Wrap-Up| Nov '18

November came and went in the blink of an eye. Where did it go?!
I took part in the Tome Topple readathon, submitted two assignment, begun my dissertation and I read quite a few books for my Working Class Fictions class, and have included them in this list because I really enjoyed them. 


Up the Junction
Nell Dunn

Goodreads

This is one of three books on this list that I had to read for a module that I'm taking. 
Really enjoyed this one, and the outlook of how women were viewed and were used by Nell Dunn as a conduit for the London Working Class during the 1960's.


The Gentlemen's Guide to Vice and Virtue
Mackenzie Lee
⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads

I really enjoyed this one, both for its diverse rep but also for the romance that stole my heart. However, it didn't become a new favourite for me so couldn't earn those full five stars. 

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1)
Laini Taylor
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads

I put this on my list last month because it was a reread and I had read 3/5, but I finished it this month. I enjoyed this, even more, the second time around and has cemented itself firmly in my top books list. 
Tony Hogan bought me an Ice Cream Float before he stole me ma
Kerry Hudson
⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads

The second book in my wrap-up that I read for a module. I have so many complicated emotions tied to this book that I feel like I might have to do a full review of it. But if you have to know one thing - this book is proof that good representation is important in literature. I have never been so accutely aware of my own experiences as to when I was reading this book and the modern tradegy of events like this are still being repeated.


Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2)
Laini Taylor
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Goodreads

I actually can't sum up my emotions about this. Nope. My heart. Nope. I'm trying to write a review for it and struggling. So brace yourselves.

A Kestral for a Knave
Barry Hines

Goodreads

The third and final book that I had to read for a module that I was taking this semester. 

Top 5 Wednesday| A Feast for All

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly blog group that comes together to discuss that week's topic. The idea was first curated by the wonderful Lainey at GingerReadLainey and is now run by Samantha over on ThoughtsonTomes. 

If you wish to participate, either on your Blog or Booktube channel then, please, join the group on Goodreads for all the relevant topics.

Can you hear that? Is that your stomach growling? Oh, no, wait that's mine whilst I think about the glorious fictional food that I would want at a festive party.
1. Butterbeer and Firewhisky
Harry Potter
J.K. Rowling

Getting straight in there with the obvious one, I would very much like real Butterbeer and Firewhisky. Before anyone starts about studio tours and that - I don't mean that. I want real Butterbeer made by magical people and tastes like Harry describes.



2. Fruit from the Toffee Tree
The Magician's Nephew
C.S. Lewis

Toffee you say? I have the biggest sweet tooth and it is very common knowledge that I am prone it anything that has caramel, toffee or fudge in it - I will consume it until I physically cannot anymore.

3. Blood Candy
Strange the Dreamer
Laini Taylor

I'm rather intrigued by the Blood Candy that fascinates Lazlo early on in his quest for Weep in Strange the Dreamer. Does it taste as bad as Lazlo thinks? How is it made? 


4. Fizzy Lifting Drink
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Roald Dahl

I remember as a kid I would dream of being in Willy Wonka's factory, sipping fizzy lifting drinks and flying away. This would be so much fun to have at a party - for both the kids and adults.



5. Faerie Food
City of Ashes
Cassandra Clare

When I thought about putting faerie food on this list, I could have put any fae centered book. But I kept thinking back to the scenes with the Seelie Queen in City of Ashes. As long as there are no consequences to eating it, I'd want it at a potluck.

Top 5 Wednesday| It's the Final Countdown

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly blog group that comes together to discuss that week's topic. The idea was first curated by the wonderful Lainey at GingerReadLainey and is now run by Samantha over on ThoughtsonTomes. 

If you wish to participate, either on your Blog or Booktube channel then, please, join the group on Goodreads for all the relevant topics.

There are currently 48 days until the end of the year folks, which is horrifying to think about knowing that I need to draft 8k of my dissertation, write a 21-page screenwriting portfolio and a 3k portfolio for working class fictions (this is why I'm not doing Nano). 


1. Spinning Silver
Naomi Novik

Goodreads

Ever since it was announced I have been pining over this book - to the point of practically begging for a review copy. For some reason, I just haven't found the right mood or enough time to read it. 

2. Muse of Nightmares
Laini Taylor

Goodreads

At the time of putting this up, I will be prepping to read this for Tome Topple so will be read before the end of the year. 





3. Tarnished City
Vic James

Goodreads

I read Gilded Cage earlier this summer and really enjoyed the characters and themes. The first book was a relatively fast read so this will be good during that last minute race to meet my Goodreads goal.



4. Shadowplay
Laura Lam

Goodreads

This has been on my list all year to read and I just haven't been in the mood to read it. I love Laura's books, but they're ones that I do need to be in a certain mood for in order to get the most out of them.




5. Twelve Kings
Bradley Beaulieu

Goodreads

I have had this on my shelf since my first year at University. Now is the time to read or die, honestly. 

REVIEW| The Blue Salt Road

The Blue Salt Road
Joanne M. Harris
⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads

UK Publisher: Gollancz
UK Release Date: November 15th, 2018

Synopsis:

An earthly nourris sits and sings
And aye she sings, "Ba lilly wean,
Little ken I my bairn's father,
Far less the land that he staps in. 
(Child Ballad, no. 113)

So begins a stunning tale of love, loss and revenge, against a powerful backdrop of adventure on the high seas, and drama on the land. The Blue Salt Road balances passion and loss, love and violence and draws on nature and folklore to weave a stunning modern mythology around a nameless, wild young man.

Passion drew him to a new world, and trickery has kept him there - without his memories, separated from his own people. But as he finds his way in this dangerous new way of life, so he learns that his notions of home, and your people, might not be as fixed as he believed.

Review

The Blue Salt Road is the second novella in Joanne Harris' folklore retellings that have been illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins, with the hope that more is to come in the future. Based on the familiar tale of the Selkie, an oceanic creature of myth, who can remove its skin and take on the form of a human; however, if their Selkie skin is taken and hid from them they remain trapped in their human form. Harris' builds on this story with layers and depths of emotion, that draws you into this wintery tale and never quite leaves you.

Harris' use of generational storytelling within the narrative is something I admired and thought helped to shape the three women as characters and not rely on the matriarchal symbols of The Crone, The Mother and the Maiden that is often identifiable in fairy tales to be able to do that. 

Again, the rich depth of human desperation to keep love and what loss can be fathomed by that, and the sense of confusion that the Selkie of the story felt was palpable as he had to find his sense of identity and purpose.

Bonnie Helen Hawkins' illustrations are nothing short from being perfect. They add to the Nordic atmosphere of the setting and the story, and I would happily flip back through to just look at them if I found myself short of time to reread the whole novella (although you most definitely will find me rereading this sometime soon). 

GET YOUR COPY:
| AMAZON UK | AMAZON US  | WATERSTONES |

TBR| Nov 2018

This month's TBR is going up kind of late because the first nine days of November I've got to submit two very different portfolios for University and won't have much time to read. As well as this, I may have a few books on here that are books I must read because I'm in a seminar with the author, or they're directly tied to my dissertation.

Wizard of the Pigeons
Megan Lindholm

Goodreads

So far this has been the only SFF title that has a homeless protagonist (if you know any more than please let me know - it's for my dissertation).  



Going Postal (Discworld #33; Moist Von Lipwig #1)
Terry Pratchett

Goodreads

Another one that might be relevant to what I am writing for my dissertation, beside I'll use any excuse to read some Pratchett. 


Tony Hogan bought me an Ice Cream Float before he stole me Ma.
Kerry Hudson

Goodreads

I'm taking Working Class Fictions this semester, and have had to read quite a few different things that have tied into the module. Kerry is coming to my University in two weeks for a reading and signing. My lecturer has arranged for my class to have a seminar with Kerry - so I should read it.
Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2)
Laini Taylor

Goodreads

I reread Strange the Dreamer last month during the Dewey's 24-hour-readathon in order to refresh my memory of the events of book one before heading into the Muse. I'm dying to see how it ends, fall into Laini's beautiful prose and not having to feel guilty whilst doing that. This will probably end up being my sole book for the Tome Topple Readathon that is happening this month.
Damsel
Elana K. Arnold

Goodreads

I'm going to try and see if I can read and review this before it comes out in the UK on the 15th November, or at least as close to that date as possible. 


The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings #2)
Mackenzie Lee

Goodreads

Again, like Damsel, I want to try and get a review up before, or just after, it's released in the UK. Will it happen? No one knows.

Top 5 Wednesday| I Need More Time

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly blog group that comes together to discuss that week's topic. The idea was first curated by the wonderful Lainey at GingerReadLainey and is now run by Samantha over on ThoughtsonTomes. 

If you wish to participate, either on your Blog or Booktube channel then, please, join the group on Goodreads for all the relevant topics.

In celebration of the come back of #TomeToppleReadathon this month, Samantha has decided to dedicate a week of sharing some of the longest books on our TBRs. I'm only counting the physical books that I own, 


1. A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)
Deborah Harkness
Page Count: 688

Goodreads

I don't know why I insist on bringing larger books with me to Uni, because they never actually get read unless it's during Freshers' Week or that weird week and a half I get off during Christmas exam week after final submissions.
2. Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6)
Sarah J. Maas
Page Count: 660

Goodreads

I won a copy of this from giveaway. It's one of those signed limited editions from Sarah's book signing last year. I feel like I still will eventually finish this series, just because I've carried it through to my adulthood.

3. The Final Empire (Mistborn #1)
Brandon Sanderson

Page Count: 647

Goodreads

Everyone and their mother has read this one, but I still haven't. I've never been in the mood to pick up even though I still have every intention of reading it.


4. Twelve Kings (The Song of the Shattered Sands #1)
Bradley Beaulieu
Page Count: 608

Goodreads


This was the first book I bought myself when I moved to Bangor for University, thinking that it would be a nice chunky book to get into during the evenings. 

5. Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1)
Tomi Adeyemi
Page Count: 531

Goodreads

I received an ARC of this, I've bought the kindle version and a finished copy. Yet, I still haven't read it? It might have something to do with hype at the time of its release or that it was larger than I thought it would be, but I will get round to reading this if its the last thing I do.

REVIEW| Bookshop Girl

Bookshop Girl (Bookshop Girl #1)
Chloe Coles


Goodreads

UK Publisher: Hot Key Books
UK Release Date: June 14th, 2018

** Received via Netgalley from the Publisher in exchange for an honest and truthful review.**

Synopsis:

Bennett's Bookshop has always been a haven for sixteen-year-old Paige Turner. It's a place where she can escape from her sleepy hometown, hang out with her best friend, Holly, and also earn some money.

But, like so many bookshops, Bennett's has become a 'casualty of the high street' - it's strapped for cash and going to be torn down. Paige is determined to save it but mobilising a small town like Greysworth is no mean feat.

Time is ticking - but that's not the only problem Paige has. How is she going to fend off the attractions of beautiful fellow artist, Blaine? And, more importantly, will his anarchist ways make or break her bookshop campaign?


Review

I don't think this book is going to be for everyone. And I think that falls primarily down to the way in which Coles constructs her hyper-realistic-teen narrative voice. This definetly reads younger and better suited toward the younger side of Young Adult audiences with its silly humor (that reminded me a lot like Louise Rennison's books) and excessive oh-em-gees.

This book tries to incorporate feminism into it, but fell kind of flat. 
"It's a typical example of Male privilege. The assumption that they can say whatever they like to girls. The assumption that women or girls are there for their entertaiment."
Although this is stated, I never felt like this was pushed against and challenged. Paige only comments on it and as a reader I feel like this could have been something to address as a sub-plot. Telling the reader that you shouldn't stand for it but not showing the reader that it can be stood against and fully verbalized.

The plot twist at the end with the love interest was very predictable, and he came off as a bit of a knob pretty much the whole way through. Although, I really enjoyed the small tid-bits that we get of some of the older people Paige meets at a life drawing class. They were fun and really supportive, and it felt like a genuine budding friendship between them. Proving that it doesn't matter if you're not the same age, you can still be friends!

GET YOUR COPY:
| AMAZON UK | WATERSTONES | BDP |

Wrap-Up| Oct 2018

I'm really trying everything in my power to get all my assignments done when I'm not in class rather than two days before the deadline; research for my dissertation; balance a decent social life; and read to de-stress. I'm somehow continuously panicking and strangely calm about everything.

You'll be surprised to see that my October wrap-up consists of more than a book, unlike previous years. (No, I don't know what's going on either.)


In the Vanisher's Palace
Aliette de Bodard
⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads

REVIEW





Bookshop Girl (Bookshop Girl #1)
Chloe Coles
⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads

REVIEW





The Blue Salt Road
Joanne M. Harris
⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads

I will be posting a review of this next month.

I really loved this. It read like a fairytale of love and revenge set against the backdrop of two the fighting clans of humans and selkies.


Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1)
Laini Taylor


Goodreads

(Technically I haven't finished this one, but am 3/5 of the way through. That being said, it is a reread.)

Doctor Who: The Day of the Troll
Written by Simon Messingham; Read by David Tennant

Goodreads

I'm going to be sad when I run out of Doctor Who audioplays that center around the 10th Doctor. They're really fun to listen to and help me focus on something when I'm trying to get to sleep (especially during deadline week).
I'll be reviewing this soon, so look out for a proper discussion then.
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