Tuesday 31 October 2017

October Wrap-Up.

October looked like it was going to be a bad month for reading for me to begin with. I seemed to be getting through books at a snail rate and always had too much to do, even during my week off. However, things improved towards the end of the month and I'm pleased I managed five reads!

  1. 'The Hate U Give' by Angie Thomas. This book, focussing on the very important #BlackLivesMatter movement, is very deserving of it's record-breaking time at the top spot of the NY Times Bestsellers List. It's powerful, emotional, and necessary, but also funny and eye-opening. The characters are charming and the story builds well. I do think that it is a little over-hyped and too long, but it's a fantastic read. 4/5 Stars.
  2. 'The Elite' by Kiera Cass. This book was such a disappointment to me, and yet I expected it to be. I'd been putting it off for that very reason. It felt like 300 odd pages of filler material, mostly taken up by the MC's constant whining and moping about the love triangle she was now stuck in. I'm still drawn into the world enough to want to see this through to the end. Hopefully Cass actually uses the finale to further and resolve the plot. 2.5/5 Stars.
  3. 'Lies We Tell Ourselves' by Robin Talley. This is the best book I've read in a long while, and certainly one of my top reads of the year. I'd never really put much thought into the period between segregation and integration in American history, but I will never forget reading the harrowing first chapter of this book. Ever. This book is everything that a diverse YA should be, and has some fantastic LGBT+ representation too. 5/5 Stars.
  4. 'The Woman In Black & Other Ghost Stories' by Susan Hill. Another great read but for a totally different reason, I've been looking forward to finding time to read more ghost stories by Susan Hill. Halloween eve was perfect! I'd read 'The Woman In Black' before, and found that these other short stories are just as atmospheric and chilling. I love Hill's creativity and originality and came out of these spooked. 5/5 Stars.
  5. 'Lot No. 249' by Arthur Conan Doyle. Feeling a thirst for a little more horror before the night was up, I decided to read this fifty page long short story. I've never read a paranormal story with an Egyptian mummy before and this was the first ever one to be written. Doyle had a great sense of humour which shines through in his complex and energetic characters and while the sentences were a little too convoluted, I loved this read! 4.5/5 Stars.

Now it's time to see how I did with my challenges this month!

This month I have read one book for the Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to twenty two. My read was:

- The Elite

This month I have read one book for the 2017 New Releases Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to ten. My read was:

- The Hate U Give

This month I have read one books for the LGBTQIA Challenge, bringing my yearly total to ten. My read was:

- Lies We Tell Ourselves

This month I have read two books for the Diverse Reads Challenge, bringing my yearly total to thirty one. My reads were:

- The Hate U Give
- Lies We Tell Ourselves

And here's my update on this quarter's Bookish Bingo card, courtesy of Pretty Deadly Blog!

Mental Health: Our Numbered Days; Neil Hilborn
Different Culture: I Am Malala; Patricia McCormick & Malala Yousfazai
Illustrations: The Little Red Wolf; Amélie Fléchais
Black Cover: The Hate U Give; Angie Thomas
Person On The Cover: The Elite; Kiera Cass
Magic In The Real World: The Girl From Everywhere; Heidi Heilig
American History: Lies We Tell Ourselves; Robin Talley
Horror: Lot No. 249; Arthur Conan Doyle
Yellow Cover: The Geek Feminist Revolution; Kameron Hurley
Required Reading: The Return Of Sherlock Holmes; Arthur Conan Doyle
Poetry Or Verse: O Frabjous Day!; Lewis Carroll
Paranormal: The Woman In Black & Other Ghost Stories; Susan Hill

Book Review: Lot No. 249; Arthur Conan Doyle.

After reading Hill's collection I had an unsatisfied hunger for more spine-chilling spooks and so I decided to read this little gem I picked up from Foyle's last week.

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: Lot No. 249
AUTHOR: Arthur Conan Doyle
SERIES: Little Black Classics (#121)
PUBLISHER: Penguin Little Black Classics
GENRE: Horror, Paranormal, Short Stories, Mystery, Classics

RATING: 4.5/5 Stars

'... that strange internal kingdom of which we are the hapless and helpless monarchs.'

From the master of the detective story and creator of Sherlock Holmes, the first ever tale to feature a supernatural Egyptian mummy.

What I Liked:
  • This was a fantastic story, and certainly intriguing for a number of reasons, but mostly because it's the only story I've ever read to contain an Egyptian Mummy of the paranormal variety. It seems it's the first of it's kind also, and it told the tale surprisingly well as I've never really found Mummies 'scary' up until this point.
  • Doyle writes characters very well and I found the same here. Even in this short story, they each had a personality and complexity about them. I was surprised to find the lack of a Sherlock-esque, but also pleased as it was refreshing to see other types of heroes in the story.
What I Disliked:
  • I suppose my main issue with this little story were the convoluted, long sentences. My fiancé tells me that serial writers of the time were paid by line or word, which makes a lot of sense. It didn't really bother me too much after I'd had a couple of pages to get used to it.
Overall Conclusion:
Getting through this small read before read was a great decision, and I really enjoyed this short story. It's setting of Oxford University was a fun one, and I loved that it was not only spooky, but had a joviality about it too. I look forward to reading more Sherlock stories in the future, but I'm glad I stumbled upon this one in the process!

Book Review: The Woman In Black & Other Ghost Stories; Susan Hill.

The perfect read to finish off the month of October with, I loved this collection of short ghost stories by Susan Hill. I skipped over 'The Woman In Black' as I've already read it a couple of times. I was much more keen to read some more chilling tales from Susan Hill, and I was not disappointed!

SOURCE: Present
TYPE: Hardcover

TITLE: The Woman In Black & Other Ghost Stories
AUTHOR: Susan Hill
PUBLISHER: Profile Books
PAGES: 416
GENRE: Horror, Paranormal, Short Stories, Mystery

RATING: 5/5 Stars

From the horrifying secret of Eel Marsh House in The Woman in Black to the supernatural terror unleashed by spiteful Leonora van Vorst in Dolly and the deadly danger posed by Professor Parmitter's painting of Venice in The Man in the Picture, Susan Hill's ghost stories never fail to raise the hairs on the back of your neck and keep you turning the pages long past midnight.

Here, collected together for the first time - and also including the bestselling Printers Devil Court and The Small Hand - are all of Susan Hill's spine-chilling stories of murder, magic and mayhem.

Read on if you dare.

What I Liked:
  • Obviously the stories themselves! Susan Hill definitely has a method when it comes to structuring her ghost stories and how she brings them from beginning to end. But there were plenty of unexpected twists and turns, and I felt that the concept for each story was very original and clever. I've heard about creepy dolls and haunted paintings before, but never quite like this. I was especially surprised by the subject of 'Printer Devil's Court' for example, it takes a subject seen a lot and puts a whole new spin on it.
  • Hill really has a grasp on the use of visual description and atmosphere without boring the reader. It builds the tension and the chills running down your spine, and makes this book the kind that you'd read wrapped up in you softest dressing gown on a cold, blustery night with a cup of cocoa. It didn't matter the setting: the streets of London, Venice, Cambridge University or the fens of England. All came with their own kind of energy that could seem beautiful in one instance and sinister in the next.
What I Disliked:
  • I had no issues with these stories at all, which is surprising considering that in every short story collection, there's normally at least one that I won't enjoy. That being said, despite 'The Small Hand' being one of my favourites, Hill's writing style felt a little too dated for a contemporary story. Casual mentions of modern commodities such as airports, or colloquialisms such as 'bro' really didn't fit when all I could picture was a man of the Victorian era.
Overall Conclusion:
Not many authors have cracked the 'horror story' formula, but Hill definitely has. I don't scare easily from words printed on a page, but I felt shivers run down my spine and my eyes were wide while reading these stories. I think it's because Hill is very creative in her hauntings. She's not afraid to hurt or affect children either, shown in both 'Dolly' and 'The Woman In Black' and her penchant for ghostly women who are impossible to reason with or appease ('The Woman In Black Again', and 'The Man In The Picture') are a great trademark. Anyone who likes to be scared should read these. You won't be disappointed.

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Horror Books I Would Love To Read [Part II]'.

First of all, before I say anything else, Happy Halloween! It's that spooky time of the month where everyone else goes out trick or treating and/or partying and I sit at home reading spooky stories (my preferred method of celebrating). I have a couple of great choices for this evening, but for now I'll give you some others currently on my TBR that I'm hoping to sit down with one Halloween! 

I actually did this topic a couple of years ago. Some I've managed to read since then, and some I haven't, but it will be fun to revisit it and add ten fresh, exciting books to my list. I won't repeat myself!

1) 'The Madman's Daughter' by Megan Shepherd.

I'm really surprised that this book didn't go on my last list. I've been hankering to read it for quite a while now! I've never read H.G. Wells' 'The Island Of Dr Moreau' (I would like to at some point) but this is a retelling of that story and has definitely piqued my interest. A mad scientist who makes strange beasts, his daughter who is caught between her love for her Father and knowing that what he does is wrong, and of course a potential for a little romance along the way. The aforementioned creatures sound creepy, I hope this book is as horrifying as it sounds.

2) 'The Boy On The Bridge' by M.J. Carey.

I read and adored 'The Girl With All The Gifts' a while ago. It was the best zombie apocalypse novel I'd ever read and heavily reminded me of the video game The Last Of Us in terms of the creatures themselves. It was definitely very creepy. This is apparently a companion novel to the original and I am desperate to read another book set in this world so that sounds perfect! Also, I'm a sucker for matching covers and this bright red really catches the eye.

3) 'Midwinterblood' by Marcus Sedgewick.

So many of Marcus Sedgewick's books are on my TBR because they look so intriguing, yet I've only read one: 'Saint Death'. I actually bought this one a long time ago and you only have to look at that creepy cover to know it's going to be a horror. I like the idea of the seven parts of this novel being influenced by the moon - the dark forces combined with nature are always intriguing in stories to me. It has been described as dark literary YA which probably sounds like my ideal combination of genres, but my favourite thing about this book is I have next to no idea what it is actually about. 

4) 'The Coffin Path' by Katherine Clements.

I really love Susan Hill's work. In fact I'm reading (and loving) a book of her ghost stories right now! But I really wanted to read other works that gave that same vibe, and here I think I've found it. I was recently approved this read on Netgalley and the synopsis is definitely intriguing if you're a fan of ghostly mysteries: an old house, the Yorkshire moors, shadowy figures etc. I've heard of some of Clements' other books though never read them, so this looks like a good place to start! Fans of 'The Loney' may well enjoy this story too, it looks like it contains the same sense of isolation and haunting atmosphere.

5) 'Verdegris Deep' by Frances Hardinge.

Frances Hardinge is probably my favourite YA horror author. She mixes a really great sense of creepiness, with a good story, and I really loved reading 'The Lie Tree'. It comes as no real surprise that another one of her works should appear on this list as I'm pretty determined to read all of her works at some point or another. Wells are really creepy and this book's premise is very interesting when you think about it. Children stealing coins from a well is bound to have terrible consequences in a horror story after all!

6) 'The Shining' by Stephen King.

I've read a couple of Stephen King's books now: 'It' which I liked but found very long, and 'The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams' which contained short stories I found myself feeling very mixed about as some were great while others lacked something to keep me on tenterhooks. One thing can be said about King though - he is meticulous in his approach to detail when it comes to this genre. I've watched 'The Shining' starring Jack Nicholson and found it terrifying, so I'm really hoping that the book will be just as compelling. 

7) 'Between The Spark & The Burn' by April Genevieve Tucholke.

This first book in this series, 'Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea' was a strange one for me to like. The characters had bizarre names, the romance was a little sickly sweet, and yet everything felt so nauseatingly colourful that it actually added to the creepiness of the book. The era in which it was set felt very 60s too though it definitely had timeless qualities to it that meant it could just as easily be earlier or much later. I do really want to find out what happens to Violet and her friends. Hopefully book two is as creepy as the first.

8) 'Frankenstein' by Mary Shelley.

Everyone knows that most classic, gothic horrors are spookier than modern day horror. There's something about the aged writing style that adds to the intrigue of supernatural occurrences. I've never actually even seen a 'Frankenstein' film adaptation though the story is pretty well-known to me thanks to how ingrained it is into popular culture. My fiancé has read the book though and really enjoyed it. He's not easily impressed when it comes to novels generally so I really think this is going to be worth my time! 

9) 'My Best Friend's Exorcism' by Grady Hendrix.

Thanks to 'Stranger Things' and the recent adaptation of Stephen King's 'It', my love for horror in the American eighties has grown immensely. There's something about watching teenagers battling the forces of evil but also making time to visit the arcade, and the slightly ridiculous nature of the paranormal entities that they face that's really appealing to me too. The cover for this looks really cool and I think it will be a fun read if nothing else!

10) 'A Sudden Light' by Garth Stein.

So this book is set in the 90s? The same decade that I was born! I don't actually see many books from that era, but it will be weird to see how much I recognise from it. Ghost stories are probably my favourite genre of paranormal fiction, so I'm glad to see there's a spirit present in this one. But also, this book is about uncovering multi-generational family secrets, and I find those kinds of stories really cool too. 

Monday 30 October 2017

Last Week's Shenanigans (23rd October - 29th October)...

Halloween approaches and it's definitely starting to feel like Autumn in London. The evenings are colder and the clocks have changed! I don't really like chilly weather but there's something about Autumn that feels a little magical and I really like the rich colours associated with the season. This week it was back to work for me. On Monday Mat and I went back to Westfield for our last day off together and I even got myself a few little treats from Foyles! We had a lovely day out, and had a lot to celebrate over the week because Mat received a promotion! Yay!

Work was as I expected: like coming back to Earth with a thump. Friday was fun, Mat and I went to the cinema to watch Thor: Ragnarok which is an amazing film! Seriously, if you follow the Marvel films at all you should definitely watch this one, it's my favourite of all of the Thor films! I'm looking forward to seeing the next installment in the MCU Universe!

On Sunday, Mat and I went out to our friends house for a pumpkin roast dinner (which was delicious), to see their new house and meet their lovely new puppy, Lola! It was a fun evening out and surprisingly easy to get to considering that we live in a fairly awkward place in London! All in all, a fun week and one I've enjoyed immensely!

I Read...

I Received...

- 'Matilda' by Mary Shelley: Bought in Foyles (23/10/17)
- 'Only Dull People Are Brilliant At Breakfast' by Oscar Wilde: Bought in Foyles (23/10/17)
- 'Flush' by Virginia Woolf: Bought in Foyles (23/10/17)
- 'Lot No. 249' by Arthur Conan Doyle: Bought in Foyles (23/10/17)
- 'How Do You Like Me Now?' by Holly Bourne: Approved by Netgalley (25/10/17)
- 'Renegades' by Marissa Meyer: Proof sent by Pan Macmillan (27/10/17)
- 'Goodbye, Perfect' by Sara Barnard: Proof sent by Pan Macmillan (27/10/17)

Sunday 29 October 2017

Book Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves; Robin Talley.

Contrary to last week's read, this one might well be my favourite read of the year! It's certainly at the top of the list! I read 'As I Descended' by Robin Talley last Halloween and liked it, but this blew my expectations of her novels out of the water!

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: Lies We Tell Ourselves
AUTHOR: Robin Talley
PAGES: 377
GENRE: Young Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction, LGBT

RATING: 5/5 Stars

Lie #1: I'm not afraid

Lie #2: I'm sure I'm doing the right thing

Lie #3: I don't care what they think of me

It’s 1959. The battle for civil rights is raging. And it’s Sarah’s first day of school as one of the first black students at previously all-white Jefferson High.

No one wants Sarah there. Not the Governor. Not the teachers. And certainly not the students – especially Linda, daughter of the town’s most ardent segregationist.

Sarah and Linda are supposed to despise each other. But the more time they spend together, the less their differences matter. And both girls start to feel something they’ve never felt before. Something they’re determined to ignore.

What I Liked:
  • This story is so well-researched, and that's probably my favourite thing about it. I have never really found time to think about the transition between segregation and integration. Reading the first couple of chapters of this book was harrowing, because it made me realise just how little I had considered when it came to changing everything. Talley had really looked into what went on in the time period, as well as other detail's such as clothing, lifestyle and speech. It made envisioning this era all the easier.
  • The diverse characters in this story were amazingly written, and I was so happy to see some intersectionality because it's so hard to find (which is ridiculous). Sarah's perspective felt well-researched and believable. She was a strong character with a good moral compass. Linda was really well-written too. Her confused outlook on whether her prejudiced views are right was interesting, and I liked the debates between her and Sarah as their feelings for each other grew.
What I Disliked:
  • I wouldn't say there's anything I particularly disliked about this book. People have criticised this book for an overly 'happy' ending but to me it felt more hopeful than anything. Racism wasn't vanquished and neither was homophobia, so it's not really happy.
Overall Conclusion:
This book was hauntingly beautiful and blew me away on so many levels. I loved it! I can definitely see why it received so much attention and I'm really happy that I finally read it. I loved the historical accuracy, the well-developed characters, the fact that it made me cry on more than one occasion. It's beautiful, and a book that I seriously think that every person should read to truly understand the real American history that people try so hard to cover up.

Monday 23 October 2017

Last Week's Shenanigans (16th October - 22nd October)...

Finally! A long week off with my beloved fiancé! I've been really looking forward to it because we had so much planned to do and ended up being very productive along the way. The main thing that happened to me? On Monday, I dyed my hair! Finally! I've been wanting to do this for a while, but wanted to find the right place. I opted to go to Rockalily Cuts because they specialise in hair colouring, vintage cuts and looked like they knew what they were doing. It was the best decision ever, Charley really looked after me and did an amazing job! I was worried that my hair would be damaged in some way too, but it came out looking far healthier and smoother than it did before.

Our friends who came over later that evening loved it, and I got a great reception when our group got together for a big 'Bake-Off' night! I'm so pleased as making big changes is really difficult for me, so this felt like a really big step! Also, this salon is so cute so everyone should visit it at least once. I'll definitely be going back.

On Wednesday, Mat and I went out for the day for a little bit of shopping, dinner at Spaghetti House, and then the highlight of the day: watching The Book Of Mormon. It is so funny! It's very self-aware which I love too and I honestly think it should be necessary for all white people to watch this to understand how ridiculous we can be and the real meaning of #FirstWorldProblems. I'd definitely recommend it, especially if you're a fan of shows like Avenue Q.

On Friday we decided to go to Westfield to do some shopping, and I bought a ton of bits that I really needed - clothes, cosmetics, skincare and even a Christmas present or two! Like I said: productive (and expensive). Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun and when we got back we had a wonderful evening in. Both Thursday and Saturday were 'rest' days for us though we did have a few errands to run here and there.

On Sunday, I had the best time. I went to my very first Wedding fair! It was fun to have a look round at so many different stalls for dresses, photographers, make-up artists and jewellery among so many other things! Mat and I brought along my gorgeous sister/maid of honour, two of my lovely bridesmaids that live close by and his best man. We all had a lot of fun, I even got to try a couple of things on as did the bridesmaids. It was the National Wedding fair (the big one) so it gave us a much more solid idea of what we did and didn't want and we'll most likely attend some smaller ones throughout next year.

I Read...

I Received...


Saturday 21 October 2017

Book Review: The Elite; Kiera Cass.

October seemed like a great month to read this book because of the red-orange cover. So autumnal! Sadly the book didn't really grab me in any way, shape, or form and I came out of it feeling very disappointed.

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: The Elite
AUTHOR: Kiera Cass
SERIES: The Selection (#2)
PAGES: 337
GENRE: Young Adult, Romance, Dystopian

RATING: 2.5/5 Stars

America Singer will leave her pre-destined life for a world of glamour and luxury, if she wins…

But surviving The Selection is tough. Rivals are battling to become Prince Maxon’s bride as the threat of rebel violence just beyond the palace walls escalates into war.

Only six girls are left and sworn friendships are tested to breaking point. America’s feelings for Maxon grow stronger, but she suspects darker mysteries in his royal past. With ex-lover Aspen waiting for her in the shadows, where do her loyalties truly lie?

What I Liked:
  • Filling in this section is going to be tough. I guess the fact that I do still want to read book three must count for something, right? There was a glimmer of plot during the scene with the rebels and reading the diary and I really wish Cass had explored that story more thoroughly rather than America's book-long inability to choose between two men. Ugh.
What I Disliked:
  • Where to begin? Let's start with the whining shall we? Everyone knows that love triangles are something that more often than not, I can't get on board with. That's because they often consume the whole plot and this is a prime example of that. This whole book was about America Singer, torn between Prince Maxon and her ex-turned-guard Aspen, and unable to choose. She complains about how difficult it all is, begs them both for more decision making time (which they are pathetically willing to provide) and talks about virtually nothing else for the entire book. She doesn't even feel that guilty about it, nor does she worry about being caught. It's awful.
  • Thanks to the reason above, there is no plot or character development in this book. Just some minor sub-plots to make it look like something is happening, but this is just filler material. I wanted to read more about the world-building but sadly, no. I wanted to see America become a kick-ass contender, but again, no. Does anything really happen? No. Could you skip this book and go straight to the finale? I'm 99% sure that yes, you could.
Overall Conclusion:
Sigh. I wanted to like this, but I've been putting it off because I had a premonition that this was the reading experience I would have. I was right. The love triangle took over, and even that wasn't resolved by the end of this book. So I'm going into book three in the same position as book two, minus like one contestant. I liked that the tension between the girls was taken up a notch, but that was about it. Tell me about the rebels! Or about how Ilea came to be! Also, I like Maxon but I would really like it if he stopped calling everyone 'dear' and 'darling' like a middle-aged pervert, and the way that he described his relationship with Celeste as 'relieving tension' and America was all 'I get that' literally made me sick.

Monday 16 October 2017

Last Week's Shenanigans (9th October - 15th October)...

I'll be honest, not huge amounts have happened today. Mat started the week off being pretty unwell, so I've spent most of it being tired and looking forward to the week's holiday I have booked. Mat and I have been watching Gotham and really enjoying Season 3, as well as a lot of other programmes on the side. I've also realised I need to go shopping and get a lot of stuff, so I'm looking forward to having time off to do so!

I Read...

I Received...

- 'Neanderthal Opens The Door To The Universe' by Preston Norton: Approved by Netgalley (13/10/17)

Sunday 15 October 2017

Book Review: The Hate U Give; Angie Thomas.

If ever a book rode the hype train, it was this one. It made me excited to read it, but also a little nervous that I would be disappointed. I ended up really enjoying this read of course, and it is a book that our world really needs! 

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: The Hate U Give
AUTHOR: Angie Thomas
PUBLISHER: Walker Books
PAGES: 438
GENRE: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance

RATING: 4/5 Stars

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. 

Now what Starr says could destroy her community. 

It could also get her killed.

What I Liked:
  • Books like this will create dialogue, and that's what I loved most about it. Thomas wrote her amazing concept really well. It's a story we have all heard before - a black youth being shot by a police officer because of the assumption of 'being up to no good'. This book gives a voice to friends, families, and the community of the victims. It realistically shows how the media and different races see the situation. And it breaks your heart and opens your eyes at the same time.
  • I liked the characters. Especially Starr's family! The relationship between Starr's Mum and Dad was just a joy to read and I loved how they handled Starr's dilemma. Seven, DeVante and Chris were great to read as well, especially when they began to cast their differences aside. I felt that, despite Khalil leaving the story early, Thomas did a great job of letting us get to know him.
What I Disliked:
  • There were things I disliked. This was a long read, especially for contemporary fiction and I could definitely point out a few parts that weren't really needed. I also felt that Thomas was taking a lot of her own frustrations about white people out on her white characters. In some ways this was clever as it is so often done to PoC side characters in fiction, but in some ways it felt a little hypocritical that they weren't really developed beyond 'raging accidental racist' and 'the butt of the joke'.
Overall Conclusion:
I enjoyed this read. Great concept, fits into the political climate well and displayed some great character development. Starr was a good MC though I found her sassy attitude a little grating at times. I definitely think Thomas did a great job writing from a teenager's perspective. There were some great parts to this book but I didn't feel like it blew me away as I would expect a book with so much hype surrounding it to do.

Monday 9 October 2017

Last Week's Shenanigans (2nd October - 8th October)...

What a week! I made the most of my days off and went to see friends on Tuesday. We had dinner, watched The Big Bang Theory and had a lot of fun! My next day off was Friday and we went to see Kingsman: The Golden Circle which was a really cool film. I almost liked it as much as the first one, which was good because I was worried that it would be bad. There were a few issues but I liked it a lot. 

The best day of the week was Sunday! We went to our chosen wedding venue to an open day and saw some great suppliers that we're considering for the wedding. We have a lot of time ahead of us before the big day but we're really enjoying the planning process and it was nice to spend the day with friends and family!

I Read...


I Received...

- 'Devil's Day' by Andrew Michael Hurley: Approved by Netgalley (06/10/17)
- 'Everless' by Sara Holland: Approved by Netgalley (06/10/17)

Monday 2 October 2017

Last Week's Shenanigans (25th September - 1st October)...

I'll be honest, I haven't really done much this week. I've been trying to get loads more reading done, as well as getting back into Pokemon Sun in a big way. I'd really missed gaming for fun, so it was good to do so! There's not much else to say, but I'm excited that October is finally here because while I don't like the cold, I love this month!

I Read...

I Received...

- 'Replica' by Lauren Olivier: Bought on Amazon (25/09/17)

I Posted...

September Wrap-Up
Planned Reads For October

Sunday 1 October 2017

Planned Reads For October.

I'm not really a fan of the cold weather, but there is something about October that really excites me. It's Halloween month of course, and that always informs my reading! I want to read spooky books with a paranormal twist, and I've got some great options lined up, as well as a few other choices in between!

'The Hate U Give' by Angie Thomas. This is of course a leftover read from last month that I didn't quite finish in time, but the black cover really fits in anyway! This book covers some very serious issues: namely racism and the #blacklivesmatter movement and I'm all about the #ownvoices representation this book has. It's been on the NYT bestsellers list for so long and I have a really good feeling about it.

'The Elite' by Kiera Cass. Wow, pretty dresses on a cover. Remember when that was a thing? It's really about time I got through some of these old series and I'll admit, I'm using this book to fill a challenge category. That being said it feels like an Autumn read and I did like the first book a lot. Fingers crossed this isn't just 'filler' material.

'Lies We Tell Ourselves' by Robin Talley. So I read Talley's 'As I Descended' in October last year, a retelling of Macbeth which fit perfectly into the month's supernatural theme. There's no paranormal activity to be found in this read but that cover mixed with the American History lesson will no doubt make it a compelling read all the same. Race is a big issue here, but I'm even more excited to see that it's LGBT fiction! Very intriguing!

'The Goblins Of Bellwater' by Molly Ringle. Oh yes. Now we're getting to the spooky stuff. This book is based on Christina Rossetti's poem 'Goblin Market' which I always found very creepy when reading it for school, and the synopsis here sounds really cool! I wanted a little bit of Fantasy before I delve into ghosts and I'm going to get it here I think!

'Glimpse' by Kendra Leighton. This book has been on my list for a ridiculously long time, and it's another one based on a famous poem I read at school: 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes. I really liked studying that one so I'm hoping that this will be a good read to get into on a chilly Autumn evening!

'The Woman In Black & Other Ghost Stories' by Susan Hill. 'Spine-chilling' has been used to describe this book, and that's exactly what I'm hoping for when reading it! Obviously I've already read 'The Woman In Black' and I'll most likely skip that one. But as it's one of my favourite ghost stories, I'm excited to get into the 'others' in this collection!

'The Girl In The Tower' by Katherine Arden. I loved reading 'The Bear & The Nightingale' earlier this year, it was a gorgeous re-imagining of Slavic folklore and I imagine it's successor will be no different. There were definitely indicators towards a bigger plot-line in the last book that I want to read about!

'The Hawley Book Of The Dead' by Chrysler Szarlan. Another book that has been on the list for way too long, who doesn't like to read about witches during Halloween month? The cover is really pretty and I'm definitely intrigued by the synopsis. I'm really hoping to plow through these as I'm in for a good reading month if I do!