December Wrap Up and January TBR

Happy New Year!

Last year wasn’t anyone’s year to say the least, but hope is on the horizon and I pray that this year will bring a degree of normality and a fresh start for everyone, so let’s make 2021 a good year to remember. But before I start something new, I thought it was only right to have big sort out of both my TBR shelf, NetGalley account and all the unread books on my bookshelf. I’m officially on a book buying ban until I’ve read all the books on my shelf, so this month is being dedicated to all the books I didn’t manage to read in 2020. Last year I managed to read 42 books and I think this year will finally be the year I tackle the challenge of 52 books (aka one book a week for a year)!

December

Finale by Stephanie Garber – I loved it. I loved it. I loved it! I swear all I’ve done recently is go on and on about how good this series is, so I’m going to keep it simple and say if you haven’t read it then you need to add this series to your TBR ASAP!

In A Holidaze by Christine Lauren – If you google ‘best Christmas reads’ then this one is always number one so I thought it was only fitting that I gave it a go! Turns out this book was just what I needed, it’s lighthearted and just a bundle of fun that I managed to devour in a couple of hours. I was gutted when it finished, I need MORE.

Finding Love at the Christmas Market by Jo Thomas – This was our Book Club book of the month for December and it was only fitting that we chose a trashy festive romance! I love a good-old Christmas market and it breaks my heart that I missed out on them this year so I just had to settle for my imagination! As expected I really enjoyed it and it was such a lovely read for the festive season.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Another new series I’m obsessed with! I loved all these characters and I really enjoyed all SEVEN first person POV’s, every character had a distinct voice and tone, it was incredible! I’m huge fan of anything sci-fi and hopefully plan to read a lot more this year, so any reccomendations would be wonderful!

January

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – I started reading this in December but I’m going to finish it January so this counts doesn’t it? So far I’m really enjoying the whole concept and world Rogerson has created, I’m just gutted that it’s a standalone because I need more!

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin – This book still haunts my TBR and even I’m getting frustrated that I still haven’t read it! I’m suffering from some major FOMO and I’m desperate to jump on the bandwagon and experience all the wonder and magic everyone has been raving about.

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn – I’m completely and utterly obsessed with the Netflix adaptation Bridgerton, so much so that as soon as I finished the final episode I jumped online and order all FIVE books! Last year is was erotic Highlander novels and this year it’s steamy period romance novels, I just can’t get enough!

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn – I’m pretty sure I’m going to fly through the first book so I’ll be sure to have the second book at the ready. I’m trying to pace myself with this series otherwise I’ll end up binge reading it and suffering from a major book hangover.

Fable by Adrienne Young – I was sent a copy of this book through NetGalley and have seen it appearing on a few peoples 2020 favourites posts so I’m excited to start reading. The synopsis is EVERYTHING and I’m already predicting that it’ll be five star read, so no pressure!

Blood Metal Bone by Lindsay Cummings – Another book that I received from NetGalley and one which I planned to read before I got distracted by Addie LaRue! I’m curious to explore more about this book and the world Lindsay has created! Years ago I remember reading her Murder Complex series and really enjoying her writing style so I’m looking forward to reading another one of adventures.

My 2020 Favourites – Books, TV Shows and Films

Last year, I celebrated the new year by declaring that it was going to be ‘my year’, fast forward 12 months and it’s a statement that I’m starting to regret. This year hasn’t been anyone’s year to say the least but hope is on the horizon and I pray that next will bring a degree of normality. I know that 2020 hasn’t been easy for anyone, but seeing communities unite by celebrating the little things and our own resilience towards this new and unique way of life is one thing to take away from this year. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve become a lot closer with family, friends despite living hundreds of miles away from them and have used time to reflect on myself and my plans for 2021. I’m eager to start a new year and begin putting my plans into action! Anyway before we bid goodbye to this year, I thought it was only fitting that I’d share some favourite books, TV shows, films and albums!

Books

This has been a heck of a year for book lovers, with lockdown and quarantine bringing us all the time in the world to dive into fantastical worlds and magical adventures as well as loads of epic new releases.

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by V.E Schwab – I envy Schwab, and her beautiful ability to craft memorable and magical masterpieces that readers, like myself, will cherish for a lifetime. I’ve still yet to gather my thoughts and opinions into a comprehensive review but it’s easy to say that I loved it.
  2. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – I read a bit of Wilde whilst studying at Univeristy and there’s always that worry when reading ‘a classic’ that I might not ‘get it’ or enjoy it as much as others, but this one surprised me greatly! I found it super easy to read and I certainly wasn’t expecting the intrusively personal thoughts it left me with. This is a true masterpiece that was the perfect read during Halloween and is filled with beautiful quotes that will stay with you long after finishing!
  3. Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – I won’t go on about this book anymore and I’m sure that none of you are surprised that it’s on my list of 2020 favourites. If any book makes it on your TBR for the new year then makes sure it’s this one!
  4. Crescent City by Sarah J MaasCrescent City is a perfectly crafted masterpiece. Once again, Maas excels at creating a unique fantasy world filled with an equally fantastic cast of characters and an unexpected storyline that is never once predictable. Like I’ve said before, I could read Sarah’s shopping list and I’d love it, there’s just something wonderfully magical about her writing that sends me head over heels and into her captivating worlds and adventures.
  5. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas – A fitting conclusion to an epic series and one which left me with a major book hangover, I thought I was ready to say goodbye to these characters but I was wrong and those last chapters wrecked me.
  6. Caraval Series by Stephanie Garber – The magic, adventure, and mystery are what makes this story difficult to put down, and just like Caraval it sucks you in and invites you to lose yourself in its wonderful world. Garber makes it easy to fall in love with her characters and I can guarantee that it will have you on the edge of your seat through the entire story.
  7. Aurora Rising by Amie and Jay Kristoff – Another new favourite that I’m obsessed with and the only sci-fi that I read this year!
  8. The Holidaze by Christian Lauren – I wanted something fun and romantic to read over the festive season and this one was perfect!
  9. Little Women by Lousia May Alcott – I adore this story and how heartwarmingly wonderful its characters are, everything about it just makes me so happy. This is a beast of a book but I can assure it’s worth it!
  10. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson – Now it wouldn’t be a favourites post without an appearance from Brandon Sanderson! This is what you call an epic conclusion, and one which left me with the worst book hangover I’ve ever experienced! It truly left me speechless and in awe!

TV Shows

When I’m not reading it more than likely that I’m binge watching a new TV Show, I dare to think of how many hours I’ve spent watching TV this year!

  1. Bridgerton (Netflix) – Hands down my favourite series of the year (a bold statement considering all the other hit shows I’ve loved this year), so much so that I’ve just finished my second re-watch and have order the entire book series to binge in the New Year! I’ll definitely be writing a ‘7 reasons to watch’ post soon so key an eye out for that.
  2. Gilmore Girls (Netflix) – Like many people during lockdown, I used my time accordingly and started a new TV show and have now ultimately fallen victim to the heartwarming wonder that is Gilmore Girls. Every episode feels like a coffee date with your favourites characters, as we follow them on their journeys filled with life’s ups and downs. I can guarantee that your mood will be instantly improved after just one episode!
  3. Schitts Creek (Netflix) – I found this show just at the right time, it lifted my sprits and bought me so much joy and kept me company whilst I was in self isolation. This charming and light-hearted comedy is the perfect binge-worthy show and follows the Roses and their fall from grace after going bankrupt, their only remaining asset, a small dysfunctional town called Schitt’s Creek.
  4. The Mandalorian (Disney+) – As many of you may not know, I’m a huge Star War’s nerd and even have my own lightsaber! This show is successfully filling my sci-fi void and captures everything I love about George Lucas’s masterpiece.
  5. Normal People (BBC) – I read Sally Rooney’s Normal People earlier this year and fell utterly and unexpectedly in love. The story and its characters are so raw and complex, creating a narrative that is more than just a romance. And thankfully the TV adaptation is just as good, the entire show is crafted with the upmost accuracy and care, the producers have done a wonderful job at bringing this story to life!

Films

It breaks my heart to admit that I don’t remember the last time I went to the cinema and I’m really struggling to think of any new release that I’ve watched this year! Some Oscar’s favourites included Jojo Rabbit and A Portrait of a Lady on Fire, both of which were brilliantly clever and are just incredible films I always recommend.

I also finally gave in and subscribed to Disney+, and it’s been one of my best purchases of 2020! My go-to film will always be Captain America: The Winter Solider, in my opinion it’s one of the best Marvel films ever! Also Chris Evans, that man is beautiful! *swoon*! I’ve also particularly enjoyed both Onward and Soul, both are wonderfully emotional films that explore lives we live and our relationships with the people around us, be sure to have the tissues at the ready!

Music

I don’t usually include a music section in my 2020 wrap up post but it wouldn’t be doing it justice if I didn’t mention the Queen herself! This year we were blessed with not one but TWO new albums from Taylor Swift. Like most of the world, I am OBSESSED with this album, it’s everything we’ve been waiting for, especially after the disappointment that was Lover. Both albums are perfect for those cosy autumn afternoons and winter walks! My favourites at the moment are The Last American Dynasty, Illicit Affairs, Betty, Champagne Problems and Tis The Damn Season.

Mini Reviews – Circe, The Night Circus and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Circe by Madeline Miller

I finally gave into the hype surrounding this book and let me say that everything said about this book is true, it is a wonderfully original and captivating read that explores the shadows of villainized women Greek Mythology. Millers choice to tell Circe’s story in first person was genius, it made transcending her emotions and hurting off the page more impactful and somewhat realistic. Her journey is one of many delicate and divine layers as she grows from a naive and hopelessly blind nymph to a powerful and compassionate heroine who’s weaknesses only excel her quest of love and acceptance. Throughout the book we get glimpses into other myths but storyline is solely Circe’s personal tale of heartbreak, desire and motherhood. A beautiful masterpiece filled with thought-provoking and powerful quotes, this book is a must read for all.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Prepare to be transported to the beautiful and enchanting world of the Night Circus where anything is possible thanks to Morgenstern’s magically intertwined storylines and sparkling prose which creates a place that is majestic and thoroughly irresistible.Behind the scenes of Le Cirque des Rêves, there is a tournament underway between two magicians who have been trained since childhood for this exact purpose by their instructors. Morgenstern includes every element you’d want in a book, a whirlwind romance, a beguiling mystery and peculiar characters that drive the story. This truly captivating adventure is proof that magic does exists.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

It is clear why Gail Honeyman’s debut novel ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ won last year’s Costa Book Award as is a stunning example of a beautifully written and profound novel that touches on a collection of different issues and aspects that will leave readers feeling wrecked in the best and worst ways possible. Eleanor is lonely, damaged and awkward and every day of her life is the same, but one night, all of that changes rather abruptly. Eleanor is a uniquely refreshing and quirky character but that doesn’t stop readers from establishing a connection with her and understanding why she is, the way she is. Instead, we take her by the hand and join her on her emotional journey as she experiences different events that act as a catalyst for change and wonderful character development.

Halloween Book Tag

It’s the night before Halloween and the only way to celebrate is with a book tag! If you’ve done a Halloween inspired book tag, then please leave a link in the comments as I’d love to read your answers.

Favourite scary, must-watch for Halloween?

I had to change the question for this one as I never read anything scary (unless its a chapter where the fate of my favourite characters are on the line!). But I do love watching Halloween films leading up to the big day, especially Hocus Pocus.

Scariest book cover, like ever?

Again, I don’t tend to buy or go near scary book covers but I will admit that I used to be a bit freaked out over the Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar children covers!

If you could go trick-or-treating with any author, who would you pick?

I’d love to go trick-or-treating with Leigh Bardugo, the opportunity to discuss all of her books and the new Netflix adaptation would be amazing. I’d also persuade her to slip me Ben Barnes’ number or to give me a role in the show.

If you could dress up as any bookish character for Halloween, who would you be?

I answered this question in my last tag and I said Celaena Sardothien but I’d also love to go as Éowyn from Lord of the Rings or Lagertha from Vikings. I’m all for dressing up as some blonde, kick-ass heroines.

If you could find anything (from any book) in your trick-or-treat stash, what would you hope to find?

Either one of my many fictional crushes or a dragon from the Inheritance Series by Christopher Paolini.

In what fictional world would you like to go trick-or-treating?

Either A Court of Thorns and Roses or Harry Potter, as I adore the unique magic and wonder that both of these worlds hold. Plus I bet the Autumn Court or the Night Court could throw a great Halloween party.

What book villain would you not like to meet alone in a dark alley on Halloween?

The Commandant from An Ember in the Ashes, I’d be a goner if I met her in a dark alley.

Would you rather dress up as a vampire, zombie, werewolf, or shadowhunter?

Definitely a Shadowhunter, I’d channel my inner Emma Carstairs!

Pick a candy (just one) from Harry Potter that you would love to find in your stash?

I’d love some exploding bon-bons or the classic chocolate frog!

What is your favourite Halloween candy?

In the UK we have these little chocolate balls wrapped as mini pumpkins and I can easily eat an entire bag of them! I’m also a classic lover of those mixed bags of Cadbury chocolate essentials.

To NaNoWriMo or Not to NaNoWriMo?

This is always one of the most difficult decisions to make each year as I battle between realistic and optimistic writing expectations and whether or not its worth putting myself through such an intense month. As much as I’d love to write 50,000 words in a month, I know that it’s sadly not possible with my current work schedule but I do hope to write 25,000 words whether that be in the form of flash fiction, a detailed plan or the first couple of chapters.

Flash fiction for those who don’t know is a piece of fiction characterised as being only a couple of hundred words, that sometimes centres around a snap-shot filled with open-ended questions and a shroud of mystery. I was first introduced to the format whilst studying it at university and instantly fell in love with its ability to hold so much story and possibility within only a couple of hundred words and knew it was something I wanted to try and replicate.

What’s been my downfall in previous years was my failure to properly plan and layout my storyline correctly, which in turn left me struggling in deciding where I wanted my story and characters to go. If you have any tips for planning then I’d love to know as I’m currently watching lots of YouTube videos and reading lots of really helpful blog posts.

It’s not NaNoWriMo without writing a couple of draft chapters and one of the most important tips I’ve learned over the years is to just write and worry about the edits later! I’m one for getting hung up on different words and sentence structures but hopefully this year things will be different and I’ll be able to complete my target of 25,000 words. I plan to keep you all updated with my progress and planning but at the moment it’s all a bit chaotic and I need to start finally putting my ideas onto paper. What I can tell you, is that I’m juggling two completely different ideas, one of which is for a honest and fluffy contemporary novel and the other for an intricate and adventurous fantasy novel and I’m sure it’ll come down to a toss of a coin in deciding which one I’ll dedicate my time too!

Let me know if you’re considering of participating in NaNoWriMo and again if you’ve got any tips then I’d love to know! Happy writing everyone!

What I’ve Been Reading At University #2

After the success of my first post, I thought I’d share what other books I’ve had to read in my second term of University. For those who don’t know I’m currently studying English Literature at the University of Chester and being an English student means lots and lots of reading but I don’t mind because I’m a bit of a bookworm. I will link my previous post here if you wish to see what I read in my first term! Anyway, let’s begin…

  1. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austin – I’ve always been a fan of Jane Austin with ‘Pride and Prejudice’ being one of my all-time favourite novels but I’d never read ‘Northanger Abbey’ until now; I loved it. I enjoyed the combination and satire of the Gothic novel and how active and crazy Catherine’s imagination was.
  2. On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan – Most Ian McEwan books, are slightly weird and obscure and this wasn’t an exception. I enjoyed it but it’s certainly not something I would recommend to my mum! If you’re looking for something short, funny (in an odd kind of way) and a little different then I recommend you pick some of his early works up including ‘On Chesil Beach’.
  3. The Road by Cormac McCarthy – Another book I had to read for my contemporary module and I absolutely loved it. It’s unique writing style and the post-apocalyptic world had me hooked from the very first page and I easily finished it on the train back to Uni.
  4. The Worlds Wife by Carol Ann Duffy – We’re changing things up here as this is a collection of poetry rather than a novel. If you don’t know, Carol Ann Duffy is the UK’s poet laureate and many students in the UK study her poetry at high school. This collection, however, focuses on the fictional wive’s of many male historical and mythical figures and are just quite nice to read now and then.
  5. The poetry of Franchesca Haig – I’d be impressed if anyone knew who Francesca Haig is as she used to be a lecturer at the University of Chester until she wrote her first young adult novel ‘The Fire Sermon’ which was quite successful and has now been picked up by Dreamworks to be made into a film. Anyway, her poetry is some of my favourite and today I’ve been lucky enough to be chosen to interview her so keep your eyes peeled on a blog post on that!

I hope you enjoyed the second instalment of what I’ve read at university and that you’ve found it interesting and if you’re are currently studying at University too, I’d love to know what books you’ve been reading.

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

I always love it when I’m buying a book and cashier sings its praises, it always makes me want to read the book even more. So this book started off well right from the beginning in Waterstones!

I’m just going to jump right into this, this book is set in the same world as the ‘Shadow and Bone‘ series but is in a different time period, has different characters and is a completely different story. This book is based in the country of Kerch instead of Ravka and follows the rag tag gangs within Kerch but mainly the Crow Club (gang) and it’s most prominent members. This gang gets contacted for a massive mission which is to break into the most well guarded and notorious prison in the Kingdom, The Ice Court and rescue a prisoner. It is clear this is a suicide mission, but with the prize of 30 million Kerch, Kaz and his team cannot resist.

Whilst browsing the shelves, this book intrigued me, mainly because I’d read the Shadow and Bone series, which was good but it wasn’t my favourite. Because of this I really wanted to know what it was like because I did like the world and was interested in learning more about it and exploring new areas and new characters. This book did not disappoint, it was so exciting and intense. The characters were strong with intimate and complex backstories which beautifully intertwined with the story line. I actually preferred this greatly to the Shadow and Bone story, I feel as though the story was a lot stronger and the characters were much more complex and likable.

What I really loved about this book was that it was so gripping! Right from the start it was interesting and I kept wanting to know more, there was no faffing they got straight into what the story was about and the main premise of the story. I just wanted to keep reading, but the best thing was that you never really know what was going on, you never knew if the gang are genuinely in trouble of if Kaz Brekker or the gang had something else up their sleeve! Because of this it was literally impossible to predict and I never knew what was happening and the ending was always so up in the air, even two pages from the end!

I don’t want to say too much about the characters because there is a lot you learn about each character and I want to keep that as a surprise. But I will say a tiny bit about the 6 main characters… Firstly there is Kaz Brekker (Dirtyhands) he is very high up in the gang and will do anything for money. Secondly there is Inej, known as The Wraith, she has silent feet and can climb anything. There is also Nina a Corporalki Grisha from Ravka and Matthias from Fierda who was trained to kill Grisha. Finally there is Jesper a good friend of Kaz Brekker but also has a slight glambling problem and Wylan who is always made fun of for being young and inexperienced. The characters were each so unique and different from each other, also each chapter was from a different perspectives so you got to know all of them really well!

I really did love this book, I would recommend it to anyone who loves a bit of excitement in a book. There are so many twists and turns I promise you that you won’t get bored! I’m going to give this book a 5 out of 5 stars, I really did love this book and it lined up perfectly for a sequel so I seriously cannot wait for the second book!!

All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven 

I would just like to start this review by saying that I think this is genuinely one of the best books I have ever read! Although I was very hesitant to read this book because of all the hype as I didn’t want to be disappointed. 

I went into this book with such an open mind and it really paid off, it was a beautifully written, heartwarming story that I think will stay with me for a really long time, actually I don’t think I’ll ever get over it! 

I don’t want to describe this book too much because I think it’s best to go into this book somewhat blind. However a brief outline is that the two main characters Finch and Violet meet on the top of the school’s bell tower contemplating suicide. Violet has tragically just lost her sister in a car accident and Finch struggles with various mental health issues. Together they help each other down from the bell tower and as the story progreses so does their friendship. I know thats fairly vague but you’re going to have to trust me on this, it’s amazing. 

This book drew me in straight away! There was no faffing around they got straight to the point. Because of that I just wanted to keep reading and the pages just kept turning, it was almost addictive! 

I loved the characters in this book! Firstly there is Finch (Theodore Finch), he was such an interesting character, but also he could be so much fun to read. He had the best personlity and genuinely had me belly laughing at points. I loved how he treated Violet and made it his mission to help her recover from the accident, which was just adorable, he’s someone I would love as a friend! Then there is Violet who was a happy, ‘normal’ girl before her sister died. When we first meet her she’s unsure of herself and who she is after the accident. Through Finch she learns to come out of herself and grab life by the horns once again! Her story arc is really beautiful. 

This book covered so many serious issues so beautifully. The main issues being suicide, depression and grief. Through the characters of Finch and Violet you really get inside the head of someone who wants to commit suicide and their thought processes. This gives an interesting insight into mental health illnesses but also means you have more understanding and can empathise (the best you can) with possible real life situations in the future. So not only was this book entretaining but you also learn a lot as well. 

This book was so heartbreakingly beautiful and it will always stay with me. I implore you to read this book, I know there is a lot of hype but this book actually deserves it, trust me if it didn’t I would tell you! I’m going to give this a massive 5 out of 5 stars, this is truly deserved and a wonderful, wonderful book, thank you for writing it Jennifer Niven! 

Lady Midnight – Cassandra Clare

Righty ho, before we get started with this mammoth review (trust me it’s going to be a long one!) I just want to disclaim that the first half of this section will be SPOILER FREE, but after a big warning, the second half will be a SPOILER review because I can’t not talk about what happened, but there will be ample warning so if you haven’t yet read Lady Midnight and don’t want to be spoiled, leave at that point.

OH MY GOODNESS! I am actually so excited to write this review also emotions are still very high so if this review isn’t very coherent I do apologise! So, this Shadowhunter book is set approximately 5 years after the last Mortal Instruments books left off, it follows the lives of Julian Blackthorn and his family and Emma Carstairs in the Los Angeles Institute. This book is an absolute Shadowhunter classic with action, adventure, love and loss, but it’s also a bit of a murder mystery with Emma trying to find out who killed her parents, as we found out in the last Mortal Instruments book.

I was SO excited for this book it’s unreal, anyone who has followed our blog for a while knows that I (Eleanor) adore the Shadowhunter novels, it’s one of my favourite worlds to live in! However, this did mean that I had incredibly high expectations going into this book, which is usually a bad thing for any book. Although this book absolutely did not disappoint, it was everything I was hoping for AND MORE! The characters in this book were so strong, I cared for them so much and felt their pain with them. The characters that I’m going to talk about in this half of the review are going to be Julian and Emma, because I’m so scared of spoiling it for you guys and they are the main characters… Anyway, lets start with Emma, I loved Emma so so much, her character was really quirky and she had some amazing one liners, she kind of reminded me of Jace. She is also an amazing Shadowhunter, she’s an amazing fighter and is so determined, anything she sets her mind to will get done, she’s just a great character! Now onto Julian, oh Juilian, he is another amazing character, he kind of reminded me of a combination of Will and Jem, he’s very thoughtful but he also feels emotions very deeply and you can’t help but feel pain for him! All the characters in this book though are so incredibly written and the emotions you feel for them are so powerful, you just have to appreciate Cassandra Clare’s talent, she is awe inspiring!

Another thing I really love about this book is that it touches on so many real issues in life, things like young carers, body image, learning difficulties like Autism and mental health issues. The book in no way focused on these issues but they were always in the background and were hinted at, because of this, it never felt like they were being thrown in your face. They were subtly obvious, which I thought was incredibly clever, it must have been hard to obtain that balance.

Finally, for this section at least, I want to talk about the pace of this book, because this isn’t the first or even the second shadowhunter book, it wasn’t necessary for there to be so much description about the world. The story jumped straight into the plot, why they where there and what they were doing. This made the book feel a lot faster paced without having to stop for extra description and the pages just kept turning!!

Well that’s it for the non spoiler section of the review, I truly, truly LOVED this book, so please if you’re a fan of this world I implore you to read this, it is incredible! For that reason I’m going to award it a massive 5/5 stars! If you have read the book and wish to read on then please do, I will be talking about some of the events in the book and my thoughts on them. If you don’t want to be spoiled then please click off now, I really don’t want the responsibility of you being spoiled because that is literally a crime!

 

 

!!**SPOILERS AHEAD** **SPOILERS AHEAD**!!

 

 

HOLY SMOKES! Okay, in this section, I’m just going to give a run down on what I thought were the best/most shocking/ most emotional moments of the book, I will also give my opinions on them and what I was thinking when I was reading them!

First of all let’s talk about the forbidden love story between Emma and Julian. I honestly don’t think I have ever shipped a couple so hard, but it was also so painful because at the back of my mind I knew they could never be together because of their Parabatai bond, but you know what, that didn’t stop my feelings and all I want is for them to be happily in love with no limits! What was also interesting is that they didn’t really declare their love for each other until about 400 pages in, so all this time we’re building up to them eventually being together which just builds the emotion even more, and made me ship them even more, well played Cassandra Clare! But lets talk about that beach scene! HOT DAMN! At first I didn’t think they actually went all the way, because in The Mortal Instruments, it took like 5 books for Jace and Clary to finally have sex. It only really dawned on me that Emma and Julian had sex when Julian was talking about contraceptive runes and stuff and I was like “OH, OH! THEY DID IT!” and it just made me so happy! Although, I’m not gunna lie, the last couple pages when Emma was trying to ‘break Julian’s heart’ because of the repercussions of Parabatai falling in love LITERALLY KILLED ME. I know it was necessary because I don’t want Julian and Emma to get all power hungry and destroy their family, but jeeeze, those pages were so hard to read!

On to the next thing, Mark. I was SO HAPPY that Mark was in this book, he added another dimension to the whole story. He was such a good character as well, he was so childlike because he had essentially been indoctrinated into faerie. He also turned out to be incredibly loyal to his family and eventually, we saw a cheeky side to him, especially in the last line of the whole book when he said ‘Why lie’. I took this as Mark wanting to ‘do stuff’ with Emma, so they didn’t have to lie to Julian and the rest of the family. This was so cheeky, I was a little dumbfounded by this as first as I didn’t really see Mark as that kind of character, but once it sunk in I thought it was funny and quirky and just showed how Mark had developed throughout the book.

Okay, now let’s talk about the main plot and plot twist of this book. I loved the whole murder mystery element to this book. I was totally involved in the plot, and I’ll be honest I had no clue who The Guardian was, I had a sneaky feeling that maybe it was Dianna but I wasn’t 100% sure. So when we found out it was Malcolm was completely knocked for six! Initially I really liked Malcolm, he was funny and intelligent, and I was like YES ANOTHER MAGNUS! But noooooo no no no! The little git, I felt genuine fear when he took Tavvy, holy moley! But I was glad Emma finally had closure on who killed her parents all those years ago and no one I cared about died, I was so pleased and thankful that Cassandra Clare didn’t kill anyone!

Some of the new characters were amazing, I loved Christina, Perfect Diego and the whole Blackthorn family, I also had so much respect for Julian and all he’s done for his siblings, effectively becoming a single parent at 12 years old! But most importantly I was so intrigued by Kit, I couldn’t get my head around who this boy was, especially as as he effectively starts off the whole series! I knew he was important but I just couldn’t figure out why, so when we found out he was a Herondale I was like “WHOA WHOA WHOA! WHAT THE F*CK!” Cassandra Clare is so clever because even though I thought the main plots were out of the way, something else comes flying out of the woodwork!

I am SO excited about the next book, even though it’s going to be so painful to read with the whole forbidden love thing! But this series has completely sucked me in and I just can’t wait! If you’ve stuck with me through this whole review, well done because insanely long (1500 words!) but also thank you, and I hope you enjoyed this book as much as I did, and also please be considerate in the comments for people who haven’t read the book and keep the spoilers to a minimum! Thank You!

 

My Trip To England’s Largest Bookshop!

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Yesterday my brother took me on a birthday trip to London! The predominate reason was to go and see the West End show ‘The Book of Mormon’, however we had a spare hour, so we went to Floyles, the biggest bookshop in the UK!

This was hands down the most beautiful bookshop I have ever been in, the 8 floors just held rows upon rows of books for me to peruse, I could have been there a lot longer than an hour! One of my most favourite aspects of this bookshop was that it was so open and bright, as you walked in you could look up and see very floor, accommodated with a massive skylight! It was go pretty, and the smell wasn’t bad either!

There were also loads of wonderful quotes painted on the walls, one of my favourites (as seen in the photo that was really badly taken) was ‘Welcome book lovers, you are among friends’ it was so simple yet really quite touching. I also noticed when I was there that there were loads of special editions of books, I don’t know if this was because it’s a very famous bookshop, but one that caught my eye was a signed, first addition of Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare! If I didn’t already have a copy then that would have gone straight in my basket!

I seriously need to return to Foyles with a lot longer than an hour to spend in there, and I would seriously recommend any book lover to visit if you’re ever in London, it’s situated on Charing Cross Road, but I shall leave a link to the google maps HERE.

I hop you enjoyed this different kind of blog post, and please let me know if you have ever visited Foyles or are planning to visit!