REVIEW: GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE – NATASHA NGAN

REVIEW: GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE – NATASHA NGAN

Image result for girls of paper and fire

Title: Girls Of Paper And Fire

Author: Natasha Ngan

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT

Format: Hardback

Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy Book: Amazon

Review: First off, I just want to thank Fairyloot for including this in the October box because if they hadn’t I probably wouldn’t have even thought about reading this and I also wouldn’t have received such a stunning copy either!

In ‘Girls Of Paper And Fire’, each year, eight (8) girls are chosed to become essentially concubines to the Demon King and whilst there they must attend to his needs. However, this year there are nine (9).

Our main character Lei is a member of the paper caste (fully human), the lowest class in the Kingdom next to Steel Case (part human, part demon) and then the highest class; Moon Caste (fully demon). After being taken away from her family, Lei is taken away to The Hidden Palace where she along with the eight other girls are put through vigorous training to become the King’s consort however, Lei doesn’t do anything without putting up a fight and she does the one thing she shouldn’t do – she falls in love. Whilst trying to hide her forbidden romance from everyone else, a huge plot threatens the whole kingdom and everyone knows it. Lei must decide how far she will go for justice and revenge.

The first thing I loved about this book was the numerous trigger warnings that the author places at the beginning of the book because this novel is quite hard hitting and heavy at times. Natasha Ngan deals with some seriously hard topics in this novel and it makes me so happy that she has taken the time to warn readers about it before they go into it as it can be extremely triggering for some people.

Not going to lie, at the beginning of the book I was slightly disappointed because it took me a while to actually get into it and I feel there were parts I probably missed because I wasn’t completely pulled in to the story however within the first couple of chapters I was hooked! Natasha Ngan does such an incredible job with her world building and she writes so vividly that it’s so easy to picture everything in your head. The book itself is a mix of being fast-paced but then also being slow-paced at parts which for me helped the book be more of a success as there’s definitely some moments/events in the book that you do need time to process as it’s happening!

The character building and relationships in this novel are honestly amazing. In regards to the main character, Lei, although we already know she is a very strong minded character, to see her grow throughout the story is great and there were times I honestly thought we would watch her break but every single time she came back fighting even stronger. Wren is another character I adored and I honestly need more of her in my life. The relationship between Lei and Wren was one I really enjoyed reading about and I loved watching them grow together and becoming these fierce characters that I wish to be in life.

As for the minor characters, I feel like there could’ve been more for them. I get that not everyone wants to find out about minor characters but Natasha Ngan made the characters so intriguing that I’d love to just know a bit more about their background etc as they really are all so interesting! I absolutely adored most of the characters in this book which is a first for me. In regards to the villian(s) in the book I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where I’ve detested them so much (apart from Umbridge in Harry Potter because she’s a complete bitch) and I wanted them so badly to die slow, painful and extremely drawn out tortured deaths they were that awful!

Natasha Ngan is definitely now up there with my favourite authors. She has such an incredible talent for story writing and in this novel she manages to make you feel every single emotion possible. I honestly can’t recommend this book enough, the writing, the character, the story, it’s all just so gripping and interesting that it’ll make you need/want more! I really can’t wait for the sequel now, I need to know what is going to happen after the ending.

I just want to add a note to the bottom of this review as I’ve seen so many people questioning whether or not they should read the book due to the warnings for sexual abuse in the novel. In regards to this, I can’t personally comment on how other people are going to feel, especially victims of sexual abuse however for me I feel like Natasha handled the situation in such a sensitive way. There is nothing graphic in it but it does deal with how the girls feel after the act has been done and focuses more on their mentality and the support offered from the other girls. Natasha Ngan has bravely spoken out about being a sexual abuse survivor herself so from personal experience I guess it’s helped her write it in such a delicate manner.

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WWW Wednesday – 28th November 2018

WWW Wednesday – 28th November 2018

Hey guys, so it’s time for another WWW Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is a meme led by Sam over at Taking On A World Of Words. All you have to do to take part is answer three (3) questions!

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’ve literally just started reading ‘The Cruel Prince’  by Holly Black. I’ve had this book on my TBR since I received it in my January Fairyloot box. I’ve heard so many good things about it and I’m really excited to see why everyone keeps hyping it up!


WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

 

In my last post I mentioned that I was about to start Girls Of Paper And Fire to join in with the Fairyloot read-along and I honestly can’t explain how much I adored and devoured this book. I will be posting a review of it in the next couple of days so please do keep an eye out for that! I also finished reading Compendium One of The Walking Dead (picture of Jack lying next to the book as a bonus) last night and I thoroughly enjoyed that too. There were a few differences between the comics and the series but I really liked finally getting round to reading the comics and I’m looking forward to buying the other editions and reading them too.


WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Image result for tess of the d'urbervilles book penguin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After listening to some of the Tess Of The D’Urbervilles audiobook, it made me really want to read the book again so I’ve decided that I’m going to start reading the book after The Cruel Prince. I’ve also saved The Deathly Hallows to re-read until the beginning of December so I’m going to be reading that hopefully within the next few days too!


If you guys have done a WWW Wednesday post then please link it below so I can check it out and I’ll see you all again soon.

Be fab and have a good week ahead!

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WWW Wednesday – 14th November 2018

WWW Wednesday – 14th November 2018

Hey guys! I feel like all my posts have been starting the same way the last few times however, starting from today each Wednesday I will be taking part in the WWW Wednesday meme. That way at least I know there will be weekly content being posted and I’m also going to try getting back into reviewing again too.

So, to get started; WWW Wednesday is a meme led by Sam over at Taking On A World Of Words. All you have to do to take part is answer three (3) questions!

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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At the moment I’m currently reading The Girl In Between by Laekan Zea Kemp. The Girl In Between follows Bryn, a teenage girl who suffers from Klein-Levin Syndrome (KLS) which means that she suffers episodes of prolonged sleep that can last anywhere from a few weeks to months. Whilst in these states of sleep, Bryn lives in an alternate reality where she lives her past until one day a mysterious boy shows up. You can find the full synopsis here.

I’m not 100% sure on how I feel about it yet. I mean I’m halfway through it already but that’s just because I need to find out if Bryn finds out who the boy is and to also find out why he has suddenly appeared (I highly doubt it because there’s 4 books in the series). I’m not fully engrossed in it as much as I want to be and I am struggling to pick it back up again once I’ve put it down but like I just said, I need to know what is going to happen so I’m going to keep going and see how this one ends before deciding if I want to read the rest of the books or not.

I’m also listening to Tess Of The D’Urberville’s on audiobook. This book has been one of my favourite books for about 6 years now and I just absolutely adore it after studying it at school. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles is such a heartbreaking story and I wouldn’t even be able to write a short synopsis without spoiling anything so to see what the book is about then you can go here. This book is one I can read over and over again and no matter how many times I read it, I still feel the same amount of anger, sadness and heartbreak for everything that Tess is put through. I highly recommend this book to everyone!


WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

I’ve just recently finished reading the first two books in the Arc Of A Scythe Series and I am completely obsessed! Scythe starts us off by introducing Citra and Rowan to us, two teens who live in a world where death by natural causes has been completely eradicated and you can now only die at the hands of a Scythe. Citra and Rowan are chosen by Scythe Faraday as apprentices and so begins their journey on learning the art of killing as well as understanding why Scythes have to do what they do. Only one of the characters can become a scythe and they both then find out that whoever wins the ring must glean the other.
Thunderhead pretty much starts off where Scythe finished. Again we follow Citra, Rowan and a few more familiar Scythes as conflict within the Scythedom is growing day by day. With one of their lives in danger, it all becomes clear that there is a master plan in the works to ruin everything as it is. As the Thunderhead observes what is going on, will it decide to intervene and help save what is wrong? Or will it standby and watch the world fall apart?

I absolutely adored these two book and I’m so excited for book 3 to be announced. With the way Thunderhead ended, I don’t think I can wait too long because the ending was HUGE!! The plot was just so different to a lot of YA Sci-Fi I’ve read recently and it was just really interesting to see Shusterman’s take on the future. I found the characters to be extremely strong and there was a lot of character development too which was great. I loved the range of characters included in the story. There was the few I loved and then the few that I despised and wanted to see the end of.

If you’re into Sci-Fi/YA, then I highly recommend this series to you!


WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Image result for girls of paper and fire

In October’s Fairyloot box, we received a gorgeous edition of Girls Of Paper And Fire  by Natasha Ngan and for the first time ever they’re doing a read-along of it tomorrow so I’m looking forward to starting that and experiencing it along with everyone else! I’ve heard so many good things about this book and it’s made me even more excited to start reading it too!

Other than that, I haven’t really planned what else I’m going to read. I’ll need to wait until I’ve unpacked all my books after moving and go from there. There’s so many Fairyloot books I haven’t read yet so I might even make a start on them and I’m also hoping to plan my TBR for Book Roasts Magical Readathon that is happening in December! If you want more information on how you can take part in that too then head over to her YouTube channel or just click here and it’ll take you straight to her announcement video!


If you guys have done a WWW Wednesday post then please link it below so I can check it out and I’ll see you all again soon.

Be fab and have a good week ahead!

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Ready Player One: Book vs Movie

Ready Player One: Book vs Movie

Hey guys, it’s been a while since I last posted something but after reading this book and then seeing the movie at the weekend, it’s something I want to talk about and see how you all feel about it if you’ve read the book and seen the movie.

Before we do go ahead I do have to warn you, this post WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!!

Image result for ready player one book Image result for ready player one movie poster

 

 

 

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Okay, so first of all, let me just start by saying that I absolutely adored this book! Literally from page one, I was hooked. Ernest Cline’s world was captivating from the get-go and I was so desperate to continue reading more and find out all about Wade Watts/Parzival and the hunt for James Halliday’s egg. There were so many pop culture references that I adored for example there were references to Harry Potter, old classic video games and movies and so much more! If you’re a fan of all things geeky then I highly recommend this book to you because I honestly don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

The first thing I want to talk about with the movie is the casting. I was quite disappointed in the casting for the majority of the characters. Now to be completely honest, I never had a clear picture in my head of who I wanted to play each character but all I do know is that the chosen cast wouldn’t have been it and I don’t really know why it bothered me. The two characters I was happy with in the movie were Mark Rylance as James Halliday and Simon Pegg as Ogden Morrow as the way they made the actors look for the film is exactly how I pictured both the book characters so it’s not all bad.

Next I’m going to talk about the main thing that I was let down with. Whilst reading the book, I completely fell in love with the challenges Cline created for each of the characters to face when searching for the keys and clearing each gate. In the movie however, this is changed completely (apart from the last challenge). In the book, once a key has been found, the characters have to figure out the clue that takes them to the gate which they then have to clear in order for them to receive a riddle/clue for the next key. Once the copper key has been found, the character must defeat Acererak the Demi-Lich (from Dungeons and Dragons) in a best of three round of the 1982 arcade classic Joust. After completing this and finding the copper gate, they are then required to take part in a “Flicksync.” Now to give you a bit of an explanation, a Flicksync is a simulation in which an OASIS avatar assumes the place of one or more characters of a given movie.* For the copper gate, Parzival and any other character (I’ll call them Gunters from now on) who works out the clue to open the gate, find themselves playing the part of David (Matthew Broderick’s character) and they must recite every piece of dialogue perfectly. After clearing this and receiving the clue for the Jade Key, the Gunter is then expected to complete a 3D rendering of the game Zork to win the key and then to clear the second gate they must complete a 3D rendering of the game Black Tiger. Last but not least, in order for the Crystal key to be found, the player has to return a mythical guitar to it’s altar in the world of Rush’s 2112 album. Which lastly takes us to the final gate where the player has to face a number of challenges which are; beat Halliday’s best score in Tempest, complete another flicksync (this time it being Monty Python and the Holy Grail) and finally finding the first video game easter egg in Adventure.

Now I know that is a lot to fit into a two hour movie but, I would’ve liked to have seen at least one of the gaming challenges being included. In the movie, the whole gate clearing concept has been taken out and that leaves just the keys to be found in order to win Halliday’s fortune. So, for the Copper key, gunters have to take part in a race whilst trying to avoid famous obstacles such as King Kong and the T-Rex from Jurassic Park to name just a few. Once completing this the winner is met by Anorak (Halliday’s OASIS avatar) and is presented with the first key. For the Jade key, then we see our High Five team having to take on The Overlook Hotel from Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ and in the end dance with Kira (Halliday’s love interest) in order to get the Jade key. Lastly for the Crystal key, the challenge is very much the same as the book minus the final flicksync and Tempest contest. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the changes and thought it was done very well for the film but like I said earlier, it would’ve been nice to see one of the game challenges come to life.

The next thing I’m going to talk about is the meeting of the characters. In the book, the characters don’t meet face to face until the final pages of the book which for me made it much better because there was so much anticipation built up and you had some sort of feelings towards the characters. In the film however it all felt very rushed and therefore I didn’t feel any sort of emotion at all with it and I was so disappointed because for me that was a huge thing to happen considering the story’s main setting is in a virtual reality so for these characters to finally come together and meet the people they’ve grown so close to was just kind of meh. I also hate how soon Parzival and Art3mis became introduced in the movie. Now to be fair it stuck with them meeting during the first challenge just like the book but you still didn’t get the same feelings about it which made me sad.

I think I’ll make this part the last thing I talk about because this post has already been longer than I thought it would be so I do apologise! Okay, so I get that the main thing is supposed to be that this is all about a virtual reality setting type thing but as well as going into this, Cline makes a great effort to go into the personal life of Wade Watts so we can feel some kind of emotion towards the main character and also find out about him as an actual person and not just his OASIS avatar. However in the movie, we have next to no description and also everything feels kind of rushed as well. When talking to my boyfriend about it (he hasn’t read the book), he told me that he was quite confused as to how everything happened and why things are the way they are and that’s purely because in the movie we don’t really get much of a background story for everything which would’ve helped the movie make more sense and also would’ve helped viewers gain some sort of attachment towards the characters too.

Overall I do think the film is good in it’s own aspect and I enjoyed it for what it was but I did enjoy the book a whole lot more (as most people tend to do) because we were given that little bit extra background knowledge on the characters and also because there was so much more depth and fun put into the challenges. All the pop culture references throughout were great as well and I must say, the way the Iron Giant was brought to life in the film made me so happy and gave me all the childhood feels! Again, sorry for such a long post but it’s something I’ve been wanting to talk about since coming out the cinema.

Have any of you guys read the book/seen the film? Even if it’s just one or the other or both I want to hear what you thought about them! I really loved this book and need more people to talk about it with so please leave comments below and we can have a wee discussion!

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REVIEW: THE HAZEL WOOD – MELISSA ALBERT

REVIEW: THE HAZEL WOOD – MELISSA ALBERT

Title: The Hazel Wood

Author: Melissa Albert

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Format: Hardback/eBook

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy Book: Amazon

Review: Dark and twisted fairytales, gosh, I am in LOOOOOVE with this book so much! I just want to throw it in everyone’s faces and be like “READ THIS ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE RIGHT NOW I PROMISE IT WON’T DISAPPOINT!!!!”

The Hazel Wood’ is the debut novel from Melissa Albert, who has now reached NYT Bestselling status and rightly so, because this book was phenomenal. The novel follows seventeen-year-old Alice. After the death of her Grandmother (the famous author of Tales From The Hinterland), Alice and her mother finally settle, only for her mother to go missing not long after. With the help of the Finch, the search into the Hinterland for Alice’s mother begins with a lot of obstacles in the way as they go along.

Firstly, I must say I was really surprised by this book. I originally received an eBook copy from Netgalley to review and so I sat with my ipad and started reading. It took me about 3 days to finish the first chapter because I just couldn’t get into it. After that I just gave up and with the February Fairyloot box theme being announced then a lot of people began to speculate that this would be the book that would be included so I decided to hold off and see if it was. Amazingly when my box arrived last week I was happy to find that ‘The Hazel Wood’ was indeed the book that was included! So a few days later I sat with the hardback and if it wasn’t for having to sleep for work then I definitely would’ve finished this in one sitting! The story is so so gripping and you keep telling yourself “oh I’ll read one more chapter then get on with everything I need to do.” But nope, Albert doesn’t allow that, oh no, the ending of each chapter makes you want to carry on so it’s almost near impossible to actually put the book down.

The thing I loved the most about this was how dark and twisted it was, more so than I was originally expecting. The fairytale characters were creepy and for me that was one of my favourite things about the book. I felt sorry for the main character Alice because her whole life she’s been on the move so never really had the time to settle and figure things out but when she does there’s that little bit of hope things will start to look up for both her and her mum. Alice’s classmate Finch is probably my favourite character in the whole thing. He was just so sweet, caring and he had his own issues but he never let that show. I liked how similar both him and Alice were and I liked that it wasn’t something that was completely obvious to them straight away.

From the characters created by Alice’s Grandmother in ‘Tales From The Hinterland’ Twice-Killed-Katherine was probably the creepiest for me. I don’t want to spoil anything but her actions were creepy and just the overall character description was enough for me. There were times I didn’t want to sleep or turn the light out because I had such clear visions of her in my mind and it really wasn’t pleasant. Albert’s description of each of the characters throughout the story is so thorough and it’s one of the things I enjoyed about reading this book because you could imagine each one so well and have a clear image of them in your head as you went along.

Albert’s writing from page one is engaging and gripping and I can guarantee you will be hooked straight away. What I originally thought was going to be a normal YA book turned into a dark, twisted and psychological thriller which I absolutely loved! This book has a bit of everything, humour, love, mystery and horror so I guess in a way it has something for everyone. I definitely recommend this book to you all, especially if you are a fan of fairytales because I promise you won’t be disappointed. Thank you, Melissa Albert for creating such an amazing world and I really can’t wait to read more about The Hinterland!

 

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REVIEW: SOLITAIRE – ALICE OSEMAN

REVIEW: SOLITAIRE – ALICE OSEMAN

SolitaireTitle: Solitaire

Author: Alice Oseman

Genre: Young Adult

Format: Paperback

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy Book: Amazon

Review: Alice Oseman is an author I’ve been hearing about for quite a while now and I’ve been putting off reading Solitaire, since its release in 2014. I honestly don’t quite know why but when I came across the Heartstopper comic a few days ago and was introduced to Nick and Charlie then I felt like it was a sign I should start this book and boy, I was not a single bit disappointed!

Solitaire tells the story of Tori Spring, a teenage blogger, pessimist and  in her last year of high school. When mysterious blog “SOLITAIRE” appears, random pranks start happening in Tori’s school. Reuniting old friends and meeting new ones, Tori’s life takes an unexpected turn and now she has to learn to cope with a whole bunch of new feelings.

Well, where do I start with this review? First of all, I don’t think I’ve ever came across a more relatable character than Tori. There was a lot of myself that I could see in her and this is one of the things I loved about Alice Oseman’s writing, in each one of her characters, I could see small parts of myself in them.

Tori is bit of an introvert, she doesn’t really get involved with anything, doesn’t really talk much and usually keeps herself to herself (never related to someone more) and then Michael Holden comes along and eventually changes things. The relationship between both Tori and Michael was one I really enjoyed following because watching them grow as friends was just nice and you could see how much they both related to each other and in a way needed each other.
I honestly loved Michael’s character as well. He was sweet, caring, funny and also another troubled character but he hid it from everyone else because all he wanted was for everyone else to be happy.

As I said at the start of this review, I started reading Solitaire because I came across the Heartstopper comic on tumblr and was introduced to Nick and Charlie. These are two characters I would’ve loved to see more of in the book and the fact they have their own comic series makes me happy!

In all, Solitaire was a strong, well written and fantastic debut novel from Alice Oseman and I honestly can’t put into words how much I enjoyed this story. I’m just sorry it took me so long to finally get round to reading it but I’m so glad I have now and I’ll be recommending it to everyone!

If you’re a fan of young adult, contemporary and a little bit of mystery then I fully recommend you give this a go, you will not be disappointed!

 

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REVIEW: TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN – JOHN GREEN

REVIEW: TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN – JOHN GREEN

                                                               

Image result for turtles all the way downTitle: Turtles All The Way Down

Author: John Green

Genre: Young Adult, Mental Health, Contemporary

Format: Hardback

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy Book: Amazon

Review: 2017 saw the return of critically acclaimed author, John Green with his long awaited novel, Turtles All The Way Down. I for one am a huge lover of John Green’s books and when he announced a new book was coming after a 5 year wait, I was really excited to finally have something new from him to devour.

Turtles All The Way Down follows sixteen-year-old Aza as she and her best-friend Daisy investigate the disappearance of billionaire Russell Pickett all in the hope of collecting the one-hundred-thousand dollar reward that is at stake. Whilst starting the investigation, Aza is reunited with an old friend and is introduced to new feelings she’s never felt before. As she tries her best to please everyone around her, Aza, is left struggling with the never-ending spiral of anxieties and worries going on in her own head.

I’ve loved pretty much every John Green book I’ve read and this one was no different at all. He somehow manages to write the perfect story with the perfect characters that you can’t help but fall in love with and I’m an absolute sucker for authors like this. To start with, the story was so well-written and it wasn’t your usual teen romance that is normally featured in a lot of Young Adult books and there was no “boy saves girl” plot to it either which I was really glad about because it’s so generic and predictable and does start to get annoying after a while. There was a strong plot line and I honestly struggled to put the book down. His writing certainly reflected the thoughts and struggles constantly spiralling through her mind and you were experiencing every single thought with her.

Aza was such a perfectly written character and Green did a fantastic job of writing about Aza’s mental health in a realistic way and it’s clear he did the research he needed to do in order for this to be successful. She was a really quiet character and mixed with the loudness and boldness of Daisy, it went really well. Aza spends a lot of the book stuck inside her own head, fighting with her thoughts and trying to overpower them but a lot of the time they take over and it was horrible seeing her struggle with herself so much, all you want is for her to get better.
Daisy is a character I had a love/hate relationship with. Sometimes she brilliant and funny but then other times with the way she treated Aza made me really angry and annoyed because she doesn’t understand what it’s like to be in a constant argument with your own mind and she spent some time making Aza feel guilty and useless which really upset me as it’s a feeling I’ve been made to feel before and it’s really not nice.
All the characters in this book were fantastically written and I honestly loved them all (even though there is the hate there for a part of Daisy).

I really struggled to put the book down and all in all, the book was another successful one from Green and I already can’t wait for whatever he has instore for us all next. It’s such an easy read and is guaranteed to keep you hooked.

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