I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

I”m far too happy that I found a copy of this book in a book store in China in English. It was like the story was meant to find me. Then five days later a friend was leaving and had a lot of books she was leaving behind, a much prettier yellow copy of I’ll Give You The Sun being one of them. So I was meant to find to find this story as much as those characters were meant to find each other. And this book, the characters and their stories did help me so much. It lifted me up in a way I didn’t know I needed. It made me think about things I didn’t know I needed to think about. I recently read We Are Okay by Nina Lecour and that was amazing and thought provoking, but this, this is what I needed. A book that loves art and talks about art and people’s messy lives.

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I’ll Give You The Sun

by Jandy Nelson

5 / 5 stars

I love contemporary novels that describe things as if they’re fantastical. It adds this new layer to the novel and also gives the book a little bit of natural magic. (I may be biased because I flipping love fantasy.)

Anyway I loved I’ll Give You The Sun from the very beginning. I could just hear Noah’s voice from the first page and I loved how he had drawing ideas from everything and I could picture his ideas too. I was taken to the idea of the twins, as stories about twins are always fascinating and how their relationship dynamic works. They divvy up parts of the world as if they’re small gods, hence the name of the novel. I found their relationship very believable.

I enjoyed Jude’s POV too, which is written two years after Noah’s. I liked the whole Clark Gable thing and her wacky ‘bible’. Also her hypochondriac tendencies, which everyone does every so often. But I did find the two year skip a little spoilery in terms of flicking back to Noah’s POV. Even though the stories were supposed to flow like that. It did make me prefer Jude’s POV over Noah’s.

The twins’ journeys were so interesting to read about. One thing I would have loved to read about actually was Noah’s POV while he was sixteen, he was going through a very hard point in his life and I really wanted to know what he was thinking.

I loved Oscar and Guillermo. They were funny and amazing. Honestly, I loved this novel and it’s hit my all time favourites.

I have a soft spot for stand alone novels now that there are so many trilogies and such out there but I think I would love a continuation of this book! Contemporaries don’t get enough sequels, supernaturals hog that corner of the market so much.

Tell me your thoughts! I may have fan-girled a bit. :’)

A Court of Flipping WAR (A Court of Wings and Ruin Review)

It has been two days since the penultimate novel has came out and I have finished it on a small tiny phone screen. And I loved it, of course!

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A Court of Wings And Ruin

by Sarah J Maas

5 / 5 stars

Now have I mentioned I love Sarah’s stories? Because by the way, I do, in case you missed my fan-girling already. ACOTAR was my least favourite in the series and then I fell truly in love with ACOMAF and I think it is probably my favourite book of all time – quote wise, the issues it covers and because of the plot, description, world. It just didn’t shy away from anything. So it was almost inevitable that I would love her third novel. I missed those characters as if they were a little family of my own. And if you could guess by the 5 / 5 rating I loved it. But maybe I’m just being picky but I felt like… the book should have hurt me more (strange thing to want, I know.)

Okay well let me GUSH for a minute in a somewhat neat style about what I loved:

  • HEY EVERYONE’S BACK. Picking up from where we left off Feyre goes to infiltrate Tamlin’s court and she’s being a manipulative goddess.
  • Feysand.
  • We hear more about the courts as they all attempt to band together to stop Hybern.
  • More evil booglie fae monsters are revealed.

If you loved ACOMAF pick up this book, why haven’t you yet? 😀 If you’ve only read ACOTAR oh-my-gosh why haven’t you read further, so much happens. ACOTAR is so different in comparison to the rest.

Anyway here is my one thing against the book, which is a slight spoiler so if you don’t want a single hint on how the book may make you feel don’t read further! 🙂

So now let me explain my one problem about it all. There is this huge war that’s going to happen and there are so many powerful things on either side and everyone is using so much magic. They constantly run out, which is fair enough they’re all being stretched thin. So when they get to the penultimate battle (Obviously, not a spoiler unless you believed Hybern was going to poof in to smoke. Spoiler he doesn’t.) and fight. Why was my heart not ripped from my chest? I cried while reading it, a true sign of a book that can emulate feels and I was happy with the outcome. But I didn’t feel like they lost so much. It felt too good to be true.

Maybe I’ve become a cynic. But that’s just my take on it. Loved it all but I feel like I should be heartbroken…but I’m really not. Hope this babble made some ounce of sense. I’ve tried not to be too spoilery! They do lose things, but in my opinion not enough. Also did anyone else find this book less quotable? So many awesome things happened but I felt like I could have highlighted half the pages in ACOMAF as quotable whereas not really at all with ACOWAR.

Also I’m hoping we see more Tamlin in the spin-off series she’s planning to do. Tamlin was complex and his actions in ACOWAR really made me want to know why. What was going through his head?  What did you guys think (if you’ve finished it yet?)

 

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We Are Okay by Nina Lecour

Do you want to know why I bought this book? Why I am a terrible human being? because I loved the cover. I freaking loved it. LOOK AT IT. Did I know what the book was about when I impulse bought it? Hardly at all.

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Also because I heard about it on PolandBananasbooks channel and I loved the premise of a girl leaving home with just her phone, wallet and a picture of her mother and I wanted to know why.  But it turned out to be more than a mystery novel, maybe you guys know more about this novel than me but I went in to it virtually blind because I only I had eyes for the cover. It wasn’t what I expected but I loved it all the more for it.

Also my crappy book photography is back ~

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We Are Okay

by Nina Lecour

5 / 5 Stars

The first few pages felt a little Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfied-esque to me. The empty beds, a letter, the weather; it all had to mean something to Marin. And I kind of liked that and I didn’t.  I liked Catcher in the Rye (sort of kind, that is a rant / babble that I might save for a later post). I liked it because you can feel the character’s personality almost instantaneously through different objects and its not all she felt like this and this blah blah. It spices it up. But it also stops doing that very quickly, which is good because while I liked Catcher in the Rye it was a bit slow going and boggily too introspective at times. So the beginning of We Are Okay gave me moody teenage flashbacks for a minute. But crisis averted, it moves on!

To the mystery sort of why did she run away. We are informed her good friend she cut off all ties with from her home town is coming to visit. And then I am waiting for this. Because when her friend arrives it will reveal why Marin did this super extreme thing.

I really loved this premise. To just run away and leave everything because doesn’t everyone have those days where you just want to get up and go? You’re on a train, at work, or just sitting on the couch and you think what if I just go? But we never actually do it, which is why I was intrigued to read about a character who did it. But of course, Marin’s reasons are spurred by trauma.

Which is where it now becomes hard to talk about the rest of the novel without spoilers. So I’m going to say that it’s definitely worth a read if you enjoy reading books about finding yourself, teenage love but also family secrets (ones you wished you’d never known). This book was a roller coaster. And I found the ending satisfying.

I want to say so much more about this book! But I feel like wordpress isn’t the best platform to gush about spoilers because it’s hard to hide them from unsuspecting eyes. So let me know your thoughts on the book, if you’ve read it and if you haven’t DO! Sorry for the babble, love you all! 🙂

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Get to know me tag! – Because everyone obviously wants to (haha I’m so not very funny…)

So I’m not at work today because I managed to dehydrate myself to death yesterday and I’m still feeling it. At least I hope that’s why I’m ill. I don’t want to have to go to the doctors; one, because who wants to go? Two, language barriers are exhausting and my very limited Chinese does not expand to medical jargon. Or anything to do with the body, except I need the loo! And I only know that thanks to the kids I teach at school.

Note to self: Make sure one has health down before going to Japan. (The next destination.)

So I saw this on The Grumpy Librarian’s blog and I felt like being a narcissist today – so here is a tag no one will have any interest in! :3

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Vital Stats:

Name: Emma

Nicknames: Serephia, Kimi (old, old gaming name that I can’t get rid of.)  Kishmish. – Yep these are all usernames I use on the internet. Oh and a normal one: Em. 

Birthday: 22nd March

Star Sign: Aries – Which I have recently come to accept. Sims 1 made Aries’ sound like assholes with only 3 nice points…so I was a self proclaimed Pisces. But I’ve recently come to terms with the fact Aries are awesome and you’ve got to be an asshole sometimes. 

Occupation: Teacher! If you want to see the world and English is your first language (or your freaking brilliant at it) this is your ticket to doing so. Teach English, you don’t even need a teaching degree, which is not necessarily a good thing because learning how to teach is basically being thrown in a classroom here. Terrifying. But you’re at the other side of the world experiencing something you never have before. It’s not easy but its the opportunity of a lifetime.

Appearance:

Hair Colour: Brown

Hair Length: A bit past my shoulders. 

Eye Colour: Grey

Best Feature: Oh no I’m being asked to be positive….erm. I guess I’m going to say the colour of my hair! HA! Super weird, but I’ve always liked the idea of dying it purple or something stupid but every time I really consider it I realise my hair goes with so many clothes already…why ruin it? 

Braces: Didn’t want them as a child. My teeth aren’t bad now but I wish I had taken them at the time. Always the way!

Piercings: Just my ears. I love the idea of getting scaffolding (thats the right phrase?) But I never will X’D

Tattoos: Similar to extra piercings. I love the idea of getting like a silhouette of birds or feathers on my ankle. But its permanent and I’m terrified I’ll regret it five years later. I had a nightmare like that once and I woke up so glad I hadn’t. But the more I travel around the more I want one… don’t know how one correlates to the other but it does….

Right or Left: Right.

Firsts:

Real Holiday: Real is what you make it. So I’m going to choose the one I had in England (where I actually live). My family went to Devon when I was like 6 ( we probably had family holidays before this but this is the one I actually remember.) It was quaint, there was a large swimming pool jacuzzi thing. We fed ducks. 6 year old me was hyped.

Best Friend: This is difficult actually. I move around so much, I make great great friends and then we go our separate ways and we still message each other but we drift. So I’m going to have to say my boyfriend is my best friend. Rob. We’ve been going out for seven years (scary, right? Numbers ah!) We survived long distance through university and countries. Now, we work in China together and we map out our next places we want to go together.

Award: All those silly ones from school – You did so great in English, science blah blah. I mean they gave me the warm fuzzies at the time but I haven’t won anything since.

Sport: Trampolining. We had one in the back garden and I taught myself how to do flips and stuff. I’m surprised I still have a spine…

Concert: The Kaiser Chiefs. It was awesome.

Favourites:

TV Show(s): Outlander, Game of Thrones, Grey’s Anatomy and Orphan Black.

Colours: Purple, blue, red.

Song: Eraser by Ed Sheeran. It’s the song I get ready to in the mornings. Otherwise I’d say Nightbook by Einaudi.

Restaurant: Pizza Express. There’s one even in my city in China! Far too happy about this.

Shop: Am in China. So I’d say H&M, which I would not say in England.

Shoes: Comfy ones. I walk a lot. I like to wear shoes I could run in at a moments notice.

Currently:

Feeling: A little stressed! -.-

Single or Taken: Taken.

Eating: Nothing right now, China’s snack food is not my kind of snack food. Great for staying healthy, not eating it! 😄

Thinking About: The unnecessary sequel to my unpublished and hardly sent off to agents novel.

Watching:  13 Reasons Why. 

Wearing: My university t-shirt. Pjs ❤

Future:

Want Children: Yeah, one or two.

Want to be Married:  Of course, to Rob. We’ve talked about it in that disgustingly cute couple way. 

Careers in Mind: Author. I’d be so happy if I could just write all day for a living. I also wouldn’t mind working in a library or in a publishing agency (on the fiction side. I actually get to look at the slush pile of novels, sort of thing). 

Where You Want to Live: The Lake district in England. Or Cambridge. They’re the only two places I’ve been to that I wouldn’t mind living in for the unforeseeable future. Like there are places I want to see, need to see but I can’t imagine living there for like years.

Do You Believe in:

God: Yes, I’m Christian. I always want to write about characters who believe in God, just believe. I don’t want the novel to be preachy but I feel like characters in books that just believe  are really not done. Like it’s either a preachy book or it’s never mentioned. I want to see more books (like YA) that have this!

Miracles: Yes. But I am a sceptic. 

Love at First Sight: It’s cute in books and I believe you can be attracted to someone at first – like them. But not love. Love is emotional I feel you need to get to know someone first to love them.

Ghosts: No. 

Aliens: Definitely no.

Soul Mates: Yes.

Heaven: Yep.

Hell: Yep.

Kissing on the First Date: Yeah. I guess I would have said no a few years ago, but I finished uni and so much happens in uni to yourself and the people around you. A kiss can mean a lot but it can also mean nothing. So yes, if I liked the person I would obviously kiss them. It’s like a hey I’m actually interested sort of signal XD! If you didn’t kiss them it would seem like you had no interest.

Yourself: Yes, because who else will? I mean it’s admittedly half arsed level of lying believing in myself but you do what you’ve got to do get yourself doing. I have to believe my writing is good enough so I can actually work on it but at the same time I have to really not believe in it so I can keep my feet on the ground and shake it off when an agent says not my taste.

So that is the Get To Know Me tag, that no one really wants to read but felt like doing because I’m a massive narcissist. (Not really, just a bit right now. Everyone is occasionally, right?) Like spur of the moment narcissism. Self love, whatever?

OH and whoever wants to do this tag consider yourself TAGGED. Because that’s sort of the point of these, right? Do them if you want to! 😄

The Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix

I wrote a review on the first book Sabriel a few months ago but after reading the rest I really want to go back on my five star recommendation… Maybe 4? I would give Lirael and Abhorsen 3.5 each.

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The Old Kingdom Trilogy by Garth Nix

3.5  / 5 stars

The thing is I loved the beginning of all of these books and the end. But the middles…are just too long. It’s all Lord of the Ring’s journey-esque and I feel it could really have skipped or glossed over some things.

But the endings are truly a good climax to the books, there is action, it’s well described. I love it, in fact I’d rather the endings were longer. There’s never a page or two of oh now they’re doing this. Instead it’s all oh hey they survived THE END. And I mean sometimes open endings are great but I’ve followed this character walking through chapters upon chapters of forest, can’t I have something?

But the series’ world is amazing, I love how the Charter that sorts all magic is organised and how all the magic that is not Charter works around this. We get to see how it affects the people. The shrouded mysterious history of the world is interesting. And I loved Sabriel and Lirael as main characters. I think I loved Lirael far more. But the middles of the books really are a slog and that’s why I would harshly give it 3.5. Shame on me!

I think it’s worth a read if you have patience – or like a good old novel about taking a freaking long time to get somewhere! Because of this I’m not an avid Lord of the Rings fan, yep shame on me.

But I love Lirael as a character, we first meet her in Lirael duh! And we follow her life for a few years as a girl who doesn’t fit in with the rest of her people. But the story was done really well and she didn’t feel all that whiney. I was really rooting for her. Anyway, the characters and the world is what kept me ploughing through the middle of these books.

Have you read the series? Tell me your thoughts! (Also how is Across the Wall? Is it worth picking up?)

Mystery Blogger Award 5.0/6

MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD 5.0/6.0

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Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.
Okoto Enigma

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THE RULES:

1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.

2. List the rules.

3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog!

4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link to their blog as well.

5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.

6. You have to nominate 10-20 3 people.

7. Notify each of your nominees by commenting on their blog.

8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).

9. Share your link to your best post(s)

 

Thank you Kayla for tagging me! I love doing book tags and while it’s taken me a little while to get round to it. I HAVE DONE IT.

MY FACTS:

  1. I have fallen back in love with Animal Crossing New Leaf <3.  After a super stressful day at work it’s just so chill. And Wolfgang is a grumpy little cutie :3
  2. I am writing a sequel to my unpublished novel. Sad, really. But I can’t leave the characters alone and I look forward to doing it so much it really brightens my day. And so I’m at 35k words…
  3. I’m currently working in China. It’s a bit of a love hate relationship currently.

Kayla’s QUESTIONS:

Where was the last place you travelled, and when was it?

The last place I travelled to would be Hong Kong, which is just a series of train rides and a couple of border checks. That was about a month ago but that was the last major place I went. The reason…because there’s a nerd store there that’s four stories high and I AM A NERD.

Tell me a teaser sentence from the book you’re currently reading!

“He floated into the air high above the sleeping forest, his green hat spinning a few feet above his head. In his hand was the open suitcase and out of it spilled a whole sky of stars.” – I’ll Give You the Sun.

It’s not the most quotable of books but I love the story as whole. And I love how Noah thinks of all these amazing pictures, like the one I just quoted. It gives the novel a little bit of magic despite being normal.

 

What song is stuck in your head right now? (if any)

Anger by Sleeping at Last. It’s super moody but I’m writing this really sad part in my book where all the characters are having a bad time and it’s working pretty well for that.

Otherwise when I’m being normal and not listening to the same song for five hours straight it’d be Eraser by Ed Sheeran.

Under what circumstances would you DNF a book?

If it was really boring? Down-right offensive with no reason, or if the characters are really clueless and annoying halfway in to the book. I used to DNF a lot of books, I’m on a good streak actually for not doing that

Share your favourite meme or GIF!

It will forever and always be this.

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MY QUESTIONS!

  1. What quote has changed your life (name the book it’s from!)?
  2. What’s the best book you have ever read?
  3. Favourite character from a book/movie/anything?
  4. Do you buy books knowing you’re never going to read them?
  5.  I’m going to steal Kayla’s question. What song is stuck in your head right now? (Link it if you can!)

I NOMINATE…

Alicia @ The Grumpy Librarian

Charlotte Annelise

Natalie @ The Hedgie Press