Category: Books

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book and was incredibly sad when it ended. This story begins with Cath moving in to her dorm at college. Things are frosty between her and her twin sister, Wren. While Cath is freaking out about leaving her father alone and all of the changes that college may bring along with it. Wren simply moves on with her new life at college. And Cath is not a part of this new life. While Wren parties and makes new friends, Cath refuses to leave her room and buries herself deeper in her fanfiction writing.
I could relate to this story as I also struggled with college at first. I especially enjoyed how much Cath and I were alike. Cath is a fangirl and it is her fanfiction that gets her through life. Atleast that is how it has always been until now. I loved the character of Levi. If I was the kind of girl who swooned, he would definitely make me swoon.
This was a cute light read that I would definitely recommend. I thought the characters were well-written, the writing was funny and I really liked the illustrations displayed on the inside cover of the book.

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How to Make Time for Reading

As a bookworm, few things upset me more than someone telling me they have “no time” for reading. There’s always time for reading. ALWAYS! It’s just that sometimes finding the time is difficult. So here are my tips to help ensure you always manage a chapter a day.

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1) Have a specific time for reading- when high school started being difficult for me, I stopped reading. The only time I read was during the holidays or a chapter before bedtime. Having a regular routine helped me to get back to reading. Yes, a chapter a day is painfully slow but something is better than nothing.

2) Carry a book with you- be it a paperback or an ebook, carry a book so that you can read whenever you have the time. I have a Kindle app on my tab as well as a epub reader and they’re both full of books. Always having a book with you allows you to read anytime anywhere.

3) Don’t push it- if you’re finding it impossible to read a certain book, move on to another. Life is too short to waste on books that don’t excite you. Reading is supposed to be fun not something you HAVE to do (unless you’re a college student and I can’t help you there).

4) Choose a book you’ll like- if you like romance, you might not be interested in the latest murder mystery. Choose a book you know will interest you. You can even read the book that your favorite movie was based on. The Harry Potter movies are so much better for me now that I’ve read the books. I’m obsessed.

If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. This is very true for reading. There’s always time for a book and making the time is so worthwhile. Why wouldn’t you want to travel to different world’s? What are your tips for making time to read?

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Raven (A Creepy Hollow Story) by Rachel Morgan

Raven (A Creepy Hollow Story)Raven by Rachel Morgan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had my doubts about this book since a) I couldn’t really remember Raven from the Creepy Hollow series and b) I didn’t think any other character in Creepy Hollow would make a impact on me the way that Chase did. I decided to just read a few pages to see what I thought of the book and I was instantly sucked in.
Raven comes from a very wealthy family and is “practically royalty” according to her mother. What Raven’s parents don’t know is that Raven has a close (and forbidden) friendship with Flint, one of the guards.
When Raven is caught in the middle of a dangerous murderous plot, Flint is the only one around to help her.
This is a really fast read and I loved getting a look at a completely different part of Creepy Hollow. I would love to see more from the upper classes of Creepy Hollow.
I didn’t like Flint as much as Chase (will I ever like anyone as much as Chase? Doubtful) but I thought he was a great character nonetheless. I especially enjoyed seeing Tora as a kid. I would love if the next Creepy Hollow novella was about her.
This is a quick but entertaining read that fans of Creepy Hollow will love!

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November Book Haul

I usually do my book hauls at the beginning of the month since I only buy books from the SPCA booksale. This month however, things were very different.

I did go to the SPCA booksale as usual and since Bargain Books was nearby, I popped in for a visit. I came across a section marked “on promotion” with pretty much every book I ever wanted. I literally stopped to hold a few of the books. The books didn’t have prices on them but the saleslady told me that they were all R69 each. So I bought a few. Bye-bye birthday money.

 

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Then there was the review copy of “Heartless” that Pan Macmillan sent me. I also got a copy of “The Unknown Journey” by S K Sewmungal.

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My copies of “A Court of Thorns and Roses” and “A Court of Mist and Fury” by Sarah J Maas were delivered from Readers Warehouse. I already read these books but I really wanted print copies. They’re so gorgeous!

How cute is the magnetic bookmark? I NEED more
How cute is that magnetic bookmark? I NEED more

 

My dad took a week off from work so I decided to drag him back to Bargain Books so that I could get the remaining books in “The Mortal Instruments” and “The Originals” series. If you can’t tell, I came home a very happy bookworm.

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I swore off books for the rest of the year. But then Exclusive Books had a sale for Cyber Monday- R199 for six to eight books. I don’t shop at Exclusive Books at all because their books are so expensive but this sounded like a really good deal. And it was SO worth it! One of the books I had in my mystery box was “The Chemist” by Stephenie Meyer. I was really interested in reading “The Chemist” but didn’t really like the price so this is so perfect!

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What was your book-haul for November? Have you read any of the above books? I’d love to know below!

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Heartless by Marissa Meyer

HeartlessHeartless by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book broke my heart and I may never love another book again.
(Okay that last part is a lie but I swear I really am heartbroken). Cath dreams of opening her own bakery. It’s the only thing she wants in life until she meets the mysterious Jest. Soon Cath begins to imagine the possibility of a life with him. However Cath is a lady while Jest is only a fool. There is no way that Cath’s strict and controlling parents would accept him. In fact, Cath’s parents have already found her a husband- the King of Hearts- and they won’t accept no for an answer. While we all know how this book ends, the path to the end was so surprising and heartbreaking. I was in shock once I finished this book and all I could think of was “HOW???”
What I really enjoyed was how nonsensical this book was, much like the original Lewis Caroll work. I strongly suggest that readers brush up on “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Alice Through The Looking Glass” to get the full effect of the book. There are several characters and quotes from the original that appear in “Heartless” and it’s fun to see them again. This book fits in so perfectly with the world of Wonderland that it is almost as if this is a companion novel to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”.
This book was incredibly well-written and I really enjoyed seeing all of the characters from Wonderland. I also liked how things that made no sense in our world, appeared to be totally normal in this book.
This was an excellent book and I strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys fairytale retellings.

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Fiction Friday: My Five Favourite Retellings

I love love LOVE retellings. I don’t know why because how often can you read one story rewritten? (If you’re me then the answer is “very often”) Here are a few of my favourite retellings.

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1) The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: The Lunar Chronicles is a series of futuristic retellings of several fairytales. While I had my doubts about this series, I instantly fell in love once I started reading it.

2) A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas: This is a fae retelling of Beauty and The Beast and it’s impossible to put down.

3) The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: This is a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights. Honestly I’ve never read One Thousand and One Nights but this synopsis was too compelling to resist.

4) And I Darken by Kiersten White: This is a story based on Vlad Dracul…except in this version Vlad is a kickass female named Lada.

5) Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D. Hammons: This book gave me all the feels. This is mainly about Alice going back to Wonderland but there are several other fairytale characters in this book.

Book Review: Rebel (Recoil #3) by Joanne Macgregor

Rebel (Recoil Trilogy #3)Rebel by Joanne Macgregor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was so thrilling! Unfortunately life got in my way so I didn’t start this book as soon as I wanted to. Not being able to instantly dive into this book upset me so I ended up reading the ending first (and then spoiled the entire book for myself). Aside from that very stupid mistake on my behalf, I absolutely loved this book. I was so thrilled to see Jinx and Quinn again. There is so much of character development in this book. I started off hating characters and wishing them dead (I can’t help it. Some of the characters were really hateful) but by the end of the book I really liked them. This was a super-fast read that was difficult to put down. Fans of dystopian fiction will love this book! The characters are incredible and so very clever! The writing is great and the plot is unique. This book blew my mind.

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun Is Also a StarThe Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had really high hopes for this book since I absolutely loved “Everything Everything”. Nicola Yoon has incredible writing and I love that she writes in such a unique manner. In order to allow me to properly fangirl over this book, I’m going to state everything I disliked now and discuss the positives later. Firstly reading on the Kindle app was incredibly difficult as the characters’ viewpoints were all mixed up. Something was wrong with the formatting which made for several very confusing moments. I also don’t understand why the book is called “The Sun is Also a Star” since that’s a line only used once in the novel. Lastly I wished the ending was more complete. Like “Everything Everything”, the ending feels more like a beginning and I WANT TO KNOW MORE!
Now for the positives: I love love love LOVE this cover. It’s so pretty and colourful and honestly it’s the first thing that drew me to this book (the author was second).
“The Sun is Also a Star” tells the story of Natasha and Daniel who meet and fall in love on Natasha’s last day in America. Natasha and her family are being deported, a fact she doesn’t share with Daniel. Daniel is supposed to be on his way to an interview for Yale when he decides that Natasha is his future. Daniel and Natasha are complete opposites. He’s a dreamer while she’s practical and certainly doesn’t believe in love. And if their totally different personalities and Natasha leaving weren’t enough obstacles for their budding relationship, Natasha is Jamaican while Daniel is Korean. While this isn’t a problem for them, this might be a problem for their families.
What I really enjoyed about this book was the many different viewpoints. Usually I struggle to keep track of more than four characters but it was easy to follow everyone in this book. While this is a story primarily about Natasha and Daniel, there are scenes that show the lives that Natasha and Daniel impact on without even trying.
This book had a ending that I felt was really natural and I was like “aww this is beautiful”. The epilogue was what kicked me in the gut and left me speechless. This book was beautiful and really made an impact on me (so much so that when I went to sleep, it was all I could I think of even while asleep). I love Natasha’s character and I really enjoyed seeing everyone’s backstory. I wish the ending was a bit more complete though as I wasn’t ready to let go of these characters.

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Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Book Blogging

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1) The Book Blogging Community is Really Welcoming: It never fails to amaze me how supportive and friendly book bloggers are. They’re always ready to lend a helping hand.

2) How Time-Consuming It Is: You need to read a book, draft a review, edit a review, post a review and still ensure you’re publishing bookish content that isn’t only book reviews. Excuse me while I go take a nap. That sentence tired me out.

3) Free Books are a Thing In South Africa: South African publishers give out review copies. Up until recently I had no idea that was a thing. Being a book blogger, this would have been great to know but hey better late than never. If you’re interested, Kat Silver wrote a really helpful article on requesting review books here

4) Book Blogging is Really Expensive: Domain and hosting, data, buying books, etc. Blogging on it’s own has some sort of expenses (internet connection, camera, etc) but as a book blogger I feel like I absolutely have to have every interesting book that I come across. I don’t just want to have a book for me but my blog needs it too.

5) Not All Books Are Great: You guys! This was a major shock to me. I generally read books I know I’ll like so I pretty much love every book I read. However as a book blogger, I’ve discovered some books that are really bad. It physically pains me because how can a book be bad? Books are my one true love. Just not all books like I once thought.

 

What do you wish you knew before you started blogging (as a book blogger or any other blogger?) I’d love to know.

My Unexpectedly Large November Book Haul

I got fewer books from the SPCA booksale than I usually do:

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So I decided to just check out what Bargain Books had since they had really great books when I visited last month. They didn’t have any of their “3 for R99” books but I did find great bestsellers for R69. It took some time for me to choose (their selection was amazing!) but I finally picked six. I chose “Winter” and “Scarlet” by Marissa Meyer, “Last Sacrifice” by Richelle Mead, “The Duff” by Kody Keplinger, “The Originals: The Resurrection” (this was actually a mistake. I thought I was choosing “The Originals: Rise” but I ended up picking “Resurrection” instead which really hurt my heart) and finally “Let It Snow” which is an anthology I’ve been eyeing for a while. While these books were alot, they were books I really wanted so I was thrilled. I did however have some regret about the books I left behind. Thankfully my mother lent me some money and I was able to buy a few more. This is where things get interesting.

My mother lent me R140, enough for two books. I decided to put some of my own money so I could buy two more. So I chose “Soundless” and “Bloodlines” by Richelle Mead as well as the second and third books in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. During my previous trip to the bookstore I saw that my card wasn’t working but I hoped that this time would be different. I knew for a fact I had money so I had no idea what could possibly cause my card to fail. Anyway, I made my way to the till where the manager greeted me with “Back again for more books?”and I responded with a bright and bubbly “yes.” The lady paying next to me declared “You can never have too many books”. This is a sentiment I usually agree with but as an unemployed person, my book-buying was getting to be a bit problematic. So I told the woman with a laugh, “There is such a thing as too many books when you’re unemployed.”

I paid for my books and hoped for the best as I handed my card over. It failed. Sighing, I asked the cashier to please take out two of the books. “How much are they?” asked the woman who was paying next to me.

Still cheerful on a book-high, I answered “R69 each.” In the back of my mind, I could picture her buying the books for her kids and how happy they would be to get such great books at such low prices. But then she did something I never would have expected anyone to do- she took out a R100 note and placed it on the counter. “No, you don’t have to” came my automatic response to anyone giving me money. My mind still hadn’t processed what was happening.

“Take it,” she insisted firmly. “From one book-lover to another.” She sounded so certain of herself that all I could do was mentally calculate how much more I needed to pay. I handed the remaining amount to the cashier, my mind still reeling. I tried to find the woman to thank her. Did I thank her? I didn’t know. I didn’t remember. It all happened so fast that it seemed like a blur. I looked around me in confusion, trying to find the woman or a camera crew. Who pays for other people’s books? I’ve heard about “paying it forward” but that’s not a book-thing or a South African thing. Was I on TV? Was someone filming me? But no matter how hard I looked I couldn’t find the kind lady or the camera crew. Eventually I decided I must have been having some really odd dream. I dreamt of buying books all the time. Why shouldn’t this be any different? But once I got my change back and got ready to leave the store, the manager remarked “lucky you”. So maybe it wasn’t a dream. “I can’t believe that just happened,” I replied. I spent the rest of the morning trying to figure out exactly how everything happened because it was so mind-blowing. I’ve heard of stories about “paying it forward” but I never ever thought something like this would happen to me.

My Complete Haul
My Complete Haul

 

Have you read any of these books yet? What did you think of them?

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