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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

mags

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

e

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

Demelza Corn- Poldark Series by Winston Graham

demelza

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

luna

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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City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare- Review

Stop. If you have not read all the books in The Mortal Instruments Series and The Infernal Devices then this review will spoil things for you- step away now!

This month has been the month of The Mortal Instruments for me (and Shadowhunter Academy and Lady Midnight) This book was such a great round up to a series that I started reading three years ago with City of Bones. I went on a bit of a Shadowhunters hiatus when I finished City of Glass because (and I know some of you will agree) it does feel like a finale. When I started watching the Shadowhunters t.v show on Netflix it all came back to me, this world, this wonderful, wonderful world and what I was missing but not finishing the rest of the series.

cohf

City of Heavenly Fire is so clever the way it interweaves new characters Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn right at the start. We get to know Emma, Julian  and the rest of the Blackthorn children from the beginning of book all ready paving the way for them to take over as the new protagonists in the Dark Artifices.

When we meet Emma and Julian and the rest of the Blackthorns the terrible Sebastian is turning Shadowhunters into his very own Endarkened army getting them to drink from his own sick, Sebastian version of The Mortal Cup. Just replace Angel blood with Demon blood and Sebastian has his very own recipe for zombie, Shadowhunters with kickass fighting skills, all willing to follow him to the end of the world (Evil villain plus evil army sounds like disaster waiting to happen.)

sebastian

Now it has taken five and a bit books for Clary and Jace to get their acts together first there was Simon, there was the whole brother and sister thing, then Jace was being all Herondale-y about EVERYTHING. Finally, Clace are in a good(ish) place I mean it is the end of the world after all and Jace is always going to be Jace (aka such a drama queen) but it’s in the blood *coughs Will*.

clary jace

My favourite ship was not doing as well, in City of Lost Souls held some dramatic moments for me- the Malec breakup. City of Heavenly Fire continues on in this vein, I cannot tell you how many times I said out loud “Magnus just tell Alec who Will is!” So frustrating, but in the best possible way and when Magnus is taken with Raphael, Josealenne and Luke and our A team (Clary, Jace, Alec Izzy and Simon) go to rescue them I loved the moment Alec broke down to Jace was like how would you feel if Clary had been taken? Poor Alec going out his mind and his Parabatai didn’t notice how afraid he was feeling (Jace why are you always so self-involved?).

the smile

The witty dialogue and character development is something I LOVE about Cassandra Clare’s writing you never feel like you are on the outside looking in on the story but really in the book living it with the characters.

Simon is really the hero of this story for me and City of Heavenly Fire just finishes off the journey he has been through in the novels so perfectly – Mundane, Vampire – Clary, Izzy. He saves Magnus, he might have lost his memories but he saved Magnus  and in my book that makes him a true hero.

sizzy

I just want to take a moment to talk about Brother Zachariah after reading Clockwork Princess I knew, I flipping knew he was going to make an appearance now I’m bias Jem’s my favourite character in all of Cassandra Clare’s books (Magnus is chomping at his heels mind you!) Seeing him ‘back’, talk about Tessa about Will *sheds tear* I’m really looking forward to seeing him and Tessa make future appearances in Lady Midnight and Beyond.

Overall this was an epic last instalment, Shadowhunters books are fun, funny and with ships to go down with!

5/5 Paint and Butterflies Stars!

Happy Reading Everyone!

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My Shadowhunters reviews and things

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – Review

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – Review

Tessa/Will Reading Challenge

The Mortal Instruments Film vs Shadowhunters TV Show

Let’s Talk About Shadowhunters!

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare- Review

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare- Review

 

 

Top 5 Wednesday – Favourite Fictional Mothers

Hi guys welcome back to Top 5 Wednesday, Top 5 Wednesday was originally created by  gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by YouTuber Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. This week’s topic is Favourite Fictional Mothers, now as I was looking back over the books I have read and my favourite mothers in books I realised how noticeably absent in books Mums and mother figures are. I know this is a recurring problem in Young Adult but I don’t think this is just a YA problem I think it is a generally bookish problem- where are all the Mums people? 

But here are the Mums I have enjoyed reading and what I have enjoyed about them the most!

Pride and Prejudice 

Mrs Bennett 

mrs bennett

Now I know when thinking of Mrs Bennett the first thought isn’t ‘mother of the year’ but I do think she has some great qualities. Mrs Bennett is very much a woman of her time and is very aware that her daughters have nothing to inherit and will be in a tough situation if they don’t get married. She makes marrying her daughters off her mission and although she doesn’t always get it right (most of the time she gets it very, very wrong) and often smothers her daughters to death but her heart is always in the right place.

Harry Potter Series

Molly Weasley

molly

Molly Weasley is my favourite mother in any book, she loves her kids, she cares about their well-being. When they have done something stupid or dangerous she tells them off, she practically adopted Harry and who could forget the way she kicked Bellatrix’s ass!

Tuck Everlasting

Mae Tuck

mae

The whole Tuck family have been through a lot and Mrs Tuck is the glue that’s holding the family together and when Winnie comes into their lives she extends that stability and that love to her.

Fifty Shades of Grey Series

Dr Grace Trevelyan

grace

I know, Fifty Shades controversial, I do have a lot of problems with this series as a whole but I don’t have a problem with Christian’s mum Grace. She adores her two adoptive children and is well aware that as a young child Christian has been through and seen some pretty disturbing things. When she finds out about Christian’s affair with ‘Mrs Robbinson’ she is horrified that she missed what was happening with her underage son and although he is now an adult still goes straight into over protective Mum mode. -Love her.

Saga Series 

Alana

Alana saga

Alana is a solider, has her baby in the middle of a war, goes on the run, she is protective, loving and full of some great one-liners.

I hope you enjoyed my Top 5 Wednesday!

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!

lizzy bennett reading

  • 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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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

city of lost souls

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.

malec 3

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.

simon

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?

magnus 4

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 ❤

magnus 2.gif 5

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

Happy reading everyone!

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My Top Ten Romantic Reads- My Recommendations

Hi Guys, today I am taking a look at some of my favourite romantic reads I know romance in books isn’t for everyone one but I do love a good romantic storyline, whether is be the whole plot or just an underlying storyline here are some of my favourite romantic reads and recommendations. Now whenever I mention romance in books I seem to bring up The Host or Me Before You so although I love those books they have been deliberately left off this list.

In no particular order

You Had Me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane

You had me at hello happy dance

Me Before You is a classic piece of Chic Lit now I look back on it. But when reading this book I have never wanted two fictional characters to get together more and their on /off romance infuriates me (in a good way) like no other.

Summer in February by Jonathan Smith 

summer in february summer-in-february-international-146

I always try and talk about Summer in February because I just don’t think enough people have read it. Based on the real-life diaries that were later turned into a novel by author Jonathan Smith. Summer in February is the tale of a Captain who lives and works within the infamous Lamorna artists colony. Known for producing artists such as Laura Knight and Alfred Munnings. The is a story of love on the cusp of war and art and the friendships we make.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

CP2_cover SO SAD

Book three in the Infernal Devices Trilogy I don’t want to say too much as I want to keep it spoiler free but if you haven’t already read this series pick it up you’re missing out!

Down to You by M.Leighton

d2u fhdhd

This New Adult trilogy is full of love, romance, and twin brothers, what more do you need?

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H Lawrence 

lady chatterly's lover Lady Chatterly's Lover pics.jpg 2

A complex character focused story about the ties that bind us and the things we desire.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon 

O1 Outlander 2014

Outlander is an on-going time travel saga, book one Outlander focusing on married woman Claire Randell and her love affair with a Scottish man from the past.Time travel is a trope that I really enjoy but it’s hard to find writers that do it really well, Outlander is a great example of Time Travel done brilliantly!

On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

Summer covers 5 cry

The premise of this novel sounds a bit (raises eyebrows) it’s the whole teacher/student relationship trope but it is such a tear jerker and a must read, perfect for the beach.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 

pride and p pride prejudice

Mr. Darcy nuff said.

Atonement by Ian McEwan

atonement embrassed turn

Atonement is one of the best WWI novels I have ever read, a story of love, lies and betrayal and the writing is exquisite.

Tamara Drewe by Posey Simmonds 

Tamara Drewe 2 Tamara Drewe 1

Tamara Drewe is a graphic novel (that was later adapted to film) by Posy Simmonds. Loosely based on Far from the Madding Crowd. Tamara Drewe tells the story of one woman and the three men in her life.

I hope you enjoyed my Romantic Recommendations –

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The Best Boys (And Men) In Books

I was thinking about my post from International Women’s Day where I talked about my favourite fictional females. Today I am going to giving the boys and men of literature their turn and talking about my favourite boys in books.

Ian – The Host by Stephenie Meyer My review of The Host

Ian

Ian is the ultimate guy with an open mind, he starts the story thinking one thing and by the end thinking something completely different, here’s one chap willing to change and grow.

Jem – The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare Clockwork Angel – Review

jem

If you have read the Infernal devices you know it is filled with two great guys and it was tough picking which of the two would make this list but for me , Jem always pips Will to the post everytime. In YA, Brooding bad boys are ten a penny but a real nice guy? That’s something special.

Mr.Darcy- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 

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Ahh Mr.Darcy a classic. Now I think we can all agree Mr Darcy makes some pretty awful decisions but, in the end he comes good and his broody melodrama is part of why we love him.

Charlie- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 

charlie.jpg

Deep, introverted Charlie. Charlie has a love for books and has deeply perceptive take on the world, as well as been sweet and kind. Even though Charlie has had it rather tough at times- let’s not forget he’s a wallflower.

Magnus Bane- The Shadow Hunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

magnus 3

I cannot describe my love for this character, he is a funny, witty, riot of a Warlock. He has a weakness for a pretty boy (or girl) and at the end of day has a heart of gold (but prefers that you don’t know that, he has a reputation to maintain!)

Will- Labyrinth by Kate Mosse 

will

If you have read Labyrinth you know Will starts off the story as a bit of a dubious character. Leeching off his older lover and putting his dreams aside he is a bit of a lost soul, but Will goes on a journey, which turns him into the loving man that he was always meant to be.

Lupin – Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling

Professor Lupin is my favourite Harry Potter character, he is clever and funny with a heart of gold and I think we can all agree he goes through the ringer in the duration of the series.

lupin

Will – Me Before You by JoJo Moyes Me Before You – Review

Me Before You is one of my all-time favourite books, I know I have said here before but I read it in a day. Will is such an interesting character with such depth but what I enjoy most from Will is his snarky personality. He is going through a traumatic personal experience and deals with it by being well pretty awful and I think that is a totally relatable way of dealing with a trauma. Me Before You is a must read!

will traynor

Captain Gilbert Evans – Summer in February by Jonathan Smith 

Last but certainly not least is Gilbert Evans, Gilbert Evans is part of one of my favourite love triangles ever! This kind and sweet Captain is often over shadowed and later betrayed by his best friend A.J Munnings. But with a moral compass that A.J doesn’t possess he fights for life, love and in the end war.

gilbert

Hope you enjoyed by post of favourite boys (men) in books!

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Let’s talk about… My Rating System and How I Review My Reads

I have been wanting to write a discussion post for a while about my rating system and how I personal rate and review my books. From looking at other bloggers and Vloggers out there is seems that most people work from the 5 Stars Goodreads/Netgalley/Amazon basis. Which when you are all reviewing as part of the same ‘community’ keeps things pretty clear cut, or so you would think.

as if

I problem with the 5 Star rating system that I have heard mentioned a few times- how can I rate Pride and Prejudice (or classics like it) the same way I would rate The Host by Stephenie Myer these are two great novels both which I have given a 5 Star rating but is there any way we can compare them? Surely isn’t one better or more valued than the other, so how can they be equally worth 5 Star?

lizzy bennett reading

Stop. Or you will drive yourself rating system crazy!

This is true. When most sites only give you the option of a 5 Star rating and I like to keep my blog in line with how I have rated a book else where (be it Goodreads, Netgalley) where ever, so where in lies the limitation. I see decimal points used a lot and I’m not against that but it’s not really how I like to rate I stick to the 1-5 barrier and if I think a book is a ‘low’ 4 star for example I will say so in my review the same way I would if it was a high 4 star but didn’t quite reach the pinnacle of a 5 star rating.

I have 3.26 Goodreads

Some might say this is pretty low but I would say I am a harsh but fair reviewer and I don’t give 1-star ratings, my opinion is if a person bothered to sit down and write a book, they at least deserve one star. If I give a book 1 star the likely hood is I hated it or DNF, it happens to the best of us and is nothing personal.

meh

2-star ratings are normally books that I haven’t particularly enjoyed, perhaps struggled to get through for whatever reason. I like a story to really pull me in and keep me there and if a book doesn’t do that a book is alway going to get a lower rating from me. A 2-star rating can be from anything from writing style or pacing to dislike of a character. That’s the great thing about books they are totally subjective, something that I don’t like some else is going to love!

I always think of a 3-star rating as a pretty solid read that I have had a great time reading that book. If I read a book and give it 3 stars that is a good rating I enjoyed it, I just reserve my 4/5star ratings for books which really, truly grab and stay with me.

When rating a book four stars I think of it as really rating 5 stars because I so rarely give out a 5-star ratingS. (I’ve done it a handful of times since I’ve bee blogging) Some of my favourite books are books I have rated 4- stars, I know I am a tough reviewer and I don’t give out praise easily but that’s because when I give a 5-star ratings I want them mean something.

I guess I think of 5 star rated books as perfect (to me) I have rated The History Boys by Alan Bennett 5 Stars along with The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Clockwork Prince as well as a handful of others and I look forward to finding more!

The most important thing is rating, reviewing it’s fun right? Let’s remember the subjectiveness of reading what’s for me might not be for you but we read, hear about new books and that’s what it’s all about!

Happy reading everyone!

happy dance

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken -Review

passenger alexandra bracken

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)

clueless-like-its-a-bad-thing

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.

twirl

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!

hook