Pre Leap Year Book Haul!

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It is time for the pre Leap Year book haul 2016! There won’t be another one like this one until 2020 so party away readers!

I went on a charity shop spree in just under three quarters of an hour and came away with six books all making the total cost under £5 for the entire haul. So, with all that said, let’s get to the books!

The first one on the pile is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. This is an adult fiction told from the perspective of three maids that work in various households in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960s. The Help was rejected by over 50 different agents until it was signed and published and has gone on to sell millions of copies.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini is a teen fiction fantasy novel, the first in the saga The Inheritance Cycle. The story is told from the perspective of a boy called Eragon and finds a mysterious stone in the mountains. When the stone hatches, out pops a dragon who Eragon calls Saphira. Both of them have to flee from the evil king who is determined to capture them.

The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss is a teen contemporary  novel about a girl called Pearl who loses her mother after she dies giving birth to Pearl’s sister. The novel takes place throughout the months after Pearl’s mum dies and how her sister is referred to as ‘The Rat’.

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas is a teen murder mystery novel about a group of friends that go away on vacation for spring break and one of them gets murdered.

The Martian and Wither are the two books that I mentioned previously in my March TBR blog post for anyone who may be interested in reading these books.

Another side note: My parents have said that they may let me post videos on YouTube about my book collecting and my book hauls, anything literature related. They are alright with me running this blog but it took a little while to convince them about the videos. If and when I do decide to start posting videos, you will be the first to know.

I know that this post is rather short but do stick around as to confess, I have a ton of blog posts in my drafts at the moment that I need to finish writing and get images for. Not trying to bore anyone here 😉

Alice x

March TBR List

I know what you’re thinking, it isn’t even the month of March yet. However, as a person and a very keen reader, I try to plan things ahead so I stay on top of the books that I would like to read. There are 8 books that I have on March’s TBR list, a few of them I’ve already started but some I’ve yet to start. So, here are the 8 books!

Legend by Marie Lu- Haven’t started yet

This is for the local Young Adult book club that I’ve joined. It’s the first month that they’ve been running it for and this is the first book! It is based on a retelling of a classic story called Les Miserables by Victor Hugo that I’ve actually reserved from the local library! So, two Les Mis books to read! But Legend does come first as it is for a book club and we need to share our thoughts on the story as a group. For all of your blog readers, I will be posting a review of Legend up on this blog! Legend is a YA fantasy novel, the first in a trilogy set in Los Angeles, well, rather a futuristic version of Los Angeles. The boy is called Day and the girl is called June, June is trying to hunt down the person that killed her brother and while she is on the run, she meets Day and a whole ton of crazy things happen. It looks to be one heck of a rollercoaster.

Kook by Chris Vick- Haven’t started yet

This is a Read for Review run jointly with Maximum Pop Books and Harpercollins Publishers. I was one of the lucky 10 in the UK to win a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review on my blog. I’m super excited to read it. The story is a YA contemporary with suspense thrown in. It revolves around a girl who loves surfing and a boy who is fairly geeky but is drawn to the surfer girl who holds a potentially dangerous obsession. The cover is absolutely gorgeous!

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger- Haven’t started yet

While I was browsing one day on Goodreads, I stumbled onto a reading list called best books ever and I set myself a goal to try and read as many of the top 100. This was one of them. It is an adult romance story but with a scientfic and genetic twist. Clare and Henry were just six and thirty-six when they met but don’t get too paranoid about the age gap because when they marry, Clare is twenty-two and Henry thirty. The story revolves around this rare condition that Henry suffers from that causes himself to be pulled into either his past or sometime in the future. It looked very interesting with some positive reviews on Goodreads.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury- Started and on Page 17

This was one of three books that I brought on the Oxford book haul trip (see Oxford Book Haul post for more details!) It is set in a world where reading books and storing books is forbidden and Ray’s job as a fireman is to burn books. So far, it’s been a tad bit heartracing but I’m determined to continue.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card- Haven’t started yet

This is an adult Science Fiction novel about an alien force that is about to invade Earth and the latest recruit to the battle school is someone called Ender. To stop the alien invasion, he must survive a training programme that is brutal and the toughest ever in the whole galaxy. I also saw this on the same Goodreads reading list as The Time Traveler’s Wife so this was also going on my list.

Game of Thrones by George R R Martin- Started and on page 46

So far, it’s been brutal, a tad bit unpleasant but you can’t fault the heartracing suspense, edge of your seat moments that seem to put the world at a standstill. Each chapter is set up from different people’s viewpoints in the story which can sometimes be a bit hard to follow. I’m not that brilliant when it comes to talking in great detail about Game of Thrones but is an adult fantasy novel with three different plotlines, fight scenes, death, secrets and lies. If that is something that you enjoy reading in books, you’ll like this one.

The Martian by Andy Weir- Haven’t started yet

This was recently made and released as a film. It is set in the year 2035 when an astronaut Mark becomes stranded alone on the planet Mars and it is up to him to make sure that he survives and stays safe from any danger and the risk of hunger and dehydration. This is an adult science fiction novel that I’ve been wanting to get a copy of since last year when the film was announced and I saw the trailer for it.

Wither (Book 1 in the Chemical Garden Trilogy)- Haven’t started yet

This book has interested me for a while now. It is a YA Fantasy Science Fiction novel about DNA engineering going horribly wrong. Women die at age 20, men at age 25. For young girls, they end up getting abducted and made to breed to keep the humanity alive and free from disaster. The story revolves around 16 year old Rhine who gets kidnapped and sold as a bride. Her new husband is nice but Rhine just doesn’t want to follow instructions, she ends up meeting a servant Gabriel and both try to commit the sneaky escape plan before it is too late. I’ve seen mixed reviews for the trilogy but I am intrigued by this one.

So, that’s my March TBR list! Let me know in the comments section of this post of you like my selections, if your favourite books are listed and any that interest you or are keen to hear my thoughts on the most! Thanks for reading, I wrote this at nearly 11 o’clock at night so sorry for any spelling mistakes!

Alice x

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Distractions, Distractions

What happens when you’ve written hundreds possibly thousands of words and then, you feel like you are all dried up and can’t write anymore? It’s called a writing slump and I’ve sadly had lots of them. I don’t want to share lots of private information on my blog about what is happening in my life, it’s too much of a rollercoaster to bare. But recently, during class and even out and about with family and friends, I get distracted. Not in a negative way but rather in a thoughtful way.

Without trying to share bad things about myself and my attitude, recently, I’ve discovered that during the worst possible times, I find that I get more away from reality and into dreamland. Books provide a comfort that I don’t find from anything else, I love music but sometimes, it can be hard to try and find the perfect song that matches my mood and speaks out to me. When it comes to books, it’s a whole different story.

We all have things that we worry about, I worry about my constant Anxiety, my health, my work, people that I know and love. It stops you from doing the things that you have to do. So, for example, if you have to complete a assignment to a deadline and because you feel like you don’t want to think about it and the people/items surrounding it, it’s easy to slip in motivation and just do things that are total opposites to the task at hand.

It’s worrying me and everyone close to me how easy it is to slip out of someone’s good books. Throughout my life, I’ve tried to be the modal student, the teacher’s pet type of thing. It’s due to my shyness and how I was brought up to be. I’m not typing this at the best of times now, but it just frustrates me when I can’t do anything regarding the task because my mind is elsewhere. I try to avoid being in trouble, but now, I’m two foot deep in trouble.

I love this blog, it’s a part of me. I work hard and want to try and succeed. But when things take a nosedive with no sign of a recovery option, it’s like you are drowning in the big blue ocean with no means of escape.

I need to find the solutions to my distractions, I need to discover me and I hope that by keeping this blog, I can do that so I feel like I’ve overcome some of my demons.

Alice x

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(Credited from: http://iwastesomuchtime.com/on/?i=26568)

This Book Showed A True Role in the 1930s

Another Historical Fiction book that I will be mentioning on this blog on one of the windiest days of 2016 so far. My room has done nothing but shake and howl all day and since most of yesterday too. All periods of History interest me but it was this one particular book that really answered a few questions that I had had left unanswered. Aprons and Sliver Spoons is a memoir written by Mollie Moran at the age of 96 years old. With the help of the publishers Penguin, she was able to tell her story before it was too late. Being born in 1916, she was just 14 years old when she left her home county of Norfolk and became a kitchen maid in a townhouse in London. It is there that she experiences many life changing things including meeting her best friend Flo and flirting with the boys that worked in Harrods.

In Aprons and Sliver Spoons, Mollie talks about her experiences before she moved to London, during the time that she was working in London and the various job roles that she had afterwards during the Second World War. Through reading her words, you really get to experience the sort of life that she lived through meeting people including her future husband. The extra additions of real recipes and household tips from the 1930s kitchen really made the story feel more historical as I learnt more about their lifestyle and way of living.

I would have loved to have met Mollie but sadly, she passed away within the last few years but thank goodness that her story was able to have been told before it was too late. Mollie’s friend Flo also wrote a book about her own experiences but I have yet to read it. Perhaps when I add to my already overflowing book collection, that might be one of the next ones to get and read.

There are also photos inside the book of Mollie and various people/events that she mentions within the book.

Alice ximage

This Book Saved My History GCSE Grade

And the title of this post sounds a tad bit drastic! It’s not all like that, rest assured. When I selected to study GCSE History for two years, I knew what I was letting myself in for. History has always been one of my favourite subjects to study. I guess I got the love of History from my mum and what job occupation my mum has and the events and exhibitions that she has been lucky enough to run and visit to. One of the main parts in GCSE History if you wanted to do well was source work. You had to compare a number of sources whilst writing essays and completing projects to see if any of the information was biased or not. At first, it drove me mad until the middle of Year 11 when I had that moment where I knew that I was getting somewhere.

I hope to study History again on my dream course which is a pre-University course in Humanities. However, because of my age, I can’t do the course this year since there would be no funding available for me. So, in 2017, I will be able to do it! And that is what my heart is truly set on. The book that I believed saved my GCSE History grade and burden of source work is the one that I will be talking about in my next paragraph.

It’s called A Small Part Of History written by Peggy Elliott and I was very lucky enough to see this one day in a charity shop while out shopping with my parents and it was the correct period of history that we were studying, right country, right premise. Only managed to cost 95p so it didn’t break the bank!

Our topic of study in Year 11 was known as The American West and one particular part of it that really caught my eye was the Gold Rush. And this is what the book A Small Part Of History is all about. It is in the year of 1846 in the blazing hot summer that the Springer family decide to join one of the wagon trails called the Oregon trail which I did lots of research on for school. On the way, they meet other families who are also on the trail either to pursue this Gold Rush or just want a better lifestyle for them and their loved ones. In the novel, the Springer family experience death, harsh terrain, all weathers, life events that they never thought would happen.

I wrote an essay about the Gold Rush and the various wagon trails and decided that I would reference and compare the book. I mentioned that the book I felt was authentic and gave the correct information with the right amount of detail about what life was like for anyone who embarked on this journey to a better life. Most of the people in my class used various internet websites for their research but I went one step further and used books alongside the internet in my source work. I managed to do very well with that particular written task. And it was all thanks to the various sources plus this novel that I am happy that I did read. If I hadn’t read it, goodness knows what my History grade would be today.

I really recommend it for anyone who reads and loves Historical Fiction and anyone with a particular interest for American History during the 1800s.

Alice ximage

This Book Chilled Me To The Bone

I’ve watched many shows in the past like CSI and 48 Hours and how the authorities conduct missing person investigations and unsolved cases. When I picked up the book that I will be talking about in this post one day, I felt like I had left Earth altogether and was with the main character trying to be like her sister.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is set in 1970s America and is told from the perspective of Susie Salmon. On a cold day in December 1973, she gets murdered by a local man in her neighbourhood and is now up in Heaven. From Heaven, she can see everything that goes on including the life of her family and friends but even though she wants to be there, she can’t. As the years go on by, she witnesses new loves, new friends, tears, divorce. The fun things that Susie didn’t do that she wanted to.

What chilled me was how Susie got murdered and the things that happened to her family and the guy who murdered her afterwards. It made me realise that life is precious, you never know just what might happen to you or the ones that you love. Because of this, you need to take everything in life that gets thrown at you but never be afraid to ask for help.

Love is precious, it’s a gift. I’m still waiting for the guy that I could call my love. Susie in this story has a crush and I can relate to that as I have had crushes on boys too. It’s nice to have pleasant dreams to make you smile during hard times. But getting the ‘goosebump moment’ whilst reading The Lovely Bones made me realise that this story is constructed well and you as the reader feel something. As if Susie herself was sitting right next to you and speaking the words out loud.

Alice x image

Thoughts on Red Queen

Oh. My. God.

Red Queen blew my mind… Literally. Credit to the author for creating such a suspenseful, action packed read to enjoy on a boring train journey. One of my favourite YA books I’ve ever read. All I need in my life right now is the sequel Glass Sword. What I love about Red Queen is it actually gave off vibes that I experienced whilst reading The Hunger Games trilogy which is my favourite trilogy of all time. The world building was amazing, I could easily picture it in my mind as I kept turning the pages.

Not wanting to give spoilers away but with adventure, royal affairs somewhat, betrayal and power, Red Queen has it all. What a way to blow off my reading slump after reading a couple of bad books.

I have no complaints other than I wish Red Queen becomes a movie, it has to become a movie. I would totally go and see it. Yes readers, I’m a total fangirl, roll on Glass Sword!

Copied over from my Goodreads profile. Five star read!

Alice x