I Dare You Book Tag

I was tagged to do this 100 years ago and I completely forgot. I was tagged by The Book Mermaid, so thank you for tagging me and sorry it’s taken me so long to actually do this.


Which book has been on your shelf the longest?

I don’t know honestly. I have books that I’ve owned for as long as I can remember.

What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

Current readThe False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen. I’m rereading this and I’m loving it all over again ❤ This series is underrated.

Last readOur Dark Duet by V.E. Schwab. I adored the book and the duology and I love everything Victoria Schwab writes.

Next read: I don’t know… I don’t usually plan what I’ll read next. I’m a mood reader, so whatever I feel like. Maybe The Runaway King which is the sequel to the book I’m currently reading. Or maybe I’ll finish one of the 15 books I’ve started reading and abandoned halfway through for no reason.

What book did everyone like but you hated?

Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I know not everyone loved it, but a lot of people did and I hated it.

What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read but you probably won’t?

Haha, there’s a list tbh. Um… The Silmarillion is probably on that list. I’ve read the first half or so of the book 3 times and I never finished it. I want to read it, but I also can’t seem to commit to it. The Odyssey is another one.

What books are you saving for retirement?

Maybe I’ll finally read The Silmarillion when I retire. I feel like that’s a retirement book.

Last page: read it first or wait until the end?

Wait until the end. I don’t like spoilers.

Acknowledgements: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

Definitely not a waste of paper. Even if they may not always be interesting and may not be interesting for everyone, I think they’re important. It’s important for the author to acknowledge the hard work that went into creating the book and the people who did that hard work.

Which book character would you switch places with?

Uh… I’m pretty sure I’ve answered this question before and like I said then, there aren’t many characters in the books I read whose lives I envy lol Maybe like… Church from The Mortal Instruments. He has a pretty sweet life… for the most part. I mean, everybody wants to be a cat, right?

Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (place, time, person)

Plenty. The Mortal Instruments reminds me of high school because it’s one of the last series I read before I graduated. TFIOS reminds me of a hot summer day because I read it on a hot summer day and I remember wondering around town in blistering heat trying to recover after it.

Name an interesting book that you acquired in an interesting way.

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor. This is a really fun book totally recommend. I don’t know if the way I acquired it is particularly interesting, but I can’t think of a better one. I got this book in an airport. I was travelling from London to Vienna and my flight got cancelled, I had to spend the night in the airport and then the next day the flight almost got cancelled again (it was only delayed, thankfully but I had a good scare). So as I was waiting to find out if my second flight would be cancelled, I saw this book and the title caught my eye because I felt like it was very relevant to my situation. It was just one damned thing after another.

Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

Uh… does a birthday qualify as a special reason? Otherwise, I don’t think so.

Which book has been with you most places?

My Bible. I take it pretty much everywhere.

Any required reading in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

Sadly, no. I still dislike the books I had to read in high school as much as I did when I had to read them.

Used or brand new?

I don’t mind. I would say I get about half and half. I actually like used books. There are some things that I don’t like. Like if the pages are torn or written on. But I don’t mind yellowed pages and worn covers. Of course, I also love pristine, new books. I like both and I like having both. I like my shelves to be a mixture of new and well loved books.

Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Nope.

Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

Possibly, but I can’t think of any right now.

Have you ever read a book that made you hungry (cook books included)?

Harry Potter!

Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

I don’t think I actually have such a person. I’ll consider any recommendation, but I’m usually a pretty good judge of whether I’ll enjoy a book or not, so if it doesn’t sound like something I’ll enjoy, I won’t really prioritise it no matter who it comes from.

Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid. I don’t normally read adult romance, let alone enjoy it, but I loved this one. Similarly, Tangled by Emma Chase.

 

 

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FairyLoot February 2018 Unboxing

FairyLoot February 2018 Unboxing

If you’re expecting super aesthetic pictures… you’ll be disappointed, I suck at taking pictures. But, this box contained some really cool stuff and I did my best to take pictures. This month’s theme was Twisted Fairytales which is right up my alley.


The first item in the box was a lovely ‘Grimm Tales’ mug (I love mugs!) which is exclusive to FairyLoot and I love it so much. It was created by Aunjuli Art and it has scenes from Hanse and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and… something with a castle? Cinderella? Maybe Snow White? I’m not sure.

Next up was a cute little candle. The scent is ‘Hinterland’ which has something to do with the book and it smells heavenly. I can’t get enough of it and I am 100% going to burn it while reading because it’s delicious. The scent is oak moss and tea leaves. The candle is from Wick and Fable and it is also exclusive to FairyLoot. Pretty much everything is exclusive to FairyLoot.

 

 

Next item is ‘Poisonous Apple’ bath salts which makes me even more sad that I haven’t got a bathtub. I hope that the next place I move to will have a bathtub because these bath salts sound amazing. The creator is Little Heart and this is also exclusive.

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Next up is probably my favourite item in this box: ‘The Witch and the Gingerbread House’ socks. I hate boring socks. All my socks have to have something on them and it’s hard to commercially find cool socks. There isn’t much variety unless you buy them from Etsy or something, but then they’re expensive. So I am always delighted when I get cool socks. These were created by FairyLoot and are adorable.

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Last items (besides the book itself) was this lovely exclusive Little Red Riding Hood woodmark from Ink and Wonder which I just love. I love bookmarks (even though I will frequently use random items as bookmarks) and this is a lovely addition to my collection. Also, FairyLoot includes every month a print for that month’s theme and that same image in bookmark form. I’m assuming the artist for these is FairyLoot cause I can’t find any mention of an artist.

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And finally, the book for this month was The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. It’s a debut novel, I’m not entirely sure what it’s about, but I have heard buzz about it and it’s a dark fairytale, so I’m excited. This edition is exclusive to FairyLoot and comes with a signed letter from the author and is also signed by the author. The cover is really beautiful and just the feel of the book is great and it smells great. I don’t know if it’s because of the candle or if it’s the paper they used, but the book itself smells great.

 

 

Vicious by V. E. Schwab – Book Review

viciousRating: 5/5 stars

Genre: Urban fantasy, adult

First published: 2013

Author: V. E. Schwab

Synopsis: Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end? 

Book Depository | Goodreads


I have read 6 Victoria Schwab books to date and have loved every single one of them. Her stories are so unique and she doesn’t really confine herself to one genre, which a lot of authors do. Still, when you read a Victoria Schwab book, you know you’re reading a Victoria Schwab book, generally by the savage pain in your heart (I just finished reading Our Dark Duet and I’m not okay, but we’ll talk about that one later). One of the great things about her is that she doesn’t hold her punches. And it hurts, but that’s what makes her books so damn good. She makes you care about her characters and her stories.

But I digress, let’s talk about Vicious. This book is exactly what you’d expect from a book about two sociopaths. It’s dark, it’s gritty, it goes to places that are kinda disturbing and it’s fantastic.

I really enjoyed the relationship between the two main characters. It’s a bad one. It’s not the kind of relationship that tugs at heartstrings (even before they hated each other), it’s the kind that’s codependent and toxic and kind of terrifying. But it’s so well written, so… exactly how you’d expected to be given the two characters.

Another thing that I love about Victoria’s books is that her characters are individuals. And what I mean by that is that they’re believably people. They have unique personalities that aren’t just an outline of a personality. A lot of characters feel interchangeable. Like they’ve been mass produced in a factory and there are only so many stencils. And every character made by a stencil is the same because machines are consistent. But her characters feel hand-made. Crafted one by one, so even if the inspiration for them is the same, there’s that element of “human error”. Of inconsistency. So her characters are never the same. They’re always unique. I hope that makes sense?

I’m kind of struggling with reviewing this book because I feel like it’s hard to do without giving it away. The strength of this novel is less it’s action, as it is its characters and their journey and their interactions. I feel like the plot itself is less important. It’s just there as a backdrop for the characters. So in that sense, I would say that this book is very much character driven. But it’s also very action packed. It’s like a superhero film, except with supervillains instead. There’s constant action. It never gets boring.

Like I said, I’m struggling to find more to say about it without any spoilers, so you’ll just have to read it. I really hope that the sequel comes out this year though, because I need me some more of it.

Yet Another Book Haul

Are you even surprised anymore?

The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin | Scarlet by Marissa Meyer | Everless by Sara Holland | Destroyer Dawn by Scott Beatty | Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu | The Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence | The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner | This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab | Our dark Duet by V. E. Schwab

Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer | The Arctic Incident: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer | The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black | Red Rising by Pierce Brown | A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis

In the After Light by Alexandra Bracken | Can You Solve My Problems? by Alex Bellos

 

The Intimidating TBR Book Tag

I have no idea who created this, but it’s been going around for a long time. I’m going to be using strictly books that I own and have not read. But since I currently own like 80 of those, it shouldn’t be a problem.

1. A book on your TBR pile you haven’t finished

the batOh boy. I have so many for this. But I’m gonna go with The Bat by Jo Nesbo because it’s been almost a year since I started reading it. It’s not that I dislike it, but it hasn’t hooked me like a thriller ought to and I just never got around to finishing it.

2. A book you just haven’t had the time to read 

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I’ll go with The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson for this one. It’s so big and I’m afraid it’ll suck me in like the first one and keep me up until 3 am and I just can’t afford to lose that much sleep at the moment.

3. A book you haven’t read because it’s a sequel 

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Spiders by Tom Hoyle. I didn’t realise that this was the second book in the series when I bought (it was an impulse cover buy, tbh) and now I don’t really feel so drawn to the series that I want to buy the first one.

4. A book you haven’t read because it’s brand new

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I actually don’t have an answer for this. So I’ll go with a book that I haven’t read because I just acquired it. Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer. This book literally entered my possession like 3 hours ago so…

5. A book by and author you read previously but didn’t really like

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Any of the Left behind books by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins. I read the first two and about half of the third book and I just didn’t really enjoy them. I own the first like 10 books in the series, but I just don’t feel drawn to them.

6. A book on your TBR pile that your just not in the mood to read

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The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. I’m just not really in the mood for historical fiction.

7. A book on your TBR pile that you haven’t read because it’s enormous

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Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch. I’ve read about 400 pages of this book and it just seems to be stretching out forever. It’s not really that I don’t like it, but I just don’t feel like reading it. I don’t care very much about the new characters and I don’t know… I just don’t feel like reading the other 200 pages. If it had been shorter, I’d have finished it.

8. A book on your TBR you bought because of the cover

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The only one I have for this is Siders by Tom Hoyle. I hate giving repeat answers, but I got nothing else.

9. The book on your TBR you find the most intimidating

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The Odyssey by Homer. Because I just know that it’s going to be hard for me to follow, even though I do want to read it.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – Book Review

strange the dreamerRating: 4/5 stars

Genre: Ya, Fantasy

First published: 2017

Author: Laini Taylor

Synopsis: The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

Book Depository | Goodreads


I had high expectations of this book and it sadly disappointed me. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it as much as I wanted to.

My main issue with it was the romance. I didn’t really enjoy it. I din’t care about it much, it felt insta-lovey and I know that Daughter of Smoke and Bone is also kind of insta-lovey, but it just works in that one I guess. And there was quite a lot of focus on the romance. There was again that theme that I guess Laini Taylor loves of love bringing peace between two peoples, or at least trying. Which I really enjoyed in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but not so much here.

Other than that, I really have nothing to complain about. The writing was beautiful as always, the world was vibrant and magical and very creative and very Laini Taylor and I loved it. I loved the initial premise of the story, of the mystery of Weep. Actually, that’s another thing I was a little bit disappointed with. Just the explanation for what happened to Weep. And more specifically, the explanation about the name of the city. That’s all I will say.

I enjoyed the characters, although I would personally have loved a bit more time spent on developing them and a little less time spent on the romance. Still, overall I liked the characters, but I didn’t actually love any of them. I didn’t really care deeply about them, but they’re good characters.

The story is so creative, I just wonder how Laini Taylor comes up with these things. Particularly the back-story of Weep, because the ‘present day’ narrative unfortunately spends way too much time focused on the romance, but I loved hearing the backstories of all the characters. So creative, so… aesthetic. Laini Taylor gives her book this dream-like, magical quality that I love, I am here for it. It’s a joy to read her books even if only for the atmosphere. There could be absolutely nothing happening and I’d still probably give the book 3 stars just for delighting me with it’s aesthetic.

I will say that even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the romance plot, I’m quite curious how it’ll play out after the ending. I will definitely be continuing with the series and hopefully I’ll come to love the characters more in the next ones.