Book Review | The Binding by Bridget Collins

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Well – this book was something else.

We follow Emmett Farmer, who discovers the existence of books. But books in this world aren’t just books – they are people. Or, to be more exact, the memories of people, the things they want to forget. A binder takes these memories away, wraps them up neatly in the book, and they can go on the shelf and be forgotten.

Continue reading “Book Review | The Binding by Bridget Collins”

Do I Have a Favourite Genre? | blogmas day 10

When people ask me what I like to read,  I normally just say “just about anything, throw it at me!” And that’s not a lie – I genuinely will try absolutely any genre, from young adult to romance to horror to Western to crime to memoir.

If you look through my book review directory, you will see an entire library’s worth of genres. Manga? I’ve got something. Cosy crime? Sure. Memoir? Funny, that. YA? Oh, absolutely. Classics? Got one (and more) for that, too

So… what actually is my favourite genre? 

Continue reading “Do I Have a Favourite Genre? | blogmas day 10”

My Favourite Autumnal Books For All Kinds Of Readers

It’s autumn for real now, and I’m so excited. Autumn is my favourite season, and I love nothing more than curling up with a book, a thick jumper, and a mug of coffee.

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photo: wikipedia // someone35 

To get into the spirit, I thought I would share 5 books that you can cosy up with and get totally lost in this autumn.

If you fancy a bit of murder, read… Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie – okay so this isn’t as autumnal as, say, Sleeping Murder, but it’s just so classic and easily the best Christie I’ve read so far! You will get completely sucked in, and the ending is by far the best bit. The perfect way to spend a few hours when it’s rainy and thundery outside. Continue reading “My Favourite Autumnal Books For All Kinds Of Readers”

Stacking the Shelves #2

Guys. I have been soooo bad this week.

95266-stssmallI’m back in Norwich, and I’ve been here for 7 days. I have picked up… 6 books. (Plus 3 library books.) “Oops” might be an understatement.

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews & Reading Reality. Each week, you post about the books that have joined your bookshelves!

Let’s start with the library books; I’m just going to list these real quick. The first is Full Metal Alchemist Volumes 1-3 by Hiromu Arakawa. I am loving this so far, I’m just about to start volume 3! I also picked up History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, which came out… last year, I think? I’m kinda nervous and kinda excited to start this one. And then I picked up Selling Manhattan by Carol Ann Duffy, which is a poetry book and Duffy’s second collection. I loved her first, Standing Female Nude, so I figured that I would really enjoy this one, too!

Image result for the name of the windSo let’s get onto the books that have joined my shelves for the long term. Firstly, we have The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, which is a fantasy book that I’ve been side-eyeing for quite a while. I had a £10 Waterstones voucher, so figured why the hell not and picked it up! This is due to be a trilogy although there’s only two books out right now. Everyone I know who has read it has loved it, so that gives it a good standing so far.

Image result for sabrielNext up we have Sabriel by Garth Nix. I got this book, and the next two following, from a book exchange at my university. When you pick up a book, you can either exchange it for another book, or pop a donation into a box. The suggested donation is a pound, so I just put in at least a pound for these three books (and often a lot of spare change!). I’m really excited to read Sabriel as one of my favourite booktubers, Little Book Owl, raves about it!

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The next book is The Taxidermist’s Daughter by Kate Mosse. I don’t have a lot to say about this one – I read The Winter Ghosts by Mosse, and I didn’t think it was the most incredible thing in the world but it Image result for hollow citywas so deliciously creepy that I really was interested to read this one too. I’m assuming that this book is going to have lots to do with dead things, so I’m excited!

And next is Hollow City by Ransom Riggs. This is the second in the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children trilogy. I really liked the first book but I’ve heard that the next books don’t live up to the hype, so I’ve been really hesitant about picking them up. Because this was so cheap however, I thought I would grab it. If I like it, I’ll pick up the third book, but if not, I’ll take it back to the book exchange!

The next book I received was The Message by Yan Vava. This got to me via my university newspaper, Concrete, and I thought I would give it a shot! There’s not much to say about this except that it seems to be told in many different ways (eg prose, transcript, poetry) and it’s indie!

Image result for exit west amazonAnd finally we have Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. This was actually the only book I “bought”, I suppose – it was from Waterstones, but it had £2 off, so cost me £12.99. However, it’s a Waterstone’s special edition, and it’s signed! This is a Man Booker Shortlist, I think, and I’ve been eyeing it up for ages! It’s a magical realism novel set in a war-torn country, where doors are appearing to different places like London and LA. I’m super excited to get to this one!

I am super excited for all the books that have joined my shelves! Some of them seem to be quite creepy, so will be perfect for October and the Spookathon which I’m planning on partaking in! I’m also really happy that I didn’t spend too much money on books this week. 6 in a week is a lot, especially as I haven’t really been reading this much, but I’m not planning on buying any more books! I’m going to be on a buying ban until October 1st – there are then two books which I am going to pre-order on October 1st. And then I’ll be on a ban until the Christmas holidays. 🙂

Thank you so much for reading this post! What’s joined your shelves this week? Are there any here that you think I should get to ASAP?

Until the next time,

hannah sign off

All book cover images from Amazon UK. 

Book Review: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

TITLE: The Paper Magician
AUTHOR: Charlie N. Holmberg
NUMBER OF PAGES: 226 (Kindle Edition)
PRICE: £7.64 (paperback) / £3.98 (kindle)
ISBN: 978-1477823835
PERSONAL SOURCE: Bought on Kindle

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic… forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined — animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner — a practitioner of dark, flesh magic — invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man. – from GoodReads

Okay, so this book… Before I started, I read a bunch of reviews on Amazon (it was £1 and I was also reading it for an online book group). Quite a lot of them said it was a disappointment, nothing special, and so I went in with slightly perturbed. However, I, personally, was not disappointed.

The characters were all fairly interesting, although I thought Ceony could be a bit more into the whole paper-folding thing after it, hmm, saved her life, but nevertheless, I liked them. I really liked Mg Thane, and his relationship with Ceony has been well set-up for the next two books in the series, although it has felt a bit one-sided so far.

The concept of the book is a kind of fantasy, steampunk-y universe set in London in the United Kingdom. I really enjoyed the universe, however this was also where the author let the story down. They are clearly America, and therefore use American terms in favour of English terms: such as pants instead of trousers or sidewalk instead of pavement. This, I felt, really took away from the story and I felt it was such an elementary slip-up and really should have been noticed by the writer and/or editor.

The magic in this land is something I have never come across before, really, in YA fiction, so I enjoyed reading about paper magic and even the Excisioner, who I found both horrifying and intriguing. For the paper magic alone, I enjoyed this novel.

Overall, I gave this 4/5 – let down by the American terminology and also by some of the plot, which I felt dragged on about 10 pages too much in certain areas (otherwise I really enjoyed the plot and am looking forward to reading the continuation). However, I will and am looking forward to reading the second and third instalments and recommend this to those who enjoy YA fantasy.