Book Review | The Crown by Kiera Cass

26150713In the final installment of the Selection series, Eadlyn has her own Selection to manage, as well as the unsettlement in her kingdom. With her twin having eloped, her mother desperately ill and her father by the bedside, Eadlyn has a lot to manage just on her own. 

Oh. My. Days.

I DNF’d this book, and I hardly ever DNF books. I think this is the first book I’ve DNF’d all year, and I’ve read over one hundred books. Argh.

The original trilogy was actually pretty great. But then this duology (or books 4 and 5, depending on which way you look at it) came along, and… it sucked. I’m sorry! But it sucked.

I really dislike Eadlyn. She was spoilt and really extreme- she’s either all in, or there’s nothing there at all. I didn’t feel anything in the Heir, apart from a desperate need to save some of the poor Selected boys from their time in the Palace. Aside from disliking Eadlyn, the characters of America and Maxon have completely changed! All right, so America is ill and Maxon loves her, but Maxon also loves his country, so would he really just abandon it with a snap of his fingers? (Answer: no.)

These books just felt like Kiera Cass was trying to drag the books out, kicking and screaming. I think they should have ended after The One, perhaps with a small novella/epilogue to show what happened. (Oh wait. We had that…)

So… I totally DNF’d this, and looked up the plot of what happened online. I was satisfied that Eadlyn ended up with my favourite character, but other than that I was WTF-ing when I read the summary, so I’m glad I didn’t finish the book otherwise I may have thrown the book across the room, which would have been a bit of a bummer as it was on my phone, and I’m kind of attached to that.

And… that’s my rather angry review. If you haven’t started this series, I would suggest reading the original three books, and then if you really want to, trying the last two. But to be honest, just look up the plots on Wikipedia.

Rating: 1/5 (DNF)

Goodreads
Source: borrowed an eBook from my library

 

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Book Review | Knots and Crosses (Rebus #1) by Ian Rankin

118828Haunted by his past, John Rebus has been in the police force almost since leaving the brutal SAS. He’s worked in Edinburgh for years, and everything’s been mostly quiet of late – until two girls are abducted, and later found dead. Rebus finds himself thrown into the case, but do they hit much closer to home? And what about the mysterious letters that keep finding their way to him? 

This, as you will have seen by the title to this post, is the first in the Inspector Rebus series by Ian Rankin. My grandma let me borrow the first one (and, for some reason, the 14th? I think those are the only ones she has, although I do want to read these in order!) and I read it in just one day!  Continue reading

Book Review | Basic Witches by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman

How to summon success, banish drama, and raise hell with your coven. 

Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman introduce you to witchcraft for the modern witch in this handy little guide. From everything to finding your colours, banishing toxic friendships, and how to handle truly terrible Tinder dates, the girls show you how you can be a badass witch in the modern era with spells, rituals, and just a whole lot of empowerment. 

I’ve recently become really interested in witchcraft, so this book has come at the perfect time for me! It’s a really simple, and plain gorgeous, little guide to the modern witch.  Continue reading

Review | The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo

The KonMari method of tidying has revolutionised organisation and minimalism all over the world. Since the age of 5, Marie Kondo has been tidying her own house and life, and has had clientele all over Japan. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying intends to teach you how to only keep the items that you truly love, how to discard the rest and to make your space into one in which you are truly happy. 

I really want to downsize my things, and to make my space into a happy one. I have enjoyed sorting through my things already, but reading this book has made me really excited to start tidying and making my place into a happy place!  Continue reading

Book Review | The Glory by Lauren St John

28162817Alex is a classified young deliquent. Sent by her mum and stepfather to Camp Renew, a boarding school in America, across the Atlantic. 

Will is a would-be vet, currently flipping burgers and wishing that he could take care of his father and his horse, Shiraz. 

The Glory is a 2000 mile endurance race across four states over the USA. Both Alex and Will have signed up for the race. Now all there is to do is win. 

I really, really loved The Glory. It was such a brilliant story!  Continue reading

Book Review | Stranger, Baby by Emily Berry

DSC_0252Stranger, Baby is a book of poetry by up-and-coming poet Emily Berry. In this collection, a mixture of poetry, play, and prose, Berry has a sense of fantasy, humour, estrangement. Berry digs deep into her past of childhood loss and dedicates this book to her mother. A book of mourning, exhilaration and the ocean: ‘A meditation on a want that can never be answered.’ 

It took me a while to get into this book of poetry. Berry is a writer of wonder. She writes wonderfully, but I don’t really read much poetry like this. Continue reading

Book Review | Windfall by Jennifer E Smith

32048554Alice doesn’t believe in luck – at least, not the good kind. But she does believe that she is in love; with her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday, she buys him a lottery ticket as a joke – but to their astonishment, he wins $140 million and changes everything. 

At first it seems like a dream come true, but it quickly spirals into more of a curse than a windfall and Alice begins to wish she could take the ticket back. But she knows that you can’t change time, better than anyone. Will she and Teddy ever find their way back to each other? 

I really enjoyed this novel. I think it’s a really feel-good YA, and I got through it so quickly which was an added bonus. It’s a real dreamy book – both in the way of winning the lottery, and the way it was written! I felt so relaxed reading it, although I was completely unable to put it down. Continue reading

Book Review | The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas

32187354Grace is a teenager. She also has Asperger’s, and a unique way of looking at the world. With her horse and her best friend, she has everything that she needs. But then Grace kisses Gabe and her home starts to change… and the world doesn’t look the same anymore. Everything begins to fall apart, and Grace has to pull it back together again. 

loved this book. It’s a brand new YA novel about a girl with Asperger’s – and I think it might be the first I’ve read about Asperger’s (I’ve read from the POV of someone with Autism before). I want to read more about Asperger’s and autism (is that capitalised) though. The State of Grace however was a great way to start! (And it’s #OwnVoices!) Continue reading

How to Cull Your Books

I have recently gone through a rather large book cull – that’s about 70 books, in case you were wondering! Therefore, I think I have a little bit of an idea about how to get rid of books. Even if I don’t, here are some of the tips I used to get rid of ones from my own shelf!

If you’ve read the book

Hopefully, if would be nice if all of your books you’re getting rid of have already been read and (hopefully, but of course not always) loved!

  • Is it sentimental? Of course, not everything has been kept, but if you’re not ready to part with a book just yet because of sentimental reasons, unless you have no room or have to get rid of it for other reasons, then keep it.
  • Do you think you are going to reread it? Obviously, in that case: it’s a keeper.
  • Did you enjoy it? If not, why on earth is it on your shelf? If you did, then think about how much you enjoyed it. For example, was it a 5 star read, or a 3.5 star read? Therefore… which one are you more likely to want to keep?
  • Do you think someone else would enjoy it more than you? 🙂
  • Is it worth keeping it on your shelf? You don’t have to keep every book. If in 10, 20 years down the line you decide that actually you would like to reread this book, then you can always get it anew or borrow it from your library. Unless there is value in that particular copy, you don’t have to keep it!

If you haven’t read the book

Now, I know that this one is a touchy subject. When my mum looked through books I was getting rid of, some of them haven’t been read by yours truly. What you have to remember, though, is that when you’re a teen – or, indeed, at any time in your life, but especially from ages 10 – 20 – you change so much that it is important to remember your reading tastes will change too. Whilst I might have bought a book even 2 or 4 or 6 months ago, I might have changed so much in that time that I won’t want to read that book anymore. It’s nothing to be ashamed of: appreciating this is a great way to appreciate yourself. Remember that you’ll be donating your books – or selling them – so someone else will also enjoy the novels.

  • How long has the book been on your shelf? 2 months? Perhaps it could be worth keeping. 6 months? You need to seriously think this through. A year? Two years? Hmm…
  • Are you ever going to read it? …Seriously?
  • Do you think that someone else will enjoy it more than you?
  • Are you scared of letting this book go because you “might” read it? How long have you been saying you “might” read this book?

Some things to always remember when you cull books:

  • You can always pick it up again! Bookstores and libraries exist!
  • Someone else might enjoy it more than you, and isn’t that incredible?!
  • And it just means more shelf space for a book you might absolutely love rather than a 3 star book instead. 🙂

So tell me: how often do you get rid of books? What’s your process?

Pro-Review Writing Tips! | I: The Writing Process

Slight disclaimer: I am by no means the world’s best reviewer. However, I have reviewed a lot of books in my time, and I thought I would share some of my tips of how to make your reviews rock. Or, at least, be mildly interesting.

This is one of three different blog posts in the mini series (they’ll be going up in the next few weeks). This one is (as you have seen) about the writing process of the actual review; then we get onto how to write a rocking book description; and finally just some final hints, tips, and pieces of advice to be a kind and considerate, as well as good, reviewer. Enjoy!  Continue reading