My Current (And Quite Small) TBR

Writing this post is mainly for my benefit because these books have been on my TBR for a long time and I really need to get around to them. If you don’t keep telling me “pick up Caraval” or “A Darker Shade Of Magic is an amazing book you need to read it” then I never will. That’s the sad fact about book bloggers. Our TBRs are endless and we keep trying to ignore how huge they’re getting! However, this post is also for your benefit because you might find a book you’re really interested in.

Caraval – Stephanie Garber

Synopsis (on Goodreads)

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic.

I really want to read this book – not only because of its interesting synopsis, but also because of the hype of bookstagram. After reading The Night Circus, I’m really craving another circus-based novel and this sounds like the perfect one. The reason I haven’t yet picked it up it because 1) I only picked it up from the library a week ago and 2) I really don’t feel like reading fantasy at the moment!

A Darker Shade Of Magic – V.E Schwab

Synopsis (on Goodreads)

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive. 

I’m not a big fan of adult novels but I’m really interested in the concept of this novel. As a big fan of Doctor Who, I’m no stranger to parallel dimensions, but this sounds even more interesting (no offence Whovians). As the writing is a bit heavier (compared to YA) I will definitely be taking it slow but it excites me nonetheless! 

Stranger – Keren David

Synopsis (on Goodreads)

Astor, Ontario. 1904.

A boy staggers out of the forest covered in blood and collapses at the feet of 16-year-old Emmy. While others are suspicious and afraid, Emmy is drawn to him. Is he really the monster the townsfolk say he is?

Astor, Ontario. 1994. 

Megan arrives from London for her great grandmother Emmy’s 105th birthday. It should be a happy family occasion, but Megan is nursing a broken heart and carrying a secret she fears might consume her.

I picked up this novel from the library thinking that I would read it around Halloween (because it is a bit spooky) but then I ended up making plans for that night so I couldn’t get cosy in bed and read it cover to cover. However, I am still really intrigued by this book! I’ve not read a book written in different perspectives since Percy Jackson in summer XD and I would love to visit that style of writing again. Have any of you heard of this book? It seems a little but underrated.

Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Paige

Synopsis (on Goodreads)

I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a yellow brick road—but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

I picked this up from Oxfam yesterday and it looks so good! I’m already 20 pages in (so I guess it’s not on my TBR anymore) and the way its written is just how I like it: simple but effective. I’ve not read any twisted tales (not even the Disney ones) so I was really intrigued by that element. It’s also quite chunky and covers issues like bullying, substance abuse and loneliness. I want to sit down at some point today and get a good chunk of reading done because I’m desperate to carry on reading!

Have you read any of these books? Are you, like me, struggling with endless TBR syndrome?

I hope you have a really good day that helps you tackle your huge TBR!

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The Little Book Of Lykke | The Danish Search For The World’s Happiest People| Book Review

Title: The Little Book Of Lykke

Author: Meik Wiking

Publisher: Penguin Life

Number Of Pages: 288

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis 

It’s easy to see why Denmark is often called the world’s happiest country. Not only do they have equal parental leave for men and women, free higher education and trains that run on time, but they burn more candles per household than anywhere else.

So nobody knows more about happiness – what the Danes call lykke – than Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and author of the bestselling sensation The Little Book of Hygge . But he believes that, whilst we can certainly learn a lot from the Danes about finding fulfilment, the keys to happiness are actually buried all around the globe.

In this captivating book, he takes us on a treasure hunt to unlock the doors to inner fulfilment. From how we spend our precious time, to how we relate to our neighbours and cook dinner, he gathers evidence, stories and tips from the very happiest corners of the planet. This is the ultimate guide to how we can all find a little more lykke in our lives.

My Thoughts

Reading this book was really fulfilling. It’s the first non-fiction book that I’ve read cover to cover this year! I really enjoyed the casual tone and I learned so much in a short 288 pages. I know that Hygge is now a popular lifestyle throughout the world though its origin is in Scandinavia. Similar to Hygge, Lykke is the idea of happiness and finding fulfilment in the little things. This book had a constant theme that material things do not bring fulfilment and I agree! I found it almost like my old self giving me a reminder and it felt like meditation whenever I was reading it. The book was split into categories and then the final categories was a round up and I found that really helpful. I finished it this morning and now I find myself off to a good start! I would really recommend this book and though you can find most of its content online, nothing beats the contentment of reading in bed. I feel like the message comes across more prominently when reading. 

Have you read about Lykke? What are your thoughts on a Hygge lifestyle? 

I hope you all get a chance to implement Lykke into your life today,

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We Were Liars | E.Lockhart

I have not written a book review in a such a long time that it almost feels alien to me. In advance I apologise that the following review may be all over the place and make no logical sense. The reading slump I have been in was so bad that I didn’t finish a single book in October until the 7th. There we so many good books in front of me but I could focus and enjoy any of them. For that reason I have also run short of blog posts but very quickly I have managed to write a few poems! Now the reading momentum has kicked in again, I think the motivation to write again will too.

Blurb:

We are liars.

We are beautiful and privileged.

We are cracked and broken.

A tale of love and romance.

A tale of tragedy.

Which are lies?

Which are truth?

You decide.

We Were Liars is an astonishing book full of very deep themes and dark metaphors. It completely surprised me, for when I saw reviews on bookstagram I very much expected it to be a soppy romance. I suppose that was an element, but the incredible writing overshadowed it. My favourite quote from the novel is “Silence is a protective coating over pain”. I am quite a silent person and I notice that a main reason for my silence is because so much goes on inside my brain. Sometimes this chronic overthinking becomes so painful that we can’t handle it anymore.

The family drama in this book made it stand out from the normal YA contemporary. Through the perspective of Cady we can see what a large effect strong family bonds can have on people. In this book it was hugely negative. Relationships were broken and never mended, abused and never apologised for. 

My rating: 3.5/5 stars

I have deducted one star because I think the plot too quickly jumps to the dilemma. There is no time to feel attached to the characters before disaster strikes. The character’s problems in this book are incredibly serious but I could not cry at any point because I had no time to resonate with them. On Goodreads I have rated it a 4 star but really it was only 3.5. I think that this book was amazing but something about it did not make me feel that emotional! 

An amazing feature of this book was the short stories Cady wrote. They cleverly reflected what was going on in her life but retold as a fairytale (although they weren’t that magical). A quote I can clearly remember is this: “If you want to live in a world where people are not afraid of mice, then you must give up living in palaces”. Obviously this demands context but I would not like to spoil it for you! As the book is only 225 pages long, it wouldn’t be a burden to go and read it for yourself. I 100% recommend you read it, even though it wasn’t 5/5 stars for me!

Have a great day,

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Saga Volume One | Graphic Novel Book Review

Saga is the first independent graphic novel I’ve ever read. As a young child I did read some Doctor Who comics but they were heavily based on the images we get in the TV programme. Saga is completely different and a solid five out of five stars for me!

I picked up this book because my favourite booktuber @clockwork_reads recommended it. This book really surprised me because I thought that I wouldn’t really like the graphic novel format. It was a quick read with some deep themes and emotional rollercoasters! I love how the family theme was prominent and that it was told from the perspective of the child.

I’m very impatient to read the next one because we were left on a weird cliffhanger! It wasn’t a bad ending but also not ‘happily ever after’. I think that it will be interesting the learn more about these worlds and the politics of them! For me, it had a few Star Wars vibes with the morals being similar and technology being on the same levels. I can’t say much about Saga without going into spoilers and I wouldn’t like to do that.

I’m not a big sci-fi fanatic so this really exceeded my expectations. I can’t recommend this book enough! It has some sexual themes so please be careful if that’s not your cup of tea. I hope that this series continues to be amazing because I hate to be disappointed by sequels. I’ll definitely be getting the next few soon!

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Shatter Me | Book Review ft. Unpopular Opinions

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If you loved this series then I don’t mean to offend you. I would just like to share my critical opinions on the first book, though I will give the rest a try!

I don’t know whether to hate or love Shatter Me. It was a very stereotypical dystopia and the romance wasn’t all that special. I would have loved to see the love interest being a female because that would make the pair more criminal (obviously this world has rusty opinions, especially on same-sex relationships). It followed a pretty basic plot (beginning, climax, resolution, end) and there were no plot-twists which was really disappointing. Imagine if Adam had just escaped with Juliette and then killed her or shared her secrets to the Reestablishment? I would’ve loved to see some betrayal because it would make me feel more emotions towards the book.

Mafi wanted to expose her read­ers to the mind of a girl whose san­ity is frag­ile. I think that the contents of a trou­bled mind would result in more than artistic metaphors and a crazy obsession with num­bers. Despite the fact that Juliette’s back­story is inter­est­ing, we don’t get anything interesting in her present self. I hate seeing the same cookie-cutter ‘hero­ine’ that can be seen in most YA novels. At this point, I have read so many books that my expectations keep getting higher. I am becoming more critical of what I read and, to a certain extent, it’s quite annoying. Why do I have to keep correcting or thinking about the character development and plot? Why can’t I just sit down and read a book without judging it?

I’m seeing a lot of repetition in Young Adult Literature. It’s rare that I find a unique book within all of the shelves. Exploring new genres is always fun because you can’t compare it to other books within that genre. My problem with reading Shatter Me was that I was comparing it to Delirium. I read Delirium earlier this year when I first got into reading and I really enjoyed it. 

I didn’t find the writing style annoying at all, and it showed Juliette’s development and she stopped crossing out words towards the end of the book. Although Juliette is really troubled and she shouldn’t be creating such weird metaphors, I did like them. 

If you want to read this because of it’s dystopian value, please don’t. Go and find another dystopian YA novel with better plot and characters. As I have mentioned, it’s a very stereotypical world with a dictatorship, poverty and a crumbling planet. 

This book is a full-on romance with a happily ever after. Sometimes I like a bit of soppiness but 300 pages worth is just cringe. I will give the rest of the books a chance though. Some series get better as they go on!

Do you enjoy dystopian novels? Have you read Shatter Me? 

Please share your love or hate for this series in the comments below. I would love to have a full-on discussion about it!

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You can also view the review on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com

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