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

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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

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas Book Review

This book grabbed my heart, held it for awhile, then threw it and stomped on it. Several times.

A Court of Mist and Fury is book two in A Court of Thorn and Roses series. I adored every inch of this book. Every single word had me so involved and engaged with the plot in a way I hadn’t been with a book in a while. This book made me fall in love with this series so much more than what I had expected. Also, I was so blessed to go into this book without knowing any spoilers because I feel like it would have ruined the experience for me.

This book takes place after the first one. (I have done all my reviews without spoilers and it’s so hard to do this one without giving any away!) We see the outcome and how the characters have changed the traumatic ending of the last one.

A Court of Mist and Fury is one of my favourite books for several reasons. One of them is due to Feyre, the protagonist of the series. Her journey through this novel is sensational. Maas manages to keep the essence of Feyre alive throughout. However, at the beginning of the novel she is a shell of her former self. I never wanted to help a character so much and tell her it would be okay. Also, I have never been more frustrated with Tamlin and Lucien for allowing the girl he loved and friend to become less than what she is. I loved how she progressed throughout the novel and became much stronger and happier than she initially had been in the first book. Sarah J Maas wrote Feyre’s journey so captivating and genuine that it really struck me. It was incredible.

Another reason why I fell in love with this book was due to the appearance of new characters and the new location of the Night Court. Okay, so I want to go to the Night Court. Can I be whisked away there please? Maas wrote such a beautiful location that it truly came to life off the page. Her writing is so wonderful when it comes to setting and her attention to detail brings the magic and the world to life.

The introduction of the new captivating characters such as Mor, Cassian, Azriel and Amren were another factor that made this book one of my favourites. Sarah J Maas does such a wonderful of creating interesting characters with an absorbing history that you can’t help but love them. Every character, no matter how small, has a story. Her description makes me feel as though I know these characters and it’s truly mesmerising.

There’s so many elements to this story that the first one lacked for me. I loved the first book but there’s something about A Court of Mist and Fury. I can’t explain but I enjoyed the world of the Night Court, the new characters and Feyre so much more. The love story that developed in this book blew me away. It was so genuine and beautiful that the couple has become one of my favourites of all time.

I’m not going to say who just in case you haven’t read this series.

Go and pick up this series. You won’t regret it at all. It’s the perfect adult fantasy.

I love it so much.

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

End of the Month Wrap Up!

Okay, it’s the end of the July and I’m looking back on my reads of this month.

Honestly, I haven’t read that many books and my TBR is as high as ever. However, I suffered a major reading slump and started reading comics instead.

Through the last month, I’ve read five e-books; Learn about Loss, Every Exquisite Thing, Time Crawlers, Brainwalker and Valentine Act 1.

Out of these my favourites were definitely Every Exquisite Thing by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson. This is part of the Ghosts of the Shadow Market and part of the Shadowhunter chronicles. It’s my favourite world and I fell in love with Anna Lightwood. I loved the themes addressed in such a short story. I will be posting the review soon.

I only read three books this month; Sleeping Beauties, One Plus One and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe. I wish I had read more but due to an annoying slump and being super busy with graduation, holidays, etc. I haven’t.

However, looking at this list of comics, I can’t stop smiling. I read a hell of a lot of comics this month. It was a mix of single issues and compilations, in total I read thirteen comics. I won’t write the full list because it would just be too long and boring for you. Instead, I’m going to list some of my favourites; Batman- The Man Who Laughs, Batman- Sins of the Father, X-men Red and Doctor Strange: Damnation.

I haven’t finished nor am I up to date on the new comics like Sins of the Father, X-Men Red and Doctor Strange: Damnation. However, I’m eagerly anticipating continuing these series. I’ve loved the first few issues.

I’m ending the month halfway through A Court of Mist and Fury. I read the first one in this series back in May and posted the review here. However, this book has completely pulled me into this world so much more. I’m obsessed! It’s pulled me out of my reading slump and I’m desperate to read the rest of the series.

I can’t wait to see how my reading progresses in August.

What about you? How much did you read this month? Are you on target? Let me know what your favourite reads were in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

Twitter- @laurenknapper

Instagram- LozzysThings

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King Book Review

This was the first ever Stephen King book I’ve read.

Don’t be mad. I have never got around to reading his books. Okay, be mad. I’m mad. Extremely mad at myself for not taking the time to read these fantastic dark stories based in our mundane world.

I bought this book last year as soon as it was released and ever since its been in my book stacks not moving. The size of it kinda terrified me. I was worried I was going to spend all my time reading a book that would take up most of my time when I had so much more books to read.

Sleeping Beauties pulled me in immediately. The initial attraction to the book was obviously Stephen King, I had read two of his short stories in my creative writing class and loved it. His writing is incredible. However, I was hypnotised by the cover. The beautiful blue against the black with a splash of white, animals and insects plastered around it. It seemed fantastical. I loved the back of the cover that said one thing; don’t wake them.

The concept behind the book was so original and had me desperately reading more, wondering why all women had gone to sleep to never wake up. It’s such an important book because it subtlely outlines the role of women within our society. It demonstrates the importance of women.

I fell in love with these characters. After reading about them, I felt like I was friends with all the characters. King’s writing has a way of doing that. He writes a character with so much depth and detail, it’s impossible for them not to feel like real people when you’re reading them. It’s one of the main reasons why I loved this book so much. The characters were fascinating to read.

The amount of strong female characters in this book was amazing. I loved every inch of it! I admired their strength and how hard they were continuing to fight. It was inspiring!

The novel dealt with so issues that I wasn’t expecting. It dealt with the relationship between officers and prisoners. It dealt with abuse of power, domestic abuse, anger, violence, friendship, marriage, the pressures of being a woman and a man, etc. All of these elements were examined and fundamental to the plot. It added the important realism to this somewhat horrific and fantasy story.

The book was filled with horrific scenes with action and gruesome murders. However, it didn’t seem unrealistic. Even though, it terrified me at stages, it demonstrated excellently what a world filled with chaos would be like.

Stephen King and Owen King wrote such a mesmerising haunting novel. I couldn’t put it down. I think the idea was so fantastic and hope to see the father and son duo to work together again.

It is a big book but I enjoyed every single word. I wasn’t bored at all.

I highly recommend this book and can not wait to read more of Stephen King’s novels.

Do you have any reccomendations for me?

Thanks for reading!
Lauren

Twitter – @LaurenKnapper

Instagram – @LozzysThings

Book Review of Valentine Act 1 by Elliott Morreau

This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. It was sent to me last month and after a massive reading slump with no motivation, I finally read it. I’m so thankful that I did.

I was sent the synopsis for the book and was immediately intrigued by the concept.

“Welcome to Coalfields. A Town where everyone fits in. From murderers to rapists to paedophiles. And you. Yes, you. What? You think you’re so much different from them? That’s what Jack and Lia thought too. After all, what do two high school lovebirds have in common with a place like that? Nothing. Until one of them commits murder.” Elliott Morreau, Valentine Act 1.

I have always been interested in psychology and the minds of criminals. It had me hooked completely. A town filled with the worst of criminals and they all live together? And, on top of that dangerous mix, two teenagers on the run from committing murder. I was sold straight away and couldn’t wait to read. It was a fascinating combination.

It didn’t disappoint!

The novel was graphic mature content with rape, abuse, violence and sex. However, all of this was extremely necessary to the plot and to the characters.

I was in awe of Elliott Morreau’s writing straight away. From the very first page, I was hooked into the story of Jack and Lia. I wanted to know what would happen to them. Morreau’s writing is flawless, he managed to write incredibly flawed characters yet he made them readable and more relatable than I thought was possible.

The narrative structure of the novel works brilliantly with the story. The switches in character allowed us readers to see all perspectives. One of the most individuals aspects that I loved was the narrator’s voice. Every so often, the narrator would speak to the characters, talked about being the writer behind their lives and hinted at something dark and unfortunate to come. I loved this part. It was a fresh and exciting way to tell the story.

Although, I didn’t have the actual paperback of the novel, I love the cover. I think it’s beautiful. I love the illustration and colours.

My favourite characters were the two female detectives; Claudia and Rich. I’m excited to see how their relationship progress and how they become more involved in the second act.

This was a compelling read with rich characters. I’m excited to read the next novel and to see how the story unfolds.

Thanks for reading!

Twitter – @laurenknapper

Instagram – LozzysThings