Top 5 Wednesday

June 13th: Favorite Fathers/Father Figures

June 13th: Favorite Fathers/Father Figures
— In honor of Father’s Day (in America at least), discuss some of your favorite fictional dads.

MAVERICK CARTER in The Hate U Give

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This guy was such a great father, clearly in love with his wife, and wanting to protect his whole family. I really enjoyed reading him. I know it’s ‘trendy’ in YA to have shitty parents but this guy was just 100% love.

Continue reading “June 13th: Favorite Fathers/Father Figures”

Book Things · Just For Fun

2017 End of Year Book Survey

Best books of 2017

 

WOOHOO! Another year, another survey by Jamie @ PerpetualPageTurner

I discovered this last year and it was such a handy way to look back at my reading and the stories I’d fallen into.

Note from Jamie: The survey is for books you read throughout the year, no matter when they were published, and is not limited to just books that came out in 2017!!

 

Number Of Books You Read: 41 (on target! YES!)
Number of Re-Reads: 1
Genre You Read The Most From: YA Fantasy.

Continue reading “2017 End of Year Book Survey”

Reviews

The Hate U Give – Review

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Title: The Hate U Give

Author: Angie Thomas

From: Amazon UK / Book Depository

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Rating: 5*

Books exist to allow readers into a world they might never experience in day-to-day life. Some educate, amaze, immerse or leave you with a lasting impression you take with you for a long time.

This is one of those books.

The hype on this book is definitely deserved, and the fact “handbook gate” managed to knock it off is rightfully laughable, I’m incredibly glad that was resolved because this is a master of contemporary literature – and I don’t even gravitate towards contemporary all that much.

Starr is an amazing leading lady, without being the typical leading lady at all. Everything on the page is rooted in her grief and sense of anger, the fact she has to have two different personalities for fear of isolation from the ‘posh kids’ (don’t get me started on that Hailey cow, I’ve known too many of her). You understand everything she’s going through, the torment of losing a friend in such a horrific way. And how refreshing it was to have such a supportive and loving family dynamic in this. Perfect family? No. Real family? Yes. In fact they’re one of my favourite families ever, now.

Is it a perfect book? Damn well near. While I didn’t like Chris, the boyfriend, because he felt bland and underdeveloped on the page it didn’t really matter. It wasn’t Chris’ story, it was Starr’s, and I was fully enveloped in her world. I felt her anger, I felt her sense of injustice, I was absolutely ashamed at a system which is flawed – because the same issues present here in the UK, too. Chris, at least to me, wasn’t important at all. Starr was. So the fact I didn’t feel him much doesn’t really make a difference to the overall lasting impression THUG leaves.

THUG gave me a lot of feelings. I am definitely better off for having read it, and it has given me more of a sense of the dangers the black community face in America. I understand more of their issues with the police, and while I know it’s a work of fiction it’s nevertheless rooted in reality. That’s why it packs an extra punch, and I believe it’s going to be considered a classic in many years to come.

Top 5 Wednesday

#T5W – Future Classics

Top Five Wednesday is a fabulous group on Goodreads where, every Wednesday, we get to run down our top 5s of various subjects. This week –

Let us know the books you think will be considered classics one day!

I suppose for this week it made me consider what I would consider makes up a classic itself – why it stands the test of time. Why people keep going back to read it, or love it, and that it never dies. The books I recommend to people over and over again.

For me, it’s always about the characters – the plot comes second, but it’s handy to have a great one of those, too.

So here are the top 5 books I will consider a *must read* for my children, or my children’s kids, one day.

sixofcrowsYou will never get me to stop loving this book. I know some people who didn’t love it – and I respect that. But this spoke to me on several levels. The character of Kaz and his reveal – as to why he wears gloves – broke me down. It was so unexpected.

Inej, one of the most wonderful female characters, offered a view of quietly determined, passionate and wise women we don’t often see in modern day media (thanks, male writers)

And the whole language between them that was used, the wry sarcasm, just… augh. I bought it 5 times I think for my friends.

 

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This is a brilliant, effortless science fiction and character study and yet another I will never stop loving. I’m yet to read the sequel – if it can be considered a sequel? – but it’s another show of characterisation which will grab hold of you and never let go.

 

 

 

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I’ve yet to read this, because the UK never seem to get hyped books fast enough, but I’ve heard enough from trusted friends to know that I will probably cry, and it will probably make me look at myself and examine any of my own prejudices, and then burst open my eyes wide to the world which I’m already trying to actively see differently.

 

 

 

 

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*cries for hours* I can’t. This is a soul book series for me. I love everything mentioned – ravens, ley lines, psychics, WALES, kings, prophets, feminists, strong females, RONAN LYNCH.

gathering-of-shadows_ukcover-400x586This is my favourite book of the entire trilogy. I absolutely adore it. And again, it’s a fantasy series which not ALL people fall in love with – for some reason – and I understand our tastes are different. But Lila Bard, Kell, Rhy and Holland are, again, ALL exquisite characters and I would gladly read about them, and this world, for hours. I plan on buying the collector’s edition as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MINI EDIT– I left off Harry Potter – because hello, that’s still going strong despite some fuckery recently – and American Gods, because I feel that’s already becoming a mini-classic of fantasy in its own right.

HOW ABOUT YOU GUYS?

Book Things · books · JadeWantsThis

15 Must Read List of 2017

There are several titles I’ve added to my 2017 TBR to reach my goal of 40 books this year which I am DYING to read.

Sure, a to be read list naturally brings with it a sense of excitement  – 90% of the time when I add a book it’s because I’m intrigued, not because I want to read it as homework – but a high portion has me bouncing up and down wanting to devour them immediately.

One thing I want to focus on is trying to diversify my reading tastes not just in genre but with authors, looking to ownvoices stories for a truthful view into many worlds and to support them in any way I can.

A lot of the books on this list release in 2017, and I’m sure most of you will already have heard of and be anticipating many of them (if not already read through an ARC) but I wanted to make a recommended post of books I am DEFINITELY going to read this year.

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The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
My reaction to this book went thus:

“Oh that’s a pretty cover – like – DAMN pretty. Let’s see what it’s about.”
*reads the blurb*
“…..WHEN CAN I READ?”

Two teenage spies, Nice and Bad, trying to gain the same girl asset?
FEELINGS GROWING?
It seems wrong to call this simply a gay James Bond, because I have a high suspicion it’s going to be miles better and way more engaging with a lot more heart, but I absolutely adore spies, it’s a genre I love to watch and read, so I’ll be buying this probably the day it comes out and proudly wafting it around the streets as I exit Waterstones.

Also, Cale Dietrich is a delight.

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
I know many people read the Daughter of Smoke and Bones series and loved it, and I loved the first book – until Akiva came in and ruined it for me. BUT – I love Laini Taylor’s writing style and the concept of this book – a town called Weep could sell this to me alone – has already sealed my pre-order status on this. I want the pretty hardcover with the cool story inside it.

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Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Anyone who knows me again knows I adore this man and his writing. Much like Schwab I get swept away with his text and his characters, of which there’s so much heart – something I’m so happy to see in novels scribed by men. That he’s writing a Norse book? I’m incredibly excited about it. I know he’s used this sort of mythology before in his own work, and as a practicing witch with a strong connection to Freya, I am itching to read his interpretation and representation of the Norse gods and their stories. Far too many times mythology books try to do a Lord of the Rings and go all heavy-texty – showing influences from the masters of fantasy but not quite reaching the quality – but I rarely find Gaiman does the same. Here’s hoping!

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Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
WITCHES! Latin America! As a witch myself, this is definitely high on my TBR simply because I am fascinated to read such a complicated story, it has a BI CHARACTER (be still my heart) and I was gutted I couldn’t read it last year. I saw it in Waterstones and it looked so damn pretty. I know there have been some mixed reactions but I do want to get lost with this story.

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The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
I admit, I was never a huge Star Wars fan growing up. My love of science fiction paled in comparison to my love of fantasy, and I was – still am – a Lord of the Rings nerd over Star Wars. But as I grew older I appreciated just how groundbreaking Star Wars actually was, with its strong female protagonist and how it redefined what it was to be a woman in a story. I also grew to appreciate Carrie Fisher, who, with the release of Force Awakens, reignited the spirit of the whole saga. I regret now that I didn’t engage more with her work in the past and didn’t even know of her writing credits, but that’s what loss does. The world certainly became a lot dimmer when she left it. It proves just how valuable people like Carrie are, and to listen to them.  Be like them: brave and unapologetically human. I’ve never read anything from Carrie Fisher before, so I’ll start here.

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Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
The moment I read this concept and the words “hot graffiti artist” I was sold. It centers on Caribbean Legend, which is something I have unfortunately not delved into before, and the fact the spirits inject magic into paintings, oh my God what a great device. I can’t wait!

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Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

So this story involves a con gone wrong, a jailbreak of sorts, and is set around a nightclub in Boston in 1919. Again, this has come highly recommended. Again with illusions and magic through the mode of art, which seems to be a theme I didn’t know I liked, the addition of two girls on opposite ends just serves to makes this book tantalizingly, irresistibly interesting.

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Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal

OK so Ginger is a Medium and she’s also a soldier. Let that sink in. I adore paranormal, I spent 10 years writing a paranormal book, but this book seems to keep eluding me. I can’t find copies of it ANYWHERE which is really annoying, so if you know of any or have one to sell, send it my way please! ❤

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Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
Another book which crept up on me and then exploded into being – I’ve heard nothing but good things about this  and on reading what it’s about, it secured a high spot on my TBR for 2017. As WW2 history has always been something I devoured, whether studying the psychology of that time or simply the poetry of the soldiers at war, the fact this involves such a setting is as much intriguing as it is understandably going to be heart-wrenching.

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I keep hearing about this book not just because of the hype, but also because it was a PitchWars entry and subsequently seems to be pretty damn popular. It sounds fascinating and, admittedly, a bit trippy to me. So of course I have to read it. Like a fantasy Jumanji except – hopefully – better! I’ve heard it’s a romping good story.

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A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

Everyone knows by now that I would read a receipt if Victoria Scwab wrote it. This book concludes the Shades of Magic trilogy and I am desperately sad about it, because I don’t want it to end. I adore each and every character, even Holland, though I truly only became engrossed in the second book. I will go back and re-read the first book after everything has done and dusted, because this series really is a lesson in how to create a fantasy world and characters to love. I can’t name a character I don’t like in this series, apart from maybe the Twins who ruled White London. They were sonsobitches.

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Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
Again, Victoria Schwab comes in with her novels  and makes me go “damnit” because I always get major book hangover when I finish. I devour them so fast, and I always want to read the next one (I’m running out of “next ones”) but  here we have the delightful August, who I absolutely adored in This Savage Song, the first book in this monster duology. August is a monster, but a good one, and Kate is the daughter of a fierce monster hunter. The dynamic between him and Kate felt extremely natural despite how opposite they are to each other and I can’t wait to read where they end up.

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Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
Comic convention? Check. Three girl friends? Check. Love story? Check. I adore stories which revolve around a limited time period, so we know when the story’s due to end. It delivers a sense of urgency. With this injection of girl geekery and girls basically falling in love around that geekery, I can’t quite tell you how excited I am to read this. It sounds fresh and original, and THE COVER is amazing. Another high TICK on my TBR.

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This will be undoubtedly a bestseller, smash hit, wonderful book, because it features not only an ownvoices writer, but also includes inspiration from the Black Lives Matter movement. I’m SO keen to read this. Young people going up against the establishment is one thing, having it being centered on such a relevant and heartbreaking movement is quite another. I’m probably going to cry. The reviews so far have been amazing. I can’t wait to get immersed in this.

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One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus
A teen whodunnit. Unereliable narrators. Written by a PitchWars mentor. I mean come on. I adore mysteries, having grown up on Famous 5, Sherlock Holmes, and countless other mystery books I can’t remember because I was 7. I have a feeling this will probably sit on my favourites shelf for a loooong time.

SO THAT’S IT!

What books are on your MUST READ list this year?