Saturday, 19 August 2017

The Rapid Fire Book Tag


Hello!

So I have a lot of reviews (and a very very exciting post) lined up and ready to be posted but I just really, really felt like writing a discussion or completing a tag which is why I decided to take part in 'The Rapid Fire Book Tag'. You'll have to wait for the reviews and the exciting post. Sorry!

Anyway I think the idea is for me to answer the questions with the first answer that pops into my head so lets give it a go! Also, just so you are aware, I wasn't actually tagged by anyone to do this, I just like to do these things for my own entertainment. Well, enough rambling, let's get started.

1) E-book or physical book?


Firstly, why is this a question? Secondly, physical book of course!

2) Paperback or hardback?

I always buy paperbacks but that's usually due to price. Both are great in their own way I think!

3) Online or in-store book shopping?


In-store without a doubt. I get so excited about a visit to my local book store it's not even funny.

4) Trilogies or series?


I'm actually really torn with this question. I love a good series but I think every book needs to be as good (if not even better) than the last and sometimes the middle books can give the impression of being a filler used to drag the story out longer. Therefore just to be safe I'll go with trilogies.

5) Heroes or villains?

Heroes unless I get an especially interesting villain...

6) A book you want everyone else to read?


Vendetta by Catherine Doyle. I just really love it and I don't think enough people have read it.

Read my review here.

7) Recommend an underrated author?

Anne Blankman. She writes great historical fiction which really makes you think but is also super entertaining. Read my review of her first book here and hopefully consider reading it! 

8) The last book you finished?


Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt. 

9) Weirdest thing you've used for a bookmark? 

I don't actually know. Usually when I don't have a bookmark I don't tend to use anything! 

10) Used books: yes or no?


Yes!

11) Top three genres?

In no particular order I would probably say: urban fantasy, contemporary and historical? Maybe? 

12) Borrow or buy?

Buy is definitely my preference but I'll admit, it's costly!

13) Character or plot?

Plot.

14) Long or short books?


For the first book in a series somewhere in the middle is great but after that the longer the better! 

15) Name the first three books you think of.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare 

The Maze Runner by James Dashner (that's a random one) 

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

16) Books that make you laugh or cry?

Laugh, I think.

17) Our world or fictional?

Both can make great stories but I do love a fictional world. I'm always in awe of the authors imagination!

18) Audiobooks: yes or no?

No. I'm not sure why but I really, really dislike audiobooks.  I think it's just that the voice reading is always to slow for me to get properly into it.

19) Do you ever judge a book by its cover?


Yes, unfortunately. I try not to, but it can't be helped! 

20) Book to movie or book to TV?

Book to TV. I think it gives more time etc for it to be done right. I suppose though that can sometimes back fire. I mean, look at Shadowhunters, I had absolutely no clue what it was doing for a while.

21) A movie or TV show that you preferred to the book? 


The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Look! There it is again). I remember loving the premise and idea but the writing style was very difficult to get into.

22) Series or standalones? 

Series. I need time to get fully invested in the lives of my favourite characters!

Annnndddddd that is it! Since I wasn't tagged to do this I'm not going to tag anybody specific so if you want to do the tag and say I tagged you then go for it!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Dare to Fall by Estelle Maskame


Dare to Fall is just one of those books that when you finish you can do nothing but sit there and think about it. It was just so amazing and I applaud Estelle Maskame. Dare to Fall definitely had me hooked and had my full attention for the entire novel which it rightfully deserved.

I first read Estelle Maskame's DIMILY trilogy around this time last year when I discovered she was going to be attending DeptCon2 and I absolutely loved the trilogy. Suffice to say my expectations for Dare to Fall were very very high and guess what? I think Dare to Fall surpassed my expectations. And another piece of good news is the fact that Estelle Maskame has just been announced for DeptCon3! I can't wait to meet her again and tell her how much I love her books again!

So, I suppose I better tell you what Dare to Fall is all about then?

Tragedy strikes the Hunter family in an accident that was over as quickly as it began. MacKenzie Rivers, struggling with grief of her own is scared of the pain the Hunter twins are going through. One night however she meets Jaden Hunter unexpectedly. Is it time for Kenzie to confront her fears and her own grief. Could letting the Hunter twins back into her life be the answer?

I really sympathised with Danielle and Jaden Hunter. Due to the accident the twins were absent from school for a number of months but when they returned they were subjected to worried glances and their friends walking the other direction. I understand that in a situation like that the twins need help and support from friends. They crave normality and the fun they had before the accident. Jaden appeared to have healed more so than Dani but the stuttering condolences received is not going to help them. Having people stare at you all day every day is a constant reminder of all the pain and suffering.

On the other hand however, it is also easy to understand why people like Kenzie act the way they do around the twins. How do you know how to act around people who have lost their parents? It is impossible to know what to do or what to say because you can never be quite sure how they are feeling. They may tell you that they are fine but how do you know they aren't lying? It is even more understandable I think in Kenzie's case as she is going through something horrible herself but she is dealing with it a completely different way.

To sum it up, this book is all about healing, friendship, trust and confronting your fears. I love how the Hunter twins and Kenzie help each other to makes their lives brighter. They help each other to heal. There is so much emotion written in the pages of Dare to Fall. I laughed and cried alongside the characters who felt so real. Ultimately Dare to Fall is just fantastic. I can't praise it anymore than that.

Some people may complain that Dare to Fall is slow around the start and really dramatic at the end but I think in this case, this is what makes Dare to Fall so great and addictive. There is just something about Estelle Maskame's writing that makes her books feel so real and I promise you won't see the plot twist coming.

Also, the cover is just so beautiful, it will look great on your shelves! 

I hope you read Dare to Fall and I hope you love it as much as I did.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

What Makes a Good Villain?


I've seen some posts discussing what makes a good villain and I decided to make my post about it to share my thoughts. I will be telling you what makes a good villain and how you know a villain has been well written. I might even tell you my all time favourite villain at the end.

1) A Hated Villain is a Good Villain

Bit of a weird statement to write but makes sense when you think about it. If a villain is completely and utterly despised by readers then that is how the author knows he or she has done a good job. Sure the goal of a villain is to be twisted and have goals that are wrong or dangerous.

2) If the Villain Succeeds  

A good villain has to succeed in some of his or her goals. Think about it; if the good guys beat the villain in every fight then there is no danger. Readers will not feel anything towards the villain and will not worry about what the villain is threatening as it is unlikely to become a reality.

3) A Reason to be Evil 

A villains evil has to be in some way justified. Readers will want to know why the character is the way he or she is. The reason doesn't have to be mind blowing. It can be small but I think us readers need to believe the characters evil.


4) Actions or Words?

Actions and words can both be used as weapons but which is better? I think a balance of both make a good villain. If there is to many actions the villain can start to be viewed as a machine and not a person. Words and threats can be used to show that the villain is a person (I assume) and remind readers that their choices are often unpredictable.

5) Please, Villain be Smart! 

If the villain appears to be stupid then I don't think readers will take him or her very seriously. I know I wouldn't. It is an absolute necessity that the villain shows some initiative and brains. A villain can do this by careful planning and not rushing into situations head first.

6) Manipulative 

A villain must be manipulative. There is nothing more I can say. It's just a key villain personality trait.



My Favourite Villain! 


My favourite villain of all time is Sebastian Morgenstern from Cassandra Clares, The Mortal Instruments because he ticks all the above boxes. He's smart, manipulative and I absolutely HATED him. Yay! I also could not see a way in which he did not succeed because he was just SO good at being a villain. Go Sebastian!  

I want to know your opinions! Do you agree with my points? Is there anything you would add? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman


Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke is the sequel to Prisoner of Night and Fog. The genre is historical fiction set in the world war two period. Read my review of book one to see why I recommend it.

Anne Blankman has delivered a fantastic sequel to a fantastic start to a series. Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke begins about a year after Gretchen and Daniel escape to England in search of sanctuary from the Whitestones. We learn of harsh injuries inflicted on Daniel's cousin back in Germany and how Daniel does not hesitate to get the first train back to Germany. He does this partly due to loyalty and love for his family but also due to his need to do something worthwhile. Something useful. Unfortunately though this also sends Gretchen spiraling back to Germany to face old faces she thought she'd never have to see again.

This final installment of Blankman's duology focuses around Hitler's enabling law. This was a law Hitler wished to pass after the Reichstag fire which meant he could pass any law he wished without the approval from the Reichstag or even President Hindenburg. Daniel and Gretchen want to make sure that this does not happen but unfortunately history can't be rewritten. We readers know that this law is passed yet still root for our protagonists. We want them so desperately to put a halt to Hitler's plans yet we know this is impossible. We know the ending of this story and the best we can hope for is Gretchen and Daniel to be okay. Yet still we dare to hope because they dared to hope.

The Germany presented in Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke is even more terrifying than before and I was petrified of the Germany shown to me in Prisoner of Night and Fog. It is hard for me to comprehend that people, actual people had to live through this Germany. It is a scene that should only be reserved for a dystopian fiction novel because I cannot believe it. Anne Blankman does a great job of portraying Germany in such a way. Most other novels in which I have read set in this time period have taken place outside Germany and it was so interesting to see one set inside Germany in the early days before the war. 


The ending I think was very realistic and well thought out by Anne Blankman. It shows how it just isn't possible for two people to save everything and everyone despite how determined they may be. It does also show that these two people will never give up. I would really like a third book in this series or even a short story just to see what happened to the characters however I understand and like how Blankman left the book. 

Therefore  I would once again really recommend that you read this duology especially if you are studying history as useful facts are delivered well in a story that will have you rooting for the protagonists. 

Monday, 31 July 2017

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Lord of Shadows is the second book in Cassandra Clare's Dark Artifices trilogy. The first is Lady Midnight.

Why? Why? Why? Why do you do this to me Cassandra Clare? You owe me an explanation at least. It is like she loves to watch her readers suffer, oh wait, she probably does.

After finishing all six hundred and ninety-nine pages (Why couldn't she have written just a little more to get to 700) of Lord of Shadows I was a fumbling mess. I mean that ending! Even if you haven't read it yet you'll know that's really not a spoiler. At this point it's practically a given that all Cassandra Clare books leave you a fumbling mess. If by chance you're reading this and you haven't read any Clare books at all, well, that's a cause for concern. It's not too late to fix it though. Go buy City of Bones and make sure you look up a specific reading order of publication otherwise things get complicated. Well, what are you waiting for? Go! Now!

So Lord of Shadows follows swiftly on from Lady Midnight (which I also have a review for if you're interested) diving straight back in with action packed fight scenes and a group of teenagers smarter than the whole entire adult Clave... yes again, I know it really is tiresome. 

Cassandra Clare also does her usual annoying tactic of stringing the reader along, constantly teasing with things she knows us readers wants and rarely giving them which is what makes her writing so great but you know, I just want my favourite characters to be happy! Throughout the book each member of the Blackthorn family has a variety of missions going on and our lost Herondale Kit settles into the family. Basically Cassandra Clare  has created yet another masterpiece which feels so entirely real, as if I am in the room with the characters and you should just go read it because why not?

After finishing Lord of Shadows my initial reaction was something along the lines of sfidhbchdbvipbcoufhbvjhdbp, I have been stuck in a world revolving around all things Shadowhunters. I just love and I can't get enough of it at the moment. I am constantly thinking what if I am secretly a Shadowhunter too and I just don't know it yet? I mean anything is possible right? I mean look at Clary! I have also really been missing Will Herondale so I think I may have to re-read the Infernal Devices to fix that.

Ultimately the bottom line is that this book has everything you could possibly want and since I read it I haven't stopped thinking about it. As you can imagine I was then unable to read anything else for awhile which wasn't so good. The next complaint I have is that I have to wait for two whole really long years for the third book but apart from that it was the best.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch


I read this book insanely quickly. By that I mean one sitting. I read it whilst lying in sun on my holidays. I couldn't think of a more perfect book to start my summer of relaxation.

It took me to the world of Italy which l'll be honest, I didn't know a lot about other than its reputation of serving the most delicious pizza in the world. This showed me a vast culture that included not only food to die for but a vast range of beautiful landmarks and idyllic green trees towering over cobbled streets. And yeah I kinda wanna visit now. This book told a beautiful story of, well, love and gelato.

Maybe you want to know a little more? Maybe you want to know what brought our American protagonist, Lina all the way to Europe? Unfortunately the reason is not the nicest. Lina's reason for visiting Italy is supposedly to live with her father, Howard after the tragic death of her mother. The discovery of her mothers old journal leads her on a magical journey through the streets of Italy. 

The characters in Love and Gelato were realistic and interesting. Whilst reading I wanted to get to know each character from both the present and the past. Through the journal we learn and come to care about the friends Lina's mum Hadley made in Italy. We also witness Lina making new friends such as Ren whom she even trusts to help her with her mothers adventure. 

Although, understandably Lina was wary of reading something in which her mother had handwritten but I think the journal helped Lina in ways she might not even realise. It gave her a connection to her mother and taught her so much about her past that she needed to know.  

This book does have its sad and upsetting moments in which all we readers want to do is save the characters from the pain they are feeling but this book also has its happy moments. Moments in which are reserved for eating four bowls of the best gelato Italy has to offer.

This book is all about adventure, friendship and forming relationships to last a life time. I would one hundred percent recommend this to you if you're a fan of satisfying, contemporary reads. I would also suggest reading this during the summer months as it just adds to the whole feel of the novel.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

My Reading Habits Book Tag


I came across this tag accidentally and although it appears to be quite old, it looked fun so I thought, why not? 


This is the My Reading Habits Tag!

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

I'll read pretty much anywhere but I will read every night in my bed before I go to sleep. 

2. Book mark or random piece of paper?

I'm pretty bad with book marks. I lose them pretty quickly and usually I just close my book and hope I remember the page number (I know, it's shocking) which I rarely do. In terms of what I prefer however I would love a good book mark any day. 

3. Can you stop reading any time you want or do you have to stop at a certain page, chapter, part etc?

I definitely prefer to stop when I reach a new chapter but if I'm really tired or I'm not really enjoying the book then I can stop anywhere. 

4. Do you eat or drink whilst reading? 

Not really but I mean if the book is the best thing ever and I'm completely obsessed then I would probably try!

5. Can you read whilst listening to music/watching TV? 

Who can read and watch TV? That's like two stories at the same time and therefore I will have to say I can't possibly read and watch TV. However I can listen to music whilst reading although I prefer not too. 

6. One book at a time, or several at once? 

When I was younger I used to read two books at the same time but now a days I prefer to focus on one. If I try and read more than one now, one of the books usually ends up getting sent to the DNF zone. 

7. Reading at home or everywhere?

I take a book with me everywhere and I will take any opportunity to read! 

8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Definitely silently in my head. If I read out loud I usually end up tripping over the words and confusing myself!

9. Do you read ahead or skip pages?

I have the absolute worst habit of skipping ahead just to see if something I want to happen happens. Sometimes I will even read the last page. It is the most irritating thing as I always end up spoiling myself and I really regret it afterwards. 

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

I would love to keep my spines looking lovely and pristine but I think, for me anyway, that breaking the spine is inevitable. Most of the time it doesn't overly bother me but when it does I remind myself that it shows that the book was read and loved. 

11. Do you write in books? 

No, no, no, no, no! 

If you want to do this tag, then go ahead! I tag you all!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

The Broken Trilogy by L.A. Weatherly



I bought the first book in this trilogy, Broken Sky back in October when I attended Dept Con 2  and the author L.A Weatherly was there too. I had heard of this trilogy before but I didn't really know anything about it. Once I read the synopsis though I was hooked. The world just sounded so intriguing to me and it will to you too. The  Goodreads synopsis is as follows:




Welcome to a ‘perfect’ world.

Where war is illegal, where harmony rules.

And where your date of birth marks your destiny.

But nothing is perfect.

And in a world this broken, who can Amity trust?

From the bestselling author of the Angel trilogy comes Broken Sky – an exhilarating epic set in a daring and distorted echo of 1940s America and first in a new trilogy.


It is obvious to me that L.A Weatherly has taken a lot of inspiration from World War Two in order to create the terrifying world in which she has created. In this world if your particular star sign is seen as a danger or President Gunnison simply takes a dislike to you, you can be found Discordant which means you will be sent correction camps. Our protagonist, Amity Vancour is a good person always striving to be the best for her people and protect her country but what if the organisation she has placed all her trust in is corrupt somehow? What if her friends aren't being entirely truthful? In all of the trilogy trust really matters. It can be the difference between life and death. It's a fine line.

If you haven't read the first book you should probably stop reading here unless you to be spoiled. All I can say is that you should go read it. The world, characters and especially plot twists are A star.

Collie. Collie. Collie or should I say Collis? I have now taken a dislike to him and I'm sure you have to after reading about his betrayal. Throughout the book however my hate has faded. I still don't like him obviously but I realised that he is just a weak person, a coward if you like. Maybe some of you might even start to like him again and that's okay. I think there is more to Collie than we know and we shouldn't judge him until he shows us more of himself.

In the second book, Darkness Follows L.A Weatherly shows us even more of the horrific world showing us the unacceptable conditions in which Discordants have to live in, in correction camps, fighting over every single piece of material, no matter the size. The plot and fast pace of the novel will have you at the edge of your seat wondering what's coming next. 

Another part of this sequel which I loved was the role of Ingo Manfred. His role was a lot bigger than it was in the first book and I loved that. He is my absolute favourite. He never lies and never evades questions and doesn't exchange platitudes just to make you feel better. Basically he just a really cool character and if you don't love him there is probably something wrong with you.

If you haven't yet read the third book stop reading here just incase I spoil the book for you which I definitely do not want to do. Make sure you come back though when you've finished!

The third book rounds everything up nicely and in a realistic way. The book makes you feel a part of it and the fighting, the constant loss of friends is realistic and heart-breaking, It is impossible to know who is next and it is inevitable that everyone will lose someone close to them.

I loved the epilogue. I thought it was a lovely end to a trilogy I was so invested in. To see that Amity and Ingo had a son and made a lovely life for themselves was something I think readers needed to see. Hope was a definite hero in this trilogy as without it this war they were fighting would have been lost. If Amity in particular lost her hope for a better world she wouldn't have been able to inspire those around her to fight. I think that this is a message we can take into our everyday lives. Don't lose hope just because something is hard.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman


I don't know what I can say about Prisoner of Night and Fog that will portray accurately how much this book is worth reading. I have so many thoughts and feeling about this piece of writing which I hope to convey to you through this review. 

This book tells the truth. The truth of a horrific time period and the point of view is so different from other historical fiction novels set in the Nazi Germany era.

So do you want to know what it's about?

Our protagonist is a girl called Gretchen who considers Hitler her 'Uncle Dolf'. Her family has high privileges due to her fathers sacrifice. He took a bullet for Hitler during the Munich Putsch and due to this, our protagonist views Hitler as her father figure but then she meets Daniel, a Jewish reporter.  

This summary of such does not do this book justice. I feel that this is a book that everyone should read to see how easy it is to become indoctrinated or brainwashed even. Our protagonist has been brought up with Hitler's anti-Semitic ideas being whispered in her ear from all angles. Her father, her mother and her brother believed that Hitler's every word was truth. She was even exposed to Hitler himself as he was considered a family friend. Because of this I can tell you that Prisoner of Night and Fog was at times, an extremely uncomfortable book to read. We disagree solely with our protagonists twisted views and it is impossible for us to comprehend these opinions. It is as if the author is telling us a joke that falls flat on its face.

Anne Blankman provides us with a truly harrowing read and expresses Germany as other-worldly and to be frank quite terrifying. This book is set in the very early years of Hitler in which few were interested in Hitler and few took his ideas seriously. His ideas only came to be more popular when the Great Depression in the US struck in the early 1930s. This impacted Germany in the sense that unemployment averages rose in an already weak economy. The German people wanted someone to blame and Hitler provided that someone. 

There is only one historical issue I can pick out from Prisoner of Night and Fog is the fact that Hitler is already referred to as Fuhrer yet from my own knowledge and understanding I'm led to believe that Hitler did not resume this title until the death of President Hindenburg in 1934.  Apart from this Anne Blankman's knowledge is, from what I can see, flawless and the way in which she weaves fact with fiction is truly commendable. I really enjoyed the fact that where possible Blankman included real people as characters in her novel. It really adds to the realism I think Blankman wants to portray and provides us readers with a vivid picture of what life was like during this time. 

If you haven't already then I would love for you, reading this to get yourself a copy of this book. I was so excited for reading this book and it made it straight to the top of my tbr pile. It did not disappoint and I turned the pages so fast the book disappeared in all but a day. It will keep you on the edge of your seat as you will Gretchen to open up her mind and her heart to expand her very narrow minded view.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Why I Never Bothered With Historical Fiction?

You probably came here for a lovely little answer on why I never bothered with historical fiction. That is what it says it the title after all. To be honest with you though there is only one very short answer which is the fact that I just don't know. It was actually extremely stupid of me to overlook historical fiction considering history is one of my favourite subjects in school.

So now I find myself asking, why did I not think historical fiction might be for me? Still I can't give you an answer but at the very least I have come to the conclusion that I will not look past it any longer.

What drew my attention to the historical genre after all this time, you ask? After being a book lover practically all my life, why now? Well, it all started with one simple video. It sparked my interest you see. It was a video of a BookTuber discussing her favourite historical reads. How I ended up watching this particular video is a little fuzzy but I'm super glad I did because she recommended some really great stuff.

As a result, I can now that I am the very proud owner of two novels set in the world war two time period. These books are none other than Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman and All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

I flew through both these books and I would recommend them to anyone. In fact I would recommend them to you reading this. These books provide an insight into World War Two and the effects it had on different people everywhere. Both books provided the attitudes and opinions of the time representing the period as accurately as a work of fiction can. They truly provide us with a snippet of history and represent great significance.


In future I will read more historical fiction as to further educate myself about the past. As well as being educational and informative historical books are believe it or not designed for entertainment. Yes, some hold a bigger message but the authors aim will likely be to provide information in an interesting way.

So let me know, do you read historical fiction? If not, would you consider reading some now?

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Books I've been Reading and Enjoying


So lately I've read a lot of really great books and I've wanted to write a little something about each of them because I think you might enjoy them too. 

Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

I finished this book in a day. It was just so good I could not put it down. It follows the life of a teenage girl who has always been her brother's shadow. When tragedy strikes her family she struggles to find her feet but then she puts on her running shoes...  

Broken Sky by L.A Weatherly 

I think this book took a lot of inspiration from WW11 in order to create this truly terrifying world where your star sign is the only thing standing between life and death. I would definitely recommend this book to you as it is fast paced and trust me you'll fly through it (I really must stop with these puns. You see, I have a friend who loves, loves, loves puns. She must be a bad influence on me!). 

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken 

What's not to love about this book? It has it all. Adventure, time travel... you know, all the necessary requirements of a good YA book. Plus you know, it's a big book. Yes, I must admit lengthy books do intimidate me quite a bit, especially if said book is the first in a series but trust me when I say. You will wish this book went on longer. I mean it definitely could when the main characters have the ability to travel to different decades than where, sorry, when they were actually born. 


Finding Sky by Joss Stirling

 I actually really liked this book but it was not what I was expecting. At all. I thought I was in for a nice little easy going contemporary. Did I get that though? Nope. But what I did get was great. Like can't stop reading great. Like soulfinder great. Like magical powers great.

So these are just some of the books I've been reading lately. What have you been reading?



 
   

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Interview with Debut Author, Carlie Sorosiak

I was so so lucky to receive an ARC of the wonderful If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak thanks to My Kinda Book! And now I've doubled my luck because I have had the privilege of interviewing the lovely, Carlie Sorosiak who has been kind enough to answer some questions for me to share!

So for anyone who doesn't know what If Birds Fly Back is all
about here's the Goodreads synopsis:

 Linny has been fascinated by disappearances, ever since her sister Grace ran away in the middle of the night without saying goodbye.

Sebastian can tell you how many galaxies there are, and knows how much plutonium weighs. But the one thing he can’t figure out is the identity of his birth father.

They’ve never met, but Linny and Sebastian have one thing in common: an obsession with famous novelist and filmmaker Alvaro Herrera, who went missing three years ago and has just reappeared. As they learn more about the mystery of Alvaro, Linny and Sebastian uncover the answers they’ve been searching for.

If your not already intrigued and excited about this book then you're just going to have to take my word for it. I literally flew through this book, no pun intended because this book is amazing.  I'm not just saying that, honestly, go and pre-order it right now (well wait until you've read the interview- but then head over to Amazon!). This book is due to be published June 27th 2017 -there's a date for your diaries! 

Anyways, without further ado lets get started on the interview, oh I'm so excited!

1) What made you want to write a novel? 

I've always known that I wanted to be a writer. Even at school when I was little, I'd hide extra books in my desk and read on the playground. Once I discovered that people wrote novels -that they didn't just drop out of the sky- I was sold.

2) Can you tell us about your journey to becoming a published author? 

If Birds Fly Back is actually my third attempt at a novel. I wrote one when I was a teenager and another for acceptance to an MA in creative writing and publishing. During my second MA, I had the opportunity to intern in the children's department at Faber & Faber, where I met my agent, Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge and White, and I submitted Birds to her almost right away. I met my UK editor shortly after that, and spoke to my US editor on the phone. I knew they were perfect fits! 

3) Can you describe in three words how you felt when you received your publishing deal? 

Joyous, anxious, (slightly) terrified. I know that's technically four words - oops!
 

4) What sparked the idea for your novel, If Birds Fly Back?

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time volunteering in care homes - and I always thought it would be interesting to set a YA novel in one. I like the juxtaposition between young and old. That was the initial spark. I also wanted to tackle familial expectations: who you want to be versus who your parents want you to be. 

5) What books/ authors would you consider to be an inspiration to you? 

I read The Sky is Everywhere in grad school and it changed my life. I love YA that is both literary and commercial - so books by John Green, Rainbow Rowell, and Jandy Nelson are particular inspirations.  
6) If you could choose to be a character in any book just for a day, who would you choose and why? 

It's probably extremely predictable, but I'd Be Hermione from Harry Potter. She showed me that frizzy-haired book nerds can be extremely cool - and we even share a birthday!

7) How did the title of your novel come around? 

I was thinking about things that were unknown. If Birds Fly Back features a lot of mysteries in the universe - things that scientists don't know, such as exactly why certain birds fly back and forth to the same place every year. The novel deals with people disappearing and then returning, and the two ideas just fit. 

8) Will you be holding any author events for the release of your debut novel? 

Yes! Details for my US events are on my website, carliesorosiak.com, and I'll have UK information available soon.

I hope maybe you'll visit Ireland on a bookish event some day soon...

9) Why should we read your book? What makes it different to all the other books already published? 

If Birds Fly Back tackles mysteries of the universe - and I even came up with my own astrophysical theories, featured in the novel. It's also sun-drenched and summery, and I've been told it's great for fans of Nicola Yoon!

10) Now, the much debated question, do you prefer e-books of physical copies? 

Physical copies, all the way!    

100% agree, an e-book just doesn't compare!  

And that is it, the end of the interview! I would like to say a massive thank you to Carlie Sorosiak, this interview has been such a fun experience and I've had such a good time!
Don't forget to pre-order your copy of If Birds Fly Back out June 27th! 

You can find out more information about Carlie on her website,carliesorosiak.com. You can also follow her on twitter, @carliesorosiak

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Caraval by Stephanie Garber (No spoilers)

"Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world"


There was a lot of hype surrounding this debut by Stephanie Garber and I think it definitely lived up to the high expectations well, in my opinion anyways.

The cover of this book is absolutely stunning which is why I feel obligated to comment on it. I just love books that look pretty on my book shelves and Caraval  one hundred and ten percent falls into that category. In the hardback version there are even special designs underneath the dust cover. I believe there are four different designs so I'll leave a picture below so you can see the options. I got the clock one which I was pretty pleased with.
I think the inclusion of these secret designs is very clever because it links into the narrative. The idea of Caraval is that Caraval is essentially a game which you can either choose to be a spectator or play yourself. The idea is to uncover a whole load of clues to solve a mystery. Therefore these designs are like little mysteries we want to solve. Plus it's just a really fun idea, I could hardly wait to find out what design had been delivered to me. I love the idea that my copy of Caraval may differ ever so slightly from another readers copy.

The magic that Stephanie Garber has included in this world remind me of Enid Blyton's works A Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair. I loved that this book had that sort of feel to it because those Enid Blyton books were my childhood. Those were the books that got me reading when I was a young girl of eight or nine and to be honest I missed that sort of world were it feels like the possibilities are endless.

I also enjoyed the cinematic vibes that came from this book. I felt that the pacing was just excellent. The only slight criticism I can apply is that I became slightly confused in the end of the book and  I found myself struggling to grasp the information I was being told. I do however think that Garber intended for us to feel that way except I'm still not sure if I have fully understood even now what has happened. Perhaps I was just tired when I was reading it, I don't know.

I also heard that there is going to be a film of Caraval which is great news! I'm really interested to see what they do with the story!

I did enjoy however the family aspects of this book. Even though I didn't really  like Tella as a character, I did like reading about how much Scarlett cared and worried about her.

There is my thoughts on Caraval!

 If you're planning on giving this read please remember it's only a game...

Saturday, 18 February 2017

The Problems of a Reader

As much as reading books is one of the best possible hobbies it doesn't come without its problems. Here is as list of just five of the problems (well, they aren't really problems) that I noticed.

1) TBR piles otherwise known as the dreaded to be read pile
Every single reader that I've ever met faces the problem of the ever growing to be read pile but we readers know how to solve this problem, yes, a book buying ban except... they don't really work. As soon as we're anywhere near a book shop, in we go and when we come out, we come with another fifty books or so in hand. 

2) Shelf Space
 That feeling we readers get when we get a new bookshelf and we get to start filling it up with our rapidly growing book collection. We're proud of it because it looks so pretty but then what happens? Yep, we run out of space. Then we have to begin the process all over again of trying to find somewhere you can put the new bookcase you really need to buy.

3) Book Series 
Do you ever accidentally buy the sequel to a book thinking it was the first in the series? It is a recurring problem in the bookish world. Why can't the book just specify that it is not the first book? Some do but others don't which make it super hard to figure out sometimes.

4) Money
 A large amount of readers money goes towards books because they are just really expensive and lets face it when we're at a book shop we can't just pick one book, we have to get them all, well as many as we can carry anyway. Sometimes we even go as far as wasting our money on a book we already have at home except it has a different cover so we're not really wasting our money, are we?

5) Choosing a Book


We readers find it impossible to just choose one book when shopping in a book shop - it really is a hard task. This therefore means that readers end up spending hours just staring at the shelves of books. We spend so long that our friends get fed up waiting on us and tell us that they are never ever setting foot in a book shop with us again.

But we readers are happy to be readers... 

These are just some of the problems that come with being a lover of books but there are obviously lots of great things as well. Such as book signings/ events. It always such a great thing to go to events and listen to your favourite authors chatting about their writing experiences and even if you can't make it to an event there is usually some author interviews on YouTube. There is also loads of BookTubers to watch. I love watching BookTube videos because it's great to watch people who share your love and enthusiasm for books.


However taking in all of the above one of the greatest things about being a reader is the stories it unlocks.

What's your reader problems? What is your favourite thing about reading? Let me know!


  

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Book to Movie Adaptations


Everyone who enjoys reading books has at some point been excited about a book they have read being adapted for film but do we end up being disappointed?

I always read the book before I watch the film because if you read the book first you get to imagine for yourself the world the author has created and imagine the character's appearances for yourself because everyone will imagine things in a different way than you do. Then when you watch the film you will get to see how somebody else has imagined the world because that is what an adaptation is: somebody's interpretation of a book.

There have been some great adaptations that have been very successful and widely enjoyed.


The Maze Runner by James Dashner is an example of a great adaptation, one that I really enjoyed. James Dashner created a great idea and story line, one that I was really interested in but I found his writing style was quite hard to understand at times which made it difficult for me to fully enjoy the story at times. When the film came out I really enjoyed it and I felt that although there was differences to the book a really good job had been done adapting it for the big screen.

Harry Potter by J.K Rowling is a great example of a successful book to movie adaptation. I do prefer the books (no surprise!) but I really like how they brought the story to life. It satisfied fans of the books and it also brought new fans, encouraging reading.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness which only came to cinemas at the start of this month is another one of my favourite adaptations so if you haven't seen it yet make sure you do, but read the book first! This was just a great adaptation because not a lot changed but I think this was down to the fact that Patrick Ness wrote the screenplay which not a lot of authors do but they should if they have the option.

Of course there are millions more adaptations that I could list here but if I did then this post would go on forever! Although,  I will tell you what book I would love to be adapted for film which is Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices series. This would be great because there is the Shadowhunters TV show which is doing well.

The only problem I used to have with film adaptations is the fact that some events that happened in the book version either happened differently in the film or didn't happen at all. This is partly down to the tight time frames that films have to fit an entire book into but also due to what I wrote earlier about interpretations. How I fixed this problem because for me it was a big one, was that I viewed both the book and the film as different things entirely.

So to answer the question at the start of this post, I think an adaptation can only disappoint you if you let it disappoint you. I mean there will obviously be times when an adaptation doesn't turn out to make a good movie but mostly your love for how you see the book in your head is contributing to any negative thoughts you may have about the film. 

What's your most anticipated adaptation coming out this year? 
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