My Autumn Favourites

Winter boots and woolly jumpers are officially out in force which means Summer is over. Autumn is by far my favourite season. I love the dark nights and the crisp chill in the air as we get closer to winter.

As Autumn is here I’ve decided to do a quick fun post about my Autumn favourites.

Autumn Drinks

My tastes change so fast when summer ends. My love for iced coffee and BBQs disappears and my craving for hot drinks and winter food comes into play.

Starbucks is the coffee shop that I happily avoid for the majority of the year. There are so many other coffee shops that do nicer (and cheaper) coffees. However, if you’re going to catch me in a Starbucks it’ll be at this time of year. Pumpkin Spice Latte season is finally here. I can’t lie I do prefer an Eggnog latte at Christmas time but I know that it’s only around the corner when Starbucks bring back the Pumpkin Spice.

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 Additionally, I do tend to drink a lot more tea at this time of year. I can live without the stuff in the summer very easily but on a cold rainy day when you’re stuck in the house and there is better than a good cuppa.

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Is it too early for the mulled wine to come out? I know it’s a Christmas drink but I do love a cup of mulled wine during a cosy night in at this time of year. If you add in a shot of Amaretto you have the perfect autumn drink.

 

Autumn Food Favourites

With my favourite drinks there are also my favourite foods.

Homemade butternut squash, sweet potato and red chilli soup is one of my go to meals during Autumn. There is nothing better than a bowl of this on a freezing cold rainy day with some fresh warm bread and butter.

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I also have a thing for jacket potatoes at this time of year. There is nothing better than a slow oven cooked jacket with butter on a cold evening. Top it off with a with cheese and beans or chilli con carne and it’s even more perfect on a cold Autumn night. I will never say no to a jacket.

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Moving away from the food and drink topic (a little weird I know) I have my Autumn essentials for around the house.

 

House-Hold Autumn Essentials

The spiced apple and cinnamon fragranced candles make an appearance in Autumn. They appear in most of the rooms around my house. It’s my favourite autumnal scent. It just makes the house more cosy and warm.

I love scattering throws around the house in Autumn too. They will be found in the living room, bedroom and my office for when it gets a little cold. Last year the boyfriend and I bought our first home. It is my dream house. A Victorian terrace with 4 bedrooms. When the summer ends it gets super cold really fast and due to the size of the rooms it takes forever to warm the house up. Having throws around the house is really helpful. Instead of spending a fortune on the heating and wasting time waiting for the rooms to warm up when I feel a little chilly I just reach for a throw. I could not get through Autumn without one.

Berwick Throw

 

Wardrobe Must Haves

Jumpers are yet another Autumn essential for me. My family refer to me as the jumper queen. My jumper pile is growing bigger and bigger every year. I honestly believe that you can never have enough jumpers. They come in every colour imaginable and whether you’re sat at home vegged out on the sofa reading, out and about on a walk or at the local having a pint or two they are the perfect outfit choice.

As well as jumpers I love a scarf too in the Autumn. Just like my jumpers I have a large stash in a variety of colours. Pairing an extra big scarf with either a coat or jacket is one of my favourite touches to an outfit in Autumn. To top the outfit off a pair of boots is a must have.

My have a new found love for boots. Ankle boots, knee high boots, boots with a heel or without I don’t care what style I just don’t think I could get through Autumn without them.

 

Cosy Nights In

The dark nights are rolling in which means the fire pit has been put away for the next few months. As we don’t sit out in the garden during the evenings anymore it’s all about the cosy nights in on the sofa in front of the TV or with a good book.

If I am not reading you’ll find me tucked up on the sofa binge watching a TV series’. This Autumn my must watch TV shows are:

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Young Sheldon
Trailer

Young Sheldon has recently started up again and this is show I love to settle down and watch during a cosy night in. I don’t have much to say about it other than it is super funny and totally worth watching. The episodes are short so it’s great for a late night watch.

A Discovery of Witches (2018)

A Discovery of Witches
Trailer

I’m currently reading the All Souls trilogy and after completing the first novel I started watching A discovery of Witches on TV. It’s my Friday night entertainment and I honestly don’t know what I am going to do when it finishes.  The show is just as addictive as the book and I highly recommend it.

 

Blanca Suárez, Nadia de Santiago, Maggie Civantos, and Ana Fernández in Las chicas del cable (2017)

Cable Girls 
Trailer

I’ve recently started watching Cable Girls on Netflix. It’s stupidly cheesy but so entertaining and I just can’t seem to stop watching. The only thing about the show is that because it’s Spanish you have to choose between the English subtitles or the English  voice over. I can’t lie it does get irritating every so often watching their mouths moving out of sync but it’s full of drama. If you love cheesy TV then I recommend this show.

 

Strictly Come Dancing Image result for strictly come dancing

I am never one to watch reality TV shows but Strictly Come Dancing is back in my life and I love it. I don’t know what it is about the show but I’m so happy it is in my life. With all of the drama that his come to light during this series too it’s like TV gold.

 

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Outlander

Trailer

At this time of year Outlander is due to start up again. I am obsessed with this show just as much as the books. I’ve been impatiently waiting for season 4 to start and there are only a few more weeks to go until it starts up again. It cannot come quick enough.

Kiernan Shipka in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018)

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Trailer

Yet another series I’m looking forward to watching this Autumn is the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. This starts up on Netflix at the end of the month and I’m really excited for it. I used to watch the original show back in the 90s and 00s and I love how there is a completely new spin on the show coming out. Fingers crossed it is as good as it looks.

 

What are your Autumn essentials?

Lucy xx

 

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October TBR

 

This is yet another late post and I don’t know whether to blame having so little free time or the fact that I have a new bullet journal that I’m obsessing over. When I do eventually have some time to myself I’m doing that.

I have another eventful month coming up with a trip home for a week and my engagement party / huge family get together. Due to this I fear that a weeks worth of reading time is probably going to be taken from me. This does depend on the plans my family make around my visit. I am selfishly hoping that there will be a couple of days where I can veg on my mum’s sofa with the dog and do nothing but read. I’m not going to lie, my mum’s dog is like a tornado and being alone in the house to read with the terror will inevitably result in no reading time. It’s most likely going to leave me with a half eaten book.

Due to the visit home I have purposely made my TBR small this month. This just means that if I do get some extra reading time in throughout October I can pick a few books out of my TBR jar.

So the three books I will read this month are:

Shadow of Night – Deborah Harkness.

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I started this book at the end of September and I mean the end. I think I managed to pick it up on the last day of the month. I intend to get this finished at some point this week.

The Book of Life – Deborah Harkness

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The third book in the All Souls series is the second book I intend to complete this month.

 

His True Queen – Jodi Ellen Malpas

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I read the first instalment of this duology last month and I do intend to complete the series as soon as possible.

As I said it’s a short list this month.

It just feels so empty.

There is a fourth book by Debora Harkness called Times Covert which I have avoided looking into in case there are spoilers of the series around. As far as I am aware it is a follow on from the All Souls series. Depending on how the series turns out and if I am still in the mood for the story this may also be added into my October TBR.

Additionally, as I stated above my ever-growing TBR jar really does need some attention. Once I have completed the books above I will be selecting my next reads at random. Hopefully, if I start using the TBR jar to chose my next reads I will have more space on my TBR shelves by Christmas.

What is on your TBR this month?

Lucy xx

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September Wrap-Up

September Wrap-Up

So this post is super late and it’s going to be brief for so many reasons but without boring you here is my September wrap-up.

With trips home at the beginning of the month and awful things thrown in in between I’ve been a little preoccupied. Sadly, not much reading took place over September.

I have managed a total of four and a half books this month which is awful.

 

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The Controversial Princess – Jodi Ellen Malpas

On a busy Friday rush hour train choosing something to read that requires my sole attention is probably the worst decision I could make. I get distracted too easily when I’m on trains. I will start up a conversation with the person at the side of me and my concentration disappears. A clear example of this is when I was heading down to Sheffield at the beginning of the month. A lecturer from The University of Sheffield sat down at the side of me and we chatted most of the way home about EVERYTHING. Our studies, our favourite classics, why we moved away from home and never moved back. The list goes on. With easy reads I can dip in and out of them without losing my place and forgetting things. Jodie Ellen Malpas’ writing is so easy to ready and follow so it is great for these moments.

 

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Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas

At the beginning of the month I decided to re-read Maas’ Throne of Glass so I could continue with the series. This backfired. As soon as I had completed the book and I was ready to move onto Crown of Midnight I found a copy of A Discovery of Witches. I’d heard that the show was coming out and all of the reviews online had hinted that it needed to be read so obviously I had to buy it.  The Throne of Glass series has been forgotten for the time being. I’ll get to it eventually I just hope this is sooner rather than later.

 

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A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness

I am so glad a picked this book up when I did. I LOVE IT! It’s my favourite read this year so far. My review was uploaded a little while ago if you want to check it out. After reading the first instalment I needed Shadow of Night in my life. As usual when there is a huge hype about a book Amazon run out of their copies and there was a pre-order system going on. After stewing over the wait time for a while I decided to order elsewhere. (I am happy to announce my new books have arrived and I own the complete series)

 

I have only just noticed how specific my selection of books was during September. It seems I was in a Deborah Harkness and Sarah J Maas mood.

 

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A Court of Frost and Starlight – Sarah J Mass

This is by far my worst read of September. I hated it. This is a new experience for me with Maas’ writing. I don’t think she has ever disappointed me before. I just can’t get over how poor this book was. Yes, I know it was a novella and it was released to fill the gap between Feyre’s story and the upcoming new release but the writing was dreadful and the way the characters were portrayed just didn’t work for me.

 

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Shadow of Night – Deborah Harkness

I am still reading this book and was debating whether to add it to my wrap-up but I don’t think I could have finished the month with a total of 4 books. It would just make a shitty month even worse. This book has been stated and will be finished shortly.

 

Lucy
xx

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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

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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 

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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 

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Lucy xx