Sunday 30 September 2018

September Wrap-Up.

Absolutely blown away by the amount of reading I managed this month! So much more than usual, that's for sure! Granted, there were a few web-comics that didn't take me quite as much time, but I'm very pleased with my seven managed reads!

  1. 'Into The Jungle' by Katherine Rundell. This was a very sweet collection of origin stories for some of my favourite The Jungle Books characters! I particularly enjoyed Baloo's, and I think they each had a great lesson to teach, as well as providing an interesting imagining of how the characters could have become the ones we know and love. I'd highly recommend this for fans of the original books, or even the Disney adaptation! 4/5 Stars.
  2. 'Steve & Mark' by Tab Kimpton. Things about this comic didn't quite work for me: the rushed and slightly lacklustre artwork, and the fact that I don't feel a burning need to finish the other stories being the major pain points. But this was definitely a very sweet, sincere story about coming of age, finding out about your sexuality, and coming to terms with it. I liked the inclusion of characters who will be getting their own stories too. 2.5/5 Stars.
  3. 'Lolita' by Vladimir Nabokov. I went into this feeling more than a bit anxious. The topic is so taboo and horrifying to me that I worried I would hate every moment of the story. Especially as I'd seen it described as romantic by so many people. But a few chapters in, I realised I would enjoy this book because we are not supposed to find the child raping, kidnapping MC at all charming or likeable as he imagines himself to be. In fact, he's one of the best unreliable narrators I've read in a long time. 4.5/5 Stars.
  4. 'The Dreadful Tale Of Prosper Redding' by Alexandra Bracken. It had been a while since I had read an MG book, but Autumn felt the right time of year for a book filled with family curses, demons and witches. I liked the story and some of the character input - Alastor in particular. I wish the characters were a bit more three-dimensional though. 3/5 Stars.
  5. 'Teahouse [Ch.1]' by Emirain. I had real mixed feelings about the start of this series. On the one hand, I'm pretty intrigued by both it's popularity, the relationships that are developing and the plot. On the other hand, I really hate that everyone is so obsessed with sex in the book and so little plot is given as a result. I'll keep going with it to see if it there's any real story there. 3/5 Stars.
  6. 'Folk' by Zoe Gilbert. I really enjoyed this short story collection a lot - it was atmospheric, beautifully written and had the perfect mix of the supernatural and the real. A couple of the stories didn't engage me like the others, but there was truly some exceptional stuff here and it covered a lot of dark themes too. 4/5 Stars.
  7. 'Solitaire' by Alice Oseman. I have wanted to read this book for some time and took the opportunity to do so because I'm now absolutely desperate to read 'Heartstopper', a story focussing on two of the characters in this book. While I liked this book, especially the familiar Kent Grammar School setting, I didn't really like the MC all that much and would have preferred a book with a more interesting start and less bizarre climax. 3.5/5 Stars.

This month I read five books for the Beat The Backlist Challenge, making my yearly total so far twenty nine.

- Steve & Mark
- Lolita
- The Dreadful Tale Of Prosper Redding
- Teahouse [Ch. 1]
- Solitaire

This month I read zero books for the Finishing The Series Challenge, making my yearly total so far one.

I read two books for the New Release Challenge, making my yearly total so far eleven.

- Into The Jungle
- Folk

I read three book for the Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, making my yearly total so far nineteen.

- Into The Jungle
- The Dreadful Tale Of Prosper Redding
- Folk

Here is the result for Pretty Deadly Blog's Bookish Bingo card.

Made Into A Movie: Lolita; Vladimir Nabokov
Middle Grade: The Dreadful Tale Of Prosper Redding; Alexandra Bracken
One Word Title: Folk; Zoe Gilbert
Set In A School: Solitaire; Alice Oseman
Freebie: --
Dual POV: Steve & Mark; Tab Kimpton
Less Than 300 Pages: Teahouse [Ch.1]; Emirain
Features Animals: Into The Jungle; Katherine Rundell

Book Review: Solitaire; Alice Oseman.

It's been quite a while since I read 'Radio Silence', my first Alice Oseman read which I adored. I heard recently that she had created a M/M web-comic, 'Heartstopper' and wanted so badly to read it! It's based around two characters from 'Solitaire' though, which I needed to read first...

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: Solitaire
AUTHOR: Alice Oseman
PUBLISHER: Harper Collins Children's Books
PAGES: 392
GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery

RATING: 3.5/5 Stars

In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.

I really don’t.

What I Liked:
  • I actually found that I was pretty gripped by this book, especially as I got further into it. I read it while I was on holiday, and in the latter half I didn't want to put it down! It's difficult to feel that with a book, especially if you initially had reservations. I really liked that about it, and the fact that there were a few different plot elements definitely helped.
  • I think the thing I liked most about it was the fact that I could relate to the setting so well! Like Oseman, I attended a British Grammar school in Kent and mine was an all-girls too! I could envisage everything so exactly as it basically described my school life.
What I Disliked:
  • My main issue was that I really didn't like Tori Spring, the MC, all that much! I found her cynical, bitchy, rude and a fairly immature representation of depression. I really advocate for depictions of mental health issues in books but only when done right. This just felt like severe teenage angst.
  • The plot, especially in the first half, really didn't seem to be going anywhere. I figured out who Solitaire was pretty quickly and didn't care about any of the character's dramas (though I did like Michael a lot, and will forever ship Nick and Charlie). Like I said, it picked up in the middle of the book but the ending also fell a bit flat because it seemed so climactic it was a little on the ridiculous side.
Overall Conclusion:
So, this might have been Oseman's debut, but I certainly liked 'Radio Silence' a lot more. Not only that, but I felt that the writing here was a little immature in comparison, which I suppose is to be expected considering how young Oseman was when this was published. I wish I'd liked Tori more and though I liked the LGBT+ representation, the mental health issues portrayed in this book felt a I definitely found the setting relatable though, and was totally hooked by the middle part of the book, so I'll give it points for that! I'm still really looking forward to reading 'Heartstopper'!

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Book Review: Folk; Zoe Gilbert.

It's been a while since I've read a collection of short stories, and seeing as this one is so centred around folklore, it seemed the perfect Autumn read.

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

AUTHOR: Zoe Gilbert
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury Publishing
PAGES: 256
GENRE: Adult, Magical Realism, Horror, Short Stories

RATING: 4/5 Stars

The remote island village of Neverness is a world far from our time and place.

The air hangs rich with the coconut-scent of gorse and the salty bite of the sea. Harsh winds scour the rocky coastline. The villagers' lives are inseparable from nature and its enchantments.

Verlyn Webbe, born with a wing for an arm, unfurls his feathers in defiance of past shame; Plum is snatched by a water bull and dragged to his lair; little Crab Skerry takes his first run through the gorse-maze; Madden sleepwalks through violent storms, haunted by horses and her father's wishes. 

As the tales of this island community interweave over the course of a generation, their earthy desires, resentments, idle gossip and painful losses create a staggeringly original world. Crackling with echoes of ancient folklore, but entirely, wonderfully, her own, Zoe Gilbert's Folk is a dark, beautiful and intoxicating debut.

What I Liked:
  • I really loved the supernatural and folklore elements to this book. From the very first tale, 'Prick Song', it was clear exactly the kind of book I'd be reading, and it really made me excited for what was to come. Spirits, creatures and events were used to explore some really dark themes in this collection, and I loved it! Favourite stories included 'Long Have I Lain Beside The Water' for it's take on grief, 'Swirling Cleft' for a sweet, maternal story about Selkies, and 'Verlyn's Blessing' about accepting your differences and being proud of them.
  • Gilbert's writing was absolutely gorgeous. One of my favourite examples of this was found in 'Fishskin, Hareskin' which shone a unique light on postpartum depression. But I loved the atmosphere that her words cast upon these tale, and the way that they really interweaved to create a whole.
What I Disliked:
  • Thanks to the lyrical style, at times the stories could be a little hard to follow. They require a certain amount of re-reading to pick apart what's happening, but in this case it's not necessarily a negative thing. I loved unpicking the symbolism personally.
  • There were, as is the case in any collection, a couple of stories that didn't take my fancy in the same way as the others. 'Kite' I found to be a little confusing, and 'Turning' was almost entirely skippable because not a whole lot happened. That being said, they had their own merits and definitely contributed to the wider picture.
Overall Conclusion:
I really enjoyed reading these stories, and they were the perfect seasonal read for sure! Firstly, each story was unique and captivating, and I loved that they spanned a whole generation from the same place and we got to see different characters in each one. I would pounce on another collection like this from Gilbert, as  found it haunting, visceral and captivating from beginning to end. Also, I love that it was based around the Isle Of Mann!

Monday 24 September 2018

Last Week's Shenanigans (17th September - 23rd September)...

Well guys, I can scarcely believe this but...I bought my wedding dress! SQUEEEEEE! It fits beautifully (only a few alterations needed), and I don't want to give too much away about it but I adore it and am looking forward to my wedding even more now as a result! It's been a pretty good week for me to be honest, a friend of ours came to have dinner and a catch-up which was lovely and we are going on holiday VERY SOON to Cyprus! Yay!

I Read...

I Received...



Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Autumn TBR List

Sunday 23 September 2018

Mini Review: Teahouse [Ch. 1]; Emirain.

So I'm going through a bit of a phase at the moment. LGBT+, M/M web-comics! And I found a list on Goodreads that had this at the top! I thought I'd give it a go!

SOURCE: Internet
TYPE: Web Comic

TITLE: Teahouse
AUTHOR: Emirain
SERIES: Teahouse (Ch. #1)
GENRE: LGBT+, Graphic Novel, Web Comic, Erotica

RATING: 3/5 Stars

Welcome to The Teahouse, where a motley bunch are ready to serve in and out of the bed. Enter Sir Rhys, a regular client who has turned The Teahouse upside down with his blunt put-downs and skilled moves. Will he choose shy virgin Rory, or the ladies' favorite Axis? Axis is hoping he won't have to service Sir Rhys again, but he can't get him out of his head! What will happen when these two opposites meet again in the bedroom?

Overall Conclusion:
This was sitting right at the top of the M/m web-comic/graphic novel list that I found on Goodreads, so to be honest, I was a bit disappointed. Firstly, before I say anything else, this is not going to be completed. Emirain got a few chapters in and then announced that they would not be continuing, which was a real shame for me to discover after reading chapter one. I also didn't enjoy the instant smut, and the fact that everyone just kept talking about having sex (after all, the Teahouse is a brothel) didn't make room for a whole lot of character development. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a prude (I liked the saucier scenes a lot actually), but I do like a bit of a build. I am intrigued by Axis and Rhys though, and hope to see more of them in the few future chapters that there are. Also, the art is stunning.

Saturday 22 September 2018

Book Review: The Dreadful Tale Of Prosper Redding; Alexander Bracken.

Autumn is upon us, and it's the time of year that I start craving an edge of the paranormal in my books. This one, despite being MG (an age group I don't read often), took my fancy because it contained what I wanted - witches, family curses, demons and magic.

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: The Dreadful Tale Of Prosper Redding
AUTHOR: Alexandra Bracken
The Dreadful Tale Of Prosper Redding (#1)
PUBLISHER: Disney Hyperion
PAGES: 368
GENRE: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure

RATING: 3/5 Stars

Prosper Redding is the only unexceptional member of his very successful family — that is, until he discovers a demon living inside him. Turns out, Prosper's great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. Now Alastor, the malefactor, has reawakened and is intent on destroying the Redding fortune, unless they can kill him in the body he inhabits, which, oh, wait, that's Prosper, and why is his grandmother coming at him with a silver blade? 

In danger from both the demon trying to take over his soul and the family that would rather protect their fortune than their own kin, Prosper narrowly escapes with the help of his long lost Uncle Barnabas and Barnabas's daughter, Nell, a witch in training. According to Barnabas and Nell, they have only days to break the family curse and find a way to banish Alastor back to the demon realm. Until then, Prosper has to deal with Alastor's vengeful mutterings inside his head (not to mention his nasty habit of snacking on spiders). And, every night, Alastor's control over his body grows stronger...

As the deadline to the curse draws nearer, Prosper and Nell realize there's more at stake than just the Redding family fortune. . . that there might be something else out there, something worse than Alastor, that could destroy the balance between the human and demon realms and change the world as they know it forever.

What I Liked:
  • Plot-wise, the pacing of it was a lot better than my last Bracken read, 'Passenger'. I felt like it was actually going somewhere, and didn't find myself becoming bored as I read through it. I also liked a lot of the plot elements, and it was a good, spooky read with plenty of supernatural shenanigans to keep me entertained!
  • I liked a lot of the character relationships, particularly between Nell and Prosper, because it developed slowly from the initial distrust to something akin to friendship. I think that my favourite character had to be Alastor though, and he was certainly unique in his input! He provided a ton of entertaining moments and I liked that he changed over the course of the book too.
What I Disliked:
  • While the characters were likeable, they were also very two-dimensional. I didn't see any real complexity in their personalities, and didn't really fall in love with any of them either (save for maybe Toad the changeling cat). They were, for the most part, pretty bland.
  • The writing itself lacked a sense of maturity (mostly because of it's MG status) and alongside that came some pretty stilted dialogue. Also, in some of the most important moments things seemed to happen very quickly and left me having to re-read a lot. Not fun.
Overall Conclusion:
This wasn't bad. I liked a lot of elements within the plot, and especially the unique twist of Alastor as it gave the book an extra, pleasant vibe. That being said, I didn't fall for it either because it lacked the development to totally capture my attention. I did like the finale a lot, and will consider picking up the second in the series to see how things turn out.

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Books On My Autumn TBR List'.

Yay, my favourite type of topic! I love planning ahead (even if I do rarely follow my plans) as it gets me excited about certain books I'd love to read! Now for Autumn, I like mysteries, horror, a bit of fantasy of historical fiction and deeply coloured book covers!

1) 'Solitaire' by Alice Oseman.

I previously read 'Radio Silence' by Oseman, and I loved it a lot. Being set in Kent it was so relatable and I loved the characters and diversity in the book. Now that I'm into webcomics, I've noticed that she's written one called 'Heartstopper' and I really want to read it. I believe the characters are from 'Solitaire' and so I would like to read that first. Also, this was Alice's debut and every time I read the synopsis, I get really excited by it!

2) 'Retribution Rails' by Erin Bowman.

*Plays The Good, The Bad & The Ugly theme* Cowboys! Or should I say, cowgirls! I'm a big fan of the Wild West as a setting, thanks to watching them a lot with my Dad. I really loved 'Vengeance Road' which was Bowman's first book from this series.I don't know why it's taken me so long to get round to 'Retribution Rails', but I'm determined to read it this Autumn!

3) 'The Corset' by Laura Purcell.

The first of a few scary picks, this is definitely a book I'm excited about. I received it from NetGalley fairly recently and was so excited because I've heard so many great things about Purcell's other work, 'The Silent Companions'. This one looks equal parts creepy and original. I'm certain I've never read anything like it! I can't wait!

4) 'A Study In Charlotte' by Brittany Cavallaro.

I'm a big fan of Conan Doyle's 'Sherlock Holmes' series, so it makes sense that I want to be reading this YA retelling by Brittany Cavallaro. I've heard some really impressive things about it, and its been on my TBR for a while! Also, Autumn is definitely the right time of year for mysteries!

5) 'The Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern.

I have been waiting to read this book for some time, and hopefully I'll get to it within the next few months. It's a little longer than some of my usual reads but does come highly recommended and I kind of want to read it just for that! Alongside great reviews, this book contains a lot of my favourite tropes. 

6) 'The Twisted Tree' by Rachel Burge.

Of course I'm going to read a horror in October, it's halloween month! I'm so excited! Honestly guys, this book went straight on the TBR as soon as I read that it was perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman's 'Coraline', and as well as that, I love that it's classified as a Nordic thriller too.

7) 'That Inevitable Victorian Thing' by E.K. Johnston.

'That Inevitable Victorian Thing' is written by E.K. Johnston, an author whose previous work I've adored, but I look forward to her bizarre twist on history and how victorian society remained 'the norm' as years went by. I'm getting real Bioshock vibes from this one!

8) 'Nevernight' by Jay Kristoff.

Ooh, a story about assassins? Yes please! The covers for this series are gorgeous and I love them a lot! I can't wait to get stuck into these books, especially as they've received such great reviews!

9) 'The Sisters Of The Winter Wood' by Rena Rossner.

This book has a beautiful cover, and that is mostly what I've been drawn to when it comes to my desire to read it. But upon inspecting the synopsis, I want to even more! It's filled with enchantment, fairy tales, folklore and a dash of magical realism. I'm expecting big things from this one.

10) 'The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet' by Becky Chambers.

The colder months always feel like the perfect time to read sci-fi to me for some reason. I'm not sure why. I'm especially excited about this one because it's been hailed as a great read for fans of Mass Effect, one of my favourite space-set open world video games, so I definitely think it will be up my alley.

Monday 17 September 2018

Last Week's Shenanigans (10th September - 16th September)...

This week has been a bit of a downer for me, because I wasn't very well! It's the change of the seasons of course, it always makes me more susceptible to illness and this time I had some sort of throat in section. Fun. I got to do a lot of reading, which was great! And I still managed to get down to Ashford on Sunday to see my parents, ready for today which was a lot of fun and something you'll hear all about next week!

I Read...

I Received...

- 'Daughter Of Light & Shadows' by Anna McKerrow: Netgalley (10/09/18)
- A Curse So Dark & Lonely' by Brigid Kemmerer: Netgalley (10/09/18)
- 'Jack Of Hearts [& Other Parts]' by L.C. Rosen: Netgalley (14/09/18)

Friday 14 September 2018

Book Review: Lolita; Vladimir Nabokov.

The next chosen read for my Podcast with Kiara and Mel, I had mixed feelings about this classic! On the one hand, it's a well-known book that I knew would provoke a lot of thought and discussion. On the other, it's very controversial as it's about paedophilia and has been described by reviews as 'romantic'. I worried that this was what the author was actually going for, but having read it I now realise that this is certainly not the case and feel a lot more comfortable (though not completely).

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: Lolita
AUTHOR: Vladimir Nabokov
PAGES: 321
GENRE: Classic, Literary Fiction, Adult

RATING: 4.5/5 Stars

When it was published in 1955, "Lolita" immediately became a cause célèbre because of the freedom and sophistication with which it handled the unusual erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Vladimir Nabokov's wise, ironic, elegant masterpiece owes its stature as one of the twentieth century's novels of record not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story almost shocking in its beauty and tenderness.

Awe and exhilaration–along with heartbreak and mordant wit–abound in this account of the aging Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America, but most of all, it is a meditation on love–love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.

What I Liked:

  • While this certainly isn't a romantic read, it's pretty funny at times. Humbert might be a vile narrator, but he makes some great commentary on American society, and he's pretty ironic and sarcastic which I like. Also, he's a great example of an unreliable narrator and those are my favourite kind. He is complex, often contradicts himself and is highly emotional, which makes him interesting for sure.
  • The plot is very thought-provoking and well-crafted. It might have been simple but it kept me hooked from start to finish, and I really enjoyed that about it.
What I Disliked:
  • Aside from the subject matter, the language was a bit flowery. This was of course intentional, Humbert uses it to distract and charm the reader/jury so that they will think differently about his actions. But I still didn't like it as I ended up skimming areas.
Overall Conclusion:
This book is certainly a conversations starter. And a page turner. And I feel a lot better about reading it now that I know that Nabokov's intentions were not to make this a romantic story, despite the fact that people have taken it that way. In fact, Humbert's actions throughout are pretty nauseating. But I enjoyed reading it and look forward to discussing it with others!

Monday 10 September 2018

Mini Review: Steve & Mark; Tab A. Kimpton.

So, I am currently reading an amazing web-comic called 'Long Exposure' by Kam 'Mars' Hayward. It's LGBT+, M/m, pure, fluffy goodness but it isn't finished and while I wait for more pages I need a fix! So this was the first of a four part series that I stumbled upon, and I'm always happy to promote anything that promotes diversity!

SOURCE: Internet
TYPE: Web Comic

TITLE: Steve & Mark
AUTHOR: Tab A. Kimpton
SERIES: Khaos Komix (#1)
PAGES: 128
GENRE: Contemporary, Graphic Novel, Romance, LGBT+

RATING: 3/5 Stars

(For whole comic, written by author)

This is a comic about gender and sexuality. It follows the lives of 8 main characters: Steve, Mark, Amber, Nay, Tom, Alex, Charlie and Jamie. It’s about them finding themselves, falling in love, lust and like and how hard they fight to get there.

This comic contains so many issues I can’t even really list them. Some of the things you may find here include: Gays, lesbians, those weird bisexuals everyone is talking about, faggotry, homophobia, transgender issues, dubious consent, body issues, abuse, hate and most important of all, a big old helping of LOVE. There’s a reason I called it Khaos.

Overall Conclusion:
I decided to do a mini review for this as it's a short web-comic and only a quarter of a whole. LGBT+ web-comics are a new addiction for me and I am trying to spread them out as much as possible. Another of Kimpton's works was actually recommended to me originally, but I wanted to read this first to get a taste of their work, and I have to say I'm relatively impressed. Sure, this is clearly an early example and the art is not very detailed. In fact, it feels a little rushed in a lot of spots, but I adore the fact that (a) this comic felt like it told a really great story in a short amount of pages, and (b) the intersectional diversity was fabulous. Also, we get to meet the other characters that will have their own chapters in this series, and start to get a feel for their stories, which is interesting! I'll definitely read them all, though it's 'good' rather than 'great' right now.

Last Week's Shenanigans (3rd September - 9th September)...

I had a great week this week, namely because I got to see friends that I haven't seen for ages. The first came on Monday visiting from Wales, and it was so nice to catch up after so long. I'm hopeful that I'll see her again around Christmas time, but if not it won't be until our weddings next year so it was lovely to have a good catch-up.

We also went out for dinner with London friends for a birthday on Friday, and had a wonderful time despite some questionable service. All in all, it's been a wonderful week though Mat has been unwell for a majority of it which hasn't been so fun.

I Read...

I Received...

- 'Roar' by Cecilia Ahern: Netgalley (03/09/18)
- 'The Dreamers' by Karen Thompson Walker: Netgalley (03/09/18)
- 'Disconnected' by Various: Netgalley (06/09/18)
- 'A House Of Ghosts' by W.C. Ryan: Netgalley (07/09/18)


Top Ten Tuesday: Bingeworthy TV Shows

Friday 7 September 2018

Book Review: Into The Jungle; Katherine Rundell.

Though I only read Kipling's original books themselves in the last couple of years, I've always been a big fan of The Jungle Book lore and characters thanks to various adaptations I've watched throughout my life. This book was a wonderful addition to Mowgli's universe.

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: Into The Jungle
AUTHOR: Katherine Rundell
PUBLISHER: Walker Books
PAGES: 240
GENRE: Middle Grade, Adventure, Short Stories, Retelling

RATING: 4/5 Stars

This wise and witty companion to Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 classic is likewise a series of connected stories about the man-cub Mowgli and his adventures among the animals in the Indian jungle. 

It includes all the original favourites like Baloo and Bagheera and gives female characters, like Mother Wolf, a more prominent role in Mowgli’s upbringing. 

The timely theme of the possibility of understanding and empathy across species, cultures, and genders will resonate with contemporary readers.

What I Liked:
  • These stories were a joy to read. While the original stories focus on Mowgli's tale, these are about the animal characters that are beloved to most who are fans of Kipling's stories. Bagheera, Mother Wolf, Kaa and Baloo each get their own origin story, and I really liked them all. Especially Baloo's (and Kaa's too, surprisingly)!
  • There are lessons to be learnt from this book too. Particularly about empathy and understanding between different cultures and races. And I liked that the final story allowed us to see that Mowgli had learnt from them too, while retaining the brash, confident personality we know from 'The Jungle Books'.
What I Disliked:
  • I wish there had been more stories than there was. For example, though we got to see a little of Shere Khan's past, I would have liked for him to have a story to himself. Nevertheless, this was only a minor gripe.
Overall Conclusion:
Rundell did such a wonderful job with this, and I loved that she stuck to the original short story format. I liked the illustrations a lot too, and thought that Kristjana S. Williams did some fantastic work! I highly recommend this read for any fans of the films (animated or live action) or original books, as this expands and reimagines Mowgli's world fantastically.

Tuesday 4 September 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Bingeworthy TV Shows'.

This is a great topic for me, because when I'm not reading my favourite thing to do is to watch TV series! Mat and I have got through a ton of them, and still have so many more to go, but as it stands here are some of my faves!

1) Game Of Thrones.

This show is everything to me. I have to say that when I first started watching Season 1 with Mat, who was desperate for me to love it like he did, I wasn't wholly convinced. It wasn't until Season 3 that I realised I adored everything about this show despite the fact that it kills off the characters I love with careless abandon. The female characters are so strong, there is no black and white morally and political power plays are totally my thing. Also, DRAGONS.

2) Once Upon A Time.

I love fantasy of course but my favourite thing to watch is a good fairy tale retelling! And no show does it better than Once Upon A Time. Okay, so the CGI in this show is a little suspect, but I love the complex story ARCs and finding out who each 'character' is in the world of stories. Season 1 will always be my favourite but I think that every season brings a fresh perspective that keeps me at the edge of my seat. I'm so sad it's over now!

3) The Walking Dead.

Mat and I are in the process of watching this right now and are seriously liking it a lot! Zombies really interest me as a 'threat' to civilisation (I am one of those people who plans my survival during a zombie apocalypse) but it's the relationships between humans that make this show really special. Not one episode has bored me so far!

4) The Good Place.

This is a bit more of a recent watch, and very different from the kind of thing I usually enjoy. It's funny to start with, and would appear to have a very simple premise plot-wise. At first. But really give this series a go because once you get deeper, you'll find that it has one of the greatest twists I've seen executed in a while and it will completely turn your world upside-down.

5) A Series Of Unfortunate Events.

I am a huge Neil Patrick Harris fan, and his portrayal of Count Olaf in this show is everything I could have hoped for. I don't remember reading Lemony Snicket's books as a child but I do remember watching the film and being intrigued by the plot. Well this show expands on it marvellously. The hopeless tone of the show is perfect too.

6) Rupaul's Drag Race.

YASSSS QUEEEEN. Okay, so this show is just amazing on so many levels, for so many reasons. I am devastated that so many of the previous seasons have been removed from Netflix, and find myself eagerly awaiting every episode of every new season. This show is hilarious, provides a great insight into drag culture and has done so much for the LGBT+ community.

7) Queer Eye.

While we're on the subject of great reality shows, lets look at this amazing show next. It is so much more than just a makeover show, and I honestly feel that the fab five actually build real relationships with these people and change their lives for the better. I really recommend it for it's ability to build communication between the LGBT community and those that stereotypically fight against it.

8) Stranger Things.

I love this show so much! It was recommended by my sister, and Mat and I got through it relatively quickly! The Lovecraftian monsters are pretty cool, the relationships really cool and we are fully invested. A great show for lovers of the 80s too.

9) Gotham.

I don't usually like cop dramas, but I don't watch this particular one for the police side of things. I watch it for the origin stories of some of the most famous batman characters, including many of the notorious villains, Jim Gordon and of course Bruce Wayne. I've never liked DC as much as Marvel but I grew up with a Dad who loved Batman and so this show has me hooked.

10) The Defenders.

To be honest, what I really mean here is the individual series just as much as the actual The Defenders series. My favourites are Jessica Jones because I love the characterisation and Luke Cage for the best villains. But something about these characters coming together is AWESOME.