May Wrap Up…

Welcome to my May Wrap Up. I had a great reading month, finishing 7 books (amazingly 4 books off my TBR). I also received 7 ARC’s this month, and I continued my new goal of reading 1 Shakespeare play and 10 Shakespeare Sonnets, as well as 5 Brother’s Grimm fairy-tales, and 3 ‘books’ from Les Miserable by Victor Hugo. I hope to keep this up every month for the rest of the year. I guess we will see if that actually happens.

I have reviews up or coming up for these books so as usual this is just going to be a brief run down on each book I read.

Without further ado, let’s get into my May Wrap Up…

Secret Seven Adventure by Enid Blyton: I loved this book. I have recently been re reading some Enid Blyton classics, and this book is one fo my favourites. I loved getting to catch up with the Seven and Scamper. I really enjoyed reading this book and I cant wait to jump into my next Enid Blyton book.

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein: This book was an absolute roller coaster read. I laughed, I cried, and I held my breath. I went into this book will high expectations and this book well and truly surpassed them. It was equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking. Everyone should read this book. I wont be forgetting it anytime soon.

The Mercy Seat by Elizabeth H. Winthrop: This book is an absolute masterpiece. The writing is superb, the story is captivating, and the characters are real. I couldn’t put this book down. It is one of the best books I have ever read. All I can really say is that everyone needs to read this book.

The Vietnam War by Robert Hamilton: A History In Pictures book that everyone should read. With amazing photographs, newspaper articles and Historical Information, this amazing little book shows the Vietnam in its entirety. I found this book really interesting and the photographs were fantastic. This book would be the perfect book to start your introduction to the Vietnam War.

The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross: I absolutely adored this book. As a massive fan of Beauty and the Beast, I am very critical of people touching that particular tale, but this book was absolutely amazing. I honestly don’t have the words to describe how wonderful this book was. I think the best way to sum it up is… The best retelling I have ever read.

The Upside Of Over by J.D. Barrett: I enjoyed this book, but I went into it with high expectations after reading J.D.. Barrett’s first two books and unfortunately this one just did live up to my expectations. I did enjoy this book and it was a quick read, I just didn’t love it. I couldn’t fully relate to the characters and I didn’t feel the hear that I was expecting. Over all this was a quick, solid read.

100 Headlines That Changed The World by James Maloney:This book was awesome. Filled with interesting information about historic events, I genuinely feel like I have learnt a lot by reading this book. I loved the background information that was given to each headline, it truly made for a wonderful read. This book is an absolute must read.

Shakespeare: I read 1 Shakespeare play and 10 Sonnets in May, I also read 1 Shakespeare Poem. I read the following Shakespeare Works This Month:

The Taming Of The Shrew

Venus And Adonis

Sonnets 41-50

Les Miserable: For those who don’t know this novel, it is broken up into character sections with each character section containing ‘books’. Within each of these books are chapters. These ‘books’ come in various sizes, it is just the luck of the draw really. I hope to read 3 ‘books’ each month. I have read the following ‘books’ this month:


– Book 5: The Virtues Of Misfortune

– Book 6: Conjunction Of Two Stars

– Book 7: Patron-Minette

Brother’s Grimm: I am happy to say that I not only completed my goals of reading 5 Brother Grimm Fairy Tales in May, I doubled it. I read the following Tales this month:



Simeli Mountain.

The Glass Coffin.


Old Rinkrank.

The Straw, The Coal, And The Bean.

The Hare’s Bride.

The Hare And The Hedgehog.

The Dog And The Sparrow.

That’s it for my May Wrap Up. I hope you all had a great reading month. Let me know what you guys read this month in the comments section.

Until my June Wrap Up…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem


University Book Tag…

Welcome to another Wacky Wednesday. Today I am going to be completing the University Book Tag. This was a fun Tag to do, so I hope you guys enjoy it.

Without further ado, lets jump in:

Pick a major: Pick a book about something you would like to study? Create Narrate Punctuate by Ramy Tadros.

The people are friendly: Pick a book with a character that you would want to have as a friend? Secrets Between Friends by Fiona Palmer. I would love to be friends with any of these leading ladies.

Student Debt: Which is the most expensive book on your shelf? Harry Potter: From page To Screen.

The Freedom of Adulthood: A book about any kind of freedom.? Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally.

Full time Student: What is the longest book you have read? How long did it take you to read it? Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. It took me on and off about two years.

Hours of studying: How long does it take to finish a book? Usually about two or three days.

Clubs and Social Life: Pick a book where there is a large cast of characters that you would want to be involved with? Harry Potter. I’m still waiting for my Hogwarts letter.

Well that’s it from me. I hope you enjoyed this post. As usual hit me up with your answers in the comment section.

Untill next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

‘While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?’

This book was amazing.

I went into this book with high hopes after reading Code Name Verity. Not only did it live up to my expectations, it surpassed them.

I had prepared myself for a slow start, like I got in Code Name Verity, but i didn’t really need to worry. I was captivated by this book from the very beginning. I loved the fact that characters from Code Name Verity had minor roles in this book. I think the addition of these characters helped me connect to Rose faster than I expected.

Elizabeth Wein did a fantastic job with this book. Her ability to captivate and hold a reader made me feel like I was living this story with these characters, not just reading it. These amazing characters were so real to me; I knew them, I loved them, and I felt what they were feeling.

Reading this book was a truly immersive experience that I didn’t want to end. These characters were my friends and all I wanted was to help them. This book was a roller coaster ride of emotions. I laughed, I cried and I held my breath until the end of the book.

This book is one of the best Historical Fictions I have ever read. It was equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking. Any book that can make me feel like I am living the story with the characters is a winner in my eyes.

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein is a must read book that will stay with you long after the final page.

Cody Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

‘Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?’

I loved this book.

I will be honest, it took me a while to get into this book. I was liking it but I just wasnt hooked until a fair way through. Once it had my full attention I didn’t want to put it down.

I loved that this book was broken up into two parts; getting to see from both girls point of view really helped me to connect emotionally with both girls.

Elizabeth Wein did a wonderful job with this book. It was equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking. I really felt for these characters and what they were going through. I havent stopped thinking about them since I finished this book.

I have read a few World War 2 Historical Fictions, and Code Name Verity is up there with the very best.

I cannot wait to read more from Elizabeth Wein, starting with Rose Under Fire.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is a must read for everyone. It will make you both laugh and cry and it will definitely stay with you long after the final page.

Mushy Gushy Book Tag

Welcome one and all to another Wacky Wednesday post. Today I am going to be completing the Mushy Gushy Book Tag. I hope you all enjoy this Tag.

Without further ado, lets jump in:

Valentines: A book with pink, red, and white on the cover? I am going to give you three books, one for each colour; Queens Of Geek by Jen Wilde, The Song Of Us by J.D. Barrett and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han.

Sweethearts: A book with the best pickup line? I’m going to go with two answers for this question; Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? – William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18 and The Selection series by Kiera Cass, anything between Maxon and America.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries: Favorite book couple? Rose and Dimitri from The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.

Roses: Most romantic book couple? Jamie and Landon from A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks.

Teddy Bear: A book that makes you want to snuggle with someone? Nineteen Letters by Jodi Perry.

Candle Light Dinner: A book that you’d take out on a date? By Your Side by Kasie West.

Pizza: Best book for single people? Secrets Between Friends by Fiona Palmer. This book is all about friendship, fun and secrets.

Well that’s it from me. I hope you enjoyed this post. As usual hit me up with your answers in the comment section.

Untill next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

Dude! by Aaron Reynolds

‘Dude! You have to read this book.

It’s totally about this platypus and this beaver who are friends. They want to go surfing but dude, there’s this shark who’s in the ocean, too.

But don’t worry. This shark approaches and you’ll never guess what happens.’

I didn’t love this book.

I understand that this is a children’s book, so I wasnt expecting a literary masterpiece but I did expect more than I got. There was barely any words in this book, only illustrations. The illustrations were pretty much the only tool used to tell the story.

Luckily the illustrations were absolutly beautiful. These illustrations by Dan Santat are honestly what made this book. I have read other books that have been illustrated by Dan Santat, so I wasnt surprised by his wonderful work.

I have been fortunate enough in recent times to have read some beautiful children’s books. The illustrations in this book definitely measure up to some of the best I have seen in recent time.

Unfortunately the story just didn’t do anything for me. I was underwhelmed by the lack of story and I was frustrated by what I feel is a wasted opportunity. This book could have been fantastic, but it just missed the mark.

Dude! by Aaron Reynolds, illustrations by Dan Santat is out now.

Malory Towers: First Term by Enid Blyton

‘Darrell Rivers begins her happy life at Malory Towers two terms later than the other girls, but she soon makes firm friends with Sally, the steady one, and the adoring Mary Lou.

Darrell and her friends grow together as they share their schooldays. There are new students to induct, sporting matches to be won, tempers to control and tricks to play on teachers.’

This was such a joyful read.

I had honestly forgotten how much I love Enid Blyton until I started reading her books again. I don’t know if I have ever read Malory Towers before but I am glad I have read it now.

The entire concept of this book was fantastic; going away to boarding school for the first time, having to adjust to different rules and personalities. Watching these characters navigate their new normal really captivated me.

I loved getting to see all of the different personalities these characters had find a place in this story. From shy to out going, every individual character trait had a role to play as the story unfolded.

I was genuinely surprised by how deep some of the parts of this story were. It was so expertly told that it wasnt until the end that you realise just how much this little book covered in such a short amount of time.

Re reading Enid Blyton has been an absolute joy, and I personally believe that Malory Towers by Enid Blyton should be on everyone’s TBR.

Reading Habits Tag…

Welcome one and all to yet another Wacky Wednesday post. Today I will be doing the Reading Habits Tag. I hope you guys enjoy.

So without further ado, lets jump right in:

Do you have a certain place at home for reading? In bed or on my back veranda.

Bookmark or random piece of paper? Bookmarks all the way.

Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/a certain amount of pages? I like to read in 50 page sittings and I wont stop until I have finished my current chapter.

Do you eat or drink while reading? I like to drink but I don’t eat whilst reading.

Multitasking: Music or TV while reading? I sometimes listen to music. instrumental music only, no lyrics.

One book at a time or several at once? I like to have several books going at a time.

Reading at home or everywhere? I will read anywhere and everywhere, but home is definitely my favourite place to read.

Reading out loud or silently in your head? I read silently unless im trying to pronounce a word, in that case I usually say it out loud.

Do you read ahead or even skip pages? No. I stick with a book through every page.

Breaking the spine or keeping it like new? I like to break the spine. Please don’t hate me.

Do you write in your books? No Never. I usually have a pen and notepad close by to take notes with.

Well that’s it from me. I hope you enjoyed this post. As usual hit me up with your answers in the comment section.

Untill next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

Factfulness by Dr Hans Rosling

‘”This book is my last battle in my life-long mission to fight devastating ignorance, and my final attempt at making an impact on the world. It has been my daily inspiration and joy. In my previous battles I armed myself with huge data sets, beautiful software, an energetic lecturing style and a Swedish bayonet for sword swallowing. It wasn’t enough. But I hope that this book will be.”

When you ask people simple questions about global trends, they systematically get the answers wrong. How many young women go to school? What’s the average life expectancy across the world? What will the global population will be in 2050? Do the majority of people live in rich or poor countries?’

This book was absolutely amazing.

I don’t know what I expected from this book, but it blew my mind. It was such a fascinating read, and I genuinely felt better about the world after reading it.

I was a little worried about how much information I was going to have to take in and whether or not it was going to be hard to read. As it turns out, these fears were unfounded. This book was so wonderfully written. It had great information that wasnt overly technical and great writing that was easy to follow and understand.

I love the comparisons in this book. It made it really easy to see the bigger picture and understand what it was you were reading about. I also really loved the addition of all of the graphs. They really helped show you the evidence and how we are seeing things different from how they actually are.

Dr Hans Rosling did a fantastic job with this book. It was filled with wonderful information, easy to understand writing and fantastic graphs. This book was un-put-down-able and it left me with a better understanding about the world we live in.

Factfulness by Dr Hans Rosling is a must read book for absolutely everyone. I have already passed it around my family so that they can all experience the joys of Factfulness.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

‘In this spirited comedy of manners Catherine Morland, a plain, unspoiled small-town girl on holiday in Bath, meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, a handsome young clergyman. Henry’s father, believing Catherine to be wealthy, invites her to be a guest at Northanger Abby, the family’s country estate. Catherine, who has read too many Gothic romances and who is possessed of too vivid an imagination, views the abbey as a house of nightmarish horror — an aspect of the book that gleefully parodies the fantastic Gothic romances by Ann Radcliffe and other popular writers of the period. An amusing assortment of misunderstandings and plot twists result in the satisfying romantic conclusion characteristic of the author’s works.’

I loved this book.

This is the second book by Jane Austen I have read, after reading Persuasion I picked up Northanger Abbey, and after reading Northanger Abbey, I cant wait to read the rest of her novels.

This amazing book is a commentary on novels, gothic themes, and the shallowness of the upper class. I absolutly loved how these themes were woven into the story. It made for a highly entertaining read with both a few laughs and a few chills.

I really loved the youthful feeling this book had. Given the age of the book, I was surprised by how relatable the characters were. I guess adolescence has its pitfalls regardless of the era in which you experience it.

Jane Austen’s writing consistently beautiful. I love the naivety and subtle and not so subtle humor that comes through in her writing. The ending of this book is particularly lovely, the way in which Jane Austen wrapped-up this story was absolutly perfect.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen is a great book to start with if you are looking to get into some Jane Austen or to read up on some classics.