Re-Reads

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I am not big on re-reading. I literally don’t do it. I read a book, sit with it for a little bit and then move on to the next one. It’s not thats books don’t stick with me enough that I want to re-visit them and have them reveal new things to me, it’s that when I go to read something again I’m just worried about all the new things that I’m not reading.

So I don’t re-read. Not unless I originally did not finish the book and am trying again so need to remember what the hell is going on. However for some reason a part of me has been thinking about all the books that I kind of want to read again because they keep playing on the back of my mind and the urge is getting stronger and stronger.

So these are the books that I’m itching to re-read.

Harry Potter – JK Rowling

Yes, really. I’ve been like super in my Harry Potter feelings recently and for some reason they are starting to drive me slowly insane. I have all the books just sitting next to my bed (this includes a box set of the normal ones, 3 illustrated ones and the first two in Hufflepuff editions, oh and the box set is still in the cellophane…) and so it kind of feels inevitable. I’ve wanted to do this for a few years now, next year might be the year.

The Secret History – Donna Tartt

I think about the opening line of this book often. Also it’s a murder mystery, so I feel like once you eliminate having to figure that out I feel like it’s going to reveal new depths to me that I just didn’t see before. There were already so many layers to it on the first read, I can only imagine what another would do.

The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

We all know how I feel about this book. I’ve only read it once from start to finish. I have re-read the Circus parts, but the rest of it remains somewhat of a mystery. Not in a legit sense, but in some kind of way. This book is so beautiful and I love it so much and I want to go back into the world that was created.

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

This book broke my heart multiple times and it never really put it back together again. But it’s such a great book and again one of those books that just has so much to reveal that I want to get involved in.

Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman

I mean there are so many books on here that are also on the books I’ll always recommend post that I wrote. It’s probably not a coincidence. I love those books, I got that from one read which says all you need to know. This one made me view London in a totally different way and I loved the way it took things that I knew well and tilted them some way. I loved Richard and his journey.  I would love to go back to it and do it all over again.

Those are the books that feel most pressing when it comes to wanting to re-read them. It has also just dawned on me that I also own multiple copies of all but one of these books…oops.

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2018 Reading Challenge, Book 35 – A Darker Shade of Magic

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I have been putting off this review because when I think about this book I become acutely aware of the fact that I do not own the other books in this series and I want them. No, I need them.

This story remains very unfinished and I need to know what it is going to happen. However, for now I do not have them and so I just have to make my peace with that.

If it wasn’t obvious, I very much enjoyed this book.

I love anything that is set in London and this one had 4 (kinda) and they were layered. Literally.

And they were all so glorious and all had their own stakes and I am just very much in love with the whole world and the way that magic weaves throughout them all and how it’s stronger in some places than others and all that jazz. I loved the fact that Holland and Kell were a rare breed and how they were kind of against each other but because they were effectively kin they had to kind of orbit one another.

Their kind of friendship that wasn’t necessarily a friendship was one of my favourite things about this book. The relationship between them was so complicated and the way that they were kind of two halves of the same coin but one was taken in by the family and the other was bound to them. The way that they circled each other throughout trying to battle with this new element of magic that is just thrown into there.

Kell was a great character to live with for a little bit. He was so complex and had so much depth that has only just begun to be explored. I kind of wanted to know a bit more about his relationship with his ‘brother’ before Kell tethered himself because it just kind of didn’t feel like something that had a lot of roots in it before it happened. However I am excited to know how that will play out moving forward because there is no way it ain’t coming to bite him.

Delilah was such a great character. I loved her from the get go. She was such a badass and also hella mysterious which I loved. The relationship that she formed with Kell sure was something and the slow way that developed was great. I also loved getting to see the Londons through her eyes because she was seeing them for the first time too and that perspective was kind of lost when it was from Kell’s POV because he was just so used to them. I loved how she came into her own over the course and the narrative and the way that she interacted with magic. She was the perfect partner to Kell throughout this and it was such a well developed duo.

I liked how the story was so contained and yet also felt high stake. And also those Twins. Damn, those twins. They were such great villains especially because they were almost like the unseen shark for a lot of it and then they came out of the woodwork being so delightfully dark and twisted. It was brutal towards the end and it was everything that I could have hoped for and more.

I picked this book up because I had a feeling that it would be right up my street and it was and I am happy that it was. It was just the perfect combination of everything that I wanted it to be and more. And look, I really don’t know how long I’m gonna hold out with not buying the rest of the books…

4/5 stars

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Bonus Book Review – Vicious

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These reviews are coming out of the order that I read them in, mainly because I cannot get my brain to form words when it comes to the other one, and also the more I think about it the harder it gets to convince myself that I don’t need the second book in the series.

This one is less hard to talk about because I know that the second one is on its way into my life at some point later this month.

The book I am talking about is Vicious.

I loved  this book. It was everything that I hoped it would be and more. Which is odd because I don’t really think I had any expectations when it came to this book because I had none. I bought it because the cover was pretty as fuck.

Then I read the blurb and was like ‘damn, it’s superhero-y’. But also it’s called the Villains series and so my interest was very much piqued.

The structure of this book gave me life. I love things that aren’t necessarily chronological. Don’t get me wrong, I love an A-B, but also give me a well written non-chronological timeline. This had that in abundance. I loved the contrasts that this created and how it weaved all together into the ending.

Which I am going to get to first (kind of, I guess structure was first). The ending. I am still low key kind of reeling from that ending. It was just so perfect. (Also, this applies to the actual ending pages of this book, but I’m mostly still reeling from the second to last chapter). You know throughout the whole narrative that you are dealing with two men who are very intelligent, like intelligent enough to know how to kill themselves and then bring themselves back to life (with the help of someone else), however there is a part of you that kind of doubts that Victor does have any idea what his plan actually is when it comes to Eli, especially when you throw into the equation Serena who basically has the whole town under her control and on Eli’s side. However, when that plan comes together, my God. I am obsessed. It was just so clever. Victor managed to hit him where it hurt and I lived for it.

Victor himself was great. The way that he almost became a self-fulfilling prophecy in his villain status because Eli had positioned himself as a ‘hero’. He was so complicated as a character because he wasn’t a nice guy. Like really, he wasn’t. The ego on him was insane and ultimately his downfall in the start. It was hard not to root for him and I like it so much when there is something so intrinsically not good about someone, but they are the better of two evils. Give me an anti-hero.

And give me a villain who thinks he a hero. Seriously. I didn’t even hate Eli, I found him fascinating. I found that God complex of his so fascinating. He was so complicated and I was just fascinated by the way that he worked and the fact that Victor could read him like a damn book. His ‘superhero’ origin story was just so deliciously twisted and I lived for it. His self righteousness and the position that he thought he deserved and had ‘earned’ and the hypocrisy on him was just so good I can’t quite put it into words how much I enjoyed. And his ending. My gosh his ending. The full circle moment of it all.

I loved Sydney and Serena. The way that they circled around each other. The way that they were somehow intrinsically entwined with one another throughout. They were crucial and they were the perfect representation of what happens depending on the people who surround you. I also loved the relationship that Sydney and Victor had and how it completely contrasted the Eli and Serena one.

Special shout out to Mitch for apparently owning a large part of my soul because when Serena started working her magic and I almost thought it was going to end badly I felt some kind of way. Which I should have seen coming because when I thought he died the first time I also felt some kind of way. Mitch was such a tragic backstory in the end and I also liked how loyal he was to Victor. I thought it would be to his detriment but it turned out not to be.

I could keep going on about all the layers to this books. Rewriting narratives, going more into the God complex, the notion of EOs in general, Schwab’s slight fascination with what could be in reach beyond death (I only thought about that as I was writing the City of Ghosts review when I remembered that Cassie kind of died and then came back seeing ghosts). The list goes on and on. I just have a lot of feelings about it all because I loved it so much.

I am so happy that I don’t have to wait too long for the next book because I am so fascinated by these characters and where the story is going.

I cannot recommend this book enough. It is the best kind of story, with the best kind of storytelling and it’s just so good. So good. I love.

4/5 stars

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2018 Reading Challenge, Book 34 – The Alchemist

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The irony of this damn book review taking me so damn long to write is that reading this book actually left me feeling kind of inspired.

This is one of those books that people always seem to put hype on and as such sometimes it is easy to be a little wary of it. What if it doesn’t live up to the hype and then you just have to awkwardly pretend that it does otherwise you risk ridiculing? Lucky for me this was not one of those books.

First of all the opening of this book is kind of genius and to be honest with you I am always going to be a fan of something that throws in a little bit of Greek mythology and then also kind of turn it on its head. I was in.

This book felt both big scale and then also just about people and the way that they interact with their life and the things that they want to achieve.

I tore through this book pretty quickly and it left me feeling so inspired afterwards. It was really a tale of working towards something that you want and was basically some kind of fable. Which to be honest at this moment in time I kind of needed.

I enjoyed the writing style. It was easy to read and had some great prose in it. Yes, sometimes it was a bit faux deep, but it felt in keeping with the book as a whole. And also some of the sentence themselves did kind of settle into some part of my psyche. I really needed to read some of these things it really put a fire under my ass.

It’s ultimately about getting to know yourself. It’s something that I think everyone should read at least once. It’s not life changing or anything (and sometimes people make it sound like it might be), but it does kind of make you feel some kind of way. It does remind of you of a few things and it does highlight that sometimes you just need to work really hard to get what you want and not be afraid of it.

Which is something I needed reminding of (which I know I have already implied, but there we go).

3/5 stars

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2018 Reading Challenge, Book 33 – When the Curtain Falls

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Back at it with the book reviews. For a book that I was supposed to review last week, but then YouTube took a hold of me and so I didn’t really create any new blog content. But I cannot put it off for any longer and so here we are.

This is the second book of Fletcher’s that I’ve read this year and as you may or may not have gathered from my previous reviews of her books I still don’t really know where I stand with her as an author.

Let’s just get straight to it.

Olive low key kind of drove me insane because she just came across really judgy a lot of the time. That was kind of all she had as a character. That and doubt. There wasn’t really much depth there. To either her or Oscar to be honest. And it was for that reason that it was really hard to be invested in their relationship at all. It felt a little like they just built up to them having sex and then the ‘relationship’ went tits up.

They had some cute moments don’t get me wrong, but then suddenly I was just supposed to care about them trying to make their relationship work and the fact that Oscar is kind of an idiot and was always going to kiss the one that was throwing herself him and not doing much else. I saw that one coming from a mile off and thought it would kind of maybe lead to something, but no. It did exactly what I thought it would and then didn’t do much else and ultimately I really did not care.

My main issue with this book was fact that the plot to it decided to kick in in the last fifty or so pages just caused me to care even less. I was not invested. It went from 0 to 100 real quick. And what the hell even happened to Doug? It’s like a light (or something) fell on him and then nothing ever really came of it? Also Doug was hardly in it, the impact felt was lacking. Because there was no real motive there…I’m somehow supposed to believe that olive got to know Walter quite well? They hardly spoke.

The other section of this story was better developed. I got an actual sense of who those characters were and I could actually get to grips with the stakes of their relationship. Hamish was a great villain because he was routed in something real and that was easy to get on board with. That whole arc actually felt fleshed out. The fact that  Fawn would feel like she was stuck and just needed a way out made sense and it made the ending of her story all the more tragic, even though you know it’s going to happen from the start. You felt her frustration and her anger at being trapped in this place and to be honest you can kind of see why she would view that as her only way out.

What didn’t make sense was how that affected the present. Them all haunting that theatre just kind of made no sense to me. It was never really explained at all. Especially every one outside of Fawn

Did they die there too or…?

I could rather sadly go on with all the things that I wasn’t a huge fan of but I’m gonna cycle around to some positives.

This was actually probably her best written book. I liked her writing style more than I have in the past. I think that’s because it was more of a ghost story than anything else and it felt less far fetched for some reason as a consequence, which I know sounds weird, but there you go.

I guess I should talk about the ending. I mean, it was an ending. It felt weirdly graphic and not at all in keeping with the rest of the book. And also I feel like the impact that would have psychologically on them was immense (can I just say I don’t expect her to address that, because that would make no sense, but that thought did cross my mind as I was reading it, my brain is an odd place to be what can I say). To be honest I felt like it could have kind of ended there. The epilogue didn’t really serve any kind of purpose other than to make it apparent that they stuck it out for the long haul. I mean I could have inferred that…?

I read this book quickly, like I said Fletcher’s writing style is easy to read and has developed over her books, but I couldn’t say I liked it all that much. I didn’t hate it. To be honest it might be my favourite of her’s thus far. But also I’ve come to accept that as much as I want to, I just cannot get on board with her novels. I kinda knew that earlier this year, but this just confirmed it to me. And I’m kinda sad about it. I wanted to love her, but she’s just not my kind of author.

3/5 stars

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The Playlist Book Tag

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Raise your hand if you’re surprised that I have another bookish related book tag going live today?

No hands raised? Yeah, that’s what I thought. This one combines two of my faves, books and music and I saw it here

One Direction: A book you would still love without one of the main characters

Honestly, I don’t think there are any…? I read a lot of first person narratives so I kind of only really know a lot of characters in accordance with what the narrator says/reveals about them and so I don’t really know if I would care enough independently of the narrator…

Busted: A book you didn’t expect to have a sequel

I was surprised to find out that Warm Bodies  had a sequel as that didn’t seem like something that needed to happen. I mean I’m gonna read it, but yeah, was surprised that it happened.

5 Seconds of Summer: A book that reminds you of summer

Currently the To All the Boys I Loved Before trilogy gives me those vibes, just because I devoured the books and the film made me feel all warm and fuzzy and those are the feelings of summer I feel.

Adele: A book you love or you hate

I’m currently still loving all of Adam Silvera’s work, I mean it hurts my heart, but I love them all.

Taylor Swift: A guilty pleasure book

I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, I don’t have them. I read what I read.

Green Day: A book that bored you to sleep for a whole month

Do I have to say it? Do we all know what my answer is going to be? Have I mentioned how much of a slog I’ve found it before (many times)? It’s Moby Dick (obviously)

Coldplay: A book that makes you sad no matter how many times you read it

Okay, I am not a huge fan of re-reading books and so I don’t do it (I get stressed about the fact that I am not reading something new). However, even thinking about They Both Die at The End makes me feel sad.

The Glee Cast: A book that you’d like to be made into a musical

Okay, so I’m like a musical person, in that they tend to be the only thing that I ever go and see. And so when R and I went to see Cursed Child we kind of just forgot that it wasn’t going to be a musical even though there were many opportunities for it become one. So I feel like I would want Harry Potter to be a musical in some capacity.

Ed Sheeran: A book that was more emotionally heavy than you expected it to be

History is All You Left Me and More Happy Than Not both took me on rides and felt like a sucker punch to the gut. So thanks for that Adam Silvera.

Miley Cyrus: A book that you still don’t understand

I kind of still don’t get The Girl of Ink Stars. It just felt a little anti-climatic or something. I didn’t quite understand the hype, I think that was the main thing with it.

And there we have another book related tag post down.

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Autumn Reading

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Technically this title is bullshit because technically autumn hasn’t started yet because we’re still in the summer, but my summer reading list took me to August and well that is now nearly done and so here we are throwing this word around entirely too early.

Okay, I did a lot of accidental book buying in July/earlier this month. Me trying to avoid falling into a reading slump meant new and unowned to me apparently and so that was what I did. I bought a lot of books. I am now on a book buying ban, which should be kinda easy because I have so many damn books on pre-order (and they all seem to come out in the same 2 weeks in October, so that will be interesting). I don’t really know how this is gonna work though because looking at the 2018 Reading Challenge shelf there are a lot of books on there that I don’t actually own yet and kind of will need to buy at some point and then also whenever I go on a book buying ban the urge to buy books becomes too much and I end up binge buying. I don’t know, for now this list will be comprised of books that I actually own.

1) The Shadow of the Wind – Yes, this was on my summer list, no I didn’t read it. Yes, it will actually happen this time.

2) What If It’s Us – Technically this is not in my possession yet because it is due to be published in October. It’s one of the pre-ordered books that will make itself known in October.

3) A Darker Shade of Magic – I’m pumped to read this book. I’m just really excited to finally read some V.E Schwab.

4) Vicious– This is not an official book on the list. However I seem to be loving the bonus books right now and I do actually own this because I impulse bought it earlier this year due to the cover (I do judge them by that what I can say, I’m a sucker for a real pretty book).

5) Vengeful – This is also a pre-order due to arrive into my life in September and also the sequel to Vicious, because we all know that I needed yet another series in my life.

6) Godsgrave – Knowing that the final book of this series is not due until next year has made the prospect of reading this more appealing because I’m no longer holding out for the finale

7) Fight Club – Again, was supposed to read this over the summer, but I didn’t. So now I will.

8) London Fields – I still think I am putting off reading this because it hits wayyyy too close to home as I literally spend 40 hours a week in this area and I’m worried it might change my perception of it.

9) The Little Friend – This book is a beast and it will also complete the Donna Tartt bibliography for me.

10) The Uncommon Type – Let’s see what Tom Hanks to offer as a writer.

11) City of Ghosts – And yet another VE Schwab book makes the list. It is also currently already in my life and to be honest I may have already read it by the time that this posts and as I write it I’m just waiting for it to be delivered.

So that’s an extra 8 books from my actual list on here and then some extra VE Schwab thrown in for good measure. Books that are also going to make an appearance in my life in October are: Bridge of Clay,, Markus Zusak Runaways: Volume 2, Rainbow Rowell, to make monsters out of girls, amanda lovelace and This Will Only Hurt a Little, Busy Philips. I am also on holiday for like 2 weeks, one of which I think will be spent on the coast, so in theory this is a good time to get some reading done.

I’m gonna address all the books that I have still on the official shelf at some point, there may need to be another cull. There may not be. I don’t know. There are some there that I do actually really wanna read (most of the autobiographical ones tbh) but there are others that honestly I can take or leave.

I just need to get to 70.

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