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Readers Can Relate #4 – DNFing books

I don’t know about you, but leaving a book unfinished and putting it on that DNF (Did Not Finish) shelf on goodreads…it’s a horrible feeling! But sometimes it’s got to be done. We do have a TBR pile as tall as the Eiffel Tower to complete, you know!

Here are some of the reasons I have DNFed a book – hopefully you can relate to some of them…

 

1) The book that is just so mind-numbingly boring…

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There is only so long you can force yourself to read those utterly dull sentences. It starts with a bit of skimming over the REALLY boring parts, then missing the long description bits, until eventually the whole thing is too draining to push yourself through, and you just have to give up!

 

2) The book you have been anticipating for a long time…

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Except this time, the anticipation doesn’t last though. Maybe it’s the amount of hype, or maybe you had too high expectations, but for some reason this book you were so highly anticipating is not fun to read at all! These can be the hardest to DNF because of how much energy went into being excited for it’s release, but let’s be honest: there’s probably another five books you’re excited for, being released soon! 

 

3) The book that is too uncomfortable, that you know straight way this is not a book for you…

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Sometimes it’s a theme or message the book is portraying that just doesn’t sit right with you, but there’s that gut feeling inside of you that pushes you away from this novel.

 

4) The book that you read before…oh wait no it wasn’t this book…but it feels just like it…

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You’ve literally read this same storyline, these same character tropes, the same themes, and the same romantic arc about a thousand times! Perhaps these are all the same books, with a different cover? Either way, these books become so predictable that there almost becomes no point in finishing it. And when there are so many unique stories around, why settle?

 

5) And don’t get me started on the book where the female protagonist has to be rescued by the male love interest about fifty times in the duration of a 400 page novel…

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If you read YA, or indeed if you read at all, you’ve read one of these books. And it works the other way around too. Basically, any book where the main character relies on the love interest to do stuff for them. 

 

6) The book with terrible writing

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You know, that book that is just impossible to read due to how badly written it is! It just makes no sense. When you are an avid reader/book blogger and find yourself wondering whether you can actually read, it’s probably time to put the book down!

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Personally, I used to hate DNFing books. I used to force myself through, even if I hated it, just because I couldn’t stand leaving the story incomplete. But now I find I do it quite often. At the end of the day, I read for enjoyment, and if I’m not enjoying a book, I’m not going to read it!

I also then stop myself from posting reviews of these books. Why? I’m scared of the backlash from people saying I can’t have a proper say on the book if I haven’t read it all. And although I do sometimes agree with this view, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and sometimes not being able to finish a book is enough evidence to go on to write a negative review.

What are your thoughts on not finishing books? And do you review your DNF books?

 

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Wrap-Up | July 2016

I wanted to read four books this month, and I read four *cue polite round of applause…from myself*. It may not have been the four I had planned, but I’m still counting it as a success!!

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13933196_1275473765796699_1050536899_nIsla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Rating: 3/5
Review
I really enjoyed this book, and it made me very happy and smiley. Stephanie Perkins is just an amazing ‘happy book’ writer. I had a few issues with the storyline and some of the themes, but overall I enjoyed it, and really enjoyed Isla and Josh as individual characters (even if I didn’t buy them together!).

 

 

13874867_1275473779130031_1465228130_nJust One Year (Just One Day #2) by Gayle Forman
Rating: 3/5
I still haven’t collected my thoughts enough on this book to write a decent review. On the one hand, I completely loved the writing, themes and travelling in this story, but on the other hand I STILL didn’t like Willem, I felt it was a bit too slow, and I did have to really push myself through the last half of the book. I will definitely be reading Just One Night though, because if there’s anything worse than a cliffhanger, it’s a double cliff-hanger (which these two books very kindly gave us!).

 

13871727_1272360739441335_1664600771_nGathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan Rhodes
Rating: 5/5
Review
Spoiler Discussion
This is my favourite of the series so far! I absolutely loved the twists and turns of the plot, and fell in love with some of the characters even more (hint hint: Magnus). I feel like I’m getting slightly more engrossed in this series with each book! Thankfully I already have Frozen Tides in my possession, so I think I know the first book I will be reading in August!

 

13874660_1275473792463363_799182924_nHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
Rating: 5/5
Review
Firstly I do have to say: I can understand why people might have been dissappointed with this story. Now that I’ve had time to reflect on it, I do realise that nostalgia, and my blinding love for everything Harry Potter probably made me enjoy this book immensely more than I may have otherwise. But I don’t really care, because I did love it, and I did really enjoy it – whatever the reason! The story in itself is just so cool because it’s our favourite characters, and also really well-thought-out new ones. It has just made me way more desperate to see the actual play though!

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I also still have two books on the go…
– The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (yep, that one I started back in April!)
– Summer Days and Summer Nights (I managed to read about four or five of the stories, so I nearly made it half way through, but I just wasn’t really enjoying it, so I’m not sure whether I will be carrying on, or just picking odd stories to read when I’m in the mood, like I did with ‘My True Love Gave to Me’).

How was your July reading? What were some of your favourites of the month? Anyone else already read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – what did you think?

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On Writing | What am I writing?

Once I mentioned that I was writing a novel, I got a few questions about what it is exactly that I’m writing. At the moment, I don’t want to share the exact details of the story. Partly because it is still being planned and structured, and things may either change, and partly because it still feels so personal and secret to me that I don’t want to share it right now. However, I do want to let you know some of the basics of the story, so you know what sort of thing it is that I’m writing! So here’s a few bullet points…

  • It’s a YA fantasy novel (If you’ve been with me a while, you probably would have guessed that!).
  • I’m not yet sure whether it will be 3 or 5 books (depending on how much I can get into each book!)
  • The main character is called Iola
  • The story came to me whilst watching The Hunchback of Notre Dame (yep, the Disney movie!) and there’s one specific scene that the whole story has stemmed from – but I can’t mention which scene because… spoilers!!
  • The story begins at the end of a war (rather than at the start of one), and the world and characters that have been left in the aftermath. Pretty much every epic fantasy series has a war in it, but I thought it would be interesting to think about what life would be like once a war was over.
  • There are elves and dragons, as well as plain old humans and magical humans.
  • I have been working with the title ‘Songs of Dreams’ (although that is most likely going to change), because singing and dreams are central to Iola’s magic (which includes mind control through song).
  • The magic in this world is based on the mind and psychology.

So that’s all I’m going to share at this point. I am aware it all sounds a little generic so far, but I just don’t feel ready to give away any real details yet!

I thought it would be more interesting though, to show you some of the pictures and songs that have been inspiring this novel, because that’s how you can really get a little picture of what is going on inside my head!

 

As you can see, my mood board is basically lots of greens, plants, and dream-like gazes off into the distance. Which all makes sense to the story, and Iola’s character and world.

 

And some of the songs that have inspired certain scenes in my story…

 

Mononoke Hime (AKA the song this book could not have existed without! Particularly from 5 minutes in. I pretty much wrote the whole of the first draft of the story to Joe Hisaishi’s 25 year Concert!)

Starvation – Thomas Bergerson (this is the song that fits with the scene that the Hunchback of Notre Dame inspired, which probably makes absolutely no sense when you listen to it, but it does in my own crazy head! In fact, there’s a lot of Thomas Bergerson’s music on my playlist – I just find it so moving and emotional!)

The Bioluminescence of the Night – AVATAR  (This song helps me picture one of the lands in the book very well. A land with dragons in, of course!)

The Equator – Brooke Fraser (this is one of the very few songs on my writing playlist with actual singing. I usually prefer instrumentals, because the words in the singing can put me off from the words I’m trying to get on the page. But this song is an exception, and a very recent addition to my playlist, because it is so atmospheric and fits right in with the feel of my story!)

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That’s all I can share right now. Hopefully I can share more with you as I write more!

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BOOK REVIEW | Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

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Title:
 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Parts One and Two)

Author: J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne

Genre: Fantasy

Published: 31st July 2016

Format: Hardback

Rating:  star (1)star (1)star (1)star (1)star (1)

 

 

“The world changes and we change with it. I am better off in this world. But the world is not better. And I don’t want that.”

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This book held so much power. It had the power to either re-ignite the Harry Potter love, make us all fall in love with the world again, and overwhelm us with emotion. But it also had the power to completely underwhelm us, with an add-on that was just not up to the standards we now have for anything Harry Potter. Thankfully, this book ran straight down the first scenario for me, and now I want to re-read all of the books, re-watch all of the movies, get all of my HP merch out, drink butter-beer, cry about not getting my Hogwarts letter yet…(it’s coming, okay!!).

I was a little apprehensive as this is a script, and although I usually enjoy reading plays, they never quite have the same depth to them as a novel. I was concerned that the absence of Rowling’s brilliant descriptions would make this a much less enjoyable read. But it may as well have been a novel for how vividly I pictured the settings and characters and the unfolding of the story. The stage directions literally make this book like reading a film, and completely engrossed me.

Albus and Scorpius as characters were thoroughly wonderful to read, and definitely almost nearly brought tears to my eyes a few times! And, of course, re-visiting all of our favourites: Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny etc. was THE BEST!

I also thought the plot of this story was very clever, as well as a much needed wrap up to understand just how the world everyone fought for in the seven books actually affected the characters, as well as how much the characters themselves affected the world.

Of course, watching the play first-hand would have been the most amazing thing, but for all of us unable to see it, this is seriously the next best thing, and there was no way it could gain any less than 5 wonderful stars!

 

 

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BOOK DISCUSSION | Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan Rhodes (SPOILERS!!!)

THIS BOOK THIS BOOK THIS BOOK

The feels from this book.

Please bear in mind that I am writing this pretty much straight after finishing the book, on a Monday night, when I should probably be sleeping. But ya know…priorities = talking about this book. Otherwise sleep is probably not an option!

This book was absolutely amazing and I gave it 5 stars. If you want to check out the NON-SPOILER review then click here, but if you have already read the book and want to know all my SPOILERY thoughts then keep on reading!!!

Okay, so let’s start with a quick summary of what happened in this book…

Magnus becomes even more bae.
Cleo is a scarily good liar but we love her for it.
Lucia is one dumb girl, like seriously come on girl! She gives me the creeps though.
Jonas is a pathetic rebel leader. Where would he be without my new fave, Felix?
Lysandra is badass!
Alexius is strange and untrustworthy and I didn’t like him.
Nic and Ashur tore out my heart.
I would like King Gaius dead please.
Amara needs to be dead too if you don’t mind?
Please stop killing the characters I love though!
Or the feels will start killing me!

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Now the super fast summary is out of the way, I’m going to assume you know what happened in the book, and go into all details and fun stuff…

I am a Magnus+Cleo shipper, and this book certainly did not disappoint! The tension between these two has just been growing and growing! As soon as Magnus rescued Cleo from execution, I was just waiting for one of them to admit something! Magnus is by no means a changed man by the end of this book, but I think as a reader we begin to relate to him on a much more emotional level. As his feelings for Cleo visibly grow, I think he does become a little softer. It does say a lot of Cleo though, that she can see past Magnus’ harsh outer shell, his evil family, and what he has (in part) done to her family, and still have feelings for him. I don’t think even by the end of this book she knows those feelings are fully romantic, but they definitely have some feelings and I need to see how they play out in the next book!

“Magnus had come to a horrible realization. One that he knew would cause him nothing but pain and suffering from that day forward.
But there was no changing the truth of it.
He had fallen in love with her.”

I liked how most of the romantic pairings seemed to be going in this book, with the grand exception of Lucia and Alexius! I really liked them together in Rebel Spring, but their relationship made me so frustrated in Gathering Darkness. He was just so off from the beginning, and the fact that Lucia didn’t really question him at all, and after about two weeks was all ready to elope and marry him…she is clearly a very sad and lonely girl. She really needs a good friendship, and I was really hoping that Cleo could have been that for her. I honestly thought that she would tell Lucia the truth about her ring and telling Jonas about the Kindred, and that they could have somehow worked together. But then I forgot I was reading a Morgan Rhodes book where nothing really works out for the best does it?

Jonas was my least favourite character again. His chapters are by far my least favourite of all. They’re not bad at all, he just really annoys me. He is a bit useless. On the one hand, I like that the rebel leader is not the physically strongest character, despite probably having the best motives, as it makes for some interesting character dynamics with other characters around him (like Lysandra and Felix). But mostly it just annoys me. I still don’t think he has quite grasped how serious his role is, or how much planning needs to happen to pull of a successful rebellion. I really hope that in future books he comes out of himself a bit, because at the moment I feel that he isn’t really a character without the other characters around him!

Prince Ashur and Princess Amara were probably my favourite characeters in this book, even more so than the main four. When Ashur turned on Nic near the end of the book, I was frantically searching his characeter for some way he could be good, but I was not expecting what actually happened at all! I think the ‘flashback’ of Ashur’s plans completely shocked me, but in a very good way. I recovered from my surprise and was just happy. And then he dies!!!???? Why are you doing this to my heart, sad book!?

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That scene brought me close to tears, I was so upset and shocked. I feel like Morgan Rhodes saves all of the plot-twists for the last 50 pages of the book so they all happen at the same time and we can’t cope with it all and cry until we can get to the next book.

I want to talk about that final scene though! Lucia manages to take Melania’s power and kill her, and feels creepily satisfied at doing so – I mean I know Melenia was evil but at the moment I feel like Lucia could become worse. I like Lucia as a character, and I really want to root for her, but her decisions were so stupid in this book. I have no idea what she and the newly awakened god of fire (Gathering Darkness at it again with the random plot twists) are going to do together, but I am very interested to see where it will go, and what side Lucia will choose by the end.

I just ended up finishing this book with a bajillion questions: How will Magnus regain favour with his father, King Gaius, after killing Cronus, freeing Cleo, and failing to return with Lucia? Will his feelings for Cleo change his actions at all? Will Jonas and Felix re-unite together? How will Nic deal with Prince Ashur’s death? And who one earth is supposed to be the main villain now?

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Thank you Thank you that Frozen Tides is already out! At least I can put all of my feelings back into reading the next book!

 

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BOOK REVIEW | Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes

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Title: Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3)

Author: Morgan Rhodes

Genre: Fantasy

Published: 9th December 2014

Format: Hardback

Rating:  star (1)star (1)star (1)star (1)star (1)

 

 

 

 

“Hatred is like fire. It burns the one who harnesses it. It’s also extremely hard to see more helpful truths through its flames.”


Goodreads Synopsis:

In GATHERING DARKNESS, book three of the New York Times bestselling Falling Kingdoms series, the stakes have never been higher as three teams push forward on a race to find the Kindred, the four elemental crystals possessing ancient all-powerful magic, first:

Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces. Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica. All Gaius needs now are the Kindred – the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner. But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, storied magic…

 

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The Falling Kingdoms series just keeps getting better and better! I thought Rebel Spring couldn’t be topped, but this third instalment proved me very wrong!

How to sum up my feelings whilst reading this book? Basically, think of all the emotions you experience when reading a book, and throw them all together, and you’ve got Gathering Darkness. It took me about 150 pages to fully get into this book, but once I’d gotten past the slow beginning I was completely hooked, and completely powered through the rest in one sitting. I was almost dying for a wee at one point, like on the verge of wetting myself, but I just couldn’t leave my book and there was no putting it down. Sorry for sharing that, but for anyone wondering, no, I thankfully did not actually wet myself. (There are some sacrifices you have to make for a good book though!)

This book takes off where Rebel Spring finishes. I can’t say that the prologue or introductory chapters particularly hooked me in this book, as much as in the others, but from about a third of the way in it becomes much more engaging. I’ve pretty much forgotten how the book even started, so that’s how memorable it was! But the amazing-ness of the rest of the book completely overshadowed this!

The magic side to the story really intensifies in this third book. After discovery of the Kindred, crystals with such ancient magic they could give the beholder the power to literally rule the world, there seems to be searching, double-crossing, scheming, finding, stealing and death from every angle to find them. I can see the magic getting quite dark once we find out just what the crystals can do!

What I love most about this series though, is how different all of the characters are. Particularly the main four. I also love that even though they are all so unlikable in so many ways, they are so uniquely interesting to read about because of that. In fact, my least favourite of the main four: Jonas, is probably the most ‘good’ and ‘moral’ of the characters, and yet I find him a less interesting character to read in comparison. I love that each character’s weaknesses, flaws and negatives are exaggerated, and Morgan Rhodes doesn’t just brush over them. The interactions between these characters are so fascinating as a result! Of course I love every Magnus and Cleo scene because those two have the most strange yet beautiful interactions.

The villains in this series also seem never-ending. I mean, every time you think a character is the biggest evil in the story, another character comes along that seems even worse. This instalment seemed to have about a hundred potential villains, and by the end we are introduced to someone who I can see becoming a very twisted character.

That’s all I can say without spoiling the book! If you want to read all of my thoughts in their spoiler-fuelled glory, then check out my Book Discussion!

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A Bookworm’s Recipe for a Relaxing Evening – With an Extra Helping of Sarcasm

I don’t know about you, but as a reader, I find it absolutely abhorrent that anyone would waste their evenings away on Netflix, watching films, binge-watching new shows, going out with friends…I mean, I never do any of those things. All I do is read every single night like a good little bookworm.

Okay, okay…before anyone comments telling me how rude I am, I’m lying! In fact, at the moment, I spend more of my time watching the Big Bang Theory before bed than I do reading. But when I do have a relaxing evening with a book, they are some of my favourite me-time nights.

So I’m going to tell you my 5 Steps for the best bookish night of your life (I’ll warn you in advance that sarcasm and exaggeration abound in this post!).

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1. Set the mood

I mean, You + Book = Best date ever! Am I right!? So you gotta set the mood. For me, this means that, first of all, on go the fairy lights! There are fairy lights in nearly every corner of my room, but they only all go on when it’s one of these ‘relax and read’ nights! Even if it’s still light outside (how dare you shine, sun!) the curtains are closed and the lights are on. I know, I’m just great for saving energy and the environment!!

2. Wind Down

The next thing I do is run a bath! There’s no better way to physically wind down than with a hot bath! You can make this extra bookish by reading in the bath, but this might make your pages wet and bubbly, and so I only recommend this to bath-reading experts. I advise that beginners should practice by sitting in an empty bath with no water, and extending their reading arm out of the bath, until you feel completely comfortable. Alright, maybe I’m going a bit too far with the book stuff…it’s just a bath, you feel clean, relaxed and happy YAY!

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These are my go-to treat time toiletries. I love using Lush products when I want to feel super clean and calm. The Mask of Magnaminty face mask is literally one of my favourite products of ever. I use it twice a week and it makes my face feel so great! And you have to feel good for your book date don’t you!?

3. Important Step No. One

This is a very, very important step, so listen carefully. In life, two things are certain to make you happy. Books, and tea*. But we’ll talk about books later, for now we’re talking tea. Tea is my favourite. If you know me at all, you know I’m obsessed with my strong builder’s tea. This is an essential for my perfect night. Well, actually it’s an essential for every day of my life, many times a day, but I had to mention it here because, you know, priorities!

*Sorry if you don’t like tea. If you don’t like tea you should probable just skip reading this one…

4. Pick your spot

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Now that you are clean and exercised, (yes, holding a book out of the bath is serious arm exercise!) it is time to move to your perfect reading spot. For me it’s my bed, because it doubles as my perfect sleeping spot. So I don’t even have to move when I want to transition from read to sleep. I’m a lazy person.

5. Important Step No. Two 

Now make sure you are reading this very carefully. This is the most important step of all, and failure to succeed in this final step will render all prior activities useless. You will need *coughs to clear throat dramatically* a book!

You can read whatever you are currently reading, or sometimes I pick up a new book specifically because I know it will help me relax and wind down.

Also, look at this adorable little book-light/torch I have. I don’t use it very often, but sometimes the fairy lights are just not quite enough light to read by, and this handy little contraption comes in very useful!

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And there you have it: how to reach happiness in 5 simple steps. Tune in next time for Sarcastic Life Guru Episode 2: How to have the best day of your life! Featuring reorganising bookshelves, taking pictures of books on Instagram, and drinking lots of tea.

 

Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered my blogiversary/bookstagram giveaway, both here on my blog and on Instagram.

The winner is…

@strongmindedbylit

I have already contacted you about sending your prize!

 

I really wish I could have let everyone win, but unfortunately the student life doesn’t allow my pockets to be big enough for that. But I just want you to all know how completely grateful I am for every single one of you that either follows my blog or bookstagram, comments on my posts, likes my posts, or just talks with me about books. You have made this an amazing year for me, and I am so blessed to have gotten to know many of you! Hopefully I can host more giveaways in the future!

 

I hope everyone has a lovely day, evening or night, wherever you are!

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GIVEAWAY REMINDER!!!

Just a quick reminder that my giveaway is ending VERY SOON!

I will stop counting entries from 12pm (London Time) on 12th July. That’s less than 2 days to go!

If you want to enter to win one of the following books…

– Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
– Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
– Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
– A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
– A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah. J. Maas
– Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
– A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Grat
– Across the Universe by Beth Revis
– Just One Day by Gayle Forman
– The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

…make sure to check out my original giveaway post: HERE HERE HERE for all of the rules, details and disclaimers!

Your entry comment will only be counted if you comment on the original giveaway post, so please don’t comment your entry on this post!

And finally, I have had a few entries from people not following my blog/instagram. As this is a giveaway to give something back to one of my followers, please make sure you are following/will follow if you want to enter. I will check when I randomly generate the winner.

Finally finally (I know, I’m forever adding additions to my additions) good luck, and thank you again for a great first year blogging! You guys are awesome!

 

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BOOK REVIEW | Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

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Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Genre: Contemporary/Romance/YA

Published: 14th August 2014

Format: Paperback

Rating:  star (1)star (1)star (1)starstar

 

 

 

 

“I like reading about adventure, sure, but I also like doing it from the safety of home. But what is home, besides a quilt-covered bed?”

Goodreads Synopsis:

Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

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Okay okay, so nearly every YA book blogger has most likely read this book by now. I really have no excuse. I mean, I bought it not long after it came out, and then it just sat on my shelves for ages, waiting. Waiting for the perfect moment. And although I gave this book only 3 stars, I can assuredly say that this was the perfect moment to read this book. My three stars is not due to lack of enjoyment, but because some aspects of it just didn’t sit right with me. Regardless, I think of the Anna/Lola/Isla trilogy, still, as my happy books. Especially Anna and the French Kiss. Having Anna as the first book in this trilogy basically spoiled me for liking the others so much!

So the things I liked:

1) We went back to Paris! I missed the Paris boarding school setting in the second book, so I was really happy we were took back there in this one. I really liked that Stephanie Perkins takes you to the everyday parts of Paris, and not just the tourist parts, and how real Paris feels as a result. She really captures the beauty of Paris. And any book in Paris will probably be somewhat enjoyable for me anyway!

2) The importance of art. In Anna and the French Kiss, it was movies. In Lola and the Boy Next Door, it was fashion and design. And in Isla, it was drawing. Art is an important, essential, beautiful part of our world, and I love that this trilogy captured that!

3) The reunion scene. Honestly, if you loved Anna and St Clair, you need to read this book just for that reunion scene! I think a tear of joy might possibly have slipped from my eye. Possibly.

However, despite how much I enjoyed reading the story, I just couldn’t get past some of the messages of this story and how much they sat a little wrong with me. Firstly: how easy a relationship blooms between two shy, awkward characters, and how easy it seems for Isla despite her secret 3 year-long crush on him. If only these situations were as simple and cringe-free as this was!

Which brings me onto number two, the reason why it was so easy for them: because he was ‘the one’. I don’t like the idea of ‘the one’ – the idea that there is one person you are fated and destined to be with and it doesn’t matter how young you are, or how many obstacles are in your way, you will defeat them all because you are each other’s ‘the one’ and no one else will match. Yeah, I just don’t like that idea, and a small part of me was actually thinking how interesting this book would have been if they didn’t have the ‘Happily Ever After’. (Can you tell I don’t read much contemporary YA romance!!??)

But these aren’t really problems with the book specifically, but an idea this book kind of subscribes to. And regardless, I still flew through it and enjoyed Isla and Josh as characters. As a complete trilogy, these books will always be associated as my happy books, and always make me smile when I flick back through them. Hopefully Stephanie Perkins will keep writing more of these happy, lovely books!

iathea