Uncategorized · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-Up | February 2019

Hello everyone! Today, I’ll be doing a monthly wrap up for February. This has been a really good month for books and I’ve read and reviewed loads of really good ones!

Books I’ve Read:

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty:

4 stars

I liked this book but not as much as I thought I would because it was really long and dense. The characters were also a bit annoying.

The Martian by Andy Weir:

5 Stars

I loved The Martian! I would never, ever want to be stuck on Mars because it sounds TERRIFYING but the story was really engaging, exciting and funny and I really enjoyed it.

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo:

5 Stars

King of Scars was amazing and it was a joy reading about Nina, Nikolai and Zoya again. I’m so excited for the next book to come out! Also, after reading it I realised that I really need to reread the Shadow and Bone trilogy and Six of Crows. Sometime soon, I’m going to write a super long gushing review for this book so watch out for it!

eARCs I’ve Read:

the mermaid’s voice returns in this one by Amanda Lovelace:

3 stars

I liked the message this book gave but I really didn’t like the writing style- it just didn’t agree with me.

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He:

5 stars

Descendant of the Crane was amazing! The plot twists, the characters, the writing- everything was just mind-blowingly good. I really hope the author writes a second book.

Whispers from the Depths by C. W. Briar:

4 stars

I liked this book because it felt like a cinematic experience while I was reading it. The characters were trapped in a house with evil water spirits trying to kill them and tension was built up so skilfully.

Beware the Night by Jessika Fleck:

3 stars

This book was pretty average because I felt like I’ve seen it all before. It wasn’t bad but I had loads of Red Queen and The Hunger Games vibes whilst reading it.

Books I’ve Reviewed:

This month, I’ve reviewed SO MANY good books. As you can see, they were all 5 or 4 stars. Generally, I tend to rate books highly because I’m really picky with what I read and I tend to read things that I know I will like- it’s not always a good thing but I do try to challenge myself occasionally.

My favourite post of the month:

My post about the link between slavery and Valentine’s day because it’s a really major issue that not many people seem to know about and I wanted to raise awareness about it. (Read it here: Roses: Symbols of Romance or of Suffering)


That’s my February in books all wrapped-up! How was your February? Let me know in the comments and if you’ve done a wrap-up feel free to link it- I’d love to read them!

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Book Tags · Uncategorized

Sunshine Blogger Award!!!

Hello everyone! Today I’ll be doing the Sunshine Blogger Award! Thank you so much to the amazing J R Lynn @ Eternity Books for nominating me- please check Eternity Books out before finishing reading this post

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RULES:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging site. (Thank you so, so, so much to J R Lynn!!!)
  2. Answer the questions.
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  4. Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  5. List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your site or on your post.

Questions:

(1) What’s your favourite food?

I’m always open to trying different types of food and cuisines and I could never choose just one favourite food (I’m a foodie). I do adore sea food and anything with chicken in it but the food that will always have a special place in my heart (and in my stomach!) is my Mum’s food. It’s the best!

(2) What’s your favorite colour?

I really like bluey-greeny colours like turquoise and teal.

(3) What’s your favorite song?

I’m not picky- I like any song with a catchy rhythm that I can dance or sing along to!

(4) Who’s your favorite character?

This is a hard question! I’d say Aelin Galathynius from Throne of Glass because the journey she goes on through the series is amazing and she grows so much as a person.

(5) If you could visit a character’s home, whose would it be?

I’d visit Bilbo Baggins in his hobbit hole because I’ve always thought that they are so cool! I wish I could live in a hobbit hole!

(6) Which underrated author do you love?

I really liked Helen Scheuerer’s Heart of Mist and I don’t think enough people are talking about it.

(7) Which popular author do you hate?

Tahereh Mafi because the writing style in Shatter Me really frustrated me- although I wouldn’t say I hate her.

(8) How many books have you read in the past three years?

Well….the first year I started counting was last year where I read 58 books but I know for a fact I read more books than that the years before so I’d estimate around 200 books.

(9) What was your first highest rated book of 2019?

Circe by Madeline Miller- I adored it so, so much and it’s become one of my all time favourites! (My review of Circe)

(10) What was your first lowest rated book of 2019?

My lowest rated book so far is The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in this One by Amanda Lovelace because the writing style really didn’t agree with me although I apreciated the message she was trying to convey.

(11) Which book is your most highly anticipated for 2019?

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo for sure! I was so excited to meet Nina, Nikolai and all my other favourite Grisha characters again!


I nominate: Ash @ Ink Trails | Jenn @ Jenniely |Katie @ Melting Pages |Sara @ Reading in Bed|Jemma @ Fantastic Books|Alyssa @ A Lovely Book Affair |Amanda @ Literary Weaponry |Kaylee @ Kayl’s All Booked|Throne of Books |Shaz Reads | Bookish Pisces


New Questions:

  1. If you could choose one book to live in forever, which would it be?
  2. If you were stranded on a desert island with only one book, which one would it be?
  3. Which book character do you wish was your best friend?
  4. Apart from reading/book blogging, what else do you enjoy doing?
  5. Which book do you always find yourself reccomending to people?
  6. If you could be any one book character for a day, who would you be?
  7. Which supporting character do you think deserves their own book and why?
  8. Which bookish habits do you have?
  9. What is your main blogging goal for 2019?
  10. What is your main reading goal for 2019?
  11. What would be your #1 bookish holiday destination?

If you want to answer these questions too if you haven’t been nominated then feel free and thank you again to J R Lynn.

Book Tags · Uncategorized

The Bookish Adventure Tag + 100 followers!!!!

Hello everyone! In celebration of the fact that I now have 100 followers (thank you so much to all of those amazing people!!!) I have decided to create a book tag! It’s called ‘The Bookish Adventure Tag’ and I’ll explain the rules below!


RULES:

Imagine that you are an intrepid literary adventurer- braving the harsh bookish wilderness, traversing jungles of pages and slashing through vines of words. Where in the vast world of books would you go?

  • Write about one place mentioned in a book you wish you could visit and why.
  • List 3-5 things that you would do there.
  • Mention which souvenirs, if any, you would bring back with you.
  • Then tag some more literary explorers and please link back to the creator (Umairah @ Sereadipity) so I can see all of your adventures!

My dream bookish destination:

The Southern Continent from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas because, firstly, the weather is amazing there and I would love to go to the bustling markets, meet all of the different people and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

Things I would do:

  • Visit Antica (the capital) and see all of the markets there and try some of the delicious food, go shopping and enjoy the nice weather.
  • See and visit the Torre Cesme (a tower of legendary healers) and talk to some of the healers.
  • Try and meet Nesryn and Sartaq and maybe time my visit when some of the other Throne of Glass characters are in the Southern Continent on a diplomatic visit or something and try and meet them too… somehow.
  • Go to the mountains, visit the ruk riders and ride a ruk!
  • See one of the giant Stygian spiders, freak out and run away back to the UK.

Souvenirs:

I think I’d bring some clothes or a piece of jewellery or something to remember the Southern Continent by. I’d also want to bring some books back with me (I buy books everywhere I go!). However, the thing I wish I could bring back the most is Sartaq my very own ruk that I can ride and be friends with.


I tag:

If you weren’t tagged but would like to do this tag too, then feel free!

What is your dream bookish adventure?

 

Top Ten Tuesday · Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday- Bookish Destinations

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was created by The Broke and the Bookish but is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is ‘places mentioned in books that I’d like to visit’ and I had so much fun writing this post and imagining what I would do in all of these fantastical places.

(1) Velaris (A Court of Thorns and Roses)

If I were to visit Velaris, I would definitely go during Starfall because it sounds so dazzling and glamorous.

(2) Hogwarts (Harry Potter series)

I wish Hogwarts were real so I could explore all of the hidden rooms and meet all of the different people there. It would also be so cool to go to Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.

(3) Weep (Strange the Dreamer)

The main reason I’d want to visit Weep is to meet all of my favourite characters and see the places mentioned in the books. Also, the weather is nice there so that’s a plus!

(4) Red London (A Darker Shade of Magic)

I would love to go to Red London to visit the Night Market, the Setting Sun and see the Maresh palace. It would be so fascinating to be surrounded by so much magic and see how it fits into the inhabitants everyday lives.

(5) The Southern Continent (Throne of Glass series)

The Southern Continent seems like a beautiful place. Specifically, I would love to visit the rukhin and their ruks and also the Torre Cesme.

(6) Lothlórien (The Lord of the Rings)

Lothlórien seems so serene and picturesque and meeting an elf would be a dream come true!

(7) Ketterdam (Six of Crows)

Ketterdam seems like a lively, bustling place that I would love to visit. I would also have some waffles in Nina’s honour!

(8) Caraval (Caraval)

Although I wasn’t keen on the book I would like to visit Caraval as an onlooker not a participator.

(9) The Night Circus (The Night Circus)

If The Night Circus were real I’d be one of those obsessed people who try to predict where it would go next and visit as many times as they could.

(10) Mistward (Heir of Fire)

Mistward seems so friendly and tranquil and it would be so nice to hear one of Emrys’ stories!


What are your top ten bookish destinations? Let me know in the comments!

Reviews · Uncategorized

A Wondrous Tale of Whimsy | Review of Strange the Dreamer

Author: Laini Taylor

Year Published: 2017

    • Plot: 5/5
    • Characters: 5/5
    • Writing: 5/5
    • Overall: 5/5

I didn’t know what to expect from Strange the Dreamer (I read it on a whim) but I was more than pleasantly surprised by how much I adored it! It was a lush, whimsical novel that was captivating until the very last page. The plot twists at the end were mind-shattering and I didn’t know what to do with myself! I was just crying and gasping with shock and I was probably bordering hysteria.

Taylor’s writing style was brilliant. It was vividly fantastical and absolutely breath-taking, each word like a brush stroke in the giant canvas of my mind that together painted a shimmering story of love and loss.

“He had crossed continents and drunk starlight from rivers without names. There was no going back from that.”

It told the tale of Lazlo Strange, a young man who was orphaned by the great war of Zosma and worked in a great library. He had one foot in the real world and the other in a land of dreams and wonder, he had a love for fantasy and fairy tales and was convinced that stories always had kernels of knowledge tucked between the pages ‘like toast crumbs on a wizard’s beard’. He was obsessed about the mystery of the city of Weep, a glorious city that was hostile to newcomers that cut of communications with all other cities and countries for no apparent reason many years ago, and was never heard of since. He wanted to know if the magic of his stories was real and he wanted to experience it for himself. Sadly, he thought his dream was impossible- until his dream came to him.

Lazlo was the most loveable, adorable character ever. How can you not like someone whose nose was broken by a book of fairy tales falling on it? It was amazing how he pursued his dream and how his passion and determination led him on the most magical journey imaginable. He was a prime example of the saying, ‘where there is a will, there is a way,’ because somehow, he managed to defy the odds set against him and fulfil his greatest wishes and more.

Sarai came in much further on in the story but was another one of the important characters in the book. She was a ‘godspawn’ and she had blue skin and the ability to enter and manipulate the dreams of others. Her relationship with Lazlo was the cutest, sweetest thing ever! They were perfect for each other and were equally dreamy and bursting with whimsy.

“I think you’re a fairy tale. I think you’re magical, and brave, and exquisite. And I hope you’ll let me be in your story.” 

Thyon Nero was ‘the golden godson’ of the queen of Zosma and generally the most annoying person in the world. He was tasked with turning  was so full of himself he couldn’t possibly dare recognise the good work of others and he couldn’t fathom the possibility that Lazlo, a lowly librarian, could possibly be better than him at anything. I did feel a bit sorry for him but that didn’t excuse his behaviour.

Another character which I felt really bad for but still didn’t like was Minya. She was a godspawn with the ability to capture the soul of a person shortly after they die and keep them as a ghost which she can control. When she was six years old she went though a harrowing event that changed her entire life. Fifteen years later, she still appeared to be a six-year-old and time, for her, had seemingly stopped. I found this to be a really interesting plot device because I guess when people go through traumatic experiences, time does almost stop and life divides into what came before and what came after – Minya’s story illustrated this very cleverly. She was so full of revenge after this event in her life that she became twisted with hate and she would not accept anything that wouldn’t help her achieve her revenge.

Overall, Strange the Dreamer was a gorgeous book that I absolutely adored and would recommend it to all the dreamers out there who are seeking an magical adventure.

Moments of Sereadipity · Uncategorized

Moments of Sereadipity #1

Sereadipity (noun): when you read a book without knowing much about it beforehand, or with very low expectations, and you end up enjoying it much more than you thought you would. 

Hello everyone! This is my first ‘Moments of Sereadipity’ (sereadipity is a word that I have made up) which is a feature I have created where I write about a book that has surprised me. Today, I will be explaining why I had a ‘moment of sereadipity’ with the book Air Awakens!

  • Book: Air Awakens
  • Author: Elise Kova
  • Year Published: 2015

When I first started reading Air Awakens, I was expecting it to be the standard, tropey fantasy I’m used to reading and while it did have many of the usual elements like a love triangle and the whole main-character-is-the-magical-special-chosen-one thing it combined them in a way that made the book seem unique. The ending definitely took me by surprise as I wasn’t expecting it to be so hard-hitting or gripping. I never expected to become so attached to the characters and invested in the story and I certainly wasn’t expecting the cool Avatar people who turned up near the end. Therefore, Air Awakens qualifies as a sereadipitous book because I loved it way more than I thought I would!


Have you had a ‘moment of sereadipity’? Let me know in the comments!

Reviews · Uncategorized

Review: The Cruel Prince

Author: Holly Black

Year Published: 2018

  • Plot: 5/5
  • Characters: 5/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Overall: 5/5

I have a really weird relationship with this book because I think that all of the characters are horrible and vicious and if one of them walked past me in the street I would run away but at the same time I loved the book in general. It was dark, treacherous and for me, it definitely lived up to the hype.

“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”

Jude Duarte was a human who lived in Faerie amongst the Fae and fell creatures of the wild. Her mother used to be married to a Fae general but she ran away back to the human world and started a new life and family. However, after many years pass, the general found her again and killed her and Jude’s father, then abducted Jude, Taryn (Jude’s twin) and Vivienne (their older sister) to Faerie and raised them as his own. While growing up in Faerie, Jude constantly tried to make her place there and dreamed of becoming a knight but was constantly belittled and bullied by the other Fae- until she decided to take matters into her own hands.

She thought that if she was more terrible, more sly and more brutal than the Fae, they would have to take her seriously. So basically, the book is about Jude’s crazy revenge plans and her scheming to get somewhere in the Faerie world. Throughout the book we watched her go from a girl too afraid to stand up for herself when she’s bullied and too used to keeping her head down to a terrifyingly cunning woman who would stop at nothing to get what she wants. She’s very fierce and scary and I wouldn’t say that I like her as a character but I suppose I appreciate her tenacity.

Cardan was a prince of Faerie who enjoyed tormenting others and had a care-free and irresponsible attitude to most things in life. And I didn’t like him at all. Throughout the book we see his love weird obsession for Jude grow and although he’s drawn to her, he hates himself for it. Now, this is going to sound odd because I just said that I don’t like both Jude and Cardan but I do ship them together. They’re both dreadful people and I think they deserved and suited each other. Also, it was interesting to see their hate-love relationship unfold and I found myself wishing that they’d just admit that they liked each other and go back to plotting their revenge and all that.

The world building and writing was intricate and detailed, I loved finding out about all of the different creatures and customs in Faerie and the descriptions of the food, clothes and places were superb.

Overall, The Cruel Prince was a convoluted tale bursting with betrayal and deception and I really, really enjoyed reading it.


Have you read The Cruel Prince? What did you think?

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Friday Reads · Uncategorized

Friday Reads- King Of Scars

Friday Reads was invented by The Candid Cover and is a merge of:

  • Book Beginnings which is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where we share the first sentence(s) of a book.
  • The Friday 56 which is hosted by Freda’s Voice where we share a snippet from page 56 of a book (or 56% on an e-reader).

Bookish Beginnings:

The first two lines of King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo:

“Dima heard the barn doors slam before anyone else did. Inside the little farmhouse, the kitchen bubbled like a pot on the stove, its windows shut tight against the storm, the air in the room warm and moist.”

I really like these first lines, especially the way Bardugo immediately gives it the feel of a fairy tale. Someone with no prior knowledge of what the book is about could easily mistake it for a sweet, quaint story but when they read on they would realise it’s much more dark and deep than it seems at first. It’s amazing how she manages to set the scene in just a few lines.

The Friday 56:

A snippet of King of Scars from page 56:

“Ravka was many things to him: a grand lady who required constant courting, a stubborn child unwilling to stand on its own, and most often, a drowning man- the more Nikolai struggled to save it, the harder it fought.”

I like the way Ravka is personified in this quote as it makes Nikolai’s relationship with his country seem more real and it conveys how well he knows it and how much he cares about it. It makes his struggles with ruling really easy to understand.


What are you reading this Friday? Let me know in the comments!

Book Tags · Uncategorized

NOPE Book Tag!

Hello everyone! Today, I’m going to be doing The NOPE Book Tag. I was tagged by the wonderful J R Lynn @ Eternity Books!

A list of books mentioned in this post:

  • Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
  • Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas
  • The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare
  • The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

If you haven’t read some of these books and don’t know what I’m talking about at times, sorry in advance!

Nope Ending:
A book that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage, or simply because the ending was terrible.

The ending of Empire of Storms made me feel a lot of denial and rage. Not because it was a bad ending but because what had happened to my favourite characters was too horrible to comprehend.

Nope Protagonist:
A main character you dislike and drives you crazy.

Scarlett from Caraval because she’s just so annoying and we’re supposed to believe she cares about her sister when really all she cares about is whether Julian likes her as much as she likes him. (My review of Caraval)

Nope Series:
A series that turned out to be one huge pile of NOPE after you’ve invested all that time and energy on it, or a series you gave up on because it wasn’t worth it anymore.

I spent so much time reading the entire Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and in the end, I felt disappointed and confused.

Nope Popular Pairing:
A “ship” you don’t support.

Feysand from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. I just don’t understand the hype around them. Rhys is arrogant and Feyre is so boring to read about!

Nope Plot Twist:
A plot twist you didn’t see coming or didn’t like.

[Spoilers ahead] At the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses, when Feyre was supposed to stab Tamlin in the heart and then…PLOT TWIST… his heart was made of stone, I was so, so, so, so, annoyed! There was literally no hinting at it throughout the book then suddenly we’re supposed to just accept it.

Nope Protagonist action/decision:
A character decision that made you shake your head.

[Spoilers Ahead] In Kingdom of Ash, when Aedion was saying and doing all of those really mean things to Lysandra, I was shaking my head with disappointment and anger because she was just doing what she thought was right and he couldn’t blame her for that.

Nope Genre:
A genre you will never read.

Paranormal/Urban fantasy. For some reason I just can’t stand it.

Nope Book Format:
A book format you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition.

I’m not really sure how to answer this one… sometimes I wait for a book to come out as a kindle edition before buying it but I still love reading print books.

Nope Trope:
A trope that makes you go nope.

Angsty love triangles drive me insane. They’re just so frustrating to read about.

Nope Recommendation: A book recommendation that is constantly hyped and pushed at you that you simply refuse to read.

The Shadowhunter Chronicles because although everyone always talks about how good it is, it’s just not the type of book I enjoy reading.

Nope Cliché/pet peeve:
A cliché or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

When smirking/ scoffing/ drawling is mentioned in books it really gets on my nerves! Normal people don’t smirk all of the time- or at least no one that I’ve met!

Nope Love Interest:
The love interest that’s not worthy of being one/a character you don’t think should have been a viable love interest.

In The City of Brass, I don’t think Dara should have been a viable love interest. He’s just so annoying and arrogant! (My review of The City of Brass)

Nope Book:
A book that shouldn’t have existed.

I don’t think there is a book that I’ve read that shouldn’t have existed. Even the books I didn’t enjoy deserve to exist because I think that books are amazing.

Nope Villain
A scary villain/antagonist you would hate to cross and would make you run in the opposite direction.

The Darkling from the Shadow and Bone trilogy. He’s so terrifying and ruthless. He would definitely make me run in the opposite direction!

Nope Death
A character death that still haunts you.

[Spoiler Ahead] When Shade from the Red Queen series died I was so sad because he was just so nice and Farely was pregnant!

Nope Author
An author you have had a bad experience reading and have decided to quit.

I had a bad experience reading Shatter Me and I decided after that to not read the rest of the series. I don’t have anything against the author, Tahereh Mafi, I just don’t like her writing style. I didn’t like all of the strike throughs– I understand what she was trying to do but I just didn’t like it.

I tag:

Sorry in advance if any of the people I have tagged have already done this tag!

Uncategorized

The Most Magical Reads Of All Time

Sometimes, I read a book that gives me a sense of wonder- like a child in a sweet shop but each jar contains a marvellous new world.

Today, I’ll be talking about my magical reads that filled me with awe and the books I’d reccomend to people looking for a whimsical and creative adventure.

The Night Circus:

The Night Circus was enchanting and while I was reading I kept wishing that it was real so that I could go and visit. It would be so amazing to explore all of the tents and see all of the performances. Throughout the book I was trapped in a bubble of amazement and awe.

The Harry Potter Series:

When talking about magical reads, Harry Potter is a no-brainer. Which place could be more magical than Hogwarts? All of the spells, hidden rooms and unusual creatures send my imagination on a rollercoaster ride!

The Toymakers:

The Toymakers is a poignant story about a magical toy emporium and it’s also a book I wish was real so I could visit it. It doesn’t just focus on the childish wonder associated with the emporium but the magic of friendship and family.

The City of Brass:

The City of Brass is set in Egypt and about a thriving city of djinn shielded from human eyes. The idea is so fascinating and the descriptions of the various djinn and their lives was so interesting! (My review of The City of Brass)

Circe:

Circe is based on Greek mythology so it’s bound to be magical. It’s full of gods and goddesses, heroes and fantastical creatures. It also merges together many well known legends and myths. (My review of Circe)

A Darker Shade of Magic series:

Parallel worlds, swashbuckling pirates and lots and lots of magic. This series has all of the ingredients for an amazing adventure. Red London, in particular, was awesome and I loved the idea of Antaris  (My review of A Darker Shade of Magic)

Strange the Dreamer:

Strange the Dreamer was whimsical and full of imagination. We get to delve into the real world and the dream world of the book and the characters are so loveable.

Uprooted:

Uprooted is a bit more sinister than the books mentioned above with its scary people-devouring trees and evil forest but it still takes the reader on a magically spellbinding journey.


What are your most magical reads? Have you read any of mine? Let me know in the comments!