Why Am I Not Reading What I Want To Read?

As a book blogger in the 16-21 age bracket, I often feel like there are certain expectations that I place upon myself about what I “should” be reading. Contemporary YA novels were always one of the main genres that I reached for in the last few years; unlike any other genre they described the experiences that I was going through at the time – navigating school situations, friendships and figuring out who I was. Fast forward to 2018, and I’m feeling myself become increasingly separated from any urge to read this genre. It’s not that I can’t still relate to the novels, because of course I am forever learning about myself and growing, but I simply don’t have the desire to read many of them at all.

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When I first started this blog, I felt as though my area of comfort was reviewing contemporary YA novels. My post ‘The Importance of YA Literature’ is still one of my favourite posts that I have ever written, and I will never stop advocating the fact that YA novels have more power to verbalise incredibly important social issues than many other mediums.

In 2017, however, I read a total of six fantasy novels out of the 27 that I read in total and not a single historical fiction novel, which honestly shocked me when I read it! Fantasy is my passion; it’s what I immediately think of when I think of my identity as a reader, it’s what I want to produce in the future if I’m ever able to publish something of my own, and it’s what never fails to makes me fall in love with reading over and over again. So the question remains… why do I read so little of it? Continue reading “Why Am I Not Reading What I Want To Read?”

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Down the TBR Hole #2

For the second time, I decided that I’d venture into my Goodreads TBR to see what wonders lay there waiting for me to sort through. Created by Lia over at Lost in a Story, here’s what needs to be done…

The Rules

  • Go to your to-read shelf on Goodreads
  • Order as ascending date added
  • Take the first five or ten books
  • Read the synopsis of each
  • Decide: should I keep it or should it go?

The Books

Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr

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I remember adding this book several years ago when in a moment I had a recollection of reading a book about a girl was transported into her own illustrations during her dreams. It was at some point in middle school that I read this, and I spent so long trying to find the title of it because I knew how much I’d enjoyed it when I was just beginning to fall in love with reading. I doubt that I will be re-reading this book any time soon, but you can bet that because of how long it took me to find, it will be staying on my TBR.

Verdict: Keep


Alone on a Wide Wide Sea by Michael Morpurgo

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This is another one that I read during middle school and absolutely adored (clearly Bex of the past was having a very nostalgic day when she added all of these). From what I remember of this book, there were lots of maps, lots of sailing and lots of powerful messages. I’d definitely like to pick this up again.

Verdict: Keep Continue reading “Down the TBR Hole #2”

20 Before 20 (Bookish Edition)

If there’s one video I’m seeing going around a lot lately on YouTube, it’s the immensely popular 30 Before 30 tag, where the vlogger makes a list of thirty things they want to achieve/do before they turn thirty years old. Now, I’m not going to be thirty for over another eleven years, but as a goal and list-orientated person, I absolutely loved the idea of setting a list of aims for myself that I want to achieve before a set date. Due to that, and the nature of my blog, I’ve decided to make a 20 Before 20 list – but a BOOKISH VERSION! I’m going to be listing twenty things that I want to have done before I turn twenty in May 2019. That gives me just under a year and a half, and I think many of these are achievable before then.

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1) Read a graphic novel – Self-explanatory, but something I’ve never done! If you have any recommendations for good graphic novels I would absolutely love to hear them, because I don’t really have a clue where to start!

2) Go to the midnight launch of a book – Despite still considering myself part of the ‘Harry Potter Generation’, I wasn’t quite old enough to go to any of the midnight launches. Since then, I’ve always wanted to go to one, regardless of the book, just to experience the atmosphere of bookish people gathering together in anticipation!

3) Post a piece of my own fiction on my blog – I enjoy writing a lot, and can definitely see writing fiction as a career path that I would love to go into in the future. Due to that, I’d love to go out of my comfort zone and post something I’ve written (even if it’s only a short excerpt) on my blog. Why does it seem so much harder to publish fiction online than a standard blog post?!

4) Read a novel by Charles Dickens – But which one?!

5) Visit The Elephant House in Edinburgh – This is a sneaky one, because this is something I am already 99% sure I’ll be doing this year anyway when I visit Edinburgh with Emily! Continue reading “20 Before 20 (Bookish Edition)”

Reflection: 2017

2017 is officially drawing to a close, and that means it’s that time again where we all take a look through what we’ve been reading over the past twelve months. This year has been an interesting year in terms of new developments in what/how I’ve been reading. In some ways, I’ve been limited in the fact that I went through a period of a few months in which I was solidly re-reading the same books for my A-Level English exams, so I didn’t get a chance to read from the genres that I usually head straight for. Starting university also meant that I had a lot of assigned classics to read that left little room for other books that I really wanted to read.

That being said, I would say that overall 2017 was still a very successful and fulfilling reading year for me. I read 27 books (beating my goal of 26), and many of these I rated highly on Goodreads. I also wrote *cue stats* a grand total of 23,669 words of blog posts this year; almost 4000 more than last year! I’m pretty proud of that.

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Without further ado, let’s get into some details!


Favourite Book

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

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This was a very tough decision for me – it was between ACOMAF and Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas, but eventually what it came down to was not necessarily the plot but the description within the book. I love the vastness of the world in the Throne of Glass series, and all of the characters, but the description in ACOMAF genuinely took my breath away. The Night Court was one of the most beautiful and rich locations that I’ve ever read and I honestly still cannot get it out of my head. I absolutely adored it, and so it just had to be my choice. I’m yet to read A Court of Wings and Ruin (wish me luck) but I’m sure that’s going to end up ranking very highly in my 2018 review. Queen Sarah J. Maas, thank you for reminding me every time I pick up one of your books why I fell in love with reading in the first place!


Least Favourite Book

Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers

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I picked up this book because I saw that it had a large emphasis on writing, and I love books about characters who write. What I didn’t expect was a slow-paced, problematic read that I very nearly did not finish. I’m already noticing myself straying away from contemporary YA because I’ve read so few that I’ve really enjoyed in the last year or so, and this one was just another that I could not get on board with whatsoever. Continue reading “Reflection: 2017”

Down the TBR Hole #1

As I’m sure many people in the book blogging community are aware, Down the TBR Hole is a meme hosted by Lia over at Lost in a Story – a wonderful blog that I highly recommend you check out if you haven’t already – in which you have to try and sort through all of the books that have piled up on your virtual TBR shelf! I’m going to be doing these posts every so often to try and work through my own…

The Rules

  • Go to your to-read shelf on Goodreads
  • Order as ascending date added
  • Take the first five or ten books
  • Read the synopsis of each
  • Decide: should I keep it or should it go?

The Books

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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I really enjoy historical fiction, and to me it seems bizarre that I still haven’t read one of the most famous works in this genre that has come out this century. I’ve heard so many good things about this book and constantly find myself seeing it and very nearly picking it up.

Verdict: Keep


Magyk by Angie Sage

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I can see why past me put this on her to-read shelf. It’s a children’s fantasy story with a bit of magic and a bit of mystery from what I can gather. Reading the synopsis now, however, makes me think I am possibly a bit past reading fantasy from within this age bracket as I’ve heard that many of the characters are between 10 and 15. I don’t doubt it would be good and I’d have really enjoyed it a few years ago, but I’m just not sure I’d get much from it now!

Verdict: Go Continue reading “Down the TBR Hole #1”

Film & TV Adaptations: The New Norm for Books?

I feel like I should probably begin this post with just a brief explanation of where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to in the last couple of months as they pretty much reversed the good record of posting I had. I actually started university at the end of September which, as you can imagine, has been taking up a large amount of my time and energy. Given the sheer amount of adjusting that I’ve been doing recently, blogging unfortunately somehow got left behind amongst the list of other things I had going on, hence why it has been so long since I last posted. But no more! At least for December, now I am back home, I’ve decided to commit to a schedule of Wednesday and Sunday posting, and I am so, so excited to get back into this.

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I wanted to kick off this end-of-accidental-hiatus with a discussion post about a topic that I’ve been thinking about a fair bit recently: book to film/TV adaptations, and why there now seems to be a common understanding that a good book will automatically be adapted at some point. It seems to me that, with the sheer number of successful novels (especially YA) being adapted into visual forms, books are not necessarily always considered on their own merit any more, but rather alongside thoughts of how they would perform in a different medium.

I wouldn’t say that this is necessarily a bad thing. I’m a huge fan of both film and TV, and as much as the next book lover I know the feeling of incredible excitement that comes with hearing that your beloved series is going to become something you can physically see before your eyes. Some of my favourite books of all time have been made into film adaptations that I love almost to the extent of the novels, with these including Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Perks of Being a Wallflower to name a few. The immense success of these films led to an undoubtable surge in popularity for the source material itself, and I for one am immensely grateful that we were given such incredible adaptations. Continue reading “Film & TV Adaptations: The New Norm for Books?”

I Need To Finish That Series

As far as reading series go, I tend to have a totally different attitude to them depending on the genre that they are. I don’t know if I have ever read a series of contemporary YA novels, but I’m more than happy, usually, to pick up a giant fantasy series. That being said, I was perusing the library recently and it occurred to me that there are some series that I have started and really enjoyed, but am yet to pick up the next instalment!

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The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

I’m fairly certain I’ve mentioned it here before, but I am a big fan of Cassandra Clare’s series, The Mortal Instruments. I read the first and second novels when on holiday in 2013 and from then on could not stop until I’d finished it in its entirety. As a natural progression, most people go on to read The Infernal Devices straight after, or halfway through.

I tried to read Clockwork Angel about a year ago and could not get more than 100 pages through it. For some reason, I just was not hooked in the way I was when reading TMI. The reason for this, I’m hoping, is because I had been out of the Shadowhunter universe for quite a while and so wasn’t immersed in the hype, and now that season two of the TV series has come to an end (which I love, by the way) I need something to replace my love of this world again! Hopefully on a second reading I can continue with, and love, The Infernal Devices.

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

In 2016, I said that Outlander was the best book I read all year – and I stand by that. At 863 pages, this tome is not one to be taken lightly, but I found that all of the effort I put in to reading it was returned tenfold by Gabaldon’s stunning imagery, detailed historical research and complex characters.

The reason I haven’t yet continued with this series is that each book takes a serious commitment. There are seven more books of the same length in the series that I need to get through, plus another coming fairly recently AND a number of novellas. I think this may end up being a series that I work my way through over the course of a number of years if I’m being totally honest! Continue reading “I Need To Finish That Series”