About Me

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19 years old from the UK, I have always loved a good book and a cup of tea, and am often asked to recommend books I have loved, thus created this blog in order to share my thoughts with whoever is interested. Please share recommendations if you wish!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Girl meets boy- Ali Smith

The blurb describes this book as 'funny and fresh, poetic and political' and I think it would be a difficult task to find a better description. Smith's writing truly is poetic- it flows beautifully, intertwining the stories with a grace that only a gifted writer can master. This is one of those books that although short, at only 161 pages, it makes a big impact.

There are two obvious themes: homosexuality and equality for women. The first of these themes, for me, was best portrayed in the thoughts of the character Midge (Imogen). Through her thought process you can really understand societies views and presumptions about homosexuality and its incredibly heartfelt seeing her develop and assess her own opinions- in particular regarding her sister. That being said I also loved the thought track of Anthea who has an innocence about her that really contrasts to the harsh judgement of those in society. This is thoughtful writing at its best.

 The second of these themes, equality for women, was also portrayed thoughtfully and creatively. In the sense that you got to see from the start of the book how women are treated in the workplace, subtly to begin with, then getting deeper until you are met with real life statistics that hit you hard. This makes reflection for the reader easy and helps you to understand earlier sections of the story. It was a unique and interesting comment on this highly important topic.

I wish that I had known more about Ovid and the myth of Iphis, the basis of this story, before I started reading.However, don't let this put you off. Personally I feel that 're-tellings' are brilliant ways to access old stories and legends and this book is certainly no exception.

I have to say as a random little side note: I adore the chapter titles in this book- 'I, you, us, them, all together now'. I think they're so cleaver and really compliment and sum up the story. I really enjoyed this book, its a beautiful read and quick. Definitely worth picking.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The Girl on the Train- Paula Hawkins

To begin with I was so excited to read this book but I have to say that I struggled a little to begin with. For some reason I really struggled to get into the story even though I was enjoying it, however I did get more into it around the middle. 

The story itself is really interesting, and made even better by the writing style. The book is split into 3 separate voices- Rachel, Megan and Anna- and each of these is broken into morning and Evening. This is a very unique style, an intriguing set up and made the story easy to follow. It also made the mystery side of the story fresh and different from the classic mystery set ups. I won't lie, this wasn't the best mystery book I've read but its ok and not a bad story. Unfortunately, for me the ending fell a little flat because it was ever so slightly predictable- some characters were ruled out too soon for 'not having done it' for my liking.  

Another thing I like about this book is the idea of how we view others is portrayed, as well as how similar strangers lives can be. How the relationship between Rachel and Megan/Scott changes is fascinating and really emphasises how our expectations and assumptions about people can be totally wrong. The writing style hid a lot of character traits until the last moments which was a great addition to the story and the theme of mystery. 

The characters are ok, a little rash, a bit depressing and a tad all over the place, but good on the whole. Its great how they interact with each other, especially Rachel and Anna. It was interesting to read about Rachel, who is an alcoholic, and her thought patterns. She's unique and I liked reading the parts where the story was written in her voice- she was definitely my favourite. Her thought pattern is brilliant- she has some amazing lines, especially when she's talking about her alcohol problem and by the end you really are rooting for her despite her problems. 

In my opinion this book is ok,  definitely not incredible run out to the shops right this second to purchase it because you have to read it immediately, but not terrible. I enjoyed it, I probably wouldn't read it again. Not for YA readers. 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

My top 5 YA series

Here I have compiled a top 5 of some of my favourite YA book series. I’ve tried to keep clear of the most obvious ones and maybe bring your attention to lesser known/older releases. Enjoy! 
The Magician’s Guild trilogy by Trudi Canavan – This is a trilogy that I have talked about before on this blog but I couldn't help but mention it again. I LOVE this collection of books- from the writing style to the characters and story itself I think it’s a really interesting and unique series. Perfect for YA fantasy lovers, as well as those interested in mystery or ‘other realm’ stories.
Please find a link to a more detailed review I did a while ago:Magicians guild trilogy

Chaos walking trilogy by Patrick Ness- ok well I'll admit, this series isn't exactly completely unknown but give me a chance. I fell in love with this series when I was given a copy of the first book, The Knife of never letting go, by my school for some sort of YA book competition (I forgot what the deal was but it was to do with a short list of books and YA readers voting for a winner- anyway I digress). It’s an incredible series, unlike anything I've read since and I still re-read it to this day. I know that Patrick Ness has written a short story as a prequel to the trilogy and I defiantly want to try that out soon. I would say this probably isn’t  for everyone, but worth a shot because it is fantastic. I think this is an excellent universal book gender wise as well.  I also hear rumour on the grape vine that it is being adapted to a film in the near future, so read it now!
Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series by Michelle Paver- I adored this series when I read it, and I pretty much just read each book one after the other. It’s 6 books long, and I made it to book 5 however when I was reading them 6 was yet to be released ( I am definitely going to be making a purchase of it though now). It’s set in ancient times and involves magic and plenty of action. A very unique story and once again a great all rounder gender wise. 

Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini- also known as the ‘Eragon series’. I can’t really express to you how obsessed with this series I was; I was literally racing my friends to finish it first. Currently it is 4 books long, and unfortunately (a similar story to the chronicles of ancient darkness series) I only made it to book 3. This is a really great fantasy series, packed with action and magic with a really detailed and gripping plot. Please don’t be put off by the film that was made of the first book; it really doesn't give justice to how great this series is. Definitely a story that is better read and imagined than seen in front of you on a screen.
Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage- this is another series that I was really really into however I have a vague recollection of it seeming to drop off a little towards the end? I adored the first 3 books, liked the 4th and the final 3 I never got around to reading. That being said the last book was only released in 2013 so it’s definitely a series I may go back and revisit. Again fantasy and magic driven but very quirky and interesting. I would say this is probably aimed at the younger YA audience but the plot does develop and would continue to be interesting for slightly older readers I feel. 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle - Kirsty Wark

Warning: writing a review for this book is pretty impossible without revealing a few spoilers.  Apologies. But I will try to be careful. 

I’m saying from the start that I thought this book was great and I would recommend it whole heartedly. That, however, does not stop me from having a few issues, but let me start with the basics. Many I have seen had great concerns for this book before reading as the author, Kirsty Wark, appears to be a big wig journalist and not a ‘proper author’ (*sigh*) thus many thought she would not be able to write a decent novel- it would appear that I live under a rock and had literally no idea about this before reading. I thought the writing style was beautiful, full of stunning description and unique detail that only someone who really knew the setting, Arron,  could achieve- which leads me to believe that those that have a connection to arron or know the island well would get a lot out of this story. Those that have been skeptical of Warks ability to write are very misjudged- journalists are the best story tellers- and you can’t tell she is in the public eye (not that it should matter) so don't let that put you off. 

That leads me on to discuss the story. This is a beautiful story, and really captures the interest and mystery of other people’s lives. I love that it is told in two voices- that of Elizabeth and Martha’s- and I like that the story is set in two parallel times. The flow is excellent through the story until you reach almost the end where ‘the big mystery reveal’ occurs. Now I have a few problems with this revelation- I felt that clues were left out/ over forced which left the ending a huge surprise but also made it feel out of place and a little rushed; Elizabeth reveal chapter didn’t fit the style of her previous voice which was a little out of character and place. That being said you can't get away from the fact it truly is a tragic story and one that really tugs at your heart. Many would disagree but that’s just the way I feel. The rest however I really liked; well thought out, interesting and detailed. The story is compelling and unique- it fascinating to learn about the amazing things that Elizabeth did and you truly appreciate that others lives can be utterly fascinating.

The characters were also a huge plus for this book: in particular the female characters, which were the focus, and also the different relationships between these females, mothers daughters and friends. Elizabeth's character was wonderful,  so interesting and incredibly developed: you couldn’t help but want to learn more about her. Even the minor characters were unique and complimented each other beautifully. The only character development problem I had was with Niall- at the start he is very angry and stand off-ish with Martha which is completely unexplained and continues on for a while untill suddenly their story develops too quickly. This irritated me a little, more due to the lack of explanation than the rushed development.

All in all this book was lovely: beautifully written and incredibly interesting. I would defiantly say it is not designed for a YA audience; more of an adult book as it focuses more on detail and description than action. In addition, this a must read if you have a strong connection to Arron itself. I will definitely be picking up Kirsty Wark's future novels.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Teleworld- Rachel.E.Kelly

Firstly, I know how long its's been; I am a dreadful blogger clearly that can't keep up with anything and is generally a bit rubbish. Apologies. But exams are over, summer is here and I'm ready to swing back into reading with full force.

Teleworld is the second instalment of the Colorworld series; the first book 'Colorworld' I reviewed some time ago (please see a link to this below). I very much enjoyed Colorworld however, although I did still enjoy Teleworld, I felt it wasn't quiet as enjoyable as the first instalment. I personally find this common in series/trilogies of books that the middle book is more of a filler/link between the developing stories. That being said, there was still plenty going on in this second book.

What I love about this series is that it is jam packed full of twists and unexpected turns which make the books really gripping to read; and Teleworld was no exception. The story developed on from the first very smoothly, despite the large gap I had between reading them, and kept a nice pace. The story is really interesting, a wholly unique (for me at least) plot that, although dips slightly into superpower cliché, mainly sticks to an original story with strong development. There is generally plenty of action to keep a reader interested but still a drive for detail and description to bring this new world alive. The story is believe able,   something I look for and love in a book, but still allows for a lot of imagination.

The characterisation is good; Gabe being a particular favourite of mine. That being said, the more I read of this story the more I see how people's opinions of the characters could be wildly different. Will I adore Gabe others may find him overbearing and annoying, it's all a matter of opinion. Wendy I do have a little more trouble with; I do like her character but I do find her a little irritating and irrational in certain situations however that is part of her character process, so I can't complain too much. In addition in the next book I would love to see more development from other characters, such as Ezra,  and I feel this would bring the series up a level and develop the story in a whole new direction.

Teleworld is never going to be a solo read, none of the books from the series are; once you're in you will be in till the end because there is something about the story that just keeps you hooked: you have to know what is going on and what will happen next! Its full of surprises. I think this series would be suitable for most ages and an interesting way to get into the diverse  supernatural genre. I shall defiantly keep reading this series!

Colorworld review: http://lizzyisreading.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/colorworld-rachelekelly.html

Note: This book was sent to me to review. This is no way alters or affects my opinion of the book and I only review books sent to me that I genuinely would have considered
purchasing for myself.