The Fall-Time Cosy Tag


 
I love Fall. It’s the in-between season, not too hot and not too cold. It is full of colour, flavours and promise. And it’s when I often find I am most inspired to read. Perfect.

 

Which makes this a good book tag:

 

1.   CRUNCHNG LEAVES

The world is full of colour. Choose a book that has reds, oranges or yellows on the cover.

-      Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee


A new purchase for me which I’ve got to be honest I’m  unlikely to read since I still haven’t read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and I don’t want to spoil that story with this original re-write. But it’s orange!

 

2.   COSY SWEATER

It's finally cold enough to don warm, cozy clothing. What book gives you the warm fuzzies?

-Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn

 
I know that this book is set in New York at Christmas but there is something sweet and fun about it, and the fact that I can read this tucked up in my jumper makes me feel warm & fuzzy.

3.   FALL STORM

The wind is howling and the rain is pounding. Choose your favourite book or genre that you like to read on a stormy day.

-      Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

 
Or actually any book regarding Harry Potter. The story, the characters, the ideas and the film will keep me engrossed whilst I wait for the storm to break. In terms of genre: anything!

 

4.   COOL CRISP AIR

What's the coolest character you'd want to trade places with?

-      Bridget Jones from Bridget Jones’ Diary

 
Okshe’s not really coolbut she has some money and two men falling for her and quirky friends and a London apartment. All of this makes her sound so cool, but she’s not! Yet I still wouldn’t mind having something similar to her life.

 

5.   HOT APPLE CIDER

What under-hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest, hottest thing?

-      The Night Circus by Erin Morgernstern

 
This book did get some hype and people seem to enjoy it but to me it feels a bit forgotten now and I wish it wasn’t! It was brilliantly written, memorable and unique and I think a book people should make their business to read!

 

6.   COATS, SCARVES & MITTENS

The weather has turned cold and it's time to cover up. What's the most embarrassing book cover you own that you like to keep hidden in public?

-      Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence

 
Reading a book with a naked ladies torso on, in public, is not my favourite past-time, got to admit.

 

7.  PUMPKIN SPICE

What's your favourite Fall Time comfort food or drink?

-      Vanilla Spice Latte & Jammie Dodgers

 
Neither are really Fall-Related but they’re what I’ve been craving lately!

 

That was my Fall-Time Cosy tag. It was surprisingly difficult but fun! Anyone who wants to try it! Enjoy.

Happy Reading!

Finished Series I've Yet to Finish


 
So we’ve all started something which we’ve never finished, in my case this includes things like Novels and paintings and Karate classesmore recently it is book series'!

I try to make a habit of completing books, but this doesn’t apply to series unfortunately. If I don’t like the first book, or at most the second, I will not finish a series.

No shame!

(Well, slight shame)

Here are the book series I’ve started but not yet completed:

1.   The Lunar Chronicles

 
This book series was a large part of the posts I made of last year. It took me an age to read the first book Cinder, I just couldn’t pick it, and then when I did I really enjoyed itbut now I’m in the same slump with the second book Scarlet. I did start reading it a few months ago but it just didn’t hook me, so I put it down again

Possibility of me finishing this series: 50%


2.   The Chronicles of Narnia
 
I really got into this famous children’s book series. I devoured The Lion, Witch & the Wardrobe and I really enjoyed Prince Caspian but then Voyage of the Dawn Treader came along and I was soooo bored that I didn’t want to pick up the next book. And I already felt like I had cheated as I had skipped The Magician’s Nephew & The Horse and his Boy

Possibility of me finishing this series: 30%
 

3.   The Lord of the Rings

 
I began reading this book series at the beginning of the year much to the dislike of my brother, as these were his books and I nicked them from their dusty positioning on his shelf I slowly got through them. I quite liked them, they made good train reads, but then I got to the end of my second year of University and I wasn’t riding on trains every weekend. So I put the books down. I am halfway through the second to last one and I am determined to finish this series by the end of the year!

Possibility of me finishing this series: 80%
 

4.   Beautiful Creatures

 
I got this book series for Christmas the year before the last and although I enjoyed the first book, Beautiful Creatures, I detested the second book, Beautiful Darkness. Never has there been a less memorable book immortalised as being bad. I haven’t met another book-reader who has liked this book. If you have, please prove me wrong. But it was such a shame and I couldn’t bring myself to finish the series so I sold the entire collection on ebay.

Possibility of me finishing this series: -10%


5.   The Mortal Instruments Series

 
So many people are going to hate me for this. I got the entire collection on a whim and I quite liked the first book, City of Bones, and the second, City of Ashes! So I continued with the next book and then the next until finally there was only one book left and it was not yet published. By this point I was bored of the series and I didn’t actually care about the characters, so when the last book City of Heavenly Fire came outI Wikipedia-ed the ending and sold the book series.

Possibility of me finishing this series: 0%
 

6.   The Cousin’s War Series
 
I love Philippa Gregory. I know that she is not the most historically accurate and she takes liberties with her writing by adding voices to her characters, but then as I writer I do the exact same thing, so I enjoy her work! I enjoyed this series, and I enjoyed the TV series too no shame, even if they did use zippers and have bannisters in medieval times (WTF) but I still have not read the last two books of the series: The White Princess & The Kings’ Curse.

Possibility of me finishing this series: 60%


7.  Outlander

 
I read the first book of this large series recently and I really enjoyed itbut I also had a TV series to watch whilst I was reading to fuel my motivation. Now I don’tfor several monthsso my motivation to read Dragonfly of Amber is not very high. I’m going to have to wait to see what happens with this series, right now it is a possibility

Possibility of me finishing this series: 50%

There we are. 7 series I have started and not yet finishedHave you ever started any series and never finished them? Why, when and what? Let me know!

Happy Reading!

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children // Book Review


Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children

Book Review

Author: Ransom Riggs is an author and photo collector. He has written 5 novels, including a trilogy of books based on ‘peculiars’. He collects ‘odd’ photographs at fairs and thrift stores and uses them as inspiration and in his books.

Rating: *****

Review:

I remember buying this book so clearly. I purchased it on my first trip to Foyles in London and it has sat on my shelf ever since, for just under a year. But this week when I went home from University for the weekend. I finished my book on the train and thought ‘I’d need a book to read’so I finally picked up this one

I loved it!

I hate myself for waiting for so long. If you’re making the same mistake as me you now know what to do!

The story is a proper ‘story’, nothing symbolic, nothing fancy just good old-fashioned: ‘who-dunnit’, ‘who-are-you’, ‘what the hell do we do’ kind of story.

A mixture of fantasy, some sci-fi-esque feels and some romance and hey presto! You have a really good story.

Jacob’s grandfather is killed one night and Jacob begins to suffer with nightmares about a creature he believes he saw in the distance after he found his grandfather. The first one hundred pages fly by, taking us from Florida to Wales with some thought-provoking exposition and some great character development I particularly like the descriptions of Jacob’s parents.

What Jacob finds in Wales is the real find and it is spooky. The book is not ‘scary’, as such, but I found that whenever a largely ‘spooky’ scene came about I was always reading the book at 1am in the light of my crappy-lamp-shade. Needless to say there were a few nights that I had some odd-dreams about ‘peculiar children’ and ‘Hollows’.

The peculiar children are the children you see in the photographs that Riggs uses as story guidelines as well as plot-twists. Each of these photos brings something unique and fascinating to the story (and they are real-life images! Which I find awesome) it is one of my new favourite techniques for a book to use photos as a means to develop the plot. Not only are the photos interesting to look at, they also move the pace and break the tension in a comfortable way.

The only flaw within the book is that sometimes the plot-twists are a little predictable: for example when the group of peculiars and Jacob sneak out of Miss Peregrine’s protection to find out what happened to somebodyyou just know what is going to happen and who is going to be the ‘evil person’. But sometimes simplicity is best, I just thought that was a little too simple.

But if simplicity is the only flaw within this book, sometimes, it is still a good book!

I would thoroughly recommend it to anybody, and I am looking forward to picking up the second book in the trilogy: ‘Hollow City’ and later ‘Library of Souls’.
The movie edition of this book shall be released in 2016! Directed by Tim Burton, starring: Asa Butterfeld, Judi Dench, Eva Green.
Happy Reading!

Top Ten Halloween Reads


Halloween is nearly here! We’re in Britain and we hardly even celebrate this spooky holiday, last year I remember I had no chocolate when kids came trick-or-treating at my uni houseso I had to give them a pound each! A pound! Horrid!

But there we go.

This year I am going to hide up in my room with my candles burning and reading in the flickering light! Mwa-ha-ha-ha!

So what are the best books to read this Halloween

1.   Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
 

Creepy, spooky photographs with a spooky story about family and ‘homes for children’I’m currently reading this book and I adore it! It took me ages to pick it up, but I can’t put it down now. Not necessarily ‘scary’ (although I typically read the semi-scary bits at 1am in the darkslightly mistake) but it has a really interesting plot and pace.

2.   Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

A Graphic Novel is an easy-read as well as an easy-scare for some people! Last year this book was huge on the booktube and bookblogger world and I still am desperate to buy this book and be scared out of my mind!

3.   Dr Jekll and Mr Hydge by R. L. Stevenson
 

A classic. A book that brought about thoughts on ‘split personality’ as Dr Jekyll hunts through foggy London for a murderer not knowing who it truly isslightly mind-boggling.

4.   Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

A lot of people tell me that if you’ve seen the adaptions (the play or films) you don’t truly know the story of Frankenstein and you should read the book! It’s definitely a gory book with the creation of a new person out of other people’s body-parts.

5.   A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

A whole series to sink your teeth into. About three orphans and their adventures over the course of 13 books. Very thrilling and fun.

6.   Harry Potter Series by J.K.Rowling
 

A little bit light-hearted but with the mix of people with two heads, death-day parties and giant serpents I think these can still be considered quite creepy in places.

7.  A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A child’s book, which is not particularly scary but a little uncomfortable in places (particularly if you get the illustrated version) Mainly it is sad, but if you are looking for a book to read at midnight and want to get through quickly this is a good one I think.

8.   The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndam

A book to make you think. Set in the 1960s in a sleepy British village of all the inhabitants and knocked out one day and when they come to they discover all the women are pregnant with ‘unnatural children’ aliens (we think) the book revolves around what they do with these children and the consequences of bringing them up. Oddly, sometimes a bit dreary, but is had one of the best opening chapters ever!

9.   The Witches by Roald Dahl

Who doesn’t remember being terrified by these mad witches and the idea of being turned into a mouse for all our lives!

10. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
 

I haven’t read the book but if it is truly anything like the moving, then I was incredibly freaked out!

So there are 10 books to read this Halloween.

Happy Reading!

5 YA Tropes We're Sick Of


 
Ok, we all love Young Adult Fiction, it’s great and surprisingly addictive, but I am one of many – I think – who are starting to go off certain tropes within this genre/age-group.

1.   Insta-Love: As a person who is currently in a relationship insta-love is something that just does not happen. We all wish it would, and it is nice sometimes to read about it – after all reading is about wishful thinking and escape – but I don’t want to read about it all the time and certainly not in a way that suggests I will marry the next man that stares at me from across a packed lunch hall.

2.   Love-Triangles: If I have to read one more hyped YA book with a love-triangle I will cut the genre out of my life, I swear. Examples would be: The Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, Vampire Diaries, and Twilight…god the list is endless. I do actually like The Hunger Games triangle – and how it ends – but it has just progressed to its point and crossed it now! Enough!

3.   Missing/Dead Parents: Why is that all of these YA Characters have to be emotional wrecks – or wrecked – by the death or absent parents…Example: Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Girls Under Pressure, The Year of the Rat…so many endless, missing parents. It is a topic that needs to be approached on some levels but so many stories are using it as a reason to emotional entangle characters now that it is almost like telling rather than showing us that a character has issues.
 
 

4.   Kids In Danger: So there has to be a hint of adventure in books to make them interesting, but why have all books suddenly hinted at children needing to be in serious danger to make it an interesting story: Entering a Battle Royale setting for TV, being dropped in a maze, attacked by weird creatures that look like people to everyone else, even simply having cancer is becoming a large trope in YA fiction…since when did Young Adults have to be in danger to focus on the struggles of teenager-dom?

5.   Books with Romance: I want a YA book without a love story. Where’s the story of the girl that starts a rebellion to protect her sister (without the romance), or the girl/boy that has to deal with mental health issues with only their friends and family for help or simply the story of the teenager…there is a helluva lot of themes besides danger/romance/sex.

So there we have it.

I am not writing a commentary stating that all of these tropes must be removed from fiction, or that any books with these tropes within the YA category are bad. I am simply writing this to suggest that the publishing world shake it up a bit and starting publishing books a little out of the over-hyped zone.

I miss books that would remind me of life at school - not books that tell me about what it would be like to be in incredible danger, as well as incredibly in love with the first boy that paid me attention as I trained to be a kick-ass assassin with a hair stylist and group of lost boys following me!

Sorry I’m exaggerating…seems that what books are becoming now. Rather than fantastical and escapism…rather more exaggerated hype.

Let me know your thoughts and feelings on this topic…

Happy Reading!
 
 

From Page to Screen: Upcoming Film/TV adaptions

An odd variation on the ‘From Page to Screen’ post today and that is instead of writing about a particular adaption of a book to screen I am going to talk to you instead about upcoming page to screen adaptions!

1.   The Fifth Wave (Film)

The trailer for this movie was recently released and whilst I haven’t read the book I get the gist of what it is about from the movie trailer, but I don’t like the look of the movie, got to be honest. I will still read the book, eventually, but I think I am going to give this movie a miss (let me know if it looks like it is sticking to the plotline of the book!)

2.   The Mortal Instruments (TV series)

 
I have read the Mortal Instruments series and whilst I liked the first book I found the rest to be a bit childish and not my cuppa of tea. I saw the movie and again it was the same, oddly childish and not my cuppa. When news of a TV series was released I could understand where the producers were coming from. The book series does have a lot more scope for a TV series than just a simple movie triology.

3.   Me Before You (Film)
 
A film that I have mentioned previously. This adult-drama book written by JoJo Moyes should be an interesting adaption with Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke playing the title characters of Will and Louisa. A very sad story so tissues at the ready!

4.   A Monster Calls (Film)
 
One of my favourite books of the year. A young boy is haunted by a ‘monster’ as he copes with his mother’s illness and his self-destructive family. This story moved me to tears and is incredibly well-written, I only hope that the movie adaption is as good as the book.

5.   The Jungle Book (Film)
 
Another trailer has been released recently for the movie adaption of the children’s classic the Jungle Book. All I can say is that the film seems relatively dark from what I remember of the original story, but then again there was always a hint of danger in the bookI hope that the context and story is not over-shadowed by the CGI.

6.   Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children (Film)
 
I am still yet to read this book (even after a year of promises to do so) but maybe I need to watch the movie first, to whet my appetite. However, the book is known for its use of photographs and the eeriness of this element, will the film be able to encompass this element or will it struggle to gain the fandom that the book has received??


All very much ‘wait and see’ prospects, but some interesting book to film adaptions have been chosen. It’s nice to see not only the YA adaptions taking some centre stage for once.

2016 is going to be a good year for adaptions, let just hope they don’t ruin our favourite stories but instead make them all the more lovable and memorable.

Happy Reading!

October TBR


Autumn is here! I have been loving autumn so far this year: Spiced lattes at Starbucks, over-sized scarves and autumnal berry colours! I sound like a right hipster!

It is also perfect for snuggling up in the corner of my bed, with my blanket and a hot chocolate (or simply chocolate in my case) with a book! Ooh, I’m getting tingles just thinking about it!

Love it!

So what am I reading this OctoberwellIf I actually stick to this TBR I shall be reading:

1.   The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
 

I am currently reading this after finding it in my local charity shop. It is about a tiny pastoral village, where nothing ever happens, where one day for no apparent reason everyone passes out. They all wake up a day later, but all the women are pregnant and they give birth to these unnatural children. (It's the book that was adapted for the film 'Village of the Damned')

Basically it is an alien story in a pastoral British setting! Sounds unusual and awesome! And the first chapter is the best first chapter I have read in years! It had me hooked instantaneously!

2.   Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
 

I am planning, (still) to get around to reading a JoJo Moyes book. This one has had a lot of praise from my friends lately and the fact that the movie is coming out soon, and the sequel got published a few days ago, I think it is about time I read this bestseller.

It is about a man and a womansurprise surprisethe man Will is a Quadriplegic and the woman Louisa - is a down-on-her-luck young woman who becomes his carer. The story revolves around them as two people and what happens over the 6 months that they spend together.

3.   Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
 

I am in an ‘adult reading’ mood at the moment. Summer is my fantasy/YA time and Autumn clearly is my ‘classics/adult’ fiction time. Middlesex is about a gender fluid character someone who is both boy and girl really and it is set in the 1960s/70s when gender and sexuality were not really discussed topics.

Jen Campbell raved about this book a few months ago on Booktube and I have been really interested in reading it since then and I think I am going to try to get around to it this month.

Because of the fact that I a mini-dissertation to prepare for, not to mention regular university classes, I am not going to add any more books to my TBR as it is very unlikely I will get through many.

But out of October these are 3 books I would like to read. If I have time I’d like to add some ‘scarier’ kind of Halloween-y books to the list as wellbut before I can do that I need to buy some!

Any suggestions??

Happy Reading!