BoyzNite: Review

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Title: Boyznite

Author: Xane Fisher

Published: August 2016

Length:  17 pages

Source: Received for review

 

 

I love reading short stories, but I really love reading short stories that impact me in a way I never expected! The title is pretty self explanatory for the story, we have a law student who comes home for a break. He decides to go out with his friends and it turns into a night of realisation!

There are a few things that add a lot to my reading experience and one of the most important one for me is probably the writing style! I really loved Xane Fishers style, it made the main character feel a lot more familiar. The emotions felt real and natural, it felt like a friend was telling me a story because the writing style made me so comfortable with the character!

We are always so busy, whether we’re studying or working, or doing both! We can sometimes zone out of our surroundings and become somewhat self absorbed. Only our successes, achievements and goals matter. We get so caught up in trying to achieve them that we forget, other people lead more difficult lives, people we may know quite well. This story shows just how much contrast there may be between your path and someone else’s, our main character comes across an old friend whos struggles he’d been oblivious to.

I would personally recommend this to anyone, its very short and quick read with only 17 pages. But with the authors style and fluidity it leaves you wishing there was more!

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I’m sorry how many?? 

 

So we just got 1500 followers!! I say we because it’s a collective effort, y’all I don’t know why the hell you choose to  read my rambles but thank you 😂😂!!! When I started this blog a few months ago I didn’t think I’d get 100 let alone 1000! So I thought I’d finally do a Q&A, it can be about absolutely anything, book related/personal! Leave questions in the comments and I’ll post the answers tomorrow!
Again, THANK YOUUUUUU!

Mystery & Mayhem: Review

 

Mystery-and-Mayhem-front-coverTitle: Mystery & Mayhem

Authors:  Katherine Woodfine, Clementine Beauvias, Elen Caldecott, Susie Day, Julia Golding, Frances Hardinge, Caroline Lawrence, Helen Moss, Sally Nicholls, Kate Pankhurst, Harriet Whitehorn, Robin Stevens

Published: May 2016

Length:  305 pages

Source: Received for review from the publisher through Netgalley

This is a collection on different crime cases for young children, I would probably say this was suitable for someone around the age of 8-12. The cases are really fun and engaging, and as this is meant to be an interactive book it provides enough information for the reader to attempt to solve each case. I also enjoyed that there quite a few cases and they all differed quite a bit, ensuring that you’d enjoy at least a few of them.
Again this isn’t something I’d read as it is aimed at a younger audience but I definitely think that it’s something my younger brother would enjoy!
There are twelve cases in this book, and so they are short but actually quite entertaining! Each story is captured within the case so it didn’t feel overwhelming, and for a younger audience it’s actually quite easy to keep up! They’re also really addictive; as soon as you finish a case you find yourself already half way through the next! This was really a great read, light, fast paced and thoroughly entertaining, even for someone who’s a bit too old to be reading it! I would definitely recommend this to families with younger children, I personally think it can be a great gateway to reading!

Divergent: Review

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Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Published: February 2012
Length:  487 pages
Source: Received for review from the publisher through Netgalley
I should probably preface this review by saying I haven’t read The Hunger Games trilogy. I mention this because I’ve heard time and time again that Divergent is a little too similar to The Hunger Games. Now in terms of Divergent, I have mixed feelings… So the premise of this book is that basically a war broke out, and to restore peace factions were created. These are basically groups each based on a virtue:
⦁ Candor is based on honesty
⦁ Dauntless on bravery
⦁ Amity on peacefulness
⦁ Abnegation on selflessness
⦁ Erudite on intelligence
The reason for these factions are that if everyone belongs to a particular group, chaos is prevented and there would be a lot more order! The story follows our main character Beatrice Prior who like all 16 year olds has to choose a faction they will become permanent members of. We follow her after she’s made this decision and as she uncovers a secret about herself that is pretty much a threat to her existance if anyone finds out!
As someone who hasn’t read a lot of ‘popular’ YA books this premise to me seemed unique, HOWEVER having said that I found that this book was quite predictable… I generally enjoyed reading the book and got through it quite quickly, however there were some events that really made me step back a bit. Lets get on with the review:
World Building: This was actually done quite well, I really got a sense of this dystopian world and a feel for the faction Beatrice was in and also ones she’s just knows of. What I would’ve liked a little more was for someone to fill us in on what happened that lead to their current situation. Anything would’ve helped really justify this new system to me and also help me understand why anyone saw this as a viable solution. I’m finding it quite difficult to actually review this without accidently spoiling anything. The synopsis/blurb for the book doesn’t actually give that much away and I really appreciated that!
Characters: I actually didn’t mind Beatrice Prior I completely understood her character and her struggle to fit in her parents faction. Tris however got a little annoying at times, and did some things I really couldn’t reason with. Again I’m not going to spoil anything but towards the end she did something very stupid, who knows maybe in the next book they justify this? I also found Beatrice a little more believable than I found Tris. However I really liked Tris’ group of friends, their friendship felt really genuine and when there were betrayals it made sense. There’s also some romance which I really appreciated. When the initiates are going through the grueling physical and emotional stages a little romance story is a welcome distraction!
Plot: Again this is difficult to talk about with no spoilers! I enjoyed the pace of Divergent, I didn’t at any point feel bored or that it slowed down which kept me reading to the end! However the main plot is something I’ve read multiples times before and I think because of that I found the ending a little bit predictable. Having said that, I didn’t find that it took away from the enjoyment, I literally breezed through the last 50 or so pages because as I reader I was engaged in the story! Throughout the book Tris always asks about what the outside world is like, and I’m thinking that may be hinting at what will happen in the next book so I’m very excited to read it!
Is it the best YA book I’ve read this year so far, probably not. BUT I do understand the hype and I see why this is a popular YA trilogy. I know for the most part my review is critiquing the book but I actually really had fun reading it. Its written from the perspective of a 16 year old and the writing style does reflect that. If you enjoy reading YA dystopian I definitely think you should give this a try!

Monstress : Review

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Title: Monstress

Writer: Marjorie Liu , Illustrator: Sana Takeda

Published: March 2016

Length:  72 pages

Source: Received for review from the publisher through Netgalley

 

First of all, there’s something to be said about the contribution of art style and choice of colour tones to a comic! I’m not an expert in art and I won’t pretend to be but as a reader I am able to identify when the art adds something to the story! I think that Monstress really demonstrates just how much these artistical aspects bring to the  story. Here’s the synopsis:
‘ Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.’

(I know that this synopsis doesn’t give much away but I actually prefer it like that! I think you should just go ahead and read this comic!)

This review is JUST for the first issue, but I’m going to hold off reviewing the other issues and just review volume 1 as a whole. The basic premise of the story (from what I’ve gathered) is that there was a war between humans and other creatures.  Some of these ‘creature’s include realllllyyy cutteeee little hybrids of humans and foxes or other animals. Honestly they were so cute! Post-war the humans have the upper hand and are basically the ruling species. That’s as far as I’m  willing to risk in terms of explanations, the rest you’ll have to find out for yourselves!

World building:  Whenever a writer includes flashbacks in their story I immediately appreciate them! This is a high fantasy story, and you can tell from the first issue that you’re going to have to read on to discover and understand this fictional world on a deeper level. Having said that, there were flashbacks in this comic that kind of filled the reader in, or provided them with enough information to be able to follow the story! Again the art style and tone of colours played a huge role in the portrayal of this world! HOWEVER, I did feel like this issue was a little all over the place, it is way longer than first issues tend to be. But I felt like the structure was a bit off, we were hopping from place to place and it got a bit jarring.

Characters: Surprisingly the focus on the main character came at the end of this issue. We have the typical protagonist who possesses a power she doesn’t fully understand or know how to use. Accompanied with this usually we have a story of self discovery so I’ll be looking forward to learning more about our main character! One thing I appreciated  is the diversity of the characters, this is a purely fictional world and it’s always refreshing to see that writers choose to use a cast that is more representative.

Connecting with the main character is essential to successfully engaging the reader, in my opinion. I feel like I can do this better when my first pages reading about the character don’t include them in intense scenes . That is the case in this comic and I think because of that I haven’t been able to really immerse myself into the story, I feel like I haven’t gotten to know the character well know to know what she experiences in certain situations.

All in all it was , very intriguing and engaging and unique in in its premise. We see from the first issue that this story and it’s characters has a lot of depth to it, and one I’m definitely going to carry on reading! I would recommend this to probably anyone, but in particular if you have an interest in fantasy, you’ll love this !

Bookstagram account?

So before I started actively using my blog I actually started a bookstagram account. I’m pretty sure everyone knows what it is, but it’s basically an instagram account dedicated to everything and anything book related. I wanted to gain audience there first before I started blogging so I at least have some readers to start with! Over time I’ve realised it’s a LOT OF work! I’ve said this in a previous post but I’ve never been gifted in photography 😅, my pictures always turn out blurry and most times just pure shite! But if you take a look at some of the existing accounts on instagram all the pictures look so pretty and creative and, well… professional 😅.

At the same time, when I finally manage to get that half decent picure I feel so proud:’D. There’s pretty much no other reason for this post than to vent out my stress at maintaining a bookstagram account! Do you own a bookstagram account? Let me know in the comments of your experience!

And of course if you want to check mine out:

@abooknation

Life Update & July Book Haul

It’s been a while since my last post (that’s a sentence I rarely use (!)) but it’s only because I’ve been travelling! My parents are originally from Morocco so it’s a bit of a tradition to spend the whole summer here. I live in London and every year we make the journey from there to Morocco, by car… It’s one hell of a journey taking a minimum of two days and includes getting on two different ferries, and that’s just on the way there! But the drive from the north of Spain to the South makes for some great pictures, it’s a shame I’ve never been gifted in photography. Insert a crappy picture that I barely managed to take and does no justice to the actual area:


One of the ferries has a little bookshop so you already know I couldn’t resist picking up a few things! It’s been a while since I’ve actually purchased a book so I think these few items were well deserved… Since it’s a little too late for a July TBR instead I’m going to include some books I’ve received for review at the bottom of this haul!
Books (and bookish things) I’ve purchased:

  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Heart Sick by Chelsea Cain
  • Notebook
  • Bookmark

Books I’ve received for review:

  • Moral Dissipation by S. M. Jarvis
  • BoyzNite by Xane Fisher
  • Upon The Tide by Ryan Jo Summers
  • Toru by Stephanie Sorenson
  • Falling For The Chance by Kennedy L. Mitchell

Netgalley

  • The Loving Husband by Christobel Kent
  • Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda