Tag Archives: book review

Let’s Talk About Reading Snobbery and Why All books are Okay!

So, I’m currently reading a book that I am really, really loving (That’s Voyager by Diana Gabaldon just so you know) but it got me thinking we love the books we love.

The books that make us stay up till the early hours till our eyes feel try and can’t stay open for another moment, the books we think about when we’re away from them, desperate to be back in that world, with those characters, those are the special books.

voyager jamie and claire

But it got me thinking, reading is personal, and our favourite books they can become part of us and influence us and in some cases stay with us always. What matters to you or me may not matter to the next person. For example, I like the Harry Potter books, I enjoy them I am a fan but they did not affect me in the way they did others of my generation and those who came after me.

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I didn’t read the books until I was an adult and there fore some of that magic was lost but not all of it, because some magic  can only touch a child and that’s why some of our childhood favourites can become so important to  adults. (But in case you were wondering I’m a Hufflepuff). I did read the Twilight books and did love them but didn’t suffer from Twilight fever (Thankfully) but why thankfully?

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Why? Because our peers have a terrible habit of making us feel bad about liking what we love. For a lot of people, The Harry Potter or Twilight books were responsible for creating life-long readers and it begs the question does it matter what you read? Well NO! Of course not, reading is reading,

Well NO! Of course not, reading is reading, whether you’re reading Goosebumps, Tracey Beaker, Harry Potter, Twilight, Chick lit (I hate this term but  I feel that is a whole other post, Historical Fiction, only Young Adult or books like Fifty Shades! Who cares you’re a reader, and one book leads to another and another and another. Stick to your favourite genre or don’t explore the classics, or don’t (Pride and Prejudice is a great first classic if you’re looking  for recs) but

Stick to your favourite genre or don’t, explore the classics, or don’t (Pride and Prejudice is a great first classic if you’re looking  for recs) but whatever you do whatever you read, who cares what other people say right?

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I remember to trying to explain The Mortal Instruments:City of Bones book to my friends back when it wasn’t a thing and most of my close friends are not fantasy lovers, so it was like banging my head up against a brick wall. In fact I seem to have a lot of people in my life who like reading non-fiction, not fiction which is cool because it works for them.

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But Fantasy from Epic or High, or Paranormal whatever is just as valid is any other genre, all books have been crafted and loved and come from an author’s desire to write and a readers desire to read them.

I guess what I am trying to say is no book is bad and neither are readers, we are all different and should never be made to feel bad for reading what we love – Whatever that maybe.

I hope you enjoyed my Let’s talk about… see you next time and happy reading!

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Runes by Ednah Walters Review

I have been in a bit of a reading slump recently and for me normally the best cure for a slump is a good YA novel with a decent love interest. I had seen Runes bouncing around Booktube and in my need for something YA, light and fluffy I gravitated towards it, it also helped that it’s currently free for Amazon Kindles! I was also drawn to Runes because it was about mythology and I love books about myths, legends and fairytales.

This book focuses on Norse mythology and it was interesting learning more about Norse Myths as I was only really aware of them in relation to Vikings.

Runes

Runes follows Raine Cooper a teenage girl whose mysterious black-haired, blue-eyed neighbour  has just moved in next door. Raine is having a hard year, her father is missing and her mother  is losing the plot, but she always has her two best friends Cora and Erik and her trusted swim team. When mysterious and accidents start to happen in her life always surrounding her swim team Raine starts to wonder if her mysterious new neighbour and his creepy friends have something to do with these strange and dangerous goings on.

Sadly, although I have seen many positive reviews for this book I felt this was just a mash up between really poor versions of The First Mortal Instruments Book and a bad Twilight and other common YA tropes that I’ve seen time and time again.
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This book has insta-love by the bucket load and all the stereotypical bad boy cliches that YA is known for… this is the kind of book that gives YA a bad name. BUTTTT slightly redeemed by a pretty decent cliff hanger but I won’t be moving on to book two.

Paint and Butterflies Rating – 1/5 Stars

I hope you enjoyed my Runes book review, happy reading everyone!

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Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell- Review

I have had this book on my radar for a long time, I added it to my TBR back when it was first released and I remember it was surrounded by a lot of hype. I am going through a bit of a reading slump at the moment and unsure of what to read I picked up Fangirl, it had been on my shelf so long it seemed about time I gave it a go.

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Fangirl is the story of Cath and her twin sister Wren, they are off to university for the first time and while Wren is out and about making new friends, experiencing life Cath locks herself in her room with only her moody room -mate and her Simon Snow Fanfiction (aka Harry Potter) for company.

On one hand,  I liked Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell is great at creating characters who you really feel are real. On the other, I hated it, more I hated Cath. When I’m reading a book, any book I love to have a main character to root for, to recognise part of myself in them, or just like them in some way will do. I found Cath so hard to relate to, she is at university away from home for the first time and what?

Nothing, she doesn’t go to parties, make friends, or talk about boys (or girls) instead she is the ultimate Fangirl and quite afraid of real life, anything that isn’t her Fanfiction. Although I’m not Cath’s biggest fan her character gives a voice to the writing of Fanfiction which can only be a positive thing. After all, there are real books out there that started as fanfiction (I’m looking at you  Fifty Shades of Grey).

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Overall Fangirl is a well written humorous book, with a cute love interest, who wouldn’t love Levi?

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But for me it was a bit of a non-starter, I skipped most of the Carry On sections of the book and found Cath a bit of a bore.

I know this is a well-loved book but we can’t all Fangirl over the same things now, can we?

Paint and Butterflies Rating 2/5 Stars

Happy reading everyone!

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Top Five Wednesday- Favourite Character Names

Hi guys and it’s Wednesday and you know what that means it’s time for another Top 5 Wednesday! Top 5 Wednesday was created by Ginger Reads Lainey over on booktube and it’s now being hosted by Sam from Thoughts On Tomes, this week’s topic is Favourite character names. There are some many character names that I love so I had a wealth of names to choose from but here are the first few that came to mind.

Daenerys Targaryen- A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin

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or as she is other-wise known…

Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen

Trueborn Queen of the Andals and the First Men

Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea

Breaker of Chains

The Unburnt

Lady Regent of the Seven Kingdom

Protector of the Realm

Queen of Meereen

Mhysa

The Queen Across the Sea

The Silver Queen

Khaleesi of the Dothraki

Lady of the Seven Kingdoms

Rhoynar

First of Her Name

Mother of Dragons.

Game of thrones has some cracking character names but Dany definitely wins the game of names.  (See what I did there, did ya?)

Magnus Bane- The Shadowhunter Chronicles/Bane Chronicles/Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

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If I am remembering The Shadow Hunter Chronicles correctly don’t warlocks pick their own name? If so, good job Magnus Bane!

Eilis Lacey- Brooklyn Colm Toibin

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An Irish name for an Irish lass, Eilis couldn’t be called anything else.

Demelza Corn- Poldark Series by Winston Graham

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I always think of Demelza of a bit of free spirit, a gypsy and her name depicts who she is perfectly.

Luna Lovegood- Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling

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The Harry Potter series is ram packed full of great names but Luna Lovegood is my favourite she is such a great character from such a brilliant series. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of The Cursed Child soon!

Well that raps up my Top 5 Wednesday everyone,

I hope you enjoyed it.

Happy Reading everyone!

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My Favourite Literary Villains!

Villians, they’re a complicated lot, we love them, we hate them and we love to hate them. We all know that there are some villains in books that are straight up baddies, some, deep down strive to be good and some are just are a little bit more complicated than that.

But no matter where their alliances lie here, are some of my favourite villains (no matter how black there heart may be.)

Cersei Lannister- A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin

Cersei

Now she is a devil, George RR Martin is great at making readers empathise for even the darkest of hearts. Cersei is the queen of game playing, lover of her brother and mother to well you know who. This chick can play the game of thrones with style, god help anyone who gets in her way.

Black Jack Randall- Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon 

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Black Jack is one scary guy, he obsessed with poor Jamie Fraser and for some reason will not die (no spoilers pleaser I haven’t finished Dragon fly in Amber yet!) The man’s a rapist, a sadist, just plain evil really and whether I’m reading the books or watching the show I’m looking forward to him getting his just deserts.

Draco Malfoy- Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling

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Draco is a tricky one because like a lot of other readers I like to think he comes good in the end. But essentially he is a villain, lead by his father and then by the Dark Lord, Draco makes this list because as much as he is dislikable I like to think there is light in the darkness, and Draco always did have a conscience that one out in the very end.

Seeker- The Host by Stephenie Meyer

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The Host is one of my favourite books and I realise that I mention it at literally any opportunity but today this is for a valid reason not just my READ THE HOST ramblings. The Seeker vs Wanda is a great representation of good vs evil in sci-fi and I really enjoyed the experience of reading it.

Charlotte Blackshaw- Tyringham Park by Rosemary Mcloughlin 

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Charlotte Blackshaw is a complicated one, I read Tyringham Park about three years ago and she is the main character of this novel, there is no way I could ever justify calling her a protagonist. She is fundamentally a bad person and a bit of a life ruiner actually, this book has never left me purely for the fact of how much I hate Charlotte, the things she does to her loved ones really are horrible. I think this would make a great book club book, I have never met anyone else who has read Tyringham Park and another

I think this would make a great book club book, I have never met anyone else who has read Tyringham Park and another perspective would be really interesting.

I hope you enjoyed my favourite villains, thanks for reading!

Happy Reading everyone!

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Musing Mondays ( 25/4/16)

Hi guys and once it’s Monday and as we are back to the beginning of the week its time for Musings Monday! Musings Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Books and a Beat where you answer one of the of the questions bellow followed by a weekly random question. So let’s get started!

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  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Your favorite poem, or collection of poetry?

Currently Reading

lady midnight

I have been on such a Shadowhunters binge this month and have been totally drawn into this world again, throughout April I have managed to read City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, City of Heavenly Fire and Tales from Shadowhunter Academy. I am still reading Lady Midnight and will do a full review on it soon so I won’t say to much on it now- but I will say I have had so much fun reading this book so far. I tried so hard to stay away from Lady Midnight spoilers and this book has been an unexpected and interesting ride. Sadly I only have about two hundred pages left, I’ll be sad when it’s over but only because there is such a long wait till the next book!

City of Fallen Angels – Review

City of Lost Souls – Review

Favorite poem, or collection of poetry?

Annabel Lee by Edger Allen Poe

I wouldn’t say this is neccessarly my favourite poem but it is definitly a poem that I enjoy and I have read and enjoyed Edger Allen Poe’s poetry collection in the past. Also Annabel Lee is referanced quite alot in Lady Midnight so this poem is on my mind at the moment.

It was many and many a year ago,
   In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
   By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
   Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
   I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
   Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
   My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
   And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
   In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
   Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
   In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
   Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
   Of those who were older than we—
   Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
   Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
   Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
   In her sepulchre there by the sea—
   In her tomb by the sounding sea.

I hope you enjoyed today’s Musings Monday!

Happy Reading Everyone!

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I Can Show You The World (In Books) – Book Tag

I love to travel – in real life and in my reading life. So it’s no great surprise that I love to read books from all over the world. Thanks to Nicolette from A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly for tagging me in this tag (go check her out :-)), it has been a while since I was actually tag but I always get to my tags eventually!

The rules are simple. List a country, and then show which favorite book of yours is set in that country. You can use the countries I have used, add your own, or use completely different ones!

United States

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

A story of love, home, and self-discovery such an epic tale of first love,true love, loss and family. My Brooklyn Review

England

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Gahh! I love this series if you haven’t read it seriously what have you been doing all this time? The Prequel to The Mortal Instruments Series, The Infernal Devices is probably my favourite love story of all time. Clockwork Angel – Review

The  Maldives

On The Island Tracey Garvis Graves

I recommend this book to everyone if you’re looking for a unique love story that will break your heart and then put it back together again piece by piece this my friend is for you!

Ireland

In The Woods by Tana French

Book 1 in The Dublin Murder Squad Series (can be read as a standalone) In The Woods is a unique, creepy crime novel that constantly keeps you guessing. In The Woods – Review

France

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

Labyrinth is set both in modern and medieval France switching perspectives between two young women as they go on the same jounrney, generations apart- this is a grail story just not as you have ever heard it before… Labyrinth – Review

I hope you have enjoyed my ‘I can show you the world tag’

My Tags

Morgan @ Bookenstein

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Lola @ Hit or Miss Books

Jordan @ Read by Roe

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Yasmin & Paige @ The Wild Readers

The Orangutan Librarian

Madeline@ The SFF Bookshelf

Kirsty@ Kirsty Reads Blog

Cátia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much

Lila @ The Book Keepers Secrets

Happy Reading Everyone!

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City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare- Review

I’m on such a Shadowhunters kick recently in real time I’m reading Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy right now but this isn’t real time this is review time and this is my review of City of Lost Souls!

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Getting back into this world has been so much fun I had quite a substantial break between reading City of Glass and my reading of City of Fallen Angels which was spurred on when I started watching the show on Netflix. It was brought back to me how much I enjoyed being in this world so the minute season 1 ended I picked up City of Fallen Angels and picked up where I had left off. City of Fallen Angels Review

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By the time I had finished City of Fallen Angels I was totally immersed back in this world and it reminded me of the love and laughs that as a reader you can really have with these characters.

Mild Spoilers for City of Lost Souls Ahead

City of Lost Souls book 5 in The Mortal Instruments Series picks up where City of Fallen Angels left off with Jace missing, abducted by the merciless Sebastian. When Clary finally catches up with him he is not the Jace she had left behind. Jace is now bound magically to her evil, demonic brother Sebastian. Whatever Sebastian wills and wishes are Jace’s are as well when Clary is finally forced to join them in a mysterious demonic apartment that moves so fast to is impossible for the other Shadowhunters to track Clary wonders if she will ever get her Jace back and if that is even possible.

This book also upped the anti when is came to Malec ❤ Magnus is my all time favourite character in any of Cassandra Clares books and I felt that we really got a healthy dose of Magnus moments and his story arc with Alec has really grown and developed into something that is just a joy to read about.

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I felt that City of Lost Souls was an amazing set up for City of Heavenly fire (which I have just finished *squeals* ) I  have the biggest book hangover right now but not to worry Lady Midnight is in the post!

Paint and Butterflies Rating 4/5 Stars!

Happy Reading Everyone!

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City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare Review

Mild Spoilery content For The Mortal Instruments Books 1-4 ahead

city of fallen angels

After reading The Mortal Instruments books 1-3 and The Infernal Devices 1-3 a couple of years ago almost back to back I have been on a bit of a Shadowhunters hiatus I think I was over loaded by Shadowhuntery goodness (if that can be I thing?) That was until the series began on Freeform (Netflix for me as I am in the UK) the show reminded how much I loved the books and that I need to catch up on the  rest of the series.

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For those who haven’t read The Mortal Instruments or aren’t caught up on the rest of the series City of Fallen Angels focuses quite heavily on Simon, Clary’s best friend and Vampire and since the Mortal War is newly marked with The Mark of Cain. Simon is doing his best to live as a vampire/human/daylighter he’s playing in his band and dating two amazing girls including beautiful, badass Shadowhunter Izzy although two timing them might not be the wisest of life choices. Soon the mark that was a lovely (if not miss guidedly) bestowed upon him by Clary starts to cause him trouble and he has several attempts on his life and soon he sees what bearing the Mark of Cain really means. Protected by comedy double act Jace and werewolf Jordan what could possibly go wrong?

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The City of Fallen Angels is definitely a bridge book between the end of the first three Mortal Instruments books that I believe were originally only meant to be a trilogy. It’s really interesting seeing the beginning of what is now not just Clary and Jace’s story; Simon is now not just a side character he is so much more than that and I really enjoyed being back in the Shadowhunter world with all its usual witty diolague and angsty romance (I’m looking at you Clace!)

My only problem with this book would be, City of Glass was a book that felt very much like a finale and City of Fallen Angels was almost starting from the beginning again in terms of pacing. But by the time it was over I was hooked and in love with the world again and I am already flying through City of Lost Souls, it’s great to be back in this world one of my favourite series of all time.

Side note: Magnus ❤

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I gave this a Paint and Butterflies Rating of 3/5 Stars!

Happy reading everyone!

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Passenger by Alexandra Bracken -Review

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Title: Passenger

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Number in series: 1

Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Rating: 2/5

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Passenger from Netgalley in return for an honest review. 

I have been really excited to read Passenger it has been so hyped up, every review I read of it seems to be a positive one and it is involving one of my favourite tropes – time travel.

Sadly though Passenger really didn’t do it for me. Passenger follows Etta a prodigy violinist who, in the middle of the performance of her life finds out that she is a time traveler. I think this book had the intention of being a swashbuckling, sea- faring, romantic ride. Instead though the ship sank, and the romance was all a bit insta-lovey (eww)

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I personally don’t think the quality of the writing was that great, in regards to the romance these characters love to talk about how each other smell ALL THE TIME which is apparently of the earth and the sea (so dirt and salt then? Sighs).

Passenger is the type of book which is very dialogue heavy- I normally love this in a book because if done well (shout out Cassandra Clare) you can really get into the head and personality of the characters. Etta and Nicholas are the characters who are predominantly speaking to each other; my problem is there is no differentiating between the characters when reading. The dialogue is all really monotone and after a while just blends into one, stunting my ability to get to know the characters on any kind of deeper level.

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I did find Passenger I bit of a slog, I was bored, the story was predictable  and this book is essentially a time travel romance and if you are going to do time travel you better do it well because it has been done soo many times before. (*Shout out Outlander and The Rose Garden*)

jamie and claire

For me this wasn’t great, I didn’t really connect to the characters and I won’t be coming back for book 2.

However, there were some good moments some moments of light, humor and a handsome (and diverse) male protagonist and that’s why this is a two star rather than a 1-star rating.

I hope you enjoyed my review,

Happy reading everyone!

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