Book Review: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix. E. Harrow

Read between: 6th- 15th January

Format: ebook

Acquired from Netalley

Published: 10th September 2019

Publisher: Redhook

Synopsis :

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Review:

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book going into it. I certainly didn’t expect it to be a story about travelling through different Doors into other worlds.

The added surrealism of this book made it more enjoyable as I didn’t really get on with the writing style. I found I couldn’t get January’s voice.

However, it’s a great story. The main character is a woman of colour, which means she’s an oddity in their current time period. She doesn’t let that get to her because she knows her father will come back to her at some point.

Her guardian takes as much care of her as she can.

There are various twists and turns which change the story quite drastically.

I liked the flipping between January’s writing and the book she finds, the Ten Thousand Doors, because it gives us background to January’s story.

Although I predicted where the story was going.

It’s an enjoyable story with an interesting premise and definitely worth the read.

4/5 stars.

Thanks for reading!

~Katie

Happy Birthday ‘Sherlockianbooklover’ 🥳🥳🥳

My little book blog is six years old today!

It feels so strange that I’ve been on this blogging journey that long especially as I’ve been neglecting it recently.

I’ve found so many amazing books and spoken to some great people and I can’t wait to continue as I work my way through my TBR.

Thank you to everyone who has continued to follow and support me, those who comment and like my posts. It means a lot.

And that’s all from me!

Book Review: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colourblindess by Michelle Alexander

Read between: 18th June- 6th July 2020

Format: ebook

Published: 5th January 2010

Publisher: The New Press

Synopsis:

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Review:

The main focus of this book is the mistreatment of blacks people whilst they are incarcerated. There is also a big focus on what is called the War on Drugs- one of the main reasons why black men in American end up in prison.

It definitely opened my eyes but I also struggled to get through it due to it being wordy. I see this as an advantage though as by reading it slowly I was able to process the information it was giving me.

It’s well researched, own voices, and still very much relevant even though it’s ten years old.

I feel this book definitely educated as there are no personal stories from the author as she doesn’t need to tell to get the point across.

The focus always remains on the main topic of the book, really bringing it to light.

It’s definitely worth reading to raise awareness of the mistreatment of black men in prison, and once they’ve been released their rights all but disappear.

3/5 stars

Thanks for reading!

~Katie

Book Review: The Ghost of Buxton Manor by Jonathan L Ferrara

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Read between: 16th-18th June 2020
Format: ebook
Published: October 12th 2016
Publisher: HusbandandHusband
Synopsis: “Michael, don’t forget our Neverland.”

For nearly a century, the ghost of 17 year-old Rupert Buxton has been trapped in his childhood home. He spends his days reading, roaming, and trying desperately to recall his former life. Hope is restored when a boy his own age moves into the manor—a boy he quickly becomes fascinated by. This peculiar, modern boy is the first person that Rupert has been able to reveal himself to, and just might be the key to help him discover his mysterious past.

The Ghost of Buxton Manor is a young adult, LGBT paranormal fiction centered around historical figures Rupert Buxton and Michael Davies—the inspiration behind the real Peter Pan.

Rating: Five-star review | YSE Ski

Review:

Wow. That was so much more than I expected from a paranormal gay romance- yep you heard me.

So I received this book from the author at HusbandandHusband years ago. Thanks Jonathan and Aaron!- and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to get around to it and finish it.

It’s beautiful.

Not only is it wonderfully queer, but the narration is packed full of emotion and there were many times I felt myself tearing up.

The story is narrated by Rupert Buxton- the 17 year old son of a Baronet who died in 1917 along with his friend (and love) Michael Davies of the Llewelyn-Davies boys who were under the guardianship of J.M Barrie. Both Rupert and Michael were real people, and the story has been reinvented around the circumstances of their untimely death.

I really liked Rupert’s voice. It didn’t feel out of place, and his recollection of things he doesn’t recognise 100 years later genuinely made me believe he was from a different time.

When a human 17 year old boy, Aaron, moves into Buxton Manor with his family things start to change. Rupert starts to remember things.

Why has Aaron been drawing him? Why is he so familiar?

There’s twists and turns, and surprises, but they add to the story and don’t draw things away too much from the romance.

I adored this story. It’s not the classic ghost haunting human book, in fact some of the lines in the book really show how much the characters love each other.

“I watched Aaron collapse on the daybed, weeping into his palms. “But I don’t want to say goodbye.” “It’s the hardest thing for anyone to do,” she acknowledged. “Either in life or death, it doesn’t matter. Saying goodbye is the most difficult, yet most common unfinished business bestowed upon us ghosts. But, Rupert, once you cross through your door’s threshold, you’ll understand that there is no such thing as a ‘goodbye’. Though a powerful word, it is only just that: a word. I believe it was J.M. Barrie who had said it himself: ‘Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.’ You and Aaron, even though you are parting ways now, it’s not really a goodbye, but merely a, ‘I’ll see you soon’.”

I was so worried that the ending wouldn’t be happy but I’m so glad it turned out the way it did. I was smiling before I was crying.

The Ghost of Buxton Manor is stunning. I would recommend it to everyone and I think I have a new favourite book.

5/5 stars.

STUNNING.
A ghost story that made my heart soar ❤️

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Read between: 11th-16th June 2020

Format: ebook

Published: 1st June 2017

Publisher: Bloomsbury Circus

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Review:

This book is written so eloquently, and although it’s technically not aimed at white people, there is such a great amount of research, opinion and own voices that I really feel like I understand race issues so much better.

Reni writes in a way where I felt she was talking to me- there’s curse words and colloquialisms and it also wasn’t difficult to read, I didn’t feel like I was pressured or insulted or attacked and I feel that that really helped me to read this book with an open mind.

Being based in the U.K. helped too as it bought the issue to home, as much as I can understand what’s happening in America- I’m British so needed to understand from a British perspective first.

It’s a really great book. I gave it five stars because, as I mentioned before, the writing style just eases you into an issue that is incredibly important.

This book wasn’t even written this year which just goes to show that this is still happening, the Black Lives Matter movement has become more relevant and books like this explain why but are also really useful in looking at the issue in more depth from different perspectives (gender, class etc)

I’m glad I picked this book up.
I’ve realised things about the BAME community I didn’t know before being from the white community and it shows how and where you can be an ally.

Please pick this book up if you want an honest account of why white people probably don’t understand race as well as we think we do.

5/5 stars.

I’d recommend this book completely if you want to learn about the current race issues in the U.K. to better understand those beyond.

Thanks for reading!

~Katie

Do I Have That Book? Book Tag

I managed to complete 12 out of the 20 challenges!

1. Do you have a book with deckled edges? I do! Although you cannot see it in the picture, The Moriarty Papers has deckled edges.

2. Do you have a book with three or more people on the cover? Again, I do! I chose the original publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as that cover features Harry, Ron and Hermione in Gringotts vaults!

3. Do you have a book based on another fictional story? I don’t any more so this question was unsuccessful. ❌

4. Do you have a book with a title 10 letters long? Yes! Billy and Me by Giovanni Fletcher is exactly ten letters long. B-I-L-L-Y-A-N-D-M-E

5. Do you have a book with a title that starts and ends with the same letter? I do! For this challenge I chose The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer. It starts and ends with the letter T.

6. Do you have a mass market paperback? I couldn’t find one so….no, I don’t. Another failed challenge ❌

7. Do you have a book written by an author using a pen name? I do! The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith. Robert Galbraith is the pen name of JK Rowling.

8. Do you have a book with the characters name in the title? I could have cheated here and gone for Harry Potter again but I went for Eve of Man by Tom and Giovanna Fletcher! Eve is the main female protagonist of the story.

9. Do you have a book with 2 maps on it? Again, I couldn’t find one. So I couldn’t complete this challenge. ❌

10. Do you have a book that was turned into a TV show? I chose A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes books which have had various TV adaptations over the years including BBCs Sherlock.

11. Do you have a book written by someone who is originally famous for something else? For this one I chose I Love the Bones of You by Christopher Eccleston- originally famous for being an actor.

12. Do you have a book with a clock on the cover? I couldn’t find one so I didn’t get this challenge.

13. Do you have a poetry book? I don’t ❌

14. Do you have a book with an award stamp on it? Again, I couldn’t find one- so I couldn’t complete this challenge ❌

15. Do you have a book written by an author with the same initials as you? My initials are KB and I don’t have one but if anyone knows a book that would fit this let me know! I’d be interested! ❌

16. Do you have a book of short stories? No. Another challenge I couldn’t complete ❌

17. Do you have a book that is between 500 and 510 pages long? It took a while to find but A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab is 509 pages long.

18. Do you have a book that was turned into a movie? The Book Thief by Markus Zusak was turned into a really good movie! I recommend it.

19. Do you have a graphic novel? I have plenty! I chose Renew Your Vows which is a Spider-Man graphic novel.

20. Do you have a book written by 2 or more authors? I chose Aurora Rising as it’s by 2 authors, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

This tag was fun to do, and I may do it again in the future and see if I’m able to fill the prompts! I did only use physical books but I may include ebooks next time!

Thanks for reading!

~Katie

Book Review: White Fragility- Why It’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

Read between: 5th-11th June 2020

Format: ebook

Published: 26th June 2018

Publisher: Beacon Press

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Review:

Being someone who is very aware of her white privilege I want to educate myself on the issue of racism during this period of support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

It was really interesting to read a book about racism from a white point of view but I’m glad I started with this one because it has given me a better understanding as why we, as white people, are not very good at talking about race issues and racism.

It’s definitely made me aware of moments when I could have acted in a racist manner, without realising due to my upbringing in a predominantly white area- where certain ideals are taught.

Robin DiAngelo formats the book with short paragraphs and bullet points, has done a lot of research, as well as using stories from black colleagues to really create a book that is not accusatory, but instead makes you consider your thinking.

I’d definitely recommend this book if you are unsure where you stand with racism, or if, like me, you want to educate yourself.

4/5 stars

Thanks for reading!

~Katie

Book Review: I Love the Bones of You. My Father and the Making of Me by Christopher Eccleston.

Read between: 1st- 6th June

Format: Audiobook

Published: 19th September 2019

Publisher: Simon and Schuester UK

Synopsis:

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Review: I listened to this book via audio- it’s the first time I’ve listened to a non-fiction book via audio and I really liked hearing the story from the author himself.

Christopher Eccleston is someone who suffered from anorexia. I had no idea, as I’m a survivor of anorexia myself it was great to not only hear someone else’s story but also from a male sufferer

I’m a fan of Eccleston because of Doctor Who, so that was the chapter I felt would draw me in- however, the whole book was great.

His father had a huge impact on where he is now and you can hear that in how he talks about him.

I really enjoyed this book, especially in audio format. It was a good in depth look into the life of an actor I admire.

5/5 stars!

Thanks for reading!

~Katie

Black Lives Matter TBR

So I’m going away from my current TBR to read various books around the Black Lives Matter movement so I can educate myself on the situation as someone who is White and British.

I want to be an ally.

So, I went onto Amazon to buy some copies of some recommended books, but it was no surprise they were unavailable or coming from other sellers.

Instead, I went onto eBay and managed to purchase ebooks of those three books. I plan to read these books instead of my next reads.

These books are:

  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • White Fragility: Why it’s so hard for White people to talk about racism by Robin DeAngelo
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incineration in the Age of Colourblindess by Michelle Alexander

I’m hoping these books will help me to understand the issue much better. If you’ve read any of these books please let me know!

Thanks for reading!

~Katie

Book Review: Daggers and Dresses by Kristin D. Van Risseghem (Elighten Series #2)

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Read between: 29th May- 1st June 2020

Format: ebook

Published: 17th May 2018

Publisher: Kasian Publishing LLC

Synopsis:

Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Review:

Having read the last book last month I was expecting to enjoy this one too- but with Zoe spending the majority of the book worrying about her boyfriend, it took away from some of the adventure that actually happens.

It’s set pretty much straight after the first one, give or take a week, so it was really easy to pick up the story where I left off.

For a few chapters it’s dual perspective between Shay and Zoe so we can find out why Shay is missing and what is happening to him but as soon as he is rescued it switches back to just Zoe which I felt was very inconsistent.

However, we get more of the supernatural and more people come into their abilities which added to the story- especially when there is a battle.

I did still enjoy the story, but I feel like it both, moved too quickly as well as being over exaggerated in places. I know Kristin herself is Asian but she described a characters eyes as ‘slanted and Asian like’ twice in the same paragraph.

I did like the cliffhanger ending.

I predicted that the character involved was on the side of demons the moment he was introduced.

I would like to complete the series, and maybe once I’ve read through my TBR then I’ll pick it up as I’m interested in seeing how the story ends.

2.5/5 stars.

Not the best but it was a good story all the same.

Thanks for reading!

~Katie