I’m still a bit in shock, but last weekend I had the honour of attending a virtual fan meet & greet with the cast and creators of Shadow and Bone! WHAT?! It’s no secret that I’m utterly obsessed and head over heels for this show, so the chance to meet the cast was an experience like no other and one that I will cherish.
I was very fortunate enough to be one of the hundreds of lucky fans around the world who attended the exclusive Q&A, and it was lovely to interact with the cast and learn more about their filming experience. The love and enthusiasm this cast has for each other and this show is so wholesome and heartwarming, and I’d give anything to be a part of their little inner circle! So Netflix, if you want to fly me to Budapest to interview the cast for season 2 or hire me as an extra, then hit me up! I think I’d look good in a Kefta!
I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so much in my life, and I will openly admit that I fully fangirled when each cast member appeared on screen, so I was quite glad that there was a lot of us! And then, when Leigh and Eric joined us, I died. The Q&A was over zoom, and you were broken off into different rooms where you waited for the magic to happen and for your chance to submit questions to the cast. The first session was with the Crows (Freddie, Amita, Danielle, Kit and Calahan), and the energy these five brought with them to the call was contagious.
One of my favourite moments of the call was when the cast was asked what skills they had that would convince Kaz (Freddie) to hire them for a heist. If I was Kaz, then I’d hire Amita! She argued that her height would allow her to squeeze into small spaces, that her long hair could hide different things and that she could also speak lots of languages, I mean, what more could you want! Kit revealed that he had a great memory, and Danielle shared that she was an expert when it came to Instagram stalking and finding information about people!
The cast were also asked to share their characters favourite line, and I couldn’t agree more with their choices! Danielle’s favourite line was ‘Were you born a prick, or was it a choice?’, a quote that encapsulates Nina’s personality and relationship with Matthias. Freddie chose the line that I’m sure many fans were waiting for, ‘no mourners, no funerals’ and Amita picked the brilliant line that was ‘in that case, I’ll take my knife back.’ I agree with Kit when he said that Jesper has too many iconic lines to pick just one, and it surprised me to learn that Calahan’s favourite lines were when Matthias and Nina revealed their names to each other!
The second call was then with Ben, Jessie, Archie, Leigh and Eric and, it was here that we got to learn more about the cast and their antics outside of filming! The cast and crew are like one big happy family, and they revealed the cast regularly hosted game nights. One of their favourite games to play was the wine box game, and if you’ve never played the aim is to pick up a wine box with your teeth without putting your hands or knees on the floor. Each round you then cut off a piece until it’s just a bit of card on the floor. I don’t like to brag but I am a CHAMP at that game and would give anything to challenge the cast to a round!
I’ve been to a few meet-and-greets, but this one takes the win for a most unique one, so when it came to getting our ‘pictures’ I had to use a little bit of editing magic! This was such a fun experience that I’m very grateful to have been apart of so thank you again to Netflix and the incredible cast and crew of Shadow and Bone!
First things first, I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who left a lovely comments on my April Wrap Up and May TBR post, I wasn’t expecting to receive so many kind and heartwarming messages of support and I even got a little emotional. The love and support that the blogging community continues to spread never fails to make me smile and all those amazing comments have given me a massive and much-needed confidence boost, so thank you again! All of you continue to make my blogging experience one that is filled with so much joy, kindness and friendship, and for that I’ll be forever grateful!
I wanted to continue spreading the love and support and celebrate some wonderful bloggers and posts that I loved this month. I always have so fun much writing these posts and they just keep getting longer and longer, I can’t help it!
Anyway, enough about me, let’s celebrate some of the AMAZING posts I read in April!
Ari @Read With Ari combined two of my favourite things and gave us some book recommendations based on some of her favourite songs! I thought this was such a fun and creative idea and I look forward to more of her recommendations!
I’ve heard so many amazing things about Manga and it’s a style that I’ve wanted to explore for a while now! @24HrYABookBlog shared the perfect starter kit and recommendations for any reader looking to read more Manga and I’m excited to add a few of these to my TBR.
If you’re looking for your next read then look no further! Sahi @My World of Books shared a brilliant compilation post of some amazing books by Asian authors and I couldn’t help but add a few off these to my ever-growing TBR!
There’s something special and magical about atmospheric books and the wonderful Veronika @Wordy and Whimsical shared some of her favourites. These books take you by the hand and guide you to incredible worlds filled with magic, mystery and wonder!
When it comes to memoirs my mind instantly jumps to Joan Didion, her books continue to destroy me emotionally but I can’t help it they’re just so beautiful and I love learning more and more about her life. The lovely Ally @Ally Writes Things shared 10 Memoir recommendations and I’ve taken this as a sign to branch out and read something different!
Sofii @A Book. A Thought shared a beautiful list of perfect books for transitioning between seasons and I’m in love with all of her picks, they’re so good and capture the mood of each season perfectly!
Growing up I loved learning French and reading French literature, but over the years my learning has taken a backseat. Alienor @A Fox’s Wanderings shared 10 French classics I need to re-read and it’s encouraged me to add a few more French classics onto my TBR!
One of my favourite posts I read last month was Amy @Golden Books Girl post on Recommending Books to Lion King Characters! I’m fully obsessed with this post and how accurate these book recommendations are, and I can’t wait for more posts in this series!
One of my favourite discussion posts this month was the incredible Ahaana @Windows to Worlds post about diversity, inclusivity and representation in YA fantasy. This was such a well-written, thought provoking and insightful post that I can’t praise enough! Ahaana also shared 13 recommendations for #OwnVoices, and Diverse SFF, so be sure to add some of these to your TBR!
Rums @Rums the Reader only read romance books for a week and I’m in love with this idea! I’m a hopeless romantic and someone who has a huge pile of romance books on her TBR, so I think it’s about time that I take a page out of Rums book dedicate an entire week of reading to romance!
Last month I only managed to read one book, so Rosina @Lace and Dagger Books post on how to read more was exactly what I needed! These tips were super helpful and this might be the month that I give audiobooks a second chance!
Another post I loved this month was Rachel @A Bookworms Paradise discussion on what makes a good book title and why they matter. I don’t know about you but I love it when a character mentions the name of the book, it’s a clever little nod to the reader and the perfect way to tie everything together.
When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.
I’m a big foodie so Elizabeth @An Attic Full of Paper post about the best food references in novels was the perfect post and one which made me feel a little peckish!
Naemi @A Book Owls Corner shared her fantastic review of the Shadow and Bone TV adaptation and I couldn’t agree with her more!! I’m still having trouble putting all of my thoughts and praises into coherent sentences rather than emotional ramblings and it’s been great to see so many people fall in love with this show!
One thing I really want to start doing this year is to take note of some of my favourite quotes and turn them into some creative project. Michaela @Journey into Books shared some of her favourite quotes from The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta and they make me want to re-read this book again!
“This book is a fairy tale in which I am the prince and the princess. I am the king and the queen. I am my own wicked witch and fairy godmother. This book is a fairy tale in which I’m cursed and blessed by others. But, finally, I am the fairy finding my own magic.”
Huge congratulations to Susana @Susana Loves Books who celebrated hitting 100 Follows with a Q&A! I loved reading all her answers and getting to know her a little better!
In other exciting news, the lovely Joy @ohsrslybooks revealed her beautiful bookmark and notepad designs! It makes me so happy to see her chasing her dreams and I wish her all the best with all of her projects!
I don’t think I’ll be travelling anywhere soon so it looks like I’ll just have to settle with some of my favourite fictional worlds! April Lee @BookedTillMidnight shared 8 fictional worlds she wants to travel to and my bags are packed and ready to go with her!
Another series I’m really enjoying is Catarina @Pages and Plots Under the Radar feature that highlights little-known YA books turning one year that week. I love reading books little-known books, there’s just something intimate and secret about reading book that not many others have read!
Another post that I LOVED last month was Katie @Melting Pages discussion about blogger burnout. I am no stranger to a creative burnout and at times blogging can be overwhelming, and it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone in my struggles. I related to this post so much and it’s sparked a really important conversation on why I blog and my blogging journey in general. I always find that taking a break helps me and I want to let everyone know that my DM’s are always open to anyone who is struggling!
Shadow and Bone dominated my April, and it got me thinking about all the other books that I want to see adapted! The lovely Amber @Bibliomavens clearly read my mind and shared her list of fantasy books that also need to be adapted and I agree with every single one of her picks! I’ve got all my fingers and toes crossed that hopefully one day we’ll get at least one of these adaptations.
Zoe @Reading by the Moonlight shared what she loves about blogging and it reminded me of why I love too blog too! The blogging community and the love everyone continues to spread is hands down my favourite part of blogging and it’s one of my biggest motivators!
One of my favourite book tags this month was The Spring Cleaning Book Tag! Alexa @Writing The Universe shared her answers and also gave me an amazing book recommendation that I really excited to read!
Two of my favourite things are books and tarot cards, and the lovely Robin @Paperbacks and Planners has combined the two to create tarot book recommendations. I love this idea so much and the recommendations are always spot on!
I love tracking my reading and and various bookish apps like Goodreads and The Storygraph, so when I saw that Angele @Adominiquereads had done the Goodreads Was Wrong Book Tag, I had to check it out! I I loved this book tag and I really enjoyed reading Angele’s answers, we’ve got very similar opinions when it comes to Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge and Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard!
I said this last month but what happened to April? This month has once again been a whirlwind and I feel like I’m constantly playing catch up! I had so many plans for April but in typical Amy fashion everything ended up being bit chaotic and pushed aside.
As many of you know already, I’m one of thousands of publishing hopefuls who are trying their hardest to break into a highly competitive industry and the constant rejection or lack of response is heartbreaking. I like to think of myself as an optimistic and positive person but recently it’s been a struggle trying to remain hopeful and confident in my abilities. It’s been almost two years now since I graduated from University with a degree in English Literature, and although this past year has had its set backs, I’m still at square one and just a little less optimistic than before. At this moment in time I’m fortunate enough to have a job working in retail with wonderful group of ladies who I absolutely adore, however I hoped for more. I don’t plan on giving up on my dreams anytime soon, and I hope that the universe has something epic in store for me soon!
Last month was emotionally, physically and mentally exhausting but I’ve started this month with a new mindset and goal orientated attitude and I’m confident that I’m going to make it a memorable one! My personal aim for May is to find a routine and get myself a little more organised. I’ve been juggling so many different things that I’ve lost track of what’s on my to-do list and what day it is, whoops!
April finally saw the re-opening of lots of non-essential shops including bookshops (I’d argue that books are essential) and I’ve never been so excited to experience a bit of retail-therapy. My poor bank account has taken a bit of a beating this month, but if you can’t treat yourself now, when can you?
The highlight of my month was hands-down the Shadow and Bone adaptation, IT WAS PERFECT! I’m currently on my third re-watch and I think I fall in love with it a little more every time I watch it! I’ve got a dedicated post going up next week where I gush about all of my feelings and how wonderful the entire show was, I can’t stop raving about it and if Netflix doesn’t renew it for more seasons then I quit!
As for reading, it’s no surprise that I only managed to read ONE book this month! Luckily I’m on track with my reading goals and I hope to have a really productive May.
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – Nikolai is one of my all-time favourite characters so the chance to spend more time with him and join him on another adventure with some other great characters was perfect! AND that ending, it’s a good thing that I’ve got Rule of Wolves ready and waiting on my bookshelf!
When it comes to reading, I’m the bookworm of the family but occasionally my sister will fall into the magical world of reading and go into full-on reader mode! Seriously that girl can read, she managed to read the first two books in the Blood and Ash Series by Jennifer L Armentrout in TWO days and I’ve never been prouder! So I thought I’d take advantage of her whilst she’s on this reading sprint and get her to choose my TBR for next month! I’ve brought so many new books recently and I don’t know what to read next, so it’s been great getting an outsiders opinion!
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – This is my sisters all time favourite series and I’ve lost track at how many times I’ve promised her that I’ll read. I really enjoy reading about the vast Shadowhunter world and I’m excited to see what all the fuss is about!
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L Armentrout – As I mentioned previously, my sister managed to read the first two books in two days and now she needs someone who she can talk about it with and I’m more than happy to fill that role. Everyone has been raving about this series and I feel little bit left out so it’s about time I jumped on the bandwagon!
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – My sister knows me far too well and told me to pick the book that’s been sitting on my TBR pile for the longest! I received an excerpt of this book years ago and loved it so excited to continue with the rest of the story!
Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard – I’ve been going on about this book for weeks so there was no way that I wasn’t going to put this book on my TBR for May.
Fashion’s biggest night falls on the first Monday in May and lays the stage for both New York’s high society and Hollywood’s finest, as they join forces and collaborate with some of the world’s most influential designers. Sadly due to the pandemic the Gala has once again been postponed but I thought I’d celebrate in my own bookish way!
The creativity and innovation of the designers and the way in which they embrace each years theme never fails to surprise me. I’d give anything to be on that carpet with the likes of Harry Styles and Lady Gaga in a very glamours ensemble, a girl can dream!
Anyway, I thought I’d combine two of my favourite things and give some book recommendations based off some iconic Met Gala themes as well as dream outfit choices! Enjoy!
2020 – About Time: Fashion and Duration (Timeless Books You Can Re-read Over and Over Again)
With this look I’d either pull a 2019 Lady Gaga outfit change, with layers of different iconic pieces throughout fashion or I’d go for something timeless like a little black dress but with a Met inspired twist!
As for my book recommendations, these are some of my absolute favourite comfort books that transport me away from reality and right into the heart of their magical and beautiful adventures.
2019 – Camp: Notes on Fashion (A Book with a Queer/LGBTQ+ Protagonist)
This was one of my favourite Met Gala themes because the possibilities were endless and the carpet was filled with so many iconic pieces. For this look I’d either do something super colourful and vibrant or I would be twinning with Ezra Miller in a pinstripe suite with a train and bedazzled corset, and jaw dropping illusion make up!
These beautifully refreshing books need to be on your TBR! Their stories are real and relatable but be prepared, they will leave you both emotionally wrecked and fulfilled.
2016 – Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology (A Dystopian/Sci-fi Book)
That year, Claire Danes hit the mark with her elegant and tasteful light up ball gown and as much as I loved it, I’d want to wear something straight out of a Project Runway unconventional material challenge or something dystopian and Blade Runner inspired!
My teenage years were dominated by YA dystopian fiction, so it’s not usually my go-to genre but recently I’ve fallen in love with it all over again. A friend of mine has been trying to get me to read The Fifth Season for years and I’ve finally given in and I’m excited to see if it lives up to the hype!
2014 – Charles James: Beyond Fashion (Best Dressed Books)
Charles James was an English-American fashion designer and is best known for his ballgowns and highly structured aesthetic, so it’s no surprise that I’d love to wear a big and beautiful ballgown that belongs in a fantasy wardrobe.
I’d give anything to have these characters wardrobes, especially Scarlets changing dress from Caraval! A dress that changes with your mood? Yes please! I loved watching her dress change throughout the series and enjoyed the fact that it had a mind of it’s own and could change at any time! The possibilities are endless and I don’t think I’d ever want to take it off.
2012 – Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations (A Book that Sparks a Conversation)
The 2012 theme juxtaposed the work of Italian designers Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada and allowed us to explore how the past enlightens the present. If I was to attend I’d love to wear a Met inspired power suit, as this piece proves that women can exhibit confidence and authority in a male-dominated world and turn a significantly male outfit into a powerful yet feminine suit of armor. The power suit doesn’t focus on embedding the masculine silhouette and stepping inside the shoes of a man, instead, it emulates the masculine look and combines it with the female identity to create a flattering and powerful sheathing that fuels the feminist movement with confidence and style.
These books offer a vital and power insight into different issues and perspectives and are all 100% worth the read!
2011 – Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (A Thrilling Adventure)
Alexander McQueen is a huge influence on fashion and his gift for tailoring allowed to him to create the imaginative designs he is known for and to construct breathtaking runway shows. The key elements of McQueen’s aesthetic included Roman Gothic/Victorian-inspired pieces, like dark colours, thick fabrics, and red lace as well as frequent references to armour or pieces that are ‘protective’ of the woman wearing them. Just like McQueen these books are powerfully bold and full of surprises!
2010 – American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity (A Book Set in the USA)
When I think of iconic and fashionable American women, my mind jumps to the likes of Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, and Jackie Kennedy, so I think I’d wear something classic, elegant and timeless.
Before writing this post I had no idea that there was the American reading challenge which involves readers taking a road-trip around the US by reading books set in each state! I’m obsessed with this idea and it’s definitely something I want to work towards!
2008 – Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy (A Book about Superheros)
This theme needs a re-do, as the outfits for the 2008 superhero inspired theme was very disappointing and I feel that stars and designers now would fully embrace the theme and go all out! I’m a huge fan of all the Marvel films so I think I’d channel one of my favourite characters, Bucky Barnes ‘aka’ The Winter Soldier. I’d love to wear a one-shouldered black gown with a silver sleeve with a dark and smokey eye look that screamed mysterious and powerful elegance!
As for the book recommendations, Vicious by V.E.Schwab is at the top of my list! It’s a masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, betrayal, and superpowers, set in a near-future world that I guarantee you’ll love!
2006 – AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion (A Book Set in the UK)
For this theme I’d join forces with British Oscar-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran (Atonement, Little Women & more) to create something incredible! When reading I spent most of my time in wonderful fantasy worlds rather than my own, but after finding books for this prompt I’m going to make more of an effort to read books set in the UK!
2003 – Goddess: The Classical Mode (A Book about Gods/Goddesses)
I’m thinking white party-toga realness! I’d channel my inner Athena/Aphrodite and go all out with a lightweight white dress and gold headpiece! As many of you know I’m obsessed with mythology, so here are a few of my favourite Greek God-based books!
So many amazing people have recently tagged me in book tags, favourite posts, monthly round-ups and more, so I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU! I adore the blogging community so it’s lovely to nominated for so many fun and creative tags! The wonderful Georgia @Lost in Neverland has very kindly tagged me in both the 20 Questions Book Tag and the The Aesthete Blogger Award, so I thought I’d give them both a go today. If you don’t already follow her then please do, she is such lovely person and is always posting fabulous content that I know you will all enjoy!
Book tags are the perfect way to get to know everyone better, so I hope you enjoy reading my answers and learning a little more about me!
20 Questions Book Tag
1. How many books are too many books in a series?
If an author is happy to keep writing then the answer is never too many! I’d happily read about some of my favourite characters just doing very mundane things!
2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?
I LOVE a good cliffhanger, they’re emotionally exhausting but they make a reading experience so much more memorable. At the time I hate them because they tend to leave me with some of the worst book hangovers but I love discussing all the different theories with other bloggers and readers!
3. Hardback or Paperback?
I’ve just treated myself to the King of Scars duo-logy in hardback and they’re stunning, but I think my heart (and bank account) will always belong to paperbacks!
4. Favourite book?
Please don’t make me choose! It’s no surprise that The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson is on my list, as well as A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott!
5. Least favourite book?
I struggled to think of one off the top of my head so I had to check my Goodreads account for my one-star reads! I hate giving bad reviews for books but I really hated The DUFF by Kody Keplinger and The Sin Eaters Daughter by Melinda Salisbury, the protagonists were both so unlikable and unexciting.
6. Love triangles, yes or no?
No. They stress me out and cause way too much drama! I understand that fans can get very passionate about certain ships and love interests, but I think I’m still traumatised by the whole Team Edward and Team Jacob fiasco.
7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?
Like Georgia, I’ve never DNF’d a book! I feel bad and force myself to continue with the book with the hopes that it’ll get better soon.
8. A book you’re currently reading?
I’m ashamed to admit that I’m still reading King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo! I started this book at the beginning of April but I’ve been so busy with work and other job applications that I just haven’t found the time to switch off and read!
9. Last book you recommended to someone?
I’m going to shamefully plug my recent Star Sign Recommendations post here because I put my heart and soul into that post and had so much fun trying to find the perfect book for each sign! I’ve also got another unique recommendations post ready for Monday and I’m so excited to share it with everyone! I’ve had this idea for ages so I really hope you enjoy it!
10. Oldest book you’ve read?
Aside from a lot of Shakespeare, the oldest book I’ve read, I think, is The Castle of Ontranto by Horace Walpole. This ‘classic’ is regarded as the first gothic novel when it was published in 1764 and is full of all the melodramatic gothic tropes. Was it worth the read, no, but it’s another classic I can tick off the list!
11. Newest book you’ve read?
I haven’t read it yet but I’m patiently waiting for my copy of Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard to arrive! The synopsis of this book sounds epic and I’m beyond excited to dive into this incredible adventure!
12. Favourite author?
Hmmmm, I wonder who I’m going to pick? Of course it’s Sarah J Maas, Leigh Bardugo, and Brandon Sanderson!
13. Buying books or borrowing books?
Like many other bookworms, I’m also super protective over my books and I like them to stay perfect with their spines unbroken, so I always get nervous when I let people borrow my books or when I borrow theirs! I’m very fortunate that I can afford to treat myself to new books now and then, and I hope one day to have an entire wall of bookshelves!
14. A book you dislike that everyone else seems to love?
I’m mentioned this before but I think that The Folk of the Air series is overrated? I enjoyed it but I don’t think it deserves all the hype!
15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?
Bookmarks! I’m criminally lacking in bookmarks so I tend to used anything I can find or my old faithful and battered book depository freebie!
16. A book you can always re-read?
Atonement by Ian McEwan, Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo,and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
17. Can you read while listening to music?
Yes! Listening to music helps enhance my imagination and turns some of my favourite scenes into mini-movies in my head. Different albums and playlists can transport me to different worlds and creates the perfect reading mood, even now there are specific songs I associate with books and when I hear them I get a little flashback!
18. One POV or multiple POVs?
Multiple POV’s! I love getting to know different characters and experiencing a different tone/voice with each chapter, they help provide a greater depth to a story and it’s nice to see different character reactions.
19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?
Both! When I’ve got a free day off or when I find a book that I’m head over heels for, then I’ll throw all my energy into reading but recently my reading has taken a backseat. My Goodreads goal for 2021 is to read 52 books (a book a week) and so far I’m confident that I’m going to hit my goal!
20. Who do you tag?
Anyone! I had so much doing this tag and answering all these questions so I want to pass the enjoyment on by tagging everyone!
The Aesthete Blogger Award
“This award is to honour every creative person, irrespective of their number of followers and views. Because, as long as you create, that is all that matters. This award is for those bloggers who put an insane amount of thought in each of their posts and for those who spread creativity like wildfire! Just wow!”
Here are the rules:
Use the official logo/graphic of the award and display it on your blog.
Tell me something about this world that you admire.
What is your favourite form of creativity?
Nominate 7 lovely people and notify them by commenting on their posts; spread some love!
Ask your nominees 4 questions.
Share something you created. (can be anything!)
And lastly, just so you know: I LOVE YOUR CREATIONS!
What is something in the world you admire?
Is it cliche if I say the beauty of our world? I’ve been very fortunate to travel to some of the most beautiful places in the world and meet so many kind-hearted people along the way. All my experiences have a special place in my heart and I tend to get quite emotional when I reflect on some of these memories. I’ve sailed around the mountains of Yangshuo, seen the Northern Lights in Iceland, and marvelled at the incredible craftsmanship of St Peter’s Basilica and I can’t wait to discover more of the world soon!
What’s your favourite aesthetic?
Any fantasy or cottagecore aesthetic! Get me in a ballgown running through the gardens of some stately home or a beautiful meadow any day, that’s the dream!
How do you organise your physical books?
I spend way too much time organising my bookshelves to make sure they look perfect but at the moment they just look very chaotic as I’ve officially run out of room! I’d share a picture but they’re so messy and I need to trip to Ikea ASAP! I’d love to have a rainbow bookshelf but I don’t have enough colourful books!
My top two shelves are organised by colour, and the third is my favourites shelf which is home to my beautiful Sarah J Maas series and other loves. As for the rest of my shelves, they’re a little more chaotic and are organised by both series and colour, and then we have the bottom shelves of doom which is full of my university and Depop books!
What is your favourite creative outlet to use?
Blogging! I love to write, so blogging is the perfect outlet to let my creative juices flow! I love coming up with new and unique posts as well as getting involved with all the wonderful book tags and people in the bookish community!
What colour is your soul?
I love this question and I was really curious to take the test! I did loads of different tests and the two colours I kept getting were green and red! Red represents passion and the burning energy to go out there and do something and Green symbolises a healers soul which makes me a mediator, balancer and harmonizer or the equilibrium of life, both of which I think is spot on!
A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about fairytales retellings, which got me thinking about all the other daring and classic adventures that deserved the spotlight, and my mind went straight to Greek mythology. It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with the wonderful world that is Greek mythology! These tales of heroic adventures, love and Godly disputes will always be some of my favourites, but now I want more! Growing up, I fell head over heels with Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series and would have given anything to be sent to Camp Half-Blood for the summer. So while I waited for my ticket to Long Island, I spent my summers going on make-believe quests with my friends and pretending I was either the daughter of Zeus or Athena.
Fast forward ten years later, and I still can’t resist a book that has even a hint of mythology, I love it! In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in the number of books that share and explore the unheard stories of mythological characters as well as many of the women, girls and goddesses who have often been silenced or cast into the background. One of my go-to authors for Greek mythology is the wonderful Madeline Miller, and if you haven’t read any of her books yet, then you are missing out. Circe is full of delicate and divine layers of love, heartbreak and acceptance and, then we have the enchanting masterpiece that is The Song of Achilles, that book emotionally destroyed me but in a good way! Next on my TBR is A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes, but there are so many other tales that also need to be appreciated and transformed into powerful retellings for everyone to enjoy!
This has been another one of my favourite posts to write this year, and it’s even inspired me to start writing and planning some potential retellings based on misrepresented figures in mythology that I hope to share one day! So if you’re up for the challenge or are looking for a new writing prompt, then I challenge you to adapt one of your favourite myths.
Persephone, Queen of the Underworld – I’d sell my soul to read a Persephone retelling by Madeline Miller! One day Persephone, daughter of Demeter, is kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld to become Queen. I’m a sucker for a good-old enemies to lovers trope, but I’d also love to read a classic retelling that focuses on both Hades’ unrequited love for Persephone and Persephone’s journey to becoming the powerful Queen of the Underworld. In a lot of adaptations, Persephone is presented as being a whiny and frail woman, but there’s so much more to her story, she is a complex character that has so much potential and who’s strength and power deserves to be represented more in literature. She’s the Queen of the dead, you can’t any more badass than that!
Ida and Marpessa – This is a love story that even has a happily ever after, a rarity in mythology! Marpessa was the only daughter of Evenus, king of Etolia, so when it came to finding a husband, Evenus announced that any prince who wants to marry Marpessa would have to defeat him in a chariot race. Idas, the prince of Messenia, won the race, but Evenus refused to give up his daughter, so Idas did what any heartbroken man in mythology would do and kidnapped her. But Idas wasn’t the only man who wanted to wed Marpessa. The God Apollo had fallen for her and once again precede to kidnap her! After a clashing of swords, Zeus made Marpessa choose between the two suitors. She knew Apollo would be unfaithful and chose a simple but committed relationship with Idas and lived happily ever after.
The Three Sisters of Fate – When you think about the three sisters of fate, your mind probably jumps to the classic depiction of three ancient, decrepit and bickering sisters that control our hero’s fate, but they’re so much more than that! Although the trio is a package deal, each sister is unique and is responsible for one of the three phases. Clotho is the creatress. She sits on her pedestal, twisting, pulling, and spinning the threads of life. Then there’s Lachesis, who is responsible for deciding the details of our destiny, and finally, we have the eldest Atropos who makes the final cut. The whole idea surrounding the threads of fate and destinies fascinates me and is another storyline that holds so much potential. These women hold so much power and responsibility that has never been fully explored. Their word is final, but what would happen if they played with destiny or saved someone destined for death…
The Danaides – This myth is intense and follows the story of fifty women who commit a horrible by killing their husbands on their wedding night by order of their father and motive fuelled by revenge and greed! However, one of the girls, Hypermnestra, did not commit this horrible crime and spared her husband out of pity. As for the other forty-nine girls, they were forced to endure an eternity of torment for their unspeakable crimes.
Leto, the Mother of Apollo and Artermis – Zeus is a serious womaniser, and I’d love to read something from the perspective of the heart-broken lover, in this case, Leto. But Leto is more than just a broken-hearted woman, she is a strong and independent mother who endures so much suffering and misfortune caused by Hera’s jealousy, and it is Leto’s strength and power that protects her and children from harm. She is forced to endure NINE days of labour, as well as battling many earth-born creatures sent by Hera! Leto is such an underrated and forgotten character from Greek Mythology, and she deserves to have her story told.
The Myth of Arachne – Greek mythology is filled with shapeshifters, Gods who could transform at will and mortals who suffered the unfortunate fate of unwanted and cursed mutations. Such a transformation befell the poor spinner Arachne. Her talent for creating magnificent tapestries was unmatched and attracted the attention of people all over the land. She could often be heard boasting about her skills and declared that her talent surpassed anyone else’s, mortal or divine. Athena heard these claims and planned to teach a girl a lesson by disguising herself as an old woman and berating her in front of a crowd. But Arachne only laughed. Athena then revealed her true form and challenged her to a weaving contest. Athena’s tapestry depicted the strength and power of the gods, whereas Arachne’s showed the gods abusing their power. When Athena saw Arachne’s undeniably beautiful work she flew into a rage and transformed the poor girl into a spider.
The Amazons – You probably know about the legendary Amazons from the epic that was Wonder Woman, but if not, then let me fill you in! The Amazons were the daughters of Ares (the God of War) and were a race of warlike women noted for their riding skills, courage and pride, who lived on the outer limits of the known world. These legendary leading ladies deserve to have their story told, and I’d love to learn more about their battles against the Greeks and other male heroes.
Pandora’s box – According to legend, Pandora was the first human woman, breathed into being by Hephaestus, the God of fire. She was blessed with the gifts of language, craftsmanship, emotion and finally, the gift of curiosity from Zeus and a locked box whose contents could never be seen by human eyes. Pandora thrived in the world, but her thoughts were always plagued by the mysteries that lay within the box. Its enigma soon became maddening as her obsession with the box grew, until one day its presence became too overwhelming, and Pandora finally opened the box. Monstrous creatures and other evils escaped the darkness of the box and were unknowingly released into the world. This tale battles the duality of curiosity and sparks the debate on whether to encourage human inquiry or to accept that some mysteries are better left untold.
I’ve wanted to do a book tag like this for a while now, so when the lovely Samantha and Amber @Bibliomavens tagged me in this tag, I knew it was meant to be! If you like fun and fabulous bookish content then be sure to check their blog out, I always enjoy reading their posts but beware they’ve got some weird bookish habits! Who reads the last sentence of a book?! 😅 But seriously if you’re not following them yet, then you’re really missing out!
Anyway, these two have created their own original tag and a want to say a HUGE thank you for tagging me! They’re questions really made me think and I had a great time answering them! I always love doing book tags as it the perfect opportunity for everyone to get to know me better and I always enjoying reading other book tags too! You can learn a lot about someone from their answers!
Here are the rules for this tag:
Nominated bloggers can nominate ten other bloggers.
Use the same questions from the tag.
Who is your all-time favourite book character?
Don’t make me choose, that’s like asking someone to pick their favourite child! There’s no way that I’ll ever be able to pick just one character, so here’s my top five: Kelsier from The Final Empire, Nesta and Azriel from A Court of Thorns and Roses, Hannah Donnelly from The Illuminae Files and finally Inej from Six of Crows. It’s pretty clear that I have a type! I love mysterious, impulsive, witty and reckless individuals and I can’t get enough of them. These characters look death in the eye and smile. They are survivors.
If you were stranded on a desert island, which book would you take with you? (Survival books do not count)
War and Peace! It has been sitting on my shelf for ages and each year I set myself the challenge to read it. But it’s a beast of a book with 1,225 pages and I know from watching the beautiful BBC adaptation that this book is intense and that it’s going to be a nightmare to keep track of all the different characters! So if being stranded on a desert island doesn’t make me read it, then nothing will!
What’s your most unpopular book opinion?
Please don’t hate me but I think The Folk of the Air series is overrated…It’s a good series but I wasn’t blown away by it and I kept thinking that I’d missed something! I think that’s the problem with booktwt and booktok, there’s so much pressure to like something because everyone loves it and you end up feeling guilty for not enjoying it as much as everyone else.
What’s your weirdest bookish habit?
It’s not weird but I LOVE fan art and I will always look up a character when I’m introduced to them! I have an idea in my head of what they look like but I always enjoy seeing other people’s interpretations and fan castings. It helps me visualise them and one day I hope to have an entire wall dedicated to some of my favourite pieces and artists.
Like many other bookworms, I’m also super protective over my books and I like them to stay perfect with their spines unbroken. I’ve lovingly drilled it into my sister that ‘if you break the spines of my book, then I’ll break yours’! Even when I was studying at University, I was the girl who kept her books pristine and unmarked.
What character would you bring to a family event as your fake partner?
As much I adore Azriel, my family is quite intense and I don’t think he’d cope! So I would choose Anthony Bridgerton because he’s used to this type of scheming and has dealt with the pressures of having a large and inquisitive family! Plus every year my family and I have a big reunion up in Scotland, and just like the Bridgerton family, there’s always a fiercely competitive game of croquet. There’s no doubt that Anthony and I would make a great team and he would earn the respect of all my cousins!
What made you decide to start a book blog?
If you’ve been following me for a while then you’ll know that I started this blog back in 2014 with one of my best friends, Eleanor. Our shared passion for books is what inspired us to create this blog and has become the perfect platform to share our thoughts with the world and the bookish community. Since then this little blog has continued to grow in followers and friends and has seen us through the trials and tribulations of high school, university and continues to play its part as we take our next steps into adult life.
Eleanor is now working hard as a midwife and although she no longer posts, she still enjoys curling up with a book and a good old cup of tea. As for me, this blog is my baby and after giving it a fresh new look, I’m eager to see where this next stage in my blogging journey takes me. Our friendship, like our love for books, is still strong and we’ll be best friends for life.
What about reading and books do you love the most?
I’ve always had an active imagination and reading has gifted me with an escape like no other. I get to join some of my favourite characters on their adventures and experience new worlds that are full of wonder and magic. Books and reading have been there in my darkest moments and are the light that will never fade. These stories have shaped the person I am today and have inspired me to follow my dreams, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.
What is your field of study/desired profession/current profession?
I’m a proud English Literature graduate and like many others, the dream is to work in publishing and more specifically marketing and publicity in a children’s department. The opportunity to continue sharing the magic and wonder that I’ve been so fortunate to experience as a reader with a new generation would be a dream come true. So far it’s been a long and disheartening process but I’m trying to remain hopeful that one day all my hard work and passion will finally pay off!
What are some book recommendations that became your favourites/obsessions?
Anything by Amie Kaufman! I read Aurora Rising earlier this year and I’m currently flying through the Illuminae Files. I’ve fallen head over heels for her writing, there’s so much detail in every element and it’s always a wonderfully unique reading experience. I’m also OBSESSED with her characters! Their interactions are witty yet heartfelt and I know this world is fictional but these character’s feel so real to me. Thank you to everyone who kept encouraging me to finally read this series, I loved it!
What is the book you shove down everyone’s throat?
If you guessed The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson then you know me too well! Sanderson’s writing style pulls you into the wonderful world he has created and will have you standing side by side with all his characters as they battle through everything that comes their way. You never know what to expect with this book, it’s intense, action-packed and filled with so many twists and turns making it an unpredictable and suspenseful adventure. And don’t get me started on the intricacy of the his magic system, it’s incredible and like nothing I’ve ever read before! If I had to read one book for the rest of my life then it would probably be this one, and I know that’s a bold statement but I honestly love this book so much.
For the past week I’ve been channeling the fashion icon and all round Queen B that is Blair Waldorf! I’ve dedicated my entire TBR for the week to her, and have centred my reading around classic romance novels and elegant females icons like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, as well as embracing Blair’s style and daily routine, minus the scheming! I like to think I did a good job with designing my reading list and it was nice to tick a few more classics off my list!
When I’m not working you’ll usually find me in my pyjamas, or anything that is comfortable, so dressing up and putting a full face of make-up on was quite nice. I pulled all of my skirts and pearls and got to work! Blair, if anything, is determined. She never lets anyone or anything get in the way of her dreams and aspirations, and that’s one quality I think we can all take away from her. She oozes confidence, so I tried my best this week to channel all my energy into working towards my goals and I even started exploring manifestation, because sometimes we all need a little help from the universe!
On Wednesday, I embraced my Blair Waldorf fantasy and spent the evening reading and watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s along with some delicious macaroons and a glass of pink Prosecco, it was all very fancy! And then on Saturday I made a beautiful brunch spread, fit for New York’s elite, and spent my afternoon flicking through various fashion magazines as well as doing a cheeky bit of online shopping!
Overall, I had a great week as not only did I get to read some great books but Blair has encouraged me to go after my dreams because, “If you really want something you don’t stop for anyone or anything, until you get it.”.
I tried to stick to my TBR but I kept finding books on my bookshelf that a) I really wanted to read and b) that I knew Blair would secretly love!
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote – You can’t get more Blair Waldorf than Breakfast at Tiffany’s! I really enjoyed this book and it was interesting to get to know a darker and wilder side of Holly Golightly. Capote has a almost lyrical way with words that just make it so easy to read and enjoy!
Play as it Lays by Joan Didion – Joan Didion is an American writer who launched her career in the 1960s after winning an essay contest sponsored by Vogue magazine, and who’s writing focuses on the disintegration of American morals, cultural chaos and the Hollywood lifestyle. There’s no doubt in my mind that Blair would love and consider Didion a fabulous and powerful writer. I’ve been making my way through her books, and settled on Play as it Lays, a book that made it onto the TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005 list, and as always it was amazing.
Romancing Mr Bridgerton by Julia Quinn – I’m pretty sure Blair Waldorf would love Bridgerton, if not for Lady Wistledown then definitely for The Duke! I’ve been slowly making my way through this series and this lighthearted romance was exactly what I needed after a month of intense fantasy adventures.
Mrs Dalloway by Virgina Woolf – When I read To the Lighthouse I thought I was missing something, everyone raved about her writing was but I struggled to connect with it. But then I read Mrs Dalloway and I now I see it. Mrs. Dalloway is a complex, compelling novel that enters into the consciousness and hearts of it’s characters and one that witnesses the battle between sanity and insanity. I loved it!
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – I’m only half way into this book but I still wanted to include it on my list! The atmospheric writing and the gorgeous prose is what makes this book special, there’s the perfect balance of suspense, darkness and mystery, and I can’t wait to finish it soon!
Happy Romance Week! As many of you know Sunday is Valentine’s Day so in celebration I’ll be posting a couple of romance themed posts. One of my reading goals for 2021 was to branch out with my reading habits and read something each month that’s not sci-fi or fantasy, and so far I’ve managed to stick to this. Last month I fell completely and utterly in love with the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn, and it’s put me in a really romantic reading mood so my aim for February is to try and tick a few off my romance TBR!
The Unhoneymooners by Christian Lauren – Last year I fell head over heels for Christina Lauren’s book The Holidaze, and now I need more! This light-hearted and cute read was exactly what I needed for the festive season, and I’m ready for more unique romantic encounters and grin-inducing flirtation.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – This book is the ultimate enemies-to-lovers romance and I can’t wait for it’s adaptation, starring Lucy Hale and Robbie Amell. Lucy is charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.
The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely – I relate to this book SO MUCH! Every year my family gathers for an annual reunion and each year I have to endure the endless questioning about my career and love life, both of which are non existent! There’s only two of us singletons left and we’ve both made a pack to not let the other become the only single grandchild! I’ve yet to reach the stage in which I invite a total stranger to play ‘my date’ so things are looking hopeful! Anyway this book sounds exactly what I need and I can’t wait to dive into it!
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary – This has been on my bookshelf for almost a year now! I bought it during the first lockdown but surprise, surprise I got distracted and never started it! I’m currently on a book buying ban, and I’m trying to read the majority of books on my shelf before ordering anymore so this is 100% on my TBR for February.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – I’ve seen this book all over my socials and it looks adorable and something I know I’m going to love. This mission of rebellion is guaranteed to make me smile and I’m looking forward to witnessing the developing relationship between Chloe and Red!
Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston – This book blew up a couple of years ago and as always I’m last to the party when it comes to reading it! I’m all for royalty and romance, so I’m sure that I’m going to love this book as much as everyone else!
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory – I love weddings and I especially love the ‘fake dating’ trope, so this combination is right up my street. Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist…
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover – When Googling ‘best romance’ novels, this one always appears in the top ten! I’ve never read anything by Colleen Hoover, but I’ve heard nothing but great things about this book and I’ve yet to read a bad review.
Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman – Another book that has sat sadly unread on my bookshelf for too long! I fell absolutely in love with the film adaptation, and knew I had to read the book too. Fast forward a couple of years later and I still haven’t read it, so I’m going to make it my mission to read it soon.
I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for a good-old fairytale retelling! And what I love even more is watching an author subvert and adapt these classic adventures to create new and exciting storylines that we can’t help but love. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas and Heartless and The Luna Chronicles by Marissa Myers are a perfect examples of this, not only are they both wonderful retellings that only use the basic framework of the original story but they use their characters to create something entirely different and unique.
Growing up Beauty and the Beast was always one of my favourite Disney classics, but after reading so many different retellings I’m getting a little bored of the same old storyline, which breaks my heart because it’s such a beautiful tale! This then got me thinking about all the other incredible and magical stories that have yet to be retold and adapted, so I wanted to share a few of my favourites that I believe need more attention!
This has been one of my favourite posts to write this year, and has even inspired me to start writing some modern day fairytale inspired flash-fiction that I hope to share in the future! So if you’re up for the challenge or are looking for a new writing prompt then I challenge you to adapt one of your favourite fairytales!
I loved re-searching all the different fairytales from around the world, so much so that I’ve had to write an entirely different post about some of my new favourites that I found as well as the Myths that I think need retellings, so keep an eye out for them soon!
And finally, shout out to the Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Anderson for creating some wonderfully dark fantasy fables!
Peter Pan – This whole idea about not growing up sounds pretty good to me, being an adult is WAY too stressful! This beloved children’s classic has so much potential and I can see it being adapted as both a fantasy but also a contemporary novel. I can also see it as a sci-fi inspired adventure, with Neverland being some distant planet with a secret.
Jack and the Beanstalk – What if Jack found something else at the top of the beanstalk? What if instead of a beanstalk, Jack climbed out of a broken elevator only to find a portal leading to a hidden world?
Rapunzel – Tangled is hands down my favourite Disney film EVER, so it’s only right that I request more Rapunzel inspired reading. I loved Cress by Marissa Myers but I need more, so any recommendations would be great!
Swan Lake – Tchaikovsky’s magical ballet tells the story of the doomed love of Prince Siegfried and Princess Odette. Prince Siegfried goes out hunting one night and chases a group of swans – one of which transforms into a young woman, Odette, who explains that she and her companions were turned into swans by the evil Baron Von Rothbart. The spell can only be broken if someone who has never loved before swears an oath of undying love and promises to marry her. This tale of broken hearts and deception is one that is packed full of drama and one which I could see featuring an enemies-to-lovers-to-enemies dynamic?
The Frog Prince – Another Disney favourite that I’d love to see! If we break it down, the story ultimately revolves around a fatal kiss and from that there is endless opportunity!
The Little Match Girl – This is such a underrated and beautifully heartbreaking story and focuses on a dying child’s dreams and hope. I’d love to see this powerful story used as a narrative to raise attention for youth homelessness.
The Twelve Brothers – One of the lesser known tales by The Brothers Grimm but ultimately is a tale about who should inherit a mighty kingdom. A king wants to kill his twelve sons, but only if his thirteenth child would be a girl. This way, she alone can inherit his kingdom. The Queen warns her son and urges them to escape into the forest where they are forced to live, until they are discovered by their sister years later. I’m a sucker for a fantasy that focuses on a fight for the throne and is another classic fairytale with lots of potential.
A Christmas Nutcracker – A Christmas classic that I’d love to see adapted into a romanic and lighthearted festive contemporary!
The Twelve Dancing Princesses – Aside from the cinematic masterpiece that is Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this story adapted. In short the story follows 12 princesses who are locked away securely every night by the king, but in the morning their dancing shoes are found to be worn through as if they had been dancing all night. Determined to uncover their secret the King offers a reward to anyone who can uncover their whereabouts every night, and is revealed by a solider that every night they escape through a trap door to meet 12 waiting princes and embark on a night of fun and dancing.