REVIEW – A COURT OF FROST AND STARLIGHT

Image result for a court of frost and starlightBook: A Court of Frost and Starlight
Author:
 Sarah J Maas
Genre: YA 
Fantasy
Release Date:  1 May 2018
Pages: 250(ish)

My Rating:  2 Stars 

Goodreads

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

Review

So, it’s time for me to actually write down my thoughts on Sarah J Maas’ A Court of Frost and Starlight. People seem to be loving this book and honestly, I just don’t get it. The last thing I want to do is offend someone who really enjoyed this book but each to their own. I was so disappointed with this book. There were so many problems with it and absolutely nothing happened.

I was expecting so much more from this story. Maybe it’s because I have so much love for the series. From what I understood going into this story, it was a bridge between the old series and the upcoming new release. I thought everything would have been tied up and closed neatly in preparation for the next instalment. In my opinion this did not happen, and I am left feeling a little sad that Sarah’s writing for the first time has made me feel blah. I don’t even know what to call this mood that I am in.

At the end of A Court of Wings and Ruin I was a little sad that Feyre and Rysand’s story had come to an end. After learning this novella was being released I was a little excited because I’d be getting a bit more from the two of them. Never in a million years did it cross my mind that it would get to the point where I am over them and their relationship. I think this book just took it too far.

I know this book is focusing on the end of the war and how the group are moving on with their lives and coping with the aftermath of everything but there are things that I’m really struggling to appreciate. Feyre’s ongoing battle with having nothing to having everything got tiresome.  Additionally, Rysand’s constant I’m horny attitude got on my nerves real quick. I’m all for a little smut but I didn’t expect so much of it in a YA book. The worst thing is that it was cringeworthy and badly written. Especially in the later chapters. There was too much of and it was not needed. Image result for gag gif

“Do you want to begin at the wall, or finish there?”

NO!!!!!!!!!!! In  a YA book I think things should be left to the imagination. Especially if it’s badly written.

A part of the book that I hated involved Amren. Out of all the things we could have learnt about Amren from her past or currently life experiences Maas focused on her toilet habits. Since when has this been an interesting topic for anyone to discuss with their friends? Just no. That was a moment that could have easily been avoided.

Then there is Tamiln. Yes he’s the villain. He did some horrible stuff throughout the other books and everyone hates him. We get it. He’s lost everything. He’s alone and he’s clearly suffering. There was definitely no need for Rhysand to behave like he did.  I feel like this was taken way too far. Rhysand’s behaviour was just ridiculous. there was no need for the gloating and the ongoing ‘I want to kill him’ attitude. I think it is time that Tamlin is forgotten about and just left alone. The story can continue quite easily without him.

The fact that Maas included so many different perspectives in such a short book was great. I was so pleased to find out that we would be able experience the thought process of other characters.  Like Cassian and Mor. However, this was ruined with the first person and third person switch over. I don’t understand how it was okay for Feyre and Rhysand’s point of views to be written in a first-person narrative, but all the other characters getting a third person narrative. I just feel that the book would have flowed so much better if everything was the same. It doesn’t even matter which one. As long as it was the same the entire way through.

I feel like this book was pointless. The only positive thing to come out of this book was the teaser for the next instalment. After reading this book I’m actually relieved that Feyre and Rhysand’s story is over. I don’t think I can take any more of their relationship and point of view(s). We get it. They’re mates. They’re supposed to be together forever. It’s so shitty that a short novella can ruin two characters that you used to love. Can we just pretend that I never read this so that they can just stay great?

I can’t lie. It’s about time something new came out that focused on the side characters. I will absolutely be reading the next instalment(s). I just hope that it isn’t as forced and pointless as A Court of Frost and Starlight is.

The only reason this book got two stars was for the teaser at the end of the book. My fingers are crossed that the next book is an improvement.

 

Was anyone else as disappointed with this book as me?

 

Lucy
xx

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Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday

It’s Top 5 Wednesday time.

This weeks topic is:

Top 5 Book Covers

 

Once again this is an awesome Top 5 Wednesday topic.

Now, when it gets to book covers the simpler the better. I hate it when they are over complicated and there is too much cramped into a small space.

Every so often an amazing cover will catch my eye and it usually deserve a spot on my wall instead of on a bookshelf but it is a rarity.

I just have a preference for simple, eye catching book covers with a little bit of colour.

There are way too many covers out there to choose from and the 5 that I have chosen are not in any specific order.

So here are 5 of my favourite covers from my ever-growing list:

 

Colleen Hoover – Confess

Image result for confess

I love this book cover. I was scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest one afternoon and this book randomly popped up.  I bought it straight. It’s so pretty! I think it was around the time the TV show aired in the US.

 

Neil Gaiman – Norse Mythology 

Image result for norse mythology neilImage result for norse mythology neil

I am obsessed with history and mythology and I heard about this book and wanted to read it. When I saw the book cover I got even more excited because I love it. This book was published with both a black and a white cover and although I like both the black cover is my favourite. It just really stood out to me.

I went to Budapest over the summer and due to a layover in Amsterdam and the 2 short flights in both directions I wanted something I could pick up and put back down easily without interruption. This is why short stories are great when travelling.

I intended to buy this at the airport before taking off to Amsterdam. Sadly, when I arrived they had sold out of the black cover. I looked around for a while to see if there was anything else I wanted to read but I couldn’t find anything, so I ended up buying the white one. I can’t lie I have no regrets it’s still beautiful.

 

Deborah Harkness – A Discovery of Witches 

 Image result for a discovery of witches book cover

There are several covers for this book but just look at this one. It made it onto my favourite list straight away. It’s simple, effective and beautiful. It depicts important elements of the story brilliantly. The photography and the splash of colour just grab your attention straight away and I don’t have much to say other than I really do love it.

 

Naomi Novik – Uprooted

Image result for uprooted book cover

Look how beautiful this cover is. One again it is simple with a splash of colour. You should be able to see the trend in my favourite book covers at this point. It’s a wonderful tale with a pretty cover that suits the story completely.

 

Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus

Image result for the night circus

I saw The Night Circus cover a long time after the hype of the book died down. I was in a charity shop browsing the shelves and this one just stood out. I know that there are so many different covers for this book and I honestly love them all. The one pictured above is the one on my bookshelf.

This is a story that I went into blind. I bought the book due to the book cover. I remember telling my friend that I had bought it and she started raving about the story. She had really enjoyed it and I’m so glad that I picked it up.

 

 

I literally can’t pick just one favourite book cover. Can you? What is your favourite cover?

 

 

Lucy
xx

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Review – A Discovery of Witches

 

Image result for a discovery of witches book coverBook: A Discovery of Witches
Author:
 Deborah Harkness
Genre:
Historical Fantasy
Release Date:  8 February 2011
Pages: 688

My Rating:  5 Stars 

Goodreads

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Review 

A Discovery of Witches is the first book in the All Souls Trilogy. A fantasy series that has everything you would want from a fantasy novel that focus’ on vampires, witches and daemons.  This topic is nothing new. We’ve all read books within this genre before, it is just really hard to find a book that has been done well. I mean don’t get me started on Twilight and The Vampire Diaries.

I read many reviews on this book before deciding to pick it up and it’s clear to see that has divided the people. I find myself getting upset from the opinions of those who did not enjoy it as much as I did. Yes, I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion I just love it so much and it’s upsetting knowing others do not.

The story follows Diana Bishop, a reluctant witch who is descended from one of the most prestigious witch families leading back to the Salem witch trails and her forbidden relationship with a vampire Matthew Clairmont. From the very beginning I was enthralled in the story. Don’t get me wrong, their relationship is not everything this story ha to offer but it is an essential part of time.

It is a slow-paced story so it you’re expecting a fast-paced romance then you’re not going to get it. Usually if a book is slow-paced I find that I get bored easily which tends to disrupt my reading pattern and I’ll stop reading the book altogether. However, the pace of the book suits the story really well. I honestly think that if the book went at a quicker pace it would have a completely different feel to it. Although it is a slow-paced book I can assure you it is an easy read and you will devour the pages quickly. At this point I will mention that the book is just under 700 pages long, so it is on the lengthy side but due to the writing style you will consume it.  It took me just under a week to read it in between work and the everyday jobs that needed completing.

The characters are depicted brilliantly. Diana is so likeable. You watch her develop and grow throughout the book and it makes the story even more enjoyable. I genuinely think that Matthew is book boyfriend material. He is full of tales that need to be shared. I propose a book that solely focus’ on his past. That would be amazing. Furthermore, there are so many interesting characters introduced throughout the story. With long books characters can be introduced and forgotten about easily but all of the characters created for this book bring something to the story, even if it is brief appearance from time to time. You love all the characters you’re supposed to love, and you hate the characters you’re expected to hate.

I’m a complete history nut and Harkness entwines history throughout the story extremely well. Her expertise is demonstrated throughout the novel. After completing the first book and finally having a plot to the series I’m excited to see what the second book has in store. (I’m still all for a Matthew Clairmont spin off!)

I’m not going to lie there are cheesy moments scattered within the book but that is the same with the majority of novels. In my opinion these moments did not disrupt the story in any way. The story continued and my love for the characters and the story grew.

I have heard a few people refer to the book as an adult version of Twilight. I am not a fan of the twilight series, so I withhold my opinion on this concept. However, I feel that if it was to be compared to something it would completely diminish the story. Honestly, it doesn’t need to be compared to anything else.

It has been a long time since I enjoyed a book as much as I have this one. I loved everything about it. It’s so rare that I give out 5 star reviews and it was one of the easiest 5 star reviews I have ever given.  From the first chapter I was hooked on this tale of romance, magic and other worldly creatures. I cannot wait to start the second instalment of the series.

I am super excited to start watching the adaptation of A Discovery of Witches that has recently started on Sky One. Now I have finished the book I’m able to watch it without anything being ruined. I’m so thankful for my Sky box right now.

Have you ever read A Discovery of Witches? What are your opinions?
If you haven’t – why? Go and pick it up!

Lucy
xx

Top 5 Wednesday

It’s the middle of the week which mean it’s Top 5 Wednesday day!
Top 5 Wednesday

This weeks topic is:

Classics I Wish Had Modern Adaptations.

Strangely, I struggled with this one for a while. For a long time I have enjoyed classics because they portray what life was like during historical eras to me. It’s like I am able to  experience life through history from all perspectives. Yes, I know it is a dramatised depiction of the times but I have a fascination with how the happenings in society influence literature. I’m that obsessed that this was the focus of my MA dissertation. However, that is a story for a different day. To think of classics with modern day adaptations it’s not something I have done. I love my classics and I always thought I loved them too much to change them. Yet, I have racked my brain and for the past few days and I’ve pondered over which classics I would like to see with modern adaptations.

So low and behold here are my top 5 classics that I wish could possibly accept if they had modern adaptations.

Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

I know this book has had a few adaptations in the past but I would like to see this set in a modern day setting. Be it a film, a television series or a book. I’m just intrigued to see how someone would recreate this story in modern day society.  I can honestly say I have no preference to how it is done. This is my favourite book and I would probably devour any adaptations created.

Image result for tess of the d'urbervilles

Northanger Abbey – Jane Austin

Northanger Abbey is one of my favourite Jane Austin novels and I think that a modern adaptation of this book would work. A naive, witty teen who’s imagination gets the better of her would be entertaining and captivating to recreate in modern day society.   Honestly, I don’t think it is an impossible task.

Image result for NORTHANGER ABBEY BOOK COVERS

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë 

Jane Eyre was one of the first classics I read and I think a modern adaptation would be really interesting.

I don’t know how it would work exactly but I’m sure there’s a way to do it justice. It has love, drama and suspense and it would be a compelling  choice.

Image result for jane eyre book

Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë

A second Brontë classic has made in on my list. Wuthering Heights is a story that I believe would work really well if it was given a modern adaptation. I believe that the drama and passion within this story would transfer through to modern day society in a great way.

Image result for wuthering heights book

Persuasion – Jane Austin 

Another Jane Austin classic has made my Top 5 list. I think it would be a really entertaining and compelling story if it was given a modern adaptation. I’m not going to lie, my decision is solely focused on the romance element of this novel.

Image result for persuasion penguin book cover

So there you have my top 5 classics that I wish could possibly accept if they had modern adaptations. What classics would you include in your list?

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A-Z Book Tag

I saw this tag online a long time ago and I’ve always wanted to give it a go.

The A-Z Book Tag.

So here goes:

A –  Author you’ve read the most books from

Jodi Ellen Malpas

Jodi is a romance writer and I read her books religiously. I don’t know what it is about her writing. Maybe it’s because her books are easy reads. Whenever I am in the mood for a romance book she’s great to turn to.

 
B – Best sequel ever

Image result for a court of mist and fury

Sarah J Mass – A Court of Mist and Fury

I was reluctant to start this book. I enjoyed the first instalment (A Court of Thorns and roses). However, something was lacking and it left me a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong! I still enjoyed the story. I just wasn’t left fully satisfied. I think it is a common belief that sequels aren’t as good as the first installment and this goes for books, film, TV and even music.

I was pleasantly surprised with A Court of Mist and Fury. I absolutely loved it. I think this book is the reason I love the series so much.


C – Currently reading

Deborah Harkness – A Discovery of Witches

I’m not too far into the book. Probably just over 100 pages but I’m really enjoying it so far.

The television series has been advertised for a while and I was really interested. I’ve decided to read the first book before watching the show and it is driving me crazy. All I want to do is sit at watch it but I’m determined to complete the book first.

D – Drink of choice

This depends on my mood and the time of year!

I do love a good cup of coffee.

However, sometimes I crave a cup of tea. Other days the idea of a hot drink just doesn’t appeal to me and all I want is a cold glass of something sweet and fizzy.

My current choice of drink is tea. I don’t know if it is to do with the cold weather we are currently experiencing or what.

E – E-reader or physical book

Physical Book!

Physical books all the way. There is nothing better than getting comfy and opening a new book for the first time.

I’m not going to lie, E-books / E-readers are extremely useful and I do mix it up. It just depends on what’s convenient for me at the time.

F – Fictional character you probably would have dated in high school.

When I was 16 – 17 the only person I wanted to date was Edward Cullen. Thinking back on this it’s embarrassing.

I tried to read the Twilight series again as an adult a few years ago and I had so many issues with it. I got half way through New Moon and gave up. Literally questioned my teenage thought process.

I don’t really know who I would have dated in high school now. However, since I left school 10 years ago this year I’m changing the question this to:

“Fictional character you would probably date now”

Image result for jamie fraser outlander

JAMIE FRAISER! (Diana Gabaldon – Outlander)

 

Nothing more needs to be said.

 

 

 

G –  Glad you gave this book a chance

There are not many books that I’m glad I’ve given a chance because I’ve really enjoyed them. I have got to a point in my life where I will only read books if I want to. I feel that there is no point in wasting time on books that I already know I won’t like.

However, looking back at my days at University I can assure you there are plenty of  books that I would have happily overlooked but I gave them a chance and I can honestly say I’m glad I did. They brought me out of my comfort zone.

George Orwell  – 1984

I read this book during a Totalitarianism and the Holocaust module during my second or third year at uni. It was a tough module but I’m so glad a completed it. I learnt so much.

During this Module Orwell’s 1984 was on the reading list. I went into it thinking this will be fictional and I’m going to hate it and although it is not my usual genre of book I’m glad I gave it a go.  What freaked me out the most was the similarities of modern day life that were depicted. I’m glad I gave it a chance because it put so much into perspective for me.

James Joyce – Ulysses

Now, I did not complete this book and I don’t think I ever will. I had an entire module on this book during my Masters degree and it was the longest term I have ever experienced.

I hated the book. Absolutely hated it!

I had been introduced to Joyce during my first year at university when ‘A portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ was on one of my reading list. I couldn’t even finish the first page. Joyce’s writing style was not for me and I really struggled with it. I was so unhappy when I was told I had to spend an entire module on one of Joyce’s books. I dreaded it. However, I’m glad a gave it a chance and I’m proud that I tried to complete. This is yet another book that took me out of my comfort zone.

 
H – Hidden gem

Image result for terry nation rebeccas worldTerry Nation – Rebecca’s World

This book was read to me when I was in year 5 by my teacher. Every afternoon we would sit and listen to her read a chapter of an adventure book and this is the book I remember. I don’t think it is in print anymore either so buying a new copy is out of the question.

I loved this story growing up and everyone I have spoken to about it doesn’t know what I’m taking about!

 
I – Important moment in your reading life

Reading my first classic and falling in love with it.

Charlotte Bronte – Jane Eyre.

I don’t have much to say about this really. I always struggled to read the classics and I spoke to my teacher at the time and she told me to read Jane Eyre. Her advise was to take it slow and not to rush it. I’m So glad I listened to her.


J – Just finished

I had to visit home for a few days last week and while I was there I didn’t get much reading done. I did start Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter me but I was too distracted so it has been put back onto my to be read shelf for now.

K – Kind of book you won’t read

little girls no GIF by Jasmyn Lawson, EditorI am not a fan of crime and horror books. These genres are not for me.

People still recommend them to me and it’s just a big no! It’s not going to happen

 

 

L – Longest book you’ve read

I don’t know!

James Joyce’s Ulysses was up there but like I have said previously I didn’t complete it.

Harkness’A Discovery of Witches is pretty long too. There’s just under 700 pages I think.

I suppose it depends on what people class as a long book.

I can honestly say I don’t care how long books are. If I want to read it I will. Regardless of the amount of pages in it.

M – Major book hangover because of

Sarah J Maas’ A Court of Thrones and Roses series ruined me for a while. I was in such a blip after completing that series. I really struggled to pick up a new book for a few weeks.


N –  Number of bookshelves you own

I have 4 bookcases in my dining room that are full.  3 of these cases have 8 shelves and the smaller one has 4 shelves.

I also have inbuilt shelves in my bedroom that I’m trying to persuade the fiancé to let me use. Otherwise I’m going to have to buy more.


O – One book you’ve read multiple times

Image result for tess of the D'urbervillesThomas Hardy – Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

It is my favourite book. I absolutely love it.

There is nothing much to say other than I recommend that everyone reads!

 

P – Preferred place to read

In the winter: I love to read on the sofa in my living room. I curl up in the corner by the bay window with a hot drink, my hot water bottle and a blanket.

In the Summer: I love to read outside. Find myself a comfy chair, with a cold drinks and music on in the background.


Q – Quote that inspires you

Winston Churchill: Success is not final,  failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.


R – Reading regrets

I have no reading regrets.

I might look back on a book later in life and disagree with my previous opinions but I won’t regret it. It’s just a lesson learned.

 
S – Series you’ve started and need to finish

Sarah J Maas – Throne of Glass Series. I read the first book and bought the next two but have yet to pick them up and complete the series.

T – Three of your all time favorite books

Image result for jane eyre bookThomas Hardy – Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Charlotte Bronte – Jane Eyre
Mary Shelley – Frankenstein

They all mean something to me in their own way.


U – Unapologetic fangirl

Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series!! OMG.


V – Very excited for this release more than others

I’m trying to avoid new releases at the moment so I can concentrate on my to be read shelf.

I’ve not even thought about it.

W – Worst bookish habit

My opinion on this changes regularly because I change my mind constantly.  However, i like make a note on how I’m feeling when I’m reading so  I annotate my books a lot.

Sometime I regret doing it so i go though a post-it note phase. However, writing on post-it notes is just too much when you are sat on a Metro during rush hour and it’s just easier to whip out a pen and write what I need to before I forget.

I’s great when you go back to reread a book a few years down the line. When your feelings and opinions change and you can think about how your through process has changed.

X –  X marks the spot: Pick the 27th book from the top left shelf

Katie Contugno – How to Love

Image result for A discovery of witches bookY – Your latest purchase

Deborah Harkness – A Discovery of Witches

Z –  Z snatcher–book that kept you up way too late

K Brombergs – The Driven Series.

I was obsessing over it and I don’t know why. I just couldn’t put it down.