Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Pokemon Go Book Tag!

Hello, fellow bookworms! Since Detective Pikachu is finally in theatres and Pokemon is everywhere again, I thought I'd use this time to do a tag that I didn't get the chance to do back when Pokemon Go was released. I wasn't tagged to do this by anyone, I just really like Pokemon. And books. COMBINED. The Pokemon Go book tag was originally created by the wonderful Read at Midnight, who also created the gorgeous graphics used in this post!

I'm that cliche person who has to say Harry Potter because it's very true for me. Before my mum shoved her copies into my hands, I hated strongly disliked reading. It was the worst hour of the school week when I had to go into the library. That's how different my world was before Harry Potter. THERE WAS AN ACTUAL TIME WHEN I CRIED TEARS OF DESPAIR OVER THE SIGHT OF A LIBRARY RATHER THAN TEARS OF JOY. WHO EVEN WAS I?

For this one, I have to say To Kill A Mockingbird. When I studied it at school, I didn't appreciate a single page, simply because I was forced to read it and was extremely stressed over the fact that I would be tested on it. But after my GCSEs were over and done with, I realised how truly incredible the story is.

This is quite difficult because the books I've read that ended up eventually being everywhere, I've still enjoyed despite their popularity. Like The Hunger Games, for example. I've either continued to like much-loved books or I haven't read them at all! I did lose interest in the Divergent series, though. It was because I got tired of the story as opposed to it being everywhere, but let's ignore that for the purpose of this question.

I think I'm going with an author in general for this and that author is Sarah Dessen! I adored her books when I was in high school but looking back, they all had similar tropes. I haven't read any of her stories in a long time but I still hold This Lullaby quite close to my heart, despite it's predictability.

I haven't touched a Sarah J. Maas book yet because I wouldn't know where to start or whether it'd be something I'd even enjoy. Maybe one day I'll get there...

God, there have been MANY. Most Cassandra Clare books keep me up at night. But the most recent one was More Happy Than Not, when I ended up reaching Part Zero at 1am and knew there was no way I'd be putting it down. My former night-owl self is no longer allowed to read into the early hours though, thanks to my good old friend, clinical insomnia.

We all know I'm not going to pick just one here. So here's a shoutout to a select few of my fave fictional couples: Snowbaz (Carry On), Pynch (The Raven Cycle), Kaz/Inej (Six of Crows), Suze/Jesse (The Mediator Series), Andreil (All For The Game), Malec (TMI).

Six of Crows is definitely one of those books that doesn't give you much of a chance to breathe. These poor kids are always in danger. I feared for them constantly when I was reading the two books! There's also plenty of action.

This is kind of a love/hate relationship with the spin-offs, but I'm going for The Mortal Instruments. I complain every single time Cassie announces a new series set within the Shadow World because I'm so :) goddamn :) tired :) and these characters need a BREAK. But. I'm also a complete hypocrite because no matter what, I'll still end up reading it and I'm guaranteed to fall in love with a new set of characters. HOW AM I STILL DRAGGED IN? WHAT DOES CASSIE DO THAT OTHER AUTHORS DON'T???? WITCHCRAFT. 

I was unsure whether or not to put this one here, but I'm gonna. I'm going with Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. It is by far one of my most cherished books. I reread it every year. I love the characters like I love no others. But it was a book that surprised me because believe it or not, I didn't know whether I'd actually enjoy it when it was announced! Shocking, I know. Considering I literally don't shut up about it. I was a huge fan of Rainbow anyway, but when Carry On was announced, I didn't know if it'd work, so I didn't actually get my hopes up beforehand. But then I read it and it surpassed every expectation I could have possibly had and now whenever someone asks me for my favourite books, Carry On is right at the top. 

I'm not going to call this overhyped because that sounds mean, but I'm super excited to start reading the Shades of Magic trilogy by V. E. Schwab because I've heard so many good things about these books! A friend of mine literally gave me an extra copy of the first book that she had so that I could finally read it. Fingers crossed I enjoy it as much as I hope I will.

This is an easy one for me because there is a particular edition that I've wanted for years and I still! don't! own! it! And it is the pastel pink hardback edition of Fangirl! I mean, I have two different versions of Fangirl already, my original copy and the fanart edition that I was lucky enough to come across in a charity shop, but it is one of my favourite books of all time, so I'm allowed to want as many versions of it as possible. Not a collector's edition,  but I also want the American paperback of Carry On because it's beautiful and I'm super sad we don't have that cover in the UK. 

I'm already halfway through this one because I was granted a copy by the NetGalley faeries, but it's The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie, known to us bloggers as the Queen of Contemporary! It makes my heart warm to see a fellow blogger who I've followed for years finally getting to publish her own book. 

I, um, have quite a few. Some of them being Maggie Stiefvater, Rainbow Rowell, Cassandra Clare, and Simon James Green. There's plenty more, but you don't want to be here all day. 

LISTEN. I HAVE LITERALLY BEEN WAITING ON THIS BOOK FOREVER AND I STILL DON'T EVEN KNOW IF IT'S EVER GOING TO BE RELEASED AT THIS POINT. And that book is the sequel to The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson. Oh boy, am I TIRED. When I first read this book back in 2015, it ended up in my Top Ten list of books for that whole year because I loved it so much. And at that point it had already been out for two years because it was released later in the UK. So this book has generally been around since 2013. It is 2019 aND WE STILL DON'T HAVE A SEQUEL. BRANDON, PLEASE. I AM BEGGING YOU. Don't make me write it myself.

I hope you guys have enjoyed this tag! I don't have any fellow blogger friends to tag (bloggers, please be my friend) other than Rachel @ Rachel's Really Random Reviews, who is my best friend in real life so is legally obliged to do everything I tag her in. If you've already done this tag or are planning to, please link me to your posts so I can give them a read! Also, what's your favourite Pokemon? Mine is always a tie between Jigglypuff, Charmander, and Snorlax. Let me know yours in the comments! 

Saturday, 4 May 2019

REVIEW: The Words That Fly Between Us by Sarah Carroll

Pages: 208
Format: ARC Paperback
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Release Date: 2nd May 2019
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Gifted from publisher
Buy The Book: Book Depository - A Great Read

Lucy’s father is a successful lawyer making a killing on the property market. She and her mother want for nothing. Nothing, that is, that can be bought.

But money cannot buy Lucy the words she needs. The words to stand up to her bully of a father. The words to inspire her mother to do something about the family life that is suffocating them both. The words to become the person she wants to be.

Then Lucy finds something else: An escape route...
Soon she discovers that every building on her row is connected, through the attic, to the next. As she explores the inner lives of those who live on her street, Lucy realises that she is not the only one to suffer in silence. She also sees ways she can help some, and ways to punish those that deserve it.

But as the mighty fall, Lucy is forced to realise that while she can affect the lives of others from the safety of the attic, she will need to climb down to face her own fears.

We join Lucy during her final summer before starting a new school. Her life is seemingly the one that girls her age would dream of having. But inside, her world is crumbling. Her father is mixed up in things he shouldn’t be after biting off more than he can chew in his work, her mother is unhappy with their homelife, and Lucy is left confused and scared about what their future might hold. All she wants is for things to go back to how they were a few years previously.

The one place Lucy has to herself, to collect her thoughts, is the attic that no one else uses. The attic above her house is connected to all the houses on the street. Over the course of the story, Lucy begins to collect secrets from those who live around her.

Lucy is one of those characters who you can’t help but root for. Even when she was making decisions that weren’t quite right, she always questioned whether she should be doing it. Her learning curve is an important one. Though she ends up in situations that invade other characters’ privacy, she works through her emotions to do what’s best.

There are plenty of interesting characters who we meet during Lucy’s journey, even if it’s briefly or from afar. Getting to see the variety of people around her shows us exactly how complex people can be. Nothing is ever what it seems from the outside, and that’s something that Lucy begins to understand by the end of the story.

  • Her friendship with Megan. They’re tested throughout the book and faced with difficult situations together.
  • The dark side of Lucy’s father. He’s the type of character who always gets his way and I loved how the story shows that winning doesn’t always mean being the best person.
  • Lucy’s art. Despite being talented, she’s constantly told by her father that her artistic abilities aren’t a real talent. Her learning to accept that she’s good and that she wants art to be her future is such an inspiring part of the story.
  • Lucy and her mother. I adored their relationship. Though the household can turn toxic because of the situations that Lucy’s father brings home, Lucy and her mother are a solid team.

    This book is the perfect mixture of relatable, in-depth characters, and a plot with slightly dark and sinister tones. There are mysteries to be figured out and Lucy’s adventures through the attic are as thrilling as they are nerve-wracking. I read this is one sitting, which says a lot about how addictive the story is, given the fact that I’ve been in a huge reading slump for months! Lucy is one of those characters who will stay with me for a while.

    Royal Rating:

    Thursday, 2 May 2019

    BLOG TOUR: 'The Words That Fly Between Us' Guest Post by Sarah Carroll

    Hello, fellow bookworms! Today I'm excited to be taking part in the tour for the wonderful new novel by Sarah Carroll, The Words That Fly Between Us!

    The inspiration behind The Words That Fly Between Us

    I actually handed up five ideas for novels to my publishers – from historical fiction to dystopian and fantasy – and they were rejected for various reasons. So I decided to pitch an idea that had more in common with my first book, The Girl in Between. It would be a story told from the perspective of a young girl and based in modern-day Dublin. With that in mind, I went for a walk for a bit of inspiration.

    Wandering around Dublin’s city centre with its Georgian buildings, I have often looked above the street-level shops to the top floors and wondered what goes on up there? On this particular day, I thought, what if you were a young girl who lived in a Georgian house and you were the only one who knew that the attics on your row were connected, what sort of mischief would you get up to? Obviously, you’d get involved in other people’s business, but what would you really be doing up there in the shadows in the first place? You’d be running away from something, of course. The house itself, the atmosphere so thick, you could cut it with a knife.

    But that’s not really it, is it? Ultimately, it is yourself that you are running away from and in the end, you are going to have to come down and face your fears.

    And then I had it. It would be the power of words that drove you up there, and it would be the power of words that would ultimately release you.

    Clearly, I’m interested in the power of words, how they can strangle and suffocate. Why? Well, if I’m going to get all psychoanalytical on it…

    As a teenager, I was badly bullied in school. There was one girl who had it out for me. But it was an insidious type of bullying, so hard to put your finger on. Sometimes it was the silence that followed a joke I made, or the look that was thrown my way, or the party I wasn’t invited to. But usually it was the sly meaning behind the words directed at me.

    My diaries from the first three years of secondary school are a pretty heartbreaking read. I didn’t know how to stand up for myself. How could I, when I couldn’t even describe exactly what was happening. It was this feeling I decided to try and recreate with The Words That Fly Between Us.

    There are three characters that have to deal with bullying in the book, the main character, Lucy, her mother and her friend, Megan.

    Lucy must deal with how her father’s varying moods dictate the mood of the whole house, and how his opinions shape the way she sees herself. It is as much the weight of the words that are unspoken as those he directly speaks. They shape her world to the point where she becomes obsessed with the way they fill the spaces in the house, until her only escape is through her art and through the attic.

    By contrast, Megan has no escape, as she is bullied both face–to–face and online.

    I’ve often wondered how much more difficult the bullying I endured would have been if it was in this day and age, where the bully can follow you home from school via social media. And so this is the direction that Megan’s bullying takes.

    It took me three years to finally stand up to the person who enjoyed tormenting me in school, and when I did, it wasn’t some huge showdown (okay, actually, it kind of was, but you wouldn’t believe me if I told you what happened!). Ultimately, what I needed to do was find the words to stand up for myself. It was as simple and as difficult as that. I can honestly say that at age sixteen, when I did find those words, it changed my life. And I think this is probably the deep-rooted reason why I chose to write this book.

    It was a very important lesson in my life, and one I wanted to share: accepting who you are and finding your own voice are the things that will give you the strength to become who you want to be.

    Huge thank you to Sarah for the guest post! Be sure to check out the rest of rest of the awesome blogs taking part in the tour:

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