Saturday, 30 May 2015

A Winning Book Haul!

Hello! Today I'm going to share with you a book haul that I didn't have to pay a penny for, I wa super, super lucky to win 5 books from one of Penguin Platform's videos and I am very excited about them :)

  • Who Governs Britain? Anthony King. I would be lying if I said I was excited for this book but I am very interested in it and I'm also going to lend to a friend who is very into politics. This is a Pelican book that answers the title basically and I really want to understand politics by the time I can vote so I can use mine wisely.
  • Without You, There is No Us, Suki Kim. This is another really interesting one, it is the author's account of teaching English to the sons of the Elite in North Korea. I know very little about North Korea and I think this will be an eye opener!
  • Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli. This has gotten soooo much hype and I'm really looking forward to it. I think it is about Simon coming out to the world after someone reads his emails and finds out he is gay, and I need to read more LGBTQ books because I have only read a few. Plus the copy I have is an ARC and instead of Simon it has my name on the front! How cool is that! :)
  • What She Left, T.R.Richmond. This sound good but scary and I don't do well with that so I will give it a go but I may end up giving it to a friend. But it is about a girl who drowned last year and a Professor has become obsessed with finding out everything he can about her. I had a flick through and it seems to have letters and voicemails etc. and I love epistolary formats :)
  • The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer by Sydney Padua. Now I left best till last, this is the one I am most excited for. It is about Victorian mathematicians/mechanic who where genius and if Babbage had lived he would have created the very first computer, in this graphic novel (I think, it has like pages of writing too, it's a bit of a mix) It is written as if these two DID finish their work and use their invention to fight crime. It sounds amazing, I love anything Victorian and the design is gorgeous! 
And that is my book haul, thank you so much to Penguin Platform for these!
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid- Review

Cat Morland is ready to grow up. A homeschooled minister’s daughter in the quaint, sheltered Piddle Valley in Dorset, she loses herself in novels and is sure there is a glamorous adventure awaiting her beyond the valley’s narrow horizon. So imagine her delight when the Allens, neighbors and friends of her parents, invite her to attend the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh as their guest. With a sunny personality, tickets every night and a few key wardrobe additions courtesy of Susie Allen, Cat quickly begins to take Edinburgh by storm and is taken into the bosom of the Thorpe family, particularly by eldest daughter Bella. And then there’s the handsome Henry Tilney, an up-and-coming lawyer whose family home is the beautiful and forbidding Northanger Abbey. Cat is entranced by Henry and his charming sister Eleanor, but she can’t help wondering if everything about them is as perfect as it seems. Or has she just been reading too many novels? A delectable, note-perfect modern update of the Jane Austen classic, Northanger Abbey tells a timeless story of innocence amid cynicism, the exquisite angst of young love, and the value of friendship.

Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid is a retelling of Austen's classic and is part of The Austen Project, which is where different authors are "updating" Jane's novels. I'm just going to state right off the bat that obviously this is nothing to the original, I enjoyed it and gave it 3 stars but I enjoyed Jane Austen's much more. With that off my chest on to the good and the bad (a few things bothered me about this books) of this book not Austen's!

First as materialistic as it is the cover is so striking! It is bright, bright orange with the silhouette of the abbey... I LOVE IT!

The one thing with the original that I struggled with was when Catherine was in Bath, I found it very slow but Val McDermid twist made it much more up my street. Having it set in Edinburgh during the book festival made it much more exciting with the bookish thing Cat got up to. Another thing done very well were the characters they were all so vivid. I felt we as readers got much more of the Tilney's in this purely because Cat did; society allowed. While on the subjects of the Tilney's I really liked Elinor and her relationship with Cat, also how her not being able to marry her beloved was changed into something much more empowering for the girls reading it. As for her brother, I adored Henry Tilney just as much as in the original. What I like about Henry is how is nice and sweet right from the start, there is no brooding or moodiness he's just fun and caring. Characters and their development are the most important thing for me when it comes to storytelling and it was done so well especially Cat's development!

However there are 3 things that really bugged me about this book unfortunately. The first may just be a personal thing. I get what I call secondary embarrassment, I get embarrassed for the character as if their mistakes are mine and it can be quite uncomfortable a times. I had this with Cath and her obsession with vampires and the like, I think it went just a little too far. The other two problems were to do with how the author tried to make it automatically modern. The social media, emails and the "teen speak" was just plonked in their with what seemed like very little thought or understanding and for me it just stuck out like a sore thumb. The last thing is that whenever someone updates a Jane Austen story they seem to have an incessant need to make a character gay or at least have someone think this. Now don't get me wrong I understand that people are gay and that is absolutely fine but I feel like using that and again just plonking it in there is wrong and irritating. In this particular book there was even some homophobic behaviour (trying to be vague here to avoid spoilers) which eventhough called out I don't know if I liked.

Overall the things that I didn't like are mainly small and I did really enjoy this book, it was fun, light and the characters were on point! Let me know your opinion if you've read it.
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Monday, 25 May 2015

#RYBSAT Wrap-up

So sadly #rybsat has come to an end (for me at least I have no time to read on 25th), I am truly sad about this I really enjoyed all the reading and the interaction on social media... But all good things come to an end so here I am to tell about all the books I read this week :)

I did an update on Thursday but the short story of that is I finished The Old Nurse's Story by Elizabeth Gaskell and All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. Adding up to 393pgs in total.

Thursday I read the entirety of The Selection by Kiera Cass because I couldn't put it down! Granted it isn't the most amazing writing ever but boy is it gripping! Also I'm in love with Prince Maxon, I felt it coming but there was no way I could have stopped it. Total pages by day 4 was 720.

Friday wasn't much of a reading day for me but I still read 29pgs from Assassin's Blade by Sarah J Maas and 68 from The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua; bringing the total to 818.

Saturday I had a longish drive (in the passenger seat) which help a lot in terms of getting some reading done and I read 194pgs of Lovelace and Babbage, the comic part of this was great for visiting family as I could dip in and out of it! The total page count by then was 1012.

On the last day I finished Lovelace and Babbage (58pgs) giving it 3 stars as I have quite mixed feelings on it but it was great :) Then I went on to read little of The Assassins Blade (43pgs).

So overall... I read 1113pgs, finished 4 books and started another. Those are:

  • The Old Nurse's Story, Elizabeth Gaskell, 3 stars.
  • All the Bright Places, Jennifer Niven, 2 stars.
  • The Selection, Kiera Cass, 4 stars.
  • The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, Sydney Padua, 3 stars.
I am very happy with how I've done this week and I really enjoyed it, let me know if you did and what you read this week!
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Saturday, 23 May 2015

The Tinder Box by Hans Christian Anderson- Review

One of Penguin's Little Black Classics (no. 23 to be precise) for their 80th anniversary was a small collection of Hans Christian Anderson's work and I adored them! Its only 64pgs and includes The Tinder Box (the title of the collection), Little Claus and Big Claus, The Princess and the Pea (my favourite), The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Nightingale and The Red Shoes.

I fell in love with his writing! It has an enchanting, magical tone to it that is so matter-of-fact and perfect. Don't get me wrong the stories are a little strange... okay super, super strange but despite their ridiculousness I found them really enjoyable.

It was also nostalgic for me; I have this beautifully illustrated big book of bedtime stories that had some of these in and reminding myself of all the details was lovely! I am certainly planning on reading more of Hans Christian Anderson's works.
4.5 stars.

Speak soon,
Jade xx

Thursday, 21 May 2015

#RYBSAT Update

Hello! just a quick update today on how I'm doing with #RYBSAT (Read-your-bookshelf-a-thon) that started on Monday.

Day 1: I quickly finished The Old Nurse's Story by Elizabeth Gaskell which was 30pgs. Then I read 132pgs of All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven bringing up the total to 162 for that day.

Day 2: I only read 30pgs of All the Bright Places leaving the total page count at 192.

Day 3: Yesterday I finished All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (201pgs), I have yet to form my thoughts on this yet. But my total is 393pgs and 2 books finished. :)

Today I'm planning on starting and maybe finishing The Selection by Kiera Cass and I may also read a little of The Assassins Blade by Sarah J Maas.

Hope you're all doing well :)
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Bout of Books 13 Wrap-up!

Hello! So I know that this is a day late and that I may or may not have forgotten about it yesterday, but better late than never :) Last week was Bout of Books 13 and even though this time I didn't take part in challenges or update everyday but I really enjoyed myself and I read a ton!

When I updated you on Friday I had read 427pgs and finished 3 books. I went on that day to read 28pgs of The Odyssey by Homer making my total 455pgs. Then on Saturday I read another 53pgs of The Odyssey meaning I had read 508pgs. On the Sunday, the last day of the readathon I finished The Odyssey (49pgs) and also The Bronte Sisters by Catherine Reef (173pgs) Then lastly I finished the night off with reading Curious, if True from the The Old Nurse's Story by Elizabeth Gaskell which is one of Penguin's Little Black Classics which was 22pgs long.

So over I read 752pgs and finished 51/2  books which were:

  • Medea, Euripides. 3 stars
  • All I know Now, Carrie Hope Fletcher. 5 stars
  • Cranford, Elizabeth Gaskell. 4 stars
  • The Odyssey, Homer. 2 stars
  • The Bronte Sisters, Catherine Reef. 3 stars 
  • The Old Nurse's Story, Elizabeth Gaskell (the half) 3 stars

And that was my wrap-up, I am super proud of all the reading I did this past week it felt really good to read again :) Let me know how you did too!

Speak soon, 
Jade xx

Sunday, 17 May 2015


Hello! Starting tomorrow is #RYBSAT round 5, aka "Read Your Bookshelf-a-thon" I only heard of this for the first time yesterday but I've decided to go for it as Bout of Books has gone pretty well (look out for my wrap-up tomorrow). It runs from 18th-25th May and for all the host and info go to twitter- @RYBSAT15. But the basic idea is that you pick a point on your shelves and read from there onwards, if you hit a series you only have to read 1 book from that series. I don't really have a number of books that I'm aiming for but I would like to read at least 3/4 books. So this is my TBR shelf:

And this is the section that I have chosen to read from: 
I'm going to start from All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven then work my way down the stack. Now I'm not going to be super, super strict with myself so I may skip books if I'm not in the mood for them or if they're too slow. I also tend to read more than 1 book at a time in readathons so I will be doing that too.                                                                                               I may to a mid-week update here but other than that I will update via twitter and instagram throughout the week. I wish every taking part the best of luck and I hope you enjoy yourselves :)
Speak soon, 
Jade xx

Friday, 15 May 2015

Bout of Books Update

Hello! I hope you're all well and that if you are taking part in Bout of Books like me you are enjoying yourselves! I thought I would give you a quick update on how I'm doing. So far I'm really happy with my reading!

On Monday which is the only day I had stuff to do; I finished Medea by Euripides (23pgs), read 58pgs of All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher and listened to 11pgs of Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Tuesday I listened to another 100pgs of Cranford. I've discovered the joy of audiobooks this week because it means I can multi-task and read even when I have jobs to do, yesterday I played Animal Crossing while listening to it and it was a wonderful day! I also read 18pgs of All I Know Now and 38pgs of The Bronte Sisters by Catherine Reef.

Wednesday I finished All I know Now (46) and Cranford (104pgs) bothe of which I thoroughly enjoyed! I also read 29pgs more of The Bronte's

Then yesterday I read nothing, no reason just didn't do anything, but I'm back on the wagon and ready to go today!

So the numbers so far are: (drumroll!)
  • 427 pages read
  • 3 books finished 
I'm updating more regularly on twitter and instagram so check them out.
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Bout of Books 13!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team. 

It's that time again! Bout of Books is a wonderful readathon that I've taken part in a few times now and I can't wait for this one tomorrow. I will probably update here a few times in the week but I'll most likely be on twitter quite a bit too. As far as challenges go I don't know but I've got a wide selection of books that I will pick from in the week (not that I will read all these) which I'll go ahead and list :)

  • All I Know Now, Carrie Hope Fletcher
  • All the Bright Places, Jennifer Niven
  • Emma, Jane Austen
  • Medea, Euripides (school)
  • The Odyssey, Homer (school)
  • A Dylan Thomas Treasury (school)
  • Cranford, Elizabeth Gaskell (audiobook)
  • The Old Nurse's Story, Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, Oscar Wilde
  • The Selection, Kiera Cass
  • Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
  • The Bronte Sisters, Catherine Reef
As I said they are just a selection as I never really know what I'm in the mood for. Let me know if your planning on taking part!
Speak soon,
Jade xx