Book Review

Book Review: Artists, Poets, Lovers by Mira Tudor

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Summary

PAL is a fast-paced yet poignant character-driven novel riding waves of romance, drama, and wit in a manner reminiscent of David Nicholls’s books (One Day)—and set in the exciting world of several vibrant Romanian artists and musicians.

Henriette, an accomplished sculptor, seems to find more joy in her feminist-inspired work and her piano playing than in the people who care about her. Ela, a piano teacher turned book reviewer, hopes to discover the key to happiness and a more meaningful life through studying the workings of the mind and crafting poems about emotions she trusts will lead her to a better place. Joining them in beauty and blindness is Pamfil, a violinist who dabbles as a singer and lives mostly for the moment and his monthly parties. As they follow their passions, they find themselves on treacherous journeys to love and happiness, and are slow to figure out how to best tackle their predicaments. Fortunately, their lovers and friends are there to help . . . but then a newcomer complicates things. ( via goodreads )

My Rating: 3/5

Non-Spoiler Review

Firstly, I would like to thank Mira Tudor for contacting me with her book and allowing me to read in exchange for a review.

This does not affect my opinion of the novel in anyway.

Poets, Artists and Lovers is set in Romania and follows several creative characters. We follow the characters over a large period of time, often seen in flashbacks which brings depth to these fascinating characters. The characters were incredibly flawed and human which I love when reading because it makes the characters more compelling to read. There was a certain characters that I didn’t like or didn’t agree with their actions but it made the novel interesting. There is a large number of characters but I loved how they were all related or connected to each other in some form. It really pulled the story together.

It is a novel filled with philosophical and cultural ideas that is incredibly fast pace, pulling you in. Each character has its own distinct voice that makes it easy to follow and keep up with the pace of the novel. The conversations are realistic and intellectual which only adds for an entertaining read. However, sometimes, the conversations between the characters went over my head slightly as I was unsure of what they were talking about. Despite this, it was not a struggle to keep up with what was happening due to Mira Tudor’s writing. This book definitely reads like Literary fiction.

I would highly recommend this book to those who are highly creative and adults who can relate to the interesting prose.

Thanks for reading!

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Book Review: The Binding by Bridget Collins

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Book Description

Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.
Forever.

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.

But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten. – Goodreads

My Rating: 4/5

Book Review (Non-Spoiler) 

The Binding is a blend of historical fiction, literary fiction and fantasy. It’s the perfect concoction for an intriguing yet mystifying novel. I will admit that the beginning of the novel started off a bit slow but that could have been due to my headspace when I first started reading. However, the intrigue and the compulsion to want to know the truth is set up from the very first pace. There’s something off about Emmett’s character, the way his family are around him, that sparks curiosity in the reader. I had to find out what happened in the summer that he had become seriously ill.

Bridget Collins writing is excellent. Her writing is one of the main reasons why I was so hooked when reading this novel. She delivered mystery and her words were completely captivating. The writing was completely immersive, pulling you into the book and losing yourself in it. It really mirrors the binding process and reading in the novel. You completely lose yourself in it.

The main core of this story was it’s forbidden love story between two characters. I’m not going to say who because I think it’s best to go into the novel without knowing too much information. I went in not knowing much and it took me completely by surprise, that’s why I adored the story so much. I will say that the love story completely had my heart and I was rooting for them the whole way through!

The characters are well written and deeply flawed which I love reading in books because no one is perfect. Also, reading flawed characters makes reading that far more exciting and interesting.

The world is very complex but easy to follow. I really enjoyed this book. However, there are some TRIGGER WARNINGS for this book; rape, sexual assault, abusive parents. So, please bare that in mind when reading this novel.

Thanks for reading!

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2018 Wrap Up: My favourite reads.

Hey everyone!

I’m back with my final update of 2018. It feels so surreal that 2018 has come to end already. Personally, so much has happened in 2018, that I still can’t fully comprehend on what has happened altogether. However, I have come out on top and feel much more confident in myself and my writing than I have ever been. Mostly, this is down to being a part of the book community and constantly being surrounded by bookish thoughts and ideas.

One of my best decisions of 2018 was to create this blog and I am so grateful for each one of you who read book reviews and other thoughts. I have managed to read a variety of novels and comics this year. My reading goal of 75 books read have been accomplished! I have currently 126/75 books read. I am hoping to finish two books that I am currently reading today so I can round the final total up to 128 books read in 2018.

I am currently reading Batgirl Volume 4: Wanted and Nightfilm by Marisha Pessl.

I’ve reached 500 followers on Twitter, almost 200 on Instagram and almost 150 on here. I’ll post my links down below. I couldn’t be happier and I am so grateful for everyone who has helped me get here. Thank you!

My Favourite 2018 reads:

This is not in chronological order. Also, I have probably forgotten a few books because I am useless. I tried to have a variety of books in this list and didn’t mention a full series of books because it wouldn’t be fair. I also haven’t read many new 2018 releases so not many will be on this list.

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

I feel like I have been waiting for this book for so long and it didn’t disappoint. It contained all of my favourite characters and explored my favourite relationships. It made me go on a dangerous adventure, broke my heart and made me feel all of the emotions. Cassandra Clare owns my heart.

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas

This year I read the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. It has quickly become one of my favourite series of all times. Any of the books in this series could have easily been on this list but I chose Kingdom of Ash. This was released this year and was the final book in the series. It was exceptional and had an incredible plot throughout. The ending was fantastic and thankfully, satisfying.

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Leah on the Offbeat is the sequel to Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. It’s a YA contemporary following Leah as she comes to terms with her bisexuality and feelings for one of her best friends. I adored this book! It gave me all the feels and it was fantastic to see the return of our beloved characters; Simon, Bram from the first book.

The Silver Queen by Josie Jaffrey

I adored this book and was another five star rating for me. Honestly, every book I’ve read by Josie has been five stars. The Silver Queen is the second novel in the Sovereign series. This book is filled with interesting characters, shocking twists and thrilling world. I can not wait to read the third book in this series!

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls is a heart breaking story centred around a young boy who’s mother is dying with cancer. It’s a story about grief, love and family. I cried so much reading this story but I loved every second of it. The writing and plot was beautiful.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

This was one of my absolute favourites of the year! I loved Nic Stone’s writing style and how she changed the format of traditional prose to fit in with what was happening in the story. Again, this was another heart breaking read that is extremely relevant to our society today. I can’t express how much I enjoyed this book.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

Another Sarah J Maas book on this list. I read A Court of Thorns and Roses series before I began the Throne of Glass series. However, all of the books in this series is also incredible but I enjoyed A Court of Mist and Fury the most. It held so much character development, plot development and twists that I found myself unable to put the book down. This book really immersed me into the world. It was amazing!

The Clockwork Crow by Catherine Fisher

This is a children’s fantasy that I read recently and I fell in love with it. It was a super quick read that allowed me to completely jump into Victorian Wales and get lost in Seren’s adventure.

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Empire of Sand was a book that pleasantly surprised me. I knew I would enjoy it but I didn’t think I would love it as much as I did. It’s a captivating Mughal Indian inspired fantasy that follows a young girl, Mehr. This novel was filled with magic, adventure and an unexpected romance. I cannot wait to see what the sequel has in store.

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend

Nevermoor is a children’s fantasy that follows Morrigan Crow. From the first page I was hooked into the magical world. I fell in love with the characters and the world. Amazing! It is definitely worth the hype.

These are my favourite reads of 2018, what were yours?

Thank you for reading!

I will be posting my goals for 2019 on Wednesday.

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25inFive Readathon – Did I do it?

As you all know I recently took part in the 25inFive readathon on Instagram. A readathon which took place between 13th- 17th December. The main goal of the readathon is to read for a total of 25 hours over the space of five days.

If you haven’t seen this post check out the TBR I had given myself here: My First Readathon TBR! You can also find the links to the 25inFive pages on that post.

25inFive was my first readathon and I thought it would be a fairly simple challenge to get myself started into the world of readathons. However, I was wrong, very wrong. I found it extremely hard to read for the five hours a day because I was feeling quite tired and was doing my assessments for university as well. There didn’t seem to be enough time in the day! I kept forgetting to set my timer and keep track of how much time I spent reading. So, it didn’t go as well as planned.

However, I did get a lot of reading done!

I finished Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare. This was my most anticipated read of 2018 and it did not disappoint! It was filled with everything I love about the Shadowhunter books and was a wonderful end to The Dark Artifices trilogy. I don’t want to say anything else as this a third book in the series and I don’t want to give spoilers. I rated it 5/5 stars.

The next book I read from my TBR was The Clockwork Crow by Catherine Fisher. This is a children’s fantasy novel set in Wales. Young Seren Rees is an orphan, waiting at Victorian Station, when she is left with a mysterious parcel by frightened stranger.

This was a truly enchanting Christmas read that I rated 5/5 stars. It was so quick to read and highly mysterious. I highly recommend it!

Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell was also on my TBR. This was a short read filled with two festive stories and cute illustrations. I love Rainbow Rowell’s writing and these stories made me realise how much I need to read the rest of her books. This was an easy 5/5 stars as well.

Sticking to my TBR, the next book I read was Gaslight by Eloise Williams. This was a dark and thrilling novel set in 1899, Cardiff. It followed a young girl, Nansi, as she tries to find her mother after they were separated in accident that Nansi can’t remember. This was another enjoyable read which I rated 4/5 stars.

I then read Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend. Nevermoor is a middle grade fantasy that has gained a lot of following and hype recently. It follows Morrigan Crow, a cursed child, who was destined to die on her 11th birthday until she is swept away to the magical land of Nevermoor by Jupiter North.

I loved this book. I wanted to be part of the world and the magic. I read it so quickly because it’s hard not to get lost in it. It’s amazing! I highly recommend this novel as it definitely worth the hype. I rated it 5/5 stars.

The last book I read over the readathon was A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Originally, this was not on my TBR for the readathon but I fancied a Christmas read and picked this up.

Despite reading quite a lot of books over the course of the readathon, I only read for twenty hours. However, considering everything else I had going on, I am very pleased with that result for my first readathon.

Thanks for reading!

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December TBR- Why I’m not making one.

Usually, I write and make myself a list for every month. I find that I get so many books read that way if I stick to a plan. However, it’s officially December and there’s a lot of books I would love to read before the end of the year that it’s almost impossible to get around to them all. Also, December is going to be a big month for me. It’s Christmas, I have assignments to write and I’m going away for the weekend as well.

So, it’s for these reasons why I won’t be setting myself a TBR for this month. I don’t want the pressure of setting myself a TBR and trying to read the books around such a busy period. I’ve reached my Goodreads goal already and currently way past it. I think this month I’m just going to allow myself to enjoy and choose whatever books that I want to read. I’m actually really excited to do this and see how much reading I get done.

The only book I have as a priority is Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare. I feel like I’ve been waiting for this book for a lifetime!

Thanks for reading!

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My Week in Reading

I’m back with another weekly update on what I’ve been reading this week. Firstly, I finished the audiobook Sadie by Courtney Summers. This was such a thrilling fact paced story that had me constantly on the edge of my seat. The full cast narrative brought the story to life that I felt I was listening to a true crime podcast, which some of the novel is, rather than listening to a novel. It’s was incredible and the ending left me speechless. I rated it 4/5 stars.

The next book that I finished was Tower of Dawn, the last but one novel in the amazing Throne of Glass series. I can’t say too much about this novel due to spoilers but I really enjoyed it. I loved the introduction of the setting and new characters, the story that slowly unravelled throughout the novel. It set up a very interesting beginning for the final book in the series, Kingdom of Ash. I rated Tower of Dawn 4/5 stars.

Lastly, for the majority of this week I’ve been reading Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas. Ah, I feel so emotions! I’ve completely binged read this series and to finally reach the climax of this series is bittersweet. I’ve loved this book so far, it’s filled with drama, tension, action, excellent plot, romance and everything I love about this world. There’s multiple perspectives so I get to read more of my favourite characters once more but it’s not confusing and doesn’t over complicate the story. I’m currently 82% the way through the story and determined to finish it this afternoon. I’m definitely predicting a 5 star read! Once I’ve read the whole series I’ll be posting a spoiler free series review of sorts on here.

What have you been reading this week?

Thanks for reading!

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November Wrap Up – 16 Books Read!

Another month gone, another monthly wrap up to post.

November was a good reading month for me. I read a total of sixteen books and I’m not sure how that happened. I won’t be posting little reviews attached to the books because I write them in my weekly reading update.

The books I read this month were The Silver Queen by Josie Jaffrey, Fawkes by Nadine Brandes, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Empire of Storms and Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas. These were all the physical books I read this month. I think my favourites out of these were The Silver Queen and Empire of Storms. However, most of these were five star ratings for me.

I listened to a few audiobooks this month, mostly books that I had to read for class. So, I listened to Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, Gaudy Night by Dorothy L.Sayers, The Night’s Watch by Sarah Waters and Sadie by Courtney Summers. My favourite audiobook was definitely Sadie. I loved the story along with the full cast narration of the audiobook. It was fantastic!

On my kindle I read Ms.Marvel Volume 2, Outside by Sarah Ann Juckes, The Walking Dead Volume 1, Flight of Broken Wings by Nupur Chowdhury, Giant Days, Volume 3, Through Blood, Through Fire by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman and Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. My favourites of these were definitely Outside and Empire of Sand.

Overall, I had a fantastic reading month once again. I’m so pleased with how I’m reading. I also read so many new favourites this month!

What was your favourite read this month?

Thanks for reading!

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My Week in Reading

Since last Tuesday and my last update; I haven’t done that much reading. I’ve been in a moderate slump and worrying over my upcoming assessments. However, I have read one book this week and finished it. I have also nearly finished one book and another audiobook.

The first book I read this week was The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. The writing style was so elegant yet brutal. It really brought this dystopian world to life and all the people that were living in it. I rated this book 4/5 stars because I really loved the premise and what the book discussed in regards to our society. The book was written in the 1980s and it’s amazing that it’s still relevant today.

After this, I continued reading the Throne of Glass series. I am currently reading Empire of Storms. This book is filled with so much tension, drama, plot twists, magic and romance. It’s unbelievable! I’m hooked in this world and have fell in love with these characters. I only have a few pages left to read and then I have finished this book. I’m predicting another five star read! I’m hoping to finish this entire series by early December.

I’m currently listening to Sadie by Courtney Summers. This honestly one of my favourite audiobooks. Half of the story is told through Sadie’s perspective and the other half through a podcast. It’s a full cast audiobook with sound effects and different voices that make it seem so real. The podcast chapters are sensational and sound like a real podcast. The story is incredibly gripping. I have no idea how it is going to end. Sadie is mystery thriller that follows Sadie as she tracks down her younger sister’s killer. It’s a highly popular book that has been talked about on all social media. However, this book does have some dark content and before reading you should definitely look into it first. The trigger warnings for this book is child abuse, pedophilia and violence.

This is what I’ve been reading this week. I’m hoping to finish both Sadie and Empire of Storms today.

What have you been reading?

Thanks for reading!

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My Week in Reading

I’m here with another weekly update on my reading progress. This week has been a hard week and I was also away on the weekend. I had a lot of work to do for class and also, I’m very ill right now. So, I haven’t been reading the amounts I usually read. In fact, I only have three books to talk about today. One I finished this morning and the other I’m currently reading.

Firstly, I read Through Blood, Through Fire by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman. This is the eight novella in the Ghosts of the Shadowmarket series. I’m not sure if it is the last one in the series or if there’s two more.

Through Blood, Through Fire follows Jem and Tessa as they find the Lost Herondale before someone else can. I really loved this novella. I’m always up for reading about Tessa and Jem. Also, the embedded narrative of Rosemary was heartbreaking. I would give anything to read a book on her sorry. I rated this novella 4/5 stars.

Next, I spent the week reading The Night Watch by Sarah Waters. I read 60% of this book physically but found I was losing concentration so then switched to the audiobook. I had to read this book for class. The Night Watch begins in 1947 and ends in 1941, following four characters; Kay, Helen, Viv and Duncan. I did enjoy this book but I didn’t love it. So, I rated it 3/5 stars.

The book that I am currently reading is Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. I placed a request for this book on NetGalley months ago and thankfully, my request was approved on the day of its release; 15th November. It was also archived on that date too. I’m incredibly grateful to have been given this opportunity to read this book.

Empire of Sand is a Mughal-India inspired fantasy where Mehr, a nobleman’s daughter is forced to marry and obey the Emperor. She must use her powers to try and use the Gods to work against his agenda. I’m currently 66% through this novel and absolutely loving it! It’s taken me so long to read due to me being ill. I love the world, the magic, the characters. It’s such an exciting read! I will be posting my full review this week on Thursday. So, keep an eye out for that!

What have you read this week?

Thanks for reading!

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My Week In Reading!

Here’s my latest update on how my reading has been this week. This post is slightly later than usual but I completely forgot to post yesterday as I went to see Wicked (again).

I started off my week by reading listening to the audiobook; Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers. This is a detective fiction novel written in 1935. It’s set in a fictional Oxford college for women where anonymous threats are being made to those who attend there. I really enjoyed this book much more than I expected. I enjoyed the tone and the characters. It was also very interesting to read about women’s education and the variety of opinions about it. Gaudy Night was a wonderful mystery that really talks about the role of women and the pressures women face. Despite it being published in 1935, many of the issues discussed within the novel are very relevant today. I rated this book 4/5.

The next book I started late last Tuesday and finished the next day was Outside by Sarah Ann Juckes. I was able to read this thanks to the publishers and NetGalley. Outside follows a young girl Ele on her journey to the outside and what it entails. This was a wonderfully dark yet captivating novel. I rated 5/5 stars and will be posting a full review closer to the publication date, January 3rd 2019.

The next book I read was The Walking Dead, Volume One. I started binge watching the tv show two years ago around Christmas and absolutely fell in love with it. However, I’m way behind on the last two series that’s aired. I struggle to stay motivated to watch TV these days. It’s weird as I used to watch so much TV. Anyway, I’ve always wanted to read the comics and seen they were available on Kindle Unlimited so I bought the first one. I loved it! It’s slightly different to the show which made it more interesting to read. The artwork was incredible. I can’t wait to read the next one. I rated this 5/5 stars.

I also read A Flight of Broken Wings by Nupur Chowdhury. This is a fantasy read set in Vandaram where there is an ongoing war between humans and Aeriels. This book had so many interesting elements; it was fantasy, science fiction, political and thriller. It made for such a wonderful read. I rated 4/5 stars.

Finally, the last book I read this week was Giant Days: Volume Three. I read this last night in one sitting after coming home from seeing Wicked. I love the Giant Days comics, they’re fun and easy to read. However, this has been my least favourite so far in the series but I still enjoyed elements of it. I rated it 3/5.

How was your read this past week? Did you have a favourite book?

Thanks for reading!

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