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Friday, 30 September 2016

Review: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman


Book: The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman
Series: His Dark Materials #1
Publisher: Knopf Books
Release Date: April 16th, 1996

Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford's Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the alethiometer. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called "Gobblers"—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person's inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.  

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Has Reading Become A Chore?

Do you ever feel that reading has become more of a chore recently?

 Not in a bad way! Don't get me wrong; I still love reading. But I set myself a 100 book reading challenge on Goodreads this year, and I've found that I'm either on track or one book behind (right now I'm TWO books behind schedule). And suddenly, whenever I read I find myself thinking "I have to have this read in the next three days or I'll be behind schedule." And I'm realising that that's kind of taking the fun out of reading. I can't re-read books anymore as they aren't counted in the Goodreads Challenge and with college starting up again, I'm going to have even less time that usual to read. (Even though I still keep re-reading books because they're too good NOT to read, haha.)

And other times, I'll be reading, but I'll get this inexplicable urge to look up random videos on YouTube, or check my FB or Instagram, or go get food. It's like I can't concentrate. I guess this could also be called a reading slump, lol. Still, it's really depressing sometimes, especially when there's so many books I have waiting for me to read or when I get emails from authors requesting a review in exchange for a book and I don't feel that urge to sit down and read.

Does anybody else feel this way, or is it just me?

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Review: A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir


Book: An Torch Against The Night, Sabaa Tahir
Series: An Ember in the Ashes #2
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: August 30th, 2016

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

Monday, 12 September 2016

My Hogwarts Story Tag!

Hey everyone! I'd like to thank Erika from Books and Stars for nominating me! Thanks a million girl :)

Since I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child recently, it makes sense to share my Hogwarts story with you all. While not obsessed with the series, I do really enjoy it and love reading Tumblr posts of canons about the four mauraders, and their interpretations of the series.   

1. Am I a pureblood, half-blood, or muggle born?
I think I'd be a muggle born, and probably be completely overwhelmed by Hogwarts and magic in general!

2. Which wand chose me?
I just did the Pottermore quiz, and I got Acacia wood with a dragon heartstring core, 11 ¾" and brittle flexibility.

3. Did I take an owl, cat, rat or toad with me?
I had a snowy owl, as I'm not much of a cat person and I wouldn't fancy a frog or a toad.

4. Where did the Sorting Hat put me?
I'm a super proud Hufflepuff! It's the most underrated House, but totally the best. Cedic Diggory was in this House, and so is the main character of the new Fantastic Beasts film! I redid the Quiz recently and it put me in Ravenclaw, but I've grown attached to my House and don't want to move.

5. What house did I want to be in?
Probably Gryffindor as that's the "best" House considering the Trio were put in there, but I'm over it now.

6. What lessons are my favourite and least favourite?
I think Transfiguation would be my favourite and Divination would be my least favourite.

7. The form my patronus takes is...
According to Buzzfeed, I'm a swan, and after reading the description, it suits me perfectly. I'm the same as Cho Chang, apparently!

8. What does a boggart look like for me?
Like Ron, spiders are a huge NOPE for me. Keep them all away from me!

9. Do I partake in any magical hobbies or school sports?
I'd love to try Quiddich, even though I'm completely non-sporty in real life.

 10. Where would I find myself hanging in my free time?
Probably either the Library or the Hufflepuff common room.

11. What would I most likely get detention for?
Daydreaming in class, my mind wanders terribly.

12. What career do I want after leaving Hogwarts?
Ooh could I be a dragon keeper? Something like Charlie Weasley does? That'd be amazing. I'd be like their mother, like Dany Targareyen!

And that's it! Thanks for sticking around and reading to the end of the tag. I'm going to tag:

Jennilyn at Ruroujennireads

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Book: An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir
Series: An Ember in the Ashes #1
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: February 9th, 2016

 Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Review: Harry Potter & The Cursed Child by J.K Rowling


Book: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, J.K Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
Series: Harry Potter #8
Publisher: Little, Brown UK
Release Date: July 31st, 2016

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.