Featured

Meet the Blogger!!!

Introducing me…

Hey hey hey! For all of you who aren’t my friends who I’ve forced to read either by bribery or black mail, my name is Sam and I’m a 18 year old female who is currently enjoying the three months of freedom before University starts. At Uni I’m planning to study Creative Writing and History if all things go to plan so yay me! I love to read (of course because if I didn’t this entire blog would be pretty useless) and I also love to write (although I’m all kinds of bad but naive enough to think I’m mediocre). My hobbies include eating and sleeping, the occassional tv show binging, using a lot of brackets and exclamation marks at the end and during !!! sentences and going on long walks on the beach 😉

IMG_4678.JPG
A combination of reading and beaches that I probably went on a long walk on.

Why I started this blog?

If I was trying to sound funny and down play this entirely I would say I was bored which maybe is half the truth but ultimately its a lot more than that. I have always had a lot of trouble telling people my opinions on things but when I joined Bookstagram little under a year ago I’ve slowly been able to explore and put more of my opinions out there. It has been so fun and empowering to think people are listening and ultimately such a lovely journey that I don’t regret starting in the slightest. I decided over the past few months that a blog was the next step and I suppose now that I’m writing this, I’ve started that next step. I’m just so excited to get into this and share my book reviews and thoughts with so many of you (by many of you I mean you, Mum, love you;0)

IMG_0359.JPG
Here’s a Sheflie for good will (although its not up to date at all)

To those of you still reading…

I hope you all enjoy my blog!

Advertisements

{Review} Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian (you’ve probably read this book wihtout realising it)

IMG_1593.JPGThis is the classic recipe for fantasy novels and because of that there were parts of this book where there’s no doubt you’ve it read before. And really there’s nothing wrong with that, it was still a really enjoyable book but it was one that was very predictable and it was just kind of mediocre. There wasn’t anything in this book that really had me on the edge of my seat. There was nothing profound that had me thinking “wow that was unique” or just “amazing”. And for that, I suppose, meant I gave it a lower rating. Not because it wasn’t a good but just because it was just a good book. You know?

IMG_1590Here’s a little bit about the book:
Lady Thora is the Kaisers loyal subject. She kneels when he commands. She speaks when demanded to. She lives because he allows it. For the past ten years that is how she had lived, by the decree on another. Constantly being watched by shadows that she can never escape until someone from a life she should have forgotten comes to her. Now she must choose, whether she will remain Lady Thora or she will become Queen Theodosia, the rightful heir to the throne of her country.

IMG_1589.JPG
Please ignore my chipped nail vanishxxxx

There are constant themes that seem to come up in fantasy books and this is when the protagonist “falls in love” with the “enemy”. It happens in this book, it happens in Ruined by Amy Tintera and it happens in To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo and it happens in The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. What I want to know is why this keeps coming up. Since when was it so popular? I think that Sebastian does this because she was trying to highlight that not all are evil when dealing with a monarchy of a horrible ruler. In a way it was profound. Like for once I actually liked the relationship that blossomed between the Protagonist and the “enemy” but still as soon as they were introduced I was like “oh here we go again” the reason why I didn’t like Ruined was because of this trope but in this book it seemed to make sense.

IMG_1586.JPG
I liked the love interest. He wasn’t horrible. He did horrible things but there was just something so remorseful in everything he did. Like he was truly sorry for everything that had come because of the rule of the king and for that I liked him. But then saying this, he did do really horrible things so maybe I’m just being nice to him (I’m writing this at 1am so excuse me if some of this doesn’t make sense). Its strange how characters do things that in our society would be horrific and unforgiveable like murder and yet when they happen in fantasy books they are just one of those things… if you know what I mean.

“I take one last look at my reflection in the mirror. Ashes already flake down over my cheeks and nose, marking me. The red stain I used on my lips looks like fresh blood. Underneath, I see bits and pieces of my mother staring back at me, but twisted with hate and fury my mother never needed to know.
I’m not sorry for it.
I am angry.
I am hungry.
And I promise myself that one day I will watch them all burn.”

IMG_1588Oh and guess what makes a beautiful entrance. Because having the protagonist liking her enemy wasn’t difficult enough there had to be a dash of love triangle to the mix. {hear me groan with as much annoyance as possible} god I hate love triangles. I mean being a writer myself, sure maybe it’s a bit fun, I mean why not have characters that get loads of attention from their desired genders or others while we (I mean me) doesn’t get any attention at all -its nice to live vicariously through them. But still. Seriously? I had to live through the great Team Edward -Team Jacob love triangle affair and THAT was traumatic and exhausting enough to last me a lifetime. If I could I would never read about another love triangle in my life. Books should have a disclaimer about love triangles. Anyways, I’ve gone so off topic but nah well, let’s all just enjoy my 1:25 am rambles. Basically, there was a love triangle in this and it stressed me out and I didn’t know which boy I liked more for the protagonist but then I remembered it didn’t matter because who was going to listen to me, take note and then make the ending how I want it? I realised this probably with three pages left.

“We are not defined by the things we do in order to survive. We do not apologize for them,’ she says quietly, eyes never leaving mine. ‘Maybe they have broken you, but you are a sharper weapon because of it. And it is time to strike.”

IMG_1594.JPG
The world was actually really cool I think. It was really distant in a way and I think that this was really well done because in the same way that Theodosia didn’t know anything about her home country, neither did we. I hope with the way that the book left off there would be some way to explore more of the lands because the map is literally massive and if they don’t explore all of the places then what was the point? But still I think it gave a opening for the other stories, I think that it would be really cool if they could have some different perspectives because although I enjoyed the point of view of Theo there is a possibility to add more people to the story. When dealing with fantasy books having many perspectives really adds to it.

“I was a princess made of ashes; there is nothing left of me to burn.
Now it’s time for a queen to rise.”

The magic system was quite basic in my opinion. It was just something that I had read so many times and I was just waiting for there to be this massive plot twist but there wasn’t really one. When it was all introduced there was a part of me that just knew where it was all heading towards and for that reason I wasn’t enjoying it.
The writer wasn’t bad at writing, there were parts of this book that I really enjoyed. I thought that it wasn’t too descriptive but then it wasn’t overly dialogue orientated either. So, for that I did enjoy reading this book but saying all of this I can’t think back to a time where I was breath taken or anything by anything that was said.
Overall, I do recommend this book to people who don’t tend to read fantasy all the time, for you this book would be amazing but for those of you who are like me and enjoy reading loads of fantasy books maybe read this book with caution.

Thank you for readingxxxx

{Review} Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls (feminist AF as everything should be)

IMG_1501

All of last year I was studying civil rights in America from 1865-1992 and one of the topics was gender equality so I can tell you so many different statistics on the position of women through that period. This book put those statistics and matched them with faces. It gave me a perspective on the fight for votes in the UK when although it wasn’t what I had studied last year, it was still the same ball game, all the same inequality and double standards that I had learnt about (and had literally ranted about to my mum every time I was either revising or just happened to think about it-thanks mum for listening and getting angry with me lysm). This book gives an insight into the fight for the vote that you can’t get from learning the statistics of how many people were involved or how many women were unable to work. It reminds you that all of the things that happened, happened to families and in some instances, they shattered them but in others it made them stronger.
On the back of the book there is a quote taken from the Times that says “Nicholls has brought alive the young women of the past to empower the next generation” which I completely agree with. When speaking about a topic that has not only changed history but has also influences so many different women’s lives over the past 100 years, it does empower the women of our generation. As a reader, when you compare how people were living only 100 years ago you do see how far the world has come, how much women have accomplished. But it also makes us realise that there are sexual inequalities in the world still but like women did 100 years ago in so many countries across the world and what they remind us with their history that there is nothing that a woman cannot accomplish. I think that’s the underlying real message of this book, not only to educate us on what happened but to remind us that there is nothing that can’t be changed if you have the courage to do so. God look at me trying to be really deep and meaningful with my post, but it’s honestly how I feel and there is so much I could say about this book! I just hope that all of my thoughts can come off coherently.

“Evelyn was struggling with herself. At last she burst out, “But it isn’t fair! Really it isn’t, mother! Why should Christopher have everything and I have nothing?”
There was quite a bit Evelyn’s mother could have said to that. But she contented herself with the standby of mothers and nurses the world over. “Well, dear. Life isn’t fair, you know.”
“No,” Evelyn agreed, “but it ought to be.”

IMG_1465

 

About the badges in the photo above.

Top left {green shield looking badge} -The Orignial round enamelled badge first appeared in ‘The Vote’ in 30 October 1909. Top right {the lady by the window while loads of birds fly in} -The Orginal tin badge was designed by Sylvia Pankhurst for the suffragette Campaign. Bottom left {the purple and green circular badge} -The image comes from an original badge issued by the Women’s Social and Political Union to promote the Suffragette message. 1890-1910. Bottom right {the red, white and green badge} – The orginal round badge was in enamelled red, white and green. iscribed “National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies”. From Waterstones £3.99.

Here’s a bit about this phenomenal book;

The year is 1914. The campaign for the vote for women shakes the core of England, the demands from each Women’s group echo through each chartered street of England and three young ladies each hear it the most. It calls to them in the night. It causes them to get up from their different backgrounds and take action. Evelyn should have more open doors than most women for she is rich and clever but still she cannot go to university -this single inequality is that causes her to demand things to be “fair”. She embarks on a personal conquest for her own liberation of the shackles trapping her and stopping her from claiming the life she wants but that small personal quest becomes one with the magnitude of women on a mission. Two of those are May and Nell. Although they are different in principle, they find more similarities in each other than they have with any other, and they find love in each others arms. But their differences threaten to get in the way of their joint dream for Nell is from a working background and May lives with her single mother and their maid in a proper area in proper London. When war comes calling these three lives change course, everything they knew and love is questioned and tests occur to see just how much the Women of England will sacrifice for the vote.

IMG_1462One thing I really enjoyed about this book was just how raw it was. There was no sugar coating of what had happened to women or the aftermath of the quest for the vote or the war. There wasn’t any sugar coating of the actual movements of the women either -the things that they did, especially the Suffragettes who did do extreme things like smashing windows and doing violent things to gather attention. What I liked most about this book was just how accurate it was -of course you can’t be completely accurate when you are writing a nonfiction book based on real events but it was refreshing how close it was to the truth. Nicholls uses real events to influence the women in this book like the March on Buckingham palace, it makes this book all the more better at showing what it was like back then and the courage it must have taken to stand up against the “mans world” that has told them to stay down all along. It was shown through her characters who each went to the march and it was all shown in the differences between the characters. Nell was an advocate for using violence in defence while May was a pacifist. Despite their differences Nicholls was able to use to their relationship as an extended metaphor for the actual movement in general -while there were divisions in the ways in which to bring about change at the end of it, it was all for the same changes. The way that Nicholls was able to do this really made me enjoy the book more just as it gave a more whole view of the movement in general.

IMG_1008

There were things which occurred in this book that were actually very true to the movement. For instance, Evelyn goes into prison and completes a hunger strike. The details of that ordeal were horrible to read but they were something that I needed to read because women did that all the time just so that we could have the vote -a self-sacrifice just as Emily Davison scarified herself for the movement. It made me remind myself just how important it is for me to vote. I’m eighteen and so the last local election in my city, I was right there voting and it still made me proud and just grateful. Because of their actions I can vote when there are still so many who can’t. Then also the sacrifices that Nell has to go through, required to work in order to help her mother with money, having to give away her childhood to work in factories.

IMG_1012
Like any story based in our world, love is usually involved and this book is not the exception. The love in this book was beautiful in my opinion, it captured everything that I love about love and for once I was living for it (instead of hating every single park of it and cringing like hell). In this book Nell and May fall in love and it was wonderful to see two young girls, one of them experienced in the knowledge of lesbianism while a second not so. But they learn together in a sense. They were adorable. I loved them both individually and together.

“Girls, though…girls were beautiful. Everyone agreed on that. She didn’t see why anyone would rather marry a boy over a girl.”

IMG_1467
The relationship between Teddy and Evelyn was finally what I had been looking for in a book. It was full of support and love and commitment. Teddy supports Evelyn through everything that she goes through with the movement. He’s there when she gets arrested (when he asked her not to do it because he knew what would happen) and he was there with her at the march on Buckingham, he was there for her when she came out of the prison after her hunger strike and supported her education when neither her mother nor her father did. The thing with Teddy that made him such a good representation of what the feminist man is like, is that even though he didn’t always agree with what Evelyn was going to do for the vote, he was still there to support her. He was just wonderful. And from him we were able to learn more about the war and the front through his letters to Evelyn. The thing about love, something that I’ve always thought at least is that you are supposed to feel completely home with that person… that’s how Evelyn felt with Teddy and that’s why I adored it.

“Mrs Leighton nudged her and pointed upwards. There was half a bench of women in suffrages colours, all waving. At the end of the row -and Evelyn felt her heart give an enormous bound -was teddy. He wasn’t waving. He was leaning forward, he hands gripping the back of the bench in front of him, staring and staring and staring at her. His face was set, and very pale, and his eyes burned.
Evelyn -it was the strangest thing -felt as though something inside her had burst open. Seeing him there was like coming home. Like feeling safe for the first time in what left like her whole life.”

IMG_1469
The war wasn’t so much a massive part of the book in the fact that we weren’t having scenes about the battles from any one’s perspective, it was all the affects that the war was having on the home front. All of the workers, all of the people, all of the women who were having to be not only the “breadwinner” but be the mother at home. This book really highlights the efforts of the women and the struggles they had to face, because out on the battle field wasn’t the only place of a war going on. It affected the soldiers as much as it affected the people back home and yet the struggled of those left behind are almost forgotten or limited in comparison in history but explored by Nicholls.

“When they writes up the history of this war,’ said Nell’s mother. ‘I hope they tells about the wives and the children starving to death!’.
‘They won’t,’ said Nell, gloomy socialist. ‘It’ll be all “Our Boys”, and everyone enlisting and people doing without chauffeurs to help the war effort.”

Overall, everyone should read this book. It’s a book that I feel needs to be read but it also deserves to be read. Its beautifully written. Its empowering and it reminds us just how far we have come and yet just how many things we also need to ask on to achieve full equality.
Thank you all for readingxxxx

SPOILER FREE {Review} Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli (i cried when i read this book!)

IMG_1429 (1)Simon Vs is one of my favourite books, I can’t deny it and I wont because it is. And that may sound strange coming from someone who claims to be a fantasy person through and through but here I am. Admitting that I am a huge fan of this authors work and I adore everything she writes. Not only did Simon touch my heart, the Upside of Unrequited did as well so the moment I found that Leah on the off beat was coming out I lost my shit. But it took me a while to get around to reading this book mainly because I was scared to go back into the Simon Verse. As soon as in the blurb it says there’s trouble in one of my fave books I’m instantly like nope. I won’t read it any then it won’t happen. Everything will still be fine that way. That’s my mentality which is kind of unhealthy but I can’t help it -I just avoid things that stress me out. But I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and read the book while I was on holiday in France. And by god it was beautiful. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. As you can tell by the title of this blog post, this book also made me cry. It doesn’t really take a lot to make me cry because as my mum has always told me, I feel things “ten times more than the average human being” but still this book made me ball me eyes out and fall uncontrollably with characters in a very “healthy” way.

IMG_1091
Picture a burning Sam on a beach, trying to read this beautiful book while sand got everything with my mum snoring four metres away… it was lovely (the book was at least) ;p

Here’s a bit about the book if you didn’t already know anything about it;

Leah is anything but “just a girl”, she has an amazing friendship group – a best friend that books are written about -, she is a drummer in a band, an artist and she’s bisexual. She doesn’t know why she hasn’t told anyone even her fore-mentioned best friend who is openly gay but she hasn’t. The moment just hasn’t come but as her High School life comes to an end, as she begins to think about College and the next big step in her life, and thinking about those changes almost calls for things to change, and they do. In her friendship group it all gets that bit more complicated as people fall out, more things are revealed and Leah realises that maybe, after all this time, she likes one of her friends more than she ever thought she would.

IMG_1423 (1)
this may look like i was trying to take a really cool picture with the book on a angle but really i was trying to cover up the two gaps from missing books! posted on @samthefangirl_ on the 28th of July 2018

It’s obviously based in our society, with all the same problems and all the same judgements. The way that Albertalli addressed them in order to make them a central piece of the story in itself is so masterful, for instance there is addresses to racism and body shaming and sexuality. It is so gently and get drastically addressed that I couldn’t help but relate to the thoughts about body weight and sexuality. She makes this book about being able to see our own thoughts in the characters. This is a story about a bisexual and to be honest I am beyond happy that Leah was one because there is a vast absence of bisexuals in the book community in comparison to the gay and lesbian community -I was reading an article about it before I read the book and it only made me want to read it even more. On the topic of elements that reflect our everyday society -university. I am going to university in September so all the anxiety that was being presented in the book was just like reading a book about my own fears. The way that Albertalli makes this realistic world around her characters is just one of the many reasons why this author is so popular!

IMG_1427 (1)
i want the dress Leah is wearing the more i look at this cover

Leah… what can I say about this amazing protagonist? Other than the fact I love her, I respect her so much. There is so much strength in her character -you can see by the way she speaks that she is so heartfully her. Sometimes one of the issues I have with contemporary novels is the fact that characters are sometimes different to how they are in their dialogue in comparison to how their inner narrative voice is. But with Leah is was all her. There was no hiding and I loved that. I respected her in the way that she didn’t apologise for who she is, she didn’t just follow the crowd she was just herself. The insecurities that she has with people and socialising and her perception with her body (that she loves) are so relatable. Her character put a whole new spin on being plus sized, for being curvy -she loves herself and it was just lovely to read a book where finally a girl with curves doesn’t think they aren’t beautiful. Because I know I’m curvy and I know I love my body. It was just nice to see it finally in a book!

IMG_1431 (1)
I don’t mean to be dramatic BUT READ THIS BOOK

The characters, what can I say about the characters. It was like coming into a room full of your favourite people on the face of the earth and having a good old catch up since I had last seen them. Simon vs was a beautiful book that touched me so much. Simon is one of my favourite characters ever so just to see how he and Blue was doing was just beautiful and maybe slightly over due. I had been to see the movie a few months prior so I was already feeling really reconnected to the characters and then I read this book and fell in love with them all over again. It was hard because there was a break up (I won’t tell you who) and it was sad to see. But it was a nice thing because it shows that realistically not all relationships last and that’s okay. Its healthy.
mmm… my favourite characters… well I love them all but I was really happy because we got to see more of Garrett. We didn’t really get to know him much in Simon vs but now he was literally everywhere and I honestly thought he was such a cutie (and possibly my type of guy so my newest book boyfriend from a contemporary book (I know, who knew I would add a contemporary character to the sacred book boyfriend list that was originally exclusively fantasy characters?!?!?!?)). Abby. Well Abby is an adorable little cinnamon bun that at times I was just as confused as Leah was about her character but I loved her so much. She is so fun and clever and real. Honestly I think the world of her. But at the end of the day, everything in this book is perfection in my mind, I can’t think of anything I didn’t like about it -which is unusual for me since I find problems everywhere -I just love love LOVE this book!

 

IMG_0078
do i look like a potato? yes. do i slightly regret taking this photo while a number of people stared at me? not in the slightest. do i enjoy using questions while trying to make a really cool caption? why yes, yes i do. 

There is something that is just so easy about reading Albertalli’s books. I notice that all the time I’m constantly looking at what page I’m on with other books and it can sometimes go by so slowly but with this book one minute I was on 23 and the next 159. That’s how easy this book is and how lovely it is to read. At times I was like no you need to read slower just so that it would last longer but alas I don’t have that will power! And I am so happy to say that myself and one of my lovely bookish friends (who I met through bookstagram) are going with me to meet her in October I AM SO EXCITED AHHHHHHH!

Thank you all for reading!xxxx

Favourite Fantasy Books that speak to my soul.

IMG_1395

Fantasy is my genre. There is no denying it. It is my soul mate, like if the fantasy genre was a human being it would be my perfect match. It just speaks to my soul on a spiritual level. It may sound funny but there is something about it that I believe way more than I believe contemporary novels. The combination of characters that you would literally die for and settings that make my life worth living and magic…. Magic makes everything better (true fact)!

Over the eighteen years of my time spent on this planet I have developed a –what people could call- expertise on the topic of fantasies. Because of this, I have decided that I have the skill and the knowledge to make a list of fantasies that all should read and for it to be a very accurate and representation of my type of fantasies. Here are 11 of my favourite fantasies in no particular order;

1) Throne of Glass by Sarah. J. Maas.

IMG_5212.JPG
posted on @samthefangirl_ on the 5th september 2017

This book will always have a special place in my heart. I remember the day I found Throne of Glass in a small bookshop in a little town that I always go to with my family. I remember thinking after I finished the first chapter that this book was going to change my life and four years later, only a few months away from the last instalment of this epic series, I can honestly say it has. I won’t bore you with all the cringy things it has taught me or the how attached I am to every single aspect of this series but know that it has heavily impacted my life and I think it will continue to do so even after the series has ended.

Since we are now blessed with seven books right now in the series, I’ll give you a little blurb of the first book, written by yours truly.

Celaena Sardothien has been a slave in the Endovier Salt mines for a year. It nearly broke her. It nearly destroyed her. But the King of Adarlan, the man who had her enslaved, is holding a competition for one to become his champion (a pretty name for his assassin) and Celaena is chosen by the Crown Prince to be his competitor. If she wins, she can be free after serving the King for 4 years. Victory seems to become less and less important as the vicious games begin, as Celaena begins to realise that her life may be in just as much danger as her freedom. As ancient secrets and games unravel, Celaena must decide what she will sacrifice for the world’s safety.

“You could rattle the stars, if only you dared,” she said, “and that’s what scares you the most.”

2) Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.

nevernight pic.png
posted on @samthefangirl_ on the 17th of August 2017

Nevernight is defiantly a much darker fantasy in my opinion but don’t we all adore a twisted tale? To this day, one of the passages in this book is one of the most extraordinary things I have ever read in my entire life. I am all for unique perspectives and by god did Kristoff do the most amazing thing in that first chapter. It’s not exactly a spoiler and if it is then look away but in that first chapter he does his dual perspective running side by side of the main character having sex for the first time and killing for the first time. It was just an idea that not only sits so well with the erotic intensity of this story but also creates this overshowing of the battle between desire and bloodlust that continues through the book. It’s just the idea of sex and killing being so similar and being so tied together was just undoubtable clever and something I had never thought about before. It was truly just amazing. I have just raved about it to so many people and I will always do for ever and ever!

Again, here’s a little blurb all about the first book written by me;

They stole her life. Mia Co will never forget and she will never forgive those who took everything from her. The darkness drinks her fear, her hatred, her bloodlust. It is those three things that make her seek out the Church. To find those two can teach her how to destroy and reek the chaos that Mia so desires. But when it comes to her revenge and what is good and true, how will Mia choose between the two? (yes, read that line again, it rhymes).

“The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us. I can see it in you, sure as I see it in me. You’re a daughter of the words. A girl with a story to tell.”

3) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.

IMG_0049
posted on @samthefangirl_ on the 8th of April 2018

It’s been two years since I’ve read this book, us

ually I would have forgotten most or maybe all the details surrounding the plot and the characters but not with this book. I remember more than I thought I could and that just demonstrates just how this story has stayed with me. There is gore and heartbreak and tension and rebellion and dark elements and death and hope, so much hope in this book. I remember vividly from the first time I read this book that there was this scene and I remember balling my eyes out because I was heartbroken and I was so shocked. There’s one things about Tahir’s twistedly beautiful mind that I can’t fault and that’s how wickedly fantastic she is, there were scenes that only a daring writer would do, and she did them. If you want a read that will have you on the edge of your seat, that’s nail bitingly good, that causes you to become a sweating and crying hot mess then this is the series to read.

Here’s a bit about the book;

Two characters. Two stories.
Laia is a scholar and has lived in fear all her life. The empire has broken the nation, it has forced people to be oppressed, but that oppression exceeds that of the millions into the very foundations of the nation. Elias is just as afraid as Laia, living as a product of the empire, he has been set on the path of being a mask –one of the elite soldiers of the empire. But these two stories become one when they are thrown together. Together they have the power to return to their everyday lives, to ignore the tyranny of the empire, but they also have the power to create a revolution that could end the empire all together.

“Life is made of so many moments that mean nothing. Then one day a single moment comes along to define every second that comes after. Such moments are tests of courage, of strength.”

4) The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon.

bone season pic.png
posted on @samthefangirl_ on the 22nd of october 2017

Samantha Shannon is one of my favourite authors. I was lucky enough to meet her a year ago and she is inspiring and so intelligent which really translates into her work. Each word is just placed into a sentence and it’s there for a reason –you really feel this –all the effort and the thought placed into each word is just all amazing and inspiring. I adore this series, for me it was slow in places especially in the first book but it is such a complex plot that those slow bits are actually nice as you can actually absorb what’s going on. The second book in the series is by far my favourite in the series.

I honestly doubt that I could do this book justice with me trying to explain it without giving away any spoilers so instead I’m just going to give you the blurb of the edition I own.

“The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant –and in her world, the world of scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.
“It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years and controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race called the Rephaim. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.”

“There was no normal. There never had been. “Normal” and “natural” were the biggest lies we’d ever created.”

5) Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

IMG_1028When I started really getting into buying books and reading dedicatedly, after I decided I was more a paperback and hardback girl instead of reading all the free books on my kindle, I decided to read Graceling. I remember the time I started to read it and I remember how much it impacted my perception of books, before I was more a contemporary girl because they were the free books on the kindle (a girl has to get the bargains when she has no money at the age of 13), Graceling will always have a special place in my heart. It showed me that women were powerful and its okay to be alone because let’s be real, how many female characters fall in love and stay with their love interests by the end of the book? –which is completely fine and great –but in this book there’s a woman who is so full heartedly her own that it changed my life. It was a breath of fresh air.

Here’s a bit about the book;

People in the Seven Kingdoms are graced. Or at least some. Those who are graced have an exceptional skill which exceeds that of normal people. Katsa has the grace of killing. Her uncle, the King of one of the seven kingdoms, exploits Katsa into being the killer her grace wants her to be. The day that the King of Lienid’s father is kidnaped, a monarchy of deceit and brutality comes crashing down on Katsa and other allies she finds on her journey. Katsa must not only rely on herself but also other people for the first time in her life to end suffering and to save a young girls life.

“When a monster stopped behaving like a monster, did it stop being a monster? Did it become something else?”

6) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

IMG_5121.JPGI adore these two books of gold dust. Throne of glass was the only series (at the time of reading this book) that I had fallen completely and uncontrollably in love with. Every aspect of the story had grabbed my heart and was making me utterly invested in the story –and then came along Leigh Bardugo, with a missile into my life and destroy that small part of me that thought I would never be able to love a series as much as Throne of Glass. And I am so happy she did. From her writing style to her amazing characters to her amazing plot, Bardugo made and destroyed me and made me again all in the span of a chapter, over and over again. In my opinion these books were too short and need to have another sixty books and even then, there won’t be enough to satisfy me! This series is a must. But a word of warning. Get through the first few chapter. They are slow. They are long but they are worth it and this book will change your life.

Here’s my lil blurb!

The Dregs are dangerous, they are powerful and they are reckless. The most dangerous, powerful and reckless of them all is Kaz Brekker. He is offered a job, one that is all of those three things and maybe if Kaz was anyone else, he would have declined it but the sum offered is too tempting and he has too much faith in the team he acquires. So he takes the job and embarks with five other misfits to infiltrate a prison, steal a prisoner and get back to their isolated island –sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Well in a plan as dangerous and as deadly as this, things are bound to not go according to plan. In a world as unexpected as theirs, the six must learn to trust each other when many of them barely trust themselves.

“Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you’ll meet a boy who will learn your favourite flower, your favourite song, your favourite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won’t matter because he will have taken he time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.”

7) The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross.

queens rising pic
posted on @samthefangirl_ on the 25th of March 2018

There is a feeling you get when you read a book that you love. It’s probably different for each of us but when I read this book a few months ago it came back like a wild fire. I usually go through areas in my life where I barely get this feeling, I read disappointing book after disappointing book and then finally a book like this one comes along and changes everything. It had everything I could have ever wanted in a fantasy. A lost crown, a evil king, a magical presence and an awesome main character. The presence in the book was so different to what I had read in any other book, like it may sound like a classic fantasy book but there were so many elements to the story that made it so unique and that was why I loved it so much. And the romance was the best because it wasn’t instant love (one of my most hated things) it was growing as the characters grew (one of my favourite things)!

Here’s a little taste of this book;

Just as shores divide countries, the mental divide between Maevana and Valenia is just as true and strong as the ocean. Brianna is caught between the two, adrift as a piece of wood caught in the current, her heritage is mixed and therefore she is regarded internally as an outsider. As Brianna tries to unlock the secrets of her past, who her family is and who she is, she stumbles upon a key that could help peace come for so many also caught in the current of being an outsider from their true homes. Although at school studying knowledge, her passion, it seems that all she has learnt and all she will learn way be the pebble that sets the current off course.

“She waits with grace upon the clouds, and the stats knows her by name

8) Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

caraval pic.png
posted on @samthefangirl_ on the 25th of April 2018

Simplicity always comes to mind when I think of this book. I don’t mean in the sense that this book wasn’t complex or that I didn’t enjoy this book –quite the opposite- it was simply in the way that it was written. It was effortless. It was strung together by someone who understand the complexity of a sentence and yet decided that the story in itself was complex enough to not need endless sentences or big words. And it was like taking a deep breath after holding one in for so long. The story is based in, what you could call, a trick come to life. As someone who loves carnivals I was beyond excited to read this book. I loved it. All of it. From the romance, to the relationships between families to the never-ending twists and turns –just as you think you know what’s going to happen WHAM! There’s another plot twist that leaves you lying on the ground questioning everything you ever read. Stephanie is a mastermind that deserves all the recognition she is intitled to.

A little about the book (I decided to do the blurb from my edition because again I couldn’t I think of any way to successfully write it without giving something away):

“This year the week long game is on Legend’s glittering Isla de los Suenos, where the winding streets are an elaborate snow-covered maze and the people are never who they seem. At midnight on the first day, the show begins and the visitors become players. Each of them is vying for the coveted price: a single wish. All they must do is unravel the mystery of Caraval. But in a game where danger hides behind every charming smile, winning isn’t without loss, and their wish might be their last.”

“Hope is a powerful thing. Some day it’s a different breed of magic altogether. Elusive, difficult to hold on to. But not much is needed.”

9) The Shadow Queen by C.J Redwine.

the shadow queen.png
posted on @samthefangirl_ on the 9th of November 2017

Like many people, I love a good old retelling. This book is by far my favourite retelling I have ever read. Redwine took the original story of Snow white and really made it her own, she transformed the dependent snow white who waits for a prince to wake her from her slumber into a powerful protagonist who doesn’t need a prince at all. (although the one in this book isn’t too bad). It is empowering! As a young woman who grew up on those tales of women waiting for their prince charming’s and instead this book teaches us to go make something of our lives without them. Because at the end of the day, no prince is going to wake us up, it’s us that’s going to get up and fight the fight.

Here’s my little blurb for you!

An evil queen. A lost princess. A throne that needs to be reclaimed. The evil queen stole everything from Lorelai, everything but her brother and her protector. But she needs to rid Ravenspire of the queen’s evil touch, but things get complicated when the prince from a neighbouring country comes and falls under the queen’s power. He is to hunt her. He is to destroy her. Worse, he has the ability to transform into a dragon, it seems that the queen isn’t the only enemy Lorelai has.

“Gabriel’s voice was strong and sure. “I believe in you, and I’ve fought for you, because in a world full of people who crumble before an evil too terrifying to comprehend, you put up your fists and fight.”

10) A shiver of snow and sky by Lisa Luddecke.

IMG_1024This is a good read. It’s a fact. Known by all who are blessed enough to read this book. It was exciting and enticing and I just all round enjoyed every part of this book. It was empowering and it made me feel like I could take on the world which is everything that you want when and you finish a book, isn’t it? I recommend this book to anyone who just wants a good, straight forward and classic fantasy novel.

Here’s a little blurb for you all;

There’s a myth in the land called Skane. A myth that is more a warning. When the lights in the sky turn red, it’s the goddess warning the people on her land that danger is coming. A plague caused chaos before, and when they light the sky red, Osa won’t just stand by and let her people die. She decides to leave her abusive family, the only love she has every found in her best friend, and her home on the edge of being attacked by the Or. She goes to find the Goddess, to beg her to stop the plague. She goes through land untouched by her people for centuries. With danger coming from every angle, Osa will learn just how red the future ahead could be.

“There was a solace in a snow-laden forest wrapped in night found nowhere else, a loneliness that made me better acquainted with myself.”

11) The Last Namsura by Kristen Ciccarelli.

the last namsura.png
posted on @samthefangirl_ on the 31st of december 2017

Dragons… this book has dragons. Is there any other reason to read this book that’s necessary? When I got this book the only thing I knew about it was the fact that there were dragons and I was instantly like throw my money at you and take it so I can have this book in my arms.

Here’s a bit about the book (and guess what I can’t think how I would write this so here’s the actual blurb);

“Asha is a dragon-slayer. Reviled by the very people she’s sworn to protect, she kills to atone for the wicked deeds she committed as a child –one that almost destroyed her city, and left her with a terrible scar. But protecting her father’s kingdom is a lonely destiny: no matter how many dragons she kills, her people still think she’s wicked. Even worse, to unite the fractured kingdom she must marry Jarek, the cruel commandant. As the wedding day approaches, Asha longs for freedom. Just when it seems her fate is sealed, the king offers her a way out: her freedom in exchange for the head of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard. And the only person standing in her way is defiant slave boy.”

“Asha glanced up. The look in his eyes made her breath catch. It was like looking into the heart if a star; bright and burning.”

Thank you all for reading, i really enjoyed writing this post. it’s about books that i really enjoy and just really made me want to keep writing and writing about each and every one of them.

{Spoiler Free Review} Wonder Woman; Warbringer

Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo Review

Mythology. Ancient creatures. Curses. Tales. A quest. Loveable characters. Old weapons. Strong female leads. Greek gods and goddesses…If I could create a perfect formula for books that I will guaranteed love this would be it! And here it is, in a book. And god did I love it.

@samthefangirl_ photo 11/07/18

A little bit about the book;

Diana, Princess of the Amazons breaks a rule the moment she was born, the moment that she was made from clay by her mother and began to live on Themyscira without having won her place there in battle and death. She broke another rule when she saved Alia when her boat exploded off the shores of her secret island. Just as Diana was no mere Amazon, Alia was no mere girl, she is a Warbringer. With her birth comes war and the only way to stop this, Diana and Alia must get the springs where the original Warbringer dies in order to end the cycle of Warbringers. But there are those who want Alia dead and those who do. It is a race against those and time in order to save not only Alia but also the world.

IMG_1004
The bookmark is from the Feburary Fairyloot box.   

As I’m writing this I’m watching the Wonder Woman movie just so I can channel my inner Amazon while I write this. My entire life I have adored superheroes, I used to watch the old Justice League TV show with my dad and played the Justice League video game with my brother constantly. Wonder Woman has always had a place in my heart, she taught me so many things and made me believe in so many different things and I am so glad to say that this book was amazing and didn’t disappoint at all. Well, what could I expect from the goddess that is Leigh Bardugo. It was just amazing.

“Human courage was different from Amazon bravery. She saw that now. For all the suspision and derision she’s heard from her mother and her sisters about the mortal world, Diana couldn’t help but admire the people with whom she traveled. Thier lives were violent, precarious, fragile, but they fought for them anyway, and held to the hope that their belief stay on this earth might count for something. That faith was worth preserving.”

First we are set on the island Themyscira and the detail and mythology that’s laced in each description really did the original imagines of the place justice – plus the actual mythology made my inner history nerd go insane. Bardugo never fails to present a wonderful setting that literally comes to life behind the words, it was insanely vivid. I don’t know if that was because I had already thought of all the thoughts and images from all of the TV programs but the book only brought them further into clarity. But then it was also set in New York and I really enjoyed the like the take on the setting. It was really realistic and for someone like me who has never been to New York it really made me understand wider things about the place. Bardugo combines both Diana’s world and Alia’s as they both try to save the world.

IMG_0999

One of the things that I loved most about this book was that there were some really distinct voices. Between Alia and Diana you could tell whose point of view it was instantly without having to see who it was instantly. It was another thing that I love about Bardugo’s work, it is so true to the characters and helps to develop them so much to the point of them being more 3D and able to be more realistic.

“We can’t help the way we’re born. We can’t help what we are, only what life we choose to make for ourselves.”

What can I say about the characters? I loved them uncontrollably. Diana was everything she was supposed to be and so were the other characters. They were all warriors in their own right. Alia was a wonderful addition to the cast of this amazing story of Diana’s, I loved the way that Bardugo combined the battles that Diana was going through in this fight for Alia with the racial inequality of the world that was shown through Alia’s mistreatment because of the colour of her skin. It was very well done in the way it was tackled because I feel that sometimes racial treatment can be overlooked or not in a realistic way to how society really treats people. But yet again Bardugo out did herself. The other characters in this book, Jason, Nim and Theo were all wonderfully explored and I loved them completely.

IMG_1002

While I was reading this book I realised how much like the Percy Jackson series this book is. The combination of mythology with the leading hero being both mentally and physical strong. There was a likeness between Diana and Percy in the fact that they were both chosen for something and to fulfil like a prophecy or a quest. There was even links that I could see between each team member with the other. There was the funny characters and the serious ones and the loving ones and so on. Overall I think that anyone who loved the Percy Jackson series would also love this book so much. But overall, please read this book because it needs to be read by all! Thank you and goodnight.

IMG_1094 @samthefangirl_ photo 27/01/18