Saturday, 31 October 2015

October Wrap-up

Happy Halloween! Today I bring you something that isn't really related to Halloween but we'll live. It is time to tell you about all the books I read in October, I probably won't go into too much detail as I'm planning to write up a few reviews of these:

  • The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet, Rachel Kiley & Kate Rorick- I have been waiting for this for ages, I loved the Lizzie Bennet Diaries (check it out on youtube if you don't know what it is) to bits so any continuation is brilliant. This follows Lydia right after the videos ended and it is a tough read, I got very, very emotional but I loved it! 
  • Jane Eyre (play), devised by the company- The National Theatre are doing Jane Eyre at the mo and after seeing it with school I got the script and tore it apart (figuratively of course) I scribbled all over it which is something I love to do sometimes. 
  • Persuasion, Jane Austen- I finally got my hands on this and it didn't quite beat Pride and Prejudice but it was flippin' close. I adore the witty mocking of society but also the romance between Anne and Wentworth. Jane Austen was a wonder at writing.

Currently Reading:

  • Dracula, Bram Stoker- I thought I should read something gothic this month and so fair I'm really enjoying it.
  • Carry On, Rainbow Rowell- I've waited for this book for ages too as Rainbow Rowell is one of my favourite authors and it is good but I'm yet to be entirely grip which makes me extremely sad but there is still plenty of pages for that to change.
  • Grimm Tales, Philip Pullman- I adore the simplicity and charm of fairy tales so I am slowly making my way through this collection.
I hardly read anything from my TBR but I read more that last month which is great, I've also been doing a ton for school also!
Speak soon, 
Jade xx

Saturday, 24 October 2015

13 Halloween Reads!

Hellooooo! It is a week till Halloween so I am here today with 13 halloween reads. They may not be scary but they have a spooky vibe to them I'm not to give much away about these as it may ruin them and some of them I haven't read too :)

  • Dracula, Bram Stoker. Introducing Count Dracula!
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving. The headless horseman.
  • The Women in Black, Susan Hill. An old creepy house all alone on the marshes, isolated by the tide.
  • The Women in White, Wilkie Collins. Ghost!
  • Edgar Allan Poe, many poems and short stories with dark undertones. The word atmospheric comes to mind with him.
  • Inferno, Dante. 14th Century journey into hell.
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson.
  • Unrest, Michele Harrison. Haunted houses, mystery and bodies taken over by spirits. (this 1 creeped me out!)
  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley. Its alive!
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs. Time travel and monsters.
  • Hollow City, Ransom Riggs. More time travel and monsters. (sequel to the above)
  • The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton. Amsterdam, 1686. A dolls house that's seems linked to the  household in mysterious ways.
So why not give 1 or 2 of these a go? Let me know what you think if you do!
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Why I Love Classics!

Hello lovelies! I've got something a little different today but it is something I really wanted to say. Since last year I have been taking Classical Civilisation at a-level. When I started to think about where I was going to go and what I was going to take at the end of my GCSE (I had to move as my school didn't have a 6th form) I saw classical civilisation as one of the offered subjects at my prefered school to move to, so I went to the introduction of it on the open evening was interested so put it down. Then when I started in September I completely fell in love!

Classics is the study of the ancient world in Year 12 for me I'm studying the Greece side via Homer's Odyssey and Greek Tragedy but the course is so varied that it depends where you are. It is a mash up of history and english as you are learning about the culture and myth through the analysis of the texts.

I'm basically writing this post because with me I just discovered it by chance and I know that not many schools offer this subject but if yours does then I strongly urge you to check it out especially if you like english and history. It is such an interesting subject with so much to it and I am so glad that I am taking it and planning to maybe continue it on at university.

If you have the chance to study classics then please give it a go because it seems everyone that do falls in love with it yet it is such an unknown subject!
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Finding Time to Read.

Hello lovelies! Today I wanted to talk to you about finding time to read. If you look at my August wrap-up and my September wrap-up you will see a pretty big difference in the number of things read; purely down to school starting. Nowadays I find that from 8:30-5:30 or later I don't stop and then I just crash, go on the internet and sleep. If I pick up a book I will enjoy it and be captivated but it is getting myself to pick up a book! It's very frustrating because I love reading and want to read but right now it isn't happening and I had the same problem last year.

I've decided to combat this and if you have any ways that you deal with this I would love to know but some of the things I'm going to try are:

  1. Carrying a book with me everywhere- I used to this and I stopped especially for school which means at work when I could read I can't because I don't have a book. (sidenote, I go straight from school to work)
  2. Challenging myself to read everyday in October even if it is just 2 pages!
  3. Making sure I'm picking books that I really, really want to read, otherwise I won't be motivated.
  4. Listening to audiobooks when I'm walking places and doing jobs round the house as this is a really easy way to get through a book!
Hopefully this month I can get back into reading because I miss it plus as an literature student I really should reading a ton!
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Monday, 5 October 2015

October TBR

The month of Halloween is here and I thought I would base my TBR on that theme this month, be festive and all that. So I've picked a little selection of books that I think fit and are a little spooky or gothic to choses from for October.
  • The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
  • Inferno by Dante
  • Dracula By Bram Stoker
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • War of the Worlds by H.G.Wells
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 

Saturday, 3 October 2015

September Wrap-up

Hello! So September flew by and I only got a little reading done but I'm not surprised because school was a bit of a shock to the system!
  • The World's Wife, Carol Ann Duffy. This is a collection of poetry based around famous men's wives and their point of views on it. There are women from myths and legends like Penelope and Mrs Sisyphus and then real people like Mrs Darwin and Myra Hindley who is painted as the Devil's wife. It's witty and brilliant! 4.5 stars.
  • The Night is Darkening Round Me, Emily Bronte. This is yet again more poetry, I don't know why but in the past month I've really enjoyed read and picking apart poetry whereas in the past it has been my least favourite part of studying english. I love Emily Bronte's poetry; obviously I like some better than others but that is how it works. Pretty much all her poems are occupied with death but the writing was beautiful.
  • I wanted to briefly talk of all the books I've started to read at school because both English lit. and Classical Civilisation are full of reading! In english I'm currently studying Mean Time by Carol Ann Duffy and Room With a View by E.M.Forster. Then I am re-reading The Odyssey by Homer and Aeschylus' Agamemnon in Classics. It feels so good to be back in school and pulling these texts apart after 6 months away!
  • I'm also currently reading and loving Persuasion by Jane Austen! 
Let me know what you read in September!
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

T5W: Banned Books

Hey, it is Wednesday again and today's top 5 theme is Banned Books. Looking at the list I've only actually read 4 and 2 of them I didn't even like that much but I'll share them with you anyway :)
  1. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. I studied this at GCSE and I loathe it! I was so sick of it by the exam; it is the only book that I say I truly hate. But I read The Pearl by Steinbeck and that wasn't as bad so I may read more of his work in the future.
  2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger. This is the other one I didn't like but I don't feel as strongly about it as Mice and Men. This is a book I can appreciate when it comes to symbolism and meaning and what not but I didn't enjoy it and I'm sorry to the people who love him but I couldn't stand Holden.
  3. 1984, George Orwell. Now this book I do like even if it is a little scary. This was one of those books that made me look at the world and how it all works and I think that is important.
  4. The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald. I read this for the first time last year in summer in preparation for studying it at school. I remember enjoying it but also sensing there was a lot more to the book that I was missing and it was such a pleasure to pick it apart and analysis it at school.
Sorry I can't give you 5 this week, I'll have to read more banned books!
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Book Haul #14

Hello! Here are the rest the books I bought recently that I promised to tell you about. Enjoy!

  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, I heard amazing reviews about this and I believe it is about an alien invasion. Also it was absolute bargain at £2 for a hardback!
  • The Land of Decoration by  another £2 hardback, I don't know much about this apart from that is follows a father and daughter and it is strange.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, this is the 4th edition in the house now but I needed a specific copy for school.
  • The Night is Darkening Round Me, Emily Bronte. This is a collection of her poetry.
  • Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. I've fallen in love with Stevenson's writing so I'm really looking forward to this!
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I've heard that if you like Jane Eyre you'll like this and I love Jane Eyre so I'm going to give it go. 
I may have a birthday book haul coming up but I am putting myself on book buying ban for the rest of the year now except for 4 new books that I refuse to wait for any longer than I have too. Wish me luck!
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

T5W: Title fonts on covers

Hello! Wednesday is upon us again (the days seems to be flying past since school has started again) The T5W topic today is favourite title fonts on covers. Now I'm a sucker for pretty cover so this was difficult to whittle down.

  1. Emma by Jane Austen, Penguin Threads edition. This entire cover is like embroidery and it is stunning so the title is stitched on.
  2. Landline by Rainbow Rowell. The title on this cover is done as if it is the curly cable to the phone and I just think it is really clever. 
  3. There is this very thin straight font that looks really clean and for some reason I like a lot. Books like The Ring and the Crown. Love Letters to the Dead and Nimona. 
  4. Knife by R J Anderson. The thing I like about this font is it looks like it is glowing. 
  5. Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley. This is a very simple font but because of that and the silver colour it stands out wonderfully well in a fairly busy cover.
Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey and the goodreads group is here if you want any info or to join or purely to finds other people's lists.
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Book Haul #13

Hello lovelies! I have gone slightly crazy with the book buying recently, I had a few bad days where I was in close proximity to bookshops- not a good idea- but I've got a good selection that I'm really looking forward.
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and other classic works, Lewis Carroll. I found this in T.K.Maxx for a really good prize and it's the edition I had my eye on so I picked it up.
  • The Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham, I've wanted this since watching Pemberley Digital's Welcome to Sanditon. I think it is about most of the world going blind and plants try to take over the world.
  • The Elder Edda, Andy Orchard. This is a collection of myths and legends from the Viking and it looks super interesting!
  • All my Friends are Superheroes, Andrew Kaufman. I picked this up because it is one of Carrie Hope Fletcher's favourite books and it sounds good.
  • GIlead, Marilynne Robinson. I picked this up because of Jen Campbell's review and because the 3rd book in this series, Lila, is longlisted for the Man Booker this year. 
  • The World's Wife, Carol Ann Duffy. This is the poetry collection I'm studying this year and the witty poems are about famous men's wives.
  • Lorali, Laura Dockrill. This is a YA mermaid book- which I enjoy! 
There are more than this but I tell you about them another time :)
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Monday, 14 September 2015

Stationery Haul

Hello, I thought I'd do something a little different today. For me the best part of the new school year is new stationery, I love the stuff! I already had some stuff like highlights and post it notes (i.e. the most useful things ever!) But there was still a few things :)
  • I'm re-using 3 of my folders from last year but I picked up a new 1 for English from sainsbury's that is super pretty.

  • A nice pen because I like getting a new pen every year especially now all I do is write essays.
  • Pencil case because mine was getting old and had lost its zip. I really like the embroidery on this.
  • Some dividers for my folders, I pretty good at keeping my notes organized nowadays because I get stressed if I can't find stuff.
  • A notebook for a new Bullet Journal because my old 1 fell apart and I really like this method of keeping track of stuff, this 1 seems more sturdy thankfully.
  • I also picked up 4 notebooks for just writing stuff not related to school from T.K.Maxx because I fell in love with them and I couldn't choose between them :)

I hope you liked that, I'm constantly making lists and writing so I've become a little obsessed with stationery.
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Recent Makes #2

Hello lovelies! I've been getting back into crochet recently which I started about a year and an half ago. I find crochet both relaxing and rewarding because it tends to grow pretty quick and if I'm going to finish something I need to clearly see my progress otherwise I get bored. When I crochet I mainly do Amigurumi which you work in a spiral to make little cute smalls things normally. All of the patterns I used were from the Simply Crochet or #Crochet magazines.
  • Mr Egg. This is just a random egg from an easter issue. I think he looks rather dapper.                
  • Racoon. This is meant to be a brooch but I didn't bother I was just making whatever that weekend to be honest. 
  • Jigsaw Piece. This was a little more tricky for me because it was worked in a spiral and I'm used to that method. But it was good practise for my treble stitches. 
  • Cat. I love cats, I have 3 which is why I (again randomly) made a cat. 
  • My favourite of everything I made recently has to be these two little birds especially the smaller one which is actually the one I did wrong technically but it's so sweet! 
  • Finally I actually did a little cross stitch which is very rare and it is even rarer for me to finish a piece. I'm a big lover of disney so I did this little Bambi :) 
 That's it for now but I have many plans in the works including 1 massive project I'm doing now so look out for those! Also send me some pics of anything you've made via instagram or something cause I would love to see!
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

T5W: Favourite things about blogging

Hello! his week's Top 5 Wednesday is Favourite things about blogging. As always be sure to check out the goodreads group for any info you could need :)
  1. Reading Blogs. I use this as little breaks between studying and jobs, it keeps me engaged but I love seeing what people are reading and their thoughts on books and other things too. 
  2. Sharing Reading. This is the reason I started my blog; I wanted to share my passion for reading with people who loved it as much as me.
  3. Readathons. If you have been my reading my blog you have probably seen how many of these I have done! I love them and they are great motivation for me. I think it shows the community at its best. My favourite readathon has to be Bout of Books.
  4. Writing. I have always liked writing but I have also struggled with it, I go ages without writing anything or I don't know what to write. This keeps me ticking over.
  5. Motivation. This kind of links in with 3 & 4 but this blog motivates me read, write and have something outside of  school that I can work towards. 
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Monday, 7 September 2015

August 2015 Book Haul (part 2)

Hey :) This would be the part 2 of my book haul I promised. I have another 7 books to tell you about today.
  • A Room with a View by E.M.Forster. This is another book for school that I need to have read for September.
  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. This is based on A Thousand and One Nights where the ruler of the land takes a wife and every time she ends up dead the next morning. The book follows a girl whose friend was one of his victims and she decides to marry him to exact revenge. There have been so many good things said about this book and I can't what to read it!
  • Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley. I believe this is about a girl who has always struggled to breathe because she belongs to another world which is calling her.
  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. This is a graphic novel that just looks so much fun, I love the art too! The author/artist also did the  cover for Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl.
  • Olalla by Robert Louis Stevenson. I read Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde earlier this year and enjoyed so I thought I'd pick up some more of his work. 
  • The Great Winglebury Dual by Charles Dickens. I want to read more Dickens but I'm going to start small. 
  • Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen. I know a little of Owen's poetry from school and I find it very moving and I'm glad to have a little collection of his for my own collection :)
I'm really looking forward to all of these especially Nimona cause I haven't read many graphic novels. I'd love to know if you've read any of these!
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Saturday, 5 September 2015

September TBR

Hello lovelies! Today I'm going to share my September TBR. I am going back to school this month for the 1st time since March but I am determined to keep reading because I need to make sure I relax a little.
  • A Room with a View by E.M.Forster. This is one of my school texts that I need to read before I go back. 
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Another English lit. text, I've read this before but I want to refresh a little before studying it. 
  • Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley. I'm already half way through this and enjoying it; it is about a girl who has always been ill and then finds out she is from another world in the sky.  
  • The Elder Edda translated by Andy Orchard. I've started this also, it's a collection literature from the Vikings and I'm finding it very interesting so far especially as I'm seeing quite a few parallels to my classics a-level. 
  • 1984 by George Orwell (re-read). I feel like reading this again basically, not particular reason.
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I've had this one the go for months and I really need to just finish it, but I absolutely adore it!
  • Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs. This is coming out a the end of the month and is the 3rd book in Miss Peregrine's- I'm so excited!
  • The Night is Darkening Round Me, Emily Bronte. This is some of her poetry and I want to read Wuthering Heights soon, I thought this would be a nice intro to her work.
I have a ton of books right now that I desperately want to read and I want to make sure I'm reading widely for school so hopefully I will read all these!
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

T5W: Favourite Cities

Hello! I'm back doing Top 5 Wednesdays again which was created by Lainey and make sure you check out the goodreads group for all of your T5W needs. This week's topic is favourite fictional cities.
  1. Harry Potter's London- I mean how could I not included the wizarding world? Especially the day after the Hogwarts Express left King's Cross!
  2. London in Lovelace and Babbage thrilling adventures- There is a multiverse steampunk London in this graphic novel where Lovelace and Babbage invent the 1st computer and all sorts happen; much more exciting than actual Victorian London.
  3. Ingo- I guess this is kind of a country but its is a world underwater with mermaids. Need I say more?
  4. The world of Etiquette and Espionage. Again this is a steampunk version of Victorian England and the main character's school is a ship where they are taught to be assassins and spies!
  5. Island of Tamarind. There are tons of things on this secret, invisible island but the thing that captured my imagination the most when I was little was the treetop city made entirely of treehouses and bridges.
I actually found this a little difficult because most fictional cities I could think of were from dystopian books and all of them are terrible and cruel so yeah.
Speak soon,
Jade xx 

Monday, 31 August 2015

August Wrap-up

Hello! Long time no see! (kinda) I know I said I was going to post everyday but I burnt myself out a little so I just stepped away but I'm back now :) Today I have my August wrap-up because apparently summer has pretty much gone. I read 9 things in August which I am happy with especially since I read practically nothing in the 2nd half of the month.
  • North & South, Elizabeth Gaskell. This was a re-read for me and I appreciated it so much more and spotted all these new things. I adore this story and Gaskell's writing. 5 stars.
  • Macbeth, Shakespeare. I scribbled all over this when reading it, I've done bits and pieces of this play at school but never read it all the way through, though it can be a little difficult at times I am a big fan of Shakespeare. 4 stars.
  • An Anthem For Doomed Youth, Wilfred Owen. This was a little collection of Owen's war poetry, I "enjoy" war poetry (for want of a better phrase) I think it is because of the amount of emotion behind the subject makes it very effective and moving. The only thing is that reading a whole load 1 after the other got a little depressing. 4 stars.
  • Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops, Jen Campbell. This was another re-read because I needed a pick me and the things people say in bookshops- though worrying at times- is hilarious. 5 stars.
  • Olalla, Robert Louis Stevenson. This is a gothic short story about vampires. I love Robert Louis Stevenson's writing and have an extremely strong urge to read every single thing by him the story was a little... off. 3 stars.
  • A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams. I am studying this play at some point in the year which why i read it. It was ok and i picked up on a lot of symbolism and what not so that is good. But I read it in 1 sitting and it was so sad; it just hit like a ton of bricks really. 3 stars.
  • Nimona, Noelle Stevenson. This is a graphic novel about a shapeshifter who joins forces with a villian to take on the town's hero. On the surface it is just super fun; underneath that though the characters are actually quite complex and deep. Also the art it gorgeous! 5 stars.
  • The Great Winglebury Dual, Charles Dickens. This is an early short story of Dicken's and to be honest it was very odd and just didn't really go anywhere. 2 stars.
  • The World's Wife, Carol Ann Duffy. I fancied some poetry the other day and so I was looking at the poetry section in waterstones and saw the collection I am studying this year. And for once I think I might like the poems I'm studying. The poems are based on famous Men's wives and is witty and brilliant. 4 stars.
So a pretty good reading month all in all even if I actually managed to read quite a few sad books. What did you read this month?
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

T5W: Favourite Required Reading

Hello! This week’s top 5 Wednesday is all about required reading that you have to do for school and I haven’t actually done that much in my time but I can still make my list. I find a lot of the time that reading “for school” can take the fun out of things but at the same time it can open your eyes to book you may not have found otherwise.

  1. Edgar Allan Poe. 2 years ago in year 10 I believe I was asked to read  some Poe and though it was a little difficult to get into, I loved it, I don’t if I would have read any of his work if it wasn’t for that group.
  2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I am reading this this summer for the 2nd time as I will be studying it later this year. I can’t wait and school has given me the perfect excuse to re-read 1 of my favourite books!
  3. When I was little I had to reading to me parents and log in a diary for school but it got to the point where I just wanted to read by myself and when they finally said that I could do that I was stupidly happy, I’ve never much liked reading aloud.
  4. 1 of the best things is when you have already read the book you are asked to read because you can either leave it because you know it or give it a quick re-read. This happened with Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing last year, I’d already read it twice so I didn’t need to worry.
  5. Finally I want to talk about reading lists. I prefer to be given a big long list of things to choose from rather than a set list of a few because it means you can tailor the books to your own taste.
What are your views on required reading? Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey and if you want to join or find everyone else’s lists go to the goodreads group!
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

T5W: Favourite Maps

Hello lovelies! It is Wednesday so I’m doing another top 5 Wednesday :) This was GingerReadsLainey’s idea and if you want to know more about it or join yourself go to the goodreads group. Today’s theme is favourite maps and we all know that when there is a map in the front of a book it’s going to be a good one!
  1. The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan- The map in this one is more decorative but it still shows some of the places in the novel. It so pretty I couldn’t not include in my list. 
  2. Winnie the Pooh by A.A.Milne- I remember pouring over the map of the 100 acre wood when I was little, Winnie the Pooh is so charming!
  3. Inkworld trilogy by Cornelia Funke- In each book of this trilogy the map is of a slightly different place to match the story and I find having some sense of the direction and distance the characters are travelling make it even more immersive.
  4. The Lost Island of Tamarind by Nadia Aguiar- The same again, being able to where all the characters are makes it much more real.
  5. Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas- This map is great as the world of this series is pretty big and complex so a map is super helpful. 

I don’t have much to on the map other than I like it when they are there!
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

August 2015 Book Haul (part 1)

Hello lovelies! I have another book haul for you, I'm only showing you half of the books today and then in a couple of weeks I'll post part 2 because if I did all of them today it would be way too long. I've recently got a job so you can where that money is going! (in all seriousness I am saving most of it)

  • Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider. I found this in whsmiths and it sounded good and it has a very pretty cover so I picked it up because I have no restraint. This is about a boy who goes to a boarding school for sick kids where he is expecting to be miserable but that is not the case once he meets is classmates. 
  • It's About Love by Steven Camden. I read Tape by Steven in June and flew through it so when I saw his new book it was an auto-buy. I feel like this is going to be a very honest and real love story.
  • To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han. I have wanted to read this for a while and what with all the hype surrounding the sequel at the time I caved when I saw it in asda. This book is about a girl who writes  very honest letters to her crushes and puts them in a hatbox instead of sending them to dispel the crush. One day these letters get sent out.
  • The Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz. This is the prequel to Disney channel's new original movie Descendants about the kids of the villains and though I'm not sure on the film I am looking forward to the book.
  • A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. I picked this up because I am studying it in September and I have no idea what it about.
So those are some of the books I have brought recently. Have you read any? If so I would love to know what you thought.
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Monday, 3 August 2015

The Minimalist Book Tag

 Hello I thought I'd do another tag that I’ve seen floating around the internet recently which is the Minimalist Book tag which was created by Shannon Rose Reads. It is created with the idea of a minimalist lifestyle and there are 11 questions so I’m going to answer them now :)

1.Your all-time favourite book:  A Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson. I’ve read this book so many times now and it is always the book I go to if I need to calm down. It is such a wonderful story.

2.A modern classic: The only “modern classic” I can think of is The Great Gatsby which I did enjoy studying last year, it is 1 of those books that as you pull it apart you fall in love with it even more.

3.A non-fiction book: Horrible Histories (Churchill) I hardly ever read non-fiction as I don’t really enjoy it that much but I do remember reading this again and again years ago when I got it out from the library.

4.A classic: North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell. I adore this book and there is so much too it, the romance, the social commentary, character development. There is a lot to sink your teeth into!

5.A graphic-novel: Again I haven’t read many of these but I recently The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage which followed the 2 Victorian inventors/mathematicians somewhat faithfully and it is such a fun read.

6.A book by an author you could not live without: Hands down this is Rainbow Rowell but choosing which of her books is harder… I think Landline is my favourite of them all.

7.A Series you couldn’t live without: I am going to have to go with Harry Potter for this no matter how predictable it is. I feel like every time I read it I come away noticing something new and it leaves me so happy.

8.A book you feel no house/home is complete without: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. This to me is such a brilliant book that so many- including me- love and I know I would hate to be without a copy!

9.A book with a pretty cover you could not live without: The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan. Obviously the story is the most important and this 1 is a corker but the cover is absolutely stunning and is also really suits the book.

10.A book on your TBR/wishlist you have not read yet: I’m very much looking forward to reading Villette by Charlotte Bronte, I really like Jane Eyre and I desperately want to read her other works. Plus I have a super pretty penguin English library of it.

11.BONUS CATEGORY: A YA book: Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I love all the Lunar Chronicles but the 1st is my favourite I was enchanted from the start.

And that is all the questions, they certainly got me thinking, do any of you have the same books as me?
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Sunday, 2 August 2015

July 2015 Wrap-up

Hello lovelies! I hope you are having a great summer. Today I'm going to share with you everything that I read during July. I read 12 things last month which is crazy but it is a mix of novels, poetry and audiobooks. Enjoy!
  • Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. This I read because it was on the drama reading list for English and because it was book 2 in Classic Alice (check it out!). It is basically My Fair Lady (which I watch after reading this) but with massive, massive gaps in the plot but apart from that and the extremely long stage directions I liked and it was really interesting to re-watch that part of Classic Alice and spot links :) (3 stars)
  • The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. This is about 14yr old (or around that) who suddenly finds out she is a Princess and chaos ensues I listened to this on audiobook and just found it really fun, even though sometimes it was a little cringey but that is what you're like at that age. (3 stars)
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.This was kind of a re-read as I read bits of it here and there but I never read it in 1 go and didn't know everything that happened. I love Shakespeare but... Romeo and Juliet is just a little ridiculous. (3 stars)
  • The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan. This is hands down the best books I've read this year, it is beautiful! The world is flooded and it mainly follows North- a girl who dances with her bear in a circus- and a Gracekeeper Callanish. Here's my review if you want to know more! (5 stars)
  • Seeing Stars by Simon Armitage. 2 stars I read some poetry today as part of my summer work for English but it isn't really my thing. I enjoyed some of them but mainly I found them odd and many didn't really have an ending they just stopped. (2 stars)
  • Rapture by Carol Ann Duffy. I enjoyed most of these- some I had actually studied before- and in general I do like Carol Ann Duffy which is good because I know I will be looking at her work in class next year. (3stars)
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K.Rowling. I don't think I need to say much about this really but I listened to this on audiobook and adored it even more than the other times I've read it, it is just so fun and brilliant and magical!  (5 stars)
  • Selected Poems by Sylvia Plath. After reading this I believe Plath's work is one of those I can only enjoy if I discuss and pick it apart, but I could appreciate the writing while reading it. (2 stars)
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K.Rowling. Same again- Harry Potter is wonderful and I will never not love it. (5 stars)
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K.Rowling. If you haven't twigged yet I'm re-reading/ listening to this series and I can't get enough of it :) (5 stars)
  • What She Left by T.R.Richmond. This one was a pleasant surprise as I though I wouldn't enjoy this. It is about Alice Salmon who drowned, a Professor is piecing together her life through articles, social media and her friends and family; slowly but surely the jigsaw comes together and you get to the truth. If you want to know my thoughts on it here is my review that I posted earlier this week. (4 stars)
  • A Slip under the Microscope by H.G.Wells. This is my first H.G.Wells that I have read and overall I quite liked it. The Door in the Wall was a bit odd and dull but I prefered A Slip under the Microscope much more, the only thing is just as I was really getting pulled  in it ended. (3 stars)
I also read a chunk (over half) of A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett and North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell so I am super happy with the amount I read this month; it felt so good to be reading again!
Speak soon,
Jade xx 

Saturday, 1 August 2015

TBR Takedown 2.0 wrap-up

Hello :) The TBR Takedown happened last week and I had loads of plans to read a ton of different books but I wasn't in the mood. So instead I focused on reading what I wanted instead of the number of books. Having said that throughout I finished 2 books and read half of another 1.

On Saturday I finished What She Left by T.R.Richmond and I was pleasantly surprised. I've done a review so check that out if you want to know more.

Then on Thursday or maybe Wednesday (I can't quite remember) I finished A Slip under the Microscope by H.G.Wells which is a short story about a science student, I was starting to get into it and then it ended.

During the rest of the week I decided to pick up North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell which is over 500pgs so not exactly what you would typically read for a readathon but I've been wanting to give this a re-read for so long now I just decided to go with and I'm really glad I did because it is so good!

How did you do?
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Friday, 31 July 2015

What She Left, T.R.Richmond: review

Gone doesn't mean forgotten.
When Alice Salmon died last year, the ripples were felt in the news, on the internet, and in the hearts of those who knew her best.
But the person who knows her most intimately isn't family or a friend. Dr Jeremy Cook is an academic whose life has become about piecing together Alice's existence in all its flawed and truthful reality.
For Cooke, faithfully recreating Alice's life - through her diaries, emails and anything using her voice - is all-consuming. He does not know how deep his search will take him, or the shocking nature of what he will uncover...

When I picked this up I wasn't expecting to like it, I thought it was going to be this scary thriller and I didn't like the idea of that. But I won this book and I felt like I should give it a go then if I didn't like it I would give it to a friend who would enjoy it; and she is welcome to borrow but I want to  hold onto it because I was pleasantly surprised by this book! 

The main thing about this novel is how it was formated. I guess you would call it epistolary but it is a mix of letters, emails, tweets, texts, diary entries etc. and it is up to the reader really to piece most of it together. It was just such a unique way of telling a story and it made it fun in a way. Another thing is that there is a tumblr and even a playlist linked to the book, I spent an entire morning scrolling through it and if you do read it I highly recommend taking a look at Professor Cooke's tumblr

The plot was good and I even said on a goodreads update that I thought I knew where the story was going and I got it completely wrong, so it keeps you guessing! It had just the right balance of intrigue and new information  throughout which in my opinion is very hard to get. The only thing was that the majority of the book is Cooke's letters to a friend and I really didn't like Cooke but I get the impression that we aren't meant to... He walks on very thin ice with the ethical side of things at least.

I don't read mystery/thriller that much despite loving many crime dramas but this has made me want to pick up some more :)
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Selection, Kiera Cass: review

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realises that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

When I picked this up around a year ago a big reason was the cover I’m not gonna lie. I’d heard very mixed things about this book and the rest or the trilogy/series and though I thought I may enjoying I was wary that I might have some issues and yeah it wasn't the best book in the world and I had some irks- like when a certain character reappeared that I really didn't think was necessary- but I nearly always do and I also had some surprises thrown in there too.

One of those surprises was the world, it was a typical dystopian world but it was more complex than I expected. There was a fair amount of political stuff happening and I’m hoping that this was only the setup of something that could grow over the next books.

I feel like the biggest element of this book is the characters, America is the main character and she is in general a likable character, yes a little irritating but I feel like her views are consistent with how and where she grew up. I am thoroughly in love with Prince Maxon he is an adorable gentlemen! Something else I wasn’t expecting was the amount we got to know the other contestants, for some reason I had not expected that and it gave you an opportunity to an insight into the other castes in the society.

The plot wasn’t a big part of this book but that is normal for a first book, it spends most of its time world building and that was done well. In general this was just a really quick, fun read that was super addictive! I am looking forward to read the second book when I get my hands on it even though I’m expecting to hate America a little bit! Have you read this? What were your thoughts?
Speak soon,
Jade xx   

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

T5W: Favourite Character Tropes

Hello lovely readers! I have another Top 5 Wednesday for you today and the topic is character tropes. A character trope is a dominant trait or plot line that you may see frequently (I think).  Quite a few of mine are romance based also cause I'm a sappy so-and-so!

  1. The First however is not a romantic 1. Strong, independent, badass female characters. It is just really nice when all the girls in a story aren't weak and have to be saved.
  2. The whole hate turning to into love. Like Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, I just love it and it makes my heart sing a little (or alot).
  3. Character development. I know this is very open and vague but I adore character development! When a flawed character grows and tries to learn and comes out the other end still flawed obviously but not as flawed as they were. Like Margaret Hale and John Thornton in North and South they both go through and grow so much and its wonderful to see!
  4.  Flawed characters. Perfect characters are unrealistic and boring flaws make them complex and human and relatable.
  5. My last one is a favourite though I know it doesn't always work and you do need the opposite sometimes; but a happy ending for characters, who doesn't love a happy ending!
Were any of mine on your list? I'd love to discuss :)
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

The Gracekeepers, Kirsty Logan: review

As a Gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, laying the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers, and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance.
In a world divided between those inhabiting the mainland ("landlockers") and those who float on the sea ("damplings"), loneliness has become a way of life for North and Callanish, until a sudden storm offshore brings change to both their lives--offering them a new understanding of the world they live in and the consequences of the past, while restoring hope in an unexpected future.
Inspired in part by Scottish myths and fairytales, The Gracekeepers tells a modern story of an irreparably changed world: one that harbors the same isolation and sadness, but also joys and marvels of our own age.

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan is by far the best book I’ve read this year, I had very high expectations of this book and it surpassed them easily! Normally when I plan a review I write what I liked and what I didn’t like; while the good pretty much always outweigh the bad for me- it is very I do not like a book- when it came to planning this one I genuinely couldn’t think of any bad points, therefore I’m just going to tell you good points!

First off I have to talk about the writing, it was so beautiful and eloquent but not one of those books that is overly descriptive or poetic if you know what I mean. I found myself being drawn into the writing and it paints such a vivid picture in your head.

Something that really stood out to me was the world, the book isn’t that long yet I feel like I have a very good and wide understanding of the world and the divides in it. The world itself is very unique and interesting, all the customs and the differences between Damplings and Landlockers, selfishness, greed and prejudice was rife and though this world is flooded and is quite different to our world there are parallels which are interesting to think about.

The characters. The main two people this book follows is North and Callanish both who have secrets and in a way are trapped. However each chapter changes perspective and sometimes go to other characters such as the rest of the performers in the circus that North works in and having these every now and again allowed you to understand all characters on some level meaning even minor characters you saw at least a glimpse of their complexity which made the novel so rich.

The last thing I want to mention is something I don’t really notice or think about outside school and that is the pacing of the novel. It is quite slow, which sounds like a bad thing but it suited the novel so well and it meant it was very relaxing to read and created such a contrast when things came to a head. It isn’t something I think of and I would automatic say that a fast pace is the best but this novel taught me that it depends on the story as I enjoyed the calmness of this.

Obviously I gave this 5 stars and would recommend it to any who is even the tiniest bit interested. It is now one of my favourite books and for a pretty short novel it is so full and rich! Also just look at that cover that is reason enough alone to pick it up. ;)
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Monday, 27 July 2015

Booktubeathon TBR

The Booktubeathon is back! WOO! You know I love readathons and I know this is a book blog but who cares. First of all here are all the links to the booktubeathon: Youtube, Twitter & Instagram. It takes place from the 3rd-9th August and there are 7 challenges that I will try to complete but I'm not going to go mad about it :)

Challenges & my TBR:
1. Read a book with blue on the cover. This will either be Goblet of Fire or Order of the Phoenix by J.K.Rowling. It depends on when I get them form the library and which one I am on :)
2. Read a book by an author who shares the same first letter of your last name. Literally the only "H" I have is Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd. So even though I wouldn't normally read a big classic in a readathon it may be doable.
3. Read someone else's favourite book. My friend Jenny has been wanting me to read If I Stay by Gayle Forman for a while now and since its pretty short I thought I'd give it a go.
4. Read the last book you acquired. The last book I brought that I have yet to read is The Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz.
5. Finish a book without letting go of it.- A Slip under the Microscope by H.G.Wells this is super tiny and I can finish it in 1 sitting so it is perfect.
6. Read a book you really want to read. - I am going to wait and just pick what I'm in the mood for at the time.
7. Read seven books. - This one I'm not to sure or bothered about but we'll see.

Let me know if you are taking part and what your plans are!
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Week of Wisdom wrap up

Hello! So another readathon has come to a close and I read but once I got to Tuesday I realise I wasn't really in the mood but I enjoyed what I did read and I'm in the mood now so hopefully the TBR Takedown will be more "successful".

On Monday I finished Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K.Rowling, I think it was like the last quarter of it. Then for the rest of the week I listened to Prisoner of Azkaban which I finished Friday and read What She Left by T.R.Richmond which I finished Saturday. The total page count was 780pgs which I'm happy with. My favourite of the week would be Prisoner of Azkaban I am really enjoying marathoning that series right now!

What did you read this week?
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Saturday, 25 July 2015

The Time and Place book tag

Hello! This tag was created by the lovely Jen Campbell & it's based around how our books tend to have a time & place attached to them from when you brought/read them. You pick 10 of these said books to talk about. Her original video is here so make sure to watch that. Go make a cuppa cause this will be a long 1!
  1. North & South, Elizabeth Gaskell. The memory attached to this is where I bought it. A few years ago I went on holiday with the girlies to Bude, Cornwall and we found a lovely little independent bookshop in the town (I can't remember the name) and I got North & South and was so excited to see it there!
  2. A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett. I read this when I was 11 very close after my Dad died and I vividly remember going through all the emotions with this book and it having a massive impact not only on my grieve but just my outlook on life and how to live it. Sara Crewe has always been an inspiration to me since then.
  3. Landline, Rainbow Rowell. This is both buying and reading. I got this the day I met Rainbow at 1 of her signings in Birmingham and that in itself was such a great day! I started reading it the next day knowing I was going to America in like 2 days or something and didn't finish it in time. Now I wasn't going to take a signed book with me so left it but I couldn't wait or get into another book so I ended up buying an ebook of it and I can remember finishing it by the pool in Florida trying hold all my emotion and fangirling in as I finished it. 
  4. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs. The memory attached to this is that while reading it I went on a school trip to Birmingham Symphony Hall for "Poetry Live" which was to help with our GCSE English lit. I was helpful, a little boring too but I can remember reading on the couch and sneaking bits here and there. I also creeped my friends out with all the photos in it ;)
  5. Throne of Glass, Sarah J Maas. This is going back to my America trip last year again. Like I said I couldn't get that into any books, except this 1, I started it right before we landed and was sitting in the Airport waiting for my Auntie and Uncle to get a car and freaking out at how awesome every little detail was in this book! I was loving it! 
  6. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins. I remember reading this during school lunch and break and my friends watching me very closely (many had read it already) waiting for me to cry, they're so nice aren't they! It just reminds me of when I was still in secondary school and all of the things we got up to in our lunches :)
  7. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, Bernie Su & Kate Rorick. This was the 1st book I remember reading after my GCSEs and in Wales where we stayed in this cute little cottage on a farm. It was such a special book for as the webseries and Pride and Prejudice meant so much to me. And I remember many times when my friend Beth and I would lie on our beds reading (she read it after me). 
  8. Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare. I have read this around 3 or 4 times now. 1st in year 8 then 11 and last year I studied it, I adore this play but the main reason it is on this list is because I went to see it at the RSC last twice and then at the cinema when they broadcasted it. It brought something I loved completely alive and I was captivated! Love's Labour's Won is the best show I have ever seen and Much Ado is my favourite Shakespeare! 
  9. Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell. This was my last book of 2013 and I remember staying at family and being glued to it! It was painful to put it down and I think I read in 1 or 2 days. But I vividly remember finishing this book in bed- at like 3am when everyone in the house was asleep- and wanting to scream, throw the book across the room and run into my Mum's room to rave/rant about it. I couldn't handle the ending! But all the same I loved it, even though I have never had such a strong erge to throw a book!
  10. The Secret Countess, Eva Ibbotson. This last 1 is a little different. Secret Countess is 1 of less than an handful of books that I have read over and over again! I love it! If I am sad or need comforting I go to this book. When I got panicky at school I would go to the library and read passages to calm me down. It is my safety blanket, I know it back to front, it makes me giggle and feel all warm and happy. I don't know why it just does.   

Friday, 24 July 2015

Recent Makes #1

Hello lovelies! You may or may not know this about me but I am very crafty. I always have a few projects on the go (whether they are ever finished is another matter) and I have tons of ideas and plans for other projects-check my pinterest if you wanna see a hint of those. This is something I picked up from my Mum, who mainly does cross stitch but has done all sorts in her time. Taking all this into account I thought I would start a series on here "Recent Makes" where every now and again I share with you what I have been making with you. This is 1 of those :)

The first thing is my headboard. I finished this over the weekend but have been working on it for ages! I sewed by hand (purely because I couldn't do it accurately enough on the machine) 105 hexagons together using the english paper piecing method, then stapled and stuff to an old desk top with some left over underlay thrown in too- so full on recycling there! Overall I am super, super happy and proud of myself and it is so pretty! Also it means I don't hit my head on the wall which is a bonus!

Too match the headboard I made 2 rows of bunting 1 blue and 1 yellow that used 2 fabrics each that I used in the headboard. (does that make sense?) Anyway I used the machine for this 1 which was a nice change even though I do like doing stuff by hand. I've used these on bookcases and they look all summery :)

Finally I did some more quilting using the same fabric and covered my washing basket/stool to match. This was looking very tatty and old (which is because it is old) so I thought it could do with a little makeover. As well covering the seat I also painted the rest of it the same colour as 3 of my walls (the 4th has tree wallpaper).

Something else I want to give a quick mention to it this cross stitched bookmark. I didn't make it, my Mum did and I love it so I wanted to show it to you :)

So I went a bit crazy with the bedroom this month but I love it even more than before and it's a nice little change. Let me know if you have been making anything recently!
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Thursday, 23 July 2015

TBR Takedown 2.0 TBR

Hello in a couple days the 2nd  TBR Takedown readathon is taking place from 25th-31st July. I didn't take part in the 1st one earlier on in the year but I am super excited to join in this time round. It is hosted by Shannon (leaninglights) and this is her announcement video so make sure to check that for any info. There are 5 challenges and I've chosen a book for each but I may swap and change.

  1. 1st book in a series. Deep Blue, Jennifer Donnelly.
  2. Sequel book in a series. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban/Goblet of Fire, J.K.Rowling. (depends which 1 I am on).
  3. Out of your comfort zone. A Street Car Named Desire, Tennessee Williams.
  4. On your shelf for over a year (or the longest) The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton.
  5. Most recently hauled book. The Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz.  
  6. I would also like to read Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.
What is on your TBR if you're taking part?
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

T5W: side characters that deserve their own series.

Hello lovely readers! I've decided to join in with Top 5 Wednesday; which is something GingerReadsLainey started where we get a topic that we create a top 5 list for. Here's the Goodreads group so you can find all the info and also join too if you want :)

This week's topic is Side characters that deserve their own series and I actually struggled a little with this especially I only wanted to use series I've read the entirety of. But without further ado...

1. & 2. & 3. I've linked these all together because these popped up in my head straight away. James Potter, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, ie. the Marauders. (yes I know technically Peter Pettigrew should be there but surprisingly I don't massively like him!) I think pretty much every person who loves Harry Potter would like a series on this lot, it would be so fun!
4. Sparrow from the 13th Treasure trilogy by Michelle Harrison. Sparrow is part of a Coven/circus and a series about all of them would be awesome but Sparrow is the most intriguing for me and I feel like he has seen a lot and has a long history.

5.Finally is Kitty and Mary Bennet. The reason I've bunched these 2 together is because I can see them coming inseparable after their sisters are married and because they are both very much overlooked in Pride and Prejudice. I would love to know what their take on things were and what happened to them. 

So I kinda cheated on my first T5W but I don't care, which character would you want to find out more about?
Speak soon, 
Jade xx

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Childhood Books

Good Morning! (or whatever time it is) Anyway today I thought I would share with you how this all began- my childhood books.

The First lot are books that I remember being read to me:

  • Peepo
  • Guess How Much I Love You
  • Winnie the Pooh, A.A.Milne. 
  • My Big Book of Bedtime Stories, this is a stunning book it is fully illustrated in colour and it entirely captivating.  
The books that I read alone when I first started that stand out to me were:
  • The Rainbow Magic series, Daisy Meadows. This is all to do with fairies and two girls who always help them out against their enemy Jack Frost; I still own around 50 of these I adored them! Yes the plot line is basically exactly the same in every book but I thought they were great. 
  • The Fairy Charm Collection, Emily Rodda. I was hooked on fairies when I was little if you hadn't noticed yet. This was about a girl who finds a secret door in her garden to the land of the fairies and the edition I own had 3 stories in it.
  • The Historical House series. There are 6 books to this each taking place in a different era but in the same house(6 Chelsea Walk, London). I loved the historical side and my favourite was the 2nd- Lizzie's Wish all I remember is her planting a walnut and that the tree was always nodded to in the rest of the series. 
Others from when I was slightly older are:
  • Prophecy of the Gems, Flavia Bujor. This had magic and a girl named Jade so it was a given really. I just remember flying through it, I read at a time where I was starting to read all the time. 
  • Lastly is A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett. This is the book that had the biggest impact on my life. I picked it up because I had read Secret Garden (same author) in school and the cover was purple. I read it when I was 11 right after my Dad died (in hindsight probably not the best idea- you'll get it if you know the story) but I guess Sara and her strength to be a "princess" or a good, kind person really struck me among others. I re-read it recently and it is such a well written, beautiful story.
And that's that. You may have been expecting Harry Potter and while I did read and enjoy them they weren't a big love of mine till I was a bit older. What was you favourite book as a child?
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Monday, 20 July 2015

Week of Wisdom TBR

Today marks the start of yet another readathon! The Week of Wisdom is running 20th-26th July and be sure to check out the Goodreads group. But basically it challenges you to read a book a day- each from a different genre:

  • Mature Monday- Read Nonfiction/Classics/Adult Fiction
  • Timeless Tuesday- Read Historical Fiction/Classics/Timetravel Fiction
  • Whimsical Wednesday- SciFi/Fantasy
  • Thrilling Thursday- Horror/Thriller/Mystery/Action
  • Friday Feels- Contemporary/Romance
  • Series Saturday- Catch up on a series
  • Sunday Funday- Read a random book
The books that I will be trying to get through are:
  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  • The Murders of the Rue Morgue and Other Tales, Edgar Allan Poe
  • War of the Worlds, H.G.Wells
  • What She Left, T.R.Richmond
  • To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Jenny Han
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K.Rowling
  • The Isle of the Lost, Melissa De La Cruz
I didn't read any last really so as long as this gets me reading I'm happy :) 
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Sunday, 19 July 2015


Hello :) This is just a very quick post to let you know that I'm planning on posting everyday for the rest of the summer! Notice the word planning, though I'm going to try my hardest and I certainly have the time to spare. In September I will probably go back to 2 posts, 3 at a push per week. So yeah, expect reviews, readathons and other bookish things coming your way :)

Speak soon,
Jade xx

Saturday, 18 July 2015

My Summer TBR!

It is officially summer! (even though I've been off school for months but that's  besides the point) Because I'm going  into the dreaded land of English lit. A-level once again where I have no time to read, I am taking this free time to read a ton! I've compiled a list of mainly classics to read during the summer for when I'm not taking part in readathons. And I thought I'd share them with you! (especially since it will make me go through with it) I'm not going to put blurbs or anything because there are quite a few and I don't want this post to be super long. :)

  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte (re-read for school)
  • A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams (school) 
  • Mean Times, Carol Ann Duffy (school)
  • A Room with a View, E.M.Forster (school)
  • All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
  • Emma, Jane Austen
  • Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  • Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
  • Villette, Charlotte Bronte
  • The Tenant at Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte
  • Dracula, Bram Stoker
  • Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
  • Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
  • Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
  • Little Dorrit, Charles Dickens (this is my challenge read this year!)
So only a couple as you can see ;) I want to get as much reading done as possible this summer before school and I am excited about all of these so hopefully I can enjoy them all. I will also have other TBRs up for the readathons left this summer that won't include these so I am being very ambitious. What are plans this summer?
Speak soon
Jade xx 

Thursday, 16 July 2015

24in48 Wrap-up

Last weekend was the 24in48 readathon where over a 48 hour period you try and read a total of 24 hours. I read for around 12.5 hours which I'm happy with. I finished 2 books:

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K.Rowling (audiobook)
  • Sylvia Plath Selected Poems
  • I also read A Door in the Wall by H.G. Wells and started A Slip under the Microscope. 
  • I Started Chamber of Secrets also.
I could have read more but toward the end of Sunday I was feeling a bit off and didn't feel like reading so I didn't force it.  But I enjoyed most of the books I read (I'm not a massive fan of poetry I'll be honest) and read a total of 410 pages :)

Did you take part? If so how did you do?
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Library Haul

So lately I've been going to my library a bit more and I thought I would share with you what I have been borrowing. The physical books are all poetry that I needed to read for summer prep work for English lit. and those are:

  • Seeing Stars, Simon Armitage
  • Rapture, Carol Ann Duffy
  • Sylvia Plath, Selected Poems
I've been a member of my library for many, many years now; to the point where my card has a teddy on it (which I love) but I recently found that they work with something called Overdrive which allows you to borrow ebooks and audiobooks online. I really like this especially since I can't always get into town and I am loving audiobooks right now but they are super expensive so borrowing is brilliant! Definitely check to see if your library has this option. The audiobooks I currently have are:
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K.Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K.Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.k.Rowling (on hold)
You may notice a theme... After seeing they had all the Harry Potters on audiobook I thought, "What the heck, why not marathon the whole series?" And I am SO GLAD I did, I forgot how brilliant these books were! Do you go to your library often? I'm volunteering this year for the little one's summer reading challenge so will be there even more :)

Speak soon,
Jade xx

Saturday, 11 July 2015

The Bronte Sisters: The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, Anne by Catherine Reef- review

The Brontë sisters are among the most beloved writers of all time, best known for their classic nineteenth-century novels Jane Eyre (Charlotte), Wuthering Heights (Emily), and Agnes Grey (Anne). In this sometimes heartbreaking young adult biography, Catherine Reef explores the turbulent lives of these literary siblings and the oppressive times in which they lived. Brontë fans will also revel in the insights into their favorite novels, the plethora of poetry, and the outstanding collection of more than sixty black-and-white archival images. A powerful testimony to the life of the mind.

Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books and I've got Emily's and Anne's books ready waiting so when I was looking for an ebook from my library for bout of books this seemed like a good choice to find out more about the Bronte sisters. It was also quite refreshing to read a non-fiction as this is something I rarely read.

The thing I liked about about this was that it wasn't just bare facts in a list, it told the story of their lives and their family and friends. It wasn't bland but emotive. I was quite a quick and easy read yet it had some analysis of the sister's writing; this was a downside too though because it can very easily spoil you when it explains the plot of each novel (which I must admit I found a little silly). The one biggish problem I had with this book is that I found it patronising, I don't if that's because it is written for a younger audience than me but I found the tone in which Reef would describe things to be how you would talk to a small child, so the writing style could of been  better in my opinion but the content was very interesting. I gave this 3 stars.

Speak soon,
Jade xx

Thursday, 9 July 2015

24in48 Readathon TBR

I'm sorry if you're getting overloaded a little by readathons on this blog at the mo but apparently summer is readathon season and I find them very difficult to pass up :) 

11th-12th July is the 24in48 Readathon. The idea is that you read for 24hrs during a 48hr period- you know allowing sleeping and eating :) Go to to find out everything you need to know and to sign up. It is a pretty relaxed readathon starting Saturday morning and ending Sunday night so I've got 2 books I would like to read. 
  1. A Slip under the Microscope by H.G.Wells. This is only 55 pages so I figured it was perfect. I've been meaning to read H.G.Wells for so long too!
  2. Dream a Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher this is a bit longer than the other but I'm super excited about it so I'm sure I can get it finished.
If you are going to take part make sure you sign up via the 24in48 HQ and let me know what you plan on reading!
speak soon,
Jade xx