Posted in book reviews, books

October/Fall TBR!

‘Tis the season for scary and mystery novels! I personally won’t really be reading anything that isn’t for my University course, but if you have the spare time, then I would definitely read these books. They are great for getting in the Halloween mood.

Best Ghost Stories – Charles Dickens

This book is full of ghost stories written by Charles Dickens. This includes ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘The Chimes’. So there are some Christmas stories inside, but you could always leave those until November or December.

Stephen King novels

Pretty much any Stephen King novel is suitable for this time of year! He’s such an amazing and talented writer. He writes things that are so thought provoking. ‘IT’ would be a great read this year with the remake not long being released in cinema (which is amazing btw!). I would also suggest ‘Carrie’ and ‘Misery’ though, because they’re so well-written and are far better than the movies – and I love the movies! It’s so cute the way he waffles sometimes, too.

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image via tumblr

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

This classic is a must-read! Shelley is such a talented writer, especially for her time, and I’m not surprised that this novel is so iconic and well-known. At some points, it can drag on, but it’s actually quite necessary.

Dark Shadows Visual Companion – Tim Burton

While this isn’t really a novel as such, but it’s a great quick read. And, it’s also a great excuse to look at pictures, and read about, Johnny Depp, Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter!

The Gingerbread House – Carin Gerhardsen

I read this book a while ago, not knowing anything about it, and was pleasantly surprised. It’s a fantastic, thought-provoking horror/mystery, great for Halloween. I wish it was more well-known, because it deserves so much more recognition!

White Death – Daniel Blake

I also read this book a while ago, knowing nothing about it, and was pleasantly surprised. It’s about a serial killer, playing by the rules of a chess game.

Dracula – Bram Stroker

Another iconic scary character/novel! I have yet to read this book, but I know that it’s definitely another great read for this time of year.

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image via tumblr

Macbeth – William Shakespeare

As one of the best known plays of Shakespeare, this one in particular would be fabulous to read at this time of year. It has witches, magic, spells, a thought-provoking narrative, blood, death, tragedy! Everything! Yes, it can be hard to understand his plays, and to read plays in general, but after a few pages, it’s easy pops and so worth it. Plus, it’s Shakespeare, he’s awesome!

Welsh Celebrity Ghost Stories – South Wales Paranormal Research

This would be a great read because it’s all associated with Wales (yes, I’m biased because I’m Welsh!) and they’re all true stories. True stories are always quite creepier, so if you’re looking to be spooked this Halloween, this is the way to go.

The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

I heard about this book because my English teacher was telling my class about how scary it was. So, naturally I went out and bought it. I still haven’t read it, but I’m definitely planning to! It’s about murders and a creepy kid. Perfect for Halloween!

The Visitors – Simon Sylvester

This mystery/fantasy, coming-of-age novel would be great for Halloween. ‘The island always seemed such a safe place. But now it appears that a killer may be living on Bancree.’ Spooky!

Jack the Ripper

An account on one of the most well-known serial killers would be very interesting to read about. It doesn’t have to be about Jack the Ripper, you could read about any serial killer, if that’s what you’re in to. I definitely find it ‘interesting’, I guess, so I will try to fit a book about Jack the Ripper into my reading schedule this Halloween.

Coraline – Neil Gaiman

I recommended this in my ‘Halloween Must-Watch Movies’ (you can find that here: Halloween Must-Watch Movies (Part 1) 😉 ). It’s pretty deep and thought-provoking, plus it’s suitable for all ages.

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image via tumblr

What are your Halloween/Fall reading recommendations? Do you agree with mine? Let me know!

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Posted in book reviews, books, disney books, pixar

Summer Reading Wrap Up!

I haven’t written on here in such a long time because I’ve been pretty busy, sorry!

I hope everyone had a great Summer. I know I did! Unfortunately, I didn’t read as much as I would have liked to, though. Here are the books I did get a chance to read:

  1. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

My GoodReads Rating: 5/5

2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling

My GoodReads Rating: 5/5

3. Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur (twice!)

My GoodReads Rating: 5/5

4. The Vegetarian Tigers of Paradise – Crystal Jeans

My GoodReads Rating: 5/5

5. Qudditch Through The Ages – J. K. Rowling

My GoodReads Rating: 5/5

6. Pixar Character Encyclopedia – Steve Brynghau

My GoodReads Rating: 4/5

7. Shakespeare’s Sonnets

My GoodReads Rating: 5/5

8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

My GoodReads Rating: 5/5

9. The Extraordinary Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

My GoodReads Rating: 5/5

10. The Picture of Dorian Grey – Oscar Wilde

My GoodReads Rating: 5/5

11. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J. K. Rowling

My GoodReads Rating: 5/5

I know it seems quite biased since most of them 5/5 stars, but I honestly thought they deserved that rating! I wish I read more, but I’m quite pleased with how much I enjoyed these books and how much I read, anyway.

What did you read in Summer? And do you agree with my ratings of these books? 😀

Posted in books, disney, disney outfits, disney quotes, non-disney movies, pixar

How To Add A Touch Of Disney To Your Graduation

Graduation is just around the corner for many people, my sister included. It can be a nervous day, so why not make it less scary and more excitable by adding Disney to your special day? After all, it’s quite a unique experience. Right now, you may have no idea what to do next; but chill! Just enjoy your day!

Here are some special ways to add a touch of magic to your day…

Graduation Caps

Recently, decorating your graduation cap has become very popular. You’ve paid for it, so I guess you may as well decorate it as you like.

You could embrace your childhood and go for caps like these;

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image via Gurl
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image via Gurl
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image via Hative

 

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image via Gurl
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image via Pinterest

Or, you could copy some characters. You could go for Sharpay Evan’s fabulous look, from High School Musical 3: Senior Year;

 

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image via tumblr

Or, you could copy Patrick’s look from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I know it isn’t Disney, but it’s still a cool style, and he’s a book character – Belle would approve of your bookworm style!

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image via tumblr

There are so many options!

Disneybound

 

If you’re not brave enough to decorate your cap, or want to do something more than just that, then Disneybound! It’s another fun, creative thing to do.

You could Disneybound as Sharpay from High School Musical 3: Senior Year. Her graduation look is quite inspiring.

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image via PopSugar

Or, you could go for something more simple. I particularly like this Disneybound idea for Rapunzel;

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image via Polyvore

 

Add a bow to your outfit!

 

Bows are the cutest things ever and just scream ‘DISNEY!’ for me! Why not add one to your outfit, somehow? Whether it’s on your cap, your dress, your shirt, your shoes or your bag, it’s still cute. And if you don’t want to add a bow, you could just add a Disney accessory/piece of jewellery!

Disney inspired hairstyle/makeup

Easy pops! Choose your favourite hairstyle and favourite makeup look from whatever character you like, and copy it. Or do something similar.

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image via Disney

Watch movies

 

There isn’t a lot of choice of Disney movies related to graduation, but the few that I know of are worth the watch. There’s High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Lizzie McGuire: The Movie, and An Extremely Goofy Movie. You could even watch some movies that relate to high school, such as Big Hero 6 and A Goofy Movie!

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image via buzzfeed

 

Disney mug

Have your celebratory drink in your very own Disney mug! Your drink will then be the most magical of all.

Say an unhealthy amount of Disney quotes

This will be an emotional day for some, so lighten the mood by embracing your inner Disney Nerd and slay people with quotes and references.

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image via tumblr

So, whether it’s your graduation or your friends or relatives; good luck and have fun! And keep your head in the game!

 

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image via etsy

 

Posted in book reviews, books

‘Milk and Honey’ by Rupi Kaur book review

Rupi Kaur’s ‘milk and honey’ is a poetry book about life. Each chapter is about a different part of life; hurting, loving, breaking and healing. With every other page having a drawing on it, the poems are beautiful and inspirational.

Each poem is very deep and truly makes you think about life with a different perspective. It involves love, trauma, abuse, loss, healing and femininity. There is bound to be some poems every person would find relatable and touching in some sort of way. They are beautiful. moving, and, some, simple. But all are effective.

With a strong, defined theme of femininity, most of these poems are definitely aimed at feminist, or, at least, the female gender. And this isn’t meant to offend men. But I don’t think most men would find certain poems very enjoyable or relatable. Here’s an example of one, just so you can see what I mean:

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image via justagirlinthisworld.com

Some men might like the poems like this, though. But it won’t be for everyone, not even every female will like the poems like this.

There are other poems which carry a deep meaning which aren’t as suggestive as that one, though. So there is something for everyone in this. Here’s an example of one, which has to be my favourite:

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image via pictaram.com

I just love how true and realistic it is! Throughout the book there are more poems like this which I think more people need to read. More people need to realise how important this in (even me, I think).

I’m not a huge poetry lover, but lately, I have been. So this was definitely the perfect, quick read – it literally took me about 20 minutes to read, including time to Snapchat some of the poems. I highly recommend this, even if you’re not a fan of poetry!

 

Posted in books, quotes

10 Bookish Quotes

Quotes are one my favourite things ever. I don’t know why; I guess, maybe, because they can be quite inspirational and motivating. Anyway, here are some of my favourite bookish quotes;

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image via LoveThisPic.com
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image via EBookfriendly.com
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image via SelectStories.com
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image via peoplewhowrite.files.wordpress.com
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image via Pinterest
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image via ModernMrsDarcy.com
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image via TheOdysseyOnline.com
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image via Pinterest
Posted in books, quotes

The best poems from ‘Milk and Honey’ by Rupi Kaur

Milk and Honey is a poetry book written by Rupi Kaur. It’s so amazing, inspirational, deep and real. I haven’t really been one for poetry until just recently, so this was definitely a great read to help encourage me to read more poems. There are so many amazing poems in this book, but here are  just a few I personally loved the most, in no particular order…

“if you were born with

the weakness to fall

you were born with

the strength to rise”

 

how is it so easy for you

to be kind to people he asked

milk and honey dripped

from my lips as i answered

cause people have not 

been kind to me

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“she was a rose

in the hands of those

who had no intention of keeping her”

 

“it takes grace

to remain kind

in cruel situations”

 

“your body

is a museum

of natural disasters

can you grasp how

stunning that is”

 

“accept yourself

as you were designed”

 

“if the hurt comes

so will the happiness”

 

“love is not cruel

we are cruel

love is not a game

we have made a game

out of love”

 

“we are all born

so beautiful

the greatest tragedy is

being convinced we are not”

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image via weheartit.com

“most importantly love

like it’s the only thing you know how

at the end of the day all this

means nothing

this page

where you’re sitting

your degree

your job

the money

nothing even matters

except love and human connection

who you loved

and how deeply you loved them

how you touched the people around you

and how much you gave them”              

(this one’s in bold because it’s my favourite lol)

 

“i have

what i have

and i am happy

i’ve lost

what i’ve lost

and i am

still

happy

outlook

 

“you look at me and cry

everything hurts

i hold you and whisper

but everything can heal

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image via theedgesusu.co.uk

“you were a dragon long before

he came around and said

you could fly

you will remain a dragon

long after he’s left”

 

“perhaps the saddest of all

are those who live waiting

for someone they’re not

sure exists

7 billion people

 

he isn’t coming back

whispered my head

he has to

sobbed my heart

willing

 

“you treat them like they

have a heart like yours

but not everyone can be as

soft and as tender

you don’t see the

person they are

you see the person

they have the potential to be

you give and give till

they pull everything out of you

and leave you empty”

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image via digital.vpr.net

“the one who arrives after you

will remind me love is

supposed to be soft

he will taste

like the poetry

i wish i could write”

 

“nothing is safer

than the sound of you

reading out loud to me

the perfect date

 

“i know i

should crumble

for better reasons

but have you seen

that boy he brings

the sun to its

knees every

night”

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image via marco-polo.com

“my favourite thing about you is your smell

you smell like

earth

herbs

gardens

a little more

human than the rest of us”

 

what am i to you he asks

i put my hands in his lap

and whisper you

are every hope

i’ve ever had

in human form

 

“there is no bigger illusion in the world

than the idea that a woman will

bring dishonor into a home

if she tries to keep her heart

and her body safe”

 

 

Posted in books

10 books I recommend

I am a major bookworm, and I love seeing what other people recommend and/or thoroughly enjoyed reading. It’s so interesting to see their opinions about a book you want to read, loved or even hated. So here are ten books that I enjoyed so much and think other people should read too…

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

Right now, this is still my favourite book!! It’s so deep and explores depression, and other sensitive subjects in quite a mature and reasonable way. I first read this about four or five years ago now, and it has stuck with me ever since. Even the movie adaption is amazing.

This story focuses on Charlie, and his journey through high school. Charlie has depression, however, and doesn’t make any friends at first. That is, until he meets Sam and Patrick who introduce him to new things, make him feel included and give him confidence.

Harry Potter – J. K. Rowling

I haven’t read the Harry Potter books, but I am currently about halfway through the first one. And from what I can gather, with how brilliant this book is, and with all the hype this series still has, it is definitely worth reading. Needless to say, I wish I read the series earlier; it’s so enjoyable and such an easy read.

Alice in Wonderland/Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll

This timeless classic is such a fun read! It’s poetic, childlike and a lot like the Disney animation Alice in Wonderland. I read these two books quite quickly and enjoyed every moment. However, it can be difficult at times to read, because it sometimes has words which aren’t commonly used nowadays. But with the context, it’s easy to understand.

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image via theedgesusu.co.uk

Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

I originally read this when studying it in my English GCSE. At the time, I thought it’d be ‘a boring classic,’ but I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s such a powerful book, with so many messages, and it’s also such an easy read. The dialogue can be a bit hard to read, what, with their slang, but after a few pages you get used to it.

This story follows two drifters in search of work, who find themselves a job on a ranch. But with one of the drifters, Lennie, having learning difficulties, their life isn’t easy as he keeps losing their job. But now, on this ranch, will things be easier, or will they be the same as before?

The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

This is such a bittersweet book which I read a couple of years ago, after seeing the movie a billion and one times. With passion, love, adventure, and unpredictable scenes, it’s a gripping book. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep up with, due to the points of view and time changing, but soon you get used to it.

Librarian Henry De Tamble suffers from a rare genetic disorder that causes him to drift uncontrollably back and forth through time. Through this, he meets the love of his life, Claire, and they marry. But with Henry’s inability to remain in one time and place, their marriage and life become complicated.

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image via marco-polo.com

Supernatural: John Winchester’s Journal –  Alexander C. Irvine

Aimed towards Supernatural fans, this journal takes you back to Season 1 of the show. It shows you different demons, John’s struggles, different events of Sam and Dean when they were younger, different spells and tips such as how to perform an exorcism (because who knows when you’ll need to perform one?). It’s the ultimate guide for a Supernatural fan!

I enjoyed this book so much, it was such a fun read and allowed you to get to know the characters more. I’d love to read another Supernatural book like this!

Stardust – Neil Gaiman

After watching the movie countless of times, I finally decided to read the book. It was the best decision I had ever made. I enjoyed it so much! You can check out my review of this book here.

The Penelopiad – Margaret Atwood

I read this book because it was one of the books I was studying at University, in the first term. At first, I was slightly reluctant because I didn’t particularly enjoy the books we had read before this. But I’m so glad I decided to read it, because it was the opposite of what I had expected.

This book follows is a modern retelling of The Odyssey. Following Penelope and the Maids, we hear this story from their point of view. There are slight feminist points made here, but, in my opinion, it makes the book that much better.

Misery – Stephen King

As a huge Stephen King fan, I have recently made it my mission to read all of his books. So far, this is one of my favourites. It’s full of action, suspense and drama, which almost makes it impossible to put down. Literally. I have travel sickness, and I was reading this whilst on a car journey once, and even though I felt like I was going to vomit at any moment, I couldn’t stop reading. Eventually I had to, but still!

Novelist Paul Sheldon is rescued from a car accident by his biggest fan, Annie Wilkes. She dresses his wounds, rescues his work, and gives him pain killers when he needs them. But is she really as friendly as she seems?

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

Possibly my favourite book by John Green, this follows the story of two cancer patients who fall in love. It’s a fairly realistic and very emotional story, with some (sometimes dark) humour. I cried whilst reading this, and even throughout the whole movie when I saw it for the first time. It’s quite a powerful book and is a very easy read, being that it’s of a Young Adult genre.

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image via clipartfest.com
Posted in books

Summer Must Reads!

Now that summer is coming up, it’s mandatory that you have that perfect summer book to read! There’s nothing better than sitting in your garden or on the beach, with that summer book. Here’s a list of some of the books that I think are perfect to read during summer…

The Summer I Turned Pretty – Jenny Han

This Young Adult book is the perfect summer romance that is pretty easy to relate to. Isabel “Belly” Conklin spends every summer at a beach house with her mother, her brother, her mother’s best friend and her two sons. Every summer is usually the same, but this summer is different. She finds herself in a love triangle, leaving you wondering who she’ll choose. It’s cliché, fun and sweet.

My Life Next Door – Huntley Fitzpatrick

Another Young Adult book about a summer romance, that’s cliché but also fun and sweet. Samantha Reed has always watched her neighbours from her rooftop, wondering what their life is like, wishing to be one of them. But one day, Jase Garrett climbs up on her rooftop and joins her. Her life will never be the same after that day…

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image via weheartit.com

Shakespeare Sonnets

Shakespeare is probably one of the best figures in literature. What’s more relaxing than reading his sonnets? They’re all about love, death, time and having kids. Perfect.

The Choice – Nicholas Sparks

While this wasn’t particularly my cup of tea, it has such a good summer vibe. With sailing, spending time on the beach, and spending time with friends, it’s the perfect summer. This is full of drama and a clichéd romance. Gabby is a medical student who’s preparing to settle down with her boyfriend. Travis is a ladies’ man who works at the vets, and thinks that a serious relationship would be too much trouble for his easy-going lifestyle. When Gabby goes over Travis’ house one night, things happen, and her life won’t be the same again.

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

A mystery is perfect for summer! When Nick Dunne’s wife Amy goes missing, he must find out what has happened to her – especially since he’s the prime suspect. What really happened to Amy?

Carrie – Stephen King

This is truly a classic! Filled with drama, horror and suspense, this novel is perfect for reading on the beach or travelling. Carrie is a bullied, lonely teenager who develops supernatural powers. When she gets invited to prom, how will things plan out?

Stephen King keeps you wanting more and more. It’s impossible to put the book down!

Alice in Wonderland/Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll

You can’t have summer without a childhood classic. This well-known story is fun and random, making you want to read more. The two stories are quick, easy reads which remind you why you fell in love with little Alice.

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image via digital.vpr.net

Paper Towns – John Green

When Margo recruits Quentin on her quest for revenge, he’s in for a night he’ll never forget. He thinks that they’ll be good friends – maybe more – after that night. But, Margo mysteriously disappears the next day, leaving only a few clues. It’s up to Quentin and his friends to find her.

This fun mystery is unpredictable and full of humour, as well as drama and adventure. Margo’s clues really gets your mind working, and is very interesting – it’s much better than the movie!

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

This is a sweet and heartbreaking romance of two teenagers, Hazel and Augustus, who fall in love. But these star-crossed lovers don’t have an easy journey together.

While this novel is probably thought to mainly be for the hopeless romantics, there are no clichés here, so I think anyone could enjoy it.

Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

When quirky Louisa Clark loses her job in a cafe, she must find another job urgently to help her family. Soon she finds a job to take care of Will Traynor; a young, wealthy man who’s left paralyzed after an accident. Louisa shows Will that life is still worth living and soon their minds and hearts change, in a way that neither could have imagined.

Graceling – Kristin Cashore

This fantasy novel is both gripping and unpredictable. Katsa lives in a world where select people are born with an extreme skill. Katsa’s gift has allowed her to kill people; she’s been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight. With being the niece of a king, and having such a powerful gift, Katsa has been working as the King’s guard. But what will she do when she realises that what she’s doing is wrong?

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image via theedgesusu.co.uk

The Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling

What better way to spend summer than reading the Harry Potter series? That’s what I’ll be doing (I haven’t read them yet, so it’s about time)!

This series is full of magic, fantasy, action, adventure, romance and mystery. With loveable characters as well, what more could you ask for?

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

A romance and historical fiction novel; this classic will keep you wanting more. The story is told by Nick Carraway, whom gives us an insight to Gatsby’s life and the Roaring Twenties.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

Socially awkward teen Charlie is a wallflower; always watching life go by, without getting involved a lot. That is until two confident, adventurous students allow him to join their crowd. They help Charlie discover friendship, love, music theatre. But as they prepare to leave school, Charlie’s confidence and happiness is at stake.

This novel is my favourite novel of all time. It’s presented in as Charlie’s diary, and is somewhat relatable in different ways for different readers. It’s realistic, fun and emotional. A good read for any time of the year, really.

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image via marco-polo.com

Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

I’m currently re-reading this! Set back in the time of The Great Depression, two drifters in search of work find themselves a job on a ranch. But nothing is easy for George and Lennie with Lennie having learning difficulties and so losing their job all the time. Will things go sour for them again at this new ranch – or worse?

The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks

This is the story of a slightly modern Romeo and Juliet. Young and naive Noah and Allie fall in love one summer, but things go wrong. Allie’s parents don’t approve and soon she’s to be leaving town. After a big argument, they end things. Years pass, and they soon meet again.

While I prefered the movie adaptions because of how cheesy the novel is, it’s perfect for those who love a good romance.

The Gingerbread House – Carin Garhardsen

This horror-mystery keeps you at the edge of your seat. In Stockholm, several murders have occurred in a short space of time. The police begin to suspect that there’s a link between the murders. The killer’s motives are personal and won’t stop.

Your mind will be working throughout this novel, wondering who the killer is. It’s a fun, easy read.

Looking for Alaska – John Green

This young adult novel is an easy, interesting read. It follows young Miles Halter who is interested in famous last words. Soon, he leaves for boarding school to seek what the poet Francois Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” However, little does he know that at Culver Creek, student Alaska Young will change his life forever.

 

Hopefully this list will encourage you to read more this summer! There are so many other novels that are perfect for summer, but I wouldn’t have enough time to write them all down ;).

Posted in book reviews, books

‘Stardust’ by Neil Gaiman – an epic fantasy

I first discovered Stardust back when it was released in cinema, in 2007. Instantly, I fell in love with the movie and listened to ‘Rule the World’ on repeat. To this day, it is still one of my favourite movies.

It wasn’t very long ago that I found out it was based on a book. I had to read it.

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To my surprise, the book and film were quite different from each other. Yet I still loved them both!

Neil Gaiman’s novel is about love blinded Tristran Thorn, who lives in Wall. Tirstran isn’t like anyone else, though; his father is a human while his mother is a magical creature. When Tristran turns 17, he develops a big crush on the beautiful Victoria Forester. One night, they both see a falling star and Tristran makes a bid with her; if he retrieves the star for her, she’ll give him anything his heart desires. And so Tristran goes off into the land of Faerie.

Meanwhile, there are others whom are also in search of the star; three ancient witches who wish to cut out her heart to regain their youth. Did I mention the star is a lady, named Yvaine? The remaining sons of Stormhold also seek out the star because she has their dead father’s topaz necklace.

So, as you can probably tell, there’s inevitably a lot of action and magic throughout the novel. But that’s the best part. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, wanting more. The action and magic are unpredictable, and, at some points, original.

The language Neil Gaiman uses throughout the novel truly gives it a ‘fantasy’ vibe, and you can actually imagine the magic he invents. The colours, dialogue, and clothing described gives it a sense of ‘otherness’. This is perfectly fitting for the setting of the novel. It actually made me not want to finish it quickly, because it was so fun to read, and was so exciting.

The characters and settings also add to that ‘different’ vibe. In Wall, they are probably what we’d consider (close to) ‘normal’. They live in a strong village, have traditions, and everyone knows everyone. They’re almost like us. However, in Faerie, they’re magical and unalike. There are witches, Lords, stars, hairy-old men, trees that can move… And much more. They’re fascinating and make the novel intoxicating.

However, I did have one problem with the novel. I didn’t think the representation of the witches, particularly the queen witch, at the end, was very realistic. Throughout the novel, the witch queen, Lilim, seems quite desperate to capture the star. She uses all of her youth and a lot of magic and effort to find and kill her. But when she finds Yvaine at the end, she doesn’t try to kill her, or even, at least, try to kidnap her. Instead, she has a conversation with her. And Yvaine – who almost died because of Lilim – talks to her and gives her a kiss. Yes, it was sweet and quite original to not seek revenge or anything. But throughout the movie, you’re set up to expect something more than that.

All in all, this was a very good read and I enjoyed it so much. I haven’t read many fantasy novels; I usually stick to young adult, romance and horror. But this has definitely persuaded me to read more of this genre – and from Neil Gaiman.

 

 

Posted in book reviews, books

‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes – a love story or a story about life itself?

I wrote this book review for one of my University modules. I had a pretty good mark on it, so I thought I’d upload it on here as well;

 

“Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just LIVE.”

This is the type of romance that would have hopeless romantics like me crying while the cynics would be throwing up. The novel focuses on a young girl, Louisa Clark, who loses her job as a cake seller but soon finds another. This new role that Louisa takes on involves taking care of a very handsome quadriplegic, Will Traynor, for six months. Will had his beautiful, adventurous life taken away from him in a tragic motorcycle accident. Now, left bound to a wheelchair, Will wants to end his life and has promised his parents six months until he does so. Louisa has relationship problems with her current boyfriend, Patrick. She has also suffered a traumatic experience. You can already tell this is not for the faint hearted. It’s not long before it becomes apparent that Will and Louisa can help each other have a brighter life. But things aren’t that simple. Like the iconic couple Romeo and Juliet, Louisa and Will’s relationship was destined to be doomed.

One of the things I love most about this novel is that you can see their passion slowly growing. At first, Will keeps making digs at Louisa by saying things such as “go and raid your Grandmothers wardrobe, or whatever it is you do when you’re not making tea”. Then, later on, his tune soon changes as he ends up confessing, “You’re pretty much the only thing that makes me want to get up in the morning”. Can you hear me crying? Because I am! You don’t realise how meaningful it is until you read the book!

Their relationship is portrayed in a very realistic manner. It doesn’t happen straight away; it happens naturally. Moyes also shows us that, while Louisa’s relationship with Patrick does have its problems, Louisa still does actually care about Patrick. That in itself adds to the drama of the novel because she almost creates a love triangle for herself without realising it. Because, who said love was easy?

Louisa’s birthday party was something I also loved. It was a fantastic scene. The quote that comes to mind here is “she certainly gives a good bed bath” – that was how sarcastic Will is at this point.  How Louisa was happy with everything apart from her boyfriends present for her was priceless. It was a cute and funny scenario at the same time. And the way her boyfriend, Patrick, looks at Will’s present questioningly and just says “tights?” in a judgemental tone, nails the ‘jealous boyfriend’ act perfectly. And Will likes that; he makes Patrick even more jealous by simply having Louisa do her job. Perfect! But, let’s be honest, we’re kind of rooting for Will anyway.

(Warning: from here on, there are spoilers!)

However, this book didn’t just make me cry (in a good way) or shout “GOALS!” all the way through it. The ending. Tissues at the ready, you’re going to need a lot of ice cream and chocolate to get through this. I feel that Moyes missed a great opportunity to show that a disabled life is still worth living. That you can do more than just be “stuck in bed waiting for someone to bloody get [you] out again”, as Will put it. Despite this, a good thing about it is that Moyes showed us that you can’t force someone to live. Love won’t solve everything. “You can only help someone who wants to be helped.”

Heart-breaking and dramatic are the best words to describe this book. It really has you questioning what life must be like for someone in the same situation as Will. It also forces you to think about how you would feel in his situation; to not be able to do anything you love anymore. Moyes makes readers empathise with Will and it really does add to the effect of the novel. It caused me to be a blubbering mess.

They said that The Notebook was ‘a love story to end all love stories’. They will definitely rethink that after reading this! But, do you want to know another good thing? The movie has been released on DVD, so you can cry for a good hour and a half, if you don’t feel like reading.