January 2018 Wrap-up

I didn’t do these last year, then again I wasn’t very good at regular posting last year, so maybe this will help with that. I decided to do monthly wrap-ups so I can show you the books I’ve read each month and what I think about everything, including ones I don’t review, but also so I can keep track of my reading. January was quite a good month for me, there were 2 things I had started last year and just finished this month but I’ve still counted them, because they count towards my Goodreads goal. Other than those two I read 5 other books. I intended to post this on the 1st Feb, but life got in the way, but here it is, even if slightly (very) belated.

 

ill be homeI’ll Be Home For Christmas

This was the first book I completed this year, which I started over Christmas, but I got ill so I didn’t get chance to finish it in 2017, so I carried on into the new year. It’s an anthology of short stories and one poem based around the theme of home at Christmas. I was slightly disappointed by this collection as I expected to love it, and whilst I did really enjoy some of the stories, there were some that I really didn’t enjoy. I gave it 3/5 stars overall.

 

 

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaurmilk and honey

Milk and Honey was the other book that I finished off this year that I’d started the previous year. I don’t tend to sit and read poetry books all in one go, I like to spread it out and read bits at a time, so I was about 3/4 of the way through, and finished it off in January. Milk and Honey is a stunning poetry collection about life and love and heartbreak and so many things and I adored it! I gave it 4.5/5 stars.

 

 

HP and the orderHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

This one needs no introduction, I’m sure you all know about Harry Potter! I’m ashamed to say I’ve never actually read the Harry Potter series all the way through before. I read the first 4 or 4 1/2 books when I was younger, but then I stopped and I don’t remember why, so I decided to re read the first 4 so that I could carry on with the rest, so I got round to Order of the Phoenix in January. Of course I loved, and of course I gave it 5/5 stars.

 

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barrflora banks

I got The One Memory of Flora Banks for very cheap from a charity shop because I thought it sounded interesting, but I had some problems with it. I read it pretty quickly, and I didn’t hate it, but it was quite repetitive and I wasn’t keen on some of the characters and plot points. I gave it 3 stars, because as I said it wasn’t terrible and I did quite enjoy it as I was reading it, but it wasn’t my favourite.

 

 

this heart of mineThis Heart of Mine by C.C Hunter

I won’t go into too much detail about this one, because I’ve done a full review of this book already, so check that out, but I read this on a whim from netgalley and I adored it. I read it super quickly and could not put it down it was such a beautiful, fun story, unsurprisingly I gave this one 5/5 stars.

 

 

Persuasion by Jane Austenpersuasio

I read this as required reading for University, and I was quite excited to read it because I’d only read two Jane Austen books before, and I want to try and read them all in the near future, so now I’m one step closer. Persuasion was the book I’d heard least about out of Jane Austen’s novels, but I really enjoyed it, I gave it 3.5/4 stars.

 

 

a shiver of snow and skyA Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke

I had vaguely heard about this before I bought it, but the main reason I picked it up was because of the cover, and then I read the blurb and it sounded really interesting. I read this one really quickly as well, I was just so engrossed in the story I couldn’t stop. Not only was it a brilliant story, the writing was just so so beautiful. Once again, I gave this one 5/5 stars.

 

 

I’m really happy with how many books I read in January, so far February isn’t going well, I appear to be in a bit of a slump, but hopefully by the time I get to my February Wrap-up I’ll have read something.

Izzy xoxo

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Contemporary Poetry I Want to Read

I’m a huge poetry fan, but I’ve tended to read a lot more classic poetry rather than contemporary poetry, however I recently read Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur and I loved it, so I would love to read more poetry like it. As I mentioned in my 2018 Reading Goals post, I’m hoping to read more contemporary poetry this year. There are hundreds around, but I’ve made a short list of a few I’ve heard the most about and that appealed most to me. Hopefully I’ll be able to read some of these collections this year.

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaurthe sun and her flowers

As I mentioned, I read Rupi Kaur’s first poetry collection last year, and I loved it, so for christmas by parents bought me her new book The Sun and Her Flowers. One of my friends also got it for christmas and she’s read it and raved about how much she loved it, so I just can’t wait to start reading it!

 

 

love her wildLove Her Wild by Atticus

I heard of this one after I read Milk and Honey because I was searching for similar poetry books and recommendations, and it sounds amazing. I’ve seen snippets of a few poems from the collection and it sounds very much like my type of thing, so I’d really love to buy it soon. (Also the cover is just gorgeous)

 

 

the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelacethe princess

I’ve heard the most about this collection on twitter, and it sounds incredible. As with Rupi Kaur’s books, this collection is split into sections, and from what I understand it deals with similar topics of of love and empowerment. I also love the title of the collection, so if that’s anything to go by I’m sure I’ll love the poems!

 

 

uncaged wallflowerUncaged Wallflower by Jennae Cecelia

This is another collection that I discovered in my research for more poetry collections, and from what I can see it seems like a very inspirational book, almost like self help poems, and I’m so excited to get my hands on this collection to see for myself because I’ve heard great things.

 

 

Depression and Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaimdepression and other magic tricsk

Once again, this is another one that recommended to me when I was looking for new collections. I’ve seen videos of Sabrina performing some of her poems and they’re beautiful, it gave me chills, so I’d love to read a collection of more of her poems. I understand many of them are about mental health, and also love and family, and I can’t wait to read them.

 

I hope you enjoyed me post, if you’ve read any of the poetry books I mentioned I’d love to hear what you thought, and I’d also love to hear any other recommendations you have.

Izzy xoxo

 

This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter Review (spoilers)

This Heart of Mine is an unusual one for me, I’ve got into a bit of a habit of buying and reading popular books that I hear a lot about on booktube and book twitter – only ones I’m interested in of course – but I don’t often just pick up a random book that sounds good without having heard anything about it. That’s where this book comes in. One day a few months ago, I sat down and went on Netgalley and scrolled through, reading some blurbs, and I requested This Heart of Mine based on this blurb, having never heard of it before, and got accepted for it! I decided last week that I wanted to try and go through some books I have on Netgalley, so I chose this one and got started. It was so refreshing going into a book without expectations, and I really want to try reading more books without reading reviews or watching peoples opinions first, because I really enjoyed it.

This Heart of Mine is about a girl called Leah who has an artificial heart and is in desperate need of a heart transplant. She thinks her chances are impossible, when she gets a call saying they have a heart for her, but after her transplant she discovers a boy from her school, Eric Kenner, has killed himself. Whilst Matt, the twin brother of Eric, is in denial about his brothers suicide, Leah and Matt come together to find out the truth of the heart and Eric’s death.

I was expecting it to just be a generic romantic contemporary, but it wasn’t! Although there were of course adorable romantic aspects, there was also the murder mystery aspect which made it so different and so exciting!

I think Leah is one of favourite main characters. I often find the main characters slightly irritating and cliched, but Leah was strong and loving and really great to read about. I loved her development from ‘Old Leah’ to ‘New Leah’ and how much confidence she grew and she learned to stand up for herself and for what she believes. I also loved the character of Matt, he was so driven and motivated, and never gave up trying to prove his brother was killed. He was incredibly passionate, both about his brother and about Leah, and I very much loved him as a character. They worked really well as a couple, and I was rooting for them so much.

The friendship and family dynamic was also brilliant. It’s not often in YA literature that you see such a strong friendship as Leah and Brandy, and it’s so amazing to see a character like Brandy who is so supportive and caring of Leah, I loved their friendship so much. Similarly, the parents in YA literature are also underdeveloped and dull or horrible, however Leah’s parents were an important part of the novel, and – like Brandy – were supportive and caring towards Leah, and the whole dynamic was wonderful. Not just with Leah but also Matt, a large part of the story revolved around the Kenner family, and the love was just so clear through the writing.

The plot was fantastic, the romance, friendship and mystery were weaved together so skillfully, I loved the writing and the progression of the story. The mystery surrounding Eric’s death was built up throughout the novel, with things being gradually revealed, meaning I was constantly intrigued and could not stop reading, I just had to know what had happened!

There were so many other aspects of This Heart of Mine that I loved. Obviously as an avid book reader, the reading aspect that was heavy throughout the book was awesome. I loved that Leah read, and that she started the book club in her school, but I also loved her justification of reading after she was shamed for reading romance. She’s right, you should be able to read whatever you want because reading isn’t just about education.

Finally, another important message from this novel is about organ donation. The note at the end from the author about the inspiration behind the story and how important organ donation was to her and her family was lovely, and the story gave a great message about organ donation (so as well as just reading the book, you should definitely also sign up as an organ donor!)

I can already tell that this is going to be one of my favourite books of 2018, and it’s only January, but I adored it and it definitely deserves the 5 star rating I gave it!

Izzy xoxo

My Favourite Books of 2017

This is a bit later than I intended to post this, but it’s still only January, so better late than never right?. I thought I’d compile a list of my favourite books that I read in 2017. I managed to read 34 in total, so I have a lot to choose from, but I’m managed to narrow it down as much as I can, I was intending to do a top 5 but that was too hard so I added a few more. The list isn’t in order because that’s impossible too, I loved them all too much!

 

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo91WEx42EdiL

I’m cheating slightly and including both Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom in this one, but I really can’t choose one of them, they were both so incredible. These two were possibly my favourite of the year, but I imagine I’ll say that for all the others too because they’re all wonderful. Six of Crows is a fantasy duology set in the ‘Grishaverse’, a universe created in Leigh Bardugo’s original series, Shadow and Bone, about the Grisha,who are people with different powers. I haven’t read the original series, but I really want to soon, although it isn’t crucial reading Six of Crows. The representation was brilliant, the characters were brilliant and the plot was brilliant, I highly recommend.

 

thugThe Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

This book is incredible and also extremely important. It’s about police brutality which is a very relevant issue at the moment, and this book dealt with it very well. The characters were wonderful and relatable and I really loved the family dynamic. I think it’s a book that everyone should read ASAP.

 

 

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silverahistory is all you elft me

I read two of Adam Silvera’s books this year, History Is All You Left Me and They Both Die At The End, and I adored them both, but I didn’t want to put them both on the list, so as hard as it was I chose History Is All You Left Me as my favourite. I’ve done a review of History Is All You Left Me already on my blog, so I won’t go into too much detail now on why I loved it (but if you want to know my thoughts, go check out that post). It’s a wonderful, charming, but heart breaking story and I adored it.

 

IMG_2115Ink by Alice Broadway

I bought Ink on a bit of whim because I saw it in the charity shop and the cover is beautiful, but it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I read it pretty soon after I bought it because I knew otherwise I’d never get round to it, and I read it really quickly, I couldn’t put it down! As with History Is All You Left Me I’m not going to go into too much detail about the book because I’ve already done a review on my blog explaining the premise and why I loved it, but I highly recommend it!

 

Everless by Sara Hollandeverless

I was lucky enough to get two advanced copies of Everless, first on netgalley, but then I also won a copy in a Twitter Giveway. I’m sure you’ll start to see a theme here with my favourite books and the ones I’ve reviewed, but once again, I did a review of Everless very recently which gives more details of my thoughts, but it was an amazing concept and a very exciting quick read.

 

 

Warcross by Marie Luwarcross

I don’t usually buy hardback versions of books, because they’re more expensive, but when I saw the cover for Warcross I fell in love, not just the dust jacket but the cover underneath is gorgeous, and I’d heard a lot about it anyway so I used a Waterstones voucher to buy it. I read it pretty soon after and I loved it. It’s not like anything I’ve read before as it’s about gaming, but it was really incredible.

 

 

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoonthe sun is also a stay

I read both of Nicola Yoon’s books over summer and adored them both. As with Adam Silvera’s books, I decided to just pick one of her books for this list, and as much as I loved Everything, Everything, I’ve decided that The Sun Is Also A Star is my favourite. It takes place over one day, following a girl who is about to be deported and an American-Korean boy she meets on her final day. It was beautiful and I read it so quickly.

 

 

lord of shadowsLord Of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

I forget that it was only last year I read this because it feels longer, but this one needs no introduction really, Cassandra Clare’s series are very popular and rightly so, this book -the second in the Dark Artifices series – did not disappoint, and if you haven’t read any Cassandra Clare books, you need to pick up City of Bones immediately!

 

 

I hope you enjoyed my post, what do you think about the books I mentioned? And what were your favourites books of 2017?

Izzy xoxo

My Reading Goals 2018

2017 wasn’t the greatest reading year for me, but I did read a lot of really great books, so I hope to keep that up this year. I’ve decided to write a list of my reading and book related goals for 2018, and I’ll possibly do a non book related resolutions post later in the month. But for now, here are my reading resolutions:

 

Read 35-40 books.

In 2017 I didn’t start reading properly or even think about it really until around May, at which point I reduced my goal to 35 books. I managed to read 34 and 3/4 books in the year, which was so close, and I’m really disappointed I didn’t manage to finish the final book in time, but I’m still proud that I got so close. This year I’m not in a reading slump going into the year, so although I don’t know what the rest of the year will hold, I’m hoping to be able to stick to my aim.

 

Read more classics. 

I say this all the time, but I’m not great at keeping up with it (other than for University reading), but this year I really want to try harder to read more. I did a post recently a Classics TBR on my blog with the classics I most want to read at the moment to inspire me. As a way to make sure I try a read more, I’m going to try and alternate reading a classic after every 1 or 2 other book I read, and hopefully I’ll be able to get through a few.

 

Read some non-fiction

I’ve never really read a non-fiction before – outside of school anyway – but there are so many brilliant sounding non-fiction books out there, that I really want to try and read a couple. I’m going to compile a list of some that sound interesting to me and try and read 3-5 this year, so if I can get a good list I’ll do a post sharing them .

 

Read more contemporary poetry.

I’m a huge poetry lover, I have been my whole life, but so far I’ve read mostly classic poetry, such as Wilfred Owen, William Blake and Dylan Thomas, however this year I want to venture into more contemporary poetry. Last year I read Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur and I adored it, and so my parents bought me her second book The Sun and her Flowers for Christmas which I can’t wait to start! I’m gathering a list of some poetry books I desperately want to read and as with non-fiction I hope to do a post about it soon, so I won’t go into too much detail now.

 

Make notes when reading.

If there’s a quote I love I often put in a sticky note (or even dog ear the page if I’m feeling lazy, god forbid), however I’ve even got bad at doing that much last year. I always think that I’ll be able to remember everything when I come to write a review, but then I remember that I, in fact, have a terrible memory and have forgotten everything. Therefore, this year I want to try and note down every quote I like as I go through, but also make notes of my thoughts throughout reading, to make it easy for myself really.

 

Finish reading the Harry Potter Series. 

I know, I know, how have I not read the Harry Potter books!? Don’t worry I’m ashamed of myself too. I read the first 4 years and years ago, and I don’t remember choosing to stop, but here I am probably about 10 years later and I haven’t read them. Last year I started again and got – once again – through the first 4, but after a brief pause, I’ve started Order of the Phoenix, and I hope to finish the series this year. I would love to finish it in the first few months, but I know as soon as I start back at university I’ll be swamped with reading, so I might have to delay it a bit, but I definitely want to ASAP.

 

Post on my blog, twitter and instagram more regularly.

This is something that i’m always terrible at, when things get busy, I just completely forget to post. I’m terrible at taking aesthetic bookstagram pictures so that’s something I want to work on, but other than that I really just need to commit more time to it. My blogging aim is going to be at least once a week, and I’ll try to write some ahead of time when I’m less busy to make things easier for myself. I don’t have the most active following on twitter, but I hope to improve that and I hope that dedicating more time to tweeting about books will help that.

 

Read Sequels. 

There are a number of series that I’ve read the first book of but not the rest, so my aim for this year is to try and read some sequels to catch up on the series. I always plan to read the sequel straight away, but then by the time it comes out I don’t get round to reading it, or I’ve forgotten want happened, so I want to complete the series that I’ve started.

 

I probably won’t fulfil all these goals in 2018, but even just writing them out makes me feel far more motivated to try. Now that I’ve written this, I should probably get to reading now!

Izzy xoxo

‘Everless’ by Sara Holland Review

Well, I said in my previous post, right at the start of December that I wanted to blog more regularly, but here we are weeks later and it’s now 2018 and I didn’t manage any more posts. December and the lead up to Christmas is my favourite time of the year, so imagine my disappointment when I fall ill almost immediately when I got home from University (around 16th), I couldn’t do so many things that I’d been looking forward to, such as going to the local Christmas market, meeting up with my best friends to exchange presents, and doing even more Christmas shopping with my family. However, in the early days of being ill, when I was home alone and too tired to do anything else, I did manage to read. It only lasted about 2 days before I felt too ill and tired even to do that, but luckily to book I picked up, ‘Everless’ which I won a proof of a few months ago, is so good I managed to finish it while I was well enough.

I was so incredibly lucky to receive this book, it’s the first (and only) proof I’ve received so far which I won in a competition on twitter, and I’ve been so excited to read it ever since. It is release on Jan 2nd so I’m leaving this a bit late, but I recommend you all go and buy it!

It’s set in a world where time is taken from your blood and used as currency – blood iron. It follows a girl called Jules, who lives with her ill father, and is struggling to pay rent. In order to try and get more blood iron, Jules decides to go and work for The Gerling Family, an aristocratic family who live nearby and are hiring people for the royal wedding they are hosting. Against her fathers wishes, she sneaks back to the estate she was banished from years ago.

The whole concept of the novel and the world that was built was incredible, and was developed and explained without simply dumping the information in the early chapters. The plot was very good, there weren’t any parts that I found boring, in fact I could not put it down.

I very much enjoyed all of the characters, they were well thought-out and complex, and Jules made a very interesting narrator, because her curious nature meant that she explored the world and her environment and had a lot of very interesting interactions with the other characters. Roan and Liam were also two of my favourite characters, they almost represented the stereotypical love-triangle trope but with more complexity. Although Roan was perhaps more of a surface character, slightly under-developed, Liam was complex and interesting and I couldn’t help loving him.

The entirety of the book was full of mystery and intrigue, with things being revealed throughout, however you never fully knew what was happening. The ending was full of twists and turns and exciting reveals and I cannot wait for the next book, it can’t come soon enough!

I can’t think of any real faults, so I gave it 5/5 stars, its one of my absolute favourite books of the year and I highly recommend it.

Izzy xoxo

Bookish Christmas Gift Guide

I would love to be able to say I’m going to take part in blogmas, however I’m super busy in December with essays and revision and Christmas shopping, so I know that”s not realistic. However, I’m going to try and write posts more regularly than I have been throughout the year, and do some Christmas themed posts, so hopefully this is something I’ll be able to stick to.

For the start of the Christmas theme, and because December’s started now I decided to do a little Christmas Gift Ideas post but book themed of course. I’ve put together a list of a few little things that might make nice presents for friends or family that love books, and are certainly things I’d love to receive myself.

1. Bookmarks

I’m personally a big fan and big collector of bookmarks, and there are some shops that make some beautiful bookmarks that I’ve discovered recently. I find that Etsy is a really good place to shop for some lovely bookmarks, so I’ll mention a few of my favourite Etsy shops with cute bookmarks designs, and include a few pictures, but of course if you have anymore recommendations I’d love to know.

Fiction Tea Designs

Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/FictionTeaDesigns

Instagram: @fictionteadesigns

fiction teas designsFiction Tea Designs is one of my absolute favourites, she has some beautiful designs, including this Mortal Instruments, Parabatai bookmark which my friend bought me for my birthday which I love. She has lots of designs based on so many different books including, Six of Crows (which I’m so tempted to buy myself I love it), Raven Cycle and Harry Potter among others, which are all so stunning, and I highly recommend checking out her shop!

Little Inklings Design

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LittleInklingsDesign

Instagram: @littleinklingsdesign

littleinklings design

Similarly, LittleInklingsDesigns has loads of beautiful designs full of lots of gorgeous colours and quotes. The picture shows an idea of the sort of thing she does, but there are so many more designs to look at. She does a selection of specific fandom bookmarks and more general book themes ones, and also other products such as prints that are equally as stunning. They’re very afforable and she does deals where you can buy sets of 3, 5 or 10 for super good prices. So I recommend you all go and check out her stunning shop for some beautiful designs!

Bibliophile Prints

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BibliophilePrints

Instagram: @bibliophileprints

bibliophile printsAgain with the beautiful bookmark prints, sorry to sound repetitive but I couldn’t not include this stunning shop. This shop also includes a wide variety of fandoms -not just books – such as Harry Potter, Throne of Glass, Star Wars, Game of Thrones and so many more! They have such beautiful colours with adorable characters on and I’m in love with them all. There’s also a variety of style of bookmark available, there’s the classic shape but also some adorable magnetic ones which are to die for! So whether for friends, family or a treat for yourself, be sure to check them out!

2. Not on the High Streetnot on the high street final

Next on my list is more specific than just an item, but notonthehighstreet.com is a lovely website that has a function that lets you narrow down your search for gifts based on hobbies, and there’s a “book lover” section. There’s such a wonderful selection of different items, including beautiful prints, bookends, mugs and so much more! They include things from lots of different companies and have such unique items that would make really lovely gifts.

3. Spineless Classics

spineless classicsSpineless Classics is a company that do gorgeousposters made from the text from classic books and they are so incredibly beautiful I’d kill for one! They have such a variety of books such as Shakespeare, Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens and J.M. Barrie among so many others. All of them are stunning and I think this would make such a wonderful present for a book lover.

4. Bookishlybookishly

Another company that does wonderful book items is Bookishly. My favourites are their beautiful book covers that they’ve created for  some classics which are just so stunning and would be amazing on any shelf. They do amazing book crates including the beautiful books along with other amazing things such as prints and mugs. They currently have an amazing A Christmas Carol crate for the Christmas season and the book is just so beautiful!

5. Notebooks

waterstones notebookI don’t know about you but I for one love notebooks! I have far more than I know what to do with, and I just keep buying more, but there are so many beautiful ones I can’t help it. You can get notebooks of all kinds from all over the place, from any stationary shop or book shop and from so many websites, there’s such a variety. I’m not going to go into too much detail on where you can get them because I’d be here for ever, but Waterstones does some amazing Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Game of Thrones ones which are stunning (I have the Ravenclaw one shown and I love it), and as well as the classic stationary shops, websites such as Etsy and Redbubble do some gorgeous designs.

6. Books

I couldn’t do this gift guide for book lovers and not have books in it! There are so many pretty classics gift guidebooks that I could recommend, but I’m not going to go through them all, instead I’m just going to mention a few beautiful editions of books that would make a special present.

Firstly are the beautiful illustrated editions of the Harry Potter. The latest one to be published is the Prisoner of Azkaban, which – from what I’ve seen of the illustrations inside – is just as stunning as the others and would make an amazing gift.

There are also so many beautiful covers of classics that I love. Some of my favourites include the Penguin Clothbound classics (and every edition of penguin classics), vintage classics (particularly the Austen and Bronte covers) and finally for those in America I know that Barnes and Noble do some amazing flexibound covers!

I hope this gift guide was helpful in giving you some nice ideas for your friends and family (or even as a little treat for yourself), if you have any more recommendations for me I’d love to hear them!

Izzy xoxo

Classics TBR

I’ve been slacking recently with my reading of classics – other than the plays I’ve read for University – and I really want to try and get back into it. I have a lot of other non-classics I also want to read, so I’ve decided that I’m going to try alternating between a classic and a non-classic. I’m going to try and make 2018 the year that I dedicate a lot of time to reading classics, so I thought I’d do a list of some of the ones I most want to read as a motivation to get started. I’ve just done my top 5 at the moment, but I’ll probably do another Classics TBR early in 2018 with more, because hopefully I’ll have got through some by then.

 

rebeccaRebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

This is probably the classic that I want to read the most, and that’s because it’s one of my mums favourite books, and I trust her judgement. I’ve seen the 1940 film with Laurence Olivier in it, but that was quite a while ago, so I can’t remember it that well. I do remember that I enjoyed it a lot, and the fact I can’t remember the entirety of the plot means – I hope – that I’ll still enjoy reading it because I won’t know what’s going to happen next. Rebecca isn’t talked about quite a lot and although it’s obviously pretty famous, I feel like it is perhaps a slightly lesser known classic compared to others such as Jane Austen’s and the Bronte sister’s books, but I love the concept so I can’t wait to read it.

 

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontewuthering heights

As I write this I’m actually halfway through Wuthering Heights now. When I started writing this I hadn’t started reading it, but I decided to start off my plan to read more classics early. I’m really enjoying it so far, I’m finding it really interesting and I’m reading it quicker than I used to read classics. Hopefully when I finish it I’ll do a review with all my thoughts. The reason I chose for this to be my first one is because I have a beautiful copy that my mum bought me for Christmas a couple of years ago, so I couldn’t resist picking it up.

 

north and southNorth and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

North and South has been adapted into a BBC mini-series that I’ve watched multiple times with my mum, and I love the story so much, that this is one of the top classics I want to read. I think it’ll be a good way to get into more classics by reading ones I already know I love the story to, and I want to read more Elizabeth Gaskell, so hopefully this will be a good introduction to her writing.

 

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austennorthanger abbey

I’ve read two Jane Austen novels so far, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, and I love them both, Pride and Prejudice in particular. I desperately want to read all of Jane Austen’s books, so I thought I’d add one to this list and make it a priority to get started on them early in 2018. I don’t know loads about all of Jane Austen’s other books, but I’ve heard bits about Northanger Abbey and it sounds really interesting. It’s described as a sort of parody on Gothic literature, which sounds very different from her other books I have read but very interesting so I can’t wait to read it.

 

19841984 by George Orwell

This one’s similar to Rebecca in that this is my dad’s favourite book which is a large part of the reason I want to read it. Also, the concept of it sounds really interesting, I’m a big fan of dystopian and haven’t read any in a while so it’d be nice to get round to reading a new one, especially one so popular, (and I’m sure it would make my dad happy if I read it).

 

 

If you’ve read any of the books on my list I’d love to hear your thoughts, or if you have any favourites you think I should read, please let me know!

Izzy xoxo

‘Zenith’ by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings Arc Review

zenith

 

I signed up to netgalley a while ago but I didn’t request any books because I just assumed there was no way I’d be approved for anything, but on a whim I requested a few books I was interested in, including Zenith, and a few days later I got an email telling me I was approved!!!

I’m not going to lie, the main reason I was interested in this book is because of Sasha and her presence on booktube, however the book itself did sounds pretty interesting. Sci-fi has never been a genre I tend to pick up, however recently I’ve bought a few other Sci-fi books and I’ve suddenly had the desire to read some, so it seemed like a good time to start Zenith. Going into the book I didn’t know a lot about what to expect because I decided not to read too much into the story as I wanted it to be a surprise to me.

I really enjoyed reading it, and although it took me a while to get into it – probably more down to how busy I was and then being ill – but then once I did get into it, I finished the rest really quickly.

Synopsis

Zenith follows a girl called Androma – also known as the Bloody Baroness – who is one of the most wanted criminals in the galaxy, on the run from her home planet. She travels around the skies on her ship Marauder with her fierce all-girl crew. This changes however when she is recruited by the General of her home-planet for a dangerous mission, with the promise of a pardon- and lots of money of courseif she succeeds.

Review – with spoilers

I loved reading the book and there are a lot of positive aspects to focus on, however I do also have a few small criticisms that I’ll come to later.

The book began strong, with a lot of intrigue and mystery, with vague references made to the past, particularly with Valen, which made me curious to find out what had happened and who the characters were, and encouraged me to carry on reading.

I loved the concept of Androma and her crew being recruited to rescue Valen – who you discover is the General’s son – from the prison he is being kept at, because it reminded me massively of Six of Crows which is one of my favourite books, so I was very excited about that! The recruitment of Andi gets more exciting when more complexities are revealed, particularly in relation to Kalee, the General’s daughter, and the part Andi played in her death. I really enjoyed the way in which the details of the events were slowly revealed throughout the book as events progressed.

After they’d rescued Valen, there was still about 60% left of the book, and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen then, I was praying it wasn’t going to be all boring, trivial talks with the general or just the whole time flying back, and my prayers were answered. The section on Adhira was exciting – and of course very dramatic – when they were attacked, and I liked the reveal of Lira being niece of Queen Alara, and the heir to the Adhiran throne, which kept the excitement up even through the less action filled parts of the book.

I thought the ball scene was very effective because it was  dramatic and tense, but also very unexpected, which made it all the more exciting. However, this is where my criticisms begin, because I feel like the ending was dragged out slightly too long. In my opinion it would have been slightly more effective to finish straight when the main action had taken place after Andi and the general had been stabbed, and when the other characters had got up so that the intentions had been shown, and the reveal of Valen calling Nor sister. The section after, when Dex escapes to the ship is good, however I think it could have been saved for the next book so the final scene has more impact.

My only other criticism is, as I mentioned previously, the fact that the adventure to retrieve Valen from his prison was such a small proportion of the book. I did enjoy the other aspects of book as I explained, but I was really excited about the Six of Crows-esque plot line, so I would have liked for it to have lasted slightly longer.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and highly recommend you pick it up when it comes out in January, it was a lot of fun and I look forward to the sequel.

Izzy xoxo

 

 

October Wrap-Up/ Life Update

I can’t believe it’s November already, the last month has gone so quickly, but I can finally get excited about Christmas without being judged now so I’m not complaining. I unfortunately haven’t read much during October, which is why it’s more of an update as well, because I’ll talk about what I have read briefly, what I’m currently reading, and then why I haven’t been able to read a lot.

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silverathey both die at the end

I’m afraid to say that this is the only thing that I properly read in October. I was still powering on after my summer of lots of reading, and I was so excited to read it that I bought it as soon as I could after it came out. It was top of my Most Anticipated Releases in September after I read History Is All You Left Me. This book did not disappoint, Adam Silvera is a genius. It is set in a world where people get a call on the day they’re going to die warning them, however they don’t know when or how it will happen. The novel follows two boys – Mateo and Rufus – who are very different in so many ways, but meet over the ‘Last Friend’ app and spend their last day together. It’s such a beautiful story, and as expected there were a lot of tears shed, especially at the end!

titus andronicusThe Taming |of the Shrew and Titus Andronicus by William the taming of the shrewShakespeare

I had to read both of these plays for my university course, as one of the modules that I’m doing is about Shakespeare. I’m not great at reading Shakespeare plays yet, as it takes me quite a while, and often I don’t take in everything that’s happening because of the complicated language, but I’m getting better and I quite enjoyed reading both of these plays. I’m not going to attempt to summarise the plots of the plays because they’re pretty complex and I’d be here for a while, but they’re both interesting so if you’re interested in reading some Shakespeare I recommend them both.

Life, Essays and Other Problems

So that’s all I managed to read in October, and I’m really disappointed because I was going so well up until then with my reading progress, but life just got in the way. As I mentioned I’m at university, and in October I was suddenly drowned with work to do from essays to reading, so between that and keeping up with my societies I just really struggled to manage my time and fit in reading. As well as that, towards the end of October I got ill and I was stuck in bed unable to work or read or do pretty much anything for nearly two weeks which was incredibly annoying (and boring!).

zenithZenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

There is a small bit of reading that I didn’t mention, and that’s because I haven’t finished so I didn’t count it in my Wrap-Up, however I was lucky enough to receive the proof version of Zenith on Netgalley, so I started reading it at the end of October. I’m really enjoying it so far, so hopefully when life calms down a little bit I’ll be able to read more and finish it this month. I’ve started planning my review for it, so that should be up as soon as I finish it!

So that’s how my October went, not the most successful month reading wise, and it was very crazy and busy, but my birthday was in the middle which was an amazing day, and I collected a lot of books across the month, so all in all it wasn’t so bad. I hope you enjoyed seeing what I read last month, and hopefully I’ll have more to discuss next month!

Izzy xoxo