Dear Martin by Nic Stone Book Review

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You need to read this book.

Everyone needs to read this book.

The cover to this book is exceptional. I love the colouring and everything about it. It’s so beautifully designed. It’s one of my favourite covers.

I read this book at the beginning of the month before I got into my reading slump. It wasn’t really a slump but I found myself taking so long to read books that I was actually enjoying. I just had no desire to read.

So, I was fully invested in this book. Honestly, it had me from the first page. It’s such an incredible, powerful and moving novel. Dear Martin is not just a story told through letters but is told through many narrative structures that simply make a great addition to the story telling. The letters to Martin Luther King that the protagonist, Justyce McAllister, allows us to truly see the thoughts and questions that he is raising about society unfiltered. It’s during these pages where the book becomes very thought provoking. Even though as a white woman, I can not relate to the racism Justyce faces, I found myself asking questions as well. Nic Stone did a wonderful job of really capturing the struggles that Justyce McAllister throughout the novel.

I fell in love with most of the characters in the book. It was hard not to. Stone created such interesting and different characters that really made it intriguing to read their conversations. The group of characters are often in discussion about race, gangs and other tough issues. Nic Stone did an excellent job of approaching these issues and offering a variety of perspectives from her diverse characters. These discussions are truthful, intense and uncensored, making readers truly see the faults within society. During these discussions, Stone did an excellent job of writing them. In life, when we have serious discussions or debates its a flurry of people speaking their opinions very fast. Stone conveys this by turning the usual narrative form into a script like form to truly demonstrate the fast paced conversation happening.

The way Nic Stone’s writing style changed dependent on the situation and what was happening within the novel. I loved it. It was slightly experimental but executed perfectly. It made the read, for me, so much more interesting. I love it when writers explore and play with the boundaries of writing. It keeps it original and fresh.

However, this story was not just intense read on race through discussions and letters. It was a story about friendships, relationships and learning about ourselves. Through the friendship between Justyce and Manny, Stone balanced the intensity with humour.

This book is not only filled with these powerful letters but it tells a beautiful yet heart breaking story of self-discovery, learning, friendship and race in America.

This has become one of my favourite books of all time. The story had my heart from the first page. It was a  heart-breaking yet gripping read. Nic Stone’s writing is absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to read her latest novel Odd One Out which, I believe, is to be released in October.

Please read this book. Its a short novel and is so worth reading. I highly recommend this read.

Thanks for reading!

Twitter @LaurenKnapper

Instagram -LozzysThings

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A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas Book Review

So, this review has been a long time coming! I read this last month but I’ve been going through a lot the last few weeks that it’s left me unmotivated and with no desire to read. However, I’m back to post my reviews for you all.

A Court of Frost and Starlight is the latest book in A Court of Thorns and Roses series. It’s a small novella that is a starting point for the next part of the series that will see other characters as the centre of the story.

This has to be my favourite cover in the series. I loved the colouring, the pattern and the illustration on the front. It’s so beautiful!

I loved this book. It was so refreshing to read these characters in an environment that wasn’t so intense to read. It was always a rare moment in the series where we seen all the characters together and enjoying themselves without the threat of war looming over their heads.

That’s why I loved this book. I’ve grown so attached to these characters and this world and it was really nice to see all of the characters, no matter how troubled, come together to celebrate the Winter Festival.

This take place after A Court of Wings and Ruin and deals with the aftermath of the war. I know I said it once and I’ll say it again but I really enjoyed it. Nothing much happened in terms of plot but I really enjoying reading the dynamic between the different characters and their relationships. So, to read it was wonderful. Also, it brought a conclusion to Feyre’s story that lacked somewhat in the previous story.

It was interesting to see how the characters were dealing with the trauma of what they had encountered. I liked how Sarah J Maas had shown how each character was different now, something had altered in them since the war and what they had lost. It was incredibly realistic! It wasn’t glossed over.

A Court of Frost and Starlight is a book that shows characters trying to make the best of their lives now that they are free to do so. It was completely enhancing.

This was the perfect winter read and I wish I could have restrained myself a little bit longer to wait to read it. However, I have no self control and read it straight away. Oops!

I don’t know what I’ll do until the next book is released. It seems so far away. I guess I’ll just have to read the Throne of Glass series.

Thanks for reading!

Twitter – @LaurenKnapper

Instagram- LozzysThings

September TBR

Another month, another chance to get through my massive TBR pile. It’s ridiculous at this point!

I really struggled picking books for my TBR this month. There’s just so many I want to read but I know I won’t have much time to do so. I start back at University and my main priority will be the reading list for my classes and my work.

One of the main books I want to read this month is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. After being a huge fan of her A Court of Thorns and Roses series I’m eager to read more of her books. I also want to read this before the last book Kingdom of Ash is released in October. I don’t own of the series yet but I’m hoping, possibly, to get them throughout this month. If not, next month. I will be reading Throne of Glass and The Assassin’s Blade this month as I already own them.

Another book I will be reading is A Bargain of Silver by Josie Jaffrey. The first book in her Solis Invicti series. I’m a huge fan of the sequel series, The Gilded King, so I can’t wait to start the original series.

I also want to read Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken. This is the second book in The Darkest Minds series and I’ve been dying to read it after the heart breaking ending in the first book.

Other books I want to read is Crazy Rich Asians before the film is released. I have only got the first two books in the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. Hopefully, I will be able to get the last book this month so I can read the series all in one go. Dear Martin by Nic Stone and Vicious by Victoria Schwab are the last two books on my TBR.

I can’t wait to get reading. What’s on your list?

Thanks for reading!

Twitter – @LaurenKnapper

Instagram-LozzysThings

August Wrap Up- I read 16 books!

Okay, so I read 16 books this month! I don’t even know how that happened especially how little I read last month.

I’m so happy! I managed to finish three different series, read a few new books and a comic book.

I started the month reading a book I had started in July, A Court of Mist and Fury. I then finished the series by reading A Court of Wings and Ruin and A Court of Frost and Starlight. I started the The Darkest Minds series and read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children trilogy. I read The Other Side and The Gilded King. Also, I read the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy by Jenny Han. Wow, that’s a long list and this is just the paperbacks!

Please don’t ask me to pick a favourite read of the month because I can’t choose. All of these books were incredible and I’m so glad that I’ve finally read them.

I reread A Long Conversation by Cassandra Clare. I also read the newest instalment in her Ghosts of the Shadow Market series; A Deeper Love. These are both short stories that take place with my favourite characters in the Shadow world. I also read An Authentic Experience by Kelly Wittmann. These were all read on e-books, a format I tend to struggle with but I found myself flying through these stories.

I also read one comic; Miss Marvel Volume One. It’s one that I’ve been dying to read so I’m so glad I finally read it.

August has been a great month for reading. I wanted to get through my TBR as much as I could considering in the middle of September I go back to University and will have a reading list.

I’m so proud of how much I’ve read this much. Honestly, I’m incredibly overwhelmed by it. This is definitely a new personal best! I have also read 67/75 books on my reading challenge this year.

I’m so happy!

Let’s hope I can continue this next month!

What about you? How did you do this month? What was the favourite book you’ve read?

Thanks for reading!

Twitter- @laurenknapper

Instagram- LozzysThings

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – Book Series Review

Okay, if you haven’t heard of this series recently then where have you been? These books and, most recent, the Netflix movie has been all over for the internet. I even read online that in some countries it’s hard to get the books at all because they’re selling out so quickly!

I read these books because of all the hype and anticipation for the movie that was released on August 17th. I was excited to read them. They seemed like fun young adult contemporary books. I picked up the first book, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, on the 13th August…I finished it the next day!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was such a wonderful charming first instalment of the series. Lara Jean is such a quirky and relatable character. I fell in love with her instantly. All of her awkward moments and thoughts made me laugh and smile. Honestly, I fell in love with all of the characters. Lara Jean and her sisters had such a loving relationship with their father. Also, Peter Kavinsky had my heart instantly. Han writes such engaging relatable characters it’s hard not to root for them and want to be a part of their journey.

This book is about crushes and first loves and the impact they have on us. It’s about not being scared to falling in love. It’s about sisterhood. It’s about the defining line between a crush and being in love with someone.

The ending left me desperate for the second one!

P.S I Still Love You is the second novel in the series. Once again, I picked it up on the 15th August and finished it the same day! I was completely hooked on these characters. These books just makes you feel so many emotions. It’s cute. It’s fun.

However, this book had me not only smiling but had me furious at certain characters. It made me realise how easy people can make mistakes and how foolish some actions can be when you think you’re doing the right thing. I’m not going to mention the character because no spoilers just in case you haven’t read this one yet.

P.S I Still Love You had all the elements and new ones that made the first one so great. I love how flawed, how human, Han makes her characters because it makes it so much more interesting to read. Her characters are so real and full of depth. I love them!

Always and Forever, Lara Jean is the third and final instalment in the series. This one had my heart aching. It was so heart breaking to see characters that we have grown to love make decisions about their future and if they could include each other in that future. (I’m being very vague because I don’t want to spoil anyone). Also, it was so sad to see this series come to an end.

Once again, I started reading this book on the 16th August and finished it the next day. This one took me a bit longer than the rest because I was so nervous about the ending. I wanted all of them to be happy! I have never been so invested in characters.

This third and final book had me in tears. I cried during the ending because -minor spoiler??- I was relieved!

What I loved most about Always and Forever, Lara Jean was how far Lara Jean had grown since the first book. She’s so confident and sure of herself that I felt so proud of her. Also, Jenny Han managed to write so accurately about what the changes that young people face in their lives by going to college. She conveys so clearly how scary the transition can be to start somewhere new.

Overall, this series is just wonderful. It’s sensational! It’s so much fun. It’s so cute and endearing that I could read over and over again.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie was amazing too. The casting, I found, were brilliant choices and it made me feel the same way the books did. However, if you watched the film and not read the books I highly recommend that you do. The books are filled with so many more cute moments that you just have to read!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is an excellent series. I enjoyed every second of it. I fell in love with the characters so quickly. It made me laugh and cry. It’s one of my favourite series of all time.

Please go and read it if you’re looking for some light-hearted cute contemporary.

Thanks for reading!

Twitter- @laurenknapper

Instagram- LozzysThings

The Other Side by Justin Jay Gladstone Book Review

The Other Side was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was so kindly sent the limited edition of this book which included The Other Side whilst also implanting the companion book, Equilibrium and Chaos.  I loved having this edition of the book because it brought the story together with the rules of the other side and illustrations in chronological order with the book. The images were incredibly useful in reinforcing the rules and ideas of the novel. They suited well with the tone of the novel.

What initially drew me into this book was the concept. The possibility of a parallel universe to our own where everything about ourselves were opposite. I loved the idea. It’s original and a truly fascinating idea that was well thought out and considered throughout the novel. The structure of the other side with it’s rules and how the characters are different in the Other demonstrate how much hard work Gladstone put into the novel and into creating these ideas. I loved how the other side worked and constantly found myself wondering what my Other would be like. It was so intriguing!

Another element of this novel was how it seemed to embody a lot of genres but make it work. There’s subtle hints of a suspenseful thriller whilst also being an engaging science fiction story. The book also addressed a lot of important themes; manipulation, family, friends, mental illness, power, exploitation, addiction and rape.

However, the novel wasn’t too heavy with these topics. Instead, there was humour in the right places to help ease the tension in the novel and not make it such a hard read.  There was a perfect balance between the two.

I found myself quickly getting attached to the characters and their lives. Their relationships were so different from each other that it always made it interesting to seem them interact. Also, I’ve never felt so much sympathy for a main character before. Leon had been wronged and manipulated by the people he trusted and I found myself wanting to put everything right for him. Gladstone definitely creates a wonderful set of characters that you can help but root for in all the turmoil that they are facing.

I am so glad I read this novel. I loved the fast pacing, the concept, the characters. Well, everything about it. I read the majority of it in one setting because it just kept sparking my curiosity about this other world. It’s so intriguing and thought provoking in a way I wasn’t expecting as well. The novel also has QR codes which you can use to interact with the story on your phone!

I can’t wait to see how this story unfolds and what happens to the characters of both worlds.

Go check out this book!

Follow: @theothersideeb on Twitter for more!

Thanks for reading!

Twitter -@LaurenKnapper

Instagram- @LozzysThings

Every Exquisite Thing and Learn About Loss Reviews

Every Exquisite Thing and Learn About Loss are two short stories from the Ghosts of the Shadow Market series by Cassandra Clare. These are based in the world of the Shadowhunter Chronicles and follow Jem Carstairs through his visits to the market. I have been following these stories and eagerly awaiting their releases. However, these two magically slipped away from me and I had no idea that they had already been released. Disappointed and annoyed with myself, I quickly purchased and downloaded the books. I read them in one sitting.

I’ve decided to combine these two reviews as they deal with much smaller stories. Also, I have so many reviews to post. I am so behind but I don’t want to publish them all immediately because I’m sure that I will fall behind on my reading eventually.

Every Exquisite Thing by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson

I fell in love with this book immediately.

Anna Lightwood is such a wonderful beautiful protagonist. She’s strong, independent and knows who she is, even in a time where she would be shunned for it. I loved reading and exploring this character as she will be one of the characters in the up and coming shadowhunter series, The Last Hours.

This book sees Anna’s first love and heart break. It also contains LGBTQIA representation which is so important. Clare and Johnson portray the difficulties of being part of the LGBTQIA community during this unaccepting time. They also demonstrate the struggles and pressures women face to behave a certain way and how society had expectations for them to live their lives.

This is definitely my favourite story from the Ghosts of the Shadow Market series. This an exceptional short story about love, first love, family, and most importantly, acceptance. Throughout there subtle hints about The Dark Artifices series which only made me that more impatient for Queen of Air and Darkness.

I definitely recommend this story. Clare and Johnson have come together to create a magnificent story about the power of love and much more powerful it cane be with acceptance.

Learn About Loss by Cassandra Clare and Kelly Link

Learn About Loss is focused solely on Jem Carstairs and his past relationships, ones that we adored whilst reading The Infernal Devices.

One of my favourite things about this story was the setting. I loved how the Market was placed in a Carnival. It made the story have this darker edge that the others hadn’t necessarily had before.

Also, this book the appearance of Emilia, an Iron Sister in training. Emilia was an endearing character who was lively and empowering. I also enjoyed the way Emilia and Jem seemed to bounce off each other, it made for an interesting and fun dynamic between the two of them.

This story didn’t have much connection to other books except a minor one to The Dark Artifices. However, it was a lovely and emotional read. I won’t say too much because I don’t want to give out any spoilers if you haven’t read this yet. Just know that if you loved the relationship that Will and Jem shared then by the end of this book, Clare and Link will have you crying happy tears.

I’ve been loving these stories from this collection. It’s been satisfying my need for the Shadowhunter world whilst I wait for Queen of Air and Darkness. They’re fantastic little reads that will have you feeling so many emotions in a such a short time.

Have you read these books? Or, any of the Shadowhunter books?

Thanks for reading!

Twitter -@LaurenKnapper

Instagram- LozzysThings

Time Crawlers by Varun Sayal Book Review

I was given this book in exchange of an honest review by the author.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a huge science fiction fan. However, lately, I am slowly starting to fall in love with the genre. So, when the author kindly offered me this book I couldn’t refuse.

Time Crawlers is several scientific short stories about different universes and worlds.

I love the idea of multi-universes and ones parallel to our one. Honestly, it’s such an exciting and thrilling idea. It’s one that I adore.

Sayal’s writing managed to create these wonderful stories in different worlds that I couldn’t stop reading. I read the entire book in one go and I couldn’t tell you what my favourite story is. I loved them all for many different reasons.

Each story deals with a different world and possibility. They also contain many different concepts such as suicide, power, alien invasions and mythology. Sayal manages to put a wonderful scientific twist on Indian and other mythology which I have never seen before. It made the read much more original and interesting to read.

Not only did Sayal experiment with these ideas but he wrote many of the stories in the form of a script. I love it when I am reading a book and the writer changes the structure and bends the rules slightly. These stories were incredibly fast paced which mirrored what was happening in the story itself. This method created a wonderful tension.

From the beginning, Sayal’s captivating writing gripped me into the world and characters. Each story held so much wonderful potential that I wanted them to be expanded on and explored in more depth.

Time Crawlers is a gripping and fun read. Varun Sayal’s writing is incredibly imaginative and original. I enjoyed every second of reading this short compilation of out of this world stories. If you are a fan of science fiction you should definitely pick up this book! If you have a love/hate relationship with science fiction pick up this book. It’s a compelling read.

Thanks for reading!
Lauren

Twitter – @LaurenKnapper

Instagram @LozzysThings

Time to Write Tuesdays

Hi, guys!

So, for a while now I’ve been wanting to add more variety of posts to my blog. I love doing my book reviews but I also want to make it more personal to me. It would also be a nice change to write other posts and see what happens.

At the end of last month, I was sat in my garden, with my pen in my hand and notebook open, brainstorming ideas. I realised that I need to be much more organised with my blog and have my posts ready to publish days before I posted them. I came up with a few ideas that I am going to try out this month and one of these idea’s is Time To Write Tuesdays. 

In September, I will be starting my Masters degree in Creative Writing and I’m disappointed with the lack of writing that I’ve done over the summer. I wanted to do something to encourage myself to start writing again, to finish ideas that I started years ago. I’m going to use a Tuesday and these series of posts to encourage myself and anyone else who has found themselves in a writing slump.

I am going to spend the majority of today writing and exploring ideas for a fantasy series that has been stuck in my head for so long now. I don’t remember my life before it. I’m going to set myself a target to do a minimum of four hours of writing a week and at least writing, 2,000 words. I’m terrified already.

Not only will I use this post to update you on all on my progress but I will also take the opportunity to posts tips and comments about writing. I’ll talk about my favourite writers and why I like them.

It’s something different that I am going to add to the blog and I’m excited to do so.

Do you have any writing goals?

Thanks for reading!

Twitter – @LaurenKnapper

Instagram- LozzysThings

August TBR

It’s officially August. My birthday month and my last month to get through a load of my TBR before I start my Master’s degree in September.

I’m starting this month reading A Court of Mist and Fury. I started it a few days ago and I’m absolutely obsessed with it. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’ve been working the last few days and haven’t had a chance to read it. I’m hoping to finish it today because I can’t stop reading it. I love it and could probably spend the rest of this post talking about it but I won’t. I promise.

This month I’m also hoping to read A Court of Wings and Ruin and A Court of Frost and Starlight. These are the third and fourth books in Sarah J Maas’ Faerie Court series.

For a few years, I’ve had a bad habit of starting a series and then never getting around to finishing the series. So as of now, I’m going to start a series and finish it. I don’t know it just seems like I’m reading halfway through the story and I’m leaving it. It feels like a waste.

Another trilogy I’m hoping to read this month is Jenny Han’s series To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. I want to read these before the film is released on Netflix. As you can see I haven’t got books two and three yet but I’ll be getting them very soon. I’m so excited to read these books.

The last two books I want to read is Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman. I’ve heard very good things about this book. It’s recently been made into a film too and obviously, I want to read the book before I watch the film.

The last book on my TBR for this month is The Other Side by Justin Jay Gladstone. I was kindly sent the limited edition of this new novel by the author and I can’t wait to read. It’s a book about parallel universes and I can’t wait to see that explored.

I’m hoping to read a lot more books than last month. I hope so anyway.

What’s on your TBR this month?

Here’s to a good month of reading!

Thanks for reading.

Twitter- @laurenknapper

Instagram- LozzysThings