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”

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Why I Am A Reader Tag: A Collab with ACupOfWittea

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ve probably heard me mention Emily from ACupOfWittea at some point – she’s one of my best friends both on and off the internet! Due to both having book blogs, we decided it was about time we did some sort of collab post, and what better post to choose than one which means you get to know more about both of us at the same time?! I feel like on the surface this tag seemed like one that had relatively straight-forward answers, but I soon found that I was having to think pretty deeply about some of them…


Hardcover or paperback?

Bex: This is possibly the easiest reading-related question I’ll ever have to answer. Hardcovers are such a pain: the dust jackets slide around everywhere and get torn, the corners dig into your hands, you can’t open them out fully or break the spine properly… Give me a paperback any day!

Emily: I had to think hard about this question… My answer would probably have to be a paperback as that is the main format in which I read books – mainly due to it being easier to hold! However, there is something so satisfying about a hardback, and those of which I own are usually books which I couldn’t wait to get my hands on, so for me hardbacks have such a feeling of preciousness about them!


How has reading shaped your identity?

Bex: Above anything else, reading has made me more of a creative and ambitious person. Fantasy novels in particular have allowed me to dream about far-away lands and creatures and magic, and these things have influenced my desire for adventure. I desperately want to travel in the near future, and while there are a number of reasons why, I would be lying if I said that characters journeying across ancient lands and encountering different ways of life didn’t spark at least some of that in me.

Emily: I would say that reading has made me more open and aware to family issues in particular. Thankfully, I have never had to deal with any serious issue in my family before, but reading has definitely brought to light issues of abuse, illnesses (both mentally and physically), and disabilities and how that can affect a family. Thus, I would like to think reading has made me a lot more sensitive and understanding to these sorts of issues. In addition, I think reading has definitely increased my passion and determination for doing something I love without fear of judgement; in my experience, reading is often viewed as a childish and pointless past time (particularly those of us who frequent YA), but the more I read and the more powerful characters I encounter, the more it fuels me to continue doing what I love. Continue reading “Why I Am A Reader Tag: A Collab with ACupOfWittea”

Women in Fantasy: A Dream Bookish Panel

One thing that I think we can all agree on, I’m sure, is that until recent years women have been very under-represented in fantasy. Take Tolkien’s The Hobbit, for example. How many female characters have major roles in comparison to those of men? The character of Tauriel was written into Peter Jackson’s film adaptation so there was actually a woman in it. Tolkien’s works are some of my favourite works of all time, as I grew up with them, but I’m not ignorant of the problems they have. I do also understand, however, that given the time he was writing, this was far from unusual.

That being said, I decided that I wanted to delve deeper into discovering how authors go about writing female characters in fantasy fiction by creating a panel of authors that I would hear from on the subject. I thought for this I would include four of the most influential female fantasy authors of the modern day, who happen to represent three sub-categories of the genre – urban fantasy, high fantasy and, well, Harry Potter. Side note: I am aware that there are so many groups that fantasy fails to represent, with women being just one of many. I am also aware of the lack of diversity in my panel choices – consider this a note to myself that I need to start diversifying the pool of fantasy authors that I read from.

I would also like to credit Eventbrite, an online platform for planning, promoting and selling event tickets, for inspiring me to create my dream panel of authors; I absolutely loved writing this! You can check out their online registration page here to begin creating your own event – I have been to a work experience day and a university open day organised through them before and both were smooth sailing!


The Moderator

There could only be one answer to this for me. Women in fantasy? It has to be Felicia Day, creator of web series The Guild, author of You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) (which I highly recommend you read), actor and all-round advocate for women’s roles in fantasy. It’s usually the case that panels only work if the moderator is highly engaged and knowledgeable about the subject content, so I genuinely cannot think of anyone better.

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Continue reading “Women in Fantasy: A Dream Bookish Panel”

The Sunshine Blogger Award #1

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I was lucky enough to be nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by two different wonderful bloggers in one week! Due to this, I’m going to be doing a part one and part two post so that I can cover all of the questions asked. For this one, I would like to thank Savannah from The Book Prophet for nominating me – I am so excited to answer your questions!


The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog
  • Answer the eleven questions set by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate eleven new blogs to receive the award and write them eleven new questions (I am going to nominate six in this post and five in part two)
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Savannah’s Questions

What do you hope to accomplish by book blogging? Do you have an ultimate goal, doing it just for fun, etc.?

I have always had two goals for this blog: to discuss books with other like-minded people, and to improve my own writing (as I hear the best way to do this is to write consistently). Every single day I blog I grow to love it more and more, so it has also really grown into a passion of mine!

What’s one thing you’d like to do before you die?

Although there are hundreds of things on my list to do, one major thing is very specific – to go on a yoga and meditation retreat, possibly in Thailand. I practice both quite often (admittedly, I need to get back into my meditation practice more) but I can just imagine the sense of peace and awakening one of these retreats would bring.

If you could pick one book to hold in your hands right now, which would it be?

The sixth book in the Throne of Glass series, without a doubt. I need that book.

Do you plan on going to college, are you currently in college, or have you graduated from college? If so, any tips?

I have actually applied for a joint honours degree in English and History and have just over a week to go until I get my A Level results and find out whether I have secured my place to start in September!

What non-canon ship is your favourite?

There are so many. Although I love Remus and Tonks, I have a soft spot for Remus and Sirius. If we’re talking ships not in books, however, it has to be Merlin and Arthur from BBC’s Merlin, although that’s so obvious it’s almost canon already. Continue reading “The Sunshine Blogger Award #1”

Reflection: July 2017

July is over! I honestly do not know where 2017 is going. One thing that I think has been particularly successful about this month is that I began using the new system that I talked about in an earlier post, in which I said I would try to be more honest with my book ratings. July has definitely reflected that! I read a total of five books in the month, and there was definitely a wider variety of ratings than I’ve given for a long while. I also read a wider variety of genres than I have for a long time, so I think you could count this as a month with a bit of everything! Without further ado…

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I forgot to take this picture before I took The Assassin’s Blade back to the library – so annoying!

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas (5/5 stars) – Synopsis

What a surprise, I’m starting a blog post with a Sarah J. Maas book! I did a full review of this book here.


More of Me by Kathryn Evans (4/5 stars) – Synopsis

More of Me was one of the most unique books that I have read in a long time. It follows sixteen year old Teva, who physically splits in two at every birthday, leaving the new version of herself to live her life while the old version is stuck in time. When I saw this book in the library, I was absolutely intrigued. What I liked best about it was the fact that I was constantly wanting to know what happened next – I flew through it in one day! Teva was such an interesting protagonist and I still keep on finding myself thinking about this story. I can’t quite pinpoint why I didn’t award it the full five stars – you know when a book just lacks one thing and you don’t know what it is?


The Golden Rules of Blogging (& When to Break Them) by Robin Houghton (3/5 stars) – Synopsis

This book pretty much does exactly what the title says. Laid out in the format of 28 rules, Houghton takes us through some of the *apparent* most important rules of blogging. While throughout this book she does stress that these rules can be broken, I often found that this book was aimed far more at those aiming to make a maximum profit from their blog, and came across as very hypocritical on occasions. I didn’t always like the assumption that stats and figures are everything (I definitely think we should all celebrate reaching our own goals but not to the point where everything is about the numbers), although I did learn some useful tips about aesthetics and content throughout. Continue reading “Reflection: July 2017”

BookTubeAThon Diary: Day Seven (30/07/17)

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General thoughts: Alas, BookTubeAThon 2017 has finally drawn to a close. I’ve had such a good week interacting with other readers, getting through more books in one week than I have in a long time and just generally celebrating reading!

One thing that I am particularly pleased with is the range of genres I read within the week. A combination of science-fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction and YA meant that I felt that I definitely expanded my reading horizons, instead of reverting back to my usual choices (although fantasy will forever have my heart).

Today I managed to finish The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, taking my page count to well over one thousand for the week! I don’t even know how many words that would be… Anyway, I read TSIE for the challenge of reading a hyped book and for me, it just didn’t quite live up to that hype. I found the speed at which Lennie and Joe ‘fall in love’ to be incredibly unrealistic, and many aspects within the book just seemed far too rushed or cliché YA. I did enjoy Nelson’s writing style, however, which is something I appreciated already from reading and enjoying I’ll Give You The Sun a while back.


Pages read today: 190

Total pages read: 1121

Challenges completed today: 1 (Read a hyped book)

Total challenges completed: 4

Total books read: 4


I hope that if you’ve been taking part in the BookTubeAThon this week that you had just as much fun with it as I did! I didn’t complete all of the challenges or read seven books, but I am thrilled with the progress I made, and in my view so long as you have read something then the readathon has been a success. Let me know in the comments how you did, or if you didn’t take part whether you plan on doing so next year!

– Bex

BookTubeAThon Diary: Day Six (29/07/17)

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General thoughts: Today has been a pretty interactive day of the BookTubeAThon – every day I’ve been taking part in Twitter sprints but there was a scavenger hunt today on the BTAT page and who would have thought I wouldn’t own a single book with food or drink on the cover?! Aside from that, I didn’t quite reach 1,000 pages read in total today (which seems to have become my major goal for the week as I’m clearly not going to read seven books) but I did make good progress with The Sky is Everywhere and have set myself up in a good position to finish it tomorrow.

Jandy Nelson’s book really isn’t doing much for me so far. I’m 130 pages in and although it is getting better, I keep on physically cringing at some of the expressions the characters come out with, and some of the things that they do. Most of the clichés that I would associate with YA are in this book – the messy-haired, guitar playing guy who shows up on the protagonist’s doorstep, the quirky family who read books while they’re walking down the street… I just can’t quite get on board with some aspects being realistic. You never know though, I chose this book to fulfil the challenge of reading a book surrounded by hype, so maybe I’ll feel different on day seven!


Pages read today: 106

Total pages read so far: 931

Challenges completed today: 0

Total challenges completed so far: 3/7

Total books read so far: 3/7


And that’s it for the penultimate (I love an excuse to use that word) day of the BookTubeAThon, so there’s only one more update post to come! I’m sad that it’s drawing to a close because I’ve been able to talk to so many other readers this week and really get excited about books, even more so than normal. As always, let me know how you’re progressing with your BTAT targets if you’re taking part!

– Bex