June Wrap Up…

Welcome to my June Wrap Up. I didn’t have a great reading month, finishing 5 books (4 books off my TBR). I also received 4 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 June Wrap Up…

The Twins At St Clare’s by Enid Blyton: I didn’t love this book. I have been having a great time reading Enid Blyton classics over the past few month and whilst I did enjoy this book it just wasnt as good as the others I have read. I found it a bit to slow and I had trouble caring about the characters. I love Enid Blyton but this book wasnt a favourite of mine.

The Key by Kathryn Hughes: This book started really slow. I was having trouble staying interested in it at the beginning. Just before the half way point it really picked up speed and I couldn’t put it down. I am so glad I stuck with it, because it was so worth it in the end. This book is definitely worth the read.

We Are Young by Cat Clarke: I really enjoyed this book. I was hooked from the first page. I was able to related to so many of the characters which made this story really captivating for me. I loved the story and the was it developed. I will definitely be reading this book again in the future.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon: This was a nice, easy to read book. I enjoyed it but I didn’t love it. I found it a little to predictable for my taste and I had trouble sympathising with the main characters. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting a quick, light read.

From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon: I really enjoyed this book. I wasnt sure about it going into it but it really drew me in and kept me interested until the very last page. I honestly didn’t want this book to end. I am so glad I pick this book up. I will be definitely be reading it again in the future.

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

Macbeth

Lucrece

Sonnets 51-60

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:

Marius:

– Book 8: The Noxious Poor

The Idyll In The Rue Plumet And The Epic Of The Rue Saint-Denis:

– Book 1: A Few Pages Of History

– Book 2: Eponine

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

Herr Korbes

The Pack Of Ragamuffins

The Death Of The Little Hen

The Owl

The Wonderful Musician

The Mouse, The Bird, And The Sausage

The Crumbs On The Table

The Louse And The Flea

The Wolf And The Seven Little Kids

The Wolf And The Fox

That’s it for my June 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 July Wrap Up…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

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We Are Young by Cat Clarke

It starts with a wedding. And a car crash. 

On the same night Evan’s mother marries local radio DJ ‘Breakfast Tim’, Evan’s brand-new step-brother Lewis is found unconscious and terribly injured, the only survivor of a horrific car crash.

A media storm erupts, with the finger of blame pointed firmly at loner stoner Lewis. Everyone else seems to think the crash was drugs-related, but Evan isn’t buying it. With the help of her journalist dad, Harry, she decides to find out what really happened that night.

As Evan delves deeper into the lives of the three teenagers who died in the crash, she uncovers some disturbing truths and a secret that threatens to tear her family – and the community – apart.’

I loved this book.

I didn’t know if I would like this book going into it, but it turns out I needn’t have worried. I really enjoyed this book. I couldn’t put it down. It had me hooked from the first page until the final page.

This story was really interesting and the way in which it played out made for a truly wonderful reading experience. I loved how this book really built to the conclusion. It had such an emotional pull and I couldn’t help getting drawn into this story.

Cat Clarke did a fantastic job with this book. The characters in this book were so three-dimensional and relatable. I was able to see and feel where each character was coming from throughout this story.

Reading this book was an emotional roller coaster. The story and the characters were so well-developed and so real you couldn’t help but feel what they were feeling. I was genuinely surprised by how overwhelming my connection to this story was. I felt like I was living this story instead of just reading it.

I honestly can’t speaking highly enough about this book.

We Are Young by Cat Clarke is an absolute must read for everyone.

Wizarding World Adventure Book Tag…

Welcome on and all to another Wacky Wednesday post. Today I have decided to partake in the Wizarding World Adventure Book Tag. This tag was really fun for me, so I hope you guys enjoy it.

So without further ado, lets jump into the Wizarding World Adventure Book Tag:

HOGWARTS:

A place where Harry and company learned a lot about magic, themselves and the world around them.

Talk about a book that taught you some important life lessons: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. This amazing books was one of the first books I read after getting into reading. I opened my eyes to the world around me. It was the first book I read with characters from different social economic backs ground and how society treats people because of these back grounds. This book is still one of my all time favourite book and I truly believe everyone should read this book at least once in their life.

MINISTRY OF MAGIC:

If it had hair it would be big, because it’s full of secrets.

Talk about a book that had been kept a secret from you until recently: The Land Of Stories series by Chris Colfer. I had heard nothing about this series and one day I saw the first book on sale and I was hooked. This amazing book takes place in the fairy tales world after our favourite fairy tales ended. Filled with an amazing cast of character and great stories, this series is not to be missed.

THE BURROW:

Home sweet home for the Weasleys, Harry and Hermione; full of happiness and good memories.

Talk about a book that always puts a smile on your face: The Girl With The Lost Smile by Miranda Hart. This beautiful book is about a young girl searching for her lost smile. I absolutly loved this book. It was sweet, heartfelt and fun. I have read this book many times and it never fails to make me smile.

KINGS CROSS:

Place that represents traveling and new beginnings.

Talk about your favorite book where the main character goes on an adventure: Grampa’s Great Escape by David Walliams. This amazing book tells the story of a young boy whose grandfather has dementia and believes he is fighting in the war. This beautiful story follows the duo as they go on a wonderful, heartfelt adventure.

GODRIC’S HOLLOW:

Harry’s roots. Even though there’s danger, he just has to follow the calling he feels to this place.

Talk about a book you picked up even though it had many mixed reviews: The Selection series by Kiera Cass. I wasnt sure about this book due to its reviews, but after seeing it on sale I decided to pick it up. I am so glad I did. I loved the first three books in this series, unfortunately the last to didn’t really stack up. I have re read the first three books a few times and I really enjoy them each time I read them.

DIAGON ALLEY:

Shop till you drop.

Talk about a book you love so much, you would pay triple its price if you had to: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I would steal a kidney to buy these books if I had to. This amazing series sparked my love of reading and is still my favourite series and my go to book whenever I need an escape. If you havent read these amazing books im guessing you have been living under a rock, so now that you are free, read them now.

AZKABAN: 

Dark place that will drive you to madness.

Talk about a book that almost drove you crazy with how dark and twisted it was: IT by Stephen King. This book freaked me out big time. It was so freaking and dark and scary. I had nightmares after reading this book, and I get chills thinking about it now. This is one of the scariest books I have ever read, so if that’s what you are into, this is the book for you.

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

The Vietnam War by Robert Hamilton

‘Vietnam was the battleground for a bloody, attritional conflict playing out at the height of the Cold War, when Southeast Asia was the proxy theatre in the struggle between the superpowers. A Soviet-backed Communist regime held the north of the divided land, while America convinced that the countries of the region would fall domino-style to Communism if left unchecked threw its might behind South Vietnam. For over a decade the US Government provided aid and advisors. In 1965, with defeat looming, American troops poured in. Prosecuting a distant war against guerrilla forces proved beyond even the West’s great superpower. Casualties mounted, support ebbed away, morale slumped. American troops finally departed after a peace deal was signed in 1973, ending a war long deemed unwinnable. Two years later, South Vietnam fell.’

This book was awesome.

I was a little worried about this book before going into it. I was mostly concerned about how graphic the photographs and information was going to be. As a Military History book, I was unsure as to the level of confronting images I was going to be exposed to. It turns out I needn’t have worried.

The photographs in this book were amazing and thankfully non graphic. They showed the Vietnam War from start to finish without using horrific images to shock the reader.

I have read a fair few books about the Vietnam War and Military History in general, and I really believe that this book can hold its own with the others I have read.

This book is a quick read, that is filled with amazing photographs, newspaper articles and great information that informs the reader without overwhelming them.

This book is the perfect starting point to introduce a reader to the Vietnam War or Military History in general. The images are wonderful and not graphic and the information is easy to understand.

The Vietnam War by Robert Hamilton is a must read for everyone.

The Key by Kathryn Hughes

‘1956
It’s Ellen Crosby’s first day at work as a student nurse at Ambergate County Lunatic Asylum. When she meets a young girl committed by her father, and a pioneering physician keen to try out the various ‘cures’ available for mental illness, little does Ellen know that a choice she will make is to change all their lives for ever…

2006
Sarah is drawn to the abandoned Ambergate Asylum and whilst exploring the old corridors she discovers a suitcase in an attic belonging to a female patient who was admitted to the asylum fifty years earlier. The shocking contents of the suitcase lead Sarah to unravel a forgotten story of tragedy, lost love and an old wrong that only Sarah may have the power to put right.’

This book surprised me.

I was really intrigued by the idea of this book, and I couldn’t wait to read it. It started off well but then it slowed down and got a little boring. I was having trouble sticking with it. It just wasnt holding my attention. I like to finish a book, so I did stick with it.

I really loved the character of Sarah and I loved reading about her journey. I would have loved to have seen more of her in 2006 but unfortunately once we jumped to Ellen in 1956 we spent a long time there instead. I think I was expecting the story to switch back and forth between 1956 and 2006 but that didn’t really happen.

I found the book really dragged once we entered 1956. I was feeling pretty underwhelmed by the story until we reached the half way mark. At the half way mark the story really picked up speed and I didn’t want to put it down.

The second half of this book was absolutly captivating. It was both heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure. I was having trouble believing it was the same book. I was genuinely surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this book given my feelings about it at the beginning.

I am honestly grateful that I stuck with this book and didn’t give up on it.

The Key by Kathryn Hughes genuinely surprised me and ended up taking my breath away. I think everyone should give this book a chance. It will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride. That is, if you let it.

Winter Wonderland Book Tag…

Welcome one and all to another Wacky Wednesday post. Today im going to be completing the Winter Wonderland Book Tag. I hope you guys enjoy.

So without further ado, let’s jump in:

What book is so happy and sweet that it warms your heart? The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

What is your favorite book with a white cover? Nineteen Letter by Jodi Perry.

You’re sitting in a nice comfy chair, wearing a onesie, with a lovely warm hot chocolate but what MONSTER read are you reading? IT by Stephen King.

It started snowing so you decided to have a snowball fight! What fictional character would you love to have the snowball fight with? Remus Lupin. I would love to just see him have fun and let go of all his worries.

Sadly, your fire is beginning to go out. So what book would you tear the last few chapters out to throw into the fire? The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend. I really didn’t like this book and would be more than happy to burn it.

What book is so close to your heart that you would gift to someone this Winter who hasn’t read before but wants to get into reading? The Inaugural Meeting Of The Fairvale Ladies Book Club by Sophie Green. This book was fantastic. It was warm and inclusive and would be a fantastic book to get someone involved in reading this Winter.

What book gave you goosebumps when you read it? Nevermore by Jessica Townsend. This book was fantastic. Every twist and turn made my heart race and I had some genuine goosebumps moments whilst reading this book.

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

Secret Seven Adventure by Enid Blyton

‘This is the second mystery in this series.

The Secret Seven are now having regular weekly meetings. Waiting for an adventure to come their way.

A priceless pearl necklace has been stolen, and the Secret Seven witnessed the thief making his escape. But where has he hidden the necklace?’

I loved this book.

I have recently been re visiting some Enid Blyton classics. This is the second Secret Seven book I have read recently and I absolutely loved it. I can remember loving these books as a kid, but reading them as an adult is a whole new experience.

I found this book much more in-depth then the first one. There were more clues to follow, twists and turns to deal with, and I loved it. I loved getting to catch up with the Seven and Scamper for an exciting new adventure.

I had honestly forgotten how amazing these books are. It didn’t take me long to remember. Once I started this book I couldn’t put it down. I ended up reading it in one sitting.

Along with an amazing story, this book had fantastic illustrations by Tony Ross. I wasnt expecting the illustrations and they made a great addition to the book, perfectly complimenting the story being told.

Reading this book was like taking a trip down memory lane. Remembering a more simple time, where my only concern was which book I was going to read next. Any book that can take a reader on a journey and leave them full of joy is a winner in my eyes.

There is a reason why Enid Blyton’s book are classics. The Secret Seven books, and Enid Blyton books in general are books that can and should be enjoyed at any age.

Secret Seven Adventure by Enid Blyton is a must read for both young and old.

The Secret Seven by Enid Blyton 

‘It’s their very first adventure, and the Secret Seven super-sleuths are already on the trail of some really weird clues. It’s snowing and the Seven are dressed in disguise, following a lead to a spooky old house – and a mystery.’

I adored this book.

This is the first book in the Secret Seven Series.

The Secret Seven consists of Peter and his sister Janet, and their friends Jack, Colin, George, Pam and Barbara. Peter and Janet’s spaniel Scamper is an unofficial member of the Secret Seven. Their meeting place is the shed at the bottom of Peter and Janet’s garden and there is no entry unless the children are wearing their club badges and remember the password.

I have really enjoyed reading this book as an adult. The Secret Seven books are shorter than the Famous Five books, their length make these books a great introduction to Enid Blyton’s adventure stories and will appeal to readers of all ages.

I flew through this story, and remembered many of the key moments as I was reading. Reading this book was like being transported back to my own childhood. I loved reliving the adventure and friendship of The Secret Seven. The nostalgia hit was a real treat to experience.

I finished this book with the same sense of satisfaction that I did the first time I read it as a child. This is the power that these books have, they can stand the test of time and be read and appreciated at any age.

Any child seeking a story about true friendship and teamwork will find plenty of both in The Secret Seven.

I am so glad I started collecting The Enid Blyton Classic. These books are classics for a reason and I am so excited to continue my trip down memory lane with the rest of this series.

The Secret Seven by Enid Blyton is a must have for all young readers and all readers who are young at heart.

Fantasy Fun Tag…

Welcome one and all to another Wacky Wednesday post. Today I am partaking in the Fantasy Fun tag. I really enjoyed doing this Tag, so I hope you guys like it.

Without further ado, lets jump in:

What fantasy series would you want to be a part of? (You would be yourself, but a character in the series. Whether you survive would depend on your own abilities or abilities you could potentially learn in that world). Harry Potter of course. Is their any other world that could compete with J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

What type of fantasy being do you want to be? Could be a human-like one; Elf, Shadowhunter, wizard, OR a mythological creature like a dragon or unicorn. Witch. I would love to have powers. I don’t mind if it’s a witch like in Harry Potter or more like the ladies from Charmed. I just want to be a witch.

Living your everyday life, would you rather have magic powers or have a mythological creature for a pet/BFF? (For example, have a dragon you could ride around). Magic Powers all the way.

Who is your favorite fictional dragon? I would love to say Norbert from Harry Potter but if im being honest the first dragon I fell in love with was Elliott from Pete’s Dragon.

What is your favorite fantasy book/movie? (This, of course, includes books/movies where modern-day people end up in fantasy worlds). Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban. I love all the Harry Potter movies but Prisoner Of Azkaban is my absolute favourite.

If you could pull any character out of a fantasy series, to live in the normal world (as your friend, or maybe love interest, who knows), who would you choose? (Note: this means they would no longer be in their book world–so think about what that might mean). Remus Lupin. I love Lupin and would save him by bringing him into my world, and loving him.

If you could make a supporting character in any fantasy series the protagonist of that series, who would you make the new star? Honestly I would love to say Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter because I love her and would love to see more of her, but by making her the lead I would be putting her through a lot of pain. Honestly most protagonist in Fantasy have a hard go of it so I don’t know if I would put that onto anyone.

Well that’s it from me. This post ended up being very Harry Potter heavy, but if you have read my blog before this shouldnt surprise you. I hope you enjoyed this post. As usual hit me up with your answers in the comment section.

Untill next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

100 Headlines That Changed The World by James Maloney

‘Here are the incredible newspaper headlines that document history’s most important moments—headlines so momentous that anyone reading them knew that the world as they knew it had been changed irrevocably. Headlines That Changed the World looks at stories from the Great Western Crosses the Atlantic in 1838 and Abraham Lincoln Assassinated in 1865, through Wall Street Crashes in 1929 and Hitler Sweeps to Power in 1933, to King Elvis Dead in 1977, Obama Wins Presidency in 2008, and Bin Laden Shot Dead in 2011. Headlines That Changed the World is an ideal book to dip into and discover newspaper headlines that shaped our past. Whether it was news of the Kennedy assassination or the fact that man had finally made it to the moon, these headlines and the history behind them will fascinate history buffs and casual readers alike.’

This book was awesome.

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book. I wasnt sure how much information I would get or if it was just about the actual headlines. Thankfully its was full of fantastic information.

The information in this book was really quite fascinating. I already knew about a lot of the topics that were mentioned but I found myself really engaged and interested and I genuinely feel like I learnt something whilst reading this book.

I thought the layout of this book was perfect. Each headline was followed by background information to explain the situation as well as follow up details about the event in question.

With so many Headlines being covered in this book, I wasnt surprised that I knew a fair few of them. What did surprise me however was the fact that I had never heard of some of them. This mix of known and unknown subjects mad for a really wonderful reading experience.

If you are looking for an interesting read that gives you a snap shot of History, this is definitely the book for you.

100 Headlines That Changed The World by James Maloney is an absolute must read.