in favour of rereading

You close the book, set it aside. Lean back in your chair. Perhaps you take a sip of your cold tea, spit it back into the mug. Perhaps you whisper, “Wow,” to yourself.

You hop onto social media, Tweet, Instagram, blog your love for this new favourite book. You rave about it, know that it’s one that will come up in conversations.

And then you put it onto your shelf, and don’t pick it up again.

Well, friends, here’s my vote: wait a few months, perhaps, and then stroke the spine with a familiar finger and take it from the shelf. Snuggle into a chair, and crack open that first page once more.

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Rereading is like falling back into conversation with an old best friend. It feels as natural and comforting as collapsing into bed after a long day on your feet. It’s drinking a cold glass of water and feeling the liquid make its way to your stomach.

I’ve only recently started rereading books, and I don’t know why I ever stopped. I used to do it all the time as a child, and then consumerism and the feeling, the need, to constantly read new books instead of relishing in the old ones I already love.

You return to a favourite coffee shop time and again, and drink the same mug of coffee time and again, so why not revisit your favourite books in the same manner? When you drink that coffee, you might look up and notice a painting on the wall you didn’t see before, or a new person sat in the chair adjacent to yours. It’s the same when rereading a book. You think you know everything? Think again.

Book lovers, I would like to challenge you to try and reread an old favourite once a month. Take time out of the competition to always read more, and return to an old friend who’s always waiting for you on the shelf.

Until the next time,

Hannah

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Book Review | Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (Poirot #8)

34066636A victim found stabbed multiple times. At least twelve suspects. And a detective who has to prove his worth to solve one of his most cunning cases. 

I am slowly falling in love with Agatha Christie, and I am 100% here for it. This was my second Poirot novel (although I don’t actually remember the first one I read so I really need to reread it), and I loved it.

Firstly, I love trains. Bizarre statement in any other situation, perhaps, but not when we’re discussing a book set on a train. I love old-fashioned trains, and it would be awesome if I could take a train like the Orient Express! So, the setting was, for me, truly brilliant. I was at home in the setting, so was able to really settle into the narrative and the characters.

The murder was so brilliant, and of course I was trying to work it out the whole way through (I was half right, okay!). Locked room murders are always so interesting. I think setting a murder in such a setting – where everyone is forced to be together – is really a brilliant move, as it raises the stakes for the possibility of another murder to take place, if the murderer is still on board.

Poirot is such a fantastic character. I think he’s hilarious, really witty and of course he’s so intelligent it hurts. Some of the clues I think I picked up on, but how Agatha Christie invented such a character… well, I would have loved to have met her. *Ahem* that’s by the by.

The resolution was far and away my favourite part. I won’t give any spoilers, but reading it I could feel my heart rate accelerating, and after putting it down I just had to say, “Wow,” softly to myself. I was – and still am – completely in awe of Christie, always but especially so in this novel. Her writing is masterful, and her murders even more so. I think that this book was also really human in its acting, adding to the brilliant climax and resolution, which isn’t something you often get in murder mysteries.

Overall, it’s easy to see why this is one of Christie’s most loved novels, and one of her best. I’m planning on starting at the beginning of her novels and working my way through, but I’m so glad I read Murder on the Orient Express because I was completely blown away, and definitely have a new favourite novel.

Rating: 5/5

Goodreads
Source: movie tie-in cover present from my mum (thanks, mum!)


If you liked this, you might also like… Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens. [review]

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Marvel Readathon 2.0 | tbr!

Next week I am hosting a readathon inspired by (and named after) one of my favourite franchises – Marvel!

This one is inspired by Ant-Man and the Wasp, which I saw just a couple of days ago and it was amazing! I highly recommend it, it was so good I think I might even go back and see it again…!

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Anyway, the readathon is a week long, from 6th – 12th August. There are six reading challenges based around six characters from Marvel, and each day there’s also a 1 minute challenge (or question) posted on the blog. I’m super excited for this readathon, and I’d love it if you joined in too!

Anyway, getting onto my own TBR…

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Ant-Man: A book below 150 pages – For this I am going to be reading The Case of the Missing Treasure by Robin Stevens, which is 148 pages. It’s actually a short story, I think, but I love Wells & Wong and I’m so excited!

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Wasp: A book set in summertime – for Wasp, I want to read Hope is Our Only Wing by Rutendo Tavengerwei which is set in Zimbabwe in 2008. I know it’s about the hyperinflation, which actually peaked in November, but because Zimbabwe is in the lower hemisphere, they have summer in the opposite months to the UK. Presumably, this book will be set around November… so in summer!

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Ghost: A book featuring technology – for this one, I’ve chosen to read Sadie by Courtney Summers which is an arc I picked up from yalc. The technology in this is a podcast, which is something I find really fascinating. I don’t listen to many podcasts, but maybe this book will change my mind!

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Hank Pym: A book with a rehashed plot that feels new (eg friends-to-lovers, chosen-one, etc.) – for Hank, I’m going to be reading Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. The “re-hashed” plot is because it’s a crime novel, so presumably someone will die, there will be a lot of working out whodunnit, and then the murderer will be caught. I hope!

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GiantMan: A book that you don’t know anything about – for this one, I’m going to be reading Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton, which is the final book in her Rebel of the Sands series. And if you’re wandering where book 2 is…

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Scott Lang: A book that features family – …book 2 is here! This one is called Traitor to the Throne and is of course also by Alwyn Hamilton. I read Rebel of the Sands earlier this week, and really want to finish the series.

I don’t actually have the last two books on this list yet, so I couldn’t do a full picture, sadly, which is why they’re all pictures from Goodreads. 🙂 I’m so excited to read all of these books!

Anyway, here’s my TBR, and I would love it if you participated in the readathon too, it would honestly mean so much to me!

I’ll be doing all of my readathon updates on Twitter, so make sure to follow me over there for updates! ❤

Until the next time, Hannah @ SPWW!

YALC 2018 | book haul & review!

Last weekend (27th – 29th July) was the Young Adult Literature Convention, or YALC, and London Film and Comic Con, or LFCC, and I was lucky enough to be able to attend for the full three days! I thought today I’d talk about the weekend as a whole, and then share my book haul with you all…

the diary part

Friday 27th July – I started the day pretty early and jumped onto a train from Winchester to London, but still arrived before the con started at 10am. Queued up, got my wrist band, and got in! Friday was pretty chill, which was nice. I met Sara Barnard, Joanne Harris and Chloe Seager, and went to an agent talk called “how to get published” which was really informative – I took so many notes!

Saturday 28th July – we started this day out pretty relaxed, and immediately tried to meet all of the Floored authors! We played author bingo all weekend, and I’m proud to say we achieved all 7! On Saturday, I met Tom Pollock who wrote a book I loved, and he was so lovely. I also met Lauren James (I’d read her book the night before), Giovanna and Tom Fletcher (aah!) and Laura Dockrill, and I went to a great panel Laura was on before, called “my body, my way”. I also popped down to LFCC on Saturday, but to be honest it was so hot and crowded! I found a fantastic pair cosplaying though, and that’s probably my favourite cosplay of the weekend, apart from an epic Spiderwoman I saw in passing at YALC. I wish I’d been alert enough to ask for a photo!

I love these so much!

Sunday 29th July – this was a day for checking out the stands I hadn’t looked at much before I left, and I bought a couple of books I am so excited to read! I went to a talk called “traveller’s life for me” which was fascinating and just makes me want to jump on a plane and go everywhere in the world. I only met one author in a signing queue on this day – Holly Bourne, and she was so lovely (and our last author on Floored author bingo!). I had to leave about 3pm on Sunday to make sure I could get my train, because the strikes meant I had to travel across London and then about half way back.

I also went to Platform 9 3/4 on Saturday night which was awesome and I bought myself a miniature Pickett who’s adorable and I love him.

the book haul part

Okay, so this haul is in four parts, and we’re going to start with… not an actual haul. These are books I already had and brought with me to get signed at YALC!

  • Editing Emma by Chloe Seager (SUCH a hilarious book, and Chloe was so nice!)
  • The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne (I ❤ Holly’s books)
  • The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris (unread, but Joanne was lovely and talked about LFCC with me!)
  • White Rabbit Red Wolf by Tom Pollock (already talked about how much I love this man)
  • Big Bones by Laura Dockrill (SO MUCH FOOD. I LOVE)
  • Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard (faaaab)
  • Eve of Man by Tom and Giovanna Fletcher (I was SO NERVOUS to meet Tom, I was surprised at myself! They were both so lovely though)

This set of books is the arcs/free books I got!

  • The Penguin Platform Yearbook 2018/2019 (this book is a set of samplers for some of Penguin’s biggest releases in the next year)
  • Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich (just kind of entered the raffle for this, but I’m so excited to read it!)
  • Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu (queued for about 20 minutes to get my paws on this arc, and I am SO EXCITED, I love Jennifer Mathieu so much!)
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers (this was a “buy a book, get an arc” scenario, and it looked pretty good!)

And these are (some of) the books that I bought…

  • Gabriel and the Swallows by Esther Dalseno (this is from OfTomes publishing and I love Ben’s publishing company so much!)
  • The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes (just looked exciting to be honest)
  • The Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen (this looked really cool, and I’m super excited to read it!)
  • Valley Girls by Sarah Nicole Lemon (it is about a girl who goes climbing and I thought YES PLEASE)

Final list! These are books that I bought there & got signed too.

  • Floored by 7 awesome YA authors! (this was the book that I played author bingo with! I started reading it at yalc, and I’m so excited to continue it!)
  • Hope is Our Only Wing by Rutendo Tavengerwei (Rutendo was on the “traveller’s life for me” panel, and I found her book later in Waterstones. She inscribed it “always keep hope”, and I decided to pick it up even though I didn’t meet her!)
  • Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? by Holly Bourne (this was released early at YALC, as it won’t be on sale until September! I’m so excited to read it<3)
  • The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James (I bought this on Friday, read it on Friday, then met Lauren James on Saturday! I loved this book, Romy Silvers is just awesome)

And there you finally have my very long 2018 YALC blog post! I hope that you enjoyed reading it, and let me know which book I should start reading first!

Did you go to YALC? If not, would you ever go? Let me know in the comments below!

Keep reading ❤ Hx

2018 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!

Hello all! ICYMI, I have decided to change this blog from a review site to a general bookish site. Don’t worry, the reviews will keep coming, but I am also going to be posting bookish stuff in general. 

During June, the 6th month of the year, the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag does its rounds. I don’t think I’ve ever participated before, but this year I’ve decided I want to.

Somehow, I have already read 53 books this year, so I unashamedly had to use Goodreads to help me answer these questions!  Continue reading

Poetry Review | Honeybee by Trista Mateer

36206132In this poetry collection, Trista Mateer explores heartbreak, love, loss, and walking away. Honeybee is a memoir in verse, collecting snapshots from a time of ripples in one poet’s life. 

I really liked the style of Mateer’s poetry, and I think that for that reason, Honeybee and I resonated fairly well together.

The topic of heartbreak has been one that poets have written about for centuries, but Mateer’s situation was entirely unique, because she was the one who walked away. This book explores how her own experience with leaving still affected the heartbreak that both sides of the relationship experienced, and I think it’s a side I don’t often read about in poetry, because normally the one who is left is the one who writes the sad poems.

I feel like I wasn’t in quite the emotional state to connect to anything truly (probably didn’t help I read like 75% of this in the doctors’ waiting room), but I did feel it. Mateer pours her whole heart into these poems about her ex and I think that for her, it was probably a really cathartic exercise to do.

A lot of time was really spent writing about her ex, though, and it was quite overwhelming. Obviously a poet should be separated from their poetry in terms of autobiographicalness unless they say it’s an autobiography, but some of what Mateer said surprised me. Even though she was in a new relationship (both sides of the couple), Mateer was still writing very emotive poetry which, if I were reading it as this girl, I would find it a little…. close? maybe? is that the right word? Whichever word, I hope you get the gist – even after one year, two years, Mateer still seemed to be pining for this girl despite being in a new relationship.

I kind of get it, I do, having gone through a difficult break up a year and a half or so ago, but I don’t think I could write this type of poetry about that person now. I miss them sometimes, yes, but I think to write this deeply about them… that’s a whole other level, and despite the fact I was thoroughly enjoying the beautiful phrases Mateer strung together, I was still slightly reserved from the poems, trying to remove myself from how I was feeling at the back of my head the entire time.

Honeybee is a poem about breakup, but not all breakups. Whilst I didn’t -connect-, I could feel the pain that was poured into these poems. From a stylistic point of view, these poems were 100% my cup of tea. I loved Mateer’s writing style, and will definitely be looking to read more of her books in the future. I especially enjoyed how the titles of the poems seemed to almost be another line. Mateer didn’t put a word down without a reason for doing it.

Overall, I think that this was a book Mateer needed to write, but not necessarily one I felt needed to be published. I think that her writing is, honestly, stunning and engrossing, but I felt a little uncomfortable reading it, as I was looking at it from both perspectives: Mateer’s, and the person she left. It’s unfortunate that I had this ticking voice in the back of my mind, otherwise I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more. However, I still gave this book a fairly good rating, because I feel like the writing truly deserves it.

Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads
Personal source: sent as an eARC from NetGalley. As always, opinions are entirely my own.


If you liked this, you might also enjoy… milk and honey by Rupi Kaur 

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Cover Reveal | Not Like Everyone Else by Jennifer Leigh

Hello everyone! I am delighted to be taking part in this cover reveal for a new YA book by Jennifer Leigh.

Not Like Everyone Else is a new contemporary read from young author Jennifer Leigh. Here’s a synopsis:

Ryan can’t seem to get her memories in order. When she breaks it off with her long-term boyfriend, Corey, she can’t help but feel free. But mysterious events keep Ryan asking “just what happened?” After her family moved to Ryton, after Carter goes missing, after Jacob is in the hospital. All of these afters, but Ryan can’t remember the befores. With Harper and Elliot by her side, Ryan can only hope that she does not forget… again. Will Ryan be able to recover her memory to figure out what happened when it all went dark?

Sounds interesting, right? Well, without further ado, here is the cover:

Ta-da! I think it’s so pretty and I love the setting around the model. It looks so intriguing!


Want more of Not Like Everyone Else?

Pre-order your Kindle copy now! Or sign-up for the blog tour which runs from June 15-June 23.

Not Like Everyone Else is set to be released on June 15, 2018.

About Jennifer Leigh:

Jennifer Leigh is a self-published young adult author and blogger. She has participated in National Novel Writing Month where all of her thoughts come together and books are created. Her blog, Bound to Writing, focuses on young adult books and writing. She lives in New Jersey with her fiancé, two guinea pigs, and cat. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 


What do you think of Not Like Everyone Else‘s book cover? Let me know in the comments below!

I’d like to say a big thank-you to Jenn for letting me be a part of her cover reveal tour! I’m super excited to read it.

Book Review | To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

34499221With the hearts of seventeen princes underneath her bed, Princess Lira is known as the Princes’ Bane. She’s the most ruthless siren of them all, but when all begins to go wrong, Lira is transformed into the thing she hates most of all: a human. With one goal in mind, Lira finds Prince Elian – in order to steal his heart.

Prince Elian prefers to be known as Captain Elian, the Siren Killer. He and his band of loyal misfits roam the seas, killing sirens and searching for the power to win the war against land and sea. But just how many deals will he have to make to succeed at his task? When Lira asks to join his expedition, Elian knows something isn’t quite right about her, but just how much can he really trust her? 

The blurb of this book kept begging me to read it, and I was so excited when I finally got around to picking it up. A siren murderess and a prince on one ship? Who doesn’t want to read that?!

I frickin’ loved the sirens, to start with. Most of my experience with sirens (hah) comes from Homer and classical mythology, so I loved how they were reworked in this really dark turn of a story. They were ruthless and barbaric, and just absolutely fascinating how they worked. I think the connection they had with the hearts was written really well, how important they were made out to be.

I just absolutely love it when mythology and world building is done well. Christo’s world building was done brilliantly (although I wish there had been a map!), and she really made me believe that this was a world that could exist somewhere. I loved that each country/state had its own kind of trait – like being the centre of invention, or war, or romance. It kind of reminded me of the factions in Divergent a little, but with less fighting between them.

The war against land and sea has long been one that people have written about, but Christo really put a great turn on it. Also, the Sea Queen was a fantastically murderous character. She was so frickin’ ruthless! (And I don’t know about anyone else, but I was getting major Disney’s The Little Mermaid Ursula vibes.)

The whole structure of this book was really well put together and Lira and Elian were both such great characters. Where can I find me an Elian? (But seriously, though.) Their romance was done so well that I didn’t even realise they were changing towards each other at first! This is enemies-to-lovers done at its best, my friends.

I feel like the only let down, for me, was the plot. This was a book very much propelled by characters, and although I was of course interested in their quests, I just loved “being” around the characters and reading their conversations and interactions. That’s not saying that the plot wasn’t good – I think it was, and it featured just about everything I love about plots – but the characters were for me the main focus, and I think that Chriso loved her characters a lot and it kind of showed. The plot was good, but it didn’t get me as excited as just reading Elian and Lira and Kye and Madrid banter with each other.

Overall though this was a great read – the characters were absolutely fantastic, and the idea of the whole book was a brilliant new spin on the Little Mermaid. I never really liked the Disney film as a kid, but I couldn’t help but borrow some of the cartoon’s imagery to help bring the characters to life in my own head.

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads
Source: borrowed from the library. Thank you for NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. I actually read this book from the library because it was easier for me at the time. As always, though, my opinions are my own! 


If you liked this, you might also enjoy… Labyrinth Lost by Zoradia Cordova [review coming soon]

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Book Review | The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

36628816Rumour has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It’s written all over the bathroom stall at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumours start to spiral out of control. But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there’s only one person to ask: Alice herself. – edited from Goodreads

I was super excited to read this book, as although it’s Jennifer Mathieu’s debut novel, it has been reprinted following the success of Moxie (which I absolutely loved, although for some reason didn’t review – that will be coming soon!). However, The Truth About Alice, for me, fell flat.

I enjoyed reading only some of the POVs from which this story was told, and there were about 4 or 5 of them. Some were engaging, like Josh, and some just weren’t really that interesting at all. I also thought the differing POVs may not have lent themselves brilliantly to this novel – I would have preferred maybe only 2 or 3 if there were differing POVs at all.

The idea of course interested me because it’s about feminism and it’s also YA. I think it’s a novel about looking beyond what you believe a person to be to what they actually are, and for that reason I think it’s really important.

Alice was an interesting, complex character to whom terrible things happened, and I think it really shows how society today turns against someone if they make just one mistake. Alice was shunned because of a rumour, not even truth in the matter, and it was heartbreaking to watch all of her friends turn against her.

Mathieu writes about feminism in a way that no one else does – raw, and from a teenage perspective. Moxie was just incredible, and I will definitely be reading anything else she brings out. So overall, this book fell flatly compared to her most recent novel, but for a debut, it really explores new territory (it was published in 2014) and although the way it was told didn’t meld well with me, the ideas behind it, and of course Mathieu’s writing, were really brilliant to read.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3/5

Goodreads
Source: eARC from NetGalley


~*NEW SECTION*~

I’ve decided to add a “if you liked this…” section to each of my reviews, so if you enjoyed the book I reviewed, another one by a different author is listed below (and along with my review, if I’ve written one!).

If you liked this, you might also enjoy… The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed [review]

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Top Ten Books On My TBR

Today is another Top Ten Tuesday, and today I thought I would share the Top Ten Books on my TBR – aka, the top ten books I want to get to as soon as possible!

  1. Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan
    I can’t believe I haven’t finished this series yet. I am so excited to read it!
  2. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller 
    I am seeing Madeline Miller talk at the UEA Spring Literary Festival, and I would love to have read this before I see her.
  3. Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey 
    I am also seeing Emma talk at the literary festival, and as she’s also a UEA alumni, I think it’d be great to have read something by her before I see her!
  4. The White Book by Han Kang 
    I’m soooo excited for this book! I wasn’t the biggest fan of THE VEGETARIAN, but I have flicked through this books so many times in Waterstones and I finally bought it!
  5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 
    Nope. I still haven’t read this… I know! I need to get to it soon, especially before the film comes out.
  6. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor 
    I’ve seen that the second book is coming out in October, and the cover is so gorgeous! I would love to read (and love) this book before the new one comes out in October so I can have beautiful matching series…
  7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
    If you saw in my Goodreads tour blog post, JANE EYRE and THE TENANT OF WILDFELL HALL are still on my currently reading list, and although I would love to finish them ASAP, I feel that because I’m already reading them I can’t put them on this list… but I can put this one on!
  8. Spark by Alice Broadway
    This is book two, following INK, which I loved, so I really want to get to this one soon!
  9. Mythos by Stephen Fry 
    This is a collection of Greek myths (and signed! I met Stephen Fry! He was so nice!), and I’m thinking of writing about one for my dissertation, but I can’t choose which, so I’m going to read a couple of collections – also…
  10. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
    This is the same as MYTHOS, because I haven’t even decided whether to do Norse or Greek mythology! Aaah!

So there you go, here are 10 books that are on my TBR! I would love to get to these in the next month or so, so here’s hoping! ❤ What’s on your immediate TBR?

Until the next time,

hannah sign off