Author Archives: Chloe

About Chloe

Graduate, Writer, Book Blogger , Reader https://paintandbutterfliesbooks.wordpress.com

Let’s Talk About Grantchester! 

A Priest and Policeman walk into a bar… I know what you’re thinking this sounds like the beginning of a bad joke but that one line is basically the entire premise for this show… (sort of). Based on the Sidney Chambers novels by James Runcie Grantchester has now returned to ITV at 9.00 for its third series and it’s a welcome return in the shape of a typical British Sunday night drama.

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For those who don’t know the books or the show follows clergyman Sidney Chambers (played by James Norton) and his sleuthing adventures with best friend older Policeman Geordie (played by Robson Green). The two men are bound by friendship but also by their differences many of which are not just generational. Where, for instance, does young Sidney and Geordie who is twenty years his senior stand on subjects such as the death penalty? And in the most recent series infidelity? All are explored in a show that has morality, love and friendship at its very core.

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The series follow the men’s personal and professional lives and their many highs and lows Sidney and his long standing will they won’t they with his ‘friend’ Amanda is an on-going theme throughout the show. This is a detective series though with a weekly murder in this quaint English village that really shouldn’t have that many murders and more often than not it’s solved by the Priest, not the Detective, but that is all part of the charm of this programme.

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If Sidney and Geordie aren’t enough to reel you in and Sidney’s dramatic almost romance with Amanda still doesn’t have you convinced then watch it for Leonard the lovely shy Priest, who always provides comic relief. Oh yeah and Dickens, because who doesn’t love a black labrador puppy following James Norton round on a bike? That’s right, no one!

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I hope you enjoyed today’s post I’d love to hear your thoughts, see you next time!

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The Greek God Tag!

Hi guys,  I am here today bringing you The Greek Gods Tag originally created by Zuky @ Bookbum! I am currently reading The Secret History by Donna Tart and thought this is a great time to talk about all things, Greek Gods (and Goddess!).

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Rules:

  • Pingback to Zuky @ Bookbum (so she could see your post) 
  • You could use Zuky’s graphics, but you don’t have too. 
  • Tag as many people as you want, but please, share the love 

ZEUS: KING OF THE GODS – YOUR FAVORITE BOOK

How can any reader have just one favourite book? I have so many but at the moment with the release of the third Court of Thorne and Roses book coming this May I’ll say A Court of Mist and Fury. Sarah J. Maas provides drama dramatic ships and A Beauty and the Beast re-telling like no other.

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 HERA: QUEEN OF THE GODS – A BADASS FEMALE CHARACTER

Claire Fraser- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

If you haven’t read Outlander then seriously, what are you doing? Go, read it now! (Then go watch the show) Outlander is Historical fiction and time travel fiction at its very best. Claire is a strong, independent woman who is from the 1940’s and still head strong when it comes to embracing her career. ‘Jesus H.Rosevelt Christ’ she takes nonsense from no one!

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Outlander- Review

JANUS: GOD OF BEGINNINGS – YOUR FAVORITE DEBUT(S) 

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The Girls by Emma Cline- I read an arc of The Girls just over a year ago now; if you haven’t read The Girls it is the debut from Emma Cline loosely based on the Manson Murders in 1969. When I read the book my knowledge of the murders was extremely limited, I was aware that the book was fictionalised but it did lead me to research the real events and find out what happened. A Very interesting thought-provoking debut.

The Girls- Review

ATHENA: GODDESS OF WISDOM – YOUR FAVORITE NON-FICTION BOOK

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan is short stories and essays published posthumously from the young writer’s teachers, friends and family after she died in a car accident. Beautifully written but with a tragic undertone.

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APHRODITE: GODDESS OF LOVE – A BOOK YOU ADORE AND RECOMMEND EVERYONE READ (OTHER THAN YOUR FAVORITE BOOK!)

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Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes – I love this book so, so much it’s one of those books that came along right at the right time for me so I’ll always remember it for that. I know this book has been talked about and has been surrounded by controversy since the movie came out. But I loved reading Lou and Will’s story along with its sequel After You and I look forward to the third book which should be coming sometime next year.

Me Before You- Review

After You- Review

HADES: GOD OF THE UNDERWORLD – AN EVIL BOOK YOU WISH DIDN’T EXIST

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Look, I think evil’s a bit strong, quite while ago I read Tyringham Park by Rosemary McLoughlin and I really didn’t get on with it. The ‘protagonist’ IF you can call her that is so unlikeable but at the same time I have remembered this book and would love more people to read it so I can hear their opinions and see if they are anything like my own.

Tyringham Park- Review

POSEIDON: GOD OF THE SEA & EARTHQUAKES – A BEAUTIFUL & GROUND-BREAKING BOOK

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On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves– When you hear a book about a teacher and a student falling in love, it does have the serious ick factor to it. But all I have to say is read this book and do it with an open mind (oh yeah and bring some tissues!)

APOLLO: GOD OF THE ARTS – A BEAUTIFUL BOOK COVER 

Splintered by A.G Howard, Shatter Me by  Tahereh Mafi, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lanini Taylor all have awesome covers.

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Splintered- Review

HYPNOS: GOD OF SLEEP – A BOOK SO BORING YOU ALMOST FELL ASLEEP

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How I live Now by Meg Rosoff – The premise of this book intrigued me that’s why I picked it up in the first place but the writing style just seemed to slow the book down somehow. What can I say this one was just not for me and it just felt like just another Dystopian YA novel.

HERMES: MESSENGER OF THE GODS – A BOOK YOU SPED THROUGH

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Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare- Any regular reader of my blog knows I am a huge Cassandra Clare fan and always look forward to her new books being released *cough cough* Lord of Shadows. When Lady Midnight was released I swear I almost swallowed it whole!

I hope you enjoyed today’s Greek Gods Tag! All my nominations are below- see you next time!

Nominees 

Book Addicted Reader

YA and Wine

Reads and Reels

The Bookish Wanderer

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Before the Rains by Dinah Jefferies- Review

 

Before the Rains has been on my radar for quite some time after spotting a copy at my local Waterstones. The blurb seemed to really jump off the page and offer the reader everything you could want in a historical fiction.

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Before the Rains is set in 1930’s India, an India still being ruled by the British and surrounded with political unrest and India’s desire to be independent. The story follows Eliza, a recently widowed young woman coming out of an unhappy marriage and has come to India to find a career for herself as a photographer. In the 1930s when this book is set women had far fewer options than they do to today and Eliza knows how limited her options could be. So when the opportunity arrises for her to follow her dreams and head back to her childhood home of India Eliza grabs it with both hands and does not let go.

India holds many secrets for Eliza even though she doesn’t know it. She’s commissioned to take photographs of the Royal Family including the Maharaja and his awkward wife Priya and it is while at the palace that she meets the Maharaja’s younger brother the handsome and charismatic Prince Jay.

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What did I think? ( Slight Spoilers Ahead)

I haven’t felt this conflicted about a book in quite some time, I loved the majority things about Before the Rains particularly how feminist the book is. Eliza is a strong young woman who comes from a difficult family situation and although the era she is brought up in and the fact she is a woman isn’t in her favour she wants a career she knows from her previous marriage that she doesn’t just want to be someone’s wife and to live on the sidelines that won’t be enough for her, she wants more and she gets it and becomes a photographer not just in England but in India.

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The book is filled with some great, strong female characters all different and diverse with an important role in the story. Because the story is set in a British-run India the fact that Eliza is English is hugely significant when she arrives she thinks she knows who she is but after spending time with Jay in India her political views surrounding Britain’s presence in India start to change and the deeper Eliza gets with Prince Jay the more she forgets who she is and what she is doing, Jay is set to rule if his brother Anish were unfit or were to die. Oh yeah did I mention interracial romance? Well, I’m mentioning now and it’s pretty swoon-worthy too.

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Rating

Overall I would give this book 3/5 stars I could have rated higher as I enjoyed reading about India and the political situation during that time period and really loved the characters of Eliza and Jay. But I felt the writing style was quite undeveloped and unsculpted and I found the ending a little unbelievable, I would love to hear thoughts from anyone else who read this book.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Before the Rains I’ll see you next time!

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The Author/Reader Relationship and What Happens When they ‘don’t’ deliver?

Hi guys, I want to chat today a bit about expectations. Expectations, specifically a reader’s expectation when they buy a book from an author they THINK they should like- maybe they’ve heard a lot about them through bloggers or vloggers and heard nothing but positive reviews or just loved the premise of every book they have written. I have had this experience loving the concept if a book but when the book is in my hands and I’m actually reading what I thought I was going to read and what I actually read were two very different things.

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I hate DNF-ing a book (don’t we all?) The topic for this blog post was inspired by my own author/reader relationship with Neil Gaiman, I have read three books of his now and although I have persisted hard with each one they all have ended with a DNF most recently The Ocean at the End of the Lane and American Gods and I can’t help thinking is my bad reading experience my own fault?

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When I read the premise for American Gods which I read in book form and on Audible this year, I thought, brilliant, Gods, Goddesses, names like Shadow and Mr. Wednesday a dead wife that returns from the dead what’s not to love? And looking at it from a subjective point of view Gaiman is clearly a fantastic author with an endless imagination but he didn’t write what I wanted or expected him to write which is partially my problem.

What I’m saying is that when you spend your money on a book and it doesn’t meet your expectations for whatever reason whose problem is it anyway? The readers? The authors? Or is that just the way it goes sometimes… you can’t win them all as they say.

On the upside, I can’t wait to see American Gods be adapted to the small screen from the trailers it looks pretty darn good, new format, new way to take in and experience the story, awesome!

Hope you enjoyed today’s book chat, see you next time!

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New Releases and Books I’m Excited to Read in 2017

There are some great books coming out this year and I for one am really excited about some of this years up and comers! Here are some of the books that will be hitting the top of my TBR as soon as they hit the shelves.

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Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

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Cassandra Clare is one of my favourite authors and I love it when a new Shadow Hunter novel is released. Last year I blasted through Lady Midnight and although I will definitely have to re-read it before the release of Lord of Shadows in May, I just love this well-developed world and look forward to every new book.

Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

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I had heard so much about the first book in this series A Court of Thornes and Roses and just wasn’t that interested in another Beauty and the Beast re-telling. Sometimes I love a re-telling (anything Alice in Wonderland related I am always all over!) But Beauty and the Beast seemed so familiar to me, the story so set in stone I wasn’t willing to give ACOTAR a go UNTIL I got a copy for Christmas and boy was I wrong. I blasted through ACOTAR and its sequel A Court of Mist and fury back to back. I haven’t reviewed them yet so I will leave it there, but needless to day I loved them and I can’t wait till the third book comes out in May and wish I had it in my hands right now!

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

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I read the first book in Laini Taylor’s  A Daughter of Smoke and Bone series about three years ago. Her writing style was so beautiful her imagination is something deep and unusual that creates deep intriguing stories. I’m not sure what happened because it was three years ago but I failed to pick up book 2 and 3 in the series although I always planned to…

Now she had a new book coming out this time about a war between Gods and Humans and I can’t wait to see what she has in store! Hopefully, I can finish her first series before Strange the Dreamer hits the shelves March 28th!

Other books I’m excited to read this year!

I always have a rough idea of some of the books I would like to get to in a year, I don’t like my TBR for a year to be too big because things always change with new books coming out and ARCs I may get sent or just books that I just have to buy. But I do have a few books that I plan to get to in the immediate future- (other than the above) and that I’m particularly excited about reading.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas – Currently reading

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Okay, look. This series like the A Court of Thorne and Roses series was never really on my radar, but after reading  ACOTAR and ACMAF I found that I loved Sarah J Maas’ writing style so much that would be doing myself a disservice as a reader if I didn’t give her first series a shot and so far I’m loving it.

The Essex Serpent – Sarah Perry 

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Anyone who follows me on Goodreads knows that I have been looking for a Gothic novel (preferably with a romance for quite some time, the romance doesn’t have to be the main plot,  it can be a sub- plot)  but it has to be written in the modern day and not a classic like Dracula or Northanger Abbey, although they are both great stories. I am hoping the Essex Sepernt is going to fill that void. In my hunt for a gothic romance written in the modern day I have found some great pieces of fiction my favouite being  Bodies of Water by L.H Leslie. Any recommendations on this subjection very welcome!

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

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I know people have their opinons about Stephenie Meyer but when I was a teenger I enjoyed the Twilight books, I’m not a teenger anymore I’m a twenty something and have grown beyond Edward, Jacob and Bella and can see their flaws. I also have read her first adult novel The Host which I love and keeping The Host in mind I am embarking on The Chemist with great optomism, her first thriller I belive.

 Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern 

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I’m a long standing fan of Cecelia Ahern, I have been reading her since I was a teenger and since her first novel P.S I love You. The Lyrebird sounds quite mysterious to me, it is about a woman I belive who has earned herself the nickname the Lyrebird beacuase of her great talent for mimickary.

I have decided to go into the book almost blind because I feel that I will get most out of it that way.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, I’ll see you next time!

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The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel – Review

Title: The Roanoke Girls 

Author: Amy Engel

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton

Book Format: Paperback ARC 

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First of all, I want to thank Hodder and Stoughton for sending me an ARC of The Roanoke Girls, the ARC that I was sent was an absolutely studding edition of the book and this cover is so gorgeous with the roses and the slash across the cover tieing in so well with the story. But, now for the actual review… 

The Roanoke Girls is about a mysterious, rich family and their big mysterious house, each Roanoke Girl over the years either runs away from that house or dies. The story follows Lane Roanoke the daughter of one of the runways, when her mother dies she is sent to live with her grandparents at the grand Roanoke estate a place she has only heard about through the lips of her mother, a woman who ran away from that place as fast as a bullet from a gun.

The novel is told from two perspectives from teenage Lane and Lane ten years later, This book certainly has the ick factor and is not for the faint hearted! I know this book is being marketed as a mystery but really the story is not that mysterious. What is going on at Roanoke is revealed very early on it’s just the layers that get slowly peeled away.

This book certainly isn’t a fun ride it has the serious ick factor and certainly sent my moral compass into a right spin.

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It also has a narrative structure that felt reminiscent to books such as The Girls by Emma Cline and We Were Liars by E.Lockhart. I couldn’t help thinking have I been here before? Have I read this before? Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing it just felt familiar and sadly I wouldn’t say, The Roanoke Girls wasn’t as good as either of these novels, it wasn’t bad, it just didn’t hit me right in the heart or in the head like some books do, nor did it leave a lasting impression.

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I know this book is being marketed as a mystery but really the story is not that mysterious. What is going on at Roanoke is revealed very early on it’s just the layers that get slowly peeled away.
The Roanoke Girls deals with complex and deeply troubling issues and it’s not self-serving of judgemental to the characters the writer just tells the story and allows the reader to make their minds up for themselves.

The novel has some interesting characters exploring the way we are all human and sometimes the people we think are perfect are the most flawed and the ones we think are the most flawed have the ability to be the most kind.
An interesting exploration of human relationships and the damage that one family can do to itself throughout the ages.

Worth a read.

3/5 Stars

I hope you enjoyed my review, I’ll see you next time!

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Shadowhunters Season 2 Episdoes 1-3 Review

Hi guys, today I want to have a chat about the brand new season of Shadowhunters!

For those of you who don’t know or are stopping by my blog for the first time, I am a huge fan of Cassandra Clare’s books and have been hoping so hard that the Freeform adaptation is going to be a success. This isn’t going to be a negative review but it’s not going to be a glowing one either, it’s just going to be a quick discussion about, which for me are the highs and lows of season 2 of Shadowhunters so far.

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The Good the Bad and the Ugly

Let’s start with the good,  since season one the actors seem like they’re really getting a handle on their characters and coming together as a unit. My problem is not with the actors, I think they were well cast and are it seems a talented lot, my issue is how the writers have chosen to portray the characters from book to screen (but I’ll get to that).

The show is enjoyable with highs and lows and it has something that a lot of shows don’t have, a built-in fan base. If I was watching it having not read the books I would say it had a bit of a Vampire Diaries feel to it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing it just the way Shadowhunters is shot, the ‘iffy’ dialogue and the interaction between the characters stinks of a teen drama and The Mortal Instruments book series is so much more than that. After all, children’s/young adult literature that can only be read by children is pretty poor quality literature and the same should be said of adaptations of its works should it not? The book series is a hard hitting gritty saga with some seriously mature content, done differently I think the show could have received a much wider audience and I feel the show runners and writers did the show a disservice by putting it in such a pigeon hole.

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Now for the not so great, hardly anything that’s currently happening in the show actually happened in the books. I do not understand, do the writers think they can do better than the author? The author who sold millions of copies of her books, who is beloved by her fans because her world actually makes sense.

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Look, the Shadow World like all the best words out there (Narnia, Middle Earth, The Wizarding Word and so on) has rules, break those rules and everything around you starts to crumble. I laughed out loud watching episode three, Clary all of a sudden having a rune that gives her the same powers as Tessa Grey? Come on writers, there is no such Rune that’s one of the reasons Tessa (A character from The Infernal Devices for all who don’t know) is so special, she is unique and all of sudden, what she isn’t unique, she isn’t special? And don’t get me started on the whole Stele swipe thing, what is that seriously?

I am not opposed to writers changing a few things when books are adapted for the big and small screen, look at A Game of Thrones and Outlander they are both fantastic examples of book to television done really, really well and changes have been made in both shows without damaging the integrity of the core material.

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I also want to talk about the character of Magnus, what the hell have they done to him?!Book Magnus is funny, sexy, sassy and full of one-liners, t.v Mangus is sooo serious and a bit needy for my taste. For me there is no comparison it’s like the writers have sucked all the life out of the character. Harry Shum Jr who plays him does a good job but the lines he is given are not a lot to work with.

Overall I am giving Shadowhunters a 3/5 stars it’s not bad, but it’s not great either. I believe the show runners are changing for the second half of the season so we will see what happens going forward.

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Mild Spoilers for Lady Midnight and Episode 3 of Shadowhunters ahead

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I don’t want to end this review on a negative note to I would like to mention something that I loved. In Cassandra Clare’s most recent book Lady Midnight she talks a lot about Parabatai and what they mean to each other and at one point explains how the Parabatai ceremony is almost like a wedding. When Jace saves Alec I really felt that we got a good idea of just how bonded Parabatai are and how if one of them dies a part of the other would die too, it was a beautiful scene.

That’s it for today I hope you enjoyed my Shadowhunters chat! I’ll be back with more Shadowhunters later in the season, see you next time!

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