Reflection: August 2018

Here we are, over halfway through the year and past the month that traditionally constitutes a lot of reading for me. BookTubeAThon ran into August so several of these books I’ve mentioned a fair bit already, but I did manage to finish another couple on top of the ones I read for the readathon!

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BOOKS READ

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (1937)

I decided to read this book as my BookTubeAThon choice for a book with green on the cover, and I’m so glad that I did. I didn’t have much luck with my first book of the readathon, so it was definitely a good idea to pick up something that I already knew I loved just to make sure that I didn’t lose my motivation or momentum. It’s been a couple of years since I last read The Hobbit but I often rewatch the films, so I was excited to remind myself of how much of it correlated to events that take place in the films and how much differs (hello Legolas.) I feel like I constantly go on endlessly about my love for Tolkien’s writing, so just know that The Hobbit, as always, didn’t disappoint!

My rating: 5/5 stars


Stardust by Neil Gaiman (1999)

I chose to read Stardust primarily for the fact that a) I’d seen and enjoyed the film, and b) I know how much of a beloved author Neil Gaiman is in the book community and it felt wrong that I hadn’t ever read any of his works before. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with this first venture. For me, Stardust was slow, anticlimactic, and I didn’t feel a great deal for any of the characters. I admired Gaiman’s famous excellence at weaving a tale that screams magic and intrigue, but I just couldn’t find myself wanting to keep turning the pages. I still definitely have plans to try and pick up more of his works in the future, though!

My rating: 3/5 stars


Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett (2018)

I was a big fan of Jenn Bennett’s Night Owls when I read it a couple of years ago, and so when I saw that the library had this latest instalment of hers in, I couldn’t wait to pick it up! I’ve definitely been straying away from contemporary YA a lot lately, but it was refreshing to finally pick one up again and delve into a nice summer read. I enjoyed this one so much as well! I love YA stories that follow some kind of journey, so placing our two protagonists into the middle of the Californian wilderness made for the combination of all the YA angst and drama that you’d expect, combined with beautiful elemental descriptions and fantasy-esque adventures through caves. I was really rooting for these characters too!

My rating: 4/5 stars

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Strange Secrets by Mike Russell (2018)

I read this book after being sent the e-copy by Mike Russell’s publishing house, StrangeBooks. The full review is here!

My rating: 3/5 stars


Utopia by Thomas More (1516)

This is 100% the sort of book which I would never have picked up if not for uni. I had to read this text for my Renaissance Literature module which starts next month, and it was surprisingly more exciting than I expected. Written early into the reign of Henry VIII by his to-be Lord Chancellor, Utopia is an imagining of an idealised society that More’s storyteller comes across and relates back to his people in the West. It isn’t necessarily written as fiction in the sense that there are characters and events – it’s more broken down into categories corresponding to how the society is structured, with an explanation of its systems. It doesn’t sound too interesting to begin with, but in first year I found myself becoming very interested in cultural interactions between the West and the ‘New World’ and so this text was fascinating for gaining an insight into that. As a good read though, it isn’t exactly what I would call a page-turner!

My rating: 3/5 stars


FILMS WATCHED

The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) – Decadent, but slow and quite repetitive (3/5 stars)

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(RW) Ant-Man (2015) – Funny but nothing particularly new (3/5 stars)

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Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) – Hilarious and so much better than the first (4/5 stars)

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Incredibles 2 (2018) – Unexpectedly so gripping! (4/5 stars)

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Notting Hill (1999) – The sort of mellow romance that means pure relaxation (4/5 stars)

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August was a good month for reading and watching! I really enjoyed getting into some books that I might not usually have picked up, and I feel like I managed to watch a couple of films that I normally wouldn’t have gravitated towards. Let me know how your month was! Did you discover any new favourites?

Have a beautiful day,

Bex ♥

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