Top Ten Tuesday #163

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Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these. I’m going to be heading off to France tomorrow for a few days of sun and poolside reading (weather dependent!) so I’m super excited for that.

It also means that today’s travel topic is quite apt! Now the official topic is Books That Awaken The Travel Bug In Me, but honestly, I have such a severe case of wanderlust that all books awaken the travel bug in me, I just want to go everywhere and books are one way of me doing that (certainly a cheaper way!). So I’m going to go with Books That Made Me Want To Visit Specific Places (and tell you whether I’ve actually been to those places or not):

  1. Percy Jackson and The Olympians-Rick Riordan-Greece and New York

I’ve always been obsessed with the Greek Myths, but reading Percy Jackson just made me want to visit Greece even more and also gave me the desire to go to New York so I could visit the Empire State Building and try to get to the 600th floor (don’t worry, I didn’t!). I have now done both of these things, I went to New York with my family in 2012 (and we did go up the Empire State Building, though only to the 86th floor observatory as going to the top was too expensive. One day I would like to go back and go to the top) and I went to Greece with my friends to celebrate my 21st birthday last year.

2. Skulduggery Pleasant-Derek Landy-Ireland

Yes, I know, Ireland is right across the sea from me and I still haven’t been, it’s bad! I’ve always thought that Ireland was the perfect setting for any kind of magic, no idea why and the Skulduggery Pleasant books just confirmed that for me. So I would definitely like to go visit someday!

3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone-Laini Taylor-Prague

I read this book last year and thought that Prague sounded like the most beautiful, wonderful place to visit and I wished I could wander the streets with Karou and Zuzana, visiting Poison Kitchen and eating pastries and all of that. Luckily, this book made my friend Nicola want to visit Prague too, she’s been doing her study abroad semester there since February and I’m going out to visit in just over a week’s time! So yeah, yay for friends who travel to cool places!

4. The Crown’s Game-Evelyn Skye-Russia

I know I can’t visit Imperial Russia anymore, but Skye’s descriptions of St Petersburg in this book sounded so amazing, it really made me want to go and visit St Petersburg and skate of the Neva, and walk the streets and eat some of the delicious food she described. I haven’t yet been to Russia, but hopefully one day I will!

5.Virginia-Maggie Stiefvater-The Raven Cycle

Whilst I know Henrietta itself doesn’t exist, I would still love to visit Virginia, as I know it’s big for horses and I’m a massive horse person, so obviously I would love that and it also just sounds like a really beautiful state, so I’d love to visit it and see it for myself (and pretend to search for ley lines like the Gangsey!).

6. Hawaii-Heidi Heilig-The Girl From Everywhere

Granted, I can’t visit the 1884 version of Hawaii that Heidi Heilig describes in this book, but still, she describes Hawaii in such a way that makes it sound so beautiful that you just can’t help but want to visit!

7. Italy-Caroline Lawrence-The Roman Mysteries

The Roman Mysteries was one of my favourite series when I was a kid, I used to check them out from the library obsessively when I was a kid (unfortunately never managed to finish them) and I always wanted to go and visit the places that the characters in the books did! I did actually go to Naples back in 2010, visited Pompeii and Vesuvius and Herculaneum and Capri, and it was an amazing trip, but I would love to go back to Italy and get to visit Rome and Florence and Venice and all the other beautiful cities there.

8. India-Tara Sim-Chainbreaker (Timekeeper #2)

I love reading about places that I don’t get to read about often in books and Tara Sim’s Victorian India definitely fitted the bill. Her descriptions of India were so gorgeous, they made me feel like I was there, and now I really want to visit to see the place for myself!

9. Alexandria-Rachel Caine-The Great Library Series

I’ve always loved the idea of going to Egypt, it’s a place that is catnip for a History lover like me, and Rachel Caine’s Great Library series has definitely made me want to take a trip to Alexandria (especially because in the real one you have no chance of being chased by bloodthirsty automatons) as I’d love to see the few ancient places that there are left there, especially the ruins of the Serapeum of Alexandria (the daughter library of the main one) and just generally explore, because Caine’s book makes Alexandria sound like such a beautiful place.

10. Poland-The Storyteller-Jodi Picoult

Part of Jodi Picoult’s 2013 novel, takes place at Auschwitz as the main character’s grandmother is a Holocaust survivor. Reading books like this one really make me want to go and see Auschwitz for myself, not because I think that going to see a concentration camp would be fun (obviously going to see a place where people died is not fun) but because I feel like it’s something that I need to do. It’s so important that we don’t forget what happened to these people and I think that going to see the place where so many Jews died in the Holocaust is part of that.

So there we go, Books That Have Made Me Want To Visit Specific Places! Have you ever been to any of these countries? Are there any countries that you’ve read about that you really want to visit? Let me know in the comments!

Next week, I’m talking my Summer TBR, since it’s a week too late for me to choose books to read by the pool! In the meantime, I will hopefully have a Writing Corner post up for you guys very soon.

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday #162

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Hi all! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, once again, mine has been pretty quiet, but my family is going on holiday to France next week, so I’m pretty excited about that.

Anyway, since it’s Tuesday, that means another Top Ten Tuesday from Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl and this week we’re talking DNFing. Now the original topic was Books I DNFed Too Quickly, but I have the opposite problem, I always feel like I need to give a book another chance even if it is boring me to tears, so instead, I’m going to be talking about Books I Regret Finishing. Here we go, the books I powered through even though they were boring me and that I wish I had put down!:

  1. Not If I Save You First-Ally Carter

Honestly, if this hadn’t been a book I was reading for a Netgalley review, I would have DNFed it. I loved Ally Carter’s Heist Society books, so I was excited for this one but it turned out to be such a disappointment. I expect survival stories to be at least a little bit exciting but after 200 pages of wandering around in the wilderness, I was ready to scratch my eyes out. So yeah, kind of wish I’d just left this one.

2. Wintersong-S.Jae Jones

If I hadn’t received this from an #otspsecretsister, then again, I probably would have finished it, but I felt like I had to. I was so disappointed in this one as it sound so cool and different to anything I’d read before, but the story really dragged and I was so confused the whole time. I wished I had DNFed it rather than struggling through all 500 odd pages of it!

3. The Fandom-Anna Day

This was a really creative idea, but it wasn’t executed well. I liked the idea of falling into your favourite story and finding out that it wasn’t what you thought, but I struggled so much with the book, it was so slow, the plot was so predictable and it took me so LONG to read. If it hadn’t been an ARC, honestly, I would have put it down.

4. And I Darken-Kiersten White

I got into such a massive slump when I read this book last year, I was reading it for weeks and weeks and just wasn’t getting into it at all, but I stubbornly refused to put it down even though I should have, because I thought it would get better. I wanted to love it, because a female Vlad the Impaler sounded like such a great idea, but it was such a dense book, so full of politics and religion and it moved at such a slow pace that I was stuck on it for weeks. I should have taken a hint and passed on it before I got slumpy!

5. Glass Sword-Victoria Aveyard

This one pains me so much because I have my copy signed and personalised by the author, which means I am now stuck with it forever! This book was so slow and I found Mare so annoying and it just felt like way too much book for the plot that it had to accomplish. I should have cut my losses with this one and given up, rather than struggled all the way to the end for a series that I’m not going to finish.

6. The Invisible Library-Genevieve Cogman

This one was such a disappointment! You think that when you see a book with Library in the title that it’s going to be amazing right? Well not this one, at least not for me. The world in this was super confusing, the characters were flat and the chapters were far too long. I actually put this book down for like a month to read other books because I was struggling with this one so much and I really shouldn’t have picked it back up to finish it.

7. Stealing Snow-Danielle Paige

THIS BOOK, MY GOODNESS. Even being able to write a scathing review of it when I finished wasn’t worth the pain it put me through. If it hadn’t been a Netgalley book, I wouldn’t have finished it. There was a love quadrangle for crying out loud! The pace was so off, the world building barely existed, it was all just bad. I should have cut my losses and given up, even if the end was mildly interesting.

8. Graceling-Kristin Cashore

If this book hadn’t been part of my #RockMyTBR Challenge in 2016, I would not have finished it. I was so bored for most of the book, and Katsa really bothered me, she was the classic Strong Female Character trope that to be a Strong Female Character, you can only be strong and you have to not understand emotions and despise anything feminine. Honestly, I should have given this one up, but since it was quite a short book, I pushed through. I wish I hadn’t.

9. Allegiant-Veronica Roth

I swear, if I didn’t have Must Finish Series Syndrome, I would not have finished this book. It was so long and slow and really not a great ending to the trilogy. I actually didn’t mind the controversial end, it was the rest of the book that I had a problem with! I wish I hadn’t wasted my time with this last book in the series, it wasn’t worth it to read several hundred pages of padding just to find out how everything ended.

10. Slated-Teri Terry

This book was such a slog to get through! I had a pretty bad reading year back in 2015, and books like this were part of the reason why. Slated was so slow and Kyla was so bland and I hated the author’s writing style. I could have saved myself a lot of time if I’d just given this one up!

11. Panic-Lauren Oliver

Another one of my 2015 disasters. I expected this one to be totally different to what it was, so imagine my surprise when I opened this up, expecting a dystopian and getting a contemporary instead! The idea of the game of Panic was really cool, but I hated all of the characters and honestly the story just bored me. Again, I could have saved myself a lot of time if I’d just given up.

12. The Fault In Our Stars-John Green

I know a lot of people love this book, but it just wasn’t for me and I knew that before picking it up so honestly, I should have just left it, but I didn’t and I wish I had given it up rather than toiling through it because I knew it wasn’t a book for me and that wasn’t going to change no matter how far through I got.

13. The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Nighttime-Mark Haddon

This was quite a short book so I don’t regret finishing it quite as much as some of the books on this list, but I still wish I had put it down because it wasn’t particularly entertaining.

14. Lord of The Flies-William Golding

Honestly, if I hadn’t had to read this one for school, I wouldn’t have read it at all! So in this book’s case, it’s not so much that I regret finishing it, because I had to, in order to get a good grade in my English GCSE, it’s more that I regret that I had to read it in the first place.

So there we go, Books That I Regret Finishing! Am I being too harsh on some of these? Do you agree with me on any of these? Let me know in the comments!

Next week, we’re talking Books That Awaken The Travel Bug In Me, so I’ll be talking about places that I’ve been inspired to visit by the books I’ve read.

In the meantime, I just finished Ace of Shades, so I will have my review of that up for you guys tomorrow.

Top Ten Tuesday #161

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Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, mine has been pretty quiet really, I had the house to myself this weekend because my parents were away, so I did what I always do and had a musical movie marathon.

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so that means another Top Ten Tuesday from Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl, and today we’re talking Bookish Worlds We Wouldn’t Want To Live In. Now much as I love the books I read, a lot of the worlds in them, I would probably, you know, die if I had to live there. So there are plenty that I wouldn’t be overly keen on living in. Here are just a few:

  1. Panem-The Hunger Games

I mean the Capitol might be okay, but the Districts? Yeah you couldn’t pay me to live in one of those, especially knowing that you might be drawn for The Hunger Games at any time during your teens! I kind of like being alive and I reckon if I lived in Panem, I would probably die pretty quickly.

2. Miraji-Rebel of The Sands Trilogy

Whilst I loved reading about Miraji, I would not want to live there. It’s not the greatest society for women and since I’m not the biggest fan of living in our current societal atmosphere of sexism, I would definitely not want to go live in a place where it was worse, even if that place did have cool magical creatures!

3. Scion London-The Bone Season Series

The dystopian society that Shannon has created in these books is quite scary, and I don’t think I would survive for very long there, even if I wasn’t a clairvoyant! I mean I liked reading about the criminal underworld, but would I want to live there? I’m thinking no.

4. Verity-Monsters of Verity Duology

I wouldn’t really want to live in a world where there could be monsters lurking around every corner, even if one of them is as precious as August. I don’t think I’d survive very long in Verity, so I definitely don’t want to live there.

5. Future America-Unwind Dystology-Neal Shusterman

I would be freaking terrified to live in this world! Wondering if at every tiny little thing you did wrong, if your parents might be one step closer to sending you to be chopped up? No thank you. It’s intriguing to read about, but no way would I want to live in the America Shusterman describes in his books.

 

6. White London-Shades of Magic Trilogy-VE Schwab

At least not whilst it was under the rule of the Danes. Again, I feel like if I lived in White London, I would probably die. I might be more willing to live there towards the end of the trilogy, but when it starts out? Uh no, no, no. I would be super freaking terrified of the Danes killing me all the time and that is no way to live.

7. The Library of Alexandria-The Great Library series-Rachel Caine

*GASP* What kind of a bookworm would not want to live in a Library? And the greatest library in the world that doesn’t even exist anymore, who would give up that chance? Yeah well Caine’s version of this library is run by evil people who want to prevent everyone from having any knowledge but what they provide for them. Plus you could get killed by bloodthirsty automatons and that doesn’t exactly sound like a ton of fun. I will stick to the Beast’s Library from Beauty and The Beast thank you very much!

8. Erilea-Throne of Glass series-Sarah J Maas

Erilea does not sound like the most fun place to live, especially given that the King of Adarlan is a super evil guy who lives in a castle made of glass of all things and pretty much rules over the entire continent! Plus the entire world of Erilea is kind of on the verge of war right now, so I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near it!

9. The Glade-The Maze Runner series-James Dashner

I mean, I’d be in the all girls version but I imagine the places were pretty well identical and I honestly hate the idea of living in the Glade. Having to run the maze all day every day and potentially get killed? Yeah that doesn’t sound like fun and I would not want to have a run in with the Grievers.

10. The Pod-Breathe duology-Sarah Crossan

I kind of like having freely available oxygen and I’d rather not live in a world without trees, where you have to live off artificial oxygen inside a Pod and have to worry if you ever step foot outside it about running out of oxygen. Or potentially worry about dying if you can’t afford oxygen. No thanks, I’m quite happy here!

So there we go, the Bookish Worlds I Would Not Want To Live In! Do you disagree and would actually like to live in any of these worlds? What fictional worlds would you not like to live in? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is Books I Decided To DNF too quickly but as I’m not a massive DNF’er, I’m going to spin it slightly and go for Books I Regret Finishing.

In the meantime, I will probably have my last discussion post of May up in the next couple of days.

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday #160

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Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, I just arrived back home from Uni yesterday, after the journey from hell back from Scotland, literally everything went wrong, all of the trains were cancelled because of a train that broke down at Berwick, so we couldn’t get a train back until five, and then when we finally did get another train, we lost power and stopped between York and Doncaster and had to be turned around back to York because of a broken pentagraph on the train. We got changed onto another train at York, but by the time we got into Peterborough, it was midnight and we had to stay overnight in a hotel. So yup, I’ve had a fun past couple of days!

Anyway, enough about the train journey from hell, I’m back now and it’s Tuesday, which means another Top Ten Tuesday from Jana at The Artsy Reader Girl. Today we’re talking Best Character Names. I know I like to rib on authors sometimes for naming their characters ridiculous things, but there are some really beautiful names out there, so I want to take today to share the love for them:

  1. Lila Bard-Shades of Magic Trilogy-VE Schwab

I feel like Lila’s name just suits her so perfectly? It’s short and sharp and sounds almost warrior like to me, which perfectly sums up Lila! Yet her full name Delilah is softer and more vulnerable (probably why she never uses it!) and though Lila would be loathe to admit it, she does have a more vulnerable side.  Also sometimes I feel like authors don’t pick first and last names that go very well together, but syllable wise, Lila Bard, and even her full name Delilah Bard, fit perfectly.

2. Lina Aryvadas-Between Shades of Grey-Ruta Sepetys

I think my love of the name Lina, stems from reading The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants when I was younger, I always related quite strongly to Lena (moreso than Carmen who was the writer in the group, which is strange), she was the quieter, more introspective friend who always seemed to be on the outside of things and I could really relate to that and obviously, Lina is a very similar name, so I have an attachment to it. Lina Aryvadas is also kind of similar to Lena Kaligaris in personality, as she is also quite quiet and introspective (and an artist), but she’s also really brave and strong given everything that she has to go through, so yeah, I really admire her.

3. Victoria “Vika” Andreyeva-The Crown’s Game-Evelyn Skye

Fun fact, I was almost named Victoria! I’m glad I wasn’t, because I don’t think it would suit me at all, but I still love the name. It obviously sounds very regal, given the Queen Victoria connection, which although Vika is not a royal in the story, is quite a good fit for Imperial Russia. I also like that Vika is a slightly different, but not silly, nickname for Victoria.

4. Callie Rose Hadley-Noughts and Crosses Series-Malorie Blackman

Sephy’s daughter’s name might be a bit OTT, but I always thought it was really pretty and I liked that it meant something to both her and Callum.

5. Luna Lovegood-Harry Potter series-JK Rowling

JK Rowling can be a little on the nose with names, after all, she did name a werewolf Wolf Wolf, but I always loved Luna’s name, I thought it fit her perfectly, it has a kind of dreamy quality, which is perfect for a girl who always seems to have her head in the clouds! Much as I love Hermione’s name, if I ever were to change my mind about wanting kids (unlikely) and wanted to give my daughter a Harry Potter name, I would go with Luna rather than Hermione, it’s a little bit more normal!

6. Mia Thermopolis-The Princess Diaries-Meg Cabot

I have always loved the name Mia, so much so that I actually named one of the characters in my novel This Is Not A Love Story Mia, and it’s a name I’ve come back to quite a lot over the years and I think this series of books is why, though if I’m honest, I actually prefer the movies to the books!

7. Violet Baudelaire-A Series of Unfortunate Events-Lemony Snicket

I’ve always quite liked flower names (ironic since I have Hayfever and can’t actually receive flowers myself!) and I think Violet is a really nice one, plus her first and last names flow really nicely and it’s a slightly unusual name without going over the edge of being odd!

8. Valkyrie Cain-Skulduggery Pleasant Series-Derek Landy

All of the names in Derek Landy’s bestselling series are awesome, perfectly suited to each of their owners, so I could have gone with any of the names from this series, but I decided to go for Valkyrie’s. Her name really does sum her up in a nutshell (as it should, since she chose it, everyone in the series has three names, their true name, their given name and their taken name), as she is a warrior (like a Valkyrie) with talent for causing trouble (which is what Cain means)!

9. Scarlett Dragna-Caraval series-Stephanie Garber

Scarlett has always been one of my favourite names, I just really love it, I think it’s such a beautiful colour and an even prettier name. Plus Dragna reminds me of dragons and you all know how much I love dragons!

10. Katniss Everdeen-The Hunger Games Trilogy-Suzanne Collins

I love the story behind Katniss’ name, that Suzanne Collins chose that particular plant name because it was a plant shaped like an arrowhead and Katniss is obviously an archer and it’s an edible plant that can help you survive, which suits Katniss as she’s obviously a survivor. I love it when authors give their characters names that really reflect their personalities-it’s something that I have tried to do in my stories as well!

So there we go, my favourite character names! I didn’t initially intend for them all to be girls’ names, but since there are more female characters in YA anyway and I tend to find authors are slightly more creative with their female character names than their male ones, I guess it was inevitable! What are your favourite character names, girls or boys? How did you do this topic this week, just pick your favourite names or pick the oddest ones? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is Bookish Worlds I’d Want To/Never Want To Live In and since I did Settings I’d Like To Visit towards the end of last year, I’m going to go with Bookish Worlds I’d Never Want To Live In (I’m sure there’ll be a lot!).

In the meantime, I will have a review of Ally Carter’s latest book up for you tomorrow, so look out for that!

Top Ten Tuesday #159

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Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all been having a good week, it’s been pretty quiet on my end, just a lot of reading and TV, my usual summer activities.

Anyway, since it’s now Tuesday, it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday from Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Today we’re meant to be talking Books We Disliked But Are Glad We Read, however I am a bitter soul and tend not to be glad about reading things I don’t enjoy, because I just think about all of the things that I could have read and enjoyed with the time I spent reading the books that I didn’t enjoy. So I’m twisting the topic slightly and talking about Books That Were Hard For Me To Read But I’m Glad I Read. This doesn’t mean I didn’t like them, quite the opposite, these books are actually some of my favourites, I just found them quite difficult to read because I found them very emotional. So here we go, Books That Were Hard For Me To Read But I’m Glad I Read:

  1. Between Shades of Grey-Ruta Sepetys

I very rarely physically cry at books. Don’t know why, I cry at movies all the time, but books? Not so much. However, as soon as I read the line “That morning, my brother’s life was worth a pocket watch”, there were tears and I knew this was going to be a really difficult book for me to read. I’m so glad I did though, often we focus so much on what Hitler did in WWII that we forget that Stalin was just as awful. I had been studying Russia in my History A-Level the year I was reading this, so this was a great book for me to be reading at the time in that respect, but boy it wasn’t an easy read. Still, despite how harrowing the subject was, the hope that Lina and her family have, even after everything that happens to them is truly inspirational.

2. Rose Under Fire-Elizabeth Wein

This was my last read, and it was definitely not an easy one. I’m glad I read it, because I think it’s really important that we remember the Holocaust and all of the horrible things that the Nazis did to people both during and before WWII, but it was by no means easy to read about. Much like Between Shades of Grey, I actually cried whilst reading this, I cared so much about what happened to Rose and her friends, and I didn’t want to see them suffering in the way they did, and just knowing that it actually happened to thousands of real women, made it infinitely worse. So yup, not easy but very important and I’m glad I read it.

3. The Book Thief-Markus Zusak

I’m sensing a theme going here? Okay, okay, I promise these won’t all be WWII books, they just lend themselves particularly well to my take on this week’s topic. The Book Thief is one of my absolute favourite books ever, so of course I’m glad I read it, but that doesn’t mean I found it an easy read, it’s incredibly emotional especially towards the end.

4. Asking For It-Louise O’Neill

The subject matter of this book is all about rape, so of course I found it hard to read, it’s not supposed to be an easy thing to read about. I also really hated the main character, but you weren’t meant to like her, rape is something that can happen to girls regardless of how nice you are, regardless of how sympathetic you are and I was glad Louise O’Neill showed that. This book made me so angry, it makes me angry that girls still get told they were “asking for it” if they drink, if they wear provocative clothing, if they have “too much” sex. So yeah, this was definitely a hard book for me to read, but I think it’s a really important one, especially given all the discussions surrounding consent and the #metoo and #timesup movements that have been going on this year.

5. Noughts and Crosses-Malorie Blackman

Again, this is one of my favourite books, Noughts and Crosses was my first real foray into YA books and it’s one that remains close to my heart, but it’s definitely not an easy read. It’s a dystopia in that it’s kind of an alternate version of our world, had things worked out differently, but the actual world? The racism? Yup, definitely not fictional, so that is incredibly difficult to read about and hits very close to home. Plus the ending. I am still not over that ending. It’s been ten years since I first read the book. Yup, not over it. Still I’m really glad I read it because it handles multitudes of difficult topics and was my entrance into YA. Plus I reread it in 2016 for the first time in a number of years and it still really holds up.

6. The Storyteller-Jodi Picoult

Yup another Holocaust story jumping onto my list, but what can I say? They certainly have a way of punching you in the gut, multiple times and causing you to become a huge puddle of feelings. The Storyteller is slightly different because it follows a survivor’s granddaughter coming face to face with one of the men responsible for the awful things that happened to her grandmother and asking her to kill him. It also intertwines the narrative of her grandmother’s experience in Auschwitz. Sage’s story didn’t get to me much, but Minka’s? That one really hit me. It’s never easy reading accounts of the Holocaust, even fictional ones, but I’m always really glad when I do, because they’re always really powerful stories. One of my favourite quotes from a book comes from this one and it hits right at the heart of why I love History; “History isn’t about the dates, and the places and the wars. It’s about the people who fill the spaces between them”. People is why I have been studying this subject for years of my life and will continue to have an interest in it long after my degree course ends.

7. Under Rose Tainted Skies-Louise Gornall

I did enjoy this book, but again, not an easy book to read. Norah’s thought processes are incredibly intense and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t have OCD, anxiety or agoraphobia, a lot of the time when I was reading this book I felt like I needed to put it down to remind myself how to breathe, because it was that intense being inside Norah’s head. Having said that, I’m really glad I read it because as someone who doesn’t have a mental illness, I can never hope to fully understand what it’s like, but books like this give me at least a small insight (especially since the author is writing from her own experience), so for that I am grateful.

8. Charlotte Says-Alex Bell

In a slightly different turn, it was the horror aspects of this story that made it a difficult read for me. There were a lot of quite graphic scenes in there, including one that involved needles which was pretty bad for me because I have a pretty severe phobia of them. There was some abuse and animal abuse and murder, and yeah it was quite dark, so much as I enjoyed the story, it wasn’t the easiest for me to read.

9. Challenger Deep-Neal Shusterman

I loved this book, but again, it was not an easy one to read. Much as I found it an eye opening look into the thought processes of someone with schizophrenia, it is pretty intense watching Caden descend deeper and deeper into his mental illness, and it was my third pretty intense book in a row by that point. Still, I’m glad I read it because I have literally never read any other schizophrenia based books before and it’s a mental illness that I probably wouldn’t have known anything about had I not done Psychology at A-Level, so it makes me glad to know that books like this are out there because I feel like we don’t know all that much about schizophrenia and there should definitely be tools out there to help people understand what those who suffer from it go through.

10. Small Great Things-Jodi Picoult

This one was quite hard because it involved confronting your own hidden prejudices and that is never easy and also everything to do with white supremacy made me flaming mad, so I spent a decent proportion of the book quite angry. I think it is a really important book to read though, I’m much more aware of my privilege now, it’s not something I really thought about much before reading this book, at least not in more than a passing way and I’m definitely more aware of it now.

So there you go, 10 Books That I Found Hard To Read But Am Glad I Read. Apparently the books I find hard to read come under either the category of WWII, mental illness or racism, aside from one, so that’s interesting! But it’s weird, a lot of the books that I find hard to read actually end up being favourites of mine! Anyway, have you read any of these? Did you find them hard to read? Did you enjoy them? Or no? Have you ever read any books that were really hard to read but still been glad you read them? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is Best Character Names, so I don’t know if I’ll do like a mix of the nice and the ridiculous, or just the nice, or the truly awful, but I guess you’ll see next week!

In the meantime, I should definitely have some book reviews up for you very soon as I’m near the end of two books (the May rush has hit!) and hopefully some writing posts as well, so stay tuned for those!

Top Ten Tuesday #158

TTT-Big2

Hi all! I hope you’ve all been having a good week and that you made the most of the sun whilst it lasted, I had a good couple of days of reading outside, but we seem to be back to business as usual weather-wise now!

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday courtesy of Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Today we’re talking Books With Your Favourite Colour on the Cover, so naturally I’m going to be showing off books with purple covers. I wouldn’t say purple is as common a colour for covers as some others, but I did manage to find a few nice one:

  1. 22819449 Shadow and Bone-Leigh Bardugo

The actual design of this cover isn’t my favourite in the world, I definitely prefer the covers for her Six of Crows duology, but I do think that the purple is really striking.

2. 35214860Daughter of The Burning City-Amanda Foody

It’s quite a simplistic cover, the combination of the purple background and the different colours of the text and illustrations making it really striking for me. I also love the little hat!

3. 31574408Traitor To The Throne-Alwyn Hamilton

This series has some gorgeous covers! This one is definitely my favourite though, I love the contrasting shades of pink and purple combined with the yellow and white text.

4. Image result for the song rising collector's editionThe Song Rising-Samantha Shannon

I wish I had discovered this series earlier so I could have got The Song Rising with this cover-alas, by the time I got around to reading it, they were no longer selling these special editions. I much prefer the original design for this series than the redesigns and the dark purple along with the simplistic design makes for a really striking cover.

5. Image result for books with purple coversWicked Like A Wildfire-Lana Popovic

I don’t even know what this book is about, but I think that cover is completely gorgeous!

6. 36426163Toil and Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft-Edited by Jessica Spotswood and Tess Sharpe

Honestly this book really couldn’t do more to entice me to read it, first it’s a collection of stories about witches and then it has this amazing cover? Jo is sold!

7. 131121The Carnivorous Carnival (ASOUE #9) by Lemony Snicket:

It’s not purple all over, but I think there’s enough on there that it counts (besides as far as I can remember, the back cover was also purple). This was one of my favourites of the series and I was really happy with the episodes that covered it in the most recent season of ASOUE on Netflix.

8. Mirage (Mirage, #1)Mirage by Somaiya Daud:

I have to admit, I’m not even really sure what this one is about, but have you seen that cover? WOW!

9. 34842208Stain by AG Howard:

I’m not usually keen on covers with people’s faces on them, it’s just not the kind of design I like, but even I have to admit, this cover is really beautiful.

10. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

This isn’t the cover of the copy that I have, my sister and I have the original hardback copies of the later books in the series, but it is purple. I don’t know how I feel about the new designs of the covers, but maybe that’s just because I grew up with the old ones!

So there we go, 10 beautiful purple books for you to feast your eyes on! What colour did you pick this week? What’s your favourite cover from these? Let me know in the comments.

Next week’s topic is Books I Disliked/Hated But Am Really Glad I Read, but I really can’t think of any books that I didn’t like that I am glad I read, I generally don’t feel glad about experiences I didn’t enjoy! So I’m going to twist it slightly and go with Books That Were Hard For Me To Read But I’m Glad I Read. That way, I can kind of stick to the topic, but talk about books I liked instead of books I didn’t!

In the meantime, I will hopefully be getting up some discussion posts/writing posts in the near future, so keep a look out for those!

Top Ten Tuesday #157

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Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all been having a good week, I am in my last week of exam torture, on Friday, it will all be over and it cannot come soon enough. I am so looking forward to being able to just relax and read!

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I am taking a break from exam hell, and joining up with Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl, for another Top Ten Tuesday. This week, we’re talking Books We Would Slay A Lion To Get Early. Now I don’t think I’d really be up to lion slaying, but if the book gods were to look kindly upon me and deliver these releases early, I’d be mighty appreciative. I’m doing this in release date order, not order of excitement!:

  1. Legendary-Stephanie Garber-Out 29th May

I know it’s only a few weeks away, but I really wish that I could get this book early! I have preordered the signed copy from Waterstones, but I also requested it from Netgalley, so hopefully I might get my wish and get to read it before the release date. Caraval was one of my favourite reads of last year (and I can’t actually believe that it was last year, it feels like so much longer ago), so I look forward to reading the sequel either when it is released, or beforehand if my Netgalley request is granted.

2. Ace of Shades-Amanda Foody- Out 17th May

I was part of the street team for this book’s US release, and so was doing promo for it all through March, but I have actually yet to read it because it hasn’t been released in the UK yet! I have it on preorder, but have also requested it on Netgalley, so either way, I will be reading it very soon.

3. Midnight (Skulduggery Pleasant #11)-Derek Landy-Out 31st May

AHHHHH! MORE SKULDUGGERY! I have been addicted to this series since I was 12 years old (THAT WAS ALMOST 10 YEARS AGO, HOW?), so naturally I am very impatiently awaiting the release of the new instalment in this latest phase of the series. I was a little underwhelmed by the first book, but I am sure that it is building up to something amazing.

4. Toil and Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft-Anthology edited by Tess Sharpe-Out 25th August

I absolutely love witches, so this anthology of tales of witches is definitely right up my alley! I haven’t actually read anything by any of the authors who are contributing to this anthology, but I’m hoping that my love of the subject matter will overcome the fact that I am a newbie to all of them and hopefully help me discover some new faves!

5. City of Ghosts-Victoria Schwab-Out 31st August

I’ve never read anything by Victoria Schwab that was middle grade, because I think her middle grade books had gone out of print in the UK by the time I discovered her books, but I am super excited for this one. For one thing, it’s set in Scotland, which is where I currently live, Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities and I think that ghost stories and Edinburgh are definitely a recipe for success. Plus this is Victoria Schwab, I’m sure she won’t disappoint!

6. Not Even Bones-Rebecca Schaeffer-Out 4th September

A girl who takes apart supernatural beings and sells their body parts on the Internet? Who then ends up being the next victim for her mother’s “business”? Yup this book sounds just dark and creepy enough to be incredibly enjoyable and I need it RIGHT NOW.

7. For A Muse of Fire-Heidi Heilig-Out 25th September

This sound AH-MAZING. Souls of the dead bound to shadow puppets? A main character with bipolar disorder? A mix of Asian and Colonial French cultures? Everything about this book makes me want to read it, I can’t wait for September!

8.  A Spark of Light-Jodi Picoult-Out 2nd October

I’m super excited for the latest Jodi Picoult book, because it’s tackling abortion, which is something that I’ve wanted to see her do for a long time. It feels like a very timely novel with everything that’s been going on in the world recently, and I’m sure Jodi Picoult will handle the topic with all the care and grace that she usually does.

9. Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7)-Sarah J Maas-Out 23rd October

I NEED THIS BOOK IN MY LIFE LIKE RIGHT NOW. BUT I’M NOT READY. BUT I HAVE TO KNOW HOW EVERYTHING ENDS. BUT IT’S GOING TO KILL ME. UGH I HAVE TOO MANY EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS, I JUST CAN’T.

The above level of incoherence? Yup, that’s going to be me after finishing the last instalment in Aelin’s journey.

10. Firestarter (Timekeeper #3)-Tara Sim-Out January 2019

Okay so this doesn’t come out till 2019 but I would definitely slay a lion to attempt to get this one early. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THAT CLIFFHANGER. Tara Sim is an evil genuis and I will read anything she writes, no matter how painful (I LIE PLEASE DON’T HURT ME AGAIN TARA. I CAN’T TAKE IT).

So there we go, the upcoming releases that I would love the book gods to grant me, if they are feeling kind, since I really don’t want to be doing any lion slaying! What books would you love to get early? Do we share any? Let me know in the comments.

Next week’s topic is Books With My Favourite Colour In The Cover (or title). I don’t really know many books that have purple either in the cover or the title, but I’ll give it a go! I will be playing catch-up with reviews and stuff over the next few weeks, so please bear with me as I transfer into summer mode!