Monday, 31 July 2017

The reading slump of all slumps

Pretty much this whole year so far- that's 7 months- I've had such a reading slump. I've picked up books and not finished them. There was the odd book back in may/june that I did read (The Butterfly Garden) but since then... nope. However in the last week I've managed to read four books! I am hoping that is me back on the reading train but I will wait to see what happens

Sometimes it's just so hard to know what to do read. Right now I really want to read The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman but at the same time, do I really want to read that? I do this to myself. I second guess if I want to read this. I do the same with movies now. Get 10 minutes into a film and decide 'yeah I don't think I want to put 2 hours of my life into this movie' it's dumb because I aint going to be doing much else in those two hours!

I tried all the Get Yourself Out of a Reading Slump 101s you could think of. Read little and often, read short books, read short stories, reread a favourite book, read some easy YA, go on booktube, bookstagram, twitter, etc. Nothing was really working.
Sometimes you are in a proper dead end slump and their just isn't anything you can do about it. What I've found with me what took me out of my slump was read this scary-true-story-ghost book and it kept me on my toes straight from the start I literally read it in a day. So maybe I could suggest trying a book that has reviews that states 'thrilling from the start' and the like. Books that are going to take a couple of chapters or more to get into, you aint going to get past that first chapter! it needs to be WHAM BAM, SORRY WAS THAT THE WRONG HOLE, MAM? In your face, grips you, ties you in and keeps you in.
Also I watched some 24 hour readathons on youtube and that really got me in the mood to read just to see how much I could read in a short space of time and I managed to read The Forgetting Time and got about half way through Alice by Christina Henry in that time (although I wasn't actually doing a 24 hour readathon, i just found the idea of it motivating)

As for my blog I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with it. Not sure if I will keep it going. I like having a book blog, writing my reviews, posting up my hauls and TBRs that I never keep to lololol. 

I guess I'll see how my reading goes for now. Build up a catalogue of reviews for now and maybe have it back up to frequent posting again soon.

On the plus side I've saved a lot of money not buying as many books so far this year, and I did an unhaul when I moved house woo!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

November TBR

I have so enjoyed reading creepy and scary books through October, I really don't want to stop! But I have other book in other genres that I do want to get round too- and most importantly I have other books that I started and have yet to finish!

One of them is Hollow City (Miss Peregrine book 2) by Ransom Riggs which I started in August and got 100 plus pages in. I did have it on my TBR for October but life gets in the way! So I do want to finish that book this month.
Another is If I Stay. I'm not sure why I struggling sticking with this book because I do enjoy it when I read it- I'm 15% into this book
I then want to read:
Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson- I'm on a mission to read all of her books
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh- Heard fabulous reviews
Behind Closed Doors by B. A Paris- I've promised my best friend I will read it this month
A Darker Shade of Magic- I fancy something different

(apologies for lousy focussing- a prime lens is not good for shoots like this, zoom lens is on my list!)

I'm not very good at sticking to monthly TBR's but I want to make a good dent in the books that I've yet to read on my book shelf.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

If you're quite active in the Booktube/Bookstagram community then you may have heard of this book The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. It has rave reviews everywhere, and I can see why!

Mara Dyer is a 16 year old girl has just moved to another state folowing a horrific and tragic accident in which her best friend, boyfriend and boyfriend's sister all died. Struggling to cope with what has happened, her inability to remember what actually happened she starts to show signs of PSTD- hallucinating and feeling unstable and emotional.
As time goes on her hallucinations are becoming too much, they're becoming too real. What are they? What is happening to Mara? After a series of strange and coincidental events Mara starts to wonder if there is something seriously wrong with her... 

That's about as good of a quick synopsis I could give without spoilers to be honest! Firstly this book is young adult supernatural/contemporary fiction. So keep that in your mind if you're intrigued by this book because YA isn't for everyone.

I really enjoyed this book- I started getting a bit concerned about 20% of the way through because Mara has met this guy, an English boy called Noah who is of course dashingly gorgeous, and he is rumoured to be a total man-whore and a douche etc and he's just all over Mara like a sleaze so I was sat there thinking 'oh my god, if this story is going to be about how he sleeps with her and doesn't call her back I'm finishing this book and burning it' HOWEVER that is not what this book is and this isn't a spoiler, and if it is I think it's an important one to have in your mind so that you can really appreciate Noah from the start but the man-whore rumours, as far as I'm led to believe, are just rumours and he is a nice guy, So keep that in mind when reading this.
Once I realise that Noah is actually a good guy I really liked him (I'd spend about half it thinking he was arsehole!)
The relationship does get a little 'insta-lovey' as it's called- where he's saying all the right things and she just melts- but there wasn't TOOOO much of that within this book, there was just enough for me in fact.

The story unfolds and you're a little confused, I'm not going to lie. You're kind of left thinking 'what on earth is real' because Mara isn't really a reliable narrator- she can't remember what actually happened, she's losing her mind trying to piece things together and you're being taken along for the ride with her.
This book moves as such a fast pace so I literally could it put it down- I mean it, I went from 25% to 94% in four and a half hours. And it was after 2am and I had to leave the last 7% till the morning. But there are quite a few different things going on in the book- you have Mara trying to remember what happened, all the crazy things going on around her, her new budding relationship, her strained relationship with her mother, her father's job as a lawyer and defending an accused murderer- it's pretty packed!

I would recommend this book if you're familiar with young adult, if you just starting out with some supernatural- because although this is classed as a supernatural book and the supernatural elements I think are brilliant, I really loved those bis, there really wasn't as much as I thought there would be so I am hoping there will be a lot more in the second book.

I really feel like I could talk more about this book but I'll leave it here because the rest of these series will really complete this book more and questions that are still left unanswered

I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars- knocking off a star because  I spend way too long thinking Noah was an arsehole and so I really didn't warm to him till much later in the book, and there could have been more supernaturally elements in there for me.

This book is part of a trilogy so this is left on a bit of a cliff hanger- but a really good one. Currently in the UK all three Mara Dyer books are 99p on Kindle

My bestie best Sarah over at have made a facebook group for all things BOOKISH if you'd liked to join shoot us a request over at Bookish Worms see you there!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

October Book Wrap Up

In all I read 6 books this month as planned, although my final two books weren't the ones I had on my original October TBR but that's because I got all caught up in a series and I 
couldn't wait to finish it

Bird Box by Josh Malerman- Read my review here

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness- Read my review here

The Haunting of Hill House- Read my review here

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer- Review to come

The Evolution of Mara Dyer- Review to come

The Retribution of Mara Dyer- Review to Come

I will just say I loved the Mara Dyer series- I do recommend it if you're a YA supernatural/contemporary fan.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

October Book Haul

This month I went a little crazy on the book buying and bought 20 books! 8 of which were either from very cheap stores ( like poundland) or charity shops- the rest from either amazon, WHSmiths or Waterstones

From top row, L-R: The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, A Monster Calls (illustrated edition) by Patrick Ness, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, The Reviver by Seth Patrick, A Last Kiss for Mummy by Casey Watson, The Short Second Life of Bree Tannr by Stephanie Meyer, Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson, Penpal by Dathan Auerbach, Throne of Glass by Sarah Jj Maas, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Dark Ideas by Shirley Jackson, Room by Emma Donoghue, Mother Mther by Koran Zailckas, Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, The Boy in Striped PJ's (illustrated edition) by John Boyne, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin and I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Review: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackon

First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

This book is quite wonderfully written as is all books by Jackson. Being a book from 1959 the language is so far from modern day that it is a nice break, though at times a little confusing. The way people behave and speak within this book is far different to anything else I have read.
More than just a tale of a haunted house is depicts the descend into a kind of madness for the main character.
If you are already a lover of eerie tales are very familiar with a writing style similar to that from the 1950's then I would recommend this book to you.
I had previously seen the film- The Haunting (orignal AND remake)- although at the time of reading I couldn't really remember what had happened but as I carried on reading I suddenly remembered the ending and the explanation.  So I went through this book with that in mind but actually you do not get that same explanation that you get from the 1999 version of the film so I would suggest if you haven't watched the film already to read the book first.
The book did confuse me in some ways as I did think  I was going to be reading more of a haunted house book, so when you go into this book keep in mind that that is only part of the story.
This book is only 247 pages but it did take me a week to read. It wasn't something I was much too excited to read although I did enjoy as I read it. After reading such fast-paced spooky books just before this one I did find this book to be somewhat slow, however on reflection it's not that the book was slow it was that it was enriched with so much detail, so much character building which is so important for this book because, as well as the spooky house element, the main feature of this book is the main character and descend into a kind of madness and obsession and the relationship between her and the strangers around her.

I rate this book around a 3.5 only because I didn't feel it was much about the haunting of the house as I thought it would be but in terms of writing, description, structure- you can't fault Shirley Jackson.

My friend Sarah and I have made a Facebook group strictly for discussions and social media of all things book related! Feel free to come along and request to join over at Bookish Worms

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Before The Problem started, Malorie lived with her sister Shannon. Shannon begins to notice the news reporting strange things happening in other countries till it eventually reaches their own. Reports on people acting crazy, killing and committing suicide and no one knows why except to it seems then that when you see something in particular it sends you crazy. At the same time Malorie discovers she is pregnant from a one night stand... and she has no idea the kind of world she will have to raise her baby in
This was such a good read for me. The chapters were short but it didn't feel like too much toing and frowing at all. It was enough to keep me interested because I wasn't just reading the same chapter for prolonged periods of time.
There was a lot of suspension, you weren't too sure which way the book was going to go. How the characters were going to make it. Theories about the what was happening and why making your mind try and search for an answer.
I found it hard to keep this book sat down for very long and read it within 32 hours. Something about it just kept me wanting more. Tension, the world bought to it's feet, and unknown monster/creature to fear, a strong female protagonist. It has a lot going for it!
Finishing the book I felt like I just read through a journey, an adventure. Grant it, not a very nice one at all giving what the story is about but throughout it I was questioning "would I do this?" "Could I handle this?" "Is what she is doing/has done by the children right?" It really had me thinking.
Better than just the bog standard apocalypse stories which most likely include one or two zombies, this was about something else and such a brilliant original idea. To have to try and go through life practically blind so as not to see the thing that could likely make you mad.

If you are a fan of the apocalypse-style stories then I recommend this for you.

My friend Sarah and I have just opened a Facebook book club group- to share all things bookish! So if you regularly blog, tweet, Instagram or YouTube about books pop on over and join us at Bookish Worms
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