Tag Archives: reviews

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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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!

Mel and jared

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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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Blogger Recognition Award

Hi guys! I am here today with the Blogger Recognition award tag thank you to Shannon from Captivated by Fantasy for the nomination! This award was originally created by Edge of Night.

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Here are the rules:

  • Elect 5 other blogs you want to give the award to. Do some digging if you must! Find those blogs. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you.
  • Write a post to show off your award! Give a brief story of how your blog got started, and give a piece or two of advice to new bloggers. Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog. List who you’ve nominated in the post.
    • Make sure to also attach the award itself! (You can do this by right-clicking, saving, and uploading the image above).
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them. Provide a link to the award post you created.
  • Provide a link to the original post on Edge of Night.That way, anyone can find the original guidelines and post if needed, and we can keep it from mutating and becoming confusing!

My Story 

I had a few blogs before settling on Paint and Butterflies Books, a fashion blog which I lost interest in and then later a personal blog called The Musings of Chlo but I found myself talking more and more about books which led to the creation of Paint and Butterflies Books. I have been writing and working on this blog for over two years now and it is always changing and growing just like I am always changing and growing. My reading has changed so much thanks to blogging, a world of books have been opened up to me which I wouldn’t have found without other bloggers and now my blog has taken a new turn by becoming part of the bookstagram community (@chloemckayyy) – like I said blogging is a constant evolution.

My Advice

Blog and blog often and about what you love. For me, it’s books, I have something to say about books about literature and that is what separates this blog from my former fashion blog which didn’t work out. I like fashion I LOVE books. I am passionate about stories, so I guess what I’m saying is write about what you’re passionate about, what you love and you’ll enjoy writing about it, you’ll want to write about it and your blog will be the best it can be.

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My Tags!

Wendy @ Suburbia Reads

Charley @ Books and Bakes 1

Emma @It’s a Readers Life

Megan @Book Slayer Reads

Frona@ Frona’s Reads or Else

Hope you enjoyed this award tag, thanks again for the nomination I’ll see you again soon!

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The Fault in Our Stars – Review

I’m pretty confident that most of you know what The Fault in Our Stars is about, it is one of those books that has been swept along in a wave of popularity and is loved by so many.
When the book first came out I just wasn’t desperate to read it, I don’t remember why.

Recently I gave in and saw the film adaptation on Netflix and I wept like a baby but not just that, the film inspired me to pick up the book, which is something I never really considered about adaptations of books, love them or hate them they get people reading!

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Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

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I can’t say enough good things about this book, firstly the writing, oh the writing, this was my first John Green book and after been drawn to his world by his delicious prose it won’t be my last. I am the kind of reader who needs to get sucked into a book pretty quickly otherwise chances are I’m going to put it down for ‘later’ and pick up something else. The Fault in Our Stars didn’t just suck me in it had me hooked from the first page, from the first line! The thing is I had seen the film I knew I was walking into tragedy but when a book’s that good I don’t even care!

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John Green creates fully fleshed out characters in Hazel and Gus it was so easy to read and mostly laugh and later cry all the while feeling privileged that I got to be part of their journey in some strange way. The Fault in Our stars is definitely a new favourite, it broke my heart and the moment I finished it I wanted to start it again.

Paint and Butterflies rating 5/5 Stars!

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The Fault in Our Stars – Movie Review

If you follow me on Twitter (@chloemckayyy) you might have seen me tweeting about The Fault in Our Stars today. I have had a couple of (well deserved) days of work and a few of my friends and I got together and decided to have a bit of a movie marathon starting with The Fault in Our Stars.

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Now I have been putting on The Fault in Our Stars for a while now (both book and movie, I’m still yet to read the book), sometimes I do this when books get a bit over hyped I start off wanting to read it and at some point when the hype just goes seriously insane my interest wanes and the book goes on my probably not going to read anytime soon TBR.

But I have to say watching the film adaptation has totally changed my mind and I have already ordered myself a copy of the novel by John Green.

Synopsis of the film (and book)…

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“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

When you go into a film knowing you are watching a story about two young people with cancer the emotional heights can be high (tissues at the ready anyone?)

I loved the book (not the film) My Sister Keeper by Jodi Picoult so had that sort of in the back of my mind when going into The Fault in Our Stars, they were absolutely NOTHING alike but both just as brilliant.

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What I loved about this film aside from the fabulous acting, the story does the amazing job of telling a love story but also a really unfair love story. This isn’t just a story of two teenagers who fall in love this is a story of the realities of life and sometimes, although we don’t like to think about it, life can be absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. We can laugh, we can love, be kind and a terrible disease can rip all those things away from us, us and the ones we love and who love us.

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This film didn’t hold back, and I’m sure a huge part of that was due to the author of the novel John Green. When a story is sad the easy thing to do is to say, don’t worry everything is going to be alright, or give the characters a happy ending. That doesn’t happen here and that is so brave.

The pay off for me as a viewer was, firstly I have ordered the book and can’t wait to read it to compare it the film, I should also say that I didn’t just wipe a couple of tears away while watching this movie I wept, I sobbed uncontrollably. I fell in love with these characters and when you love with something you wish there was a better way, but there are real people out there who have to deal with these issues, so when it comes to this film and this ending I really feel there was no better way.

Okay?

Okay.

I hope you enjoyed my The Fault in Our Stars Review, see you next time!

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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!

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