Thursday, 23 October 2014

Taylor Swift Book Tag!!!!

Apologies for the late post, but The Doctor dropped me off late! I TOLD him to drop me off mid September, but instead he dropped me off in mid October!
Well, on with the blog.

As you may have guessed, i've been crazed with getting back into uni life. I also, depressingly enough haven't read in nearly a month which if probably the longest time i've not read for. But that doesn't mean I can't talk about previous book series i've read. And the way i will be doing this is with the Taylor Swift Book Tag!

I'm using the same questions as the original booktube video and adding one of Katastics extra questions

1. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - pick a book or series that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with.

For this question, I would definitely choose the Covenant series by Jennifer Armentrout. I know you are all probably going to group together and try and get at me with fires and pitchfolks, but the reason that I dislike this series, and I will say dislike is too much of a strong word, is that I grew up. I've read all the books in the series but the last. I have it, but am not desperate to read, and will probably never read it. Jennifer Armentrout is defiantly one of my favorite authors, but it was that one series of hers which I found was too similar to Richelle Meads Vampire Academy series. However I will say that it is well written and I do recommend this series to the teenagers my mum tutors with learning disabilities.


2. Red - pick a book with a RED cover.

The book that I'm picking which has a red cover is any of the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. This series starts out as one of my favourite vampire Urban series. I actually discovered it when i was 14. Anita is this kick ass vampire executioner who can raise the dead. It was an amazing series, I loved the banter between characters and the police aspect of the books. BUT then the 'ardeur' appeared and all the books became about sex and power, not a storyline. It went from one of my ffavorite series to probably scarring me for life. So if your going to read these books, I suggest you stop once you get up to book Cerulean Sin (book 11). Possibly one or two books previous, whatever your comfortable with. But I do have to say that it was one heck of a series, damn Hamilton can write!



3. The Best Day - pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic.

A book that makes me probably feel most nostalgic is probably Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. It was the first book series I read which none of my friends had read them selves so it was a step up from the first book I read (which was Twilight). Even now I'm recalling reading the synopsis for the first time!

4. Love Story - pick a book with forbidden love.

Now I know you are going to get sick of my saying this authors name, but Richelle Mead's series Georgina Kincaid is fantastic! Forbidden love between Human and Succubus, excellent idea. A succubus who doesn't want to be a succubus, again, amazing, and lastly SHE WORKS IN A BOOK SHOP!!!!





5. I Knew You Were Trouble - pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love.

Now this can be difficult to define as I am a big series reader, and sometimes you get character which are 'evil', that turn good, or the other way round. Anyway, I will say Ryu from Jane True by Nicole Peeler. He starts out kind of good, but then ends up showing his true colours and becomes a complete jerk. I haven't read the whole series yet, so sorry if you have and you discover that he is a decent guy or something, but were i am in the series he is a s***face.



6. Innocent (written b/c of Kanye West!) - pick a book that someone ruined the ending for.

Hmmm, luckily I usually read books before the kirb. I'm usually the one who accidentaly spoils the books (sorry!) But I would probably say Harry Potter, Twilight or Golden Compass as they were the books I read after my friends and they would keep on mentioning thing and I'd be like, errrrmmm, haven't read that yet :O

7. Everything Has Changed - pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development.

Hmmm, tricky. Especially as I try to find books with mass character developement. But the book series I've just recently read which is fantastic for character developement, is Samantha Youngs, On Dubin Street series. Each of the books is one characters story, so each character goes through their journey. Great stories, great family, great characters. What else can you ask for!!!

8. You Belong With Me - pick your most anticipated book release.

Hmm, right now I can't wait for Robin LaFevers third book to come out as im in the mood for a great adventure, kickass book, but i want to discover a new series too.


9. Forever and Always - pick your favorite book couple.

Lookin at all my books, what pokes out is Ashton and Nathan from No Attachment by Tiffany King. Tiffany King is an amaing author who isn't that well know. She's only known by her super fans, if you know what I mean!!! Read Her, Love Her!!




10. Come Back, Be Here - pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much.

One Word.......OUTLANDER!!!!!!!!!!!!! (By Diana Gabaldon)


11.Shake It Off-pick a book that you love so much that you shake off the haters.

hmmm, this is hard!! Im very openly critical about book I hate and enthusiastic happy about the ones I love. If any, I would say the Black Dagger Brotherhood series as people hate it as the series, like Anita Blake, turns very sexual as you go through the series. But, unlike Anita Blake, there storylines are never disturbed by these aspects. However, this series I still defo only to be read by new adult-adult.



Thank You and Keep Reading!!!

1. 1st Book of Covenant Series
2. 1st Book of Anita Blake
3. Vampire Academy
4. Georgina Kincaid
5. Jane True Series
6.N/A
7. On Dublin Street
8. 3rd Book of Grave Mercy
9. No Attachment
10. Outlander Sries
11. 1st Book of Black Dagger Brotherhood


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Friday, 19 September 2014

The internet Free Weekend

I'm back in Nottingham!! New Flat! New Flat Mates and a New Bed as of 10 minutes ago.

Hello back everyone, I haven't written in ages, or it feels like that anyway. So whats been going on in my life? Well I moved back to uni last Saturday meaning the week before was chaos with packing and organising what to bring and what to leave. The hardest decision of coarse is the books, as I only have a small amount of space to put them. But I managed and I'm here!

But of course with my luck, what I found once I arrived at my new flat? Yes, the room I was moving into, the bed frame was completely broken. And me being me, a pushover and generally a nice person, I just moved into the dark depressing corner room with minimal light. I also did this as there was only one person at the office when I called the company who are our landlords as it was a weekend, and she was brand new. She became flustered when I told her, and I guess she didn't know what to do so I just said forget it. I probably should of just let her do her job then and there as I've ended up in a freezing cold dark room all week. But hey, I'm in my new room now, with a new bed!! Perfection!! (this of course has to me said with a french accent)

Another aspect of moving into a new flat, is that it didn't have broadband. I'm actually the first of my flat mates to move in as I only moved in so early to be here for the wifi installation. And of course as the landlords office isn't open on Sundays so I moved in on the Saturday, and of course me being Dyslexic, I miss read the date the Wifi installation was, (ironic huh, having a book blog and can't READ). And so instead of the installation being the Monday as I thought, it was the Tuesday. So with no Internet, hmmm what else could I of done all weekend???

Oh right! READ!!!

I read a very good selection of books this weekend I'm happy to say. Though the list start a little before the weekend with the book series I read just before moving. These where the Sabina Kane Series by Jaye Wells. I had previously read the first in the series, but I decided to re-read it before I went on the rest of the series. They are all easy reads, in my opinion, though by the 4th and 5th book, there are some very bizarre concepts.

The series surrounds a half vampire, half mage trained assassin, who was brought up looked down upon. She is taught to hate her mage side, and trained to be her Grandmothers good little assassin. Who owe yes, is a crazy royal bitch who needs a slap in the face. The series then becomes more cray when a demon is sent by a mage to kill Sabina and discovers that she can't be killed by the 'forbidden fruit' (wood from an apple tree). This than creates some questions, and the mage in question, end up coming to Sabina claiming she's the all mystical 'Chosen One'!!! It ends up becoming more and more wacky with stalker owls and secret societies and long lost family members.

This takes a classic idea of vampires and brings a whole new twist to the concept. I'm not talking the whole half breed thing as that isn't new, I've read tonnes of books with characters that are half and half, who don't fit in in either race. Just think of Jeaniene Frost's Halfway to the Grave, again with a half breed who kills vampires. What I'm talking about with the new concept, is that Wells brought in a biblical aspect which I usually hate! Just look at Philip Pullmans books, DUST! OH NO THE DUST!!! Seriously? Can't stand it!

Anyway, what I also felt with this series is that the the first book is a slow beginning but, once you get to the 2nd book its so fast that you aren't sure who you like and hate at any given time. Also I felt that the author had become a lot more confident in the concepts and branched out more in the story line than she did in book one. I sort of put each book in separate categories. The first was more like a practise run, the 2nd and 3rd where going through the motions, and then the 4th and 5th, complete mind blowing chaos (in a good way). This series with definitely be put on the re read pile as it is definitely a classic.

So after the urban fantasy fix, I then decided to go for the complete opposite. Contemporary! I just discovered from Goodread an author called Rachel Van Dyken. I didn't know much about it going into the book, The Bet. And as I had no Internet, it wasn't like I could just look it up. But I had two minds about this book. The idea wasn't very original, and I thought of a lot of similarities with other books. But as i was just looking for a very tame book just for my mind to catch up with the chaos, it was probably the perfect book to read. But as I'm practically saying that it was perfect for being a book that nothing happen in it, hen its not much of a recommendation. Also by the end of the book, I really didn't care for the characters much. Normally when I read a really good book like the book which is my next, I care for all the characters and their happiness, even if they are fictional, I wish them to have happy endings and a good life. The Bet, I felt nothing for any of the characters. They were just fiction. but again, that was exactly what I needed at the time.

Now the last and most important book...HEIR OF FIRE!!!!!!!!! Of course I can't write a post and not mention Heir of Fire. Now this was really annoying as I pre-ordered it months ago and when the time came for it to be released, they said it was out of stock and gave me  refund instead. So, I then had to wait after I moved back to Notts and get it then. This was seriously annoying as I was going to read it driving up here, instead I re read Maria V Snyders 'Touch of Power' (also a great High Fantasy Book/Series).

So What did I think of HoF? Well I now understand why everyone in the Goodread chats about HoF are all saying ROWAN!! RRRRROOOOOOWWWWAAN!! and I'm with you guys!! Though, while I'd love Rowan and Celaena to be together, I think they are going to stay as warrior and queen. Also I think Aedion will die in the next book, or Chaol will as Sarah sort of hinted that Chaol and Celaena aren't 'mates' so the only way I see her moving forward is for him to die. However I don't see her with Dorion.

Also I love that she has finally accepted her title and can't wait to see what she does with it in the next book. Now for the Manon story line. I have to confess, I couldn't follow that storyline, or maybe I just couldn't care less. I skipped most of her storyline. I'll probably go back and reread it anyway before the next book comes out, but the way I think, is that if I fall in love with her storyline too, I'll just have more characters to agonise over. So all I mostly know about her storyline from skimming the pages is that she's competing in this thing with her dragon though they are called something else that I cannot spell. She chose the worst one, and made it the best fighter, and they are on the King Adarlan's side. Did I get the just? I don't know, I'll re read it next year. Though as with Rachel Van Dykens book, I don't feel much for their character, just as I wanted it.

What I did love about this book though, was the Fae side of Celaena's heritage. I loved her training, seeing her become even more of a kick ass. Also the flashbacks, though gory and sad, also was great to see, as it showed Calaena as innocent Aelin. I loved the whole concept of the King and Dorion actually meeting Calaena before it all.  We can all expects much for Sarah Maas' next book (as always).

Now I've waisted enough of your time so I'll leave you now to enjoy your cold rainy day, oh wait that's just me :P

Thank You and Keep Reading!

1st Bk Sabina Kane Series
The Bet
Heir OF FIRE!!!!

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Sunday, 24 August 2014

Update

So I haven't been very organised this month. I only posted once and it wasn't even about books :( Apologies about that!

However I thought I'd update you on some of the books I have recently read and enjoyed since the last time I did a book recommendation post.

The first book is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I watched the first episode of the new tv series outlander and fell in love with the concept, characters and the world straight away. So I then decided to get the first book in the series and read it. I haven't read the rest of the series though as for one, I don't have the books and I think I'll enjoy it more if I separate the books to the tv series. This means before each series starts on tv, i'll read the book for that series. However I'm not much of a patient person so I may just marathon them, but I've also liked reading Outlander and for the last 3 weeks seeing the chapters unfold in a visual way. If I read the whole series, i will probably forget a lot of details from the books as the books are so large and they are making the tv series the equivalent to each book, one series. So I would then end up rereading the books over and over again and I will end up sick of the story and not keep watching the tv series that I completely adore! I also like that I caught this tv show from the start so I can do this which I couldn't with Game of Thrones. For Game of thrones, I'm not going to read the books till the entire tv show is finished as I love the show so much and I know for a fact books are always better that the show.

What I also love about Outlander (tv show) is the COSTUMES!!! My heart stopped when Claire changes into the historically accurate garments. Must be the costumier inside me!

Image from the tv show 'Outlander'. Just look at the Costumes!

The next book I read, I read cautiously. I wasn't sure what to make of it because of the front cover made it seam like an erotic novel, but I was recommended it by one of my Goodreads friends and on goodreads, under the 'genre' list, there was nothing to suggest anything of the sort. The book was called 'Losing It' by Cora Carmack. Yes, even the title is bad, but I believe 'never judge a book by its cover'. So I read it and was pleasantly surprised about how well Carmack wrote, and how realsitic it was. As a university student myself, I could relate to the character (to an extent). Whilst realistic, I didn't really believing Bliss and Garricks relationship. However this may be because I couldn't relate to the idea of being attracted to my tutor, but that may be because my tutor at uni is a VERY gay, gay guy in his 60's, who is absolutely fabulous!

However, if I picture Garrick as an Ian Somerhalder lookalike, then yes! Definitely!

The next book I have had on my to-read's list on goodread's for what seams like an eternity. Its a cute YA fantasy book by Julia Golding. The Book is called 'Dragonfly' and is set in a fantasy world which are between wars and Princess Taoshira (aka Tashi) is sent from the Blue Crescent Islands to Wed the Prince of Gerfal to create an alliance. However they are both kidnapped and each side think it was the other side who did the kidnapping, though it was a third party. I completely adored this book and is the perfect book if you want to escape to another world. I was worried before I read the book that it would be one of the superficial books with little depth as it was a YA book and would just be the girl marries the prince yaddy yaddy yah.... but it wasn't just that. There were layers to the story which I enjoyed unraveling as well as seeing Tashi and the prince falling in love!



And finally......the book everyone is raving about. The long anticipated end of THE series ...'Opposition' by Jennifer Armentrout. Since reading Origin, the way they finished the book, I was seriously worried about what the last book in the series was going to be like. It could have gone disastrous, or could be spun into something incredible.

Thankfully Armentrout isn't a stranger to writing incredible books so I knew that I'd enjoy it, but she did set herself up to a difficult start of 'Opposition' by outing the Luxen. However, she did a brilliant job of finishing the series. The book was as emotionally draining as always, making us laugh from one page, to wanting to punch a certain character who is all zombified (you know who), to swooning at Daemon's arrogant jokes, to tearing up.

I can't find any bad things to mention about the book, apart from some of the parts being quite predictable, however they didn't spoil the rest of the book as its hilarity counteracts the predictability. I also loved seeing Serena and Hunter in the book, though I wish Serena and Katy interacted more as they have so much in common. Both fell in love with an alien , was hunted by the other alien species, human but in the know about aliens.

Sigh*

The number of banter and jokes that could have occurred between them...

Thank You and Keep Reading!!!

Outlander (book)
Outlander (tv show)
Losing It
Dragonfly
Opposition

Monday, 4 August 2014

London and the National Theatre

So on Saturday I spent a day in London with my mum. We started the day by making our way to the National Theater where we had a costume tour. My mum actually signed us up on a waiting list 8 months ago just to get a spot as it is such a popular tour. It was amazing! The tour started at 10 where we were taken where all the costumes where made.

The first room we went to was the wig room where all the wigs are made (as you probably could tell from the name), as well as the make up. An example of this is the blood and latex scars for the show Frankenstein that Benedict Cumberbatch started in in 2011.

In here we saw a few of the wig makers working away, intricately threading through the hair into the fine net of the wig. Watching them working, I got a better understanding of how much time and energy is taken to produce a wig. Our tour guide even mentioned that most wigs would take 40 hours to make, meaning basically a weeks work for one of the makers and that one wig will usually be done by one maker from start to finish.

Leaving that room, we were taken to the dye room where most of the breaking down of garments and fabric manipulation is done. I felt at hope there, surrounded by the designs for up coming performances on the walls and garments all at different stages of dying and breaking down. We were also shown portfolios of different fabric/ textile techniques which where used to create different effects for specific costumes. It definitely inspired me in making me want to do something creative when I got back home!

Next, we went to the room where everything that isn't a prop or costume were made. This means, hats, shoes, jewelry, accessories etc. are made. It looked like and excuse the french, but it was a costume makers wet dream. All the walls had all the tools you ever needed hanging from nails, there was a large table in the middle, shelves everywhere with threads, hat moulds, buttons, fastenings, buckles, sequins, material, etc. all in there own organised pots. Books for period dress and pattern pieces and anything a maker would need all in the corner away from all the materials. It was a beautiful room, and inspired my mum to make our ironing/sewing/book/spare/photo room into my brand new work room!!!! She has literally revamped it completely by putting all my art and textiles stuff neatly in there as well as her floristry stuff from when she took a masters floristry course. I think after the tour, my mum realized how competitive costume design is and is REALLY worried about me getting a job after university as I took the whole youngest child stereotype to heart and chose a career choice which what ever i do, will probably fail at. By making the work room, I feel it was her way of saying, don't wait till after uni, start working now! But in a nice way, i don't know how that sounds in writing, but I do mean it in a good, encouraging way.

Now after leaving that heavenly room, this was when the drama happened! Not actual drama as well we were in a theater, no, all the drama that happened was my doing :O

Now what you need to know about me, is that me and food, or should I say me and no food, is a bad combo. So in the morning, we were catching a train at 8 30, now since I've sort of got into the habit of sleeping in till 10 or 11, it was a serious shock to the system to wake up at 7 30. So jumping out of bed and rushing my make up, I ran down stairs and forced down some granola. Which I think is really unhealthy thing to do, as your body hasn't really caught up with your head and want to digest food in its own time.

Anyway, back to the tour, leaving the dye room, we then went to the costume designers, design area. it was around 10:30 and my whole body was just feeling faint. I was looking around trying to find a chair to sit on, drinking loads of water, but just felt cold. My face had a cold sweat and though this sounds really weird, and I have no clue if anyone else whose had a fainting spell has felt this, and i don't know how to describe it, but my arms felt skinny? Like there was no fat on them, or on my entire body. Sort of like my body was trying to tell my brain, your too skinny, eat something. But I was on a tour? It would of looked very strange if i took out the banana i had in my bag.

My mum was standing right next to me, and like everyone else, she was listening to the tour, not realizing how i felt. All this drama was literally happening in my head, but to everyone else, they were hearing about the amazing collection of VOGUES that NT have only for the designers use.

But I knew I had to leave that stuffy room, otherwise i'd faint, so I looked over to my mum, said I feel faint, and my mum bless her, had to raise her hand to catch the tour guides attention and say that we had to go outside. My mum and me ended up on the balcony where I sat of this garden chair and just sat breathing in and out for 5 minutes. But the tour was moving on, and we had to follow, they couldn't leave us in a room full of copyrighted costume designs could they?

So we left the balcony and followed them, me walking shakily, supporting myself whenever i could with banisters and walls, my mum following behind worried as hell that i was going to faint. We got to the production room where the tailoring and sewing is done. As it was a slow part of the year as all the costumes where in the stages being used, nothing was in production. The costumes, in there were destined for the NT costume hire company, and not for any of the theatre performances. However, theses costumes where still beautiful. There was a Great Gatsby 20's themes flapper dress, a showgirls dress and a corset partially made. The garments where beautiful, and yet obviously with my luck, I end up sitting on the floor trying not to faint.

At this point I just felt sorry for the tour guide, she was brilliant and knowledgeable about everything, but then there was me stubborn enough to want to stay on the tour, not caring about everyone else on the tour and their stares. She created an enthusiastic tour with interesting facts, but I guess I was her first fainter (or near fainter).

However after leaving that room, we left the stuffy area and after a few more drinks of water i could walk a straight line and we headed to the olivier theatre. I fould it interesting how NT had set one theatre (the olivier theatre) circular so the audience feels more included, compared to the Lyttelton theatre where the seats are straight rows so the audience feels more like observers than part of the action. This meant NT could show a lot more different types of shows, including shows more for a smaller stage with the Cottesloe stage which is where me and my mum went in the afternoon to see Hotel. It sort of reminded me of the drama hall in my secondary school. it was tiny! But i feel it was also good as the audience is right in the action that you immerse yourself into the storyline.

When we got to the stage, we headed back stage where we got to see the dressing rooms, where the sets are stored and the stage managers table where all the props are laid out.

Leaving to the Olivier theatre, we headed to the Lyttelton theatre where we sat in the audience chairs and had a Q&A with the tour guide. The play that was playing that night in that theatre was Great Britian and when we were in there, they were doing a sound check. I was kicking myself as I wasn't wearing my glasses, but in the show 'Great Britian', Billy Piper stars in it, and on the blurry stage, there was a blond hair girl who had a voice very similar to Billies! It probably wasn't here as, why would they need her for a sound check? But to make this story sound interesting, lets just say I SAW ROSE......I MEAN I SAW BILLY PIPER!! :)

After the tour ended, me and mum then went off to Subway!!! YUM and rebooted with the £3 deal and 1 1/2 cookies each, and don't forget the bananas we had in our bags! We then headed back to NT and got our £12 tickets each for Hotel. Now, we had no clue what it was about, we got the tickets as they were the cheapest, and as we had 1 and a half hours to spare, we sat down in the cafe and read the reviews on our phones. The first review I read said 'nervously humorous and terrifying'? That didn't bode well as I am a complete wimp! This also reminded me of a mention of Hotel from the morning costume tour from when we were in the wig and make up room where the tour guide told us that the set is completely white but end up red :O So after reading a few more reviews, me and my mum had no clue what to expect.

But for once I surprisingly enjoyed it. It was about a dysfunctional family who are vacationing on an island, where they are trying to get away from the world. The mum was this big political higher up who made all these decisions, and the press had discovered indecent photos of the fathers erm...well you can fill in the blanks *****, which had been put front page on all the newspapers, causing the mum to resign from her position which basically sums up the start of the play. The family, once at the island is then kidnapped in the villa by a jumpy shooter and a sadistic hypocritical crazy person. The rest of the play has a lot of politics and if you haven't guessed from my amazing description of the mums job, I have no clue about politics.

Anyway, I was a little disappointed about the amount of blood, as i was expecting huge splatters of blood everywhere. The way that everyone was describing it, I thought there would be barely any white left so I'd prepared myself for A LOT of blood. But no, there was barely 3 or 4 hand prints of blood. However the fire they made in the middle of the stage was amazing! I truly didn't think the guy would actually light the fire after she poured all the 'chemicals' on the footrest. I expected something to suddenly happen just before he lit it, but no he went and did it! I swear it was a fire hazard, but looked amazing and shocking from where i sat. I could also see that they had built a metal container so the fire wouldn't spread which shows you how well the sets and props where thought out, not only the costumes.

Which brings me to my next point. Even though it was set modern day, so not that interesting, the costumes where set out so well. the mother, a political figure so clothes smart, non patterned, a bit Margaret Thathery, however as they are on holiday, a little dressed down. This meant at the start of the holiday it was very business like, which sort of matched the act where she gets muddy, have her wearing white tailored trousers, GENIOUS. She then dresses into a casual double jersey dress with heels, so its dressy but casual. It also was a smart idea to have her wear a necklace which is then ripped off of her once they are kidnapped.

Now the dad basically wears the same thing all the time. He's the one who got everyone on holiday so worse holiday clothes from the get go. Trying to get everyone enthused about the holiday. The kids on the other hand I felt where very basic. Though in this type of play, costume isn't a major part.

So once the show ended. We went and peeked in into the festival of Love which was happening right were we where. It was adorable, they had built a temporary dance floor and couples of all ages where dancing, like proper ballroom dancing. We also went into a few shops as its my parents silver anniversary soon so my mum wanted to look for something silver for my dad. But once failing at that, we just decided that we where both tired and wanted to just get back home and have a coffee.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my day in London. If not, apologies that it wasn't a post about books, though I will mention that my attempt to force myself to read all the book I told myself i'd read for the book-tube-a-thon didn't work. I keep getting distracted by other series, so I don't see myself finishing any of those books in my near future. Instead I read Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead, which after absorbing and not writing my review whilst still high on adrenaline from finishing the book, I was a little disappointed. I think I bigged it up for my self too much so once i read it, then processed it, i was like, 'that was it?' I feel it was one of those books which has to be written for context, and to put a distance of time in a story line, than something epic. I REALLY hope that her last book in the series is longer, and i can sort of guess the plot from reading SS, and basically whats gonna happen. So I hope I'm wrong, and that Mead adds multiply twists into the next book. SS was just too straight forward till the last 2 chapters.

Also I've said before how much I love Samantha Young, but I seriously do. I just finished the 1st and 2nd book of On Dublin Street and am loving the series! I've been to Edinburgh twice so its really amazing to read a book set in an area you know so your like oh yes the royal mile, I remember be there when the Fringe Festival was there, and oh look at that, they're on George IV street, and they're now on the bridge, sigh*. Any who, this series is brilliant for New Adult, so university age people! I definitely recommend this series and hope you enjoy it as much as i did.

Thank You and Keep Reading!!!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Would You Rather Book TAG!!

Hello again everyone!!!

Today I thought I'd do something a little different! On Youtube, there are many many different TAGS, but I LOVED this one, so I kinda tagged myself! Also as I'm from England, I had to change some aspects of it. So here it goes

1. Read only trilogies or stand alones?

Definitely a Trilogy, as  I feel you can get more character development and especially if you love a character or dystopian world, you get more of it.

2. Read only female or male authors?

This is a hard one, but I think I'd choose female as most of my favorite books are written by female authors. But that means I'd have to sacrifice George R. R. Martin, Rick Yancey and Dan Wells.

3. Shop at Waterstones or Amazon?

Well Amazon does books and kindle books so AMAZON!!

4. All books become movies or t.v. shows?

Hmmm...Well I LOVE Vampire Diaries, but I never liked the books. I love Pretty Little Liars, Game of Thrones, loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer when that was on, and loved The White Queen. They are all amazing tv shows but would they of been as good in movie form? VD definitely wouldn't of as I think the reason I love it is that it is everything the books aren't and if they made it movie form, then they would of copied the book.

Also same with True Blood, love the books, but hate the TV show :P

Now lets talk movies. Hunger Games, Twilight, A Fault in our Stars, Harry Potter, the Bond films, The Help, Forrest Gump, Gone With the Wind, One flew out of the Cuckoo's Nest, Shawshank Redemption. Would any of these be any good as tv shows? I don't think so!!!

This is so difficult!

With tv shows, you get hours and hours of the book turned into a visual representation, while with movies you only get 2 hours.

I'll have to say tv show as I'm someone who just needs more! Prolonging the world that I've fallen in love with from reading, is always better!

5. Read 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?

5 BOOKS PER WEEK! No argument!!!

6. Be a professional reviewer or author?

Reviewer as I would never have the skill or patience to write a book.  Also I would love being paid to tell people how amazing my fave books are.

7. Only read your top 20 favorite books over and over or always read new ones that you haven't read before?

Ahh another difficult one. One of my guilty pleasures is to reread books over and over again, but I would choose reading only books I haven't read before as I do love discovering new fave's.

8. Be a librarian or book seller?

One other thing that I love other than reading and drawing, and Vampire Diaries, is money! So Book seller!!

9. Only read your favorite genre, or every genre except your favorite?

Hmm I can find a lot of loop holes in this one as a lot of books are under more than one genre. For instance Throne of Glass could be Fantasy, Action, Adventure or Dystopian. SO if I said every genre except my favorite (Dystopian), I could still read Throne of Glass as its Fantasy, Action and Adventure.

10. Only read physical books or eBooks?

EBooks as they are usually cheaper and I've been an ebook addict for years. But I recently started reading physical books again after I discovered my local charity shop selling books for 10p and found books I've wanted to read for ages.

But ebooks are also more convenient, especially on the go.

So what do you think?

Thank You and Keep Reading!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Unplanned post

So first, apologies to those who just read my blog (and if you do, thank you) for book recommendations then sorry but this post is more me rambling on about something other than books for once. Usually I would bottle up all my feelings and just smile to the world, but for once I'm actually going to tell the world about my life.

Today I was fired from my summer job.

I wasn't shocked, I actually knew in advance that I was going to be fired and I had time to digest it, before going to work and my boss actually saying the words 'I have to let you go'. I understood his reasoning and feel that I acted in a good manner saying thank you for the opportunity, and I enjoyed working there whilst it lasted.

However, thinking over everything, I need to comment on management, and if you are a manager of a company, small business etc. Listen up.

Firstly, at the job I worked at, there were a number of managers. So when you were on shift, you had to do exactly what they told you. And I feel I did a great job, but when each manager contradicts another, such as how you do table service, or put orders through the till, that is when you end up doing mistakes. So managers of the world, just don't contradict each other, have weekly meeting to make sure your telling the staff the same thing.

Second is gossip. I HATE gossip, never liked it, and the times that I myself gossiped, I found I felt gross and just an overall bad person, it only brings drama. But when managers gossip about each other, it is an awful situation as you end up being in the middle of it. You then end up feeling like you have to take sides, or agree with the manager on shift about a different manager. But then if you stay neutral, then both managers hate you, its a no win situation.

Thirdly, if you have a stressful home life, then don't take it out on your staff.

Fourth, if you hire someone, just for the world cup, then tell them that before they start. As if you fire someone just after the world cup, it then looks a little curious when you hired them when it started, and that your first shift was actually an England game. It also means they can organize another job for once the world cup end, or gives them a choice to say no/yes to the job in the first place.

Fifth, don't use one bad day as an excuse to fire them. You don't know whats happened that day, you could easily just take them to the side on the day and ask whats up? Instead of just watching them struggle on the day and then think 'ah this is the perfect way to fire them with a legitimate reason'.

In my case, my bad day was that I was covering for another newbie and went in to find out that there were 3 reservations, one which was a table of 20. This caused me to become flustered and sick to my stomach. I had never felt as sick as discovering that, not when I waited at Royal Ascot last year (which was actually an amazing experience), and not even when I was fired. But I was completely side tracked at that moment, and then the first reservation came and wanted drinks and food straight away. My manager (lets call them manager 1) had told me that she was going to go through the day with me, reservation by reservation. But when the first group came in, she told me to get their drinks whilst she left to have a fag. So that is exactly what I did, but then they said once I brought the drinks that they would like to order food. What was I meant to do? Say sorry, I can't serve you on my own, I need to get my manager so i can stand next to her and listen to what she says, or simply take their orders? Well anyway, manager 1 walked in whilst I was taking the orders and once I was behind the bar, inputting their food orders to the till she then lectured me saying 'If you don't listen, you wont have a job in 2 weeks'.

I was already flustered from finding out I had a table of twenty, but now I had an angry manager on my back. Now this is when manager 2 and the decision maker of who to fire came down. His first impression of my that day from him was that I was being yelled at. I then for the next hour was trying to hold in tears, which I successfully did. Yes this is an annoying personality trait I have that is basically 'treat others like you want to be treated'. So I treat people very kindly (I hope so), and I'm a very empathising and sympathetic person. But this also causes me to be very sensitive and my heart aches for other peoples pain. But in this case it was my own.

So I calmed down during that hour and was feeling OK. When the 'group of twenty' started arriving, i discovered it was actually an award ceremony for the local kids football team and there where defiantly more than 20 people. This also made me confused as it sort of confused me how 'table service' would work. Especially as everyone was eating at different times,as well as drinks, and where paying separately. I asked my manager how I where to do it, at she completely contradicted her own words. Lets just say her whole speech of 'reservation by reservation' didn't pan out. But the day went on and I was doing OK and ended up only slipping up once and ordering 2 portions of french fries instead of 2 portions of sweet potato fries. But in my defence, the group ordered a lot of food and I read them back the whole order and they said yes to everything. However the day  went on and manager 1 just got more stressed and angrier at me, and at the end of my shift, I was looking for a random piece of paper to write something down, and what do I see? My name, just my name written on a piece of paper face down in manager 1's hand writing.

So I just knew. I was going to get fired.

And low and behold, dah dah!!

However that was my first clue, the second was that the day after, the shift rota for the next 3 weeks was uploaded to the Facebook chat. Guess who had not shifts! Yep, me.

So I then open a new message just to manager 1 and ask whats going on? Am I fired? I then get a new message from manager 2 asking me to come in.

So that was my last day at my (1st hopefully) summer job.

And lastly, while these all relate to my experience with the management at the job I worked at, I also am not arguing my firing, as much as it looks like it. These are just points that I feel should be basic behaviour's all people in management should uphold, or not uphold.

Also, when you fire someone, don't ramble on repeating yourself. Yes the person you are firing may cry like a baby (like unfortunately I did), but make it quick and to the point. 'I apologise for any inconvenience, but we have to let you go, we feel your work has not been up to the standard we expect from our staff', that would be a good generic 'firing' sentence. Especially if the person already knows they are being fired like I did. In addition, when you ask your staff member to come in to basically be fired in person, don't start the message with 'yo'. At least keep it dignified and say, 'please would you come in at [the time], to talk with me'. And while Facebook was my jobs most common form of communication,  the manager should always keep their staff feeling dignified and should at least call them up and ask, NOT 'yo, come in at 2:30, we need to have a chat' on Facebook.

In addition, the fact that I knew that I was going to be fired just made me stress over it for longer. I couldn't sleep at all last night, but I couldn't read for the booktube-a-thon either. My mind was just picking at everything I did in all of my shifts, comparing my work to every other newbie they hired, as well as how much I'd improved since starting.

Anyway, back to the blog, as managers, you are there to keep productivity, to help staff where needed and tell then what to do and what not to do. Not to B**** about each other and sit and have a cup or tea whilst your staff do most of the work, and yes I say 'most' as I do know that managers do have other things to do other than serve costumers.

Also I would like to make this clear, that this post is not an attempt to get back at the place I worked at as you may have noticed, no names where mentioned and I never said where I worked. It is only me rambling about a topic and hopefully giving management for small business tips on how and how not to handle a situation.

And it also is sort of closure so I can move on tomorrow with a fresh attitude towards getting a new job lined up.

But right now, I'm going to spend all my energy to the redecoration of my room.

Thank You and Keep Reading

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Busy busy Busy!!

So I started off a few weeks ago just casually starting my summer holidays off from Uni. I had so much planned, including getting a job, reading and aim to do a lot of costume drawing.

But then I started randomly writing a blog and have talked to amazing authors through it! I also was asked to read and review an AMAZING new book by Nabille De La Luz, which hasn't been release yet!

And...My ceiling in my room collapsed due to 20 year old plumbing:P So whilst doing all this blogging and working and reading, I have had no room and have been sleeping on a couch, in a room full of spiders and dogs who come and jump up on me at 4 in the morning wanting me to take them out to go to the loo.

However ever the optimist, as my ceiling collapsed! I have been able to completely re vamp my room from the Gothic style my older sister had stylised it as, to a bright and sunny room that makes you feel like your being hugged by a marshmallow!

However as all of this has been going on, I haven't been able to read much these few weeks, however I will soon put up the review of The Passage by Nabille De La Luz on my review page!

In addition, I have also in my spare time, been drawing a few costume designs based on the book For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund, which will be posted on the Costume Design page once I've scanned then in!

So as I've sort of updated you on whats been happening with me, lets talk BOOKTUBE-A-THON!!

And yes I know that technically I'm not on booktube, I'm still taking part in the challenges (sort of)! As everyone probably knows the Booktube-a-thon started at midnight on the 14th July and will finish Saturday. And during that time you need to complete specific challenges to 'win', though as its more for fun, and there's no prize except the feeling of achievement, you don't really need to panic. Just enjoy having an excuse to read!!

But here is the list of books I've read/ going to read for the Thon!

Book given to me by someone else
The Passage by Nabille De La Luz! (She sent me her ARC so that counts!)

Book Cover with Red
Daughters of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Finish a Series
If I should Die by Amy Plum

Genre Read Least this Year (Historical Fiction)
/Book movie Adaptation
The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory

Seven Books
The Assassin's Blade (5 stories)
(and all the other books that aren't doubled up so I'm actually reading 8 stories!!)

So far I've read The Passage and will post the review up after the Thon (sorry Nabille, if your reading this I know your eager to see my review), and I'm right now reading daughters of Smoke & Bone (and loving it)!

But I would just like to take the moment and seriously thank Nabille De La Luz for letting me experience what it's like to read an ARC, and see a glimpse of behind the scenes of publishing a book!! I am very interested to see how the final differs from the Beta version, especially as the concept, characters and the scenery was so magical and different, but I'll talk about all that in my review. But truly, thank you Nabille De La Luz!!! I will be recommending your book to everyone and anyone who will listen, and boast that I've read it and they have to wait! MWHAHAHA!!!

Now I'm off to go read on my little couch :P

Thank You and Keep Reading


I've pasted the Goodread pages of the books (not the author as usual) down below

The Passage
Daughter of Smoke and Bone
If I Should Die
The Other Boleyn Girl
The Assasin's Blade


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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Not bad for £1.40

So if you are following me on twitter to read my boring day to day tweets (@ClaraBrown17), you may of seen my obsessive tweeting about my local hospice charity shop selling books for 10p. ANY and ALL books!!! So me being me, with this latest discovery, I have gone over and over again looking at their selection of books. Some books I bought which I've already read, but in ebook form so I was excited to buy the book, other books I've had on my Goodread to-read list in ages, and others where just random picks of books that I'd heard about, but not in great much detail, but hey they were 10p! I'm never gonna get a cheaper book!

So here goes my book haul post #1

The books that I bought which I have already read in book form, but bought as I KNOW I will be reading them again as I love them so much!
1. Matched is a book that I read years ago on ebook but never really got into the series. It was a very memorable series as I still remember what happened in it, even little things such as that there are only 100 poems etc that exists in the Matched world. I would like to re-read the book and hopefully this time get stuck more in this series. Also I LOVE the book cover!! It is gorg!!

2 & 5. You probably already know how much I loved Magic Study as I have raved about it before...A LOT!! Maria V. Snyder is just so amazing! I love love love love her books and her characters and her fantastical worlds and her love stories!! Aaaaaaand...Just kidding, no more 'and's' to add on!

3. So...I don't think anyone needs to be told which book this is :P And Yes, I read this series as ebook so don't actually own the book form of Hunger Games.

4. Kim Harrison's series The Hollows is such an under rated urban fantasy series! I love the series and is a great New Adult, humorous series to introduce you to urban fantasy, similarly to Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson series. The book I bought is the 3rd in the series but there are 13 so far, and I'm afraid I haven't read all of the series yet, but I am up to book 5.

And that is it for the books that I bought that I have already read, and are well more trophies that I have read them than anything! Though they wont be gathering dust, staying on my book shelf as I will definitely re-read these!

The books that have been on my to-read list
Now these got me seriously excited as I have had these on my Goodread to-read list for AGES!!!

1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone...there are no words! Everyone who reads this goes stark raving mad and goes on about the characters you have no clue who.

Well sign me up!! I want to be one of these stark raving mad people!!

2. Next is embarrassing that I haven't read! For my first year essay at uni we had to write an essay about a costume designer that inspires us, or we find has achieved a certain excellence in their area. Our tutor also warned us not to do the conventional costume designers that most people know about, and are well...obvious.

I chose Sharen Davis who designed for the film The Help, which is one of my favourite films. But yes, embarrassing on my part that I haven't read the Help, even though the essay wasn't specifically about The Help, I could of use the essay as an excuse to read the novel :P But I can not wait to read it! Especially about the part where Minny gives Hilly the 'chocolate' pie!!!

3. In an earlier post, I mentioned the British author Samantha Young, and how she can't write a bad book, so any book of hers is a Must Read. So I am taking my own advice and finally going to read On Dublin Street which is a first of three in a series.

4. Lastly, The Other Boleyn Girl is a book classic for a costume designer! It is another embarrassment that I haven't read it, (even more embarrassing that I haven't watched it)! but this just means that I can have a themed weekend. Read the book through the weekend and then do a little movie night with some Graze popcorn I have to spare and a lot of chocolate!!!

That is it for the books that have been on my to-read list on Goodread

The books that I randomly picked up after reading the blurb, or I have heard about randomly.

1. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets nest is the third instalment of the Girl who played with Fire series, or as I like to call it, the series read by 40 year old business men on the tube to appear well educated and cultured. *Eye role. But the funny thing is now that my sister who started working in London is taking my copy of the Girl Who Played with Fire up to London with her to match the 40 year old men.

Anyway, I haven't read this series yet, one because I've tried a few times and just can't pass the first chapter as its just well...dull, compared to the adventurous books I have read. I sort of got this book more for my sister tbh, though till I have the 2nd instalment it's not that useful to her.

2. Well I love Les Miserable the west end show, and sort of the film, but I have never read the book, (bad me), so this summer I am definitely going to read the book with a box of tissues in hand.

3. The next book is a VERY YA book. I was very indecisive about this book as I remember coming across Heist Society years ago when I was still in high school and leaning towards not getting it then. Maybe I thought the plot sounded bad, but now I think it actually sounds really good, though I do have to admit as I have left school, I don't like reading books about school girls as I end up feeling like I'm at a different stage of my life and its dull reading about it, when I could be reading about things to look forward too, e.g. a girl getting her first job, or going to college, or moving to a new city. Not high school!!

4. I have been recommended this book several times in the past, and tbh, after reading the blurb, I got really excited about it. The Language of Flowers sounds like a very deep contemporary, which based on the blurb sounds like it will have both up and down moments.

5. And Last Looking for Fireworks sounded like such a fun novel in the store. I've never heard of it, but I can tel it will be a great summer read with a lot of humour and good times!!

Officially out of my Reading Slump!

Thank You and Keep Reading!!

Ally Condy
Maria V. Snyder
Suzanne Collins
Kim Harrison
Laini Taylor
Kathryn Stockett
Samantha Young
Philippa Gregory
Stieg Larsson
Ally Carter
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Holly Cavendish

Monday, 23 June 2014

Reading Slump

After reading several books too fast, I hit a slump.

My theory is that my brain wont allow me to read any more books as it needs time to store all the fabulous plots and characters. It doesn't want to loose any story line that I want to reminisce on later. Everyone will probably say that's crap, but I find that once I've read a REALLY good series that I can't read for days, maybe a week. A lot of book lovers know this as the mourning period.

When I finish a good series, for instance, once reading the Mortal Instruments, my slump got so bad that I craved for more MI. I re-read the infernal devices and mortal instrument series to correlate with the publishing dates. But after that, I then didn't read for two whole weeks. People are probably laughing at me for that, but that is a big deal for me!

The fact that I had to face the real world :O Fake shock horror!!


Anyway, once I have finished a fantasy series, I usually then find a book that can help heal the wounds that the end of the fantasy series has given me. Usually this is a contemporary novel or 'New Adult' fiction series which is set in the real world and is usually some lovey dovey chick lit book.

However then comes the book after the happy, lovey dovey book, comes the sad contemporary, which again is usually from a real life world and looks at deep topics in society, or a small part of society.

And after I have wiped my eyes from the tears from the sad, bitter sweet ending of the contemporary, I am then ready to go to the next high fantasy book/ series and discover a whole new world, and find new adventures to embark upon.

Some would probably say its a vicious circle, but hey, it works.

Yet, as this blog is to recommend books to people and give reviews, why not say which books caused me to go into this reading slump.

So the first book I read was the latest instalment of an Urban Fantasy Fiction series called the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. The book is called Night Broken, and is yet another great Mercy Thompson story. This series is also one of the great examples of creating a fantasy world around the real world like Cassandra Clare did with mortal Instruments. Its also a great series with a lot of context around the story line, like the use of mythical and religious research of different cultures. Briggs gives us a world surrounded in Fae, walkers, werewolves, vampires, immortals and human politics.

The series is also really about finding your place in the world and is a very beautifully written series about a girl with attitude, who is also selfless and great at baking brownies, and not those type of brownies :) Real chocolate chip brownies!!

In addition to this series, there is a spin off series called Alphas & Omega which is based on one of the characters you only meet in the Mercy Thompson series once or twice, but still become intrigued by the character from MT that you will be forced to buy the Alpha & Omega series following Charles and Sunny.

The other book is by an author I have mentioned several times in my posts, not that I'm obsessed with her and her writing (which I am), but as she has written so many books in this serious, its impossible not to talk about her. But Jennifer Estep's most recent book in the Elemental Assassin Series, The Spider was just Perfect. From the first chapter where Gin receives a mysterious, deadly looking package to the last page of the book was all just amazing. I also loved the twist at the end of the book about the meaning of the package from the start of the book.

Also the twist with Owen was also very sneaky, but I loved that too, and as more than half of the book is set in the past, that must of been difficult to write as all of Estep's other books have a lot of context about Gin's past, and by adding this story, it would have been difficult not to ruin the time line of... things. ('things' is my attempt not to spoil the book to much).

And now after feeling rejuvenated from writing this  post, I may actually feel up to reading a new book!

Hmmm...let me see...Rebel Belle?   What I thought was true?  Paper town?   My Life Next Door (or re-read it anyway)?   If I stay?

Ah can't decide! But you can guess that I've been ready for this summer! the end of Mortal Instruments is just the beginning with Heir of Fire coming out and finishing one of my favourite series!

*Sigh

But as they say, when one door closes another one opens.

Thank You and Keep Reading!!

Patricia Briggs
Jennifer Estep


My Goodread review of The Spider (SPOILERS):

"As ever, Estep has done another fantastic job with this book. I love that she has written a book going back into Gin's past ad that we find out that Owen and Gin meet at a different occasion. I also like the idea that Gin acted as Charlotte's sister from a distance all those years by keeping an eye on her, and help when needed!

Also the weird links between character are getting more crazy, like through Charlotte, Gin could have possibly met Bria earlier than the books have suggested. I also am excited for the introduction of the new character of Charlotte and can't wait to see if she has a bigger role in the next book!!!"

Friday, 20 June 2014

Well Here Goes Another Round...

As stated in my first post, here are another batch of books that are, yes, you guest it, 'a must read'.

These all have a strong female role, not because I'm a feminist, but as I struggle with confidence, reading about sassy women, who are either kick ass, or have overcome all barriers to a certain goal, it gives me a personal strength and confidence to push myself out of my shell, and experience the world.Whether its getting a job at a pub, or talking to new people.

This first book series I discovered fairly early in my book craze, and is one of a few series that I have re-read, over and over again.

Similar to Jennifer Estep's series of Elemental assassin, she has written into her series a history for the character, and past experiences. This author Maria V. Snyder, is one author that I never get bored of. I first read her 'Study' series, which consists of Poison Study, Magic Study and Fire Study. She also has a few novella's which include Assassin study, set after the first book, and power study and ice study which are set after Fire Study.

However, Maria V.Snyder has had 3 more books added to this series which was meant to finish at Fire study, but I guess she isn't finished with the characters. (I write while dancing around, screaming with excitement). The titles of these books are Shadow Study, Night Study and the sixth book is still Untitled.

Snyder also has another series set in the same world, but with a character we only loosely meet in the Study series. It is called the 'Glass' series as the girl has a specific, but powerful power over glass! This may not sound like much, but believe me, it is plenty powerful!!

In the series, it has three books, Storm Glass, Sea Glass and Spy Glass. Plus, if you follow me on twitter, I actually got Spy Glass from my local charity shop for 10p! So basically I got a book that I've wanted for ages, and helped my local charity. And if you haven't guessed yet, I'm probably going to be walking down again tomorrow with my first tip I got today at work! It was only £1.50, BUT that is 15 books!!!! Also a but though, is the walk up the hill afterwards :(

Anyway, back to the incredibly, brilliant Maria V.Snyder. Her last series (that I've read, she has other series I haven't read yet), is her 'Healer series'. I discovered this when I went to America to visit my sister. It wasn't out in England yet so when I went into Barn&Noble, which is my HEAVEN!!!! I looked for new releases, so I could be like, mwhahaha I'm holding a book that everyone in England has to wait for it!! Also Its probably the closest I've got to holding a semi-ARC! But let me just say this, I started reading Touch of Power (the first book) on the flight from America. By touch down at London Heathrow, I had finished!

I then went through a withdrawal stage that most book lovers feel. And I realised that I have to wait for the next book but for an even longer time period as I'd gotten the book in America! I wouldn't be getting the next book American time! I was like 'W-W-What do I do?!?!!?!!'

So I go back and re-read her entire Study series :)

And whoever has ever felt this state of panic, whether from Cassandra Clare's books, etc. You know that it's the only way! But as I've read all the books now, it's fine, I'm great and am no longer clawing at my brain going crazy for more of Snyder's books. That made me sound like a serious book addict :) But hey, we've all been there.

So, while I haven't really talked about the plot, or story line for any of Snyder's books as there is just so much that I want to express and share about her series, Snyder has probably created one of the best fantastical worlds for both the Study/Glass series and the Healer series. The female lead characters are all brilliant, and not similar at all in personality which you sometimes get when an author write more than one series with female leads. They are all individual and the author brings them alive into their selves, both with attitude and flare!

The next author, people will probably guess from the theme of this post (and the picture on the left). Strong female lead, overcoming barriers, and if I add that the story line starts, like Poison Study, with the lead being in prison, and it's not Shatter Me?...Yep, its Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas. I have read both her first two books in the series with Heir of Fire pre-orders. I have also read a few of her novellas online but seriously want the book Assassins blade which is a book combining all of her novella's and it is as thick as one of her books!

What I love about this series is that the book is so original. The world she has created is nothing like any other I've read before. Yes I compared the start to both shatter me and poison study, but the fact that she was in prison is the only comparison. ToG is surrounded with a strong history for how the country is as it is, with the illegality of magic and the disappearance of Fae. Where you can travel through realms, but it also means things from other realms can travel to this fantastical realm...

The series also has the classic love triangle, but what ever you say, that your bored of love triangles since the obsession of Team Edward and Team Jacob, or Team Stephen and Team Damon (go Delana!!). This triangle you want to be in the know about! You will change your team 3 or 4 time, you will at one point just wanting to hate both so you don't have to be on a team, just because of the confusion, and then by the end of the 2nd book (where I am now), your team will be solidified (TEAM CHAOL).

So, my next book series that, I kinda read a little younger than I should of. Especially the third book :P But in my defense, the book covers didn't seem bad, and they aren't, they are completely YA friendly, but this also was the first book series I read that had sex in it, and i didn't know it was coming ('scuse the pun), so I was a little shocked. And reading over it again, It isn't even that detailed compared to some books I've read (now).

Anyway, the series is called Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill. Its about a girl called merit who is turned into a vampire against her will. She then has to change her whole life. Also did I mention that the whole world knows about vampires in this book :O Similar to Charlaine Harris's series in that aspect, but the way the vampire society is presented, in Houses is completely different. Also, if it were ever turned into a TV show, it wouldn't be HBO, it would be the CW or in British standards ITV2, I don't know what the British version of HBO would be? hmmm?!

What I will say about this series, is that it is an emotional roller coaster, one minute you will be laughing with Merit and Mallory about Darth Sullivan, and how annoyingly sexy he is, the next you will be crying your eyes out, especially at Hard Bitten.

Me after Hard Bitten
Woow, used a gif for the first time! Go me! Anyway back to my book recommendations.

One criticism which I have to say, but hate saying as I worship authors for creating these little pieces of heaven (just for me :P) is Mallory's story line in Drink Deep. I guess no story line could have competed after Hard Bitten. But it didn't have the structure that I have come to know and love in Neill's books :( And again I hate to mention it as its like going to Monet and saying 'Yo, your water lilies are too pastel', and my response would be, 'can you do that? NO? Then deal with it'. So what I'm saying is that I'm being seriously hypocritical as I would never be able to write anything as good as any of these author, or any author for that matter. Contrary to this blog I''m not a writer, I'm a costume designer at heart, and love designing costumes. But hey, if any book I ever recommend is turned into a TV show or film, and is filmed in England, possibly pinewood studios (as im sooooo close to it), like Vampire Academy was, SIGN ME UP!!!

A few years ago I picked up a few books of a series about werewolves. It was by the author Quinn Loftis, and I have been dying to finish the series as it was so good but I couldn't find the books. The series is called the Grey Wolves. The series starts off following a group of teenage girls finding
love, with each book for each girl. I haven't read further yet but I want to sooooooo badly. I also discovered that Loftis has another series following a world with ELVES!!! I am really excited to read them as well!!!

And though my blog is basically now sounding like I give authors a shout out if the tweet me on twitter or follow, but seriously, my blog isn't at all popular, and I just think it is amazing when ever an author takes their time to tweet a fan, or FOLLOW them like our Quinn here did (and Sherry Gammon)!!!  You don't know how excited I was when I looked at my notifications and saw this amazing author and followed me, AND that I had read her books!! I was embarrassingly excited, nearly as excited when Jennifer Estep and Sherry Gammon, and Laini Taylor tweeted me!!! had to mention that!!!

Me after seeing Quinn Loftis followed me 

And  I will leave you with the Gif(t) of Emma Stone

Thanks and Keep reading



Here are the authors goodread pages


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Utterly Spiffing Authors

British authors are overlooked a lot of the time. Especially as access to other authors are so much easier now, whether its on Kindle, Ordering online, or just simply getting them in WH Smith.

Now there are a lot of obvious authors that aren't over looked, such as J. K. Rowling, Terry Pratchett, J. R. R. Tolkien, Neil Gaiman and Philip Pullman. The crazy thing is, that out of these authors, I've only read the books of two of them, and tried to read a book from one other, but I think I wasn't in the right mood so couldn't finish it.


Not that this goes for all British Authors. have forgotten about the classics such as Charles Dickens, with his novels which take you into the past where railways are haunted, Orphan boys find their families and cities collide. What about the Bronte sisters which show just how far women have come, as changing their names to a male name so their books would be sold is a cleaver idea but also shows the position women were in at the time. Not that this practice hasn't stopped in Britain with authors of best selling Harry Potter Series changing their name to a male name on their new books series to disassociate their new books with the old, so that the book isn't judged or compared to the HP series.

And where is good old Mr. Darcy? Oh yes, in Jane Austen's novel of Pride and Prejudice, or the Gothic story with dark monstrous creatures of the night, in the novel of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

So what else can I say about British authors... One word.

Shakespeare

So how can any British author compete with that? Whats the point?


But!!!! That doesn't mean Britain has given up!

One author that is a definite must read, is any and all books by Samantha Young! I can't even say how amazing her books are to read in one sitting and get immersed into her world with Ankh Warriors and Soul Eaters fighting it out. Or if you are more into Werewolves, definitely check out her Lunamorte series! You will fall in love with Lucien. Or why not learn a little about a world with Jinn in it, and what that means for Ari in Young's Fire Spirit Series.

If your not a YA reader, (meaning these books are for a more mature audience), check out her 'On Dublin Street' series. Which ever series you read, you will love.

 Also preferably for adults more than teens, is Joanne Harris, who is mostly known for her Chocolat series! You have probably seen the movie and gawked over Johnny Depp, well then, read the books! What about the TV show 'The White Queen'? Enjoyed it? Get Phillipa Gregory's books, which is in my personal to read this summer list!

I also feel that people sometimes pick up a book at the shop, and don't realize that they are a British author, I didn't know that Sophie Kinsella was from the UK until I started writing this post! I vaguely remember aspects of them which were British that only another person from the UK would get, but I was shocked, as so many Booktubers have reviewed it, and didn't mention it.

And then there are the very British Books that are iconicly Britain, such as Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones Diary which is a great summer read, have to admit, or when your home ill.

Or...thinking of summer reads, I read last year the book Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher. I read it by the pool at the hotel I was staying, in Portugal where me and my Gals had the whole goodbye sixth form, hello university holiday. WARNING! If you have Irish skin and are reading a book in the sun, remember not to stay out too long, you don't want to end up like me with a full on sun burn face to toes, with a bikini outline. I had factor 50 on for flip sake!! So basically, because I got so caught up in this book, I didn't even realize I was getting sun stroke, which I later discovered when I fainted in the supermarket on the 2nd Day in Portugal! Not. Fun.

I ended up spending the rest of the holiday in bed, unable to move, and listening to the only channel that was in English, yes, you guessed it, the music channel with the same songs repeated every half an hour. Not. Amused.

But I became good mates with the maid that came in everyday, while I was just lying down, unable to move. Embarrassing right?

But my misery also shows, just how good this book is! And the author is married to one of the McFly, also very British! What I also loved about this book, was that it reminded me of home, especially as I live on a hill, and well, while it isn't a tea house, it's a pub, when I was reading this, I imagined my local pub (which I now work at), was the tea house!

So after writing this little blog, I have kind of realized that I too am guilty of not reading enough books by British authors. I also admitted that I've not read any of the Lord of the Ring's which people are probably shocked about, also as I do actually have all the books, but they are left unread on my shelf, passed down from my book loving older sister who has practically worn them out. This summer I will probably try reading more British books, but as I have a stack of other books I also want to read I may not get to them. Need to prioritize people!

Thanks and Keep Reading!

Once again the authors goodread pgs will be linked below:
J.K Rowling
Terry Pratchett
J.R.R.Tolkien
Neil Gaiman
Philip Pullman
Charles Dickens
Emily Bronte
Anne Bronte
Charlotte Bronte
Jane Austen
William Shakespear
Samantha Young
Joanne Harris
Philippa Gregory
Sophie Kinsella
Helen Fielding
Giovanna Fletcher