this wrap up separately to my April/May wrap ups because I’ve read so much. WOOPSIE.

Reading Month

  • Come Close: This was my monthly classic for the 2016 Classics Challenge and I loved it. Although I didn’t rate it a 5 stars, it’s one of my new favourite classics and collection of poetry/poetry fragments. I wholeheartedly recommend this one!
  • Assassin’s Creed: Underworld: This is a companion novel for the Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate game, so I recommend people play that (or watch someone play it, like I did) before reading it. It didn’t necessarily live up to how much I loved the game, and the writing wasn’t my favourite, but it still gave back story to Ethan and Henry, and kept my interest throughout reading it.
  • Batman and Robin Annual #1: I absolutely loved this. Like, loved it so much it’s one of my new favourite single issues. Damian sends Bruce on a journey around the world, finding out things about his parents he didn’t know before. This was so cute and was so oriented around building Damian and Bruce’s relationship, I absolutely loved it.
  • Will and Tom: Focused on a week artist Will Turner spent at Harewood House early on in his career, and centred around rumours about what happened during that week- including rumours that Will’s childhood friend and and rival Tom Girtin was also present- this is a slower, more character driven book with enough scandal to satisfy any reader. I enjoyed this book more than I first expected after seeing other reviews for it, and I do recommend it, although it definitely isn’t one for everyone.
  • Descender Vol.1: Tin Stars: Descender was my first full graphic novel of the month, and I really enjoyed it. It works well as an introduction to this universe being created, as well as the characters, and the art work is absolutely beautiful. You could frame any panel in this and hang it on your wall, honestly.
  • Lumberjanes Vol.2: Friendship to the Max: Lumberjanes follows a group of girls at a camp as they experience all of the supernatural stuff. After not being blown away by the first volume, I wasn’t expecting to completely adore this like I did. It’s such a strong follow up; literally my only complaint is that there’s only 4 issues per volume, but that’s about the length of each arc, so eh.
  • Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World: I have a review scheduled to for released for this book, because I genuinely can’t summarise my emotions towards this book in one paragraph. It follows Stephen, a gay seventeen year old boy who realises he’s in love with his best friend Mark. Without a doubt this is one of my new favourite books; it’s so hard hitting and emotional, and I connected with Stephen in a way I’ve never connected to any other male character in a book. Recommend this, without a doubt.
  • Batman: A Death in the Family: For those of you unfamiliar, A Death in the Family is one of the most famous comics in the DC/Batman universe, mostly for the fact that readers of the comics were given the chance to either save then-Robin Jason Todd’s life or just let him die. My review is mostly spoilers, so read it with caution because I do not hold back. Like I said, it is very famous, and did come out a good 30 odd years ago, so anyone with any knowledge of the comics knows the outcome of this.
  • The Wolf Among Us 43-48: I don’t actually have any reviews for these, only ratings. I don’t know if this series has stopped with issue 48 or if it’s carrying on, because there definitely seems to be room for more in the story despite the game finishing at this point in the comics. I would recommend this to fans of the game and the Fables comics, but personally I enjoyed the game more. There’s a constant change in artist in this series that takes away from the impact of the story, but the extra scenes at the end of issues do give a lot more depth and back story to characters. It’s a difficult series to rate, really.
  • Lady Midnight: Eeeeeee! I loved it! Lady Midnight is the first in a new trilogy, and follows Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorn siblings as they hunt to find the person responsible for a series of grisly-dark magic related murders, linking back to the murder of Emma’s own parents when she was younger. I loved this book, probably more than any other Cassandra Clare book, and I can’t wait for the rest of the series.
  • Alex + Ada Vol 1-3: I read these 3 volumes one after another. Alex + Ada is a sci-fi series set in the not-so-distant future where Alex (a human) unlocks Ada’s (an android) self awareness and self consciousness, a criminal act. It’s a very small series, only 15 issues, and although it wasn’t my favourite I did enjoy it.
  • The Raven Boys: I’m re-reading this before the final book comes out. It also helps that Dylan from bookswithdylan (one of my favourite booktubers- recommend!) is doing the #READRAVEN Read Along, so if anyone else wants a little push to read/re-read the books, this is it! I definitely recommend this series, and I’m 101% willing to talk to anyone about it, it’s so great.
  • The Dream Thieves: YUP. Re-read this too. And it only took me a day.
  • Blue Lily Lily Blue: I still struggle to understand why I thought binge reading these books again right before my exams started was a good idea. Looking back on it now, having done two of my exams, I probably made a mistake.

So in March I managed to read 8 books, 7 comic issues and 6 graphic novels/trades. I’m honestly so happy with how diverse my reading has been this year, reading comic trades/graphic novels is so freeing because you get the exact same experience as reading a whole novel, except in less time and with super pretty art. And when you’re doing exams and still want to read, it pays to have so many graphic novel options!

Movie Month

  • Belle (8/10 stars)
  • Romeo and Juliet (8/10 stars)
  • Run Lola Run (4/10 stars)
  • Batman: Bad Blood (6.5/10 stars)
  • Donnie Darko (7/10 stars)
  • When Harry Met Sally (9.5/10 stars)

Yeah. Had a VERY mixed movie viewing month in March, two of them being for college. I definitely think When Harry Met Sally is one of my favourites of the year so far, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to people who haven’t watched it yet; it’s a classic romcom, and I regret not watching it sooner. But then again, I may not have enjoyed it as much when I was younger. I could be at prime viewing age for it.

And because March was so long ago, I honestly don’t know what I can put in my ‘general month’ section. Sorry! I swear my April/May wrap up (probably joint, double the fun!) will be longer, and it’s also Pride Month in June, so expect a lot of ‘yay Connie’s finished exams and can now talk about Pride as much as she wants’ posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Review│Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World

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Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World by Janet E. Cameron 

Hachette Books Ireland, September 2nd 2013

387 pages

ISBN-13: 9781444743975

Rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads, Book Depository, Amazon

 

 

I just don’t know how to write this review in a way that will carry across how much I love this book. Cinnamon Toast follows seventeen year old Stephen Shulevitz at the end of the world- AKA when he realises/accepts that he’s in love with his best friend, Mark. And this is just the first chapter. What follows is a look at Stephen’s life as he graduates from high school and starts college/university, with a large part of the book centring around Stephen’s struggle with sexuality.

First off, I loved Stephen. I related to Stephen on a level I had no idea I would when I started (I struggled a bit at the start to get into it), and this meant that I felt twice as much about him as a character. His experiences and fears were something I could connect a lot too, and the projection of his fears came in the form of self harm, both external and internal- so if you’re triggered by self harm and depression, this is a lot more heavily relevant at the start of the novel. I just felt myself caring about Stephen, more than any other character in a book pretty much ever, and that really did affect my reading experience.

I loved the plot. I loved that this was so heavily centred around coming to terms with sexuality while also not being about that- a lot of this book follows Stephen in social situations and finding out about his experiences growing up. I know loads of people complain about LGBT+ books being mainly around coming to terms with sexuality, but it’s just such an important struggle for so many people, both young people and adults alike, and this is a really good book about this struggle. It shows what it’s like to be seeking safety but being constantly afraid that your safe spaces aren’t as safe as you first thought, that anyone who knows about your sexuality- or anything about you that you’ve got some internalised fear of- will just tell everyone about it.

The last part of the book once Stephen goes to uni seems very rushed but I loved that writing style. One of the big things I took away from this book is that things go quick, that big changes to your life happen because of several small events and encounters, and the last part being rushed really just shows how quick life is. Cameron’s writing is just beautiful, and made me love this book even more.

I know I haven’t said a lot about this to completely justify my five stars and my overwhelming love for this book and Stephen, but it’s really just the way Cameron wrote such a wonderful main character, a wonderfully simple yet hard hitting plot, that made me love this so much. I recommend this with all of my heart, and it’s without-a-doubt a new favourite.

 

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Book Review│Come Close

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Come Close by Sappho

Little Black Classics, February 26th 2015

55 pages

ISBN13: 9780141398693

Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads, Amazon, Wordery, Waterstones

 

Come Close is a collection of poems written by Greek lyric poet Sappho, born on Lesbos, and was said to have died around 570 BCE. This was my third for the 2016 Classics Challenge, held by Stacey/prettybooks.

WHEN I Discovered This Classic

I found out about Sappho several months ago while I was catching up with Jean’s videos on YouTube. I really recommend Jean, she’s one of my favourite Booktubers!

WHY I Chose to Read It

I adore all LGBT+ literature, and when I found out that Sappho was a lesbian, which some of her work is influenced by, I had to pick this up! I also wanted to make sure I enjoyed her work before picking up a larger collection and, seeing as this was only 80p, I thought this was the best route.

WHAT Makes It A Classic

Well, it’s very old. I can’t really say much other than its age, unfortunately, other than the fact that it’s analysed critically and scholars study it, which they tend to do with classics.

WHAT I Thought of This Classic

It’s really difficult trying to narrow down my thoughts on this classic without giving an example of her poetry. So here’s my favourite poem in this collection:

I loved you once, years ago, Atthis,

When your flower was in place.

You seemed a gawky girl then, artless, 

Without Grace. 

 

Atthis, you looked at what I was,

And hated what you saw

And now, all in flutter, chase

After Andromeda. 

 

I can’t really place why this was my favourite of the collection. There’s something serene, beautiful, about her writing, but also quite solemn, a tone that I love in poetry in particular. The beauty of her writing actually wants to make me pick up a larger collection, and read more about her life. The reason I didn’t give this a complete five stars is because I feel like this is too short a collection, that doesn’t show the full extent of her poetry, but I definitely give what I have read so far five stars.

WILL It Stay A Classic

The fact that her poetry is still being studied and interpreted despite so much of it being lost shows that it’s still valued in the study of antiquity.

WHO I’d Recommend It To

I would recommend this to people who study antiquity and want to get an earlier look at Greek literature if they are thinking of studying antiquity. I also think people who enjoy poetry should read this because it’s absolutely beautiful, and anyone else looking for a smaller read.

 

My next classic for the challenge will be either Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, or Naked Lunch by William Burroughs. I’m approaching exams so I’ll most likely start binge reading when I have the time, although I’m also starting part time work so that will take up a lot of free time that I have.

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The Hamilton Book Tag

WARNING: Includes spoilers for Hamilton. Sorry, but they have been dead for a few hundred years. Also spoilers for certain books so be very, very careful.

I would start this tag off with a funny, drawn out song from Hamilton but I can’t think of one in particular song that I want to quote. I love them all too much.

For those of you curious, Hamilton is a musical based around the life of Alexander Hamilton, a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, who was one of the Founding Fathers of the US and a pretty interesting guy, if I do say so myself. This book tag is inspired by Hamilton the musical, mashing two of my favourite things together (musicals and books), and I had to do it! If you haven’t heard any Hamilton songs, the full OBC is currently on Spotify and is also available to buy off of Amazon!

Maureenkeavy on YouTube did the original, and I decided to do this after seeing polandbananasBOOKS  do it.

1. The Room Where It Happens- What book world you would put yourself into? 

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. Not really a world- more like an entire universe! 

2. The Schuyler Sisters- Underrated Female Character

Claire Danvers from the Morganville Vampire series. Not enough people appreciate this girl. She survived multiple vampire attacks; lost her memories; saved the day more times than I can count through her own intelligence; was under the control of an evil prick for like two books; lost all of her friends; saved her dumb boyfriend from turning into a violent monster at least three times; and still managed to graduate College early at 18/19. I love you, Claire.

3. My Shot- A character that goes after what they want and doesn’t let anything stop them

Nathan in Half Bad. As annoying as I found his pursuits sometimes, he really is dedicated, and I can’t wait to see what he does in Half Lost.

4. Stay Alive- A character you wish was still alive [SPOILERS]

Manchee from the Chaos Walking Trilogy. I think all of our hearts broke after what happened to him, and I really can’t deal with animal deaths, which is why I’m a lot more cautious now with what I watch and read.

5. Burn- The most heartbreaking end to a relationship you’ve ever read [SPOILERS]

I’m not saying anything other than the end of Feed. It’s one of my favourite books ever (the entire series is one of my favourites), so I refuse to spoil because I want everyone to read this series. I’ve read the entire trilogy, but the heartbreak is still fresh.

6. You’ll Be Back- Sassiest villain

Most of the ‘villains’ in The Raven Cycle series, especially Kavinsky and Greenmantle.

7. The Reynolds Pamphlet – A book with a twist that you didn’t see coming [SPOILERS]

There’s a twist towards the end of Graceling by Kristin Cashore that really threw my through a loop: just to warn people THIS IS A SPOILER, but it turns out that Po has been blinded in an accident and not only did it shock me, but it also broke my heart when Katsa realised. Serious surprise at that ‘twist’, if you can call it that.

8. Non-stop- A series you marathoned

Harry Potter. July 2011. 5 days, 7 books, finished the 7th right before I went to watch the final movie. I barely slept the entire week.

9. Satisfied- Favourite book with multiple POVs/A character that sacrifices their happiness for another person

I obviously added to this question- I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it! My first answer is any of the Heroes of Olympus books with Nico’s POV (the last two?), because I love di Angelo and all of his chapters were amazing. Actually, any chapter with him was amazing.

My second answer is Éponine Thénardier, in Les Miserables. She’s such a strong female character in my eyes, although my view on her might be slightly stewed for undisclosed reasons.

10. Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story- A book/series you feel like will be remembered throughout history

I mean, it has to be Harry Potter, hasn’t it? Either that or the Newsflesh trilogy- I’ll freely embody Eliza Hamilton and tell Feed’s story so it will be remembered!

BONUS QUESTIONS

1. Helpless- A relationship you were rooting for from the very start 

Dana Scully and Fox Mulder. I haven’t actually read the new X-Files book, but I love the series (I’m on season 3 at the moment) and I love these two together so much. They have so much chemistry and they just fit so well, and they have so much respect for one another.

I’ll also throw in Snow and Bigby. There’s been romantic/sexual tension between them throughout the entirety of The Wolf Among Us (both the game and the comics, which I’m currently reading) and through to where I am in Fables, even other characters notice it.

2. Ten Duel Commandments- Favourite fight scene

It’s a very brief scene, but the scene where Ari (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe) finds the boy who beat Dante up. It’s very one-sided, but there’s so much behind that scene, emotionally, that ends up making the last 30 pages or so of the book really emotional and just beautiful.

3. Say No To This-Guilty pleasure read

This is one of my favourite songs! It’s not really a guilty pleasure, but whenever I read Sex Criminals I have to hide it to avoid questions that’ll probably embarrass me from my family.

4. What Comes Next- A series you wish had more books

Young Avengers, although I mean this in terms of more volumes rather than books. There are only 3 in my favourite run (Gillen and McKelvie) and I just want more of these characters! But obviously Marvel had to go eff it all up with another universe-wide apocalypse or something ridiculously over the top like that, so now I doubt I’ll ever see this team get back together.

5. Right Hand Man- Favorite BROTP 

This was tough, but probably Hawkeye Squared, Kate Bishop (Young Avengers) and Clint Barton (Old Avengers). Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye run really created a dynamic between these two that I found myself emotionally involved in and loving. It’s really tough for me finding BROTP’s, because I can find underlying sexual tension in any friendship, but I always saw these two as having an ‘irresponsible older brother having to be looked after by his slightly more responsible younger sister’ dynamic.

I also love Evie and Jacob Frye in Assassin’s Creed: Underworld, but those two are literally brother and sister, so I don’t know if that counts.

6. What’d I Miss- A book or series you were late to reading

The Lunar Chronicles. I started this series around about a year after everyone else, and I still have yet to buy and read Winter. For shame. Where have I been? …Uh, France?

 

And that’s the tag! I really did enjoy doing this, and I tag anyone interested to do this, and I tag (in particular) Amy at nicareads! Also if anyone just wants to talk musicals, I’m always up for that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Review│The Rest of Us Just Live Here

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The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Walker Books, August 27th 2015
343 pages
ISBN13: 9781406331165
Rating: 3/5 stars
The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a YA novel based around the ‘normal’ characters in a fantasy story- the ones who watch on the sidelines as the Chosen Ones- called ‘Indie’ kids in this- save the world, but also destroy most of the town in the meantime. This was a refreshing take on the Chosen One genre, although I did have problems with it that brought it down a couple of stars.

One of my main issues was with Henna’s character. Compared to the others, she felt underdeveloped and more like a potential love interest than a character with depth. I also felt like she was incredibly selfish, which really put me off liking her character. She claimed to care about Mike, but still lead him on (and not in a friend zone way- she was just mean) and never established whether or not she was interested in him, continuously criticizing him for being jealous despite knowing how he felt about her. It felt like she was just purposely leading him on for the attention, which really didn’t make her a decent female character. I was over their relationship from the minute it wasn’t established, and just didn’t care for any of their scenes together. The ending just didn’t make sense to me, either, and Mike’s sudden change of emotions towards her was just… Well, it didn’t make sense.

I also didn’t feel like there was a solid conclusion to Mike as a character. I didn’t have an issue with the open ending; in fact, I really liked that there was so much possibility on what is going to happen in these character’s futures, and I liked that Mike even says that things might change. But throughout the book, Mike is questioning his sexuality- unfortunately I felt this was another book where bisexuality is a possibility but isn’t even mentioned- and is trying to get with Henna, but there’s really no conclusion at all to this struggle.

On to what I enjoyed: I felt like the treatment of mental health was really good in this book. The meeting between Mike and his doctor was one of the best parts of the entire story, and really emphasised the importance of understanding mental health and supporting those who suffer from mental health problems without patronising them. Towards the end it felt like the idea of being able to fix mental health was a thing, which disappointed me, but Ness quickly rectified that and I was satisfied with the end.

The ending was actually one of my favourite parts. It sort of establishes that the Indie kids were like anyone else, and they genuinely didn’t ask to be thrown into this world, something that many other books based around the ‘Chosen One’ fail to show. The little summaries of what was going on in their world was also really cool and I enjoyed being able to make links in the chapters to what was going on with the Indie kids.

This still carries across Ness’ entrancing writing style that kept me reading regardless of my issues with the story and characters. Other than Henna, I liked all of the characters, and the development of family relationships- especially between Mike, his sisters and his mum- was nice to see because I feel like a lot of YA books fail to develop parents as anything other than just being there to either offer comic relief or to be bad people. There was a lot more depth to Mike’s mum than I expected, so that was a nice addition to the story. Although it didn’t really feel like anything happened in the plot, it did work as a nice YA read that isn’t really dystopian, but isn’t really contemporary either.

Overall this is a nice take on the genre, and the cover is beautiful too. I’ll continue to read whichever of Ness’ YA books take my fancy, considering the Chaos Walking trilogy is one of my favourites, and I would recommend anyone considering giving this a try does.

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February Wrap Up

After my January wrap up, I’ve decided to carry on doing these throughout the year for sure. I might change the format, but for now I’ll stick to the list layout and see if it holds up for the rest of the year!

Reading Month

  • Fingersmith: I had moderately decent hopes for this one, and they really weren’t met. I ended up giving this one a two stars because it was just so disappointing, barely meeting any of my expectations and just not being a very entertaining read.
  • Revival Volume 1-4(Link to my review of the first volume) I read the first four volumes of Revival within 5 days of one another, and I went in not knowing what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading these, and would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for a new take on the zombie/’reviver’ genre!
  • Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer: I don’t think there has ever been a Rick Riordan book I haven’t enjoyed, and this is no exception. It’s a brilliant introduction to a new series, and I loved the mythology elements as much as I did the Greek and Roman elements in the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series.
  • Revival Volume 5+6: I finished the last two volumes post-Magnus Chase and I really did enjoy them. A really big change has been set up, and I will be carrying on with the individual issues from now on!
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here: Although I enjoyed this one, I did have my problems with it that I do discuss in my review. It’s different to anything else I’ve read in the ‘Chosen One’ genre, and I do recommend fans of books in that style pick this one up, and anyone who’s a fan of Ness’ other work. I have a review for this one due out, most likely on Sunday, so keep a look out for that if you’re interested!
  • Morning Glories 1+2: My second graphic novel series of the month, and I enjoyed these just as much as Revival. It’s basically set in a fucked-up boarding school where kids are being put through these trials, and it involves ghosts and psychopathic teachers.
  • Saga Volume 1: I know, I’m really going all out on the graphic novels this month. This one, meanwhile, is set in space, and follows two parents as they try to escape a warring planet with their newborn daughter. Loads of people talk about how amazing Saga is and, although it didn’t amaze me, this is only the first volume, and I’m expecting it to only get better!
  • Morning Glories 3+4: Unfortunately these two volumes really let this series down. It became quite overcrowded and confusing, and my enjoyment levels just dropped. I’m going to continue on with the next volume when I’m in the mood, but at this point in time it’s not high on my list of things to do.
  • Kissed: This was just a little short about Alec and Magnus’ first kiss in The Mortal Instruments. I’m not that interested in Cassandra Clare outside of Magnus, Alec and Isabelle Lightwood, so it’s still up in the air if I’ll pick up Lady Midnight, but this was a really cute little story that I recommend to fans of TMI!
  • The Second Sex: This was my February read for the 2016 Classics Challenge and although I didn’t enjoy it as much as A Room of One’s Ownit was still really interesting and Beauvoir’s satirical writing style is pretty hilarious.
  • The Wolf Among Us 33-42I was suddenly inspired to catch up on TWAU, and I read 10 issues all in one sitting. I did the same thing before, except with the first 32 issues, so it really clogged up my GR challenge. I’m spacing it out more now because I’ve nearly caught up again, but I love this series (even though the art style was- pardon my French- shit in some issues) and am now really pumped to pick up the next Fables edition when I get paid!
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: This was by far the best book I’ve read this year so far, and I can’t recommend it enough. I’ve linked my Goodreads review, and here’s my blog review for anyone who prefers that format. I legitimately cannot stress how amazing it is.

In February I managed to read a total of 27 things. Pretty solid, eh? 11 were volumes of comics, 10 were actual individual issues, 4 were fiction books, 1 was a non-fiction book and 1 was a short story. It was a very solid reading month, although I hope to read more books this month.

Movie Month

  • Grease: Live (7/10 stars)

  • Attack the Block (7/10 stars) 

  • Rebel Without a Cause (6/10 stars) 

  • Deadpool (9/10 stars) 

  • The Martian (9.5/10 stars)

I only managed to watch 5 movies again this month, although there were none which stood out as bad to me, which I’m happy about. Again, I do have a page on here that I update whenever I watch a new movie, and I have several reviews scheduled to post for the upcoming month. If anyone has any movie recommendations please give them, I’m always looking for more movies to watch!

General Month

  • At the moment I’m watching The X-Files all the way from the start before I watch the latest season. I’m currently on season 3, nearing season 4, and I’m absolutely loving it. I’m going through what I call the ‘Space Phase’, where I am obsessed with space, so if anyone has any recommendations for books/shows/movies to do with space, please give them!
  • I finished my essay! Yay! I’ve been writing my first ever University-level essay (I’m currently in my first year of Sixth Form) for a competition for several months now, and I finished it, and I can’t even express my relief. Talk about stressful.

So that’s my month. I’d love to know what everyone else has got up to, what movies they’ve watched, what books they’ve read, so let me know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Review│The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Hodder & Stoughton, August 13th 2015

404 pages

ISBN13: 9781473619807

Rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads, Amazon, Wordery

 

 

 

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet follows Rosemary Harper and the crew of the ship The Wayfarer as they navigate their way towards war-torn space to create a wormhole, one that will leave them with enough money to buy everything they may desire.

This main plot- which ultimately takes up the last 100 pages or so- is by no means the focus of this novel, although I did love the beautiful setting and whatnot. The Long Way is primarily a character driven novel. The emotional impact this book had on me was greater than a lot of other books I’ve read. Becky Chambers just brings her characters to life in a way that makes them flawed yet significant, managing to create characters that just immediately carved a hole in my heart. Her writing is absolutely beautiful in a way that I can’t identify; she makes her characters fully fleshed out and real in a way that a lot of writers fall short of doing completely.

One of the most beautiful things about this book, about the writing and the characters, is how tragic everything is on such a small scale. There’s so much disaster surrounding them, wars and violence and death, some of them even participating in them before arriving on the ship. But they all face their smaller tragedies, experiencing sadness and pain, and these characters are made only more real by these experiences. I like books that explore smaller struggles and don’t exclude them from the story, because a lot of character development stems from watching them struggle and persevere and survive the smaller things in the context of the larger things.

Though this book isn’t one that’s centred purely around morals and teaching you things, I did take a lot from it. There’s so much exploration of gender and sexuality, of race and species and challenging people’s perception of pretty much everything, and it’s done in a way that you don’t even realise how much you’ve taken from it until the end. One of my personal favourite quotes, to do with self-acceptance, is something Dr Chef said:

“If you have a fractured bone, and I’ve broken every bone in my body, does that make your fracture go away? Does it hurt you any less, knowing that I am in more pain?[…]Feelings are relative. And at the root, they’re all the same, even if they grow from different experiences and exist on different scales.”

The fact that this book’s title and cover are also beautiful really only adds to how much I love it. There’s something so profound about the cover, the small silhouette of who I’m guessing is Rosemary, tiny in comparison to the night sky, with the compressed typography- it’s just beautiful. Literally everything about this book is beautifully profound, or profoundly beautiful. I love it, so so much.

It’s really difficult for me to write a review for this book that satisfies me. The Long Way is so unique, from both plot- you won’t find any Chosen Ones here, just people trying to live their lives in the universe- to characters, none of them the same but all coming together to create this incredibly diverse family. This is such an emotional read, and one I definitely won’t be forgetting. I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone interested in science fiction and emotional, character driven novels that will have a lasting effect on you as a reader.

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