Mid Year Book Freak Out: 2018

It’s that time of the year again! Now that we’re in the middle of the year it’s time to do the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag! I wasn’t tagged by anyone, but I wanted to do the tag anyway. So here goes:

Best Book You’ve Read so Far This Year
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I adored this book! Such a lovely story and it’s definitely up there in my favourites for the year.

Best Sequel You’ve Read so Far
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New Release You Haven’t Read Yet but Want To.
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Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year

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Because I can’t wait for my entire collection to be all Hufflepuff!!!

Biggest Disappointment
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To find out why- read my review: Blog Tour and Book Review: Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

Biggest Surprise
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Favourite New Author?

Jojo Moyes! I’ve read three of her books this year and enjoyed them all. I wouldn’t call her my new favourite, but I definitely enjoy her writing style and would like to pick up more by her.

Newest Fictional Crush

Ooh, I don’t know! Ambulance Sam from After You/Still Me- mainly because he treats Lou like a queen and that is definitely a good trait for a guy to have.

Newest Favourite Character

Hannah from Days of Wonder- she’s so full of life and super sassy that I loved reading the book from her perspective.

Book That Made You Cry

Me Before You

Book That Made You Happy

Many! The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson,On the Other Side and All That She Can See by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Favourite Book to Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year

Wonder! I haven’t read the book by R.J Palachio but I adored the film, Auggie is such a loveable character and the film definitely made me shed a few tears.

Favourite Review You’ve Written This Year

Blog Tour and Book Review: Days of Wonder by Keith Stuart

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year

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The naked hardcover is STUNNING.

What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of The Year?

ALOT.

And that’s the tag!

Thanks for reading
~Katie

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Read By the Pool/At the Beach

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, summer is on the way, so the theme is the 10 books that are great to read by the pool or at the beach.

So, as I only really read contemporary on holiday- the books on this list will be mainly contemporary, and I’ve read and enjoyed them all!

  1. Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher
  2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  3. Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding
  4. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  5. One Day by David Nicholls
  6. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
  7. Truth or Dare by Non Pratt
  8. The Selection series by Kiera Cass
  9. Days of Wonder by Keith Stuart
  10. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

And that’s my list!

Sorry it’s not as fancy as it usually is, I just wanted to make sure I got it up in time!

Thanks for reading.
~Katie
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Illumincrate: Hidden Talents- May 2018

So there’s been enough time now that I feel I can post a picture of what I got in my Illumicrate!

Illumicrate is a quarterly UK bookish subscription box. For more information go to http://www.illumicrate.com

So here’s a phot of what was inside my May Box, which was themed Hidden Talents.

The items, as referred to in the contents card are as follows:

  • A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G Drews
  • It Is Your Time book-sleeve based on Marvel’s Black Panther- designed by @risarodil
  • Camp Half Blood Enamel Pin (not pictured) designed by @fableandblack
  • #prefersfictionalworlds Box based on Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell- designed by @aliceoseman
  • Infernal Devices cards featuring Will, Jem and Tessa- designed by @taratjah
  • Elements Page Markers based on Avatar: The Last Airbender- designed by @anotherstudio_

There were also extras, such as a bookmark for Grey Sister, a chapter sampler of How Do You Like Me Now? Postcards for From Twinkle with Love, I was Born For This and A Reaper at the Gates.

And an ARC of Light Years, the new novel by Kass Morgan!

I think my favourite item has to be the book sleeve!

Book Review: Queen of Extinction by Gwynn White and Erin St Pierre.

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Read between: 8th-11th June
Format: ebook
Published: 23rd January 2017
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Synopsis: A magical princess. A kingdom in danger. A fight to the death for the throne. Princess Aurora never thought she’d have to rule Ryferia. That was her brother’s job, until his brutal murder at the hands of their uncle. She knows the law. A marriage is her only chance to take the throne. Aurora gambles for her kingdom, invoking the right for a deadly marriage trial. As the most gifted–and ruthless–princes and lords battle to the death for her hand, the forces of evil conspire to snatch Aurora’s throne. But the princess has allies, as well as a secret power long outlawed in her kingdom… Will Aurora find true love and save Ryferia or will the trial’s winner destroy them all?
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Review: When I heard that this book was a Sleeping Beauty I was very interested to read it. However, there is no sleeping beauty- or a prince to come andsave her. Princess Aurora becomes heir to the throne when he brother dies. Unfortunately, she’s Infirm, meaning she has certain disabilities that some people (like her uncle, Artemis) think would hinder her rule.

That- and she can’t rule without a husband by her side! So….she orders a tournament so that eligible men can be in a competition for her hand. Of course, it doesn’t come without rivalry and bloodshed…

It was an interesting take on the traditional tale by flipping it- adding magic and shapeshifting to the mix (although not from Maleficent who is long since dead!). I really enjoyed the story. Aurora was the sort of princess who stood on her own ground and made her own choices. Definitely not a damsel in distress!

There are definitely moments that shocked me, and really defined Artemis as a villain. Out of the two antagonists, Artemis is definitely the worst- and he’s human! I wouldn’t want him to be my uncle, I mean, he certainly doesn’t treat Aurora like a beloved niece.

I think I would have preferred if there were more references to the original fairytale- other than just the main focus of the story being Princess Aurora. Despite that, the different viewpoints from Aurora and two of her suitors really opened up the story.

It was different, but in a good way!

I’d definitely recommend it if you want a good fantasy novel with magic, tournaments, and adventure. It was a really fun read and I might read the sequel!

4/5 stars!

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Ten Books That Make Me Want to Travel More

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I haven’t done one of these for a while, but this topic really interested me. This week, the topic is the Top Ten Books that Awaken the Travel Bug in Me.

So without further ado, here’s my list!

1. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.
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This road trip novel just sparked something in me that makes me want to find a friend and go travelling with them!

2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
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It’s enough of a beautiful story to make me want to go to Russia and see where it was set. Although I don’t know if I’d want to go to now Russia or then Russia. I’m not sure which is better…

3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
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The way Laini Taylor describes Prague really makes me want to travel there and see if it is really as beautiful as she describes it!

4. A Meditation on Murder by Robert Thorogood
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I mean, it’s set in Caribbean! Despite the fact a murder happens and everything, I’d love to go to Saint Marie (i know its fictional) and enjoy the sunshine, and the beaches, and the Caribbean food….take me away!

5. Being Someone by Adrian Harvey
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Half of this book is set in India, a country I have always been fascinated by and would like to visit.

6.  The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
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This is an adventure set mainly in Paris, and when I last went to Paris I was 7, so I’d love to go back an explore the culture, like visiting the Louvre.

7. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
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It’s set in Barcelona in Spain- a city I’ve never been to despite having visited Spain many times! This will change one day- I hope.

8. The Girls by Emma Cline
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It’s set in California, and I’d love to venture to the US. I mean, it’s a long way from the UK to California, but you never know!

…Actually I can only think of eight!

But thanks for reading!

~Katie

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Trials of a Trainee Teacher #5

Pre Course Tasks!

So I received an email from the university I will be attending in September to undertake my Teacher Training and I have a lot to do before then!

There are some pre course tasks I have to undertake, including an audit in English, Maths and Science! I have already completed some of the tasks and I hope to have completed them all by the summer holidays.

I’m actually looking forward to them because it will be good to get into the routine of note taking and essay writing- as it’s been a while since I’ve had to do anything similar.

I also got my reading list!

I may do a book haul on a future post when they all arrive. 🙂

Let’s start getting busy! I can’t wait to get stuck in (especially the task that involves reviewing a book 😉 )

Blog Tour and Book Review: Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

About the author:

Paula McLain is the New York Times bestselling author of novels Circling the Sun, The Paris Wife, and A Ticket to Ride, the memoir Like Family: Growing Up in Other People’s Houses, and two collections of poetry. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, O: The Oprah Magazine, Town & Country, The Guardian and The Huffington Post. She lives in Ohio with her family.

Praise for Love and Ruin:

“Paula McLain is considered the new star of historical fiction, and for good reason. Fans of The Paris Wife will be captivated” – Ann Patchett

Read between: 31st May- 7th June

Format: Paperback ARC

Number of pages: 376

Published: 7th June, 2018

Publisher: Fleet

Synopsis: Martha Gellhorn was one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century, a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman. In Love & Ruin, Paula McClain returns to the life of Ernest Hemingway, in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha, whom he dedicated For Whom the Bell Tolls.

In the shadow of the impending Second World War and set against the turbulent backdrops of Madrid and Cuba, Martha finds herself unexpectedly falling in love with Ernest Hemingway, a man already on his way to becoming a legend. But when Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, For Whom The Bell Tolls, Martha must make a choice: surrender to the confining demands of being a famous man’s wife or risk losing Ernest by forging a path as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that could force her to break his heart, or hers.

Paula McLain brings Gellhorn’s story richly to life and captures her as a heroine of ages: a woman who will risk absolutely everything to find her own voice.

Rating:

Review: Love and Ruin is a fictional account of the life of Martha Gellhorn, a young American journalist who became the third wife of writer, Ernest Hemingway.

I know NOTHING about Hemingway- so I was intrigued by the story, which was why I requested to be part of the blog tour….however, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book. I just really didn’t like the way the characters voice was written.

Also Hemingway is a horrid husband (I mean she should have realised- he’d been married twice before!) but more on that later.

I did enjoy the book in the parts about WW2 as I love history and the author described the horror in such detail that I could really understand the fear Martha had when having to experience it for her journalism. It was also interesting to read about the war from an American perspective.

Ernest, as a character, started off great, but ended up getting possessive, controlling and mean once Martha started to venture out on her own to write her articles- mainly because he couldn’t bear the idea that she could be as famous as he.

I’m unsure if this is a true likeness of Hemingway but even so, I didn’t like him.

Overall, although the idea of the book intrigued me, I ended up rating it low because I just couldn’t connect with the writing style. Sometimes I found myself staring at the pages to force myself to read on and finish the book.

It might not be that way for everyone though and I would recommend this book to fans of Hemingway or just if you wanted to know how the publishing industry worked in America in the 1930s and 1940s, especially for women.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book but it as still and interesting read.

2.5/5 Stars

Thanks for reading!

~Katie