Saturday, 14 November 2015

Final Update

WOOHOO!!!

It is 21.45 and I am finished Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

This has been an intense weekend for college work and I am as surprised as you are that I actually finished this book.

I would like to call this a success.

Good night!!

Update #6 Saturday Evening

  I am currently on page 550, which is 35 pages ahead of schedule.

  Only 100 pages left. The end is in sight. Why is it always at this point when I find it so much harder to motivate myself to keep going?


Update #5 Saturday Afternoon

Currently on page 440, still five pages ahead of schedule

I am hoping to try and get a little further ahead, but also trying to to wear myself out.

Update #4 Saturday Morning

  Last night I reached page 375 putting me exactly where I had been aiming for.
But it took me much longer to reach this than I thought it would. I had to read late into the night just to get there.

  This morning I read to page 400, so now I'm 5 pages ahead of where I have to be in order to stick to my schedule and finish the book by this evening.


Friday, 13 November 2015

Update #3 Friday Evening

I am up to date (p. 240) but no longer ten pages ahead.
But I am going to change up my schedule a little bit because of the way some things have turned out.


7.00-8.00     - 40 pages
8.30-9.30     - 40 pages
10.00-11.30 - 55 pages


Just some slight changes to times! Should still be at the original point by the end of the day. 

Update #2 Friday Noon

  I am currently on page 170, still ten pages ahead of schedule.

  This will be much more tricky than I thought.

Update #1 Friday Moring

  Last night I set a goal of reading a total of 70 pages which would mean that I finished the day on page 100 of Wolf Hall.
  I am happy to say that I read to page 110: ten pages ahead of schedule.

  I have read to my first page goal of 20 pages today.

  Let's see if I can keep this up because there is a lot of other things that I have to do today.

 

Thursday, 12 November 2015

On Reading Big Books on a Tight Schedule

  It's not uncommon that big books can be found intimidating. Particularly for college. Particularly when you were supposed to have them read yesterday.

  For one of my classes I have to read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Don't get me wrong the first 30 pages have been great so far. It's the 620 next pages that are scaring me.
  I have decided to write some tips on how I (usually) finish big books, particularly when it seems like an impossible task.

1. Have small goals
  There is absolutely no point looking at how big a book is and immediately giving up and binge watching Dr. Who. I know that temptation. Stay away from it. 
  If you set yourself goals of reading 50 or 20 pages at a time then you will make more progress then if you try to read it all at once. 

2. Take breaks
  When you have reached your small 50 or 20 page goal then take a small break. Walk in a different room. Allow yourself to check your Facebook or twitter. I should mention that you really shouldn't be checking your phone when you are trying to reach your smaller goals it will just prolong it. 

3. Dedicate specific times to reading
  Choose certain times of the day where you have time, eg. before breakfast, during lunch, before bed. During these times make sure you are reading. Try and read two sets of 20 pages or so during these times. 

4. Make realistic daily page goals and stick to them
  If you set yourself the goal to read 300 pages on a Wednesday when you have school and work then it is very likely that you will not reach that and will get discouraged. Set a goal of 100 or 150 pages a day because that is much more achievable (or whatever you think you can manage). 
  Make sure you allow yourself enough time for reading and breaks to reach this goal. 

5. Keep reading
  It will get difficult to read so much for a long period of time. If you are on a tight schedule then the important thing is that you keep reading. Even if you only have a few minutes all the pages that you read will add up and help you achieve your daily goals. 

6. Reward yourself
  It is easier to keep going if you know you will get something out of it. I try to stay away from rewards of food because this can lead to all sorts of trouble. Reward yourself will internet time, with time to do whatever you want. For smaller goal achievements I would give yourself a ten-twenty minute reward. If you reach bigger goals/ page counts eg.100 pages then give yourself a good hour reward. Longer if that was your day goal. Though Keep going afterwards if you can. Getting ahead on a schedule is good! (unless your a bus I guess :/)

7. Stick to your rewards!!
  Resist the temptation to stay on a permanent break. Every once in a while a break turns into procrastination and this is not going to help. 
  But, if like me your a 'just another goal before I take a break' kind of person then I will encourage you to actually stick to your planned rewards. Don't keep going so long that you burn yourself out. If you have a break planned - take it. 


My Wolf Hall Schedule - let's see if I can practice what I preach. 

620 pages to read. I want it read by Saturday night. It is currently Thursday night. 

Goals: 
Tonight: 70 Pages
Friday: 275 Pages
Saturday:275 Pages. 

I know that 275 is very close to the 300 goal that  I said was ridiculous. But I am off college both days and I am VERY behind. This is an extreme example. I hope I can do it. 

Schedule:
Tonight:
7.30- 8.30     -   30 pages
8.45-9.45      -   30 pages
10.00-10.30  -  10 pages.

Friday:
8.30-9.00     - 20 pages
11.30-12.30 - 40 pages
1.30-2.30     - 40 pages
4. 00-5.00    - 40 pages
6.00-7.00     - 40 pages
7.30-8.30     - 40 pages
10.00-11.30 - 55 pages

Saturday:
8.30-9.00     - 20 pages
11.30-12.30 - 40 pages
1.30-2.30     - 40 pages
4. 00-5.00    - 40 pages
6.00-7.00     - 40 pages
7.30-8.30     - 40 pages
10.00-11.30 - 55 pages

Yes. I know it's a bit of a stretch. But I am very far behind.

Ideally you would not try to cram this much into such a short period of time, but I have this due for class soon (along with other projects!) and so I wanted to test this method to see if I could do it.

Whether this particular schedule works or not I will update you and let you know.

It could go disastrously wrong.

But let's hope.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Invisible Reading Girl

On reading books you don't like.

If like me you are the kind of person to struggle through a book to the bitter end even if you aren't enjoying it all that much, then it can be easy to relate to the fact that some books just aren't enjoyable to finish.

There have been very few occasions where I have disliked a book enough to just stop and put it down and start some thing else, but it has happened.

I have a few books this semester that I am just not enjoying and if I were reading for fun I would have stopped at this stage. However, I need to finish these books.

It's strange to think how something you can love so much, reading in this case, can turn into a form of torture when you are forced through it. The worst kind because it is the thing you love. Ah the struggles of college.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined Book Review

Book Review

To watch me talk more about what I thought about this book you can watch my youtube video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5j14jXZ-08

  Who saw this book coming? Not me.

  If you have somehow missed out on hearing about this book, in a nutshell, it is Twilight told as if all of the female characters were male and all of the male characters were female.
  To be honest not much of the plot has changed because of this. I was expecting some more changes to be made throughout it but it remained faithful to the original story for the most part.
  There were some changes made but I won't talk about those because they are more fun if you don't see them coming.

  I want to say firstly that I enjoyed this version of the Twilight story much more than the original. I feel like this version would have been much better received in general as well.
  In this version the protagonists are Beau Swan and Edythe Cullen.
  The names of the characters were all similar to the original. At times this could be interesting and other times it made it a little difficult to separate the new characters from the old ones in my mind.

  It was interesting to see the story, that is now so well known, in a new perspective. It was fun to read it again with new eyes.

  If you were a fan of the original I would recommend giving this one a try.

4 Stars

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

SPOILER FREE REVIEW

  I suppose because I hadn't heard much about this book before I read it I didn't have high expectations for it. But let me emphasise:

I LOVED IT

  Catherine is a young girl who loves to read. Most of her experience comes through the books that she loves so dearly. The first half of this book shows Catherine's relationships and friendships as she travels to Bath with some family friends. She is soon in love with the society and lifestyle there. It also helps that there is a very handsome Mr. Tilney.
  But the book takes a darker turn as it progresses and it may be that her new friends are not all that they seem to be.

  What I loved most about this book was seeing how Catherine progressed from such a naive character to a more mature woman. She was a fun protagonist to follow. Her love of books was endearing but also very humorous.

  I think that this is a book that I will be rereading many times.

4.5 Stars 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Reading Multiple Books at Once

  I have always been a person who likes to read one book at a time. I like to fully immerse myself in the story and for me it works best if I do that by reading one book at a time.

  In college professors and lecturers have little sympathy for my whims like this. They don't much care for my satisfaction in reading a good book fully. They just want the book read before class. Which I understand. But I don't like it.

  This weekend, in order to meet deadlines, I will be reading two books at once. While this would not even be an issue for many other readers I find myself very stressed about it.

  I will be reading Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey both by Jane Austen. Both I am looking forward to but I am worried that the stories will both begin to merge in my mind because I can't do what I normally do and read them separately.

  Why is this a stressful thing?
  Does anyone else have weird reading habits like this?
Please let me know if you do and we can despair over our weird habits together.


Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Nothing of Note

The days are whizzing past and college seems to be eating slowly away at my life like the cracks in space and time in Doctor Who.
By the end of this semester I will be well and truly brushed up on my classics. Well and truly brushed up on a whole lot of critical essays and will have a big reading binge where I read simply what I want and NOT analyse it.
Goodbye reading life, see you in December.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Emma by Jane Austen

Book Review
  Emma was a wonderful book to read. This was a book that I had to read for class and I am so glad that I did.
  Emma Woodhouse is the beautiful, talented, well-thought-of, well-off daughter of the reclusive Mr. Woodhouse. She has a love of matchmaking and her previous successes mean that she has excellent confidence of her taste and choices. Perhaps a little too much confidence.
  She becomes acquainted with Harriet Smith, a local orphan, who admires her and follows her guidance almost without question. Emma befriends Harriet also turning her into a kind of side project to teach her and guide her to better herself.
  Harriet takes Emma's word as gospel and follows her advice to the letter regardless of Emma's recent string of bad advice. Things become interesting as Emma attempts to find a love for Harriet when Emma's matchmaking becomes infinitely more complicated.
  I loved to watch how Emma worked. She has such confidence in herself and in her choices that it is annoying but also highly entertaining. Harriet is the opposite. She is so easily swayed out of her choices and so easily guided you almost wonder if she has a personality at all.
  The situations that Emma finds herself in is amusing and entertaining. I loved how things worked out and how the novel concluded both plot-wise and in character development.
  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am excited to read more of Jane Austen's work for class.

4.5 Stars

Busy Book Bee

Reading is time consuming.
Reading is one of those things that you really need to sit down and dedicate time to it if you need to get a book done within a certain time frame.
I have discovered this more as I have started college.
I used to pick up a book for college and read it like I would any book. I would pick it up after my other assignments had been done. I would pick it up when I had a few minutes to spare. But this year the unthinkable has happened.
I officially have too much reading to do.
Because of a mix up with my school schedule at the beginning of the year it means that this semester I will be doing 8 classes instead of 6. Next semester I'll only have to do 4 instead of 6.
I am currently overwhelmed at the amount of work 8 classes takes.
4 of those classes are English classes and each of them entail (at least) one book a week. EACH.
While I am a fast reader and I love it, not even I can reasonably read 4 books a week on top of 4 other classes.
For the next few weeks I'll be reading, college-ing and repeating.
At least it will boost my Goodreads numbers.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Earth Flight by Janet Edwards Book Review

NON SPOILER
  This is the final book in the Earth Girl trilogy. One of the many things that I like about this trilogy is how much I consistently like the books. They were all equally good. There was no Second-Book Syndrome in this trilogy. 
  I can't go into too much detail without spoiling the other books so forgive me if this is brief. 
  The plot of this book, like the others in the series, begins slowly. It takes time for it to build up it's pace. This works in its favour because this is a trilogy that I like to spend some time on. 
  The characters remain as likeable as in the first books. There is some character development, in the case of Jarra (it was needed). Fian, in this book, becomes my favourite character, wait until the end... you'll love him too. 
  I loved the resolution of the story. It wasn't five people pretending to be an army changing the world. It was on a smaller scale making realistic changes. 

4.5  STARS

This trilogy deserves so much more attention than it has been getting. If you are in anyway interested in science-fiction futuristic then I would definitely recommend it. 

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Book Review

  I thought that as the movie was now out in cinemas in Ireland I had better get on with reading this so as I could go and see it.
  In this book Greg is an average high school guy. He tries not to associate himself with any particular clique so as he can get through his high school life without any drama. So far his plan to remain on good terms with everyone but friends with no one has worked for him. 
  This changes when a girl that he knew when he was younger, Rachel, is diagnosed with Leukaemia. Greg's mother insists that he go and befriend her. And so, much to his regret, Greg starts to become friends with Rachel. 
  
  I'm going to be very honest. I was a little underwhelmed by this book. I had a few issues with it. First though I will tell you the things that I did enjoy. 

  I loved how quick a read it was. It was such a relief to read it between my college books. 
  I also, occasionally, enjoyed the humour. I enjoyed Greg and Rachel's relationship and the laughter that was there. 
  I liked how much Greg wanted to make Rachel happy whatever his reasons.

  Unfortunately, for me, the humour also sometimes felt very childish. A lot of the jokes were dragged out so as what was funny in the beginning was no longer funny by the time that the joke ended. 
  I thought the excessive swearing made Greg and Earl seem much younger than they were. 
  I also was disappointed by the ending. I won't go into spoilers here but I thought that the main issue would have been dealt with in more detail. I think it was glossed over a little. 

  This was, none the less, an enjoyable book. A book that is dealing with a lot of heavy issues while still keeping the humour light, mostly. 
  Overall I gave this book 
Three Stars. 

Monday, 24 August 2015

Bout of Books Wrap Up!

  What a fun week it has been! I have read some great books and had a laugh with some of the challenges.
  You might be wondering where I was yesterday. I didn't read anything yesterday :(
  But I did read a lot on Saturday and so here's that:

I read 149 pages of the Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness finishing it (boy does he love those cliffhangers)
I also read 58 pages of Earth Flight by Janet Edwards 

bringing my total for the day to 207 pages




Overall I think this has been a successful readathon for me! 
I completed four books:
Ready Player One
The Ask and the Answer
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Quidditch Through the Ages

and started a fifth : Earth Flight. 

I read a total of 1007 pages. And I always feel when you break the 1000 page mark you have done very well. 

Thank you to all those who have hosted Bout of Books, as always a fantastic job! 

Saturday, 22 August 2015

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

The Ask and the Answer 
  This is the second book in the Chaos Walking trilogy.
 What I love about Patrick Ness's writing is how easy it is to read. Though this is a long book (517 pages) I read it in just under three days. But boy does he love those cliffhangers!
  This book didn't immediately satisfy the cliffhanger at the end of the last book. This was good, because it kept me reading, also bad, because I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.
  Todd in this book has the same flaw as he did in The Knife of Never Letting Go which is his temper. He is constantly described as not being able to kill but he often flies into a murderous rage. A bit contradictory.
  What I loved about this edition was that it included a short story called The Wide, Wide Sea. This followed a different set of characters. I adored this story as in it I got to see more of the world that they are on, the Spackle are explained in more detail and from a different perspective. I really enjoyed it and think it was a good addition to the story.
  This book also ends on a cliffhanger, and so, I cannot wait to see how this trilogy wraps up.
 

Road Trip Challenge

Today I thought I would do a road trip across the galaxy because that sounded just epic to me! Can you tell I am suffering from Doctor Who withdrawals?




The books that will take you on this spacey adventure are:

Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Set on Luna, we begin our road trip on the moon, these Lunars can't be trusted even in their appearances. 


These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Our next stop is on the luxury spaceliner the Icarus, which will bring us to our next destination if disaster doesn't strike. 


Atlantia by Ally Condie
This book takes place under one of Earth's oceans in a place that sounds beautiful but has its own dark secrets hidden just like the ocean it is surrounded by. 


Earth Girl by Janet Edwards
Last stop brings us back home to (dry land on) earth, the humans in this book (for the most part) all live on terraformed colonised planets, but come to earth as a history tour, lets look at Earth through the eyes of a tourist and appreciate the beautiful planet we live on. 

Bout of Books Update Day 5

I had such good intentions for yesterday! I had planned to read more than any day previously.

However I only read 80 pages. 

Let's be honest 80 pages is still a lot but its not really where I'd hoped to be at this stage.
I did however manage to finish the Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness which I'll do a review on soon. 
Progress to come! 

Friday, 21 August 2015

Bout of Books Character Soulmates

Today the challenge is to choose two soul mates from two different books. 

            I chose Tess, from Tess of the D'Urbervilles 
                and
                Jonathan from Illusionarium 

I think that these characters would be great together because Tess deserves someone who would go to the ends of the earth for her and Jonathan needs someone to rely on him.

Their shipping name would be Jess? lol. 





Bout of Books Update Day 4


  Ok, already I know that I won't be able to read more every day than the day that I read before.
It was nice to aim for it anyway.

Yesterday I read 178 pages of the Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness.

I am really enjoying it so far, and I am looking forward to finishing it which I hope to do today.
That is the goal today to finish this book. :)

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Day 4 Challenge #4SeasonsBookCovers

The challenge today was the Four Seasons Book Covers Challenge!

I actually found this one a little tricky... some creative licence was taken! Lol!
What do you think?




Spring(notice there are flowers)       Summer(it's on a Beach)       
Autumn(it's eh... orange)    Winter( it says cold.. lol) 

Nailed it? Close enough! 

Bout of Books Update Day 3

Wednesday I got a lot of reading done!

I read all of Quidditch Through the Ages - 105 pages

And I read -134 pages- of The Ask and The Answer

Bringing my total for day three to

239

Which is progress! I think I should make it my unofficial goal to try and read more each day than the day before - lets see how this goes.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Bout of Books Update Day 2

Yesterday I read a lot more than the first day and so I call that a success!!

I read 60 pages of Ready Player One- finishing it. Woah, I loved the plot and the characters and the excitement. The only thing that let it down for me was the swearing- that always annoys me in books.

I read 123 pages of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them- finishing it. Very interesting read. I loved learning about more of the creatures from Harry Potter that we don't see in the books or movies.

I also read 12 pages of the Ask and the Answer.

Bringing my total page count for day two up to: 195
whoop whoop!! 


Book MASH

  Today we play Book MASH
 I never played MASH when I was younger so it was fun to try it out. Without any further ado here is my future:

I live with my husband Morpheus (from Splintered by A. G. Howard) with our 5 kids in Prettyville (Uglies by Scottwesterfeld). I work as a cleaner and drive a yellow Ferrari (Alice from New Moon- at least I think that was her car in that one right??)

But what I want to know is how did I afford that car? 

I am kind of sad I didn't get to marry George Weasley and have a pet Kneasle but I guess you can't be too picky right? :P

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Bout of Books Update Day One

  Yesterday was the first day of Bout of Books. I had such high expectations of myself. I always do. I had hoped to finish Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and begin the Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness.
  Neither of those happened.

  I did manage to read 108 pages of Ready Player One. Which is not bad. I still feel like that is successful.

  I am totally motivated to read more over the rest of the days and I cannot wait to continue with this readathon!

#boutofbookshunt The Scavenger Hunt Challenge

   Today's challenge is to go on a book scavenger hunt. I actually had a lot of fun finding the books to suit the requirements. I think they turned out rather well!!

1. A book that begins with a 'B'

 I chose Bunheads by Sophie Flack. It's about 'B'allerinas and 'B'usy schedules and 'B'eautiful talented people pushed to the 'B'reaking point. Lots of 'B's in there. 




2. A book you are currently reading or going to read for Bout of Books

 I'm going to be reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them. I have been meaning to read this for so long I cannot wait!

3. Blue Books


I LOVED putting these together! They all look so beautiful there are a few of my favourite book covers in here. 

4. A book from your favourite genre


My favourite genre is Fantasy. The Spiderwick Chronicles are always going to be some of my favourite fantasy books! 

5. A book on your TBR shelf or your TBR shelves


I tried to get as much of my TBR shelves in the shot as possible but it was difficult because I have so many! 

I hope you enjoyed looking through these! They were a lot of fun to make!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Bout of Books #FictionalWorldTravel challenge

For this challenge you have to list 3-6 books set in countries that are NOT where you currently live and display them how you like!



I Live in Ireland, which makes this a very easy challenge for me!! 


Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett- set in the Discworld
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak- set in Germany
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo- set in France
Atlantia by Ally Condie- set in an undersea city, Atlantia
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild- set in England
Cinder by Marissa Meyer- set in New Beijing

I tried to get a nice mixture of real and fantastical settings just to make things interesting!! 

Books are made of paper- which is made from trees- but did they want to embrace their heritage?? No, they wanted to keep falling on the ground! ;P 

Bout of Books

I love participating in this readathon! It is one of my favourites. However- for some reason I have never actually joined in on any of the challenges!

I am changing that! This time around I will be reading like a crazy reading ninja AND attempting the challenges!

Get ready to see some awesome entries!

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

NON SPOILER REVIEW

  I have seen these books in so many places for so many years. They are consistently in every book shop, every library, and every Booktuber seems to have read them. I picked up my copy over a year ago. For some reason I always had low expectations despite the constant good reviews. I wish I had picked them up sooner.
  This is the first book in the Chaos Walking trilogy. It is a young adult dystopian series. It at first took me a few pages to get into it as the dialogue is written as it is spoken and I usually have to mentally prepare myself for that because it's not really something that I enjoy. Once I got past that I began to really embrace it.
  This book is set in the small town of Prentisstown where the protagonist Todd lives with his dog Manchee. In Prentisstown your thoughts are projected around you and anyone can see them. There is a constant Noise of hundreds of thoughts buzzing around. It is enough to drive anyone crazy. There is also no women in Prentisstown, killed by a disease brought to the town by a war.
  In a month Todd will become a man. Which happens in Prentisstown at the age of 13. He will then be accepted by the other men in the town. One day as he is out by the swap, where the constant Noise of the town is dulled slightly, Todd stumbles across a hole in the Noise and what he finds there shows him that he may have been lied to about everything he has ever believed.
  This book exceeded my expectations, I grew to really get to love Manchee the dog and how innocent and loyal he was. I loved this cast of characters so much.
  There were a few things in this plot that I was definitely not expecting. Particularly in the behaviour of some of the characters. I loved that I didn't know exactly what was coming next.
  The ending was very intense. It leaves you on such a cliffhanger that I immediately want to pick up the next book- soon, very soon.
  Overall a highly enjoyable book and a series that I cannot wait to continue with.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Earth Star by Janet Edwards

SPOILER FREE REVIEW

  This is the second book in the Earth Girl trilogy. It again follows Jarra and her story. 
  I loved to see these characters again. I feel like in real life they would be annoying, but to read they are interesting and fun to read from. I liked that in this book when Jarra starts to become important it isn't like many Y.A. books when the protagonist is suddenly the most important person in the world for no reason. Jarra is important but it makes sense as to why she would be, there are reasons given and the reasons make sense. 
  The dialogue in this book could be slightly irritating at times. The people of the time that this novel is set have their own slang and it could be annoying. 
  This book focuses a lot on strategy for an event in the book. However, this big event doesn't occur in this book. It finishes right as things are getting good. I want the next book now please! 

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Earth Girl by Janet Edwards

NON SPOILER REVIEW
  This is a science-fiction book set in the distant future. In this book the people of the earth have found a way to portal from one planet to another. One in every few humans has an immune system that will not allow them to live anywhere but earth. These people are called apes, throwbacks, handicapped. 
  This story follows one of these unlucky few. Her name is Jarra. Jarra wants nothing more than to study the history of the earth and she has a plan. When a history class run by a college from another planet comes to excavate New York Jarra will study with them and try and pass as one of their own. Her intent is for them to accept her without knowing who she is only to throw it back in there faces to show them that they don't know 'apes' at all. But Jarra's plan becomes increasingly difficult as she gets to know the others. 

  This book was definitely interesting. I found the different cultures from the different planets fascinating. It was interesting to see what passed as acceptable on some planets and how that could backfire. 
  I definitely had some issues with this book. There were a few elements to the plot that I found very unbelievable. 
  The main character Jarra, I feel, would be very annoying in real life. She likes to show off her knowledge and sometimes (cough, cough, OFTEN) makes stupid decisions. 

  Saying that it was very entertaining to read and I am looking forward to continuing with this trilogy. 

Monday, 27 July 2015

Gullstruck Island by Frances Hardinge

NON SPOILER BOOK REVIEW
  I find it hard to explain just how much I love the worlds that Frances Hardinge creates. Her ideas, worlds and settings are so brilliant and unusual that you just have to experience them for yourself. 
  This story takes place on Gullstruck Island, a place where the people are against each other and the volcano's are easily upset. On this Island there are the Lost. The Lost are those who are able to send there senses away from their bodies. They are rare and very valued in these societies. 
  Hathin's sister Arilou is a Lost. At least that is what the Lace people want everyone to believe. An old wrong has the Island's other inhabitants set against the Lace people, Arilou is their thing of value to give back. 
  Hathin must help Arilou pass a test in order to prove that she is a Lost but when all the Lost on the island are killed except for Arilou suspicion immediately turns to the Lace people. 
  Disaster strikes and the two girls are suddenly on the run for their lives. They must find a way to right the wrongs of their people and avenge their own who have been wronged. 

 This is a children's book that I absolutely loved. Hardinge creates a story that can be enjoyed at any age.
 I loved the setting of this book. There were so many new creatures and so many new types of people that I found it hard not to get lost in this book. 
  I loved the ideas, the concepts, the native myths and legends that really highlighted to me what every good fantasy book should be. 
  I would definitely recommend this is you are a lover of fantasy, or if you would like to visit a world unlike any that you have visited before. 

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Warm Up by V. E. Schwab

NON SPOILER
  This is the short prequel novella to Schwab's novel Vicious. This novella follows the story of an EO David. David's life has been destroyed by a fatal turn of events and in the 297 days since he is still failing to cope.
  What I was not expecting about this novella was how short it was. It is aprox. 15 pages long.
  I did enjoy the story though. It was a different take on EOs than was seen in the full length novel. It was interesting to see Eli from this perspective.
  This was a very good, if very short, novella.

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

SPOILER FREE

  I have been looking forward to this book for a while. There is a lot of hype surrounding this book and so naturally my expectations were high. I enjoyed the story and the characters but, for some reason, it didn't grip me right in the heart like I really wanted. 
  Victor and Eli are college room mates, both smart and driven. Eli is determined to discover the cause of EOs or ExtraOrdinaries. People with beyond human abilities. With Victor's encouragement they begin the dangerous experiment to attempt to turn themselves into EOs. And so begins a ten year long vendetta of blood and brains. 
  The plot is told from different periods of time in the story. I personally thought the pacing of the plot was one of the strongest points of the book. Things tied together really well and kept me engaged throughout. 
  I also loved the characters. I loved hearing about the different EOs and their abilities and how they came to be how they are. I particularly enjoyed Sydney and Selena's story. 
  I don't know what it was about this book that I just didn't get. I loved the characters and the story and the pacing and the world, but for some reason I didn't love it. 

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

NON SPOILER REVIEW
  This is the third book in the Throne of Glass series. I'm not entirely certain but I think this may have been my favourite one yet.
  In this book we see so much more of this world. We see how others live who are not in the same land, they haven't been subjected to the same laws or threats but have dangers that are entirely their own.
  I loved that there were even more creatures in this book. More witches, more fey, more wyverns just more. So brilliant.
  There was also more of Celaena's past. Having read the Assassin's Blade before this book I was expecting to know most of what was relevant of her past. There was more, so much more, and I loved it.
  I also liked that there were more view points in this book. Not just the characters that had been in the last books but some new. It was very interesting to see from these new perspectives.
  I loved the character of Rowan. Not sure what it is about him but I loved how the relationship there builds. Brilliant.
  Queen of Shadows the fourth book in this series will be released in september and I will be anxiously awaiting it.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Monsters

Regret is the monster
Who lives under the bed
And dances and dances 
Around in my head

Doubt is the monster
Who lives on the stair
Uphill or down
It's always there

Boredom is the monster
Who lives in the sky
Floating and floating
Content just to lie

Gluttony is the monster
Who steals and takes
Pushing back into 
Old mistakes

Caution is the monster 
Who lives on the street
Poisoning all of the 
Strangers you meet

Envy is the monster
Who tears others down
Trades in a smile
And gives back a frown

Fear is the monster
Behind all doors
That keeps them closed shut
Forever more

Anger is the monster 
Who pushes away
Myself at night 
And others at day

-Emma Fagan

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Bottled Magic



I spent all of today making bottle charms. 
  I recently saw a youtuber making something similar and I have not been able to stop thinking about how much I wanted to make them too.
  Do you get all of the references??





  I just loved the idea of bottled magic. Not only was it super cute and fun but they also made me very excited because they reminded me of so many happy memories from my childhood. 
  What is it about magic that makes us want to bottle it and keep it? To keep it for myself, so that I can take it out and look at it. So it can be mine, so I can be special. 
  But that is not how magic works because magic is a wild creature and if you tame it then it is no longer quite as wondrous. 

Saturday, 4 July 2015

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

NO SPOILERS


  This is a bind up of all five of the prequel novellas from the Throne of Glass series. Usually I am not a big fan of short stories but I read the novellas because I hate feeling like I've missed an essential part of the story.
  The first story in this book was a little slow for me. Though it was an adventure story and things were happening I found it very tedious which is not normally the case for me and Sarah J. Maas's books. However, as I continued with the stories I realised that they got progressively faster paced and all interlinked so as to read all together as one long story.
  Once I had reached the end of this collection I felt like I knew more about the conditions in which Celaena grew up and how she lived before the first Throne of Glass book. The last two in particular were fantastic.
  Overall I would say that this collection of short stories is definitely worth reading, give it a story or two to really get into the swing of things but it will get there. I promise. 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

To All the Boys I've Loved Before and P. S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

 NO SPOILERS
 The first thing that I would like to mention about this duology is how beautiful I find the covers. There is something that I really love about the simplicity and the colour scheme. Beautiful.

  To All the Boys I've Loved Before is about a sixteen year old girl called Lara Jean. Over the years she has written letters to all the boys that she has ever had a crush on in order to get over them. One day, years later, they are all accidentally sent out.
  I loved the theme of family in this book. I really appreciated that it was written and dealt with so well. I loved the relationships that the three sisters had and also the relationship with their father. I felt like I was welcome in their home, like I was visiting. I loved it.
  I also loved the way in which Lara Jean reacts to how the letters are sent out. I don't know if I would have been so composed!
  I loved the other relationships in this book as well they were absolutely fabulous. There was plenty parts where I was cringing, plenty of parts were I was swooning and plenty of parts where I was giggling out loud in my room.
  Over all, without saying too much that would spoil it, I loved this book. I loved its cuteness and its warm heartedness, I loved its feel good factor and how much it reminded me that contemporary books are worth reading.
   The second book in this duology was recently released and I knew that I simply had to read it. In this book there is a much more prominent theme of sex though it is not an explicit theme, it is simply there in the background for the most part.
  Lara Jean now finds herself in a relationship.  I loved to see how Lara Jean developed in the new situations that she found herself in. Sometimes this was so funny I had to laugh, sometimes it was so embarrassing that I was red for her.
  There was so many other things that I loved about this book. Certain events like the party that she helped host in the nursing home. I simply loved that part of the story.
  I loved as well to see more of other characters in this book. I thought that they made the community in which Lara Jean lived seem so real.
  This book emphasises on how things almost turned out. How things could have gone a different way for most of the characters but simple little things changed how everything happened.
 

  These books were really a wonderful read. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and their lives. I am glad that I got to spend some time with them and I plan on reading many more Jenny Han books in the future.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

NO SPOILERS
 This is the second book in the Throne of Glass series. I was hoping that as a second book it wouldn't fall into classic 'second book' traps. It didn't. I was so excited. With every book this series seems to get better and more developed with more twist and history and backstories.
  I found this book to be just as good as the first one. I loved how certain characters and relationships developed. I loved that there was more magic in this book and that there were more diversity in the characters that we got to see.
  This book also shows more of Celaena as an assassin. In the first book it is talked about a lot but you don't really get to see her in action in real situations. There was more of that in this book and I loved it.
 
   I am loving how this story is developing. It will be interesting to see how things progress and how things turn out in the next book.
  I am currently reading the Assassin's Blade which is a collection of the prequel novellas that accompany this series. I am hoping to enjoy this as much as the previous books.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

NO SPOILERS

  I think it was the hype surrounding this book that made me a little cautious when reading it. I don't know what it was exactly that I was expecting because I had only heard the basics. It is about a girl called Celaena who is an assassin. 
  I was surprised (though I shouldn't have been) that I loved it so much. I wasn't expecting the magical elements which are subtle and effective, nor was I expecting the competition element to the plot which I also loved. I am glad that this is going to be a seven book series because I want to spend as much time with these characters as I can. 
  The basic plot follows an eighteen year old girl called Celaena who is the most notorious assassin there is. Before this book takes place she was betrayed and captured and sent to work in the salt mines where most die. After a year there she is taken out by the Captain of the Guard, Chaol and the Crown Prince Dorian and given the option to fight for her freedom in the King's competition as Dorian's champion. 
  Celaena must pass tests and fight in order to gain her freedom but when other champions start being brutally murdered things start to get really interesting. 

   There was definitely more to this book plot-wise than I was expecting. I also loved the characters. I don't know if there was a single one that I had issues with. They worked very well together and the dialogue was witty and funny.

  I gave this book 5 stars. I am excited to continue on with this series- which I already have, I just started Crown of Midnight which is the second book. Excitement much?? 

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Year Goals Update!

I thought that I would give a quick update on how my bookish goals for the year are going. This year is nearly at the halfway point and so I thought seen as I won't be able to write here for the next two weeks (I will be in Florida YAY!) I would let you know how that was going. To keep you in the know as it were.

Goal: To read 100 books

I am currently on my 47th book, which is nearly at the halfway point, as it is almost at the halfway point in the year (but not quite) I think that I am just on schedule! Success!

Goal: To finish 15 series this year

In making this goal I didn't mention whether or not I had to have started the series this year. I decided that that wouldn't matter as it would be a series from my TBR completed either way. So far this year I have completed 10 series and I am almost finished another one! Success!

Goal: To start a new drawing/story type blog:

Ummm... yeah, what happened to that idea, Emma? College was a lot crazier than I had expected and I didn't have the amount of time that I was hoping for and so that idea kind of went out the window. I haven't given up on it. It has simply been postponed.

There you have a quick little update on how I'm doing reading-wize this year. I will see you in two weeks!!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Readathons

  My apologies for not posting yesterday. I wish that I had a solid reason for not posting but to be honest I forgot! My days are now free of college for the summer and so my days have become a little mixed together.

  I thought today that I would tell you about more of the readathons I will be participating in during my summer holidays.

  Currently happening is #RYBSAT (Read Your Book Shelf AThon) round five. This readathon was created by Miranda from Bookss101. In this readathon you pick a point on your bookshelves and just read continuously from there and see how far you can get in a week.This will continue until Monday.

  I will also be participating in the Summer Biannual Bibliothon 21st-27th of June. This readathon has video challenges and reading challenges. It was created this year in January and this is the second time that it will be held. It is my first time participating! So I am very excited about this.

  I am not sure if the Booktube-athon will be taking place this year but if it is I will most definitely be participating in that because I did it last year and had a fantastic time doing it! This readathon also has video and reading challenges.

  Lastly in August there is the Bout of Books 14.0 readathon from the 17th-23rd. I have participated in Bout of Books three times now and have absolutely loved it. It is a fairly relaxed readathon and you can set your own goals. Really the aim is to read more than you usually would. I have never really competed in the competitions that they hold on a daily basis during the readathons but for this one I plan to!

  So there you have all the readathons that I currently intend on participating in. Though if I hear of any more I will definitely consider doing them!

  Also I have plans for creating my own readathon in the Summer at some point! Keep your eyes and ears tuned for that because I am excited for it though now solid plans have been made yet!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Update - Bout of Books 13.0

 Just a quick update to let you know how my TBR is coming along!
So far this week I have completed:
The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey 
The Final Descent by Rick Yancey
and I am about 20% through with Dublin Folk Tales collected by Brendan Nolan. 
I feel like I will probably finish my TBR and then some which is very exciting!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Bout of Books 13.0 TBR!

Emma, don't you have exams next week? 
Yes.
So you thought it would be a good idea to do a readathon next week?
Yes.
Ok, so despite the fact that I am currently buried under a pile of study and college work (yes it's dark down here) I decided I would be participating in the Bout of Books 13.0 Readathon that is taking place from the 11th to the 17th of May- so that is next week! I will leave a link to the blog and sign up page here: 
http://boutofbooks.blogspot.ie/p/welcome.html

Because I really do have to study next week the books I have chosen are all very short. Except for that first one that you can see, but I'm nearly finished that so I don't think it really counts as a long book. You can watch my TBR for this readathon here:

I am so excited to be participating in this wonderful readathon for the third time! Hopefully once my exams ease up I will be able to spend more time reading and will hopefully get more than this read. 
But I thought I would show you what I plan on reading - most of it anyway! 






If you want frequent updates as well as more time with ME you can follow me on twitter @telleroftales01 

Looking forward to seeing you there! 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins

NO SPOILERS
 This is the second book in the Rebel Belle series by Rachel Hawkins. The first thing that I noticed when I finally got my hands on this book was how much shorter it was then the first book. It is only about 270 pages long which is fairly short. It didn't feel short though, which I guess is the important thing.
  I had heard quite a few people say that they were disappointed with this book. Having now finished it I can understand why. I disagree. I thought it was very enjoyable right up until that frustrating ending. I won't tell you what happened but it was one of those endings that is annoying. Up until that point I felt that the plot had held to its own. It was fun and enjoyable to read. It had a good atmosphere.
  There were a few plot twists but I did see them coming. They were set up pretty obviously. That does not mean that I didn't enjoy them they just would have been better had they been the surprises that they were going to be.
  I still enjoyed the characters in this book. Though there were a few moments when I wanted to bang a few heads together they weren't too frequent.
  Overall I think that this was an enjoyable second book and I am looking forward to the third some time in the distant future.